Monday, April 30, 2012

Review: The Last Princess by Galaxy Craze

The Last Princess

Author: Galaxy Craze

Publication Date: May 1st, 2012

Publisher: Poppy

Genre: Dystopia / Post Apocalyptic

GoodReads

Synopsis:

A series of natural disasters has decimated the earth. Cut off from the rest of the world, England is a dark place. The sun rarely shines, food is scarce, and groups of criminals roam the woods, searching for prey. The people are growing restless. When a ruthless revolutionary sets out to overthrow the crown, he makes the royal family his first target. Blood is shed in Buckingham Palace, and only sixteen-year old Princess Eliza manages to escape. Determined to kill the man who destroyed her family, Eliza joins the enemy forces in disguise. She has nothing left to live for but revenge, until she meets someone who helps her remember how to hope-and love-once more.Now she must risk everything to ensure that she does not become... The Last Princess.

My Thoughts: Yes, I know, another dystopian. I seem to be on a roll with these, but they are just so good. The Last Princess is not an exception, I really enjoyed reading it. It is really well written and fairly quickly paced. This was my first introduction to Galaxy Craze's writing and I couldn't be more pleased. Also, look at that cover! It's just so pretty, I love the colours and how the girl on the cover is mostly a silhouette. 

The Last Princess is a post-apocalyptic world. There was seventeen days of natural disasters that basically destroyed the earth. Now England is cut off from the rest of the world, if they even survived, and most of the remaining population is starving. The woods are dangerous, full of cannibalistic Roamers, and the New Guard travels from town to town, pillaging and recruiting, forcefully. Eliza and the rest of the royal family are doing alright, but food is even running out for them. Then they throw a ball and their father, the King, is murdered. Eliza manages to escape, but her siblings, Mary and Jamie, are captured and imprisoned. The story revolves around Eliza and her determination to get vengeance for her family by killing their parent's murderer.  

I thought Eliza was a very strong character. She grows and changes a lot from the beginning of the book. Though things seem hopeless at times, she manages to continue on her way and overcome her hardships. She goes from being a princess who  has never known the sufferings of her people, such as starvation, to becoming a soldier and fighting for her families lives and the peoples freedom.  

There is a bit of romance in The Last Princess  but not really that much. I like that it doesn't really focus on romance. Although, there is a bit of shocking news about the love interest, Wesley.  

Overall, The Last Princess is a great post-apocalyptic that seems fairly realistic. Since it's natural disasters that cause this world. So that is a somewhat scary thought. It's a quick read and I was barely able to put it down. Definitely one to add to your TBR. I highly recommend this if you are a dystopian fan.

Thank you to Hatchette Book Group Canada for the review copy.
 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

April R.A.K. Wrap-up


This month I received a couple of books as well as sent one. I'm really hoping to get a new job soon so I can send more books out! Thank you to Book Soulmates for hosting this wonderful feature!

Received:
Thank you Mary @ Sweeping Me!! 

Thank you Catriona @ Little Book Owl!!

Sent:
I hope you enjoy it Jana!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Review: Bumped by Megan McCafferty

Bumped
(Bumped #1)

Author: Megan McCafferty

Publication Date: April 26th 2011

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Genre: Dystopia

GoodReads

Synopsis:

When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society. Girls sport fake baby bumps and the school cafeteria stocks folic-acid-infused food.

Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and have never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody's doorstep. Up to now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend, Zen, who is way too short for the job.

Harmony has spent her whole life in Goodside, a religious community, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to convince Melody that pregging for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.

When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls' lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.


My Thoughts: I have read a lot of bad reviews, and good reviews, on this book. I have to say, I really enjoyed it. I read this in a day, it was just so easy to read. It's a sci fi dystopian, and is really just a big satirical. It was so funny, sometimes a little bit corny though, but easy and quick to read. Every time they said something about "bumping", I would start laughing. It was just silly and fun.

Bumped is about a world where a virus has made everyone 18 and older infertile. Even when you come of age, you become infertile around the same time. So basically, that means teenagers are the ones having babies. Kids really. Once girls are able to conceive, most start "bumping". Technically, the more babies you have, if you're selling them (I know it sounds awful, but it's not too terrible since there is more demand than supply), the more money you can make so you can go to college and get a good job to adopt your own kids. Girls are really encouraged to have babies, since the human race would become extinct if they didn't. There are "pros" and "amatures". The "pros" already have a contract and a family for their baby to be adopted to. "Amatures" end up having people bid for their babies and mostly "bump" for fun. Then there are the Church people in Goodside who marry young and start their families. Most of the time they are matched with their partner and don't really have a say. So the storyline is amusing to say the least.

The story bounces back and forth between the point of views of Melody and Harmony. Melody is a professional Surrogate and has a really good contract, but is waiting for her partner to be picked. Harmony is a Churchie and is hoping to convert her sister. The two sisters grew up separately, and have attitudes that clash, so we get to see if they can come to a common ground and learn to trust each other. 

There was one thing that bothered me a little, maybe I just don't remember reading it, but the MiNet,  or whatever it was called. The characters were always talking about it. It sounded like it was something in their heads, but I guess I just didn't understand it. It seems that they use contacts and headphones to access it or something. I tried not to let it bother me too much. So other than that one thing, I had a lot of fun reading Bumped

Overall, I would recommend this book to someone with an open mind. Some people might not like it since it is about teens being pregnant, but if you are looking for a laugh, you should read it. I need to read Thumped soon so I can see what happens next!!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Review: The Nixie's Song by Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black

The Nixie's Song

Author: Holly Black & Tony DiTerlizzi

Publication Date: September 18th, 2007

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Genre: Fantasy/Adventure/YA/Middle-Grade

GoodReads

Synopsis:

The Spiderwick Chronicles leave the old-fashioned charm of New England far behind and head south for some fiendish faerie fun in the hot Florida sun. Eleven-year-old Nicholas Vargas only thinks his life has been turned upside down after his developer father remarries and moves his new wife and daughter into the soon-to-be completed Mangrove Hollow. But an "expedition" to a nearby lake turns up a little nixie with a giant problem - the huge, lumbering, fire-breathing variety - and it's up to Nick; his stepsister, Laurie; and his big brother, Julian (plus a familiar face from the original Spiderwick Chronicles) to figure out the best way to stop a host of rampaging giants before all of Florida goes up in smoke.


My Thoughts:  Ha, well, with a story this short and a summary that long it doesn't leave me much to tell you about, but here it goes anyway.

This is the first book the the Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles trilogy, which is a sequel to the original Spiderwick Chronicles. It takes place, from my guess, only very shortly after the original series ended. We have some brand new characters, the main ones being Nick and Laurie. Nick's mom passed away  a little while ago leaving him his dad and his older brother behind. His dad has recently re-married and so now Nick has a new sister named Laurie. Nick is not to happy about his new family members, especially since he had to give up his room for his new step-sister. On top of that, she totally weirds him out. She has books on unicorns and seems to almost be proud of her nerdy/quirkiness.

Nick somehow get's suckered into showing her around the neighborhood and she takes him on a hunt for Faeries using The Guide. Nick finds a four leaf clover, but doesn't tell Laurie since he thinks she is just crazy. Later on he see's a pale form laying in his lawn. Henceforth, Nick and Laurie find themselves immersed in the world of faeries. Nick is in shock all this weird stuff is real, Laurie discovers that maybe she doesn't want the things she's believed in to be real after all once they discover a fire breathing giant right next to their house!

With no idea how to handle this situation they seek help from the authors Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black themselves, who just happen to be having a book signing close by. Who do they meet there but Jared and Simon themselves! Will they be able to convince the twins they're telling the truth?! Even if they can, will they be able to take down a fire breathing giant by themselves?!

This book carries on in the fun adventures of fantasy and faeries. As always, we got new creatures: Giants and a Nixie!A Nixie is a water creature that kind of seemed to me like a mix of a mermaid and a siren. I always enjoy these books, they are a fun, short and super easy read with playful illustrations placed throughout to make the read even more fun. Great for fantasy readers of all ages. If you liked The Spiderwick Chronicles, I'm pretty sure you will like this to :).


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Review: Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Eragon

Author: Christopher Paolini

Publication Date: April 2005

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Genre: YA/Fantasy/Adventure

GoodReads

Synopsis:

When young Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his adopted family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself. Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of inescapable destiny, magical forces, and powerful people. With only an ancient sword and the instruction of an old,mysterious, hermit storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a Emperor whose evil and power knows no bounds. Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands….


My Thoughts: Eragon really is a fantasy story of epic proportions. It packs all the classic stuff, Elves, Dragons, Dwarves, Magic, Battles, and more! I think if you are into the fantasy world at all that this is a book you should read.

Christopher Paolini really has a way with words. He just seems to have this knack for picking the most perfect one! I can't even really describe it, his writing just seems to flow so perfectly, seamlessly, magically. His words weave together and pull you deep into the story. He creates these perfect settings, wonderfully descriptive, you feel your imagination is in awe with them. There is a lot of traveling in this book, and the scenery and is constantly changing, usually dramatically. Paolini pulls it off with ease. We go through small towns, forests, grand deserts, mountainous ranges, Dwarven halls, and more. And with each new location your mind is reeling with the beauty it's described in. Even in the darker places of travel, you are still appreciating the surroundings. At least I was. My favorite by far was the home of the Dwarves! It usually goes without saying that Dwarves create immensely beautiful dwellings with their incredible craftsmanship. Paolini painted such a beautiful place in my mind.  I could picture myself roaming this incredibly large, startlingly beautiful, awe inspiring underground city. I had the most fun reading the chapters that took place there.

Eragon lived with his Uncle Garrow, and his cousin Roran. He knows nothing of his parentage or heritage. He's been raised by his uncle, his mother's brother, since he was just a newborn. They live on  a humble farm just outside the nearest town. Eragon is skilled in hunting, and the job tends to fall on him. On one of his hunting trips he happened upon a round, blue, smooth stone. Thinking he might be able to sell it and make money for his family, or trade it for food, he pockets it and takes it to the market.  However getting rid of it doesn't come as easily as he expected. So he bring it home only to have it hatch into a dragon!

Long ago, there used to be a whole clan of Dragon Riders. But now there is only one, and he's the king. He was part of the old clan but he decided he wanted to rule, so he ousted the others and became the one and only. Dragons were thought to no longer exist, but now Eragon has one of his own, and is bonded with her. He has to try to keep her a secret from the Empire, along with everyone else. Who could he trust with such a large secret, that is continuously getting larger. Unfortunately, his secret doesn't remain so forever. Eragon spends a lot of his time fleeing capture from the Empire. Discovering his new abilities and continually growing strong along the way, and also discovering a few allies of his own. The Empire has grouped up with an evil band of creatures in an attempt to dominate even more lands, and to capture Eragon and his dragon. He finds himself facing powers beyond his imagination. With very few allies, and places to hide, how will he fare?

I really enjoyed the Eragon's character. He is very strong, determined, loyal, and not afraid to show his true feelings. He faces his obstacles with fierce bravery, and the will to survive. I had to remind myself how young he is often, and be even more marveled at his abilities and maturity. I also love  his dragon Saphira! She is incredibly wise, protective, and just as fiercely determined as Eragon. I can't wait to read more about their adventures together! Paolini has created a wonderful fantasy world that I love to get lost in. I'm so glad I have all four books so I don't have to wait to move on!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (16)

'Waiting on Wednesday' is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly awaiting.

Silver
By Rhiannon Held
Expected Publication: June 5th, 2012

Goodreads Synopsis: Andrew Dare is a werewolf. He’s the enforcer for the Roanoke pack, and responsible for capturing or killing any Were intruders in Roanoke’s territory. But the lone Were he’s tracking doesn’t smell or act like anyone he’s ever encountered. And when he catches her, it doesn’t get any better. She’s beautiful, she’s crazy, and someone has tortured her by injecting silver into her veins. She says her name is Silver, and that she’s lost her wild self and can’t shift any more.

The packs in North America have a live-and-let-live attitude, and try not to overlap with each other. But Silver represents a terrible threat to every Were on the continent. 

Andrew and Silver will join forces to track down this menace while discovering their own power and their passion for each other.


I'm a total sucker for paranormal romance! And I love werewolf stories, so this one sounds pretty awesome to me!

What are you 'Waiting On'?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (8)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

To Participate you:
-Grab your current read
-Open to a random page
-Share two 'teaser' sentences from somewhere on that page
-BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS
-Share the Title and Author, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR if the like your  teaser :)

This week's teaser comes from:

'There's been mutterings of a Shade haunting the northern territories. He's been seen all along the edge of Du Weldenvarden and near Gil'ead. They say his teeth are filed to points, his eyes as red as wine, and his hair is as red as the blood he drinks.'

I've just started book #2 of the Inheritance series. I really enjoyed the first one, and I'm eager to immerse myself into the story even more :D

What are you teasing with this week?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Review: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

The Immortal Rules
(Blood of Eden #1)

Author: Julie Kagawa

Publication Date: April 24th, 2012

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Genre: Paranormal / Dystopia

GoodReads

Synopsis:

"In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity."

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of "them." The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked--and given the ultimate choice. Die...or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend--a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what--and who--is worth dying for.


My Thoughts: Dystopia + Vampires = win! This book was so good I don't even know where to start. I absolutely loved it and had the hardest time putting it down. Julie Kagawa has once again created an amazing world and a cast of characters that you just have to love. I was a little worried going into this one because I was  worried that there was too much hype for it, but it definitely deserves the hype.  

Ok, so first of all, look at that cover! When I first saw it all I can wonder about is why she is crying. What could possibly make a vampire cry? Well, it just made me want to read it. Although something I don't understand is why her eyes are red. Yes, I know vampires in some books have red eyes, but in this  world vampires can easily pass for human, so you would think their eyes would be normal. I mean, if they're red the humans can just look at their eyes and know. I know, it's just a cover, but it just doesn't make sense to me. 

So basically, the story revolves around Allie and her struggles with being a vampire. Allie HATED vampires with a passion, but when faced with a choice of either becoming a vampire or dying at age 17, Allie opts to become one of the walking dead. Honestly, I probably would have made the same choice. Allie is forced to leave the vampire city she grew up in and finds a group of humans travelling in the wild, so she pretends to be one of them and joins them. How is she going to be able to resist drinking their blood? She doesn't want to drink from them and possibly hurt them, but if she doesn't feed,she could lose control and someone could die from her blood lust. All the while, they are searching for Eden, a vampire free city. They are being per sued by Jackal's gangs, Allie has no idea why. Will they find Eden? Or will their group die one by one from the hardships of the wild? This is definitely a plot that keeps you glued to your book. 

Allie, the protagonist is an extremely kick ass, katana wielding vampire. She doesn't want to be a monster and hurt people by drinking their blood, but she needs to feed and she needs human blood. I found her to be a somewhat emotional vampire, she grew to care for some of the humans in the group she travelled with. Most vampires wouldn't care in the slightest, except for keeping the humans alive for an easy meal. Allie is a character that I came to care for and look forward to seeing what happens next to her. It's interesting to see how someone who despises vampires copes with being one. 

We do have a love interest for Allie, but it's not a love triangle! His name is Zeke and he has been raised to despise vampires. We can't help but wonder what will happen  when he finds out Allie is a vampire, because it can't be good. You can't help but love Zeke because he always sees the good  in everyone. Everyone gets a chance to prove  themselves and he is just so nice to everyone. He was orphaned at age 3, thanks to a nasty vampire, and was raided by Jeb. Jeb is a preacher and trained Zeke to hate vampires and how to fight. I just can't believe how well Zeke turned out after being raised by crabby Jeb. 

Overall, The Immortal Rules is an amazing story that everyone who loves vampires or dystopians must read. Julie Kagawa is a wonderful author who seems to know exactly how to make a world we can imagine and crave more of. She's created monsters that freaked me out to even read about, the  mindless rabids. The Immortal Rules had me glued to the pages, too enthralled to put it down. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what happens next for Allie. Would I recommend it? Definitely. I'll be buying myself a copy to enjoy. It really is a great book, a must read in YA literature.

Thank you to HarlequinTEEN and NetGalley for the review copy!
 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Survival Blog Tour Stop!

Welcome to Owl Read It's stop on the Survival Blog Tour!
Hosted by Ashley at What's Your Story
You can click on the banner to your right to check out the other stops and dates :).


Survival is book #1 in the Guardians of Vesturon Series. It is written by the very lovely A.M Hargrove, pictured below.

If this isn't your first time on our blog then you probably already know I have much much love for this series! It is one of my favorites! You can find my review for Survival: here. And my review for the second book in the series, Resurrection: here. I was so very lucky to be able to do an Interview with A.M for my part in the tour. You can find that just below. In case you want to learn even more about Hargrove and the wonderful series she has created, you can find her and her info in the following places:
A.M Hargrove's Website: www.amhargrove.com

Now, before we jump to the interview, you should know that at the bottom will be a giveaway for an e-book copy of Resurrection, the second book of Guardian Series! This is an amazing book, you don't want to miss out! Also, Survival is free everywhere! So go get your hands on a copy of that right now!
Without further ado, here is my interview with A.M Hargrove: 

1.We'd love to know some more about the lady behind the story, tell us about yourself and where the readers could go to learn even more about you.
Well I’m not sure where they could go to find out more but I can fill in some of the blanks.
Married, two kids and a dog that’s quite old but still loveable!
I worked as a District Sales Manager for a large pharmaceutical firm for years before launching this career.  The humorous bio that’s on my website (www.amhargrove.com) and other places has a grain of truth to it, but the whole story is that the company I worked for was taken over by a larger one that basically chewed up my division and left most people without jobs.  I was in a unique situation where I could take advantage of it and pursue my dream career, which is what I am now doing.  And, by the way, I’m loving it!  What could be more fun than creating new worlds with characters to inhabit it?
Meghan- I really don't think I could think of anything more fun to do for a living! :) You're living the dream, plus, you're really great at it! Cheers to you :).

2.I really loved both your books, Survival & Resurrection, although I liked Resurrection more because I felt we got so much more character depth, and the characters we had come to love grew so much in the second book. Do you prefer one over the other? Which one and why?
Aw…thanks for the great compliment on the books!  I absolutely preferred one and it’s Resurrection!  Survival was like the birth and Resurrection was like watching your child grow up.  I love the characters, but in Resurrection I had the opportunity to really bring them to life.  In Survival, I was setting up the worlds and there was so much “stuff” for lack of a better word.  It was fun, but nothing compared to Resurrection.  I think it shows in my writing too.  When I wrote Survival, I wasn’t sure if I would even publish it.  I am still so new to all of this and it’s an intense learning project.  I was trained as a journalist in my writing style so I have been “un-learning” and “re-learning” the creative part.  As a journalist, you are trained to be clear, concise—who, what, where, when, why, etc.  Creative writing is the opposite end of the spectrum and I constantly have to focus on showing vs. telling.  That evil demon always raises its head and tries to take over.  It’s a battle sometimes J

3.I can't be alone in anxiously awaiting book #3 in the Guardians of Vesturon Series, when can we expect it?
I’m currently writing it (it is still untitled) and my hopes are to have it out by June.  I’m also working on a prequel to Survival called Beginnings.  It will be a novella that centers on Rowan and Annalise—Rayn’s parents--and the good news is it will be FREE!  I want to have that out soon, but a lot of it hinges on the editing process and then formatting. 
Meghan- I hope you will keep me in mind when #3 comes out! I will be anxiously waiting! Also, Beginnings is now out, I already have my copy downloaded, can't wait to read it!

4. Will #3 be the last? Or can be expect more installments in this great series?
My plans are to have one book per Yarrister.  Maddie and Rayn’s story took two because of setting up the worlds, but I would like to have one book per sibling.  If you’ve read Resurrection, you know that #3 is about Rykerian.  #4 will be Xarrid’s story.  The rest I am undecided at this time.  I have said that if the series becomes tedious and overworked, I will end it.  I am a huge fan of series, but I’ve read some that get to the point of being overkill.  If I get to that point, I will end it because the pleasure of writing it would be gone.
Meghan- I definitely like the idea of a book per Yarrister, I don't think I could ever get enough of this series ;).

5. Are you, or do you plan to work on anything new that isn't the Guardian series?
YES!  I already have a basic plot set up for another series that may not be in the YA genre.  That is still up for debate.  I know that my characters are a bit over the usual YA age, but the stories are pure in that they are safe for any age to read.  I recommend age 15 and older but I have had teens and preteens read them that enjoyed them (and so did their moms!).  I think the moms like the fact that my books are clean without many curse words and descriptive sex.
Meghan- Again, I hope I'm in your thoughts when you are ready for this book to be read ;).


6. Do you have a certain author who gave you the inspiration to write? Or just a favorite author?
When I was in grammar school I used to steal my mom’s books and sneak away and read.  She was always reading books by Rosemary Rogers and Kathleen Woodiwiss.  They were the reigning romance authors at the time, I believe.  (And not very appropriate for 12 year olds, but YA Romance didn’t really exist then.)  Anyway, I always thought then how cool it would be to write novels such as those.  In college, I majored in Public Relations/Marketing and minored in journalism, but I followed a different path in my career.  I always wanted to write a book though and talked about it to friends, but never did it until I wrote Survival.  I love to read just about everything from suspense to YA romance.  So I don’t really have one favorite author but many and they all in some way, have inspired me to write. 

7. At what point in your life did you decide that writing was what you wanted to do?
As I said earlier, when I lost my job, I decided to act upon that and use it as an opportunity to do something completely different, but something I would love.  And here I sit writing away most days, and I wouldn’t want to do anything different.
 Meghan- It definitely seems losing your previous job worked out for the better!

8. Do you see yourself in any of the female roles in your story, such as Maddie or Sharra? Is there anyone in the story who is based off someone you know personally?
Haha (Really LOL)!  No, but I would just love to have two friends like Maddie and Sharra.  There would never be a dull moment!
But, yes to your second question.  Maddie is based on lots of people.  First, my mother, who passed away six years ago, was named Madeline.  She lost both of her parents as a young woman.  She was four when her father died and twenty when her mother died.  If it hadn’t been for my father’s family taking her in (they were dating but not yet engaged), I’m not sure what would have happened to her.  My daughter’s personality shines through Maddie.  My daughter played soccer during elementary, junior high and high school and she is very athletic.  She is NOT clumsy (LOL) but she has a comic side to her that comes out in Maddie.  One of my daughter’s friends is also reflected in Maddie’s personality.  As for Sharra, when I was establishing my characters I thought about communicating with aliens and how odd it would be if they didn’t “get” our lingo so that’s how Sharra’s communication mishaps came into play.  
Meghan- I love how you pulled so many people together to make Maddie, traits taken from very special people to create a wonderful character. Maddie must hold  a special place in your heart. I always enjoyed Sharra's hilarious fumbles with catch phrases, they made me laugh :).

9. Aside from writing wonderful stories, what other things do you like to do?
I love the outdoors particularly camping, hiking, backpacking, and trail running.  I also LOVE to snow ski.  But if there were something I would love to do, it would be to hike the entire Appalachian Trail (all 2100+ miles of it).  All the trail descriptions in the books, especially Survival, came from my own experiences in the Smokys.  I’ve backpacked all over the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and have done most of the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina (well it actually straddles the NC/TN state line) and it’s awesome.
 Meghan- So I guess Maddie has a little bit of you in her as well, with her love of hiking and the Smokey Mountain Park!  3 Generations of women in one character, seems pretty special :).

10. I know that your books are fantastic, but for those who have yet to read them, why should they read your books? Why would you recommend them?
Again, thanks for the awesome compliment!  I am thrilled that you love them J  But I would recommend them because even though they’re YA, everyone can enjoy them.  There are some great messages in each but they contain something for everyone—mystery, suspense, comedy, love, drama, elements of sci-fi blended with paranormal and fantasy, and of course romance. 

11.What is it like reading a review on your books? How do you to react to good or even bad reviews?
When I wrote Survival, I never expected everyone to love it.  Naturally, they would be crazy if they didn’t but… just kidding!  Seriously, I never expected everyone to like it.  My goodness, there are people out there that don’t like Harry Potter!  So I know it isn’t for everyone.  However, I look at negative reviews in 3 ways.  First, if it was written in a professional manner with solid reasons why they didn’t enjoy it, I use it as a solid learning experience (and they can be most helpful).  But if it was written in a nasty, demeaning way, I discard it.  I’m way past dealing with nasty people in my life.  I discredit everything they say so their reviews mean nothing to me.  Lastly, if a negative review is written poorly, using horrible grammar and disjointed sentence structure, I also discredit it.  I figure if they can’t even write a proper sentence (beyond the normal typos) I can’t be bothered the read a review by someone like that.  That may sound a bit harsh, but if they can critique my writing, I can critique theirs as well. 
Some reviews are downright funny to me too.  I received one that was a negative one and the writer claimed she felt the book was too unreal.  She also mentioned something like, “What kind of person would go camping in the mountains by themselves anyway?”  I laughed so hard at that because being a sci-fi/paranormal book, the only “real” thing about it was the camping part and I’ve been camping like that and have run across many campers (females) that were alone!
Getting good reviews are awesome.  What I like best about them is discovering that I am able to entertain someone to that degree.  It really makes me happy to know I have accomplished that.  When you put yourself out there and actually publish your work, there is great trepidation that goes along with it—like getting naked in front of a group of strangers! (Not that I’ve ever done that—but you get the idea!)  So great reviews are the most incredible payback.

12. If they were to make a movie about your books, who would you want to play Maddie and Rayn?
Jennifer Lawrence as Maddie and Henry Cavill (with long hair) as Rayn.  I also love Chris Hemsworth (with long hair).   Can you tell I like men with long hair? LOL!  I’ve honestly not given this much thought though.   I have an iterview with Rayn on my website and my friend Terri Thomas so kindly sent me a picture of someone who I think fits the Rayn bill.  However, I would love to ask readers their opinion on who they would think would make a great Maddie and Rayn!
Meghan- I think you hit the nail on the head with the female role. Jennifer Lawrence would be perfect! As for Rayn I think Ric Mora would be a pretty good choice, here's a little picture so you can see.
That's pretty much exactly how I pictured Rayn throughout the story. Also, I totally have a thing for men with long hair as well ;).


13. Do you have an all-time favorite book, or a book that you think everyone should read? 
YES… no matter your age, if you haven’t read the entire Harry Potter series, you are missing out on the best imaginative, ingeniously written books ever!  When I finished reading the final page of the Deathly Hallows, I went through major withdrawals!  I also chuckled at some of her later reviews.  There was one in particular I remember saying something about her books being filled with dead metaphors and overused cliches!  I guess that reviewer needs to take a close look at her bank account!  LOL
Meghan- I could not agree with you more! Everyone, everywhere, of all ages, should read Harry Potter. Without a doubt!

14. What is your favorite genre of books?
Ouch… that’s a tough one.  I love so many different ones but I will have to go with the paranormal/fantasy/sci-fi thing.  What I love most about those is that you can read about worlds where immortality and beauty often reign.  Who wouldn’t love to be stunningly gorgeous, not age or become ill and live forever?  Not to mention being paired with an equally stunning man of your dreams!  What’s not to love about that?  Isn’t make-believe great?
Meghan- Again, I agree with you :). That is my favorite genre as well! I love immersing myself in a world where I can pretend all those things are real.

15. Are they any up coming book releases that you are looking forward to?
Anything by JR Ward and Jeaniene Frost.  I’ve also recently discovered E.L. James and would love it if she released something new.  HP Mallory just released her latest in the Jolie Wilkins series called “Witchful Thinking” that I want to read as well.

16.Where do you find your inspiration when writing?
I have a crazy mind!  Things just pop into my head.  I was telling my sister about my idea for my new series and she’s like, “Where do you come up with this stuff?”  I don’t know…it’s just there.  But I also get inspired and work out plot lines and conversations when I run.  I just plug into my iPod, hit the trail, and ideas are swarming my mind.  It’s wild sometimes!

17. If you could spend a day with any of the characters from your story, who would you pick?
Ha, that’s easy.  Sharra for her humor, Rayn for his intensity and protectiveness and Rykerian because he is such a sensitive thing!
Meghan- Great choices! I would most be stuck between Rayn and Maddie. But since they are a couple maybe I could get away with choosing them both ;).

18. What is the most rewarding experience you've had since your work has been published?
Definitely the fan mail.  I had one awesome message from a sixteen year old telling me how boys generally don’t like romance novels but that he just loved Survival.   And then I have people contacting me begging for the third book.  It makes me so happy to know they love the characters so much.

19. If you could live inside the world of any book, which one would it be?
I would love to live on Vesturon.  Since it’s my creation, I know exactly how it looks and what it offers and it’s a place I want to live!  J

20. Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Don’t do what I did.  Write as much as you can, when you can.  And read, read, and read some more.  The more you write, the better you become.  If it’s your passion, squeeze it in somehow.  Work out a plan that allows you to write a little bit every week.  Share what you write with people whose opinion you trust.  If you let your family read it, tell them to be brutally honest.  You need it from them first, because you will get it from your readers.  Be prepared for the bad… but also the good!  If you’re not sure about writing, try anyway.  The real definition of failure is not having the gumption to even try.
Meghan- Thank you so much for your wonderful advice! And thank you as well for taking the time to answer my questions! It's obvious you took your time and answered honestly and it is much appreciated! I look forward to hearing about Book #3 in the future, as well as this new plot you are working on! Keep in touch! 


And now ladies and gentlemen, it's time for the giveaway! Enter the copter below for your chance to win an e-copy of Resurrection, book #2 in the Guardians of Vesturon Series. And don't forget you can get yourself a e-copy of Survival for free everywhere!

In My Mailbox (16)

In My Mailbox is a weekly internet meme hosted by The Story Siren to share new books that bloggers have bought, won, received, been gifted, or borrowed.

Jenn's Mailbox:
We're posting our IMM a day early this week, and I'm not going to do a vlog because I didn't really get much this week. But both things I got were in the mail.
 Quicksilver by Joy Spraycar
with bookmark and pen! 
Won from Challenge 4 of the Review Copy Challenge that was hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits & Tea
and Celine at Nyx Book Reviews

Postcard recieved from Jill Hathaway for participating as a Secret Slider and helping spread the word for Slide's release :)

Meghan's Mailbox:
Didn't get anything in the mail this week, but I did buy two books :)
The Thirteen by Susie Moloney
The Calling by Kelley Armstrong


What's in your mailbox this week?!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Review: Purity by Jackson Pearce

Purity

Author: Jackson Pearce

Publication Date: April 24, 2012

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers


Thank you Hatchett Book Group Canada for the Review Copy

Genre: Contemporary

GoodReads

Synopsis:

A novel about love, loss, and sex -- but not necessarily in that order.

Before her mother died, Shelby promised three things: to listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restraint. Those Promises become harder to keep when Shelby's father joins the planning committee for the Princess Ball, an annual dance that ends with a ceremonial vow to live pure lives -- in other words, no "bad behavior," no breaking the rules, and definitely no sex.

Torn between Promises One and Three, Shelby makes a decision -- to exploit a loophole and lose her virginity before taking the vow. But somewhere between failed hookup attempts and helping her dad plan the ball, Shelby starts to understand what her mother really meant, what her father really needs, and who really has the right to her purity.



My Thoughts: This was my first time reading a book by Jackson Pearce and I have to say, she has a new fan! I just loved this book! Within the first 50 pages it had made me laugh to tears and cry from sadness. It was a complete roller coaster of emotion, but in a good way! I received more than one odd look from those around me while I was reading, I couldn't help it, some of the events in it are just too funny. I also love the simplicity of the cover for this book, it works great for this one. 

This book is told from a first person point of view and revolves around Shelby Crewes as she tries to live her life by the Promises she made to her mother before she died. She finds out her father wants her participate in the Princess Ball, which he has taken it upon himself to help plan. The Ball ends with a vow to live a pure life.  Basically meaning, no drugs, no under aged drinking, no sex before marriage. Clearly this doesn't fit in with Promise Three, which is to live without restraint. But she can't not go to the Ball because her father wants her to, and Promise One is to listen to her father. Shelby Lives by these rules, so clearly she needs to try and find a loophole so that the vow is void. Which means, she needs to have sex before the Ball, which is just five weeks away!

Shelby, the protagonist, is impossible to dislike. I feel so bad for her because she had to watch her mom die, and then her relationship with her dad isn't very good, it's actually kind of like my relationship with my dad, so it's easy for me to relate with her. But through all this, she seems generally happy. She has two awesome friends, Jonas and Ruby, who are a great support system for her. I really like her as a character because she is somewhat sarcastic and has a little bit of attitude, but it's too funny!

Overall, this is a great coming of age story, completely with many scenes that will make you laugh out loud and then five minutes later, have you in tears. Jackson Pearce is an excellent writer and has beautifully written this book. It's a cute and quick read with just over 200 pages. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did, it really is a great contemporary. Definitely a must read for this summer! 

 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Second Blog

Hey guys, I just wanted to let you know that I started up a second little blog called Booking & Hooking. It's nothing really fancy, it's mostly like an online journal for me. I'll probably make lots of posts about Crocheting, that's my second love after books :). There will be a couple book reviews, but not many because this is my book home <3. Owl Read It is #1!! :D. But I do read books sometimes that don't really fit into the theme here, so you could find those there. Anyway, if you're interested in checking it out or maybe even becoming a follower you can visit by clicking here. I just started, so it's nothing fantastic, just a space to share my thoughts and experiences :). Thanks for your time!

"Waiting On" Wednesday (15)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly awaiting.
 
by Veronica Roth   
Expected Publication: May 1st, 2012

Goodreads Synopsis: One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.


I think my reason for wanting to read this is pretty obvious, especially if you have read my Divergent review. I'm glad I finally read it, because Veronica Roth is seriously a literary genuis! Less than two weeks to go!

What are you waiting on?
 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (7)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

To Participate you:
-Grab your current read
-Open to a random page
-Share two 'teaser' sentences from somewhere on that page
-BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS
-Share the Title and Author, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR if the like your  teaser :)

This week's teaser comes from

"Tears blurred Eragon's vision and he tried to look away, but the dead faces held his attention. He stared at their open eyes and wondered how life could have left them so easily. What does our existence mean when it can end like this? A wave of hopelessness overwhelmed him."

I received the 4 books from this series as a birthday/x-mas gift from a good friend of mine. It's about time I tackled them :). So far I am really enjoy it, it's darker moments surprised me, it's a little more mature than I thought it would be, but that is not a bad thing! Looking forward to finishing this book and moving on to the next ones!