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Showing posts from April, 2011

**Weekly Writing Challenge!**

Another week, another opportunity to win Harper Teen books!!! And stretch your creative talents!

The newest Weekly Writing Challenge is running in accordance with Tara Hudson's Hereafter. This new supernatural YA features Amelia, a girl who faintly believes she is dead but can't remember anything about her life. She just aimlessly floats in a river, wondering if she'll ever remember who she once was.

But then a boy falls in the water she's been floating in. Her desire to save him changes everything...

I don't know about you, bibliophiles, but I think that Harper Teen's books have been sounding a little too good lately!!! I think this sounds awesome!

So, anyway - your challenge is to write a story, essay or poem that centers on overcoming a great barrier to communicate with someone. This time around the author of Herafter, Tara Hudson, will actually choose the two writing winners!!! The two comment winners will be random - but y'all will win a copy of Hereafter

A Map of the Known World

A Map of the Known World is a YA contemporary fiction novel written by Lisa Ann Sandell.

Cora Bradley's life as she knew it changed dramatically the night her rebellious older brother Nate died in a car crash. Every day her dad comes home from work without a word to her, the only sound marking his presence in the house is the clinking of the ice in his gin and tonic. Her mom's arrival is different - a quavery, desperate search for Cora that is abated only by Cora's quick arrival at her side in the kitchen.

Nothing is the same. Her home is never happy.

Cora feels trapped in the small town of her upbringing, deadened by the constant assault of sameness. She dreams of leaving, of seeing the world. To keep herself sane, Cora draws. She draws maps to the places she wants to go. And the only good thing about going back to school is the art class she gets to take.

But in that art class is Damian - the handsome, quiet boy who was Nate's best friend and the passenger in the car the…

The Splendor Falls

The Splendor Falls is a stand-alone YA supernatural novel by Rosemary Clement-Moore.

I'm a huge fan of Clement-Moore's Maggie Quinn series, having read and reviewed both Prom Dates from Hell and Hell Week - both excellent, witty, fast-paced YA paranormals. Sadly, I still haven't gotten the chance to read Highway to Hell, the third Maggie Quinn book, but I was super-excited to get this great author's stand-alone now in a paperback, gorgeous cover - a whopping 513 pages!!!

Sylvie Davis has a shattered life. She was a ballerina with a promising career at only sixteen, when her leg broke in a normally routine move and everything was over. In the midst of her pain and continued mourning of her father's death, Sylvie isn't pleased with her mother's marriage. To a shrink, at that. A shrink that wants to diagnose her.

But in order for them to have a delightful honeymoon, the newlywed couple send Sylvie off from her Manhattan home to Alabama where a cousin Sylvie bare…

The Suburb Beyond the Stars

The Suburb Beyond the Stars is the second book in the Norumbegan Quartet by M. T. Anderson, the first of which I reviewed on Friday - The Game of Sunken Places. You can read my review of the first book here. And I encourage you to avoid the synopsis and review of The Suburb Beyond the Stars until you have read the first book - spoilers are inevitable, otherwise!

Okay, so assuming that those of you that haven't read The Game of Sunken Places have stopped reading if you have no interest in spoiling yourself...

Brian and Gregory are back at home in Vermont and hard at work in designing the next intergalactic game to finally decide who wins the war between the Thusser Horde and the Norumbegan Empire. They're having a blast, until odd things start to happen.

Like a mysterious man following Brian, quite persistently, after his cello practice. Like an attempted murder. Like Gregory's cousin Prudence disappearing.

So, the two decide to go back to where they previously played The Game…

Inkpop.com Update!

New Writing Challenge - this time running alongside the release of Josephine Angelini's Starcrossed - a new twist on greek mythology mixed in with YA awesomeness! ;)

Your challenge is to take a myth, legend, or historical text and turn it into a contemporary poem or story! You have until April 28th to enter - and remember you can win not only Starcrossed, but other books of your choosing from the Harper Teen catalog as well!

And commenters, as well as entrants, get a chance at winning! To enter and find out more, click here!!!

The Game of Sunken Places

The Game of Sunken Places is a fantasy/sci-fi adventure for YA/middlegrade readers, written by M. T. Anderson.

Brian and Gregory have been best friend's since they were eight, though people puzzle at why. Gregory's outgoing, gregarious personality and near constant wisecracks don't mirror him to the quieter, contemplative, sometimes shy Brian. But nobody's speculations have ever come close to tearing them apart.

When Gregory's uncle sends an invitation to spend time at his mansion and bring a "companion," Gregory instantly thinks this will be a great way to make their thirteenth year an adventure.

The adventure they were expecting is not the one they get. Gregory's uncle drives a horse-driven buggy and wears clothes from a different century. The butler asks strange questions, such as if the boys' clothes would give off a poisonous chemical if burned. And there's a game with a well-drawn version of the mansion and grounds on it in the attic that c…

A Touch Mortal

A Touch Mortal is a YA paranormal/fantasy romance by Leah Clifford.

Eden's life is empty. Half the time her mother doesn't even seem to remember she exists. She doesn't see a future for herself. She never has. In all honesty, Eden doesn't see the point in living any farther than her current seventeen years.

It is as she is contemplating this very choice, a choice she's thought about before, that two guys walk up to her on the beach. One, the darker haired of the two, unleashes a killer grin and a disarmingly cheesy pick-up line. But he makes her smile like no one else has... ever.

His name is Az. And he's an angel.

Eden herself won't stay mortal for much longer. After a horrifying, painful set of events, she finds out she is a Sider, a being not quite part of Heaven, nor Hell. But she's not a regular Sider either. Sider's have Touch, a poison-like substance that they pass on by touching humans. Depending on who you touch, that person could end up comm…

Bright Young Things

Bright Young Things is the first book in Anna Godbersen's new YA historical series.

The year: 1929

The place: New York City

When teenage girls' Letty and Cordelia step off the train into New York City after escaping their suffocatingly small Ohio town, they both have clear goals.

For Letty it is the inevitable climb to stardom, having the petite frame, big blue eyes, and voice of an angel - her mother died when she was quite young, but not before telling Letty that she was made for bigger things. That she was special. But she learns that sometimes girls' use more than their talent to get famous...

Cordelia's goal is just as strong, but more secret. Since she was little, her strict Aunt has told her all about her dumb mother who went off to be with a dangerous, penniless man named Darius Grey before she died. Well, Darius has become quite infamous in the Manhattan papers, and Cordelia is determined to find out if the man is her father. Her search leads her to unexpected, su…

New Weekly Writing Challenge!

Readers and writers-in-training alike should know about the new Inkpop.com Weekly Writing Challenge!

This one is running in accordance with Die For Me, a new YA supernatual romance by Amy Plum that sounds like it might be trying to give Twilight a run for its money. Yes, I am going to read it as soon as I'm able. I am a bibliophile, after all. And listen to this small synopsis and tell me if it doesn't make you wanna read it too: A newly orphaned teen girl moves to rainy, atmospheric Paris to live with her new guardian and meets an enigmatic, attractive guy that doesn't live forever - he dies over and over.

Ooooh, where's my copy?!?! Well, if you want a copy of this and three more Harper Teen books of your choice you just need to write a short story, poem, or essay that imagines a life that never ends. Not a writer but love to read? You can also comment on the entries to win! Check out all the details here.

Two writers and two commenters will win!!! And hurry - you only h…

Ascendant

Ascendant is the sequel to the YA fantasy Rampant by author Diana Peterfreund.

As a huge fan of Rampant, I encourage you to read Rampant before spoiling yourself with this review/description of Ascendant. Otherwise, fellow lovers of Rampant, read on:

Astrid is now an experienced unicorn hunter, despite having just been a teenage girl with dreams of the prom not so long ago. Now she's living in Rome with other girls with her talent, and trying to protect the human population from the bloodthirsty breeds of the mythical beast.

But things aren't so awesome. Not that Astrid ever really considered hunting awesome anyway, but now the Cloisters is in a bad financial situation, what with their investor Gordian Pharmaceuticals being crooked and sick and no longer involved, and Astrid's boyfriend Giovanni deciding to go back to school in America.

And then there's the thing about Cory's powers seeming to diminish for no apparent reason.

Then Astrid hits a moment on the field where…

Rampant

Rampant is a YA fantasy thriller by Diana Peterfreund that puts a whole new spin on unicorns. Seriously.

Astrid Llewelyn has heard her mother's crazy stories since she was a little girl. Instead of sweet stories of pretty unicorns that bring love and innocence to a cruel world, her mother tends to rave about how its all a bunch of propaganda and unicorns were actually bloodthirsty killers until being hunted to extinction by virginal girls descended from Alexander the Great, the only ones with the power and ability to put down any of these near-impossible to kill beasts.

Yeah, Astrid tries to keep her Mom from talking about that too much in front of other people.

But when Astrid takes a stroll outside with her visiting boyfriend during a baby-sitting stint, her boyfriend is attacked. By something that looks suspiciously like a unicorn. The attack is violent and vicious, yet instead of turning its bloodlust on Astrid the unicorn nudges her and wants a pet before running off. Astrid is …

Dragon Rider

Dragon Rider is a middlegrade fantasy epic by the best-selling author Cornelia Funke.

Firedrake and the rest of the dragons have lived in relative peace in a secluded valley. The only real thing to complain about, perhaps, was the rain that made them melancholy. But dragons are easily melancholy. Which is where the furry, mushroom-loving brownies come in, a dragon's natural companion - of which Firedrake has, specifically a fiery little brownie named Sorrel.

However, one morning the rat named Rosa hurried to the dragons and declared what she'd always known - that their peace couldn't last forever. Humans were on their way to see about building in that very valley - and humans had become far more advanced over the years. Rose was hard-pressed to convince the old-fashioned dragons that hiding and waiting for the humans to leave was not going to be enough - but Firedrake pondered.

The legend of the Rim of Heaven - a haven for dragons - has always been no more than a story passed…

Weekly Writing Challenge!

Good morning lovely readers!

So here's another surprise weekend post for you!

What about? Well, another Weekly Writing Challenge notice of course! Inkpop.com is running another contest - this one coincides with Kim Harrison's Something Deadly This Way Comes. In the novel we meet Madison, a gal not so unlike us - except for the fact that she's not quite alive, or dead actually. And she's facing a big decision: which would she rather be? And can the guy she loves be trusted with her secret?

Which leads us to your challenge: write a poem, essay, or short story featuring betrayal. Find more details here and get the chance to win not only Something Deadly This Way Comes, but also three more books from the Harper Teen catalog!!!

Better hurry: you only have until April 14th to enter! :)

See ya crazy book lovers on Monday!

Dark Moon

Dark Moon is the YA paranormal/fantasy sequel to Wereling, written by author Steve Feasey.

If you don't want some serious, inevitable spoilers of Wereling, then don't read any further, book addict!

It was long ago that Trey found out he was a werewolf. And not just any werewolf. The last hereditary werewolf in existence. And Lucien, the man who told him this, took him away from the orphanage he'd been living in just before an evil vampire, Caliban, burnt it to the ground as an attempt on Trey's life.

Before he knew it, Trey was living in the lap of luxury, basking in Lucien's wealth and kindness - despite the fact that he was also a vampire and the brother of Caliban. But Lucien's not evil, you see? In fact, he tries to fight evil and his brother's always bad intentions through an organization he runs, which employs many other beings that aren't entirely human. Trey befriended Lucien's pretty sorceress daughter Alexa and Lucien's right hand man and…

The Dead-Tossed Waves

The Dead-Tossed Waves is the YA horror follow-up to The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan.

As all of y'all saw on Monday, I was extremely impressed and horrified by The Forest of Hands and Teeth, which made me both apprehensive and excited to continue Mary's journey in The Dead-Tossed Waves. Except... Mary's journey wasn't really continued.

But before I go into more detail, I must ask all of y'all bibliophiles to stop reading if you haven't read The Forest of Hands and Teeth. Even though it is not as much of a spoiler-ific book, being that it contains primarily new characters and plotlines, I still don't want you to learn anything you'll be disappointed to have known before reading, later on.

Anyway, for those of you that have read The Forest of Hands and Teeth... I'm betting many of you are at least moderately interested in the sequel. I know I was. So, here's a brief, light synopsis for you of The Dead-Tossed Waves:

Gabry has a lived a qui…

The Forest of Hands and Teeth

The Forest of Hands and Teeth is a YA postapocalyptic, literary zombie novel by Carrie Ryan.

I know what you're thinking - "literary" zombie novel? Yep, never read anything like it!

Well, that's not exactly true. The whole reason I became obsessed with reading The Forest of Hands and Teeth (beyond the amazing title) is the short story Carrie Ryan wrote in Kiss Me Deadly, a compilation of a bunch of stunning stories written by some of today's best YA paranormal authors. It was called Hare Moon and it took place in the same world, the same village as The Forest of Hands and Teeth - and it was flat out spectacular. So I knew that I absolutely had to read The Forest of Hands and Teeth.

So, lets get to the synopsis, shall we?

Mary lives in a village surrounded by a fence. The fence keeps out the Unconsecrated that live in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, those who have Returned after being Infected - and whose hunger and moans never cease. The Guardians protect the fence, …

Splendor

Splendor is the fourth and final book in the YA historical Luxe series by Anna Godbersen.

I'm probably way behind here - I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of you have already devoured this novel a long time ago. Well, I just got the chance to read it and I was thrilled. Because, even though I haven't reviewed the first three books on my blog here, I am a big fan of the Luxe series and have been dying to find out how it'll all end.

So, if you haven't read the first three books in the Luxe series yet (The Luxe, Rumors, Envy) then go check them out and please avoid this review. Because the best part of the series is not knowing what's going to happen next, so don't ruin that for yourself!

Okay, so Envy left us in quite precarious situations for our various 1900s characters. Good girl Elizabeth retained her good girl reputation by marrying a friend of her deceased father's, therefore keeping her pregnancy with her servant-turned-husband respectable. She is floo…