Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Review:Skinned by Robin Wasserman

Publisher's Summary:

Lia Kahn was perfect: rich, beautiful, popular -- until the accident that nearly killed her. Now she has been downloaded into a new body that only looks human. Lia will never feel pain again, she will never age, and she can't ever truly die. But she is also rejected by her friends, betrayed by her boyfriend, and alienated from her old life.

Forced to the fringes of society, Lia joins others like her. But they are looked at as freaks. They are hated...and feared. They are everything but human, and according to most people, this is the ultimate crime -- for which they must pay the ultimate price.

For those of you who are aware of this already, sorry but I'd thought I'd explain. Simon Pulse has a club, called Pulse It, where they send you a book once a month and you get to fill out a questionnaire about it. It used to be great cause I could review the book I got from them here and my readers could also read it to. But now, Pulse It is filled, so I'm not going to go on about a whole thing about why you should join and how much fun it is, but if you are already a member, send me an email and if you want we can talk about it.

Anyway, Skinned is the best book I have ever gotten from them. It's a sci-fi thriller, so it's right up my ally. It's kind of dark and, I don't want to say disturbing, but it is. Don't read this if you are looking for a happy tale. It's about a girl who gets in a car crash in this futuristic world. They download her into a robot like body. You get to see the repercussions of this and they are quite painful. The book itself is wonderful and has many twists and turns. The first half moves semi-slow because everything has to be explained but the rest is wonderful. You also get to see Lia, a rich spoiled *insert own word here*, evolve into quite the dynamic character. Another reason the beginning is semi slow is because you don't like the main character at this point, she's obnoxious and self centered. That all changes for Lia.

I highly recommend this book for my sci-fi readers and anyone looking for a futuristic romance. It's very good and will have you to the very last page.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Review: Untamed by PC and Kristin Cast

Publishers Summary:
Life sucks when your friends are pissed at you. Just ask Zoey Redbird – she’s become an expert on suckiness. In one week she has gone from having three boyfriends to having none, and from having a close group of friends who trusted and supported her, to being an outcast. Speaking of friends, the only two Zoey has left are undead and unMarked. And Neferet has declared war on humans, which Zoey knows in her heart is wrong. But will anyone listen to her? Zoey's adventures at vampyre finishing school take a wild and dangerous turn as loyalties are tested, shocking true intentions come to light, and an ancient evil is awakened in PC and Kristin Cast's spellbinding fourth House of Night novel.


Okay, so this is my first review in a while. I've been really busy, no joke, and the reviews won't be coming as fast as they used to but, hopefully now they will be steady at least. Thank you to everyone who emailed me and told me they wanted updates, I appreciate it so much.

Now to the review,

To be honest, I didn't love Untamed as much as Chosen. It was a filler novel, if you get what I'm saying. Few things where resolved and more problems where just brought up. I guess it's a set up to the next novel, but I wish this novel had more of a resolution. Zoey and her friends seem to solve one problem from a previous book and BAM, they've got 10 more, which is kind of frustrating because I want them to be happy. I was glad about the whole Erik/Zoey sexual tension type thing going on, and I want to seem more of them in the next one. It wasn't a bad book but I wish there was more problems solved and less problems added. Once again, The Cast's writing gets an A+, they are wonderful

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I'm ALIVE!

and stuff is on the way.........

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Interview:P.J. Hoover

When did you decide you wanted to be an author?Is this where I should answer something like, "I carried a notebook around from the age of two and wrote every story that popped into my mind, even before I could write."No, seriously, I was not that kid. I shunned English growing up, and focused on science and math, and nothing made me happier than placing out of most English in college. It actually wasn't until after having kids that I realized I wanted to give writing a shot. And the lifestyle seems to mesh well with my personality. I write almost every day and love it.

What inspired you to write science fiction?LOL. I guess the science and math :) My college degree's in engineering, and I worked in the field, designing chips, for fifteen years. Growing up, Fantasy and Science Fiction were basically all I read. So when I started writing, I never considered anything else. I'm not even sure I could write something with no fantasy or sci-fi elements involved. I'd just so want to sneak something in.

Do you have a favorite character?I'll go with Heidi, though Jack the Nogical is a close second. Heidi's got spunk. She's not the most gorgeous gal around (like Iva), but she's down to earth and isn't afraid to have a little fun. And plus...well, you'll just have to read the rest of the series to find out.

Which of the characters are you most like, Ben or Andy?Hmmm. Neither. Both. I guess if I had to pick one I'd go with Benjamin. Andy's a bit of a show-off, and that's never really been my style. Benjamin's funny without being overly sarcastic, and he's also destined to save the world.

Are you excited about writing the next 2 books? How far along are you?I love working on the next two books and have completed drafts for both of them. The second is currently with my editor, and the third will get another revision from me before my editor gets a peek.So, yeah, I know how the series will end. It's just fine tuning the path to get there.

Which would you rather have: Telekinesis or Mind-Reading?Telekinesis. No brainer for me. Sure, telekinesis would perpetuate laziness. Imagine not having to get up off my butt and move things myself. But, come on, mind reading? I don't think I'd really want to know what other people are thinking all the time. After all, not everyone has days filled with nice cheery thoughts. And it doesn't mean people hate you or are diabolical if they have bad thoughts here and there. It just means they're human.How about you?

Would you like to spend your summer like Ben and Andy?If I was a teenager, sure! Going off, away from my parents, and hanging out with my friends all summer--sounds like a dream. Growing up, I was the kid who never went to camp ever but always wanted to. Never even a day camp. So, as a new teenager, summer camp away would have been my dream.Plus, add in the benefits of discovering you're from a whole new world. I don't think there's a kid around who would resist this--even if it did mean you had to go to classes.

Do you believe in Atlantis?I want to believe! (Cue X-files music here) I like to believe there was some advanced civilization on an island somewhere near the Mediterranean, and I leave open the possibility for it's existence. After all, so many civilizations have flood myths. Why not another one whose existence was wiped off the face of the earth except in random stories here and there from Plato.

Are you working on any new projects?Yes! New projects are fun. I have an Egyptian series I've been working on for a while now, and I've just started an older YA (not really sure what genre to consider it yet). And, yeah, there's something science fiction or fantasy-ish about all of them.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Clone Wars Countdown

Check this out

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Review:Star Wars:Coruscant Nights:Jedi Twilight by Michael Reaves

Review of Star Wars:Coruscant Nights:Jedi Twilight by Michael Reaves

Publisher's Summary:
With the dark ascension of the Empire, and the Jedi Knights virtually wiped out, one Jedi who escaped the massacre is slated for a date with destiny–and a confrontation with Darth Vader.

Jax Pavan is one of the few Jedi Knights who miraculously survived the slaughter that followed Palpatine’s ruthless Order 66. Now, deep in Coruscant’s Blackpit Slums, Jax ekes out a living as a private investigator, trying to help people in need while concealing his Jedi identity and staying one step ahead of the killers out for Jedi blood. And they’re not the only ones in search of the elusive Jax. Hard-boiled reporter Den Dhur and his buddy, the highly unorthodox droid I-5YQ, have shocking news to bring Jax–about the father he never knew.
But when Jax learns that his old Jedi Master has been killed, leaving behind the request that Jax finish a mission critical to the resistance, Jax has no choice but to emerge from hiding–and risk detection by Darth Vader–to fulfill his Master’s dying wish.


I picked up Jedi Twilight simply because I needed something Star Wars to read-my nerd tendencies where driving through. I was excited for it. I like the prequel trilogy era and I thought that this was a cool concept for a Star Wars novel-the whole mystery, Jedi losing his powers ala Peter Parker in Spider-Man 2 feel. I like Michael Reaves work, his original characters are always very enjoyable-which leads us to our 1st topic-

Characters:
The story pretty much revolves around Jax Pavan, one of the lucky Jedi to survive Order 66/Knightfall. Jax is the son of Lorn Pavan, a character introduced in another Reaves novel, Darth Maul:Shadow Hunter(highly recommended) We also get to see a more of I-5IQ and Dal Perhi(also introduced in DM:Shadow Hunter) Kaird is also in it(Medstar I:Battle Surgeon) as well as one of my favorite characters introduced in Shatterpoint-Nick Rostu, who wasn't as sharp as I remembered him it was still nice to see him. and of course, Prince Zizor( pronounced SHEE-ZOR, or that's what I've been told) himself from Shadows of the Empire. A new character introduced was Rhinann, who is Darth Vader's aide. He makes an interesting character-new characters sometimes scare me because they always have that potential to end up being stupid. But Rhinann makes a nice addition to the Coruscant Nights team.

Story:
To say the least, it was refreshing. Not the most intriguing story, but it was a good read and made for a nice filler to hold me over from Invincible to The Clone Wars and The Force Unleashed.I liked the whole pulp feel. And to be honest-I liked the prequel era. Especially the post Order 66/Knightfall but pre-Ep IV. I like the fact that it's all gone down hill. Yeah the surviving Jedi thing is kinda old(Rahm Kota, A'Shared Hett, Shaak Ti, Obi-Wan, Yoda and a slew of others) but's its still kinda cool. A little thing that bugged me was paladin Jedi. The concept is cool-all force, no lightsabers, but the name well......Samuel L. Jackson's crazy character Roland in Jumper was a "Paladin". They are completly different things but, I just kept thinking of Sam and his bleached hair every time I heard the word- just a little pet-peave

So In Conclusion: A good Star Wars novel, you can read it and not feel like you need to be on Suicide Watch like in Invincible(Stupid Denning and the Stupid Jacen jokes) So pick it up, it'll ease your excitement pre-The Clone Wars + The Force Unleashed.

Also-the next book,Street of Shadows, is being set up in my mind as very exciting. Spoilers ahead, 1st chapter is in the back of Jedi Twilight. Typho, Padme's head of security, is revealed to have been in love with her(I knew it

Friday, July 11, 2008

Review:The Art and Making of Star Wars:The Force Unleashed

Review of The Art and Making of Star Wars:The Force Unleashed by W. Haden Blackman and Brett Rector

Publishers Summary:
The Star Wars saga continues! The Force Unleashed: Art of the Game chronicles the four-year development of the anxiously awaited, action-packed video game (releasing April 2008) developed by LucasArts from conception to completion. The book reveals innovative game design concept and images, three-dimensional renders, and behind-the-scenes photos. The Force Unleashed game casts players as Darth Vader's "Secret Apprentice" and promises to unveil new revelations about the Star Wars galaxy. The expansive story, created under direction from George Lucas, is set during the unexplored era between Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. The game re-imagines the scope and scale of the Force by taking full advantage of new technologies that will be seen and experienced for the first time, such as Digital Molecular Matter (DMM) by Pixelux Entertainment and euphoria by NaturalMotion Ltd., paired with the powerful Havok Physics (TM) system. These new technologies create gameplay only possible on the new generation of consiles. DMM incorporates the physical properties of objects in the environment so that every element reacts exactly as it should--wood breaks like wood, glass shatters like glass, Felucian plants bend in their unique way, and more. Meanwhile, as a revolutionary behavioral-simulation engine, euphoria enables interactive characters to move, act, and even think like actual human beings, adapting their behavior and resulting in a different response every single time. Well before its release, The Force Unleashed game is already buzzing on blogs and gamer websites, at gamer conferences, and among Star Wars fans. LucasArts is fully backing the promotion of the game to the tens of millions of Star Wars fans around the world.


Yes, Virginia- I am reviewing a Star Wars book in advance. This book happens to be The Art and Making of Star Wars:The Force Unleashed, covering the art and production of this long-pushed back and very anticipated game. What was once hailed as "The Star Wars event of 07" has now been pushed back to an early September release.

The story, if you live under a rock and don't know, follows Darth Vader's Secret Apprentice. Often described as the photo-negative of Luke Skywalker, this should make for an interesting game.

Now onto the book itself. It is obviously, see the word Art in there, has a lot of concept art in it, ranging from things in the game, all the way to crazy ideas for the game that never came to be. I wish I could talk about these ideas, but I don't know what is allowed or not as far as content goes on this, which leads us to our next topic.......

Spoilers. Yes, words fans either crave or fear. Don't worry-no spoilers here. No spoilers allowed to be here. Everything is really top-secret, so obviously don't keep sending me emails asking me to tell you what happens. Honestly, it's harder knowing now. My inner fangirl wants to talk about it so badly, but........alas, there is a reason why I can't, all will be revealed in due time. and then I can talk about it w/ my fellow fans.

Honesty, the game looks awesome and this book furthers my ideas on that. Hearing W. Haden Blackman and Brett Rector talk about the project is really humbling, both where very devoted and cared for the project as much as any fan would. I really hope this game isn't pushed to the side because of The Clone Wars. I mean I'm as excited for both of them, but somehow I wish it wasn't like *bam* The Clone Wars *bam* The Force Unleashed.....

Does anyone else think it's ironic that Anakin gets a padawan and Vader gets an apprentice all in the same year- Ironic.

In Conclusion: all fans excited for the game should pick this up. It's fresh and gives a great insight into the game and gives us fans an insight into what could of been. And the eye candy ain't too bad either

In Addition: Speaking of eyecandy.......Hayden Christensen wrote the foreword. His picture..I mean foreword was very nice to look at.... I mean read. All joking aside, it's a very nice foreword-I agree Hayden, Star Wars is Forever

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Review:The Last Plague by Glen E. Page, MD

Review of The Last Plague by Glen E. Page, MD

Publisher's Summary:
A young girl is brought into Dr. Douglas Hunter's ER one night with her abdomen ripped open. One of her ovaries has been stolen; the other is as hard and black as coal. When the bodies of more young girls are discovered, their ovaries also missing, Dr. Hunter and his family of adopted misfits find themselves unwittingly drawn into a dark plot of government intrigue and biblical prophecy. As Dr. Hunter investigates the cause behind this mysterious plague, he and his family uncover unsettling connections, not only between their own painful pasts, but to war crimes in Nazi Germany and even events from the days of Christ. The investigation attracts the attention of a group of ruthless people with mysterious powers who are determined to keep the plague a secret. But as more secrets come to light, Dr. Hunter realizes his family may be facing the last plague, the beginnings of the Apocalypse.

The Last Plague is a gripping exciting tale. A mystery story set to the backdrop of religious and mythological events, the tale makes for a no-sleeper. It's characters are interesting but they are over shadowed by the ever evolving story.

The writing is different. While not too descriptive or action packed, the story keeps a steady pace, but doesn't lose any suspense or wonder.

The story itself is quite odd and the cliff hanger is a a killer. I will be eagerly awaiting the 2nd book in the Apocalypse series.

In conclusion: An awesome religious supernatural read. Recommended for my questioners :) Actually recommended to all who have ever honestly thought about a divine(no nuclear weapons or giant asteroid) apocalypse.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Review:The Emerald Tablet by P.J. Hoover

Review of the Emerald Tablet by P.J. Hoover(October 28)

Publisher's Synopsis:
Benjamin and his best friend Andy love being different from the other kids. They like being able to read each others minds and using their telekinesis to play tricks on other kids. In fact, they are getting all set to spend their entire summer doing just that when Benjamin's mirror starts talking. Suddenly, he's looking at eight weeks of summer school someplace that can only be reached by a teleporter in his basement's coat closet. And that's the most normal thing he does that summer.

The Emerald Tablet is a sweeping story about a group of friends who discover that their Summer is not going to go exactly as expected. Being a Sci-Fi story, it has plenty of twists and turns in it.

The book is a middle grade story; so unfortunately, you loose some suspense due to this. Comparing it to other middle grade novels, It is very well written. Middle Grades, well, let’s just say I have a love/hate relationship with them. Most of the time, the author writes it likes a very long children’s book, where frustrates me so. Luckily, Ms. Hoover dodged that.

The story itself is very good. As previously states-it’s a sci-fi. Science Fiction is a dying genre. Why do I say so? Because it is. What was considered sci-fi in the 70s is now a reality, and interest has been dropping in “new” sci-fi material. I am a huge sci-fi fan, a little obsession that began with a small film, you’ve probably never heard of it, called Star Wars. The Emerald Tablet follows a common theme with Atlantis, but Ms. Hoover plays with it making you feel like you have not heard about it before.

In Conclusion: The Emerald Tablet is a nice, easy read. One of the better Middle Grade books I’ve read. I recommend it to all of my younger readers who may be struggling with Young Adult still

Monday, June 30, 2008

Review:Angelmonster by Veronica Bennett

Review of AngelMonster by Veronica Bennett

Publisher's Summary:
In 1814, poet Percy Shelley enters the life of young Mary Godwin like an angel of deliverance. Seduced by his radical and romantic ideas, she flees with him to Europe, where they mingle with other free-spirited artists and poets. Frowned on by family and society, Mary becomes haunted by hideous visions — and as tragedy strikes, she realizes her dreams have become nightmares, and her angel . . . a monster. Has the time come for Mary Shelley to set her monster free?


While I recently hailed The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong the best book of the year, AngelMonster would be the most enjoyable. AngelMonster is a gripping tale of Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein.

Now, I wanted to review this book for mainly 2 reasons, 1) because I loved fiction biographies like this, and 2) I was actually very well acquainted with Percy Shelley, Mary's husband. For those who are not familiar with his work, it is some of the most gratifying pieces to come out of the 19th Century. I was also very familiar with his life, so I knew how this would end.

I cannot tell you which is more painful, knowing how it ends or not knowing. However, I can tell you it was like watching TITANIC or A Walk to Remember, reading and knowing. The book has an epic feel to it. You know from the ominous style, that horrible things are to come.

The book deals with a lot of things, but mainly Mary's internal fight on whether or not Shelley is her angel or her monster. I won't tell you what she decides on in the end, but it gives a wonderful sense of completion.

The only big difference between this book and Mary's real life, is when she wrote Frankenstein. Frankenstein was finished in 1818, in this book she finishes it in 1822.

The most beautiful part of it all is, despite the fact that Percy Shelley lied to her and more than likely cheated on Mary-in the end, they both truly did still love one another.

Books like this are the reason I review books. These are the kind of books I get thrills and chills out of-they are the best kind.

In Conclusion: An epic, wonderful novel all literature buffs, like myself, should read. Reccomended to everyone who doesn't mind a few tissues.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Review:The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

Review of the Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

Publisher's Summary:
My name is Chloe Saunders and my life will never be the same again.
All I wanted was to make friends, meet boys, and keep on being ordinary. I don't even know what that means anymore. It all started on the day that I saw my first ghost—and the ghost saw me.
Now there are ghosts everywhere and they won't leave me alone. To top it all off, I somehow got myself locked up in Lyle House, a "special home" for troubled teens. Yet the home isn't what it seems. Don't tell anyone, but I think there might be more to my housemates than meets the eye. The question is, whose side are they on? It's up to me to figure out the dangerous secrets behind Lyle House . . . before its skeletons come back to haunt me.


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Best. Book. This. Year.

From the first page, The Summoning sucks you in, only to let you go at the end wishing that the next book was published already.

Ms. Armstrong's writing is very detailed. She keeps the story moving and maintains an easy to follow plot.

Chloe is our main character. She's entertaining and interesting. and well..... You know when you like a book better because you feel like you are the main character. Well, that would be this. Chloe is me in almost every aspect, with a different name. And she can see ghosts........I can't do that. Yet. :) I'll let you all know when I can.

Okay, so it's a good book, but why are you like it's the best book this year?

Excellent Question. Us reviewers just get that feeling, when somethings just that good. Yes, I'm about to make that comparision. Think Twilight before it was Twilight. For those of you who read Twilight and got that "OMG, this is going to be so big!" feeling, that would be this feeling. Checking in at 400 Pages-The Summoning has everything needed to be the book of the summer.

So in Conclusion:Don't be surprised when this is HUGE. I reccomend it to every single one of my readers. Even if you hate scary- you will love this book

The Summoning is released July 1st

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Interview:Joni Sensel(author of The Humming of Numbers)

Here's my interview I recently conducted with Joni Sensel, the author of The Humming of Numbers)

When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?I started writing in second grade, but it didn’t occur to me that I could just decide to be a writer — I thought somebody else had to confer that upon me, and that never happened. So although I wrote stories and poems all through school, I didn’t really start to think of myself as a writer until I was in college.

Why did you decide you would like to write a young adult book?I’ve really only stumbled into it because I’m a little jaded about adults; I don’t think they change much. But young people are still creating themselves and changing a lot, so I think they make very interesting characters. Since that’s who I want to write about, my stories tend to appeal to young readers of similar ages.

Where did the inspiration for The Humming of Numbers come from?First, I’ve always been interested in illumination, so while I was in Dublin in 2004, I saw the Book of Kells exhibit and the old library, called The Long Room, at Trinity College. I was really taken by a sense -- the presence, almost -- of the people who created those incredible books. In addition, I’d been noodling the idea of a character who could hear numerical auras, like a sort of synesthesia, and one night the two ideas came together in the character of Aidan.

Why did you decide to write Historical Fiction (it's one of my favorite genres)?It wasn’t really a conscious decision — Aidan was a monk and an illuminator, so I had to put him in a time and a place where he belonged. I love the British Isles and I liked the idea of the potential conflict with a raid, so that pretty well narrowed down my time and place.

Is there some theory behind humming #s- I've heard about everyone having a number but I've never heard about someone hearing these numbers-where did this idea come from?It really comes from my own personal sense, probably imagined, that there are distinct connections between things, colors, and numbers — on sort of a quantum or metaphysical level. Blue and five seem like different expressions or manifestations of the same energy to me, for instance. My own perceptions are what I used to build Aidan’s, but those don’t jive with traditional numerology.

Which character are you more like-Aidan or Lana?Oh, probably Aidan. But I really like Lana’s feistiness; I’d like to be more like her, ha ha.

Will you "miss" writing about any of the characters(like Aidan, Lana, Liam, etc)?Oh sure, I think most writers enjoy at least some of their characters enough to want to continue spending time with them, just like we all as readers find characters we just don’t want to say goodbye to. I might try to write a sequel to Humming one of these days — we never did find out the truth about Lana’s wood fragments, after all. :-)

Do you have any upcoming projects you’re working on?Lots! My next novel, The Farwalker’s Quest, comes out in February, so I expect to proof the galleys soon. That’s a post-apocalyptic fantasy about a girl whose future depends on her ability to solve a riddle from the past. And I have two new manuscripts, including a ghost story, that I’ve recently finished revising and now hope to sell.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Winners of Quondam!



I have pulled the winners of the Quondam giveaway using Random.org's number generator. These numbers correlated to these winners, I will be emailing the winners shortly asking for contact information. You have 10 days to respond, once I have everyone's information, I will email it to Ms. Gibson.

Note: If you where wondering how I got these winners from the numbers, it's in order of how I received them. If you sent posted it on your blog and got an extra entry you got 2 consecutive numbers (ex 4,5)

These are the winners:
Breanna
dolls123
Kayla(Midnight Twilight's Book Blog)
Min
Hope

Congratulations to the winners and thank you all for entering! Winners will be getting an email shortly.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Review: Sisters of the Sword by Maya Snow

Review of Sisters of the Sword by Maya Snow

Publisher's Summary:
Kimi dreams of being a great samurai warrior, but she and her sister, Hana, are young ladies of feudal Japan, daughters of the Jito of the province. Her future seems clear: Girls do not become samurai.

Then, betrayal shatters the sisters' world. Their power-hungry uncle murders their father, and their mother and little brother mysteriously disappear. Determined to seek revenge and restore their honor, they disguise themselves as boys to train at a school for samurai. Kimi and Hana are thrown headlong into a life of warrior codes, sharp swords, and shadowy figures—as they work with fierce determination to avenge the brutal wrongs done to their family.

In a flash, life has swept them into a terrible adventure, more heart-pounding than Kimi and Hana ever could have imagined . . . and once it has been set in motion, nothing will ever be the same.


Sisters of the Sword is very fast moving, quick read. A lot of detail in things like costume, fighting style and other such culture. I enjoyed it. I know how cliche sounding this is, but is very much a Japanese version of Mulan.

It isn't something I would of picked up in a bookstore. BUT....if you are interested in things like Aikido, Japanese culture or samurai-I would recommend it. For those who aren't interested, it is still a nice read-forgettable, maybe-but still enjoyable. It does have a nice setup for a possible sequel.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Review:Alive and Well in Prague, New York by Daphne Grab

Review of Alive and Well in Prague, New York by Daphne Grab

Publisher's Summary:
Matisse Osgood is a New York City girl through and through. She buys her clothes at Andy's Cheapies, watches indie films at the Angelika, and wouldn't be caught dead on a hayride. But when her father gets sick and Matisse's parents decide to leave Man-hattan for a small town in upstate New York, her perfect world crumbles. As Matisse trudges through life in Prague, she dreams of waking up in her apartment on West 78th Street with a father who's well enough to walk with her in Central Park and a mother who doesn't pretend that everything is okay. When rumors surround Matisse at school and her father's symptoms worsen, Matisse realizes that the friends she's making in Prague are the kind you can count on. They help Matisse find the strength to reach out to her father, who may not be as far from her as she thought. And one particular farm boy shows Matisse that country living is a lot more magical than she ever imagined.

Alive and Well is a captivating story about a girl who sacrifices pretty much everything for her ailing father's wellfare and in return, get's so much more.

Matisse is a very sympathizable character. You, obviously, would feel bad for someone who's father has Parkinson's, I can't imagine going through that. She handles it in different ways than most of us would but she does her best spite her situation. Matisse is also a very real character, one whom you will feel by the end of the book that you know like your BFF. This is due to........

Ms. Grab's writing-The most shocking part of the book is how wonderful Ms. Grab's writing is. For this being her first book you would think she'd been doing it for years. Very detailed, but not overly fluffy to the point where you want to throw up. Her characters-as stated- are very real- like Matisse. Her story keeps moving and has an even pace -which, I imagine, is hard to write(I'm sure you all are familiar with authors who are wonderful writers, but sometimes the story drags on and others you're like wait what just happened).

In Conclusion: I loved the book! Ms. Grab is a very wonderful new addition to YA literature and I hope we see more of her in the future!

Note: Check out my interview with Daphne Grab, coming soon!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Review:Pug Hill by Alison Pace

Review of Pug Hill by Alison Pace

For Holly Golightly, there was always Tiffany's. For me, there's always Pug Hill. For as long as I've lived in New York, whenever I've just wanted to think, or relax, or be happy, or even sad, my destination of choice has been, without fail, Pug Hill.
For Hope McNeill, pugs are love, unconditional friendship, happiness, and freedom-all qualities currently in short supply in her own life. She's also short on time and apartment space, and for those reasons she doesn't have a pug of her own. But she does have Pug Hill in Central Park, where pugs (and their owners) from all over New York City convene.
She also has a serious crush on one of her co-workers at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a flailing relationship with her squash-playing, cold-weather-loving boyfriend, and an unspeakable fear of public speaking. When Hope's father calls with a daunting assignment-to make a speech at her parent's fortieth wedding anniversary party-Hope is completely taken off guard. As a last resort, she signs up for a public speaking class, but can't help wondering, will it be enough?


This is one of those books that when asked if I liked it, I respond with " I guess I liked it...."

Yes, parts where witty and funny

Yes, there are pugs on the cover-more incentive to buy it

No, nothing really happens in the book.

I felt like the main character Hope, did not really go through any drastic changed throughout the book, and it kinda bored me. There where parts that where funny and parts that where interesting but all in all, all she learned to do was Public speaking and it just felt like almost repetitive. She gets dumped a few times. I didn't get a feeling of completion with it.

In conclusion: if you are looking for an uneventful, filled with pugs and witty jokes kinda book-this is for you.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Review:When Harry Hit Hollywood by Mara Goodman-Davies

Review of When Harry it Hollywood by Mara Goodman-Davies

Jessica used to paint idly in her East Hampton garden. Now she ducks paparazzi hiding in the bushes. She used to live quietly, happy to be in the shadows. Now she's on the front page of every tabloid magazine.

No one said life on the A List would be easy.

When Harry Hit Hollywood is the hilarious story of celebrity marriage, where paparazzi watch you wash your hair, and every argument makes Page Six.

When sweet, quiet Jessica married Harry-Hollywood's most notorious billionaire bachelor-she knew she'd have to work hard to mend his hard-partying ways. But she didn't expect to become the "it" couple, crowned America's new royalty and adored by celebrities.

A hilarious send-up of the Hollywood scene, When Harry Hit Hollywood is a true-love story of when heartland values meet the cash and panache of the rich and ridiculous.


Every once in awhile I will review books that aren't YA or have been out for awhile. This book falls into both of those categories. I picked this book up because I have an obsession with Hollywood. I work at my local library and this happened to be in discard because we had 2 copies.

The story itself was very good. It's about a New York artist who marries a rich heir to a clothing company's fortune- who also is a big partier. They go through ups and downs as a couple. The writing was a little choppy as I felt it could of been expanded more.

NOTE: As mentioned before, this is not teen or young adult fiction. Do not read if you are easily offended by language or sexual descriptions.

In conclusion: a fun read. Nothing out of the ordinary but if you are interested in Hollywood or being A-List and a little dirt along the way-I highly recommend it.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Review:Rumors by Anna Godbersen

Review of Rumors:A Luxe Novel by Anna Godbersen.

Synopsis

After bidding good-bye to New York's brightest star, Elizabeth Holland, rumors continue to fly about her untimely demise.

All eyes are on those closest to the dearly departed: her mischievous sister, Diana, now the family's only hope for redemption; New York's most notorious cad, Henry Schoon-maker, the flame Elizabeth never extinguished; the seductive Penelope Hayes, poised to claim all that her best friend left behind—including Henry; even Elizabeth's scheming former maid, Lina Broud, who discovers that while money matters and breeding counts, gossip is the new currency.

As old friends become rivals, Manhattan's most dazzling socialites find their futures threatened by whispers from the past. In this delicious sequel to The Luxe, nothing is more dangerous than a scandal . . . or more precious than a secret.


I am very excited to present this review to you in advance of the books release. No I was not lucky enough to get an ARC for this( I don't even know if they where printed) I was just lucky enough to be at a Waldensbooks that had it out already.

I need to make something clear-I WILL NOT post plot points or spoilers to this. Trust me, Iknow you want to know what happens as much as the next person but it would be wrong of me to post spoilers to this. Yeah I know if it was a book I wanted to know what happened I would be like "Your being selfish" but I'm not- I won't compromise what I feel is right because you are " dying to know is Henry and Diana end up together" You WILL survive till June 3rd- it's only a few more days.

Now onto the review:

I loved(!) The Luxe but I kinda got mad at the book. Things don't play out like you want them to. Rumors gives that same painstaking feeling when you finish it. I cried-I'll admit it. I can't say much because I will not post spoilers but I will say this

You will probably read Rumors and being angry. You will have wished things have played out a differently. But don't go send Anna Godbersen hate mail, don't say you will never read another Luxe book in your life. Keep in mind that it's MEANT to happen this way and that's how it is. Really, don't miss out on the rest of the series because you didn't like how this book played out.
Would Titanic of been the same if Jack hadn't died? Would Star Wars have been Star Wars if Darth Vader wasn't evil? Would Harry Potter be the same without Sirius dying? It's a story and this is how it played out.

Anna Godbersen once again astonished me. She is a wonderful writer-one of my favorite new Young Adult authors I have found. I can't wait to read the next Luxe book- Guess what? It's title is printed in the back of Rumors.

In Conclusion: A wonderful installment that is shaping up to be one of the best series in the past few years. I loved the book and hope you do too. Now of course, don't expect an advanced review for the next book(No I will not tell you the name of it) I just happened to get lucky this time everyone and I don't expect my Luxe luck to continue. BUT I will review it as soon as it's released(I don't think there is a date yet though so it's probably a while)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Interview:Regina Scott(Author of La Petite Four)

I recently did an interview with Regina Scott, author of La Petite Four-you can see my review and of course my layout devoted to the site.

Interview:

Why did you decide you would like to write a young adult book?
My brilliant agent actually suggested it. I'd read an article on how every author has a core story that shows up whatever she writes. My core story--discovering who you are and how you fit in the world--works well with romance and fantasy, two areas that I love, but my agent suggested that my writer's voice would work even better in young adult literature. I read everything I could, and I realized she was right. I love YA!
When did you become so interested in the "regency" era?
When I was a YA! I was a voracious reader growing up, but right around the end of high school I was having a hard time finding books I really loved. My mother had checked out Elizabeth Mansfield's The Phantom Lover from the library, and I picked it up. I couldn't put it down! The publishing industry calls that kind of book a traditional Regency romance. I loved the language, the witty dialogue between heroine and hero, the elegant society, and the gorgeous gowns. It was another of those "I have to write this" moments.
Where did the inspiration for La Petite Four come from?
My junior year of high school, my family moved to a different city. I was pretty shy in those days so it wasn't easy to make new friends. But an incredibly creative girl named Nancy and I bonded because we both had a major crush on the same actor. Nancy was an amazing artist and a wonderful storyteller. Long after high school, we still made up stories for fun, with each other as the heroines. One of those stories featured Nancy as an art teacher at an exclusive girls school during the Regency era. Nancy's four favorite students were four friends named Lady Emily Southwell, Priscilla Tate, and Daphne and Ariadne Courdebas. The story went on to be published as a (you probably guessed it) traditional Regency romance titled A Dangerous Dalliance. Readers really liked it and wrote me letters asking if I'd write about the four girls as well. So, when I turned to YA, I knew which story I wanted to write first.
Which of the girls do relate to most?
I think there's a little of me in each of them. I definitely look more like Lady Emily, with dark hair that's frizzier in the rain and angular features, but I couldn't paint like she does. I love pretty clothes like Priscilla, but I could only wish wish for her incredible presence. Like Ariadne, I adore books, and I'm still a bit shy, but I don't have her courage to make my own rules. Like Daphne, I enjoy a round of fencing--there's something about hacking and slashing, even with a boffer sword!--but don't get me near a horse! They're beautiful, but I could never ride like she does.
Did anyone in your life inspire a character?
As I mentioned, Lady Emily's beloved art instructor was inspired by my dear friend Nancy Robak. Sadly, she passed away last year, far too young, from cancer, before I got the call that La Petite Four had been accepted for publication. I miss her a lot, but I know she would be thrilled to see her girls get their own story.
When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?
About third grade, when I realized that all these wonderful books I was reading were written by someone. I wanted to be that someone. I wanted to write the stories in my head, the ones I told myself as I fell asleep at night.
I know some authors "miss" their characters once they are done writing about them. Will you miss any characters from La Petite Four?
Lady Emily, for sure! She is by far the most real character I ever wrote. Very early in the planning process for La Petite Four I started hearing her voice in my head. Here's the first thing she said to me:
"I despise pink. Truly, was there ever a more insipid color? It neither whispers the purity of white nor makes the bold declaration of red. Yet I am convinced that my father would be the happiest of men if I were to wear nothing but that color. Pink, he thinks, is singularly feminine. It is simply not me." And yes, I find it amusing that the cover artist at Penguin decided to go with a singularly pink cover on the book!
Do you have any upcoming projects you're working on?
I'm always writing. I'm finishing a proposal for my first contemporary YA and working on a YA fantasy based on a Native American myth. I'm hoping for a sequel to La Petite Four, telling Priscilla's story, but no word yet on whether that's a go.
and. The Vita Dei/Trainspotting Reads Question-every-author-gets-asked.......What's your stance on Vampires?
I love the ones done with humor like Braced2Bite by Serena Robar. I can't read the dark and scary ones--I get nightmares! If you want a really good Regency-set one, try The Vampire Viscount by Karen Harbaugh. It was originally published in 1995 but I hear they reissued it in 2004. You can find used copies online. Great book!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Review: The Humming of Numbers by Joni Sensel

Review of The Humming of Numbers by Joni Sensel

Publisher's Summary:
Aidan is poised to take his monastic vows—until a girl enters the abbey, one who hums of the number eleven. Aidan has the ability to hear the humming of numbers, a buzzing energy given off by living things. He is captivated and tormented by the mysterious girl, Lana, who has some unusual abilities of her own. How can he become a monk when his mind is filled with impure thoughts?
Before he can begin to sort his feelings out, the Vikings raid. Only Aidan and Lana can save the village from certain, violent death—and only if they learn to trust in their mysterious talents.


Set in Tenth Century Ireland, this book follows Aidan and Lana. Aiden can here each person's number or hum. Lana is very special-she hums of an eleven-a number Aiden has never heard from a human before.

The Humming of Numbers is a pleasant read. A very nice historical novel with nice plot twist and a perfect ending to match. It is well written, with a sense of historical accuracy and modern day problems. The main characters are interesting and they drive the plot.

In Conclusion: The book deals with many themes including religion, magic, love and doing what's right. It had darker moments but also has it's happy, uplifting ones. Historical fans will devour this.

The Humming of Numbers is due out tommorow, May 27

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Contest: Signed Personalized Copies of Quondam by Jayel Gibson

As you all know, my favorite book so far this year has been Quondam by Jayel Gibson. I's a wonderful, epic story about adventure, romance and magic(k). For more information about it check out www.jayelgibson.com. You can also check out my review and interview here as well.

I am very excited to announce that I will be holding a contest for 5, yes five, copies of Quondam-signed and personalized(That means written out to your name). Winners will also receive a bookmark. All you have to do is leave me a comment on this page. If you do not have a Blogspot account and are going to use the anonymous button-please leave me an email address to get in contact with you if you win. You can also just email me at trainspotting0@gmail.com . If you mention and link to this contest on your blog, you will get 1 extra entry. On June 15, the contest will close and I will use the random # generator to pick 5 lucky winners. I will then give the winners 10 days to respond to me. This is a really wonderful book, so go ahead and enter-you will thank me later :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Interview:Jayel Gibson(Author of The Ancient Mirrors Series)

As you all my know, My favorite book this year so far is Quondam by Jayel Gibson. It's a wonderful tale of adventure and romance and magic(k) and *rambling continues* and PURE AWESOME!-so go buy yourself a copy. Or if you are not convinced yet, read this interview with Jayel Gibson and my review of Quondam.

Trainspotting Reads: When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

Jayel: I believe that writing chooses the writer, rather than the other way around. For me, there was never any deliberate decision to be a writer. I have always been a writer, keeping journals, writing short bits for friends’ role play character profiles, and stories for game websites. The first story of the Ancient Mirrors series began as a short introductory story for a friend’s website. About 90 pages in, I realize it was a ‘book’ – and Dragon Queen was born. It would be impossible for me not to write, even if no one ever read my work. It’s as much a part of me as breathing.

TR: Where do you derive your influences from?

Jayel: I was a very lucky little girl. My grandmother was a storyteller with a firm belief in the faery faith. So, I was raised on Celt Irish folklore. All of my work has a touch of Celtic magick rooted in its foundation. I also discover characters wandering our woods, drifting in the fog, or eating breakfast in a local café. I have copious character journals, filled with all sorts of likely suspects for future tales.

TR: Do you have a favorite place to write?

Jayel: *chuckling* I have three. One is my office. It overlooks the woods and the sea, and its walls are covered in character portraits, maps and setting images. Another is my local book store, Gold Beach Books. I spend two or three mornings a week there, surrounded by the great masters of fantasy and science fiction. Just being there is inspirational. Then, there is my local library. You’ll find be there among the stacks that hold books on the mythos, magick, medieval history and ancient religions several times a month.

TR: Do you have a favorite character?

Jayel: My favorite character in the Ancient Mirrors Tales series is Cwen of Aaradan. I have watched her grow from an embittered, alienated daughter incapable of love, to selfless savior and loyal friend. She delights and amazes me. It’s been a pleasure to know her.

TR: The art for the Ancient Mirrors series is very vivid, Did you describe in great detail to the artist?

Jayel: I’ve been fortunate to have two extremely intuitive artists, Michele-lee Phelan (Ancient Mirrors series art) and Mates Laurentiu (Ever’neath series art). I do provide detailed descriptions and together, the artist and I select professional models for each character portrait. It’s really cool to have someone see Cwen’s portrait at a book signing and say, “That’s just how I pictured her when I read the book.” The character portraits are one of the most popular ‘giveaways’ on my websites.


TR: Are you a big fan of happy endings? Bitter-Sweet?(My Favorite) or just plain out tear jerkers?

Jayel: Who can resist a happy ending? They leave us feeling all warm and fuzzy. I enjoy a ‘happily ever after’ occasionally, provided the characters have struggled to earn it. Stories with bittersweet endings tend to linger with me far longer than those with ‘Disney’ endings. And, I am much more likely to reread the bittersweet tales.

I’ve never been one for tear jerkers, unless they were non-fiction. I read for research and entertainment. Real life history often ends tragically, and leaves me teary eyed. For entertainment, I lean toward the fantastic adventure, where characters must overcome tremendous odds and deal with personal demons – as well as the real ones – to find happiness.

TR: Was it hard to say "good bye" to the Ancient Mirrors Series?

Jayel: Speaking of bittersweet - it’s been a divided torment. On one hand, I’ve been paling around with the AM characters for almost five years. They’re old friends, comfortable and well known. On the flipside, I’ve had the characters of six upcoming Ever’neath novels screaming to be written, and I am enjoying the new world experiences as I develop a kinship with the Ever’neath characters.

TR: If Quondam was being made into a film, who would you cast in each role?

Jayel: Ahhhh, I’ve been asked this one a lot lately. I do know that if I were casting Yavie the Dragon Queen, I would choose Angelina Jolie. She has the same presence and natural physical strength, and the timeless beauty and maturity that I see in Yavie. Beyond that, I don’t know; so I guess I would have to defer to the professionals for casting. *laughing* Let’s face it, if a studio offered to make Quondam into a film I would be thrilled, and more than happy to let them have the creative limelight.

TR: Can you tell us about any upcoming projects you are doing?

Jayel: I’ve just completed the first book of the Ever’neath series, and am currently at work on the second. The new stories take place in the sky cities of the Empyrean Sidhe (pronounced ‘shee’) and the world below called Ever’neath. The common thread throughout the series is the search for the Haelo-Qua (HALO kwa) – a being capable of voicing the images in the fabled Book of Silence, a great treasure believed to grant limitless power to those who possess it, and can control its singer.

The story is great fun to write. I hope it will be as much fun to read. As with the Ancient Mirrors series, maps, and a glossary with phonetic spellings for those who want to know how I pronounce it, will be in every book.


TR: If you could say one thing to your fans, what would it be?

Jayel: Thank you. It is you, the readers, who truly give the work life. Every time a book is read, it’s resurrected, given new meaning with each reader’s discovery. The best part of writing is meeting my readers, whether it’s an email through the Ancient Mirrors website, a comment on a blog, or in person at a book event. I cherish every contact. My favorite part of the morning is answering fan mail. So please, don’t ever stop chatting me up.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Review: Undone by Brooke Taylor

Review of Undone by Brooke Taylor

I didn't want to attempt and butcher a summary so here's one for you:

When Kori Kitlzer, the “dark angel” of the 8th grade, tells Serena Moore that they are more alike than she thinks, Serena is instantly intrigued. As their friendship solidifies and their lives entwine, Serena tries to become more like the fearless, outspoken, and ambitious Kori. Soon Serena doesn't know where she begins and Kori ends. But when a twist of fate yanks Kori away from Serena, she will need to find a way to complete her best friend's life left undone.


In my opinion, there was one thing that stood out to me about this book.....

not the characters

not the writing

not the details

It was how real it felt. Usually when I saw a book felt read to me that means that I can see the events in the book happening in real life, comparing circumstance. This book however deals with many things like drugs, teen pregnancy, ect, being a teen myself I can vouch for all of those and more. Ms. Taylor was able to really capture how it is to be a teen.

In Conclusion:Not usually the type of book I go for but, it was good. I reccomend it to teens who want a good read about real-life today. Oh, by the way, DO NOT let parents who believe all teens are evil*cough* my parents*cough* read this book. The over-protective ones may not let you near your friends for a week :)

I usually don't post about what I'm reading next but I just got today The Humming of Numbers by Joni Sensel and I am really excited about reading it. I don't care if it comes out next week and my review won't really be that advanced, I can't wait to read it. So look out for that :)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Review:La Petite Four by Regina Scott

Review of La Petite Four by Regina Scott

La Petite Four surround 4 friends, Emily, Priscilla, Ariadne and Daphne. The book follows Emily, an aspiring artist. She is engaged to be married to Lord Robert. When he informs her she cannot attend the coming out ball she is determined to discover his secret and expose him for what he really is.

I really liked this book. Too often in Teen Fiction this era is skipped over, so I loved to see it. . There is plenty of drama, romance and even adventure in La Petite Four. The 4 friends are quite real. They interact like real friends and each have their own unique personalities. They remind me of my own friends in a way.

This is Ms. Scott's first Young Adult novel, but you would never guess it. Usually, authors turned young adult authors first outing isn't as amazing as you'd imagine. Very often I find authors writing "down" towards teens. Ms. Scott did not have this problem. Her writing was very descriptive and visual.

In Conclusion, A great book for all-historical buffs, romance lovers and adventure/mystery seekers. The characters are great, the storyline is great and the writing is great. I look forward to reading more Teen/Young Adult books from Ms. Scott in the future.


Look out for my interview with Regina Scott soon!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Review:Star Wars:Legacy of the Force: Invincible by Troy Denning

Review of Star Wars:Legacy of the Force: Invincible by Troy Denning

Spoiler Alert! Those who don't wish to be spoiled, don't continue!


For those who do not know me well. I have always been a Star Wars nerd. I actually read all the books that come out but I have never bothered to review them, it's just not something I review. Star Wars novels are some of the few novels that I actually go out and buy to read. I make time for these books. And this book is the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows of Star Wars books, or at least this series

I won't give a detailed back story because A) you know it and don't need to hear it or B) you don't know it and don't care.

But us Star Wars fans have been forced to say goodbye to yet another character.

I honestly didn't take this one has hard as Mara Jade. I guess I was just shocked that it actually ended this way, with Mara I think we all saw it coming.

BIG SPOILERS! DON"T BLAME ME IT YOU KEEP READING

Jacen is redeemed in the end, which ever way you wish to look at it. Darth Caedus becomes Jacen in his last moments on Earth. Do I dislike/despise Jaina for doing it? YES! Can you blame her? no.......

He gave up, he accepted his fate and did all that he could. I liked Jaina's point of perhaps he did succeed at uniting the galaxy. Yes, he succeeded in saving the galaxy and he sacrificed his family, his name, his reputation and his life for it-but he did it. He ended the war and saved his daughter. He also, I believe, is the first Sith Lord to redeem themselves. Jacen did not need any sort of big ending. He actual faced his enemy in the eyes and deactivates his lightsaber. That my friends-is just as heroic as Darth Vader saving Luke Skywalker are the Second Death Star. Yes, he killed many and I'm not forgetting that. But against what anyone says, I do believe Jacen died heroically and on "the good" side. I really wish we would get to see more Force Ghost in Star Wars canon-I think Del Ray forgot about them-so maybe possibly some day we sill see Jacen that way.

R.I.P. Jacen Solo-joining the list of characters that Del Ray has killed off.....*cough*chewbacca*cough*mara*cough*anakinsolo*cough*cough*

May you live on in fanfiction always.............

Review:Ninth Grade Slays by Heather Brewer

REview of Ninth Grade Slays by Heather Brewer:

Vladimir Tod recently realized being a teenage vampire isn't easy. In the 2nd book of The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, we follow Vlad through many hardship including girls, morals and of course evil vampires.I really liked this book. This series is shaping up to be great. There is a lot of relationships and caring going around, which many vampire stories lack. Vlad's uncle Otis cares deeply for Vlad.

My favorite scene in the whole book is when Otis admits to Vlad that he did not support Tomas(Vlad's father)'s decision of falling in love, and having a child with a human. The characters feel real and act real. They make mistakes but that have a motive. They say things the way real people do, not with fancy wording and big words no one uses in conversation.

Once again. Ms. Brewer's writing was as wonderful as ever.She is very talented and as I said, is able to capture the essence of being a teenaged out-cast. I very much enjoy her writing.Also

Once again, Vlad is a character you are meant to sympathize with. In the end you will start to empathize with him and honestly feel how hard it is to be him.

In conclusion, I once said this series had the possibilty of becoming one of the best vampire series out there. Ninth Grade Slay's does not disappoint nor disprove in anyway this statement

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Review:Guinevere's Gift by Nancy McKenzie

Review of Guinevere's Gift by Nancy McKenzie

Gwen is a young girl who is sent to live in her cousin's kingdom after her father becomes ill. She loves horses. At her birth it was said she would be the highest lady in the land. This book follows Gwen on her adventures as a young girl. Gwen of couse grows up to be Guinevere, wife of King Arthur and lover of Sir Lancelot of the Lake.

This book has a wonderful mixture of teen-ness and arthurian legend. Too often historyical fiction for teens is too dumbed down or tries too hard to make the teen relate to the story. These books usually loose the historical feel to them. This book balanced history and young adult wonderfully.

Ms. McKenzie is a very good writer(I really want to read Prince of Dreams by her) Her writing is very detailed and has good imagery.

The characters in this book where very vivid. They each felt real and had each their own and unique personalities.

I enjoyed the book and eagerly await the next book in the Chrysalis Queen Quartet

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Review:Hallowmere: In the Serpent's Coils by Tiffany Trent

Review of In the Serpent's Coils by Tiffany Trent

Corrine's parents both died in the Civil War. Now during the Reconstruction, Corrine somehow finds herself sent to Falston Manor-a girl's school. She also begins dreaming disturbing things. Before Corrine even realizes it she is caught up in a supernatural mystery-one that could take her friends.....and her own.....life.

I REALLY liked this book. I hadn't heard about them until a publicist at Mirrorstone pointed them out to me.As all of my faithful readers know, I am a real big fan of historical fiction. I am also a big fan of fantasy's and mysteries. So this book was like a marriage of all 3 subjects.Ms. Trent is a wonderful writer-very vivid-but not to the point where you forget what a character was doing. Being a history Buff-I found the book to be very accurate but without loosing the feel of a mystic.

In Conclusion: A wonderful read for anyone-there's a little bit of everything in it and it has a wonderful cliff-hanger. I don't know if I will be reviewing the next 3 books of the series(and the ones succeeding those 3) but......I would LOVE to. This is a wonderful book and I encourage everyone to go and pick a copy up.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Review:Sucks to be Me by Kimberly Pauley

Review of Sucks to be me by Kimberly Pauley

Mina( yes, she IS named after the Dracula character) is a normal teenage girl- albite her vampire parents and the fact that she now must choose whether or not she wants to join them in undead-ville. In this book you follow Mina as she has some ups and downs-some vamp related-some not.I liked this book. It was a nice, quick easy read. The characters where funny. The storyline was interesting. The pop-culture references where awesome( I am a sucker for pop-culture references) The book's main theme is Mina is unsure whether or not to become a vampire. She deals with not being able to tell her best friend, ect.

The most interesting parts of the book-are actually the human parts. Like Mina likes this guy Nathan, but Nathan likes her best friend, Serena and Serena likes Nathan. Mina also tries to set up a fellow potential vampire,George, with Serena-but he likes Mina-not Serena

All in all, a good read. Think Vampire Kisses meets House of Night and you get Sucks to be Me. I believe Ms. Pauley will be writing a sequel-which I think will get interesting-I won't give much away but the ending does leave room for other stories w/ Mina in them.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Upcoming Reviews

Here's a list of books I am hoping to review within the next few months. They are in no order and some may be cut, some i might never get to, some you may see like this week.


Sucks to be Me-Kimberly Pauley
Star Wars:Legacy of the Force:Invincible-Troy Denning
Madapple-Christina Meldrum
Vamps-Nancy A Collins
The Host-Stephenie Meyer
Breaking Dawn-Stephenie Meyer
Rumors- Anna Godbersen
The Hallowmere Series-Tiffany Trent
Guinevere's Gift- Nancy McKenzie
The Explosionist by Jenny Davidson
Feast of Fools-Rachel Caine
Ninth Grade Slays- Heather Brewer
Bewitching Season-Marissa Doyle

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Interview:M.P Barker(author of A Difficult Boy)

Here's the interview I recently conducted with M.P Barker-writer of A Difficult Boy. Enjoy!

1)What made you interested in history when you where younger?

When I was a kid, we used to watch lots of old (I mean REALLY old—like 1930s) movies on TV, and I always loved the costume dramas with Errol Flynn and Ronald Coleman and Laurence Olivier and all that. Of course, the history was totally inaccurate, but I loved the sense of adventure and the fantasy of living in a different time (without having to actually DO it, that is!)

Then when I began to study history seriously, I ended up getting more fascinated with all the every-day details of ordinary people’s lives than with the big “important” events and famous people.

2) Where did you get the idea for A Difficult Boy ?

I’m an archivist at a local history museum, which means I catalog all sorts of old documents and photographs for researchers to use. I came across a bill from the 1770s that a man sent to the mother of an indentured boy who had run away. The bill charged the woman for the cost of catching the boy and the value of the lost work while the boy was missing. So I started wondering why the boy might have wanted to run away, what the master was like, and so on. I used to work at Old Sturbridge Village, which is a living history museum about New England in the 1830s. Since I knew more about the 1830s than the 1770s, and indentured servitude was still around then, I moved the story into the 1830s. The boy became Ethan and the master became Mr. Lyman.

3) Did anyone in your life inspire Ethan, Daniel, Silas, Mr. Lyman?

That’s a hard question to answer. I can’t think of any one person that I deliberately used as a model for my characters, although Mr. Stocking, the peddler in the story, did turn out to resemble a couple of folks I knew. I didn’t realize that until after I’d finished writing about him and a friend said, “Hey, he’s just like so-and-so!” Then a second friend said he was just like somebody entirely different, so I suppose he's really a combination of those two people with some invented stuff mixed in. So I guess the answer is that the characters probably do contain elements of people I knew, but I didn’t do it on purpose!

4) Are you more like Ethan or Daniel?

That’s a really good question. I think that I’m more like Ethan in some ways—although not as naïve. I like to try to make the best of things and get along with people. I hope that I’m as loyal to my friends as Ethan is to Daniel. I try to have some of Ethan’s idealism and optimism, although sometimes I feel as cynical as Daniel does. But I’m not nearly as brave as either one of them!

5) What kind of research did you do while writing A Difficult Boy?

Some things I’d learned by doing them at Old Sturbridge Village, like how to milk a cow and how to do many of the chores the boys did. While I worked there, I also learned what the clothes and buildings would have been like, what they would have eaten, or what sort of attitudes people might have had. But there were things I didn’t know or couldn’t remember, like some of the legal ins and outs of indentured servitude and laws relating to debts. I had to research those issues by reading Massachusetts state laws and publications from the 1830s that told businessmen how to set up their accounts or what forms to use when paying off a mortgage (not terribly exciting, I’m afraid). I also read old newspapers from the 1830s to get an idea of what sorts of jokes people told and what their everyday concerns were and what sort of events were taking place that might influence my characters’ lives. I did a lot of reading about why Irish Catholics came to America during the 1820s and 1830s. I also asked several of my former co-workers from Old Sturbridge Village to double-check the story and make sure I got all the information right.

6) Can you give us an update on any future projects you are doing (what they are about, when they are being released)

I’m working on a sequel to A Difficult Boy that involves Daniel and the peddler, Mr. Stocking. They’re going to travel together and join up with a circus that has six “dancing ponies” that Daniel will have to learn how to train. They’ll also get involved with some Irish railroad workers and a child custody case, which is about all I can tell you without giving the story away. I’m about half-way through writing it, and need to do a lot of research to get it finished. So I still have to get it done before I’ll know when it will be released!

I’m also working on a book about a sea captain’s wife and daughter and how they cope with life after he’s lost at sea. I haven’t done much with that project yet, since I’m trying to concentrate on the Daniel book.

7)What made you want to be a writer?

I’ve always loved books. When I was a kid, I dreamed of being a novelist and wrote some very bad short stories. I had some ideas for books, but I never could come up with endings for anything. Anyway, when I was in high school I decided that it was terribly unrealistic to want to be a novelist, so I put that idea on the shelf (although I’ve always done all sorts of work-related writing—reports and papers and such). Anyway, after I’d been working for many years, I started trying to write stories again, just for fun. I never really thought I could do a whole book until Ethan and Daniel’s story came along. Part of it was just wanting to see if I could do it, and part of it was wanting to find out how their story would end. And a really HUGE part was two friends who challenged me to write five pages a week until I got it finished.

8) What was your favorite part of a Difficult Boy to write?

The scenes with Ivy, the horse that Daniel takes care of. I’ve always wanted a horse, and writing the story allowed me to create the horse I could never own. I did take riding lessons for a while, and I used a lot of those memories to write about Daniel and Ethan riding Ivy.

9)I know some authors "miss" characters when they are done writing about them. Are you going to miss any particular character?

If I weren’t working on a sequel, I would miss Daniel the most. I don’t really mind leaving Ethan, because I feel that he’s going to be okay. But I’m not so sure about Daniel; I think life is still going to be pretty tough for him. That’s why I’m sticking with him to find out what happens. Mr. Stocking is also a hard character to let go—which is why he turns up twice in the book (he was only supposed to be in one scene). I really want to find out more about what he’s all about. So that’s why Daniel and Mr. Stocking are getting their stories continued into another book.

10) and......The Trainspotting Reads/ Vita Dei Question-that-is-asked-to-EVERY-SINGLE-author......What is your stance on Vampires?

Well, I have to confess that most of what I know about vampires comes from the original Dracula book (no, I wasn’t around when it first came out—I’m not THAT old). I’ve heard that vampire stories have gotten pretty sexy these days, though, so I’m thinking I ought to check some out and get myself up to date.

There you go!

A Difficult Boy by M.P Barker is out NOW!

Review:Quondam by Jayel Gibson

Review of Quondam by Jayel Gibson


I really should start an award ceremony for books because everybook I read gets a new sort of category.

This book would win the OMG I can't believe how good this book was Award

I found this book by chance. I find most of the books I read by searching around. I discovered The Ancient Mirrors series by clicking on someones blog. From there I clicked a link. And then from this link I found Ms. Gibson's site. The art Ms. Gibson commisions for her work is AMAZING and it really drew me in to finding out more about her work. So I discover that she has an upcoming fantasy book called Quondam coming out-I honestly didn't read much into it-but I emailed around and before you know it I am sent a beautiful advanced copy of Quondam

Like I said-I didn't really look into this book at all. I realized after I get it that A) there where 3 books before it and B) everbody's name is really long and has stange commas in it

I was intimidated by this book. I really didn't know If I could handle it. I was afraid I was going to get completly confused and not get it and *continues rambling about how scared I was of book*

14 minutes later

okay......so after I go through how scared I am of it. I actually start to read it.

This was Thurday. It is now Saturday. The book is 320 pages long with small type.

To tell you all the truth-I was addicted to this book. I just got so caught up in it and I couldn't put it down.

Okay so now you know my story about it. Here's the actual review-bare with me cause this has Hamlet like family connections that get confusing. I'll go with each main character

Cwen-a Queen's niece that get's sucked into Quondam along w/ her aunt and her cousin
D'raekn-...........................where do I begin. He is 1/2 human, 1/2 dragon. He is the rightful heir of Quondam's throne but Kadrid has taken over Quondam.

I'm sure as you all can imagine that there is romance involved as well. I'm not going to go into it because it is such a beautiful part of the book and I don't want to butcher it with my rambling

If you are still alittle iffy on this book here's how I would describe it in the easiest form.

C.S's Lewis's Lion Witch and the Wardrobe -talking lions + Dragons + romance + some steam :) + cool character names - annoying Edmund + beautiful locations + PURE AWESOME= Quondam.

This book isn't really young adult but there is nothing in it that is any worse than anything I've read in YA and Teen novels-just some steam and a few curses here and there. This book is unlike anything I have ever read before and I loved it. I don't think I will be reading the 1st 3 anytime soon. I'm so busy and have a lot of other things to read. But the real reason is this. I love the picture this book painted in my head and I LOVE the way it is, I'm unsure it I want to change it. Besides-the other 3 can't have any Cwen/D'raekn romance in them. I WILL however definetly be checking out Ms. Gibson's next series Ever'neath - She is a great writer and I am glad to have discovered her.

Quondam, I believe, was released May 1.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Review:Nobody's Princess by Esther Friesner

Review of Nobody's Princess by Esther Friesner

Nobody's Princess deals with a young Helena of Troy(or at this time Of Sparta). It follows her adventures with her brothers, Castor and Polydeuces and her twin sister Clytemnesta.

I liked this book. Didn't love it or anything but it was good. I prefered the first 1/2 of the story that delt with Helen's jealousy and her sister more than the whole adventure part- and I like adventure.

The book was well written and the character where relatable to. I look forward to reading more from Esther Friesner. There is a sequel to this out called Nobody's Prize. I don't know when I'll get around to reading it because I have 6 books to read in the next like 3 weeks so..........

Anyway, I reccomend this to all my Royalty and history buff readers- you will enjoy it :)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Review:A Difficult Boy by M.P Barker

Review of A Difficult Boy by M.P. Barker

An indentured servant is a laborer under contract of the employer for some period of time, usually three to seven years, in exchange for such things as ship's passage, food, land and accommodations.
from Wikipedia.org

A Difficult Boy is a story about 2 indentured servant, Ethan(9) and Daniel(17). The 2 come from completely different backgrounds and have completly different personalities but somehow forge a friendship. A friendship-they soon learn-that may save their lives.

Now.......I reallly like historical fiction but I had never read a book about indentured servants. Indentured servants are like just one of those stupid vocab words they make you learn in grade school, right? They aren't important, right? They don't have any sort of story to tell,right?

Wrong........

I imagined life as an indentured servant hard but not this hard. Daniel( or they call him Paddy-which is a disrespectful name to Irish) was wipped and beaten. These indentured servantshad work for every stitch on their back and ever crumb of food.

Ok, so now you think this is a book about how hard life is being an indentured servant.....

Wrong again.......

Most of all this book is about friendship and the importance of friendship. It is just a beautiful story set to a beautiful background or think about it this way. The environment/setting move the story-but they are not the story. Think Harry Potter or Star Wars. They are vital to the story but not THE story. Daniel and Ethan's relationship grows and evolves as the story goes on.

My favorite aspect of the book is how real it feels. The racism Daniel gets. The hardships Ethan goes through. Their friendship even all feels very real..........and that's why I love this book. I read it within 24 hours and I couldn't put it down. At about Chapter 6 you will be hooked! I reccomend this for all historical readers as well as those looking for a wonderful story about friendship

NOTE: Look for The Difficult Boy layout and interview with Ms. M.B. Barker coming soon!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Review:Evernight by Claudia Gray

Sometimes by reviews have stories to go a long with them. This book definetly does. A few months ago, I heard about this book and I was interested-I mean, I love vampire books as you all know, and any new vamp material is good material. As time built up to me actually reading this book I had found that my expectations of it rose as well. Now, I have learned from expierence that having high expectations equals huge let down(I am looking at you Phantom Menace), so when I finally started reading it, I tried to prepare myself for it not being what I imagined
I didn't need to.
This is the first book I have ever read that has ever "lived up to" what I imagined it to be in my head. Of course, many you simpathize with the" it sounded good on the back cover" syndrome-I do too. Many books just don't turn how you imagined them originally in your head. Not that these books are bad but sometimes they just aren't what you saw or wanted out of the book.
Evernight, however, suprassed all of my expectations of the book. It seriously was the best book I read this year so far. One of the best debutes I have ever seen from an author, Ms. Gray makes it seem like she has written numerous teen novels. Now, I will have to re-read it like 5 times before it can be considered but I think I may have a new favorite series to watch out for.
Onto the novel itself, It's about Biana a girl attending Evernight because her parents teach there. She decides to run away to prove a point when she runs into( or away from) Jared/Lucas- a fellow student. Sparks fly and before you know it, Biana is pulled into a love story with twists and turns that have a Romeo and Juliet-esque feel to them
The characters themselves are quite interesting. You of course sympathize with Bianca and feel for her throughout the book. You will also fall in love with Jared/Lucas-He has a bad boy attitude but not in a way that makes you hate him. His character will through you for a loop so be prepared.
In conclusion, it is an amazing read. You must pick this book up! I You will be hooked from the prolouge on.

Special thanks to Ms. Gray for the copy. Check her out at www.claudiagray.com

Friday, April 18, 2008

Vacation-April 18-April 27

Ciao guys(in New Jersey "guys" applies to like everyone-a group-Hey, now you've learned smoe new dialect),

I will be on vacation from April 18-27. More than likely I will have some form of internet access during this time, but if I don't get back to you, please be patient. I will get back to everyone when I get back if not during my vacation.

In case anyone is wondering, this is what I am reading while I am on vacation. Check them all out.

Evernight by Claudia Gray-I am loving this :)
The Maid of the White Hands(Tristan and Isolde Book 2) by Rosalind Miles
The Lady of the Sea(Tristan and Isolde Book 3) by Rosalind Miles
Nobody's Princess by Esther Friesner

Evernight is a wonderful vampire book that I am in love with-It's going to be featured here around it's release. Nobody's Princess is about a young Helen of Troy and her adventures. And my 2 Tristan and Isolde books..............ahhhhhhh......This is my 7th time reading these books. They are a favorite of mine. They are NOT young adult-think more The Other Boleyn Girl. A little unkown fact about me-Tristan and Isolde is my favorite love story and this is my favorite adaptation, besides Morte D'Arthurs of course. Why you may ask? Well.....I usually don't do spoilers but either you know the story of Tristan and Isolde or you don't. Usually T+I has a .....um....Romeo and Juliet-esque ending to it. These books keep completely to the true storyline of Tristan And Isolde, never once changing things into something it isn't, BUT well........and they get a happy ending-YAY! I am a big fan of happy endings but usually my favorite stories don't have them(*cough* Anakin and Padme in Star Wars*Cough**cough* Cedric Diggory*cough*) and this does and it makes me happy. It also is wonderfully written. I don't reccomend it to those who aren't into Arthurian things-it has some old English and the series is very long. It also has a lot going on at once....but if you are into King Arthur and other things like this you must read these.

Anyway, Thanks for being understanding of me being on vacation- I appreciate it :)

Jessica

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Author Release Program Update

Alrighty, here are some of the first books that will be in the new Author Release Program.

Chronological Release Order:

A Difficult Boy-M.P. Baker-Released already, expect review and interview within month or so
Evernight-Claudia Gray-Expect Review May 20th and Interview on May 27th-It's release date
Alive and Well, in Prague,New York-Daphne Grab-expect review May 26th and interview on June 3-it's release
Sucks To Be Me- Kimberly Pauley- expect review August 21 and interview on August 27-it's release


I am also currently in talks about possibly reviewing a 10 part series with a publisher-Not going to say what yet.........but..........I'm very excited about it :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Author New Release Program-Please pass this around :)

This stands for these 2 sites
General YA/Teen Novels-www.trainspottingreads.blogspot.com
Vampire YA/Teen Fiction- www.vitadei.blogspot.com


alrighty, I'm offering this up because A) It seems like a cool idea and B) I think a lot of author's would be interested in it.

Here's how it goes. The Author Package is designed so that you can get some free publicity surrounding your books release. Here's how it will work,

This is what it would consist of:
A Review of your book released about 2 weeks or so before release-your choice
A Layout based on your book on my blog for the week before and after the release
An Interview posted the day of the release or around that time-your choice :)
Book name added to archive of Books participated in the Program(obviously not out yet)

The only requirement I have is that you provide an advanced copy of it for me to review (I can't review something if I can't buy it somewhere :)) and(if possible, as it's just a small tradition of mine) that you sign the inside of book for me. I'm an autograph junky and I love signed stuff- so It is greatly appreciated. It's not going to end up on eBay-rest assured-no one touches my signed books.

I do get a lot of viewers and I feel this is a great way of publicity for a book-you are hitting a target audience that will go out an buy your book.

So please even if you don't have an upcoming release, please pass this around to your author friends. It's greatly appreciate as I would like to get this program up and on it's feet. I know so many books could benefit from this.

You can email me at trainspotting0@gmail.com if you are interested

Jess

Review:Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

A quote I said about Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Princess Ben is not your typical Princess. She is short and on the larger side. She is also stubborn.
Her life has recently been turned upside down and she soon discovers there is more to her life than meets the eye

I loved this book! It was amazing. and .......I loved it! I'm going to post a quote I made about the book here instead on an in dept review as it sums it up in the best way. Part of this quote can also be seen at Ms. Murdock's website

I relate so much to Ben, and I loved that she got a happy ending. I was so happy to see how she evolved over the course of the book. I know the ends are kinda tied up at the end, but I would love to here what happens to Princess Ben after the main story is over. She was a great character who was really detailed and a believable as a person. I think too many princess books have girls who are perfect in them.

Also, I'd like to mention to y'all that the book is worth it's 16 dollar hardcover price. I know that's a steep price(trust me-I'm the type of person buy's the cheaper book when your in between 2 you are unsure about) but it's so worth it

Review:The Juliet Club by Suzanne Harper(June 2008)

Review of The Juliet Club by Suzanne Harper


The Juliet Club follows 6 teens, 3 Americans and 3 Italians, as they spend part of their summer in Verona, Italy taking a Shakespearian Class and volunteering at the Juliet Club. The Juliet Club is a place where people write from all over the world to "Juliet" and the teens have to answer for them. Along the way, they find love, heartbreak and friendship.
I'll do pro-and con on this book, because it had both. I'll do Con 1st because I like ending on a happy note
Con:
There where a lot of character and at times it was hard to follow them all.
I'm a big fan of complete endings, with all loose ends tied up. You don't get that out of this ending-but it is still a nice ending
Pro:
Great characters, they all have their own stories w/ their own problems.
Great Plot-cool things happen to them-well duh
Well written-Ms. Harper is a wonderful writer
and of course, A awesome concept

To sum the Juliet Club up, it's an easy read. It takes you on a modern day Shakespeare Adventure. In typical Shakespeare fashion, you meet wonderful in dept characters who carry the plot. These characters own problems will relate to your own-making The Juliet Club- a fantastic read.

The Juliet Club by Suzanne Harper will be released June 2008

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Want a Book Reviewed?

Are you an author and would like a book reviewed? Then check this out:)

How my reviewing works:
http://vitadei.blogspot.com/2008/03/review.html

Welcome!

Hi all,

This is my new blog :O Yes , I know shocking but I needed a place to post my other reviews besides Vampire book, cause- I obviously do read other things. I hope you all enjoy :)