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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

End of the Year Countdown, #2


End of 2008 Countdown, book 2
Sweethearts
by Sara Zarr
Release Date: February 1, 2008

Oh my gosh, everytime I think about Sweethearts I want to go into fangirl mode and start talking about how absolutely amazing it was... because my God it was amazing. Everything about it drew me in: the cover, the mystery, the intrigue, the relationships, the freaking dynamic characters, and Cameron... damn, I still am really really really curious about Cameron... never have I been so interested in a character from a book. If I could choose between meeting in real life Edward Cullen or Cameron Quick, I would choose Cameron Quick in a heartbeat. And not only are the characters (even aside from Cameron) interesting, the whole entire book is written extremely well, and it tugged at my heartstrings just so...

I am also very pleased to find out that the paperback edition comes out on January 1st, so I will finally be able to afford it... I need to have this book on my shelf!

Chelsie

The 4th and Final Clue: The author of my favorite book may possibly be associated with vampires. Just saying.

Remember to get your guesses for my contest in before my favorite book is revealed, or you won't be entered!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

End of the Year Countdown, #3


End of 2008 Countdown, book 3
The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins
Release Date: September 14, 2008

I was just awed by this book... it was one of those that snuck up on me unexpectedly and really left a mark. I never could have guessed that the story would be as interesting, or the characters as likeable, or the ending as open... I never would have guessed that I would want a sequel so badly. But I do, because The Hunger Games was amazing. It was gripping and hooking and something that I would highly recommend to absolutely anyone, regardless of age (although I'd say 13+ because of the subject matter), sex, or book preference. I can't think of anybody I know who wouldn't like this book...

Chelsie

Clue #3: 619 Pages

Monday, December 29, 2008

End of the Year Countdown, #4


End of 2008 Countdown, book 4
Chasing Windmills
by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Release Date: March 4, 2008

This was just overall a great book. Great characters that I could relate to, and a great story that had me hooked from sentence one, all the way to the end. It was emotional and powerful, and a great love story. I loved reading about a world I've never been a part of, and seeing emotions that I've never imagined feeling... it was a great way to escape reality.

<3 Chelsie

Clue #2: There is a conflict about humanity, and what makes someone human.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

End of the Year Countdown, #5 [+ an exciting announcement]


End of 2008 Countdown, book 5
I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone
by Stephanie Kuehnert
Release Date: July 8, 2008

This was an absolutely fantastic book about a girl, her dreams of finding her mom, and the music that leads the way. It was addictive and lively and interesting... not to mention different. It didn't have an ounce of cheesiness, which made it one of the most real and emotional books I've ever read.

It also didn't hurt that Stephanie is one cool person to talk to. =D

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ANNOUNCEMENT!

I'm going to make this countdown a bit more exciting and host a related contest!

I will be giving away a copy of the book Lord of Misrule by Rachel Caine* (the fifth book in the Morganville Vampires series). To win, all you have to do is take a guess at what my absolute favorite book of 2008 was... anyone who guesses it will have a chance at winning! If nobody guesses it, then I'll pick a random winner... but if one person guesses it, then they will automatically be the winner. If two people guess it, then one of them will be the winner... and so on. Basically, the more people who guess correctly, the less of a chance you'll have of winning.

So I'd venture to say that you won't want to share your guesses on this one.

To let me know what you think my favorite book is, email me at bookluver reviews@hotmail.com. Included in the email should be your name and your guess, and also some form of preferred contact information in case you win. I will be taking guesses until my last countdown post on January 1st, right at Midnight.

I will also be leaving clues on my countdown posts, so if you are absolutely stumped you at least have a shot.

You can also browse through my reviews and see what I rated highly... just remember, the book must be a book released in 2008!

Good luck to everyone!

<3 Chelsie

First clue: Amazon Best Book of the Month (which month was it? not telling. I'll just say that it was before July =])

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Holidays =D

Happy Holidays! :)

I hope everyone had a good Christmas! That is, if you celebrate Christmas, and if you don't then I hope you have/had/are having a nice whateveryoucelebrate (can you tell I'm not exactly the most culture-knowing person in the world? If you have ever been to my small town you would understand why)

Anyways, the point of this blog is to say that, since it is the holidays, I will not be posting regularly... or be around at all, after tomorrow, since I'll be away for three days. I still have a review of Jars of Glass to post, but that will be waiting until next week sometime...

However, don't forget my end of the year countdown, which will start posting at midnight on Saturday/Sunday. Which will also hold a surprise for ya'll who are interested in reading/commenting on it. =D Hinthint.

Love,
Chelsie

Saturday, December 20, 2008

House of Dance by Beth Kephart


Title: House of Dance

Author: Beth Kephart

Summary:

Rosie and her mother coexist in the same house as near strangers. Since Rosie's father abandoned them years ago, her mother has accomplished her own disappearing act, spending more time with her boss than with Rosie. Now faced with losing her grandfather too, Rosie begins to visit him every day, traveling across town to his house, where she helps him place the things that matter most to him "In Trust." As Rosie learns her grandfather's story, she discovers the role music and motion have played in it. But like colors, memories fade. When Rosie stumbles into the House of Dance, she finally finds a way to restore the source of her grandfather's greatest joy.

Eloquently told, National Book Award finalist Beth Kephart's House of Dance is a powerful celebration of life and the people we love who make it worthwhile.


Rating: 4.5/5

Review:

Sorry, the review isn't here! If you're interested in reading my thoughts, click on this link and you will find out!

-Chelsie-

Friday, December 19, 2008

Like OMG Teens Read!

This is one of my absolute favorite message boards (see button and link in sidebar -->)

I am also one of the writers of the Like OMG Teens Read Newsletter... which has found a home right here on blogger. The blog is still in the works, but it will be a compilation of all sorts of bookish articles and news, put together by some awesome bloggers, including myself (while I am probably not one who falls under the 'awesome' category), Vanessa, and Hope, among others.

Like I said, the blog is still in the works, but I figured I'd let anyone who reads my blog know that there's a new blog to possibly look out for. And if you're interested in contributing, well, just go read the blog.

<3 Chelsie

2008 Coming to a Close...

Since it is almost the end of 2008, I am going to propose something...

Ya'll remember the Back to School Countdown I posted back in August? Well, I am going to do an End of the Year Countdown. It will consist of the top five favorite books from 2008... released in 2008, and read in 2008.

This time, though, I'd like other bloggers to participate... I would LOVE to see what everyone's favorites are...

So, basically, this is what I'm doing... I am going to invite everyone to post their own End of the Year Countdown on your blog, if you're interested. The only thing I ask is that, in your first post, you either mention my blog and say that's where you got it from, or link, or something. Give credit where credit is due =D But other than that, you can post it however you want, or you can follow how I am posting, which I will explain below.

If you're feeling up to a countdown, let me know and I'll be sure to go check it out. If not, that's fine too, I just figured I'd let everyone else know to expect another countdown =D

---

First Post [#5] on 12/28/08 at 12:00 AM: Fifth Favorite book of '08
Second Post [#4]on 12/29/08 at 12:00 AM: Fourth Favorite book of '08
Third Post on 12/30/08 at 12:00 AM: Third Favorite book of '08
Fourth Post on 12/31/08 at 12:00 AM: Second Favorite book of '08
Last Post on 01/01/09 at 12:00 AM: Absolute Favorite book of '08.

Hope to see at least some of you counting down with me!

Hope's Countdown: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

<3 Chelsie

-also posted on likeomgteensread.blogspot.com-

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Waiting on Wednesday


Eternal
Cynthia Leitich Smith
Feb 10, 2009

With diabolical wit, the author of TANATALIZE revisits a deliciously dark world where vampires vie with angels — and girls just want to have fangs.

At last, Miranda is the life of the party: all she had to do was die. Elevated and adopted by none other than the reigning King of the Mantle of Dracul, Miranda goes from high-school theater wannabe to glamorous royal fiend overnight. Meanwhile, her reckless and adoring guardian angel, Zachary, demoted to human guise as the princess’s personal assistant, has his work cut out for him trying to save his girl’s soul and plan the Master’s fast-approaching Death Day gala. In alternating points of view, Miranda and Zachary navigate a cut-throat eternal aristocracy as they play out a dangerous and darkly hilarious love story for the ages.
I read Tantalize not too long to go; and even though I didn't think it was the most fantastic book ever, I am still very very interested in this book.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Teen Tuesday: The Week Before Christmas!


So, this week I finished Jars of Glass. I also read and finished Ever by Gail Carson Levine, and started Pride and Prejudice for my school's book club.

Jars of Glass was good. I had a problem with one of the characters (ugh, following the trend again). But then again, this character was someone that the readers is supposed to have a problem with.

Ever was just... okay. I love Gail Carson Levine, but this book just didn't do it for me. And this is why: usually, Levine writes books that are fantasy, but have some sort of realistic element to them. Ever didn't feel that way to me. It just seemed like a book made of coincidences and people/things/events that were there just to be there. It didn't have a purpose... except a possible religious purpose, which was the book's main redeeming quality. Overall it wasn't bad, but I wouldn't recommend this book over Fairest or The Two Princesses of Bamarre.

And Pride and Prejudice... I am only 27 pages into it. But so far, it's not bad. At all. I was thinking there'd be a huge language barrier, but there really isn't... it's not something that I am having too hard of a time trying to understand. I actually like it. =D (By the way, that cover is the actual cover of the copy I bought last week... and it's pink and green and I love it... it's so cute!)

So that's my update. Anyone else have a good reading week?

Also, an interesting tidbit: I did some calculations, and I read one book every 2.7 days. Which is actually not as bad as I thought it would be.

Friday, December 12, 2008

short updates

What a busy couple of days!

My last few days have been hectic, hectic, hectic... but I managed to finish Jars of Glass, and so you can expect a review of that up soon... along with a review of House of Dance.

I just thought I'd give ya'll that update, since I haven't been around much at all.

Tonight and tomorrow I'll be around, though... unless I'm too busy reading Pride and Prejudice, which is our school book club's pick. I am so excited to read it =D Anyone read it/like classics?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Teen Tuesday on a Snow Day!

cross posted at teentuesday.blogspot.com... please see button in sidebar =D

So it's late on a Monday night, I had to work today so I'm really tired... and right now the only thing I want to do is curl up into a ball and fall asleep... But for the sake of Teen Tuesday, I must post!

Plus, I read a lot this week.

I finished Untamed. I have very strong feelings on Zoey, the MC, which barely ever happens to me (as far as being picky about the characters). She was just... ugh, so annoying. Here is a link to my review, in case you're interested.

I also finished Legacy by Kate Brian, which is the sixth book in the Private series, which I absolutely adore. I had forgotten how much I love this series... I read the first five a year ago and then when Legacy came out I didn't have the energy to get into it again; but I decided to come back to it again and I am so. glad. I. did. Legacy was soo good... I don't have a formal review for my blog (I don't like to review books in series, because I've come to find that for most books in a longer series, there is consistency and reviews get to be boring... except in the case of Untamed, which the review was anything but boring to write) but if you're interested in a review, just mention it and I will link you to my Amazon page and you can read it on there. Or something.

After that, I read House of Dance by Beth Kephart. I read it so quickly on Sunday night, and I was just... awed. The book was so good; I am still thinking about it, so I don't have a review written just yet. But I know I will soon, because I have a lot of thoughts about it. Either way, a general summary: this book is ah-mazing, and highly recommended. Especially if you're looking for a quick, but very heart-lifting, book.

And now it's Monday night, and I am reading Jars of Glass by Brad Barkley and Heather Hepler. I'm a big fan of these author's books, and so I'm hoping Jars of Glass turns out well. I'm not extremely far into it, though, so I can't say too much yet. But if you wanna know more... come back next week :)

Now, I'm off to bed... and I'll be hoping for a snow day tomorrow... *looks at huge piles of snow and flying snowflakes* It's highly possible.

EDIT: Yep, it's a snow day!!!!

<3 Chelsie

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Untamed by P.C. and Kristen Cast


Title: Untamed (House of Night book 4)

Author: PC and Kristen Cast

Summary:

Life sucks when your friends are pissed at you. Just ask Zoey Redbird – she’s become an expert on suckiness. In one week she has gone from having three boyfriends to having none, and from having a close group of friends who trusted and supported her, to being an outcast. Speaking of friends, the only two Zoey has left are undead and unMarked. And Neferet has declared war on humans, which Zoey knows in her heart is wrong. But will anyone listen to her? Zoey's adventures at vampyre finishing school take a wild and dangerous turn as loyalties are tested, shocking true intentions come to light, and an ancient evil is awakened in PC and Kristin Cast's spellbinding fourth House of Night novel.

Rating: 3/5

Good:

The House of Night series is one of my favorite series', simply because they are fast-paced, sarcastic, and extremely exciting. This book was not an exception to that pattern.

Bad:

Okay. Here I go. This is probably the first time that I have a serious complaint about a main character.

I am not usually a person who focuses on the personality of the main characters. There are books that I've read and loved that other people could not even finish because they seriously disliked the main characters (Jessica Darling from Sloppy Firsts and Bella Swan from Twilight being prime examples of my favorite books that I often hear complaints about the main characters). I have never been one of those people.

However, Untamed just may be an exception.

Zoey isn't a bad character... she's realistic and brave, which is great. But my problem with her is her attitude. She has power that other fledglings, and even grown vampyres would KILL for, and yet all she does is complain about her powers and the complications they bring, and about all the guys in her life. I understand the fact that she is a teenager and that entitles her to a bit of angst and complaining, but come ON! Halfway through the book I wanted to just close it and throw it across the room... Zoey pissed me off so much. Instead of doing something about most of her problems, she just complained and complained...

I have a thing for strong female leads. Zoey is not one of them... and I don't mind a little weakness, but she really started to annoy me. She needs to grow up.

I also had another problem with this book... the convient coincidences. I know that events in a book have to lead up to other events, but it seemed just too obvious. Fantasy books should be a little believable... and this book was hardly that. Even if the events are unbelievable, the book should at least have a decent flow of events. But it just seemed like the authors threw Zoey in stupid situations just because they could, or to prove a point about something that's almost irrelevent.

Worst out of the series so far... but I am still hoping for better from Hunted, the fifth book in the series.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Inte(Re)view with Melissa Walker!

So, today is the day... for another Inte(Re)view!

This time, I Inte(Re)viewed someone extremely awesome... Melissa Walker! Melissa is the author of the highly fabulous Violet series (Violet on the Runway, Violet by Design, and Violet in Private-- click the links for my reviews of all three). She is also an e
xtremely amazing person, and I feel extremely privileged to have done an Inte(Re)view with her.

Melissa's Website
Melissa's Blog
Melissa's Facebook
Melissa's MySpace

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Chelsie: Hi Melissa! It's so cool that you agreed to do an Inte(Re)view with me!


MW: I'm really glad to do it!


Chelsie: So, mind telling readers what we'll be discussing today?


MW: We're talking about Stephanie Kuehnert's I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE, which my book club is also reading this month (conveniently...)


Chelsie: That is convenient, since you've already read it. So, how about a brief summary for those who may not know much about the book?


MW: Sure. The book is the story of Emily Black, an aspiring rock star who's into the punk scene. Emily's mother left her when she was a baby, so she was raised by her dad. Emily always believed the myth that her mom left them to "follow the music." She and her two best friends are in a successful band, and she dreams that playing music will somehow lead her Mom back to her.


Chelsie: So what initially made you want to read this book? Was it the summary? The book cover (so perfect, by the way)? Or was it Stephanie herself, who happens to be a very very cool person?


MW: It was a combination of all three of those things. I had read some of Stephanie's blog before the book came out, and I realized that she really loves music, which made me all the more intrigued to read a book that it seemed like came from her heart.


The cover didn't hurt--it's so gorgeous!


Chelsie: And so, would you say that it met your expectations?


MW: It did. The thing that I really loved was the way Emily felt about the music. You could feel her emotions through the way she talked about playing in her band, and those descriptions were really powerful.


Chelsie: Would you say you connected with Emily and her passion for music: either as a musician or a music-lover? Or did you connect to her or any of the other characters in different ways?


MW: I'm a music lover and I have always admired hardcore girls like Emily from afar. The girls I thought were coolest in high school weren't the bubbly popular girls, they were the fringe girls like Emily, who seem to walk in their own, secure world. They seem wise somehow. And that rockstar style always gets me.


But in terms of connecting to characters, I really liked being able to see behind that facade I'd always admired and into Emily's real pain. It all made sense, and her highs and lows were so intense I really enjoyed taking the ride with her.


Chelsie: How did you like the way the book was written?


MW: I really liked it! I thought there was a real angst that came through on the page. And Stephanie wasn't afraid to linger on an uncomfortable moment. Sometimes things move too quickly in books, but I appreciated the time we got to spend with Emily--it made the scenes more powerful.


Chelsie: Having read the book before, I know exactly what you mean. There really was something so real and uncensored about it. Do you think that this honesty, that you don't see much in YA fiction anymore, will draw in unexpected readers? Or, rather, do you think that someone who may not like to read as much as you or I, would relate to this book more than they would any other book? (Side note: I hope that makes sense...)


MW: Interesting question. I remember reading that Stephanie wasn't thinking "YA" when she wrote it--and it's sometimes shelved with adult books. I bet that gave her some freedom that let her be uncensored, as you say. As a writer, I'll say that I sometimes hold back because I'm unsure whether the reader wants the intensity of certain emotions. But if Stephanie's an example, then she's a great argument for not holding back. I think the right readers will come to you--and love your work--if you write honestly. And she certainly did!


Chelsie: So, in this case, honesty is the best policy Speaking of honesty, how would you rate this novel on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best?


MW: I would say a 9. I truly loooved it. I'm only subtracting a point because I wanted more time with Luisa, Emily's mom. But that's a personal thing. Can I ask you for your input on that? How would you rate it and did you want anything more from the book?


Chelsie: Well, I rated it 4.9999 on a scale of 1-5, so on a scale of 1-10 that would be a 9.999999. And the reason I couldn't give it a perfect 10 (on the 10 point scale) is because of the beginning... I have personal issues with the first chapter, and how it gave a lot of backstory instead of building it up as the novel progressed. I would also agree with you about wanting more from Luisa, but that didn't affect my rating much.


MW: I hear you. I don't want to be putting words in Stephanie's mouth (again) but I remember her saying it used to have the POVs of a ton of different characters, and then she revised it so it was really Emily's story, and partly Luisa's, so I'm sure that affected things. In the end though, they were the two I wanted to see most, so I think that revise was wise. I also loved Emily's dad and their relationship.


Chelsie: I agree that the revision was a very good idea. Did you think that it might have helped her with character development in the final product to have initially written it with different POVs?


MW: Yes! I was thinking about that, and how JK Rowling knew all of her characters' full lives--even the very minor ones. Stephanie's characters also seemed really developed. That's really important for a successful book. Cardboard characters are so blah. *thinking I need to revise some characters in the book I'm working on! make them deeper!*


Chelsie: So, you loved the book... and you're definitely not alone! Is there anything else you'd like to share, about your opinion or about the book itself?


MW: Just that I've been impressed at Stephanie's ability to connect with readers of all ages. I know VENUS ZINE just named her book #2 (after David Sedaris) on its annual Hottt List, and that is amazingly cool. VENUS ZINE connects with 20- and 30-something DIY rocker type girls, and that audience can be really picky! So IWBYJR obviously speaks to people in various stages of life.


Oh, and I also love Stephanie's blog because she really puts herself out there in a way other authors tend not to do. That's a personal choice, but I love that she's somewhat raw in moments on her blog--it feels right, and reading it I feel like I know her a little.


(Hoping I don't sound like a stalker)


Chelsie: No, you don't sound like a stalker at all... I understand what you mean. As readers, it's good to really get to know an author on a deeper level. And I think that part of the reason I really liked Stephanie's novel is because I could imagine her writing it, and connecting with it.


MW: Exactly. In a way it felt like HER story, at least on some intangible level (not that her mom left her and all that!). I think that happens a lot with debut authors--that you can see them in their work--and it really worked for Stephanie.


Chelsie: Agreed. And anyone who has not read her blog or visited her MySpace page, I'll post links on the bottom of this blog post.

(Note: her blog is highly recommended.)


MW: Yes! A great blog with awesome features like "Women Who Rock Wednesday!"


Chelsie: So, anything else to add before I call this interview to a close?


MW: Just thanks for having me--this was really fun, and I feel more prepared for my book club now!


Chelsie: No problem! It was a pleasure doing an Inte(Re)view with a real published author. It gives me a tingly feeling inside!


MW: I'm sure more will want to join you soon--it's such a fun feature. Thanks, Chelsie!


---


Needless to say... Melissa was awesome!


And, for more info on Stephanie Kuehnert:


Stephanie's Website

Stephanie's MySpace

Stephanie's Facebook

Stephanie's Blog

Buy I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone on Amazon


My Review of IWBYJR


Also, look for Stephanie's new novel, Ballads of Suburbia, to be released in July of '09!

---


If you're interested in participating in an Inte(Re)view, please email me at bookluverreviews@hotmail.com


<3>

Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith


Title: Tantalize

Author: Cynthia Leitich Smith

Summary:

Quincie Morris has never felt more alone. Her parents are dead, and her hybrid-werewolf boyfriend is threatening to embark on a rite of passage that will separate them forever.Then as she and her uncle are about to unveil their hot vampire-themed restaurant, a brutal murder leaves them scrambling for a chef. Can Quincie transform their newly hired chef into a culinary Dark Lord before opening night? Can he wow the crowd in his fake fangs, cheap cape, and red contact lenses - or is there more to this earnest face than meets the eye? As human and preternatural forces clash, a deadly love triangle forms, and the line between predator and prey begins to blur. Who's playing whom? And how long can Quincie play along before she loses everything? Tantalize marks Cynthia Leitich Smith's delicious debut as a preeminent author of dark fantasy.

Rating: 3.5/5

This review is taking me awhile to really form... most likely because I've already analyzed the death out of it for a book report for my English class. Either way, there's not much for me to really say.

Good:

This take on werewolves and vampires is entirely new to me... and I thought it was an interesting point of view. I wouldn't call it my favorite viewpoint, but there's kudos to be given for a decent novel with a new idea (the new idea not being the werewolf/vampire idea, but the way they were presented).

I also want to point out how incredibly fast this novel went by. It wouldn't feel like I was reading that much, but suddenly I was halfway through and then I just breezed to the end. There are some 300 page books I really struggle to finish; this was not one of them. I was done quickly.

Bad:

Yes, I was done quickly. But with very little real impact. The book was entertaining, but it didn't stick with me. I closed it at the end and looked at it, then promptly put it aside so I could finish my book report and move onto my next book. I didn't hover, like I do with the books that I really like. I was sort of indifferent when it came to a close.

In fact, I am kind of disappointed with the ending. The beginning was great; it was a fantastic introduction to an interesting story and one hell of a page-turner. But the ending came too fast, and it was too rushed. Somewhere between the beginning and the end, it turned from a semi-normal fantasy novel, to something that was just a bit too bizarre and creepy for my tastes.

Although, it wasn't so bizarre that I'm not going to read the sequel, Eternal, when it comes out in February.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sovay by Celia Rees


Title: Sovay

Author: Celia Rees

Summary:

It’s England, 1783. When the rich and beautiful Sovay isn’t sitting for portraits, she’s donning a man’s cloak and robbing travelers—in broad daylight. But in a time when political allegiances between France and England are strained, a rogue bandit is not the only thing travelers fear. Spies abound, and rumors of sedition can quickly lead to disappearances. So when Sovay lifts the wallet of one of England’s most powerful and dangerous men, it’s not just her own identity she must hide, but that of her father. A dazzling historical saga in which the roles of thieves and gentry, good and bad, and men and women are interchanged to riveting effect.

Rating: 3/5

Review:

I am one of those people who is drawn to a book by it's cover. So, if I had never read anything by Celia Rees, I still would have wanted to read this book.

As it is, I am a big fan of hers, and so I wanted to read this book even more.

Sovay started out fairly decently. There's this girl named Sovay who is basically getting revenge on her fiance... so she dresses as a guy, pretends to be a highwayman, and steals all of his money. Which is good... an interesting and intriguing start to a novel. Right away I realized something about Celia Rees and why I like her books so much: she always has a strong female main character. At least out of all of her books I've read. And so I instantly liked Sovay: she was strong, and fascinating to learn about.

As the story progressed, I found myself... somewhat less drawn to it. Don't get me wrong, it was still good. But it was all over the place for me. One second it's about the revolution, the next it's about this guy or that guy, then it's about the revolution again, then it's about Sovay's most recent cross-dressing and robbing adventure. All of that in one book doesn't bother me, but it seemed like there was no decent transition. The point of the novel was lost on me... was it to emphasis the horrors of the French Revolution? Or was it a story about Sovay and a brief period of her life?

It didn't make much sense to me. It wasn't a bad book, by any means... and who knows, maybe I'm just being picky and judgemental. The book just didn't do it for me, sorry to say. So, if you're looking for a Celia Rees book to read, the one I would recommend would be Pirates!. It's definitely way better than Sovay.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Websites?

So, recently I've been thinking about finding a new addiction.

And what better to get addicted to than a new-to-me website?

(the answer to that is a book, but for the sake of this blog post we're just going to say that there's nothing better than finding new, interesting websites)

My problem, of course, is that I'm not sure where to look. So here is my question: what is your favorite website? Please, no Facebook or MySpace... I'm looking for something I maybe haven't heard of or tried out. And if you don't have any interesting websites in general, feel free to leave a link to another blog that you like or that you think is interesting.

So... we'll see if I get any responses :)

Soon-to-be-addicted,
Chelsie

Waiting on Wednesday- First Edition!


Willow
Julia Hoban
April 2, 2009

Seven months ago, on a rainy March night, sixteen year- old Willow’s parents died in a horrible car accident. Willow was driving. Now her older brother barely speaks to her, her new classmates know her as the killer orphan girl, and Willow is blocking the pain by secretly cutting herself. But when one boy —one sensitive, soulful boy—discovers Willow’s secret, it sparks an intense relationship that turns the “safe” world Willow has created for herself upside down. Told in an extraordinary fresh voice, Willow is an unforgettable novel about one girl’s struggle to cope with tragedy, and one boy’s refusal to give up on her.
Yikes! I am jealous of all the lucky people who have ARCs... this book looks really, really good... and the reviews have all been good, so I am pumped up and ready for a book that I will absolutely love. I cannot wait for April 2nd so I can buy it :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Teen Tuesday

teentuesday.blogspot.com

I am going to make a list... it will keep this post from getting too long.

1. Sovay by Celia Rees
2. Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith
3. Twenty Fragments of a Ravenous Youth by Xiaolu Guo
4. 1/3 of Untamed by P.C. and Kristen Cast

Those are the 3.3333333 books I've read this past week, and I am very happy because that's practically more than I read the entire month of September.

Sovay was good; not amazing, but not bad at all.

Tantalize was definitely interesting; I am glad I read it, because it was a different take on the whole vampire/werewolf thing. It was good; not great, but good.

Twenty Fragments... was a short book that I've had since summer that I hadn't gotten to yet, until this past week. And it was actually good. Everyone once in awhile I need something different than my usual, and this was definitely a good kind of different. For one thing, it was set in Beijing, and for another there were actual pictures in this book... not an abundance of them, but every so often there would be a picture thrown in among the text.

My favorite picture was the picture of the Chinese McDonald's. I work at McDonald's, and I also happened to be in McDonald's when I read that part... so I was mildly amused =D

Anyways, that was my reading week. I hope I'm not the only person who posts this week =(

<3 Chelsie

Sunday, November 30, 2008

not bookish, but still awesome

My girl Hope playing Face Down on the piano:



She's so awesome =D

<3 Chelsie

Thursday, November 27, 2008

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

I'm just going to take a free moment to say HAPPY TURKEY DAY!
=P How funny.

Anyways, Happy Thanksgiving, I am thankful this year to everyone who reads this post, and everyone who has viewed my blog, and especially the people who leave comments... I love you all!

What's everyone else thankful for this Thanksgiving?

<3 Chelsie

Monday, November 24, 2008

Skinned by Robin Wasserman

Title: Skinned

Author: Robin Wasserman

Summary:

Lia Kahn was perfect: rich, beautiful, popular -- until the accident that nearly killed her. Now she has been downloaded into a new body that only looks human. Lia will never feel pain again, she will never age, and she can't ever truly die. But she is also rejected by her friends, betrayed by her boyfriend, and alienated from her old life. Forced to the fringes of society, Lia joins others like her. But they are looked at as freaks. They are hated...and feared. They are everything but human, and according to most people, this is the ultimate crime -- for which they must pay the ultimate price.

Rating: 4/5

Review:

The cover of this book is absolutely beautiful. The girl is gorgeous, the mechanical line things (I wonder what they're called?) gave it flash without being too overpowering. Also on the cover is a review/quote by one of my favorite authors: "A spellbinding story about loss, rebirth, and finding out who we really are inside." Scott Westerfeld said that about this novel, and I whole-heartedly agree.

This was a book that confused me... at first. I was confused, but strangely intrigued. The book starts out with this girl... and she is lifeless. She can't move, she can't talk, but she can feel everything. She was in an accident, and it changed her life forever.

I couldn't stop reading; I was entranced. The story was just so interesting, and it brought up so many questions that have yet to be answered. When I started reading I wasn't expecting much; the cover was gorgeous, but that doesn't always mean anything. And yet when I finished, I was glad that I read the book. It was a great novel. Similar to Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series, which is set in a futuristic world as well, and also similar to one of my Favorite Novels of All-Time, Stephenie Meyer's The Host, simply because it questions the ideas of humanity: what makes a human, and what crosses the line from human to something different? In The Host, it was a soul. In Skinned, it was a machine. Still, the idea was the same. And while all these books are similar, Skinned was probably the one that I would pick out to say it was the most "out there". Good? Heck yes. Worth the time? Definitely. But not for someone who doesn't want to stretch the imagination a bit.

I am still eagerly anticipating a sequel.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Twilight: Take Two

Twilight the second time 'round was way better than the first. For one thing, there was significantly less giggling. And a significantly smaller number of comments about each thing.

I loved it... a lot. I just want to thank both my uncle for lending me the money to go see it again, and also myself for deciding to be more open-minded this time. Thank you!

And this would have been a long post about the movie and how obsessed I am becoming, but I got a Facebook message from my friend Sam who reminded me that I have an Anatomy and Physiology test to study for... which sucks, but it has to be done. So... we'll save the Twilight!squeal!omg! post for tomorrow.

<3 Chelsie

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins


Title: The Hunger Games

Author: Suzanne Collins

Summary:

Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games." The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When Kat's sister is chosen by lottery, Kat steps up to go in her place.

Rating: 5/5

Review:

This book came highly recommended to me by basically everyone. It would not have been a book I'd pick out for myself; the cover didn't intrigue me, and just by that I wouldn't have even considered reading the back of the book to get more info. If it had been just a random book in a bookstore, I'd have passed it by without an extra thought.

But this is no ordinary book; not even close. With all they hype and great reviews about it, I was interested. And when it came to my school's library, it was so easy to get my hands on it. And when I did, I was not disappointed.

This was an extremely gripping story. Futuristic, scarily so. While extreme critics find other books or movies to compare this one to, I can think of nothing that compares. The story is definitely different from anything I've ever read. Killing people for sport is not a subject that I find gracing the pages of young adult literature. But here it is, plain as day. Perhaps it's a comment on society and the way things are shaping up to be, or perhaps it was just a hypothetical story meant to entertain and keep readers on the edge of their seat. Whichever the case may be, I was enthralled. And it really got me thinking about people, and just goodness overall.

The writing wasn't my favorite; it actually kind of bothered me in parts, the way that Katniss spoke in her narration. But the story fully made up for it.

I'm not sure exactly how the sequel will turn out... but you can bet that I'll be ready for it when it's released.

Postworthy Contest

So, Brooke Taylor his having a contest that deserves a post of its own:

She's giving away a Collector's Edition of Twilight. Woohoo! So click this link and go enter!

<3 Chelsie

Friday, November 21, 2008

Twilight: the Movie

I have very. very. very. mixed feelings about this movie.

*just a warning: I don't think I really get into details, but if you're worried that I'll ruin something for you, just don't continue. I tend to ramble on, but I think that what's ahead is mostly my opinion, and nothing too revealing about the movie itself. But I figured I'd caution readers just in case.*

The one word that just came to my mind that basically sums it all up is constricted. But it would be really hard for me to describe how that could be.

I tried really hard to like it, and not compare it to the book. However, when the amazing awesome fantabulous-ness of the book is on my mind, it's hard to expect anything less from the movie. Which sadly it didn't deliver.

However, I do not totally hate it. On the contrary, I am intrigued. For me, this was merely a sneak peek, just to get an idea on what it's like. I plan on seeing it again next weekend, and I will be more open-minded. And we'll see if it's better then.

To be honest though... the reason I didn't like it as much as I planned on was because my friend Sam and I were right next to each other... and every five seconds we had a comment on everything. From Edward's lips, to Jasper's gorgeousness... even the naked Barbie doll on the dresser in Bella's bedroom. And Sam is hilarious, so the things she said were just so freaking funny, I could not stop laughing.

Although I have to admit; there were parts that were ridiculous. And I'll probably get into more detail on it when I see it again and actually watch it without the Sam Distraction. But for now... I think I'll just let it sit in my mind for awhile. Let it fade away, so that when I see it again it'll be a clean start.

---

On a different note, I just realized something. The email address on my right sidebar is WRONG! I've had the wrong email address! bookluver, not booklover... I swear, the u and the o bother even me. I'd better change it... *whistles innocently*

I've had it like that for months. Good gracious...

-Chelsie-

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

right sidebar?

I am beginning to wonder whether my blog shows up correctly on people's monitors.

It doesn't show up right on my school's computer, but I figured that was just the blocks.

But it's not showing up here at the library, where there are no blocks (at least, not on the computer behind the desk). So it has me wondering: does anyone else have a problem seeing the right sidebar when visiting my blog?

If so, please let me know... and if it seems to be a common thing, I will find some way to fix it. It works just fine on my home computer, but at school and here it's not showing up. So it makes me wonder...

<3 Chelsie

City of Bones and City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare



Title: City of Bones and City of Ashes

Author: Cassandra Clare

Summaries:

City of Bones-
Their hidden world is about to be revealed....

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Clary knows she should call the police, but it's hard to explain a murder when the body disappears into thin air and the murderers are invisible to everyone but Clary.

Equally startled by her ability to see them, the murderers explain themselves as Shadowhunters: a secret tribe of warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. Within twenty-four hours, Clary's mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a grotesque demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know....

City of Ashes-
Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go -- especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil -- and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings -- and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City's Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.

Rating: 5/5

My Double Review:

Occasionally, I'll find a book that immediately captures my interest. I'll pick it up and start reading, and just be hooked.

City of Bones was one of those books. From the very first chapter, I was intrigued. This series was unlike any other fantasy books I've ever read. I mean, come on... Shadowhunters? What the heck are those? Um, hello? Uniqueness! It's a great concept, and these novels have it all.

So I started reading, and I was interested. My first question was: who are the good guys and who are the bad guys? Every single character has an element of mystery to them; and while a lot of questions were cleared up, I still find that the depth of the characters extends beyond just good and bad. The characters are real, flawed, and none of them are perfect, even if they do happen to be on the "good" side.

And then I read further and I found myself genuinely caring about the characters and what happened to them. Believe me, I really got into it. At some point in time during the second book, I closed the book and couldn't read anymore, because I just couldn't stand the thought of something bad happening. I was borderline obsessed. I found myself caring about the characters, and also wanting to be in their world. This was one of the first times that I've found myself actually believing and hoping that it could be possible for a fantasy to be real. I mean, vampires? Whatever. Werewolves? Yeah, okay. But Shadowhunters? How cool would that be?! How fascinating.

I have a strange fascination with the Shadowhunters.

Just like how I find myself with a strange fascination with these novels. Which is perhaps why my review is so strange; these books are definitely at the top of my list, and I really recommend them to anyone.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Teen Tuesday- Twilight Edition



*Teen Tuesday is the day we set aside for teen book lovers to visit with each other to find out what's being read in the world of young adult literature. You can comment whether you are a participant or not. Visit all the posters at teentuesday.blogspot.com*


My reading week has actually been uneventful.

I started reading Sovay by Celia Rees, and I finally realized why I love her books so much: they always feature a strong leading female character. I love the Sovay, she is such an interesting and strong narrator. It seems like women are stereotypically weak, or dependent, and in her books that just isn't the case. Sovay is definitely not an exception.

I am about halfway through, but I put a pause on that to start reading Hairstyles of the Damned, which was recommended to me by the fabulous Stephanie Kuehnert. I got about twenty pages in that before I realized that there is less than a week before Twilight comes out (eeek!) and so I am now reading Twilight for the third time so it's fresh in my mind.

And can I just say how much I love it? I am 200 pages in and I just don't want to stop reading; I'll take breaks occasionally, just to stretch and get drinks. But then I'm back at it; I haven't read Twilight since New Moon came out, and I am really glad I'm reading it again. It's just as entertaining the third time 'round! =D

Of course, I'm dying for the movie. My school's book club is going to go see it as a group, so we've already pre-bought our tickets and everything. So on Friday at four we'll all be in the theater and getting ready to watch it. We all made Twilight T-shirts last week, and just today (which happens to be Monday, since I'm writing this ahead of time) my friend Sam and I decorated ours with beads and glitter paint and whatnot... it was great fun, and I'll definitely have pictures next week!

Anyways, that's my reading and whatnot... I hope someone else posts this week... I was lonely last week ='(

But I understand anyways!

<3 Chelsie

Friday, November 7, 2008

just something fun

S. Krishna's Books decided to turn USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books of Last 15 Years into a meme. I found this over at Lori's Reading Corner, and I decided to do it and see how underexposed I've been to bestsellers. So here I go =D

So here's the deal: bold what you've read, italicize what you own, star books on your TBR list!

1 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling, art by Mary GrandPre
2 Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution - Robert C. Atkins
3 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
4 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling, art by Mary GrandPre
5 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - J.K. Rowling, art by Mary GrandPre
6 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J.K. Rowling, art by Mary GrandPre
7 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K. Rowling, art by Mary GrandPre
8 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J.K. Rowling, art by Mary GrandPre
9 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - J.K. Rowling, art by Mary GrandPre
10 Who Moved My Cheese? - Spencer Johnson
11 The South Beach Diet - Arthur Agatston
12 Tuesdays With Morrie - Mitch Albom
13 Angels & Demons - Dan Brown
14 What to Expect When You're Expecting - Heidi Murkoff, Arlene Eisenberg, Sandee Hathaway
15 The Purpose-Driven Life - Rick Warren
16 The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Mitch Albom
17 The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Stephen R. Covey
18 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
19 Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus - John Gray
20 The Secret - Rhonda Byrne
21 Rich Dad, Poor Dad - Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter
22 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
23 Don't Sweat the Small Stuff ... And It's All Small Stuff - Richard Carlson
24 The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd
25 Eat, Pray, Love - Elizabeth Gilbert
26 Twilight - Stephenie Meyer
27 The Notebook - Nicholas Sparks
28 The Memory Keeper's Daughter - Kim Edwards
29 The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
30 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
31 A New Earth - Eckhart Tolle
32 Oh, the Places You'll Go! - Dr. Seuss
33 The Four Agreements - Don Miguel Ruiz
34 Angela's Ashes - Frank McCourt
35 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
36 Body-for-Life - Bill Phillips, Michael D’Orso
37 New Moon - Stephenie Meyer
38 Night - Elie Wiesel, translations by Marion Wiesel and Stella Rodway
39 Chicken Soup for the Soul - Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen
40 The Greatest Generation - Tom Brokaw
41 Breaking Dawn - Stephenie Meyer
42 The Celestine Prophecy - James Redfield
43 Wicked - Gregory Maguire
44 Good to Great - Jim Collins
45 Eclipse - Stephenie Meyer
46 Eragon - Christopher Paolini
47 Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood - Rebecca Wells
48 Your Best Life Now - Joel Osteen
49 In the Kitchen With Rosie - Rosie Daley
50 Simple Abundance - Sarah Ban Breathnach
51 A Child Called It - Dave Pelzer
52 A Million Little Pieces - James Frey
53 The Testament - John Grisham
54 Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul - Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Kimberly Kirberger
55 Deception Point - Dan Brown
56 The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
57 Marley & Me - John Grogan
58 Dr. Atkins' New Carbohydrate Gram Counter - Robert C. Atkins
59 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
60 The Brethren - John Grisham
61 The South Beach Diet Good Fats Good Carbs Guide - Arthur Agatston
62 The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town - John Grisham
63 For One More Day - Mitch Albom
64 The Polar Express - Chris Van Allsburg
65 The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
66 The Last Lecture - Randy Pausch, Jeffrey Zaslow
67 What to Expect the First Year - Arlene Eisenberg, Heidi Murkoff, Sandee Hathaway
68 Love You Forever - Robert Munsch, art by Sheila McGraw
69 Green Eggs and Ham - Dr. Seuss
70 A Painted House - John Grisham
71 The Rainmaker - John Grisham
72 Skipping Christmas - John Grisham
73 Cold Mountain - Charles Frazier
74 The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-Time - Mark Haddon
75 Life Strategies - Phillip C. McGraw
76 Seabiscuit: An American Legend - Laura Hillenbrand
77 The Summons - John Grisham
78 Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil - John Berendt
79 The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien
80 The Runaway Jury - John Grisham
81 Goodnight Moon Board Book - Margaret Wise Brown, art by Clement Hurd
82 The Perfect Storm - Sebastian Junger
83 Snow Falling on Cedars - David Guterson
84 The Giver - Lois Lowry
85 Embraced by the Light - Betty J. Eadie
86 The Chamber - John Grisham
87 You: On A Diet - Michael F. Roizen, Mehmet C. Oz
88 The Prayer of Jabez - Bruce Wilkinson
89 Holes - Louis Sachar
90 Digital Fortress - Dan Brown
91 The Shack - William P. Young
92 The Devil Wears Prada - Lauren Weisberger
93 Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen
94 A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini
95 The Seat of the Soul - Gary Zukav
96 Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul - Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Jennifer Read Hawthorne, Marci Shimoff
97 The Partner - John Grisham
98 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
99 Eldest: Inheritance, Book II - Christopher Paolini
100 The Broker - John Grisham
101 The Street Lawyer - John Grisham
102 A Series of Unfortunate Events No. 1: The Bad Beginning - Lemony Snicket
103 The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver
104 Into the Wild - Jon Krakauer
105 The King of Torts - John Grisham
106 The Tipping Point - Malcolm Gladwell
107 The Horse Whisperer - Nicholas Evans
108 Hannibal - Thomas Harris
109 The Audacity of Hope - Barack Obama
110 Running With Scissors - Augusten Burroughs
111 The Glass Castle: A Memoir - Jeannette Walls
112 My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult
113 The Last Juror - John Grisham
114 The Devil in the White City - Erik Larson
115 Left Behind - Tim LaHaye, Jerry B. Jenkins
116 America (The Book) - Jon Stewart and The Writers of The Daily Show
117 The Red Tent - Anita Diamant
118 John Adams - David McCullough
119 The Christmas Box - Richard Paul Evans
120 The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants - Ann Brashares
121 Sugar Busters! - H. Leighton Steward, Sam S. Andrews, Morrison C. Bethea, Luis A. Balart
122 Blink - Malcolm Gladwell
123 The Power of Now - Eckhart Tolle
124 90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death and Life - Don Piper, Cecil Murphey
125 The Fellowship of the Ring - J.R.R. Tolkien
126 1776 - David McCullough
127 The Bridges of Madison County - Robert James Waller
128 Where the Heart Is - Billie Letts
129 The Ultimate Weight Solution - Phillip C. McGraw
130 Protein Power - Michael R. Eades, Mary Dan Eades
131 Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul - Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Jennifer Read Hawthorne, Marci Shimoff
132 Into Thin Air - Jon Krakauer
133 Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
134 Three Cups of Tea - Greg Mortenson, David Oliver Relin
135 You: The Owner's Manual - Michael F. Roizen, Mehmet C. Oz
136 1,000 Places to See Before You Die: A Traveler’s Life List - Patricia Schultz
137 Self Matters - Phillip C. McGraw
138 She's Come Undone - Wally Lamb
139 1984 - George Orwell
140 The Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis
141 The Millionaire Next Door - Thomas J. Stanley, William D. Danko
142 The Other Boleyn Girl - Philippa Gregory
143 The Zone - Barry Sears, Bill Lawren
144 The Pilot's Wife - Anita Shreve
145 The Lost World Michael Crichton
146 Atonement - Ian McEwan
147 He's Just Not That Into You - Greg Behrendt, Liz Tuccillo
148 Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
149 The World Is Flat - Thomas L. Friedman
150 Cross - James Patterson

Total Number Read: 23 (eh, could be worse!)

<3 Chelsie

Yay or Nay?

I've been thinking a lot lately about my Inte(Re)view feature.

In the beginning there was a general positive response. Some interest. But as it got going, I found that it wasn't quite as popular. My Inte(Re)viewees were all fantastic, and there are a few people who are still enthusiastic. But there isn't enough interest to keep it going. I think I have maybe one left, and then it will dwindle and die, a horrible spiraling death.

So now I ask you, my readers: is it something you'd like to see more of? Do you have any ideas on making it better? Would you be interested in participating? And, be honest, could you care less?

I'd love feedback, because I want to see if it's something I should try harder to keep alive. I don't want to start asking people if they'd be interested if it's something that nobody even likes. So, please let me know, and don't be afraid to be honest.

In the meantime, expect a couple reviews in the next week or so =D

<3 Chelsie

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Undone by Brooke Taylor

Title: Undone

Author: Brooke Taylor

Summary:

When Kori Kitlzer, the “dark angel” of the 8th grade, tells Serena Moore that they are more alike than she thinks, Serena is instantly intrigued. As their friendship solidifies and their lives entwine, Serena tries to become more like the fearless, outspoken, and ambitious Kori. Soon Serena doesn’t know where she begins and Kori ends. But when a twist of fate yanks Kori away from Serena, she will need to find a way to complete her best friend’s life left undone.

Undone is a striking debut novel about friendship, family, and the secrets we keep from the people to whom we are closest.


Rating: 4/5

Good:

My first thought after reading this book is wow. Just... wow. Now, to be honest, I wish I could say it took me too long to write this review because I was just so awestruck by the subject matter, but the fact is that I'm just lazy. So right now I want to say something about how stunning of a novel this is; but I just cannot find the right words. This was unlike anything I've ever read before. It was like a spiritual journey without religion, and for me it created a mix of emotions that I was definitely not expecting.

Bad:

*sigh* This is the worst part of writing reviews. I wanted so bad to love this book; I've heard such great things about it. And I really did enjoy it. It was just missing something, to me. There was a spark that I was expecting that wasn't there, and the book didn't stick with me for very long. It was written well, it was interesting and amazing; but I still can't shake the feeling that there was something missing. I can't quite pinpoint what it is. But it's what's keeping me from giving the book a better review.

Although I would like to take a moment to point out that I have been having a hard time reading since school started; so possibly it wasn't a good time for me to be reading it, and my opinion might change if I re-read the book again in the future. That being said, I would still recommend this book highly. While I think it was missing something, it still had everything else and that created a splendid debut novel.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Proud

I finished Undone just now, and I am so happy =D This is only the second recreational reading book I've finished since August, which makes me extremely sad but also hopeful for the future. Now that I don't have anymore reading to do.

Now, I have another matter to discuss... and that is my school's book club. It's a very new thing, and I have to say so far it's been going well. I was the one who suggested this month's book pick (City of Bones) and people have been reading it and liking it, so I'm glad. I was worried that everyone would be uninterested or intimidated by the size of the book. But that is definitely not the case.

My question to everyone here is: are there any suggestions for future book club picks? It could be anything, but keep in mind that there are guys in this club, so extremely girly books probably wouldn't go over well. We are also huge Twilight fans, if that helps with your suggestions at all =D

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Inte(Re)view with Kelsey: Gone by Michael Grant

This is my third Inte(Re)view, and I am very pleased to say that my friend Kelsey from Reading Keeps You Sane has joined me this time!

Enjoy!

---

Chelsie: Thanks for joining me, Kelsey!

Kelsey: No problem, glad to be here!

Chelsie: Mind telling readers what today's interview is going to be about?

Kelsey: The novel Gone by Michael Grant.

Chelsie: This is one of the books that I've seen the cover to, but haven't heard much about it. Could you give us a brief summary of it?

Kelsey: Well, it about this small town on the coast of California and 20 miles or so from it, where everybody at the age fifteen and older disappears. Leaving babies, toddlers, and kids by themselves. Bullies rule, there's no police and they have to fend for themselves. That's basically what it's about.
Chelsie: That sounds intense. Was it sort of a mystery? Suspense? Thriller? All of the above?

Kelsey: It definitely is a thriller with tons of suspense; you could not wait to find out what was going to happen, but not really a mystery. It's more about how a certain group of kids, mostly age fourteen, and not all of them friends, going through how they cope with living without adults. The book travels from a certain number of kids, some you don't know why they are in the book yet and question why the book goes towards their POV.

Chelsie: So what is it about the book that makes it quite so intriguing and suspenseful?

Kelsey: Hmm....I think it might be the things that happen when there aren't adults in the world and also a conflict that happens in the story the makes a big turn for the story and causes some troubles, but I'm not going to tell you what, because I don't want to ruin it.
But, yeah, there are some big action scenes also that are terribly fun to read and the adventure goings of some of the characters you read about.

Chelsie: So, the story isn't something you hear about that often (or ever, in my case). Do you think Michael Grant did a good job with making it believable and realistic?

Kelsey: Yes, he definitely did. I really can't think of a better way. It's really thought provoking and Michael Grant was thorough and complete by the storyline. It was definitely believable and, well not necessarily realistic, since the plot does have a chunk of fantasy in it to do with why what happens and some kids do develop powers, like it says on the flap of the book. But other then that, yes, it is completely realistic.

Chelsie: Sounds like the type of book that makes you think about life in general... is this kind of the case with Gone?

Kelsey: Hmm, kind of. You think about what it would be like if that sort of thing did happen in real life, but the book is something you won't be able to stop reading, so you really don't think about it as much while reading it, but afterwards, it's crazy. But also, when lots of the kids want their mom's and dad's it makes you think about how much you would probably miss your parents if this did happen. So, yes it makes you think about life in general a bit.

Chelsie: With the depressing subject matter, would you say this is an emotional book? More so than other books you like to read.

Kelsey: I don't think its more emotional then a lot of books, you probably won't cry during this book, your eyes might tear up, but I doubt there'd be crying. Yes, there is some death in the novel, and the overall thing of having your parents and older siblings gone, yes that might be emotional, but hardly enough to make you cry. But there are definitely some terrible things that are sad and some scary parts in this novel.

Chelsie: On a scale of 1-5, with 1 being the worst and 5 being the best, what would you rate this book, and why?

Kelsey: A 5 probably, because the whole idea, the writing, the action and adventure, the characters, the emotion in this novel is incredible and perfectly done so, you never know what's going to happen, it's just a perfectly done novel, probably one of the best I have read this summer.

Chelsie: If you could say this book is similar to any others, what would it/they be and why?

Kelsey: Oh, that's a hard question because it is close to fantasy but not entirely there, but I don't read much fantasy and I have no idea if it would be close to any other books, but I kind of doubt it would be close to any other book out there, it is a very unique, original novel and the adventures and suspense in the novel are something you wouldn't think of, so no, I have to say, it isn't really similar to other books, at least that I've read.

Chelsie: Who would you recommend this book to?

Kelsey: Fantasy lovers, and also readers who just love a suspenseful read. Myself, I don't care for fantasy, but this novel, yes, had a chunk of fantasy in it, but it didn't overpower the novel, it was like, like a side dish to the whole. There is also some romance in the novel and the romance is perfect, although they are only fourteen. I think boy, girl, it doesn't matter, I finished this novel and now my brothers reading it. The main, main character, Sam, is a guy but you also get to see in the minds of several girls and boys.

Overall, I think a lot of people can read this novel and enjoy it, maybe not adults, but teens for sure.

Chelsie: So, is there anything else you'd like to add that hasn't been talked about yet?

Kelsey: Yes, this book is going to become a series, The Gone Series, I believe and the next book will be releasing next summer, I heard on Amazon that it is called Hunger, which fits perfectly for the novel, but them on Michael Grant's MySpace it read in a journal entry dated the end of July said it was Sacrifice, so I'm not sure which it is yet, but I personally think that Hunger is better. So check that out once you read this book because the book has kind of a cliffhanger ending.

Chelsie: Do you happen to know how many total books are going to be in the series, or is that undetermined?

Kelsey: No, I do not, unfortunately, but hopefully more then two.

Chelsie: Well, now that I have a book to look forward to reading, I'm going to thank you for being such an awesome Inte(Re)viewee!

Kelsey: Thank you, Chelsie for asking some awesome questions and having me be able to do this. I had a ton of fun!

Chelsie: No problem, and let me know if you'd be interested in doing it again sometime!

Kelsey: I sure will!

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If you're interested in being an Inte(Re)viewee, feel free to email me at bookluverreviews@hotmail.com!

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