Saturday, February 28, 2009

I'm Fabulous?

Thanks so much to Laura of Laura's Review Bookshelf and Yan over at Books By Their Cover for nominating me for this awesome award--I'm honored to be "fabulous"!
Here are the rules:
List five things you are obsessed with/addicted to and then nominate five other fabulous blogs to pass on this award on to!

Here is my list:
1) Reading--it's pretty obvious that I love books. (:
2) Blogging--I spend way too much time on the computer. And if it's not blogging, I'm writing stories, emailing, doing homework...
3) Sweets: cookies, cakes, pies, ice cream....I love them all, but I'm not a huge fan of actual candy (unless it's a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup--yum!).
4) Movies--you could plonk me down in front of the TV with a bowl of popcorn, some juice, and a few good movies, and I'd be happy!
5) Riding--my main source of exercise, 3-4 days a week. Tiring, but awesome! Horses rock. (: 

...And my nominees!:
Sarah at GreenBeanTeenQueen, who is an exceptionally nice person as well as a great blogger!
Taylor of For The Love of Books, who is new to the blogosphere but is already a superstar reviewer!
Thao at Serene Hours because her blog is awesome and she has some great reviews over there!
Katie of Katie's Bookshelf has a gorgeous blog with great interviews, reviews, and more!
Hillary over at The Book Reader, simply because her blog is amazing and I love her reviewing style!

In My Mailbox!

Here's what I found in my mailbox this week (thanks to the Story Siren for creating this fun weekly feature!):

The Season by Sarah MacLean
   Seventeen year old Lady Alexandra is strong-willed and sharp-tongued: in a house full of older brothers and their friends, she had to learn to hold her own. Not the best makings 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 Alex's heart be stolen in the process?
I won this in a contest on Sharonanne's blog, and I was so, so, so excited when I heard I won--I'd seen this one at Barnes and Noble a day or two earlier and I was dying to buy it, it looked amazing! Now I can't wait to begin.
Thanks again to Sharon and Sarah. (:

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
   When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created "perfect" life is about to unravel before her eyes. She's forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for: her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realized Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into someone much more.
I won this in Linda Gerber's Valentine's Day giveaway, which was surprising because:
a) I am really bad at winning contests
b) I'd already won one contest that week! (Sharon's, see above)
...Anyway, this one sounds really good, sort of like a modern twist on Romeo & Juliet. I've heard so much good feedback about this one, so I am excited to read it!
Thanks, Linda and Simone! <3

Miss Match by Wendy Toliver
   Sasha Finnegan has always had a knack for setting people up, and at sixteen, she's turned her talent into an online business, molding high school crushes into true love. But Sasha finds her toughest match yet when cutie Derek Urban asks her to set him up with Sasha's gorgeous sister, Maddie. It's not that Derek isn't a good catch. In fact, after spending so much time with him, Sasha can't help but think he's perfect--for HER, that is.
  Can Sasha push her feelings aside for the sake of her business? Or has this miss finally found her match?
I love a cute, light read, so I'm especially excited to start this one--doesn't it just look adorable? Thank you, Wendy, for sending me a copy!

Must Love Black by Kelly McClymer
  Must love black? Sounds like a coffee-loving, seclusion-seeking goth girl's dream job. Philippa isn't fazed by the fog-enshrouded mansion on a cliff, the weirdest twins on the planet, or even the rumors about ghosts, because when she meets the estate's hot gardener, Philippa's pretty sure she's found her dream boy, too. Too bad Geoff's already taken by a girl whose wardrobe is head-to-toe pink. Still, Philippa can't get Geoff out of her head. What will it take to lure him to the dark side?
The first time I saw this book on a shelf at a bookstore, I thought Eh, not for me. Then I discovered a review on the Book Nymph and I got a bit I put it on hold at my library just for the heck of it! Hopefully it's good--I've read reviews with mixed feelings!

Last week, I didn't have an In My Mailbox because I had a very slow (but good nonetheless) week:

- Secrets of A Lab Rat by Trudi Trueit: Thanks, Trudi, for sending me a copy and congrats on the release! (:
- Sabriel by Garth Nix: I won this in a contest over at GreenBeanTeenQueen. Thanks, Sarah! (:

So, what did you get this week?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Books Read In 2009!

This is going to be an ongoing list of all my 2009 reads!

The Wedding Planner's Daughter by Colleen Murtagh Paratore
Enola Holmes and the Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan by Nancy Springer
How Not to Be Popular by Jennifer Ziegler
Sucks to Be Me by Kimberly Pauley
I Was A Teenage Popsicle by Bev Katz Rosenbaum
Talent by Zoey Dean
Bad Kitty: Catnipped by Michele Jaffe

Heaven Looks A Lot Like the Mall by Wendy Mass
Violet on the Runway by Melissa Wallker
Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies by Erin Dionne
We Are SO Crashing Your Bar Mitzvah! by Fiona Rosenbloom

My Life In Pink and Green by Lisa Greenwald
La Petite Four by Regina Scott
Parties and Potions by Sarah Mlynowski

I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Sloane Sisters by Anna Carey
The Beef Princess of Practical County by Michelle Houts
S.A.S.S.: The Great Call of China by Cynthea Liu
Faketastic by Alexa Young

Much Ado About Anne by Heather Vogel Frederick
The Possibilities of Sainthood by Donna Freitas
Lipstick Apology by Jennifer Jabaley
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Exclusively Chloe by J.A. Yang

Prada & Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard
Slept Away by Julie Kraut
Jet Set by Carrie Karasyov & Jill Kargman
Secrets of my Hollywood Life: Paparazzi Princess by Jen Calonita

The Clique: Bratfest At Tiffany's by Lisi Harrison
Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors
Now Starring Vivien Leigh Reid: Diva in Training by Yvonne Collins & Sandy Rideout
Miles to Go by Miley Cyrus
The Clique: PS I Loathe You by Lisi Harrison
Death by Denim by Linda Gerber

My New Best Friend by Julie Bowe
Take the Reins by Jessica Burkhart
Donut Days by Lara Zielin
Marley & Me by John Grogan
The Writing on the Wall by Wendy Lichtman

The Sweetheart of Prosper County by Jill S. Alexander
Bedeviled: Daddy's Little Angel by Shani Petroff
Enola Holmes and the Case of the Cryptic Crinoline by Nancy Springer
Viola in Reel Life by Adriana Trigiani

Demon Princess by Michelle Rowen
Never Cry Werewolf by Heather Davis
Gilda Joyce: The Dead Drop by Jennifer Allison
Hex Education by Zareen Jaffrey & Emily Gould

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling
Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev
Charmed & Dangerous: The Clique Prequel by Lisi Harrison
I So Don't Do Spooky by Barrie Summy
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Why I Let My Hair Grow Out by Maryrose Wood

Stupid Cupid by Rhonda Stapleton
Scones & Sensibility by Lindsay Eland
Front and Center by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (11)

Waiting on Wednesday was created by Jill at Breaking the Spine! Fun! (:

Something Maybe by Elizabeth Scott
Coming out March 24, 2009

   Hannah is proud  of her hard-earned reputation of "invisible girl", something that wasn't easy for her to achieve, due to her infamous parents. Her enstranged father, Jackson, is something of a Hugh Hefner type. Candy, her mother, supports herself and Hannah by posing for fans in her underwear. Now a senior, quiet-yet-sassy Hannah finds herself crushing on two boys: sensitive, gorgeous, perfect Josh and awkward, funny Finn. Which boy to choose, however, becomes the least of Hannah's problems when her dad calls in an attempt to rekindle their relationship. Through crushes and fights, Hannah comes to a deeper understanding of what it means to love. (Kirkus Reviews)
Sounds like a cute, light romance-ish type of book that I'd like to read. The plot sounds unique and funny with lots of great characters. Definitely one for me to check out! (:

The Sweet Life of Stella Madison by Lara M. Zeises
Coming out July 14, 2009
  When Stella Madison's food-loving parents help her land a summer job at the local newspaper, there's only one catch: she's expected to write about food. Luckily, Stella has Jeremy, the hot new intern at her mom's restaurant, who's more than happy to help. But where does that leave Stella's boyfriend, Max? And could her separated parents be cooking up romances of their own?
Oooh, this one sounds cute as well! It has all of the elements that I love--food, cooking, family, writing, summer fun...Can't wait for this one!

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Monday Muse: Erin Dionne

Today's Muse: Erin Dionne
Author of: Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies (review here)
Bookworm: What made you want to write Celeste's story?
Erin: Models began as a short story, actually. My stories and novels always begin with a character, and this one was no exception. In 2002, driving home from work, the image of an overweight girl, eating spinach salad, sitting alone in a school cafeteria, popped into my head. Immediately, I wanted to know who this girl was, what she was doing, and why she was alone. That wondering turned into "On BBQ Day, No One Brings A Lunch", which won a local writing competition. When I read it at a writing conference in 2005, the group leader suggested I turn it into a novel. Luckily, I took her suggestion!

Bookworm: How long did it take you to write Models, from start to finish?
Erin: Since I already had written the short story, I knew the characters really, really, well. The first draft *poured* out of me in 6 weeks! But I'm a major revisor, so I revised it about seven times over two years after that--and that's BEFORE my editor got hold of it!

Bookworm: Have you ever been in a pageant such as the HuskyPeach competition that the main character, Celeste, takes part in in the book?
Erin: I personally haven't, but I had two friends who were local models for a department store when we were in high school. So I used a combination of memories from that time and a lot of imagination to come up with the pageant. That's the beauty of fiction--creating something real out of wisps and nothing.

Bookworm: Is Celeste based off of yourself or anyone else you know?
Erin: Celeste and I share a lot of the same experiences: we both threw up on our gym teacher's shoes, we both had to wear a peach bridesmaid dress in our cousin's wedding, and we both try very hard to please people in our lives. And I could definitely identify with Celeste being an outsider in school. We moved around a lot when I was a kid, so I had a range of good and bad experiences that help me in my writing.

Bookworm: If Models had a soundtrack, which songs would you pick to be on it?
Erin: Funny you should ask! I actually have one. There's a singer/songwriter character in the book, Theo Christmas, who Celeste crushes on. My friend, Dann Russo, also a singer, was the inspiration for Theo. So he actually wrote and recorded two of the songs that Celeste loves: Ruby Red Hair and Dreaming Without You. You can download them for free from my website. Other songs I'd put on the soundtrack are also on my site: Everybody Hurts by REM, Finally by Ce Ce Peniston, I'm Coming Out by Diana Ross, and others...

Bookworm: Will there be a sequel?
Erin: I hope so! Right now, there isn't one scheduled, but if enough people like Celeste's story and want more of her I am hoping that my publishing company will want one...

Bookworm: Are you currently working on/planning to write any more novels for teens?
Erin: Yes! My next book, The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet will be released in spring 2010. It features Shakespeare-obsessed parents, a genius little sister, giant cuts of meat, and Renaissance Fairs--plus total embarrassment for the main character!

TOTALLY RANDOM BONUS QUESTION: What's your favorite kind of cookie?
Erin: Homemade chocolate chip. Peanut butter cookies are a close second.
Thanks so much for being this week's Muse, Erin, and congratulations on the release (on February 5) of Models! I can't wait to read The Total sounds amazing! (:

Thursday, February 19, 2009

See You on Sunday!

...Until then, have a great rest of the week. (:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

We Are SO Crashing Your Bar Mitzvah!

Title: We Are SO Crashing Your Bar Mitzvah!
Author: Fiona Rosenbloom
Pages: 219
Hyperion, 2007
Genre: Realistic fiction
Recommended to: Girls, 12 & up
Rating: A-

   Stacy Adelaide Friedman thinks she's got it made: her bat mitzvah was a success, she and her best-friend-for-life Lydia Katz made up, and she's about to enter eighth grade with a cool new look that will have her chilling with the most popular girls in school, The Chicas, in no time at all. 
   However, Stacy's in for a big surprise: over the summer, while she and Lydia were at camp, their best friend Kelly got pretty, lost weight, and befriended the Chicas. Not only is she ditching Lydia and Stacy for the cool crowd in and out of school, she's invited to the bar mitzvah party of the century--even though her so-called friends weren't!
   But Stacy refuses to get dissed this quickly by the Chicas and Kelly, and concocts a master plan to crash the party and get their friend back...Will it work, or will the girls be banished to No-Friendsville before they can say "mazel tov"?
   Ah. Overall, I was really satisfied by this sequel to You Are SO Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah. Funny, light, and sincere, the story moved quickly and was simple to follow with great characters and conflicts. I really think Fiona Rosenbloom knows her audience: she's got Stacy's voice down. Teen girls will love how real and hilarious Stacy was, as I did. Her character sometimes didn't make the right choices, and at first I was sick of her immaturity, but by the end I was rooting her on, sympathizing along with her and Lydia and finding her to be a strong, well-rounded character. 
   At some times, I felt like the plotline was a bit unrealistic, like how Stacy went to such huge measures to just attend one party just to be looked upon as "cool" by others. I also found that, like in the first book, she was too involved in what other people thought of her, but was pleased how her character changed in the end.
   I loved how Ms. Rosenbloom made Kym so loatheable, and like Stacy and Lydia, I was crossing my fingers that Kelly would get a clue and get over herself.
   The dialogue was smooth, humorous at times, and overall very real, and the plot flowed so nicely that the novel made a quick, riveted-to-my-seat easy read that really only took about a day and a half to finish.
   Recommended? Heck, yes! Go read it, now! (:

Click here for a review of You Are SO Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah!

Waiting on Wednesday (10)

Here are this week's picks:

Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors
Coming out July 21, 2009

   When Katrina spots a homeless guy sleeping in the alley behind her grandmother's coffee shop, she decides to leave him a cup of coffee, a bag of chocolate-covered coffee beans, and some pastries to tide him over. Little does she know that this random act of kindness is about to turn her life upside down. Because this adorable vagrant, Malcolm, is really a guardian angel on a break between missions. And he won't leave until he can reward Katrina's selflessness by fulfulling her deepest desire. Now if only she could decide what that might be...
Sounds cute, huh? I'm super-excited for my copy to come in the mail! (:

Exclusively Chloe by JA Yang
Coming out May 14, 2009

   Chloe-Grace can't help it--she's spectacular. How could she not be with celebrity parents who have been the queen and king of Hollywood for years? And Chloe is a celebrity all unto herself as well--she's the first celebrity-adopted kid in Hollywood. But now Chloe's sixteen, and she is tired of every undesired moment of the world's attention. She wonders what it would be like to be a "normal" kid in a regular school. To really understand it, though, she would need to go undercover. So after getting a "make-under" at the hands of her mother's fabulous stylist, she enters the "real" world. But she soon finds out that there is just as much drama there as there is in Hollywood...
Oooh, I'm dying to get my hands on a copy of this one! Sure, the plot's already been done (a lot), but doesn't it still sound fun and light?

...So, what are you looking forward to?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

New Layout and News

   ...So, how do you like Bookworm Readers' new layout? I got this awesome free template off of The Cutest Blog on the Block (thanks to Kristi for the recommendation!). Opinions, please! I thought Bookworm Readers was in need of a little change, and in my opinion, the new background suits the blog nicely. 
   Also, BR is now RSS feed enabled. I'm not really sure what that means (at least in English) but I'm pretty sure it's a good thing. (:
   And speaking of feedback, have you checked out my mini-survey yet? So far, there's been only one response (Thanks TruBlu93 for your great positive feedback!), but I'd really like your opinion, so if you haven't already, check it out here!
   Speaking of helping people out, a new blogger named Melange is holding a contest that will help her gain followers and you gain a prize--one of 50 or something paperbacks from her shelf! All you have to do is become a follower, so go check it out (and tell her that Bookworm sent you). (:
   Meanwhile, here's what's goin' on in my world:
-- I started Fiona Rosenbloom's We Are SO Crashing Your Bar Mitzvah today--a good, light rainy-day read (and believe me, it's been raining...and raining....and raining!). Like I said, it's pretty short so I should be getting up a review soon, so yay!
-- I'm taking a little vacation from blogging starting Thursday, but I'll be back on Sunday in time for Monday's Muse!
-- And about the Monday Muse, look forward to upcoming interviews with Melissa Walker, Erin Dionne, and Wendy Mass. (:

Hope everyone's having a good day!
-- Bookworm <3

Monday, February 16, 2009

Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies

Title: Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies
Author: Erin Dionne
Pages: 243
Dial, February 5 2009
Genre: Realistic fiction
Recommended to: Tween girls, 12-14
Rating: B+

   Thirteen-year-old Celeste Harris is no string bean, but comfy sweatpants and her daily dosing of chocolate cookies suit her just fine. Her under-the-radar lifestyle could have continued too, if her aunt hadn't entered her in the HuskyPeach Modeling Challenge. As if being forced to walk the runway as an overweight model for all to see wasn't bad enough, now Celeste's best friend is ditching her for the mean-girl leader of the popular crowd, who also is Celeste's number-one enemy. Now she's got to think of a plan to win her best friend back as well as getting out of the contest....Enter Operation Skinny Celeste--she'll do whatever it takes to lose a few pounds (even if it means giving up her cookie obsession) because, after all, a thin girl can't be a fat model...What Celeste never imagined was that losing weight would help her gain a backbone...or that all she needed to shine was a spotlight. *
   I have to say, the first half of this book was not exactly enjoyable: I didn't like how there was nearly no leadup to the action, so that I felt like I was just being plunged in without any background information on any of the characters, a little too forced into the plotline for my taste. For the first few chapters, I found that some of the characters like Sandra were too underdeveloped. Because of this, it was hard for me to understand Celeste's frustration over losing her best friend because I hardly knew anything about Sandra in the first place. It was also hard for me to get deep into the plotline because of how slow the story moved.
   However, by the middle of the novel, I started enjoying myself. I loved seeing how much Celeste grew and learned as a character, and I loved her spunky attitude and positive take on the world. When she was being bullied for her size, I was rooting for her all along: she was so strong and brave. I loved how she narrated the story and how the author reflected her growing confidence in her weight loss. I also enjoyed all of the quirky characters that Celeste met when entering the HuskyPeach competition: Christian, Gail, Ashley, Bay-be, etc.
   And then there was the whole pageant aspect, which was so fun for me. Ms. Dionne clearly knew what she was talking about, and so the story moved along quickly, dotted with humor (Boxes of bras falling on heads? Ripping skirts? Peach Monstrosity dresses?) that made Celeste even more lovable and hilarious as she gathered friends, competition, and confidence. 
   From friendship to bullying, from modeling to the disasters along the way, Models covers it all, making a thoroughly enjoyable read for teen girls. And don't you adore the cover? Every time I look at it, it makes me hungry! (: 
   Thank you Erin for sending me a copy, and congrats on the release!

* from Amazon, added on to/edited by Bookworm

The Monday Muse: What's Up?

Hey guys! Hope everyone is having a good President's Day. I am interrupting this week's Monday Muse for a bit of a survey. It's just four short questions that have to do with my blog--I need some feedback, so please answer!
Here goes:

Do you have any suggestions/recommendations for Bookworm Readers?
If you could change one thing about my blog, what would it be?
What is your favorite feature?
Should I introduce any new features and what should they be?

Thanks a bunch,
xxoo Bookworm

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Mail Call!

If you want to take part in the In My Mailbox feature, created by Kristi over at the Story Siren, click here!
Here's what the mailman brought this week:

My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison
   After her boyfriend dumps her for her older sister, sophomore Savannah Delano wishes she could find a true prince to take her to the prom. Enter Chrissy (Chrysanthemum) Everstar: Savannah's gum-chewing, 
cell phone-carrying, high heel-wearing Fair Godmother. Showing she's only Fair-because she's not a very good fairy student-Chrissy mistakenly sends Savannah back in time to the Middle Ages, first as Cinderella, then as Snow White. Finally she sends Tristan, a boy in Savannah's class, back instead to turn him into a prom-worthy prince. When Savannah returns to the Middle Ages to save Tristan, they must team up to defeat a troll, a dragon, and the mysterious and alluring Black Knight.
Looks like a cute, light read! I got this from Barnes and Noble and I can't wait to begin. I bet I'll be cracking up throughout this one!

Scat by Carl Hiaasen
   Mrs. Bunny Starch, the most feared biology teacher ever, was last seen during a field trip to Black Vine Swamp. The school's headmaster and the police seem to have accepted the sketchy, unsigned note explaining that her absence is due to a "family emergency". There's no real evidence of foul play. But still, Nick and Marta don't buy it. Something weird is definitely going on.
I got this at the library. I loved Hiaasen's previous books for younger readers, Hoot and Flush, so hopefully this one is just as funny and enjoyable!

Almost Fabulous by Michelle Radford
  Fiona Blount lives by one rule: remain anonymous and nothing bad can happen to you. But these days, Fiona can't avoid the spotlight. Because crazy things just happen around her, and suddenly everyone's looking her way--including her London school's resident mean girl and Fiona's supersecret crush. As if growing up isn't already confusing, dealing with the fact that she now has the power of mind control is enough to push any fourteen-year-old girl over the edge! Could this newly discovered talent have anything to do with possibly locating her long-lost father? And will she be able to stop tripping her archenemy with her mind?
  Fiona might be a little clueless and a lot confused, but she's totally entertaining and way more than almost fabulous!
I got this at the library just because it looked cute and interesting. Why not, huh?

Sleepless by Terri Clark
   Eighteen-year-old Trinity Michaels has the ability to dream walk. It's a power she doesn't want, but if forever alters her life when she's unable to find an abducted teen before she's killed. While Trinity does help the police capture the killer, Rafe Stevens, her involvement makes her his next target. Stevens pleads insanity and his convincing performance, aided by his despicable attorney, get him sentenced to a mental institute where a diabolical physician experiments on him. Now Rafe's escaped the sanitarium and he's after Trinity. Like her, he now has a special ability, one that allows him to stalk Trinity through her dreams. If he kills her in her sleep, she'll die for real. To survive she must find him first and the only person willing to help her is Dan Devlin, disillusioned son of the shady lawyer who knowingly aided Rafe in getting away with murder. Can she trust Dan with her safety, not to mention her heart?
Oooh....creepy. I can't wait to start! Thanks, Terri, for sending me a copy! (:

TMI by Sarah Quigley (ARC)
   Friends call Becca the Overshare Queen, but her tendency for TMI never seemed like a problem to her until she blabs about her sweet band-geek boyfriend's sloppy kisses-and gets dumped! Realizing it may be better to resist the temptation to overshare face-to-face, Becca decides to blog anonymously about everything instead. On her blog, Too Much Information, Becca unleashes her alter ego, Bella. Bella tells it like it is...though perhaps with a bit more drama. After all, no one's going to read it, right?
Ooh, looks super-cute! The plot sounds unique and fun, and I love the bright and colorful cover--isn't it eyecatching? Thanks Sarah and Penguin for sparing a copy! <3

The Beef Princess of Practical County by Michelle Houts (ARC)
   After years of waiting, it is finally Libby Ryan's turn to shine at the Practical County Fair. Libby is filled with excitement as she and her granddad pick out two calves for her to raise on her family's cattle farm, in hopes of winning the annual steer competition. Against her father's advice, Libby gives the calves names, even though both with eventually be auctioned off. After a few months of preparing for the fair, Libby finds that she is growing closer to her steers with each passing day, and the pressure to win Grand Champion is mounting.
  Luckily, Libby can count on her best friend to get her through most of the county fair chaos. Yet once reality sets in and she realizes that her steers will soon be sold to the highest bidder, the chaos in Libby's heart becomes too much to bear.
This one looks super-cute. Many thanks to Michelle for sending me an ARC.

Secrets of My Hollywood Life: Paparazzi Princess by Jen Calonita
   As the last season of Family Affair comes to a close, prime-time teen star Kaitlin Burke is no closer to deciding what she wants to do after the show ends. Struggling with career choices and bummed over a ridiculous catfight with her BFF, Liz, Kaitlin is so mixed up she even starts to semi-bond with her archnemesis, Sky. Worst of all, she falls in with two of Hollywood's biggest party fiends when one of them asks her, "Don'y you ever do what you want to do?" Shopping sprees and Tinseltown nightlife seems fun at first, but soon Kaitlin realizes that being a paparazzi princess just might be her downfall.
   I love this series! I went to Barnes and Noble and was surprised to see it on the shelf because it's supposed to come out in March, but yay anyway! And the cover is adorable as always. (:

The Clique: PS I Loathe You by Lisi Harrison
   There's a long summary, but let's just say that the Clique's boyfast is over, but there's some major drama coming when Dylan starts crushing on Derrington and Massie starts a cheerleading squad (that Alicia doesn't really want to be part of) to make him jealous....Meanwhile, Kristen has to choose between the Pretty Committee and her super-secret Witty Committee...
   I love the Clique, so I can't wait to start the newest installment in the series, number 10! Plus it came with super-cute Valentine's Day themed stickers, so yay! Who doesn't love free stickers? (:

I also won Lauren Barnholdt's Reality Chick and Interred With Their Bones by Jennifer Lee Carrell in Keri Mikulski's Yay For YA January giveaway contest. Thanks, Keri! <3
   So, all in all it was a great week, book-wise! (:

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope everyone has a very sweet day full of love and happiness (and a good book)! ......and chocolate wouldn't hurt, either. (:

Friday, February 13, 2009

Violet on the Runway

Title: Violet on the Runway 
Author: Melissa Walker
Pages: 220
Berkeley Jam, 2007
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Recommended to: Girls, 13 and up
Rating: A

  Violet Greenfield is used to being a wallflower at her North Carolina high school. Sick of standing out because of her extremely tall height, she just wants to get her senior year of high school over as painfully as possible and maybe even befriend the Bee's Knees--the most popular girls in school, a secret ambition of Violet's. 
   But one day when Violet meets an agent from a modeling business and is told that she could be the next big thing, her life changes forever and she is whisked into a world of fashion, glamour, beauty, and deceiving appearances in New York City. But between fashion shoots, romance, drama, and the hardships the media's pressure on a model, will Violet be able to remember where she came from and who her true friends are? The fashion business isn't as easy and innocent as it seems....
   Wow! I was totally surprised by how much I really loved Melissa Walker's novel. Fresh, unique, and sincere, I was a bit bored at first but the pace immediately picked up and the action flowed quickly. One of the things I most appreciated about this novel was how to-the-point and realistic Ms. Walker was: she didn't skimp on the details, and told the reader how the modeling business really was, even if it was dark, shocking, and not so glamorous. All the characters were so awesome and well-developed so that they felt like real people: Roger, Aunt Rita, Angela, Veronica, Julie, even Violet herself. 
   Which leads me to my next point: Violet's character. I loved seeing how a girl with such low-self esteem blossomed into a confident, kick-butt character. Readers will immediately be able to relate to Violet's insecurities and will be rooting for her until the end like I was! I also loved how Violet was realistic and just a normal girl deep down: someone who likes ice cream, is self-conscious about herself, and has her own problems and fears. 
   From the middle on, the fast-paced action, glittering glamour, and drama will have readers madly flipping pages until the end. Overall, I was very satisfied with this extremely well-written book with a refreshing look into the high-stakes world of fashion and am more than excited to begin book number two, Violet by Design! Very well done, Melissa! (:

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday!

June sounds like a great month for new releases--and it's also my birthday month! Here are two I'm greatly anticipating:

Me, My Elf & I
by Heather Swain
Coming out June 11, 2009

It's not often you see an elf in the middle of Brooklyn, let alone a tall, gorgeous elf in the middle of one of the most prestigious performing arts high schools in the country. And that's just where Zephyr Addler finds herself: smack dab in the middle of a bustling New York City school, worlds away from the secluded woodland community she knows so well. But Zephyr knows that she has to figure out how to live in the world. And dress in the world. Thanks to a little friendly advice from her new friend Mercedes, Zephyr starts to get the hang of Brooklyn. That is, until Zephyr snags a role in a commercial, beating out the most popular girl in school, Bella Dartagnan. Now with Bella and her friends out to get her, can Zephyr out-maneuver the mean girls (and catch the eye of a certain cute boy) without losing herself?
It sounds so cute and creative! And I love the adorable cover!

Along for the Ride
by Sarah Dessen
Coming out June 16, 2009

   It's been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents' divorce--or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live.
   A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she's been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend.
How good does this sound? I've never read any of Sarah Dessen's other books but this sounds like a good one to begin on...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Make A New Friend!

Hey, everyone. Since it's nearly Valentine's Day, which is a season of friendship and love, why don't you be a sweetheart and make a new friend by following a great up-and-coming review blog, Laura's Review Bookshelf? She has great reviews and giveaways and is also a really nice person. (:

She's having this contest....if you begin following her blog, you can be entered to win a book of your choice (ARC or regular), and how can you pass that up?! Also, tell her I recruited you so I can also get points towards the contest. So...go! Check her blog out now!

Edit: I know I'm also really behind on my reviews, but I've just been busy with life and school and other stuff. I'm almost done with Violet on the Runway (and lovin' it!) so I should have that up soon. (:

Saturday, February 7, 2009

T is for Tags!

I was tagged by Sharonanne to do this fun meme where you are assigned a letter and have to list 10 things you like that start with that letter! I was assigned "T". Here goes:

1) Turtles--they're so cute and wise
2) Taffy--especially that saltwater stuff they sell near the beach. Ohmigosh, root beer is the best.
3) Trick-or-treating. I love Halloween (:
4) Tabasco sauce. On pizza. Seriously, it's the best.
5) Tacos with cheese, chicken, and olives.
6) Talking. Ask any of my friends. I never shut up, LOL.
7) Totally awesome books--who doesn't love a good read?
8) Tootsie Rolls. Yum!
9) Target. I could spend hours in that store. 
10) Taylor Swift's songs (particularly "White Horse" because she gets annoying after a while)
Bonus: Tags like this one--too fun, huh?

Anyone who wants to can participate, so if you're interested, comment below and I'll assign you a random letter! Have fun! 

Friday, February 6, 2009

Heaven Looks A Lot Like the Mall

Title: Heaven Looks A Lot Like the Mall
Author: Wendy Mass
Pages: 251
Little & Brown, 2007
Genre: Hmm....Realistic/Not fantasy..but non-realistic? What do you think?
Recommended to: Teen readers 13 and up
Rating: B

   16-year-old Tessa has had an average life: bad times, good times, drama, highs, lows. Nothing too exciting, at least in her opinion. She's a pretty normal high-school girl, still trying to figure out what the question (Who are you?) on her college application forms means. She knows she's not too thin and not too pretty, and she doesn't really have any self-esteem, but knows that's not really the answer. But then what is?
   But all of that's about to change when she is knocked into a dangerous coma when she is involved in an accident in PE and finds herself in "heaven", a place that looks creepily like her local mall back home. There, she revisits her past up until when she was knocked out playing dodgeball. She remembers times she's made mistakes and bad decisions, reencounters times she'd rather forget, goes back to things she wishes she could change, and ends up learning a lot about why life is worth living, and who she really is deep down. 
   Wow. Don't let the fluffy cover or the sugary-sweet chick lit-like title throw you off. This book is deep, a totally touching and memorable story. I loved how the author shows you Tessa's self-development and how her actions just made her totally human. Tessa has made some bad choices and some major mistakes, and has learned the hard way. For me, this just made her character so much deeper and more realistic. I loved hearing her first-person thoughts, as well. I enjoyed how Wendy transitioned from the baby to child to teenager stories/memories because you could tell that Tessa was getting older and more mature: her thoughts were more complex and she faced bigger issues. At some points, I just wanted to cry for her. She didn't have a terrible easy home life (her mom put lots of pressure on her), and she really did face some ego problems inside. I found her to be a bland character at first, but by the end I knew why: she was insecure, trying to impress everyone else but not being herself. 
    I also liked the poetic format that made the book more well, poetic and flowing. Parts of the novel to be a bit cheesy, and the ending seemed a little bit too perfect for me, but maybe everything seemed a whole lot more sunnier at the end because Tessa finally realized who she really was. Some of the transitions were a bit jerky and random, but overall I was impressed by how beautiful the novel was. I was practically in tears at the moving ending because I felt like Tessa was a real person who had finally discovered that she didn't have to impress anyone but herself, and that made me happy. All in all, it actually kind of reminded me of Gabrielle Zevin's Elsewhere.
   Overall, I recommend this novel to most teens. I really enjoyed Tessa's unique voice and the beautiful writing! 
   Oh-- and which cover do you prefer? Paperback (gumball machine) or hardcover?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (8): Double Feature!

Here's what's come across my book-stalking radar this week:

Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev
Coming out July 7, 2009
All her world's a stage.
Beatrice Shakespeare Smith is not an actress, yet she lives in a theater.
She's not an orphan, but she has no parents.
She knows every part, but she has no lines of her own.
   Until now.
Welcome to the Théatre Illuminata, where the characters of every play ever written can be found behind the curtain. They were born to play their parts, and are bound to the Theatre by The Book--an ancient and magical tome of scripts. Bertie is not one of them, but they are her family--and she is about to lose them all and the only home she has ever known...
This one recently came to my attention, and it looks amazing. It sounds unique and thrilling. I can't wait to read it, and if anyone knows how/where to find an ARC of this one, I will love you forever! (:

Peace, Love, and Baby Ducks by Lauren Myracle
Coming out May 14, 2009
  Growing up in a world of wealth and pastel-tinted entitlement, fifteen-year-old Carly has always relied on the constancy--and the authenticity--of her sister, Anna. But when fourteen-year-old Anna turns plastic-pretty over the course of a single summer, everything starts to change. And there are boys involved, complicating things as always. 
  With warmth, insight, and an unparalleled gift for finding humor even in stormy situations, beloved author Lauren Myracle dives into the tumultuous waters of sisterhood and shows that even very different sisters can learn to help each other stay afloat. (
Aww...sounds awesome! And I love the cover, don't you?

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Monday Muse: Interview with....Me!

Hi! Today's Monday Muse is going to be a bit different from normal. Instead of an interview with an author, I'm showing you all an interview with me! It's part of this fun new thing Lauren over at Shooting Stars Mag interviewed me for. Thanks, Lauren. It was fun! If you want to be interviewed, too, I've posted the rules are below. (: Enjoy!
1) Do you read magazines? If so, which ones?
Yes, I read some magazines: I'm a sucker for US Weekly and People, but I only read those when I'm at the dentist or doctor's office. If I'm going on a trip, then I'll splurge and get myself a Teen Vogue (I love all the pretty clothes I can't afford in there) or a J-14, just for kicks. And then there's all my horse magzines: Young Rider, Horse and Pony, Practical Horseman, Equestrian...

2) If you could be anything, what would you pick and why?
I'd want to be a dolphin, because they're so cute and always look so happy and playful.
Or a movie star. That would be awesome, too! But I also like being me. (:

3) If you were lost in the woods and could only have one author to keep you company, who would you picks and why?
It's a tie between Michele Jaffe and JK Rowling. Michele because she's hilarious and makes me laugh. And JK because she'd amuse me with stories. If I had to choose just one, I'd probably end up picking Michele. She's just too funny! 

4) What are five things you can't live without?
My family (pets included), books, movies, happiness, and cupcakes. 

5) Would you rather be able to fly or read people's minds?
Hmm....hard decision. If I could, I'd pick both because that would just be too cool. But for now I'll go with flying. Then you'd never have to deal with traffic jams. (:

Do you want to be interviewed?
1. If you want to be interviewed, comment with "interview me" and your email address so I can contact you
2. I will email you five questions in return
3. Update your blog with the answers and let me know when it's posted so I can link it
4. Include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment, you will interview them, too!

Have a happy Monday!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Bad Kitty: Catnipped

Title: Catnipped
Author: Michele Jaffe
Art By: Lince
Pages: 172
TokyoPop & HarperCollins, 2008
Genre: Manga/Mystery
Recommended to: Teen readers 13 and up
Rating: A

   Crazy-haired cowboy boot-wearing anti-Nancy Drew Jasmine ("Jas") Callihan is back, and this time, manga-style! In her very first graphic novel, Jas has got a lot on her hands:
a) she can't manage to have brunch with her "Tabasco-hot" rock star boyfriend Jack Early without being mobbed by his fans
b) she's trying to solve a diamond heist at the mall 
c) her evil cousin Alyson and her hench twin Veronique are trailing Jas and her friends wherever they go
d) trying to handle all of this while trying to avoid getting caught by the Thwarter, aka her overprotective dad!
It's going to be a long day....But can Jas find the culprit before someone innocent gets framed? 
   I've got to start out by saying....I love Michele Jaffe. She is hilarious. Seriously. Every time I pick up one of her books I immediately get sucked into all the humor, funny slogans ("That is so Visa!"), awesome characters (Go Roxy!), and creativity that she puts into the plot. 
   I'm not a big manga reader, so I was surprised to be overall very delighted with the book. I loved how the oh-so-talented artist Lince really made Jas and her friends come to life exactly as I'd imagined them, and how clues and hints were hidden into the artwork. In my opinion, the comic book is just as good as the previous two novels, if not better (who doesn't love illustrations?), making a quick (it took me only about an hour and a half to finish) and suspenseful read for those who need a break from real books! I can't wait to see what crazy situation Jas gets herself into next...

Click here for a review of Bad Kitty
Click here for a review of Kitty Kitty