Dec 31, 2010

End of 2010 Survey

Jamie over at The Perpetual Page-Turner came up with an End of 2010 Survey, to talk about our reading experience through the year, and I thought it was a great way to end this year!

1. Best Book of 2010

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. Hands down. I love this book, and I love Delirium even more!

2. Worst Book of 2010

I didn't read any book that I'd put under this category. I choose the book I'll read next thanks to my fellow bloggers' reviews, so most of the books I read were very interesting.

3. Most Disappointing Book of 2010

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. I was really hoping to love this book, since every review I read about it gave it five stars. And then I learned that it's now a film, starring Keira Knightly, Andrew Garfield and Carey Mulligan, great actors, so I thought, "Wow, this must be excellent!" But to me, it lacked the WOW factor I look forward to in books. I'll post the full review tomorrow.

4. Most Surprising Book (in a good way!) in 2010

Can't think of any. Granted, I didn't read as many books as I would have wanted this year.

5. Book You Recommended to People Most in 2010

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Most of my friends aren't regular readers like I am, so of course, they had no idea what this book was about. I practically forced some of them to read it, and now they're head over heels in love with it!

6. Best Series Discovered in 2010

I didn't really discover a new series this year. And I only read first in a series, so I couldn't say.

7. Favorite New Authors of 2010

Lauren Oliver, of course, and Courtney Summers. I loved Cracked Up To Be, and will be reading Some Girls Are soon.

8. Most Hilarious Read of 2010


9. Most Thrilling Unputdownable Book of 2010

I think a lot of people will say this, but I have to go with Mockingjay. I bought it as soon as it was out in Argentina (there was a delay in its publication, and I may have written on the publisher's Facebook wall demanding an explanation. Most unprofessional, I know. But I did voice what a lot of my fellow Latin bloggers were thinking, as we had to wait for the book to come from Spain.)

10. Book You Anticipated the Most for 2010

Again, Mockingjay. I already told you I nearly traveled to Buenos Aires to demand the immediate release of the book. But of course, the poor people at the publishing houses weren't to blame, the people in charge of importations were.

11. Favorite Cover of a Book You read in 2010

White Cat by Holly Black has a very enticing cover, that suits the book perfectly!

12. Most Memorable Character in 2010

Katniss Evergreen from The Hunger Games series. I love that character, I think she's one of the best heroines in YA Literature.

13. Most Beautifully Written Book in 2010

This is going to sound contradictory, but this would be Never Let Me Go. Although the book didn't reach me as I was hoping, it still is beautifully written. I loved Ishiguro's writing style, like Kathy, the narrator, was talking to us.

14. Book that had the Greatest Impact on You in 2010

I'm going to sound like a broken record, but I'm going to say, once more, Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. It really made me think about so many things, and made me cry too!

15. Book You Can't Believe You Waited Until 2010 to Finally Read

I know what you're going to say. "Really? You can't be serious." But that'd have to be Vampire Academy. Yep. I knew nothing about this series until this I started blogging, (remember I'm Argentine, and these books are just now getting published here, I think only the first and second are published here and we're waiting for the third.) and then waited a bit more to start reading it. I'm currenly listening to Frostbite, and I plan on reading the whole series in the shortest amount of time possible. I want to know what all the hype is about! But I did love VA, and Frostbite is going great!

This proves I didn't read so many books! According to my Goodreads shelves (I have a read-in-2010 category) I read 34 books, maybe a bit more, as I don't always record what I read on Goodreads. But no more than 40 books, meaning very, very few. And I'm thinking next year I'll have even less time to read, what with starting uni. But I'll still try to read as much, or more, than now!

Anyway, Happy New Year! I'll see you in 2011.

Dec 23, 2010

What I'm reading for the holidays

If you're still here, thank you! I know I've been neglecting the blog, but I just can't finish the books I'm reading because of time issues. And I'm also organising something for the Deliriously Falling blog! You won't want to miss it!

But enough with the excuses! For these holidays, I'm reading:

1. Unearthly, by Cynthia Hand.
About a girl who's half angel and trying to figure out her purpose on Earth.*

2. Lost Voices, by Sarah Porter. 
About a lost girl who seeks refuge among the mermaids, only to discover that they're not as nice as they seem to be.*

3. Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro. (To be finished, I'm listening to the AB, really good!)
About kids who grow up in a boarding house in England, and who are told that they're special. As they become older, they find out just how special they are and for what purpose they were created.

4. Wintergirls, by Laurie Halse Anderson. (To be finished.)
About a girl with eating disorders who's haunted by her best friend's ghost.

These are the ones I'm planning to read for now. But of course, I might read more. I'll be listening to ABs too. I wanna listen to the Vampire Academy ones and see why everyone loves them so much. I've only read the first.
What are you guys reading/are going to read? Did you ask for books to Santa?

I'll see you after the holidays!

*Books I'll be reading for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge.

Dec 10, 2010

In Which I Discover Figment

Thanks to Reggie and Lauren I discovered this awesome site called Figment. It's like Facebook but for writing. You create your profile, upload your work and read what others are writing!

And let me tell you, there are some amazing things on this site. I'm reading the works of Kimberly Karalius, Linna Lee, Lola, Emily Kane (check her out! Her book Soul is awesome.), Reggie, and I'm sure I'll find more cool authors later on.

There's an ongoing contest that ends soon, where you have to write a story including a set of words you're given. Lauren Oliver's a judge, and you can win an ARC of Delirium, how awesome!

Visit my Profile, and read my WIP, Insomnia. Leave a comment here or there, I'd love to know what you guys think of it.

Is any of you a member of Figment? Let me know!

Dec 7, 2010

The "My Best Friend Is More Popular And Prettier Than Me" Syndrome in YA

We see it all the time in YA Lit. MCs' BFFs whose lives seem to be amazing (but that sometimes hide terrible secrets), who have the perfect boyfriends, and are just great girls in general.

The MC would spend several pages wondering why she isn't like her BFF, complaining about her looks, and just accepting that that's all she can do about it.

Well, I say there needs to be a revolution! Main characters -male or female- are MCs for a reason! They've got a story to tell, and I doubt that the story is all about whining about her looks.

Thank goodness there aren't that many books that apply to this rule nowadays.

Take The Hunger Games for example. Katniss is a fierce MC, and the last thing on her mind is her appearance. All she cares about is getting everyone she loves to safety. And just then she stops and thinks about herself. Now that is a strong MC.

However, there are books that are all about this syndrome. And that's not always a bad thing. Perhaps the book is about a girl/boy who's self conscious about her/his appearance (I'm saying his because boys go through these dramas too!), and about how she/he learns to overcome this. And that is great! Depending, of course, on the writing. If the book is about a girl who thinks she's ugly and gradually learns that she truly is beautiful, like everyone in the world, AND the writing is great, showing us how this girl goes through that experience, then awesome. But if the book is about a shallow girl that only cares about looking better than her friends, then I'll toss the book in the bin, and don't look back or regret my decision.

Teens (myself included) want to read books with substance, with meaning and depth, and love, and friendship, and betrayal, and all that means to be a teen. Of course, we also want the light-headed book that'll make us laugh and giggle like crazy when thinking back on it. (We don't want people staring at us when that happens, though. *ahem*)

So, I refuse to fall into this rule. It's always present in my mind when writing, which I'm doing a lot these days.
My MC is strong, she's had a few setbacks, but she'll learn how to bounce back from them, and she'll have her best friend by her side. A best friend who is beautiful in her own way, and who loves her for who and what she is. My MC's name is Cora, and her best friend's Audrey.

What's you opinion on the matter? And what do you think of my characters' names? :P


Dec 5, 2010

Hachiko: A Dog's Story [Film Review]

Hachiko: A Dog's Story on IMDb

Release Date: June 13, 2009
Director: Lasse Hallström
Writers: Stephen P. Lindsey (screenplay), Kaneto Shindô (motion picture "Hachiko monogatari")
Stars: Richard Gere, Joan Allen and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa

Plot Summary:
In Bedridge, Professor Parker Wilson (Gere) finds an abandoned dog at the train station and takes it home with the intention of returning the animal to its owner. He finds that the dog is an Akita and names it Hachiko. However, nobody claims the dog so his family decides to keep Hachi.
Every day, Hachi walks to the train station with his master, and stays there, waiting for him to return. 
Professor and dog form a very strong bond, so strong that when something happens to Prof. Wilson at his workplace, Hachi still waits for him at the station, not understanding why he isn't coming home.
My Opinion:

You may be wondering, "What is a Film Review doing in a Book Blog?" Well, I couldn't not talk about this, after just having seen it. 

You may have heard of Hachiko's story, or you may not. This is for those of you who haven't:
In 1924, Hidesaburō Ueno, a professor in the agriculture department at the University of Tokyo took in Hachikō as a pet. During his owner's life Hachikō greeted him at the end of the day at the nearby Shibuya Station. The pair continued their daily routine until May 1925, when Professor Ueno did not return. The professor had suffered from a cerebral hemorrhage and died, never returning to the train station where Hachikō was waiting. Every day for the next nine years the golden brown Akita waited at Shibuya station.

Hachikō was given away after his master's death, but he routinely escaped, returning again and again to his old home. Eventually, Hachikō apparently realized that Professor Ueno no longer lived at the house. So he went to look for his master at the train station where he had accompanied him so many times before. Each day, Hachikō waited for the return of his owner.

The permanent fixture at the train station that was Hachikō attracted the attention of other commuters. Many of the people who frequented the Shibuya train station had seen Hachikō and Professor Ueno together each day. They brought Hachikō treats and food to nourish him during his wait.

This continued for nine years with Hachikō appearing precisely when the train was due at the station.

In the end, he got ill, and passed away. His body was found in a street in Shibuya.

I've recently started learning Japanese, I like learning languages, and I thought Japanese would be fun to try. That's how I came upon Hachi's story.

Hachi means "eight" in Japanese, and it's a number of good fortune, or so I read.

When I saw that there was a film about it, I had to see it.
And well, I just did, and I can't stop crying. Hachi's tale is beautiful, it shows us how strong a bond between master and animal can be. Hachi remains loyal to his Professor until the very end.

The film was very good. They respected the dog's real race and his background, not turning the whole thing into a super Americanised version of the real story. The dog was so cute, I wanted to hug him every time he did something funny.
And so beautiful too, a golden dog with a kind face.

What I loved about it was that it goes into Hachi's mind. There were scenes in black and white, showing us what Hachi was seeing. Even if he didn't completely understand what was going on, he had some idea.

Everyone who passed by the station greeted him, and took care of him.

This is a very sad story, so I sugest you watch it with a box of tissues near you.

The ending is so cute, I loved it. Overall, a great film.

Dec 2, 2010

Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1), by Maggie Stiefvater. [Audiobook]

Release Date: August 1st, 2009
Publisher: Scholastic Audio
Age Group: Young Adult
Overall: 5 Monkeys
Source: Borrowed
Interest: Series
Other Titles in the Series: Linger (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #2), Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3).

Summary from Goodreads:
the cold.
Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—watches back. He feels deeply familiar to her, but she doesn't know why.

the heat.
Sam has lived two lives. As a wolf, he keeps the silent company of the girl he loves. And then, for a short time each year, he is human, never daring to talk to Grace...until now.

the shiver.
For Grace and Sam, love has always been kept at a distance. But once it's spoken, it cannot be denied. Sam must fight to stay human—and Grace must fight to keep him—even if it means taking on the scars of the past, the fragility of the present, and the impossibility of the future.

My Opinion:

Why did I wait this long to read this? Well, hear it. Everyone who's said this book is amazing was right. It has everything a reader wants in a YA book: action, romance, mystery, suspense...

I'm not going to make this long, because I'm sure most of you have read this already.

When Grace was a little girl, she was dragged to the woods by wolves and they attacked her. They bit her. But one of them, a yellow eyed wolf, saved her. And he's been watching her in silence for years. But Grace has been watching too.

So, if they bit her, why isn't she changing with the seasons, like the others?

The pace of the book was perfect, fast, but not rushed. The way Grace and Sam fall in love is the sweetest I've read in a while: the attack on Grace, something terrible, is what brings them together. He saved her, and they've had a connection ever since. How Grace talked about her wolf, Sam, and his yellow eyes, was great. It was very posessive, but it didn't cross the line and made her look crazy. She had all the right to call Sam her wolf.

Jenna did an awesome job narrating Grace's chapters. All of Grace's emotions were transmited perfectly. Same with David, narrating Sam's chapters. Both narrators were excellent.

And Sam, oh, Sam! Why do you have to be so sweet? With your songs about your Summer Girl, and your poems. I want a Sam of my own. Maybe I'll ask one for Christmas.

Dec 1, 2010

I'm featured on Lauren Oliver's Blog!

Last week I blogged on Deliriously Falling about an artwork I made, inspired by Lauren Oliver's upcoming book, Delirium, and emailed her about it. 

She emailed me back a couple of days later. And asked me if she could blog about it on her blog. Of course I said yes. Lauren is one of my favourite authors, along with Isabel Allende and J.K. Rowling.  

I'm dancing in the clouds right now. Thanks Lauren!

Before I Fall is a book you have to read, and Delirium will be one of the most important books in 2011. If not the most important one. Both books deal with so many emotions, they'll leave you dizzy after reading them.

Nov 23, 2010

Scott Westerfeld's Pretties Series Gets a New Look!

I just became a fan of Scott Westerfeld on Facebook, and this is what I found:

(Click on the images to enlarge.)

Aren't they amazing? I really like the old covers, but these ones are so much more mysterious, enticing and appealing. Besides, I love everything white and minimalist and these covers make me go "OOHH!" Too bad I have the old covers, and I don't even know if the new covers will be published in Argentina.

What do you think? Had you seen them before? Do you like these new ones or the old ones better?

Nov 21, 2010

2011 Debut Author Challenge

This year I failed miserably at this, so I'm making it my goal to complete it next year.

To participate you have to read 12 YA or MG books by debut authors, or more, that's up to the reader. I'm aiming to read 12, but if I can read more, I will!

On this post I'll list the books I'll be reading, and I reserve the right to change this list whenever I want, for whatever reason. 
  1. Unearthly, by Cynthia Hand. Published January 4th, 2011, by HarperTeen.
  2. Across the Universe, by Beth Revis. Published on January 11th, 2011, by Razorbill.
  3. Angelfire, by Courtney Allison Moulton. Published on February 15th, 2011, by Katherine Tegen Books.
  4. Populazzi, by Elise Allen. To be published on August 2011, by Harcourt Children's Books. 
  5. Wither, by Lauren DeStefano.  Published March 22nd 2011, by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing.
As I read the books I'll be linking my reviews here. 
These are all US debuts, but I might add a Latin, Spanish, UK, or Aussie debut to the list.

You can join the challenge on The Story Siren.

Nov 17, 2010

WOW #16: Red Glove (The Curse Workers, #2), by Holly Black

Red Glove (The Curse Workers, #2), by Holly Black
Sequel to White Cat (The Curse Workers, #1).

(No summary yet.)

I won a hardcover of WC, and a little teaser for Red Glove that left me wanting more so much!
I'm guessing this is Lila in the cover, although she doesn's look much like the Lila from my mind. This one is much older.

This cover doesn't match the one I have for White Cat, which is this one:

But it does match this other cover which I hadn't seen until now:

Personally, I like the first one better, the one with the smoke over Cassel's eyes. It gives it more mystery and the font for the title looks so much better than this block-y one in the second cover.

What's your WoW this week? Maybe I'll find something to add to my ever-growing TBR Pile!

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Nov 14, 2010

A quick question

After I read a book, I rush into writing the review, cause I'm afraid I'll forget what my thoughts were if I wait to write it. For instance, I read Delirium, by Lauren Oliver, and immediately wrote the review, pouring all of my thoughts into it. 

But I'd like to know, do you do this too, or wait until the release date of the book to publish your review? 
Delirium comes out next February, should I have waited a bit longer to publish my review? What do you think?


Nov 10, 2010

Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles, #2), by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Release Date: October 12th, 2010
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Age Group: Young Adult
Overall: 4,5 Monkeys
Interest: Series

Summary from Goodreads:

Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen.

Sometimes life-ending.

Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.
My Opinion:

Another great book by Kami and Margie! I loved it! 

From the beginning there's action and suspense, and it keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout it.

One of the reasons I love this book so much is that it's told from a boy's POV, something very unusual in YA. 

Macon died on Lena's Sixteenth Birthday, or Moon, and Ethan knows how she must be feeling. So he's there for her. Or he tries to be. Because Lena keeps pushing him away, but that's only natural, because she's hurting. She feels it was her fault he died. 

Ethan gives her space and tries to talk to her, but Lena doesn't want him around. 

And oh, oh, Ridley, Lena's Siren cousin, is back. But she's not alone. There's a boy with her, and Ethan has a really bad feeling about him.

He's right, of course. Ridley and Vampire Boy (as Link calls him) convince Lena that she has to leave everything behind, and go someplace where she can't hurt anyone anymore. 

I felt so sad everytime Ethan tried to reach out for her, and she just pushed him away. She really wanted him gone, and it seemed as though John, aka Vampire Boy, was there to fill in Ethan's shoes if Lena so wanted. Ethan has got to be one of the strongest characters I've ever read about. Whatever challenge he was faced with, he did everything he could to overcome it, all to be with the one he loves. And there were those moments when he was feeling broken and miserable, and it made him all the more real. Boys cry too. 

Lena didn't have to Claim herself on her Sixteenth Moon, but she'll have to make a choice now, a choice that could affect the Order of Things forever. 

Link and Ridley are two characters I love in this series, even though Ridley can be a bit bitchy sometimes. Well, practically all the time. Link was still hung up on her, but she didn't have the same effect on him as before, and he was able to make his own choices. We see a little change in Ridley, too. Could she have the ability to care about someone? Really care about them? 

Also, there's a new character: Olivia, or Liv, a British exchange student that'll be working with Marian and who'll be of great help when Ethan and Link will need her. 
I didn't like her getting too attached to Ethan, he belongs to Lena! But she's not half bad. She was very interesting to read about, with her crazy temper and inventions.

And there's an OMG WTH?! revelation that involves Macon and a special someone, that I can't wait to read more about. That made me teary eyed! 

At the end of the book, Ethan will need all the help he can get to get Lena back, whether she wants to or not. 
Who'll be there to help him? And against who is he fighting?

There were some things that left me hanging, like John's development, and they are the reasons I'm not giving this a 5 monkeys rating. But 4,5 is great too!


There's a Q&A with Kami & Margie on Goodreads! If you've read either BC or both, you can ask the girls questions, and join in the discussions about the books.

Nov 8, 2010

Lauren Oliver's Birthday!

Today's Lauren's birthday and we've made a little message for her over on Deliriously Falling.
Stop by and wish her a happy bday! We'll be sending her the link later today, so it's kind of a surprise!
Tell everyone!

Nov 5, 2010

A Message from Lauren! + Giveaway!

Lauren Oliver is awesome. She is. And she recorded a message for us! Which makes her ten times more awesome.

Head on over to Deliriously Falling to watch the video and enter in a very cool giveaway! Tell everyone!

Nov 4, 2010

Delirium (Delirium, #1), by Lauren Oliver

Release Date: February 1st, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Overall: 100 Monkeys!
Source: NetGalley
Interest: Series

Summary from Goodreads:
Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -the deliria- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.
My Opinion:

This is going to be a long review!

First of all, let me say WOW.  Second of all, I'm in love with this book! I keep tearing up every time I think about it, so this review is going to be very emotional.

Lauren Oliver is a fantastic author, and I loved the world she created.

Delirium is set in a dystopic USA, where love (everything about it, even saying the word) is banned. Cursed. Forbidden. The amor deliria nervosa is a disease that can seep under your skin, into your bones, and rot your brain. Or at least, that's what people are told. That's what Lena believes.

Lena, our protagonist, can't wait for the day when she'll finally get the treatment that will cure her and make everything OK. Because everyone knows that her family's tainted by the disease. Lena's mother was infected. And she died because of it. Lena wants to show everyone that she is nothing like her mother. She really believes that the cure is the only way to be happy.

The cure works in your brain. It makes you calmer, rationalises your thoughts, takes the pain away. There hasn't been much criminal activity in the world since the discovery of the cure. Everyone lives in harmony.

Because, what is love, but a feeling so strong that can make you go insane, get angry for no reason, and bring nothing but pain?

That's why Lena counts down the days until her procedure. Her, and her best friend, Hana.

Hana is a lovable character, funny, energetic, corageous. She's from a rich family, so her friendship with Lena has always been questioned. Why would a girl like her want to be friends with someone like Lena? But, despite everything, they love each other, or rather, care deeply for the other.

The girls run together almost every day, the run giving them a thrill and bringing them closer together. They talk about everything, but most importantly, about the cure.

Before you can get your treatment, you have to be evaluated. You'll be asked about your hobbies, your family, your favourite colour... And be sure you answer correctly! If you don't there can be serious concecuences. Because your life depends of that single evaluation. It will determine what career you'll be able to follow, to whom you'll be married, even how many kids you'll have.

Lena can't wait to pass the evaluation, and know what her life will be like as an adult.
"After the procedure, [Rachel] said, it would all be coasting, all glide, every day as easy as one, two, three." Lena, page 46.
But of course, not everyone is for the treatment. And some people even get infected before they're cured.
Scientists say you have to wait until you're eighteen to have your procedure done. Before that it's too risky, and many things could go wrong. But there have been cases where it was imperative that infected people had the treatment early.

And then there are those who refused to have their treatment and have escaped to live on the outside of the city, outside the safety of its walls. Those who've gone to live in the Wilds. The Invalids. The infected. You don't want to get caught talking about them. It's as bad as if you're caught talking about the deliria.
Mama, Mama, help me get home
I'm out in the woods, I am out on my own.
I found me a werewolf, a nasty old mutt
It showed me its teeth and went straight for my gut.

Mama, Mama, help me get home
I'm out in the woods, I am out on my own.
I was stopped by a vampire, a rotting old wreck
It showed me its teeth and went straight for my neck.

Mama, Mama, put me to bed
I won't make it home, I'm already half-dead
I met an Invalid, and fell for his art
He showed me his smile and went straight for my heart.

-From "A Child's Walk Home," Nursery Rhymes and Folk Tales, edited by Cory Levinson. 
Page 56.
It is on the day of her evaluation that Lena meets the boy that will change her life forever. Up on the Observation Deck, she sees a boy looking down at her, and thinks she can see him smiling. A few days later, she sees him again. 

Alex is guard at the Labs where the evaluations and procedures take place. Lena and Hana run into him when they make a detour in their running track. From that point on, Lena's life takes a 360 degree turn. 

But she can see his marks, the ones the procedure gives you. So that means he's cured, that means he's safe. Isn't he?

Lena is thrown off balance by all the things Alex tells her, all the things he makes her feel. 

Could it be possible that everything she knew was a lie? That everything she thought was great is actually the most terrible thing humanity has ever created? She thought getting infected with the deliria was the worse thing that could happen to you, but what if it's not? What if it's the best thing that could ever happen to someone? 
"As I head home, I keep feeling paranoid, like someone [...] will be able to tell just from seeing my face that I've crossed over. [...] But no one ever glances in my direction. It's a little before nine o'clock, and most people are just rushing to get to work on time. An endless blur of normal people doing normal things, eyes straight ahead of them, paying no attention to the short, nondescript girl with a lumpy backpack pushing past them. 
The short, nondescript girl with a secret burning inside of her like a fire." Lena, page 213.

Lena finally learns the truth about things, and she also knows that the scientists weren't that wrong.

The deliria can change your appetite, your mood, your sleeping habits. It can make you feel happy, but it can make you very, very miserable. It might even kill you. 

But maybe, death isn't so bad. Because, after you've been infected, life cannot get worse. And you'd rather die on your own terms that live on theirs

Delirium's ending had me crying like crazy (much like Before I Fall's ending) and left a hollow feeling in my chest. But now that I know there are two more books to come, I'm filled with hope! You'll need a box of tissues to read this. Mark my words.
"I love you. Remember. They cannot take it." Page 31.
I love Lauren's books so much, that I've started a Fan Page just for them! Click here to visit the blog, Deliriously Falling, and join in the conversation!

**You read the whole thing? YAY! You're awesome!
***I love that Lena's name is Magdalena Ella Haloway. We have the same name!

Nov 3, 2010

My Not-So-Secret Project is Revealed!

I told you I'd finished reading Delirium by Lauren Oliver yesterday -I still have to write the review- and I've been busy ever since.

Why? Because I just created a Fan Page for Lauren and her work! I'm super excited about it! (I already have one follower, thanks Mundie Moms!) And I hope it continues to grow and become this awesome place where we can talk about everything about Lauren, her books and the upcoming film versions of her work!

It'll be crazy, managing this blog, that one, and doing what normal humans do, but I'm all up for it!

Come and join me in Deliriously Falling, and let's discuss!

There's a Before I Fall Read Along coming up in Fallen Archangel! I'll be there, will you? (I'm already thinking of what we can do for the release of Delirium next February!)

Nov 2, 2010

Between the Sea and Sky cover!

OK, how beautiful is that cover? I'm in love with it, it's so pretty! Look at the little tail coming off of the B in Between! Jaclyn has just revealed it! She's had to keep it a secret until now, and she's finally able to share it with us!
Here's what she said about the book:
I LOVED writing this book so much. As I've described before, I envisioned like Jane Austen meets Miyazaki movie (and had soundtracks to both in heavy rotation while writing it). It's about a mermaid named Esmerine who runs into her old childhood friend winged dude Alan, while looking for her sister Dosinia who ran away with a human man. There is flying, and humor, and a brassy old woman, and a bookstore, and lots of love to literature (of the 18th century variety, at least), and kissing in a vineyard, and relationships between sisters, and Alan is somewhat of an intellectual snot, which I always enjoy, personally. Not so much of an intellectual snot that I wouldn't date him. You know.

It's set in the same world as Magic Under Glass but instead of being Victorian England/America-ish, it's based on Italy around 1800. (And man, I did way too much research on actual Italy for it being a made up Italy...)

So, go ahead and add it to your ever-growing To Be Read pile, like I did, and enter in the contest Jaclyn's holding!
I just finished reading Delirium, by Lauren Oliver. Review's coming up!

Oct 30, 2010

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1), by Cassandra Clare

Release Date: August 31st, 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Age Group: Young Adult
Overall: 5 Monkeys
Source: Web
Interest: Series
Other Titles in the Series: Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2), Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3)

Summary from Goodreads:

Magic is dangerous--but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by--and torn between--two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world... and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

My Opinion:

What an awesome book! Truly amazing; I'm embarrassed to say that this was my first Clare book (if you don't count her fanfiction, which is amazing as well). 

The the first book in the prequel series to The Mortal Instruments is beautifully written, it drew me in and didn't let me go until I'd finished it! And I like to read two or three books at once, but this one... this one kept calling me, telling me to finish it first!  

As the summary says, Tessa is a 16 year old American girl who is left without nothing and had to go to London to her brother because she has nowhere else to turn to. 

From the moment she sets foot in the city, the action begins. Tessa is captured by the Dark Sisters, ugly and evil warlocks who imprison her, and show her that there is a power locked inside her, a power she didn't even know she had. The power to transform at will, to nearly become the one she's turned into.

Tessa remains captive at the Dark House, until a Shadowhunter named Will comes to rescue her. 

She is introduced to the Shadow World, and the London Institute opens its doors to let her in. 
There she meets Charlotte, who runs the Institute; Henry, her husband; Jessamine, a Shadowhunter too; Thomas, Sophie and Agatha, the servants -all with the touch of the Sight-; and Jem, a Shadowhunter and Will's best friend. 

Charlotte promises that they'll do anything to help Tessa save her brother. But there's so much they don't know. 

They're fooled into traps, make scary discoveries, and begin to fall in love. 

While Tessa clearly shows feelings for Will, I wouldn't be surprised if in book two we saw her and Jem having a moment. 
It's so hard to choose a side! Will is witty and he has these moments where you can't suppress that aww escaping you, and Jem is kind and caring 24/7, but lacks the boldness Will posesses. For now, I'm going to say, Team Will! 

Oct 28, 2010

Hex Hall to be published in Spain in 2011

Spanish editorial Destino has revealed the new cover for the Spanish version of Rachel Hawkins's Hex Hall, which will be titled Condena (something like Conviction). They had a poll, and this is the cover that won:

To tell the truth I like the American cover better. What do you think?

The book is coming out in Spain next year, if I'm not wrong. Let's hope it comes to Latin America soon after its release in Spain.
This book is also in my TBR List, so hopefully I'll be reading it soon and reviewing it here.
Have you read it? Did you like it?
I quite like the premise, magic is my thing!

Oct 19, 2010

Happy Book Birthday Crescendo and Nightshade!

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

The farther Nora delves into the mystery of her father's death, the more she comes to question if her Nephilim blood line has something to do with it as well as why she seems to be in danger more than the average girl. Since Patch isn't answering her questions and seems to be standing in her way, she has to start finding the answers on her own. Relying too heavily on the fact that she has a guardian angel puts Nora at risk again and again. But can she really count on Patch, or is he hiding secrets darker than she can even imagine?
Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything--including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

(both summaries from Goodreads)

I cannot wait to read these! Hush, Hush is one of my favourite reads ever, and Nightshade is getting great reviews, everyone is loving it!
Happy birthdays, dears!

Both books are released today.

Oct 18, 2010

Elixir (Elixir #1), by Hilary Duff, Elise Allen (Contributor)

Release Date: October 12th, 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 327
Overall: 5 Monkeys
Source: Web
Interest: Series
Other Titles in the Series: Devoted (Elixir, #2)

Summary from Goodreads:

As the daughter of a renowned surgeon and a prominent Washington D.C. politician, Clea Raymond has felt the glare of the spotlight her entire life. And though she dreads the paparazzi who track her every move, she herself is a talented photojournalist who takes refuge in a career that allows her to travel to the most exotic parts of the world.

But after Clea’s father disappears while on a humanitarian mission, eerie, shadowy images of a strange and beautiful young man begin to appear in Clea’s photos—a man she has never seen in her life.

When Clea suddenly encounters this man in person she is stunned—and feels an immediate and powerful connection. As they grow closer, they are drawn deep into the mystery behind her father’s disappearance and discover the centuries-old truth behind their intense bond.

Torn by a dangerous love triangle and haunted by a powerful secret that holds their fate, together they race against time to unravel their past in order to save their future—and their lives.
My Opinion:

WOW. Just WOW.

When I first heard Hilary Duff was releasing a book, I thought, "Yeah, right. How much did she actually write?". But now I can definitely see that (with help), she's the one who wrote it. Elise Allen helped, how much, we don't know.

So you've read the summary, Clea is a rich girl who travels the world, camera in hand, and takes pictures of everything she sees. Until a man starts showing up in her photos, and she can't explain how he's there.

Ben and Rayna are her friends, Rayna is your typical "OH MY GOSH, tell me now, what happened with that guy!" sort of girl, and Ben is more reserved, nerdy and quiet.

Only, the man isn't just in her photos, but in her dreams too. Really vivid dreams, where she sees herself as four different women, all with the same guy, the one from the pictures. And she starts to find excuses to go to bed all the time, just to dream about him. Up until her fantasies turn into nightmares.

She has a new job as a photojournalist: she has to go to Rio, and capture every moment of the Carnival taking place there. Ben joins her. In Rio was also where her father went missing.

At the beach, after having taken photos and danced all night, Ben and Clea have a moment alone, one where you think, "Aww, kiss him!". But then Clea sees him, the man from her dreams, and runs after him.

From then on the novel takes a 360 degree turn, making it fast-paced and just plain awesome.

We discover the truth about this mystery man, and how he's connected to Clea. How he's destined to be with her.

Clea will start looking for her father, and learning more about the Elixir of Life in the meantime, about how it's changed her fate forever.

We're left with a terrible cliffhanger (in the good way!), that left me aching for the next part!

Seriously, I know you must have thought the same thing I did, "Could Hilary Duff have really written a book?". Just read Elixir and see for yourself.

Oct 14, 2010

White Cat (The Curse Workers #1), by Holly Black

Release Date: 2010
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 310
Overall: 5 Monkeys
Source: Won
Interest: Series
Summary from Goodreads:
Cassel comes from a family of curse workers -- people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they're all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn't got the magic touch, so he's an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail -- he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He's noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.
Holly Black has created a gripping tale of mobsters and dark magic where a single touch can bring love -- or death -- and your dreams might be more real than your memories.
My Opinion:

What an amazing book! I have nothing but great words for this book, it's awesome!

From the beginning we're trapped into this game of trust and deception, of cons and murders, of love and brotherhood. I loved the world Black has created and can't wait to read more about it!

The story is all about Cassel (pronounced like "castle", according to the author) and how he is a non-worker in a family of workers. To be a worker means to have a special ability: emotion workers can change your feelings just by touching you, memory workers change or block your memories, etc., etc. But transformation workers are the rarest workers in the world. Basically just one is born within a decade, or a generation even.
Workers work their magic by touching other, hence the use of gloves. To be seen without gloves is very serious thing, and "bare hands can be as dangerous as knives".

Cassel has killed his friend Lila, and now his guilt is coming back. And so is his mother, locked up in prison, and about to be set free. Cassel is asked to leave school after an incident involving the school's roof, and has to go home.

To prepare for his mother's arrival, his grandfather gets him to work on cleaning up their old house. There, he sees cats lurking around. And a white cat he thinks he's seen before.

From that point on the story gets more amazing and fast paced. We learn the truth about Cassel and the cat, and there's a scene towards the end that is just plain awesome.

The ending made me groan in frustration! How could Cassel's mother do that to her son? Ugh! Poor Cassel!

I really have nothing more to say, except that I loved this book and can't wait for Red Glove.

Visit Holly Black's website.

Oct 12, 2010

Lesson One: Stewardship and Oral Sex, (With Bits of Hebrew and Greek Thrown In) - Erin McCahan's Blog Tour Stop

Today I have the honour of being Erin McCahan's host in her blog book tour for her latest novel, I Now Pronounce You Someone Else.

If you visit Erin's website, you'll find a really funny story about her working at her step-dad's medical office. So for today's tour stop, I asked Erin if she had any other story as funny as that last one.

You've read this post's title! She suggested it! And I suggest you read the whole post, cause it's hilarious!
Go on, read the post!

Here's what she has to share with us:

            It was a Thursday when my minister, who was also a friend, called to offer me the job of youth minister at our church.  I had a religion minor in college because of one phenomenal professor whose classes I just kept taking, and even went to seminary after undergrad just to keep studying the topic.  Then in seminary, I discovered I really liked studying Hebrew and Greek – the ancient, as in dead, forms – so I did that for about a year and a half until I finally figured out that it was nothing more than an expensive hobby.
            So then . . . Thursday.
            My minister-friend sounded desperate, and I felt conflicted, because youth ministry was not anything that interested me.  I didn’t even baby-sit more than 4 or 5 times growing up.  But I could hear the desperation in my friend’s voice, so I agreed, and she said,  “Great.  You’re hired.  You start Sunday.  And, by the way, you’ve got junior high and high school.”
            Junior high and high school?! 
I wanted to shout that in horror but instead, in classic Episcopal, by which I mean terribly polite, style, I said,  “Okay, great, thank you.”
            If I liked the class in undergrad, I saved the textbooks.  Didn’t sell them at the end of the semester.  So I still had all my religion texts, and I got the things out and spent Thursday, Friday and Saturday creating a general outline for Christian education classes I’d be teaching and then created a couple very specific lesson plans beginning with Creation.
            Now, you have to keep in mind that Episcopal youth education is practically comical, it’s so bad.  I remember doing a lot of coloring in Sunday School, and a couple times we played Simon Says.  Apparently Simon was God, and God, for some reason, always wanted us to hop on one foot. 
            So having grown up in a church that treats Coffee Hour as sacred, I decided I was really going to teach my students something.  I’d turn them on to the incredibly fascinating stuff of God that that one professor in undergrad turned me on to.  I wouldn’t water it down.  I wouldn’t pander.  I’d more than spark their interest.  I’d ignite a fire in their hearts for God, and maybe, if they were lucky, I’d teach them some Hebrew and Greek along the way.  Because – really?  What’s more fun than lessons peppered with Hebrew and Greek?
            So Sunday arrives.  As it will.  I’m an hour early for my first class – junior high – setting up the room, arranging chairs, organizing pens, nametags, stuff.  And in walk 8 12- and 13-year-olds, which, for a suburban Episcopal Church, is a lot.  We do the introductions, and I launch my attack.  My sneak attack.  I’m telling a story to teach, building suspense, drawing them in with trivia questions, and it’s moving, moving, moving.  And they’re engaged.  They’re making eye-contact.  They’re eager for the next trivia question.  And I’ve got them hooked.  I know it.  And I come to the end of the lesson, and I ask for questions, and one boy’s hand shoots up.  Just shoots up, and, yes, Colin.  Yes!  He’s curious.  He want to know more.  I did it.  Yea, me.
            And Colin asks,  “Is oral sex sex?”
            For a second, maybe two, I was frozen. 
            This wasn’t in my lesson plan!  And – wait – how did we get from stewardship, and the Fall affecting the animal kingdom to oral sex?
            So I ask,  “Why are you asking?”
            Oh, geez!  Did I just ask a 12-year-old why he wants to know if oral sex is sex?
            I start sweating because Colin clearly is not shy about expressing himself.
            Fortunately – sort of; well, it could have been worse – this class met right at the height of the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky Oral Sex, Blue Dress, Cigar and Oh, Yuck Scandal.  It was in all the newspapers, on the Internet and on the nightly news.  And these kids truly were curious.
            I think, for a second, you could have heard crickets chirping as I stared at eight sets of eyes fixed expectantly on me.  And this was one of those “it” moments, as in This is It.  Make it or break it.  Stay or go.  Win or lose.   If I were going to have any kind of credibility with these kids, I’d have to answer, and I’d have to answer honestly.  So I did, but I did it with boundaries, seemingly for the shy kids but, in truth, for myself.  I was hoping to prevent further discussion.
            I said,  “Okay, I’m going to explain this, and if I use a term you don’t know, just wink at me or make a face or something, so I’ll know you don’t understand.”
            And then every couple of sentences, I’d stop, ask if we were clear, see 8 little heads nod – whew – and move on.  And apart from huge amounts of anxiety and some vocabulary acrobatics, it went pretty well.  
            So I found my minister later that afternoon and told her what had happened, and she was thrilled.  She said kids need to be able to ask these questions of someone who will answer honestly, and she thanked me, which was a relief.  I had visions of a parent walking down the hall, past my room that morning, hearing what I was talking about, and organizing a mob to drive me from the building with torches and pitchforks.  Episcopalians do not discuss oral sex in public.  Or in private.  And they certainly don’t write guest blogs about it and suggest the title:  Lesson One:  Stewardship and Oral Sex, (With Bits of Hebrew and Greek Thrown In).
            And how – you may be wondering – did I answer Colin’s question?  I’ll say what I say to everyone who asks after I tell this story:  I’m sorry, but I don’t teach that class anymore.


Thanks Erin for sharing that with us! I really enjoyed it!
All my best to you, I know you're feeling ill, and I hope you get better soon!
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