Monday, May 31, 2010

BEA Contest Winners!

A big thank you to everyone who entered my "Can't make it to BEA this year but still want some goodies" contest"

I have decided to pick 6 winners!

What have you won? The choices are:
A signed copy of The Dark Divine by Bree Despain ---- CLAIMED
A signed copy of Tangled by Carolyn Mackler ----CLAIMED
An ARC of Nightshade by Andrea Cremer ---- CLAIMED
Swag pack 1 ----CLAIMED
Swag pack 2
Swag pack 3

Rules for winners:
*Please be honest, this contest was for those that were unable to attend BEA this year.
*If you live in the US you have your choice of any of the 6 above.
*If you live outside the US you will receive a swag pack.
*I will be emailing all of you shortly and whoever I hear from first will have first pick.
*If you see this post before receiving my email - please email me at WilowRaven@yahoo.com with your address and choice (book or swag in US, swag only outside US)
*If I do not hear from you by this Friday the 4th I will pick new winners

I tried to figure out the best way to pick winners and this hopefully will work out - all six winners will get something so hopefully all will be happy!

And the winners are:

Okapi from The Smarty Owl

Edna  from My Favorite Things 

Leilani from Leilani Loves Books  

Becky from Stories & Sweeties 


Donnas

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Book Review: Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins


Title: Hex Hall
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Publication Date: March 2010
Tags: witches, faeries, shapeshifters, vampires, boarding school
Age: 11+
Pages: 336
Series: 1st in a series
Book Acquisition: bought new hardcover

My Rating: 5 / 5 Stars

(from Goodreads)
Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.
By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.
As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

My Review:
To sum it up, this book was pretty freaken awesome. I read it in a few hours and as soon as I was done I was tempted to read it all over again - it was that good.
From page 1 I felt an immediate connection to Sophie - I knew I was going to like her. The writing really drew me into the story and Sophie's character always seemed very real to me. I could relate to her...you know...except for the 'I'm a witch who was sent away to boarding school because I'm a trouble maker' thing :)
The story itself was very interesting and I really liked the idea that all people with paranormal abilities have a type of relationship together. Although, the vampires are still shunned just a little. Being paired as roommates with the only vampire on campus doesn't help Sophie fit in at Hex Hall but the friendship they develop was really very sweet.
There were some twists I didn't see coming and it was refreshing to be surprised. I really liked the ending - although, it only made me want book 2 like now! Very much looking forward to the rest of this series.
I highly recommend this book to fans of paranormal teen fantasy stories.

Books in the Series:
Hex Hall #1 (March 2010)
Hex Hall #2 (March 2011)
Hex Hall #3 (2012)

Linkage Love:
Hyperion Books
Author's Blog

Saturday, May 29, 2010

In My Mailbox - May 29, 2010 BEA Edition

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren :) Although, I do not believe she is posting this week.

BEA was pretty fabulous. The energy of having that many book lovers in the same space was amazing.

Here's what I got:

Paperbacks

Some more paperbacks

Signed hardcovers and ARCs - the authors I meet (you know, for all of 5 seconds or so) were so nice!

Some great swag

Also got some other goodies for my contest which will actually end tomorrow! Link is above.

Still sooo tired!

So, what's in your mailbox?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

BEA Week Check In

Hey guys. Pretty much exhausted to the core tonight but I am finally somewhere with internet and wanted to check in.

BEA was pretty much awesome. So many great experiences, so many great books but really, my absolute favorite part was meeting so many great bloggers. The folks I hung out with this week?  Made of awesome. I'll give you all the details next week. Maybe by that time my brain will unmush itself long enough for me to form coherent sentences.

I have one more day of awesomeness ahead of me as tomorrow is the Book Bloggers Convention. I anticipate much more fun but hopefully the kind of fun that accompanies sitting down and not dragging 50 pound bags around.

I really wasn't joking about the exhausted part...falling asleep as I type.

I'll be back soon with more info on my week.

There is still time to enter my contests (points above). I got some awesome stuff for you guys!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Heading to BEA News + Awesome stuff to check out!

I'm heading out soon for NY. My BEA week will start tomorrow around 6am and end with the Book Blogger Convention on Friday. I really hope I can bring back tons of goodies to share with you guys! It would be even more wonderful if every one of you could be there with me :(

I have no posts scheduled so if you don't hear from me very often this week, do not be alarmed. I will try to update each night with how my day went. I'll also be tweeting as much as I can (via my outdated but still cool cell phone), so check me out @WilowRedHouse for up to the minute,fascinating, information. Or, you know, cries for help as my horrible shyness kicks in and I'm standing behind the ficus in the corner....

Forgot to mention this in my post on Saturday but if you can't make it to BEA this year you should really check out Armchair BEA Central. It looks pretty wonderful!

Also, there is still time to enter my 'can't be at BEA but still would love some goodies' contest.

Also also, my other contest for a brand new copy of A New Dawn is still ongoing as well.

Also, also, also....I'm going to miss you guys!!
I'm staying at my dad's house - aka, the only household still in existence with DIAL-UP - and I have no idea if I'll be able to email, tweet, blog, and check google reader before something catches on fire. Seriously folks, how did we live before high speed internet?

Ok - need to finish packing and run around the house freaking out a little more.

Hope you are all having a great day!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

BEA Last Minute Check In + CONTEST!

Hey guys! In a few short days I'll be heading off to NYC for Book Expo America and the first ever Book Bloggers Convention. I'm supper excited!
I'm going to try to post during the week with updates on my day but if I'm not around as much, please forgive me.

No In My Mailbox this week as I didn't really get much, but I'm hoping next week's will be killer!

For those of you going to BEA, here are some great links to various goings ons. I've come to realize that I can't possibly see everything I want to see, or find every book I'm looking for. I do know I'll have a great time though - how could I not with so many books everywhere!

Book Expo main page

Book Bloggers Convention 

BEA Organizer webpage

The Official On-Line Catalog of BEA books (if you limit your search by genre and click on the publisher link next to a particular book there is info on books and times they will be available!)

BEA 2010: Kids Galleys to Grab 

A big THANK YOU to Donna from Bites for the above 2 links.

Want to meet up? Check out this post and fill out my form.

I'll check in again before I leave to post my latest Can you tell me? answers and probably to freak out a little bit about BEA!

Lastly, I realize that not everyone can attend BEA this year and I want to help spread the book love. So, if you are not attending BEA and would like to win some of the goodies I bring back with me, fill out


No idea what I'll wind up with but I'll let you choose. Maybe more then one winner - we'll see!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Can you tell me?

Lately, in the course of blogging, learning the robes, trying to get a handle on Twitter, I have discovered that I have a lot of questions about random little things. So I though - why don't I ask you guys?!

Weekly, or monthly or really whenever I feel like it I'm going to pose a question to you. Something random but bloggy / social netowrky / techy in nature most likely. (what? those are all real words, I swear).

I'll post up everyone's answers in a few days - cause, maybe one of you doesn't know the same things I don't know....you know?

This week, I ask you:

Can you tell me...in Blogger, is there an easy way to rename your labels once you make them? I currently don't have my labels visible but I have been thinking about it. I would love to clean up my labels and am hoping I don't have to go into each post to make changes.

Sorry for any readers out there that don't use Blogger and probably have no idea what I'm talking about! Hopefully I made some sense to some of you though :)

Thanks!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

BEA anyone? Who's with me?

It's almost here! Book Expo America is coming!!! Ah!!!!!!!

Ok, only freaking out a little bit. There are some things I'm not worried about -- I grew up on Long Island and my parents are still there. That means, free room and board and some knowledge on how NYC works and how to get around. What I am worried about is....what if I get there and my extreme shyness kicks in and I run to a corner and stay there all day :(
Ok, this probably won't happen but still - what if!!

So, I would love to know if any of you guys are going. Thanks to twitter (which I am beginning to love even if I don't fully understand it yet) I know of some of you who will be at BEA next week. But who else?

Are you going? Do you want to try and meet up? Yes? Could you fill out the form below? I don't remember which blogger I saw do this first but I thank you for the idea!

Can't wait to get my hands on...

A little peak at my wishlist

Inspired by: 
Krist's Books To Pine For
Kate's Neverending Discoveries
Eleni's Up and Coming Releases

Links and info from Goodreads

A female werewolf story - complete with family secrets and possibly a love story.

Genesis by Benard Beckett (April 2009 - Houghton Mifflin)
A dystopian novel I just heard about. Looks really good!

The Summer of Moonlight Secrets by Danette Haworth (May 2010 - Walker Books for Young Readers)
A tale of an antebellum hotel in Florida with a mysterious secret. 

A fictional account of the Salem witch trails as told by some of the actual historical characters. This dark period of New England history as always fasinated me - looking forward to this one.

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce (June 2010 - Little Brown Books for Young Readers)
Another werewolve tale that has been getting a lot of good reviews around the blogosphere. 

The Secret of Ka by Christopher Pike (September 2010 - Harcourt Children's Books)
I absolutly love Christopher Pike! This one looks to be more fantasy then horor and I can't wait to get my hands on it! :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Spoiler Free Review: Perchance to Dream by Lisa Mantchev

*Spoiler Free reviews are reviews of 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) books in a series with no fear of spoilers!*

Title: Perchance To Dream
Author: Lisa Mantchev
Publication Date: May 2010
Tags: fairies, magic, theater, romance, love triangle
Age: 12+
Pages: 352
Series: 2nd in the Théâtre Illuminata series
Book Acquisition: Traveling ARC Tours

My Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars

Goodreads Description

My Review:
If you read Eyes Like Stars, Perchance to Dream is a must read. There was so much more of the story to be told.

I was very happy with the fact that Perchance to Dream picks right where Eyes Like Stars ends. I didn't feel like I was missing anything with the start of the second book.
I also liked the fact that even though we have our favorite characters, a few new ones were introduced that I very much warmed up to quickly. Also - much more of the setting of the world Bertie lives in is revealed. I felt like I had a better grasp on the magic and fantasy that is the day to day existence of the characters.

I also felt like I got a lot of answers, but at the same time, I felt that many more questions were raised that I hope will be answered in future books (which I plan on reading :)
The flow of the book was a little weird for me - I found myself rereading certain sections over again because I was getting confused as to where the characters where and what they were doing.

Overall, I have to say, I enjoyed Perchance to Dream more then I did Eyes Like Stars. How do I feel about Ariel? You know, still not sure! Eyes Like Stars had me questioning his intentions and I'm still not sure how to feel about him. Nate is a dream though :)

I would recommend this book to fans of fairy fantasy :) and like I said, a must read after reading Eyes Like Stars.

Théâtre Illuminata Series
#1 Eyes Like Stars (July 2009)
#2 Perchance to Dream (May 2010)

Linkage Love:
Feiwel and Friends
Author's Website

Tidbits:
*My review of Eyes Like Stars

Other Reviews:
Traveling ARC review page

Monday, May 17, 2010

Book Review: The Returners by Gemma Malley

Title: The Returners
Author: Gemma Malley
Publication Date: March 2010
Tags: good and evil, life and death, reincarnation, history, prejudice, racism
Age: 12+
Pages: approx 320
Series: no
Book Acquisition: received an ARC from the publisher for review

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

(from Goodreads)
London teenager Will Hodge is miserable. His mother is dead, his father’s political leanings have grown radical, and his friends barely talk to him. To top it off, he’s having nightmares about things like concentration camps. Then Will notices he's being followed by a group of people who claim to know him from another time in history. It turns out they are Returners, reincarnated people who carry with them the memory of atrocities they have witnessed in the past. Will realizes that he, too, is a Returner. But something about his memories is different, and with dawning horror, Will suspects that he wasn’t just a witness to the events, he was instrumental in making them happen. Set in the near future, with the world on the verge of a new wave of ethnic cleansing, Will must choose to confront the cruelty he's known in his past lives, or be doomed to repeat it . . . again.

My Review:
I have to say, this book wasn't what I thought it would be. That happens sometimes, but in this case, it wasn't a bad thing at all. I was expecting a light paranormal story with maybe a few twists and turns. What I got was so much deeper and richer.

Honestly, a few parts of the story were difficult for me to read. They were raw and truthful and a bit upsetting. They were exactly what they should be and I didn't begrudge the story for making me uncomfortable because it worked.

For me, The Returners was more of a political / social commentary book then it was a paranormal tale. The issues brought up were pretty much right in your face - in a good way. I wasn't sure how Malley was going to end this story, and I wasn't sure I was going to be happy with it. I was happy though because by the end of the book I was left with a feeling of hope.

I have another book by Malley sitting on my shelf - The Declaration. It's the first in a trilogy and after reading The Returners, I'm very much looking forward to getting started on it.

I would recommend this book to fans of paranormal YA books who are looking for a deeper and more powerful story.

Linkage Love:
Bloomsbury
Author's Website

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Contest! Any Twilight fans out there?

Thanks to the great folks at BenBella Books, you could win a copy of A New Dawn: Your Favorite Authors on Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Series edited by Ellen Hopkins

Fans of the literary phenomenon known as the Twilight series can’t help wanting more. A New Dawn gives it to them, inviting readers to join some of their favorite YA authors as they look at the series with fresh eyes and fall in love with Edward, Bella and the rest of Forks, Wash., all over again.
Edited by bestselling author Ellen Hopkins, A New Dawn is packed with the same debates readers engage in with friends: Should Bella have chosen Edward or Jacob? How much control do Meyer’s vampires and werewolves really have over their own lives? The collection also goes further: Is Edward a romantic or a (really hot) sociopath? How do the Quileute werewolves compare to other Native American wolf myths? What does the Twilight series have in common with Shakespeare?
With Essays From...
* Robin Brande
* Rachel Caine
* Cassandra Clare
* Rosemary Clement-Moore
* Linda Gerber
* Cara Lockwood
* Megan McCafferty
* K. A. Nuzum
* James Owen
* Janette Rallison
* Ellen Steiber
* Anne Usru

Details:
*Open to residents 13 years and older in the US and Canada.
*Contest ends June 4th 11:59PM EST
*Enter HERE

Good luck everyone! Thanks for entering!

Can you tell me? ANSWERS!

I had a great response to my first Can you tell me? post so I think I'll be making it a regular feature here at Red House Books. What do you guys think?

The question I presented to you wonderful folks was:

"Can you tell me...In twitter, if I 'reply' to a tweet but the person I'm replying to doesn't follow me, do they see my tweet reply in their feed?"

I had a few people who said "Yes, they do" but I had even more people say "No, they don't".
I decided to do a little test. I was able to convince my wonderful partner to created his own Twitter account. He became my follower but I did not become his. He then replied to my most recent tweet and....his reply DID NOT pop up on my home page feed. However, as a few of you pointed out - when I clicked my @WilowRedHouse link I could see any tweets where WilowRedHouse was mentioned - including the reply my sweetie just made.

Final verdict:

No, they do not see your reply.

I can see how this might be a little annoying but I'm hoping the people I follow that don't follow me are just as crazy as I am and check there @ list frequently :)

Maybe there is something some of us are missing? Those of you that said, yes - do you see replies from people you don't follow? Maybe this will change? Maybe it's a very intentional feature so as not to clutter up your feed with tweets of people you don't want to see (even if they are talking about you?). Who knows!
Of course, I'm not even saying I have all the answers here - and if anyone has anything more to add, please let me know!

Thanks guys, this has been a lot of fun!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

In My Mailbox - May 15, 2010

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren :)

Ever try to impose a 'no more new books in the house' rule? Ever fail miserably? hehe...yeah...well...wanna see my books!?

For Review from Other Shelf Tours
Angel Star by Jennifer Murgia
Already started reading this one and I'm really liking it so far!
(from Goodreads)
Seventeen-year-old Teagan McNeel falls for captivating Garreth Adams and soon discovers that her crush has an eight-point star etched into the palm of his right hand-the mark of an angel. 
But where there is light, dark follows, and she and Garreth suddenly find themselves vulnerable to a dark angel's malicious plan that could threaten not only her life, but the lives of everyone she knows, and now, she is torn between one angel's sacrifice and another angel's vicious ambition. 
Divinely woven together, Angel Star takes readers on a reflective journey when one angel's sacrifice collides with another angel's vicious ambition in a way that is sure to have readers searching for their own willpower.

Bought
The Red Pryamid by Rick Riordan
I love Rick Riordan! 
(from Goodreads)
Since their mother’s death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane. 
One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a "research experiment" at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives. 
Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them--Set--has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe--a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.

Bought
The Sisters Grimm Book 8: The Inside Story by Michael Buckley
Have you read this series? It's a really great MG fantasy / fairy tale series and I love it! So happy to get the 8th book this week.
(from Goodreads)
After the shocking ending of The Everafter War, this book picks up with Sabrina, Daphne, and Puck stuck in the Book of Everafter, where all the fairy tales are stored and enchanted characters can change their destinies. The girls (and Puck) must chase the Master through a series of stories, where they’re willing to change what they need in order to save their baby brother. Soon, however, they are confronted by the Editor—the book’s guardian—who, along with an army of tiny monsters known as Revisers, threatens the children with dire consequences if they don’t stick to the stories. As they chase their quarry and dodge the Revisers, they meet Alice, Mowgli, Jack the Giant Killer, Hansel and Gretel, the Headless Horseman, and more. But will they find their brother in time?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Can you tell me?

I've been toying with this idea for a while and finally decided to just go ahead and do it!
Lately, in the course of blogging, learning the robes, trying to get a handle on Twitter, I have discovered that I have a lot of questions about random little things. So I though - why don't I ask you guys?!

Weekly, or monthly or really whenever I feel like it I'm going to pose a question to you. Something random but bloggy / social netowrky / techy in nature most likely. (what? those are all real words, I swear).

I'll post up everyone's answers in a few days - cause, maybe one of you doesn't know the same things I don't know....you know?

Anyway!

For my first ever "Can you tell me?" post I ask:

Can you tell me...In twitter, if I 'reply' to a tweet but the person I'm replying to doesn't follow me, do they see my tweet reply in their feed?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

On My Wishlist - Debut Authors

There are so many wonderful books coming out in 2010 and for some reason I seem to want them all! For those reasons, On My Wishlist posts for the rest of the year will be dedicated to upcoming 2010 Debut Authors!

On My Wishlist is hosted by Book Chick City :)

Under My Skin by Judith Graves
Release Date: In Stores Now!
All her parents wanted was for Eryn to live a normal life...
Redgrave had its share of monsters before Eryn moved to town. Mauled pets, missing children. The Delacroix family is taking the blame, but Eryn knows the truth. Something stalks the night. Wade, the police chief's son and Redgrave High's resident hottie, warns her the Delacroix are dangerous. But then so is Eryn--in fact, she's lethal.
But she can't help falling for one of the Delacroix boys, dark, brooding--human Alec. And then her world falls apart.
A normal life? Now that's the real fairytale. 

The Shadows (The Books of Elsewhere #1) by Jacqueline West
Release Date: June 15, 2010
Old Ms. McMartin is definitely dead. Now her crumbling Victorian mansion lies vacant. When eleven-year-old Olive and her dippy mathematician parents move in, she knows there’s something odd about the place—not least the walls covered in strange antique paintings. But when Olive finds a pair of old spectacles in a dusty drawer, she discovers the most peculiar thing yet: She can travel inside these paintings to a world that’s strangely quiet . . . and eerily like her own Yet Elsewhere harbors dark secrets—and Morton, an undersized boy with an outsize temper.
As she and Morton form an uneasy alliance, Olive finds herself ensnared in a plan darker and more dangerous than she could have imagined, confronting a power that wants to be rid of her by any means necessary. It’s up to Olive to save the house from the dark shadows, before the lights go out for good. 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Spoiler Free Review: Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr

*Spoiler Free reviews are reviews of 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) books in a series with no fear of spoilers!*

Title: Radiant Shadows
Author: Melissa Marr
Publication Date: April 2010
Tags: faeries, magic, romance, fantasy
Age: 12+
Pages: 352
Series: 4th in the Wicked Lovely Series
Book Acquisition: ARC from Around the World Tours

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Goodreads Description

My Review:
Dear Melissa Marr, please never stop writing. More Wicked Lovely books please. Thank you!

Seriously though - it's true. I really hope Marr never stops writing about the wonderful world she has created with her Wicked Lovely series. I'm hooked. I'm a huge fan and I'm not afraid to scream it from the roof tops!

I LOVE WICKED LOVELY!

And you should too :)

Radiant Shadows is the 4th installment to date. I have to say, when I first read the description, I was a little disappointed. I thought for sure we would be getting more of the Seth / Ash / Keenan storyline. I really didn't have anything to worry about though because what we do get is wonderful. More back story, more fantasy -oh, and yeah -- more Devlin - remember him!? I loved every word of this book.

We meet up with a lot of characters we have seen in the past including Sorcha, Seth, Gabriel, Rabbit and Bananach. Also Niall and Irial and I have to say, I was very intrigued by the way their friendship is portrayed.

Much more passion in this one, I think. It felt very real and not forced. It kept me turning the pages. But at the same time, there are so many other elements in play. The entire story was rich with fantasy.

I have no idea what Marr has planned next but I can't wait! If you're a fan of the series, I think you will really like this one. If you haven't read the Wicked Lovely series I would highly recommend it to fans of really good faery fantasy.

The Wicked Lovely Series:
Wicked Lovely (May 2007)
Ink Exchange (May 2008)
  Stopping Time - short story ebook (April 2010)
Fragile Eternity (April 2009)
Radiant Shadows (April 2010)

Linkage Love:
Harper Collins
Author's Website

Tidbits:
*The short story Stopping Time follows the events of Ink Exchange. It is available as an ebook from the publisher.

Other Reviews:
Around the World tours review page

Monday, May 10, 2010

Book Review: Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu


Title: Dirty Little Secrets
Author: C.J. Omololu
Publication Date: February 2010
Tags: fiction, hoarding, family secrets
Age: 12+
Pages: 224
Series: no
Book Acquisition: received a finished hardcover copy from the publisher for review

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

(from Goodreads)
Everyone has secrets. Some are just bigger and dirtier than others. 
For sixteen years, Lucy has kept her mother's hoarding a secret. She's had to -- nobody would understand the stacks of newspapers and mounds of garbage so high they touch the ceiling and the rotting smell that she's always worried would follow her out the house. After years of keeping people at a distance, she finally has a best friend and maybe even a boyfriend if she can play it right. As long as she can make them think she's normal. 
When Lucy arrives home from a sleepover to find her mother dead under a stack of National Geographics, she starts to dial 911 in a panic, but pauses before she can connect. She barely notices the filth and trash anymore, but she knows the paramedics will. First the fire trucks, and then news cameras that will surely follow. No longer will they be remembered as the nice oncology nurse with the lovely children -- they'll turn into that garbage-hoarding freak family on Collier Avenue. 
With a normal life finally within reach, Lucy has only minutes to make a critical decision. How far will she go to keep the family secrets safe?

My Review:
This was a pretty much a WOW book for me. You know the type - after you finished it all you can really say is 'wow'. That's exactly how I felt. This book was powerful. The storyline was one I have never encountered in YA books (or adult books for that matter). I couldn't imagine living my life the way Lucy and her family did. At the same time, Omololu did such a wonderful job bringing this story to life, I felt like I was right there beside Lucy throughout her ordeal.

This books is pretty much out of the range of my normal genre - preferring fantasy, horror and paranormal stories. But I am so glad I read it. What Lucy has to go through is horrific and at first, I couldn't believe she was trying to cover up her mother's death. Her reasoning wasn't sound, the scenarios she came up with weren't realistic. It didn't take me long to sympathize though. Almost everything she did she did out of desperation. Keeping her family's secret is the most important thing in Lucy's life.

The ending was pretty shocking. I didn't see it coming but looking back, after finishing the book, it fit. It helped all the pieces fall together.

I would recommend this book to fans of realistic teen fiction who are looking for something different.The story is truly moving and I'm looking forward to reading more from Omololu in the future.

Linkage Love:
Walker Publishing Company, A Division of Bloomsbury
Author's Website
Children Of Hoarders

Saturday, May 8, 2010

In My Mailbox - May 8, 2010

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren :)

Bought a little too much this week :) Got some pretty exiciting tour books as well!
Also - no picture but I received an awesome swag pack prize from Misty over at The Book Rat - thanks Misty! Love the swag!!!

For Review from Other Shelf Tours
Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus
Release Date: July 13, 2010
Reading this one now - pretty good so far.
(from Goodreads)
His love captivated her... his secrets might kill her.
Since her sister’s mysterious death, Persephone “Phe” Archer has been plagued by a series of disturbing dreams. Determined to find out what happened to her sister, Phe enrolls at Devenish Prep in Shadow Hills, Massachusetts—the subject of her sister’s final diary entry.
After stepping on campus, Phe immediately realizes that there’s something different about this place—an unexplained epidemic that decimated the town in the 1700s, an ancient and creepy cemetery, and gorgeous boy Zach—and somehow she’s connected to it all.
But the more questions she asks and the deeper she digs, the more entangled Phe becomes in the haunting past of Shadow Hills. Finding what links her to this town…might cost her her life.

For Review from Traveling ARC Tours
The Krybosian Stairpath by S.R.R. Colvin
Release Date: October 2009
A big thanks to the author for donating this one to the tour - it looks really good and I can't wait to get started!
(from Goodreads)
In a refreshing change, along comes a children's book that does not rely on magic to explain the unexplainable. The Krybosian Stairpath puts forth the notion that just because you don't understand something, it doesn't mean there must be magic behind it. Knowledge and perspective can make all the difference.
Enter a world of wonder deep inside the earth as 11-year-old geologist Madison Terrence follows her pet gopher down a stairpath portal she discovers in her family's cavern. When she descends the Krybosian Stairpath, a mystery from her family's past begins to unravel. She soon realizes her arrival in the interior world of Krybos is no accident. Madison discovers that she's been pulled into a sinister plot to destroy the most beautiful place she has ever seen.

For Review from Around the World Tours
Fire Will Fall by Carol Plum-Ucci
Release Date: May 2010
Didn't realize this is the second book of a series when I signed up for the tour. I've loved everything by Plum-Ucci I have read in the past so I'm still looking forward to starting on this one. Doesn't it sound good?
(from Goodreads)
ShadowStrike poisoned the water of Trinity Falls two moths ago. Now the Trinity Four, the teens most affected by the poison, have been isolated in a remote mansion under 24-hour medical care while scientists on four continents rush to discover a cure. Meanwhile, U.S. operatives scour the world for the bioterrorists responsible for this heinous crime, as two teen virtual spies, also infected, hunt for the criminals on the Internet. The danger remains real—for ShadowStrike has every reason to pursue the Trinity Four, and their evil plan will unleash a new designer virus that’s even deadlier than the first.

Bought
Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder
Seen a lot of good reviews on this one - couldn't pass it up!
(from Goodreads)
Keep Your Head Down.
Don't Get Noticed.
Or Else.
I'm Trella. I'm a scrub. A nobody. One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I've got one friend, do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? The only neck at risk is my own…until I accidentally start a rebellion and become the go-to girl to lead a revolution.

Bought
The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
Been meaning to pick this one up for a while now
(from Goodreads)
The city of Ember was built as a last refuge for the human race. Two hundred years later, the great lamps that light the city are beginning to flicker. When Lina finds part of an ancient message, she’s sure it holds a secret that will save the city. She and her friend Doon must decipher the message before the lights go out on Ember forever! This stunning debut novel offers refreshingly clear writing and fascinating, original characters.

Bought
Trackers by Patrick Carman
Love, love, love Patrick Carman!!! This is is newest YA book and it looks like it's written in the style of Skeleton Creek which was awesome!
(from Goodreads)
In the 21st century landscape of bits and bytes, everyone leaves a digital footprint ... even the most advanced cyber criminals. And that’s where the Trackers come in. Four tech-savvy kids armed with high-tech video cameras and esoteric coding skills, the Trackers can find almost anyone, anywhere. Told through a collage of videos, text, and websites, Trackers #1 follows Adam, Finn, Lewis, and Emily as they become entangled in a high-tech, high-stakes game of cat and mouse with Shantorian, the world’s most dangerous hacker. At least, that’s who they think they’re tracking....
As the four dig deeper into the shadowy world of online crime, they soon learn that things aren’t always as they seem.

Bought
Mistwood by Leah Cypess
Debut Author! Looks wonderful.
(from Goodreads)
The Shifter is an immortal creature bound by an ancient spell to protect the kings of Samorna. When the realm is peaceful, she retreats to the Mistwod. 
But when she is needed she always comes. 
Isabel remembers nothing. Nothing before the prince rode into her forest to take her back to the castle. Nothing about who she is supposed to be, or the powers she is supposed to have. 
Prince Rokan needs Isabel to be his Shifter. He needs her ability to shift to animal form, to wind, to mist. He needs her lethal speed and superhuman strength. And he needs her loyalty--because without it, she may be his greatest threat. 
Isabel knows that her prince is lying to her, but she can't help wanting to protect him from the dangers and intrigues of the court . . . until a deadly truth shatters the bond between them. 
Now Isabel faces a choice that threatens her loyalty, her heart . . . and everything she thought she knew.

Bought
The 13th Reality Book One by James Dashner
James Dashner wrote The Maze Runner which I loved. I think this series is my MG then YA and it looks really good!
(from Goodreads)
What if every time you made a choice that had a significant consequence, a new, alternate reality was created — the life that would’ve been had you made the other choice? What if those new realities were in danger? What if it fell to you to save all the realities? 
Atticus Higginbottom, a.k.a. Tick, is an average thirteen-year-old boy until the day a strange letter arrives in his mailbox. Postmarked from Alaska and cryptically signed with the initials “M.G.,” the letter informs Tick that dangerous — perhaps even deadly — events have been set in motion that could result in the destruction of reality itself. M.G. promises to send Tick twelve riddles that will reveal on a certain day, at a certain time, at a certain place, something extraordinary will happen. Will Tick have the courage to follow the twelve clues M.G. sends to him? Will he be able to solve the riddles in time? Will Tick discover the life he was meant to live? 
The first volume of an outstanding new children’s fantasy series, The Journal of Curious Letters is filled with adventure, humor, riddles, and, oh, yes — danger... As M.G. warns Tick, Very frightening things are coming your way. Will you join Tick and his friends on an amazing journey through the Realities? What will your choice be? 

So, what's in your mailbox?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

On My Wishlist

There are so many wonderful books coming out in 2010 and for some reason I seem to want them all! For those reasons, On My Wishlist posts for the rest of the year will be dedicated to upcoming 2010 Debut Authors!


On My Wishlist is hosted by Book Chick City :)

I'm going to get the chance to read this one as part of Other Shelf Tours but I'm thinking it's going to be one I'll want to own for myself :)

Angel Star by Jennifer Murgia
Release Date: May 18, 2010
(from Goodreads)
Seventeen-year-old Teagan McNeel falls for captivating Garreth Adams and soon discovers that her crush has an eight-point star etched into the palm of his right hand-the mark of an angel. 
But where there is light, dark follows, and she and Garreth suddenly find themselves vulnerable to a dark angel's malicious plan that could threaten not only her life, but the lives of everyone she knows, and now, she is torn between one angel's sacrifice and another angel's vicious ambition. 
Divinely woven together, Angel Star takes readers on a reflective journey when one angel's sacrifice collides with another angel's vicious ambition in a way that is sure to have readers searching for their own willpower.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mini Review: Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

Title: Elsewhere
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Publication Date: August 2005
Book Acquisition: bought new paperback

(from Goodreads)
Welcome to Elsewhere. It is warm, with a breeze, and the beaches are marvelous. It’s quiet and peaceful. You can’t get sick or any older. Curious to see new paintings by Picasso? Swing by one of Elsewhere’s museums. Need to talk to someone about your problems? Stop by Marilyn Monroe’s psychiatric practice. 
Elsewhere is where fifteen-year-old Liz Hall ends up, after she has died. It is a place so like Earth, yet completely different. Here Liz will age backward from the day of her death until she becomes a baby again and returns to Earth. But Liz wants to turn sixteen, not fourteen again. She wants to get her driver’s license. She wants to graduate from high school and go to college. And now that she’s dead, Liz is being forced to live a life she doesn’t want with a grandmother she has only just met. And it is not going well. How can Liz let go of the only life she has ever known and embrace a new one? Is it possible that a life lived in reverse is no different from a life lived forward? 
This moving, often funny book about grief, death, and loss will stay with the reader long after the last page is turned.

Elsewhere is my second Gabrielle Zevin book and I have to say, I'm impressed :) I really enjoyed this one. Such a different take on the afterlife. I really liked how it wasn't heaven (or hell for that matter) - Elsewhere is unlike any place I could have imagined. Aging backwards? At first I couldn't see how Zevin was going to pull it off - but she did. It was so interesting to see Liz come to terms not only with her death but with her new life as well.
A really sweet book! Love and hope and family and friends in such a unique setting. I really loved where all the characters wound up in the end and I'm very much looking forward to reading more by Zevin.

**In my Mimi Reviews I explore older, sometimes obscure books I have found in my travels and wish to share with my readers**
**This book was read as part of The Neverending Shelf's Clear the Clutter Challenge -- I loved it so much that I'm keeping it!**

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

More Debut Authors! aka Massive List Update!

Hey guys, I just posted a Month 4 Debut Authors update yesterday but I have recently discovered more! (insert evil laughter here)

The Massive List has been updated - check it out!
Links are to Goodreads....I really wish the Massive List was linked and I might try to start on that....might take a while though. What do you guys think?

Did I make any mistakes? Did I leave anyone out? Check out the Massive List and let me know!

What I added today:

Already Published:
Alexandra Bullen - Wish
Katie Pickard Fawcett - To Come and Go Like Magic
Jandy Nelson - The Sky Is Everywhere

1-May Kat Falls - Dark Life
1-May Mira Grant - Feed
11-May Alyssa B. Sheinmel - The Beautiful Between
13-May Kristen Chandler - Wolves, Boys and Other THings That Might Kill Me
13-May Joelle Anthony - Restoring Harmony
13-May Pat Brisson - The Best and Hardest Thing
13-May Jenna Burtenshaw - Wintercraft
18-May Jennifer Murgia - Angel Star
24-May Kate Milford - The Boneshaker

15-June Jacqueline West The Shadows (The Books of Elsewhere #1)
22-June Lesley Hauge - Nomansland

16-July Kate Hegary - Mieradome

2-Aug Sheila A. Nielson - Forbidden Sea

Monday, May 3, 2010

Month 4 Debut Authors Updates!

Time for some Tenners / 2K10 / Debut Authors Updates!

A little something different this time around as I have cast my net further and wider to pull in as many middle grade and young adult debut authors as I can find! I've come across a couple of great websites with tons of information and I urge you all to check them out:

2010: A Book Odyssey
Authors Now!
Class of 2K10

Something else I have done is to update my original debut authors post. A little more streamlined with a massive list of authors and their books. Please check it out!

Are you a debut author of a MG or YA book? Have I missed you? Let me know!
Anyone else notice any gaps? I am by no means suggesting that I have the power to gather ALL information on ALL debut authors out there as the saying goes, the more, the merrier :)

Updates - again check out the Massive List for more information!

Title Revealed
Prisoners in the Palace by Michaela MacColl

New Title
Wildfire Run by Dee Garretson

Books Added to the Massive List (in no particular order)
A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler (May 1)
Faithful by Janet Fox (May 13)
Ivy's Ever After by Dawn Lairamore (March)
Tell Me A Secret by Holly Cupala (June 22)
The Karma Club by Jessica Brody (April)
Delcroix Academy: The Candidates by Inara Scott (Aug 24)
Windblowne by Stephen Messer (May 25)
Nightshade City by Hilary Wagner (Oct 1)
Split by Swati Avasthi (March 9)
13 to Life by Shannon Delany (June 22)
Under My Skin by Judith Graves (March)
Party by Tom Leveen (April)
Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready (May 4)
Under the Green Hill by Laura L. Sullivan (Oct 26)

Cover Love!
Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
Wildfire Run by Dee Garretson
Duff by Kody Keplinger (official cover)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Short Stories Review: Love Is Hell

Love Is Hell
Melissa Marr, Scott Westerfeld, Justine Larbalestier, Gabrielle Zevin, Lauri Faria Stolarz
November 2008
HarperTeen

Sure, love is hell. But it's totally worth it.
In these supernatural stories by five of today's hottest writers—Melissa Marr (Wicked Lovely), Scott Westerfeld (Specials), Justine Larbalestier (Magic or Madness), Gabrielle Zevin (Elsewhere), and Laurie Faria Stolarz (Blue is for Nightmares)—love may be twisted and turned around, but it's more potent than ever on its quest to conquer all.
From two students who let the power of attraction guide them to break the hard-and-fast rules of their world to the girl who falls hard for a good-looking ghost with a score to settle, the clever, quirky characters in this exciting collection will break your heart, then leave you believing in love more than ever.
(from Goodreads)

Overall Rating: 5 / 5 Stars

Stories:
Laurie Faria Stolarz - Sleeping With the Spirit
A great story - what you would expect from Stolarz - a bit creepy, a bit mysterious.

Scott Westerfeld - Stupid Perfect World
This is the first I have read of Westerfeld and it left me very much wanting to read more! A futuristic tale where dreaming is a unknown. This is the story I would most like to see as a full length novel.

Justine LarbalestierThinner Than Water
My favorite! A true faery tale with a bitter sweet ending.

Gabrielle ZevinFan Fictions
If I had to pick a least favorite it would be this one. Least favorite only because it was unmemorable. Still very well written though, as everything by Zevin I have read has been.

Melissa MarrLove Struck
A perfect ending! Love might be hell but there is hope! A story of a legend I had never heard of - very like Marr - very well liked.

I very much enjoyed this book. Each author gave a unique and intriguing look at love. A perfect book for fans of each author, but I would also recommend this book to those who may not be acquainted with these talented writers.

Monthly Reads - April 2010

Hello May!
It's Spring here in New England (well, if you ignore that snow we got a few days ago!)
I write down each book I read in a little notebook and I have yet to look through April's entries so this is going to be a surprise to me as well :)

Let's see what we got....


Books Read in April:
1. Demon Chick by Marilyn Kaye
2. Serenity Better Days: Graphic Novel Vol 2 by Joss Whedon and others
3. Freaksvile by Kitty Keswick
4. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
5. The Solstice Cut by Rachel Dunstan
6. The Owl Keeper by Christine Brodien-Jones
7. The Returners by Gemma Malley
8. Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu
9. Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
10. Love Is Hell by Various Authors
11. Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr

Ok...not bad, not bad :)

Challenge Updates!
Wrote up a single post to help myself keep track of the various reading challenges I'm doing this year. Take a look if you like :)

So, how was your April?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

In My Mailbox - May 1, 2010

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Store Siren :)

Only a few this week, but I'm really excited about them!
Happy May everyone!

From Traveling ARC Tours
Perchance to Dream (Theatre Illuminata #2) by Lisa Mantchev
click link above for Goodreads page ***description does contain spoilers so only read if you have read Eyes Like Stars***

I'm reading this one now (almost done) and I'm liking it so far. A little weird for me and I'm not sure how I feel about some of the characters....review soon!

From the author for review:
The Julian Game by Adele Griffin
Can't wait to start reading this one - than you so much Adele!!
(from Goodreads)
New girl Raye Archer is desperate for a way into the In crowd, so when ice-queen Ella Parker chooses her to get back at her ex, the gorgeous Julian Kilgarry, Raye is more than game. Even if it means creating a fake Facebook identity as “Elizabeth” so that she can learn enough about Julian to sabotage him. While a fun and dangerous thrill at first, what Raye hadn’t counted on was falling for Julian herself—and igniting Ella’s rage.
As Raye works to reconcile the temptress Elizabeth with her real-life self, Ella serves up her own revenge. Now it’s Raye who falls victim, as Ella creates an online smear campaign of nasty rumors and trashy photographs. Suddenly notorious, Raye has to find a way out of the web of deceit that she’s helped to build, and back to the relationships that matter.
Adele Griffin’s riveting novel explores the issues of generation Facebook: the desire to be someone else, real versus online friends, and the pitfalls and fallouts of posting your personal life online for all the world to judge.

So, what's in your mailbox?