Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Heads Up!

Just a quick heads up to say that I'm taking a break from posting. I want to catch up on some reading without the pressure of writing reviews (which I will do eventually). But to keep up with the latest book reviews, check out the blogs I recommend here. :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Coffeehouse Angel


Anna’s Old World Scandinavian Coffeehouse used to be the hang out place. It used to have the best prices, the most tourists, and used to have all the customers. But ever since Java Heaven, the modern coffeehouse next door, started as a business two years ago, Anna’s only has a matter of time before the bills can’t be paid. The orphaned granddaughter, Katrina, of the owner has been working there since middle school and knows that they won’t be able to survive if they don’t get their customers back. When Malcolm, an angel on duty, offers Katrina one wish and explains that it has to be her biggest desire, she can’t figure out what she wants. Caught between teenage romances and medical bills, Katrina needs to get her head in the game before time runs out and she is thrown onto the street.

Coffeehouse Angel is best described as the feeling of staying inside on a rainy day, watching the water slide down the window and wondering what the generations before you did on such an occasion. It’s like cutting out paper hearts for no reason or picking a flower just because it’s pretty. There’s something on the inside of this book waiting to yell “Surprise!” but it never reveals itself. There are well-written, descriptive paragraphs that explain so much and contain the sweetness of the moment. I love the old-fashion touch the story has and the cute dialogue. Small comments put a smile on my face but they left as soon as they came.

The “adorableness” of it all changed when the main character’s attitude changed and sometimes I didn’t like her at all. It was a roller coaster! Jealousy, anger, sadness, drama. The anxiety of being a teenager was captured well, along with what it’s like to have a responsibility. The romance grew too fast to be realistic yet I found the cuteness of it enjoyable. The author’s talent is unmistakable! Overall, it was a fun story with unique settings and characters and great writing.

Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors
pages: 276 (reads like 180), release date: August 2009, publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers Ages: 11+, Rating: based on content and predictability
Contains: a wrong lesson, kissing, normal adults portrayed as stupid and selfish

STARS: 3.5 out of 5

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Before I Fall

Though I haven't been writing as many book reviews as I should (a fews book sitting on my dresser, waiting to be reviewed), I can still share with you what's coming up in the young adult book world. And coming out in March of 2010, is:

Before I Fall
by Lauren Oliver

synopsis- "Samantha Kingston has it all: the world’s most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the parking lot to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life.

Instead, it turns out to be her last.

Then she gets a chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing."

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (March 2, 2010)

I know most of you are going to agree with me when I say, this cover is beautiful! And catches the eye. :)

How, may you ask, did I find out about this book? A useful website called AuthorsNow! To speak directly to the author, click on the book cover and comment on the post. Look out for more books from this author in the years to come because her website URL just happens to say "Lauren Oliver Books".

Poll Winner

This week's poll was ...

A pair of shoes you wish you had.

Converse Chucks. They look so cool!
A comfortable pair of sneakers. They are really hard to find.
Black, strapped heels. Aren't they classy?
Some shoes that look exactly like my feet so that when I wear them, it looks like I'm barefoot. *snickers*

And the winner is ...

lookin' like you're barefoot! How fun! :)

Make sure to check out the new poll and thanks to those you voted on this one!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Book 2 Movie: Ever Read It?

The Possibility of Fireflies
by Dominque Paul

Synopsis: "I am sitting on my front stoop. I think it's about midnight. I was busy reading up until an hour ago, but my eyes started to hurt from squinting. Now it's just me and the waiting.

It's 1987 and fourteen-year-old Ellie Roma doesn't have much of a family. She lives with her mother, who has taken a break from parenting; and her older sister, Gwen, who is on her way to becoming a juvenile delinquent. Her father left them to start a new life.

So Ellie spends a lot of time alone, especially at night, when all she has to keep her company are the fireflies that flicker in the summer air. Then one day a mysterious stranger enters her dark world. He is Leo, twenty-one, who is on his way to Hollywood to become a rock star. Ellie and Leo connect instantly, and Ellie hopes Leo will be the one to rescue her from her unhappy life. But instead, Leo teaches Ellie that no one can save you. You have to go after what you want. So one night — one terrible, frightening, thrilling night — that's exactly what Ellie decides to do.

With a fresh perspective, first-time novelist Dominique Paul deftly weaves a family drama about chaos and dysfunction, with a young girl's journey of triumph. Full of humor and sorrow, heartbreak and hope, The Possibility of Fireflies is really a story that we all have to tell: the story of the summer we grew up."

From the post title, you probably guessed it. This book is going to be a movie! (Check out some of the details here.)

This book currently awaits to be read in my stack of books. It's really not that long so it's kind of a shame I haven't read it yet. But that doesn't mean you can't read it! (That is what this post is for.) If you have read it, please leave a link to your review. I'd love to see what you thought of it! :)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

I See You Everywhere

"A Christian Science Monitor Best Book of the Year

Julia Glass, the bestselling, National Book Award-winning author of Three Junes, returns with a tender, riveting book of two sisters and their complicated relationship.

Louisa Jardine is the older one, the conscientious student, precise and careful: the one who yearns for a good marriage, an artistic career, a family. Clem, the archetypal youngest, is the rebel: committed to her work saving animals, but not to the men who fall for her. In this vivid, heartrending story of what we can and cannot do for those we love, the sisters grow closer as they move further apart. All told with sensual detail and deft characterization, I See You Everywhere is a candid story of life and death, companionship and sorrow, and the nature of sisterhood itself." -RandomHouse

I See You Everywhere by Julia Glass
  • Format: Trade Paperback, 304 pages
  • On Sale: July 14, 2009
  • Price: $15.00
  • ISBN: 978-1-4000-7577-5 (1-4000-7577-7)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Links to Visit

TeensReadToo: A place to learn about great, new reads quickly and easily.

St. Martin's Reading Group Gold: Though not updated regularly, this is a good site for reading groups and a place where you can get free books. (Everyone wants free books, right?)

Readit Forward: The easiest place to get free books! Each month, they have three options of Advanced Reading Copies that you can choose to be sent to you (first come, first serve). They don't expect any review or comments (though it would be the polite thing to do ;).

RandomBuzz: Teenagers can earn points by participating in online activities and after acquiring so many points, they can spend them in the RandomStore (includes books, a gift card, etc.).

LibraryThing: You can post reviews, add books to your wishlist, ask to review books, and more! This site is mostly used to keep track of your books.

BookDivas: Doesn't matter if your a boy or girl, this is a place where you can share your enthusiasm about all the young adult books out there! There are contests posted regularly and interviews with some of the most well-known middle grade/young adult authors.

AuthorsNow!: Contests, posts about books coming out months from now, and a place where you can talk with authors one-on-one. How could you pass that up?

Poll Winner

This week's poll was ...

The first thing I do in the morning is:

eat! Gotta have those Pops!
(For some of you who didn't understand that, it's a catch phrase for the Corn Pops cereal.)
finish the chapter I was reading the night before.
do my homework.
use the restroom! It's been seven hours!

And from the total votes of 15, the winner is ...

you have to use the restroom! How convenient!

Thanks to all fifteen people who participated and make sure to do the same on the next one. :)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Free E-Book

Though I'm not a fortunate owner of an E-book reader, I was notified about a new, free e-book.

The free book I'm talking about is:

My Soul to Lose by Rachel Vincent, the prequel of the new young adult series Screamers.

To go to the page where you can download it, click on the cover.

Weight Loss Books: What's Your Opinion?

“Two women are complete opposites: one’s round, short, and sometimes even called ‘fat’ The other’s tall, slim, and girls want to be just like her. But both are wearing the same pair of jeans, even in the same size.”

Does this make sense to you? Can two women look totally different and still be exactly the same? Sometimes, it offends me. For an example, The Perfectly True Tales of a Perfect Size 12. Look at the cover:

Does she look fat to you? In the book, everyone around Delilah (the girl on the cover) thinks her weight is an issue but Delilah herself doesn’t think much of it unless someone across the room is staring at her body. I don’t think the girl on the cover is fat. In fact, I think she is the perfect size (a perfect size 12). Even in her biography, Robin Gold the author states that she was only one size smaller than her protagonist.

In the first chapter of Giving Up the ‘V’, it was written that the main character was ashamed of her size: 13 junior. The author even shared her exact weight: 162 lbs. Now that’s a way to bring in readers, right? To make the reader feel bad about themselves?

I think author Justina Chen Headley was very thoughtful when writing North of Beautiful. She didn’t point out the mother’s weight in the book, though it was portrayed as an issue. That is the perfect example of how not to turn readers away while having a weight issue in a book. Thanks for that, Justina!

Now that I think of it, there are a lot of weight loss books out there (a topic that I think is a little overused nowadays). What do you think of this topic? Do you think the books should be selling? I understand that people need to have a book in their own terms so they can relate but do you think sometimes it may be a little specific?

There have been a lot of weight loss books written. In your opinion, is that good or bad?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley

ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley

Popularity, the handsome Damen, and a friend is all Charlotte wanted. The new school year would bring all these things closer to Charlotte, she knew it, if only she changed herself a tad bit. But the first day of junior year, things don’t go as planned. After a deadly incident involving a gummy bear, Charlotte finds herself on the Other Side of the school. She is able to be on the outside looking in, without the Living Kids seeing her staring with eager eyes: something she always felt but finally came true. It isn’t exactly a dream though because now Damen can’t fall in love with her! Then Charlotte finds out she is still in high school but having to learn from a dead teacher about Deadiquette, though her hope to become popular is still shining. But when Charlotte discovers that one of the Living Kids can see her, her hope only shines brighter …

ghostgirl was enjoyable after the first 30 pages. The beginning was dull but when I met the Dead Kids, everything was becoming ‘fun’. Though the dialogue was predictable, I couldn’t get enough of it! I’m not a fan of the narration (third person but completely descriptive) and the death references took up a lot of space. Things like “dying to be popular” and “he doesn’t even know I’m alive” were funny the first time, but they soon became overused.

Charlotte was selfish and only cared about herself (she even admitted to it) but this is the story of how hard she tried to overcome that. Her logic was interesting and her decisions made the storyline twist and turn with every chapter. The Dead Kids added so much to the story that I can’t imagine it without them. They each explained their Life and their Death which was utterly fascinating. Author Tonya Hurley’s voice is fun and distinctive but I’d like to see how she would use it in a different book.

pages: 328 (but reads like 250), ages: 14 +, release date: August 2008, publisher: Little, Brown
Contains: profanity, sensuality, and a few inappropriate comments
(4 starred reviews) “Goofy, ghastly, intelligent, electrifying.” -Kirkus

Stars: 4 out of 5

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Undercover Book Lover (well, not really)

The fairly-new book blogger, The Undercover Book Lover, has organized a blog that's ... well ... organized. She has jumped right into author interviews already! Her sister has also just started a blog, YA Book Reviews (check out her review of Shrinking Voilet here. Blurb: "...this is a great book, a positive lesson to learn.")

So go check out these two great new bloggers! Your encouraging comments would be most appreciated. :)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Blogs to Check Out

Here are some blogs you should visit!

There are few bloggers out there I like reading posts from and these just happen to be it:

EmilyRuth from Aye Captain

The things I like about her blog: Her insightful reviews describe everything I need to know about the book (mostly the small details other reviewers don't add). She is polite and updates regularly with interesting posts (never too long or short).

TheBookworm from Au Courant

The things I like about her blog: Now this is a blogger who is not afraid to share her opinions! I envy her thoroughly-explained reviews and I understand how part of her Evermore review got published at the beginning of it's sequel. (Look in the front of Blue Moon by Alyson Noel.)

Priya from Book Crumbs

The things I like about her blog: Her reviews are short and sweet. And there is always some interesting fact I learn from visiting her blog. It may be hard to remember the URL so put Book Crumbs on your favorites or subscribe to her on GoogleReader.

Ms. Mazzola from State of Denmark

The things I like about her blog: This may, in fact, be the coolest school teacher I know. Her opinions on young adult and adult books are something you don't hear every day. Her voice is original and reading about what she has to say about the topics in our day is something you can't miss out on.

The Children's Book Reporter from The Book Report

The things I like about the blog: She has a great selection of books and a great opinion to go with them. Though her background is white, the page always seems to pop when you visit. And I love the widgets she picks out! :)

Morgan from Books and Literature for Teens

The things I like about her blog: The reviews are filled with helpful information! I love the layout of them and of her other posts. She tries her hardest to share the news of all the book young adult books out there and she definitely succeeds!

Arya from Sea of Pages

Things I like about her blog: It's simple! She's straight-to-the-point with all her posts. I respect her opinion and, someday, she will be a published author. She is ready to introduce to you a bundle of great middle grade reads so stop by and visit.