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01 June 2013

Fat Angie by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo


Angie, known by people at school as Fat Angie, whale, girl who tried to off herself and all sorts of other insults. Her mother is sleeping with her adopted brother's therapist and mentally abusive to Angie, saying things like "No one is ever going to love you if you stay fat." and other horrible things about Angie's weight. Her adopted brother Wang is bordering on the criminal side of life, her father is recovering from a stroke with a whole new family and her sister. . . well her sister is a missing Air Forces soldier in Iraq. A soldier whom the Iraqi's have had on their news blindfolded and tortured. A solider who people are assuming is dead. Everyone but Angie. And that is where Angie's downward spiral to attempted suicide begins.

Bullied by the kids at school, Angie feels all alone until KC Romance moves to town and Jake, her neighbor across the street, who used to play basketball with Angie's sister, start talking to her and sticking up for her.
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I should have known when I was 6 pages in and on the verge of crying that this would be an amazing book. During the book, I really wanted to hit Angie's mother several times to get her to look and see what she was doing to Angie and even to Wang. I wanted to know about Angie's sister and hoped she'd return. I wanted Wang to start sticking up for his little sister and I wanted adults to start caring.

This book was amazing and probably the first book that I've read cover to cover in a day for a very long time. This book is definitely one I will recommend to others and I may have to buy a copy for my personal library.



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29 September 2012

Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

Every high school has a rivalry. Usually, the rivalry is with another school, but Hamilton High's big rivalry is between their own Football and Soccer teams. After having yet another parking session with her Quarterback boyfriend ruined by a soccer player, Lissa Daniels starts thinking about ways to end the rivalry going far enough to beg her boyfriend to be involved in the rivalry anymore. Randy promises not to take part in an act against the soccer team, but breaks his promise to Lissa. The final straw for Lissa is her boyfriend's hasty departure after "makeup"sex to go fight with the soccer team.
She gets together with the rest of the football girlfriends (and Chloe, the football groupie with benefits?) and her ex-best friend, Ellen, the girlfriend of the captain of the soccer team. When the girls get together, Lissa gives them a radical plan. No sex or sexual activity with their boyfriends until the war between the two groups ends. When the girls swear on the pages of Cosmo, the boys have no idea what they are about to be up against.

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Kody Keplinger brings a new twist to a very old play. Lysistrata by Aristophanes was about the women of Sparta and Athens during the Peloponnesian War. Much like the girls in Shut Out Lysistrata and her friends are tired of the war and their men being called away from home to fight it.

I love how Kody Keplinger has taken an Ancient Greek play and turned it into an interesting and great read for teens of today. As I was reading the book  I kept thinking about reading Lysistrata in college and how this one was much more relate-able to her readers.




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27 September 2012

Bloggiesta

I am really excited to get back into blogging and I had a lot of fun doing bloggiesta a few years ago. This year its being co-hosted by It's All about Books and There's a Book. I can't wait!

Life

Life has a funny way of getting in the way of doing things sometimes. The reason for my insanely long absence is I've been helping to take care of my mom. After the surgery in March, her body decided to go nuts and long story short, she ended up having half of her foot amputated. If you really want the long details of what happened, send me an email and I'll get to it.
While she's been really sick, I haven't really been into blogging. I've been reading, just not as much. However, wish me luck. I am trying to get back to you guys.

29 March 2012

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and why I HATED it.

I Hate The Hunger Games.  Did I get your attention? I'm not afraid of the thousands (millions) of teens and adults who have loved the book since it first came out in 2008. I'm not afraid of the millions of people who saw the movie already (which I promise I will not be seeing). I'm not afraid of the beloved author being mad at me if she ever reads this. I have to be honest and true to me. I hated that book.

While I will say that Suzanne Collins wrote a brilliant novel that I could not put down, I still hated the book. I hated that I couldn't put the thing down, I hated that I kept wanting to read, I hated the whole thing.

I just read The Hunger Games  for the first time last week, and I only read it because everyone told me I had to read it. So after weeks of agonizing over it, I finally spotted a paperback copy on the shelf, checked it out and started reading it.

For those of you who don't know what The Hunger Games is about, it set in a dystopian country called Panem, which is a future United States, just a little smaller. In this country, there is a yearly "Reaping" where the names of every child between the ages of 12 and 18 are entered into big bowls. Two names are chosen from each of the 12 districts of the country- one boy and one girl- to fight to the death in an areana for all the nation to watch. These children fight to the death because of a rebellion against the Capitol that ended wipping out a 13th district. To keep the other districts from rebelling, the Capitol has to show its control and what better way than by killing the children.

The first tears fell at the end of chapter one. The end of the very first chapter I started crying. Even though I KNEW what was going to happen, the trailers for the movie that had been floating around every major television market in North America and half of the cable networks (Food Network, thank-you for not showing movie trailers!) told me what was going to happen so early on, I was still angry and devestated to see Primrose Everdeen called.

I found myself growing angrier and more upset as training went on, as the 24 tributes were introduced, as each adult who had lived their lives never being called to fight to the death for food did NOTHING to stop the madness. As people in the capitol were celebrating children being led to the slaughter and as little Rue was doomed to fail. . . and I felt no different from all of them. What was I doing, I was reading a novel about children being sent to fight to the DEATH in a competition made for television that everyone had to watch. I felt no better than the people who bet on different tribute to win. I was rooting for Katniss the whole time, knowing 23 other children would have to die for her to win. I rooted for Katniss, knowing that a 12 year old would have to die in order for her to win.

I want to reiterate, I think Suzanne Collins did an AMAZING job with the book. She produced a well written work of art that has encouraged thousands of teens to continue reading. She also made me think and gave me nightmares for a week. I woke up each night last week praying ferevently to God that He would not let this sort of the thing occor in the future.

Even though I HATE this book, I still must give it
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While I have no intentions of EVER reading it again or seeing the movie, it was well written and thought provoking.

20 March 2012

An apology

Wow, I am so sorry that I've been so absent lately. It's been a rough few months. My mother is ill again and we are waiting for her to go into surgery soon. It's been pushed back twice already and we are getting worried. She has a tumor on her adreanal gland that continues to grow as the doctors force her to wait. I will return.

21 November 2011

BLOG TOUR: Farsighted by Emlyn Chand

I am honored to have been contacted by Emlyn Chand to be a part of the Blog Tour for her book Farsighted. I've never been a part of a blog tour and am super excited to be a part of this one. Even more exciting, I'm thrilled to have author Emlyn Chand as my very first Guest poster. Emlyn wanted to share her top 10 reasons why she decided to write YA novels.


This is a guest post by Emlyn Chand, author of Farsighted

I am 26-years-old, and I write YA books. Now here I sit on the cusp of my big debut as a published author (squeal), but it probably never would have happened if I hadn’t found my affinity for YA. In fact, the first novel I wrote was multicultural literary fiction— it’s never going to be published. I wrote lit fic, because I was trying to prove something to myself, to the world, to somebody. But the book didn’t encapsulate who I am or what makes me a strong writer. So naturally, the story fell flat. I have no idea what made me decide to write YA the second time around. I even remember trying to avoid it. I spent months trying to convince myself that Farsighted was too ambitious of a project. I was this close to writing a historical fiction novel instead. I’m glad I didn’t listen to my inner worrywart, because writing Farsighted is the best thing I’ve ever done. When you find that genre that speaks to you and allows you to speak through it, don’t let that go! Now I’d like to share 10 reasons why I love writing YA. It’s okay if YA isn’t your genre du jour, but don’t force yourself to write something just because the genre is popular or well-respected. Write what your heart wants to write, and the rest will turn out okay.

 I write YA because...
  1. I wish I had a chance to do my teen years over again. To live them more fully. Writing about teens gives me the chance to do so vicariously.
  2. YA is a broad genre. The sky’s the limit. I can write a dystopic novel this year and a romance or mystery next year. YA is not confined by specific plot conventions like other genres. It’s more focused on the characters.
  3. YA has a broad readership. The primary audience is, of course, teens. But younger kids also enjoy reading about what the big kids are doing, and adults like reliving their glory days too.
  4. The language is fun and approachable. Sure, you could write literary YA, but the candid and easy-to-read style of YA is part of its appeal.
  5. First person POV is where it’s at. YA doesn't have to be told in the first person viewpoint, but a lot of it is. Adult literature sticks more to the third person. I love writing in first person. It’s easier for me to develop a character that way, and I enjoy the writing process more.
  6. The characters are sympathetic. It’s easier to forgive the misdeeds of someone who’s “just a kid,” making it easier for readers and writers alike to identify with YA characters.
  7. The characters can change and grow. They aren’t yet set in their ways. Growth is an expected part of teendom, and it’s wonderful helping your characters achieve that potential.
  8. The readers of YA are incredibly devoted. If they like what you’ve written, they will tell the world. Can you think of any books that have a greater cult following than Twilight, Harry Potter, and Hunger Games? Because I can’t.
  9. YA readers WANT to enjoy books. They’re not looking to tear a book apart and flesh out all of its flaws. They are willing to overlook weaknesses within a book and focus on what they love about it. Their pleasure in reading is free and much more pure.
  10. It’s what I most enjoy reading. Write what you love to read. Don’t force yourself to write a romance if writing sexually suggestive scenes makes you uncomfortable. Don’t write literary fiction as a way to show off your intellect. Write what you want to write. Write was fits your talents and enthusiasm. That’s your best chance at success (no matter how you define the term).

Blog Tour Notes

THE BOOK: Alex Kosmitoras may be blind, but he can still “see” things others can’t. When his unwanted visions of the future begin to suggest that the girl he likes could be in danger, he has no choice but to take on destiny and demand it reconsider. Get your copy today by visiting Amazon.com’s Kindle store or the eBook retailer of your choice. The paperback edition will be available on November 24 (for the author’s birthday). THE CASH PRIZES: Guess what? You could win a $100 Amazon gift card as part of this special blog tour. That’s right! Just leave a comment below saying something about the post you just read, and you’ll be entered into the raffle. I could win $100 too! Please help by voting for my blog in the traffic-breaker poll. To cast your vote, visit the official Farsighted blog tour page and scroll all the way to the bottom. Thank you for your help with that. THE GIVEAWAYS: Win 1 of 10 autographed copies of Farsighted before its paperback release by entering the giveaway on GoodReads. Perhaps you’d like an autographed postcard from the author; you can request one on her site. THE AUTHOR: Emlyn Chand has always loved to hear and tell stories, having emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). When she’s not writing, she runs a large book club in Ann Arbor and is the president of author PR firm, Novel Publicity. Emlyn loves to connect with readers and is available throughout the social media interweb. Visit www.emlynchand.com for more info. Don’t forget to say “hi” to her sun conure Ducky! MORE FUN: There's more fun below. Watch the live action Farsighted book trailer.
 





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I have to say, I don't normally read Paranormal fiction. It's not usually my cup of tea. However, when I started reading Farsighted, I couldn't stop. Emlyn found a way to suck me into Alex's world and his mind. I found that "seeing" through a blind boy's eyes, I didn't care what the other characters looked like, I was able to focus on Alex's interactions with everyone. I found myself mesmerized with Alex, Simmi and Shapri as they began to figure out/ learn to accept their special gifts. If you like paranormal books or just enjoy stories where there is a mystery to unravel, I really think you'll enjoy Farsighted. 

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I recommend this book!
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Full Disclosure:  I was contacted by the Author to review this book. I was sent a free eBook to read and review. This had no say in my actual review. 




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