Friday, July 31, 2009

Poll Winner

It seems the Poll Winner posts have been coming later and later. Sorry for that! Last week's poll was ...

I want to be a/an:
author. The sooner I get a book published, the better!
editor for RandomHouse. It would be the greatest. *sigh*
teacher. I can't really explain it but I want to share my knowledge with others.
a turtle!

And the winner is ... wanting to become an editor!

I know plenty of readers who would be great editors (iDogRocker and EmilyRuth to name a few). But I also would have thought someone would want to be a turtle. -_-

Thanks to all the participants and please vote for the new poll. :)

Chasing Boys

Chasing Boys
by Karen Tayleur
5 out of 5 stars

“Remember your manners, listen to your teacher, and don’t chase boys.” A piece of advice Ariel (El, for short) had been told her first day of school. But she doesn’t know if she can keep that promise anymore now that she is going to a crammed-full public high school filled with handsome jocks. El’s family (which consists of herself, her older sister, and mother) has been down-sizing since her father left a year ago and she can’t seem to forgive him. While keeping a mental list of questions to ask her therapist one day when she does finally want to talk to him, Ariel finds out that she might be wrong with the conclusions she was so quick to come up with.

Author Karen Tayleur’s writing style is brilliant. The mixture of all the right moods are placed into this heart-pounding read. Some scenes are adorable, some are romantic, and others are somewhat depressing but captures the essence of the story. Most teens can relate to El’s struggles but only a few understand it the way she does. I love this book and my jaw literally dropped at the end.

The characters were different, likeable, and realistic. If they were actual people, I’d definitely want them as my friends! There is also a wide variety of settings that I thank the author for coming up with. It was outside-the-box! Creative doesn’t even begin to describe the storyline.

I enjoyed the book so much, I had to share more than half of it with my mother. And she loved it too! I got tears in my eyes and she was breathless. The emotion from this story will stay with you long after you have finish the final page, I guarantee. As my mom says, Chasing Boys is just plain “great”.

Contains: *brief profanity

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Poll Winner

This week's poll was ...

I can't help it. I hate ____!

country music
you, GirlwiththeBraids
unclear book endings
mechanical pencils

And the winner is ... I can't help it. I hate you, GirlwiththeBraids!

What?! No way!!

Just kidding. The real winner was ....

unclear book endings

Thanks to all you participated! Make sure to vote again for the new poll. :)


The winners of Harry Potter and the Marvelous Giveaway have already been contacted. They were:

Vroengirl (iDogRocker)
and ... Christy!

Congrats, guys! And thanks to everyone who entered. It was really fun to read everyone's comments. I hope all of you get a chance to see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince soon! :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Faith, Hope, and Ivy June

Faith, Hope, and Ivy June
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
5 out of 5 stars

In this small town in Kentucky, the folks have learned to despise the high class people a few towns over. They have new cars that run smoothly, constant job listings, and showers. When a new exchange program is introduced to the seventh grade classes of each town, only a few are willing to participate. The hardworking, good little Christian girl is chosen to visit a shy, perhaps spoiled, daughter of a rich newspaper editor and vise versa. Each of the girls make a new friend but how can they stay friends when their towns are unspoken enemies? Both are hesitant to learn about the other and Ivy June, the small town girl, may just have a reason for keeping quiet. While going through horrific events and keeping their accounts in journals, both girls are surprised about what they learn of faith, hope, and friendship.

Faith, Hope, and Ivy June is hard to put a label on. It’s not ‘coming of age’ or ‘first love’ or anything like that. It’s new and the story is completely unique and heart-wrenching. Finishing the whole book in a few sit-downs may be the easiest thing I’ve ever done because I was absorbed into these girls’ lives. I am a big fan of the narration and I’ve never read a book quite like that. Author Phyllis Reynolds Naylor has written the next big thing in middle grade fiction! The settings were imaginable and the characters were not ‘cheesy’, as some may call it. By looking at the cover, it may resemble the feel of a Lifetime movie but after reading it, you will find out that it doesn’t. (Take that as you will. ;) This book is not only about friendship, but about the strength a town can bring forth in a time of crisis.

*From what I can remember, this book contains nothing inappropriate.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Poll Winner

Last week's poll was ...

I want a:

golden key! I never know what it could unlock.
map to a time capsule made by one of my ancestors.
million dollars, duh.
boyfriend/girlfriend. :)

And the winner is ...

a million dollars, duh!

Thanks to everyone who voted for this poll and make sure to vote for the new one also! It's all for fun. :)

Friday, July 10, 2009

North of Beautiful

North of Beautiful
by Justina Chen Headley
5 out of 5 stars

AGES 13+

Terra Cooper: the girl who was laughed at in the first grade, the girl constantly shielding her dad’s snarky comments and the stares from not only children but adults alike. In the last year of high school, after countless laser treatments and doctor visits that failed to remove her birthmark, Terra is convinced that nothing will ever change her face. Whenever there is a new product that comes along and fails, her hopes always dwindle to even less. But it’s not all bad! She’s tall, has a stunning body, and has natural platinum blond hair. Plus, she’s got the hottest boy at school as a boyfriend. When she befriends a Goth Chinese boy, she figures out that he may know her even better than she does herself. And that this boy just may be her compass pointing to the True North of Beautiful.

Author Justina Chen Headley’s writing was exhilarating but was also soft and delicate. The whole picture was seen in her direct prose but the smallest details weren’t left out. I think this book has the least Is ever used which is something the author should be proud of. Though, at the beginning, the scenes were sometimes a little confusing, it introduced the characters realistically. The second half of the book is what put me on the edge of my comfy blue recliner because that’s where the characters start growing and changing their ways. Many people have said this but this book was beautiful. And sweet. And educational, in more ways than one.



Sunday, July 5, 2009

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is where I share with you the books I've gotten in the mail or the library. Maybe you'll find a book you want to read along the way!*

(idea by TheStorySiren)

Chasing Boys by Karen Tayleur

An insightful coming-of-age novel for girls with no interest in being “Pretty in Pink”.

El Marini just isn’t fitting into the new life she’s been forced to create without her dad. Her mom and sister have accepted his absence and moved on, but El is convinced things will get back to normal if she just keeps her feelings of loss to herself and waits it out.

Life at her new public school would have been unbearable if weren’t for Eric Callahan. As her crush grows to epic proportions, she’ll do anything to be more like the popular girls he notices, even buying the first pink top she’s ever owned. But then she meets Dylan, a quiet artistic-type who is both unnerving and annoying as he shines a light on El’s misguided attempts to attract Eric. El’s need for acceptance will hit home with teens as she finally sees that chasing boys has distracted her from making peace with the past and finding herself.

(This cover is super cute and I can't wait to read it! I really want to prove that it will 'hit home with teens' and flipping through the pages, I really like I'm going like this one! *received from the publishing company)

Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors

From the author of Saving Juliet comes a romantic comedy that is good to the last drop. When Katrina spots a homeless guy sleeping in the alley behind her grandmother’s coffee shop, she decides to leave him a cup of coffee, a bag of chocolate-covered coffee beans, and some pastries to tide him over. Little does she know that this random act of kindness is about to turn her life upside down. Because this adorable vagrant, Malcolm, is really a guardian angel on a break between missions. And he won’t leave until he can reward Katrina’s selflessness by fulfilling her deepest desire. Now if only she could decide what that might be.

(Saving Juliet sounded like a cute book so when the publishing company offered me to review this book, I gladly accepted! This author, I'm thinking, might be a keeper. *received an ARC from the publishing company)

In What If. . . You Broke All the Rules (by Liz Ruckdeschel), Haley will turn 16 on Valentine's Day. But there won't be any big parties or celebrations to mark the occasion—her parents are so distracted by their own lives that they forget her birthday. Haley's dad is absorbed in finishing his documentary, and Haley's mom is spending waaaay too much time with a former coworker from San Francisco. With Perry and Joan preoccupied, Haley will suddenly find herself in a world without rules. Will Haley turn into a wild child or do the responsible thing? And how will Haley choose to spend her spring break—with a trip to Paris with Sasha, to Sebastian's hometown of Seville, making a movie in New Jersey with Irene, or in the Hamptons with Coco, Whitney, and their crew? It's up to you to choose Haley's destiny!

(I've read two previous What If? books and completely enjoyed them. I hope this one doesn't let me down! *traded on PaperbackSwap)

Across the Pond by Storyheart

This doesn't have an official synopsis on the Barnes and Noble website but all the customers have rated it 5 stars. So that's a plus! :) *received from the author to review

I feel a little bad that I haven't read much lately and haven't written many reviews (I'm aiming for at least one a week.) and my to-read stack of books keeps ... on ... bringing ... in ... more. But I'm not complaining! I like books! I just need to find the time to read all of them. :)

That concludes what I've gotten in my mailbox this week! If you've read any of the books above, please leave a link to your review in the comments. I'd love to see what you thought of them! In return, I will definitely leave a comment on the review.

Poll Winner

Sorry this is a few days late but this was last week's poll:

I think ___ are cute.

mini hamburgers
three-year-old kids

And the winner is ...


Thanks to all you participated and make sure to vote for this week's poll! :)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

It's Independence Day!

So be happy like this dude. :)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Harry Potter and the Marvelous Giveaway

In celebration of the upcoming Harry Potter movie, a giveaway is being hosted right here on ReadingToMyself!

What is the giveaway for? you ask. To win 1 out of 5 new paperback editions of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows! After watching the new movie, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, on July 17th, you have to see how it ends, right?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (by J.K. Rowling)

"It all comes down to this - a final face off between good and evil. You plan to pull out all the stops, but every time you solve one mystery, three more evolve. Do you stay the course you started, despite your lack of progress? Do you detour and follow a new lead that may not help? Do you listen to your instincts, or your friends?

Lord Voldemort is preparing for battle and so must Harry. With Ron and Hermione at his side, he's trying to hunt down Voldemort's Horcruxes, escape danger at every turn, and find a way to defeat evil once and for all. How does it all end?

Find out in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." -synopsis

To visit the official (and might I add, lovely looking) Harry Potter site, click the book cover.

On July 17th, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will be in theaters across the country. So don't think you will be able to get out of it! (You know you want to see it.) And if you haven't heard of this movie, check out the trailer below! :)

To top things off, the five winners will also receive a collector's Harry Potter pin (3'' wide, 1'' tall).

How to Enter: To enter this contest, leave a comment below including your first name (or nickname) and your email address in code (ex: example(at)example(dot)com). If you do not provide an email address, you will not be entered. One entry per person, please! (Unless you comment with the optional second entry.)

I need your physical address. No P.O. Boxes.

Extra Entry: To receive an extra entry for the contest, post a link about Harry Potter and the Marvelous Giveaway on your blog (or Livejournal, Wordpress, etc.) and come back here to leave another comment with a link to your post.

Contest ends: Saturday, July 18th

(so you can read the book after watching the movie)