Saturday, August 28, 2010

Celebrate Dwayne's Birthday with a Giveaway

Dwayne at Girls Without a Bookshelf is not only celebrating turning twenty with a giveaway for her followers but is allowing them to decide whether to have one winner win seven books or have seven winners win a book each. Don't forget to check it out because Crescendo and Torment are among the books that can be won. Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Friday, August 27, 2010

Paranormalcy Giveaway by Reading Teen

One of the upcoming books I'm most excited to read is Paranormalcy. Isn't it awesome then that Reading Teen is giving an ARC of Paranormalcy on August 31st?

From Dusk 'Til Dawn Read-A-Thon and Updates

I was following the Dusk 'Til Dawn Read-a-thon co-hosted by Jenn at Book Crazy and Jami at YA Addict privately but officially joined tonight. So, my goal is to read a little bit of Shadow Hills tonight before going to bed. 

Aside from hoping to get quite some reading done within the next few days between 8 PM to 8 AM, I'm also going to try and participate in as many challenges as possible.  

Update on Night Two: I wasn't able to read for too long last night - only about half an hour - and so only read from pages 9 to 38 of Shadow Hills. Hopefully I'll be able to read for longer tonight.

Update on Night Three: I fell asleep after updating my entry for night two but I did manage to read pages 39 to 169 early in the morning from 4:45 to 6:00.

Update on Night Four: I read pages 182 to 168 tonight and am hoping to finish by either Monday night or Tuesday morning since I'm going to be coming home late tonight.

Final Update: Ugh, I actually didn't get a chance to read last night but I did read in the afternoon (and yes I know it doesn't count) which means that I'm now on page 302 rather than on page 168. 

Book Crazy's Mini-Challenge: If you could be read into a book, which book would it be and why? What is it about that story that you find utterly overpowering? Which world would you choose to lose what you have her on earth for? Click here for more information.

When I first read Jenn's challenge, I immediately thought, "That's easy! Hogwarts, duh!" I mean, who hasn't dreamed of getting a letter to Hogwarts one day telling them they're a witch/wizard? I'd also be able to perform magic, fly on a broomstick, watch a Quidditch match and get my mail delivered to me via an owl!

But then, I thought of something else. See, I found a loophole in Jenn's challenge :) I'd actually make myself be read into the Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne - a series I read in middle grade - and then could actually visit any world I wanted as well as the past and future. I'd no longer be limited to one world or time and when I'm tired, all I have to do is find the book I'd opened up and come right back to my time! Am I clever or what? 
Reading Through Life's Mini-Challenge: Write a post describing your ideal comfort food meal to break your hypothetical 15 hour fast one of the nights of this week's read-a-thon. Click here for more information.

My ideal comfort food meal would be something that's not too heavy and the first thing that popped into my head was rice and kebabs (probably because that's what I had tonight). I know that people think you can eat a lot if you don't eat anything the whole day but my stomach doesn't work that way. I like having tiny meals spread out through the day because eating too much makes me feel nauseated.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Anna and the French Kiss Giveaway

Stephanie Perkins, the author of Anna and the French Kiss, is giving away an ARC of her novel which will be released in December. Since I added the book on my Amazon wishlist a couple of months ago, I just had to enter.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Review: My Double Life by Janette Rallison

From Inside Jacket: My life in suburbia is about as far away from a rock star's life as one can get. So I was more than surprised when, out of the blue, I was offered the job of being Kari Kingsley's double. I may not have Hollywood skills, but I am her dead ringer, and the job will pay for college and get me closer to meeting the dad I've never known. Being Kari has its other perks too. Last month I couldn't even get a date, and now I'm hanging out with Grant Delray, who I've stared at on magazine covers for years. He's everything a girl could want - everything I want. There's just one problem. He thinks I'm Kari. Isn't it ironic that when I do finally find my father and the love of my life, I'm not allowed to tell either of them who I really am? 

My Rating: 4 hearts

Thoughts on the Novel: Although the premise sounds pretty far-fetched, I was interested to see how Janette Rallison would explain the eerie resemblance of Alexia to Kari. The reason given has been known to happen in reality but it would have been slightly more sensible if Alexia looked similar to Kari and not exactly like Kari’s identical twin (with the exception of her nose).

The characters were the greatest strength of the book. Alexia is a likeable character that readers can easily relate to. Her yearning to know her father so that she could finally feel complete, her confused feelings about how she would tell her father who she was and how she should feel about him, her worry over whether Grant would like her for herself and her desire to help Kari were all portrayed genuinely.

The evolution of Kari and Grant were also well done and shows that there is always more to people than meets the eyes. While Kari initially appears to simply be a dumb blonde, spending some time with her allows Alexia to learn that unscripted situations with tons of cameras cause Kari to freeze up and make stupid comments. In the meantime, Alexia’s initial attraction to Grant seems more based on his physical looks. Later on however, she realizes that aside from being handsome and rich, Grant is also an unpretentious, funny and amazing guy.  

Though Rallison’s My Double Life has a serious message or two in it, it was mostly a light and breezy novel that will keep readers hooked because pretending to be someone else is just a disaster waiting to occur. Throw in some humorous scenes and a happy ending and Rallison leaves the reader with a pretty satisfied feeling.

My Double Life was released by Putnam Juvenile in May 2010.

Comments About the Cover: I have mixed feelings about the cover. I really liked the idea of the paparazzi with their cameras taking pictures of the model because much like any celebrity, Kari is continually being photographed and asked questions about her life. The paparazzi also play an important role in how things turn out for Alexia and Kari in the later part of the story. However, the model on the cover doesn’t look at like she’s Latina and yet both Alexia and Kari are. Clearly the people responsible for the cover didn’t even bother reading the first few chapters! 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I Just Won a Giveaway!

A couple of hours ago, I was scrolling through my Hotmail inbox and noticed that I had an e-mail from Goodreads congratulating me for winning a copy of Margaret Buffie's Winter Shadows (which I'll obviously be reviewing). While I was extremely excited about this, my family didn't really seem to care or in my mom's case, thought it was a scam. So, here I am looking for someone, anyone, to share in my excitement.

On a side note: I've just learned that while I may not have the greatest luck, entering contests is a worthwhile endeavor. You just never know when you'll win!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Review: The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

From Inside Jacket: Seventeen-year-old Jenna has been told that is her name. She has just awoken from a year-long coma, and she's still recovering from the terrible accident that caused it. Her parents show her home movies of her life, her memories, but she has no recollection. Is she really the same girl she sees on the screen?
Little by little, Jenna begins to remember. Along with the memories come questions - questions no one wants to answer for her. What really happened after the accident? 

My Rating: 5 hearts

Thoughts on the Novel: Owning a copy of Mary E. Pearson’s Scribbler of Dreams and having really enjoyed it, I decided to check out The Adoration of Jenna Fox from my local library.  I don’t generally read sci-fi – Scott Westerfeld’s work is an exception – but this book just blew me away.

Set in a future that sounds highly plausible given current medical research and technological advances, the story is written brilliantly with early chapters being short and having a confused undertone and later chapters becoming longer as Jenna begins to recover more of her memories. Two things that made Pearson’s writing even better though was the use of definitions of words that Jenna looks up and applies to herself and the questions Jenna poses to herself. The former lets the reader gain a deeper appreciation of certain words while the latter raises ethical issues that will linger with the reader.

Pearson also does an exceptional job with the creation of her characters. Jenna’s character slowly develops from an isolated and bewildered girl to one who is able to be assertive and create her own identity. The reader also learns about Jenna’s life before the accident as the “new” Jenna watches video clips of herself and so is able to empathize with Jenna’s parents’ actions. The other secondary characters like Lily, Jenna’s grandmother, and Jenna’s friends, Allys and Ethan, are also well-developed so that the reader understands their actions and motivations.

The Adoration of Jenna was released by Henry Holt and Co. in April 2008.

Comments About the Cover: I still think that the cover is kind of random but after having read the book, I at least know that the colour blue and the butterfly have some significance.