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 ):
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.