Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The 2011 Debutante Event hosted by Badass Bookie

Hey everyone, here's the info on the The 2011 Debutante Event hosted by Badass Bookie:

From the 1st-25th of December, Badass Bookie is going to be your guide to next year's hottest debuts! My lovely Debs just simply can't wait to meet you all so they are debuting early! Everything you need to know about your Debs and their amazing book will be here! Oh! and did I mention Giveaways Galore? Not only do you guys get to know the Debs better, YOU also get to win their books!!!

What is a Deb? Well, my lovely poppets, a Deb is short for a Debutante which is a New Author to the YA genre. Basically, their first book is coming out next year!

Secondly, the schedule for the event! Each debutante will have a two day feature, the first day will be a get to know your debs post and the second day will be more about the books AND Giveaways galore!!! *hint hint* most of the giveaways ARE international!

1st-2nd of Dec. - Julia Karr ( XVI)
3rd-4th of Dec - Amy Holder ( Lipstick Laws)
5th-6th of Dec - Carrie Harris ( Bad Taste In Boys)
7th-8th of Dec - Elana Johnson ( Possession)
9th-10th of Dec - Lia Habel ( Dearly, Departed)
11th-12th of Dec - Sara Bennett Wealer ( Rival)
13th-14th of Dec - Beth Revis ( Across the Universe)
15th-16th of Dec - Lisa and Lauren Roecker ( The Liar Society)
17th -18th of Dec - Kristi Cook ( Haven)
19th -20th of Dec - Cynthia Hand ( Unearthly)
21st-22nd of Dec - Kiki Hamilton ( The Faerie Ring)
23rd-24th of Dec - Lauren DeStefano ( Wither)
25th of Dec - Wrap up post"

However, the Debs and I, and Lisa, need your help! We want to make this event bigger and better, we want EVERYONE to know about this event! SO we are giving away a PRIZE   for anyone who spreads the word about it!!! So spread the word and WIN! (the deadline has been extended to December fifth! there are some super cool prizes up for grabs)
I'm so excited to learn about these books and authors! I'm looking forward to more books to add to my virtual TBR pile. And of course, the giveaways.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Nanowrimo Day 29 :>{)

Well, the 50,000 words have been written (50,122 to be exact). Sadly, the story isn't finished. It is endless. And it might stay that way--FOREVER!

The first two weeks of November were definitely the honeymoon stage. I was very happy and in love.

The third week was when I became disenchanted with my characters and their rather lame plot.

The forth week was filled with bitterness.

Over the past few days, the decision was made to separate. Though it has not yet been decided if it will become permanent. There is a small possibility of us getting back together. I want to believe that once I cut through the mounds of crap, there will be something to salvage. 

But for now, it will be exiled to my external hard drive. Its future as yet undetermined.


*Now back to my regularly scheduled life*

Gratitude Giveaway WINNERS!

Thank you everyone for following!

The winner of a signed copy of The Dark Divine is
Flippin Fabulous

International winner of a book from The Book Depo is
Ana Luisa


Sunday, November 28, 2010

350 page books challenge

So, here's another book challenge that I'm going to attempt for next year. It's to read books 350 pages or longer. Which will be a challenge for me. I tend to steer towards shorter books. When I get sucked into a story I have a hard time doing anything else and when the book is long, it's that much longer I'm staying up late at night to read.

So, from January to December 2011, my goal is to read FIVE books over 350 pages long. Good luck, future resugo!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

In My Mailbox (9)

I have written 11250 words in the past three days on my nano novel. My mind is jelly, which is a definite indicator that it's time for bed.

But first, a post! A post? Yes, a post! An In My Mailbox post! I haven't posted a IMM in weeks and weeks!!! Okay, so only five weeks, but that is still a long time! Which means it is now time to share every book I've gotten for the past little while! yay! (see--jelly. I totally warned you! You should see my nano words...they're getting stupider the longer this month lasts) (and what's with all the exclamations?)

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

WON! Whoo Hoo!!!
I get emails from publishers at work that let me know new books that are coming out. Sometimes they have ARCs they give away to the first so many people who sent an email back to them. That is how I won:
Out for Blood by Alyxandra Harvey (which I loved! Review forthcoming...just as soon as I get it written)
Tiger's Curse by Collen Houck (fun. review also forthcoming...I just have to write it) (and isn't it an awesome cover? really like it)

 I also got a package at work a few weeks ago which was a total surprise. I have no idea why or how I got it, but inside was:
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (it was like they had extras so they just threw it in. Which I am okay with. Thank you Simon and Schuster!)

I went to my local second-hand store and bought (for a grand total of $1.50):

that's it for me.
What's in your mailbox?

As I was writing this post I had the distinct thought, "I need to remember to count up all these words." CRAZY! I'm glad November is almost over.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

review: Matched by Ally Condie

pub date: November 30, 2010
publisher: Dutton Juvenile
pgs: 384 pgs
source: ARC from ALA

Doesn't it seem like this book should be out all ready? I think I first started hearing about it sometime around April/May, which was forever ago. Finally, it's release is almost here! Just one week away! It was the one book I really, really, REALLY wanted at ALA and I was so glad I was able to get a copy and to meet Ally in person and get her signature. I was a little worried I wouldn't like the book after all the hype I'd heard, but I did. A LOT. One of my favorite books of the year.

Anyway, Cassia lives in a future where Society determines the major decisions in everyone's lives: job, city, spouse. Even the not so major decisions: recreational activities, what to eat, the time to wake up. So Cassia is surprised to find that Society made a mistake: on her microcard instead of one match, she sees two. And suddenly Cassia doesn't want Society to decide who she'll marry, she wants to decide for herself.

The Society, in the beginning, reminded me a lot of Lois Lowry's The Giver. But not for long. Ms. Condie's dystopic society is new and original and so well constructed. I believed in the world she created. It was one of my favorite aspects of this book--the world building.

Cassia's world isn't revealed all at once. We're introduced to Cassia and her family and her nieghbors and her match. Gradually, our view as a reader broadens to include the larger community she resides in. As Cassia's veiw of her world broadens, so does the readers. We learn more about the Society and the world outside of of its boarders. I loved that!

I enjoyed the romance in the story, too. I do have issues with love triangles, some more than others. This triangle made me sad, but it didn't bother me to the point that it took me out of the story.

I love dystopic YA novels and this one is at the top of my list. I adored it. I'm excited for the next books in the trilogy, though it'll be a while. I am excited to find out where Ms. Condie will take Cassia and Xander and Ky.

Teaser Tuesday #8 -- Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck

Teaser Tuesday is a meme hosted by MizB at should be reading. Anyone can join in on the fun, just visit her blog to find out more.

My snippet today is from Colleen Houck's book Tiger's Curse.

"Mae West, a famous vaudeville actress, once said, 'A man's kiss is his signature.' I grinned to myself. If that was true, then Ren's signature was the John Hancock of kisses." pg 251

So I thought that was a pretty hilarious line. I can't stop laughing. 

Here's info on the book, to be published in January.

Would you risk it all to change your destiny?

The last thing Kelsey Hayes thought she'd be doing this summer was trying to break a 300-year old Indian curse. With a mysterious white tiger named Ren. Halfway around the world. But that's exactly what happened.

Face-to-face with dark forces, spell-binding magic, and mystical worlds where nothing is what it seems, Kelsey risks everything to piece together an ancient prophecy that could break the curse forever.

Tiger's Curse is the exciting first volume in an epic fantasy-romance that will leave you breathless and yearning for more.

Monday, November 22, 2010

nanowrimo day 22 *L*

The first two weeks of nanowrimo were awesome. I wrote every day. And each one of those days I averaged 2000 words. I was on fire!

Then I hit the third week (last week) and I only wrote 4 out of 6 days (I don't write on Sundays), with a total cumulative of 8613 words. That was with me writing 3000 words on Friday.

Now it's week four, I have 32128 words complete, leaving 17872 words for me to write in only 8 days, and I don't want to do it. Which is probably obvious since I'm blogging about writing instead of actually writing.

Yes, I have hit my slump and am wallowing in it.

Why did I want to do thing again? I've forgotten.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

debut author challenge 2011

I am officially committing myself to the 2011 Debut Author Challenge hosted by the Story Siren. To find out more about this, click on the links above.

This isn't the first reading challenge I've taken on since I started blogging a few months ago, but it's going to be the first one I actually finish. (I say that now, but I guess time will tell...)

The debut books I am looking forward to reading (at the moment) are:

Julia Karr XVI
Beth Revis Across the Universe
Paige Harbison  Here Lies Bridget
Karen Mahoney  The Iron Witch
Kirsten Hubbard   Like Mandarin
Cameron Stracher  The Water Wars
Heather Dixon  Entertwined
Ann Aguirre  Enclave

Though I'm sure as I find out more info on the other 2011 debut releases, I'll add to my list

Thursday, November 18, 2010

review: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

pub date: October 19, 2010
publisher: Philomel Books
pgs: 454
source: library
content: some swearing and heavy makeouts and violence

blurb from goodreads:
Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything— including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

First off, the book is just beautiful. The cover, of course, but also the waxing and waining moons that open/close each chapter and the elemental marks throughout. The pages are tattered and torn on the edges. It's just beautiful.

And Wow. the story. This is a really remarkable and original world Ms. Cremer has created. The whole idea of werewolves having masters who happen to be sorcerers is just cool. I loved all the back story of the Guardians, how they came to be and their purpose. I'm very interested in finding out more about the history of the Keepers and Searchers. I'm glad Wolfsbane comes out this next summer and I don't have to wait a whole year to find out. Because between the cliff-hanger ending and all the open ended questions, there is still a lot of story I want to read!

I love a good kissing scene, and this book has many of them. Calla is a very physical girl and she really liked her guys. Which makes for some nice romantic tension, but also kind of bugged me after a while because...

...I have issues with love triangles. Some bother me more than others. This one actually really bothered me. In general, I have to main reasons. 

First, its two boys wanting one girl and only one boy can have her for keeps. Which means one of the boys is going to have a broken heart. And that just makes me sad. I don't want to grow to like a character just see them have their heart broken.

Second, how am I supposed to be invested (because as a reader I do become very invested) in the girl's relationship with Suitor A, when she's dangling Suitor B on the side? I can't. And Calla dangles, both boys, and though I can understand why she did, it still bothered me.

Between Shay and Ren, I liked Calla better with Ren. I could understand her relationship with him and even though he's a player to begin with, he really did want things to workout between the two of them.

Calla and Shay's attraction was immediate. As I was reading their first meeting, I did not find it believable. I thought it kind of silly. Shay is bleeding to death and Calla wants to touch him in a more personal way? Because of their beginning, I never felt their relationship moved beyond the physical to something deeper. Of course Calla is drawn to Shay as someone new and dangerous and he represents freedom for her. I just didn't get their relationship outside of the kissing.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Gratitute Giveaway Hop

Happy November! In honor of Thanksgiving, I'm very excited to be participating in Gratitute Giveaways with many, many other bloggers.

Here is The Important Information:

Ends Sunday Nov 28 at midnight.
Open to the US and International
You MUST be a follower.
Earn One Extra Entry by blogging/tweeting/listing in sidebar about this giveaway.
Just fill out the form below to be entered.
Hop to the over 170 other blogs participating
and Good Luck!

Oh...I guess I should tell you the prizes.

For those who live in the US the giveway is a signed paperback copy of The Dark Divine by Bree Despain. It has a teaser chapter from The Lost Saint, which comes out in December. 

For those who live Internationally enter to win a $10 gift of your choice from the Book Depository. Just check to make sure they ship to your country.

Thank you for following!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

event: Teen Book Fest at the Provo City Library

A couple weeks ago the Provo City Library held their first annual Teen Book Fest. I switched around my schedule at work so that I'd be able to go. It was a lot of fun. Some highlights:
  • In the signing line for Scott Westerfeld I noticed his wife, Justine Larbalestier, standing nearby. I had my copy of Zombies vs Unicorns and I was going to have her sign it when I got closer to the front since she was one of the editors. Well, she actually came up to me and asked if I wanted her to sign it. We chatted for 60 seconds. At the time I was listening to How to Ditch Your Fairy and told her how much I was enjoying it. She said that the audio of Zombies vs Unicorns is really fun because she and Holly Black were in the studio doing the introductions for the stories and they went off script in their arguing so there's stuff on the audio that isn't in the book. So now I need to check out the audio and listen to it, or at least the story intros. Justine Larbalestier is super nice. By the time I got to the front she'd left, so I was really happy she came to talk to me. It kind of made my day.
  • I saw Shannon Hale pass by with her two little twins. Okay, not necessarily a highlight, but kind of fun. I promise, I'm not a stalker.
  • I met Enna Isilee of squeaky book fame, though only for about 45 seconds. Hi Enna!
  • I went to two readings, the first was Wendy Toliver. I was rather sad that more people didn't attend the readings because they were a lot of fun. Wendy Toliver's new book, Lifted, sounds interesting. Not normally a book I'd read, especially because I'm not a fan of the cover. Yes, I always judge a book by what it looks like--helps me weed my TBR list. Anyway, I have now checked it out from the library, so expect a review sometime soon. Or later, with nanowrimo it might take a while to read.
  • The other reading I went to was Ann Cannon's. Seriously, she's hilarious. You should check out her books and her blog. She had a book called, The Romance Writer's Phrase Book and we all took turns closing our eyes and pointing to a sentence that she then read out loud. It was pretty great. (she even wrote a blog post about the book HERE). Why did she do this at the reading? Because at one time she was a closet romance reader. So in her YA book, The Losers' Guide to Life and Love, she had one of her characters be a closet romance reader. 
It was a fun day. I wasn't able to go to Scott Westerfeld's keynote speech, though I heard it was spectacular. And fun. It'll be archived later this week, so maybe I'll take an hour to watch it this weekend. HEREs a link to the page if you want to take a look at it yourselves.

Sigh. I forgot my camera. So no pictures. I'll have to remember next time, gosh darn it!

Monday, November 15, 2010

a thought on Delirium--an unofficial review

I finished Delirium by Lauren Oliver a few days ago. I was so excited to get it through NetGalley since I really didn't want to wait until February to read the book.

It is a beautiful story.

I felt a lot of different emotions throughout the book--sad, happy, horrified, romantic. You know how it goes, reading a really good book. But near the end, what I felt was mostly panic. As pages ran out, I was getting more and more worried about how Lena's story would resolve. It wasn't looking optimistic for my idealistic hopes.

I reached the last chapter and was completely horrified. NOOOOOOOOO! My heart broke. I wasn't sure how I felt--it's all so beautiful! But it ended...strange. So many unanswered questions. A part of me was impressed that Ms. Oliver left so many plot points open, but also horrified that I would have to fill in the blanks myself.

UNTIL I read online that Delirium is the first in a trilogy. Oh. I had no idea. The whole time I was reading I thought it was a stand alone. Once I realized I wasn't saying, "goodbye forever," just "see you next year," my heart healed.

Now I can say in all honesty, I love this book.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

review: Banished by Sophie Littlefield

pub date: October 12, 2010
publisher: Delacort
pgs: 304
source: ARC from ALA

First off, isn't the cover awesome? I love it. She looks banished, hiding behind her hair and looking over her shoulder.

Hailey lives with her mean and ill grandmother and 4-year-old foster brother (uncle?) in a part of Gypsum, Missouri affectionately (just kidding) called Trashtown. Except she doesn't really belong there. Trashtown kids like her about as much as Gypsum kids do--which is not at all. But then one day at school she is inexplicably compelled to help a Trashtown girl and ends up healing her. Then an aunt she never knew she had shows up on her doorstep. And that's just the beginning of the exciting adventure as Hailey finds out who she is and the power that she has inside of her.

I enjoyed the book a lot. I enjoyed the supernatural elements Ms. Littlefield created into this world of contemporary Missouri. As well as the history of Hailey's family, harking back to Ireland. I liked Hailey as a character. Her life sucks, but she doesn't let that turn her bitter or angry. She just makes plans for a better future and when those plans have to change, she changes with them. 

My favorite was the ending. I was surprised at the twisted tastiness of it all. Ooooh...I will not say more because it was such a cool surprise that I don't want to ruin it for you.

This is definitely the first in a series, setting up the later books. I mean, she doesn't even meet a romantic lead till practically the end of the book...just a hint of what is to come later on in the series.

I did wonder at Chub (the foster brother (uncle?)). He didn't add much to the story and I'm thinking that in later books his real purpose will be shown. But in this first installment, all he did was sleep. Seriously, he should be checked out at the hospital because I'm thinking he suffers from narcolepsy. Every once in a while, after sleeping for 20 hours, he would say a few words. Which was a little something, but not much to add to his existence in the novel.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

so, yeah...

Superman, my novel for NaNoWriMo, has hijacked my life. Sorry. I know my blog sucks right now. Yet, I am having so much fun with my characters and plot, I'm only just sorta sorry, not a lot sorry. As of tonight, I have 16,836 words written, leaving only 33,164 words left to write in the next 21 days. I think I'm doing pretty awesome. Oh, forget humility. I think I'm awesome.

In actual book news, I'm participating in the Follower Appreciation Hop! It starts next week on Wednesday November 17th. I really do appreciate my followers, especially those that actually read my posts. This is for you!
I'm not exactly sure what I'll be giving away yet, but it will be awe inspiring. Promise!

Then the best news for last: I got a package from Bloomsbury at work today. Inside was the best thing EVER! I'm not able to get a picture loaded (urg!) so click HERE to find out. Yes, I really did get the book I was waiting for, except I don't have to wait for December anymore. I have not been able to stop smiling since I tore the seal. Yeep!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

booking through thursday

Today's question for btt is:

I’ve seen many bloggers say that what draws them to certain books or authors is good writing, and what causes them to stop reading a certain book or author is bad writing. What constitutes good writing and bad writing to you?

More than the words used, it's the story the words tell.

I like fast paced plot with quick descriptions of people and places. Too much description bores me. To little, and I feel like I'm reading a list of actions, not a story that flows. Which also bores me. A good plot can cover up a lot of cliches and repetitions and whatever else for me.

No matter how beautiful the prose or flowing the writing, if the plot has holes or unrealistic characters, that's what I consider bad writing.

And though slow plot isn't bad writing, I usually stop reading when it becomes a chore.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

nanowrimo day 3 :)

It's day 3 of nano and I am happy to say that I've kept with my schedule of 2000 words a day. I'm enjoying it while it lasts, because I don't know how the rest of this month will pan out and any day I can do 2000 words is a successful day. Another indicator of success? The fact I'm enjoying the story. I'm calling it Superman for right now. It's contemporary YA. With a sorta supernatural element. There's a boy and a girl. I have no idea where it's going beyond the first bit. It'll be interesting to find out.

The very first novel-length something I wrote took me two years to finish. Well, the first draft took me that long. Technically, I still haven't finished it. But it took me three years because I just kept editing the beginning, over and over. And then the middle, over and over. Then back to the beginning, again and again. Finally I just made myself finish, which was really tough. It was a glorious feeling to reach the end. (It would probably be even more glorious if I'd finish it all together).

One of the cool things about nano is that I can't go back and edit during November. I just have to write. And after four years of doing this, I've gotten good at moving past crappy writing and just getting the story on the page. Editing comes AFTER. Earlier today I was amazed at how horrible the writing was and I was okay with moving on. It was a wonderful feeling.

27 days/43,693 words to go

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

review: Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian

pub date: September 1, 2010
publisher: Push
pgs: 304
source: for review at kiss the book (book reviews for school librarians)
content: some swearing, a few f-bombs, talking about sex, heavy making out, sex (not descriptive)

blurb from goodreads:
Natalie Sterling wants to be in control. She wants her friends to be loyal. She wants her classmates to elect her student council president. She wants to find the right guy, not the usual jerk her school has to offer. She wants a good reputation, because she believes that will lead to good things.

But life is messy, and it's very hard to be in control of it. Not when there are freshman girls running around in a pack, trying to get senior guys to sleep with them. Not when your friends have secrets they're no longer comfortable sharing. Not when the boy you once dismissed ends up being the boy you want to sleep with yourself - but only in secret, with nobody ever finding out.

Slut or saint? Winner or loser? Natalie is getting tired of these forced choices - and is now going to find a way to live life in the sometimes messy, sometimes wonderful in-between.

This is a spoilery review, so beware.
There are at least two things I need in a book to enjoy it.
First, I need a main character I like. I rather hated Natalie. It's okay if I dislike a main character to begin with, but sometime during the story I need to start liking her. I never reached that point. Natalie was mean and judgemental and super bossy and very prideful. She really got on my nerves.
Which leads me to the second thing: I want to watch a character grow. So Natalie's a jerk at the beginning, how is she going to change that? In this book she doesn't until the last 10 pages. It's when she asks herself, "What really matters here?" So she apologizes to Conner and her best friend and everything is fine. Oh, and she learns to accept herself. Really? That's all she grew? As far as I could see, she didn't change at all except in the humility department and it happened way too late in the story to redeem her in my eyes.
I actually did like Conner, but I couldn't understand what he liked about Natalie. She was so mean to him, all of the time. She uses him for a physical relationship, not wanting anything more from him. She even says it's awkward making conversation with him between kissing. Uh...that bothered me. Shouldn't it have bothered Conner, too? He likes her, but then why is he okay with Natalie wanting to keep their new relationship a secret? Why would he go along with that?
Normally this would be a book I wouldn't finish, but I just got so annoyed I needed to read the ending. So it did have that going for it--I wanted to get know how it was going to resolve. I even stayed up late to do so.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Spooktacular Winner

The Spooktacular Book Blog Giveaway Hop is over. Thanks everyone who participated. I got some really good book recommendations.

My winner was brendajean. I've sent an email. Just send me your address and I'll get it to the post office.

Happy November!