Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Swoon-Worthy: Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting!!!

Hey guys! Look at this fantastic cover! It's Kimberly Derting's sophomore novel and sequel to The Body Finder; Desires of the Dead!!!

It releases March 15th (5 days after my birthday), next year!!! So stay tuned!!!

my signature


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Author Uncovered: Phoebe Kitanidis (Author Interview)

Hey guys! Phoebe Kitanidis, author of Whisper is here for a quick interview today! Check out my review of Whisper here if you're curious =) Thanks for stopping by Phoebe!

Who is your favorite character from Whisper?
Probably Jamie, the loner guy.

Why did you choose to make Whisper revolve around hearing people's thoughts?
I always thought it’d be amazing to be able to know, somehow, what people were really thinking… especially what they wanted and wished for. But what would you do with that information if you had it? They say that knowledge is power, but they also say that ignorance is bliss. I wanted my story to explore those conflicting ideas.

Joy is a very unique character in Whisper. Is she based on any real-life person?
All my characters have a little bit of me in them. When I was younger, I worked really hard to get people to like me. I’d notice everyone’s preferences and moods and pay attention to what was considered cool, normal, or acceptable… but I still never felt like I fit in. It took me years to figure out that my unique personality wasn’t a “disadvantage,” and to balance other people’s needs and desires with my own.

Why did you choose to incorporate a not-so-nice sister?
She’s the other side of Joy, the side Joy’s entirely rejected. And she’s part of me too.

Personally, what's your opinion on the talent of Joy? Do you think it invades privacy or anything?
I love this question! It’s a very fine line. We all try to guess what the world wants from us: should I wear that dress to the dance, would Mom like those earrings for her birthday, will my best friend be mad if I’m too busy to call her back tonight? But within Joy’s family, there’s little privacy. Everyone’s reading everyone else compulsively. Personally, when I’m upset with someone I don’t want to be around them till I’ve calmed down. If they can look at my face and correctly guess what I’m thinking right then, that could make things worse. While if I could just have some time and space (privacy) to process my feelings, it would be easier to work through them.

Which character do you resonate most with, in Whisper?
Jessica… the not-so-nice sister. I can relate to her sense of alienation, and her frustration with a world that can be seem disappointingly shallow and fake at times.

What was the message that you tried to get across to your readers with Whisper?
“Don’t do drugs.” No, I’m totally kidding! There’s no clear message like that. J But I hope that Whisper makes readers take a fresh look at how we all communicate—not just what we say, but what’s between the lines. And how that subtle communication can shape our relationships, for good or for bad.

What would you have done if you were in Joy's place?
I believe in trusting your gut. So if I ever got a gut feeling that someone I loved was in trouble, I hope I’d follow my intuition just like Joy did.

The cover is very beautiful. Did you have any input in it?
Thank you; I love the cover too but I can take no credit. My editor did ask for my input, I just had no clue what should be on the cover. To me, Whisper is more about thoughts, feelings, ideas, and of course sounds than it is about visual stuff. So many only input was, “Wow!” (when I saw the finished design).

What's the most interesting thing a reader has ever said to you?
I love hearing about readers’ emotional experiences with this book. Several have said Whisper was a tense read for them because it reminded them of their own relationships with estranged family members.

What’s up next for you book-wise?
I’m working on a stand-alone teen novel called Summer Falls. It’s a little bit older than Whisper, more romance and paranormal mystery, while Whisper is more about an extraordinary family. In chapter one, my two characters Marshall and Elise wake up together with complete amnesia. It’s been a unique challenge to write about smart, interesting, resourceful people who don’t have memories.

Book you've faked reading:
It’s possible I skipped a few chapters of The Sound and The Fury. (Sorry, Mr. Farrell!)

Book you've bought for the cover:
Possession by A.S. Byatt.

Book you're an evangelist for:
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Allison Bechdel. A beautiful book.

Anything else you'd like to add?
My goal is to write books that get people talking, so Regie, thanks for interviewing me and hopefully sparking some dialogue. I’ll try my best to answer any questions commenters might ask.
my signature


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Whisper by Phoebe Kitanidis

Title: Whisper
Author: Phoebe Kitanidis
Pages: 288
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: April 27, 2010

Joy is used to hearing Whispers. She’s used to walking down the street and instantly knowing people’s deepest, darkest desires. She uses this talent for good, to make people happy and give them what they want. But for her older sister, Jessica, the family gift is a curse, and she uses it to make people’s lives—especially Joy’s—miserable. Still, when Joy Hears a frightening whisper from Jessica's own mind, she knows she has to save her sister, even if it means deserting her friends, stealing a car and running away with a boy she barely knows—a boy who may have a dark secret of his own.
"I wish..."
"I could use a..."
"I want..."
Joy has the ability to hear 'whispers'. She can hear people deepest desires. She uses her talent to benefit people, unlike her sister, who uses her ability to make people's lives harder and miserable. But when Joy starts hearing darker 'whispers', and when her sister runs away, her whole world goes into a tailspin. Will her life ever go back to normal?

Absorbing, riveting, and dark, Whisper will attract readers into its suspense-ridden world wherein a different, darker side of people is exposed. With intensity and an obscure, sinister semblance lingering throughout the novel, readers will be introduced to a different mindset in which hearing people's deep, secret desires are normal happenings. This psychologically-draining urban fantasy unflinchingly delves into the human's dark, inner nature and ultimately divulges what happens if it overtakes a person's sense of humanity.

Always with good intentions and a desire to live a normal life, Joy is a strong protagonist that is thrust into being able to 'hear' people's 'whispers'. Her narration is an intertwining of perspectives, both as a teenager, and a listening outsider. Wracked to the core with raging inner battles, disturbing problems, and worries about her estranged sister, Joy is forced to mature and grow up quickly. Her cheerful, bright, and well-loved personality contrasts the grim, sometimes morbid events that she has to deal with, contriving a young woman torn between two identities.

At first glance, Jessica is grumpy, tainted, and spiteful. But as readers start to familiarize themselves with Jessica, they will ultimately recognize her as a hurt, angry, and sensitive teenager aching to escape the preconceived stereotype that her friends, and even most of her family have put her into. She is discerned as the 'darker, evil' sister while Joy is perceived as 'happier, uplifting' sister. The little, broken glimpses of her softer, delicate side, shown through Joy's eyes towards the end leave a touch of hope and permeate a lighter sense of affection into the novel.

Forgiveness, friendship, and jealousy are all steadfast themes throughout the novel but are shown in unoriginal and somewhat predictable ways. But the redeeming aspect of Whisper is the concept of 'whispers' and how it is seamlessly fused with the real world. The 'whispers' really explored the ugly truth about the shady side of human nature. Through 'whispers', Kitanidis is able to expose the different vulnerabilities, insecurities, and desires that people might not even be aware of.

With dark themes, and concrete character development, Phoebe Kitanidis is the author to watch. Although the plot is confusing, Whisper is filled with gripping, compensating aspects that readers will immediately devour. Whisper's supernatural allure, with its up-to-date contemporary setting, is a stand-out amongst today's YA urban fantasies. (B)

The Bottom Line: A balance of imagination and reality.

---Field Report---
Originality: 6/10
Ending: 5/10
Characters: 9/10
Plot: 5/10
My reaction/enjoyment: 9/10
Theme: 8/10
Imagery: 8/10
Setting: 5/5
Voice: 5/5
Style: 4/5
Tone: 5/5
Cover: 10/10
Total Score: 79/100 (B)
my signature


Paranormal Five Giveaway! *INTERNATIONAL*

I promised a BIG giveaway right? Here's it is! This is the BIGGEST giveaway that I've ever hosted! What's up for grabs are:

Nightshade - Andrea Cremer (ARC)
Paranormalcy - Kiersten White (ARC)
The Eternal Ones - Kirsten Miller (ARC)
Halo - Alexandra Adornetto (ARC)
Pegasus - Robin McKinley (ARC)


FIVE packs of 5 gum:
Zing (Bubble)

Cobalt (Peppermint)

Flare (Cinnamon)
Lush (Tropical)
Rain (Spearmint)

I received these books for review a few weeks ago and I'm proud to say that every single one of them is AMAZING! I had a few duplicates with these books, so why not give them away? Haha, I'm feeling jealous of the person who'll be winning this, and I'm the one who's giving it away! So come on and join in the fun!!! Haha!

I'd like to thank the publishers who provided these books, especially S @ Penguin! Also, K @ MacMillan, and A @ HarperTeen! Also, thank you so much to my folks for shipping!

Nightshade is a book with many characters but not once will you be confused. Paranormalcy is a very VERY absorbing paranormal read with a great protagonist. The Eternal Ones will really make you believe you've lived in a previous lifetime. Halo, with Christian references, will make you want to be an angel. And Pegasus will introduce you to a world full of wonder and magic. And with these five books, come FIVE packets of 5 Gum! Why? 'Cuz there's one flavor (kind of) to mirror the color of the book...and I LOVE 5 Gum!




-Open to EVERYONE!
-This contest will end on July 28 at 4pm (GMT+8) unless this contest doesn't meet at least 35-40 entrants...then, it will be extended.
-Contest Policy applies.
-I will use The Contest Winner Picker for picking the winners for this contest.

my signature


One Year Already!?!?! My FIRST Blogoversary!

Hi guys!

Guess what? It's my FIRST BLOGOVERSARY!!! YAY! That means that I've been blogging for ONE WHOLE YEAR now! WOW! When I was a newbie, I was a little unsure and didn't know a lot in the blogoverse, but I was welcomed into the community and I'm grateful for everybody for their support!

I'd also like to thank all of the publishers, publicists, and authors for being so kind and so very supportive of me! I had a blast collaborating and working together with these people!!! A very special thanks to these people: Stacey @ Penguin, Kimberly Derting, Jennifer, Jami, Eleni, Stephanie, Katie, Emma, Katie, Kelsey, and especially my little sister The Bookologist! You guys have made this year even better for me and I'm extremely thankful for all of your help, random chats, amazing comments, and awesome friendship! I'd also like to thank Alice as well as Precious, whom I consider to be two of my blogger BFFs with our back-and-forth emails! Also, thank you to Mary, Raila, and Maria, only three of many people who take time to comment on my blog! Thank you so SO much to everybody who comments!

Ohh! And don't worry! Since this is a BIG celebration for me! I'll be hosting a few contests this week! Just for you guys!

And since it's my blogoversary! Here are some of my blog highlights this year:

June 17, 2009: My very first post and very first review! It was She's so Money by Cherry Cheva which I LOVED!

July 9, 2009: My first comment from Anonymous! It made my day! It said: "Great Review! This makes me want to read the book! :DDDDDD" Whoever you are, Anonymous, your comment encouraged me to go further with this blog!

July 16, 2009: I joined my first ever contest! It was Kristi's Super Cool Books Contest!

July 26, 2009: My first follower was Kelli @ OMG Books! She followed me just when I was losing hope! Haha!

August 1, 2009: My first author interview with Leigh Purtill whose books are still rockin' my world!

August 5, 2009: I won my first contest! And it was Kristi's ginormous one! It was the first contest I entered and the first I won! *thanks lucky stars*

August 7, 2009: I was first contacted by Lauren Mechling to review my first ARC! Ahhh! So exciting!!!

August 9, 2009: My first IMM post! I was soooooo happy =)))

August 10, 2009: My first award was the Zombie Chicken Award! It was from Liz @ Cornucopia Reviews! Thanks Liz! That was so encouraging! I was ecstatic to be thought worthy of that award!

September 5, 2009: My first about me-type meme! It was fun! It was called the ABCs of Me!

September 12, 2009: My first PERFECT SCORE aka The Holy Grail - Beholders of the Perfect 100! The book was Perfect Chemistry =)

September 17, 2009: My 100th post.

September 21, 2009: Author/Publisher Week feature was born! The first one was Jennifer Echols Week! It was a blast to work with her!

September 21, 2009: I had my first contest! It was called MEGA Jennifer Echols Giveaway - Author Week (1) in honor of her author week! There were A LOT of entries!

October 29, 2009: My first character interview was with Dan Devlin from Sleepless by Terri Clark. *swoons*

December 1, 2009: My first discussion post: Why are my reviews so positive?

January 1, 2009: I get to kick off my New Years with 500 FOLLOWERS! Isn't that coolio! Thanks to all my followers! You guys rock!

January 14, 2010: My first editor interview (which I call Editor Interrogations) with Stacey! I just love her! She's the best ever!

February 10, 2010: Our tour site, International Book Tours, launches!

March 11, 2010: Day after my 15th birthday! I got a The Body Finder cake in honor of The Body Finder! *nom nom*

April 11, 2009: TUBL reaches 950 Followers!!!

June 15, 2009: First time I was contacted to review and giveaway a bookshelf! Thanks Jason!

Again, thank you so much for making this year a wonderful one! TUBL has grown so much throughout the year and I'd like to thank you all for reading and visiting my blog! It really does mean a lot to me! Thank you so much!

my signature


Author Uncovered: Kristina McBride (Author Interview)

Hi guys! Today, I have the pleasure to introduce you to Kristina McBride, the ingenious author of The Tension of Opposites! Read my review here to check it out!

Who is your favorite character from The Tension of Opposites?
SO not fair! I feel like you’re asking me to pick my favorite child. I love them all for different reasons. Tessa is like me, shy, reserved, and a little unsure of herself. Noelle/Elle is the kind of carefree girl I always wanted to be (minus the kidnapping and self-destructive behavior, of course). Max is a model of the guy I always wanted to date. And Cooper is this perfectly annoying little brother that I always wished I had. While I was working on my edits, everyone wanted more of Coop, so if I had to guess, he’d probably be a fave for some of my early readers.

What motivated you to write The Tension of Opposites?
One day while my daughter was napping, I watched an episode of Oprah. She was interviewing a young man who had just been returned to his family after a four-year abduction. I was so struck by the young man’s story, and impressed by his strength and fortitude. I couldn’t get him out of my mind. Soon after, the voice of Tessa started speaking to me.

The premise of The Tension of Opposites seems really unique and interesting. What gave you the idea of these two best friends?
I don’t know. Honest. After watching the episode of Oprah, Tessa just started talking to me. I think the interview with the young man, who was actually seen out in public often, prompted me to think about what his friends and family might think about his reluctance to break free of his captor. It seemed like he’d had many chances, yet he remained silent. It was eerie to think of what the kidnapper had done to this boy to keep him quiet, and I hoped with everything in me that people would understand that even though he may have seemed free, he was not. I was pulled by a tension of opposites, I suppose, thinking that I ought to tell the story from the kidnapped girl’s perspective, but not being able to because every time I started to write her story, her best friend got in the way. Tessa spoke louder, and was more persistent. Ultimately, I realized that the story I had to tell wasn’t Noelle’s, but Tessa’s.

What do you see as your strengths and weaknesses as an author?
My strength is easy. I’m persistent. If something isn’t working, I try it another way. I spent years searching for an agent, and only landed one after writing three manuscripts. Then I spent almost a year on revisions. I don’t give up. Period. My weaknesses are more difficult, simply because there are so many it’ll be hard to narrow down. I have issues with plotting; I tend to try to cram several books worth of material into one book. And then I have to tear a manuscript to pieces to get to the real story. I want to have these twists and turns that seem so cool, and then don’t work out. I’ve realized that just about everything I write will be totally revamped, which actually gives me a sense of freedom. It’s okay if my first attempt isn’t so great. I can work it and work it and work it until I figure it out. Luckily, I have an amazing agent who is patient and tends to ask all the right questions as she leads me through the process. Love her!

What's the most interesting thing a reader has ever said to you?
Seeing as how my book has yet to launch, I haven’t had many readers. When my husband read my ARC, he told me he was proud. That felt pretty good. A blogger who got her hands on an ARC early on gave me a great review, and I’m still glowing from the praise. It’s been pretty cool to share this accomplishment with my parents too (they are obviously pretty excited). Maybe the funniest thing that I can recall is when my four-year-old daughter saw my cover for the first time. “Where’s the rest of her face?” she asked.

How do you feel about being a 10'er?
Like I’m dreaming. Seriously. Throughout this crazy journey to publication (querying agents, revising, waiting after my book was pitched to editors – and then juggling multiple offers) I have watched others post all kinds of incredible news about their publication success. I dreamed I would one day join the ranks. And now that I have, it almost doesn’t feel real. Being a part of the Tenners (and the Class of 2K10) makes me feel like a real live author.

Book you've faked reading:
I have never faked reading a book. As a rule, I used to read everything I started all the way through, even if it felt like it might kill me. Now I don’t have the time to waste, so if a book doesn’t catch my attention in the first chapter, I give up.

Book you've bought for the cover:
Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick and Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler.

Book you're an evangelist for:
13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher almost made me run back to the classroom. I wish so very much that I’d had an opportunity to teach that novel during my eight years as a high school English teacher. Unfortunately, timing didn’t work out right. I did, however, pass the title along to a good teacher friend, who now teaches it to her students. I live vicariously through her in that respect.

Anything else you'd like to add?
Thanks so much for this opportunity to talk about my book. I enjoyed your questions and hope that anyone who decides to pick up The Tension of Opposites enjoys reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Okay, scratch that, because I had some VERY tough days that were anything but enjoyable. I just hope people like it!
my signature


The Comment Exchange Program!

Hey guys! Go on to Jami's blog to see how The Comment Exchange Program or 'CEP' as I like to call it, works! It's a great way to comment more on others' blogs and receive comments on your posts as well! Check it out!

my signature


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride

Title: The Tension of Opposites
Author: Kristina McBride
Pages: 288
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Publication Date: May 25, 2010

It’s been two years since Noelle disappeared. Two years since her bike was discovered, sprawled on a sidewalk. Two years of silence, of worry, of fear.

For those two long years, her best friend Tessa has waited, living her own life in a state of suspended animation. Because how can she allow herself to enjoy a normal high school life if Noelle can’t? How dare she have other friends, go to dances, date boys, without knowing what happened to the girl she thought she would share everything with?

And then one day, someone calls Noelle’s house. She’s alive.

A haunting psychological thriller taken straight from the headlines, The Tension of Opposites is a striking debut that explores the emotional aftermath of a kidnapping on the victim, and on the people she left behind.
The kidnapping of a best friend isn't easy. Just ask Tessa. When Noelle is kidnapped, she is grief-stricken and uses her camera as a shield from people. But when Noelle comes back, Tessa sparks with hope that everything will be back to normal. She's wrong. Noelle, numb and carefree, is a different person to Tessa than what she was two years ago. As they struggle to delicately find common ground, hearts are broken, relationships are mended, and trust will ultimately find its way back.

The Tension of Opposites is a raw, powerful, and emotional read that explores friendship, love, and grief, as well as divulges into 'forbidden', hard-to-grasp concepts such as the Stockholm Syndrome, in this case, with Noelle. Tessa's relationship with Noelle is awkward and uncomfortable at first, but gradually forms into a strong, supportive bond that helps both Noelle and Tessa cope with the kidnapping. In The Tension of Opposites, love is evident in many relationships; Tessa's and Max's, Noelle's and Tessa's, and their families that support them through this ordeal.

When Noelle is finally back with her family, her presence causes many rumors and evokes many questions within the community. In her journal, and when she is interviewed, her two years in captivity is even more scrutinized. Her humiliation and 'relationship' with her captor is ridiculed harshly by many. Noelle's change in character when she comes back manifests itself in the way she treats Tessa and the way that she throws herself to guys with little self respect. All of this is painfully realistic and palpable in the environment that McBride has created. Since The Tension of Opposites is from Tessa's point of view, readers will empathize with Tessa and really feel frustrated and curious with wanting to find out the real mystery of what happened to Noelle. The reader will be given broken details about Noelle as Tessa strives to dig deeper and try to protect Noelle as well.

Tessa is intensely affected by Noelle's kidnapping and is probed closely by her classmates after the incident. She becomes a lifeless shell when Noelle disappears and hides behind the lens of her camera. Her camera is a shield for her as she sees her surroundings through different eyes. When Noelle comes back, she appoints herself as Noelle's protector and takes Noelle's responsibilities upon herself. She deals with her grief in a way that keeps her from trusting others and opening herself up. At first, she despises Max with all her heart, but like most people, she is helpless against her own emotions and the inner battles raging within her.

Max's character is seemingly simple as Tessa's love interest, but underlying complexities and morals are tangible as you delve deeper into his character. On the outside, his playful, boyish personality is visible, but underneath is a deeper, unflinching, mature teenager that fights for what he wants. His struggles with Tessa show the reader a growing strain in their relationship as he fights to save that last common thread.

The exposition of The Tension of Opposites is detailed and absorbing. McBride writes fluently and fascinates readers with the real meaning of 'the tension of opposites'. The mystery, along with the significance of photography is greatly portrayed in this psychologically and emotionally persisting novel. Many of the characters are calloused and imperfect but the connections they make are completely worth it. (A+)

The Bottom Line: A completely amazing debut that captures so much raw turmoil and provokes real, powerful emotions in readers.

---Field Report---
Originality: 10/10
Ending: 10/10
Characters: 10/10
Plot: 10/10
My reaction/enjoyment: 10/10
Theme: 10/10
Imagery: 10/10
Setting: 4/5
Voice: 5/5
Style: 4/5
Tone: 5/5
Cover: 10/10
Total Score: 98/100 (A+)

my signature


Upcoming Review of CSN Bookshelf!

Hey guys!

Something really amazing has happened! Jason from CSN Stores has contacted me to review a bookshelf! I'm so excited! When I looked at the CSN site, I was amazed to see so many different choices! They have everything! Seriously! EVERYTHING! They have bookshelves, , to beds, and they even have a bathroom sink for sale! It's a really great store that sells a lot of quality furniture at really low, affordable prices! It's great! Here's the bookshelf that I chose! It's the "4D Concepts Hanging Corner Storage In Espresso - 99300"! Isn't it fantastic looking? And really space-saving? You guys will also get a chance to win this from my blog later on! So stay tuned!

my signature


Friday, June 11, 2010

Iron King Giveaway!

Hi Guys!

Today, I'm lucky to host a giveaway of the Iron King by Julie Kagawa thanks to Chelsy and Harlequin Teen!

In less than twenty-four hours Meghan Chase will be sixteen. Countless stories, songs and poems have been written about this wonderful age, when a girl finds true love and the stars shine for her and the handsome prince carries her off into the sunset.

But Meghan suspects that it won’t be that way for her.

After all, Meghan has a secret destiny—one she could never have imagined….

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school…or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth—that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and a pawn in a deadly war.

Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face…and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.
The Prize: One copy of Iron King by Julie Kagawa and a $25 Visa Gift Card!

Open To: US addresses but people with friends/family in the States are also eligible for this contest.

Contest Ends: June 24, 2010

Check out the trailer here.

To enter, just comment with your name and email address.

my signature

Related Posts with Thumbnails

All content © Reggie Cruz from The Undercover Book Lover 2009-2014 |   © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP