Tuesday, June 29, 2010

WINNER of the $70.00 CSN Gift Certificate

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 with
It is time to announce the winner for the CSN giveaway, but before I do that I want to thank everyone for entering. A special thank you goes to those who took the time to spread the word about this giveaway--there were a total of 253 entries so it's one of our biggest giveaway turnouts ever! Giving you all a big virtual hug!

And now, for the winner... Random.org has spoken, and without further ado, the winner of the $70.00 CSN Gift Certificate is...

mbreakfield
who said: "I really want a bookcase, but my bathroom heater is acting up, so I guess I would use it toward a new heater."


Congratulations!! I have already sent you an email. Please reply back in the next 72 hours.

**Thank you to Jamie and CSN Stores for sponsoring this giveaway.**
juliekagawa Paperback: 363 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Language: English
ISBN:
9780373210084
Source of my copy: I bought it
Synopsis: from Goodreads
Meghan Chase has never fit in at her small-town high school, and now, on the eve of her 16th birthday, she discovers why. When her half brother is kidnapped, Meghan is drawn into a fantastical world she never imagined--the world of Faery, where anything you see may try to eat you, and Meghan is the daughter of the summer faery king. Now she will journey into the depths of Faery to face an unknown enemy . . . and beg the help of a winter prince who might as soon kill her as let her touch his icy heart. The Iron King is the first book in the Iron Fey series.

Leslie's Review:
I was really excited to read this book and now that I finally had it lived up to my expectations and was really fun. Meghan Chase is a normal high school student--or so she thought, until she turned sixteen. Despite the wonderful things that are written about when a girl turns sixteen, Meghan instead finds out that she is the daughter of a mythical summer king in faery world and ends up playing a powerful role in a faery war. Meghan journeys through the faery world in order to save her younger brother who was captured by a mysterious evil creature. Along the way she learns more of her father's world and herself. But how much will she sacrifice to save her brother?

Like my sister, I was drawn to read this book because of its beautiful cover. As I read the book, I was drawn to the faery world the author has created. It was very magical and beautiful and I felt like I was there with Meghan. I enjoyed reading about the mysterious and mythical creatures too. However, I thought Meghan's character didn't shine as much as the other characters like prankster Puck and sarcastic cat Grimalkin--her character was any other young adult heroine and nothing really stood out about her to me. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series though because towards the end of this book, Meghan was finally stepping out and was becoming more confident and strong. There's a little love triangle going on with Meghan, Puck and Ash and I am definitely in Team Ash here. I really liked the
Ice Prince--he was a very intriguing guy.

I'm really excited to read the next book and I totally recommend The Iron King to anyone as awesome fantasy young adult read. 4 out of 5 stars

Saturday, June 26, 2010

"In My Mailbox" is hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren. Click on the link to check out what other book bloggers got in their mailbox this week and join in on the fun!

Books Won
A couple of months back, I won Book-lover Carol's giveaway and prize finally came this week. I was expecting seven books and some swag but what arrived were ten books and swag--the extra books were just WOW! Check it out:
Fallen by Lauren Kate (ARC)
The Exile of Gigi Lane by Adrienne Maria Vrettos
The Secret Life of Prince Charming by Deb Caletti
Numbers by Rachel Ward (ARC)
White Cat by Holly Black (ARC)
North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley (ARC)
The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott
Linger by Maggie Stiefvater (ARC)
Nightshade by Andrea Cremer (ARC)
Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin (ARC)

The first four books in purple I passed on to Leslie (she's been dying to read Fallen). Two of the surprise books were Nightshade and Linger (I really need to get and read Shiver). With all the buzz about these two books, I can't wait to dive into them. As for Low Red Moon, I've never heard of it but it sounds interesting. Thanks again Carol!

Books Bought
The rest of my Barnes and Noble order finally came in this week too:
I'll Be Slaying You by Cynthia Eden
Ghost Huntress: The Awakening by Marley Gibson
Ghost Huntress: The Guidance by Marley Gibson
What the Duke Desires by Jenna Petersen



"It's Monday! What are you reading?" is hosted by the awesome Sheila of Book Journey. It is a weekly event to celebrate what we are reading for the week as well as books completed the previous week. Click on the image above to join in on the fun this week!



Last week Michelle read
rdehart jpetersen
slindsey enaughton







See my review of Desire Me here. I meant to wait until later to read The Unclaimed Duchess because it doesn't come out until Auguust but I couldn't wait--TUD is the 1st e-book I've ever read in it's entirety! My review of PMT coming soon and I am still working on on Marked but I'll finish later tonight. I had a great romance reading week :)

This week Michelle is reading
ddavisedreyer








I'm really excited to read these two review books from Hachette--they both sound really good! They both come out this coming Tuesday so look for them. There's a giveaway here on the blog for DD going on now. Thursday is the start of BaL's blog tours so there will be a giveaway for that book here then so don't forget to come back and enter! :)

Next week Michelle plans to read
tfrenchI was lucky enough to get an early finished copy of Faithful Place by Tana French (out 7/13) from the publisher. I heard Rob Ryan and Cassie Maddox (I think they should get back together as partners if anything) don't make an appearance in this book, but I'm excited to read this book anyway--I'm a huge Tana French fan.
Hopefully, I can read a couple of books my summer reading goal list (see sidebar) as well.



Your turn to share... leave a us comment below ;)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Giveaway Policy

Friday, June 25, 2010 with
Labels:
Standard Giveaway Policy: (sponsored by Michelle and/or Leslie)
As of July 1, 2010, this is Undeniably Book Nerdy's (UBN) standard giveaway policy. Please make sure you understand the terms below BEFORE you enter any giveaways here on the blog. Once you enter, you agree to the following terms:
  • No purchase necessary.
  • Unless stated otherwise, giveaways are only open to U.S. residents.
  • Entrants must be 18 years of age or older in order to enter unless stated otherwise. If you are under 18, please have a parent/guardian enter for you or have their permission to enter.
    • Be aware that some of the prizes contain explicit content that may not be appropriate for a young reader. (We sometimes give away adult romance novels on this site!)
  • Entrants must always carefully read the rules of entry (they may vary)--incorrect entries will be disqualified.
  • Fill out the giveaway form only once unless stated otherwise. Entrants who purposely fill out the form more than once will be disqualified.
  • Entries will not be accepted after the stated giveaway deadline.
  • You may email us (see "contact us" tab for the email address) to inquire if you are a winner.
  • The odds of winning depend upon the number of participants.
  • A valid shipping address is required from the entrants so the prize can be shipped as soon as possible.
  • All information is confidential and will only be used if entrant is a winner. All information will be deleted after the giveaway is over and the winner(s) announced.
  • UBN will never sell or give out the information provided by the entrants to any outside personnel other than those handling the shipping (i.e., the mailman).
  • The most economical (aka slowest) means of shipping will be used. Delivery time of prizes varies. UBN is NOT responsible for any prizes stolen, lost and/or damaged during transit.
  • UBN have the right to change or cancel any giveaway at any time without a prior notice.

Special Giveaway Policy: (NOT sponsored by Michelle and/or Leslie)
As of July 1, 2010, this is Undeniably Book Nerdy's (UBN) special giveaway policy. Sometimes we host giveaways here on Michelle and Leslie's Book Picks that are sponsored by an author, publisher or a publicity company. These terms are for those special giveaways, in addition to other terms stated by the prize sponsor, and once you enter, you agree to the following terms:
  • No purchase necessary.
  • Unless stated otherwise, giveaways are only open to U.S. residents.
  • Entrants must be 18 years of age or older in order to enter unless stated otherwise. If you are under 18, please have a parent/guardian enter for you or have their permission to enter. 
    • Be aware that some of the prizes contain explicit content that may not be appropriate for a young reader. (We sometimes give away adult romance novels on this site!)
  • Entrants must always carefully read the rules of entry (they may vary)--incorrect entries will be disqualified.
  • Fill out the giveaway form only once unless stated otherwise. Entrants who purposely fill out the form more than once will be disqualified.
  • Entries will not be accepted after the stated giveaway deadline.
  • You may email us (see "contact us" tab for the email address) to inquire if you are a winner.
  • The odds of winning depend upon the number of participants.
  • A valid shipping address is required from the entrants so the prize can be shipped as soon as possible by the giveaway sponsor.
  • All information is confidential and will only be used if entrant is winner. All information will be deleted after the giveaway is over and the winner(s) announced.
  • UBN will never sell or give out the information provided by the entrants to any outside personnel other than those handling the shipping (i.e., publisher sponsoring the giveaway).
  • Winners will be subject to the one copy per household rule, which means that if they win the same title in another blog, they will receive only one copy of the title in the mail from the giveaway sponsor.
  • UBN is NOT for responsible for prizes that are not honored by the sponsor, dispersed in a timely manner, stolen, lost and/or damaged during transit.
  • UBN have the right to change or cancel this giveaway at any time without a prior notice.
**The differences between the two giveaway policies are in purple. Please pay special attention to those terms. Updated on 4/16/2013.**


For Winners

All winners are chosen randomly.

NOTE: The shipment of prizes depends on the author/publisher sponsoring the giveaway but it usually takes about 3-5 weeks (sometimes longer) for the prize to reach winners.

In most giveaways, Rafflecopter is used. The winner(s) will be posted in the widget in the original post. 
On the spotlight today is...


The Author: Dee Davis

Bio (taken from the Hachette website)
Dee Davis has a BA in Political Science and History, and a Masters Degree in Public Administration. During a ten-year career in public relations, she spent three years on the public speaking circuit, edited two newsletters, wrote three award winning public service announcements, did television and radio commercials, starred in the Seven Year Itch, taught college classes, lobbied both the Texas State Legislature and the US Congress, and served as the director of two associations.
Her highly acclaimed first novel, Everything In Its Time, was published in July 2000. Since then, among others, she’s won the Booksellers Best, Golden Leaf, Texas Gold and Prism awards, and been nominated for the National Readers Choice Award, the Holt and two RT Reviewers Choice Awards. To date, she has sold eighteen books and three novellas, including Chain Reaction and A Match Made on Madison.
She’s lived in Austria and traveled in Europe extensively. And although she now lives in Manhattan she still calls Texas home.

To learn more about Dee's books, check out her blog and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

The Book: Dangerous Desires

Blurb
(taken from the Hachette website)
As the extractions expert for A-Tac, an elite CIA black ops unit masquerading as faculty at an Ivy League college, Drake Flynn knows how to survive behind enemy lines. But he's about to meet one adversary he can't subdue... or resist.

A RACE FOR SURVIVAL
Stranded in the Colombian jungle after a mission goes bad, Drake has only one objective: evade the mercenaries hot on his trail and deliver "the package" to U.S. officials. But "the package" has a mind of her own, and she has no intention of trading one set of captors for another. Madeline Reynard is beautiful, headstrong, and hell-bent on escape after years as a crime lord's pawn. She'll risk everything for freedom, even if it means deceiving the dark, handsome operative who now holds her life in his hands. Drake has been burned too many times to let a woman manipulate him, especially a secretive one like Madeline. Even so, they cannot deny the attraction between them. Now as enemy forces close in, Drake and Madeline must trust each other with their lives-or face certain death.
Do you want to win your very own copy of Dangerous Desires?
Thanks to Anna and Hachette, I have 3 copies to give away.

To Enter:
Fill out the form below. **CLOSED**

Rules:
1. Only residents of the U.S. or Canada are eligible to win. No P.O. Boxes.
2. This giveaway will end on July 10 and the winners will be selected using random.org. The winners will be announced here on the blog soon after.
3. The winners are responsible for emailing me with their shipping address within 72 hours of the winner announcement post. I will select new winners if they fail to do so. There will be NO EXCEPTIONS.

Disclaimers: VERY IMPORTANT! Please read before entering!
1. This giveaway is being sponsored by Hachette Book Group and NOT Michelle and Leslie's Book Picks. If you win, you'll receive your book directly from Hachette.
2. Michelle and Leslie's Book Picks is in NO way for responsible for prizes that are not honored by the sponsor, dispersed in a timely manner, stolen, lost and/or damaged during transit.
3. Michelle & Leslie's Book Picks have the right to change or cancel this giveaway at any time without a prior notice.
4. Please make sure you understand the above disclaimers before entering. Thank you for entering and good luck!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Follow My Book Blog Friday (2)

Thursday, June 24, 2010 with
Yup, it's the time again... Follow Friday Time! Woot! Rachel of Parajunkee's View is hosting "Follow My Book Blog Friday." Here are the rules: (taken from Rachel's blog)

1. Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { Parajunkee.com } and any one else you want to follow on the list
2. Follow our Featured Bloggers - www.fangswandsandfairydust.com
3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can
6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!

Doesn't that sound fun? Click on the image to join in on the fun. Thanks for hosting Rachel!

A little bit about our blog:
My name is Michelle and I co-author this blog with my younger sister Leslie. We both review YA and middle grade fiction but I also review romance novels. Other genres are sometimes reviewed on our blog too.

Thanks for stopping by! While you're here, don't forget to enter to win a $70.00 CSN gift certificate if you haven't already (it ends in 4 days!). We love making blogging friends--if you visit us, please don't forget to comment below because we also want to check out your blog too. :-)


I began this blog on September 3, 2009 (then it was titled "On my Bookshelf and in my Makeup Drawer" because I intended to review both books and beauty products--hence the really weird blog URL that we are not stuck with) just in time to participate in the 2009 BBAW. Through the BBAW, I was introduced to many book blogs and it played a part in my decision of turning this blog solely dedicated to reviewing books and talking about all things bookish a month later. My 13-year-old sister Leslie eventually joined me with this book blogging endeavor after that. Now, two months before our blogoversary, we registering for BBAW again as true book bloggers (no longer is the blog straddling the beauty product/book fence like in 2009--it is on the side of books and we are loving every minute of it!).

After talking about it, Leslie and I decided to go ahead and nominate our blog for Best Eclectic Book Blog in the Niche category for the BBAW 2010. Though our blog primarily review YA and MG fiction and romance, we do like an eclectic variety of other genres which we sometimes review here on the blog. Here are our five exemplars:

1. YA review (written by Leslie): The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
2. Romance review (written by Michelle): Forbidden Passion by Rita Herron
3. Non-fiction review (written by Leslie): Easy as Pi: The Countless Ways We Use Numbers Every Day by Jamie Buchan
4. Graphic Novel chat: Alison Dare: Little Miss Adventures and Heart of the Maiden
5. Review Index

We also decided to nominate our blog for the Best New Book Blog for the Featured category. Here are our five exemplars for this category:

1. The very first book reviewed (posted September 3, 2009): Quick Review: Her One Desire by Kimberly Killion
2. One of our most recent review (posted June 22, 2010): Leslie's Review: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
3. Meme: Book I Covet: Sundae My Prince Will Come by Catherine Clark
4. Midnight Confession: Where are my nerds at?
5. Q&A with Author Leanna Renee Hieber (& Giveaway)

Our nominating our blog for BBAW 2010 involved a lot of thought and discussion between Leslie and myself. We know our blog is hardly the best--there are many, many book blogs out there better looking, more well-written and gets more traffic than ours. But our blog is truly a labor of love. Blogging books, interacting with and sharing our bookish thoughts to the book blogging community is something we really enjoy and see ourselves doing for a very long time. Thank you to all our readers' and followers' continued support and wish us luck!

We encourage all book bloggers old and new to sign up for BBAW because it is a fantastic event. Even if you are not nominating your blog for any of the categories, it's still a great event filled with interview swaps, guest post, giveaways and many more. You can discover new blogs and other readers discover you. Sign up HERE to join BBAW 2010!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

WINNERS of Desire Me by Robyn DeHart

Wednesday, June 23, 2010 with
rdehart There were 55 entries in this giveaway and the winning numbers (according to random.org) are:

#32 Darcie K

#36 Lisa Richards/alterlisa

#20 Ashley Hewell

Congratulations to all the winners!! I have already emailed you so please respond to my email in the next 72 hours so I can pass on your shipping info to Hachette. If you haven't received an email and you're a winner, please email me at bookmakeupreview @ gmail . com [no spaces] with your shipping address.

If you didn't win this time, there is still the giveaway for $70.00 CSN Stores gift certificate--enter HERE. Also, to kick off a new blog tour sponsored by Hachette, there will be a new book giveaway posted this Friday! Be sure to come back here and enter to win 1 of 3 copies of Dangerous Desires by Dee Davis. Good luck!
rdehart ARC: 338 pages
Publisher: Grand Central
Language: English
ARC ISBN:
9780446541978
Source of my copy: From author giveawaay
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Years ago, Maxwell Barrett found a map to Atlantis and dedicated his life to the search for the mystical lost continent. But when an alluring woman makes a wager for the priceless artifact, he may have discovered an even greater treasure.
A descendant of Atlantis, Sabine Tobias needs the map to decipher an ancient prophecy. What she doesn't need are the sparks flying between her and Max. He's too devilishly charming to be trusted: The fate of her people is at stake as well as her heart. Yet a ruthless killer also covets the map. Now Max and Sabine must race to decode the prophecy's riddle before this criminal fulfills his deadly mission.


Michelle's Review:
Desire Me is the second book in Robyn DeHart's Legend Hunters series which revolves around a gentlemen's club in Victorian London called Solomon's. Each member of the club has his own specific legend he is researching to find proof it exists. Our hero, Maxwell Barrett, is a member of Solomon's and he has dedicated his life to searching for Atlantis. He is in possession of a map of the lost continent but he hasn't found irrefutable proof that the island truly existed. Our heroine, Sabine Tobias, is a descendant of Atlantis and she needs Max's map to unravel a an ancient prophecy. She needs it to stop the Chosen One who is bent on resurrecting the Atlantean army and bringing forth the destruction of the world. Now, Max and Sabine must work together to decipher the prophecy before it's too late.

I did read the Seduce Me (the first book in the series) prior to reading this book, but Desire Me is standalone. If you're looking for an Indiana Jones type of adventure in your romance, Desire Me is it. There's a lot of twists and turns in this book. The hero and heroine travel all over England to search for clues in the prophecy that includes digging up old graves, secret passages, breaking into the British museum, and running from villainous thugs. There was so much running around that I feel like the romance between Max and Sabine was pushed to the side and it became secondary. Also, while we're given some background on the hero and heroine, we don't really get to know them until almost the end of the book and even then I'm still left with questions. I didn't feel like I connect with either of them and it took me longer to finish this book because of that--I'd take a break reading and I had to make myself pick it up again.

Nonetheless, this book was a fun read with edge of your seat action and adventure with some paranormal elements in the form of a magical Atlantean elixir. I had my doubts in the beginning but I thought the author did a good job integrating the legend of Atlantis into the story--it was done smoothly and believably. Robyn DeHart is an author not to be missed. Though I enjoyed Seduce Me (I give SM 4/5 stars) a bit more than this one, you can't go wrong with either. 3.75 out of 5 stars

Other books in the series:
rdehart
This video is not book related but I thought I'd share because it's an important little video (some of you may have seen it already). I found this video on author Michelle Zink's blog and I was blown away and was shocked and it made me reflect about my actions and the stuff I have. I know it's quite long (21 minutes 16 seconds long) but it's very eye opening and you might learn something new. I did.



If you want to view it on a bigger screen, here the link to the video on YouTube.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

cclare Paperback: 453 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Language: English
ISBN:
9781416972242
Source of my copy: I bought it
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
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.


Leslie's Review
:
All Clary wants is to go back living a normal life but she is as far from normal as it gets, especially since Clary is a Shadowhunter, can see Downworlders, and her mom is in a magic induced coma. All Clary can really hope for is some time with her best friend, Simon, but even that is being messed up by her irritating and handsome new-found brother Jace. That is least of her worries, however, because the Soul Sword has been stolen and the Inquisitor thinks that Jace is helping their evil father and thus making him the culprit. Clary knows Jace is better than that but when the evidence all turns to him, can she really convince the Inquisitor otherwise?

This book was actually better than the first! It had the same great plot that was thrilling and fast-paced but it was filled with more action. I also liked how the secondary characters that didn't have big parts in the first book were more involved in this book. We also meet new interesting characters too. These differences make the second book more lively and it was great learning more about Clary's world. This book ended in a cliffhanger and now I'm very eager to read the next
book of the series, which I still have to buy. If you haven't picked up this series yet, you should definitely do it soon because it's amazing and it's an awesome roller coaster ride of a series. 4.75 out of 5 stars

Sunday, June 20, 2010

cclare Paperback: 277 pages
Publisher: Razorbill
Language: English
ISBN:
9781595142573
Source of my copy: I bought it
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
When the principal announces that every senior must participate in a mandatory year-long Marriage Education program, Fiona Sheehan believes that her life can’t get any worse. Then she marries her “husband”: Jerky jock Todd, whose cheerleader girlfriend, Amanda, has had it in for Fiona since day one of second grade. Even worse? Amanda is paired with Fiona’s long-term crush, Gabe. At least Fiona is doing better than her best friend, Marcie, who is paired up with the very quiet, very mysterious Johnny Mercer. Pranks, fights, misunderstandings, and reconciliations ensue in an almost Shakespearean comedy of errors about mistaken first impressions, convoluted coupling, and hidden crushes.


Michelle's Review:
After all the heavy, emotional books I've been reading lately I almost forgot how nice it was to read about a book about normal people with no crazy dramas like an unwanted pregnancy or dealing of magical creatures and mayhem. This book is pure high school bubble-gum fun (a la an iCarly or a Sonny With a Chance show) and I love it for that. I laughed, I sighed and devoured it in a few hours.

Our narrator is high school senior Fiona and it was great reading her sarcastic yet witty and funny thoughts (I wish I think like her!). She has one best friend Marcie and she has been in love with Gabe since grade school. When her school's principal announced that the entire senior class will be taking part in a marriage education program, she couldn't help thinking that maybe her luck has changed and she'll be partnered with Gabe as her "husband." Unfortunately, she ended up with popular Todd the jock whose girlfriend, Amanda, is her archenemy since the second grade. Her best friend Marcie ended up being partnered with Johnny Mercer who shares similar tastes in music as Fiona and a very nice guy. The ultimate question then becomes which boy will Fiona end up with in the end: her long-time crush Gabe, Todd the jock (who turns out to be not the jerk he was at first) or shy Johnny Mercer? The boy I wanted her to be with wasn't who she ended up with but it had a great satisfying ending just the same.

MMiH has great cast of characters and a likable heroine in Fiona, though I did want to shake her sometimes for being self-absorbed and thoughtless. The whole "marriage" assignment in school and being forced to partner with a jock as your pretend husband and false first impressions plot line is cliché but it was presented in a fresh way and I really like it. This book was a very easy read, well-written and it was funny without trying too hard. This book is Kristin Walker's debut novel and I am definitely going to keep an eye out for her next book. This book is a great weekend read and I highly recommend it! 4.5 out of 5 stars

Saturday, June 19, 2010

In My Mailbox: June 14-19, 2010

Saturday, June 19, 2010 with
It's another fantastic week for us book-wise because a lot of really awesome books made their way into our house and bookshelf.

Faithful Place by Tana French (for review)
I'm a huge of French's mystery series so there was a lot squee-ing when I got FP in the mail earlier this week. A very big thank you to Meghan and Viking/Penguin!
Firelight by Sophie Jordan (ARC for review)
More squee-ing ensued when we got Firelight--it's been on my wish list since I found out about it. A big thank you to Arianna and HarperCollins Teen!
Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles (ARC won from Teens Read and Write)


Dangerous Desires by Dee Davis (ARC for review from Hachette)
Barely a Lady by Eileen Dreyer (for review from Hachette)
As always, thanks to Anna and Hachette! I'm especially excited to read BaL.
Beyond the Shadows by Jess Granger (bought)
Immortal Danger by Cynthia Eden (bought)
Ten Things I Love About You by Julia Quinn (signed; won from Fresh Fiction)

"In My Mailbox" is hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren. Click on the link to check out what other book bloggers got in their mailbox this week and join in on the fun!

What did you get in your mailbox this week?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Follow My Book Blog Friday Meme

Thursday, June 17, 2010 with
It's Friday again and that means blog hop time. Rachel of Parajunkee's View is hosting one called "Follow My Book Blog Friday." Here are the rules: (taken from Rachel's blog)

1. Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { Parajunkee.com } and any one else you want to follow on the list.
2. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
3. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
4. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can
5. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
6. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!

Doesn't that sound fun? Click on the image to join in on the fun. Thanks for hosting Rachel!

Here's a little about us and our blog:
My name is Michelle and I co-author this blog with my younger sister Leslie. We both review YA and middle grade fiction but I also review romance novels. Other genres are sometimes reviewed on our blog too.


Thanks for stopping by! We love making blogging friends. If you visit us, please don't forget to comment below because we also want to check out your blog. :-)
ngideon Paperback: 375 pages
Publisher: Pocket
Language: English
ISBN:
9781439149638
Source of my copy: From Simon & Schuster for review
Synopsis (from Goodreads)

ALL SHE WANTS IS REVENGE.
New Orleans homicide detective Charlotte Caissie is dedicated to bringing down the crime boss responsible for her father’s murder. Using Jimmy Legere’s mysterious and irresistible right-hand man is a dangerous gamble, and not only due to his reputation as more monster than man. Because her feelings for Max Savoie are . . . complicated.
THEN HE RISKS HIS LIFE TO SAVE HERS.
Rescued from the swamps as a child, Max exists silently in Legere’s shadow, heeding only his voice—until Charlotte Caissie awakens his emotions and tests his loyalties. Stepping outside his cautious rules threatens more than just his heart. He could expose his darkest secret.
NOW THEY’RE BOTH IN OVER THEIR HEADS.
Testing boundaries they weren’t meant to cross means facing the truth about who and what they are—and what they need from each other. If Max is the murderer she seeks, Charlotte could be his next victim. She can’t afford to trust any man. Good thing Max isn’t one.


Michelle's Review:
Masked in Moonlight is the first book in a new trilogy that will follow the same couple in all three books. We are introduced to Charlotte Caissie, a tough homicide detective, and Max Savoie, the right hand man of the most powerful crime lord in New Orleans--despite their mutual attraction to each other they know it'll never work out. But they are thrown together after a string of gruesome murders were committed with Charlotte having to investigate it and Max being the main suspect. Their being on the opposite side of the law makes for a very complicated relationship but there are plenty of sparks between the two. Both Max and Charlotte have very troubled pasts and they have a lot of issues to work out both within themselves and with each other. I am glad we'll get to know more about them of in the upcoming books.

This book is a dark urban fantasy set in New Orleans and I thought the author did an excellent job describing the setting--I can practically feel the dry heat and the damp swamps, see the garbage strewn dark alleys and the dangerous creatures that hide in shadows. There are a lot of plot twist and turns in the story and non-stop action. Yet, despite all that I felt like there's something missing in the story. I can't quite put my finger on it but this something kept me from fully appreciating the book. Maybe it's the fact that while I connected with and felt for Max's character immediately, it took me a while to do so with Charlotte (if I ever did). She's supposed to be this kick-ass, hard-hitting cop but I never really got that and she wasn't... sympathetic and I felt more for her friend Mary Kate who was with her when they were kidnapped and tortured as teenagers. I can't wait for the next book to come out because I want to get to know her character better.

If your looking for a dark, urban fantasy series read with an intriguing, multidimensional hero vividly set in New Orleans, you might want to pick this book up. 4.25 stars out of 5

Other books in the series:

How hot are these covers?! I definitely prefer these two to the Masked by Moonlight cover. Chased by Moonlight is out on June 29 and Captured by Moonlight on July 27.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

cclare Paperback: 485 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Language: English
ISBN:
9781416955078
Source of my copy: I bought it
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
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. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing - not even a smear of blood - to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?
This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a 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....
Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.


Leslie's Review:
On the night Clary and her best friend Simon go to the Pandemonium Club, Clary witnesses a murder committed by three teenagers. They are called Shadowhunters--warriors who get rid of disruptive demons of the earth. From that moment on, Clary gets sucked in to the world of Shadowhunters and Downworlders (the magical folk of earth) especially since her mother disappeared and Clary was attacked by a demon. Trying to find out why the demons are so interested in a regular girl like Clary, the Shadowhunters stick close to her to find out.

This book was a great read that I read rather quickly and had me clamoring for the next book in the series. The plot was thrilling and action-packed and the characters were well-developed and had their own personalities. The writing was also great and I liked the humor and the author's use of similes, metaphors and personification for imagery. The plot was like a roller coaster ride! It was very an exciting and a fast-paced read with many thrilling moments and I liked how they all built-up to whatever happens next. It has an amazing plot with awesome characters! I especially like Jace and Clary (they are hero and heroine) and I thought their relationship was sweet and they gave each other strength and courage which made it special.

You should definitely read this book! I highly recommend it to those looking for an action-packed paranormal YA read. 4.75 out of 5 stars
Why I covet this book: I loved the first two Courtney Von Dragen Smith books (Banana Splitsville and Rocky Road Trip). At the time I was reading them, I was a senior in high school and making decisions about college (same as Courtney) so I really connected with this character. These books are fun, humorous and I am so happy that after many, many years the third book in the series is finally coming out!

Blurb (taken from Harpercollins)
Courtney’s love life hasn’t exactly gone smoothly. (Smoothie, yes. Smoothly, no.) In Banana Splitsville Courtney got dumped, only to end up with a superior boyfriend—Grant Superior, that is. In Rocky Road Trip she tried to make her long-distance relationship with Grant work. (She failed.) Now Courtney’s scholarship money has disappeared and she has to transfer to a state school—the same one Grant happens to attend... Does Courtney have another shot at love? Or will Grant never forgive her for breaking his heart?

Told completely in diary entries, Courtney’s latest tale of love and confusion is hilarious, heartwarming, and the perfect romantic read to curl up with during the cold, dark nights of early winter.
This book comes out on November 23, 2010. For more info visit the author's website and Harpercollins.

"Books I Covet" is a new weekly or bi-weekly blog post series I am going to be doing here. It will feature books I am very excited about reading and plan on buying/borrowing in the near future. It is similar to the "Waiting On" meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine. However, some of the books may already be published and others may still be in pre-order. I will include the books' blurb, cover art, and/or release date if they're available. Click on the WoW image on the left to join in!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The winner of the Box of Books giveaway and who will be receiving the prize below is...
Jenn Ryan (malleybean@g)!!

The 3 winners for the Knight of Passion giveaway are...
mmallory
Crystal Broyles/CrystalGB

Cade

Tracey D/booklover0226





Congratulations to all the winners!! I have already emailed you so please respond to my email in the next 72 hours so I can pass on your shipping info to Hachette or in the case of Jenn, so that I can mail the box ASAP. If you haven't received an email and you're a winner, please email me at bookmakeupreview @ gmail . com [no spaces] with your shipping address.

If you didn't win this time, there are still two very awesome giveaways here on the blog that you can enter right now! Try your luck to win 1 of 3 copies of Robyn DeHart's Desire Me HERE and don't forget to enter to win a $70.00 CSN Stores gift certificate HERE. Good luck!
**CLOSED**
Bookaholics pretty much get new books every week and often we run out of bookshelf space to display all of the books we acquire. Well, bookaholic friends, you're in luck because one of you can win a $70.00 CSN Stores gift certificate!! But if you don't need a bookcase, they have a great selection of lighting (everyone needs good lighting when they read!), housewares, office furniture, outdoor furniture and others.















You can either get either one of the two awesome bookcases or you can use your $70.00 gift certificate towards something bigger! CSN has a variety of products and brands that their 200+ stores carry. Thanks to Jamie Sward and CSN, one very lucky reader of this blog can win!

To Enter:
Fill out the form and leave a comment on this post and tell us what you'd get from CSN if you win. Need ideas? Click here.


Rules:
1. You MUST fill out the form above AND comment below to answer the giveaway question to win.
2. Only residents of the U.S. or Canada are eligible to win.
3. This giveaway will end on June 29 and the winner will be selected using random.org. The winner will be announced here on the blog soon after.
4. The winner is responsible for replying back to my email within 72 hours. I will select a new winner if he/she fail to do so. There will be NO EXCEPTIONS.

Disclaimers: VERY IMPORTANT! Please read before entering!
1. This giveaway is being sponsored by CSN Stores and NOT Michelle and Leslie's Book Picks. We did not receive anything from CSN for agreeing to host this giveaway on Michelle & Leslie's Book Picks.
2. If you win, you'll receive gift certificate directly from CSN. We are in NO way for responsible for prizes that are not honored by the sponsor, dispersed in a timely manner, stolen, lost and/or damaged during transit.
3. We have the right to change or cancel this giveaway at any time without a prior notice.
4. Please make sure you understand the above disclaimers before entering. Thank you for entering and good luck!

Monday, June 14, 2010

It's Monday! What are you reading?

Monday, June 14, 2010 with
Books received from June 7-12, 2010
The "In My Mailbox" meme is hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren blog.


"It's Monday! What are you reading?" is hosted by the awesome Sheila of Book Journey. It is a weekly event to celebrate what we are reading for the week as well as books completed the previous week. Click on the image above to join in on the fun this week!



Last week Michelle read
jtorressjbone
jtorressjbonekwalker







Our sister chat about the Alison Dare books are already posted here (as well as pictures of Alison around the island). Check it out!
ngideonrdehart







I'll be posting reviews of the other three books this week. I manage to read 2 books from my summer reading goal (see sidebar) so I'm happy. But it's already mid-June so I'm kinda freaking out how the summer seems to be on fast forward.

This week Michelle is reading
jpearce rdehart







I'm reading As You Wish right now and I'm enjoying it--I've never read a book with a jinn (aka genie) hero before this one. Desire Me is part of a blog tour (click here for a chance to win a copy) and I'll be reviewing it on Saturday. I'm hoping to read a couple more books from my summer reading goal but haven't decide which ones.

Next week Michelle plans to read
Books from my summer reading goal list (see sidebar).
sparkkola ARC: 224 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Language: English
ISBN-13:
9781402218354
Source of my copy: ARC from the publisher for review
Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Storm Steele is an impossible child.
Or so his parents believe thanks to the influence of his evil “step-monster.” Now Storm is being forced to attend the School of Possibilities for troubled youth. But Storm notices that something strange is going on at his new school. The students are not…normal.
Soon he’s being spied on, followed by classmates—and worst of all, forced to accept the headmaster’s perfectly behaved daughter as his girlfriend. He can feel himself becoming more obedient, more like his classmates. Storm tries to resist, but he doesn’t understand how or why the school is controlling him.
Can Storm escape—or will he be turned into a zombie of “good” behavior like everyone else around him?


Leslie's Review:
According to Storm Steele's evil step-mother Verity Poole he is "an impossible child" and he is then forced to attend School of Possibilities--a school for kids that had been having trouble in their education. As Storm tries to rebel against the school's strict policies, they punish him by forcing him to date the headmaster's daughter and other crazy and unfair methods. Then, as time went on, Storm finds himself being helplessly obedient to the school's rules and though he tries to resist, he strangely can't. As Storm struggles with the School of Possibilities's power over him, he meets India. She is a girl who calls herself a guard and the leader of a small group of children against the school. Soon the two of them set out to discover the school's secrets before all children fall under its spell.

This book reminded me of Coraline by Neil Gaiman because it has the strange, curious, dark and horror movie feel to it. This book has great imagination and I thought the writing was good with an interesting plot and a great main character--Storm Steele is smart and brave. However, I thought the narration was a bit off because Storm used words (like "derelict") a regular 12 year old boy wouldn't use, at least not any 12-year-olds I know. Then again, this book is translated from the original Finnish so that might be the reason why. I thought the illustrations in the book a nice addition and it's like something Storm might have drawn. All in all, I recommend this book to middle grade readers and those who enjoy Coraline-like stories. 3.5 out 5 stars

Saturday, June 12, 2010

ahowell ARC: 295 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Language: English
ARC ISBN:
9781402238628
Source of my copy: From the publisher for review
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
"Sometimes I still wake up shivering in the early hours of the morning, drowning in dreams of being out there in the ocean that summer, of looking up at the moon and feeling as invisible and free as a fish. But I'm jumping ahead, and to tell the story right I have to go back to the very beginning. To a place called Indigo Beach. To a boy with pale skin that glowed against the dark waves. To the start of something neither of us could have predicted, and which would mark us forever, making everything that came after and before seem like it belonged to another life.
My name is Mia Gordon: I was sixteen years old, and I remember everything...."
After getting dumped by her boyfriend, Mia is looking forward to spending a relaxing summer in the Hamptons with her glamorous cousins. But when she arrives she find her cousins distant, moody, and caught up with a fast crowd. Mia finds herself lonelier than ever, until she meets her next-door-neighbor, Simon Ross. And from the very first time he encourages her to go skinny dipping, she's caught in a current impossible to resist.
Timeless in feel, The Summer of Skinny-Dipping is a poignant, literary coming-of-age romance that will live on long after summer has ended.


Leslie's Review:
After being dumped by her boyfriend, all Mia wanted was to leave town and get away. She is looking forward to spending the summer at her aunt's beach house in the Hamptons and seeing Beth and Corinne, her two perfect and beautiful cousins. But when she finally meets them after many years, they are too caught up in their high-society lives and Mia finds herself left behind. Then, Mia meets Simon, the boy-next-door, who understands her loneliness. Soon the two of them begin to meet up with each other to swim late at night when it feels like only they exist. As Mia lives her timeless summer, she not only finds love but she also finds herself.

I totally loved this book! I love the sweet romance between Mia and Simon. I was caught up in the beautiful and lively plot--Mia's summer is the summer I want to experience and I guess the summer everyone dreams of experiencing. I thought the writing was really good and very vivid that I felt I was there with Mia and throughout the book I couldn't help but let myself be swept away to the Hamptons.

I especially liked The Summer of Skinny Dipping because Mia is very similar to me and I really connected with her. Also, I fell in love with Simon along with Mia and they are now two of my favorite heroine and hero in YA. I really liked the relationship between them because they fell in love gradually and genuinely and I thought they were perfect for each other and they balanced each other out. I didn't want this book to end because I wanted to spend more time with Mia and Simon. However, the ending to this book is completely satisfying. This is a summer must read! 5 out of 5 stars

Friday, June 11, 2010

Book Blogger Hop

Friday, June 11, 2010 with
It's Friday again and that means it's time for Book Blogger Hop. This meme is hosted by Jennifer of Crazy for Books every Friday. She created it to give bloggers and readers a chance to network, support each other and find new blogs to read. It is a weekly event. Join in the fun by clicking on the image on the left!

Here's a little about us and our blog:
My name is Michelle and I co-author this blog with my younger sister Leslie. We both review YA and middle grade fiction but I also review romance novels. Other genres are sometimes reviewed on our blog too.


Thanks for stopping by! We love making blogging friends. Please don't forget to comment below because we also want to check out your blog. :-)

Also, while you're here, try your luck by entering to win
Knight of Passion by Margaret Mallory HERE and Desire Me by Robyn DeHart HERE.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Alison Dare's Day of Adventure

More Pictures

(click on picture for larger size)

Alison Dare at the West Maui Mountains and Iao Needle.


Kepaniwai Park's Korean Garden and playing hide and seek with Aubrey.


Alison at the lo'i (taro patch) thinking of getting some kalo (taro) to make poi.
Alison and a banyan tree.

Alison Dare is driving down Kaahumanu Avenue.
She sees Haleakala out the window as she heads to the beach.

Alison Dare at Baldwin Beach on a very windy day.

!!Contest Alert!!
Want to take your own photos with Alison Dare? You can! Submit a photo and you can win an awesome Alison Dare prize pack. It's open to everyone and ends June 30.
Go HERE for more info.

jtorresjbone jtorresjbone Paperback: 96 pages; 104 pages
Publisher: Tundra Books
Language: English
ARC ISBN:
978-0887769344; 978-0887769351
Source of our copy: From the publisher for review
Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Alison Dare: Indiana Jones meets Lara Croft in fabulous, graphic adventures.Alison Dare is not your typical twelve-year-old. She's the daughter of an archaeologist/adventurer and the masked hero known as the Blue Scarab. To top it off, she's also the niece of an international super-spy; it's no surprise that a craving for danger is in her blood! Unfortunately, her parents have locked her away at the prestigious St. Joan's Academy for Girls, hoping that this would lead to a more "normal" life for their daughter.

Michelle, Leslie and Aubrey's Chat:

Michelle: I really enjoyed reading Little Miss Adventures and Heart of the Maiden. It's been years since I've read a graphic novel and I forgot how much I enjoy it. Leslie and Aubs, isn't this your first time reading a graphic novel?

Leslie: Yup, Alison Dare is my first. I was surprised how much fun it was.

Aubrey: Me too! I read it in two days and that was really fast. I really like the pictures too. My favorite part is when there was that mummy baby.

Leslie: You mean "child" right? Alison Dare and the Mummy Child. Well, my favorite mini story is Alison Dare and the Arabian Knights. What about you, manang?

Michelle: I really liked Heart of the Maiden in book #2. It ended in a cliffhanger and I want to know what happens next. We all obviously like the stories so let's talk about the illustrations. What do you guys think?

Aubrey: I think the illustrations were really creative and they were really funny sometimes.

Leslie: I don't know... it's like different scenes from a movie. Reading graphic novels is really different from reading a regular book. Reading Alison Dare felt like watching a movie to me.

Michelle: I agree. The dialogue and the pictures match perfectly and it is like watching a movie. Who is your favorite character?

Aubrey: Dot! She's Alison's friend.

Leslie: I like Wendy. She's a lot like me. She reads and goes to the library to look up stuff.

Michelle: I love Alison. She spunky, fearless, smart, curious and a trouble maker but she's so cute!

Aubrey: Alison Dare is the greatest book ever!

Michelle: So how many stars do you give the books? I say 4.5 out of 5 for a very fun read with great, imaginative stories and characters and awesome illustrations.

Leslie: I agree with you. I highly recommend Alison Dare.

Aubrey: 5 stars!

For more on Alison Dare, check out the Tundra Books blog, J. Torres's blog and Jason Bone's blog. We want to say a big thank you to Tundra Books and Sylvia for introducing us to Alison Dare and for including us in a very fun blog tour.