Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Interview: Angie Smibert author of Memento Nora

Memento Nora is the debut dystopian novel by Angie Smibert. I was lucky enough to receive a copy for review. If you missed my review, you can read it here.

I am thrilled to have Angie here at Actin' Up with Books to answer my questions about Memento Nora, her writing habits and some thoughts on books.

Welcome Angie!

About your book:

What was your inspiration for Memento Nora?
I was reading some current research in the area of post-traumatic stress disorder. (Yes, I'm a geek.) Scientists are looking at medications that could help break the stranglehold that traumatic memories have on PTSD sufferers. So I thought what if the pill erased those memories. I know it's not a new idea, but I had a vision of those pills then being available in Starbucks-like shops on every corner. I built the story out of that idea.

One of my favorite parts of Memento Nora is how the different chapters are told from the first-person perspective of 3 different characters. Why did you decide to write the story this way? 
Actually, I wrote the first draft (s) of MN solely in Nora's point of view. However, she didn't know the whole story. So then I added Micah and Winter's POV's, and the story really came alive. Also, using several POV characters let me play around with how each interpret what's going on in a particular scene or plot point. The reader can put all those together and get a better picture than the characters do.

In Memento Nora, Micah and Nora create a comic to tell their story. Did you ever consider having your book published as a graphic novel? 
No, but that's not a bad idea.

My favorite scenes is between Nora and Micah in the waiting room at TFC at the beginning of the book. Micah thinks he is just messing with Nora and doesn't realize what the one small act would lead to. What was your favorite scene (or your favorite scene to write)?
I like that scene, too, because you see how Nora interprets what's going on as some big act of rebellion on Micah's part. Then Micah reveals he's just trying to mess with the popular girl that he has a crush on.

On writing:

What is your favorite writing environment?
My office. This is my full-time job. So I roll out of bed in the morning, feed the critters, grab a cup of tea, and park my behind in front of the computer for many hours. However, every once in a while, I do need a change a scene. I go down to my favorite local coffee shop with my netbook and write there for awhile. Working there has it's drawbacks (or perks, depending on how you look at it). The chocolate croissants are way too good.

How did writing your first novel differ from writing your many short stories? (I will be checking those out soon!)
Memento Nora actually started off as a short story, which was published in Odyssey magazine. The story was really about the decision Nora makes during her first TFC visit. That decision served as the starting point for the novel. In a short story, you can focus on a moment of change or a call to action whereas in a novel you have play it out and show that change or action. (You can do that in short story, too, of course.)

Do you save everything that you have written? Or do you delete/trash anything that you consider unusable?
If it's made it to the computer stage, I do save the story. I don't necessarily look at it again, though. I have saved notebooks where I started working on story ideas or research but never did anything with the information. Someday I may come back to those ideas.

You are of a member of Class of 2k11 and The League of Extraordinary Writers. Can you tell me how being a part of the groups has helped you prepare for your novel's debut? 
Being a member of those two "collectives" as well as the Elevensies has really helped in a number of ways. The Class of 2k11, of which I'm an officer, is a group of debut YA/MG authors who've banded together to market each others' books. (Elevensies is a community of YA/MG debuts as well, but the emphasis is less on marketing.) Working together gives each of us more opportunities and exposure for our books than trying to go it alone. The best thing, though, is that we have each other to talk to about the whole process. We vent. We commiserate. We advise. We celebrate. Together.

The League of Extraordinary Writers is a group blog where each of us have a YA dystopian book coming out this year. The League is more geared to talking about YA dystopian and science fiction in general. We do celebrate each others' debuts, but it's cool just hang out online and talk about the stuff we love.

Random questions about books:

Do you have any comfort reads? - a go-to book that you read because it will make you feel better or is filled with characters that you loved or want to revisit?
I have comfort genre: paranormal mysteries. I love Charlaine Harris and Kelley Armstrong. I just read the Body Finder by Kimberly Derting.

Searching for new books to read is a small part of my love for books. What are some determining factors when you are selecting new books to read? Current favorites?
The story has to grab me in the first few pages. I like a fresh voice and setting as well as story that promises to reveal something really interesting along the way. Some of my recent favorites are the Adoration of Jenna Fox and the Book Thief.

Is there one book or author that you wish you would have read and can't believe that you haven't yet? (Mine is Jane Austen)
I couldn't believe I waited so long to read Markus Zusak! The Book Thief was astoundingly good. The Messenger is on my to-read list.

Can you tell me about your latest novel or any works in-progress? 
I'm working on the sequel to Memento Nora. The Forgetting Curve will be coming out next Spring.

Memento Nora will be available April 1, 2011 from Marshall Cavendish publishing. More information can be found on the Memento Nora website at

I am currently hosting a giveaway for a signed copy of Memento Nora. If you would like a chance to win, ENTER HERE. The contest is offered to US and International entries and ends April 2, 2011.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Love My Indie with Erin from Quitting My Day Job

Love My Indie is a new feature at Actin' Up with Books where fellow bloggers, readers, and writers tell me about their favorite independent bookstores. I love the feeling I get when I go into an independent bookstore - like it is filled with hidden treasures just waiting for me to find them. But there aren't any independent bookstores where I live. This is why, any time I visit a new town or city, I always search out the local indie scene. Since I don't have a lot of time to travel, I'm inviting my readers to tell me about their favorite independent bookstore. Showing some Indie Love today is:

I used to live in Raleigh, North Carolina, and there were two awesome independent booksellers in the area:

1.  The Regulator in Durham, NC (  The Regulator has been around since 1976.  It has a cool, vintage feel to it while still staying current.  My favorite part is the basement where they host readings and signings.  These events happen often! I went to Sarah Dessen's signing for a "Along for the Ride" at the Regulator.

2.  Quail Ridge Books and Music in Raleigh, NC (  Quail Ridge has a HUGE selection of books and music.  I was extremely impressed.  They host a variety of book clubs, music performances, and signings.  Quail Ridge is a great place to shop and hang out!

They attract some fairly big names for their events, so some are held at alternate locations. I've been to signings for Jodi Picoult (that one was held a local university in order to have more room), Lois Lowry, and Peter Hedges ("What's Eating Gilbert Grape," "The Heights").  All three experiences were enjoyable!

Thanks Erin for sharing your favorite bookstores. I do travel to Raleigh occasionally and hope to check out these bookstores during my next visit. Too bad it isn't any time soon because they have a lot of great author events in the upcoming weeks.
If you're interested in participating in this new feature, please send me an email at - I'd love to hear from you and discover your favorite indie bookstore!

In My Mailbox (27)

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.

Exposed by Kimberly Marcus
Thank you Random House / Random Buzzers

Random Act of Kindness from Liz at Consumed by Books
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Thank you, Liz! I love it! 

Out of My Body Flowers Will Grow by Drew Knapp (e-book)

This was another great week and the surprise of Anna and the French Kiss just topped it off! I am really interested in reading Out of My Body Flowers Will Grow. I purchased it on a whim after reading in the paper that it was written by a student at the local university. For $2.99, why not check it out?

I'm excited to see what everyone else received this week!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Memento Nora Giveaway

I have reached 300 followers, so it's time to celebrate. What better way to do that than with a giveaway! I will be giving away a signed copy of Angie Smibert's Memento Nora. I recently read Memento Nora and let me say it freaked me out! If you missed it, you can read my review here. Memento Nora is a 2011 debut and part of the Class of 2k11

If you would like a chance to win a signed copy of Memento Nora, please fill out the form below. This contest is open to US and International. Good Luck! CONTEST IS CLOSED

Memento Nora by Angie Smibert will be available April 1, 2011 from Marshall Cavendish publishing. More information can be found on the Memento Nora website at

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (5)

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!
The House of Tomorrow
by Peter Bognanni
page 33

 My mind was saturated. But before I got up from the computer, I felt myself typing two last words into the Web. I typed them without thinking. I types them with one finger. And when they appeared, I moticed my pointer finger was quivering.
I had typed "the misfits."

The House of Tomorrow is available now in paperback.
Barnes and Noble

Sunday, March 20, 2011

In My Mailbox (26)

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.

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (Vietnamese translation) by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Rachel offered some translations of her books on Twitter and I was lucky enough to get a copy, Thanks Rachel!

The Fallen (Book 1) by Thomas E. Sniegoski 
Dark Visions by L.J. Smith
Thanks Mom!(she saw these in a used book store and thought they looked like something I might read)

and Random Act of Kindness from Ginger at GReads!  
Getting the Girl by Markus Zusak
She saw this book on my wish list and wanted me to have it, just because. Thanks Ginger!

Rival by Sara Bennett Wealer (signed)
Many thanks to Kelsey at The Book Scout and Sara Bennett Wealer

Easy by Kerry Cohen Hoffman
Paperback Swap

This week was filled with an amazing amount of generosity. I'm very appreciative. When I was taking the picture of my books, I thought I made it through the week without purchasing a single book. Yay, go me! Um, nope. I did have an impulse buy, thanks to Ginger at GReads! She was talking up a book on Twitter (should that be capitalized?) and at some point compared the style and the feeling of reading it to The Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty. Instantly, I was all, Ding, Ding, Ding, SOLD. The book just happens to be:

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (e-books)
Thanks Ginger!

Friday, March 18, 2011

TGIF: Cover Lust

TGIF is hosted by Ginger over at GReads! Head on over and link up!


This Friday's Question:
Cover Lust: 
Which book covers are you lusting after right now?

I am drawn to books with hearts on the cover. These are some of my latest favorites. I  like how  they appear to be simple, but they are very revealing of the story that is told. The sea glass against the stressed boardwalk on the cover of Twenty Boy Summer is my favorite.



Spring Reading Thing sign-up

I love the challenges hosted by Callapidder Days because they are no-pressure. I just have to try to read what I say I'm going to read. Lately, I've been saying that I am going to read a lot more than I actually have. So for the Spring Reading Thing, I am going to include books from other challenges, a book or two that I claimed I was going to finally read in 2011, some review books, and at least one book I "just had to have".

So here's the breakdown:

Debut Author Challenge:
XVI by Julia Karr
Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard*
The Contemps Challenge:
Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler
The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney
Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers

Review Books:
Bumped by Megan McCafferty
Textual Healing by Eric Smith
Boyfriends with Girlfriends by Alex Sanchez

Books I Will Read in 2011:
Wicked by Gregory Maguire - gotta read this one, I'm seeing the musical in June

Just Had to Have:
Fallout by Ellen Hopkins
Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr

*also will fulfill The Contemps Challenge

Anything else will just be a BONUS!

(from Callapidder Days)
If you’d like to participate, here’s what you need to do:
  • Create a list of some books you’d like to read or finish this spring.
  • Feel free to set some additional reading goals (such as reading to your kids two hours per week, getting through your pile of magazines, etc.). This is completely optional.
  • Write a blog post including the list of books you want to read and any additional goals you’ve set, and get ready to post it on your blog on March 20th.
  • Visit my blog on Sunday, March 20th to sign up. I’ll have a Mr. Linky set up that morning, so you can submit a link to your personal Spring Reading Thing post, and it will be added to the master list.
  • Read! Work on your goals throughout Spring 2011.
  • Report your results. Write another blog post in June to let everyone know how you did.
  • Have fun! Visit other participants to see what they’re reading. Write reviews if you’re so inclined. But most of all, enjoy your spring reading.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Brother/Sister

"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:

by Sean Olin
Published by Razorbill
Expected Publication: June 9, 2011

Will and Asheley have a troubled past. Their father left them when they were little, and their mother has just been carted off to an alcohol treatment center. Now, they have the house to themselves, and an endless California summer stretching out before them. Through alternating perspectives, they tell the story of how and why their lives spun violently out of control—right up to the impossibly shocking conclusion you'll have to read for yourself to believe. (from Goodreads)

I first saw this book on Kristi's, The Story Siren, In My Mail Box a couple of weeks ago. It's been popping up on blogs this week too. It sounds edgy and I like stories told in alternating perspectives. I've added it to my wish list and "can't wait" to read it.

And the Winner Is . . .

The Winner Is . . .

Aanchal at Book Flame

She has won my Letting Go Giveaway #3: YA Books

There were 26 entries and using, number 26 was selected. Congratulations Aanchal! Thanks to everyone who stopped by my blog and entered.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

In My Mailbox (25)

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.
I didn't have an In My Mailbox last week, so this is 2 weeks worth of loot:


For Review:
Acting Up by Ted Staunton
Born Ugly by Beth Goobie
Victim Rights by Norah McClintock
Living Outside the Lines by Lesley Choyce
Ordinary Beauty by Laura Wiess

Recovery Road by Blake Nelson
Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard
Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting (e-book)
XVI by Julia Karr (e-book)

Paperback Swap:
Not My Daughter by Barbara Delinsky

I'd like to thank Fitzhenry &Whiteside, Red Deer Press, Simon and Schuster, and Laura Wiess for sending me these books for review.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

About Me: Actin' Up

I wanted to talk a bit about my blog name Actin' Up with Books. How do you act up with books? Honestly, I'm not really sure. But what I do know is that I love to be silly. Have fun. And laugh. I get a little giddy. Let's just say I act up. I'm sassy and sarcastic and I don't always act my age. In these moments, I would tell you that I'm actin' up. Or I've been told on many occasions, by my husband, that I'm actin' up. (I drop the "g" because that's what we do in the south).

When starting this blog, I had no idea what I wanted to name it. I wanted it to be different but relate to books in some form. I did searches of other blogs because I didn't want it to get confused with other blogs, and I wanted it to be uniquely me. Finally, I had a major "duh" moment. Not to be confused with an "A-ha" moment.  Before blogging, I was on Twitter, mainly to stalk my favorite band, Maroon 5, but to follow some of my favorite authors too. My Twitter handle was @ActinUp. After a few weeks of deciding on a name, I literally said out loud, "Duh, I'll just add with books."

Here is just another example of me Actin' Up

This is me (left) and my friend Cathy on a trip at Disney in 2008. All week long I was talking about how huge the trunk of the rental car was and how before the trip was over I was going to get in it. Finally, the last night we were there, I did. And I convinced Cathy there was plenty of room for her to get in there with me. She likes to act up too!

Now that you know where my blog name comes from, I'd love to know about yours. Please leave a comment below.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Review: The Raising by Laura Kasischke

The Raising
by Laura Kasischke
Publication Date: March 15, 2011
Published by Harper Perennial
Pages: 461
Source: Netgalley
Purchase  AmazonIndiebound

(from Goodreads)
Last year Godwin Honors Hall was draped in black. The university was mourning the loss of one of its own: Nicole Werner, a blond, beautiful, straight-A sorority sister tragically killed in a car accident that left her boyfriend, who was driving, remarkably—some say suspiciously—unscathed.

Although a year has passed, as winter begins and the nights darken, obsession with Nicole and her death reignites: She was so pretty. So sweet-tempered. So innocent. Too young to die.

Unless she didn’t.

Because rumor has it that she’s back.

My Thoughts

 This book has left me all kinds of messed up. I was entranced by it  from the very beginning and I just couldn't read it fast enough and I even considered playing hooky from work just so I could finish it. I didn't do that, but any free moment I had, I spent reading this book.

The Raising intertwines the lives of Shelly, Perry, Mira and Craig as they try to uncover what happened the night Craig's girlfriend, Nicole, died. The story begins with Craig returning to college after being accused of murdering Nicole, but not formally charged without sufficient evidence. He can't remember the details of that night, and only feels the loss of his one true-love, the girl he thought he was going to marry.

He tries to assimilate back into his college life, moving in with his friend, Perry.  But it isn't that long until strange things begin happening. Mysterious phone calls,  postcards and then the sightings. Sightings of Nicole, or someone who looks like Nicole, blurred  in photographs and then in the flesh. Could she be alive?

I don't want to reveal too much more of the story because it is one that should be discovered by the reader. The writing was exquisite without one false note. I caught myself holding my breath in anticipation time and time again. I desperately wanted to know happened the night of the accident.  I often thought I had it all figured out and finally realized that I had no idea what was going on. With so many twists and turns and what ifs and what may have been, I felt like the characters in The Raising - astonished, bewildered, always seeking answers.

The Raising will be available on March 15, 2011 from Harper Perennial. I highly recommend this book (and that you clear your calendar so you have nothing else to do but read it).

Disclaimer: I requested this novel for review from NetGalley and this review is based on the Advance Reading Copy. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Spotlight on The House of Tomorrow

Sebastian Prendergast lives with his eccentric grandmother in a geodesic dome. His homeschooling has taught him much-but he's learned little about girls, junk food, or loud, angry music.

Then fate casts Sebastian out of the dome, and he finds a different kind of tutor in Jared Whitcomb: a chain-smoking sixteen-year-old heart transplant recipient who teaches him the ways of rebellion. Together they form a punk band and plan to take the local church talent show by storm. But when his grandmother calls him back to the futurist life she has planned for him, he must decide whether to answer the call-or start a future of his own. (from Goodreads)

The House of Tomorrow is the debut novel of author Peter Bognanni. It was first published in March 2010 and is now available in paperback. Bognanni also writes short stories and humor pieces. Links to his writing can be found on his website

I will be reviewing this novel later this month, so check back for the review. 

The House of Tomorrow is available now!
Barnes and Noble

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Book Quirks

We all have them. Well maybe not all of us, but some of us have them. Weird rituals or habits involving books. We never dog-ear our books and always use a book mark. We take off the dust jackets of our hardcovers before we read the book. I've even heard where some people read the ending of the book first. I can't imagine doing that, but hey that's their quirk. I just read a blog where someone said that they smell books. (I do that before I buy a used book)

My quirk is that I don't read the most recent published book by an author until I know when their next book is going to be published. Sometimes I don't even read the book until I have the newest book in my possesion. Strange, yes, but true. It's like I want to be able to savor the book for as long as possible. I've known that this is a pattern of mine, but I really didn't think about it too much until I started compiling my Top Ten Books I Just Had to Have but Still Haven't Read Yet.

I've noticed this mainly with books by Sarah Dessen and Ellen Hopkins. I had to buy Fallout by Ellen Hopkins because when it first came out. I still have not read it for two reasons: her next novel Perfect will not be published until September 2011 and Fallout is the final of the series (Crank and Glass are the previous titles).
And I have Dessen's Along for the Ride which came out last year, and her newest title, What Happened to Good-bye will be out in just a couple of months!

I know that I do this, but I don't know the exact reason why. Am I the only one? What are your book quirks?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Letting Go Giveaway #3: YA books

I've recently decided that it is time to let go of some books that I have been holding on to for a while. Simply put, I have too many books and not enough space for them all. If you want to know the whole story, you can read my Letting Go post.

This Letting Go Giveaway includes:

Love and Other Four-Letter Words by Carolyn Mackler*
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
Knocked Out by my Nunga-Nungas: further, further confessions of Georgia Nicolson
by Louise Rennison

Again, the books I am giving away are from my personal library. I like to call them "Used but In a Good Way." If you would like a chance to win these books, just fill out the form below. CONTEST IS CLOSED

*this book was purchased from a used book store and is in fair condition.

Literary Giveaway Hop Winners - Follow-up

I want to announce the books selected by the winners of the Literary Giveaway Blog Hop. When I previously announced the winners, I was waiting for their confirmation of book selections. All four original winners followed-up and these are the books they chose:
#17 pixie13 Lolita
    #34 Flora - The Joy Luck Club
#44 Juana E - One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest 
#11 Amy S. - Jazz 
Again, congratulations to all!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Funniest Comment Ever

AKA We All Have a Past

So I'm checking the comments for this week's posts and about died when I read this one. It was in response to my Top Ten Tuesday - Books I Just Had to Have But Haven't Read Yet.

Chuck DiRico said...
So I was at the local Borders and picked up “When I Was a Loser: True Stories of (Barely) Surviving High School.” It was such an impulse buy, but I just knew I had to have it. I too enjoy confessional writing because it makes it so much easier to relate to the authors. Whatever the style, I knew I would relate to this book because my high school yrs. were troubling for me as well. For instance, one year these crazy girls ripped the buttons off of my shirt and cut pieces of hair off of my head. To beat it all, the teacher got mad at me and sent me to the office for making a mess with my own hair. Another time, these two particularly mean girls, Nickee5? and JW? or something, came up from behind me and knocked all of my books out of my hands. To make it worse, they proceeded to step on all of my homework with their muddy shoes before I could even pick it up. Anyhow, after years of therapy, anti-depressant cocktails, and reading When I Was a Loser, I finally feel “whole” again.

Nice message board, BTW.

He couldn't be talking about me because I don't remember it happening like this at all. I just remember some creative tattoos with highlighters in English class. Thanks Chuck D for making me laugh. I'm glad the book helped and you feel "whole" again. I had no idea you were following my blog. That's love.
Disclaimer: I was not a mean girl and remain friends with Chuck D to this day. I just wanted to share a little bit about where the "Actin' Up" comes from. :)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Random Acts of Kindness - Sign Up

Last month, I came across Book Soulmates Random Acts of Kindness. I thought that it was a fabulous idea and considered signing up. I was hesitant due to the number of books that I already own, but I, like most people, like fun surprises so I've decided to sign up.

 Here are the details (from Book Soulmates)
• Sign up each month you'd like to participate in.

• Show off your participation! Grab one of the buttons available :)

• Create a wishlist and post it in the Google Doc located in each R.A.K post for the month.
{Post on your blog, Amazon, where ever as long as there's a link to it.}

• If you choose to do a R.A.K for someone, check out their wishlist and contact that blogger for their address.

• At the end of the month, SHOW US YOUR R.A.K!
Make a post saying 'Thank You' to whoever granted one of your wishes and share it with us :)

Let's keep our International bloggers in mind and in our hearts.
Remember, there's always the Book Depository and they offer FREE shipping!

Easy peasy!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Vanessa at
Twerd413 [at] gmail DOT com
or through twitter: @booksoulmates
 My Wish List can be found at

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My Wishlist

My wish list is always changing and always growing. I find new books that I am interested in all of the time. I've finally started keeping a list here so stay organized - I was making lists in different notebooks, on scraps of paper, on my phone. This is my most updated list as of June 26, 2011.

6 by Karen Tayleur
13 to Life by Shannon Delaney
Accomplice by Eireann Corrigan
And Then Things Fall Apart by Arlaina Tibensky (July 26, 2011)
Beige by Cecil Castellucci
Boy Proof by Cecil Castellucci
Breathless by Jessica Warman
Brother/Sister by Sean Olin
Carry Me Down by M.J. Hyland
Dead End by Jason Myers (June 2011)
Family by Micol Ostow
Funny How Things Change by Melissa Wyatt
Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
Hold Still by Nina LaCour
I Am J by Cris Beam
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Love Drugged by James Klise
Model Home by Eric Puchner
Perfect by Ellen Hopkins
Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler
Playing with Matches by Brian Katcher
Plus by Veronica Chambers
Random by Lesley Choyce
Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas
Rich and Mad by William Nicholson
Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles
Saltwater Moons by Julie Gottus
Shift by Jennifer Bradbury
Shut Out by Kody Keplinger
Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker
So Much Closer by Susane Colasanti
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder

The Day I Killed James by Catherine Ryan Hyde
The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch (September 1, 2011)
The Hole We're In by Gabrielle Zevin
The Nobodies Album by Carolyn Parkhurst
The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta
The Uncoupling by Meg Wolitzer (April 5, 2011)
Thief by Brian James
Trapped by Michael Northrop
What Comes After by Steve Watkins
When Jeff Comes Home by Catherine Atkins
You Against Me by Jenny Downham

Cover Reveal: Ordinary Beauty by Laura Wiess

Such a Pretty Girl author Laura Wiess has just revealed the cover of her upcoming novel Ordinary Beauty. I have been dying to know what the cover was going to look like and have been checking her site daily. Finally, here it is!

Ordinary Beauty is Laura's fourth novel and it will be released on June 14, 2011. 

Laura's website:
Laura's blog:

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - Displacement

"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:

by Thalia Chaltas
Published by Viking Childrens Books
on June 9, 2011

Home is supposed to be a place you belong. It's supposed to be parents who are there and siblings who bug you and a life that feels comfortable. It’s not supposed to be an absentee mother or a drowned sister. But that's Vera's reality, and she can’t stand it anymore. So she runs. She ends up in an old mining town in the middle of the California desert. It's hot, it's dusty, and it's as isolated as Vera feels. As she goes about setting up her life, she also unwittingly starts the process of healing and–eventually– figuring out what home might really mean for her. (from Goodreads)

This just one more book that I am anticipating reading. I read Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas and knew that I would continue to follow her work. This one sounds like it will be another heartbreaker.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Just Had to Have . . .But are Still Sitting on My Bookshelves

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 Just HAD To Buy...But Are Still Sitting On My Bookshelf

1. Psych Major Syndrome by Alicia Thompson

I obsessed about getting this book. I wanted to wait until it came out in paperback. I would check the availability - there was always a 4 week wait, it was never in stock or available for pre-order. I finally had a coupon that made it worth my while to buy the hard cover. I did. I finally have it, marked it off my wish list and it is still on the shelf.

2. Fallout by Ellen Hopkins

I'm waiting for Perfect to come out. It's a long story - I'll blog about that later.

3. The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

I was seeing this one everywhere. Authors were loving it. Bloggers were loving it. I didn't want to miss out, but I am because I still haven't read it.
4. Wicked by Gregory Maguire

I wanted Wicked and received it along with several other books by Gregory Maguire. I read a different one first (which took forever) and it kind of put my off from reading Wicked or the others for a while. I have resolved to read it in 2011, but I haven't even thought of picking it up yet.

5. Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Waiting for Sarah's next book to come out - again, a long story which I'll blog about later.
6. Dreamland by Sarah Dessen 

I don't know what I'm waiting for. I have no reason, no excuse, I just haven't read it yet.

7. Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr

See above. Enough said.

8. Fallen by Lauren Kate

I got this on vacation last year for my birthday (I got to go on a big book buying spree). I think got 11 books in 4 days (in addition to all of the other books I purchased in August) and it kind of just got lost in the mix. I haven't bought Torment yet and I won't, not until I read this one first.

9. When I Was a Loser: True Stories of (Barely) Surviving High School Ed. by John McNally

I love confessional writing. I love confessional writing about being a teenager. It's usually the best time of your life or the worst. And there is nothing better of making fun of yourself, so I wanted this book. I have read one story, but that is it. This is another one that I obsessed about for months before I finally bought it.

10. Cupcake by Rachel Cohn

This is the final book of a series and I don't want it to end. I guess I have convinced myself that by don't reading it, it won't end.


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