YA book reviews, reading and recommending since 2009

Archive for May, 2010


I am finally posting the winners for my Princess For Hire giveaway. Sorry I took so long, I had over 250 entries. 😀 Not that I’m complaining!

International winners:


US and Canada winners:



CONGRATS everyone, winners have been emailed.

If you did not win, don’t fret, I still have goody bags to be won and signed copies of THE TENSION OF OPPOSITES, framed photo from the trailer and swag!

The Tension of Opposites big giveaway!

Hi everyone! We have been celebrating the release of The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride all week. Now’s your chance to win a signed copy of The Tension of Opposites, a framed photo from the trailer (with relation to the book), and 10 bookmarks! There will be two winners.

For extra entries:
+2 if you’re an old follower
+1 new Google reader/email follower/subscriber
+1 if you already follow or start following me on Twitter (@readingthisbook)
+1 if you already follow or start following Kristina on Twitter (@McbrideKristina)
+1 if you tweet about this giveaway and mention me (@readingthisbook)
+1 if you link to this giveaway on your sidebar/Facebook, etc.
+1 for every comment made on the posts related to Tension of Opposites’ week.
+2 if you ‘like’ the Facebook fan page.
+2 if you ‘like’ the Youtube trailer.
+3 if you blog about this giveaway (must link back to this page).

This giveaway is opened only to people in US and Canada. If you’ve a US mailing address, you can enter. Contest ends 20th June!


Interview with Tessa from Tension of Opposites

Hi Tessa! It is a pleasure to have you at Read This Book today! It has been quite a year hasn’t it? First off, could you describe yourself in three words?
Thanks for having me! It has been an interesting year. Difficult, but amazingly perfect all at the same time. If I had to describe myself in three words, I’d say: Quiet – Shy – and Photographer.

Could you share with us about what life was like before Noelle was kidnapped? What were some of the activities you did together?
Noelle was the best. Always laughing and trying to make me laugh. She could memorize a song the first time she heard it. That drove me crazy; I’d love to have that kind of memory. She liked attention, and never had trouble getting it. We were the cliché of what it means to be best friends: slumber parties, talking about boys, sneaking out of the house late at night . . . you know? Typical stuff.

Slumber parties are fun!

If you could capture one of your favorite moments on camera, which would it be?
Well, it hasn’t happened yet, but if I could dream my favorite moment it would be this: Me and Elle together now that she’s home, hanging out and laughing. It might sound simple, but it’d be this amazing thing if we could let every bad thing drop away and just laugh like we used to.

What is the best thing that happened since Noelle returned home?
It hasn’t been one major thing, not since that first day I learned she was alive. It’s all about these little steps we’re taking toward a new friendship. At least, I hope that’s where we’re headed. Sometimes, I’m not so sure she wants to be my friend anymore. But I’m not going to give up.

I heard from one of your classmates that you have been very close with a certain guy… do you think you can share with us your first impression of him?
*blush* Is he going to read this? Because it might make him mad to know how much he freaked me out the day we met. My very first impression of him was that he could be some kind of psychopathic killer. Not that he was coming after me with a butcher knife or anything. Back then, that’s just how my brain was wired when I met some one new, especially alone, out in the woods. Killer or not, I can say I thought he was pretty hot.

Max is hot, indeed!

What are three things that remind you of Max? And why?
Sunflowers, snow, and trees. Some of my favorite moments with him happened while we were out taking pictures. If it wasn’t for photography, I’m not sure I would have opened up and allowed for us to become so close.

Speaking of Max, here he comes now. I don’t want to hold both of you up any longer from taking pictures of those gorgeous sunflowers before the sun sets. Thanks for stopping by Tessa! Have a nice day!

Come back tomorrow and two lucky people can win this:

Kristina McBride Dishes Out Behind-the-Scenes Trailer Details

I thought it might be fun for people interested in The Tension of Opposites to learn some interesting facts about the filming of the trailer. I also wanted to answer that little question a few of you who’ve already seen the trailer might be asking, “Where’s the third sister?”

One of my nicknames in life is “Listy Kristi”, so what better way to fill you in on some behind-the-scenes dish?

  1. The trailer was directed and produced by Rocky Smith of Rock V Productions, LLC.
  2. Rocky is a former student of mine, who I was fortunate enough to have in a Film & Literature course while he was a senior in high school. Rocky graduated from Wright State University with a film degree in 2008, and was willing to help me out with the trailer (shwoo!).
  3. I actually had the pleasure of assisting Rocky during the editorial process of the trailer’s creation, analyzing every single frame of the footage along with him.
  4. Rocky coaches cheerleading at a sports center near Dayton, and he pulled the girls who play Tessa & Noelle, and a third who performed the voiceover, from his competitive squad. The guy playing Max is an actor/director who Rocky worked with on a film project through Wright State University.
  5. They are all still in high school, if you can believe that!
  6. While filming the scenes in the dead sunflower field, Rocky and “Elle” suffered the icky-sticky issue of ankle-deep mud. They say they got a very good workout that day!
  7. The Three Sisters, a very important location in the book, actually exist in Sugarcreek Nature Reserve near Dayton, Ohio.
  8. The Three Sisters is one of my all time favorite locations – I hike there whenever I can find a few hours to spare.
  9. Sadly, the middle sister, who had been weakened due to an earlier fire, fell to the ground during the summer of 2008.
  10. I learned about her fall just as I began lengthy revisions on my manuscript, and was so upset that I would never see her standing again. But I felt proud that I had memorialized one of my favorite spots in my debut novel.

Now that you’ve read the Behind-the-Scenes secrets, check out the trailer!

Coincidence or a Sign? Kristina McBride guest blogs

Happy book birthday to The Tensions of Opposites! (Go, no run, to your nearest bookstore and buy it! Snap a photo if you see it.) I shall now hand the mike over to Kristina McBride and she’ll share with you something special about today. *cues drumroll*

You know what today is?
May 25, 2010: Launch day for my debut novel, The Tension of Opposites.
*Excuse me for a moment while I swim in some YAY*

But today is also something else. Something that neither my publisher, agent, nor I knew about until way after the launch date for my novel was scheduled. I swear, no one planned this.

It’s National Missing Children’s Day. (Cue the creepy music.)

If you know nothing of my book, let me tell you why this is an eerie coincidence.
The Tension of Opposites is the story of 16-year-old Tessa McMullen whose best friend has just returned from a 2-year abduction. The plot centers around Tessa’s struggle to reconnect with her friend, who has become a very distant and self-destructive version of her old self, and also Tessa’s struggle to reconnect with a life she felt too guilty to live after her friend disappeared.

When I found out about my launch day and National Missing Children’s Day coinciding, I had to wonder if this was just a fluke, or if it could possibly be a sign that some cosmic force is behind me, helping me along the way. I’m a believer in signs, you see. And this one made me feel a little bit of relief, like maybe I was doing something here that could make a difference. Like maybe I’ve accomplished more than simply writing a book. Maybe I’m actually spreading knowledge that could save a life.
I’m often asked what I want people to take away from this book. There’s one thing. And it’s very important: Just because a child is missing does not mean they haven’t survived.

While The Tension of Opposites is a work of fiction, there are real children out in the world who need to be returned to their families. Kidnappers are talented manipulators, and often, their victims will do what they are told even when a chance to escape arises. It is our responsibility as a society to pay attention to what is going on around us. If we simply ask a few questions, or contact someone if we suspect something is not right, we might even save a life. Shawn Hornbeck, Elizabeth Smart, and Jaycee Dugard are only a few examples of this truth.

So what do I want you to take away from this read, even if you never pick up my book? The knowledge that you can make a difference. You don’t have to study the faces of missing children on milk cartons, or send large chunks of money to some organization. Just pay attention to the world around you. And if you ever notice something a little off, speak up. Tell someone – a police officer, the child’s school counselor, a neighbor.
It’s that simple. Each of the above children were found and returned to their families because someone like you paid attention to their gut when it said something was wrong. They acted on this feeling. And that’s it.
So if you ever have the opportunity, please be prepared to act.

Make a difference.
Save a life.

Interview with Kristina McBride

Hi Kristina, it is my pleasure to host The Tension of Opposites here at Read This Book! Could you please share with us a little bit about yourself?
It is my pleasure to be here! I am a former high school English teacher turned YA author. This whole getting published thing has been a dream of mine since childhood, and I feel so fortunate to actually have reached this point. I mean, launch week? Crazy!

What first inspired The Tension of Opposites?
I was lucky enough to catch an episode of Oprah one day when she was interviewing Shawn Hornbeck, a young man who spent a little over four years with his kidnapper before being returned to his family. I was awestruck and inspired by his strength, and couldn’t get him out of my mind. Soon after, the character of Tessa began to speak to me (yes, I know this makes me sound a little loopy).

Where do you usually get your ideas?
Anywhere. Everywhere! Friends, strangers, TV, commercials, music, my past, my fears, dreams for my future . . . every aspect of my life has somehow served as an inspiration. So if you know me, or if you ever meet me, watch out!

If you were spending the day with Tessa, where would you go and what would you do?
We would hike out to the Three Sisters (three 550-year-old oak trees that actually exist within Sugarcreek Nature Reserve near Dayton, Ohio) and take some pictures. If it was a hot day, we’d go hang out by the creek for a nice chat while we dipped our feet in the water. And then maybe we’d go for some pizza. And chocolate ice cream. Yum.

Tessa, the main character, is interested in photography. Are you a photographer like her?
I love taking pictures, but mostly my photography centers around people. My love of photography was born during my first year of teaching (1997), when I became a high school yearbook advisor and had roughly 400 pages to fill. After eight years of thinking intensely about the lighting and composition of shots, it’s just part of me now. Once I had my two kids, who are still very young, my photography began to center around them.

If you could meet one author, living or dead, who would it be?
One?! Warning: I’m totally cheating on this question. I’m thinking Laurie Halse Anderson or Jay Asher. I would love to pick their brains! How do they formulate a plotline? Create such well-developed characters? Add in such intense tension and drama?

If you could go back in time and tell your 16-year-old self a piece of advice, what would it be?
Don’t give up. EVER. Because if you do, you’ll never accomplish your biggest dream.

If someone told you 20 years ago that you would be a published author, what would your reaction be?
I think I would have been surprised that I actually made it happen. This has always been one of my biggest dreams, but back then, I had no idea how to go about making it happen. I figured out, along the way, that you have to ask tons of questions, make lots of mistakes, and above all, keep going.

The Tension of Opposites deals with the aftermath of a kidnapping and the impact on the victims. Ultimately, what would you like people to take away from your book?
The most important thing in my book has been evidenced in the media several times over the last ten years. There are missing children out there who are waiting to be found and reunited with their families. These kids oftentimes have been so brainwashed that they will not attempt to get away from their kidnappers, even if they have a very good chance. These are children whose parents don’t know if they are alive or dead, and are waiting for someone like you or me to notice something and tell someone. Think of Shawn Hornbeck, Elizabeth Smart, Jaycee Dugard . . . all it takes is one person’s keen eye to save a life.

Is there anything else you would like to add before we go?
If anyone would like to know more about my book (or me) they can check out my website at www.kristinamcbride.com. Thanks so much for having me and featuring The Tension of Opposites!

Tension of Opposites is out tomorrow, you can buy it at Book Depository or Barnes & Noble or Amazon. We are celebrating the release week for Tension of Opposites all week. Full schedule here, and you might just find some intriguing teasers. All comments in the release week posts will count as extra entires for the big giveaway at the end of the week!

The Tension of Opposites release week!

Hey my fellow YA readers, this week we are celebrating the release of The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride!

Here is the schedule:
Monday: Author interview
Tuesday: Guest blog on National Missing Children’s Day and how it is related to The Tension of Opposites. It is also the RELEASE DAY!!
Wednesday: Guest Blog by in which Kristina McBride Dishes Out Behind-the-Scenes Trailer Details
Thursday: Character interview with Tessa
Friday: Giveaway
Saturday: Twitter Chat (8-9 PM EST, be there!)

If you spotted Tension of Opposites at your bookstore, let me know! You can take a picture and @reply it to me on Twitter and I’ll RT it.

And if you missed it, here are the teasers of posted on YA Roundup’s Twitter! None of them are spoilery! Enjoy! (And if you want more book teasers, follow YA Roundup!)

Teaser 1: It wasn’t enough, just knowing that Noelle was alive and on her way back to us. So I sat there wondering if Noelle had screamed when she was taken. And if she had, why hadn’t anyone heard?
Teaser 2: “That,” he said with a grin, “is exactly why I like you.”
Teaser 3: I had to stop myself from thinking about how much I liked being so close to him, and how sweet the grape jelly-bean scent was that rode Max’s delicious breath, making me want to taste his tongue.
Teaser 4: Her goal in life was to make her way to a stage to feel the heat of a spotlight shining down on her face.
Teaser 5: I had told myself for two years that if Noelle couldn’t experience that giddy, falling-in-love sensation, I wouldn’t either.

You can buy Tension of Opposites at Book Depository or Barnes & Noble or Amazon.