Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Giveaway

What you can win:
The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller ARC
Girl Parts by John M. Cusick ARC
Nightshade by Andrea Cremer ARC
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins ARC
Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantasky
Butterfly by Sonya Hartnett
A few more surprise books + swag!! 
I'll have a full list of books for the winner to pick and choose from, and then I'll put as many as I can fit into the box =)

One Winner
US and Canada only
Ends January 21st at Midnight

To enter, fill out the form below 
(don't worry about adding up entries, I'll be doing that myself so it is more accurate)

*extra point for leaving a comment on this post with one of your New Year's Resolutions

Happy New Year!! =)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Pretty Little Liars: Happy New Year?

Early on this past summer, I was part of a game hosted by ABC Family for the new TV series, Pretty Little Liars (my final recap of the experience here). In OctoberNovember, and December, I found some sweet surprises in the mail from "A"! 

Today I received another package from the mysterious "A". It contained:
  • Three beautiful calla lilies (surrounded by some black confetti...a bit creepy, right?)
  • eerie sweet note saying "Hey Liars. Happy New Year? I don't think so. -A
  • Some puzzle pieces (along with a bunch of black and red A's, of course). 

"A" included puzzles pieces that were double-sided, so when I put them together I came up with these photos from the show:
Ashley Marin (Hanna's mom) and Spencer Hastings. 
Gotta love "A", she sure knows how to make people nervous ;)

Don't forget to tune in when Pretty Little Liars premieres with all new episodes on January 3rd!

Miss any of the older episodes? Watch them at ABC Family!


Waiting on Wednesday (times two)

WOW is hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine

Book: The Day Before
Author: Lisa Schroeder
Release: June, 2011
Sometimes there's no turning back. 

Amber's life is spinning out of control. All she wants is to turn up the volume on her iPod until all of the demands of her family and friends fade away. So she sneaks off to the beach to spend a day by herself. 

Then Amber meets Cade. Their attraction is instant, and Amber can tell that he's also looking for an escape. Together they decide to share a perfect day: no pasts, no fears, no regrets. 

The more time that Amber spends with Cade, the more she's drawn to him. And the more she's troubled by his darkness. Because Cade's not just living in the now--he's living each moment like it's his last.
I've read most of Lisa's other books and enjoyed them, so I'm definitely excited for this one! 

Author: Jennifer Jabaley
Release: June, 2011
Willow has spent most of her life as her mother's sidekick in a popular Las Vegas hypnotism show. So when she and her mom move back to their sleepy southern hometown to start over, she thinks she's in for a life of quiet normalcy. Except that her new life turns out to be anything but, when she decides to hypnotize Quinton, the hottest guy on the football team, to fall madly, deeply, head over heels in love with her. But what started out as an innocent way to make her best friend, Max, jealous soon gets way out of hand and Willow begins to wonder if the mind—and more importantly, the heart—is something you can really control.
Hypnotism? Crushes? A really cool and colorful cover? I'm so in. 

What are you waiting on?


Saturday, December 25, 2010

In My Mailbox 42

IMM is hosted by The Story Siren, inspired by Pop Culture Junkie

(Books from last few weeks)
For Review:
Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen
The Lost Saint by Bree Despain (!!!)
Drought by Pam Bachorz (!!!)
The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal (!!!)

Bought with Buzz Bucks:
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

From "A" (aka, the fabulous people at ABC Family):

Bookish Christmas Presents:
Black Lighted Leather Cover

Kindle ebooks:
Jane by April Lindner
The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst
Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves (my review)
The Book of Spells by Kate Brian
Vanished by Kate Brian
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
Need by Carrie Jones
Pretty Little Liars #6: Killer by Sara Shepard
Pretty Little Liars #7: Heartless by Sara Shepard
Pretty Little Liars #8: Wanted by Sara Shepard
Molly Fyde and the Fight for Peace (book 4) by Hugh Howey

Printed Book:
City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

I was a bit nervous about the whole Kindle thing, because I'm a hard-core real printed book kind of person, but I do have to admit that it's nice and lightweight (plus, it holds a lot of books).

Thanks to The Teen Book Scene, Harper Collins, Random Buzzers/Random House, ABC Family,  Jennifer from Goodman Media, and everyone in my family. 

What did you get this week?

Happy Holidays!!! =)


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pretty Little Liars: Naughty or Nice?

Early on this past summer, I was part of a game hosted by ABC Family for the new TV series, Pretty Little Liars (my recap here). Since then, it seems "A" hasn't quite gotten done stalking us keeping an eye on us, and she's been sending us little liars some goodies recently! 

In October and November, I found some sweet surprises in the mail! And today, A sent something very cool:

A digital picture frame with some pics from the upcoming season:

As usual, A also made sure to include a picture with a website for some PLL extras. Click here to see the other slideshow A has up over at ABC Family.

Eeek! I can't believe the premiere is so close (January 3rd!)!! 

Happy Holidays! 


Friday, December 17, 2010

Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon

Book: Dead Beautiful
Author: Yvonne Woon
Release: September 21st, 2010
ISBN: 1423119568 
Pages: 480
Source: Publicist
My Summary: 
Renee Winters is shipped off to Gottfried Academy after discovering her parents dead in the forest, both seemingly dead from natural causes. Except, of course, for the gauze in their mouths and coins surrounding them.

But things at Gottfried Academy aren't all bad. She's got a few good friends, some very unique classes, and then there's Dante Berlin. Mysterious, a loner, and completing intriguing to Renee.

Yet things at Gottfried Academy are not what they appear to be. People have gone missing, and their deaths resemble the way Renee found her parents. Even rumors that the Monitor students and the Headmistress killed a student start resurfacing. Everyone seems to be keeping something a secret, and Renee's continuous search for answers may put her in more danger than she wants.... 
Review: A mystery that keeps you curious until the very end, Dead Beautiful is a fresh and unique story.

Renee, right from the first chapter, is easy to sympathize with. She's strong, intelligent, yet coping with her parents death as best as she can. She wants answers, and "natural causes" isn't working for her. Dante is a bit mysterious, perhaps also a bit too reminiscent of other "mysterious" male characters like insert-your-favorite-mysteriously-paranormal-male-character-here, and yet his secret is nothing I've read before. The other supporting characters were intriguing, yet only a few really stood out.

Woon's debut is filled with rich description, making it easy to visualize everything. The story has it's moments where slows down considerably, and some readers may be turned off by that. But, if you're willing to push through the slower moments, the surprising and fascinating conclusion is worth reading.

Highlights: The last few chapters were amazing, because Renee finally starts getting the answers she's searching for. Woon definitely took a fresh twist on the clichéd supernatural boarding school story, because her story is unlike anything I've read before.

Lowlights: The pacing slows quite a few times, so it can be difficult to stay attached to the novel. A couple points in the end had me bit confused. Enough questions are answered by the end, but a few are left open (perhaps there's a sequel?).



Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Interview: Anna Godbersen

Quick! Describe Bright Young Things in 7 words or less!  
Innocence, experience, sin, gin and friendship.  

What inspired you to write about the Jazz Age?  
I had just written four books set in the uptight Gilded Age, so I wanted to write about a time that was really wild and anything-goes. Plus, I think our culture is perpetually fascinated with Gatsby-era tragic romance, and I wanted to take a crack at all that myself. 

Any teaser lines for Bright Young Things that you can share? 
“Cordelia’s eyes were wild, and there was so much electricity in every corner of her head and heart—she was too alive with awake dreams to try to have any of the other variety. She wanted to see the sun coming up in another state, and everything else the world had been holding just out of reach.”  

What do you absolutely need in order to write a novel (example: caffeine, music, et cetera)? 
A comfy sweater and a dreary day. (Okay, obviously ‘need’ is strong re: the dreary day, but it does help!)   

If you could spend a day in any time and place in the past, when and where would you choose & why? 
I don’t have any particular historical episode I’d want to drop in on, but I wouldn’t mind sitting on the beach on some sunshiny day in the mid-1920s French Riviera, where F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald lived for a while, along with their sometime friends and foils Gerald and Sara Murphy, who were fantastical bohemian hosts to the big names of their day (Picasso, etc).  

Thanks so much to Anna, and to The Teen {Book} Scene for setting up the tour! Want to know the next stops? Click here

Bright Young Things is in stores now (and I highly recommend it)! 


Waiting on Wednesday (times two!)

WOW is hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine

Book: Chime
Author: Franny Billingsley
Release: March 17th, 2011 
Before Briony's stepmother died, she made sure Briony blamed herself for all the family's hardships. Now Briony has worn her guilt for so long it's become a second skin. She often escapes to the swamp, where she tells stories to the Old Ones, the spirits who haunt the marshes. But only witches can see the Old Ones, and in her village, witches are sentenced to death. Briony lives in fear her secret will be found out, even as she believes she deserves the worst kind of punishment.

Then Eldric comes along with his golden lion eyes and mane of tawny hair. He's as natural as the sun, and treats her as if she's extraordinary. And everything starts to change. As many secrets as Briony has been holding, there are secrets even she doesn't know.
Cover = Awesome. Summary = Awesome. Overall? It seems pretty awesome. 

Book: Bumped
Author: Megan McCafferty
Release: April 26th, 2011
When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents are forced to pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society.<

Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and had never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Until now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend Zen, who is way too short for the job.

Harmony has spent her whole life in religious Goodside, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to bring Melody back to Goodside and convince her that “pregging” for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.

When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.

Again with the awesome summary -- 2011 is shaping up to be an awesome book year! 

What are you waiting on? 


Monday, December 13, 2010

Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen

Bright Young Things
by Anna Godbersen
Release: October 12th, 2010
Pages: 400 (hardcover)
Source: Bought
The year is 1929. New York is ruled by the Bright Young Things: flappers and socialites seeking thrills and chasing dreams in the anything-goes era of the Roaring Twenties. 

Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey escaped their small Midwestern town for New York's glittering metropolis. All Letty wants is to see her name in lights, but she quickly discovers Manhattan is filled with pretty girls who will do anything to be a star… 

Cordelia is searching for the father she's never known, a man as infamous for his wild parties as he is for his shadowy more at Goodreads
Thoughts: Just as addictive as the Luxe series, Godbersen does not disappoint with Bright Young Things.

After an intriguing and mysterious first-person prologue, the narration switches to third person and follows Cordelia, Letty, and Astrid: The girls of 1929. Letty, the sweet and slightly timid yet talented girl trying to make it in a big city. Cordelia, confidant at any cost, is attempting to fit into her new life. And then there's Astrid, sassy and a bit impulsive, who calls everyone "darling" and will have you wrapped around her finger in moments.

Each girl different and unique in her own way, and I always found it easy to be interested in each of their stories. Even when one of them was about to do something foolish, I still cared about them and hoped for the best. Some the young men of Bright Young Things could use a bit more page-time, but they each manage to stand out in their own ways.

The description is wonderful and the city comes to life with every turn of the page. From lavish parties to breathtaking views of the city to sweet romantic moments, each is described perfectly to the point where it's easy to feel as if you were right beside the characters. There's mystery, romance, secrets, drama, and by the breathtaking end you'll be wishing for the second installment.

Highlights: Godbersen knows how to write in such a way that leaves the reader incapable of setting her novels aside. The pages fly by quickly and the writing flows effortlessly. I can never get enough of her books, they always manage to completely and utterly captivate me from the cover to the very last page.

Lowlights: A few times where the pace slowed (it may bother some readers, but I enjoyed it nevertheless).

Rating: 5 out of 5

Sunday, December 12, 2010

In My Mailbox 41

IMM is hosted by The Story Siren, inspired by Pop Culture Junkie

Books from November and from December so far, because it's been awhile since I've done an IMM post! 

For Review (accepted for review and randomly showed up):
  • Ruined by Simone Elkeles ("How to Ruin" trilogy - I couldn't resist buying it after sneaking a peak at the first chapter)
  • Vanished by Meg Cabot (first two books in the 1-800-Where-R-U series)
  • The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray (with Buzz Bucks - loved this book! So glad I finally have my own copy)
  • Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead (It is killing me to have to wait until I finish with finals before I can start this one)
  • Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen (Kindle for PC version - not pictured)

Looks like I'll have some books for a giveaway! Thanks to Lauren from Candlewick, as well as Simon & Schuster, The Book Scout, Kelly Keaton, and Sara Dailey. 

Ah, anyone else have finals coming up in school? Best of luck to those who do!

What did you get this week?


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (times two!)

WOW is hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine

Book: Huntress
Author: Malinda Lo
Release: April 5th, 2011
Goodreads Summary: 
Nature is out of balance in the human world. The sun hasn’t shone in years, and crops are failing. Worse yet, strange and hostile creatures have begun to appear. The people’s survival hangs in the balance.

To solve the crisis, the oracle stones are cast, and Kaede and Taisin, two seventeen-year-old girls, are picked to go on a dangerous and unheard-of journey to Taninli, the city of the Fairy Queen. Taisin is a sage, thrumming with magic, and Kaede is of the earth, without a speck of the otherworldly. And yet the two girls’ destinies are drawn together during the mission. As members of their party succumb to unearthly attacks and fairy tricks, the two come to rely on each other and even begin to fall in love. But the Kingdom needs only one huntress to save it, and what it takes could tear Kaede and Taisin apart forever. 

The exciting adventure prequel to Malinda Lo’s highly acclaimed novel Ash is overflowing with lush Chinese influences and details inspired by the I Ching, and is filled with action and romance.
Okay, so this cover truly rocks. Enough said.

Book: The Emerald Atlas
Author: John Stephens
Release: April 5th, 2011
Goodreads Summary: 

Kate, Michael, and Emma have been in one orphanage after another for the last ten years, passed along like lost baggage.

Yet these unwanted children are more remarkable than they could possibly imagine. Ripped from their parents as babies, they are being protected from a horrible evil of devastating power, an evil they know nothing about.

Until now.

Before long, Kate, Michael, and Emma are on a journey to dangerous and secret corners of the world...a journey of allies and enemies, of magic and mayhem.  And—if an ancient prophesy is correct—what they do can change history, and it is up to them to set things right.

The Emerald Atlas brims with humor and action as it charts Kate, Michael, and Emma's extraordinary adventures through an unforgettable, enchanted world.
I'm a sucker for adventure stories, and this one has me intrigued! 

What are you waiting on?


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Interview + Giveaway: Dia Reeves

Quick! Describe Slice of Cherry in 7 words or less!
 Dexter-ish sisters in the Twilight Zone (It's hard to describe my books without comparing them to The Twilight Zone. :D)

What makes your characters unique from other YA characters?
I don't write about "typical teens". I don't even know what that means. My teens are always weird, but proud to be weird. There's none of that, "Oh why can't I be like everyone else?" kind of crap. But no matter how strange my kids are, they want what everyone wants: to be loved and accepted for who they are.

What inspired you to write Slice of Cherry? 
I wanted to write about a family, about the love/hate relationship between sisters in particular, and about the pain of growing up and letting go of childish things in general. But to keep the book from reading like an Afterschool Special, I made the sisters serial killers. Forcing people to root for the bad guys is how I get my kicks.

Do you have any small teasers you can share from Slice of Cherry?
There are two sisters--Kit and Fancy. Fancy is the youngest and keeps a dream diary. This is an excerpt from it:
I died. I don’t know what of. I was in a crate in the Pikachu costume I wore for Halloween when I was seven. Kit was dragging me from house to house trying to get somebody to take me in and bury me, but nobody would.
Being a serial killer, Fancy tends to have very dark dreams.

What do you absolutely need in order to write a novel (example: caffeine, music, et cetera)?
I'm very analog still, so I need notebooks and pens--I always write my ideas on paper first. I also need music, but it needs to be unobtrusive, like classical or trip-hop. Philip Glass, Schumann, Massive Attack, and Tricky are my go-to artists when I'm trying to create.

What kind of story are you working on right now (or planning to)? 
I'm working on book three now, which I'm going to finish during NaNoWriMo this year. Like my other books, it takes place in Portero and is about a girl born without a heart who has to steal them from living people in order to survive. There are hot, creepy twins, mechanical creations, a big spooky house--I'm very excited to get cracking on this one. :)

Ooh, that one sounds intriguing! Thanks so much for dropping by to answer some questions, Dia! 

Want to learn more about Dia and her books? Visit her website! Her debut novel Bleeding Violet is now in paperback, and her newest novel Slice of Cherry is available for pre-order (releases January 4th! I can't wait!)

Onto the giveaway! Since I loved Bleeding Violet (I adored this book - so wild and unique), and I know Slice of Cherry is probably going to rock, I've decided to have a giveaway! 

Giveaway Details:
  • US ONLY (sorry, but shipping is out of the country is something I can't afford right now).
  • TWO winners: One for a paperback copy of Bleeding Violet. One for a hardcover copy of Slice of Cherry
  • ENDS January 2nd, 2011 at Midnight
To enter, fill out the form HERE 
(will open in a new window).

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (times two!)

WOW is hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine

Book: Wildefire
Author: Karsten Knight
Release: July 26th, 2011
Goodreads Summary: 
Ashline Wilde never received an instruction manual on how to be a 16-year-old Polynesian volcano goddess. If she had, it might have contained helpful warnings such as: 

• Dreaming about your (thankfully) mortal boyfriend may cause your bed to spontaneously combust 

• Oven mitts should be worn at all times during heavy make-out sessions 

Instead, Ash has to learn these life lessons the hard way as her dormant powers erupt at the most awkward times. In the wake of a hometown tragedy, Ash transfers to Blackwood Academy, a boarding school nestled in California’s redwoods, where a group of fellow gods-on-earth have mysteriously convened. As if sophomore year couldn’t get any worse, her storm goddess older sister, the wild and unpredictable Eve, resurfaces to haunt Ashline. With a war between the gods looming over Blackwood, Ash must master the fire smoldering within her before she clashes with her sister one final time, which leads us to life-lesson #3: 

• When warm and cold fronts collide, there’s guaranteed to be a storm. 
This summary had me laughing, so I'm definitely excited for this one (plus Karsten is very amusing over at his blog, so I'm hopeful that his debut will be just as entertaining)! Awesome cover too, it's very different and unique. =)

Book: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Release: May 3rd, 2011
Goodreads Summary: 
One choice

One choice decides your friends, defines your beliefs, and determines your loyalties . . . forever.

Or, one choice can transform you.

In Veronica Roth's debut novel, Divergent, a perfect society unfolds into a dystopian world of electrifying decisions, stunning consequences, heartbreaking betrayals, and unexpected romance.
Summary from Veronica Roth: 
In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris, and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together, they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes-fascinating, sometimes-exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret: one she’s kept hidden from everyone, because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly-perfect society, she also learns that her secret might be what helps her save those she loves . . . or it might be what destroys her.
Love! The cover rocks, the summaries are  intriguing....May feels so far away :(

What are you waiting on?