Saturday, January 30, 2010

In My Mailbox 23

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

Won!!!
Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood by Eileen Cook
Pub. date: January 10
"Popularity is the best revenge.
In the final weeks of eighth grade, Lauren Wood made a choice. She betrayed her best friend, Helen, in a manner so publicly humiliating that Helen had to move to a new town just to save face. Ditching Helen was worth it, though, because Lauren started high school as one of the It Girls—and now, at the start of her senior year, she's the cheerleading captain, the quarterback's girlfriend, and the undisputed queen bee. Lauren has everything she's ever wanted, and she has forgotten all about her ex-best friend.

But Helen could never forget Lauren. After three years of obsessing, she's moving back to her old town. She has a new name and a new look, but she hasn't dropped her old grudges. She has a detailed plan to bring down her former BFF by taking away everything that's ever been important to Lauren—starting with her boyfriend.


Watch out, Lauren Wood. Things are about to get bitchy."
I'm sooo excited about this book! And not just because it sounds really good. It's the first book I've ever won! A big THANK YOU! goes out to Lori of Pure Imagination for hosting the contest. ^_^

Borrowed

13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Pub. date: October 07
"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.
Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers."Borrowed this from Zombie Girrrl after she borrowed it form the library. It was okay.

Eclectically yours,

Friday, January 29, 2010

Q&A Friday is Back!

After lots of procrastinating, I finally sat down yesterday and worked on the questions for Q&A Friday. With a little help from Zombie Girrrl, I managed to come up with some decent questions.

Now that I have new questions, I'll be re-opening Q&A Friday. The interviews will be done a little different this time. Instead of filling out the questions in a comment, you'll have to sign up on a form and I'll email you the questions. The form is pretty simple, just needs a name, email, and whether you're a blogger, writer, or both, and a blog URL (if you have one).

I've also changed the Q&A Friday page to a page rather than a post. You can get to it by clicking the Q&A Friday button up top, or you can click here. :)

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wish List Wednesday 12

What?

The Rise of Renegade X


by Chelsea M. Campbell

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Huge Contest at Teens Read and Write

The Kirks are having another mega contest over at their blog, Teens Read and Write. There will be four winners, and there are some great books to choose from. Here's the list so far:

1) Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
2) The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
3) Fallen by Lauren Kate
4) Darklight by Lesley Livingston
5) Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
6) City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
7) Wish by Alexandra Bullen
8) Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
9) Sceptor of the Ancients by Derek Landy
10) Candor by Pam Bachorz
11) Violet Wings by Victoria Hanley
12) The EverAfter by Amy Huntley
13) Wish You Were Dead by Todd Strasser
14) Invisible Lines by Mary Amato

And that's not all! More books and winners will be added as they get more followers! How awesome is that?

Contest ends March 7, and it's international. Yay!

Check it out here!

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Saturday, January 23, 2010

In My Mailbox 22 + Soundtrack Saturday 2

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

Bought

Vamped by Lucienne Diver
Pub. date: May 09
"Gina Covello's Perks and Pitfalls of Vamp Life
1. Hello?! Eternal youth and beauty!
2. Free. Designer. Clothes.
3. My hot new boyfriend Bobby went from chess dud to vamp stud.
4. No reflection! First order of business: turn my own stylist to stop the downward spiral from chic to eek.
5. Vampire vixen Mellisande has taken an interest in my boyfriend, and is now transforming the entire high school into her own personal vampire army. If anyone's going to start their own undead entourage it should be me.
I guess I'll just have to save everyone from fashion disasters and other fates worse than death."
Found this at the used bookstore. Sounds like it could be funny.

Dead Is So Last Year by Marlene Perez
Pub. date: May 09
"Something very strange starts happening in Nightshade the summer that the eldest Giordano sister, Rose, gets a job working at Dr. Franken's research laboratory. People are starting to see double. Doppelgängers of Nightshade residents are popping up all over town. Daisy, Rose and Poppy think it's a coincidence, until the rumors start that their father, who disappeared several years ago, has been spotted in town. Meanwhile, Daisy's beau, Ryan is spending all of his time training for football, and like the other guys on the team, he's grown enormous almost overnight. Samantha Devereux's boyfriend's neck has doubled in size since school ended. Could the football players be resorting to extreme measures to win? Between summer jobs, sugar rushes, and beach parties, the Giordano girls get to the bottom of these mysteries and more."
I'm so happy I finally have this! I loved Dead Is the New Black and Dead Is a State of Mind! I got to interview Marlene a few months ago. Read it here. I've already finished this, but it might be a while before my review's up (I've got a few other reviews to write first).

Confessions of a Closet Catholic by Sarah Darer Littman
Pub. date: February 05
"Justine Silver's best friend, Mary Catherine McAllister, has given up chocolate for Lent, but Justine doesn't think God wants her to make that kind of sacrifice. So she's decided to give up being Jewish instead.

Eleven-year-old Justine pours her heart out to her teddy bear, "Father Ted," in a homemade closet confessional. But when Justine's beloved Bubbe suffers a stroke, Justine worries that her religious exploration is responsible. Worse, she must suddenly contemplate life without Bubbe. Ultimately, it's Bubbe's quiet understanding of Justine's search for identity that helps Justine to find faith in the most important place of all-within herself."
Spent an hour and half in the car, then another hour in a Catholic bookstore, and this was all I found. Sounds like it might be good. I like the cover. :)

Borrowed

Faerie Wars by Herbie Brennan
Pub date: September 04
"When Henry Atherton helps Mr. Fogarty clean up around his house, he expects to find a mess and a cranky old man; what he doesn't expect to find is Pyrgus Malvae, crown prince of the Faerie realm, who has escaped the treacherous Faeries of the Night by traveling to the human world through a portal powered by trapped lightning. An egomaniacal demon prince, greedy glue factory owners Brimstone and Chalkhill, and the nefarious Lord Hairstreak, leader of the Faeries of the Night, all dream of ruling the Faerie realm and are out to kill Pyrgus. Enlisting the help of his sister, Holly Blue, and his new friend, Henry, Pyrgus must get back to the Faerie world alive before one of his many enemies gets to him instead. But how many portals are open, and can Pyrgus find the right one before it falls into the wrong hands? Conjuring scenes filled with vivid color, unforgettable detail, and fearless characters, author Herbie Brennan brings readers to the Faerie world, where nothing is ever what it seems and no one can be trusted."
I've been craving faerie books lately. I don't know why, I've never been particularly interested in them before, but recently I found myself needing a faerie book. So, I went online and searched my library system for faerie books (after searching them and asking about them on Shelfari), and this is one of the ones I found.

Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith
Pub. date: February 07
"CLASSIFIED ADS: RESTAURANTS
SANGUINI'S: A VERY RARE RESTAURANT IS HIRING A CHEF DE CUISINE. DINNERS ONLY.
APPLY IN PERSON BETWEEN 2:00 AND 4:00 PM.

Quincie Morris has never felt more alone. Her parents are dead, and her hybrid-werewolf first love is threatening to embark on a rite of passage that will separate them forever. Then, as she and her uncle are about to unveil their hot vampire-themed restaurant, a brutal murder leaves them scrambling for a chef. Can Quincie transform their new hire into a culinary Dark Lord before opening night? Can he wow the crowd in his fake fangs, cheap cape, and red contact lenses — or is there more to this earnest face than meets the eye? As human and preternatural forces clash, a deadly love triangle forms, and the line between predator and prey begins to blur. Who’s playing whom? And how long can Quincie play along before she loses everything? TANTALIZE marks Cynthia Leitich Smith’s delicious debut as a preeminent author of dark fantasy."
Saw this at the library and read the first few pages. Wasn't bad, so I decided to get it.

That's all I got this week. Not a bad week, I'm gonna be busy for while. ^_^


Soundtrack Saturday
SS is hosted by Rating Reads. To participate simply...
  • Take your current read or recently finished book.
  • Find at least one song that fits the story, characters, whatever.
  • Post the book title and song(s) on your blog with a brief explanation of your picks. Don't forget to mention who started it.
  • Head over to Rating Reads and add your post to the Mr. Linky.
Book: Dead Is So Last Year by Marlene Perez
Songs: Hungry Like the Wolf by Duran Duran and We've Got a Big Mess on Our Hands by The Academy Is...
Why Hungry Like the WolfThe werewolves of Nightshade played a bigger role in this one, and with werewolves comes an appetite for raw meat, hence the song.


Why We've Got a Big Mess on Our Hands? The video for this actually fits the book pretty well. The citizens of Nightshade have a little problem with sugar crazed doppelgangers popping up, ruining the lives of the originals. Since the doppelgangers are evil, and one in particular causes the Giordano sisters some trouble, the lyrics fit too.


Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Thursday, January 21, 2010

How've ya been, NAVB?

I just remembered, I haven't posted an update on Not Another Vampire Book in a while, so, here's an update.

I have once again changed my mind about the opening. The one I have right now, which came to me at some ungodly hour in the morning and which I thought was brilliant, is kinda shallow and maybe not the best opener. I haven't reread it since I wrote it, so I could be making it worse in my head. I'll decide whether or not to change it after I read it again.

I hit a minor snag shortly after restarting chapter one. I was doing good, then I couldn't come up with a decent comeback for something one of the characters said. I sort of have something, but I can't quite get it down in writing yet. I'm sure it will work itself out soon enough.

While waiting for the comeback to come to me, I started writing an outline. I got through 10 or 11 chapters in one day a few days ago, and haven't worked on it since. I'll get back to it soon.
Based on the outline, I think this draft is going to turn out a lot better than the last. I've worked out all the different sub-plots, so not everyone's involved in everything this time. I don't know why I tried to have every character in every plotline last time. It turned out confusing and cluttered. I'm really glad I decided to write an outline, I think it's really going to help me avoid a lot of the mistakes I made last time.

And that's what's been happening with NAVB. I might try to finish the outline before I start writing again. It might help to know how everything's going to end before I continue.

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wish List Wednesday 11

What?

The Maze Runner

by James Dashner

Monday, January 18, 2010

Contact Form

I accept YA and mid-grade books for review. If you would like your book reviewed here, or would like to donate books/swag for promotional contests, please fill out the form below.


Details
I only accept young adult and mid-grade books. I reserve the right to decline an offer due to incompatible tastes.
I accept finished copies and ARCs. I cannot accept digital copies, as I do not have an e-reader.
Please give at least 3 weeks notice for reviews with deadlines.
ARC reviews will be posted as close to the release date as I can manage.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

In My Mailbox 21

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

Borrowed

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket from Zombie Girrrl
Pub. date: September 99
"Dear Reader,

I'm sorry to say that the book you are holding in your hands is extremely unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children. Even though they are charming and clever, the Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. From the very first page of this book when the children are at the beach and receive terrible news, continuing on through the entire story, disaster lurks at their heels. One might say they are magnets for misfortune.
In this short book alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, and cold porridge for breakfast.
It is my sad duty to write down these unpleasant tales, but there is nothing stopping you from putting this book down at once and reading something happy, if you prefer that sort of thing.

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket"
I picked this up one day after realizing nearly two weeks of the new year had gone and I'd only read one book. Not a very good start to the 100+ Challenge. It took two days to finish, but only because I misplaced it and couldn't find it until the next morning.
Thanks for letting me borrow it, ZG! :)

You may have noticed the absence of Soundtrack Saturday yesterday. Well, I tried, and failed. The only two books I have that are eligible are The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan and The Bad Beginning, both of which are apparently impossible to soundtrack. I lost count of how many times I went through all the artists on my iPod, I even asked some people on Shelfari, but still nothing. I'll try to read something that's easier to soundtrack this week. I don't want to skip my own meme two weeks in a row! ;)

Anyway, that's all I got this week.

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Friday, January 15, 2010

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick


"For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along.

With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.
But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life."


I was a little disappointed with Hush, Hush. It just didn't live up to the hype.
First, I found Patch to be creepy. Like, mega creepy, for the majority of the book. Every time he was around, I wanted to slap some sense into Nora and drag her away for her own safety. I agreed with Nora's earlier feelings towards him, when she wanted to run away.
Nora was an okay character. Not too annoying (unless she was being stupid), but not very interesting. She just wasn't a very memorable character.
Vee was annoying. She really needed some sense screamed at her. Too bad she wouldn't have heard any of it. I really hated how she kept defending Elliot, even after finding out he was the prime suspect in a murder investigation, not to mention creepy. Jules took gold for Creepiest Character in the Book. I didn't really trust him from the beginning.
Some things I had problems with (other than the characters) were: The things that happened but didn't. About halfway through I was practically screaming, "Just let something remain happened!" You can only make someone think they're going crazy by undoing some frightening event that may or may not have occured so many times before it gets old.
The villains all kinda came out of nowhere. They were mentioned fairly early on, but then they just kinda disappeared until the last quarter of the book. I really would have liked to see them a little more before it was revealed that they were evil. To me, it kinda seemed like Fitzpatrick got to the climax and was like, "I need some villains. Oh, those characters aren't doing anything, I'll use them." Now, I'm not a big fan of mystery, I like to know who the villain is from the beginning, so a lot of people probably won't share my opinion on this matter.
All in all, Hush, Hush was good, it just didn't quite meet my expectations. It was well written, my only problems were the characters, which I coudn't really relate to, and the mystery aspect, which just isn't my thing. I haven't decided yet whether I'll read the sequel. Everything was wrapped up nicely enough, so not reading it won't kill me.

I give Hush, Hush four Fists of Rock.

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wish List Wednesday 10

What?

Secret Society

by Tom Dolby

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

"My name is Chloe Saunders and my life will never be the same again.

All I wanted was to make friends, meet boys, and keep on being ordinary. I don't even know what that means anymore. It all started on the day that I saw my first ghost—and the ghost saw me.
Now there are ghosts everywhere and they won't leave me alone. To top it all off, I somehow got myself locked up in Lyle House, a "special home" for troubled teens. Yet the home isn't what it seems. Don't tell anyone, but I think there might be more to my housemates than meets the eye. The question is, whose side are they on? It's up to me to figure out the dangerous secrets behind Lyle House . . . before its skeletons come back to haunt me."

I really wish I'd read this book sooner. It'd been in my TBR pile for ages, but I had other books to read, so I kept putting it off, and blah blah blah. Now I'm kicking myself for not reading it sooner. It was sooo good!
I'm not even sure exactly what I liked about it. I guess the simple answer would be everything. It was just made of awesome!
Chloe was a great character. I don't remember ever finding her annoying, which is rare for me. There's always something about the main character that I just can't stand, but not this time. Well, actually, there was something. There were a few instances where Chloe seemed kinda helpless and weak, something I really don't like in a protagonist, but then, it just kinda added to her character. I liked that she didn't just accept everything right away. Necromancy? No, it must just be her supposed schitzophrenia. Magic? Nonsense, that stuff only exists in movies.
Something else I really liked about Chloe was that she wasn't totally brave or kick-butt. When she got stuck in a scary, shouldn't-be-happening-in-real-life situation she got scared. I really liked that she was flawed, perfect characters stink. But then, some flaws just make characters unlikable.
This was one book where I'd been planning to read it for so long, I kinda forgot what it was about. I knew there was something about seeing ghosts, and that she got sent to a home for disturbed teenagers, but that was about it. I kinda like going into books not sure what to expect.
I really liked the mix of supernatural beings and mental illnesses, and how one was passed off for the other. It was really interesting.
One thing that really shows how good this book was is how quickly I read it. It took me three days, which is a lot less time than I thought it would take me.
The other characters in the book were also really good. Rae and Derek were some of my other favorites. Derek was a bit of a jerk in the beginning, but he got better by the end. I kinda guessed what he was before it was finally revealed (actually, before it was even revealed that he was something, but then, I'd kinda heard something from ZG so it doesn't really count).
I can't really think of what to say about Rae. She was just one of those likable best friend characters.
Anyway, this is a really good book that I now highly recommend. It was well written, had a good story, and great characters. Not to mention the plot twist at the end! I loved it! I can't wait to start reading The Awakening (a title that always gets me mixed up as to which one which one goes first). After reading my comments, I noticed a minor mistake, which is now crossed out. I've already read The Awakening, and my review should be up in a few weeks.

I give The Summoning four Fists of Rock.

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Soundtrack Saturday

Soundtrack Saturday is a new meme hosted at Rating Reads.
  • Take your current read or recently finished book.
  • Find at least one song that fits the story, characters, whatever.
  • Post the book title and song(s) on your blog with a brief explanation of your picks. Don't forget to mention who started it.
  • Head over to Rating Reads and add your post to the Mr. Linky.
Book: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
Song: Somebody's Watching Me from the Geico commercials
Why? This song describes Nora's feelings throughout the first half of the book (which is how far I've gotten) very well. If you've heard the song and read the book, I'm sure you'll agree.




Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Friday, January 8, 2010

In My Mailbox 20

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

Borrowed

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
Pub. date: October 09
"For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along.
With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.
But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life."
Borrowed from Zombie Girrrl of Crackin' Spines & Taken' Names. Thanks, ZG!

My Minion Bling finally came this week! Yay! I got eight cute little buttons based on the awesome series, The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod by Heather Brewer. Here's what they look like.I got two for each of the first three books, plus two that say, "proud member of the Minion Horde".
Here's where some of the buttons found a home, I'm still trying to figure out what to do with the rest of them.In case you can't tell, that's my purse. Don't they look lovely next to my Oh. My. Gods. button?

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wish List Wednesday 9

What?

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

by Marilyn Kaye

It Has Begun!

I came up with a beginning for Not Another Vampire Book last night, at 2:30 in the morning. I debated waiting until a more decent hour to write it, but remembered I tried to do that with something else and forgot what I was going to write. So, despite it being freezing cold, I got up and wrote the first page of NAVB.
I haven't read over it yet, but thinking about it, I'm pretty pleased. It's not literary genius, but it doesn't suck. I think I'll keep it.

The current word count can be seen in its usual place. I've decided to add the date it was last updated, that way we'll all know how long I put off working on it. ;)

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Quick Writing Update

Last night, I got all my writing stuff together--name book, thesaurus, candy, post-its, pens, hightlighters, and music--and attempted to restart Not Another Vampire Book. I wrote 12 words, reread them, and erased them. The current word count, which is just the prologue, can be found on the right sidebar.

I'm going to attempt writing the first chapter again tonight. First, I have to think of something for the protagonist to do in the beginning. Wish me luck! :)

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Monday, January 4, 2010

Skybreaker by Kenneth Oppel

"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."
 
At first I thought I wouldn't like Skybreaker, even though I totally loved Airborn. The first chapter started off kinda slow and I found myself struggling to get into it. But then I got about halfway through the first chapter and couldn't put it down!
Skybreaker was a thrilling sequel to Airborn, though it had a bit less action. I was fine with that fact, though, because the last half of the book had enough action to make up for any slow spots. Also, if there had been more action, it would have thrown the story off. Things unfolded and progressed just as they should have, but without being predictable or boring.
Once again, Matt and Kate proved to be some of my favorite characters to read about. Matt's narration was interesting and honest. His struggle over his feelings for Kate and Nadira was fun to read about, even though it caused him quite a bit of pain. It was a little maddening how obsessed he was with money and impressing Kate, but also understandable somehow. I liked that he knew and admitted he thought about money and status more than he should have, rather than ramble on about it in his mind without noticing it was almost all he thought about.
Kate annoyed me a little in this one. I think it might have been because her side of the story was so vague, sine everything was told from Matt's point of view, and because Kate's behavior was frustrating Matt, so you couldn't help but feel a bit of that with him. I'm glad her strange behavior was explained in the end, though I felt like the problems between Matt and Kate were solved a little too quickly. They went from not talking to each other at all to being a couple in about two pages. I just hate it when problems are resolved so quickly (though I wonder if my opinion would be the same if the solution was dragged out over a whole chapter).
I didn't like Hal Slater. I simply didn't. He was annoying, he was cocky, and he was a liar. I know it sounds bad, but I kept hoping he would die. Also, his name frustrated me, it made me think of Saved by the Bell, something I never wish to think about. I was really happy when they stopped calling him Slater or Mr. Slater and just called him Hal.
Nadira annoyed me too. It just seemed like she was there to bring conflict to the group. She was an okay character in that she wasn't a sissy, but when her fighting skills really mattered, she was useless. I didn't like that.
Speaking of Nadira being useless, there's something I absolutely cannot review this book without addressing: The girls were treated like helpless children. As soon as they boarded the Hyperion, they became weak and defenseless. Matt and Hal were always watching out for the girls because they didn't appear to be able to watch out for themselves. It was always "make sure the girls have enough oxygen" and "the girls stumbled when the ship rocked". I wish they'd been less... girly.
Anyway, I should talk about the story.
The quest for the elusive Hyperion was interesting, though had a few slow spots. For about half of the book (possibly more), they were just sitting in the lounge aboard the Sagarmatha doing... nothing. Well, there was the awkwardness between Kate and Matt, Matt avoiding Kate and Nadira, and Hal being annoying to keep things interesting. Also, Miss Simpkins, Kate's chaperone, was present for most of the book, which proved to be quite interesting. Some of the things she said, like when she asked Nadira out of the blue if she could read palms (just because she was a gypsy) was kinda funny. It wasn't so much the question as everyones' reaction to it. For most of the book, she would just sit there reading or sewing and occasionally throw her two cents in. I was a bit surprised to find out that Miss Simpkins was only in her twenties (or early thirties), for I pictured her much older. Somewhere between forty and fifty. It was just the way she was always complaining about things, like the altitude, or the dry air, or the company.
The end of the book was rather exciting. I can't say much, because that would give away the story (something I really don't want to do), I will just say it was an excellent end for a wonderful beginning (beyond the first few pages) and middle. I can't wait to read the third book in the series, Starclimber.

I give Skybreaker four Fists of Rock.



Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Help Me Help You Help Me... I'm Lost

After much debate and trying to think of good questions, I've made a reader survey. I'd like to improve my blog as much as possible this year, and the best way to do that is to get a little feedback from my readers. So please take a few minutes to answer my quick survey.

Take the survey here!

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Saturday, January 2, 2010

100+ Reading Challenge 2010

Here's the second of the challenges I'll be doing this year: The 100+ Reading Challenge hosted by J. Kaye's Book Blog.

I'll add to the list as I go along, rather than deciding everything I'm going to read right now like I did for the 2010 Debut Author Challenge. Here's my TBR pile, if you're interested in seeing what I might read for the challenge.

JANUARY
1. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, 391 pages
2. The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1) by Lemony Snicket, 162 pages
3. The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson & the Olympians #3) by Rick Riordan, 312 pages
4. Candor by Pam Bachorz, 249 pages
5. Death Note vol. 1 by Tsugumi Ohba & Takeshi Obata, 193 pages
6. Dead Is So Last Year by Marlene Perez, 192 pages
7. Stormbreaker graphic novel by Anthony Horowitz, Antony Johnston, Kanako & Yuzuru, 144 pages
8. 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher, 288 pages

FEBRUARY
9. Clubbing by Andi Watson & Josh Howard, 146 pages
10. Wake by Lisa McMann, 210 pages
11. Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood by Eileen Cook, 261 pages
12. Vamped by Lucienne Diver, 230 pages
13. My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent, 279 pages

MARCH
14. Crocodile Tears by Anthony Horowitz, 385 pages
15. A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker, 278 pages
16. Evolution, Me, and Other Freaks of Nature by Robin Brand, 265 pages
17. Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev, 352 pages
18. The Forests of Silence by Emily Rodda, 131 pages
19. The Lake of Tears by Emily Rodda, 129 pages
20. City of the Rats by Emily Rodda, 132 pages
21. The Shifting Sands by Emily Rodda, 131 pages
22. Dread Mountain by Emily Rodda, 128 pages

APRIL
23. Hold Still by Nina LaCour, 229 pages
24. The Maze of the Beast by Emily Rodda, 129 pages
25. The Valley of the Lost by Emily Rodda, 129 pages
26. Return to Del by Emily Rodda, 136 pages
27. Cavern of the Fear by Emily Rodda, 143 pages
28. The Isle of Illusion by Emily Rodda, 147 pages
29. The Shadowlands by Emily Rodda, 155 pages
30. The Maze Runner by James Dasher, 374 pages
31. Fang by James Patterson, 309 pages
32. Dragon's Nest by Emily Rodda, 181 pages
33. Shadowgate by Emily Rodda, 195 pages

MAY
34. Perfect Shot by Debbie Rigaud, 281 pages
35. Isle of the Dead by Emily Rodda, 195 pages
36. The Sister of the South by Emily Rodda, 205
37. Witch & Wizard by James Patterson & Gabrielle Charbonnet, 307 pages
38. Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter, 263 pages

JUNE
39. Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen, 324 pages
40. Heist Society by Ally Carter, 287 pages
41. The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl by Barry Lyga, 311 pages
42. The Reckoning by Kellet Armstrong, 391 pages
43. The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket, 190 pages
44. Pants on Fire by Meg Cabot, 260 pages

JULY
45. Rising Shadow by Jacquelyn Wheeler, 375 pages
46. Prophecy of Days: The Daykeeper's Grimoire by Christy Raedeke, 352 pages
47. Incarceron by Catherine Fisher, 442 pages

AUGUST
48. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, 391 pages
49. The Awakening by Michael Carroll, 264 pages
50. House of Dark Shadows by Robert Liparulo, 286 pages
51. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, 390 pages

SEPTEMBER
52. The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell, 340 pages
53. Vampire Knight vol. 2 by Matsuri Hino, 186 pages
54. Runaways vol. 1: Pride & Joy by Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona, 144 pages
55. Runaways vol. 2: Teenage Wasteland by Brian K. Vaughan, Adrian Alphona, and Takeshi Miyazawa, 144 pages
56. Runaways vol. 3: Good Die Young by Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona, 144 pages
57. Another Faust by Daniel & Dina Nayeri, 387 pages
58. So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld, 225 pages

OCTOBER
59. White Cat by Holly Black, 310 pages
60. The Falcon's Malteser by Anthony Horowitz, 191 pages
61. Prom Crashers by Erin Downing, 233 pages
62. Death Note vol. 2 by Tsugumi Ohba & Takeshi Obata, 200
63. Troublemaker vol. 1 by Janet & Alex Evanovich, and Joelle Jones, 106 pages
64. La Corda d'Oro vol. 1 by Yuki Kure, 184 pages
65. Tenth Grade Bleeds by Heather Brewer, 292 pages
66. Prince of Tennis vol. 1 by Takeshi Konomi, 192 pages
67. Love*Com vol. 1 by Aya Nakahara, 192 pages
68. My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent, 279 pages
69. Love*Com vol. 2 by Aya Nakahara, 192 pages
70. Love*Com vol. 3 by Aya Nakahara, 192 pages
71. Love*Com vol. 4 by Aya Nakahara, 170 pages

NOVEMBER
72. Fruits Basket vol. 6 by Natsuki Takaya, 208
73. Naruto vol. 2 by Masashi Kishimoto, 205 pages
74. Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz, 302 pages
75. Bras and Broomsticks by Sarah Mlynowski, 310 pages
76. Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld, 485 pages
77. Dead Is the New Black by Marlene Perez, 190 pages
78. Maximum Ride Manga vol. 1 by James Patterson & NaRae Lee, 246 pages
79. Confessions of a Blabbermouth by Mike & Louise Corey and Aaron Alexovich, 153 pages
80. Kimmie66 by Aaron Alexovich, 148 pages
81. Catnipped by Michele Jaffe & Lince, 172 pages
82. Elemental Gelade vol. 1 by Mayumi Azuma, 176 pages
83. Ouran High School Host Club vol. 1 by Bisco Hatori, 184 pages
84. Ouran High School Host Club vol. 2 by Bisco Hatori, 192 pages
85. Ouran High School Host Club vol. 3 by Bisco Hatori, 192 pages
86. Ouran High School Host Club vol. 4 by Bisco Hatori, 184 pages
87. Dead Is a State of Mind by Marlene Perez, 175 pages

DECEMBER
88. Fruits Basket vol. 5 by Natsuki Takaya, 192 pages
89. Ouran High School Host Club vol. 5 by Bisco Hatori, 172 pages
90. Ouran High School Host Club vol. 6 by Bisco Hatori, 208 pages
91. Ouran High School Host Club vol. 7 by Bisco Hatori, 200 pages
92. Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder, 315 pages
93. Ouran High School Host Club vol. 8 by Bisco Hatori, 184 pages
94. Ouran High School Host Club vol. 9 by Bisco Hatori, 184 pages
95. Fruits Basket vol. 7 by Natsuki Takaya, 192 pages
96. Fruits Basket vol. 8 by Natsuki Takaya, 192 pages
97. Fruits Basket vol. 9 by Natsuki Takaya, 192 pages
98. Fruits Basket vol. 10 by Natsuki Takaya, 187 pages
99. Fruits Basket vol. 11 by Natsuki Takaya, 200 pages
100. Ouran High School Host Club vol. 10 by Bisco Hatori, 200 pages
101. Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci & Jim Rugg, 176 pages

Total pages read: 23,248

I really hope I can finish this challenge. I read just over half the required number of books last year, so it's gonna be hard.

Eclectically yours,

2010 Debut Author Challenge

I've decided to do a few challenges this year. I wanted to do some last year, but I didn't find out about any of them until it was too late for me to even think of completing them.

The Story Siren
So, the first challenge I'm doing is the 2010 Debut Author Challenge, hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.
Here's the list of books I might read for the challenge.

  1. Firespell by Chloe Neill*
  2. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
  3. The Line by Teri Hall
  4. Prophecy of Days by Christy Raedeke*
  5. The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell*
  6. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
  7. Whisper by Phoebe Kitanidis
  8. Other by Karen Kincy
  9. Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler
  10. The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
  11. Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
  12. Under My Skin by Judith Graves
  13. A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker*
  14. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa*
  15. Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon
  16. Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey
*own it

This might not be the final list, I'm not sure yet. They all sound good, but this was all put together kinda last minute, and I may change my mind later on (I do that, a lot). I gotta thank Kristi 1) for hosting the challenge, which sounds really fun and will be good for my personal library, and 2) for being incredibly helpful by posting a list and some sites for author debuting this year. It would have taken me a lot longer to make this list without her help. :)

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Friday, January 1, 2010

Rating Reads

Zombie Girrrl, Orchid, Holland and I have started a new blog, Rating Reads, for giving content ratings to books. I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't like smut or excessive swearing in my books. I try to find out what kind of content books have before I read them, but it's really hard sometimes. Some bloggers give content ratings, but not many, so it's really hard to find that info on a lot of books I want.
I'm hoping Rating Reads will be helpful to other readers like me, who are picky about the content of their books. What I really hope is that books will get official ratings, like movies and video games.



That's really all I can think to say here. We've got a few ratings up already, it would be much appriciated if you check it out. I hope to see you over there! ^_^

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

2010

I've decided to post my resolutions for 2010. But first, let's talk about my resolutions for 2009. This will be very brief, because I didn't complete ANY of them. Not a single one. I almost finished the last one, twice, in fact, but both attempts failed. :P

Anyway, on to my new resolutions.
  1. First, things concerning Not Another Vampire Book. Finish rewriting NAVB before summer. Edit it over the summer. Hand it over to my editor (Zombie Girrrl) in September. Start editing again in October. Have it ready to read by winter. It's gonna be hard, but it must be done. If I'm lucky, I'll actually be abe to do all that, then I can add "get a lit agent" to my resolutions for 2011. ;)
  2. Read more books. I read just over 50 books in 09, which is just sad. I want to read a minimum of five books a month (there were a few months where I only read one! Insanity!).
  3. Again, learn to play my guitar. I'm not even sure if I should put this again since I did absolutely nothing for it last year. But I really should. I've had it since I was 12... or 13, I can't remember. I should know how to play it by now.
  4. Reach 150 followers. It may not seem like much, especially since I already have 90, but it seems like I lose a follower every time I gain one, so it's gonna be hard.
  5. Post more. I have over 50 drafts sitting around. How did I get so many drafts?! I really need to post some of those (I bet I'd have a lot less if I went through and cleaned out the irrelevant ones).
  6. Catch up on my reviews and improve them. If you look at my Books Read in 2009 post, you'll notice quite a few without reviews posted. I should also try to review the mangas I read, but I find this difficult, so it might be a while before you see another manga review here.
  7. Improve Q&A Friday (I dislike it so much, I'm not even going to link to it). I feel like the questions are kinda... lame. I should really work on them, and maybe change the format for getting interviews. Not sure what I'm gonna do with the latter yet, but I'll figure something out.
  8. Comment more! I've become a blog lurker, and I don't like it. Sometimes I just have trouble thinking of something to add, or just don't have time. But most of the time I'm just too lazy to comment. I'm a lazy lurker! Waaah! T_T I really need to work on that.
I really hope to complete all of these this year (they wouldn't be on the list otherwise). I just wonder if I can...

Happy New Year, everyone!

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia