Thursday, September 29, 2011

Follow Me Friday (17) & Blogger Hop!

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Follow Me Friday is a fun book meme hosted by the fabulous Parajunkee over at Parajunkee's View AND Allison over at Allison Can Read. Have a book blog? You can play with us too! Just visit Parajunkee's site by clicking on LC's Follow Friday icon-- be sure you are a follower of her blog and the blog she is featuring for the week, put your name in the Linky, create your own FF post on your blog, and then start commenting and following whomever you wish!

This week's Follow Friday question:
What book that hasn't been turned into a movie (yet) would you most like to see make it to the big screen, and who would you like cast as your favorite character?

Oh my gosh, that is a really good question!! OK, most definitely it would be The Luxe by Anna Godbersen-- like, the whole series, all four books-- I know that this would make an absolutely awesome movie or even TV mini-series!!





If you think these book covers are stunning and drool-worthy, you need to read the actual story and see just how amazing this series is!! Coincidentally, I had the chance to interview Anna a couple weeks ago and I asked her if The Luxe was going to be made into a movie, and she said that it was being talked about... here's hoping!!

As for which actresses would play which parts... that's difficult to decide! I don't watch a ton of movies, so I'll try-- and if you have any better suggestions, let me know!




OK, Elizabeth Holland would be played by Rachel McAdams. Elizabeth was sweet with a not-so-innocent secret. I really love Rachel as an actress and I think she is the perfect mix of sweet and edgy!




Diana would be played by Sienna Miller, since her character is feisty and independent and has a lot of spirit-- I loved Sienna in the movie Casanova, so I think she would be good for this role...





Penelope would be played by Natalie Dormer, who played Anne Boleyn on Showtime's The Tudors. Penelope was a power-hungry, back-stabbing diva who crushed everyone who got in her way-- similar to Anne Boleyn! So I think Natalie would be perfect for this part :)

OK, I know you're like what?! But Lina Broud is difficult... I guess I would pick Taylor Swift because I think she looks how I would picture Lina, and she has done some acting haha... Lina is the maid who stops at nothing to climb the social latter, but she's also really naive and vulnerable. I think Taylor could pull this off well! Plus, she looks amazing in a beautiful dress ;)


OK-- so there is a reason why I am not a casting director lol!

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The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme for all of us awesome book bloggers, where we get to chat about all things "Bookish" over the weekend! It's hosted by the lovely Jennifer over at Crazy for Books. Feel free to click on LC's Book Blogger Hop icon to join in this week's Hop!     ------->
  
~THIS WEEK'S QUESTION~

“In honor of Banned Books Week, what is your favorite “banned or frequently challenged book”?”


Yikes, there are probably quite a few, haha... Here are some of the top ones I could think of! Also, if you click on the covers it will take you to their Goodreads pages-- because I'm that awesome ;)





PS!!  ---> I just created a new page on my blog called Blogs I Heart! It is a space dedicated to all my favorite blogs that I follow... Be sure to check it out, and if your blog button is not up there already, leave me a comment below so I can grab your button and put it on my page for others to find! :)
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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (21)

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For those who don't know, Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly book meme where we get to let everyone know about what books we are eagerly anticipating the release of. WoW is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. Want to participate? Grab the logo on her page, post your own WoW entry on your blog, and leave your link on her blog!

*****
This week's Waiting on Wednesday pick is... Life Is But A Dream

Author: Brian James
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: March 27, 2012
Pages: 240

Summary: Alec and Sabrina are crazy in love. Problem is: Sabrina’s really crazy.

Sabrina, an artist, is diagnosed with schizophrenia, and her parents check her into the Wellness Center. There she meets Alec, who is convinced it's the world that's crazy, not the two of them. They are meant to be together; they are special. But when Alec starts to convince Sabrina that her treatment will wipe out everything that makes her creative, she worries that she'll lose hold of her dreams and herself. Should she listen to her doctor? Her decision may have fatal consequences.

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This plot sounds do incredibly intriguing to me, and so completely different from anything else I've ever read!! I am really looking forward to reading this-- and plus, isn't the cover just gorgeous? I love the title, and love that it's written by a male author. We need MORE male YA authors, don't you think??

What is everyone else waiting on this week?
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Monday, September 26, 2011

ARC Book Review: Incarnate

Author: Jodi Meadows
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: January 31, 2012
Pages: 384
Read it in: 3 days
Source: ARC provided by publisher

Summary: NEWSOUL... Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

NOSOUL... Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are suspicious and afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

HEART... Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.

LC's Take:

Honestly, I am still reeling over how gorgeous the cover of this book is! When I got it in the mail, it pretty much took my breath away when I saw it...

Incarnate was one of those books that had both things I liked and disliked about it. However, the greatest thing about it by far was it's daring creativity, and the author's ability to write something unlike anything else in the YA genre. All in all, it was a very interesting, creative story, and I thought that the writing was done very well-- there were parts that I definitely savored. Sometimes, it just seems like there are so many YA books out there, and they can all run together, so when you find a plot premise like the one in Incarnate, it really stands out from the rest!

What I noticed while reading this book, is that it is really difficult to put in one specific box-- it's partly YA utopian, partly fantasy, partly romance... I'm not quite sure what label to put on it. But you know, that's a good thing. I sort of liked that this book had me guessing the entire way through, and like I said, that it was so different from anything else I have read so far in the YA genre.

~Basic Premise~

Incarnate starts off on the edges of a world called "Range." Range has exactly one million souls, and all of them have been reincarnated over and over again for the past 5,000 years or so. Until Ana is born-- she is a "Newsoul," one who has never lived before. At the start of the story, Ana is 18 years old, and she lives a secluded life in the forest with Li, her unloving mother. The people of Range fear Ana, because not only is she a "Newsoul," she also replaced one of the million souls, named Ciana, when she was born-- and Ciana never returned. What if more newsouls are born, while older souls disappear forever??

In the first chapter, Ana leaves her horrible mother and the only home she's ever known to go to the city of Heart. Throughout the book, Ana is basically on a quest to figure out who she really is, where she came from and why, and what will happen to her after she dies-- questions we probably all wonder about ourselves to some extent. When she nearly drowns in a lake at the beginning, she is saved by a boy named Sam, who subsequently saves her again from a Sylph attack-- Sam takes care of Ana until she's well enough to make the rest of the trip to Heart and face head-on a society that doesn't understand her.

~Thoughts~

Ana was a bit of a complicated main character, and I found at times that it was difficult to like her. However, I completely understood why she acted and thought the way she did, after spending her entire life under the tyranny of a mother who brainwashed her into thinking she was a "Nosoul"-- something that couldn't think or feel, and wasn't even worthy of life. Ana was a mix of being strong and independent but also vulnerable, hurt and distrusting. You could see in her thoughts, words, and actions just how cynical, and quick to judge others she was-- especially when it came to Sam.

Thank goodness Ana found Sam! He was such a sweet and caring person. He cares about Ana when everyone else treats her like an outcast. He saves her life in the beginning, and then takes care of her, even though she tries to push him away. The reason I loved Sam is because he accepts Ana for who she is, and their relationship isn't the typical YA version of love-- AKA "we-have-no-clue-why-we're-inexplicably-obsessed-with-each-other-after-four-pages" love. He doesn't question why she exists or what she's doing in Range, he simply loves her unconditionally, and this really made me fall for him!

The world building of Range and the city of Heart was brilliant for the simple fact that it was so different. It was like part fantasy world, part dystopian world-- there were sylphs, dragons, centaurs, and trolls but then there were also laser pistols, futuristic technology and a society built over thousands of years from souls who have been around for millennia-- isn't that such an awesome idea? At first, it took a little getting used to, I wasn't exactly sure how to picture Range and Heart, but in the end, I thought it was so cool that Jodi stepped outside the box to create something so totally unique!

So now, I have to get into the things about Incarnate that I was not completely a fan of. As you know, I keep my reviews as honest as possible, so it's only fair that I give my opinion about what didn't work for me...

First of all, while reincarnation is an interesting idea for a fictional book, it leaves a lot of possibilities for plot holes-- sort of like time travel. It's an interesting idea, but it also leads to a lot of questions that aren't easy to explain away. I have to hand it to Jodi Meadows in taking on such an ambitious plot and making it work without leaving her readers super confused. But I did still have questions throughout the story.

Such as-- and this was probably the most confusing for me-- every soul can be reincarnated into either a man or a woman, and they never know from one lifetime to the next which gender they will be. Um, OK... so, Ana loves Sam in THIS lifetime-- what if he's a woman in his next lifetime?? Is he even really a "he"?? Is Ana really a "she"? This whole concept was completely lost on me, it was just too weird. I think the idea was that "true love" transcends gender, and two souls will love each other in every lifetime, whether they're male or female. That's a great New Age-y kind of ideal, but I don't think it would translate in the real world. This issue was kind-of, sort-of addressed, but we never really got an answer to how it would work with Ana and Sam.

Also, I did not like the idea of soul mates killing themselves or each other so that they could wind up together at the same age in the next lifetime-- this just didn't sit right with me, and I definitely don't think it's romantic. I was disappointed that suicide and killing off your lover so that you can be born again at the same time in the next life was passed off as being "romantic." For me, this was just a turn-off.

I've already talked a little about the main character Ana, but I need to elaborate a little on her, because as I said, she wasn't always the easiest person to like. Even though I did like her for the most part, I thought that at times she got to be overbearing-- her pessimism, cynicism, and bitterness didn't always mix well, especially since she could also be arrogant and downright mean to Sam. Some of this made sense since she had such a horrible upbringing with Li, but at some points I just got tired of her poor attitude. I am hoping that as the series goes on, we see Ana's character develop more, as she overcomes all the hurt of her past.

Finally, I'm not going to say too much about the ending, except that, I'm not sure what it was setting us up for as far as the rest of the series goes-- I pretty much have no idea what's going to happen next, even though there are still so many questions that need to be answered. The last few chapters just had so much going on, and the action along with the explanations left me slightly confused. I feel like it's important to set up some expectations for your readers, so they have some idea of what is going to happen in the next book-- but there wasn't much to go on in the last few pages.

Overall I did like this book, and I think that the majority of YA readers will enjoy it as well. It really was a unique and creative story with awesome world-building and some great characters. Despite some flaws, I give Jodi Meadows a lot of credit for being creative and ambitious in writing a story so unlike any others in the YA genre. Definitely be on the look-out for Incarnate when it's released in January!

LC's Rating:
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Part fantasy, part utopian fiction, Incarnate was a unique and creative book that stands out from the rest. Despite some flaws, this book definitely takes risks-- and for that, I liked it!

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Book Review: Heist Society

Author: Ally Carter
Publisher: Hyperion
Release Date: February 9, 2010
Pages: 287
Read it in: 2 days
Source: The library

Summary: When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…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 Kat 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 suspect 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 off the biggest heist in her family's history--and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.

LC's Take:

OK, I know this is such an old-granny kind of word, but this book really was-- delightful. I'm such a dork, I know, but this was really just a fun, light read that was so easy to breeze through, and the story was unique and kept me wanting to turn the pages. Altogether, I definitely enjoyed this one!

Katerina Bishop is a thief. More specifically, she is the daughter of a master thief, and she has been trained since she was three years old to follow in his footsteps. So, when she finds out that her dad is in trouble because he has been framed in one of the greatest heist jobs in all history, Kat needs a plan to save her father from Arturo Taccone, a mobster who has lost his famous-- and pricey-- paintings.

I loved the characters in this book. Katerina was smart and witty, and it was so much fun following her to Italy, France and England. W.W. Hale the Fifth (Hale for short!) was Kat's love interest, and I loved being able to follow their relationship from being "just friends" to discovering that they have feelings for each other. Gabrielle, Kat's sexy cousin, got on my nerves, but she was also a colorful character who made the story that much more enjoyable to read.

The plot was awesome-- I mean, who doesn't love a fast-paced, high-stakes adventure with all the action and high-tech gadgets of a James Bond movie? Also, I adored the travel aspect of this book-- it was so cool to read about Paris, Poland, Italy and England. I've been to a few of these places, and just reading about them made me want to go back! Throw in some art history fiction, complete with old country estates, Parisian cobblestone streets, and stately museums, and you have the makings of one sweet story!

Even though the writing was a little choppy in places, I thought that for the most part the writing was really good. Here was my favorite line from the book-- it just made me smile when I read it!

"But when Mr. Stein sipped his hot coffee and watched Kat  drink hers, he smiled the way he might if he saw a replica of his favorite childhood toy in a shop window-- happy that something he loved wasn't entirely gone from the world."

The only issue I had with Heist Society was when I stopped and really thought about the premise of a 15-year old thief. I mean, yes, it's cool, and it's a fun twist to a story-- but when I started thinking about some big, bad crime boss making deals with some young girl, it just seemed slightly ridiculous and unbelievable. Now, of course, I read a lot of fantasy and paranormal books, so I think I can be a little lenient here and not carry on about just how far-fetched the actual story was-- because bottom line, it was still fun to read and there's no reason to take the actual story too seriously.

All in all, this was definitely a fun and light-hearted read. The characters, the travel, the story-- it was all put together really well, and made the pages fly by. Plus, the premise of a 15-year old master thief-- while unbelievable-- is still unique and creative and makes Heist Society stand out from all the other YA books out there. You will easily be able to read this book in a day or two, and I think you'll thoroughly enjoy it as much as I did!

LC's Rating:
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A creative and well-thought out story, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Heist Society. If you're looking for a fun, around-the-world adventure, this would be a great book to pick up!
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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Book Review: Girl Wonder

Author: Alexa Martin
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Release date: May 3, 2011
Pages: 304
Read it in: 1.5 days

Summary: As if transferring senior year weren't hard enough, Charlotte Locke has been bumped to lower level classes at her new school. With no friends, a terrible math SAT score, and looming college application deadlines, the future is starting to seem like an oncoming train for which she has no ticket.

Then Amanda enters her orbit like a hot-pink meteor, offering Charlotte a ticket to something else: popularity. Amanda is fearless, beautiful, brilliant, and rich. As her new side kick, Charlotte is brought into the elite clique of the debate team—and closer to Neal, Amanda's equally brilliant friend and the most perfect boy Charlotte has ever seen.

But just when senior year is looking up, Charlotte’s life starts to crumble. The more things heat up between Charlotte and Neal, the more Neal wants to hide their relationship. Is he ashamed? Meanwhile, Amanda is starting to act strangely competitive, and she's keeping a secret Charlotte doesn't want to know.

Talented newcomer Alexa Martin delivers a poignant story of first love, jealousy and friendship, where the ups and downs of senior year have never been so complicated. What else can Charlotte do but throw her hands up and ride?

LC's Take:

This really was a great book, and I loved it from the first few pages. Girl Wonder was a realistic coming-of-age story, both charming and flawed at the same time. Charlotte was an amazing main character and it was very easy to relate to her, while also seeing both the good and bad pieces of yourself in her personality. She was slightly sarcastic, cynical, and insecure. But she was also endearing, and her narration of the story made you want to keep reading. Honestly, I couldn't put this book down.

The author, Alexa Martin, did an awesome job of describing the world inside a public high school, and how hellish it can be for a new student. The stereotypes weren't blatantly forced down your throat like they are in some other YA books, but you can still see the strict social structure of the school and all the cliques that exist there. All Charlotte wants is to fit in-- unfortunately, she's never been to a public school before and she suffers from a learning disability that makes her have difficulties with reading numbers.

The dynamics of Charlotte's family were just as intriguing to read about as her school life- her dad has just become a successful published author, but he's having an affair on the side with his young publicist. Charlotte can see the strain wearing off on her mother, while her over-achieving brother James Henry, destined for an Ivy League School, eclipses her in almost everything. Charlotte has to not only make her own way in school-- she also has to learn how to be her own person and be happy despite all the high standards her family has forced on her.

Then there was Amanda-- AKA "Girl Wonder." She's the Popular Girl, but she was actually a lot different than your typical Queen Bee. She has neon-pink hair, for starters, and she's the star of the debate team. She has everything and yet she cares about nothing. It was very hard to sympathize with her, and I was so glad that Charlotte was able to make peace with herself in the end and not depend on Amanda anymore.

Neal was the biggest jerk-- but then, I guess we have all had experience with them. (If not, then we're lucky!) Basically, Charlotte is highly vulnerable and she falls for the wrong guy. She gives up nearly everything to be with him and ends up... well, I won't give it away! Fortunately, Charlotte is able to come to terms with what happens to her and find a sweet guy who is worth her time and appreciates her for who she is!

Girl Wonder was a touching book that made me laugh and cry at different points. I thought the narrative told through Charlotte's perspective was both original and familiar at the same time. This was a great coming-of-age story that was a lot of fun to read, but made me happy that I'm no longer in that awkward teenage-high-school phase! 

LC's Rating:
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This is one of those books that you can just fly through without any effort. Girl Wonder managed to tell a familiar coming-of-age story from a new and unique perspective. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a good, heart-felt novel that will make you both laugh and cry.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Book Review: The Iron King

Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: February 1, 2010
Pages: 363
Read it in: 4 days
Source: The library

Summary: Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined. Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

LC's Take

This book was amazing! Like, I can't even... wow. Just, wow. I totally LOVED it!

You know those books that you start reading, and before you know it, you are just completely and irretrievably being sucked into another world that is so wildly imaginative and intoxicating that you don't want to ever put it down or have it end?

Yeah, that pretty much describes The Iron King by Julie Kagawa.

Now, I have read a couple faery books in the past, neither of them doing all that much for me. Tithe by Holly Black was definitely an awesome book, but it was really dark and somehow lacked something for me. Wicked Lovely was utterly lost on me and made me want to stick needles in my eyes. But this book? Totally different story. Let's talk about why:

First of all, THANK YOU Julie, for writing an intelligent story about faeries that DOES NOT ASSUME that every one of your readers is some expert on faeries and faerie lore. This was my biggest beef with books like Wicked Lovely, because I had NO IDEA what the heck was going on! But The Iron King does an incredibly good job of explaining what's happening and why it's happening, without going overboard with the descriptions. This made it easy and enjoyable to read.

Second, the world-building in this story was fan-freaking-tastic. The fairyland of the Nevernever was vibrant, beautiful, dark and dangerous-- if you read this book, you will be completely sucked into the world of the fey and not want to ever come back! Really, really well done. I loved it. 

The plot started out kind of slow, but once it got going, it was impossible to stop reading. We begin in the human world with Meghan Chase, just a typical teenager who gets picked on a lot in school. Meghan starts seeing strange things at home and at school-- and then her little brother Ethan pretty much turns into a demon-possessed little monster, until she finds out that he has been kidnapped by faeries and replaced by a changeling!

Meghan was an awesome main character and it was never boring reading from her point of view. She was brave, determined, and never suffered from YA-Heroine-Whining-Syndrome. Thank God! She was easy to relate to, and at the same time you can see how she will develop into a strong leader in the next books.

When Meghan finds out from her friend Robbie-- AKA Robin Goodfellow, AKA Puck from A Midsummer's Night Dream-- that Ethan is now a prisoner in the Nevernever, Meghan is bound and determined to go find him and bring him back home. Along the way, she meets many new characters, each more imaginative and unique than the next. Grimalkin, the Cait Sithe? Freaking LOVED him! Grim is a cat-- well, a faery cat-- and he's just as cool as the Cheshire Cat from Alice and Wonderland. Seriously, all of the secondary characters in this book-- right down to the Pack-rats in Machina's territory, were incredible. They were all so real and alive, and had a sort of kooky flair to them that reminded me of a Tim Burton movie.

So anyways, as Meghan searches for her brother in the Nevernever, she soon learns that she is actually the half-daughter of the King of the Summer (Seelie) Court-- thus, she is immune to the effects of iron on faeries, yet she contains a very strong power within her that she must learn to control and use against the new threat to the Nevernever-- Machina, the Iron King and his realm that has been created by the ever-growing human world of science, technology and disbelief in all things magical...

Now let's talk about Ash. You may know from reading my reviews that I am a very hard sell when it comes to love interests in books-- I almost never like them! But Ash-- I don't know what it was about him-- I totally fell for him. Yes, he was the hard-to-get type, and very standoffish, but I really loved him. I think I almost cried towards the end, during that part in the cave... I am hoping that he and Meghan develop a closer relationship in the next books!

The ideas behind the plot of The Iron King were just so original and creative, while also reminding me of some of my favorite stories and movies. The world of the Nevernever was completely entrancing, and the characters were imaginative, vibrant and wonderfully memorable. It was clear that Julie Kagawa put a lot of thought into her story and how she would tell it, right down to the last detail. The emotion, the action, the chemistry, the descriptions, the dialog-- honestly, I don't have anything negative to say about this book and I cannot wait to read the next three in the Iron Fey Series. Julie Kagawa, you have brought back my faith in faery books!

LC's Rating:
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This book is a must-read! It was like a mix between Alice in Wonderland, Labyrinth (minus David Bowie), and a bunch of other fairy tale stories from when you were a kid. Totally AWESOME. You need to read this book if you haven't yet-- I am getting started on the rest of this series pronto!

Bright, Young & Luxe Giveaway-- WINNER!


 A big thank-you to everyone who participated in the Bright, Young & Luxe Giveaway Hop and Event last week! Tiffany and I were so happy to have you all share in our excitement for Anna Godbersen's new book release of Beautiful Days-- the second in her Bright Young Things series!!

So, the WINNER of my Bright, Young & Luxe Giveaway is...


Erin L.!!
Twitter: @Erinberry12

Congratulations Erin!! You will be receiving a copy of Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen!!

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Waiting On Wednesday (19)

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For those who don't know, Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly book meme where we get to let everyone know about what books we are eagerly anticipating the release of. WoW is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. Want to participate? Grab the logo on her page, post your own WoW entry on your blog, and leave your link on her blog!

*****

Author: Susanne Dunlap
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Release Date: April 10, 2012
Pages: 320

Summary: Eliza Monroe-daughter of the future president of the United States-is devastated when her mother decides to send her to boarding school outside of Paris. But the young American teen is quickly reconciled to the idea when-ooh, la-la!-she discovers who her fellow pupils will be: Hortense de Beauharnais, daughter of Josephine Bonaparte; and Caroline Bonaparte, youngest sister of the famous French general. It doesn't take long for Eliza to figure out that the two French girls are mortal enemies-and that she's about to get caught in the middle of their schemes.

Loosely drawn from history, Eliza Monroe's imagined coming of age provides a scintillating glimpse into the lives, loves, and hopes of three young women during one of the most volatile periods in French history.

So I just discovered this author, Susanne Dunlap, who writes historical fiction novels. Now normally, I'm a bit leery about historical fiction because I'm a history buff and don't like when it's changed around or the facts are skewed, but then sometimes I find something I really like!

Here is one book that caught my attention-- it's called The Academie, and it's about Eliza Kortright Monroe. Eliza was the daughter of our fifth president, James Monroe, who was in office from 1817-1825. Eliza herself was born in 1787 and lived until 1835. Not that Wikipedia is a reliable information source, but I thought it was interesting that it had this to say about her: "Eliza appeared to many a haughty, pompous socialite, quick to remind others of her good breeding and lofty station."

Haha, if that is one of the main things history remembers about her, I'm thinking she must have been QUITE the character! ;)

Anyways, I am really interested in reading this book now, to see how Eliza's character plays out. And because I am such a history nerd, I might even do some research into who Eliza really was, what her true personality was like, and how she spent her life. Intriguing, no?

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Interview with Anna Godbersen!


So, for the final day of our Bright Young & Luxe Event-- celebrating the upcoming release of Anna Godbersen's newest book Beautiful Days-- Tiffany and I are bringing you an exclusive interview with the New York Times Bestselling Author herself! We hope that you enjoy reading Anna's answers to our questions!



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Us: Your writing is absolutely beautiful-- how do you come up with the vivid imagery to transport your readers to a specific era?

Anna: Thank you so much! One of the wonderful things about writing historical fiction is that every book is an opportunity to do more research, to learn more about another time. And I find novels from other eras, not to mention all the ephemera of the past, really interesting. So much of what I do with my day is let my imagination take that evidence of what it was like to live then and run with it. I want to look at an old black and white photograph and obsess over it until I can see it in color, I want to make that real for myself in my mind and then for my readers in language.

Us: Of all your characters, who was the most fun to write and why?

Anna: Either Astrid or Penelope. Astrid’s whole m.o. is to be light and breezy, so that’s a total pleasure to write. But then it was fun to go, with Penelope, into a kind of pure and stylish villainy.

Us: The book covers for both The Luxe and BYT series are gorgeous! What goes into the process of making an amazing book cover? Did you have any say in how they would look, or get to see the models’ photo shoots?

Anna: Aren’t they just perfect? I don’t have much to do with them, but I’ve gone to the shoots for both series, and they are pretty full on productions! A whole team of very busy and glamorous people put together a set and call in dresses and get the models all done up in hair and makeup. Really fun stuff. And with the LUXE books in particular, I think the covers are seductive and eye-catching, but then they are also a perfect metaphor for what the books are about—how these tender young girls are almost overwhelmed by their luxurious world with it’s lavish interiors and over-the-top dresses, which are both seductive and a trap.
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Us: I've heard that you're thinking about writing a book/series that takes place in modern-day times. Is there anything in the works yet? Any ideas for other YA books?

Anna: I would love to write something set in our time someday—I think that’s such an important thing to do for a writer, to use language to describe what you see with your own eyes— but I don’t have anything in the works yet. I’m only half way through the Bright Young Things series!

Us: What do you think would be the best and worst part about living in the 1920s?

Anna: The 1920s were a fun era in so many ways—the clothes, the music, the whole tone of the culture. And so much was being turned on its head—conventions in social behavior, conventions in art. But I think there was also tremendous amount of instability in everyday life, inequalities of income and health care and all these things that could be really devastating to those in a vulnerable position.

Us: I really, really wish The Luxe would be made into a movie or TV series!! Is there any chance of this **maybe** happening some day??

Anna: Me too! Yes, some folks have done some talking about making a movie out of The Luxe, and though it’s always hard to know with Hollywood, I think it would be wonderful if it happened! Let’s both keep our fingers crossed.

Us: Salty or sweet: Which is your fave food craving?

Anna: Salty all the way.

Us: What is your favorite historical fiction movie?

Anna: Probably McCabe and Mrs. Miller, which is so sad and beautiful, but also turns the conventional Old West movie on its head. Plus, it is not afraid of a little anachronism (which I always applaud), with the great Leonard Cohen music. And it’s Beatty at his most yummy.





Thank-you so much Anna, for taking the time to answer our questions! We are so excited for the release of Beautiful Days!!



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Saturday, September 17, 2011

In My Mailbox (7)




In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely Kristi over at The Story Siren, where we get to share with our readers the books that we've gotten recently, whether it's in the mail, from the bookstore or the library!
<------   OMGosh-- this cover is SO BEAUTIFUL!!!



OK, so because I am SUPER EXCITED this week about the ARCs I received in the mail, and because I am a majorly big dork, I took pics of me with the books I really wanted to highlight-- I am so incredibly psyched to have gotten them in my mailbox!! They are:


Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: January 31, 2012
Pages: 384






The Sharp Time by Mary O'Connell
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: November 8, 2011
Pages: 240


Bhahaha-- how much of a dork do I look like in this pic?!?  ----->



Alrighty, so those are my ARCs, and I am already starting on Incarnate, I just couldn't help myself ;) And I am reading The Sharp Time right after that, so can't wait to review them and let you guys know what I thought!

And from the library this week, I got...
(sorry the pic is a little grainy!)


Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma
Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima
Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore
Evermore by Alyson Noel



So as you can see, I have my work cut out for me and I really can't wait to get to all of these books!! What has everyone gotten this week I wonder??
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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Follow Me Friday (16) & Book Blogger Hop!

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Follow Me Friday is a fun book meme hosted by the fabulous Parajunkee over at Parajunkee's View AND Allison over at Allison Can Read. Have a book blog? You can play with us too! Just visit Parajunkee's site by clicking on LC's Follow Friday icon-- be sure you are a follower of her blog and the blog she is featuring for the week, put your name in the Linky, create your own FF post on your blog, and then start commenting and following whomever you wish!

This week's Follow Friday question:
It's that pesky magic book fairy again! She has another wish: What imaginary book world would you like to make a reality?


My Answer:Obviously the world of Harry Potter, but since everyone is going to say that, I did just finish reading The Iron King by Julie Kagawa and it was freaking fantastic-- the world-building in this book was absolutely mind-blowing. It was one of those books that you read and can then picture and play in your head long after you've finished it. The faery world of The Iron King was both dark, magical, eerie and intoxicating-- I loved it!



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The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme for all of us awesome book bloggers, where we get to chat about all things "Bookish" over the weekend! It's hosted by the lovely Jennifer over at Crazy for Books. Feel free to click on LC's Book Blogger Hop icon to join in this week's Hop!     ------->
  
~THIS WEEK'S QUESTION~

As a blogger, how do you introduce yourself in your profile?

I have a separate "About Me" page on my blog because I think it's important for my readers to know who it is they are reading posts from... In it, I talk a little bit about my career as a librarian and then I talk about what else I love to do in my spare time when I'm not reading or blogging. There are also a few pics of myself and family, which I think gives my blog a personal touch :)

Thanks for stopping by everyone, and have a great weekend!!

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