Friday, January 29, 2010

Don't Let Your Dreams Fade contest

One of my favorite authors, Lisa McMann, is having a contest for U.S. teens age 14-18 on her website ( If you've read her books Wake and Fade then you are familiar with Janie and her ability to help people through their dreams. Lisa McMann wants to know, how are your dreams like Janie's? All you have to do is answer that question in vlog form in 2 minutes or less and enter it at Lisa McMann's website for your chance to win $1000.00 to make those dreams come true!

Check out this example that Lisa's daughter Kennedy did- it doesn't have to be just like this one, but at least it gives you an idea of the format:

Deadline for this contest is March 8th, so start dreaming, start filming and get posting!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Catching Fire

Catching Fire
By: Suzanne Collins

After reading Hunger Games yesterday I hurried to get into Catching Fire, and I was not dissapointed. This book picks up Katniss' story where Hunger Games left off and again we get to see Katniss' growth. Having survived the hunger games, Katniss now struggles to find her place back home in District 12 and with the realizatons that her action in the arena have unwittingly made her the face for the rebellion to rally behind. When she is thrown back into the arena, with Petta at her side, she has to decide whether she will defy a government and become the leader of an uprising.
One think I especially like about this series is the triangle between Katniss, her district partner in the arena Peeta, who she has to pretend to love for the adoring public (and who she may well love for real) and her best friend Gale who she also has deep feelings for. What I enjoy is that there is no sense yet of who the right choice is, which one is her destiny. Sometimes you can figure out pretty early where the story is leading and it's just a matter of how they get there. Here both choices are valid and you really get the sense that her fate could be tied to either boy.
After devouring both books in less then 48 hours I'm eagerly awaiting book three, which unfortunately won't be out until the fall. I can't wait to find out what adventure Katniss will go on next now that the uprising is in full force and she is in the midst of it.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Chat with Elizabeth Eulberg 1-21-10

Eve's Fan Garden will be hosting a chat with Elizabeth Eulberg, author of the Lonely Hearts Club on January 21st at 8:00 pm est.

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games
By: Suzanne Collins

I picked up this book in between book of the month books and I couldn't put it down. I think what I enjoyed most about this book is that it's set in a future that is rooted in the United States and that makes it seem like a much more realistic scenario. You cna imagine how life could devolve to the Gladiator like society in this book. At the heart of the story is our heroine Katniss, who sacrifices herself to the Arena (a futuristic version of the Colliseum)to save her sister from certain death. Through her journey into the barbaric arena, her relationship with Peeta and her eventual triumph over the other competitors and the government which is pulling the strings, we get a sense of what it's like to have to fight to survive and protect what you love. I think Collins did a wonderful job creating this new world in a way that you could imagine it happening, which makes the unfeeling nature of the government in the Capital that much more hard to stomach. Overall I thought this was a fabulous book. I thoroughly enjoyed the charecters and the relationships and I can't wait to pick up Catching Fire to get more of the story.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Dark Divine

The Dark Divine
By: Bree Despain

This was a great book. I came into it expecting more of the same YA fare that I've become accustomed to, meaning I was sure I would figure it all out within the first few pages and then spend the rest of the book just enjoying the story. I was wrong, I guessed, changed my mind, rethought it all, and then discovered I was wrong the whole time. Despain takes a format we are becoming familiar with, the supernatural, and twists it around but making the villin the hero and vice versa. I loved the twist because just when you think you have it figured out, she twists it around again. It might seem like it could get confusing, but Despain writes it so that it's easy to follow and enjoy. I absolutely loved this book and can't wait for more from Despain.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I Heart You, You Haunt Me

I Heart You, You Haunt Me
By: Lisa Schroeder

This book was a great. Written entirely in poetry form, it quickly draws you into Ava's world as she deals with the death of her boyfriend. Even though this book didn't really delve deep into all that was happening, I think it was really effective in showing us how Ava felt as she struggles to move forward. I also liked that it was from Ava's perspective, so you really got a chance to feel what she was feeling, having lost her boyfriend and blaming herself. In the end you got a story about coming to terms with yourself, and finding happiness despite the sorrow. I really enjoyed it.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Rowdy in Paris

Rowdy in Paris
By: Tim Sandlin
This was a pretty funny book. If you're a fan of westerns it's a great change from the kind of shoot'em up fare that usually graces the pages of westerns. This book is a fish out of water story that is full of sterotypes and humor. The title pretty much says it all, this book is about the adventure a Bull Rider, Rowdy, has while in Paris trying to chase down his stolen championship buckle. He encounters just about every stereotype there is, and bumles his way across the city, insulting just about everyone he meets. It was a fun, quick read that I'd recommend to anyone who just wants a laugh without a whole lot of drama.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Wake & Fade by Lisa McMann

I read these books a few months ago over Thanksgiving break and really enjoyed both books and can't wait for the third book, Gone, to come out.

By: Lisa McMann

I picked this book up after TwilightMoms made the upcoming third book, Gone, a book of the month. I figured I'd better catch up! I tore through these books. This book is a quick, easy read that really lets you into the main charecters life and mind. I love how McMann wrote this book in little snippets of Janie's life. It was a great way to get the important moments across without being super wordy. It was almost like reading a diary.

I also enjoyed the relationship between Janie and Cabel, after reading so many books where everyone seemed to be involved in some sort of magic, it was really nice to get a charecter, Cabel, who is really just a guy. What defines him, and makes hin endearing, are the very human circumstances he has lived through and rose above. He has had a really rough life, and now does extraordinary work, but he has no special powers. It was nice to see his and Janie's relationship grow on a very basic, realistic, high school level.

By: Lisa McMann

I enjoyed this book alot, although not as much as the first book. I say this for a few reasons, but first, the reasons I really enjoyed Fade.

I enjoyed this continuation of Janie and Cabel's relationship. Again, like in Wake, I loved the fact that despite all the hardships both have endured, they have essentially a very normal relationship. They have their struggles and make some really messed up choices, but they really do love and respect eachother and I think that is very refreshing. I liked seeing both Janie and Cabel coming to grips with what their future will look like given Janie's gift and the side effects that come with being a dreamcatcher. Personally, I liked that Cabel doesn't simply support Janie whole hog without trouble, it seemed so much more believable to me that a high school boy, one who has been trhough so much, kind of freaks out and pulls away. I always felt they would end up together, so I was okay with Cabel losing it for a bit before coming back around. I enjoyed seeing that growth in him.

I also liked the charecter of the Captain. She is a really good role model and friend for both Janie and Cabel who both desperately needed that kind of influence in their lives.

Here's where the book lost me- the whole main storyline! I get that they are crime solvers and there are predators out there who need to be caught, but I could not accept that the Captain (or anyone really) would think that sending a relatively untrained 18 year old out to a party, to be bait for sexual predators who they know attack girls at parties, was a good idea. It just seemed to out there, to dangerous, and too unbelieveable. I was with McMann when she had Janie trying to glean information while at school, but I thought the attacks/group orgy at the Chem teacher's house was too much. Also, three sex predetor teachers was too much as well. One I can buy, but a wierd teacher sex ring was really odd.

Overall it didn't put me off on wanting to read the next book though. Overall I loved the books and the things that turned me off where clearly outwieghed by all the things I loved.

Back after a long break!!

Wow- it's been...awhile. Sometimes life get a bit busy and the holiday season has definitly been that. I have been reading though and I've been trying to stockpile some reviews! So they are coming. Lot's of YA and kids books. So stay tuned, I'm working on some thoughts and reviews!

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Lonely Hearts Club

The Lonely Hearts Club

By: Elizabeth Eulberg

Love, Love this book! I picked one morning and finished it two hours later. A quick, easy read, this book is nonetheless packed with all the drama that being a high school girl involves, both with the boys that will make you blush and the ones who will break your heart, and with the girls that try to pull you down and the ones who will always be there to build you up. I loved how Eulberg used the Beatles as a thread through the entire book, and loved the main charecter, Penny Lane, and all the lessons she learned and helped her friends learn. Ultimately this is a book about finding yourself and your place in the world, even if that world is, for now, only limited to the small halls of high school. I think every girl (old and young) should give this book a read, it will remind you of what it was like to be in high school, and also to stay true to yourself and your friends. Great first book by Eulberg and I really hope we get many more.