Thursday, December 31, 2009

Top Ten Reads of 2009

2009 has been a great year for books (although I suspect 2k10 will be a LOT better). Here are a list of my top ten books for this year. Some books were published this year, others are the ones that I've read and discovered, not necessarily this year.


  1. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  2. Being Nikki by Meg Cabot
  3. Forever Princess by Meg Cabot
  4. Graceling by Kristen Cashore
  5. Paper Towns by John Green
  6. Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen
  7. Memoirs of A Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin
  8. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  9. City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
  10. Blue Moon by Alyson Noel
    Of course, there are many many more that I read and enjoyed (like the full Immortal Series by Alyson Noel or The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins) but these are my absolute favorites of this year.

    Under My Tree

    This post will show you what I got under my tree this Christmas. Yes, I know, it's a bit late... but is came!

    Wednesday, December 30, 2009

    Christmas Giveaway Winners!

    I have finally consulted with the great Random.Org tool. And the winners are as follows:
    But first I would like to thank you all who entered and what a blast it was! SO let's get to the point....
    Winner of their choice of book $15 and under is........

    Natalie (Mindful Musings)

    The second winner who has first choice between Hold Still and Waves is....


    The third winner and the one who receives the left over choice between Hold Still and Waves is...


    Congrats to all the winners. I will be emailing soon and I will request your choices and reply within 3 days. Thank you!

    Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

    Dear John

    "When Savannah Lynn Curtis comes into his life, John Tyree knows he is ready to turn over a new leaf. An angry rebel, he had enlisted in the army after high school, not knowing what else to do. Then, during a furlough, he meets the girl of his dreams. Savannah Lynn Curtis is attending college in North Carolina, working for Habitat for Humanity, and totally unprepared for the passionate attraction she feels for John Tyree. The attraction is mutual and quickly grows into the kind of love that leaves Savannah vowing to wait for John while he finishes his tour of duty, and John realizing that he's ready to settle down with the young woman who has captured his heart. Neither can foresee that 9/11 is about to change the world and will force John to risk every hope and dream that he's ever had. Like so many proud men and women, John must choose between love and country. And like all those left behind, Savannah must decide to wait or move on. How do we choose wisely? How can we face loss-without giving up on love? Now, when he finally returns to North Carolina, John will discover that loving Savannah will force him to make the hardest decision of his life. An extraordinary, moving story, Dear John explores the complexities of love -- how it survives time and heartbreak, and how it transforms us forever." from GoodReads

    In true Nicholas Sparks form, this story is one of romance, loss, and life. Let me start by saying that this is the first book I read on my new Kindle and not only was the Kindle amazing, but the book was, too.

    It was Christmas day and my family came over and I couldn't let go of this book as hard as I tried. The voice of the main character, John, is so strong and unique that it kept me intrigue. I've never read too many books from the male POV but this one was just breath-taking. Seeing John fall in love and then go through the struggles that he goes through just kept me on my toes.

    I cried a lot in this book, too. There are three parts and I cried on all three of them. It's such a touching and real story that it feels as if I went through it. I can't wait to see the move.

    In one sentence:
    A story that touches your heart and it lingers there days after you've turned the last page.

    5/5 stars.
    I leave you with the trailer:

    Monday, December 28, 2009

    Queste by Angie Sage


    "There's trouble at the Castle, and it's all because Merrin Meredith has returned with Darke plans for Septimus. More trouble awaits Septimus and Jenna in the form of Tertius Fume, the ghost of the very first Chief Hermetic Scribe, who is determined to send Septimus on a deadly Queste. But Septimus and Jenna have other plans—they are headed for the mysterious House of Foryx, a place where all Time meets and the place where they fervently hope they will be able to find Nicko and Snorri, who were trapped back in time in physik. But how will Septimus escape the Queste?
    Queste, like all the books in the Septimus Heap series, is filled with nonstop action, humor, and fantastical adventure as Septimus continues his journey of Magykal self-discovery." from GoodReads

    In this fourth volume, Septimus Heap, alongside his friends, embark in an intriguing adventure. I must say that I love children fantasy series, they're so light and fun, it keeps you turning the pages. This fourth book doesn't disappoint, in fact, it's one of my favorites from the whole series!

    The characters are funny and believable and the journeys are filled with magykal creatures. Angie Sage once again surprises me with her easy word flow and her great story-telling. Even if you're an adult, you're sure to enjoy this series.

    In this particular book, Septimus goes on the Queste and he discovers the truth about Time. This twist is very intriguing and will keep you on your toes.

    In one sentence:
    A fantastical return for Septimus Heap!

    5/5 stars

    Saturday, December 26, 2009

    Blog Of The Week (20-26th of December)

    Owned by: Maggie
    Maggie's Bookshelf is for fiction reviews and author interviews, primarily in the YA genre. Occasionally links and special events are also featured.

    Blog Of The Week is an ongoing weekly meme used to spotlight book blogs all around. To submit your blog (blogs will be randomly chosen) please follow this link.

    Friday, December 25, 2009


    Hello everyone!

    I hope you're having a great Christmas today! For today only, you will be granted with an extra entry if you join the Christmas Giveaway TODAY. So, go on and join!

    There will be a video coming soon with the nifty book related thing(s) I got today.

    Spread the cheer! YAY!

    Thursday, December 24, 2009

    What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Stones

    What My Mother Doesn't Know

    "My name is Sophie.
    This book is about me.
    It tells
    the heart-stoppingly riveting story
    of my first love.
    And also of my second.
    And, okay, my third love too.
    It's not that I'm boy crazy.
    It's just that even though
    I'm almost fifteen
    it's like
    my mind
    and my body
    and my heart
    just don't seem to be able to agree
    on anything." from GoodReads

    I got this one from my real life Secret Santa!

    I had only read one other book in verses, Ellen Hopkin's Burned and something that I had learned from it is that it was very honest. I was not surprised (well, okay, a little) to learn that this feel-good book was also very honest. The author doesn't hold back on real teenage life: our weird habits, our lusty (sometimes dirty) fantasies, and the fact that we have a body. I enjoyed the honesty of this book.

    I was also really happy with the humor in it. For a moment it seemed like I might have been the one actually experiencing these things because Sophie's quirky humor is much like my own.

    This is a perfect book for a gift because it's light, easy, and fun. Not at all heavy and complex like an Ellen Hopkins book but the verse writing and honesty is a bit similar.

    In one sentence:
    Read this in a sitting for a good dose of fun!

    4/5 stars

    Monday, December 21, 2009

    The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

    The Lovely Bones

    "My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973. My murderer was a man from our neighborhood. My mother liked his border flowers, and my father talked to him once about fertilizer. This is Susie Salmon. Watching from heaven, Susie sees her happy, suburban family devastated by her death, isolated even from one another as they each try to cope with their terrible loss alone. Over the years, her friends and siblings grow up, fall in love, do all the things she never had the chance to do herself. But life is not quite finished with Susie yet ..." from

    Let me starts saying this novel is fantastic. It is gripping from the very first chapter. I didn't expect anything like it. Susie Salmon is murdered and we see her family and friends struggle with her death. She narrates her story from heaven, watching the several people of her life go about. She also fallows her murderer in a scary and haunting truth.

    What is the best trait about this novel is that it's told in such an honest and haunting voice, it resonates in your mind long after you've turned the last page. We see a fourteen year old die and she tells us those things she wishes she could have experienced but now is experiencing through her sister. She leaves the boy of her dreams and the family she loves so much.

    The end is just paralyzing. Such an amazing twist I never expected and I am NOT going to spoil. Let's just say, it's beautiful.

    One of the things that I didn't like that much was that it does drag out a bit. The time period is about eight years and I just wanted the murder to be solved and her family to be OK again but unfortunately, it's more complicated than that.

    Nevertheless, it's an amazing story. In one sentence:

    The Lovely Bones is a haunting, honest, and sometimes cruel read that turns out beautiful!

    Wednesday, December 16, 2009

    Shadowland by Alyson Noel

    Shadowland by Alyson Noel

    At the start of this breathtaking novel, Damen and Ever travel to Summerland in search of an antidote to reverse a powerful poison. But instead of the cure they seek, they find something far more sinister: the truth about their existence and the fate lying in wait of an immortal’s soul.

    Now, with Damen fighting to save them from the Shadowland, Ever turns to magick, hoping to break Damen’s curse. Along the way Ever encounters the mysterious Jude, finding herself drawn to him in a way that will test her love for Damen like never before . . .
    from GoodReads

    This novel starts as gripping as any other in the series. Both lovers are faced with such an obstacle, it makes a strain in their relationship. But then, when Damen reveals that they are destined for the Shadowland...everything gets even more complicated.

    Ever struggles to find the antidote until she comes around a book of magick which Damen thinks is sinister and dark. But that's not the only thing...the beautiful Jude appears and Ever and Damen's love is tested. Maybe they weren't meant for each other?

    What I loved about this novel is that it really presents the characters more than in the last two books...they seem more breathtakingly real than before. The end is gripping and it is a cliffhanger you won't believe.

    Jude, the new character, is amazing. You feel as if he's your best friend and you can tell him anything. But who is he? Or better question...what is he? (You'll have to find out). In this book, alliances are drawn and old characters come to hunt Ever...testing her trust like never before.

    One thing that I didn't like at all was the constant use of the word 'gape'. I hated it. Every time it appeared I cringed a little. And this is more about personal taste but I hate pet names and the times Ever and Damen call each other 'Baby' just makes me want to throw up.

    In one sentence:
    Alyson Noel has taken the Immortals series to a whole new lever...ahem...a whole new universe!

    4/5 Stars

    Tuesday, December 15, 2009

    Two For Tuesdays (3)

    It's been so long since I've done this! I decided to shake it up a little bit. So instead of posting an actual review, I'll just put what written on the back flap.

    by Alice Seabold

    "When we first meet Susie Salmon, she is already in heaven. As she looks down from this strange new place, she tells us, in the fresh spirited voice of a fourteen year old girl, a tale that is both haunting and full of hope.

    In the weeks following her death, Susie watches life continuing without her- her school friends trading rumors about her disappearance, her family holding out hope that she'll be found, her killer trying to cover his tracks. As months pass without leads, Susie sees her parents' marriage being contorted by loss, her sister hardening herself in an effort to stay strong, and her little brother trying to grasp the meaning of the word gone.

    And she explores the place called heaven. It looks a lot like her school playground, with the good kind of swing sets. There are counselors to help newcomers adjust and friends to room with. Everything she ever wanted appears as soon as she thinks of it- except the thing she wants most: to be back with the people she loved on Earth.

    With compassion, longing, and growing understanding, Susie sees her loved ones pass through grief and begin to mend. Her father embarks on a risky quest to ensnare her killer. Her sister undertakes a feat of remarkable daring. And the boy Susie cared for moves on, only to find himself at the center of a miraculous event."

    by Alison Goodman

    "Twelve Year Old Eon has been in training for years. His intensive study of Dragon Magic, based on East Asian astrology, involves two kinds of skills: sword-work and magical aptitude. He and his master hope that he will be chosen as a Dragoneye- an apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune.

    But Eon has a dangerous secret. He is actually Eona, a sixteen year old girl who has been masquerading as a boy for the chance to become a Dragoneye. Females are forbidden to use Dragon Magic; if anyone discovers she has been hiding in plain sight, her death is assured.

    When Eon's secret threatens to come to light, she and her allies are plunged into grave danger and a deadly struggle for the Imperial throne. Eon must find the strength and inner power to battle those who want to take her magic... and her life."

    And here, for your enjoyment, is the trailer for the movie, The Lovely Bones.

    Saturday, December 12, 2009

    BOTW (6th-12th of December)

    Hope's Bookshelf

    Owned by: Hope
    Young adult book reviews, author interviews, and a few contests sprinkled in between.

    If you'd like to be featured in a future BOTW (Blog Of The Week), follow this link to sign up :)

    Wednesday, December 9, 2009

    Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

    Pride and Prejudice

    "Darcy had never been so bewitched by any woman as he was by her...                 
    With the forces of the world conspiring to keep Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet apart, how will fate manage to bring them together? It certainly won't be easy if they're fighting it every step of the way. But theirs is a love that was meant to be, despite all the odds against them."

    In one sentence:
    A timeless classic must-read!

    At the beginning, Pride and Prejudice is a slow book but it is beautifully written. The book kept me reading because I was intrigued by Mr. Darcy's character. He is the most interesting character in the whole book. In fact, all of the characters are very believable.

    During the last one hundred pages I got more interested in the book. It started moving faster and I couldn't wait to get to the end. In conclusion, Pride and Prejudice is a beautiful book that is a must-read. It is a classic for a reason and it's this: Characters. Characters. Characters.

    Tuesday, December 8, 2009

    Yay! It's Christmas: Interview with Holly Schindler

    Hi everyone! As part of the Yay! It's Christmas celebration I am here with an interview with Holly Schindler, the debut YA author herself! Check them out!

    1.  How did A BLUE SO DARK change from the first outline to the final draft?  Did these changes surprise you?

    The book was pretty internal when I started…that was the number one critique I was getting from editors as I submitted the earliest drafts.  Each time I revised the book, I included more scenes, more action.  I had to pull Aura out of her head and allow her to interact with the world around her…it wasn’t a surprise, really…it was a delight, because each time I revised, Aura became more and more of a real person.  I loved bringing her to life!

    2.  How has your own life influenced A BLUE SO DARK and your writing in general?

    When I started to write A BLUE SO DARK, I pulled out all my old notebooks and journals from high school, to reconnect with my teen “voice.”  When I realized how similar my nearly-thirty-year-old voice was to my fifteen-year-old voice, I really was off and running on the manuscript.  (I even included a few of the poems I wrote as a teen in the book—though they’ve been tweaked to fit the events of the novel!) 

    Plus, the novel’s filled with the “furniture” of my life—the story takes place in my girlhood hometown, Aura drives the same car I drove in high school, her mother works at the museum here in Springfield…all of my old haunts show up in the book…

    3.  You have signed your third book deal, congratulations!  Did it become easier to land deals after signing A BLUE SO DARK?  What did you learn from the publishing process from A BLUE SO DARK?

    Thanks for the congrats!  It’s been a crazy, crazy year…to go from no publications to three books in development!  Sometimes I can’t believe my luck lately. 

    …I’m not really sure that it’s any easier to sell a manuscript just because you’ve sold one in the past…I think each book kind of stands on its own, and if it doesn’t cut the mustard, it won’t be acquired.  But, yeah, going through the process once takes the fear-factor (or, really, the worry-factor) out of an acquisition.  You know what the process is, so you know what to anticipate, what the next step is. 

    4.  Aura seems to be afraid of herself in some ways and shuns her art.  With many teens today expressing themselves through art, do you think that Aura made it even harder for herself?

    Most definitely.  But what I think makes it so rough for her is that art is really central to who she is.  That’s pretty much the way I feel about my writing.  If I’m not writing, I’m pretty lost.  I think if you try to cut yourself off from the thing that makes you tick, for whatever reason—it’s not cool or acceptable—you lose yourself.  And that’s a place you never want to be.

    5.  What was the hardest and easiest part about writing Aura’s story?

    The easiest part was that first draft…it just really flew.  Once I got started, I completed the manuscript in two months!  I polished it up a bit, then began to submit…and the rejection slips started pouring in.  The HARDEST part was then distancing myself from a project I loved and had connected with from the start so that I could identify its faults and figure out how to begin rewriting.  (Sometimes, you feel a little like you’re ripping the arms off your baby when you do a global revision!) 

    6.  Can you describe your writing in two words? 

    MAN, this is a hard one.  The first thing that comes to mind is literary fiction.  But my favorite books are those that combine the literary (characters and beautiful writing) with great plots.  I want to find myself asking both, “What’s going to happen next?” and, “How will this character change?” as I’m reading a book.  Which is what I try to remember as I’m writing a new manuscript.  (Pretty long-winded two-word answer, huh?)   

    7.  How did you come up with the title A BLUE SO DARK?  Were there other title ideas before this one? 

    A BLUE SO DARK is actually a phrase I lifted from the manuscript.  And, yes, there were other titles before that one…I submitted the manuscript under four different titles, actually.  When Flux acquired the book, the working title was THE OCEAN FLOOR.  My editor was kind of lukewarm about the title, and suggested I troll the manuscript for other possibilities.  I sent him several, but when I finally shot him A BLUE SO DARK, he immediately sent me a THAT’S IT! kind of e-mail.  Lukewarm no more…

    8.  What are your favorite genres to read? 

    Uh, all of ‘em.  Seriously.  My tastes run the gamut.  I was a literature major in undergraduate school, and I still do love the classics.  As far as contemporary lit goes, I read everything from children’s books to YA to romance to mystery to horror to fantasy to literary fiction…about the one genre I never really connected with as much as the others was sci fi…but as soon as I say that, I have to remind myself of the William Gibson and Ursula K. Le Guin novels I enjoyed…so, no, nothing’s out!  If it’s in print, I’ll read it!

    9.  Who are your favorite authors?

    Hear that scraping sound?  Yeah, that’s me dragging my feet.  Every time I start to list my absolute faves, I start to think that there’s just not enough space in the world to list them all.  And the thing is, I know from my own experience how hard it is to break into the publishing world.  So I figure everything that’s in print has merit.  EVERY author has some quality to admire, be it their character development, their ability to infuse the pages with humor, their ability to juggle subplots, etc…I try to learn something from EVERY novel I read…

    10.  What would you say are some similarities and differences between you and Aura?

    The most obvious difference is that I didn’t grow up with a schizophrenic mother.  But Aura’s voice is probably more like the voice in my own head than any other character's I’ve ever written…her humor, her observations all pretty much just sound like me.

    11.  Is there ever any time when you have doubted your writing and wanted to give up?

    I decided to devote myself to my writing full-time when I got out of graduate school back in ’01.  And I won’t lie—it got frustrating…especially as three unpublished years turned into four…then five, six, SEVEN.  But I always felt like I was getting a little bit closer to publication, as no-way-hozay rejections were becoming this-was-such-a-close-call rejections.  I felt like if I just stuck it out a little longer, the work would eventually pay off. 

    12.  What advice would you give to other writers about the process of writing and the road to publication? 

    Just follow your heart.  If you REALLY love writing, sink your nails in and don’t let go.  Don’t allow anybody else to convince you it’ll never happen.  Every writer gets to their first publication eventually…the only way you don’t is by giving up.

    13.  Finally, what is the message you want your readers to obtain from A BLUE SO DARK? 

    I really don’t want to put a message in my readers’ heads before they even open the book.  I just want them to discover Aura and her story on their own, to draw their own conclusions…which they’ll be able to do, starting May 1, 2010! 

    …I can’t wait for A BLUE SO DARK to hit bookstore shelves.  The idea of it gives me goose bumps, actually… 

    Thanks, Holly!

    You can check out Holly Schindler's website here and her blog is here. Don't forget to get A BLUE SO DARK on May 2010! I know I can't wait :)

    Sunday, December 6, 2009

    Historical Reading Challenge

    I entered another challenge! My first challenges woo! Let's see if I actually do them :) I tend to plan what books I buy but end up buying a few others. I'm reading 6 of these.

    Here are a few details. You can enter here:

    1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.
    --Non-Bloggers: Include your information in the comment section.

    2. There are four levels:

    -- Curious – Read 3 Historical Fiction novels.

    -- Fascinated – Read 6 Historical Fiction novels.

    -- Addicted – Read 12 Historical Fiction novels.

    -- Obsessed – Read 20 Historical Fiction novels.

    3. Any book format counts.

    4. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.

    5. Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2010. Only books started on January 1st count towards this challenge.

    I'll be posting my books in this post :) I will also be reviewing them.

    1. The Luxe by Anna Godbersen
    2. Rumors by Anna Godbersen
    3. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
    4. Envy by Anna Godbersen
    5. Splendor by Anna Godbersen
    6. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

    In My Mailbox (5)

    In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren and it's a weekly meme that features the contents of my mailbox.

    So this week I didn't get anything in my mailbox but I bought Shadowland by Alyson Noel (link goes to to Goodreads.

    And that's it :)

    Friday, December 4, 2009

    Hold Still by Nina LaCour

    Hold Still

    An arresting story about starting over after a friend’s suicide, from a breakthrough new voice in YA fiction.
    dear caitlin, there are so many things that i want so badly to tell you but i just can’t.
    Devastating, hopeful, hopeless, playful . . . in words and illustrations, Ingrid left behind a painful farewell in her journal for Caitlin. Now Caitlin is left alone, by loss and by choice, struggling to find renewed hope in the wake of her best friend’s suicide. With the help of family and newfound friends, Caitlin will encounter first love, broaden her horizons, and start to realize that true friendship didn’t die with Ingrid. And the journal which once seemed only to chronicle Ingrid’s descent into depression, becomes the tool by which Caitlin once again reaches out to all those who loved Ingrid—and Caitlin herself. from GoodReads

    Caitlin wakes up one day and her whole world has changed, her best friend committed suicide and suddenly everything seems darker and lonely. I have to say, this story is very raw and the descriptions are very powerful, I didn't expect something like it, ever. I loved how inside the book, there are pages of Ingrid's journal written in her hand writing. It made it all seem more real, as if I was reading the journal alongside Caitlin.

    Even though the book is very touching, I didn't cry like I thought I would. Some things seemed a little undeveloped like the relationship with Taylor. I feel that I needed to see a bit more of it, of how it went from shyness to being comfortable with him. One of the best parts is when Caitlin finally goes to visit Ingrid's parents. It's so beautiful how the parent's sadness is portrayed. I can relate to Ingrid's dad because my own dad is a very sensitive person.

    The book is short, a bit over 200 pages, so it's a quick read but by no means is it 'light'. Everything from the character's emotions to the description of Ingrid's suicide and her dark journal entries is very deep. I liked that there were a lot of metaphors in the book, it portrayed stuff that the MC felt but didn't necessarily narrate.

    The only 'negative' comment I have to give is that sometimes the sentences are very quick and short. I have seen this work on other books but I don't think it does here. But that's about it, everything else is great.

    In one sentence:
    Raw and powerful with vibrating descriptions.

    Thursday, December 3, 2009

    Blog Of The Week 29-5

    By the Book Reviews features reviews of Teen and Young Adult books.
    It also features interviews with authors. Past author interviews have included Meg Cabot, L.J. Smith, Ellen Hopkins, and many more.
    We also feature contests and giveaways.

    Do you want to be spotlighted here? Follow THIS link.

    The Hunger Games #3

    It's coming out in August 24th. Can't wait? What about you? Any theories?

    Yay! It's Christmas (or Holidays) Big Give away!

    What's better than the Holiday season, huh? Not much, to be honest. And to celebrate both the Holidays and my reaching 50 followers - THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! - I will have a HUGE give away. Here are the prizes:

    1st Winner: HIS/HER choice of book (as long as it's available) less than $15. YES! ANY BOOK!
    2nd Winner: HIS/HER choice between Hold Still by Nina LaCour and Waves by Sharon Dogar
    3rd Winner: The remaining book between Hold Still by Nina LaCour and Waves by Sharon Dogar

    * US residents only (this includes Puerto Rico)
    * MUST leave an email (if you're uncomfortable with this, email me at
    * FOLLOWERS only (new or old)
    * ENDS December 27th

    Extra Entries (easy peasy):

    +5 Follow on Twitter (YayReader)
    +10 Add on Facebook Fans (HERE!)
    +10 Twitter about the contest
    +15 Post on your blog (sidebar, etc.)
    +20 BLOG about the contest
    +10 Tell me about Holiday traditions in your family.
    +20 Refer new people to enter this contest (have the people mention you and each will get you +20)

    Now, go out and spread the holiday cheer!

    For ever 10 new followers that I get throughout the duration if this contest, everyone will get an extra entry (and maybe something else, but that's to be decided).

    *Note: If you feel uncomfortable stating your details in the comments, please use THIS form. ONLY use it if you must, please.

    Monday, November 30, 2009

    I got an award!

    My second award, YAY!

    Thanks Lizzy at Cornucopia of Reviews

    I WON NANO!!!!

    I did it. I can't believe it!

    Sunday, November 29, 2009

    No Kill Book Shelter

    Books need a nice home to be read and appreciated. Unfortunately, some books aren't as luck as others. Join me in support of finding a great home for these unloved books. Just follow THIS link and help us beat book abuse.

    Saturday, November 28, 2009

    Blog Of The Week

    I'll be starting a brand new feature called Blog Of The Week in which I will feature a blog with its latest contests, reviews etc. To be featured, your blog MUST be a YA book blog. If you're a YA author, you can also participate in this feature. To become eligible, fill in THIS form.

    In My Mailbox (4)

    In My Mailbox was created by Kristi at The Story Siren.

    * Hold Still by Nina LaCour (opens the GoodReads page).

    Friday, November 27, 2009

    2010 100+ books Reading Challenge!

    I've joined this challenge because...well, just because! Hopefully I will read this many books. I won't post a list yet but when January 1st rolls around, I'll be listing the books I'm reading here and in the sidebar. Also, there will be reviews for all or most of them.

    Come join me, too. Just follow THIS link :)
    Read | Reviewed | Have

    001. Runaway by Meg Cabot

    002. The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

    003. Candor by Pam Bachorz

    004. The Hunger Games #3

    005. 3 Willows by Anne Brashares

    006. Dark Flame by Alyson Noel

    007. Fallen by Lauren Kate

    008. Wings by Aprilynne Pike

    009. Swoon by Nina Malkin

    010. A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler

    011. The Hollow by Jessica Verday

    012. The Espressologist by Kristina Springer

    013. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

    014. Identical by Ellen Hopkins

    015. Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr

    016. Looking For Alaska by John Green

    017. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

    018. Gringolandia by Lyn Miller-Lachmann

    019. Fade by Lisa McMann

    020. Rumors by Anna Godbersen

    021. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

    022. Impulse by Ellen Hopkins

    023. Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr

    to be added soon...

    Graceling by Kristin Cashore


    Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight--she's a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king's thug.

    When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po's friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace--or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.
    from GoodReads

    What can I say? Kristin's first novel has me breathtaking. Such strong characters! The novel sets in this fantastical new world, that, although it needs a little improving, is perfect. The action is non stop from the very beginning, literally. I found myself screaming because I couldn't believe what was happening and because I felt that I couldn't keep up with all the action. Such an adventure!

    The only negative or constructive remark that I have is that the end, although amazing and satisfying, became a bit slow and dragged out. It should have been shorter and quicker. I can't say that I didn't love it, though! At the end, my heart ached with the thought of leaving behind these wonderful characters. I really wished the book would extend forever.

    Now my Dad is wanting to read it, he was the first one to point it out to me! I have no doubt in my mind that it will satisfy him. This book is not for the fainthearted and The Hunger Games fans will love it!

    In one sentence:
    A fantastical adventure with romance that has no comparison.

    Thursday, November 26, 2009

    Give Thanks To Books! Guest Post by Maggie

    Here's another guest post from Maggie from Maggie's Bookshelf . Maggie, take it up!

    Books I’m thankful for? Far too many. But I’ve got a few that stand out from the crowd: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler, Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver, and A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L’Engle.

    To Ender, for allowing me to take science fiction seriously as a genre beyond just popular fiction. Ditto for Parable, not to mention a protagonist I adored. Animal Dreams for making me cry, not once but many times. And A Swiftly Tilting Planet holds a special place in my heart for being the first young adult novel I ever read that made me think, I want to write like that.

    So thank you, authors, agents, and editors that made those books a possibility. Thank you also to the hundreds of other books I have read that left impressions almost as deep as those. And thank you most of all to the dozens of books as of yet unread or unwritten that promise to leave me just as grateful for many years to come!

    Give Thanks To Books! Guest Post by The Insatiable Reader

    Hi guys! Here is the guest post from the wonderful Insatiable Reader's for today's feature, Give Thanks To Books!


    Hello, everyone! *~*waves*~* Thanks for stopping by today! This is my very first guest post and as such I would like to start out by saying THANK YOU to Patty, the 'Yay! Reads' reader herself, for having me. (THANKS!)

    The idea behind the 'Give Thanks to Books' week was to share with others how books have influenced us and why we are thankful for them....definitely a fine topic to propose to book bloggers for Thanksgiving week, don't you think? The love of reading and of books in general is something that goes hand in hand with blogging about them...I mean really, are you going to take the time to write (even electronically) about something that you don't enjoy for the most part...doubtful. This of course is the main thread that connects each of us to the other in this "share-with-one-and-all" arena. On a more personal level, my love of reading was instilled in my character from the moment of my creation (It's true! My mother use to read to me before I was born....), after that, the rest is history! Books became my constant companion, fueling both my desire for knowledge and creativity. What other form of entertainment can you truly pursue on your own and be taken away to another world, any time, any place?

    Reading provides that welcome escape from a busy day, stressful situations, or simply a means of filling a few minutes of down time. Open a book and you step into a world of your choosing to enjoy the adventure set forth within those given pages. It's magical, it enchanting, it's...okay, I sound like a Disney movie here, but every book lover out there reading this now (and you know who you're the ones shaking your head 'yes' to what I just said...) knows exactly what I mean. Share the joy of reading with someone else today and provide them access to a lifetime of memories yet to be. My friends, family, and loved ones list among my reasons to be the spirit of Thanksgiving, I'm giving thanks to books as well this week for all of these reasons and about you?

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

    The Insatiable Reader

    Give Thanks To Books!

    Hello readers! I am so very pleased to present to you this wonderful Thanksgiving feature, Give Thanks To Books! I'm super exited because it's the first feature here on Yay! Reads.

    I knew I wanted to do something to celebrate Thanksgiving and I though, "Let's give thanks to books!" and the idea just took off from their. In the next few hours you will see posts from other bloggers about how and why they're thankful for books.

    So now it's my turn to say why I am thankful for books. To be honest, I don't have many friends, and I don't think any of them even actually share the same love with books that I have but you know who I share it with? My Dad. Both of us read almost since birth and the truth is, I'd rather stay at home with a good book to go to a party.

    For me, books are worlds waiting to be discovered. They're ancient and new at the same time. They make me travel across the world and see things in a different way. They have become my companions when I'm feeling sad, frustrated, and happy. When I re-read a book, it's like finding a friend again. Everytime that I read a book, my reactions are different. I fall in love, I hate, I care for these characters. They've changed the way I see people and the way I see the world. Which takes me to being a writer. The same kind of magic that I experience any time I flip a page is the magic that I want to create one day. I want to touch someone and have someone fall in love with my characters. I want them to be part of my family.

    There's no limits in books, and I thank them for that. I thank them for giving me experiences I would never have otherwise had. So this Thanksgiving Day, I'm Giving Thanks To Books!

    Friday, November 20, 2009

    Wicked: Resurrection by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie

    Wicked: Resurrection

    WHAT THE CAHORS witches thought was the end of their troubles was only the beginning. A threat more powerful and more frightening than anything they have faced has been watching and waiting. The Cahors witches must come together and find Jer and Eli as both the Deveraux and the Cahors family lines face eradication.

    All the secrets of the Cahors will be revealed, forcing them to overcome their greatest weaknesses in order to achieve their most powerful strengths. And only united do they have any chance at victory. Before the end, sacrifices will be made, alliances forged, and old friends lost forever.
    from GoodReads.

    Let's start by saying that this book is so action-packed, my heart pumped of excitement. Everything complicates even more and with every passing page you are left with more questions than answers. There are so many secrets and plot points that sometimes it is hard to keep track. The characters, although many, all connect with the reader in one way or another that will make them unforgettable.

    The biggest part that I would like to stress is that this book presents enemies as heroes and heroes as enemies. There is no one good or bad, and their powers are well beyond their knowledge. The end closed all great plot points with a great kiss goodbye. We see our characters suffering from the lost of loved ones - and truly, there are many losses - but we also see them fighting to heal.

    Holly, once again, proves that she's not just good or bad and I think this is what makes her so relatable. She is willing to take on hard decisions for her loved ones. We see her and Jer struggle and find each other in ways that I couldn't find imaginable. I can finally clearly see the past of the Cahors witches and form a generalization that the feud between families is nothing but a puppet show. As in real life, the line is not clearly drawn and one may change sides often but as long as we stick to our own hearts, that's what matters.

    In one sentence:
    Fantastically breathtaking!

    Sunday, November 15, 2009

    Give Thanks To Books! Thanksgiving feature.

    I was thinking I needed to do a MASSIVE feature someday and I thought that maybe, just maybe, we could do it for Thanksgiving.

    Here is what I'm thinking about:

    -Bloggers and Authors will guest post here about the books they're most thankful for, those who changed their views of life, or made some kind of impact in any way. We could do this by vlog or simply a text. If possible, all bloggers/authors participating can give one book away as a contest (this is optional and it's pending).

    If there are any authors or bloggers that would like to participate, please email me at with the subject line 'Give Thanks To Books!'

    Vampire Kisses Conteset WINNER

    The thingie has spoken and the winner is....(drum rolls, please!)


    I will be emailing you ASAP but if you see this first, go ahead and email me: If I don't hear back in 3 days, I'll have to pick another winner.

    Congrats! Don't worry, they'll be another contest soon so keep your eyes open for that.

    In My Mailbox (3)

    In My Mailbox explores the contents of my mailbox and was started by The Story Siren

    I didn't get anything by mailbox but I DID get three books from borders:

    Wicked: Resurrection by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie
    Queste by Angie Sage
    Graceling by Kristin Cashore

    That's it for this week's In My Mailbox

    Friday, November 13, 2009

    Friday Finds (2)

    This meme was created by Should Be Reading

    Before I Die by Jenny Downham
    Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales by The Grimm brothers

    Graceling and Fire by Kristin Cashore

    Sunday, November 8, 2009

    Week One Of NaNo Wordle

    I'll also post this on my NaNo And Me Blog but I wanted to show it to you all:

    Wordle: Week 1 of NaNo

    Create your own here.

    The Fold by An Na

    The Fold

    Joyce never used to care that much about how she looked, but that was before she met JFK—John Ford Kang, the most gorgeous guy in school. And it doesn't help that she's constantly being compared to her beautiful older sister, Helen. Then her rich plastic-surgery-addict aunt offers Joyce a gift to “fix” a part of herself she'd never realized needed fixing—her eyes. Joyce has heard of the fold surgery—a common procedure meant to make Asian women's eyes seem “prettier” and more “American”—but she's not sure she wants to go through with it. Her friend Gina can't believe she isn't thrilled. After all, the plastic surgeon has shown Joyce that her new eyes will make her look just like Helen—but is that necessarily a good thing? from

    I have an ARC copy of this book that I got from the publisher at my writing camp this past summer. Let me tell you, I never was very interested in this book. It didn't catch my attention. But I remembered that I have and maybe I should read it for Yay! Reads, right? Well, I have mixed feelings about the book.

    For the good stuff: I liked the message of the book and how everything seems to tie together in the end. I was glad that the characters found some depth and meaning at the end. But the bad stuff: I didn't really connect with any character. It felt more like reading a middle school story than a story about high school juniors/seniors. To me, the characters seemed very immature and superficial. The only part that I really thought that I enjoyed was the end when we see Joyce in a more deep aspect, but even then, it was pretty much it. Nothing really attracted me about any of the characters. It felt flat.

    Now, on some parts I got really confused with the dialogue. This may be because I read too fast but at the same time it felt that all of the characters had the same 'voice'. Maybe this was the problem.

    In one sentence:
    It quite wasn't there for me.

    Saturday, November 7, 2009

    What Kind Of Book Are You?

    As seen on Book Chick City

    You Are Action Adventure

    You are lively and spirited. You like to be in the middle of the action, and you have a ton of energy.

    You are very driven, and not just with your career. You like to play hard as well!

    You are bold and brave. You're always looking for the next great adrenaline rush.

    It's likely that you are athletic or at least pretty physically active. It's hard for you to sit still.

    Friday, November 6, 2009

    Friday Finds (1)

    This meme was created by Should Be Reading.

    Meridian by Amber Kizer
    Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

    Tricks by Ellen Hopkins
    Immortal by Gillian Shields

    Thursday, November 5, 2009

    Win ARCs

    Win some of the best books of 2009 from I Should Be Writing. You can win:

    Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
    Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
    Maze Runner by James Dashner

    To enter, just follow THIS link.

    Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney

    Sorry for the lack of updates lately, guys. But as you know, NaNoWriMo has started and it has got me more busy than I expected! But nevertheless, there are three pending reviews and today I will post the first one. Hopefully I have at least one more by the end of the weekend.

    Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

    It’s summer vacation, the weather’s great, and all the kids are having fun outside. So where’s Greg Heffley? Inside his house, playing video games with the shades drawn.

    Greg, a self-confessed “indoor person,” is living out his ultimate summer fantasy: no responsibilities and no rules. But Greg’s mom has a different vision for an ideal summer . . . one packed with outdoor activities and “family togetherness.”

    Whose vision will win out? Or will a new addition to the Heffley family change everything?
    from GoodReads

    Let's start by saying that normally, I wouldn't pick a book like this. I had to read it because of library club, and since I never turn down a book, I though: Heck, why not? But to be honest, I was pretty hesitant to read it.

    That said, I have to admit that it was a pretty funny book. A bit too childish for my tastes to be quite truthful but entertaining nevertheless. The book is an easy read. It has hilarious cartoons and the kid, Greg, is just amazingly funny.

    My only main problem with it was that it didn't have any central conflict and the end seemed to be a bit too rushed. I wasn't sure what was the problem of the book. Sure, the summer was pretty much stinking, but hey, I couldn't even revolve around that.

    In one sentence:
    Humorous, but a bit pointless.

    Wednesday, November 4, 2009

    Wednesday Wishes (3)

    Wednesday Wishes is a meme inspired by The Story Siren where I will post my three latest book-related wishes. You are welcome to post your own using Mr. Linky.

    1. Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr
    2. The Luxe by Anna Godbersen
    3. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

    Post your URL and the TITLE of the post.

    Saturday, October 31, 2009


    This is the page dedicated to all of the awards Yay! Reads have received.

    On: October 31st, 2009
    Given by: Kapri at Book Fanatics

    On: November 30th, 2009
    Given By: Lizzy at Cornucopia of Reviews

    Given by: Laura

    Given by: Kari and Marie K

    First award!

    Yay! I just got my first award! It deserves its own post. Thanks to Kapri for the award! I'm extremely happy.

    Here are the rules of the "One Lovely Blog Award":

    Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.
    Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered.
    Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

    Here's the 15 I chose:

    1. Justine at A Bookful Of Thoughts
    2. Book Nerds
    3. Book Obsession
    4. GMR at Insatiable Readers
    5. The Book Butterfly
    6. The Ladybug Reads
    7. Darling Reviews
    8. Dahlia at The Book Shopaholic
    9. Sophie at So Many Books, So Little Time
    10. The Page Flipper
    11. Danielle at The Book Blogger
    12. Chick Lit Teens
    13. Andrea at Buried In Books
    14. Casey at A Passion for books
    15. Sammee at I want to read that..

    How To Be Popular by Meg Cabot

    How To Be Popular

    Do you want to be popular?
    Everyone wants to be popular—or at least, Stephanie Landry does. Steph’s been the least popular girl in her class since a certain cherry Super Big Gulp catastrophe five years earlier.

    Does being popular matter?
    It matters very much—to Steph. That’s why this year, she has a plan to get in with the It Crowd in no time flat. She’s got a secret weapon: An old book called—what else?—How to Be Popular.

    But don’t forget the most important thing about popularity!
    It’s easy to become popular. What isn’t so easy? Staying that way.

    In one sentence:
    This book is adorable!

    I love Meg Cabot books, they give the feel that anything can happen: you can go from being unpopular to popular in just a night. Her writing style is laugh out loud funny with characters that are very distinct. I like the sarcastic humor in this book. The fact that the main character is not perfect (everything she eats goes into her butt) makes it very believable.

    The only remark I have that may not be too good, is that it's too predictable. The book is typical girl falls for her best friend. Not that this is bad at all (my own book follows this trend) but I could tell from the very beginning what was going to happen in the end. Nevertheless, I love how Meg turns this predictable story into a still grabbing one and fun to read. This book is perfect to read at home with the coziness of your favorite blanket. I give it four stars.

    Friday, October 30, 2009

    Special Announcement

    Hi there! I have a special personal announcement I would like to make. Some of you may or may not know that I am doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year. I decided to make a blog called NaNo And Me so that you can follow my progress with posts, countdowns, etc. It would mean a great deal that you would follow me in this challenge and take it on yourself. For more details, please go:

    Wednesday, October 28, 2009

    Wednesday Wishes (2)

    Wednesday Wishes is a weekly meme created by me, Patty in which I post my weekly wish list. This meme was inspired by Kristi of The Story Siren.

    01. All-American Girl by Meg Cabot
    02. 3 Willows by Ann Brashares
    03. Valiant by Holly Black

    Post your own Wednesday Wishes!

    Tuesday, October 27, 2009

    CONTEST: Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber

    I am holding my first ever book contest! Yay! Me. I feel so happy :). I will be giving away one Vampire Kisses book. I bought this book.

    Raven lives in "Dullsville," where nothing ever happens. Until now...

    The mansion on top of Benson Hill has been empty and boarded up for years. But a new family has moved in. A family that never ventures out during the day. Who are these creepy people-especially the handsome, dark, and elusive Alexander Sterling? Or rather,
    what are they? Could the town gossip actually be true? Are they vampires ?

    Raven, who secretly covets a vampire kiss, both at the risk of her own mortality and Alexander's loving trust, is dying to uncover the truth.

    Details to enter:
    - Comment on this post.
    - Add your email address
    - Open to US residents only!

    *NOTE: This is a used copy of the book in great conditions except for a highlighted word. If there is any problem (this is posted on Nov. 14) please let me know.

    Extra entries:
    +1 Follow the blog
    +1 Follow me on Twitter (include your username)
    +2 Blog about this contest

    Deadline will be November 14. Winners will be chosen within a week. After I chose the winner and contact her/him, item will be mailed within a week.

    Monday, October 26, 2009

    Book Trailer Monday (1)

    Book Trailer Monday features book trailers made by fans. Each Monday, a different book trailer for an already published or an upcoming book will be posted.

    This week's Book Trailer Monday is:

    Sunday, October 25, 2009

    Blue Moon by Alyson Noel

    Blue Moon

    Just as Ever is learning everything she can about her new abilities as an immortal, initiated into the dark, seductive world by her beloved Damen, something terrible is happening to him. As Ever's powers increase, Damen's begin to fade after he is stricken by a mysterious il;ness that threatens his memory, his identity, his life.

    Desperate to save him, Ever travels to the mystical dimensions of Summerland. where she uncovers not only the secrets of Dame's past - the brutal, tortured history he hoped to keep hidden - but also an ancient text revealing the workings of time. With the approaching blue moon heralding her only window for travel, Ever is forced to decide between turning back the clock and saving her family from the accident that claimed them - or staying in the present and saving Damen who grows weaker by the day.

    I have just finished the book and let me tell you, it surpassed all my expectations by far. From the very first page, my heart was pounding in suspense in a deep emotional roller coaster that seemed unable to pause. I felt like running because the action boiling inside of me because of this book was so amazing, it left me exhausted after I finished it.

    I was surprised at how strong Ever is. She has a mind of her own, and even though she's in love with Damen, she knows her limits. I love that she has the will yet she is still a vulnerable character, caving into her deepest secrets and falling behind on one part or the other.

    Roman was a fantastic character, too. Having that irresistible allure you can't prevent even if you hate him. And it's this allure that makes him so dangerous. I thought I had this book nailed down, that I knew what was going to happen. I even read the last sentence before finishing it, but the twists and turns are so sharp, you don't see them coming. Blue Moon is definitely a tale that will be in the readers' mind until their thirst is satisfied by the next installment. The writing is superb and though many people may say the plot is too common and too like other books, the truth is that it is woven so perfectly together, it's a whole other story. Definitely a must read.

    In one sentence:

    Saturday, October 24, 2009

    In My Mailbox (2)

    In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.

    So today I bought:

    I'm already on page forty something and I'm very excited about it. I loved the first one!

    Friday, October 23, 2009

    Review & Privacy Policy

    Yay! Reads is a book review blog intended for entertainment purposes only. All text of the books are copyrighted to their authors. I buy all my books unless otherwise stated.

    I accept ARCs as well as already published works. It would be a great honor to be able to review and promote your view. You can also contact me for interviews and giveaways. Contact me at

    It takes me about 1-3 days to read a book I love. Depending on how engaging the book is, the more or less it takes me. Reviews are posted almost immediately after I finish reading the book. I promise to not take more than a month to read and review a book.

    Contest information including addresses, names, emails, etc. will not be shared, given away or sold under any circumstances. It you're under 13 let a parent know what you're participating in.

    All my opinions are mine. It is important that I respect the book and the author as well as my opinion is respected. If I love a book, I will say it, if I don't, I will say it also. Remember that what I think may not be what the next person thinks.

    Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

    Wuthering Heights

    I'm going to start by saying that the plot in this book is unbelievable. It's one of the most complicated intriguing plots I've ever read. To make everything simpler. This is a brief summary from GoodReads:
    Heathcliff comes to the brooding mansion of Wuthering Heighths as an orphan child. Cathy is the daughter of the wealthy family that takes him in. They are drawn together from the moment they meet, their love consuming, destructive, and full of desire. They cannot be together, and yet they cannot stay apart. The consequences will haunt generations. This is the chilling story of two people who experience love and all its intense complications. It is a story readers will never forget.

    This story involves three generations. From Mr. Earnshaw, Catherine Earnshaw's father, to Catherine Earnshaw's daughter, Cathy Linton. Heathcliff and Catherine fall in a forbidden love divided by riches, society, and family. Heathcliff's sour attitude results from the early death of his love, after giving birth to another man's child. His anger is part of the rest of the book's relationship. Cathy Linton (the daughter) and her cousin Linton fall in love. Having been adopted by Heathcliff (his father), Linton takes to his anger and abuses poor Cathy. When Linton dies, Heathcliff wants her to marry Hareton, the son of the son of his adoptive father (can you understand that? Ha!). At first, Cathy denies this but as we move towards the end of the book, we see her feelings toward Hareton change, thus ending the story in a Happily Ever After.

    The love between Heathcliff and Catherine is so great that, not only does it prevail after death, but it appears on the next generations. Told in such a beautiful narrative, Bronte's only novel captures the timeless emotions of love never before seen. Whether you're up for reading a classic or not, Wuthering Heights MUST be part of your reading list some time or another. I give it five outstanding stars. And, as is tradition, in one sentence (or phrase):

    Hauntingly romantic!

    Wednesday, October 21, 2009

    Wednesday Wishes (1)

    This meme was inspired by Kristi of The Story Siren.

    Today's Wednesday wishes are:

    01. The Alchemyst by Michael Scott
    02. The Prophecy of The Sisters by Michelle Zink
    03. Resurrection by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie

    Have your own Wednesday Wish? Post the URL of the POST and the TITLE of the POST using Mr. Linky!


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