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 random.org 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 http://www.whorublog.com/

 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  http://www.thestorysiren.com/2010/11/sign-up-for-2011-debut-author-challenge.html

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 www.fictionfolio.com
    Words on Paper http://wordsonpaperya.blogspot.com
    Holly Cupala, YA Author  http://www.hollycupala.com/
    GReads! http://g-reads.blogspot.com/
    Book Chic http://bookchicclub.blogspot.com
    DeRaps Reads http://derapsreads.blogspot.com
    penny laine http://penny-laine.blogspot.com
    see scoot read http://seescootread.blogspot.com
    Peppermint Ph.D http://epkwrsmith.blogspot.com/ (just discovered this blog this week)
    my kozy korner http://mykozykorner.blogspot.com
    My Girl Friday http://my-girlfriday.blogspot.com/ (recently discovered)
    Ten Cent Notes http://tencentnotes.blogspot.com
    Somewhat Couture http://somewhatcouture.blogspot.com
    I Read to Relax http://ireadtorelax.blogspot.com
    Flippin' Fabulous http://areadersrecord.blogspot.com

    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!

    Monday, November 15, 2010

    Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

    Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
    Publisher: Simon and Schuster
    September 2010
    Author Website: www.jonathanmaberry.com

    In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn't want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human. 

    Normally I would never pick up a book like Rot & Ruin. Zombies? Bounty Hunters? Me? Really? Yes! Really! I do like zombie movies and am trying to branch out from the books that I typically read, so I thought I would give it a chance. I am so glad that I did because I loved Rot & Ruin. Loved it!

    Rot & Ruin is the story of Benny Imura, who lives with his bounty-hunter brother Tom, in the small town of Mountainside. For years, Benny and his friends Chong and Morgie, listened with great admiration to the tales of renowned bounty hunters Charlie Pink-Eye and The Motor City Hammer, and even idolized them. When Benny begins searching for a job and is unable to find one, he reluctantly joins his brother in the Ruin, on a bounty. On this journey, he begins to see his brother with new eyes and understands that he never really knew his brother at all. Benny thought his brother was cowardly for what happened on First Night and saw weakness in his quiet ways, unlike those of the boastful bounty hunters
    After visiting the Ruin, Benny begins to question all the he knows about zombies, the bounty hunters, his brother, and his life in Mountainside. He tries to go back to the same amused wonder with this friends, but an incident with a collector zombie card and an act of defiance changes everything for Benny.

    One of my favorite quotes from Rot & Ruin is when Benny and Tom are getting ready to leave for the Ruin to search for the bounty hunters and the lost girls. Tom says, "The world is bigger and harder to understand than you think, Benny. It was before First Night and is still is now. You have to keep your mind as wide-open as your eyes, because almost nothing is what it seems." (page 244) He wants Benny to know that he must be strong in their venture where he may have to do things he would never fathom doing.

    Maberry has written an entertaining and thought provoking story filled with heart-pounding adventure, intensity and humanity. He touches your heart and leaves you scared at the same time. I cannot say enough good things about this book and can't wait to read the sequel. Oh, and I want my own zombie card!

    Sunday, November 14, 2010

    In My Mailbox (13)

    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.

    How Beautiful the Ordinary ed. by Michael Cart
    Tangled by Carolyn Mackler
    Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder
    Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers
    Ruined by Simone Elkeles
    The Treasure Map of Boys by E. Lockhart

    Used (but in a Good Way):
    Exile by Blake Nelson

    Morning Glory by Diana Peterfreund
    Thanks to Erin at Lit Snit!

    More Purchases:
    The DUFF by Kody Keplinger (e-book)
    The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney (e-book)
    (with giftcard from my husband)

    Yes, I willingly admit that I went a little overboard this week. Sometimes I just can't help myself and this is one of those times. But I did purchase The Treasure Map of Boys back in August and I just now got it because it was backordered, then ready for shipment, then canceled, then reordered, then ready for shipment and then canceled again. Finally B&N got it together and I got it just in time for my Ruby Oliver read-a-thon set for before the final book comes out!

    I know I got some really great books this week, and I'm not going to feel guilty about it. Nope, not a bit. Of course I will need to remind myself that next week when I'm rolling change to put gas in my car!

    So, what did you get in your mailbox?

    Saturday, November 13, 2010

    Books Read in 2009

    Yes, I know it is almost the end of 2010, but I wanted to backtrack to all of the books I read last year. At the time, it seemed like a lot (42), but compared to how many books I've read so far this year (74), it is not that impressive. Since I just started Actin' Up with books in July 2010, I don't have any reviews posted for these book, but I hope to revisit them at some point and share my thoughts.

    The date listed is when I finished the book.
    *Library Book
    **Loaned from a friend

    30: Does This Book Make Me Look Fat? ed. by Marissa Walsh

    14 of today's most popular and critically acclaimed YA authors weigh in on the topic of body image. How often do you find yourself looking in the mirror? And smiling at what your see? More likely, you're thinking what you see is: Fat, Ugly, Skinny, Round, Stacked or Flat, Bad or Good. From reality television to tabloid headlines, we're all surrounded by weight and discussions of weight. In this collection, a stellar lineup of YA writers sound off on body image, self-esteem, diets, eating disorders, boys, fashion magazines, and why trying on jeans is a bad experience for everyone. (Goodreads)

    I wanted to share a little about this one because it includes some of my favorite YA authors.

    14:  First to Die by James Patterson*

    1: Ordinary Ghosts by Eireann Corrigan
    4: Sticky Fingers by Niki Burnham
    9: Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson
    14: The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler*
    28: Breaking Up is Hard To Do by Niki Burnham, Terri Clark, Ellen Hopkins and Lynda Sandoval

    12: Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty***
    16: Perfect Fifths by Megan McCafferty
    19: Devilish by Maureen Johnson*
    20: As Simple as Snow by Gregory Galloway**

    8: Tweak by Nic Sheff
    10: I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder
    11: Wake by Lisa McMann
    23: It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini*
    23: Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott*
    25: Dear Diary by Lesley Arfin
    29: The Pact by Jodi Picoult**

    10: The Disreputible History of Frankie Landau Banks by E. Lockhart*
    21: The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson*
    24: Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott*
    29: All We Ever Wanted Was Everything by Janelle Brown

    2: Talk Me Down by Victoria Dahl**
    2: Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar (audiobook)
    20: What Would Emma Do? by Eileen Cook
    31: King Dork by Frank Portman

    3: Bloom by Elizabeth Scott
    31: How to Buy a Love of Reading by Tanya Egan Gibson

    9: I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone by Stephanie Kuehnert
    19: Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
    24: Almost Home by Jessica Blank
    24: Official Book Club Selection by Kathy Griffin (audiobook)
    25: My Little Red Book, ed. Rachel Kauder Nalebaff
    26: How to Be Popular by Meg Cabot

    none - What? How did that happen?

    2: Black Rabbit Summer by Kevin Brooks
    9: Luna by Julie Anne Peters
    14: Loose Girl by Kerry Cohen
    15: I Can't Tell You by Hillary Frank
    27: New Moon by Stephenie Meyer***
    27: Lessons from a Dead Girl

    5: Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
    27: Fat Kid Rules the World by K.L. Going

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010

    Waiting on Wednesday - What Can't Wait

    "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:

    What Can't Wait
    Ashley Hope Pérez
    Lerner Publishing Group
    Pub Date: 03/01/2011


    Seventeen-year-old Marisa Moreno has smarts and plenty of promise, but she’s marooned in a broken-down Houston neighborhood—and in a Mexican immigrant family where making ends meet matters more than making it to college. When her home life becomes unbearable, Marisa looks for comfort in a dangerous place, and suddenly neither her best friend nor her boyfriend can get through to her. Because she has a secret that makes it impossible to walk through the crowded school halls without cringing, a secret that will grow darker until she faces it. 
    (from AshleyPerez.com)

    Monday, November 8, 2010

    PUSH Author Interview - Siobhan Vivian

    Siobhan Vivian's latest novel Not That Kind of Girl was published in September 2010. With recognizable female characters and a swoon-worthy hottie, Not That Kind of Girl has easily become one of my favorite books of the year.

    Siobhan is also the author of YA novels A Little Friendly Advice and Same Difference. You can visit her website at www.siobhanvivian.com 

    Can you describe your experience having your first book A Little Friendly Advice published by PUSH?

    It was a dream come true. I had such respect for David Levithan, and the PUSH philosophy, and so I was thrilled to make my writing debut within that imprint.

    Where is your favorite place to write? Do you participate in writing circles or workshops?

    I like to write in my home office. I didn't have the luxury of having a dedicated workspace when I lived in Brooklyn, but it's been a definite perk of Pittsburgh. And while I don't participate in a regular critique group, I do have a few writer friends who I share work with. 

    I just read Not That Kind of Girl and loved it. I could identify parts of my teenage self in Natalie, Spencer and Autumn. How would you describe yourself as a teenager?

    I was definitely a Spencer kind of girl, though I didn't behave as extreme. But I certainly sought approval from boys with some questionable behavior. 

    One of my favorite scenes in Not That Kind of Girl is when Natalie is dressed in the eagle costume at the football game, and she hears Connor defend her to Mike, "That girl is seriously tough, I wouldn't mess with her." Please tell me he didn't know she was the eagle when he said it. 

    He didn't! Natalie is totally incognito during that scene. None of the boys think she is in the suit. They think it's another boy--Nick Devito. 

    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?

    I like taking recommendations from my friends. And as for books that I'm attracted to, I am all about the voice. I just read Diablo Cody's memoir (she wrote the movie Juno) and it was incredible. 

    Do you judge a book by its cover?

    Sigh. Yes, I'm afraid I do. I won't use cover to ultimately make up my mind, but yes...it is considered. 

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

    For me, it's always exciting to see a blogger "get" my book. I'm not so much thinking about them as I write, but I definitely feel so lucky to  have advocates all over the internet talking about my books and helping create some buzz. 

    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?

    Great question! I am going to put my top 5 most played songs on my iTunes. 

    1. Joy Division - LOVE WILL TEAR US APART AGAIN (probably my most favorite song ever)
    2. New Order - AGE OF CONSENT (this song totally brings me back to my wild, rebellious youth. sneaking out, smoking cigarettes, making out with boys, all that good stuff) 
    3. The Hidden Cameras - A MIRACLE (this is just a super sad love song and i loved the stripped down guitar)
    4. The Radio Dept. - PULLING OUR WEIGHT EP version (This is my go-to song come the first cold September day. Feels so Autumn-y and fall.)
    5. Air - PLAYGROUND LOVE (so moody and depressing. also, from one of my favorite movies, The Virgin Suicides)

    Are you are currently working on anything new? Is there anything you would like to share about it?

    I am! I just turned in my first draft of what will be my 4th YA novel. I think the title is going to be THE LIST, or something like that. And it's all about girls, identity, and beauty.

    Thanks Siobhan for your interview!

    Sunday, November 7, 2010

    In My Mailbox (12)

    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.

    A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler

    Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky
    (from Paperback Swap)

    Teenage Waistland by Lynn Biederman and Lisa Pazer
    Thank you to Random Buzzers

     To Kill a Warlock by H.P. Mallory (e-book)
    Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble by H.P. Mallory (e-book)
    Thank you to Sparkling Reviews

    I'm so happy with my book haul this week. I swapped, won, or check out all of my books and didn't purchase any! (at least for myself) I hesitated posting Anatomy of a Boyfriend because, yes, sometimes I do feel a little too old to be reading YA and I feel old reading this one. It doesn't happen often, yet it does happen. Moving on . . .

    Can't wait to see what you got in your mailbox this week.

    Saturday, November 6, 2010

    The Frenzy by Francesca Lia Block

    Love is a werewolf, influenced by the moon and terror, and always about to change. Liv has a secret. Something happened to her when she was thirteen. Something that changed everything. Liv knows she doesn't belong anymore-not in her own skin, not in her family . . . not anywhere. The only time she truly feels like herself is when she's with her boyfriend, Corey, and in the woods that surround her town. But in the woods, a mysterious woman watches Liv. In the woods, a pack of wild boys lurks. In the woods, Liv learns about the curse that will haunt her forever. The curse that caused the frenzy four years ago. And that may cause it again, all too soon.While Corey and Liv's love binds them together, Liv's dark secret threatens to tear them apart as she struggles to understand who-or what-she really is. And by the light of the full moon, the most dangerous secrets bare their claws. . . . (from Goodreads)

    I know when I read books by Francesca Lia Block, I'm never sure exactly what I am going to get. She has a unique writing style that is sparse and sometimes random, constructing stories while leaving out so much. As a reader, it forces me to create my own scenarios and imagine what may have happened. Usually, this frustrates me as a reader, but with Block, I do expect it and somewhat enjoy it.

    Typically, I don't read too much paranormal fantasy, but I was drawn in by the idea of a female werewolf and wanted to know Liv's story. At the age of thirteen, Liv experiences a terrifying awakening in her body that she can't describe and barely remembers. All that she knows is that she is frightened of what she may become or what she may already be. Seen as an outcast in her town, she seeks solace in her friendship with Pace and her relationship with Corey. They all have secrets to hide. Secrets that bring them closer together but also pushes them apart.

    Under the veil of the typical story of a werewolf cursed by the moon, Block addresses issues of bigotry, homosexuality, self-awareness and self-acceptance. The Frenzy deserves a closer look and shouldn't be dismissed easily.

    Thursday, November 4, 2010

    PUSH Spotlight - Perfect World by Brian James and Giveaway

    Lacie's best friend Jenna wants to grow up fast. She wants to be cool and be known and be with a boy all the way. Even though Lacie isn't so sure, she follows Jenna anyway. She tries to block out her sadness. Her questions. Her fears. At first it isn't that bad. She even meets a boy whose problems are compatible with hers. But then Jenna's friendship turns fierce . . . and the perfect world comes tumbling down. (from Goodreads)

    Published: October 1, 2004
    Pages: 304
    Author Website: http://brianjamestheauthor.blogspot.com

    Last month I interviewed Brian James as part of my feature on PUSH authors and books. He discussed the experience of having his first novel Pure Sunshine published and his thoughts on writing, music and books. You can read his interview here.

    To share my love of PUSH novels and so you can read some of Brian's writing for yourself, I am giving away a copy of Perfect World to one lucky winner. To enter, fill out the form below. Only one entry per person please. (multiple entries will be removed) Winners will be selected using random.org CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010

    Waiting on Wednesday - Recovery Road

    "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:

    Two bad-ass teenagers fall in love in rehab. You will laugh. You will cry.

    Madeline is sent away to Spring Meadows to help with a drinking and rage problem she has. It's a pretty intense place, but there is the weekly movie night in town--where Madeline meets Stewart, who's at another rehab place nearby. They fall for each other during a really crazy time in their lives. Madeline gets out and tries to get back on her feet, waiting for Stewart to join her. When he does, though, it's not the ideal recovery world Madeline dreamed of. Both of them still have serious problems. And Stewart's are only getting worse....
    (from Goodreads)

    Published March 1st 2011 by Scholastic Press

    Please leave a link to your blog so I can see what new books you have discovered. Can't wait to find out what your waiting for!

    **Just realized I had title my post Waiting for Wednesday (a Lisa Loeb song, gotta love her) It's fixed now. 

    Monday, November 1, 2010

    PUSH Author Interview - Samantha Schutz

    Author Samantha Schutz's new PUSH novel You Are Not Here was  published in October 2010. To celebrate its release, Samantha is hosting an awesome photo contest and three winners will receive personalized/signed copies of You Are Not Here and her first book, I Don't Want to Be Crazy. More information about the contest can be found here

    In January 2008, I read Samantha's I Don't Want to Be Crazy and I instantly became a fan. I am thrilled that she is participating in my PUSH feature. Visit her website at http://samanthaschutz.net

    Q: Can you describe your experience having your first book I Don't Want to Be Crazy published by PUSH?
    A: AWESOME! When I was getting ready to pitch I Don't Want to Be Crazy to publishers, I did a lot of research on who was publishing what in the YA world. PUSH was my absolute first choice. I was really impressed with what David Levithan, the editor, was doing. And I knew that IDWTBC would fit really well into the PUSH program.

    Q: Where is your favorite place to write? Do you participate in writing circles or workshops?
    A: For IDWTBC and my new book, You Are Not Here, I worked quite a bit at home, but that was really hard. I’m easily distracted and having my bed and the TV so close by was not easy. So, a lot of the time, I would pack up all my stuff and head to a café. Cafes are pretty productive places for me. But the best and most intense work I’ve done has been when I was somewhat isolated. I think it’s important for me to be away from distractions—especially the internet. I have not been in a writing workshop since college. I do, however, share bits of my manuscript or even first drafts with a few close friends or my sister for some initial feedback.

    Q: How did you experience writing your first novel, You Are Not Here, differ from writing I Don't Want to Be Crazy which was a memoir?
    A: IT WAS SO DIFFERENT! In IDWTBC, I knew the story, the characters, the setting, the ending. But when I started developing YANH, all I knew was that there was a teenage girl whose boyfriend died and is buried very close to her house. That was it. That was all I had. At times, it was scary to think that every moment — every word — had to come from somewhere inside my brain. I have some friends who write fiction and they think that all those possibilities are freeing (and that writing a memoir would be considerably harder), but it was the opposite for me. One nice surprise, though, was how much I found I could draw on my own experiences. A good bit of what’s in YANH is based on actual events — just twisted around and reworked. (I think this is sort of a “duh” moment, but since I had never tried fiction, it didn’t occur to me how much I could draw from real life.)

    Q: Some of my favorite books are written as narrative poetry, You Remind Me of You by Eireann Corrigan and Impulse by Ellen Hopkins. Before you began writing, was it your intention to write books in poetry format? Do you have any influences?

    A: This is how I’ve always written. When I was younger I was an avid journal writer and my writing never really came out in complete sentences — more like fragments. But as the years have gone by, I’ve learned to play with the format more. Writing in verse gives me the opportunity to lead the reader in a way that’s more aggressive than traditional prose. By changing the line breaks or the way the words are spaced out, I can give a different effect. I can really stress something. Or I can lead a reader to think one thing, and then have it revealed as another when you read the next line. I get to be tricky. 
    Another great thing about writing a novel in verse is how spare I can be. And I often try to use as few words as possible. Writing in verse allows me to cut out all the fat and just get to the meat — the emotions — of the story.
    As for influences: Erica Jong, Anais Nin, Dorothy Parker, Sylvia Plath. And those are just the women…

    Q: 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?
    A: A unique concept is what really draws me in. For example, Room by Emma Donoghue is told from the point of view of a five-year-old boy that has been held hostage in a single room with his mother since his birth (the mother was kidnapped several years prior). His mother never tells him that they are being held hostage, so to this little boy, “room” is the entire world. I read the jacket copy and was SOLD!

    Q: Do you judge a book by its cover?
    A: Yes. It’s hard not to. When you’re in a crowded bookstore or library, first impressions are really all you have to go on. And I suppose I am doubly biased because I am also a children’s book editor. My standards are extra-high. However, if someone recommended a book to me and it didn’t have a great cover, that wouldn’t prevent me from reading it.  

    Q: The blogging community is growing daily. What influences do you think bloggers have on writers?  
    A: I’m not sure that blogging is influencing what writers write. However, there are loads of incredible indirect influences. For example, authors have so many more opportunities to give interviews and do “appearances,” host contests, etc. Also, one of the most incredible benefits is how easily fans and authors can connect.

    Q: Are there any blogs you visit frequently?
    A: http://leftasrain.com: a music blog. The “posts” are all songs. And you can listen to them like a continuous playlist. 
    http://www.melissacwalker.com/blog/: the blog of a writer and friend. She also does lots of contests and interviews. 
    http://www.designspongeonline.com/: has all sorts of crafty and design ideas.

    Q: 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?
    A: Here’s what was on my playlist while writing You Are Not Here. For the most part, I needed music that was pretty mellow but felt emotionally intense. Out of all of the songs below, I probably listened to these three song the most: “Walking with a Ghost” by Tegan and Sarah, “re: stacks” by Bon Iver, and “Illgresi” by Sigur Ros.

    Bon Iver: tracks, 1, 3 and 4

    Sigur Ros: tracks 1 and 8

    Tegan and Sarah: tracks 42, 45, 54, 65

    Passion Pit: track 9

    Metric: tracks 1, 5, and 10

    Q: Can you tell me about what you are currently working on?
    A: I am working on a novel about a teenage girl who finds herself in Thailand and has no idea who she is or why she’s there. This is going to be a big change for me. First of all, it’s kind of a mystery. And second, I may not write this book in verse. The great news is that this December I am going to Thailand for research! If all goes according to plan the book could be out Summer/Fall 2012.

    Thanks Samantha for participating in this interview. I will definitely check out your music recommendations for You Are Not Here.  (which broke my heart - but in a good way)


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