Friday, February 27, 2009

An interview!

Look! A post! And not just any post, it's an interview! With Lauren Baratz Logsted, author of many books, including Secrets of My Suburban Life, Angel's Choice, the kids' series The Sisters Eight, and the upcoming Crazy Beautiful.


1) You've written books for adults, teens, and kids. Do you find that one age group is easier to write for than another?

Not really - each has its own challenges and rewards. How's that for starting out the interview with a boring answer? One thing I will say, anyone who thinks writing for teens or children is easier than writing for adults is all wet. Yes, the word count is lower, but the responsibilities are greater and there's a demand to tell a tighter story.

2) Your series for kids, The Sisters Eight, is written with your husband and daughter. Do you three ever run into problems while writing? Disagree about what should happen? How do you fix those problems?

We really don't run into problems and here's why: I'm "The Pen," the one of we three who actually puts our story into words on paper, and since I'm also the only one crazy enough to try to keep what will eventually total over one thousand manuscript pages of material in her mind, I am granted final veto power. I don't have much power over anything in life, so I cling to this one thing like a madwoman.

3) Your next YA book, Crazy Beautiful, (by the way, the cover of that one is crazy beautiful), has a guy with hooks for hands. How'd you come up with that one?

The Idea Fairy visited me? No, really, I was in New York doing a round of editor meetings, and it just hit me: Gorgeous Girl (Beauty) + Boy Thought Crazy With Hooks For Hands (Beast) could potentially = Interesting Story.

4) Which of your characters do you most identify with?

Now that's a really tough question. If we're talking Crazy Beautiful, it's probably the librarian father because I've never been as gorgeous as Aurora or as tragically misunderstood as Lucius. Truthfully, my characters are never modeled on me but there is definitely a piece of me in each of them. Oh, and if you find any of my characters to be hysterically funny? That would definitely be me. (Kidding!)

5) What's the best writing advice you've ever received?

If I may be immodest, it's the advice I always give: Read, read, read everything you can get your hands on, because you can't be a good writer without first being a good reader; and always remember, the only person who can ever really take you out of the game is you.

6) Are there any modern authors you get inspiration from?

Everyone. The greats make me want to aspire higher and the not-so-greats give me hope.

7) What do you think would be the worst part of having hooks for hands?

Not being able to physically touch the people I love in the way I'm used to. Of course there would still be physical contact. But the feeling I get when I check on my sleeping daughter at night and touch her cheek with the back of my hand? There's no equal replacement for that.

8) If you could tell your teen self one thing, what would you tell her?

I'd tell myself to stop rushing to grow up! Don't most kids always want to be a little older so they can do this or that thing, wishing their own lives away so they can move on to something more exciting? Truth is, once you're an adult, you'll be an adult for a very long time, barring disaster, so there's no point in rushing into it. Sometimes I think one of the keys to human happiness is knowing how to be content with where you are in life at the moment.

9) If you could talk to any author, dead or alive, who would you talk to and what would you talk to them about?

Shakespeare. I'd ask him if he really did write all those plays himself - I believe he did - and then, no matter what he answered, I'd keep the secret of it to myself.

10) Opinion of
Edward Scissorhands? Also, which would be worse: having hooks for hands, or scissors?

You know, it's funny, but I never even thought of Edward Scissorhands in connection to my book until I saw bloggers doing so. I'm afraid I saw the movie so many years ago, all I remember is: "Johnny Depp." "Scissors." But let's see now, hmm...Oh, I think scissors would definitely be worse because: 1) there would be so many greater opportunities for doing physical damage to loved ones with scissors; and 2) having hooks can actually improve a person's game of pool, the hooks providing a natural bridge, and I love shooting pool.

----

Thanks Lauren! :D

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (11)

Happy Wednesday all. Don't you just love Wednesdays? You actually get a Waiting on Wednesday (started by Jill!) post from me. The only post you will be getting this week. Ha. (I haven't read anything lately, I've been unable to.)

Anyway. WoW choice this week is....

Pure by Terra Elan McVoy


description [from Amazon]

Tabitha and her four best friends all wear Purity Rings, symbols of the virginity-until-marriage pledge they made as tweens. Now the girls are fifteen, and their rings have come to symbolize not only their purity, but also the friendships and identities they've built based on their shared faith. Simmering tensions rise to the surface and the group is split apart when one of Tab's friends admits that she and her long-term boyfriend have broken the pledge. In the midst of the confrontations, betrayals, confessions, and revenge that follow, each girl is forced to reexamine her friendships, her faith, and what exactly it means to be pure.

This reminds me of the Jonas Brothers (not a good thing) and whatthebuck (a good thing), so I will read it.

Released in April!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Take the Reins by Jessica Burkhart


[description from Amazon]

When Sasha Silver and her horse, Charm, arrive on the campus of the elite Canterwood Crest Academy, Sasha knows that she's in trouble. She's not exactly welcomed with open arms. One group of girls in particular is used to being the best, the brightest, and the prettiest on the team, and when Sasha shows her skills in the arena, the girls' claws come out.

Sasha is determined to prove that she belongs at Canterwood. Will she rise to the occasion and make the advanced riding team by the end of her first semester? Or will the pressure send Sasha packing?

Review:

When I was a small little Khy (which was not very long ago), I did not read a single horse book. Not a one. It was all Fudge (you know, the series by Judy Blume?), all the time for me. Horse books were much too "girly." Little Khy did not like "girly" things. Well, present Khy does not like "girly" things much either, but I had to overcome my aversion to horse books to read this one. I heard so many lovely things about it and have been reading Jessica's blog for a while, so I figured I'd pick this one. And I'm so glad I did. :D

This book is great. Sasha is one of the most relateable characters I've read about in a while. She seems very normal. She complains about biology (as she should, because biology is EVIL!), obsesses over a boy (though I don't see the appeal of this boy, since all I really know about him is that he looks like Zac Efron- ew.), is worried that her friends are hiding things from her, and has plenty of petty drama that we've all had going on with the the Trio of mean girls. (Question: Why is there always 3 means girls in a group, never more? Seriously, I want to know) Those are all things most of us have done, and it was...nice to see Sasha try to figure it all out.

Despite my childhood aversion to horse books, I like horses. Horses are good. But I was a little worried this book would be all horses all the time and that by the end I would never want to hear about horses again. Thankfully, it wasn't. There was plenty of other stuff, so I was never sick of horses, but there was also enough about Sasha riding that it wasn't a case of the "stop telling me, show me" thing that occurs much too often in books.

Also, I'm kind of jealous of Jessica. She's like, 22 years old and already has an 8 book series under contract. Can I have that job when I'm 22? Jessica, if you ever need like, an apprentice, let me know.

8/10

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I have been interviewed....

....over at the Bradford blog.

Also, thanks to everyone who participated in the scavenger hunt. Good luck to you all. :D

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (10)

Today's Waiting on Wednesday is going to be a little different. (Waiting on Wednesday = an awesome day started by Jill.) Instead of telling you what book I'm waiting for, I'm going to be telling all of you about a book you should be waiting for. That book is...

"If this were played upon a stage now, I could condemn it as an improbable fiction."

Can't find an online description of this one, and I'm not feeling well enough to sit out and write out the summary on the back of the ARC. Basically, a girl named Beatrice lives in the Theatre, where all characters from all plays ever live as well. But then she runs the risk of being kicked out. Dun dun dun.

A little bit about why you should want this one: It's original, it's written wonderfully, there's mystery, and it has a pretty cover. (The cover, unfortunately for me and anyone who will win one of these, is not on the ARC though.)

I know that was a very short reason why, but trust me, you want this one. (I would write more but I just want to go to bed right now since I feel icky, and it's only 7:40 PM on Tuesday. Expect a full review closer to the release.)

Released in July!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Updates and such.

1. The new episode of the Read Carpet is up. I am in this one.

WARNING: I sound ridiculous.

2. I'll be participating in the Eyes Like Stars scavenger hunt tomorrow, held by the author Lisa Mantchev.

Rules for that:

The Rules:
1) Contest limited to those in the USA. Apologies to our friends abroad, but these ARCs are being mailed out by the generous souls on the blogroll, and there will be other contests which will be eligible to readers overseas.
2) All entrants must be the age of 13 or older. Entrants 12 and under (if any) can be entered by their parents.
3) No family members of anyone connected with the Scavenger Hunt, please.

How To Play:
1) Players should start at Lisa's Blog (lisamantchev.livejournal.com) to get the Official Blogroll and List of Clues
2) Players then need to visit the blogs, collect the quotes, AND leave a comment (like a trail of bread crumbs... we want to know you actually did the leg work!)
3) E-mail Lisa with your list of quotes: lisa@lisamantchev.com
4) Prizes will awarded thusly: to those who collect the most quotes. Should more people remit the complete quote list than we have ARCs to give away, Lisa shall award the prizes by lottery/random drawing. She shall also retain the right to add extra ARCs to the prize pool at her discretion.

Monday, February 16, 2009

SPECTACULAR!

This post is for you, RR.

Look! It's a non book related post!

Yan has convinced me to watch Spectacular, a movie on Nickelodeon. I'm assuming this will be a terrible movie, so I thought I would update this post as I watch the movie with my thoughts. Fun, yes?


7:52: Watching something that is not Spectacular. That annoying Fred kid from youtube is on this show. ACK.

7:54: What the heck is this show?

7:56: I have realized this show is called iCarly. My brother watches this show. This explains so much.

7:56: "Should we kiss"? Isn't this a children's show?

7:57: Your show prevents pimples, iCarly?

7:58: Fred is much less annoying without the high voice.

7:59: This is what children's shows are like nowadays? I fear for the children's future.

8:00: Movie has started! I still don't know what this movie is about, but I know it has singing and dancing.

8:00: They're playing a song at a club. Singer is a very bad lip singer. Oh no, the spotlight is on two girls.

8:01: Oh no, did this guy just pump his fist in the air while singing? I think he did.

Is he having a seizure?

8:02: Yan, why am I watching this?

Oh no, guitar girl just unplugged the amp.

8:03 They had a band meeting without Singer Boy! Uh oh!

Did he just say "my pipes"?

And he just referred to his girlfriend as "babe."

Oh, Singer got dumped. Tragic.

8:04: Here comes a girl looking for a boy on the rebound.

Singer's shirt is shiny.

8:05 Spirit fingers! I see spirit fingers!

Girl is very overeager.

Who is Nico Alexander?

Oh, it's Singer Boy.

8:06: Good gosh, they're singing Eye of the Tiger. And they're wearing bright pink outfits.

8:07: I don't think I'll make it through this movie.

The boys in Spectacular are wearing mariachi-looking outfits.

8:08 Overeager girl and Singer are speaking.

Oh gosh, this group is in shiny gold outfits.

Gold Group is better than Pink Group, aka Spectacular.

8:09: Nico agrees with me, that gold group is better than Spectacular.

Kid with accent in Spectacular are talking.

8:10: Overeager Girl is trying to convince Nico to join Spectacular. She is bribing him with money.

8:11: No, Overeager Girl, those are not jazz hands, those are SPIRIT FINGERS.

They're watching audition clips now.

"Show choir takes precedence over cute boys." says Overeager Girl.

8:12: The Gold Group is called Ta-Da!

Ta-Da! is taking the sparkly pink outfits. Shame.

8:13: They are under the impression that this Royce person is cute. No. He is not.

Tiger pants?

8:14: Another girl believes in Bigfoot.

Nico is in a bad mood. He is crying to daddy that he got kicked out of the band. Daddy is happy.

Oh, he's not Daddy. He's Big Brother. Named Stavros.

8:16: Name of band in movie = Splattered Brains. ZOMBIE BAND!

8:18: Overeager Girl is giving a motivational speech. She is failing at motivating.

Nico's voice = EW. Make him stop singing, please.

8:19: Nico needs 5,000 dollars. Overeager bribed him with 5,000 dollars earlier. WOW.

8:20: Nico is drunk or on drugs. I'm sure of it. His pants are also too tight.

He's breaking out in song, even though Overeager Girl told him he couldn't join the band.

8:21: What are these dance moves he's doing? I thought this was a movie for kids.

8:22: He's singing to Overeager Girl. I'm sure they will be in love by the end of the movie.

His pants are way too tight. Seriously.

He also has a funny haircut.

8:23: Overeager girl is impressed. She is also in love with him, I'm sure.

Nico reminds me of Danny from McFly. Except 2305879 times grosser.

Nico does not want to dance, even though he just did. Make up your mind, boy.

I'm pretty sure Overeager Girl is a drill sergeant in her spare time.

8:26: Nico is worried about his "rep." He is telling people that he will soon by famous.

Overeager Girl is named Courtney, I have just learned.

8:27: They're in green and purple cowboy outfits. Carol, do you have a cowgirl outfit like them?

The outfits even have polka dots!

Nico's old band members have seen him in Cowboy outfit. GASP. Enter: drama and a sad Nico.

8:29: Ta-Da is performing! They're still in they're sparkly gold outfits.

"The i stands for the ice in her veins."

8:32: Finally! A commercial!

8:34: It started a gain. Nico is leading the group in song. His pants are still too tight.

I cannot put in words how bad this movie is.

8:35: Goodness, the kid with an accent is beatboxing.

Yan, I hate you for making me watch this.

Another girl is on the table, singing.

One kid is wearing a lavendar bandana around his neck.

"Tearing up that beatbox" says Nico.

His shirt is almost as tight as his pants.

8:37: Nico is watching a Boys Like Girls music video. So much for him being a rocker.

8:38: Beatbox Boy and his friend showed up randomly. They must stalk Nico, since Nico doesn't know how they got his address.

The rest of the show choir is here too! It's like a party.

They're all on the roof.

8:39: Courtney isn't here! Oh no, they're hiding things from the Spectacular captain. Courtney will be mad.

8:40: I'm afraid they're going to start crumping. They're in a circle, dancing.

They're leaping off things.

MORE SPIRIT FINGERS!

8:41: Caz, friend of beatbox boy, is about to cry. Nico is trying to console him. I'm pretty sure Caz is a homosexual. Maybe him and Nico will fall in love instead. That would be so much better than this garbage.

8:43: Brother of Nico has found Nico's shiny cowboy outfit!

"Disco cowboy music." I think Carol sings that music.

8:44: Caz and Beatbox Boy were in Nico's house. Um.

8:45: "Cosmic bowling is a Spectacular tradition."

Nico and Courtney are taking a moonlit walk. So much for Nico and Caz falling in love.

Courtney has been bowling since junior high. What a good secret.

8:46: Two members of Ta-Da are bowling too!

"Talk to the jazz hand."

8:47: They're playing Rock Band. Caz is playing guitar. Courtney is singing a duet she used to do with Royuce, who is now on Team Ta-Da. Nico is singing with her. This is a love song. They will fall in love now.

They're on the TVs in the bowling alley. Toce and Mean Girl from Ta-Da are watching and getting mad.

Nico and Courtney are looking into each others' eyes. Aw, how sickening.

Montage of their past encounters is playing. They're falling in love. Make it stop, please.

8:50: There's a spotlight on them. Someone save me.

When did they change clothes?

They're about to kiss, I know it. Nico is practically drooling on her.

Nico's shirt and pants are still too tight.

No kiss. Caz interrupted their moment. Nico is taking Courtney somewhere.

8:51: Commercial, thank goodness.

8:54: "You and I are both passionate people" Nico says to Courtney.

Song and dance number! A surprise for Courtney.

Courtney is angry.

Nico is secretly a ballerina in his spare time, I know it. He keeps spinning.

8:57: Courtney says she has been stabbed in the back! Nico stole her dream! Spectacular is angry! They're breaking up!

8:58: Royce is at Courtney's house, wearing a bright pink shirt. He says Courtney and him have chemistry and make beautiful music together.

Royce's license plate says "showboy."

Nico showed up at Courtney's and broke up Courtney and Royce's lovers' spat.

Nico is entering Courtney's house.

Nico said Courtney is spectacular. LOVE IS IN THE AIR.

9:01: The newspaper has an article dissing Spectacular.

9:02: Courtney's mom just walked in. Nico thought she thought him and Courtney were doing something diiiiirty. But Courtney's mom is just happy he's not Royce.

9:03: Commercial. When oh when will this end?

9:05: It's back. Yan, have I mentioned how much I hate you for making me watch this?

9:06: Why do shows always have to include some kid with an accent?

Nico is wearing a shiny toga.

Caz says he now has fashion sense. =0

Nico is standing up for Courtney. How sweet.

9:08: Courtney is trying to be cool. She fails.

Nico is singing to the music teacher. A love song.

9:10: They're trying to dance in a cool way. They fail.

9:11: A guy who makes bands famous is at Nico's house, readying to make Nico a STAR. Except! Spectacular's big night is that same night Nico must show another person who makes people famous what he can do. And Nico has to perform with his old band that dumped him in front of said person! GASP. What will Nico choose? Stay tuned to find out.

9:14: Nico's brother has found out about show choir. OH NO.

9:15: Nico's brother is making him leave Spectacular!

9:16: Commercial for something called The Naked Brothers Band.

9:19: I still have another 41 minutes to watch of this movie. Kill me now, please.

9:20: Music teacher secretly used to be famous.

9:23: Nico is trying to choose between Spectacular and being a famous rock star.

Courtney is talking to her mom. Mom is trying to find out Courtney's feelings.

Courtney is crying! She misses Nico. She says she hates him.

9:25: Nico is packing up the van to go audition for big CEO guy. Courtney has shown up to wish him good luck and no she's gone. Nico is looking back towards her, obviously deciding whether or not to run after her.

He doesn't run after her.

9:26: Show choir nation championship!

Courtney and Mean Girl from Ta-Da are arguing. Courtney is all "BRING IT, GIRL!"

9:27: Nico is auditioning for big CEO guy. He's not impressed. Nico sounds bad, since he wants to go be with Spectacular.

9:28: Ta-Da is once again performing, but not in their shiny gold outfits! Yay.

9:30: They Ta-DA boys are changing outfits. Ew.

9:31: Ta-Da is done performing, and everyone is cheering like mad.

9:32: Spectacular is not wearing their cowboy outfits. Courtney gave a pep talk and said she loved them. Aw, how cute.

9:33 Spectacular is performing without Nico! OH NOEZ. Caz is singing. He sucks.

And here is Nico, appearing before a puff of smoke. What an entrance. His clothes are still too tight.

9:34: Courtney and Nico are singing and dancing together. They're singing a love song. Their dance moves are odd.

9:35: Courtney's bestie is singing a solo. She is not very good.

GASP! Nico's old band member and girlfriend showed up on stage playing guitar. OH NO SHE DIDN'T.

Now famous music teacher is performing.

9:36: Nico is carrying Courtney. And that's all I will say about that.

9:37: And the crowd goes wild! Royce is even clapping.

Apparently Nico's old band joined in by playing earlier on.

9:38: Prizes are being awarded. Will Spectacular be first, or second? LET'S FIND OUT.

And....Ta-Da are the winners! The crowd is angry. Spectacular was disqualified for performing with unregistered members.

9:39: Oh snap, Royce and Mean Girl on Ta-Da broke up. Royce got DUMPED.

Nico just got a recording contract. BUT. Nico turned it down. Nico's band, however, did not turn it down. They will record without Nico.

9:40: Nico just kissed Courtney. I think I'm going to puke.

Ok, apparently Nico accepted the contract as long as Spectacular could perform with him. And now they're in the studio, recording. Everyone is happy.

9:42: OH THANK THE LORD IT IS OVER.

I'm scarred for life. Yan, I hate you so much for making me watch this.

So, should you watch Spectacular! ? YES YOU SHOULD. It provides epic lulz.

Skeleton Creek by Patrick Carman

[description from Amazon]

Strange things are happening in Skeleton Creek . . . and Ryan and Sarah are trying to get to the heart of it. But after an eerie accident leaves Ryan housebound and forbidden to see Sarah, their investigation takes two tracks: Ryan records everything in his journal, while Sarah uses her videocam to search things out. . .and then email the clips for Ryan to see.

In a new, groundbreaking format, the story is broken into two parts -- Ryan's text in the book, and Sarah's videos on a special website, with links and passwords given throughout the book.

Review:

When I first started this book, I didn't know how well the whole "read a chapter, then watch a video" thing would work. But even though I got annoyed with having to put down the book, turn on my computer, and then watch a video before I could start reading the next chapter, I thought the whole novel + video thing worked well.

The actual writing part of the book was much better than the videos though. It was interesting to see things told from the afraid person's perspective, instead of having it be told by the fearless one. Hearing about his theories and worries really helped make the book as suspenseful as it is. He isn't much of a developed character (though he is believable because of his worries), but I think that this book is more of a plot driven book anyway. The book is supposed to encourage the reluctant readers to read, which I think it will do because of the plot and videos. Even though I thought the videos were kind of unbelievable.

I thought the girl who played Sarah was a very unrealistic vlogger. Maybe I'm biased because I watch a bunch of vloggers on youtube- John and Hank, fiveawesomegirls, Tyler Oakley among others- and are used to real people just talking without a script (or at least seeming like they didn't have a script) But when Sarah wasn't vlogging, I really enjoyed the videos and thought they added a lot to the story. Mostly they just added suspense, especially at the end because of the GIANT CLIFFHANGER OF DOOM! Seriously. Big cliffhanger. I want the next book ASAP.

8/10

Saturday, February 14, 2009

GoldenGirl by Micol Ostow

[description from Amazon]

Paige, Spencer, and Madison have it all: the looks, the connections, the money, the boys. As the daughters of three of the most prestigious families on Philadelphia's Main Line (read: old money, and lots of it) and the ruling juniors at Bradford Prep, nothing can stand in their way....except, perhaps, their own dark secrets. When an old frenemy from Paige's hidden past shows up at Bradford and plays nice--too nice--Paige is desperate to smother the threat. How far will she go to silence the truth?

Review:

When I first heard about this book, I thought it sounded kind of Pretty Little Liars, which I'm fine with, since I lovelovelove Pretty Little Liars. But although this book isn't quite Pretty Little Liars good, it's pretty darn good.

As some of you might know, I'm a big fan of drama in books. The more drama the better, I say. And there definitely was not a shortage of drama in this book. There was always some plot being, well, plotted, and juicy scandal unfolding. As the book went on, there was more and more of the drama, which makes me a very happy girl. I liked how there wasn't too much drama, because although I previously stated the more drama the better, I don't want to get confused keeping track of all the stuff going on. But no confusion here, so it's good.

The book is told in blog entries- almost all of them done by Spencer, aka GoldenGirl. Because of this, she was the only one who seemed very real. The other characters definitely had their flaws and own personalities, but because Spencer is a tad biased when talking about them since she has her own problems with them, I didn't think they seemed as real as they could have. Since the next few books in the series will be told from different POVs (How many books are going to be in this series, anyway?) I'm sure the character development will be improved.

I'm sure all the web content will help too, since there is A LOT of web content. The characters have Twitter accounts, the school in the book has a website, the series has a website, and there's tons of other stuff.

GoldenGirl comes highly recommended, especially if you want a light read. I can't wait for the next book, Fashionista, to be released so I can find out what happens after that little cliffhanger at the end of this book.

8/10

Friday, February 13, 2009

My Bookshelves

I'm jumping on the bandwagon here and posting pictures of my bookshelves (I did this a while ago, but I'll post more pictures this time.)There is a faraway look at the shelves.

Here is one cabinet and a shelf. Here I have the Series of Unfortunate Events, Harry Potter, Young Wizards series, Meg Cabot books, The Luxe Series, Garth Nix books, and some other lovelies.
Here is another cabinet and shelf. There's some Maureen Johnson books, Libba Bray books, Shannon Hale books, among others.
Here is some paperbacks. There's some lovely books up there, like Cracked Up to Be. :)

Here's another cabinet and two shelves. Here I have my Sarah Dessen books, DAVID LEVITHAN BOOKS!, Pretty Little Liars, etc.

Here is a...box type thing of books. My Elizabeth Scott books are there, my only two RoComs, some Micol Ostow books.
And here is my last stack of stuff. This stack has some good stuff, let me tell you. There's Along for the Ride; Something, Maybe; Dust of 100 Dogs; Take the Reins; and Eyes Like Stars. Actually, I have two copies of Eyes Like Stars. Many people have two. Word on the street is that something will be happening with these extra ARCs everyone has, so stay tuned. =0

That's it! I don't have as many books as some people- Alea- but I still have a lot. :D

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (9)

Yay Wednesday! Yay Waiting on Wednesday started by Jill! My pick this week:
Punkzilla by Adam Rapp

description (from Amazon):

An award-winning writer and playwright hits the open road for a searing novel-in-letters about a street kid on a highstakes trek across America.


For a runaway boy who goes by the name "Punkzilla," kicking a meth habit and a life of petty crime in Portland, Oregon, is a prelude to a mission: reconnecting with his older brother, a gay man dying of cancer in Memphis. Against a backdrop of seedy motels, dicey bus stations, and hitched rides, the desperate fourteen-year-old meets a colorful, sometimes dangerous cast of characters. And in letters to his sibling, he catalogs them all — from an abusive stranger and a ghostly girl to a kind transsexual and an old woman with an oozing eye. The language is raw and revealing, crackling with visceral details and dark humor, yet with each interstate exit Punkzilla’s journey grows more urgent: will he make it to Tennessee in time? This daring novel offers a narrative worthy of Kerouac and a keen insight into the power of chance encounters.

---

I actually picked this for today's WoW based on the description, not the cover or anything! Okay, that was a lie. I picked it because it sounds pretty good and kind of reminds me of I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone but also because I get a very bizarre/hilarious mental image when I hear the word "Punkzilla." This image is a kind of T-rex with a mohawk and in a leather jacket. Yeah, it's pretty odd.

Released in May!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Rule of Won by Stefan Petrucha


[description from Amazon]

The secret of
The Rule of Won is simple, yet its power has been suppressed for generations. The universe is one of infinite abundance—ask, and you shall receive.

Umm, yeah right. Meet Caleb Dunne, slacker extraordinaire. Caleb prefers to glide through life with the minimal amount of effort, so he isn’t too jazzed when his overachieving girlfriend, Vicky, convinces him to join a new school club based on a controversial book, The Rule of Won. Slackers don’t join school clubs, do they? As The Rule gains popularity, though, the club members start to gain power within the school. From dark posts on the club’s online message board to all-out threats in the hallways, it becomes apparent that the group is getting out of control. For slacker Caleb, though, the only thing worse than doing something is not doing something.

Darkly funny and exceptionally thought-provoking, The Rule of Won, inspired by the ideas behind books like the runaway hit The Secret, shines a light on the dangers of group thinking and the inner desires that can sometimes get the best of us all.

Review:

Know what? I cannot figure out a way to start this review (which is why it's taken me so long to write it). So let's just pretend I said something smart and/or funny and move on to actual relevant information.

Caleb was one lovely narrator. He was sarcastic, witty, and smart. I really liked seeing the cult-like group thing through his eyes, since he had oh so much commentary on it. And although I got a little annoyed with him constantly referring to his "slacker ways" (you only need to be told so many times that someone is a slacker), he still added a lot to the book.

The concept was interesting as well. There's plenty to think about while reading, even though the concept of the Rule of Won is pretty unbelievable. But there is still a lot to think about, like mob mentality stuff (Series of Unfortunate Events taught me that!....I think.) and how far people will go to get what they want.

Overall, this a quick, light, funny read with a lot of depth, once you look hard enough.

8/10

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Questions

Carol asked me some questions. So here are the answers!

1.What do you dislike in a novel?

Boring people and events. I don't want to be bored. I want excitement! Action! Adventure! Awesome!

2. How do you choose what you're going to read next?

Well, the very few review books I get usually get read first. And then after that, whatever I see everywhere on the internet. And then the books I've had for forever.

3. If you could bring back a dead author to life, which one will you bring back and why?

I have no idea. I don't read many books by dead people. Maybe Douglas Adams? I hear he's good, but I haven't read any of his stuff. Plus, the next book in The Hitchhicker's Guide to the Galaxy series will be written by Eoin Colfer, which I think is not cool because Mr. Douglas is the only one who could finish it.

4. How cool am I?*

You're alright. Kidding, kidding. You're pretty darn awesome. :D

5. What do you like about your blog?

Um. I don't know. Maybe someone else can tell me what they like about my blog and then I can use that as my answer.


*Obviously that is not the real question here's the real one: If you were stranded in an island, what five books would you bring (assuming that you already have all the necessities) and why?

Well, that's the real question now. But I will answer this one too. This is a very difficult question though. One would be The Outsiders, because I lovelovelove it. Boy Meets Boy because I have to have a David Levithan book. I would find a book that contains all seven Harry Potter books and then bring that book, because it would count as one and Harry Potter is amazing. Looking for Alaska, because I will never be sick of it. And....ew, this is too hard. Maybe This Lullaby. I do love that book.

And:

Want to be Interviewed?

1. If you want to be interviewed, leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the
questions).
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions and let me know when you have posted it, so I can link it.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview
someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask
them five questions.



And if any has any other questions for me, feel free to ask and I will answer.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (8)

Happy Waiting on Wednesday everyone (Waiting on Wednesday = started by Jill at Breaking the Spine). My pick for this week is....



Vacations from Hell by Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Claudia, Maureen Johnson, and Sarah Mlynowski

No official summary found for this one, but I think it's kind of self explanatory. But who cares what it's about when there are all these awesome people writing it? The only way this lineup of authors could get better is if David Levithan (or John Green, or JK Rowling) was added to it.


Released in May. :(

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Read Carpet

So, if you visit many blogs, I'm sure you've seen this brand new Read Carpet podcast. It's pretty awesome, and a bunch of awesome people are on it. And guess who is going to be on it next time? Me! That's right, you all get to hear my voice. According to Kelsey and Carol, I sound extremely different than they thought I would. We'll see how many of you agree.

I'm supersuper excited to record my segment (once I choose a book to discuss.) But I also need to think of a name for my segment, which will take a lot of brain power since I am uncreative when naming things. (Example: the name of my blog.)

ALSO! Steph posted the contest for The Dust of 100 Dogs. (Congrats on the release, Ms. A.S. King!) GO ENTER! I know I will.