Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (21)

Waiting on Wednesday is, of course, brought to us by Jill at Breaking the Spine and don't we love her for this lovely meme?

I only have one book this week. I'm feeling tired and lazy... but it's a good one!

Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien - Release date March 30th, 2010

After climate change, on the north shore of Unlake Superior, a dystopian world is divided between those who live inside the wall, and those, like sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone, who live outside. It’s Gaia’s job to “advance” a quota of infants from poverty into the walled Enclave, until the night one agonized mother objects, and Gaia’s parents are arrested.
Badly scarred since childhood, Gaia is a strong, resourceful loner who begins to question her society. As Gaia’s efforts to save her parents take her within the wall, she herself is arrested and imprisoned.

Gaia carries an encoded ribbon from her parents, and its secrets hold vital information about certain advanced children who were "birthmarked" by tattoos. The Protectorat, who safeguards the population within the wall, needs Gaia’s code and its genetic counterpart to offset the hemophilia that plagues the Enclave.
Sgt. Grey, a young, handsome guard of the Enclave, is used by the Protectorat to manipulate Gaia and gain her cooperation with decoding the ribbon. As Sgt. Grey faces his own complicated past and Gaia recognizes the moral ramifications of her actions, they take desperate steps to escape.

Fraught with difficult moral choices and rich with intricate layers of codes, BIRTHMARKED explores a colorful, cruel, eerily familiar world where one girl can make all the difference, and a real hero makes her own moral code.

(Summary from goodreads.)

Okay, that's it!! Two books again next week, promise!
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Something to think about...

So I got an email yesterday that I thought you guys might be interested in. Since I'm loopy and have a mild fever, I'm just going to copy and paste it here.

Gilda's Club Teen Essay Contest

GILDA’S CLUB LAUNCHES “IT’S ALWAYS SOMETHING” TEEN ESSAY CONTEST TO PROVIDE A FORUM FOR TEENS TO SHARE THEIR EXPERIENCES WITH CANCER

Gilda’s Club New York City, a cancer support community named for the late comedian Gilda Radner, launches its inaugural Teen Essay Contest

NEW YORK – ( September 28, 2009) – Are you a high school student who has been impacted by cancer? Gilda’s Club New York City is launching its inaugural “It’s Always Something” Teen Essay Contest to provide high school students with a forum for sharing their stories about living with cancer. Teens may submit an essay about the experience of their own cancer diagnosis, a family member or friend living with cancer, or the loss of a loved one to cancer. Celebrity Judges include Alan Zweibel – Emmy-winning writer and close friend of Gilda Radner, Matthew Zachary – Founder of I’m Too Young For This! Cancer Foundation, William Sherman – Pulitzer Prize-winning writer for New York Daily News, and Tonya Hurley – author of the NY Times best-selling “ghostgirl” novels.

More than 70% of teens have been impacted by a cancer diagnosis yet teens are often an overlooked audience, especially regarding cancer prevention and dealing with the social and emotional needs brought about by cancer. Nationwide, 25% of families with a cancer diagnosis have children under the age of 18. “Our primary objective is to provide a forum for teens, grades 9-12, to share their experiences with cancer and more importantly, raise awareness of the issues teens face when they are living with cancer. By partnering with local schools and community organizations, we are hoping that our inaugural ‘It’s Always Something’ Teen Essay Contest will open the door for teens to express themselves and provide an opportunity for our community to hear what they have to say about life with cancer” says Lily Safani, CEO of Gilda’s Club New York City.

Essays must be postmarked by Friday, October 23, 2009. The contest is open to all high school students who are legal residents of the 50 states or the District of Columbia. Subject to official rules available at: www.gildasclubnyc.org. Or write: Gilda’s Club New York City, c/o "It’s Always Something" Teen Essay Contest, 195 W. Houston St., New York, N.Y. 10014. The essay winner will receive a $250 Apple gift card. A ceremony for all participants will be held at Gilda’s Club New York City on January 14, 2010.

About Gilda’s Club New York City
Gilda’s Club New York City creates welcoming communities of free support for everyone living with cancer – men, women, teens and children – along with their families and friends. Our innovative program is an essential complement to medical care, providing networking and support groups, workshops, lectures and social activities, all free of charge.

Just thought you might like to know!
Peace and cookies,
Laina
EDIT: Ahem... I didn't realize that wasn't readable for you guys... Sorry!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

How to Buy a Love of Reading Review

Finally, a review! A rare creature around Laina Has Too Much Spare Time. Hopefully that's going to change, though.

How to Buy a Love of Reading by Tanya Egan Gibson

Published: May 14th, 2009, by Dutton
Genre: Adult Contemporary Fiction
Page count: 389 in my hardcover copy

Summary (from goodreads and the inside of the dust jacket): To Carley Wells, words are the enemy: the countless SAT lists from her tutor, the “fifty-seven pounds overweight” assessment from her personal trainer, and most of all, the “confidential” Getting To Know You assignment from her insane English teacher (whose literary terminology lessons include “Backstory is Afterbirth” and “Setting is Nobody’s Slut”). When he tells her parents that she’s answered “What is your favorite book?” with “Never met one I liked,” they become determined to fix what he calls her “intellectual impoverishment.” They will commission a book to be written for Carley that she’ll have to love—one that will impress her teacher and the whole town of Fox Glen with their family’s devotion to the arts. They will be patrons—the Medicis of Long Island. They will buy their daughter The Love Of Reading.

Impossible though it is for Carley to imagine ever loving words, she is in love with a young bibliophile who cares about them more than anything. Anything, that is, but a good bottle of scotch. Hunter Cay, Carley’s best friend and Fox Glen’s resident golden boy, is becoming a stranger to her as he drowns himself in F. Scott Fitzgerald, booze, and Vicodin.

When the Wellses move writer Bree McEnroy—author of a failed meta-novel about Odysseus’s voyages through the Internet—into their mansion to write Carley’s book, Carley’s sole interest in the project is its potential to distract Hunter from drinking and give them something to share. Instead, as Hunter’s behavior becomes erratic and dangerous, she finds herself drawn into the fictional world Bree has created and begins to understand for the first time the power of stories—those we read, those we want to believe in, and most of all, those we tell ourselves about ourselves. Stories powerful enough to destroy a person.

Or save her.

Review: Before I start on with the more detailed stuff, I want to remind you all that I'm sick and taking cold medicine, plus I'm kinda crabby, so keep that in mind while you're reading the review. I probably shouldn't even be doing a review when I feel like this, but I want to, so...

Anyways. How to Buy a Love of Reading is an interesting book, to say the least. Even the premise alone is an idea that must be foreign to most book lovers. I mean, when Carley is asked her favourite book and answers "Never met one I liked", isn't that just the saddest thing ever?

Plot: I suck at writing about plot, and I'm not feeling up to it right now, so I'll just send you up to the summary for reference and move on.

Characters: Carley Wells, age almost sixteen, is the main character of HTBALOR. She's unmotivated, uninterested, needy, troubled, not always likeable but never unreadable. At the same time that you wanted to smack her, you wanted to hug her because she was just so relateable and realistic. She rewrites her life each night before she goes to school, rewrites things the way she wishes it would have happened. I just wish that more of the book had been told from Carley's point of view, as she's such an interesting character.

Hunter Cay, Carley's best friend, is the other main character of HTBALOR, and the book is as much about him as it's about Carley. Hunter is sensitive, interesting, honestly cares about Carley like no one else does, and an addict. He's beautiful and broken and if you need one reason to read this, he's it.

The supporting characters are three demensional and deep and just plain awesome. Even if you don't like them, *cough*likehermother*cough*, they're still complex and readable.

Cons, complaints, bad stuff, etc.: There's nothing huge, really, some slow spots that could have been the cough medicine/my fever coming back, nothing really bad. Except for *SPOILER STOP READING* the ending. Blank DIES! That is SO not fair!!!! *END OF SPOILER* Other than that, and just the whole underage drinking bugged me, but I just plain don't like that, and I don't judge books by it, so there really isn't much.

PG-13 stuff: There's cursing, drinking and drug use by minors, sex... But this isn't a YA novel, despite its crossover appeal, so the subject matter reflects that. I just kinda wish that the characters were a tiny bit older, even just post high school/college age. They just seemed so young to be dealing with such serious, scary stuff. But that's probably just me being weird.

Cover comments: I really like this cover. It reminds me of an older books, one of the ones I grew up reading, devouring, really. Yeah... anyways...

Conclusion: How to Buy a Love of Reading is a must read, despite some small flaws. The characters are interesting and relateable, the writing is great, and the end is heartbreaking yet somehow perfect. Three and a half roses.


Okay, so it's not the best review I've ever done, but it's better than nothing, right?
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Sunday, September 27, 2009

In My Mailbox (15)

As always, In My Mailbox is brought to us by The Story Siren and was inspired by Alea.

Now, I'm a little loopy and alot sick, so this is going to be a lazy post, okay? I don't want to be on the computer much longer.

Recieved (for review!):

Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran - Hardcover

Okay, call me lazy, I am, but the summary from goodreads and inside the dust jacket of the book is really long and I don't feel like chasing down a better one. You can go read the goodreads one if you like and you should, because it looks like a really good book and I'm really excited to read it, honest to gosh.



Bought (went to Walmart again):

The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan - Paperback
1915. The dawn of the hydroelectric power era in Niagara Falls. Seventeen-year-old Bess Heath has led a sheltered existence as the youngest daughter of the director of the Niagara Power Company. After graduation day at her boarding school, she is impatient to return to her picturesque family home near Niagara Falls. But when she arrives, nothing is as she had left it. Her father has lost his job at the power company, her mother is reduced to taking in sewing from the society ladies she once entertained, and Isabel, her vivacious older sister, is a shadow of her former self. She has shut herself in her bedroom, barely eating - and harboring a secret.
The night of her return, Bess meets Tom Cole by chance on a trolley platform. She finds herself inexplicably drawn to him--against her family's strong objections. He is not from their world. Rough-hewn and fearless, he lives off what the river provides and has an uncanny ability to predict the whims of the falls. His daring river rescues render him a local hero and cast him as a threat to the power companies that seek to harness the power of the falls for themselves. As their lives become more fully entwined, Bess is forced to make a painful choice between what she wants and what is best for her family and her future.
Set against the tumultuous backdrop of Niagara Falls, at a time when daredevils shot the river rapids in barrels and great industrial fortunes were made and lost as quickly as lives disappeared, The Day the Falls Stood Still is an intoxicating debut novel.
(Summary from goodreads.)

Thirst No. 1 by Christopher Pike - Paperback

Alisa has been in control of her urges for the five thousand years she has been a vampire. She feeds but does not kill, and she lives her life on the fringe to maintain her secret. But when her creator returns to hunt her, she must break her own rules in order to survive.

Her quest leads her to Ray. He is the only person who can help her; he also has every reason to fear her. Alisa must get closer to him to ensure her immortality. But as she begins to fall in love with Ray, suddenly there is more at stake than her own life...

(Summary from goodreads.)

I really wanted this one, and it was 30% off!! How cool is that?

Borrowed (from the library, even though I shouldn't have borrowed any from there. But I got to work early and had nothing else to do but to look over the shelves for a bit):

Dustin Grubbs One Man Show by John J. Bonk - Hardcover

So maybe wanting to be an actor is kind of an ambitious dream for a sixth-grader - especially for in a school that hasn't put on a play since medieval times. (Okay, in a long time.) But nothing can stop Dustin Grubbs! He's snagged the leading role and is about to make his theatrical debut - until a real, live celebrity moves to Buttermilk Falls and threatens to steal the show. Is Dustin forlorn? Maybe. Defeated? Not a chance. But can he keep his cool after discovering his long-lost father might be out in the audience?

(Summary from the inside of the jacket.)

Ordinary Ghosts by Eireann Corrigan - Paperback

Sometimes when life haunts you, you're better off becoming the ghost. Emil Simon feels invisible enough. He counts as a nonentity at his elite preparatory school and makes barely a dent in his father's thoughts. When his older brother runs away, he entrusts Emil with a master key to Caramoor Academy. Soon Emil is sneaking into the school at night to explore ... and falling for a faculty daughter who sneaks in for reasons of her own. This is a novel about living with disappearances... and willing yourself to appear.

(Summary from goodreads.)

Okay, that's everything, I think. I'm going to go write up a review (I know, shocking, huh?) and then I'm off the computer for a while. Sorry this isn't my best, I just don't feel very good.

Peace and cookies (and cold meds for me, haha)
Laina

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (20)

Waiting on Wednesday is, of course, brought to us by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Wow, I can't believe I've been doing this for twenty weeks.

My choices this week have a definite theme. My first pick is:

Possessed by Kate Cann

Rayne can't wait to start her summer job at a remote country mansion, far from the crowded, noisy London she so desperately wants to escape. But the retreat soon turns into a nightmare - the mansion is creepy, the legends of ghosts keep Rayne up at night, and she doesn't feel safe anywhere.
Can Rayne figure out why she's so freaked - before she becomes a ghost story herself?
(Summary from amazon.)

Why I want this: Ghost stories really creep me out. Like worse than anything else and I just thought I saw that hand move. Okay. Now I'm getting freaked out by a book cover. I'm so weird.

Anyways. Doesn't the cover remind you of Unwind by Neal Shusterman?

Possessed comes out on February 1st 2010, but I believe it's already published under the title Possessing Rayne in the UK. (I think in the UK, don't quote me.)

Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder - Release date January 5th, 2010

Restless souls and empty hearts.

Brooklyn can’t sleep. Her boyfriend, Lucca died a year ago, and now their friend Gabe has died of an overdose. Every time she closes her eyes, Gabe's ghost is there, waiting for her. She has no idea what he wants or why it isn't Lucca chasing her through her dreams.

Nico can’t stop. He’s always running, trying so hard not to feel the pain of missing Lucca. But when he begins receiving messages from his dead brother, telling him to help Brooklyn, emotions come crashing to the surface.

As the nightmares escalate and the messages become relentless, Nico reaches out to Brooklyn. But neither of them can admit that they're being haunted. Until they learn to let each other in, not one soul will be able to rest.

(Summary from goodreads.)


Why I want this: It's a ghost story, but it sounds so sad and sweet and... just plain good. The cover's kind of similar, too. That's a bit strange.

Well, I've thoroughly freaked myself out now. Thoughts, comments, questions, corny jokes?
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fun Friday: Give me something to sing about! (17)

It's only a little late! It's still Friday in some time zones!

As always, Fun Friday: Give me something to sing about! is where you guys get to see a song or two I like or that I want to talk about each week. Thanks goes to J.J. at Random Musings for help with the title.

So is anyone watching The Vampire Diaries? I'm loving it and finding all sorts of new music thanks to it. One in particular I really like is this:



Hang You From The Heavens by The Dead Weather. This isn't the official video, this is, I believe, but I quite like this video for some reason.

Okay, that's it for me for this week! I need to go do a bunch of stuff before I head to bed and I have an early morning ahead of me tomorrow, so... thoughts, questions, comments?

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Friday, September 18, 2009

Contest winners!!!

So I sorta totally forgot about picking a winner (sorry!), but don't worry! We have our winners. The winner of the first place prize of two of Michelle Moran's books and a pair of gold-plated earrings is... drumroll please...

Wanda!!!!

And our second place winner of some awesome swag is....

Alexa!!!

Congrats to both our winners! I've emailed them both to let them know, and they have 48 hours to respond before I choose new winners. Stick around, more contests are soon to come!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (19)

As always, Waiting on Wednesday is brought to us by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

So I might be going with a bit of a theme here this week. Depending on what the second book turns out to be about.

First up is:

My Love Lies Bleeding by Alyxandra Harvey - Release date January 4th, 2010

The Blakes are rather different to your usual neighbours. They are vampires and some of the members of the family date back to the twelfth century. One of the children, Solange, is the only born female vampire known and, as such, she poses a direct threat to the vampire queen. Her best friend Lucy is human, and when Solange is kidnapped Lucy and Solange's brother, Nicholas, set out to save her. Lucy soon discovers that she would like to be more than just friends with Nicholas. But how does one go about dating a vampire? Meanwhile, Solange finds an unlikely ally in Kieran, a vampire slayer on the hunt for his father's killer.

(Summary from goodreads.)

Why I want this: .... You need to ask? Seriously?

Token of Darkness by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes - Release date February 9th, 2010

Cooper Blake has everything going for him—until he wakes from a car accident with his football career in ruins and a mysterious, attractive girl by his side. Cooper doesn’t know how Samantha got there or why he can see her; all he knows is that she’s a ghost, and the shadows that surround her seem intent on destroying her.

No one from Cooper’s old life would understand what he can barely grasp himself. . . . But Delilah, the captain of the cheerleading squad, has secrets of her own, like her ability to see beyond the physical world, and her tangled history with Brent, a loner from a neighboring school who can hear strangers’ most intimate thoughts. Delilah and Brent know that Cooper is in more trouble than he realizes, and that Samantha may not be as innocent as she has led Cooper to believe. But the only way to figure out where Samantha came from will put them all in more danger than they ever dreamed possible.

(Summary from goodreads.)


Why I want this: I love Amelia Atwater-Rhodes' writing. I read Demon in My View twice. In a row. I read it one day and then the next morning, I read it again because it was so good. They're awesome books.

So, did you guess my sorta-kinda theme?
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

In My Mailbox (14)

I know... it's Tuesday. This isn't even close to the right day. But... well, I haven't had the time to do this before now. So it's going up now. Any questions? :P

I'm doing alternative covers again in the IMM, so pay attention, kay? Alternative covers is inspired by Lexi at anotherpageisused.

As always, In My Mailbox is brought to us by The Story Siren and was inspired by Alea.

I went to Walmart again... Dangerous, dangerous habit.

Bought:

Hunted: A House of Night Novel by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast - Hardcover

The good news: Zoey’s friends have her back again and Stevie Rae and the red fledglings aren’t Neferet’s secrets any longer. The bad news: Ancient evil with the face of an angel has been let loose – that and various other nasties (whose faces aren’t so angelic). Grandma Redbird is in trouble. Heath is in trouble. The House of Night is in trouble. Okay, let’s face it – Zoey’s whole world is in trouble! But when the trouble comes from a being who appears to be beauty personified, will the world believe it? Especially when only a teenager and a group of misfits are the only ones who really understand the danger he brings. Will Zoey have the strength and wisdom to reveal the truth? Especially when, in the House of Night, the truth is often hard to come by…

(Summary from goodreads.)

I own this entire series and I haven't read one of them. My mom likes them, though, so I keep buying them. This is the UK cover and I can't decide which I like better. They're both really nice.

Another Faust by Daniel & Dina Nayeri - Hardcover

One night, in cities all across Europe, five children vanish - only to appear, years later, at an exclusive New York party with a strange and elegant governess. Rumor and mystery follow the Faust teenagers to the city’s most prestigious high school, where they soar to suspicious heights with the help of their benefactor’s extraordinary “gifts.”

But as the students claw their way up - reading minds, erasing scenes, stopping time, stealing power, seducing with artificial beauty - the side-effects of their own addictions. And as they make further deals with the devil, they uncover secrets more shocking than their most unforgivable sins.

At once chilling and wickedly satirical, this contemporary reimagining of the Faustian bargain is a compelling tale of ambition, consequences, and ultimate redemption.

(Summary from goodreads.)

Gosh but that boy's cute. Both of them, actually. I saw this and I just couldn't resist it. I've loved the cover since I first saw it and it sounds sooooo good.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - Hardcover

Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games." The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When Kat's sister is chosen by lottery, Kat steps up to go in her place.

(Summary from goodreads.)

Well, everyone's heard about this one. When I saw it, I grabbed it and ran, basically. It has a sticker that says "The Hunger Games is amazing." - Stephenie Meyer" on it that I might just peel off... and stick in my notebook. I don't get me either, don't worry.

Alternative covers include this one (not sure where it's from, but it's cool, huh?), and then there's the UK cover, which actually has two covers, this one and this one because it's a fold out thing where you can choose your own cover. See this picture and this one to understand better. (Thanks to Wondrous Reads for those pictures.)

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins - Hardcover

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

(Summary from goodreads.)


I saw it next to The Hunger Games and... well, you can't have one without the other, right? Isn't it pretty? Check out the UK cover.

Received:

Flush by Carl Hiaasen - Hardcover

Noah's dad has a little problem with anger control. He tried to stop the Coral Queen casino boat's illegal dumping... by sinking the boat.

But his bold protest fizzles: Within days the casino is back in business, and Noah's dad is behind bars and out of action.

Now Noah is determined to succeed where his dad failed. But even though pumping raw sewage into the waters of the Florida Keys is both gross and against the law, turns out it's near impossible to catch the flusher - especially when he's already bamboozled the prosecutors, the local press, and even the Coast Guard.

But Noah's got a few allies of his own. There's his little sister, Abbey, an unreformed childhood biter; Lice Peeking, a half-soused ex-mate of the Coral Queen who is willing to testify... for a price; and Shelly, a bighearted bartender with even bigger biceps.

Okay, so the odds aren't good. But Noah has an ace up his sleeve - a plan so crazy it just might stop the polluting, save the beaches, and prove to the world that it's the owner of the Coral Queen, and not his dad, who is full of... crud.

(Summary from the inside of the cover.)

Earned from YA Books Central. I really really liked Hoot and my library doesn't have Flush, so it's really cool I got this. This is the paperback cover, I believe, and this is the UK cover. Cute, huh?

I Was a Non-Blonde Cheerleader by Kieran Scott - Paperback

Annisa Gobrowski has a problem—everyone at her new Florida high school is blonde. If Annisa's New Jersey attitude didn't make her stand out enough, her dark pixie haircut sure does. Yet no lack of golden highlights is going to stop Annisa from making the best of Sand Dune High, especially once she checks out the competition-level cheerleading squad. But a disastrous first day during which Annisa discovers the cheerleaders all hate her is almost enough to make a girl run out for a box of Herbal Essences Amazon Gold. Nevertheless, Sand Dune High had better watch out—this non-blonde is here to stay.

(Summary from goodreads.)

This was won from Royal Reads, and my cover is technically the alternative cover. I won the waterproof cover version. It sounds like a cute read, too, doesn't it? There was also a Fairy Tale bookmark and magnet, which is really cool. :)

Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison - ARC

Madison's prom was killer - literally. For some reason she's been targeted by a dark reaper - yeah, that kind of reaper -- intent on getting rid of her, body and soul. But before the reaper could finish the job, Madison was able to snag his strange, glowing amulet and get away.

Now she's stuck on Earth - dead but not gone. Somehow the amulet gives her the illusion of a body, allowing her to toe the line between life and death. She still doesn't know why the dark reaper is after her, but she's not about to just sit around and let fate take its course.

With a little ingenuity, some light-bending, and the help of a light reaper (one of the good guys! Maybe . . . ), her cute crush, and oh yeah, her guardian angel, Madison's ready to take control of her own destiny once and for all, before it takes control of her.

Well, if she believed in that stuff.

(Summary from goodreads.)

I won this from the epic rat. I freaking LOVE that blog! Go there, go there, go there!

Oh, I'm going to get Prom Dates From Hell again and re-read the story before I read the book. I've heard that it could be a bit confusing if you didn't read it, so I'd rather re-read the story first.

Leaving the Bellweathers by Kristin Clark Venuti - ARC

Meet the Bellweather family: Spider, a 14-year-old boy who surrounds himself and his family with dangerous - very dangerous - endangered animals; Ninda, a 13-year-old self-righteous do-gooder whose good deeds somehow always end in disaster; the 9-year-old triplets Spike, Brick, and Sassy, who speak to one another in Loud and Strong Voices; their hapless parents who only contribute to the chaos; and their wonderful, buttoned-up, and organized butler, Tristan Benway, who tells the tale of his attempted escape from the endangered alligators, scientific experiments run amok, smuggled-in circus performers, and general mayhem of the Bellweather family.

(Summary from goodreads.)

This for review for Egmont. It looks really cute! I quite like this kind of book and can't wait to read it.

And now. The reason I didn't really care that the jack in my living room died and my internet stopped working until today when I attacked the phone jack in the living room with a screwdriver to get the dsl filter that the people who lived in our house before us used off the jack and put mine there instead.

Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick - ARC

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

(Summary from goodreads.)

SQUEAL!!! HUSH FREAKING HUSH BABY!!! FANGIRLING. *dies*

Ahm. Yeah. It's so pretty. *pets* I almost started reading it when I got it, but I can't I have so many books I have to read first. So sad. So I'm not sure if this is an ARC/finished copy thing or a US/UK thing, but the copy I have has her name in red, but there's another with her name in white, thus. I like the red. Oh, and click the picture of Hush Hush when you're done, it's huge and gorgeous.

Borrowed (library books):

Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks - Hardcover

Cadel Piggott has a genius IQ and a fascination with systems of all kinds. At seven, he was illegally hacking into computers. Now he’s fourteen and studying for his World Domination degree, taking classes like embezzlement, misinformation, forgery, and infiltration at the institute founded by criminal mastermind Dr. Phineas Darkkon. Although Cadel may be advanced beyond his years, at heart he’s a lonely kid. When he falls for the mysterious and brilliant Kay-Lee, he begins to question the moral implications of his studies for the first time. But is it too late to stop Dr. Darkkon from carrying out his evil plot?

(Summary from goodreads.)

There are rarely new books (or even books I haven't read/seen and don't want to read) in my library, so when I see new ones, I grab them. This one is cool, though, it's shiny and metallic and sounds really good. This cover is from... I'm not sure. But it's cute. So, yeah. I'm getting a little worn out now. So sue me, twelve books in one post is a little work.

Becoming Ruby by Kathy Stinson - Paperback

Ruby Nan Larkin is fifteen and spending another summer at the cottage with her family. But this summer is different. Nan is changing. Her name, for instance. She's always hated Nan, and Nanny - worse - makes it sound as if she's a goat. Yet her mother has always insisted on calling her that. Why? Why can't she be Ruby? Why can't she be free to explore, to be independent, to savour the strange new feelings welling up within her? - especially since Daniel came along.

Changing her name is one thing. Changing her life - particularly her relationship with her mother - is something else.

(Summary from the back of the book.)

I think I might have read this one, but I really can't remember, so I grabbed it anyways.

Okay, this is another recieved, but it just came today and I want to talk about it on it's own because there's more than just the book.

Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not-So-Simple Life by Rachel Renee Russell - Hardcover

New school. New mean girl. New crush. New diary so Nikki can spill about all of it...

(Summary from amazon and yeah, it sucks, but I don't wanna go looking for one online and my copy is in the living room and I'm in my room.)


This looks so cute and the reason I didn't put it with the other received books is because it came with a ton of really cool stuff, too. I even took pictures so you guys could see and my camera is a pain in the butt because you have to use something to make the flash not as bright and then it's annoying uploading them... so yeah. Oh, and the pictures are ginormous, click to make them bigger.

It came looking like this:

Isn't that cute? And then I dove into it like anyone would and this is all the stuff in it (ooh, sorry, this picture is a little blurry:



There's a purple feathered gel pen, a hankerchief thingie, a big pack of orange tic tacs (my favourite), Love's Baby Soft perfume, Twizzlers (the peel-y kind, I love those!), red nail polish, Orbit gum, three little button things that are really cute, and two Skittle flavoured Lip Smackers.

So, yeah, I wanted to gush. That's just really cool!

Alright, so that's everything for me. Sorry it was so late!
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Monday, September 14, 2009

And we have a winner!!

There were 63 people who entered in my contest and 446 entries in total. So it's taken me three days and help from a friend, but the winner of my bookcase contest has been chosen!

And the winner is.... drumroll please...

Briana The Book Pixie!!!!

Congrats, Bri!!

Briana has 48 hours to get back to me before I'll choose another winner. Thanks to everyone who entered and to
CNS Office Furniture for allowing me to host this contest.

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (18)

As always, Waiting on Wednesday is brought to us by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

My picks this week are:

Dirty Little Secrets by C. J. Omololu - Release date either April 10th, 2010 or February 2nd, 2010 (amazon and goodreads differ)

When 16 year-old Lucy comes home to find her mother dead under a stack of National Geographics in their garbage-filled home, she hesitates as she starts to dial 911. She hardly notices the mountains of stuff that fill every available space in the entire house or smells the decay anymore - but she knows the paramedics will, and so will the news cameras that will follow. They’ll notice the garbage and the smell and wonder how anyone ever lived like this. Only freaks live like this.

As she stares at the cell phone, Lucy can already hear the echoes of “Garbage Girl” and picture the look of disgust on everyone’s faces. With a normal life finally within reach, Lucy has to decide how far she’ll go to keep the family secrets safe.

(Summary from goodreads.)

Why I want this: First of all, I love the cover. I can't think of who the girl reminds me of, but I just absolutely love it. Second of all, I watch a lot of trashy TV on TLC, including those "Help! I'm a hoarder!" type of shows... so this sounds really good to me. Plus I love the name Lucy.

Sleepless by Cyn Balog - Release date July 13th, 2010 and no amazon link that I can find

Eron De Marchelle isn't supposed to feel a connection. He is a Sandman, a supernatural being whose purpose is to seduce human charges to sleep. While he can communicate with his charges in their dreams, he isn't encouraged to--after all, getting too involved in one human's life would prevent him helping his other charges get their needed rest.

But he can't deny that he feels something for Julia. Julia, with her fiery red hair and her sad dreams. Just weeks ago, her boyfriend died in a car accident, and Eron can tell that she feels more alone than ever. Eron was human once too, many years ago, and he remembers how it felt to lose the one he loved. Eron has always felt protective of Julia . . . but now, when she seems to need him more than ever, he can't seem to reach her . . .

Sandmen are forbidden from communicating with humans outside their dreams. But will Eron be willing to risk everything for a chance to be with the person he loves?

(Summary from goodreads.)

Why I want this: *Drool* I mean... One: I've been wishing fervently for Fairy Tale for ages. I need to get that soon. Two: The cover is gorgeous. (Yes, I'm shallow.) Three: Eron sounds hot. Four: Sandman??? How cool is that?? Five: It makes me think of this Sleepless.

So that's it for this wednesday!
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Monday, September 7, 2009

I'm home! + Update

So, you all probably don't know this, but I've been gone since Friday!! I'm probably going to skip this week's IMM as there were only a book or two to include (not that I'm complaining), and it'll be easier to do it next time. Anyways, would anyone be interested in the books I bought at a yard sale and church sale this weekend? They're just randoms, but it might be amusing.

Anyways, here's what's been going on around here lately:

My bookshelf contest is wrapping up in three days. There's still time to enter, so go go go!!!

I'm holding a new contest open until the fifteenth for two books, a pair of earrings, and a nifty second place prize. Go check it out and enter!

I was at my aunt's house for the four days I was gone. I read one and a half books. This:

And part of this but I'm still working on it. It's really good, I just hasn't had time to finish it:

No, I won't be reviewing either of them. No I won't be discussing them. No, I will not admit to the first one. Ever.

Yeah, that's about everything. I'll have Waiting On Wednesday and Fun Friday up as usual! I'm also working on catching up on blogger (thanks to Google Reader, it's much faster. I hate to admit it, but it is) so I'll catch up on contest posts and everything soon.

That's all, then!
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Michelle Moran Guest Blog + Giveaway - CLOSED

Your regularly scheduled Fun Friday is being interrupted, but it will return as usual next week.

Instead, today we have the wonderful Michelle Moran joining us! Michelle is the author of
Cleopatra's Daughter, which comes out on September 15th and looks incredible. And because she is awesome, she agreed to do a guest post for me on how she came up with the idea for Cleopatra's Daughter.

* * * * *

Why Cleopatra’s daughter?

It all began with a dive. Not the kind of dive you take into a swimming pool, but the kind where you squeeze yourself into a wetsuit and wonder just how tasty your rump must appear to passing sharks now that it looks like an elephant seal. My husband and I had taken a trip to Egypt, and at the suggestion of a friend, we decided to go to Alexandria to see the remains of Cleopatra’s underwater city. Let it be known that I had never gone scuba diving before, but after four days with an instructor (and countless questions like, “Will there be sharks? How about jellyfish? If there is an earthquake, what happens underwater?”) we were ready for the real thing.

We drove one morning to the Eastern Harbor in Alexandria. Dozens of other divers were already there, waiting to see what sort of magic lay beneath the waves. I wondered if the real thing could possibly live up to all of the guides and brochures selling this underwater city, lost for thousands of years until now. Then we did the dive, and it was every bit as magical as everyone had promised. We saw the blocks that once formed Marc Antony’s summer palace, came face to face with Cleopatra’s enigmatic sphinx, and floated above ten thousand ancient artifacts, including obelisks, statues, and countless amphorae. By the time we surfaced, I was Cleopatra-obsessed. I wanted to know what had happened to her city once she and Marc Antony had committed suicide. Where did all of its people go? Were they allowed to remain or were they killed by the Romans? And what about her four children?

It was this last question that surprised me the most. I had always assumed that Cleopatra’s children had all been murdered. But the Roman conqueror, Octavian, actually spared the three she bore to Marc Antony: her six-year-old son, Ptolemy, and her ten-year-old twins, Alexander and Selene. As soon as I learned that Octavian had taken the three of them to Rome for his Triumph, I knew at once I had my next book. And when I discovered what Cleopatra’s daughter lived through while in exile – rebellion, loss, triumph, love - I absolutely couldn’t wait to start writing. I can only hope that the novel is as exciting and intriguing as the research proved to be. It may be two thousand years in the past, but a great love story, as they say, is timeless.

* * * * *


Thanks for telling us a little more about the story behind your book, Michelle! Doesn't it sound awesome? To learn more about Michelle, check out her blog or her website.

Michelle's blog.
Michelle's Website.

Now, on to the giveaway.

Michelle is generous enough to let me give away two books and a little something extra. The first book is a hardcover copy of the book you just learned a little more about, Cleopatra's Daughter.

Cleopatra's Daughter

Cleopatra's Daughter follows the incredible life of Cleopatra's surviving children with Marc Antony - twins, named Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene, and a younger son named Ptolemy. All three were taken to Rome and paraded through the streets, then sent off to be raised by Octavia (the wife whom Marc Antony left for Cleopatra). Raised in one of the most fascinating courts of all time, Cleopatra's children would have met Ovid, Seneca, Vitruvius (who inspired the Vitruvian man), Agrippa (who built the Pantheon), Herod, his sister Salome, the poets Virgil, Horace, Maecenas and so many others!

(Summary from goodreads and tweaked the tiniest bit because it's not a great summary but the other one is way long.)

The second book Michelle is offering you guys is a paperback copy of her first book, The Heretic Queen.

The Heretic Queen

In ancient Egypt, a forgotten princess must overcome her family’s past and remake history.

The winds of change are blowing through Thebes. A devastating palace fire has killed the Eighteenth Dynasty’s royal family—all with the exception of Nefertari, the niece of the reviled former queen, Nefertiti. The girl’s deceased family has been branded as heretical, and no one in Egypt will speak their names. A relic of a previous reign, Nefertari is pushed aside, an unimportant princess left to run wild in the palace. But this changes when she is taken under the wing of the Pharaoh’s aunt, then brought to the Temple of Hathor, where she is educated in a manner befitting a future queen.

Soon Nefertari catches the eye of the Crown Prince, and despite her family’s history, they fall in love and wish to marry. Yet all of Egypt opposes this union between the rising star of a new dynasty and the fading star of an old, heretical one. While political adversity sets the country on edge, Nefertari becomes the wife of Ramesses the Great. Destined to be the most powerful Pharaoh in Egypt, he is also the man who must confront the most famous exodus in history.

(Summary from goodreads.)


Isn't that the one of the most gorgeous covers you've ever seen? The other paperback cover (I'm not sure which one the winner will receive, sorry guys) is really nice, too.

As if that's not awesome enough, the first place prize will also include these.

Aren't those gorgeous? I'm rather jealous of whoever wins. I would wear those in a heartbeat.

About the second place prize: The runner-up will win bookmarks and bookplates from Michelle. Because she's awesome. (As I've said a time or two.)

Now, this is open to everyone until Tuesday September 15th, 2009, when Cleopatra's Daughter comes out.

How to enter:

Leave a comment with your email address. No email address, no entry, but of course you can email me at Laina1312@gmail.com if you're not comfortable posting your email address.

Extra entries:
+5 Tell me an ancient Egypt themed joke. The cornier, the better.
+1 Become a follower. (If you use a feed reader such as Google Reader, that's fine, you just need to tell me.)
+2 Be a current follower (Again, Google Reader or another feed reader is fine, just tell me.)
+1 Follow me on Twitter. Remember to tell me who you are so I know you are.
+2 Be a current follower on Twitter.
+2 Link to this post somewhere. You can do that in a blog post, in your blog sidebar, on Twitter, on a message board, whatever you can think of, but it only counts once per place. (The reason I do say is because if one person has twitter or anything, really, and links to it 30 times, it's not fair to other people. This keeps things even.) Don't forget to leave me the link.
+1 Tell me where you heard about this contest. If you heard about it from someone else, they'll get an extra entry. It counts as an extra entry if you heard about it from following me.
+1 If someone hears about it from you.
+1 Comment! Every time you leave a comment on a new post, one that's dated after this one, you'll get one extra entry. Old comments don't count and comments on old posts, while appreciated, won't get you extra entries. You do not need to add this up, I will do it for you when the contest is over.
+1 Secret criteria.

Okay, so once again it's open to EVERYONE until September 15th, 2009. It'll close at 11:59pm on the 15th, and I'll use random.org to choose the winners.

Get entering!!
Peace and cookies,
Laina

September Zombie Week!

So guess what? August 29th to September 6th is September Zombie Week! It spotlights YA zombie books of 2009, especially the latest, Never Slow Dance With A Zombie by E. Van Lowe.

Never Slow Dance With A Zombie

Principal Taft's 3 Simple Rules for Surviving a Zombie Uprising:

Rule #1: While in the halls, walk slowly and wear a vacant expression on your face. Zombies won't attack other zombies.

Rule #2: Never travel alone. Move in packs. Follow the crowd. Zombies detest blatant displays of individuality.

Rule #3: If a zombie should attack, do not run. Instead, throw raw steak at to him. Zombies love raw meat. This display of kindness will go a long way.

On the night of her middle school graduation, Margot Jean Johnson wrote a high school manifesto detailing her goals for what she was sure would be a most excellent high school career. She and her best friend, Sybil, would be popular and, most important, have boyfriends. Three years later, they haven't accomplished a thing!

Then Margot and Sybil arrive at school one day to find that most of the student body has been turned into flesh-eating zombies. When kooky Principal Taft asks the girls to coexist with the zombies until the end of the semester, they realize that this is the perfect opportunity to live out their high school dreams. All they have to do is stay alive....

(Summary from goodreads.)

September Zombies is having daily blog posts about all things zombie. Books, comics, movies, giveaways, all that good stuff. If that seems like your kind of thing, go check it out!!

And, to tide you over, here are some T-shirts I found. Because zombies just want hugs.

And this would totally be against the rules mentioned above.

A compassionate zombie!

Last but not least... well, it's worth knowing.

Okay, that's it for me.
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Waiting On Wednesday (17)

As always, Waiting on Wednesday is brought to us by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

I feel retro. And, probably because I'm pressed for time, I have three books this week.

Dark Secrets 2: No Time to Die and The Deep End of Fear by Elizabeth Chandler - Release date May 4th, 2010

(The book itself doesn't really have a summary, so I'm "cheating" and using the ones from the original printings of the books. Aren't I devious?)

No Time to Die
Message from a dead girl...
It's too late to call back. Jenny will never speak to Liza again. But it seems that even from beyond the grave, Liza is begging her sister for help....
They say it's a serial killer. Is it? Jenny can't afford to trust anyone. Now she's here, in Wisteria, anonymously registered at the Chase College theater camp where her sister died. The daughter of a famous theatrical family, Jenny distrusts actors, loathes acting. Yet here in the college's darkened theatre, Liza seems to be speaking to her. Suddenly Jenny is mouthing Liza's last lines, sharing Liza's last days, a drama starring Brian, the stage manager, who seems to follow her everywhere... dangerously attractive Mike... Paul, who was obsessed with Liza... motherly, suffocating assistant director Maggie... and Walker, the director, bristling with hostility and resentment against Liza and Jenny's famous father. Does he suspect Jenny's true identity?
How can anyone know the visions that may be driving Jenny straight into the killer's arms?
(Summary from goodreads.)
The Deep End of Fear

Let sleeping ghosts lie.
Twelve years ago Kate's family left the Westbrook estate on a stormy night, just after young Ashley Westbrook drowned in an icy pond. Now Kate, alone in the world, has returned to the estate to tutor another spoiled Westbrook child, Patrick. The seven-year-old says he talks to Ashley by the pond. He does dangerous, deadly things because, he says, "Ashley dared me to." Just as Ashley once dared a shy, little Kate twelve years ago.
But at seventeen Kate is not so easily intimidated by "Ashley" or hostile members of her family or the forbidding housekeeper. Then Sam, the handsome stranger to whom Kate is irresistibly drawn, reveals a tragic piece of the puzzle that connects him to Kate. Sam tells Kate to leave -- either out of concern for her or due to a festering anger, she's not sure. But Kate will not abandon Patrick to the evil that is haunting him and threatens to destroy them all.
(Summary from goodreads.)

Why I want this: If you were paying attention to my last In My Mailbox, you know that I bought the first Dark Secrets reprint last week from a 30% off table in Walmart. Hey, isn't it cute how that one has a key on its cover and this one has a lock?

Thirst No. 1: The Last Vampire, Blood Black, Red Dice by Christopher Pike - Release date August 4th, 2009

Alisa has been in control of her urges for the five thousand years she has been a vampire. She feeds but does not kill, and she lives her life on the fringe to maintain her secret. But when her creator returns to hunt her, she must break her own rules in order to survive.

Her quest leads her to Ray. He is the only person who can help her; he also has every reason to fear her. Alisa must get closer to him to ensure her immortality. But as she begins to fall in love with Ray, suddenly there is more at stake than her own life....

(Summary from goodreads.)

Why I want this: Okay, so technically since this is already out (I almost bought it, but didn't have enough cash on me) it's not really a Waiting on Wednesday candidate, but I figured it was worth mentioning anyways... and I like rebelling in nerdy ways.

Thirst No. 2: Phantom, Evil Thirst, Creatures of Forever by Christopher Pike - January 5th, 2010

A bind-up of this classic paranormal thriller series from bestselling author Christopher Pike!

(Summary from amazon or goodreads, they're the same and they both suck but I don't have time to find a better one, sorry guys.)

Why I want this: Well, other than the obvious, it's about vampires, I think I've already read some of these, and if they're the ones I think they are, they're really good. Plus I like the covers.

Okay, so I still have to reply to a bunch of emails, schedule a few posts, and look up pig projects and be in bed in half an hour, preferably, so that's it for me for this time.

Peace and cookies,
Laina