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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Huge by Sasha Paley

"Look, I don't want to be friends."

My rank: 3/10
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication: 2007
ISBN: 978-1-4424-1718-2
Page Count: 259 Pages
Age Range: Young Adult
Source: Publisher

Wil is a rich brat who doesn't want to exercise. Her parents owns Excalibur Gym, the biggest fitness group in USA. So of course, they would want Wil to be, you know, skinny. Fit.

But Wil does not want to be skinny. Which is the total opposite of April, who saved each of her penny to go to Wellness Canyon--the camp to be fit.

Wil and April ended up being roommates, and when both thought their summer couldn't get worse, they both fell for Colin (the only boy worth drooling and swooning over at Wellness Canyon).

Who will get Colin's heart and will Wil and April survive their summer?

- - -

I love the idea of Huge by Sasha Paley. I didn't watch the show from ABC as I don't have cable (nor I watch that many TV shows), so I don't know anything about the show. The idea is good. Opposites always attracts--in a way. But Huge's character is a little bit too dramatic for me. It's like reading a girl in middle school's diary about pure complaining. DRAMA.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

AS: OyMG by Amy Fellner Dominy and Freebie!

"What Jewish girl goes to a Christian camp?"
My rank: 8/10
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication: 05.11.2011
ISBN: 978-0-8027-2177-8
Page Count: 256 Pages
Age Range: Young Adult
Source: Publisher

The Freebie:
An ARC of OyMG, signed bookplate (attached to the ARC) and bookmarks OR a magnetic poetry of OyMG and bookmarks are available for grabs! Continue reading and you'll find out how to get it! Fill out this FORM!

Ellie Taylor loves to argue. She loves her debate team and was thrilled when she had her chance to go Christian Society Speech and Performing Arts Camp (CSSPA; one of the best summer camps for incoming freshmen to compete on speech and debate teams). There is one chance to fulfill her dreams, and that's by winning the CSSPA scholarship to go to Benedict's.

Zeydeh ("grandfather" in Jewish) lives and breathes Jewish. To Ellie's Zeydeh, it's not just a religion. So when Ellie tells the family she's going for the scholarship, of course Zeydeh protests. But since this is for Ellie's dream, he has to support it whether he like it or not.

Then Ellie met Devon. Devon Yeats--the grandson of Doris Yeats (the one who sponsors the scholarship for Benedict's) and had a sizzle even before Ellie knows his last name. Ellie has to prove herself worthy for the scholarship--but apparently Doris Yeats isn't fond of Jews. Hence, Ellie put "Christian" as her religion.

How will Ellie deal with Zeydeh, Doris Yeats and Devon?

The story is fresh and original. When I first heard about this book, I had my doubts (Religion, after all, is kind of a touchy topic no matter who you are). But I was hooked to read it from the very first page. Dominy's voice kept me going. Quick and witty at times, with a spark of drama that we deal with everyday (even if we don't realize it or not).

Author Spotlight:

1. Ever since you were younger, did you always want to be a
writer? How old were you when you started writing?

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing something. But
the first time I thought about it seriously was when my dad
suggested I submit a story I’d written to American Girl Magazine.
I sent it in when I was thirteen years old—and American Girl
Magazine sent me my first rejection letter. (I still have it!)

2. What inspired you to write OyMG!?
I think most of us grow up feeling different in one way or
another. For me, I was one of the only Jewish kids in my school.
I was proud of my faith, but at times (especially Christmas!) it
was just plain hard. I wanted to be like everyone else.
Then something happened to me when I was Ellie’s age. I
got fired from a babysitting job when the family found out I was
Jewish. Of course that’s stayed with me over the years. It’s hard
to understand hate like that—at any age. The question is how
do we handle it? How far will we go to conform and fit in? What
part of ourselves are we willing to hide? From that question, Ellie
Taylor and OyMG came to life.

3. Does religion matter? How much?
Religion has been an important part of my life and it’s definitely
helped define who I am. But I think religion is only as good as
the people who practice it. For me, it’s more important to focus
on being a good person, on trying to accept and understand
people and repair the world in any way possible. It doesn’t
require religion to do those things.

4. What do you want to convey when you wrote OyMG!?
It’s really a story about a girl trying to figure out who she is and
learning to accept herself, differences and all. I hope teens who
read the book will realize that our differences are what make us
special—that it’s okay to speak up and speak out. And hopefully,
to be more aware of how they might judge others.

5. I love speech team! Was this something you did back when
you were in high school, or did you need to research for this
specific novel? Please tell me your experience with speech!

I can understand why you love speech team! I only participated
in one tournament in high school—but it was a dramatic event
because theater was my first love. So when I started this book,
I contacted a speech coach at a local high school and followed his
team to a tournament. After that, I was hooked! Impromptu and
oratory were two of the events I watched the most—and maybe
that’s why I featured them in the story. (And now I’m kicking
myself that I didn’t do speech in high school—so much fun!)

6. I checked your website and know that your second book is on
the way! Would you be willing to give some info about this??? :D

Thanks for asking—I’m so excited for this one! Audition and
Subtraction will be out fall 2012, again from Walker & Company.
It’s about fourteen-year-old Tatum who could lose her spot
in District Honor Band—and her best friend—when a new guy
transfers to her school. Friendships shift and romance sparks in
unexpected places.

7. What do we need to do in order to get the freebie?
An OyMG magnetic poetry is up for grabs. Just leave a
comment…and if you can include a Yiddish word you’ll get a
double entry!

P.S: Don't forget to fill this form!

8. Thank you very much for your time! Is there anything else you
would like to say to OyMG! readers?

Just that I hope you like the book! If you have any thoughts or
comments, I’d love to hear from you at

Monday, June 13, 2011

WANTED: HERO by Jaime Buckley


My Rating: 8/10
Publisher: On The Fly Publications
Publication: 05.27.2011
ISBN: 978-1-61463-001-2
Page Count: 106
Age Range: YA

WANTED: HERO is a fresh, dramatic and fast-paced tale of Wendell P. Dipmier whose life changed drastically after being kidnapped by an alien named Dax.

Wendell isn't cool--he's always been the sidekick of his best friend, Evan Matthews. Evan is hot, liked by everyone and of course, popular. Wendell is the total opposite of Evan. Wendell's wimpy, not popular and squeaks like a little girl. Oh, and Wendell's a drama queen.

In the first book of the series, Wendell gets kidnapped by Dex (the alien who smokes) and brought to the High Elder (whose skin is blue and wears a 'dress') to get punctured on the heart by a super-sized diamond. Wendell thought he was dead...until he felt the cold floors on his butt. Naked butt.

What I like about this book: It's fast-paced and it's funny. It's kind of weird to have a boy acting as the drama queen, but it works. I also felt like I was reading a comic book the whole time--it was very graphic and the speech was more leaning towards a comic book's style of speech. But hey! It works!!!! :D

What I dislike about the book: The plot was somewhat dragging a little more than it could be. A couple too many pages dwelling on the same scene, but that's alright.

Thanks to Evan Buckley for the ePub copy! :D I look forward to reading the second book!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Original Personalized Bookmarks by M.E.

There's one more thing you don't know about Scholarberry's writer; she loves to draw! I have a deviantart account that is rarely updated since I'm busy (even my journal says I'm still in Japan >.<) but here is the link to my deviantart account!

So...I was bored. The Copic Markers that I bought in Japan was untouched...and POOF! I cut some white thick papers and started drawing. The sign on the lower left says my name in katakana in Japanese. It's a hanko (their version of 'signature') stamp. I carved mine out for a calligraphy lesson in Japan, and since I can't use that to sign in the US...well, I'm gonna make a use out of it anyway :D

I'm thinking to put it as a giveaway every month--maybe a couple of people will get one every month. But I'm also thinking to sell it--name the theme and I'll draw it for you! What do you think? Good enough to sell $0.25 per bookmark?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Tangled by Carolyn Mackler

"What the hell am I doing here?"

My Rating: 10/10
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication: 12/2009
ISBN: 9780061731044
Page Count: 3508
Age Range: YA

Carolyn Mackler's Official Website

Tangled by Carolyn Mackler is a flowing story about 4 people's life that got, well, tangled up. The first character to speak was Jena--a normal teenager who has yet fallen in love. Then comes Dakota; Jena's first crush who's a bit messed up in the head. There's Skye, the super popular and beautiful actress who doesn't really want to function anymore and there's Owen, who have never broke any rules before. Jena went to Paradise with Skye--and for the first time Jena has the guy's attention (Dakota). Dakota seemed to be interested in Jena, but when Dakota spotted Skye...He ditched Jena. After all, it was too good to be true. In Paradise, Jena found a suicide note..and Owen--the Loser with Laptop blogger. In Tangled, their stories cross paths.

In Tangled, readers will learn about discovering first love, how to handle societal expectations and getting outside the box--and live it.

What I love about Tangled: It was funny at one page, but it can be really touching in another page. Mackler's writing style regarding controlling the mood can be really powerful in my opinion. It's pretty cool how Mackler can write something that makes the reader ROTFLMAO and cringe between pages.

What I dislike about Tangled: The beginning dragged a bit--Jena seemed to be very quick at changing her mind in the beginning of the story. She seemed to be insecure, while as of at the end of the book, she's like a completely different person. I like that part of the character development, but I felt like it was necessary to know what's going on Jena's mind--the process of changing. I disliked that it didn't show as much as it probably should have.

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