Thursday, April 23, 2009

Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell

Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell

Publish Date: February 2009
Pages: 192
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: Random House
Iris is ready for another hot, routine summer in her small Louisiana town, hanging around the Red Stripe grocery with her best friend, Collette, and traipsing through the cemetery telling each other spooky stories and pretending to cast spells. Except this summer, Iris doesn’t have to make up a story. This summer, one falls right in her lap.
Years ago, before Iris was born, a local boy named Elijah Landry disappeared. All that remained of him were whispers and hushed gossip in the church pews. Until this summer. A ghost begins to haunt Iris, and she’s certain it’s the ghost of Elijah. What really happened to him? And why, of all people, has he chosen Iris to come back to?
The girl on the cover of this book, I think it is supposed to be Iris, looks EXACTLY like this girl from my school. Every time I see the cover I have to do a double take because it is crazy how alike they are!
I honestly hadn't even read synopsis for Shadowed Summer before picking it up. I saw it at my local library, it had a cool cover, and I checked it out. On my drive down to Colorado I brought a bunch of books with me, and this was one of them. I was pleasantly surprised.
I loved the premise of this story. Ghost tales always intrigue me, and Shadowed Summer was no exception. The idea of Iris awaking Eli and solving his death sounds corny, but surprisingly I was intrigued.
There were several elements of this story I enjoyed. First, I love that the girls ran around playing make believe and magic, it reminds me of my childhood. Second, I loved that the girls were just playing around in the graveyard pretending when Iris accidentally awoke Eli. For some reason this just really excited me. I also loved how the story ended up relating back to her parents because at first I felt as though her father's character was under-developed. I also liked how they used the cliche crazy old religious lady in some way.
I felt as though the reason the story was so short was because it lacked character development. I never felt connected to any characters except Iris. I think the idea for Collette was great, but she was never explained in any depth. I wish the story could have been an extra twenty pages or so filled with more character development.
Overall Shadowed Summer was short and cute. If you need a quick read to fill a little bit of extra time, this novel is your best bet. 3/5

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday #12

Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison
Madison Avery's junior prom killed her-literally. She doesn't know why a Dark Reaper came after her‚ but that didn't stop her from stealing his amulet‚ which she discovered allows her soul to continue living on in a temporary body. But now she's being babysat by a disgruntled Light Reaper who's supposed to be training her‚ while angels try to figure out what's supposed to happen to her next. But Madison can't stay out of trouble for long‚ so along with her prom date Josh (who is getting cuter by the minute) and her guardian angel Grace‚ Madison takes matters into her own hands-only to discover that she is fated to become one of the most powerful leaders in the realm of the dark and light reapers. Well‚ if she believed in that stuff.
Yay! A supernatural book with a HOT cover. Need I say more? I love suspenseful novels, and this seems to nail that right on the head. I have also heard amazing things about Kim Harrison, though I have never read anything by her. Once Dead, Twice Shy will be released May 26.
What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sophomore Switch by Abby McDonald

Sophomore Switch by Abby McDonald

Publish Date: March 2009
Pages: 304
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher:Candlewick Press

Take an administrative snafu, a bad breakup, and what shall heretofore be known as "The Hot-Tub Incident," and you’ve got two unprepared sophomores on a semester abroad. For American party girl Tasha, an escape to Oxford may be a chance to ditch her fame as a tabloid temptress, but wading Uggs-deep in feminist theory is not her idea of a break. Meanwhile, the British half of the exchange, studious Emily, nurses an aching heart amid the bikinis and beer pong of U.C. Santa Barbara. Soon desperation has the girls texting each other tips — on fitting in, finding love, and figuring out who they really are. With an anthropologist’s eye for detail and a true ear for teen-speak, exciting new novelist Abby McDonald has crafted a funny, fast-paced, poignant look at survival, sisterhood, and the surprising ways we discover our true selves.

What a great book! Being that I am a high school senior, soon to be college freshman I love reading books set in college. Sophomore Switch was an addicting story about two college sophomores finding themselves in the least expected place possible.

Throughout the story both Natasha and Emily are struggling at living outside of their comfort zone. Natasha is a party girl from California and Emily an over achiever from Oxford. Both girls have trouble breaking out of their stereo types and truly figuring out who they are.

My favorite part of this story was how realistic it was. I can picture Natasha struggling, yet succeeding, in Oxford. I can also picture Emily finally walking around in a bikini with a fake ID and loving it. McDonald didn't rush either of the girls down their path or over explain anything.

I also thought the Sebastian thing was funny. I can't believe he was Natasha's 'busy' next door neighbor!!!

Another element I loved about this book was how each chapter switched between girls. In each girl's chapter they would go through similar changes, but in two completely different places. It's amazing how similar their stories are, yet so completely different. The only time this chapter idea became slightly confusing was when the girls met up in Florida. I kept having to check who's chapter I was reading.

If you haven't picked up Sophomore Switch, do it. The story is addicting and fun, the perfect summer read! 5/5

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Contest Winner!

Thank you to everyone who entered my contest for Take My There by Susane Colasanti!

According to RANDOM.ORG, the winner is

Katie!

Congratulations Katie!!

Be sure to keep checking back for new contests!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Guess What!!!

I got a four-year full-ride scholarship to the University of Oregon!!! I'm so excited I just thought I would share!

Do any of you guys go to college? If so, where?

Tay

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Purge: Rehab Diaries by Nicole Johns

Purge: Rehab Diaries by Nicole Johns

Publish Date: April 2009
Pages: 250
Age Group: Adult
Publisher: Avalon Publishing Group
Purge is a beautifully crafted memoir that has a Girl, Interrupted feel. In this raw and engaging account of her months in rehab, Nicole Johns documents her stay in a residential treatment facility for eating disorders. Her prose is lucid and vivid, as she seamlessly switches verb tenses and moves through time. She unearths several important themes: body image and sexuality, sexual assault and relationships, and the struggle to piece together one's path in life. While other books about eating disorders and treatment may sugarcoat the harsh realities of living with and recovering from an eating disorder, Purge does not hold back. The author presents an honest, detailed account of her experience with treatment, avoiding the clich├ęd happily-ever-after ending while still offering hope to those who struggle with eating disorders, as well as anyone who has watched a loved one fight to recover from an eating disorder. Purge sends a message: though the road may be rough, ultimately there is hope.
Being a fan of other rehab and disorder based books such as Wintergirls and A Million Little Pieces, I was very excited to receive a copy of Purge. Just as I expected, the book was powerful, beautiful, and full of hardships.
The beauty of this book was the fact that a story about such a difficult road to recovery was written so beautifully. Even though John's recount was filled with swearing, fighting, purging and relapsing, she has a powerful way with words that painted a perfect picture of every event that took place. I felt like I was sitting right there in the treatment facility recovering alongside her.
Often times, author's recounts aren't filled with nearly the right emotion, or feel like an edited version of the truth. However, Nicole Johns was brutally honest throughout the story, even if it was at the expense of her own image. The brutal honesty of John's story gave it an extra edge that screamed with power.
If you are looking for a brutally honest story about the road to eating disorder recovery, or just a powerful non-fiction story, look no farther than Purge.
3.5/5

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday #11

So I think I am the only blogger in the blogosphere without an ARC of this book, but I still really can't wait to read it!!!


Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

"Don't worry, Anna. I'll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it.""Okay.""Promise me? Promise you won't say anything?""Don't worry." I laughed. "It's our secret, right?"According to her best friend Frankie, twenty days in ZanzibarBay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy ever day, there's a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there's something she hasn't told Frankie---she's already had that kind of romance, and it was with Frankie's older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

Yeah it looks amazing, I'm super excited for it. Twenty Boy Summer will be released in June.

What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

In My Mailbox #11

A special thanks to Kristi from The Story Siren for this amazing meme that allows us bloggers to brag about all the fabulous books we received over the week!

I actually got a ton of books this week! I received nine books for review!
Waiting For You by Susane Colasanti (ARC/July 2009)
At the beginning of her sophomore year, Marisa is ready for a fresh start and, more importantly, a boyfriend. So when the handsome and popular Derek asks her out, Marisa thinks her long wait for happiness is over. But several bumps in the road—including her parents’ unexpected separation, a fight with her best friend, and a shocking disappointment in her relationship with Derek—test Marisa’s ability to maintain her new outlook. Only the anonymous DJ, whose underground podcasts have the school’s ear, seems to understand what Marisa is going through. But she has no idea who he is—or does she?
Lipstick Apology by Jennifer Jabaley (ARC/August 2009)
Sometimes a good-bye is just the beginning…
When Emily Carson’s parents die in a plane crash, she’s left with nothing but her mother’s last words scrawled in lipstick on a tray table: “Emily, please forgive me.”
Now it’s fall and Emily moves to New York City— where she attracts the attention of two very different boys: the cute, popular Owen, and her quirky chemistry partner, Anthony. With the help of some surprising new friends, Emily must choose between the boy who helps her forget and the one who encourages her to remember, and ultimately heal.
Plus by Veronica Chambers (ARC/April 2009)
"This is the unbelievable story of how I went to college, gained twenty-five pounds, got dumped by my boyfriend, failed physics and became a worldfamous supermodel."
So begins the Cinderella story of Beatrice Wilson, whose life changes overnight when she's discovered by a scout for the oldest, most prestigious modeling agency in America-for their plus-sized division.
Now she must find the confidence to vanquish skinny rivals, fend off sleazy photographers, and banish scheming frenemies in her rise to superstardom, all while trying to get her ex-boyfriend back. But Bea learns that to win prince charming, you first have to find a way to love yourself.

Take Me There by Susane Colasanti (ARC/May 2008)
In one short week . . . three lives change. Rhiannon is devastated after the breakup with her boyfriend and wants him back. Nicole's ex is still in the picture, but she can't help having a new crush. James and Rhiannon are just friends, though he may try to take it to the next level. Will their desire to take a mean girl down a notch bring these three friends what they want . . . and more?
Set during one life-altering week and told in three realistic perspectives, this engaging, witty novel by the author of When It Happens shows the ups and downs of love, friendship-and karma.

Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow (ARC/June 2009)
Dru Anderson has what her grandmother called “the touch.” (Comes in handy when you’re traveling from town to town with your dad, hunting ghosts, suckers, wulfen, and the occasional zombie.)
Then her dad turns up dead—but still walking—and Dru knows she’s next. Even worse, she’s got two guys hungry for her affections, and they’re not about to let the fiercely independent Dru go it alone. Will Dru discover just how special she really is before coming face-to-fang with whatever—or whoever— is hunting her?

The Chronicals of Vladimir Tod: Tenth Grade Bleeds by Heather Brewer (ARC/July 2009)
It’s another sucky year at Bathory High for Vladimir Tod. The evil vampire D’Ablo is hunting for the ritual that could steal Vlad’s powers. His best friend Henry doesn’t want to be his drudge anymore. And as if all that weren’t enough, it’s getting harder for Vlad to resist feeding on the people around him. When months go by with no word from Uncle Otis and D’Ablo shows up demanding Vlad’s father’s journal, Vlad realizes that having a normal high school year is the least of his concerns. Vlad needs to act fast, and even his status as the Pravus won’t save him this time . . .

Unclaimed Heart by Kim Wilkins (ARC/July 2009)
The rules for a young English woman in 1799 are simple: Do what you’re told; stay out of the way; and don’t, under any circumstances, ask questions.
But Constance Blackchurch is insatiable, headstrong, and complex; and the quest to find her missing mother is too much to resist…
…as is Alexandre Sans-Nom, the pearl diver who steals her heart, uproots all of her social expectations, and can either ruin or save the family she loves.

Exclusively Chloe by J.A. Yang (ARC/May 2009)
Chloe-Grace can't help it-she's spectacular. How could she not be with celebrity parents who have been the queen and king of Hollywood for years? But Chloe is a celebrity all unto herself as well- she's the first celebrity-adopted kid in Hollywood. But now Chloe's sixteen, and she is tired of every undesired moment of the world's attention. She wonders what it would be like to be a "normal" kid in a regular school. To really understand it, though, she would need to go undercover. So after getting a "make-under" at the hands of her mother's fabulous stylist, she enters the "real" world. But she soon finds out that there is just as much drama there as there is in Hollywood . . . .
What did you guys get this week?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Snowboard Nationals Update

Hey everybody, as many of you know I have been slightly less active this past week because I have been in Colorado for Snowboard National Championships. I just wanted to give everyone an update.

I competed in slopestyle (jumps and rails) on Monday and placed 16th. This is the lowest I have ever placed in slopestyle before and this is because I fell both runs. I landed my run in practice, and basically if I had landed I would have podiumed. Oh well it was still really fun and I was one of the few girls to hit the big 60 foot jumps so I'm still excited.

I also competed in halfpipe today where I placed 12th. This is actually the highest I have ever placed in halfpipe. I don't get to ride halfpipe very often because our mountain has pretty crazy weather and the terrain park staff don't usually maintain it. I had a pretty great run and aired about two feet out of the pipe consecutively which I am really excited about. I felt a little ripped off but snowboarding is a judged event so everything should be taken with a grain of salt.
Overall I had a great week, I stayed at one of my best friend's condo for a few days which was great because she lives in Aspen, Colorado so I rarely get to see her. I also got a prom dress yay!! It is super beautiful I can't wait to wear it!!!

Right now I only have one picture of myself riding and a few just from throughout the week to post because the professional pictures aren't up yet, so I will post the rest sometime next week.
Tomorrow is the beginning of our 24 hour drive home, but hopefully I will post a review at night from the hotel.
Tay

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Paisley Hanover Acts Out by Cameron Tuttle

Paisley Hanover Acts Out by Cameron Tuttle

Publish Date: March 2009
Pages: 352
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: Penguin Group

Always one of the popular kids, sophomore Paisley Hanover gets a rude awakening when she's booted out of yearbook and into the badlands of drama class. Out of her element but only momentarily out of ideas, Paisley takes action-and an unexpected liking to her drama buddies. The result? An undercover crusade that could bring down the popularity pecking order, and Paisley along with it.

This is the story of how Paisley Hanover gets wise, gets bold, and gets into a hilarious mess of trouble. With a package as fresh and clever as Paisley herself- including a cool slipcase, a fabulous novel, and Paisley's notebook of embarrassingly funny ideas and doodles-it's the start of a series that embraces the "Un" in UnUsual.


What an amazing book! From the very first page, Tuttle's overly creative writing filled my mind and kept me hooked. I read this entire book in one sitting, and absolutely cannot wait until the sequel comes out!

Paisley Hanover's story is one nearly everyone can relate to. Tuttle's use of characters and their roles was realistic and I constantly saw resemblances between Paisley's school and my own. Although all the characters are slightly over dramatic it only adds to the story, rather than taking away from it.

I also have a giddy crush on Clint. He is a badass and I love it. Although he is supposed to be more "mellow" than past years I still love him. His character is powerful and I actually laughed out loud when he said "air mail delivery for Paisley Hanover" right before falling straight on top of her. I wish I was that creative!

The use of conversational language in this novel was perfect. Many authors try to captivate their readers by using slang and curses and it usually doesn't sound right at all. However Tuttle's use of slang was perfect and hilarious!

The message of the story is wonderful and I think everyone can take something away from it. Besides being absolutely hilarious, Paisley's story was easy to relate to and powerful. The stereotypical "pops" are completely realistic and it is sad to see the separation between high schoolers.

5/5

Monday, April 6, 2009

In My Mailbox #10

Thank you to Kristi from The Story Siren for giving us bloggers a great way to brag about all the fabulous books we receive on a weekly basis!

This week I received a pretty good amount of books considering that I have been out of town for half of it!
Sophomore Switch by Abby McDonald (March 2009/HB)
Take an administrative snafu, a bad breakup, and what shall heretofore be known as "The Hot-Tub Incident," and you’ve got two unprepared sophomores on a semester abroad. For American party girl Tasha, an escape to Oxford may be a chance to ditch her fame as a tabloid temptress, but wading Uggs-deep in feminist theory is not her idea of a break. Meanwhile, the British half of the exchange, studious Emily, nurses an aching heart amid the bikinis and beer pong of U.C. Santa Barbara. Soon desperation has the girls texting each other tips — on fitting in, finding love, and figuring out who they really are. With an anthropologist’s eye for detail and a true ear for teen-speak, exciting new novelist Abby McDonald has crafted a funny, fast-paced, poignant look at survival, sisterhood, and the surprising ways we discover our true selves.

A Season of Eden by J.M. Warwick (October 2008/PB)
He's my teacher. I shouldn't be alone with him. But I can't help that he's irresistible.
I let the door silently close at my back. He stared at me, and a taut quiet stretched between us. "I like hearing you play," I said, moving toward him. He turned, in sync with my slow approach. He looked up at me but didn't say anything. I rested my clammy hand on the cold, slick body of the baby grand. "May I?" The muscles in his throat shifted, then he swallowed. "Eden." My knees weakened, like a soft tickling kiss had just been blown against the backs of them. "Is it okay?" I asked. His gaze held mine like two hands joined. He understood what I was really asking. "Let me stay," I said. "Please." "You're going to get me in trouble," he said.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (April 2007/PB)
When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Clary knows she should call the police, but it's hard to explain a murder when the body disappears into thin air and the murderers are invisible to everyone but Clary.
Equally startled by her ability to see them, the murderers explain themselves as Shadowhunters: a secret tribe of warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. Within twenty-four hours, Clary's mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a grotesque demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know....

Hunted by P.C. + Kristin Cast (March 2009/HB)
What if the hottest guy in the world was hiding a nameless evil, and all he wanted was you?
At the start of this heart-pounding new installment of the bestselling House of Night series, Zoey’s friends have her back again and Stevie Rae and the red fledglings aren’t Neferet’s secrets any longer. But an unexpected danger has emerged. Neferet guards her powerful new consort, Kalona, and no one at the House of Night seems to understand the threat he poses. Kalona looks gorgeous, and he has the House of Night under his spell. A past life holds the key to breaking his rapidly spreading influence, but what if this past life shows Zoey secrets she doesn’t want to hear and truths she can’t face?
On the run and holed up in Tulsa’s Prohibition-era tunnels, Zoey and her gang must discover a way to deal with something that might bring them all down. Meanwhile, Zoey has a few other little problems. The red fledglings have cleaned up well – they’ve even managed to make the dark, creepy tunnels feel more like home – but are they really as friendly as they seem? On the boyfriend front, Zoey has a chance to make things right with super-hot ex-, Eric, but she can’t stop thinking about Stark, the archer who died in her arms after one unforgettable night, and she is driven to try to save him from Neferet’s sinister influence at all costs. Will anyone believe the power evil has to hide among us?



I'm pretty excited about all of them. Right now the only book from that list I have finished is Hunted, and I will post a review sometime this week hopefully!

What did you get?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Season by Sarah MacLean

Publish Date: March 2009
Pages: 352
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.

Seventeen year old Lady Alexandra is strong-willed and sharp-tongued -- in a house full of older brothers and their friends, she had to learn to hold her own. Not the best makings for an aristocratic lady in Regency London. Yet her mother still dreams of marrying Alex off to someone safe, respectable, and wealthy. But between ball gown fittings, dances, and dinner parties, Alex, along with her two best friends, Ella and Vivi, manages to get herself into what may be her biggest scrape yet.

When the Earl of Blackmoor is mysteriously killed, Alex decides to help his son, the brooding and devilishly handsome Gavin, uncover the truth. But will Alex's heart be stolen in the process? In an adventure brimming with espionage, murder, and other clandestine affairs, who could possibly have time to worry about finding a husband? Romance abounds as this year's season begins!

Historical Fiction has never held much interest to me. I have always found them to be filled mostly with non-fiction and a short and boring plot line snuck in. However, The Season held me from the very first sentence. One of the reasons this book was so much more enjoyable than the majority of historical fictions was because the dialogue between characters fit the time period but wasn't so heavy that it wasn't understandable. It was the perfect mix of modern language and Old English to make the book accurate yet enjoyable.

I know that the majority of bloggers who have reviewed this book knew who the killer was immediately but I didn't! The whole time I thought the killer was Freddie! Since everyone else said they knew immediately I figured it was because of how much Gavin hated him! I didn't realize it was Blackmoor's uncle until the situation in the orangery! Congrats Sarah, you fooled at least one reader!

The relationship between Alex and Gavin was more realistic than I expected. It was written exceptionally well and the ups and downs between them kept me glued to the pages. The only issue I had was the relationship between Gavin and Penelope. The idea of it was brilliant because jealousy in love is addicting to read about, but compared to the relationship between Alex and Freddie it was completely under developed. I felt as though more characterization about Penelope would have created an even steamier romance when Alex and Gavin finally became close.

Another aspect I thoroughly enjoyed was the intelligence of the women. I had always though of women of 1800 England as stand ins like Alex didn't want to be. However Alex's mother was intelligent and still highly respected. Girl power!!

The Season is a fast paced Historical Fiction that will keep every reader glued from the first page. The romance is beautiful and the setting of the story is dream-like. Add a murder to this "perfect" lifestyle and the story is unbelievable! I recommend this story to everyone!

5/5

Saturday, April 4, 2009

April Giveaway #1!

Yay, a new giveaway! This giveaway is in celebration of author Susane Colasanti! In case you haven't heard of her, she is the author of When It Happens, Take Me There, and her upcoming novel Waiting For You which is set to be released in May.

Being the YA romance addict that I am, A Susane Colasanti giveaway is the perfect idea! For those of you like myself who are interested in her books here is a widget for you to read the first three chapters of each!

Susane Colasanti Sampler


Susane Colasanti Sampler PenguinYoungReaders


To help gather excitement for her upcoming release I am giving away a copy of Take Me There for one lucky winner to get a glimpse of her writing!

Here is the summary:

In one short week . . . three lives change.
Rhiannon is devastated after the breakup with her boyfriend and wants him back. Nicole's ex is still in the picture, but she can't help having a new crush. James and Rhiannon are just friends, though he may try to take it to the next level. Will their desire to take a mean girl down a notch bring these three friends what they want . . . and more?


Contest rules are as follows:


This contest is open to the U.S. only (sorry internationals!)


This contest will end April 18tht midnight!


And now for entries:


+1 for a comment below

+1 for following

+2 if you already follow

+1 for adding me to your blogroll

+1 for posting this somewhere else (i.e. a blog or your sidebar)


It really helps if everyone posts a separate comment for each entry. Basically it makes it much easier for me to count up entries. If you leave one comment with all five of your entries you will only get one entry... SORRY!



Friday, April 3, 2009

100 Followers!!


Yay! Thank you so much everyone for following my blog and being supportive! I am beginning to love blogging more and more every day, and it's so much better when I'm in constant communication with you guys. Thanks for visiting my blog and hopefully enjoying it!


YAY 100!!!


P.S. I'm on my trip to snowboard nationals. Yesterday we drove 13 hours and stayed in a hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah which is where I am writing from right now. We will soon be getting back on the road and driving the final 8 hours to Copper, Colorado!


I have some pictures of the van drive that I will hopefully post later!!


Bye!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bad Girls Don't Die Review and Author Interview

Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender

Publish Date: April 21, 2009
Pages: 352
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: Hyperion

Alexis thought she led a typically dysfunctional high school existence. Dysfunctional like her parents' marriage; her doll-crazy twelve-year-old sister, Kasey; and even her own anti-social, anti-cheerleader attitude.

When a family fight results in some tearful sisterly bonding, Alexis realizes that her life is creeping from dysfunction into danger. Kasey is acting stranger than ever: her blue eyes go green sometimes; she uses old-fashioned language; and she even loses track of chunks of time, claiming to know nothing about her strange behavior. Their old house is changing, too. Doors open and close by themselves; water boils on the unlit stove; and an unplugged air conditioner turns the house cold enough to see their breath in.


Alexis wants to think that it's all in her head, but soon, what she liked to think of as silly parlor tricks are becoming life-threatening--to her, her family, and to her budding relationship with the class president. Alexis knows she's the only person who can stop Kasey -- but what if that green-eyed girl isn't even Kasey anymore?

One of my favorite elements in a book is a badass main character. Alexis is now contenting for the top of my badass heroin list with Rose Hathaway from Vampire Academy, a feat i never thought possible. Alexis's character was a wonderful blend of funny, uncertain yet bold, cute, and just all-around creative. I love people, characters included, who aren't afraid to flaunt who they are. One of my many favorite parts of the book was when Alexis was suspended from school for putting stickers that said 'Gas Guzzler' on every SUV in her school's parking lot. Then when being questioned she told the principal she skipped her car because she heard she was on the waiting list for a hybrid. I laughed out loud for much longer than I should when I read that. I have a secret jealousy of people who are so unafraid of speaking truthfully at all times, even when the time isn't necessarily correct. Alexis definitely falls into that category.

The story line of the story surprised me. Being a supernatural novel, it was somewhat predictable however, there were certain elements I never expected. For one, I never expected Alexis to have a happily ever after ending that entailed popularity and a boyfriend. If I had been told this ending when I first started reading, I would have put the book down because it seemed so far from realistic, however the story took turns that worked perfectly with this surprise ending. I also never expected Megan to be so involved in the story, and most certainly not to that extent.

One of my favorite parts of this story was how unlike most supernatural stories that have a romantic tie-in, Alexis never once played the dansel in distress. Even after she found out what was happening to Kasey, she never allowed Carter to help her out. I loved that! I love seeing the girl as the 100% hero for once, rather than relying on a boy to help them. Thank you Katie for the breath of fresh air!

Bad Girls Don't Die is a wonderful debut novel. There wasn't a single aspect or idea I would have changed. If you weren't planning on purchasing it, you better start rethinking. This is a novel you don't want to miss!

5/5

And now for those of you who are interested in the book, here is the trailer!



And of course, an interview with the wonderful author herself, Katie Alender!

Where did you get the idea for Bad Girls Don't Die?
It came to me one day while I was daydreaming. It began as the story of two sisters who felt disconnected from their family’s history and made up stories to fill the gaps. Obviously it’s evolved from there, but the connection between the sisters remains as strong as that first moment—especially the older sister trying to comfort and protect her younger sister.

Is any of it based off of something that has happened to you?
No—thank goodness! I’m too much of a wimp. The day the basement door closed by itself would be the day the moving van came and hauled me off to a new house.

Which character can you most identify with?
Probably Alexis. Not that I was ever much of a troublemaker, but I share her tendency to overanalyze, take things personally, and rush to judgment.

What, if any, is the message you are trying to get across?
That we are stronger than we give ourselves credit for being. And that people usually aren’t what they seem.

Alexis is, for lack of a better word, a badass. What or who gave you the idea for such a unique and cool character?
Oh, thank you! She would appreciate that. I think some of the inspiration for Alexis came from where I was (in life) when I first wrote the character. I had been through some things, good and bad, that left me feeling like I knew myself better than I had before. Alexis is brave in a way I wasn’t as a teen, but that I found within myself in my twenties. She’s not afraid to call it like she sees it… even if, as she learns, the way she sees it isn’t necessarily 100% true.

And I just wanted to write a character that didn’t sit around and wait to be rescued by Prince Charming—Alexis is too stubborn and too bold not to stand up for herself and try to solve her own problems.

What made you cross over from film to writing?
When I left film school, I started working in development for TV, which is where you try to come up with ideas for TV shows. There’s a lot of storytelling in that type of work, which definitely pushed me toward writing fiction. Then, once I started, I couldn’t stop. I think my filmmaker side, coupled with my storyteller side, plus my impatience and control-freakness, turned me into an author. When you write, it’s like directing a movie in your head, with actors who get it right every take!

Looking at your blog I see you're an American Idol fan. Who do you want to win?
Of course, by the time this post goes live, the people I like could be voted off! I’m a big fan of Danny Gokey, and I admire Adam Lambert’s technical skills. I also like Kris Allen, because he seems like a nice guy, and Allison Iraheta, because she’s such a little rocker (plus, she has pink hair, like Alexis!).

What does your husband think about your writing. Is he supportive?
He’s extremely supportive. From the beginning, he took it for granted that I could write a book that would get published. Even when that idea wasn’t even a glimmer in my eye, he believed I had it in me.

What are some of your all-time favorite books?
Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand
Gone With the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
Fair and Tender Ladies, by Lee Smith
This Place Has No Atmosphere, by Paula Danziger
The Cloister Walk, by Kathleen Norris
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver

And, if you have anything you’re dying to answer than I haven't asked, add it!!!
I just want to say thank you to the entire book blogging community. You guys are appreciated more than you can even imagine! You’re so amazingly supportive of authors and their books.


Thank you very much for the interview Katie, and congratulations on such an amazing novel!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday #10

Yay, another week gone, and another week closer to so many great releases!

Waiting for You by Susane Colasanti
At the beginning of her sophomore year, Marisa is ready for a fresh start and, more importantly, a boyfriend. So when the handsome and popular Derek asks her out, Marisa thinks her long wait for happiness is over. But several bumps in the road—including her parents’ unexpected separation, a fight with her best friend, and a shocking disappointment in her relationship with Derek—test Marisa’s ability to maintain her new outlook. Only the anonymous DJ, whose underground podcasts have the school’s ear, seems to understand what Marisa is going through. But she has no idea who he is—or does she?

Yay, I love a good love story. I have actually been eying Susane Colasanti's books for quite some time now. Obviously, this means I am in deep anticipation for her third title, Waiting for You. The novel is set to be released by Penguin on May 14, 2009.

What are you waiting for?