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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala

Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala

Release Date:
June 22, 2010
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 304

"Do you want to know a secret?" I whispered to the sister in the mirror.
"Tell me," she whispered back. "Tell me, and I'll tell you one." (3)
Miranda, or Rand as her sister dubbed her, never found out what her sister's secret was--Xanda took it with her to the grave. Rand doesn't even know how her sister really died. Her parents have fed her one version, but Rand doubts the truth of it, as she knew her mother did not approve of Xanda's boyfriend, Andre, who was with her the night she died.

Five years after her sister's death, Xanda a forbidden topic at home and Rand doesn't dare ask her parents about Xanda's death. With her many questions unanswered, the uncertain circumstances that surrounded Xanda's death have always haunted Rand. But now Rand has her own problem to face: she's pregnant. Despite the fact Rand loved her sister, Rand has always been the "good girl" of the family, while Xanda was the "bad girl." But now that Rand's a pregnant teen, the good girl persona Rand's mother so desperately wanted her to fill has apparently been shattered.

A church goer and the writer and director of numerous church plays, Rand's mother cannot believe that her own teenage daughter is pregnant. Her father offers no support as he wishes to evade confrontations with Rand's mother just as much as Rand does. Rand's mother is bent on having Rand give her baby up for adoption, but Rand wants to keep and raise her child, hopefully with the father's help. But the father, Kamran, is hardly speaking to her and Rand has no idea what to do as Delaney, the girl Rand dumped her former best friend to get close to, suddenly gets real cozy with Kamran and starts treating Rand like a stranger.

As her world falls apart around her the only people Rand can turn to are the other pregnant ladies of her online support group. Rand has found hope and strength through FemmeNikita and the other women she's met online. But even with their help Rand knows she must eventually return to reality, but the question is, can she survive it?

Tell Me a Secret definitely tugs plenty of heartstrings with Rand's honest and heartfelt account. She has to deal with her dysfunctional family while watching her social life fall apart because of the pregnancy. Readers will feel for Rand's loneliness as she gets little support from her family and friends and instead finds comfort in the hands of virtual strangers. Readers will see just how far an impact a single pregnancy can have as Rand struggles to find the courage to uncover the secrets to her beloved sister's death while facing her own uncertain future.

Tell Me a Secret is a well written novel that smoothly transitions between Rand's memories (I particularly like how Rand and Kamran met--very unique!), her quest to uncover the truth behind her sister's death and her own journey. Everything is tied in wonderfully and the key characters are well developed. Holly Cupala carefully displays all the different sides of Rand, Kamran, Rand's parents, Delaney, and the other main characters, so they never seem 2-D. With vivid details and realistic characters, Tell Me a Secret will take readers on an emotional journey.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Zoë Marriott's new blog!

Zoë Marriott, author of Swan Kingdom and Daughter of the Flames, has a new blog! Zoë will be updating her new blog frequently and will speak about writing, share tips with young writers and has already posted some updates on how her new book is coming along!

Check out her blog, The Zoë-Trope! (Wondering what "Zoë-trope" means? Go check out her blog!) Zoë will also be giving away a copy of Swan Kingdom and Daughter of the Flames to a lucky follower!

Check out my review for Daughter of the Flames here and Swan Kingdom here!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Upcoming reviews & What I'm in the middle of reading

I've got a bunch of reviews coming up and not to mention a long over-due post about BEA!
I've been reading during every possible moment--after work, before classes, late into the night, right after lab and everything in between!

I'm currently reading The Deadly Sister, Matched, and I'm finishing up Linger.

Just finished Tell Me a Secret by Holy Cupala a few minutes ago so I'll be working on that review next! My reviews for Firelight by Sophie Jordan, The Duff by Kody Keplinger and Halo by Alexandra Adornetto should also be up soon, so check back when you get a chance!

What are you currently reading??

Monday, June 14, 2010

Runaway by Meg Cabot

Runaway by Meg Cabot

Release Date:
April 20, 2010
Publisher: Point
Pages: 310

The past few months have hardly been easy for Em Watts; her brain was transplanted into supermodel Nikki Howard's body when her own body was crushed in an accident. Except Em can't tell anyone her true identity, since Stark paid for the procedure. You would think the life of a supermodel was fun and easy, but Em finds the opposite to be true. She has to fulfill Nikki's many contracts and agreements and to top it off, Nikki's boyfriend Brandon has taken her hostage!

Brandon has whisked Em/Nikki away under the pretense of a taking a vacation together, but in reality, he forced Em to lie to the guy she wants to be with--Christopher--and has blackmailed her into staying.

But this "vacation" can't last for long--Em has to model for the Stark Angel fashion show on New Year's Eve. Of course Em wants to figure out what Stark is up to more than she wants to walk down the runway in a diamond-studded bra, but she has to play along with Stark or its CEO, Robert, might just get rid of her for good this time.

Although Runaway felt over-the-top at times, it's a satisfying conclusion to the Airhead trilogy. Meg Cabot weaves a fast-paced adventure that will keep you reading to figure out what Stark is up to! Now and then Em seemed to over think things a bit too much and tended to exaggerate some past event or thought, but it was still nice to see a girl take the lead! Undoubtedly classic Meg Cabot writing--a strong female lead, humor and a flair for dramatics, Runaway will not disappoint her many fans!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Versatile Blogger Award

Thank you to the lovely Nicole at WORD for Teens for the Versatile Blogger Award!

Thank the person who gave you this award. 2. Share 7 things about yourself. 3. Pass the award along to bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic for whatever reason! Then contact the bloggers you’ve picked and let them know about the award.

Hmm, 7 things about me...
(1) One of my favorite series to read as a kid was the "Little Critter" series
(2) I love watching meteor showers and I'm really glad I have a friend that likes watching (and enjoys astronomy) them almost as much as I do!
(3) I'm bilingual
(4) The next big thing I'm saving up for is my first DSLR camera. I've shot mostly canon P&S cameras my whole life, but I want to move up to a DSLR and learn more about shooting with manual settings.
(5) I enjoy learning ASL (American Sign Language) though I haven't had a chance to take a formal class or course yet.
(6) There are more books than clothes in my room.
(7) I love watching movies! (Although I am not always a fan of movies based on books because I rarely feel they do the book justice)

And now for the blogs I nominate:
(I'm glad I got a chance to meet all of you @ BEA this year!)
Congrats & thanks again to Nicole for nominating me!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Winners for The Light & Claire de Lune

Thanks to everyone who entered my giveaways! & without further ado, here are the winners (chosen via random # generator):

The Light Winners:
  1. misskallie2000 (I've heard of that series but haven't read them before--I'll have to see if my library has it when I finish all these books from BEA!)
  2. Kelly (I don't believe I've read that series by Juliet Marillier, but I think she wrote Heart's Blood, right? I really enjoyed that book--she writes really well!)
  3. Ellie (Is that the series where Harry is a wizard and detective? (Or are am I think of something else entirely? sorry!))
  4. tetewa (I've definitely heard of that series!! =D)
  5. josiebakerbooks (Love those 2 series too!! I'm looking forward to Mockingjay!)

Thanks to all who entered & for letting me know what your favorite series are! I have plenty of suggestions to keep me reading through the summer! :)

Claire de Lune Winners:

  1. Mel
  2. Jacqueline C.
  3. littopandaxpress
  4. gabrywrites
  5. Andrea

All winners, please email me at bookvault(at) with your name & mailing address so I can get your prizes out to you! Please email me by 6.9.10 or I'll have to pick new winners.

Thanks for entering and if you didn't win, don't worry! I've got more giveaways coming!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

Release Date:
May 4, 2010
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 309

Aura can see and talk to ghosts. But that isn't really that special, since everyone born after the Shift can see and talk to ghosts too. It hasn't been easy for Aura; ghosts bother her all the time and she isn't too pleased with their attention--and neither is most of the US. Blackbox technology helps keeps ghosts away, so they're plastered on every corner of every place that can afford them. Ghosts are also repelled by the color red, so mothers dress their children in red to keep the ghosts at bay. Aura is sick of encountering troublesome ghosts and thoroughly wishes that she was a pre-shifter. That is, until her boyfriend Logan dies.

It was supposed to be the perfect birthday for Logan--scouts from record companies were attending one of the gigs his band had landed and Aura had planned an intimate party for him after the show. But when everything goes wrong after the gig and Logan dies, Aura no longer curses her ability to interact with ghosts.

Aura stays with Logan, staying up late into the night with him when he visits in his ghost form. Aura knows that Logan should move on to avoid the risk of him turning into a Shade (which happens when a ghost is overcome by bitterness or anger), but their relationship is still strong even without physical contact and Aura is having a hard time letting him go.

But seeing Logan in secret at night and not being able to touch him takes a strain on Aura. She eventually meets Zachary in school--a new friend who is very much alive. Zachary comforts Aura and is the friend she needs, but he seems to be harboring secrets of his own. Is Aura's friendship with Zachary more than a chance meeting? Why has trouble begun to lurk in the shadows ever since Logan died and Aura met Zachary? There may be more to the Shift than everyone had originally thought...

I definitely enjoyed reading Shade! It was really interesting to see not only how Aura's relationships with Logan and Zachary progress, but also how the world is responding to the notion that those born after the Shift can see ghosts. Jeri Smith-Ready not only develops the characters in her novel, but also paints a detailed image of what society has become now that interactions with ghosts are possible. It was well-balanced and a well-rounded story that kept me hooked! Although it has the "first book" feel to it (as in, first book of a series where everything is set up) I very much enjoyed Shade.

Series I Like

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis Divergent by Veronica Roth Firelight by Sophie Jordon Halo by Alexandra Adornetto Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Thanks to i'm loving books!


I receive review copies of books from publicists, authors and publishers for an honest review. I do not receive monetary or other compensations for posting reviews.