Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Read the first part of The Lying Game online!!

Thanks to HarperTeen, you can read the first few chapters on their site for absolutely free! Trust me- you NEED to read this book. It's an absolute necessity if you loved Pretty Little Liars!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Book Review: Stone Kissed by Keri Stevens

Title: Stone Kissed
Author: Keri Stevens
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: 12/27/2010
eISBN: 9781426891014

The great thing about Carina Press is that it allows for newer authors to be published in e-format. Sometimes however, I wonder how some authors aren't published in paper format. Keri Stevens' Stone Kissed is one of those books that I really do believe deserves to be published in paperback format as well as e-book format.
When Delia Forrest talks to statues, they talk back. She is, after all, the last of the Steward witches.

After an arsonist torches her ancestral home with her estranged father still inside, Delia is forced to sell the estate to pay his medical bills. Her childhood crush, Grant Wolverton, makes a handsome offer for Steward House, vowing to return it to its former glory. Delia agrees, as long as he'll allow her to oversee the restoration.

Working so closely with Grant, Delia finds it difficult to hide her unique talent—especially when their growing passion fuels her abilities.

But someone else lusts after both her man and the raw power contained in the Steward land. Soon Delia finds herself fighting not just for Grant's love, but for both their lives...

While the synopsis makes this book sound like it's some thriller focused around someone hunting Grant & Delia, it's really not that type of book. The main thrust of the book focuses around their desire for each other & Grant's pursuit of the gun shy Delia. (Not that you can entirely blame her, though.) The passion between these two characters is very tangible & Stevens is to be congratulated for that- it's pretty hard to create that type of chemistry on paper & have it translate well to the reader. She should also be congratulated for coming up with what is quite possibly one of the most original magics that I've seen given to a lead heroine. Kudos for not giving Delia one of the typical heroine magics. It makes it that much easier to see Delia as something unique rather than yet another cookie cutter romance heroine.

The only part of the book that seemed to lose a little focus for me personally was when it came to the ultra tragic Cecily. There was a lot going on with this character & I couldn't help but feel like at times it was just a little too much & that a little simplicity would have been better. (slight spoiler here) Cecily was still a great character, but I never really saw her as much of a threat to either of the main characters & I just wanted to see her be a little badder.

This was still an awesome read & I managed to finish it within the span of a day, which really says something considering that I put off finishing school work to read the rest of the novel. I honestly recommend this to fans of Kenyon or some of the other paranormal romance books out on the market. This one's a keeper.

(ARC provided by NetGalley)

Book Review: My Soul to Steal by Rachel Vincent

My Soul to Steal (SoulScreamers #4)
Author: Rachel Vincent
Publisher: Harlequin
Release Date: 01/01/2011

Before I start, let me just let you know that if you haven't been following along in the series then this is not a good place to start. There's a lot of back story that needs to be read & the first three books in this series are well worth reading. If you're curious about the series, yet can't get to a bookstore or library right away, you can still read the prequel to the series My Soul To Lose free from Vincent's website.

Trying to work things out with Nash—her maybe boyfriend—is hard enough for Kaylee Cavanaugh. She can't just pretend nothing happened. But "complicated" doesn't even begin to describe their relationship when his ex-girlfriend transfers to their school, determined to take Nash back.

See, Sabine isn't just an ordinary girl. She's a mara, the living personification of a nightmare. She can read people's fears—and craft them into nightmares while her victims sleep. Feeding from human fear is how she survives.

And Sabine isn't above scaring Kaylee and the entire school to death to get whatever—and whoever—she wants.

Following up on the events of the previous book, Vincent strives to give her characters depth as Kaylee not only tries to get over the idea of someone wearing her skin like a glove, but also that Nash is truly sorry for what he did as a result of his addiction. Vincent might not show all of the negatives of getting over an addiction, but that's not the drive of this series.

Along for the ride is the new character of Sabine, a character that will have many readers either squealing with glee at her mean girl personality or huffing in frustration at the things she does to our heroine. No worries about disliking her to the point of disliking the book- there's enough likable details to Sabine to keep her from going too overboard. She definitely gives Sophie a run for her money in the "complete jerk to Kaylee" contest. I won't spoil things for anyone, but some of the nightmares she gives Kaylee are pretty horrible. While the introduction of a rival for Nash's affections is intriguing, there also seems to be a few potential love interests developing for Kaylee as well.

I was honestly intrigued by this book & I can't wait for the next volume to come out. There's a few interesting suggestions brought up in this book (mostly surrounding Kaylee & her love life) that I really would like to see explored more in the next book. As with the previous books, this series is just plain fun to read, whether you're 14 or 40.

(ARC provided by NetGalley)

Gratitude Giveaway Winners!

Hi all!

I'm so happy that so many people entered into this contest that it was really hard picking a winner. I ended up picking one winner from the linky entries & the other from the followers for my blog.

Here's the winners:

Winner of The Host: Mary of BookHounds!
Winner of Deliver us From Evil: Kulsuma!

I'll be doing another contest in about a week, so check back soon to see what I'll be giving away!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Book Review: The Lying Game by Sara Shepard

Title: The Lying Game (Lying Game #1)
Author: Sara Shepard
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: 12/07/2010
ISBN: 0061869708

Having read & loved Shepard's Pretty Little Liars series, when I got the chance to review her newest series I was over the moon. As soon as I received this book in the mail I ran off to read it & finished it in one night. It was that addicting of a read.

Emma's always bounced around from foster home to foster home, never finding a great place to live & often living with people who either held her at arm's length or tried to take more liberties with her than they should. When a mysterious & violent video shows a person that's identical to her, Emma researches it to discover that there's someone out there with her face. A sister she's never known, Sutton Mercer, invites her to visit with her, only for Emma to discover that there's more going on than she ever could have guessed. Sutton is dead & someone is intent on making Emma pretend to be her. As Emma uses her skills to investigate Sutton's murder, she begins to realize that she can't trust anyone in Sutton's seemingly perfect life & that everyone's a suspect. Little does Emma know that her sister Sutton is watching over her, equally in the dark about who killed her & hoping that Emma will bring her killer to justice.

I'll just say this: if you loved PLL, you'll love this book. It's got more of the same things that made the other series so fun to read: mean girls, dirty little secrets, rivalries, & of course- a hard to solve murder. Readers will love the character of Emma, being able to commiserate with her as she goes from elation at having a sister to horror as she begins to feel the threat hanging over her head.

I didn't really have any complaints over this novel- it was slickly written & trust me, you'll be addicted to this book just as much as you would PLL. I was initially a bit worried that the idea of a complete stranger slipping into someone's life (that she doesn't know) would be a bit hard to believe, but Shepard addresses this in a believable way.

This book is going to be one of the must reads of December & with the second book coming out in July, you won't have to worry about going too long without your next fix.

(Review copy provided by amazon vine)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

To everyone, Happy Thanksgiving!
Even if you don't celebrate this day, take a moment out of your day to reflect on the good things that you have in your life. Hug a family member. Read a good book. Do a good deed.
Whatever you do, do it proudly!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Nook Color Review!

Before I get started, I'll just say that my review comes from the unit we got at the bookstore to display. The overall product will still be the same, but some things (like the instruction manual) might be different.

Reading: It's a nice clean picture & the backlit screen isn't too annoying, but I have a feeling that people will be feeling the eyestrain later. If you're looking to buy this for reading at length, you'll need to be aware of this.

Downloading: Pretty fast download times, although I only downloaded the free samples from the storefront. (Hilarious since I work at a Books-A-Million & the storefront's B&N. We're so going to lose money on ebook sales.)

Internet: Pretty decent. I pulled up facebook (didn't log in though- not on the store unit) & the page is crisp, clear & loads quickly. It'll probably get bogged down if you go to a site with tons & tons of things on the page, but that'll happen with any unit like this for the most part.

Battery: Not bad, but obviously won't last as long as the Nook or some of the e-ink units out there. You'll get about 3-4 hours if you leave the wifi on. Not sure about the non-wifi battery life right now, but since the company says it's 8 hours I'd say it's probably about 6-7 hours.

Extras: You can change the font, screen background color, & a few other things. While that's nice, I couldn't help but feel a little underwhelmed by it. There's also the option to be able to toggle back & forth between the publisher default & your aesthetics of choice. You can also change the background on the main page of the NookColor, which is a nice touch. Since we're not supposed to change that with our store unit, I wasn't able to play with that any.

Touch Screen: It's OK. Pretty easy to use, but a few times I found myself really having to wrestle with it to turn pages. Sometimes it would be too sensitive & I'd end up a few pages ahead of where I wanted to be. Not a deal breaker, though. It didn't happen enough to where I'd get overly irritated, but people who are all thumbs with touch screens will be irritated.

User Friendly: It's not very intuitive to use. People savvy with e-readers & gadgets will be able to figure it out pretty quickly but people who are new to the scene will be pretty confused with everything. The unit for my store didn't come with any written directions- it was all on the unit. That means that if it's like this on the sale unit then that won't be all that helpful for the people who aren't able to navigate well on the unit.

Overall: My opinion is that it's OK, but not exceptionally so. Go for the iPad if you really want something like this. It's basically a Nook/iPad hybrid, but without the option for all of the extras & apps. Overall it isn't a bad unit but it just doesn't have anything to really make it stand out. If you're a big fan of the Nook then go for this unit, but I'd play with it in the store first.

If you're curious, the EBook Reader has also reviewed the NookColor & did a pretty awesome writeup on it.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Book Review: The Cypress House by Michael Kortya

Title: The Cypress House
Author: Michael Koryta
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Release Date: 01/24/2011
ISBN: 0316053724

After my first foray into Koryta's work via So Cold the River, I was somewhat curious to see what his next book would be like. My experience with SCTR was mostly a good one, although I felt the end was a little anti-climatic. Would this book be better? Would the ending have more zing? Yes it is and yes, it did.

Arlen Wagner has seen it in men before--a trace of smoke in their eyes that promises imminent death. He is never wrong.

When Arlen awakens on a train one hot Florida night and sees death's telltale sign in the eyes of his fellow passengers, he tries to warn them. Only 19-year-old Paul Brickhill believes him, and the two abandon the train, hoping to escape certain death. They continue south, but soon are stranded at the Cypress House--an isolated Gulf Coast boarding house run by the beautiful Rebecca Cady--directly in the path of an approaching hurricane.

The storm isn't the only approaching danger, though. A much deadlier force controls the county and everyone living in it, and Arlen wants out--fast. But Paul refuses to abandon Rebecca to face the threats alone, even though Arlen's eerie gift warns that if they stay too long they may never leave.

If you loved the first book, you're going to really enjoy Kortya's next offering. The spookiness and supernatural is dialed back a few notches in order to showcase humanity's ability for cruelty & evil, but it'll still keep you thumbing through the pages way past midnight. These characters aren't perfect, but you'll find yourself wondering what exactly will happen to them.

The only problem with this book is that for broad stretches, nothing happens. We see Arlen & Paul working on the house or talking to Rebecca about ominous things that might happen. At times this works wonderfully to heighten the tension, but at times I couldn't help but wish that the plot would have moved just a teensy bit faster.

This is still well worth reading, but if you aren't into the books that build suspense up slowly you'll probably be disappointed with this read. To the rest I heartily endorse this read- at times Koryta reminds me a little of Shirley Jackson's Haunting of Hill House.

(ARC provided by NetGalley)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

November Gratitude Giveaway!!

Hi everyone! It's time for my monthly giveaway & because I'm so grateful for all of the followers my little blog gets, I'm giving away two books this month so there will be two chances to win!

The first book is an ARC of David Baldacci's Deliver Us From Evil & the other is a hardback of Stephenie Meyer's The Host!

Here's how to enter:

Following my blog will give you one entry. Entering via the link below will give you another entry. (So if you follow my blog AND enter via the link, you get two entries into the contest! ) Don't worry about the linky tool asking you for a web link- just enter your e-mail into that if you don't have a blog or other website to put in there. I tested it out already & entering an e-mail address won't be a problem!

Posting a comment won't do anything extra, but it would be appreciated! Why not tell me what you'd like me to give away next month? I'm always open to suggestions!

I'm ending the contest on
November 28 at 11:59 pm EST, so check back on the 29th to see if you won! Want to win more stuff? Check back each month. Want to win tons of swag in November? Check out the I am A Reader, Not A Writer giveaway that inspired this month's contest!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Book Review: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Title: Paranormalcy
Author: Kiersten White
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: 08/31/2010
ISBN: 0061985848

If you love books along the lines of My Soul to Take then odds are that you'll love this new trilogy started by Kiersten White. It's got all of the stuff that UF YA is known for but also manages to give us something rare: an "awkward" pretty main character that is not only likable, but incredibly vulnerable as well.

Evie's always been different. Unlike other girls her age, she's got the power to see through any glamour & uses that skill to her best extent in her job at the International Paranormal Containment Agency (IPCA). Evie helps to trap & contain things that humanity is best not being aware of. The good part is that she gets her own pink sparkly taser. The bad part is that what makes her special also separates her from everyone else in the world. When she captures a strange boy rifling through her boss's office & discovers that something sinister is afoot, can Evie manage to find out what is going on?

I really did enjoy this book. It's a great start to a trilogy & you can tell that White has done some incredible plotting for this series. Evie is someone that just about every reader can relate to & root for. Also interesting is the two main guys in her life- one of which is a fairy intent on making her a possession & a boy that Evie finds herself quickly falling for. While I'm sure that the future books will help elaborate on both characters, it's refreshing to have the dynamics that are in this first book. (I won't spoil it for you, but needless to say there's no flip flopping between the guys in this book.)

The only downfall is that we're given far too little information on certain aspects of Evie's world (her friendships, IPCA, etc) & I can't help but really wish that White had given us a little more to start off with. I'm sure that these things will be elaborated on in the future, but it still doesn't help define IPCA & other aspects of this book.

Overall though this was an enjoyable first book & I'll be keeping my eyes open for the next one in the series.

James Frey & the Young Adult Fiction Factory

Want to get into YA writing? More importantly, do you want to write things that are meaningful for you & possibly the reader? Well, then don't sign up with James Frey or his company Full Fathom Five.

Everyone's heard of James Frey via his now infamous "biography" that never happened. Now Frey is back in the media & just like last time it's not for anything good. Recently Frey has come under fire for hiring hopeful authors in search of a break, then giving them one of the worst gigs ever.

In what is quite possibly his sleaziest move yet, Frey hires these authors (most of whom might be unaware of what they're getting themselves into), pays them a pittance to churn out books- books they don't even have any rights to. I'm not talking about some newbie coming on to help write the new Fear Street book or something along these lines. Nope, this is about some newbie coming on & writing their own original stories & characters, then losing all right to said stories & characters because under the agreement it belongs to James Frey's company.

I'm going to quote NY Magazine on this:

"Veteran publishing attorney Conrad Rippy said he had never seen anything like it:

It’s an agreement that says, “You’re going to write for me. I’m going to own it. I may or may not give you credit. If there is more than one book in the series, you are on the hook to write those too, for the exact same terms, but I don’t have to use you. In exchange for this, I’m going to pay you 40 percent of some amount you can’t verify — there’s no audit provision — and after the deduction of a whole bunch of expenses.”"

I can only hope that no new authors sign onto this company.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

First chapters of Melissa Marr's Darkest Mercy!

Hi all! I've been procrastinating in posting this, but if you're a huge fan of Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely series then you'll be excited to know that she's allowing us to have a sneak peek of the prologue as well as the first few chapters!

If you're longing for an ARC of this book, Marr also has a few options for you on her website as well. I know I've entered to win a copy, so why not you as well?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Book Review: No One Lives Twice by Julie Moffett

Title: No One Lives Twice (Lexi Carmichael #1)
Author: Julie Moffett
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: 08/16/2010
eISBN: 9781426890499

Longing for a bit of the old James Bond type thrillers? Want something with a little chase to it? Would you like to see a geeky girl on the run to stop the bad guys? If you answered yes to any of those three questions then you'll probably like this book.

I'm Lexi Carmichael, geek extraordinaire. I spend my days stopping computer hackers at the National Security Agency. My nights? Those I spend avoiding my mother and eating cereal for dinner. Even though I work for a top-secret agency, I've never been in an exciting car chase, sipped a stirred (not shaken) martini, or shot a poison dart from an umbrella.

Until today, that is, when two gun-toting thugs popped up in my life and my best friend disappeared. So, I've enlisted the help of the Zimmerman twins—the reclusive architects of America's most sensitive electronic networks—to help me navigate a bewildering maze of leads to find her.

Along the way, my path collides with a sexy government agent and a rich, handsome lawyer, both of whom seem to have the hots for me. Hacking, espionage, sexy spy-men—it's a geek girl's dream come true. If it weren't for those gun-toting thugs...

Readers of romance & fans of books similar to The Givenchy Code will enjoy this book. (It's not identical to TGC, but similar enough to where it reminded me a little of it.) Lexie Carmichael isn't the brightest computer geek out there, but she does have a lot of heart & determination to her that will endear her to most readers. You'll also love the variety of men in the series. It's pretty easy to determine who the main players are for Lexie's heart, though. Even so, the book is easy to read & the story's twist (which I'll admit I didn't entirely see coming) makes this a pretty fun read overall.

The only drawback? Well... for a girl that's supposedly smart enough to get into the NSA for her hacking skills, Lexie doesn't really show them off that much in this book. That might change in the next few books, but for right now we the only "hacking" we see Lexie doing is her talking to a supposed hacker in the beginning of the book. She's also not exactly savvy when it comes to avoiding stupid actions, but at least Moffett has Lexie calling herself out on this at various points in the book.

Overall though, this is a pretty enjoyable read. It's a nice fluffy story that will be sure to please romance fans looking for something with a little thrill to it. I have to admit that it was better than I was initially expecting it to be & I'm curious enough to read the next book in the series.

(ARC provided by NetGalley)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Chapter 1 of The Lying Game is currently being tweeted!!

I'm so excited! I'm not sure if I can post the tweets here, so I'm including this widget that goes directly to Shepard's twitter account. I'm going to e-mail the company & ask if I can post them here in a non-twitter format. (Better to be safe than sued relentlessly!)

And of course you can always read the prologue here, courtesy of prettylittleliars.com!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

All aboard for the first chapter of Sara Shepard's Lying Game

I'm excited to say that soon we'll be seeing the first chapter of Sara Shepard's new book, The Lying Game! She's supposed to be tweeting it on @sarabooks sometime soon. Originally she was supposed to be tweeting it on Sunday 11/7, but there's unfortunately been no tweets so far.

Still, I'll be keeping an eye out for this & hopefully if I have enough time I can put those tweets in one of the blog posts!

Want to read more? Impatient? Well, the prologue is already up at prettylittleliars.com! Discuss it there or go directly to the prologue! No spoilers, but this is definitely going to be a different game from PLL!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Readers emulate Pfeffer's Life as We Knew It

Hi all! I was scouring the net trying to find something interesting to pass along today & came across this little gem on the Publisher's Weekly site.

Evidently a blogger/reader of the book Life as We Knew It, a tale about a disaster that brings about well... the end of life as the book's characters knew it. A comet hit the moon, which caused massive tsunamis, wiping out huge portions of the world & slowly causing everything to break down- including food distribution.

Two people decided to try seeing how they'd fare under similar situations. One was Ivie Harrison, who decided to try a "LAWKI month", which involved no food shopping. While her religion has her stocking a year's worth of food anyway, her family quickly discovered that living like that was pretty difficult & learned to better appreciate the luxuries given them.

The other person is Shannon Wright. She allowed her children to purchase $10 worth of "necessities" apart from what she purchased ahead of time. The purchases were somewhat surprising (to me anyway), being ramen noodles & cologne. Wright made a point of doing lots of gardening & attempting to cook using things that used little to no electricity such as a sun oven.

I have to say, the actions of these two women & their families is pretty admirable. I mean, how many of us would be willing or able to do this unless we were forced to? It kind of makes me want to start researching ways to become more self sufficient, to be honest.

Book Review: Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

Title: Crescendo (Hush, Hush #2)
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: 10/19/2010

After reading & adoring the first book, I'll admit that I was eagerly awaiting this sequel. It didn't matter that there was no general release date or any concrete knowledge about it. I just wanted a copy in my hot little hands. And now I finally got a chance to read it & know that it was worth the wait.

Nora should have know her life was far from perfect. Despite starting a relationship with her guardian angel, Patch (who, title aside, can be described anything but angelic), and surviving an attempt on her life, things are not looking up. Patch is starting to pull away and Nora can't figure out if it's for her best interest or if his interest has shifted to her arch-enemy Marcie Millar. Not to mention that Nora is haunted by images of her father and she becomes obsessed with finding out what really happened to him that night he left for Portland and never came home.

The farther Nora delves into the mystery of her father's death, the more she comes to question if her Nephilim blood line has something to do with it as well as why she seems to be in danger more than the average girl. Since Patch isn't answering her questions and seems to be standing in her way, she has to start finding the answers on her own. Relying too heavily on the fact that she has a guardian angel puts Nora at risk again and again. But can she really count on Patch or is he hiding secrets darker than she can even imagine?

One of my previous issues with the book was that in Hush, Hush the relationship between Patch & Nora was all physically oriented. She was warm for his form & didn't really know anything about him. I'm really, REALLY glad to say that in this book that has been brought up. In fact, it's actually the main gist of the book- Nora realizes that she knows absolutely nothing about Patch. As her attempts to learn are rebuffed by him, Nora's mistrust of him grows. It doesn't help that he's spending an awful lot of time around Marci either. For these issues to be addressed in this book & for them to be such a driving factor in the plot was absolutely awesome.

The pacing of the book was wonderful & I loved absolutely every paragraph of it. I even loved Vee, who was a lot less annoying in this book. If you loved the first book then you're going to love this entry into the series. Not only has Fitzpatrick's writing matured, but the characters have as well. Nora's still a bit of an idiot when it comes to her self-preservation, but hey- you've got to get to the book resolution somehow.

If you didn't like the first one or are looking for anything other than a Twilight-esque type read, you're probably going to be disappointed. If all you want is an escapist read, then you're in luck- this book has that in spades. All I know is that despite not being a huge fan of Twilight, I still loved this book & can't wait for the third book to come out in fall of 2011.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Book Review: Night of the Vampires by Heather Graham

Title: Night of the Vampires
Author: Heather Graham
Publisher: Harlequin
Release Date: 11/23/2010
ISBN: 0373774869

As a soldier, Cole Granger fights to restore peace to a world divided by war and evil. His extraordinary talents are enlisted to prevent the president's horrific premonition from becoming reality. Nothing—and no one—will stop him from fulfilling his duty. Especially the mysterious young woman who claims to be his comrade's sister. Enemy or ally, he can't yet determine. But one thing he knows for certain is that he must keep her close. Very close.

Megan Fox's quest to uncover a family secret leads her to the center of vampire riots in West Virginia. To find the answers she needs—and clear herself of suspicion—she must join forces with Cole. They work undercover to bring justice, but they can't disguise the potent attraction and need that draw them together. Yet trust doesn't come easily for Cole…and when Megan unearths the grim, dark truth, can she trust him to believe her?

There’s just something about a heroine with the name “Megan Fox” that makes me take that character a little less seriously. I know it isn’t fair, but I can’t help but imagine the actress each time I read the book & wonder if Heather Graham had been watching trailers for Jonah Hex when she was inspired to write this book. Mercifully this book isn’t as horrible as Jonah Hex was. To Graham’s defense though, this is more of a re-imagining of history ala Pride, Prejudice, & Zombies, though. (But with vampires.)

Graham has managed to weave the supernatural & history together incredibly well, to the point where it is honestly believable. Readers will love the little history references as well as the interaction between Megan & Cole. Also interesting is the mini-rivalry between Megan & one of the other female characters in the book (not mentioning who due to spoiler issues later in the book)- unfortunately it is woefully underserved for the vast majority of the book.

Unfortunately this isn’t really amazing fare for Graham. She’s had better in the past & this is sort of mediocre for her. It’s good, but apart from the mixture of history & horror there isn’t much here that’s new for her. This just wasn’t Graham at her best.

Still, this is a worthwhile book & it was quite a bit of fun to read. True, it isn’t her best but I would still recommend it to fans of Graham or for those who like seeing things re-imagined.

(ARC provided by Netgalley)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

November's giveaway & more Lying Game news!

Hi all!

I just wanted to let you know that I'll be participating in the Blog Followers Gratitude Giveaway, plus I'll be giving away books to TWO lucky winners! I'll be giving away a copy of a Stephenie Meyer book as well as a Baldacci ARC, so check back here on the 17th as well as on the blogs in the link above- it'll be a great chance to pick up some great stuff!

Got any other ideas for things that would make for a great giveaway prize? Let me know in the comments below!

Also, I just wanted to take the chance to geek out a little more about The Lying Game & the upcoming television pilot they're filming. While landing a role in a pilot doesn't guarantee that you'll be in the tv show if it's picked up (check out the Buffy pilot to see the changes in casting), it still gives you a pretty good chance if the producers like what they see.

In any case, the producers have cast Alexandra Chando as the lead character(s) of both Emma & Sutton. That's going to be a pretty impressive role for her to brag about- not only will she be in the tv adaptation of a Shepard book, but she'll also be playing two characters that appear to be pretty different in personality.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Book Review: Fart Party 1 by Julia Wertz

Title: The Fart Party
Author: Julia Wertz
Publisher: Atomic Book Company
Release Date: 12/4/2007
ISBN: 0978656938
Buy it from the author!

If you're into books that don't involve liberal amounts of cussing, blood, drinking, or other wonderful things, then you might not like this book. If you like one or all of the above, then you'll like it.

Anyway, Fart Party is a semi-autobiographical comic on Wertz's life that covers just about everything that goes through her head. Life with her boyfriend? In here. Drinking? In here. A probably obsessive love of cheese? In here. Things that never really happened, but Wertz wishes they did? In here too.

Not every comic in this book is going to be a belly laugh, it's still an incredibly funny book to read. If you don't find at least one comic in here to laugh at then you probably skipped a few pages. (Seriously, how can anyone not laugh at Crack Whore Appreciation day?) Sure, the artwork isn't as defined as stuff in her latest book Drinking at the Movies, but even Wertz will say that this was her early stuff.

It's just really nice to see an indie comic out there that isn't trying to pass along some sort of higher message, throw in an endless supply of pop culture references, or be pretentious in some way or another, (I still like those comics but I'll admit they're pretty unrealistic.) Fart Party doesn't do any of that stuff & it's why I love it.

Seriously, check this book out. It's got some serious laughs in it!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sara Shepard's The Lying Game is becoming a tv show!

I just discovered that Sara Shepard's Lying Game has been picked up for a tv pilot, which means that there's a chance for it to become a tv show at some point in time. With Pretty Little Liars on the air, it makes a lot of sense for ABC to try to bring out as many similar things as possible- especially since PLL has decent ratings & won the Teen Choice Awards.

This makes me want to read the book even more- after all, if it's getting picked up for a pilot without it being released yet then the book must be pretty good!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Book Review: Savannah Grey by Cliff McNish

Savannah Grey
Author: Cliff McNish
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group (under the Carolrhoda Lab Imprint)
Release Date: 04/01/2011
ISBN: 9780761370253

This book has been my second foray into Carolrhoda Lab's library & I have to admit that I'm pretty impressed. These guys really do have a great eye for titles that are not only readable, but don't fall into the normal cliches of YA fiction. (As a heavy reader of YA, I can say that there's a lot of titles that tend to follow the same formulas.)

A monster's out there... Only one girl can stop it. But will love get in the way?

It's a difficult time for fifteen-year-old Savannah Grey - she's settled into her latest foster placement, but her body is acting oddly. Then other strange things begin to happen. Birds behave erratically; gusts of wind blow leaves so fiercely they seem to lure people away. And Savannah discovers she has supernatural powers.

Only new boy Reece Gandolfo thinks Savannah's powers are a special gift. No wonder she's attracted to him. But there's another force that wants to lure Savannah from safety into danger...

Readers who are looking for a little something above & beyond the usual "girl with powers" fare will rejoice in this book. Not only does McNish try to build a deliciously slow build up to a huge showdown, but he also gives us great character interactions & a twist that you'll enjoy. Also something to praise is the mixture of science & fantasy/horror- there's definite horror to this, but all of it can be seen through a scientific point of view. It's well mixed in to the point where many readers might not even notice it, which is the sign that it is also done well.

While I loved the slow buildup to the finale, people who are looking for nonstop action & huge fight scenes to be interspersed throughout the entire book might be a little disappointed. This isn't that type of book.

Overall, this is a great book & I'm pretty impressed by McNish's writing style. Want a sneak peek? You can read an excerpt of Savannah Grey at McNish's website!

(ARC provided by Netgalley)

Read this book: The Lying Game by Sara Shepard

Hi all! After mentioning Nickel Plated in one of my other blogs, I figured I'd mention another book you should read.

More than likely you've heard of Pretty Little Liars, an awesome book series turned tv show. It's one of my favorite teen reads, something I've recommended quite often through work. Well, Shepard has a new series coming out that's along the same vein as PTL, called The Lying Game. It comes out in December & I literally can't wait to read it. I pretty much think that this book & the last book in the Wicked Lovely series are the two top books I'm waiting for this year.

Here's the book synopsis:

Sutton Mercer has a life any girl would kill for...and someone did.

Shortlybefore her seventeenth birthday, Emma discovers she has a long-lost twin. She contacts Sutton, who agrees to a rendezvous, but never shows up. Curious at first, Emma slips into Sutton's life, assuming her identity. When it becomes clear that Sutton is not coming back, that someone made sure she never could, Emma plunges in to investigate who could have wanted her sister gone (a fairly long list, she discovers). Unfortunately, taking over Sutton's life means innocent little Emma has inherited all that bad blood-and then some.

I have to say, I wish books like this were out when I was a teenager. While some might balk at some of the mature themes, I absolutely love that authors have been upping the ante in YA in general. (Heck, I always recommend that the parents read the book along with the kids- it'll give them a lot to talk about together!)

Hopefully school will be kind enough in December that I'll be able to read this right away & post a prompt review here on this blog!