Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Espressologist By Kristina Springer (+Contest!)

Written by Ari at 4:26 PM
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The Espressologist By Kristina Springer

Synopsis: Whats your drink of choice? Is it a small pumpkin spice latte? Then you're lots of fun and a bit sassy. Or a medium americano? You must prefer simplicity in life. Or perhaps its a small decaf soy sugar free hazelnut caffe latte? Some might call you a yuppie. Seventeen year old Jane Turner has this theory that you can tell a lot about a person by their regular coffee drink. She scribbles it all dwon in a notebook and calls it espressology. So its not a totally crazy idea wehn Jane starts hooking up some of her friends based on their drink orders. Like her best friend Em, a medium hot chocolate, and Cam, a toffee nut latte. But when her boss, Derek, gets wind of Janes Espressology, He makes it an in store holiday promotion, promising customers their perfect matches for the price of their favorite coffee. Things are going better than Derek could ever have hoped, so why is Jane so freaked out? Does it have anything to do with Em dating Cam? Shes the one who set them up! She should be happy for them right?

I laughed the entire time I read this book. It was incredible! In Kristinas debut novel she brings a whole new outlook to the world known as coffee. Jane is a character so many people can relate to. All of us have been or will be seventeen at some point in our life and even if we havent we already know the ups and downs of being a teen. Let alone a teen with a job! In the novel Jane never planned for things to go as far as they did. To her it was just helping a good guy hook up with a good girl after he and his girlfriend broke up. But a coworker saw her work her magic and wanted an in also. She gets hooked up. But then Janes best friend Em breaks it off with her boyfriend, and she is devestated. Jane has no idea what to do. But hook her up with a boy from her college class. As always one things leads to another and before you know it, it ends in boy drama. But hey no one was planning on it to happen. This book found a way to put a great twist on a overused plot. I definitley loved it. I really hope I get to read more from this author.


10 stars


GIVEAWAY!: We are giving away one copy of The Esspressologist *courtesy of unnamed donors* by Kristina Springer! And who knows what else will be thrown in. *considering Erynn Mangums Lauren Holbrook series since both are about matchmaking and coffee!* Also because of the holidays well throw in some swag to help you out this year for the holidays, and chocolate :D
Evil Rules X.x

We must have at least 5 participants or no giveaway. Sorry standard procedure.
Must be a US resident *same rule as everyone else. if you cna get someone to send it to you great.*

It will be a random selection based upon Random.Org

Starts officially December 1, 2009

Ends *unofficially* December 10, 2009 *will be changed based upon request

How to participate
Participate by entering here....Entry Form

Jumping Off Swings By Jo Knowles

Written by Ari at 4:26 PM
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Jumping Off Swings By Jo Knowles
Synopsis: One pregnancy. Four friends. It all adds up to a profound time of change in this poignant, sensitively written YA novel. Ellie remembers how the boys kissed her. Touched her. How they begged for more. And when she gave it to them, she felt loved. For a while anyway. So when Josh, an eager virgin with a troubled home life, leads her from a party to the backseat of his van, Ellie follows. But their "one-time thing" is far from perfect: Ellie gets pregnant. Josh reacts with shame and heartbreak, while their confidantes, Caleb and Corinne, deal with their own complex swirl of emotions. No matter what Ellie chooses, all four teenagers will be forced to grow up a little faster as a result. Told alternately from each character’s point of view, this deeply insightful novel explores the aftershocks of the biggest decision of one fragile girl’s life — and the realities of leaving innocence behind.
This novel was extremely touching. I found it much more compelling then most other teen pregnancy stories. It showed a true spirit that is masked away. Jo Knowles focuses on showign the true world of teenage pregnancy. How it is caused, why it happens, and how everyone reacts. She shows that one girl. Ellie. Just wants to be loved. When she finds out shes pregnant no one reacts well. Especially her mother who focuses on life being perfect and wonderful. Every chapter is a rotation between four different teenagers showing how they all see what is happening in their world. Ellie takes refuge with her friends mother, an understand woman who tries constantly to help Ellie. She acts like the mother that shunned Ellie. Although this novel shows teenage pregnancy cuts you off from loved ones it also brings you new loved ones. This was truly a heart warming/tugging story that I sorta wished I hadnt read because it was so sad. Yet I am also glad I did read it. Jo Knowles is a genius and I truly loved this novel.
Ari

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Speak By Laurie Halse Anderson

Written by Ari at 7:53 PM
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Speak By Laurie Halse Anderson

Synopsis: Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won't talk to her, and people she doesn't even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that's not safe. Because there's something she's trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth.


As always, Laurie Halse Anderson never fails to deliver. My partner in crime forced me to read this, *glares at Lydia,* but I still loved this book. It was so simple, but also extremely complex. No one expects a secret of one high school freshman to be kept so long, but in this book that is exactly what Melinda achieves. This book had many parts that would chill someone to the bone, and other parts that all of us can relate to. Melinda has no one. Only a big, fat secret. One too horrible to tell anyone. Through out the book she struggles with her secret, and seeing IT at school. She struggles with school, cliques, and friends who aren't too happy with her. Oh, and of course the ever-present rumors. Her secret affects everything about her: her outlook on life, her appearance, and her performance in school. Except for once class. The one class that changes everything for her and helps her realize what she has to do. Art. Her art teacher is infamous for randomly assigning students their art subject for the whole year. Read as secrets, trees, and whatever else is spun in there creates what is known as Melinda's freshman year. One where she will remain silent. Until she finally speaks!

(Edited by Lydia)

Read Our Review Of Winter Girls!

The Shadow Thieves by Anne Ursu

Written by Lydia at 4:41 PM
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The Shadow Theives By Anne Ursu

Synopsis: Something extraordinary is about to happen to Charlotte Mielswetzski.It's not the very cute kitten that appears out of nowhere. It's not the arrival of her cousin Zee, who believes he's the cause of a mysterious sickness that has struck his friends back in England. And it's not the white-faced, yellow-eyed men in tuxedos who follow Charlotte everywhere. What's so extraordinary is not any one of these things. It's all of them.When Charlotte's friends start to get sick, Charlotte and Zee set out to find a cure. Their quest leads them to a not-so-mythical Underworld, where they face Harpies that love to rhyme, gods with personnel problems, and ghosts with a thirst for blood.Charlotte and Zee learn that in a world overrun by Nightmares, Pain, and Death, the really dangerous character is a guy named Phil. And then they discover that the fate of every person -- living and dead -- is in their hands.
This book involves two of my favorite things: Greek mythology and humor. The author has just the right amount of humor to lighten the dark parts of the story.

Charlotte Mielswetzski (meals-wet-ski) and her cousin Zee are the heroes of the book. Zee is a nice boy from London, and Charlotte is a curse-ridden girl from the U.S.A. When Charlotte's friends start to get sick, she and her cousin must find a cure. Of course, as with all plots, the cure is not easily attained. Charlotte and Zee must venture into the "mythical" Underworld, where they meet the man who is making everyone sick. This book has a healthy dose of mystery and suspense. It is one of my personal favorites. This is one of those books where you get a good laugh, and it has some "oh!" moments. I can't wait to review the sequel!
Review by: Lydia (and when read by [lazy butt] Ari, she comments in brown)
(Lydia will comment in green [how earthy])
And blogger is being stupid, so sadly there's no author link on the post, but if you go to the side bar it's there! :D

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Before I Die by Jenny Downham

Written by Unknown at 9:06 PM
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Before I Die by Jenny Downham


Synopsis: Tessa has just months to live. Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, and drugs with excruciating side effects, Tessa compiles a list. It’s her To Do Before I Die list. And number one is Sex. Released from the constraints of “normal” life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up. Tessa’s feelings, her relationships with her father and brother, her estranged mother, her best friend, and her new boyfriend, are all painfully crystallized in the precious weeks before Tessa’s time finally runs out.

Before I Die was a well written book with a great look at how teenagers react to knowing that they are going to die. This story on death focuses on one girl whose known she is going to die for a while. And she has come to grips with it. Like practically everyone knowing they are going to die, she creates a bucket list. Although she knows hers is basic and what almost what every teenager wants she has some problems along the way. Love, and so much drama happen in just a few chapters of this book it made my heart sing out with happiness that there was a plot. Although the ending was very choppy for many reasons I loved this book. I loved how it was so different from so many other books about dying. The way that everything changed for this girl in a period of time and how she kept finding new reasons to stay alive just kept me wanting to read more. Jenny Downham has a truly amazing book on her hands, and I am glad that Random Buzzers was kind enough to put this up as an option to order on their website. It gave me a chance to read a incredible book. Thank you Random Buzzers. And this book was amazing and I loved it so much. Well written with a wonderfully simple plot, I cried one of few books where I did.







8 stars because the repetitiveness saddened me.




News updates.
None could only find a author profile. No website either. :C

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ophelia By Lisa Klein

Written by Ari at 8:09 PM
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Ophelia By Lisa Klein


Synopsis: In this re-imagining of Shakespeare's famous tragedy, it is Ophelia who takes center stage. A rowdy, motherless girl, she grows up at Elsinore Castle to become the queen's most trusted lady-in-waiting. She catches the attention of the captivating, dark-haired Prince Hamlet, and their love blossoms in secret. But bloody deeds soon turn Denmark into a place of madness, and ultimately, Ophelia must choose between her love for Hamlet and her own life. In desperation, Ophelia devises a treacherous plan to escape from Elsinore forever . . . with one very dangerous secret, she is pregnant with Hamlet's child. Sharp and literary, dark and romantic, this dramatic story holds readers in its grip until the final, heartrending scene.
Wow. This book was beyond incredible. Although reading it I had felt the ending was a bit incredible. Lisa Klein is a genius with twisting the classic tragedy known as Hamlet. For any who know the story of Hamlet knows it basically comes down to Hamlet and Ophelia fall in love, his father is murdered, he goes insane, Ophelia kills herself, and everyone else is slaughtered. However Ophelia brings a completely different twist on that. Still the original story folds out, only in Ophelias point of view. We learn many things about Ophelia such as her past, her love for Hamlet, and her opinion on everything that is happening in the only world she knows. This book had a wonderful surprise ending, that was somewhat predictable. I am glad to have picked this book up in my library and honestly I wish that there were more Hamlet rewrites out there now. Go read this book. Now.




10 Stars. And a round of applause :D


News updates.
None but you can go look on the authors website...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Whip It (Derby Girl) By Shauna Cross

Written by Ari at 3:13 PM
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Whip It (Derby Girl) By Shauna Cross
Synopsis: Skirts, Skates, & Scrapes! All the old school skills with a new punk rock attitude Come see The Lone Star Derby Girls Austinâs All-Girl Roller Derby League The Holy Rollers vs. The Fight Crew Halftime Concert by the Chimney Sweeps This ainât no cheerleading clinic, yâall! Meet Bliss Cavendar, an indie-rock-loving misfit stuck in the tiny town of Bodeen, Texas. Her pageant-addicted mother expects her to compete for the coveted Miss Bluebonnet crown, but Bliss would rather feast on roaches than be subjected to such rhinestone tyranny. Blissâs escape? Roller Derby. When she discovers a league in nearby Austin, Bliss embarks on an epic journey full of hilarious tattooed girls, delicious boys in bands, and a few not-so-awesome realities even the most hard-core derby chick has to learn.
Wow. Blew my mind away. I knew that this book was going to be good. But...wow. Seriously I tried to escape reality as often as possible just to get a chance to read this book. I loved this book. Shauna Cross truly delivered in this book all about roller derby. Bliss a girl who believes her true parents are probably some indie rocking actors is stuck in the small Texas town known as Bodeen. And frankly she knows she and Bodeen are not meant to be. On a trip with her mother the pageant obsessed queen in Austin she finds a flier for a roller derby. She drags her best friend Pash down with her. And of course in any good book a little romance has to ensue. So what happens when she goes to the roller derby. She sees senor smolder aka Oliver a hot lanky bass player for his band. She falls head over heals for the boy. And obviously everyone tells her "hes in a band which means hes no good." I'm serious though. wow. This book was just to amazing I think that's why I keep saying wow. There were even a few parts where I had to go back and read them just because they were so BOOM out of no where I got lost in the moment and had to catch up. This is the type of book where you are always thinking you know what is going to happen and sometimes you are right but a good portion of the time you are wrong. But barbie skates, senor smolder, roller derby, Austin, best friends, and the ever so wonderful (not) oink joint, all thrown together with a hint of lovely wonderful pageants (once again NOT) create the perfect recipe for a book that you HAVE to read! Not just because you want to see the movie.






10 stars all the way baby.

News updates on Shauna Cross
No Information on this author. :C

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Eyes Like Stars By Lisa Mantchev

Written by Unknown at 10:29 AM
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Eyes Like Stars By Lisa Mantchev
Synopsis: All her world's a stage. Bertie Shakespeare Smith is not an actress, yet she lives in a theater. She's not an orphan, but she has no parents. She knows every part, but she has no lines of her own. That is, until now. Enter Stage Right NATE. Dashing pirate. Will do anything to protect Bertie. COBWEB, MOTH, MUSTARD SEED, and PEASEBLOSSOM. Four tiny and incredibly annoying fairies. BERTIE'S sidekicks. ARIEL. Seductive air spirit and Bertie's weakness. The symbol of impending doom. BERTIE. Our heroine. Welcome to the Théâtre Illuminata, where the actors of every play ever written can be found behind the curtain. They were born to play their parts, and are bound to the Théâtre by The Book-an ancient and magical tome of scripts. Bertie is not one of them, but they are her family-and she is about to lose them all and the only home she has ever known. Lisa Mantchev has written a debut novel that is dramatic, romantic, and witty, with an irresistible and irreverent cast of characters who are sure to enchant the audience. Open Curtain
I have to admit this one was truly a page turner. Every spare moment I had was spent reading this book. It was amazingly written and was spectacular. Written about a magical theatre containing characters from all the plays this book really comes to life. Well there is of course one person who isnt from a play. Beatrice Shakespeare Smith. A girl who has no parents. She lives in the theatre and is soon threatened. She either must find a way to contribute to the theatre or she must leave. She faces a lot of challenges as she works to acheive this. Along with the one question always written on her heart. Who is her mother. With of course the always present character who we never really know until the end if they are bad or good, supporting roles, romance, and of course the infamous heroine, this story presents so many twists in the plot you will be amazed at the things Lisa Mantchev even thought of putting in there. Lisa Mantchev does not fail to amaze as I wait anxiously for book 2 to come out. Brilliant, just simply brilliant. Bravo Lisa Mantchev you have a winner on your hands.
10 stars
News updates on Lisa Mantchev...

  • Eyes Like Stars was recently featured in the New York Times

  • Shes freaking out with many other authors working on NaNoWriMo
All this and more can be read on her blog...

Pure By Terra Elan Mcvoy

Written by Ari at 9:24 AM
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Pure By Terra Elan Mcvoy


Synopsis: Promise. Betrayal. Confession. Revenge.Tabitha and her four best friends all wear purity rings, symbols of the virginity-until-marriage pledge they made years ago. Now Tab is fifteen, and her ring has come to mean so much more. It's a symbol of who she is and what she believes-a reminder of her promises to herself, and her bond to her friends. But when Tab meets a boy whose kisses make her knees go weak, everything suddenly seems a lot more complicated. Tab's best friend, Morgan, is far from supportive, and for the first time, Tabitha is forced to keep secrets from the one person with whom she's always shared everything. When one of those secrets breaks to the surface, Tab finds herself at the center of an unthinkable betrayal that splits her friends apart. As Tab's entire world comes crashing down around her, she's forced to re-examine her friendships, her faith, and what exactly it means to be pure.

This book was truly heartwarming. Although it was highly devoted to telling the readers about the christian faith I loved how it had people who werent even religious wearing purity rings. Focused on these four teenagers, the one thing that brought them together, is also helping to tear them apart. They all love their rings. Need their rings. And one of them ruins their ring. No one saw this coming. However she claimed she loves her boyfriend. One thing leads to another. Before you know it everyone is taking sides. And soon or later boyfriends come into the picture. And no one is friends with anyone. Its every couple for themselves as this book takes a look at the daily life of christian teens. I honestly loved this book. No matter what peoples opinions on it may ever be its an amazing read with a great plot. Loved it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Winter Girls By Laurie Halse Anderson

Written by Unknown at 9:35 PM
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Winter Girls By Laurie Halse Anderson

Synopsis: Six years after Cassie and Lia resolved to become the skinniest girls in their school, Cassie dies. Unable to bear the sadness and guilt following Cassie's death, Lia spirals deeper into her own eating disorder. Elijah, the last person to see Cassie alive, helps Lia find the strength to face her own demons and enter recovery.

I loved this book simple as that. Although many people will speak up saying it is disturbing and that they are shocked it is a YA fiction book I find it incredible. As always Laurie Halse Anderson never disappoints. I was involved in this book deeply and fell in love with it the minute I opened it to page one and read the words, "found alone in a motel room." After that I was hooked. This book tells of a girls tragic tale of dealing with anorexia and cutting, and the loss of her ex best friend. Both had gone through the stages of not eating but soon after Lia had gone to her second visit and the rehab center her friend told her they could no longer be friends. Six months later Cassie is found dead. Lia hides the fact that she is devastated but finds this hard because she is haunted by Cassie's ghost. Lia focuses more and more on cutting as she realizes she needs to come to grips with the fact Cassie is dead. The fact that she didn't answer Cassie's 36 calls. The fact that she felt guilty that Cassie is gone. This heart wrenching story was beautiful. I know that Laurie Halse Anderson does not enjoy writing these books but I applaud her for bringing the tragically sad world of bulimia, anorexia, cutting and so many other problems into the open. I applaud her for telling them truthfully. And I applaud her for showing that people will chuck you into the loony bin just because you feel that a certain way of danger is your only escape. This book was amazing. I can not wait to review Speak and let you all know that it to is amazing book that will earn Laurie Halse Anderson a amazing round of applause.

Your welcome for recommending this book to you (after forcing you to check it out of the library, might I add). =) -Lydia



10 stars is all I have to say.

News updates on Laurie Halse Anderson.

  • Chains is up for a Carnegie medal.

  • Shes posted a video of her writing cottage on her blog

  • She was just at the school librarians convention and signed thousands of books

  • Winter Girls has made the 2009 Publsihers Weekly best books list
    All this and more can be read on her blog...
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