Friday, October 30, 2009

Hex Education

Authors: Zareen Jaffrey & Emily Gould
Pages: 182
Published: RazorBill, 2007
Genre: Fantasy/Magic
Cover Score: B
Overall Grade: B+

Sophie Stone is anything but thrilled when her happily-goth, overly enthusiastic, horror movie-making parents uproot her from sunny LA and plop her down in Mystic, Massachusetts--her father's hometown with a long history in witch trials and where anything spooky or Halloween-y is welcome--year round. But even Sophie can't deny that she's mysteriously drawn to Mystic. Luckily, she meets new friends that she instantly clicks with. But little does Sophie know that her fashion-forward new friends are her coven....which means that they're also witches, descended from the magical founders of the town! But can they save Mythic from an unknown evil?
My thoughts: Hex Education was a fun, fast, light read perfect for Halloween! First of all, the setting was very well-described, and it totally sucked me into its gloomy atmosphere from page one. As well as this, all of the witchy details were very clever and fun, as well as humorous when spells go awry!
One of my major issues with the story, though, was Sophie, who at first was annoying--all she did was whine and didn't even bother to try to like Mythic. It became really, really old, and I got really sick of her complaining. Thank God she started to be more positive towards the middle and end or else I may have screamed. I loved the secondary characters, who were all unique and fun, but I did not get Sophie and Linc's relationship all that well.
Some of the details about the history of the town witches seemed really vague, and this made the whole "coven" thing a bit difficult to comprehend.
The ending was sort of rocky for me, too--it was very abrupt and way too corny-happy, like the authors couldn't think of anything else to write about. There was no smooth conclusion and therefore it just stopped, which was a big disappointment to me. However, I loved the awesome surprise ending where the mystery of the evil witch was solved!
If you're not a big horror fan and want something spooky and light for Halloween that's not too serious but fun, give Hex Education a try. It was fast, funny, and cute--and plenty witchy, too! :D

Must-Read! Check it out Dont' Bother

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bookworm Readers Birthday Giveaway: Demon Princess!

In honor of Bookworm Readers' 2nd birthday (yay) and the upcoming holiday (that would be Halloween), I am giving away a book that is both totally awesome (definitely my favorite of the month so far) and supernatural for Halloween!
Here's what to do to be entered to win a copy of Demon Princess by Michelle Rowen (yup, that would be the super-special, secret book that I picked up at B&N over the weekend that I mentioned in my In My Mailbox post on Sunday):

- Comment below with what you're dressing up as this Halloween. If you aren't dressing up, you can tell me your favorite childhood costume! Please remember to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win!!

Bonus entries can be acquired the following ways:
+1 Follow Bookworm Readers!
+1 Link to this contest on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, whatever! Just remember to leave me the link!
+1 Tell me what your favorite Halloween candy is
+2 Comment on my Demon Princess review!

Good luck! This contest will be closed on November 5, 2009! (US and Canada only, please!)
Trick or treat! :D

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cover Love

Yay for Cover Love! This week, I'm only posting one cover, but it's a really cute one!

Finally by Wendy Mass (March 1, 2010)
You can pierce your ears when you're twelve. You can go to the mall with your friends when you're twelve. You can babysit little Timmy next door when you're twelve. You can get a cell phone when you're twelve. Hey, you can even ride in the front passenger-side seat when you're twelve.
When you're twelve, when you're twelve, when you're twelve...
My name is Rory Swanson and I've been waiting to turn twelve my whole life. In exactly 18 hours, 36 minutes, and 52 seconds, it will finally happen.
My life will officially begin.
I love this cover! The colors and font and overall message are just so cute and fun. Plus, that cake looks majorly yummy...This birthday-y cover is perfect for this week too, because Bookworm Readers is celebrating its second birthday--hurray!! (:

Sunday, October 25, 2009

In My Mailbox!

As always, many thanks to the Story Siren (aka Kristi) for starting this awesome meme! (:

Stupid Cupid
by Rhona Stapleton (December 22, 2009)
Felicity believes in true love. That's why she applies for a gig at the matchmaking company, Cupid's Hollow. But when Felicity gets the job, she learns that she isn't just a matchmaker...she's a cupid! (There's more than one of them, you know.)
Armed with a hot pink, tricked-out PDA infused with the latest in cupid magic (love arrows shot through email), Felicity works to meet her quota of successful matches. But when she bends the rules of cupidity by matching her best friend Maya with three different boys at once, disaster strikes. Felicity needs to come up with a plan to set it all right, pronto, before she gets fired, and before Maya ends up with her heart split in three.
Thank you so, so much to Rhonda and Simon Pulse for having an ARC sent my way! I was so excited when this came in the mail and can't wait to start reading--it sounds adorable!

Legacy by Thomas E. Sniegoski (October 13, 2009)
What if you found out your deadbeat father is a superhero? Would you leave your small-town life to take up the mantle of a father you never new? For 18-year-old Lucas, the choice is an easy one: he's not going to leave behind his mother and his comfortable life for a father who's never shown any interest in him. But his father--known officially as billionaire Clayton Hartwell, and secretly as the vigilante superhero The Raptor--tells Lucas that as he is dying, evil is growing, and the world needs Lucas to become the new Raptor. When Lucas's mother is killed by mysterious warriors, he realizes that his father is right. Once in Seraph City, Lucas is stunned by the amount of poverty and crime. But after observing his father's "heroic" behavior up close, Lucas is left wondering about the line between good and evil. And eventually, he must decide whether to take a stand against the one man who loves him in order to defend a world that desperately needs him.
This book sounds so cool! I'm really eager to find out what happens. I've always loved
superhero stories since I saw The Incredibles in, like, 3rd grade. Plus I think the cover rocks--it's very comic-book-cool.

Ex-Mas by Kate Brian
Seventeen-year-old Lila Beckwith's parents just left for vacation, and Lila's all set to throw the holiday party of the season. But when her Christmas-obsessed little brother, Cooper, discovers that global warming is melting the North Pole, he and his best friend, Tyler, take off on a runaway mission to save Santa.
Lila has to get Cooper safely home before her parents get back on Christmas Eve. But the only person who can help her is Tyler's older brother, Beau--aka Lila's musician, anti-everything ex-boyfriend.
It'll take more than a Christmas miracle for Lila and Beau to overcome their differences and find their fugitive brothers. But could a journey destined for disaster help these polar opposites fall in love...all over again?
After buying this one today at Barnes & Noble, I am planning on putting it on my shelf and waiting until Christmastime to read it (which is gonna be really hard, it looks adorable)! I can't wait to see what happens...I've read a few of Kate Brian's books and they were pretty good. Plus, this cover is adorable!

Bundle o' Bookmarks
I won a bunch of bookmarks from Kay Cassidy's awesome You 2.0 Blog! They include bookmarks from:
- Alyson Noel (Blue Moon/Evermore)
- Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush, Hush)
- Lindsey Leavitt (Princess for Hire) *signed
- Bree Despain (The Dark Divine)
- Lindsay Eland (Sonces & Sensibility) *signed
- Stephanie Kuehnert (I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone)
- Stephanie Kuehnert (Ballads of Suburbia)
- Jennifer Hubbard (The Secret Year)
- A.S. King (The Dust of 100 Dogs)
- Julie Kagawa (The Iron King) *signed
- Taylor Morris (Total Knockout)
- Kay Cassidy, of course! (a bunch of awesome The Cinderella Society bookmarks and Great Scavenger Hunt Contest swag) *signed
...And I also bought a book that I will be giving away in a super-special, secret contest that will be announced on Tuesday, so check back!

Overall, it was another really awesome week in books! (:

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Gilda Joyce: The Dead Drop

Author: Jennifer Allison
Pages: 300
Published: Dutton, 2009
Genre: Mystery
Cover Score: A- (I love all of the cool details!)
Overall Grade: A-

Gilda Joyce, fourteen year old psychic investigator, is back! This summer, she's packing her awesome collection of vintage clothing and her old-fashioned typewriter and is jetting off to Washington, DC, as an intern at the International Spy Museum there. At first everything is great in the capital city, but when spooky things start happening in the museum after certain Cold War-era artifacts are donated, Gilda and her psychic radar are on the case! This time, the mystery involves Abraham Lincoln's ghost, a dead drop in a nearby cemetery, a possible traitor within the CIA, and a bloodstained ghost with a red star that haunts Gilda's dreams. It's going to be one heck of a summer....
My thoughts: Watch out, Nancy Drew, there's a new sleuth in town!
First, I love Gilda! She's funny, quirky, and just an all-around ideal main character. Her personality is awesome, and I love the originality of the mysteries that she delves into.
This book was by far one of the better ones in the series, if not the best (high praise, seeing as all of the books that I've read have been fantastic!). The good thing about these books are that you don't have to read them in order, so anyone can pick up any of the books in the series and dive right in!
This mystery was fast-paced, page-turning, suspenseful, and fun all at the same time. The author clearly put tons of work into researching all the espionage aspects of the story, and it showed. The story was bursting with fascinating information, and the mystery itself was spellbinding, chillingly spooky and amusing at the same time--I couldn't wait to see how it all worked out!
All in all, this refreshing series is highly recommended to readers ages 11 and older--perfect for a middle school library! I can't wait to see what's next for Gilda!

Must-Read! Check it Out Don't Bother

Bookworm Readers is 2 Years Old!

Happy Birthday, Bookworm Readers! I totally forgot that my blog turned 2 on October 12th! I can't believe I've been blogging for two! I have met so many nice people and authors, and read a ton of really great books!

Over these 2 years, I've made 533 posts, interviewed 38 authors, and have held numerous contests! Speaking of which, I think this celebration calls for a contest itself, so keep checking back....

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cover Love is Back!

Cover Love is back--yay! This week, I'm featuring two new covers that I adore (and books that I really want to read, so I guess this counts as a Waiting on Wednesday, too!):

Heist Society by Ally Carter (Feb 9, 2010)
When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own--scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving "the life" for a normal life proves harder than she'd expected.
Soon, Kat's friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring her back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has a good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat's father isn't just on the supspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat's dad needs her help. For Kat there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it's a spectacularly impossible job? She's got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull of the biggest heist in history--or at least her family's (very crooked) history.
My thoughts: This book sounds genius! I'm not sure I can wait to read it until February...and I love the cover, it's totally cute! (Thanks to Jennifer for originally posting the cover!!)

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce (June 3, 2010)
Scarlett never believed in the Fenris—werewolves drawn to the delectable charms of young girls. That all changed when in one swift attack, a Fenris murdered her grandmother and left Scarlett half-blind and horrifically scarred. Only her younger sister, Rosie, escaped unharmed as Scarlett shielded her from the Fenris’s jaws.
Now eighteen, Scarlett’s life’s mission is to destroy the Fenris and save other girls from her fate—a mission she’s grown to love, despite herself. Armed with red cloaks and hatchets, Scarlett, Rosie, and a young woodsman, Silas, move to the city in search of answers—and vengeance. If they can find a Potential Fenris, tainted by the pack but not yet consumed by it, they can unlock the mystery that transforms them- but better yet, use him as bait.
But unlike Scarlett, Rosie doesn't feel the thrill of the hunt in her blood. Longing for a life away from heavy responsibility and something sweeter than steel determination, Rosie finds herself drawn to Silas. More and more often, they find themselves abandoning the search for the Potential, stealing kisses, sharing secrets.
When Scarlett discovers the romance blossoming in her midst, she abandons her sister to the woodsman, certain that her own heart has no room for love, not when it's filled with her mission, her purpose. Still, the bond between Scarlett and Rosie is too deep to truly sever, and when Scarlett discovers a way to bring her sister back to her side for good- even if it means destroying Rosie’s happiness—she is forced to make a decision that will change the course of both their lives.
My thoughts: This sounds like a cool, sister-ly book! I love fairytale modernizations, and this one is a cool twist on Little Red Riding Hood! Plus the cover is fab--the first time I saw it, I didn't even notice the wolf on the bottom, but I love the swirls and font and colors!

Which cover is your favorite?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Never Cry Werewolf

Author: Heather Davis
Pages: 216
Published: HarperTeen, September 1 2009
Genre: Paranormal romance
Cover score: B+ (love the Little Red Riding Hood allusion)
Overall Grade: B

What it's about: Shelby has had bad luck with keeping her dad and stepmother's trust, but it's the last straw for them when she's out past midnight and curfew: ten-plus strikes and she's out. For Shelby, it's goodbye, prom in Beverly Hills, hello, hiking and "self-discovery" brat camp in Oregon. Things start looking up, though, when she meets Austin Bridges III, rock star royalty and your typical bad boy. But Austin has a dangerous secret--he's a werewolf, and if he doesn't get the medications that the hippie counselors confiscated (along with all cell phones, sugar, and other connections to the outside world), then everyone at camp could be in danger, especially when there's a full moon coming...
My thoughts: I was super-excited to read this book! Camp, romance, werewolves, what could there be to not like? Parts of this book I really loved--Shelby herself was a great main character, just a bit too underdeveloped for me to understand fully. Also, the Pacific Northwest background gave the story a great setting. I could picture Camp Crescent in my head the whole time! I also loved this unique, lighter twist on a werewolf story. If you're interested in werewolves, but not a fan of dark fantasy, than I'd definitely recommend this to you.
My biggest problem was that the whole plot just seemed too short. With no real introduction, the story started moving right away with no time to get to know important characters or have any background information. It seemed that there was no real climax, and I was waiting for something to happen, but still there was no real aha! moment in the book (although there was lots of awesome werewolf action). The ending, too, was abrupt. Not room-for-a-sequel abrupt, just sort of a quick, get-it-over-with ending, which was highly disappointing for me. The romance between Austin and Shelby, too, seemed too quick as well and abrupt. There was no real lead-up, it was just bam!
However, this was a fun, entertaining, and quick read that I'd recommend picking up at the library, but not buying.

Must-Read! Check it out Don't Bother

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Mail Call!

"In My Mailbox" was created by Kristi over at the Story Siren. Here's what was in my mailbox this week (Sorry about the crappy spacing for the DupliKate summary, blogger was acting up):

DupliKate by Cherry Cheva
Getting into Yale has been Kate Larson's dream for years--and
being overworked and under-rested is the price of admission. But when she
opens her eyes after falling asleep on her keyboard one night, she comes
face-to-face with, well, herself.
Meet Kate's computer-generated twin. Kate doesn't know why she's
here or how to put her back where she belongs, but she's real. And she's
the last thing Kate has time to deal with right now. Unless...could having
a double be the answer to Kate's prayers?
Thanks, Yan, for swapping with me and having DupliKate sent my way!
I love the funky cover and I look forward to reading this one ASAP!

Envy by Anna Godbersen
Jealous whispers. Old rivalries. New betrayals.
Two months after Elizabeth Holland's dramatic homecoming, Manhattan eagerly awaits her return to the pinnacle of society. However, when she refuses to rejoin her sister Diana's side, those watching New York's favorite family begin to whisper that all is not as it seems behind the stately doors of No. 17 Gramercy Park.
In this thrilling installment of Anna Godbersen's bestselling Luxe series, Manhattan's most envied residents appear to have everything they desire: Wealth. Beauty. Happiness. But sometimes the most practiced smiles hide the most scandalous secrets...
I really loved the first book in this series, and I own the second, so I decided to buy this one today at Borders. I'm really excited to see it--I'm totally needing to catch up on the Holland family's life and scandals, especially because the fourth and final book, Splendor, comes out later this month!

Dear Pen Pal by Heather Vogel Frederick
Could the book club break up? When Jess is offered an anonymous scholarship to a prestigious boarding school, she's not sure that leaving home--and her friends--is what she wants to do. Meanwhile Megan's grandmother comes for a long visit and turns everything in the Wong household upside down; Emma crusades against her middle school's new uniforms; and Cassidy finds out there's a big change ahead for her family.
Inspired by Jess's unexpected opportunity, the book club decides to read Jean Webster's classic Daddy Long-Legs, and there's an added twist this year when they become pen pals with the girls in a book club in Wyoming. There's plenty to write to their new friends about, from a prank-filled slumber party to a not-so-secret puppy--and even a surprise first kiss.
This series, The Mother-Daughter Book Club, is so cute, so when I heard that the 3rd book had recently been released on September 22, 2009, I had to go to Borders immediately and scoop it up!

From Random House:
- Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher
- Solace of the Road by Siobhan Dowd
- A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper
...Many thanks to Random House for these three awesome books to review!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Demon Princess

Author: Michelle Rowen
Pages: 274
Published: September 29, 2009
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal
Cover Score: B+
Overall Grade: A

As if being the new girl at school in a brand-new town wasn't bad enough, sixteen-year-old Nikki Donovan's just gotten another heaping of stress added to her life. When cute-but-mysterious messenger Michael tells Nikki that her father is the king of the Shadowlands, a dimension that protects the human realm from the Underworld, she thinks that he's crazy. But shortly after that, she learns that Michael's telling the truth: her father, a demon king, is dying, and Nikki, being a princess, must take the throne in his place. Add on top of that an evil plot in demon-land, possessing freaky half-demon qualities, forbidden feelings for Michael, and the upcoming winter formal, and Nikki's got a whole lot to deal with...Being a demon princess can be total hell!
My thoughts: I was so pleasantly surprised by Michelle Rowen's debut in YA! The story was smooth, the characters were amazing, and the shadow-world that she invented was jaw-droppingly unique and cool!
I loved Nikki's character. She was funny, brave, and totally relatable: a perfect narrator. I really liked how Ms. Rowen broke stereotypes in her characters: an insecure popular girl, a dad who left but isn't a jerk, etc. (But I would have to say that Michael was by far my favorite character. My God, I love that kid.)
The thing that I loved most about this book was the fast-moving, intriguing plot. Nikki's sticky situation made me feel oh-so-sympathetic, and I was madly flipping pages to see what would happen next. All the creativity in the book was amazing to me: Ms. Rowen created this totally awesome, well thought-out demon world, and I just ate it all up! This whole book was just clever, from the title, to the concept, to the dialogue. All of the cool action just made the book more enjoyable.
Overall, this was one of those rare books that you just don't want to end: you feel like you're in the book, watching everything happen from the main character's perspective! I'm not sure I can wait until June 2010 to get my hands on the sequel, Reign Check, though...Watch out vampires, demons are the next big thing! (:

Must-read! Check it out! Don't Bother

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

October is Fantasy/Mystery Month!

Hi guys! In honor to celebrate Halloween, I'm going to be reading fantasy/mystery/paranormal books all month. First up is Demon Princess, to be followed by Ice! It's going to be a fantastic month. And there's going to be a contest or two, so definitely keep on checking back....(:

Those Three Lucky Winners...

We have contest results!!! These lucky three winners each receive a copy of Wendy Lichtman's Do the Math: The Writing on the Wall. And they are...

Linna, holdenj, and Mary Anne DeBorde!

You have been emailed, so hopefully we can send your book out ASAP! Also, thank you so much to everyone who entered, and to Wendy Lichtman for providing the books for the giveaway. Check out her website here, and also be sure to watch out for upcoming contests here at Bookworm Readers!
Congrats, winners, and enjoy your awesome prize!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

In My Mailbox

Here's the total sum of the past two weeks...awesome meme created by the Story Siren!

Al Capone Shines my Shoes by Gennifer Choldenko
Moose's family moved to Alcatraz so his father could work as a guard and his sister could attend a special school in San Francisco. Living on an island with a few hundred no-name hit men, con men, and mad dog murderers (and a handful of bank robbers, too) has its challenges. Like Officer Darby--who seems to have it in for Moose; Jimmy--who's jealous of Moose's baseball friend Scout; Annie--who demands that Moose fess up to a secret that could get his family kicked off of Alcatraz; and Piper, the warden's cute, danger-loving daughter--who is as mad at Moose as often as she is sweet on him. By comparison, Willy One Arm and Buddy Boy, the cons who work at the warden's house, and Seven Fingers, the ax murderer who helps his family out when their toilet is stopped up, don't seem all that bad.
But the line between good and bad is much clearer than Moose realizes. And if he doesn't figure it out soon, he could be in a world of trouble.
I love, love, LOVED the first book, Al Capone Does My Shirts, so the second I heard there was a sequel coming out, I preordered it right away. Can't wait to begin!!

Ice by Sarah Beth Durst (October 6, 2009)
When Cassie was a little girl, her grandmother told her a fairy tale about her mother, who made a deal with the Polar Bear King and was swept away to the ends of the earth. Now that Cassie is older, she knows the story was a nice way of saying her mother had died. Cassie lives with her father at an Arctic research station, is determined to become a scientist, and has no time for make-believe.
Then, on her 18th birthday, Cassie comes face-to-face with a polar bear who speaks to her. He tells her that her mother is alive, imprisoned at the ends of the earth. And he can bring her back--if Cassie will agree to be his bride.
That is the beginning of Cassie's own real-life fairy tale, one that sends her on an unbelievable journey through the brutal Arctic, through the Canadian boreal forest, and on the back of the North Wind to the land east of the sun and west of the moon. Before it is over, the world she knows will be swept away, and everything she holds dear will be taken from her--until she discovers the true meaning of love and family.
I'm SO excited to start this one. I am a HUGE fan of Sarah Beth's first two books, Into the Wild and Out of the Wild, and I'm sure this one will be just as good. It sounds amazing!

Trading Faces by Julia deVillers and Jennifer Roy
On the first day of seventh grade, twin sisters Payton and Emma have been assigned entirely different schedules--for the first time ever. Without telling anyone, the twins switch places: cool Payton goes incognito as quiet Emma, while mathlete Emma impersonates fashionista Payton.
No one--from their new teachers to their clueless classmates--realizes they've made a switch. The twins quickly find out that playing a different role in life can be a lot of fun--and that no one is exactly the person the rest of the world thinks they are.
This one looks so fun that I decided to give it a try when I saw it at a used bookstore! I'll pick it up when I have a break from all of my review books! (: Plus, how cool is it that the authors are real twins, too?!
Fat Cat by Robin Brande (October 13, 2009)
Cat is smart, sassy, and funny--but thin, she's not. Until her class science project. That's when she winds up doing an experiment--on herself. Before she knows it, Cat is living--and eating--like the hominids, our earliest human ancestors. True, no chips or TV is a bummer and no car is a pain, but healthful eating and walking everywhere do have their benefits.
As the pounds drop off, the guys pile on. All this newfound male attention is enought o drive a girl crazy! If only she weren't too busy hating Matt McKinney to notice...
This book sounds awesome and really funny! Hopefully I'll be starting this one soon, so expect a review in the near future!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Drumroll, Please!

We've got a winner! And the lucky recipient of a signed hardcover copy (adorable cover and all) of Jill S. Alexander's The Sweetheart of Prosper County is...


Congrats! You have been emailed, and hopefully I can send out your prize ASAP. Enjoy the book, and many thanks to everyone who entered!