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Monday, June 30, 2008

I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone Contest!!

Lauren from Shooting Stars Mag got together a group of reviewers to hold a contest to celebrate the release of I Wanna be Your Joey Ramone by Stephanie Kuehnert! The book is coming out on July 8th, but you can preorder it now, and you'll get it sooner!

I happen to be one of these reviewers, but I am only one of eight (although there could be more added soon!) who are donating to the grand prize... a grand prize that consists of 80 (count 'em, eight-zero) dollars, consisting of gift certificates to various online stores, including Amazon, B&N, and a whole bunch more!

So, where's the contest part?

Well, this is what you have to do:

1. Buy the book and either copy the receipt or take a picture with the book. Send it to Lauren at

And that's it!

The deadline is on July 30th, with the winner being announced in the beginning of August.

So that's basically it! Spread the word, and if you win you could win up to $80 of wonderful prizes... which would be superbly awesome, if I do say so myself =D


Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Sunday Salon

Is it sad that this is only my second Sunday Salon post?

Well, today I just feel the need to post... why? Because I am reading an amazing book.

This week I started The Host by Stephenie Meyer. Can I just take this time to mention that the Twilight series is amazing (although I'll admit that I'm not as big a fan as some people I know) and that I was extremely nervous to read The Host?

When I first started reading, I was afraid to see Stephenie Meyer write about something other than Bella and Edward. To me, she is only associated with the Twilight series. But, being a lover of all of her books, I knew I needed to read this one.

And I'm really glad I did. I'm not halfway done, but I have already learned that it is extremely addictive...

Now that I'm sure you've all heard enough of my raving... I'm going to try and get back to the book. =D


July Book Blowout!

I was on The Book Muncher's blog and she posted about a challenge and I was really intrigued, so I clicked the link and said to myself, "I'm going to do this."

So, split second decision, I have joined.

My goal? 8 books. I think that seems like a decent number. Especially since I'm not sure if I'll have a lot of time to read next month...


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Author Interview: Stacy DeKeyser

Okay, I have been completely neglecting my blog (and everything else in my life besides the few key things that seem to take up all my time, which I'm not even going to get into...) so in order to make it up to you all I have decided to post my first author interview!

And the lucky subject? Stacy DeKeyser, whose first young adult novel Jump the Cracks was published in March.

You can read my review here or you can check it out (and hopefully buy it) on Amazon here. Believe me, it's worth it.

And now, without further adieu, I present... Stacy! *applause*


How much is the main character in Jump the Cracks, Victoria, based on yourself? Are any of the other characters based on people you know?

Victoria is sort of the teenager I wish I'd been -- opinionated and pretty sure of herself. I was shy and quiet as a teenager. I had plenty of opinions, but I usually kept them to myself! Victoria says exactly what’s on her mind, and I like that about her, although it does get her in
to trouble sometimes.

Wills is based on my own kids and my little sisters and is basically an amalgam of every 2-year-old I've ever known. Miss Theresa is based very loosely on my 2 grandmothers. Not "book-smart" but very very wise.

How long did it take for you to write Jump the Cracks?

I started and stopped writing several times, because as my first novel I didn't always know what I was doing! I got stuck a lot too, because I knew the beginning, and I knew the ending, but I had no idea what was going to happen in the middle. So from first idea to finally finishing, it took almost 4 years. Actual writing time -- probably 2 years!

Are there any plans for a sequel to Jump the Cracks?

No. I've always had just this one story of Victoria and Wills to tell. But I like to think that they both grow up to be decent, happy people, and that one day their paths cross again.

What was your favorite book as a child, and what is your favorite book now? Why?

I loved Winnie the Pooh. Those stories have a silly, gentle humor, and I liked the way A.A. Milne played with words — like the broken sign outside Piglet's house that says "Trespassers Will," so Piglet thinks that's the name of the person who used to live in his house.

Now, it's hard to pick one favorite book. Two of my favorites are The Wee Free Men (and its sequels) by Terry Pratchett and the Casson family series by Hilary McKay — Saffy’s Angel, etc. Lots of wonderful, quirky characters!

What are a couple new and/or upcoming releases that you’re looking forward to reading?

I still need to read the last Casson family installment, titled Forever Rose. And a book by my friend Tracie Vaughn Zimmer called The Floating Circus. That’ll be out this summer.

Do you listen to music as you write? If so, what type of music really puts you in a writing mood?

Yes, but it has to be instrumental or I start singing along to the song instead of writing. I like Celtic music and "quiet" classical music -- quartets and stuff like that.

What made you first want to become a writer? Were there any special influences in your life?

I’ve always loved to read, so I think wanting to write naturally comes out of that. You want to try it yourself. And my mom is a writer. She published lots of stories in Highlights and other kids’ magazines when I was little. So I guess I always thought of writing as something “normal” people could do.

What is the best piece of writing advice you have ever gotten?

Two things: Read a lot. Write a lot.

There are a few key parts of the book that are really important to the main character and the story. Can you tell us what each one means to you, as the author:

Promise: One thing I kept thinking as I wrote this story is that so much of life is NOT black and white. There are many shades of gray. Is the “right” thing always the same as the “legal” thing? Is it enough to make a promise, even if you have no idea how to keep it? At the beginning of the story, Victoria sees the world in black and white, which makes her pretty rigid and unforgiving. By the end, she has seen those shades of gray, and has learned to forgive others (and herself) for not being perfect.

Home: Home is very important to me, maybe because I’ve lived all over. When someone asks me where I’m from, sometimes I have to stop and think about the answer! When I was Victoria’s age, I would’ve agreed with her opinion that “Home can only be one place.” But now I know that’s not always true.

Family: Family is everything. I don’t know what I’d do without my family.

Now I’m going to be completely unoriginal here: Create a question for yourself and answer it.
Sure! Here you go:

Q: What are you working on now?

A: I’m glad you asked that! :) I’m working on a novel about a girl named Emily who uncovers an old family secret with the help of a lady who may or may not be imaginary. There’s no publication date yet, but stay tuned!

[[For unknown reasons... the blue will not change to pink... so I guess I'm stuck with an uneven looking blog entry =P]]


Special thanks to Stacy for doing my first interview!!


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

Title: Audrey, Wait!

Author: Robin Benway


California high school student Audrey Cuttler dumps self-involved Evan, the lead singer of a little band called The Do-Gooders. Evan writes, “Audrey, Wait!,” a break-up song that’s so good it rockets up the billboard charts. And Audrey is suddenly famous!

Now rabid fans are invading her school. People is running articles about her arm-warmers. The lead singer of the Lolitas wants her as his muse. (And the Internet is documenting her every move!) Audrey can’t hang out with her best friend or get with her new crush without being mobbed by fans and paparazzi.

Take a wild ride with Audrey as she makes headlines, has outrageous amounts of fun, confronts her ex on MTV, and gets the chance to show the world who she really is.

Rating: 5/5

This book was absolutely hilarious. My favorite character, Audrey's dad, cracked me up constantly, as did all the rest of them. Robin Benway really has a way with words, and also with music! I wrote down over forty songs that were directly mentioned in the book, and there were at least a dozen more song or band references that weren't obvious. The way this book was written was also extremely addictive and mesmerizing. I can honestly say that there is too much to say about this book... I filled up about eleven pages in my Reading Log, all with quotes and exclamation points. The book was that good.

There was only one thing I hated about this book. And that was the first and last chapter. I realize that the book was told by Audrey looking back on her experience, but in the beginning it was extremely obvious, then for the rest it was sort of like a normal novel in first person, and then at the end it went back to being obvious that she was just telling a story. The tone changed, which I hated, because I wasn't expecting an ending like that. Not for this book.

However, I'm willing to overlook that, just because everything between the first and last chapters was pure genius.

I Need Help!

I've decided to turn in most of the library books I've had checked out for awhile so I can start fresh, but I need advice on which ones to keep. Please check out my post at and help me decide!

[[Yes, this just may be my form of shameless advertising... but I also do need help deciding which books to keep... =D]]


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Teen Tuesday, First 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*

Welcome to my first Teen Tuesday blog post! (can you tell I’m excited? eek!)

This week has been quite an interesting week, reading-wise. I could honestly say that in the past week I’ve read more books than I’d read the previous two or three weeks combined. I guess that’s just how it is with me... for awhile I’ll go through books like lightning and then I’ll slow down and stick with the same book for a week.

But enough about my unpredictable reading habits. That’s not what this blog is about. This blog is about young adult books... so here we go.

Last week I officially became re-obsessed with the House of Night series by P.C. and Kristen Cast. I read the first book in the series, Marked, last month and I have no idea why I didn’t read the second and third right away... I absolutely LOVED the first one. It was fast-paced and funny and highly addictive... And the second and third books were JUST like the first. Just as fast-paced, just as funny, and just as addictive... maybe even more. But now I realize that I should have waited until late summer to read these... because now I have to wait until September for the fourth book!

And it’s just my luck that the third book ended off with an evil cliffhanger.

Anyways, I finished Chosen (the third book) on Saturday during a huge series of thunderstorms.

I think I'm falling in love with Vampire books. I first started falling love when I read Twilight (I mean, who didn't?) but now I'm really in love... Anyone have any suggestions for other good vampire books?

And then on Sunday I started (and finished) Jump the Cracks by Stacy DeKeyser. You can read my review here, but I will try to quickly summarize how I felt... Obviously it was a quick read, and while it wasn’t perfect, I felt there really was some sort of substance to it that is lacking with other novels. So basically, I thought it was great.

Currently, I’m reading Fireworks by Niki Burnham, Erin Haft, Sarah Mlynowski, and Lauren Myracle. It’s a book with four short stories in it, all pertaining to summer. I’ve been saving this book for awhile, because I thought it’d be perfect to read when it finally started feeling like summer... and it has! Finally, after what seemed to be the longest winter ever, I can feel the summer!

So what type of books do you think make good summer books? Or what type of books do you think make good books, period? I'd like to know, so feel free to leave a comment and share!


Sunday, June 8, 2008

Jump the Cracks by Stacy DeKeyser

Title: Jump the Cracks

Author: Stacy DeKeyser


What would you do?

As far as I'm concerned, there's no excuse not to be decent...Especially when you're responsible for a kid. It just figures that fifteen-year old Victoria's dad fails once again to be at the train station like he's promised. Fuming, Victoria watches as a teen mom stashes her bruised little boy in the train's bathroom. When the mom gets off the train alone, Victoria decides she has had it with all the poor excuses who call them selves parents. Making a split-second decision, Victoria boards the next train out of town—taking the little boy with her.

No, really, what would you do? Victoria's staying on the run until everyone responsible starts keeping their promises. This kid's not falling through the cracks. Not on her watch.

Rating: 4.5/5

This book started out in a very interesting way. Within fifteen pages, an ordinary girl with a screwy home life is forced to look a problem in the eye and make a choice whether or not she should do something about it. Of course, she decides to do something.

I finished this book in less than a day, and I was completely intrigued. From the very beginning, Stacy DeKeyser created a main character that I could easily sympathize with. Victoria could easily be just like me or any one of my friends. She is a weak teenager, but she is unbelievably strong where it counts. When it comes time for her to try to save an innocent child from something she knows is wrong, she does what she thinks is right.

This story is completely indescribable. It portrays such a strong message about love and acceptance, except it's done in a completely unexpected way.

This is really hard for me to think of something bad about this book... The whole thing was mesmerizing and kept me interested from beginning to end. The writing was nothing spectacular, but it was definitely made up for by an amazing story line.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Author Meme

I was tagged by Hope and Kayla. (Be sure to check out their blogs cuz they're just awesome like that.)

Rules: Link to the person that tagged you, post the rules somewhere in your meme, answer the questions, tag six people in your post, let the tagees know they’ve been chosen by leaving a comment on their blog, let the tagger know your entry is posted.

1. Who’s your all-time favorite author, and why?

All-time favorite? Oh gosh, that's a tough one. It'd definitely depend on the type of book... there are just too many.

2. Who was your first favorite author, and why? Do you still consider him or her among your favorites?

Okay, I could go way back to elementary school and say Mary Pope Osbourne for the Magic Tree House series. Or of course the Boxcar Children, although I can't remember who wrote those. But I'd say my first absolute favorite, I-will-read-anything-you-write author was Sarah Dessen. I discovered her back in sixth grade and I have loved her ever since.

3. Who’s the most recent addition to your list of favorite authors, and why?

Most recent would have to be Sara Zarr... although I have to say I've read quite a few books recently that I have loved. Catherine Ryan Hyde is another recent addition. But Sara Zarr has written two amazing books, one of which will forever remain in my top 10.

4. If someone asked you who your favorite authors were right now, which authors would first pop out of your mouth? Are there any you’d add on a moment of further reflection?

Sarah Dessen. Meg Cabot. Megan McCafferty. Upon further reflection: Scott Westerfeld. Sara Zarr. Jodi Picoult. And probably tons more.

I tag:


Harmony Book Reviews

And that's basically it =P Anyone else who hasn't been tagged but wants to be, feel free to do it!


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Obsessive Blogger. Obsessive Reader.