Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Today's topic is the Top Ten Characters I'd Like To Switch Places With. Ooooooh, fuuuuun! Let's get this party started!
Oh, how wonderful it'd be to be Lola! Why? One word: Cricket. Plus, I'd love to have the guts and dress in costume!
I'd love to be as witty as Jessica Darling, and oh, ya know, be the apple of Marcus Flutie's eye.
Karou. Oh, to have wishes be true, be able to fly, and fall in love with an "angel". Le sigh.
Remy! Let's drive around, toss giant sodas at people we don't like, and fall in love with a clumsy aspiring rockstar.
Oh, to be Emma. Brendan + the limo scene = win
I would love to switch places with Samantha, just so I can have one day with Jase.
Meghan Chase. How fun (and terrifying) would it be to be her? Plus, ya know, Ash. Just saying!
Leah Jones! I would love to fly around in an airplane and umm, do stuff with Grayson. Word.
Jordan Woods. I can't even throw a ball two feet, so it'd be pretty awesome to be a football goddess for a day.
Lily! How much fun would it be to have a scavenger hunt in New York? The riddles are clever and Dash is quite...dashing? Yes, that's the word!
And that's all she wrote! Who would you guys switch with if given the opportunity?
Monday, July 30, 2012
The guiding force of the DREAMING ANASTASIA series is the relationship between Anne and Ethan. Anne knows from the second she catches blue-eyed Ethan stalking her at the ballet that there is just something about him. And in fact, he proceeds to turn her life upside and sideways because it is Ethan who peels back Anne’s normal world and reveals a world of Russian fairy tales brought to life, of a hidden princess and an illegitimate royal son driven by vengeance. When they touch – and I always knew that their story would begin with a physical touch setting things in motion—everything changes.
Anne is no longer just the girl who dances ballet and goes to school and mourns the death of her brother to cancer. She is a girl with power to save a princess, power to right ancient wrongs and ultimately, the power to break a curse that is holding her birth grandmother captive. But power comes with a steep price. And when Anne accepts Baba Yaga’s bargain so she can save Ethan in book 2, she steps into the witch’s forest in a way she has up until then refused to do. Of course, I wanted her to do this for love, even if she has trouble admitting that’s what it is.
This is problem for Anne and Ethan: they do not come easily to loving each other. Or rather, Ethan comes easily to loving Anne, even if he feels that he does not deserve her or a second chance at life. Which is exactly what she gives him when she rides out of the witch’s forest with Anastasia, allowing Ethan to regain his mortality. While Viktor yearns to live forever, Ethan wants only to have what he lost for a cause that was never what he believed it to be: to live and die in the proper time. That he has found the love of his life makes him both deliriously happy as well as guilty as hell.
And Anne, well, she’s a smart girl. Even when she’s not, she has Tess watching her back, making sure she sees things as they are. Anne sees loving Ethan as an impossibility. He is too old even if he looks young. He has secrets and a long, long past. She is only sixteen. And yet I think she loves him from the moment he tells her his story. But she holds back; she is indecisive. In fact, these traits hurt her in all aspects of her life. She has trouble committing. Ethan, on the other hand, is an all-in kind of guy.
So what did I do to these two? I made them inhabit a reverse fairy tale. It is Anne who ends up saving Ethan over and over. It is Anne who is the hero. And ultimately, it is Ethan (no spoilers for book 3 quite yet) who needs redemption and forgiveness before he and Anne can be together. A happily ever after, but hard won. And not without suffering and sacrifice. This is after all, a Russian fairy tale. No one knows endurance like the Russians.
And so it goes: Ethan and Anne, circling and circling love, each running from the other, each doing the hero’s job. The question becomes, will they figure out that they belong together before it’s too late?
Of course they will!
But with these two, love isn’t simple. I think that makes them equal parts of smart and stupid. Not forbidden love. Not crazy love where the passion burns out everything else—and I think we all need some of that in our lives.
When Anne and Ethan finally figure out that they belong together, it will be a love that entwines them like two puzzle pieces, marveling at how perfectly and easily they fit. And how foolish they were not to know it.
The Anastasia Forever deleted scene is my favorite. I had originally envisioned Anne turning into a full blown Baba Yaga much earlier. And so I wrote this scene where she and Ben and Tess and Ethan all go to that Swedish film festival, but in the middle of the story. And there's all this wonderful tension and just at the moment that Ben decides to confront Anne about Ethan and her feelings, Anne realizes that smelling Ben's cologne is making her hungry. Really hungry. And well, she almost eats him. And after that much wackiness ensued. But in the end, I didn't go this route. But it is fun to see what might have been had my editor seen it.
We stop at the base of the Grand Staircase - all pretty marble and elegant looking. I’ve always loved those stairs – regal in a way that most things aren’t these days. Once when I was five, David chased me up and down the stairs until we were both red-faced and out of breath and Mom was pissed that we wouldn’t settle down and let her show us the paintings. The stairs were more fun.
“My stomach hurts,” Tess observes.
“It should,” Ben comments testily. “You just ate your body weight in Red Vines.” Then to all of us: “Coffee’s in the other building if that’s what you want.” Since we walked into the lobby, he’s been directing his comments sort of generally into the air.
“In a minute. Let’s run to the top. I need to stretch.” I don’t wait for group agreement, just lope up the stairs and assume they’ll follow me, which after a few beats, they do.
On the second floor landing, I stretch my arms into classic ballet third position – arms over my head, elbows rounded, palms inward but fingers not touching. My gladiator sandals aren’t the best footwear for this, and I’m wearing a pair of gray cargo pants and a short white tee – hardly ballet clothes - but that’s okay. Until I’d started back subbing at Miss Amy’s, I’d forgotten in the mess that is my life, how much I love dance.
“Your form needs work,” Tess says. She rises up on her toes as much as she can in her black Chucks and skinny jeans and pirouettes around me. She’s a way better dancer than I am these days, even goofing around. Of the two of I us, I’d always been more focused and disciplined. Not any more.
“Coffee?” Ethan asks again. “Wasn’t that the plan?” I know he thinks this is a waste of time – and also dangerous since everything’s at risk for girls who make bargains with witches. Ben needs to man up and move on. But I can’t just push Ben under the metaphor bus like that, and I’m sure he knows this.
I ignore his cranky tone and try out my arabesque - also in need of some serious work.
“Let’s get that coffee.” It’s Ben’s turn to sound cranky. He beckons toward the stairs. “You know that first movie won an award at Sundance. It’s really--”
“Your after shave is really strong.” The comment pops out of nowhere and I feel my cheeks redden. What a stupid thing to say. But suddenly the smell of his cologne is all I can think of. My stomach rumbles, embarrassingly loud. Maybe I should have had some of that popcorn.
I jump on the coffee train. “You know what? A latte would be great right now.”
I’ve just spent almost four hours trying not to fall into a coma while watching Swedish people look unhappy and occasionally have sex in metro bus stations and in one instance, a barn. My fingers feel all tingly. My skin feels sticky and clammy. Am I having a panic attack?
Other museum-goers stream around us. The light overhead through the huge skylight dims noticeably. I look up. Thick gray clouds. The faint sound of thunder rumbles. My heart kicks into overdrive. Am I about to throw up? Maybe it’s the flu.
“You want to talk,” Ben says. “So let’s talk. You’re right. I can’t keep pretending all those things didn’t happen. I dream about them, you know that? Your boss, Mrs. Benson? Those things – those mermaid things – they surrounded her. I heard them breaking her into pieces. You know that, right?”
“Ben.” I’m feeling sicker now, but I try to focus. But Ben doesn’t want to be interrupted. He glances at Ethan - something dangerous brewing in his eyes and the set of his jaw.
“Outside,” I gasp. What the hell is wrong with me?
“Anne?” Ethan’s voice rises above the buzzing in my head, but I ignore him, too.
I turn and stumble down the stairs. My ears are ringing. Or is it just the thunder getting louder? I shouldn’t be doing this. But I can’t seem to think of anything but putting distance between myself and Ben. In my head, I see us a few weeks ago – my hands burning his face. Me running then, too, and calling Ethan.
I’m in the lobby now, shoulder against the heavy front doors of the Art Institute. Out onto the cement landing and then down the stairs - running onto Michigan Avenue. It starts to rain – small drops that get larger and fatter, falling on my head, my face, my hands. Even in my panic – it is pure panic right now, mixed with something else I can’t identify – I wonder if it’s somehow me that’s making it rain.
“Anne!” All three of them are calling my name – Ben and Tess and Ethan. The sound of it echoes in the air around me.
On the sidewalk, standing between the two huge lion statues that flank the Art Institute steps – the ones David and I used to love to shimmy so we could straddle their backs while Dad snapped pictures - I force myself to stop. This is ridiculous. Why am I running? What is it that I’m afraid of? My heart skips then steadies, then skips again. That weird feeling skates the inside of my stomach.
I turn. Ben’s reached me first and he puts his hands on my shoulders. His hair is wet from the rain and a drizzle of water inches down the side of his face.
“Should I be afraid?” he asks, his face serious now, his brown eyes locked on mine.
It’s the question that sparks everything inside me like a lit match falling on dry wood. Not What’s wrong? or What do you need? But “Should I be afraid?”
“Ben,” I say slowly because I understand now what’s happening and I don’t know if I can stop it. “I think you need to run. I think you need to do it now.”
He stares at me like I’m crazy. “What are talking about?”
“You need to get away from me,” I say again, but I can see that he’s not going to. That even after everything he’s seen, he still doesn’t get it. “Oh God, Ben. Go. Ethan!” I look blindly around me and even though I’m sure Ethan is right there, my vision is red and hazy and I can barely make him out. “Oh no. Ethan. You have to--”
I’m her then, not completely, but more Baba Yaga than me. Her power stretches inside me, a spiderweb of fury. I clench my fists; try to hold it back.
Ben doesn’t get it yet – how could he? He presses a hand to my cheek, palm against my skin.
“You’re burning up,” he says. And all I can think is how good he smells. How good he’ll taste.
Ben pulls his hand back. I lean toward him, my face close to his. Someone – Ethan maybe? Maybe him and Tess? – tries to pull me back, but I’m too strong. I hold my ground. Watch the confusion in Ben’s eyes.
No one should underestimate your power, says a voice inside me that sounds like Baba Yaga’s.
Anne, says another voice that I think is Ethan. Don’t. Don’t give in to it. Hold on.
“Can’t what, Anne? Anne, are you okay?” Ben sounds scared.
I try to stop. I really do. But I can’t. Or maybe I don’t want to. This scares me more than the sound of Ben’s voice.
Lightning, I think.
It shears through the sky.
Thunder, I think.
It crashes overhead.
Roar, I think.
And the two lion statues open their mouths and howl.
I press my lips to Ben’s. Will him not to pull back. His eyes widen as I sink my teeth into his lower lip – hard, then harder - until I draw blood. I lick it from his lip. Swallow. My stomach muscles ripple, seize, ripple again. My jaw loosens; the bones pop. My breath comes in ragged gasps. Pain. Red hot and everywhere.
“Anne!” I hear my name again. “Anne.”
My jaw loosens some more. I press my lips shut, a tight seam, desperate to stop it. My teeth dig into my lower lip so hard that blood starts to trickle. The taste of it mingles with the taste of Ben. The combination is suddenly the best thing I’ve ever tasted. I’m not just hungry anymore. I’m ravenous.
Understand crashes through me. No. God no. If I open my mouth, it will unhinge like hers. I know it. I know it. It’s not Ben’s cologne. It’s just Ben. He smells so good because he smells like food. And if someone doesn’t do something right this second, I’m going to eat him whole.
Sunday, July 29, 2012
Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews. It's pretty self explanatory, so let's get this party started!
*Nerve by Jeanne Ryan (goodreads)
*Dangerous Boy by Mandy Hubbard (goodreads)
*Innocent Darkness (The Aether Chronicles #1) by Suzanne Lazear (goodreads)
***Special thanks to Vanessa, Allie at In Bed With Books, Penguin Teen and Flux***
*Wherein I gush and gush over 52 REASONS TO HATE MY FATHER.
*My Top Ten picks for Most Vivid Worlds/Settings.
*52 REASONS TO HATE MY FATHER trailer and giveaway news.
*Q&A with Katie McGarry + PUSHING THE LIMITS giveaway
Random nonbook related thing coming...now!
This weekend, my bff and I decided to try one of the Pinot's Palette classes. After a lot of wine, cheese, crackers, and laughter, this is the painting I turned out with:
Not too shabby. If you have these classes, or the Painting With A Twist ones, I highly recommend them. They're super fun and definitely make a great girls' night out.
And that's all, folks! I hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend! I'm definitely not looking forward to Monday but am looking forward to TRUE BLOOD tonight. ;-)
Thursday, July 26, 2012
That's right, folks! Thanks to the very awesome Karen at MM Publicity, I am giving away a copy of PUSHING THE LIMITS by Katie McGarry. If you loved PERFECT CHEMISTRY by Simone Elkeles, then you need to get your hands on this book ASAP. Before we start the giveaway, let's do a little Q&A with the author.
Q: What was your inspiration for writing Pushing the Limits?
A: I had two main inspirations: One, I knew from the beginning that I wanted to write a story in which my characters felt strong enough to leave their pasts behind and create new futures for themselves. The first scene I ever saw in my mind was Echo and Noah leaving town after graduation. Two, I wanted to write two characters who were facing over- whelming issues and who, through battling these issues, found hope at the end of their journey.
Q: How did you come up with Echo’s name?
A: Echo went through several name changes as I wrote the man- uscript. For a while, she had a very normal name, but it alwaysfelt off. It wasn’t until I looked at Echo from her mother’s point of view that I found her name. Echo’s mother loved Greek my- thology so it made perfect sense that she would name her chil- dren after the myths. I read several Greek myths and the mo- ment I found Echo’s, I fell in love. Echo, to me, was the girl who lost her voice. Thankfully, she finds it by the end.
Q: Which character is the most “like” you?
A: All of them. I gave each character a piece of me (though some have larger slices of me than others). Overall, I’d say I’m a strange combination of Echo, Lila and Beth. Echo has my need to please, Lila has my unfailing loyalty to my friends and Beth encompasses my insecurities.
Q: Did you experience friendships with Grace types when you were in high school?
A: Yes. And the more people have read this story, the more this question comes up. Grace has struck a stronger nerve in people than I ever would have imagined. It seems most of us have un- fortunately experienced a relationship where a person wants to “like” you and wants “be your friend,” but only if it serves their needs. In case anyone is wondering, that isn’t friendship.
Q: Are there any parts of the story you feel particularly close to?
A: Yes. The relationship between Noah, Isaiah and Beth. Beyond my parents and sister, my nearest family members were over fourteen hours away. My friends became my family. The peopleI grew up with were more than people I watched movies with or talked to occasionally on the phone. These were people with whom I shared life’s most devastating moments, but also my hardest laughs. These were people who I would have willing- ly died for and I know they would have done the same for me. They shared my triumphs with smiles on their faces and con- gratulatory hugs. They held me when I cried and offered to beat up whoever hurt my feelings. These were also the same people who were more than happy to get in my face if they thought I was making a wrong decision.
Q: Did anything that happens to Echo happen to you?
A: Sort of. I was bitten by a dog when I was in second grade and repressed the memory. It felt very strange to have no memory of an incident that other people knew about. It was even strang- er to have injuries and not have an inkling where they came from. In college, I finally remembered the incident when a dog lunged at me. I relived the horrible event and sort of “woke up” a few minutes later to find myself surrounded by people I loved. Even though I “remember” the incident, I still don’t remember the whole thing. I only see still frames in my mind and there is no blood in any of the memories.
If Katie's Q&A didn't entice you, maybe the book trailer will:
Just to let you know, Noah is very, very, VERY swoon-worthy. Just saying.
And now, onto the giveaway. To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form below. This is only open to US and CA participants and ends August 26th. Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor.
*Special thanks to Karen at MM Publicity, Katie McGarry, and Harlequin Teen*
*Add PUSHING THE LIMITS to your goodreads list.
*Visit Katie McGarry's website.
*Add it to your Amazing wishlist.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
If my fangirling review of 52 REASONS TO HATE MY FATHER hasn't convinced you to read this fabulous book, maybe the book trailer will...
Don't you wish it was a movie? It has a very Mean Girls feel to it. Oh, and Jessica? If you're out there reading this, I need the guy playing Luke in the trailer to give me a call. Just saying!
ANYWAY, Jessica Brody is also hosting a fabulous giveaway where you can win a COMPLETE HEIRESS MAKE-OVER. This includes a personal wardrobe styling session with a professional costume designer (the same one who dressed Lexington in the book trailer!). If that wasn't enough, you'll also win a gift card to Sephora, a free copy of the book, and lots of other cool goodies fit for an heiress. Holy crap.
You can find out more about the giveaway over at Jessica's website.
Watch the trailer, read the book, and spread the word. That's what a true heiress would do.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the fabulous girls at The Broke and The Bookish. This week's topic is the Top Ten Most Vivid Worlds/Settings In Books. Let's do this!
As far as fantasy books go, Graceling offers a thrilling and beautiful one backdrop.
I love the setting for THRONE OF GLASS. I can't help but picture lavish castles made of glass and gorgeous starry nights.
The setting is based not only in Prague but also in this otherworld filled with chimera. I loved both like whoa.
I hearted the setting in this entire series, especially the Summer Court. I kept imaging flowers floating everywhere and little glimmers of sunshine.
There's something about the gothic setting of Gatlin that makes my insides melt.
Again, love settings for fantasy novels and anything that involves magic.
Hello, it's in Paris! Merci!
I love that this little town is surrounded by the ocean. I mean, sure there's killer horses, but it's still awesome.
To me, this book has a bit of an Arabian nights-Aladdin feel to it. Stunning to say the least.
Imagine giant plants that can eat you, a man who can chance his appearance to his surroundings, and a woman who can take away someone's pain with a simple touch. To say this world is magical is an understatement.
And there you have it! What are some of your favorite settings? Do you like any of mine?! Let me know!
Monday, July 23, 2012
Title: 52 Reasons To Hate My Father
Author: Jessica Brody
Published: July 3rd 2012 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Source: ARC received by the publisher for an honest review
"Being America’s favorite heiress is a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it.
Lexington Larrabee has never to work a day in her life. After all, she’s the heiress to the multi-billion-dollar Larrabee Media empire. And heiresses are not supposed to work. But then again, they’re not supposed to crash brand new Mercedes convertibles into convenience stores on Sunset Blvd either.
Which is why, on Lexi’s eighteen birthday, her ever-absent, tycoon father decides to take a more proactive approach to her wayward life. Every week for the next year, she will have to take on a different low-wage job if she ever wants to receive her beloved trust fund. But if there’s anything worse than working as a maid, a dishwasher, and a fast-food restaurant employee, it’s dealing with Luke, the arrogant, albeit moderately attractive, college intern her father has assigned to keep tabs on her.
In a hilarious “comedy of heiress” about family, forgiveness, good intentions, and best of all, second chances, Lexi learns that love can be unconditional, money can be immaterial, and, regardless of age, everyone needs a little saving. And although she might have 52 reasons to hate her father, she only needs one reason to love him."
First line: "My father is going to kill me."
Thoughts: 52 REASONS TO HATE MY FATHER is one of the most delightful books I've read in a long time. I couldn't put this charming book down. Really, it's that good.
This is your typical-yet-not-so-typical riches to rags story. On the outside, Lexington "Lexi" Larrabee seems to have it all: Money, access to her own private jet, and even her a bit of fame. At first, I must admit, I didn't really care for Lexi. She was spoiled, selfish, and had to have her way. This girl even threw tantrums like a child. She kind of reminded me of a Bridezilla only she wasn't getting married. Then I got to know her. You see, on the inside, Lexi is just a girl who lost her mother too young and has a very absent father. Once I got to know her, I realized she was only selfish because no one was there to teach her not to be. That's when I finally gave her a chance.
Let's talk about the jobs. For 52 weeks, Lexi has to work a different, minimum wage job inorder to earn her trust fund. What's the price if she declines? Oh ya know, being completely cut off from her dad. I absolutely adored this aspect of the story. Here's a girl who completely takes advantage of life and now has to work to earn her trust fund. These aren't glamous jobs. We're talking about being a maid, working in fast food, etc. One of my favorite scenes was when Lexi was trying to vacuum the room of a very messy teenage girl. She didn't realize that she actually had to pick up the girl's clothes prior to vacuuming. One thing lead to another and you get the point. I just found this particular scene so comical because seriously, who doesn't know how to turn on a vacuum? Lexi, that's who!
Finally, let's talk about Luke. I cannot tell you how much I adored this guy. He was kind of like the father (and boy!) Lexi needed. He constantly reminded her what would happen to her if she didn't do one of her jobs and kept her in check. Don't even get me started on the Kia-Civic Hybrid scene. He knew exactly who she was and instead of cowering like so many others, he stood up to her. I loved their funny interactions and how they genuinely made each other better.
Overall, I simply loved 52 REASONS TO HATE MY FATHER. From the arguments, to the video chats and everything inbetween, there never was a dull moment in this novel. If you're looking for a hilarious novel with complex characters and a bit of a twist, this is the book for you.
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga ar Tynga's Reviews. Woo, books! Let's get this party started!
*Blood Fever (The Watchers #3) by Veronica Wolff (goodreads)
*Sweet Shadows (Medusa Girls #2) by Tera Lynn Childs (goodreads)
*Destiny (Immortal #4) by Gillian Shields (goodreads)
*Drain You by M. Beth Bloom (goodreads)
*A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies (goodreads)
*Movies/TV Shows that should be made into books featuring In Time.
*My top ten picks for people who like The Hunger Games.
*Book Blogging Confessions- What do we owe publishers and authors.
*Oh dang, it's time for the Ultimate Reviewer's Challenge. Sign up, sign up!
And that's all folks! I hope everyone is having a super fabulous weekend!
Friday, July 20, 2012
It's that time again! Karen from For What It's Worth, Tiger from All-Consuming Media, and I are back and hosting The Ultimate Reviewer's Challenge.
Throughout August, we'll be challenging you guys to read and review as many books as possible. On September 1st, each of us will select 2 winners at random to win some very awesome prize packs. That's right, that means there will be 6 winners total!
Today, we are asking you guys to sign up using the linky tool below. On August 1st, we will each post a linky where you can link your reviews. Remember, this is the sign-ups page only. Any reviews posted here will not count towards winning the prize packs.
Now...do you want to see the Addicted 2 Novels prize packs? Yeah ya do!
Prize Pack #1:
*Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer
*Crewel by Gennifer Albin
*Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes and Michelle Rowen
*Breathe by Sarah Crossan
*A Fractured Light by Jocelyn Davies
Prize Pack #2:
*A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young
*A Want So Wicked by Suzanne Young
*Eve and Adam by Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant
*Death of a Kleptomaniac by Kristen Tracy
A Few Rules:
*You must have a blog or post reviews on Goodreads to participate.
*These must be real reviews, meaning more than just a couple of sentences describing the book. We'll be checking to make sure you're posting legitimate reviews!
*All reviews must have been posted for the first time during the month of August 2012. You can't just enter all your old reviews.
*No one review can be entered twice on the same blog. That doesn't mean you can't post the same review on each one of our blogs (for a total of 3 entries per review), just not the same review twice on one blog.
*This giveaway will be US only for Addicted 2 Novels and Tiger’s All Consuming Media, however, it is international over at For What It’s Worth.
*There will be 6 winners total! Two people will be picked using randomizer from each of the hosting blogs at the end of the event.
*Giveaway ends August 31st, midnight, CST.
*Rules and regulations are subject to change. Don't worry, you'll be informed if they do.
You need to sign up on each host blog that you want to link your reviews to. Please fill out the Mr. Linky below if you plan on participating.
Don't forget to grab a button! Special thanks to the very awesome and talented Sandy over at Scribing Shadows for designing our banner and button!
NOTE! This is the sign-up page only. All reviews linked below will not count towards the contest. You must post your reviews HERE.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Book Blogger Confessions is a meme hosted by Karen at For What It's Worth and Tiger from All-Consuming Media. This edition is about ARCs. Oooooh, controversy! Let's get this party started.
Question: What do we owe publishers and authors? If we accept ARC’s do we “owe” anything to them or just an honest review to our followers? As book bloggers are we obligated to do more than just review books? Post covers – participate in book tours – host guest posts - promote authors?
Plain and simple- If you request or accept an arc/book, you need to review it. The publisher/author didn't send it to you so it could sit on your shelf and collect dust. They sent it to you because they wanted you to review it, give it some publicity whether good or bad.
I know sometimes life gets in the way. Reading and reviewing can be incredibly time consuming and sometimes you just don't have the time. In that case, I'd recommend contacting the author or maybe the pub and seeing if you can interview them or maybe feature the book in some way. Maybe even host a giveaway or something. At some point, though, you should at least try to read and review it, even if it's a mini-review and even if the book has already released. Remember, you agreed to review it, so yes, it is your obligation to do so.
Sometimes we get those "surprise" books in the mail that we didn't ask for nor request. Occasionally, this happens to me. I somehow always end up with books that are in the middle of a series I've never read nor started. Not a bad thing! With these, I'll either buy/borrow the previous books and try to read them in a timely manner or pass them on to bloggers who I know has read the series and will read-review it at some point. I sometimes ask said blogger to also send me a link to their review. That way, I can send it to the pub and who knows? Maybe the pub will add said friend on their mailing list and said friend will receive the next book in that series. Win-win.
If you are at any point overwhelmed with the case of "too many books to read", STOP REQUESTING AND ACCEPTING BOOKS. It's that simple. I know we all want the latest and greatest read but remember that the book will eventually release. Then you can buy it and have no pressure to read-review it any time soon. I get what it's like to have way too many books to read, and I've felt that kind of deadline pressure before. If you follow my mailboxes, you'll notice there are weeks where I didn't receive anything unless I bought them or not post one at all. As my pile shrinks, I'll begin accepting requests again, but till then, c'est la vie.
I'm not going to lie, one of my pet peeves are bloggers who complain on twitter or wherever about having too many books to read, then post these giant mailbox posts every week. Remember, YOU DID THAT TO YOURSELF. No one forced these books down your throat, held a gun to your head and asked you to review them. You could have said no. You could also stop requesting so many books, but if you chose to accept these books, then it's your obligation to review them, pressure and all.
Another thing, if you receive an ARC from ALA/BEA/TLA/PLA/etc, you are obligated to read and review (or feature) the book. To me, that's the same thing as requesting a book. Whether you asked for it or a pub gave it to you, you chose to take it home with you that day. ARCs cost A LOT of money to produce and as bloggers/part of the media, it's our responsibility not to waste their time or money.
Are we obligated to host tours, post covers, participate in book tours, etc.? Honestly, this is up to the blogger. I personally participate in them because I enjoy promoting authors and books I love. Do I ever feel obligated to do so? No. When I'm asked to join a tour, the publicist makes it very clear that I can either host a giveaway, feature the author, reveal the cover, and if I'd like to review the book, she/he will send me a copy. If not, that's fine too. There really is no pressure to do so. You should do it because you want to, not because you feel obligated to.
Remember, being a blogger means you're a part of a family (the book blogging family!). That means if one person does something shameful, it makes us all look bad. Be considerate. If you are not going to review a book, put the book down or say no. Simple, right? I thought so. :-)
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the fabulous ladies at The Broke And The Bookish. This week's topic is kind of a choose your own adventure...and as far as adventures go, there's none more interesting than The Hunger Games. Thus, here are my Top Ten Books For People Who Like The Hunger Games.
Tell me you didn't see this coming. Seriously, the best thing to do after finishing THE HUNGER GAMES series is to start reading DIVERGENT. Also, with DIVERGENT comes...
It's a rarity when I can say the sequel is even better then it's predecessor.
I think DELIRIUM offers more romance, less action than THG, but it's still equally as intriguing and heartfelt.
I know ARTICLE 5 has mixed reviews out there, but this little blogger LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it. I couldn't put it down. There is no world more terrifying than the one being controlled by cruel humans.
This book is being described as when GAME OF THRONES meets THE HUNGER GAMES, and I couldn't agree more. You NEED to get your hands on this book come August. NEED to.
STARTERS is just as cool and creepy as it's cover. It's kind of like THG meets THE HOST. At least that's what it reminds me of.
Okay, so I know ENCLAVE is more post-apocolypic as oppose to dystopia, but that doesn't mean THG fans won't love it. Deuce actually reminds me of Katniss in many different ways. You'll have to read it to find out why.
Holy crap, this book is scaaaary but oh so good. Right, that!
Out of all the worlds these dystopia novels offer, this one is one of the worst. You know it's bad when being a woman becomes a curse.
To be honest, I was thought this book was very so-so after I finished it. After 5 days, I realized I was still thinking about it, and that's when I knew I loved it. If you simple can't get your mind off a book, that means it's made of win.
That's all she wrote! What book did you guys pick for your Top Ten Tuesday? Have you read any of the books I listed above? Tell me, and feel free to leave links to your TTT posts below.
Monday, July 16, 2012
I was watching In Time this weekend, and while it's not the best movie I've ever seen, I couldn't help but think "Wow, this would make a fantastic dystopia series!". So, for those who have yet to see the movie, here's how the story works. The year is 2161, and time is the new currency. You can buy a cup of coffee for 4 minutes or a convertible for 50 years. Here's the catch. Each person stops aging at the age of 25. On their 25th birthday, this little clock on their arm starts to count down.
See? Each person is also born with only one hour. That means they have to a) get some time from their parents or b) start working and earning time so they don't die.
Time can be transfered with what I can only describe as a bro armshake (wrist to wrist contact). With that said, people can easily steal your time to where you're left with nothing and die.
Sad times. The rich can live forever and the poor die young. I guess what I'm trying to say is this...
Now that you get the basic concept, imagine this: 2 people, one rich, one poor, working together to rob banks, steal time, and give it to the poor. It's your modern day Bonnie and Clyde meet Robin Hood story but with a twist. Awesome. right?
As you can already see, this society is already pretty horrific. I mean, there are gang members trying to steal your time/life.
Yes, hot gang members, but vicious nonetheless.
There are also the Time Keepers who try to keep the poor poor and the rich protected. They think of this as justice.
EEEK! HIDE! RUN! RUN FASTER!
If this was a book, there are so many ways the author could take it. You could leave it at Will's (Justin Timberlake's character) point of view. He's the poor guy who was given 100 years by a stranger and told to "Not waste my time" with it. You could even alternate the POV to Sylvia's (Amanda Seyfried), aka the rich girl who wants to break out of her confinds and finally live. You could even tell the story through one of the Time Keeper's points of view and truly see how twisted this world is.
Who wouldn't love a book like this? It's like The Hunger Games only everyone is a tribute! Needless to say, if this movie was ever turned into a book, it would be pretty epic.