Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (56)

Waiting on Wednesday is, of course, brought to us by the lovely Jill at Breaking the Spine.

My picks for this week are:

Throat by R. A. Nelson - To be released January 25th, 201

Seventeen-year-old Emma feels cursed by her epilepsy—until the lost night. She's shocked to wake up in the hospital one morning, weak from blood loss. When her memories begin to return, she pieces together that it was a man—a monster—who attacked her: a vampire named Wirtz. And it was her very condition that saved her: a grand mal seizure interrupted Wirtz and left Emma with all the amazing powers of a vampire—heightened senses, rapid speed—but no need to drink blood. Is Emma now a half-vampire girl? One thing soon becomes clear: the vampire Wirtz is fierce and merciless, feared even by his own kind, and won't leave a job undone.

(Summary from goodreads.)

Why I want this: I love vampire novels, and this one sounds very original, plus the author is really nice and totally talked to me on Twitter.

Famous by Todd Strasser - To be released January 15th, 2011

All Jamie Gordon wants to do is to take pictures of celebrities...and maybe to become famous herself. She's only fourteen, but already her pictures are sought after by fanzines and websites, and she's invited to all the best parties. And now she has the chance of a lifetime. She has been invited to spend a week with Willow Twine, taking pictures of the teen superstar's new chaste life. But when Jamie gets her hands on some sensational shots of Willow, she's suddenly in over her head. The pictures could make her career...and destroy Willow's. Everybody seems to want to get their hands on the photos, and Jamie has to decide what she really wants...and what she's willing to pay to get it.

(Summary from goodreads.)

Why I want this: I love Todd Strasser and this one sounds really cute. Plus the cover is adorable!

Okay, that's everything for this week.

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Monday, September 27, 2010

Where My Reviewed Books Come From

You guys know those "Where My Last 20 Books Came From" posts that Lenore @ Presenting Lenore does? I figured it might be time for me to do one of those. Since I haven't ever, and I'm not exactly sure how many book I've reviewed, I'm just going to start at my most recent and work backwards until I either hit my first review or wear out, whichever comes first!

Any mistakes on where things came from is my fault, either because I'm tired or something confused me.

Swim The Fly by Dan Calame - Won from Young Adult (& Kids!) Books Central some time last year.
How To Ditch Your Fairy by Justin Larbalestier - Won from a blog contest.
Flush by Carl Hiaasen
- Earned by putting reviews on Young Adult (& Kids!) Books Central.
Explorer X - Alpha by LM Preston - The author sent it to me for review.
Virginia by Susah Hughes - Accepted for review.
Blue Plate Special by Michelle D. Kwasney - Accepted for review from the publisher.
Little Black Lies by Tish Cohen - Accepted for review from publisher.
Call Me Kate: Meeting the Molly Maguires by Molly Roe - Accepted for review from publisher.
Leaving The Bellweathers by Kristin Clark Venuti - Accepted for review from publisher.
Kiss of Death by Rachel Caine - Bought.
Fade Out by Rachel Caine - Bought.
Carpe Corpus by Rachel Caine - Bought.
Lord of Misrule by Rachel Caine - Bought.
Feast of Fools by Rachel Caine - Bought.
Midnight Alley by Rachel Caine - Bought.
The Dead Girls Dance by Rachel Caine - Bought.
Glass House by Rachel Caine - Bought.
Clair-de-Lune by Cassandra Golds - Library.
Three Songs for Courage by Maxine Trottier - Library.
Rabbit Pie by Penny Ives - Library.
Gringolandia by Lyn Miller-Lachmann - Accepted as part of a blog tour.
After by Amy Efaw - Okay, this is kinda funny story. I was really excited about After and commented on a bunch of reviews. On one of those reviews, the editor of After commented asking if I wanted a copy of After because she had one ARC left. I, of course, said yes, and she emailed me and then sent it to me. Isn't that awesome?
Jingle Boy by Keiran Scott - Library.
Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick - Requested from Barnes and Noble's First Look program... which I never did follow through with. Whoops.
Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender - Won from the epic rat.
How to Buy a Love of Reading by Tanya Egan Gibson - Accepted for review from the publisher, I believe.
Joker by Ranulfo - Library.
Paisley Hanover Acts Out by Cameron Tuttle - Accepted to review from Book Divas.
Meet The Austins by Madeleine L'Engle - Library.
The Stone of Alexandria by Lleu Christopher - Accepted from author for review.
Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway - Library.
Cleavage edited by Deb Loughead and Jocelyn Shipley - Library.
Salvation in Death by J. D. Robb - Library.
Wishbones by Carolyn Haines - Library.
Key trilogy by Nora Roberts - Library.
The Dream of the Stone by Christina Askounis - Library.
The Miracle Girls by Anne Dayton and May Vandervilt - Library.
Star-Crossed by Linda Collison - Library.
The Rules for Hearts by Sara Ryan - Library.
Beauty Queen by Linda Glovach - Library.
The Invisibles by Mats Wahl - Library.
Key Lime Pie by Joanne Fluke - Library.
Roastbeef's Promise by David Jerome - Accepted for review from Book Divas.
Across the Pond by Storyheart -Accepted from author for review.
Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan - Library.
Tweaked by Katherine Holubitsky - Library.
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan - Library.
Life As It Comes by Anne-Laure Rondoux - Library.
Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison - Library.
Girl in the Attic by Valerie Mendes - Library.
Bad Girls Club by Judy Gregerson - Library.
The Healer by Sharon Sala - Library.
Rowan of the Wood by Christine and Ethan Rose - Accepted for review from Book Divas.
Freaks by Annette Curtis Klause - Library.
Dragonhaven by Robin McKinley - Library.
M Is for Magic by Neil Gaiman - Library.
The Alchemist by Donna Boyd - Library.
Heck Superhero by Martine Leavitt - Library.
Strangers in Death by J. D. Robb - Library.
The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause - Library.

And those are all my reviews! I'm going to try to keep up with this, so the next batch won't be even close to as long.

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fun Friday: Give Me Something to Sing About! (43)

Fun Friday: Give Me Something to Sing About! is where you guys get to see a song or two I like or that I want to talk about each week. Thanks as always goes to J.J. at Random Musings for help with the title.

So this week is a song that everyone probably knows but I totally love.



(Mine by Taylor Swift, by the way.)

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (55)

I was putting labels on my old posts to make them easier to find and I realized that this is my 300th post!! Okay, onto business!

Waiting on Wednesday is, of course, brought to us by the lovely Jill at Breaking the Spine.

My picks this week are:

All Just Glass by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes - To be released January 11th, 2010

Sarah Vida has given up everything for love. From a legendary family of vampire-hunting witches, Sarah was raised to never trust a vampire, to never let her guard down, and to avoid all tricky attachments of the heart. But now Sarah IS a vampire — changed by the boy she thought she loved. Her family has forsaken her, and Sarah herself is disgusted by her appetite for blood.

Aida Vida is Sarah's older sister, the good, reliable sibling who always does her family proud. But when Aida's mother insists that Sarah be found and killed, Aida is given the one assignment that she may not be able to carry out.


(Summary from goodreads.)

Why I Want This: I love love love Amelia Atwater-Rhodes. 'Nuff said.

Timeless by Alexandra Monix - To be released January 11th, 2011

When tragedy strikes Michele Windsor’s world, she is forced to uproot her life and move across the country to New York City, to live with the wealthy, aristocratic grandparents she’s never met. In their old Fifth Avenue mansion filled with a century’s worth of family secrets, Michele discovers a diary that hurtles her back in time to the year 1910. There, in the midst of the glamorous Gilded Age, Michele meets the young man with striking blue eyes who has haunted her dreams all her life – a man she always wished was real, but never imagined could actually exist. And she finds herself falling for him, into an otherworldly, time-crossed romance.

Michele is soon leading a double life, struggling to balance her contemporary high school world with her escapes into the past. But when she stumbles upon a terrible discovery, she is propelled on a race through history to save the boy she loves – a quest that will determine the fate of both of their lives.

(Summary from goodreads.)

Why I want this: Doesn't it sound awesome? I love time travel books.

Okay, that's it for this week. Glad to be blogging again!

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

CSN preferred blogger

Remember my bookcase review? Apparently I'm a CSN preferred blogger now! How awesome is that?

So I have a chance to review something else... except what should I get? I think I'm good for bookcases (because I'm out of room for bookcases, not because I'm out of books, of course!), so I might get... one of their console tables... jewelry boxes... rugs... or maybe something from their cookware site. I'm not sure yet!!

What do you guys think?

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mini-Reviews

These are some books I've read that I didn't end up with enough notes to do full reviews, so... enjoy these fun-sized reviews!

Swim the Fly by Dan Calame

Published: April 14th, 2009 by Candlewick Press
Genre: YA contemporary
Page Count: 345 in my copy
Binding: Hardcover
Part of a series? Yes! I just found out that the sequel, Beat the Band, came out a couple days ago.
Amazon link.

Summary (from goodreads): Fifteen-year-old Matt Gratton and his two best friends, Coop and Sean, always set themselves a summertime goal. This year's? To see a real-live naked girl for the first time — quite a challenge, given that none of the guys has the nerve to even ask a girl out on a date.

But catching a girl in the buff starts to look easy compared to Matt's other summertime aspiration: to swim the 100-yard butterfly (the hardest stroke known to God or man) as a way to impress Kelly West, the sizzling new star of the swim team.

Review: This one cracked. me. up. Fifteen year old boys are SO weird. Matt and his friends are utter losers, but I liked them anyways. The things their brains come up with were just hilarious. Matt's family was insane, and so interesting, and I said a good three times in my notes, "Boys are so weird," about his friends. I didn't stop laughing the whole time I read it and I think my cousin (he's a year younger than me) would love this one. I want to buy the paperback for him for Christmas and I really want the sequel. This is one for older readers, but boys would love it. I did have a few small issues where some things didn't seem like they were explored enough, but I think that they might be resolved in the sequal.

Four out of five roses.


How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier

Published: September 16th, 2008 by Candlewick Press
Genre: YA fantasy
Page Count: 307 in my copy
Binding: ARC (I won it in a contest, this isn't an insanely late reviewed review book)
Part of a series? I believe it is a standalone.
Amazon link.

Summary (from goodreads): If you lived in a world where everyone had a personal fairy, what kind would you want?
  • A clothes-shopping fairy (The perfect outfit will always be on sale!)
  • A loose-change fairy (Pretty self-explanatory.)
  • A never-getting-caught fairy (You can get away with anything...)
Unfortunately for Charlie, she's stuck with a parking fairy—if she's in the car, the driver will find the perfect parking spot. Tired of being treated like a personal parking pass, Charlie devises a plan to ditch her fairy for a more useful model. At first, teaming up with her archenemy (who has an all-the-boys-like-you fairy) seems like a good idea. But Charlie soon learns there are consequences for messing with fairies—and she will have to resort to extraordinary measures to set things right again.

Review: I read this one when I was in a mood for a happy book and it was a perfect book to read after a few darker, more intense book. Not that it was fluffy, because it certainly had substance, but it was very funny. Charlie was perfectly fourteen and it was believable that she was fourteen, not like sometimes when you read a book and the character sounds so much older than they actually are. And the voice was really unique. You know how some books, like those from the UK sometimes have an accent in a way? This one had a New Avalon accent. I really liked this one and very much recommend it.

Four out of five roses.


Other notes:

- According to this, fairies are afraid of the dark, dirt, and carrots.

Flush by Carl Hiaasen

Published: September 13th, 2005 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Genre: MG contemporary fiction
Page Count: 263 in my copy
Binding: Hardcover
Part of a series? I believe it is a standalone.
Amazon link.

Summary (from the dust jacket): Noah's dad has a little problem with anger control. He tried to stop the Coral Queen casino boat's illegal dumping... by sinking the boat.

But his bold protest fizzles: Within days the casino is back in business, and Noah's dad is behind bars and out of action.

Now Noah is determined to succeed where his dad failed. But even though pumping raw sewage into the waters of the Florida Keys is both gross and against the law, turns out it's near impossible to catch the flusher - especially when he's already bamboozled the prosecutors, the local press, and even the Coast Guard.

But Noah's got a few allies of his own. There's his little sister, Abbey, an unreformed childhood biter; Lice Peeking, a half-soused ex-mate of the Coral Queen who is willing to testify... for a price; and Shelly, a bighearted bartender with even bigger biceps.

Okay, so the odds aren't good. But Noah has an ace up his sleeve - a plan so crazy it just might stop the polluting, save the beaches, and prove to the world that it's the owner of the Coral Queen, and not his dad, who is full of... crud.

Review: I read Hoot a few years ago and loved it (also like the movie - not as good as the book, but I'm easily pleased) and Flush is just as good. The characters are great, strong characters. Two parents, which even though one isn't always the best role model, isn't always something you see in MG books. I really loved the mother, I thought she was a great character, and Noah was very fun to read about. I always enjoy books told from a boy's perspective, and a twelve or thirteen year old boy's perspective is especially cute. There are a couple of curse words (four, to be exact) but no really the bad ones.

ALSO four out of five roses!



Other notes:

- There's one page where the author mentions, "Moose Lick, Saskatchewan." That made me giggle because it's actually Moose Jaw.

Okay, so, that's everything!

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Speak Loudly

I don't normally blog about this kind of thing, but this man is an idiot. Read that, then read Laurie's post here, and then read this beautiful blog post. Then this one. This one. This one. This one. This one. This one. This one. This one. This one. This one. This one.

Or this one, from Sarah Ockler, whose book was also attacked by that idiot.

And you can go here and find many, many more posts worth reading.

I'm kinda tearing up over here from reading those posts, so that's all I'm going to say.

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I'm sick

So there will probably be a lack of posts around here for the next week or so, until I can focus more on... anything. Sorry!!

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Monday, September 6, 2010

DNF: Explorer X - Alpha

Explorer X - Alpha by LM Preston

Published: February 7th, 2010 by Phenomenal One Press
Genre: YA science fiction
Binding: ARC
Page Count: Goodreads says 400 and I'm not inclined to get up and check my copy (it's Sunday, I'm lazy)
Part of a series? I think maybe.
Amazon link.

Summary (from goodreads): For most kids, a trip to space camp is the trip of a lifetime for Aadi it was life altering. After receiving a camp immunization needed for travel to Mars, Aadi finds that the immunization is the catalyst of an insidious experiment. He realizes what is happening too late for a change of fate. The full experiment is set in motion when he and his co-pilot, Eirena, crash in a distant galaxy called Shrenas, where they change and realize the full extent of their power. This turn of events forces him to grow up quickly, accept his change, and to decide to save a world, or to do what he was trained to do dominate it. His power is coveted by the warring leaders of Shrenas, and he is forced to choose sides a decision that may prove just how much humanity he has left.

Review: Well, this isn't really a review, because I didn't finish this one. I just couldn't get into it and I was forcing myself to read to the fifty page point. The voice didn't work for me, the dialogue was unrealistic, I didn't connect with Aadi, and I just couldn't make myself read it.

Hardcore science fiction fans might like this one more, but I can't in good conscience recommend it, as much I hate saying it.

No roses for this one because I didn't finish it.

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Sunday, September 5, 2010

In My Mailbox (29)

I haven't done one of these in forever!

Okay, so I only have two books, one of which I got a couple week ago.

Won:

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa - Paperback

Meghan Chase has never fit in at her small-town high school, and now, on the eve of her 16th birthday, she discovers why. When her half brother is kidnapped, Meghan is drawn into a fantastical world she never imagined--the world of Faery, where anything you see may try to eat you, and Meghan is the daughter of the summer faery king. Now she will journey into the depths of Faery to face an unknown enemy . . . and beg the help of a winter prince who might as soon kill her as let her touch his icy heart. The Iron King is the first book in the Iron Fey series.

(Summary from goodreads.)

Thanks to I Heart Monster for holding the contest I won this from.

And for review:

When I Was Joe by Keren David - ARC, I think, but it's in my room and I can't check whether it's an ARC or paperback

When Ty witnesses a stabbing, his own life is in danger from the criminals he's named, and he and his mum have to go into police protection. Ty has a new name, a new look and a cool new image -- life as Joe is good, especially when he gets talent spotted as a potential athletics star, special training from an attractive local celebrity and a lot of female attention. But his mum can't cope with her new life, and the gangsters will stop at nothing to flush them from hiding. Joe's cracking under extreme pressure, and then he meets a girl with dark secrets of her own.

(Summary from goodreads.)

I actually forgot I had this one coming, so when
I got the package, I couldn't figure out what it was. Excited to read it!

Okay, that's everything.
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Bookshelf Review

I'm going to do something different today and instead of a book review, I'm going to do a bookshelf review.

So if you remember from my sneak peak, CSN contacted me and asked if I'd like to review one of their products. I chose this:


Where you can find it on CSN's website.

First of all, I had a little bit of trouble getting it sent to me because I have a PO box and my town doesn't do mail delivery, so it had to be sent through Fedex and Purolator. It was really weird, though. I got a phone call saying that my address wasn't valid and my mom had to phone Purolator and give them our address again... but that's not CSN's fault. (Purolator sent one of my books to the wrong place, too. I don't trust them much.)

All in all, it got here fairly quickly, within a week of the order being placed, I believe (I can't quite remember, sorry). Certainly it didn't take long enough to bug me.

When it got here, it looked like this:

Giant bubble wrap! That stuff was fun. The box wasn't too terribly heavy, about the same size and weight as the when I got my two smaller bookcases. I moved it from my kitchen to the living room to assemble it by myself and didn't have any trouble.

Then, I opened it and it looked like this:

I liked how the metal sides of the bookcase were packaged seperately from the shelves and other parts, with the shelves and rods in a box on their own. I feel like that greatly lessened the chance of things banging into each other and potentially damaging something.

Unpackaged, the other parts looked like this:

It took me about an hour to put it together, which is not that long, honestly. It was very easy to assemble, and the directions were pretty clear. I did have to have my mom hold the rods while I screwed them into the sides of the shelf, but I probably could have balanced them on a chair or something if I really needed to.

If you're wonder, the shelves rest on two rods each, and then there's another rod to keep things from falling off the back of the bookshelf.

Complete (but empty) it looked like this:

(Yes, that's an Ariel pool ring in the corner. Long story.)

And with books on it:

This actually surprised me with how wide it is and how many books fit on it. It's at least as wide as my other two bookcases. As you can see, I put a ton of hardcovers on the top and almost no books on the bottom (I'm leaving them open for new books I get), and it didn't seem at all wobbly or like it would tip. I think that's probably because it is shorter, only three shelves. I would worry about the four or five shelf versions of this bookshelf tending to tip, but this one is really solid.

I like that the shelves are metal. With one of my other bookshelves, I think I hit it with the door or something and it chipped. This one obviously won't do something like that. I also think that the black metal look is very clean (and easy to dust) and the fact that the screws are black is a neat thing. Plus you can stick magnets to it! Oh, and it has little guards so the legs are easier on the floor.

It's a really good height, about three feet, and the shelves would be great for tall books. My tallest books fit very, very easily on the shelves. The bookshelf itself fits perfectly in my spare room. It's not TOO big, but it's not so small as to be utterly useless.

It's about 50 dollars, but I think for how well it's made and how many books it holds, it's worth the money.

Thanks again to CSN stores for allowing me to review this product!

Peace and cookies,
Laina