Monday, September 21, 2009

Blog Makeover? (Edited)

Update: Changed the Header as requested, with a new twist!
Okay, first, I must give props to BookMac for finding this blogsite with awesome templates! And I hope I'm not stealing the idea they have in mind for their blog. If I am, tell me and I'll pick something else. Anyway, I wanted to ask you guys in general what you thought about this blog template, that I think I might switch to. (This is just a test-blog for the template) Of course, I'll have to switch all the widgets and links and everything--and I will--but I just want to know what you guys think about it, before I make the transition. I know I change my template and backgrounds a lot, but I can't help it! I just do.

LiLi

Side-note: Yes, I know who you are, and that was not funny considering what happened last time. I'm going to hunt you down and do it myself if you scare me like that again.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

At Face Value by Emily Franklin

Pages: 240

Published: Oct. 1st '08 by Flux

"You've never seen a nose as big as mine."
In this modern love story, Cyrano de Bergerac is reinvented as a brilliant and funny seventeen-year-old . . . girl. A tennis champion, straight-A student, and editor of the school paper, Cyrie Bergerac has learned to live with her (ahem) peculiar proboscis. And she's got an armory of witty retorts for every schnoz joke that comes her way. But despite her talents and charm, Cyrie is convinced that no guy—hot or otherwise—would deem her crush-worthy. Certainly not Eddie "Rox" Roxanninoff, who's gorgeous, smart, and genuinely nice to boot!
There's someone else smitten with Rox, too. It's Leyla, Cyrie's pretty yet tongue-tied best friend. Helping Leyla seduce Rox through email provides a wonderful way for Cyrie to express her true feelings. But watching her crush hook up with Leyla may be more than she can take. Will Cyrie find the strength to risk it all—nose be damned—and confess her love?
In this funny and poignant spin on a classic, popular YA author Emily Franklin explores the age-old theme of "true beauty" with humor and piercing perception.

Review:

We all feel insecure at certain times. Cyrie Bergerac is past that and beyond, or at least thinks she is. Cyrie retorts to every insult that the PBVs--pretty but vapid, as she calls them--make, but does that make her feel any better? Okay, maybe a little but in the end, not so much. Almost everything she thinks about revolves around her nose. Her big, humongous, it-has-its-own-zip-code nose; at least that why she thinks everyone bothers her. Always on the defensive, Cyrie tries to take everything in stride, that's what editors are supposed to act like, right? Except when it comes to Eddie, "Rox" as everyone else calls him, Cyrie just acts like herself because she knows Eddie wouldn't like it any other way. When Leyla--former PBV, and now Cyrie's best friend--asks for help in getting Eddie more interested in her than he already is, Cyrie can't help but hesitate...and say, okay. She figures that this might be a way to get even closer to Eddie, even if it has its limits. Feeling degraded, Cyrie doesn't know where to turn. Will she forever stay "a friend" to Eddie? Or will she finally have the guts to say what she really feels, in her own voice?
At Face Value is an entertaining read that will give you pause with its editorial vocabulary, and anticipation towards its next move. Franklin made the characters believable and portrayed typical issues of teenage angst. She takes an intelligent mind and plants a trivial worry about a facial feature. You find hypocritical thought in this teenage mind that you cannot disagree with. Recommended to teens with minor insecurites that they think have become as massive as Cyrie's nose.

Grade: B+

LiLi

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Winners of my Comment Contest!!

Finally, I am picking winners!! Lol, I am truly sorry that I have taken so long, guys; but thank you all for participating! Some people went a bit crazy, but it does pay off let me tell you. I did use Random.org to pick the lucky participants. Now on to the the winners....drum roll please! The winner of Hush, Hush by Rebecca Fitzpatrick is....

Reggie at ReggieWrites!
Now the winner of After by Amy Efaw is...
And finally the winner of My Name is Will by Jess Winfield is...
Congrats you guys! I'm emailing you right now, and wish to be replied to by next Saturday, to give you enough time. Thanks again to everyone for participating!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Explanations (Excuses Part 2)

I am so so sorry, everyone! I haven't had any Internet access for a while now, and haven't replied to alot of emails either. I am currently using the library computer, which I found I hate with a passion. Anyway, I have some reviews that I wish to post, and of course the winners to my contest, but due to the limits of this freaking computer, I am unable to at the moment. You now know why I haven't posted any IMM that say I got books from the library. I despise the libraries. Not very organized, let me tell you. I do have some good news though, I most likely *fingers-crossed* will be getting Internet access either this coming Monday or the next, no later I promise. I hope that you all will forgive me! I did not see this coming at all. I will try to pick winners as soon as possible, but with school as well, I will inevitably have some hard times. Right now, my timer says I have 7 minutes left of computer time. THEY TIME YOU! I find this ridiculous! Again, I do hope you all will forgive, and support me, in the end, because I have a feeling that this is just the beginning.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Pages: 626

IN A TOWN WITH NO SURPRISES, ONE SECRET COULD CHANGE EVERYTHING.
Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps, and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.
Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.
There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.
At least, that’s what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.

Review:

A curse.
A girl.
And, in the end, a grave.
Ethan Wate had no idea how he got the dreams in the first place, and once the girl they're centered around shows up in Gatlin County, everyone can feel the storm forming and the countdown beginning. Lena Duchannes knows what's coming, however, that doesn't stop the shock of finding the of her dreams--literally and figuratively--in her Uncle Macon Melchizedek Ravenwood's town. Ravenwood is considered the small town's "Haunted Mansion" and they have no idea how on target they are. There is a secret blowing through Gatlin County and the people you know best, may actually be people you know least about. After his mother died, Ethan's household has never been the same. There are charms and trinkets in hidden, and not-so-hidden places, left behind by the infamous house housekeeper--more like a best friend and mother--Amma. As for Ethan's father, with his mind so vulnerable, is the most predictable and the most unseen in his own house. Lila's death seems to have affected him the most--argumentatively--as in, he locks himself away in their--now his--study. Day and Night.
Anyway, Ethan has had a consistency his whole life, and has been waiting for the graduation of his senior year. To go to all the places pinned on the map posted on his bedroom wall. Anything to get out of Gatlin. That is, of course, until Lena came to town. Seeing the girl from his dreams at his high school--Jackson High--leaves Ethan with heart-pounding hormones raging, and a surprise soon in store. Another one, anyway, and it will not be the last. Not only will Ethan get involved with the mysterious, and non-mentioned side of his small town, he gets involved with a whole new species, so to speak. When the time comes, will Ethan survive the final battle, the war? Or will history, undoubtedly repeat itself?
I have to say, that after reading possibly half or two thirds of this novel, I seriously considered reading more books in a males perspective. Teenage male, of course. *wiggles eyebrows suggestively* Anyhow, the southern lilt brings something of authenticity and the small town county rivalry that I imagine will never die. And will be just as entertaining. Beautiful Creatures just makes you want to hop on a plane, go to a tiny southern town, and see for yourself if that's what the environment is really like. Just to see if it's as suspenseful or boring--not likely--as it claims to be?
I love how Ethan can pick up different vibes from people, some more than others and some to loose to excuse. One of the things, I dare not forget to mention, is the connection the two main characters have going for them. Not only do they have some history--one-hundred-and-fifty years-ago-history, but the soul-gripping mind-reading link you will not soon forget. Recommended to all YAs who love the south and have a little patience with this monstrous page-turner.

Grade: A-





LiLi