Friday, April 30, 2010

Challenge Update: April

These are the books I've read in April. I am participating in a Historical Fiction Challenge and 100 Books in 2010 Challenge:

1. A Bend In The Road by Nicholas Sparks
2. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
3. The Heart Is Not A Size by Beth Kephart
4. Undercover by Beth Kephart
5. House of Dance by Beth Kephart
6. Trickster's Choice by Tamora Pierce
7. All Unquiet Things
8. If I Stay

33/100 Books (Wow, already 33% through)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Trickster's Choice by Tamora Pierce (100+ Followers ENTRY)

Comment on this post to get +3 added to your extra entries. This will be valid within 5 days of this posting. 
Trickster's Choice

To the great joy of her many fans, Tamora Pierce with this book begins a new saga of Tortall to add to The Song of the Lioness Quartet, the Immortals Quartet, and The Protector of the Small tetralogy. At the center of each of these books is always a strong and resourceful young woman who masters the arts of swordplay and knightly warfare in the magical medieval country of Tortall. Alianne, or Aly, daughter of the warrior queen Alanna the Lioness, has all these skills, but also a delicious sense of humor, which serves her well when she is chosen by the trickster god Kyprioth to serve as his secret agent and a slave for a year in the embattled Copper Isles. There the dark-skinned natives, or raka, have been conquered and crushed by the laurin, light-skinned people from the mainland. The burning raka resentment is fueled by prophecies of a twice royal queen who will free them, aided by the "wise one, the cunning one, the strong one, the warrior, and the crows." Just how each of the colorful characters and Aly herself fit into this prophecy and Kyprioth's tricky plan keeps readers guessing. Aly plots to show her skill at spying as she flirts with the god and is courted by Nawat, a crow transformed into a handsome young man, who is puzzled when she rejects his attempts to mate-feed her with grubs and ants.

This is a re-read. I read this about two years ago and didn't have anything to read at the time so I picked it up. Let me tell you that before ever reading this book I didn't know any of Tamora Pierce's other works. Thankfully, you don't really need to read anything previous to this book because the references made are good without getting you confused of what happened before. Okay, now onto the actual review:

Alianne (Aly) is the daughter of the Lioness and definitely feeling the pressure. When on a voyage she gets caught by pirates and sold into slavery, all she wants to do is keep her lineage secret. She is visited by the Trickster God who giver her a task she must complete in order to go back home. This is not easy but with the help of her friends, Aly will try her hardest to keep the family she works for safe.

It took me a week to read this book since it's 400+ pages long. Significantly shorter time than when I first read it (1 month). This is a really heavy read and sometimes a bit slow but it's quite fast on the last half.

Aly is such a strong character of the likes of Katsa from Graceling. I loved how she was a strong woman yet she didn't seem overly tomboyish or nerdy. She was a flirt but not silly. This is one of my favorite characters in YA literature for sure.

Ah, Nawat. One of my lit boyfriends. He is so sweet and naive and innocent without seeming pathetic. And he's so brave and strong. This boy can't be compared. He's not arrogant or moody (or one of those dangerous boys we are seeing so often). He's like the perfect crow--I mean--boyfriend.

Sarai and Dove where good enough characters but we don't get to know them enough. There's definitely more of them in the next book that Tamora wants to keep under wraps. Dove is the youngest at twelve but she's wise beyond her years. I really love her.

Overall, it's a pretty heavy read but once you learn the names (correctly, I might add), you will find yourself flowing from page to page faster than you think. I think I re-read this book because I read it when I was 13-14 and I wasn't mature or interested enough to appreciate it for how an amazing piece of literature it is.

In one sentence:
"Trickster's Choice is gripping and classic fantasy."

Plot: 5
Characters: 5
Writing: 5
Cover: 5
Overall Feeling: 5
Average: 5

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Arson Blog Tour: Emery's Journal

A little about Estevan:

Currently a college student in Connecticut, Estevan Vega has been writing since he was a teenager. ARSON will be his third published work, following Servant of the Realm and The Sacred Sin. ARSON holds a part of Estevan, a piece he began during a tumultuous time in his own life. With a curiosity for the supernatural, as well as a feeling of discontentment with humanity's complacency, Vega’s story-lines dwell somewhere in between fiction and reality, a place where the world is as blurred and irregular as human choice and consequence.

My review of Arson is HERE.

Here is an entry in Emery's diary:

i wish i were different. i wish things didnt spiral out of control like they did. Geez, a few years ago everything seemed grate. Well, who am I kidding? Things were never great. Things always just were. I mean, being a preacher’s daughter has its own gifts and curses. More curses, I think. God, this is so stupid. Writing in my little diary? Like some stupid, na├»ve little girl. Guess its either this or therapy. I friggin hate shrinks. so that’s not really option.
i hate the way my life is more.

c’mon, emery. get a freakin GRIP!!! i wish when I looked in the mirror i saw something other than the scars. Other than the passed that won’t go away no matter how much I try to cover it up. I feel like going to the top of the nearest building and jumping off, but i don’t even think a fall like that could shake it all up enough to fix my dad getting kicked out of the church. Mom’s screaming at him now so im just gonna crank up the stereo. the rock music seems to tune ‘em out most of the time. They hate it though. in about point five seconds Dad’ll be yelling up from his study asking me to turn it down a notch or 2…or seven, so he can think, even though he’s like knee-deep in Mom’s interogation.

Man, does she ever let up?\

I’m so sick of the ‘rents. They think everythings all about their problems. i swear it’s like they forgot they had a daughter. a scarred daughter. You know I bought a copy of 17 mag last week. Had some skinny blonde chick on the front. Hair done up, make-up, air-brushed so her jugs sat all perfect-y on her chest. God, I think she had sparkles or something on her half-unbuttoned shirt. She’d be on playboy next issue, i can count on it. C’mon, Emery, you’re just jealous, my mind says. Yeah, I know. it’s a PHASE, right? Or it’s, oh, what did Mom call it last week? part of the journey of adolecense. maybe I should just be a whore like randomcoverchick. maybe I should lick my ice cream all seductively like that bimbo trying to steel Arson. Maybe I should just disappear and never come back to this stupid, lame town. & they think I’m hiding? they dont know the 1st thing about hiding. Geez, I mean we all wear strange masks. Dad’s hiding from real life. mom’s hiding from dad. emery’s hiding from emery…and everybody else.
God, did I just refer to myself in the third person? this diary crap is a real trip. The ‘rents would love that too. haha. “daughter now has new disorder.” Geez, I guess dysfunctional really is the new normal.

I’m listening to this really cool song on the stereo now. I shut my eyes. its alot lighter than I usually like, but it made it to a mix disc a few months back, before we all wound up here in dull, hickcity. Makes me think of arson. Oh! Makes me think of what-if. makes me think I’m more than a freak behind a mask, a chick that doesn’t want to come out of hiding. i dont even think he notices me. not like I notice him. But maybe, just maybe things can be different w/ him. with arson - that skinny, ash-haired kid next door.

What are you thinking? i’m saying it out loud, in case you’re wondering. oh, god, who am I talking to? Geez, now I have multiple personal…whatever. ALERT THE ‘RENTS pronto. histerical. man, I tend to ramble. This page is like a weak paperback that some writerboy is humming away at someplace. any where but here. Maybe he’ll finish it. Maybe not. i’m prob not gonna finish this crap. who knows? It’s maybe working, maybe not. Maybe’s not good enough though.
I…hate…writing…in…this…stupid…diary. Nope, writing to myself doesn’t help worth crap. Only makes me more pissed.

i…really like…

ahhh…can’t write the rest.

Maybe tomorrow.   
Wasn't it awesome!? You can buy it over at B&N HERE.
You can check the next tour dates HERE.

Thank you Estevan and Emery for stopping by!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

In My Mailbox (14)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren and explores the contents of my mailbox.

For Review

  1. The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells
  1. If I Stay by Gayle Forman*
  2. The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson
On Kindle
  1. All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab**
This is what I got this week, what did you get?

*Has such a beautiful cover, the paperback.
**I'm already halfway through this one and I bought it yesterday.

The Marvelous World Saga by Troy CLE: Interview and Trailer


Today we have the pleasure of featuring The Marvelous World Saga by Troy CLE and an awesome interview with him. Check it out!

Summary of The Marvelous Effect (Book #1)
He loves listening to hip-hop, racing radio-controlled cars, and hanging out with his best friend, Brandon. Then a mysterious letter invites him to visit the local junkyard. There he finds a secret, underground amusement park like no other in existence. This is the best day of Louis's life. The park even has the most amazing race course for radio-controlled cars. Louis starts racing right away. It's a close contest; he's about to activate his nitro boost to take the lead, when...

This is the worst day of Louis's life. Without warning or reason, thirteen-year-old Louis Proof falls into a coma due to a virus of a mysterious, celestial origin. When he awakens three months later, the world that he once knew and loved is totally out of control. He will learn that his illness is connected to everything that is wrong, and that it's not only his responsibility but his destiny to set things right.

This story is a megadramatic, remarkably true, super action fantasy. Get ready!

Welcome, Troy, to Yay! Reads. We're glad to have you stop by today. First, if someone would make a movie of the books, who would play the main character?

I am not sure who could play Louis Proof but I would love if Dakota Fanning would play Cyndi Victoria Chase

What was the easiest aspect of writing the books? The hardest?

It is easy to write my books when I am inspired by real events and people. My fist book– The Marvelous Effect, was inspired by my life and friends so very little had to be made up. I just greatly exaggerated the events to turn them into super fantasy. The hardest part of writing is when I have to make everything up like I did with Olivion's Favorites. That book takes place totally on Midlandia, which is the place of the impossible, so I had no real world references for it. That took up so much creative energy that it was beyond exhausting. My next Marvelous World book is primarily based in our world so it should be easier to write.

In one sentence, how would you describe your writing?

That's easy. Mega Dramatic Remarkably True Super Action Fantasy!

Who are your favorite authors and books?

It may sound silly but to this day my FAVORITE book is Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what kind?

When I was writing The Marvelous Effect I listened to Coheed and Cambria, Jay-Z, Fall Out Boy, 50 Cent, Hooverphonic, John Mayer, and many others. You can totally see the influence in that book and pick up on a certain rhythms. I did not listen to music while writing Olivion's Favorites. Reading it is a totally different experience than the first one. I will be writing to lots of music for my third book.

Now, here's the awesome trailer!

Sounds fantastic! Thanks to Troy and his team for making this interview possible.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The House of Dance by Beth Kephart

House Of Dance

Rosie and her mother coexist in the same house as near strangers. Since Rosie's father abandoned them years ago, her mother has accomplished her own disappearing act, spending more time with her boss than with Rosie. Now faced with losing her grandfather too, Rosie begins to visit him every day, traveling across town to his house, where she helps him place the things that matter most to him "In Trust." As Rosie learns her grandfather's story, she discovers the role music and motion have played in it. But like colors, memories fade. When Rosie stumbles into the House of Dance, she finally finds a way to restore the source of her grandfather's greatest joy.

Eloquently told, National Book Award finalist Beth Kephart's House of Dance is a powerful celebration of life and the people we love who make it worthwhile.
The House of Dance has the same flowing, poetic narrative as Beth's other books. This story, especially, is heart warming and at times a bit sad. It has a hint of romance but it's not the center of the book, just enough to make itself known.

Rosie is an awesome character, well rounded and unique. She has such a good heart, I want her to be my friend. Her relationship with her mom isn't good but she doesn't blow up every time she's mad at her. She just decides to stay quiet and keep her thoughts to herself. Sometimes this frustrated me because I'm not at all like that but I also understood her.

The grandfather was adorable except that I would have liked him to be more involved somehow. I felt like when Rosie was with her grandfather, it was just as a spectator, not as part of the action.

I would have also liked to see more of the dancing. The title suggests like it would be all about the dancing and it wasn't, which was good, but I also wished there could be a pinch more. The ending is just beautiful.

In one sentence:
"A heartwarming story that will keep your feet tapping."

Plot: 4
Characters: 4
Writing: 5
Cover: 4
Overall Feeling: 4
Average: 4.2 stars

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

100+ Followers Contest

So this contest is well overdue and I wanted to do a 150 followers but I was very excited to do this so I'm doing it now. Let's get to the prizes (these are subject to change or prizes may be added, it all depends on how many entries/books I get in the coming weeks).

There are two sides to every breakup. This is Jordan and Courtney, totally in love. Sure, they were an unlikely high school couple. But they clicked; it worked. They're even going to the same college, and driving cross-country together for orientation. Then Jordan dumps Courtney -- for a girl he met on the Internet. It's too late to change plans, so the road trip is on. Courtney's heartbroken, but figures she can tough it out for a few days. La la la -- this is Courtney pretending not to care. But in a strange twist, Jordan cares. A lot. Turns out, he's got a secret or two that he's not telling Courtney. And it has everything to do with why they broke up, why they can't get back together, and how, in spite of it all, this couple is destined for each other.

Ten-year-old Winifred Foster's accidental encounter with the uncommon Tuck family, their hidden spring, and their extraordinary secret transforms her life and leads her to make a noteworthy decision.

For fifteen-year-old Haven, life is changing too quickly. She's nearly six feet tall, her father is getting remarried, and her sister,the always perfect Ashley,is planning a wedding of her own. Haven wishes things could just go back to the way they were. Then an old boyfriend of Ashley's reenters the picture, and through him, Haven sees the past for what it really was, and comes to grips with the future.

When Nina learns the shocking truth that her best friends Mel and Avery have fallen in love with each other, their friendship is rocked by what feels like the ultimate challenge. But it's only the beginning of a painful, funny, and gripping journey as three girls discover who they are and what they really want.

To participate, fill out THIS FORM.

Quick Glance:
-Ends May 29th, 2010 at midnight
-Open to US residents only (I will check prices for international residents but for now, it stays US).
-ONE WINNER (unless I add more books and winners. Any further changes might be seen in this page).

NOTE: If you comment in future posts (only posts identified by '100+ Followers Contest') you will receive +3 entries.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Undercover by Beth Kephart


Like a modern-day Cyrano de Bergerac, Elisa ghostwrites love notes for the boys in her school. But when Elisa falls for Theo Moses, things change fast. Theo asks for verses to court the lovely Lila—a girl known for her beauty, her popularity, and a cutting ability to remind Elisa that she has none of these. At home, Elisa's father, the one person she feels understands her, has left on an extended business trip. As the days grow shorter, Elisa worries that the increasingly urgent letters she sends her father won't bring him home. Like the undercover agent she feels she has become, Elisa retreats to a pond in the woods, where her talent for ice-skating gives her the confidence to come out from under cover and take center stage. But when Lila becomes jealous of Theo's friendship with Elisa, her revenge nearly destroys Elisa's ice-skating dreams and her plan to reunite her family.

I think Undercover is my favorite Beth Kephart book. I'm just a softie for romance and poems.

Again, Beth Kephart excels with beautiful writing and a real story. I loved how unique the plot was. I mean, ghost writer for love notes? That's freaking awesome. I loved how we can see how Elisa changed through the book. She became a very strong and brave character in the end.

I loved Theo! He was cute and a good friend. I was a bit heartbroken at some point but then near the end, Theo got redeemed for me.

There's nothing much to say. The book is good and a fast read, slightly un-put-downable and very chaste. Very nice book for younger readers.

In one sentence:
"Charming and quick, Undercover is flamboyant."

Plot: 4
Characters: 5
Writing: 5
Cover: 4
Overall Feeling: 4
Average: 4.4

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Heart Is Not A Size by Beth Kephart

The Heart Is Not A Size
Georgia knows what it means to keep secrets. She knows how to ignore things. She knows that some things are better left unsaid. ...Or are they?

When Georgia and her best friend, Riley, travel along with nine other suburban Pennsylvania kids to Anapra, a squatters' village in the heat-flattened border city of Juarez, Mexico, secrets seem to percolate and threaten both a friendship and a life. Certainties unravel. Reality changes. And Georgia is left to figure out who she is outside the world she's always known.

Beth Kephart paints a world filled with emotion, longing, and the hot Mexican sun.

When Georgia discovers a program where she could go to Mexico to help build a community bathroom, she doesn't hesitate to join alongside her best friend, Riley. Both Georgia and Riley have secrets that will threaten this friendship. Will they be able to stay friends?

I loved how easy it was to read this book. I was done with it in two days. A really quick at-the-beach read. Beth Kephart has a beautiful writing style, almost poetic. The words just...flow.

Riley is a very extreme character. She wants to be against everything her mother wants her to be. You can see that their relationship isn't that good and I felt and suffered with Riley.

Georgia is a quiet character, reserved, and with a big secret. Of course, she is worried about her friend and how extreme she's taking everything but it doesn't quite work out.

The setting is fantastic. I love how vividly everything was portrayed in Juarez.

Overall, I really liked the story. It was a quick and easy read and enjoyable but not at-the-edge-of-your-seat kind of enjoyable. I really liked Georgia and Riley's friendship and how imperfect it was, yet, it seemed to work out.

In one sentence:
"A quick read about friendship and the risks we're willing to take for it."

Plot: 4
Writing: 5
Characters: 4
Cover: 2
Overall Feeling: 4
Average: 3.8

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

The Iron King

Meghan Chase has never fit in at her small-town high school, and now, on the eve of her 16th birthday, she discovers why. When her half brother is kidnapped, Meghan is drawn into a fantastical world she never imagined--the world of Faery, where anything you see may try to eat you, and Meghan is the daughter of the summer faery king. Now she will journey into the depths of Faery to face an unknown enemy . . . and beg the help of a winter prince who might as soon kill her as let her touch his icy heart. The Iron King is the first book in the Iron Fey series.

There has been such a boom with fey/vampire/warewolf books that I was rather afraid to read this one. I didn't want it to be another cliched story of a girl falling in love with an immortal. And since it's the first book in a series, I'd feel guilty if I didn't end up liking it.

I'm wrong a lot of times, and this was one of them. To put it simply, the iron king is great kind of neoclassical feel. It has the classic fantasy (not just fey) lore but also modern in a way that feels of this century.

Although there were some cliche lines (fiber of my being), I wouldn't blame anyone. It's kind of hard avoiding cliches (tell me, I know).

Meghan was, at first, a whiny character. I didn't instantly connect with her but as the story progressed, I liked her more and more.

Robbie was my favorite character. He brings out the real laughs and I think he's the one stealing the spotlight here.

I have something to say about Ash and Meghan, though. Seriously? This was the thing I was trying to avoid, the oh-he's-so-dangerous-but-I-fell-in-love-with-him syndrome. Nevertheless, it sort of grew on me so, I've accepted it...for now. (shh, I'm team Robbie).

The plot was original. It was slow in the middle but picked up near the end. It's such an awesome cliff-hanger end that you'll be wanting more.

In one sentence:
"Almost like a new YA genre, neoclassical."

Plot: 4
Characters: 4
Writing: 4
Cover: 5 (I just have to say, it's one of my favorite covers ever. Just so beautiful.)
Overall Feeling: 4
Average: 4.2

Saturday, April 10, 2010

In My Mailbox (13)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at  The Story Siren and explores the contents of my mailbox.

I had a video this week but it was not very good and when I wanted to do it again, my face got swollen because of an operation I got. So here is the plain ol' text form:

For Review

On Kindle

* First ever YA signed book. OMG! Also, it's personalize so it ACTUALLY HAS MY NAME.
** My second signed book
*** My third signed book
****This book is not signed but still, it has a really cool cover that DOES show up on my Kindle.

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Bend In The Road by Nicholas Sparks

A Bend In The Road

From America's best-loved and bestselling author of stories of the heart comes a dramatic tale about a couple's newfound happiness together and the shocking secret that threatens to keep them apart.

Miles' life seemed to end the day his wife was killed in a hit-and-run accident. He still rises each morning to take care of his young son, and carries out his duties as deputy sheriff of New Burn, North Carolina, but it's all in a numb and hopeless haze. Then Miles meets Sarah Andrews, his son's first grade teacher, who is rebuilding her own life after a shattering divorce. Slowly, their newfound love starts to soothe the pain of the past. But when a devastating secret is revealed, they discover they have much more than love in common. Now, they are questioning everything they ever believed in—and had just begun to hope for.

My sister bought this but since she's a slow reader (or easily distracted) I borrowed it and read it in a couple of days.

This, unlike any other Nicholas Sparks book, has an air of mystery and suspense to it. It is not just a love story but something else, too.

Told between third person POV and the point of view of Missy's killer, A Bend In The Road will keep the reader engaged and wanting more.

Miles reminded me of Noah in The Notebook, the one who suffers a loss and gets sort of grungy. I liked him and I loved his way of interacting with Jonah.

Jonah, I think, was my favorite character. He has the spunk of a young boy but the heart and mind of someone far beyond his years. He's funny and thoughtful and is sort of the star-in-the-making.

Sarah's story was fun, too. I liked how she too did suffer in the past and it was not simply a lost boy is saved by girl story. It was very mutual, the relationship with Miles.

Of course, A Bend In The Road is targeted to adult readers but any teen will appreciate this fast paced love story.

In one sentence:
"More than what you expect, deeply satisfying."

Plot: 5
Characters: 5
Writing: 5
Cover: 5
Overall Feeling: 5
Average: 5

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Recent Awards

I've gotten a couple of awards I haven't posted yet, so here they are:

Here are the rules:
Thank & link to the person that gave you the award.
Pass this award onto 15 bloggers you’ve recently discovered and think are fantastic
Contact the blogs and let them know they’ve won.
State 7 things about yourself.

Seven things about me:

1. I can't write and listen to music at the same time, it distracts me.
2. I was born and raised and currently reside in Puerto Rico. I'm fluent in both Spanish and English but much prefer to write/read in English.
3. My favorite traditional main course is Mofongo Relleno (google it). I want one right now.
4. I eat ice cream almost every day. We buy tubs of ice cream at Costco, thank God for Costco.
5. Sometimes I cry/laugh/fight/talk in my sleep. Seriously.
6. I have like 5 email accounts. I check them all.
7. I really am afraid of lizards. The real animal is called lagartijo in Spanish (don't know the English name) but they are this tiny things like salamanders (a bit less gross). There's one in my bathroom right now. I've actually quarantined the bathroom and haven't used it since yesterday when I saw the little gross thing.

The rules are pretty simple. Answer the following questions with Single Word answers then pass this along to 5 other bloggers. Make sure you let them know about it though.

Your Cell Phone? sidekick

Your Hair? long

Your Mother? fashionable

Your Father? goofy

Your Favorite Food? sweets

Your Dream Last Night? unknown

Your Favorite Drink? water

Your Dream/Goal? writer

What Room Are You In? office

Your Hobby? reading

Your Fear? lizards

Where Do You Want To Be In Six Years? NYC

Where Were You Last Night? home

Something That You Aren't? backstabber

Muffins? moist

Wish List Item? phone

Where Did You Grow Up? PR

Last Thing You Did? read

What Are You Wearing? tshirt

Your TV? downstairs

Your Pets? dog

Friends? somewhere

Your Life? boring

Your Mood? headache

Missing Someone? yes

Vehicle? car

Something You Aren't Wearing? shoes

Your Favorite Store? Borders

Your Favorite Color? black

When Was The Last Time You Laughed? sometime

Last Time You Cried? recently

Your Best Friend? funny

One Place You Go To Over And Over Again? Bookstore

Facebook? yeah

Favorite Place To Eat? italian

I'm a bit lazy so I'll post twenty. The first fifteen are for the first award, the last five are for the second:

A Bookful of Thoughts
Book Nerds
Chick Lit Teens
I Should Be Writing
Juiciliciousss Reviews
Penultimate Page
Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
The Book Butterfly
The Hiding Spot
The Ladybug Reads
The Page Flipper
Word for Teens
A Good Addiction
Book Crazy
Book Love: Teen
Dragonfly Reviews
Kindle Vixen
Nayu's Reading Corner
Sparrow Review
Teens Read And Write

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

3 Willows by Ann Brashares

3 Willows

summer is a time to grow

Polly has an idea that she can't stop thinking about, one that involves changing a few things about herself. She's setting her sights on a more glamorous life, but it's going to take all of her focus. At least that way she won't have to watch her friends moving so far ahead.

Jo is spending the summer at her family's beach house, working as a busgirl and bonding with the older, cooler girls she'll see at high school come September. She didn't count on a brief fling with a cute boy changing her entire summer. Or feeling embarrassed by her middle school friends. And she didn't count on her family at all. . .

Ama is not an outdoorsy girl. She wanted to be at an academic camp, doing research in an air-conditioned library, earning A's. Instead her summer scholarship lands her on a wilderness trip full of flirting teenagers, blisters, impossible hiking trails, and a sad lack of hair products.
It is a new summer. And a new sisterhood. Come grow with them.

I've been wanting to read 3 Willows for a while now but being a Sisterhood fan, I wasn't sure how well I was going to take this book. But I've had it in my TBR list for a while, so I went ahead and picked it up.

Oh, wow, that shut me up. 3 Willows is a beautiful stories with wonderful characters. I started liking Ama more and then Polly. I was very reluctant about Jo, though, her attitude and her obvious desperation to be cooler and appear older. Somehow, this didn't rub me the right way in the beginning.

Ama is such a character! She's smart and nerdy but definitely cares about her appearance which made her un-stereotypical and rounded. I loved how she acted through the trip in the wild, it was very believable and the way I myself would have acted. I loved her relationship with Noah and how easy and natural it was.

Polly was okay for me. She wanted to be a model and went as far to do some really extreme stuff for that. She seemed the most childish of the three. I liked her enough to care for her but I don't really have much to say about who she is and her roundness as a character.

Jo was interesting. In the beginning, I didn't like her but she became my favorite character. She is the perfect example of really growing up and knowing how easy teens change and give up what they love to be something they are not. She's the most evolved character.

The different stories weaved beautifully. Ann is such an amazing writer, the book flowed easily and was such an enjoyment. It's a quick beach read that I'd recommend to anyone. This book is about friendship and growing up and finding oneself. It is definitely for a younger audience than the Sisterhood.

In one sentence:
"Flowing and heartwarming, a story of true friendship that evolved but never dies."

Plot: 5
Characters: 4
Cover: 3
Writing: 5
Overall: 4
Average: 4.2

Monday, April 5, 2010

Thought I'd Share

Many of you know I write (as I've mentioned it before here). Most times I think a book in scenes and then weave it all together. I've been wanting to write fantasy for a while so I finally managed a plot that I was satisfied with and this is one of the very first scenes (and most recent) I've written. A bit of background:

Sahir is a descendant of King Elion, the one who first ruled the lands that are now divided into three kingdoms.  Sahir's father is a Lord in one of the kingdoms doesn't know about his daughter's Gift. But when she recklessly makes her abilities public, she has to flee into the woods because she will likely be killed by any ruling Lord or King for fear that she might claim her rightful throne. The scene here is while she's in the woods and a nobleman's son discovers her while hunting. She knocked him unconscious but he has woken and is her captive. Here's when she reveals herself:

Willann. That was his name, proud and baring his heritage. It should have made me run and hide, for his father presented a bigger threat to me than my own. But the shudder of fear never entered my tired muscles. If anything, it seemed to awake them.

I placed my palm on the ground and let the soil underneath it freeze with my touch. His eyes widened and then, as to confirm I was indeed Gifted, I let my fingers radiate the heat to the ground, which quickly caught fire.

"I am Sahir. Descendant of the King Elion," I said.
I hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading!

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olymians, #3)

The Titan's Curse

When the goddess Artemis goes missing, she is believed to have been kidnapped.And now it's up to Percy and his friends to find out what happened. Who is powerful enough to kidnap a goddess? They must find Artemis before the winter solstice, when her influence on the Olympian Council could swing an important vote on the war with the titans. Not only that, but first Percy will have to solve the mystery of a rare monster that Artemis was hunting when she disappeared -- a monster rumored to be so powerful it could destroy Olympus forever.

In the third installment of the series, we are introduced to new characters, situations, and monsters. Kronos is rising and the threat of a prophecy has Percy and Thalia on the god's eyes. Without talking too much, the series keeps getting better and better. I love how we are starting to see the characters grow up and develop crazy feelings. I love how they start to transition from tweens to teens.

There are a few character secrets revealed in this book that will surprise many. This book is action packed from page one and it's definitely quicker than the second book.

In one sentence:
"Can't get enough Percy!"

Plot: 5
Characters: 5
Cover: 5
Writing: 5
Overall Feeling: 5
Average: 5

Take Me There by Susane Colasanti

Take Me There

In one short week . . . three lives change.

Rhiannon is devastated after the breakup with her boyfriend and wants him back. Nicoles ex is still in the picture, but she can't help having a new crush. James and Rhiannon are just friends, though he may try to take it to the next level. Will their desire to take a mean girl down a notch bring these three friends what they want . . . and more?

Take Me There is written in three different POV of Rhiannon, James, and Nicole. It is so awesomely written, it's like it was stolen right from the high school hallways. The dialogue and the narrative is witty, humorous, touching, and comforting all at once. My sister actually bought this book and she was gushing all over it and since she's three years younger, I didn't want to read it. Just because of that. But I was bored and I gave it a chance. Thank God!

Rhiannon is more like me, she freaks out and obsesses easily yet she loves her friends and is just a great person. I loved her Top 5 Lists and you know what? I started my own Top 5 journal which isn't as cool but you know, that's how I roll.

James was my next favorite, he was honest and so likable. It really felt like I was reading from a male point of view. I really liked him and how he interacted with Rhiannon, everything between them just flowed beautifully, it didn't feel forced or anything.

Nicole was...okay. I didn't like her as much and she was a bit weird sometimes but then I understood why (it took me a while) and I started liking her more, too bad she already made a bad impression. Curiously, though, my sister's favorite parts where Nicole's (again, my sister is called Nicole, though).

I loved how the plot flowed almost effortlessly. What most kept me reading was how something important happened at the end of the narration of each character and then BAM! it is switched to the next character which, of course, made me read more to answer previous questions and to get back on the mystery of one character. It was a bit confusing at first but, other than that, I loved it.

In one sentence:
"A beautiful novel with character you won't soon forget."

Plot: 5
Characters: 4
Writing: 5
Cover: 4
Overall Feeling: 5
Average: 4.6


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