Apr 29, 2012

Stacking the Shelves #1

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. This a new way to showcase all the books currently weighing down my shelves.

For Review:
The Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland
Beauty by Lisa Daily
It's Our Prom (So Deal With It) by Julie Anne Peters
Purity by Jackson Pearce
Once by Anna Carey
Team Human by Justine Larbalestier & Sara Rees Brennan
Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer
So Close To You by Rachel Carter

Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings by Helene Boudreau
The Storyteller by Antonia Michaels
Legacy by Molly Cochran
A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger
Spark by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Many thanks to Penguin, Little Brown, and HarperCollins. Special huge thanks to Lena @ Addicted 2 Novels.

Apr 24, 2012

Review: Belles by Jen Calonita

Title: Belles
Author: Jen Calonita
Publisher:  Poppy
Publication Date: 4.10.2012
Pages: 356
Genre: Contemporary
Series: No
Source: Finished copy from publisher

Rating: B-

Summary (from Goodreads):
Fifteen-year-old Isabelle Scott loves her life by the boardwalk on the supposed wrong side of the tracks in North Carolina. But when tragedy strikes, a social worker sends her to live with a long-lost uncle and his preppy privileged family. Isabelle is taken away from everything she’s ever known, and, unfortunately, inserting her into the glamorous lifestyle of Emerald Cove doesn’t go so well. Her cousin Mirabelle Monroe isn’t thrilled to share her life with an outsider, and, in addition to dealing with all the rumors and backstabbing that lurk beneath their classmates’ Southern charm, a secret is unfolding that will change both girls’ lives forever.

Belles is a sweet, fun tale about two girls, Isabelle and Mirabelle, trying to make the best of an awkward and uncomfortable situation. Jen Calonita delivers a warm, poignant tale in this novel that shows the grass isn’t always greener.

Belles is told through both Izzie and Mira’s perspectives, but not as a first-person story and it also doesn’t allocate a single chapter to each girl. Calonita seamlessly gives voice to both girls, gracefully and artfully telling each side of the story. I’ve read a lot of novels that alternate narrators, and it can be jarring. I’ll get used to one voice and then be thrust in someone else’s head. This novel is much more fluid and makes for an easy read.

I finished this story in about a day, and it was nice. Nice, but not extraordinary. There are no real surprises. The climax I saw the novel building towards at the end of chapter four. There’s nothing shocking or jaw dropping, it just moves along at a somewhat meandering pace.

I can appreciate Calonita trying to humanize Mira, but most of the time I felt she was a spoiled little brat that need a good shake. Izzie was by far my favorite character, and I wouldn’t have minded if the story was told entirely from her perspective. I also wasn’t crazy about Izzie love interest, Brayden. I wasn’t impressed by him and found him a little lacking in the boyfriend department.

If you’re looking for a quick beach read or something to read on a lazy Sunday afternoon, I recommend giving this book a go. It’s not a stay-up-all-night and devour kind of book, but there is a certain charm to it that I couldn’t deny.

Top Ten Tuesday (6)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun!

This week is...
Top 10 All Time Favorite Characters
1. Tris from Divergent: Tris is just one of those insanely remarkable heroines that you cannot help but cheer for.
2. Violet from the Body Finder series: This girl can do no wrong in my eyes. She's brave and precocious and vulnerable, and her romance with Jay is my favorite YA relationship EVER.
3. Patch from the Hush, Hush series: Everyone loves a bad boy and Patch has that down in spades. He's an emotional wreck that I would love to piece back together.
4. Jessica Darling from the Jessica Darling series: If you're looking for a witty, saracastic smart ass that says everything you're thinking, Jessica Darling is your girl. The books are told entirely through her journal entries, but don't let that put you off. This is a great series.
5. Juliette from Shatter Me: Juliette is, in a single word, incredible. I love how broken she is and how she pieces herself back together in the novel.
6. Aria & Perry from Under the Never Sky: UtNS was my surprise hit of the year. I cannot get enough of this novel, and a big part of that is Aria and Perry. I had to put them together because they were that awesome.
7. Bianca from The D.U.F.F.: Bianca is this amazingly brazen and self-assured girl. Yes, she has her inner insecurities, but she has this confidence that I often wished I had myself.
8. Shane from the Morganville Vampires series: Anyone who has read this series knows why I picked Shane. If you haven't read the series ... Then you're crazy. The whole cast is stellar, but Shane has this added extra umph that makes me swoon.
9. Rose from the Vampire Academy series: Do I really need to explain this one? Rose is the girl every girl wants to be - she kicks butt, gets the hot guy, and looks fabulous doing it all.
10. Emma & Brendan from the Spellbound series: Yes, another pairing, but these two are so frickin' cool I couldn't pick between them. Emma is sweet and kind and brave, and Brendan is dark and brooding and hot. I adore this series because of these two.

Apr 22, 2012

Review: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Immortal Rules
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher:  Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: 4.24.2012
Pages: 504
Genre: Paranormal - Vampires
Series: Yes (Blood of Eden #1)
Source: ARC from a friend

Rating: A+

Summary (from Goodreads):
Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of
them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die
… or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for.

I swear I feel like I have been waiting years for Julie Kagawa to write a book for me. OK, maybe not for me per se, but I never read The Iron Fey series and always felt like I was missing something. I tried reading The Iron King awhile ago, and anyone who knows me knows that I’m not a fan of the fae in novels. Needless to say, I couldn’t get into it, but I knew Kagawa was a gifted storyteller from what I did read. I just needed to bide my time until she wrote something I could sink my teeth into (pun fully intended).

The Immortal Rules is everything I could crave in a book. It has romance, action, suspense, and humor in spades. Allie has earned her own special place as one of my favorite YA heroines of all time. The girl is epic, but on a believable scale. I love how she struggles to maintain her humanity after being turned. The way she forces herself to live and the way she protects people she cares about is truly moving. Kagawa did a phenomenal job with this character.

I’m a fan of vampire novels, but I always worry the genre is becoming too saturated. Post-Twilight it seemed there was a vampire book coming out every other week and plots and characters started to blur and overlap. Kagawa has come up with a spin that is refreshingly unique, and I cannot applaud her enough for it.

The Immortal Rules is dark and twisted in all the right ways. I was immediately transported into this post-apocalyptic world where vampires reigned supreme. Despite the 500+ pages, this book ended way too soon for my liking. I can’t wait to crawl back into it as soon as possible.

Apr 19, 2012

Review: Beauty by Lisa Daily

Title: Beauty
Author: Lisa Daily
Publisher:  Razorbill
Publication Date: 5.10.2012
Pages: 272
Genre: Contemporary, Modern Fairytale
Series: No
Source: ARC from publisher

Rating: B+

Summary (from Goodreads):
What's it like to be the most beautiful girl in the world?

Molly desperately wants to be beautiful. And that's what she tells Dharma, the mysterious portrait artist who sketches her face at the town fair just minutes after she's humiliated in front of Hudson, the guy of her dreams. When Molly wakes up the following morning, she's the most beautiful girl in Miracle, Ohio. Babies coo in her arms, her house fills with flowers from dozens of drooling boys, and she's chosen to be a model for the hottest store in town. Best of all, Hudson finally falls for her.

But Molly soon discovers that beauty--and her wish--comes with a price. She's faced with an impossible choice: Will reclaiming her true identity mean letting go of Hudson for good

I don’t think there’s a single girl (unless you are one of the 5% of the population gifted with natural beauty), who doesn’t wish they could magically become the IT girl. Maybe not the most stunning girl around, but we all have flaws and imperfections (especially as girls) that make us unsure, self-conscious, and awkward.

In Beauty, Lisa Daily brings all those internal issues that I know I faced as a teenager, and even as a woman today, to the foreground. Molly is just your average girl. She has zits and frizzy hair and occasionally falls over her own two feet. She’s awkward and gangly and tripped her way right into my heart. When she is given this incredible gift of beauty at a carnival, I cheered for her.

I’ll admit it: I have wished for the exact same thing. I see a girl with shiny, straight hair and look at my own curly, occasionally frizzed out mess and glower internally. Seeing Molly get something I had so fervently wished for as a teen made my heart happy.

Only, then it wasn’t so happy. With this beauty came a new boy, new friends, and a new attitude … which honestly started to suck. Pretty soon Molly was not only blowing off her old friends, but maliciously making fun of them with the popular girls. While I get that the message is be careful what you wish for, one of my only complaints is that I felt Daily took Molly’s transformation a bit too far. The things she did to people turned my stomach.

This book is very predictable. The most obvious ending is the correct one, but there’s still a deeply rooted message here that I think is vital for girls—and women—today. Do I think all beautiful girls are cruel monsters? No, but if you place beauty on a pedestal above all else, then you’ll lose that special spark that sets you apart from everyone else.

Apr 18, 2012

Review: Social Suicide by Gemma Halliday

Title: Social Suicide
Author: Gemma Halliday
Publisher:  HarperTeen
Publication Date: 4.24.2012
Pages: 272
Genre: Mystery
Series: Yes (Deadly Cool #2)
Source: ARC from publisher

Rating: A-

Summary (from Goodreads):
Twittercide [twit-er-sahyd]: the killing of one human being by another while the victim is in the act of tweeting.

Call me crazy, but I figured writing for the Herbert Hoover High Homepage would be a pretty sweet gig. Pad the resume for college applications, get a first look at the gossip column, spend some time ogling the paper’s brooding bad-boy editor, Chase Erikson. But on my first big story, things went... a little south. What should have been a normal interview with Sydney Sanders turned into me discovering the Homecoming Queen-hopeful dead in her pool. Electrocuted while Tweeting. Now, in addition to developing a reputation as HHH’s resident body finder, I’m stuck trying to prove that Sydney’s death wasn’t suicide.

I’m starting to long for the days when my biggest worry was whether the cafeteria was serving pizza sticks or Tuesday Tacos...

I adore this series. It totally feeds into a more grown up Nancy Drew need I have. This series is fun, witty, and twisted. Gemma Halliday does a wonderful job keeping things moving and quick. I never once got bored with this novel, nor with its prequel. It’s great to grab a book and breeze through it in an afternoon.

Hartley is one of the best narrators I’ve ever read in a novel. Maybe it’s because she’s an intrepid reporter, maybe it’s because she’s a total smart ass, but I love her to pieces. She’s fantastic and I swear our brains are on the same wavelength. This girl is fantastic.

I will admit that this plot is a bit predictable, but I honestly don’t care. It’s just such a fun story to read, that I never really cared. And the end put the biggest grin on my face. The way Hartley and her friends Chase and Sam work together is literary gold.

I can’t wait to read the next book in this series. If you’re looking for something quick, light, and utterly enjoyable? Grab this series and indulge.

Waiting on Wednesday (26)

"Waiting On"  Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking  the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
This week I'm waiting on....
by: Lesley Livingston 
Goodreads Synonpsis:
"Love is just the beginning... of the end."

Mason Starling is a champion fencer for Gosforth Academy, but she’s never had to fight for her life. Until now. When a ferocious storm rips through Manhattan and unleashes terrifying creatures onto Gosforth’s campus, Mason barely escapes alive. Without help from the mysterious stranger who appeared in the midst of the storm, she might not have made it at all. But now, in the aftermath, Mason’s life begins to spin dramatically, mystically out of control, and the only one who seems able to help her is the stranger who can remember nothing but his name: Fennrys Wolf.

As Mason and Fenn uncover more about Fenn’s past and the strange events that surround them, they realize that Mason’s family — and its dark allegiance to the ancient Norse gods — is at the center of everything. A predetermined fate seems to be closing in on Mason, but is it possible to change one’s destiny?
Why I Want This:
I didn't read Lesley Livingston's Wondrous Strange series. OK, I tried, but as I have previously stated? Faeries are not my thing. I could tell it was wonderfully written, but the subject matter wasn't for me. I am so excited for this series so that I can fall in love with Livingston's writings like everyone else.
Starling will be released on 8.15.2012 by HarperTeen

Apr 15, 2012

Review: The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting

Title: The Last Echo
Author: Kimberly Derting
Publisher:  HarperCollins
Publication Date: 4.17.2012
Pages: 358
Genre: Paranormal, Romance
Series: Yes (Body Finder #3)
Source: ARC from publisher

Rating: A-

Summary (from Goodreads):
Violet kept her morbid ability to sense dead bodies a secret from everyone except her family and her childhood-best-friend-turned-boyfriend, Jay Heaton. That is until forensic psychologist Sara Priest discovered Violet’s talent and invited her to use her gift to track down murderers. Now, as she works with an eclectic group of individuals—including mysterious and dangerously attractive Rafe—it’s Violet’s job to help those who have been murdered by bringing their killers to justice.

When Violet discovers the body of a college girl killed by “the girlfriend collector” she is determined to solve the case. But now the serial killer is on the lookout for a new “relationship” and Violet may have caught his eye…

I went into this series with such a feeling of trepidation, mostly because I believed this was the last book in the series. Kimberly Derting has assured us it is most assuredly not, and thank heavens. I don’t know what I’d do without this series. Hands down the Body Finder series is one of my all time favorites.

The Last Echo is everything I have come to love about this series: It’s romantic, thrilling, mysterious, and hot. By book 3, you know what you’re getting yourself into. Violet is one of my favorite heroines. She is feisty, kind, sweet, and fearless. This is the girl you want in your corner when the chips are down. I could read about her adventures all day.

One of the things I love most about this series is the romance. Violet and Jay are the prom king and queen of the YA world. Not only does their romance sizzle, but I feel like it also showcases a healthy young adult relationship. They aren’t perfect—far from it, but they work through their problems, they respect each other, and they genuinely love each other. The only thing that could throw a wrench in their idyllic love affair is Rafe, but I refuse to admit Derting would pull a love triangle on me.

This isn’t a series that runs short on action and thrills, but I really feel like Derting brought her A game to the table on this one. The writing is sharp and tight, and she can weave a story with twists and turns that makes my head spin. It is such a total joy to read this series. I also love the team aspect to this. I love the cast of characters that have been compiled and how they all have these amazing abilities that click together to make them quite the formidable crime solving team.

I love when people ask me to recommend a YA mystery to them. I immediately point them in the direction of this series and I’ve yet to hear a single complaint about it.

Apr 8, 2012

Blog Tour: Kiera Cass

It's not every day a book gets a comparison to The Hunger Games - arguably the epitome of dystopian novels. It's also not every day that a book gets a TV show before the book is even published. But The Selection is not your every day, ordinary book. It is a breathless, romantic, and spectacular read. The author of this wondrous book, Kiera Cass, is poised on the cusp of greatness with nowhere to go but up.

I recently got the chance to interview Kiera Cass about The Selection, some of her favorites, and some advice she has for aspiring writers.

Interview w/Kiera Cass

1. Describe The Selection in 25 words or less.
A princess competition in the future with fierce girls and cute boys. Also, robots. Okay, I lied about the robots, but I still had words.

2. Where did you get the idea for The Selection?In my head, it's a mash-up of Cinderella and Esther. I kept wondering if Esther, before she was sent off to the palace, maybe liked the boy next door and had to get over him. And I wondered what if Cinderella, who only really wanted a night off, was really happy with her prince and her new position. So I decided to write about a girl from a poor background who would gain the attention of a prince, but she wouldn't want him because she was already in love. Once I figured out where they lived, it all came together.

3. What are your "must haves" when writing? (Food? Drink? Music?)
Well, I don't really have a writing space at my house, so I usually work at coffee shops or wherever. So I always get food or something, and I have a playlist going to block out everyone around me. Also, I have a little Netbook which I LOVE! She holds all my stories.  

4. Play the casting director: If you could pick an actor/actress for any of the roles in The Selection, who would you choose?
Honestly, I have NO IDEA! All I know is that America would be a unique kind of beautiful, the kind of beautiful that we sometimes have a hard time accepting if we are that way because it's not exactly like everyone else. And Aspen, though he's the local guy, is an exotic type of handsome. Maxon, though a prince, has more of a boy-next-door look to him.

5. What are you currently writing/working on?Right now: I just turned in a draft of Book 2, and that will be the big thing for a while. But in a week, I'm sitting down to write the bare bones of Book 3. It will change a lot as we edit Book 2, but I'm terrified of baby brain taking over (due in July!) and me not being able to get out anything coherent.

Fill in the blank....:
6. If I'm not writing, I'm...
tickling Guyden (my son).
7. Favorite drink: Sprite!
8. Favorite snack: Cake.
9. Favorite movie: Ohhh... Bio-Dome or That Thing You Do.
10. Favorite book: Pssh! Yeah, like I could pick just one!

11. Any advice for aspiring writers

Do the best you can to learn about things before you get into the industry. Wisdom is good! And develop your thick skin early. Not everyone will love what you do, and that's okay. You've just got to be able to let the mean stuff roll off your back. It's tough, but still.

Thanks, Kiera!!!

Make sure you check out the rest of the blog tour:

Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

Title: The Selection        
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher:  HarperTeen
Publication Date: 4.24.2012
Pages: 327
Genre: Dystopian
Series: Yes (The Selection #1)
Source: ARC from publisher

Rating: A+

Summary (from Goodreads):
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself- and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

First of all, I wish people would stop comparing this book to The Hunger Games. The Selection is its own brand of awesome that needs no comparison to another epic dystopian novel to help it find a ready audience. If the summary doesn’t draw you in, try the first chapter and I dare you not to be consumed by this golden novel Kiera Cass created.

I fell in love with America from the beginning. She’s a strong, vibrant character that jumps off the pages. I loved cheering for her, and my heart broke for her. She’s put in an impossible situation but makes the best out of it. She has the insane inner strength that is such a testament to younger girls. I also loved that she didn’t readily throw her heart away. She’s reserved and tempered when it comes to love, something sorely remiss in a lot of YA novels nowadays.

Aspen and Maxon … I still feel like the jury’s out on these two. I love both for different reasons, but if pressed to choose, I’m leaning towards Team Aspen right now. Not that Maxon isn’t amazing and funny and kind, but there’s something about the scenes America and Aspen have together that makes me root for them.

Cass is a great writer. I loved the way she built this world and the rules and customs she outlined in it. I love the caste system (well, not that I’m pro-caste system … you know what I mean!) and how an integral part it plays in the novel. Cass does a splendid job explaining things, and I can’t wait to see her build upon it in future novels.

This book is just, for lack of a better word, amazing. From the moment I started it to the time I finished it five hours later, I could think of nothing else but America, Aspen, and Maxon. This world that Cass writes, and these characters she breathed life into, swept me away. I could have easily read the next ten book in the series in the same sitting had they been available to me (sadly I believe this is a trilogy and my ten book statement a bit dramatic). It’s just that good.

Review: Masters of the Veil by Daniel Cohen

Title: Masters of the Veil
Author: Daniel Cohen
Publisher:  Spencer Hill Press
Publication Date: 3.1.2012
Pages: 300
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Yes (Veil #1)
Source: ARC from publisher

Rating: B+

Summary (from Goodreads):
Life can't get much better for Sam Lock. Popular, good-looking, and with a future as a professional football player. every guy at Stanton High School wishes he were Sam. That is, until his championship football game, when Sam accidentally links with an ancient source of energy known as the Veil and reveals his potential to become a powerful sorcerer. Sam is whisked off to Atlas Crown, a community of sorcerers who utilize the Veil as a part of everyday life. Once there, he trains beside a mute boy who speaks through music, an eternal sage who's the eyes and ears of the Veil, and a beautiful girl who's pretty sure Sam's an idiot. As it becomes clear Sam's meant for power magic-the most feared and misunderstood form of sorcery-people beyond Atlas Crown learn of his dangerous potential. An exiled group of power sorcerers are eager to recruit Sam, believing that he is destined to help them achieve their long-held goal. If they succeed, they could bring about the downfall of not only Atlas Crown. but all humankind.

I have to admit: This book surprised me. I honestly did not have the highest of hope for it, but Daniel Cohen pleasantly surprised me. I didn’t expect this book to suck me in the way it did. This was a fun, quick read.

I wasn’t sure I would like Sam. He’s described as cocky and self-assured, which is usually a turn off to me.  I was so happy when he was revealed to be more human than self-obsessed football jock. In fact, reading about Sam’s journey was great. Sam is strong, but he isn’t without his vulnerabilities. He also learns a lot of crucial lessons on his journey that can translate into real life and will resonate with younger readers.

I love Cohen’s imagination. The world he created just blew me away. It’s fantastical and whimsical and intense … I loved it. He gives just the right amount of detail to explain things without going overboard. The supporting characters intrigued me to no end.

I have never read Harry Potter, and I can only imagine people will draw comparisons to it because of the sorcerer angle. If Harry Potter is half as good as Masters of the Veil, maybe I should give it a shot. I can’t wait to read the rest of Cohen’s series!

Apr 7, 2012

In My Mailbox (21)

Hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren, this is a great way to share the reads I got this week by purchasing, trading/swapping, or for review.

For Review:
Black Dawn by Rachel Caine
Silence by Michelle Sagara
When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle
Glimmer by Phoebe Kitanidis

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
The Demon Catcher of Milan by Kat Beyer
Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
The Name Of The Star by Maureen Johnson

Apr 6, 2012

BEA 2012 Controversy

Unless you've been away from your computer for the last few days, you've noticed Twitter has blown up over the controversy that is BEA 2012.

This is not me standing on a soapbox talking about how bloggers have been wronged, but merely a quick post to answer: "Where do I go from here?"

If you weren't planning on attending BookExpo America this year, please disregard. If you are going and just found out this week you were denied a pass, then read on.

1: Figure out what you signed up for. Did you sign up for BBC/BEA Blogger Con? Only a floor pass? Which floor pass?

2: BREATHE. Take a second to stay calm.

3: Email them! Lexie made a phenominal post on her blog and listed all the email addresses necessary: Rejection Email Controversy. Just remember when emailing that these are real people, and the people reading your email and responding may have had no input whatsoever in went down, so don't take it out on them. Kindness and compassion will get you much further than ranting and cursing and demanding things.

I've gotten conflicting reports across the board as to what has been emailed back. Some people are saying BEA contacted them and is going to give them a free badge to the exhibits, some say BEA emailed them and will touch base with them next week to work out a solution. Others haven't heard a thing.

If you have any other questions, I invite you to swing by the BEA forum at Goodreads:


There's a whole group of people there who are offering advice and checking in when they've heard anything.

For the record? I'm still going, and I hope to see you there!

Independent Book Blogger Awards


March 29, 2012; New York – If you’re a blogger who loves books, that passion might get you far: all the way to New York and the publishing industry’s premier annual event, with free travel and an all-access pass.

Nominations are now open for the new
The contest is co-produced by the Association of American Publishers Trade Division member organizations and Goodreads, the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations.

The Independent Book Blogger Awards calendar:

• Nominations are now open until Monday, April 9, 11:59PM
• Readers’ voting runs from Tuesday, April 10, 12:01AM until Monday, April 23, 11:59PM
• A shortlist of finalists will be announced the week of May 1, with expert panel judging to follow
• Winners will be announced the week of May 7

All nominations and voting will take place through Goodreads on its special Independent Book Blogger Awards section.

General contest information:
• US-based bloggers at least 18 years old who dedicate at least ¾ of their blog writing to coverage of books and publishing and have posted regularly between 2/1/2011 and 2/1/2012 are eligible. The blog cannot be affiliated with or compensated by any commercial or academic publication but may include those who blog for institutions such as libraries or bookstores with no commercial media ties. Contest terms
Independent Book Blogger Awards, a free online contest recognizing bloggers unaffiliated with/not compensated by a publishing company who write primarily about books and the industry. Four winners, chosen by the public and a judging panel, will attend BookExpo America in June with free airfare and hotel accommodations and a pass to the three-day global gathering.
 Bloggers, readers and fans can connect with the Independent Book Blogger Awards on Facebook and on Twitter at @bkbloggerawards.

"In the global digital dialogue, book bloggers are arguably the unsung heroes of our industry," said Tina Jordan, Vice President, AAP. "Their passion is endless and their insights are valued. We’re pleased to be able to show them our appreciation through this effort."

"Every book blogger is an important part of the conversation on what to read next. We think that’s an incredibly important conversation as a great book can be entertaining, thought provoking and can even change the world. Co-hosting these awards is our way of saying thanks. Thanks for supporting Goodreads right from our earliest days. And thanks for being active participants in telling the world ‘You must read this!’" said Otis Chandler, CEO and co-founder, Goodreads.

About Goodreads:
Goodreads is the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations. Founded in 2007, Goodreads is where readers discover and share books they love. The site has seven million members who have added more than 250 million books to their shelves and written more than 14 million reviews. Loved by avid and casual readers alike, Goodreads members can discover new books by seeing what their friends are reading or by using the Goodreads Book Recommendation Engine; share ratings and recommendations; track what they have read and list what they want to read. Goodreads is also a place where more than 35,000 authors and their publishers connect with readers. It is a privately owned company.

About AAP:
The Association of American Publishers is the national trade association representing the country’s premier book publishers. Its 300 members develop and publish the highest-quality entertainment, education, scientific and professional content in all print and digital formats. The AAP Trade Division member organizations are active in promoting the joy of reading, literacy, the value of publishers in an information society and First Amendment rights. They are committed to raising awareness through a variety of initiatives produced independently and in collaboration with libraries and other groups.
Media contacts:
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Apr 2, 2012

Book Blogger Confessions (7)

This is a shiny, new blogger meme co-hosted by Tiger from Tiger's All Consuming Books and Karen at For What It's Worth Reviews. It's time to open up and share (and vent) about our blogging experiences!

The question is:

For April 2nd - Spoilers in reviews: Do you read them, do you include them? How do you describe (or avoid describing) spoilery parts of a book?

Honestly? It's not that big a deal to me. Personally I don't care about being spoiled by a book or tv show even. However I do keep my reviews generalized, trying not to focus too hard on the specifics of the plot to keep people spoiler free just that. I can respect that people don't want to be spoiled even if it really isn't that big of a deal to me.

Guest Post: Kate Avery Ellison

Kate Avery Ellison, author of Frost, recently offered up her opinion as to why the dystopian genre is so popular.

Why is dystopian fiction so compelling to fans of the young adult genre
Delirium. Matched. Divergent. Legend. The Selection. Under the Never Sky... Dystopian fiction is hot right now. The Hunger Games is topping the bestseller lists and racking up hundreds of millions at the box office. Stories of grim future governments are selling like hot cakes. It feels like everyone is fascinated with this genre, particularly YA readers.
What makes it so compelling?
Dystopian fiction depicts scary, future worlds with extreme and controlling environments, societies where SOMETHING HAS GONE HORRIBLY WRONG, although sometimes the citizens of the world—or some of the citizens, anyway—don’t know it. Instead of a utopia, a “perfect world,” it’s the opposite.
I think people like dystopians because they’re like train wrecks. We’re fascinated at the twisted mess humanity has become in these hypothetical, futuristic settings. But also, I think it’s more than that. Dystopian fiction has that brave element of discovery or curiosity or courage—that moment where the main character realizes that there’s more to the world that what she’s been told her whole life. And she has the tenacity to learn more, and ultimately to fight back.
I discovered the dystopian genre when I was a little kid. I read The Giver and a few obscure H.G. Wells stories, and I was immediately hooked. I’ve been itching to write one (or twenty) ever since.
My newest book, Frost, is more fantasy than dystopian, really. But it does share a number of elements of the genre. The main character, Lia, lives in a frightening, dangerous world. Her environment is highly controlled—resources and production are strictly regulated, the Elders are in charge of everything, and fear is used to keep people in line. Everyone is afraid because monsters lurk in the woods, and that terror controls people. Safety has become the ultimate virtue, and there is a lack of compassion and empathy for outsiders.
In Frost, Lia makes a choice to go against the mindset of her society, a mindset that warns her not to endanger herself or have contact with people who are different. And when she defies the system and chooses to help an outsider, she begins a journey toward courage, wholeness, and truth.
For me, there’s just something very cathartic about a character who discovers the truth and breaks free from an oppressive environment. That kind of journey is at the core of the dystopian genre, and I think it’s what has me so in love with it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kate Avery Ellison loves long walks, late night phone calls, and reading while it rains. She thinks ice cream cake is the perfect combination and she has a love/hate relationship with the sultry climate of her hometown, Atlanta. FROST, her third book, is a YA fantasy/dystopian tale about love in a frozen, monster-infested wasteland. FROST is available in both ebook and paperback versions.

If you’re interested in checking out FROST, you can find it at these places:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Frost-The-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B007Q4LLWE
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1109825221