YA book reviews, reading and recommending since 2009

Archive for May, 2009

Retrospective (2)

This is a summary of what you did in the past week. =) As it is hard to keep up with everyone’s post, we shall summarise it into one single post. Head over to Reviewer X aka Steph’s blog to add your link.

I didn’t do this for a few weeks, I’m sorry. I’m too tired/busy. But well, I’m back this week!

Monday
Nothing.

Tuesday
Reviewed Project 17 by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Wednesday
Discussed Chapter 22 of Gallagher Girls book discussion. Fun questions! Go and check them out.

Thursday and Friday
Nothing

Saturday
New rating system. STARS! Star ratings!
Reviewed Beautiful Disaster by Kate Brian

Sunday
Reviewed Being Nikki by Meg Cabot
This week’s In My Mailbox (10).

Whew what a week!

Interview with Marley Gibson and contest

To kick off June, I present to you MARLEY GIBSON!
What was your road to publication like?

Well…it was bumpy and had a lot of construction and detours, but I stayed on the road, gripping the wheel tightly and holding on for the ride…where ever it would take me. How’s that for a metaphor? LOL!! Seriously, though…it was rough. A lot of rejection. A lot. Two agents (one not so good; one very good) A lot of revisions and editorial letters and a lot of rewrites. Basically…I never gave up. Tenacity and perserverence will get you far!

Describe how you felt when you first saw the cover for Ghost Huntress.

Wow…I’m pretty sure I burst into tears. Not just because it’s sooooooo gorgeous and the artwork is fabulous, but because it has MY name on the cover. Made me feel very proud.

What was the hardest part of writing Ghost Huntress?

I have to say that it hasn’t been hard writing it at all. The characters are soooooo real to me. I see them like I can picture family and friends in my head. I guess the biggest challenge for me is that I work full-time and I have to make time in my schedule/life to write. The first two books flowed from me immediately, but I’ll admit it’s been hard finding time for the third book–that’s due in a couple of months–but I’ll get it done! = )

How long did it take for you to write Ghost Huntress?

I believe it took me 65 days of writing/editing. I banged it out pretty quickly because I saw the entire story in my head like a movie. It was very vivid to me and the characters’ voices really sang out to me. I believe I spent 55 writing days on GH2. We’ll see how it goes for GH3. =)

When did you begin to take interest in ghost hunting?

I became interested in ghost hunting after I came up with the idea for the series. I had no idea people actually went on ghost hunts. I had no idea there were TV shows out there featuring ghost hunters and the paranormal. I had no idea there were conventions and events where people gathered to do investigations of haunted places. I will say that getting involved in the paranormal community like this has vastly changed my life (for the better) with the amazing people I’ve met, the friends I’ve made, and the support I’ve received.

What was your dream job when you were in high school?

Don’t laugh at me…but I used to play travel agent all the time. I always thought it would be cool to book other people’s travel and help them explore the planet. Ironically, even though my BA is in Advertising, I have spent a majority of my professional career as a meeting planner, planning corporate events and travel. So, I guess I sort of grew up to do my dream job as I’m planning travel for four executives here at my company every day. Then…to add to that, in high school, I wanted to be a doctor…a psychologist to be specific. Hmmm…maybe I would have found my way into the paranormal after all, dealing with psychic kids? LOL!

What are some exotic places you’ve been to while traveling?

I don’t know if I’d call them “exotic,” but certainly interesting! I’ve been to The Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA, the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO, Rolling Hills Sanitarium in Bethany, NY, Waverly Hills Sanitarium, in Louisville, KY, and the Palmer House Hotel in Sawk Centre, MN. Not exactly your high spots for tourist destinations, but each had their own uniqueness to them and provided great experiences.

Which is one haunted location you have yet to visit and would love to visit?

Although I’ve been to Paris three times, I’ve never had the chance to explore the underground catacombs that date back to the 18th century. The catacombs are massive tunnels full of human bones that the Parisians set up in 1785 when the cemeteries became too full. It’s now a “tourist” destination, but imagine the EVPs you could get in the tunnels. Imagine the energy that’s down there. Wow…

What advice would you give to someone who encountered a ghost?

Interesting question. Everyone’s encounters and experiences are different. I would say to breath, remain calm, be open to the experience and document it in any way that you can whether it be with your camera or a video or a voice recorder. Then, write down everything you experienced…smells, sounds, etc., so you have a record of it. Share your experiences, too. They’re quite special, I’ve found.

What book(s) are you working on right now?

Working on GHOST HUNTRESS: THE REASON right now! And have a blast with it.

Check out this hilarious spooky video interview!

Thanks Marley, it was fun having you. Marley was oh so sweet to provide a signed copy of Ghost Huntress: The Awakening to one lucky winner.

CONTEST INFO

Open to US residents only
Contest ends 15 June
To qualify to enter, you must have a review blog!
To enter, just comment below. Try not to comment multiple times please.

To get extra points:
+1 link to the contest on your sidebar
+1 follow me on Twitter
+3 watch the video (link above) and comment with your thoughts on it.
+4 become a follower of Read This Book!

Buy Ghost Huntress: The Awakening today! You can read my review of it here.

In My Mailbox (10)

This week I did not get anything in the mail and I didn’t buy anything. However I borrowed two books.


Wings by Aprilynne Pike
Laurel was mesmerized, staring at the pale things with wide eyes. They were terrifyingly beautiful—too beautiful for words.

Laurel turned to the mirror again, her eyes on the hovering petals that floated beside her head. They looked almost like wings.

In this extraordinary tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever.


Fortune’s Folly
Ever since her mother died and her father lost his shoemaking skills, Fortunata has survived by telling fake fortunes. But when she’s tricked into telling a grand fortune for a prince, she is faced with the impossible task of fulfilling her wild prophecy—or her father will be put to death.
Now Fortunata has to help Prince Leonato secure a magic sword, vanquish a wicked witch, discover a long-lost golden shoe, and rescue the princess who fits it. If only she hadn’t fallen in love with the prince herself!

What did everyone get this week?

Being Nikki by Meg Cabot

Things aren’t pretty for Emerson Watts.
Em was sure there couldn’t be anything worse than being a brainiac the body of a teenaged supermodel.

But it turned out she was wrong. Because that supermodel could turn out to have a mother who’s gone mysteriously missing, a brother who’s shown up on her doorstep demanding answers, a former best friend who’s intent on destroying Stark Enterprises to avenge the death of his lost love, and a British heartthrob who’s written a song about her that’s topping the charts.

How can Em balance all that with school, runway shows, and weekend jaunts to St. Johns – especially when she’s got ex-boyfriends crawling out of the woodwork who want more than just a photo op; a sister who is headed to the high school cheerleading championships; a company she represents that seems to be turning to the dark side…

Not to mention trying to convince the love of her life that models aren’t really airheads after all…especially one model in particular.

But then, nobody said it was going to be easy being Nikki.

What can I say? This is Meg Cabot after all. Last year when I read Airhead, I loved it. This year, Meg Cabot blew me away again. Being Nikki was fantastic. The novel was fast paced and filled with wonderful characters and a great plot! I love everything about it. Being Nikki was absolutely BRILLIANT. There are some new characters introduced in this book as wells as a mystery! The mystery was very well planned and it all fit perfectly at the end. I had a hunch in the beginning and I was right. Being Nikki is a roller coaster ride in Em’s new life together with scheming people and a crazy plan to bring down Stark Enterprises as well as finding a missing person! Get ready for a heart-pounding ride with Meg Cabot’s new book.

I have nothing but praises for this book so I shall end the review by saying this: if you loved Airhead, then I suggest you immediately run to the bookstore and buy Being Nikki! You will love it and when you’re done, you will groan when you realize the next book won’t be out till 2010.

Lights, camera, Nikki! Get Being Nikki today on Amazon.

Gold star!

Beautiful Disaster by Kate Brian

Caution: This review may contain spoilers if you have not read the Private/Privilege series.

    After wasting away in a mental institution for a year and a half, Ariana Osgood is finally back where she belongs. She has a new look, a new name, and a new life — all thanks to her former friend Briana Leigh Covington.

    Now enrolled as a junior at the exclusive Atherton-Pryce boarding school just outside of D.C., Ariana sleeps in Frette sheets, flirts with the captain of the crew team, and gossips with the most beautiful girls on campus. She killed to get back her life of privilege. Just how far will she go to keep it?

    From the author of the bestselling Private novels comes a series about the dark world of wealth, secrets, and privilege.

I loved the first book in the Privilege series and was hoping this book would be just as good. Beautiful Disaster met my expectations in some areas, however, some parts were slow and you just wished something exciting actually happened. Unlike the first book, BD was not as suspenseful. The book is set in Arianna’s new school in which she assumes a brand new identity and look. Without revealing too much, I shall put it this way. There are moments where I want to skip everything and jump straight to the end to know what happens. But knowing Kate Brian, I will miss out a lot if I skip those pages. ;] So I forced myself to read everything and it was quite satisfying. I won’t say the ending surprised me because I was pretty dubious about someone’s intentions from the start. In Beautiful Disaster, Ariana makes readers sympathize with her more and readers will find themselves rooting for Ariana!

Kate Brian does it again. She successfully ends the book with a cliffhanger which will assure you readers that there are many more Privilege books to come. And leaves you breathless for the next book, Perfect Mistake coming October 27, 2009. Overall, I would say that Beautiful Disaster was good, but not very fantastic. Still, I enjoyed it and definitely looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the series.

Preorder your copy of Beautiful Disaster on Amazon today. In stores June 2, 2009.

Silver Star

Here’s Kate Brian’s reply to my review. OMG!!

Kate_Brian @readingthisbook THANK YOU! And thx for the positive review on your site! I KNOW you’re going to love all the suspense in Perfect Mistake!

New rating system

Hi everyone. Today I am happy to tell you that I have a new rating system. The star ratings!

How are the reviews going to be rated?

Bronze star It was okay, I would suggest borrowing it.
Usually between 1/5 stars and 2.5/5 stars

Silver star Great book but there were some elements missing.
Between 3/5 stars and 4/5 stars

Gold star Wow! This book was wonderful! Go to the nearest bookstore and buy it!
5/5 stars

If you look closely at the stars, you would notice them blinking!

All the three stars were specifically made for me so if you see them on any other websites, apart from mine, they are stolen from me. Yes, you are NOT allowed to use these stars on your website. I urge you to contact me at (kate.readthisbook at gmail dot com subject line: Misuse of stars) if you see this stars on any blogs apart from http://www.readthisbook.wordpress.com.

Gallgher Girl book discussion chapter 22

Synopsis: Cammie Morgan is a student at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, a fairly typical all-girls school-that is, if every school taught advanced martial arts in PE and the latest in chemical warfare in science, and students received extra credit for breaking CIA codes in computer class. The Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses but it’s really a school for spies.

Even though Cammie is fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways, she has no idea what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she’s an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, or track him through town with the skill of a real “pavement artist”-but can she maneuver a relationship with someone who can never know the truth about her?

Cammie Morgan may be an elite spy-in-training, but in her sophomore year, she’s on her most dangerous mission-falling in love.

This is a very short chapter so there will only be three questions. And I am currently suffering from fever, feeling very sickly.

  1. Do you notice details about people? What is one detail you ALWAYS notice about people?
  2. Cammie appears to be afraid of Mr. Solomon. Do/did you have a teacher that you were very afraid of? What is it about them that scares you the most?
  3. Do you think that Cammie might change her mind in future about studying CoveOps? Do you think that by studying this subject could possibly endanger the life of the students?

P.S. thank you all for taking part on the discussions. We’re coming to an end soon. Currently, we are still not sure if we want to continue book 2. But I’ll keep you posted. =) But in future months I will be having more book discussions on other books but everything is not confirmed yet.

And by the way, look out for a awesome new rating system coming soon!