Monday, May 30, 2011

The Summoning by Kelly Armstrong

After years of frequent moves following her mother’s death, Chloe Saunders’s life is finally settling down. She is attending art school, pursuing her dreams of becoming a director, making friends, meeting boys. Her biggest concern is that she’s not developing as fast as her friends are. But when puberty does hit, it brings more than hormone surges. Chloe starts seeing ghosts–everywhere, demanding her attention. After she suffers a breakdown, her devoted aunt Lauren gets her into a highly recommended group home.

At first, Lyle House seems a pretty okay place, except for Chloe’s small problem of fearing she might be facing a lifetime of mental illness. But as she gradually gets to know the other kids at the home–charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek, obnoxious Tori, and Rae, who has a “thing” for fire–Chloe begins to realize that there is something that binds them all together, and it isn’t your usual “problem kid” behaviour. And together they discover that Lyle House is not your usual group home either…

This was given to me by one of my students and when ever they recommend to me, I never know what I am going to get. This was a wonderful surprise. It's set in Buffalo, New York - which I love because I'm from around the area and know the references.

Anyway, the story starts with Chloe as a little girl, scared of her basement because she does not understand that she is seeing ghosts. Fast forward to Chloe's 9th grade year and a really bad day in school. She gets her powers and BAM - she's dead people and her Aunt sends her to Lyle house. She meets Liz for a split second and she's gone. She meets Rae - the pyro and friend. Tori- the bitch with a really bad temper. Simon - the flirty and protective brother of Derek. Derek the abnormally scary teenage boy who also has a temper. All kids who need help but not the normal type of help, you would think.

There are tons of relationships - delicate relationships - my favorite is actually with Derek and Chloe. He's super protective of her and I'm not sure why. He also doesn't like many people and is very blunt as well, but his relationship with Simon and Chloe, show that he is a considerate and kind person, he just doesn't show it like others.

The group orchestrating the Lyle house aka the bad guys, may have a reason for what they are doing or they don't. But I need to know more about them. Never have I wanted the "bad guy" to not be. There could be a great reason. Or they could be really, really bad guys. (again, more info is hopefully going to be in The Awakening).

Some quick thoughts:
There's a romance budding - I can feel it!
Chloe really needs to figure out how to use her powers or she is going to be in some serious trouble.
Aunt Lauren - hmmmmm
And what did Chloe's dad do in his past?
Derek may like Chloe - heartbreak in the future?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Hop and Follow

Book Blogger Hop
"What book-to-movie adaption have you most liked? Which have you disliked?"

My favorite is: Gone with the wind
My not so much favorite is: The Shinning

How many books do you read in a week? And in what format do you read them, or listen to them?
I read two books at the moment (it's the busy year of teaching - summer here I come - books ga-lore!) I always read them.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Everlost by Neal Shusterman

Nick and Allie don’t survive the car accident…but their souls don’t exactly get where they’re supposed to go either. Instead, they’re caught halfway between life and death, in a sort of limbo known as Everlost: a shadow of the living world, filled with all the things and places that no longer exist. It’s a magical, yet dangerous place where bands of lost children run wild and anyone who stands in the same place too long sinks to the center of the Earth.

When they find Mary, the self-proclaimed queen of lost kids, Nick feels like he’s found a home, but Allie isn’t satisfied spending eternity between worlds. Against all warnings, Allie begins learning the “Criminal Art” of haunting, and ventures into dangerous territory, where a monster called the McGill threatens all the souls of Everlost.

In this imaginative novel, Neal Shusterman explores questions of life, death, and what just might lie in between.

i was having this discussion with Karen, who I work AND blog with, that Shusterman's novels take me about thirty pages before I'm "hooked". Karen thinks he grabs the reader right away. Does anyone have any feelings on Shusterman's writing style?

Anyway, my review, Nick and Allie are killed in the same car accident, and when they "wake up" nine months later, there is Lief, this strange, alone, little boy who has been in Everlost for a very long time. Lief wants to stay - Nick and Allie want to go home. But when ever they stay in certain spots to long, they sink - but they don't know where they are sinking to.

Eventually they meet Mary. Nick "likes" her. Allie does not like her. And something is off about this commune (lack of a better world). The kids don't act like living kids and Allie is suspicious. Allie gets the boys in trouble by the Haunter and the McGill (WHO I LOVE HIS STORY) get his hands a few of our leads and then comes the rescuing part.

It's a great world and I am going to start Everwild as soon as I finish The Summoning. Allie is a great protagonist that doesn't follow the rules because she should. She is too quick with her actions and finds herself in trouble. It's why Nick is a great coutnerpart for her. He thinks things through - mostly. Lief is this little (old?) boy who goes through so many changes in the book. At first he's kind of a brat and selfish, then he wants to be like everyone else and gets sucked into videogames, and then he reaches a state of nirvana.

Skinjacking is a skill only Allie (so far) can do which I think is going to make her the "it" thing in Everlost in the upcoming books.

Some quick thoughts:
Two love stories - one is already broken and I love it.
Shusterman did a great job tying his characters together and making them impact one another
There is rumor of a Shusterman movie - AWESOME
In the book it takes nine months to be born and nine months to die
There are dead spots in the world -including the twin towers - great way to remind teens about the past
Nick has chocolate permanently smeared across his face :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Teaser Tuesday!

I'm back - had a problem with logging on to blogger.

Teaser Tuesday


is a weekly event
Sponsored by MizB of Should be Reading

Here's how it works:
Grab the book you are currently reading (anything at all)
Open the book to any random page.
Share 2 teaser sentences from anywhere on the page
Please Make Sure They Are Not Spoilers!
(Don't Give Too Much Away)
Just enough to pique our interests

This week is The Summoning

"How many kids had heard me screaming? Peeked in that classroom while I'd been fighting the teachers and babbling about being chased by melted custodians. Seen me being taken away strapped to a stretcher."

Friday, May 20, 2011

Hop and Follow

Book Blogger Hop
This weeks question is:
"If you were given the chance to spend one day in a fictional world (from a book), which book would it be from and what would that place be?"

Three come to mind but they are all world that are in shambles or dangerous. But if I had to pick one, it would be the Infernal Devices world - because I love the time period and Im a paranormal junkie. I would also be a shadow hunter. :)

Q. It's circle time. Time for us to open up and share. Can you tell us FIVE quirky habits or things about you? We all have them..

Only five? hahaha.
1. I can only write in black pens
2. Deathly afraid of frogs
3. Cannot focus if my office is clean - most people need it clean
4. I judge people based on their bathrooms
5. i have a designated happy dance for really great moments in life.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday

is a weekly event
Sponsored by MizB of Should be Reading

Here's how it works:
Grab the book you are currently reading (anything at all)
Open the book to any random page.
Share 2 teaser sentences from anywhere on the page
Please Make Sure They Are Not Spoilers!
(Don't Give Too Much Away)
Just enough to pique our interests

This week comes from Everlost by Neal Shusterman

"Think of it this way," he said. "It took nine months to get you born, so doesn't it figure it would take nine months to get you dead?"

I am now a huge fan of Neal Shusterman. His books are going to appear more on my blog.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

ROW80 and Clockwork Angel giveaway

I had an OK week this week - I missed Wednesday - I was out all day for softball and teaching.
So for this week:
Sequel - 2,500 words
New WIP - 300 :(

Totals for the whole time:
Sequel are: 5,500
New WIP: 4,125

I'm not as far a long as I had hoped to be at this point. My job (though I love teaching) is time consuming. I keep telling myself that when it is summer vacation I will do more writing and make that "my job" for the summer.

Recently, a friend of mine on blogger, Kamol and I paired up and have become a support team for writing. I sent her my relatively polished manuscript and she is giving me feedback. We talk about our struggles, we encourage, we share knowledge and we try to relieve the pressure that we feel. I look forward to her email and appreciate the fact someone else knows how I am feeling. Do you have a group? a friend? or are you a lone wolf in the writing industry and why?

Also, I wanted to spread the word about a contest at Deranged Book Lovers. They are on their 6 month anniversary and are giving away a copy of Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. Become a follower and support this awesome book blogging team!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

I absolutely love this cover...

This debut, the first novel in a trilogy, is achingly romantic, terrifying, and filled with blistering action.

When seventeen-year-old Ellie starts seeing reapers - monstrous creatures who devour humans and send their souls to Hell - she finds herself on the front lines of a supernatural war between archangels and the Fallen and faced with the possible destruction of her soul.

A mysterious boy named Will reveals she is the reincarnation of an ancient warrior, the only one capable of wielding swords of angelfire to fight the reapers, and he is an immortal sworn to protect her in battle. Now that Ellie's powers have been awakened, a powerful reaper called Bastian has come forward to challenge her. He has employed a fierce assassin to eliminate her - an assassin who has already killed her once.

While balancing her dwindling social life and reaper-hunting duties, she and Will discover Bastian is searching for a dormant creature believed to be a true soul reaper. Bastian plansto use this weapon to ignite the End of Days and to destroy Ellie's soul, ending her rebirth cycle forever. Now, she must face an army of Bastian's most frightening reapers, prevent the soul reaper from consuming her soul, and uncover the secrets of her past lives - including truths that may be too frightening to remember

Overall, I thought it was good. I was at no point enthralled by this book. It is very slow in the beginning, leaving huge concepts not described to the reader, so I felt like I didn't know what was going on. It picked up in the middle but plateaued for me until the end. I thought the concept of Ellie being this immortal, bad-ass, demon fighting teen was great - I love love stories but I love bad ass heroines.

I was intrigued by the building tension between Will and Ellie. He's all stoic and trying to stay duty bound and then there is Ellie, tempting him and I LOVE THEIR FIRST KISS. I'm hoping that in the second one, we discover more about Will (Nathaniel and Caden too) because they don't seem real to me yet.

I may be crazy when it comes to fight scenes, but when your story is about one girl, obviously Ellie in this case, and she is in a ton of battles, there is no suspense for me because she is the main character, the author isn't going to kill her off in Chapter 7. I didn't feel there was an element of: "OMG I hope she makes it!" I get why the scenes were in there though - the author had to develop that she was getting her skills back and becoming bad-ass, but I felt I could skim those pages.

LOVE LOVE LOVE the culture and background of the story...If it's true, this author did a ton of pre-leg work for the book!!!!

One quick thought:
Ellie's dad -something is way up with him besides a mean streak

Friday, May 13, 2011

Follow and Hop

Book Blogger Hop

This week's question is:

"Are you going to Book Expo America (BEA) and/or the Book Blogger Convention (BBC) this year?"

Sadly, not yet. I would love to. There is one in my area (Western New York) tomorrow but my mom bought me tickets to go see Wicked! I am excited about it but I wish that I was going to the Teen Book Festival! It looks awesome. Maybe next year. Has anyone gone to this one? Does anyone know of any in the Cleveland, Pittsburgh or Buffalo area?

The Blogger Apocalypse made me a little emotional. What is the most emotional scene in a book that you have read lately?

I would have to say it was from Neal Shusterman's Unwind - I about died when they unwound one of the characters and took my "new boyfriend" to do the same to him! It was well-written and I was so angry as it was happening. What's yours?

And was anyone super annoyed by blogger being down? Completely disrupted my day!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Demon Glass by Rachel Hawkins

This is the sequel to Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

I thought Hex Hall was good but I thought Demon Glass was much better. Hex Hall was a
novel that could have ended. But, it didn't and now I'm glad.

Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch.

That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.

Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers.

But once Sophie arrives she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends? They’re demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Archer to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she

Shophie starts the story her snarky self at Hex Hall, still stinging from her love for Archer Cross (probably one of the best names out there) but then there is Cal, which in the first two chapters we find out is Sophie's betrothed. Also in the beginning, Sophie goes to Thorne Abbey in London with her dad, Jenna (the vamp) and Cal (the super healer/janitor of Hex

Well she gets there and there are some surprising characters *spoiler* including to demons (but weren't Sophie and her dad the only two demons - I feel the plot thickening) - I'm not going to spoil reason they are there...but Nick and Daisy (the demons), they're off.

I thought the relationship between Cal and Sophie would become smokey hott but in comes the spying, hottie of Sophie's dreams, Archer. And try as they both might, they love each other. And I love the fact that they love each other... (though I don't love him like I love Chase, Will, or Dimitri - I just kinda crush on him)

Well it all goes bad and I have to tell you it is one of the WORST cliffhangers - and I mean it leave you going "Is there another page?!"

Some quick thoughts:
Sophie's mom is way more involved in this than she appears
How crap I feel bad for "dad" at the end
Sophie needs to step up her demon game...lets see a little more bad ass with the snark
Someone is totally going to die in the beginning of the next book and I have no idea who...but somebody
Elodie is back.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Hunger by Jackie Kessler

I have had this one for a while and a lot of people have been posting about the sequel so I thought that I better get on it.

“Thou art the Black Rider. Go thee out unto the world.”

Lisabeth Lewis has a black steed, a set of scales, and a new job: she’s been appointed Famine. How will an anorexic seventeen-year-old girl from the suburbs fare as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?

Traveling the world on her steed gives Lisa freedom from her troubles at home: her constant battle with hunger, and her struggle to hide it from the people who care about her. But being Famine forces her to go places where hunger is a painful part of everyday life, and to face the horrifying effects of her phenomenal power. Can Lisa find a way to harness that power — and the courage to battle her own inner demons

As an English teacher I love book that touch on sensitive topics for my student in a captivating, but appropriate way. (basically, this way I don't have to over step my bounds, the book does). As an avid, young-adult reader, I love paranormal and supernatural. Hunger is a combination of both. Kessler talks about Lisabeth having an eating disorder. I found the "thin" voice to be very captivating and wondering if that is what it is like for people who suffer from an eating disorder. Kessler also, at the end of her book, explains she wrote this story for a friend who later died from the disorder, which I think is a beautiful gesture.

As for the story Lisabeth portrays the problems of self-perception and how it has been altered, primarily by her mother, who doesn't realize what she is doing to her daughter. People try to help and Lisabeth pulls right away from them, going as far as to wish she was dead. Well here comes Death, one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. He offers her a choice, die or become famine.

I really had an opinion that Lisabeth was going to full embrace being famine and not struggle with it the way she did. From about the mid point of the book, you start to see a beautiful inner strength emerge in Lisabeth.

Some quick thoughts:
It's a quick'll get it done in a day.
"Death" in the story, is hott.
It's a great read to promote awareness for anorexia.
I am curious to see what the novel Rage is about.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop
This week's question is:
"Which book blogger would you most like to meet in real life?

Oh this one is tough!!! So I am going to have a top 3! First is Diana over at The Lovely Getaway...She and I instantly hit it off and I miss her when we don't get to share books! We have super similar tastes in books! She's going to visit Niagara Falls and then come see me!!! Second is Melissa at My world in words and pages. She was kind enough to edit my manuscript and gave me some AWESOME feedback. I also love her reviews... She is super straight forward. And third is my girl, Komal at In which I write nonsensically - She and I are going to go through the epub journey I'm going to bug her in Australia. These three ladies have made my blogging experience a great one. Stop by their websites for good reviews! Tell them I sent you!

Unwind - Neal Shusterman

I have been on my paranormal kick for a long time...but this Dystopia was awesome!

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

Where to begin?! The world that Shusterman created was awesome and he really didn't change it drastically from our current world. The biggest thing is obviously that 18 and younger can be "unwound" for several reasons but it isn't considered killing because they "harvest" the body parts and give them to other people to improve the other people's lives.

Conor - now on my fictional boyfriend list - is irrational and impulsive and extremely tough. He causes a pile up on a highway - allowing him to escape the cops but he gets two more teens with him, Risa - a smart, street-tough girl and Lev - someone who wants to be unwound... They all run and as they do, Risa and Conor develop a genuine bond, it's quite beautiful, actually.

Shusterman does a great job creating realistic characters that are not far-fetched at all. I feel that Lev, Conor, and Risa could have been members of my classroom. His craft is awesome - for aspiring writers, I suggest his books for you!

The ending had me begging for a sequel which is going to come out in 2012 - this one was written in 1998 (I think). I was gasping and shocked the last twenty pages of the book. And it left me with a feeling of hope.

Some quick thoughts:
I cant wait for the sequel - Unwholly
I cannot believe how they unwind people
In my head, Risa and Conor have a really intense relationship- i wonder if others think that?
Shusterman has tons of books out and I want to read more of his work -and I am not that girl.
Conor = hott
As they are escaping it reminds me of Diary of Anne Frank and how they tried to survive right under everyone's noses.

Monday, May 2, 2011

It's Mia's turn! Blog about your dog Monday

I love this part of my Monday's...though if I was on top of my game, I would write it on Sunday...but, IM NOT! I steal this from Lindsay Writers

Mia is a cuddler. She has to be as close as she possibly can to you...she sits on my lap if I sit on the floor, she puts her mouth on my hand, she is always sneaking up on furniture to lay next me. I allow my dogs to sleep at the bottom of the bed, and this week I rolled over and there she was...head on the pillow, under the covers, she was human. And in true Mia fashion, I said her name, she opened her eyes for all of two seconds, and went back to sleep. I have no idea how she managed to get under the covers and me not wake up!

This is a picture of her laying next to me as I read blog after blog....Mind you, SHE IS HUGE!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

ROW80 - 5

I had an OK week this week - I missed Wednesday - I was out all day for softball and teaching.
So for this week:
Sequel - 900 words
New WIP - 0 :(

Totals for the whole time:
Sequel are: 4,000
New WIP: 3,825

I read on someone's blog right when I first started mine that they have set songs that they listen to while writing their WIPs. I have noticed that I do too. I don't always listen to the same ones but there are certain songs that I like to listen to while writing my sequel and they make me feel. So when I want my narrartor to be angry - I listen to the angry songs, or if I want my reader to cry, I play a song that makes me cry. You get the point.
So currently

My songs are
Glitter in the air - Pink - Love
F*in' Perfect - Pink - sad and angry
Firework - Katy Perry - Happy
Teenage dream - Katy Perry - Teenage love and happy
Face down - red jumpsuit apparatus -Angry -
Extremes - Billy Joel - overcoming odds (not really an emotion but you get it)

Do you do this? And if you do, what are your songs (totally going to download them and see what I get out of them!)

There is a contest going on at jennifer armentrout blog. You have a chance to win three times! Head over there and check it out!