Sunday, November 29, 2009

In My Mailbox 17

In My Mailbox was started by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie.

Anyway, this is all the stuff I've gotten over the last few weeks that I kept forgetting to take pictures of.

Okay, first, the books.
I got an ARC of Never Cry Werewolf by Heather Davis from Zombie Girrrl.
I also got The Final Warning and Max by James Patterson from Orchid.
Thanks, guys! ^_^

The first piece of swag is a Secret Society tattoo from Eleni of La Femme Readers. Thanks, Eleni!
Zombie Girrrl also gave me an Oh. My. Gods. button, a signed Meridian bookmark, and a signed Leviathan postcard. Thanks, ZG!

I think I got everything. Thanks for the great books and swag, everyone! You all rock!

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Friday, November 27, 2009

Dull Boy by Sarah Cross

"What do you do if you can deadlift a car, and you spend your nights flying to get away from it all? If you're fifteen-year-old Avery Pirzwick, you keep that information to yourself. When you're a former jock turned freak, you can't afford to let the secret slip.

But then Avery makes some friends who are as extraordinary as he is. He realizes they're more than just freaks—together, maybe they have a chance to be heroes. First, though, they have to decide whether to trust the mysterious Cherchette, a powerful wouldbe mentor whose remarkable generosity may come at a terrible price."

Dull Boy was better than I thought it would be, and I was expecting it to be pretty good.
Avery's powers were fairly simple, but really cool. I don't usually like the whole super strength thing, because the people who have it are usually annoying boy scouts. *coughSupermancough*
I loved Cross's description of flying. The only things I've read with flying (without wings) are comic books, and there isn't much (actually, any) room describing the act of flying there.
Nicholas and Catherine were my favorite characters (and Avery). Nicholas's powers were really interesting. He reminded me of Chamber (only in reverse) from the arc of Runaways with the Loners. I can't decide how I feel about what they learned about his powers in the end.
Catherine's powers on anyone else would have been boring and quite possibly cliche, but something about the combination of her personality and her [semi-spoiler] cat-like powers was really interesting.
The reason they had their powers shocked me a bit, but I'm kinda glad it was explained. I don't know why, but I feel like it could have been really annoying if it never said how or why they got their powers. I find this weird because I usually don't like origin stories that much.
To put it simply, this book was awesome. I really liked it, and hope there's a sequel (the end was practically screaming sequel).
I give Dull Boy four Fists of Rock.


Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Great Holiday Contest at Bloody Bookaholic!

Taschima at Bloody Bookaholic is having a really awesome holiday contest that you absolutely must enter! There will be multiple winners, and there are some great books up for grabs. Open to US, PR & Canada, ends December 25. Enter now!

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Monday, November 23, 2009

B1.1's New Title and My Pen Name

Okay, so I have some semi-interesting news about B1.1 (well, more interesitng than all the other news I've posted about it).

First, I've changed the working title. I have another title for it, but I don't really want to post it online because I'm paranoid and afraid some not-so-nice writer will find my blog and steal my brilliant title. Anyway, the new working title is...

*drumroll*

Not Another Vampire Book!
I know, I know, it's not that creative or anything, but it works, and that's all I need it to do. Here's the synopsis I wrote for NaNo:

"It's the last thing the world needs.
That's right, another YA vampire book.
But these aren't your average vampires."

Short, sweet, and to the point (without giving too much away). ^_^
I have an idea for a cover, and I'm gonna see if Zombie Girrrl will draw it for me (because I can't really draw).

On to the second bit of news. I have a new pen name! Yay! Whoo!
What is it, you ask? It is Frankie Barlow. There's a little story behind the name Frankie, but I don't feel like going into it right now. However, I will tell you where I got the last name, because the story is much shorter: I got it from Leviathan. I liked the sound of it, so I thought, Why not? I need a last name, and this one is rather nice.
So, what do you think? Not Another Vampire Book by Frankie Barlow. Would you pick it up? Glance at it and keep browsing? Not see it at all? None of this really matters since A) the book isn't finished, B) isn't published because it's not finished, and C) if it ever is published, that won't be the title. But I'm still curious. :)

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Saturday, November 21, 2009

LEVIATHAN WINNER!!!

It's the moment you've all been waiting for (well, some of you): Time to announce the winner of my Blogoversary contest!

But first, some stats.
40 people entered the contest, which is more than I thought I would get for my first giveaway.
Those 40 people had a combined 341 entries! Wow, that's a lot of extra entries!
The highest number of entries for one person was Maria with 23.
However, the winner of the contest only had 10 entries.

Now, without further ado, the winner of one shiny new hardback of Leviathan is...

J. Lee!

Congratulations! I've emailed you already. You have 48 hours to get back to me with your mailing info. :)

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Friday, November 20, 2009

Last Day to Enter!!!

Just a reminder, today is the last day to enter the Leviathan giveaway. If you'd like to win Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld, and haven't entered yet, you have until midnight eastern time to do so. :)

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Whoa, Another Dahlia, and She's Having a Contest!

Dahlia (I feel like I'm talking about myself in third person) from Book Shopaholic is having a really cool contest. There will be two winners, each will get one book from the list below:
My Soul To Take
Dreaming Anastasia
Devoured
Intertwined
Cracked up to Be
You're So Undead to Me

US only, ends December 17. Click here to enter!

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

First Year of Blogging

Here's a little review of the (blogging) year.

46 books read (is that all?! I need to read more!)
250 posts published
291 posts written
48 reviews written/published
8 movie reviews (for 9 movies)
37 book reviews
8 interviews
1 book edited
3 failed attempts at writing other books
1 rewrite started (and restarted)
4498 hits from 44 countries
786 comments (I wonder how many of those are mine...)
95 commentors
82 followers (you guys rock!)
2 giveaways
12 awards

Enough numbers! Let's move on to something that involves more words, like favorites!

Favorite Post: Hunger Games review
Favorite Book: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Favorite Band: Brand New
Favorite Song: Snuff by Slipknot
Favorite Movie: Star Trek
Favorite Site: Shelfari
Favorite Shows: Bleach and Death Note

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley

"Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
And if I should die before I awake,
I pray the popular attend my wake.
Charlotte Usher feels practically invisible at school, and then one day she really is invisible. Even worse: she's dead. And all because she choked on a gummy bear. But being dead doesn't stop Charlotte from wanting to be popular; it just makes her more creative about achieving her goal.
If you thought high school was a matter of life or death, wait till you see just how true that is. In this satirical, yet heartfelt novel, Hurley explores the invisibility we all feel at some times and the lengths we'll go to be seen."

I was really excited when I got this from the library; I'd been wanting to read it for a while. But I must admit, I was a little disappointed when I read it.
Ghostgirl was a little reminiscent of Lauren Myracle's Rhymes with Witches. Charlotte was a kind of pathetic protagonist obsessed with being popular and willing to do just about anything to be popular. It was annoying and made Charlotte very hard to like at times. Other times, I just felt extremely bad for Charlotte, particularly right after she died when half the students in her school used her memorial as an excuse to ditch school and didn't even bother to go.
I didn't really like any of the characters in this. They were all annoying in their own way. I couldn't relate to any of them, didn't wish any of them were real, and really, just didn't like reading about them. I can't think of a single one that was tolerable.
I thought this book was going to be kinda funny, but it wasn't, not really. Despite being rather long, it looked like a nice, funny, light read, which is not at all what it was.
The story for Ghostgirl was okay. I'd wanted it so long, I'd forgotten exactly what it was about by the time I got it.
I don't see how there's a sequel. Everything was pretty wrapped up by the end.
Ah, the end, where it stopped being even remotely good. There were so many things I didn't like about the end, I can't even begin to list them here. To avoid spoiling anything, I'll just say that the end was the most disappointing part.

I give Ghostgirl two and a half Fists of Rock (I don't actually have half a Fist of Rock, so I'll just put two).


Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Monday, November 16, 2009

Holiday Contest at La Femme Readers

Eleni at La Femme Readers is having a great contest for the holidays! Two winners will get any book they want under $25. How cool is that?! There aren't words for how cool it is (but if you can come up with some, I'd like to hear them)! ^_^
Click here to enter!

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Saturday, November 14, 2009

In My Mailbox 16

IMM was started by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie.

Wow, been a while since I've done one of these. Almost a month, I think. O_O
Borrowed

Skybreaker by Kenneth Oppel
Pub. date: November 05
(from inside jacket) "Former cabin boy Matt Cruse, now a student at the prestigious Airship Academy, is first to identify the Hyperion, the private airship of a reclusive and fabulously wealthy inventor that disappeared forty years ago with its owner. Armed with the Hyperion's coordinates, which only he possesses, Matt, heiress Kate de Vries, and a mysterious young gypsy board the Sagarmatha, an airship fitted with the new skybreaker engines that will allow them to reach the Hyperion, 20,000 feet above the earth's surface. Pursued by others who want the Hyperion and will stop at nothing to get it, and surrounded by dangerous high-altitude life forms, Matt and his companions are soon fighting not only for the Hyperion but for their veru lives.
In this thrilling sequel to Airborn, a Michael L. Printz Honor Book, Kenneth Oppel evokes the classic storytelling of Robert Louis Stevenson and Jules Verne, creating a world in which a new discovery can have unimagined consequences--on earth and miles above it."
I really liked Airborn, and I've been looking forward to reading this ever since. I'm so glad my library had it! ^_^

Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy
Pub. date: April 07
"Meet Skulduggery Pleasant
Ace Detective
Snappy Dresser
Razor-tongued wit
Crackerjack Sorcerer
and
Walking, Talking
Fire-throwing Skeleton

--as well as ally, protector, and mentor of Stephanie Edgley, a very unusual and darkly talented twelve-year-old.
These two alone must defeat an all-consuming ancient evil.
The end of the world?
Over his dead body."
This one sounds really good. I asked about it on Shelfari, and everyone said it was really good and funny.


That's all I got this week, what'd you get?

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Thank You All *sob* So... Much

These are all the awards I've gotten and the awesome bloggers who gave them to me! Thanks everyone!

From Amelia of Book Junkie and Black and Red of Insanity Has A Name.


From Amelia.

From Zombie Girrrl of In Stitches.

From Steph Bowe of Hey, Teenager of the Year and Maggie of Bean Bag Books.
From Steph Bowe.
From Steph Bowe.
From Jessica of Shut Up! I'm Reading.
From Zombie Girrrl of Crackin' Spines & Takin' Names.
From Zombie Girrrl and Steph Bowe.


From Steph Bowe.

From Velvet of vvb32 reads.

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Whole Bunch of Awards

Hoo, I'm waaay behind on my awards. My apologies to the wonderful bloggers who gave these to me, I would have passed them along sooner, but these posts are hard for me to do.

1. First, the Lemonade Award from Jessica at Shut Up! I'm Reading.
Rules:
Link back to the person who gave you the award.
Nominate up to 10 bloggers who are deserving of the award.
Display the award on you blog.



2. Zombie Girrrl of Crackin' Spines & Taken' Names has given me the Proximade Award.
This blog invests and believes in the Proximity - nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this clever-written text into the body of their award.

3. I also got the Humane Award from Zombie Girrrl and Steph Bowe of Hey, Teenager of the Year.
About the Humane Award, which was created by Eleni.
This award is to honor certain bloggers that are kindhearted individuals. They regularly take part in my blog and always leave the sweetest comments. If it wasn't for them, my site would just be an ordinary book review blog. Their blogs are also amazing and are tastefully done on a daily basis. I thank them and look forward to our growing friendship through the blog world.
Rules:
-Nominate 10 bloggers you feel deserve the Humane Award


4. Steph also gave me the Kreativ Blogger Award.
This is also a meme, so here are the rules: If you accept it, you are supposed to list seven of your favorite things and nominate seven blogs that deserve this award.
Hmm, seven things I love.
1) Writing
2) Reading
3) Swimming
4) Music
5) Blogging
6) Role play
7) Movies

5. The Zombie Chicken Award
I got this lovely grotesque award from Velvet of vvb32 reads. The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken – excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all.

6. Jessica at Shut Up! I'm Reading also gave me the Let's Be Friends Award.
Blogs that receive the Let’s Be Friends Award are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers.


The bloggers I'd like to share all these awards with are...
Thanks to everyone who gave me these awesome awards! XD Congrats to everyone who just got an award! ^_^ And sorry to those that didn't. :(
Next time I get an award, I'll post it sooner. ;)

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Monday, November 9, 2009

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

"It is the cusp of World War I, and all the European powers are arming up. The Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their Clankers, steam-driven iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition. The British Darwinists employ fabricated animals as their weaponry. The Leviathan is a living airship, the most formidable airbeast in the skies of Europe.
Aleksandar Ferdinand, prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battle-torn Stormwalker and a loyal crew of men.
Deryn Sharp is a commoner, a girl disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She's a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.
With the Great War brewing, Alek's and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way - taking them both aboard the Leviathan on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure. One that will change both their lives forever."


Even though I've read almost all of Scott Westerfeld's YA books, I didn't know what to expect from this one. It was really different from his other books. It was awesome, one of my favorite books.
I can't decide who I liked more, Deryn or Alek. They were both great characters. Deryn was funny and cool, I found it amusing that she was the best midshipmen on the Leviathan when she wasn't supposed to be there since she was a girl. I wish there had been a few more instances where her secret was almost discovered. I feel like that part was downplayed a lot. It was a little confusing how in the chapters about Deryn it would be all "she" or her", but in the chapters about Alek with Deryn present (or Dylan, as he thought she was called) it was all "he" and "him", when it was the same person.
Alek wasn't really funny, which my favorite characters usually are, but he was still likable.
I'm really torn between which side I liked more. The Darwinists and the Clankers creations were both interesting. Early on, I thought I liked the Darwinists more, but then they got into a battle and the beasties started getting hurt and suddenly I didn't like them as much. The Clanker contraptions were equally interesting, and the parts where Alek tried something new with the Stormwalker, like running (when he almost tripped), were kinda funny. I guess you can't really choose which one's cooler, they both had their merits, and they both had flaws.
Now, I can't review Leviathan without talking about the illustrations. Keith Thompson did an amazing job with the artwork! The characters, Clanker machines, and Darwinist beasties all looked so great. One of my favorites, which I really wish had been in color, was "An Heirloom Saves the Heir". I won't tell you what it looks like, because A) it just wouldn't be the same as seeing it, and B) it might ruin the story.I also really liked the colored version of "Negotiations and Collateral" which was used for the UK cover and can be viewed on Keith's site.
Anyway, this book was amazing! I highly recommend it, especially if you've read Scott's other books. This one definitely ranks as one of my favorites, above Midnighters, So Yesterday, and Uglies. Seriously, read it.

I four Leviathan four Fists of Rock.
Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Note: If you would like to read this book, there's still time to enter my Leviathan giveaway.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Pumpkin Carving Contest Winners!!!

Okay, so there's been a slight change of plans for the contest: There will be not one winner, but two. Yay!
A lot of debate went into the winner, and in the end we just couldn't decide, so without further ado, here are the two winners of my first (possibly annual) pumpkin carving contest.

Winner #1
Rebecca, with the Best Original Interpretation. Her pumpkin is based on her fave genre: Horror. Great pumpkin, Rebecca! :)


Winner #2
Janey, with Best Book Inspired Pumpkin. Her pumpkin is based on the Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy. Awesome job, Janey! ^_^
Congrats guys! I've sent you both an email, you'll need to get back to me with your mailing info and book of choice within the next week. :)

Thanks to everyone who entered! ^_^

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix

"Luke has never been to school. He's never had a birthday party, or gone to a friend's house for an overnight. In fact, Luke has never had a friend. Luke is one of the shadow children, a third child forbidden by the Population Police."

I didn't really expect to like this book as much as I did. The cover almost made me put it back on the shelf at the library, and the story only slightly interested me. But I actually really enjoyed Among the Hidden. It was a nice, quick read that I finished in one day. The story was much more interesting than I thought it would be.
I can't really decide if it started out slow or not. I mean, in the beginning there wasn't much going on, but there was always the danger of Luke being found to keep things interesting, even though nothing like that happened until near the end of the book.
I found Jen to be a bit annoying. She was too naive. What she wanted was great and everything, but the way she planned to get it was, quite frankly, stupid. She was a little too entitled for her own good.
Luke was an okay character, not very interesting, but not horribly boring either. I felt really bad for him. I couldn't imagine being in his situation, not being allowed out of the house for months, not even allowed to go near the windows. It sounded like torture! It's amazing he didn't go insane.
I found Luke's easy friendship with Jen to be a bit unbelievable. I mean, she was the first person outside of his family that he'd ever met. But I guess what they had in common made it easier for them to become such good friends in such a short amount of time.

SPOILERS!!!
I really didn't expect what happened to Jen. It reminded me of Bridge to Terabithia. I was very shocked.

This book really surprised me. I thought it would be kind of boring and slow, but it wasn't. I'll definitely be checking out the rest of the series.

I give Among the Hidden three Fists of Rock.



Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Monday, November 2, 2009

Angel Contest at Story Siren

Kristi at The Story Siren is giving away Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick and Fallen by Lauren Kate. So, if you like books about angels and getting them for free, click here to enter. ;)

Tomorrow, I have a very special guest stopping by, so be sure to check it out. ^_^


Eclectically yours,

Dahlia