Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Challenge Update: June

I'm participating in the Historical Reading Challenge and 100+ Books in 2010 Challenge.

1. Jinx by Meg Cabot
2. Wildthorn by Jane Eagland
3. Geektastic by Various Authors
4. The Turning by Helen Ellis
5. Manifest by Artist Arthur
6. City Of Glass by Cassandra Clare*
7. The Short Second Life Of Bree Tanner
8. Memoirs of A Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin*
9. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
10. Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard

*re read from last year.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

In My Mailbox (22)

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


  • Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard
  • Gone by Michael Grant

City Of Glass by Cassandra Clare

City Of Glass

To save her mother's life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters -- never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.
As Clary uncovers more about her family's past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadow-hunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadow-hunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he's willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her new found powers to help save the Glass City -- whatever the cost?

Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the final installment of the New York Times bestselling trilogy The Mortal Instruments.

I read this book last year and I loved it! The action starts from the very beginning and it's non stop.

I love how Clary and Jace are in this book. If I were reading it for the first time, I'd say I'd also really liked Sebastian but knowing the end, he's definitely on my hate list. I even hate him more than Valantine.

Great secreats are revealed and it's full of twists and turns. I read 200 pages of this book in less than two days --and two busy days, to say the least.

I love this book and although I think it's a great final installment, I can't wait until City Of Fallen Angels. I. Just. Can't. So, Cassandra Clare, if you're reading this, please please let me have an ARC to review. I'm that desperate :).

In one sentence:
"Powerful and entertaining at its best."

Plot: 5
Characters: 5
Writing: 5
Cover: 5 (I just f'n love it!)
Overall Feeling: 5
Average: 5

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Visual Inspiration (1)

Visual Inspiration is something Steph did over at Hey Teenager and I was so inspired I decided to do one myself. Hopefully, although I didn't create a meme or a feature, I'll do more in the future which is why I've numbered it. The photos are from we heart it. By the way, these are in no order of the events of the novel.


Friday, June 25, 2010

The Turning by Helen Ellis

The Turning

Mary Richards is a normal sixteen-year-old girl living in Manhattan. Well, almost normal. She goes to private school on the Upper East Side, having been saved from a life of squalor by an adoptive family. But she’s also slowly transforming into a cat.

Struggling to hide her physical metamorphosis, Mary discovers that she isn’t alone. A whole race of cat people prowls the streets of Manhattan at night, including Mary’s long-time crush, Nick.

Aside from heightened feline senses, hanging out with Nick is the best thing about discovering her inner kitty. But Mary’s transformation is special and could decide the outcome of a citywide turf war. She must decide whether to embrace her powerful feline side and become a pack leader or go back to being a normal teenage girl. Can she land on her feet or will curiosity be her downfall?
What first caught my eye of this book was definitely the premise. Very cat-woman and original considering so many werewolves today. So of course, I dived in.

Mary is a fun narrator in Manhattan, one of my favorite places in the world. I liked her and despite the paranormal things, she was a very believable and relate-able character.

Then she discovers this whole other world and we're plunged in with her. I liked the descriptions of when she's turning. The book is per say is a good setup for the series and has enough plot substance to keep you entertained but it was a bit slow on some other parts and I kept waiting for the real action to begin.

Nick and Mary's relationship happens sort of out of the blue but it's very intriguing and different than other YA relationships so I was pretty satisfied with it.

Overall, I really liked this book and I can't wait for the rest of the series.

In one sentence:
"A perfect setup for an awesome story."

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

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Author Interview: Holly Schindler of A BLUE SO DARK

Today we have Holly Schindler (for the second time, eep!). She's the writer of A BLUE SO DARK, which I reviewed recently here.

1). After you finished writing A BLUE SO DARK, did Aura’s story end for you or do you know what happens to her after A BLUE SO DARK?

As a reader, when I come to the end of a novel—even a novel that wraps up all the loose ends, nice and neat, big red bow and all…a novel in which the main characters ride off into the sunset, happily ever after—I tend to find myself thinking, AND THEN THEY WOKE UP THE NEXT DAY…

What I mean is, I always think of a novel’s ending as just a pause—a moment to take a deep breath—before the next conflict begins…but that’s just the way LIFE is! We get over one mountain, and barely even get a chance to celebrate before we find ourselves staring straight into the next obstacle we’re going to have to overcome.

I can’t say I have it all mapped out, exactly what would happen to Aura and her mother after the book closes. But they’re obviously not going to have smooth sailing from the novel’s ending on. There will definitely be another mountain for those two, which doesn’t exist on the page…while the book was in development, I found myself constantly imagining new possibilities…

2. Do you believe that creativity can lead you to mental illness? Do you think creativity is a way to get OUT of mental illness?

The brain’s a fascinating thing, isn’t it? Even in our modern age, we know so little—and new mysteries crop up all the time: The recent explosion of autism and Alzheimer’s, for example.

Creativity, I think, is every bit as mysterious as mental illness. And I do think the two probably are linked—that’s not to say that I think one leads to another, or one can CURE the other. But I think that spark of inspiration—that end product that an artist can envision? That’s a little like a hallucination, isn’t it? Neither one really exists, except in one person’s mind! Both are figments that only one person can “see.”

I don’t think it’s absurd to think that what the brain does—what neurons fire, etc.—as a creative idea is born is unlike what happens in the brain when a “vision” or hallucination comes to life. I think when we understand creativity completely, we’ll understand mental illness. And vice versa.

3. Out of many artists who have suffered mental illness, who are your favorites?

I tend to really be fascinated by the artists who remain mysteries: those we really don’t seem to understand, and maybe never will…van Gogh (who was talked about often in the book), for instance: I don’t even think I can count the articles I’ve read, “definitively” explaining the reason he cut off his ear. I’ve read everything from that he did it for a woman, that he did it over a fight with Gauguin, even that he did it because he suffered from chronic debilitating inner ear infections.

I’m not sure we really understand van Gogh—even though we do have a lot of his writing (in the form of letters to his brother). I think so much of a person is lost the moment they pass away, and once the people who personally KNEW them are gone? The jigsaw just doesn’t ever get put back together…especially for a complicated person like van Gogh.

I think the same of Emily Dickinson—not that she’s an example of a mentally ill artist, but I’ve always been intrigued…because she’s someone we will never understand. We’ll speculate. We’ll all have our own theories of who she was. But there will never be a definitive answer, because so little remains of her life (other than her poetry). There’s something about that—about the never-knowing-for-sure—that just keeps sending me back to her work.

But that might be why I tackled a subject like the possible connection between creativity and mental illness. There is no real answer right now, just speculation…In the case of mental illness, though, there’s every chance that we WILL know, that we WILL unlock the mystery—maybe even in our lifetimes! The idea of that is utterly thrilling…

Thanks for a fantastic interview, Holly! Great to have you back and congrats on your success. Visit Holly Schindler at her blog here.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (5)

Waiting On Wednesday was created by Breaking The Spine.

Mackie Doyle seems like everyone else in the perfect little town of Gentry, but he is living with a fatal secret - he is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now the creatures under the hill want him back, and Mackie must decide where he really belongs and what he really wants. 

A month ago, Mackie might have told them to buzz off. But now, with a budding relationship with tough, wounded, beautiful Tate, Mackie has too much to lose. Will love finally make him worthy of the human world?

I can't believe I just heard about this book. The cover and the description make it sound AMAZING. Out on September 2010.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

In My Mailbox (21)

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

  • Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
  • The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Book Blogger Hop (2)

The second time I do this. Welcome! Please leave a comment if you're following because of the Hop!

Geektastic by Various Authors


Acclaimed authors Holly Black (Ironside)and Cecil Castellucci (Boy Proof) have united in geekdom to edit short stories from some of the best selling and most promising geeks in young adult literature: M.T. Anderson, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Tracy Lynn, Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Barry Lyga, Wendy Mass, Garth Nix, Scott Westerfield, Lisa Yee, and Sara Zarr.

With illustrated interstitials from comic book artists Hope Larson and Bryan Lee O'Malley, Geektastic covers all things geeky, from Klingons and Jedi Knights to fan fiction, theater geeks, and cosplayers. Whether you're a former, current, or future geek, or if you just want to get in touch with your inner geek, Geektastic will help you get your geek on!
This will be a short review since it's an anthology of short stories. Basically this book is awesome to the nth power. Every geek and non-geek should get it because it's like a freaking anthem to geekdom. There's nothing in this genre better than this. Yes, that's how good this is.

Not only is it written by many great (and my favorite) writers but the stories are not what I expected them to be at all. They deal with everything and each one has from light geekyness to hardcore geek and they have A BUNCH of humor.. I loved it! My favorite stories were:

Once You're A Jedi, You're a Jedi All The Way by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci
One of Us by tracy Lynn
I Never by Cassandra Clare
Quiz Bowl Anarchist by David Levithan
Secret Identity by Kelly Link
The Truth About Dino Girl by Barry Lyga
The Stars at th

I just realized that I was listing more than half the story. So thing is, go get it because it's AWESOME. Favorites of the year, truly.

In one sentence:
"These stories are the true anthems of the nerd herd."

(In general)
Plot: 5
Characters: 5
Writing: 5
Cover: 5
Overall Feeling: 5
Average: 5

$40 CSN Stores Gift Certificate

CSN Stores has kindly hosted this giveaway for a $40 gift certificate to their stores. They have everything from bookshelves and lights in really good prices. Here are the details:

Fill THIS FORM to enter.

-open US and Canada
-Ends July 4th

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Write In Life (2)

Write In Life is a biweekly meme hosted by Patty at Yay! Reads. It features writer ramblings around the blogosphere.

This week's topic: New Ideas

New ideas are precious. As a writer, many ideas that I come up with are often based on things that I have seen or read before. It is hard to be current and fresh, especially with the trends in literature (such as vamps, werewolves, etc.) and when I have a new idea, I explore each part of it. I always make sure that I know what I want to write and why I'm writing it.

The best part about getting a new idea is developing it through time. It has happened to me before where I'm afraid to write something because the idea is not clear in my mind or developed. So when you actually see your idea come to life, it's what I live--or want to live--for.

Are you a writer? You can participate in this meme by sending me an email to yayreads (at) hotmail (dot) com. I will send you the week's topic and you should make a 1-2 paragraph essay about it and how it applies to your life.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (4)

Waiting on Wednesday was created by Breaking The Spine.

Eron De Marchelle isn't supposed to feel a connection. He is a Sandman, a supernatural being whose purpose is to seduce human charges to sleep. While he can communicate with his charges in their dreams, he isn't encouraged to--after all, getting too involved in one human's life would prevent him helping his other charges get their needed rest. 

But he can't deny that he feels something for Julia. Julia, with her fiery red hair and her sad dreams. Just weeks ago, her boyfriend died in a car accident, and Eron can tell that she feels more alone than ever. Eron was human once too, many years ago, and he remembers how it felt to lose the one he loved. Eron has always felt protective of Julia . . . but now, when she seems to need him more than ever, he can't seem to reach her . . . 

Sandmen are forbidden from communicating with humans outside their dreams. But will Eron be willing to risk everything for a chance to be with the person he loves?

The cover looks fantastic and it seems like a very unique story line.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Soon to come...CSN Stores $40 Gift Card and Review

I've been browsing for a CSN product ever since I first saw them throughout the blogosphere. I was so happy when I was contacted to do a $40 Giveaway and a review! I searched their whole site and I fell in love with their their lights and bookshelves. So, check out the blog later so that you can participate in this AWESOME giveaway.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Jinx by Meg Cabot


It's not easy being Jinx.

Jean Honeychurch hates her boring name (not Jean Marie, or Jeanette, just . . . Jean). What's worse? Her all-too-appropriate nickname, Jinx. Misfortune seems to follow her everywhere she goes—even to New York City, where Jinx has moved to get away from the huge mess she caused in her small hometown. Her aunt and uncle welcome her to their Manhattan town house, but her beautiful cousin Tory isn't so thrilled. . . .

In fact, Tory is hiding a dangerous secret—one that could put them all in danger. Soon Jinx realizes it isn't just bad luck she's been running from . . . and that the curse she has lived under since the day she was born may be the only thing that can save her life.
I LOVE Meg Cabot and I've been wanting to read this one for YEARS. Finally, I got it!

This is very different from any other Meg Cabot (MC for this review, because, you know, she's cool like that) I've read. It has this awesome paranormal twist mixed in with the MC formula: humor, hot guys, and love triangle.

Jean is an awesome main character and narrator. I mean, ANYONE can relate to her. She's geeky, weird, and clumsy (like me). Plus, a super attitude add her to one of my favorite MC characters ever (right next to Princess Mia).

Oh, my God! Zach is like, amazing. I really do love him. He reminded me a lot of MC's Michael Moscovitz, he's that kind of cool. I liked how Jean and Zach's relationship developed, it flowed nicely and sweetly.

Petra is such a fun character, too. And Tory is evil. I think she's one of the most evil MC characters I've read.

This book definitely makes it into my favorites this year.

In one sentence:
"Meg Cabot has done it again!"

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

Saturday, June 12, 2010

In My Mailbox (20)

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


For Review

Friday, June 11, 2010

Book Blogger Hop

I want to find cool new blogs to follow so I'm doing the Hop! Leave a comment if you follow me because of the Hop! Thank you!

Wildthorn by Jane Eagland


They strip her naked, of everything—undo her whalebone corset, hook by hook. Locked away in Wildthorn Hall—a madhouse—they take her identity. She is now called Lucy Childs. She has no one; she has nothing. But, she is still seventeen—still Louisa Cosgrove, isn't she? Who has done this unthinkable deed? Louisa must free herself, in more ways than one, and muster up the courage to be her true self, all the while solving her own twisted mystery and falling into an unconventional love . . . >Originally published in the UK, this well-paced, provocative romance pushes on boundaries—both literal and figurative—and, do beware: it will bind you, too.
The cover of Wildthorn first cought my eyes, I love historical novels and the historical aspect of this one was amazingly done. The title also cought my eye.

Other than that, the book lacked in a lot of other places. I expected a lot and was thoroughly disappointed. It's hard for me to say this because I liked the book, just not as much as I thought. The characters are good and the premise is good. But the story drags a bit and only gets better later.

It did bring a few surprises, that's for sure. But other than that, it didn't have much to offer.

Louisa is a good character but often, her narration drags a bit. The best parts are the flashbacks which show a much more dynamic Lousia. I still liked her strong mind and determination.

Overall, I recommend going into this book without a lot to expect. It's a good book but not amazing.

In one sentence:
"While it lacks in some parts, good twists and turns keep the reader interested."

Plot: 3
Characters: 4
Writing: 4
Cover: 5
Overall Feeling: 3
Average: 3.8 stars

Review copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (3)

Waiting For Wednesday is hosted by Breaking The Spine.

Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still. 

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos. 

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own. 

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: Jem, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

I love Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments and I have high hopes for this one.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler

A Blue So Dark

Terrified that her mother, a schizophrenic and an artist, is a mirror that reflects her own future, sixteen-year-old Aura struggles with her overwhelming desires to both chase artistic pursuits and keep madness at bay.

As her mother sinks deeper into the darkness of mental illness, the hunger for a creative outlet keeps drawing Aura toward the depths of her own imagination—the shadows of make-believe that she finds frighteningly similar to her mother’s hallucinations.

Convinced that creative equals crazy, Aura shuns her art, and her life unravels in the process.

First off, I want to thank Holly Schindler who has been extremely awesome with me and sent me a signed copy of A Blue So Dark, so thank you.

Aura Ambrose shuns her art because she's afraid of becoming a schizo like her mother. But maybe running away from such a big part of herself will make everything worse.

A Blue So Dark is one of those books I've been waiting for all year. The cover is amazing and the story is mindblowing.

I devoured  this book like you don't know how. It is beautifully written and a visual delight, really.

Aura is a likable character whose problems are too big for her age. Her father isn't really there and she's basically on her own. I would have liked her to act sooner and take wiser decisions but I still understood why she did the things she did.

Overall, it was a great story and beautifully written. I give this two thumbs up.

Plot: 5
Characters: 4
Writing: 5
Cover: 5
Overall: 5
Average: 4.8

Sunday, June 6, 2010

In My Mailbox (19)

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

For Review:

  • The Turning by Helen Ellis
  • Geektastic: Stories From The Nerd Herd edited by Cecil Castellucci and Holly Black
What did you get?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Waiting For You by Susane Colasanti

Waiting For You

At the beginning of her sophomore year, Marisa is ready for a fresh start and, more importantly, a boyfriend. So when the handsome and popular Derek asks her out, Marisa thinks her long wait for happiness is over. But several bumps in the road—including her parents’ unexpected separation, a fight with her best friend, and a shocking disappointment in her relationship with Derek—test Marisa’s ability to maintain her new outlook. Only the anonymous DJ, whose underground podcasts have the school’s ear, seems to understand what Marisa is going through. But she has no idea who he is—or does she?
In this third romantic novel from Susane Colasanti, Marisa learns how to “be in the Now” and realizes that the love she’s been waiting for has been right in front of her all along.
What a great book! I fell in love with Susane Colasanti's stle in Take Me There but Waiting For You was amazing.

I loved Nash. He was geektastic and just so sweet. I could hate Derek but surprisingly, I kind of don't. If you read this book, maybe you know what I mean. Marisa was such a well-rounded character, I loved her too.

The story was a wee bit predictable but sometimes, this works for me. In stories like these I prefer to know where the things are going and not have twists in the end because I already feel comfortable with it.

This book had it all, emotion, sarcasm, humor, and everything else that I find intriguing in a book. I can't wait to read Susane Colasanti's other books. I'm adding this one to my favorites!

In one sentence:
"You have to read anything by Susane Colasanti...NOW!"

Plot: 4
Characters: 5
Writing: 5
Cover: 5
Overall Feeling: 5
Average: 4.8

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Write In Life (1)

Write In Life (WIL) is a biweekly meme hosted and created by Patty at Yay! Reads and features the ramblings of writers in the blogosphere. To be featured in a future meme, please email me at yayreads at hotmail dot com.

This week's topic is: Where To Write

I have found out that I'm a very mood writer. I don't like to write when I'm especially uncomfortable emotionally because it just creates blockage. So definitely, when I'm at the perfect place in the perfect time, my creative juices flow better.

Take for example this past weekend. I went to my beach house and I just had the urge to WRITE every single second. It was all so relaxing and care free. I love the ambiance of my beach house and it's a great writing spot. When I came home I didn't want to write as much. Maybe it's the stress of the back-to-reality feeling that creates these protests on my brain saying "Later, write later." And then I never do. I think I benefit from the no-TV and the no-Internet at my beach house.

Where do you write?

For those of you interested in participating in WIL, send me an email and I will send you a topic related to writing or 3 writing-related questions (your choice, just let me know which one you want) and you can write a paragraph or two on the topic or answer the questions.


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