Sunday, January 31, 2010

Winner of All Unquiet Things

The winner of All Unquiet Things is Denise!

Denise, I have emailed you, please respond with your mailing address and full name by Thursday February 4th to claim your book!

Thanks!

Fireworks over Toccoa by Jeffrey Stepakoff

Amazon.com:

Every so often that story comes along that reminds us of what it’s like to experience love for the first time—against the odds, when you least expect it, and with such passion that it completely changes you forever.

An unexpected discovery takes eighty-four-year-old Lily Davis Woodward to 1945, and the five days that forever changed her life. Married for only a week before her husband was sent to fight in WWII, Lily is anxious for his return, and the chance to begin their life together. In honor of the soldiers' homecoming, the small Georgia town of Toccoa plans a big celebration. And Jake Russo, a handsome Italian immigrant, also back from war, is responsible for the elaborate fireworks display the town commissioned. But after a chance encounter in a star-lit field, he steals Lily's heart and soul--and fulfills her in ways her socially-minded, upper-class family cannot. Now, torn by duty to society and her husband--and the poor, passionate man who might be her only true love--Lily must choose between a commitment she's already made and a love she’s never known before.

Fireworks Over Toccoa takes us to a moment in time that will resonate with readers long after the book’s unforgettable conclusion. A devastating and poignant story, this debut novel will resonate with anyone who believes in love.


This was promoted as in the spirit of Nicholas Sparks. I've never read one of his novels but had seen a few movie versions of his books so I thought why not. I'm also trying to expand my reading horizons so I thought this might open me up to a whole new type of story.

I rather liked Fireworks over Toccoa, it was a simple story spanning only a few days but also spanning decades, I love the idea of something in the present pulling you into the story and going back and learning what had happened all those years ago.

I like both Lily and Jake, Lily especially because we learn more about her. Her journey is very honest and true to heart. She goes for what she wants but also realizes her responsibilities, I think Stepakoff balances that line very well.

I tend to shy away from stories told in the past because they seem to revolve greatly around things I'm not so familiar with but I loved how Fireworks over Toccoa used the 1940s to accentuate Lily and Jake's story. It made it much more powerful to be in this certain time period with these certain values and expectations.

What I also liked about the book was it doesn't leave the reader hanging as to what happens, it's wrapped up all nicely with a bow at the end which sometimes is really nice to have and this book did just that!

Fireworks over Toccoa will be released on March 30th
Genre: Contemporary Romance
4/5 Stars
ARC provided by Amazon Vine

Saturday, January 30, 2010

This Week In Books Or No Subtitle This Week


Monday:

The Butcher and the Vegetarian by Tara Austen Weaver

Amazon Vine

Zombie Queen of Newbury High by Amanda Ashby
What Would Emma Do? by Eileen Cook

Beautiful by Amy Reed

You, Maybe by Rachel Vail
Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender

Are U 4 Real? by Sara Kadefors

Just One Wish by Janette Rallison

Triple Shot Bettys In Love by Jody Gehrman

Artichoke's Heart by Suzanne Supplee

Thank you Book Fairy #1 :)

Tuesday:

The Cowboy's Christmas Miracle by Raeanne Thayne
Will Grayson Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan

The Lost Summer by Kathryn Williams


Thank you Book Fair #2 :)

The Year I Turned Sixteen by Diane Schwemm

Bought this on Amazon

This Book Is Overdue by Marilyn Johnson

Amazon Vine

Wednesday:

Maine Squeeze by Catherine Clark
Tourist Trap by Emma Harrison

Highland Scandal by Julia London

Worth Any Price by Lisa Kleypas

A Version of the Truth by Jennifer Kaufman and Karen Mack
First Comes Marriage by Mary Balogh

To Taste Temptation by Elizabeth Hoyt

Match Me If You Can by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Big Girls Don't Cry by Cathie Linz

Unravel Me by Christie Ridgway

The Sins of Lord Easterbrook by Madeline Hunter

Romeo Romeo by Robin Kaye

What Happened In London by Julia Quinn

Jailbait by Leslea Newman
Barrel Fever by David Sedaris

Under the Duvet by Marian Keys


Library book store, oops! Some of those were 35 CENTS!

Thursday:

Dirty Little Secrets by C. J. Omololu
Freefail by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams


For review.

Friday:

Runaway by Meg Cabot (!!!)
Attack of the Fluffy Bunnies by Andrea Beaty

How I Nicky Flynn Finally Get A Life (And A Dog) by Art Corriveau
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

The Popularity Papers by Lydia Goldblatt and Julie Graham-Chang


What a wonderful surprise for Friday! Several of the Amulet titles mix in some graphic novels/journal elements so I'm really excited to check these out! For review!

Saturday:

What I Did For Love by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Target

Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas

Bookmooch!

Sorry no links this week!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Lookalikes 86

Midnighters #1: The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld

Mistwood by Leah Cypess

Neither of these are really my taste but I like that you can see the hint of a smile in the Midnighters cover. And overall I like how the photo was treated in that cover as well.

Which do you prefer?

Thanks to Khyrinthia for pointing out this lookalike!

Have you spotted a Lookalike you would like to contribute? Send me an email!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Blog Tour: Beautiful by Cindy Martinusen-Coloma

Welcome to the Beautiful blog tour! I'm pleased to welcome author Cindy Martinusen- Coloma today to share a guest blog about Writing YA Fiction and then also my review of the book!

Writing YA Books – Create Authentic Worlds

As a child, I sailed away on the Dawn Treader and explored Narnia with Aslan by simply opening pages in a book. While living in rural California, I also grew up in River Heights with Nancy Drew as we solved mysteries together and with Laura Ingalls as we moved from the Big Woods to a sod house and later a little house on the prairie during an era more than a hundred years old.

While I love movies and many forms of entertainment, there’s nothing like reading to really escape into an alter-reality. There’s just something magical about that to me.

It’s essential for a writer to remember what it’s like to be a reader. The writer is in the creator seat, imitating the true Creator and building fictive worlds, people and dramas.

For the young adult market, the importance of creating a “real” fictive world is even further essential. This world is created in descriptions, language, slangs, fashion, styles, and social groups. In my first YA, Ruby Unscripted, Ruby had always dreamed big in her small-town life with her lower-middle class conservative family. But as her dreams come true, she has culture shock when she moves to the affluent and liberal Marin County. In my second YA, Beautiful, Ellie is one of those seemingly perfect Christian girls while her sister Megan is labeled “trouble.” And in upcoming Caleb+Kate, Kate is wealthy and attends a private school while the guy she falls in love with has a very different background.

For each of these books and characters, the styles, voices, slangs, fashion, groups of friends, even bedroom décors are all very different from one another because of who they are, where they come from, and what time and place the book is set. For YA fiction, writers MUST make the outside and inner worlds of our characters believable or readers will shake their heads and toss the books aside.

Author Margaret Culkin Banning said, “Fiction is not a dream. Nor is it guesswork. It is imagining based on facts, and the facts must be accurate or the work of imagining will not stand up.”

What’s fun is that the same experience I had while reading is also the experience I have in writing. I escape into new realms and picture my readers with me. Together, we discover people and worlds not our own and have the chance to live thousands of lives. As writer and reader, it’s an experience like no other.

Thank you Cindy! Now onto my review!

Amazon.com:

Her friends once thought she was perfect. Now she must face the mirror--and herself--to discover what true beauty is.

Ellie Summerfield has everything a girl could want--she's beautiful, she's Senior Class President, has a calendar full of social engagements, volunteer commitments, and church activities. In short, she's perfect, according to most of the students at West Redding High School. But something is bothering Ellie, like a loose string on a dress she can feel but can't see. Does she really love her boyfriend, Ryan? Who are her true friends? And is she really happy in her picture-perfect life?

Then in the course of a few minutes, the loose string in Ellie's life completely unravels. Forever changed, she must face herself as she discovers what it really means to be beautiful.


I could take a guess what Beautiful was about based on the book summary and book cover but I pushed it out of my mind so I could fully enjoy the book and be in the present moment with Ellie as everything happened. And I am sure glad I did because this book was beautiful and heartbreaking.

Ellie never had to work hard to make her life the way she wanted it, unlike her sister Megan, who to most is invisible. When Ellie has to restart her life she knows she can't just go back to the way things used to be, but what can she make of her life now? It's about Ellie finding herself and accepting herself for who she was and who is know is.

One thing I hadn't realized about Beautiful was that it was a sister story! Not only do we hear things from Ellie's point of view we get to know Megan as well, who I rather liked also! It's about them really getting to know each other after having lived in the same house for 17 years and really not actually knowing each other.

I liked and didn't like how everything in the book wasn't clean cut. Sometimes you just want everything to work out exactly how you'd imagine but really we know that's not always true. So I think this book did a great job of portraying this situation with honesty. Maybe you'll never exactly know where you stand with the boys in your life, or maybe for awhile you didn't want to believe in God or maybe your plans for the future had to be completely re-written. 

One thing I wanted to address was this is a Young Adult Christian Fiction story (my first actually) but I found it very relatable as someone that is not a Christian. It's a very universal story.

Overall, Beautiful was beautiful and honest and heartbreaking.

Beautiful was released on November 3rd 2009
Genre: Young Adult Christian Fiction
4.5/5 Stars
Review copy provided by the publisher

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"Waiting On" Wednesday 67

Getting In by Karen Stabiner

Amazon.com:

Q: What does a parent need to survive the college application process?

A. A sense of humor.
B. A therapist on 24-hour call.
C. A large bank balance.
D. All of the above.

Getting In is the roller-coaster story of five very different Los Angeles families united by a single obsession: acceptance at a top college, preferably one that makes their friends and neighbors green with envy. At an elite private school and a nearby public school, families devote themselves to getting their seniors into the perfect school--even if the odds are stacked against them, even if they can't afford the $50,000 annual price tag, even if the effort requires a level of deceit, and even if the object of all this attention wants to go somewhere else.

Getting In is a delightfully smart comedy of class and entitlement, of love and ambition, set in a world where a fat envelope from a top school matters more than anything . . . almost.

Released March 16th 2010

This just sounds really interesting, especially because it isn't just one or two families at this but FIVE!
I can't wait to see what odds these people go against and how they work around them and how out of control it gets.

What can't you wait for to be released?

"Waiting On" Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Winners of Wish!

The three winners of Wish are:

Morgan

Lizzie

Sab H

I have emailed you three, please respond back with your name and mailing address by Friday January 29th to claim your book!

Thanks to everyone for sharing your wishes with me :)

Hardcover vs. Paperback 65

He Forgot to Say Goodbye by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Hardcover

Paperback


"I mean, it's not as if I want a father. I have a father. It's just that I don't know who he is or where he is. But I have one."

Ramiro Lopez and Jake Upthegrove don't appear to have much in common. Ram lives in the Mexican-American working-class barrio of El Paso called "Dizzy Land." His brother is sinking into a world of drugs, wreaking havoc in their household. Jake is a rich West Side white boy who has developed a problem managing his anger. An only child, he is a misfit in his mother's shallow and materialistic world. But Ram and Jake do have one thing in common: They are lost boys who have never met their fathers. This sad fact has left both of them undeniably scarred and obsessed with the men who abandoned them. As Jake and Ram overcome their suspicions of each other, they begin to move away from their loner existences and realize that they are capable of reaching out beyond their wounds and the neighborhoods that they grew up in. Their friendship becomes a healing in a world of hurt.

San Antonio Express-News wrote, "Benjamin Alire Sáenz exquisitely captures the mood and voice of a community, a culture, and a generation"; that is proven again in this beautifully crafted novel. 


I think both of these covers miss the mark. Especially the hardcover which to me looks very post-apocalyptic. And the paperback doesn't really talk about these two boys and their friendships and futures, it's very stuck in the past. I do prefer the paperback's look more though.

Hardcover or Paperback?

Have you spotted a Hardcover vs. Paperback you would like to contribute? Send me an email!


Monday, January 25, 2010

Talk Me Down by Victoria Dahl

Amazon.com:

Molly Jenkins has one naughty little secret: her job as a bestselling erotic fiction author. Until her inspiration runs dry—thanks to a creepy ex—and it's time to skip town and move back to tiny Tumble Creek, Colorado.

One look at former high school hunk chief of police Ben Lawson and Molly is back in business. The town gossip is buzzing at her door and, worse still, a stalker seems to be watching her every move. Thankfully, her very own lawman has taken to coming over, often. The only problem now is that Molly may have to let the cat out of the bag about her chosen profession, and straitlaced Ben will definitely not approve.…

Let me start by saying this is only the second romance novel I have ever read, and the first contemporary romance. So I am not sure if I am reacting to elements from the genre or this book itself.

I liked how fun this the book was. You knew no matter what happened Molly and Ben would end up together! Molly was pretty easy going and didn't really get too whiny about anything. She did have a pretty one track mind about things that got a little old after awhile. I liked when she hung out with her friend Lori (whom I believe Start Me Up is about). And I liked Ben and how he was also pretty easy going and never rude to Molly without reason. He was a nice guy! I loved that they had this history from their childhood, it made their attraction instantly realistic.

I didn't so much like the stalker plot but did like that there was a mystery involved in the story. I wish there had been more secondary plots, Molly hanging out more with Lori more or hanging out with her brother Quinn at all, or maybe Ben hanging out with Quinn instead of just talking on the phone.

I will stay though I read this book in probably a day and a half over the weekend, which I basically I never do with any book. So it definitely kept me hooked! I've wondered what the different was between Chick Lit or Women's Fiction and Contemporary Romance and from this book I'll say I noticed less secondary plots with more focus on the relationship at hand and definitely more naughty interludes!

I'm definitely going to continue to explore this genre and this author's work!

Talk Me Down was released on January 1st 2009
Genre: Contemporary Romance
3/5 Stars
Purchased at local used bookstore

GIVEAWAY: My Soul To Save

Book 1 of the Soul Screamers series -- My Soul to Take -- was released this past summer, and readers found out why Kaylee Cavanaugh screams bloody murder when someone’s about to die.

In Book 2 – My Soul to Save – when teen pop star Eden croaks on stage and Kaylee doesn’t wail, she knows something is dead wrong. She can’t cry for someone who has no soul.

The last thing Kaylee needs right now is to be skipping school, breaking her dad’s ironclad curfew and putting her too-hot-to-be-real boyfriend’s loyalty to the test. But starry-eyed teens are trading their souls for a flickering lifetime of fame and fortune in exchange for eternity in the Netherworld—a consequence they can’t possibly understand.

Kaylee can’t let that happen, even if trying to save their souls means putting her own at risk.

Soul Screamers: The last thing you hear before you die.

Soul Screamers Official Website
You can learn more about Kaylee by downloading the free Soul Screamers prequel My Soul to Lose here!

Book Trailer:



Here is how to enter to be 1 of 3 winners of My Soul to Save!

Fill out the giveaway entry form here.

The giveaway is open to addresses within the U.S only.

The giveaway will end February 8th at 6:59 pm Central Time.

**Copy provided by marketing firm**

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Wish by Alexandra Bullen

Amazon.com:

For broken-hearted Olivia Larsen, nothing can change the fact that her twin sister, Violet, is gone... until a mysterious, beautiful gown arrives on her doorstep. The dress doesn't just look magical; it is magical. It has the power to grant her one wish, and the only thing Olivia wants is her sister back.

With Violet again by her side, both girls get a second chance at life. And as the sisters soon discover, they have two more dresses-and two more wishes left. But magic can't solve everything, and Olivia is forced to confront her ghosts to learn how to laugh, love, and live again.

In a breathtaking debut from Alexandra Bullen, WISH asks the question: If you could have anything, what would you wish for?

Wish took the idea of losing a sibling (a twin) and turned it on it's head with a few magical dresses. What if you could wish your sister back after she had died, had her by your side as a ghost all the time? Olivia gets this wish and it allows her to find her own place in the world outside of her sister's shadow.

The story gave an honest depiction of a family trying to find itself and stay together and happy after losing a daughter. It was not fun at home for anyone, so luckily Olivia had school and new friends to escape to. I wanted more of her friend Miles and his sister Bowie (who was awesome) not the more popular kids she begun to hang out with later in the book, they were nice enough just not as interesting.

I also (surprisingly for me) wanted more about the dresses and the magical dressmaker. For most of the story the dresses were only mentioned in passing and I would have loved more attention paid to the ritual of putting it on and it being a special moment.

I think this is a good twist on the death of a sibling for someone that is looking for a lighter book on the subject.

Wish was released on January 12th 2010
Genre: Young Adult
3.5/5 Stars
ARC provided by Amazon Vine




Saturday, January 23, 2010

This Week In Books Or Back to Alea You Know And Love, At Least For This Week!


Monday:

Darklight by Lesley Livingston

For review.

Tuesday:

The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren by Wendy Toliver
Love Undercover by Jo Edwards
Perfect Match by J. Minter

Some Kind of Wonderful by J. Minter

You Never Did Learn to Knock selected by Bel Mooney

Legacy by Kate Brian

Prom Queen Geeks by Laura Preble


All from the library book store and the below 20 romance novels, via a $1 grab bag. What can I say, I like grab bags!


Wednesday: nothing

Thursday: nothing

Friday:

Too Good to Be True by Kristan Higgins
Just One of the Guys by Kristan Higgins
Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas

Talk Me Down by Victoria Dahl
(started reading this one)

Got these at a local used bookstore! Let the romance explosion begin, or sometime soon!

Saturday:

In A Heartbeat by Loretta Ellsworth

For a blog tour

Mister Monday by Garth Nix
Lord Sunday by Garth Nix

For review. I've never heard of these, anyone read these before?

And since I haven't been posting much on the craft front (haven't been making much lately) here is something to get you by. :P This is a pattern by Nelly Pailloux the author of Felties. I bought this lamb and another very cute dog pattern from her etsy shop. If you are interested in trying out some felties for yourself this might be the way to go. You get 2 pdf patterns (the lamb and the dog) emailed to you for $5! And there are instructions, written and drawn and also a supply list! It's laid out very much like the book. You know you want to join me in this fun craft!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Lookalikes 85

One Night That Changes Everything by Lauren Barnholdt

After Dark by Haruki Murakami (Spanish Edition)

Definitely One Night Changes Everything. I love the font that was used and how it's incorporated into the picture. After Dark's format almost looks like a textbook.

Which do you prefer?

Thanks to Mariana for pointing out this lookalike!

Have you spotted a Lookalike you would like to contribute? Send me an email!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Best Graphic Novels/Comics You Haven't Read

Kelly had the brilliant idea to shine a spotlight on some of the lesser known titles of YA with the help of some Librarything Statistics (number of users owning a book!) Since most of the titles that came up on my list were my favorites of 2009 (I haven't been reading YA that long!) I thought I'd try something a little different and feature some books I read and adored before I started writing reviews. Turns out some of my favorite graphic novels and comics I've barely spoken about so I'd like this opportunity to shine a light in their direction!

Johnny Boo: The Best Little Ghost In The World! by James Kochalka
5 stars
18 Librarything users list in their library

Johnny Boo is one for the kids (and me). I will guesstimate a reading level/interest of maybe elementary school? And it's a series, 3 out with a forth on the way. It's the story of Johnny Boo, his pet ghost Squiggle (pretty sure I bought it for him) and an ice cream monster. Really what else must a cute little graphic novel have?


Invincible Summer by Nicole J. Georges
5 stars
29 Librarything users list in their library

Invincible Summer is a grab bag of comics, illustrations, articles, pet portraits and more compiled from the first five years of Georges's Invincible Summer zine. Her style of drawing is just cute! The book is written as diary comics which I really love. I love how it's a chronological exploration of her life. <3




The Acme Novelty Library Number 18 by Chris Ware
4.5 stars
123 Librarything users list in their library

Some of you may be familiar with Chris Ware's graphic novel Jimmy Corrigan: The Smarest Kid On Earth. Well guess who hasn't even finished that one, me! This is the only book of his that I've read all the way through but I just adored it and am pretty sure I will become a complete fan girl once I read more of his work. The details in his illustration, the story... this is a wonderful book and I can't wait to see how it continues (the stories continue through volumes trading off with other stories).


Holy Moly by Leah Hayes
5 stars
8 Librarything users list in their library

This is so short it's almost a pamphlet! The illustrations are so odd and random I burst out laughing at almost every page! I started on Hayes Funeral of the Heart which is a much longer and entirely created on scratch board graphic novel but haven't yet finished it. So far it doesn't have that same laugh out loud quality though so to me this is the one to start with.



Tales of Woodsman Pete by Lilli Carre
4.5 stars
42 Librarything users list in their library

As I mentioned earlier this week, this is my favorite of Lilli Carre's books. I first saw an excerpt in The Best American Comics 2006 and was intrigued. It jumps back and forth between stories of Woodsman Pete and Paul Bunyan. It's quirky, cute, and little, just the way I like it!




I'd love to hear about some of the lesser known comics and graphic novels that you love! :D

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Your Favorite Romance Novel?

Last week I completed my first ever romance novel! 9 Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean. Let's just say I LOVED it (review coming in March!).

In the past few months a bunch of you have given me suggestions of your favorite romance novels when I first became interested (yes, it took me this long to actually sit down and read one!). I have lists EVERYWHERE. But now I am OBSESSED.

I thought I'd ask for your favorite romance novel (maybe again-sorry!). Thanks to anyone that shares a suggestion! I'd love to read some of your romance novel reviews too if you have any or any great romance novel blogs you follow or author! I'm completely new to the genre!

Maybe you have some good tidbits about the the genre or yourself have never read a romance novel. Let's chat!

And this is where it all started: 1 2 (thanks to Sarah and everyone else for being awesome!)

"Waiting On" Wednesday 66

Demon Princess: Reign Check by Michelle Rowen

Amazon.com:

Nikki Donovan was a demon princess. Now she’s a demon princess in love.

Fresh from finding out she is a demon princess and meeting her father for the first time, Nikki Donovan is looking forward to getting back to her regular high school life. But then Rhys, the handsome teenage king of the faery realm, enrolls at her school as a “foreign exchange student.” Her conflicted feelings for Rhys and her boyfriend are getting in the way of her new relationship with the Shadow-creature Michael. But this love triangle from hell isn’t even Nikki’s biggest problem: There’s a new prophecy that claims she will destroy all the demon and human worlds. Her best friend Melinda just might be a demon-slayer-in-training. Throw in a field trip to none other than the Underworld itself . . . and Nikki’s going to be hoping for a rain check on more than just her homework!

Released May 25th 2010

I adored the first Demon Princess book
so I'm excited to see where it picks up!

What can't you wait for to be released?

"Waiting On" Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hardcover vs Paperback 64

If I Grow Up by Todd Strasser

Hardcover

Paperback


"WHEN YOU GREW UP IN THE PROJECTS, THERE WERE NO CHOICES. NO GOOD ONES, AT LEAST."

In the Frederick Douglass Project where DeShawn lives, daily life is ruled by drugs and gang violence. Many teenagers drop out of school and join gangs, and every kid knows someone who died. Gunshots ring out on a regular basis.

DeShawn is smart enough to know he should stay in school and keep away from the gangs. But while his friends have drug money to buy fancy sneakers and big-screen TVs, DeShawn's family can barely afford food for the month. How can he stick to his principles when his family is hungry?

In this gritty novel about growing up in the inner city, award-winning author Todd Strasser opens a window into the life of a teenager struggling with right and wrong under the ever-present shadow of gangs.

I pick the hardcover based on the summary. It depicts growing up in the city (love the skyline cleverly placed in there) and drugs, it definitely says serious to me. The paperback looks like it's about BMX bikers or something, doesn't look very serious or gritty to me besides the hint it gives with the typeface.

Hardcover or paperback?

Have you spotted a Hardcover vs. Paperback you would like to contribute? Send me an email!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Lonely Hearts Club Twitter Party Wed Jan 20th!

This past Friday I had the chance to take part in the Lonely Hearts Club blog tour! It's ending on a very high note this Wednesday January 20th with a twitter party! Here are the details:

Join Lonely Hearts Club author Elizabeth Eulberg and Amy of MyFriendAmy for a Twitter party Wednesday, January 20, between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. EST!

  • Join the fun! No one expects you or your tweets to be perfect; we’re just happy you made it to the party!

  • Anyone who tweets during this hour using #LonelyHeartsClub is entered to win a limited edition Lonely Hearts Club t-shirt!

  • Watch for questions from @MyFriendAmy and win awesome prizes including an iPod shuffle, $50 iTunes gift card or $25 VISA gift card!

  • Ask Elizabeth questions or chat with other partygoers about how excited you are to read LHC—just use the tag #LonelyHeartsClub in all of your party tweets! (This is added automatically in TweetGrid.)

  • Please don’t post any spoilers and don’t forget to pay attention to the time zones, the party starts at 8:30pm EST.

Nine Ways to Disappear by Lilli Carre

Amazon.com:

The charmingly peculiar short stories collected in Nine Ways to Disappear revolve loosely around the theme of disappearance and mark a new form for Lilli Carre. Skillfully drawn single panels explore a rich imagined world where actions have unexpected consequences and loneliness pervades, but not without a sense of the absurd. The stories read like vignettes that can span a day or decades, all drawn within a bordered page in intimate detail.

Each story unfolds quickly and features characters that run the gamut: joke-writing sisters gone awry, a wandering sleepwalker, a pearl with curious properties, an elusive coughing neighbor, a wide-eyed girl of questionable appeal, even a storm drain. Whether animate or inanimate, sweet or monstrous, Lilli has the ability to infuse them all with pathos, humanity, and humor.

I first saw some of Lilli Carre's work on the cover of The Best American Comics 2006 and reading an excerpt of her book Tales of Woodsman Pete within its pages. I went on to read Tales of Woodsman Pete in its entirety and I think it is my favorite of her full length pieces. Last year I read The Lagoon and never shared my thoughts on it because I'm not sure I completely understood it. So I was excited to see what Carre had come up with in Nine Ways to Disappear and I'm pleased to say it's pretty great!

Nine Ways to Disappear is an assortment of long and short stories told frame by frame, some with words others without. I loved that they all carried the theme of disappearing but it completely different ways. One of my favorite stories was Wide Eyes, about a man that ends up hiding between his girlfriend's eyes to get a break from her. I also liked The Pearl, which is about the journey of the pearl and who finds it, takes it, becomes one with it...

Let's talk about the format, the book is a little square that is pretty thick with pages. Because of that and the way it's bound it's pretty hard to keep those tiny little pages open so I had to fight the book to keep it open since I wasn't about to try and crack the spine.

Overall these are some clever little stories with a strangely awesome sense of humor!

Nine Ways to Disappear was released on April 30th 2009
Genre: Graphic Novel
4/5 Stars
Purchased on Amazon.com

Sunday, January 17, 2010

GIVEAWAY: All Unquiet Things

Awhile back I reviewed All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab, which I really enjoyed! And now here is your chance to win your own hardcover copy!

Amazon.com:

Carly: She was sweet. Smart. Self-destructive. She knew the secrets of Brighton Day School’s most privileged students. Secrets that got her killed.

Neily: Dumped by Carly for a notorious bad boy, Neily didn’t answer the phone call she made before she died. If he had, maybe he could have helped her. Now he can’t get the image of her lifeless body out of his mind.

Audrey: She’s the reason Carly got tangled up with Brighton’s fast crowd in the first place, and now she regrets it—especially since she’s convinced the police have put the wrong person in jail. Audrey thinks the murderer is someone at Brighton, and she wants Neily to help her find out who it is.

As reluctant allies Neily and Audrey dig into their shared past with Carly, her involvement with Brighton’s dark goings-on comes to light. But figuring out how Carly and her killer fit into the twisted drama will force Audrey and Neily to face hard truths about themselves and the girl they couldn’t save.

Here's how to enter to win a hardcover of All Unquiet Things!

Fill out the giveaway entry form here.


The giveaway is open to addresses within the U.S. and Canada only.

The giveaway will end January 31st at 6:59 pm Central Time.

**Copy provided by the publisher**

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Lonely Hearts Club Blog Tour!

Welcome to the next stop on The Lonely Hearts Club Blog Tour! To start of with here is a bit about the book if you are not familiar with it!

Amazon.com:

Penny is sick of boys and sick of dating. So she vows: no more. It's a personal choice. . .and, of course, soon everyone wants to know about it. And a few other girls are inspired. A movement is born: The Lonely Hearts Club (named after the band from Sgt. Pepper). Penny is suddenly known for her nondating ways . . . which is too bad, because there's this certain boy she can't help but like. . . .

Now for something really exciting, and exclusive video from author Elizabeth Eulberg!







Check out the next stop of the tour, Stop 9 hosted by The Story Siren on January 18th that will feature a Q & A with Elizabeth! And to see the full tour schedule visit Elizabeth's blog!

Lookalikes 84

Meridian by Amber Kizer (German edition)

Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson

This is an exact match (I flipped the cover to check) It appears the designer of Claire de Lune removed a few of the wisps of hair off of the girl's face though. I think I prefer the simpler layout of Claire de Lune.

Which do you prefer?

Thanks to Yan for pointing out this lookalike!

Have you spotted a Lookalike you would like to contribute? Send me an email!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Handmade Nation Documentary

Amazon.com:

Handmade Nation documents the new wave of art, craft and design that is capturing the attention of the nation. It is the feature film debut of director, author, artist & curator Faythe Levine. Levine traveled to 15 cities and covered more than 19,000 miles to interview artists, crafters, makers, curators and community members. Today's craft world has emerged as a synthesis of historical technique, punk culture, and the DIY ethos, also influenced by traditional handiwork, modern aesthetics, politics, feminism and art. Director Faythe Levine captured the tightly knit community that exists through websites, blogs, and online stores that connect to the greater public through independent boutiques, galleries and craft fairs. Interviews were conducted on-location in artist studios, homes, boutiques, offices and craft fairs, giving the public an exclusive and rarely seen look into the lives of these creative individuals.

I followed the blog for the making of Handmade Nation a few years back and was excited to see the dvd had finally be released! It arrived, I popped it into the dvd player and sat back and took it all in.

I loved it, the interviews, watching people work, the craft fairs it was all great. It could have gone on for several more hours and I would have loved it, but unfortunately it's only a bit longer than an hour so that was a little bit disappointing. I know there are tons of other people that could have fit perfectly into this documentary. I'm going to take a guess by the amount of time that was taken to create this that the director could have kept going on as well. I would love to see a secondary documentary from her on the same subject.

For me it provided a lot of inspiration and also resources mentioned by the people being interviewed. There is screenprinting, glass work, shop owners (brick and mortar stores and online), knitting, and embroidery among others.

There was one odd moment when one of the people being interviewed staples her finger and walks around looking for a band-aid, it stuck out for me as being un-needed but overall I would highly suggest this documentary!

Handmade Nation was released on dvd November 3rd 2009.
Genre: Craft Documentary
4/5 Stars
Dvd purchased from Amazon

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"Waiting On" Wednesday 65

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland illustrated by Camille Rose Garcia

Amazon.com:

This edition of Alice′s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, one of the most popular works of children′s literature of all time, follows in the track of a recent successful Collins Design title: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald, illustrated by Calef Brown and published in sync with the release of David Fincher′s film starring Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt.

This new edition of Carroll′s cult classic, designed in a compelling package and priced affordably, will publish in sync with the release of one of 2010′s major Hollywood films. According to Variety, Tim Burton′s forthcoming movie is generating a lot of buzz as one of the year′s biggest. And it′s got an all-star cast to draw in audiences and position our book nicely in the market: Johnny Depp (Mad Hatter), Alan Rickman (Caterpillar), Helena Bonham-Carter (Red Queen), Anne Hathaway (White Queen), Michael Sheen (White Rabbit), Crispin Glover (Knave of Hearts) and Australian actress Mia Wasikoska (Alice).

The style of Camille Rose Garcia′s work has a dark yet Disneyesque sensibility that strongly recalls Burton′s aesthetic, so book buyers and readers will both readily make that visual connection, which should help both buy-in and sell-through.

Think Alice goes Goth, and you′ve got the magic of this special book.

Released February 2nd 2010

I have Rebecca to
thank for pointing out this book! I've really been into Camille Rose Garcia's artwork the last few years and had been meaning to buy one of her book and this is going to be the first one for sure! I've already pre-ordered it. It's going to be amazing, no doubt about it!

What can't you wait for to be released?

"Waiting On" Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Blog Tour: Wish by Alexandra Bullen

Today marks the release date of Wish by Alexandra Bullen and I'm very excited to be the first stop on her blog tour! ! I'm thrilled to be able to share a guest blog from the author, some information about the book that I'm very excited to read (gotta get on that!) and also give 3 of you the chance to win your own copy!

Let's start with Alexandra's guest blog!

WISH PLAYLIST

When I was in the seventh grade, I had a debilitating crush on the cutest guy in school. His name was Austin (it still is, actually. Hi, Austin!) and he was about a foot and a half shorter than me, but that wasn’t important (or rare—I was freakishly tall until high school).

I still remember the day he gave me a mix tape. He’d written out all of the songs—lots of Beatles and Dusty Springfield, if I remember correctly—in scratchy boy writing, and I listened to it so much that it got stuck in my boom box. (Tapes? Boom Boxes? What am I, ninety?)

Anyway, in WISH, when Soren makes Olivia a mix (for her iPod, duh…) I imagined that she felt exactly the way I did, listening to mine on repeat, scanning the lyrics for clues and hidden secrets.

Here are a few songs that were definitely on Soren’s mix:

“Milk” by Kings of Leon: In the book, Bowie compares Soren and Graham’s band to Kings of Leon. This isn’t such a well-known song of theirs, but it’s my favorite, and totally romantic. (I’m sure Olivia would agree…)

“Walcott” by Vampire Weekend: I listened to Vampire Weekend a lot while I was writing WISH. This song, in particular, always made me smile because of the “Cape Cod” reference. (I was happy to be fleeing the East Coast during a particularly brutal winter…)

“Heavy Metal Drummer” by Wilco: My best friend Courtney dated a drummer in college, and I used to torture her with this song. (They’re still together, so it couldn’t have been that bad!) When Olivia first sees Soren playing the drums at the party in Sea Cliff, I imagined her hearing this song in her head. She fell in love with a drummer…

“Here Comes Your Man,” by The Pixies: What’s a mix of love songs without an appearance by the Pixies? Soren claims that they were big influences on his music, but I have a feeling he was just big into the one-word band names. Either way, a classic!


Thanks Alexandra, you have great taste in music! Let's continue here is the book's summary.

Amazon.com:

For broken-hearted Olivia Larsen, nothing can change the fact that her twin sister, Violet, is gone... until a mysterious, beautiful gown arrives on her doorstep. The dress doesn't just look magical; it is magical. It has the power to grant her one wish, and the only thing Olivia wants is her sister back.

With Violet again by her side, both girls get a second chance at life. And as the sisters soon discover, they have two more dresses-and two more wishes left. But magic can't solve everything, and Olivia is forced to confront her ghosts to learn how to laugh, love, and live again.

In a breathtaking debut from Alexandra Bullen, WISH asks the question: If you could have anything, what would you wish for?

Book Trailer and Author Video:





Here are some fun links to learn more!

Wish Official Website
Alexandra Bullen on Twitter
Alexandra Bullen's Blog



Here's how to enter to win one of three copies of Wish!

Fill out the giveaway entry form here.


The giveaway is open to addresses within the U.S.

The giveaway will end January 26th at 6:59 pm Central Time.

**Copies provided by the publisher**

Alexandra’s next stop is at The Reading Zone on January 13, where she’ll be doing a guest blog about the many jobs she’s had in the past and how they’ve influenced her writing!

Hardcover vs Paperback 63

To Be Mona by Kelly Easton

Hardcover

Paperback

Amazon.com:

Sage Priestly is seventeen, and she longs to reinvent herself -- to strip away the fat, the past, the crazy mom, the unpaid bills. She longs to be her own version of the gorgeous and popular Mona Simms.

Sage starts dieting and exercising. She gets blond highlights and throws away all of her black clothes. Bit by bit she transforms herself. This is deeply troubling to her best friend, Vern, who is secretly in love with Sage just the way she is. But the boyfriend Sage wants -- the popular jock Roger -- suddenly notices her. And when they start dating, Sage thinks her life is turning around.

So why isn't Sage happier? Yes, Roger is a little too controlling and pushy, but isn't that what boys are like when you date them? What is it about the image Sage has created that just doesn't fit?

Smart, honest, and tough, Sage is a teen with more going for her than she thinks, but she still has a lot to learn.

Paperback PAPERBACK! I honestly thought for the longest time this was a middle grade book, just because of the hardcover, that looks like a middle grade student. I had even read the book summary and forgotten! The paperback is awesome. I think it balances the new life aspects with the more serious aspects where as the hardcover is pretty fun, at least I think. The paperback is just the kind of design I like as well, beautiful photography, beautiful colors, type and accents! This paperback is going on my wishlist!

Hardcover or Paperback?

Have you spotted a Hardcover vs. Paperback you would like to contribute? Send me an email!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Boys, Girls and Other Hazardous Materials by Rosalind Wiseman

Amazon.com:

Looking for a new beginning after a terrible mean girl past, Charlie Healey realizes there’s no escaping high school drama.

Charlie Healey thinks Harmony Falls is the beginning of a whole new life. Middle school was brutal. But high school is Charlie’s big chance to start over and stay out of drama, except that on her first day she runs into Will, her ex–best friend, who had moved away. Now a varsity athlete and hotter than Charlie remembered, Will hangs with the crowd running the school. But Charlie doesn’t understand their power until an innocent delivery guy falls victim to a near-deadly hazing prank.

Torn between doing what’s right and her secret feelings for Will, Charlie must decide whether to turn in her very best friend or live with the guilt of knowing what he did.

Rosalind Wiseman’s first novel for young adults is a fresh, funny, and juicy read about friendship, betrayal, and how far some will go to be accepted.

When I heard Rosalind Wiseman was making her fiction debut for teens I just had to read it. I knew her non-fiction book, Queen Bees and Wannabes was the inspiration for the movie Mean Girls and knew this had to have some of that same spirit and it definitely did.

I love how in Charlie's past is a realization that mean girls walked all over her and she stood by and let them hurt people. She realized what had gone down, left the situation and those so called friends behind to start high school with that behind her. She thought she would be able to face off with any mean girls at her new school and do the right thing but she doesn't realize that even though you've been through it once you might not be an old pro by the second time. And this time the situation is different, it's mean boys that have never been stopped but will Charlie be the one to stop them?

I really liked the balance in this story, there are friends (new & old), family, school, and a little romance. It's all there and it just sucked me in. It's funny, it's serious, it's tender and real, it's awesome.

Boys, Girls and Other Hazardous Materials will be released on January 12th
Genre: Young Adult
4.5/5 Stars
ARC provided by publisher

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sourcebooks Fire


I've always been impressed with the variety of titles and genres that Sourcebooks has offered, from children's books to chick lit to Georgette Heyer titles I've always been interested but now, now they have launched a new teen line, Sourcebooks Fire and now they pretty much have everything!

I've already featured two of their new titles in my Waiting on Wednesday posts, The Star Shack and The Summer of Skinny Dipping but to learn more about these and their other upcoming titles they have just launched their own ning called Teen Fire!

Teen Fire offers all sorts of events, opportunities, contests, videos and many other things! So go check it out, I've been to the site a few times and it looks like a great time!

Adventures of Meno: Book Two Wet Friend! by Tony & Angela DiTerlizzi

Amazon.com:

GREETINGS, EARTHLINGS!

MENO AND FRIEND YAMAGOO WANT FRIEND TRIO. YES, WE DO!

Tony DiTerlizzi is the #1 New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of the Spiderwick Chronicles, Kenny & the Dragon, and the 2003 Caldecott Honor Book The Spider and the Fly. He is also a #1 husband and father. Here he teams with wife and partner in publishing, Angela, to make sure every child gets his or her wish, especially if that wish is for a WET FRIEND!

This is the second in the Meno series and to me it's as great as the last. Sure there aren't many pages, not much content and it really shouldn't be used as reading tool for young children but for an adult with the right sense of humor and an appreciation for the illustration style this is definitely a series to be collected.

How can it be only for children when there is a David Hasselhoff joke! I think this is a case of the book being mis-marketed. I mean sure children CAN read it but I really think this is more for the adults. At first I thought it the series could be enjoyed by children and adults equally, but after reading others reactions and thinking about it, I think they are right that this isn't spot on for children. I think this is a group of adults out there (me included) that could really get a kick out of these though.

Adventures of Meno Book Two Wet Friend! was released on October 6th
Genre: Childrens
4/5 Stars
Review copy provided by Amazon Vine

Review of Book One
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