Friday, July 30, 2010

Book Review: Falling for Romeo by Jennifer Laurens

"The pleasant memory of his mouth on hers, the sweet taste of spearmint, coupled with the fact that she hated that she liked the kiss, had Jennifer looking with distaste at her reflection in the compact." (pg.6)

Published: October 1st, 2007 by Grove Creek Publishing
Description (from Goodreads):
John can have any girl he wants. Jennifer's never been kissed. Everybody thinks he's perfect. She's got issues with pride and jealousy. They were best friends-once. Now, they're playing Romeo and Juliet. Virgin lips Jennifer must have her first kiss on stage with John, the guy every girl in school wants. The pressure and tension build along with each staged kiss. Both are shocked when feelings bloom. Can either tell which kisses are real and which are for show?(

My thoughts:
John Michaels. Dreamy and handsome. Every girls dream. He is one of the most popular students of his high school. Everyone admires him, and wherever he goes or whatever he does, he catches attention and admiration.
Jennifer Vienvu. A pretty girl with a true passion for theater. She is known for her talents at the stage. She is not unpopular, but neither one of the popular kids. For years, she has been the favorite of the demanding direction Chip, but this year, there could be a change to that.

John and Jennifer have been casted to play Romeo and Juliet in the school production. It is their senior year, and they want to take everything out from the performance. But Jennifer starts to worry when it is time for rehearsing; she has never been kissed, and now she would have to kiss John Michaels, the guy every girl in the school would love kiss, in front of the whole school plus the parents and other viewers. 

John and Jennifer has a shared history. They are neighbor's, and years ago, they were also best friends. They used to share everything together, they were inseparable.  But when John came popular, their friendship got behind everything. Now, they are united again. And they both have feelings for each other. Can they bear their pride, and tell each other what they feel? 

I really liked this book. There are some things I would have liked to know more about though; why John became so popular? (Okey, he was talented; he was one of the best members of the track team, he was a student council vice president, and he was just generally hot). But I would have liked to known was there something else behind it. But even without the knowledge of that, the book was an amazing read.

John and Jennifer are reading Pride and Prejudice in their class, and I really enjoyed reading the class discussions they had about my favorite book ever. I also liked how the story kind of built up like Pride and Prejudice; both, Jenn and John, are proud and do not want to be the first ones to give their feelings out. I am also a fan of theater and I will be directing my first play this year, so it was interesting to read something about the world of the high school theater. I can't wait to get to work with our school production.

This was my first novel read by Jennifer Laurens, but I am definitely looking for more. 'Falling for Romeo' was a positive surprise which I  recommend to all readers who love Young Adult fiction. 

I want to thank Grove Creek Publishing for sending me a review copy of this novel.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Book Review: The Possibilities of Sainthood by Donna Freitas

"But then, all Catholics are a weird bunch. Especially the Italian ones." (pg. 6)

Published: August 5th, 2008 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Description (from Goodreads):
Antonia Lucia Labella has two secrets: at fifteen she's still waiting for her first kiss, and she wants to be a saint. An official one. To Antonia, saints are royalty and she wants her chance at being a princess.
All her life she's kept company with these kings and queens of small favors, knowing exactly whom to pray to on every occasion. Afraid of tripping in gym class? Try St. Sebastian, athletic and golden. Working in the family store? Light a candle for St. Leonard, Patron Saint of Grocers. And a good all-purpose one: St. Jude, Patron Saint of Desperate Situations and Hopeless Causes.
Unfortunately, the two events Antonia has waited for her whole life seem equally unlikely to happen. It's not for lack of trying. Every month for the last eight years, Antonia has sent a petition to the Vatican proposing a new patron saint and bravely offering herself for the post. (So what if she's not dead?) And how long has she been praying for the attention of the tall, dark, and so good-looking Andy Rotellini? Too long to mention.
But as Antonia learns, in matters of sainthood, things are about as straightforward as wound-up linguini, and in matters of the heart, she's on her own.

My thoughts:
Antonia is a bit obsessed about saints. She knows a lot about them, and she always as a saint in mind for different situations in life. Since she was little, she has idolized those creatures of the catholic royalty, and she has decided that she wants to be one as well; the first living saint of the Catholic Church.

Antonia lives at Rhode Island with her mother and grandmother. Since her father death, her mother has been wearing all black and she has refused to date other men. Antonia's grandmother is a funny little lady who remembers thing well from the past and not so well from the present. Antonia's mother is famous for her pasta which is sold on the market they own. The market, which happens to be at the same building with their apartment, gives both joy and headache for Antonia.

Antonio is working at the market daily. When she hears that the guy she has been in love with for years, Andy Rotellini, is going to work at the market, she thinks that her life is going to change. She is already dreaming about her first kiss with Andy; she wants it to be the most romantic moment of her life. But is Andy what she really thinks he is? And is there more than friendship between Antonia and Michael, a guy Antonia calls "her friend".

I loved 'The Possibilities of Sainthood' by Donna Freitas. It introduces the reader to a different culture (American-Italians) and a different religion. I did not have that much of previous knowledge about the saints of the Catholic church, but I must say that this book taught me a lot. I've been wanting to travel to Italy for years now (this books takes place at US, but it vividly describes the Italian culture) and this book made me want to pack my bags and leave. 

The novel is also really funny. It is interesting to read Antonia narrating the different situations of her life. Also the way she describes the other characters, especially her mother, is hilarious. 'The Possibilities of Sainthood' by Donna Freitas is an interesting read about a catholic girl who dreams of becoming a living saint. After writing several letters to Vatican to enquiry different saint positions, she understands, that maybe she can be a saint without the approval of the Vatican city; she can be a saint in the eyes of people. 

I recommend 'The Possibilities of Sainthood' to the fans of young adult fiction. If you want to learn something about the Catholic religion, saints and Italian culture, this is a funny and adorable read for you.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Book Review: A Season of Eden by J.M. Warwick

"He came from the rear of the room, a kiss of scent , a whisper of corduroy and denim on a brisk, confident walk." (pg.1)

Published: October 20th 2008 by Grove Creek Publishing
Description (from Goodreads):
He's my teacher. I shouldn't be alone with him. But I can't help that he's irresistible. I let the door silently close at my back. He stared at me, and a taut quiet stretched between us. "I like hearing you play," I said, moving toward him. He turned, in sync with my slow approach. He looked up at me but didn't say anything. I rested my clammy hand on the cold, slick body of the baby grand. "May I?" The muscles in his throat shifted, then he swallowed. "Eden." My knees weakened, like a soft tickling kiss had just been blown against the backs of them. "Is it okay?" I asked. His gaze held mine like two hands joined. He understood what I was really asking. "Let me stay," I said. "Please." "You're going to get me in trouble," he said.

My thoughts:
Eden is a high school senior with rich but distant father and a bitchy stepmother. She is a popular girl, a dream girl of many guys. She is dating Matt and she hangs around with the coolest kids of the school. She herself is one of them. When she decides to attend concert choir class for easy A, she does not have a clue how this decision changes her life.

Mr. Christian. James. He is 22 years old and for the first time, works as a teacher. When he walks into the concert choir class room, he is admired by the girls of the class. Particularly by one of them. As time goes, he builds an attraction towards Eden, his student. 

From the moment Eden sees Mr. Christian, something changes. She understands that he is a man, not a boy. But she also knows that he is her teacher. But in the name of love, she is ready to do everything to make sure she gets what she wants. She is used of getting what she wants. 

Eventually Mr. Christian and Eden start to see each other "accidentally". But can a relationship work like this? What will happen to Mr. Christian and Eden? Will someone find out about the feelings that should not be there?

I loved this novel. Eden, a girl who is used to have everything she wants, falls in love with a guy she cannot have. Mr. Christian is handsome, talented and kind. He is a great singer and because of his young age, he is able to identify with the class and that way he gets them interested about the music. First, Eden stalks Mr. Christian, follows him home etc. but eventually she learns that it will do nothing for her. When she discovers that Mr. Christian might also have feelings for her, everything changes. 

I loved the writing style of J.M.Warwick. The reader is engaged and you just have to keep going. This is the second book I read in English about the relationship between teacher and a student; I have read 'Teach Me' by R.A. Nelson a couple of years ago. Even though a relationship between teacher and a student is wrong, there definitely is chemistry between Mr. Christian and Eden. And through the description of Mr. Christian, I think I would fall in love with a guy like him as well.

I want to thank Grove Creek Publishing for sending me a review copy of this gorgeous novel. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Day I Lost My Temper: about body and books

This is the type of post I normally do not post in my blog. But right now, I am so pissed, that I want to write about it.

So, to start with, I am normally really patient and I do not lose my temper. When something pisses me, I just go through it in my head without bothering other people. But today, I really lost my temper and I just wanted to yell and scream and run around with knifes (well, maybe I wasn't that extreme...yet).

I have a friend. Well, I have a lot of friends. But now I am talking about this one particular friend. She has a boyfriend. And that boyfriend; he is a pain in the ass. He is so full of himself; he thinks he is the most wonderful and amazing person in the whole universe. Well, maybe he is, but not in my eyes. And this boy happens to have something against me... well, particularly against me reading books and my looks. 

I am a plus size girl, and I am proud about it. I am proud about my curves and I am totally comfortable in my body; I love myself as I am. Of course, I do not feel beautiful everyday, but who does? Most of my friends are skinny, some of them even below skinny. But I don't care. I don't want to diet, I don't want to lose weight; I am happy as I am. But this guy has some problems with it. 

"She reads because she is so fat", "She reads because she is too lazy to do any sports". EXCUSE ME! I read because I enjoy it. I read because books take me to another world were I do not have to deal with assholes like you. I read because through my love to books I have get to know some amazing people (I mean the ones who are actually reading this... yes, YOU! :) ) who share same interest towards literature as I do. 

I do not read because I am so fat. Books have nothing to do with my weight. I don't read because I am lazy. Well, maybe I sometimes am, but it has nothing to do with books either. And everyone is lazy sometimes, right? It is true, that I do not do sports very much, but that is for another reasons; I do not get anything out of it, I just don't enjoy it. I have problems with my knee and my ankle (which I broke about 2 months ago), so I cannot even really do sports right now; DOCTOR'S ORDER. 

I hate the fact that some people cannot except that I read because I LOVE IT. This same guy has been mocking me about my love towards books previously, telling that reading is only for the stupid people. He apparently is so smart already that he does not have to read anymore. The same guy thought that he would write better plays than William Shakespeare. So, yeah, I probably don't have explain my point further.

And what comes to my body, and bodies in general. I think it is everyone's own business how skinny or fat you are. As I wrote before, I am happy as I am, and I do not feel that I have to change myself. If I want change, I do it for myself, not for someone else. 

Have you been in a situation like this? Has someone made fun of your reading? Would you like to read more stuff like this?

Fictional Lover of the Week: Chuck Bass

Today, I want to introduce you to Ed Westwick, the man behind Chuck Bass.

Name: Edward "Ed" Westwick
Born: June 27th, 1987 in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England

Ed was trained at the National Youth Theatre in London. He has appeared on British shows such as Doctors and Casualty, but his big hit has been the role of Chuck Bass on American TV series, Gossip Girl. He has also guest starred on Californication in which he played a student fascinated with vampire literature. Movies you can spot Ed from are e.g. Children on Men, Breaking and Entering and 100 Feet. 

Westwick was the front man of British Indie rock band 'The Filthy Youth'. He is now inactive in the band, largely because he wants to focus on his career and because the other band members are based in UK, he has shown interest to form another group at New York City. 

Ed has won three Teen Choice Awards, two for best TV Villain and one for best male TV star. He has also worked as a face for K-Swiss. Ed dated a Gossip Girl co-star, Jessica Szohr (Vanessa), from late 2008 to early 2010. The relationship broke because apparently Szohr was unfaithful (at least that is what I read from Perez Hilton).  

Who can resist Ed with his gorgeous looks and British accent? 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Book Review: The Year of Secret Assigments by Jaclyn Moriarty

"Shakespeare got started using this book? Wait till I tell my English teacher" (pg.2)

Published: February1st 2004 by Scholastic Us
Description (from Goodreads):
Popular Aussie writer Jaclyn Moriarty, author of the smash debut, Feeling Sorry for Celia avoids the notorious sophomore slump with this bouncy epistolary follow-up that is brimming with self-confidence and charm. In The Year of Secret Assignments, a tenth grade English teacher attempts to unite feuding schools by launching a pen-pal project. Best friends Cassie, Emily and Lydia initiate the correspondence, and are answered by Matthew, Charlie and Seb. Emily and Lydia are more than pleased with their matches, but quiet Cassie has a frightening experience with Matthew. When Lydia and Emily discover that Matthew has threatened their fragile friend, the Ashbury girls close ranks, declaring an all-out war on the Brookfield boys. Soon, the couples are caught up in everything from car-jacking and lock-picking, to undercover spying and identity theft.
Moriarty's captivating comedy of manners reads like a breezy 21st century version of Jane Austen--with no end of ridiculous misunderstandings, angst-ridden speeches, and heartfelt make-ups. Female teen fans of Ann Brasheres' The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and Megan McCafferty's Sloppy Firsts will waste no time swapping copies of The Year of Secret Assignments, with all their best buds. (Ages 12 and up) --Jennifer Hubert

My thoughts:
Lydia, Emily and Cassie. They have been best friends since they were little. Their parents all are lawyers who also have been friends before the birth of the girls. Now Lydia, Emily and Cassie are 10th graders from Ashbury high school. They love to hang around, just the three of them, skip lessons to go to the movies, and to make up random food without recipes during the weekends at someone's house. Since their parents are lawyers, they always get a house for all of them; every weekend someone's parents are on a seminar etc. 

Lydia is loud, extreme and she has a great sense of humor. She dreams of becoming a writes some day. Her father is judge of Supreme Court and her mother is a retired Soap Opera Star.  Emily loves shopping, chocolate and horses. She has two horses of her own. Cassie is the most sensible one of the girls. She is quiet and does not really open up to others that Lydia and Emily. She loves singing, but she has a terrible stage fright. She has lost her father only a year ago and is still going through the progress of grief. 

When a pen-pal project between Ashbury (I get the sense that it is one of those preppy schools for the kids of rich people) and Brookfield High is launched, there is prejudice on the both sides. Everyone at Ashbury thinks that Brookfield High students deal drugs and get into problems when at the same time at Brookfield the kids think that everyone at Ashbury are rich and arrogant.

Lydia's pen pal from Brookfield, Seb, is a sensitive guy who loves art and is obsessed about soccer. Emily's pen pal Charlie is a sweet guy with some problems. Cassie's pen pal, Matthew is a total mystery. First he threatens Cassie in every possible way, but then takes 360 and is really nice towards Cassie. Lydia and Emily both are happy about their pen-pals, when Cassie is in doubt. Can she trust Matthew? Is Matthew really as nice as he seems to be via his letters? When a secret about Matthew is revealed, Lydia and Emily want to help their hurt friend. A war between the schools is declared. What will happen? Who will win? Find out by reading 'The Year of Secret Assigments'.

This book is told via letters, e-mails, diary entries and notes. This is the second book I read which was told that way. Last year I read 'Heart of my Sleeve' which was written the same way. Even though I also enjoyed Heart on my Sleeve, I must say I liked this one a bit more.

Lydia, Emily and Cassie are all likable characters. I like Lydia's wit and sense of humor and I feel bad for Cassie who has lost her father; I can identify with her, I know how it feels to lose your father. Somehow I feel that Emily was a little in the shadows of Lydia and Cassie. But it is only my opinion. From these three girls, I liked Lydia the most. Someway I also felt that she is the backbone of the friendship of these three girls; she always figures out something fun and extreme to do and that way keeps the friendship interesting. 

When the new pen-pals of the girls are introduced, I right away knew that there is something wrong with Cassie's pen-pal Matthew. You will be totally surprised, when the whole truth about him is discovered. From the three guys, I must say that I liked Lydia's pen-pal, Seb, the most. He is obsessed with soccer and remembers the winners of the World Cup from the history. He is very artistic and sensible, and that is what I personally love in a guy. 

It is very interesting to read a book written in a way this was written. Somehow it makes the reading experience more personal; you are reading someone's letter and e-mails. 'The Year of Secret Assigments' was a nice and fast read with a lot of action and humor. I recommend this book for the fans of YA novels. If you haven't read a book in a form of letters/e-mails etc. I think this book would be a perfect one to start from.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Anniversary of Jane Austen's Death

Dear Jane,
I want to honor you and your work today, the anniversary of your death. I want to tell you that you are loved and respected by people around the world; not just today, but everyday. Your novels and characters have made people fall in love with literature. At least that happened to me. After finishing Pride and Prejudice for the first time, I knew that literature is something I really love, something I want to work with when I grow up. Reading your novels made me fall in love with reading, and eventually with blogging. 
Your characters and the world you write about make me want to build a time machine so I could experience what a day in Elizabeth Bennet's or Catherine Morland's life is like. Your gentlemen, for example Fitzwilliam Darcy and George Knightley have made me realize what I really want from a man (and that probably has doomed me into a life long spinsterhood since I think I will never find a man like your heroes). 
I want to thank you for writing these amazing, life changing novels. I know that you probably never expected that your novels would be read almost 200 years after you death. But I can promise you that us, your fans, will keep your novels up and they will be read 300 years after your death. 
Through your novels, you are here to stay, and you will be remembered with warm and respect. Thanks again!

I wanted to post something as tribute to my favorite author ever, Jane Austen. Today is the 193th anniversary of her death. 

Monday, July 12, 2010

Book Review: The Echoes of Love (Jane Austen in 21st century) by Rosie Rushton

"Anna had noticed Felix the moment she arrived: for one thing, he was the only black guy in the crowded marquee that had been erected on one of the paddocks at the Musgrove's farm; and for another, he was seriously hot." (pg.40)

Published: February 26th, 2010 by Piccadilly Press Ltd
Description (the back cover of the book):
What would happen if Jane Austen's PERSUASION was set in the twenty-first century?

Anna Eliot adored the gorgeous Felix Wentworth, but still called an end to their relationship. As time passes, Anna wonders if strict parents, interfering friends and misplaced loyalties had more to do with it than she wants to admit...
Now he's back from fighting in Afganistan and Anna longs to rekindle their relationship- but will he give her a second chance? Or will the echoes of the past prove too difficult to overcome?
An ecovative tale of the perils of listening to others, instead of your own heart.

My thoughts:
This is the fourth 'Jane Austen in 21st century' novel by Rosie Rushton I read. The one that I still want to read is Sense&Sensibility of 21st century. Even though I have enjoyed the previous titles read, this one became my favorite while I was reading the first couple of chapters of this novel.

Anna Eliot is a daugter of Walter Eliot, a famous TV show host who has recently been on the media because of this outbursts at wrong occasions. Walter is is difficult economical position; he has lost his job and he just keeps spending money without understanding that he is really broke. Anna's older sister Gaby, a favorite of her father, wants to be a model and is not ready to change the lifestyle she is used to. Anna's little sister, Mallory, isn't ready for the change either. After the death of their mother, the middle child Anna, the sensible and responsible one, has taken the role of the mother; she is the one trying to make her father understand that they are broke. There is also Marina, Anna's godmother, who has promised to Anna's mother to take care of the family.

Since Walter is on bad economical situation, he has to give his house for rent and move to live at a different city for a while. Ruth and Joseph Croft, a couple who has been traveling the world for the past years, rent the house. When Anna understand's who Ruth and Joseph are, leaving her home gets harder. When Ruth starts to talk about the homecoming of his nephew, Felix, Anna understands that she has to stick to the surroundings to meet Felix... again.

Anna and Felix. It was love at the first sight. Felix, a gorgeous, tall guy Anna meets at the party steals her heart. After meeting Felix, nothing is the same. Anna feels like only with Felix, she can be herself. But nothing goes as Anna wishes for and sooner of later, she notices that she is in a situation where she has to choose between Felix and the loyalty to her family. Anna's persuasive father and god mother force Anna do a decision she will regret for her whole life.

Now Felix is back. He has been serving at Afganistan; he is a military hero now. When Anna sees Felix again all the feelings get back to the surface. But Felix acts like he does not even notice Anna. Can Felix forgive Anna, or will Anna be watching Felix falling love with another girl? 

'Echoes of Love' is the modern re-telling of Jane Austen's classic novel Persuasion. You all probably already know that I love Jane Austen and everything related to her. So when I for the first time heard about the Jane Austen 21st century novels written by Rosie Rushton, I was hyped. I bought the previous copies I have reviewed from London when I was there on August 2009, and now when I visited the city again on April, I bought this one which was published on February of this year. 

I really liked the character of Anna in this novel. She is strong and independent, but when the loyalty to her family gets into the questions, she acts in a way she later on regrets. I understand why she acts as she does; her father and god mother can be very persuasive. And when Anna's mother, who has died a couple of years earlier, is brought into the discussion, she thinks that the only thing she can do is to do as her father and godmother say. But even after her decision, she does not stop thinking about Felix.

Felix. A gorgeous, hot, black guy; a guy totally from a different world with Anna. I really liked the fact that Rushton's Wentworth is a black guy. It brings a totally new twist into the story. The character of Felix is almost as gorgeous as Austen's captain Wentworth. You can personally find our why; I don't want to spoil the best parts of the novel. ;)

I really like Rushton's style of writing; she engages the reader and the book is hard to put down. I think the reason why I liked this one the most of the books I've read by Rushton is the fact that I, in a way, was able to identify with Anna. When Felix leaves, she only can think of him and she thinks that she cannot continue her life without him. I also have been in a situation when I have had to left when I was in a relationship with someone; it is two years from that but I still sometimes feel that leaving was the worst decision I've ever made.

'Jane Austen in 21st Century' novels are great for young readers who want to get familiar with Jane Austen, but who do not want to read the original pieces. (You should read them, there is nothing that can be compared to them.) And of course, all the lovers of Jane Austen will love these 21st century remakes with new twists to the old story we love so much. 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Book Review: Evermore (The Immortals #1) by Alyson Noël

"But I don't know any of this from spying or peeking or even being told. I know because I'm psychic." 

Published (paperback): February 3rd 2009 by St. Martin's Griffin
Description (from Goodreads):
Since a horrible accident claimed the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever can see auras, hear people’s thoughts, and know a person’s life story by touch.   Going out of her way to shield herself from human contact to suppress her abilities has branded her as a freak at her new high school—but everything changes when she meets Damen Auguste…
Ever sees Damen and feels an instant recognition.  He is gorgeous, exotic and wealthy, and he holds many secrets.  Damen is able to make things appear and disappear, he always seems to know what she’s thinking—and he’s the only one who can silence the noise and the random energy in her head.  She doesn’t know who he really is—or what he is.  Damen equal parts light and darkness, and he belongs to an enchanted new world where no one ever dies.

My thoughts:
Ever has lost her family in a car accident. Her mother, father, little sister Riley and dog Buttercup died. She was the only one who survived. The popular, athletic girl from Oregon changes into a girl who tries to hide herself, a girl who every else sees as a freak. Ever moves to Orange County, California to live with her aunt Sabine. At school she is seen as a freak and her only friends are Haven, a wannabe goth girl who tries to get attention to herself, and Miles, a gay guy, who is like one of the girls. 

Ever can see people's auras. She can hear what they think. From touching someone, she can see their whole lifestory spread like a movie in front of her eyes. She is able to hear what people are thinking about her, she is able to hear their problems, their secrets. The daily appearances of Riley, Ever's death sister keep her somewhat sane. 

Everything changes when a new student, Damen Auguste appears. Dames is gorgeous, wealthy, and sometimes it feels like he is from the past times. He catches every girls (and guys) attention and surprisingly, he chooses to hang around with Ever, Haven and Miles. Ever falls in love with Damen even though she tries not to do so. With Damen, Ever feels like a normal girl, she does not hear his thoughts, and his touch feels good. But also Damen has a secret of his own, a secret which changes Ever's life for good.

I got this book from the library about 3 or 4 months ago. (There are not that many readers who read YA novels in English, so I pretty much can keep these books forever at home without the library wanting them back). I was not sure was I going to read this one. I have read so mixed reviews about this book; some say it is amazing, some say that it is wasting of your time to read it. I am happy I picked it up since I LOVED IT! 

Firstly, I of course fell in love with Damen. He is just gorgeous; dark, tall, handsome, mysterious... the list just goes on. What really surprised me was the fact that I liked Ever all the way from the beginning. I normally don't like the female main characters; for example, even though I love the Twilight Saga, I cannot stand Bella, at least not at the beginning. Her personality just makes me go crazy. But because of Edward, I can stand her. Ever, on the other hand, is independent and strong. She has experienced something horrible; she has lost her family and she was the only one to survive. I can somewhat identify with her, I've lost one member of my family, and I know how it feels; you just hope that it could have been you, not the person lost and you just keep punishing yourself about the lost, you keep feeling that it was your fault.

This book definitely is one of the best ones I've read this year so far. I really want to read the second book in the series, but the library does not have it. This always happens to me; I want to read some series and the library only has the first book. 

I recommend this novel for everyone. It is that good! Just read it! You won't regret it.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

ReadReadRead Interview's Emma Michaels, the author of 'The Thirteenth Chime'

Today I have an honor to introduce you to Emma Michaels. Emma's debut novel, 'The Thirteenth Chime' will be published on August 13th, 2010 by Bokheim Publishing.

ReadReadRead: Emma, what were your first feelings when you heard that your novel, The Thirteenth Chime will be published?

Emma Michaels:*laughs* I think I quite literally shrieked with glee. I think I made both my fiance and my small chihuahua jump surprised into the air when I shrieked. I might be an adult, but every now and then there is this moment that pops up that brings out the ecstatic little girl in me and that was one of them!

ReadReadRead: Can you tell us something about the process of writing and getting published?

Emma Michaels: Writing your first book can be overwhelming. But don't let the process overwhelm you - just write! When it comes to getting published, you're going to run into the occasional (or in my case, frequent) agent that sends you back the standard response of "I'm sorry, we just don't feel that your book is quite what we're looking for right now, but another agent might feel differently, so please feel free to address them". I can't tell you how many of those I received... well, actually I can, I've kept count (104)! But when I began contacting publishers directly? Everything changed. So don't give up! It can be overwhelming, but just keep writing and keep trying!

ReadReadRead: You debut novel will be published on Friday the 13th of August. Generally Friday the 13th is seen as a day of bad luck. Do you believe that it will be a day of good luck for you? Are you superstitious?

Emma Michaels: Some people do see Friday the 13th as a day of bad luck. I, however, think it is going to be a day of great luck for me. I mean, you get to stay inside and enjoy a book on a day that you might have otherwise had to go out and deal with who knows what - how awesome is that? I'm not truly superstitious, no, but I do try to be cautious. I mean, you never know. Just because I don't doesn't mean that there isn't someone or something out there that disagrees with me! But overall, I hope people will enjoy "The Thirteenth Chime", whether they are superstitious or not.

ReadReadRead: You are also a young adult book blogger and reviewer. How much reading book blogs and reviews by others has affected your own book choices and also your writing?

Emma Michaels: Well, I have always loved reading young adult books since I was very young. Many of the book blogs and reviews by others that I have been reading have not only suggested some really great books for me to read, but it showed me that the genre I am interested in writing is doing well and that readers want new books with new ideas! I'm hoping that as my book comes out, that I will be able to inspire others as I have been inspired.

ReadReadRead: Can you mention some of your favorite authors and novels?

Emma Michaels: Tamora Pierces's "In the Hand of the Goddess" and Sharon Shinn's "The Twelve Houses" series. I really love Tamora Pierce's books because she started my strange obsession with Young Adult novels and I think I will always be a fan!

ReadReadRead: I want to thank you for this interview and good luck with your debut novel, The Thirteenth Chime.

Emma Michaels: Thank you for having me and to everyone reading. Your support means so much to me!!!!

The Thirteenth Chime by Emma Michaels
Published: August 13th 2010 by Bokheim Publishing
Description (from Goodreads):
No one knew of its existence until it was removed from the attic upstairs.

In a beautiful house that overlooks the sea, an antique clock has the power to change the course of their lives.

The power the clock resonates will not only force Destiny and ex-boyfriend David on a journey into the depths of one man's mind long dead, but into the mind of a man filled with hatred and bent on revenge.

With the only clues to the nature of the clock having disappeared into the sea, Destiny and David must retrace the steps the man had taken into the darkness, before they fall prey to the trap he had set in motion over half a century ago.

Hatred never dies.  

I want to thank Emma for the amazing interview. Please check out Emma's blog, Emma's website, and the website for Emma's upcoming novel, the Thirteenth Chime.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Book Review: The Man of my Dreams by Curtis Sittenfeld

The story begins from 1991. Hannah Gavener is fourteen years old. She reads celebrity magazines filled with happy, beautiful celebrity couples getting married while her parents' marriage is crumbling. Between these extremities Hannah tries to find the answer for the universal question; what defines a perfect marriage? What does she want from the man of her dreams? Over the next decade and half she moves around the United States and still she has no found the answer to her question. Who is to blame? Can she blame her parents from the messed up childhood she had, or does she have to take the blame to herself. Is the act to trying to find your soulmate childish, is settling up with someone who is great, but not your soulmate, the adult thing to do?

Hannah's life is filled with complicated relationships. Her father is as stubborn as she is, her cousin Fig is gorgeous and fun, but her misbehavious has always affected Hannah's life as well, Henry, Figs college boyfriend, who catches Hannah's attention, and all the boyfriends Hannah has, who love her, adore her, or break her heart. At her late twenties, after all the disappointments in her love life, Hannah learns what she wants. Bu does she have the courage to go after it? 

This was such as good book. It is filled with great characters who by their personalities and actions build up the story. The plot moves nicely and smootly. The Man of my Dreams is filled with honesty and humor and it tells how our personal choices and acts in life affect ourselves and others. Can Hannah find what she wants, or is she ready to settle down to something lesser?

I really loved PREP by Curtis Sittenfeld and I must say that I enjoyed this one almost as much as I enjoyed PREP. This is a nice, light read I recommend to everyone. So if you see this somewhere, you should check it out!

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Official Trailer to Dark Divine by Bree Despain

Check out this awesome trailer to Bree Despain's Dark Divide.

I must say, it looks really goood!

Book Review: My So-called Life: The Tragically Normal Diary of Rachel Riley by Joanna Nadin

Description (from Goodreads):
Rachel Riley is the offspring of a depressingly unbroken home. Her mum and dad refuse to let her have a mobile phone, and have banned Ribena (too purple) and Eastenders (too common); her seven-year-old brother buys giant Des Lynam cut-outs and Will Young dolls from ebay and talks in Elvish; and the adopted dog eats her Pride and Prejudice boxed collection. It is time to change things. Rachel resolves that this year she will become tragic, literary and interesting - and will win the heart of Justin, the lead guitarist from Certain Death, along the way. Laugh-out-loud funny from beginning to end, this is a fresh new voice which will speak directly to teenagers everywhere. If Bridget Jones had kept a diary when she was a teenager, it is unlikely to have been this funny!

My thoughts:
When I brough this book home, my mom laughed at me and said that I am too old to read this one. Well, maybe I am, but this was so hilarious that I don't regret doing so. 

As a Christmas present Rachel Riley gets a diary from her friend Scarlet. The Christmas presents, once again, have been something way different she had wished for; she can only dream about the complete first season DVD set of the O.C. The diary tells about Rachel's life on a span of one year through her own eyes and thoughts. The reader is introduced to Rachel's parents, her hilarious mother who has a tendency to complain about everything, to write to the local newspaper about her complaints and to make lists of things that are not allowed inside the house; Ribena, watching O.C, talking about iPod, etc.

Rachel's 7-year old brother is obsessed with Elijah Wood, the Lord Of the Rings and Will Young. When Rachel's grandfather's dog is adopted to live at Rachel's house, some problems arouse. The dog has tendency to eat everything it sees; Rachel's valentine's day card from a mystery guy, Rachel's BBC Pride and Prejudice adaptation... Also Rachel's grandfather causes problems; he is kicked out from the elderly home because he has a relationship with his caretaker, who is decades younger than he is. The reader is also introduced to other family members of Rachel such as her aunt Joy(less), a hard core religious person.

Rachel has two best friends; Scarlet and Sad Ed. Scarlet is a daughter of sex therapeutist and gyneogologists. At her home talking about sex is totally normal. Rachel wishes her parents could be little like Scarlet's parents. Rachel believes that Sad Ed is gay and she wishes that she and Ed can someday be like Will&Grace. But is Ed really gay? Scarlet tells Rachel that Ed is in love with a girl who just does not notice that Ed has been in love with her for a long time.

I was literally laughing out loud when reading this. I wish I would have been as hilarious as Rachel when I was like 14. This book reminded me a lot of those Georgia Nicholson books which I used to read when I was younger. My favorite parts or this novel where the ones where Rachel wrote about her mother. Thank God my mother is not like that. Also the relationship between Rachel's grandfather and his caretaker is hilarious. 

This book is a perfect read for kids over 13 years of age. But I think it is also nice and light read for older readers who want to read something hilarious and light without much of thought. I would really like to read the other books in the series, but the local library did not have copies of them. :(

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Book Review: Love, Lies and Lizzie by Rosie Rushton

This is the fourth Jane Austen in 21st Century YA novel written by Rosie Rushton. Rushton's teenage version of Elizabeth Bennet and her sister are looking for guys, just like the Bennet sisters in the original Jane Austen novel. In Love, lies and Lizzie they don't write letters to their loved ones; they have cellphones, Internet and all the other devices of modern technology to help them out. 

Rushton is faithful to the original storyline. Of course there are some changes, since the story takes place on a different century. To make the story flow well, some changes are made. For example, Bennet's are not poor in this novel. Mrs. Bennet has inherited a fortune from her third cousin. They buy a house from a neighbourhood filled with rich people and start social climbing. Mr. Bennet's precious library and books has transformed to music room and Wagner. 

The personalities of the sisters have been updated well. Lizzie is independent and she speaks her mind, Jane is kind, Meredith (Mary) is an eco-activist afraid of global warming, Katie (Kitty) and Lydia are twins. Lydia is wild and rekless. Katie wishes she could be like Lydia. James Darcy is arrogant and rich, his friend Charlie Bingley a push over. Drew Collins is as wonderful as in the Austen's original novel. You know what I mean.

While reading this books it is interesting to note the differences between the original novel and Rosie Rushton's YA novel. At least the character of Charlotte Lucas was a suprise for me. What is also interesting is to note all the British words Rushton uses, such as snogging. Since the previous novels by Rushton were familiar to me, I knew the meaning of those words pretty easily. 

Love, Lies and Lizzie is a good YA book with complex characters and good plot. Connection to Jane Austen's original novel is made by the use of quotations from the original novel always at the beginning of the chapter. I recommend this book to fans of Pride and Prejudice, but also for others. You don't have to know anything about Jane Austen/Pride and Prejudice in order to enjoy this funny and gorgeous young adult novel.