Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ho HUM. Sometimes the rules just aren't fair.

I have come to the concluusion that not all crimes are equal and I am a firm believer in the punishment should fit the crime.

Case in point: Monday I got called to the AP's office. As I was sitting in the office waiting a bagillion thoughts were running through my head and I was trying to determine exactly why I was there in the first place. By the time I sat in front of the principal I was already tearing up. I was scared. :(

Turns out my bus driver had written me up for my third offense. But until Mr. P told me what they were I had absolutely NO idea what I had done to warrant a trip to the office. So, as the principal explained what I had done I am not ashamed to say I a baby. It just so happens I'm not such a tough chick afterall. When faced with punishment I caved and begged  forgiveness of my crimes listed below.

  1. First check: I was not sitting in my assigned seat on the bus.
  2. Second check: I was being overly loud.
  3. Third check: I was busted eating a pop-tart from my backpack.

Here is the thing...I don't remember the bus driver ever warning me before on the first 2 counts. The third thing I fully admit to doing --I woke up late and was trying to eat before I got to school. Anyway, are any of those things worthy of being called to the principals office? NO. But rules are rules, and my punishment is one day of solitary suspension. In other words- I will spend the day in a room with other rule breakers and completely cut off from my classes, teachers, friends even lunch is served in the room. I am horrified and a little scared. I feel like Tracy Turnblad from Hairspray when she has to go to the office because of her hair.

I guess what I am getting at is that I think our principal had more important things to deal with than a pop-tart on a bus, but because there is protocol that must be followed, I am punished unjustly.

Is there any real justice in the world?


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Firelight by Sophie Jordan

FirelightA hidden truth.
Mortal enemies.
Doomed love.

Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki—a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.

Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away—if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.

Mythical powers and breathtaking romance ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide.

Fans of the always classic "star crossed lovers" storyline will fall in love with Firelight.

I breezed through this book in one afternoon while laying out in the sun. I was so engrossed in the story I forgot to reapply sunscreen and got a little burned...nothing too bad;). I loved the entire mythology and premise of the book. While so many YA books that have paranormal elements are geared toward Vampires, Shifters, Demons, Fae, or Angels, Sophie Jordan has centered her characters in dragon lore and I'm hooked!

Not only is the whole Draki (dragon people) mythology really interesting to me but the fact that the author has created a modern day world and placed the existence of Draki tribes scattered across the world and a race of humans known as "The Hunters" right in the middle if it, is just so cool. Instead of reading a Sci-fiction story that takes place in another realm or time, Firelight was relatable and the present day setting made it seem real to me.

The characters are fun and entertaining. I felt as if I understood the heroine, Jacinda and was able to sympathize with everything her character goes through. The side characters are appealing too...especially the hunky hunter Will. *sigh* He is definitely swoon worthy and as the story unfolds we begin to see how layered his character is! The forbidden romance between Will and Jacinda is really the soul of this story and it makes this a perfect summer read for YA fiction lovers!

Firelight was a super fun read and I am really looking forward to reading the next book in the series. The only bad thing I can say about it is that it is an unfinished series-which means we have to wait for the next books to be written. But, with all the world building and set up for future books, it's sure to be worth the wait!

~Peace & Love

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Review of Betrayal by Lee Nichols

Betrayal (Haunting Emma)Emma Vaile is the most powerful ghostkeeper in centuries. Which is great when she's battling the wraith-master Neos, but terrible when she's flirting with fellow ghostkeeper (and soul mate) Bennett. When ghostkeepers fall in love, the weaker one loses all power, and that's not something Bennett can handle. Heartbroken and alone, Emma tries to lose herself in school with fellow ghostkeeper, Natalie. When a new team of ghostkeepers arrive-one a snarky teen boy, the other a British scholar-Emma finds solace in training for the battle against Neos. But as the team grows stronger, they are threatened by an unknown force. One they thought was good.

As chilling and page-turning as Deception, this sequel will grab readers and hold them to the last page. No one is safe from suspicion as Emma closes in on the traitor.

Ommigosh, this is such a fun book! I'm beginning to think 2011 is the year of AWESOME YA books, because I have yet to read a book that I didn't adore.

Lee Nichols is such a great story teller. She can communicate so many different emotions in fun and realistic ways. And, in Betrayal she really shows it off!

*Mildly spoilery for first book*
For instance, in the first chapter we see our heroine, Emma, dealing with the outcome of the events that came to pass in Deception (book 1). As Emma tries to cope with the human loss of a friend (and the fact that others blame her personally for that loss) we read her inner struggle and dialogue with herself and they are all very real reactions a teen would have and think to themselves in similar situations. But, then we see how quickly a teens thoughts can shift when the guy she is head over heels in love with enters the scene. Let me tell you where Bennett and Emma are concerned, Lee Nichols writes some swoon worthy moments that had me blushing one minute and grabbing for the Kleenex the next. Their storyline is set up to be potentially EPIC. I don't mind saying that as a "Bennett lover" I am a tad worried about his character.;)

The action and mystery in this book is really great. I was guessing till the very end on who the "betrayer" was...within one chapter I had pegged three different people as being the bad guy (or girl, or ghost;)).

I also really loved the character development of the supporting characters. We really got to know them better and see how important their roles are in Emma's life. And, considering everything that goes down in this book...they will be very important in future books so it's good to have more insight.

I enjoyed Betrayal even more than I did Deception. The Haunting Emma series is fun, thrilling, romantic, and sometimes creepy without taking itself too seriously. These books are everything a YA series should be and I look forward to the next addition.

The only downside is...that's like a year away!!!

Peace & Love

This book was originally reviewed for Paperback Dolls

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mortal Instruments Giveaway! Win a copy of City of Fallen Angels and MORE

Paperback Dolls are featuring the talented jewelry designer responsible for creating book inspired pieces from Cassandra Clare's "The Mortal Instrument" series, Viviane Hebel. Vivane's love for handmade creations is evident in her work and she is constantly imagining and making new pieces.

Most of her creations usually come from her experimentation with materials and self-taught skills. She enjoys working with geometric shapes in a very contemporary way, as well as organic shapes taken from nature. Inspiration is everywhere.

Visit Viviane Hebel

Here is your chance to WIN a brand new piece inspired by Cassandra Clare's newest release CITY OF FALLEN ANGELS.
Gorgeous new handcrafted Stele Pen

Not only will you recieve this AMAZING piece, but we're adding to the awesome by including a copy of CITY OF FALLEN ANGELS!!!
City of Fallen Angels (Mortal Instruments, Book 4)
That's right folks, you will be able to read the book while owning a handmade stele of your very own!

*To enter simply fill out THIS FORM and be sure to leave a comment below for Viviane Hebel;)

As usual, there are more ways to win:

+1 for each place you post about today’s contest on your blog, social network, or anywhere you can. Digg it, stumble it, twit it, share it with the world. Wherever you share it, make sure you add a link to it along with your comment.

This contest IS international. Giveaway ends April 22nd and the winner will be chosen by on April 24th. We ask the winners to post a review of the novel someplace. Whether it is on their own blog, Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing or wherever, it doesn’t matter. Just help get the word out. Also, we will try to contact the winners, but we ask that you check back to see if you’ve won.

*Remeber to visit Viviane Hebel's ETSY Store to purchase items and remember, a portion of the proceeds from each sale goes to benefit the charity Reading Is Fundamental, which delivers free books and literacy resources to children in need.

This contest was reposted from Paperback Dolls.

Win an iTouch loaded with 6 YA books + More!!!

Hi everyone,

Welcome to iClue. Six authors with six different mysteries and six weeks of book giveaways on our favorite book blogs (including this one!). Once you solve my mystery, head over to iClue and enter your answer. That's all you need to do to be eligible to win the grand prize: an iPod Touch loaded with all the ebooks you see in the iClue banner. You're welcome to enter once for each author mystery. So let's start playing!

A little about my mystery

I love pop culture and love to include pop culture references in my books. But ... sometimes it can date a book or possibly end up tragically. For example, if today I wrote something specifically about Charlie Sheen, in two years it could read funny or not so funny or just plain odd. So instead I'd mention an actor who got fired from a popular sitcom because he had some issues with drugs and prostitutes. That's vague enough, that in two years it could be relevant to a completely different scandalous actor.

I also love music, but to me musical taste is so personal. I might love the song Raise Your Glass by Pink, but you might hate it and by extension think my character is lame for liking it. Still, music is such a huge part of teen lives, that I can't leave it out. And that's what today's mystery is about.

This is a first-time-ever-seen excerpt from SURRENDER the third and final Haunting Emma book which will be published in December. In it Emma is listening to a song Bennett has downloaded to her iPhone. Read the passage and see if you can figure out who the artist is and what song she's singing. If you know the answer, DON'T POST IT IN THE COMMENTS. Instead go straight to iClue and enter your answer. But if you're having trouble, check back tomorrow on PBD where they'll post the first clue to help you figure it out.

Surrender Excerpt on Paperback Dolls*

Want to find out more about Lee Nichols and her books? Visit her Website and her Blog!

~*~*Paperback Dolls and Lee Nichols Book Giveaway*~*~
Wait! There's more! Lee Nichols is so awesome that in addition to the iClue competition she has also graciously agreed to share a copy of each of her books - DECEPTION and BETRAYAL, the first two books in the Haunting Emma series with one of PBD's followers! 
Deception (Haunting Emma)Betrayal (Haunting Emma)

What do you need to do? Well, Comment over on Paperback Dolls (.com)! Tell Paperback Dolls a quirky special reason why you deserve to win! Remember - do not share your iClue answer in the comments - that's for the iClue site. Just let us know why you deserve these spectacular books and one lucky winner will be chosen by on April 23rd and the winner will then be announced in our Week in Review feature on April 24th! 
Don't forget to tweet and share both contests! 
Bon Chance!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Review: A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle

A Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine L'Engle's Time Quintet)Everyone in town thinks Meg is volatile and dull-witted and that her younger brother Charles Wallace is dumb. People are also saying that their father has run off and left their brilliant scientist mother. Spurred on by these rumors, Meg and Charles Wallace, along with their new friend Calvin, embark on a perilous quest through space to find their father. In doing so they must travel behind the shadow of an evil power that is darkening the cosmos, one planet at a time.

Young people who have trouble finding their place in the world will connect with the "misfit" characters in this provocative story. This is no superhero tale, nor is it science fiction, although it shares elements of both. The travelers must rely on their individual and collective strengths, delving deep into their characters to find answers.

A classic since 1962, Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time is sophisticated in concept yet warm in tone, with mystery and love coursing through its pages. Meg's shattering yet ultimately freeing discovery that her father is not omnipotent provides a satisfying coming-of-age element. Readers will feel a sense of power as they travel with these three children, challenging concepts of time, space, and the power of good over evil.

I’ll admit I was a little let down. My mother was really excited when she saw I was reading this book for school, and my mom has great taste in books so I expected a lot, but the story never really lived up to my expectations. I couldn’t help but feel that it was a little disheveled in places. I loved that the protagonist is female, and ordinary with braces, brown hair, glasses (girl next door kind of thing)… even if she was kinda annoying at times (all teens can be annoying;)). Time travel is always cool, and the unfamiliar planets (especially Ixchel with its sightless, faceless creatures) were incredibly fun to imagine. The crazy Mrs. W’s were very interesting, and if their stories are continued in further books, I’d be all over that.

The story itself is great – the classic battle of good versus evil in a sci-fi / fantasy setting. The image of evil as a dark cloud reminded me of The Nothing from The NeverEnding Story (loosely). The themes of individuality, love, and acceptance carried strongly throughout; even though they were almost shoved in the reader’s face, I’m ok with that since it is a children’s story.

What I didn’t like, primarily, was the character of Charles Wallace. For some reason, he really creeped me out. I understand he is supposed to be “gifted,” but his words and actions seemed far too adult for a 5-year-old. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the religious references made in several places in the story. Too many mentions of “God” turn me off. However, I am willing to admit that it was quite daring of the author to mix religion with some pagan aspects, like witches and crystal balls.

Overall, I did enjoy the story and definitely appreciate the themes and values, I was just turned off a little by the character’s lack of resolution and ability to be so easily distracted. As someone who is easily distracted myself, it made it hard for me to really stick with the story and become completely engrossed in it’s pages.

Friday, April 1, 2011

iClue...Do you? HUGE GIVEAWAY featuring 6 amazing young adult authors!

The Paperback Dolls are taking part in a spectacular giveaway! Author Lee Nichols will be sharing a clue with us later this month and guess what? We will also be giving out one copy of Deception and Surrender by Lee Nichols to one lucky reader here at So, check the schedule and collect the clues...will you solve the mystery?
Do You iClue?
  • 6 Authors
  • 6 Mysteries
  • 6 Chances to Win an iTouch
Six authors were talking one day and realized that even though their books ran the gamut from sci fi to romance, contemporary to ghostly, they all had one thing in common: a really good mystery. These authors--Lisa & Laura RoeckerMandy HubbardAdele GriffinKimberly DertingLee Nichols & Beth Revis decided they wanted to give their readers a little more mystery...and if they solved that mystery, there needs to be a great prize, no?

The authors are working with The Reading Room (a book review site) and a slew of amazing book bloggers to bring you an exciting new contest that will be running over the next 6 weeks. For each mystery you solve, you get another entry into the contest. The grand prize is an iTouch loaded with 6 AMAZING eBooks from the participating authors.

Here's how it works:
  • Starting on April 4th a new author will be featured on the iClue Site each week.
  • The author will post their mystery on the site on Monday.
  • On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we will post links to The Reading Room and two book bloggers who will be posting a special clue to help you solve the mystery.
  • Once you've solved the mystery you send us the correct solution using a form on the website.
  • If you enter the correct solution you get one entry into the contest.
  • Solve all 6 mysteries you get 6 entries to win the iTouch.
iClue launches next week (April 4th) with a mystery, featuring some of the characters from ACROSS THE UNIVERSE. Solve the mystery, get the password, and you'll get an entry to win an iPod Touch! So make sure you check back next week for this!

Meanwhile...we want to make sure to get the word out on this exciting month-long event! And that's where you come, and six autographed books...

Help us spread the word, and you'll be entered for a prize to win six autographed books, one from each of us! There are lots of ways to enter!

You can tweet! 

You can blog!
(If you paste the html code under the banner into your blog, it will automatically show up, all linked directly to the contest. If you put it into the post, be sure you're on the "edit html" tab of Blogger.)


You can spread the word however you like! And for every way you spread the word, we're going to enter you in a contest for a grand prize pack of all six of our books, signed! And don't forget to come back to the actual event for your chance to solve fun mysteries and win an iPod Touch!! (And yes--before you ask, the contest IS open internationally--both prizes!)