Friday, March 23, 2012

Last day to enter Giveaway!!!!

Hey just a reminder, today is the last day to enter the Through Her Eyes and Forgive My Fins Giveaway!!! If you haven't entered yet go HERE and spread the word about the chance to win these awesome books!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Review: The Selection

Synopsis: For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon. 

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks. 

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself- and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

My Review: So when I first read the synopsis for this I was like "Gee, a teenage Bachelor."  In essence this was true, but the Selection is SO MUCH BETTER.  I devoured this in almost one sitting.  That engrossing.  I had to force myself to go to sleep.

What the U.S. has become is just as crazy as any other dystopian novel.  And yes I said dystopian.  You wouldn't think so from the cover would you? Wrong.  It's almost as bad as medieval caste systems.  People are split into numbers from 1-8, 8 being the lowest.  You are born to that number, do the trades associated with that number and that's what you are stuck in for life.  Girls can marry up through the caste's but that's about it.  If you're in love with a guy below your caste, you will move down, he won't move up.  It's all incredibly whacked.  There is also no birth control available for the lower classes, so there are more mouths to feed and they're near starving.

America is a 5, the artisan class.  She's a music performer, singing and playing many different instruments.   When the Selection comes up, the last thing she wants to do is sign up.  She's madly in love with Aspen, who is a class below her.  But America doesn't care about class and believes that she and Aspen will truly be happy no matter what.  They've been secretly dating for two years, and she thinks that Aspen is about to propose.  To appease Aspen and her family, she signs up for the Selection.  Never did she expect she'd actually be picked.

America is uprooted from her life and put into the biggest round of matchmaking in the country.  She's up against 34 other girls for the hand of Prince Maxon.  Little do they know that America doesn't want to win anyone's hand and has no intention of actively participating.  America however is torn.  She doesn't want to compete for Maxon's hand, nor does she want to go home to face Aspen, so America and Maxon settle on a compromise.  America will be the friend Maxon never had in this madhouse, and Maxon will keep her in the competition as long as possible so she doesn't have to go home.  It's a wonderful plan, until that is, they both start to fall for each other in the process.

I absolutely adored Maxon. Take the cutest most adorable puppy in the world and turn him into a prince, you have Maxon.  He's so terribly sheltered, but a complete gentleman.  Despite his strict upbringing, he has a good sense of humor and teases America.  He is just the nicest guy I have ever come across in a YA book.  I loved him to death! And I liked Aspen too! OMG, this is the second review, in one day no less, where I didn't mind the love triangle.  *gasp* Aspen seemed like a genuinely good guy too.  Despite his douche bag move towards America "to protect them from heartache" blah blah blah, he was not a bad guy.  And then when he showed back up in the story I was internally screaming.  Nnnoooooo.  He ruins the nice budding feelings America is having for Maxon and screws everything up! Totally frustrated.

Despite all the romance, there is actually more to the plot.  The Rebels.  Oh how I want more of them.  I sense big foreboding plot twist that is gonna just rip the carpet right out from under our feet.  I am awaiting it with glee.  As for the ending I about threw the book in frustration.  No, no cliff hanger.  I was just so engrossed that when I realized I was on the last chapter I about screamed in frustration.  I wanted MORE. That right there is a testament to just how much I liked this novel.  I cannot wait for the sequel! And the CW adaption.  I freaked when I found out about that too.  *evil laughter* So yes, loved it!

Review: Masque of the Red Death

Synopsis:Everything is in ruins. 

A devastating plague has decimated the population. And those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles to pieces around them. 

So what does Araby Worth have to live for? 

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery make-up . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all. 

But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club. And Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither boy is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does. 

And Araby may find something not just to live for, but to fight for—no matter what it costs her.

My Review: Masque of the Red Death is just the dark gilded world the synopsis makes it out to be.  The aura of tragic glamour and death the cover pervades definitely doesn't disappoint.  The atmosphere in the novel was truly chilling, and really kind of grossed me out.  Plague is never pretty.  In Araby's world, the plague has decimated much of the population, only the rich being able to afford the filtered masks that protect them from the disease.  An evil Prince (oh doesn't that sound terrifying) rules the city with an iron fist.  He's just as likely to kill you as look at you.  Prince Prothero is the one who is responsible for keeping the city in such a state of disrepair.  But there is unrest in the city and a plot begins to stir that Araby cannot ignore.

I really enjoyed the plot of this story.  It was dark and brutal and I loved every second of it.  And oh how I loved the Poe influence.  Masque of the Red Death! HA! I was fangirling the whole entire time.  (Poe fanatic here) I thought it was very well paced and I really enjoyed the little plot twist the author threw in.  Didn't see that coming.  It was horribly tragic too.  It even had a very satisfying ending! Or I was pleased at least.  It wasn't a cliff hanger, but it wasn't wrapped up in a bow either.

The only negative thing I really have to say about this book is that I didn't really like Araby all that much. Okay, I take that back. I liked her by the end of the novel.  The beginning though...just kind of wanted to slap her.  I get it, she lost her brother, she was kind of responsible in a very roundabout way.  She has an extremely guilty conscious.  However, abstaining from anything that Finn wouldn't be able to experience is just dumb.  She was just making herself miserable, and throwing herself into the Debauchery Club to forget was just compounding the issue.  She just had a very low senese of self worth and that bothered me.  I will say though that despite this, she had a very strong character.  She truly stood up for what she believed in and by the end of the novel was fighting desperately just to stay alive.

Oh and the love triangle.  I think this is one of those rare exceptions where I don't down right hate it and there is no clear cut winner.  Okay, well, in my mind there is.  But I sympathize with both guys, so I'm still open.  Will, the tattooed hottie bouncer at the Debauchery Club, who is an incredibly sweet guy who looks after his two younger siblings.  I really liked him.  A lot.  I completely supported Araby falling for him.  Until I just felt he was too good to be true.  I hate being right. Then we have Elliott, the nephew of the King and surprise revolutionary.  He's intent on ending his uncle's reign of terror and wants to save the city he loves at any cost.  He's manipulative and a bit of a douche but I still loved him.  He was completely honest about his intentions though.  He upfront told Araby, "Don't trust anyone.  Especially me." I gotta respect that.  And when he admitted that he thought he was falling in love with Araby it was just heart breaking.  A few of his actions are questionable, but all in all he was a good guy.  See? This is my problem! I like them both! I just like Elliott just a bit more...

I can't wait for the next one.  Shit was flying by the end of the novel, so it will be interesting to see where the author picks back up.  I'm definitely intrigued with where this story will go.  I have no doubt it will continue to be as exceptional as the first book.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Cover Crazy (44)

Cover Crazy is a meme created by Tawni @ The Bookworms to share book covers that you are thrilled about. This week it's Tilt by Ellen Hopkins. It's the sequel of sorts to Triangles, Ellen's first adult novel.  And the cover is gorgeous! Apparently when you TILT the book the colors shift.  Yep, totally need it.  Can't wait for this one.  

Giveaway of Through Her Eyes

And it's Friday! You know what that means...time for the giveaway of Through Her Eyes and Forgive My Fins! Jennifer has generously donated both of these awesome books and they're both signed! So here's the guidelines.  Giveaway starts today, Friday the 9th and will end Friday the 23rd.  It is U.S. only (sorry people, shipping sucks).  Otherwise you just have to be a follower of Jennifer and I and fill out the handy dandy little form below.

Here's an awesome book trailer for Through Her Eyes

Still want some more info on the books? Here's my review to Through Her Eyes and Forgive My Fins.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Guest Post with Jennifer Archer

A little surprise for you guys today!  I have here Jennifer Archer, author of Through Her Eyes doing a guest post! Her new novel The Shadow Girl  will be released next year by Harper Teen.  Assuming we all survive 2012  :P I can't wait to get my hands on it.  So what shall Jennifer be discussing? One of my most hated/grudgingly loved aspects of YA lit.  Love triangles.  But before we get to the rather hysterical reasons to never date a ghost, some other news.  Jennifer has generously donated a signed copy of her novel Through Her Eyes along with a signed copy of Tera Lynn Child's Forgive My Fins  for one lucky winner! Awesome right? The giveaway will open this Friday so be on the lookout! And now I hand it over to Jennifer! 

A Guy, a Girl and a Ghost

These days, love triangles in young adult fiction abound. I’ve conducted an informal survey of my reading friends and here’s what I’ve surmised: Readers have strong feelings about love triangles. They seem to either really love them, or really hate them.

I enjoy a love triangle in fiction if it’s handled deftly and isn’t the main focus of the story. I mean, let’s face it: Who will she choose? can get a bit old, and besides that, the answer is usually fairly predictable. But as a side plot, a good love triangle can add great conflict to a story. If only someone didn’t have to get hurt! Especially if that someone is a nice, well-meaning guy or girl. That’s another problem with most fictional love triangles – frequently they don’t play out in a realistic way. In real life, love triangles are usually pretty messy and don’t end conveniently, smoothly, or with everyone getting along. But in fiction, often one of the love interests either dies, turns out to be an unworthy person, or is so unbelievably virtuous that they step aside with little display of anger, jealously, or hurt feelings.

In my YA novel THE SHADOW GIRL that will be released next year by Harper Teen, the protagonist, Lily, finds herself in a love triangle. I tried to show as realistically as possible the pain and confusion this causes her, as well as the guy who loses out, without letting that aspect of the book take over the story. My debut YA novel THROUGH HER EYES also contains a love triangle, but one with a twist. The triangle consists of a guy (Tate), a girl (Tansy), and a ghost (Henry).  I had a great time with this element of the book because I’m a sucker for ghost love stories. One of my favorite older movies is one directed by Steven Spielberg called ALWAYS. If you haven’t seen it, take a look at the trailer.


In ALWAYS, Dorinda really doesn’t have the option of a life with Pete, her deceased boyfriend who is now a ghost. But that isn’t necessarily the case for the character Tansy in my novel THROUGH HER EYES. Even though Henry is a ghost, there might be a way for Tansy to choose a life with him, but doing so will involve giving up A LOT on her part.  The things at risk for Tansy are serious ones: family, friends, the life she’s always known in a time period that’s familiar. But what about the smaller things? What would a girl have to deal with if she chose to have a romantic relationship with a ghost? Just for fun, I’ve come up with a list:

Top Ten Reasons a Girl Should Think Carefully
Before Choosing a Ghost Guy Over a Real Guy

1     1.     Real guys have actual blood running through their veins so they’re warmer. No girl likes to be cold!
2     2. Your friends can actually see how hot your real guy is. Not so with your ghost guy. In fact, your friends may not even believe you really have a boyfriend.
3     3. Privacy. When you want some time alone, you can tell a real guy ‘goodbye’ and close the door. You never know when a ghost guy’s in the room with you. Creepy.
4     4. A ghost guy will stay young while you grow older. Will he still love you when you’re 30 and he’s  18?
5     5. Transportation. Ghosts can’t drive so you’ll always have to take your car.
6     6. Food. Ghost guys never get hungry. It’s no fun to eat alone!
7     7. Strait jackets are uncomfortable and ugly but you might end up in one because people will think you’ve lost it when they see you talking to thin air. 
8     8.  Ghosts are unemployed since nobody hires them. You’ll have to pay for every date.
9     9. You’ll never see your ghost boyfriend in any other clothes than the ones he died wearing; he’s pretty much stuck in those.
1    10. Forget going to a crowded movie theater with a ghost; once the seats are filled, he’ll probably get sat on. 

So, what about you? I’d love to know how you feel about love triangles in fiction. If you like them, what are your favorite books or movies with love triangles? And what else do you think a girl should consider carefully before choosing a ghost boyfriend over a real guy?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Cover Crazy (43)

Cover Crazy is a meme created by Tawni @ The Bookworms to share book covers that you are thrilled about.   This week it's Echo by Alicia Wright Brewster.  I really love how striking this cover is.  The red sky and the white dress against the stark landscape.  The line of people  on the horizon is just so menacing.  Pretty yet gritty.  Got to love it. ^.^