Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Beautiful Darkness ~ Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl review

Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles #2)
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Reprint (paperback)
September 19, 2011
528 pages

* Spoilers for Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles #1) below - that review is here *

Small-town Gatlin, South Carolina was the town that never changed. It was the town Ethan Wate grew up in and where he thought he knew what to expect - from the Civil War reenactments to the mean girls at school to the DAR women. But then Lena Duchannes came along and changed everything.

Now Ethan knows about supernatural beings and that Amma's little charms aren't just things that humor her - they actually serve a purpose.

But, after the events of Beautiful Creatures -suffering a great loss, Lena has changed and is withdrawing from Ethan. Magical things are still happening in Ethan and Lena's lives - and relationship - but now some, if not most, of those things are darker and Ethan's forced to figure them out without Lena.

With visions only he can see and more danger at every turn - plus the chance of losing Lena - Ethan will have to turn to new friends - and old friends in new ways.

I wouldn't have thought it possible but I do believe I loved Beautiful Darkness more than I loved Beautiful Creatures. While the first book set up who the characters were, what the supernatural elements were and how the characters, the supernatural, and the town all worked together, this sequel more than builds on that.

Beautiful Darkness is definitely an epic second novel. It goes way beyond the story of Lena and Ethan - while still focusing on them just the right amount. We learn a lot about each of the different characters in this second novel - not just the main characters, but also the secondary other characters and the parts they play in this Caster (and Mortal) world.

The World also really expands in Darkness. It's a big novel, both page wise and story wise. The characters do a lot and I found myself marveling at how the authors were able to come up with such a plot and keep it all straight. At times it's hard to completely follow just every single thing that's going on if you're not careful, but it all comes together so well that it's okay.

All of the developments in this were fantastic and the writing was marvelous (I loved having it as an ebook because I could highlight so much!). The Southern feeling of these novels is likely my favorite of any Southern Gothic/Southern Whatever novels I have ever read, I just loved the atmosphere these writers have created in this series.

(Look for a review of Dream Dark and Beautiful Chaos soon!)

Rating: 10/10

Monday, November 28, 2011

In My Mailbox Monday

My In My Mailbox Monday post is small this week, but it's also pretty awesome (if I do say so myself, which I do):

this week I got Lauren Oliver's Pandemonium (Amazon link) the sequel to Delirium!!'

and I got this a few weeks ago, but I think I got it on a Monday and somehow skipped over it in my Mailbox posts which was not very nice of me:

Hallowed (Amazon link), the sequel to Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Epic Holiday eBook Deals

With Cyber Monday happening, some of us are looking for good deals online to finish up/start/continue our holiday shopping . . . or get ourselves a little something. Or, if you're like me, you're wishing there had been just a few more book deals on Black Friday and hoping maybe today there will be.

Well, you're a bit of in luck. Bloomsbury has their Epic Holiday eBook Deals happening.

The publisher is offering over 60 eBooks (adult, teen and childrens') for under $3.99. Less than what you could buy most of the on sale DVDs you didn't really even want this past weekend!

And there are some great titles, too, including: Small Town Sinners (review), The Mark, Jenna & Jonah's Fauxmance (review), The Actor & The Housewife, Austenland, Haunting Violet (review), & Need (review)

It's now through January 6th.

If that image isn't big enough to read the titles, here's a link to something larger: LINK

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cinema Saturday

This Cinema Saturday is a bit different . .. over Thanksgiving we watched a few movies, only one was actually based on a movie: Atlas Shrugged: Part One. (Giveaway link at end of post)

When I heard (which may or may not actually, in fact, be true) that Atlas Shrugged was being read by some lawmakers and their staff - I became more interested in just what this Ayn Rand novel was about.

Extolling the virtues of putting self-interest and self above all else especially, others altruism and the common good, Atlas Shrugged is the ultimate story of putting yourself and your greed at the top - and that being okay, even good.

Movie synopsis:
Powerful forces trigger a global revolution when the highly anticipated film adaptation of Ayn Rand’s bestselling novel, ATLAS SHRUGGED: PART I, emerges on Blu-ray and DVD November 8. The first installment in a planned trilogy, ATLAS SHRUGGED: PART I uses a talented cast to explore themes of individualism, socialism, and anarchy.

In 2016, the country is on the verge of economic collapse. Dagny Taggart (Taylor Schilling, “Mercy”) runs one of the largest remaining railroads despite her inept CEO brother, James (Matthew Marsden, Resident Evil: Extinction). To save the railroad from financial ruin, Dagny seeks out entrepreneurial industrialist, Henry Rearden (Grant Bowler, “True Blood”), whose super-strength metal alloy holds the promise of the future.

As government interference continues and the country’s most competent and productive workers systematically disappear, Dagny refuses to give up. As she bears witness to seeing the motor of the world stopped, Dagny increasingly hears people reciting: Who is John Galt?

Atlas Shrugged is definitely a movie/story with a point. Whether you agree with that point or not, it does well not straying for that point. I don't think I would read the novel, so seeing part of the novel (it really is just Part One), in a film was a great opportunity.

The biggest distraction/drawback was probably having everything so focused on trains and rail lines. It would have made a lot of sense for how 2016 could have been viewed when the novel was published but not so much now...

Atlas Shrugged fully commits to its philosophy and doesn't make any apologies. Love it or hate it, it doesn't take a middle ground just to play things safe.

The acting and production of this movie were great. I really don't agree with the point/ideology of the movie, but it was well done so it was still an enjoyable movie - a great way to get the story.

My Atlas Shrugged: Part One DVD giveaway ends Monday at 12:01am and needs more entries - and what better way to see the movie than winning it/for free? So, ENTER away

Monday, November 21, 2011

In My Mailbox Monday

While I have a small break in my nearly unrelenting coughing, here's a post about the books I got this past week. Most of them are library books (and not terribly new ones) because I"m reading some books that might want to give as Christmas gifts . . .

The Raising by Laura Kasischke

Light from a Distant Star by Mary McGarry Morris

The Violets of March by Sarah Jio

The Last Letter from Your Lover by Jojo Moyes

and in the mail I received (my LT Early Reviewer book):

The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour (Hold Still was amazing so I'm really excited to read this one.)

I will now resume my regularly scheduled coughing my head off . . . oh, I hope this gets better soon!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Future of Us ~ Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler (ARC) review

The Future of Us
November 21, 2011
356 pages

Imagine that today, when you go to use your phone or iPad or whatever, there's a new app there. It's an app you know you didn't install and you don't know what it is, but out of curiosity - and against, perhaps, your better judgment - you decide to check it out. It shows you what you and all your friends will be doing in fifteen years. Not in some big, grand way, but with littler things, like where you live, if you're married (maybe who to), where you went to college ... and random updates from you throughout the day.

You'd probably just think it was some random play on Facebook, right?

We all know that there's already something out there that tells us what everyone's doing, where they go to school/work/live, etc. But Facebook hasn't been around forever. Hardly, forever, actually, only since 2005.

Which is why when, in 1996 in The Future of Us, when Emma gets an AOL disk - possibly remember those? - and installs it on her computer, the 'Facebook' that shows up on her Favorite Places is so foreign to her. It's why she and her friend, and next door neighbor, Josh think the whole thing is a joke when it starts telling them their future.

Soon, though, they learn that this future just might be real and, after each time they log or refresh the page things are different, they realize things they are doing in the present are affecting the future. They'll have to struggle with the decisions they make - both for the future and the present.

The Future of Us is at least ten kinds of excellent. It's co-written by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler but their writing styles work together seamlessly. Each of the two characters has their own personality and stays true to that (while still growing and developing) throughout the novel, but there's no problem at all with two different writers. (Some books it's clear who's written what, but with The Future of Us everything is unified and cohesive.)

A great tale of two friends figuring themselves - and their relationship with each other - out, this novel has the added plot line of the characters, Emma and Josh, seeing how it will turn out fifteen years later. Some of would like to travel into the future and see how things will be - and others wouldn't dare, these characters sort of have it forced upon them and we get to see how they react. And how it affects their everyday life.

In a sense it's a time travel book without the time travel.

You have to love that the 1996ness is kept true in the book. Things that are easy to have forgotten about (either because you were too young, they were little things, or you weren't alive!) are brought up in this book because they're a part of Josh or Emma or some other character's daily life in some small way. These little things really add to the novel and remind you that you're not in 2011 or 2005 or even 2001, you're in 1996. Yet, it doesn't feel like a dated novel. The characters and their relationships are so fresh and well written that despite the intentionally dating elements, it's quite timeless (unless I guess, we lose Facebook, then that part won't be -but the characters, etc will be).

I'll admit that at first I wasn't sure about the ending, but after reflecting on it for a little bit, it fit incredibly well with the novel and is an ending that works much, much better long term for both the book and the characters (and the readers) than any other would have.

Kudos to both Mr Asher and Ms Mackler for this novel  (- I can only selfishly hope Jay Asher's next book is sooner than four years & catch up on Carolyn Macklers previously published ones!).


giant thank you to LibraryThing EarlyReviewers for my ARC of this

(Random, but can someone tell me if DVDs were actually out in 1996 - I thought it was after that, not a lot, but still after that)

Don't forget to enter my giveaway of Atlas Shrugged on DVD - still room for one more winner (ends Monday)

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Beautiful Dark ~ Jocelyn Davies review

A Beautiful Dark (#1 in trilogy)
Harper Teen
400 pages
September 27, 2011

The night of Skye's seventeenth birthday - during the surprise party she told her friends not to throw yet again - she meets two strangers. Both are mysterious in their own right, yet complete opposites of each other: one is dark haired and reckless, the other fair and controlled. Opposite ends of the spectrum, yet both incredibly appealing to Skye who can't get them out of her head.

Or her life it seems. Both boys, Asher the daring one and Devin the calm one, seem to keep popping up at every moment.

Skye isn't sure what the boys want from her, all she knows is that she finds herself drawn to both of them . . . and that strange things started happening to and around her once they made their appearance in town. Soon, she's not only questioning who these 'cousins' that can't stand each other are, but what it might mean about her present - and her past.

In the beginning - and even into the middle - of A Beautiful Dark there are a lot of hints that something paranormal is afoot. It's not clear what it is or even, necessarily, just who it involves but for at least half of the book, there are a lot of hints dropped that something is eventually going to be revealed - both to Skye and to the reader.

It makes that first part of the book a quick read. The reader can't help but wonder where all these hints are going and what it's all leading to. While that's all happening, we get a nice introduction to the different characters - Skye and her friends Cassie, Dan and Ian as well as Devin and Asher. We learn some of Skye's story - what's happened in her seventeen years of life.

However, once that paranormal 'what' of all those clues was revealed, you're left waiting. Waiting for something a little more emotional, for something with a little more action, just . . . more. Maybe there were too many little hints that something was coming and not enough of the something in this book (its a trilogy)? There just wasn't that emotional connection or that real oomph where you really engage as a reader.

The beginning was much better than the end . . .personally, I'm not even sure how I feel about the end. I am holding out hope for the other two books in this trilogy, though. There was a lot of good setup in this first book and I'm hoping that with more time/room to expand the rest can really grow.


thank you to the publisher for my copy of this book for review.

Video Veneris (Book Trailer Friday)

I read the first 25 chapters of Tahereh Mafi's Shatter Mewhen HarperTEEN had ShatterDay on Facebook. Now that the book is out I can't wait to read the rest!

And in case you're still undecided, here's the trailer:

Review - of another book - coming later today

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sweet Venom ~ Tera Lynn Childs review

Sweet Venom (Sweet Venom Trilogy #1)
Katherine Tegen Books
September 6, 2011
352 pages

Grace and her family have just moved to San Francisco. Starting at a fancy new school, it's a move full of tons of new possibilities. One of thing, however, that Grace wasn't expecting to be a possibility was monster sightings. . . Yet, when a minotaur strolls into the room, that's just what happens. Matters get even more complicated when a girl that looks just like here shows up to fight the unbelievable creatures.

Gretchen's definitely more used to monsters than Grace - she's been after them night after night for years. They complicate her life, but it's something that has to be done. That night's monster is just another evil thing that needs to be gotten rid of, to her, only a little out of the ordinary. What is very of the ordinary is the girl who looks just like her.

Now that the two girls have seen each other, Grace will learn why she's seeing these 'monsters,' creatures she thought were only mythological beings. And Gretchen will have to share her knowledge, that she - and now, apparently Grace, too - is a descendant of the Gorgon Medusa and it's up to them to protect the mortal world. The evil creatures are only supposed to be able to enter the human world one at a time - and Gretchen finds them and kills them, sending them back, but now there are more.

The girls will have to figure out why . . . all while figuring out their relationship.

Sweet Venom was an incredibly enjoyable read. There have been a lot of books to twist or draw on different aspects of Greek mythology for their plot, but I don't think any (or at least any I have read) have used Medusa and the Gorgons, at least no in this sense. It was very refreshing.

It was great that each of the girls has their own story for how they were being raised. They were each different yet also very believable. It made them unique characters and gave them very different backgrounds. Each story was something not boring or ordinary- no girl got standout story and no girl got the standard, pat story, either.

 It made things more interesting when they were brought together. It was obvious that they had their own personalities but once they interacted for a while, you could see the connection and that they were sisters even.

It's also amazing that there was an overlying problem/evil facing them. Throughout the book there was the story of Grace starting at the new school, Gretchen missing Ursula, the sisters' reuniting and their relationship but their was also the Big Bad(ness) storyline.

With a Big Bad storyline spanning the whole novel, Sweet Venom mirrors a Buffy season: Buffy always had to deal with interpersonal (and intrapersonal) things aside from whatever baddie she was dealing with and the sisters in Sweet Venom have to do the same. With kickbutt girls, boys I can see become crush-worthy, and monsters galore - it's like a Buffy fix in book form. I LOVE it!

This is the first in a trilogy and while there was a conclusion at the end of the book, there were also several things at the end of the book left unresolved - it left me eagerly awaiting the next book.


thank you to the publisher for my copy of this book

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Giveaway Reminder

A reminder to enter my giveaway for Atlas Shrugged: Part One on DVD . . . there will be three winners. All you have to do is go to the linked post and enter!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Tell Me a Secret ~ Holly Cupala review

Tell Me a Secret
June 22, 2010
304 pages

It's been five years since Miranda's daring older sister Xanda died. Miranda still wonders what the secret was that Xanda never got a chance to tell her . . . and what really happened the night Xanda died.

Now, finally, at he age of seventeen, Miranda has a real life of her own: a best friend who's enough like Xanda to bring Miranda into Xanda's world, a boyfriend who will be there with her in college, and a talent for art that's going to get her into art school and away from her family.

But, Miranda's keeping her own secret, something that's about to put all of that in jeopardy: two little lines on a pregnancy test.

With everything - and maybe everyone - about to be taken away from her, Miranda knows she has choices to make . . . and things to confront.

There were times when Miranda was thinking a certain way about her pregnancy or her family and/or friends (and their role in her decisions) and I could not disagree with her more. Most books it's easy to know whether that means the character just doesn't work for you or whether the character is meant to be a character who's unlikable or lacking some necessary growth that might come later. With Tell Me a Secret, though, it was hard to tell. It was unclear at times whether Miranda's views were what Cupala really wanted her to think as a likable, relatable character whose motivation you weren't supposed to find anything wrong with. Or, if you were supposed to see that she had a flawed perspective.

The novel's strengths, far outweighed this possible weakness. The way Miranda's relationship with her friends - and even her family - changed once her pregnancy was revealed seemed very accurate. In locations where teen pregnancy is not that prevalent (and maybe where it is), girls who get pregnant don't have it easy and the novel stays true to that. It doesn't become too fictional simply to give Miranda a happier story.

Tell Me a Secret is fiction, but it is very realistic fiction and rings all the more true because of that.

The last third of the book will really tear you down (especially if you've personally experienced certain events or know anyone who has). There's a lot of detail used - enough that anyone who's familiar with a similar situation won't be distracted by discrepancies - but not so much that the writing feels weighed down or the reader gets bogged down with it.

Holly Cupala has written a stunning debut novel with amazing looks at the relationships between mothers and daughters and between sisters. Readers will definitely want more form Cupala - and in January they'll get it with Don't Breathe a Word  (Amazon & Goodreads).

(Great for older YA readers and even adults.)


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Giveaway Roundup/Reminder

DVD & Book Giveaways

(All are US/Canada only -sorry!; you can enter one or all of them)

Water for Elephants ~ DVD/Book Bundle - Ends 11/11/11 (Just a few hours left to enter!!)
Snow Flower and The Secret Fan ~ DVD/Novel Giveaway - Ends 11/15/11 (Great chances of winning)
Atlas Shrugged DVD - Ends 11/18/11 (Low entries so far!)
Love Begins DVD - Ends 11/24/11 (Brand new! Enter!!)

*all giveaways end at 12:01 Eastern on date listed

DVD Giveaway ~ Love Begins

I have another giveaway for you - I wish I'd known when this movie was on, I would have liked to have seen it. Lucky for you, though, you get to enter to win a copy . . .


Win a copy of LOVE BEGINS, out on DVD November 22

Based on the novel, Love Finds a Home, discover how Janette Oke’s touching “Love Comes Softly” series began in LOVE BEGINS, arriving on DVD November 22 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

After their father passes away, Ellen Barlow (Julie Mond) and her sister Cassie (Abigail Mavity) struggle to maintain their family’s farm. When Clark Davis (Wes Brown) finds trouble in their town on his way to California, Ellen agrees to hire him at the farm to work off his debts. Before long, Clark and Ellen unexpectedly develop feelings for each other. Ultimately, the pair begins a legacy of love and faith together in this heartwarming family drama.

For your chance to win a copy of LOVE BEGINS on DVD, simply answer the following question:

What is the name of the character who has to work off his debts in LOVE BEGINS?
• Wes Brown
• Clark Davis
• Ellen Barlow

(if you're on the main entries page click 'read more' to find the Rafflecopter & enter using that)

Don't forget to also ENTER to win one of three copies of Atlas Shrugged: Part 1 on DVD!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

In My Mailbox

(NaNoWriMo's giving me trouble & some personal stuff came up, so posts are still slow - I really apologize)

This past week I did the novel thing and went to an actual bookstore and bought some books!!

Pregnant Pause by Han Nolan (Amazon & Goodreads) and Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake (Amazon & Goodreads)

Both look great and the few pages I read seem really enjoyable . . . Get anything great book-wise this week?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Cinema Saturday [Bones - Season 6]

Bones (Sixth Season DVD)
20th Century Fox
October 11
1000 minutes
imdb/Amazon [DVD; Blu-ray; Instant Video]/iTunes

The fifth season of BONES (airs Thursday at 9pm on Fox) ended on a pretty big cliffhanger - well, maybe not cliffhanger in the technical sense of the word, but it was a pretty big where-is-this-going-to-go-now ending.

In the fifth season finale, also the 100th episode, a lot happened: Angela and Hodgins are off to Paris; Brennan (Bones) (along with Daisy) is going to the Maluku Island for research for a year and Booth (after telling Bones of his feelings and her rejection) is back with the army and going to Afghanistan for a year.

Booth: I don’t do really good with change, I guess.
Bones: Well, you’re better than I am
Booth: The pyramids are better at change than you are. …It’s a joke. Hey, I was being affectionate.
Bones: Oh. [Pause] Will you go back to the army?
Booth: It’s what best for me right now.
Bones: I’ll only be gone for a year.
Booth: Me too. So, hey, what’s a year?
Bones: It’s the time it takes for the Earth to make a full revolution around the sun.
Booth: In the scheme of things. You know, the grand scheme of things. I’m just saying a year, you know, it’s not too bad.
Bones: Right.
Booth: Right?
Bones: We can come back, pick up where we left off. Nothing really has to change
Booth: No, things have to change. You know what? Hey, I taught you about eye contact, you taught me about evolution. So… here’s to change.
Bones: To change.
(transcript found on EW.com)

With not a lot of resolution, we're left wondering just where the characters - and, more importantly, their relationships with each other, will be once Season Six pick up . . .

And Season Six does not disappoint in the slightest. While the Season Five finale left the door open for so many possible disappointments, Season Six came in and seemed to know that, turning out to be, quite possibly the best season yet.

Focusing very much on the relationships - especially that between Booth and Bones - Season Six is a brilliant season of BONES. In the season opener The Mastodon in the Room, we find out what Booth and Bones -as well as Daisy, Sweets, Angela, Hodgins, and Cam have been up to during the time between seasons. Viewers don't have to worry about the gang being apart for long - and the writers come up with a great way of not only bringing everyone together, but also showing, quickly, how everyone feels about each other.

It's not, though, smooth sailing. New characters are introduced and old troubles from the past season are still present and did not remedy themselves during the characters breaks from each other.

While continuing to solve cases as brilliantly as they have done in the previous five seasons, the BONES characters are shown more personally and as individuals this season. The show maintains its ability for new - or sporadic viewers - to watch and episode or two and enjoy it without knowing the characters or their interpersonal relationships. Yet, it also rewards the loyal viewers who have been with it from day one by finally advancing those interpersonal relationships to somewhere great.

And using them to end the season on yet another I-need-to-see-the-next-season-now!! What's great for anyone who missed this season, though? You can grab it on DVD and catch up fast - then watch any missed Season Seven online and start watching the new Season Seven episodes Thursdays on Fox at 9/8c

This season, more than any other has me interested in reading Kathy Reichs' Temperance Brennan Novels series. I think it was the growth we saw with the characters. And that there was more interaction that year than others between them outside of the lab/working cases. The series starts with Deja Dead and I'm excited to being . . .

Favorite Quote from Season Six:
Micah (played by Enrico Colantoni aka VM's dad): "You're alive, and she's dead. Ergo, ipso facto Columbo Oreo."
Bones: "Those last two words, one is the capitol of Sri Lanka and the other is... a cookie."
Micah: "It sounds like Latin."

5 Standout/Favorite Episodes (in episode order):
The Body & The Bounty
The Doctor in the Photo
The Bullet in the Brain
The Blackout in the Blizzard
The Hole in the Heart

Special Features:
Audio Commentary–The Doctor in the Photo
Audio Commentary–The Blackout in the Blizzard
The Daredevil in the Mold–Extended Episode
The Bikini in the Soup–Extended Episode
The Visual Effects of Bones
Gag Reel
The Killing Pilot Episode
(and it's not a Special Feature but ep 19 'The Finder' is sort of the pilot of a spin-off)

(DVD provided by Fox for review - thank you)

Friday, November 4, 2011

DVD Giveaway ~ Atlas Shrugged [+Video Veneris]

My last (as of right now) movie giveaway for November is ready to start!!

Thanks to 20th Century Fox, I have three - that's right, three - copies of Atlas Shrugged: Part I on DVD to give away (check the bottom of the post).

The movie's trailer:

Here's a little more about the movie:

Powerful forces trigger a global revolution when the highly anticipated film adaptation of Ayn Rand’s bestselling novel, ATLAS SHRUGGED: PART I, emerges on Blu-ray and DVD November 8. The first installment in a planned trilogy, ATLAS SHRUGGED: PART I uses a talented cast to explore themes of individualism, socialism, and anarchy.

In 2016, the country is on the verge of economic collapse. Dagny Taggart (Taylor Schilling, “Mercy”) runs one of the largest remaining railroads despite her inept CEO brother, James (Matthew Marsden, Resident Evil: Extinction). To save the railroad from financial ruin, Dagny seeks out entrepreneurial industrialist, Henry Rearden (Grant Bowler, “True Blood”), whose super-strength metal alloy holds the promise of the future.

As government interference continues and the country’s most competent and productive workers systematically disappear, Dagny refuses to give up. As she bears witness to seeing the motor of the world stopped, Dagny increasingly hears people reciting: Who is John Galt?

Click 'read more' if you're on the main entries page to find the Rafflecopter widget & enter using that.

For your chance to win one of three available copies of ATLAS SHRUGGED: PART I on DVD, simply answer the following question:

Who wrote Atlas Shrugged?
• Ayn Rand
• Taylor Schilling
• John Galt

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday [Bittersweet]

I'm trying to do NaNoWriMo so blog posts have not really happened this week (I apologize) - that should get a little better once I get this NaNo thing figured out a little bit . . .

My Waiting On Wednesday book for this week is: Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

Bittersweet used to be called The Language of Impossible Dreams and had a different cover - but that's all okay because it's coming out January 3.

Sarah Ockler new-ness coming that soon? How amazing is that?

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Once upon a time, Hudson knew exactly what her future looked like. Then a betrayal changed her life, and knocked her dreams to the ground. Now she’s a girl who doesn’t believe in second chances... a girl who stays under the radar by baking cupcakes at her mom’s diner and obsessing over what might have been.

So when things start looking up and she has another shot at her dreams, Hudson is equal parts hopeful and terrified. Of course, this is also the moment a cute, sweet guy walks into her life...and starts serving up some seriously mixed signals. She’s got a lot on her plate, and for a girl who’s been burned before, risking it all is easier said than done.

It’s time for Hudson to ask herself what she really wants, and how much she’s willing to sacrifice to get it. Because in a place where opportunities are fleeting, she knows this chance may very well be her last....

This is one of the books where I'm choosing not to read the synopsis because I really like to discover books as I read them - and I love Sarah Ockler's previous two books so much that I know this is a safe move here.

I can't wait!!

Amazon page & on Goodreads. Bittersweet is being released (January 3) by Simon Pulse - maybe someone will pre-order it for you for the holidays!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

DVD & Book Giveaway ~ Snow Flower & The Secret Fan

Enter to Win a Copy of
Coming to Blu-ray and DVD November 1st
From Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

Growing up in 19th century China, Lily (Bingbing Li, The Forbidden Kingdom) and Snow Flower (Gianna Jun, My Sassy Girl) are brought together in a Laotong friendship—a lifelong bond between two women who rely on each other for companionship and comfort. Amid the civil unrest and gender discrimination of the era, the pair deals with life’s hardships together until they are separated by marriage and childbirth. As sworn sisters, however, the women continue to communicate through the secret Chinese language of nushu, hiding their stories and messages within the folds of delicate silk fans.

In present day Shanghai, the Laotong’s descendants Nina (also played by Li) and Sophia (also played by Jun) struggle to maintain the intimacy of their own childhood friendship in the face of demanding careers and complicated love lives. Drawing on lessons of the past, the two modern women must understand the story of their ancestral connection or risk losing one another forever. What unfolds are two stories, generations apart, but everlasting in the notion of love, hope and friendship.

and the book by Lisa See that the film is based on:
In nineteenth-century China, in a remote Hunan county, a girl named Lily, at the tender age of seven, is paired with a laotong, an “old same,” in an emotional match that will last a lifetime. The laotong, Snow Flower, introduces herself by sending Lily a silk fan on which she’s written a poem in nu shu, a unique language that Chinese women created in order to communicate in secret, away from the influence of men. As the years pass, Lily and Snow Flower send messages on the fan and compose stories on handkerchiefs, reaching out of isolation to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments. Together they endure the agony of footbinding and reflect upon their arranged marriages, their loneliness, and the joys and tragedies of motherhood. The two find solace in their friendship, developing a bond that keeps their spirits alive. But when a misunderstanding arises, their relationship suddenly threatens to tear apart.

To win a copy of this DVD, simply answer the following question:

What is the secret language Lily and Snow Flower use?
• Mushu
• Nushu
• Nishi

to enter - click 'read more' and answer the question using the Rafflecopter widget :)
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