Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Review: Ashes, Ashes

Title: Ashes, Ashes
Author: Jo Treggiari
Expected publication: June 1st 2011 by Scholastic
Source: Copy sent by publisher for review

Summary:"A thrilling tale of adventure, romance, and one girl's unyielding courage through the darkest of nightmares.

Epidemics, floods, droughts--for sixteen-year-old Lucy, the end of the world came and went, taking 99% of the population with it. As the weather continues to rage out of control, and Sweepers clean the streets of plague victims, Lucy survives alone in the wilds of Central Park. But when she's rescued from a pack of hunting dogs by a mysterious boy named Aidan, she reluctantly realizes she can't continue on her own. She joins his band of survivors, yet, a new danger awaits her: the Sweepers are looking for her. There's something special about Lucy, and they will stop at nothing to have her."

Thoughts: Have you ever seen the movie The Day After Tomorrow? For some reason, this book reminds me of that movie, only subtract the subzero temperatures and add in a plague or two. In Ashes, Ashes, 99% of the world has died due to plague. The majority of New York has been covered under water and is now divided into islands. For Lucy, this means survival. Out of everyone in her family, she was the least likely to survive, yet she did and is now trying to stay alive.

To be honest, I liked the idea behind Ashes, Ashes and while I enjoyed the story, it also wasn't exactly my favorite dystopian novel. For about 100 pages of the story, there was barely any dialogue except for one freak encounter with a boy named Aidan. It was all about survival. I enjoyed the way the author described New York as it is after the diaster. She uses a lot of rich details, where I felt like I was there, taking it all in. I also liked how the author wrote about how the world ended up in this state and the "Before" rather than letting readers figure it out on their own. That was a nice touch! And the concept behind the Sweepers was also another nice added bonus.

The romance between Aidan and Lucy, while sweet, felt a little forced. I guess you have to put in consideration that with only 1% of the population left, beggars can't exactly be chooser. Aidan's a good guy, but is he swoon-worthy? Hmm, not to me, but other readers might think so.

And the ending? I don't know, maybe it's just me but I felt a bit unsatisfied with the way the book ended. It still left me with a few important questions unanswered. I guess that's what the sequel is for!

Overall, I liked Ashes, Ashes but I didn't love it. I would recommend Enclave by Ann Aguirre over Ashes, Ashes, however, that's not to say that you still shouldn't check it out. I'll most likely read the sequel (if there is one), but I don't think it'll be something I'll rush out to read.


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Monday, May 30, 2011

Review: Beauty Queens

Title: Beauty Queens
Author: Libba Bray
Published: May 24th 2011 by Scholastic Press
Source: ARC sent from Publisher for review

Summary: From bestselling, Printz Award-winning author Libba Bray, the story of a plane of beauty pageant contestants that crashes on a desert island.
Teen beauty queens. A "Lost"-like island. Mysteries and dangers. No access to email. And the spirit of fierce, feral competition that lives underground in girls, a savage brutality that can only be revealed by a journey into the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Oh, the horror, the horror! Only funnier. With evening gowns. And a body count.

Thoughts:Beauty Queens is unlike anything I've ever read. I don't think I've laughed so hard in ages! I love how the story flows and all the different writing techniques the author uses. You get a glimpse of what it's like to be each character, why they're in the pageant, and what they have to do to survive.

This novel is about a group of pageant contestants, who's plane crashes and leaves the surviving girls stranded on an island. The thing is, the island isn't exactly deserted, and soon, the girls will begin to discover a conspiracy unlike any other. Watch out, readers. Along the way, there will be deadly snakes, trippy unknown fruits, crazy rising waters/weather and loads of drama. It'll be grand!

My personal favorite thing about Beauty Queens are all the diverse personalities and how Libba Bray plays with some common pageant girl cliches, yet also still keeps the story very creative, witty and hysterical. Each contestant is there for their own reason, and the truth is, you can relate to each and every one of them. My personal favorite was Adina, the snarky, sarcastic one who prides herself on her intelligence. She can be judgmental, but hey, don't all the pageant girls sizing/judging the every other one, too?

Oh, and as an added bonus, the author throws in some commercials back home, each girl's pageant information sheet, and a twist to the story. Absolutely hilarious. If you need a good laugh or just something completely different than what's out there, check out Beauty Queens. It's the perfect pick me up after a hard day of work/school. Whoa, that came off a little commercial-esque, but it is!

Rating: 5/5

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Sunday, May 29, 2011

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren

Won During Contest Craze:
*The Time-Traveling Fashionista by Bianca Turetsky

*But I Love Him by Amanda Grace, aka Mandy Hubbard (Dying to read this ever since Cynthia at A Blog About Nothing reviewed it!)

From My Book Faery/For Review:
*Deadly Little Games (Touch #3) by Laurie Faria Stolarz
*Nightspell (Mistwood #2) by Leah Cypress (<3 Mistwood <3)
*The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson (EXCITED!!!)
*Don't Breathe A Word by Holly Cupala (Love Holly Cupala. Super excied about reading this one!)

**Special thanks to Cindy aka The Princess Bookie and HarperTeen**

That's it, folks. Feel free to leave links to your IMMs in my comments. I'm pretty busy this weekend, but I will try to visit as many of your mailboxes as possible!

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Review: What Happened To Goodbye

Title: What Happened To Goodbye
Author: Sarah Dessen
Published: May 10th 2011 by Penguin Young Readers Group

Summary: "In the past two years, Mclean Sweet has moved four times. At each stop, she assumes a new persona, but it never quite works. Whether she's an effervescent cheerleader or an intense drama queen, nothing can permanently dispel the turmoil and rage at her mother since her parents' divorce. Sarah Dessen's novel about a teenager and her restaurant manager father captures the vulnerability that young people often experience after the dissolution of their family. A compelling story; strong characterization; and with a touch of romance."

Review:There is absolutely nothing out there like a good Sarah Dessen novel. While Along For The Ride and This Lullaby are still my favorite SD books, I still really enjoyed this story. The characters were great, the story well written (plus charming), and the love interest was too cute for words.

The only thing I wish was that there was more romance. The chemistry between Mclean and Dave is there, but the romance seemed, I guess a bit lacking compared to other SD books. This book is mainly about families and all the different relationships (new and old) that play a role in everyone's life, friendships and roots.

Oh, and if you follow Sarah Dessen on Twitter, you know what a die hard college basketball fan she is. BUT, for those who don't do the Twitter thing, you'll see for yourself that this woman really does love (and I mean LOVE) college basketball. Her passion for it truly shines in this book, but don't worry, it doesn't take away from the story. If anything, it adds more to it, so that's always a nice touch.

For all Sarah Dessen fans and fans of YA contemporary literature, I'm sure you'll be pleased with What Happened To Goodbye. There are loads of cute moments, funny conversations, witty banter, and it's topped off with unforgettable characters you'll easily fall in love with.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Waiting on Wednsday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine. It showcases each blogger's most anticipated books. This week, my pick is Hades, the sequel to Halo, by Alexandra Adornetto.

Summary: "Even the love of her boyfriend, Xavier Woods, and her archangel siblings, Gabriel and Ivy, can’t keep the angel Bethany Church from being tricked into a motorcycle ride that ends up in Hell. There, Jake Thorn bargains for Beth’s release back to Earth. But what he asks of her will destroy her, and quite possibly her loved ones as well. Can he be trusted in this wager? And what does Jake have Xavier believing about Beth’s fate that may result in an act of betrayal that will leave Bethany – and readers – wondering if Xav is so good after all."

Why I Can't Wait: Around the blogosphere, you're going to hear a lot of mixed reviews when it comes to Halo. I personally adored it. I thought it was fun, romantic, sweet, and exciting in all the right places. While I like Xavier, my personal hero was Gabriel. Love me some Gabriel! Anywho, with the way Halo ends, I couldn't help but be excited for Hades. I'm curious to know where Alexandra will take these beloved characters and how far she'll push them.

Expected publication: August 30th 2011 by Feiwel & Friends

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Review : Between Here And Forever

Title: Between Here and Forever
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Expected publication: May 24th 2011 by Simon Pulse (today!)
Source: ARC provided by Simon &Schuster

Summary: "Abby accepted that she can’t measure up to her beautiful, magnetic sister Tess a long time ago, and knows exactly what she is: Second best. Invisible.

Until the accident.

Now Tess is in a coma, and Abby’s life is on hold. It may have been hard living with Tess, but it's nothing compared to living without her.

She's got a plan to bring Tess back though, involving the gorgeous and mysterious Eli, but then Abby learns something about Tess, something that was always there, but that she’d never seen.

Abby is about to find out that truth isn't always what you think it is, and that life holds more than she ever thought it could..."

Thoughts:Wow, what an emotional roller coaster. I never thought a contemporary YA book could have so many twists and turns, but this one did, and I loved every minute of it.

Ever since Elizabeth announced her upcoming book (Between Here And Forever) would have some special appearances from a couple of characters in Bloom, I kept trying to guess who they were going to be. Who is going to make the grand cameo appearance? Which characters were going to be recycled? After reading the first couple chapters, I must say that I never saw THAT coming. In all honesty, while I enjoyed Abby's story, I was more invested in the secondary characters' story. Maybe it's because I loved them in Bloom, or because I enjoyed how everything played out, but whatever the case, I enjoyed every minute of *insert Bloom characters' names here*'s lives.

To me, Between Here And Forever wasn't exactly a light hearted read. It deals with things like keeping secrets, acceptance, tragedy, the complexities of, well, families, and everything in between. Needless to say, this isn't exactly an "easy read", but still a good one. Though the ending is a bit bittersweet, it still leaves you with a sense of hope. I'm secretly hoping there may be some sort of sequel in the future, but if not, I'm satisfied with the way things turned out.

I must admit, I think I enjoyed this book more because I'm a fan of Bloom. While you don't have to read Bloom to read Between Here And Forever, I would highly recommend doing so. It's like milk and cookies. You CAN have one without the other, but why would you want to?

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. It might not give you the warm fuzzie nor butterflies in your stomach, but it will make you think. After all, no family is perfect, but in the end, you still want and need them, plus the ones you love the most in your corner.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

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Monday, May 23, 2011

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

*Brooklyn, Burning by Steve Brezenoff (special thanks to Jen from What's On The Book Shelf)

Gifted Surprises:
*One Night That Changes Everything by Lauren Barnholdt (Extra special thanks to my awesome buddy, Cynthia, from A Blog About Nothing, who seriously rocks my socks off!)

From PBS:
*Banished by Sophie Littlefield
*Moonglass by Jessi Kirby
*Life, After by Sarah Darer Littman
*Future Imperfect by K. Ryer Breese

And that's all folks! Feel free to leave links to your IMMs in the comments below, and I'll try to comment on as many as possible. :)

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Review + Giveaway: Stealing Heaven

Title: Stealing Heaven
Author: Elizabeth Scott (woot!)
Published: June 1st 2008 by HarperTeen

Summary: "My name is Danielle. I'm eighteen. I've been stealing things for as long as I can remember.

Dani has been trained as a thief by the best--her mother. Together, they move from town to town, targeting wealthy homes and making a living by stealing antique silver. They never stay in one place long enough to make real connections, real friends--a real life

In the beach town of Heaven, though, everything changes. For the first time, Dani starts to feel at home. She's making friends and has even met a guy. But these people can never know the real Dani--because of who she is. When it turns out that her new friend lives in the house they've targeted for their next job and the cute guy is a cop, Dani must question where her loyalties lie: with the life she's always known--or the one she's always wanted.

Thoughts: Did you know Stealing Heaven was my very first Elizabeth Scott book? It's true. I originally heard of it when my favorite reviewer at the time, who used to be called The Bookchic (Daisy Whitney), reviewed it on her blog. Back then, this wasn't exactly the type of book I would pick up, but after reading everything by Sarah Dessen and knowing how much Daisy enjoyed it, I thought sure, why not? Well, it turns out Stealing Heaven is every bit as good as Daisy said. Need a great summer read? Pick this up. Heck, need a good read in general? Here ya go!

Stealing Heaven is about a girl named Dani, who's mother convinces her that stealing and lying is the only way they can survive. We're talking the who shabam. New identities, relocating after a job is "done", and in a way, dedicating your life to it. While Dani isn't always keen on being this type of person, she does it because she knows her mother needs her to.

Then she meets Greg. Greg's the local cop, a great guy and just a breath of fresh air. Dani might actually be falling for him, if only her life wasn't filled with lies and deceit. Oh top of that, she starts building a friendship with Allison, the girl who's family Dani's mom is plotting against. When did being 18 become so difficult?

I must say, above all things, Elizabeth Scott is an amazing story teller. From the plot, to the romance to the character building, every little piece just falls perfectly into place. I absolutely loved how Dani was torn between what she knew was right and what her mother wants her to do. You can feel every emotion Dani is going through. Even though I've never really stolen anything (other than a candy bar when I was 4), I could somehow still relate to what Dani was going through.

One character I truly adored was Allison. She's a genuinely nice person and really wanted to be a good friend to Dani. You know from the very beginning that because of who Dani and her mother are, Allison will eventually become a victim to their thievery and lies. All you can really do is hope that Dani will get her act together before she loses who may end up being one of the best friends she will ever have.

And then there's Greg. What a sweetheart. You can tell from the very beginning that he truly cares about Dani, no matter what. My favorite scenes were the ones that featured Dani and Greg. Needless to say, those scenes gave me the warm fuzzies and put a huge smile on my face.

All in all, if you're looking for a quick summer read, especially if you plan on going to the beach, I would recommend picking up a copy of Stealing Heaven.


Now, it's Giveaway Time!!!

One lucky person will win a gift pack filled with Elizabeth Scott books, donated by Elizabeth herself. To enter, just comment below, and let me know what your favorite Elizabeth Scott book is. If you haven't read any of her books, tell me which one of her books would you like to read most.

This giveaway is open to US residents only. If you are an international participant and have a US address the prize pack can be sent to, feel free to enter.

*If you are participating in Elizabeth Scott week and have posted (and linked!) a review of one of her books, YOU GET AN EXTRA ENTRY! Just let me know in the comments below.

This giveaway will end May 24th. Don't forget to leave an email address so I can contact you if you win. Good luck, everyone, and a very Happy Elizabeth Scott Week to you!

***Special thanks to Elizabeth, for donating the prize packs, and Yani from The Secret Life of an Avid Reader for putting all this together!!!***

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Bitter End

Title: Bitter End
Author: Jennifer Brown
Published: May 10th 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Copy sent by publisher for review

Summary: "When Alex falls for the charming new boy at school, Cole, a handsome, funny, sports star who adores her, she can't believe she's finally found her soul mate-someone who truly understands her and loves her for who she really is.

At first, Alex is blissfully happy. Sure, Cole seems a little jealous of her relationship with her best friends, Zack and Bethany, but what guy would want his girlfriend spending all of her time with another boy? But as the months pass, Alex can no longer ignore Cole's small put-downs, pinches, or increasingly violent threats. As Alex struggles to come to terms with the sweet boyfriend she fell in love with and the boyfriend whose "love" she no longer recognizes, she is forced to choose - between her "true love" and herself."

Thoughts:It seems as though a lot of books being released this year involve abuse. Lets face it, the world isn't exactly a picture perfect place. Abuse exists, and it's victims are usually too afraid to ask for help or even speak up. In Bitter End, the talented Jennifer Brown takes you on one girl's journey of how she found love, and how it went terribly, terribly wrong.

First off, I have to tell you how PERFECT the cover is for this book. Everything about it, from the clearly distressed girl, to the words written in black (they actually play a role in the story!), and everything inbetween, I just plain freaking love it. If I was wandering through the shelves at a bookstore and saw this cover, I would pick it up.

One thing I loved about Bitter End is how the story starts from the very beginning. You get to meet Alex and get to know her and her friends, Bethany and Zack, before Cole enters the picture. The "Fearsome Threesome" are a riot. I love how they prank each other, play jokes, and just how close they are in general. They're like a close knit family and though they don't verbalize it, you can tell they all love and would do anything for each other.

When Cole first enters the picture, it's clear that Zack has a problem with him. Considering Zack is portrayed as a laid back guy, it's obvious the problem isn't really Zack, but actually Cole. While this is obvious for the readers, Alex just thinks it's because any guy would be jealous of a girl who spends all her time with her guy best friend.

From the very first incident Alex has with Cole, all I wanted to do was shake Alex and tell her to run. Even after those moments, Alex constantly forgives Cole. He's the type of guy that buys your love or does "grand gestures", that way, he's never held accountable for his actions. Does it become frustrating when Alex still sticks around, even after Cole says he'll stop but doesn't? Absolutely, but it's also understandable, especially once you see how lonely Alex is. While I hated Cole (HATED HIM!), I still see what initially attracted Alex to him.

The character I loved most in this book, though, has to be Zack. Funny, witty, protective AND brave? Swoon much? I think so. This guy would do anything for his friends, even if his friends don't know he's doing it. I loved his c'est la vie nature. The only time you ever see him riled, even for a second, is when he's around Cole, and it's for a good reason. He's a genuinely good guy, and who doesn't love a good guy?

Bitter End is an emotionally driven and sometimes cringe worthy book that will have you up hours wondering what will happen next. While the main character's actions do become (at times) frustrating, you'll still be hoping against all odds that things will work out for her. This book is about friendship, relationships, pain, heart break and the different kinds of love you never knew you had all along. For fans for Dreamland by Sarah Dessen and Stay by Deb Caletti, this is the book for you. It's not an easy ready, but it's definitely a good one.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Waiting on Wednsday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine. It showcases each blogger's most anticipated books. This week, my pick is The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson.

Summary:"Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.

Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do."

Why I Can't Wait:First off, love the cover. I love the colors, and sensing sort of mysterious, with a strong leading lady vibe. Nice! Secondly, I love the summary. I'm curious about where the story will go, and what the meaning behind being the chosen one is all about. Lastly, whenever we were at TXLA, the publishers ran out of ARCs of The Girl of Fire and Thorns, but told me about how amazing it is, and how I *should* be looking forward to reading it. If that isn't enough, I don't know what is!

Expected publication: September 20th 2011 by Greenwillow Books

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Elizabeth Scott Week Begins Tomorrow!

Elizabeth Scott Book WeekElizabeth Scott Book Week

Who hasn't fallen in love with one of Elizabeth Scott's books? Whether you're looking for a light, fun, drama and love filled read or something more serious, with a darker twist, no one can deny that Elizabeth is a talented writer, who's affected many lives.

I'm sure many of you around the blogosphere have heard of Elizabeth Scott Week, but just in case you haven't, let me give you the 411. Several bloggers (including myself) will be posting reviews of Elizabeth's books this week. Be sure to check out the schedule posted below because each stop will be giving away gift packs filled with Elizabeth Scott books.

We encourage you to post as many Elizabeth Scott reviews this week as possible. In fact, if you are participating in Elizabeth Scott Week, you will receive an extra entry for each giveaway you enter. How cool is that?

Here's a list of all the stops and what reviews will be posted:

Wednesday 5/18 : Bloom @ Fiction Folio

Thursday 5/19 : Perfect You @ I Eat Words

Friday 5/20 : Something, Maybe @ Anna Reads

SUPER Saturday 5/21
- Living Dead Girl @ GReads
- Love You, Hate You, Miss You @ I Eat Words
- Grace @ The Secret Life of an Avid Reader

Sunday 5/22 - Stealing Heaven @ Addicted 2 Novels

Monday 5/23 - The Unwritten Rule @ GReads

Tuesday 5/24 - Between Here and Forever @ The Secret Life of an Avid Reader

If you're interested in participating in Elizabeth Scott Week, sign up in the linky below. Special thanks to Yani at The Secret Life of an Avid Reader for putting all this together, and Elizabeth Scott for generously donating so many of her books for the giveaways.

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. Boy howdy, did I have a great week. Ch-ch-check it out!

For Review:
*Sweetly by Jackson Pearce
*Dark Parties by Sara Grant
*She Loves You, She Loves You Not by Julie Anne Peters
*Forgotten by Cat Patrick
*Spoiled by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
*The Magnolia League by Katie Crouch
*The Magnolia League by Katie Crouch (technically, I bought the hardback and got it signed at one of Katie's signings, but I thought it was neat to compare it to the arc)

Bought at a Borders closing sale(apparently it's "girls on the cover" week, lol):
*Frenzy by Francesca Lia Block
*Bright Young Things by Anna Godbergsen
*Eternal : More Love Stories with Bite (Anthology) by P.C. Cast
*Ghost Town (Morganville Vamps #9) by Rachel Caine
*Echoes (Fingerprints 1-3) by Melinda Metz
*Grace by Elizabeth Scott (Already read last year, but now I have my own copy!)

**Special thanks to Hachette/Little Brown Books***

Feel free to link your IMMs in the comments below, and I'll try to comment on as many as possible!

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Lots of Winners!!!

Hey guys! Sorry about the long wait, but I finally added up all the entries and drew a bunch of winners. Thanks to everyone who participated and for your patience. All winners were selected with Random.org Here we go!

The winner of Where She Went is: Alyssa!!!

The winner of the April Giveaway is: Amy W!!!

The 900 Followers, Prize Pack #1 winner is: Annabell!!!

The 900 Followers, Prize Pack #2 winner is: Missy @ Two Readers Review!!!

The 900 Followers, $10 Book of Choice winner is: Mia!!!

The Tempest Rising winner is: Valerie!!!

Congrats to all the winners!!! I will be emailing you all shortly. If you see this and have not received an email from me, feel free to email me at addicted2novels(at)gmail(dot)com with your mailing information. All winners will have 72 hours to respond before new winners are selected.

If you didn't win, no worries. A new giveaway will be posted soon. Stay tuned. Same bat time, same bat channel!

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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Interview With Lara Chapman (Author of Flawless)

This week, I had the priveledge to interview debut author, Lara Chapman, on my blog. Her novel, Flawless, released this past Tuesday. If you haven't read my raving review, all I can say is you must check out her novel. It's amazing in all the right ways. Without futhur ado, please welcome Lara to Addicted 2 Novels!

1. How did you come up with the idea for Flawless, and why did you choose to retell the story of Cyrano de Bergerac?

The answer to the first two questions is the same… I was brainstorming with my critique partners and we started looking at the great love stories that could be retold in a contemporary setting. Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella… those stories have been done and redone so well, I just couldn’t think of a way to spin them in a unique way and keep the basic story line in tact. Someone mentioned Cyrano, and it built from there.

2. For someone who hasn't heard of Flawless, how would you describe it to them?

FLAWLESS is the story of two best friends who fall in love with the same guy. It’s about the heroine’s struggle to stay true to her best friend and help her win the guy, even though she wants him for herself.

3. Every girl thinks she has them, so I'm curious as to what you think your biggest "flaw" is.

When I asked my kids what they thought my biggest flaw was, they both said what I was already thinking… control! I admit it – I’m a tiny bit of a control freak, especially when it comes to organization.

4. Are you currently working on any new projects?

I have a proposal with my editor at Bloomsbury at this very moment. I always have three or four storylines rambling around my brain. But I work best on a deadline, so when no one’s really expectinganything from me, I tend to be a little unproductive. :)

5. What message would you like readers to take with them after reading Flawless?

Be true to yourself! Be honest with yourself about what you want out of life and then go for it.

Thank you, Lara, for dropping by, and an extra special thanks to Kate from Bloomsbury for putting all this together! For more about Flawless and Lara, be sure to check out her website. Also, Lara will be partipating in the Chills & Thrills tour so be sure to catch her while you can!

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Vanish Giveaway From Good Choice Reading

Hey Everyone!

Are you a fan of Firelight by Sophie Jordan? Are you excited about the release of Vanish? Well, you're in luck. My homies over at Good Choice Reading is giving away a copy of Vanish as we speak. Check it out! Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor.

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Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine. It showcases our most anticipated books. This week, my pick is Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

**WARNING: Beautiful Chaos is the third book in the Caster Chronicles series, so if you have not read Beautiful Creatures AND Beauiful Darkness, I highly recommend not reading the rest of this post.**

Summary: "Ethan Wate thought he was getting used to the strange, impossible events happening in Gatlin, his small Southern town. But now that Ethan and Lena have returned home, strange and impossible have taken on new meanings. Swarms of locusts, record-breaking heat, and devastating storms ravage Gatlin as Ethan and Lena struggle to understand the impact of Lena's Claiming. Even Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals is affected - and their abilities begin to dangerously misfire. As time passes, one question becomes clear: What - or who - will need to be sacrificed to save Gatlin?

For Ethan, the chaos is a frightening but welcome distraction. He's being haunted in his dreams again, but this time it isn't by Lena - and whatever is haunting him is following him out of his dreams and into his everyday life. Even worse, Ethan is gradually losing pieces of himself - forgetting names, phone numbers, even memories. He doesn't know why, and most days he's too afraid to ask.

Sometimes there isn't just one answer or one choice. Sometimes there's no going back. And this time there won't be a happy ending."

Why I Can't Wait:First off, I have to tell you that I absolutely love this series. The world building, the details, the characters, the drama...I love it all. Plus, with a main character named Lena, you know it has to be good. I could gush about how much I love Ethan and Link and Macon and bacon, but we'll save that for a later date.

Next, I gotta say that the summary for Beautiful Chaos TERRIFIES me. There's not going to be a happy ending this time? The other endings were considered happy? Ack. Nervous? Yes. Scared? Uh huh. Excited? OMGosh, YOU KNOW IT!

Expected publication: October 18th 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Review: Flawless

Title: Flawless
Author: Lara Chapman
Expected publication: May 10th 2011 by Bloomsbury
Source: ARC from publisher for review

Summary: "Sarah Burke is just about perfect. She's got killer blue eyes, gorgeous blond hair, and impeccable grades. There's just one tiny-all right, enormous-flaw: her nose. But even that's not so bad. Sarah's got the best best friend and big goals for print journalism fame.

On the first day of senior year, Rock Conway walks into her journalism class and, well, rocks her world. Problem is, her best friend, Kristen, falls for him too. And when Rock and Kristen stand together, it's like Barbie and Ken come to life. So when Kristen begs Sarah to help her nab Rock, Sarah does the only thing a best friend can do-she agrees. For someone so smart, what was she thinking?

This hip retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac is filled with hilariously misguided matchmaking, sweet romance, and a gentle reminder that we should all embrace our flaws."

Thoughts:Wow, I ended up loving his book far more than I thought I would. Flawless is a fantabulous retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac, with all the drama of high school and young love, and not one boring moment.

If you know the story of Cyrano de Bergerac, you already have an idea of what this novel is about. Sarah is beautiful in every way possible, except for her nose. In fact, strangers will stop, stare, point out and even publicly make fun of her. Luckily, Sarah's never been the type to stand back while others pick on her. She's one tough cookie and even though her mother encourages her to get a nose job, she refuses to do so. I loved Sarah's strength, and even when things got rough (really rough), she refused to let go of her morals. I wish I could've been that strong when I was in high school. Heck, I wish I could be that strong now.

As an added bonus, I must tell you how incredibly adorable Rock Conway was. I absolutely loved his emails and his overall personality. Who doesn't love a boy who, too, loves literature? Aren't those the best kinds of boys? While he may have a few faults, they ended up just making him feel more real. Sometimes, I just wanted to shake him and tell him to just look at Sarah. But boys will be boys, and it doesn't help when girls are scamming them.

Though, at times, I wanted to hate Sarah's best friend Kristen, I couldn't help but love her. Her humor and clueless personality had me laugh so hard, I almost cried. Plus, as far as friends go, Kristen is as loyal as they get. She actually reminded me of one of my best friends, so I did have a soft spot for her. Everyone should have a Kristen in their life, and I'm glad Sarah did.

All in all, Flawless is a marvelous debut, with lovable characters and amazing chemistry. Dare I saw Flawless is flawless? I stayed up till 3:00 AM finishing this novel, so I recommend leaving yourself plenty of time to read it. I'm definitely looking forward to Lara Chapman's sophomore novel and can't wait to see what else she has in store for us.


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Monday, May 9, 2011

Review : Illusions (Wings #3)

Title: Illusions (Wings #3)
Author: Aprilynne Pike
Publication: May 3rd 2011 by HarperCollins Publishers
Source:ARC provided by a very good friend! :)

**If you have not read Wings AND Spells, please stop reading this review now! It does contain spoilers for those two books. If you have read both books, but have yet to read Illusions, you're okay!**

Summary:"Laurel hasn't seen Tamani since she begged him to let her go last year. Though her heart still aches, Laurel is confident that David was the right choice.

But just as life is returning to normal, Laurel discovers that a hidden enemy lies in wait. Once again, Laurel must turn to Tamani to protect and guide her, for the danger that now threatens Avalon is one that no faerie thought would ever be possible. And for the first time, Laurel cannot be sure that her side will prevail."

Thoughts:Is it just me or do the books in the series keep getting better and better? There's just something soothing, enticing, and charming about Aprilynne Pike's Wings series, and Illusions is no exception. In fact, in my personal opinion, it may be the best one yet.

With the way things ended in Spells and that mother of a cliffhanger, I couldn't wait to see would happen to Laurel next. I'm not going to lie, I was a little nervous since Tamani is one of my favorite characters and well, you saw what happened at the end of Spells. Never fear, Tamani fans, there's enough of him to go around. I would say there's enough and more, but seriously...who can have TOO much Tamani? Not I, said the blogger. I liked reading about his experiences in Laurel's human world, especially a certain scene involving an iPhone. It was very cute and funny. I'll admit, Tamani does pressure Laurel a lot about David and is very clear from the beginning about what his plans are for her. In fact, he even tells her at one point that he cannot be friends with David because you can't be friends with the person who's girl you're trying to steal. Nevertheless, his wit, loyalty and fierce determination captured my heart and will continue to do so unless he has a complete personality change.

Don't worry David fans, there's still plenty of him in the book. He's still as kind as ever. A little bland for my taste, but still a sweetheart.

Illusions introduces a few new, questionable characters and, of course, new twists and turns. Aprilynne spares no expense when describing the beauty of Avalon as well as everything that attracts readers to Faeries and their "wings". For fans of the Wings series, this book will not disappoint. If anything, it will have you craving for more. If you thought the Spells' cliffhanger was bad, wait till you read Illusions. As the saying goes, you ain't seen nothing yet.


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Sunday, May 8, 2011

In My Mailbox

First off, I just wanted to wish every mother out there a Happy Mother's Day. I hope it's amazing and you receive a million and one hugs today. :)

Anywho, onto the show! In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. Boy howdy, did I have a good week!

For Review:
*Bitter End by Jennifer Brown
*I'll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan

*Stork by Wendy Delsol
*The Education of Hailey Kendrick by Eileen Cook
*Hourglass by Claudia Gray
*Succubus on Top by Richelle Mead
*The Lover's Dictionary by David Leviathan

That's it, folks! I know I have a TON of winners to announce. I promise I'll announce them all this week. I'm so sorry it's taking me so long. Vacations + life = no blog time. :( Thanks for being so patient!

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine. It showcases everyone's most anticipated books. This week, my pick is Silence, the third book to Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush, Hush series.

**If you have not read Hush, Hush and/or Crescendo, please do not read any furthur**

Summary: "The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They've overcome the secrets riddled in Patch's dark past...bridged two irreconcilable worlds...faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust...and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight...The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They've overcome the secrets riddled in Patch's dark past...bridged two irreconcilable worlds...faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust...and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for—and their love—forever."

Why I Can't Wait:First off, love the cover. It's gorgeous, and I think my favorite one thus far! Now, onto the book. I absolutely love this series. And especially with the way Crescendo ends, I'm dying to know what happens next. I have to know what happens next between Nora and Patch. Will they be okay? Are they together? Are they alive? WHAT THE FRENCH, TOAST?! EEEEPPPP!!!!

Expected publication: October 4th 2011 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

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Monday, May 2, 2011

Review + Giveaway: Tempest Rising

Title: Tempest Rising
Author: Tracy Deebs
Expected publication: May 10th 2011 by Walker Books for Young Readers
Source: ARC

Summary:"Tempest Maguire wants nothing more than to surf the killer waves near her California home; continue her steady relationship with her boyfriend, Mark; and take care of her brothers and surfer dad. But Tempest is half mermaid, and as her seventeenth birthday approaches, she will have to decide whether to remain on land or give herself to the ocean like her mother. The pull of the water becomes as insistent as her attraction to Kai, a gorgeous surfer whose uncanny abilities hint at an otherworldly identity as well. And when Tempest does finally give in to the water's temptation and enters a fantastical underwater world, she finds that a larger destiny awaits her—and that the entire ocean's future hangs in the balance."

Thoughts:Is it just me or all these mermaid books lately surprisingly delicious? Tempest Rising is no exception. The novel is well-written with a great story line and lovable characters. You can't really ask for more than that.

Tempest Rising follows the story of young Tempest. When Tempest turns 17, she must choose whether to stay on land, with her family or follow her mother's path into the ocean and become a mermaid. Hands down the easiest choice of her life, since she has no desire whatsoever to be a mermaid. But maybe the choice was never her's to begin with. Destiny has other plans for her and soon she'll realize that she may be the key to ending a century-long underwater war of good vs. evil.

I really enjoyed reading Tempest's story. Her struggles with who is she and who she might become is one of my favorite aspects about this novel. Fear of the future is one thing I think everyone can easily relate too, but imagine having that, plus the possibility of becoming a mermaid. Did life just get more complicated? I think it did.

My favorite thing about the story, however, is the relationship between Tempest and Kai. I'm usually not a fan of insta-love, but they were just too cute for words. Kai is not only ridiculously handsome, but also dashing, kind and brave. Does he have any flaws? None come to mind. Every interaction between Tempest and Kai made my heart leap and rejoice. Swoon? I think so.

The only thing I found a bit frustrating was Tempest constantly reminding the reader that she does not want to be a mermaid. It's completely understandable. I don't know if I'd want to be a mermaid either, but saying it every couple pages became a bit tiresome.

Overall, Tempest Rising is an alluring and sometimes terrifying read. There's action, mystery, romance and even a few horrifying underwater creatures that may scare you off the beach for a couple days. For fans of Forgive My Fins and Siren, this is definitely a book you don't want to miss!


And now, it's giveaway time. One lucky commenter will win an ARC of Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs.

To Enter:
*Comment below and answer this question: If you had to choose between being a human and staying with your family or being a mermaid and being with the one you love, which would you choose?
*Open to US participants only.
*Please leave a way for me to contact you.
*+1 for being a follower
*+1 for spreading the word.

The giveaway ends May 14th. Good luck, everyone!

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Shift Winners!!!

It's been 24 hours, thus time to announce the winners of Shift. A big thanks to everyone who participated, and an extra big thanks to Jeri Smith-Ready and Karen from For What It's Worth for putting this whole thing together! :)

Now, onto some winners. The winner of the signed copy of Shift and Celtic bookmarks is...

#82 Looksie Lovitz!!!

And the winner of a copy of Shift is...

#58 Amanda B!!!

Congrats!!! I'll be emailing each of you shortly. Please respond back within 72 hours or a new winner will be selected. If for some reason my email is lost in the internet world, feel free to email me your info at addicted2novels(at)gmail(dot)com.

Everyone, be sure to pick up your copy of Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready tomorrow!

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In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. I'm totally excited about the goodies I got this week. Ch-ch-check it out!

*Where The Truth Lies by Jessica Warman (signed!)
*Recovery Road by Blake Nelson (signed!)
*Enclave by Ann Aguirre

From My Book Faery:
*Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

For Review:
*Love Story by Jennifer Echols (freaking love you!)
*Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari

Bought From A Borders Closing Sale:
*Kisses in the Dark (Scarlett Wakefield #3) by Lauren Henderson
*My Soul To Keep (Soul Screamers #3) by Rachel Vincent
*Firespell (Dark Elite #1) by Chloe Neill
*Hexbound (Dark Elite #2) by Chloe Neill
*Succubus Blues (Georgina Kincaid #1) by Richelle Mead

***Special thanks to The Princess Bookie, Ann Aguirre, Kai from Fiction State of Mind, Jennifer Echols, and Scholastic***

Feel free to leave links to your IMMs below. I'll try my best to comment on them!

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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Shift Blog Tour: Review + AWESOME EPIC GIVEAWAY!

Welcome to the next stop in Jeri Smith-Ready's Shift Blog Tour. Today, I'll be reviewing Shift for you. If you don't know (???), Shift is the highly anticipated sequel to Shade. At the end of my review, I will be announcing an amazing, ridiculously epic giveaway. If you've been to the other tour stops, you might have an idea of what it is. But before we get into that, let's talk about Shift!

***Fair Warning. For those who have yet to read Shade, this might be (probably will be) spoilery. For those who have read Shade, but haven't read Shift, you're good!***

Shift takes place literally right where Shade ends. As if being a teenager in general wasn't complicated, Aura also has to deal with the possibility of her ghostly boyfriend, Logan, shading. If that wasn't enough, Aura also can't hide her growing affections for Zachary, finding out what really happened to her mom, and the added bonus of discovering why she was the first to Shift, and Zachary was the last to not.

One by one, Aura slowly begins to unravel the mystery behind the Shift. Her personal life, however, begins to take a turn for the worst. Forbidden romance, unexpected love interests, government agents, an insane amount of heartache, and girls who just suck all play a role in this breathtaking, edge of your seats, thrill ride. Be warned, once you start, you may never put it down.

Please excuse the excessive fan-girling, but I have to tell you how much I loved this book. I seriously couldn't put it down. Every time I thought "okay, this is going to be the last chapter I read before bed", the author throws in another twist or turn. One thing led to another and before I knew it, the clock struck 3:30am, and I still had six more chapters till the end.

The pacing in Shift is, quite frankly, flawless. I absolutely loved the description and details Jeri displays not only in the setting or the characters themselves, but also the emotions. I swear, one minute I was giggling, the next I was swooning, and then, out of nowhere came the heartache. Don't worry kiddies, this is a repetitive cycle so be sure to have your fun hats on and hanky nearby.

For those who know me, you know I'm a mega huge Zachary fan. He's everything I love about a swoon-worthy boy and more. Even when he makes mistakes (and trust me, he will make a few doozies), I can't help but love him. His heart is always in the right place, and he will do whatever it takes for Aura. And if I wasn't a Zachary fan before, that lake scene sure would have won me over. You'll see what I mean.

Don't worry Logan fans. He's in there, too, but I can't go into details about Logan without possibly spoiling it. Just know he's in there. Oh, and keep an eye out for an unsuspected boy who may turn out to be something more.

Overall, Shift is a spectacular sequel you don't want to miss. Many of your questions will be answered, just to be replaced with more intriguing, better questions. I'll be honest, I didn't cry the first time I read Shift. I was too busy rushing through, wanting so badly to know what would happen next. But the second time I read it? Wow. I knew what was going to happen, yet I still bawled like a baby. Thus, word of advice? When you go to pick up your copy of Shift, be sure to also grab a box of tissues.



Leave a comment below to enter today’s drawing. There will be two winners.

The Prizes:

*Winner # 1 gets a signed copy of SHIFT, plus a shiny "Celtic bookmark," courtesy of Jeri.

*Winner #2 gets an unsigned copy of SHIFT, courtesy of Jeri’s publisher.

Additionally all commenters will be entered into a draw to win the Grand Prize - annotated copies of SHADE and SHIFT, an early copy of SHIFT (book three of the series, of which there will be no other ARCS) and an iPod Shuffle!

Open to international entries! Winners will be drawn after 24 hours.

Author Bio: Jeri Smith-Ready’s next release is SHIFT (May 3), the second in the YA ghost trilogy that began last year with SHADE (which just came out in paperback April 5). She loves to hear from readers, so please visit her at www.jerismithready.com, or better yet, on Facebook (www.facebook.com/jerismithready) or Twitter (@jsmithready), where she spends far too much time.

***Special thanks to Jeri Smith-Ready and Karen from For What It's Worth for putting this whole thing together***

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