Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Characters I'd Like to Be Best Friends With

For your reading pleasure, Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

I am definitely a list maker, so this feature is *write* up my alley! (ha ha)

List topic this week is: 
Top Ten Characters I'd Like to Be Best Friends With

1. Alanna from the Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce

2. Lyra from His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman

3. Sabriel from The Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix

3. Rose from East by Edith Pattou

4. Winnie from Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit

5. Scarlett from Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

6. The Tree from The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

7. Buttercup from The Princess Bride by William Goldman

8. Stargirl from Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

9. Jacky Faber from Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer

10.  Nancy and Minerva from Pirates! by Celia Rees

In My Mailbox 7

In My Mailbox was created by  The Story Siren. The idea is for book bloggers to come together once a week and post what books they have received in the mail/purchased/found at the library/borrowed from a friend. Anyone can participate!

This week I went on a bit of a shopping spree...all of these are purchased:

As You WishKiss Me Deadly: 13 Tales of Paranormal LoveDays of Little Texas

As You Wish by Jackson Pearce

Kiss Me Deadly ed. by Trisha Telep

Days of Little Texas by R. A. Nelson

Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances    True Confessions of a Hollywood StarletBad Girls Don't Die

Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle

True Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet by Lola Douglas

Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender

What did you get this week? Feel free to leave your IMM links in the comments!

2011 Debut Author Challenge

The 2011 Debut Author Challenge is being hosted by The Story Siren; the idea is to read at least 12 books by debut authors is 2011, and you can win some awesome prizes as well!

If you want to participate, you can go here for FAQ's, rules, and to sign up!

Booking Through Thursday 11-25-10

Booking Through Thursday is another one of those fun weekly participatory things, and it was born here.

Question of the week:
It’s Thanksgiving here in the U.S. of A. so …
What authors and books are you most thankful for?

My Answer: Wow...there are many many many...I am thankful for Tamora Pierce, Natalie Babbit, Edith Pattou, Margaret Mitchell, Cassandra Clare, J.M. Barrie, Garth name a few.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker--his classmate and crush--who committed suicide two weeks earlier.
On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.

I've been meaning to read this book for awhile now. I've heard many great things about it, and it's gotten tons of positive reviews. Not I know why.

When I started this book, I was about 50 or so pages into Scott Westerfield's Uglies (another one I had been meaning to coming soon), and it just wasn't holding my attention well. I picked up this one to take a look at while eating dinner (yes, I read while I eat...doesn't everyone?!).

I was immediately drawn into the story. Suicides at any age are a terrible thing, but somehow teen suicides seem even sadder. Right from the very beginning, I wanted to know WHY Hannah thought she had no way out. I didn't really understand what kind of mindset a suicidal person had. Jay Asher deftly takes us through the events that led up to Hannah's death, and while some seem of little importance, everything that happened to her, and every person she mentions on the tapes, contributed to her decision.

The only part that bothered me a bit was the formating...Hannah's audio was told in italics, while Clay's thoughts were in regular type. The constant switching back and forth between two viewpoints successfully told the story, but it made stop several times to re read a passage and remember who was talking.

Though Hannah is gone, there are others like her, others that want help but don't know how to ask straight out. Because of Hannah's tapes, Clay is motivated to to help at least one of them, and thus the book ends on a hopeful note instead of a depressing one.

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, please contact the Hopeline for help. They will listen, I promise!

In My Mailbox 6

In My Mailbox was created by  The Story Siren. The idea is for book bloggers to come together once a week and post what books they have received in the mail/purchased/found at the library/borrowed from a friend. Anyone can participate!

 My TBR pile is starting to get a little bit intimidating...if I disappear please come look for me under a mountain of books:)

This week I have:


Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler
(Purchased for Kindle)

Rage by Jackie Morse Kessler
(Review Copy)

Sisters RedHalo

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

Miami Book Fair 2010

Is there anything more fun than an outdoor fair?

Well, yes. An outdoor fair that's all about BOOKS, maybe:)

This weekend the wonderfully warm city of Miami is playing host to over 200 book sellers from all over. The theme of this year's fair is the literature and culture of Mexico.

Some great names in the YA world will be attending, including, Ellen Hopkins, Darren Shan, Scott Westerfield, Laurie Halse Anderson, Tony DiTerlizzi, and more.

Some of the programs pertaining to kids and teens include:

"Kids’ Comic Con
A kids’ favorite, Comic Con, returns from New York City with hands-on workshops and portfolio reviews! Last year’s crowd-pleasing activities got teens drawing and writing alongside professional artists/teachers. Free and open to all over the three-day weekend Street Fair, November 19-21, Kids’ Comic Con is the place for every kid who dreams of creating the next Superman or Wimpy Kid. 

Student Literary Encounters Each year, on the opening day of the Street Fair, Wolfson campus becomes a sea of students, from elementary to high school. They arrive from Miami Dade and Broward county schools to listen to and meet their favorite authors and illustrators, and to be introduced to new works of fiction or nonfiction that they may otherwise not have been exposed to.  After each session, students receive a complimentary copy of their author’s book thanks to the support of Publix Super Markets Charities and Peacock Foundation, Inc. For"
--Miami Book Fair Official Press Release
You can find out more at the Miami Book Fair site.

Sounds like a lot of fun! Are you going?

Follow Me Friday & Book Blogger Hop 1

Hey everyone! Follow My Book Blog Friday was created by Rachel over at Parajunkee's View, and the Book Blogger Hop was created by Jennifer at Crazy-For-Books. Both weekly features are another great way to get the book blogging community together! Follow, comment and join in the fun!

Question of the week: How long have you been book blogging?

Not very long at all, only a couple months. But I'm hooked! I can't believe I didn't get into this sooner, seeing as how I have both blogged before, AND have been a serious reader all my life.

Book Blogger Hop

Question of the week: "Since Thanksgiving is coming up next week, let's use this week's Hop to share what we are most thankful for and what our holiday traditions are!"

Hmm, well I suppose I am thankful for all the great authors and book bloggers out there! You guys make life more fun! As for traditions, I always watch the Macy's parade on tv in the morning, followed by a HUGE thanksgiving feast, then a nap, then leftover turkey and mayo sandwiches while watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!


Lorelei's Book of the Week


Jane by April Lindner. Check out my review!


What was your favorite read this week? Feel free to leave your Hop & Follow links in the comments! Happy Friday!

Booking Through Thursday 11-18-10

Booking Through Thursday is another one of those fun weekly participatory things, and it was born here.

Question of the week:
Who would you rather borrow from? Your library? Or a Friend?
(Or don’t your friends trust you to return their books?)
And, DO you return books you borrow?

My Answer: Either one! I mostly borrow from the library, because the majority of my friends have different tastes in reading material (and therefore don't have many books I want to read). I'm sure they would trust me to return their books, I'm good about that, but I don't know if I would trust them to return mine - I'm very possessive of my book collection!

Jane by April Lindner

Forced to drop out of an esteemed East Coast college after the sudden death of her parents, Jane Moore takes a nanny job at Thornfield Park, the estate of Nico Rathburn, a world-famous rock star on the brink of a huge comeback. Practical and independent, Jane reluctantly becomes entranced by her magnetic and brooding employer and finds herself in the midst of a forbidden romance. 

But there's a mystery at Thornfield, and Jane's much-envied relationship with Nico is soon tested by an agonizing secret from his past. Torn between her feelings for Nico and his fateful secret, Jane must decide: Does being true to herself mean giving up on true love?

Wowwwwwww. I really loved this book. And I already want to read it again. Gasp.

If you know me well enough, you would know that I do not re-read books lightly; I save that honor only for the very best ones, the ones who truly deserve it. And this book does. I was mesmerized throughout the entire story; I couldn't put it down. It even gave me reading know, when you stay up night reading and you just can't tear yourself away, just one more chapter, just one more page...and then you wake all bleary-eyed and bushy-haired the next morning, but content because you know how it all turns out.

Perhaps because I have been a nanny, I immediately identified with Jane. It was a tad unbelievable that her parents would be so uncaring toward her as a child, unwanted or not; however, this explains Jane's resilience and resourcefulness as an adult. The way she slowly comes to realize her feelings for Nico is absolutely innocent, and quite charming. I especially liked the part where she breaks away from Nico and Thornfield Park, even though she has nowhere to go and no home to speak of. Those months she spent away from Nico, finding a job, new friends, a whole new life, helped her to realize what she really wanted, and why.

Nico is intense and terrifying, and Ms. Lindner captures that dark essence that all rock stars just ooze out the wazoo. Though he can be self-centered, we also see plenty of his kindness as well. Eventually we see that, yes, he is conflicted, yes, he has issues, but...we like him anyway. And what about his poor, insane wife! Locked up on the third floor! Every part about her was so sad that I kept wishing she would recover from her illness somehow, even though I realized she was too far gone inside her own mind for her to ever come out again.

I do wish there were more to Maddy's character. She is just a little girl, yes, but she is a central figure in the story in my mind. Even though Nico obviously adores her, and Jane comes to love her, I felt like I knew very little about her personality; she could have been any generic child. At crucial points during the story, her whereabouts were not even mentioned, and I was left wondering what she was doing and who was taking care of her.

I would love to see this book as a movie! Who wouldn't want to see a true classic revisioned as a rock star romance? The descriptions of Thornfield Park are lovely, just enough to let you build a sprawling, brooding, mist-covered estate in your mind, and it would be great to see that brought to life on screen. I have had a lot of fun these last few days trying to think of who could best play Jane and especially Nico  in a film version.

I do hope Ms. Lindner will retell more of Charlotte Bronte's works. There are many versions of Pride and Prejudice and other Austen classics on the YA shelves, so it's about time Miss Bronte gets her turn.

The best part is, fans of Bronte's Jane Eyre will enjoy the parallels between the two stories, while readers who are new to it just might be inspired to pick up the original. Either way, it's a win-win for everyone!

Note: This book was a complimentary Advance Review Copy courtesy of the author or publisher.

In My Mailbox 5

In My Mailbox was created by  The Story Siren. The idea is for book bloggers to come together once a week and post what books they have received in the mail/purchased/found at the library/borrowed from a friend. Anyone can participate!

This week I received a great pack of books courtesy of Candlewick Press:


Wonderland by Joanna Nadin
Stork by Wendy Delsol
Blessed by Cynthia Lettich Smith

All the covers are just gorgeous, aren't they?? I also got this one, which I'm SUPER excited about:


Delirium by Lauren Oliver

What's in your mailbox this week?

Booking Through Thursday 11-11-10

Booking Through Thursday is another one of those fun weekly participatory things, and it was born here.

Question of the week:
It is November 11th, known here in the U.S. as Veteran’s Day, formerly Armistice Day to remember the end of WWI but expanded to honor all veterans who have fought for their country, so …
Do you read war stories? Fictional ones? Histories?

My Answer: Not really; I usually won't pick up a book that's all about war, fictional or otherwise. If I am reading a book and there are war/battle scenes, I tend to skim over those parts. Even books that I have loved forever (Tamora Pierce's books, for example) have certain battle and war scenes that jut don't hold my interest. There are exceptions of course, for example, I loved the Hunger Games - but then, Catching Fire and Mockingbird didn't impress me at all. I suppose it just depends:)

Anxious Hearts by Tucker Shaw

Anxious Hearts

“Evangeline,” he repeated, calling at a whisper. “Evangeline.” He was not calling that she may hear, he was calling that somehow her soul might know that he was devoted entirely to her, only to her. “Evangeline, I will find you.”

Eva and Gabe explore the golden forest of their seaside Maine town, unknowingly tracing the footsteps of two teens, Evangeline and Gabriel, who once lived in the idyllic wooded village of Acadia more than one hundred years ago. On the day that Evangeline and Gabriel were be wed, their village was attacked and the two were separated. And now in the present, Gabe has mysteriously disappeared from Eva.

A dreamlike, loose retelling of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s famous love poem “Evangeline,” Anxious Hearts tells an epic tale of unrequited love and the hope that true love can be reunited.

          Henry Wadsworth Longfellow has been a study subject of nearly every English literature class I've ever taken (and I've taken quite a few!). This book was based on one of his more famous works, the poem "Evangeline." I'm sure I studied it at one point or another in my academic career, but prior to reading this book I couldn't recall the story. That was actually a blessing in disguise, because it gave me the chance to rediscover Longfellow's poem with fresh eyes through this book.

          The way Tucker Shaw retells the classic story is interesting - we are taken through it chapter by chapter, character by character, in a fast-paced but effective parallel. Eva tells the modern version of her story with Gabe, while Gabriel recounts his history with Evangeline.

          This constant switching of viewpoints could have easily turned bothersome and confusing, but Shaw handles the narrative deftly, by keeping chapters brief but clear. Another thing that greatly assists the mind in making the sudden time period transitions is the internal printed layout of the book, which I adored. Not only are there lovely little decorative swirls and vines on every page, but the modern chapters are on white pages, and the historical chapters are on grey pages. This alone gives you the sense of floating into a mist, back through time, to another place altogether. Also, I love the cover art - the girl is gorgeous!

          One minor issue I had was the modern Gabe - he acts in a puzzling way at times. For example, though we realize he is grief stricken, who would leave his girlfriend alone in the woods, miles from home, and on more than one occasion? He is a bit too flighty for my taste; I much prefer the devoted Gabriel, because his faith and love for Evangeline never wavers.

          I did appreciate that the author was confident enough to diverge from the original ending of "Evangeline." I won't spoil the story for you (or the poem, if you haven't read it), but I will say that the modern ending in Shaw's book was quite satisfactory.

          Another thing I liked was that this book was a true romance, without the cheesy trappings of most romance novels published these days. Reading it felt like floating through a dream, one of those dreams where you wake up smiling and peaceful but can't quite remember why.

          All in all, this was a great retelling of a classic story. I'll definitely be looking for more of Mr. Shaw's books in the future.

For those of you who are curious about the original poem "Evangeline," you can go to Project Gutenberg and download the full text for free.

Note: This book was a complimentary Advance Review Copy courtesy of the author or publisher.

In My Mailbox 4

In My Mailbox was created by  The Story Siren. The idea is for book bloggers to come together once a week and post what books they have received in the mail/purchased/found at the library/borrowed from a friend. Anyone can participate!

This week I have...


Jane by April Lindner
(Review Copy)


Zenith by Julie Bertagna


Uglies by Scott Westerfield

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