Tuesday, November 23, 2010

You Are Not Here Review

Title: You Are Not Here
Samantha Schutz
Release Date:  
October 2010

Summary from Goodreads:Annaleah and Brian shared something special - Annaleah is sure of it. When they were together, they didn't need anyone else. It didn't matter that their relationship was secret. All that mattered was what they had with each other.
And then, out of nowhere, Brian dies. And while everyone else has their role in the grieving process, Annaleah finds herself living outside of it, unacknowledged and lonely. How can you recover from a loss that no one will let you have?

Outlined Review:
Character Development:  10/10pts
Originality: 6/10pts
Hookability: 10/10pts
Voice: 9/10pts
Recommendation: 10/10pts
Total Score: 45/50

Age Appropriate Rating:

Cussing:  3/10
Drugs, alcohol, etc.: 1/10
Sexual Content: 5/10
Violence/Disturbing Images: 2/10

Written Review:Verse novels aren’t my favorite. I want them to be. I really, really do. But for some reason I can never been able to get attached to a novel written in verse. Knowing this, when I saw the premise for YOU ARE NOT HERE, I knew immediately I wanted to read it, and I am so glad I did.
It was a novel written in verse, yet I still could not help myself from falling in love with it.  I cannot see it successfully written any other way. The raw emotions conveyed through the lines gave me such an insight into the grief AnnaLeah was feeling, the questions that were left unanswered, the need she felt to be wanted, to be loved, and the pain so large she couldn’t hide it as much as she tried.
As with anyone who has ever lost someone, I could easily sympathize with the shock of the death and AnnaLeah’s overwhelming sense of grief as she struggled to move on. Losing anyone is hard. Losing someone so young is ten times harder. YOU ARE NOT HERE captures perfectly the wide range of emotions that come with such a loss and weaves them effortlessly into a story of heartache, a story of struggle, and a story of moving on from the past when that’s all you seem to have left.
With beautiful prose, powerful imagery, and such strong, real feelings, YOU ARE NOT HERE is a quick read that will easily capture anyone who has ever experienced something as personal and tragic as death.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Giveaway for.....Low Red Moon

Low Red Moon
By: Ivy Devlin
Look for it in stores now!

About the Book:
The only thing Avery Hood can remember about the night her parents died is that she saw silver—deadly silver, moving inhumanly fast. As much as she wants to remember who killed them, she can't, and there's nothing left to do but try to piece her life back together. Then Avery meets the new boy in school—Ben, mysterious and beautiful, with whom she feels a connection like nothing she's ever experienced. Then she sees that sometimes his eyes flash silver. She also learns that she's not the only one who can't remember the night her parents died.

My Short and Sweet Thoughts:
Though this is a very quick and fast paced read, that did not take away from the sense of grief felt with each heavy word, the strong chemistry between Avery and Ben that can rival any other for best instant connection (and Ben by himself is pretty great too), and the mystery of the wolves, the woods, and the vicious murder of Avery’s parents.
Low Red Moon makes for an excellent paranormal debut.
A sequel is scheduled for early 2012


5 things readers would be surprised to know about you
1. I don't read much YA paranormal. In fact, I've never even read Twilight (I know, I'm awful!), though I did see the movie.
2. I talk to myself when I'm writing
3. I could eat potato chips all day!
4. I can wink my right eye, but not my left.
5. I love to watch TV, and I don't get it when other writers say it's bad. It's TV! I'm all for reading, but sometimes, you just have to kick back with your favorite show. Or try a new one...

4 things you wish you knew in high school
1. Your jerky boyfriend? Not going to change.
2. The guy you like? Go for it, and don't care what your friends say about how uncool/unpopular/etc. he is. He gets you, and that's what counts.
3. Your mother is wrong, and you do need to take typing so you can learn to type (Yep, I'm THAT old--I remember typewriters!)
4. Try to NOT party before the SATs.

3 things you are embarrassed to own/love/have done
1. I once talked my brother into riding his bike off our front porch (which was very high off the ground!) Luckily, he didn't get hurt, but to this day, he still teases me about it!
2. My habit of singing constantly. And badly.
3. Learn from me and please, *please* don't make out with the hot but total issue-filled guy you meet at a party when you're a freshman in college. When he's following you around six months later and putting cigarettes out in his hand so you'll talk to him, you'll wish you had a restraining order. And had thought things through before the making out.

2 careers you might have chosen if you weren't an author
1. Rich layabout
2. See 1.

1 thing you can't live without
1. My husband


5 words to describe your book
Steamy, intense, surprising, and pretty!

4 reasons you love writing YA

1. Because it's AWESOME!
2-4. See 1. :-)

3 reasons everyone should read your book

1. So I can write more about Ben and Avery!
2. It's really pretty!
3. I really want to write more about Ben and Avery!

2 YA books you adore
Two? Just two? Sorry, can't narrow it down like that!

1 tip for aspiring YA writers
Read everything you can get your hands on.


Enter Below to win your own copy of Ivy's debut!

Friday, September 17, 2010

An Interview with....Lauren Baratz-Logsted

The Twin's Daughter
By: Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Look for it in stores now!

About the book:
Lucy Sexton is stunned when a disheveled woman appears at the door one day…a woman who bears an uncanny resemblance to Lucy's own beautiful mother. It turns out the two women are identical twins, separated at birth, and raised in dramatically different circumstances. Lucy's mother quickly resolves to give her less fortunate sister the kind of life she has never known. And the transformation in Aunt Helen is indeed remarkable. But when Helen begins to imitate her sister in every way, even Lucy isn't sure at times which twin is which. Can Helen really be trusted, or does her sweet face mask a chilling agenda? Filled with shocking twists and turns, this is an engrossing gothic novel of betrayal, jealousy, and treacherous secrets that will keep you guessing to the very end.

My short and sweet thoughts:
Though slow at first, when this book does pick up it captures you fully. The mystery, the twists and turns, the Gothic-style, and the final, shocking and just a tad unsettling, conclusion, all make for one very suspenseful and very addicting novel that is very much worth checking out!

5 things readers would be surprised to know about you:
my lack of height,
my current hair color,
my recent sports obsession,
my indifferent housekeeping skills,
what I have on right this minute.

4 things you wish you knew in high school:
not to hurry time because once you’re a grownup you’re a grownup for good,
that two doughnuts as a mid-morning snack is not a good idea,
that my Sociology teacher was wrong and I would make it in the world,
that it’s not wise to wear a puffy ski jacket on a date in June no matter how good the reasoning for it.

3 things you are embarrassed to own/love/have done:
checking my Amazon rankings every day
and that thing above about the puffy ski jacket.
Sorry, I can only come up with two but as you can see, I don’t embarrass easy. That’s not to say I haven’t done plenty of embarrassing things.

2 careers you might have chosen if you weren't an author:
singer – HA! – or Mayor of Danbury.

1 thing you can't live without:
5 words to describe your book:

4 reasons you love writing YA:
the enthusiastic audience,
the fact that ideas can still be fresh,
the amazing bloggers,
feeling a part of the writing YA community.

3 reasons everyone should read your book:
because it’s different,
because it’s big (you’ll really get your money’s worth!),
because of Kit.

2 YA books you adore:
Freeze Frame, by Heidi Ayarbe:
King of the Screwups, by K.L. Going.

1 tip for aspiring YA writers:
read everything you can get your hands on.

be sure to check out THE TWIN'S DAUGHTER in stores now.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Review: The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June

Title: The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June
Author: Robin Benway
Release Date: August 2010

Summary (from www.goodreads.com ):
I hugged my sisters and they fit against my sides like two jigsaw pieces that would never fit anywhere else. I couldn’t imagine ever letting them go again, like releasing them would be to surrender the best parts of myself. 
Three sisters share a magical, unshakable bond in this witty high-concept novel from the critically acclaimed author of Audrey, Wait! Around the time of their parents’ divorce, sisters April, May, and June recover special powers from childhood—powers that come in handy navigating the hell that is high school. Powers that help them cope with the hardest year of their lives. But could they have a greater purpose? 
April, the oldest and a bit of a worrier, can see the future. Middle-child May can literally disappear. And baby June reads minds—everyone’s but her own. When April gets a vision of disaster, the girls come together to save the day and reconcile their strained family. They realize that no matter what happens, powers or no powers, they’ll always have each other. 
Because there’s one thing stronger than magic: sisterhood.

Character Development: 15/10pts
Plot: 10/10pts
Ending: 10/10pts
Writing: 15/10pts
Recommendation: 20/10pts
Total Score: 100/50
Grade: A++++

Age Appropriate Rating:
Cussing: 6/10
Drugs, alcohol, etc.: 2/10
Sexual Content: 5/10
Violence/Disturbing Images: 3/10

Written Review:
The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June is just that: Extraordinary.  I can’t get these characters out of my head and I can’t seem to properly formulate a review so bear with me as I try my best to not sound fan-girly. 
I had such high expectations for this book after falling in love with Benway’s first title, Audrey, Wait!, and this book surpassed every single one of them. Just like with Audrey, Wait!, this book has the characters I want as my best friends, the snappy dialogue that I only wish I could come up with, and to top it off, it was all so relatable and real even without the main storyline seeming relatable or real at all.  
Character development through dialogue is my absolute favorite. Character development through great, smart, witty, completely real and thought through without sounding staged dialogue is even better. The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June would fall into the “even better” category.
Not all authors can accomplish multiple POVs that stay fully separate to where the reader can easily visualize who’s talking without having to flip back to the first page of the new chapter. Yet in The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June, the alternating POVs seem to blend three absolutely individual voices together almost effortlessly. I loved all three of their unique personalities and still can’t figure out who I connected to more (April’s inner control freak and constantly stressed self? May’s sarcastic personality filled with all these things she couldn’t imagine expressing out loud? June’s want for so much but naivety about it all too? Maybe a huge mix of it all?), yet they all still came together to form the strong bond of sisterhood that anyone with a sister should be able to relate too.
Overall, whether it’s the guys and their awkward hotness or the story (because really could it get better than sisters with superpowers?? I strongly don’t think so) or the sister’s themselves, I found nothing less than extraordinary in The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June. The witty dialogue, authentic characters, and tons of heart, make for another win for Robin Benway. I can’t stress enough how much I’m looking forward to her future titles and I strongly suggest you pick up this one fast.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Contemps

The day you've been waiting for is finally here!!
Because today is the launch day of www.thecontemps.com

Be sure to check out this fabulous group of 21 authors who are focused on keeping it real.

Those 21 authors include....
  • April Henry
  • Brent Crawford
  • Courtney Summers
  • Daisy Whitney
  • Denise Jaden
  • Elizabeth Scott
  • Emily Wing Smith
  • Hannah Harrington
  • Jo Knowles
  • Kirsten Hubbard
  • Kody Keplinger
  • Kristen Tracy
  • Lindsey Leavitt
  • Lisa Schroeder
  • Melissa Walker
  • Michael Northrop
  • Micol Ostow
  • Mindi Scott
  • Sara Bennett Wealer
  • Sarah Darer Littman
  • Sarah Ockler
Doesn't that sound like a super group!!

So now that you know why today is the day you've been waiting for, be sure to check out thier site at http://www.thecontemps.com/ and also follow them on Twitter at http://twitter.com/YAContemps

O and one last thing, while you're at their site make sure to check out their "Get Involved" Page to find out how you can win all of their amazing books in the coming year!!!

I know I'm excited for all of this and can't wait to see what these awesome authors have in store!!



Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Plus Review

I wrote this a while ago and just found it again and realized I never posted it. So that's why there's no outlined review. I can't remember well enough to judge it fairly now. Anyways, enjoy the review and your last bits of summer. I do remember that this would make a great last book of summer read :)
Title: Plus
Author: Veronica Chamber
Release Date: August 2010

Summary (from www.amazon.com ):
Beatrice Wilson is our lovable Cinderella, who just got dumped by her very first boyfriend and put on twenty-five pounds. But then she’s discovered as a plus model. In the eyes of pop culture, Bee is Jessica Alba and then some! Now she must vanquish skinny rivals, fend off sleazy photogs, and banish jealous frenemies in her rise to superstardom. All the while, she’s torn between her first love and the surprisingly sincere up-and-coming rapper she tutors in calculus. But what’s better than finding your prince charming? Finally learning to love yourself!

Written Review:
Plus is a quick, light read with lots of character.
Bee’s voice was very fun and easy to get in to but at times she seemed a little too whiny and immature for a seventeen year old pre med at Columbia.  Her “perfect” boyfriend Brian made me want to punch him from the very first time he was introduced. He was a jerk of a guy and I really didn’t like Bee sometimes for not having the common sense to see that. I also didn’t like how she seemed to ditch her friends and alter her personality to be with him.  I really wanted to knock some sense into her and tell Brian to stop being such an awful jerk because every time she talked about him I immediately started to get annoyed with her too. And being annoyed at the main character isn’t a good way to connect with the book.
But even though Brian was such a jerk, their breakup could have been one of the best things to happen to Bee.  The funk he knocked her into inadvertently led to her superstardom as a plus size model. He is what led her to gain the 25 pounds that made her plus size and he is what led Bee to finding a best friend in Chela, another one of his exes. And Chela was the one to push her into her modeling career.
Even though I didn’t like Bee at all times, I really did like this book though.  It was very light and had a great summer feel to it. It also had a great self-image boosting message that not everyone that’s beautiful is paper thin. It had rivalries and friendships, jerky boys and a sweetheart ending, drama, scandal, self-doubt, self-confidence, and a great Cinderella story message. 
The one thing that really took away enjoyment while reading this book was constant repetition. Things we already knew were being introduced repeatedly as if we had no clue of who the character was or what the situation happened to be. But I will in no way hold that against this book because I have a very strong feeling that that will be corrected in time for the final copy which publishes this August.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

CSN Stores

Have y'all checked out CSN Stores yet?? I definitely recommend you do. They have over 200 stores that sell everything from a Bedroom Vanity to Houseware to Home Decor to Office Supplies to Shoes to to Bookshelves!

My entire room is being redone at this moment. As is our gameroom and both of my brothers' rooms. And my sister is currently in the process of moving out. So the timing of finding CSN Stores couldn't have been more perfect for my needs of new furniture for my new room and all the other new rooms in the house.

For me, I've been checking out everything from this desk

to this bookshelf

to tons of other awesome stuff to help make my room perfect!! Everytime I check back I find more and more items that would help complete my room.
I think you should start browsing their sites too....You'll be sure to find tons of things to add to your wish list too.

*Check back for a review of a CSN product soon*

Happy Summer :)


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Forget You Review

Title: Forget You

Author: Jennifer Echols

Release Date: July 2010

Summary (from www.goodreads.com ):

WHY CAN’T YOU CHOOSE WHAT YOU FORGET . . . AND WHAT YOU REMEMBER? There’s a lot Zoey would like to forget. Like how her father has knocked up his twenty-four- year old girlfriend. Like Zoey’s fear that the whole town will find out about her mom’s nervous breakdown. Like darkly handsome bad boy Doug taunting her at school. Feeling like her life is about to become a complete mess, Zoey fights back the only way she knows how, using her famous attention to detail to make sure she’s the perfect daughter, the perfect student, and the perfect girlfriend to ultra-popular football player Brandon. But then Zoey is in a car crash, and the next day there’s one thing she can’t remember at all—the entire night before. Did she go parking with Brandon, like she planned? And if so, why does it seem like Brandon is avoiding her? And why is Doug—of all people— suddenly acting as if something significant happened between the two of them? Zoey dimly remembers Doug pulling her from the wreck, but he keeps referring to what happened that night as if it was more, and it terrifies Zoey to admit how much is a blank to her. Controlled, meticulous Zoey is quickly losing her grip on the all-important details of her life—a life that seems strangely empty of Brandon, and strangely full of Doug.

Character Development: 10/10pts
Plot: 9/10pts
Ending: 10/10pts
Writing: 10/10pts
Recommendation: 10/10pts
Total Score: 47/50

Grade: A+

Age Appropriate Rating:
Cussing: 7/10
Drugs, alcohol, etc.: 4/10
Sexual Content: 9/10

Violence/Disturbing Images: 2/10

Written Review:
I really don’t know what to say to accurately describe my love for this book. My reviews are usually super long because I have so much but to share but for FORGET YOU no words can express what a wonderful read this was. I have tried to write this review so many times but I can’t figure out what to say so please bear with me here.

The emotions that it covered so realistically, the characters I knew so well, and the fabulous chemistry between Zoey and Doug all made me fall in love with another one of Jennifer Echols dramas.

The chemistry was probably the main thing actually. Doug might just be a new guy to add to your Hot Fiction Crushes list. He was this super hot bad boy who everyone admired from afar because no one wanted to get close to a kid from juvie. But Doug was really a sweetheart who had more depth than your typical bad boy. I loved every scene with Zoey and him in it. From the beginning when they couldn’t stand each other to the car wreck to the bus ride to everything else. It all felt so real and just made me smile.

But of course drama was there too. Both Zoey and Doug were facing some very difficult personal issues. Zoey was dealing with her parent’s divorce and her mom’s suicide attempt and her own memory loss. Doug was battling his father’s daily disapproval of him for not being brave enough, strong enough, or following his father’s dreams for him. All of these issues and how the characters reacted to them were portrayed with honesty and realism to where I could easily relate and sympathize with them.

I’m trying to write this review without sounding too fan-girly but I truly don’t have much to criticize. Zoey and Doug’s relationship developed realistically. They had fights. They were there for each other. They had awesome chemistry. They were in love. There was drama with friends and drama at home and relationship drama too. It even took place on the beach making it the perfect summer beach read. What more could you want?

Overall, FORGET YOU has chemistry, drama, a beautiful way of writing, and a story you won’t soon forget. Keep this one close to you whenever you need a good story of love and all the heartbreak that comes with it. I definitely recommend this book.



Monday, June 28, 2010

An Interview with Holly Schindler

An Interview with the lovely Holly Schindler, author of A BLUE SO DARK, in stores now!


5 things readers would be surprised to know about you:

1) I will never, never, never pierce my ears.

2) I’m completely blind—my vision’s 20/700!—and while I really do love my glasses these days (I chucked my contacts a few years ago), I’m rarely photographed wearing them.

3) My favorite non-writing gig was working as a model for a floral show—I wore a hideous blue bridesmaid’s dress, but I got to be with some super-cool florists whose bouquets were WAY artistic.

4) I far prefer vintage to new—costume jewelry, instruments, hats—anything that’s already lived a life or two before I acquired it.

5) I really, honestly think dandelions are beautiful.

4 things you wish you knew in high school:

1) Parallel parking never gets any easier. NEVER.

2) Anything in life is bearable if you just keep your sense of humor.

3) Latin will come in handy. Seriously.

4) Those notebooks I doodled poetry and character sketches in throughout high school would turn out to be INVALUABLE as I wrote that first YA novel. (If I could, I’d go back to high school and kiss me for keeping all those notebooks—really helped me reconnect with my teen voice. Might’ve written even MORE back then, if I’d had a way to see into the future…)

3 things you are embarrassed to own / love / have done.

1) Spiral perm, circa ’88.

2) When I was younger, I HATED wearing my glasses. Mom wanted me to be in high school before I started wearing contacts, so I used to pick out the most HIDEOUS frames on the planet, in order to try to guilt my mom into buying me contacts a few years early. Yeah. That didn’t work so well.

3) My brother and I used to make up stories and act them out on cassette tapes when we were kids…My mom has them all in a drawer. It was great fun, but think I might be kind of embarrassed to listen to myself play-act when I was so young…

2 careers you might have chosen if you weren’t an author:

1) Literature professor

2) Lawyer

1 thing you can’t live without:

Coffee, coffee, coffee…


5 words to describe your book:

Does art free or cripple? Okay—that’s vague. I’ll explain:

In A BLUE SO DARK, Aura Ambrose is terrified that her mother, a schizophrenic and an artist, is a mirror that reflects her own future. As the novel progresses, we find Aura struggling with her overwhelming desires to both chase artistic pursuits and keep madness at bay.

As her mother sinks deeper in the darkness of mental illness, the hunger for a creative outlet keeps drawing Aura toward the depths of her imagination—the shadows of make-believe that she finds frighteningly similar to her mother’s hallucinations.

Convinced that creative equals crazy, Aura shuns her art, and her life unravels in the process….

Essentially, for Aura, art and madness are inextricably linked. And there’s no denying that many of our great artists have been both creative AND mad…so, for her, the central question is, DOES ART FREE OR CRIPPLE?

4 reasons you love writing YA:

1) YA literature still respects plot, in a way a lot of literary adult fiction doesn’t.

2) I still feel seventeen—so close to my own teenage experiences.

3) YA encompasses SO many genres—it can be almost anything.

4) YA has the best fans going!

3 reasons everyone should read your book:

1) It’s lyrically written.

2) It’s brimming with realistic characters you will fall in love with and root for.

3) It’ll make you feel…well, everything. You’ll laugh and you’ll think and you’ll cry. I guarantee.

2 YA books you adore:

1 (contemporary) ELSEWHERE, Gabrielle Zevin

2 (classic) CATCHER IN THE RYE , JD Salinger

1 tip for aspiring YA writers:

Don’t take criticism personally, but don’t ignore it, either. Think of it the same way you would if you were, say, trying to fix your lawnmower. I mean, if you spent all afternoon working on it, and it STILL refused to start after you got it put back together, you wouldn’t think the lawnmower was attacking you personally, or telling you that you were stupid or completely inept, right? You’d just think you’d screwed up somewhere. Time to take it apart and start again—no biggie.

Same with a manuscript. Nobody gets it right the first time. And nobody’s born knowing how to write a novel. You learn by doing…and by listening. If an editor (or agent) has taken time out of his / her day to give you advice, that’s a real compliment. Listen. Internalize it. Revise accordingly. And be grateful that someone sees potential in your work!

Every writer gets there eventually…the only way you DON’T is by giving up


Thank you so much Holly for stopping by!

Be sure to check out her new novel A BLUE SO DARK in stores now!

And find out more about Holly and all her latest projects at www.hollyschindler.com

Happy Summer!


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Survey Time!

As I work to improve my blog, I would love to hear feedback from y'all so please follow the link below and take a short survey about how I can better this blog. It is completely anonymous unless you choose otherwise so please feel free to voice any opinions or criticisms you have (be that they are constructive and not just plain mean). I promise that I will try my hardest to implement every constructive comment into my blog the best way I can :)


Thanks for all the help and happy summer!


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lifted Review

Title: Lifted
Author: Wendy Toliver
Release Date: June 8, 2010

Summary (from www.barnesand noble.com) :

Being bad never felt so good.

Poppy Browne never stole anything in her life before moving to Pleasant Acres and meeting Mary Jane and Whitney. But when Poppy walks out of the mall with her two new friends and her first pair of stolen jeans, she's hooked.

Before long, Poppy is lifting whenever she gets the urge—it's never about the merchandise, it's always about the thrill. But when her secret gets out, Poppy's clique turns on each other. As she watches her life collapse around her, Poppy must decide where her loyalties lie...and how far she'll go to protect herself.

Outlined Review:
Character Development: 10/10
Originality: 9/10
Hookability: 9/10
Ending: 8/10
Voice: 8/10
Recommendation: 10/10
Total Score: 54
Grade: A

Age Appropriate Rating:
Cussing: 4/10
Drugs, alcohol, etc.: 1/10
Sexual Content: 4/10
Violence/Disturbing Images: 2/10

Written Review:

From the original and intriguing storyline to the insanely awesome chemistry between David and Poppy, from the friendship and family issues to the completely satisfying ending, from the questions it raises to the lesson it brings, there was definitely a lot to love about LIFTED. I read this whole 300 page book in two sittings. I just couldn’t stop.

Friendship was a main theme in this novel. Whitney and Mary Jane very quickly became Poppy’s best friends. I was wary of them from the beginning. Especially with Mary Jane’s ex-best friend Bridgette’s horror stories of Mary Jane’s bitter betrayal. But they did eventually grow on me. They were genuinely nice, popular girls who shared a very disturbing habit. But that habit heavily influenced Poppy and what started out as a little bit of peer pressure from them turned into a full blown addiction within a matter of weeks. The same people who Poppy needed to help pull her out of this mess pulled her in to it in the first place.

Poppy’s shoplifting addiction developed realistically and her thoughts appropriately became stronger as the addiction became harder to break. It was much easier to identify with Poppy seeing the habit develop from the simple start to the obsessive need that it became. She never liked herself for stealing. She knew it was wrong. She knew not to do it. But it’s a gray area between what makes a person ‘good’ and what makes a person ‘bad’. And sometimes making the right choice isn’t as easy as it should be.

Poppy was a great main character. The way her shoplifting habit affected her wasn’t lost on her either and she knew it needed to be stopped after each lift but the high was too much. The pressure she felt from her mother, the relief she felt when she lifted, and the inability to trust anyone with such a heavy burden were all issues she faced and voiced clearly. Her sense of humor and the way she connected with David was great too. He had such a charm about him that was a nice step back from the weightiness of Poppy’s habit.

The ending satisfied me though I can also see how some may view it as too happy for such a complex read. Consequences were doled out but relationships that almost seemed torn beyond repair were mended. And there was a somewhat happily ever after feel to the whole thing. I personally loved it though. I like books to end happy J

Another thing I loved (it was minor and maybe only related to me but still) was the tiny Texas Baptist town of Pleasant Acres. I do not live in a small Texas town but you can trace my roots back to one. One that may even be tinier than the one described in this book if you can imagine. But instead of the Baptist nature of Pleasant Acres, mine is a completely Catholic town with few of any other faith mixed in. How easy it was to gain information, the reputations you try to keep, the gossip that gets spread, the insults you can get away with as long as it is directly followed by or preceded with “bless her heart”, the faith driven community, the friendliness of the town, and overall the fact that almost every house has a porch swing, all reminded me of where my family is from and made that town seem so much more real and relatable to me which was nice. The main difference is I wouldn’t see our town as hick as Poppy made it seem to be in the very beginning. But who knows maybe it is and I just don’t know it?

With a topic that makes you think about the power of addiction, characters who make you question the lines between good people and bad choices, and writing that captures you and brings you deeper into the story with each page, LIFTED should be the next book you pick up. But please don’t steal it. (:



And the Winners are....

Thank you so much for your participation and Congrats to all the winners!
*Winners were found using http://www.randomnumbergenerator.com/*

of the copy of PURGE...
1. Pat Z.M.
2. Jessica L.
of the signed bookmarks...
1. Robby A.
2. Leslie G.
3. Mike J.
4. Melina C.
5. Beth M.

of the ARC of DECEPTION...

1.Erica H.

Thank you so much to all who entered! Your prizes should be on their way soon. Please email me at readingisbliss@gmail.com if you have any questions or concerns. Thanks again!

Monday, June 7, 2010

My Double Life Review

Title: My  Double Life
Author: Janette Rallison
Release Date: May 2010

Summary (from www.goodreads.com ):
Her whole life, Alexia Garcia has been told that she looks just like pop star Kari Kingsley, and one day when Alexia’s photo filters through the Internet, she’s offered a job to be Kari’s double. This would seem like the opportunity of a lifetime, but Alexia’s mother has always warned her against celebrities.

Rebelliously, Alexia flies off to L.A. and gets immersed in a celebrity life. Not only does she have to get used to getting anything she wants, she romances the hottest lead singer on the charts, and finds out that her own father is a singing legend. Through it all, Alexia must stay true to herself, which is hard to do when you are pretending to be somebody else!

Character Development: 10/10pts
Originality: 6/10pts
Plot/Story Line: 8/10pts
Ending: 10/10pts
Voice: 10/10pts
Recommendation: 10/10pts
Total Score: 54/60
Grade: A

Age Appropriate Rating:
Cussing: 1/10
Drugs, alcohol, etc.: 1/10
Sexual Content: 1/10
Violence/Disturbing Images: 0/10

Written Review:I LOVED this book! It was a fast read but it kept me hooked from the very first page.
Alexia’s voice was so funny in ways I didn’t expect. I laughed a lot through this entire book and I don’t even know exactly why. It just kept me entertained and turning pages with her so typical-teen-girl voice but with an added something that made me love her entire attitude and personality so so so much and not just see her as some cliched character.  She was someone I would want to be friends with!
The story was great too. It was just light-hearted enough to be a perfect summer read but it also had just the right amount of depth with the family issues and the completely adorable romance with Grant to make the otherwise shallow story a very enjoyable read.
Also, Alexia and Grant’s chemistry was undeniable and I loved every bit of it. I want a Grant just for me! He was just so perfect! I wish they had more page space but this wasn’t a romance driven novel so I understand why they didn’t.
I couldn’t have read a better book to not only get be out of my reviewing slump but to kick the summer off with!  I recommend everyone grab up this book as soon as you can! Then find a pool to lay out by and read while you tan! With a completely relatable main character, a great plot line for the season, and an adorable romance that makes you say aww, it won’t take more than one day to completely devour this book. Which means you’ll have plenty of time to jump in the pool and cool off after you finish J (Can y’all guys tell I’m loving summer right now?)
Thanks so much for bearing with me everyone as I worked through my slump. I’m back now though and I have plenty of time to read this summer so we should be back to an active blog now.
Also don’t forget about my TWO contests going on right now. Links are at the top of the page if you are interested in entering.
Love, Jil