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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Want to Win a Signed Copy of Wake by: Lisa McMann?

Here's how,

Kelsey over at Just Blinded Book Reviews is throwing an amazing contest complete with Swag, and I don't mean two bookmarks, this is INTENSE Swag with 30 different items, plus of course a signed copy of Wake by Lisa McMann.

Yeah, I'd go check it out if I were you :)
http://justblindedbookreviews.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mini Interview with Robin Maxwell!

Interview with Robin Maxwell

1) What was your process in starting to write O, JULIET?

In the days after I had made the decision to retell the Romeo and Juliet story – for the first time in literary history as a novel – two thoughts began warring in my head: “You’re a genius – lucky as hell that no one’s thought of it before... and “You’re out of your friggin’ mind!”

Yes, I knew I would feel comfortable in late fifteenth century Italy. My last historical novel, Signora da Vinci, had been set there. For that book I had outdone myself in researching the period (to the point I thought my head would explode). I loved the Italians, and the thought of setting my Romeo and Juliet amidst them really got my creative juices bubbling.


2) Was Shakespeare the first to tell the Romeo and Juliet story?


Not at all! Since ancient times, countless “girl-and-boy-from-warring-families” tragedies have been written. The Roman writer Ovid’s “Pyramus and Thisbe” tells the story of forbidden love between a girl and boy from two feuding families, and a secret rendezvous in a tomb…one that ends in tragedy. The Greek author Xenophon in his “Ephesian Tale” spins a wild story that includes a trip abroad, pirates, a crucifixion and sleeping potion, all of which culminates in a tomb. There had been three Italian short stories written in the fifteenth century about these star-crossed lovers, and in the sixteenth one long English poem. Of course Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” had been adapted into Broadway musicals, ballets, operas, and even a graphic novel but these, in their own way, faithfully adhered to the great man’s work. Then there were the countless movie versions. These were even more devoted presentations, simply filmed versions of his play.


3) Were you nervous about competing with Shakespeare?

It did give me pause to take on the Bard and one of the most beloved literary works of all time. I thought, "What about all those Shakespeare nuts out there who would rip me to shreds for daring to tread on these sacred shores?" What I had in mind was rewriting the story in my own words, in my own way. I knew I needed to lengthen the period over which it was told from a few days to a few months, and I wanted to change the setting from Verona to Florence (where the “historical” Romeo and Juliet had played out their drama. I’d be fleshing out the lives, character arcs and motivations of Romeo and Juliet, losing some characters (Juliet’s nurse!), and adding others (a truly evil suitor and a best girlfriend). I’d be changing the helpful cleric from Friar Lawrence to Friar Bartolomo, and giving him a public face – the man who taught a weekly symposia on Dante Alighieri at Florence Cathedral (this really happened!).

I decided that both Romeo and Juliet would, like so many Italians of that time, be Dante freaks, and that part of their initial attraction – aside from the proverbial but perfect “love-at-first-sight/sexual chemistry” – would be their shared passion for that legendary poet. Then I really stepped in it. I cast the pair as amateur poets themselves. “Now you’ve done it,” I thought, “Now you have to write love poems in both their voices!”

I suppose the greatest challenge was what to do with the ending. Should I stay true to the classics or let either Romeo or Juliet live...or both? Either way was bound to be risky.

But I took the plunge and I have to say, I'm quite happy with the results. I hope you'll read O, JULIET and decide whether my choices work for you.


Thank you Robin so very much for the interview! Check out her website for some more fun stuff. http://www.robinmaxwell.com/

Waiting on Wednesday [2]

Forget-Her-Nots
by: Amy Brecount White

When someone leaves three mystery flowers outside her dorm door, Laurel thinks that maybe the Avondale School isn’t so awful after all — until her own body starts to freak out. In the middle of her English presentation on the Victorian Language of Flowers, strange words pop into her head, and her body seems to tingle and hum. Impulsively, Laurel gives the love bouquet she made to demonstrate the language to her spinster English teacher. When that teacher unexpectedly and immediately finds romance, Laurel suspects that something — something magical — is up. With her new friend, Kate, she sets out to discover the origins and breadth of her powers by experimenting on herself and others. But she can’t seem to find any living experts in the field of flower powers to guide her. And her bouquets don’t always do her bidding, especially when it comes to her own crush, Justin. Rumors about Laurel and her flowers fly across campus, and she’s soon besieged by requests from girls — both friends and enemies — who want their lives magically transformed — just in time for prom.

*This book sounds so cute! I love the flower's love language, My grandmother always told me about the different meanings flowers had and I feel that I'll be able to relate to this one quite a but.

What are you guys waiting for?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Twilight's Final Straw...

Twilight's Final Straw...

The other day while browsing at my local Books A Million I found something that angered me. It completely and utterly made me cringe.

Look at this:
Do you see it?!

The little circle in the upper right hand corner declaring it "Bella and Edward's favorite book?"

That is NOT a sticker. It is imprinted directly on the book, and that is what makes me sad. I LOVE Wuthering Heights, and I really do love this cover as well, it's more appealing to a younger audience than any other cover I have seen, but the fact that Bella and Edward have to be stamped directly onto it to enhance sales is where my heart dies a little.

I know I'm probably just going crazy, but I've had enough of Twilight. There are so many amazing books and authors out there, I mean now I can't even have Bronte without some reminder of Twilight.

I understand why the publishing companies would do this as Twilight is huge right now, I get that and I'm not mad at them, rather I just don't understand how the movie can come out and suddenly everyone is obsessed.

At my school every single freshman and sophomore girl is going crazy with Twilight fever (many of which even refuse to read the book) I had my Twilight phase, I did, and I don't consider myself to be a Twilight hater - I still love the books it's just the extent of their popularity that gets me.

I'm sorry if this offends any of you, but it's just how I feel from what I have witnessed personally. To prove I am not a Twilight hater here is an example of how big of a fangirl I was at one time...


Yes, I stood in line for four hours after Eclipse came out, met Stephenie Meyer, and got all of my books signed, and it is still one of the best days I remember, but yes I do love Twilight, post movie Twilight is the one I have come to be disappointed with.

I'm sorry if I have upset anyone with this post, it's not what I meant to do, it's just how I feel.

Please feel free to comment with your thoughts.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Lonely Hearts Club :by Elizabeth Eulberg

The Lonely Hearts Club
by: Elizabeth Eulberg

Love is all you need…or is it?
Penny is sick of boys and sick of dating, so she vows: No more. She’s had one too many bad dates, and has been hurt by one too many bad boys. It’s a personal choice…and soon everybody wants to know about it. It seems that Penny’s not the only girl who’s tired of the way girls change themselves (most of the time for the worse) in order to get their guys…or the way their guys don’t really care about them.
Girls are soon thronging to The Lonely Hearts Club (named after Sgt. Pepper’s band), and Penny finds herself near legendary for her non-dating ways – which is too bad, since the leader of The Lonely Hearts Club has found a certain boy she can’t help but like…


From Me:
Before I start, let me just say that I am a Beatles fanatic. They're quite possibly my favorite band, and as soon as I saw this book I knew that I would absolutely adore it, and I was right.

The Main character Penny has sworn off boys for the rest of her high school career because of a bad experience with her childhood friend Nate. She begins The Lonely Hearts Club because she has given up dating, but in the beginning she doesn't really speak of the club and has herself as the only member, but as word spreads and her closest friends join her the club grows, and sometimes adding people who aren't always for the best.

I really enjoyed this book and found it a cute read. I loved the Beatles references I found everywhere and liked the idea of the club as being first and foremost a place for friendship and support.

I loved the relationships between the people, the friendships between Penny, Tracy, and Diane I found to be realistic between that of best friends, and of course the relationship between Penny and Ryan I LOVED. He was a very serious change between that of Nate, and was a genuinely sweet guy.

If you don't like The Beatles or don't know them that well, that's okay as the references are definitely not what carry the story, you'll enjoy it just as much whether you know 200 Beatles songs or 2.

I give it and 8.5/10.

-Christina

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday [1]

Waiting on Wednesday [1]


I just found out about this book recently and I squealed when I saw it! I LOVED The Summer I Turned Pretty, so I can't wait to read the sequel, I want very much to see what comes next for Belly :)


PLUS, the cover is gorgeous. Just as pretty as the first cover, I can't wait! Be sure to check it out April 27th!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by: Carrie Ryan

The Forest of Hands and Teeth

by: Carrie Ryan

In Mary's world, there are simple truths. Now she must choose between her village and her future, between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded by so much death?

This book broke my heart.

I know, this isn't necessarily a bad thing - I mean it shows I was that involved in the story that it could break my heart, but it still wasn't a pleasant thing to have occur.

I love this book.

And I hate this book.

Both of these things are true, but I never realized how much of a fairy tale girl I am until I reached the end of this.

I never remember reading a book that enthralled me quite as much as this one did. I didn't put it down, and I was not willing to stand up until I had finished it in fear that moving would ruin the magic.

I hope you understand what I mean by saying I loved it and hated it. I did not despise it, I did not think it was poorly written, I did not feel it was lacking in anyway, but I did become disappointed with the end.

I read this book days ago, but I'm just now posting the review for a reason, I've been so unsure of it, and just so unsure of exactly how I felt. I've never had a book work up my emotions like this one, but I still remain blown away.

I think that's the important thing, the impact it ended up making on my feelings. I feel that is what made this book great.

I loved the Sisters, and the village and all of the secrets drove me crazy. The love was real and heartbreaking and made me just want to yell at the characters all of the time.

I highly recommend it to anyone.

Now I'm going to await the zombie apocalypse :)

It gets a 9.5

-Christina

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Grrr...


I can't do it.

I give up.
No, not on blogging. On trying to make a three column template. I can't do it. I have tried, and tried and followed one tutorial after another but alas, I still am finding myself completely unable to make my blog three columns AND not completely mess it up in the process.

I am officially technologically challenged and I give up.
Until tomorrow at least... no more.

Anyone have an amazing three column trick?

Does saying Abra Kadabra help? I'm willing to try anything at this point.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What should I read next?

I'm having a horrible time deciding which book to read next, I just have too many I'm excited about, so I would love it if you guys would help me decide.


Here are the ones I'm currently debating...

Jekel Loves Hyde by: Beth Fantaskey

Shadow by: Jenny Moss

Wish by: Alexandra Bullen


The Queen's Daughter by: Susan Coventry


The Prophecy of the Sisters by: Michelle Zink

I beg of you guys for some input for I have NO idea which one I want to read next. Thanks guys!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sleepless by: Terri Clark

Sleepless
by: Terri Clark


Eighteen-year-old Trinity Michaels has the ability to dream walk. It's a power she doesn't want, but it forever alters her life when she's unable to find an abducted teen before she's killed. While Trinity does help police capture the killer, Rafe Stevens, her involvement makes her his next target. Stevens pleads insanity and his convincing performance, aided by his despicable attorney, get him sentenced to a mental institute where a diabolical physician experiments on him. Now Rafe's escaped the sanitarium and he's after Trinity. Like her, he now has a special ability, one that allows him to stalk Trinity through her dreams. If he kills her in her sleep, she'll die for real. To survive she must find him first and the only person willing to help her is Dan Devlin, disillusioned son of the shady lawyer who knowingly aided Rafe in getting away with murder. Can she trust Dan with her safety, not to mention her heart?


This book is a very fast read, but I found it to be very cute. It's a mixture of light reading with a paranormal twist, the idea of course being essentially hunted down in your dreams.

It's not a very long book, only being at around 200 pages, but I enjoyed it. Trinity's main problem throughout the novel is her dream walking, or what essentially is her interacting with people through her dreams. She finds out things she doesn't want to know about people and eventually finds out something so ghastly she has no choice but to try and help.

The book starts off with Trinity's best friend going away for the summer, but not only that but her mother also goes on a month long trip to Europe. I found that these two things were almost too coincidental, I kind of wish they had been a bigger part of the story. Because her mother is gone Trinity inlists help from Dan (who is also her arch nemesis' son) to help catch the killer and end whatever mind control he has on her dreams.


I felt this book was almost too light at times. The relationship between Dan and Trinity happened too fast, and I would have liked to see a bit more struggle, and not so much happiness - which sounds horrible, but it was a paranormral romance involving a killer! haha.

I really did like it, and it was a cute fun read, but I don't think I'll read it again anytime soon.

I give it a 7/10.

-Christina

Sunday, February 7, 2010

In My Mailbox [3]

In My Mailbox [3]

Okay so this week I only got one book, but the book I got I have been looking forward to for ages!

Sing Me to Sleep
by: Angela Morrison

THE TRANSFORMATION
Beth has always been “The Beast”—that’s what everyone at school calls her because o
f her awkward height, facial scars, and thick glasses. Beth’s only friend is geeky, golden-haired Scott. That is, until she’s selected to be her choir’s soprano soloist, and receives the makeover that will change her life forever.

THE LOVE AFFAIR

When Beth’s choir travels to Switzerland, she meets Derek: pale, brooding, totally dreamy. Derek’s untethered passion—for music, and for Beth—leaves her breathless. Because in Derek’s eyes? She’s not The Beast, she’s The Beauty.

THE IMPOSSIBLE CHOICE

When Beth comes home, Scott, her best friend in the world, makes a confession that leaves her completely torn. Should she stand by sweet, steady Scott or follow the dangerous, intense new feelings she has for Derek?

THE HEARTBREAK

The closer Beth gets to Derek, the further away he seems. Then Beth discovers that Derek’s been hiding a dark secret from her …one that could shatter everything.

Doesn't it sound awesome?! I was in a choir almost exactly like that for five years, and this will be interesting to read a take on that :)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Graceling by: Kristin Cashore

Graceling
by: Kristin Cashore


From Kristin Cashore's website-

Graceling is the story of Katsa, who has been able to kill people with her bare hands since she was eight. Katsa lives in the seven kingdoms, where very occasionally, a person is born with an extreme skill called a Grace. Gracelings are feared and exploited in the seven kingdoms, and none moreso than Katsa, who's expected to do the dirty work of torture and punishment for her uncle, King Randa. But then she meets a mysterious stranger named Po, who is also a Graced fighter and the first person ever to challenge her in a fight. The two form a bond, and each discovers truths they never imagined about themselves, each other, and a terrible danger that is spreading slowly through the seven kingdoms.


From Me:

When I began Graceling I knew that I would love it. There was no question in my mind that told me otherwise, and I was right - mostly.
When I first began to read it I was shocked that I didn't automatically fall in love, it took me a full week to get to page 60, but I think I can blame that one on my school work and obsessive workload because as soon as I did reach 60 I refused to put it down and read the rest that night, which is always my favorite reading experience.

I loved the characters, the world, and the relationships. I felt that Katsa's character was what I like to see in YA fantasy. She deffinately was not a damsel in distress and she could handle things herself, but yet wasn't opposed to having help along the way. I loved getting into Katsa's head. Her thoughts and emotions felt very real to me and I felt her pain and even her determination on many occasions.

I LOVED Po. I can't even express how much I adored him as a character. He was just adorable, and powerful. One AMAZING combination.

I'm kicking myself for not reading this book sooner, but now that I have I can't wait to read Fire and continue on into this world Cashore has created.

I give it a 9.5

-Christina.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Wannabe Writers [1]

Wannabe Writers [1]

I saw this new Meme over at Confessions of the Un-Published- (http://www.sarahdarlington.com/) and it sparked my interest as I am as well a wannabe unpublished writer. So this seems to be a Meme dedicated to fellow reviewers helping one another to overcome whatever writing trouble we're having - and less face it, helping eachother is fun. :)

Where I am in the writing process: I'm actually not sure where I am in my writing process honestly. I know that sounds strange, but my story is quite complex and I'm not entirely sure where it will take me in the end, I have an idea of where I feel it will end up but my characters deffinately have minds of their own. I've written what I previously thought would be half... but now it seems I have barely scratched the surface.

My Current Problems: I'm not stuck - I refuse to say that, but I am unsure of how to write certain scenes which drives me crazy. I know that I should just carry on and continue writing it, leave my editing for later but it's deffinately easier said than done.

Question of the Week: How do you stay motivated?
I've been having problems with this very issue for awhile myself. I have been working on my book since November of 2007 - which seems insane to me thinking about it now. I was very in to it for awhile, but then I read On Writing by Stephen King and I took his "time off" aproach seriously and though it did work when I returned, it took me awhile to return which was the problem.


What do you do to stay motivated?
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