Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday

White Cat by Holly Black (Curse Workers Book 1)

Release Date: May 4, 2010

Cassel comes from a family of curse workers -- people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they're all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn't got the magic touch, so he's an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail -- he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.

Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He's noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.

Holly Black has created a gripping tale of mobsters and dark magic where a single touch can bring love -- or death -- and your dreams might be more real than your memories.


I wasn't for sure what to use for my WOW post this week so I of course went to twitter and asked about books people were looking forward to reading. I got some great responses and thanks to Sab for reminding me of this book I've been wanting to read. I've never read anything by Holly Black yet, but I've heard great things about her work. This series sounds like something I'd really enjoy. (I heart darker books.) Plus did you guys see the awesome trailer Vania made?


Monday, March 29, 2010

Review: She's So Dead To Us by Kieran Scott

She's So Dead To Us by Kieran Scott

Release Date: May 25, 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre: Young Adult - Series
Pages: 288
Source: Around the World Tours

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

When having money is all that matters, what happens when you lose it all?

Perfect, picturesque Orchard Hill. It was the last thing Ally Ryan saw in the rear-view mirror as her mother drove them out of town and away from the shame of the scandal her father caused when his hedge fund went south and practically bankrupted all their friends -- friends that liked having trust funds and new cars, and that didn't like constant reminders that they had been swindled. So it was adios, Orchard Hill. Thanks for nothing.

Now, two years later, Ally's mother has landed a job back at the site of their downfall. So instead of Ally's new low-key, happy life, it'll be back into the snake pit with the likes of Shannen Moore and Hammond Ross.

But then there's Jake Graydon. Handsome, wealthy, bored Jake Graydon. He moved to town after Ally left and knows nothing of her scandal, but does know that he likes her. And she likes him. So off into the sunset they can go, right? Too bad Jake's friends have a problem with his new crush since it would make Ally happy. And if anyone deserves to be unhappy, it's Ally Ryan.

Ally was hoping to have left all the drama in the past, but some things just can't be forgotten. Isn't there more to life than money?


I normally steer clear of any book that deals with rich kids and their sophisticated life. It's just not my thing. I could care less about social status and fashion. But for one, that cover drew me in, and I thought hhmmm this might be half way decent.

I really liked how this book was presented. Each chapter is a month and the book takes place over a full school year. Before you dive into each month, you get to read a bit of gossip. It was fun to see what was floating around. It made me feel like I was back in high school.

To add to the book, it's told in two different perspectives. Ally and Jake's and it was pulled off wonderfully. Through the book you could see the change in each of them and it was never rushed. I was a bit nervous for Ally, not knowing what her old friends were going to do to her when they found out she moved back into town. Once upon a time the group of people she hung out with were like her second family. I think a lot of people can relate to that group of friends in high school that were exactly that. But when her dad lost a big chunk of their parents money in a bad investment she's shunned.  I liked Ally from the beginning. She didn't come off as a snob, and not just because she was an outcast either.

Then there is Jake. Oh, Jake. 

My first impression of him was simple: Jackass! But the more I read, the more charming he became and the more I ended up loving him. Jake understands that there is a certain social status in the community he lives in. He wasn't around when everything went down with Ally and the reasons behind why she moved. A part of him doesn't care what people think of her. He likes her. Sometimes I got a bit frustrated with him, but I understood that part of him that was still concerned with what his friends might think. Especially his best friend, Shannon. I won't even touch the subject of her. That'd make this review a heck of lot longer than it already is.

Even the secondary characters, such as Ally's old friends weren't just there for the background. You got the old life she use to have with these people. And some of her old friends, well, let's just say she's way better off without them. I probably should mention Ally wasn't exactly an angel either, but some of those girls I wanted to deck. It really made the book so much more interesting to see how easily teen and adults can turn on one another.

Basically I loved this. I think it was a fantastic started to a very promising series. Ally and Jake are probably one of my favorite couples, and I'm pretty much dying to know what's going to happen in the second book! Even though this one doesn't come out for a few months, it's one you need to keep an eye out for.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox was created by Kristi over at The Story Siren. It was inspired by Alea from Pop Culture Junkie.

Sorry for the crappy picture. I've been doing P90X this week and I basically cannot move so I didn't want to go downstairs and hunt down my camera.

For Review:

Falling For Romeo by Jennifer Laurens (Around the World Tours)
Swoon At Your Own Risk by Sydney Salter (Around the World Tours)
Must Be Nice by Anthony J. Federico (One Arc Tour)


Undead and Unappreciated by MaryJanice Davidson
-This is the UK cover. If you're a fan of chick lit, blunt humor, and vampires then this series is for you! I love Betsy.

That's it for me! What did you get this week?


Friday, March 26, 2010

Review: The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June by Robin Benway

The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June by Robin Benway

Release Date: August 3, 2010
Publisher: Razorbill
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 256
Source: Around the World Tours

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Three sisters, three extraordinary, life-changing powers!

 Around the time of their parents’ divorce, sisters April, May, and June recover special powers from childhood—powers that come in handy navigating the hell that is high school. Powers that help them cope with the hardest year of their lives. But could they have a greater purpose?

April, the oldest and a bit of a worrier, can see the future. Middle-child May can literally disappear. And baby June reads minds—everyone’s but her own. When April gets a vision of disaster, the girls come together to save the day and reconcile their strained family. They realize that no matter what happens, powers or no powers, they’ll always have each other.

Because there’s one thing stronger than magic: sisterhood.


Since my blog is no way a professional site, I'm just going to come out and say it:

If Robin Benway is anything like the characters she writes then I think she'd be a blast to get drunk with!

In her second novel,The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June, Benway has nailed it again! This book is definitely going to be one of my favorites for the year. Each chapter is told by a different sister going in order from oldest to youngest. Like many novels that have alternating view points, I'm always a bit weary. Some authors can pull it off while others cannot, but this one was done very well.

I really couldn't pick a favorite between the three girls. Each of them had their own voice, personality, but yet, they were all so much alike. I'm curious if Robin herself has two sisters because she wrote their relationship so realistically. That's possibly why I enjoyed it so much because I do have a sister and her daughter might as well be the youngest of us. All the bickering, the concern for one another, the 'sisterhood' - it just fit together perfectly. No moments ever seemed forced. One of my favorite parts of the book was right at the beginning the moment the three girls realized they had powers. I laughed so hard, I could have rolled off the bed!

Benway writes my type of humor. No doubt this book has many hilarious moments, but it was also so much more when it came to a story about family. Not to mention a great story about being a teen. It has a mix of having divorced parents, moving to a new school, first boyfriends, first crushes - everything. The slight mystery of what the oldest sister, April, had a vision of kept me glued. I was dying to know how it would be played out that I almost finished this in one sitting. While it didn't have a big punch like I thought it would, it still kept me on my toes.

I know this book doesn't come out until August, but if you were a fan of Audrey, Wait! or just wanting to read an great book - keep this one on your radar. It's wonderful and I don't think you'll be disappointed.


Thursday, March 25, 2010


The winner of the 500 Business cards for their blog is.....

*insert drum roll here*



Yay, Dani! I'm going to be sending you an email soon and then forward your information to Thanks again to those who entered! And a special thanks to those who took the blog survey - those +5 point is how Dani won :) I really appreciate all the feedback everyone gave me.

Rock This! Thursday with Author Kristin Walker

I'm very excited today to have debut author, Kristin Walker, here to discuss her new book, A Match Made In High School and music! If you haven't picked up her book, you need too! If you're still not sure after you read this interview, check out my review of her book. I promise I will convince you :)

So how does it feel a month after A Match Made In High School has been released?

I feel like I haven't taken a breath yet. I had no idea how busy I'd be. But it's been amazing. Being on the other side of a book signing is so surreal. Luckily, I've done most of them with my friend, Kristina Springer (THE ESPRESSOLOGIST). She and I pretty much spend the whole time cracking each other up.

When writing the book, where there any songs that reminded you of the story? If so, could you share some?

I've had little kids for the past 11+ years, so my knowledge of current music has stalled a bit. Mostly, all I've gotten to listen to are kids' songs. So there wasn't a specific song, per se for the book at first. There wasn't even much music at all in the manuscript until one of the later drafts. I've always loved the White Stripes, though, and I really thought they reflected the story, so I hit up the awesome Robin Benway (AUDREY WAIT!) to see what she thought. She's this insane music savant, and she gave me the thumbs-up. (Thanks, Robin.) Other than that, I did make it my personal mission to include The Connells, because I really do think they've gotten a bum deal from the music industry. I've loved them ever since I saw them in college. They should have been way more well-known. It didn't help that the record label they signed with got into some loan default kerfuffle, and as a result, Prudential Securities now owns the back catalogue of The Connells' recordings, and is basically doing nothing with them. It's ridiculous. Prudential needs to give The Connells their music back.

You're walking down the street. What song is following you?

Maybe "The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)" by Simon & Garfunkel. (Look, I'm old. Deal with it.) But if I'm being honest here, it's probably the "I'm Late! I'm Late!" song from Disney's Alice in Wonderland.

Let's say one of the couple activities Todd and Fiona had to do while being married was going to a concert, but it was left up to Todd to decide. Who are they going to go see?

I'm going with Sum 41.

Excellent choice! A Match Made In High School has got to be one of the funniest books I have read in a long time. And I have to ask, how much did you crack yourself up while writing it?

First of all, thank you! I didn't so much crack myself up as I loved the "Yes!" feeling of figuring out a good joke. I did everything in my power never to sacrifice a joke for anything. Even plot. Don't tell my editor that, though, haha.

Your secret is safe with us! Tell us a song that would make an interesting book.

"100 Years" by Five for Fighting. I swear to God, I weep every time I hear that song. You'll see. When you start burning up the track to 40, you will too.

If you could meet one musician - living or dead - who would it be and why?

Only one? Oh, boy. Other than, like, to steal Kurt Cobain's shotgun, or tell Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper not to get on the plane, or to send John Lennon home in a car, I'm going to pick Elton John. How fun would it be to hang out with him for a day? The stories that guy could tell. He knows everyone and can go anywhere. And if he happened to spontaneously break out into "Rocket Man," who would complain? Not me.

If your character, Johnny Mercer, was to give us some music suggestions, what five songs would he tell us to listen to?

My Chemical Romance: Famous Last Words
OK Go: This Too Shall Pass
The Clash: London Calling
Bowling for Soup: High School Never Ends
Queen & David Bowie: Under Pressure

And here I thought my Johnny Mercer crush couldn't get any bigger! Next question, who is your favorite band?

Barenaked Ladies pretty much provided the soundtrack to my love story and life with my husband, so they're it. I wish Steven Page would get his head out of his butt and get back together with the band, though. (P.S. Steven, you're too skinny. Get the beef back on already.) I put "What a Good Boy" in the book during the big kiss scene as a tribute to them.

Have you experienced any 'rock star' writing moments?

Ha! Not exactly. But my launch party came pretty close. It was amazing to have all those people show up just to celebrate with me.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday

Anxious Hearts by Tucker Shaw
Release Date: May 1, 2010

“Evangeline,” he repeated, calling at a whisper. “Evangeline.” He was not calling that she may hear, he was calling that somehow her soul might know that he was devoted entirely to her, only to her. “Evangeline, I will find you.”

Eva and Gabe explore the golden forest of their seaside Maine town, unknowingly tracing the footsteps of two teens, Evangeline and Gabriel, who once lived in the idyllic wooded village of Acadia more than one hundred years ago. On the day that Evangeline and Gabriel were be wed, their village was attacked and the two were separated. And now in the present, Gabe has mysteriously disappeared from Eva.

A dreamlike, loose retelling of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s famous love poem “Evangeline,” Anxious Hearts tells an epic tale of unrequited love and the hope that true love can be reunited.


Did anyone else think at first glance the girl on the cover was Mila Kunis? Anyhoo, this one sounds like it could be a good romance/mystery type of read. 


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Donate To A Great Cause - MS WALK 2010

This year me, my sister, and a group of friends are attending MS Walk 2010 in our community. This walk means a lot to me. My father has MS and has had it for almost 30 years. In 2005 he had such a severe attack that is made him wheelchair bound. He has very little use of both his legs. I walk because he can't.

My team is currently taking donations. All donations go towards the MS Society. An awesome organization that helps those who have MS. This society has helped my father personally so when I say they're awesome I mean they ROCK!

If you would like to donate it would be GREATLY appreciated! Every little bit counts!

Here is the link:

If you have no way of making a donation online and still want to donate, please shoot me an email: justyourtypicalbookblog@hotmail(dot)com and I will send you a mailing address.

About MS:

Multiple sclerosis interrupts the flow of information between the brain and the body and it stops people from moving. Every hour in the United States, someone is newly diagnosed with MS, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with more than twice as many women as men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 400,000 people in the U.S., and 2.5 million worldwide.

More on the MS Society:

MS stops people from moving. The National MS Society exists to make sure it doesn’t. We help each person address the challenges of living with MS. Last year alone, through our home office and 50 state network of chapters, we devoted over $136 million to programs that enhanced more than one million lives. To move us closer to a world free of MS, the Society also invested over $50 million to support 440 research projects around the world. We are people who want to do something about MS NOW. Join the movement at

Celebrate the power of a community coming together and help us raise $2 million toward a world free of multiple sclerosis.

Thanks for the support!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Winners of the Header Contest!

I had so many wonderful entries in the header contest, it was VERY hard to pick one. In the end, I had a tie.

The winners are....

1st place - Adrienne!! who won 2 books of her choice

2nd place - Katie!! who won 1 book of her choice

I want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who submitted entries. I really loved all the entries and if I had enough money you all would be getting a book so I could display them.

And to the winners, I will be emailing you later tonight to get your book choices :)

The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard

The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard

Released: January 2010
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 192
Source: Around the World Tours

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Seventeen-year-old Colt has been sneaking out at night to meet Julia, a girl from an upper-class neighborhood unlike his own. They’ve never told anyone else about their relationship: not their family or friends, and especially not Julia’s boyfriend.When Julia dies suddenly, Colt tries to cope with her death while pretending that he never even knew her. He discovers a journal she left behind. But he is not prepared for the truths he discovers about their intense relationship, nor to pay the price for the secrets he’s kept.


This is going to be another review where I had tons of mixed feelings, and hopefully I make some sense to you guys. I want to start it off by saying that Jennifer Hubbard is a very good writer. I loved the way she portrayed her main character, Colt. There was no sugar coating him and he was one of the more realistic teen guys I have read in a while. Actually all of her characters were very realistic. I love it when an author can make me think this could all be real.

Since I had heard such great reviews about this one, my expectations were pretty high. I kept hearing people refer to it as a Romeo & Juliet and even some saying it was like The Outsiders. But I never saw it as either. And I really didn't like Julia. I found her journal entries to be very bland, and the more I learned about her, the more irritated I got. Even by the end of the book, I never fully understand why Colt would waste a year with her.

Then there was the rival between the rich kids and the poor kids. I'll be the first to always jump on the poor kids' side. Rich kids in books usually piss me off. This was no exception. How everyone treated one another was also very realistic. (Yes, I know I keep saying that word, but it's true.) But that part of the plot just lacked a certain punch. My favorite part of this book would have to be Colt's family. Those were definitely my favorite scenes to read. All in all, I think this story just had too much trying to go on at once. Maybe if my expectations hadn't been so high, I might have enjoyed it a lot more than I did. It's not a bad book by any means, but it's not one that I would call a favorite.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox was created by Kristi over at The Story Siren.


Girls In Trucks by Katie Crouch (Bookmooch)

Won the following from the awesome Erica (The Book Cellar):

Kiss & Blog by Alyson Noel
Art Geeks and Prom Queens by Alyson Noel
I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
Sun Kissed by Melissa De La Cruz
Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson

*I also won a hardback copy of Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway and a sleeping mask with Suit Scarlett written on it from the same contest.

For Review from Around the World Tours

The Stillburrow Crush by Linda Kage
The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard
Magic Hands by Jennifer Laurens

Just a little reminder I have two contest coming to a close in the next two days!


Thursday, March 18, 2010

I was interviewed!

I participated in Starry Night's Introducing...YOU! feature. It's a neat way to get to know other bloggers and check out their sites. If you'd like to read my interview click here. (Please ignore the fact I sound like a major dork.)


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

We have a winner!

The winner of Dedication by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus is....

Mariah from Texas!!


Didn't win? Don't forget I have other giveaways going on:

Win 500 Business Cards for your blog or for whatever else you want to use a business card for!

Win 2 books of YOUR choice!

And if you love me, it'd be SUPER AWESOME if you'd take this survey for my blog. CLICK HERE!

Waiting on Wednesday

The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade

After a close encounter with the front end of a school bus, Alona Dare goes from Homecoming Queen to Queen of the Dead. Now she’s stuck here in spirit form with no sign of the big, bright light coming to take her away. To make matters worse, the only person who might be able to help her is Will Killian, a total loser/outcast type who hates the social elite. He alone can see and hear her, but he wants nothing to do with the former mean girl of Groundsboro High. Can they get over their mutual distrust—and this weird attraction between them—to work together before Alona vanishes for good and Will is locked up for seeing things that don’t exist?


Sounds like it'll be a fun read! I like the cover especially how the guy just kind of looks like he's thinking, Great. The dead chick is on me again.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Books To Keep On Your Radar

Thanks to many different ARC tours I've signed up on, I've been able to read some amazing books that are coming out this year. The only fall back is that I want to share those books with you NOW! But I always like posting reviews a bit closer to the release date so I'm making up a new meme of sorts. The following books are ones you're going to want to keep an eye out for!

She's So Dead To Us by Kiern Scott
Release Date: May 25, 2010

I'm not big into books that deal with snooty rich kids, but a fallen rich girl who has to go back and face everyone? I'll bite. This story is told by two people - Ally and Jake. Both view points were realistic and I could not put it down! I already want to know what's going to happen in the next one.

Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell
Release Date: May 11, 2010

A book about super heroes? Yes, please! Damien is a hilarious, sarcastic, and well developed character that I could not get enough of. The book is action packed, has some nice twists, and was just flat out awesome! I hope there is going to be a second book. *crosses fingers*

Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus
Release Date: July 13, 2010

This was a refreshing and fantastic read! I really enjoyed the main character, Phe, and even the secondary characters stood out. The history of the town and people was very interesting. Not to mention there's quite a bit of mystery to go along with this story. Another one where I'm already wanting to read the second book!


Sunday, March 14, 2010

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox explores the contents of my mailbox on a weekly basis. It was created by Kristi from The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie.

From Around the Word Tours:

She's So Dead To Us by Kieran Scott (It's too early to post my review, but this book was fantastic!)
Dear Big V by Ellen Leroe
Island Sting by Bonnie J. Doerr

I also signed up to be apart of Kimberly Derting's Street Team, and received all the stuff for it. I got signed posters, signed bookmarks, stickers, an official certificate, and a Body Finder bag! If you follow me on twitter (@JYTBB), be on the look out for some random giveaways!

That's it for me! What did you get this week?


Thursday, March 11, 2010

New Giveaway: Win 500 Business Cards!


Looking for some business cards for your blog? Then I have the giveaway for you! Thanks to, I'm hosting a giveaway where one blogger will win 500 of them. You can pass them out at the library, throw them in your own contests - whatever you'd like to do with them!

Thanks to I have 500 Business cards for 1 lucky winner! 

The business cards are:

- Sizes: 2 x 3.5”, 2 x 3”, 2 x 2” (square card) or 1.5 x 3.5” (slim card)

- Paper: 14 pt gloss cardstock, 14 pt matte cardstock or 13 pt recycled uncoated cardstock

Swing by Print Online - to check out more!

This giveaway is ONLY open to those living in the United States. It will end on March 25th at 11:59 pm central standard time. To enter, just fill out the form below.

If you would like +5 points then fill out my NEW blog survey here. (I would really LOVE to hear your opinions on the blog.) Hit your TAB button on the last question to make it submit. I am asking for name/nickname to double check if you actually get the points. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday

Freefall by Mindi Scott
Release Date: October 2010

How do you come back from the point of no return?

Seth McCoy was the last person to see his best friend Isaac alive, and the first to find him dead. It was just another night, just another party, just another time where Isaac drank too much and passed out on the lawn. Only this time, Isaac didn’t wake up.

Convinced that his own actions led to his friend’s death, Seth is torn between turning his life around . . . or losing himself completely.

Then he meets Rosetta: so beautiful and so different from everything and everyone he's ever known. But Rosetta has secrets of her own, and Seth will soon realize he isn’t the only one who needs saving . . .


Sounds heartbreaking, and one of those novels that will stick with me. Gimme!


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Rules of Attraction Trailer

Excuse me why I have a fangirl moment here...


Carols...hellllooooo new bad boy!

I absolutely adored Perfect Chemistry and it made Simone Elkles one of my favorite authors. I cannot wait until next month when this one comes out. Did you happen to notice the world TRILOGY at the beginning of the trailer? *does happy dance*


Monday, March 8, 2010


The first one up is, Wherever Nina Lies. Those 3 winners are...

E.J. from ME
Donna from MO
Raelena from VA

The second one is Demigods and Monsters, and the winner is...

Maura from Canada!

The third one is Secrets of the Dragon Rider, and the winner is....

Sarah from GA!

Whoot! Whoot! Congrats to all the winners! Your books will be shipped out to you soon :)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox was created by Kristi over at The Story Siren.

For Review from Around the World Tours:

Nailed by Jennifer Laurens

The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June by Robin Benway (SOOOO EXCITED!)

That's it for me! What did you guys get this week?


Friday, March 5, 2010

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Release Date: March 2010
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 480
Source: Around the World Tours

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all—looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12th should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it’s her last. The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. In fact, she re-lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she had ever imagined.


Lauren Oliver completely and utterly blew me away with her debut novel, Before I Fall.

There are many books that make me fall in love with the characters, setting, and the overall story. Some authors have the talent to make me laugh, cry, or bring me to the edge of my seat. But it's not often where I find myself pulled into a novel so strongly where the barrier between reader and book becomes invisible. While reading Before I Fall, the world around me simply slipped away.

From the beginning to the middle to the end, this was a powerful, entertaining, heartbreaking, and absolutely beautiful story. Sam wasn't a girl you're supposed to like in the beginning. She has the 'mean girl popular' persona, but ya know, I never really disliked her. Maybe because I knew the story was going to have so much more to it then what was at the surface. Throughout the book, you see Sam's layers being peeled back which made her one of the wonderful complex characters I've read in a while.

I cannot praise Lauren Oliver's writing enough. This lady is packed full of talent! She wrote a story that you simply cannot put down and walk away from. Sam will stick with you for days. This novel hits you at home, makes you think, and makes you questions actions you've done in your own life. This novel is definitely going to be a favorite for the year, and one you cannot miss out on!


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Rock This! Thursday with author Judith Graves

This week we have author, Judith Graves, hanging out with us to discuss her debut novel, Under My Skin, and music! 

How does it feel being a debut author?

In musician’s terms…like I’m performing at a huge outdoor music festival, with a band I just formed in the parking lot—on 2 minutes of rehearsal time. It’s either going to be the penultimate gig of my life or one stellar train wreck.

When writing your novel, were there any songs that fit the theme of it? If so, could you share some with us?

I did have a formal UMS playlist, but that was way back in my 6th draft…lol…scenes changed and so has the tunage. Here are a few gems (in no particular order, but you won’t find a country tune in the mix):

-      When the Stars Go Blue” – Ryan Adams version thank you very much
-       Hurt - Johnny Cash version (and he doesn’t count as country. Cash is just cool.)

You're walking down the street - what song is following you?

Usually some unknown melody that I’m frantic to record before I forget it. So I’ll call home and leave a message something like: Hey, baby, it’s just me. Ignore this, but don’t delete it: dododobabababdodooowannnn….

Who is your favorite singer/band? Why are they you're favorite?

I have too many favourites and find new music to love everyday. But I’m a chick of extremes. I have a hearty hatred for country music...and a weakness for 80s rap (I know! Why me??!)

What would be a band your main character, Eryn, would sneak out and hitchhike a ride to go see in concert?

Eryn is more of a horror movie buff – she (oddly enough) shares my dislike of country music, but she’d be more inclined to sneak out after Redgrave’s dreadful 9:30 p.m. town curfew to catch a midnight showing of The Exorcist. If Redgrave had a movie theatre. (She’s so deprived, it’s not funny.)

Tell us a song that would make an interesting book?

“Moondance” by Van Morrison – the lyrics are so epic. Seriously, there’s a gothic story there. :)

First concert you ever went to?

Ah….nothing will ever beat this. David Bowie - Glass Spider Tour. Edmonton. Outdoors at the Coliseum.

Have you experienced any 'rock star' writing moments?

In UMS, there’s one line that I consider my written-word rock slide across the stage. I made it the tagline for the entire Skinned series. “A normal life? Now that’s the real fairytale.” I believe that no one is, or ever has been, normal. Normal is as good as dead. Normal is the true myth. Normal is so not me.

We're always up for new music. Care to share five songs we should be listening to?

See answer to #2. And if you’re feeling brave, you could check out a few of my tunes with various awesome folk-rock bands – somewhere on my website… (Yeah, I’m pitchy, live with it.)

If you could meet one musician - living or dead - who would it be and why?

Robert Johnson. I’d like to get the scoop on the whole deal with the devil thing, wouldn’t you?

Find Out More About Judith Graves at:
Publisher’s Website
Class of 2k10 website
Free Read:  Old Flames Die Hard

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday

Grace by Elizabeth Scott
Release Date: September 2010

A fable of a terrifying near future.

Grace was raised to be an Angel, a herald of death by suicide bomb. But she refuses to die for the cause, and now Grace is on the run, daring to dream of freedom. In search of a border she may never reach, she travels among malevolent soldiers on a decrepit train crawling through the desert. Accompanied by the mysterious Kerr, Grace struggles to be invisible, but the fear of discovery looms large as she recalls the history and events that delivered her uncertain fate.

I love the different type of stories Elizabeth Scott writes. Her darker type of novels are my favorites so I'm really looking forward to this one. Sounds so different!


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Win a copy of Dedication!

Dedication by Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus

What if your ex was famous and adored by millions? What would you do if you had one chance to make him regret his entire existence? How much would you risk?

Kate Hollis's ex-boyfriend's face plasters newsstands and TV, the Internet, and the multiplex. Jake Sharpe is one of the biggest recording stars on the planet, and every song he's famous for is about Kate. For over a decade his soundtrack has chased her -- from the gym to the supermarket, from the dentist's office to the bars. Now thirty-year-old Kate gets the call that Jake has finally landed back in their Vermont hometown for an MTV special. The moment she has been waiting for has arrived.

On the eve of their prom, Jake Sharpe vanished, resurfacing when his song "Losing" -- about his and Kate's first sexual experience -- shot to the top of the Billboard charts. And the hits kept coming, each more personal than the one before.

Now Kate gets her chance to confront Jake and reclaim her past. But after eleven years of enduring protracted and far-from-private heartbreak, everyone in Kate's life has a stake in how this plays out. Kate must risk betraying the friends Jake abandoned, the bandmates whose songs he plundered, and her own parents, who fear this will dredge up a shared past more painful than any of them want to acknowledge. But after getting the call in the dead of night and jumping on a plane, can she turn back now?

To enter to win a signed copy of Dedication, please fill out the form below. The giveaway will run until March 16th and is only open to those with a US mailing address. 

**Had a little tech issues. Form is now up!

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Match Made In High School by Kristin Walker

A Match Made In High School by Kristin Walker

Release Date: February 2010
Publisher: Razorbill
Genre: Young Adult - Comedy
Pages: 277

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

When the principal announces that every senior must participate in a mandatory year-long Marriage Education program, Fiona Sheehan believes that her life can’t get any worse. Then she marries her “husband”: Jerky jock Todd, whose cheerleader girlfriend, Amanda, has had it in for Fiona since day one of second grade. Even worse? Amanda is paired with Fiona’s long-term crush, Gabe. At least Fiona is doing better than her best friend, Marcie, who is paired up with the very quiet, very mysterious Johnny Mercer. Pranks, fights, misunderstandings, and reconciliations ensue in an almost Shakespearean comedy of errors about mistaken first impressions, convoluted coupling, and hidden crushes.


Kristin Walker doesn't miss a beat in her hi-freakin'-larious debut novel, A Match Made In High School.

When I first cracked this book open and read chapter one, I had a smirk on my face. Then my smirk turned into chuckles, and by Chapter 3 - I was laughing so hard I about peed my pants! This book was chalked full of  hilarious moments that really fits my type of humor.

Fiona is one of the best main characters I have read in a while. She's not a popular girl, but she isn't shy one either. I like that whatever she was thinking also came out of her mouth. If someone gave her crap, she gave it right back. Now, sure, that did put her into some sticky situations with her best friend and others, but I think it only made her more real. I completely related to her and her sarcastic witty self.

My favorite part of this book was Fiona and Todd (or should I say Princess PissPants and Senor Shitslacks). They made this book come to life! How they bounced off one another, the pranks they pulled, it was the strangest and best boy/girl relationship I've read.

I normally have a "but" in my reviews, but this one, I have no complaints. All the other characters, Johnny, Marci, Gabe, and Amanda were all very unique and I loved their individual voices. Heck, even the parents were a riot to read!

I liked how this wasn't as predictable as I thought it would be. Sure, there was a few things I called, but for the most part I was really surprised!  I don't think there could have been a better ending, and really, I never wanted it to end. It was so much fun! I know I sound like a fan girl here, but I can't help it.

I'm recommending everyone go pick up a copy of this book. You need to read this!