Monday, December 21, 2009
Release Date: October 13, 2009
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Nora thinks this school year will be like any other--school work, hanging with her best friend, Vee, and all that good stuff. Romance was not part of that plan. But when the seating chart is rearranged in Nora's biology class, she ends up sitting with the mysterious transfer student Patch...her year might not be so simple any more.
Quick to get under her skin and slow to reveal anything about himself, Patch quickly frustrates Nora. But at the same time, she feels drawn to him, despite his darker side. Why won't Patch speak about his past? Could there be some sinister secret? Or is Patch not as dark as he seems? Or does Nora just want to see a better side of him? But if Patch is actually good, why do so many bad things happen when he's around?
I had written my review pre-release, but then after I read the finished version, I found myself editing this review a bit. I think the beginning of the finished version of Hush Hush does add to the story and characterization, so it was a plus, but some of my other opinions did not change.
Although I absolutely love the cover, I think the book would have been a lot more suspenseful if we hadn't known Patch's true identity from the start. Despite this, the intensity between Nora and Patch was great and it carried through the entire book, which was great as I did not want to see it die down!
However, sometimes I felt as if the book was a little obvious--it felt a little too blunt at times, and some description and details that didn't directly state things would have been nicer. But overall, it was very interesting and I enjoyed reading Hush Hush!
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
I'm sorry about the lack of reviews & updates; I have been under a lot of stress lately and have not been able to read much. Winter break is coming up for me soon, though, and I hope to have a few more updates then.
I hope you are all doing well & have had great Thanksgivings (if you celebrate it!).
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Two lucky winners will receive:
- Cirque do Freak book set (3 titles in 1 book)
- a Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant Locker Mirror
- your name
- your email
get an extra entry if you let me know what you're going to be for Halloween and get an additional extra entry if you post about this giveaway elsewhere(leave me the link!)--just let me know in your comment! Oh, and of course, if you're a follower of my blog, just let me know for another extra entry!
Please vote for your favorite Cirque du Freak t-shirt saying!!
Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant, based on the popular series of books by sideshow freaks and grotesque creatures of the night, one teen will vanish from the safety of a boring existence and fulfill his destiny in a place drawn from nightmares., is a fantasy-adventure about a teenager who unknowingly breaks a 200-year-old truce between two warring factions of vampires. Pulled into a fantastic life of misunderstoodCIRQUE DU FREAK has been rated PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned - Some Material May Be Inappropriate for Children Under 13) for sequences of intense supernatural violence and action, disturbing images, thematic elements and some language.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
I'm really really really sorry, but my email got infected last night with spyware. I was using a new server at my new school, and there was apparently some malicious activity and my computer was one of the ones that got infected. I've since scanned and cleaned my computer and the spyware should be gone.
I'm really sorry if any of you got weird emails from me--I know several computers got hit here and apparently all of our contacts in our email lists got spammed with goodness knows what. If you got an email with no subject from my email, just delete it please! I generally send emails with subjects in them and I actually haven't sent any messages lately, so please just delete whatever message you got from my account.
on a happier note, I have a review coming up soon :)
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Release Date: July 21, 2009
Drugs, boys, music and booze were the staples of Kara's summer after a messed up year. Her best friend moved away and was hardly in contact, her parents' marriage was falling apart, and she and her brother were drifting apart.
Losing herself and her pain in the drugs and alcohol, Kara felt like they could be her true escape. She met new friends and even a hot boy, Adrian. Before long, the two are together, and Kara's sure she's in love with him. But her misery is far from over--Adrian has a reputation of being a playboy and guy who wants no attachments. Can their relationship work out? For the time being, Kara doesn't care--all the parties server as temporary distractions and when that doesn't work, Kara can still get away with Adrian through drugs.
But when Kara's life takes a nose dive and her life is falling apart, Kara's inhibitions are lowered, and her drug use and partying increase even more. Before long, she's progressed past pot and booze onto heroine. Drugs and addiction quickly become deadly for Kara and when she overdoses on heroine, will there be anyone there to save her? And if there is, what kind of life will Kara live afterwards?
As dark and (sometimes) depressing this novel was, I really enjoyed Ballads of Suburbia! Stephanie Kuehnert writes with a raw, intense honesty that hooks you in immediately! All the main characters are well developed and realistic, so readers are drawn in and don't want to stop until they've finished! It's a gritty novel and you really feel for Kara (as well as some of the other characters) for what they're going through. Stephanie Kuehnert's novel is blunt, well-written, and definitely worth reading!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I'm really sorry for the lack of updates; I just started a new school, so things might be a bit slow until I get situated! But thanks for your patience!
A new review should be up either tomorrow or Friday, and I'm reading some other great books I'll be reviewing as soon as I get a chance! Thanks for sticking w/ me!
Don't forget to enter my MAX Promotion for a chance to win 1 of 2 huge prize packs!!
Friday, September 4, 2009
MAXIMUM RIDE – IF SHE LIVES, THE WORLD LIVES, IT’S THAT SIMPLE.
Read “MAX” - the newest book in the bestselling Maximum Ride series.
On sale in paperback
Still reeling from their most recent adventure, Maximum Ride and the rest of the flock must head out to sea to uncover the secret behind a brand new series of disasters—fish are dying off the coast of
The Fine Print:
The Maximum Ride: Max Promotion is open to legal
How to Enter:Comment on THIS post with your:
- email address
- and tell me your favorite adventure novel and why
- +1 if you are a follower of The Book Vault
- +1 if you post about this promotion elsewhere--please include the link!
- +1 comment on Bettina's review of MAX on The Three Musketeers Reviews
- +1 if you are or become a follower of The Three Musketeer Reviews
- if you chose to do #1 and/or #2 from the list above you must comment SEPARATELY on THIS post for each one, or you will not receive the extra entries!
- if you chose to do #3 and/or #4 from the list above you must comment SEPARATELY for EACH entry on the review of MAX on The Three Musketeers Reviews or again, your extra entries will not count!
All in all, you can earn up to 5 entries in this promotion if you do everything (inital entry here, then #1 & #2 on this post and #3 & #4 on the review of MAX at The Three Musketeers Reviews)
Sorry if this is confusing, but it will make tallying the entries much easier.
Sorry, open to US residents only. No PO boxes please!
Best of luck!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Release Date: August 1, 2009
Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers
Sophie Blue is a goth and artist with a sharp tongue. About a year ago, her father disappeared and was never heard from again. When a creepy-looking ice cream car starts showing up everywhere Sophie goes, Sophie thinks she's going insane. As more bizarre events follow, Sophie's suspicions start to rise. Could this, and her father's disappearance, be related to the lab he used to work for?
Kenny Fade is popular and has it all--looks, unbeatable skill on the basketball court, and a hot girlfriend. Yet despite all this, unusual events keep occuring around him, and his thoughts are getting more and more twisted...could he be losing his mind too? And what is this lab that keeps popping up in his thoughts?!
Fade to Blue is plenty confusing, but it's good! I got rather confused on whether it was real, just all in their heads, or who knows! It's unlike anything I've read before, but I found myself enjoying it. The rather cynical (and sinister, at times) humor kept me turning the pages. At times, I felt like I had no idea what was going on--there were so many twists and turns! In my opinion, it's a very bizarre book. But despite all that, and despite the book's dark humor, Fade to Blue is an enjoyable read. Though I might recommend it to slightly older readers--they might appreciate it more.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Release Date: March 5, 2009
Lessie is a devout Mormon and since she lives in a small town, it's not that hard to follow her religion's rules. Her goal is to live a pure life and get into BYU. However, when Michael comes into town, her resolve starts to crumble.
Michael is a free diver and lives for his hobby. However, when his parents are killed by a hurricane, he is forced to move to a small town with a relative. His heart still aching for his parents and his past life, Michael slowly sinks into a depression.
Lessie is instantly drawn to Michael when he comes to town. Seeing his pain, she wants to comfort for him, but soon, she finds herself falling for him as well...
Can she still live a pure life? Or will she be unable to stay faithful to her religion and lose sight of her dreams?
Okay, where to start?
Let's start with the writing--it was fantastic, especially for a first novel! It is well written and I loved the switching view points and poems.
However, I was not exactly thrilled with the characters and what they stood for. While I admire Lessie's strong belief in her faith and desire to remain pure by her religion's standards, I was not too happy with Michael's character. Yes, he is not Mormon, yes, he's a teenage boy, and yes, he is grieving, but even under those circumstances, I find it hard to believe that a guy would be so cold towards a relationship and only be lustful the whole time.
The two extremes were a little too extreme. Lessie was pure and the ideal, while those who weren't Mormon were lustful, dark, vile people. Just because you aren't Mormon or religious, doesn't mean you're this horrid person who only ever wants and thinks of sex. I felt Michael was portrayed in a really unflattering and unfair light.
There was another small problem concerning characters for me as well; Lessie's character. Although it is good that she is caring and forgiving, sometimes she seemed like she wasn't really standing up for herself. She needn't take everything lying down, especially when she didn't want to be pushed.
Next, I am a fan of happy endings, as long as they're not too perfect and far fetched. But I felt everything tied up a little too nicely for Lessie at the end. I don't want to spoil anything, but it felt a wee bit convenient. At least it wasn't rushed.
So yes, I have conflicting feelings about this book. It is well written, but rather biased and a little too extreme for me. It's not exactly preachy, but it is still extreme. At times I felt like good vs evil (with Michael being the evil one) was being blatantly stated again and again. I have every respect for those who have a religion, as I am among that number, but a certain amount of tolerance and true understanding is necessary.
My enjoyment may have been a bit marred by these things, but overall, I think I still enjoyed reading this book. The writing, as I mentioned before, was excellent!
Before I end this review, I have two side notes; I love the title, Taken by Storm--it works perfectly! The cover is also wonderful and fits the book. To me, it looked like a notebook, and since Lessie is a poet and often expresses herself through her writing, this cover works nicely as well. I know you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, but I think the cover itself looks quite nice!
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Release Date: June 2, 2009
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Nick and his brother Alan have been on the run from magicians and magician's circles ever since they were young. They haven't stopped since their father was killed by magicians who were after their mother's charm, which happens to be keeping her alive.
Their mother has been disturbed ever since Nick can remember, but Alan insists on taking care of her. Nick is not entirely happy with their mother since she seems to hate him, but Alan has always cared for Nick and is very devoted to him. Just when their life got a bit more comfortable, Nick and Alan are attacked again. After defeating their ambush, Nick and Alan find that their battle with the magicians had an audience of two.
Already annoyed by all the trouble the pursuing magicians and the demons they command give them, Nick hardly wants to help Jamie and Mae, the pair who witnessed the latest attack Nick and Alan had to fend off. But the ever-compassionate Alan agrees to help them when he finds that Jamie has a third-tier demon mark on him. The mark condemns Jamie to death, but Alan agrees to take them to the Goblin Market to see if there is any help available.
With Jamie and Mae joining their party, Alan and Nick have more even more people to look out for, and the magician's circle are still relentlessly pursuing them. Can Alan and Nick continue to stay on step ahead of the magicians for the rest of their lives? Is there any way to end this eternal chase?
Nick hopes that Alan will be able to help them best the magicians as they have been doing for the past few years, but then the unthinkable happens--Alan sustains a first-tier mark during a magician and demon attack. Nick is desperate to get the mark of his brother, but Alan seems more concerned with helping Jamie and Mae. Why does his brother suddenly care so much for two strangers? Nick has always depended on Alan to guide him and help make decisions, but as his brother's behavior is getting more erratic, Nick is beginning to wonder if the one person he could always trust has been lying all along.
Will they ever be free of the attacks? Should Nick delve into the past and search for answers? Or should he just trust Alan as he has always done?
The Demon's Lexicon was amazing!! I loved the plot! It was quite well paced, well written, and captivating! I couldn't put it down--I had to know what would happen next! The story is well-spun and has great flow and detail. The twists and turns kept me turning the pages late into the night!
One thing that bothered me a bit was the fact that some of the characters seemed a bit flat. If Jamie and Mae got a little more of the lime-light and were better developed, I would enjoy the book even more. Quite a few of the characters, both protagonists and antagonists alike, weren't quite as developed as they could have been. There personalities seemed a bit shallow, and I would have really liked to learn more about them.
However, Nick's character was pretty strong, but his interaction with his brother was even better. It's realistic, even it's a bit cold sometimes. Alan's unceasing compassion and care for his brother tugs a few heart-strings and he is also a great character.
Although a few twists really surprised me and made me enjoy the book all the more, but it didn't quite work entirely for me. I don't want to spoil anything, but it was an interesting twist, but I find it hard to accept completely, since there was some parts in the book that made me believe otherwise. But other than that, I'd definitely recommend The Demon's Lexicon! I really enjoyed reading it!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Release Date: October 13, 2009
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Welcome back to the Upper East Side--and to the set of De-Luxe, the new reality TV show starring the Bram Clan! Now with their lives caught on tape, and soon to be broadcast on TV, Casey is feeling more self-conscious than ever! She may be dressed in designer clothes and sporting a newly straightened hair, but Casey still feels like the small-town girl from the midwest. And despite her new looks, her on/off boyfriend, Drew Van Allen, has been ignoring her lately.
Fashion queen Madison Macallister, on the other hand, has no qualms about being in the lime light! What better way for her to strut her stuff than on a reality TV show? There's no stopping Madison from becoming even more famous now! But fame has it's price, and will Madison become more infamous than famous? Her life is hardly a walk in the park--drama at home and issues with her ex, Drew Van Allen, has caused her to have more than one less-than-flattering outburst. But Mad hardly thinks she's to blame, after all, her hot, european, almost-boyfriend is now dating her mother, who is twice his age! And to top it all off, her frenemy, Casey, might just be stealing the spot light from her! As if stealing Mad's ex wasn't bad enough!
But the drama doesn't stop there--Sophie's sweet 16 did not go as she had hoped: her real mother, who turned out to be a movie star, all but crashed her party and used the event for publicity for herself! All Sophie's hopes for a perfect mother were dashed, but her mom still wants to get to know her--or at least that's what she claims. Could she just want Sophie for publicity?
Phoebe's best friend, Sophie, has turned her back on Phoebe ever since she discovered Phoebe and her brother, Jared, together. But how can Phoebe turn away from Jared when he's all she can think of? (not to mention their steamy make-out sessions!) But not giving him up might mean the end of her and Sophie's friendship!
While these leading ladies have their own issues to deal with, Drew Van Allen is hardly living the easy life right now. Recently, his own image of a perfect family was shattered when he found out his parents weren't faithful to each other. Drew's father has been having an affair with Phoebe's mom and he's expecting Drew to understand his 'open marriage.' In addition to his family woes, Drew's worried he may have ruined his chances with Casey forever, and he can't get past his own confusion over his relationship with Madison. Wishing to get away from it all, Drew invents a new life for himself when he meets Olivia, a college student, telling her he's a student from Princeton. But how long can Drew keep spinning these lies and running away from his problems? Sooner or later, it'll all catch up to him, and it could end badly...
The drama never stops in the third installment of Jennifer Banash's The Elite series! Fans of her first two books will enjoy Simply Irresitable. It was an entertaining read, though sometimes I thought Drew's tendancy to lust for every other girl he comes across, a little much. Still, the rest of the characters and their feelings were portrayed quite believably--and vividly! When Madison gets angry, you better get out of her way!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott
Release date: April 6, 2010
Published by: Simon Pulse
New Elizabeth Scott book coming out in April! *squee!*
Who isn't looking forward to this book?! I'm so excited! :D
I don't think there's a blurb yet, but neat cover already and of course, it's by Elizabeth Scott...need I really say more? :)
If anyone doesn't know who Elizabeth Scott, she's the author of Perfect You, Stealing Heaven, Living Dead Girl, Bloom, and much, much more! Definitely check out her fantastic books!!
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Please drop me a line at bookvault(at)yahoo.com with your mailing address so I can get your prize out to you! Please email me by 8/21 (midnight, EST) or I will have to give your prize to someone else.
Congrats! And thanks to everyone who entered! It was great hearing about all your favorite vacations--it's always nice to get some time to relax!!
If you didn't win, don't worry! I have another giveaway or two coming up soon, so keep your eyes open!
Thanks to Scholastic for generously donating the copies of Suite Scarlett for this giveaway!
*edit: I'm sorry, but a new winner was chosen in etirv's stead because she never emailed me back :(
At this point, all the winners have already been emailed. thank you for participating!
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Release Date: October 13, 2009
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Remember gladiators of the Roman times? Where gladiators fought each other, often to the death, as entertainment for others? Sometimes they fought each other, sometimes they fought wild animals and there were several different types of gladiators. The different types fought with different weapons (i.e. a trident and a net, or a shield and a short sword, etc) and different styles were often pitted against each other. But that brutal, bloody sport is a thing of the past--right?
Not for Lyn. In an alternate reality, this bloody and barbaric sport is not only accepted, but a popular hit with many people. There is a whole "Glad" culture with many young men signing contracts to be gladiators and young women training to be the perfect Glad wife. Lyn's mother, Allison, is a Glad wife. In fact, she's had 7 gladiator husbands, with Tommy being her current one. The previous 6 fathers Lyn has had have all died in the arena. Allison is on her last husband. If Tommy dies, she is forbidden by Glad law to marry again. But Allison is hoping to escape that fate, since Tommy only has a few more battles to complete before his contract runs out.
However, an optimistic outcome is not predicted by Thad, Lyn's brother. Excessive commotion and noise bother Thad, but he has an uncanny knack for predicting the future in his blunt, sometimes abrupt, statements. Thad prophecies Tommy's demise, which Allison desperately hopes will not come to fruition, since she will not be able to marry again, and Lyn will be fatherless.
But it all seemed fated to happen. Despite Tommy's skill, he is killed by a newer but promising fighter, Uber. Along with his victory, Uber takes Lyn's dowry bracelet from Tommy's body. Now according to Glad law, Lyn must marry Uber. Allison is sinking into depression with Tommy's death and Lyn's world has just exploded.
Those outside of the Glad world are outraged--since when did a girl have to marry her father's murderer? Unwilling to give up her life to the culture she had never fully accepted, Lyn is willing to fight for her freedom. But things start to get complicated when Lyn gets to know Uber better...
Girl in the Arena provides an interesting alternate reality where such a violent sport is a celebrated reality. I was rather disappointed with this book--some parts were hard to believe, and the story line was a bit slow. Sometimes things dragged and I lost sight of the plot. Pacing wasn't brilliant and I felt like the character introductions went on for too long. It was nice getting to know the charaters better, especially what was going on in their heads during their struggles, but after awhile, it seemed as if it was just dragging and it started sounding more like explanations rather than descriptions.
The explanation for why this alternate reality came true didn't really work for me. The reason for the rise of the gladiator sport was because it was a 'response to the violence in Vietnam.' I guess this part was just not explained well enough? It just didn't seem entirely believable for me. I dunno if I'd proclaim it 'far-fetched' but perhaps it just wasn't fleshed out properly, and if it was explained with a better description, perhaps it would have worked better. Sometimes it seemed like there were 'holes' in the story.
For those looking into this book for the fight scenes, gladiators, and violence, I will say that the fight scenes were shorter and fewer than I had anticipated. Since the title is "Girl in the Arena," I had expected more descriptive, extensive and frequent fight scenes. Gladiators and its culture play such a big role in this novel, but there are not that many actual gladiator fight scenes. Girl in the Arena concentrates more on Lyn's life and her struggles to live with the life her mother chose.
The blurb says it's for fans of The Hunger Games, but for me, this book didn't measure up to The Hunger Games. It didn't captivate me like The Hunger Games did, and it wasn't as well delivered and written as The Hunger Games.
I guess this writing style isn't really for me, but Girl in the Arena still provides some interesting alternate reality to consider in general. I would be pretty horrified if this alternate reality was actually our reality! I would hate seeing all that bloodshed so widely accepted!
Friday, August 7, 2009
Release Date: June 9, 2009
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
The Debs are back--and so is all the drama! The Three Amigas, Laura, Ginger, and Mac are finally in and on their way to become debs, or rosebuds, in the Glass Slipper Club! Unfortunately, so is Jo Lynn and her cronies. But as they say, the hardest thing isn't getting in--it's staying in. And with Jo Lynn plotting to get ride of Laura (who she deems as too fat to be a deb) and her friends, retaining their statuses as upcoming debs will be no easy task!
Laura does not make things easier when she provokes Jo Lynn by begging Jo's hot, football player boyfriend, Dillon, to whip her into shape. Why? 3 words: "The Texas Dip"--a dreaded mandatory curtsy that's so low, debs all but sink into the ground! But is that really the only reason? Laura can't help but mess with Jo Lynn's head a bit...
But never underestimate Jo Lynn's maliciousness or ability to brew up a storm--especially when she's angry! Laura definitely went one step too far when she started messing around with Jo's boyfriend! Now with Jo Lynn working harder than ever to get Laura kicked out of the club, the Three Amigas must watch their backs since one misstep may take away their deb status!
Too bad Laura's woes don't stop there! Her on-and-off boyfriend Avery has been sending out mixed signals. While he seems to want to be close to Laura, he's still with Jo Lynn's evil friend, Cam. Why can't Avery just give her a strait answer?!
Laura isn't the only one with problems though; Mac is beginning to realize that she may just have stronger feelings for her best guy friend, Alex. But with Alex hanging out with new girl Cindy Chow more and more, is Mac too late? All the deb business isn't helping Mac's stress level either. She finds the whole ordeal rather shallow, but is trying to honor her late mother's memory, as her mother was a deb herself. Mac re-reads her mother's letters to her more than ever, hoping for some strength and guidance through her boy and rosebud struggles.
The third member of the Three Amigas, Ginger, just wants her friends to quit the drama and stop stirring up trouble (even if it's unintentional!). The last thing she wants to do is go through the deb process alone! But with an evil scheming rosebud like Jo Lynn, trouble will not be taking a break any time soon! Speaking of trouble, just when Ginger thought she got rid of her boy troubles, a new guy pops into her life. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem much better than Jared, who used her not too long ago, for his own cause. The whole event was hardly favorable in the eyes of the deb committee, yet Ginger can't help but feel attracted to this new bad boy! Can Ginger keep her friends together and make better choices when it comes to guys?
I definitely enjoyed Love, Lies and Texas Dips as much as I did The Debs! Susan McBride's series still has me hooked! With a lot of questions to be answered, I am definitely looking forward to finding out what happens next in the upcoming third installment of The Debs series! Although all the drama can be fascinating sometimes, I'm glad I'm not the one caught up in it! Laura definitely goes much farther than I would (as does Jo Lynn, of course) and I wish she wouldn't feed the fire so much...but then again, if she didn't, we wouldn't have a story, would we? That said, it's still not too far fetched, which helps in the believabilty department. I like the different charater's personas, and they're all strong, believable characters, which makes this novel very enjoyable! Fans of The Debs will not be disappointed with it's sequel!
Thursday, August 6, 2009
I'm sooo sorry about the delay in getting this up. I'm also sorry that my updates have been a bit spotty. But lately, the library at which I work has been undergoing expansion, so I've been kept really really busy with all the reorganization, general running of the library, and the summer reading program for kids! The construction will probably go on for about another month or so, so my appologies in advance! I'm very excited about the expansion, though, since there'll be more room for new books, which is always good!!
But onto the award! I've been instructed to list 7 of my favorite things and 7 of my favorite blogs! So here it goes:
7 Favorite Things
1. family + friends
3. movies + music
4. my computer
6. having a good time
7 of My Favorite Bloggers
Steph Su Reads
The Book Muncher
The Story Siren
Melissa Walker's Blog
Thanks to Mari again!!
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
The Three Musketeers Reviews is run by two other lovely bookworms, Bettina and Natalie. So please stop by their site and show some support!! :) They just opened their site today and will be posting reviews, interviews and hopefully hosting some contests soon!
Sunday, August 2, 2009
the winners for this giveaway were:
Theodora (blog comment entry)
Eli (blog comment entry)
Lauren (blog comment entry)
Jennifer (blog comment entry)
Jessica (email entry)
One of the original winners had already won HP7 from another blog and another winner never emailed me nor did they answer the email I sent to them telling them they had won. That is why 2 new winners were chosen. All the current winners have already emailed me/emailed me back and your prizes should be shipped soon!
Sorry for any confusion that may have occured! Thanks to everyone who entered, and don't forget to enter my new contest if you're interested for a copy of Suite Scarlett!
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Release Date: August 1, 2008
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Almost all people have wanted to be popular at sometime or another in their lives. Charlotte Usher is no exception. Generally ignored and unnoticed all her life, Charlotte resolves to start anew in the upcoming school year. Her plan is to get noticed--especially by Damen, the hottest boy at school. Unfortunately for her, Damen already has a girlfriend, and Charlotte's first day back at school is hardly triumphant. In fact, Charlotte dies.
Charlotte finds even her death rather undignified--she passes onto the next world after choking on a gummy bear. Right after Damen was going to be her lab partner too! Even her death goes unnoticed at first, but Charlotte has already entered the afterlife, which, as she learns, is quite different than what she had originally expected. Instead of going to the Pearly Gates (or, possibly, that other place), Charlotte finds herself in DeadEd. The new purpose she is given? To resolve her internal struggles from her life, so that she can move on.
But Charlotte hardly wants to move on. Instead, she is trying to find the best ways to use her death and new ghostly form to her advantage--aka getting Damen somehow. When she finds an unlikely ally, the goth girl, Scarlet, Charlotte begins to set her plan in motion. In fact, Scarlet happens to be the sister of Petula, Damen's hot and popular girlfriend. How could someone like Scarlet be related to Petula?! They're practically opposites and waging war on each other! But Charlotte hardly cares, since Scarlet seems to be on the only living person who can see her, thus, the only person who can help her.
However, in all her meddlings with the live world, Charlotte is breaking all the rules of being dead, and getting further from resolving her earthly issues. Being dead is not easy, and with the rest of her DeadEd classes' dwelling in jeapordy, it seems like Charlotte has more than one issue to resolve. Is Charlotte forever doomed to trying to get Damen, even though she's dead and he isn't? Will she and the rest of her DeadEd class be evicted and forced to roam or look elsewhere for a home? Afterall, most people don't take too kindly to having spirits with issues resolving in their homes... Is there something after DeadEd, or is this it? Stuck in school for the rest of eternity?! Charlotte may never find out if she continues butting into the lives of the living...
Life after death just might be a lot more complicated than Charlotte expected!
I found myself enjoying Ghostgirl a bit more than I had originally anticipated! I had thought it would have a lot of cliches, but it was well-written, and I liked Scarlet's character. Watch out, though! That girl's got a sharp tongue--which is the opposite of Charlotte.
I wouldn't say I was entirely thrilled of this book, but it definitely had some high points.
I'll admit that Charlotte was rather ditzy, and I had hoped that she would grow out of it, but sadly, she didn't really. It became mildly annoying after awhile, and Charlotte was hard to connect to, and a little too shallow-minded and materialistic. I can see why someone who's been generally unnoticed wants to be popular, but not in such a close-minded and excessive way.
I will warn you, however, that if you're looking for something deep and more thought-provoking, you're better of skipping this book. It does not deal with some weighter questions about death and Charlotte is only concerned with her popularity and Damen. She hardly thinks of her parents, and does not reflect on how their lives will be after her death. We barely learn anything about her family, which is disppointing, as her family could provide more insight on why Charlotte is so thoroughly obsessed about her popularity. Ghostgirl does not have an emotional struggle over her parents, her worth, and what she has done to help others, etc. It seems to skip over that entirely, which makes me rather annoyed at how single-minded Charlotte is! Popularity is a bit too prevelent in her mind!
That said, it's more light-hearted (I know that sounds like an oxymoron) than most books dealing with death are. It's not a heavy, heady read, so some of you who are not looking for a more reflecting and pensive look at death may enjoy Ghostgirl.
The book itself looks great. The cover is neat and the book is longer than your typical book (makes it look, fittingly, like a coffin!) and it's not just black and white. The little pictures, silver trimming and pink accents actually go nicely with the book in general!
And if you enjoyed Ghostgirl, don't forget to check out the newly relseased sequel, Ghostgirl: Homecoming! It just hit bookstores, and it looks nice, just like Ghostgirl (except purple instead of black)! (Who knew books could be astestically pleasing?)
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Watch this interview with Maureen Johnson for more information on her fabulous book!
Interested in winning a copy?
Just comment on this post with your name, email address, and your favorite vacation you've been on!
Want an extra entry?
+1 if you follow (or already follow) my blog. Please comment AGAIN on this post telling me you follow or you will not get the extra entry!
I have 3 copies to giveaway--many thanks to Scholastic!
Open to US residents only, sorry! No PO boxes, please!
Ends August 14th, midnight EST.
Monday, July 20, 2009
- Lauren/Shooting Stars Mag
- Eli Marsh
- Ryan/The Pre-Teen's Guide to the Book World
Congrats! Please drop me an email at: bookvault(at)yahoo.com with your mailing address so I can get a copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows + a pin to you!
And if you didn't win, don't worry! I've got another giveaway starting soon!
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Release Date: August 6, 2009
EMILY PLEASE FORGIVE ME
Those four words, scrawled in lipstick on a tray, changed Emily Carson's life. Emily was living a normal life in Pennsylvania when she found out the plane her parents were on crashed. There were no survivors, but more striking thing salvaged from the crash was the tray that held those four words.
What does that apology stand for? Emily can't imagine what her mother is saying sorry for, but if she finds out, it could unlock secrets Emily may have been better off not knowing. Should she dig for answers, or live a life in ignorance, since sometimes, ignorance is bliss?
But any answer digging (or lack thereof) needs to be put aside temporarily--Emily must now move in with her aunt, Jolie, who lives in New York. Still recovering from such a horrific loss and with the mysterious apology hanging over her head, the last thing Emily wants to do is leave everything she knows, everything comforting, behind and be forced to make new friends and a new life for herself. She not only leaves her home behind, she must leave her best friend, Georgia, behind in Pennsylvania again. She is thrust into Jolie's beautiful appartment and a private school.
Once in school, Emily struggles to control her inner turmoil, lest her new friends think her to be completely insane. Jolie has been doing everything to help her fit in, and has been very kind. But her mother's apology is still looming over her like a storm cloud. After a botched meeting to work on her chemistry project with her partner Anthony, Emily does not want any more outbursts. But her mother's apology aside, her new life does not seem too bad. She is quickly befriended by the two most popular girls at school and the hottest guy in her class, Owen, keeps catching her eye... Can she start anew? Or will she have to confront her mother's apology in order to be free from it? And where can she possibly find answers? Would ignorance really be bliss in her situation? And now that she's ruined her chemistry project, will her partner ever talk to her again? And how the heck will she pass chemistry?!
Although I enjoyed Lipstick Apology, I have to admit I was a bit disappointed. It was a bit cliche to me, and it got rather predictable at many places for me. There were not as many twists and turns as I had hoped, and I did not think some of the characters were very unique. I don't want to ruin too much, but I was disappointed at how predictable a lot of the novel was; the relationships, the characters' personalities, the ending, etc. Maybe I had expections that were a notch too high to start with? The plotline definitely sounded really intriguing, but it ended up being rather disappointing.
I did love Trent, however. He was a hilarious and lively character that was really quirky, bold, and rather loveable. I really enjoyed reading about him and he definitely brought a touch of good humor in this novel, which approaches such dark, saddening topics. Lindsay was also a very sweet person--I would definitely want a supportive friend like her! I think these two characters definitely helped me enjoy the novel a bit more!
Sunday, July 5, 2009
The winners are (courtosey of the random number generator at random.org):
Alexa of Hooked On YA Books
Katie of Katie's Bookshelf!
Please send me an email at bookvault(at)yahoo.com with your mailing address so I can get a copy of DBD to you! Please email me by 7/7/09 or I'll have to pick new winners.
Thank you to Linda Gerber for donating 2 copies of her fabulous book!
I'm currently hosting another giveaway for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows--check it out here!
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
So up for grabs are 5 paperback copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows! The five lucky winners will also receive a Collectors' edition gold pin!
Lord Voldemort is preparing for battle and so must Harry. With Ron and Hermione at his side, he's trying to hunt down Voldemort's Horcruxes, escape danger at every turn, and find a way to defeat evil once and for all. How does it all end?
Visit Scholastic's website for more Harry Potter-related activities, information on the books, and more!
Want extra entries?
+1 post about this contest elsewhere (your blog, forums, etc)
+1 follow my blog
+1 comment on my Bookish Mentions post on books-to-movies, responding to the questions I ask in the post
+1 comment on THIS post telling me your favorite HP book and why
+1 comment on THIS post telling me your favorite moment in any of the HP books
+1 comment on THIS post telling me which spell you would want to master most and why
Please comment SEPARATELY for your first entry and each additional entry you earn! Sorry about that, but it makes tallying all the entries easier so I don't miss anyone's!
So all in all, if you do all of the extras in addition to your first free entry, you can get a max of 7 entries! (yes, I did do that on purpose, as there are 7 books!)
Please enter by July 17th, midnight EST!
Bookish Mentions is my new weekly post where I'll be posting my thoughts on books I've read but not been able to review, upcoming books I'm looking forward to, general thoughts on genres or books I've encountered, thoughts on book-based movies, and the like. Enjoy!
Ever since I read Wake, I've become a fan of Lisa McMann's series! If you haven't read Wake and Fade yet, I definitely recommend you check it out!
In addition to the fabulous story Ms. McMann weaves, the covers to her books are great! They're not overly complex, generally have one color scheme and one image, but it also has this eerie feel to them. They really draw you in!
The cover for her third book, Gone, has been released:
What do you guys think??? What do you think the chair stands for?? Do you like the change in color scheme?
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Release Date: February 10, 2009
After losing her parents in a fire that also destroyed her nation, Zira was raised by the Ruan people in the religious establishment, House of God. Raised and soon to become a novice in the House and a fighter, Zira does not think there is anything out of the ordinary in her life. True, she is Surya's, the head or Noirin of the House, favorite, but she trains under a namoa, Deo, until her coming of age and assignment, just like anyone else at the House.
If there's anything out of the ordinary, it is Zira's past. Surya has only told Zira that her mother pulled from a destructive fire, giving up her own life to do so. The fire was caused by the current Sedorne king, Abheron, who also killed the king of the Ruan people and took over his nation. The fire has left Zira's face horribly scarred, but it has not stopped Zira from being one of the most fearsome fighters-in-training. Growing up in the House, the only mother Zira has known is Suyra. With such a sad past, Zira is working for a brighter future, but the only home she has known, and her entire life, crumbles before her as the oppressive King Abheron, orders an attack on the House.
With the destruction of her home, a new truth about her past is revealed: Zira is actually Zahira, only surviving daughter of the murdered Rei, or King, which makes her Reia, leader of her people. She was bravely rescued from the fire by her nanny and brought to the House of God. Now, with this heavy mantle of responsibility thrust upon her, the road forward will be perilous and filled with many difficult decisions. With so many depending on her, Zira will have to step up and lead her people, but when King Abheron learns of her existance, her plans may never come to fruition...
What will Zira learn about this ruthless king, who may just be related to her? What other secrets from her past will she uncover? Her only hope is to choose the right allies and match her wits against Abheron--she is the last chance for peace between the Ruan and Sedorne people. Without her, the sacrifices made by her loved ones will have been in vain. Can anyone fufill such a tall task?
I loved Daughter of the Flames! It was well paced and captivating! I was instantly hooked and honestly could not put this book down! Zira is a strong character (it's good to see a strong female lead!) but her character, and the novel in general, was not overdone at all! Zoë Marriott weaves an intruging coming-of-age story filled with a quest to find and fufill one's quest and role, love, and redemption. The characters learn, among other things, that sometimes, a smaller action can lead to far greater consequences than anyone can dream! I loved the flow of this book! The characters progress nicely and Daughter of the Flames neither rushes nor drags on!
Zira's character is believeable, humble, strong-willed, and brave. Nothing is over the top or over done (some authors get a bit over zealous sometimes, and their characters end up being a bit much), so Daughter of the Flames is a highly enjoyable book!
The only small, minor complaint I have is that Zira and Sorin's relationship was rushed and developed abruptly. Other than that, Daughter of the Flames is a fantastic book that I would definitely recommend--especially to fantasy lovers!
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Release Date: September 7, 2009
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Aurora is starting her life again at a new school after her mother died. Lucius has also moved, but he was forced to do so after intentionally causing an explosion that cost his parents their house and him, his arms. With their paths destined to cross, are either of them ready for it?
Lucius purposely blew his parents house up--and both his arms--in an explosion he concocted. Instead of getting prosthetic arms and hands, Lucius got hooks. His hooks are cheaper, harder to out grow...and scarier. He no longer wants to be the mild-manner guy that everyone picks on, but wants to be the one that everyone is scared of and stays away from. But when he meets Aurora, he feels something awakening in him. He feels a connection to the beautiful, sincerely kind girl, but has no idea how to get close to her. Has he become too much a beast inside now?
Aurora is kind-hearted, beautiful, and the new 'it' girl when she arrives at her new school. Everyone wants to be her friend, including Jessup, a cute guy. Aurora feels like she's looking for more and something 'real,' since most of her new friends seem rather superficial. But her new group has no such qualms about her, and Jessup is quick to pursue Aurora. But Aurora senses a lack of true honesty and sincerity from Jessup, and feels drawn to Lucius instead. But why is it so hard to approach the one guy who Aurora actually wants to get to know?
A modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Crazy Beautiful tells the story of Lucius and Aurora as they try to find themselves and each other. But with his seclusion, dark past, and hooks, has Lucius become too much of a beast to change? Is he truly crazy? Or can Aurora bring out the best in him again?
I only wish more of Lucius' back story was given, and more about the two main characters in general. It would have been really interesting to read their stories and better understand their motives and characters. It seemed like things wrapped up a little too nicely at the end, but was still relatively realistic. Crazy Beautiful is a tale of compassion, finding forgiveness, and love. I think YA readers will be able to connect to the two main characters as they are struggling with dilemmas similar to those that teens face today--finding acceptance, issues at home, trouble with friends, and past grievances. Nothing is entirely perfect, and Lucius and Aurora's relationship certainly is not, but sometimes it is the struggle that makes the rewarded even sweeter.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Release Date: August 1, 2009
Can any boundaries limit love? Ever since Grace was attacked by wolves in her backyard as a child, she has always looked for the wolf that saved her. She feels drawn to him, and knows there's more to him than his outside, wolf appearance.
But her wolf may be in danger--a boy from her school has died, and people believe that her wolf and his pack have killed him. As the local police force and some of the men of the town grab their guns and head to the woods to eliminate the wolves, Grace races against time to get there, hoping she is not too late to save her wolf.
Although her attempt to call off the police and men does not end in vain, her search for her wolf does. That is, until she heads home: her wolf is on her back porch--but in human form. Injured with a bullet wound to his neck, Grace races him to the hospital. Despite her speedy rescue, she has to sneak out Sam out before they notice that he heals much faster than human standards.
Quickly taking him in, Grace learns that her wolf is actually a werewolf named Sam.
Grace's unobservant parents have no idea about their guest and over the next few weeks, Grace and Sam get to know each better. But their happy time together may just be cut short, as Sam only has a few months--the warmer ones--being human each year, and for some reason, despite his youth, it looks like this is his last year to make the switch to his human form. With the weather getting colder each day, the star-crossed lovers' days together are limited...
Is there any way to prevent Sam from being wolf forever? Or will this be their last time together, with the rest of their lives doomed to watching each other in separate forms?
I was lucky enough to get an ARC of Shiver from BEA (I actually met Maggie Stiefvater there and she even signed my ARC for me!) and I'm really glad I did! It is a very well written book--I love the imagery and descriptive language Ms. Stiefvater uses! The details really add to the story and paints vivid scenes. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend this to all fantasy lovers! Shiver was great and I could hardly put it down! I love the alternating viewpoints between Sam and Grace--it really helps readers get a better sense of who the two characters are. Definitely keep you eyes out for Shiver, which should hit bookstores in August!
Friday, June 19, 2009
There have been many debates on movie adaptations of books--while some believe that they do the books justice, other movies are put down for being unfaithful to the book. I know some people believe that the movie shouldn't be too faithful; that the movie should be the director's own interpretation, and I agree. We may all see the book differently, and in a way, watching a movie is seeing the director's take on the book. But where do you draw the line? When does it stray too far from the book?
Which movies do you find most faithful to the books (or plot or characters of the book) they were based on?
I thought Peter Jackson did a pretty good job with the Lord of the Rings trilogy in general! It was no easy feat to making all three of them into decent movies that didn't drag on for hours and hours. The effects were very good, characters were pretty good, and the plot was as faithful as it could've been in the time limit they had. I have to say the music was well composed and really helped create the moods in the movie! The Academy Awards the trilogy earned was well deserved, in my humble opinion.
Which one was most disappointing?
Personally, I thought the movie version of Blood and Chocolate was pretty disappointing. I'm a fan of the book, but the movie was it's own thing! It hardly followed the book's plot, it seemed kinda corny at times, and they changed so much--characters, plot, relationships, everything! I mean, they pretty much changed the biggest point in the plot, and switched around the family relations, not to mention rearranging the way of the pack. I know some of it was probably for theatrical effect, but it still seemed a far departure from the book :/
I was really disappointed, but if you were just to watch the movie, I suppose it isn't so bad. But if you compare it to the book, you'll wonder what happened.
Comics & Graphic Novels-to-Movies
Any comic book or graphic novel fans out there?
Did you like X-Men, Watchmen, Over the Hedge, V for Vendetta, Garfield, etc?
Any favorites? Any disappointments?
Personally, I love the Over the Hedge comics, and thought the movie was pretty amusing. Nice animations and pretty silly, so I got a good laugh. The comics are hilarious though, if you get a chance to check it out!
I also liked V for Vendetta, but I'll admit I didn't read the graphic novel that closely. Thought the movie was good, though.
Can't say I'm too thrilled with the Garfield movies though. I am a big Garfield fan, and have been since I've been a kid, so I guess my expectations were high.
With plenty of movies based on books coming out this year, which one are you looking forward to most?
I know my friend has become a die-hard Twilight fan and will watch New Moon--any other people waiting for New Moon?
I was pretty surprised when I found out they were making Fantastic Mr. Fox into a movie--I loved that book as a kid!
And despite some of the Harry Potter movies being rather disappointing, I think I'll still be watching Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince when it hits theaters in July.
Series I Like
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