Wednesday, October 31, 2012

DYSTOPIAN Giveaway Hop

*Welcome to the Dystopian Giveaway Hop*
November 1st to 7th*
a noun
a society characterized by human misery, as squalor, oppression, disease,
and overcrowding. 
Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & My Shelf Confessions
This hop features Dystopian Novels.
The winner can choose either of these dystopian novels:

 Rules for the Giveaway:
1. Please enter contact information in comment section along with your book choice.
2. This giveaway runs from November 1st to November 7th. A winner will be selected on November 8th.
3. You must be 13 years or older to participate.
4. If you are selected as the winner, you will be notified by email. If you do not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be selected.
5. This giveaway is open to everyone-BUT you must be a follower.
AND here's where I sweeten the deal-Like me on Facebook(HERE) and you will also be entered to win a bonus book-an ARC of FORSAKEN by Lisa M. Stasse

Good Luck!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Seven glorious days of hop-tastic fun!
Mug of Moxie is joining the biggest giveaway hop of the year!
Over 400 participants-which mean over 400 books and other goodies are offered to you lucky hoppers! This giveaway hop is hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and The Diary of a Bookworm.
I'm going to confess that I have a bit of an addiction right now-ZOMBIES! Love em!
So this Halloween I celebrate the existance of my favorite bad guys-The Undead! Below are a few books that I have read and loved.
This giveaway is reader's choice. Which book would you choose if you won?

Rot and Ruin
Jonathan Maberry
World War Z
Max Brooks
The Forest of Hands and Teeth
Carrie Ryan

Rules for the Giveaway:
1. Please enter contact information in comment section along with your book choice.
2. This giveaway runs from October 24th to October 31st. A winner will be selected on November 1st.
3. You must be 13 years or older to participate.
4. If you are selected as the winner, you will be notified by email. If you do not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be selected.
5. This giveaway is open to everyone-BUT you must be a follower.
AND here's where I sweeten the deal-Like me on Facebook(HERE) and you will also be entered to win a DVD of The Walking Dead Season 1.

Happy Halloween and Good Luck!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Book Review-The Grimm Chronicles

The Grimm Chronicles
By Isabella Fontaine and Ken Brosky
378 Pages

Summary Taken From
200 years ago, the Brothers Grimm unleashed their stories upon the world. Literally. Now the characters of the Grimms’ stories walk among us. With every day that passes, they grow more evil. They are the Corrupted, and only a hero can stop them.
For 18-year-old Alice Goodenough, that means taking precious time off from her summer vacation. In addition to volunteering at the local library, Alice must stop the Corrupted who are now actively hunting her down. With the help of her magic pen and her trusty rabbit friend, the world has suddenly gotten a lot more complex. The Corrupted are everywhere, and only Alice can see them for what they truly are.
This book contains the first 3 episodes of the critically acclaimed series:
Episode 1: Prince Charming Must Die!
Episode 2: Happily Never After
Episode 3: Revenge of the Castle Cats
My Thoughts:
There is nothing I love more than a twist on a classic fairy tale. It seems like the Grimm Brothers are getting some respect lately.
Volume 1 of the Grimm Chronicles contains 3 episodes in Alice Goodenough's life. Each episode contains a character and back story from a Grimm Brother's tale-Prince Charming, Cinderella, and the Seven Dwarfs.
Alice is a normal teenager living a pretty average life-she goes to high school, hangs out with her cute boyfriend, has dorky parents, etc. It all changes one day when she finds an old pen while putting away books in the basement of the library she works at. The moment she picks up the pen she finds out that she is a "hero" and it's now her job to rid the world of the "corrupted". Luckily, in all the confusion and new responsibility she has a mentor/trainer in the form of a big furry white rabbit-yes, a rabbit- to help her understand her new role in life.
I like that the main character Alice is a strong, independent, female who has to think her way through the situations she finds herself in. She also knows how to use a sword and takes fencing classes-how cool is that? AND she works in a library as a volunteer-big "like" points for that!
I wasn't really into the Briar Rabbit sidekick-not being to familiar with the Briar Rabbit tales I was a bit confused by him and his role in Alice's life. He doesn't seem to be that much of a help-maybe he's more of a comedy relief? Perhaps he'll grow on me in upcoming episodes.
I would really like to see more of Seth in stories to come. I think he could really become a more helpful part of "Team Alice" with his savvy computer programming skills and subtle sense of humor.
I loved that the authors included a collection of Grimm Fairy Tales at the back of their book. That was an extra treat. It also helped familiarize me with lesser known tales and characters that were scattered through out their book.
I also really liked the lost diary of a past hero included in story-I hope we get more of that in upcoming episodes.
I'm very much looking forward to Volume 2 which will follow Alice through her senior year. I can't wait to see which Grimm characters will make an appearance and how Alice plan to take care of them. A very entertaining book!
Thanks to Ken Brosky for sending me a copy of the Grimm Chronicles to read and review.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Book Review-Burn for Burn

Burn for Burn
By Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
368 Pages
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Lillia has never had any problems dealing with boys who like her. Not until this summer, when one went too far. No way will she let the same thing happen to her little sister.
Kat is tired of the rumours, the insults, the cruel jokes. It all goes back to one person– her ex-best friend– and she's ready to make her pay.
Four years ago, Mary left Jar Island because of a boy. But she's not the same girl anymore. And she's ready to prove it to him.
Three very different girls who want the same thing: sweet, sweet revenge. And they won't stop until they each had a taste.
My Thoughts:
3 Very Different Girls
3 Point of Views
3 Acts of Revenge
One word-Wow!
A contempory novel with a tiny paranormal twist. This book left me wanting more, more, MORE.
Firstly-LOVE the cover! The picture really captures the mood of the story. The body language speaks loud and clear-these girls aren't besties-but they're together to carry out something big. They look scared/paranoid/secretive.
My favorite character out of the three is Mary. She is the one who carries the deepest scars of her past and the one who has the most mystery that surrounds her. I think she's the live wire of the bunch who will probably get completely out of control with her revenge. She's the wild card and I can't wait to read more of her story in the sequel.
Who hasn't dreamed of getting revenge on a ex-boyfriend or high school frenemy? It's a story that most everyone can relate to in one way or another.
After visiting Jenny Han's website I learned that Burn for Burn is the first book in a planned trilogy(YAH!) The sequel is currently being written with her BFF-Siobhan Vivian-it's called Fire with Fire and will be released in the Fall of 2013.
Can't wait to read it!
A giant thank you to Simon and Schuster for providing the ARC to read and review!

Friday, October 19, 2012

TOP TEN PICKS for 2012

YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) announced their Teens' Top Ten winners for 2012! These titles are chosen and voted on by teens as the best of the best for the year.
1). Divergent-Veronica Roth
Beatrice lives in a society where she must choose either to remain with her family’s faction or set off towards
independence and her beliefs. And what happens when the unity between these factions begins to fall apart?
2). The Fault in Our Stars-John Green
Hazel and Augustus meet and forge a relationship at a support group for
kids battling cancer. As Hazel and Augustus struggle with the “side-effects of dying,”
they come to learn the strength of wishes, the complexities of long human lives, and the
wondrous ways of the universe.
3). Legend-Marie Lu
June, a fifteen-year-old military prodigy, is hunting Day, the outlaw she believes is responsible for her brother’s death. What will happen when the two meet and discover the government is corrupt?
4). Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children- Ransom Riggs
When Jacob was little, his grandfather would tell him stories of the fantastical children’s home where he grew up and the seemingly magical kids who lived there with him. When his grandfather is killed, Jacob sets out to find the home where these children lived, unearthing a magical secret and uncovering his true heritage.
5). What Happened to Goodbye-Sarah Dessen
Ever since Mclean’s parents divorced, she has lived in four towns in two years – each time taking on a new persona. Mclean expects to leave Lakeview in six months, but soon finds that she doesn’t want to – she just wants to be herself.
6). Across the Universe-Beth Revis
Cryogenically frozen centuries ago, Amy and her parents are on their way to a new planet aboard the spaceship, Godspeed. Unplugged from her cryo chamber, Amy discovers she has been awoken 50 years early, in a failed murder attempt. With Elder, the future leader of the ship, by her side they are on an adventure filled with murder, lies, dreams, and stars.
7). Cinder-Marissa Meyer
A futuristic retelling of the classic Cinderella, Cinder, a cyborg and talented mechanic, lives with her cruel stepmother and two stepsisters in the plague-ridden New Beijing. Soon after meeting Prince Kai, Cinder must find the truths of her past, which may help to save the future.
8). The Scorpio Races-Maggie Stiefvater
Every November, the beaches of Thisby come alive with the Scorpio Races. The water horses are vicious, the terrain is treacherous, and death is likely, but the reward can be beyond anything you could imagine. Puck Connolly is racing for her family, Sean Kendrick for his passion—but only one can win The Scorpio Races.
9). Where She Went-Gayle Forman
This sequel to Gayle Forman’s If I Stay is narrated by Adam, Mia’s ex-boyfriend. Shortly after the devastating accident that killed Mia’s family, the talented cellist moves to New York, where an accidental meeting brings them back together.
10). Abandon- Meg Cabot
Pierce has experienced death before and barely escaped. When she moves from her old town to a town called Isla Huesos - Island of Bones - for a new start, she realizes that death wants her back. Can she escape death once again?

Okay-I am dismayed and a little embarassed to admit that I have read none of the above! How is this possible? I obviously need to step up my game...I'm ashamed of myself.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Banned Book Winners

Winners drawn from Banned Book Week 2012
Thanks for celebrating with Mug of Moxie!

Crank by Ellen Hopkins

Hungar Games by Suzanne Collins
Winner- APE2016

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky
Congratulation to all the winners! Books will be mailed out this week. Thanks for hopping and following.

I will also be participating in the HUGE Spooktacular Giveaway Hop. So stay tuned! I'll be giving away some amazing books!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Book Review: FORSAKEN

By Lisa M. Stasse
Simon and Schuster
375 Pages

Summary taken from Goodreads:
As an obedient orphan of the U.N.A. (the super-country that was once Mexico, the U.S., and Canada), Alenna learned at an early age to blend in and be quiet—having your parents taken by the police will do that to a girl. But Alenna can’t help but stand out when she fails a test that all sixteen-year-olds have to take: The test says she has a high capacity for brutal violence, and so she is sent to The Wheel, an island where all would-be criminals end up.
The life expectancy of prisoners on The Wheel is just two years, but with dirty, violent, and chaotic conditions, the time seems a lot longer as Alenna is forced to deal with civil wars for land ownership and machines that snatch kids out of their makeshift homes. Desperate, she and the other prisoners concoct a potentially fatal plan to flee the island. Survival may seem impossible, but Alenna is determined to achieve it anyway.
My Thoughts:
The Forsaken is the first book of a planned trilogy by Lisa M. Stasse.
I'm not sure you are going to find a book this year with more mixed reviews. Book reviewers loved it or hated it. I find myself somewhat in the middle. I liked The Forsaken. It's a great story that left me wishing for a bit more.
I really liked that main character Aleena is a strong, smart female thrown into a situation that forces her to fend for herself. She doesn't waste time feeling sorry for herself. She quickly learns the skills she needs to survive and decides she won't be a victim to The Wheel.
I really disliked the romance-it didn't feel like it truly had a place in this book-possibly added as an after thought.
The story without a doubt drew me in with it's non-stop action but left me wishing for more information. For example the U.N.A. -At the beginning of the book Aleena fails the Government Personality Profile Test (G.P.P.T.) and is quickly shipped to the Prison Island Alpha(The Wheel)but I would have liked more about the world she grew up in so I could better understand her-maybe allowing me to feel more of a connection to her.
Once on "The Wheel" Aleena meets several characters good and bad. The world building here is more detailed. The wheel is divided into sectors and a gray zone. Tribes have claimed the different sectors and war with each other. The Monk and his drones rule most of the sectors-they raid and kidnap from the tribe that takes Alenna in. It's here that Alenna learns her warrior skills and decides to become part of a plan to escape The Wheel. Two thumbs up for the creepy factor involving several elements on "The Wheel"-intense/shocking/heartstopping.
Along the way there are several plot twists and a few surprises that left me eager to read the second book of The Forsaken. I'm curious to see what happens next to Aleena. I'm sure author, Lisa M. Stasse will keep us on our toes.
I would definitely reccomend this book to readers who like action and dystopia.
A giant thank you to Simon and Schuster for providing this ARC.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Ellen Hopkins is My Hero

Here's why-
I felt a physical reaction-like I had actually had the wind knocked out of me after reading Crank by Ellen Hopkins. I'm not really sure I have ever had such an emotional shock to the system while reading a book. Which is why I had to include a book by her for Banned Book Week in my giveaway. If you google Ellen Hopkins inevitably her name pops up with the words challenged and censorship. In this article found on her she talks about an instance in which she was uninvited to a Teen Lit Fest in 2011.
You will not find person more passionate about censorship and books for young adults. In this article she shares her thoughts about censorship and a powerful poem she wrote called Manifesto. Her books are raw, honest and sadly realistic. She writes about the dark topics of drugs, cutting and suicide. These are things that our kids see and hear about in the halls of school every day.
Small town America is now armed with drug dogs while hydrocodone is being bought and sold in school parking lots during recess. These topics are not shocking revelations to the teens living it every day.
I shake my head in frustration when I read that adults or libraries try to keep these books out of the hands of teens.
Crank does not glamorize the use of drugs. It shows the slow, dark, descent of a girl that tries a drug and then becomes addicted to the "monster". Crank doesn't have a happy ending and that's why it's so powerful. It's exactly why we need to make sure that it's accessible to teens and we use this book as a teaching tool. If it helps even one child to think twice before going down that road it's worth the fight.
Thank you Ellen Hopkins for fighting the good fight. I've got your back.
For the chance to win a copy of Crank by Ellen Hopkins click on sidebar to right or just scroll down.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Why I love Sherman Alexie

Books are something that I'm passionate about. It might explain why I have chosen jobs that allow me to spend alot of time around books-I work part-time at a public library and substitute at a local middle school library.
I find great joy putting a book into the hands of kids or recommending a great book to a reluctant reader. Books have always been a comfort, an escape and a source of happiness for me.
Last year my son came home from school with an assignment to write about the "Growing Trend of Young Adult Books-How exciting for me! My teenage son still doesn't really get what my blog is about-nor at 16 does he really care. LOL!
While researching the topic he came across an article that was featured in The Wall Street Journal written by Meghan Cox Gurdon called Darkness Too Visible? In which she asks the question-
Contemporary fiction for teens is rife with explicit abuse, violence and depravity. Why is this considered a good idea? The full article is found here .
Of course the article found alot of attention from readers-pro and con, bloggers and authors.
One of my very favorite authors Sherman Alexie responded to Meghan Cox Gurdon's article with an essay called Why the Best Children's Books are Written In Blood. It's found here . His words brought me to tears while reaffirming to me why it's so important that we put these "challenged" books into the hands of kids that NEED to read them.
During this week we celebrate the freedom to read-
I gladly take this opportunity to participate in Banned Book Week. During this week you have a chance to win  an excellent book by Sherman Alexie called The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Information is found on side bar as well as below.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Bloggiesta Wrap Up

I'll be honest-I didn't get alot of the things I had planned to do originally at the start of Bloggiesta with the exception of cleaning up my blog roll and writing a couple of reviews.
But I come away feeling great because through the mini challenges I learned this-
*How to print my blog and why I should(Suey@ It's All About Books)
*I created an Evernote Account-a place to keep all my scattered notes and hopefully keep me more organized(Joy's Book Blog)
*I have 20+ Post and Discussion Ideas for future posts(Tanya@Girlxoxo)
*I visited 10 blogs that were also participating in Bloggiesta and left comments-a challenge to Help me Build A Blog Audience(Sheila @ Book Journey)
*I wrote 2 back logged reviews-a mini challenge (Hannah@ Word Lily)
So I'm going to call Bloggiesta 2012 a success. I made a small dent but learned alot.
A BIG thanks to the hosts It's All About Books and There's A Book. A GIANT thank you to the hosts of the mini challenges.
I look forward to Bloggiesta 2013!