Wednesday 30 September 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (31)

Idea taken from Breaking The Spine

Forgive My Fins byTera Lynn Childs.

Lily Sanderson has a secret, and it’s not that she has a huge crush on gorgeous swimming god Brody Bennett, who makes her heart beat flipper-fast. Unrequited love is hard enough when you’re a normal teenage girl, but when you’re half human, half mermaid like Lily, there’s no such thing as a simple crush.

Lily’s mermaid identity is a secret that can’t get out, since she’s not just any mermaid – she’s a Thalassinian princess. When Lily found out three years ago that her mother was actually a human, she finally realized why she didn’t feel quite at home in Thalassinia, and she’s been living on land and going to Seaview high school ever since, hoping to find where she truly belongs. Sure, land has its problems – like her obnoxious, biker boy neighbor Quince Fletcher – but it has that one major perk – Brody. The problem is, mermaids aren’t really the casual dating type – when they “bond,” it’s for life.

When Lily’s attempt to win Brody’s love leads to a tsunami-sized case of mistaken identity, she is in for a tidal wave of relationship drama, and she finds out, quick as a tailfin flick, that happily-ever-after never sails quite as smoothly as you planned.

When I first saw I practically squealed because it got everything I love - unrequited love, mermaids and secrets. This sounds like a retelling of The Little Mermaid with a twist. I also like the idea that, when mermaids bond, its for life - very unrealistic but cool as hell. In terms of cover, this is fabulous. Fa-bu-lous.

Can you forgive Lily's fins? Wait til May 2010 to find out.

Tuesday 29 September 2009

Save Shrinking Violet + New feaure


Help Tere keep her voice!

The book is about to go on back order and in order for more copies to be printed, more people have to place orders.

So here's how you can help:
Please tell anyone that you think might be interested to place an order now before it's too late. Guys, girls, grandmas. grandpas, you're never too old to read humorous teen fiction!

I'm also running a contest for those that want to have some fun! There will be four winners, each receiving a $25 gift certificate to iTunes or the bookstore of their choice.

So how can you win?
1. Post a review of Shrinking Violet on or B & 2 points

2 Blog, Tweet or Facebook about the Save Shrinking Violet Campaign 1 point for each mention

3. Take a picture of yourself wearing a sweater and mimicking the book's cover (you must have the book in the photo too). 2 points

Contest begins at 11pm on Thursday, September 24, 2009 and ends at 11pm on Thursday, October 15, 2009.
After you enter, you can either email me at or leave me a comment here or on my blog at;

Much love and thanks for your support,


FEATURE: Friday Flavour

So I've been thinking (and has sent notes to some of you) about this feature for almost a month and I think that it should be somewhat appealing to the readers of my blog. Sometimes we read a book that we love so much that we can't stop talking about it but for some reason we cannot post its review some time soon. Sucks doesn't it? So the idea of Friday Flavour is to gush about a YA title that you've recently read (and loved) as well as recommending it to others by giving a few reasons why it rocks. Many of the authors have agreed to take part in and I hope you will as well ^^ You can have a list of drool-worthy books, you can talk about it and you can win cool prizes as well. So what are you waiting for?

If you're interested in being featured in Friday Flavour posts, please drop me an email at something_maybeATliveDOTcom. Even if you prefer to be an audience only, it's okay, I'd love to know what you think of the feature.

p.s For bloggers who have received the Friday Flavour form, I hope you could send it to me at the end of this week. If not, please let me know as well.

Thanks ; )

Monday 28 September 2009

In My Mailbox (34)

Idea taken from The Story Siren

Farm life, ghosts and a mysterious murder. Well, not in real life, but in the below stories.

Front And Center by Catherine Gilbert Murdock.

After five months of sheer absolute craziness I was going back to being plain old background D.J. In photographs of course I’m always in the background . . . But it turns out other folks have big plans for D.J. Like her coach. College scouts. All the town hoops fans. A certain Red Bend High School junior who’s keen for romance and karaoke. Not to mention Brian Nelson, who she should not be thinking about! Who she is done with, thank you very much. But who keeps showing up anyway . . .

Closed For The Season by Mary Downing Hahn.

A contemporary thriller by the bestselling author of THE OLD WILLIS PLACE.

Two 13-year-old boys, Arthur and Logan, set out to solve the mystery of a murder that took place some years ago in the old house Logan's family has just moved into. The boys' quest takes them to the highest and lowest levels of society in their small Maryland town, and eventually to a derelict amusement park that is supposedly closed for the season.

Ghost Huntress: The Guidance by Marley Gibson.

Kendall and her ghost hunting team is the talk of Radisson, Georgia, but one person isn’t so pleased. Courtney Langdon doesn’t appreciate Kendall’s new popularity or her relationship with Jason, Courtney’s ex. So Courtney begins dabbling in the paranormal world. At first it’s all a game to draw attention away from Kendall. But Courtney doesn’t know what she’s getting into—or what wants in her. This is one game that’s about to turn deadly serious. And for more about Kendall and the ghost huntresses, check out!

I have to say that I'm not really interested in the other two books since they're not much my style but Front and Center looks so cute I'm happy enough. Now I have a chance to have a closer look the book cover is pretty nice and peaceful, plus this third book in the series seems to have more than just typical farm activities. I hope I'll like it so I can go back reading the first two books real soon.

Thanks Nadya for all the bookssss. I love you :)

So what've you got last week?

Sunday 27 September 2009

Sunday Special (31) The Colour Of Paranomal definitely black. Gorogeous black, exotic black as the background and glowing objects of other colours. This combination makes great covers of this genre don't you agree? One more thing, it never gets old. It's getting better and better. Here are the proofs.

The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause.

Kissed By An Angel by Elizabeth Chandler.

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain.

Gone by Lisa McMann.

The Body Finder by Kimberly Desting.

Captivate by Carrie Jones.

Shadowland by Alyson Noel.

Sleepless by Cyn Balog.

It's hard to pick one in a sea of covers like these right? But I've already got my favorite of the bunch. It's The Dark Divine. Purple goes so well with black and look at the pale skin of those legs, it's so beautiful I can sit all day staring at it :D

Love any of the covers? And since the majority of the list here is 2010 babies, which one are you most looking forward to?

Saturday 26 September 2009

Secrets Of Truth And Beauty by Megan Frazer

Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Pub. Date: July 2009
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Source of copy: from publisher - Disney Hyperion

When Dara Cohen was little, she was a bright, shiny star. She was the cutest seven-year-old who ever sang Ella Fitzgerald, and it was no wonder she was crowned Little Miss Maine.

That was then. Now Dara's seventeen and she's not so little anymore. So not little, that when her classmates find out about her illustrious resume, their jaws drop. That's just one of her many problems. Another is that her control-freak mom won't get off her case about anything. Yet the one that hurts the most is the family secret: Dara has an older sister her parents tried to erase from their lives.

When a disastrously misinterpreted English project lands her in the counselor's office—and her parents pull her out of school to save face—Dara realizes she has a decision to make. She can keep following the rules and being misunderstood, or she can finally reach out to the sister she's never met—a sister who lives on a collective goat farm in Massachusetts. Dara chooses B. What follows is a summer of revelations, some heartbreaking, some joyous; of friendship, romance, a local beauty pageant; and choices. And as autumn approaches, Dara finds she may have to let go of everything she's taken for granted in order to figure out who she really is, and what family really means.

What makes Secrets Of Truth And Beauty a great book on self appreciation and the joy of life? A fat girl, one seemingly non existent sister, overreacting parents and a farm for escapes.

I think I would have taken greater delight in this story had it not been for the way too detailed synopsis. Already knowing the almost complete plot did, at some extent, turn me off even though there were well planned out twists.

However, if you asked me, I'd still recommend this book to teenagers who have issue with her body as well as those who cannot find peace in their own families. The writing was smooth and smart, the characters friendly and adorable. In addition to that was the farm life with many interesting activities, e.g feeding, milking and making cheese. The story did not just focus on the subject of being an overweight young adults, in fact, it explored the matter of prejudice against those that were different from the majority of the society and how they learnt to live happily above it all. I loved the idea of the farm so much, it was not an ordinary farm, it was a farm for lost and confused souls where everyone was welcomed with open arms and open hearts.

The characters in the book nicely represented others who were in the same situations. Dara helped us recognize that we were the only that judged ourselves the most, Owen told the readers how good it was to be who you really were and Rachel proved that whatever happened, you could live your way and had fun with it. There were a lot of messages in this book and they all would do you good, in one way or another. Anyway, I still think that if the relationships in this book had reached higher and stronger stages, everything would have been perfect.

A pleasant story over all. Suitable for long-period read since the pace is slow.

Rating: 3.5/5

Thursday 24 September 2009

Viola In Reel Life by Adriana Trigiani

Publisher: Harper Teen
Pub. Date: September 2009
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 282
Format: ARC
Source of copy: from author - Adriana Trigiani

I'm marooned.


Left to rot in boarding school . . .

Viola doesn't want to go to boarding school, but somehow she ends up at an all-girls school in South Bend, Indiana, far, far away from her home in Brooklyn, New York. Now Viola is stuck for a whole year in the sherbet-colored sweater capital of the world.


There's no way Viola's going to survive the year—especially since she has to replace her best friend Andrew with three new roommates who, disturbingly, actually seem to like it there. She resorts to viewing the world (and hiding) behind the lens of her video camera.

Boarding school, though, and her roommates and even the Midwest are nothing like she thought they would be, and soon Viola realizes she may be in for the most incredible year of her life.

But first she has to put the camera down and let the world in.

A book about adaption and following your own dream, Viola In Reef Life was charming, adorable and upbeat. If you're trying feel belonged to a new place but things seem not very bright, it was likely that Viola's story would help you in some ways.

This book made me feel old. It was funny because at first when I checked the book out, I didn't know that Viola was fourteen. Moreover, in the beginning where she was still in her whining section the girl sounded maturer than her age, like she was actually sixteen or older. But when Viola started to fall in love with Perfect Academy and went back to her usual cheerful self, she acted real young and innocent. And that was how I would describe the story too. It was full of energy, of passion and hope, something you'd need in such hectic and stressful lives. The concept of Viola In Reel Life was very simple. I liked the way it went. Adriana Trigiani didn't tie the main character with a huge problem from chapters to chapters and solve it all in the end, if anything, our lovely girl got over her homesickness (sort of) very soon and went on to discover the news and the excitings in Indiana.

Viola In Reel Life was peaceful, literally. The scenes of the boarding school were so amazing I could really imagine these in my head, they had the ancient and very delicate beauty. The plot itself was very calm. There were no bad characters, no drama. Just a lot events and happenings (e.g a red dress ghost) that kept you interested and waiting for more.

I don't think I have much to say about the characters since they were all so well portrayed. I loved Viola, even though at some point she was whiny, the girl was a true artist. She was also sweet and always hopeful about love which made want to feel the same way. In another aspect, I was very happy with how Jared turn out to be because for one moment I thought he was one of those too good to be true guys. Wait, how about Viola's family? Just one word: great, especially her Grandma.

A light-hearted young book for young adults. Need encouragement, inspiration and warmth of love and friendship? This is the one.

Rating: 3.5/5

Wednesday 23 September 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (30)

Idea taken from Breaking The Spine

The Dead Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan.

Gabry lives a quiet life. As safe a life as is possible in a town trapped between a forest and the ocean, in a world teeming with the dead, who constantly hunger for those still living. She’s content on her side of the Barrier, happy to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. But there are threats the Barrier cannot hold back. Threats like the secrets Gabry’s mother thought she left behind when she escaped from the Sisterhood and the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Like the cult of religious zealots who worship the dead. Like the stranger from the forest who seems to know Gabry. And suddenly, everything is changing. One reckless moment, and half of Gabry’s generation is dead, the other half imprisoned. Now Gabry only knows one thing: she must face the forest of her mother’s past in order to save herself and the one she loves.

Second book in the great paranormal series I've been looking forward to reading and reviewing, this one seems even more mysterious than the first. I also love the fact that there's a new main character to follow, like you're reading a series when you're not (does that even make sense?). Oh and the book just has a new cover. The original one looks beautifully dreamy but I think this portray the book better. What about you?

Prepared to be swept away by these waves on March 9th, 2010.

Tuesday 22 September 2009

Author Tour & Contests

I'm meant to post this a few weeks ago but totally forgot (my bad) :(

Adriana Trigiani Tour.

Celebrated author Adriana Trigiani is adored by millions of fans around the world for her adult novels, including the New York Times bestsellers Very Valentine, Lucia, Lucia, The Queen of the Big Time, Rococo and the Big Stone Gap series. Teens finally have a chance to experience Adriana's humor, insight and beloved storytelling for themselves with the publication of her highly anticipated YA debut, VIOLA IN REEL LIFE (September 1, 2009; HarperTeen), the first in a new teen series.

Trigiani’s entrée into the teen world centers on fourteen year-old aspiring filmmaker Viola Chesterton. When Viola’s parents leave for Afghanistan to make a documentary, they send her to boarding school in South Bend, Indiana. Homesick for Brooklyn, her BFF Andrew Bozelli, her confidante mystical Caitlin Pullapilly, and cold sesame noodles from her favorite local place, Viola does her best to fit in. With her trusty camera in hand, her three dynamic roommates (Romy, Marisol and Suzanne) by her side, a new crush, and the challenge to write and direct her first movie, the year Viola was dreading becomes one filled with wonder, surprise, heartbreak and joy.

Inspired by the books Adriana discovered as a teen on her county Bookmobile when she was growing up in Virginia, VIOLA IN REEL LIFE touches on the importance of self-discovery, the comfort of friendship and the love of family.

Adriana will be going on a 6 city VIOLA IN REEL LIFE tour and it would be great if you could post her event schedule on your site:

Tuesday, September 1 - LAKE GROVE, NY - Barnes & Noble – 600 Smith Haven Mall – 7pm

Thursday, September 3 - LOS ANGELES, CA - Barnes & Noble – 189 Grove Drive – 7pm

Wednesday, September 16 - ATLANTA, GA - Barnes & Noble – 7660 North Point Parkway (Alpharetta, GA) – 7pm

Thursday, September 17 - DALLAS, TX - Borders – 10720 Preston Road, Suite 1018 – 7pm

Friday, September 18 - RALEIGH, NC - Quail Ridge Books & Music – 3522 Wade Ave. – 7:30pm

Tuesday, September 22 - CHICAGO, IL - Off-site event hosted by Anderson’s Bookshop – Pfeiffer Hall at North Central College, 310 E. Benton Ave. (Naperville IL) – 7pm

Thursday, September 24 - WASHINGTON, DC - Borders – 5871 Crossroads Center Way (Baileys Crossroads, VA) – 7:30pm

Share The Ghost Love Contest.

Want to win 1,3 or even 5 ARCs from the picture on the right along with some GUTG swag?

Just post a review of GHOST on Amazon and/or as many of the following sites as you like, and for each you post on, you’ll get an entry. Your review can be on one or all of the site below:

Then go back to this post and leave a comment with your links. Easy peasy aye?

L.K Madigan's Photo Contest.

Inspired by her own upcoming book Flash Burnout, L.K Madigan is hosting a photo contest which allows you to show off your photography skill and win big prizes. Here's the "task"

Color Spot:
Take a photo that is monochromatic (mostly all one color) or lacking in color, with one contrasting bright spot that draws the eye.

She also included some example so you can have an idea of what to do

For more information, click here.

Hopefully you'll find one or more of these interesting. Whatever you choose to participate, have a good time!

Monday 21 September 2009

In My Mailbox (34)

Idea taken from The Story Siren

Egmont books ^^

Candor by Pam Bachorz.

In the model community of Candor, Florida, every teen wants to be like Oscar Banks. The son of the town’s founder, Oscar earns straight As, is student-body president, and is in demand for every club and cause.
But Oscar has a secret. He knows that parents bring their teens to Candor to make them respectful, compliant–perfect–through subliminal Messages that carefully correct and control their behavior. And Oscar’s built a business sabotaging his father’s scheme with Messages of his own, getting his clients out before they’re turned. After all, who would ever suspect the perfect Oscar Banks?
Then he meets Nia, the girl he can’t stand to see changed. Saving Nia means losing her forever. Keeping her in Candor, Oscar risks exposure . . . and more.

Scones And Sensibilities by Lindsay Eland.

Polly Madassa is convinced she was born for a more romantic time. A time when Elizabeth Bennet and Anne of Green Gables walked along the moors and beaches of the beautiful, wild land. A time when a distinguished gentleman called upon a lady of quality, and true love was born in the locked eyes of two young lovers.

But alas, she was not.

This however does not stop our young heroine from finding romance wherever she can conjure it up. So while Polly is burdened with the summer job of delivering…

Wish Your Were Dead by Todd Strasser.

I’ll begin with Lucy. She is definitely first on the list. You can’t believe how it feels to be in the cafeteria and turn around and there she is staring at me like I’m some disgusting bug or vermin. Does she really think I WANT to be this way? I hate you, Lucy. I really hate you. You are my #1 pick. I wish you were dead.

The day after anonymous blogger Str-S-d wishes the popular girl would die, Lucy vanishes. The students of Soundview High are scared and worried. Especially frightened and wracked with guilt is Madison Archer, Lucy’s friend and the last person to see her the night she disappeared.
As days pass with no sign of the missing girl, even the attention of Tyler, an attractive new student, is not enough to distract Madison from her growing sense of foreboding. When two more popular students disappear after their names are mentioned on Str-S-d’s blog, the residents of Soundview panic.

Meanwhile, Madison receives anonymous notes warning that she could be next. Desperate to solve the mystery before anyone else disappears, Madison turns to Tyler, but can she trust him when it becomes clear that he knows more than he’s sharing?

The clock is ticking. Madison must uncover the truth behind the mysterious disappearances . . . before her name appears in Str-S-d’s blog.

A cute book, a scientific one and a thriller story, all came from the super Egmont. These have travelled a long way from the publisher to my aunt in Texas and eventually landed at my doorstep so I treated them with lots of care. So, what do you think of these? Which one should I read first? Candor, maybe?

Thanks Stephanie from EgmontUSA for all these lovely titles!

Got any fabulous books this week everyone?

Sunday 20 September 2009

Lock And Key by Sarah Dessen

Publisher: Penguin Aus.
Pub. Date: April 7th 2008
Age range: Young Adult
Pages: 432
Format: paperback
Source of copy: from the publisher - Penguin Aus

Ruby Cooper likes to expect the worst.

That way, she's never disappointed.

Abandoned by her mother and forced to leave the house she calls home, ruby is facing too many changes. Her world has been transformed into a life of luxury by her long-lost sister, but all Ruby wants to do is leave - she can make it on her own. Even Nate, the gorgeous boy next door, can't seem to change her mind. Will Ruby realise first impressions don't always count? And sometimes, people can surprise you, so it's OK to let the closest one in ...

Another lovable read from Sarah Dessen, not essentially the most outstanding books she's written but still very charming.

Having read three of her stories, I drew out the same concept/pattern. There's always a family issue, added to which self-mystery and lovelife problem. Like one of the character in After The Moment by Garret Freymann-Weyr has said "the stories are the same, only details are different." That, though, doesn't mean Lock And Key appeared to be a boring one. In contrast, each book has its specialty and for Lock And Key, it's sisterhood and faith in yourself as well as other people around.

There's no need to tell you how great Sarah Dessen's style of writing again since I've elaborated that in the other reviews. But for those who haven't got your hands up on any books by the author, I can assure you'll fall in love with the serene feeling and well planned details of the story. I'm usually the type who goes for dialogues, but with this book it was totally the opposite. Memories of sadness of Ruby seemed to appeal me more than the conversations she had with either Cora or Nate or Jamie because of its depth and a light touch of nostalgia. The plot also had a semi twist. Instead of being helped to open her heart more, Ruby learnt it from encouraging others to do the same thing.

Unlike Macy and Auden who strictly followed the rules, our main character Ruby was a little wild and carefree. She didn't ask so much of life and expected people not to hold high hope for her either. She was afraid of commitment, attachment, any kind of relationship that would break her heart once broken. In terms of supporting characters, I wasn't crazy about Nate (except for the fact that he likes swimming) and Cora's part could have been more significant; however, I had a liking towards Jamie. Anyone, everyone would love to have a brother in law like him.

The ending was less stormy and impressive than The Truth About Forever and Along For The Ride, a nice one nevertheless. Recommended to fans of Sarah Dessen or whoever likes deep, peaceful writing.

Rating: 3.5/5

Thursday 17 September 2009

An Abundance Of Katherines by John Green

Publisher: Penguin Group Aus
Pub. Date: October 2008
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 272
Format: paperback
Source of copy: from the publisher - Penguin Aus

When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type is girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact. On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washedup child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy–loving best friend riding shotgun—but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl. Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself.

Before I picked up this book, I'd heard several great things about John Green's works. Unfailingly the comments were brilliant, amazing, creative, thought-provoking or unforgettable. An Abundance Of Katherines, however, gave me my own word to compliment on his writing: unique.

When I started reading I really didn't know what to expect. The premise did sound very funny and interesting but unlike other books, I couldn't predict many of the details. At first, I'm not going to lie, I didn't quite catch the drift. Except from the fact that Colin was heartbroken from the breakup with XIX Katherine, other things were very unclear and the pace was slow. Thankfully after a few chapters it started to pick up and things made sense. I loved every little small part that the author added to the story: the anagram, the strange languages, the history, even the math (note that I'm a antiMath). These freshness would make you remember An Abundance of Katherine, whether you found yourself in love with the book or not. And did I mention that the writing was super smart? I did feel kinda dumb at the beginning but once getting used to John Green's style, I surprisingly enjoyed it really much. The conversations, the situation, the way the author untie the knots were astute, something that you wouldn't find in other novels.

I especially emphasized on how great the author's work of creating characters was. Same as the plot, people like Colin or Hassan weren't typical teenagers that you could randomly come across in any YA books. Colin's life, overall, was even more complicated than his live life - a prodigy anticipated to grow into a genius but did not, then tried his best to matter by learning so hard that he thought he could form his own equation of relationship stages. Sometimes I thought he was crazy, sometimes very ambitious and determined. He was also a very unpredictable character - one moment he seemed weak, the other very strong, someone you could lean on in times of troubles. And Hassan? He'd give you the best laugh you could ever ask from male character, very silly but honest and caring guy.

Overall this book was a very shewd read, an epitome of how clever a YA book can be. If you want to try something different, pick it up. Now.

Rating: 4.5/5

Wednesday 16 September 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (30)

Idea taken from Breaking The Spine

The Mark by Jen Nadol.

Sixteen-year old Cassie Renfield has seen the mark since forever: a glow around certain people as if a candle were held behind their back. The one time she pointed it out taught her she shouldn't do it again, so Cassie has kept quiet, considering its rare appearances odd, but insignificant. Until she watches a man die. Mining her memories, Cassie realizes she can see a person's imminent death. Now how or where, only when: today. Cassie searches her past, her philosophy lessons, even her new boyfriend for answers, always careful to keep her secret. How does the mark work? Why her? Most importantly, if you know today is someone's last, should you tell?

I think the idea is very typical, like how an hero/heroine sees numbers above people's heads and then tell exactly when they're going to die. But there's still something about it that still catches my full attention. Perhaps it's because Cassie only knows the last day of their lives, the matter of death is stronger and more intense. And I'm not going to die, I like the book partly because of the gorgeous cover.

Wants to know how the mark works? Jan 19th 2010 is the day!

Monday 14 September 2009

In My Mailbox (33)

Idea taken from The Story Siren

New week, new books :D

Sing Me To Sleep by Angela Morrison.

BETH HAS ALWAYS BEEN “THE BEAST”--That’s what everyone at school calls her because of her awkward height, facial scars, and thick glases. Who could love a beast? Beth’s only friend is geeky, golden-haired Scott. That is until she’s selected to be her choir’s soprano soloist and receives the makeover of a lifetime. Suddenly, everyone wants a piece of Beth.

Things only get better when her choir travels to Switzerland and Beth meets the mysterious Derek. They have an incredible whirlwind romance that makes Beth realize, for the first time, she too can find love. She’s no longer The Beast. In Derek’s eyes, she’s a beauty. But then Scott makes a heartbreaking confession to Beth that leaves her completely torn. Should she stand by sweet, steady Scott or follow the dangerous passionate feelings she has for Derek?

And there’s an even bigger problem: Derek’s got a secret . . . one that could shatter everything.

Artichoke's Heart by Suzanne Supplee.

Rosemary Goode is smart and funny and loyal and the best eyebrow waxer in Spring Hill, Tennessee. But only one thing seems to matter to anyone, including Rosemary: her weight. And when your mom runs the most successful (and gossipy) beauty shop in town, it can be hard to keep a low profile. Rosemary resolves to lose the weight, but her journey turns out to be about everything but the scale. Her life-changing, waist-shrinking year is captured with brutal honesty and humor, topped with an extralarge helping of Southern charm. A truly uncommon novel about an increasingly common problem.

Paisley Hanover Acts Out by Cameron Turtle.

Always one of the popular kids, sophomore Paisley Hanover gets a rude awakening when she's booted out of yearbook and into the badlands of drama class. Out of her element but only momentarily out of ideas, Paisley takes action'and an unexpected liking to her drama buddies. The result? An undercover crusade that could bring down the popularity pecking order, and Paisley along with it.

This is the story of how Paisley Hanover gets wise, gets bold, and gets into a hilarious mess of trouble. With a package as fresh and clever as Paisley herself including a cool slipcase, a fabulous novel, and Paisley's notebook of embarrassingly funny ideas and doodles is the start of a series that embraces the Un in UnUsual.

Three books, all published by Penguin :D Sing Me To Sleep is the most yummy one to me since it's a Tenner and like Angela's debut book, it's pretty sad (just my taste, you know). I also love how the other two look, so cute right? My copy of Paisley is a finished one so I got a box of two books which love utterly adorable. If you want to buy something for someone on a special occasion, I guess this one will make the best gift ^^

Thanks to Angela and Sara from Penguin for the lovely books.

So what have you got to add to your TBR pile last week?

Saturday 12 September 2009

An Off Year by Claire Zulkey

Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Pub. Date: September 2009
Age Range: 12 and up
Pages: 304
Format: ARC
Source of copy: from the publisher - Penguin US

Cecily has always done everything as she was supposed to: taken the right classes, gotten the right grades, applied to the right colleges. But after a lifetime of following the rules, she surprises everyone by arriving for her freshman year of college . . . and turning around. There are infinite possibilities for Cecily's unexpected gap year. She could volunteer, or travel around the world—but, for now, Cecily is content to do absolutely nothing. What follows is a year of snarkily observed self-doubt and selfdiscovery during which Cecily must ask herself, for the first time, what does she really want to do with her life?

Freaked out about what you'll do after high school? Clueless of how to make a right choice for your future? Or merely thinking you're incapable of blending in to have real fun? This book may be what you need to get through all this. Cute and sympathetic, An Off Year is like a guide book but in a lighter and much interesting form.

The book told the story about Cecily, a teenager who had set her very first steps on campus and decided to come back, shocking herself as well as her family and friends. The situation did sound unfamiliar - not like all of us would come to college and then take a year off so suddenly. Bu then, how many of us have doubted about what we were going to do with our lives once high school was over? Tons, I bet. So reading this book was like reading your life in presence (or recalling past emotions, in my case). It was just true and cordial.

Cecily was a very confused character. She did not just have problem with the school, she was totally oblivious of what to do next. It was fun learning how she tried to fix her life, but sometimes I thought she was stuck in a messy circle. Cecily was whiny when her family members wanted to help, then remember what she did and thought of herself as a somewhat loser, afterward felt all lonely because her friends had changed. It felt repeated and it was certainly not good for impatient readers. I also had no idea why her friend Mike chose to do such a crazy useless thing - I won't tell you what he did, find out yourself and then we can discuss about it later.

So, the things that made me appreciate An Off Year was that it wrapped up most of the problems of a teenager soon to be adult like the fear of being so lost in a sea of people or not knowing to how face reality in such a graceful way. And Claire Zulkey didn't try to tell you what you should do or what's right and wrong either. She helped open your mind, giving you a chance to see yourself clearly and more precisely so you can make a decision that you would not regret later. That means she would not give you any answers, instead, encourage you to be strong and do it yourself. Great isn't it?

Really, this book may be not one of the perfect and mind-blowing kind but I think that all of us teenagers should have a copy. It'll be a very helpful friend for the progress of transition from highschool to college/uni.

Rating: 3.5/5

Friday 11 September 2009

Lauren Baratz Losgted' Guest Post: Loving The Beast

Lauren Baratz Logsted, the author of the just released Crazy Beautiful - a modern fairy tale, is here with us today. Since her latest novel, as we all know, is a retelling of Beauty and Beast, I have asked her to share her view on a particular subject that has been interested me for such a long time: Loving The Beast. The beast does not just look scary and ugly, seems like he's trying to keep a distance from people by being mean and unfriend. So, how could the heroine love him?

We all, at least those of us who think ourselves romantics, love the Beast. Why is that?

When I think of the Beast, I don’t necessarily think of the Disney-fied Beast with his body all covered with hair, although I did have the fairy tale Beast in mind when I created Lucius Wolfe in Crazy Beautiful. But what I was dwelling on more was how he got that way, how a poor decision on his own part resulted in his outward physical transformation, making him the architect of his own tragic condition. I was also thinking about the constant interplay between surface information – physical appearance, rumors – and how others perceive and treat us, which in turn shapes how we perceive and treat the world in an endless cycle.

I’ve often heard Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight referred to as a Romeo & Juliet story, and I see that to a certain extent. But far more than that, I see it as a Beauty & the Beast story. Again, Edward’s not covered in hair like the big guy in Disney. What he is, really, is Other. And that’s true, I think, of every Beast character in literature. They are Other, somehow different from the society that surrounds them. They all have physical features that signify them as such – the Beast’s hair, Edward’s cold vampire skin, Lucius’s hooks – giving society a convenient surface reason to treat them as less than.

So what attracts us romantics to the Other? What attracts Belle to the Beast, Bella to Edward, and Aurora to Lucius? It is exactly that otherness, that sense of someone uniquely different than everybody else, and that sense that we alone are capable of seeing beyond the mere surface to the real human being beyond. There’s the sense, too, that we can somehow make it better; we can take the pain away. There’s something very attractive in that.

Really, what does Prince Charming have going for him anyway? Sure, I guess he’s heroic. I mean, he does always save the day and all. But really, isn’t he kind of boring? And that personality – sooo one-dimensional. Good guy, good guy, good guy. Blond, blond, blond. Snore, snore, snore. Take the Beast, on the other hand – he’s dizzyingly complex. The Beast may have started out in life as a prince, but all similarities between him and that Charming guy end right there. The Beast has seen bad things. He’s done bad things. He’s definitely had bad things done to him. And yet somehow, he manages to become heroic, he learns how to love and earns the right to be loved.

We love the Beast because he promises us a journey. After all, where’s the story if you start good and end good? Far better to start bad and end good. I’m pretty sure that what you don’t want is for the hero to start good and end bad.

That’s my story, at least for today. But I reserve my right to change my mind tomorrow. I hope you were entertained.

So what do you think? Do you agree with Lauren? Are you on Team Prince Charming or do you happen to be one who likes to side with The Beast? Go on and tell us.

Thursday 10 September 2009

Give Up The Ghost by Megan Crewe

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Pub. Date: September 15, 2009
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 256
Format: ARC
Source of copy: from author - Megan Crewe

Cass McKenna much prefers ghosts to “breathers.” Ghosts are uncomplicated and dependable. They know the dirt on everybody . . . and Cass loves dirt.

She’s on a mission to expose the dirty secrets of all of the poseurs in her school. But when the vice president of the student council discovers her secret, Cass’s whole scheme hangs in the balance. Timwants her help to contact his recently deceasedmother, but Cass is less than enthusiastic.
Kicking and screaming, Cass becomes increasingly entwined in Tim’s life. And she’s more surprised than anyone when she realizes that maybe some living people aren’t so bad if she’d only give them a chance.

I'm not really into ghost stories, unless they're funny or there's a lot of romance in it. Give Up The Ghost has either of these qualities I look for, so why did I enjoy it so much? Simple, because the book is heartfelt and truly honest.

The very first thing that sucked me right into the story was that the appearance of the ghosts were very different. They did not scare the hell out of anyone, they did not look or smell creepy and most of them didn't seem to suffer from any kind of tiredness for sticking around so long. They, for a matter of fact, were friendly and helpful to Cass, as if being creatures from two separate worlds didn't mean a thing to their relationship. And guess what I liked the most about them? The ghosts spied on people, trying to get their secrets, and then, taking delight when everything was spilled in front of the victims. Mean, wasn't it? Still, it felt so entertaining reading those parts. Megan Crewe's voice created a mysteriousness all over the story, making things interestingly misty. The ghosts' own stories, Cass's history, her current life, all seemed vague but became clearer and clearer as word trailed after word. Readers will find themselves unconsciously pay their full focus to every page to find out what was really happening in the story.

I heart each and every of the characters. Not just Cash or Tim but also Norris, Paige, Cass's parents. All of them played a significant part of building the whole story into a solid and real one. How they were before the death, ways they took to go through it, changes they had to adapt to move on - with these Megan sent a beautiful message of life to the readers. I loved the way the emotions were portrayed, especially the sadness and loneliness; it made me feel cold and empty at some point. You know what was brilliant about the book? That it didn't have to force romance in between everything to feel like a complete one. Instead of making two characters fall deeply in love with each other at rocket speed, the author chose to grow a silent understanding between them, leading them both to open their hearts and souls to people they never knew before, just to end up being good friends who helped one another to live better and happier.

The ending was perfect. No rush, no awkwardness. It just flew naturally. If I was to complain, it was because I thought Danielle the backstabber should have been punished more than that. She was so so so horrible I didn't know where to begin.

Recommended to everyone whether you like ghosts or not. Better if read on a gloomy/rainy days. Trust me, the effects were great in my case :)

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday 9 September 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (30)

Idea taken from Breaking The Spine

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers.

Climbing to the top of the social ladder is hard–-falling from it is even harder. Regina Afton used to be a member of the Fearsome Fivesome. And just like the other members of this all girl clique, she was both feared and revered by the students of Hallowell High... that is until vicious rumors about her and her best friend's boyfriend start going around. Now she's been "frozen out" and her ex-friends are out for revenge. If Regina was guilty, it would be one thing, but the rumors are far from the terrifying truth, and the bullying is getting more intense by the day.

Out of desperation, she takes solace in the companionship of Michael Hayden, a misfit with a tragic past who she herself used to bully. Friendship–and eventually romance–doesn't come easily for these onetime enemies, and as Regina makes amends for her past, a bond begins to form, while threats from the Fearsome Foursome are poised to break them both.

I don't think there's a reason not to like this one, especially ones who have read Cracked Up To Be. The synopsis just sounds awesome. I really like stories on popular girl who's back-stabbed then came back for revenge. And it seems even more compelling that in this book she teams up with a guy to get back on the other girls. Seriously can't wait to see what happens, and more importantly, how it ends.

Be prepared on Jan 5th 2009 cos Some Girls Are to get you!

Monday 7 September 2009

In My Mailbox (33)

Idea taken from The Story Siren

Some books to celebrate back to school first week ^^

Meridian by Amber Kizer.

Half-human, half-angel, Meridian Sozu has a dark responsibility.

Sixteen-year-old Meridian has been surrounded by death ever since she can remember. As a child, insects, mice, and salamanders would burrow into her bedclothes and die. At her elementary school, she was blamed for a classmate’s tragic accident. And on her sixteenth birthday, a car crashes in front of her family home—and Meridian’s body explodes in pain.

Before she can fully recover, Meridian is told that she’s a danger to her family and hustled off to her great-aunt’s house in Revelation, Colorado. It’s there that she learns that she is a Fenestra—the half-angel, half-human link between the living and the dead. But Meridian and her sworn protector and love, Tens, face great danger from the Aternocti, a band of dark forces who capture vulnerable souls on the brink of death and cause chaos.

And Then Everything Unraveled by Jennifer Sturman.

Delia Truesdale has no idea her life's about to change forever. She's too busy enjoying the California summer. Her internet tycoon mother, T.K. Truesdale, is out of town, and that means Delia can spend all her time at the beach, surfing. That is, until everything unravels.

Her mother suddenly goes missing, and everyone thinks she's dead - excpet Delia, who knows T.K.'s way too organized to simply disappear. But Delia's still sent to New York to live with her two aunts - a downtown bohemian and an uptown ice queen.

And in case that's not bad enough, she also has to deal with a snooty new school and trying not to fall for the wrong guy. Oh, and finding her mother.

As she delves deeper into the tangle of conspiracies and lies surrounding T.K.'s disappearance, Delia begins to suspect that the wrong guy may be the right guy...and that some secrets - especially the dangerous ones - were never meant to be unraveled.

The Comeback by Marlene Perez.

Sophie Donnelly is one half of the most popular and powerful couple in school, until new girl Angie Vogel shows up and compromises everything. Angie steals Sophie's starring role in the school play, and, worse, her super-popular boyfriend. Sophie has been quickly dispatched to social Siberia, but not for long--she'll do anything it takes to make a triumphant comeback.

Don't you love how the books sound? I totally like them. Even though I read a few negative reviews on The Comeback, I still expect to enjoy it. And what can I say about Meridian and And Then Everything Unraveled? They both received good responses and that's just awesome. Please vote for the one you want me to review first!

Thanks Amber, Jennifer, Aimee from Scholastic (also the lovely author of Sea Change) and Tracy from Scholastic for these copies!

Any books landed in your mailbox last week?

Sunday 6 September 2009

Sunday Special (30) Lovely Paperbacks & I Think I Start To Hate Twin Covers

This week I provided you guys two lists of the new and shiny 2010 books. Today, expressing some love for the reprints of the 2008/2009, let me show you some gorgeous paperback covers I came across on Amazon yesterday.

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The Adoration Of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson.
The Comeback Season by Jennifer E. Smith.

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Wherever Nina Lies by Lynn Weingarten.
Ten Cents A Dance by Christine Fletcher.

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Paper Towns by John Green.
The Secret Life Of Prince Charming by Deb Caletti.

Lovely right? I just love how all of these covers appear to be peaceful and dreamy, especially Ten Cents A Dance. I don't think its cover fits the story very much since the whole thing was set in 1940 or something, but the chemistry between the couple is so cool. These will definitely make the readers debate if it's okay to have a second copy of the same book :)

Last time, in one of my SS post Prince Charming cover was compared with Flirting With Boys and now Prince Charming paperback couldn't escape either. Take a look.

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For Keeps by Natasha Friend.

This is a Tenner by Natasha Friend, a story of mother, daughter and their road to love. I really adore the picture, no wonder why it was picked twice to make a cover. Anyway, it's a little disturbing how both books look so alike...the designers could have at least added some effects to make his/her production stand out or just different :( Which one do you like? I like For Keeps cos of the letter layout and because I saw it first. Haha.

Saturday 5 September 2009

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Pub. Date: July 17th 2008
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: paperback
Source of copy: from publisher - Hodder Children's Books UK:

California high school student Audrey Cuttler dumps self-involved Evan, the lead singer of a little band called The Do-Gooders. Evan writes, “Audrey, Wait!,” a break-up song that's so good it rockets up the billboard charts. And Audrey is suddenly famous!

Now rabid fans are invading her school. People is running articles about her arm-warmers. The lead singer of the Lolitas wants her as his muse. (And the Internet is documenting her every move!) Audrey can't hang out with her best friend or get with her new crush without being mobbed by fans and paparazzi.

Take a wild ride with Audrey as she makes headlines, has outrageous amounts of fun, confronts her ex on MTV, and gets the chance to show the world who she really is.

Writing this review feels like something totally unnecessary since it seems that everyone has already known how great this book is. But I can't help doing it because I love Audrey, Wait! like crazy. It's awesome. And in case any of you is wondering what kind of awesomeness: painful awesome, serene awesome, tremendous awesome or empty awesome; let me tell you, Robin Benway's debut novel is hilarious awesome.

The story was raw, fun and undeniably addicting. The author unhesitatingly painted a full picture of young adult's lives in which the seemingly inappropriate parts, too, had a chance to present themselves. Sex, cursing, backstabbing, all came out not offensive, instead, way too fun to skip. And I don't even have to state how brilliant the premise happened to be right? It was the most original and unique idea that I'd ever known. Dumping your boyfriend, getting a song written about you - one so popular you became famous? The synopsis itself was able to get you hooked, let alone actually reading the book. I don't think there are a lot of stories concerning the matter of unexpected fame or even if there were, Audrey, Wait! will still get its certain place in the audience's heart and no doubt a high place.

To me, Robin Benway made the name Audrey even cooler that it already was. Not just because the girl in the story is incredibly famous, but also for the fact that she was such a real and lovely one to be with. She did what she wanted, she said what she thought, and she had a HUGE love for music and concerts. The more I got to know Audrey, the more I liked her. Her sarcasm and wit were so attractive I wasn't so surprised when she got an enormous fanbase in the book. I found all the things she did especially funny: how she talked to her Dad, mocked Victoria and Jonah, when she hurt her cat or even when she freaked out everytime the song was on. I also have to give her kudos for not being annoyingly depressed under such circumstances (even though she hit her limits in a last few chapters). With Audrey, I felt that even though the worst thing just knocked on her door, you'd still see no end to her life. Other characters were utterly cute, for example, James. He was dorky but manly at the same time. Oh and Audrey had really really cool parents I almost wished they were mine.

Talk about the ending, I heart it. After enough of laughter of a messy life of a famous teenager, it gave you something to think about. Like how you stand up to the unwanted changes and fix them all up so that you can still have a happy and musicful youth.

Audrey, Wait! is the kind of book that I hope to see its movie adaptions anytime soon. I bet, that after reading this one, you just want to stalk the author until her next book comes out because you won't get enough of her excellent writing and wicked humour.

Rating: 4.5/5

Thursday 3 September 2009

(Rather) Full Lists Of 2010 Releases or Book Addicts Will Run Out Of Cash Next Year.

So it's a few last days of school and I got nothing to do so I wandered around Goodreads and I found some 2010 YA lists but they don't seem to have many 2010 books. Most are those which will be published in late 2009. So to keep track with the next year babies I created two myself. Actually it was supposed to be one list only but Goodreads only allows 100 titles each one. Here are the books that will rock our next year...

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Part 1

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Part 2

There are only 162 so far since I left out all the books that are listed as 2010 ones but actual publishing dates of which are in 2009. Some Tenners haven't been noticed by Goodreads too *coughs coughs* thus I have to wait for a while before I can add them to the lists. Anyway, I hope these two will help you as much as possible with your requesting, stalking, getting info and the likes. Please vote for the books you like. I want to know which 2010 baby is most desired hehe.


Tuesday 1 September 2009

THE BOOK CLUB REVIEW SEPT - Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Barazt Logsted

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pub. Date: September 2009
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 208
Format: ARC
Source of copy: from publisher - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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.

It's quite out of the question to sum up what I think of Crazy Beautiful in just a few words. Actually, it is a bit of this and a bit of that. Did the book turn out as I wanted? No. Did it disappoint me? Nonsense. Do I love it? Definitely. But I wish that I could love it even more.

Ever since I saw the cover of Crazy Beautiful as well as reading its synopsis I've been deeply in love with it. Not until recently that I found out that it was a retelling of my favorite fairy tale ever - Beauty and The Beast and it just made me want to grab the book and devour it in seconds. There were a lot of things to praise about the story but the coolest thing was, to me, that it was divided, in a skillful way, into two separate worlds. Readers will feel like they're reading two different books at the same time because Lucius's and Aurora's lives were nothing alike. Once was dark, gloomy and quiet to the point of insanity; while the other was bright, lively and full of hope and happiness. Reading from two perspectives gave you the chance to follow every step of both characters. Even though it might spoil the fun of guessing what the other was feeling/thinking, it was an essential move for such a story without many dialogues like Crazy Beautiful.

Lauren Baratz Logsted's writing was effortlessly clever. It was my first time reading something by her and I already knew that I'm going to look forward to her next book. I loved how she created the characters. As the rulers of their worlds, their images were clearly portrayed in contrast. Aurora resembled a princess with a big heart, who was positive and never wanted to judge people. If Aurora was sunlight then Lucius must be darkness, a guy with a hatred towards the world, destroying himself only to sink lower to depression and regret. But they were not perfectly carved people. Lucius had flaws, apparently. Aurora knew how to be annoyed and how to stand up to the evils too. That explained why, as fairy-tale-ish this book appeared, it was still believable, considering that Aurora loving someone who lived with hooks and wanted to scare everyone away wasn't something naturally persuasive.

What came in between me and Crazy Beautiful, loosening up our strong connection was that Aurora and Lucius hardly had any interaction. Staring, watching from afar, thinking of each other was okay too but I felt that those weren't enough to build a kind of steady relationship. If they could hang out together once or twice and had more conversations, it'd be much much greater I'm sure. Also, the ending (seems like I'm having trouble with endings all the time =.=) was so unexpected. I was on the verge of concluding that someone must have stolen a few last chapters off the book. I knew that Crazy Beautiful was short but I never thought it would end that way. It would be okay if this book was the first of a series, not an individual one.

Generally speaking, Crazy Beautiful was a gorgeous though not flawless book that I enjoyed and would love my readers to pick up as well.

Rating: 4/5

Waiting On Wednesday (29)

Idea taken from Breaking The Spine

The Life Of Glass by Jillian Cantor

Before he died, Melissa’s father told her about stars. He told her that the brightest stars weren’t always the most beautiful—that if people took the time to look at the smaller stars, if they looked with a telescope at the true essence of the star, they would find real beauty. But even though Melissa knows that beauty isn’t only skin deep, the people around her don’t seem to feel that way. There’s her gorgeous sister Ashley who will barely acknowledge Melissa at school, there's her best friend Ryan, who may be falling in love with the sophisticated Courtney, and there’s Melissa’s mother who’s dating someone new, someone who Melissa knows will never be able to replace her father.

To make sure she doesn’t lose her father completely, Melissa spends her time trying to piece together the last of his secrets and completing a journal her father began—one about love and relationships and the remarkable ways people find one another. But when tragedy strikes, Melissa has to start living and loving in the present, as she realizes that being beautiful on the outside doesn't mean you can't be beautiful on the inside.

The first thing of this book that caught my eyes was the cover (typically) but as soon as I read the synopsis it was when I couldn't get The Life Of Glass off my mind. I love books about self-appreciation and this one also has a kind of nostalgia about it. Last time I missed the chance to get my hands on Jillian's debut novel September Sisters so I really hope I'll be able to snag a copy of The Life Of Glass. I cannot stop staring at the gorgeous cover.

Learn more about The Life Of Glass on March 1st, 2010.