Thursday, April 30, 2009


Title: Faketastic
Author: Alexa Young
Pages: 244
Published by: HarperTeen, 2009
Genre: Realistic fiction
Recommended to: Girls, 12 and up
Cover: B
Overall: A-

   Halvalon is back together, and ten times as fabulous before! 
   BFFs Halley and Avalon think life is good: their huge fight is behind them now, their new "Style Snarks" blog is up and more amazing than ever, and best of all, Halley's longtime crush, Wade, has just confessed that he likes her back. But what about Sofee, Wade's ex and Halley's friend? That's when the girls have a brilliant idea: Avalon will pretend to like Wade so Halley can see him in secret and not break "friend code" with Sofee. In exchange, Halley will boldly nominate Avalon for the pep squad captain (a position that Avalon's cheer friend Brianna already holds). And all the time, the girls will be pretending that they've broken up again. Genius, right? Until Operation Halvalon goes totally, utterly wrong...
   I was so happy with the second book in the Frenemies series. First off, I was worried about Ms. Young not coming up with a fresh plotline for this book. How would she carry on the plot to a second novel without being repetitive? Luckily, having a unique new twist in the story was no problem for Ms. Young: I was pleasantly surprised by how brilliant and fun the second book was. I loved all the twists and turns: just when I thought the conflicts would resolve themselves, another problem would appear. And once again, the dialogue was fresh and funny. My favorite part was the snippet from the Style Snarks blog at the end of each chapter, it totally gave me something to look forward to, and it really reflected the girls' voices. Once again, I was thrilled with the great characters, style, great writing, and amazing descriptions of setting, clothes, etc.
  Some parts, to me, were a little hard to follow, and all of the back-and-forth was a little bit confusing. But I really liked how Ms. Young went from one girl to another, and how they each had a different story to tell! For instance, Avalon was trying to distract Wade from Halley because Sofee was nearby, but Halley thought that Avalon was flirting with him! Sometimes this drove me nuts, but mostly it just drew me farther into the plot. I loved how Ms. Young totally captured eighth grade in a nutshell: drama, friendship...
   Faketastic was a very quick read: I finished it in only 2 days, the whole time eager to find out what would happen next. After this book's sort-of-cliffhanger ending, I can only desperately wait to find out what's next for Halvalon in the next book, Glamnesia--I'm so excited! (:

Click here for my review of Frenemies

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

Front and Center by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Coming out October 19, 2009

   DJ Schwenk thinks that, after five months of sheer craziness, she's finally going back to being "plain old background DJ". But, it turns out, other folks have big plans for DJ. Like her coach. College scouts. All the town hoops fans. A certain Red Bend High School junior who's keen for romance and karaoke. Not to mention Brian Nelson, who she should not be thinking about! Who she is DONE WITH, thank you very much. But who keeps showing up anyway...
   What's going to happen if she lets these people down? What's going to happen when she does? Because let's face it: there's no way, on court or off, that awkward, tongue-tied DJ Schwenk can manage all this attention. No way at all. Not without a brain transplant. Not without breaking her heart.

   For those who haven't read the previous books in the series, Dairy Queen and The Off Season, this summary might be kind of vague, but having read both, I'm totally looking forward to Front and Center! I recently read the author's Princess Ben, not part of the series, and adored it--part of my top 3 of 2008--and I really love Ms. Murdock's writing, so I am counting down the days before it comes out! (: What are you guys waiting on this Wednesday? 

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Contest Winner and Awards!

     So, my mom helped me draw the winner of the Beef Princess of Practical County contest, and the winner is.....
Congrats! I'll email you tonight so I can send out the book ASAP!
And catching up on awards, I'd like to thank the following people:

Robyn for nominating me for the Lemonade Stand Award: For a blogger showing attitude and gratitude. Definitely check out Robyn's blog, it's awesome! (:

Wendy for nominating me for the One Lovely Blog Award. Another awesome blogger, I am so honored! 

 Silvia for nominating me for the Zombie Chicken Award. This one really makes me laugh!!! PS: I really love her header! So cute. 
The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the
 zombie chicken--excellence, grace, and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words...

   Thanks so much, everyone! And call me incredibly lazy, but I'm not nominating anyone back (again). I have just been so busy: school, tests, homework, blog work, books....eek! My head is about to explode. So I promise next time I get an award, I will nominate others, too. (: 

Monday, April 27, 2009

This Week's Monday Muse... cancelled! I'm off to count the contest entries for the Beef Princess of Practical County giveaway! Results will be announced tomorrow!

(: Bookworm

Thursday, April 23, 2009

S.A.S.S.: The Great Call of China

Title: The Great Call of China (part of the S.A.S.S. series)
Author: Cynthea Liu
Pages: 253
Published by: Speak, February 2009
Genre: Realistic Fiction/Travel
Recommended to: Teen girls, 11 and up
Cover: A-
Overall Score: B

  Cece Charles was adopted when she was two years old from China and now, at seventeen, is living in Texas. Cece loves her parents, but has always felt like part of her is missing--and it is. She wants to know what her birth parents were like, why they gave her up, if they loved her. And the perfect opportunity presents itself when she's accepted into the Students Across the Seven Seas (S.A.S.S.)'s exchange student program in Xi'an, China. Now, Cece can escape from another boring summer back home with her overprotective mom, dig deeper into her passion of anthropology, and possibly learn about her background. But China's a lot different than Cece imagined: the food is nothing like she's expected (ie fish heads with eyes still in), and she's discovering some parts of Chinese culture that relate to her that she's having trouble grasping....Luckily, Cece has Will, a cute fellow student, and some good friends. And with a little luck, Cece might learn more than culture and language. She might learn about herself, too...
   My thoughts: I've always been a big fan of this series: what's there not to love? Travel, romance, friendship...My one fear for this book was that it was just going to be a repeat of every other book in the series: girl travels to different country, meets cute guy, stumbles upon a conflict....But I was pleasantly surprised. I really liked how Ms. Liu created her story about Cece's journey to find her birth parents. It was a unique plotline from all the rest of the S.A.S.S. books, which made this addition to the series so much more interesting and personal. Cece herself was a well-rounded and realistic character who was not annoying in any way. (:
   I found this one really slow to begin, but luckily once Cece landed in China, the pace picked up quite a bit. Some parts were a bit slow and overly informational (although necessary), and in other places, I was a bit bored, waiting for something to happen. But I wasn't disappointed. The ending to me, although bittersweet, perfectly rounded up the story, and overall the plot was well-thought-out, unique, and fun. The plot wasn't anything special, it was very simple and easy to understand, but fun all the time. I felt like I was walking beside Cece while she explored China the whole time! Although a bit predictable, The Great Call of China was still a charming, humorous, and sweet addition to the series. I can't wait to pick up the next book now! 
   PS I just love these covers--so cute!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

The Comeback by Marlene Perez
Coming out August 1, 2009

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

Confessions of a First Daughter by Cassidy Calloway (Thanks to Lauren for notifying me about this one!)
Coming out September 1, 2009 

   Morgan Abbott has no social life and no privacy, and her every screwup makes front page news. That's what happens when your mom's the president of the United States--and Morgan is soooo over it. But now her mom needs a presidential stand-in! With the help of Morgan's cute new secret service agent, a little makeup, and a lot of family resemblance, she's soon seeing things from the other side of the desk. 

Why I want these two: they both sound totally adorable and have awesome covers that I just love! Plus I really like the sound of the plots: I love reading about plays and those first-daughter type stories. I'm not sure if I can wait that long to read these....(:

PS: Sorry I haven't been blogging lately. I've been trying to read, but I've had a school play, rehearsals, and homework....le sigh. Hopefully I will be back and ready to blog my heart out by next week! (:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Enter the Contest!

I'm sorry, I forgot to specify when the Beef Princess of Practical County giveaway ends! So here it is. The last day to enter will be Monday, April 27! That's one week to enter, so if you haven't already, check it out! (:

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Monday Muse: Interview with Michelle Houts and Giveaway!

Today's Muse: Michelle Houts
Author of: The Beef Princess of Practical County (click here for a review)
Welcome, Michelle, and Happy Monday to everyone! I have an extra copy of Michelle's book for a giveaway, so if you're particularly wanting to read it, look below for contest details! (:
Bookworm: The Beef Princess of Practical County is about a young girl growing up on a beef farm, where she's raising beef cattle to be show steers. Have you ever shown or raised cattle?
Michelle: I do live on a livestock farm where we raise cattle, hogs, and goats. We once had a goat who was sure he was a golden retriever. I now have three children involved in showing beef cattle.

Bookworm: Is the book based off of a personal experience? 
Michelle: Kind of second-hand personal experience. A few years ago, my daughter entered a steer show for the first time. I was completely amazed at the amount of hard work and the level of maturity young people must muster in order to raise and sell a market animal for the fair. It's a learning experience from day one. I thought these kids had a great story to tell, so Libby evolved from several strong young people I've known.

Bookworm: What was your road to publication like?
Michelle: Can you say AMAZING? Well, kind of long and amazing. While a couple of other middle grade novels I attempted collected drawers full of rejection letters, The Beef Princess of Practical County received just one before the phone rang and Random House was making an offer. Almost two years later, I still pinch myself when I remember that phone call.

Bookworm: That must have been thrilling! Speaking of the book, can satisfied readers look forward to a sequel in the near future?
Michelle: Oh, I believe with all my heart that the dramatic and hilarious little sister in this book, Frannie, has her own story to tell. She needs to grow up a little, but she will certainly not grow out of that headstrong personality. That could get her into trouble at times, don't you think? And remember the goat (in my real life) who is certain he's a dog? Well, he just may need to meander on over to the Ryan family farm for a summer. The wheels are turning...

Bookworm: What are you reading right now?
Michelle: Carolina Harmony by Marilyn Taylor McDowell. A sweet, sweet story about a young girl in the mountains who wants the one thing that every other kid seems to have, a home where she is wanted. Like The Beef Princess of Practical County, it's certainly on the younger end of that fuzzy line between YA and MG, but it's wholesome and timeless tale is heartwarming and fun.

Totally Random Bonus Question: Ketchup or mustard?
Michelle: I always have to be the difficult one in the bunch. Neither. Definitely mayo. Even on hot dogs.
  Want to win my spare copy of The Beef Princess of Practical County? To enter, comment below with a way for me to contact you and answer the totally random last question of Michelle's interview: ketchup or mustard (or mayonaise and pickle relish)?
Extra entries:
+1 for following or already being a follower
+2 for commenting on the review (and then don't forget to say you did in your entry!)
Contest ends Monday, March 27!

Good luck!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Mail Call!

   In My Mailbox, inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie and memefied by Kristi at the Story Siren, explores the contents of book bloggers' mailboxes on a weekly basis! 

Here's what my mailbox had for me this week:

Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard
  To impress the popular girls on a high school trip to London, klutzy Callie buys real Prada heels. But trying them on, she trips...conks her head...and wakes up in the year 1815!
   There Callie meets Emily, who takes her in, mistaking her for a long-lost friend. As she spends time with Emily's family, Callie warms to them--particularly to Emily's cousin Alex, a handsome 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?
Thanks so much to the amazing Sarah of GreenBeanTeenQueen for sending me her (signed) copy! I was sosososo happy when it came in the mail--I've been dying to read this one! And isn't the cover just adorable? I love it. Thanks, Sarah! (: 

From Random House:

Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce
   Beka Cooper is finally a Dog--a full-fledged member of the Provost's Guard, dedicated to keeping peace in Corus's streets. But there's unrest in Tortall's capital. Counterfeit coins are turning up in shops all over the city, and merchants are raising prices to cover their losses. The Dogs discover that gamblers are bringing the counterfeit money from Port Caynn. In Port Caynn, Beka delves deep into the gambling world, where she meets a charming bank clerk named Dale Rowan. Beka thinks she may be falling for Rowan, but she won't let anything-or anyone-jeopardize her mission. As she heads north to an abandoned silver mine, it won't be enough for Beka to be her usual "terrier" self. She'll have to learn from Achoo to sniff out the criminals-to be a Bloodhound...
I'm not sure about this one. To tell the truth, it doesn't sound like my thing, but I'll give it a try! Has anybody out there read this series? Plus the cover is pretty cool (:

The Beef Princess of Practical County by Michelle Houts
I already have a copy of this, so expect a giveaway soon! (:
Read my review here!

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Beef Princess of Practical County

Title: The Beef Princess of Practical County
Author: Michelle Houts
Pages: 226
Published by: Delacorte Press, April 14 2009
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Recommended to: Readers 10-13
Cover: B+
Overall Grade: B+

   Libby Ryan has grown up around beef her whole life: she lives on a farm in Nowhere, Indiana, where her dad raises beef cattle. After all, it's a Ryan family tradition, ever since her grandfather's Irish ancestors settled the land. Now, Libby is 12 years old, and it's time for her to raise her own two steers to show in the famed Practical County Fair, just like her brother did when he was 12, and Libby is thrilled. She picks out Piggy (the hungry, sweet one) and Mule (the stubborn one), and against her father's suggestion, she starts getting attached...even though she knows that at the end of the fair, she'll be saying goodbye. And not only is the pressure rising to win Grand Champion Steer in the Fair, she's also been entered by her mom to compete in the Beef Princess beauty pageant--so not jeans-and-ponytail Libby's thing. Even worse, she'll be competing against the perfect but vicious Darling sisters (Precious, Lil, and Ohma) in both competitions! Luckily, Libby has her best friend and her family at her side...But can she handle the competition and the heartbreak that's coming?
   There's not much to say about The Beef Princess of Practical County except that it was a simple, clean, and sweet book about growing up and letting go. The narration was excellent--Libby had a real voice and actually sounded like a 12 year old girl. I could really picture her in my head. In fact, all of the characters were well-developed, but I'd have to say that Frannie (the hilarious little sister) and the Darling sisters were my favorite (plus, I just love their creative names. Brava, Michelle, for that!). 
   The only thing that kind of bugged me was how a steer would die or go off to be made into hamburgers and the characters would just kind of brush it off. Now, I don't know anything about cattle or beef, but it just didn't feel realistic. Sure, Libby would cry, but if I knew that my beloved pet was being taken away to die, I would be hysterical. 
   Anyway, I really loved how the plot flowed and moved (I was actually expecting it to drag a bit, but it didn't). There was just enough leadup to the climax, and then the plot settled with a perfect ending (at least, to me). Another plus: the ending rounded things up nicely, and didn't obnoxiously leave things hanging. The plot was realistic and interesting, always keeping me hooked to the storyline, and the dialogue, to me, was the best part: Ms. Houts really captured her character's personalities in the way they spoke. 
   While The Beef Princess of Practical County might be a little young for some people in the YA community, I still advise you to check it out. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by how well-written and meaningful the story was, and I even got a good laugh in a few times. A great debut, I hope to see more from the author in the future.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Catching Up...

    I just wanted to thank everyone who's given Bookworm Readers a blogging award for the past two weeks! I've been so busy with the March Madness contests, reviewing, and spring break that I haven't had time to show my thanks sooner. So here goes:

Senfaye of A Maze of Books awarded me with the I Heart Your Blog award a while back. I am a major lover of Senfaye's blog--she's a great new reviewer/interviewer and her background is just so cute (gotta love polka dots)! This award is pretty self-explanatory, but if you haven't visited this blogger's site yet, than click that linky this instant!

Mo from Unmainstream Mom Reads gave me the Premio Dardos award, and I am so honored. Definitely check this blog out--it rocks!
This award acknowledges the values that every blogger shows in his or he effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literacy, and personal values every day.

Sarah over at GreenBeanTeenQueen (one of my favorite blogs!) presented me with the kick-butt Zombie Chicken Award. This one makes me crack up:
The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken--excellence, grace, and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to read their inspiring words. 

The Book Resort gave me the Proximidade Award. I love this blog, especially the lovely ocean/rain sound effects! Sometimes I'll go to the blog just to hear them! (:
This blog invests and believes in the PROXIMITY--nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers!

I'm sure these awards have been around the block a few times, so I'm not nominating anyone new. I guess I'll just have to face the wrath of those zombie chickens....To anyone who's not been nominated, consider yourself a winner! 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday: The Espressologist

The Espressologist
by Kristina Springer
Comes out September 15, 2009

   What's your drink of choice? Is it a small pumpkin spice latte? Then you're lots of fun and a bit sassy. Or a medium americano? You prefer simplicity in life. Or perhaps it's a small decaf soy sugar-free hazelnut caffe latte? Some might call you a yuppie.
   Seventeen-year-old barista Jane Turner has this theory that you can tell a lot about a person by their regular coffee drink. She scribbles it all down in a notebook and calls is Espressology. So it's not a totally crazy idea when Jane starts hooking up some of her friends based on their coffee orders. Like her best friend Em, a medium hot chocolate, and Cam, a toffee nut latte. But when her boss, Derek, gets wind of Jane's Espressology, he makes it in-store holiday promotion, promising customers their perfect matches for the price of their favorite coffee. Things are going better than Derek could ever have hoped, so why is Jane freaked out? Does it have anything to do with Em dating Cam? She's the one who set them up! She should be happy for them, right?
This sounds totally amazing/sweet/a perfect read for me! I am dying for a copy--it looks like a light, fun read that I'd totally enjoy--and I love how unique it sounds, too! 

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Released Today!

The Beef Princess of Practical County by Michelle Houts was released today! Congrats, Michelle! Look for a review soon! 

Purchase the book here

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Sloane Sisters

Title: The Sloane Sisters
Author: Annabelle Vestry (or so it says on my ARC....the final cover says "Anna Carey"! Perhaps a ghost writer?)
Pages: 208
Published by: HarperTeen, April 28 2009
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Recommended to: Girls, 12 and up
Cover: B+
Overall Rating: B+

 Cate and Andie Sloane live with their dad in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Lola and Stella Childs live with their supermodel mum in London. Their worlds collide when their in-a-cross-Atlantic-relationship parents drop the M-word: marriage. Suddenly Lola and Stella are on a plane "across the pond" to New York, where they are to live with their new stepfather and stepsisters (no, not your typical fairytale kind, that is, unless the sisters in Cinderella ate at the hottest sushi restaurants, wore Prada, and shopped at Barneys). Stella, who has always been at the top in popularity and fashion, bonds with Cate, also an older sister, who is the leader of her class (and her clique, the Chi Beta Phis), as well as being a fashion plate herself. But then Cate realizes the threat that gorgeous, near-royalty Stella is to her alpha position--she may just be vying to steal Cate's throne. Can Cate stand her ground--and keep her friends? Meanwhile, Lola, whose only real friend is her cat, and Andie, who is always trying to emerge from her sister's shadow, have their own conflicts on their hands: nabbing Lola's crush and helping Andie reach her dream of becoming a supermodel. Is there a happily-ever-after for the Sloane sisters?
   This was a quick, light read (I finished in about a day, the story was quite addicting), but fun nonetheless. I loved all the characters, and there were a lot. Unlike books with a few, boring characters, I loved how there were lots of different characters, all with fun personalities and quirks: the Chi Beta Phis, Emma, Winston...I also liked how there were different plots revolving around each sister: Lola's boy dilemma, Andie's modeling dreams, and the whole Stella vs. Cate issue. I was never bored, I was always looking forward to what the bratty, revenge-seeking Cate would do to get back at witty Stella next, and vice versa. 
   The plot, although at first I didn't know where it was going, was glamorous, fun, and glittering, sprinkled every once in a while with a chic brand name (but without as many pop culture references as The Clique: instead of being annoying, it just enhanced the characters).  I could picture every scene in my mind, and every character was realistic. 
   My favorite thing was how different this book was from others of its type (The Clique, Frenemies, Talent, and The Ashleys, among others): it was catty and funny, although not too much. And instead of the usual staying-on-top-of-a-clique, it was between sisters, which caused a bunch of drama and a totally unique and amazing plot!
   The story was a little too short for me with too much buildup and not a lot of actual content, there was a lot of back-and-forth action that got a bit old, and the ending was way more than picture-perfect predictable. But I still had a hooked-onto-the-well-written-plot-and-dialogue read that was quick and easy. I'm looking forward to the second book in the series now--I can't wait to see what's next for the fabulous Sloane sisters! 

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

I hope everyone who celebrates has a great holiday with lots of love and happiness (not to mention yummy chocolate bunnies, Peeps, and jelly beans)! 

In My Mailbox!

   This week was great, book-wise! Thanks for Kristi for starting this fun weekly peek inside book bloggers' mailboxes. (:

From Barnes and Noble: 

Paisley Hanover Acts Out by Cameron Tuttle
   Always one of the popular kids, sophomore Paisley Hanover gets a rude awakening when she's booted out of yearbook and into the badlands of drama class. Out of her element but only momentarily out of ideas, Paisley takes action-and an unexpected liking to her drama buddies. The result? And undercover crusade that could bring down the popularity pecking order, and Paisley along with it.
   This is the story of how Paisley Hanover gets wise, gets bold, and gets into a hilarious mess of trouble.
I am so excited to read this, it sounds so fun! Paisley sounds like quite a colorful, funny character, so I'm looking forward to finding out what kind of messes she gets herself into...Plus I absolutely adore the two books-in-one packaging! So cute!

Hottie by Jonathan Bernstein
   Alison Cole's got it all: she gorgeous, dating a steamy surfer boy, and has just been crowned Beverly Hills High Freshman Class President. Then during a special "symmetry" surgery, a lightning bolt zaps her, and Alison instantly transforms into Hottie--that is, a totally sizzling superhero with the power to shoot fire from her fingers! Shunned as a Pyro-Freak, Alison must adopt dorky David Eels as her crime-fighting sidekick. Worse, she's falling for the one guy who wants to "extinguish" her forever, Junior Class President of Cuteness--and wannabe firefighter--T. Hull. But she doesn't realize that a supervillain's lurking. Has Hottie met her match?
Ever since I've heard of this one, I knew I wanted to read it. Sure, it doesn't sound like the most serious book out there, but every once in a while, I like light, fun reads!

From Sophie (aka Mrs. Magoo), my BFF!:

Gorgeous by Rachel Vail
   She's looking good....but Allison Avery can't believe it. Growing up with beautiful, blond sisters, Allison has always been the dark-haired, "interesting-looking" Avery. So when the devil shows up and offers to make her gorgeous, Allison jumps at the chance to finally get noticed. But there's one tiny catch, and it's not her soul: the devil wants her cell phone. 
   Though the deal with the devil seems like a good idea at the time, Allison soon realizes that being gorgeous isn't as easy as it looks. Are her new friends and boyfriend for real, or do they just like her pretty face? Allison can't trust anyone anymore, and her possessed phone and her family's financial crisis aren't making things any easier. Plus, when she finds out she might be America's next teen model, all hell breaks lose. Allison may be losing control, but how far is she willing to go to stay gorgeous forever?
This sounds fun! And has a gorgeous cover! Once again, sounds a bit fluffy for me, but we'll see...

The Real Real by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
   When Jesse O'Rourke gets picked for a "documentary" being filmed at her school in the Hamptons she's tempted to turn down the offer. But there's a check attached and Jesse needs the cash for college. All she has to do is trade her best friend for the glam clique, her privacy for the 24/7 mike, and her sense of right and wrong for "what sells on the camera". At least there's one bright spot in the train wreck that is her suddenly public senior year: Jesse's crush has also made the cast. 
   As fame and (fake) fortune come her way, Jesse must struggle to remember one thing: the difference between real and the REAL real.
This one, another chick-litty type, sounds really fun--I'm excited to begin!

Hancock Park by Isabel Kaplan
   Becky Miller lives in the best neighborhood, goes to school with the children of movie stars, and has her psychiatrist on speed dial. She may live in the City of Angels, but this sixteen-year-old's life is far from perfect.
   By day, Becky navigates the halls of one of L.A.'s most elite schools, where the mean girls are a special breed of mean. At night, she deals with sparring parents, a grandmother who is man-crazy, and a younger brother, Jack, who only answers to J-zizzy. As Becky's life seems to come crashing down around her, she struggles to put it back together and learn to grow up while trying to stay sane.
What really amazes me about this one is that the author is only 18! Isn't that amazing? But judging from the plot, I have no idea where the story's gonna go. I mean, how is the author going to go on about that for 265 pages? 

Well, I guess it was a real girly-girl kind of week! (: Which is good. I need some light, spring-break types of books to read over vacation!

Friday, April 10, 2009

March Madness Contest Winners!

    So first, I'd like to give a big THANK YOU to everyone who participated in the March Madness giveaways--authors, too (seriously--there wouldn't be a contest if there weren't any books to give away!). I'd also like to thank Lancer, my puppy, who "helped" pick the winners (aka posing for pictures with the little slips of paper before he tried to eat them and looking cute), and my mom for drawing the winners. We are training Lancer to be a Guide Dog, and he is such a good boy! And before I go off on a rant on how cute he is, I'd like to announce those four lucky winners (drumroll, please):
The winner of Melissa Walker's Violet in Private is...ellie_enchanted!

The winner of Lisa Greenwald's My Life in Pink and Green is...BN Book Blog!

The winner of Kimberly Pauley's Sucks to Be Me is...Jen!

The winner of Laura Schaefer's The Teashop Girls is...Katie of Katie's Bookshelf!

Congratulations, guys! I'll email you tonight so the authors and I can send out those books ASAP!
   Also, a big Happy Birthday to Laura of Laura's Review Bookshelf! Have an awesome day, Laura! (:  

(Lancer in tulips below)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday: Pretty Covers!

   As seen on Mandy Hubbard's blog.....the cover of the final book in the Luxe series, Splendor by Anna Godbersen! So...what do you think? I love the dress! I still have to catch up on Rumors and Envy, but this one comes out in October so I think I have some time...(:   
 I'm also loving the cover of The Devoured by Amanda Marrone. It doesn't sound like my sort of thing, but it's still OK to be in love with the cover, right? LOL! What's really funny is that the girl model has also posed for a bunch of covers in the Clique series! 

So....what are you especially excited for this week?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have to Kill You

Title: I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have to Kill You
Author: Ally Carter
Pages: 284
Hyperion, 2006
Genre: Realistic Fiction/Spy
Recommended to: Teen girls, 12 and up
Rating: B-/C+

   Meet Cammie Morgan, just your average teen girl. Except....there's something not-so-average about her: she attends the Gallagher Academy, a school looks like your typical all-girls boarding school, but is really a school for spies, where Cammie (a Gallagher legacy) and her friends attend classes like Covert Operations and learn martial arts, fourteen different languages, computer hacking, how to break CIA codes and the different ways to kill a man (you'd be surprised by how many there really are). This year, Cammie's a sophomore, which brings along a good-looking teacher who introduces the girls into the real world of spying, a difficult new girl, and....something that she's totally and utterly unexperienced in: boys. And even worse, Cammie's fallen for a guy who doesn't know her huge secret. She can track him around town, plot a stakeout in his backyard without him knowing, and tap into his phone, but can she really be with him if he can't ever know the truth about her? 
   First off: I want to go to the Gallagher Academy! I really loved how much creativity Ms. Carter put into her novel. I mean, meals in a different language every day? Bookcases that trigger secret passageways? A teacher that gets plastic surgery to change his cover yearly? Just genius. All the fun details just made the book so much more interesting. Second, I loved Cammie's friends, Bex and Liz. They were so lively and realistic, probably my favorite characters in the book. Third, the cover is amazing. I just love it: the cut-out letters, uniforms, plaid spine....Fourth, The plot was unique and humorous, and I loved how Ms. Carter really captivates her readers and introduces them to a fifteen year old living in a spy world, which brings me to my next point: I liked how, even though Cammie was practically a girl genius, she still acted like a fifteen year old girl. 
   But this wasn't a perfect novel. In fact, several things about it irritated me:
a) The narration was constantly in spy-talk, which made it really confusing at times to understand what was going on. I had to keep on flipping backwards and rereading paragraphs so that the context finally made sense. 
b) My BIGGEST problem: nothing ever happened! Sure, I knew that the book mostly would revolve around this whole secret-romance thing, but I kept on waiting and waiting for something spy-ish to happen, like a secret mission or a conflict, but it NEVER DID! This really bugged me. There was no real climax, so the plot fell flat and was sort of pointless to me after that.
c) [spoiler] It made me so mad that Cammie just kind of ditched Josh and didn't feel sad at all, just kind of dumped him with this huge secret and left. I was so confused about the ending. Did they break up or not? I going to pick up the sequel? Sure, I will. After all--I do want to see what happens next for the Gallagher Girls. But I can't say that I'm not disappointed. I've heard so much good feedback about this novel, that I was excited to begin. But after awhile, I got sick of Cammie's lies and was starting to get restless for something real to happen. So do I recommend it? Sure. It was actually quite fun and enjoyable, just with a few kinks to work out! (:

Monday, April 6, 2009


Hi readers!
I'm interrupting this week's Monday Muse with a special reminder....Today is the last day to enter my month-long March Madness contests! If you haven't already, you might want to check them out. There's some great authors with great books to win! 

Check them out and enter!
Melissa Walker, giving away a copy of her book Violet in Private
Lisa Greenwald, giving away her book My Life in Pink and Green
Kimberly Pauley, giving away a copy of her book Sucks to Be Me 
Laura Schaefer, giving away a copy of her book The Teashop Girls

Good luck! The contests end tonight, and results will be posted on Friday!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

In My Mailbox!

Thanks, Kristi, for starting this fun mailbox meme!
    This week was a big week for me! First off, I received a huge package from GreenBeanTeenQueen from winning her big "I Love Books" contest.

Here's the loot:
The Lucky Ones (ARC) by Stephanie Greene
Freefall (ARC) by Anna Levine
Sorcerers and Secretaries by Amy Kim Canter (which I just finished reading!)
Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott (I am so excited to have my own copy!)
Hot Mess: Summer in the City by Shallon Lester and Julie Kraut
Kissing Booth by Lexie Hill
Around the World in 80 Dates by Jennifer Cox

Thanks so much, Sarah! (:

From Random House:
Going Bovine by Libba Bray
   All 16 year old Cameron wants to do is get through high school--and life in general--with a minimum of effort. But that's before he's given some bad news: he's sick and he's going to die. Which totally sucks. 
   Hope arrives in the winged form of Dulcie, a loopy punk angel/possible hallucination with a bad sugar habit. She tells Cam there's a cure--if he's willing to search for it. With the help of Gonzo, a death-obsessed, video-gaming dwarf, and a yard gnome who might just be the Viking god Balder, Cam sets off on the mother of all road trips through a twisted America of smoothie-drinking happiness cults (and possible serial killers), parallel-universe-hopping physicists, mythic New Orleans jazz musicians and more into the heart of what matters most.
If there's one word to describe how this book sounds, its interesting. Seriously. Wacky, but it sounds kind of cool. And it's by Libba Bray. So I was pretty happy when it came in the mail.

The Treasure Map of Boys by E. Lockhart
   Ruby is back at Tate Prep, and it's her 37th week in the state of Noboyfriend. Her panic attacks are bad, her love life is even worse, and what's more:
   Noel is writing her notes, Jackson is giving her frogs, Gideon is helping her cook, and Finn is making her brownies. Rumors are flying, and Ruby's already-sucky reputation is heading downhill. Not only that, she's also: running a bake sale, learning the secrets of heavy metal therapy, encountering some seriously smelly feet, defending the rights of pygmy goats and bodyguarding Noel from unwanted advances.
This looks so good and funny! Plus the little marshmallow snowman on the cover is adorable, huh?

The Diamonds by Ted Michael
   At Long Island's private Bennington School, the Diamonds rule supreme. They're the girls all the boys want to date and all the girls want to be. And fortunately for Marni, she's right in the middle of them. Best friends with the ringleader, Clarissa, Marni enjoys all the spoils of the ultrapopular: boys, power, and respect. But then Marni gets a little too close to Clarissa's ex-boyfriend, Anderson. Wrong move. The Diamonds don't touch each other's exes.
   And just like that, Marni is jettisoned from Diamond to lower than Cubic Zirconia. But Marni isn't about to take her ouster lying down. She has dirt on the Diamonds, and she's not about to go down without a fight. Everyone know, the only thing strong enough to cut a Diamond in another Diamond. 
This sounds cool and kind of different from the usual popular-mean-girl-clique stories, because, according to the back cover and the few pages I've flipped through, the story has a lot to do with a school's mock-trial system, justice, laws....stuff like that. 

Also from Random House (all ARCs):
(Re) Cycler by Lauren McLaughlin
Fat Cat by Robin Brande 
Castration Celebration by Jake Wizner 

From Steph Su:
Girl V. Boy by Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout
   Sixteen-year-old Luisa Perez is not looking to win any awards for school spirit. In fact, she and her friends make it a point to avoid all activities considered "extra-curricular". So when her English teacher volunteers her to be an anonymous columnist for the school paper, Luisa's first impulse is to run. But, unlike her high-school dropout sister, Luisa does want to go to college, and it would be nice to have something on her applications.
  Her school's latest fundraiser pits the girls against the boys, and Luisa takes an assignment covering the events from the female POV. Another anonymous writer provides the male perspective. Or at least that's how it begins. The two columnists soon find themselves engaged in an epic battle of the sexes--a battle that Luisa is determined to win. But why can't luisa shake the very sinking feeling that her unidentified nemesis might also be her new boyfriend?
I can't wait to read this one. First, I love how the plot sounds. Second, I love the authors-I've read nearly everything they've written. Thanks so much, Steph! (:

From the library:
Tattoo by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
   Teenaged Bailey Morgan and her three best friends impulsively buy swirly shaped temporary tattoos to complement their outfits for the upcoming school dance. Suddenly Bailey hears voices that say, "She comes. To fight, to live, she comes." Soon the girls discover that the tattoos have given them supernatural gifts: Bailey can start fires with her thoughts, Annabelle can read minds, Delia has the power to transmogrify objects, and Zo has premonitions. Bailey's dreams reveal that the voices in her head are from two ancient fairy warriors who are variations of the mythological Fates who control the thread of life of mortal and immortals. 
   Evil Alecca wants revenge...and  Zo predicts that Alecca is planning on killing many students at the dance. Bailey discovers that she's one of a long line of humans who have been chosen to maintain the balance between two worlds...
I got the second book in this series, Fate, last week, so I decided to get this at the library. Anybody out there read it? It sounds good....can't wait to start!

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
   In the summer between her freshman and sophomore years, Frankie Landau-Banks transforms from a "scrawny, awkward child" with frizzy hair to a curvy beauty. On her return to Alabaster Prep, her elite boarding school, she attracts the attention of gorgeous Matthew who draws her into his circle of popular seniors. Then Frankie learns that Matthew is a member of the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds, an all-male Alabaster secret society to which Frankie's dad had once belonged. Excluded from belonging to or even discussing the Bassets, Frankie engineers her own guerilla membership by assuming a false online identity...
I am so excited to read this. I've heard from various people that it was amazing, and doesn't it just sound genius? Now I want to find out what Frankie's up to...

I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter (whew! another long title!)
   Cammie Morgan is a student at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, a fairly typical all-girls school--that is, if every school taught advanced martial arts in PE and the latest in chemical warfare in science, and students received extra credit for breaking CIA codes in computer class. The Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses, but it's really a school for SPIES.
   Even though Cammie is fluent in 14 languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways, she has no idea what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she's an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, or track him through town with the skill of a real "pavement artist"--but can she maneuver a relationship with someone who can never know the truth about her?
I'm reading this right now (for a school book report) and it's pretty good....I love how creative the plot is!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday!

The Princess Plot by Kirsten Boie
Coming out May 1, 2009

  Jenna has just won the starring role in a film about a princess--sweet! In the wink of an eye, she's whisked off to a remote, romantic kingdom for the "shoot". But something's amiss: First, she finds out she bears an uncanny resemblance to the real princess, who has run away following the death of her father, the king. Then she learns that the conniving regent plans to use her to take control of the country, now being fought over by rebels. As the plot twists and turns, Jenna discovers just what she's made of--and just why she resembles the missing princess so much!
Doesn't this sound great? I tried to contact the author, but learned that she was German...and my German is the opposite of perfect....Guess I'll just have to wait till May! (: