Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Teen Book Scene: Here by Denise Grover Swank Giveaway!




Sixteen year old Julia Phillips buries herself in guilt after killing her best friend Monica in a car accident. Julia awoke in the hospital with a broken leg, a new talent for drawing and false memories of the accident, in which she dies and Monica lives. The doctors attribute this to her head injury, but no one can explain how a bracelet engraved with her name ended up at the scene of the accident. A bracelet no one has ever seen before.

Classmate Evan Whittaker paid Julia no attention before the accident, let alone after. Now suddenly he’s volunteering to tutor her and offering to drive her home. She can't ignore that his new obsession started after his two-day disappearance last week and that he wears a pendant she’s been drawing for months. When the police show up one night looking for Evan, he begs Julia to run with him, convincing her that Monica is still alive. Julia agrees to go, never guessing where he’s really from.

In order to enter for your own copy paperback of Here, all you have to do is fill out this FORM. Ends March 12th at midnight EST, open to US residents only.

Thanks to Teen Book Scene!

LiLi

Monday, February 27, 2012

Teen Book Scene: Deadly Character Feature


Introducing the author of Deadly, Julie Chibbaro...

Julie Chibbaro is the author of Deadly (Simon & Schuster 2011), a medical mystery about the hunt for Typhoid Mary. Deadly won the 2011 National Jewish Book Award, and was Top 10 on the American Library Association's Amelia Bloomer Project list. Deadly was named Outstanding Science Trade Book by the National Science Teachers Association for 2012. The novel has received excellent reviews from such journals as The New York Times, Kirkus Reviews, and School Library Journal.

Julie Chibbaro's first book, Redemption (Simon & Schuster 2004), an epic tale of love, kidnapping, and white Indians, won the 2005 American Book Award. In 2013, her new novel, Aurora Borealis & Amazing, will be published by Penguin (Dial BFYR), with drawings by Jean-Marc Superville Sovak.

Onto Prudence's Character Feature...

My feelings are private. Not for any reason other than I know that I’m not supposed to have them. Especially not when everyone around me has such normal desires: To be the next Gibson girl, to marry Will Stryker and have his babies. I know I’m not normal.

I do love a man, but he is 20 years older than me. I am interested in Gibson girls, but mostly because of what’s inside them. What makes them human.

No, no, that’s not entirely true either. I can’t define my interests so well. I’m not sure who I am, or which path to follow. Does any 16-year-old girl? Mrs. Browning says I should desire to be a governess for a rich family, or a banker’s secretary, but these things don’t appeal to me. I want to open up the world, see inside. How does a heart beat? Why does a stomach rumble? Why do people get sick and die? These are the things I wonder about.


Prudence Galewski doesn’t belong in Mrs. Browning’s esteemed School for Girls. She doesn’t want an “appropriate” job that makes use of refinement and charm. Instead, she is fascinated by how the human body works—and why it fails.

Prudence is lucky to land a position in a laboratory, where she is swept into an investigation of a mysterious fever. From ritzy mansions to shady bars and rundown tenements, Prudence explores every potential cause of the disease to no avail—until the volatile Mary Mallon emerges. Dubbed “Typhoid Mary” by the press, Mary is an Irish immigrant who has worked as a cook in every home the fever has ravaged. But she’s never been sick a day in her life. Is the accusation against her an act of discrimination? Or is she the first clue in solving one of the greatest medical mysteries of the twentieth century?

Thanks to Julie and Teen Book Scene!

LiLi

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Teen Book Scene: Cobbogoth by Hannah L. Clark Giveaway


To seventeen-year-old Norah Lukens, the Cobbogothians were just a myth. But after her archeologist uncle's brutal murder, and being asked to translate one of his old research journals for evidence, she begins a journey to discover the truth for herself.

Chasing the myth her uncle was obsessed with, Norah learns that his murder was a cover up for something far more sinister. If she hopes to save others from suffering the same fate he did--including the peculiarly magnetic James Riley--she must head to Iceland in order to find out the truth once and for all.

If she succeeds, she'll gain the one thing she's always longed for.

But if she fails, not even the gods can help her.


Thanks to Hannah and Teen Book Scene, I am able to give away two SIGNED copies of Cobbogoth. In order to enter the giveaway, fill out this FORM. Open to US residents and ends on March 3rd at midnight EST.

LiLi

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Guest Post: Mary Lowry, the author AND screenwriter

Introducing the author of The Earthquake Machine, Mary Pauline Lowry...

Mary Pauline Lowry has worked as a forest firefighter, construction worker, open water lifeguard, and advocate in the movement to end violence against women.

She currently works as a novelist, screenwriter, and regular contributor to the Huffington Post.


Onto the 'screenwriter' guest post...

First I want to thank LiLi for having me guest post here at the fab book blog ChicaReader. She’s asked me to write about my work as a screenwriter.

I am a total accidental screenwriter. I never aspired to write scripts. I’ve always been very driven to be a novelist. But when famous Hollywood producer Bill Mechanic read my yet-to-be-released novel THE GODS OF FIRE (based on my experiences as a forest firefighter) he loved it. So I flew out to LA to meet with him and he decided to option the book for film.

Bill Mechanic and another producer named Suzanne Warren asked me to write the screenplay! I was thrilled, but also nervous. I’d barely even ever read a screenplay, much less tried to write one. But I immersed myself in movies and scripts and started writing. After about a 100 drafts, the script went out to directors. Director Peyton Wilson is now attached to the script, which will soon go out to actors!

One thing I’ve learned is that only 10% of screenwriters of major motion pictures are women. That’s about the same percentage as female forest firefighters! That’s a shocking statistic and one that we as women and girls need to work to change.

I feel very strongly that women should have a chance to have adventures, make art, and get their art out into the world.

For more from Mary Pauline Lowry on women and art, check out her Huff Post article Art & Adventure: a Manifesto for Women and Girls.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mary-pauline-lowry/art-and-adventure-a-manif_b_933637.html

The book every girl should read; and every girl’s parents hope she’ll never read.

The Earthquake Machine, a fun, fantastical and exhilarating tale, explodes the distinction between Young Adult and adult coming-of-age novels, even as it explores the borders between the United States and Mexico, adolescence and adulthood, male and female, English and Spanish.

The Earthquake Machine tells the story of 14 year-old Rhonda. On the outside, everything looks perfect in Rhonda’s world, but at home Rhonda has to deal with a manipulative father who keeps her mentally ill mother hooked on pharmaceuticals. The only reliable person in Rhonda’s life is her family’s Mexican yardman, Jesús. But when the INS deports Jesús back to his home state of Oaxaca, Rhonda is left alone with her increasingly painful family situation.

Determined to find her friend Jésus, Rhonda seizes an opportunity to run away during a camping trip with friends to Big Bend National Park. She swims to the Mexican side of the Rio Grande and makes her way to the border town of Milagros, Mexico. There a kind man named Juan Diego convinces her she won’t be safe traveling alone into the country’s interior. So with the Juan Diego’s help, Rhonda cuts her hair and assumes the identity of a Mexican boy named Angel. She then sets off on a burro across the desert to look for Jesús. Thus begins a wild adventure that fulfills the longing of readers eager for a brave and brazen female protagonist.

Thank you for the guest post, Mary!

LiLi

Monday, February 20, 2012

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Title: Incarnate
Author: Jodi Meadows

Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (January 31, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0062060759
ISBN-13: 978-0062060754
New soul

Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

No soul

Even Ana's own mother thinks she's a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she'll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

Heart

Sam believes Ana's new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana's enemies--human and creature alike--let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else's life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.
Review:

Ana signifies nosoul, alone. No one has ever been there to help Ana or teach her the ways and practices that have existed for thousands of years. Li--Ana's mother and guardian--makes sure she gets as little exposure to the public as possible but when her eighteenth birthday finally arrives, Ana decides to venture to the center of it all; the one place where she might find some answers for her existence, Heart. When she takes a wrong turn and ends up going in the opposite direction of her destination, she's put into a near-death situation but is unexpectedly rescued. Sam saves her, but seeing as how this is the first time anybody has tried caring for Ana, she's understandably hesitant to trust him. One thing binds them together though, music.

With the help of Sam and his friends in Heart, the encompassed white-wall enclosure where most of the population lives in Range, Ana is able to live with him and allowed to explore their libraries to learn more about how the million souls, under the rule of the Council, live.

My first impression of Ana's character was that she had trust issues and questioned everything about the way the oldsouls lived. Ms. Meadows goes into her story head-on but throughout the book, she unveils the reasoning and thought process for Ana's decisions and attitude. I grew to like her brave impulsiveness and polar opposite personality from Sam. She definitely grew into her own person even if she didn't see that herself at first. Sam was a sweet love interest that indulged Ana more than he probably should have. His protective and hesitant  nature flourished due to Ana's influence and vice versa. They both developed simultaneously and learned from each other.

I liked reading about the other characters involved in the Ana's life as well. I appreciated their roles and how they reflected on Ana's life but I could also see how their individual lives were part of the million souls.

The secretiveness and distaste behind Ana's existence is evident from the very beginning. Ana's quest to find out more about her raison d'être takes hold of the story's plot line as does the intensity behind her relationship with Sam.

I had some problems while going through the book because I wanted more of the technological background for the oldsouls, less to do with their feuds with dragons and all the other mystical creatures and more about how they live, what their individual jobs are, how the Council makes its decisions and keeps track of everything. All of these elements are mentioned but never truly gone into depth about. The only truth given for Heart's creation was that a being named Janan supposedly built it for the humans that were being reincarnated. And what bothered me the most was the mysterious structure that stuck out like a sore thumb in the book: the temple. We only get the answers and reason behind the temple's creation towards the end of the book and even though, I was so confused I was getting wrinkles. All the answers that Ms. Meadows was trying to give at the end had too many gaps and just left me frustrated and wanting to shake the book--in this case, my Kindle--for more thorough explanations.

Another smaller issue I had a problem with was how the climate and time-telling inside heart was different than outside the walls. This also leads to my problem with how one year is called the Year of Drought, the next the Year of Souls. There's no explanations for the cycles or when they know another Year of Souls is coming up.

I will be reading the sequel for Incarnate just to follow along and see if I can get some answers to my questions and that will be what determines if I read the rest of the Newsoul series. I do recommend picking up Incarnate because of its originality and new twist on the ever-growing popularity of the dystopian genre.

Grade: C


Source: Netgalley

LiLi

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday (12)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm waiting on...

Title: Vessel
Author: Sarah Beth Durst

Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (September 11, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1442423765
ISBN-13: 978-1442423763
In a desert land where serpents made of unbreakable glass fly through the sky and wolves made of only sand hunt within storms, Liyana is destined to be a vessel, to sacrifice herself so that her clan's goddess can inhabit her body... but her goddess never comes.



Title: Thief's Covenant
Author: Ari Marmell
Series: A Widdershins Adventure, #1

Hardcover: 273 pages
Publisher: Pyr (February 14, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1616145471
ISBN-13: 978-1616145477
Once she was Adrienne Satti. An orphan of Davillon, she had somehow escaped destitution and climbed to the ranks of the city's aristocracy in a rags-to-riches story straight from an ancient fairy tale. Until one horrid night, when a conspiracy of forces—human and other—stole it all away in a flurry of blood and murder.

Today she is Widdershins, a thief making her way through Davillon's underbelly with a sharp blade, a sharper wit, and the mystical aid of Olgun, a foreign god with no other worshippers but Widdershins herself. It's not a great life, certainly nothing compared to the one she once had, but it's hers.

But now, in the midst of Davillon's political turmoil, an array of hands are once again rising up against her, prepared to tear down all that she's built. The City Guard wants her in prison. Members of her own Guild want her dead. And something horrid, something dark, something ancient is reaching out for her, a past that refuses to let her go. Widdershins and Olgun are going to find answers, and justice, for what happened to her—but only if those who almost destroyed her in those years gone by don't finish the job first.
Both have such amazing covers and awesome synopsis!

LiLi

Monday, February 13, 2012

Teen Book Scene: Author of Here This or That List!



Introducing the author of Here, Denise Grover Swank...

Denise is a single mom who lives in Lee’s Summit, Missouri raising five of her six kids. (The oldest has gone off to live on his own.) She loves to embarrass her children whether it be spontaneous dance parties in the kitchen or making her teens’ friends think she’s funny/cool. *gasp* (Even if its in her own mind.) On rare occasions, she is known to post stories about her crazy life on her family blog There’s Always Room for One More.

She keeps her sanity by creating worlds to escape to and characters to hang out with.



Onto the author This or That list...

Chocolate or Peanut butter?

Chocolate

Hot summer days or Cold winter nights?

Cold winter nights—better for snuggling

Hand- or Type-writing?

Type. My handwriting is nearly eligible and my fingers can’t keep up when I’m writing a first draft.

Twitter or Facebook?

Oh, hard one. It depends on my mood but lately I’m on Facebook more

Heating Blanket or Snuggie?

Heating blanket. My kids gave.

Most influential: School education or Life experience?

Life. Some things you just have to learn for yourself.

Blog or Journal?

Blog. I used to regularly post on my family blog, There’s Always Room for One More, until I began writing seriously two years ago. Now I have to drop in and clean out the cobwebs.

Road trip or Air plane?

Airplane. I’d rather get there faster and have someone else in charge of getting me to my destination.

Dogs or cats?

Dogs. I’m total dog person. I have two—a Yorkie named Fifi and a Maltese named Bella.

Ideal home: Big metropolitan house or Small rural cottage?

Rural cottage. As long as there’s a Starbucks close by. LOL

Sixteen year old Julia Phillips buries herself in guilt after killing her best friend Monica in a car accident. Julia awoke in the hospital with a broken leg, a new talent for drawing and false memories of the accident, in which she dies and Monica lives. The doctors attribute this to her head injury, but no one can explain how a bracelet engraved with her name ended up at the scene of the accident. A bracelet no one has ever seen before.

Classmate Evan Whittaker paid Julia no attention before the accident, let alone after. Now suddenly he’s volunteering to tutor her and offering to drive her home. She can’t ignore that his new obsession started after his two-day disappearance last week and that he wears a pendant she’s been drawing for months. When the police show up one night looking for Evan, he begs Julia to run with him, convincing her that Monica is still alive. Julia agrees to go, never guessing where he’s really from.

Thanks to Denise and Teen Book Scene!

LiLi

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

CtDfY's Not-To-Be-Missed Dance Video

For your viewing pleasure, a special dance video dedicated to Gail Sobat's Chance to Dance for You release...


Thank you, Gail, for letting me know about this amazing performance!

LiLi

Monday, February 6, 2012

Teen Book Scene: CtDfY Jess's This or That List!


Introducing the author of Chance to Dance for You, Gail Sidonie Sobat...

Gail Sidonie Sobat...is a witch at heart, a pirate in her dreams, and a gypsy in practice. She has assumed any number of disguises in her lifetime, including that of teacher, adjunct professor, woman-in-black, professional actor and singer, grounds keeper, flag girl, parimutuel seller and flower seller. She is the creator/ coordinator of YouthWrite, a camp for kids who love to write, a teacher at the University of Alberta Hospital School, an instructor in the University of Alberta Faculty of Education, and the Canadian Authors Association (Alberta Chapter) Writer-in-Residence. She has moved twenty-seven times in her life from Badlands to Siksika Nation Reserve to hideous suburbs to Istanbul to the Sunshine Coast to her writer’s garret in a near-century-old temperamental house.

Onto Jess' This or That List...

Thick milkshake or fruit smoothie?

Fruit smoothie with protein power. I’m an athlete.

Hockey or Football?

Hockey. I’m Canadian, eh? It’s our national game.

NFL or CFL?

CFL!

Work out or Hang out?

Work out. Hanging out is boring. Might as well pump some weights. Work on maintaining the six pack.

Big city or Small town?

Big city. Easier to get lost in the crowd.

Date dessert: Ice cream or Donuts?

Dunno. Chicks like ice cream.

Pass-time: Small backyard football game or Going to the movies?

Football any time the snow’s not on the ground!

Hamburgers or Hot dogs?

Hamburgers. Hot dogs are full of toxic crap.

Text or E-mail?

What’s e-mail? Text!

CDs or iPod/MP3 player?

I don’t even have a CD player. iPod all the way!


Ian lives in a suburb where everything's the same. The houses are the same; the cars are the same; the families are the same; and their aspirations are the same. But Ian is different.

Openly gay in his bigoted high school, Ian doesn’t exactly fit in. But he's not worried— he's been training in dance for a long time and soon he'll be able to leave town and train to become a professional. Then he falls in love with Jess, the high school quarterback.


Thanks to Gail and Teen Book Scene!

LiLi

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Teen Book Scene: Chance to Dance for You by Gail Sidonie Sobat

Title: Chance to Dance for You
Author: Gail Sidonie Sobat

Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Great Plains Teen Fiction (May 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1926531116
ISBN-13: 978-1926531113
Ian lives in a suburb where everything's the same. The houses are the same; the cars are the same; the families are the same; and their aspirations are the same. But Ian is different.

Openly gay in his bigoted high school, Ian doesn’t exactly fit in. But he's not worried— he's been training in dance for a long time and soon he'll be able to leave town and train to become a professional. Then he falls in love with Jess, the high school quarterback.
Review:

Living in the Canadian suburbs has not stopped Ian from thinking of bigger and better things for his dancing career. Ever since he was a tot he hasn't done anything or thought about anything more all-consuming than his dancing. And although the teachers at his high school don't like to talk and rather stay away, they can't ignore the results that incorporating his dance techniques and flexibility exercises helps improve their athletes mobility. When a certain jock takes notice of Ian, it sparks a secret relationship between the two that the former would die to keep.

To start off, the predictability bar was set very high and did not disappoint. I knew what was going to happened before I even read the book. One thing I did not expect was for Chance to Dance for You to be crazy funny and satirical at times. Ian loved to make fun of the jocks, the burbs, his school in general and I loved reading all the names he came up with; they all had their own original twist on the names we hear everyday. I also appreciated the fact that Ian had a separate life that concentrated on his dancing when he started his relationship with Jess. That distraction definitely gave a spin to the book that was needed in order for the plot not become stagnant and solely focused on the secrecy between Ian and Jess.

Since Chance to Dance for You was such a short read, the only issues I had with it was the predictability and the ending. In a lot of ways, these two things coincide and it was the ending that I saw coming and did not enjoy reading at all. I know some may say different, that it's really the reality of homosexuality right now but the way and context in which this book was written set up such high hopes for the reader only to have them come crashing down in two seconds. However, I imagine that's how brief it would take to ruin someone's life, and I understand how the author wanted to illustrate that.

Grade: C

Source: Teen Book Scene

LiLi