Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hush, Hush Review

Title: Hush, Hush
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published Date: October 2009
Price: Amazon ($10.52)

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along.
With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.
But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life. 


News Flash:

Edward Cullen says goodbye to fame and fandom. Ex-Twilight fans now sport V scars instead of fangs.

Becca Fitzpatrick crafts an intoxicating boy, an inevitable and dangerous romance, and a story spun from the Bible story we thought we all knew. Nora Grey meets Patch in biology (Why do they always meet in biology, *ahem* Edward and Bella? My biology class is never that interesting) and is drawn to him, even though she knows her life is in risk as she hangs out more with Patch,

Nora was a well-developed protagonist, who I could easily relate to, with her ambition for school and her initial distance from the “bad” boy. I especially appreciated the fact that Nora wasn’t a “damsel in distress” as she doesn’t immediately fall on her knees and beg Patch to love her or by not calling him every time she needs help (even though she increasingly does so later in the book).

Patch. Extremely sexy guy that we barely know anything about except that he’s sexy and HAWT. Lol, ok there’s more to Patch that the reader is introduced to. But overall, I thought Hush, Hush only showed the façade of Patch, a boy deeply in love with the protagonist. There were so many complications in the plot as it moved back and forth between Patch’s intentions that I didn’t know which to believe. I felt that Patch’s coldness and his absence of emotions could be toned down a bit. I also wished Fitzpatrick would develop his past more and why he decides to become fallen. But, I thought the chemistry between Patch and Nora was depicted well enough for the readers to almost feel the love wave in their relationship.

I also thought the plot was designed well and could stand on its own without the romance (but who would want that?). During the beginning of the book, the chemistry between Nora and Patch was developed, but the second-half of the book picked up its pace in creating the suspense and the action. I loved Fitzpatrick’s unique idea of the fallen angels from the Adams and Eve story.

Plot: 5/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 4/5

Patch half-naked! Sorry, had to get that out of my system. I love the light play on the cover and the symbolism of Patch’s wings dropping. I thought the contrast and the variety of the color tones accentuated Patch’s character development and created the Patch’s past.

Overall: 4.5/5

Sexy bad boy, angels, and suspense. Fitzpatrick not only has a plot full of adventure and mystery, but she also depicts the romance between Patch and Nora with intoxicating emotions that the reader can’t help but fall in love with Patch himself. I thought Patch’s past could have been developed more, but we have the sequel Crescendo (*squeal*) so maybe we’ll find out more about him and about Nora’s past. If you are a fan or paranormal romance or sexy, bad boys, go get a copy of Hush, Hush and start reading it!

Friday, January 29, 2010

New Memes and Help?

I am so sorry for the lack of posts this week! For some obscure reason, I thought the beginning of the new semester would be relaxed and will segue easily. But alas, teachers don't think that way. However, I have another review coming up this weekend.

Also, if you guys didn't know I did a meme called Matching Actors to Characters. I will still continue with this meme even though Natalie at Mindful Musings also holds a meme called Movie Cast Monday. There is not much difference between ours but I don't think I can do it on Mondays and my meme will have more of an in-depth analysis.

So, deciding to stem from the movie idea, I decided to do Movie Poster Mondays and Fashion Thursday. Movie Poster Mondays is when I create a movie poster of the book with the actors I think best represents them. During Fashion Tuesdays, I'll post the clothes I think the characters would wear.
So, this is when I get down on my knees and beg for help. If you have any experience with Photoshop and would like to help me out creating a movie poster or want to give me a few pointers (i.e. good tutorial websites), please comment or email me. 

Thank you so much in advance. Also, if you think one of the memes is pointless and you don't think it's very interesting, please feel free to tell me so I won't waste time boring you guys! (By the way, I came across the picture of the girl and was astounded by its prettiness and great Photoshop skills, if you're wondering about its relevance ^^)

Monday, January 25, 2010

My First Award!

My first award was given by Teddyree at The Eclectic Reader! Thank you so much!

The rules are pretty simple. Answer the following questions with Single Word answers then pass this along to 5 other bloggers. Make sure you let them know about it though.

Your Cell Phone? Cheap
Your Hair? Layers
Your Mother? Nagging
Your Father? Working
Your Favorite Food? Steak
Your Dream Last Night? Fantasy
Your Favorite Drink? Coke
Your Dream/Goal? Happy
What Room Are You In? Bedroom
Your Hobby? Reading
Your Fear? Bugs
Where Do You Want To Be In Six Years? Harvard
Where Were You Last Night? Home
Something That You Aren't? Slim
Muffins? Tasty
Wish List Item? Laptop
Where Did You Grow Up? America
Last Thing You Did? Homework
What Are You Wearing? Sweats
Your TV? Old
Your Pets? Dog
Friends? Helpful
Your Life? Tiring
Your Mood? Stressed
Missing Someone? Friends
Vehicle? None
Something You Aren't Wearing? Hat
Your Favorite Store? Borders
Your Favorite Color? Pink
When Was The Last Time You Laughed? Wednesday
Last Time You Cried? Thursday
Your Best Friend? Thoughtful
One Place You Go To Over And Over Again? Bookstore
Facebook? Rarely
Favorite Place To Eat? Bedroom

I would love to give this award to every one of my followers, but alas, I can't. So here are five blogs I've come upon and also bloggers that comment frequently, making my blogging experience more enjoyable!

Emma @ Emma Michaels
Jenny @ Wondrous Reads
Extreme Reader Book Review
Yan @ Books By Their Cover
Lindsay @ Crazy Books and Reviews

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks Review

Title: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
Author: E. Lockhart
Publisher: Hyperion
Published Date: March 2008
Price: Amazon ($11.55)
Synopsis (from Booklist):

In the summer between her freshman and sophomore years, Frankie Landau-Banks transforms from “a scrawny, awkward child” with frizzy hair to a curvy beauty, “all while sitting quietly in a suburban hammock, reading the short stories of Dorothy Parker and drinking lemonade.” On her return to Alabaster Prep, her elite boarding school, she attracts the attention of gorgeous Matthew, who draws her into his circle of popular seniors. Then Frankie learns that Matthew is a member of the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds, an all-male Alabaster secret society to which Frankie’s dad had once belonged. Excluded from belonging to or even discussing the Bassets, Frankie engineers her own guerilla membership by assuming a false online identity. Frankie is a fan of P. G. Wodehouse’s books, and Lockhart’s wholly engaging narrative, filled with wordplay, often reads like a clever satire about the capers of the entitled, interwoven with elements of a mystery. But the story’s expertly timed comedy also has deep undercurrents. Lockhart creates a unique, indelible character in Frankie, whose oddities only make her more realistic, and teens will be galvanized by her brazen action and her passionate, immediate questions about gender and power, individuals and institutions, and how to fall in love without losing herself.


Evading society and breaking the rules behind authority make me more wistful for college life, away from parents and their scolding and nagging words. Or of Hogwarts (my letter is still lost in the mail, mind you). Feminism, strategist, and manipulation create Frankie Landau-Banks, a female reincarnation of a meaner Ender in Ender’s Game.

Frankie Landau-Banks is a female protagonist who wants to aim for more power and wants to be included in an exclusive society, the Basset Hounds. I absolutely loved Frankie and her ambitions. She doesn’t grovel at her boyfriend’s feet (which I find extremely annoying when I watch my soap operas) but rather wants to control and manipulate, the ultimate journey from the adorable and dependent girl her family sees her as. Frankie’s feminist power and stance creates a fresh difference from all the characters that moan and wonder about whether their boyfriends like them.

I felt the supporting characters could have been developed better through the omnipresent narrator. The third person narration could be annoying and ruinous to the book for some, but for me, it created a whole spy aura to it. How society is “watching” you through the concept of panopticon. By utilizing the third person narration, maybe E. Lockhart could have developed Alpha’s character more. I was indifferent to Alpha because all we saw of him was only the shell, the tough guy and the leader of the pack. I felt that Alpha’s weakness could have been developed better to create depth.

The romance fell flat in contrast to the manipulations and the pranks that Frankie pulls. I thought there was going to be a romance triangle prevalent in the book and I was excited for it but sadly it disappeared as it was overpowered by the power obsession Frankie has. Also, the romance between Frankie and Matthew was very boring and hypocritical of her. How she wants to please Matthew by doing all the pranks and how she still clings a bit for him towards the end.

Plot: 3/5
Characters: 3/5
Cover: 3/5

The cover’s simplicity portrays a sophisticated tone to it. And I love the use of the letter and the basset to show the book as a journal or a letter of the incidents of Frankie’s ambition for power and her inclusion in Basset Hounds.

Overall: 3/5

The unique development of the female protagonist and her ambition for power is a great way to develop the power of feminism and not conforming to society’s status quo. The third person narration helped create the atmosphere of the glares from society, but I felt it didn’t allow enough of the adventure of the pranks. Also, the development of the supporting characters could have been better. If you like to read books of being a strategist and manipulation, like a spy novel, or want to experience the freedom of college and boarding schools vicariously, read about Frankie Landau-Banks.

In My Mailbox (3)

This weekend, I've got tons of books that I've been impatiently waiting for my library to order. Also, I apologize for the lack of reviews and posts these past two weeks. It's been very stressful for me (and sadly it still is) but now I have more leeway to read and escape from harsh reality (i.e. grades, nagging parents, homework, violin). You can expect a review today though! Without further ado, here are my impatiently waiting books.

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren and inspired by Pop Culture Junkie.

Borrowed from Library (To Be Read):
Swag (from Chick Lit Teen's 200 Followers Giveaway)

  • Hush Hush Poster (To match my book! Yea!)
  • Chick Lit Teens Bookmark (Thanks!)
  • Chasing Brooklyn Bookmark (Signed)
  • Cinderella Society Bookmark (Signed) 

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Maze Runner Review

Title: The Maze Runner
Author: James Dashner
Published Date: October 2009
Publisher: Random House
Price: Amazon ($9.93)

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. He has no recollection of his parents, his home, or how he got where he is. His memory is black. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade, a large expanse enclosed by stone walls.
Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning, for as long as they could remember, the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night, they’ve closed tight. Every thirty days a new boy is delivered in the lift. And no one wants to be stuck in the maze after dark.
The Gladers were expecting Thomas’s arrival. But the next day, a girl springs up—the first girl ever to arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. The Gladers have always been convinced that if they can solve the maze that surrounds the Glade, they might be able to find their way home . . . wherever that may be. But it’s looking more and more as if the maze is unsolvable.
And something about the girl’s arrival is starting to make Thomas feel different. Something is telling him that he just might have some answers—if he can only find a way to retrieve the dark secrets locked within his own mind.


Hunger Games + Lord of Flies = An exhilarating, page-turning, jaw-dropping journey into a realm of hope, disappointment, adventure, and the search for happiness
…in other words The Maze Runner!

The Maze Runner’s integration of the scientific manipulation of the boys and their ability to create a society without adults create a unique and thrilling premise. The terror and dread of the lives of the Gladers are portrayed with much detail as Dashner creates suspense at every chapter. When Dashner introduces the girl, Teresa, carrying a deadly note with an aura of foreboding, it actually scared me and kept me up at night, imagining the terror of the incident. How the girl suddenly rises up as if she’s a puppet and declares ominously that “things will change”. Every morning, doom awaits Thomas, as he understands the horror of the Grievers and experiences it and learns how trapped he is within the maze. The suspense and the stifling fear creates a horrifying tale as you root for the Gladers and want to rip the Creators apart (Lol, ok, I’m not evil. I just can’t stand the boys suffering any more!) Also, the letter at the ending just left you there speechless and you had to retrace a few steps back in the book to get it. When I finally got what really happened, I had to shake the book to see if any secret pages came flying out.

However, I had some pet peeves while reading the book. For example, sometimes I felt that Thomas was an impatient whining boy who thought his opinions were the most important. I also thought Thomas’s hate towards Gally was baseless and wasn’t developed enough to turn the readers against Gally too. In addition, the budding romance between Teresa and Thomas didn’t fit into the suspense and the dystopian world and wasn't integrated well. Maybe, it was to juxtapose all the doom and disaster, but I had to turn my head a little and read it through my peripheral vision as I skimmed through some of the lovey-dovey parts.

I absolutely cannot wait for the sequel, The Scorch Trials, to come out and find out what is really out there in the real world and what awaits the Gladers. 

Plot: 5/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 3/5

This isn’t what I really imagined the maze to be like, but the trapped and menacing feelings with the spikes are created well. However, the lush green background just felt out of place with the darkness pervading in the book.

Overall: 4.5/5

If you liked the Hunger Games or any dystopian world or just need a book to keep you up all night, The Maze Runner is for you. The suspense and the mystery keeps you pondering what is really happening as the boys are manipulated. Also, the characters and their fears are developed satisfactorily as you want to go smack the Creators some sense.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Waiting On Wednesdays (3)

Waiting On Wednesdays is a weekly meme, hosted at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights highly anticipated releases.

Title: This World We Live In (Moon #3)
Author: Susan Beth Pfeffer
Publishing Date: April 1, 2010

It's been over a month since Miranda Evans has written in her diary, a month of relative calm for her and her family. It's springtime, and with warmer weather comes rain, and the melting of the winter's snow. The shad are running in a nearby river, and Miranda's brothers Matt and Jon leave home for a few days to see if they can catch some to supplement their food supply.

When they return, Matt brings with him a girl named Syl, who he introduces as his bride. But that's not the only shock Miranda and her family have to deal with. A few weeks later, Miranda's father, stepmother, and baby brother show up at her door. Accompanying them are three strangers, a man named Charlie Rutherford, and two teenagers, Alex and Julie Morales. These five people have crossed America together, becoming, in their own way, a family.

Miranda's complicated feelings about Alex, curiosity, resentment, longing, and passion turn into love. Alex's feelings are equally complex. His plans to escort Julie to a convent where she can be taken care of, so that he will be free to enter a monastery, are destined for failure. He wants desperately to live up to his moral code, but his desire for Miranda is too strong. He proposes to Miranda that they take Julie and go to a safe town.

But before Miranda and Alex can go off together, a devastating tornado hits the town of Howell, and in its aftermath, Miranda makes a decision that will change forever her life and Alex's, and the world that they live in will never be the same.

My Thoughts:
I loved the first and the companion books! They even made me go paranoid for a few weeks. I cannot wait to read the sequel, especially with romance in it to help divert from the dystopian world Pfeffer creates. Can't wait for the romance and more death and destruction to come!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Contests in the Blogosphere (3) and Body Finder Trailer

Sorry I haven't been posting book reviews in a while! Blegh, exams and school. But here are some contests in the blogosphere (again, many are in the sidebar)! Also, the Body Finder trailer was released a few days ago along with a huge contest! I loved  the trailer and I cannot wait for The Body Finder to be released into the public.

The Body Finder Trailer Contest @ The Road to Publication: Jan. 23 
The Mark @ Page Turners: Jan. 20
Gift Cards (Book Depository) @ I Want to Read That: Jan. 25
2010 and 200 Followers Contest @ I Should Be Writing: Jan. 28
Wish @ Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf: Jan. 29
400 Followers Giveaway (Box of Books) @ All About {n}: Jan. 29
Once A Witch @ Katie's Bookshelf: Jan. 30

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Author Interview: Stacey Jay (You Are So Undead to Me)

I'm so excited to announce my first interview with Stacey Jay! She is the author of You Are So Undead to Me and her sequel, Undead Much, which will be released next Thursday, Jan 21! In light of her upcoming release, Jay was kind enough to let me interview her.

A little about Stacey Jay (from her official author website):

Stacey Jay is a workaholic with three pen names, four kids, and a sick sense of humor. She loves creepies, crawlies, blood, guts, and gore, and of course, romance. What would a zombie novel--or any novel--be without kisses that make your toes tingle?
Stacey has been a full time writer since 2005 and can't think of anything she'd rather be doing. Her former careers include theatre performer, professional dancer, poorly paid C-movie actress, bartender, and waiter. She also spent some time selling time shares in Times Square and teaching Yoga in Los Angeles. 

1. What was your inspiration for You Are So Undead to Me?

A combination of too much Radio Disney (my stepdaughters wouldn’t let me listen to anything else for years), a love for paranormal romance, and a hunger for some scary supernatural bad guys with no fangs ;).

2. How did you want to portray Megan? Such as a heroic character with flaws or a normal girl with teenage problems?

Both! I wanted Megan to start off as a rather boy-crazy, popularity obsessed teenage girl and come into her own as a young woman who sees her bigger place in the world and realizes her heroic potential. I never wanted her to be perfect, however. I wanted her to be real, someone a reader could relate too even if they didn’t share her particular hang-ups.

3. Did you create Ethan from your image of an “ideal” boyfriend?

Ethan has several “ideal” characteristics—he’s caring, honest, brave, a good listener, and still manages to have a sense of humor—but he came about more as an answer to what Megan needed in a boyfriend than thinking about any certain ideal. Their romance is about them fitting together in a way they couldn’t fit with anyone else. And Ethan does have his flaws—jealousy, insecurity--which I think come out more in the second book as the relationship between Megan and Ethan progresses.

4. Can you give us a sneak peek into the sequel, Undead Much?

More zombies, romance, mystery, and some big secrets that will change Megan’s world forever. I’m so proud of Book 2. I hope readers enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

5. How long did it take you to write You Are So Undead to Me and Undead Much?

YOU ARE SO UNDEAD TO ME probably took 6 months to finally emerge in the form that is now available for sale. The first draft of UNDEAD MUCH? went much faster—probably because the characters were so familiar to me. I had that finished in six weeks and the final version didn’t change that much during the two rounds of edits.

6. After Undead Much is published, are there any other writing projects you’re planning to work on?

MY SO CALLED DEATH—the story of a freshman cheerleader who finds out she’s genetically undead (a zombie) and is sent to Dead High, a zombie boarding school where the kids eat brains for lunch and a murderer is out to frame the new girl—will be out in March 2010. It’s already available for pre-order on all the usual sites: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.

After that, my next Razorbill project will hit the shelves in January 2011. That book, presently titled, THE LOCKET, is the story of a shy girl, two perfect boys, and a very scary piece of jewelry that messes with the fabric of time. I’ve just finished first edits on that and can’t wait to share more with readers soon. I’m so excited about this project!

7. What are some ways that help you overcome writer’s block (if you have any)?

Butt in chair, hands on keys, get the words done or I don’t get to have any fun. I do this for a living so I don’t have the luxury of getting writer’s block! Lol.

8. On your bio, it says you’ve worked as an actress, dancer, waitress, all kinds of jobs. How did these experiences help you become a writer? What made you give up these jobs to become a writer?

When my first child was born, I realized I needed to find something more steady than flitting around from place to place, barely making enough money to eat, and working odd hours on low-budget film sets. I’d always been a writer and I hoped I’d be able to shift from playwriting to writing the romance novels I’d loved as a teen and make some money while still staying home with my new baby. The fact that the plan actually panned out is a miracle. One I’m thankful for every day.

9. If you had Settler powers like Megan, what kind of Unsettled people would you want to help Settle?

I’d want to help mend rifts in families. It’s so sad when someone dies and there is unfinished business and lingering bitterness left behind. I’d love to help bring those families peace. It sounds like a great job

10. Childhood/Adolescence: 
        a. Favorite book(s): Little Women
        b. Favorite celebrity: Megan Follows
        c. Favorite hobby: Ballet
        d. Worst School Subject: Trig! Ugh!
        e. Dream Job: Professional Pretender. (It didn’t end up the way I’d assumed, but I still get to pretend for a living. So amazing!)

Thanks for having me! All best and happy reading in 2010! Stacey Jay

Thanks, Stacey, for having an interview with me! Remember to read Undead Much, which will be released Jan. 21, or read You Are So Undead to Me, if you haven't done so already! You won't regret it!

In My Mailbox (2)

This week has been a slow week, due to exams and a huge English project that I ended up sleeping at 3:30 Thursday night. But I was able to go to the library and borrow some books yesterday.

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren and inspired by Pop Culture Junkie.

Borrowed from Library (To Be Read)

Borrowed from Library (Read)

I hope to enjoy these books after exams end this week! Also, please stay tuned for my first and special interview with Stacey Jay (author of You Are So Undead To Me) today!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

You Are So Undead To Me Review

Title: You Are So Undead To Me
Author: Stacey Jay
Published Date: March 2009
Publisher: Razorbill
Price: Amazon ($8.77)


Megan Berry is a Zombie Settler by birth, which means she's part-time shrink to a whole bunch of semi-dead people with killer issues. All Megan really wants is to go to homecoming, but when you're trailed by a bunch of slobbering corpses whenever you leave the house, it's kinda hard to score a date. Let's just say Megan's love life could use some major resuscitation.

Megan's convinced her life can't get any worse - until someone in school starts using black magic to turn average, angsty Undead into scary, hardcore flesh-eating Zombies. Now it's up to Megan to stop the Zombie apocalypse. Her life - and more importantly, the homecoming dance - depends on it.


Stacey Jay creates a new twist to the zombies, or rather the Undead, as she is able to bring a whole new emotional face to it than the ugly monsters we see in movies. Not only does Jay create a unique plot, but also creates a love story you’ll root for.

The elements of the zombies bring a shining difference than vampires and werewolves (Sorry, Twilight!). A whole new psychological aspect is developed as the Undead are able to mend the stuff that they aren’t able to fix in their old life. Rather than creating an emotional journey where the reader cries buckets of tears, Jay is able to create it subtly as it doesn’t shroud the chick lit aspect. The adventures and the Zombie settling business were developed really well with the suspense and the mystery. Also, the ending caught me off guard and I was like “WHAT?!”. Jay helps develop the story and the motives behind the culprits to make them more realistic and a bit understandable.

I also thought the character development was really well done. At first, I hated Megan because she was way too much like the stereotypical teenage girl you see. Obsessed with boys, loves the biggest jock of the school who’s a jerk, and worries about her homecoming dance the most. I think the materialistic aspect was a little overdone but it served well to emphasize Megan’s development and how she finally accepts and even welcomes her job as a Settler. And, oh my, I absolutely fell in love with Ethan! He sounds amazingly handsome and is so caring and protective. You feel sympathy for Megan as she falls for Ethan and is hurt by misunderstanding in what she thinks is a platonic relation (which I thought so too, even though I kinda knew what would happen in the ending.)

The book is for anyone, especially those who needed a break from the overly used glittery vampires, lol. The premise of the zombies and the theme of regret create a wonderful story that I hope to see in the sequel, Undead Much? (released: next Friday, Jan. 21). I also cannot wait to see the romance bud.

Plot: 4/5
Characters: 3.5/5
Cover: 3/5

At first, I thought she was standing on a soccer ball from the online edition, so I thought that Megan was a soccer player, lol. But I loved the idea behind the cover, as Megan is shown in control of the Unsettled. However, I felt that the background could be filled in better.

Overall: 3.5/5

An interview with Stacey Jay will be up later today or tomorrow! And watch out for the sequel, Undead Much? next week Jan. 21.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Contests In the Blogosphere (2)

Sorry I haven't been posting up reviews. I'm so busy with schoolwork I haven't had the time to read, sadly. Here are some contests/giveaways in the blogosphere!

The Dark Divine or Brightly Woven ARC @ Sophistikatied Reviews: Jan. 11
600 Followers Contest (Amazon/Book Depository) @ Bookworming in the 21st Century: Jan. 15
2010 and 200 Followers Contest   @ I Should Be Writing: Jan. 28
400 Followers Contest (Box of Books) @ All About {n}: Jan. 29
The Dark Divine @ The Hiding Spot: Jan. 30 
Beautiful Creatures @ The Book Resort: Jan. 31
Happy New Year Contest (Any 2010 Release) @ Hooked on YA Books: Feb. 1

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Waiting On Wednesdays (2)

Waiting On Wednesdays is a weekly meme, hosted at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights highly anticipated releases.

Title: The Mark
Author: Jen Nadol
Publishing Date: January 19, 2010

Cassandra Renfield has always seen the mark—a glow around certain people reminiscent of candlelight. But the one time she mentioned it, it was dismissed as a trick of the light. Until the day she watches a man awash in the mark die. After searching her memories, Cassie realizes she can see a person’s imminent death. Not how or where, only when: today.

Armed with a vague understanding of the light, Cassie begins to explore her “gift,” seeking those marked for death and probing the line between decision and destiny. Though she’s careful to hide her secret—even from her new philosophy-obsessed boyfriend—with each impending death comes the temptation to test fate. But so many questions remain. How does the mark work? Why is she the only one who sees it? And finally, the most important of all: If you know today is someone’s last, should you tell them?

My Thoughts: The premise seems really unique and interesting, tying a philosophical theme with romance. I heard good reviews about this book, so I can't wait! This will be on my 2010 Debut Author Challenge! Less than 2 weeks left till the release.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

In My Mailbox (1)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren and inspired by Pop Culture Junkie.

 Borrowed from Library (To Be Read)

Borrowed from Library (Reading or Read)

Update: After writing my review for Hate List later, I will be sparse from the blog world for around 2 weeks. Sadly, I have school tomorrow meaning exams and the homework load waiting for us will be overwhelming as the semester ends! But I will try to get in a review in and do some memes!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Matching Actors to Characters (2)

This is the second time I'm doing this meme and I hope everyone enjoyed the last one. Also, please feel free to drop a comment letting me know what characters you would like to see get matched. Also if you would like to do this in your own blog, please feel free to do so!

And now, in light of my recent review, I decided to match two characters from Once A Witch. I'm planning to match Tamsin and her older sister, Rowena. Since I did a boy character last time, I wanted to match girl characters.

For Tamsin, I felt Emily Browning will be a perfect match for her.

At first, when you look at her she portrays this delicacy within her beauty, but when I saw her act in A Series of Unfortunate Events and Uninvited I think she's a perfect match for Tasmin. Both her acting roles portray her potential in playing the sister relation well with Rowena, as she despairs for her sister's safety while being jealous of her. The soft features in Emily Browning also show Tamsin's insecurity as being inferior in her family.

Now for Rowena, I think Taylor Momsen, who plays Jenny Humphrey in Gossip Girl, will be a great match.

At first I felt Blake Lively would be a good match for Rowena, with her confident aura she gives in her acting and her sexy blonde image a younger sister would envy for. However, when I was looking through images of Blake Lively, she looked too old and had too much of a friendly face to be Rowena, lol. I never watched Taylor Momsen act but the arrogant and confident pose will act in favor toward Rowena. Also, her young face will be able to play the weakened Rowena well.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Once A Witch Review

Title: Once A Witch
Author: Carolyn MacCullough
Publisher: Clarion Books
Published Date: Sept. 2009
Price: Amazon ($10.88)

Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and she was supposed to be one of the most Talented among them. But Tamsin's magic never showed up. Now seventeen, Tamsin attends boarding school in Manhattan, far from her family. But when a handsome young professor mistakes her for her very Talented sister, Tamsin agrees to find a lost family heirloom for him. The search—and the stranger—will prove to be more sinister than they first appeared, ultimately sending Tamsin on a treasure hunt through time that will unlock the secret of her true identity, unearth the sins of her family, and unleash a power so vengeful that it could destroy them all. This is a spellbinding display of storytelling that will exhilarate, enthrall, and thoroughly enchant.

MacCullough does a splendid job in creating a magical world without any of the Harry Potter cliché. I loved the intricate plot. It’s finally a book without the werewolves or vampires (even though I love them too) but creates this whole unique world that keeps you turning the pages, wondering what new information Tamsin is going to discover. The unique aspect of the plot and the action in the novel brings freshness from all the paranormal romance. Also, the theme of being looked down upon in your family is integrated connects to the reader in a psychological way, along with the common message that there is no black and white, no good or evil. The revelation at the end that Tamsin’s family isn't purely good makes me eagerly wait for a sequel (I really do hope there is one. MacCullough left a lot open).

The integration of how Tamsin is compared to her sister as she feels excluded and feels the shame of her family for being Talentless creates a friendship between the reader and Tamsin. MacCullough’s development of Tamsin through her beautiful language, with the sprinkle of a sassy tone of a normal teenager, creates a protagonist you will always root for. For example, whenever Rowena, Tamsin’s older sister, taunts Tamsin I get angry at Rowena that by the end of the book, I felt like Rowena, even after all her suffering, didn’t get the short end of the stick.

The romance in the book, I am sorry to say, was a bit disappointing. I actually expected romance to be the centerstage of the novel when I read the synopsis. I thought Gabriel’s and Tamsin’s relationship was adorable but I felt that there was no premise for their romance. Gabriel is the regular guy who comes back into Tamsin’s life after they were best friends during their childhood. Their relationship didn't really develop but more like leaped to a romantic stage. 

Overall, I thought the plot was exciting and made me flip the pages. Through every page, the plot thickens and there are always surprises. Pretty please (*puppy dog eyes*)..a sequel? Especially with more romance in it? Lol.

Plot: 4/5
Characters: 5/5
Cover: 4/5

The cover is beautiful with the color assortment and the use of the book as the centerpiece. While the book does represent Tamsin’s family history book, it characterizes Tamsin as the hardworking student, aside from her family.

Overall: 4/5

Happy New Year and Resolutions

Happy New Year!

Lol, this is really disconcerting! A decade has already passed and so many events happened in that small span of 10 years, worldwide (from 9/11 to the turning point of American history with the first African-American president elected) and my life (graduating elementary school and middle school). I hope everyone had a great start with their new year with their family. I ended up staying up last night till 12 AM like those millions of people at NYC and watching the ball drop. I hope everyone had a great first day of the new decade and best of luck to the new year and new decade!

Enough with my nostalgia, lol. So it's been about a week already for my blog but already I have 40 followers! Thank you so much! Without all your comments and encourangment, this wouldn't have felt like a good luck sign for this new year and decade. Here are some resolutions for my blog and my personal life to help keep me on the right track.

  • Reviews: I plan on doing 2-3 reviews per week, but unfortunately this all depends on school. Now that exams are coming up and winter break is sadly ending, I might be gone for long periods of time. Also, I've posted up 3 reviews so far and one more is coming right away, but I hope these  reviews are helpful. If you have any complaints or would just want to rant about how terrible I write, please feel free to do so :) I know I'm a beginner blogger so this all new to me. 
  • Memes: I am planning to do In My Mailbox, Waiting on Wednesdays, and Matching Actors to Characters. However, if I find more interesting memes or if you have any suggestions, I might add on to it as the year progresses.
  • Author Interviews? : I don't know when people start asking the high-and-mighty authors for interviews, so please let me know! I would love to interview authors, but I'm terrified they'll think I'm egoistic for asking to do interviews for a small blog. 
  • Challenges: Either later today or tomorrow, I will be posting my 2010 Debut Authors List up soon! Also, if there are other great challenges out there, please let me know.
  • Other: I am right now working in to add in a blog roll and the peek-a-boo comments. So if you have experience with these HTML troubles, please let me know! :) Also, if you have any comments or any suggestions, write a comment or feel free to shoot me an email! 
Personal Life
  • School: Argh, the dread of exams when I go back to school in January. I hope the new decade and new year means that I'll be able to start with a clean slate and work my way to the top!
  • Exercise: School really does rule all. I haven't gone skating in months, so I've been gaining weight as I lead a sedentary life. At least for the summer I should take up skating again.
  • Prepare: This is really scary. Only 2 more years till college. Yes, yes, only 2 more years until I gain ultimate freedom! But to gain my ultimate freedom, it came into revelation, I've got SATs and college apps somewhere getting closer...and closer, lol. 
So, if you have any comments or suggestions for my blog or would like to tell us your new year's resolutions, please email me or comment! Thank you so much for following and here's to a new year for my blog! 


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