Monday, February 28, 2011

Once Every Never Winners!

I apologize for sitting on the announcement for the past week, I did indeed draw the five winners last Monday but was waiting on the delivery of the samplers before announcing.  Looks like they're still a week and a half from arriving to me, so I can bundle them up and send them on to you,  but the good news is I have winners to announce!

Congratulations to:
Lauren Guitar
Chole Bray
Kristen Haskins
Sharon Steinman
and Enid Taylor!!!

Hopefully your signed samplers of Once Every Never should arrive in the next 3-4 weeks, thanks for entering!

Hot new release Blood and Flowers and Inkpop's latest writing challenge

I just ran into Inkpop's awesome new writing challenge.  It's set around Harpercollins Teen's soon to be released (tomorrow) new book Blood and Flowers.  Sounds like it's a seriously different take on the Faerie genre, a bit Tyger Tyger meets Wondrous Strange meets Holly Black.  Check out the book blurb:

Three years ago, Persia ran away from her drug-addict parents and found a home with the Outlaws, an underground theater troupe. This motley band of mortals and fey, puppeteers and actors, becomes the loving family Persia never had, and soon Persia not only discovers a passion for theater but also falls in love with Nicholas, one of the other Outlaws. Life could not be more perfect.

Until an enemy with a grudge makes an unfair accusation against the group and forces them to flee the mortal world and hide in the neighboring realm of Faerie. But in Faerie, all is not flowers and rainbows—with bloodthirsty trolls, a hostile monarchy, and a dangerous code of magic, the fey world is not quite the safe haven the Outlaws had hoped for. And they must decide what’s more important: protecting their right to perform or protecting themselves.
From critically acclaimed author Penny Blubaugh comes this mesmerizing tale of family, faeries, and finding a place to call home.

As with the Delirium Challenge the Blood and Flowers one is a great wing stretcher for new writers, Write a story, poem or essay that takes a realistic element and pairs it with fantastical element.  Oh how I wish I could participate!  Head on over to Inkpop and check it out yourself and keep an eye open for Blood and Flowers out tomorrow.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Book Oscars 2011!

Last year I did my first ever Book Oscars, and I had such a blast I thought I might as well make it a tradition.  So I've busted out the tiara and evening gown, am very uncomfortable (dude this is wayyy snugger than last year, what have i been eating??!) and I'm ready to hand out some shiny little men..
The rules are simple, I had to have read it in 2010, and it couldn't be a re-read (i.e. no Harry Potter ).
Without further ado, this is a painfully long show folks, here are the winners, starting small:


Best Costumes:
The Devil Wears Prada, by Lauren Weisberger- This year was a bad one for costumes in books, very little that was extravagant or delved into.  But the Devil Wears Prada, with it's constantly changing array of designer goodies was a treat to read costume wise.  And hey, the book was good too! (my review)
honorable mention to Clockwork Angel who mention Charles Worth- Swoon

Best Visual Effects:
The Undrowned Child, by Michelle Lovric and Hunger, by Jackie Morse Kessler - This was a hard category this year, I read so many fantastically descriptive books detailing such unusual and lovely (sometimes slightly horrifying) worlds.  Two totally different books made up my tie, but equally as well imagined and described.
The Undrowned Child was so unusual and yet so believable that I'll be hard pressed to believe there's not a contingent of mermaids with some outstanding language when  I finally make my dream trip to Venice.  Michelle has captured such an amazingly imaginative world in language that wasn't dumbed down  for her middle school readers which is why this book is my top two for Visual Effects.  (my review)

Hunger, was the polar opposite in many ways, except for the fact Jackie writes with such clarity that for the first time I really understood eating disorders.  Her descriptions and visuals were rich and so moving I would be surprised to find someone it doesn't resonate with. (my Review)

Best Art Direction:
Behemoth, by Scott Westerfeld:
As gorgeously illustrated as Leviathan (except for that rotten cover), Keith Thompson's art takes Scotts enchanting stories to a whole new level. (my review)

Best Scary Read:
The Strain, by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan:
With Giving me the Creeps October I launched into a whole new level of scary reads.  Previously not my favorite genre I caved to my hubbies fave genre and dug in.  Boy are there some hideously scary books out there! And wow do I love them!  The Strain hits so many creepy notes of  "I could see this happening", and seriously I was so jumpy after reading it, it was a hands down winner for this category.   (my review)

Best Supporting Actor:
Doren and Newel- from Fablehaven:
Great characters throughout the series, Doren and Newel really got to shine in the final book Keys to the Demon Prison.  Greatest battle cry ever is still "Frito-Lay!".  And the truly good news? Keys to the Demon Prison is finally available in Canada!  Only took a year. (my review)

Best Supporting Actress:
Jessamine, Clockwork Angel:
Okay, so you sort of can't stand her right? But I loved the idea of a girly shadowhunter who resents she's a fighter and just wants to be womanly.  And obviously she turns out to have a couple of redeeming features, I suspect she'll be the surprise of the series eventually. (my review)

Best Actor:
Peeta, Mockingjay:
I gave him runner up best actor last year and I really had to up it this year after Mockingjay.  You hate him, you love him, you're sad for him and your a little scared of him, Peeta has one of the best roles in the entire series by book three.  Please, please cast him well for the movies or there is no way I can watch them! (my review)

Best Actress:
Sam, before i fall:
Last years Best Actress made me sob, and so did this years.  I loathed Sam in the start of before i fall, she made my skin crawl, so it amazed me when somewhere along the way I fell in love with her, so much so I was  borderline inconsolable by the end of the book!  Now that is a stellar character, and proof of considerable talent for a debut novelist. (my review)

Best Writer:
Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay:
As mentioned last year, wrapping up a stellar series with a satisfactory bang of an ending is an art form.   There are very many authors who can write a good series with an OK ending and even more who can build up an interesting series to a god awful ending, but the true test of talent is an ending that carries as much excitement and page turning right through to the last page and leaves you feeling fully sated by the final words.  Every book of the Hunger Games trilogy was a marvel to me and I was astounded by how deep the final book went and how equal parts emotionally exhausted and sated it left me.  This woman belongs in the same league as JK Rowling and Rick Riordan, I cannot wait to see what she does next.

Best Book:
Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins:
This was THE hardest decision to make, but hands down this book rocked my world this year.  The waves of emotions at the end were overwhelming and to be frank I haven't felt that intensely about a story since the final Harry Potter.  But there were some drop dead amazing books I have to give an honorable mention to:
The Forest of Hands and Teeth, by Carrie Ryan (my review)
The Dreamdark books, Silksinger and Blackbringer, by Laini Taylor
Tyger, Tyger, by Kersten Hamilton (my review)
and White Cat, by Holly Black (my review)

In my mailbox

Well it's been a couple of weeks and my mail box has been busy, so I thought it was time to catch up!

Pictured with my teddy bear Baxter are the following beg, borrowed and bought books.

Borrowed from my good friend in reading, Jenna:
The Time Travelers Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield
I am number 4, by Pittacus Lore

Sent by the lovely author:
The Virtual Life of Lexie Diamond, by Victoria Foyt

Sent by the very kind publishers:
Ghost Ride, b Marina Cohen (Dundurn Press)
Mind the Gap, by Marina Cohen  (Dundurn Press)
Goth Girl Rising, by Barry Lyga (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children)
Delirium, by Lauren Oliver contest copy! (Harper Collins Teen and Inkpop)

Bought from Amazon, not pictured;
Bloodshot, by Cherie Priest
Delirium, my copy!

For Valentines from the Hubby:
Dying to Live, by Kim Paffenroth

I've finished Delirium (watch for the review tomorrow) and am well into Bloodshot (sooo awesome), and also borrow from Jenna was Torment and Fallen (see the reviews from last week).  So I'm well and truly entrenched in my terrific pile of books.  Of course you have one more week to win that beautiful copy of Delirium, just enter here!

What are you reading?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

NYC Teen Author Festival

So same as last year, the week of march break is going to be an awesome time in NYC.  Because that week is huge where I work there's once again no way I can make it, but hopefully you can because it sounds like a blast!
Here's the stupendous schedule, sorry I didn't link it all up, that venture took me half a day last year so I'll let your fingers do the walking if you want more info on a particular author or book.

2011 NYC Teen Author Festival
Schedule

Monday, March 14 (Chatham Square Branch of the NYPL, 33 E Broadway., 6-8): 
Finding Voice, Giving Voice: Speaking Up for Characters

Authors:
Cathleen Bell
Jen Calonita
Cecil Castellucci
Brent Crawford
Elizabeth Eulberg
Brian James
Kekla Magoon
Melina Marchetta
Marie Rutkoski
Moderator: David Levithan

Tuesday, March 15 (B&N Union Square, 7-8:30):
YA Reader’s Theater

Authors:
Holly Black
Judy Blundell
Gayle Forman
Eliot Schrefer (aka E. Archer)
Host: David Levithan

Wednesday. March 16 (South Court, 6-8): 
YA Rocks, featuring Tiger Beat!

Tiger Beat:
Libba Bray
Daniel Ehrenhaft
Barnabas Miller
Natalie Standiford

With music-related readings from:
Philana Marie Boles
Libba Bray
Barnabas Miller
Jon Skovron
Jeri Smith-Ready
Rita Williams-Garcia
Host: Jack Martin / Chris Shoemaker

Thursday, March 17 (Five Borough Read, 10-12):

Manhattan:
Seward Park Branch, 192 E Broadway, Manhattan, 10am
Alma Alexander
Philana Marie Boles
Leanna Renee Hieber
Lena Roy
Mark Shulman

96th Street Branch, 228 E 96th St, Manhattan, 10am
Violet Haberdasher
Kimberly Marcus
Micol Ostow
Eliot Schrefer
Natalie Standiford

Washington Irving H.S (in conjunction with Mulberry St Branch) - 40 Irving Place, 10am.
Eireann Corrigan
Jocelyn Davies
Anne Heltzel
Matt de la Pena
Patrick Ryan
Leila Sales

Muhlenburg Branch, NYPL, 209 W 23rd St
Alexandra Bullen
Helen Ellis
Sarah Mlynowski
Matthue Roth
Adrienne Maria Vrettos
Robin Wasserman


Brooklyn 
Central Branch, Brooklyn Public Library, Dweck Auditorim, 10 Grand Army Plaza
Cathleen Bell
Gayle Forman
Christopher Grant
Melissa Kantor
Jeri Smith-Ready
Melissa Walker

Bronx:
Bronx Library Center, 310 E Kingsbridge Road, Bronx
Margie Gelbwasser
Sarah Darer Littman
Arlaina Tibensky
Maryrose Wood

Queens:
Library TK
Brent Crawford
Barry Lyga 
Melina Marchetta
Neesha Meminger

Staten Island: 
St George Branch, 5 Central Ave, Staten Island, 10am
Elizabeth Eulberg
David Levithan
Michael Northrup
Danette Vigliante

Friday March 18th, Symposium (South Court, 42nd Street, 2-6)
2:00 Introduction 

2:10 – 3:00: Telling the Truths – Hard Topics, Illuminating Fiction
Authors:
Eireann Corrigan
Donna Freitas
Sarah Darer Littman
Kimberly Marcus
Micol Ostow
Moderator: DL

3:00 – 3:50: Debut Author Showcase
Authors:
Jocelyn Davies
Margie Gelbwasser
Christopher Grant
Anne Heltzel
Kimberly Marcus
Arlaina Tibensky
Moderator: Jack Martin / Chris Shoemaker

3:50 – 4:00: Break


4:00 - 5:00: I Think I Love You (But Maybe I Don’t?) – Writing About Teens in Love

Authors:
E. Lockhart
Terra Elan McVoy
Sarah Mylnowski
Patrick Ryan
Moderator: David Levithan

5:00 – 6:00: Under the Influences: Discussing Influences on YA Fiction
Authors:
Libba Bray
Alexandra Bullen
Susane Colasanti
Barry Lyga
Carolyn Mackler
Lena Roy
Adrienne Maria Vrettos
Maryrose Wood
Moderator: Barry Lyga

Saturday. March 19th, Symposium (South Court, 42nd Street, 1-5:30)
1:00 – Introduction

1:10 – 2:00: The Ties That Bind, Part One: The Struggle Against Darkness
Kim Harrington
Lisa McMann
Maggie Stiefvater
Robin Wasserman
Moderator: David Levithan

2:00 – 2:45: The Ties That Bind, Part Two: Family Bonds
Melissa Kantor
Melina Marchetta
Alyssa Sheinmel
Natalie Standiford
Danette Vigilante

Moderator: Jack Martin / Chris Shoemaker 
2:45 – 3:30: The Ties That Bind, Part Three: Friends and Community
Matt de la Pena
Torrey Maldonado
Michael Northrop
Leila Sales
Moderator: Barry Lyga

3:30-3:40 – Break

3:40 – 4:20 – Tribute to Michael Cart
Host/Opening: Jack Martin
Speakers/Readers: David Levithan and Jacqueline Woodson
Acceptance: Michael Cart


4:20-5:30: LGBTYA: Past, Present, and Future
Nick Burd
Michael Cart
David Levithan
Martin Wilson
Jacqueline Woodson
Moderator: Jack Martin / Chris Shoemaker

Sunday afternoon: 
Books of Wonder Signing (1-4)
Authors:

1-1:45
Lizabeth Zindel (A Girl, A Ghost, and the Hollywood Hills, Penguin)
Maryrose Wood (The Hidden Gallery, Harper)
Suzanne Weyn (Empty, Scholastic)
Danette Vigilante (The Trouble with Half a Moon, Penguin)
Maggie Stiefvater (Linger, Scholastic)
Natalie Standiford (Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters, Scholastic)
Mark Shulman (Scrawl, Roaring Brook)
Alyssa Sheinmel (The Beautiful Between, RH) 
Kieran Scott (She’s So Dead to Us, S&S)
Leila Sales (Mostly Good Girls, S&S)
Patrick Ryan (Gemini Bites, Scholastic)

1:45-2:30
Marie Rutkoski (The Celestial Globe, FSG)
Lena Roy (Edges, FSG)
Michael Northrup (Trapped, Scholastic)
Sarah Mlynowski (Gimme a Call, RH)
Neesha Meminger (Jazz in Love, Ignite)
Terra Elan McVoy (After the Kiss, S&S)
Lisa McMann (Cryer’s Cross, S&S)
Kimberly Marcus (Exposed, RH)
Melina Marchetta (The Piper’s Son, Candlewick) 
Torrey Maldonado (Secret Saturdays, Penguin)
Barry Lyga (Archvillain, Scholastic) 

2:30-3:15
E. Lockhart (Real Live Boyfriends, RH)
Sarah Darer Littman (Life After, Scholastic)
David Levithan (Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares, RH)
Melissa Kantor (The Darlings Are Forever, Hyperion)
Carla Jablonksi (Resistance, First Second)
Gwendolyn Heasley (Where I Belong, Harper)
Kim Harrington (Clarity, Scholastic)
Christopher Grant (Teenie, RH)
Margie Gelbwasser (Inconvenient, Flux)
Elizabeth Eulberg (Prom & Prejudice, Scholastic)
Helen Ellis (The Turning, Sourcebooks)

3:15-4
Daniel Ehrenhaft (Friend is Not a Verb, Harper)
Sarah Beth Durst (Enchanted Ivy, S&S)
Matt De La Pena (I Will Save You, RH)
Brent Crawford (Carter Finally Gets It, Hyperion)
Eireann Corrigan (Accomplice, Scholastic)
Susane Colasanti (Something Like Fate, Penguin)
Marina Budhos (Tell Us We’re Home, S&S)
Kate Brian (Book of Spells, S&S)
Philana Marie Boles (Glitz, Penguin)
Judy Blundell (Strings Attached, Scholastic)
Cathleen Bell (Little Blog on the Prairie, Bloomsbury)



I defy you to not find at least three things you'd love to participate in that week.  If you do please share for us ninnies that can't make it!


NYC Teen Author Festival Facebook page

Guest Post by Graham Parke- The Power of Dark Literature

It always surprises me how depressing media is seen as more relevant or significant than non-depressing media. Oscars invariably go to actors portraying people who suffer, literary prizes go to authors who torture their characters, museums are filled with paintings and sculptures of people not running around in the sunshine picking flowers.
    
Why is this? Whatís our fascination with bad things happening to good people? Why do we feel like weíre wasting our time when we feel good, and do we feel empowered or entitled when we suffer or surround ourselves with people who suffer?

Letís examine this by expanding the literary example. When naming a list of literary classics, youíre more than likely to come up with some very tragic, dramatic novels. Are these books fun to read? Perhaps not in the traditional sense. Anyone reading about Catherineís death in Wuthering Heights and then laughing out loud, well, weíd probably call them a sadist. So why is it that we tend to regard depressing novels as more literarily significant?

In some professions, the more difficult an accomplishment, the better it is rewarded. So could this be the deciding factor? Are depressing novels more difficult to write? Letís see. Say we give two writers a task. The first has only 5 minutes to sit down with a pen and paper and come up with a funny idea. This idea needs to be completely original and fresh, because a joke weíve heard before just isnít that funny. Plus, it needs to be universally recognizable so our audience can relate to it.

The second writer gets the same 5 minutes to come up with 20 sad ideas. They donít necessarily need to be original, because sad things stay sad, no matter how many times we hear them. And sad things tend to be universally recognizable anyway, so he doesnít have to worry about that either.

Now tell these writers that their lives depend on them successfully completing their tasks.

Which of these writers would you rather be? Iíd definitely choose the latter. I predict that, perhaps somewhat ironically, the comedy writer will meet a dramatic end, while the drama writer will walk away in the sunshine, possibly stopping somewhere to pick some flowers.

The truth is that itís just not that hard to think of examples of tragic people in dramatic situations. Without even using 1% of my admittedly limited brainpower, I can throw something together. How about a person whose cat dies, on the very day he wanted to commit suicide? Now he has to postpone his suicide to bury his cat. Thatís pretty sad, isnít it? Add the fact that he doesnít have a shovel. He has to go out and buy one, but itís Sunday and heís flat broke. Also, it just started raining.

Okay, fine, that didnít make you cry, what did you expect from a meager 1%? But you get my drift.

It actually takes a good setup followed by a constant stream of interesting and new ideas to keep a reader thinking that a novel is funny. It only takes a good setup followed by a mild sense of ongoing brooding or suffering to keep a reader thinking that a novel is dramatic. So itís clearly not the difficulty involved that activates our ësense of experiencing something of deeper meaningí.

What is it then? What is it about the paintings with the dark clouds and the corpses on the battlefields that gets them into the museums while the ones of good friends enjoying a hearty handshake will escape the public eye forever? What is it about Sean Penn playing a retarded man who has trouble finishing a sentence that has him preparing an acceptance speech while his hauntingly accurate portrayal of a teenager having such a good time that he has trouble finishing a sentence has him ridiculed?

I think it has something to do with our admiration for people who have suffered through an ordeal. We canít help but wonder if we could have done it. How well we would have held up. And, for some reason, we are more than ready to extend our admiration to people merely pretending to be people who have suffered through an ordeal. The actors acting about it, the authors authoring about it, the painters mixing colors about it.

So, if you ever want to write a true master-piece, a future classic, make sure you torture your characters sufficiently.

Bio:
Graham Parke is responsible for a number of technical publications and has recently patented a self-folding map. He has been described as both a humanitarian and a pathological liar. Convincing evidence to support either allegation has yet to be produced.


No Hope for Gomez! is his fiction debut:

Boy meets girl. 
Boy stalks girl.
Girl already has a stalker. 
Boy becomes her stalker-stalker.

Find Graham's blog here.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Lazy Feline Fridays

I don't know if it's the grey dreary weather today, or simply a total lack of motivation but I just can't make myself do anything.  So I thought I'd stick with the theme and share some of the cuter sleeping moments of my always lazy kitties.

Cheddar is dreaming he's a tiger


Thurman channels my Grandma sleeping sitting up in her chair


My mom's cat Nicco passes out while watching TV


And Thurman sleeps off a crazy Fiesta

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Torment, By Lauren Kate- Review

I was relieved I had Torment primed and ready to go after finishing Fallen, otherwise pretty cover or not, I'm not sure I would have picked it up.  Fallen left me slightly foggy about what was going on and what the point was. Yes, yes, mythic romance over many lives, blah, blah, blah.  Angels, Demons and some twist I thought was going to be revealed but was really just made into more foggy illusions of something indiscernible.  All of it left me a little annoyed, and to be frank, lost enough of my interest it may have turned into Entice (which despite being 5$ at chapters recently still couldn't entice me to buy it after reading Need).

Somehow I'm a bit boggled by YA's love affair with epic romance.  Since the Twilight success it seems if you're willing to come up with a fairy tale type lusty teen love story then it trumps the need for real story telling or character development.  Now don't get me wrong, there are some AWESOME YA books out there with some deadly romances in them which I have quite thoroughly enjoyed.  But there seems to be a greater number of pretty looking love centric, badly written YA romances out there (don't lynch me for saying it but Hush, Hush sums it up for me).

So I was impressed when I quickly started taking to Torment.  With less Daniel obsessing (really only the tiniest bit), and way more character development, interesting dialogue and more reveals about Angels, Demons and the likes I felt like Torment had more substance.  Although I have to say, you can get baptised as an adult, so ah, why don't they get Luce baptised if it's such a big deal?

Lauren still doesn't really get to the point about whats so special about Luce or why Daniel fell for her (literally, fallen angel here) and there is still a lot of mystique around the fight between Heaven and Hell.  But it felt like there were more reveals here than in Fallen, and there were certainly enough to satisfy me.

And for once I liked the love triangle.  Honestly.  Normally I sort of loath the love triangle, seriously, I don't remember any girl in High school having to fight two hot guys off.  But this one I like because it questioned the whole epic love between Luce and Daniel.  I liked that she thinks "hey, he's hot but I'm not crazy about how he talks to me and dude I know NOTHING about him", I like that she has enough self respect to think the sweet guy she has actually gotten to know and likes could compete with the Angel for her affection, multiple lives or not.  Nothing annoys me more than a YA book where some 17 year old girl decides she's found the love of her life 2 minutes after a hot kiss from some smoking guy, give me a girl with some substance.  Luce finally gets a bit of substance, enough to question things and not just throw herself into Daniels arms for some steamy smooch session anyhow.

Once again Lauren has made me fall in love with her secondary characters.  Shelby and Miles are great and their time with Luce is some of my favorite parts of the book.  And there were jokes!  I love a sense of humor in a book!  References to Team Miles and Team Daniel shirts were truly amusing and Arriane was good for a chuckle as per usual.

I'm hoping she keeps the vibe going for book three- Passion (really dislike the cover, why of why do I see some of her face?), I'm looking forward to learning more about Daniel and Luce's past, but hopefully it doesn't just become a smooch fest with no story.

Torment, by Lauren Kate
Published by Delacorte Press September 2010
Buy Torment on Amazon

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The final Clockwork Prince teaser for the end of the long weekend

Cassie: Magnus and ...? mid-book, about Will.

-------------

“He’s Nephilim,” said his companion. “And you’ve never cared for them. How much did he pay you?”

“Nothing,” said Magnus, and now he was not seeing anything that was there, not the river, not Will, only a wash of memories: eyes, faces, lips, receding into memory, love that he could no longer put a name to. “He did me a favor. One he doesn’t even remember.”

“He’s very pretty. For a human.”

“He’s very broken,” said Magnus. “Like a lovely vase that someone has smashed. Only luck and skill can put it back together the way it was before.”

What a teaser filled week! Think you might have missed some? Catch up here.

Long excerpt for City of Fallen Angels released with 13 more pages than last week!

So for those of you who are as lazy as me, the full, unredacted excerpt from the ShadowChapter Hunt is up.  And if that wasn't exciting enough news for a Tuesday morning, there is now an additional 13 pages of good stuff!

I can tell you there's an exciting cameo from Clockwork Angel that made me gasp, but the rest you should really check out for ourselves, I don't want to spoil the fun. Only six more weeks to go! Head on over to Amazon and pre-order your copy.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Fallen, By Lauren Kate- Review

I'd been eying Fallen and Torment for sometime, I won't lie, their covers were stupendously alluring.  I wasn't entirely sure what they were about and didn't care, they are that damn pretty.  That being said neither book was making it into my book hauls on my regular book store visits.  So when Christmas rolled around and I was trying to decide which book to give my good friend in reading, Jenna, I immediately thought of Fallen.  I knew it had a Twilighty love story, and Jenna may actually be the biggest Twilight fan on earth, so it seemed perfect. 

Of course the great part about buying books for friends is then you can borrow them!  So last week they were handed over to me with a bevy of other books on exchange and I promptly dug in.

After a traumatic attempt at a first kiss Luce finds herself in a tough as nails reform school.  Unfortunately it would seem there is a bigger fight between good and evil going on at Sword and Cross than the average reform school, and between that and the two hot boys she's juggling it would seem she's jumped out of the kettle into the fire.  Wait till she hears about the past lives!

This was an intriguing first book.  I was involved and interested enough to have trouble putting it down but not in love with the main character Luce.  I'm not sure if it's the way she endlessly threw herself at a guy who couldn't be clearer he's not interested, to the point where I was actually mortally embarrassed for her in one scene, or if it was the woe-is-me attitude she took about almost everything, but one way or another she rubbed me the wrong way.  I also felt the mystery was built up to much for how little reveal there was at the end.  Nothing is less satisfying then still being a bit foggy on details when you put a book down after the last page.

However I loved many of the side characters, Arriane and Penn especially, and I thought the idea of a penitentiary like reform school was an inspired location for a YA book.  Of course, the idea of a Civil War reenactment at a southern reform school as a "social activity" was down right funny.  I guess I wish Lauren Kate had focused a bit more on the school then the budding romances, I feel like it would have grounded the story a little more for me.  It's hard to be mooney with Luce about boys when you're still trying to wrap your head around what lead her to the reform school and who she is as a character.  Though obviously this is part one in a big love saga, so no cigar for me!

The best part about Fallen, for me anyhow, was that it leads to book two- Torment, which I really enjoyed.  Amusingly Jenna felt the opposite, and loved Fallen but was a bit disappointed by Torment.  It just goes to show, great minds don't always think alike!


Fallen, By Lauren Kate
Published by Delacorte Press, December 2009
Lauren Kates Website
Lauren Kates Blog
A first look at the cover of Passion (book 3)
Buy Fallen on Amazon

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Once Every Never Sampler Contest- LAST DAY!!!

So you loved Wondrous Strange, Darklight and Tempestuous, and are simply dying for your next Lesley Livingston fix, right?  Well the fantabulous news is she has new series on the way this summer, the less fantabulous news is us lucky Canadians are, so far, the only folks who'll be getting it.

Which is where I come in.

Me and 4 other bloggers are giving away 5 chapter samplers to some lucky lucky fans.  Not only do you get the first two chapters, bound in the cover for the book....BUT.... they're also signed!

Contest ends at midnight tonight, so make sure to enter right away! And lets face it, I'm not going to be whipping this contest down right at midnight sharp so expect the cut off to unofficially fall about 11 am tomorrow when I pull the winner.  Open Internationally!
Enter here and then leave a comment!

Because nothing makes a day better than NEW Clockwork Prince Teasers!

Apparently Cassie Tweeted these two exciting teasers over the course of this weekend, but thankfully she's also let her facebook lovers know too (soo not a tweeter!).  So without further ado I give you two fantastic teasers from the forthcoming Clockwork Prince, think of it as Sunday caffeine!

“They’re not hideous,” said Tessa.


Will blinked at her. “What?”

“Gideon and Gabriel,” said Tessa. “They’re really quite good-looking, not hideous at all.”

“I spoke,” said Will, in sepulchral tones, “of the pitch-black inner depths of their souls.”

Tessa snorted. “And what color do you suppose the inner depths of your soul are, Will Herondale?”

“Mauve,” said Will.

And then.....

Will and Jem, mid-book. Victorian bromance!

-----------------------------------
Will's voice dropped. “Everyone makes mistakes, Jem.”

“Yes,” said Jem. “You just make more of them than most people.”

“I —”

“You hurt everyone,” said Jem. “Everyone whose life you touch.”

“Not you,” Will whispered. “I hurt everyone but you. I never meant to hurt you.”

Jem put his hands up, pressing his palms against his eyes. “Will —”

“You can’t never forgive me,” Will said in disbelief, hearing the panic tinging his own voice. “I’d be -”

“Alone?” Jem lowered his hand, but he was smiling now, crookedly. “And whose fault is that?”

Friday, February 18, 2011

A return to the HOP

Book Blogger HopAfter a long break (thanks linky tools, ugh) I'm back to the HOP!

So this weeks question is "What Books would you like to see made into a movie".  This is a tough one, I'm not a fan of what most directors do to books.  Rarely are they handled with the right tone and atmosphere.  Movies like Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter were notable exceptions and I still get annoyed by some of the cuts and changes.

Ultimately I love books because they're however I picture them.  For that reason I also don't dig covers that try to depict characters, the whole point to reading (for me anyhow) is that between me and the author there develops this whole other world.  It's just plain magic.

Of course, that being said, under the right direction and budget, I think the Forest of Hands and Teeth would be pretty freakin' amazing.  I'm just saying.

While you're here make sure to check out my Delirium contest and my Once Every Never contest.  I'm giving away several copies of both and they're both sure to impress (I just finished Delirium and I'm in love).  I'm guessing at least a few people on the hop are going to want to see Delirium made into a movie so make sure you enter so you can see what all the fuss is about!

Feline Friday's great Sweet Valley High Caper

Yes.  I was of the Sweet Valley High fandom.  I suppose this dates me, especially in the realm of today's teens, but hey, we all have our embarrassing tween crazes.  You see, I was quite convinced that they were going to end at 100 issues, so I obsessively collected SVH through my local used bookstore at the Lake my grandparents lived at, through collecting my allowance and making weekly treks to the Coles in my local mall and through birthday gifts.  I couldn't get enough of those perfect blond California twins.

So when my mom moved a couple of years ago, greatly downsizing where her and my grandmother lived, I had to make a tough decision.  What did I want her to do with all those damn Sweet Valley Highs.  To the hubby's everlasting chagrin, I decided I couldn't get rid of them yet.  Recently my mom has started shipping me all the things I said I couldn't give up (gack! what was I thinking I would do with all this stuff??) and so my Sweet Valley High collection landed on my doorstep in a huge Tupperware.

Cheddar tries out being a book
Last week I made the trek out to IKEA to invest in a new book shelf to put all these books mom keeps sending me.  And can I just say, as I neurotically re-arranged my precious 103 SVH's back into their correct numerical order, I was endlessly amused by the titles, covers and was just a little bit tempted to re-read some of them for a laugh.

Obviously the boys were endlessly amused by them, Cheddar more so by the book case, and we were pretty sure we were going to come home to Baxter sitting up on the couch, feet sticking out, deeply into the Sweet Valley Saga (one of my faves).  Dilly, in her big sister way, disdained to involve herself. Pff! girly reads.  She's definitely a Stephen King Fan.

The funniest discovery of this whole enterprise?  Sweet Valley High is still going strong! That's right, not only are they in reprints with much less dated covers but low and behold there's a new release due out March 29th!! Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later!!  Apparently it's an Adult novel for all of us who are looking to reminisce about an old favorite read.

Man, I think I need to buy that book.



Thurman tosses Brokenhearted aside and heads straight for Hostage.
Check out the awesome site, and read the first chapter!

Some fun Friday Tidbits

As all you Cassandra Clare/ Mortal Instruments die hards likely already know, today is the final day of the ShadowChapter hunt.  So if you love a puzzle head on over to the Story Siren today for the final piece.  If you're like me and read part two and then gave up (way too obnoxious), then the good news is that on Tuesday Cassie will be putting up the full chapter plus 13 additional pages up on her site.  YAY!  Of course make sure you stop by the five blogs who posted this week to enter great giveaways.


Next up are a handful of new books I stumbled upon on various publishing sites this past week that I haven't heard of before and are now eager to dig into.


Over on Simon and Schusters site I ran into  Julie Chibbaro's new book Deadly, coming out Feb 22.  It sounds like a fantastic new read, this is the book blurb:

A mysterious outbreak of typhoid fever is sweeping New York. 
Could the city’s future rest with its most unlikely scientist?
If Prudence Galewski is ever going to get out of Mrs. Browning’s esteemed School for Girls, she must demonstrate her refinement and charm by securing a job appropriate for a young lady. But Prudence isn’t like the other girls. She is fascinated by how the human body works and why it fails.
With a stroke of luck, she lands a position in a laboratory, where she is swept into an investigation of the fever bound to change medical history. Prudence quickly learns that an inquiry of this proportion is not confined to the lab. From ritzy mansions to shady bars and rundown tenements, she explores every potential cause of the disease. 
But there’s no answer in sight—until the volatile Mary Mallon emerges. Dubbed “Typhoid Mary” by the press, Mary is an Irish immigrant who has worked as a cook in every home the fever has ravaged. Strangely, though, she hasn’t been sick a day in her life. Is the accusation against her an act of discrimination? Or is she the first clue in a new scientific discovery?
Prudence is determined to find out. In a time when science is for men, she’ll have to prove to the city, and to herself, that she can help solve one of the greatest medical mysteries of the twentieth century.
Over on Julie's site I found a button for a blog tour, check it out as there's a whole wack of great bloggers participating starting in just a few days (feb 20th is the start date).  Also check out the first chapter, posted over on the Simon and Schuster site and Julie's site as well. 






Next up is TOR's new young Sherlock Holmes series.  Releasing at some point this month (Amazon says Feb 1 but I can mysteriously not find it in my bookstores), Andrew Lane has started a fab sounding new series about Young Sherlock Holmes.  Here's the book Blurb from TOR:



It is the summer of 1868, and Sherlock Holmes is fourteen. On break from boarding school, he is staying with eccentric strangers—his uncle and aunt—in their vast house in Hampshire. When two local people die from symptoms that resemble the plague, Holmes begins to investigate what really killed them, helped by his new tutor, an American named Amyus Crowe. So begins Sherlock’s true education in detection, as he discovers the dastardly crimes of a brilliantly sinister villain of exquisitely malign intent.
I love how the picture ends up looking like the Robert Downey Jr Sherlock Holmes look.  And I can't wait to dig this one up! 


Thursday, February 17, 2011

City of Fire, by Laurence Yep- Review

 With Part two to Laurence Yep's City trilogy coming out this spring, I thought it was time get familiar with it. The kind folks at TOR sent along City of Fire, and I was excited to sink my teeth into this award winning authors work for the first time.

Five unlikely friends, two of them not what they seem, are brought together by an unexpected dragon attack in the middle of a museum exhibit. A united need for revenge launches them on an adventure taking them by magic carpet, plane and dragon from San Francisco to Hawaii with unexpected twists along the way.

A delicious blend of fantasy and historical based fiction, City of fire has a very unique feel to it's world, especially for a middle school book. I found Yep's explanations in the afterword about which cultures and historical facts he borrowed from surprisingly detailed, and I enjoy the fact he has a high enough regard for his young readers to include it.

Likewise his characters were completely charming, their diverse skills, cultures and backgrounds making them complex and even more loveable. But I imagine it also makes them considerably more approachable to a wide range of readers.

And finally, the story itself is a whirlwind ride of adventure and surprises. Short chapters, action packed, and racing towards the end of the book at top speeds would make this appealing to even the more reluctant readers. I can see why Laurence's work is so highly acclaimed, and I can't wait for the arrival of City of Ice.

City of Fire, by Laurence Yep
Published by Starscape August 2010
Buy City of Fire on Amazon

Monday, February 14, 2011

More lovey dovey goodies in the form of City of Fallen Angels teasers and Delirium tidbits!

Love is well and truly in the air. My copy of Delirium landed on the doorstep courtesy of Amazon and my credit card this morning and my lovely hubby biked it to me at work so I wouldn't have to wait to start reading it!  Now that's my kind of man.  Not to mention he's setting up a new cupboard in the kitchen for me while I type.  It's positively swoon worthy!

Better yet, I'm sharing the love by giving out a few copies of Delirium.  It's open Internationally until March 4th so make sure you enter!  I'm also giving out a bound, signed sampler of another new love story- Lesley Livingston's Once Every Never. Also open Internationally until the 20th, so if you haven't heard me mention it before, then now's your big chance.  You can enter here!

As if that's not enough good news today, then part one of the chapter shadowhunt for City of Fallen Angels launched on Mundie Moms today!  It's a vicious teaser, and I'm on the edge of my seat for the release of a little more tomorrow via Wondrous Reads.  Make sure to check it out yourself at Simon and Schuster or via Mundie Mom's (who are also having a giveaway for US residents.  I'm making a little sad face right now).

Finally, a link to a link, yesterday SFF Chat had me rolling on the ground by introducing me to this hilarious blog post on Tor.com- How to Lie about Books.  It's all about trying to sound like you know something about Sci-Fi or Fantasy when you're in a crowd of die hards.  My absolute fave was rule 4#
Rule #4: Carry a Picture of a Kitten in Your Wallet


You’re at a room party at a convention and find yourself in a totally indefensible position, surrounded by unyielding fantasy experts perseverating on Anne McCaffrey. They all want to know what you think of Rengades of Pern. You begin to sweat. Should you jump off the hotel balcony or punch one in the face and jet down the hall? Then you remember the picture of the kitten in your wallet. It’s a tabby covered in spaghetti. You whip it out and they all go “aww.” Every one of them has at least four cats at home. It’s going to be OK.
Seeing as I do have four cats, and I tend to bring them up in conversation with alarming regularity, then it seemed unbelievably apropos. 

Hope all these tidbits find you in a rosy glow of chocolate and good day happiness.  Happy Valentines my lovelies!

Follower Hop, The Deadly Conch winner and Guest Post by author Mahtab Narsimhan

I've got a day filled with special treats for all of you lovely readers, starting off with the winner of The Follower Love Hop!

Without further ado, Congrats to Vidisha Singh! She'll be getting a copy of Mahtab Narsimhan's The Deadly Conch in the mail shortly.

Also today, Ms Narsimhan has stopped by to talk a bit about the trilogy and about some interesting tidbits about Indian culture in a guest post.  Enjoy!

The Tara Trilogy is a fantasy adventure based in India, featuring a flawed yet endearing protagonist, Tara. In each of the three books in the series, she is on a quest and has to face many hurdles, internal and external, before she can succeed. These quests test her courage, her morals and above all belief in herself. India’s diverse culture and aspects of Hindu mythology are seamlessly woven into the plot to enrich the narrative, and expose many young readers to an exciting and unfamiliar (or familiar) world. Today’s middle-grade fiction abounds in protagonists from Europe or America with very few representative of the Asian Subcontinent. This trilogy, I hope, will fill that gap.


In the first book in the series; THE THIRD EYE, Tara has to save her village from an evil healer, Zarku, and find her mother and grandfather who had disappeared without any explanation.

On a deeper level, this story deals with the issue of belief in oneself through the character of Tara. She is deathly afraid of the unknown and of coping with drastic changes in her life. With change comes uncertainly and fear. What if I can’t do it? What if I fail? Readers the world over will identify with Tara as she struggles to cope with the challenges that life throws at her, and to keep going despite initial failure. Family may not be around to help, friends can turn to enemies, but what lies within, endures and that is what Tara has to learn. Often parents are faced with the difficult choice of protecting their children and easing their way over every obstacle, or letting them flounder and find their own footing. An analogy within the narrative of a butterfly emerging from its cocoon, demonstrates that obstacles and hardships are necessary if a child is to develop character and self-confidence.

In the second book in the series; THE SILVER ANKLET, Tara’s brother, Suraj, and two other children are snatched by hyenas from a local fair. Tara and her friends decide to save the children on their own. But Tara soon discovers that her nemesis, Zarku, is back and intent on revenge. What is worse, and unexpected, is that he has possessed Suraj’s body. Tara has to decide whether she should put her friends in danger or face Zarku alone. Should she sacrifice her brother for the greater good of the villagers?

This story is about teamwork. After having learned to rely on herself, Tara finds that being a leader comes naturally to her. So much so that she has no use for others’ suggestions. But when they are all forced to play a deadly game of hide and seek, their only hope for survival is to work together; a crucial life skill. The five children eventually learn to function as a team, complement each other’s skills and strengths, and become friends. The symbolism of a fist being stronger than five fingers exemplifies that concept. At the end, Tara is faced with a tough moral choice; to put all her friends in danger or to face it alone so that the others can survive. She chooses wisely and the story ends on a hopeful note.

In the third book in this series; THE DEATHLY CONCH, Tara has to face her last foe; her evil step-sister, Layla, who is guided by her mother, Kali, from the Underworld. Layla cunningly manipulates events so that the villagers of Morni, and even Tara’s own family turn against her.

In this last book, the narrative arc of this trilogy loops back to original theme of belief in oneself. Tara has lost the support and trust of everyone she holds dear and yet she finds the strength to make the right choices. This story deals with courage, moral choices, self-sacrifice and the destructive power of herd mentality and blind belief; all very real issues and challenges that young people face today.

The first goal of The Tara Trilogy is to entertain so that these books, which took years to write, will be devoured within days. However, I do hope that discerning readers will instinctively grasp the character-building themes that are subtle yet ever present in these fast-paced novels and strive to emulate them.

A quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson beautifully and succinctly captures the essence of this trilogy; what lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

Some interesting facts about Indian Mythology which I discovered while researching this trilogy are:

• Avatar is a Sanskrit word and literally means “one who descends” and the closest translation is “incarnation or manifestation.”

• Lord Shiva represents the Supreme Being and is the third member of the Hindu Trinity, the other two being Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu. He is also called the three-eyed Lord. His right eye depicts the sun, his left eye depicts the moon and the third one on his forehead, depicts fire. The third eye is also a symbol of spiritual knowledge and power and is called the eye of wisdom. This is where I got the inspiration for The Third Eye.

• Kali the evil Goddess of Death and Destruction is just another avatar of Goddess Parvati who is the wife of Lord Shiva and known for her kindness and gentleness. She is also known as the Divine Mother or Mother Goddess.

• Hanuman, the Monkey God, who helped Lord Rama rescue his wife, Sita, from the evil Ravana in the epic Ramayana, is also a very popular God in India. He is believed to be an avatar of Lord Shiva and is worshipped as a symbol of physical strength, perseverance and devotion. In times of trouble, it is a common faith among Hindus to chant the name of Hanuman or sing his hymn - "Hanuman Chalisa". Hanuman temples are among the most common public shrines in India.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. For more information on Indian mythology, please visit my website for some cool links at http://www.mahtabnarsimhan.com/

Check out my review of The Deadly Conch here.
And head on over to Amazon and buy a copy for yourself! The Deadly Conch

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Grave goods, by Ariana Franklin- Review

The third book in the Mistress of the Art of Death series, Grave Goods follows Adelia to Glastonbury Abbey, on behalf of King Henry.  Her arrival falls on the heels of a devastating fire that has wiped out most of the great Abbey and the township, but has revealed a buried couple, rumored to be King Arthur and Queen Guinevere.  Adelia's mission is to prove if these bones indeed belong to them, but on her way she stumbles into even great mystery.  Will she survive this latest round of trouble?

If book one seemed to focus on medieval English rural life, and book two took a closer look at their monarchy then book three really delves into the church and law.  Like many, I mostly associated Henry II with the death of Thomas Becket, and had certainly never read anything revealing his legal reforms. So I was very enthralled by the legal chatter and scenes in Grave goods.  I'm endlessly intrigued by Ms Franklin/Norman representation of King Henry, who she clearly views as England's saviour from the dark ages.  Short of Adelia herself he may be one of my favorite characters.

As for the church, again Ms Franklin/Norman has made it real and alive in a way very few people could do with a story set in 1176.  The lives of the priests, what was viewed as acceptable or unacceptable by the church at that time and what the loss of a church would do to a town connected to it were all fascinating aspects of this story, as much so as the mysteries Adelia is set to unravel.

Another layered and thought provoking book, Ariana Franklin has outdid herself once again.  Who knew learning could be so much stinkin' fun?  Bring on book four A Murderous Procession.

Grave Goods, By Ariana Franklin (pen name of Diana Norman)
Published by Penguin, March 2010
Buy Grave Goods on Amazon
Visit Ariana Franklins website
My review of The Serpent's Tale (2nd book)
My review of The Mistress of the Art of Death (1st book)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Inkpop and Delirium Writting Challenge, and my very own Delirium Contest!

Thanks to lovely Erika over at Harper Collins, I've just been introduced to Inkpop.com.  "The Online Community for the Rising Stars in Teen Lit",  Inkpop is directed at teens writing for teens and publishes different features almost every day.  I've only had the chance to skim the surface but it looks like loads of fun, and well worth a look for all you bibliophiles out there.


And because we're all delirious with Delirium fever these days (yes I  am referencing Lauren Oliver newest and highly anticipated release) I have two great contests for you.  Firstly is Inkpop's Delirium writing challenge.  Head on over and drop off your story, poem or essay that depicts a scene of love, and take your chance at winning a copy of Delirium for yourself.  Keep in mind that Inkpop is Harper Collins, and yes one of their submissions is now set to be published by Harper Collins!  So for those of you with a flare for writing this blog is a great place to hang and hope to get noticed.


For those of you who love Delirium and aren't a teen writing for teens, then don't despair!  I have you looked after.  Fill out the form below to win a copy, I have a few up for grabs, open Internationally until March 4th at midnight.  I myself have a copy winging it's way to me for Valentines day via Amazon, and am dying to sink my teeth into it.  After before i fall I can't wait to read more of Lauren's captivating writing.  Check out my review of before i fall here.  And good luck!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mister Linky's Magical Widgets versus Linky tools.

I work off Mac's at home and have found, that for whatever reason Linky tools are non-viable on any of my computers.  To begin with I figured it was because my operating systems were too old, my Mac's were starting to show their age and although my laptop was younger than my desktop, neither had the cursed Intel chip.

But shortly before Christmas I replaced both the computers, and still nothing.  If I, or any other blogger, use Linky lists instead of Mister Linky, I can't see or use them.  Totalling excluding me from a number of hops.  But oddly, if a blogger uses Mister Linky, I have no problem whatsoever.  I did contact Linky tools to see if they had any suggestions, but the best I got was "make sure your Javascript is enabled"  which was not helpful.

I'm curious if anyone else has this problem, or better yet, if anyone has solved this problem?  Because only accessing Linky lists from my work PC is a pain.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Deadly Conch, By Mahtab Narsimhan- Review

The third and final part of Mahtab Narsimhan's Tara Trilogy, The Deadly Conch arrived in the mail on Friday from the lovely folks at Dundurn Press.  In my hurry to start reading it for review this week I, sadly, didn't have a chance to run out and pick up the first two books in the series- The Silver Anklet and The Third Eye. But after thoroughly enjoying The Deadly Conch I think I'll now have to make the effort.

The Deadly Conch follows Tara, a thirteen year old girl in a small Indian village as she, once again, attempts to save the superstitious adults from an outside evil trying to destroy them.  Steeped in rich Indian culture, beliefs and mythology, Tara is often fighting the constraints of her culture as much as the ignorance of some of the adults in the village.  As much a story of evil versus good, Tara's adventure speaks of the questioning of an old culture by the younger generations.

The trilogy is as beautiful to look at as it is to read, Dundurn has done an exceptional job packaging these books.  The covers really evoke the sumptuousness of Mahtab Narsimhan's writing.  You'll come away feeling as if you'd spent a thirsty and stressful few days in a heat wave in India.

I highly recommend this series not just because of it's engaging story but also because it delves into a culture North Americans are often fairly ignorant about. As always Dundurn has found a book equal parts good story and educational that children and adults alike will enjoy.

The Deadly Conch, By Mahtab Narsimhan
Published by Dundurn Press January 2011
Buy The Silver Anklet on Amazon
Buy The Third Eye on Amazon

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Personal Demons, By Lisa Desrochers- Review

As I've not been to shy to admit previously, I'm a very vain girl when it comes to covers.  I like them pretty.  And if I don't think they're pretty, well, I don't pick them up.  Personal Demons fell into that category for me, every time I saw a picture of the cover I thought, uck, not for me. 

One of my main complaints was how Harlequin the cover looked, but I also always take issue with a cover that tries to portray the main characters for me.  I'd rather imagine them thanks. I don't mind the cover suggesting them, but full on frontals bug me.

Suffice it to say, this book turned out to have enough going on in the inside to make it worth being embarrassed when people eyed up the cover on the subway. 

Frannie is your average teenage girl, until suddenly two super hot guys start fawning all over and fighting for her.  Little does she know they're fighting over her soul and not who gets into her pants... or are they?  Apparently both Demons and Angels can be swayed by a good looking teenage girl.

If you think of Twilight as a guilty pleasure, then you're going to consider Personal Demons the guiltier pleasure.  But that doesn't make it less of a pleasure, it just makes it one you won't consider lending your boyfriend.  Equal part action and mystery with a fair amount of "I just want to rip your clothes off already", Personal Demons falls squarely in the girly girl YA category.  It's not going to win any literary awards, but it's good clean fun with lots of steamy sequences and two hotties vying for the same girl.  I'm looking forward to guilty pleasure number two, otherwise known as the sequel, Original Sin.

Personal Demons, By Lisa Desrochers
Published by TOR Teen, September 2010
Received from the kind folks at TOR
Lisa Desrochers Blog
Lisa Desrochers Website
Buy Personal Demons on Amazon