Saturday, February 27, 2010

Enter My Contest


It started yesterday and runs until March 10 (but the first person to enter also wins...and since I posted at a funky time on Friday afternoon, that spot's still open....) so ENTER?

and if you want more contests on my blog it would probably really help if you entered this one so that they'd see people do enter contests on my blog :D

Friday, February 26, 2010

Dark Divine Polish Contest!


To celebrate the release of Bree Despain's The Dark Divine, a nail polish was created to match the marvelous purple color on the novel's cover (see?)I'm sure a lot of you already know that. What you might not know about is another great thing that has happened to The Dark Divine recently: Barnes & Noble has it as one of their Bookseller picks on their site.

And in celebration of Bree Despain's book being a B&N recommended book, I get to host a giveaway of the Dark Divine nail polish!

Prize: A bottle of brand new Dark Divine nail polish.
Who's Eligible: Only people 13+ in the US this time
How to Enter: For this one you have to do a little more than post 'enter me.' In keeping with one of the themes of the book, you'll have to post something about forgiveness--either why you think it's such an important part of life or an example/story of a time you've had to forgive someone for something difficult. :)

The best answer (as chosen by yours truly) wins and the first answer (following the rules) wins...and since I thought I was getting two to give away but I might be getting three, someone else might win, too. And spread the word, too.

update: If you'd rather email your entry to me, that's fine too: book.splot[at]gmail[dot]com, just leave a comment letting me know you're doing son.

Starts: Now, February 26, 2010
Ends: new deadline: March 21, 12: 01 am (extended!)

Don't forget to include your email in your comment so I have some way to contact you if you win! Winners will have 72 hours to get back to me.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday

(Don't worry, I do know it's Thursday, but my computer had a virus earlier this week and even though my anti-virus got it deleted, my computer's been acting a little funky and slow since.... Including yesterday when I tried to do my WOW post and all the IE menus were just black. So, the post is today.)

My 'Waiting On Wednseday' book this week (which makes it a 'Waiting On Thursday book I suppose) is Jen Lynn Barnes, Raised by Wolves. It's not out until June 8, but really, that's not too far away...

And here's the summary from Goodreads:

At the age of four, Bryn watched a rabid werewolf brutally murder her parents. Alone in the world, she was rescued and taken in by Callum, the alpha of his pack. Now fifteen, Bryn's been raised as a human among werewolves, adhering to pack rule (mostly). Little fazes her.

But the pack's been keeping a secret, and when Bryn goes exploring against Callum's orders, she finds Chase, a newly turned teen Were locked in a cage. Terrifying memories of the attack on her mom and dad come flooding back. Bryn needs answers, and she needs Chase to get them. Suddenly, all allegiances to the pack no longer matter. It's Bryn and Chase against the werewolf world, whatever the consequences.

An exciting new paranormal adventure, with a heroine who rivals Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Raised By Wolves will leave you howling for more.

ALSO, the post being today also means I can tell you about the contest I'm posting tomorrow, the Dark Divine themed contest :) It'll start tomorrow afternoon and have a couple of winners but you might want to be here fast *hint hint*

The Waters & The Wild ~ Francesca Lia Block review

The Waters and The Wild
June 2, 2009
128 pages

Thirteen-year-old Bee is almost a normal teenage girl...except that she feels a strange connection with the earth and dreams of eating handfuls of the dirt in her garden. So normal, but not quite, as the book jacket says:

I am a thirteen-year-old double Gemini. I get bad grades, write poetry with my left hand, dance in my room, surf the net. I Google images of the tattoos my mom won't let me get. . . .

But my world belongs to someone else. Someone who lives below the concrete of Los Angeles, someone with wild eyes and twigs in her hair.

And I think she wants her life back.

A she that looks like Bee's double and appears momentarily and states, "You are me," before disappearing leaving Bee to wonder and search.

The Waters and The Wild is a tale of doppelgangers, past lives, possible abductions, other mystical things and much, much more. Told in a very short, little book, it nevertheless gets in your head and connects you with the characters.

The best I can think to compare both the style of The Waters and its length is to skipping a stone across the water. The stone only hit a few places as it goes along, but that doesn't take any of the beauty away from the lake and it still gets to the end (if you do it well). And there's still a great deal of beauty in this story (and it's done very well).

Hope that made sense :)

In fact, for an only 128 page book, I liked one of the minor characters so much that I really wished that there was going to someday be more of her story.

The W.B. Yeats poem that the title of the book is inspired by, should be below via Google Books preview...


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Body Movers (#1) ~ Stephanie Bond review

Body Movers (Body Movers Book 1)
Mira Books
July 1, 2007
384 pages
Amazon link even though they're sold out of the 'new' Amazon kind-but so are B&N and everyone else. You can use the page for info or use the 'new & used' links...or do what I did and get it from the library :)

Carlotta Wren had to grow up fast when--at 18--her mother and father went on the lam (well, to be fair, her father was the only one that was a fugitive, her mother just went with him) and left her with a nine year old brother to care for and a reputation in ruins. No longer just the teenage daughter or wealthy, caring parents in the upper echelon of Atlanta society, Carlotta now had to be a parent herself and deal with everyone know her father is an accused white-collar criminal.

Now, ten years later she does her best at being a glamorous (on a budget of course) by working at Nieman Marcus and hopes and prays her brother Wesley's gambling is under control once and for all.

She might have to wish a little harder though for him to be a really good kid because he's just gotten arrested (and I'm not telling you why!). As part of his 'punishment' he has to pay a fine which means he has to get a job.

Of course, as fitting with the wonderful funniness of this book, he gets a job transporting dead bodies.

With dead body transportation and a fantastic murder mystery involving someone who used to be a huge part of Carlotta's life this book is a great mix of a true mystery and great humor. It's a near perfect mix of the danger of the loan sharks that Wesley's gambling problem brings on, the intrigue of fugitive parents, and the humor of Carlotta's life.

I already have the second book checked out and started and I've got my mom hooked on the series, too (in fact she's already read both the first and second books and is ready for the third right now!).

10/10 for this one

This isn't YA but I think teens and young adults could still easily read it, there's some language and a little bit of sexual references in the first book but really nothing more than most TV shows or PG-13 movies, I don't think (okay, the language might pass that but I'm sure a lot of YA books have worse language, actually).

Monday, February 22, 2010

In My Mailbox Monday

I didn't get any books for review this week, but I did buy one book and get one from the library:

from the library: The Mark by Jen Nadol & bought from Amazon: Heist Society by Ally Carter

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Duckling Ugly ~ Neal Shusterman review

Duckling Ugly
April 5, 2007
211 Pages

Cara De Fido is skilled at spelling words....and at breaking mirrors with her incredibly ugly looks. Seriously. She's so ugly that simply by looking in a mirror (of any kind) she can break it. No one lets her forget what she looks like either--not even her own mother.

Cara has been drawing the same place over and over again, though...and have strange sleepwalking episodes where she ends up in the same corner of her room. And then when she runs away after a particularly cruel encounter at a school function, she thinks she's found the place she's been drawing, been trying to walk to in her sleep.

What is this magical place where no one shuns her because of her looks? And is it too good to be true?

This is the third in Neal Shusterman's Dark Fusion series of updated fairy tales (I couldn't tell that they connected at all or needed to be read in order). I wouldn't say that this was nearly as good as Everlost or Unwind but it was an interesting read--and probably better for younger, maybe middle school or even late elementary school readers.

While Unwind and Everlost gave you something to think about from the beginning (or close to it), Duckling Ugly didn't do that until the very, very end. (It might have done it sooner for younger readers, I'm not sure.)

I would still like to see about the other two books in the Dark Fusion series but maybe just when I'm between books, not the way that I really, really want to get to Everwild so I can see where that story goes.

I think this might really have been a case of the story working better for younger readers only.

It was really only the ending the made this a worthwhile read for me.

6/10 (a more positive 6 than some of my 6's though) but I really think it should be a middle grade book more than the 7-10th grade it says it's aimed at.

Monday, February 15, 2010

In My Mailbox Monday

I got two books this week, one from Library Thing's Early Reviewers and one from Good Reads Early Readers program....

from Library Thing:

The Secret to Lying
by Todd Mitchell (out June 8)

and from GoodReads:

How High the Moon
by Sandra Kring (out April 27)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Video Veneris

The Heist Society by Ally Carter just came out on the 9th, this past Tuesday (and there area already plans to make it into a movie--but with 20-somethings not teens, sadly)...doesn't it look like a great read?

I don't know how I'm going to read all the books I still have to read from 2009 and all the ones coming out now and in the coming months that look so amazing.

Here's the link to the Amazon page for the book. And if you get emails from B&N, they have coupons until Valentine's Day for 10 or 15% off....

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday

This is a book I have on my Goodreads & LibraryThing wishlists (though not for as long as I've wanted it--I'm kind of slow with those things sometimes!) and I book that I emailled the author about (purey for some squee) way back in August :D

If you're like me and loved Charlotte Doyle when you read it in (or out of) school and need another book with a girl at sea for even part of the book, then you'll be eagerly anticipating Everlasting by Angie Frazier, too

from the Amazon product page, here's the book summary:

Sailing aboard her father's ship is all seventeen-year-old Camille Rowen has ever wanted. But as a lady in 1855 San Francisco, her future is set: marry a man she doesn't love in order to preseve her social standing. On her last voyage
before the wedding, Camille learns the mother she has always believed dead is in fact alive and in Australia. When their Sydney-bound ship goes down in a gale, and her father dies, Camille sets out to find her mother and a map in her possession - a map believed to lead to a stone that once belonged to the legendary civilization of the immortals.

The stone can do exactly what Camille wants most: bring someone back from the dead. Unfortunately, her father's adversary is also on the hunt for the stone, and she must race him to it. The only person Camille can depend on is Oscar - a handsome young sailor and her father's first mate - who is in love with Camille and whom she is
inexplicably drawn to despite his low social standing and her pending wedding vows.

With an Australian card shark acting as their guide, Camille eludes murderous bushrangers, traverses dangerous highlands, evades a curse placed on the stone, and unravels the mystery behind her mother's disappearance sixteen years earlier. But when another death shakes her conviction to resurrect her father, Camille must choose what - and who - matters most.

and here's a link to that Amazon page: Everlasting by Angie Frazier and the book's page at Angie Frazier's website.

Out June 1, 2010 (Scholastic Press, 336 pages, hardcover) ...guess I'll have to find some way to keep waiting :)

Not My Daughter ~ Barbara Delinsky review

Not My Daughter
352 pages
January 5, 2010

Inspired by both the pregnancy 'pact' (though there apparently never actually was one) in Gloucester, Massachusetts and Sarah Palin's daughter being pregnant during the campaign, Not My Daughter by Barbara Delinksy is the story of teen pregnancy through both the girls' eyes and their mothers'.

In this story, the girls--the seemingly smart, college bound Maine high school best friends, Lily, Mary Kate and Jess all become pregnant as part of a pact. This, of course, throws their mothers Susan, Kate, and Sunny (also best friends) for a complete loop and they were sure they'd done all they could to raise good girls. Add in that they're in small, conservative New England and that Susan is the high school principal who herself got pregnant as a teen and drama abounds.

Told through the different points of view of the three mothers (and their fourth best friend Pam and some from the girls), Not My Daughter follows the developments of the girls early pregnancies, the families being told, the town finding out and the ramifications of not only teen pregnancies in a small town but the HS principal's daughter being one of them.

I read Not My Daughter because Elizabeth Scott rated it on Goodreads and it sounded like something to give a try (and I've seen Barbara Delinsky's name & books but never read any)--and the Lifetime movie The Pregnancy Pact was going to be on, too. And while this book was compelling and certainly kept me up reading it to find out just how things were going to turn out, it also disappointed.

I'm not sure if my feelings about it are because it's written more for someone that could have teenage children/daughters than someone who just was sixteen...Or if that has nothing to do with it. But, I feel like the story was almost sanitized to make parents feel better.


There was a lot of talk of whether or not it was the mothers' fault that their daughters got pregnant with the end decision seeming to be that they were good mothers and the girls just made this choice regardless (there was more to it, more why but still the 'you raised them well and then they did this'). I'm not sure I completely bought that, though. Not to say they were bad mothers, but to me, saying how they were raised had nothing to do with it was wrong. Maybe I'm being too harsh, but when you're 17, if you make a conscious decision to get pregnant, how you were raised had something to do with it. Enough with that point now ;)

I also didn't quite accept that all of the parents were so 'Okay, you'll keep that baby and we'll pay for it and that's that." I know one mother had more trouble accepting her daughters pregnancy than the others (still didn't seem like a whole lot) but there was still never any talk of anything other than the girls all keeping the babies. It was just 'no abortions or giving my baby away,' I don't think anyone even mentioned that there are open adoptions. And fiction's fiction for a reason, even if a tiny percent of teens put their baby up for adoption, maybe one of them in the story could have.

That paired with Lily's 'my baby's this big now and has intestines' every other page made if feel kind of like a conservative take on things (with the abortion's evil, I'll keep my baby stance). It might have just supposed to have been her being happy about being pregnant but it seemed overdone.

I think overall it just seemed too happy, easy. I know that Susan had trouble with her job and one of the girls had some trouble with her baby for a bit but overall it seemed like: the girls plan to get pregnant, they're ecstatic about it, they tell their families, that goes generally well, their families agree to provide for them and their babies, grandparents, moms and babies are all good and everyone's still a responsible parent.

I know it's not a deep book or anything, but I guess I expected more out of it than that.


I think my other problem with the story was that everyone seemed to reach their conclusions or have things happen at the same time. You'd read one girl telling her mother she was pregnant, then the second would and then the third would...bam, bam, bam. Then later in the story there'd be some sort of conflict and magically one character would reach some sort of revelation and then next chapter the second character would reach the same and then so would the third.

It would have made the story more enjoyable if even two of the three characters would have done something and there would have been either a time period or an event between that and the last character reaching the same point. Having different characters going through (even slightly) different things all reaching the same points at the same time became too predictable.

While this book wasn't all I thought a book on this topic could be, I don't think I'm sorry I read it. I am trying to get my mom to read it to see if she thinks differently about it than I do and I might read another of Barbara Delinksy's books sometime to see if it's this book I didn't quite like or it's her style that doesn't work for me.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Truly, Madly ~ Heather Webber review

Truly, Madly: Lucy Valentine: Book 1
St Martin's Paperbacks
305 pages
February 2, 2010

Along with Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers, I got a second book from Library Thing's Early Reviewer's: Truly, Madly by Heather Webber, the first Lucy Valentine book. I am so thankful for mixups that get me two great books!

Lucy's Valentine family appropriately runs Valentine, Inc a matchmaking service active (and well-known) for generations in Boston. As the legend goes, her family has been blessed by Cupid with the ability to help others find their true love...but since an accident in her teens, Lucy has only been able to help people find lost objects. Lost objects meaning not people or animals, of course.

And what good is that in matchmaking?

Lucy had better find out quick, though. After a scandal that makes the papers, her father temporarily eaves her in charge of the company. Throw in a murder mystery and a little possible romance of her own and Lucy's got her work cut out for her.

I selected this book because it sounded like a cute, fun book (and the summary somehow--prior to reading--reminded me of True Colors by Sue Haasler). In fact, the start of the book actually reminded me of Sleeping with the Fishes (Fred the Mermaid #1) by Maryjanice Davidson, I can't pinpoint why, but I think it was the mood and the sort of characters.

Lucy, her grandmother Dovie, her friends, Sean, even her parents were all really enticing, interesting, funny characters. The characters, the dialogue, the 'matchmaking' and Lucy's ability to find objects made this a really unique twist on both a mystery and a romance.

I didn't love, love, love the way the 'mystery' aspect fully played out but because it wasn't just a straight mystery and there were the slight supernatural aspects built in (and the characters), I didn't really mind.

Truly, Madly was a really great start to a series. It didn't leave things open ended at the end of the book like a lot of 'first in a series' books do but it also left things interesting enough to keep you (or at least me) wanting to read more from the characters.

Since I think the characters, the quirkyness and the entire story's overall uniqueness override any faults with the ending, etc 8/10

Deeply, Desperately the second Lucy Valentine book is out August 3

Monday, February 8, 2010

In My Mailbox Monday

This actually covers this week and last week (good because a) I was out of town last week for the doctor and b) I didn't get any other books ;))

I got How Not to Make a Wish by Mindy Klasky

that I won from a BittenByBooks contest. It's the first in a series and looks super cute :) Hopefully my computer, in-town-ness and internet (and health) will cooperate enoughf for some reviews to come soon, too.
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