Sunday, February 28, 2010

Swoon by Nina Malkin

Title: Swoon
Author: Nina Malkin
Pages: 432
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: May 19, 2009

Swoon, Connecticut, stands proudly on its heritage and the good behavior of its Lilly Pulitzer–clad inhabitants, so semi-psychic New York transplant Candice (Dice) sticks out like a sore thumb. On the autumnal equinox, Dice’s sweet and gentle cousin Penelope suddenly changes into a dangerous vixen, and only Dice is able to see that she has been possessed. Dice knows she must exorcise Sinclair, the ghost of a handsome young man from the colonial era, but she has fallen deeply in love with the appropriately nicknamed Sin. Finally, Dice follows Sin’s directions for an exorcism, which frees Penelope from his hold and releases Sin into his own physical form. The golem-like Sin finally reveals his goal: to exact revenge on the descendants of those who unjustly hung him for the murder of his fiancée.

When Dice moves to Swoon, Connecticut, her only connection to the social circle there is her angelic yet naive cousin Pen. But drama starts to bloom when Pen falls from a tree. Dice finds that Pen is a mortal-shell of Sinclair Youngblood Powers. He's not happy at what the people of Swoon did to him all those decades ago. Now, he's back for revenge on the descendants of those who unjustly punished him for the murder of his fiancée. Dice tries to exorcise him out of Pen's body, and instead, sets him free with his own body to go with his soul. There's no stopping him now...except Dice. But how can she go against the guy she loves?

Swoon is a hypnotic, dark, and edgy read that will capture readers' attentions with its addictive and sensual prose. Malkin writes with vivid detail and lures readers in with the contrast of the quaint town of Swoon, Connecticut and the complete epitome of bad-ass: Sin. The intriguing premise of this book is what will ultimately attract readers, but that is only the surface. Once the first page is turned, readers will be pulled into the witty and unconventional narration of Dice. Her strong, persuasive voice draws them into the intense and suspense-filled plot.

Swoon, unarguably, has some of the most charismatic characters you will ever meet in YA fiction. That includes Sin. Just like literal and actual sin, Sin is forbidden but with an ensnaring and captivating air that makes him completely and utterly desirable. Swoon triggers and draws out real urges and desires in the reader without being explicit and that is what makes this novel so special. The magnetism and chemistry between the characters--not just with Sin and Dice--is undeniable. Each is so very different, and together, they fit perfectly like a puzzle.

Malkin perceptively instills the 'real' teenage world and does not sugar-coat or soften the real nature of themes greed, lust, and jealousy. The interesting thing about Swoon is that Malkin writes with a seductive prose and at the same time, shows the true and raw actions of not only the teens of Swoon, but also the adults. These unthinkable 'sins' are seemingly and suddenly glamorous and highly tempting. And this all happens in the small town of Swoon, Connecticut.

Every single element in Swoon is mesmerizing and alluring. Readers will find Swoon to be a secret-filled, provocative, and ultimately irresistible novel about the people of Swoon. Malkin's book will make every reader swoon...both for Sin and the novel itself. Swoon is a seductive and sinful read that doesn't overstep the boundaries of YA fiction, but rather, teeters on the very edge. A+ =)

The Bottom Line: Suspense + Addicting = Swoon

---Report Card---
Originality: 10/10
Ending: 10/10
Characters: 10/10
Plot: 10/10
My reaction/enjoyment: 10/10
Theme: 10/10
Imagery: 10/10
Setting: 5/5
Voice: 5/5
Style: 5/5
Tone: 5/5
Cover: 10/10
Total Score: 100/100 (A+) !!!This is one of the EIGHT books that hold the title: !!!
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In My Mailbox (16)

Hey guys! IMM is hosted by The Story Siren =) Okay, I've decided that I'm going to do IMM posts whenever I feel like it (aka when Reggie isn't feeling lazy!) hehe =) Anyway, here's my IMM for this week. Hope ya like it!

And thank you so much to S&S, HarperTeen, Graphia, Egmont, and Macmillan for these ARCs! I'm extremely excited to read these! Thank you!

For Review:

Friend Is Not a Verb - Daniel Ehrenhaft (!!!)
Endless Summer - Jennifer Echols (!!!)
Jekel Loves Hyde - Beth Fantaskey (!!!)
Whisper - Phoebe Kitanidis
Ghost Huntress: The Reason - Marley Gibson
Swoon at Your Own Risk - Sydney Salter (2nd Copy)
Siren - Tricia Rayburn (!!!)
Raised by Wolves - Jennifer Lynn Barnes (!!!)
Harmonic Feedback - Tara Kelly (2nd Copy)
At First Sight - Catherine Hapka

The Bought:

The Received:

From Kate @ Read This Book! She lent me her ARC because my water-logged copy was unreadable and I was left hanging in the last TWO pages! You know how bad that is?!?!? OMG! The WORST! But now that I've read the ending, I'm soooo happy!!!!!!!

The Swag:
A plethora of bookmarks from Kate @ Read This Book!

The Won:

My Soul to Save - Rachel Vincent (Won from YA Book Realm)
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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Forgiveness - A TUBL Random Post

Hi guys!

I saw that some of you entered the TDD Nail-polish giveaway and I laughed, cried, and was genuinely intrigued by your answers for the forgiveness I thought I'd do the same. These are the instances where I always forgive...usually not because I want to (does that sound crazy?), but because it's how I am. I'm physically and mentally UNABLE to hold a grudge or to not forgive someone. I just can't. I ALWAYS end up forgiving no matter what the situation. Here are some of my FUNNY forgive-me scenarios:

Scenario 1: The Lollipop and The Bookshelf
This guy, Aidan was 10 years old and he was in my room because his whole family was there because MY family invited them over because our moms were friends. While his brother, Liam was being a retard who was trying to be all 'cool' and everything, Aidan was in my room and found my vanilla lollipop stash. NOBODY touches my vanilla lollipops because they're really hard to find sometimes. He took one from my stash and I got really angry and started chasing him around my room. He opened it and ate it and I got really pissed. And then, he started REARRANGING my shelf!!! YOU NEVER DO THAT. Period. I nearly murdered him and instead kicked him out of my room. But I forgave him after I posted this really embarrassing picture of him on facebook. Revenge than forgiveness right? =)

Scenario 2: Sistah Fevah!
My sister, The Bookologist was being really annoying and kept entering my room and then sitting on my bed (where I was doing homework) and started bugging me. Seriously, it was ANNOYING. I had to DRAG her out of my room and lock the door just to get everything done. The next day, when I said hi to her and her friends at school, she ignored me! I got really annoying but in the end, I forgave her and now, her friends and I have become semi-friends =) They're actually pretty funny =)

Scenario 3: Snakes and Moms = TROUBLE.
Me and my dad love playing pranks on my mom and my sisters. It's sort of our thing =) So one day, I bought a real-looking snake and my dad had a real-looking scorpion. While my mom was walking to the living room, me and my dad dropped the scorpion and snake on her from the high-ceiling balcony. She screamed and nearly tripped! It was sooooo funny though! My dad and I were laughing our a**es off and starting high-fiving each other! My mom saw us and got really pissed! The next day, the same thing happened to me...only it was my mom dropping the spiders (I HATE spiders!). I forgave her though =)

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Quick Winner Post!

The winner of my Sing Me To Sleep comment contest is...........


Congratulations! I've emailed you already and you'll have to reply within 48 hours. If I don't get a reply by then, I'll be picking a new winner =( Thanks for joining folks! =)
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Friday, February 26, 2010

The Dark Divine Nail Polish Giveaway + Winners!

Hey guys! You interested in winning a bottle of TDD nail polish? Well here's a chance! All you have to do is comment with your email address and how you forgave or didn't forgive someone. Then you're entered! My contest policy applies. There will be TWO winners. OPEN TO US ONLY. ENDS 10/03.

And the winner for the Gone/Dream Girl contest is JJ Lim whom I've contacted. If you don't reply within 48 hours, I'll be picking a new winner.

Hope you guys have fun!

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Friday, February 19, 2010

New Header by Katie!

Hi guys!

Katie from Sophistikatied Book Reviews has generously (and FABULOUSLY) made a header using photoshop for The Undercover Book Lover! It's already up, but I still have to work out a few things with the sizing and alignment and stuff...god knows how long that'll take! I hate dealing with HTML! Anyway, thank you so much to Katie who has amazing photoshop skills that I can only dream to have!

Thanks Katie! I'm so grateful!

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Kudos to my awesome sister...The Bookologist!!!

Hi guys!

If you don't already know, The Bookologist is actually my sister! And she's the whole brain behind the International Book Tours! I was the one who founded it, but my sister's doing loads of the work and for that, I'd like to thank her for everything she's done! She even worked on it while she had a 40 (Celsius) degree fever! That's what you call dedication! Book blogging is also what brought us even closer and now, we're having fun discussing the many aspects of books and blogging! Well, the bottom line of this message is that my sister is awesome and I'm so grateful she's there! International Book Tours would be nothing without her!

Reggie =)

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

More books added to Birthday Bash Contest!!!!!!!

Since you guys are so great, I'll be adding more and more books to the pile!!! Today, I'll be adding an ARC of White Cat by Holly Black and an ARC for Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly! There is only one winner for the whole contest, so the person who wins this is a VERY lucky person!

Good luck guys!
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Monday, February 15, 2010

Guest Post with Angela Morrison - Again!

Hey guys! Here's Angela Morrison! Read her guest post! They're always SUPER interesting!

Regie wants to know how my mood and surroundings affect my writing. Nice topic, huh. No one else has asked me this.

My surroundings--places I've lived or visited--play a huge role when I develop ideas and flesh them out with setting

When I'm actually creating, I go back to those places in my memory, through pictures I've taken or found on-line. I fill a big bulletin board in my office with maps, notes and pictures. I like to be able to stare at that when I need to figure out what happens next or go to it for authentic details. Photos and video help with that, too.

I work best in silence, either propped on feather pillows in my bedroom or barricaded in my office. But I can write just about anywhere. We flew so much when I lived in Switzerland and Singapore that I've become an expert at writing on airplanes.

Mood plays a big role, too. The most creative time of the day for me is when I first wake up, and I'm still dreamy. Is dreamy a mood? I'm making it one. When I'm in the middle of a novel, my characters will often have a big fight or intimate conversation as a I drift awake. I scribble that down quick before I forget it, and then add setting details, action and emotional response when I type the scene up.

When my awakening time gets interrupted (I do have a family), I do my best to recreate that feeling later in the day when I can work again. I play romantic music. (Check out my playlist for TAKEN BY STORM.) Take a long, hot bath, and even get back in bed!

If that doesn't work, I rely on my story to manipulate my mood. As I read back over the chapters I've already written--revising and polishing--I sink deep into my story, reopen my heart, and rediscover the voices of my characters. Then all I have to do is listen.
Thanks for stopping by Angela! Hope you guys enjoyed that!

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

In My Mailbox (15)

Hey guys! IMM is hosted by The Story Siren =) Okay, I've decided that I'm going to do IMM posts whenever I feel like it (aka when Reggie isn't feeling lazy!) hehe =) Anyway, here's my IMM for this week. Hope ya like it!

My IMM this week was awesome even though I didn't receive a lot of books...I GOT EGMONT ARCs!!! You have no idea how much I screamed when I got them!!! Seriously! LOL! Now onto the books...

For Review:

Shadow Hills - Anastasia Hopcus (!!!)
The Tension of Opposites - Kristina McBride (!!!)
Shade - Jeri Smith-Ready (!!!)
One Night That Changes Everything - Lauren Barnholdt (!!!) basically, all four books I got for review made me go 'hallelujah' when I got them! I think I can see the light...Joke! Thanks Egmont and S&S!

The Bought:
*nothing* - miracle!

The Won:
*nada* - not a surprise =) Haha!

So that's it! I hope you guys had a good week as well!
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Winner! + Happy Valentines Day!

Hey guys! Just a quick post about the winner of Darklight by Lesley Livingston! The winner of the Darklight contest is...

Kat O'Keeffe
Thanks for entering! If Kat doesn't reply within three days, I'll be picking another winner...And now to some other news...


I hope y'all got your valentines...I don't because I don't really have a BF, but I DO have lots of guy friends which is totally wicked as well as having loads of girl friends hanging on V-day!!! Hope you got some candy grams or roses! I did =) I looove candy =)

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Author Guest Posts

Anastasia Hopcus
Angela Morrison

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Contest Policy

Lately, I've been hosting more contests, so I've decided to write a contest policy. This is inspired by The Story Siren by the way!

  • All contests are open to those 13 years of age or older. But if they are younger than 13, and if they have their guardians' permission, they may join.
  • I am in no way responsible for any lost or damaged prizes.
  • I will always contact the winner via email.
  • I hold the right to end or extend a contest without any prior notice.
  • I have the right to disqualify any entry as I see fit.
Other important info:
  • Check deadlines!
  • Eligibility for contests may vary, so check before you enter.
  • Follow contest instructions.
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The Undercover Book Lover (TUBL) was started on July 30th, 2009. TUBL is all about promoting books worldwide and helping the YA market grow globally in writing reviews, conducting interviews, holding contests, and much more! This blog is dedicated to the exposure of YA, New Adult, and other gendres! I hope you enjoy my site and find my reviews useful to you! Thank you for stopping by! 

Hey there! I'm Regina, or Reggie if you prefer! I started this blog when I was 14 but now I'm 19 and a part-time blogger, full-time college student. I absolutely love to read and enjoy spending my time at Starbucks or playing badminton. My special talents include sarcasm, a bad sense of humor, and thinking about stuff. 

Goodreads: ReggieWrites
Instagram: @reginacruise
Twitter: @reginacruiser (extra 'r' at the end)


I'm going crazy!!! I need YOUR help!!! Blog Renovations?

Hi guys!

Something's been bothering me for AGES now...I sort of got tired of my blog design and can't decide whether or not I should change it. I really want to change it from this:

To this from International Book Tours:

Why? Because I find my current background messy-ish and I like the organization of the background for IBT. I also like the format better and the menu with drop down things on the 'navbar'/menu...I find it easier but then people might think it's too boring. I really need your opinion on this you guys!!! I'm seriously going to go crazy if I can't decide! What do you like better for my blog?

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Author Uncovered: Jillian Cantor (Author Interview)

Hey guys! Today, I have Jillian Cantor, author of The Life of Glass with me! As you can see in my review, I LOVED The Life of Glass!

Who is your favorite character from The Life of Glass?
I have to say Melissa because she’s the main character, and so I spent the most time with her when I was writing the book. But also because I like that she looks at the world just a little bit differently than many other 14-year-old girls.

What motivated you to write The Life of Glass?
Well, when I sold my first book, THE SEPTEMBER SISTERS, it was in a two-book deal, so I was under contract to write another book! But I think what motivated me to write this specific book is the fact that just before I started writing it my grandfather died, and I was thinking about him a lot. It gave me the idea to write about a girl who’d lost her father, and how even though a good amount of time had passed since his death, she was still trying to work her way through the loss.

What gave you the idea of using the metaphor for glass as the base of your story?
It's amazing! Thank you! I’m so glad you liked it! I don’t know that I started out meaning to use glass as such a metaphor, but I felt the glass Melissa finds in the beginning and her father’s last words would be so important. And so I kept coming back to them as I was writing. It sort of just evolved naturally from there.

What do you see as your strengths and weaknesses as an author?
My strengths are in developing the characters and the voice – these are the things I love to do. Sometimes, I have to remind myself that there needs to be a plot!

What's the most interesting thing a reader has ever said to you?
I actually find everything readers say to me interesting! Writing is such a solitary profession, so having a book go out into the world and then getting responses from readers is always great. One of the most interesting e-mails I got from a reader was from a girl in Denmark who was reading the Danish translated version of The September Sisters for a school project, and she told me how much she loved the book. It was just amazing to me that something I wrote was translated into another language and also reaching teens so far away!

You're previous book, The September Sisters is also a very emotional read. What makes you write books that deal with such serious issues?
I don’t know that I went out with the intention to write two books in a row about such serious topics. I think these things just stemmed from ideas and issues that were on my mind at the time. I just finished working on a new YA novel that’s a love story set on the US/Mexico border and deals with illegal immigration – another serious issue but in a very different way. Having lived in the Arizona desert for the past ten years, that’s always an issue that’s felt so important to me, and something I’d never thought twice about as a teen. So I guess my point is that I like to work on books that make me think and might make my readers think, too, and the topics usually stem from things going on in my own life at the time.

How does it feel being an author?
It feels wonderful! It’s been my dream most of my life to be published and to have a career as an author, and I’m so excited every day that I get to wake up and do something that I love.

Book you've faked reading:
Huck Finn. I remember we were supposed to read it for 11th grade English over Christmas break. I was in band and we went to France on a trip over the break. I took the book with me but never got past the first chapter, and then I read the Cliff Notes when I got home!

Book you've bought for the cover:
Ooh, that’s a tough one. I don’t know that I have bought a book for the cover recently. But I’ll say I do love the cover of If I Stay by Gayle Forman – I would’ve bought the book even if I didn’t like the cover, though, because the reason I bought it was because I’d heard so many wonderful things about it.

Book you're an evangelist for:
Any book written by an author-friend of mine. Being friends with the author and knowing the person and knowing so many details about the book, I can’t help not being an evangelist. When an author I’m friends with has a book released or gets a review or sells another book, I get so excited that I really honestly feel almost like it’s happening to me. I have a group blog with four other women writers who debuted in 2009 ( We’re all pretty different in terms of what we write, but because we’ve blogged together for a while now and all shared the ups and downs of our debut year, I feel a huge connection to all of them – so I’m always an evangelist for their books. When I see one in a store, I start telling everyone around me that they should buy it!

Anything else you'd like to add?
Thank you so much for the great interview and for inviting me to your blog today. If there’s anything else you want to know about me, check out my website:

That's it folks! Hope you guys enjoyed the interview! I know I did!
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The Life of Glass by Jillian Cantor

Title: The Life of Glass
Author: Jillian Cantor
Pages: 352
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: February 9, 2010

Before he died, Melissa's father told her about stars. He told her that the brightest stars weren't always the most beautiful—that if people took the time to look at the smaller stars, if they looked with a telescope at the true essence of the star, they would find real beauty. But even though Melissa knows that beauty isn't only skin deep, the people around her don't seem to feel that way. There's her gorgeous sister, Ashley, who will barely acknowledge Melissa at school; there's her best friend, Ryan, who may be falling in love with the sophisticated Courtney; and there's Melissa's mother, who's dating someone new, someone Melissa knows will never be able to replace her father.

To make sure she doesn't lose her father completely, Melissa spends her time trying to piece together the last of his secrets and finishing a journal he began—one about love and relationships and the remarkable ways people find one another. But when tragedy strikes, Melissa has to start living and loving in the present as she realizes that being beautiful on the outside doesn't mean you can't be beautiful on the inside.

Melissa's family is just the opposite of glass. While glass can last for a million years, Melissa's family is already on it's way to completely crumbling and disintegrating. Her life is a complete and utter wreck with the added addition of her friendship troubles and her family issues. Life couldn't get any worse. She's all alone. But as she goes on, she discovers that people can really change.

Poignant, heart-wrenching, and breathtakingly beautiful, The Life of Glass is a touching, contemporary story that explores themes of loss, love, and self-discovery through allegorical metaphors and references that becomes the absolute heart of the novel. The undercurrent of the novel is powerful and subtle at the same time which gives it a more symbolic importance that is rare to perfect and flawlessly achieve. The Life of Glass is an incredibly real and authentic novel in Melissa's point of view. Cantor writes with vivid clarity and maturity through Melissa's first person narrative and draws out the different parts of a teenager's life and completely captures the emotions and the experiences through Melissa's hardships, wisdom, and maturity.

Moments in The Life of Glass are balanced with sad, emotional ones as well as humorous ones. But Cantor delivers each moment with impeccable consistency. The balance in the novel mirrors the balance in real life, making for an even more convincing and realistic read. As The Life of Glass mostly centers around Melissa, the minor characters, although typical as they might be, are never boring or cliché. They're never monotonous or tedious. All of the characters in The Life of Glass are strong and solid. Cantor is consistent with everything!

The Life of Glass is a book that has the power to weave the simplest of things and make them beautiful and emotional. Cantor brings readers back to their teenage years and couples that with the imbued metaphors and powerful writing. The Life of Glass will take more than a million years to decompose. It's truly unforgettable. A+ =)

The Bottom Line: Jillian Cantor + Metaphors = Perfect and Unforgettable

---Report Card---
Originality: 10/10
Ending: 10/10
Characters: 10/10
Plot: 10/10
My reaction/enjoyment: 10/10
Theme: 10/10
Imagery: 10/10
Setting: 5/5
Voice: 5/5
Style: 5/5
Tone: 5/5
Cover: 10/10
Total Score: 100/100 (A+) !!!This is one of the SEVEN books that hold the title: !!!

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Birthday Bash Contest!!! International!!!

Hey guys! It's still pretty far away from my birthday, but that's why I'm posting this giveaway now! So that it'll end on my birthday! I'm turning 15, so yay! I'm super excited! And my birthday cake is going to be themed on The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting! I'll post a picture of it on March 10th! It's going to be so exciting! Now, onto the giveaway! And since my birthday is on March 10, I'll be giving away TEN (EDIT: 12) books as well and all of them are March releases except for Shade, Harmonic Feedback, and White Cat =) Fill in the form below to join!

The Prizes: (One winner takes all!!!)

1 Finished copy of The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
1 Finished copy of The Sight by Judy Blundell
1 Finished copy of Voices of Dragons by Carrie Vaughn
1 Finished copy of Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
1 Finished copy of The Line by Teri Hall
1 Finished copy of The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott
1 Finished copy of The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
1 Finished copy of Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken
1 Finished copy of Forget-Her-Nots by Amy Brecount White
1 Finished copy of Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
1 ARC of Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly
1 ARC of White Cat by Holly Black

Note: I'll be ordering them from Amazon and have it shipped straight to the winner from there except for the ARCs.

-This contest will end on March 10 at 4pm (GMT+8) unless this contest doesn't meet at least 35-40 entrants...then, it will be extended.
-If you are under 13 years old, you must have permission from your parents or guardian.
-I will use The Contest Winner Picker for picking the winners for this contest.
-I have the right to extend or close this contest without any notice.
-I am not to be held responsible for any lost or damaged items.

Hope you guys like this contest!

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