Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cover Love (3): Double Feature!

   Here we are, Week 3 of my new feature, Cover Love! For those of you who don't know, "Cover Love" is a weekly meme I've created that features cover that I love of new, old, or upcoming books!
   Just to clarify, this meme is welcome to anyone and everyone to participate in, just as long as you remember to post a link back here to Bookworm Readers and let me know you're participating! I'll be posting a new cover every Tuesday, and this week I've picked two awesome covers that I adore:
    Secrets to Happiness by Sarah Dunn

After all, who can resist that adorable puppy? 
I love how bright and simple this one is...it totally catches my eye!
And....

Cover #2: In honor of its release today is...
The Stolen One by Suzanne Crowley 

I love how vibrant the colors are for this one, it's just so gorgeous!
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What covers are you loving this week? See you next Tuesday! (:

Monday, June 29, 2009

Today Is My Birthday!


I'm officially the Birthday Girl!!! I think I'm going to take a short break from blogging (sorry, no Monday Muse...again!) to celebrate! I'll see you guys tomorrow! (: 

xx
Claire

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Week in Review!

...And tomorrow is my birthday! Monday, June 29, to be exact! Happy birthday to me. (:

This week wasn't the busiest...

Monday: Didn't post a Monday Muse interview like I should've. I probably won't tomorrow, either. I might take a nice break from blogging for my bday!

Tuesday: I posted the second installment for my newest feature, Cover Love. This week I'm majorly loving the cover of Tera Lynn Childs' Oh.My.Gods. Check it out and vote for your favorite--hardcover or paperback?

Wednesday: This week's "Waiting on Wednesday" post featured The Cupcake Queen by Heather Hepler. I want to read this one soooo bad! After all, who can resist cupcakes? (:

Thursday: I posted a review for Secrets of my Hollywood Life: Paparazzi Princess by Jen Calonita.

Saturday: A nice, big "In My Mailbox" post went up. It was a great week, book-wise and mail-wise!

As always, this "Retrospective" weekly post was created by the oh-so-awesome Steph of Reviewer X!
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See you guys next week, and have a great Monday!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

In My Mailbox!

A great week with a bunch of great summer reads! *TBR pile grows...*
Here's the loot:

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
I'm excited to read this one, seeing as I've never read any of Sarah Dessen's books before (shocker, I know). Thanks so much to Laura for sending me a copy and some cool bookmarks!

Poseur by Rachel Maude
I won this in a contest over at Readergirl Reviews. I've flipped through this one a few times, and I just love the cool/amazing illustrations! The plot sounds like fun, too! Thanks so much, Readergirl! (:

The Cupid Chronicles by Colleen Murtagh Paratore
This book is the second in the Wedding Planner's Daughter series. Both Greenbeanteenqueen and I love these books--they're so completely addicting and adorable! I had to get this at my library!

Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen by Dyan 
Sheldon
I recently saw the movie again, and knew I had to read the book! I'm in the mood for a really funny book, and so when I saw it at the library, I just snatched it up.
 Plus I've talked to Dyan before via email and she's totally awesome!


Goddess Boot Camp by Tera Lynn Childs
I loved Oh.My.Gods so when I 
heard about the sequel coming out, I ordered it on Amazon with a gift card that my uncle gave me for Christmas (thank you!! and yes, I've been saving it this whole time). I'm so excited to read this one. Yayyy! Except the order got screwed up and I got 2 copies in the mail accidentally....So if I can't return one there might be a C-O-N-T-E-S-T!

Miles to Go by Miley Cyrus
Yes...yes...before y'all start laughing, I'm just going to say that I actually do want to read it. Apparently this is her big "autobiography", and even though I'm not a fan I'm intrigued by the cool pictures and want to know Miley's whole story. So I'll give it a try...And no, don't worry. I did NOT pay $24.95 for this, as it is marked (ridiculous!!!). It was on sale at Amazon for $11.20. So I splurged with my gift card!

Accidentally Fabulous by Lisa Barham
From Borders. Just because I've read the first two fashion and humor-filled books in the "Fashion-Forward Adventures of Imogene" and need to catch up! (:

...As always, "In My Mailbox" is brought to you by The Story Siren, inspired by Alea over at Pop Culture Junkie! See you guys next week!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Secrets of my Hollywood Life: Paparazzi Princess


Title: Paparazzi Princess
Author: Jen Calonita
Pages: 294
Published: March 2009, Little & Brown
Recommended/Not recommended
Genre: Realistic fiction/Chick-lit
Cover Rating: B+
Overall Score: A-

   Hollywood superstar Kaitlin Burke is back in the fourth book of the Secrets of My Hollywood Life series by Jen Calonita! This time, seventeen year old Kaitlin's preparing to say goodbye to the show she's been on since she was four years old, Family Affair. The show has ended, and Kaitlin feels like she's being pushed by nearly everyone (her parents, publicist, friends, and assistant) to move on when, in truth, she's not ready at all to bid farewell to the show she's starred on for more than a decade, and all of the people on it that feel like second family. Even worse, Kaitlin's career stress is seeping into every part of her life, leading to a pointless fight with her best friend (and non-Hollywood star) Liz. As a result, Kaitlin even begins to befriend two of Hollywood's biggest party girls, whose idea of fun is to spend loads of money on clothes and to have pictures in all the tabloids, but who could also put Kaitlin's career in big trouble...
   My thoughts: Yay, another Secrets of My Hollywood life book! I honestly don't have a lot to say about this one. Once again, Ms. Calonita has written a realistic and vivacious novel. Ever since I started this series, I have been addicted to the glowing descriptions, fast-paced and delightful plots, and wonderful creativity that has been put into this series. To say quite simply, these books sparkle. Not everything that happens in the book is a picture-perfect Disney moment, which makes these books different from the usual Hollywood-star type of books. I loved how Ms. Calonita wrote a realistic novel about Hollywood that features a down-to-earth, wholesome, and relatable character who has her own struggles and makes quite a few mistakes. 
   Why some may think that these books could be trashy based off of their flashy (and may I say cute and clever!) covers and glamorous-sounding Hollywood-based plotlines, I can assure those who have not read the series that these books are quite the opposite, featuring strong themes that revolve around family, friends, work, and, of course, spattered with fun throughout. Even though this book wasn't the most serious read, it certainly was as good as the previous three in the series, with a quick pace and enjoyable story unique from the rest of the series.
   I strongly recommend Paparazzi Princess for some light summer reading, and I'm so excited for the next book in the series, Broadway Lights, which comes out in March 2010!

Other books in the series:
Secrets of My Hollywood Life (review here)
On Location (review here)
Family Affairs (review here)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

What books are you waiting for this Wednesday? This awesome feature was created by Jill of Breaking the Spine blog!
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The Cupcake Queen by Heather Hepler
Coming out September 17, 2009

   When her mother moves them from the city to a small town to open up a cupcake bakery, Penny's life isn't what she expected. Her father has stayed behind, and Mom isn't talking about what the future holds for their family. And then there's Charity, the girl who plays mean pranks almost daily. There are also bright spots in Hog's Hollow--like Tally, an expert in Rock Paper Scissors, and Marcus, the boy who is always running on the beach. But just when it looks as though Penny is settling in, her parents ask her to make a choice that will turn everything upside down again.
   A sweet novel about love, creativity, and accepting life's unexpected turns.

   Well, since this book is about cupcakes (the cover, title, and summary hint to that), I'm definitely going to have to check this one out come September! This book sounds like something I'd love to read--fun, light, and sweet. I'm definitely excited for this one! (Plus, the cover is seriously making me want cupcakes! )  (:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Cover Love (2)

     Welcome to week 2 of my new feature, Cover Love, a weekly meme that I've created that features covers that we love of new, old, or upcoming books!
   Once again, this feature is welcome for anyone and everyone to participate in, just as long as you post a link back here to Bookworm Readers to let me know you're participating! I'll be posting a new cover every Tuesday! Feel free to join in the cover-judging fun! (:
   This week's pick for me is...

Oh.My.Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs

Hardcover                                  Paperback
     

    I just love these covers! Seeing as Greek myths and gods and running are major aspects of the book, I love, love, LOVE the hardcover! But I also adore the adorable winged shoes on the paperback cover...
   Which cover do you prefer, hardcover or paperback?
   See you next Tuesday for more Cover Lovin'!
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Read my review for Oh.My.Gods. here
See last week's Cover Love pick, Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson here

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Retrospective: A Week in Review

This weekly-roundup thing was created by the brilliant Steph over at Reviewer X
Here's what's been going on over at Bookworm Readers this past week!
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Monday: I posted a fun, summery, camp-inspired interview with Julie Kraut, author of Slept Away.

Tuesday: Double-blogging today! First, I made a post with a new feature I'll be hosting at my blog: Cover Love, where I pick a new cover of a YA or adult book that I love each week! And the fun part: You can do it too! Just remember to post a link back to here! This week's pick was the paperback of Maureen Johnson's Suite Scarlett. Post #2 featured a review of Jet Set by Carrie Karaysov and Jill Kargman!

Wednesday: I posted a different-kind of "Waiting on Wednesday" and wrote about some of the awesome books that are coming out in 2010 that I'm super-excited about (check out this post here)! If you haven't checked out their website already, the Tenners are a super-cool group of authors with debut books releasing in 2010! It's a great site if you're in the mood to drool over some amazing upcoming YA books!

Thursday & Friday: ...Were spent competing at a horse show, which was super-fun and successful!

Saturday: I posted a review for the Sisters Grimm Book 7: The Everafter War by Michael Buckley. I spent most of the morning finishing this one (it's the latest addition of my favorite series), it was so amazing! 

Sunday: I posted my weekly "In My Mailbox" post (started by the amazing Story Siren!). Six awesome books this week--yay! I also put in my Amazon order, and I'm really excited for those books to come (it should take about six days)!
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Busy week...See you next week! (:

In My Mailbox!

(Meme created by the awesome Story Siren). This week was a good one, book-wise! Next week, I'm planning on putting in a big order to Amazon, so we'll see...

The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry
   When Lucinda Chapdelaine was a small child, her parents left for the royal ball and never returned. Ever since, Lucinda has been stuck in perpetual servitude at her evil aunt's jewelry store. Then, on the very same day, a mysterious visitor and an even more bizarre piece of jewelry both enter the show, setting in motion a string of twists and turns that will forever alter Lucinda's path. In this magical story filled with delightful surprises, Lucinda will dance at the royal ball, fall under the Amaranth Witch's spell, avenge her parent's death, and maybe-just maybe-capture the heart of a prince.
When I heard they had this at my library, I put a hold on it immediately. I've heard lots of good things about it from other bloggers, so I look forward to reading it!

Vamped by Lucienne Diver
   "Hey all, it's me...Gina Covello, fashionista of the damned. Yeah, I know, I managed to get all the way through high school without cracking a book and now here I am immortalized in one. Well, actually, the immortalization process might have started a bit earlier, like in the broom closet at the after-prom-party, somewhere around the time bobby-freaking'-Delvecchio started gnawing at my neck. Anyway, this is one book I'd maybe even phone a friend about, since it covers all my adventures going from chic to eek. Because, let me tell you, eternity without a mirror or tanning options--totally uncool. And they don't tell you in, like, Vampirism 101 about crazy conspiracies, psycho-psychics and other hazards of unlife. But I will, so stay tuned."
This looks cute...love that cover! I'm not really into vampire lit, but I saw this one as well at the library and decided to give it a try! It sounds pretty fun...

Demon Princess: Reign or Shine by Michelle Rowen
   As if trying to fit in at a new school and navigating the social scene isn't enough stress for her, sixteen-year-old Nikki Donovan just found out that her long-lost father is, in fact, the demon king of the Shadowlands--the world that separates and protects our from the Underworld. When she is brought there by the mysterious (and surprisingly cute) messenger Michael, she learns that her father is dying, and that he wants her to assume the throne. To complicate matters, a war is brewing between the Shadowlands and the Underworld, her half-demon qualities are manifesting, and her growing feelings for Michael are forbidden. Ruling a kingdom, navigating a secret crush, and still making it home by curfew--what's a teenage demon princess to do?
Thanks to Michelle and Walker Books for sending me a copy! I'm really excited to read this one. It comes out in October, and doesn't it just sounds so fun and unique? I know that this one will be a fun read for me--can't wait!

Castration Celebration by Jake Wizner
This one's from Random House and is a repeat so I think I'm swapping with Tirzah over at The Compulsive Reader for one of her books, but I'm not sure yet...Funny cover, huh? I love it, totally a parody of High School Musical! 





Days of Little Texas by R.A. Nelson
   At sixteen, Ronald Earl is no longer the boy-wonder preacher known to the faithful as Little Texas. But on the tent-revival circuit, his adoring followers still roar and praise his name. When he lays his hands on to heal, the spirit still fills him, and he truly believes that he is an instrument for good in a wicked, treacherous 
world. But lately he has also felt this sliver, this little sliver of...doubt.
  So when a girl in a blue dress is brought to him, nearly lifeless, he lays his hands upon her and feels a jolt shoot through him and into her. And as she smiles into his eyes, it seems that Little Texas has performed yet another miraculous healing, But Ronald Earl, he knows that something is not right. This one is different.
   Another small town, another revival, and the same girl appears in that same blue dress. A day later, on the fringe of the believers--a flash of blue. Is she just another of the grateful and devoted? Or is she something else? And is she not following but haunting him? 
   Welcome, all ye faithful--and otherwise--to a ghost story, a romance, a reckoning. Come one, come all to the Days of Little Texas.
Another one from Random House! This looks really good. I like a good ghost story!
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What came in the mail for you guys this week?
Happy Father's Day!!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Everafter War


Title: The Sisters Grimm Book 7: The Everafter War
Author: Michael Buckley
Pages: 306
Published: Amulet, 2009
Recommended!!!/Not recommended
Genre: Fantasy/Mystery
Cover Rating: A
Overall Score: A+
*heads up for spoilers! If you haven't read the rest of the series, read no further!*

   The fairy-tale mystery-solving Grimm sisters, Sabrina and Daphne, are back in the action-packed seventh book of the series. The good news for the family is that the girls' parents, Henry and Veronica, have been awoken from their two-year-long sleep, which they were put under by a mysterious and possibly dark spell. The bad news is that The Scarlet Hand, a dark fairytale organization who have ruined the town of Ferryport Landing and have killed many of the town's fairytale characters (the Everafters), is plotting war against the Grimm family, and all of their Everafter friends! It's time for the girls to come face-to-face with the Master, who has a surprising identity and a betraying secret...
   My thoughts: If you haven't read this series already, you MUST. One of my favorite books of all time, The Sisters Grimm is utterly genius, causing the reader to think, Why didn't I think of that? Michael Buckley doesn't waste words, and his books (I've read all seven) are the type that keeps you madly flipping pages until the ending, which usually is a frustrating cliff-hanger that leaves you craving more! Buckley doesn't put a ton of fluff in his novels--he provides action, dialogue, and a whole lot of creativity. In one word, genius. I love all the fairytale characters, good and bad, and in this book especially, all the twists and turns incorporated into the plotline. The way that the author provides foreshadowing and hints that turn up later in the book was just amazing to me. Probably my favorite thing about this series is how everything falls into place and makes sense in the very end. The Everafter War is fantasy, but not so weird and unrealistic, as some of the more heavy fantasy books can be. What makes this book so special is all the secrets and surprising truths revealed. I couldn't stop reading!
  Pardon my absolute gushing, but I cannot wait until the eighth book comes out, an exciting (hopefully) conclusion to the series. This series is perfect for boys and girls age 9 and older, especially for those who don't like to read: this series will definitely change their minds! 

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I Love the Tenners!

   This is sort of a different kind of "Waiting on Wednesday" post where I'm seconding Khy's opinion of how the Tenners rock and giving y'all sneak-peeks of some great upcoming books! For those of you who don't know, the Tenners are a group of awesome writers whose first books are debuting next year, in 2010! (Sort of like the 2009 Debutantes) Anyway, the following are just a few of the awesome books coming from the Tenners next year that I'm super-excited to read! Check out the Tenners' blog here!

Scones & Sensibility by Lindsay Eland (December 22, 2009 from Egmont-US)
   Polly Madassa is convinced she was born for a more romantic time. A time when Elizabeth Bennet and Anne of Green Gables walked along the moors and beaches of the beautiful, wild land. A time when a distinguished gentleman called upon a lady of quality, and true love was born in the locked eyes of two young lovers.
   But alas, she was not.
   This however does not stop our young heroine from finding romance wherever she can conjure it up. So while Polly is burdened with the summer job of delivering baked goods from her parent's bakery (how delightfully quaint!) to the people in her small beach town, she finds a way to force...um...encourage romance to blossom. She is determined to bring lovers, young and old, together...whether they want to be or not.
First of all, this sounds utterly adorable! I love the awesome Austen twist of the title, and isn't the cover just the cutest?
Check out Lindsay's website here

The Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy (April 2010)
    Sixteen year old outsider, Jess Parker, gets the chance of a lifetime: an invitation to join a secret girl power society dedicated to defeating the mean girls of the world. The Cinderella Society guides all new recruits through its top secret ultimate life makeover. It's all part of preparing them to face down the Wickeds and win. Determined not the let the Cindys down, Jess dives in with a passion. Finally, a chance to belong AND show the world what she's made of. 
   Jess's transformation wins her the heart of her dream crush and a shot at uber-popularity. Until the Wickeds-led by Jess's arch enemy-begin targeting innocent girls in their war agains the Cindys, and the Cindys in power need Jess on special assignment. When the mission threatens to destroy her dream life come true, Jess is forced to choose between living a fairytale and honoring the Sisterhood...and herself.
I just love, love, love the sound of this one! There's no cover yet, but when this one comes out (April 2010 from Egmont USA), I'm definitely checking it out!
Visit Kay's website here

Princess for Hire by Lindsay Leavitt (March 2010, Hyperion)
   After a humiliating encounter with her long-term crush, ex-best friend, and a groundhog costume, fourteen-year-old Desi Bascomb finds herself in the back room of the pet shop where she works, staring into a fish tank. Her boss claims the tank is magical and Desi sure could use a little magic in her life right now.
   That nght as Desi soaks in the bath, Meredith Poofinski--a no-nonsense agent scouting substitutes for vacationing princesses--pops out of a bubble. Now Desi is about to lean firsthand what it feels like to be royalty as she subs for princesses desperate to go AWOL. Soon Desi is dancing in an Amazonian tribal festival and dodging a prince with just a little too much 'Eastern promise'. But nothing can prepare her for the magic of falling for a real prince--a prince who has no idea that back in Hicktown, Idaho, Desi is just a girl in a groundhog suit.
a) Meredith Poofinski? Gotta love that name. It's so funny! Am I the only one who thinks this?
b) I love the girly, pink cover--it's so cute
c) I'm a sucker for original plots, and this one sounds so unique and fun!

Visit Lindsay's Livejournal page here

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Jet Set


Title: Jet Set
Authors: Carrie Karasyov & Jill Kargman
Pages: 243
Published: 2008, HarperTeen (Hardcover)
Definitely recommended!/Not recommended
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Cover Rating: B-
Overall Score: A+

     Lucy Peterson is sick of her life as the daughter of a member of the US Army, always moving around and never staying in one place long enough to make friends. So the perfect opportunity presents itself when Lucy gets a full scholarship to the internationally-renowned elite Swiss boarding school, Van Pelt, where she'll excel on the superstar tennis team and have a place to stay for the next 3 years until college. But Lucy soon learns that "elite" is the understatement of the century. At Van Pelt, a usual dinner involves black-tie dress and caviar, "classmates" are daughters and sons of the world's wealthiest, including a handful of royalty; and dorm rooms are furbished by world-famous decorators (with built-in safes for all the royal jewels, of course!). Lucy is totally out of her league, especially when the most popular girls in school seem to be out to get her, her crush is a prince who thinks they're just friends, and her only friend is the school's biggest gossip, who might have darker plans and will do anything to get a scoop...What has Lucy gotten herself into?
   My thoughts: I'll just simply start off by saying that I adored Jet Set. I was expecting a simple, fun read, but what I was pleasantly surprised at just how good it was.
   Now, I don't want to get all fangirly, but I'll start off by saying how well-developed the characters were. I loved how the authors described all of Lucy's classmates, with their illustrious titles and backgrounds. Lucy herself was an awesome main character, and I loved how level-headed and honest she was, the type of friend I'd love to have. Almost every other character had a cool quirk that made them to fun to read about: Sofia, Oliver, the Diamonds...The only character I was really disappointed with was Antony. I felt like his character was kind of rushed into the plotline, and, to me, it felt like we hardly knew anything about him.
   I was also very impressed by the plot itself. At first glance, I was expecting a simple, predictable storyline, but I was very pleased in the end with all the twists and turns, even little mysteries (who was Lucy's secret friend?) that simply spiced up the plot. This book, to me, seemed very well thought-out, all the events making sense and falling into place. The descriptions were outstanding, and Lucy's narration was wonderful--she had a real voice. 
   All in all, I wish I could go to Van Pelt! Luckily, readers will be hooked to the plot like I was, almost feeling like you were there alongside Lucy the whole time! (I have to admit--I was actually really sad when the book ended.) A talented-seeming duo, I look forward to reading more from these authors in the future.

Cover Love (1)

    Hey, I'd like to welcome a new weekly feature that I've created. Introducing....Cover Love, a weekly post about the covers that we book bloggers just adore! Besides, we all judge books by their covers every once in a while, right? (:
    The covers can be for new, old, or upcoming books. This feature is welcome for anyone and everyone to participate in, just as long as you post a link back to Bookworm Readers! I'll be posting a new cover each Tuesday. Feel free to join me!
This week's featured cover is...

The paperback edition of Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson!
                                                         Back Cover

                         Front Cover                                        
                

I just love how simple and cute this one is, especially the fun font and the New York City skyline shown in the key! Fabulous, isn't it?

I also love the back cover (right), with the fun stripes!

See you next Tuesday for more awesome Cover Lovin'!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Monday Muse: Interview with Julie Kraut


Today's Muse: Julie Kraut
Author of: Slept Away (review here)
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Bookworm: Welcome and happy summer, Julie! First off, is Slept Away based off of your own camp experiences?
Julie: Yes and no. I was definitely a camper when I was growing up. I went to different sleepaway camps or teen programs from age eight or nine through the end of high school and I did base some of the campgrounds and activity schedule on my time at camp. But Slept Away isn't the love letter to summer camp I would write if I were telling my own camp story. I was a huge, huge, huge fan of camp, unlike Laney. So, the storyline is where the fiction came in.
   Also, butt sweatpants and shorts weren't popular back in my camping days...thank goodness!

Bookworm: If you could meet any of the characters from the book, who would you choose?
Julie: I think I'd most like to meet Sylvie. She's such a great combination of strength, smarts, and snark. And she's the character I'm most interested in seeing where she goes and what she's up to after the summer.

Bookworm: If you were stuck in the wilderness, what three things or people would you want to have with you?
Julie: My computer, cheesy 80s dance music, and lots and lots of books (Is that cheating to have multiple objects?)

Bookworm: What are you most excited for this summer?
Julie: My best friend is getting married and I'm the maid of honor. I love her husband-t0-be and I'm going to LA to spend the entire week beforehand with the two of them. It should be a pretty rocking time.
   Also, I'd love to get some camping in this year. A summer without s'mores just wouldn't be right.

Bookworm: Speaking of s'mores, here's a random question: How do you like your marshmallows--light, crispy, or toasted?
Julie: Ideally, I like them slow toasted and light brown. But, whenever I make them, I get really impatient and just set the marshmallow on fire and blow it out. With enough melted chocolate though, you can barely taste the charred black crust.

Bookworm: What's your all-time favorite camp memory?
Julie: At my camp, once a month a bunk would go on an outdoor overnight camping trip and that was always my favorite part of the summer. We'd make "mushburgers" which were hamburgers that we'd mush all the condiments and fixings, like ketchup, mustard, carrots, and pickles into before we cooked them. They're way more delicious than they sound, I promise.
   Also, I loved being totally alone with my bunk. While the girls in my bunk were always together, we were never alone together aside from the overnight trip. So, it was a real treat to have so much quality time to act ridiculous in total privacy with my favorite girls.
   And it was on an overnight trip, I think my fourteen year old summer, when my best friend Emily, who is still one of my best friends, and I made up this song to Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire" about how we did start the campfire. I remember thinking 
that our lyrics were utter genius at the time, but I'm guessing they didn't go much further than, "We started the fire," over and over again.

Bookworm: What's next for you, writing-wise?
Julie: I'm working on a few things, but I'm kind of superstitious when it comes to talking about projects before I sell them. So, you'll have to wait and see. I'll update my site, JulieKraut.com, with any news!
-------------------
Thanks so much, Julie!
Slept Away was published on May 26, so go check it out!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Weekly Roundup

The first week of summer, yay! 
Here's what happened on Bookworm Readers this week:

Monday
I posted an interview with the awesome Mandy Hubbard, author of Prada & Prejudice and a late In My Mailbox post, along with the weekly roundup from the previous week.

Tuesday
I announced the winner of my Frenemies contest. Congrats, Wrighty!

Thursday
I posted a review of Slept Away by Julie Kraut. Also, Prada and Prejudice came out today!

Saturday
In My Mailbox post time! This week, I got 3 awesome books!
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I'm thinking of taking a short break from blogging just to read, relax, and enjoy the start of summer! I'll keep you posted...

PS. This "Retrospective" was started by the awesome Reviewer X!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

In My Mailbox

"In My Mailbox" was created by the Story Siren!

This week, no books came in the mail but today I went to Borders and bought 2 paperbacks for fun summer reading!

Shrinking Violet by Danielle Joseph
High school senior Teresa Adams is so painfully shy that she dreads speaking to anyone in the hallways or getting called on in class. But in the privacy of her bedroom with her iPod in hand, she rocks out--doing mock broadcasts for Miami's hottest FM radio station, which happens to be owned by her stepfather. When a slot opens up at The SLAM, Tere surprises herself by blossoming behind the mike into confident Sweet T--and to everyone's shock, she's a hit! Even Gavin, the only guy in school who she dares to talk to, raves about the mysterious DJ's awesome taste in music. But when The SLAM announces a songwriting contest--and a prom date with Sweet T is the grand prize--Sweet T's dream could turn into Tere's worst nightmare...
Yay! I finally gave in and bought a copy. I'm so excited to read this one, I've heard such great things about it that I thought it would be perfect for a vacation read!

Save the Date by Tamara Summers
Long summary, but basically, in a nutshell (judging from the back cover), it's about a girl, the youngest of five sisters, who is always a bridesmaid at their weddings. She refuses to date anyone until the end of weddings due to a "curse" that makes bad things happen on wedding days, but then she meets Leo, the wedding planner's son...
  Anyhoo, I heard about this one over at GreenBeanTeenQueen's blog, and she gave it a great review. I knew I had to read it, seeing as we have the same taste in books, so I'm excited to read it! It doesn't look exactly deep, but fun and perfect for a relaxed summer break!


From the library:

The Sisters Grimm #7: The Everafter War by Michael Buckley
Picking up after the dramatic cliffhanger that ended Book Six, Sabrina and Daphne's prayers are finally answered when their parents awake from their sleeping spell. But their happy reunion is short-lived, as they are caught in the middle of a war between the evil Scarlet Hand and Prince Charming's Everafter army. As the family works to help the prince's ragtag group of rebels and protect their friends, Sabrina comes face-to-face with the family's deadliest enemy-the mysterious Master-who reveals a secret so shocking it will rock the entire family to its core.
To those of you who haven't read this series, you must! It is simply amazing. I can't wait to see what happens! Hopefully I have time to read it before it's due back at the library...I just love these books!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Slept Away


Title: Slept Away
Author: Julie Kraut
Pages: 305
Published: May 26 2009, Delacorte Press
Recommended/Not recommended
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Cover: B
Overall Grade: A-

   Laney Parker is your typical city girl: she's more into sushi than s'mores, and would rather be at a spa instead of sleeping under the stars. So when Laney's mom "surprises" her with new summer plans (read: Camp Timber Trails in Nowheresville, Pennsylvania), Laney is anything but a "happy camper". Give up partying, relaxing, and tanning for arts n' crafts, weird suburban kids, and nature hikes? No thanks! But when Laney arrives at Timber Trails, not only is her precious iPhone (her only connection to civilization) taken away, she's stuck with a group of bunkmates who give "mean" a new definition, and an overly-peppy counselor who's obsessed with pink. Could this summer get any worse? But then Laney meets an ally in her bunk, and starts crushing on a guy that is definitely NYC Laney-Uncrushable. This might be Laney's worst summer yet....or it could be the best....
   I honestly wasn't expecting much from Slept Away. It looked very cute and like a light summer read, but the plotline seemed very typical: city girl is forced to go to camp. City girl is reluctant to go to camp. City girl hates camp but ends up loving it. 
   Instead, I was blown away! The book soared above my expectations. It was quick, light, but huge loads of fun. I literally couldn't put it down, reading into the night and thinking, Oh, just one more chapter, just one more! Laney was a very relatable character, and the humor in this book rocked. I actually laughed out loud a couple of times. Some parts were just simply hilarious! 
   This book was one of those books that made you feel like you were part of it. Having never gone to sleepaway camp, I loved reading all the descriptions of the campfires, color wars, kooky counselors, even instructional swim, each boosted by hearty doses of humor.
   The one thing that bothered me was that Laney seemed very whiney and stubborn. She was just so stuck on hating camp that she never let herself have any fun. After a while, her rants got annoying and repetitive. She just was a bit of an irritating character.
   However, I loved how Ms. Kraut perfectly combined humor, romance, and summer fun into a blend more delicious than a good s'more! I look forward to reading more of her work in the future. A perfect read for summer!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Winner of Frenemies Contest!

   First, thanks so much to everyone who entered! Even if you didn't win, you should definitely check out the Frenemies series by Alexa Young--it's light, funny, and perfect for summer! But the official winner of the copies of both Frenemies and Faketastic and the Faketastic swag is...

Wrighty!

Congrats, Wrighty on winning all of the awesome books! (: I'm emailing you right now so we can send out your prizes ASAP!

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Monday Muse: Interview with Mandy Hubbard


Today's Muse: Mandy Hubbard
Author of: Prada & Prejudice (review here)
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Bookworm: Welcome, Mandy! Let's start off with this very important question: how did you get the idea for Prada?
Mandy: I love reading regency romances. Call me crazy, but there's just something about a guy with money, a title, and a giant estate that seems appealing. What happened to all the dukes and earls and viscounts? The one trouble I have with regency romances is that the heroines come from another era. They react to situations differently than I would. So I decided to plunk a modern girl into 1815 and see what happened. As it turned out, a lot happened. 

Bookworm: How are you and Callie, the main character, alike? How are you different?
Mandy: She can be super shy and awkward, which is totally me. There's a Demi Lovato song where she says "I am confident--but I still have my moments," and that's me, for sure. However, I think I'm a little TOO passive or nice sometimes--I don't know if I could do everything Callie does while she's in 1815!

Bookworm: If you could travel back in time, which time period would you choose to visit?
Mandy: As you might guess, I'd love to be a regency gal for a few days. I want to wear pretty ballgowns and dance until dawn!

Bookworm: What's your favorite line from the book?
Mandy: "Until then, my name is Rebecca. I am a prim and proper regency girl. I wear dresses and curtsy. I belong here." That's the moment Callie decides to pretend to be Rebecca, to buy herself some time as she figures out what to do next. 

Bookworm: Do you own a pair of Prada shoes like Callie's?
Mandy: No, but I held a pair once, does that count?

Bookworm: What is your favorite pair of shoes?
Mandy: Right now, these cute little camo Converse I bought for a friend's wedding. (We all wore Converse under our dresses. It was SO awesome). 

Bookworm: Back to books...What three 2009 YA book releases are you loving so far this
 year?
Mandy: I thought The King's Rose by Alisa Libby was amazing (a historical set in the Tudor era), and I loved Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols (heavy on the romance, if you're a romance nut like me!) and finally, I can't wait for Fairy Tale to come out on the 23rd! Cyn Balog is my critique partner and I read it a couple years ago before she sold, and I can't wait to read it in book form!

Bookworm: What's next for you, writing-wise?
Mandy: I have a romance novella coming out from Harlequin in June 2010, and a few assorted YA projects in the works. I'll announce more as soon as I can!

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Thanks so much, Mandy! 
Prada & Prejudice is being released on June 11, so definitely check it out!
Want to stay updated? Check out Mandy's blog!

Mailbox Monday/Week in Review

Sorry I've been so behind on everything! It's been a busy week. I'm in the last few days of school, plus there's been finals, etc....Ick! Anyway, here's my weekly roundup (meme created by Reviewer X):

Monday: Counted the entries for my big Girl Power! contest

Tuesday: The Traveling to Teens Exclusively Chloe blog tour stopped by Bookworm Readers. Check out my review and my interview with the author, J.A. Yang.

Wednesday: This week, for my "Waiting on Wednesday" post, I chose Lauren Conrad's upcoming LA Candy. I also posted the winner of the Girl Power! contest, so many congrats to Marie!

Thursday: I posted a review of Prada & Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard.

This week went by in a blur! I will be counting and announcing the winners for my Frenemies contest sometime this week or next.
-------------------
And here's what was in my mailbox last week (idea created by the Story Siren):

The Debs: Love, Lies, and Texas Dips by Susan McBride (I already have a copy, so watch out for a contest coming up in the near future!)
Mare's War by Tanita S. Davis
Guinevere's Gamble by Nancy McKenzie
Red-Carpet Riot by David Van Etten
It's Not You, It's Me by Kerry Cohen Hoffman
Tempo Change by Barbara Hall
China: Land of Emperors and Dragons by Adeline Yen Mah

Many thanks to Random House!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Prada & Prejudice


Title: Prada & Prejudice
Author: Mandy Hubbard
Pages: 214
Published: Razor Bill, June 11 2009 
Recommended/Not recommended
Genre: Historical fiction/Realistic fiction (time travel?)
Cover: A
Overall Grade: B+

   15-year-old Callie is totally looking forward to her class trip to London: she has plans of befriending the cool, popular girls, shopping together, sightseeing...But when Callie arrives in England, all that happens is she gets ignored by them. So Callie decides to impress the cool crowd by purchasing a real pair of Prada pumps. But then klutzy Callie trips, falls, and hits her head, and when she wakes up, she's no longer in 21st-century London...Callie finds herself in 1815 Regency England, where she is mistaken for a long-lost American friend of Emily, a kind British girl, and is taken in to her beautiful mansion. Callie and Emily instantly get along in a world of tea, corsets, dukes, balls, and beautiful gowns, even though Emily still thinks that Callie is someone she's not. Callie also meets Emily's good-looking cousin, Alex, the Duke of Harksbury. Too bad that he seems to be an up-to-no-good jerk...Callie wants to go home. But before she knows it, she's falling for Alex...and she's got to save Emily from an unwanted engagement before it's too late!
   My thoughts: Ever since I heard about Prada & Prejudice, I just loved the whole concept of the plot. While actually reading the book, I realized I was spot-on. The whole idea of the story was so unique, creative, and fun that I was instantly sucked into the story. My favorite part of the books was the characters, especially Callie. She was just so hilarious and clumsy and lovable! Emily was also a favorite, and, well, how couldn't you love Alex? He was your typical 16-year-old Mr. Darcy. I also really liked how well-researched the book seemed: obviously the author had studied Regency England before writing it. Ms. Hubbard wrote confidently and in vivid detail so I felt like I could picture everything: from all the characters and their way of dressing, to the beautiful Harksbury estate, to the actions themselves (like Callie falling head-first off of a piano bench). I also really loved the little twists that were put into the plot, especially the ending--it was so cute and made me smile, perfectly wrapping up the book.
   I just wished some parts of the book could be improved. There was little leadup, so I felt like I hardly knew 21st century Callie at all. I even thought the ending could be expanded as well. It felt, sometimes, like there were missing pieces in the plot, and that the book seemed a little too short, like it lacked some details. I have to admit, I was actually a bit disappointed. 
   However, I do appreciate how fun and unique this book is, which made it such a cool read! A very well thought-out and humorous debut, Prada was a great start for Mandy Hubbard that I think will definitely appeal to teenage girls (I mean that cover! Just look at it! I can't stop!). I'm definitely looking forward to what comes next from Mandy Hubbard. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Winner!!!

   I know you're all dying to see how won the Girl Power contest that Chicklita and I were hosting, but before I announce the winner of all three lovely books, we want to thank each and every one of you who entered the contest. Thanks to you, you helped a new blogger gather more readers. My goal for this contest was to help a friend's new blog get out there, and thanks to you guys, she has 43 followers now! Watch her blogs for reviews, contests, and author interviews--you all have totally inspired her, I'm sure. 
   Without further ado, the winner of all three books (Celebrity Skin by Liane Bonin, Hot Mess: Summer in the City by Shallon Lester and Julie Kraut, and How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier) is.........
Marie!

   Congratulations, Marie! I'm emailing you right now for your address so Chicklita and I can send you your goodies ASAP! 

PS. Looking for another contest to enter? Check out the Frenemies contest, whose date I have extended. You have up to Friday to enter now!

Waiting on Wednesday

LA Candy by Lauren Conrad
Coming out June 16, 2009

   Los Angeles is all about the sweet life. Nineteen-year-old Jane Roberts can't wait to start living it up. She may be in LA for an internship, but Jane plans to play as hard as she works, and has enlisted her BFF Scarlett to join in the fun.
   When Jane and Scarlett are approached by a producer who wants them to be on his new reality series, they can hardly believe their luck. Their own show? Yes, please!
   Soon Jane is TV's hottest star. Fame brings more than she ever imagined possible for a girl from Santa Barbara--free designer clothes, the choicest tables at the most exclusive clubs, invites to Hollywood premieres--and she's lapping up the VIP treatment with her eclectic entourage of new pals. But those same friends who are always up for a wild night are also out for a piece of Jane's spotlight. 
   In a city filled with people chasing after their dreams, it's not long before Jane wakes up to the reality that everyone wants something from her, and nothing is what it seems to be.

OK, I've never actually seen The Hills, but apparently Lauren Conrad herself is a huge reality TV star. I may or may not read this book when it comes out, but I've heard a lot of positive hype about it, it sounds pretty decent, and that cover is seriously cute...So we'll see!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Blog Tour: Interview with Author J.A. Yang

Here's part two of the Exclusively Chloe Traveling to Teens tour: an interview with the author of the book, the fabulous J.A. Yang!

Exclusively Jon: About the Author
  
 J.A. Yang has slummed it in the valley with the Wakefield twins; slumber partied with Huey, Dewey, and Louie; joined Krakow in stalking Angela; and climbed every mountain with the Von Trapps. 
   Originally from San Diego, he's lived and traveled the world (okay, not all of it) in pursuit of that most elusive of targets -- inspiration.
   He's authored and published a book, written for online and offline publications, and maintained a variety of popular blogs on subjects ranging from movies and technology to personal stories and amateur musings. He's just wrapped up on his second book, a fiction novel for teens, and is hard at work on his third one.
---------------------------
Bookworm: Welcome, Jon! And congrats on the release. Speaking of which, how long did it take you to write Exclusively Chloe, from start to finish?
Jon: I actually wrote the first draft of Exclusively Chloe in two parts. It took me a few weeks to write the first three chapters. We submitted that and waited a few months. After it sold, it took another six months to finish the entire draft. Then it was revisions, which took another six months of back and forth. Overall, from outline and synopsis in March 2007 to release in May 2009, it took about two years. 

Bookworm: Are any of the characters in the book based off of people you know or your friends and family?
Jon: I wouldn't say there's any characters entirely based off people I know in real life, but I definitely put Easter Eggs in there for my friends. Mainly, when I was writing, I'd look around for traits and characteristics to throw in and of course my friends were right there. For example, if someone had on a great outfit, I'd take a picture, write down a quick description, and then ask them to describe it too. Funny saying that have resonance and staying power with my friend made it in the book. I name dropped a few people, as homages, that kind of thing.
   It's hard to say any one character represents someone I know in my life but little combinations of traits, personality, physical descriptions, and that kind of thing, were based off "true" events. And that was definitely part of the fun.

Bookworm: What qualities do you and the main character, Chloe, share?
Jon: Ha, well, that's a hard one to answer. I don't think I consciously out too much of myself into Chloe, because I saw her very clearly as a separate
 character. The one thing we probably do share is that we're both decently down to earth. I mean, Chloe certainly cries and obsesses more than I ever did but she's got a pretty good head on her shoulders, which I hope I did too. Right Mom?

Bookworm: If you could be friends with any two celebrities, who would they be and why?
Jon: This is exactly the type of question I think to myself all the time. Hands down I'd pick Natalie Portman and Steve Buscemi. I've been a huge fan of Natalie since her earliest movies (and okay, have a crush on her, like the rest of the world) and Steve Buscemi is just the man! He's he man in a way that is so not "the man" but that's what makes him super cool. If ot an actor, I'd want to be friends with Kat Von D, reality star and tattooist extraordinaire from LA Ink.

Bookworm: Favorite TV show?
Jon: Right now it's definitely The Office, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Glee is going to take over my must-see TV spot as soon as regular episodes start up. I can't stop watching the Glee pilot online. I just want it to be fall so the series can start already! (Bookworm: Glee does look awesome!!)

Bookworm: What's your favorite book for young adults by other authors?
Jon: I think Speak is amazing. I didn't read it until after I saw the movie and at the time, I hadn't read much YA. However, after reading the book, I was just amazed at how great of a book it was. With such a heavy theme and concept, I was floored by how real and honest (and funny) Melinda was. Laurie Halse Anderson blew my mind open to what was possible with contemporary young adult fiction.

Bookworm: As for the future...Will you be writing a sequel to Exclusively Chloe or any other novels for young adults?
Jon: I am working on something right now, which is still in its beginning stages. We're not sure yet if it'll be a direct sequel, something set in the same universe, or another thing entirely. There are definitely more young adult novels in my future, though. I love the genre and the community.
-----------------
Thanks so much, Jon! 
Exclusively Chloe came out on May 26.
Check out my review here

Blog Tour: Exclusively Chloe by J.A. Yang

Welcome to the latest stop in the Traveling to Teens blog tour, created by Yan and Carol!
   Today, the Exclusively Chloe tour will be stopping by my blog. First up is a review. An author interview will be coming next!

Title: Exclusively Chloe
Author: J.A. Yang
Pages: 245
Published: Speak, May 26 2009
Recommended/Not recommended
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Cover: B
Overall Grade: B

   Chloe-Grace Star is used to being in the spotlight: as the fabulous adoptive daughter of a famous actress and a rock star, Chloe's used to be followed by the paparazzi to school, shopping, and out to lunch with friends. After all, at age 16, she is Hollywood's first adopted child. But when Chloe's parents announce that they're getting a divorce, Chloe's perfect world begins to fall apart, especially since the press is constantly stalking her, and spreading rumors about her family situation. Chloe's had enough of Hollywood. She's sick and tired of her invaded privacy. So she decides to go undercover as a normal teen: she'll get a makeunder, she'll attend a new high school, and she'll try to uncover the questions that she's been dying to find the answers to: who are her birth parents and where are they now? But can Chloe (under the pseudonym of Lilly) manage to stay undercover, now that she's made friends and possibly even a guy?
    My thoughts: Exclusively Chloe was pretty predictable, to me. After all, the basic idea of the plot has been used many times: just think of Roman Holiday, Secrets of My Hollywood Life, all those celebrity-undercover stories. However, I really liked how J.A. Yang spiced up the common plotline. The aspects of divorce and adoption made the whole story so much more interesting and personal to the character, and I really liked the buildup that Yang provided for the reader. I loved how the author displayed Chloe's quirks through her dialogue and first-person narration. In fact, I was totally impressed at how a guy could perfectly capture the personality of a sixteen year old girl! 
   My one problem was that some parts of the book felt a little bit rushed. For instance, Chloe's whole experience at Hollis High seemed just too brief, and without enough detail to make it seem realistic. Same went for Chloe's relationship with Jack. It felt totally unrealistic and a bit fake to me as the reader, but I still really liked Jack's character and all of Chloe's other Hollis friends! 
   Overall, I would've liked a few more twists and turns in the plot, but I have to say, I'm overall impressed by Yang's clever teen debut. Exclusively Chloe is an ideal summer read--light, fun, and quick. After all, it only took me about two days to read, and I was flipping pages the whole time!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Guess What I'm Doing?

...Yep, that's right, counting the entries for the big Girl Power contest that Chicklita and I hosted. Thanks to everyone who entered--there were a lot of you, which is great because all entries benefit a new up-and-coming YA review blog! The results will be up by Wednesday, so you'll want to check back to see if you were the lucky winner of all three books!

   If not, there's still time to enter the Frenemies contest that I'm also holding--it ends tomorrow, so hurry!

   I'm also editing my blog roll and format of my blog, so keep your eyes peeled (ick, I really hate that saying!) for some changes around here!