Friday, December 31, 2010

The Best of 2010 in Books

I am completing The Perpetual Page-Turner's End of 2010 Survey when I really should be getting ready to go out. My festivities don't start for about another hour, so I am trying to make this happen before the end of the year. (thank goodness I keep a list of all of the books I read)

1. Best book of 2010?
Because I can't limit it just 1, here are my top 5:
Freefall by Mindi Scott
Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
Love Is the Higher Law by David Levithan

2. Worst book of 2010? *
The Deadly Sister by Eliot Schrefer - *I have a disclaimer for this one. I didn't actually finish the book, I just couldn't get into it - so this isn't the worst book I read this year, but the book I gave up on this year.

3. Most Disappointing Book of 2010?
An Underachiever's Diary by Benjamin Anastas - I was hoping that it would be filled with snarky witticisms, but not so much. 

4. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2010? 

Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry - I loved this book. What is so surprising is that this was the first book where the author contacted me about providing a review. I was hesitant at first because it was about zombies but I love zombie movies, so I gave it a shot. And it is a book about zombies, but so much more! Everyone should read it. (see below)

5. Books you recommended to people most in 2010?

Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

6. Best series you discovered in 2010? The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

7. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2010?
Definitely Melina Marchetta, Cath Crowley and Mindi Scott

8. Most hilarious read of 2010?
Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler - This book had me in stitches page after page. 

9. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2010?

Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols - I got so caught up in the love triangle of Lori, Sean and Adam. It was a fun summer romance filled with hilarious hi jinx, and I felt like a teenage again. It also made me want to try wakeboarding (which I did, unsuccessfully I might add)

10. Book you most anticipated in 2010?
Fallout by Ellen Hopkins - I am still anticipating this one. It was published in 2010, I purchased it in 2010, but I didn't read it in 2010. I do not know what I am waiting for, wait yes I do, Hopkins's next published book, Perfect. I like to have her newest book on the bookshelf waiting for me before I read the previously published one. With her books, I am weird that way.

11. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2010?
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler - I love the blue sea glass and the worn out wood of the boardwalk

12. Most memorable characters in 2010?
Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark of The Hunger Games Trilogy, together or separate these characters had me captivated.

13. Most beautifully written book in 2010?

You Are Not Here by Samantha Schutz

14. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2010?
Freefall by Mindi Scott

15. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2010 to finally read?
 The Hunger Games - All of the hype surrounding the book kept me away, and the main character's name, Katniss just didn't seem like something I would want to read over and over again. I'm so glad I got over that because The Hunger Games Trilogy was awesome.

Who knows, maybe in 2011, I will give Harry Potter a try! I cannot wait to start reading for 2011.
You can check out a complete list of all of the books I read in 2010 here.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

100 and 150+ Followers Giveaway

I can't believe how wonderful my blogging experience has been so far. In just five months, I have a readership larger than I ever imagined. So to thank my readers for stopping by, reading, commenting and telling others about my blog, I am having a giveaway! This year I have read some amazing books and I want to give away one of my favorite reads of 2010. It was difficult to narrow it down to just one title. But I have, and it is:

Freefall by Mindi Scott. Wondering why you are seeing double? That is because I will be giving away 2 copies! Since I didn't have a 100 follower giveaway and now that I have over 150 followers, I think that 2 of you deserve Mindi's breathtaking debut novel. If you missed it, you can read my review of Freefall here.

I don't require readers to follow my blog to enter my giveaways, but if you do, you will receive an extra entry. I just ask that you complete the form below and tell me what was your favorite book of 2010. Again, thank you for stopping by Actin' Up with books.

Giveaway is now CLOSED.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Book Blogger Holiday Swap!

I went out of town for a few days for Christmas and when I arrived home yesterday I had this lovely little package waiting for me! It was my gift from the Book Blogger Holiday Swap.

I knew that it was coming a few days late because my Secret Santa, Melissa of The Feminist Texican [Reads] sent me an email earlier in the week letting me know that my package was on the way. Apparently, it traveled from Texas to the east coast to the west coast and then back to the east coast again until it finally made it to my mailbox. I couldn't wait to tear into it and see what Melissa had sent.

I was so excited to see that I get Very LeFreak by Rachel Cohn which I had included on my wishlist. I have wanted this book since it came out, but since it was only available in hardcover I have been holding off on buying it and now I have it! Woo-Hoo!! I also received After the Wreck, I Picked Myself Up, Spread my Wings, and Flew Away by Joyce Carol Oates. Melissa chose this book for me because: 1. She is a fan of .Joyce Carol Oates (I have not yet read any of her books) and 2. I am a fan of YA Lit and this is one Oates's YA titles. I also received 2 mix CDs. I love mix CDs. I haven't had a chance to listen to them yet but plan to as soon as I finish writing this post!

Thank you Melissa for my gift and thank you to the coordinators of the Book Blogger Holiday Swap for making all of this happen.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Fall Into Reading Challenge - Wrap Up!

If there were any expectations for the Fall Into Reading 2010 Challenge, then it would have been a partial fail. But since, it was a no-pressure/low-pressure challenge then I say that it was a partial success. I signed up for the challenge hosted by Callapidder Days back in October with the plan to read some books that have been on my shelves for a while.

Here are the books I planned to read and did:

Losing Faith by Denise Jaden
Freefall by Mindi Scott
Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott
Same Difference by Siobhan Vivian
Perfect World by Brian James

Here are the books I planned to read but didn't:

We Were Here by Matt de la Pena (finish)
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (finish)
How It Ends by Laura Weiss
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
Fallout by Ellen Hopkins
Songs for a Teenage Nomad by Kim Culbertson

Even though I didn't stick to my list, I did do a lot of reading. Some books were for review which is why I read them instead of the ones on my list.

Jumpstart the World by Catherine Ryan Hyde
You Are Not Here by Samantha Schutz
The Frenzy by Francesca Lia Block
Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales
Far from You by Lisa Schroeder
Crash Test Love by Ted Michael

Some of my favorite books that I read during the challenge were Freefall, Rot & Ruin, and Dash & Lily's Book of Dares. One book that I regret not reading is Pride and Prejudice. It has been on my bookshelf a long time and I mean L-O-N-G time. But I will read it, eventually. During the challenge, I also did a read-a-ton from December 2 through the 5th and I read 4 books in 4 days, but I think it may have been a bit of an overkill because I didn't finish a book for 3 weeks after that.

Now I am back on the reading train and gearing up for my next challenge, 2011 Debut Author Challenge.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Secret Santa: The Broke and the Bookish

Santa arrived a day early at my house, Secret Santa that is. Wendy from A Page Turner 4 U was my Secret Santa this year. This is what I received:

Killer Dreams by Iris Johansen
Word Search Book
Chocolate M&M's (my favorite)
My Life. My Story. bookmark
Holiday card

Thanks Wendy for my gift and thank you to The Broke and the Bookish for hosting Secret Santa 2010.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

And the Winner Is . . .

The Winner Is . . . 


For my Midwinter's Eve Giveaway Hop, 
Benita has won a copy of Same Difference by Siobhan Vivian

There were a total 58 original entries and using, number 33 was selected. Thank you to everyone who entered and congratulations Benita! Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Hope Santa Brings

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because they are particularly fond of lists. I am too so that is why I am participating this week.

Top Ten Books I Hope Santa Brings

The Kid Table by Andrea Seigel
Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers
Very LeFreak by Rachel Cohn
Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala
Her and Me and You by Lauren Strasnick
The Nobodies Album by Carolyn Parkhurst
The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta
Matched by Ally Condie
Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
The Hole We're In by Gabrielle Zevin

Santa arrives in many forms at my house. I hope that he's been making his list and checking it twice - finding that I've been a little bit naughty but a lot more nice!

Midwinter's Eve Giveaway Hop

I have a copy of Same Difference by Siobhan Vivian to giveaway. Same Difference is Siobhan's second published novel which was recently reviewed on Actin' Up with books. And I was lucky enough to interview Siobhan on my blog. If you missed it, you can read it here.

Contest Rules:
  • You do not have to follow my blog to enter (but if you do, I would be so, so happy) 
  • To enter, just leave a comment in the comments section, including an email address (if you do not want to include your email address in the comments section, leave a link to your blog where you can be notified) 
  • Only one entry per email address/comment (multiple comments are appreciated, but will not result in multiple entries)
  • You must be at least 13 years or older to enter 
  • Giveaway is open US only
  • Giveaway is open December 21, 2010 until December 22, 2010, 11:59PM EST
  • One winner will be chosen and contacted by email. Once the winner has been confirmed, it will be announced on the blog.
  • Good Luck!
Look at all of these other awesome blogs that are participating in the Midwinter's Eve Giveaway Hop. Please note that each blog will have their own contest rules. So check them out and enter away!

    Saturday, December 18, 2010

    Spotlight on No Hope for Gomez: A Gomessy Xmas

    A Gomessy Xmas

    It's the age-old tale:
         Boy meets girl.
         Boy stalks girl.
         Girl already has a stalker.
         Boy becomes her stalker-stalker.”

    “No Hope for Gomez!” is the award winning comedy novel that has already wrecked thousands of reasonably useful minds. To end the year with a twist, you get the Geeky eNovel “A Gomessy Xmas: Random acts of senseless kindness” with your copy of No Hope. Simply send your Amazon receipt to before January 15th.

    As a bonus, and for a limited time only, reading “No Hope for Gomez!” will also make you more attractive to the opposite sex, and it will increase your random luck by about 9.5%
    (These statements have not been evaluated by anyone of consequence.)

    Read a free chapter here and get more details on this offer here.

    "Extremely witty and clever writing that contains keen insights into human nature." California Chronicles

    "The antics in this book will leave the reader laughing. Graham Parke is a genius." Readers Favorite

    "A quick and unputdownable read that flies in the face of reason and smashes against the wall of detective novels. It's a Coens Brothers' film formatted in book form."

    Friday, December 17, 2010

    About Me: All-Time Favorite Books

    What are your all-time favorite books? What are some new books you have come to love because of starting your blog? (Another post from the blogger feature at Page by Page

    I love so many books for very different reasons so selecting my all-time favorite books is somewhat daunting. This is the short list, but there could certainly be more:

     Cousin Matilda and the Foolish Wolf by Joanna Cole
    This is the first book that I remember my grandma reading to me and my sister. We would have her read it to us over and over again. My grandma doesn't know it yet, but I am going to ask her to let me record her reading it, so that I will always have her voice telling me the story of Cousin Matilda and that foolish, foolish wolf.


    She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb
    Growing up, I read in phases - dozens of books at a time and some years, I read only what was assigned to me by my high school teachers and college professors.I had just finished at the local junior college and was getting ready to start at four-year university. I didn't know exactly what I would major in and coming in as a junior, I needed to figure it out and quick. I don't remember what made me pick up and read this book when I did, but it was life-changing for me. It renewed a love for reading that I had forgotten I had and ultimately led me to studying literature in college.

    You Remind Me of You by Eireann Corrigan
    There are some books that create such deep emotions in me that I almost feel like I am betraying the book if I speak about it too much. I feel this way about You Remind Me of You. I love it, you should read it.
    Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty
    Megan McCafferty is one of my all-time favorite writers. Her Jessica Darling series is just too funny and has one of the most swoon-worthy characters of all-time, Marcus Flutie. I was lucky to find this series when Sloppy Firsts was originally published and having to wait a year or two for each book to be published and the anticipation that created, only added to my love for her books. Of the five books of the series, Second Helpings is my favorite.
    Since starting my blog, I have come across a lot of terrific books. My Wish List and To Be Read lists are getting out of control! Some of my new favorites are:

    A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley
    Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian
    Love Is the Higher Law by David Levithan
    Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta - I actually read this one when I was considering starting my blog, but I did discover it on a blog.

    Wednesday, December 15, 2010

    And the Winner Is . . .

    The Winner Is . . . 

    Ashley from Ashley's Bookshelf

    She has won the Book Bloggers Holiday Bash Prize Pack

    There were a total 99 entries and using, number 36 was selected. Thank you to everyone who entered and congratulations Ashley! Happy Holidays!

    Tuesday, December 14, 2010

    About Me: Starting Actin' Up with books

    After almost five months of blogging, I still don't have an About Me section. I think it is about time I let you know a bit more about the gal behind the blog. To lessen the embarrassment level of talking about myself, I'm including my response to a series feature I participated in at Page by Page a few months ago. I shared about my blog, my favorite books and authors.  

    Why did you start your blog in the first place? What is one of the biggest things that has happened to you since you started it?

    For years I had read blogs by Sarah Dessen, Megan McCafferty and Sara Zarr because I am such a huge fan of their books. I hadn't really considered starting a blog myself because I am not a published writer and thought that I should be because honestly, who would want to read what I have to say. One day I read an author's post, not sure which one, commenting how their book was featured on a reviewer's blog. I'm pretty sure it was The Compulsive Reader, (maybe Persnickety Snark). And it was from there, that I was introduced to this huge blogging community. I was in heaven. Honestly, I had no idea there was such a great community for sharing a love for books, especially for adult readers of young adult books. It took me a while to convince myself to start the blog because I wondered if I really do have something to say and would anyone want to read about it. I mean in person, I can go on for on for hours talking (to anyone who will listen) about why I love a book and why they should read it. But can I convey it in a blog that will be interesting? Finally, I kicked my self-doubt to the curb, and just decided to have some fun with it because that really is what it should be about. So, to make this very long story short, I started my blog to have a place to share my love (obsession) of books and introduce some of my favorite books to readers of my blog. I also wanted to have a place to openly discuss books with readers with similar interests. I'm still trying to find my voice as a blogger (I'm sure I've found it), but I am having a lot of fun with it.

    One big thing that has happened to me since I have started this blog is some amazing writers have agreed to participate in an upcoming feature on my blog. I don't want to give too much away as it is still in the works, but it will include author interviews, book reviews and some giveaways. I'm so excited! I have since interviewed PUSH authors Brian James, Siobhan Vivian, and Samantha Schutz. You can find my interviews on the Interview page of the blog. I have also reviewed Same Difference by Siobhan Vivian and featured Perfect World by Brian James.

    Sunday, December 12, 2010

    In My Mailbox (17)

    In My Mailbox is a weekly meme run by The Story Siren which explores the books that have been delivered to our mailbox or doorstep or directly into our hot little hands.

     For Review:
    Memento Nora by Angie Smibert

    Beka Cooper: Terrier by Tamora Pierce

    Signed Sing Me to Sleep bookmarks from author Angela Morrison

    The Dating Diaries by Kristen Kemp
    Paperback Swap

    Great Gals: Inspired Ideas for Living a Kick-Ass Life by Summer Pierce
    Thanks Jessica at Cover to Cover!

    Signed Nevermore bookmark 

    The Fortune of Carmen Navarro by Jen Bryant
    Thank you Random House!

    This week was filled with a lot of fun surprises. I'm just hoping for a big snow so I won't have anywhere to go and all the time in world to just read and read and then read some more!

    Can't wait to see what you got in your mailbox!

    Saturday, December 11, 2010

    Santa's Helper

    My heart is overflowing and I am on a holiday high. That is the only way I can describe it. Last weekend I participated in the Holiday Readathon hosted by WhoWUBlog. I pledged to donate a penny per page read and asked some friends to sponsor me. I was overwhelmed by their generosity. In 4 days, I read 4 books and a total of 1297 pages. Today I took the money to my local Barnes and Noble and purchased all of these fabulous books which will be donated to my local Christmas Store. Some of these titles are my favorites that I read this year, and I tried to include books for girls and boys of all ages.

    My heart is just overflowing from the support of my friends who helped me make this happen! I hope that this will be a tradition I can continue in the years to come. 

    Thursday, December 9, 2010

    Off the Shelf Reading Challenge

    A couple of weeks ago, I was contemplating if I should sign up for another challenge. So many bloggers were announcing the challenges they are participating in the new year. Of course I didn't want to be left out, so I started looking for which one will be the best for me. Almost immediately I had my answer  . . .

    Off The Shelf!
    hosted by Bookish Ardour

    I get to read my own books! I say that I have at least 200 books in my TBR, but if I am being honest with myself (or took the time to actually count), I would say that the real number is around 450 (and that's on the low end). I can't help it. So, YES, this is the challenge for me.  

    My Challenge Goal is  
    Making a Dent
    (read at least 30 of my own books)

    If you think Off the Shelf is the challenge for you, sign up HERE!

    Sunday, December 5, 2010

    Book Bloggers Holiday Bash 2010 Giveaway

    To get into the holiday spirit of giving, I am giving away a Holiday Prize Pack for the 2010 Book Bloggers Holiday Bash hosted by Soap Box in My Mind. Enter my contest then jump over to other participating blogs (see below) to enter to win their fabulous prizes.

     My Prize Pack Includes:
    Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle
    $10.00 i-Tunes Card
    Reusable Tote from Bath & Body Works
    Holiday Sweet Treats

    Complete the form to enter. CONTEST IS CLOSED

    Check out these other giveaways for the 2010 Book Bloggers Holiday Bash

    In My Mailbox (16)

    In My Mailbox is a weekly meme run by The Story Siren which explores the books that have been delivered to our mailbox or doorstep or directly into our hot little hands.
    For Review:
    The Outside Boy by Jeanine Cummins
    London Deep by Robin Price and Paul McGrory
    The Last Hunter - Descent by Jeremy Robinson (e-book)
    Psych Major Syndrome by Alicia Thompson
    Fly on the Wall by E. Lockhart
    (Random Buzzers Buzz Bucks)

    Just Breathe by Susan Wiggs

    Secret Santa Purchases! and they're on the way!

    This week was a stellar week for books! I happened upon a gift certificate (ok, my husband spoils me) and I finally got a copy of Psych Major Syndrome. It was been on my wishlist for months! I also received Just Breathe from my mom. She had no idea that I have been eyeing the book for a while now (I love the cover), and she showed up to my house with it, just out of the blue!  And I also received some books for review that I can't wait to dive into! As for the Secret Santa gifts, well, I may have gone a bit overboard (it was my first time participating). My husband thinks so, but I was excited to buy books for someone that I know will love them!

    So, what did you get in your mailbox this week?

    Friday, December 3, 2010

    Holiday #Readathon Mini-Challenge #2

    My second Holiday #Readathon mini-challenge hosted by:

    Young Adult Books Reviewed

    For my challenge I would like to know what your favorite Christmas movie/book/song is. Can be any one of those, or all three!

    My favorite Christmas movie is Love, Actually (tied with The Family Stone) and my favorite Christmas song is O Holy Night (sung by Jewel).

    Thursday, December 2, 2010

    PUSH Spotlight: Same Difference by Siobhan Vivian

    Emily is ready for a change. She's been in the same town with the same friends for a long time...and none of them really understand her art. But when she goes to Philadelphia for a summer art institute, she suddenly finds like-minded people. One in particular, Fiona, intrigues and challenges her. But there are some things Emily is going to have to find out for herself -- like what the balance is between life and art, and which is more important when push comes to shove. 

    I just finished Siobhan Vivian's second novel Same Difference, and I loved it. She has created a likable character in Emily who is beginning to realize a new sense of self during her summer art program and discovers just how intoxicating new friendships can be.

    I could see many similarities between Emily and myself when I was a teenager - how unsure I was of myself and my talents and a bit nervous when making new friends. Like Emily, I had the same best friend since childhood and would sometimes be cautious when making new friends. It felt like a bit of a betrayal, but not for any specific reason - just that our friendship was so rooted in history and I'd question how much of myself I'd want this new friend to know about me. 

    Vivian's details are captivating - making me feel like I could actually see the art created Emily, Fiona and Yates and wishing that I could. There isn't a lot of action that pulls the story along, but the authentic characters and their experiences in Same Difference reminds me why I'm drawn to YA lit time and time again. 

    Holiday #Readathon Mini-Challenge #1

    My first Holiday #Readathon mini-challenge hosted by:

    Courtney Reads

    Question:  If you could go anywhere for the holidays, where would you go? Why?

    I would go to San Diego for Christmas. I know that it isn't really exotic and I go there every few years in the summer, but my husband's family lives there and we never see them for Christmas. I know that it would mean a lot to them to be there for the holidays. Plus is it would be a nice retreat from the bitter cold!

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010

    100 Followers! Thank you!

    You are the Best! I honestly can't believe I have a hundred followers! 101 to be exact. Thank you all so much for joining Actin' Up with books. This has been so much fun sharing my love of books with everyone. I plan to host a giveaway in the coming weeks to celebrate our collective love of reading and blogging. I will be giving away one of my favorite books of the year (wonder if you can guess which one) and I am taking suggestions for an additional book to be given away. So let me know!

    Waiting on Wednesday - The Lover's Dictionary: A Novel

    "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

    This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

    The Lover's Dictionary: A Novel
    by David Levithan
    Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
    January 4, 2011

    A sweet and touching modern love story, told through dictionary entries

    basis, n.

    There has to be a moment at the beginning when you wonder whether you’re in love with the person or in love with the feeling of love itself.

    If the moment doesn’t pass, that’s it—you’re done. And if the moment
    does pass, it never goes that far. It stands in the distance, ready for whenever you want it back. Sometimes it’s even there when you thought you were searching for something else, like an escape route, or your lover’s face.
    How does one talk about love? Do we even have the right words to describe something that can be both utterly mundane and completely transcendent, pulling us out of our everyday lives and making us feel a part of something greater than ourselves? Taking a unique approach to this problem, the nameless narrator of David Levithan’s The Lover’s Dictionary has constructed the story of his relationship as a dictionary. Through these short entries, he provides an intimate window into the great events and quotidian trifles of being within a couple, giving us an indelible and deeply moving portrait of love in our time. (from Amazon)

    Tuesday, November 30, 2010

    And the Winner Is . . . .

    The Winner Is . . .

    Cass from Words on Paper

    She has won an ARC of Jumpstart the World by Catherine Ryan Hyde


    There were 12 comments/entries and picked number 6. Since The Things a Brother Knows was not selected, it will be given away in a future contest. Thank you to all that entered!

    Sunday, November 28, 2010

    Challenges Everywhere

    As this year is starting to wind down, even though we still have December, I am seeing all of these new reading challenges pop up. (They may not be new, but they are new to me) I am so tempted to sign up because I know I will be introduced to new books, new authors and more bloggers and their interesting ideas. But my TBR list is already out of control and my wishlist is out of control. I mean I have at least 200 books on my shelves that I've never read. I am not kidding.

    I am currently participating in The Contemps Challenge and the 2011 Debut Author Challenge where I plan to read at least 33 books. I've read some really amazing books through The Contemps Challenge and know that many more are in store in the next year. But again I am tempted to do another challenge and there are so many to choose from.

    Which challenges are you signed up for? What made you pick one over another? I'd like to know what you think. Maybe it will help me decide if I should sign-up for another challenge and which one.

    In My Mailbox (15)

    In My Mailbox is a weekly meme run by The Story Siren which explores the books that have been delivered to our mailbox or doorstep or directly into our hot little hands.

    For Review:
    Logic of Demons: The Quest for Nadine's Soul by H.A. Goodman

    Stay with Me by Garret Freymann-Weyr
    Thank you Pub Writes!

    I did a lot of book shopping this week but it wasn't for myself. I've been doing enough of that as it is. I'm really excited about the books I did get this week. Again, stepping away from my usual genre of books, I accepted Logic of Demons for review. And just this year, I've discovered the writings of Garret Freymann-Weyr, so I was so happy when I found out that I won Stay with Me from Pub Writes. All-in-all, this was a good week for me.

    What did you get in your mailbox?

    Friday, November 26, 2010

    The Friday Five (9)

    1. I have signed up for the Holiday Readathon at WhoRuBlog. The Read-a-thon is from December 2nd through the 5th with some mini-challenges along the way. I have pledged to donate a penny per page read. And with a lot of books on my TBR list, I know that it will add up really quick. I love the idea of a read-a-thon for charity, so I've asked some friends to support me. They have also pledged pennies per pages or $5 for each book I read. Others have generously given straight-out donations. I've already been given so much support. They are the greatest! AND the best part is I get to choose where the money will be donated. Anyone can participate, just sign up at

     2. One of my recent favorite reads, Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry, was named one of the 10 Best Post-Apocalyptic Books at Random Buzzers and I am quoted! To see the complete list, check it out here at Random Buzzers.

    3. CONTEST: I am giving away an ARC of either Jumpstart the World by Catherine Ryan Hyde or The Things a Brother Knows by Dana Reinhardt. The contest is international and ends 11/27/2010. You can still enter to win here

    4. Currently Reading: Same Difference by Siobhan Vivian
        Currently Listening to: Tell Me A Secret by Holly Cupala
        Soon to Leave the Shelf: A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler

    5. I just wanted to say thank you to all of those who read my blog. Whether you stop by daily to read my posts or just check it out once I week, I really appreciate it. This has been so much fun for me and I hope that you find my posts interesting and entertaining. I love reading comments and book suggestions that you give me. Thanks for visiting and I hope you keep coming back!

    The Friday Five is inspired by Sarah Dessen's blog on LiveJournal. I've been following this blog the longest and love how she recaps her week with the Friday Five, now called The Five.

    Tuesday, November 23, 2010

    Tuesday Teaser (9)

    From Same Difference by Siobhan Vivian (page 9)

    Meg flips open the phone and starts texting. While she does, I brush the crumbs off my napkin and start to draw.The pen fits in my hand so comfortably, like an extension of my fingers. I draw a lot in moments like this. It gives me something to concentrate on while life happens to everyone else.

    Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

    • Grab your current read and open to a random page
    • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
    • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

    Monday, November 22, 2010

    Giveaway-Jumpstart the World/The Things a Brother Knows

    For those of you who visit my blog, especially my In My Mailbox posts, may have noticed that I've been winning some books lately. And as much as I love to win books, I love to give them away too. I hope to host more giveaways on my blog. Currently I am funding all of my giveaways, so not all of them will be open internationally. But guess what, this one is! CONTEST HAS ENDED

    I am giving away one ARC copy of either Jumpstart the World by Catherine Ryan Hyde or The Things a Brother Knows by Dana Reinhardt. The books were won from Random Buzzers and have been read once.

    Contest Rules:
    • You do not have to follow my blog to enter (but if you do, I would be so, so happy) 
    • To enter, just leave a comment in the comments section, including an email address (if you do not want to include your email address in the comments section, leave a link to your blog where I can find out)
    • You must be at least 13 years or older to enter 
    • Giveaway is open Internationally
    • Giveaway is open November 22, 2010 until Saturday November 27, 2010, 11:59PM EST CONTEST HAS ENDED
    • Winners will be contacted by email. Once the winner chooses a book and provides an address, it will be announced on the blog.
    • Good Luck!

    Sunday, November 21, 2010

    2011 Debut Author Challenge

    I'm always up for a challenge and this is one of the best ones around! Kristi at The Story Siren is hosting the 2011 Debut Author Challenge. What is this challenge? The Debut Author Challenge highlights young adult and middle grade authors that are releasing their first novel in 2011. The challenge is to read at least twelve debut novels. I have read some wonderful debuts this year, and I sure that next year's new writers will be just as awesome! If you are interested in signing up, visit The Story Siren at

    Some books that I plan to read for the challenge are:

    XVI by Julia Karr
    Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard
    What Can't Wait by Ashley Hope Perez
    Those That Wake by Jesse Karp
    Bumped by Megan McCafferty
    The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski
    The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner
    Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach
    Paper Covers Rock by Jenny Hubbard
    Sister Mischief by Laura Goode
    Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic
    Memento Nora by Angie Smibert

    As always, this list may change but this is what looks good so far! I just know that 2011 is going to filled with some fantastic stories and I can't wait to read them!

    In My Mailbox (14)

    In My Mailbox is a weekly meme run by The Story Siren which explores the books that have been delivered to our mailbox or doorstep or directly into our hot little hands.

    Wishin' and Hopin' by Wally Lamb
    (this year's holiday themed purchase)

    Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales
    Thank you to The Book Scout

    Love Is the Drug by Sarahbeth Purcell
    Smart Boys & Fast Girls by Stephie Davis
    (from Paperback Swap)

    I didn't do too much damage to my wallet this week. I Don't need to start rolling my pennies yet!

    What did you get in your mailbox?

    Saturday, November 20, 2010

    A Confession: The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

    Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face. But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.
    Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.
    My confession: I was the DUFF, or at least I thought I was. Like Bianca, I had boys that would point that out to me as Wesley had to her. I'm not saying that they would call me the DUFF, but they would point out that I was too tall. That if  I was shorter, they may would have dated me. Then they would try to convince me to convince my friends to date them, just as Wesley did in their first encounter in The Designated Ugly Fat Friend. Didn't they know I was the one that wanted to date them? But I never found it possible. I was too tall, too awkward, too guarded to completely be myself. I am just thankful that I had awesome friends that didn't make me feel that way. I'm still friends with those same girls today.

    I really enjoyed reading The DUFF, it was a lot of fun and the makeout scenes were super steamy! When Wesley would kiss Bianca's neck I could feel the shivers go up my spine. One of my favorite scenes was when Bianca's friend Casey came to pick her up after staying the night with Wesley. Unable to hide her lies, Bianca had to confess what had been going on between her and Wesley. I loved that Casey wasn't going to let Bianca off the hook so easily, but like a true friend, she didn't put her through the wringer either. While the strain in Bianca and Casey's relationship was easily resolved, there were other dramatic situations that I thought were resolved too easily. Especially the incident after Bianca's father started drinking again. There were some situations where I wanted to story to be developed more and this was one of them. For the most part, I liked the story and am excited to read more from Keplinger.

    I read The DUFF as part of The Contemps Challenge. 

    The Contemps Challenge

     I am taking the challenge, The Contemps Challenge. Actually, I've been taking the Challenge. I started this post back in August (has it really been 3 months already) and I never finished it. 

    My favorite books are YA contemporary, so this was a no-brainer for me. Some of the books were already on my radar, so I immediately signed up. Plus with a chance to win all of these exciting titles, how could I pass it up? I wasn't one of the winners, but who cares, I was just thrilled that a contest like that even existed! 

    My goal is to read at least 18 of the 21 titles released within the next year. I'm not going to stress over it if I don't. I just hope that I can find some of these books at my library. Up to this point, I've purchased all of the books I've read.

    If any of my readers are participating in The Contemps Challenge, please leave a comment so that I can visit your blog, check out your reading list, reviews and reactions.

    Books I've Read: highlighted in GREEN
    * Books purchased
    **Books from library

    Losing Faith by Denise Jaden (Simon Pulse: September 7, 2010)*
    The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger (Little, Brown/Poppy: September 7, 2010)*
    Girl, Stolen by April Henry (Henry Holt: September 28, 2010)
    Freefall by Mindi Scott (Simon Pulse: October 5, 2010)*
    The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney (Little, Brown: November 2, 2010)*
    Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler (Little, Brown: December 15, 2010)
    Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers (St. Martin's Press: December 21, 2010)
    Trapped by Michael Northrop (Scholastic: January 2011)
    Rival by Sara Bennett Wealer (HarperTeen: February 15, 2011)
    Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt (Bloomsbury: March 1, 2011)
    Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard (Random House/Delacorte: March 8, 2011)
    Family by Micol Ostow (Egmont USA: April 26, 2011)
    Back When You Were Easier to Love by Emily Wing Smith (Dutton: April 28, 2011)
    Pearl by Jo Knowles (Henry Holt: Spring 2011)
    Saving June by Hannah Harrington (Harlequin Teen: May 2011)
    The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder (Simon Pulse: June 2011)
    Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott (Simon Pulse: June 2011)
    Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker (Bloomsbury: July 19, 2011)
    The third book in the Carter series by Brent Crawford (Summer 2011)
    Sharks & Boys by Kristen Tracy (Disney-Hyperion: Summer 2011)
    Want to Go Private? by Sarah Darer Littman (Scholastic Press: August 2011)

    Are you ready to Embrace the Real?!

      Friday, November 19, 2010

      Wednesday, November 17, 2010

      I've Got Style!

                                                               by Angela at Soapbox in my Mind

      1.Thank and link back to the person who awarded this to you.
      2.Share 7 things about yourself.
      3.Pay it forward to 15 recently discovered great blogs.
      4.Contact those bloggers and let them know about their award.

      Seven things about me:

      1. I am still best friends with my best friend from second grade
      2. When I was really little, I wanted to be a tree when I grew up (I am pretty tall at 5'11'')
      3. I failed my final English exam my senior year of high school. Thank goodness it was only 10% of my final grade
      4. My dog's name is Chewy Shortcake and she is the sweetest little pup in the world
      5. I have a tendency to get a little rowdy at concerts. Don't mess with me seeing Jewel.
      6. I wrote a poem titled "Keeping Track of a Teenage Love Affair" based on the teen drama Dawson's Creek, and I'm pretty proud of it.
      7. I like to be really silly at inappropriate times (especially at work). I'll break out into a little dance, sing out of no where. But my favorite was a little ditty that I do called The Troll Stroll (thanks to my BF) which only happens on the most special of occasions (lots of begging from my friends)

      I gotta break the rules a little. Not all are recently discovered, but some blogs that I love to visit are:

      Fiction Folio
      Words on Paper
      Holly Cupala, YA Author
      Book Chic
      DeRaps Reads
      penny laine
      see scoot read
      Peppermint Ph.D (just discovered this blog this week)
      my kozy korner
      My Girl Friday (recently discovered)
      Ten Cent Notes
      Somewhat Couture
      I Read to Relax
      Flippin' Fabulous

      Giveaway - One Day Left


      There is still time to enter and win a copy of Perfect World by Brian James. Contest ends tomorrow, November 18th.- contest is closed.

      And if you missed it, you have read my interview with Brian here.

      Waiting on Wednesday: Real Live Boyfriends

      "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

      This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

      Real Live Boyfriends: Yes. Boyfriends, plural. If my life weren't complicated, I wouldn't be Ruby Oliver

      E. Lockhart

      Delacorte Books for Young Readers

      Pub. Date: December 28, 2010

      Ruby Oliver is in love. Or it would be love, if Noel, her real live boyfriend, would call her back. But Noel seems to have turned into a pod-robot lobotomy patient, and Ruby can’t figure out why.
      Not only is her romantic life a shambles:
      Her dad is eating nothing but Cheetos,
      Her mother’s got a piglet head in the refrigerator,
      Hutch has gone to Paris to play baguette air guitar,
      Gideon shows up shirtless,
      And the pygmy goat Robespierre is no help whatsoever.

      Will Ruby ever control her panic attacks?
      Will she ever understand boys?
      Will she ever stop making lists?
      (No to that last one.)

      Roo has lost most of her friends. She’s lost her true love, more than once. She’s lost her grandmother, her job, her reputation, and possibly her mind. But she’s never lost her sense of humor. The Ruby Oliver books are the record of her survival.

      I am so excited for this one. This past week I finally got my copy of The Treasure Map of Boys - three and a half months after I ordered it. I love E. Lockhart and her wonderful characters! I plan to have a Ruby Oliver read-a-thon right before this one is in stores. Thank goodness I don't have to wait 3 months for this one, just a little over a month! Yay!


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