Thursday, September 30, 2010

Review for FIRELIGHT by Sophie Jordan


by Sophie Jordan

Details: Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 7th 2010 by Harper Teen

Placement in Pile: Reaching New Heights so close to Top Picks

Summary: With her rare ability to breathe fire, Jacinda is special even among the draki—the descendants of dragons who can shift between human and dragon forms. But when Jacinda’s rebelliousness leads her family to flee into the human world, she struggles to adapt, even as her draki spirit fades. The one thing that revives it is Will, whose family hunts her kind. Jacinda can’t resist getting closer to him, even though she knows she’s risking not only her life but the draki’s most closely guarded secret.

Review: I really enjoyed this book a lot. I was so close to giving it a Top Picks rating. There were just a few little writing details and some reptition that got a little old that kept me from it. This was such an interesting world that Sophie has created, and I love the history and world of the Draki's. The chemistry between Jacinda and Will is intense and awesome. The writing is very well done, you can feel the dryness and lifelessness of the desert right with Jacinda, along with the desperation she feels. I would highly recommend this book. I just have one question: when does the next one come out?! The ending leaves you hanging, that's for sure.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I just wanted to say THANK YOU to all of our wonderful readers old and new! This month alone we have gained nearly 40 new followers! I think that is a record for us. 180 is a great way to end our Blogiversary month!

Please remember to enter our contest and look for one more contest next week! We <3 our readers!


Beautiful Darkness
by Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl

Details: Hardcover, 512 pages

Published October 12th 2010 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Placement in Pile:
Top of the Stack!

Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen.

Sometimes life-ending.
Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.

Garcia and Stohl have done it again. There is something so intoxicating about Ethan and Lena's impossible relationship that I can't seem to get enough. The rollercoaster of emotion-tugging events start from page one. And it's so beautifully crafted in prose so potent your heart will hurt just as Ethan's does. Because believe me, this book tries that boy's character time and time again. Before the end of the first chapter I felt my heart bleeding for Ethan. To me, that’s literary magic.

It's not often that I re-read any book, but after finishing Beautiful Darkness, I wanted to go back and get more when there wasn't more to get. Beautiful Darkness hasn't even come out and I'm dying for the next in the series.

So, is that good way to critique a book? If I'm lusting for more than does it make the book an excellent read? I say, you bet!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Review EVERNIGHT by Claudia Gray

by Claudia Gray
Published June 1st 2008 by HarperTeen
Hardcover, 327 pages

Source: Library

Placement in the Pile: Reaching New Heights (with reservations)

Bianca wants to escape.

She's been uprooted from her small hometown and enrolled at Evernight Academy, an eerie Gothic boarding school where the students are somehow too perfect: smart, sleek, and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn't fit in.

Then she meets Lucas. He's not the "Evernight type" either, and he likes it that way. Lucas ignores the rules, stands up to the snobs, and warns Bianca to be careful—even when it comes to caring about him.

"I couldn't stand it if they took it out on you," he tells Bianca, "and eventually they would."

But the connection between Bianca and Lucas can't be denied. Bianca will risk anything to be with Lucas, but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart . . . and to make Bianca question everything she's ever believed.

I read this book quite a while ago, and I realized just yesterday that I never reviewed it! So since it's vampire month, let's go back and review it shall we?

I thought this book was pretty great. Bianca is a character that you feel for and you feel the tension in the school situation etc. Her romance with Lucas is pretty darn great too, but it isn't the only reason to read the book for those of you who aren't huge romance fans. I like the vampire legends and theories here. It made for a great read. This book was screaming "give me a Top Picks mark!"

The problem? It isn't until nearly page 200 of this 300 page book that the main character is honest with you. The rest of the time Bianca has known something about herself, her parents, the academy etc. that the narration of the book from her perspective hides and talks about as if it's a big mystery. This is a HUGE problem for me. It makes Bianca an unreliable narrator, because if she is witholding something on purpose she is not just lying to the reader, she is lying to to herself.

Honestly, if the plot weren't interesting I would have closed the book then and there. As a reader I felt like I had been cheated and that this hiding the facts was just a ploy to create stronger tension in Bianca's life. Really, if she had been honest from the beginning I think it would have been a better book.

That being said, the last 100 pages were so good that it redeemed it for me some, thus the Reaching New Heights status. Cause I was honestly tempted to give it a very low score because of this misleading. In the end I wanted to read more about these characters, knowing that Bianca couldn't hide info from us like that again...right? So I read on.

So give this one a try. Be aware of this issue with the narration and just go along for the ride.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Blogiversary Giveaway #4 - Vampire Pack!

Sorry it has taken me so long to get this up. A new week, a new outlook on life, I hope you all are having a good renewing Monday!

This week we will be featuring our Vampire Pack! Just in time to receive and read in October and get ready for Halloween! There are SO many great Vampire books out there! This is a set of books I was sent, some I have read, some I really want to, but haven't had time. So for all you vampire lovers here it is!

THE VAN ALEN LEGACY by Melissa De La Cruz - Hardcover
HEARTS AT STAKE by Alyxandra Harvey - Paperback
LITTLE VAMPIRE WOMEN by Louisa May Alcott and Lynn Messina - Paperback ARC
LOVE SUCKS! by Melissa Fancis - Paperback
BLOOD SONG by Cat Adams - Paperback, signed
SIREN SONG by Cat Adams - Paperback
LOVE BITES (A Vampire Kisses Novel) by Ellen Schreiber - Hardcover
STARGAZER by Claudia Gray - Paperback (review coming)
HOURGLASS by Claudia Gray - Hardcover

A REVAMPED by Lucienne Diver tote bag!
2 Julie Berry Bookmarks
10 SPLURCH ACADEMY FOR DISRUPTIVE BOYS by Julie Berry fake tattoos
3 each of BONES OF FAERIE and THIEF EYES by Janni Lee Simner postcards
2 My Pile of Books Business Cards
A Harry Potter brand Blood Pop lollipop

This contest is open until Monday Oct. 4th. 11:59 PM EST. Open to US and Canada mailing addresses.

A special thanks to Lucienne Diver, Julie Berry, and Janni Lee Simner for providing materials specifically for the giveaway!

Just fill out the info below! Enjoy!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Review for THE ETERNAL ONES by Kirsten Miller

by Kirsten Miller
Details: Hardcover, 416 pages
Published August 10th 2010 by Razorbill

Placement In Pile: Reaching New Heights

Summary: What if love refused to die? Haven Moore can’t control her visions of a past with a boy called Ethan, and a life in New York that ended in fiery tragedy. In our present, she designs beautiful dresses for her classmates with her best friend Beau. Dressmaking keeps her sane, since she lives with her widowed and heartbroken mother in her tyrannical grandmother’s house in Snope City, a tiny town in Tennessee. Then an impossible group of coincidences conspire to force her to flee to New York, to discover who she is, and who she was. In New York, Haven meets Iain Morrow and is swept into an epic love affair that feels both deeply fated and terribly dangerous. Iain is suspected of murdering a rock star and Haven wonders, could he have murdered her in a past life? She visits the Ouroboros Society and discovers a murky world of reincarnation that stretches across millennia. Haven must discover the secrets hidden in her past lives, and loves¸ before all is lost and the cycle begins again.

Review: I've read a few "reincarnation" books recently, and this one was one of the better ones. The characters were so realistic and interesting. Even though she didn't even "meet" Iain for over a hundred pages into the book, I was still interested in it and wanted to keep going. I loved her best friend Beau, and the whole town of Snope City was so real. There were some fun and interesting twists and turns, and the plot was pretty intense at times. My only complaint about this book was that she kept changing her mind every couple of pages it seemed like, and it got really annoying after a while. "I love him, he's perfect for me, etc. etc" to "I don't trust him, I'm never going to talk to him again, etc. etc." one paragraph later, then back again. I would have liked to see less of that. Overall though, it was an interesting and good read, and one that I would recommend.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Hey all. Just wanted you to know that I have not forgotten about you! I am dealing with some personal issues right now and things have just been crazy the last few days.

I will try to find time tomorrow afternoon to post the new giveaway, and don't worry, you will still have a full week to enter, it just pushes the schedule back some.

In the meantime my co-bloggers have been doing lots of reading and they will be bringing you some reviews soon!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Winner of Princess Pack!

Thanks again to everyone who entered our Princess Pack! This was a great giveaway. Later today the next giveaway will be announced, and I think it will be one that you all love! On to the winner, thanks to the random number generator!

The winner of the Princess Pack is:

The Library Lurker!

This time is a bit different, how about you send me on here in the comments or in e-mail your favorite candy bar and that is the chocolate I will include for ya okay? An, e-mail will be sent when the package is on it's way!

Thanks again to everyone who entered! We love all of our readers!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Review SECONDHAND CHARM by Julie Berry

by Julie Berry
To Be Published October 12th 2010 by Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Hardcover, 352 pages

Source: ARC provided by Author

Placement in the Pile: Top Picks

In a secluded village, magic sparkles on the edges of the forest. There, a young girl named Evie possesses unusually strong powers as a healer. A gypsy's charms—no more than trinkets when worn by others—are remarkably potent when Evie ties them around her neck. Her talents, and charms, have not escaped the notice of the shy stonemason's apprentice. But Evie wants more than a quiet village and the boy next-door. When the young king's carriage arrives one day, and his footman has fallen ill, Evie might just get her chance after all . . .

Many of you know I am a big fan of Julie Berry's first book THE AMARANTH ENCHANTMENT. So I was thrilled when she told me she was coming out with another fairy tale story for the YA market!

SECONDHAND CHARM certainly lives up to the magic of Julie's first novel. From the first page I was engrossed in this world and character's story. I honestly felt a bit like I was reading a Shannon Hale novel, and for me there could be no greater compliment in the fairy tale world.

Almost perfectly layerd, this story introduces each character at the perfect point in the story, each tid bit of information intricately woven in to lead to the climax. With a sweet romantic element, mystery, fantasy and a great cast Julie certainly has created a great new fairy tale.

Unlike with THE AMARANTH ENCHANTMENT, I am not sure where this story stemmed from, which gave it even more of an element of surprise. I look forward to asking Julie about that and letting you know.

Put this one on your list folks! It is a great one for all you fairy tale lovers! Julie will be going on tour for this book's release as well, so check her website HERE to see if she will be in your area!

And please remember you can win my signed ARC of this book along with a bunch of other princess and fairy tale retellings and loot through tonight in our Blogiversary Giveaway HERE!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Why do I ask you to share about the contests?

It is common practice among bloggers to ask their followers to share about thier blog and giveaways! But Why?

Well really, to be honest, it is a hope and desire that the blog will get more readers.

Why does that matter? Well, it shouldn't. I should not care if anyone reads what I have to say, but I do. I don't think anyone writes reviews and puts them out there isn't just a tiny bit excited about the idea of becoming someone important and valuable to their readers.

Every time I see that followers number go up, even by one, I feel loved.

But there are less selfish reasons too: I think these giveaways ROCK and I have put a lot of time and effort into trying to get them going for you. So I hope many, many people will find them and enter. Because I really do want to share my love of books with everyone I know!

So please go to our current "Princess Pack" giveaway HERE and share it on your blogs if you can! Yes, I am begging for you to tell people to love me, but hey you and your friends could win some really cool stuff in the process!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


by Diana Peterfruend

Hardcover, 400 pages

Published September 28th 2010 by HarperTeen

Placement in Pile:
Middle of the Stack

Now a fully trained unicorn hunter, Astrid Llewelyn is learning that she can’t solve all her problems with a bow and arrow. Her boyfriend has left Rome, the Cloisters is in dire financial straits, her best friend’s powers are mysteriously disintegrating, and her hope of becoming a scientist seems to be nothing but an impossible dream.

So when she’s given the opportunity to leave the Cloisters and use her skills as part of a scientific quest to discover the Remedy, Astrid leaps at the chance. Finally, she can have exactly what she wants—or can she? At Gordian headquarters deep in France, Astrid begins to question everything she had believed: her love for Giovanni, her loyalty to the Cloisters, and—most of all—her duty as a hunter. Should Astrid be saving the world from killer unicorns or saving unicorns from the world?

Review: Diana Peterfrueund's sequel to Rampant, a original novel idea about killer unicorns, is as fast-paced and intense as the first novel. That much, I enjoyed. Peterfreund writes strong characters stuck in situations that can only be described as a rock and a hard place. Thus, she has the making for an excellent novel. The more conflict the better, right? Unfortunately on this one, I think some of those conflicts played out in a way that did more damage than good. Instead of loving the strength and wit of the protagonist, I found myself thinking she's a complete idiot.
Honestly, I wrestled with liking and identifying with the protagonist, (Astrid) in the first novel (hm hm, lack of morals. Really, the girl was willing to lose her virginity in order to secure her date to prom. Can you say, slut much?) I'd hoped that the strong character she became toward the climax of the first novel would carry into the second. Instead I found a lack-luster character that can't seem to remember who she really loves, and what she should be doing. The novel left me wanting so much more from the character.
Is that a reason not to read the book at all? No way. There are so many other cool elements about this book that I LOVED! Killer Unicorns are enough to keep me turning the pages. And for that fresh idea, my hat is off to Ms. Peterfreund. So, go out and get this one.
You decide for yourself!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Blogiversary Giveaway #3 - Princess Pack!

This month has been so, so great! I have loved spoiling all of you with our giveaways! There are still 3 more packs (including this one) to win, so keep on entering!

This week is all about princess and fairy tales! I don't know what it is that I LOVE so much about fairy tales and fairy tale retellings, but they really are magical and applicable to all ages.

So for your giveaway and reading pleasure, the Princess Pack!

DEMON PRINCESS: REIGN CHECK by Michelle Rowen - Paperback ARC
HAWKSMAID by Kathryn Lasky - Paperback ARC
A KISS IN TIME by Alex Flinn - Hardcover
BLUE FIRE (The Healing Wars: Book 2) by Janice Hardy - Paperback ARC
ANASTASIA'S SECRET by Susanne Dunlap - Hardcover, signed
THE PRINCESS OF GLASS by Jessica Day George - Paperback, ARC
A GOLDEN WEB by Barbara Quick - Paperback, ARC
FOREST BORN by Shannon Hale - Paperback, ARC
SECONDHAND CHARM by Julie Berry - Paperback ARC, signed (I am reading this one right now, so I will review it soon!)

8 Splurch Academy for Disruptive Boys by Julie Berry fake tattoos
2 Julie Berry Bookmarks
2 Signed Jessica Day George bookmarks
3 each of Bones of Faerie and Thief Eyes by Janni Lee Simner postcards
1 MyPileOfBooks logo tote bag
1 bar of chocolate (not sure what kind yet...but every princess deserves chocolate!)

This contest is open until Tuesday September 21st, 11:59 PM EST. Just fill out the info below!

This is only open to US and Canada addresses. If you are international and have an address where you can receive stuff here you are welcome to enter.

Thank you to authors who contributed materials for this giveaway, Julie Berry, Jessica Day George and Janni Lee Simner.



The randomizer has spoken!

The winner of the Blogiversary Giveaway #2 - Real World Pack is:

Diane Owen!!!

Congrats Diane! Thank you to all of our entrants. We are very excited to announce our new giveaway tomorrow so stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Review THE GOLDEN SPIRAL by Lisa Mangum

by Lisa Mangum
Published May 10th 2010 by Shadow Mountain
Hardcover, 365 pages

Placement in the Pile: Reaching New Heights

His eyes. His touch. His kiss. Dante was unlike anyone Abby had ever met. Now he’s gone, and Abby will do anything to get him back…

The hourglass door has closed behind Dante, sending him back in time to hunt down Zo, Tony, and V. Abby knows that Dante, as a Master of Time, is the only one who can stop them from destroying time itself. She also knows that he will need her help. But almost immediately, things start to change and Abby’s worst fears are realized when Zo begins targeting her past specifically.

The bank is eroding, the barriers are thinning. And time is running out.

After the first book in this series, THE HOURGLASS DOOR, there were so many questions left out there. And I loved Dante and Abby's love story so much that I was aching for more.

The prologue was a bit confusing as it was in a completely different character's perspective than the first book, or the rest of this book for that matter. In the end I was able to appreciate it, but it was a hard way for me to get back into the story.

In the end I found this book much faster paced, in a good way. The action was constant, the mystery was constant and there were gripping moments that made me want more. The plot went in directions that I didn't expect at all, and that is a good thing! At the same time it still made sense in her world building, in fact I think it made some of the world building that wasn't so completely believable in the first book, make more sense.

My biggest complaint was for a good portion of the book Dante was trapped somewhere, so Abby was dealing with things mostly on her own. It took away the romance factor for much of the book. And that was something I loved about the first.

All in all this was a sequel that I almost liked more than the first. It is a series definitely worth reading and I can't wait for the next one!

Giveaway Reminder!

Today is the last day to enter our Blogiversary Giveaway - Real World Pack! So keep letting people know, keep entering!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Book Signing Report: Kiersten White

On Saturday I was able to go to a local book signing for Kiersten White! I was so excited she came to Utah since she doesn't live here. It is a rare treat to get non-Utah authors in Utah! And I think more of them should come cause we have a HUGE YA author fanbase here!

Anyway, it was fabulous Kiersten is so cute and funny!

For those of you who may not recognize it, Kiersten's debut book PARANORMALCY came out August 31, 2010. It's about Evie (pronounced eh-vie, one thing I learned at the signing. I called her ee-vie). Evie works for the IPCA - the International Paranormal Containment Agency. She thinks she is a normal girl with a special ability. When her world gets thrown upside down and she may not be as normal as she thought. It is funny, cute, witty with just enough romance to make you swoon. Seriosuly buy it, read it, love it! If you want more info on PARANORMALCY check out our review here.

Kiersten had a great turn out! So many authors and friends. I LOVE going to events here in Utah the atmosphere is amazing! She was given this amazing quilt which won her contest on her blog. It has "Easton Heights", the cover, Mr. Tasy, so many great things, it was beautiful!

Kiersten then told us a bit about her publishing story. I love hearing these, each author has such a unique experience!

PARANORMALCY is Kiersten's first published book, and she has been writing seriously for about 5 years. She said that was ever since she became a mom and really needed something that was just for her to keep her sane (I understand that!). The first book she wrote was middle grade. She said "I love middle grade! I 'm just really really really really really bad at writing them!" So she tried her hand at YA, and got her agent.

That first book sadly, didn't sell to editors (it happens more often than you'd think!) and one of her good friends encouraged her to write her own version of a vampire story, and here came Evie. Bagging and tagging a vampire that she could see past his glamour to his nasty corpse body. And from there Evie wouldn't get out of her head.

So Kiersten wrote that, edited it and sent it out and they had offers from several major publishing houses in 2 weeks!

These are my favorite parts of the author story, the success!

Then Kiersten read us from the chapter called "There's No Place Like Home" when Evie goes on a "bag and tag" mission and finds herself in a room full of vampires. I love this chapter! Kiersten was a great reader too. I love hearing the cadences of the text in the voice of the authors who wrote it. Magical.

Then Kiersten did some Q & A.

Q: What can you tell us about SUPERNATURALLY (book 2)?

A: (Answers are paraphrased from my notes) SUPERNATUALLY if finished and in edits. It will be out in the Fall 2011.

In SUPERNATURALLY we get a lot of what Evie thought she always wanted. And she realizes that what she wanted is hard and not as great as she thought it was. We also will see more of the fairy mythology and realms. There we learn more about Evie's past.

Also, SUPERNATURALLY brings in a new character named Jack, who Kiersten said is perhaps her favorite character she has ever written! (so that is exciting!) Someone of course then asked, is there going to be trouble with Lend? And in the end Kiersten had to say, well the problem with plot and books is if everything is happy, there is no story. But she also said she is NOT a fan of love triangles. So she won't do THAT to us.

Q: Is Evie's fascination with teenage culture a reflection on your own teenage experiences?

A: Well Evie's fascination with what she thinks is popular normal culture comes from television and teen magazines. She is trying to grasp at her idea of "normalcy". In HS I was against most popular things just for the sake of being different. I have since learned that the best way to be yourself is to like what you like whether or not other people like it. If you likes something that is popular that is okay! Like it, be you! It is okay to like things that other people like.

Q: What is your favorite Paranormal creature and why?

A: That is a good one. Lots of people ask me which Paranormal creature I would want to be, and my answer is really, none of them! But if we're just talking about my favorite in terms of who they are and researching them, I like traditional folklore creatures the most. Right now I'd have to say Hags. A close second is fossagrims or kelties. Pretty much I like the ones that hang around water and then lure people in and drown them. My Paranormal characters are pulled back away from the pop culture view of them and back to the more traditional creatures they originally were.
Lastly, I really liked this question.

Q: What do you read?

A: When I was younger I read anything fantasy adventure. The Red Wall Series was my favorite. When I became a teenager there weren't really any YA books out there. The genre wasn't big there weren't a lot of options like there are now. So I read a lot of high fantasy. Reading for me was an escape from my real world.

In High School I took myself far too seriously. I read things like Steinbeck only. I went on to do English in college and after the program I was done with literary fiction. There is a lot of great literary fiction out there but I was sick of it.

Now I read almost completely young adult, a lot of contemporary YA. And as I have said before I love a great Middle Grade book. I think they are the height of humor, creativity and story.

It was such a fabulous day! Kiersten was a pleasure to meet! I am so excited for SUPERNATURALLY and for her success! Congrats Kiersten!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

In My Mailbox (21)

As always, thanks to The Story Siren for hosting this meme.

This week I also just got one book. I have heard mixed things about it. First thing off the bat is it is college age. I know this is an age level that many authors have tried to write and publish stories about, but it wasn't working...are they YA, or adult? So many issues with this book I may have to give it a try.

by Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur
Published August 31st 2010 by Greenwillow Books
Hardcover, 320 pages

Freshman year at Harvard--glamorous parties, blossoming friendships, steamy romances, and scandalous secrets. Skip the campus tour and get right to the good stuff: classes are for scoping guys (and their Facebook profiles), not taking notes. The library is for study dates (the medieval history stacks get a lot of action), not studying. And success is a 4.0 GPA... plus getting into the most exclusive parties. How will Callie--a California girl with brains, beauty, and big dreams--and her three roommates survive?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Question: How do I feel about THE HUNGER GAMES Trilogy being marketed as YA?

Good question. Thank you snitch-n-stitch for asking it. My response was so long that I decided to just post about it. ;)

The reality is, Children's literature is not defined by content. It is defined by the age of the protagonists.

Sex, drugs, violence, abuse, etc. are all a-okay in the publishing world for YA literature.

In general you try to steer clear of the really heavy stuff for Middle Grade, but in YA anything goes.

That being said as the industry opinion is - it all depends!

I have read some really intense gripping YA books about some hard topics - namely abuse, anorexia, suicide, abortion, etc. and those books usually are the ones that affect me the most.

What I don't like is crass content, sexuality for the sake of baseness, lude comments/content and excessive expletives. In fact my favorite books about hard content are really clean books.

With THE HUNGER GAMES trilogy I have no problem with it being marketed as YA. Here are my reasons:

1) Although the content is violent by nature, it is written so well, and so beautifully that it isn't gory, but still makes you FEEL the content. It doesn't glorify violence, rather depicts it in a very sad and real way.

2) The protagonists really are YA age.

One thing I was told at a conference is chances are unless your book is a BIG hit like the HUNGER GAMES, your audience are those 2-3 years younger than your protagonist up until their age. If you're lucky you can go one year older.

So Katniss in book 1 is sixteen yes? So the audience is 13-17 year olds. Which is around 8th-12th graders. I think that is an appropriate age for all the content of the books.

3) In the end it is up to the individual reader and if a juvenile, their parents, of what content is appropriate for them to read.

4) I find it interesting that people argue that YA books aren't for YA kids, but what do we throw at them in schools? Adult novels with adult content. Is MACBETH any less bloody than HUNGER GAMES? What about LORD OF THE FLIES when Piggy is sacrificed by the other boys for vicious reasons? We shouldn't shy away from hard content with our kids, but rather talk to them about it.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Blogiversary Giveaway #2 - Real World Pack!

In the complete opposite direction of Paranormal, we now give you "real world".

Whether it's contemporary or historical fiction stories and books set in our world with characters that are true to life can affect us in amazing ways.

Could this story be true? Can I see myself in these characters? Why?

Here is the list of the "grab bag" per se. I hope you are excited about this one!

HOW TO (UN)CAGE A GIRL by Francesca Lia Block - Paperback
BEFORE I FALL by Lauren Oliver - Paperback ARC
TANGLED by Carolyn Mackler - Hardcover
THE MUSICIAN'S DAUGHTER by Susanne Dunlap - Hardover, signed! (my review of this book is on MyFavoriteAuthor)
SOVAY by Celia Rees - Hardcover
THE ACTOR AND THE HOUSEWIFE by Shannon Hale - Paperback ARC, signed
LOCO MOTIVE by Mary Daheim - Hardcover
SETH BAUMGARTNER'S LOVE MANIFESTO by Eric Luper - Hardcover (review to come)
BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS by Anna Godbersen - Paperback booklet containing the first 5 chapters
*And there might be one more book if I have time to read it first! ;)

8 Splurch Academy for Disruptive Boys by Julie Berry fake Tattoos
2 Julie Berry Bookmarks
2 each of Bones of Faerie and Thief Eyes by Janni Lee Simner postcards
A tote bag with our header image on it!

A special thanks to Janni Lee Simner, Julie Berry, and Susanne Dunlap for providing materials for the giveaway specifically!

This contest is open for US and Canada mailing addresses only. Open until Tuesday September 14, 11:59 PM EST. Just fill out the form below! Instead of making the questions mandatory this time, you get an entry for each question you answer.


The random number generator has spoken!

Dee @ Good Choice Reading!

I need to get your PARANORMALCY book signed on Saturday so it will be a little bit before I can send it! I will send you an e-mail when it is on it's way!

Thank you all to everyone who entered! This giveaway has generated lots of new followers. I hope you are all enjoying the blog! It seems like everyone likes the new background and layout!

I thought you would also be interested in the top responses for the question "What was your favorite paranormal book you read this year?"

Later today, we will announce our next awesome giveaway, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Giveaway Reminder!

Today is the last day to enter our Blogiversary Giveaway #1 - Paranormal Prize Pack!

Good luck!

Review MOCKINGJAY by Suzanne Collins

by Suzanne Collins
Published August 24th 2010 by Scholastic Press
Hardcover, 390 pages

Source: Purchased

Placement in the Pile: Top Picks

"My name is Katniss Everdeen. Why am I not dead? I should be dead."

Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.

*Non-spoilery, I promise!* I figure it's been long enough that most of you have read this already anyway, yes?

When I closed this last chapter in the Hunger Games trilogy, the only thing my brain could wrap around was, "WOW".

I could not put this book down. It was expected and yet unexpected in every way. That, I believe has been the genius of Suzanne Collins' writing - her ability to write something that the reader is fully engrossed in and believes, yet still being able to be one step ahead of us, and shock us.

One thing about this novel is it has a very different feel than the other two books that take place mostly in the "games". Here, we see Katniss a bit broken, a bit vulnerable and a bit lost trying to navigate her way in the real world. On top of that it has a much more military feel to the world than the other books did, and I found it much more violent and disturbing at places...but I don't think it should have been less shocking.

I of course had my issues with a few things. One character's end to their story in the books really didn't sit well with me, and felt like "a way out". Also one part that should have been arguably the most emotional part of the series in total, fell flat and was just a bit confusing until later on.

In the end. I was satisfied with how she ended it all, and I can't wait to hear what you have to say!

This is a series I will read and love for years to come.

What did you think? (Please warn people if your comments are going to contain specific spoilers rather than general statements.)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Review SEA by Heidi R, Kling

by Heidi R. Kling
Published June 10th 2010 by Putnam Juvenile
Hardcover, 336 pages

Source: Library

Placement: Reaching New Heights... barely.

Haunted by recurring nightmares since her mother’s disappearance over the Indian ocean three years before, fifteen-year old California girl Sienna Jones reluctantly travels with her psychiatrist father’s volunteer team to six-months post-tsunami Indonesia where she meets the scarred and soulful orphaned boy, Deni, who is more like Sea than anyone she has ever met.

She knows they can’t be together, so why can’t she stay away from him? And what about her old best friend-turned-suddenly-hot Spider who may or may not be waiting for her back home? And why won’t her dad tell her the truth about her mother’s plane crash? The farther she gets from home, the closer she comes to finding answers.

Review: I'm glad I read this book, and overall I really liked it a lot. Especially how it ended. I really thought it was an appropriate ending. The writing was heartfelt and the subject was a tough, emotional one.

There were parts of it that I didn't love that kept me from giving it a top picks rating, however it's definitely worth reading. And in case you don't know, this book is about tsunami's, not mermaids. In case anyone was confused by the title. I know one person who was when I started talking about it. ;)

P.S. once again this is a review from Guinevere (someday you will see her signature!)

AND - this is a repeat review on this blog if you don't remember that here is our link to ErinWrite's review. I figured, why not? We are all different readers and probably have different opinions!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

In My Mailbox (20)

Thanks to The Story Siren for hosting this each Sunday!

Things were slower this week, but that was just fine with me as I have had a few really good weeks in a row, and can't possibly get through them all without a break. But I was VERY happy to get this! My first book from Scholastic!

From the Publisher:
by Erin McCahan
Published June 1st 2010 by Arthur A. Levine Books
Hardcover, 272 pages

Seventeen-year-old Bronwen Oliver doesn't just want a family. She has one of those, and there's nothing terribly wrong with them apart from bickering grandparents, an image-obsessed mother and a brother she describes simply as Jesus. But there's no natural sense of connection between Bronwen and her family, leaving her with the belief -- and the hope -- that she was switched at birth, that she was never supposed to be Bronwen Oliver but someone else entirely.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Giveaway Reminder

Don't forget to check out and enter our HUGE Blogiversary Giveaway #1 - The Paranormal Pack!

It is open until Sept. 7th, 11:59 PM EST.

And for all you USA readers, have a great Labor Day weekend! Go buy some furniture on sale. ;) Maybe new couches to read all your books on?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Review THE FRENZY by Francesca Lia Block

by Francesca Lia Block
Published September 28th 2010 by HarperTeen
Hardcover, 272 pages

Placement in the Pile: Middle of the Stack

When she was thirteen, something terrifying and mysterious happened to Liv that she still does not understand, and now, four years later, her dark secret threatens to tear her apart from her family and her true love.

There is a lot of competition in the YA Paranormal romance genre, especially when it comes to werewolves. This was a little bit of a different take on the myth, but overall, it wasn't one of my favorites.

The first quarter of the book kept bouncing us back and forth between present time and flashbacks, which got confusing at times. Then the rest of the book was fairly good, but it felt like a lot of the tension was contrived by the MC refusing to ask questions or seeking out the answers, even though she knew where to find them, or willfully withholding information from the reader, just to force us to keep guessing. There were a few plot points that I thought were very interesting and would have liked expanded (but I don't want to be spoilery by saying which ones).

I did have some questions that were never answered that didn't make a lot of sense, too though. For example, why does her mom like to go hunting wolves? She's this perfectly put together woman who wears high heels around the house to "work her calf muscles" and we're supposed to just accept it as nothing strange that she would have her father take her up in a helicopter to go shoot down wolves on the snow, or go in the woods to go hunting. That didn't fit for me at all.

So, overall this was a fun and easy read, just not quite up to par with other YA paranormal books I've read. But give it a try yourself, maybe you'll like it better than I did.

*P.S. this one was e-mailed to me by Guinevere, who didn't have time to put it in the layout. So I'm posting it. ;)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

New Feature!

On the left hand side we now have buttons you can grab for your own blogs!

Thanks so much to all our readers new and old (well I should say former) for already making this month great!

Also, we hit 9,000 hits this morning! Woot!

And we just hit 150 followers this afternoon! Yay!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Blogiversary Giveaway #1 - Paranormal Pack!

Welcome to the world of awesomeness part 1!

Our first giveaway is our Paranormal Pack! Listed below are the contest of the giveaway. If we have reviewed the book it is a link, so you can see what you're getting. Just fill out the form below!

Open until Tuesday September 7, 2010 11:59 PM EST.

May the random number generator be with you!

PARANORMALCY by Kiersten White - ARC, I can get it signed on the 11th, so it will be signed
TATTOO by Jennifer Lynn Barnes - Paperback (I thought I had reviewed these...huh...can't find them though!)
FATE by Jennifer Lynn Barnes - Paperback
IMMORTAL by Gillian Shields - Hardcover
THE MARK by Jen Nadol - Hardcover
STUPID CUPID by Rhonda Stapleton - ARC
AS YOU WISH by Jackson Pearce - Paperback
A GOLDEN WEB by Barbara Quick - ARC
MAGIC UNDER GLASS by Jaclyn Dolamore - ARC
THE HOURGLASS DOOR by Lisa Mangum - Paperback, signed

Signed Dark Divine by Bree Despain Bookmark
Official Dark Divine Nail Polish
2 Julie Berry bookmarks
2 Bones of Faerie and 2 Thief Eyes both by Janni Lee Simner postcards

A big thanks to Janni Lee Simner, Julie Berry, Bree Despain and Lisa Mangum for sending me items for the giveaway specifically!

New Look, New Year, WooHoo!

Hi everyone! I am SO SO pleased to bring you our new blog look! I hope you take the time to look around our tabs, use the search feature and get to know each of us a little better on our "About" page.

About a month and a half ago we hit our 1 year Blogiversary! Around the same time we hit 100 followers! I am so excited that we have been blogging and sharing our love of books with you for a year! You have all been a big part of my life...more than you know.

Thank you readers!

And a special shout out thanks to the publicists, agents, and authors who provide material, interviews and most of all friendship! You seriously don't know how much you have changed my life!

To my co-bloggers - thank you thank you for helping me get through my pile of books, for not getting mad when I send you nudge e-mails about posting reviews and for being my friends. I love you both dearly.

To my hubby - thank you immensely for the blog design! Your artistic genius always baffles me. I give you a vision of "kind of like this, but not too much like that" and you create wonders! Thank you for letting me spend hours reading when I should be cleaning the house.

Enjoy the layout! Later today I will post the first of my giveaways, and we also have some buttons coming that you can grab for your own sites. This month is all about you, and how much we love you! Seriously, be prepared for awesomeness!

*P.S. There was an issue with the scroll bars on the left side on Internet Explorer, so for now they are down. When the hubby comes home from work we will work on it again!