Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Milestones Blog Tour: Contest


As some of y'all may have noticed, lately Samira Hodges has been making her way around the blog world to promote her new book Milestones (which I'm SUPER crazy excited to read by the way). Today is her last stop on her blog tour and we decided to end it BIG!

I'm hosting a contest for her. There are multiple ways to win and it should be tons of fun. Samira has made her way to 6 blogs not including my own and given some type of interview or guest blog. Those interviews reveal a lot about Samira and her new book. Have you been paying attention? If so this should be a snap. If not....well the interviews are still posted so you better get to reading.

I just realized y'all probably don't even know what's going on yet. So here goes....There's going to be a contest. It's going to be kind of like a scavender hunt. There will be 10 questions released today and one bonus question released Wednesday. There may be more questions later this week but ALL questions will be released here. The answers can be found at any of the stops from Samira's blog tour and/or her blog itself. Answers can be emailed to me. And each answer is worth a certain amount of points. The contest ends July 4th. Whoever has the most points in the end wins and I'll keep track of all that. Other ways to gain points? Follow my blog, follow Samira's blog, tag people with the handy dandy picture below, post the book trailer for Milestones, etc. Find out all the real details below in a much more organized fashion.

1. There will be 1o questions.- some multiple choice and some T/F and some just regular questions- and they'll all be released on the same day in one post (this one). (but I might release a few questions later on this week to add a challenge.)

2. Each question will range from easy to "hard" and will be given a certain value of points ranging from 1 pt to 5 pt depending on that.

3. Extra ways to get points

-tagging someone else with the button below-3 pts (just let me know who you tag by emailing me and letting me know. First person 3 pt. Each person after that is worth 1 pt each.

-Following my blog-4 pts

-Following Samira Armin Hodges blog-4 pts

-posting the book trailer (found on Samira's blog and YouTube) on your blog-3 pts

4. To answer the questions email me at readingisbliss@gmail.com with the question number in the subject line. (like Q1 or Q2. If there are multiple questions in one email put all the question #s in the subject line)(does that make sense)

5. Whoever has the most amount of points in the end of the hunt will when first prize of a signed copy of Milestones

6. Second place winner will receive a Milestone Tote Bag

7.The contest will run from the 30th to July 4th

8.All the answers can be found from the blog tour.

9. There will be one bonus question from Samira that will be released on Wednesday- worth 6pt

10. I'll keep track of everything on a spreadsheet and announce the winner July 4th

here are some links that might be useful:

The "tagged" picture:

My email: readingisbliss@gmail.com

All the links to the blog tour:
Girl From Florida
Shalonda's Blog
That Teen Can Blog
TheStory Siren
Presenting Lenore
Hope's Bookshelf


and now finally-the questions:

1.What is the name of the girl who tells Faye that she “whines a lot?” (3 pts)
D-None of the above, it was a boy named Benji

2.What is Samira’s dog's name? (2 pts)

3.How many summers has Faye attended Camp Milestone? (3 pts)
A-One, this is her first summer.
B-Two, she was here once before when she was younger.
C-Unsure, she has been going there as long as she can remember, unfortunately.
D-None, she doesn’t actually go to the camp she just sends letter back at forth to a camper that is there named Diane.

4.How old is Faye? (1 pt)

5.Faye is the most popular girl in school. (1 pt)
True or False

6.What is one of Samira’s favorite sports? (3 pts)
B-Basketball, she used to play

7.What character in Milestones is based off of a real person and who are they based off of? (4 pts)

8.True or False. Samira has attended summer camp before. (1 pt)

9.How many books are in the Milestones series? (2 pts)
A-This is the only one
B-It is a trilogy

10.Who is Faye’s love interest? (2 pts)
B-Chester, since before she even knew what love was.
C-Benji, since before she could read.
D-Cal, she met and fell in love with him at camp.

Follow Me: (4 pts)
Follow Samira (4 pts)
Post the Trailer (3 pts)
Tag someone (3 pts)
Tagging a second + persons (1 pt each)

Email me your answers and soon! Remember this contest only runs until July 4th which is THIS Saturday! Have fun!


Monday, June 29, 2009


By: Francine Prose
Release Date: June 16, 2009

Summary (from Amazon):
What really happened at the back of the bus?
Did they, or didn't they?
Did she, or didn't she?
Something happened to fourteen-year-old Maisie Willard—something involving her three friends, all boys. But their stories don't match, and the rumors spin out of control. Then other people get involved . . . the school, the parents, the lawyers. The incident at the back of the bus becomes the center of Maisie's life and the talk of the school, and, horribly, it becomes news. With just a few words and a touch, the kids and their community are changed forever.

Character Development: 7/10
Originality: 8/10
Plot/Storyline: 10/10

Ending: 8/10
Voice: 8/10
Recommendation: 9/10

Total Score: 50

Grade: A

Age Appropriate Rating:
Cussing: 3/10
Drugs, alcohol, etc.: 1/10
Sexual Content: 7/10

First Words I think of when I think of this novel:

Written Review:

This novel was really well written but at times felt stale. It has a very good flow and was very enjoyable. It hooked me from the beginning. TOUCH's theme centered around relationships but not necessarily dating relationships. More friendships. About losing them and how they can change over time. It has more family drama in it too than I would have expected. That's kind of how this whole "situation" in the novel came about. But mostly this is a novel about trust and how to manipulate it. Maisie learns to trust others but first she learns to trust herself. It does a lot of back and forth talk, like what's a lie versus what isn't and who's right and who's wrong. But really the hardest thing was figuring out what the reality was. What really happenned in the back of the bus.

The friendships are totally believable too. I wouldn't call the character development great for anyone but Maisie but the friendships were written to be believable and honest and left me feeling empathy for Maisie. This is a pretty emotional novel. It's not enough to make you cry, but true emotions do pass through these pages. It's very real. TOUCH is very intense and suspenseful. I finished it in about a day not just because it's a quick read but because I wanted to know for sure what really happened and how it would be resolved.

I wish I could have known the boys' perspective. As much as I love first person novels I think this one would have been better suited in third person so we can get a sense of how the boys felt about everything that happened. Other than that this was an awesome novel that made you question the truth with every sentence. Written with a great but typical teen voice TOUCH is a very original, intense, and powerful novel about the challenges of growing up.


O by the way look forward to a new and huge contest starting tomorrow! It should be really fun and I'm not the one sending out the prizes so you should actually get them at a decent time. Ha! It will finish off the blog tour for Samira Hodges you might have been seeing around here (it will help you if you've been keeping up. Hint Hint...) and I'm super excited.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I'm Back

I'm Back.
I got sick there.
I'm still kind of sick.
I need to rest.
In my own bed.

(I'll tell you more about the trip once I'm back to being my normal self)


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Why I'll be gone for a while

Well the time as finally come. I'm heading to Disney World and Universal Studios with my preciously sweet and too kind neighbors whom are extremely dear to me (I babysit for them but their so much more than employers) as of tomorrow morning (the 15th) at 6 AM.

I am extremely excited and nervous at the same time. This will be my first time on a plane and I'm already a worrier so going on a plane is making me 10x as nervous as I usually am. Please pray for me (IF you pray. I don't want to force my beliefs on you). I'd appreciate it greatly. I so believe in the power of prayer and maybe with just 1 extra person praying for me I'll have a very safe and successful trip. Thanks in advance for that.

Anyway I'll be gone until the 25th and then I'll get back way late. I'll have internet access from my iPod but that's not really enough to write full reviews. But it is enough to check and reply to emails and maybe give updates on my trip. So feel free to email me even if its just to say hi. That will make my day spectacular.

O and sorry I missed In My Mailbox these last few weeks. I don't have an excuse for the last 2 weeks but today and right now I'm still packing and I have to take a shower and rest and clean my room and get last minute things together so Idon't really have time. I barely have time for this post. But when I come back I'll have a gigantic post of a recap of my trip, the books I read there, the reviews to come, and the books I've gotten for the last (almost) 5 weeks.

To recap for anyone who doesn't want to read that long rant:
-I'll be gone from June 15th to June 25th in Disney World.
-It's my first plane ride and I'll be grateful for anyone who wants to pray that its a safe trip.
-I'll have access to email so please do email me.
-There won't be reviews until I'm back.
-I'll update everything as soon as I can (reviews, IMM, etc.) once I get back.

I guess that's all. I hope y'all are having a stupendous summer and are looking forward to an exciting next few weeks. I know I am!
Thanks so much and have an excellent day!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

For All You Inner Zombies (and people interested in fun contests)

Hello everybody! I've been asked by the ever so kind E. Van Lowe, author of the yet to be released "Never Slow Dance With A Zombie", to help him promote a new contest on his site. You can win a TON of awesome stuff including a signed ARC of "Never Slow Dance With A Zombie"!!! I have already received a copy of this book and it is as awesome as the title makes you think (which is WAY awesome by the way). All the specific details are below taken directly from his site. Participate. Enjoy. Bring out your inner zombie.

Friendship and love are in the air. And so are zombies! Let's celebrate by posting photos of you and your favorite zombie to the website... And if you are your favorite zombie, how about a photo of you and your non zombie best friend or boyfriend, or mother and daughter. Let's show off our Zombie Love this summer.

I will post as many photos as I can on the website. I hope we get a lot. The winners will be chosen by a guest panel (to be announced). Winners will be chosen weekly. The contest will run for three weeks, so there will be 3 winners--one each week.

Winners will receive a Never Slow Dance With A Zombie Swag-Bag. The bags will include a free autographed ARC of Never Slow Dance With A Zombie, a $20 Starbucks gift card (gotta have coffee to keep from falling asleep during the zombie invasion), some neat Zombie Love note cards, and other goodies.

The rules: 1) send photos (jpeg, mpeg or jif) to info@evanlowe.com with the words Photo Contest in the subject line.

2) Include your name and your friend's name as you'd like them to be posted with the photos.

3) Submit just one photo per day. You can submit everyday until the contest is over. (If I don't get at least 5 entries in a week, there will be no winner that week, and entries will roll into the following week. So tell all your friends).

4) I will post an many photos as I can depending in how many I receive. If I do not post your photo please do not get upset. Just send another.

5) Contest runs for three weeks, beginning Monday June 15th and ending Saturday July 4th.

6) Have fun! Comment on the photos you like. But no put-downs, please.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

20 Things in 20 Days: Clue #2

To celebrate the launch of Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler, I’m blogging clue #2 for the 20 Things in 20 Days Scavenger Hunt. Answer clues and challenges to earn points toward the 20 Things grand prize, including 6 signed books from 2009 debut authors! Get a clue... June 11th-30th at 20 Things in 20 Days!

Today’s clue:

In Twenty Boy Summer, best friends Anna and Frankie spend some time touring around San Francisco during their Zanzibar Bay vacation. For 20 Things clue #2, name 3 "real life" San Francisco attractions, places, or landmarks the girls visit. Email Sarah with your answers (don't respond in the comments or you'll give away the answers!). 2 points. Must get all 3 correct to earn points!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Slept Away

By: Julie Kraut

Release Date: May 26, 2009

First Thoughts upon finishing: The Perfect Summer Book!

Summary (from Amazon):

Laney Parker is a city girl through and through. For her, summertime means stepping out of her itchy gray school uniform and into a season of tanning at rooftop swimming pools, brunching at sidewalk cafes, and—as soon as the parents leave for the Hamptons—partying at her classmates’ apartments.But this summer Laney’s mother has other plans for Laney. It’s called Camp Timber Trails and rustic doesn’t even begin to describe the un-air-conditioned log cabin nightmare. Laney is way out of her element—the in-crowd is anything but cool, popularity seems to be determined by swimming skills, and the activities seem more like boot camp than summer camp.Splattered with tie dye fall out, stripped of her cell, and going through Diet Coke withdrawal, Laney is barely hanging on. Being declared the biggest loser of the bunk is one thing, but when she realizes her summer crush is untouchably uncrushable in the real world, she starts to wonder, can camp cool possibly translate to cool cool? Summer camp might just turn this city girl’s world upside down!

Character Development: 6/10
Originality: 5/10
Plot/Storyline: 8/10
Ending: 5/10
Voice: 9/10
Recommendation: 9/10
Total Score: 42
Grade: B

Age Appropriate Rating:
Cussing: 2/10
Drugs, Alcohol, Etc.: 3/10
Sexual Content: 1/10

Written Review:

I really loved Slept Away. It was cute and funny and everything a summer read should be. Laney was a hilarious main charachter. Almost every sentence was some joke about her newly transformed hippie mom or her best friends crappy boyfriend or the terror of summer camp. Laney was portrayed as the upper class, rich "never in nature girl" but it was done very well without Laney seeming too whiny and annoying. I really liked that as much of a growing experience camp was for her never once did her character's personality alter dramatically. She developed and matured at an appropriate pace instead of changing her whole self after a matter of weeks.

I enjoyed reading all of the letters and texts between Laney and her parents or her best friend Kennedy. It was our only outlet to what the other's thought of her experience at camp and the letters made Laney's personality really shine through. There is some romance that is very predictable and hinted at throughout most of the book but Laney's romance isn't put on center stage in this book. The main romance in the book is all about Laney helping Sylvie find a suitable boyfriend. But actually romance isn't the main thing in this book At All. It's more just humor about friendships, growth and the "evils" of camp (with romance on the side).

By the way to read this I suggest you have a decent knowledge of pop culture because a lot of times Laney references reality shows and the latest tabloid headlines to compare her feelings to. It wasn't a problem for me but I can see how it would be if you don't keep up with that stuff. Also slang, text speak, etc. might be helpful to know when reading this book.

I wasn't a huge fan of the ending only because I wanted more from it. I wanted to know what was going to happen when she got back to New York and how her friends would react to "version 2.0 Laney". The ending was okay but not very satisfying.

Overall I really enjoyed SLEPT AWAY. It's cute and summery and is perfect if you are looking for a light, summer fluff read with humor, pop culture, and a decent plot.

Castration Celebration

By: Jake Wizner
Release Date: May 26, 2009

Summary(from Barnes & Noble):
It’s High School Musical—rated R!When the girl who’s foresworn men meets the boy who’s devoted himself to picking up women, there’s bound to be drama—perfect for a sixweek summer program devoted to the arts. Olivia’s summer goal: to write a musical that censures men with wandering eyes. Max’s summer goal: to hone his acting skills, along with his talent for attracting the ladies. Before camp is over, they’ll perform Olivia’s musical onstage and in real life—though the ending may turn out differently than either expects.

Character Development: 6/10
Originality: 9/10
Plot/Storyline: 6/10
Ending: 7/10
Voice: 8/10
Recommendation: 5/10
Total Score: 41
Grade: B-

Age Appropriate Rating:
Cussing: 10/10
Drugs, alcohol, etc.: 8/10
Sexual Content: 20/10

Written Review:

This novel is WAY overly perverted. I guess that's obvious by the title but still. Every time there was an opening for an inappropriate comment or joke...or something....there was one. Actually every other sentence there was a rude joke. I'm very proud to not be a person who engages in behavior of this sort and so a percentage of the jokes went over my head. It was rather disgusting how much of a theme sex was in this novel. But as much as I'd like to say I hated it for that, I didn't. Besides the sexual jokes there were some little jokes and actual laugh out loud moments that made this book worth it. It was filled with humor and I couldn't put it down.

The characters contradicted themselves a lot. Like their descriptions would make you think they'd act one way in a situation but then the character seems to act completely different. But besides that the characters as a group were still written very well. They all had great chemistry that was evident from the beginning. The conversations and flirting and romance and friendships were written (almost) flawlessly to me. It takes a lot of effort to create characters that can really connect not just to the reader but to each other and I applaud any author that can do so.

There were many gross out moments in this book. Jake Wizner had a way of describing things graphically without being graphic about them (if that makes sense at all). Some of the songs or scenes in the play and even just scenes in the book made me feel super uncomfortable. I've read some raunchy stuff. I mean most young adult novels are that way now but CASTRATION CELEBRATION was taken to a new extreme. I could get past it though because this novel's purpose is a joke basically. Like the summary says' this is a High School Musical rated R. It's not meant to be polite or appropriate. It's meant to entertain and it clearly did that easily.

Overall I was entertained. It was a really quick read that is very lighthearted and funny. If you can look past the crude humor, there is an actual story and its a sweet (but again crude) romance that is plenty humorous and enjoyable. It flowed really well and though the characters weren't relatable to me (which if you've been reading this blog you know that's my key thing) their great chemistry made up for that. I recommend this book to any older and more mature teens looking for a good lighthearted laugh.


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Shrinking Violet

By: Danielle Joseph
Released: May 5, 2009

Summary (from Amazon):
High school senior Teresa Adams is so painfully shy that she dreads speaking to anyone in the hallways or getting called on in class. But in the privacy of her bedroom with her iPod in hand, she rocks out -- doing mock broadcasts for Miami's hottest FM radio station, which happens to be owned by her stepfather. When a slot opens up at The SLAM, Tere surprises herself by blossoming behind the mike into confident, sexy Sweet T -- and to everyone's shock, she's a hit! Even Gavin, the only guy in school who she dares to talk to, raves about the mysterious DJ's awesome taste in music. But when The SLAM announces a songwriting contest -- and a prom date with Sweet T is the grand prize -- Sweet T's dream could turn into Tere's worst nightmare....

Written Review:
I've been seeing a LOT of great reviews for this book and yes this book is good but to be honest SHRINKING VIOLET is definitly not a book that I fell in love with. At least not in the beginning.

It took me a while to get into. It just seemed to me that the intro period of the book lasted longer then it should have. Instead of about 50 pages to really build the characters with background info and life and such it lasted more like 150 pages. Which is totally OK. It just made the book a little slower but more in depth. Once the prom contest was in place the pace of the novel picked up and at THAT point I was hooked and couldn't put the book down.

The good news is that the very in depth introduction made the characters seem deeper too. Tere's personality was very sarcastic and witty. She was just very afraid to let others see that. I liked seeing Tere's character progress gradually to become a little more social and outgoing. Not much more (which is good because then it wouldn't be realistic to the story) but she did improve some at a pace that was really believable and on cue with how the rest of the story was playing out. (what I mean by "on cue with the rest of the story" is that her progress with Sweet T was helping her personality show through in real life so it made sense)

There was also romance (It was very subtle because obviously someone who is very shy isn't going to have the courage to talk to guys much at all let alone date them) but it was still there.

The ending was predictable but sweet and satisfying. Much like the whole book.

Overall I really did enjoy this book. It is a very cute and light read perfect for a lazy summer day.

Grade: B+

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Don't Judge A Girl By Her Cover

By: Ally Carter
Written Review:
(I put in bold the "subjects" of each paragraph so you can find what you want better if you don't want to read the whole thing. This format won't stay forever. I'm just busy with end of school year stuff. The normal format will be back soon. Along with regular reviews.)
(O and sorry but my paragraphs wouldn't space and the font won't stay the right size so I tried to separtate the paragraphs by color. O and sorry for the length of this review. I had a lot to say)
I want to be a Gallagher Girl. Really I do. Their lives are filled with action and adventure. That's why I love this series. Because I get to live vicariously through Cammie and her friends without actually having to be super smart and dangerous and brave.
This is my favorite series for so many reasons but the plot has to be one of the main ones. It's planned really well. Like really really really well. Once I finish the book and realize the (Awesome!) conclusion I almost always try to go back and reread the book catching all of the hidden clues that led up to the exciting ending. Most people might not have to do that. They can probably catch them in the beginning but that's one of the reasons I can't be a Gallagher Girl; my ability to catch clues and secrets and other very covert and spy-ie things is basically none.
I love how things connect from school to real life. Like her mini missions in class help discover things in the "real" mission that the story revolves around. It's also cool how the previous 2 books are still such a semi-big part in the current story.
Besides the great story there was great writing. It was told like Cammie was retelling the story in a (extremely) classified journal. So along with the feelings she felt at the time of the attack or lesson or friendship/family/boy drama we also get a sense of her feelings after she's had time to analyse the situation. The writing flows with a relatable voice (which to me makes ALL the difference) that doesn't stray from the character's roots. It is perfectly teen girl while not forgetting that this particular teen girl is also a well trained spy.
The characters were great too. They have all matured from the first book but at a reasonable pace so the changes weren't drastic. They were even made known several times by Cammie who would casually mention the changes in Macey's personality that occured since the first time she came to the Gallagher Academy.
I was excited that the missions were "real" this time. In the other books the missions were definitely just as descriptive and fantastic and frightening but knowing that this wasn't a class assignment, that this was something that totally changed the lives of Macey and Cammie, made the book that much better. New characters were thrown in and they blended into the scene perfectly with their own distict character. That's something I love about Ally Carter's books. Her characters are each given such a specific personality and I love them all.
O I almost forgot to mention Zach. He's back. He's still amazing. And the chemistry is still there. That's all I'll say on that.
Overall this book is sure to meet all you've come to expect from the Gallagher Girl series and more. It gets you hooked immediately with the action, adventure, suspense, drama, and all the other top secret Gallagher Girl goodness. I could go on forever but I'm afraid if I say much more I'll ruin it for those of you who are greatly awaiting this release. And for those of you who aren't.....well I don't know why you aren't waiting for this book. It's Amazing! But I assume its because you haven't read this series yet. I highly recommend you do.
sorry for my inactiveness. Summer's almost here. 2 more days. But now finals are here and studying needs to take top priority. That's why my outlined review is missing right now and why I've been missing for like 2 weeks or so. I'll be back soon. I promise.
O and thanks for following me. If you do. I can't believe I already have 40 followers. I adore each and every one of you for thinking my blog's special. It just makes me smile. So thanks for that.