Friday, November 27, 2009

Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves (Around The World Tours)


Published: January 5th 2010 by Simon Pulse
Hardcover, 464 pages
ISBN: 1416986189

ISBN13: 9781416986188

Love can be a dangerous thing....
Hanna simply wants to be loved. With a head plagued by hallucinations, a medicine cabinet full of pills, and a closet stuffed with frilly, violet dresses, Hanna's tired of being the outcast, the weird girl, the freak. So she runs away to Portero, Texas in search of a new home.

But Portero is a stranger town than Hanna expects. As she tries to make a place for herself, she discovers dark secrets that would terrify any normal soul. Good thing for Hanna, she's far from normal. As this crazy girl meets an even crazier town, only two things are certain: Anything can happen and no one is safe.

Review:

Portero, Texas...is a weird-shit town, is where Hanna thinks she'll fit in, is where her mother lived in solitude for the sixteen years of Hanna's life, is where the Mortmaine--a society of "saviors/heroes"--live, is where the inhabitants see death as just another doorway everyone will soon cross. Hearing past stories from Poppa, Hana knows the unsentimental, nutcase her mother is and always was; but like mother like daughter, right? Parking herself in her mother's home kitchen and making grilled cheese sandwiches is how Hanna coaxed her mom out of unconsciousness in the middle night. For the neglect Rosalee--Hanna's mother--has portrayed over the years, Hana is willing to forgive and forget...but finds Rosalee feeling quite the contrary. To prove to an unrelenting, unloving Rosalee that she belongs in Portero and can take care of herself, Hanna sets off to "make friends" and begin hunting creatures in all hours of the night to show how capable of taking care of herself she is. Only with the "help" of a duty-bound, green-wearing Mortmaine named Wyatt, is Hanna able to complete her new goals. When of one of the many disputes between Hanna and Rosalee gets a bit out of a hand--Hanna knocks Rosalee over the head with a lamp, she is a manic depressive after all. Hanna finds that dealing with the grouchy Rosalee may have been easier than dealing with the possessed one.
Through a series of crazy plans and hallucinations, Hanna must find a way to kick the spirit of the most powerful of the Mortmaine out of Rosalee's body. Can she gain her mother's love in the process?

I really thought I'd enjoy Bleeding Violet more than I actually did. I must say that it is entertaining, with Hanna's crazy attitude and deals. In all, however, it seemed as if Reeves tried stringing along a bunch of subplots and calling it a story. I found it lacking a constructive plot and reason for the main characters actions: Why was she so desperate to gain her mothers affections? Why the lack emotion and connection--besides the hallucinations--when it came to Poppa? These were constant questions pestering me throughout the novel. There were parts in the book actually making me wonder what the author's message was. The ending seemed somewhat predictable between Hanna and Rosalee's relationship but it also cut off Wyatt's reason for even being in the story. On that note, what happened to the supportive characters' background? Bleeding Violet was left with a lot to be desired but it does not stop me from recommending this novel to the newcomers of the YA Fantasy genre. Just to get a taste of the beginnings of a new imagination.

Grade: C-

LiLi

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving! + Winner

This is my belated Thanksgiving post to everyone reading out there, eating their turkey right now. I ate so much today, I really thought I might burst! Here are some pics my mom took outside my great-aunt's house after the BIG lunch we had. I, of course, ate two plate worth of food because I didn't eat breakfast lol, and I woke up way too early:

Second pic is with my grandmother, who will probably whine later for me to take out of the post, oh well. I had a great time with my family and hope everyone else did, as well.

Now onto the more important/exciting news, the winner of my Gallagher Girls series Contest. There were 144 entries in total and 50 entrants, inserting that into random.org, the lucky number is 76! So Congrats to:




Congrats, chica! I will email you now and you must get back to me in the next 72 hours to claim your prize.
Thank you to everybody who entered and for those who did not win, enter my current contest for a chance to win a fan guide by L.J. Smith on her Night World series.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


LiLi

Friday, November 20, 2009

I'm Closing Contest Early...

Due to some rushed stupidity on my part, I am closing the 200 followers contest early because of some mix up with the new contest I have up for the Fan Guide. Anywho, for those who have already entered, no worries I still have your entries and am copying them onto a serperate spreadsheet. I'm sorry to close the contest 2 days early but it must be done or all the entries for both contest will mixed up. Again, apologies on my bad. Lol! Sorry, everyone. The contest for L.J's Fan Guide is still open and will be until is closing date.

LiLi

Giveaway: Night World: The Ultimate Fan Guide by L.J. Smith

Thanks to Venessa, at Simon & Schuster, I've got 5 copies of this awesome fan guide to giveaway.

Night World: The Ultimate Fan Guide
You loved Secret Vampire and are counting down to the Strange Fate apocalypse. But who was the first made vampire? How do you properly greet a witch? And why are shapeshifters and werewolves rivals? Prepare to test your Night World knowledge with trivia questions from all nine books; get the inside information about the clans, the soulmate principle, Circle Daybreak, and the four Wild Powers; and take two quizzes to find out how you fit into the Night World.

Best of all, L.J. Smith shares her inspiration for the series, answers the questions you've been asking, and even reveals fun facts about herself in this official guide. Plus, look for the sneak peek at the dramatic conclusion to the series, Strange Fate!



Join L.J Smith's Official Night World Fan Page

For a taste of L. J's first works of the Night World series, check out this little summary:


Night World No. 1: Secret Vampire; Daughters of Darkness; Spellbinder
Vampires, werewolves, witches, shapeshifters -- they live among us without our knowledge. Night World is their secret society, a secret society with very strict rules. And falling in love breaks all the laws of the Night World.

In Secret Vampire, Poppy thought the summer would last forever. Then she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Now Poppy's only hope for survival is James, her friend and secret love. A vampire in the Night World, James can make Poppy immortal. But first they both must risk everything to go against the laws of Night World.

Fugitives from Night World, three vampire sisters leave their isolated home to live among humans in Daughters of Darkness. Their brother, Ash, is sent to bring the girls back, but he falls in love with their beautiful friend.

Two witch cousins fight over their high school crush. It's a battle between black magic and white magic in Spellbinder.


Rules for the contest:

Just fill out this form!

Contest ends on November 27th @ midnight EST! Open to US/CA/UK residents only.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

She's So Money by Cherry Cheva

Published: February 1st 2008 by HarperTeen
304 pages
ISBN: 0061288551
ISBN13: 9780061288555
Question: What do you get when you take . . .

1 overachieving girl + 1 insanely cute guy + 1 massive fine + 1 scheme involving a little dishonesty and a whole lot of cash?

I've always been the good girl—working seriously long hours at my family's restaurant and getting straight As. And Camden King was always just that hot, popular guy I'd pass in the halls, whose ego was probably much bigger than his brain. I didn't think there would ever be a reason for us to actually, like, interact.

Then again, I never thought I'd mess up so badly that my family might lose our entire restaurant if I didn't come up with a ton of money, and fast. So that's where Camden comes in—he and his evil/genius plan to do kids' homework for cash.

I know cheating's wrong, but it's better than being dead, right? Which is what I'd be if my parents knew about what happened. I never expected things to spin so far out of control. Or that I'd be such a sucker for Camden's lopsided grin. Or that falling apart could be the best thing that ever happened to me.

Answer: The time of my life.

Review:

Elaborate schemes are necessary when you're left alone for the weekend with your younger brother, with the family restaurant to look after; to be fined because of the Health Department the very next day. Being a straight-A student has its advantages at a time like this. For example. taking in the deal that Weston High's own man-whore offered for doing his homework for a 100 dollars a pop. In order to pay the ten grand in the time limit given, Maya demands for more "clients" no matter how wrong she thinks it is. Getting sucked deeper into that black hole and dragging some friends along the way, Maya's paranoia only seems to grow. Flirting with the bad boy seemed inevitable at the point of expanding the business, since they were both the masterminds of the whole operation. One little detail she paid no mind to was the clingy love song-writing geek that was getting tired of being turned down oh-so-subtly. He decided it was time to get even and unconsciously add on to Maya's worry of her huge homework-cheating system being discovered. He opted out for five grand by the same time the Health Department's check would be due. In the end there was no need to worry, for after feeling betrayed, used, lonely, and defeated, Maya's own conscious sought out the obvious solution that has been pestering her since the "cheating ring" ever began.
Cherry Cheva made She's So Money so comprehensibly laugh-out-loud worthy, that you will be guffawing and crying at the same time. Whoever said that a light, fun novel can't pull at your heart strings every once in a while? She's So Money is an unregrettable novel with run-on sentences that will no doubt have you going back to see if you read something correctly. Maya is such a relatable protanganist that I wonder if I will be as paranoid going into the last years of high school. Recommended to all young adult readers that can tell that this predictable plot is going to finish with a very unpredictable ending.

Grade: B+

LiLi

Saturday, November 7, 2009

200 followers giveaway!

Contest is closed!
Okay, so I only need two more followers for my big 200 followers! I thought I'd have a contest just to celebrate. What will you win, you ask? This:

The Gallagher Girl Series by Ally Carter

I'd Tell You I Love You but Then I'd Have to Kill You (PB)
Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (PB)
Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover (HB--signed!)

Rules:
Just fill out the form please!


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough


Published: September 14th 2009 by Clarion Books
Details: Hardcover, 292 pages
ISBN: 0547223994
ISBN13: 9780547223995

From Goodreads:
Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and she was supposed to be one of the most Talented among them. But Tamsin's magic never showed up. Now seventeen, Tamsin attends boarding school in Manhattan, far from her family. But when a handsome young professor mistakes her for her very Talented sister, Tamsin agrees to find a lost family heirloom for him. The search—and the stranger—will prove to be more sinister than they first appeared, ultimately sending Tamsin on a treasure hunt through time that will unlock the secret of her true identity, unearth the sins of her family, and unleash a power so vengeful that it could destroy them all. This is a spellbinding display of storytelling that will exhilarate, enthrall, and thoroughly enchant.

Review:

Feeling like an outsider in your own home is not a feeling one wishes upon themselves. Carolyn MacCallough has made that feeling inside Tamsin into something that is totally different than what ever thought it could be. I was up to 4:00 in the morning reading MacCallough's new novel that is addicting as hell but could have had a more developed plot. At first, Tamsin can't believe that a professor from NYU wants her to help him find something. But it's not necessarily Tamsin he wants, it's her soon-to-be-married-Talented older sister Rowena; who, of course, she impersonates. Just to prove to her family that she is not as useless as they think she is, Tamsin plans to pretend to be Rowena long enough to find the clock. Or at least that was the plan. When she locates it and tries to bring it back to him, it's no longer valuable. Through a series of time jumps, locating that one power-filled item seems to be the most important thing, especially when its consumer is practically hold your sister hostage. Seeing that vulnerability in Rowena as a result of what Tamsin started sends a sense of guilt so deep that she knows she's going to need some help to get out of this one. What she discovers while trying to save her sister is a whole bundle of family secrets coming to the light to reveal themselves. Turns out Tamsin was never as Talentless as she thought she was. Will her newly untrained power help her in the end? Or is it more trouble than its worth?

A surprising end starts a new world for Tamsin, one hopefully not as secretive. Spoken in first-person, Once a Witch is not a disapproving novel, however, I do not think it hit its full potential. Felt as if there were some emotional gaps in different scenes of attempted romance and family playfulness. Recommended to lonely teens in big families, looking to find their own full potential.

Grade: B-

LiLi