Thursday, April 30, 2009

Jennifer Echols Interview

JYTBB: We both would like to start off by saying thank you so much for this interview!!

JENNIFER: Y’all are really sweet to have me!

JYTBB: For those that don't know who you are--you know, the ones living under a rock--can you tell them about yourself?

JENNIFER: I write teen romantic comedies for Simon Pulse. My novels out now are Major Crush, set in a high school marching band, and The Boys Next Door, set on a lake in summer. The Ex Games, about a snowboarder who challenges her ex-boyfriend to a battle of the sexes on the slopes, will be published on October 6. I also have a darker teen drama published by MTV Books called Going Too Far.

JYTBB: When writing, what inspires you? What and or who helps with your ideas?

JENNIFER: I read, listen to music, talk to friends, and get of the house and have new experiences, and all of that eventually comes together in unexpected ways to create an Idea.

JYTBB: We need to know, what was the inspiration behind Going Too Far?

JENNIFER: I love the TV shows COPS and Reno 911, and I had an idea for a romantic comedy about teenagers who have to ride together in the back of a cop car to learn about police work. Then I decided that it would be a lot more interesting for the romance to be between one of the teenagers and the cop. Obviously this was no longer Simon Pulse romantic comedy territory, but I really liked the idea, so I stuck with it.

JYTBB: Do you know what fanfiction is? If so, how do/would you feel about others writing about your characters?

JENNIFER: When I was in junior high school, my BFF and I would spend the night with each other and stay up until the wee hours, high on caffeine, re-writing Lois Duncan novels starring us and the boys we had crushes on. That was a low-tech version of fanfic. Right now I’m reading Lessons from a Lifetime of Writing by David Morrell, author of First Blood (on which the Rambo movies are based). He says when he was a teenager, he loved the TV show Route 66, and he tried writing Route 66 episodes (which were rejected). That was also a low-tech version of fanfic. A lot of writers get their start this way, and if another writer wants to experiment with my characters, I consider that the sincerest form of flattery. But that only goes so far. As Morrell says, if you want to be a professional writer, eventually you must “adapt the approaches of writers who’ve inspired you so that you move onward, creating something new. Use your singular background to create themes and approaches unique to you, even though you might have been inspired by other writers. In the end, a first-class you is better than a secondhand version of somebody else.”

JYTBB: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." - Anything as beautiful as being a professional author has to have its ups and even its downs. Could you tell us your best of times and worst of times since you began your journey?

JENNIFER: The best of times is anytime I’m writing. I absolutely love becoming so absorbed in a book that I can hardly get anything else done because ideas pop into my head while I’m working or cleaning or cooking, and I have to go write them down. (I burn a lot of dinners this way.)

The worst of times is anytime I’m not writing, like now. I’m waiting to hear whether Simon Pulse wants another book after The Ex Games and whether MTV Books wants another book after Going Too Far. If I don’t hear something in the next few days, I’ll start writing something anyway, because there is just so much I can stand of Not Writing.

JYTBB: As writers ourselves (non published, for now) we know about that creepy evil annoyance known as "writers block". If you've been unfortunate enough to get it, can you tell us and others how you push passed it?

JENNIFER: Sit down and write. Usually people don’t come up with a whole idea, then sit down and write it. They start writing, and more and more ideas come to them. So that’s what you have to do. And if you feel yourself slowing down because you don’t like what you’re writing, change it. If you hit a roadblock, drive around it, or write something else for a while and come back to that part later. But most importantly, you have to write every day without fear. Writer’s block is the fear of writing something bad, and if you give into that fear, you may never write anything at all.

JYTBB: We have been seeing around the internet that fans have picked their own "Megs" and "Johns". If Going Too Far was ever to become a movie and you were able to pick the leads, who would you have as your leading lady and hottie?

JENNIFER: I was so impressed with Kristen Stewart from In the Land of Women, and the thought crossed my mind that she would be a great Meg. But that was before she was cast in Twilight, and I’m not sure she can ever be cast in anything else after that.

John is difficult. While I was writing the book I had a photo of him above my computer that I’d torn from a Levi’s ad in a magazine, and that’s how I’ll always picture him.
Honestly, I am the worst person to ask, because I don’t watch a lot of TV or see a lot of movies.

JYTBB: Writing is a passion. It's not meant to be done for money or for fame. Those who write should do it for the love of it. If you didnt have that love or that passion, what do you think you would be doing right now?

JENNIFER: I also have a job as a copyeditor that I dearly love. If I didn’t write words, editing them full-time would be the next best thing.

JYTBB: Writers love to read. It's just an automatic thing to do when you love producing words. What could your readers find on your book shelf?

JENNIFER: I’m a huge Jane Austen fan, and I was a grad student in English for a long time so I’m pretty well schooled in the classics. Of course I read a lot of YA. I also love adult romance novels. Jennifer Crusie is my idol, and I hope to have an adult romantic comedy published someday.

JYTBB: There are three amazing books of yours already on the shelves and a fourth one on its way. What future books are us lucky fans going to be graced with?

JENNIFER: I wish I knew! See question #5.

BONUS QUESTION: Can you please tell us 5 random or fun facts about yourself?

1. I was the first female drum major of my high school marching band.
2. My house is built from bricks recycled from a huge department store in downtown Birmingham that was torn down in the 1960s, and that my mother used to shop in when she was in college. (I didn’t build the house--I bought it from the original owners--but I’m proud to own a little piece of history.)
3. I am an art festival addict. I can’t draw, but I love to look at other people’s paintings.
4. My 7-year-old son is the World’s Most Talkative Child.
5. My husband is from Thailand, and we plan to travel there soon to meet relatives he hasn’t seen since he was 2.

Thanks Cheryl and Amber!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

It's My Birthday!

I turned 24 today! (GASP!) But it's okay, I'm completely over my whole mid-twenties mid-life crisis ordeal I had at this entire month. I'm even okay about not completing my imaginary fake deadline I set for my wanna-be novel too. It'll get done when it's ready to get done...right?

And I know you're all just dying to find out how I spent my day so I blogged about it here!


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Check Out This New YA Forum!

I know three posts in one day, I must be crazy.


One of the girls posted this over at the Garrett Hedlund boards (if you don't know who this hottie is you have been living under a rock). It's a new Young Adult board ran by some awesome girls and the site has some really good book suggestions and other fun stuff. So what are you waiting for?

Go join Michelle's Minions!


Teaser Tuesdays

* Grab your current read.
* Let the book fall to a random page.
* Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
* Share the title of the book that you're getting your teaser from... That way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
* Please avoid spoilers!
This week I'm still getting through Breaking Dawn aka the longest-what-the-fresh-hell-is-this-book! From page 451, I give you:
I remembered, and then I understood; a tiny part of me was relieved to have the madness explained. But that relief somehow only made me angrier. Was he expecting that to be enough for me? That one little clarification would make me okay with this?


Ballads of Suburbia!

Stephanie Kuehnert released the book trailer for Ballads of Suburbia today! Check it!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Review - Heavenly by Jennifer Laurens

Heavenly by Jennifer Laurens

Released: August 2009
Publisher: Grove Creek Publishing
Genre: Young Adult - Angels
Pages: 280
Source: From Author

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Zoe's sister darts in front of cars. Her brother's a pothead. Her parents are so overwhelmed; they don't see Zoe's lost in her broken life. Zoe escapes the only way she knows how: partying.

Matthias, a guardian sent from Heaven, watches over Zoe's autistic sister. After Zoe is convinced he's legit, angel and lost girl come together in a love that changes destiny.

But Heaven and Earth can't last forever.

This is the first time I've read a book that dealt with angels and the first time I've read anything written by Jennifer Laurens. I'm pretty much sold on both of them now. I didn't expect to adore this book as much as I did. And I didn't think a story about a guardian angel could feel more real to me than any other books I've read in the past couple of months. I know a lot of it has to due with the main character Zoe.

Zoe is in a way is your typical teenager. She hangs out with her best friend, flirts with boys, and parties. The root behind why she's doing it is because it's the only escape she has from her home life. It's not that her parents fight, it's that she has a little sister who is autistic. Having a family member, especially one that your so close to can really put a number on someone. The constant worry, the somewhat guilt, frustration, all of it I could identify with.

While Zoe is dealing with her tug of war emotions, she meets Matthias. A 'person' only a few select people can see. And trust me, you will be grinning when he makes his appearances. Might have something to do with that 'heavenly glow' he had.

The book isn't all just a love story as it is also about a family trying to put back the pieces that most of them weren't even aware were broken. Zoe even in her not so great decisions has a very good heart. Luckily angel boy is there to show her that side. There was something quite hopeful about this book. After you read it, you'll be wanting a guardian angel of your own.

When I got to the end of this book I shouted out a what?! Then I read the sneak peek into the sequel and shouted out another what?!? I'm looking forward to seeing how the storyline is going to play out in the next book! There are three book trailers for Heavenly, and a few months back I posted my favorite one, and I'm posting it up here again for this review:


You Guys Rock Our Socks!

Over the past couple weeks we've received some awards, and we're terrible slackers about getting them posted back up. And now we're giving some out as well!

First, big thanks to Jenny from Wondrous Reads for having us as the blog of the week! You're awesome!!

Thank you Fantastic Book Review for giving us this one! You should swing by her site for the 5 Star Contest she's having!

Also Sarah from GreenBeanTeenQueen who works at a very kick butt library (I know because I use to go there all the time), gave us this one too! Also she's nominated for the YA Book Blog Awards that you should go check out and vote for!

Anndd LiyanaLand! gave us this to us too!! How awesome is that?!

Basically you give this award to 15 new bloggers, new blogging friends, or blogs you've recently discovered. But I'm being super lazy right now, and I'm only choosing 5 *big smile* So here are some awesome blogs we've come across this month that we ♥!

Cupcake Witch

Fantastic Book Review

Reviews of Young Adult Literature


ShadySide Snark

This award is for all those bloggers that leave you comments! (Because who doesn't love comments on their blogs?) Rules are to give it out to 5 blogs. We were given this by 50 For Jen and Insert Book Title who are both kick butt chicks, and you should go check out their blogs! We give this one to (and back to):

50 For Jen

Insert Book Title

Wondrous Reads


Bookworm Readers

Sunday, April 26, 2009

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox was created by Kristi from The Story Siren as a fun way to see what everyone else is reading. And of course for me to wish I had a different mailbox! ;)

♥Amber's Mailbox

The Elite by Jennifer Banash

When Casey McCloy steps into the elegant Bramford building, she’s overwhelmed. Fresh from the Midwest, she’s moved to New York’s Upper East Side to live with her grandmother and attend the prestigious Meadowlark Academy. Here all that matters is who you know. The girl to know is Madison Macallister: popular, pretty, platinumblond. She’s not just Casey’s new classmate and neighbor; she’s an icon. So Casey aims to get in with Madison and her gorgeous gal-pals from the start. As the reigning queen of coolness, Madison is capable of destroying reputations with one welltimed whisper. Better to be on her good side.But after a city-haute makeover from her new frenemy Madison, Casey is wearing the right clothes, saying the right things, and meeting the right people—including Drew, the boy-about-town who Madison thinks belongs to her and her alone.

--I won this in a contest from Jennifer Banash, and I'm excited to start the series!

What I bought:

Boy Heaven by Lauren Kasischke

You can read my doped up on cold meds review here. Now that I'm no longer doped up, I think I liked this book a lot more than how I reviewed it.

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

--I still haven't finished reading the first book, City of Bones. I had to return it to the libarary, but I saw this at Wal Mart and it was so cheap and I know I'll love this series, so I just grabbed it.

From the Library:

I picked up the first two books in the Blue Bloods series by Melissa De La Cruz, but I'm not going to have enough time to read them before they're due. (I always do this to myself.) Has anyone read these yet? Are they worth grabbing again?

I didn't get much this week, but I'm kind of happy with that - my TBR pile is getting way too high!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Bad Girls Don't Die Book Trailer

Maybe I've been under a rock because I just now saw the book trailer for Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender and I ♥ it very much! I wanted to read the book before (the cover is also very eye catchy and creepy like), but now I MUST get this book very, very soon!

Check out Free Book Friday for your chance to win a copy!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Review - Boy Heaven by Laura Kasischke

Boy Heaven by Laura Kasischke 

Released: August 2006
Publisher: Harper Teen
Genre: Young Adult - Mystery
Pages: 288
Source: Bought

Rating: ♥♥♥

They planned on a joyride in a convertible on a hot summer day. They planned on skinny-dipping in a beautiful, secluded lake. They planned on making it back to cheerleading camp before anyone noticed they were gone. The three girls were seventeen, with perfect tans, perfect bodies, and the perfect day. But then Kristi Sweetland the wrong the wrong the wrong boys.


When I started reading this book, I had no clue it was supposed to be a mystery-urban-legend type of feel to it. (I could have easily looked it up on amazon to find out, but it was cheap so I grabbed it.) My review will probably not make sense at all because I'm doped up on cold meds, but I'm giving it a shot.

First I have to say the author has a real knack at writing. I love the way she describes the setting around her, and how the characters were written. They were nothing special, they didn't have anything where I was like wow! That might make them sound boring, but they weren't. They were just normal girls with their own personalities that blended well for the story. Kristy, the main character, was the type of person you might pass by in the hallway and she will smile at you because she's just nice like that. Desiree is the girl that sleeps with who she wants, and really doesn't care what you think. Even redhead Kristi (that's with an "i") had a personalty you might not like, but she fit so well in with the story, you did like her.

The book is taken place through a week at cheerleading camp. The three girls sneak off one day, and end up flashing a couple boys that have followed them from the gas station they stopped at. It's all harmless fun, right? Back at camp, suddenly redhead Kristi is acting strange, saying she keeps seeing the boys at camp. That they have been talking to her through the window. Even Desiree spots them a few times, and finds a note in her bed. Main girl Kristy thinks everyone has just gone crazy, because they couldn't be stalking them....or could they?

I kept wondering when the heck the plot was going to kick in. It seemed like the story was mainly about Kristy telling about her life, and the boys at the gas station where barely mentioned in the first half. But once the plot starts rolling, I understand why you know so much about her. Because if you didn't, you wouldn't care about what happened at the end of it. The just...yea, didn't see it coming.

There are some parts that still bug me because they weren't explained. And I still have no clue how I feel about it. I didn't love-love it where I'd be telling everyone to rush out and read it. But I read it all mainly in one sitting, so I did like it - I just...I have no clue. If you like the mystery type feel of teen books, then I would suggest picking this one up from the library sometime.

On a complete side note, the paperback cover only has redhead on it, which I didn't like cause she wasn't even the main girl, but then I found the image I posted here, and I like that cover much better.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

In My Mailbox (12)

In My Mailbox was created by Kristi and The Story Siren as a fun way to see what everyone else is reading. And a way for me to envy everyone's mailboxes ;)

♥Amber's Mailbox

On Thursday I received the Twilight Director's Book from a contest I entered on MySpace about inspiration. The awesome Elizabeth Scott was the one that hosted it. I had much fun flipping through and staring at all the pictures of Jackson Rathbone. *sighs*

I saw a few bloggers talking about The Strand. I guess I'm out of the loop on things because I never heard of this Book Heaven place before. Since I do not live anywhere near there, I decided to shop online, and I LOVE THIS STORE! If you haven't checked it out, go to their website! This is what I bought:

Breathing by Cheryl Renee Herbsman

Savannah would be happy to spend the summer in her coastal Carolina town working at the library and lying in a hammock reading her beloved romance novels. But then she meets Jackson. Once they lock eyes, she’s convinced he’s the one—her true love, her soul mate, a boy different from all the rest. And at first it looks like Savannah is right. Jackson abides by her mama’s strict rules, and stays by her side during a hospitalization for severe asthma, which Savannah becomes convinced is only improving because Jackson is there. But when he’s called away to help his family—and seems uncertain about returning—Savannah has to learn to breathe on her own, both literally and figuratively.

This Is What I Want To Tell You by Heather Duffy Stone

Nadio and his twin sister, Noelle, always had a unique bond. And somehow, Keeley Shipley fit perfectly into their world. But when Keeley spends the summer in England, she comes home changed, haunted by a dark memory. As she and Nadio fall in love, they try to hide it from Noelle, who's jealously guarding a secret of her own. Slowly, a life-long friendship begins to crack under the crushing weight of past trauma, guarded secrets, jealousy, obsession . . . and an unexpected love that could destroy them.

Freaked by J.T. Dutton
At a Grateful Dead concert you need:

Acid: two windowpanes taped to chest- Checked
Tape deck for recording shows - Checked
Wad of cash - Checked
PB&J sandwiches for the munchies - Missing
Tickets to the show - Missing
.45 handgun - What?

Scotty Loveletter is in big trouble. He's about to be expelled from school, but all he cares about is getting to Freedom to see Jerry Garcia—even though he doesn't have tickets. But if dedicating his life to Jerryism has taught him anything, Scotty knows he's got to keep on trucking and smile, smile, smile.

Read My Lips by Teri Brown

Serena just wants to fly under the radar at her new school. But Serena is deaf, and she can read lips really well-even across the busy cafeteria. So when the popular girls discover her talent, there's no turning back.
From skater chick to cookie-cutter prep, Serena's identity has done a 180...almost. She still wants to date Miller, the school rebel, and she's not ready to trade her hoodies for pink tees just yet. But she is rising through the ranks in the school's most exclusive clique. With each new secret she uncovers, Serena feels pressure to find out more. Reading lips has always been her greatest talent, but now Serena just feels like a gigantic snoop...

Willow by Julia Hoben

Seven months ago, on a rainy March night, sixteen year- old Willow's parents died in a horrible car accident. Willow was driving. Now her older brother barely speaks to her, her new classmates know her as the killer orphan girl, and Willow is blocking the pain by secretly cutting herself. But when one boy -one sensitive, soulful boy-discovers Willow's secret, it sparks an intense relationship that turns the "safe" world Willow has created for herself upside down.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Review - Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott

Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott

Released: March 2009
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: Young Adult - Contemporary
Pages: 217
Source: Bought

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Everyone thinks their parents are embarrassing, but Hannah knows she's got them all beat. Her dad made a fortune showcasing photos of pretty girls and his party lifestyle all over the Internet, and her mom was once one of her dad's girlfriends and is now the star of her own website. After getting the wrong kind of attention for way too long, Hannah has mastered the art of staying under the radar...and that's just how she likes it.

Of course, that doesn't help her get noticed by her crush. Hannah's sure that gorgeous, sensitive Josh is her soul mate. But trying to get him to notice her; wondering why she suddenly can't stop thinking about another guy, Finn; and dealing with her parents make Hannah feel like she's going crazy. Yet she's determined to make things work out the way she wants — only what she wants may not be what she needs....

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Rock This Thursday!

Title: This Lullaby
Author: Sarah Dessen

Remy doesn't believe in love. And why should she? Her romance novelist mother is working on her fifth marriage, and her father, a '70s hippie singer, left her with only a one-hit wonder song to remember him by.

Never without a boyfriend, Remy is a compulsive dater, but before a guy can go all "Ken" on her (as in "ultra boyfriend behavior") she cuts him off, without ever getting close or getting hurt. That's why she's stunned when klutzy, quirky, alterna-band boy Dexter inserts himself into her life and refuses to leave. Remy's been accepted to Stanford, and she plans on having her usual summer fling before tying up the loose ends of her pre-college life and heading for the coast. Except Dexter's not following Remy's tried-and-true rules of break-up protocol. And for the first time, Remy's questioning whether or not she wants him to.

Most of you probably know by now that Sarah Dessen is one of my all time favorite authors, and has been since high school. For a long time Dreamland was my favorite read of hers until This Lullaby came along. I would love to list all the reasons why, but I'm saving that for an upcoming discussion that Cheryl & I are planning on having. For those of you that love Dessen or for some crazy reason haven't read one of her books - you must get this one!


I Rocked the Drop! Did You?

I was going to buy a book for this occasion, but memory really sucks. Since book buying is limited in my small town, I went to my bookshelf and contemplated for a few minutes. (Books are like my children, and it's hard for me to part with them.) But I do have a lot of books that I have randomly picked up or won over the years that I haven't read yet. Finally I decided on Princess Mia by Meg Cabot and Breaking Up Is Hard To Do by Lynda Sandoval, Niki Burnham, Ellen Hopkins, and Terri Clark.

Then I headed to my hometown's library and rocked the drop!

So, this is my hometown's library. The building is only a few years old, it use to be located just around the corner. When I was in high school, Young Adult books were very hard to come by, and the library only had maybe a row of books to choose from. Now (and I wish I would have taken a picture) there is a full corner from floor to ceiling filled with YA books!

Here is one of the librarians - I'm pretty sure her name is Sarah - who I thanked a few times for letting me randomly take her picture for this event!

And that's the book plate that was pasted in both books!

I hope you all had a great Operation Teen Book Drop day! Don't forget to stop by readergirlz tonight for a chat, and see who else joined in!


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Persistence of Memory by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Persistence of Memory by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Released: December 2008
Publisher: Random House
Genre: Young Adult - Paranormal
Pages: 224
Source: Library

Rating: ♥♥♥

Sixteen year old Erin Misrahe just wants to be like everyone else in her new school. But Erin has more to worry about than passing AP Chemistry and making friends. In times of stress, she has always been overcome by her alter ego, Shevaun, whose violent behavior wreaks havoc on those around her. Erin can never remember anything about these episodes, and she's grateful to have been spared them for a while. But when a protective old friend comes back into Erin's life, he insists that Shevaun is a vampire who actually exists apart from Erin. Shevaun has dangerous allies, like the handsome witch Adjila - and they're determined to sever Shevaun's connection to Erin once and for all.


Amelia Atwater-Rhodes was the first author to introduce me into the vampire paranormal world back when I was in high school. I still remember opening up Demon In My View when I couldn't sleep the night before my first day back at school my junior year. And freaky enough - the main character Jessica also couldn't sleep and was awaiting her first day at school as a senior. Except when I went to school the next day there wasn't any hot vampires named Aubrey (he was my first vamp crush - sorry Jasper) waiting around for me. *sighs* Another fun fact about the author to know is that she first got published when she was 15! We're about the same age, so I always thought that was really cool, since I didn't even have the nerve to let most of my friends read my writing back then. Now, I wouldn't show those stories to anyone cause they're embarrassing, but that's on a whole other note.

So when I found out that after a five book series based on shape shifters (not really my cup of tea), I was pumped to find out that Amelia had written a new semi-vamp story. Just like all the books from the Den of Shadows, I instantly got into the story line. It was also really nice seeing old places like SingleEarth around.
Erin is a girl that suffers from schizophrenia, and finally has been given the chance at a "normal life". No longer is she stuck in a hospital, but is attending a real school and even making a friend. All of that starts closing in when she finds herself being jumped into her alter ego Shevaun's world. One that I wish sometimes she would have stayed at longer, because I enjoyed her and Adjila's relationship.

Debating on whether or not she's going crazy, other things start happening, and luckily the only person she can turn to is her old friend Sassy. I still don't really like that as a nickname for a guy, but it did fit his personality well. You never knew what that character was going to say, and it's obvious how much he cares for Erin's well being. Her other friend, Marissa, was a good side character to have, but I felt her story was pushed back some. Same thing with Shevaun and Adjila, it seemed like there could have been more light shed on their world. Who knows, maybe there is another book to come with their story? *wishful thinking*

The plot of the story was good. I was afraid dealing with two different people, I might get confused, but there was a great even flow about things. While the beginning and the middle had me sucked in like I knew it would...that really, really bad thing happened towards the end...I started loosing interest. The big finale seemed to be rather bland. I wish I could say more, but that would completely spoil it. All in all it was a good read, but the ending was kind of meh.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

In My Mailbox (11)

In My Mailbox was created by The Story Siren as a neat way to see what everyone else is reading. And a reason for me to secretly envy all the other bloggers out there.

I'm expecting two more books in the mail, and I was going to wait for them to come in to do my In My Mailbox, but I decided againts it. - So I helped the wonderful Catherine out with a contest she was having so she offered me her book for the gesture. Whether I won or not I was getting the book, which was so awesome! So I I recieved it in my mailbox yesterday. Oh and I am almost 100% sure she signed it lol...

Chasing Windmills by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Pub. Date: March 2009

This is the part that’s going to be hard to explain: How can I tell you why two people who were afraid of everything–other people, open places, noise, confusion, life itself–wound up riding the subways alone under Manhattan late at night?

Okay, it’s like this: When everything is unfamiliar and scary, your heart pounds just getting change from the grocery cashier. That feels like enough to kill you right there. So the danger of the subways at night can’t be much worse. All danger begins to fall into the same category. You have no way to sink any deeper into fear.

Besides, consider the alternative. Staying home.

That’s enough about that for now. I need to tell you about her.

She got on the Lexington Avenue Local at…what was it?…I think Union Square. Funny how a thing like that can be so damned important, but you don’t know it’s important until an instant later in the big scheme of time. Then you go back and try to retrieve it. You tell yourself it’s in there somewhere. But it’s really in that no-man’s-land of the moment before you woke up and started paying attention to your own life.

I’m pretty sure it was Union Square.

At first we looked at each other for a split second, but of course we looked away immediately. It’s part of what makes us like the animals, I suppose. Ever seen two dogs circling to fight? They look right into each other’s eyes. It’s a challenge. So when a dog doesn’t want to challenge anybody, he looks away. In case I haven’t made it clear by now, we were two dogs who weren’t lookingfor a fight.

But then, after we both looked away, we weren’t afraid of each other anymore. We knew we didn’t have to be. I mean, except to the extent that we were afraid of everything.

Book Request

Title: Once Was Lost
Author: Sara Zarr

Samara Taylor used to believe in miracles. She used to believe in a lot of things. As a pastor's kid, it's hard not to buy in to the idea of the perfect family, a loving God, and amazing grace. But lately, Sam has a lot of reason to doubt. Her mother lands in rehab after a DUI and her father seems more interested in his congregation than his family. When a young girl in her small town is kidnapped, the local tragedy overlaps with Sam's personal one, and the already-worn thread of faith holding her together begins to unravel.

Look at that cover! I loved Sarah's first two novels and am very excited for this one to come out in October. To read more about it, check out her blog

Teaser Tuesday

How Teaser Tuesday works from Should Be Reading:

Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12. You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
Please avoid spoilers!

Persistence of Memory by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Sixteen-year-old Erin Misrahe just wants to be like everyone else in her new school. But Erin has more to worry about than passing AP Chemistry or making friends. In times of stress, she has always been overcome by her alter ego, Shevaun, whose violent behavior wreaks havoc on those around her. Erin can never remember anything about these episodes, and she’s grateful to have been spared them for a while.But when a protective friend comes back into Erin’s life, he insists that Shevaun is a vampire who actually exists apart from Erin. Shevaun has dangerous allies, like the handsome witch Adjila—and they’re determined to sever Shevaun’s connection to Erin once and for all.

I didn't exactly follow the rules this time *ducks*, but I really like this little convo between Sassy (he's a guy by the way - still not loving that nickanme for him), and Erin. This is from page 91:

"You kissed my alter?" Erin gasped. "My psychopathic, homicidal alter?"

"In my defense, it's not like I was in the ward because I was of sound mind."

"That's just creepy. Please tell me that's as far as it went."

"That's as far as it went."

"Are you lying?"

"Yes, but never mind it. Look, dinner's here. Perfect timing."


Monday, April 13, 2009

I'd Verb His Noun

Welcome to our first edition of I'd Verb His Noun. This is a fun little meme that was inspired by this icon:

If you made this or know who did, please tell us so we can give full credit. Since we have no shame in being full character whores, here is a list of guys we loved from some of our favorite reads!

♥ Dexter ♥
--Who doesn't love a clumsy musician that comes flying onto your bedroom floor in the morning?

♥ Edward ♥
--Cheryl: Edward is GORGEOUS, DREAMY, HOT, AND YUM-O and...

♥ Jasper ♥
--Amber: Edward? Jacob? Pfft!! Gimme some Jasper Hale any day of the week!

♥ John After ♥
--Cause he's soo hot, just don't touch him while he's uniform!

♥ Wes ♥
--He's artsy, has a tattoo, a completly awesome guy, I need to say more here?


When we first started this blog we wanted to do daily slogans and had things mapped out, but well....that little thing called life seems to get in our way a lot. So instead of having our Daily Slogans that we've majorly slacked on, we decided to keep a couple and add some different stuff.

On our site we will be participating in Teaser Tuesday, In My Mailbox, and our own daily slogan of Rock This! Thursday where we'll post books that are based on or around music. We're also going to add in addition to our Author of the Month, we will be Author Pimpin'. This will be random posts about the book(s) the author has, sneak peeks inside, and whatever we can basically find for you. The other new thing we're going to be doing is a meme called: I'd Verb His Noun which will be featuring all the guy characters we ♥ very much.

So far that's all, but we will probably be adding more stuff later on down the road. But how about you? What meme's and slogans do you participate in?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley

North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley

Released: February 2009
Publisher: Little, Brown
Genre: Young Adult - Contemporary
Pages: 384
Source: Library

Rating: ♥♥♥

It's hard not to notice Terra Cooper. She's tall, blond, and has an enviable body. But with one turn of her cheek, all people notice is her unmistakably "flawed" face. Terra secretly plans to leave her stifling small town in the Northwest and escape to an East Coast college, but gets pushed off-course by her controlling father. When an unexpected collision puts Terra directly in Jacob's path, the handsome but quirky Goth boy immediately challenges her assumptions about herself and her life, and she is forced in yet another direction. With her carefully laid plans disrupted, will Terra be able to find her true path?


I'm a little torn between what I thought about this book. I didn't love it, but no means did I hate it. Terra was a pretty predictable character, normally that wouldn't bother me, but I expected a more out of her besides the average insecurities. I know having a major birth mark on your face isn't exactly a run of the mill type of insecurity, but it was still lacking.

Terra's family - oh man. The way her father was written, I seriously wanted to strangle him. He was so controlling and horrible to his wife and children. It was sad reading how Terra's mother, who was such a sweetheart, just took it all with a grain of salt. I kept hoping one day while making breakfast, she would turn around and bonk him on the head with a rolling pin. Her brothers were mainly just background noises at the most. They were slipped in here and there, and her complaints about them kind of followed the same suit of how they just abandoned her.

The journey that Terra takes once she meets cutie Jacob and his own flaws was a pretty predictable. Jacob was the more secure one in his own flaws showing her that outer beauty isn't as important as what's inside. You can't help but like them together because they did have chemistry. Every conversation they had flowed together nicely. I really liked seeing Terra and her mother grow as they ventured out with Jacob and his mother. A part of me enjoyed Terra's mother's story almost more than Terra's. Some parts of the book did seem to drag. I found myself doing the quick scan just to get through certain parts.

One thing I really liked was the attention to detail. It wasn't average words to describe even the tinest things. A wide picture was painted in this book where I could see the surroundings they were in. The idea of geocaching- something I had never heard of was really interesting. It makes me want to give it a try because it does sound really fun. All in all, I did like the story even with it's flaws. I suggest going to the library to get it and reading it on a lazy day.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Miss Match by Wendy Toliver

Miss Match by Wendy Toliver

Released: February 2009
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: Young Adult - Romantic Comedy
Pages: 288
Sent from Author

Rating: ♥♥♥

Sasha Finnegan has always had a knack for setting people up, and at sixteen, she's turned her talent into an online business, molding high school crushes into true love. But Sasha finds her toughest match yet when hottie Derek Urban asks her to set him up with Sasha's gorgeous sister, Maddie. It's not that Derek isn't a good catch. In fact, after spending so much time with him, Sasha can't help but think he's perfect -- for her, that is.

Can Sasha push her feelings aside for the sake of her business? Or has this miss finally found her match?


This is my first Simon Romantic Comedy, and I think I just found a new guilty pleasure.

The story is of Sasha, a witty teenager who started a dating business to help pay for repairs on her father's car she damaged while trying to park. The whole story of finding every one's loves was very cute. I really loved the character of Sasha, she was a ton of fun, quirky, and was very driven about her cupid playing job. She would stop at nothing - even stripping down to her bra and undies if she had too. (If you read the book, you will know what I'm talking about here, and I'm sure you cracked up just like I did.)

The other characters like her sister, Maddie and her best friend, Yas were also fun to read. Maddie would normally annoy me as a character, but with Sasha's narrating, I liked her a lot. Yas was the perfect best friend, and although some of their voices sounded the same sometimes, I still really enjoyed them. Having Derek Urban (who I nicknamed Urban Cowboy through it all), was another great character. Using Matthew McConaughey's southern drawl voice as a description gave him way more of an appeal since I heart that man. ;)

All in all this book was exactly what it was set out to be - a very cute and fun book. I would even suggest eating a bowl of ice cream while reading it.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Book Blogger World Contests...

- Drey's Library - The Girl She Used to Be - Ends April 17
- For The Love of Books - Take Me There - Ends April 18
- Getting To Know Willow - Romance Contest - Ends April 30
- Korianne Speaks - Birthday Contests - Ends April 25
- Sharon Loves Books and Cats - Me, My Elf and I - Ends April 21
- Shooting Stars Magazine - Daniel Joseph Guest Blog Contest - Ends April 30
- Shooting Stars Magazine - Signed Copy of City of Bones - Ends April 30
- Starry Night - Undone - Ends April 21
- Steph Su - Swim The Fly - Ends April 17
- The Epic Rat - Girls In Trucks - Ends April 28
- The Epic Rat - The Agency - Ends April 13
- The Epic Rat - Wicked - Ends April 17
- Carrie's YA Shelf - Firsts In A Series Giveaway - Ends April 30

Genre Swap

Yesterday my friend Tammy came into work just raving about this book she had read. Might I add the only books Tammy loves to read are mainly books on history. Like Abe Lincoln's autobiography. Where I obviously love to read mainly young adult fiction. After talking about the book, she made me a deal. If I would read her book, she would read one of my all time favorites.

So this morning I went to work with a copy of This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen and Tammy handed over a copy of:

The Shepherd of the Hills by Harold Bell Wright

The only time I would probably ever pick up this book might have been back in high school if I was assigned to read it. Same thing with Tammy, she'd never pick up a Dessen novel. Now that I have it, I'm half way excited to read it - but shh! we'll keep that a secret since I've been giving her so much crap about it. The book was written in 1907 and is all about the area that I live in. I think it's going to be interesting to see what we think of each other's favorite reads.


Monday, April 6, 2009

Amber's Blog!

I have a blog on Livejournal, but find myself not going on there as much since we've started this blog. So I decided to move myself over this way. Here is the link if anyone wants to read me rambling on about whatever happens to fly out of my mouth...or keyboard I should say.

Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles

Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles (Book 1)

Released: April 2007
Publisher: Flux
Genre: Young Adult - Contemporary - Series
Pages: 303
Source: Library

Rating: ♥♥♥

Nothing has been the same since Caleb Becker left a party drunk, got behind the wheel, and hit Maggie Armstrong. Even after months of painful physical therapy, Maggie walks with a limp. Her social life is nil and a scholarship to study abroad—her chance to escape everyone and their pitying stares — has been canceled.

After a year in juvenile jail, Caleb’s free . . . if freedom means endless nagging from a transition coach and the prying eyes of the entire town. Coming home should feel good, but his family and ex-girlfriend seem like strangers.

Caleb and Maggie are outsiders, pigeon-holed as "criminal" and "freak." Then the truth emerges about what really happened the night of the accident and, once again, everything changes. It’s a bleak and tortuous journey for Caleb and Maggie, yet they end up finding comfort and strength from a surprising source: each other.


I loved the idea of Caleb and Maggie with their families friends - everything suited them well. Especially Mrs. Reynolds with her "I'm old, this is what I think, deal with it" attitude. Maggie has the imperfection about her leg since the night of the accident and the self doubt she has about doing anything. She can't play tennis and thinks going to Spain will be the only way to start a new life. Caleb with his brooding attitude and having to come back to a place where everyone is already quick to judge him.

The plot had really great potential. That's one of the main reasons that kept me reading because I was curious of how it would play out. Plus I have this guilty pleasure of bad boys and Simone can write them. As I kept reading, the characters never seemed to get past their surface. I didn't get that reader connection with them. There were some moments that went a little in depth, and parts that I thought would go into more detail, but it fell short. Even the ending, which suited the whole storyline well, seemed way rushed.

Maybe I went into this book with higher expectations because of how much I loved Perfect Chemistry, but in the end I was disappointed in this read.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

In My Mailbox (10)

In My Mailbox was created by The Story Siren as a neat way to see what everyone else is reading. And a reason for me to secretly envy all the other bloggers out there.

♥Amber's Mailbox

I received a few books in the mail which had me grinning because I usually don't get anything in the mail.

Heavenly by Jennifer Laurens

I met someone who changed everything. Matthias. My autistic sister's guardian angel. Honest. Inspiring. Funny. Hot. And immortal. That was the problem. What could I do? I did what any other girl would do-I fell in love with him.

Zoë's sister darts in front of cars. Her brother's a pothead. Her parents are so overwhelmed; they don't see Zoë lost in her broken life. Zoë escapes the only way she knows how: partying. Matthias, a guardian sent from Heaven, watches over Zoë's autistic sister. After Zoë is convinced he's legit, angel and lost girl come together in a love that changes destiny. But Heaven on Earth can't last forever.

--I let out a major squeak when I opened the book and Jennifer had signed it! This is my first book signed by an author. She also sent a copy of her next book trailer for the sequel to Heavenly.

On Saturday I let out a squeal because author Tonya Hurely sent me a nice sized package with this inside:

Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley

Charlotte Usher feels practically invisible at school, and then one day she really is invisible. Even worse: she's dead. And all because she choked on a gummy bear. But being dead doesn't stop Charlotte from wanting to be popular; it just makes her more creative about achieving her goal.

Ghostgirl: Homecoming

Charlotte Usher discovers that the afterlife isn't quite what she pictured when she's forced to intern at a hotline for troubled teens. Before she can officially cross over, she'll have to be a source of guidance for one such teen. The problem is she doesn't have much advice to offer since dying hasn't exactly boosted her confidence level. But when Hawthorne High's leading, love-to-hate cheerleader Petula and her gothic little sis' Scarlet find themselves suddenly resting-in-peace in comas, Charlotte's opportunity to save them will prove to be the risk of a lifetime-for all of them.

Some of you might have seen the blog where I posted how excited I was that my sister was reading - all thanks to Twilight. We live in a very small town where the only thing we have close to a bookstore is Wal-Mart. (And it only has about three shelves of halfway decent books.) My sister finished New Moon and said it was a must she get Eclipse. So Saturday afternoon we drove an hour away just to get books! I was a very happy camper, too bad I was kind of broke so I didn't get to buy lots. At one of our book stops, we went to Barnes & Noble where I got:

Zombie Queen of Newbury High by Amanda Ashby

Quiet, unpopular, non-cheerleading Mia is blissfully happy. She is dating super hot football god Rob, and he actually likes her and asked her to prom! Enter Samantha—cheerleading goddess and miss popularity— who starts making a move for Rob. With prom in a few days, Mia needs to act fast. So she turns to her best friend, Candice, and decides to do a love spell on Rob. Unfortunately, she ends up inflicting a zombie virus onto her whole class, making herself their leader! At first she is flattered that everyone is treating her like a queen. But then zombie hunter hottie Chase explains they are actually fattening her up, because in a few days, Mia will be the first course in their new diet. She’s sure she and Chase can figure something out, but she suggests that no one wear white to prom, because things could get very messy.

I also picked up a copy of the paperback edition of Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway. You know, the one with all the awesome reviews on the back from bloggers. And I snagged the newest copy of the tv show Supernatural magazine. What can I say, I heart those Winchester boys to pieces!

Then we stopped at a Wal-Mart there where they have a much bigger selection of books (insert my wtf look here) and I grabbed the only book I was missing from my Sarah Dessen collection: Someone Like You

And I may or may not have bought a Twilight shirt that had a picture of James on it...don't judge me.

PS - My sister stayed up until 5 AM this morning reading Eclipse then took a power nap, woke back up, and finished the book. Now she's all sorts of flipping out because she didn't pick up a copy of Breaking Dawn. I'm telling you, complete miracle is happening here!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

i heart amber...

Look at what my awesome co-owner bought me!!

Not only is she the reason I LOVE Sarah Dessen, but now she added to my awesome beginners collection! I got the package in the mail acouple of weeks ago and squeaked! I wasn't expecting a book and when I seen the package I was happy and quite confused. Amber is too good to me! Thank you my awesome friend! You Rock!
Oh, and you will be seeing a review from me soon for this one. I LOVE it!

Friday, April 3, 2009

We Fear the Zombie Chickens

We thank Insert Book Title Here for loving us so much to think we deserve this freakin' awesome award!

The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken - excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all..."

1- 2 Kids and Tired Book Reviews
2- Becky's Book Reviews
3- GreenBeanTeenQueen
4- The Chick Manifesto
5-The Faerie Drink Review

new layout...

...courtesy of Leelou Blogs, but the header was made by me. So let us know what you think. Should we keep this as our permanet layout? We love hearing from you guys about anything, so this would really mean a lot. =D

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Cheryl's Blog

Well, I felt like adding my own blogger to my daily routines. If you feel like checking it out, click HERE.

It's a working progress, so....yeah...