Sunday, October 31, 2010

In My Mailbox (11) and Giveaway Winner!

Looking for Alaska Giveaway Winner!

Ivalice Alliance 
I'll be contacting you by email for your address to get your book to your mailbox really soon!

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:
Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Bloodhound: A Tortall Legend by Tamora Pierce (signed)
(thank you Random House)

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Artichoke's Heart by Suzanne Supplee

When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris
(from Janae @ Somewhat Couture)

What did you get this week?

Review: Jumpstart the World by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Jumpstart the World
by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Publication Date: October 12, 2010
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Source: Won from Random Buzzers
Purchase Amazon / Indiebound 

(from Goodreads)

Elle is a loner. She doesn’t need people. Which is a good thing, because she’s on her own: she had to move into her own apartment so her mother’s boyfriend won’t have to deal with her.

Then she meets Frank, the guy who lives next door. He’s older and has a girlfriend, but Elle can’t stop thinking about him. Frank isn’t like anyone Elle has ever met. He listens to her. He’s gentle. And Elle is falling for him, hard.

But Frank is different in a way that Elle was never prepared for: he’s transgender. And when Elle learns the truth, her world is turned upside down. Now she’ll have to search inside herself to find not only the true meaning of friendship but her own role in jumpstarting the world.

My Thoughts

I received a copy of Jumpstart the World from Random Buzzers. I had not heard of it before seeing it there, but after reading the summary, I was intrigued and entered to win a copy. And I did!

Jumpstart the World begins with Elle and her mother choosing a cat from the animal shelter which sixteen year old Elle will take to her apartment where Elle will be living. Alone. Not too much back story is given about why Elle is moving out or about the dynamics of her relationship with her mother. Unfortunately this is where the story begins to fall apart for me (at the very beginning). As Elle is moving into her apartment, she meets her neighbor, Frank, and she immediately has a fondness for him. He has agreed to look after Elle in her mother's absence. 

During this time, Elle has also started at a new school and was immediately labeled as queer because, in a fit of defiance toward her mother, she shaved her hair off. She taken aback, defensive and insistent that her new friends know that she is not gay. So when her friends think that the person she has a crush on, Frank, is transgendered, Elle immediately disassociates herself from them and begins to pull back from Frank. She then begins to question her own sexuality as she learns about Frank's.

I really wanted to like this book. The subject of questioning and understanding sexuality is timely, but there weren't a lot of descriptive connections between Elle and the people in her life. Hyde did a lot more telling than describing, and the story felt a little underdeveloped. I wanted to feel what Elle was going through and have my heartbroken as she did, but I didn't. One relationship that I hope is developed in a future work is that of Elle and Wilbur. I could tell that he really cared about Elle as she was dealing with her mom and learning about herself. I want to know more about him and his back story.

Other books with similar subject matter, that I would recommend are Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher and Luna by Julie Anne Peters.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

PUSH Author Interview - Brian James

In 2002, I first discovered PUSH when I read the poetry memoir You Remind Me of You by Eireann Corrigan. I was mesmerized with her writing and sought out similar books. Next I read the PUSH anthology You Are Here, This Is Now: Poems, Stories, Essays and Art from The Best Young Writers and Artists in America, edited by David Levithan. I was impressed with stories and poems in the anthology which were selected from the winners of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Over the years, I have been drawn to the PUSH novels and memoirs because I recognize a small part of myself in these stories. 

When I first started my blog, I knew that I wanted to share these books and thankfully, several of the authors have agreed to participate in my PUSH feature. Over the next few months, I will feature PUSH authors and books through interviews, reviews and giveaways. I hope that you will visit Actin' Up with books often and discover (or rediscover) the voices of PUSH.

My first interview is with Brian James, author of Pure Sunshine, Perfect World, Tomorrow, Maybe, Dirty Liar, Thief, Zombie Blondes, The Heights as well as several children's books. You can visit his website at

1. Can you describe your experience having your first novel Pure Sunshine published by PUSH?

When I was a teenager, my goal in life was to have a novel published. I worked endlessly in college trying to hone my writing skills. I wrote Pure Sunshine the year after I graduated from college, in January of 1999. The book was acquired a few months later as the first book for PUSH, though the imprint wasn’t launched for another two years. So it was a long process between finishing the book and seeing it to actual publication. This gave me a lot of time to get used to the idea. Still though, it was strange to have achieved my lone life goal before the age of 25. It was around that time when I realized I might actually be able to not only have a novel published, but also have a career as a writer. I think holding the first finished copy of the book in my hands was when I first felt like that was possible. It was an indescribable feeling and I’m very grateful to David Levithan and the others at PUSH who believed in me and gave me the opportunity. I’m also glad I took advantage of it.

2. I once read in an interview that you didn't take any writing classes. Do you think that having a structured writing environment can hinder the creativity of a writer? Can it help?

That’s true. I’ve never taking a writing class. In college, I was an English Literature major. My philosophy back then was that I would rather study the great authors and deconstruct how they wrote in order to improve my own writing structure. I still believe that’s an invaluable tool. Reading is one of the most important things a writer can do. That said, I’m not against writing classes. I know many writers who have found them incredibly helpful. However, I think they’re value lies more in their ability to teach writers how to edit and revise in order to fully realize their story. Creativity can’t be taught. But there are a lot of aspects of the writing craft that can be taught. I just preferred to learn those things on my own, which had its advantages and disadvantages. I probably could have avoided a lot of mistakes and quickened the learning process if I had taken some classes. However, because I developed my style on my own, it feels very unique to a lot of readers.

3. Perfect World is written from the female perspective. Was it difficult as a male to write from the female point of view? What steps did you take to capture an authentic female voice?

Perfect World was the second book I wrote from a female character’s perspective (Tomorrow, Maybe being the first). I’ve since written four other novels from a female character’s point of view, including my newest book Life is But a Dream, due out next year. To be honest, I find it refreshing. When I write from a male point of view, I feel the voice is nearly always my own, which is easier but less interesting for me. As far as capturing an authentic voice, I’ve never felt like it was a struggle. Growing up, I always had a lot of really close friends who were girls so that point of view isn’t foreign to me. In addition, the way I write is so connected to the character’s emotions. We experience emotions similarly. Sad is sad no matter what our gender is. The difference is how we may or may not react to a situation. For me it’s less about gender as it is about knowing your character inside and out. I spend a lot of time thinking about my main characters before I write a single word. At some point, it becomes a little bit like channeling somebody else. As a writer, I believe we have to truly imagine ourselves as that character. I guess I approach it a bit like method acting.

4. 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 writing style is a huge factor for me. I’ve always believed that anybody could come up with a good story, it’s how you tell it that is interesting. That said, I’ve always been drawn to the avant-garde writers like Robbe-Grillet, Celine, Quueneau, Brautigan and Burroughs. I’m also a huge fan of coming-of-age, obviously as that is what I typically write. Since I also write children’s books, I’m a big reader of all ranges from picture books to middle grade novels. In the younger books, I’m usually drawn in by character. In a strange way, I’ve blended those two things in my novels.

I must admit that until recently, I largely ignored current fiction. However, once I read all of the books by my favorite authors, I turned to newer books. In the last year or so, I’ve been reading mostly novels from the last decade or so. Two novels that I read recently that really stood out are Oryx & Crake by Margaret Atwood and The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue. In the children’s book area, I’ve been in love with the Ember series by Jeanne DuPrau, The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor and The Haunting of Charles Dickens by Lewis Buzbee.

5. Do you judge a book by its cover?

I wouldn’t say that I judge a book by its cover, but I’m certainly drawn books by their covers. Everybody is. We live in a visual age. So why I’d like to say that I’ve never decided not to read a book because of lousy cover, I’ve certainly read lousy books because of their amazing covers.

6. The blogging community is growing daily. What influences do you think bloggers have on writers?  

Well, I think the blog world’s biggest impact isn’t so much on the writers themselves but on the publishing industry in general. I believe that influence is overwhelmingly positive. The traditional way of discovering books (print media and bookstores) is fading. The blog world has stepped in to fill the void in a big way. I think their prescense is especially important when it comes to YA Literature. Before the blogs came along, publishers couldn’t figure out how to reach that audience. Now, it’s the biggest segment of the industry.

As far as the blog world on the individual writer, I think it’s great to have an outlet to reach readers and promote books.

7. Are there any blogs you visit frequently?

I follow about 100 different blogs on a wide-range of topics. I find that they are bit like a customized magazine with only articles about stuff I’m interested in. Two of my favorites related to books and writing are Andrew Smith’s Ghost Medicine and Children’s/Fantasy Illustrations.

8. I think the music we listen to can tell a lot about who we are. If you could make a playlist that reveals something about you, which songs would you include?

I couldn’t agree with you more. I listen to music constantly. I have a collection of nearly 3,500 albums. That said, making this kind of playlist would be an impossible task. Instead, I’ll give you a list of albums that I feel have been most influential to me as a writer:

Syd Barrett – The Madcap Laughs: This is an album that I listened a ton when I was 16 and 17 and still trying to find myself as a writer. I remember wanting to write stories that felt like Syd Barrett songs.

The Verve – A Northern Soul: This album really defined the way I felt in college and it’s mood still resonates throughout my novels.

Neutral Milk Hotel – In the Aeroplane Over the Sea: A remarkable piece of poetry that taught me as much as any other piece of poetry of how to say things in interesting ways.

Neil Young – Live Rust: The first Neil Young album I owned, the fragile heartache in Neil’s voice is something I’ve always connected with and I think my characters would as well.

Nirvana – Into the Black: When I was in college, I remember spending $90 of my last $110 on this and it was worth it. Another constant in the hours of solitude trying to figure out how to write.

John Frusciante – Inside of Emptiness: Basically every John album could be on here, but this one particularly struck me while writing Dirty Liar and gave me the courage to tell stories that were difficult to tell.

The Manic Street Preachers – The Holy Bible: Hands down one of the best lyrical albums ever written.

9. Can you tell me about what you are currently working on?

I’ve just finished the last revisions of my next novel, Life is But A Dream. It’s about a girl struggling with reality in a world that’s gone crazy.

I’m also working on a middle grade novel, a movie script and a children’s chapter book project, all in various stages. In addition, I’ve already begun the process for my next novel. So, hopefully it will be a busy year.

Brian, thank you so much for your thoughtful answers and visiting with me here at Actin' Up with books!

Tuesday Teaser (8)

From Songs for the Missing by Stewart O'Nan, page 1:
July 2005. It was the summer of her Chevette. of J.P. and letting her hair grow. The last summer, the best summer, the summer they'd dreamed of since eighth grade, the high and pride of being seniors lingering, an extension of their best year. She  and Nina and Elise, the Three Amigos. In the fall they were gone, off to college, where she hoped, by a long and steady effort, she might become someone else, a private, independent person not from Kingsville at all. 

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, October 25, 2010

Guest Answers at Page by Page

This week I answered questions at Page by Page about my favorite authors. To read my answers, you can check it out here.You can find out what Cass from Words on Paper and Misha from My Affair with Books had to say too. Check out the new questions and blogger answers in the weeks to come!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

In My Mailbox (10)

Check out what I got in my mailbox and enter to win Looking for Alaska too!

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.

Dangerous Angels: The Weetzie Bat Books  by Francesca Lia Block
Songs for the Missing by Stewart O'Nan

I walked in the bookstore to get a giftcard for my friend for her birthday. I walked out with Songs for the Missing. It's funny how that happens.

What did you get this week?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: See What I See

"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:
Kate Tapert sees her life in paintings. Yet one place she never sees her life is in the work of the famous and reclusive artist Dalton Quinn—her father, whom she hasn’t seen or heard from in nearly ten years. Now Kate has an art dream of her own, and a scholarship to art school to help make it a reality. The last piece to the puzzle is staying with her father, which means it’s time for Kate to work her way into Dalton’s life, into his mind, and into his heart, whether he likes it or not.

See What I See is a powerful family story filled with uneasy relationships, deep secrets, reluctant togetherness, and an examination of the unbreakable bond between father and daughter. Celebrated National Book Award–winning author Gloria Whelan delivers her most modern story yet, with all the beauty, emotion, and timeless themes that she is known for. 

I just found out about See What I See by Gloria Whelan and it sounds good. I haven't read too many books focusing on the father and daughter relationship. It will be published on December 28, 2010. Not too far away. 

What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday: Fictional Crushes

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.

Each week they post a new Top Ten list to complete. Everyone is welcome to join. We just link back to The Broke and the Bookish our own Top Ten Tuesday posts AND sign Mister Linky! Don't worry if you can't come up with ten every time...just post what you can!

This week's topic:

Top Ten Fictional Crushes

1. Marcus Flutie  from The Jessica Darling Series by Megan McCafferty
2. Connor from Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian
3. Seth McCoy from Freefall by Mindi Scott
4. Nils from Nothing Like You by Lauren Strasnick
5. Jonah Griggs from Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
6. Simon from The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells
7.  Nick  Severson from I  Know That It's  Over by C.K. Kelly Martin
8.  Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
9. Adam Vader from The Boys Next Door and Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols
10.  Dave Robbie from A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley

Marcus Flutie will always have my heart,  but just like in high school, my crushes are forever changing. I don't know, but Connor sure does give him a run for his money.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Review: Freefall by Mindi Scott

by Mindi Scott
Publication Date: October 5, 2010
Published by Simon Pulse
Pages: 315
Source: Purchased
Purchase Amazon / Indiebound

 (from Goodreads)
Seth McCoy was the last person to see his best friend Isaac alive, and the first to find him dead. It was just another night, just another party, just another time where Isaac drank too much and passed out on the lawn. Only this time, Isaac didn’t wake up.

Convinced that his own actions led to his friend’s death, Seth is torn between turning his life around . . . or losing himself completely.
Then he meets Rosetta: so beautiful and so different from everything and everyone he's ever known. But Rosetta has secrets of her own, and Seth will soon realize he isn’t the only one who needs saving . . .

My Thoughts

I first learned about this book from The Contemps Challenge that I signed up for back in September.  Looking at the list of books and reading the synopsis of each book, I was looking forward to reading this book the most. It is the second book of the challenge that I've read, but it is the first I am reviewing.

Freefall is the debut novel of author Mindi Scott. Scott took me on the highest of highs and lowest of lows all throughout the novel. My heart still fluttered and my breath was still caught long after I read the last sentence.
It is the story of 16 year old Seth McCoy who is dealing with the aftermath of his best friend, Isaac's death. The book starts out 2 months after Isaac's death and at the beginning of the new school year. On the brink of not graduating with his class, Seth's guidance counselor overloads his class schedule and signs him up for tutoring classes and an experimental elective to help his GPA (among other things). 

From the very beginning, I was rooting for Seth. Mindi Scott has written a lovable character, from the wrong side of town, who is searching how to move on, or even if he can move on after the death of his friend. My heart broke over and over again for Seth and for Rosetta as they were learning about each other in spite of their own personal tragedies.

I loved this book so much and I will recommend it to anyone and everyone. It may even be the best book that I have read this year. I'm definitely a fangirl of Mindi Scott, and anxiously wait to see what she writes next.

It's Monday, What's Going On? Awards and Giveaways!

I didn't have a Friday Five this past week and I have some things happening on my blog as well as some blogs that I frequent that I wanted to share:

As of yesterday, I've reached 50 Followers! This is very exciting for me. My little blog is growing. I love it!

I was awarded the Life is Good Award by Dealings of a Book Junkie.

I was also awarded The Versatile Blogger by Tara at Fiction Folio

I am currently hosting My First Giveaway. I am giving away a copy of one of my favorite books, Looking for Alaska by John Green. The contest ends on October 30th. You can enter here to win. Open Internationally. Good Luck!

This just in . . .
I just found out that The Book Scout is giving away 5 copies of Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales. You can enter to win it here I've heard so many good things about this book and hope to add it to my TBR list.

And . . .
Along with Cass from Words on Paper and Kailia from Reading the Best of the Best, I shared some Book Love over at Page by Page. There you can read what I have to say about some of my favorite books of all time!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

In My Mailbox (9)

Check out what I got this week and enter My First Giveaway too!

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.

Jumpstart the World by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Thank you Random Buzzers
The Frenzy by Francesca Lia Block
The Deadly Sister by Eliot Schrefer

I was really happy when I found out I won Catherine Ryan Hyde's Jumpstart the World. I've only read her novel, Pay It Forward, but I can't wait to read this one. I'm really intrigued by the premise and it will probably leave my shelf next! I also picked up a couple of books at the library this week. It was my goal to curb my book spending so that I can tackle and make a dent in my TBR pile. Yeah, wish me luck with that. But . . . I just couldn't pass this up

     Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (audio book)

It is the featured Audio Book of the Month on i-Tunes for $9.99
I used an i-Tunes card I received for my birthday, (Thank you, Cathy!) so that doesn't count as spending money, right?

Can't wait to see what was in your mailbox!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Where You Buy Books and My First Giveaway

I recently took a poll asking where you buy your books. I wanted to know where many of my readers purchased books: online, at chain bookstores, at college or independent bookstores or other retailers. Here are the rankings:
  1. Barnes and Noble
  3. Other Retailers
  4. Borders
  5. Books-a-Million
  6. Independent Bookstores
  7. College/University Bookstores
The results were pretty much as I expected as I buy most of my books at Barnes and Noble or on Amazon too. There were only 4 responses of readers who shop at independent bookstores. There is no judgment here, I don't do it either. But I want to shop at more independent bookstores and I will even if have to drive 25, 50, a hundred miles to find them (thankfully some do have online ordering). One would think living between two college towns there would be more indie bookstores, but no, not so much.

A couple of weekends ago, I did go to a not-so local, independent bookstore, noteBooks.  It is a small new and used bookstore that also carries music and art supplies and has a terrific cafe attached to it. (I'd hoped to have some pictures to post, but of course, I forgot to take my camera). You can check out noteBooks for yourself here.

While I was there, I purchased one of my favorite books, Looking for Alaska by John Green, specifically for this giveaway.

Synopsis: Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave "the Great Perhaps" even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then . . . After. Nothing is ever the same.(from Goodreads)

It was important to me that the first book I gave away on Actin' Up with books came from an independent bookstore (there is a lot of back story to this reasoning, but since the post is already becoming too long, I will spare you the details) and I wanted it be a book that I love and want to read over and over again.
Now for the Giveaway!
If you would like to win a copy of Looking for Alaska, please fill out the form below. You can include the name of your favorite independent bookstore. (It is not required to be eligible) One winner will be chosen by using
Good Luck and Thanks for visiting!

Contest has ended 10/30/2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Wish List

I keep lists of books I want to read everywhere - on my i-Touch, in my phone, in my readers notebook, on scraps of paper - basically wherever/on whatever is handy at the moment (I've even written titles on my hand when I didn't have anything else). Some of these books I've found from browsing the bookstore, checking out books club reading lists, recommendations from friends, reviews from magazines, and the many blogs I visit daily. So that I don't lose my lists or forget books that I have come across in blogs, I am going to catalog them here.

I'm sure this list will be ever growing and ever changing as I hope to move them to my Books Read lists.
I'd love to see what is on your Wish List. Feel free to leave a comment and a link to your blog.

6 by Karen Tayleur
13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
13 to Life by Shannon Delaney
Aces Up by Lauren Barnholdt
Anthropology of an American Girl by Hilary Thayer Stream
Beige by Cecil Castellucci
Boy Proof by Cecil Castellucci
Breathless by Jessica Warman
Bumped by Megan McCafferty
Carry Me Down by M.J. Hyland
Crashing by Chris Wooding
Funny How Things Change by Melissa Wyatt
Getting the Girl by Markus Zusak
GraffitiMoon by Cath Crowley

Hold Still by Nina LaCour
Kissing the Rain by Kevin Brooks
Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Love Drugged by James Klise
Model Home by Eric Puchner
Playing with Matches by Brian Katcher
Plus by Veronica Chambers
Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas
Rich and Mad by William Nicholson
Shift by Jennifer Bradbury
Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
The Best and Hardest Thing by Pat Brisson
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams - I actually got this one at the library but had to return it before I got around to reading it
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
Watch Me by Lauren Barnholdt
Whaletalk by Chris Crutcher
When Jeff Comes Home by Catherine Atkins

Waiting on Wednesday: Fall for Anything

"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:

When Eddie Reeves’s father commits suicide her life is consumed by the nagging question of why? Why when he was a legendary photographer and a brilliant teacher? Why when he had a daughter who loved him more than anyone else in the world? When she meets Culler Evans, a former student of her father’s and a photographer himself, an instant and dangerous attraction begins. He seems to know more about her father than she does and could possibly hold the key to the mystery surrounding his death. But Eddie’s vulnerability has weakened her and Culler Evans is getting too close. Her need for the truth keeps her hanging on… but some questions should be left unanswered.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published December 21st 2010 by St. Martin's Griffin

This is my first Waiting for Wednesday and I happy to share my excitement for Courtney Summer's Fall for Anything. I have finally started reading my selections for The Contemps Challenge. I haven't read any books by Courtney Summers, and this one sounds so good.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (7)

This is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Grab your read. 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 and the author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers. 

From Freefall by Mindi Scott (page 39) - currently reading for The Contemps Challenge

Then she let loose with that scary laugh again.
Just great. What could be worse than being forced to write my thoughts in some stupid book?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

In My Mailbox (8)

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.

You Are Not Here by Samantha Schutz
Crash Into Me by Albert Borris
Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles
Return to Paradise by Simone Elkeles
Freefall by Mindi Scott

Sweet Bonus:
Blueberry Muffin Bookmark from McDonalds

Even though it wasn't in my mailbox, I just had to share my Blueberry Muffin bookmark because: a) it is swag and b) I wanted to share what appeared on my cup. Check it out
Ronald McDonald, sharing his love of reading - One Happy Meal at a Time. 
What did you get this week?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Guest Answers at Page by Page

This week I answered Page by Page's question about why I started my blog. To read my answer, you can check it out here.You can find out what Kailia Sage of Reading the Best of the Best has to say too. Check out the new questions and blogger answers in the weeks to come!

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Friday Five (8)

Here, I recap my week with connections to books I am reading, have read, want to read and other random musings.

1. The movie I Love You, Beth Cooper started showing this week on HBO. As much as I want to like the movie, I just can't. Larry Doyle's novel is just so awesome that the movie adaptation just ruins it. Now, if  I hadn't read the book first, maybe I could appreciate the few chuckles I emitted. But it pales in comparison to the full-on belly laughs, and OMG moments I had while reading the book. I Love You, Beth Cooper - read the book, skip the movie. 

2. If you haven't yet, please check out my poll asking What Do You Purchase Books I am getting ready to host my first giveaway and the information gathered from the poll will help!

3. Currently Reading: Perfect World by Brian James

4. Soon to leave the shelf: Freefall by Mindi Scott - This is the next book I am reading for The Contemps Challenge which you can still sign up for here

5. Random Musings: How much time do you spend blogging? Writing blogs, reading blogs, thinking about what you are going to write or present on your blog. I'm just curious.

Thanks for visiting and have a happy Friday!

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.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (6)

This is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Grab your read. 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 and the author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers. 

From Losing Faith by Denise Jaden (page 78)
But it is far from business as usual at Sharon High School Monday morning. It appears that way when I first step through the school doors, but then two kids near the entrance stop mid-conversation and stare. They go back to talking, but in nearly a whisper.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fall Into Reading 2010 - Yay! Another Challenge

I just found out on PageTurnersBlog that Callapidder Days is hosting a Fall Into Reading Challenge. Just this past Friday, I posted that I was looking for a new challenge and this one is for me! It is supposed to be a no pressure challenge where I just list that books I want to read from now until December 20th and read them.

Here’s a brief recap from Callapidder Days of how to be a part of Fall Into Reading 2010:

  • Make a list of books you want to read (or finish reading) this fall. Your list can be as long or as short as you’d like. (Also, feel free to modify your list during the challenge if it’s not working for you.)
  • Write a blog post containing your list and submit it to Callapidder Days
  • Get reading! The challenge goes from today, September 22nd, through December 20th. 
  • Write a post about your challenge experience in December, telling us all about whether you reached your goals and how Fall Into Reading went for you.
Low-pressure, no pressure. That sounds good to me.

Here is my list:
Books read will be highlighted in blue

  • We Were Here by Matt de la Pena (finish)
  • The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (finish)
  • Losing Faith by Denise Jaden
  • Freefall by Mindi Scott
  • How It Ends by Laura Weiss
  • Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Same Difference by Siobhan Vivian
  • Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr
  • Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
  • Fallout by Ellen Hopkins
  • Perfect World by Brian James
  • Songs for a Teenage Nomad by Kim Culbertson

I'm sure that my list will change between now and December, but this is my goal right now.

Happy Reading!

    In My Mailbox (7)

    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.

    Songs for a Teenage Nomad by Kim Culbertson
    Same Difference by Siobhan Vivian
    Perfect World by Brian James

    We Were Here by Matt de la Pena

    After reading and loving Siobhan Vivian's Not That Kind of Girl, I wanted to read more of her books, so I bought Same Difference. I also checked out We Were Here from the university library. I can always find great books there.Perfect World has been on my Wish List for a long time, so I finally decided to get it. Songs for a Teenage Nomad was a recent discovery, so I treated myself to that one too.

    What did you get?


    Friday, October 1, 2010

    Strangers Are Neighbors - Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan

    The lives of three teens—Claire, Jasper, and Peter—are altered forever on September 11, 2001. Claire, a high school junior, has to get to her younger brother in his classroom. Jasper, a college sophomore from Brooklyn, wakes to his parents’ frantic calls from Korea, wondering if he’s okay. Peter, a classmate of Claire’s, has to make his way back to school as everything happens around him.

    Here are three teens whose intertwining lives are reshaped by this catastrophic event. As each gets to know the other, their moments become wound around each other’s in a way that leads to new understandings, new friendships, and new levels of awareness for the world around them and the people close by.

    David Levithan has written a novel of loss and grief, but also one of hope and redemption as his characters slowly learn to move forward in their lives, despite being changed forever. (from Goodreads)

    I've become a recent lover of all books by David Levithan. For me, it all started with Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist and they just keep getting better. 

    Cover: Stunning. I think the blue lights with the New York Skyline are beautiful, but I have to remind myself of why they are there and all that has been lost. The picture is perfect and I couldn't imagine anything else for this book.

    Favorite Line/Quote/Scene:  Late at night, Claire and Jasper are walking through the streets of Manhattan. "Do you know what I want to know?" she said. "I want to know why this is such a big part of me. I want to know why this thing that has happened to other people has happened so much to me. I keep looking for the lesson." (page 104) Claire is finally giving her voice to all of the thoughts in her head. She has wanted to talk to someone about what she thinks and what it all means(and wonders can any sense be made out of it), but she hasn't had the chance until she sees Jasper who is practically a stranger. 
    I absolutely loved Love is the Higher Law which had me crying from the very beginning. David Levithan has provided a touching account of how three young adults deal with events during and after September 11th, 2001. From alternating perspectives, he explores the confusion, fear, and awareness of how this event will affect the rest of Claire, Jasper, and Peter's lives. He gives a voice to the thoughts that some people may be unwilling to let out.He  reminds us that even during our darkest times, there is hope and there is love.

    The Friday Five (7) - Call me Chelleless P. Talkaloe

    Here, I recap my week with connections to books I am reading, have read, want to read and other random musings.

    1. Where do you purchase your books? I am currently taking a poll asking my readers where you purchase your books. I would appreciate your participation! Your answers will help me as I prepare to hold my First-Ever Giveaway. The poll will be up until October 15th and the giveaway will be announced a few days after that.

    2. On Sunday I finished Mockingjay and loved it! But what I loved more was going back to all of my favorite blogs and reading the reviews and rants that I was missing out on. Some of my favorite commentary was at Forever Young Adult. I love them, I love them. I can't say it enough. I love them.

    One issue that I had to get over when reading the series was the names of the characters: Cinna, Glitter, Cato, Haymitch. It was enough to keep me from reading the books when they first came out. I wondered can I really read a book with a main character named Katniss? The answer, yes, thank goodness, yes.

    So what does this have to do with anything? Not much. But now that I am no longer on my Hunger Games/Mockingjay blog ban, I went back to Forever Young Adult and found my Hunger Games name You may now call me Chelleless P. Talkaloe

    3. Currently Reading:We Were Here by Matt de la Pena

    4. Soon to leave the shelf: Losing Faith by Denise Jaden

    5. I've read a book this week. Yep, just one. So, I'm looking for another read-a-thon. Please post a comment or link if you are hosting a read-a-thon, participating in a read-a-thon or know of any read-a-thons coming up.

    Happy Friday!

    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.


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