Meeting Alex Pettyfer and Diana Agron

As promised, I am posting my pictures of my amazing Saturday afternoon. I had the pleasure of hanging out with good friends, making new friends and meeting Alex Pettyfer and Diana Agron. It was very cool and organized event hosted by HOT TOPIC in which we all got autographs from Alex and Diana (they signed official mini movie posters). Diana was very energetic and animated while Alex was a bit more reserved. Then we were able to watch I AM NUMBER FOUR afterwards. The movie was ok (book was better) and number six stole the show, she kicked a$$. Good times!! Good times!!

Diana Agron
Diana's mouth and Alex

Alex signing some posters

The Line up prior to us going in

right before I got to Alex, my favorite picture (gorgeous smile)

more Alex

I did make sure to tell Alex that I wanted him for the role of Jace Wayland and he said "ahhhh Okay" I am not sure what that means but I hope he gets the role. Who knows?




This is what I am doing today meeting ALEX PETTYFER

As your reading this I am probably in a long long line with many other fans waiting to see the stars of I AM NUMBER FOUR. Yes! I will actually get to meet Alex Pettyfer and Diana Agron. Then if that awesomeness isn't enough I have the delight of seeing I AM NUMBER FOUR right afterwards. SQUEEE!!! I am doing the happy snoopy dance, but I am probably so very tired that my happy dance looks like a shuffle. For those that are interested just follow my tweets on twitterland to witness the craziness that is probably going down.

Sneak A Peek Saturday: FALLING UNDER by Gwen Hayes

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

This week I have selected FALLING UNDER by Gwen Hayes, a book that has been on my radar for a while. The cover is seductive and after reading the chapter sample I knew I had to have it. I cannot wait for March.

Just click on the book jacket and enjoy the PEEK.

03/01/11
Falling Under
by
Gwen Hayes


Gwen's debut print novel, FALLING UNDER, will be released in March of 2011.

In her dreams he’s irresistible—seductive, charming, and undoubtedly dangerous. But when he appears to her when she’s awake—and captivates her just the same—she’s not sure which way is up and which is down.


Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life, not allowed the same freedoms as the rest of the teenagers in the small California town of Serendipity Falls. But when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in the halls of her school, she feels every urge she’s ever denied burning through her at the slightest glance from Haden Black. Theia knows she’s seen Haden before—not around town, but in her dreams.

Theia doesn’t understand how she dreamed of Haden before they ever met, but every night has them joined in a haunting world of eerie fantasy. And as the Haden of both the night and the day beckons her forward one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels towards him is stronger than her fear. And as she slowly discovers what Haden truly is, Theia’s not sure if she wants to resist him, even if the cost is her soul.

COMING SOONfrom these booksellers:AMAZON BARNES & NOBLE BORDERS INDIEBOUND BOOKS-A-MILLION

TEEN MANIA at RT Convention.

click on flyer for a better view

RT Booklovers convention is in Los Angeles this year and FAN-DEMONIUM for fans of Young Adult novels and their authors is being hosted on Saturday, April 9, 2011 from 11 AM till 6:30 PM. It is going to be a wonderful event, just look at who is coming. For more information check here and the information posted below.

Special Saturday Teen Day Pass (11:00am to 7:00pm) $25.00 for Adults (for Book Fair, Workshops, and party) $25.00 for a Teen PLUS one adult (for Book Fair, Workshops, and party) If a teen comes with 2 adults then charge the 2nd adult 15.00
11am-2pm—Book Fair
2:30-5:30pm —workshops
5:45-7pm— Party


Book Fair Only $5.00 per Teen for Book Fair Only $5.00 per adult for Book Fair Only (even if they are accompanying a teen)

Waiting on Wednesday: HOUNDED by Kevin Hearne

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 I will admit had me when I saw the book jacket cover. OMG! Stunning! Right? Then I read the snyopsis and was into this book ever more. I cannot wait to read this adventure.
What is your WOW for this week?

Atticus O'Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old--when in actuality, he's twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.

Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he's hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power--plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a sexy bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish--to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.

REVIEW: MAD LOVE by Suzanne Selfors

MAD LOVE by Suzanne Selfors
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers (January 4, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 080278450X
ISBN-13: 978-0802784506
Source: Publisher
Author Website: HERE
Rating: YY out of 5


When you're the daughter of the bestselling Queen of Romance, life should be pretty good. But 16-year-old Alice Amorous has been living a lie ever since her mother was secretly hospitalized for mental illness. After putting on
a brave front for months, time is running out. The next book is overdue, and the Queen can't write it. Alice needs a story for her mother-and she needs one fast.


That's when she meets Errol, a strange boy who claims to be Cupid, who insists that Alice write about the greatest love story in history: his tragic relationship with Psyche. As Alice begins to hear Errol's voice in her head and see things she can't explain, she must face the truth-that
she's either inherited her mother's madness, or Errol is for real.


Review

I am a fan of quirky love stories and when I was presented with an opportunity to read something a little different I jumped at the chance. This new prospect was MAD LOVE by Suzanne Selfors. This story had a mix of mental illness, Cupid and clam juice...yes, you read it correctly, clam juice.

I don't know where to begin with this story so I will try my best not to seem confusing but that is precisely how I felt at the end of reading MAD LOVE. Here you have this story about a girl, Alice Amorous whose mother was a famous romance writer and now resides in a mental institute due to her Biopolar illness going unchecked for years. I experience Alice's ordeal through flashbacks and current situational distress and although I want to feel for her plight I find that I cannot. This is especially true when she finds out some very distressing news that leaves her desperate for monetary fundage, yet when the opportunity is so painfully obvious she still does not seem to make the connection straight away. arrrrrrrrrrg!! In fact, it has to be yelled out to her by Errol a strange boy that brings on a different brand of mental to Alices' already troubled life.

This brings me to the subject of Cupid, yes the god of love. He is convinced that Alice is the one that must write his true tragic love story and he is relentless in his pursuit. You would think that he would be charming, sexy and smooth but instead he appears EMO, haggard and sickly (which I understand later but by that point I am not sure I care) and when he uses his powers to assuade Alice, his only remedy is clam juice. YUCK ! I am not making this stuff up.

What I did like about MAD LOVE is the remaining cast of quirky characters that give this book a bit of lightness, heart and laughter that was needed due to the heavy subject matter. Unfortunately it was not enough for me to appreciate this story and not even a bottle of clam juice could make me change my mind.

REVIEW: ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins

ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins


  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Juvenile (December 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525423273
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525423270
  • Scource: Publisher
  • Rating: YYYYY


  • Anna is looking forward to her senior year
    in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets Étienne St. Claire: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy
    accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.


    As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna—and readers—have long awaited?



    I look down, and I’m surprised to find myself standing in the middle of a small stone circle. In the centre, directly between my feet, is a coppery-bronze octagon with a star. Words are engraved in the stone around it: POINT ZÉRO DES ROUTES DE FRANCE.
    “Mademoiselle Oliphant. It translates to ‘Point zero of the roads of France.’ In other words, it’s the point from which all other distances in France are measured.” St. Clair clears his throat. “It’s the beginning of everything.”
    I look back up. He’s smiling.
    “Welcome to Paris, Anna. I’m glad you’ve come.”
    "Sigh...." with a passage like that how could you not fall in love with this book. I dare you not to


    REVIEW
    ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins is one of the most wonderfully charming novels that I have had the pleasure of reading in a long long while. because it hosts an amazing romance that is honest, endearing and totally swoon worthy. C'est Magnifique!!!

    Just like drinking hot cocoa on a chilly day, once I began ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS I was filled with a warmth and satisfaction that soothed my romance hungry soul. The relationship between Anna and St. Clair was slow building, fun and tenuous and although a tiny part of me wanted instant gratification and have them make out from the beginning (because they are so perfect for one another) I was surprised at how much I truly enjoyed the romance that slowly built between them. I am know that my glutinous romantic soul is used to the over the top, "BAM!" wenevermetbutoncewelockeyesoneachotherwearesoulmates type of relationship that I forgot how amazing a true romance can be. Thank you, Stephanie Perkins.

    One of the factors that I found surprising was the many facets of relationships that were explored within this book. Friendships, Marriage, boy-girlfriends and how each are handled through different characters give this story substance and and edge that keep it from being sugary sweet. I will admit to hating St. Claire's father with a passion intensity of a thousand suns, but we always need a villain in a story to throw our hatred at.

    What is also amazing about ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, besides Anna and St. Clair and it's memorable cast of characters is the descriptive quality of Paris, the city of lights. After reading about Notre Dame, Point Zero and the many theatre's that were at the heart of this story I wanted to feel the cobblestones underneath my feet, breath in the fresh air and see the lights dance on the river seine. And if that wasn't enough Stephanie also made me want to indulge in french bread, fruit, panini's and crepes like nobodies business. I was left practically salivating when I read about how Anna was enjoying her nutella-banana crepe masterpiece and knew I had to have the same. I have marked it down on my "To Do" list for when I visit Paris later this year.

    So, as you can witness I adored this book for many reasons. I could go into greater detail but that would only rob you of the experience that you must take. What I know is that I finished reading ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS and was left with warmth in my heart and a lightness in my soul that I will not easily forget. A story that is a feast for all the senses and for all ages, you must read this book. NOW!!

    Long Live Romance!!

    REVIEW: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

    UNEARTHLY by Cynthia Hand

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (January 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061996165
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061996160
  • Source: Publisher
  • Cover: 5 /5
  • Rating: YYYY 1/2



  • In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . .
    Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.

    Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

    As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

    Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.


    REVIEW

    Finally!! A story about Angels that does not make me want to hurl and cry for the lost hours that have escaped me. UNEARTHLY is original, charming and witty, full of heart and a protagonist that you cannot help but cheer for.

    I was hesitant to read another story regarding Angels but was soon relieved as I became quickly enchanted with Clara Gardner's mission to fulfill her destiny. A destiny that comes to her through visions that overwhelm her at the most inopportune moments. It's these visions that provide a fresh and unique twist that separate this storyline from other angelic trends. It kept me wholly engaged, along with the witty inner dialogue that stemmed from Clara's perplexed thoughts.

    Not only do I adore Clara and UNEARTHLY's endearing and memorable cast of characters but I am totally smitten with Tucker. He is made of awesome and I am sure all the girls will want a boyfriend like him. Sigh... Clara's involvement with Tucker provides a surprising distraction from her destiny and that fact does not bode well with a select few. Now, Clara finds herself with a dilemma that she wholeheartedly believes she can manage but only time will tell.

    Cynthia Hand has done an amazing job with UNEARTHLY. As I have mentioned it is unique and full of some of most well liked characters, but what really grabs you is her richly descriptive writing style. I would read certain passages and be stunned at how much I felt a part of the story. In the simplest of words. UNEARTHLY is brilliant. Fans of paranormal romance with totally gobble this up and beg for more. I know I am.

    Sneak A Peek Saturday: TIGER'S CURSE by Collen Houck

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

    This week I have selected TIGER's CURSE by Collen Houck. Being the a book jacket junkie, I would have to say that this book cover is a thing of beauty. It shimmers and catches the light and the eyes of the tiger hold you captive. But, that is nothing compared to the buzz that is going around about this new adventure trilogy.

    Just click on the book jacket cover and you will have the opportunity to read 7 chapters.

    Tiger's Curse
    by Colleen Houck

    Passion. Fate. Loyalty.


    Would you risk it all to change your destiny?

    The last thing Kelsey Hayes thought she’d be doing this summer was trying to break a 300-year-old Indian curse. With a mysterious white tiger named Ren. Halfway around the world. But that’s exactly what happened. Face-to-face with dark forces, spellbinding magic, and mystical worlds where nothing is what it seems, Kelsey risks everything to piece together an ancient prophecy that could break the curse forever.

    Tiger’s Curse is the exciting first volume in an epic fantasy-romance that will leave you breathless and yearning for more.

    "I was wrapped up in the sweet romance and heart-pounding adventure of TIGER'S CURSE. I found myself cheering, squealing and biting my nails--all within a few pages. In short, it was magical!" -Becca Fitzpatrick, New York Times best-selling author of HUSH, HUSH

    REVIEW: THE LOST SAINT by Bree Despain

    THE LOST SAINT by Bree Despain
    Reading level: Young Adult
    Hardcover: 416 pages
    Publisher: EgmontUSA (December 28, 2010)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 1606840584
    ISBN-13: 978-1606840580
    Source: Publisher
    Author Website: http://breedespain.com/
    Rating: YYY 1/2 out of 5


    The non-stop sequel to The Dark Divine delivers an even hotter romance and more thrilling action than Bree Despain's first novel. Grace Divine made the ultimate sacrifice to cure Daniel Kalbi. She gave her soul to the wolf to save him and lost her beloved mother. When Grace receives a haunting phone call from Jude, she knows what she must do. She must become a Hound of Heaven. Desperate to find Jude, Grace befriends Talbot - a newcomer to town who promises her that he can help her be a hero. But as the two grow closer, the wolf grows in Grace, and her relationship with Daniel begins to crumble. Unaware of the dark path she is walking, Grace becomes prideful in her new abilities - not realizing that an old enemy has returned and deadly trap is about to be sprung. Readers, ravenous for more Grace and Daniel, will be itching to sink their teeth into The Lost Saint.

    REVIEW

    Once I picked up THE LOST SAINT, it quickly had my unwavering attention from the ominous prologue to the OMG!! that didn't just happen, ending! The plot was full of twists and turns and enough action to keep the story rolling, yet I was left with no emotional attachment to the protagonist involved.

    I was eager to return to Rose Crest so that I could witness how Grace and Daniel were coping with Daniel being "cured" of his curse and Grace now being burdened by it. I wanted to know how Grace would manage the dormant beast while trying to find her brother and restore harmony to her fragile family. The problem with that is, there are plenty of dark forces at work and other plans in motion. Grace's father, her boyfriend Daniel and his mentor Gabriel (yes, Gabriel) want her to stand clear and allow them to find Jude. Paying reason no mind, Grace charges ahead and finds a mysterious character that is more than willing to become her mentor. Grace will encounter many obstacles as she battles for her brother, her boyfriend and, toward the end, her very life.

    When I read THE DARK DIVINE I truly enjoyed it's unique blend of religion and urban paranormal lore intertwined. It created an interesting twist on an otherwise overdone werewolf tale. I am glad that it continued with THE LOST SAINT. That and the fast pace along with some nail-biting moments made it a good read. Not to mention I adore April, she has some of the best lines and lends a bit of comic relief to the storyline.

    The problem I have is my lack of emotion for Grace. I know that sounds odd considering she is the protagonist but as a reader I don't have a real reason to care, and I have yet to make that connection with her. I perceive Grace as just someone who careens from one crisis to another, not realizing what her actions will mean in the long run.

    I know that fans of the series will enjoy this read and I will admit to wanting to read the next one because I enjoy the basic story that is presented, especially after such a tremendous cliff hanger of an ending. ARRRGGGG!!

    Waiting on Wednesday: He's So Not Worth It by Kieran Scott

    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.

    My passions in reading lean towards the paranormal genre, but ocassionally I will grab a contemporary novel to mix things up. Last year I picked up She's Dead to Us by Kieran Scott and was instantly hooked. I felt that It mirrored what was going on with our economy and could only imagine (and would seriously cringe)what Ally was going through.

    He So Not Worth It is the next novel in this series and ever since the cliff hanger...dun,dun,dun endingof She's Dead to Us I have been waiting on pins and needles for the next installment. The new cover was just announced on Kieran's blog and although it is well..scandelous looking, I still don't know how I feel about it. Regardless I want to read this book very badly...very badly indeed.


    He's So Not Worth It

    Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, June 2011


    Ally Ryan, come on down to the Jersey Shore and forget your troubles!

    Have you recently been humilated in front of your friends and family at your former best friends birthday party? Was your almost boyfriend partly responsible for that humilation by withholding some vital information about where your estrangerd father is? Did you come home to find said estranged father sitting on your stoop?

    If so, then it sounds like you could use a vacation! The Jersey Shore is the place to be. Your mother may be living with her boyfriend of only a few months, but at least the stunt Shannen pulled has put some of your friends back in your court. Even so, you're still angry and what better way to get over Jake than to blow off some steam with local guy, Cooper. People will hardly recognize your new attitude, but the old one wasn't getting you anywhere, so who cares!

    Jake Graydon, an exciting opportunity is waiting for you in the service industry!
    Are your grades so low your parents have grounded you for the summer? Did you the girl you really like unceremoniously leave you behind? Would you rather eat dirt than see your friends again? Then a job at the local coffee shop is just the ticket! Suprisingly, Ally's father is the new manager so you get to be reminded of her nearly every day. Maybe it's time to start flirting with your best friend's ex or even taking school a bit more seriously. Especially when you finally see Ally and she's hanging around with some loser and it's couldn't be more clear that she is over you.

    Have a great Summer!

    Teaser Tuesday: MAD LOVE by Suzanne Selfors



    It's Teaser Tuesday - What Are you Reading?

    Pull up a chair, grab your current book or the book next to you, flip it open to a random page and share your Teasers

    Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along just do the following.
    Here’s what you have to do:

    1. Grab your current read.

    2. Open to a random page.

    3. Share two (2) sentences (teasers) from somewhere on that page.

    4. Be careful not to include spoilers. (Make sure that what you share doesn't give to much away. You don't want to ruin the book for others!)

    5. Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the books to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

    **** My Teaser ****

    Mad Love by Suzanne Selfors

    Pg 132 last paragraph

    "I'm Cupid. The origninal, one and only Cupid."

    I clenched my hand into fists "YOU SHOT ME WITH AN ARROW?"

    REVIEW: THE IRON QUEEN by Julie Kagawa

    THE IRON QUEEN by Julie Kagawa
    Author Website: www.juliekagawa.com
    Reading level: Young Adult
    Paperback: 368 pages
    Publisher: Harlequin; Original edition (January 25, 2011)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 0373210183
    ISBN-13: 978-0373210183
    Source: Net Galley
    Rating: YYYYY out of 5

    My name is Meghan Chase.

    I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the
    impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.

    This time, there will be no turning back.


    REVIEW

    THE IRON QUEEN totally rocks my socks because Julie Kagawa is made of pure awesome. No one has had me so captivated by a story that once I pick up her books I am completely pulled in with no desire to escape. That is how well written and perfectly timed this series is.

    I could go into great detail about THE IRON QUEEN but feel that it would be spoilerific. I think you have to enjoy this story in your special reading spot and just let yourself be taken away on an adventure.

    One would think that I could not praise this series any higher, but I cannot help myself. I absolutely adore it. Once I opened my book and returned to the world of the Iron Fae and witnessed Meghan and Ash continue on with their adventures of fighting off adversaries and falling deeper in love, I could not stop. I only wanted more of this awesome couple and their endearing co-conspirator in crime AKA Puck, along with some of the most memorable cast of characters that you will ever read about. The finale had me twisted in knots and I went through some serious tissue usage but am hopeful that it will all work out in the end.

    Fans of this series will not be disappointed. I laughed, cried and cheered and now I have another adventure to look forward to; THE IRON KNIGHT and all I can say is Bring It On!

    Wishful Thinking Contest


    Today I have a great contest opportunity. If you have followed my recent posts you would have seen my interview and review of Wishful Thinking by Alexandra Bullen. It was a wonderful read and now I am excited to give someone else the same opportunity to enjoy this novel.
    Contest:
    A hardcover copy of Alexandra Bullen's newest novel Wishful Thinking
    Contest Rules:
    1. Respond by telling me how much you would like to read this book
    2. Open to U.S. entrants only (sorry)
    3. This contest ends Sunday, January 23, 2011. Midnight PST
    GOOD LUCK and may Wishful Thinking be in your future :)

    Sneak A Peek Saturday: BLOOD RED ROAD by Moira Young

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

    This Saturday I have selected a book that is getting alot of buzz. I recently received a copy and now Simon and Schuster has put out a special page with a great sneak peek excerpt into this amazing new novel.

    Click on the book cover for the excerpt.

    Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.

    Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

    Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal writing style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction.

    Review: Wishful Thinking by Alexandra Bullen

    WISHFUL THINKING by Alexandra Bullen

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Point (January 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545139074
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545139076
  • My Rating: YYY
  • If you could wish for a different life, would you? What if that life changed everything you thought was real?

    Adopted as a baby, Hazel Snow has always been alone. She's never belonged anywhere--and has always yearned to know the truth about where she comes from. So when she receives three stunning, enchanted dresses--each with the power to grant one wish--Hazel wishes to know her mother. Transported to a time and place she couldn't have imagined, Hazel finds herself living an alternate life--a life with the mother she never knew.

    Over the course of one amazing, miraculous summer, Hazel finds her home, falls in love, and forms an unexpected friendship. But will her search to uncover her past forever alter her future?

    REVIEW

    A Heartbreaking past and three wishes that can change her future.

    Hazel has felt as if she never belonged anywhere in her life; she was adopted as a baby, and then shuffled around in foster care after the death of her adopted mother. On her eighteenth birthday she is given a valuable piece of information, the name of her birth mother. Suddenly encouraged with the possibility of meeting her mother face to face, Hazel brings her one dress to the dry cleaners, and in return receives three different dresses and the promise of wishes coming true. Frustrated by events that transpire, Hazel makes a wish that places her back in time. Then what little Hazel believed she knows about her mother is soon turned on its head, and she must cope with the reasons leading up to her birth and why they weren’t together.

    Alexandra Bullen has done a beautiful job of showcasing a story that will tug at your heart and gives you the power to believe. WISHFUL THINKING is filled with magic moments, tough choices and bittersweet memories that you will not soon forget.

    An Interview with Alexandra Bullen

    Today I have the pleasure of hosting my first interview for the new year with Alexandra Bullen. In 2010 Alexandra wrote her first novel, WISH for Yound Adults and this year WISHFUL THINKING has recently reached bookshelves in stores everywhere.
    So, without further delay, sit back and get cozy while you get to know a little more about Alexandra and her new novel, WISHFUL THINKING.

    RR: Hello Alexandra, and thank you for returning to my Blog for this interview. Last year I had the pleasure of reading WISH and this year you have a new novel, WISHFUL THINKING for YA readers to enjoy. Can you tell me what this new book is about?

    Thanks so much for having me! Wishful Thinking follows the same overall premise as Wish: Posey, a mysterious, magical seamstress, creates three magical dresses with wish-granting powers, and gives them to the one girl who needs them most. In this case, that girl is Hazel, a lonely high-school senior in search of her birth mother. She ends up getting a bit more than she’d bargained for, but ultimately finds her way to the family she’s always wanted.


    RR: What do you want your readers to take away from your book?
    First and foremost, I hope they enjoy it! Beyond that, I hope they can identify with Hazel. Even though her circumstances are a bit extreme (her first wish sends her back in time and across the country!) she is struggling with the idea of who she is, where she comes from and where she’s headed next. I hope that’s something lots of readers will relate to – I know I did!

    RR: During the writing process, are there any rituals or a special space that you need to get into the "zone"?
    Snacks, quiet, and lots of reasons to procrastinate!

    RR: With all the YA novels that are coming out this year, besides WISHFUL THINKING what are you most eager to read?

    I’m embarrassed to say that I’m so behind on last year’s releases that I’ll probably start there. I really want to read Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (and then her new book, too!) And my fellow Scholastic/Point author, Kim Harrington, has a book coming out in March called Clarity. It’s about a family of psychics in a tourist town on Cape Cod, which is just a ferry-trip away from where I live.

    RR: What is the best way for a reader to find you i.e. facebook/twitter/blog?

    Twitter: @akbullen ,
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/whatwouldyouwishfor
    Blog: www.alexandrabullen.com

    One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to be much better at updating all three!

    RR: WISHFUL THINKING is a story filled with yearning and hope. What inspired you to write this particular story?

    I knew that I wanted to write another book about Posey and her wish-granting dresses, and I needed to find another girl who would deserve them as much as Olivia had in the first book. I think we all go through phases of wondering where we came from and who our parents were before we born, so it was a lot of fun to give Hazel the opportunity to find out about her past.

    RR: Hazel, your protagonist in WISHFUL THINKING, makes some incredible choices with her wishes. Would you have done the same thing?

    What a cool question! Without giving too much away, I think Hazel’s wishes makes sense for her at the time that she makes them. The first wish (for Olivia, too)is made before she even knows she has a magical dress, so it’s something desperately wants. And the others come out of her desire to have a better life.Whether or not she gets what she wishes for is another question, but I respect her for always following her heart.

    RR: Being from the San Francisco, bay area I loved the descriptive and spot on information of your story's geographic locations. How much research do you devote to your writing process?

    I’m always so relieved to hear that people from the bay area have enjoyed reading the books! I only lived in San Francisco for about five months, but I was writing and researching the whole time I was there and so I really got to see the city through my characters’ eyes. And I’ve lived on Martha’s Vineyard, at least part-time, for most of my life, so the setting of the second book came easily. (Sometimes too easily – it was hard to leave anything out!)
    RR: Thank you, for this great interview and I hope to see you again. It has been a pleasure as always.

    You’re very welcome! Happy New Year to you and all of your readers!
    Please come back for my review of WISHFUL THINKING later on today.

    Author Signing: Bree Despain at Kepler's




    Teen Event: Bree Despain

    Thursday, January 13, 7:00 p.m.

    The Lost Saint: A Dark Divine Novel
    Grace Divine sacrificed her soul to cure Daniel Kalbi and lost her beloved brother, Jude, in the process. Desperate to find Jude, Grace befriends Talbot - a newcomer to town who promises that he can help her be a hero. But as the two grow closer, the wolf grows in Grace, and her relationship with Daniel is put in danger - in more ways than one. Unaware of the dark path she is walking, Grace becomes prideful in her new abilities - not realizing that an old enemy has returned and a deadly trap is about to be sprung.

    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.

    Today I had to re-post a WOW choice of 2010 because I want it that badly. The cover just was revealed last week and it has only fueled my ravenous appetite. I have been wanting to read ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD ever since I read it's synopsis and now with this cover to taunt me. I will be pining for it until September.

    ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD
    September 2011
    TOR

    Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

    So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

    When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

    And she, for whatever reason, spares his life


    Doesn't this sound absolutely amazing??? GAH!!!! I cannot stand the torture of waiting

    The Queen is Coming Contest

    Julie Kagawa is having a spectacular contest on her blog to celebrate the release of her upcoming novel, THE IRON QUEEN. This contest sounds amazing and the GRAND PRIZE is signed set of all three Iron Fey books: THE IRON KING, THE IRON DAUGHTER, and THE IRON QUEEN. Within all three books will be a unique, hand-drawn sketch of one of the characters from the series. Done Chibi style. FIRST AND SECOND PRIZES (Two) other winners will receive a signed The Iron Queen. (Minus the doodles.) So, now that you know what you can win, what is this contest, exactly? If your interested and how could you not be, click on the book cover below of THE IRON QUEEN for the post and contest rules.

    CLICK on THE IRON QUEEN
    I have checked out some of the enteries and they are amazing, yet my favorite has to be this video entry by THE OPTIMISTIC PESSIMIST blog

    REVIEW: Tempestuous by Lesley Livingston

    Temptestuous by Lesley Livingston
    Reading level: Young Adult
    Hardcover: 368 pages
    Publisher: HarperTeen (December 21, 2010)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 0061740063
    ISBN-13: 978-006174006
    Rating: YYYY

    "I don't love Sonny Flannery."

    That's the lie Kelley Winslow told to protect the boy she loves from a power he doesn't know he possesses. Devastated, Sonny retreats—to a haven for Lost Fae that's hidden deep underneath New York City.

    But Kelley's not about to let things end in heartbreak. To get Sonny back, she's got to find out who's after his magick—and how to use her own. She's got to uncover who's recruiting Janus Guards to murderously hunt innocent Faerie. She's got to help rebuild the shattered theater company she called family. And she's got to do it all without getting dangerously distracted by the Fennrys Wolf, whose legendary heart of stone seems to melt whenever he's around Kelley.


    REVIEW

    Upon reading the last few pages I became heartsick because I adore this series and hated witnessing it come to an end. Lesley Livingston is such an amazing writer, her stories are lush and so richly descriptive that all your senses are enveloped in the magic that she has created for us to enjoy.

    With TEMPESTUOUS I was eager to see how Kelley was going to save the day, rescue sonny from a doomed fate and keep her theatre group intact. Because Kelley was coming into some powers that are wicked awesome and she was not going to settle for anything less than a lifetime with Sonny and making sure that those around her were ok. I was not disappointed by the adventures that ensued when Kelley and TEMPESTUOUS' supporting cast of characters, joined forces to save those from someone that had another agenda in mind.

    Lesley Livingston has written another story that I will not soon forget. This current adventure had new subcultures and characters that I liked reading about and felt that they complemented the story instead of seeming disconnected. As always I was swept into the story, transfixed by all of the wonder and wicked plot that I did not see coming. TEMPESTUOUS is a fantastic finale to this series and worth reading all over again.

    For those fans of this series you will not be disappointed and if you have not picked them up yet then you truly must.


    Sneak A Peek Saturday: ENCLAVE by Ann Aguirre

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



    This week I have selected ENCLAVE by Ann Aguirre. I watched the book trailer and recently read the excerpt and cannot wait for this upcoming novel.



    ENCLAVE

    click on book cover to read an excerpt

    (formerly titled RAZORLAND)


    In Deuce’s world, individuals become adults—and earn the right to a name—only if they survive their first fifteen years. By this point, each unnamed ‘brat’ has trained into one of three groups: breeders, builders, or hunters. As the names imply, each group has definite roles to play for the survival of the group.

    As a Huntress, Deuce’s purpose is clear—to roam the dangerous tunnels outside the enclave and bring back meat to feed the group while evading the ferocious humanoids known as Freaks. This has been the status quo for as far back as anyone can remember; this is, the elders tell everyone, the way it has to be. With the introduction of Fade, a male hunter a couple of years older than Deuce, who had been adopted into her enclave a few years earlier, she becomes aware of the hidden realities of the Orwellian society in which she was born. Deviation from the norm is punished quickly and harshly.

    As Deuce’s perception of her world shifts, guided by her complex partnership with Fade, so does the balance in the constant battle for survival in the tunnels. The Freaks, considered dangerous only due to their sheer numbers and ferocious appetite, have long been held as incapable of any level of thought. And yet, as Fade and Deuce encounter them in the tunnels while in a reconnaissance mission to the nearest enclave, the creatures’ behavior is evidently cunning, and therefore more dangerous. It is evident that the danger is imminent, and yet Deuce cannot stem the dark tide that carries her far from the only world she's ever known.

    REVIEW: Matched by Ally Condie

    MATCHED by Ally Condie

    • Reading level: Young Adult
      Hardcover: 384 pages
    • Publisher: Dutton Juvenile (November 30, 2010)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0525423648
    • Rating: YYY

    Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the
    right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

    The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

    REVIEW

    Matched by Ally Condy is a suprisingly unique and downright chilling story wrapped within the cocoon of poetic beauty

    Do not go gentle into that good night...Those powerful words are the catalyst that bring on the fire and doubt into Cassia's mind and soul.

    Cassia has been raised by The Society, a governing power that she whole heartedly believed had her best interests in mind. They controlled every aspect of her life; where she worked, when she would die and whom she would fall in love with. So, when Cassia's best friend Xander is selected as her ideal mate there is no question in her mind that The Society made the correct choice. Because whom else could Cassie become MATCHED with? Certainly not another boy, but when Cassie sees Ky's face temporarily flash up on her matched screening disc she suddenly becomes aware of the possibilities. What ensues is Cassie's journey into questioning everything she has ever known, especially when a stunning piece of literature comes into her possession.

    MATCHED is classified as a Dystopian love story. A title that I didn't feel was a just classification because Dystopian societies normally feature a repressive social control system, hosting a total absence of individual freedoms. And although MATCHED does demostrate many factions of this idealism it is veiled beneath the manner on it cares for it's population. No one is starving, downtrodden or sick for as long as you follow their rules and behave you are taken care of. So, I would classify it as dystopian lite. It is an aspect that I enjoy most about MATCHED, witnessing how The Society has kept their unsuspecting population enslaved, given them bits of happiness to keep them in line when all the while they are ruled with an iron fist. It is so frightening and well conceived that I am constantly blessing my freedoms, the everyday practices that I have taken for granted. Is our freedom worth the price of being protected? Only you can decide.

    I did want to enjoy this story more but I found the romance aspect a bit far fetched and when certain facts where revealed towards the end of the story I was left a bit dismayed. I am hopeful that the next book in the series answers a few of the questions that were created in MATCHED. I want to know more about The Society and those that are at the top of the heap. Who utimately rules supreme and what is happening to those outside of it's "perfect" society.

    This video rocks my socks, check it out!
    Video located
    HERE
    So, what do you think? If you love it, let Kimberley know.

    Waiting on Wednesday: MONSTER HIGH: The Ghoul Next Door

    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.

    I adored Monster High and could not believe how it ended on such a cliff hanger...Yikes!! So you can imagine my joy at seeing the new cover and reading the synopsis for MONSTER HIGH: The Ghoul Next Door. Squeeeeeee!!!


    Cleopatra de Nile: New pet snake
    Has Deuce-the hottest guy in school-wrapped
    Herve Leger bandage dress, strappy gold platforms Cleo was the queen bee of the RADs, the normies, and everyone in between at Merston High. But now it's "Frankie this" and "Melody that" . . . these new girls sure know how to get her lashes in a tangle. When Cleo lands a Golden Teen Vogue photo opp for her friends everything seems to be back on track...until they bail to be in some film . . . Frankie and Melody's film! Can't a royal get some loyal?
    Frankie Stein:
    Frankie lost her head over Brett once and vows never to do it again. Not that she has a choice. Bekka is clinging to her guy like saran. But when Brett comes up with a plan that could help the RADS live freely, sparks fly. And Bekka will stop at nothing to put out their flames. Even if it means destroying the entire monster community.

    Melody:
    The clock is tick-tick-ticking away. Melody has a serious deadline to save her boyfriend, Jackson, from being exposed by the vengeance-seeking Bekka. But Cleo is making it royally difficult for the normie while threatening her acceptance into their exclusive group. A group that melody suspects she has more in common with than she even thought.

    House of Night "AWAKENED" trailer and contest

    click here for an excerpt and first two chapters on audio
    To celebrate today's new book trailer and the release of 'AWAKENED', P.C and Kristin Cast's latest novel in the House of Night series, St. Martin's Press is offering a fantastic once in a lifetime chance for a fan and their guest to fly to Tulsa to tour the sites from the books and have lunch with the authors!

    The lucky winner will receive a 3-day, 2-night trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma for two people which includes airfare, hotel accommodations, a tour of Tulsa and lunch on Saturday, April 30th, 2011 at the Chalkboard Restaurant with the authors. In order to enter the promo, you must answer three questions about the series.

    More about the contest:
    HERE
    and the rules are located HERE

    Also, St. Martin's is also holding a contest via the House of Night Facebook fan page. Fans can enter for a chance to win 1 of 30 complete sets of House of Night books. Link located HERE

    and without further delay....let's enjoy AWAKENED

    Happy New Year!! and thanks


    I wanted to thank everyone involved with my love of reading for the most amazing year and hope that this new year proves to be better yet. I hope that I can devote more time to my blog and my beloved books that bring me much comfort and joy and that I get to meet more inspiring authors and generous readers this coming year.
    This past year was very difficult for my mother was quite ill and spent a majority of the year in the hospital. Because I had a full time job that was located hours away from my mother I had to travel many hours and spend alot of time caring for her and neglecting the things that gave me much pleasure, such as reading and my blog. I hope that with this new year I will be able to dedicate more time to my blog and am looking into change a few things in the future.
    So, here is to a new year. May everyone have a prosperous and joyful one and thank you for following me.
    Nancy

    “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 books that I adore.

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    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
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    Top Ten of 2014

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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

    KISSCON AT COPPERFIELD'S
    Ilona and Gordon Andrews, Sarah Maclean, Laura Kaye, Rachel Gibson, Elizabeth Boyle, Cathy Maxwell, Lori Wilde, TJ Kline, Jennifer Ryan, and Julie Anne Long
    Copperfield's in San Rafael
    Saturday, November 22 @ 1-3


    KAT BEYER *Demon Catchers of Milan*
    Book Passage in Corte Madera
    Saturday, November 29 @ 3pm

    DECEMBER

    FRANK PORTMAN
    Book Passage in San Francisco
    Monday, December 15 @ 6pm

    JANUARY

    STACEY JAY
    Hicklebee's in San Jose
    Friday, January 2 @ 7pm

    FEBRUARY


    COURTNEY ALAMEDA Book Launch
    Kepler's in Menlo Park
    Thursday, February 5 @ 7pm

    What I am Reading Now

    and this too.....

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    ♥♥♥♥♥ Love it! A must read

    ♥♥♥♥ Great, give it a try

    ♥♥♥ Okay, a decent read

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    Would not recommend

    DNF=Did Not Finish

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