Sunday, February 28, 2010

Challenge Update: February

The books I've read in February:

1. Rumors by Anne Godbersen*
2. Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr
3. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte* **
4. Impulse by Ellen Hopkins
5. My Soul To Lose by Rachel Vincent
6. Fire by Kristin Cashore
7. Going Bovine by Libba Bray
8. Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen**

15/100 Total Progress

*Historical Challenge
**Reread from last year.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Fire by Kirsitin Cashore


Fire, Graceling's prequel-ish companion book, takes place across the mountains to the east of the seven kingdoms, in a rocky, war-torn land called the Dells.

Beautiful creatures called monsters live in the Dells. Monsters have the shape of normal animals: mountain lions, dragonflies, horses, fish. But the hair or scales or feathers of monsters are gorgeously colored-- fuchsia, turquoise, sparkly bronze, iridescent green-- and their minds have the power to control the minds of humans.

Seventeen-year-old Fire is the last remaining human-shaped monster in the Dells. Gorgeously monstrous in body and mind but with a human appreciation of right and wrong, she is hated and mistrusted by just about everyone, and this book is her story.

Wondering what makes it a companion book/prequel? Fire takes place 30-some years before Graceling and has one cross-over character with Graceling, a small boy with strange two-colored eyes who comes from no-one-knows-where, and who has a peculiar ability that Graceling readers will find familiar and disturbing...

Wow. Just. Wow. In this book, we're submerged into the world of Graceling but this time in another kingdom where things are completely different. There are monsters in this kingdom: fierce, blook-loving, beautiful monsters. Now before you start saying, "oh, vampires," it's not! These monsters are rats, birds, tigers, ect. but with colorful hair and savage personalities.

Fire is the last human monster and she wants it to stay that way. Let's start with my favorite part: The romance. I loved how the romance developed and how it didn't happen all at once. We can definitely see the character's opinions about each other change throughout the novel.

The next best part? The action. Although is not as action-packed I would say as Graceling, Cashore continues to master the ability to create easy flowing action that builds tension and keeps you on your feet.

Fire is much more emotional than Graceling. There's lots of things at stake and Fire, although a strong person, we can feel Fire's internal conflicts and her emotions. She's a very rounded character with human desires and realistic expectations. She's a great empowering character and I applaud Kristin for creating such unique characters both in Graceling and in Fire.

The male characters, Asher, Nash, and Brigan are amazing! I love how they react to Fire and how we see them develop. I don't want to spoil anything but these three play a great role in the novel and I absolutely love them. There's a part  for each one where you want to have these reactions (not in order): "I want to slap you," "Omigod, how sexy!" and, "Oh. My. Gosh. I can't believe this!!" It's so amazing.

In one sentence:
"A stunning prequel to an already stunning series."

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

Monday, February 22, 2010

Mockingjay: Hunger Games #3 Theories


I had the urge to start this feature, depending on your reactions, I might do it again. So I decided to theorize about what was going to happen in the last book of one of the most successful and popular series since Twilight, The Hunger Games. The long awaited final book comes out THIS YEAR and people are starting to buzz and talk about what's going to happen. Today, I will tackle one burning question:


Even though I'm team Gale, I'm going to dissect this as much as possible and support my ideas to why is Gale going to win. I'm also going to support my ideas from popular series such as Twilight and Harry Potters so, if you don't want to be spoiled, please don't continue.

I believe Katniss will choose Gale because of the following reasons:

1) She's been friends with Gale longer. They've both struggled to survive and help their families and they've bonded through that. Although technically Kat met Peeta first, Gale became her friend first. Take series such as Harry Potter; where Harry meets Ginny in the first book. We don't think of her as real important or even a love interest but, they met first, they ended up together. Exactly what happened with Twilight; although Bella's dad new Jacob's dad first, Jake and Bella didn't really become friends until the second book, after Edward was in the picture, and under hard circumstances (just like Peeta and Katniss who developed their friendship under hard circumstances).

2) Katniss needs someone strong. Although Peeta is definitely strong, he barely survived the first Hunger Games and Katniss had to be in check with him while Gale is totally independent and strong.

3) Gale is not pushy. Although we clearly see his interest in the first book, it is not until the second that we're really sure how much Gale loves Katniss. Peeta pushes his love into Katniss and she wants to back off. Her love for him is not as real as it is with Gale because she had to pretend to love him to actually get to really do.

Okay, these are the three top reasons that I came up with. I'd like to hear your opinion. Also, would you want me to continue this feature with different discussions and questions? Let me know.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen

Along For The Ride

When Auden impulsively goes to stay with her father, stepmother, and new baby sister the summer before she starts college, all the trauma of her parents' divorce is revived, even as she is making new friends and having new experiences such as learning to ride a bike and dating. from GoodReads

Auden is the girl who plays it safe. Smart student whose whole life is studying. Her parents, ever since she's young, have encouraged her to focus on the academic parts of life. Unfortunately, this has made Auden lack in some things, such as socially. But when Auden takes off to her Dad's house, everything seems just the opposite as it should. Driven by her insomniac nights, Auden meets Eli, a boy that seems shy like her but unravels himself during the sleepless nights. Auden faces things she has never faced before, including making friends and falling in love.

Let me start by saying that I love Sarah Dessen. I have all her books and they are definitely welcoming this new release. Sarah Dessen does wonderful characterization in ALONG FOR THE RIDE. Unlike past Sarah Dessen characters, Auden has pimples in her face and is the ultimate die hard study-holic. You get the sense that what Auden really wants is to break free. Personally, I can relate to Auden's story. Having the pressure of parents to succeed in school sometimes leaves you with little fun times. Auden acts out of impulse when she decides she wants to go to her Dad's house in Colby.

Auden and Eli's relationship is one that is so beautifully unraveled I want to put it in a box and a ribbon on top. I love how their relationship is not based on the physical attraction but is more in depth with an emotional one. Eli is charming and sweet and completely believable. As I said before, Dessen is a wonderful character writer. I also love it when she does the cameos from past novels. Pst, I won't spoil it.

The parents are perfect! They're annoying enough to make you squirm yet you still care about them and somehow believe in what they're trying to do.

Although the ending was not my favorite Dessen ending, I must say that it is how it should be. I couldn't imagine it any other way without it seeming totally cheesy and unbelievable. Again, Dessen achieves the perfect combination of letting the reader sort of fill in the blanks at the end and making sure that the book DOES have a clear ending. I love it!

In one sentence: "A Dessen classic that won't disappoint fans and will lure new comers!"

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

Saturday, February 20, 2010

In My Mailbox (10)

I haven't done an IMM in so long! Here are the things that I've gotten these past few weeks:

On Kindle

For Review

Thursday, February 18, 2010

My Soul To Lose by Rachel Vincent

My Soul To Lose

It was supposed to be a fun day, shopping at the mall with her best friend. Then the panic attack started and Kaylee Cavanaugh finds herself screaming, unable to stop. Her secret fears are exposed and it's the worst day of her life.

Until she wakes up in the psychiatric unit.

She tries to convince everyone she's fine--despite the shadows she sees forming around another patient and the urge to scream which comes burbling up again and again. Everyone thinks she's crazy. Everyone except Lydia, that is. Another patient with some special abilities....

An eBook exclusive prequel to Rachel Vincent's SOUL SCREAMERS series.
I loved this prequel! I haven't read the rest of the series but it is definitely something I'm doing soon. Kaylee is a likeable character and even though I didn't think this book gave me enough development of hers as a person, I know that more is to come.

I loved how Rachel described the screaming, it is painfully chilling and entrancing. I would like to learn more about Kaylee's uncles because they seem like interesting characters even if we don't see too much of them in this book. Although most of the characters are a bit undeveloped, I think it is done intentionally with the purpose to bring the reader into the series slowly. I've been acquaintanced with the characters and now I want to get to know them.

I don't have much to say except that it ends in an amazing cliff hanger. I'm dying to learn more about these characters. In one sentence: "A smooth sailing intro to what appears to be a great story!"

Plot: 5
Characters: 3
Writing: 5
Cover: 5
Overall Feeling: 4
Average: 4.4

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Impulse by Ellen Hopkins


"Three teens who have attempted suicide meet in a psychiatric hospital, battle their demons, and begin to heal.

The handsome son of wealthy parents, Connor has everything anyone could want-except his family's love and affection. Jailed for years after killing his mother's child-molesting boyfriend, Tony is confused about his sexuality. Manic-depressive Vanessa cuts herself. All three stories intertwine in a brutally honest story about pain and resilience." from GoodReads

Wow. May I simply review it with that word? Wow? I think not. Better start rearranging my thoughts, then. Impulse is...unputdownable (wow, my word corrector didn't correct that word. I guess it does exist). I've read Hopkins's masterpiece, Burned, and I loved it. As disturbing and graphic her books can sometimes be, it is almost enchanting.

The words are played in such a beautiful and melodic way, it resonates with you. I personally haven't experienced any of the things these characters have but it's so real and raw that they touched my heart. Conner is the most like me, I'd say. He feels obligated to reach impossible expectations and the only way to get out is to get off. Vanessa is the girl who craves for the blade. She is sweet and good but she is haunted. And Tony is the guy that you'd love to be best friends forever with. He's funny and sweet and sincere (too much and's here).

The backgrounds of each character is very unique and different. I liked how it was sort of High - Middle - Low, where Conner is high class, etc. Vanessa is in the middle and Tony the 'bad boy'. Each has enough information to still leave the reader with their own conclusions but without lacking, either.

Let's see, what else? God, I hate it when I want to give an extra amazing review to a super amazing book but the words I have are just not enough. For such a thick and deep book, it was fairly quick to read. I got a bit mad at how the hospital handled certain things and about how the adult characters didn't seem very mature but that's part of the book and I've never been in that situation so I wouldn't say I know exactly what I'm talking about.

In one sentence:
"Once again, Ellen Hopkins delivers a flawless and raw story that touches the heart, mind, and soul."

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

Monday, February 15, 2010

Being a Teen Writer

This post is a little different. Today, I'm going to talk to you about being a teen writer.

The first thing that must have come up in your mind might have been: "She's not a writer because she's not published!". And my answer to that? Wrong. I may never be published but I will always consider myself a writer. When you're sixteen, writing your second novel and know that you want to dedicate your life to writing for teens, it is hard to keep realistic expectations. A few weeks back I would have told you that my ultimate goal is to be published by the time I'm 18.

I'm sixteen now and I have had myself a rude awakening. I know that some teens are published by this age already, what can possible keep me from being the same? In one part, I feel like I'm too young and vulnerable, I've not developed that hard back I need for the publishing industry. It is a business, after all. Second, my writing, as much as I think it's amazing and some of my friends may think so as well, is not amazing. It needs work and experience. In the 16 years of my life I've been beautifully blessed, I have not faced the real world yet, I think. I need that to create experiences from which I can feed my writing, from which I can nurture and better it.

I am confident in what I write today. It might never be published and it might be but I know that these are all milestones I need (have) to take in order to one day accomplish my dream, which, put simply, is to be a writer. I want to be the writer that touches hearts and make people laugh/cry/get mad because it's that kind of magic that is worth preserving in the pages of a book.

Why am I writing this? These are my thoughts as a reader and writer combined. I read because I learn how to write and I write because I want to create that type of magic you don't see anywhere else but between bound pages of fiction. I think that as a writer, I read every book and put myself in the author's shoes and admire the work of art it is. I admire the work it took to write, too. Because after writing two novels, I know it's not easy. But every second is worth it because I fall in love with my characters. And I cry when I finish the last sentence of a book, those are the moments where I take a step back and say, "It was well worth it." And it will always be, no matter what. Published or not.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr

Let's celebrate my birthday with a book review, how about it?

Fragile Eternity
SPOILER: This review might contain spoilers if you haven't read the rest of the series.
Seth never expected he would want to settle down with anyone—but that was before Aislinn. She is everything he'd ever dreamed of, and he wants to be with her forever. Forever takes on new meaning, though, when your girlfriend is an immortal faery queen.

Aislinn never expected to rule the very creatures who'd always terrified her—but that was before Keenan. He stole her mortality to make her a monarch, and now she faces challenges and enticements beyond any she'd ever imagined.

In Melissa Marr's third mesmerizing tale of Faerie, Seth and Aislinn struggle to stay true to themselves and each other in a milieu of shadowy rules and shifting allegiances, where old friends become new enemies and one wrong move could plunge the Earth into chaos.
I have a few things that I LOVED and didn't love about this book. Let's start with the goodies.

Seth wants to spend eternity with Aislinn and Aislinn wants to spend it with Seth. The thing is, Seth is mortal and Ash is not. Oh, and there's a hot Summer King in the way, too. And as Summer approaches, it becomes harder and harder for Ash and Keenan to keep their hands and feelings off of each other. Of course, this brings a little jealousy and resentment. Seth is determined to find a way to become a faery and he won't stop until he gets it. And he gets in serious trouble for that. This books follows our favorite characters in search of love and happiness. Although it alternates from points of view, this does not affect in any way the overall plot and feeling of the book.

Melissa Marr's third book in this series is as engaging as the others. The imagery is fantastic and the world she  has created is so enchanting that it seems so real. I was grabbed in the very first page and I didn't stop until the end. I HAD to know what was going to happen. I loved to see Grams return to the books, I missed her. I also loved the new intake of characters in this book. We get a more in depth look into the High Court and its queen and the ones we thought 'evil'.

One thing I love about this book is that Melissa Marr makes you love EVERY character, good or evil. I felt for each of them and I was torn. I love that the characters who are 'evil' also have a nice soft side, it really makes them round and complete. As for the rest of the characters, they are believable and well developed. I think that I related to Keenan the most in this installment which surprises even me.

The plot is fast paced and plain amazing. There are so many twists and turns and it's so enchanting. I can't wait to read the next book. Okay, now things I didn't like:

Seth. All of this time I've rooted for Seth. I've thought him mature and such a sweet and amazing guy but he really let me down in this one. Something happens that makes me almost hate him. He is immature and quick and irrational. I hated his choices and I hated that he was so dependent. And then he expects for everything to be a-okay with everybody. He doesn't know the consequences of his choices and that pissed me off. Majorly. So major is this feeling that I doubt that I will like him again and I think that the future book(s) need to convince me otherwise or else I will end up hating him even more.

I'd rather not continue my rant because it might spoil it for you but yeah, that's how I feel. Stupid Seth seeks stupid stuff (haha alliteration).

In one sentence:
"A mesmerizing sequel that will leave you craving more!"

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

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hunger Games #3 COVER AND TITLE

OH. MY. GOD. I know you've seen this probably 100x times already today but I JUST logged into Reader and saw it and I ran to my dad* and just about screamed that the new book is called Mockingjay and the cover has been released. 

I have expressed this a few times but The Hunger Games is one of my favorite book series** ever and I was just SO SO SO excited. Here are my thoughts:

The title: At first I was...what? And then...WHAT?! And then... OH MY FRIGGIN GOSH IT'S EFFIN AWESOME! and that's how I proceeded to tell my dad.

The cover: Much like the title but it took me a second longer to process that it was THE cover. Like, IT.

* My Dad read the book
** Right next to Harry Potter

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Thank you Laura for awarding this to me. Here are the rules:

•    Thank the person who gave this to you.
•    Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
•    Link the person who nominated you.
•    Name seven things about yourself that no one would really know.
•    Nominate seven “Kreativ Bloggers.”
•    Post links to the seven blogs you nominate.
•    Leave a comment on each letting them know you nominated them.

So, here are the seven things:

01. I enjoy books that make me cry. Once in a while I just need to vent everything and there's no better way than having a book to help me. I don't know, it's weird. Hahaha.
02. Sometimes, I read YA books that talk about sex, drugs, and stuff and I'm embarrassed to show them to my parents so when they ask me about the book I give very VAGUE details.
03. I don't like my school. It's a dictatorship. 'Nuff said.
04. I'm really good at math, despite my crazy teacher.
05. I am really impatient. I lose my patience pretty quickly.
06. Apparently, according to a stupid aptitude test, I'm better off as a doctor than a literature student. YEAH! RIGHT.
07. Oh, and I hate science even though I'm good at it. That's why I'm so mad at that test.

I tag:

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Two For Tuesdays (4)

Again, another meme I haven't been able to keep track of but it's back! Here are this week's Two For Tuesdays picks:

Deadly Little Secret by Laurie F. Stolarz
Some secrets shouldn't be kept...
Up until three months ago, everything in sixteen-year-old Camelia's life had been fairly ordinary: decent grades; an okay relationship with her parents; and a pretty cool part-time job at the art studio downtown. But when Ben, the mysterious new guy, starts junior year at her high school, Camelia's life becomes anything but ordinary.

Rumored to be somehow responsible for his ex-girlfriend's accidental death, Ben is immediately ostracized by everyone on campus. Except for Camelia. She's reluctant to believe the rumors, even when her friends try to convince her otherwise. She's inexplicably drawn to Ben...and to his touch. But soon, Camelia is receiving eerie phone calls and strange packages with threatening notes. Ben insists she is in danger, and that he can help--but can he be trusted? She knows he's hiding something... but he's not the only one with a secret.

From the best-selling author of Blue is for Nightmares comes a story of paranormal romance that's sure to be a thrilling and chilling teen favorite.
An angry rebel, John dropped out of school and enlisted in the Army, not knowing what else to do with his life--until he meets the girl of his dreams, Savannah. Their mutual attraction quickly grows into the kind of love that leaves Savannah waiting for John to finish his tour of duty, and John wanting to settle down with the woman who captured his heart. But 9/11 changes everything. John feels it is his duty to re-enlist. And sadly, the long separation finds Savannah falling in love with someone else. "Dear John," the letter read...and with those two words, a heart was broken and two lives were changed forever. Returning home, John must come to grips with the fact that Savannah, now married, is still his true love--and face the hardest decision of his life.

Dear John is now in theaters!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Rumors by Anna Godbersen

SPOILER: If you haven't read the first book of the series, The Luxe, this review might contain spoilers.

After bidding good-bye to New York's brightest star, Elizabeth Holland, rumors continue to fly about her untimely demise.

All eyes are on those closest to the dearly departed: her mischievous sister, Diana, now the family's only hope for redemption; New York's most notorious cad, Henry Schoonmaker, the flame Elizabeth never extinguished; the seductive Penelope Hayes, poised to claim all that her best friend left behind—including Henry; even Elizabeth's scheming former maid, Lina Broud, who discovers that while money matters and breeding counts, gossip is the new currency.

As old friends become rivals, Manhattan's most dazzling socialites find their futures threatened by whispers from the past. In this delicious sequel to The Luxe, nothing is more dangerous than a scandal . . . or more precious than a secret.

Once again, in Manhattan, New York, the socialites can't help but to spark a new rumor. The previously thought dead Elizabeth Holland is now haunting every thought of the New York high class. In this sequel we follow all of our favorite characters: Penelope, Carolina, Diana, Henry, and Elizabeth.

I will admit that I spoiled this one because I got too impatient. The book is slow on some parts and exiting and juicy on others. You will be rooting for Diana to get the guy, Henry, while Penelope is trying to make him hers.

Penelope, in her wickedness and all, she is still maybe the most developed character. Elizabeth seems too naive sometimes and Diana is plain blinded by love. All these three, including Henry, were amazingly characterized. The only character I seriously had a problem with was Lina. She's annoying and immature and every time a chapter in her point of view would come, I'd groan because I just didn't like her. Good books are supposed to make you care for all the characters in someway but I just DON'T care about Lina.

The settings are beautifully described. It is all so historically accurate that I feel like I'm in New York. In fact, all of the descriptions are so vivid. Godbersen seriously knows what she's doing.

The end was so surprising, even after I spoiled for myself. It just leaves you hanging on the edge and I want to get the next book immediately.

In one sentence:
"A satisfying sequel to a wonderful historical series."

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

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Winner Of Gringolandia

The winner of Gringolandia is

Saturday, February 6, 2010

BOTW 1-7th February

It's been a while since I've done this one. I have to seriously get on track with my posts. Anyways, here it is:

Andrea at

Buried In Books is filled with all kinds of different young adult reviews, as well as author Q&As, giveaways, and of course memes :D

If you would like to be featured in Blog Of The Week, please fill out THIS form

Friday, February 5, 2010

Blog Tour: Gringolandia by Lyn Miller-Lachmann

Today I am pleased to welcome Lyn Miller-Lachmann, author of GRINGOLANDIA (review in previous post). She has stopped by on her blog tour to answer some questions for us, let's give her a warm welcome!

Though haunted by memories of his father's arrest in Pinochet's Chile,
Daniel Aguilar has made a new life for himself in the United
States--far from politics. But when his father is released, Daniel
sees what years of prison and torture have done. Trying to reach his
father, Daniel, along wth his "gringa" girlfriend, finds himself in
the democracy struggle of the country he thought he left behind.

1. Welcome to Yay! Reads, Lyn! Being a latina myself, I find it very
easy to relate to the story and the culture. How do you think people
of different ethnicities and backgrounds will relate to the story?

I’ve found that people from a wide variety of backgrounds can relate
to the story. Many white Anglo readers find themselves identifying
with Daniel’s girlfriend, Courtney, and follow her as she stumbles
into adventures and misadventures while trying to become part of
another culture. Others are simply fascinated to see another culture
and travel via the novel to a distant and remote part of the world
where there was a lot of conflict, unrest, and danger at that time.

I’ve also gotten a great response not only from Latina/o
readers—including boys who, it is rumored, don’t read—but also from
immigrant teenagers from all backgrounds. Some of my most enthusiastic
readers were recent immigrants from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh
who I met when I was a writer-in-residence in their ESL program at a
high school in Connecticut. Several of the South Asian students wrote
me letters afterward asking me, among other things, if a sequel is
planned. (It is.)

2. Did you research for GRINGOLANDIA? How?

I had to do a lot of research to make Gringolandia accurate in both
the facts and the feelings and actions of the characters. The first
way I researched was to get to know exiles from Chile who lived in
Madison, Wisconsin, where I lived at the time. During the 1980s, I
worked with many political refugees from Central and South America,
teaching English, helping their children in school, and organizing
concerts of music from their countries. I spent a lot of time in their
homes and heard their stories of why they left. That’s when I started
to write my novel, back in 1987.

Then, in 1989, I received a work-in-progress grant from the Society of
Children’s Writers and Illustrators to travel to Chile. While there, I
stayed with the families of several musicians whose concerts I
organized. I also witnessed the transition from 17 years of
dictatorship to a democratically elected government. Here, we take our
democracy for granted, but when I was there, still during the
dictatorship, there were soldiers with machine guns everywhere and
people had to be very careful about what they said. Things could get
very scary very fast, as I found out when soldiers pulled over the
cars in which I was riding—four times in a three-week trip.

While I did most of my research then, the book wasn’t published until
last year because I had trouble finding a publisher and gave up on the
novel for a long time. When I came back to it, it was no longer a
contemporary novel but a historical novel, so I had to rewrite it
completely to make it work for readers who weren’t even born when the
events took place.

3. What are your must-haves when writing?

Coffee, Diet Dr. Pepper, and music. I might have to add a more
comfortable chair to the list, though.

4. How would you describe your style of writing?

I find it hard to write for only an hour or two each day. When I’m
working on a first draft, I’ll write for twelve or fourteen hours a
day just to get the story down, but then I’ll go for days or weeks at
a time without writing at all. That’s when I think about what I’m
going to write next. When I’m revising, though, I work more steadily,
a few hours at a time. I know there are writers who have a set
schedule and write during their “writing hours”—usually early in the
morning—whether or not they have anything to say. I can’t do that, and
I usually write better in the evening and late at night rather than in
the morning anyway.

5. What genres do you like most to write? The least?

I’ve written both adult and young adult fiction, and I definitely
prefer young adult because for a lot of the things that happen in the
novel, it’s the characters’ first time. In Gringolandia, for example,
Daniel realizes for the first time that his father may not be the hero
everyone’s led him to believe. That’s a huge thing, learning that the
world is a dangerous place, your parents are flawed, they can’t
protect you, and you might even have to protect them.

My least favorite genre to write? Probably science fiction. I failed
eighth grade science and struggled through the slow classes throughout
high school. Physics? Calculus? Never got anywhere near them.

In the end, a think a writer has to write in the genres she likes to
read. I don’t really enjoy reading science fiction. I love historical
and contemporary realistic fiction.

6. Finally, who are your favorite authors?

A lot of the authors I like have written both for adults and for
teens, among them Edwidge Danticat, Julia Alvarez, Isabel Allende, and
Benjamin Alire Saenz. I love Nicholasa Mohr’s stories of growing up in
the Puerto Rican neighborhoods of East Harlem and the South Bronx and
was fortunate to be able to work with her on editing a collection of
short stories by Latino authors titled Once Upon a Cuento (Curbstone
Press, 2003).

Lyn Miller-Lachmann is the Editor-in-Chief of MultiCultural Review,
the author of the award-winning reference book Our Family, Our
Friends, Our World: An Annotated Guide to Significant Multicultural
Books for Children and Teenagers (1992), the editor of Once Upon a
Cuento (2003), a collection of short stories for young readers by
Latino authors, and the author of the novel Dirt Cheap (2006), an
eco-thriller for adult readers. For Gringolandia, she received a
Work-in-Progress Grant from the Society of Childrens Book Writers and

Other tour stops:
Feb 1st: Laina Has Too Much Spare Time
Feb 2nd: Read Into This!
Feb 3rd: Pirate Penguin's Reads
Feb 4th: The Bookologist
Feb 5th: Yay! Reads

Thanks Lyn! Now you have a chance to win a signed copy of GRINGOLANDIA. Just fill in the form below:

Gringolandia by Lyn Miller-Lachmann

Though haunted by memories of his father's arrest in Pinochet's Chile,
Daniel Aguilar has made a new life for himself in the United
States--far from politics. But when his father is released, Daniel
sees what years of prison and torture have done. Trying to reach his
father, Daniel, along wth his "gringa" girlfriend, finds himself in
the democracy struggle of the country he thought he left behind.

Dan has lived with the memory of the night when his father was arrested and feeling like it was somehow his fault. Now, after years of trying to get him out of prison, Dan and his family reconnect with a father they don't know who is physically and emotionally tortured. The book, set on the 80's during Pinochet's rule of Chile, follows Dan, his girlfriend Courtney, and his family as they try to face the new challenge that is his father.

I was very exited to participate in my first blog tour so I thank everyone who is involved for giving me this great opportunity.

Okay, now onto the book. Overall, I liked the book. I liked the history, the characters, the premise, and the plot. But I talked to my Dad who also read it and I re evaluated my thoughts on it.

The story rang real all the way through it. Being a Latina myself, I found it easy to relate to the situation and the culture. The descriptions are sometimes graphic and the book is often ignited by horror and suspense. These elements I really liked and added to the overall story.

Now, something my father said about the characters made me rethink them a bit. Although they are generally believable and round, the characters do lack some depth. Some of their decisions I wasn't sure what motivated them. The pain of the father was seen but superficially touched. I would have preferred to have a description of his dreams before he woke up screaming. Dan's decisions sometimes seemed quick and I couldn't really see the motivation behind them.

My Dad thinks Courtney is the real MC but although I disagree, I think her character was the most thorough. You can see why she does what she does and the history behind it.

In once sentence:
Overall, it was a good book but it lacked some depth and development.

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

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wednesday Wishes (5)

My top three wishes in books are:

01. The Espressologist by Kristina Springer
02. Siren by Tricia Rayburn
03. Dream Girl by Lauren Mechling

As you can see, one is released, another is an upcoming, and the other was released in 2008. I like reading everything!

If you would like to include your wishes post, please post your NAME (SITE NAME) and URL of the POST.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

February Theme

Hello! The February Theme is honoring my birthday which is celebrated on the 12th of February. It's very simple and I don't like the header (I do like the colors and CSS) but I hope that you enjoy! Let me know if there is any problem.


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