Thursday, September 30, 2010

ahopcus Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Egmont USA
Language: English
ISBN:
9781606840832
Source of my copy: I bought it
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
His love captivated her... his secrets might kill her.
Since her sister’s mysterious death, Persephone “Phe” Archer has been plagued by a series of disturbing dreams. Determined to find out what happened to her sister, Phe enrolls at Devenish Prep in Shadow Hills, Massachusetts—the subject of her sister’s final diary entry.
After stepping on campus, Phe immediately realizes that there’s something different about this place—an unexplained epidemic that decimated the town in the 1700s, an ancient and creepy cemetery, and gorgeous boy Zach—and somehow she’s connected to it all.
But the more questions she asks and the deeper she digs, the more entangled Phe becomes in the haunting past of Shadow Hills. Finding what links her to this town…might cost her her life.


Michelle's Review:
Shadow Hills wasn't what I expected. Seeing as the blurb emphasized Phe's sister's diary I thought there will be passages from the diary peppered throughout the book and Phe will be following clues from her sister to solve her mysterious death. I was wrong about the diary passages (there was none) but there was a strong mystery/whodunit aspect to this book that I really liked.

As for Phe, I liked her. She was not your usual weak young adult heroine in that she can give it right back when verbally attacked by the mean girl. Phe doesn't stand behind Zach (the love interest) waiting to be saved, she fights beside Zach. When things start to go weird, she had a good head on her shoulders and doesn't pull any "too stupid to live" moves and deliberately puts herself in danger (**ahem** I'm looking at you Nora from Hush, Hush). As for Zach, he was certainly crush-worthy but I thought he was a bit too perfect for my taste. The secondary characters were interesting and they each have their own personality.

When I was reading the book, the movie The Covenant came to mind more than once--a prep school in Massachusetts, townies having superhuman powers, a new girl coming in and unearthing the town's well-kept secrets all the while falling in love with one said townie. But while the movie was all about witches, magic and casting spells, Shadow Hills had a nice, surprising blend of the science, ancient Greek myths and magic which made it all the more interesting. However, I didn't appreciate the numerous indie band references (none of which I am familiar with) throughout the book as they didn't really add anything to the story. There were also a couple of scenes of alcohol and drug use that I thought were unnecessary as well.

Overall, Shadow Hills was a good read. It kept my interest and I am eager to read the sequel. I was glad that it didn't end in one of those huge cliffhanger endings but I'm still curious because there were many unanswered questions. If you are looking for a paranormal young adult read with magic and mystery, Shadow Hills is worth checking out. 3.75 out 5 stars

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

WINNERS

Tuesday, September 28, 2010 with
I'm here to announce the winners (chosen by random.org) for Sin Undone by Larissa Ione and Last to Die by Kate Brady. Thank you all for entering!

The winners of Sin Undone are...

scottsgal

justpeachy38

Autumn Crochet

jeanette8042

Marlene Breakfield



The winners of Last to Die are...

Anna Shah Hoque

suzie (9oofus@g)

Lu (lusravesandrants@g)








Congratulations winners! I already emailed so please email me (chelleyreads AT gmail DOT com) with your US or Canada address in the next 72 hours so that I can pass it on to Hachette.

Those who didn't win this time around, don't despair. Enter to win a copy of Julia Quinn's Ten Things I Love About You and we have plenty of giveaways to come--just see our left sidebar!
With the end of 2010 steadfastly approaching, I am looking forward to what the year 2011 has to offer book-wised. Here are my top 5 most wanted books of 2011 (excluding those Leslie and I already featured in our "Books We Covet" posts:


promprejudiceProm and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg (out January 1, 2011)
From the much-buzzed-about author of THE LONELY HEARTS CLUB (already blurbed by Stephenie Meyer, Lauren Myracle, and Jen Calonita), a prom-season delight of Jane Austen proportions.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single guy in his spring semester at Pemberly Academy must be in want of a prom date.

After winter break, the girls at very prestigious, very wealthy, girls-only Longbourn Academy are suddenly obsessed with the prom, which they share with the nearby, equally elitist, all-boys Pemberly school. Lizzie Bennett, who attends Longbourn on scholarship, isn't exactly interested in designer dresses and expensive shoes, but her best friend, Jane, might be - especially now that Charles Bingley is back from a semester in London.

Lizzie is happy about her friend's burgeoning romance, but less than impressed by Will Darcy, Charles's friend, who's as snobby and pretentious as his friend is nice. He doesn't seem to like Lizzie either, but she assumes it's because her family doesn't have money. It doesn't help that Charles doesn't seem to be asking Jane to be his prom date, or that Lizzie meets George Wickham, who tells her that Will Darcy sabotaged his scholarship at Pemberly. Clearly Will Darcy is a pompous jerk who looks down on the middle class--so imagine Lizzie's surprise when he asks her to the prom!

Will Lizzie's prejudice and Will's pride keep them apart? Or are they a prom couple in the making? From Elizabeth Eulberg comes a very funny, completely stylish prom-season delight of Jane Austen proportions.

Reason: I usually avoid Jane Austen sequels, prequels and retellings like the plague (I'm a bit of a purist) but there's something really cute about this novel. I've been wanting to read this author as well since her debut novel The Lonely Hearts Club came out.



tenmilespastTen Miles Past Normal by Frances O'Roark Dowell
(out March 22, 2011)
Janie Gorman wants to be normal. The problem with that: she’s not. She’s smart and creative and a little bit funky. She’s also an unwilling player in her parents’ modern-hippy, let’s-live-on-a-goat-farm experiment (regretfully, instigated by a younger, much more enthusiastic Janie). This, to put it simply, is not helping Janie reach that “normal target.” She has to milk goats every day…and endure her mother’s pseudo celebrity in the homemade-life, crunchy mom blogosphere. Goodbye the days of frozen lasagna and suburban living, hello crazy long bus ride to high school and total isolation--and hovering embarrassments of all kinds. The fresh baked bread is good…the threat of homemade jeans, not so much.

It would be nice to go back to that old suburban life…or some grown up, high school version of it, complete with nice, normal boyfriends who wear crew neck sweaters and like social studies. So, what’s wrong with normal? Well, kind of everything. She knows that, of course, why else would she learn bass and join Jam Band, how else would she know to idolize infamous wild-child and high school senior Emma (her best friend Sarah’s older sister), why else would she get arrested while doing a school project on a local freedom school (jail was not part of the assignment). And, why else would she kind of be falling in "like" with a boy named Monster—yes, that is his real name. Janie was going for normal, but she missed her mark by about ten miles…and we mean that as a compliment.

Frances O’Roark Dowell’s fierce humor and keen eye make her YA debut literary and wise. In the spirit of John Green and E. Lockhart, Dowell’s relatable, quirky characters and clever, fluid writing prove that growing up gets complicated…and normal is WAY overrated.

Reason: I smell a snarky heroine in that blurb! I love reading contemporary novels with snarky heroines that have great sense of humor, a quick wit and funny one-liners.


entwinedEntwined by Heather Dixon (out March 29, 2011)
Azalea and her younger sisters dance in the mysterious silver forest every night, escaping from the sadness of the palace and their father’s grief. What they don’t understand—although as time passes they begin to get an inkling of the danger they are in—is that the mysterious and dashing Keeper is tightening his snare with deadly purpose. Luckily, Azalea is brave and steadfast. Luckily, a handsome young army captain also has his eye on Azalea. . . . Lush, romantic, and compelling, this debut novel by Heather Dixon will thrill fans of Shannon Hale, Robin McKinley, and Edith Pattou.

Reason: I have to admit, it's the cover that drew me in first. I haven't read a retelling of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" before and this book sounds fantastic. The author is also being compared to Shannon Hale, Robin McKinley and Edith Pattou--so I think I'll enjoy this one a lot!


playinghurtPlaying Hurt by Holly Schindler (out March 1, 2011)
Playing Hurt centers on two former athletes: Chelsea Keyes, a basketball star whose promising career has been catastrophically snipped short by a horrific accident on the court, and Clint Morgan, an ex-hockey player who gave up his much-loved sport following his own game-related tragedy.

Chelsea meets Clint (who's working as a resort fishing guide) soon after arriving with her family for a summer vacation in Lake of the Woods, Minnesota. Sparks fly, igniting the pages, even though Chelsea has a boyfriend back home in Missouri...and even though Clint has sworn never to put himself in the position to be hurt emotionally again.

Their unlikely romance has the potential to heal their heartache and force Chelsea and Clint to realize just how timidly they've been living - but are they really ready to give themselves completely to one another? How will the weeks spent in another man's arms play into Chelsea's feelings for her boyfriend when she returns home? Will Clint allow himself to fall for a woman who's bound to leave him at the end of her summer vacation? By playing hurt - entering into a romance with already-broken hearts - are they just setting themselves up for the kind of injury from with they could never recover? Will Chelsea and Clint pull away from each other before they have a chance to find out just how beautiful their story could be?

Reason: I am really into contemporary young adult novels nowadays and I can't get enough of them. This book sounds lovely and filled with emotion--sadness, happiness, love, hurt, fear... I WANT!!


acrosstheuniverseAcross the Universe by Beth Revis (out January 11, 2011)
Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone—one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship—tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now, Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.


Reason: There are already a lot of buzz about this upcoming novel. I'm not usually a fan of sci-fi but this sounds really interesting. I hope it delivers because I am actively looking for my next series-to-love-and-obsess-over.


Just a quick FYI:
achingforalways

To celebrate the release of Gwyn Cready's Aching For Always (which you may have seen on our "In My Mailbox" vlog), the author is giving away a Kate Spade Leopard Print Purse.

Cute, right? I entered and you should too! Click on the purse to go to the giveaway page.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

In Our Mailbox (Sept. 20-25, 2010)

Sunday, September 26, 2010 with
"In My Mailbox" is a weekly event that gives book bloggers a chance to show off their book haul for the week. It was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie and 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! I didn't buy any books this week for once (yay!) but I did get a few review books in the mail.


For Review
Nevermore by Kelly Creagh
Simply Irresistable by Jill Shalvis
Venom by Jennifer Estep
Aching for Always by Gwyn Cready
A Midwinter Fantasy by Leanna Renee Hieber et. al. (bound galley)
(Thank you to Simon & Schuster, Forever and Dorchester Publishing!)


What did you get this week?

Friday, September 24, 2010

mcooper ARC: 213 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Language: English
ISBN:
9781402239991
Source of my copy: Publisher
Synopsis (from Amazon)

Jason Steed is looking for a place to call home. He finds what he's looking for in the Sea Cadets-an elite group of British youngsters being groomed for lifelong service in the military. But when a routine training exercise goes awry, Jason finds himself in the middle of a secret mission. The future of the world hangs in the balance...and Jason might be the only one who can save it.



Leslie's Review:
I wasn't sure what to make of this book when first begun because it's a "boy" book but I ended up really loving it anyway. Fledgling was fast-paced, intense, action-packed and oh so good! I think this book is perfect for middle graders, most especially boys, and those that don't read much. I think they'll love the action, excitement and the fearless main character, Jason Steed, just as I did.

Jason Steed is an eleven-year-old boy that was amazingly talented and courageous. With no mom and a dad in the military, Jason can get pretty lonely. But ever since he was five, he has found comfort in doing martial arts. Now, Jason has joined the Sea Cadets--an elite group of young British boys being trained to be in the military. One day when a training exercise goes bad, Jason escapes from the destruction and finds himself part of an important mission. If he succeeds, he will prevent a nuclear war!

Jason is a very likable hero. One of the highlights of the book is
Jason's relationship with his best friend, Scott. Scott was the clever and intelligent one and his character complemented Jason's character. There is also a little romance in this book between Catherine and Jason, which was one of the cutest and sweetest I've ever read about. I loved reading about them falling for each other because it reminded me of my first crush. This book is all about courage and sacrifice and the underlying message was to me was that you can accomplish anything you want if you just put your mind to it. I love that despite all the action, there were some heartbreaking and moving scenes that almost made me cry. I love that it has a balance between all the action scenes and emotional scenes. Jason is now one of my favorite heroes.

This was one of the best middle-grade books I've ever read. It can be enjoyed by both boys who are looking for
an eleven-year-old hero that can kick butt and girls who like a cute romance in their reads. 5 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Books We Covet: Clarity by Kim Harrington

Wednesday, September 22, 2010 with
Why we covet this book: A supernatural mystery? A gorgeous cover? Count us in!!

Blurb (taken from Goodreads)
Clarity "Clare" Fern sees things. Things no one else can see. Things like stolen kisses and long-buried secrets. All she has to do is touch an object and the visions come to her. It's a gift.

And a curse.

When a teenage girl is found murdered, Clare's ex-boyfriend wants her to help solve the case — but Clare is still furious at the cheating jerk. Then Clare's brother — who has supernatural gifts of his own — becomes the prime suspect, and Clare can no longer look away. Teaming up with Gabriel, the smoldering son of the new detective, Clare must venture into the depths of fear, revenge, and lust in order to track the killer. But will her sight fail her just when she needs it most?

This book comes out on March 1, 2011. For more info visit the author's website.


"Books I Covet" is a 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, September 21, 2010

CLOSED

Interested in winning one of two copies of Julia Quinn's Ten Things I Love About You? Read on...

juliaquinnTen Things I Love About You [blurb taken from Goodreads]
Ten Things You Should Know About This Book
1. Sebastian Grey is a devilishly handsome rogue with a secret.
2. Annabel Winslow's family voted her The Winslow Most Likely to Speak Her Mind AND The Winslow Most Likely to Fall Asleep in Church.
3. Sebastian's uncle is the Earl of Newbury, and if he dies without siring an heir, Sebastian inherits everything.
4. Lord Newbury detests Sebastian and will stop at nothing to prevent this from happening.
5. Lord Newbury has decided that Annabel is the answer to all of his problems.
6. Annabel does not want to marry Lord Newbury, especially when she finds out he once romanced her grandmother.
7. is shocking, 8. is delicious, 9. is downright wicked, all of which leads the way to
10. Happily. Ever. After.

If you saw my last "In Our Mailbox" post, you saw that I was sent two copies of Julia Quinn's Ten Things I Love About You thanks to the generosity of Avon Books. Since I already own a copy, I'll be giving away the books to two lucky US readers.

To enter, please leave a comment expressing your interest. This giveaway ends on October 9 and is open to US addresses only. Please read our giveaway policy and good luck!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

In Our Mailbox (Sept. 6-18, 2010)

Saturday, September 18, 2010 with
"In My Mailbox" was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie and 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!


For Review
A Season for Seduction by Jennifer Haymore
The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney
Bloodthirsty by Flynn Meaney
Ten Ways to be Adored When Landing a Lord by Sarah Maclean (e-ARC)
His Darkest Embrace by Juliana Stone (e-ARC)
(Thank you to Forever, Little Brown and Avon Books!)

Won from Giveaways
Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

Bought
Amy & Roger's Epic Adventure by Morgan Matson
I Now Pronounce You Someone Else by Erin McCahan

Other Books Mentioned
Ten Things I Love About You by Julia Quinn
Ten Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah Maclean

What did you get this week?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

selkeles Paperback: 360 pages
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Language: English
ISBN:
9780802798220
Source of my copy: I bought it
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
A fresh, urban twist on the classic tale of star-crossed lovers.
When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.
In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.


Michelle's Review:
I picked up this book on a whim one day while browsing Borders, without reading any reviews, something I rarely do nowadays. I kept putting it off until last weekend when I was on my contemporary young adult high and all I felt in the mood for to read was contemporary young adult. While I enjoyed Perfect Chemistry overall, I wasn't... what's the word... impressed by it.

It's a plot we've all seen and read before: a guy (here we have Alex, a sexy Latino gangbanger) from the wrong side of the tracks falls for the rich, popular cheerleader, Brittany, who had a not-so-nice boyfriend. I liked Alex more than Brittany as he had more of a personality. To me, Brittany was just bland. The book is told by Alex and Brittany through alternating first-person point of view but it took a while for their individual voices to shine through--for many chapters, without the help of character names, it could've been either Brittany or Alex "talking" as I couldn't tell their voices apart. As for the romance between Alex and Brittany, it's okay but the ending was just a little too perfect even for my romantic sensibilities.

The parts I enjoyed the most in this book were the friendships: Alex and his best friend Paco, the friendship that began between Brittany and Isa (a girl from Alex's "world") and Brittany's friendship with her best friend Sierra. I also liked the Latin flavor the author incorporated in the book.

If you're looking for a light, teenage escapism read and enjoy the West Side Story/forbidden love plot with plenty of cliche family drama, boyfriend drama and school drama, this is your book. Twilight fans needing a break from paranormals are sure to eat this book up. 3 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

WINNERS (BlogFest)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010 with
I have our BlogFest winners to announce today but before I do, we'd like to thank everyone for entering and for Cinnamon Brown for putting together BlogFest 2010! It was our biggest giveaway to date so we were really happy by the turnout. To our new followers (we dislike the word "followers") friends, welcome! Leslie and I hope you'll decide to stay on. We review young adult and some romances here (depending on our reading whims), participate in a few of memes and if book giveaways are appealing to you, we also have a couple of those a month.

Okay, on to the winners (all are chosen using random.org)...

For the Box of Romances and Swag, 213 readers entered and there was a total of 551 entries but the winner is lucky entry...

#175 Donna Warrington (dwarrington1@g)











We started with about 460 "official readers" before BlogFest and afterward we had 665. Therefore, there are 5 winners for our international YA Book giveaway. The five lucky winners and their book of choice are...

#764 Hendy (heather henderson) - Break
#602 Mandyfish (mandyfish@g) - Iron King
#281 Bailey H. (angelgirl122193@a) - Before I Fall
#87 Beth (xmaybetomorrow@g) - My Soul to Take
#826 Shahira (emo.hijabi@) - Before I Fall



Congratulations to all the winners and, again, thank you all for entering! Winners, please email us at chelleyreads @ gmail . com (no spaces) with your shipping address in the next 72 hours so that we can ship your prize to you ASAP. If we do not hear from you in the allotted time, we will choose new winners.

Shahira, along with your shipping address, please choose another title (The Turning, The Puzzle Ring, Marked or Perchance to Dream) you're interested in reading.

For those who didn't win this time, better luck next time. But while you're here, try your luck on the other giveaways we are hosting right now (win 1 of 5 copies of Sin Undone by Larissa Ione HERE and win 1 of 3 copies of Last to Die by Kate Brady HERE). Our next international giveaway is also in the works, so stay updated! :)
bhalpinJenna & Jonah's Fauxmance [blurb taken from Goodreads]
Fans of romance don’t need to look any further than the fauxmance brewing between teen idols Charlie Tracker and Fielding Withers—known on their hit TV show as Jenna and Jonah, next-door neighbors flush with the excitement of first love. But it’s their off-screen relationship that has helped cement their fame, as passionate fans follow their every PDA. They grace the covers of magazines week after week. Their fan club has chapters all over the country. The only problem is their off-screen romance is one big publicity stunt, and Charlie and Fielding can’t stand to be in the same room. Still, it’s a great gig, so even when the cameras stop rolling, the

show must go on, and on, and on. . . . Until the pesky paparazzi blow their cover, and Charlie and Fielding must disappear to weather the media storm. It’s not until they’re far off the grid of the Hollywood circuit that they realize that there’s more to each of them than shiny hair and a winning smile.

This book comes out on February 1, 2011.

Why Michelle covets
Jenna & Jonah's Fauxmance: Since reading The Duff, I've been on a contemporary young adult kick and I've been especially craving the romantic comedy-type. This book sounds like a hilarious read and I love that pink cover.

************

ldestefanoWither (Chemical Garden #1) [blurb taken from Goodreads]
Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant she trusts, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limted time she has left.
This book comes out on March 22, 2011. For more info visit Lauren DeStefano's website.

Why Leslie covets Wither: It sounds really interesting to read! My sister and I think the cover is beautiful. Plus, now that I'm done with the Mortal Instruments series and about to read the last book of the Hunger Games series, it's time again to find a new series to look forward to. I'm hoping Wither will fulfill that need!



"Books I Covet" is a 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!
Today, we have the honor of having debut young adult author Kody Keplinger on our blog to chat with us. Her debut release is the totally AH-mazing and my newest favorite contemporary YA novel THE DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend). Please join us in welcoming her.

Hi Kody! What are five frivolous things you cannot live without?
Oh, fun question! Definitely my laptop, my collection of converse tennis shoes (I have 11 pairs now), my pink fleece blanket with the skull on it, my peace sign charm necklace, and my I ♥ NY hoodie.

Who was the hardest character to write? Why?
Probably Wesley – not so much because he was “hard” to write as “surprising.” I meant Wesley to be a much different character originally. But his character took a turn in a different direction – a turn that shocked me but ended up making him a much better character. I learned about him at the same time as Bianca, and wow, that was interesting. The hardest part, though, was trying to find the balance between arrogant playboy and swoon-worthy love interest. Definitely a tight rope!

Speaking of Wesley [swoon-y sigh], well... the boys in Bianca's life--Wesley, Toby and Jake--any of them based on any real-life person?
Not really. Unfortunately, I never had a Wesley. *sigh*
However, I mention in the book that Toby wears a blazer with normal clothes? Well, that is actually something one of my best guy friends in high school did. While the teachers got to dress casual on Fridays, he decided he’d dress up, so he wore a blazer – sometimes just with jeans – to school. I thought it was kind of adorable, so I made Toby wear blazers. Aside from that, none of them are based on people I knew. Though I do kind of wish I knew a Toby – he’d be fun to talk politics with.

jlondon If you could trade places with one of the characters in The Duff for one day, who would you choose and why?
Bianca.
I’m super jealous that she gets to kiss Wesley. I would love to be in her shoes just for a day.

Three random facts about Bianca.
Her favorite color is lime green.
She’s a vegetarian.
She owns all of the Back to the Future movies because, when she was little, she had a crush on Michael J. Fox.

Three random facts about Wesley.
His favorite band is Jack’s Mannequin. (That’s the “piano rock” Bianca references in the book the first time she goes to his house.)
James Bond is his idol.
He actually has a higher GPA than Bianca does, and his best subject is History.

Thank you so much for stopping by our blog and answering our questions Kody!

Everyone, you should all check out Kody's Blog--all this week she is featuring one of the five of the main characters of The Duff with a contest this coming Friday. You will need to read all the character profiles as they will be very important in the giveaway.

Check out my review of The Duff HERE--it is out in stores so don't forget to pick up your copy!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Welcome to the second day of a week-long celebration that is Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2010!

Today is the Interview Swap portion of BBAW but I totally spazzed and didn't sign up in time to get an interview partner. So, we thought it'd be fun for Leslie and I to interview each other with one rule: you cannot answer a question with a book already mentioned. Here we go...

Your favorite book of the moment?
Michelle: The Duff by Kody Keplinger
Leslie: Songs for a Teenage Nomad by Kim Culbertson
kkeplinger yslee












A book you want to be made into a movie?
Michelle: Ice by Sarah Beth Durst
Leslie: The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
ice DarkDivine


Favorite book cover of 2010?
Michelle: Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
Leslie: Iron King by Julie Kagawa
jpearce
juliekagawa


Most swoon-worthiest hero in a young adult novel you've read this year?
Michelle: Will from Firelight by Sophie Jordan
Leslie: Geric from The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
sjordan












A young adult heroine you want to be best friends with?
Michelle: Hermione from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Leslie: Lindy from Beastly by Alex Flinn
aflinn











We decided to keep all the books we mention in the interview young adult because Leslie doesn't read romance and in the past two weeks I've been YA-obsessed. What about you, fellow BBAW-er? What is your answer to some of these questions?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Book Blogger Appreciation Week: Day 1

Monday, September 13, 2010 with
Labels:

Today is the first day of a week-long celebration that is Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2010! This is my second year participating and Leslie's first so we are very excited! The theme of this year's BBAW is A Treasure Chest of Infinite Books and Infinite Blogs--lovely, right?

To kick off the week, the question or the "first treasure" today is:
For those of you who participated in BBAW last year, what’s a great new book blog you’ve discovered since last year’s BBAW?


Well, when I participated last year, I was only blogging for a week so I discovered a lot of new or new-to-me blogs since. There are many blogs that Leslie and I really like but we're going to highlight two that we both frequent and can count on for great young adult recommendations.


Leslie and I love Jan's Eating YA Books and we consider Jan as one of our book blogging best friend. She is one of the best YA reviewers we know--her reviews are always informative and well-written. She had us, more than once, running to the book store to buy a book.


Another YA book blog Leslie and I love is Steph Su Reads. Steph Su's eloquent reviews are always spot on. Her blog is one of our most trusted and whenever we need a book recommendation or want to know if a book is any good, her blog is the first we go to.


Other than young adults, I also read romances voraciously. Book Binge is one of the first blogs I ever followed and one of the best romance book blogs I've ever discovered. Whenever I need a romance recommendation or a romance review, I go to Book Binge.

As bookaholics, Leslie and I are always looking for new books to feed our addiction. All these three have something different to offer but we can always count on them for great reviews and book recommendations.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

WINNERS

Sunday, September 12, 2010 with
This is not the winners announcement for BlogFest 2010--that will come later this week because we [unexpectedly] had so many entries that it will take some time to go through all of 'em.

I have a lot of winners to announce today but before I do, we'd like to thank everyone for entering! Leslie and I love posting giveaways up and we are so happy you all are always supporting us by entering. Okay, on to the winners (all are chosen using random.org)...

ddavisThe three winners of the book Desperate Deeds by Dee Davis are...

Suzie (9oofus@)
Lois (OV_099@)
Lana S. (lanakapana010@)








The three winners of Seduced by a Highlander by Paula Quinn are...

neljo mullins (acouponaddict@)
Nicole S. (minnchica.bookpusher@)
Elsie (auroralux@)






jkbeckThe winner of an ARC of When Blood Calls by J.K. Beck is...

Misha1989 (mishamary@)









The winner of Songs for a Teenage Nomad by Kim Culbertson is...

Kristina (angelmistress@)








Again, thank you all for entering! Winners, I have already emailed you so please reply back with your shipping address in the next 72 hours so that I can pass it on to the publisher or author. They will ship your book prize to you.

For those who didn't win this time, better luck next time--try your luck on the other giveaways we are hosting right now (win 1 of 5 copies of Sin Undone by Larissa Ione HERE and win 1 of 3 copies of Last to Die by Kate Brady HERE).

Saturday, September 11, 2010

GIVEAWAY: Last to Die by Kate Brady

Saturday, September 11, 2010 with
Labels:
On the spotlight today is...




The Author: Kate Brady

Kate Brady began writing fiction when her doctoral research became tedious. For years, she wrote in the closet, penning several novels that—thankfully—remain there. Now, she leads a double life. Some days, she’s a choral conductor and professor of music education. Other days, she plays with imaginary people on her computer.

Kate lives in Atlanta with her husband, two children, and an array of furry, feathery, and scaly things. When she has time to read, her nose is most often found in a police story or gourmet cooking magazine! She is currently working on her next novel.

For about her and her books visit her website and join her on Facebook.


The Book: Last to Die
(Blurb taken from the Hachette website)


A ruthless killer hides in plain sight, someone no one believes is capable of murder. Within a week, six women will be murdered, all punished for their dark pasts. Detective Dani Cole is determined to track down this serial killer whose victims include a young woman she pulled out of a life of crime. Her investigation leads her to a photography foundation and the renowned photographer Mitch Sheridan, a man she she fell in love with years ago but has tried to forget. Dani and Mitch are instantly attracted to each other again, though their troubled pasts keep them from getting too close. Together, through the course of the investigation, they unearth a dark chain of deception that leads to a killer who is closer than they think.





Do you want to win your very own copy of Last to Die?
Thanks to Anna and Hachette, I have 3 copies to give away.

To enter fill out the form:


Rules & Disclaimers:VERY IMPORTANT! Please read before entering!
1. Only residents of the U.S. or Canada are eligible to win. No P.O. Boxes.
2. This giveaway will end on September 25 and the winners will be selected using random.org.
3. This giveaway is being sponsored by Hachette Book Group. If you win, you'll receive your book directly from Hachette. 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.
4. See "Special Giveaway Policy" for complete rules and disclaimers.

Thanks for entering and good luck!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

BlogFest GIVEAWAY!! (Our biggest giveaway yet!)

Thursday, September 9, 2010 with
Labels:
***We have reached 500 550 650 followers, and that means that there will be TWO THREE FOUR FIVE winners in the YA Book INTERNATIONAL Giveaway!!***

Thank you all so much for entering and deciding to follow our blog. You won't regret it! ;)

There's only a few hours of blogfest left! Can we make it to 700?? If we reach 550 600 650 700 followers by the end of BlogFest, a third fourth fifth sixth winner will be added!

If the randomly chosen winners picked the same book, we will email the second, third and fourth name drawn for their second choice.


Woohoo!! It's BlogFest 2010 time! And in honor of being a part of it and to celebrate our 1 year blogoversary (we started blogging on September 3, 2009), we are having our biggest giveaway in Michelle & Leslie's Book Picks history!

We have two awesome prizes up for grabs! One is a fabulous Box of Romances and Swag (open to US addresses only). There is a total of 13 books in this box of awesome--some are new, some are gently read and one is even signed (The Perfect Murder)!! The other prize is Your Choice YA Book (open internationally) and you get to choose from eight fantastic books--see picture below!

You can either enter the Box of Romances and Swag or the Your Choice YA Book or BOTH--depending on where you live! Just fill out the form(s) below.

Our Giveaway Policy. If you have any questions, please comment below. Good luck!!




If you cannot see the form here on the blog, you can fill it out HERE.




If you cannot see the embedded form here on the blog, you can fill it out HERE.

Also, don't forget to enter the massive BlogFest 2010 Grand giveaway! Head on over to http://www.ajourneyofbooks.com/blogfest and use the BlogFest 2010 exclusive tracking site. Once there you can register with a valid email address. This site will allow you to track your progress through BlogFest 2010 and for every blog you visit and mark off, you get one entry into the Grand Giveaway!

Your next stop in BlogFest 2010 is Among The Muses.
Giveaway Alert: You can win a copy of this book HERE.

yslee ARC: 256 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Language: English
ISBN:
9781402243011
Source of my copy: from the publisher
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
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?


Leslie's Review:
Calle is a teenage nomad. She is always moving so she sets herself apart from everyone, knowing she will leave them sooner or later. But on the move of her first year of high school, she unexpectedly finds herself making friends with the artistic drama kids and falling for a boy with a secret. Finally finding a place where she can call home, Calle tries to discover her mother's secret of why they always moved. But whenever she asks, her mother dodges the question and doesn't answer. Is her mother trying to hide something from her?

The plot of this book was very engrossing and moving. I liked how the author put a lot of music into the story, which included titling the chapters with songs titles and an entry from Calle's song journal. I also liked the characters who were all artistic in their own unique way and had pasts that connected them together. If this book was a song, I would play it on repeat and listen to it everyday, never getting tired of it.

I really related to the heroine, Calle, that the only difference between us was our life situations and taste of music. She was an independent music lover who was searching for the soundtrack of her life that she recorded in her song journal. With her song journal, Calle finds who she is and where she belongs. Although I don't keep a song journal, (though I was about to start one when I read this book) I also want to find my place in this world and use music to help me out.

The hero, Sam Atkins, was probably the most troubled hero I've ever read about. He was the popular, star football player who used his reputation as a mask to hide who he truly was--a sweet, nice guy that I'd probably fall for. But not as much as I'd fall for Calle's friend, Eli. He was sweet and nice too, but also funny, friendly, and knows not to care what others think. I kind of wish Calle ended up with him instead.

This was a very lyrical and moving book that will leave you speechless and asking yourself "What is the soundtrack of my life?" I highly recommend it! 5 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Why I covet this book: I usually avoid reading books with topics like date rape. Such topics make me uncomfortable but sometimes it's good to read out of your comfort zone. Besides, I'm on a YA contemporary kick and this books sounds like a very good read.

dwhitneyThe Mockingbirds [blurb taken from Goodreads]
Some schools have honor codes.
Others have handbooks.
Themis Academy has the Mockingbirds.

Themis Academy is a quiet boarding school with an exceptional student body that the administration trusts to always behave the honorable way--the Themis Way. So when Alex is date raped during her junior year, she has two options: stay silent and hope someone helps her, or enlist the Mockingbirds--a secret society of students dedicated to righting the wrongs of their fellow peers.

In this honest, page-turning account of a teen girl's struggle to stand up for herself, debut author Daisy Whitney reminds readers that if you love something or someone--especially yourself--you fight for it.

This book comes out on November 2, 2010. For more info visit Daisy Whitney's website.

************

Why I covet this book: I really enjoyed the first book in the series, The Body Finder and I can't wait to read about Violet and Jay again--they are one of my favorite YA couples.

kdertingDesires of the Dead (Body Finder, #2) [blurb taken from HarperCollins Catalogs; cover art may not be final]
ALA Booklist described The Body Finder as “a suspenseful mystery and sensual love story that will captivate readers who enjoy authentic high-school settings, snappy dialogue, sweet romance, and heart-stopping drama.” Desires of the Dead heightens the tension as Violet uncovers dark murders, faces new dangers, and struggles with the changing dynamic between her and best-friend-turned-boyfriend, Jay. This compelling follow-up to The Body Finder will appeal to fans of Lisa McMann and Laurie Faria Stolarz.

Violet Ambrose can sense the echoes of those who’ve been murdered—and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Jay is the only one outside her family who knows of her morbid ability. But when Violet discovers the body of a young boy she draws the attention of the FBI and is reluctantly pulled into an investigation that will endanger not only her secret but her life.
This book comes out on March 15, 2011. For more info visit Kimberly Derting's website.



"Books I Covet" is a 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!