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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ghostgirl: Lovesick by Tonya Hurley

"We all fall down. They call it falling for someone for a reason. ...Either way, you will carry the reminder of it forever. Whether it leaves a tiny scar or a permanent injury, only the future can tell."

My Rating: 9/10

Publisher: Little, Brown Company
Publication: July 2010
ISBN: 0316070262
Page Count: 311 Pages
Age Range: Young Adult

Tonya Hurley had successfully (again) written a philosophical love story that all we non Dead-Ed kids that we can relate with! Read my review of Ghostgirl here and Ghostgirl: Homecoming here!

In Ghostgirl: Lovesick, Charlotte Usher finally gets a boyfriend in her Dead world; Electric Eric (who died when the lightning struck his guitar's amplifier).

Then Mr. Markov decided that they all have to go back to the living world, to do their job again. Only this time, Charlotte wasn't assigned to help Scarlet, her best friend.

In fact, Charlotte was assigned to be with Damen--the guy who Charlotte was dead for--and be his guardian angel.

So off they go--Eric helplessly watching Charlotte with slight jealousy while Charlotte envies Scarlet who is guarded by Eric.

But love blinds everyone--it makes you want to change your self just to be better (even though sometimes it's for worse).

Ghostgirl: Lovesick tells the story that love, in life or death, is always difficult either way.

What I love about this book: In between the chapters there's quotes and Tonya Hurley's original thoughts on love that shadows the coming chapters and it's really beautiful. Ghostgirl: Lovesick is also funny and sweet; always a good read for everyone who's in or out of love. ;)

What I dislike about the book: At the end, it's always "The end?", it kinda...confuses me, makes me guess if there'll be another book or not....

Tonya Hurley's Official Ghostgirl website

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

"I'm not sure this is a world I belong in anymore. I'm not sure that I want to wake up."

My Rating: 10/10

Publisher: Penguin USA
Publication: 2009
ISBN: 978-0-525-42103-0
Page Count: 196 pages
Age Range: Young Adult

Gayle Forman is truly amazing. I read this book and I cried--it was just one of those books that truly touched a soft spot in people's heart.

If I Stay is a story about a girl named Mia, who plays cello. Her dad, mom and little brother all like rock music while she prefers classical. Even so, her family loves her--and she loves them--all the same. They click together well, even.

In If I Stay, Mia also has a boyfriend. The one who stays madly in love with her, even without having to change herself. Adam is in the band Shooting Star and he rock talks--just like Mia's parents and Todd (Mia's brother).

It was snowing and the school was canceled for both Mia and Todd. Adam was preparing for his concert with the popular band; Bikini. Mia's father, being a teacher, of course gets the day off, so Mia's mother took a leave as well for the sake of the family.

Then they all went to visit their grandparents--but something went terribly wrong. They got into a car accident on a day with snow. Everyone was rushed into the ER.

Her parents and Todd are dying. Mia's soul thinks of everything she and her family and Adam went through together. How if she's accepted to Juilliard, she will move away from Adam. How her first cello recital went. How her father changed because of Todd--and that it changed everything, too.

If I stay is beautiful and moving, simple yet filled with emotions.

What I love about the book: It made me cry and books rarely does that to me (Well, anything rarely does, except a really touching story, so you can say that books that made me cry are one of the best books written out there). Mia was faced with this dilemma and everyone else gave her the affection; it was simple and just plain beautiful. It was short, but it was amazing.

What I dislike about the book: Nothing; I love this book from page one until the end. It's one of my favorite books.

Here is the new cover for If I Stay:

If I Stay Official Page (With a sneak peek of the 1st chapter in PDF format)
Gayle Forman's Official Web Page

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ghostgirl: Homecoming by Tonya Hurley

"'We're all alone in death...and some of us after,'..."

My Rating: 8/10

Publisher: Little, Brown Company
Publication: July 2009
ISBN: 978-0-316-11359-5
Page count: 285
Age range: Young Adult

In Ghostgirl, Hurley wrote a different and beautiful story about a girl named Charlotte Usher who yearned to be popular. After talking to the guy of her dreams, though, she choked on a gummy bear and died. Read my review of Ghostgirl here.

In Ghostgirl: Homecoming, the second book in the series, Hurley wrote another astonishing world of the Dead. If in Ghostgirl there was Dead Ed (the high school of the dead), in Ghostgirl: Homecoming, there's an internship for the ghosts to be the Inner Voice/Consciousness of troubled teens.

Everyone has a phone, and the teens in the proximity given was supposed to call each time they have a troubled mind. Charlotte has a phone, too, but hers never ring.

On the dark side, Piccolo Pam, CoCo and Pru(denc)e also ignored Charlotte. She's the only one left, again.

But there's Maddy. Who's sharp and annoying at times, but at least she was there. Always there for Charlotte. (Not really; she talks to herself all the time).

The Petula is dying.

Scarlet needs Charlotte's help to find Petula's soul--for her relationship with Damen, and also for Scarlet herself.

But Maddy's words are proven; being a goody-girl isn't really getting Charlotte anywhere up to the popular/liked list. What's Charlotte going to do?

What I like about the book: It's unusual and unique, it's filled with cool philosophical quotes. It's funny and ironic, and also, the fact that Hurley changed the idea of Death completely. :)

What I dislike about the book: Maddy....is annoying. LOL. But I guess that means Hurley did a good job!! ;)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley

"'I'm just going to vanish into nothing. Poof.'"

My Rating: 8/10

Publisher: Little, Brown Company
Publication: August 2008
Page Count: 328 Pages
Age Range: Young Adult

Charlotte Usher is dying to be popular. Literally.

When her previous years of school life failed, she promised this time would be different--it would be her year to shine. She tried everything--during the summer she studied Petula Kensington (THE most popular girl in Hawthorne High), stalked Damen (Her ultimate crush) and bought super expensive high heels.

She even tried to sign up to be a cheerleader. Unfortunately, the rest of the school doesn't think so.

Then she was partnered up with Damen in Physics--and they were lab partners!

It was all meant to be (or at least Charlotte seemed to think so) until...well, until Charlotte choked on a gummy bear.

Yep. A gummy bear.

Charlotte's a choker, now.

Turns out? After death, if you haven't finished High School, there's the Dead Ed! Charlotte met Mr. Brain (who spilled his brain slugs each time he laughed), Pru(denc)e who seemed to hate her, Piccolo Pam (who swallowed a Piccolo and died) and a bunch of other Dead kids.

The Dead kids had one mission--To save their house; The Hawthorne Manor.

Charlotte, thinks differently. She thinks being dead is an opportunity to be closer to Damen. Besides, Charlotte's learning to Possess someone...Not just someone, maybe...Petula Kensington?

But when things with Petula doesn't work out well, Charlotte found out that she can be seen by someone--Scarlet. Scarlet Kensington, Petula's little sister (who, by the way, is totally different than Petula) that wears vintage clothes and goth make up. A good come back from the dead, huh?

Read Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley to follow Charlotte's ghostly trail in the story!!!

What I love about the book: That it was philosophical, thoughtful and just really sophisticated. Also? It was very funny at times. Ghostgirl is a good book to learn about your surroundings, how to fit in, and most of all; yourself.

What I dislike about the book: It's just me, I guess, but sometimes Charlotte seemed too..exaggerating. So it's not Tonya's work that I dislike, but it's Charlotte's capricious and whiny personality. But other than that...I'm good! :D

Tonya Hurley's Ghostgirl Official Website

Saturday, July 24, 2010

In My Mailbox (4)

In My Mailbox is a meme by The Story Siren here.

Week: Sunday, July 18 - Saturday, July 24 2010.
Click on each title to go to the Barnes and Noble's web.

From Publishers/Authors:
Random House:
Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood [July 19, 2010]
Harlequin Teen:
Carrie Pilby by Caren Lissner [July 22, 2010]
Disney Hyperion:
The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade [July 23, 2010]
Simon & Schuster:
Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson [July 23, 2010]
Penguin Group (USA):
Taken by Storm by Angela Morrison [July 24, 2010]

*All books are for reviews

Swag:


Bookmarks:
The Mark by Jen Nadol (signed)
Sing Me to Sleep & Taken by Storm by Angela Morrison (signed)

Bookplates:
The Mark by Jen Nadol

Others:
Post it notes: Carrie Pilby by Caren Lissner

*All swag will be included in future giveaways

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

"It had the same greasy sheen as oil, casting a rainbow of hues across the plane of the water as it was rippled gently by the waves. But there was something different about it, something she couldn't quite put her finger on."

My Rating: 10/10

Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication: March 2010
ISBN: 978-0-06-177981-7
Page Count: 327 pages
Age: Young Adult (940L from Lexile Reading Level)

I am never one for a murder mystery novel, but The Body Finder grabbed readers as soon as the 2nd paragraph was read. "And then there was another sound. Something she couldn't identify. Yet."

Kimberly Derting had successfully written the perfect narrating voice for the perfect mystery story. I was hooked from the first page--perhaps it was the unusual style of writing (to me personally anyway); how it was beautiful and different but also purely intriguing with conflicts.

Violet Ambrose is the main character in The Body Finder. She's in high school, but the prologue started when she was 8, when Violet first discovered a 14-year-old girl's body.

It was always animals' corpse, that Violet found. But she just sense them--it's just there, in the back of her tongue, ringing in her ears. Violet calls them the echoes.

Violet is best friend with Jay, who has been with her ever since 1st grade. They were inseparable ever since. Over the summer, Jay has been idolized because he transformed into a hunk. Violet, who resists her thoughts that she wants to be with Jay more than friends is in deep conflict with herself.

Then one day Violet and Jay (and basically the rest of the school) gathered around the lake for a party. Jay and Violet drove one of the boats until Violet was attracted to something. Violet knows there's a body down there. But is she ready to find out whose it is, knowing the mental-breakdown she's about to face after wards?

Then Violet tries to find the killer. Jay would never let anything bad happen to Violet...

What I love about this book: This book has easily gained its place in my heart as one of my all-time favorites. The voice Kimberly Derting used as an author was exceptional; my words couldn't describe how much I love this book right now. I started reading at 1:34 and I finished a little after 4:30. I seriously couldn't put it down. I like how she actually used the 3rd person perspective and made it work (I usually prefer reading 1st person, really--because what is a story without the character's mind?). I also like how Kimberly wrote the perspective of the killer. It was really a thriller.

What I dislike about the book: Absolutely nothing. I enjoy everything, from the first page to the end. :D

This is highly recommended! Even if you dislike mystery, just try. Because in some aspects, this book has its humor. ;)

Kimberly Derting's Official The Body Finder page

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What They Always Tell Us by Martin Wilson

"'...She said, 'Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can never hurt you.'
'Yeah, that's what they always tell us.'"


My Rating: 9/10

Publisher: Random House (Delacorte Press)
Publication: 2008
ISBN: 978-0-385-73507-0
Page Count: 288 Pages
Ages: Young Adult

What They Always Tell Us is Martin Wilson's debut novel. It is written in a simple way, although as a reader I feel like it was just filled with emotions unspoken with words.

The book started with Alex's perspective. Alex is a junior who recently became a misfit. A social outcast, but the kind that wasn't picked on. You name it. But that happened even before he drank the Pine-Sol in a party. After that, everyone just started calling him a freak.

His older brother, James, deep down, probably do too, to Alex.

James--like everyone else--asked Alex why he did it. Not that Alex ever answers, of course. So James, like everyone else, starts to ignore Alex too.

James just wants to get out of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Start over everything he messed up.

Alex, on the other hand, just wants...something. He doesn't know yet.

Then there's Nathen, who's always nice to Alex (even after the Pine-Sol "accident"--as James and their parents calls it). One night, Alex started jogging again like he used to and he met Nathen on the way.

Nathen encouraged Alex to join the cross country team. Alex wants to know why he's nice to Alex. Why he's always been nice to Alex.

There's also Henry, a 10 year old kid who lives next to Alex and James. A puzzle piece out of the place in Tuscaloosa. Henry, the kid who reads the DICTIONARY. (Click here for Henry's word of the week! Good for SAT/ACT, people!)

What They Always Tell Us tells a different yet still heart breaking story about first love, boy to boy and how a teenager cope with ex-friends, exes, brothers, family and most of all; life.

What I love about this book: Okay, so first of all, I'd never thought I'd read a boy-boy/girl-girl love kind of thing. Don't get me wrong, I have NO PROBLEM with it. But I liked this book. A lot. Because it's meaningful, and it's a good piece of literature. It's always nice to get glimpses of someone else's life who is totally the opposite. I like how Martin Wilson switches perspective from Alex and James, and I like how the characters developed throughout the book. :D

What I dislike about this book: The beginning was a bit slow for me, the first 2 chapters. But I understand that Martin Wilson was trying to set the story up, so it's all good! :)

Martin Wilson's Official What They Always Tell Us Web Page


Thank you, Martin, for the signed copy!! :D

P.S: I highly recommend this book if you really like books. If you can't handle the boy-boy part, then just don't read it really.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Heist Society Giveaway Winner!!

Hello people!!

We have a winner for the Heist Society giveaway! (By the way, it's the first book in the series. I don't have more info about the series yet...)

The winner is...

Rica from Rica.Eat.World

Congratulations to Rica and thank you for all the participants! For those who didn't win, don't worry; I have more giveaways!!! (Or, if you really want to read Heist Society that bad, I suggest you search the public library...)

My current giveaways:

Deep Down Popular by Phoebe Stone [read review here]
The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan (Kane Chronicles #1) [read review here]
Invisible I by Stella Lennon (aka Melissa Kantor; The Amanda Project #1) [read review here]
Ends August 1st! Read about the three giveaways here!

SIGNED copy of Aries Rising by Bonnie Hearn Hill [read review here]
SIGNED copy of Taurus Eyes by Bonnie Hearn Hill [read review here]
SIGNED copy of Gemini Night by Bonnie Hearn Hill (when it comes out in Fall 2010)
Ends August 31st! Read about the giveaways here!

<3
s c h o l a r b e r r y

AS: Bonnie Hearn Hill's Star Crossed Series + Giveaway!!

As you guys have known, I recently read the Star Crossed series by Bonnie Hearn Hill. Right now there are two books that are out for the public; Aries Rising and Taurus Eyes. Gemini Night, the third book in the series will be out in Fall 2010. Bonnie has been so generous, she's going to give one lucky winner a signed copy of each book! (Gemini Night has to wait, of course, until it's published :D)

Here is a chance to win the signed copies of Star Crossed series by Bonnie Hearn Hill! It ends August 31, 2010. US/Canada only. There will be ONE WINNER! Fill out this FORM to enter!

(P.S: Read the interview below to find out the Star Crossed facebook page, and Like the page to be entered to win an iPod Touch when Gemini Night comes out!! :D)

Here are the gorgeous covers:



Read my review of Aries Rising here.
Read my review of Taurus Eyes here.

My interview with Bonnie Hearn Hill:

1. While writing the Star Crossed series, which book made you felt satisfied the most and why?

A: Each book was satisfying in a different way. ARIES RISING was exciting because--well, because it was first--and because I got to experience Logan coming into her own power. TAURUS EYES was deeply personal to me. Although there's a ghost and a lot of conflict, it's really a love story, and it's a story about letting go of what we love. GEMINI NIGHT was challenging because I got to up the stakes and write more of a mystery. In that book, Logan has to figure out the astrology chart of a celebrity who will be attending the launch party of the teen magazine she wants to write for. She doesn't know which celeb it is. She only knows the stars spell disaster. The love story from TAURUS EYES also plays a part in this book.

2. Which character(s) (Or, based on their zodiac, I guess) was the most interesting to write?

A: Well, I'm a Gemini, so it was fun creating Chili, Logan's best friend. My best friend is a Pisces--and an astrologer--so Paige, Logan's other best friend, ended up with many of her traits. I've had many Pisces readers tell me that they relate to Paige because they are also shy and creative. I hope they like how she changes in GEMINI NIGHT. I've never met a Leo I didn't love, so Nathan Sullivan, Logan's first crush, was fun to write. Logan herself is my favorite. She's conflicted about her mom being on the golf tour and her parents' problems. She's not sure about how to use astrology, but she's proactive and refuses to be a victim. She's willing to take risks. Taurus is also one of my favorite signs. I like their solid dependability, their passion, even their stubborn always-right nature. Some of my favorite people, including my husband, are Bulls. The love interest in TAURUS EYES is also a Taurus, and he is still very real to me. I knew Logan would fall for this guy, and so did I.

3. (I already know your story, but...) Where did the inspiration to write Star Crossed series came from?

A: As I mentioned to you, my best friend, Hazel Dixon-Cooper (the Pisces mentioned above) was once my writing student and became the author of the Rotten Day humorous astrology series and the Cosmopolitan Bedside Astrologer column. She is also a member of my private critique group. You can't spend any time with Hazel before you start checking your Rising sign, staying close to home when Mercury is in Retrograde and refusing to date a guy with a Virgo Moon. When I got the idea for the book, I asked her if she would help me get the astrology part right, and she was a tremendous help. If you read these books, and your sign sounds like you, it's because Hazel was a very good teacher.

4. Does the book Fearless Astrology actually exist? Will you be writing one after the series ends???

A: Others have asked me that. I invented Fearless, and as you know, a member of Logan's family is the author of this imaginary book. I have not thought much about actually writing one, but it could be fun.


5. Do you listen to music while writing? Can I get a playlist?

A: If I listened to music, I would not be able to hear my own voice. I sometimes play classical music in the other room with the volume down. Never anything with lyrics. I'm auditory, and much of my writing process is trying to hear the characters and the story.


6. What was the most difficult part of writing the Star Crossed series?

A: Good question, Eliora. Until then, I had written only thrillers and some nonfiction. I guess it was having the faith to try something new. Even though I was a published writer, I had never written young adult, so I had to complete an entire novel and gamble on whether it would sell. That was ARIES RISING, which I sold as FRANKENSTEIN WAS A TAURUS, a title that was ultimately too young for it. Writing the books was the fun part.

7. Did you ever have your own writing camp sessions in high school? Was it with a famous author, too?

A: I wish! I did marry my high school English teacher, however. Henry Jaffa, Logan's mentor, is based on a best-selling novelist I know who is talented, professorish and extremely helpful to young writers. He's the kind of mentor I wish I'd had.

8. What is your favorite series that you absolutely recommend for YA readers to read?

If you are interested in astrology, read Hazel Dixon-Cooper's Rotten Day books. For fiction, I can't tell you because so much of it is really good. Read well and read widely. Some of the best fiction written today is YA.


9. Is there anything else you'd like to say to Star Crossed readers?

A: To those of you who want to write, never give up. To the rest, I'd love to hear from you. You can reach me at bonniehh@gmail.com. Or on my Facebook page.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Crunch Time by Mariah Fredericks

"Max grins. 'We should have numbers on our butts.' He turns to Daisy. 'Hi, I'm a two thousand. Nice to meet you.'
In a haughty accent she says, 'Sorry, I only date twenty-one hundreds and above....'"


My Rating: 10/10

Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (Imprint of Simon and Schuster)
Publication: 2006
ISBN: 0-689-86938-X
Page count: 317 pages
Age range: Young Adult

To be honest, I've never cared for any standardized tests. Not the MCA, not the ACT, so obviously not the SAT. (Yes, I have not even taken the ACT, and I will pass them, it's just that I never get the whole reason why people freak about it.)

When I moved to US on August 2007, it was a bit weird (to me anyway). They (the school) insisted on me using Number 2 pencils, and I had to use the wooden pencils (I only use mechanical ones or pens back in Indonesia). So when I saw this cover, it grabbed my attention at once.

Daisy and Max are best friends--Daisy is poor and well (let's face it) her grades are just average. She plays basketball good, though. Max, on the other hand, is smart though geeky.

They both came for the SAT prep class, and found Leo Thayer and Jane Cotterell from the same school.

Leo Thayer is one of the BP--Beautiful People--and he knows it. Worse, he always hits on freshmen girls and well, break their hearts. In short, of course, a jerk. Jane Cotterell is the daughter of Julia Cotterell, the movie star. Right, Jane is also the rich kid with the popular mom without any friends. The SAT Prep guy didn't show up, so Daisy (not caring about the test at all), walks out. Inviting anyone who'd come with.

Then the four of them started their own SAT prep group in Jane's house.

But then they figured out that someone cheated. Someone cheated the SAT.
Was it Daisy, the poor girl who needed the scholarship?
Leo, who wants the perfect score?
Max, who needs his father off his back?
Or Jane, so she doesn't ruin her mom's reputation?

What I love about the book: The characters--Mariah Fredericks showed us all 4 characters' minds, and each of them was great. It was funny--hilarious, actually--and smart. :D

What I dislike about the book: I didn't dislike anything! (I wonder why I haven't found any book that I have anything to point out that I dislike...?) This is one of my favorites!!!

Mariah Fredericks' Official Crunch Time page

Taurus Eyes by Bonnie Hearn Hill

"He has something to hide, and, for some crazy reason, he's afraid that I might discover it."

My Rating: 10/10

Publisher: Running Press Teen
Publication: May 2010
ISBN: 978-0-7624-3671-2
Page Count: 288 pages
Ages: Young Adult

In Aries Rising, the first book of the Star Crossed series, Logan McRae is dealing with the Gears (a school group that dissed the teachers too far that it was far from pranks that are fun and enjoyable) and Nathan (the cute Leo senior who enjoys Logan's compliment). Click here for my Aries Rising review.

In Taurus Eyes, Bonnie Hearn Hill took a different approach. Still mystery--but rather than figuring out the secret members of the Gears, Logan is surrounded by ghosts.

Sure, Logan got accepted to the writing camp she was waiting so long for. This is a dream come true--to work with Henry Jaffa, her favorite author.

On the plus side, there's Jeremy who's handsome. Cold Taurus, yes, but when in relationship, Taurus are "faithful and loyal."

But if in Aries Rising there's Gemini Geneva, in Taurus Eyes there's the hot Texan Vanessa, an Aries. She doesn't seem to even like writing (or even give a damn about it) so Logan really wonders how she can be accepted to the writing camp.

Then Henry Jaffa (with the same sign as Logan, Aquarius), suddenly decides to switches everyone's topic around. Hence, Logan's knowledge on astrology won't really help her to get published in CRUSH, the teen magazine.

She got Sean Baylor, a famous musician that died falling off a boat. That's Jeremy's topic. You can't really start a battle with Taurus, cause you'll be losing it.

But Logan did, and she held on her own. Can Logan work together with Jeremy? The downside; everyone's been saying that they sensed Sean Baylor's ghost and hearing one of his famous song.

Why is Jeremy so cold? Why does he insists on writing about Sean Baylor so bad? Well, it turns out that Jeremy has a secret on his own. Great, just great; while Jeremy won't tell Logan what it is that drives his passion so bad, everyone related to Sean Baylor is making Logan stop researching.

Can Logan be friends with Jeremy? Will Henry Jaffa understands everything?

What I love about the book: Over Aries Rising, I love Taurus Eyes more because it was more mysterious. It was filled with more conflicts, it just intrigued me way more than Aries Rising. I also love how Bonnie Hearn Hill always relates the character traits to astrology, as if astrology is just the simplest way of explaining why a person is like this or that. :D

What I dislike about the book: Again, "the end", people! >:(
If Taurus Eyes didn't come out, I would want to wait for Gemini Night because there are some things with Jeremy that's just left hanging, and obviously I don't like having hanging stories in my head.

Bonnie Hearn Hill's Official Star Crossed series web page.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Life, After by Sarah Darer Littman

"'Open mouth and insert foot. That's a Brian Harrison specialty.'
I had no idea what he was talking about, and my confusion obviously showed on my face.
'It's an expression. To put your foot in your mouth means to say something stupid and tactless that you shouldn't have said. You know, that offends the other person.'"


Publisher: Scholastic
Publication: July 1st 2010
ISBN: 978-0-545-15144-3
Ages/Grades: 12-18/7-12

Before I read Life, After, I thought it was going to be sad and filled with emotions. Now that I've finished it, it was funny and more than just life-changing sad. It was crying-sad and I-can-relate-to-some-of-this-sad.

In Life, After, the main character, Daniela Bensimon is from Argentina. July 18, 1994 was the AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Because of it, Dani lost her aunt Sara.

Her father, was nice and kind. Her father was gentle and caring--not short tempered and fussy about every little thing and impatient. Dani loved and liked him very much. But these days, it's a bit hard to, really.

Sarita, Dani's little sister, doesn't understand that the crisis is changing her father's life. Or her mother. Or Dani's. She was innocent--and curious. She asks a lot of questions, and asks them bluntly.

Dani lost Gaby, her best friend, who moved to Israel because of the crisis. But Dani still have Roberto, her novio (boyfriend in Spanish). But her novio had to move, too. To Miami in America.

After not being able to pay for electricity and a crazy protest-scene in front of the hospital (where Dani's mom works), Dani's dad finally gave in to move to America. But no, not Miami. New York, where Dani's uncle, Jacobo, lives.

In America, the high school is huge. The hallways are mean. First day, right off the start Dani was found wearing another girl's shirt from charity. They kept picking on her, although Dani made a friend with the girl's brother.

But Dani had her personal GPS--Brian Harrison. Who she can't help but think about even though her novio is still Roberto. Roberto, Roberto, Roberto. Whom she misses so much but when in contact with, couldn't speak much to.

Dani is changing. So is Sarita. Will her dad change? Will he try to live normally again? Will Roberto's feelings change?

What I love about the book: I didn't come from America (I came from Indonesia to America in 2007) and I struggled with the idioms, too. Or maybe just the expressions and slang, really. So I definitely relate to that, and this book was just hilarious. I would love to reread this book again and again. Also, Dani's not exaggerating. She's frustrated, but she keeps it under control, until (of course, just like any other teens) her parents doesn't listen anymore.

What I dislike about the book: To be honest, I was a bit disappointed about the ending--but that's just because I don't like the hanging ending. And to be honest, that's because I wanted more of Sarita's blunt remark and also Dani and Brian's hilarious relationship.

:D

This is a very amazing book--Never judge a book by its cover, it's really good!! Highly recommended!

Sarah Darer Littman's Official Life, After web page

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Aries Rising by Bonnie Hearn Hill

"...I don't know what kind of spell you put on him, but it worked."

My Rating: 8/10

Publisher: Running Press Teens
Publication: March 2010
Page Count: 304 pages
Age Range: Young Adult

Bonnie Hearn Hill brought astrology to high school life in Aries Rising, the first book in the Star Crossed series.

Logan McRae is a sophomore in her high school who's trying hard to get into a summer writing camp. But first, she has to deal with Mr. Franklin, her English teacher (whom everybody calls Frankenstein).

Frankenstein wants it personal, and as an Aquarius, Logan feels like she just can't.

Also, there's Nathan, (the senior that Logan kissed last year) who is hunted by the perfect Geneva. Nobody can resist Geneva's cute butt. Or her beauty. While Logan thinks she doesn't have anything in her favor, one day it just did.

Chili and Paige, Logan's two best friends were in Logan's house when they were discovering Logan's mom's old high school stuff (Her mom is a professional golfer, therefore is on tour at the time). In the box of ancients, she found a book called Fearless Astrology.

Now she's ready--with tips from the Fearless Astrology, she's going for Nathan, the Leo who loves spotlight, helping Chili and Paige for their own love lives and catching the Gears (a group of kids that pull pranks around the school) at the same time.

After all, there's Fearless Astrology to guide her. What could possibly go wrong?

What I like about the book: Funny, fast-paced and mysterious. Especially the part regarding Gears.

What I dislike about the book: Nothing. It's pretty much interesting reading about new things--Astrology, I mean.

Bonnie Hearn Hill's Official Aries Rising Web page

Saturday, July 17, 2010

In My Mailbox (3)

In My Mailbox is a meme by The Story Siren here.
So...I said I would do this on Sundays, but I thought since no mail comes on Sunday, I might as well do it on Saturdays.
The link will let you go to Barnes and Noble's website of the specific book.

Week: Sunday, July 11 - Saturday, July 17 2010.


Paperback:
Simon and Schuster:
The Season of Risks, The Year of Disappearances and The Society of S by Susan Hubbard.
Unleashed by Kristopher Reisz. (Signed :D)
Grove Creek Publishing:
Heavenly by Jennifer Laurens.
Random House:
What They Always Tell Us by Martin Wilson (Signed :D)
Bloomsbury USA:
The Named by Marianne Curley.


Advance Reading Copy (ARCs):
Bloomsbury USA:
Time Riders by Alex Scarrow.
Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin.
Blood Feud by Alyxandra Harvey.
No and Me by Delphine de Vigan.
Poser by Sue Wyshynski.

Hardcovers:

Macmillan:
The Karma Club by Jessica Brody.
Bloomsbury USA:
Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines.
The Tear Collector by Patrick Jones.
Split by Stefan Petrucha.
In a Heartbeat by Loretta Ellsworth.
The Mark by Jen Nadol.

All books are for reviews, and all books were given by the listed publishers/authors.

What's in your mailbox?

blog button

Friday, July 16, 2010

Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter

"'Promise me, Cammie! No matter what, promise me you will follow the pigeons.'"

My Rating: 10/10

Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication: June 29, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4231-2820-5
Age Range: 11 and up

In the fourth book of the Gallagher Girls series, everything's leveled up.

The security in Gallagher Academy is tightened, there are more people guarding Cammie but still, everyone won't tell her what's going on. She has to find everything out by herself.

With the help of Liz, Bex and Macey, of course.

But everything seems wrong. It feels like she can't trust anyone besides her mom, Liz, Bex and Macey anymore.

Joe Solomon is certainly not in the list of the people to be trusted either.

Afterall, Joe Solomon is part of the Circle of Cavan.

He was from Blackthorne.

Zach is from Blackthorne.

But back then Zach had always warned her to be careful, no?

Joe Solomon had never told her to act stupid either.

Joe Solomon was the teacher she trusts. The one who taught her a lot of things.

Now his replacement is telling Cammie to sell Joe Solomon out? No way. Maybe Cammie's being stupid. Maybe it's a bad idea. But Cammie has to find out, because with Joe Solomon, lies Cammie's father's secret.

Bex had been the one that's rash. Cammie's always the careful, skeptical one. Now everything's upside down. Cammie's rash. Bex questions.

What I like about this book: The suspense, Cammie's conflicted mind and the best part; the actions. Highly recommended!

What I dislike about the book: That it ended! Seriously!

Ally Carter's Only the Good Spy Young Official Page

Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter

"Get her."

My Rating: 9/10

Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication: 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4231-1660-8
Ages: 11 and up

Ally Carter's books are always mysterious and filled with action-packed girl powers.

In Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover (Gallagher Girls book 3), Cammie Morgan was with one of her best friend, Macey McHenry to rehearse the political campaign of Macey's father.

Then everything went wrong; spy, butt-kicking wrong. Macey and Cammie certainly didn't have any problems with it--if only the attack didn't happen right in front of the First son, Preston White.

They barely escaped.

"Get her." One of the attackers had said. What did they want with Macey?

Cammie, Liz, Bex and Macey herself kept pondering about it.

All of the sudden Aunt Abby becomes Macey's personal bodyguard. A bodyguard who'd take the bullet for her but won't risk it. Abby is one of the best spies Cammie knows.

While still trying to figure out the mystery behind the strange attack and countless attempts to be with Macey 24/7 to make sure she's safe, there's Zach.

Zach from Blackthorne, the Gallagher Academy for boys. (Gallagher Academy, for those who doesn't know, is a girls-only spy school.)

Zach who kissed Cammie back then.

Zach who disappears almost right away when Cammie glanced another way.

In the third book of the Gallagher Girls, Ally Carter brought even more suspense than the first two books in the series.

What I like about this book: Funny, thrilling and edgy at the same time. It's unforgettable and filled with suspense. Also, filled with the danger of falling in love and fast paced. What more could you ask for in a book???

What I dislike about the book: The cliffhanger at the end!!! (Thankfully I had the 4th book with me, too.)

Ally Carter's Official Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover Page

Deep Down Popular, The Red Pyramid and Invisible I Giveaways!!!




:D More giveaways from me!!!

Okay, so since I met Rick Riordan, Disney Hyperion gave me an extra copy of The Red Pyramid. It isn't signed, but it's HARDCOVER! Good enough, no???

Read my review of The Red Pyramid here.

I have been a huge fan of The Amanda Project ever since I read it, and I would like to share it! Read my review of Invisible I here.

Deep Down Popular by Phoebe Stone is funny and also meaningful. Read the review here.

All of these giveaways ends at August 1st, 2010 and they are all US ONLY!!!

The Red Pyramid Giveaway FORM
Deep Down Popular FORM
Invisible I FORM

Updates!!! :D

Weekly planner of what I'll be posting besides my book reviews:

Sundays: I've been putting up the list of books I received in the In My Mailbox page. From now on I'm going to update them as posts, too. In My Mailbox is a meme from The Story Siren (read about it here.) I will be sharing what books I got in my mailbox (sent by publishers/authors, bought or received) during the week. (Of course when I'm studying abroad the number of books will go down..unless I saved enough for an eReader by then...)

Mondays: Book Suggestion Box is an idea that was inspired by Cynthia from Bookworm. (Bookworm is a blog that's interesting--Cynthia's got an intriguing story chapters posted! Check it out!) A couple of days ago Cynthia emailed me (and making my day) by telling me she enjoys reading my reviews, and she suggested me to read The Host (which right now I'm reading in my computer) by Stephenie Meyer, the author of the Twilight phenomenon.

In Book Suggestion Box (BSB) I will post an entry titled with BSB and share what I highly recommend for people to read, and from there people could comment on what they think I should read. :D Sharing is caring~

Tuesdays: More reviews..

Wednesdays: More reviews...

Thursdays: More reviews...

Fridays: More reviews...

Saturdays: Wishlist. Like BSB, this is a meme I just thought of, and I'll be posting up 1-5 new titles that interests me.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Deep Down Popular by Phoebe Stone

"Conrad is the only boy on the face of the earth who can wear a pink T-shirt and carry it off. Doesn't bother him in the least. Doesn't even faze him. You know what that is? That's deep down popular."

My Rating: 7/10

Publisher: Scholastic
Publication: March 2008
Pages: 280
Ages: 9 and up

Jessie Lou is a 6th graders and she always has a special interest for Conrad Parker Smith.

Conrad is popular, Conrad is smart and is very likable by everyone.

Then something went wrong with Conrad's leg and he was out from school for a long time.

The popular kids stopped calling him gradually, and Conrad's popularity went down. And one day he came back to school with a cast on his leg, sealing the deal of his lost popularity.

He used to be the kids that was up in the lunch line first, now he's one of the kids that stayed behind in class and waited patiently. All because of his leg.

Then one day Jessie Lou was assigned by the teacher (who's oblivious of the fact that nobody really cares for Conrad anymore) to help Conrad take his bicycle home.

Jessie Lou wishes that Conrad's cast will never be taken off, so that she can stay with him even for a little while. Deep Down Popular is about understanding things more than what's shown, about seeing what's best.

What I like about this book: That it was entertaining, especially the bits about Jessie Lou's thoughts about Conrad.

What I dislike about this book: Even though this was written in Jessie Lou's perspective, it feels awkward that she really describes her surrounding without really putting her own thoughts so much in it. It feels awkward--which is different--hence, a little dislike.

Phoebe Stone's Official Deep Down Popular Page

Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler

"But the Thin voice saved her.
Hershey's Kisses, it whispered. Twenty-five calories each."

My Rating: 9/10

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication: October 18 2010
ISBN: 978-0-547-34124-8
Pages: 180 pages
Ages/Grade: 12 years and up/ 7th grade and up

Jackie Morse Kessler's debut novel is spectacular.

Lisabeth Lewis, the main character of Hunger has a boyfriend. Maybe it's something about being a couple; all of a sudden you care more about other people's opinions on appearance.

Lisa loved food--she used to go with James (her current boyfriend) and Suzanne (her ex-best friend) into Joe's Diner and eat normally like everybody else.

Then the Thin voice appeared, telling her that she's fat fat fat and that she needs to lose weight. As if her perfect and insanely critical mother hasn't stop complaining yet.

When she lost 10 pounds just like her mother wished, her mom complained about her skin complexion or et cetera.

Then she had a dream. Maybe a nightmare, because the sexy Death came for her. She was appointed to be Famine, because Lisa tried to kill herself. Death was merciful. Death was kind. Death was sexy.

She was anorexic herself, and she's trying to help people to counter famine. She encountered War, who really wants to get rid of her. But despite the fear she has for War, her betraying friends who doesn't understand, her strange boyfriend and her uncaring parents, she got to ride Midnight, her black horse.

Hunger is about life and death, supporting family and friends, finding yourself and losing yourself.

What I like about the book: It was funny and sophisticated, realistic and also different. Lisa's mind was filled with conflict, hence, interesting. Death's characteristic was also hilarious, switching back and forth from old English to rocker style. :D I definitely enjoy this book.

What I dislike about the book: The beginning was a bit slow and dragged to me, but I kept reading and I loved it!

Jackie Morse Kessler's Books Page

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Profilic Blogger Award!!


"A prolific blogger is one who is intellectually productive, keeping up an active blog with enjoyable content. After accepting this award, recipients are asked to pass it forward to seven other deserving blogs."



I got my first blogger award from Khadija (Black Fingernailed Reviews)!!! Thank you so much!

The 7 bloggers I'm sharing my awards with:

1. Reggie at The Undercover Book Lover
2. Sherry at Flipping Pages For All Ages
3. Mevurah at The Heart of Dreams
4. Steph Su at Steph Su Reads
5. Eleni at La Femme Readers
6. Lori at Pure Imagination
7. Alex at Tales of a Teenage Book Lover

Thank you so much!! :D

Monday, July 12, 2010

Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

"'You're playin' a dangerous game, chica.'
'I know. But I trust you.'"


My Rating: 10/10

In Perfect Chemistry, the first book of the Fuentes brothers by Simone Elkeles, Alex took the spotlight and goes into a conflict with Brittany Ellis. (You can read the review of Perfect Chemistry here)

In Rules of Attraction (the second book of the Fuentes brothers) it's Carlos, Alex's little brother's turn. In Perfect Chemistry, Carlos was kept away from the gang bangers' world for good.

But that time Carlos had Destiny, a girl he met that's really keeping him away from doing everything rash. Then Alex quit the Latino Blood gang he was in, endangering the safety of the Fuentes. The incident forced the Fuentes back to Mexico, where they would be safer.

So Destiny had to go; what was the point of having a long-distance relationship when there's a chance of not meeting your boyfriend/girlfriend again?

Carlos, sweet innocent Carlos is now turned upside down. All because of Alex, his brother. Worse; He has to stay in Alex's dorm/apartment and go to Flatiron High. Even worse; Alex is giving out a bunch of rules. Crappy rules. No women. No chicas. Nothing, nada.

So this is Carlos' payback: Break every rules given to him.

The crappy part was that since he's "new", the school gave him a guide. Kiara Westford. A girl that looks nothing like a girl. The girl who pull pranks on him, the girl who loves challenges. The girl who stutters, the girl who baked chocolate chip cookies and kept it until they're stale, and glued it to mini magnets then stick it in Carlos' locker (being his guide, she knows his locker combo).

Then there's Madison. The popular girl who always gets what--or who--she wants. With Madison, comes trouble. Somebody from Carlos' gang back in Mexico smuggled drugs in his locker to give him a warning.

While that's happening, Carlos is attracted to Kiara, whether he wants it or not. Kiara, too.

What I like about the book: How the conflict was more realistic, and how it was funny. Seriously hilarious, the relationship between Kiara and Carlos. I'd say this is one of the books I'd reread again and again.

What I dislike about the book: That it ended :(

The Perfect Chemistry Rules of Attraction Website
Simone Elkeles' Rules of Attraction Website

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

“Why is it so important that you're perceived as a bad boy, huh? Tell me."

My Rating: 10/10

Simone Elkeles has written one of the best book of star-crossed lovers story around. In Perfect Chemistry, it all begins in Chemistry class at Flatiron High.

At the beginning of their senior year, Brittany Ellis, the captain of the pom-pom squad is going to meet her boyfriend who hasn't been with her all summer. Her life is perfect, from the clothes, the matching boyfriend, the kind-of clique she belongs to and her amazing house.

Alejandro Fuentes, is the total opposite. He's in the Latino Blood gang, he's a player and doesn't want to admit that he has goals rather than be a gang-banger.

Lucky, Alex's friend, made a bet that Alex wouldn't be able to sleep with Brittany. Alex loves challenges and he doesn't go down on any bet.

The thing is, though, when Alex is with Brittany, he feels everything else differently than what he felt with other girls. Slowly but surely, they're both falling for each other.

That's when Alex has to choose between saving his family by being in Latino Blood (LB, the gang he's in) or, be with Brittany Ellis.

What I like about the book: Alex's ego and Simone Elkeles' writing style! (For some reason I like people with sarcasm and ego...they're interesting that way!!!)

What I dislike about the book: If there's anything I dislike?? Was that I didn't pay attention in my brief quarter of Spanish in 8th grade that could have made laugh even more while reading the book!!!!

Thank you Bloomsbury USA/Walker Young Readers!!!

Perfect Chemistry Official Website
Simone Elkeles' official website

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

"..Five minutes from now, when everything else had dropped away and I realized the full impact of what I'd done, I'd feel my heart breaking."

My Rating: 10/10

Becca Fitzpatrick's debut novel, Hush Hush was phenomenal. Click here for my review on Hush Hush.

Crescendo, the second book that's coming out in October 19, 2010, will make fans dying for the 3rd book of the series.

Nora Grey and Patch Cipriano are now officially an item, but a bad boy is always going to be a bad boy, right?

Nora screwed it all up by telling him the three big words; "I love you." Patch left, without returning the affection.

Nora's mom disliked Patch, so she goes and invited the nightmare of Nora's childhood, Scott Parnell, to match him with Nora.

Plus, Nora is stuck with Marcie Millar as her chemistry partner. Marcie apparently hates her for no reason she knows.

When Nora broke up with Patch for stalking Marcie (though it was more of Patch not returning the affection), Vee (Nora's best friend) goes and date Rixon, the person who knows Patch best.

That's not all; Scott Parnell's a Nephil, too. In Crescendo, Nora will find more danger that awaits her, her dead father's secret and more about Patch Cipriano.

Becca Fitzpatrick has written a nerve-wrecking story, and I'm proud to actually say that I cried reading this.

What I love about the book: The conflict, and how the emotions felt real. As if I was Nora, and I was the one breaking, needing to be Patched up. :) And oh, that I got to read this 3 months and 11 days earlier than the real publication date.

What I dislike about the book: The cliffhanger at the end! The misery to wait another year for the 3rd book to come out!!!!!!

Thanks, Simon & Schuster for the advance copy!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison

"Madison's prom was killer--literally."

My Rating: 7/10

Kim Harrison, the NY times bestseller wrote YA fantasy; Once Dead, Twice Shy.

Madison went to the prom as a junior, and she was killed. She ditched her original date because her mom told the guy to ask her out to prom, and went out the door with someone else completely hotter.

But he killed her. Not only he crashed the car off the cliff, but when he knows she's not dead yet, he stabbed her with a sword.

Or, a scythe.

Madison Avery doesn't believe in angels and grim reaper and et cetera. All she wants is her body back, or dead. Fully dead. Not stuck-on-earth-dead.

Throughout the book, Madison tries to figure out the reason she's been hunted by all these reapers. It's not like she's special or anything...right?

Chased by reapers + Stuck with poetic cherub + Crush thinks she's Madison A-very-freaky girl = Once Dead, Twice Shy.

What I like about the book: Grace's (the cherub/Madison's guardian) personality! Madison too, and combined, they make the perfect entertainment! :) I have never read any book by Kim Harrison before, but this sure does makes me want to read every other book she wrote!!

What I dislike about the book: Nothing! I love it!

Look out for the second book: Early to Death, Early to Rise



Thanks, Harper Teen!! :)

Kim Harrison's Once Dead Twice Shy Official Page

In My Mailbox 2

I am so excited!

Usually, I put my In My Mailbox in the In My Mailbox Page. But this time? I am so excited I can barely contain my excitement!!
I love Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick and it was my first review! Read it here.
Just today, I got home from summer school and I found a package from Simon and Schuster!

I got an ARC of Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick!!



Thank you so much Simon and Schuster!!

The real book is coming out in October 19th! Wait for it, guys!!! :D

Invisible I (Amanda Project) by Stella Lennon

"'My own person,' I said quietly. 'I'd like to be my own person.'"

My Rating: 9/10

Simply intriguing and sophisticated, Invisible I is the first book of the Amanda Project! Although it is written by "Stella Lennon," it is an alias that which a group of authors will use. Melissa Kantor is the author of Invisible I.

The narrator in the book is Callie. Callie is one of the I-girls (which is a group of 4 girls with their name ends in 'i'; Traci, Kelli, Heidi, Calli(e)) and she met an extraordinary girl in her math class.

Amanda Valentino is eccentric and witty. She's blunt at the same time she's so mysterious, her words are clear as day although at first it confuses you.

In the beginning of the book, Callie, Nia and Hal were called to the Vice Principal's office, because of Amanda Valentino. She apparently drew on the VP's car, and all the clues she hinted to the VP led him straight to call Callie, Nia and Hal.

Nia was on the bottom of the social status at Endeavor (their school).

Hal was a dork. He was a hottie, but he's still a dork.

So how could Callie be possibly dragged together with Nia and Hal?

Throughout the book, Callie finds that it doesn't matter where Nia or Hal stands. The three of them searches for Amanda Valentino, refusing to go back to their lives without her. Amanda Valentino is missed, and they want to know why she left.

What I love about the book: It made me curious and it left me wanting more! I like how Amanda is so mysterious, but how she's very kind and thoughtful of others.

What I dislike about the book: That I have to wait for the second book to come out. ...


Invisible I Official Web Page
Melissa Kantor's Official Web Page

Saturday, July 3, 2010

AS: Emma Michaels' The Thirteenth Chime




Emma Michaels' The Thirteenth Chime is coming to stores Friday the 13th in August 2010!

Emma Michaels' Official Website
Emma Michaels' Blogspot

No one knew of its existence until it was removed from the attic upstairs.

In a beautiful house that overlooks the sea, an antique clock has the power to change the course of their lives.

The power the clock resonates will not only force Destiny and ex-boyfriend David on a journey into the depths of one man's mind long dead, but into the mind of a man filled with hatred and bent on revenge.

With the only clues to the nature of the clock having disappeared into the sea, Destiny and David must retrace the steps the man had taken into the darkness, before they fall prey to the trap he had set in motion over half a century ago.

Hatred never dies.



+ + +

1. What was the biggest obstacle writing The Thirteenth Chime?

A: Rejections. I think deep down, I was really afraid that I would never get published. I've always been told I'm a great writer by many people, but to actually be faced with knowing that a story I have given life to would be sent out into the world? It was a daunting experience, but I am so glad I stuck with it!


2. I've only read the summaries, but the one thing that really caught my attention was this antique clock. Do you have a special connection with something similar? If not, where did the “clock” idea came from?

A: I live on an island out in Washington State that occasionally loses power during bad storms. One night, I was at a neighbors and we lost the power. It was late in the evening when this happened and after we had retrieved a few candles and lit them, the storm was going full force outside. Then the grandfather clock in the house began to chime. It made me jump, it was so eerie the way the sound echoed through the house and made my heart beat faster. It was as if the clock came alive during the storm.

3. Where did the inspiration for writing The Thirteenth Chime come from?

A: Lots of places. Everything here in the area I live in is full of inspiration for me. I sometimes feel like every time I get up in the morning, a new book, filled with promises of a new story, opens before me. I just wish my hands could keep up with the way my mind races with ideas!


4. Did you always want to be a writer? If not, how did you change and become one?

A: I think I first realized I wanted to become a writer when I was reading a book and thought about the ending. I imagined what the book would be like if it continued - what would happen? Within no time, I was creating characters and giving them a life of their own, letting them weave a story as they came alive.

5. What is(are) your favorite book(s)?

A: Tamora Pierce's "In The Hand of the Goddess"


6. Did you listen to music while writing The Thirteenth Chime? Can I get a list of the playlist???

A: (I'll have to put together a playlist for everyone)


7. As a writer, I feel like putting personality to the characters and not putting myself as the character is a challenge. Who is the most difficult character to write in The Thirteenth Chime?

A: For me, I feel like most of my characters come alive in my writing. I really don't think I give them personality, so much as they develop their own personalities as they make their journey through the book, just like people in real life. I think when writers allow it to happen, they become like readers - they meet the characters for the first time and they never know what is going to happen next. Life is such a beautiful thing. It is filled with so many possibilities and interesting twists and turns that we can never truly expect!

Thank you so much for your interview and to everyone who reads it! I am so blessed to have so many people supporting me!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

"I never knew there were so many different ways to say good-bye."

My Rating: 10/10

In Shiver, it was Sam's fight to stay human and Grace's fear for losing him. In Linger, it was Grace's turn to suffer the fever and her biggest fear--losing Sam--and Sam's turn to slowly break.

In Linger, the sequel to Shiver, Stiefvater wrote another beautiful novel. It's one of the books that's very hard to review, because there's just so much that can't be expressed with words.

Sam was staying human, the meningitis worked. But Grace was constantly feverish, drowsy and sick. Grace thought she was dying. Sam wasn't prepared for the worst case scenario.

There's the new wolf; Cole. Cole wanted to be a wolf. He's mysterious and playful, Isabel and him are both broken. They are drawn to each other in a strange yet familiar way.

Grace knew what was coming. She could feel the wolf in her. She wasn't telling Sam--it would break both of them. Besides, Sam was occupied by Cole. Cole and Isabel's father; a wolf-shooting maniac.

Plus, Grace's parents just suddenly had taken interest in her. After all the time they've left Grace to cook dinner without a suspicion. Just because of Sam.

Sam. Samuel Roth. The only one that Grace truly need.


What I like about the book: Sam's usual romantic mood--to the extent that it's a bit emo-ish, but it's still beautiful. If emo is bad, Sam makes it beautiful. Grace's response and her bluntness in Linger is also what I love.

What I dislike: The ending. But that's only cause I know I'm craving for more. The ending. The climax. If Sam got his wish or not. If Grace could stay.

Maggie Stiefvater's Linger Website.

Thanks again, Scholastic. I look forward to reading Forever, the final book of the series.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

"...And me, holding this moment that was as fragile as a bird in my hands."

My Rating: 10/10

I've always wanted to read this--not because of I seem to be getting into the "forbidden love" kind of stories, but simply because of the cover and the simple title "shiver."

I read it today, and I finished. In the beginning, it was..well, introduction. Prologue. Whatever you call it. But you read more and more of the pages, and it's becoming a story you know. The deeper you're in the story, the more you're touched by it.

It's pure love, not lust, no made-up drama. I understand that this is still fiction, but just like other fairy tales, this is one of the tales that would make the reader crave for the knight in shining armor; Sam Roth.

Sam is a werewolf, and for 6 years he has been watching over Grace. Wanting to be with her, wanting to be close. But also afraid that Grace will be scared of her.

Sam never knew that Grace felt the same. How she looks forward to winter, because only in winter her yellow-eyed wolf comes close to her view.

Then this year they meet. Finally. Neither Sam or Grace wants to let go, although they know that it won't last. They plunge themselves into their love, and they're far too deep in love with each other.

The only question is how to hold on to such fragile moments when any minute, it would all be taken away...

What I LOVE MOST about the book: The characters!! How romantic Sam was and how Grace is so unpredictable sometimes. How this book was written so beautifully and..and how it was just so full of pure love. It's rare to have a book that's filled with so many emotions that it would evoke this tender feeling to linger inside of your chest.

What I dislike about the book: Nothing! This is definitely my favorite book of all-time, now!

Thank you, Scholastic and Maggie Stiefvater (for sending the book for me, along with Linger, which I'll read right after I post this review..)

Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver Webpage.
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