Monday, June 8, 2009

Traveling To Teens: Sarah Ockler

Traveling To Teens Tours are a way for us bloggers to get the word out about fantastic upcoming novels, that may be a great add to what you are currently reading. You can find out more about this all here.

Author Bio:
Ockler wrote and illustrated her first book at age six—an adaptation of Steven Spielberg’s E.T. Still recovering from her own adolescence, she now writes books for young adults. Sarah has a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of New York at Buffalo and also studied creative writing through Denver’s Lighthouse Writers Workshop.

While nomadic at heart, Sarah and her husband Alex currently live in Upstate New York with an ever-expanding collection of sea glass (hers) and dinosaurs (his).

TWENTY BOY SUMMER is her first novel.


Because so much of Twenty Boy Summer is about best friends I asked Sarah to write about her best friend.

Guest Post:

This post was a challenge to write, because in the years since high school, my concept of friendship has changed, as have most of my friends. Thinking about the changing nature of friendship used to fill me with incredible sadness. I mean, why can't everyone just stay the same? Why do people change, and with it, our relationships? But then I realized (I'm still realizing this actually, because it seems to be a constant battle for me) that the harder I fight against inevitable change, the more I struggle, the more sad I become. Change isn't always bad -- just different. So it's with this idea of ever-changing and evolving relationships that I write about best friends, and there are a few people I'd like to introduce.

The first is Melissa, who was my BFF throughout childhood, high school, and most of college. Our relationship was filled with intense drama that left us alternately inseparable every second of the day, and not speaking for months on end. We were so close that people who didn't know better assumed we were sisters. We shared everything--clothes, music, the occasional boyfriend (oops!). And if one of us appeared in public without the other, always people asked, "Where's your twin?" We finished each other's thoughts, finished each other's homework, and made grand plans for a future that never materialized. Eventually, we went our separate ways... but not entirely. We still keep in touch online and see each other when we're all home for a wedding or the holidays, and it's always nice to catch up. Although our lives are very different now, I cherish my memories of the good old days with Melissa and I think of her often. There are shades of us in Twenty Boy Summer's Anna and Frankie, and I wonder now if she'll read it and see them and remember all of our summers together the way I did as I was writing the book.

Fast forward several years, and I'll tell you about my absolute favorite person in the world, Alex. I don't even like to call him my best friend, because he's so much more than that... they haven't even invented a word for him (though I'm partial to calling him Pet Monster). I fell in love with him pretty much the first time we met and I just knew we'd be married one day (not that I revealed that on the first date or anything. That was more a fourth or fifth date conversation!). We got married in 2005, and every day brings us closer, reveals a new aspect of our friendship, changes everything, and every day I'm grateful. Of all the people in my life, Alex has been the constant champion of my writing, the one who encouraged me and wouldn't let me give up, the one who gave me the space I needed to find my writing voice and all the pep talks and hugs when I was just about done, the one who never lets me forget what I was put on this earth to do. Because of him, it's easy for me to write about falling in love, because I get to do it all over again every day.

Another face I see when I think of my best friend is Rachel, a.k.a. Darling Rachel. I've only known Rachel for about two years now, but she's just one of those people you meet and it's like you've known her your entire life. In a matter of hours, Rachel and I went from sharing curly hair products to sharing writing critiques to sharing secrets and advice to sharing tears to sharing a bottle of wine, then getting tipsy and sharing a few inappropriate jokes. :-p Rachel lives in Colorado and I miss her every day, and on the times when we do chat or see each other, there's no time or distance, no awkward reconnection, no apologies. I know I can tell her anything and she'll listen, and then she'll advise, because she's direct and honest and real, but she won't judge. She'll push and question and wonder, but she won't walk away shaking her head. I love her for that.

There's only one other woman I feel that way about -- Amy. Amy and I are so tight that we've formed an official alliance called the Worst Best Friends. We're the charter and only members, and we alternate being the worst best friends to one another in a cut-throat competition for the title of Ultimate Worst Best Friend. Amy and I met in New York City 10 years ago and in that time have cancelled, bailed on, been late for, or flat out forgotten more mutual dates than I care to recount. One time I left this sweet, blond, freckle-faced angel alone in a Mexican restaurant for almost 2 hours with my lateness, and when I arrived, she could barely stand, having sampled every flavor margarita from the fine establishment in my absence. We had a good time that night at her expense. ;-) But the best thing about my worst best friend is that she's really not worst at all, and no matter how much time passes or how many times we miss or forget or show up late for calls or dates or just can't get it together, we pick up the threads of the conversation as if she lives right next door and I see her every day. Like Alex, Amy has been a champion of my writing, helping me stay on track with a constant undercurrent of love and support and excitement, especially as I began working on Twenty Boy Summer. There is so much I admire about her and I'm so thankful to know her (and share the title of UWBF!).

There are other people in my life that I consider close and best and wonderful and amazing, and although by telling you about each of these people, this post seems to dilute the love I feel for them, I assure you that it isn't dilluted. It can't be. I'm finally figuring out that true friendship is ever-expanding, and I think that's my point -- for me, it's not just *a* BFF anymore. When I was younger, I had a best friend. We did everything together, shared everything, felt each other's pain as much as we shared our elation. We painted our toenails and talked about having kids at the same time and being next door neighbors and running away from home and everything in between, and then things changed. Or evolved. The point is, things are different now. Not bad, just different. And although there are times I long for that single BFF again who will go on a girls trip with me and finish my sentences and read my thoughts and know me so completely that we can sit in a room in comfortable silence for hours, that person doesn't exist as a single person anymore. She exists as all of my close friends, and together they bring a richness and joy to my life that I never could have imagined before.

So do me a favor. If there is someone in your life that you’re thinking about now, someone you haven’t heard from in a while, maybe not your one single BFF but someone who might not know how much she means to you, give her a call. Not an email. Not a text or a tweet. A call. And just say hello. Because chances are, she’s thinking of you, too.

You can find my review of Twenty Boy Summer here.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Traveling To Teens: Sarah Cross

Traveling To Teens Tours are a way for us bloggers to get the word out about fantastic upcoming novels, that may be a great add to what you are currently reading. You can find out more about this all here.

Author Bio:

Sarah Cross is a Taurus born in the year of the Monkey. She is four inches taller than Wolverine, but does not have adamantium claws ... yet. Fierce but cute Pallas' cats are her favorite animals--and if you don't think that is relevant, then you really don't know her. She grew up in Ohio and now lives in New York. DULL BOY is her first novel.


Sometimes I wish I didn't care what would happen if anyone knew the truth about me. But I do care. I have to keep this - super strength, flying - a secret. No one can know - not my parents, not my friends... It's just that it's getting harder to hide it.

Superpowers are awesome - unless you actually have them, like Avery does. There's only so much he can pass off as "adrenaline" before people start to get suspicious. Probably it's best to lie low, so guys in white lab coats don't come to carry him away, to find out what makes his freakish body tick. Who wants to be vivisected? But flying under the radar becomes a whole lot harder when you can actually fly. It's dangerous to be different, so for now he'll pretend to be normal, unremarkable Avery - a dull boy - anything to keep his secret safe.

What he doesn't expect is the horrifying truth about where his powers came from, who else might have them, and the madness of one villain's plan to turn this superpowered dull boy into something even more powerful and amazing.

Review:I had been really wanting a book with a male narrator lately and not only did I get that from Dull Boy but I got one I really loved. I liked Avery's attitude and he really made me laugh. Avery is also surrounded by friends with all kinds of attitude and humor of their own and that made it a really fun read.

Overall I thought the plot was a little predictable but I had fun reading Dull Boy anyway. The mixture of superpowers and humor kept me interested despite the predictable outcome. What wasn't predictable were the superpowers each kid was given. Cross really used her imagination to give each character a really fun original power and I loved how they reflected their personalities.

Guest Post:
The Songs Superheroes Listen To:

I cannot tell you where I got this very secret information; just know that it was obtained in the most unethical of ways. And that it pays to be nice to butlers. Jarvis & Alfred, this post is for you.

Superman could never quite get rid of that little curl in the front of his hair, you know he's still a Top Gun fan. He puts in some good noise-blocking headphones and rocks out to this song while flying Mach 10.

When Rogue is in the mood to angst about her powers ("Ah can't touch anyone!" <-- note the Southern accent; C what I did thar?), she goes straight for this song. (Dr. Doom has also been known to wear this song out, but he prefers it on vinyl.)

I'm pretty sure The Falcon had never heard this version before it was included on my Sarah + Billings (the hawk) = BFFs music video (no longer available, sorry), but once he did, he was hooked. It is clearly the theme song for superheroes and their falcon sidekicks everywhere.

Cyclops always has it bad for someone, whether it's Jean Grey, Emma Frost, or just himself when he's dancing in front of the mirror in the X-bathroom, using Wolverine's hairbrush as a microphone. That's why everyone in the X Mansion has learned to knock first; you don't want to walk in on that dance party. But hey--Cyke sees the world through rose-colored (okay, ruby-quartz-colored) glasses; he thinks he looks supercool.

Jean Grey as the Phoenix: by "you gotta make a big impression; gotta like what you do" she means "show me you're up for destroying some planets, bb." Phoenix is kinda warped. Beast--er, I mean, some random guy who services Jean's iPod and prefers not to be named here--says he tries to delete this from Jean's "I'm the muther@#$%^& Phoenix" playlist as soon as it appears.

Professor Charles Xavier cranks this while he's doing bicep curls on his Bowflex and lamenting the troublesome relations between humans and mutants. "This is such a pity/We should give all our love to each other/Not this hate that destroys us." Word, Charles. Word.

Pretty much every girl Batman has ever dated has dedicated this song to him. Once, the whole Justice League pitched in and bought Bruce an iPod Shuffle with this song, and only this song, preloaded. Rumor has it that he sometimes listens to it in the Batcave while he broods. But that rumor is thus far unsubstantiated.

Songs I Listened to While Writing DULL BOY:

I listen to music nonstop while I write, so I listen to A LOT of different songs. But here are the top 10 tracks I listened to while writing DULL BOY:

#1 - Carry on My Wayward Son by Kansas
#2 - Break the Ice by Britney Spears
#3 - Untouched by The Veronicas
#4 - Piece of Me (Remix) by Britney Spears
#5 - Start All Over by Miley Cyrus
#6 - Paralyze by Tila Tequila
#7 - Misery Business by Paramore
#8 - Be Good to Me by Ashley Tisdale
#9 - Damaged by Danity Kane
#10 - Potential Breakup Song by Aly & AJ
#11 - Popular (Live) by Nada Surf

Erika also asked me to unmask a band that secretly has superpowers. I hate to do this to you guys, but I respect Erika too much to bypass the question, so ...

The members of the YA author band, TIGER BEAT (aka Libba Bray, Barnabas Miller, Daniel Ehrenhaft, and Natalie Standiford), have superpowers. Yes. You thought it was amazing that they wrote excellent novels AND could rock out ... but I bet you had no idea they were capable of causing infinite destruction.

I'm so glad they're on our side. Catch a sampling of their rockdom on Youtube:

Thanks for having me, Erika!! :)

Head over to Traveling To Teens for a Dull Boy giveaway!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Traveling To Teens: J. A. Yang

Traveling To Teens Tours are a way for us bloggers to get the word out about fantastic upcoming novels, that may be a great add to what you are currently reading. You can find out more about this all here.

J.A.Yang has slummed it in the valley with the Wakefield twins; slumber partied with Huey, Dewey and Louie; joined Krakow in stalking Angela; and climbed every mountain with the Von Trapps.

Originally from San Diego, he's lived and traveled the world (okay, not all of it) in pursuit of that most elusive of targets -- inspiration.

He's authored and published a book, written for online and offline publications, and maintained a variety of popular blogs on subjects ranging from movies and technology to personal stories and amateur musings. He's just wrapped up his second book, a fiction novel for teens, and is hard at work on his third one.

Summary: “Chloe-Grace can't help it—she's spectacular. How could she not be with celebrity parents who have been the queen and king of Hollywood for years? And Chloe is a celebrity all unto herself as well— she's the first celebrity-adopted kid in Hollywood. But now Chloe's sixteen, and she is tired of every undesired moment of the world's attention. She wonders what it would be like to be a "normal" kid in a regular school. To really understand it, though, she would need to go undercover. So after getting a "make-under" at the hands of her mother's fabulous stylist, she enters the "real" world. But she soon finds out that there is just as much drama there as there is in Hollywood....”

Review: The May release date is perfect for this book. It is a great book to sit outside, enjoy the sunshine and read.
Exclusively, Chloe isn't the next great American novel but it is fun and adorable and I really enjoyed it. Even if the story was a little predictable I thought Chloe was fun and smart character, trying to handle an impossible situation with grace.
I liked her relationship with her friends, from both schools, as she refused to give in to social circles and made an eclectic inner circle. I wished for a little more depth from her best friend Rachelle, but I suppose some celebrity kids actually are most concerned with fame.
I did really like the supporting cast of Luther, Vickie and Jana and of course Jake.
The ending left me wanting a little more as everything just wrapped up perfectly in what felt like a few pages. It was too abrupt although it did have the outcome I was hoping for.
Overall this is a prefect, cute summer read that I really enjoyed.

Come back for a guest post from J.A. Yang and head over to the Traveling To Teens site for a giveaway of Exclusively, Chloe.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday - Rachel Vincent

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine. Head over to check it out and play along.

My Soul To Take (Soul Screamer, Book 1) by Rachel Vincent.
Publication Date: August 1, 2009

Something is wrong with Kaylee Cavanaugh. She doesn't see dead people, but....

She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee know who'll be next....

Why I Want It:
I LOVE Rachel Vincent and the cover and synopsis are amazing. And I have said many times I love a series because I can get attached to the characters.
Also I will be helping Rachel promote the book's release with a author interview in late July so make sure you check back for that!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Teaser Tuesday - Exclusively Chloe

Teaser Tuesday asks you to:
Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.

You also need to share the title of the book that you’re
getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers!
You can post teaser in the comments or as a post on your own blog.

"As the day went on, I tried to deal with the mixed feelings I had about my mom thrusting herself into dating - all cougarlike, with someone who could feasibly be my older brother - so soon after I had found out about everything. Sure it had been kind of exciting to have Chaynin Powers show up at the door, but that didn't make up for how inconsiderate she was being."
Exclusively Chloe by J.A. Yang (page 63)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

In My Mailbox

Books and people mentioned:
ABC's of Kissing Boys by Tina Ferraro
Mrs. Magoo Reads
Girls in Trucks by Katie Crouch
Sloane Sisters by Anna Carey
I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You by Ally Carter
Dayhunter by Jocelynn Drake
Korianne Speaks
Audrey, Wait by Robin Benway
The Elite by Jennifer Banash
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

As always In My Mailbox is hosted by the amazing The Story Siren. See her blog for more details.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

April Wrap Up

Books Read: 4 (year total 34)
The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King
Charmed Thirds by Megan McCafferty
Pretties by Scott Westerfeld
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Fun Stats:
New followers: 32 (total 103)
Google Reader Subscribers: 125
Posts: 39
Visits: 1,732

Google Analytics fun:
Visits from 43 countries
and 47 of the 50 states
Where were Vermont, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming this month?

My most visited post was my first vlog.

I also completed BEDA and managed to blog everyday!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

100 Followers Contest Winner!

I know I said I was going to film it but I just have too much going on. So I randomly picked the name of one of my followers to get a brand new copy of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson and the winner is

Congrats Bookworm! and be sure to email me your address so I can get the book out to you. I also know things have been quiet around here but there is lots of fun stuff coming up like pictures from my graduation and reviews for about 5 books that I have finished. Plus an interview with the awesome Robin Benway, author of Audrey, Wait.

Stick with me, I have a lot going on right now and unfortunately it is cutting in to my blogging time but I will be back with so much awesomeness you can barely handle it very very soon.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Teaser Tuesday - Dull Boy

Teaser Tuesday asks you to:
Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.

You also need to share the title of the book that you’re
getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers!
You can post teaser in the comments or as a post on your own blog.

"Darla? If lying was a sport I would letter in it, go to state, get a college scholarship, and be a first-round draft pick."
Darla blinks. "Sports metaphors - not my thing. Is it safe to say you mean yes?"
Dull Boy by Sarah Cross (page 95)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

In My Mailbox - Happy Mother's Day!

Hope everyone is taking some time today to love their mothers!

Books and people mentioned in vlog
Dull Boy By Sarah Cross
Traveling To Teens
The Girl She Used To Be by David Cristofano
Mudville by Kurtis Scaletta
Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
My Favorite Author
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
The Diamonds by Ted Michael
Miracle Girls by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt
39 Clues series
Starfinder by John Marco
Pretty in Plaid by Jen Lancaster
Exclusively, Chloe by J.A. Yang
Lovestruck Summer by Melissa Walker
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Sarah's Random Musings
Fireworks: Four Summer Stories by Niki Burnham, Erin Haft, Sarah Mlynowski, and Lauren Myracle

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I'm back! and some awards!

Hello everyone, I have returned from my week in Boston and it was tons of fun. Thank everyone so much for congratulations on my graduation. I had such an amazing time and I promise there will be pictures soon.

Until I can get caught up on my google reader and inbox I am leaving you with some awards and the promise of lots of reviews.
I have finished
Fourth Comings by Megan McCafferty
Vamped by Lucienne Diver
Top Ten Uses For An Unworn Prom Dress by Tina Ferraro
My Horizontal Life by Chelsea Handler
and I am in the middle of Pretty in Plaid by Jen Lancaster and Dull Boy by Sarah Cross so expect lots of reviews very soon.

I also have an interview with the amazing Robin Benway, author of Audrey, Wait, to post very soon.

And I am still at 99 followers so as soon as I hit 100 we will have a drawing for a great prize.

Thanks so much for the awards, I am so glad you like what I do here because I really put a lot of work in to it.

Thank you Callie and Bingo for the One Lovely Blog Award
1) Accept the award, post it on your
blog together with the name of the person
who has granted the award and his or her blog link.

2) Pass the award to 15 other blogs
that you’ve newly discovered.

3) Remember to contact the bloggers to let them
know they have been chosen for this award.

Thank you Desert Rose for the Zombie Chicken Award

"The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken - excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all..."

Thank you Korianne for the I Love Your Blog Award

The rules to keep this award going are:
1) Add the logo of the award to your blog
2) Add a link to the person who awarded it to you
3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs
4) Add links to those blogs on your blog
5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs!

I feel like these awards have hit all my favorite blogs but I am also still a little fried from my week away so if you haven't gotten them yet consider yourself nominated!
I will be back soon with lots of great stuff!

Friday, May 1, 2009

My Graduation Day!

Today while most of you are reading this I will be in Boston sitting through my incredibly long graduation ceremony. I am so excited to be a college graduate and to celebrate the day with all my amazing friends and family.

I had a wonderful experience at Northeastern University and wouldn't trade it for anything. Here is to the next phase of my life!

Be back in a few days with lots of pictures and stories from my week in Boston! and then of course we will be back to the regularly scheduled programs. Book reviews!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

BEDA Wrap Up

Wow this was an exhausting month! BEDA started out innocently enough with Maureen Johnson suggesting she would blog every day in April and suddenly tons of bloggers jumped on the bandwagon. I jumped on and I have to say I actually was able to keep up with it! I am really proud I was able to keep up and really thankful to everyone who left encouragement throughout the month.
All my BEDA posts can be found under the BEDA label if you want to go back and see all the book posts...and some of the random posts too.
Now as I said in my last vlog things will be a little quiet for a few days while I am in Boston graduating college!!! This post was prescheduled but I can guarantee I am having a wonderful time with my amazing friends! There will be plenty of reviews and of course pictures from my trip when I get back. Congrats to all the lovely bloggers who also completed BEDA!

Also, as of writing this I have 99 followers! When I get back if I have hit 100 all 100 names will go in a hat and I will draw one to get a special prize. So grab that last spot!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday - The Ex Games

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine. Head over to check it out and play along.

The Ex Gam
es by Jennifer Echols
Publication Date October 6, 2009

Hayden and Nick used to be a hot item, but their brief affair ended with a highly publicized break-up. Now the two are “just friends,” excluding the occasional flirtation.
When Hayden wins the girls’ division of a local snowboarding competition, Nick is unimpressed, claiming that Hayden wouldn’t have a chance against a guy. Hayden calls Nick’s bluff and challenges him to a head-to-head boarding contest. Their mutual friends quickly take sides, the girls on Hayden’s and the boys on Nick’s, making for an all-out battle of the sexes. This friendly competition is bound to get heated--and if they’re not careful, they might end up igniting some old flames.

Why I want this
I love Simon Romantic Comedies
I love Jennifer Echols (Going Too Far and Major Crush reviews)
I love sports

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Shooting Stars Magazine Party

In celebration of a May 30 birthday there is a party going on through all of May at Shooting Stars Magazine. And Sarah Cross (author of Dull Boy) made this awesome banner for it. So head over and check it out.

Teaser Tuesday - Top Ten Uses For An Unworn Prom Dress

Teaser Tuesday asks you to:
Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.

You also need to share the title of the book that you’re
getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers!
You can post teaser in the comments or as a post on your own blog.

"Confused, yet unmistakably happy, I pushed open the caf door and, as if on autopilot, floated back to my classroom. Maybe Rascal was sweeter than everyone gave him credit for."

from page 63 of Top Ten Uses For An Unworn Prom Dress by Tina Ferraro

Monday, April 27, 2009

BEDA Day 27 or the end of the month is hard!

Between work and packing I am giving you another little post so that I can keep up with BEDA. I leave for Boston very, very early Wednesday morning and still had to work tonight and tomorrow. So my BEDA post today is just a picture of me and my sister taken yesterday when I got home from work. It was gorgeous outside and we went to play kickball and blow bubbles. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

IMM and blog update

from bookmooch
Secret Society Girl: An Ivy League Novel by Diana Peterfreund
Skinny Dipping (Au Pairs) by Melissa De La Cruz

from Waldenbooks
Cross My Heart and Hope To Spy by Ally Carter

from Korianne
Fourth Comings by Megan McCafferty

from Bree Despain
My Big Nose and Other Natural Disasters by Sydney Salter

As always In My Mailbox is hosted by the amazing The Story Siren. See her blog for more details.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

BEDA Day 25 or wouldn't it be horrible if I failed BEDA this late in the month

Ok guys I am totally going to level with you. I just worked an 11 hour shift and therefore have no brain cells to write the Vamped review I need to write. So instead I am going to share with you the awesome trailer for The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King which I reviewed yesterday. I totally admit this is a lame post but it would be even lamer to fail at BEDA this late in the month and I just can't put together anything better. So enjoy, and check out my D100D review if you haven't already. This book seriously rocks.

And just a little hint, while A.S. King is still on a blogging break she can sometimes be found here

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King

The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King

In the late seventeenth century, famed teenage pirate Emer Morrisey was on the cusp of escaping the pirate life with her one true love and unfathomable riches when she was slain and cursed with "the dust of one hundred dogs," dooming her to one hundred lives as a dog before returning to a human body-with her memories intact.

Now she's a contemporary American teenager and all she needs is a shovel and a ride to Jamaica.

I was sort of scared to read this because of all the hype. I was scared it wouldn't live up to all the rave reviews and I really hate being disappointed. But it did live up to all the hype and I really enjoyed reading D100D.

I really enjoyed going back and forth between Emer and Saffron. Their voices were very distinct and the idea of them being the same person but centuries apart is really original. The story is also so unique it really defies genre. I have no idea how to classify this book because it is so unlike anything I have ever read.

This may be the debut of A.S. King but she is a master story teller, weaving different time periods and different points of view together masterfully and creating something completely unique. I highly recommend everyone go out and get this book right away.

If anyone else has reviewed The Dust of 100 Dogs please leave a link in the comments and I will add it to the post.

This book counts toward my Spring Reading Thing Challenge and '09 Debut Authors Challenge

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wanna win some books?

There is a giveaway going on at Starry Night for TMI by Sarah Quigley. So go enter and make sure to say I sent you!
Ends May 3

100 Followers contest from Juciliciousss Reviews. Ends April 25

Generation Dead from Shady Glade. Ends April 27

Blogoversary contest from Frenetic reader. Ends May 10

Sea Change from A Maze of Books. Ends May 20.

Body Image Week at My Favorite Author

The awesome bloggers at My Favorite Author (they seriously rock, check them out) are hosting a body image week and issuing a challenge for everyone. I am definitely taking part in the challenge and I think everyone should take part.

Body Image Challenge

Part I: Feel Better About Yourself
For the next 7 days, we challenge you to look in the mirror every morning and find something you like about yourself. I don't care if all you can come up with is that you like your nail polish or your cute socks or your earlobes! Find something you like and can be happy about all day.

PART II: Accept That Other People Think You Are Great
Throughout each day if you ever receive a compliment about anything I want you to say "THANK YOU" and Stop. Right. There. Don't negate the compliment with "Whatever ... you're the one that's pretty" or "Thanks, but I wish my hair would have turned out better today" or "Thanks, but I'm not really very good at that".

PART III: Be A Builder
Now it's your turn to help the people around you know that you think they are beautiful and talented, too! Make a conscious effort to tell your friends and family the things you like about them, whether it's cute shoes, a listening ear, etc. You never know when it's just the thing they need to hear!

PART IV: Accept the Challenge
Add your name to the Mr. Linky widget at the MFA blog and comment to let us know that you have accepted the challenge. I strongly encourage you to post about accepting the challenge on your blog, Facebook, Twitter or MySpace pages. It's not a requirement of the challenge, but will definitely help you to remember and to do the challenge through the coming week. (The Mr. Linky widget should let you just sign your name without a url if you don't have a blog or website, but if it gives you an error just use the MFA url.) And be sure to comment after signing Mr. Linky!

Here is a link to the participating blogs and schedule. Please check it out, this is a brilliant idea.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday - Ballads of Suburbia

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine. Head over to check it out and play along.

Ballads of Suburbia by Stephanie Kuehnert
Publication Date July 21, 2009

There are so many ballads. Achy breaky country songs. Mournful pop songs. Then there’s the rare punk ballad, the ballad of suburbia: louder, faster, angrier . . . till it drowns out the silence.

Kara hasn’t been back to Oak Park since the end of junior year, when a heroin overdose nearly killed her and sirens heralded her exit. Four years later, she returns to face the music. Her life changed forever back in high school: her family disintegrated, she ran around with a whole new crowd of friends, she partied a little too hard, and she fell in love with gorgeous bad boy Adrian, who left her to die that day in Scoville Park. . . .

Amidst the music, the booze, the drugs, and the drama, her friends filled a notebook with heartbreakingly honest confessions of the moments that defined and shattered their young lives. Now, finally, Kara is ready to write her own.

Why I want it:
As I have mentioned I love books with anything music related and I think Kuehnert rocks!

You can read the first chapter here and there is all kinds of other goodies, including a soundtrack at Stephanie's website.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Teaser Tuesday - Vamped

Teaser Tuesday asks you to:
Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers!

"When I got to the dorm, I saw that "sanitized" meant that all the pictures had been taken off the walls and the beds stacked up like they weren't in use. Product had been cleared from the bathrooms, which made them seem almost spacious. I'd seen spy shows where cleaners could make a whole crime scene disappear, but I'd never had believed it could be done so quickly if I hadn't witnessed it."
from page 85 of Vamped by Lucienne Diver

Couple of housekeeping notes:
1. As of posting this I have 93 followers, the 100th follower will get a special prize so be on the lookout for that. In a related note Liv is trying to get to 150 followers and she also has surprises coming. So go on over there because her blog rocks.
2. I have been a slave to the restaurant where I work and been working double shifts for the last four days but today is my first day off in a week and I will be catching up on reading/blogging/all the things that get lost when I am working so much. If I owe you emails/packages it will be taken care of today.
3. Because of said crazy schedule I haven't gotten much reading and reviewing done. I will hopefully be picking up the pace so looks for lots of reviews soon!
Hope everyone is having a fabulous week!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Bad Girls Don't Die contest

Over at Books By Their Cover, Katie Alender, author of Bad Girls Don't Die is Katie is giving away a "oodles of fun random stuff" to a random winner! But wait, Yan is giving away an ARC of her book! So that means you lovely readers will have two (2) chances to score a lovely prize! So head over to Books By Their Cover and check it out. And of course, mention I sent you!

Katie is also having a launch party all week so go over to her blog and get all the details.

Vote for the People's Choice Blog Awards

Hey, Teenager of the Year is hosting the new People's Choice YA Book Blog Awards. It's time to show some blog love!

Nominations are now open. Here's the quick rundown of the categories:

Best Interviewer: That blogger who asks authors all the tough questions
Best Reviewer: Whose reviews are almost better than the books?
Best Newcomer: A new, fabulous YA book blogger (Six months blogging or less).

The Golden Book Blog Award: This award is for the long-time blogger who deserves recognition for their commitment to making a star blog. The blogs that inspired you to start book blogging, the pioneers of YA book blog land. They know who they are.

You can nominate for one category, or you can nominate for all four. You cannot nominate more than four times, and you can’t nominate yourself. You can nominate someone who has already been nominated, though.

Nominations are open until the end of April. If there are more than ten nominees in each category, the most popular will be up for the awards. From there, I’ll make up polls – this is a people’s choice award. Head over to the contest post to nominate your favorite blogs.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Jennifer Banash goodness!

Jennifer Banash is giving away an ARC of Simply Irresistable, the third book in her Elite series. Since I am currently waiting for Korianne to send me the first book because I only own the second this prize would make me very happy! Check out Jennifer's website for all the details because there are lots of great prizes!

In My Mailbox

Books mentioned in vlog

In the mail:
Daughter's of Fortune by Isabel Allende
You Are So Undead to Me by Stacey Jay
Moonlight by Rachel Hawthorne
Haunted by Meg Cabot
Vamped by Lucienne Diver

From Barnes & Noble
Evermore by Alyson Noel
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (After I filmed this I found out a won a copy of Speak from Sarah so I am going to return Speak and get something else! Any suggestions?)
My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One Night Stands by Chelsea Handler

My pushy BEDA post

As promised here is a Chelsea Handler moment to make you all laugh

As always In My Mailbox is hosted by the amazing The Story Siren. See her blog for more details.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

'09 Debut Authors Challenge

I am a bit late in signing up for this one but I realized that I have been having a major love affair with debut authors this year so I thought I would jump on the challenge. The '09 Debut Authors Challenge is hosted by The Story Siren (yes the awesome blogger who hosts In My Mailbox).

  • The objective, obviously, is to read a set number of YA or MG novels from debut authors published this year. I’m hoping to read at least 30, but choose a number that you feel comfortable with. You don’t have to list your choices right away, but if you do feel free to change them throughout the year.

  • The challenge will run from January 1, 2009- December 31, 2009. You can join at anytime!

I will be aiming for 15 books.

1. Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev
2. Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
3. Willow by Julia Hoban
4. The Season by Sarah MacLean
5. Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell
6. The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King
7. Jessica's Guide To Dating On The Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey
8. You Are So Undead To Me by Stacey Jay
9. Vamped by Lucienne Diver
10. The Forest of Hands And Teeth by Carrie Ryan
11. My Big Nose and Other Natural Disasters by Sydney Louise Salter
12. Hottie by Jonathan Bernstein

So I still need three more titles but I am sure they will come to me! Anyone else participating in this challenge? If so leave a comment with the link.

Friday, April 17, 2009

BEDA day 17: In Nikki's Head

There is a new blog that I wanted to share with you called In Nikki's Head. It is dedicated Meg Cabot's May 1 release Being Nikki. Being Nikki is the follow up to Airhead.

I am excited to see what this blog offers up because I am about to go on a serious Meg Cabot kick and read as many of her books as I can. More details in Sunday's In My Mailbox vlog so make sure you come back for that.

So far In Nikki's head has a contest, review and guest posts. Make sure you check in to see what else they have planned.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Charmed Thirds by Megan McCafferty

Charmed Thirds by Megan McCafferty

Jessica Darling’s in college!

Things are looking up for Jessica Darling. She has finally left her New Jersey hometown/hellhole for Columbia University in New York City; she’s more into her boyfriend, Marcus Flutie, than ever (so what if he’s at a Buddhist college in California?); and she’s making new friends who just might qualify as stand-ins for her beloved best friend, Hope.

But Jessica soon realizes that her bliss might not last. She lands an internship at a snarky Brooklyn-based magazine, but will she fit in with the überhip staff (and will she even want to)? As she and Marcus hit the rocks, will she end up falling for her GOPunk, neoconservative RA . . . or the hot (and married!) Spanish grad student she’s assisting on a summer project . . . or the oh-so-sensitive emo boy down the hall? Will she even make it through college now that her parents have cut her off financially? And what do the cryptic one-word postcards from Marcus really mean?

I have struggled a little with this series because everyone seems to love it so much and while I like it I have yet to become really attached to it. I didn't really like Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings got a lot better for me but I wasn't completely hooked yet. And unfortunately Charmed Thirds didn't get me all the way to Jessica Darling fangirl either.

What I liked: I liked that Jessica wasn't the whiny brat from the first book and she shows real maturity in how she handles her personal relationships. I really enjoyed the further exploration of her relationship with her sister and that she makes friendships and relationships with people at college that are very true to the college experience. I also loved the moment with her father around Christmas. I also continue to love Bridget and Percy. They are for sure my favorite characters.

What I disliked: We never really get to see her and Marcus happy and together. They are together at the beginning but they live on separate coasts and have the natural problems that come with that. And by the end of the book they are happily together again. I don't want to give away too much of the plot but I wish I got more than a few pages of them together and happy.

I find myself annoyed while reading these books and then at the end of them my overall feeling is that I like them. Which makes the reviews really hard to write. I am getting Fourth Comings from Korianne soon and can't wait to see what kind of mixed emotions McCafferty can draw from me this time.

This book counts toward my Library Challenge

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday - All Unquiet Things

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine. Head over to check it out and play along.

All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab

Publication Date: January 10, 2010

Summary: All Unquiet Things centers around the murder of teen heiress Carly Ribelli, who was found shot to death a mile from her house in a wealthy Northern California suburb. Carly’s uncle, a dissolute alcoholic, was convicted of the crime, but a year later his daughter still doesn’t believe her father is guilty. Determined to prove his innocence, Audrey Ribelli contacts Carly’s ex-boyfriend, Neily Monroe, the boy who found Carly’s body. She is convinced that he knows more than he thinks about the events that led up to Carly’s death. Despite Neily’s initial reluctance, he and Audrey begin their investigation at the posh private school they attend, identifying prime suspects from among their spoiled classmates and digging up secrets about Carly’s past to get to the truth behind her murder.

Why I Want It:
I have been having a major love affair with debut authors lately and my guess is Jarzab will be no different. What first grabbed me was the cover (I know I say that every week) and then when I emailed Jarzab she was so sweet that I really can't wait for this one. Plus I love a good mystery.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Teaser Tuesday - The Dust of 100 Dogs

Teaser Tuesday asks you to:

Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers!

"After months below in the sweltering heat, Emer stood on deck and enjoyed the gentle breeze. She refastened her blond hair in a tight bun, exposing the back of her neck, and removed her overskirt, revealing a ragged sheer slip that kept the coarse wool from scratching her legs."
page 151 of The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King

Monday, April 13, 2009

BEDA Day 13: Adventures in Barnes & Noble

I am getting this post in just under the wire to keep me perfect for BEDA! woo hoo! I haven't had a day off work since last Tuesday and it has been hard to keep up but the fact that I have done it is making it all the sweeter. Because I just got home from work and have to get a post up you get a fun story about my trip to Barnes and Noble this morning before I went to work.

I was actually out shopping for a dress for my college graduation but of course I had to stop in at Barnes and Noble...well...because I was there. I was limiting myself to two books and standing there trying to narrow it down when a girl was chatting with her father and saying she had one book picked out but couldn't decide on a second. I was standing in front of a shelf with a paperback copy of Audrey, Wait by Robin Benway (my review) on it and I turned to her and said "You should try this one. It is a really great book and there are a bunch of quotes on the back from reviewers who loved it too if you don't believe me."

She looked at me a little blankly at first and then said "thanks, but how do you know about the quotes you were looking at a totally different book."

My response. "Because I am a book blogger and a bunch of the quotes are from book bloggers that I am lucky to call friends and who are awesome."

She said thanks and bought the book. I am a book pusher. This is my story for the day. I really hope she likes it.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

In My Mailbox - HAPPY EASTER!

Hope everyone is having a great holiday! Here is what I got in my mailbox this week.

Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King
Hottie by Jonathan Bernstein
Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith
Breathers: A Zombie's Lament by by S. G. Browne
Kitty Norville series by Carrie Vaughn

From library:
Top Ten Uses For An Unworn Prom Dress by Tina Ferraro

As always In My Mailbox is hosted by the amazing The Story Siren. See her blog for more details.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

BEDA Day 11: Book Suggestion?

For one of the challenges I am doing The Compass Points Reading Challenge hosted by Kristin from Book N Around

Now I have book for three of the four compass points
North: North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley
South: South Beach Sizzle by Suzanne Weyn and Diana Gonzalez
West: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

But I need a suggestion for East. Anybody have any books they enjoyed with East in the title?
I would really appreciate any help! Thanks!

Friday, April 10, 2009

BEDA Day 10: Lord of the Screen

So I have a funny story for you. About four years ago a friend and I decided to plop ourselves on the couch and watch all three Lord of the Rings movies. In a row. Without breaks. (well except for the bathroom and to restock the candy and pizza.) I have no clue why we did this and by the end I hated life. My butt and back were sore. My brain was fried and I was feeling more than a little sick from eating too many twizzlers. But now, I am glad we did it and it is a really fun thing we can say we did once.

Fast forward to BEDA when Jordan, who is running the BEDA blog and helping MJ keep track of all those participating, asked bloggers for a challenge. A challenge you ask? Well I have a great one for you! In no way did I ever expect Jordan to answer my challenge of watching all the Lord of the Rings movies in one day but he did. Not only did he do it but he kept a running commentary for us to read and it is hilarious.

So head over to the BEDA blog and laugh at Jordan's misery and hilarious commentary. And Congrats to Jordan! It kind of makes me want to do a movie marathon again. Have you ever done anything like this? Let me know in the comments.

(And yes this is my BEDA post for today. Easter weekend at the restaurant is kicking my butt and I haven't had much time to read but I promise more book related posts to come VERY soon!)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

BEDA Day 9: You like me, You really like me!

I was supposed to have my Q&A vlog up today but I kept getting interrupted yesterday and just didn't have time to get it finished. So it will be for another day. Until then, I have been majorly slacking on awards.

So since I started this blog I have been awarded a couple of awesome honors from some of my favorite bloggers and it is time to share and pass them along! I have said it before and I will say it again but I still have a hard time believing anyone but my best friend actually read this thing but I really appreciate all of you who do!

From Bookin With Bingo and A Novel Menagerie The Proximade Award

This blog invests and believes in the PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this clever-written text into the body of their award.

From Shalonda's Blog and The Epic Rat - The Sisterhood Award

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate up to 10 blogs which show great attitude and/or gratitude.
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know they have received this award.
5. Remember to link to the person from whom you received your award.

From Bookworm Readers the I Love Your Blog Award

So, here are the rules:
1) Add the logo of the award to your blog
2) Add a link to the person/people who awarded it to you
3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs
4) Add links to those blogs on your blog
5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs

Also from Shalonda is The Your Blog Is Fabulous Award

Rules are:
Write 5 things you're addicted to and then nominate 5 other blogs to pass this award on to!

1. Books, obviously! That is why you guys keep coming back right!
2. Northeastern University sports. I love my sports teams so much I can't even handle it!
3. Grey's Anatomy. I know it isn't as good as it used to be but I still love it.
4. JTR. My best friend, see her here in Best Friend Guest Reviews. She really is the best friend a girl could ever ask for.
5. Peanut butter. and if you add chocolate I may bite your hand to get it from you.

I am sorry if you have given me one and I missed it. Sometimes I am not as organized as I would like. Just remind me and I will post it!

So now it is time to pass them on! Instead of doing them individually I am just going to nominate a bunch of people and you can pick whichever one you want!

Korianne of Korianne Speaks
Hope of Hope's Bookshelf
Sharon of Sharon Loves Books and Cats
Adele of Persnickety Snark
Mrs. Magoo Reads
Jess from Book Reviews by Jess
Lady Tink of Up Close and Personal With Lady Tink
Vania of Reverie Media

And of course all the other amazing bloggers out there! I would list you all if I could!

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