Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bookish Event & Giveaway

There aren't many author events/book signings around Oklahoma, so when there is one I get really excited about it and blather about it for days on Twitter and to my poor husband. :) This past Sunday, Tara Hudson (author of Hereafter, click for my review) and Sonia Gensler (The Reverent) made an appearance at my local Barnes and Noble.

HereafterThe Revenant

And by local I mean I had to drive an hour to get there. But it's still the closest one.

I arrived a bit late, but as I slid into my sit beside one of my old library co-workers, Tara waved at me and said "I know you!" Did I feel like a rock star, having the author of one of my favorite 2011 reads recognize me from Twitter? Yes, yes I did. I also got to meet another Oklahoma blogger, Julie from A Tale of Many Reviews! I'm quite jealous of the Texas bloggers and their book signings and meet ups, so it was nice to meet another Okie book blogger!

There was a short Q&A session, most of which I missed. I did get to hear Tara and Sonia speak about the WSJ article and the backlash it created, the writing process and about finding a publisher. They signed books next and I picked up The Reverent and my second copy of Hereafter. Both women were gracious and friendly. I talked to Tara about some new contemporary YA novels, and then asked my library friend to take a picture for me.

Thanks Tara & Sonia for coming! It was great meeting both of you!

And now it's GIVEAWAY TIME! Like I mentioned, I picked up a second copy of Hereafter at the book signing, since I had order a signed copy a few weeks before at one of Tara's other events. And in honor of my 2nd wedding anniversay, I'm going to give away a SIGNED COPY of Hereafter! Check out my review for more information, but let me tell you, this is a great love story :)

-To enter, fill out the form HERE
-Entrants must be 13 years of age or older
-US only
-Contest ends July 18th
-One entry per person

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

See you in July!

I'm taking a short break to get my act together with this blog. I haven't been able to give it the attention I would like so I'm going to shape it up. I feel like I can best do that without worrying about posting at the same time. I have a lot things to share with you (like a really awesome book that everyone must read and another author event is coming to Oklahoma!) and I'm hosting my first giveaway in July in honor of my 2nd wedding anniversary :)

See you soon!

This break is brought to you by the letter H.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (6)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating!

This week's WoW is by one my favorite authors of all time--Louise Rennison!

Summary via Goodreads: 
Picture the scene: Dother Hall performing arts college somewhere Up North, surrounded by rolling dales, bearded cheesemaking villagers (male and female) and wildlife of the squirrely-type. On the whole, it’s not quite the showbiz experience Tallulah was expecting… but once her mates turn up and they start their ‘FAME! I’m gonna liiiiive foreeeeeever, I’m gonna fill my tiiiiights’ summer course things are bound to perk up. Especially when the boys arrive. (When DO the boys arrive?) Six weeks of parent-free freedom. BOY freedom. Freedom of expression... cos it’s the THEATRE dahling, theatre!!

I love the Georgia Nicholson series like none other and I'm dying to see what Rennison has come up with now. I also love books that chronicle the theater, so I'm pretty sure this one is going to be a winner :) 

Withering Tights will be available starting July 8! 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Settings in Books

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week's top is Top Ten Settings in books, real and fictional

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: 10th Anniversary Edition (Harry Potter)
Hogwarts. Really, I'm in my mid-twenties and still waiting for my letter to visit this castle :)

Anna and the French Kiss
Paris. I visited Paris in 08 and it become one of my favorite places in the world. I absolutely loved Anna's view of this city.

The Summer I Turned PrettyIt's Not Summer Without YouWe'll Always Have Summer
Beck's beach house. It just sounds so cozy and there is beach outside the back door. Lovely.

Montana. I thought this was the weirdest place for YA book to set, but honestly? Montana is quite beauitful and Hand did an excellent job describing her setting. 

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour
Road Tripping. Loved Matsons's cross country road trip. I even called a friend to confirm details about Wichita. 

Dash & Lily's Book of DaresThe Princess Diaries, Volume IX: Princess MiaScarlett Fever
New York City. One of my favorite cities, I think NYC in an excellent setting for novels due its diversity and general awesomeness.

BloomabilityA Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True
Switzerland and Poland. I love reading books that take place in places I've been.

The Botticelli Secret (Reading Group Gold)
Italy. This book goes all across that boot-shaped country and I loved reading every travel.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Review: Hereafter

Hereafter by Tara Hudson
June 7, 2011 by HarperCollins

Received from Netgalley

Summary via Goodreads:
Can there truly be love after death?

Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she's dead. With no recollection of her past life—or her actual death—she's trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but will him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive.

Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit named Eli is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world . . . forever.

My thoughts: Ghost books are not my forte. In fact, I rarely read anything remotely scary because then I'm in bed at night, staring at the ceiling convincing myself that Gremlins do not exist and that the Siamanese cats from The Lady and the Tramp are not going to strangle me in my sleep. These are my nightmare, folks.

I'm not sure what prompted me to request this book, but I did and I read it. And I fell in love with sweet Joshua and was intrigued by Amelia's ghost-ness. Hudson delivered a mysterious tale of love, death and good and evil, and one I didn't want to put down even after it was finished.

There were several things that really drew me into this book, one being Hudson's ability to describe the setting. The novel takes place in the southeast part of Oklahoma and being a native Okie myself, I enjoyed the beauty that is my home state. I could vividly see the places that Amelia took the reader and I felt that the setting almost became a character itself.

The second thing that I really loved about Hudson's debut novel was the characters--mainly Joshua, who becomes the first person who can see Amelia. Joshua is portrayed as having this incredible aura around him, one that draws people to him. He's friendly, kind, handsome, loyal and many other likable qualities to him. I fell in love with him right along Amelia. Of course, now looking back, he almost seems too perfect. But I'll take it.

I haven't read many ghost stories as previously stated, so I don't have much evidence to go by, but Amelia's presence as a ghost was interesting. She can't touch or move anything or anyone. Until Joshua came around she couldn't see or talk to anyone either. But it was Amelia's lack of direction that really made me think it might be different from other ghost books. It seems like most ghosts have a sort of purpose to be hanging about, and Amelia is just, well, there.

The plot was interesting and it had me captivated. The ending made me happy, but left me with the question What is going to happen to Amelia and Joshua? A teenage boy and ghost? Where is the happy ever after? Thankfully Hereafter is the first of a series :)

Hereafter comes out on Tuesday! Be sure to check it out if you love paranormal or romance novels!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

In My Mailbox (14)

(In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. Check out her website for more details)

From the library:
Jellicoe Road The Witch of Blackbird Pond

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta (A Printz winner, Ashely from Bleh to Basically Amazing Books suggested this one. I've already finished and IT IS AMAZING. Read it.)
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (Just started rereading this one. Am having flashback to sixth grade)

We'll Always Have Summer 
We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han (I adore this series and won the last book from Books 4 Hearts. Thank you so much!)

(Oh, and then I learned Jenny Han was coming to Austin Teen Book Festival and I spazzed out about it on Twitter, and then she tweeted me back)
(And my life was made.)

Not a lot of books going through here right now. Saving up for Teen Book Festival and a book signing next weekend. I'm be hitting up the library pretty hard this summer- but that's a good thing, right?

What's in your mailbox?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Review: Sass and Serendipity

Sass and Serendipity by Jennifer Ziegler
July 12, 2011 by  Delacorte Press
 Recieved through Banned Books Tours

Summary via Goodreads:
   For Daphne, the glass is always half full, a situation is better managed with a dab of lip gloss, and the boy of her dreams—the one she's read about in all of her novels—is waiting for her just around the corner. 
   For Gabby, nothing ever works out positively; wearing any form of makeup is a waste of study time, and boys will only leave you heartbroken. Her best friend, Mule, is the only one who has been there for her every step of the way.
    But when the richest boy in school befriends Gabby, and Daphne starts to hang out more and more with her best friend, Mule, Gabby is forced to confront the emotional barriers she has put up to stop the hurting. And for once, her sassiness may fall prey to her definition of stupidity.

My thoughts:
 Secret confession time: I really wished I had a sister. Sure, my brother is alright, and the fact that he is a chef almost makes up for all the times he tormented me when we were younger. Almost. But I'm wickedly jealous of all those people who can talk about how their sister is their best friend and the how awesome it was to grow up with them, yada, yada, yada. So naturally I adore any kind of book that divulges into the dynamics of the sister relationship. And Jennifer Ziegler's Sass and Serendipity didn't disappoint.

Based on Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility (a book I haven't read), Sass and Serendipity retells the tale of two very different sisters. Gabby is a pessimist, convinced that life will absolutely fall apart if she allows anything or anyone to disrupt her goals. Daphne is the complete opposite--easily sidetracked and eager to fall in love. With such clashing personalities and still coping with their parents' divorce, the sisters find themselves at each others throats often. The tension between them fills the book and some compromise must be made if cohabitation is to be achieved. While reading this book I came to the realization that I am a Daphne. This was quite shocking for one who would have sworn up and down that I was a Gabby.

And of course there are boys. Mule, Gabby's confidante, Preston, the snobby rich kid whose connection to Gabby's past makes her uncomfortable. The new boy into town who catches Daphne's eye. And the boy who Gabby lost, but never really had. The love stories were sweet--you root for the good boys and roll your eyes at the attempts of the not-so-good ones.

Sass and Serendipity is sweet, contemporary novel about learning to deal with the family you're given and finding balance. An excellent summer read, the cover alone made me what to lay out on a blanket and enjoy the great outdoors will reading.

(Special thanks to Jen at I Read Banned Books for allowing to review Sass and Serendipity)