Saturday, January 31, 2009

In My Mailbox: Take Six

This feature was created by The Story Siren and shows all books gained in a week through the library, bookstores, or the mail!
This week I didn't receive any books in the mail (last week was a busy week) but I got these through the library:

Bass Ackwards and Belly Up by Elizabeth Craft & Sarah Fain
   Harper, an overconfident high school grad who has only applied to one college, is (surprise, surprise) rejected. To make matters worse, she lies to her three best friends, convincing them that she has chosen to postpone college to live in her parents' basement in Boulder, CO, and follow her dreams by drafting the Great American Novel. Adding to her guilt, she inspires two of the other three to also ditch their college plans to follow their dreams. The story bounces back and forth among the four girls and their adventures as an actual college freshman, an aspiring author, an aspiring Hollywood actress, and a backpacking European tourist.
I've heard good things about this book, and it looked cute (sort of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants-ish), so I decided to give it a try!

Kiss Me Kill Me by Lauren Henderson
   When 16-year-old Scarlett Wakefield transfers from St. Tabby's to Wakefield Hall Collegiate, she is relieved that no one knows her dark, haunting secret. A few months ago, Scarlett was invited to an elite party with a guest list full of the hottest names in British society, including Dan McAndrew. Before the party, Scarlett had only imagined what it would be like to have her first kiss with Dan, but on the penthouse terrace, Dan leaned in close and she no longer had to wonder. The kiss was beautiful and perfect and magical and then...Dan took his last breath. No one knows how or why Dan died, and everyone at St. Tabby's believes Scarlett had something to do with it. But now that she's safely hidden away at Wakefield Hall, Scarlett would rather forget that it ever happened. Only she can't. Especially when she receives an anonymous note that will set her on the path to clearing her name and finding out what really happened to Dan...
Ooh. I got the sequel in the mail last week so I figured I should just read the first, too. It sounds so interesting and exciting, can't wait to start!

And from Borders...
Talent: Almost Famous by Zoey Dean
   Mackenzie Little-Armstrong's life is almost perfect. She has discovered an almost-movie star, she's on the brink of winning Eighth Grade Social Chair, and the fabulous back-to-school gala is just around the corner, sure to showcase Mac and her BFFs as the Next Big Things. But in the cutthroat world of Hollywood, a girl can go from "almost there" to "nowheresville" faster than you can say "soy is so last year"...
Yay! I just finished Talent and loved it so I'm so excited to begin the second book in the awesome series! Plus I just love the covers, don't you? (:

Friday, January 30, 2009


Title: Talent
Author: Zoey Dean
Pages: 288
Razorbill, 2008
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Recommended to: Middle-grade girls, 11 and up
Grade: A- (Shh...don't let Steph know)

   Meet Mackenzie "Mac" Little-Armstrong: the daughter of the famed Hollywood talent agent Adrienne Little-Armstrong, Mac rules her Bel-Air middle school with her two best friends: surfer girl and tomboy Evangelina Becks and Coco Kingsley, the daughter of an international pop star. 
   But Mac's ready to be famous for something other than her leadership in school. So when she meets tourist Emily Mungler, who acted her way into a hot premiere party, she knows that this girl has the It that her mother works to find--true talent. But can Mac transform this tourist girl from Iowa into the star she believes Emily is, even if it means losing all her BFFs? Between parties, boy issues, and rivalries, will Emily be able to get her chance at become the Next Big Thing?
   Fun, fun, fun! I absolutely loved Zoey Dean's colorful, fast-paced, and super-chic new novel. It had just as much style and good writing as Lisi Harrison's The Clique books (some of my favorites!) do, but without the excessive cattiness and the consistent naming of labels. In fact, I enjoyed Talent much more--sure, there still were a plentiful amount of labels dropped, and there was some brisk words between Mac and her enemy Ruby, but Ms. Dean kept it down to the perfect amount. 
   I loved all the unique and lovable characters (Becks and Emily would have to be my favorite), and the way Ms. Dean described settings, outfits, and more was simply astonishing and made me feel like I was right there experiencing everything that went on.
   I just found the plotline a little (make that a lot) unrealistic. I mean, a 12 year old being another 12 year old's agent and people taking it seriously? That just seems a little far-out to me.
   Basically, GO OUT AND BUY THE BOOK! It's amazing, and I can't wait to read the second book in the series, Almost Famous!
   I just love a good book, don't you? (:

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (7): The Season

The Season
By Sarah MacLean
Coming out March 1, 2009

  Seventeen year old Lady Alexandra is strong-willed and sharp-tongued -- in a house full of older brothers and their friends, she had learned to hold her own. Not the best making for an aristocratic lady in Regency London. Yet her mother still dreams of marrying Alex off to someone safe, respectable, and wealthy. But between ball gown fittings, dances, and dinner parties, Alex, along with her two best friends, Ella and Vivi, manages to get herself into what may be her biggest scrape yet.
   When the Earl of Blackmoor is mysteriously killed, Alex decides to help his son, the brooding and devilishly handsome Gavin, uncover the truth. But will her heart be stolen in the process?
   Ooh. Murder, espionage, and a bit of romance. It sounds a tiny bit cliché, but still interesting. And the cover is gorgeous, don't you think? I'll definitely need to get my hands on this one. (:

Sarah's Blog:

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Monday Muse: Bev Katz Rosenbaum

Today's Muse: Bev Katz Rosenbaum
Author of: I Was a Teenage Popsicle and Beyond Cool
Bookworm: What inspired you to write Floe's [pronounced "Flo"] story?
Bev: I really wanted to write about what it feels like to be an outsider. This is a common theme in young adult fiction, of course, but I think teens really need/like to see this theme explored in a variety of ways. It makes them feel like they're not alone! I certainly remember that horrible feeling of not fitting in from my own high school days. I thought, wouldn't it be interesting to take a girl who was one of the cool ones and to have something freaky happen to her to make her a complete outsider? My husband gave me the idea to have her frozen and awakened in the future. At the time, there was a lot of talk about Ted Williams, a famous baseball player, being cryonically preserved.

Bookworm: What would you miss most about modern times if you were frozen into the future like Floe?
Bev: Sweatpants. I'm not big into the unitard thing!

Bookworm: Who's your favorite character to write about?
Bev: I really enjoyed writing Floe--she's a bit sarcastic and prickly (like me!). She's much wittier, though; it was a real challenge coming up with those great one-liners. In my own life, it takes me hours to come up with them--how I wish I could just zing them on the spot like Floe does!

Bookworm: Have you read any good books lately, and what are they?
Bev: I just reread Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. It's a young adult novel that was written about ten years ago and I reread it every year because it's just that good. It's much more serious than my Popsicle books, but also explore that theme of outsider-ness. It's incredibly well written and though it's a serious book, it also has elements of humor.

Bookworm: Are you planning on writing any more YA books in the future?
Bev:  I have two new books in the works, neither of which are set in the future. Keep watching my website for news of new releases! 
Thanks, Bev! 
For a review of I Was A Teenage Popsicle, click here!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

This Week in Books!

"In My Mailbox", which shows all books gained in a week through mail, the library, or a bookstore, was created by The Story Siren

This week's haul (10! Too many summaries to post, so I skimped on those...) :
From Random House:
Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez
Kisses and Lies by Lauren Henderson
The ABC's of Kissing Boys by Tina Ferraro
The Devil's Paintbox by Victoria McKernan

From HarperTeen:
Faketastic by Alexa Young (*doing the Snoopy happy dance*)
Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston
Sloane Sisters by Annabelle Vestry

From Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout:
Now Starring Viven Leigh Reid: Diva in Training
Thanks so much, guys! It looks fab! (;

From Local Bookstores:
We Are SO Crashing Your Bar Mitzvah! by Fiona Rosenbloom
Canterwood Crest: Take the Reins by Jessica Burkhart (yayyy!)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Happy Tag!

I was tagged by Yan at Books by Their Cover for this cute, happy meme!
Rules of the tag:
- Link to the person who tagged you
- List 6 things that make you happy
- Post the rules, tag six others and let them know you did so
- Then tell the person who tagged you your entry is finished!

Here goes:
1. Being with my family, friends, horses. Basically, being around people that I love.
2. Getting mail (especially books) (:
3. Watching a good movie and making popcorn
4. Riding, riding, riding!
5. Rain!
6. Making cookies--yum! 

Here's who I'm tagging:
Katie of KD's Library
TruBlue93 of Starry Night
Shalonda at Shalonda's Blog

Friday, January 23, 2009


Hey, everyone! Sorry it took me forever to post the results of my Big Birthday Contest, but here they (finally) are! Drumroll, please....

The winners of two signed copies of Linda Gerber's Death by Latte are:
Rory W. and Rima!

The winner of Sasha Watson's Vidalia in Paris is:

The winner of Barrie Summy's I SO Don't Do Mysteries is:

The winners of 2 copies of Lynn Messina's Savvy Girl are:
danie88 and Megan!

The winner of Mary Hogan's The Serious Kiss is:

The winner of Mary Hogan's Perfect Girl is:
Katie (of KD's Library)

The winner of Wendelin Van Draanen's Confessions of a Serial Kisser is:

The winner of Shallon Lester and Julie Kraut's Hot Mess: Summer in the City is:
The Ravenous Reader!

Congratulations, everyone! I've emailed all the winners, so get back to me ASAP so I can get your copy in the mail!
I'd also like to thank everyone who participated in the contest (all 84 of you) and all the authors who contributed a copy (or two) of their book to the contest--thank you, thank you, thank you!
Keep your eyes peeled for an new contest coming soon...Good job, everyone!

I Was A Teenage Popsicle

Title: I Was A Teenage Popsicle
Author: Bev Katz Rosenbaum
Pages: 248
Berkeley Jam Books, 2006
Genre: Science Fiction
Recommended to: Teen readers (boys and girls) 12 and up
Rating: B+

   When Venice Beach teen Floe Ryan was sixteen years old, she contracted lympacatosis, a serious and rare disease, and died. Lucky for her, she was "vitrified" (aka frozen) and when thawed, she wakes up ten years into the future! Everything's different now--her parents are gone (they're frozen as well), hoverblading is the hottest sport, and her little sister is married and is officially her guardian! She has to face a new high school full of new people who think her "old" ways are terribly strange, a new world to adjust to, and lots of new problems....
   Like how the cryonics center, where she and her skater-boy crush Taz were vitrified and revived, is facing a lawsuit and closure--even though Floe's parents are still inside waiting to be thawed! Can Floe save the center before it's too late for a (somewhat) normal life?
   Written with lots of wit and humor, I Was A Teenage Popsicle is utterly fun for teens to read. At some parts, I found myself amazed with Ms. Rosenbaum's creativity: how she perfectly described fashions, houses, schools, sports, and technology of the future in an amusing way. 
   Floe's character was also a blast: I loved how Ms. Rosenbaum showed her confusion with all the new gadgets and ways of the future, it just made her so much more realistic and loveable. The novel was full of humor, mostly about being a "frozen zombie" that made it so much more fun to read. 
   One thing I disliked about the novel was that it took a long time to get moving. There was a lot of fluff before the action started that might bore readers, but hang in there because the ending and middle action are well worth it! Also, I found the ending to be a bit predictable in how the characters behave and the plot.
  Overall, I'm glad I read IWATP. It's the first sci-fi novel I've read in practically forever. I'm not a big fan of the genre, so I was surprised to find myself enjoying this one! 
  I'm excited to read the sequel, Beyond Cool, and hope to see more from Ms. Rosenbaum in the future--she seems to have a talent in making lots of unique characters and a fun and fresh plotline!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (6): Take The Reins

Take the Reins by Jessica Burkhart
Coming out January 27, 2009

   When Sasha Silver and her horse, Charm, arrive on the campus of the elite Canterwood Crest Academy, Sasha knows that she's in trouble. She's not exactly opened with welcome arms. One group of girls in particular is used to being the best, the brightest, and the prettiest on the team, and when Sasha shows her skills in the arena, the girls' claws come out.
  Sasha is determined to prove she belongs at Canterwood. Will she rise to the occasion and make the advanced riding team by the end of her first semester? Or will the pressure send Sasha packing?

Oh my goodness, it's as if this book were made for me, about all the things I find interesting to read about: horses, competition, boarding sounds absolutely amazing. I can't wait to read it! (:

PS--I love the cover, don't you? The girl's outfit is gorgeous and the horse is so cute...It all looks so professional and, well, perfect.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Monday Muse: Contest Time!

Hi, everyone!
I'm interrupting this week's Monday Muse to remind you that tomorrow is the last day to enter my Big Birthday Contest! I'm sure you don't want to miss the chance of winning one of ten awesome books, so click here if you haven't entered!
Good luck!
And Happy Birthday, MLK Jr.!

(: Bookworm

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sucks to Be Me

Title: Sucks to be Me: The All-True Confessions of Mina Hamilton, Teen Vampire (Maybe)
Author: Kimberly Pauley
Pages: 293
Mirrorstone Books, 2008
Genre: Vampire/Contemporary Fiction
Recommended to: Teen girls, 13 and up
Rating: A

  Mina Hamilton is your average high school senior: always hanging out with her BFF Serena, hoping that her huge crush, Nathan Able, will ask her to prom, and stressing about school. But there's one not-so-ordinary aspect of her life: her parents are vampires, and they've just broken an important vampire law: keeping a human in the house is strictly banned. As if her social worries aren't enough, now Mina's going to have to make a huge decision: she'll have to become a vampire, too, if she wants to keep her family together. Now she's going to vampire lessons with a teacher that looks like a wolf, visiting "blood bars" with her crazy uncle where the main cocktail is an O negative, and trying to decide exactly what she wants to be!
   I simply loved this one. I just picked it up at the library one day with fair expectations, but I was blown away by how creative, funny, and absolutely awesome this book was. Kimberly Pauley has such an imagination that it was just a blast to read Sucks to Be Me. I loved all of the slightly-zany characters, the funny vampire puns, and all of Mina's sarcastic journal entries. Mina has a real voice that is just a ton of fun to read because it's like she's a real person. Her reactions to some aspects of the vampire world were just laugh-out-loud hilarious, and the overall story was fast-paced, moving, and just fangtastic (LOL). 
   However, I felt like the ending was a bit abrupt, a bit rushed, like the author just wanted to be done with the story. Some events around the ending just felt unnecessary and a bit pointless, to be honest. 
   Go. Read. It. Now! I hope there will be more from Mina in the future--I'm not done with her wit and humor yet! Brava, Ms. Pauley! (:

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (5): Prada and Prejudice

OK, OK--I know it's Thursday but I had no time to post my "Waiting on Wednesday" yesterday goes:

Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard
Coming out in June 2009

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 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?

Wow--this book looks amazing, from the fabulous cover to the creative plot! If anyone has an ARC they want to send me, I'd eternally love them...LOL. Anyway, I can't wait to read this one!

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Monday Muse: Interview with Lynn Messina

Today's Muse: Lynn Messina
Author of: Savvy Girl (review here)
Bookworm: Have you ever been an intern?
Lynn: I interned for three months after college at a publisher called Avalon; they do romances, mysteries and westerns. I got to read manuscripts and help decide if we should publish them. I submitted my first book--a mystery about a wedding dress--to them. I did it under a different name and passed it along to the editor with a note saying that it was a bit different from Avalon's usual thing but I liked it. Of course they didn't publish it.

Bookworm: What were you like as a teenager?
Lynn: Shy. Actually, I'm still pretty shy. Not especially popular or cool but I had a small group of friends that I really connected with.

Bookworm: Which Savvy Girl character can you relate to the most?
Lynn: Chrissy because I always go into things with her high expectations.

Bookworm: What was your favorite thing about writing Chrissy's story?
Lynn: I really enjoyed being back in the magazine setting. It's an environment I know well and find inspiring. My first published book was based at a fashion magazine and I thought I'd said everything I had to say about magazines but as soon as I started writing SG, I realized I had a ton of new observations to make.

Bookworm: Are you planning on writing a sequel to Savvy Girl? Why or why not?
Lynn: Hmm. The idea hadn't occurred to me. I think Chrissy's story ends at exactly the right place. But that's not to say that I wouldn't love to see how her career turns out. I'm sure there are a few misadventures in her future. It's something to think about.

Bookworm: What are you reading now?
Lynn: I'm reading The Air We Breathe by Andrea Barrett. So far it's a hushed, meandering story about tuberculosis patients at an upstate New York sanitarium. But the back copy mentions a terrible tragedy so I'm tense and ready for something awful to happen. This is why I should never read the back copy. I'm also reading Each Little Bird That Sings by Deborah Wiles. It's about a ten-year-old girl who lives in a funeral home and has a really tough summer when her favorite aunt dies. It's for girls 8 to 12, but I'm thinking of writing a novel for that age group so I'm doing a little research.

Bookworm: Who are your favorite authors--YA and adult?
Lynn: My favorite YA author is Meg Cabot. I love The Princess Diaries. And I'm still a fan of Judy Blume. Some of my favorite adult authors are Dawn Powell, Lorrie Moore, Kate Atkinson, and Douglas Coupland.

Bookworm: What do you like most about writing novels for young adults?
Lynn: For me, there's a sense of freedom writing from a teen perspective. My characters can be more impulsive. 
Thanks, Lynn! Click here to win Savvy Girl in my big birthday contest!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

In My Mailbox: Take Five!

"In My Mailbox" is a (great!) feature created by The Story Siren that features all books gained weekly, either by mail, from the library, or bought at a bookstore! 
This week brought....

Bewitching Season by Marissa Doyle (summary from Marissa's website)
In 1837 London, young daughters of viscounts pined for handsome, titled husbands, not careers. And certainly not careers in magic. 
  Twins Persephone (Persy) and Penelope (Pen) Leland are anticipating their first London season with mixed feelings. Pen can't wait for the balls and parties and crowds of handsome young men to flirt with, but Persy would far rather stay home with their governess, Ally, and continue her magic studies. The only thing drawing her to London is the prospect of seeing Queen Victoria, her and Pen's idol.
   But then Ally disappears from a busy London street and the twins are drawn into searching for her...and find that her disappearance is linked to a dastardly plot to enchant the soon-to-be Queen. Persy also discovers that a good lady's maid is hard to find, that one should never cast a love spell on anyone after drinking too much brandy punch at a party, that pesky little brothers can sometimes come in handy, and that even boys who were terrible teases when they were twelve can mysteriously turn into the most perfect young men.
Thanks, Marissa, for sending me a copy! I've heard tons of good things about this book, can't wait to begin!

Absolutely Maybe by Lisa Yee (summary courtesy of
Meet Maybelline Mary Katherine Mary Ann Chestnut, named for two Miss Americas and her mother Chessy's favorite brand of mascara. Chessy teaches the student in her charm school her Seven Select Rules for Young Ladies, but she won't tell Maybe who her real father is -- or protect her from her latest scuzzball boyfriend. So Maybe hitches a ride to California with her friends Hollywood and Thammasat Tantipinichwong Schneider (aka Ted) -- and what she find there is funny, sad, true, and inspiring...
Thanks to Lisa and Scholastic for sending me a copy! This is Lisa's first teen novel--I've loved her books for younger readers, so hopefully Absolutely, Maybe is just as great! (:

What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell
  When Evie's father returned home from World War II, the family fell back into its normal life pretty quickly. But Joe Spooner brought more back with him than just good war stories. When movie-star handsome Peter Coleridge, a young ex-GI who served Joe's company in post-war Austria, shows up, Evie is suddenly caught in a complicated web of lies that she only slowly recognizes. She finds herself falling for Peter, ignoring the secrets that surround him...until a tragedy occurs that shatters her family and breaks her life in two. As she begins to realize that almost everything she believed to be a truth was really a lie, Evie must get to the heart of the deceptions and choose between her loyalty to her parents and her feelings for the boy she loves. Someone will have to be betrayed. The question is...who?
I'm looking forward to this one--I got it from the library and can't wait to start!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

How Not to Be Popular

Title: How Not to be Popular
Author: Jennifer Ziegler
Pages: 304
Delacorte Press, 2008
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Recommended to: Teen girls, 13 and up
Rating: A

   Sugar Magnolia Dempsey (aka "Maggie") is used to moving all over the country with her hippie, free-spirited parents, being uprooted from one place and starting all over in a new one. But now, it's her senior year of high school, and she's sick of her family's dysfunctional routine. She's sick of leaving behind good friends and never hearing from them again. She's sick of having to make new ones at her latest home that she knows she'll lose in a matter of three or four months. So when her parents announce they're packing up and moving to Austin--thousands of miles away from Maggie's boyfriend in Portland--she thinks up a plan: this time, she won't let herself become close to people, sparing herself from the hurt she feels later on. This time, she won't let herself make any friends--even if it means dressing in the weirdest clothes she can find (flowered plastic swim caps, dumpy neon suits, and Little Bo Peep dresses), carrying a Star Trek lunchbox, and hanging out with all the wrong people...But what if her plan fails? What if she finds something (or someone) to like about Austin?
   Three words to describe this novel are: funny, hilarious, and extremely well-written. I actually found myself laughing out loud at parts. Maggie's voice (shown through the novel's first-person narration) is so honest and clear that it really felt like she was a real-life person by the time I'd finished.
   I loved the characters in this book: perhaps Rosie and Les were my favorites, but I also enjoyed the oh-so-creative Maggie herself, the evil Caitlyn, the utterly hateable Miles, and all the hilarious Helping Hands. 
   The book, for me, was at a perfect pace: I was never bored, and I always looked forward to Maggie's next escapade or silly outfit. The entertaining writing kept the reader occupied from start to finish, and was smooth and simple to understand what was happening.
   My one problem was that the book took a long time to climax and end. It felt like there was a lot of rising conflicts and events without a real climax, which bothered me a bit.
   Anyway, I can't wait to read more from Ziegler: her second novel struck me as simply fabulous, from the great characters to the well-described summary, to the satisfying ending. 

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Enola Holmes: The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan

Title: The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan
Author: Nancy Springer
Pages: 183
Philomel Books, 2008
Genre: Mystery/Historical Fiction
Recommended to: Elementary to middle-grade readers, 10-14
Rating: C

Enola Holmes, much-younger sister of the famed Sherlock Holmes, has another mystery on her hands, but this time her friend Lady Cecily is in danger! 
   When Enola spots Cecily in public with an oddly-lower class pink fan fluttering nervously and two older, harsh escorts, Enola realizes quickly that something is wrong and sets out to discover exactly what Lady Cecily was so upset about. Soon she learns that Cecily is being held hostage in an orphanage to be married off against her will to a dreadfully dull duke! This time, Enola will have to risk her freedom as she teams up with one of the older brothers she escaped from to rescue her friend--before it's too late.
   I have mixed feelings about this series: this first book was wonderful, the second was terrible, the third was so-so, and I'm sorry to say that I found the fourth to be dull and quite confusing, too, which is my main problem with these books. 
   From reading the inside flap of the novel, I had high expectations: unlike the previous novels, this plot sounded simple and easy-to-follow. Instead, I had quite a bit of trouble keeping myself awake through the beginning and middle of the book, it tends to lag on. Ms. Springer uses vocabulary and sayings that will most likely go way over the heads of most middle-grade readers, and I found some of her descriptions of Enola's actions to drag on so long that I started to drift off and become bored, skimming ahead for some real action.
   However, the excitement towards the end was well worth it, and I found myself enjoying Enola's clever character. I loved how Ms. Springer inserted all the codes and ciphers (that Enola later solved) into her novel, it just made everything more exciting and suspenseful. All in all, I'd have to say that this novel simply lacked the excitement of the first, but I know I'll be picking up the next in the series, The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline, once it is released (May 2009).
Other books in the series:

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Butterfly Award

Many thanks to GreenBeanTeenQueen who nominated me for this lovely award! I love your blog too, Sarah! (:
Here are the rules:
1) Put the logo on your blog.
2) Add a link to the person who nominated you for the award.
3) Award up to ten other blogs.
4) Add links to the blogs that you nominate on your own blog.
5) Leaves a message for your awardees on their blog. 

Here are my nominees:
Jessica of Chick Lit Teens--I always find something cool on her blog
Lauren of Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf--she always writes awesome reviews
Hope of Hope's Bookshelf because I just really love her blog!
Sarah of Sarah's Random Musings because she has lots of fun things on her page
Kristi of The Story Siren because her blog is gorgeous!

Now flutter over to these blogs-they're awesome! (;

Waiting on Wednesday (4)

Absolutely Maybe
by Lisa Yee
Coming out February 2009

Meet Maybelline Mary Katherine Mary Ann Chestnut, named for two Miss Americas and her mother Chessy's favorite brand of mascara. Chessy teaches the students in her charm school her Seven Select Rules for Young Ladies, but she won't tell Maybe who her real father is -- or protect her from her latest scuzzball boyfriend. So Maybe hitches a ride to California with her friends Hollywood and Thammasat Tantipinichwong Scheider (aka Ted) -- and what she finds there is funny, sad, true, and inspiring...
  I've heard good things about this book, and I love Lisa's writing, so I guess you could say I'm excited to check Absolutely Maybe out!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Don't Forget....

To enter my big birthday contest! The deadline is January 20 (inauguration day! Yay!), and I'm sure you don't want to miss the chance to win 10 awesome click here if you haven't entered yet! (:

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Monday Muse: Interview with Yvonne Collins & Sandy Rideout

Today's Muse(s): Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout!
Authors of: The Black Sheep & Introducing Vivien Leigh Reid (reviews here and here)
Favorite book?
Y: I don't have an all-time favorite. The book I enjoyed reading the most in 2008 was Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen.
S: Growing up, I loved anything by Lucy Maud Montgomery. Lately, I enjoy a variety of authors, including Jennifer Weiner. I also really enjoyed Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer.

Favorite TV show?
Y: I really like Extras and currently, I'm enjoying Friday Night Lights, thanks to Sandy who turned me on to it.
S: Yvonne recommended my current favorite, Mad Men. I'm also a fan of Heroes and Grey's Anatomy.

Favorite movie?
Y: An all-time favorite of mine is The Full Monty. I also love City of God, and in 2008, I enjoyed Mamma Mia!.
S: I love all the old John Hughes movies. This past year, I really enjoyed Iron Man, and also Ghost Town.

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Y: My husband's home-made vanilla.
S: Anything that features chocolate.

Favorite piece of clothing that you own?
Y: At the moment, it's the one pair of jeans that still fit after my Christmas pig-outs!
S: Anything cashmere!

Favorite vacation/holiday?
Y: In an ideal world, I love a trip that mixes a good dose of the great outdoors with big city culture--like the time I went hiking for a week in the Pyrenees mountains, followed by ten days exploring the museums and architecture of Barcelona. I also LOVE the trips I've taken to New York with Sandy.
S: Ditto on our trips to New York, and also to California. And I love spending time at my family's cottage in northern Ontario, where I can walk in the wilderness for hours (though occasional bear sightings have cut a few hikes short)!
Favorite book that you've written?
Y: The Viven Leigh Reid books are my favorites. I guess because we've written three of them, I feel quite connected to the characters.
S: My favorite at the moment is Girl V. Boy, but Yvonne will tell you I usually like our latest work best.

Favorite character from your books?
Y: Annika, from the VLR books. She's fun to write because she's so vain.
S: I really like our villains. In Girl V. Boy, my favorite character was Grace. But my all-time favorite character is Judy, the rude and pushy producer from The Black Sheep.

What are you currently writing?
Y & S: We are working on a new series of books, but at the moment the content is still under wraps!
Thanks for the fun interview, Yvonne and Sandy! Can't wait to see what's next from you!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

In My Mailbox: Take Four

Created by The Story Siren, "In My Mailbox" shows all books gained (for review, from the library, or bought) weekly! This week was pretty slow, post-holidays. (Summaries courtesy of

My Life in Pink and Green by Lisa Greenwald (coming out March 2009)
Twelve-year-old Lucy Desberg is a natural problem solver. After the local homecoming queen shows up at her family's struggling drugstore with a beauty disaster that Lucy helps to fix, Lucy has a long line of makeover customers for every school dance and bat mitzvah. But all the makeup tips in the world won't help save the pharmacy. If only she could find a way to make the pharmacy the center of town again-a place where people want to spend time, like in the old days. Lucy dreams up a solution that could resuscitate the family business and help the environment, too. But will Lucy's family stop fighting long enough to listen to a seventh-grader?
Thanks, Lisa, for sending me a copy of your book! It looks really cute--and I love the cover!

3 Willows by Ann Brashares 
Polly has an idea that she can't stop thinking about, one that involves changing a few things about herself. She's setting her sights on a more glamorous life, but it's going to take all of her focus. At least that way she won't have to watch her friends moving so far ahead.

Jo is spending the summer at her family's beach house, working as a busgirl and bonding with the older, cooler girls she'll see at high school come September. She didn't count on a brief fling with a cute boy changing her entire summer. Or feeling embarrassed by her middle school friends. And she didn't count on her family at all...
Ama is not an outdoorsy girl. She wanted to be at an academic camp, doing research in an air-conditioned library, earning A's. Instead her summer scholarship lands her on a wilderness trip full of flirting teenagers, blisters, impossible hiking trails, and a sad lack of hair products.
It is a new summer. And a new sisterhood. Come grow with them.

Thanks to Random House for sending me a copy! It looks good-hopefully Brashares' new novel is as good as her previous four bestselling Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series!

Willa by Heart by Colleen Murtagh Paratore
It's almost summer on Cape Cod, where Willa Havisham and Joey Kennelly are finally enjoying their status as the most compatible couple at Bramble Academy. When the community theater advertises auditions for Our Town, Willa and Joey seem fated to play the romantic leads. But when Marielle, the dazzling new girl, offers up some dramatic competition, Willa turns greener than the lawn at her parents' inn.
  With two inn weddings the same weekend in June, Willa, who is now the official assistant wedding planner, has enough to do just helping Chef Rosie bake the wedding cakes of the century, and keeping sixteen beauty pageant bridesmaids in check. When a dance with a Southern gentleman sends her spinning beneath the stars, there's no telling what's destined for Willa and Joey.
 Gah! I should've warned myself for spoilers before I read the Amazon summary, because I've just read the first book and this little description gave a lot away. Oh, well--I kinda predicted what would happen later after I read the first book, and of course Stella would have to make Willa her assistant and of course Willa and Joey would get together. And no, I'm not psychic.
I picked this one up at Borders (in paperback! Yay!) and can't wait to get the second, Cupid Chronicles, at the library, so I can start this one--it looks just as great, if not better, than the first!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Wedding Planner's Daughter

Title: The Wedding Planner's Daughter
Author: Colleen Murtagh Paratore
Pages: 200
Aladdin Paperbacks, 2005
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Recommended to: Preteen girls, 10-13
Rating: A

  Dreamy twelve-year-old Willa Havisham wants only one thing in the world: a father. She's spent countless wishes on stars, birthday candles, and lucky cherry pits from her favorite confection, cherry cordials.  But then Willa and her steely, businesslike wedding planner of a mother, Stella, move to Bramble, Cape Cod, and meet Sam, Willa's poetic, romantic seventh-grade English teacher--he'd make a perfect dad! Willa is determined to marry Stella and Sam off, and with the help of her candy-store owning grandmother and fun new best friend Tina, she might just have a dad by her thirteenth birthday!
   Then a disastrous event at a very important wedding occurs, possibly wrecking Stella's orderly business, and it's up to Willa to save Sam and Stella's relationship and secure her happy ending...
   One word to sum up this whole book would be this: Awww. The whole story had, all-in-all, a sweet, fluffy vibe, a perfect read for summer. A satisfying combination of Cape Cod charm, friendship, romance, and the true meaning of family, the overall product was simply charming, from the warm, lovable characters right down to the fairytale-happy ending that sets up perfectly for a hopefully equally-lovely sequel. The plot was fast-paced, and readers will find themselves rooting for the oh-so-realistic Willa, who reads classic novels, eats her grandmother's homemade cherry cordials, gets mad at her mother, and dreams about her crush, Joey. The whole atmosphere felt light and breezy, and the quotes and "Willa's Pix" at the end gave it an old-fashioned, homemade feel, which I greatly enjoyed. It just felt like the author put a lot of love into her novel, and as a result, the finished product was radiant, its characters shaped into realistic almost-perfection.
   My one problem was that the book seemed a little syrupy sweet at parts, too much for my taste. I get it: it's supposed to be mellow and light, but I just found the last half of the book to be a bit predictable and cliché: everything resolves and is perfect again, ho-hum, a bit unrealistic for my taste. 
   However, I cannot say I didn't enjoy this little confection of summer-fun. I felt like I personally knew Willa and her friends and the sweet town of Bramble (I want to live there, eat Nana's candy, dance at the June Bug, spy on Stella's weddings, and live in the Havishams' darling little classic seaside home!) by the time I had finished. I can't wait to read the second in the series, The Cupid Chronicles.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Death by Latte

Title: Death by Latte
Author: Linda Gerber
Pages: 204
Sleuth/Speak, September 2008
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Recommended to: All teens, 12 and up
Rating: A+

****Spoiler Alert***! Read no further if you haven't checked out the first book in the series, Death by Bikini! (review here).
   Aphra's life has completely changed ever since Seth Mulo and his family, bearing a deadly secret, showed up at she and her dad's serene island resorts just weeks ago. They brought danger, romance, and...the address to where Aphra's mom, Natalie, lives in Seattle. Determined to meet up with her mother for the first time in four years, Aphra defies her father and sets out to learn all of the secrets that Natalie has been keeping from her. 
   But when Aphra arrives in Washington, Natalie and her partner Joe seem anything but happy to see Aphra: she possesses a valuable ring, an unknowing gift from Seth, that a potential killer might be after, and now she's dragging Seth and his family into danger...
   There are very few books that I absolutely love, love, love, but this is one of them: Gerber's writing is so addictive, and the book was quick and moving, with high action and suspense. Her descriptions absolutely sparkled, and she had me at the edge of my seat, madly flipping pages to the climax and the cliffhanging ending. 
  OK, I'll admit it. I didn't have very high expectations for Death by Latte, after reading the first, fantastic book in the series. I expected it wouldn't be as good as the high-adventure, fast-paced, thrilling Death by Bikini, and I was reluctant about starting it. But-wham!-by the third page, I was drawn in, and Gerber's writing kept me in for the rest of the novel, a fast-paced read that I finished off in a day. 
   I loved the change of scenery-there was something about the busy Seattle city life and pine forests, mountains, and rivers of the Cascades that just made DBL so much more exciting and addicting. I adored the narration-Aphra has such a clear, strong voice, and it really felt like I was getting into her head. The characters were all relatable and realistic-and I was rooting for them the whole way. To put it simply, Death by Latte was definitely one of the best books I've read all year, and now I'm more eager than ever to start Death by Denim, the third in the series!
  Enter to win this book in my birthday contest by clicking here.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Best Books of 2008 and My Year-End Awards

Happy New Year, everyone! It's been a busy-but-great year of reading and reviewing. Most of the books that I read were excellent. I had a bunch of really fun author interviews. And I encountered some fabulous books this year that I've ranked, the first one being my personal favorite of the year.
Here are my Top Twenty-One (I couldn't stop at just 20) picks for 2008!:

1) Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
2) Death by Latte by Linda Gerber
3) Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale
4) Out of the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst
5) Death by Bikini by Linda Gerber
6) I SO Don't Do Mysteries by Barrie Summy
7) Introducing Vivien Leigh Reid: Daughter of the Diva by Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout
8) The Teashop Girls by Laura Schaefer
9) Frenemies by Alexa Young
10) The Luxe by Anna Godbersen
11) The Black Sheep by Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout
12) Amazing Grace by Megan Shull
13) Artichoke's Heart by Suzanne Supplee
14) Oh. My. Gods by Tera Lynn Childs
15) Lucky T by Kate Brian
16) Candyfloss by Jacqueline Wilson
17) LBD: Live and Fabulous by Grace Dent
18) The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine
20) Bad Kitty by Michele Jaffe
21) Tennyson by Lesley MM Blume

...What were your favorites of the year?
Year-End Book Awards:
No prizes are actually awarded, just bragging rights. And this is just my opinion. And feel free to make up your own categories and winners and submit them--I want your opinion on who deserves to win!
Drumroll, please.....
Best Debut Author: Barrie Summy, I SO Don't Do Mysteries
Best Illustrator: Sujean Rim of A Girl Like Moi, Project Paris, and The Teashop Girls
Best Debut YA Novel: Vidalia in Paris by Sasha Watson
Best Debut MG Novel: The Teashop Girls by Laura Schaefer
Best Debut Series: Death Linda Gerber/Frenemies by Alexa Young
Best International Novel: LBD: Live and Fabulous by Grace Dent
Best Female Character: Rapunzel from Shannon and Dean Hale's Rapunzel's Revenge
Best Male Character: Seth Mulo from Linda Gerber's Death By... series
Best Series: Linda Gerber's Death By...books or The Clique by Lisi Harrison
Best Book in a Series: The Clique #5: The Pretty Committee Strikes Back by Lisi Harrison/Death by Latte by Linda Gerber
Best Mystery: Death by Latte by Linda Gerber
Best Fantasy: Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Best Graphic Novel: Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale/Chiggers by Hope Larson
Best MG Contemporary Fiction: As If Being 12 3/4 Isn't Bad Enough, My Mother is Running for President! by Donna Gephart/The Teashop Girls by Laura Schaefer
Best Book for Younger Readers: Candyfloss by Jacqueline Wilson
Best Discovery in 2008: the Confessions of a Teen Nanny series by Victoria Ashton
Best Unexpectedly-Good Read: The Princess and the Pauper by Kate Brian
Most Creative: I SO Don't Do Mysteries by Barrie Summy
Best Retold Fairytale: Out of the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst/Rapunzels' Revenge by Shannon & Dean Hale
Best Cover: The Luxe by Anna Godbersen and Death by Bikini by Linda Gerber
Funniest Character: Sherry of I SO Don't Do Mysteries by Barrie Summy
Cattiest Character: Jo Lynn Bidwell of Susan McBride's The Debs
Bravest Character: Princess Addie of Gail Carson Levine's The Two Princesses of Bamarre
Most Fashionable Character: Imogene from A Girl Like Moi and Project Paris by Lisa Barham
Character With the Best Personality: Lucida Sans of Dear Julia by Amy Bronwen Zemser
Character With the Best Hair: Jas from Michele Jaffe's Bad Kitty and Kitty Kitty and Rapunzel from Shannon & Dean Hale's Rapunzel's Revenge
Character With the Best Clothes: Avalon of Alexa Young's Frenemies

Happy New Year!

Bookworm Readers wishes you and your family a safe, happy, and healthy New Year!

   2008 sure was busy for me--I read a ton of books, created nearly 200 posts, celebrated my blog's first birthday, started using a new reviewing style, and was even nominated for a blog award!

Here are Bookworm Readers' 2008 statistics:

Books Read: 116
Posts in 2008: 199
Author Interviews: 17
Contests: 3 (The birthday contest is still going on...check it out!)
Here are my resolutions for 2009:
1) Be consistent in my Monday Muse and Friday Flashback posts (:
2) Think of new, better interview questions
3) Try to post every other day
4) Have more contests!
5) Enter more contests!
6) Make an archives section on my blog
7) Try to add a second sidebar to my blog

What are your resolutions for the New Year?
2008 was a great year! Welcome, 2009! (: