Friday, 31 July 2009

One Butt Cheek At A Time by Amber Kizer

Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Pub. Date: October 2007
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: paperback
Source of copy: Amber Kizer

GERT GARIBALDI ISN'T ONE OF those people who believe high school is the best part of life. She has a whole notebook full of rants about high school, and she's fully aware of how ridiculous the experience is, thank you very much. Gert just wants to survive the next three years, one butt cheek at a time, with her best friend, Adam, by her side - and maybe Luscious Luke attached to her lips. With a stapler. Or something. But muddling through isn't even as easy as it seems - there are geriatric parents to deal with, Homecoming festivities (admit itÑthose words just sent a little chill down your spine), crushes, ed (both sex and driving), and potential new boyfriends - for both Gert and Adam.

Extremely hilarious. That's how One Butt Cheek At The Time appeared to me. It's the kind of book that will bring you ultimate fun. The title itself is crazy enough, not to mention the cute, realistic cover. And the story you may wonder? Just as nice.

Gertrude's life was similar to any of the modern teenagers. She had a lot of doubts and she faced a lot of minor to major troubles. So what made her different from others? The fact that her parents had her at such an old age and Gertrude only had one best friend who turned out to be gay - Adam. Also, her name played a real good role on drawing unwanted attention to her. I love the voice of the narrator real much, it made everything ordinary become interesting and laugh-worthy. In between telling the story of how Gert handled life, there were excerpts from her journal - aka Gert's notebooks of raves and rants. I found those the most amusing. I read them and couldn't stop giggling. And it felt great.

Gert was an adorable girl. Though it seemed comic seeing her struggle with lots of things on her own (her parents were too old to understand a teenage life now and her brother couldn't care less), I still felt really bad, especially when she had her first hearbreak and her bestfriend's boyfriend was to invade their time. But Gert was still hopeful and she took life in a positive way, which I truly liked. There was a part about sex education that I found really bizarre of Gertrude but that only made her character more fun.

The ending was a little bit unimpressive. I was hoping for something really unique just like the rest of the book but it seemed typical. However, I was happy for Gertrude since she finally found the right way in her life, everything was okay now.

Overall this is a super cute and funny read you shouldn't miss. Trust me, you'll love Amber Kizer's writing.

Rating: 3/5

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (25)

Idea taken from Breaking The Spine

Swoon At Your Own Rish by Sydney Salter.

It’s the summer before senior year and Polly Martin has sworn off boys. Who needs the hurt and confusion? Five recent breakups have left her with an unnatural knowledge of NASCAR, the ultimate hiker’s outfit, a student council position, the sixth highest score on the Donkey Kong machine at the mall, and a summer job at Wild Waves with ex #2 Sawyer Holmes.

Success seems a sure thing when Polly’s grandmother, the syndicated advice columnist, Miss Swoon, moves in for the summer. Polly almost doesn’t mind sharing a room with her little sister, Grace. Think of all the great advice she’ll get!

Everything is going according to plan except…Miss Swoon turns out to be a man-crazy septuagenarian! And then there’s Xander Cooper. If only he wouldn’t keep showing up at Wild Waves with his adorable cousins every afternoon—and what is he writing in that little notebook?

No advice column in the world can prepare Polly for the lessons she learns when she goes on a group camping trip (with three too many ex-boyfriends). Polly is forced to see people for who they are—a blend of good and bad qualities that can’t be reduced to a list or a snappy answer in a Miss Swoon column.

Reasons why I already swoon over this book:

1. It's by Sydney Salter. And you know how much I loved her already. Her writing is honest but light and very hilarious. Just read Big Nose and you'll see.
2. Teen girl getting advice from grandma, sounds fun doesn't it? It's even greater when Ms Swoon is a man crazy one. HAHA
3. Camping trip with not only one but three exes. Hello, what more could you ask for?

Swoon at your own risk over this book on April 5th, 2010. Shall we swoon together then? ^^

Monday, 27 July 2009

In My Mailbox (27)

Idea taken from The Story Siren

Say hello to my new books coming from Hachette Australia, everyone~!

The Summoning by Kelley Amstrong.

After years of frequent moves following her mother’s death, Chloe Saunders’s life is finally settling down. She is attending art school, pursuing her dreams of becoming a director, making friends, meeting boys. Her biggest concern is that she’s not developing as fast as her friends are. But when puberty does hit, it brings more than hormone surges. Chloe starts seeing ghosts–everywhere, demanding her attention. After she suffers a breakdown, her devoted aunt Lauren gets her into a highly recommended group home. At first, Lyle House seems a pretty okay place, except for Chloe’s small problem of fearing she might be facing a lifetime of mental illness. But as she gradually gets to know the other kids at the home–charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek, obnoxious Tori, and Rae, who has a “thing” for fire–Chloe begins to realize that there is something that binds them all together, and it isn’t your usual “problem kid” behaviour. And together they discover that Lyle House is not your usual group home either…

The Awakening by Kelley Amstrong.

If you had met me a few weeks ago, you probably would have described me as an average teenage girl—someone normal. Now my life has changed forever and I'm as far away from normal as it gets. A living science experiment—not only can I see ghosts, but I was genetically altered by a sinister organization called the Edison Group. What does that mean? For starters, I'm a teenage necromancer whose powers are out of control; I raise the dead without even trying. Trust me, that is not a power you want to have. Ever.

Now I'm running for my life with three of my supernatural friends—a charming sorcerer, a cynical werewolf, and a disgruntled witch—and we have to find someone who can help us before the Edison Group finds us first. Or die trying.

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen.

Remy doesn't believe in love. And why should she? Her romance novelist mother is working on her fifth marriage, and her father, a '70s hippie singer, left her with only a one-hit wonder song to remember him by. Every time Remy hears "This Lullaby," it feels like "a bruise that never quite healed right." "Wherever you may go / I will let you down / But this lullaby plays on..." Never without a boyfriend, Remy is a compulsive dater, but before a guy can go all "Ken" on her (as in "ultra boyfriend behavior") she cuts him off, without ever getting close or getting hurt. That's why she's stunned when klutzy, quirky, alterna-band boy Dexter inserts himself into her life and refuses to leave. Remy's been accepted to Stanford, and she plans on having her usual summer fling before tying up the loose ends of her pre-college life and heading for the coast. Except Dexter's not following Remy's tried-and-true rules of break-up protocol. And for the first time, Remy's questioning whether or not she wants him to.

Wait, Audrey by Robin Benway.

The wait is over for the paperback of this irresistible, fast-paced, hit-worthy debut!

When funny, charming, absolutely-normal Audrey Cuttler dumps her boyfriend Evan, he writes a song about her that becomes a number-one hit—and rockets Audrey to stardom!

Suddenly, tabloid paparazzi are on her tail and Audrey can barely hang with her friends at concerts or the movies without getting mobbed—let alone score a date with James, her adorable coworker at the Scooper Dooper. Her life will never be the same—at least, not until Audrey confronts Evan live on MTV and lets the world know exactly who she is!

It's so so so fantastic because I finally got to review these books, those I've been lusting for such a long time, especially This Lullaby and Wait, Audrey. I'm so HAPPY *grins till my jaw hurts*. I heard that the books are kick ass so I think I'm going to enjoy myself really much. Time for some music and fantasy~! By the way these ain't Australian covers, I'll put the actual ones up with my reviews so stay tuned.

Happy reading my lovelies ^^

Sunday Special (25) Covers That Tickles Your Appetite

...or those that remind you you have a sweet tooth : )

Donut Days by Lara Zielin.

The Cupcake Queen by Heather Helper.

My Big Fast Manifesto by Susan Vaught.

Artichoke's Heart by Suzanne Supple

L.A Candy by Lauren Conrad.

Bad Apple by Laura Ruby.

Shug by Jenny Han.

These covers make me want to eat the books, seriously, especially the chocolate. Any of the above drives your stomach crazy? Popsicle? Icecream? Candy? If you spot any other delicious covers please tell me. So far I've only found those with desserts, and I'm hoping to find real food there.

Have a great eye feast :)

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Boy Toy by Barry Lyga

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pub. Date: September 2007
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 416
Format: hardcover
Source of copy: from publisher - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Josh Mendel has a secret. Unfortunately, everyone knows what it is.

Five years ago, Josh’s life changed. Drastically. And everyone in his school, his town—seems like the world—thinks they understand. But they don’t—they can’t. And now, about to graduate from high school, Josh is still trying to sort through the pieces. First there’s Rachel, the girl he thought he’d lost years ago. She’s back, and she’s determined to be part of his life, whether he wants her there or not.Then there are college decisions to make, and the toughest baseball game of his life coming up, and a coach who won’t stop pushing Josh all the way to the brink. And then there’s Eve. Her return brings with it all the memories of Josh’s past. It’s time for Josh to face the truth about what happened.

If only he knew what the truth was . . .

Enticing and intense, Boy Toy is the kind of book that you think scandalous as picking it up and claim fabulous after putting it down.

The story is off a few haunting ones that I've had an opportunity to encounter in the past few years. Fair to say, I found this even more breathless than either 13 Reasons Why or Wintergirls. The storyline was turbulent - seriously, you cannot find many books on teacher-student relationship (so far, slow as I am, I've seen three only) and it is rare to see the male with a role as a student too. I also love the fact that the narrator was a guy, one with a calm and collected voice, totally unpredictable but also very addicting. Generally, Boy Toy had the whole package to make a hit.

Boy Toy brought me a lot of thrill. Like, real thrill. I couldn't but have feel like something was stuck in my throat as I read this book. As if the circumstance itself wasn't peculiar enough, Barry Lyga had to choose to tell everything in such a fast and somewhat dangerous tone. Honestly, I was a bit scared by some parts of the story but that didn't necessarily drive me away. On the contrast, I bet you'd feel taken aback by how the author elaborated everything, including the prickly scenes without making them too much to tolerate. I really appreciated it, that way the younger readers would still have a chance to approach the story, safe and sound.

Josh was brilliantly illustrated. Even though I didn't see much development in other characters, only Josh himself was what it took to hold my full awareness. I couldn't put it into words how much I loved the way Barry Lyga analyzed Josh's inner life. His thoughts, his feelings, especially the creepy flickers and his controversial anger. It fitted Josh like stuff in a box. Even though I could hardly imagine anyone in his shoes, my heart and soul went out to him when I read this book. How bad it was to experience such cruelty at such a young age - Josh lost his innocence, his happiness and was hesitant to explore the world as well as his own self. What was even worse was that he was trapped in a shell - afraid that people would judge him, scared that he would harm them like he once did to his friend Rachel - to a point that he totally got the wrong idea about what had happened. Just wait and see the climax, trust me, you'd be very impressed. Gotta add that Rachel was my favorite character too. She was not just strong but absolutely tough and daring. Without her, I didn't think Josh could have made it.

Barry Lyga's courage was paid off with an amazingly candid story that would provoke each and every reader. I could now see you pick it up and love it so much you'd have to force your friends/family to read it.

Rating: 4.5/5

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors

Publisher: Walker & Company
Pub. Date: July 2009
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 288
Format: ARC
Source: from author

When Katrina spots a homeless guy sleeping in the alley behind her grandmother’s coffee shop, she decides to leave him a cup of coffee, a bag of chocolate-covered coffee beans, and some pastries to tide him over. Little does she know that this random act of kindness is about to turn her life upside down. Because this adorable vagrant, Malcolm, is really a guardian angel on a break between missions. And he won’t leave until he can reward Katrina’s selflessness by fulfilling her deepest desire. Now if only she could decide what that might be . .

One word to describe this book: sweet. If you're tired of stories on depression and pain of lives or just want a reminder of how you used to love fun, loving fairy tales as a child, I suggest you get this book as soon as possible.

What I like about Coffeehouse Angel was that reading the book was like waking up to a sunshineful day. Even if you knew there'd be lots of trouble awaiting, you could still becertain that everything would be fine at the end. I felt light-hearted and happy from the very beginning to the end, which would be super helpful if you were in a bad mood and needed something to cheer you up. The writing was neat and alluring, doing a great job of keeping the readers eyes constantly on the pages though everything seemed very predictable.

Aside from having an ordinary fairy tale's quality, the book was also very funny. I think Suzanne Selfors was successful in creating the situations and unknotting them. How the coffee beans worked, how Katrina's life was messed up after that and finally how they found their way to live happily ever after. There was also one teenage problem that you might find engaging: self-understanding. It probably wouldn't tell you which path to choose for your future or help you figure out what your strength was but it'd encourage you to do so without much doubt.

It was so fun to have a real angel in the character crew. Malcolm was really sweet and definitely a very humorous but profound angel. Of course I love Katrina too, she was heartily nice but that didn't stop her from being crazy or silly. However, I have to admit that the romance between these two were a little bit weak. I didn't see much of a connection, just adoration like good friends. I found the confusion and the fight between Katrina and Vincent more compelling to be honest.

On the whole, Coffeehouse Angel was a lovely, charming book that you'd love to read. Specifically recommended to fans of fairy tales/who's still a child at heart.

Rating: 3/5

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (24)

Idea taken from Breaking The Spine

The Six Rules Of Maybe by Deb Caletti.

No summary yet but at least we know what we'll get thanks to the book description at "A funny, poignant, uplifting, and truly authentic novel by National Book Award finalist author Deb Caletti."

Reasons why I want to read the book:

1. Because it's by Deb Caletti's production. I'm reading one of her books right now and I really her writing.
2. The book seems different from all the things she's written. I'm not sure but I have a feeling that it might be really refreshing.
3. Lovely cover. I love the blue sky. And its layout is not the same as the 6 previous ones of Deb Caletti if you pay attention. I also have a thing for anything that has maybe in it title too.

Pick this book up on April 20th 2010 to make sure you don't break the 6 rules of maybe.

Monday, 20 July 2009

In My Mailbox (26)

Idea taken from The Story Siren.

Cool books from Penguin this week, all thanks to Sara<3

Peace, Love and Baby Ducks by Lauren Myracle.

Growing up in a world of wealth and pastel-tinted entitlement, fifteen-year-old Carly has always relied on the constancy - and authenticity - of her sister, Anna. But when fourteen-year-old Anna turns plastic-perfect-pretty over the course of a single summer, everything starts to change. And there are boys involved, complicating things as boys always do. With warmth, insight, and an unparalleled gift for finding humor even in stormy situations, beloved author Lauren Myracle dives into the tumultuous waters of sisterhood and shows that even very different sisters can learn to help each other stay afloat.

Prada And Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard.

To impress the popular girls on a high school trip to London, klutzy Callie buys real Prada heels. But trying them on, she trips...conks her head...and wakes up in the year 1815!

There Callie meets Emily, who takes her in, mistaking her for a long-lost friend. As she spends time with Emily's family, Callie warms to them—particularly to Emily's cousin Alex, a hottie and a duke, if a tad arrogant.

But can Callie save Emily from a dire engagement, and win Alex's heart, before her time in the past is up?

More Cabot than Ibbotson, Prada and Prejudice is a high-concept romantic comedy about finding friendship and love in the past in order to have happiness in the present.

Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove by Lauren Kate.

A steamy Southern beauty makes one fatal mistake.

Natalie Hargrove would kill to be her high school’s Palmetto Princess. But her boyfriend Mike King doesn’t share her dream and risks losing the honor of Palmetto Prince to Natalie’s nemesis, Justin Balmer. So she convinces Mike to help play a prank on Justin. . . one that goes terribly wrong. They tie him to the front of the church after a party—when they arrive the next morning, Justin is dead.

From blackmail to buried desire, dark secrets to darker deeds, Natalie unravels. She never should’ve messed with fate. Fate is the one thing more twisted than Natalie Hargrov

I love these books so much :) see the diversity of those three. Now I have a warm read about sisterhood, something fun back to the 19th century and a dark serious story. I couldn't ask for more. I'm most excited about The Betrayed of Natalie Hargrove. I think I'm going to read it first.

Anyone loves any of these books? ^^

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Sunday Special (24) More Vietnamese Covers

As promised, I brought you more Vietnamese version of English books today :)

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Annie's Baby by Beatrice Sparks.

Same cover, same font. So not much to say. I still don't love the cover, it looks too depressing and the girl's expression, as I said, is rather weird. The only interesting thing of this is that they said this book has the same author as What Happened to Nancy. I'm a little confused about that.

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Flying Fingers by Adora Svitak.

I've not had a chance to pick up the book but I heard that it was cute. This little author has dropped in on Vietnam a few years ago and she seemed really adorable. I've not seen the original cover but I think it's nice enough to attract young readers here :)

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Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.

Big scream for this book. I've always wanted to read Speak but the book is nowhere to be found. However, I refused to pick this up because it looks so :( you know what I mean right. I don't like what they did to the picture, especially the colour. It's simply dull. And the title is weird too "Story of Melinda at highschool". Wth?

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Kiss Me Kill Me by Lauren Henderson.

The cover fails to draw the readers attention I have to admit. It took me like forever to figure out it was Kiss Me, Kill Me >.< The photo was okkay but I wish they had made it brighter or something.

So what do you think? Does any of these appeal to you at all?

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Ballads Of Suburbia by Stephanie Kuehnert

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
Pub. Date: July 2009
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 304

Kara hasn't been back to Oak Park since the end of junior year, when a heroin overdose nearly killed her and sirens heralded her exit. Four years later, she returns to face the music. Her life changed forever back in high school: her family disintegrated, she ran around with a whole new crowd of friends, she partied a little too hard, and she fell in love with gorgeous bad-boy Adrian, who left her to die that day in Scoville Park....

Amid the music, the booze, the drugs, and the drama, her friends filled a notebook with heartbreakingly honest confessions of the moments that defined and shattered their young lives. Now, finally, Kara is ready to write her own.

Ever wonder if there's any novel that's full of tears, blood, pain, break ups and death but still amazingly gorgeous? Ballads Of Suburbia is the one. Surpassing Stephanie Kuehnert's debut I Want To Be Your Joey Ramone, this book will surely capture the heart of every teenage reader this summer.

When I first looked at the title, the word ballads told me I'd get something softer and less dark this time. But no, it was actually stronger and more intense, because ballads here aren't slow catchy songs about love, they are stories of the different but still relatable downfalls of young adults who live in the suburb of Chicago. I love the idea of that so much. Each character in the book had their own theme song as well as their own heart-shattering pieces of life. This way you just don't get to know the main character, you'll get to know every single one in the book, specifically their secret and maybe even the most vulnerable part of them. How they crossed path with each other, how their relationship changed through out various kinds of situations, how they dealt with their own problems would give you a complete picture of the suburbia. Like the author stood in the darkest corner of the place and revealed to you all the things that unhappy teenagers had to suffer.

The mention of sex, drug and self-injury could be considered somewhat heavy but I fully appreciated how the author portrayed them. It was flawless and like there was no holding back at all - what you read in the book is what truly happens out there in real life. They were the ways that our characters chose to escape from their anguish. And with Kara, Cassandra, Liam and everyone else, the readers who might be in the same cases would learn that facing the hardship and dealing with it wisely doesn't need to involve one of those three deadly things.

The characters in the book were really brilliant. They were so well built that you could just close your eyes and imagine them next to you so easily. I've never encountered any of their kinds in my life but for some reason they still felt awfully close and real. Each of them was beautiful in their own way - I'm not too sure with Christian, he's still an interesting character nevertheless. I also want to know more of the connection of Kara and Adrian - they were what one another had been looking for all the time but both were still insecure and scared to reach a commitment. Their love was vague and it kept me wondering and wondering.

I think Stephanie Kuehnert changed a bit of my attitude towards reading. I used to love they-live-happily-ever-after ending but now I'm in favour of open ones. It will get us ponder about live and cherish happiness even more. Ad even though this book was dark and painful, the ending still promised a better and brighter funture, which, was very encouraging.

Ballads Of Suburbia is a book that you will probably add to your favorite shelf. It reaches out to its every reader. You don't have to be fans of this or fans of that to enjoy this fierce piece of fiction. Trust me, you don't even have to Stephanie Kuehnert's fan to find yourself in love with Kara and her friends.

Rating: 5/5

Waiting On Wednesday (23)

Idea taken from Breaking The Spine

Wish You Were Dead by Todd Strasser.

I hate you, Lucy. I really hate you. You are my #1 pick. I wish you were dead. The next day, Lucy Cunningham disappears. . .

From popular author Todd Strasser comes a new spine-tingler for the techno age. No one at Soundview High takes the recent death wishes of an anonymous blogger seriously, until the very students talked about start mysteriously disappearing. After dropping of Lucy after a night of partying, Madison is wracked with guilt when her popular classmate vanishes. And Madison makes it her mission to discover what really happened. . .

Reasons why this book should come out earlier *grins*

1. It's a mystery/thriller. I'm not a fan of mystery (well as you see, I'm pretty timid =.=). But, this book sounds awesome. I feel the chill but I also feel the excitement.
2. It had blogging in it. Whatever includes blogging appeals to me. It's like really close to our normal lives.
3. I wanna see how Madison finds out the truth without being harm. I wish there was a little bit of romance too.

Want to see who makes the Wish You Were Dead list? You'll get the blog url on Sept 22nd, 2009.

Monday, 13 July 2009

In My Mailbox (25)

Idea taken from The Story Siren

Some great books from Houghton Mifflin just came, thanks to Nadya :)

Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz Logsted.

In an explosion of his own making, Lucius blew his arms off. Now he has hooks. He chose hooks because they were cheaper. He chose hooks because he wouldn’t outgrow them so quickly. He chose hooks so that everyone would know he was different, so he would scare even himself. Then he meets Aurora. The hooks don’t scare her. They don’t keep her away. In fact, they don’t make any difference at all to her. But to Lucius, they mean everything. They remind him of the beast he is inside. Perhaps Aurora is his Beauty, destined to set his soul free from its suffering. Or maybe she’s just a girl who needs love just like he does.

Flash Burnout by L.K Madigan.

Fifteen-year-old Blake has a girlfriend and a friend who’s a girl. One of them loves him; the other one needs him.

When he snapped a picture of a street person for his photography homework, Blake never dreamed that the woman in the photo was his friend Marissa’s long-lost meth addicted mom. Blake’s participation in the ensuing drama opens up a world of trouble, both for him and for Marissa. He spends the next few months trying to reconcile the conflicting roles of Boyfriend and Friend. His experiences range from the comic (surviving his dad’s birth control talk) to the tragic (a harrowing after-hours visit to the morgue).

In a tangle of life and death, love and loyalty, Blake will emerge with a more sharply defined snapshot of himself.

Vibes by Amy Kathleen Ryan.

Nothing is beyond Kristi Carmichael’s disdain—her hippie high school, her friend Jacob, her workaholic mom. Yet for all her attitude and her mind-reading abilities, Kristi has a vulnerable side. She can hear the thoughts of her fellow students, calling her fat and gross. She’s hot for Gusty Peterson, one of the most popular guys in school, but of course, she’s sure he thinks she is disgusting. And she’s still mad at her father, who walked out on them two years ago. Soon, a school project brings her together with Gusty, her father comes home and drops a bombshell, and a friend comes out of the closet, and suddenly she is left doubting that she can read people at all.
Bitingly funny but ultimately poignant and positive, this YA novel is completely on the mark.

Great books aren't they? At least all of them sound really irresistible. I've been lusting for these for a while so I'm really happy to have them on my TBR pile now. You should check them out too. Which one do you think I should read first? I'm leaning towards Crazy Beautiful. It's dark and gorgeous :)

So what new books have you just added to your stacks for the past week?

Saturday, 11 July 2009

You Want To Win Candor? Click Here!

Ever heard of Candor by Pam Bachorz that will come out from Egmont USA in September 2009? I'm sure you've and some have even been lusting for it for an awfully long time. The author knows this well, so she decided to give us a chance to win not only copies of the book but also its goodies and more.

Want to know how? Check this post.

For those who has no clue about Candor (seriously where have you been =.=), here's the synopsis.

Oscar Banks has everything under control. In a town where his father brainwashes everyone, he's found a way to secretly fight the subliminal Messages. He's got them all fooled: Oscar's the top student and the best-behaved teen in town. Nobody knows he's made his own Messages to deprogram his brain. Oscar has even found a way to get rich. For a hefty price, he helps new kids escape Candor, Florida before they're transformed into cookie-cutter teens. But then Nia Silva moves to Candor, and Oscar's carefully-controlled world crumbles.

For already crazy fans, keep on supporting the book. Spread this trailer, will you? :)


Thursday, 9 July 2009

Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pub. Date: July 2009
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 368pp
Series: Theatre Illuminata

She’s not an orphan, but she has no parents.

She knows every part, butAll her world’s a stage.

Bertie Shakespeare Smith is not an actress, yet she lives in a theater.

she has no lines of her own.

That is, until now.

Enter Stage Right

NATE. Dashing pirate. Will do anything to protect Bertie.

COBWEB, MOTH, MUSTARD SEED, and PEASEBLOSSOM. Four tiny and incredibly annoying fairies. BERTIE’S sidekicks.

ARIEL. Seductive air spirit and Bertie’s weakness. The symbol of impending doom.

BERTIE. Our heroine.

Welcome to the Théâtre Illuminata, where the actors of every play ever written can be found behind the curtain. They were born to play their parts, and are bound to the Théâtre by The Book—an ancient and magical tome of scripts. Bertie is not one of them, but they are her family—and she is about to lose them all and the only home she has ever known.

If you're a fan of Shakespeare plays or just someone who loves the theater life so much, this will definitely be your book. With Eyes Like Stars, an exciting and unique read, Lisa Mantchev made her debut a really brilliant one.

What I love about the book was the storyline, it sounded totally different. It not only took place in a theater but also a theater where everyone was born to play their parts unfailingly from years to years. That made the characters from your familiar plays so refreshing and new - they were still the great artists yet they had their own personalities, some were bubbly and sweet while some dreamy, grumpy or annoying. But that wasn't the best part. The magic was. Once it stepped into the center of story I could hardly put the book down. Honestly I wasn't too sure how I felt about Eyes Like Stars at the first few chapters but as everything drew to the crucial problem, the thrill to know what would happen next was overwhelming.

Bertie was such a cool girl. Following her meant going on an unstoppable adventure. She was full of surprises, full of troubles and you would never guess what crazy thing was coming up on her way. What fascinated me from this girl wasn't the fact that she was strong and determined, but her power over words. It was simply amazing, especially to those who wanted to become writers in the future. The triangle of Bertie, Nate and Ariel was very addicting too. Even though I so wish I could tell you who she had deep feelings for, you have to find out yourself. Both guys were special in their own ways - Nate was caring and heroic while Ariel dangerous yet too irresistible.

I was quite glad this book had a satisfied and somewhat clear ending. The twist was unexpected thus I liked it really much. Some parts were still open and vague, which, I guess, would be where the next book starts from. I hope act II will come out soon because I just cannot wait to see Bertie and others again.

Rating: 4/5

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (22)

Idea taken from Breaking The Spine

The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott.

I liked him first, but it doesn't matter.
I still like him.
That doesn't matter either.
Or at least, it's not supposed to.

Cute isn't it? This sounds like a story about unrequited love and I'm a sucker for it. God I'm so excited about the book I cannot even type correctly. The cover is way too beautiful. I like the purple and the cut off head style kind of reminds me of Perfect You too. I swear to do anything to get this *grabs a sword*

The unwritten rule will be revealed on April 6th 2010. I know, it's such a long way to go :(

Monday, 6 July 2009

In My Mailbox (24)

Idea taken from The Story Siren

Guess what I've received? Deb Caletti books!

The Fortunes Of Indigo Skye by Deb Caletti.

I suddenly see where I'm standing, and that's at the edge of change - really, really big change.

Eighteen-year-old Indigo Skye feels like she has it all - a waitress job she loves, an adorable refrigerator-delivery-guy boyfriend, and a home life that's slightly crazed but rich in love. Until a mysterious man at the restaurant leaves her a 2.5 million-dollar tip, and her life as she knew it is transformed.

At first its amazing: a hot new car, enormous flat-screen TV, and presents for everyone she cares about. She laughs off the warnings that money changes people, that they come to rely on what they have instead of who they are. Because it won't happen...not to her. Or will it? What do you do when you can buy anything your heart desires — but what your heart desires can't be bought?

The Nature Of Jade by Deb Caletti.

Jade DeLuna is too young to die. She knows this, and yet she can't quite believe it, especially when the terrifying thoughts, loss of breath, and dizzy feelings come. Since being diagnosed with Panic Disorder, she's trying her best to stay calm, and visiting the elephants at the nearby zoo seems to help. That's why Jade keeps the live zoo webcam on in her room, and that's where she first sees the boy in the red jacket. A boy who stops to watch the elephants. A boy carrying a baby.

His name is Sebastian, and he is raising his son alone. Jade is drawn into Sebastian's cozy life with his son and his activist grandmother on their Seattle houseboat, and before she knows it, she's in love. With this boy who has lived through harder times than anyone she knows. This boy with a past.

Jade knows the situation is beyond complicated, but she hasn't felt this safe in a long time. She owes it all to Sebastian, her boy with the great heart. Her boy who is hiding a terrible secret. A secret that will force Jade to decide between what is right, and what feels right.

Wild Roses by Deb Caletti.

You would have never recognized the Dino I lived with in the books that had been written about him before the "incident." No one had a clue. No one seemed to see what was coming. Seventeen-year-old Cassie Morgan has a secret: She's living with a time bomb (a.k.a. her stepfather, Dino Cavalli). To the public, Dino is a world-renowned violinist and composer. To Cassie, he's an erratic, self-centered bully. Dino has always been difficult, but as he prepares for his comeback concert, something in him begins to shift. He seems more high-strung than ever, set off by any little thing. He stops sleeping, starts chain-smoking. And he grows increasingly paranoid, saying things that Cassie is desperate to make sense of, but can't. So she does what she thinks she must: She tries to hide his behavior from the outside world. Before, she was angry. Now, she is afraid. Enter Ian Waters: a brilliant young violinist, and Dino's first-ever student. The minute Cassie lays eyes on Ian she knows she's doomed. She tries everything to keep away from him, but is drawn to him in a way she's never felt before. It should be easy. It should be beautiful. It is not. Cassie thought she understood that love could bring pain. But this union will have consequences she could not have imagined.

Honey, Baby, Sweetheart by Deb Caletti.

Ruby McQueen is a sixteen-year-old high school student with the name, she thinks, of a rodeo cowgirl porn star, or, maybe worse, a Texas beauty queen runner-up. Her mother, Ann, one of the town librarians, was reading too much Southern literature before Ruby was born, and Chip, Ruby's father, who was already dreaming of Nashville stardom, thought it would make a great stage name someday. Soon after Chip Jr. was born, Chip left to try his luck in the music business and ended up at the Gold Nugget Amusement Park one state over. He returns occasionally for visits that turn Ann's heart upside down, and Ruby's stomach inside out.

It is summer in the northwest town of Nine Mile Falls, a place where brown bears sometimes show up in the shopping mall and people in hang gliders soar down the mountains and sometimes get stuck dangling from the trees. Ruby, ordinarily dubbed The Quiet Girl, finds herself hanging out with gorgeous, rich, thrill-seeking Travis Becker. With Travis, Ruby can be someone she's never been before: Fearless. Powerful. But Ruby is in over her head, and finds she is risking more and more when she's with him.

In an effort to keep Ruby occupied and mend her own broken heart, Ann drags Ruby to the weekly book club she runs for seniors. At first Ruby can't imagine a more boring way to spend an afternoon, but she is soon charmed by the Casserole Queens (named, quite ironically, after women who bring casseroles to new widowers' homes in hopes ofsnagging a husband). When the group discovers one of their own members is the subject of the tragic love story they are reading, Ann and Ruby ditch their respective obsessions to spearhead a reunion between the long-ago lovers. But this mission turns out to be more than just a road trip. Somewhere along the way Ruby and her mother learn the true meaning of love and freedom from it, individual purpose, and the real ties that bind.

Such a great week isn't it? I'd been lusting for Deb books for a real real long time and thanks to Deb and Molly at Simon&Schuster, I finally got my hands on them. The books look really beautiful and I have no doubt how great they are going to be. Have you read any of these? Which do you think I should read first? I'm so excited haha.

How about you? What have you bought/received/borrowed to satisfy your crave for good reads? :)

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Sunday Special (23) We Look Cooler & Cooler Every time

This Wednesday I just dropped by one of my favorite bookstores and look what I found, a bunch of YA books translated into Vietnamese :)

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If You Could See Me Now by Cecelia Ahern.
Thanks For The Memories by Cecelia Ahern.

Since her first book P.S I love you was published here, Cecelia has been one of the most popular authors here. Those have just come out recently and received quite a lot of love too. The cover for Thanks For The Memories looks really cute, I love how it feels soft and nostalgic. The other looks good too but I'm more a fan of the original one.

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It Happened To Nancy by Anonymous.

I'm still waiting to get an English version of this book. It's simply great because it was based on a true story. I want to see how Nancy struggles to live in such extreme conditions. The cover looks okay but you shouldn't see the book in real life, I hate the paper they used for printing >_<
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Sisterhood Of Travelling Pants (Book 3) by Ann Brashares.

Another book of Sisterhood has just found its way on to the shelves too. The series is LOVE, I like the tone of the translator, really hilarious. And look at the design of the cover, you can actually see a bit of the travelling pants ^^

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Cross by James Patterson.

One of the James Patterson books we got here. Although I still haven't seen my favorite Book Pop Goes The Weasel yet I'm still really happy to see the publishers paying attention to fans of mystery. The cover, in my opinion, looks just as good as the US one.

So what do you think? Any covers you like?
I also saw Vietnamese editions of Speak and Kiss Me Kill Me, come back next week and a have a look. I'm still searching for HQ pictures of them now.

Have a great Sunday, buddies<3

Saturday, 4 July 2009

On The Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Publisher: Penguin Aus
Pub. Date: 28 August 2006
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 304

Taylor Markham is not a popular choice. She is erratic, has no people skills and never turns up to meetings. Not to mention the incident when she ran off in search of her mother and only got halfway there. But she's lived at Jellicoe School most of her life and as leader of the boarders that's her greatest asset. Especially now the cadets, led by the infamous Jonah Griggs, have arrived. The territory wars between the boarders, townies and cadets are about to recommence.

But Taylor has other things on her mind: a prayer tree, the hermit who whispered in her ear, and a vaguely familiar drawing in the local police station. Taylor wants to understand the mystery of her own past. But Hannah, the woman who found her, has suddenly disappeared, leaving nothing but an unfinished manuscript about five kids whose lives entwined twenty years ago on the Jellicoe Road . . .

On The Jellicoe Road once again proved that Melina Marchetta owns great power over words. She can make simple normal things became so meaningful and special. And turning a dark, mysterious, hard-to-digest story into one interesting kind isn't something beyond her control either.

Saying goodbye to the complicated lives of the teenagers in the city, the book moved to a faraway area - somewhere less crowded, quiet and held so many secrets, a place where three clans of young people got caught up in the territory war and seemed to forget everything else. I have to admit that at first I didn't like the idea very much. The war seemed unreal to me and it made the story appear a little bit old and serious. I didn't find the characters having fun in their teen years much, instead, they seemed to be under so much pressure as well as depression. But as it progressed, everything actually became new and exciting, like noone has ever written about this kind of thing before.

The characters are simply awesome. The female lead is like the signature of MM. Every main girl in her stories is unfailingly independent, fearless, inspiring yet they're also full of flaws like selfishness, confusion or obstinacy too. Taylor to me was just the same. One thing that made her distinct from Francesca and Josephine was that her life was harder and there were so many parts about herself she didn't know about. I liked the fact that even though she suffered from athsma, the illness actually made her stronger than ever. And I also liked her relationship with Jonah. Their bond was extremely deep because it related to life and death and they went farther then any couples in MM books had done. More and more I adored how MM created her male leads. They are perfect but in a realistic way and their expressions of love are really clumsy yet too nice too handle.

In this book you'll find a lot of about family, but you can also find plenty of exploration on friendship. The connection of the five in Hannah's manuscript was the strangest also greatest of all. It felt like they needed each other to feel worthy, to be alive and happy, as if they were closer than family. And don't take the manuscript for granted when you read this book okay? Because it held the key to reveal every secrets within. In addition to that was the war. It felt really weird at the beginning, but, as I said, gradually it got really fun and enjoyable.

Overall On The Jellicoe Road is another refreshing and impressive read from Melina Marchetta. It presents true meaning of family, friendship and how to make your life complete. Strongly recommended.

Rating: 4.5/5

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

THE BOOK REVIEW CLUB JULY - Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen

Publisher: Penguin Aus
Pub. Date: 29 June 2009
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 432

Auden has always felt like the odd one out.

Since her parents' divorce she's shied away, studying lots and staying out of the party scene.

But now Auden's realized there must be something more and, just like that, she changes everything.
Moving to her dad's house opens up a whole new world of beach parties, food fights – and simply having fun.

As she gets to know herself – and a secretive boy with dark, brooding eyes – can Auden begin to let go and finally feel like she truly belongs?

This book reminds me why I love Sarah Dessen so much. With the same laid-back, elegant tone; a touch of excitement and lots of hidden messages, Along For The Ride undoubtedly makes one of the best reads for summer.

The story sounds like a step forward from The Truth About Forever. It didn't take much time to notice how alike Auden and Marcy were - they both experienced something awful in their family and then, lost themselves in their schoolwork, job just to be secure and safe; everything outside their own world was none of their business. However, while what Marcy lost was her father, Auden lost her childhood. Added to that was Auden's seemingly incurable insomnia, which makes Along For The Ride not only different from its sister, but also more interesting.

Things I like about the book? Lots. It always appeals to me how Sarah Dessen expresses the feelings of the characters. Everything is like...they fix together into a box. There was never too much of intensity but it never felt flat either. The book will stir emotions in readers, just a little bit, then leave the rest for you to relate it all to your own experience and current situations.
That's why it'll leave such great connection on everyone who decides to pick it up.

I have to say that I myself didn't find Auden amazing as a main character. She was nice and had a lot of things you wanted to know about but she still lacked something. I liked Eli though, he was unpredictable and I bet you would love to have him as a company on your journey to discover what you have missed in the past years of your life. He was inspiring and fun and artistic in his own way. That characters that impressed me were actually Auden's Mom and Dad. Their extraordinaries annoyed me so much, I mean how could Auden put up with such weird parents? Having said that, their actions provoked me too. I thought a lot about family and how it meant to be altogether under one roof.

Last thing, let me tell you why Along For The Ride stood out among other books. The bikes. They played such an important role in the story. It helped make summer more athletic and less typical. In plus, the adorable step mother who was so honest and nice to her husband's child. And don't forget the awesome names of the girls too.

Although this to me isn't Sarah Dessen's best production, it's still worth waiting for and drooling over. So, if you haven't got your copy yet, I suggest you pick one up right now and let yourself go along for the ride.

Rating: 4/5