Monday, November 29, 2010

Review: Songs for a Teenage Nomad by Kim Culbertson

Book Description:

What is the soundtrack of your life?

After living in twelve places in eight years, Calle Smith finds herself in Andreas Bay, California, at the start of ninth grade. Another new home, another new school...Calle knows better than to put down roots. Her song journal keeps her moving to her own soundtrack, bouncing through a world best kept at a distance.

Yet before she knows it, friends creep in-as does an unlikely boy with a secret. Calle is torn over what may be her first chance at love. With all that she's hiding and all that she wants, can she find something lasting beyond music? And will she ever discover why she and her mother have been running in the first place?

Source: Kim Culbertson (Thanks!)

My Thoughts:

Calle was always packed before she even unpacked, always certain that she and her mother would not stay in a city long enough for it to be considered home. She knew that everything was not permanent, aside from her mom and their constant moving. But in Andreas Bay, she might have just found a good reason to stay, to keep her life going without the issues of fitting in again and being the new girl.

Culbertson did an awesome job in showing readers what life really was about. At some point, it was hardly about the constant moving at all. It was all about Calle – who she was and who she could be. It was about discovering the truth, learning to accept that her life was not perfect and finding the answers to her questions. The writing was so beautiful, easily reflecting whatever emotion Calle was feeling in the subtlest ways.

I loved the format of Songs for a Teenage Nomad. It was unique and very personal. I loved the idea of a song journal and I have to admit – I am starting my own song journal too. The incorporation of music in the novel was something effective. Through song types, we got to see glimpses of the personalities of a wide range of characters who were all distinct and real.

The plot was great. This one was unpredictable most of the time. It had me shocked and surprised. There was a fair amount of sadness and longing – longing for truth, longing for friends, longing for a father, longing for a home and longing for a steady life - in the pages. The book was a collection of memories, questions and musings of a teenager. It was a fit novel that captured almost everything a teen could think and feel.

Songs for a Teenage Nomad is an enjoyable contemporary read that I truly loved more and more with every page and every song. Beautifully written with an awesome cast for characters and an unpredictable plot with constant teenage questions and thoughts that will appeal to teenagers and music lovers. It was a journey with Calle through the best and worst, sweet and bitter, experiences.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

In My Mailbox (5)

In My mailbox is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren. It's a wonderful meme that encourages bloggers to interact, as well as to show the books they have received for review,borrowed, bought and that were gifted them to them.

My mailbox has been healthy these past two weeks. Here's what I got:

I took pictures with my phone and really - I'm not a good photographer. I don't have steady hands. So...the pictures aren't so good!

For Review:

Sweet Treats & Sweet Crushes by Lisa Greenwald (review coming soon)
The Defense of Thaddeus A. Ledbetter by John Gooselink
Nerds: M is for Mama's Boy by Michael Buckley
Hereville by Barry Deutsch (review coming soon)
Anxious Hearts by Tucker Shaw

Tyger, tyger by Kersten Hamilton
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride

Songs for a Teenage Nomad by Kim Culbertson (review coming soon)
Flash of a Firefly by Amber Riley

Flash of a Firefly actually came with some swag:

Some of these books were signed!


Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (signed!)


Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick from my sort of, past and future boyfriend!

A big thanks to:
Abrams Books, Emma Sanders, Sya Bruce, Quercus, Kim Culbertson, Kathryn Hurley, Macmillan, Kersten Hamilton, Amber Riley and Jet! :)

So, that's what I got these past two weeks! What's in your mailbox?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Review: Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

Book Description via Goodreads:

Nora should have known her life was far from perfect. Despite starting a relationship with her guardian angel, Patch (who, title aside, can be described as anything but angelic), and surviving an attempt on her life, things are not looking up. Patch is starting to pull away, and Nora can't figure out if it's for her best interest or if his interest has shifted to her arch-enemy Marcie Millar. Not to mention that Nora is haunted by images of her father and she becomes obsessed with finding out what really happened to him that night he left for Portland and never came home.

The farther Nora delves into the mystery of her father's death, the more she comes to question if her Nephilim blood line has something to do with it as well as why she seems to be in danger more than the average girl. Since Patch isn't answering her questions and seems to be standing in her way, she has to start finding the answers on her own. Relying too heavily on the fact that she has a guardian angel puts Nora at risk again and again. But can she really count on Patch, or is he hiding secrets darker than she can imagine?

Source: Gifted (Thanks!!)

My Thoughts:

Having a fallen-angel-turned-guardian-angel-boyfriend was far from easy. Patch seemed to give more questions than answers every time he and Nora talked. The mystery factor of his existence was still there and even further escalated despite his relationship with Nora. To make things more complicated, he started to spend more time with Marcie and Scott – aka Scotty the Potty from Nora’s childhood – was back in Coldwater with a few secrets of his own.

I have read good and really bad reviews on Crescendo. But for me, Crescendo was great because of the following:

Fitzpatrick comes back with a more tension-ridden paranormal romance thriller. If you thought Hush, hush was great then you might just like this one. The story delved deeper into the lives of the Nephilim and the Fallen. Through dreams and memories, we got glimpses of the past and somewhat of the future. One thing was clear though: the Nephilim have had enough of the Fallen, more unwilling to give up their bodies for two weeks of corruption and pleasure.

Nora’s father started to haunt her with images, making her doubt her own sanity. But then everything felt so real to her, as real as the things Chauncey made her believe in Hush, hush. Nora was not sure which was real and which was not. The death of her father was something that greatly affected Nora. The possibility of seeing him and even having him back in her life was something that was close to impossible and much desired. All of this showed how human Nora was, despite her being a Nephilim descendant.

The new characters introduced in this book, as well as the elaboration of some of the old characters ended up to be one rollercoaster ride of a range of emotions. The mystery of Nora’s father’s death and the threat on her own life led to a series of doubts and speculations that drove me crazy because I, myself, was speculating along with her. Fitzpatrick took entertainment and thrill to a whole new level. She had me guessing until the very end. It was unpredictable – something that I really love in a novel.

Crescendo is thrilling, shocking, heart-pounding and mysterious. It was an enjoyable page-turner. Better than Hush, hush.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: Vanished by Sheela Chari

For this week, I'm choosing a Middle Grade book by one of the Elevensies. A week ago, I've decided to review not only YA novels but also Middle Grade and graphic novels from time to time. I got inspired by the child-like and wondrous perspective of MG novels. Plus, the covers are cuter.

Book Description from Disney Hyperion Catalogue:

Eleven-year-old Neela dreams of being a famous musician, performing for admiring crowds on her traditional Indian stringed instrument. Her particular instrument was a gift from her grandmother—intricately carved with a mysterious-looking dragon.

When this special family heirloom vanishes from a local church, strange clues surface: a tea kettle ornamented with a familiar pointy-faced dragon, a threatening note, a connection to a famous dead musician, and even a legendary curse. The clues point all the way to India, where it seems that Neela’s instrument has a long history of vanishing and reappearing. Even if Neela does track it down, will she be able to stop it from disappearing again?

Sheela Chari’s debut novel is a finely tuned story of coincidence and fate, trust and deceit, music and mystery.

My Thoughts:
I've been waiting for the cover of Vanished for a long time. I've always wondered what it was gonna be like. I certainly didn't expect the cover to be like this - I expected it to be a bit darker. But nevertheless, the premise sounds great! Seems like there's a whole lot of culture and mystery in the novel.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays: Sweet Treats & Secret Crushes by Lisa Greenwald

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

-Grab your current read.
-Open to a random page.
-Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.
-BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
-Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser:

When a blizzard threatens to ruin Valentine’s Day, three seventh-grade friends make and distribute fortune cookies to their lonely neighbors—and confront the secrets they’ve been keeping from one another.

Confident Kate doesn’t notice much but the latest gossip, and shy Georgia can’t say out loud what’s always on her mind. They’re joined by observant, careful Olivia, whose epic, single-minded crush on PBJ (real name: Phillip Becker-Jacobs) is starting to frustrate the other two. Using fortune cookies that mysteriously always seem to speak directly to the person who opens them, the three girls try to work together to bring some love to their building, while reminding each other why they’re such good friends to begin with.

With all the right ingredients to appeal to tween girls, this is an irresistible confection from an emerging talent.

For this week, I'll have three lines instead of two, simply because if it were just two, it would be incomplete.

She told Crying Girl, aka Jenna, how she always referred to him as PBJ but never called him that. How she never really called him much of anything because she never talked to him. Because the day she started liking him was the day she stopped talking to him.

- p. 147, Sweet Treats & Secret Crushes by Lisa Greenwald (Hardcover)

My Thoughts:

I like it so far. It's a good collection of musings of three innocent and curious teens about growing up, life and love - crushes for that matter. It definitely reflects life as a teen. This is the most Chick Lit I've read since Confessions of a Shopaholic.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Spotted: Sarah Smith + The Other Side of Dark

I've spotted someone who will talk about ghosts, racism and prejudice - two of which are one of the things we rarely talk about - topics that are important to me. Earlier this month, we celebrated Halloween and today, I have a special guest whose book was released in time for that occasion - Sarah Smith, the author of The Other Side of Dark. Here is the interview:

What or who inspired you to write The Other Side of Dark?

A book never has just one beginning. Hugh Mattison, president of the Friends of Pinebank, threw the first idea in the inspiration barrel by asking me to write about Pinebank.

Another inspiration came when I realized that Pinebank’s owners were slave traders. I was talking their history over with Dorothy Clark, and something she said completely turned the book around for me. “Oh, that’s what Katie has to see and realize.”

Law runs the book, even more than Katie. Law has to fight his father. Law’s father is so convinced he is right that he thinks everyone ought to believe exactly what he does. I like Charles Randall Walker, but it would be awful to be his kid. The man is too principled even to call Law by his own name!

The African Meeting House completed the story. The African Meeting House was built by the free black Boston community, as the centerpiece of the community. Just walk in and you can feel the power of the place. That place has ghosts too, but completely different ghosts, Frederick Douglass, David Walker, the Massachusetts 54th regiment… If you’re near Boston, you have to see it.

Why write for teens?

I write for people. Many of my favorite books are YA books, but I didn’t even think of The Other Side of Dark as a YA until I’d finished it. I was writing about what happens to two people who are 16 and 15 and who are attracted to each other but too unsure about themselves to say so. When the first draft was finished, I showed it to my agent, who said, “This is YA, you know.”

“Gosh, so it is.”

Why focus on ghosts?

Ghosts are history made personal.

In The Other Side of Dark, they start out by being ghosts of one person’s history. Law’s house is haunted by his grandmother, his parents’ incompatibility, and his need to define himself as a young African-American man (not just take his father’s definition).

Haunted by her parents’ death, Katie literally lives in a haunted house—her dead father comes to see her every night while she does her homework.

George, who’s a ghost himself, still has to haunt Pinebank because of ghosts he is too obedient to see.

Law and Katie begin to see the ghosts of a bigger history, the ghosts we don’t talk about. The ghosts are all over, not just at Pinebank but in her school, in a meeting at City Hall—they’re everywhere and they haunt everybody. Mrs. Perkins’s family has been haunted by them for generations.

Ghosts aren’t just dead. They’re silenced. To see them, and listen to them, and talk about them, is a moral choice. I’m glad Katie makes the choice she does.

What is Perkins Bequest and how does this relate to The Other Side of Dark?

The Perkins Bequest is real, it is fifty million dollars, and nobody knows what happened to it.

In 1848 Thomas Handasyd Perkins was nearly 90 years old and was the richest man in America, worth $1.5 million then—about $150 million now. He wrote a will dividing his fortune. A million dollars went to his family. But half a million went to a secret fund. Five of his relatives and friends were given the job of administering it. No one else was to know how it was spent. These five were responsible to no one but each other.

So one of the largest single blocks of money in America just disappeared.
What happened to it? What was it for? What took so much money? Why did it need to be kept secret?
Perkins had given away big money before. The Perkins School for the Blind is named after him.
What was different about this?
Was it something sinister?
No one knows.

Which was the most fun to write – beginning, middle or end? Why?

It’s always wonderful to get through a book and say “This is the end, the characters and I have got through the whole story.” But this time it was a special treat to write the end.

I didn’t know exactly what would happen to Katie until I was in Pinebank with her. I’d used Walker’s story earlier in the book, but I didn’t realize until that moment what Katie had to do and how she would find out. Of course: they would tell her what they needed. She would do it for them, and then for George and herself.

Again, I’m being general so as not to spoil the scene for you.

I work in a building with a winter garden and a coffee shop. After work that day, I went downstairs to the coffee shop, fortified myself with a big mug of coffee, and began writing. I wrote down the whole scene, pretty much line for line as it is now. It was a magical moment. Tears were running down my face because people were dying, people were being saved. Friends from work came downstairs, saw me typing and sobbing, and looked a little alarmed. “It’s all right (sob) I’m OK (sob) I’m writing.”

Now that the book is out, people who are talking about the book in front of people who haven’t read it yet say “That scene,” and they know what they mean.

The other “that scene” for me is Law’s speech. He did it all himself.

Were any of the characters patterned after someone in real life?

Some of the characters actually do exist in real life. Thomas Handasyd Perkins is real, and he actually did have a relative named George Perkins, though my George is all my invention. The ghost in the Atheneum is real. (You can find out who he is at the Atheneum’s Web site.) Frederick Law Olmsted is real.

On my Website, there’s a longer list of who’s real and who’s not.

Hugh and Arlene Mattison, Dorothy Clark, Anne Lusk, John Wathne, and Margaret Dyson are all real. So is Mayor Tom Menino, so identified with Boston that the characters blame him for everything that happens.

When we had the publication party, some of them came and signed books.

Did you incorporate your own experiences in this novel?

Boston and Brookline are my cities. I was involved in trying to save Pinebank. I work within walking distance of the African Meeting House and the Atheneum. The stairs where Law accuses Katie of seeing ghosts are the ones I walk up to go to my local library.

Law and I are both old-building geeks. I go around taking pictures of stone basements and windows. Law would do that. I also had a bullying father whom I had to fight back to.
Prejudice and racism are ghosts we don’t talk about. We need to.

Katie and Law spend a lot of time in Starbucks. Most of this book was written in Starbucks, but I would never have one of Katie’s peppermint lattes. Mocha latte, yes. Peppermint? Ick. Rather have toothpaste latte.

Describe The Other Side of Dark in three words.

Ghosts, romance, mystery!

The Other Side of Dark is out now! How do you feel?

Now I get to talk to readers—this is the fun part!
All of writing is fun.

Any last words?

Not yet :)

Thanks for dropping by, Sarah!
Book Description via Goodreads:
Since losing both of her parents, fifteen-year-old Katie can see and talk to ghosts, which makes her a loner until fellow student Law sees her drawing of a historic house and together they seek a treasure rumored to be hidden there by illegal slave-traders.

Law Walker knew Katie Mullens before she was crazy. Before her mother died. Law knows Katie’s crazy now, but she’s always been talented. And she keeps filling sketch pads even though her drawings have gone a little crazy as well—dark, bloody. What Law doesn’t know is that these drawings are real. Or were real. Katie draws what she sees—and Katie sees dead people. People who have died—recently, and not so recently—in accidents, from suicide, even a boy who was trapped in a house that burned down more than 100 years ago. And it’s this boy who makes Law want to get to know Katie all over again. So what if his dad doesn’t want him dating a white girl? So what if people think Katie is dangerous? The ghost boy is hiding a secret that Law needs to know—and it’s much bigger, much more shocking than anyone ever expected.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: Kindred by Tammar Stein

My pick for this week's Waiting on Wednesday post is Kindred by Tammar Stein.

Book Description via Goodreads:

The first time I meet an angel, it is Raphael and I am eighteen.

Miriam is an unassuming college freshman stuck on campus after her spring break plans fall through. She's not a religious girl--when pressed she admits reluctantly to believing in a higher power. Truth be told, she's about as comfortable speaking about her faith as she is about her love life, which is to say, not at all. And then the archangel Raphael pays Miriam a visit, and she finds herself on a desperate mission to save two of her contemporaries. To top it all off, her twin brother, Mo, has also had a visitation, but from the opposite end of the good-evil spectrum, which leaves Miriam to wonder--has she been blessed and her brother cursed or vice versa? And what is the real purpose behind her mission?

My Thoughts:

I love the first line of the synopsis. Angels in YA are my favorite read. This fact has been established after reading Angel Star and Hush, Hush. Archangels are very interesting creatures. I'd love to know what juicy bits would Tammar reveal in Kindred. I wonder if it would be a bit like Halo, giving the readers background on life in heaven.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays: The Hollow by Jessica Verday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

-Grab your current read.

-Open to a random page.
-Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.
-BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) -Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser:

When Abbey's best friend, Kristen, vanishes at the bridge near Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, everyone else is all too quick to accept that Kristen is dead and rumors fly that her death was no accident. Abbey goes through the motions of mourning her best friend, but privately, she refuses to believe that Kristen is really gone. Then she meets Caspian, the gorgeous and mysterious boy who shows up out of nowhere at Kristen's funeral, and keeps reappearing in Abbey's life. Caspian clearly has secrets of his own, but he's the only person who makes Abbey feel normal again...but also special.

Just when Abbey starts to feel that she might survive all this, she learns a secret that makes her question everything she thought she knew about her best friend. How could Kristen have kept silent about so much? And could this secret have led to her death? As Abbey struggles to understand Kristen's betrayal, she uncovers a frightening truth that nearly unravels her—one that will challenge her emerging love for Caspian, as well as her own sanity.

"Appearances aren't always what they seem, Abbey," Nikolas said softly.

At this point I started eyeing the door and calculating how far it was to the only exit.

- p. 475, The Hollow by Jessica Verday (Hardcover version)

What's your Teaser Tuesday?

Review: Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

Book Description via Goodreads:

All teenagers have problems, but few of them can match those of Aislinn, who has the power to see faeries. Quite understandably, she wishes that she could share her friends' obliviousness and tries hard to avoid these invisible intruders. But one faery in particular refuses to leave her alone. Keenan the Summer King is convinced beyond all reasoning that Aislinn is the queen he has been seeking for nine centuries. What's a 21st-century girl to do when she's stalked by a suitor nobody else can see? A debut fantasy romance for the ages; superlative summer read.

Source: Bought

My Thoughts:

Wicked Lovely has been around for quite a while now. I have read it sometime before I started blogging which was why I did not really have a review for Wicked. This was my second time to read Wicked Lovely.

The first half of the novel - reading about Keenan, Donia and Ash mixed up in the mortal world, playing their roles in a game that has been going on for nine centuries -was interesting. But it was not enough to make me fly through the pages. It was a bit slow – which was also good since it was a musing-suspicious-calculating part of the story. The second half on the other hand was where I really did not let go of the book. It was far more interesting because things started to speed up. The monarchs and the pawns of the game began to move, each move calculated and aimed to defend their own goals in the game – which was to win or to help their side to win.

Ash was true to herself as a human with the Sight. She disliked faeries for what they have done to her and to others. The infliction of pain, the causing of constant discomfort and invasion of space were enough reasons for her not to help the Summer King who claimed she was the one. But when Ash noticed that something has changed, she started to rethink of the possibilities and began to count her options.

The characters of Wicked Lovely, both fey and human, were so alive. Traditionally cruel, unpredictable and volatile were the fey. The humans were very modern and liberated while still clinging to the beliefs that they each had. The love triangle was good – heavier on one side compared to the other but still great because of the incorporation of fey elements.

The writing was beautiful. Marr did an amazing job with Wicked Lovely. Wicked Lovely was sad, dark, sweet and tragic at the same time. It was a bittersweet novel particularly on the side of the fey. It dealt with change, gaining and losing in the game through the years. There was balance in everything, even the emotions in the story. I had fun reading it and getting to know more about the fey world and the human world, the value if everything and most importantly, of time and mundane things.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Review: Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

Book Description via Goodreads:

Nothing much happens in the sleepy town of Venus Cove. But everything changes when three angels are sent from heaven to protect the town against the gathering forces of darkness: Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, a teenage girl who is the least experienced of the trio. They work hard to conceal their true identity and, most of all, their wings.

But the mission is threatened when the youngest angel, Bethany, is sent to high school and falls in love with the handsome school captain, Xavier Woods. Will she defy the laws of Heaven by loving him? Things come to a head when the angels realize they are not the only supernatural power in Venus Cove. There′s a new kid in town and he′s charming, seductive and deadly. Worst of all, he′s after Beth.

Source: Gifted

My Thoughts:

For a teen author, Adornetto did well with Halo. The writing was superfluous but slightly too flowery, although this did well too for imagery. With the attention to every detail, I could easily visualize the scene, as if I was a part of it. I appreciated the descriptive lines and the analogy used within them.

One thing that I liked about Halo was that the experience of being a celestial being to being a human was recorded. The transition was fully explored. Adjusting from the perfection of heaven to the imperfection of the human world, which made it all the more memorable at the same time, was something that was altogether new and exciting to Bethany. She found that being human was something she desired and soon she craved all the new experiences and welcomed them with open arms, including the temptation known as Xavier.

Xavier and Beth’s relationship was something that Ivy and Gabriel didn’t agree with. Angels were not meant to love humans in the way that Beth loves Xavier. The love of angels was supposed to be generic and unspecific. It was overwhelming to put everything on the brink of failure for love but then Beth was more human compared to her brother and sister and being human meant being prone to pain, suffering, sadness and temptation.

Although in human form, Beth was still an angel. Her narration was probably one of which had the purest perception of everything on earth. It was both inexperienced and curious. Something so pure had collided with a liberated influence - aka Molly - Beth's first human friend in Bryce Hamilton. The fusion of these two sides was a bit funny because it resulted as somewhat of a learning experience for the angel.

I read this slowly because for me, it wasn’t that much of a page-turner. It was something else entirely. I felt that the story was something to be savored and not rushed. Just a comment was that the carrying out of the mission was not that much prioritized by Beth since she fell for Xavier. For me, it was a bit too much considering how she viewed the seriousness of the matter, to the extent that it could cause so much havoc. I just wished that there was more attention to the mission itself. It would have been exciting to read about that.

Halo was a good paranormal romance read, although much too inclined on the romance part rather than the celestial mission of the book. It was still enjoyable and gave a unique reading experience concerning the transition from angel to human.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Spotted: Kersten Hamilton + Tyger, Tyger

Kersten Hamilton is really one of the nicest authors I know. All of you have probably read an interview with her because of her blog tour. I asked questions more on the behind the camera or pen for that matter. Here are the questions:

What or who inspired you to write Tyger, Tyger?

A writer named George MacDonald. I love the way he thought about the world, and the way his worldview seeped into his stories. I think the best stories are about something.

What lessons will readers pick up from your novel?

Milton wrote:

“Great bards beside
In sage and solemn times have sung
Of turneys and of trophies hung;
of forests and enchantments drear,
Where more is meant than meets the ear.”

He meant that the best stories are about something deeply true, even if they use tales of whim and whimsy to describe it. While I do not claim to be a great bard, Tyger Tyger is definitely about ‘more than meets the ear.’ It is about love, and how the real world works.

Why do you write for teens?

I love writing for people who are just starting to explore the larger questions in life: who am I? Why am I here? Is it possible to change the world? Does it even need changing?

Hint: it does need changing, and every single one of us can change it just a little bit!

Of all the supernatural creatures, why did you choose goblins?

When I was a child, a goblin crept out of the dark and slipped her paw into my hand. The creature’s name was Lina, and I met her in a book by George MacDonald.

Lina was a dog–like creature with green eyes lit by amber fire, and a huge mouth with icicle–like teeth. Curdie, the hero of the story, could feel the real hand of any creature inside its flesh glove, and when Lina put her paw in his hand: “a shudder, as of terrified delight, ran through him… instead of the paw of a dog, such as it seemed to his eyes, he clasped in his great mining fist the soft, neat little hand of a child! The green eyes stared at him with their yellow light, and the mouth was turned up toward him with its constant half grin; but here was the child's hand!”

When I read those lines I felt it. Lina was a small part of George MacDonald’s book. After I met her, I knew that when I grew up I wanted to write a book full of that kind of goblin creature.

What is the best move when it comes to goblin fighting?

Think with your heart, because your head will lead you astray!

You write about dreams of goblins. Have you ever dreamed of what you wrote? (If yes, what was it like?)

I very often dream about what I write. The world I am working on is so real to me that I don’t leave it even when I fall asleep! It can be very intense, but it is never very scary for me—because the monsters never win in my dreams.

Tell us about Teagan’s personality.

Teagan is a strong, courageous girl. And she is very smart. Tea will fight to protect any creature who is weaker than she is; she is the caretaker for her little brother Aiden, and she will not let anyone or anything harm him.

Describe Tyger, Tyger in four words.

Action, adventure, danger, romance!

What sets Tyger, Tyger apart from other YA books?

A lot of YA books today focus on romance—a love triangle to be specific. The plot tension comes from the question, “which boy will she choose?”

The romance between Teagan and Finn does sizzle! But the book is about much, much more …and that is what sets Tyger Tyger apart.

Any last words?

Yes! Thank you for interviewing me, Precious! And I hope everyone loves reading Tyger Tyger as much as I have loved writing it!

Teagan Wylltson's best friend, Abby, dreams that horrifying creatures--goblins, shape-shifters, and beings of unearthly beauty but terrible cruelty--are hunting Teagan. Abby is always coming up with crazy stuff, though, so Teagan isn't worried. Her life isn't in danger. In fact, it's perfect. She's on track for a college scholarship. She has a great job. She's focused on school, work, and her future. No boys, no heartaches, no problems.

Until Finn Mac Cumhaill arrives. Finn's a bit on the unearthly beautiful side himself. He has a killer accent and a knee-weakening smile. And either he's crazy or he's been haunting Abby's dreams, because he's talking about goblins, too . . . and about being The Mac Cumhaill, born to fight all goblin-kind. Finn knows a thing or two about fighting. Which is a very good thing, because this time, Abby's right.

The goblins are coming.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (2)

I've been gone more than I liked to be. Sorry! School was keeping me busy - the enrollment did actually for about three days, I had to beg for a subject because there were no more slots. I'm behind in Nanowrimo as well but I'm looking forward to working on it this weekend, I kept hearing the dialog in my head these past few days. And for Waiting on Wednesday, I have a unique-sounding book for you guys!

The Floating Islands by Rachel Neumeier

Release Date: February 8, 2011 

Book Description via Goodreads:

When Trei loses his family in a tragic disaster, he must search out distant relatives in a new land. The Floating Islands are unlike anything Trei has ever seen: stunning, majestic, and graced with kajurai, men who soar the skies with wings.Trei is instantly sky-mad, and desperate to be a kajurai himself.  The only one who fully understands his passion is Araene, his newfound cousin.  Prickly, sarcastic, and gifted, Araene has a secret of her own . . . a dream a girl cannot attain.Trei and Araene quickly become conspirators as they pursue their individual paths.  But neither suspects that their lives will be deeply entwined, and that the fate of the Floating Islands will lie in their hands. . . .Filled with rich language, and told in alternating voices, The Floating Islands is an all-encompassing young adult fantasy read.

My Thoughts:

Look at that cover. The cover is enough to convince me to buy this. (I know, I'm very judgmental. But for me, covers matter. They are supposed to reflect the story in one glimpse.) It sounds fantastic, like a whole new world is waiting to be discovered within the pages. I'm found of winged creatures as well. :)

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (1)

This is my first time to post a WoW post. For the very first post, I chose a book written by a teen debut author.

So Delicate. So Young. So Wanted.

In life, nothing is the same as it seems. People create masks –identities—to hide who they really are – some for noble reasons, or nefarious ones, but only a tiny fraction because they must.

Alessandra and Damien, or Rosalie and Daniel, were once the Princess and Prince of La Pacifica until they were forced out of the beautiful island. Eight months flew by, and they finally began to settle in Alexandria, Egypt, when they found out that they didn’t leave their past behind them, and that they were both wanted urgently.

- taken from the author's website.
My Thoughts:
The cover is gorgeous. It sort of reflects the different phases of life. The premise is really intriguing. The concept of being forced out of the beautiful island makes me think of why it had all happened. This sounds like a wonderful YA book.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Review: The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson

51UOeMBHqcLBook Description via Goodreads:

Two Hearts. One Hope.Rose has been appointed as a healer's apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, a rare opportunity for a woodcutter's daughter like her. While she often feels uneasy at the sight of blood, Rose is determined to prove herself capable. Failure will mean returning home to marry the aging bachelor her mother has chosen for her---a bloated, disgusting merchant who makes Rose feel ill.When Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured, it is Rose who must tend to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to understand emotions she's never felt before and wonders if he feels the same. But falling in love is forbidden, as Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a mysterious young woman in hiding. As Rose's life spins toward confusion, she must take the first steps on a journey to discover her own destiny.

Source: Melanie Dickerson (Thanks!)

My Thoughts:

Set in Germany during the Middle Ages, The Healer’s Apprentice had a beautiful setting. I’ve always been fond of Europe. I found myself enjoying Hagenheim. The research done concerning the culture and customs of the Middle Ages were enough to make the story as realistic as possible. There was attention to detail.

Rose, a woodcutter’s daughter was chosen by Frau Geruscha, the town’s healer, to be her apprentice. Her worries revolved around being the next town healer and pleasing her constantly complaining and angry mother. Belonging to the lower class of society opened her eyes to the disadvantages of being poor such as being forced to marry a man she didn’t love. Her mother has been pushing her to marry men, to improve their life as a family. But she could not do this without love. When Lord Hamlin, the son of the duke was brought to Frau Geruscha’s chamber after being attacked by a wild boar, her worries suddenly started to shift. She found herself longing for the impossible and the inappropriate.

The characters were quite well developed. They reflected various personalities and at the same time the differences between the ideologies of the upper class and lower class of society. The thoughts about certain topics also magnified these differences.

It has elements of magic and responsibility, successfully infusing faith and lessons of life within the story. Light versus darkness was also reflected – a constant battle that still continues until today. Slightly predictable but enjoyable nonetheless, The Healer’s Apprentice was a great YA historical novel.