Mar 30, 2010


Awesome news, that I'm sure you must already know:
Stephenie Meyer is releasing a new book!
And it'll be up on its own website for us to read for free :D

Thanks SM!

Mar 29, 2010


Author Heidi R. Kling is giving away a book a week until the release of SEA, 9 weeks from today.
This is open Internationally (YAY!) and you can win a different, awesome book every week!
But you won't know what that book is until the contest is over. So if you win, it'll be a surprise!
Enter here.

Mar 28, 2010


TODAY is my first blogiversary and I just remembered!
I don't have anything prepared, which is why I'll do something for this coming week.
I'm still broke, so don't expect anything big.
If you're and author/publisher and would like to donate something, I would love you forever and ever.

In My Mailbox #5

In My Mailbox explores the contents of my mailbox on a weekly basis. (This post was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie and created by Kristi of The Story Siren.)


Fifteen-year-old Tilly, Fran, Marlee and Pink are surfer girls.

They have been meeting for the first surf of the season every year since they first met at the surf school run by Tilly’s dad, Phil, when they were eight.

Phil has big plans for the surf school this year, but when he is injured in a hit-and-run accident, everything suddenly seems uncertain.

While Phil languishes in hospital and the police track his attacker, Tilly is determined to realise his plans and keep the surf school open. To do this, she needs all the help she can get from her friends.

But Marlee is training for the surfing competition to win a new board and beat the moody Kyle, Pink is warring with her parents and intrigued by the stranger Kim, and Fran is busy making jewellery.

Laurine Croasdale has published three fiction titles for UQP (Trivia Man, Red Golf Balls, What Truly Counts), and a range of non-fiction titles (including two for Macmillan Education).

She was also a writer on Hi 5 for Channel 9. She reviews books regularly on radio, and spent five years reviewing children’s and adults’ titles on Angela Catterns’ breakfast show on ABC radio.

Laurine had the idea for Surf School many years ago but felt that its popularity had not yet reached its peak.

The story weaves together her childhood on the northern beaches with her daughter’s experiences growing up today.


Winter swells are rolling into Diamond Beach. But surfer girls Fran, Pink, Marlee and Tilly are still consumed by all things surfing.

Fran and Pink are collaborating on a surf label, and there’s news of a major surfing contest at treacherous Shipwreck Beach — a chance for Marlee and Tilly to dazzle on the world stage.

But parents and boyfriends are distracting the girls from their big plans.

Pink’s mother Christie is determined to control her spirited daughter; Marlee tells Kyle she has to concentrate on her surfing; and Jamie still can’t see that Tilly is anything more than just a friend.

The absorbing, dramatic sequel to Surf School.

Remember you can win both Surf books here! This contest is open internationally, and I'd love it if you could tweet or tell your friends about it!

I also got Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure, and Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country, by Allan Richard Shickman, but couldn't find pics to show you the covers.
I see a lot of bloggers got these books too, and I'd love to hear what they've got to say about them.

Pick your publisher contest!

Generally, I don't post about giveaways, but this one is too good to let it pass.
The Undercover Book Lover is holding a giveaway in which you can choose a pack from the publisher you want!
They all seem great, but I'll have to choose the HarperTeen one, because of Forgive My Fins.

The giveaway is open until April 22nd.

Enter now for a chance to win one of these awesome packs!

Mar 24, 2010

Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1), by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Summary (from

Some loves are meant to be…
others are cursed.

There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
At least, that’s what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
There was a curse. There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.

My Opinion:

WOW. Just WOW. Do I need to elaborate?

I'm not sure there are enough words to explain just how wow-worthy this book is, but I'll try.

Know that I do not like to post two posts on the same day (this being a Waiting on Wednesday), but I'm making an exception here.

(FYI, this is going to be a review full of fangirlying)

I do need to say this, and I apologise in advance:

(In a Southern accent)

There, I needed to get it out of my system. On to the review.

This book is the longest I've read in a while, but I wish it would've kept on going, I didn't want it to end.

There were no surprises in Gatlin County.

Everything's been the same in old Gatlin for as long as Ethan can remember. He's gone to school with the same people every year, he's played with his best friend every day since he was little, he knows who's gonna win the election for Snow -I mean, Ice- Queen every time.
He always knows how the movie's gonna end.

At least, that’s what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

A nightmare haunts Ethan's nights. One where he's not alone. There's a girl with him, but he can't see her face, he can just smell her. She smells of lemons and rosemary. And they're falling, never able to come too close. She slips away from his grasp every time. Even his dreams never change. He's had this nightmare for months now.
But to Ethan's surprise, along comes a girl ready to turn his world upside down.

There was a curse. There was a girl.

That girl is Lena Duchannes. Dressed in all black, Ethan first sees her in the school's halls. And he's mesmerized by her immediately.
And when he goes looking for her, it hits him. The girl from his dreams -more like his nightmares- is here. She's real, and he can't believe she's so close to him, when in his dreams, they fell more and more apart.

But Lena's an outsider, she's seen as an intruder, and to top it all, she's the town's crazy shut-in's niece. Ethan doesn't care about this, about any of it, because she's the one he's been dreaming of all this time. And he has to know her. Even if that can kill him.

And in the end, there was a grave.

Ethan and Lena become fast friends, a friendship that'll later blossom into love. But she could leave him anytime, because the curse upon her is a very old, very powerful one. He tries to help her find the loopholes in this curse, but the closer they get, the worse it is.

Secrets and lies and spells and voodoo intertwine and it is up to Ethan to help Lena survive.

I loved everything about this book, I wouldn't change a single thing. Margie and Kami do a great job describing the town and its people. Their sacred traditions, and the rolls every one of them plays in their lives.

I think Amma was my favourite character; being Ethan's only parent (his mum died, and his dad is locked up in his study) she's taken upon herself the job to raise him well. But of course, like everything in this book, there's more to her than you would know.

I also liked how well characterised Ethan was. And Lena. And Uncle Macon. And Marian. Everyone, really.

Everything was there and done for a reason. Everything had a purpose.

I felt like Ethan a little, because I was able to guess some parts of the ending -in this case- of the book. Whenever this happens, I feel a little proud of myself. :D

And Oh. My. God, the kissing scenes! Ahhh! I just died a little every time I read them, I LOVED their description of how it felt like, it made me feel butterflies in my stomach.

The twists and turns this novel took were more and more exciting. I kept on reading until my eyes were closing at 3 a.m. It only took me three days to read this, that's how good it is and how much I loved it. Only a good book can keep me up at night.

And now, for the Monkey Rating, because I loved this book so much: 6 Monkeys!
(Please note that the highest rating is of 5 monkeys. Yep.)

I never reviewed Harry Potter because I read it before having started this blog, but I'd give it this rating too. I am a die hard HP fan, and now, a BC fan too. Can't wait until Beautiful Darkness, and, I have to say, I guessed its title right the first time Kami and Margie asked us what we thought it'd be.

Because there's something you don't know. I'm a Caster Girl too.
And I'll even tell you what I am. I am a Sybil, a face reader. So be careful when you're around me if you don't want me finding out your dirty secrets!

Link(s): Ha ;)

Waiting on Wednesday #11

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

Uuuu, look at that cover!
Don't you love it? I do.
It's so powerful-looking, and read this:
Sixteen-year-old Evie's job is bagging and tagging paranormals. Possessing the strange ability to see through their glamours, she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency. But when someone--or something--starts taking out the vamps, werewolves, and other odd beasties she's worked hard to help become productive members of society, she's got to figure it out before they all disappear and the world becomes utterly normal.
Normal is so overrated.*

Releasing on September 21, 2010.

*Summary from GoodReads

Mar 22, 2010

I'm (Argentine) Caster Girl 50!

Just joined,
the Spanish-speaking "sister" of

Why 50?
1. Because nº 7 was already taken.
2. I think it's a powerful number.

(para los casters que vengan acá:
me olvidé de poner el link de mi blog en español en los detalles que escribí para mi presentación.
Clickeen aquí:)

Mar 19, 2010

Monkey Review: Cracked Up To Be, by Courtney Summers

Synopsis (from

Perfect Parker Fadley isn’t so perfect anymore. She’s quit the cheerleading squad, she’s dumped her perfect boyfriend, and she’s failing school. Her parents are on constant suicide watch and her counselors think she’s playing games… but what they don’t know, the real reason for this whole mess, isn’t something she can say out loud. It isn’t even something she can say to herself.

A horrible thing has happened and it just might be her fault.

My Opinion:

THANK YOU Shesten (I Heart Monster) for having sent this to me!
EVERYONE in the blogging world talked about this book when it came out, like it was The Greatest Book. And let me tell you, it's more than that.

A while ago I complained here how US books took forever to get to LA (Latin America). If they got here it was with months, sometimes years of delay.

CUTB was first published in 2008, and I really think it should be published in Spanish. I think every teenager in North, Central and South America should read this book. That's how good this book is. And the themes in it are great to discuss in and out of schools.

CUTB tells the story of an eighteen year-old teen, Parker Fadley, and what happens to her after Certain Event changes her life drastically.

Cracked Up To Be is the perfect title for this novel. After finished reading it we realize Parker Fadley is not at all cracked up to be.

An Event has twisted her life forever, leaving her taciturn and lonely. Summers does a great job hiding this Event throughout the book -we only discover it, or begin to guess at it towards the end of the book. I had my suspicions after having only read 75 pages, and I'm proud to say I wasn't that mistaken.

Parker won't let anyone get close to her. She wishes to die alone, literally. Having tried it once, she's constantly watched to prevent it from happening again.
She meets with her Student Counselor and is threatened by her principal: if she fails to catch up with her asignments, she won't graduate, and what she wants most is to leave that school forever and be left alone. Her parents are strangers to her now, and she practically has no friends since That Event that changed everything for her.

At the beginning we don't know why Parker wants this things, nor what happened. And don't try to guess it, 'cause I can tell you, it's completely unexpected (well, I did guess the global Why, not exactly What).

And here comes Jake, the new kid. He gets close to Parker and she starts to change, to open up.

This book deserves all the high praise it's getting and more.
It's a real book with characters that might as well be. It reels you in and doesn't let you go. I read it in two days. And stopped 'cause I had to get some sleep...

The problems that Parker deals with are entirely believable, and Summers' narrative (going from present to The Event) makes the pace of the book fast, keeping it really interesting.

Now I want to read Some Girls Are!

Monkey Rating: 5 Monkeys
Cover: 3 Monkeys
Writing: 5 Monkeys
5 Monkeys

Visit Courtney Summers' website.
Follow Courtney on Twitter.

Mar 18, 2010

Winners, winners!

So, two of my Aussie Month contests have ended, and they have winners!

The winner of That's Why I Wrote This Song is:

Aye. Me?

And she'd name her band
Teenage Mutant Ninja Ducklings

And the winner of Gamers' Quest is:


Congrats girls, I'll be contacting you soon!

And don't forget to enter my SURF contest
to win Surf School AND Surf Sisters by Aussie author Laurine Croasdale.
This contest is open internationally and ends on Mar 31st.

Mar 17, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday #10

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

This week's WoW pick is The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff.

Isn't that creepy cover just great? Love it.

Summary: Mackie Doyle seems like everyone else in the perfect little town of Gentry, but he is living with a fatal secret - he is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now the creatures under the hill want him back, and Mackie must decide where he really belongs and what he really wants. A month ago, Mackie might have told them to buzz off. But now, with a budding relationship with tough, wounded, beautiful Tate, Mackie has too much to lose. Will love finally make him worthy of the human world?

Watch this awesome trailer:

The Replacement, coming from RazorBill, September 16th, 2010

Mar 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Pretty Book! #8

Today's the release date for these amazing books!
Happy Birthday to all of you!
Can't wait to read you!

Princess for Hire, by Lindsay Leavitt

*Title links will lead you to Amazon; author name's links, to the author's website.

Mar 15, 2010

Author Appreciation Week: Isabel Allende

My first pick for #AAW is Latin American author Isabel Allende.
Isabel has written over 17 novels and papers, three of which are YA -she wrote them for her grandkids- and I just love her prose.
The first book of hers I read was La Suma De Los Días (The Sum Of The Days), an autobiographical novel. Although it is an Adult book, I enjoyed it inmensely.
Most of her books are tinged with her own history: growing up during the Chilean dictatorship is a common subject in her books.
Books like The House of the Spirits and Of Love and Shadow, are books that fit this theme, and are also among my favourite books of all time.
These books will make you sad, happy, angry; and by the end you'll be thinking about them even when you don't mean to.
Love is always present in Isabel's books. That passion in them is another thing that makes me love her work. I've yet to find another author that can write as passionately as her.
Even if you don't like Adult books, I can guarantee you this: you won't be disappointed by Isabel.

Moving on to her YA trilogy.

These books are a great introduction if you've never read her, but I highly recommend her other books too.

  • “The City of the Beasts” 2002

  • “Kingdom of the Golden Dragon” 2003

  • “Forest of the Pygmies” 2005

  • This trilogy focuses on 14 year-old Alex, his grandmother and Nadia, a friend they make along the way.
    Alex's grandma writes for a travel magazine (forgive me Isabel if I'm mistaken, it's been a while), and takes him with her on her journeys across the globe. On their first trip, they meet Nadia. And together they find the City of the Beasts. They later travel to the Himalayas to unravel the mystery of the Golden Dragon. In the last installment, Nadia and Alex -or Eagle and Jaguar, as these are their animal spirits- go to the jungle in Kenya where they "discover a clan of Pygmies who unveil a harsh and surprising world of corruption, slavery and poaching."*

    These adventurous books are a great way to start reading Isabel's work.


    Mar 12, 2010

    Monkey Review: Out of the Blue, by Val Rutt

    Summary (from Picadilly Press):

    An unforgettable story of first love in World War II

    ‘I'm not going to be able to see you for a while, Kitty. I have a couple of days' leave and then I'll be gone.'
    Kitty felt her stomach turn. A few minutes ago, waiting to meet Sammy, she had felt giddy with happiness. Now, she felt sick with fear that she might never see him again.

    One beautiful spring morning, Kitty Danby meets Sammy Ray Bailey, a handsome young American pilot stationed nearby. Sixteen-year-old Kitty and Sammy fall quickly in love and, for a few precious weeks, the future holds a promise of happiness that Kitty hardly dares hope for. But it is 1944 and a tragic incident changes everything, leading to a web of secrets and misunderstandings which will only be understood years later . . .

    My Opinion:

    First of all, I'd like to thank author Val Rutt for having contacted me on impulse. Great things come from acting on impulse, and I think this was one of them.

    Why? Because I loved this book. The story of an impossible love. Who doesn't want to experience that at least once in their lives? I do.

    From the start we're introduced to Kitty Danby, 16, who's left her home in London to go and live with her aunt and uncle in the country. This happened during WW II, where most kids had to leave the comfort of their homes to be safer.

    And if Kitty hadn't moved, she wouldn't have met Sammy.

    Sammy Ray Bailey, American pilot, enters Kitty's life as a rescuer, and sweeps her off her feet. The two of them immediately become friends, and later fall in love.
    But what happens when one of them has a duty that forces him to go away, leaving the other one behind?

    The writing style was one that's known, yet not really used nowadays. But it made complete sense. Going back and forth in Kitty's life, makes us understand the decisions that led her to where she is now. The people around her have an enormous impact on it, too. And I mean, it is big. This is one of those stories where you ask, what if?

    And the ending made me go awwww! So, to me, that's what makes it a good book, one I'll remember reading when I'm older.

    I wouldn't say this is completely YA, because it has Adult bits in it too. It can be enjoyed by people of all ages. (Well, 11+, really).

    Monkey Rating: 3 Monkeys

    Val's website
    Picadilly Press' site
    Get from Amazon

    Mar 11, 2010

    Thank YOU @AmyReedFiction!

    How cool is that?
    Amy Reed thanked me for my review of Beautiful, in SPANISH!
    Who would've known she spoke Spanish?
    That was the first time an author actually thanked me.
    This day will go down in history.

    You can read my review of Beautiful in English, here, or in Spanish, here.

    reverse letters

    Following the examples of the lovely Lauren (and blogger-who-I-just-began-to-follow: Chelsea), I decided to do my own little reverse letters.

    Dear Ella,
    Why haven't you finished listening to me?
    Waiting for you,
    Your Shiver Audiobook.


    Dear Ella,
    Are you our fan or not?
    Make up you mind!
    Your Twilight books.


    Dear Ella,
    When will you finish writing me?
    Still here,
    Your latest book chapter.


    Dear Ella,
    On a second thought:
    When will you finish writing me, period?


    Dear Ella,
    Have you forgotten me already?
    Your embroidery set.


    Dear Ella,
    Will you keep on studying me?
    Always here for you,
    The French language.


    Dear Ella,
    Why am I still here, without you?
    When will you come and pick me up?
    You camera.


    Dear Ella,
    I love you too.
    Your bookshelf.


    Dear Ella,
    I love you MOAR,


    Dear Ella,
    Save me for later.
    You'll want to go to the cinema
    Or buy a book
    And I won't be here for you.
    Your money.


    I'll be answering this letters soon.
    Happy Thursday!

    Mar 10, 2010

    Waiting on Wednesday #9

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

    This week's WoW is Losing Faith, by Denise Jaden.
    I'm guessing a lot of people will choose this book as their WoW too, if they haven't already.

    When Brie's sister, Faith, dies in a fall from a cliff,
    Brie's world falls apart. As she goes through the
    bizarre and devastating process of mourning the sister
    she never understood, Brie must also contend with
    increasingly distant parents, her boyfriend's betrayal,
    and her sudden outcast status at school.

    And once she's over the initial shock of Faith's death,
    Brie is encountering more questions than closure.
    Certain facts about the way Faith died just don't line
    up. She soon uncovers Faith's role in a dark and
    twisted religious cult...a cult that now wants Brie as a

    A cult, how cool does that sound? Can't wait to read it! I've never read a book about cults!

    Losing Faith, Coming September 7, 2010
    from Simon Pulse.

    Mar 9, 2010

    Happy Blogiversary Diane and Shesten!

    Wow, the audio and image are a little off, but I don't know how to fix that! Girls, I'll give both of you a Medal if you understand what I'm saying! I was a bit nervous, I promise that's not how I speak most of the time, not like a Jamaican anyway!

    I thought of giving it another go, but decided I liked this vlog. It was really fun seeing myself speaking in English and knowing how nervous I'd been! I started a bit nervous, but then I relaxed, and well... here it is! I hope you like this little surprise!

    I liked doing this. In the end, anyway. Would you like to see me in another vlog?

    Contest Reminder!

    People, you have a chance to win 4 amazing books! (2 go together)
    Enter now by following the links above!
    These contests are INTERNATIONAL!

    Mar 7, 2010

    Monkey Review: Beautiful, by Amy Reed

    Summary (from Amazon):

    When Cassie moves from the tiny town where she has always lived to a suburb of Seattle, she is determined to leave her boring, good-girl existence behind. This is Cassie's chance to stop being invisible and become the kind of girl who's worth noticing.

    Stepping into her new identity turns out to be easier than Cassie could have ever moment, one choice, will change everything.

    Cassie's new existence both thrills and terrifies her. Swept into a world of illicit parties and social landmines, she sheds her virginity, embraces the numbness she feels from the drugs, and floats through it all, knowing that she is now called beautiful. She ignores the dangers of her fast-paced life, but she can't sidestep the secrets and the cruelty.

    Cassie is trapped in a swift downward spiral tinged with violence and abuse, and no one—not even the one person she thought she could trust—can help her now.

    My Opinion:

    Beautiful is a very powerful novel, and the fact that it's told from a thirteen-year-old makes it all the more profound.

    Beautiful starts with the introduction of Cassie, who's recently moved with her family, and sees this as an opportunity to start over. Having had no friends in her old town, Cassie will do anything if it means she'll be accepted.

    So when Alex comes along and invites her to join her table, Cassie is more than happy. But soon she'll learn that being Alex's friend, and trying to stay on her best side is not an easy thing to do.

    Alex pressures her into taking drugs and having sex, both things that don't really have meaning, according to her.

    Cassie comes from a broken family. Her mother is an alcoholic and her father wishes her were someplace else, rather than pretending to love Cassie and her mother. The world Alex introduces her to seems to hold all the answers to her problems. With drugs being an escape from the real world, alcohol filling the emptiness, and sex only meaning that someone wants her -even if it is just a physical thing- Cassie begins to feel that she belongs.

    And then comes Sarah, Alex's half-sister. With a backstory so dark, it makes Cassie feel sick.
    Sarah and Cassie become fast friends, they both understand each other. But Alex is not so happy about this. Leading Sarah to make a decision that'll change her life forever. One that'll also impact on Cassie.

    Did I enjoy the writing style, yes. What I thought was a little bleh was the ending, which was completely expected. I would have liked to see something different happen to Cassie, but this doesn't mean I didn't like the ending either. I goes to show how strong a person can become after having fallen so bad and hard.

    Monkey Rating: 3 Monkeys.

    Get the book from Amazon/TBD/B&N


    Mar 3, 2010

    Waiting on Wednesday #8

    Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine

    Like Mandarin, by Kirsten Hubbard
    Delacorte, Spring 2011

    I want to be beautiful like you, I thought, as if Mandarin were listening.

    I want apricot skin and Pocahontas hair and eyes the color of tea. I want to be confident and detached and effortlessly sensual, and if promiscuity is part of the package, I will gladly follow your lead. All I know is I'm so tired of being inside my body.

    I would give
    anything to be like Mandarin.
    It's hard to find beauty in the badlands of Washokey, Wyoming. Fourteen-year-old Grace Carpenter knows it's not her mother's pageant obsessions, or the cowboy dances and pickup trucks adored by her small-town classmates. True beauty is wild girl Mandarin Ramey: seventeen, shameless and utterly carefree.

    Grace would give ANYTHING to be like Mandarin.

    When the misfits are united for a project, they embark on an unlikely, explosive friendship, packed with nights spent skinny-dipping in the canal, liberating the town's animal-head trophies, and constantly searching for someplace magic. Grace even plays along when Mandarin suggests they make a pact to run away together. Blame it on the crazy-making wildwinds that plague their badlands town.

    But all too soon, Grace discovers Mandarin's unique beauty hides a girl who's troubled, broken and even dangerous. And no matter how hard Grace fights to keep the magic, even the best friendships can't withstand betrayal.

    Firelight, by Sophie Jordan
    July 2010, HarperCollins
    With her rare ability to breathe fire, Jacinda is special even among the draki—the descendants of dragons who can shift between human and dragon forms. But when Jacinda’s rebelliousness leads her family to flee into the human world, she struggles to adapt, even as her draki spirit fades. The one thing that revives it is Will, whose family hunts her kind. Jacinda can’t resist getting closer to him, even though she knows she’s risking not only her life but the draki’s most closely guarded secret.

    This YA debut by bestselling romance writer Sophie Jordan is a unique and fresh offering for paranormal fans. Between the main characters' fiery, instant connection, the dire consequences at stake, the pressures of fitting in at a regular high school, and the threat of the draki community tracking them down, Firelight is sure to make your skin tingle and your heart race.

    What are your choices for this week's WoW?

    ps: Thanks for having followed TCM's Aussie Month! I had so much fun, and I hope you did too!
    Remember to enter my 3 International contests! Find the links at the top of the page!
    Related Posts with Thumbnails
    Blog design and content by Ella Press, using elements by EMI