Friday, April 29, 2011

Are You Going To Kiss Me Now? Giveaway

High school junior Francesca Manning is an outsider, an aspiring writer and secret devourer of celebrity gossip mags. A fake essay to Seventeen wins her the celeb-schmoozing opportunity of a lifetime, but after the plane crashes, she's stranded on a desert island with five of the most clueless, self-involved headcases to escape Hollywood. Happily skewering their foibles in witty observations on her iPhone proves surprisingly educational for Francesca. The group must work together to survive-if they don't insult each other to death first.

Enter HERE
*Provided by Publisher
** Closes May 7th

Monday, April 25, 2011

Percieval's Angel by Anne Eliot Crompton

Percival's Angel

Lili, an apprentice of the Lady of the Lake, is the childhood friend of Percy, the boy who will become one of Arthur's greatest knights. But as they grow older, Lili begins to see their differences. She has otherworldly magic while he has the magic that lives within the Human Heart. Lili dreams of knowing human love while Percy dreams of finding the Holy Grail. Neither can succeed without the other.Once again Crompton weaves together nature, feminist perspective, and Arthurian legend for a tale that is sure to appeal to readers of all ages.Praise for Percival's Angel: "Crompton succeeds in incorporating the mysticism of medieval romance into her fantasy... This well-written fantasy can be compared to Katherine Paterson's Parzival." -Voya

At First Sight:
First I thought, a King Arthur retelling? I LOVE THAT! I really loved Meg Cabot's Avalon High and I was that type of book with this one. The cover's beautiful and the blurbs are pretty fantastic.

My Thoughts:
This will be a short review--and not in the very good way. But let's start with the positive. There were some parts of the book that entertained me enough to keep reading. Only a few, though. That was it.

Overall, this book has many aspects that I didn't like. The narration was weird and very unusual for me. It was more of a narration that you'd see in poems. Don't get me wrong, I love lyrical language but when the actual sentences of the paragraph turn into verse-like sentences it just doesn't work for me.

I didn't connect to any of the characters, to be honest. I didn't understand Percy's motivations or Lili's significance at all. I couldn't get into them. Most of the time they sounded distant and untouchable.

And the plot--well, there was really no real excitement to it. Maybe it's because I haven't ever heard of Percival's legend but to be honest, I didn't get it. And the whole fairy aspect just didn't work for me.

In one sentence:
"A rather empty book."

Plot: 2
Characters: 2
Cover: 4
Writing: 2
Overall Feeling: 2
Average: 2.4 stars

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Interview: Holly Schindler

Holly Schindler is the writer of two successful YA novels, Playing Hurt and A Blue So Dark. In Playing Hurt, atar basketball player Chelsea “Nitro” Keyes had the promise of a full ride to college—and everyone’s admiration in her hometown. But everything changed senior year, when she took a horrible fall during a game. Now a metal plate holds her together and she feels like a stranger in her own family.

As a graduation present, Chelsea’s dad springs for a three-week summer “boot camp” program at a northern Minnesota lake resort. There, she’s immediately drawn to her trainer, Clint, a nineteen-year-old ex-hockey player who’s haunted by his own traumatic past. As they grow close, Chelsea is torn between her feelings for Clint and her loyalty to her devoted boyfriend back home. Will an unexpected romance just end up causing Chelsea and Clint more pain—or finally heal their heartbreak?

We are lucky to have Holly Schindler here to visit us!

1. What are some key factors to remember in developing romantic relationships?

Let’s face it—the story of two people who meet, date, fall in love, and ride into the sunset with no hiccups whatsoever is just…dull. You need some drama—some reason the two can’t get together, something that tears the two apart.

But you know, in all honesty, developing the drama for my romance wasn’t really all that different than developing the drama for my debut, a literary novel—I mean, a literary novel is character-driven…But so is a romance novel, to a great extent.

2. Chelsea goes through a tragedy that stops her from following her dream or living to the fullest. What advice do you have for other people in that same situation?

Wow—what a question! I think that the worst thing you can do is continue to focus on the tragedy. That’s not to say you shouldn’t mourn the loss of something you loved. But you’ve also got to keep moving forward, too…

I never had a life-altering injury, but along the way, as I sought a publishing deal, I had all these, “This is it!” moments, where an agent or editor would express interest in one of my manuscripts, and I’d feel certain that I was finally going to break in…Only to have the deal completely fall apart last-minute.

It can be devastating to go through a near-miss like that. But you really do have to dust yourself off and take another step forward. You’ve got to figure out how to reinvent what you’ve got and keep going. That’s what Chelsea realized she had to do at the end of PLAYING HURT—figure out how to reinvent her life, keeping sports in it.

3. First a literary novel, now a romance novel. Is there any other genre you’d like to try? What genres would you stay away from?

I’m always working on a new novel—and, yes, I’ve written other work in other genres that I’m actively trying to place. There’s probably no genre I’d count out. In that respect, I’m constantly surprising myself. If you’d told me a few years ago that I’d write a novel about a couple of athletes, I’d had said you were crazy. I’m NO athlete—I’m a complete klutz.

4. What other projects are you working on now? Can we expect more novels from you anytime soon?

The sooner the better, I say! Yes—my next novel will be released in 2012, with Dial. And—how’s this for yet another new genre?—it’ll be my first middle grade novel.

Thanks Holly for stopping by. I have to say, one of my friends is currently reading both of your books and I can't wait until she gets back to me on what she thinks! Here's a list of links you can use to find and contact her:
Twitter @holly_schindler

Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler

Playing Hurt

Star basketball player Chelsea "Nitro" Keyes had the promise of a full ride to college—and everyone's admiration back home. Then she took a horrible fall during senior year. Now a metal plate holds her together and she feels like a stranger in her own family.

That summer, Chelsea's dad hires Clint, a nineteen-year-old ex-hockey player and "boot camp" trainer, to work with her at a northern Minnesota lake resort. As they grow close, Chelsea finds that Clint's haunted by his own tragedy. Will their romance end up hurting them all over again—or finally heal their heartbreak?

At First Sight:
I've been following Holly Schindler for a little more than a year and through that journey I've come to fall in love with her writing and her characters. When I saw that she was publishing a new novel, I immediately jumped into the opportunity to read and review it. Not only was the cover beautiful, but the story seemed to ring with me the way good books ring true to your heart.

My Thoughts:
I've never been a real sports-story sort of fan and I was a bit worried that Playing Hurt wouln't be as great as A Blue So Dark. But when I started reading the story (I had about 3 other books I was reading), I just couldn't. put. it. down.

I feel so guilty for having initially felt that way but now I feel even more reassured that whatever comes out of of Schindler's pen (or laptop, computer, etc.) is going to be a true literary work of art.

Chelsea was really--impressive. She seemed intimidating with all her star-ness and athletic ability but the deeper we got into the story, the more it seemed that Chelsea used her sports as a way to make her feel whole. I related to her (we have similar personalities) and I admired the passion she had for basketball (like the passion I have for writing) and, no matter what subject she was passionate about, the feeling transmitted so easily and flawlessly that I will officially say that Holly Schindler is not only a great story-teller, but she's a writer who is able to capture the feelings, personalities, and struggles of her characters fantastically well.

I loved Clint to death. And I thought that the names (Chelsea & Clint) were so cute together! He has times where he's funny, other times when he's confused, and other times when he's just being a boy. I loved the fact that Schindler was able to capture a male POV as well as she captured the female's.

Overall, this book was amazing and, if it hadn't done so before, it has placed Schindler among the top authors that I love. Plus, the romance is AMAZING and full of passion.

In one sentence:
A fantastic sophomore novel that WILL NOT dissappoint.

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

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Splendor (Luxe #4) by Anne Godbersen

As spring turns into summer, Elizabeth relishes her new role as a young wife, while her sister, Diana, searches for adventure abroad. But when a surprising clue about their father's death comes to light, the Holland girls wonder at what cost a life of splendor comes.

Carolina Broad, society's newest darling, fans a flame from her past, oblivious to how it might burn her future. Penelope Schoonmaker is finally Manhattan royalty—but when a real prince visits the city, she covets a title that comes with a crown. Her husband, Henry, bravely went to war, only to discover that his father's rule extends well beyond New York's shores and that fighting for love may prove a losing battle.

In the dramatic conclusion to the bestselling Luxe series, New York's most dazzling socialites chase dreams, cling to promises, and tempt fate. As society watches what will become of the city's oldest families and newest fortunes, one question remains: Will its stars fade away or will they shine ever brighter?

At First Sight:
So I hadn't finished this series and I wanted to do so because I'd previously loved these books. The cover on this one (like the rest) is fantastic and I couldn't wait to dive into an early 20th century society.

My Thoughts:
Wow. Just wow.

Some people might say that the books are not so fun or interesting and to a degree, I had agreed. The thing with these books is that it's like 1800s Gossip Girls and, although I haven't read or watched GG, I understand why people might be apprehensive about reading these books. What kept me attracted was the great narration and setting.

However, this book can be said to be the most exiting and scandalous yet. Everything from death, love, and change happens. We see the characters we've loved for a while finally reach happiness or at least contentment or satisfaction to their lives.

Our girls, Elizabeth, Diana, Carolina, and Penelope get their deserved conclusion to the story and although it can be sad and you might not agree to them, you can find that it was the best solution for them. They've all been through so much and whether you feel sympathy or not towards them, you've grown to at least be interested in their stories and how it will end.

And our boys, Henry, Teddy, Leland, and the rest reappear in this book and get increasingly more important. I don't want to spoil anything but this is a SHOCKING roller-coaster kind of book you don't want to miss.

In One Sentence:
The best yet from the Luxe series.

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


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