Sunday, October 31, 2010

The New Look and NaNo

Yes, I changed the look again. I decided on not changing it to something that has to do with Thanksgiving in honor of November. I will change my blog look for Christmas and The New Year. 


NaNo is about to begin here in the Eastern US in about and hour and a half. I'm freaking out. I'm serious. I was sooo excited but now that the time has come, I'm freaking out. I only have to write 1667 words tonight to be on track and I'm sure I can BUT...I AM FREAKING OUT! I've got theses jitters in my stomach that refuse to go down!


Oh, and maybe you all can go and visit my other blog, Musings Of A Wannabe Author and tell me what you think of the layout? I made the layout and the header! Well, I got the background online but there color coordination and and links and all that other stuff was all done by me! I found the flower post divider and I decided to use it! I really, really love how well it all turned out!


What do you think? Like this layout? Don't like it? Hate it! Tell me!

The Secret Circle: Coming to TV?

So the awesome Alex of Electrifying Reviews posted about this on his blog and when I read it, I was super excited! So I just had to share. 


Here's what Vampiresite.net had to say:




The CW is developing a series based on another book series from Vampire Diaries author L.J. Smith – and TVD consulting producers Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain, who also are writing the upcoming “Plan B,” are involved.


The new project, Secret Circle, is about a California teen who moves to her mom’s hometown of New Salem and learns that she is a witch.


Vulture originally released the news about the development. The series, if it happens, will have a pilot script from Andrew Miller, who will also be executive producer.
What do you think? Personally, I love the idea as I have read and loved this series. I hope the CW doesn't change it around as much as they changed around the Vampire Diaries. Quiet frankly, I loved the changes made to the Vampire Diaries as the books weren't my favorite. 

Review: I Now Pronounce You Someone Else by Erin McCahan

Title: I Now Pronounce You Someone Else
Author: Erin McCahan
Release Date: June 1, 2010
Publisher: Author A. Levine Books
Eighteen-year-old Bronwen Oliver has a secret: She's really Phoebe, the lost daughter of the loving Lilywhite family. That's the only way to explain her image-obsessed mother; a kind but distant stepfather; and a brother with a small personality complex. Bronwen knows she must have been switched at birth, and she can't wait to get away from her "family" for good.Bronwen has always wanted too. She falls head over heels in love, and when he proposes marriage, she joyfully accepts. But is Jared truly what she needs? And if he's not, she has to ask: What would Phoebe Lilywhite do?

Review: When I first read what this book was about, I got really excited. It sounded so good and I began to have high expectations. When I was asked by the publisher to review this book, I said yes without hesitation. Once I got the book in my hands though, I began to worry. What if it wasn’t as good as I had thought? What if it was a big, huge disappointment? I opened this book and began reading the first page…by the next day, I had finished reading this book.

Bronwen isn’t really Bronwen Oliver. Instead, she’s really Phoebe Lilywhite, daughter of Percival and Kitty Lilywhite…or at least Bronwen likes to think she is. Bronwen likes to live in her fantasy where she is switched at birth. She just wants to be with her “real” parents. After all, her brown hair is so much different from her mother’s. So when she meets Jared, she’s happy to learn that with Jared comes a great, loving family, just like the one she wanted. She can’t get enough of the Sondervans and their conversations and their acceptance of Bronwen. Soon, Bronwen finds herself somewhere she never imagined being in the near future: engaged!

Erin McCahan’s I Now Pronounce You Someone Else was a great read. I loved the dialogue and the short scenes that would have seemed choppy if they hadn’t been so well written. There wasn’t a place in this book where I was confused. I loved reading about how Bronwen really was Phoebe Lilywhite because of all of her humorous examples! The characters were great and I loved them all, especially Bronwen. I LOVED how she was such a strong girl but she had her moments, when she was sad and scared and needing help. I liked reading about the relationship with her mother and her step father and everyone else and the death of her father. For some reason, I found Bronwen’s murky relationship with her step-father…interesting and sweet. At first I couldn’t figure out why she acted that way to him, but once everything came out, I felt SO bad for Bronwen. I hated her mother when the truth was revealed and I loved how her step father handled the situation.

My one big iffy moment with this book was the fast moving relationship between Bronwen and Jared. I mean, a senior collage guy was ready to commit to a senior in high school? It just moved too fast for my taste. But that’s about it.

I loved the ending because it left the door open for many possibilities, though I was glad about the decision Bronwen made. It just showed me that she really was a strong willed girl who knew what she wanted, though it took her a while to get there. I Now Pronounce You Someone Else was a great read and I’m in love with it! Erin McCahan’s debut is a must read. It’s fresh, quirky, charming and has a great heroine!

Cover: 5.png Five Stars image by Adaleelee
Overall: 5.png Five Stars image by AdaleeleeA great, quick, enjoyable read.

Review: Dark of the Moon( Dark Guardian #3) by Rachel Hawthorne

Title: Dark of the Moon( Dark Guardian #3)
Author: Rachel Hawthorne
Release Date: August 25, 2009
Publisher: HarperTeen

Brittany has never had a guy declare her as his mate, so she faced her full moon alone. But she has always loved Connor from afar. When they are imprisoned by their enemies, they must depend on each other to survive. But Brittany harbors a dark and dangerous secret that could destroy them both.

Review: I love this series. Why? Because of the elements: werewolves and undying love. These books aren’t the best written books out there. Some places it can get confusing, others are just weird. There aren’t a lot of character developments (and if there are, it’s just so hard to tell them apart from the rest) and the characters aren’t the kind who jump out of the page.

I think I mostly love it because from the beginning of this series, Hawthorne introduced us to many characters. Now in each book, we can read about these characters. Soon, we begin to love them and we want to know what happens.Brittany was particularly my most favorite girl but I did like her in this book. I got a better sense of why she acted the way she did in the other books which was nice. Connor was even better in this book than all the others. I loved him.

This series can be characterized as what I like to call “dovey dovey.” The whole, full of love and heat and passion with a twist and turn of danger mixed in with a very sappy ending? The whole “And they lived happily ever after” stuff.

Cover: 2.png image by AdaleeleeI did not like the way Brittany looked..her lips are TOO pink and it gives me an eery feel.
Overall: 4.png Four Stars image by AdaleeleeYes, I give it 4 stars. Though the above ratings aren't too high, I loved the romance in this book.

Review: Fallen (Fallen #1) by Lauren Kate

Title: Fallen
Author: Lauren Kate
Release Date: November 19, 2010
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.



Review: You know how there are those books that everyone reads and loves or hates? I mean, a book that gets so much hype that people just have to read it. This is how it was with this book…but kinda different. At first, I heard only the good stuff and then the bad. So I waited this long (on purpose, since book 2 in coming out) to read Fallen by Lauren Kate.

First and foremost, I’ll warn you. I did not like this book so this will be kinda of a negative review. Okay, you’re warned, now to begin: I began this book about one week and a half ago. I wasn’t sure what it was, but the beginning did not pull me in. By about the fiftieth page, wasn't sure how I felt. But I continued to read it as it began to get interesting. The thing was, I think Kate was trying to build a setting so the reader wasn’t confused. I did want to know what the shadows were about and what had happened that night with Trevor. I also wanted to know about a particular boy…but other than that, the beginning was slow.

As the story continued, I was not as impressed as I should have been. Kate is an exceptional author, I can say that. She has her own way of writing and her characters are all her own...but they just didn’t work too well with me. Lucinda Price, Luce, is the protagonist of this story. I felt that she developed well in this book, if very slowly. There were times when I felt that Luce was getting really annoying. Her constant infatuation with Daniel and even Cam got a little annoying. BUT there were times when I felt her pain and frustrations. Saying so, I think Kate, honestly, pulled the teenage girl issues out very well. I liked how there were issues and not just lovey dovey things, ya know?Daniel and Cam didn’t get as developed as I thought they would but I did like them both in their own way. I do believe we'll get to know them better in book 2! I did like Penn and I was glad Luce had her. She felt like a comic relief to me and made me laugh plenty of times.

The plot was well written but moved very unevenly. To clarify, it would be calm and Luce would be having a conversation with someone when some action might happen. A few paragraphs later, the action died down. I saw this happen throughout most of this book and it didn’t fit to well with me. All in all, Fallen by Lauren Kate, was a good start to a series I hope to continue even though it was not one of my favorites. BUT she made me fall in love with her characters and left me with many questions that I am dying to know about!

Cover: 5.png Five Stars image by Adaleelee
Overall:
4.png Four Stars image by Adaleelee Though it was not my most favorite read, I liked it just as well.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween!


In My Mailbox (14)



Won:
The Dark Devine by Bree Despain (SIGNED)
*Thanks Breen and Enna Isley*

Losing Faith by Denise Jaden
**Thanks Manga Manic Café**

Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin
**Thanks Danielle**

From the Library:
Whisper by Phoebe Kitandis
I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
Only The Good Spy Young (Gallagher Girl #4) by Ally Carter 
**I just got home from shopping about ten minutes ago and I got these three from the library**

For Review:
None

Purchased:
None


What did you get in your mailbox?

Hosted by The Story Siren

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I Have A Problem

I have a problem! As I stated before, I'll be changing my layout back to the normal green one sine I only changed it for the season and stuff...SO! I found this one layout that I fell in love with.   I uploaded it to my layout testing blog and THIS is what I got. I love it but I feel as if I've seen it somewhere...


I need you help! If any of you have seen THIS layout used by another book blogger, can you let me know? I really don't want to copy theirs! 


See this template LIVE HERE

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

NaNoWriMo


What: Writing one 50,000-word novel from scratch in a month's time.


Who: You! We can't do this unless we have some other people trying it as well. Let's write laughably awful yet lengthy prose together.


Why: The reasons are endless! To actively participate in one of our era's most enchanting art forms! To write without having to obsess over quality. To be able to make obscure references to passages from our novels at parties. To be able to mock real novelists who dawdle on and on, taking far longer than 30 days to produce their work.


When: You can sign up anytime to add your name to the roster and browse the forums. Writing begins November 1. To be added to the official list of winners, you must reach the 50,000-word mark by November 30 at midnight. Once your novel has been verified by our web-based team of robotic word counters, the partying begins.


Where: You write wherever you’d like. On your computer, on your iPad, on a typewriter---anywhere is fine, just as long as you’re writing! For a more in-depth NaNoWriMo overview, visit the devilishly handsome "What is NaNoWriMo?"and "How NaNoWriMo Works" pages.


**From the NaNoWriMo Site**

Yes, I am attempting NaNo again this year. Last year was my first year and my NaNo story was a fail...I'm not even sure where it is! But this year, I've been plotting a whole lot and I'm even coming up with a title and A COVER FOR MY NANO STORY THIS YEAR!

I'm super exiceted but along with NaNo and school, my blog will be suffering quiet a lot. I have come up with a new review system which will be on display when my review for I Now Pronounce You Someone Else is posted!

SO tell me, are you going to attempt NaNo this year? If so, add me! I'm writer-4-u...yes, I know, isn't it oh, so original?

Tell me your NaNo name and I'll add you too! Together, let's write a book! :D 

"Waiting On" Wednesday (33)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: The Lost Crown: A Novel of Romanov Russia
Author: Sarah Miller 


Publisher: 
Atheneum

Release Date:   July 2011 


Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia. Like the fingers on a hand - first headstrong Olga, then Tatiana the tallest, Anastasia the smallest, and Maria most hopeful for a ring. These are the daughters of Tsar Nicholas II, Russian grand duchesses living a life steeped in tradition and privilege. For these young women each on the brink of beginning their own lives at the mercy of royal matchmakers, summer 1914 promises to be a precious last wink of time to be sisters together - sisters that still link arms and laugh, sisters that share their dreams and worries, and flirt with the officers of their imperial yacht.


But in a gunshot the future changes - for them, and for Russia.


As World War I ignites across Europe, political unrest sweeps Russia. First dissent, then disorder, mutiny - and revolution. For Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia, the end of their girlhood together is colliding with the end of more than they ever imagined.


At the same time hopeful and hopeless, naive and wise, the voices of these sisters become a chorus singing the final song of Imperial Russia. Impeccably researched and utterly fascinating, acclaimed author Sarah Miller recounts the final days of Imperial Russia with lyricism, criticism and true compassion.

I love the sound of this book! I've always been fascinated with the Romanov sisters, especially Anastasia.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

In My Mailbox (13) and Update!

Won:
Crank by Ellen Hopkins
*Thanks Khy*

The Candidates by Inara Scott
**Thanks Manga Manic Café**

From the Library:
SCHOOL LIBRARY
Fallen by Lauren Kate
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
**I was sooo happy to get these two books! I've got Torment on hold for me so I need to finish FALLEN. Honestly, it's disappointing. PARANORMALCY is VERY GOOD! Soo good that I don't want to put it down.**

For Review:
Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst
**I LOVE THE COVER. It's so shiny and pretty!**
*Provided by the author of an honest review**

Purchased:
None

Update: I have a lot of books to read and review. It’s kinda sad how busy I have been with school work. I haven’t had a chance to read much and I don’t like it. I’m sure you saw my apparent change in the blog look and I was hoping to have done it a while ago but…yeah. It will go back to my green background on November 1! Yes, it is in honor of October and fall and HALLOWEEN!

In other news, my rating system will change. I'm going to add things to it and make it better! 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"Waiting On" Wednesday (32)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: Rosebush
Author: Michele Jaffe
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: December 7, 2010
See Jane run. See Jane die.

Instead of celebrating Memorial Day weekend on the Jersey shore, Jane is in the hospital surrounded by teddy bears, trying to piece together what happened last night. One minute she was at a party, wearing fairy wings and cuddling with her boyfriend. The next, she was lying near-dead in a rosebush after a hit and run.

Everyone thinks it was an accident, despite the phone threats Jane swears were real. But the truth is a thorny thing. As Jane's boyfriend, friends, and admirers come to visit, more memories surface--not just from the party, but from deeper in her past...including the night her best friend Bonnie died.

With nearly everyone in her life a suspect now, Jane must unravel the mystery before her killer attacks again. Along the way, she is forced to examine the consequences of her life choices in this compulsively readable thriller.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

In My Mailbox (12) and Update!


Hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren

Won:
Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy #5) by Richelle Mead
Percy Jackson and the Olympians Book One: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
**Thanks Becky**

   


Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
Flush by Carl Hiaasen
**Thanks Reading Tween**


  



Tell Me A Secret by Holly Cupala (Signed and personalized!!!)
INCLUDING AWAG: TMAS stick note pad, TMAS Stickers and buttons and signed book marks!
**Thanks Holly!**

From the Library:
Faithful by Janet Fox
FANG (Maximum Ride # 6) by James Patterson
  

Siren by Tricia Rayburn
Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots by Abby McDonald
 

Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus


For Review:
None 

Purchased:
None

UPDATE: I've been so busy with school and work and life so I haven't had time to write the reviews up! I'll be doing that soon! Here's what reviews I've got coming
:

1.       Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3)—Suzanne Collins
2.      In a Heartbeat—Loretta Ellsworth
3.      Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1)—Cassandra Clare
4.      Firelight—Sophie Jordan
5.      Dark of the Moon (Dark Guardian #3)—Rachel Hawthorne
6.      Shadow of the Moon (Dark Guardian #4)—Rachel Hawthorne

So what did you get in your mailbox?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Where Are the Stand Alone Books?

While I was doing my library inventory (yeah, I typed up every book in my library) I found that I had maybe book 1 or a few books from a series. Which led me to look over my list and I saw that the majority of my books were part of a series: The Wolves of Mercy Falls, Haunting Emma by Lee Nichols, Maximum Ride by James Patterson, The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, Num8ers by Rachel Ward, The Iron Fey by Julie Kagawa and Fins by Tera Lynn Childs just to name a few that are found in my library.


This led to my question: where are all of those stand alone books? These days, more and more authors are writing series. Everywhere I see: book one of this series or a new series by whomever. Honestly, I can only name a few authors that I know who have stand alone books: Sarah Dessen, Susan Colasanti, Elizabeth Scott, Lauren Oliver, and many others (whose names fail to come into my head as I write this!)

I have to say that I miss stand alone novels. Why? Okay, with a series, when one book ends, we start thinking of things that can happen and who the character will chose. Then, when the second book comes out, we find out what happens and who the character chooses and the story continues. Now in a stand alone, the reader can finish the book and whatever he/she thinks will happen next is up to them to decide and not the author. Of course the author would never leave us with a cliff hanger in a standalone…but we all have those minor characters we want to know more about. Not to mention the burning question: What will happen next?

With a standalone, I loved imagining what would happen next and I didn’t need to think “the author will come out with a new book and I’ll get to see what happens.” With a standalone, I had the liberty to kill off a character I didn’t like or change the ending in my own way.
Then again, there are reasons I can think of as to why there are so many series coming out:

1. The Plot
As a read and book reviewer, having a good plot is a must. But have a plot period is also a must. So I guess when an author thinks of a story idea, a plot comes with it. The author will also realize that the story will not be able to be told in one book alone and therefore, a series is needed. I remember with The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini, it was supposed to be a trilogy but he was unable to finish it with three books, so it is no longer a trilogy.

2. What Will Sell
I’m not too sure about this one, but again, this is all my opinion so here goes: there might be many series out there simply because that’s what will sell. Many readers what more and more books about the same characters so why not give them what they want? After all, they are the ones who determine if your book will sell or not, right?

3. The Length
This kind of goes back to the plot but then it doesn’t. Why? Basically because no matter how un-detailed or detailed the plot is written down, most of the times the book is different. Some things just change when the author is writing the actual book, so the length of the book changes. Take, again, The Inheritance Cycle. There were supposed to be three books but with the length, it ended up being four. So no matter how amazing plots are, sometimes, the books have their own minds.

4. The Genres
This one might surprise you a bit and it surprised me too! I was tweeting with @AReadersRecord and she talked about Urban Fantasy and Paranormal books. This got me thinking: a lot of the UB and Paranormal books are part of a series. So does the genre of the book have anything to do with whether it’s a series or not? I think the answer is yes. A lot of YA books like contemporaries can be just one book and not necessarily a series. We can have characters and conflicts and the conflicts can be resolved at the end of the book. But when it comes to UB and Paranormal and Dystopian and even Steampunk books, we get introduced to characters with powers or living in a world that co-exists with ours and there is no way an author can pull of writing just one book…it turns into a series. Do you know what I’m trying to say? Like The Hunger Games, a Dystopian by Suzanne Collins. Do you think she could have written only The Hunger Games and not the other two books? The Hunger Games has one conflict in it that is resolved at the end of that book. But then another conflict arises and we need a second book to resolve it. 


So that's about it! I hope this doesn't sound too much like a rant because it's not. It's a discussion topic! So now my question to you is:

Why do YOU think there are more series' than stand alones these days?

And if you guys know of more authors with stand alone books, please let me know! I prefer YA authors (it can have UB and Dystopian and stuff) but all authors will do!  

Sunday, October 10, 2010

In My Mailbox (11)

Hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren

Won:
Alexis (a Louder Than Words book) by Alexis Singer 

From the Library:
None

For Review:
None 

Purchased:
None

If you remember my haul from last week, you know why this IMM is SO SMALL! A lot of my books have yet to come in! And I've been trying to get my library in order by listing all of the books I own. I know this sounds crazy but it really helps! I just found my ARC of The Dark Devine and before, I couldn't find it anywhere! At the moment, I have over 60 books that I've typed up on a Word doc!

What did you get?


I do realize that my blog is being weird...I don't know why or how to fix it!
 
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