for you

30 June 2011

review: tiger's curse

book info:
pages: 400
ages: 13 and up
grades: 7 and up
on sale: now
copy from: Sterling Children's Books

title: Tiger's Curse
author: Colleen Houck
stars: 4



The last thing 17-year old Kelsey Hayes thought she’d be doing this summer was trying to break a 300-year-old Indian curse. With a mysterious white tiger named Ren. Halfway around the world. But that’s exactly what happened. Face-to-face with dark forces, spellbinding magic, and mystical worlds where nothing is what it seems, Kelsey risks everything to piece together an ancient prophecy that could break the curse forever.

my thoughts:
"Ren scowled at me. 'I lived in zoos and circuses for centuries, remember? And I don't...eat...monkeys!"

YAY! A book about Indians! They're the least heard of nowadays in YA books, so this is like, heaven for me. I got a real kick out of reading it, especially all the myths and cultural stuff, because I'm Indian myself and it all makes sense. To the normal reader, this book is amazing. But because I'm Indian I have to point out some...irregularities. First, well, a god appears in the book to help Kelsey on her quest. The god (Durga) makes a physical appearance. I kind of found that insulting. It's like Allah making a physical, body appearance or Christ making a physical body appearance to help on breaking a measly human curse.  Yeah, so that part kind of put off. At least she didn't speak. Oh that would've been like "what?!" But you know, in the myths and legends on India back in the day, the gods did come down to Earth to give boons to deserving people etc... but still. Those are simple, folk tales. Oh gosh, I sound like a blubbering fool. Let's get on with the review, shall we?

characters: Kelsey was really unique, and hilarious, and well, realllly sarcastic and practical. She wasn't shy and afraid of guys, and she wasn't afraid to get dirt on her pants.  She's a tough, awesome heroine that should be a model for other characters! Ren was, well he was human. I loved how he had flaws just like everyone else, and that his flaw was that he had a bad temper. He was really cute too, and old-fashioned and polite, and a regular, confused man in love. His relationship with Kelsey is really entertaining, almost like bickering siblings, but I think it's a perfect example of a lover's quarrel.

theme: A regular girl from Oregon is thrust into a series of quests in order to lift an ancient Indian cursed placed on the man/tiger she loves.

plot: interesting.

style: definitely style. There's this humorous, sarcastic, and detailed way of writing that makes the story much more thrilling than a normal thriller. I totally loved it!

overall: Wow! Tiger's Curse is an amazing book that I really enjoyed. Read it, guys, because I recommend it! ^_^

books

You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive. James Baldwin

 

book release: Forbidden

28 June 2011

Ohmygosh, I've waited MONTH'S for this book to come out. I tried ordering it from the U.K on Book Depository, but for some reason, it was NEVER in stock! I read as many reviews as I can, read the first two chapters online and the excerpt on Tabitha's website! I finally bought this literally: right now. Just got back from Borders.

Okay, I wrote that paragraph a couple of hours ago. As of now, I finished reading and I'm stunned. I'm so absolutely happy (about as happy as after reading Eden) that I read such a brilliant book. All this waiting was worth it.
Everything was perfect! The emotions, the lyrical writing.... but the ending. I thought I could handle the ending. That it couldn't be that bad, right? But it was. It was awful and just hit me. Reality. I'll give you a hint, it's what happen in Delirium. I'm just....devastated. okay this is all going to have to wait till I get calmed down enough to write a coherent review ^_^

Meanwhile, read this summary:
Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.
 Here are links:
Borders: Forbidden (click on the cover to read the first 2 chapters)
Excerpt from Tabitha Suzuma's website (scroll down a little)
Book Depository (great discount! 41% off!)

interview: Keary Taylor

22 June 2011

After I read and totally LOVED her book, Eden (my review here) I was so excited to do the interview with Eden's author, Keary Taylor. She's so kind and a wonderful, hardworking person. I hope you'll eat up the interview like I did (maybe if you read the book first.....^_^)

Meet: Keary Taylor!



On EDEN:
1. What inspired you to write Eden? What gave you the idea of creating cybernetic human-creatures?

I always feel like such a geek answering this question, lol! I was watching Star Wars III with my husband and there was this shot with Anakin after he gets his new mechanical hand and I just had the thought of “wouldn’t it be cool if he’d grown that himself?”. I guess I just have a really overactive imagination because things just kept evolving from there!

(me: hahaha! That's probably the best answer I've heard to this question!)



2. Because I love him so much: what inspired the character Avian? Why make him 7 years Eve’s senior? (note: I think that’s so romantic!)

Avian’s character came from the seriousness of the world of Eden. I wanted to have a character who had experienced a lot of what the world had been like before it Fell but had lived a huge part of his life in the aftermath of everything. And I have to make a confession, the actor who I imagined as Avian is Wentworth Miller from Prison Break and his character of Michael was a lot of who Avian came to be. I drool whenever I watch that show now, lol!

(me: he's the perfect Avian! I'm drooling right now too!)



3. What message were you hoping to give your readers through Eden?


It might not seem like it at first, but Eden is entirely a book about love. It’s about learning to love those around you, about what you are willing to do for the people you love, about learning to love yourself. And it’s also about discovering what it really means to love someone and defining lust and passion from actual love.

(I kind of got that, it was evident. And I love it. In paranormal YA, the heroines can't tell the difference between love and lust, right?)


4. Is there going to be a sequel? What are your current projects now, if you have any?

As of right now I am not planning a sequel. I am toying with the idea of writing a short prequel, revolving around West and Avian’s lives as the Fall is happening but we will see if that happens. I am currently working on Vindicated, the third and last book in my Fall of Angels series. I also have a YA contemporary that I hope to start working on the beginning of next year.

(a prequel!? Squeeeeel!!)


On Publishing:

1. How did you decide on self-publishing instead of getting an agent?


The publishing industry is extremely competitive and I actually did try and get an agent for my book Branded. I got a lot of interest but in the end everyone decided to pass. I still believed in the project and loved it and I’d heard about self-publishing and decided to give it a shot. It took a while but then Branded all of the sudden boomed! I was starting to make it on my own. And so I thought “I’m doing this already, why change what seems to be working?”

2. Do you think it was the right choice?


I will admit, what I can do on my own is more limited than what a publisher can do. But I have no regrets. It has been an amazing journey. I have full control over everything I do, I don’t have anyone breathing down my neck. I have met so many amazing people. So yes, I do think I made the right choice!



3. You said you design your own covers. First. Wow! Second: how do you think designing your covers are working for you?


Cover design is something that I LOVE! I made up a mock cover for Eden before I even typed a single word. I am not an illustrator or photographer so there are lots of times when I need help. I had a good friend’s family member create the eye image for Eden’s cover and loved it! Playing with fonts and different elements is so fun for me!

(me: I love the cover. Ohmygosh, it's amazing!)



Do you have anything else you’d like to say (to your readers and such)?


Really all I can say is THANK YOU! I really couldn’t do what I do without all of you! Being an author is something I’ve dreamed about doing since I was in grade school. If you have a dream don’t give up on it! If you work hard enough you can make it happen!

Thanks so much Keary, for the interview and the advice (I'm sure to follow it!)

review: Eden

21 June 2011

book info:
pages: 408
ages: 13 and up
Grades: 7 and up
on sale: now

title: Eden
author: Keary Taylor
stars: 5+

Eve knew the stories of the Fall, of a time before she wandered into the colony of Eden, unable to recall anything but her name. She's seen the aftermath of the technology that infused human DNA with cybernetic matter, able to grow new organs and limbs, how it evolved out of control. The machine took over and the soul vanished. A world quickly losing its humanity isn't just a story to her though. At eighteen, this world is Eve's reality.
In their Fallen world, love feels like a selfish luxury, but not understanding what it is makes it difficult to choose between West, who makes her feel alive but keeps too many secrets, and Avian, who has always been there for her, but is seven years her senior.
The technology wants to spread and it won't stop until there is no new flesh to assimilate. With only two percent of the human population left, mankind is on the brink of extinction. While fighting to keep Eden alive, Eve will discover that being human is about what you will do for those you love, not what your insides may be made of. And even if it gets you killed, love is always what separates them from the Fallen.
my thoughts:
Okay first, I'm so deliriously happy because I read this. It was the best book I have read in a long time, since I read Delirium I think. Why is it that these apocalyptic, dystopian novels get to me the most?  I am just. So. Happy. ^_^

the characters: Besides the main character, Eve, my favourite is Avian. He's the equivalent of "the good guy" in YA paranormal and West is the equivalent of "the bad boy". Avian was amazing, and I love how he's 7 years older than Eve and how much he loves her. He's a doctor too, how sweet, and a soldier. An well, he's beautiful (my image of him with short dark hair and burning blue eyes ~swoon~) and besides that, Avian's character was just great. He was complex and well formed and he earned a lot of respect from me. He was always there for Eve, the reasonable and wise person that anyone could depend on. Eve was torn between the two, and the fire I could feel between Avian and West was practically tangible. And Eve, she's forgotten most of her life, and all the emotions she feels are so new. It was wonderful watching her grow and develop into what she is now. The characters were just. plain. awesome.

theme: The themes.....were of survival and love. It's a theme that's evident in dystopian novels, but it was uniquely different in Eden. Refreshingly new and enjoyable!

plot: Situated around life and death and emotion. Let's just say I was constantly at edge while reading and I couldn't put the book down. The plot was engaging and brilliantly worked through. The constant threat of danger, the tragic deaths, the severity of the situations.....after reading the book, I felt joyous and I felt as if I were still part of the story, as if I were there....that kind of feeling is hard to write!

style: Holy shiz was there style! What else can I say?

overall: If you don't read this, I'm going to kill you. (haha, no I'm kidding, but you get what I'm trying to tell you) I recommend this to EVERYONE!!!! GET OUT OF YOUR SEAT, BUY EDEN AND READ IT!!!!!!!!! I swear, I have never felt so happy after reading such a great book before! READ IT!

book news! Pottermore and The Hunger Games Music Project

18 June 2011

As all of you know, a mysterious site called Pottermore has been set up by J.K. Rowling. Mugglenet has made numerous speculations, including one of a massive online game based off of the Harry Potter series. I was hoping for more stories on James and Lily Potter. They are like...my favourite couple (along with Ron and Hermione)
 What are your guesses on Pottermore?

 And also, the Hunger Games Music Project. It's a mock soundtrack set up by composer Edward Underhill and and Mike Bukaty. On their website, you'll find the music and you'll find that it is absolutely stunning and beautiful. I have the entire book running through my head and I listen to it now.

Even more, don't forget to enter my Back On The Map ARC Giveaway

P.S. the weather down here in Georgia is crazy. The storms, the heat, I mean, seriously!

review: LIfe, After

14 June 2011

book info:
pages: 278
ages: 12 and up
grades: 6 and up
on sale: now
copy from: Scholastic

title: Life, After
author: Sarah Darer Littman
stars: 3.9

After a terrorist attack kills Dani’s aunt and unborn cousin, life in Argentina—private school, a boyfriend, a loving family—crumbles quickly. In order to escape a country that is sinking under their feet, Dani and her family move to the United States. It’s supposed to be a fresh start, but when you’re living in a cramped apartment and going to high school where all the classes are in another language—and not everyone is friendly—life in America is not all it’s cracked up to be. Dani misses her old friends, her life, Before.

But then Dani meets a boy named Jon, who isn’t like all the other students. Through him, she becomes friends with Jessica, one of the popular girls, who is harboring a secret of her own. And then there’s Brian, the boy who makes Dani’s pulse race. In her new life, the one After, Dani learns how to heal and forgive. She finds the courage to say goodbye and allows herself to love and be loved again.

goodreads

my thoughts:
"People say that Argentina is a country that lives with ghosts. But it was my home"- Dani, Life, After
  
Characters: Dani was 50% generic and 50% uniquely Dani. Instead of crying or hiding when things got touch, she got angry and wanted to fight back. It's a wonderful change from mainstream YA Lit. Another significant character is Dani's papa, who is a round developed character (a tortured soul) that made me continue reading.

Theme: There was one, main big-picture theme. A young Argentinian girl and her family, spurned by the death of a close family member during a time of political turmoil, must make the heart-wrenching decision to move to America. It's a familiar theme, because there are other books where the main characters have to leave to America, but it was also new, because it differed from the other books. (Dani's papa's subplot)

Plot: The elements of plot were evenly spaced out, but it wasn't evident (like, ohmygosh, this is it! The climax! The moment of truth!) There was a subplot that I mentioned, between Dani, her sister and her mother, and her father.

Style: A kind of harmony was sensed through the writing from the voice of Dani, a voice that was very real. So yes, Sarah Darer Littman has a, though not very potent, style. 

To the general reader: Life, After is a wonderful cultural read that I loved, and I'm sure you'll love it to!

Overall: The book over-all was emotional and touched me. Yet if only there were more to it! It was so short! And I couldn't help but to feel this book was geared mainly for the younger age group. If it were more young adult, possibly even adult, I'm sure it would've been amazing. So I do recommend this book! A library read, I'd call it.

Blog Button Exchange!

08 June 2011

Bloggers used to do these a while back, where if you post my button on your blog, I post your button on my blog. What say you? Just comment on my blog preferably with your blog button code and I'll add them to my blog scroll!

List so far:
Shalena from Writer Quirk
Ham1239 from Proud Book Nerd

Back on the Map ARC Giveaway (huge giveaway!)

As you have heard, I'm trying my best to be back on the map of blogging again. To thank my faithful followers for dealing with all of this, I've put together a fairly big giveaway of ARC's. Why?
  • I have a babysitting job so I can afford shipping
  • I love you all dearly
  • I have too many ARC's clogging up my bookshelf
  • I love you all dearly
  • I love you all dearly
Did I mention that I love you all dearly? ^_^
Rules:
Ends July 8th 2011
Must be a follower
U.S. Only!
Fill out this form

Box 1:
Darklight by Lesley Livingston (ARC)
Cate of the Lost Colony by Lisa Klein (ARC)
Ghost Town by Rachel Caine
Box 2:
Entice by Carrie Jones (ARC)
Hush by Eishes Chayil (ARC)
Runaway by Meg Cabot (ARC)


Box 3:
Percival's Angel by Anne Crompton
The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher (ARC)
Haunted by Joy Preble

All you have to do is fill out this form

Weekly Wrap-Up (11)

06 June 2011

This week on my blog:

Thursday: Beautiful Book Covers
Saturday: MY harry potter cast
Sunday:
Monday: Harry Potter Comics!

You can see that I've been obsessed with Harry Potter, right? I guess I'm reliving the old days where I breathed Harry Potter and exhaled love. ^_^

On my affiliates blogs:
Liz from Cleverly Inked posted one of my favourite memes: Treasure Trove Tuesday
Precious from Fragments of Life is having a cool Dystopian Domination Prize Pack Giveaway

harry potter comics!

As you know, I have a great love of harry potter comics. I found this artist on DeviantArt who made hilarious comics and who is an amazing cartoonist. Seriously, look at these!
and then this:
Here, scroll down and there's a list of the rest ^_^

Darkness Too Visible: An Article Attacking YA Literature

05 June 2011

(to the left- an image from the article depicting topic)
           Recently, this article was published on the Wall Street Journal titled "Darkness Too Visible", part of many articles published over the years to ruin the name of young adult lit. Not only does the author, a 46 year old mother, condemn YA in general, but also the teen audience saying "adolescents spend their time immersed in ugliness"  "The article is an attack on progress above all."

 Narrow-mind-ness is the problem.  It's understandable, this viewpoint these people have, but it's not understandable, however, that they have to attack young adult literature and question the intelligence of it's readers. The era where teens read only cute, fluffy and restricting teen books, mostly on educating kids about puberty, is long gone. Since then, teenagers have gotten smarter and more aware of all the trouble and wrong in the world. Parents like this author want their kids to be safe and protected forever, but that's really difficult to do in today's world, with violence and abuse right next door. To look down upon teen literature for reporting reality isn't very wise. We teens learn a lot through reading our books, so why be so against it?

"How dark is contemporary fiction for teens? Darker than when you were a child" (Meghan Cox Gurdon, author of the article) So why is it darker? Because this generation has been exposed to a lot more at a faster pace than other generations before us, because this generation is exposed to the newest technologies that allow more information to reach us faster. In other words, progress. That word brings to mind a quote from Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix from Umbridge "Progress for the sake of progress must be prohibited"

"As it happens, 40 years ago, no one had to contend with young-adult literature because there was no such thing"  As stated before, this is evidence that this is an attack on progress. A new genre has emerged and evolved since many adults were children, and this unfamiliar setting had made them upset.

         Of course, the good news is, is that this article isn't being ignored or fought against. Like Steph from Steph Su Reads says about the online YA community "we're probably one of the most well organized informational armies out there." and we're fighting back. Libba Bray made a series of tweets against the WSJ article on her twitter and many bloggers are talking about the unjust accusations against YA Lit.

Conclusion "I hate willful ignorance, and closemindedness, and the determined denial to see things as black and white and dismiss even the possibility that things might be gray."

Works Cited:
The Only Thing I Really Hate- Steph Su Reads
Darkness Too Visible- Wall Street Journal

New Look!

Those of you who have been following my blog for a long time might know how many times I changed my design, but this one is staying for a long time. It was done by the wonderful blog designer Gracie from Spring Flowers Blog Design.

 Gracie was incredibly patient with me and all my little nit-picky OCD attitude towards the design. She doesn't charge at all for designs, and that's an amazing thing about her. Gracie actually loves to design just for the fun of it and doesn't care much at all about the money.

There are still a few little changes to be made.

Also, from now on, I'm going to try to focus more on the books and reviews and less on the design. The blogging friends I had have all got a ton more followers than I do and have so many cool posts and content and I'm....well I'm behind. I PROMISE I WILL BE A BETTER BOOK BLOGGER!!!

MY Harry Potter Cast part ll

In my previous post, I casted:
James Potter
Lily Potter
Sirius Black
Remus Lupin
Harry Potter
Ginny Potter

Today I cast three more characters (technically only one more)

Ronald Weasley (Rupert Grint) ----he was already casted perfectly
Tonks (photograph by Aliera Stone, model: Lora)
Hermione Granger (Emma Watson)---casted perfectly

MY Harry Potter Cast

04 June 2011

When I was reading the Harry Potter books, I made totally different images of the characters. They were wiped away when I saw the movies. So instead, I've decided to put new faces to the old characters.

James Potter and Lily Evans (models unknown)


Remus Lupin and Sirius Black (Chris Martin and Johnny Depp)


Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley (deviantArt image) and model unknown)

What do you think? I'll have another post with the rest of the characters! ^_^

beautiful book covers

02 June 2011

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
Remember earlier, when I showed you a picture of who I thought would look like Jem?
Hideko Takarai to the left. I pictured Jem to be more....girly? The guy on the cover looks too rugged. He's slender and the suit looks amazing, but his face. ~sigh~

And now, The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

Ash....looks...hot. And perfect. And oh my gosh...................I can't stop staring at his face. His beautiful eyes and perfect cheekbones and puffed, full lips. And that slight, arrogant smile (so confident) and oh my gosh. He's so HOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars!!!

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