review: the fault in our stars

29 August 2012

book info:
ages: 14 and up
grades: 8+9 and up
years: 10 and up
on sale: now!
copy from: school library
publisher: Dutton
pages: 313

title: The Fault in Our Stars
author: John Green

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

review: the revolution of evelyn serrano

25 August 2012

book info:
ages: 10 and up
on sale: September 1st 2012
copy from: publisher (thanks!)
pages: 224 (slightly larger print and smaller pages)

title: The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano
author: Sonia Manzano

One of America’s most influential Hispanics -- 'Maria' on Sesame Street -- presents a powerful novel set in New York's El Barrio in 1969

There are two secrets Evelyn Serrano is keeping from her Mami and stepfather. Her true feelings about growing up in her Spanish Harlem neighborhood, and her attitude about Abuela, her sassy grandmother who's come from Puerto Rico to live with them. Then, like an urgent ticking clock, events erupt that change everything. The Young Lords, a Puerto Rican activist group, dump garbage in the street and set it on fire, igniting a powerful protest. When Abuela steps in to take charge, Evelyn is thrust into the action. Tempers flare, loyalties are tested. Through it all, Evelyn learns important truths about her Latino heritage and the history makers who shaped a nation. Infused with actual news accounts from the time period, Sonia Manzano has crafted a gripping work of fiction based on her own life growing up during a fiery, unforgettable time in America, when young Latinos took control of their destinies

600: a success! and a thank you!

21 August 2012

Hello readers!
  I am so excited that all the giveaways and interviews and posts for this magnificent celebration are all up! They're more for you than they are for me, so I do hope you've entered! Nevermind all the extra entries, I just want to give you all something in return! Had I my way, I would give you all chocolates and book money (a generous amount) but alas, that's not possible, haha :D

 I'd like to thank all the authors, all the publicists and all my readers for making this wonderful! I mean, I can't express how humbled I am that I have so many kind people as part of my blog. Everyone has been so amazing...and I'm getting soo sentimental that I better just stop before I turn this post into a pile of gush, hehe

 All the giveaways are listed at the top of my blog, so please go stop by enter as many as you'd like! This is probably going to be the biggest giveaway celebration I'll have for a while, so...oh god, I'm just repeating myself, aren't I? The point is: enter!

My thank you's are pretty vague, huh? I think I've explained it all in my 600 followers! post that I wrote when I achieved this feat, but it doesn't hurt to thank some more!

The Authors:

  • They are the gods of writing
  • Some are so connected with their readers, like Michelle Moran and Maria V. Snyder and many more! It's amazing that they can give their time to talk with us bloggers and simply be great and amazing people.
  • They're also very kind and thorough in interviews, and incredibly awesome with give aways!
  • They're writers! Hard-working writers that spend so much of their time creating stories for the world to read and enjoy. Back then, storytelling was a rare gift. Now, with printing press: we can enjoy so much more!
The Publicists:
  • I understand it's their job, but they do it with such grace!
  • It doesn't matter that I'm fifteen years old: they value me and my blog enough to talk to me, offer up books for review and give aways and correspond with me: they put value on blogs like mine!
  • They do a fantastic job making sure everyone is happy, and an amazing job promoting lovely books
  • Really kind people! It's always a pleasure to talk to them. They answer any questions, and do their best to fulfil requests and get things done. Hard-working and appreicated!
The Readers:
  • Are those who make this blog what it is today
  • Their support has driven me to be a better analyser, a better reader, and a better person. 
  • Comments. Everyone loves them: but my commenters are so enthusiastic, and write fabulous comments. I often complain about short ones like "Great review!" etc..., so maybe that's why...but nonetheless  comments fuel this blog!
  • Fabulous bloggers. I've stated so many times what an intricate and friendly network of book lovers form the book blogging world, and the readers that connect Pages with their blogs, and read Pages: thanks for including me!
  • Avid readers: I'm not just blogging to a vague audience: I have readers who love reading, and that's what makes me love blogging about books. You all are awesome <3 li="li">
I sound like I'm leaving forever or something: but I'm not, I promise you! Sometimes I wonder if it really matters if I leave, but I don't think I'd be able to do that, haha :D Now I better leave before I start crying :)


600: Day 7 interview + giveaway

20 August 2012

Hi readers! As promised, here's a paranormal feature for:

Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft by Jody Gehrman

 (goodreads) Falling in Love, baking a magical cake, fighting an evil necromancer—it’s all in a day’s work for Audrey Oliver, seventeen-year-old witch-in-training. When her mother goes missing and her twenty-one-year-old witchy cousin shows up out of the blue, Audrey knows something’s gone horribly, dangerously wrong. Now it’s up to her to get her own magical powers up to speed before everyone she loves is destroyed by the sorcerer intricately connected to her mother’s secret past.

About Jody

Jody Gehrman is the author of seven novels and numerous plays. Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft is her most recent Young Adult novel. Her other Young Adult novels include Babe in Boyland, Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty, and Triple Shot Bettys in Love, (Penguin's Dial Books). Babe in Boyland won the International Reading Association Teen Choice Award and has recently been optioned by the Disney Channel. Her adult novels are Notes from the Backseat, Tart, and Summer in the Land of Skin (Red Dress Ink). Her plays have been produced in Ashland, New York, San Francisco, Chicago and L.A. She and her partner David Wolf won the New Generation Playwrights Award for their one-act, Jake Savage, Jungle P.I. She is a professor of English at Mendocino College

pick your thon!

19 August 2012

I had the lovely privalege to be a host in The Book Monster's yearly "Pick Your Thon" event (my post here) and decided to make this post to do all the challenges!

First up is my challenge, which was:

Draw a picture of your favourite scene in a book you are reading reviewing at the moment (any book you'd like) or create a collage of photographs if you are not comfortable drawing.

When I wrote this post, I had been reading "Shadow of the Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Now, just now, I had been reading a bit of Shakespeare's Henry the IV and watched the first few seconds of The Hollow Crown. I had seen the first two episodes with Hal being Tom Hiddleston and such, and felt compelled to read along to it.

So to be fair, I made two collages just highlighting the books instead of the favourite scene (because it's so hard finding that specific photographs)

Also, if you want to participate in this challenge, go to my challenge page (here) and leave a comment with the link to your collage!

photo credits:
bottom left: goodreads

photo credit: google images (too lazy to get actual credits, will come back to it!)

They're not very good, but there you have it! I felt really compelled to just make a Tom Hiddleston collage, but alas, the play isn't all about Prince Hal!

600: day 3: Pick-Your-Thon Mini Challenge +giveaway!

Hello readers! Scholastic has given me a couple of finished books to give away to you guys! Here's a bit about them:

photo: goodreads
Airhead by Meg Cabot
Emerson Watts didn’t even want to go to the new SoHo Stark Megastore grand opening. But someone needed to look out for her sister, Frida, whose crush, British heartthrob Gabriel Luna, would be singing and signing autographs there—along with the newly appointed Face of Stark, teen supermodel sensation Nikki Howard.

How was Em to know that disaster would strike, changing her—and life as she’d known it—forever? One bizarre accident later, and Em Watts, always the tomboy, never the party princess, is no longer herself. Literally.

Girl Out Loud by Emily Gale
*Silent Scream!*

Kass Kennedy is nobody's idol. She does forget the lyrics. She's not a gleek. The x factor? Not her! Read her lips: She has the right to remain silent.

Just try telling that to her dad.

Because he's totally lost it this time, demanding Kass audition for a TV talent show. Which would be slightly less than death-by-embarrassment if Kass could (duh!) actually sing. And if even the smallest part of her craved the spotlight. Stardom is her dad's dream, not hers. But he's so fragile, she's afraid he just might crack if she doesn't go through with his latest, craziest plan.

Not helping: Her hopelessly MIA mom. The budding criminal mastermind also known as her kid brother. And amateur shrink Izzy and used-to-be-sweet Char, who've gone all frenemies over a boy in brown boots. (Don't ask.)

It's only rock n' roll? If only! Inside, Kass is screaming, but no one is listening. How loud does a girl have to shout to be heard?

Pick Your Thon Mini Challenge
I am really thrilled to be the host of The Book Monsters Pick Your Thon mini challenge!

Today's challenge is this:

Draw a picture of your favourite scene in a book you are reading reviewing at the moment (any book you'd like) or create a collage of photographs if you are not comfortable drawing.

I use this fantastic photo editing website called "PicMonkey" where you simply hit "Create collage" and upload photos and make the collage however you want. It's really quick and easy, you don't have to be a pro-designer to run it, hehe :D

(the letter for this stop is O. I can't believe I forgot to mention this!)

One winner will win both books! This is a US/Canada giveaway only, sorry!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

600: day 6: interview + giveaway

Above by Leah Bobet

photo: goodreads

Matthew has loved Ariel from the moment he found her in the tunnels, her bee’s wings falling away. They live in Safe, an underground refuge for those fleeing the city Above—like Whisper, who speaks to ghosts, and Jack Flash, who can shoot lightning from his fingers.

But one terrifying night, an old enemy invades Safe with an army of shadows, and only Matthew, Ariel, and a few friends escape Above. As Matthew unravels the mystery of Safe’s history and the shadows’ attack, he realizes he must find a way to remake his home—not just for himself, but for Ariel, who needs him more than ever before.

photo: leah bobet

About the Author

She's a Canadian writer of literary science fiction and fantasy with a love for mythic prose and an obsession with the secret hearts of cities.

1. When writing Above, did you derive inspiration from any source of media, like books, music, television, films?

Pretty much all of the above!  The idea came together from a combination of an essay about disability and identity in Eli Clare's Exile and Pride, a pet peeve with the way a genre trope is handled in a couple of TV shows (Futurama and Beauty and the Beast), and a whole bunch of song lyrics.  I tend to drag things in from everywhere and mash them together.  It's sort of like Idea Smoothie!

2. You’ve contributed to writing other books in your career: how does it feel to have a novel written just by you?

It's definitely a different feeling than having a story in an anthology, or something shared-world and co-written, like Shadow Unit.  It's much more a feeling of I made this: possibly because novels are so much wider and take so much more time than short fiction.  There's that much more emotional investment in a novel, for me.

3. How easy/difficult was the road to publishing?

I'm not entirely sure what to compare it to: easier than some, harder than others?  Really easy in some aspects, like finding an agent who believed in the book quite quickly, and harder in others, like it taking four times as long to find an editor who felt the same.
It mostly just was what it was, and I wasn't too concerned throughout whether things were easy or not, because I was still walking the road to the thing I wanted, and I'd have kept walking that road no matter how hard it got.

4. If you could hang out with a character from the book for a day, which character would you choose?

Hah.  This assumes any of them would have me, after the things I put them through!
Probably none of them, honestly.  The thing with one's own characters is that they live inside your head.  You don't need to hang out with them; they're already there, and you 'd have not one thing to talk about.

5. Did you have a strange habit while writing? Like biting erasers or chewing carrots furiously?

Okay, for one?  I kind of love those examples.  Those are much toothier habits than I could ever come up with!
I don't do anything really odd while I'm writing.  I do drink massive amounts of tea, though, and I can't work very well if I don't have a mug of something nearby on my desk.  I think it's because going for a drink is one of those easy distraction things, and when there's tea or water or juice right there, well.  I have to keep on working.

6. How have you handled praise and criticism for Above? What would you say to your fans? :D

I'm not really in the habit of discussing reviews and whether I read them, for a couple reasons.  For one, I feel like readers need to be able to have discussions about books without the authors looking over their shoulders, and without having to worry about what the author might think, good or bad.  But on the other hand, I know reviewers will work really hard on crafting a review that gets across their reaction to a given book, and to say I just ignore them all is a bit disrespectful to that work.  So if you don't mind, I prefer to leave that one a bit ambiguous!
As to fans: Well, I'm glad that the book speaks to you, and thank you very much!

Quick Questions!
1. Hazelnuts, walnuts, peanuts, cashews or none?

Walnuts!  Especially in salad.

2. Sunshine or rain?

Sunshine, definitely.  I'm solar powered.  I wilt without enough sun.

3. Long socks or ankle socks?

Long socks!  The longer, the better – my spring and fall are pretty much this months-long party of knee socks.

4. Favourite subject you took in school?

Music.  Or history.  They're tied.

5. Celebrity crush and why?

I don't really do celebrity crushes.  I'm much too aware of celebrities as people, and that what we see of them is a public persona, not the actual person.  Which makes the whole, "Hey, person I don't know!  I want to kiss you just 'cause of your job!" thing suddenly creepy and unfun, alas.

6. What’s on your desk right now?

A big mess!  My desktop computer's been sidelined for about three months – I have to reformat the whole thing, and just keep not getting around to it because it's kind of a long, grinding, hateful job.  So I've been working off my laptop all spring and summer, going to coffeeshops and just writing on the couch and stuff, which means my desk has just turned into the pile of papers I should probably do something with for...three months.
This is a very sad story.
So, yes.  A giant mess.

I absolutely loved these responses!

Thanks to Ms Bobet and her partners at Scholastic, I have one copy of Above for one lucky US resident :)

600: Day 5 e-book giveaway

18 August 2012

Beautifully Broken (Spellbound #1)

Thirteenth daughter. Heritage witch. Demon slayer.

They say every town has its secrets, but that doesn’t even begin to describe Whispering Pines. The townsfolk are a superstitious lot and the mystical disappearance of a local teen has everyone murmuring about a centuries old witch’s curse.

Sixteen-year-old Shiloh Ravenwolf is a heritage witch from the Broussard family, a family both destined and cursed. After she takes a summer job at Ravenhurst Manor, she discovers a ghost with an agenda. That’s where she meets the new town hottie, Trent Donovan. But Trent may be the next victim on the supernatural hit list, and Shiloh is the only person with the power to save him. Complicated much?

After receiving cryptic messages from a creepy wraith and frightening threats from a demon, Shiloh finally begins to understand the mysterious significance of the strange mark branded on her wrist. Now Shiloh must decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice to protect the other teenagers in town.

Unfortunately, for Shiloh, not all ghosts want help crossing over. Some want vengeance.

About the author:

Sherry Soule is a writer blessed with a vivid imagination and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She loves writing supernatural tales with kickass heroines for teens and adults. Sherry is on a constant literary diet that mostly consists of the young adult fiction genre, but she’s been known to occasionally stray into paranormal/romance or horror adult categories. She has a morbid fascination with haunted houses. She adores cats. Loves to watch scary movies. And she’s a total bookaholic. Aside from writing, Sherry enjoys reading poetry, online book shopping, digging through flea markets, and exploring old cemeteries and Victorian mansions.

find the giveaway button on this page

a Rafflecopter giveaway

600: day 4: giveaway

17 August 2012

Cat Girl's Day Off: giveaway!

It sounds like a hilarious, fun and light read. Haven't had those in a LONG time!

photo: goodreads

Natalie Ng’s little sister is a super-genius with a chameleon-like ability to disappear. Her older sister has three Class A Talents, including being a human lie detector. Her mom has laser vision and has one of the highest IQs ever. Her dad’s Talent is so complex even the Bureau of Extra-Sensory Regulation and Management (BERM) hardly knows what to classify him as.

And Nat? She can talk to cats.

The whole talking-to-cats thing is something she tries very hard to hide, except with her best friends Oscar (a celebrity-addicted gossip hound) and Melly (a wannabe actress). When Oscar shows her a viral Internet video featuring a famous blogger being attacked by her own cat, Nat realizes what’s really going on…and it’s not funny.

(okay, yeah, a frou-frou blogger being taken down by a really angry cat named Tiddlywinks, who also happens to be dyed pink? Pretty hilarious.)

Nat and her friends are catapulted right into the middle of a celebrity kidnapping mystery that takes them through Ferris Bueller’s Chicago and on and off movie sets. Can she keep her reputation intact? Can she keep Oscar and Melly focused long enough to save the day? And, most importantly, can she keep from embarrassing herself in front of Ian?

Find out what happens when the kitty litter hits the fan.

About the Author

photo: goodreads
KIMBERLY PAULEY is the author of the award-winning Sucks to Be Me, which was honored on the YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers list. The sequel, Still Sucks to Be Me, was listed on the VOYA Best Science Fiction Fantasy List of 2010. Born in California, she has lived everywhere from Florida to Chicago and has now gone international to live in London with her husband (a numbers man) and the cutest little boy on any continent (The Max). She wrote Cat Girl’s Day Off because she wanted to share what cats really think with the world. Visit her online at

Interview coming up! But for now, a giveaway :)

600: day 2: giveaway

15 August 2012

Innocent Darkness (The Aether Chronicles #1)

Wish. Love. Desire. Live.

Sixteen-year-old Noli Braddock's hoyden ways land her in an abusive reform school far from home. On mid-summer's eve she wishes to be anyplace but that dreadful school. A mysterious man from the Realm of Faerie rescues her and brings her to the Otherworld, only to reveal that she must be sacrificed, otherwise, the entire Otherworld civilization will perish.

About the Author: Suzanne Lazear

Suzanne lives in Southern California with her daughter, the hubby, and a hermit crab, where she’s currently attempting to make a raygun to match her ballgown. She’s also part of the Steampunk group blog Steamed Age of Steam

The Giveaway Button!

600: A Celebration in Giveaways

US only!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

600: day 1: giveaway! The Second Empress!

14 August 2012

HAPPY RELEASE DAY! TODAY you can now walk into the shop and purchase a beautiful copy of this book :)

Right guys, this is my favourite giveaway of them all, I think, and it's only the first one Yay! I am a massive Michelle Moran fan girl, so I am so thrilled to post this one.

In the past I have:
and she is so polite, and her writing is so amazing! She got me hooked on Egyptian history, and taught me about the French Revolution. Now this splendid historian as written another book called The Second Empress, that comes out in four days! It's also set in France, with the well known man named Napoleon Bonaparte.

I have two copies that I've graciously been given, and I'm going to giveaway one today, and the other in early September.

600: A Celebration in Giveaways

13 August 2012

I've recently hit 600 followers, as you all may know (hehe) so I'm finally celebrating! Thanks to the generosity of authors and publishers, I have lovely prizes for you! Including three paranormal books, three contemporary books, a dystopian and a historical fiction. What books are they, you may ask? Well, that's a surprise.

600: A Celebration in Giveaways (August 14th through August 20th)

Most of the prizes will be sent directly from the publisher or author to the winners. Most giveaways are US only (sorry!) and will all end on September 6th

Of course, you'll be required to follow Pages. I don't think it's fair for a giveaway celebrating my followers to allow non-followers to enter. You know?

Some of the extra entries are here (if you want to do them now, so you can just breeze through the giveaways, go ahead!)

  • follow pages (required)
  • follow voyage (my writing/photography and inspiration blog)
  • follow @ilovepages on twitter 
  • friend me on goodreads:
  • add the giveaway button to your blog or website (the button is coming up soon!)
I haven't added too many extra entries, like following me on pinterest or anything (trying to keep it simple) so I hope this isn't too much to ask of you :) I'm really trying to use more social media, so this is like a little shameless promotion! I like to use my blog as my main tool, so I'll probably fail at tweeting.

The Giveaway Button:

600: A Celebration in Giveaways

Regarding the following of Voyage

"Voyage" (voy-aaj) is my personal/writing blog that I've just created recently. It's going to have loads of things like photographs, songs, watercolour paintings (by me) and posts about writing. But I am not looking for followers.

I don't want followers who're going to follow me simply because they'll get an extra entry. I'm simply putting up the option so you'll be aware of it, and may decide you like my writing blog and join. The extra entry is just a reward for those who are interested, but it's not required! Like, honestly, don't follow if you don't want to!

This page will be updated everyday with the giveaways going on so you can always check back here! If you'd rather just wait until the 20th and fill in all the Rafflecopters then at once, feel free to do so :)

I'm looking forward to a fun week!

Day #1: The Second Empress by Michelle Moran (happy release day!)
Day #2: Innocent Darkness by Suzanne Lazear
Day #3: Airhead by Meg Cabot and Girl Out Loud by Emily Gale
Day #4: Cat Girl's Day off by Kimberly Pauley
Day #5: Above by Leah Bobet

review: the shadow of the wind

10 August 2012

book info:
ages: 14 and up (younger audiences are OK, but I think mature readers will really appreciate it more)
grades: 9 and up (years: 10 and up)
on sale: now
copy from: library
pages: 512

title: The Shadow of the Wind (El cementerio de los libros olvidados #1)
author: Carlos Ruiz Zafón (translator: Lucia Graves)

photo: goodreads
Barcelona, 1945—Just after the war, a great world city lies in shadow, nursing its wounds, and a boy named Daniel awakes one day to find that he can no longer remember his mother’s face. To console his only child, Daniel’s widowed father, an antiquarian book dealer, initiates him into the secret of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a library tended by Barcelona’s guild of rare-book dealers as a repository for books forgotten by the world, waiting for someone who will care about them again. Daniel’s father coaxes him to choose a book from the spiraling labyrinth of shelves, one that, it is said, will have a special meaning for him. And Daniel so loves the book he selects, a novel called The Shadow of the Wind by one Julián Carax, that he sets out to find the rest of Carax’s work. To his shock, he discovers that someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book this author has written. In fact, he may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Before Daniel knows it, his seemingly innocent quest has opened a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets, an epic story of murder, magic, madness, and doomed love, and before long he realizes that if he doesn’t find out the truth about Julián Carax, he and those closest to him will suffer horribly

slowing things down

08 August 2012

Hello readers!
  I am going to slow things down. Like, two posts a week instead of sporadically. I am going to be a sophomore in high school, and I am taking 7 classes (8 including lunch). It's one more class than many people, because I have 0 period AP European History.

 I will keep reviewing and keep doing the things I do, but just twice a week, yeah? Also, I've got a huge treat for you on the fourteenth of this month. I've been working on it for ages and it's sucked up a lot of time and effort, so I hope it'll make up for my "slowing" of things.

 What do you think? Do you have like, set days where you post, or do you just post whenever?


topic: is YA becoming darker?

07 August 2012

I've been reading articles and posts on this topic (most recently Kimberly Derting's blog) and I thought I'd guess a few answers.

Is YA becoming darker?

I think the impact of the growing trend was magnified by Twilight, which started a chain of paranormal films targeting teenagers. Authors then got into it, and started writing paranormal fiction, which caused teenagers to have more paranormal books to read, which publishers thought "More! More!" and that all sums up to an overall realisation that YA, conglomerated with other books, like YA for historical fiction and such, is overall becoming darker.

That's not fair, is it? So no:

I don't think that the genre of YA is becoming darker, I think that paranormal books, which are in nature really dark, are becoming and ARE popular. More paranormal books published outshine all the other YA books.


writing competition!

06 August 2012

Hello readers! (and writers!)
   I'd just like to tell you all about this super awesome competition that's going on over at my writing blog, Voyage. Here's what it's about, and the awesome prizes!

 The Rules 
  • Anyone is allowed to enter (must be a follower of voyage and Inky Compositions)
  • Entries must be the entrant's actual work (no stealing etc...) I doubt any of you would do that
  • Word limit: 2000. You may go a little over or under, I don't mind
  • Stories must be one of the chosen titles (no swearing, obscene writing, or other suggestive content)
  • Must be sent to my e-mail: raokiki6(at)gmail(dot)com or Ashley's e-mail: asgwilli(at)gmail(dot)com  We'll e-mail you back confirming that we've received your entry 

Titles To Choose:

  • "Beautiful"
  • "The Forest of Bones"
  • "The Storyteller"
  • "The Bakery"
  • "A Million Smiles"
  • "By Starlight"


Ashley helped with the amazing! gift cards, and Ryan and I have helped with the awesome blog design stuff. If one of the winners does NOT have a blog and would not like the blog design prizes, then a fourth place winner will be chosen to receive them. The winner will receive the gift card, and the new winner will get the design prizes.

1st place:
  • $10 Amazon Gift Card (if we get 20 or more entries it will be bumped up to $15)
  •  a full Basic Package blog design by Ryan Gracie Designs
  • a fashionable button with "1st place: amazing writer" on it for you to post wherever you'd like
2nd place:
  • $5 Amazon Gift Card 
  • Custom header, blog button, social media buttons and favicon from Ryan Gracie Designs
  • a fashionable button with "2nd place: fabulous writer" on it for you to post wherever you'd like
3rd place:
  • $5 Amazon Gift Card
  • Custom blog button and favicon from Ryan Gracie Designs
  • a fashionable button with "3rd place: awesome writer" on it for you to post wherever you'd like

She makes lovely blog designs, that are fashionable and sweet. Check out her website and see what you can win, hehe :)

How To Enter:

my e-mail: raokiki6(at)gmail(dot)com 
Ashley's e-mail: asgwilli(at)gmail(dot)com
Send either Ashley or I an e-mail with the following:
  • Your name
  • Blog URL (optional)
  • Your story title as the subject
  • Your story in the body of the e-mail. You can also attach it, but it MUST be in the body
  • the name that you follow by (as you must be a follower of Voyage and Inky Compositions)

What do you all think? I think, if you're a writer, you should definitely go on and enter :D I'm thrilled and I can't wait to start reading entries! It ends a month from a now, so get writing!

review: the second empress

04 August 2012

book info:
ages: 13 and up
grades: 8 and up. years: 9 and up
on sale: August 14th
copy from: publisher (Crown) thanks!
pages: 448

title: The Second Empress
author: Michelle Moran

After the bloody French Revolution, Emperor Napoleon’s power is absolute. When Marie-Louise, the eighteen year old daughter of the King of Austria, is told that the Emperor has demanded her hand in marriage, her father presents her with a terrible choice: marry the cruel, capricious Napoleon, leaving the man she loves and her home forever, or say no, and plunge her country into war.

Marie-Louise knows what she must do, and she travels to France, determined to be a good wife despite Napoleon’s reputation. But lavish parties greet her in Paris, and at the extravagant French court, she finds many rivals for her husband’s affection, including Napoleon’s first wife, Joséphine, and his sister Pauline, the only woman as ambitious as the emperor himself. Beloved by some and infamous to many, Pauline is fiercely loyal to her brother. She is also convinced that Napoleon is destined to become the modern Pharaoh of Egypt. Indeed, her greatest hope is to rule alongside him as his queen—a brother-sister marriage just as the ancient Egyptian royals practiced. Determined to see this dream come to pass, Pauline embarks on a campaign to undermine the new empress and convince Napoleon to divorce Marie-Louise.

As Pauline's insightful Haitian servant, Paul, watches these two women clash, he is torn between his love for Pauline and his sympathy for Marie-Louise. But there are greater concerns than Pauline's jealousy plaguing the court of France. While Napoleon becomes increasingly desperate for an heir, the empire's peace looks increasingly unstable. When war once again sweeps the continent and bloodshed threatens Marie-Louise’s family in Austria, the second Empress is forced to make choices that will determine her place in history—and change the course of her life. (goodreads)

note: I got the ARC edition, which is plain and blue, so you all get to read with the full, beautiful experience, haha :D I think the cover might have made a difference, as both the women fit the characters I imagined.

feature and follow #7

02 August 2012

Hello readers new and old!
  Thanks so much for stopping by, I really appreciate it! A little brush up on my tweaked rules:
  • If I followed you, you are NOT required to follow me back: only if you want to :)
  • If you follow me, I'll seriously consider following you back, but it's not guaranteed
I don't like how people are required to follow other blogs in this hop. I think people should follow a blog because he or she likes it, not because they feel obliged because the blog owner/writer followed him or her. You know?

Now: on to the question!

my summer reading: The Book Thief

01 August 2012

I finished this a week ago and have been meaning to post about it! My summer reading required me to complete a dialogue journal of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, and I think I did loads better than last summer's. Blood, sweat and tears, my friends :)

Since notebook was a plain, plastic green covered composition one, I decided to make it fit the....aura of the book, by making a cover out of newspaper. I cut out letters to make the titlte, and used postage envelops for the yellow strips (thanks to Scholastic, for the envelope, hehe) The golden ribbon is to keep the notebook shut and not bend any pages. Plus it's flashy :D
The watercolour cover I made as my version. The one I had was with dominoes and I didn't really like it.

The Book Thief, or my copy of it, did not have a table of contents, and my journal required I label the chapter, so I had to make my own table of contents. I wrote them on bookmarks, then hand-wrote them all together for a final time. 

That's an example of the entries I wrote, which were very long and thought out. I think I deserve an A on this:

The pictures look really small, you may want to click on them to make them larger or something :)

I totally feel like all I've done is complain and argue on getting a good grade, but this was truly a fun assignment and I had great fun with it! What do you think? What were your summer assignments?

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