Thursday, February 28, 2013

Books of the Month (7)

Books of the Month is where I recap books I received In My Mailbox, read, shared from my shelves, and plug my book reviews and discussions during the entire month. Variations of these types of posts exist on many blogs so I am not claiming credit for this idea.
Books of February

Be Mine by Jennifer Crusie, Victoria Dahl, and Shannon Stacey
Chelsea Chelsea, Bang Bang by Chelsea Handler
Unraveling Isobel by Eileen Cook
Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson
The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life by Tara Altebrando
Back When You Were Easier to Love by Emily Wing Smith
Anatomy of a Single Girl by Daria Snadowsky
The Archived by Victoria Schwab     
Blaze (Or, Love in the Time of Supervillians) by Laurie Boyle Crompton
Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti 

None of the Regular Rules by Erin Downing
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

(purchased with GC from Lisa @GadgetNBooks)
Playing Along by Rory Samantha Green
Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook
The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner
The Boys of Summer by C.J. Duggan

Now Playing: Stoner and Spaz II by Ron Koertge (e-book)
Geography Club by Brent Hartinger

(Paperback Swap)  
The Simple Gift by Steven Herrick 
Two Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt 

For Review/Blog Tour/Promotion
Being Henry David by Cal Armistead (finished copy)
Harken by Kaleb Nation (e-book) (not pictured)
fml by Shaun Davifd Hutchinson (e-book)
Over You by Amy Reed (e-book)
The Elephant of Surprise by Brent Hartinger (e-book)
Absent by Katie Williams (e-book)



Shared from My Shelves
(books borrowed by friends)
Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (book and movie)
From What I Remember by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas
Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway  

(links to review)
Close Enough to Touch by Victoria Dahl
Eve and Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate
The Obvious Game by Rita Arens
Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt
 Being Henry David by Cal Armistead
Blaze (Or, Love in the Time of Supervillians) by Laurie Boyle Crompton

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Auto-Buy Authors

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 (OK, 11) Authors On My Auto-Buy List

Many of these authors' books appear on my top ten lists time and time again. I mean it wouldn't be a complete top ten without an appearance from Megan McCafferty. These authors are not only on my auto-buy list, I recommend their books more than any other author, and I share their books from my shelves as often as possible.

1. Megan McCafferty

2. Mindi Scott

 3. Lisa Schroeder

4. Ellen Hopkins

5. Gayle Forman

6. Laura Wiess

7. David Levithan

8. Jennifer Echols

9. Sarah Dessen

10. Denise Jaden

11. Lauren Oliver

Monday, February 25, 2013

Book Club Discussion: Eve and Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate

Provisions and Paperbacks, my IRL book club, recently read Eve and Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate. As I said in my previous post (you can read it here), I want to share some thoughts and ideas brought up during the book club and bring my blog readers into the discussion.

Not yet, but there will be spoilers. You have been warned.

Eve and Adam  
by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate
Published October 2, 2012

And girl created boy…

In the beginning, there was an apple—

And then there was a car crash, a horrible injury, and a hospital. But before Evening Spiker’s head clears a strange boy named Solo is rushing her to her mother’s research facility. There, under the best care available, Eve is left alone to heal.

Just when Eve thinks she will die—not from her injuries, but from boredom—her mother gives her a special project: Create the perfect boy.

Using an amazingly detailed simulation, Eve starts building a boy from the ground up. Eve is creating Adam. And he will be just perfect... won’t he?

There will be spoilers. You have been warned.

Here are some thoughts shared during our book club discussion after reading Eve and Adam:
  • Eve and Adam didn't receive much love from the book clubbers. It wasn't a complete disappointment but it wasn't as thrilling as some anticipated. The book clubber who selected Eve and Adam was expecting something along the lines of Cinder - cyborgs, more science-fiction and more action.
  • I was pleased that it wasn't as emotionally draining as The Adoration of Jenna Fox. Eve and Adam could have gone that way, but didn't. After reading it, I found that it was intended to be more of a romantic comedy. There were moments of comedy which I thought helped keep the story interesting.
  • The names were significant. Evening, aka E.V., but only Solo called her "Eve". Solo was set in his plan to expose the research facility, but once he finally met Eve, he wasn't so sure. She wasn't his temptation, but she was his persuasion. (Is there a difference?) Adam - obvious, he was the first (but was he). And Solo - the only one. 
  • There was a character who we all loved to hate - Maddox - he was a total loser and cheered for him to die (because we're mean and heartless like that) and he wasn't even the real villain of the story. He just kept making dumb decisions and put the life of E.V.'s friend, Aislinn, in danger.
  • There is a huge disconnect between E.V. and her mother and you easily accept that she is as evil as Solo is convinced she is. She's cold and calculating and all business. You never doubt that she is the evil person (until you learn that she isn't).
  • We wanted to know more about the history of the parents (E.V.'s and Solo's) - they were all in business together - scientists, but we wanted to know the specifics of conversations, arguments, and wished for an eye-witness account of what happened on the night of the terrible car crash. 
  • The story starts out with Eve texting on her phone, not paying attention, and she walks out in front of a car and is hit. This is pretty tragic (I mean her leg was broken off) but not much else is said about the specifics of the accident after it happened.    
  • Aislinn's quick turn-around of emotions from being very forward (with Solo) to turning into the shyest girl ever (with Adam) seemed too abrupt and out of character. What was it about Adam that made her bashful?
  • Once the "Big Reveal" happened, I was so afraid the Solo was going to be a creation just like Adam was. I was relieved to learn that he wasn't, but you never were too sure once your find out what the research facility was all about.
  • AND speaking of the big reveal - one of my biggest pet peeves is when the villain explains his intentions and all of the plans and talks about how he did everything and why. I want the characters to discover IT ALL. 
  • Eve and Adam ends with many things left unresolved and could potentially be a sequel, but it probably isn't a story that we would continue reading for book club. Instead we created our own story lines of what happened next. 
  • While it wasn't a much loved selection, it was fun to talk about.
       Goodreads * Amazon * IndieBound

I'd like to invite anyone to join in on the discussion and share your thoughts on Eve and Adam!! Just leave your thoughts in the comments! Thanks

Up next for Provisions and Paperbacks

Friday, February 22, 2013

Love My Indie with Author Laurie Boyle Crompton

It's Love My Indie: Comic Book Edition!!

Love My Indie is a feature where fellow bloggers, readers, and authors 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.

Showing some Indie Love today is:
Laurie Boyle Crompton
author of Blaze (Or, Love in the Time of Supervillians)

  Hope you don’t mind but I’m going to cheat a bit and write about my favorite comic book store today. Midtown Comics in NYC is absolutely the best place for a geek like me to spend time browsing around. There are a few locations around the city, but the one I like the best is the one that’s on 40th Street and 7th Avenue with superheroes in the big purple windows and the giant white Spiderman sign on the corner of Times Square. I grew up in the country but feel so lucky that I live close to the city now. When I walk into Times Square I feel like I’m entering another world and I love the fact that Spiderman is sitting right there on the corner of 7th watching over the crowd where he belongs. 

Laurie at Midtown Comics

The original comic book collection that helped inspire Blaze’s story belongs to my stepfather who lives with my mum in Butler, PA. the town where I grew up. Since I live 400 miles away in New York I wasn’t always able to access that collection while writing Blaze’s story. Midtown Comics really saved my butt a few times when I needed to do some quick research! It seemed like no matter which issue of what series I needed it was always available and I hit their Ghost Rider collection pretty hard without coming close to making a dent. They have two whole floors packed with comics and the stairwell is watched over by authentically dressed superhero mannequins. They also have lots of cool tee shirts and memorabilia and a thing called ‘the great wall of action figures’ which is every bit as cool as that sounds. Seriously, the place is full of awesome. Not to mention they have a great staff ready to talk comics at a moment’s notice. You probably don’t even need to be a comic book geek when you walk in there - if you spend enough time you’ll be one when you walk out. 
Thank you Laurie for sharing your favorite comic book store. It sounds like a comic book lover's dream. The next time I am in NYC, I'll have to stop in and see what it is all about. I'll make sure to allow for a long visit because it sounds overwhelming and I want to see it all!
Laurie Boyle Crompton is the author of Blaze (Or, Love in the Time of Supervillians) published by Sourcebooks Fire and is available now. You can read my review HERE.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Review: Blaze (Or Love in the Time of Supervillains) by Laurie Boyle Crompton

Blaze (Or Love in the Time of Supervillains)
by Laurie Boyle Crompton
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: February 1, 2013
Pages: 309
Source: ARC provided by Author and 
           Purchased Copy

(from Goodreads)

Blaze is tired of spending her life on the sidelines, drawing comics and feeling invisible. She's desperate for soccer star Mark to notice her. And when her BFF texts Mark a photo of Blaze in sexy lingerie, it definitely gets his attention. After a hot date in the back of her minivan, Blaze is flying high, but suddenly Mark's feelings seem to have been blasted by a freeze-ray gun, and he dumps her. Blaze gets her revenge by posting a comic strip featuring uber-villain Mark the Shark. Mark then retaliates by posting her "sext" photo, and, overnight, Blaze goes from Super Virgin Girl to Super Slut. That life on the sidelines is looking pretty good right about now...

My Thoughts

I've been excited about reading this book since I first found out about in February 2012 when it was originally titled Fangirl. I had to wait almost a year for it, but it was definitely worth the wait and totally met and exceeded any expectations that I had. I am a complete and total fangirl of Blaze the book and Blaze the character, pun intended!

Blaze is the seemingly average girl who spends her days toting around her younger brother, playing soccer mom, wishing she spent more time with her friends, and trying to catch the eye of her latest crush. She has a passion for comics and drawing - creating her own superheroes with powers.  

What I love most about Blaze is how funny and sarcastic she is. She gives her younger brother and his friends a run for their money. The scenes of her driving them around in the minivan, not so lovingly nicknamed Superturd, are some of the most hilarious, laugh-out-loud moments of the book. 

Blaze does eventually catch the eye of her crush, Mark, and then things go farther than she ever imagined. In the middle of their make-out session, Mark asks her if she wants to stop and she says no. Blaze thinks to herself,
"Except that I don't think I entirely understand what answering no means. Or, more to the point, I don't know what I've said yes to . . ." (pg. 132)
I thought it was pretty realistic how Crompton dealt with Blaze's first sexual experience - sometimes it sort of does just happen. It wasn't unwanted or aggressive, instead just rushed, and awkward, and not what she imagined it was supposed to be like.

When Mark isn't the dream boy who Blaze thought he was and finds out that she is just one of the many girls in a long line of love-them and leave-them, she gets revenge in the best way she knows how - through comics. She creates her own comic - The Blazing Goddess vs. Mark the Shark which she posts online. While this seems like a great idea because she's telling her story and getting her aggression out, you just know it's going to end badly. As I read it, I kept thinking -have you forgotten about the half-naked photo Mark has if you?! It's moments like this - when I am talking to the characters - that made me love this story and the character so much.

I cannot praise this book enough. It was fun and entertaining and while Crompton does address issues like gossip and bullying and the repercussions of "harmless" (as if there is such a thing) sexting, she doesn't beat you over the head with it. She weaves her ideas into a character you want to cheer for and gives us a story of how that character deals with it, learns from it, grows from it, and moves on. I can already tell this is a book that I will be recommending for some time, will read again and again, and share from my bookshelves as often as possible. I LOVED IT!!!!!

OH AND THE ART WORK - how could I forget to mention it?! Throughout the book, you get to see what Blaze is drawing and can see her story of The Blazing Goddess getting the best of Mark the Shark. The artwork wasn't included in the ARC, so I went and purchased a finished copy the weekend that it came out. It is FANTASTIC!!!!!
Disclaimer:  I received this ARC from the author in exchange for my honest review.  I was not compensated in any way other than the book provided. Quotes were taken from the Advanced Reading Copy and may differ from the final published version. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Thin Space

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

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

Thin Space
by Jody Casella
Published by Beyond Words/SimonPulse
Publication Date: September 10 , 2013

(from Goodreads)
 Ever since the car accident that killed his twin brother, Marshall Windsor has been consumed with guilt and crippled by secrets of that fateful night. He has only one chance to make amends, to right his wrongs and set things right. He must find a Thin Space—a mythical point where the barrier between this world and the next is thin enough for a person to step through to the other side.

But, when a new girl moves into the house next door, the same house Marsh is sure holds a thin space, she may be the key—or the unraveling of all his secrets.

As they get closer to finding a thin space—and closer to each other—Marsh must decide once and for all how far he’s willing to go to right the wrongs of the living…and the dead.

Why I'm Waiting:
  • 2013 Debut Author
  • story about character growth and redemption
  • mix of contemporary and paranormal (mythical)  
  • reminds me of a little bit of Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall - need I say more?



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