Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"Waiting on" Wednesday (1)

Something Like Fate
Susane Colasanti
May 18th 2010 by Viking Juvenile

Lani and Erin are bonded for life. One thing that connects them is their fascination of fate. Lani wonders how much of our lives has already been decided and how much we can actually influence. Since the Unknown can unexpectedly change our lives forever, how much can we really control?


From the minute Lani meets Jason, she can't deny the intense connection they share. It feels like she's known him forever. She's not sure if he feels it, too. But it doesn't matter. Because Jason is Erin's boyfriend. Lani is determined to ignore her feelings for Jason, no matter how powerful they are, rather than risk hurting her best friend.



How long can Lani keep running from the boy who might be her destiny?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Review: Evolution, Me and Other Freaks of Nature by Robin Brande


Your best friend hates you. The guy you liked hates you. Your entire group of friends hates you.
All because you did the right thing.

Welcome to life for Mena, whose year is starting off in the worst way possible. She's been kicked out of her church group and no one will talk to her—not even her own parents. No one except for Casey, her supersmart lab partner in science class, who's pretty funny for the most brilliant guy on earth.

And when Ms. Shepherd begins the unit on evolution, school becomes more dramatic than Mena could ever imagine . . . and her own life is about to evolve in some amazing and unexpected ways.


REVIEW: This book is a wonderful debut novel and Robin Brande has done a spectacular job with brining forth this very controversial topic.

At the start of the book, all of Mena's friends (who go to her church) hate her for doing the right thing. Only, in their eyes, she didn't do the right thing. So, Mena begins school friendless, being bullied, and even her parents are angry with her. They seem to side with her church.

But Mena finds a safe haven: her science class and her teacher, Ms. Shepard. Her lab partner, Casey and his sister Kayla, aren't too bad either. With their help, Mena must decide is what she did was truly the right thing to do or the wrong.

The plot, dialogue and setting was just great. Everything in the book seemed to fit in perfectly resulting in a great book. The subject of EVOLUTION eventually comes up and it is nicely handled. It wasn't addressed as EVOLUTION vs. RELIGION or EVOLUTION vs. SCIENCE or anything like that.

Mena was a great character but I've got to say I loved Kayla just the same. She had a lot of gut to speak up about what she believed in. To me, Kayla was a very intelligent girl and a wonderful friend. I have to say, the relationship between Casey and Mena was expected and I liked how it call came about.

I loved this book, the story line, the characters and most of all how this controversial subject was addressed. This is diffidently a book you all should read.

Review: Vampire Academy: Book 3: Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead


It's springtime at St. Vladimir's Academy, and Rose Hathaway is this close to graduation. Since making her first Strigoi kills, Rose hasn't been feeling quite right. She's having dark thoughts, behaving erratically, and worst of all...might be seeing ghosts.

As Rose questions her sanity, new complications arise. Lissa has begun experimenting with her magic once more, their enemy Victor Dashkov might be set free, and Rose's forbidden relationship with Dimitri is starting to heat up again. But when a deadly threat no one saw coming changes their entire world, Rose must put her own life on the line--and choose between the two people she loves most.


REVIEW:
Book three, finished! Well, this has been a great read just like the first two. And now I can't wait till I read the fourth book.

Now this book was different than the other two but then again, it was the same in some ways too.

First, the plot was just perfect. After reading the book I know that Ms. Mead took some time coming up with the details and events of the book. The plot, though, was a bit edgy in some places (those I will not mention because I don't want to ruin the book) but the rest was great. The dialogue really brought out the characters and their feeling and it kept the book moving.

Though this book is serieos, there are parts in this book that we have to laugh at. The big surprise at the beginning of the book with Rose and Christian threw me off a bit and I didn't understand where the book was going. At first. Reading on and on, I knew that every thing that happened in the beginning had to happen to move this book, as well as the series, along.

I found some things very sad while others were very sweet. The ending, with Dimitri and Rose was just heartbreaking and I want to know what happens so badly. Ms. Mead created a lot of great suspense.

We see Adrian once again and it was good to have him back. Poor Mason. That's all I can say. The action scenes were just perfect and will leave you breathless. Ms. Mead balances the battle between good and evil with a breathtaking, emotional, and intense romance that will keep you to the edge of your seats, wanting more.

All in all, this is another must read, two thumbs up book by Ms. Mead.


Review: Vampire Academy: Book 2: Frostbite by Richelle Mead


Rose Hathaway's got serious guy trouble. Her gorgeous tutor Dimitri has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason has a huge crush on her, and she keeps getting stuck in her best friend Lissa's head while she's making out with her boyfriend, Christian. (So not cool).

Then a massive Strigoi attack puts St. Vladimir's on high alert, and the Academy crawls with Guardians--including the legendary Janine Hathaway...Rose's formidable, long-absent mother. The Strigoi are closing in, and the Academy's not taking any risks. This year, St. Vlad's annual holiday ski trip is mandatory.

But the glittering winter landscape and the posh Idaho resort only provide the illusion of safety. When three students run away to strike back against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. Only this time, Rose--and her heart--are in more danger than she ever could have imagined...


REVIEW:
Well, first and formost, the second book in Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy is just as wonderful as the first one. Readers will not be disapointed with this second book.

Rose was once again the character that everyone loves. She was just as strong headed, determined and curious as ever. Her character develops more in the book and she grows up both physically and mentally. Lissa is just the same, but I found her a bit more stable and stronger than in the first book. She is finally beginning to open up and she is not that scared as she was. We get to know more about Christian and begin to love him too. Personally, I'm glad he's got Lissa and she'd got him.

I found it funny that Rose went into Lissa's mind when she least needed to be there. The plot began with excitement and ended with excitement but the middle kind of let off on all that. Even though the middle was less exciting then the rest of the book, I liked learning more and more about the characters. The middle tied up some loose ends from the second book and brought out more questions. New character, Adrian, is fun to read about and I'd like to know what happens int he future.

The ending with Mason left me sad but I got a feeling that it was all for the best of this book and the future books. Dimitri is once again a wonderful character and he is just as mysterious as before.

Once again, Richelle Mead captures our attention with her two thumbs up second book in this series.

Review: Vampire Academy: Book 1 by Richelle Mead

Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with an unbreakable bond to the earth's magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest and most dangerous vampires--the ones who never die.


The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa's best friend, makes her a Dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making her one of them.

After two years of illicit freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir's Academy, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. Rose will continue her Dhampir education. Lissa will go back to being Queen of the elite Moroi social scene. And both girls will resume breaking hearts.

Fear made Lissa and Rose run away form St. Vladimir's--inside the Academy's iron gates, their world is even more fraught with danger. Here, the cutthroat ranks of the Moroi perform unspeakable rituals and their secretive nature and love of the night creates and enigmatic world full of social complexities. Rose and Lissa must navigate thorough this dangerous world, confront the temptation of forbidden romance, and never once let their guard down, lest the Strigoi make Lissa one of them forever...

REVIEW:
These days, there are more and more books about vampires than ever before. The Vampire Kisses and Vampire Diaries. And so many more books about one topic: Vampires. When I first saw this book, I didn't know what to think of it. Another book that has to do with vampires? I think I'll read it later. Way later.

When I told my friend this, she told me I should read this book ASAP. She said it was a great book and one that I should read. And well, I listented to her and read this book. And I have to say that I'm glad I read it.

Vampire Academy, a series by Richelle Mead is a refreshing read into the world of Vampires. She takes ever thing we love: romance, action, danger, vampires and put it together with a Romanian folklore to create yet another juicy read for us YA lovers.

I love the begging, middle, and end to this book one and I just loved the setting and characters. Rose is deferentially one character everyone will want to know more about after the end of this book and Lissa will touch our hearts. Not to mention Demetri, of course.

Ms. Mead put in all the things to love to create this new world. Vampires are we knew them will never be the same again.

All in all I think everyone who loved the Twilight Saga, Vampire Kisses, and the Vampire Diaries should read this. Even if you don't like any of the above mentioned books, read this book. It is a great read and opens new doors and changes our perspectives of our view of Vampires. A definite must read!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Author Interview: Steph Bowe

Steph Bowe is a fifteen year old YA writer. She is an extremely good author who got not only one, but three agents hoping to represent her. After some time, Ginger Clark of Curtis Brown became her agent. You can check out her blog Hey! Teenager of The Year. Her novel THESE BONES will be coming out soon. I was lucky enough to get an interview with her. Enjoy!:

1.Congrats on signing with Ginger! How did it all come about? How do you feel about it?

Well, let's start with: I feel great! It all came about because: An author friend, Sara Henry, who beta-read my novel encouraged me to query some US agents. I also entered in the Secret Agent competition on the Miss Snark's First Victim blog the month when Ginger Clark was the secret agent. I was incredibly lucky, and very quickly had three offers, including one from Ginger!

2. You had several agents vying for your novel - how did you decide on Ginger?

I spoke to each of the agents on the phone, and Ginger really seemed to 'get' the novel, was really nice and also a great business person. It was a really difficult decision - imagine the shock of three different literary agents (from America no less - when you're an Aussie, their accents make them seem like they've stepped out of a TV show) all suddenly wanting to work with you! You, little Steph Bowe (actually, I'm little Steph Bowe. This second-person thing I always do is a bit confusing). But I defintiely made the right choice - I've really enjoyed working with Ginger so far.

3. Now that you’ve got an agent, what's next?

Next, the novel goes out on submission to publishers! There is a lot of waiting, but hopefully it will find a publisher. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

4. How has your book changed from the first draft to the finished copy of the book?

It's nowhere near finished yet - when it finds a publishers, there will be a whole lot more revisions before it's ready for print (hopefully it reaches that point!). But it has changed hugely from that first draft, subsequent rewrites after critiques from beta-readers, and a rewrite with my agent - but it remains intrinsically the same. The bits I have rewritten have only strengthened the novel - and feedback from beta-readers has been invaluable to me!

5. Why do you write YA?

It's the only thing I know! I know very well what it's like to be a teenager, and even if I haven't experienced something myself, I can relate to the emotions. I love writing about teenaged characters - I'm pretty good at the dialogue, because I have so many conversations with teenagers! I might venture into another genre as I get older, but for now, it's YA for me!

6. What are you reading right now? What YA book have you read recently that you really enjoyed?

Right now I'm reading Gringolandia by Lynn Miller-Lachman. Recently I read both Split by a Kiss and Extreme Kissing by Luisa Plaja, and they were absolutely hilarious. It's always nice to read a more light-weight book to take a break from heavier, edgier stuff (see, sometimes fluff is good!).

7. Besides writing, what other things are you really passionate about?

I love singing, dancing (though I do neither of those in public), reading (no surprise there), blogging (shock!), cooking... apart from writing, I have heaps of interests, but I'm not super-passionate about anything else!

8. Do you listen to music when you write? What are your favorite bands and artists?

I do listen to music when I write! Usually I put my iPod on shuffle, or I make up a playlist for a specific story. Right now, I'm listening to a lot of Regina Spektor, Cobra Starship, The Killers, The Kinks, Coldplay and a bit of The Academy Is....

9. Where do you get your ideas?

I steal them from the dreams of legitimate authors! I am an idea-stealing super-ninja! Not really. Mainly, I'll see something - a film, a phrase, a blade of grass, pretty much anything - and then from there an idea will germinate in my head. Sometimes it'll extend to a character, a fully-formed plot, a story demanding to be written. Then I write it!

10. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

1. Write. Write a lot. Writing comes before blogging about writing, talking about writing and reading about writing. You just have to write, else you aren't a writer.

2. Be willing to receive critiques on your work and revise. Recognise the difference between unhelpful and helpful advice. Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite.

3. Don't be afraid of sending your work out. Just make your writing as ready as it can be, then send it off. It can't hurt. Be patient, and handle rejection well. Patience and a thick-skin are key (I still don't have either of these things, though!).

11. Finally, can you tell us a bit about the famous novel in question?!

I will be talking about this on my blog (http://stephbowe.com) very, very soon, but for now, I'll tell you some things that are in my novel: A boy, a girl, a lake, Yum Cha, a ridiculously tall child prodigy (or two - yes, two), kissing (but not that much - ew), M&M's, hot chips, a stolen lobster, several stolen garden gnomes, some very inappropriate remarks, a funny-sad romance. (I know, you're absolutely bursting to find out what those inappropriate remarks are, aren't you?)

Thanks so much!

********************************************************************

I want to thank Steph for the great interview. And best of luck to your book!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

New Interview

I am hoping to post an Interview with Steph Bowe sometime next week. Look forward to many more interviews that I have with authors and bloggers!

I have been reading a LOT lately and I have read Books 1 and 2 in the Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead! The series is amazing. Even though it has the typical vampires that we seem to see more and more of these days, this series is diffidently worth reading. This series will also make you want to read more and more about the characters and what happens. I will elaborate more on the reviews coming soon.

 
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