Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Cover Love: New Book Alert!

To all those Twilight fans out there...Stephenie Meyer is coming back with a new vampire novella! At 192 pages long, the book will be released on June 5 for $13.99, according to the press release on Stephenie's website.

Marketed as an "Eclipse novella", The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner is "the riveting story of Bree Tanner, a newborn vampire first introduced in Eclipse, and the darker side of the world she inhabits. The novella chronicles the newborn vampire army's journey as they prepare to close in on Bella Swan and the Cullens, following their encounter to its unforgettable conclusion."

So, what do you think? I think the other four Twilight books have beautiful, simple covers, so I don't know what to think about the bleeding hourglass...And the book is set to release just in time with the Eclipse movie--hmm....

Will YOU be reading The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner?

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Monday Muse: Interview with Wendy Toliver

Today's muse: Wendy Toliver
Author of: Miss Match (review here)
Bookworm: Welcome, Wendy! To start, will you please tell us what your inspiration was for Miss Match?
Wendy: I've always loved playing match maker, so that's the main inspiration. Also, I wanted to write a great story that dealt with a sisterly relationship because I have such a great one with my sister.

Bookworm: Were any of the book characters based off of real people?
Wendy: Not really. My character are sometimes a combination of traits in people I find interesting. With Sasha, my aim was to create a girl who was very relatable and smart, but not superskinny and gorgeous like so many main characters in young adult novels.

Bookworm: Have you ever played matchmaker in real life?
Wendy: Yes! Always! In high school I was always fixing my girlfriends up with guys, and in college a couple actually ended up married! I have several divorced friends right now that I'm always looking for guys to fix them up with. Oh, and my mom said she might consider dating someone now so I'm on a mission!

Bookworm: What was your favorite high school experience?
Wendy: Oh so many! I really enjoyed being in "The Music Man". I wasn't anyone important, I can't even remember what my old lady character's name was. But my friend Amy sat front and center and was falling off her chair laughing at me and that felt so good because I was trying to be funny. Another wonderful memory was playing basketball when I had the flu. I had to go off the court and throw up several times, but for some strange reason, I did really well and got MVP.

Bookworm: What's next, book-wise?
Wendy: Lifted. I can't tell you how excited I am about this book. It comes out June 8, and it's about a girl who moves to a small religious town in Texas and ends up in a shoplifting clique. You can read about it here.

Bookworm: Will you be writing any more Simon Pulse Romantic Comedies in the future?
Wendy: Hmm, I'm not sure. Maybe!

Bookworm: What was the last thing you read and loved?
Wendy: Let's see...the last thing I read and loved would have to be Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater.

Bookworm: What can't you leave home without?
Wendy: Chapstick or lip gloss, and a pen and notepad (to jot ideas down as they come to me).
Thanks so much, Wendy!
Visit Wendy online here, and don't forget to check out Lifted, coming June 8!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Miss Match

Author: Wendy Toliver
Pages: 275
Published: Simon Pulse, 2009
Genre: Romantic comedy
Cover score: B
Overall grade: A-
Source: Author

Summary: When it comes to matchmaking, Sasha Finnegan's got real talent, and at sixteen, she even has her own online business for love-seeking high schoolers. Sasha's a pro at setting people up with their "perfect matches", but when cute new boy Derek Urban puts in a request to be matched with Sasha's perfect older sister, Maddie, Sasha finds difficulty. Not that Derek isn't a good guy--the more time Sasha spends with him, the more she realizes how perfect of a match he is for her. But can Sasha push aside her feelings for the sake of her job--or has she met her match?
My thoughts: Miss Match was a light, breezy and fun read perfect for the upcoming summer months! The plot was quick, humorous, and realistic, filled with awesome plot twists and detail.
Sasha was an ideal protagonist--she was totally lovable and relatable, and always spoke her mind with courage and sass. I envy her talent of always having snappy, witty comebacks! Her unique job added extra oomph to the otherwise simple plot, and added humor and tension. Derek was a super-sweet and funny leading man (boy?), and Maddie, Sasha's sister, also spiced up the story.
I was pleasantly surprised at how well-written this story was. I was expecting a light, fluffy plot, but Ms. Toliver combined lots of different, detailed plot threads (ie matchmaking other couples, Derek and Maddie, and Sasha's family drama) so that the storyline was rich and had some depth. The book was the perfect length--there was a perfect flow to the story that never made it boring. I didn't want to put the book down--it was super quick and left me wanting more. Overall, I hope to see more from Ms. Toliver--I think many teen girls will adore Sasha's story!

Must-Read! Check it Out! Don't Bother

Monday, March 15, 2010

Hex Hall

Author: Rachel Hawkins
Pages: 323
Published: March 2010, Disney-Hyperion
Genre: Fantasy
Cover Score: A-
Overall Grade: A
Source: Amazon.com

After a prom spell gone awry, Sophie Mercer, witch-in-training, is sent to Hex Hall--a reformatory school for wayward "Prodigium" (aka witches, faeries, and shapeshifters) by her powerful warlock of a father. There, along with her fellow "freak-teens", she will learn to keep her magic in check and learn more about the world she never knew, growing up with a non-witch mother. However, by the end of her first day, Sophie has gotten on the wrong side of a powerful, model-worthy coven of witches; developed a crush on the school's resident bad-boy; and has befriended the most unpopular girl in school (a vampire). But as Sophie continues her first year at Hex, a series of vicious, attacks on Prodigium occurs--and the suspected predator is Sophie's only friend!
My thoughts: Wow--Hex Hall totally blew me away! After reading the summary of the book, I was expecting a light, fun, magical read. But this story was full of dark events and creepiness that totally bumped up the drama and made the story spooky and addicting.
Sophie was a funny, honest, and amusing main character. She narrated with detail and sarcasm that made you feel up-close-and-personal with what was going on in the story: the characters, the setting, and the events. I could perfectly picture Hex Hall in my head: it was a creative anti-Hogwarts that made a thrilling, spooky background for the action in the story.
And there was a lot of thrilling, magical action. I don't want to give too much away, but the way that the Prodigium attacks (as well as Alice, the coven, and the Jenna drama) were incorporated into the book was chilling and suspenseful. I was madly flipping pages up until the exciting conclusion! My only complaint would be that all the good drama happened in the last few pages of the book.
I want more! I must admit, I'm totally hooked--Hex Hall was possibly one of the best books I've read this year. When does the sequel come out? (:

Must-Read! Check it Out! Don't Bother

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Meet Sarah Beth Durst's Upcoming Enchanted Ivy!

I'm a huge fan of Sarah Beth Durst, so when she blogged about her new book, Enchanted Ivy, I was super-excited! Enchanted Ivy will be published by October 12, 2010 by Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry Books. How awesome does it sound??

A story about getting into college. You know, taking the campus tour, talking to the gargoyles, flirting with the were-tigers, riding the dragons...
While visiting the campus of Princeton University, 16-year-old Lily discovers a secret gate to a magical realm and must race against time to save herself, her world, and any hope she has of college admission.

Grrr....I want to read it NOW! And how gorgeous is that cover? Gah....

Thursday, March 11, 2010

New Moon

Author: Stephenie Meyer
Pages: 563
Published: Megan Tingley Books, 2006
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Cover Score: A
Overall Grade: A-
Source: Bookstore

Summary: The love of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen can't be broken by anything...can it? When Edward's family leaves Forks after an unfortunate incident, Bella is left to fend for herself, even with the complications of a lethal rival vampire hunting her. Now everything and everyone that Bella loves is endangered. But when Bella rekindles her friendship with Jacob Black, she finds a safe haven where she can be herself without the intense pain she gets from Edward's absence..until Jacob reveals a secret that could change everything and that leaves drama and danger in its wake...

My thoughts: So much better than Twilight. My reason? The lack of Edward for most of the story made the book so much more interesting. Twilight was filled with page after unnecessary page of gushy Edward-Bella romantic dialogue that bored me to death. However, the loss of Edward causes major drama in the second book--Bella finds a new friend to lean on in Jacob, but a dark secret causes tension, as well as the fact that vicious vampire Victoria is hunting Bella.
The action kept me riveted to my seat, wildly flipping pages through all of the fast-paced action. Having only seen the movies, I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about the book. In the movies, the acting totally disappointed me--but I was pleased by how different the book is. There is some humor sprinkled between the action, romance, and drama, and the friendship between Bella and Jacob was realistic and funny. The Volturi adds new interest, and the action-packed ending left me wanting more. The book is pretty big, but even reluctant readers won't be able to put it down. After the slow, lagging plot of Twilight, New Moon was like a speeding bullet train--but Ms. Meyer didn't skimp on details. The emotions and actions of the characters were explained in full detail so that the reader felt submerged in the events. My interest in this series has definitely been renewed, and I'm ordering Eclipse ASAP from Amazon!

Must-Read! Check it Out! Don't Bother

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Cashing In

Author: Susan Colebank
Pages: 314
Published: Dutton, 2009
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Cover: B+
Overall Grade: A-
Source: Library

Ever since Regina Shaw's dad died, life has gone downhill. Reggie's mom is gambling away the family's money, they're drowning in debt, Reggie is invisible and failing at school, and is working overtime at her Arizona town's Cashmart. But when the Shaws win the lottery, life takes an unexpected turn for the better: Reggie can now afford whatever she wants, and earns instant popularity at school with the kids who used to ignore her. However, her old friends and new love interest might be driven away, and Reggie's ever-spending mom is hiding more than she owns up to. Money can't buy happiness, but will Reggie be forced to learn the hard way?
My thoughts: I was totally surprised at Cashing In. At first glance, I thought it was going to be a light, cheery chick lit read. Boy, was I wrong. The book is quick and constantly moving, but is filled with deeper meaning and darker concepts. Reggie's mother is a compulsive spender, gambling away every last cent that the family has. Colebank illustrates this in agonizing detail, and readers will be sympathizing for the hardworking Reggie while her seemingly clueless mom draws the family deeper into debt. Because of this, Reggie is failing at school, and questions her future: should she drop out of high school? Will she be working at Cashmart for the rest of her life? A realistic situation, many teens will be able to relate to Reggie's struggles.
Similarly realistic were the well-developed characters: Reggie, her mom, Sarah, Mrs. Bretton, Gabe...Reggie was a strong main character, and her mom was perfectly hate-able: I started loathing her from page one! And, of course, Gabe was simply wonderful as the leading man (boy?) of the story. The plotline was fast-paced and leaves readers with an honest, surprising ending that will have them questioning what really happens. Please, please let there be more for Reggie and Ms. Colebank in YA! And impressing debut.

Must-Read! Check it Out!! Don't Bother

Monday, March 8, 2010

Mailbox Monday

...It's been too, too long since I last posted! (School/vacation=no time lately!). Anyway, I had a fantastic week in books, and I'm planning on doing a bunch of much-needed reviews in the next few days! Sorry, guys! (: Anyway, here's what I get to look forward this week:

Can't wait! (: Hope you all had a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

New Covers Alert!

...Apparently, March is the month for awesome new covers--I've just got to share:
First, there's Anna Godbersen's Bright Young Things, which will be released on October 26:

...And then there's the newly-released cover of Tenner Stephanie Perkins' Anna and the French Kiss (coming out this December):

...And, of course, the gorgeous new paperback cover for Michelle Zink's The Prophecy of the Sisters:

...And, finally, Viola in the Spotlight by Adriana Trigiani (released) August 24, the sequel to the oh-so-awesome Viola in Reel Life:

I mean, how can you resist that adorable puppy and those cute shoes??? Must-reads for sure! Hopefully these books are as good as their (amazing covers)--I'll be checking them all out! (:

PS. The winner of my The Curse of Addy McMahon contest was Juju. Congrats, and thanks to all who entered! (: