Friday, April 30, 2010

Funday Friday! Featuring.... Simone Elkeles!

Ahhhhh! I went this week without posting. I'm sorry! I probably wont be posting a lot until Tuesday because that is my last final. But then I have the whole summer to post so don't worry! Today we have one of my favorite authors, Simone Elkeles! Here's the interview. Enjoy!

1. Where did you get the idea for Perfect Chemistry? The How To Ruin Series?

"I base Perfect Chemistry off of Highland Park High School, which is near my house. It’s a high school that mirrors Fairfield. I wanted to explore what might happen when a boy and girl from different sides of town and a different socioeconomic status fall hard for each other.

The How to Ruin series is based off of my own experiences as an American teen going to Israel for the summer and interacting with Israelis. The exact things that happen to Amy are fiction, I’ll admit, but some things did actually happen to me. It’s so great writing fun, humorous novels like the How to Ruin series. Everywhere Amy goes in Israel I’ve been, even on the military base/boot camp!"

2. Have you always been good at writing/ wanted to be a writer?

"No. I hated reading as a teen and didn't like English class. I never even took a creative writing class, because that was an elective and I wouldn't have chosen it. I try and write books that I think I would have liked to read as a teen. It's awesome when I get email from teens who say they hate to read but love my books."

3. If you could work with any other author, who would it be?

"Oh, that is SUCH a hard question! I’m sure I’m missing a bunch. I guess I'd love to work with John Green, Alex Sanchez, Stephenie Meyer (although I think I'm too edgy for her so it probably wouldn't work), or Meg Cabot."

4. Are there any parts of your books that are based on events in your own life?

"Since Amy Nelson is the character most like me (although all my characters have aspects of me in them) the How to Ruin a Summer Vacation series has the most parts in it that are like my life. Everywhere Amy goes in the books, I’ve been (yes, I even went kayaking down the Jordan river and shot an M16 in a “fun” summer military boot camp I signed up for to know what it was like to be an Israeli soldier! Not an experience I want to repeat because I’m such a princess.)"

5. How long did it take to find an agent/publish your book after finishing the manuscript?

"It took me five years to get published. I started writing in 2000 and sold my first book in 2005 (it wasn’t released until 2006, but I signed the contract in 2005). It took me five years to get an agent, but she sold my book within two months."

6. What advice would you give to people who "run out of creativity" when writing?

"Keep writing and never give up. Shock the reader and shock yourself. Make yourself uncomfortable by putting your characters in impossible situations. It’ll make your book a better book, and you’ll tap into that creativity!"

7. What's your favorite part of a book?

"Writing THE END because finishing the book is such an accomplishment. It’s so surreal and wonderful to create a book from scratch!"

(Now for a couple fun questions)
8. Favorite song?

"True Companion by Marc Cohen"

9. If you were going to be stuck on a deserted island, which book, movie, food, and person(s) would you take?

"Book: Perfect Chemistry

Movie: She’s the Man

Food: pizza or sushi

Person: I’d need two: (apologies to my husband first) Alexander F. Rodriguez and Giancarlo Vidrio (the boys who played my heroes in my book trailer for Rules of Attraction)
OR: JT from Survivor because he’s been through it a couple of times"

10. Five of your favorite things?

"My kids
My iPhone (I know this is obnoxious, but it’s true)
My computer (I wouldn’t be an author without it because I have horrendous handwriting)"

There it is everyone! The wonderful Simone Elkeles. I personally agree with her choice on which people to take, because have you seen that video? Those boys are smokin'! Anyway, if you love Simone's books or want to learn more about her, head on over to her website!! Hope you liked the interview everyone, and I promise i'll have a review in the next couple days! Thanks for still reading :)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Contest Winner!

Hey guys! Just stopping in to let you know who won the contest!
Thanks to everyone who entered-- I really enjoyed reading the entries!
It was really hard for me to decide the winner. There were 3 answers that I kept reading over and over trying to make myself pick just one. But, after reading them several more times, I finally picked a winner. The winner is Liz! She told me all about how and why she loved Walk Two Moons. So, Liz, e-mail me your shipping address and I'll send your books over!
But wait! Like I said, I had a really hard time picking just one winner. There were two other entries that I really, really loved. So, Erin R. (who picked Harry Potter 1) and Miranda (who picked Just Listen), if you want a small little prize, I can mail you an autographed bookmark from Kristina Springer! E-mail me if you guys are interested!
Once again, thanks to everyone who entered and keep an eye out for more contests!
Happy Reading :)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Funday Friday! Featuring.... Kristin Walker!

Hey everyone! Today I've got an author interview for you! Recently, I posted a review of the book A Match Made In High School. I told you guys how awesome and hilarious it was and now I've got the author here for you guys! Hope you guys enjoy!

1. Where did you get the idea for A Match Made In High School?

"It just sort of came to me one morning. I thought it would be potentially hysterical, so I started working on it. I set it aside after a couple of chapters, but I came back to it a few months later and finished the draft."

2. Have you always been good at writing/ wanted to be a writer?

"I actually always wanted to be an actor. I was a theatre major in college. But when my first baby came along, I wanted to do something from home, so I turned to writing. It took a long time to get published, though. About a decade. Those are the years I learned to write. I was an okay essay writer, but I had a lot to learn about writing fiction. I still have a lot to learn!"

3. If you could work with any other author, who would it be?

"I'd love to write with Kristina Springer because she is so so funny and such a great, effortless writer. She also lives about 25 minutes from me and we hang out all the time. I'm laughing right now thinking about some of the goofing we've done. She cracks me up so much!"

4. Are there any parts of your books that are based on events in your own life?

"Well, there are a couple of characters who were inspired by real-life people, but as far as passages or situations, not much. I was a geek cheerleader, however. There's a picture in the bio on my website ( Just one of many dorky pictures of my life, haha."

5. How long did it take to find an agent/publish your book after finishing the manuscript?

"It took me about 6 months of querying to find my agent, and the book sold a few months later. But I had queried a whole list of agents on a (terrible) middle grade novel years ago. MATCH was actually my second shot at getting an agent. But I'm thrilled with how it worked out because my agent is crazy-awesome."

6. What advice would you give to people who "run out of creativity" when writing?

"Turn to your own stories. Find a picture or a post in your blog and see if you can spin a story out of it. It doesn't have to be a whole book, but sometimes when you just start doing some fun-writing, a great idea will bubble up."

7. What's your favorite part of a book?

"My favorite part of a book I'm reading is the climactic scene where the main character finally overcomes the conflict. I especially like it if there's a whole lot of romantic smooching.

My favorite part of a book I'm writing is finishing the very first draft. I know there will be a ton of work to revise it, but it's such a great feeling to have something finished, even if it's rough."

(Now for a couple fun questions)

8. Favorite song?

"I can't pick just one! Okay, I put this one in the book: "What a Good Boy" by the Barenaked Ladies. It reminds me of when my husband and I were dating (he's also a Canadian)."

9. If you were going to be stuck on a deserted island, which book, movie, food, and person(s) would you take?

"Book: Anne of Green Gables
Movie: Normally, I'd pick "Jaws," but seeing as I'd be on an island, maybe that wouldn't be the best choice. It would have to be something funny, anyway. Either "Waiting for Guffman" or "Best in Show."
Food: Hot buttered popcorn
Person: The hubs and kids, of course. And our dog, Piper."

10. Five of your favorite things?

"Hershey Bars
Fresh lilacs
My kids' laughter
Ballroom dancing
Clean, line-dried sheets"

So there you have it everyone! They lovely and hilarious Kristin Walker. If you liked her book or her interview, or just want to find out more about her, check out her website at! I thought her answers were awesome! Thanks for checking in, Happy Reading everyone!

PS: Don't forget to enter the contest! Today is your last chance. Get your entries in by midnight! You could win some cool signed stuff! Check out the Contest entry for the rest of the details. Good Luck!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Hey everyone! Whoooo two posts in two days! You should be proud :)
Someone asked me about Perfect Chemistry yesterday so I figured I would review that one today. It's written by one of my favorite authors, Simone Elkeles. The description of this book is:

When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.

I had heard good things about this book from my reader friend, Lauren, and I already love Simone Elkeles, so I was excited for this one. I've definitely never read a book quite like this one. It's so diverse and real. It was very, very well written. I loved how Simone wrote it in alternate points of view too so we could see the situation from both characters and know their true feelings. When I first started reading, I didn't like Brittany at all. But after reading some more and finding out more about her, I started to like her a lot. I was really anxious to see how the story would end because of how complicated everything was. Simone does a good job of telling the story in a real and factual way. This book will definitely capture your heart and make you want a love like Alex and Brittany's. I recommend this book to most people, but there are some mature content included (such as sex, gang violence, etc.), so if you're younger or your child is younger, I'd be aware. They had this at my local library so it should be easy for you guys to find. Hope you enjoy! Happy Reading!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott

Hey everyone! I'm so glad you guys are still reading this because I've been a horrible blogger lately :( College life is just so hectic right now that I haven't had a lot of time to blog. I know I say that all the time.. but it's true! So I'll have a review today and tomorrow and a nice interview for Friday :)
On with the review! Today's book is Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott. The description of this book is:

My name is Danielle. I'm eighteen. I've been stealing things for as long as I can remember.

Dani has been trained as a thief by the best--her mother. Together, they move from town to town, targeting wealthy homes and making a living by stealing antique silver. They never stay in one place long enough to make real connections, real friends--a real life

In the beach town of Heaven, though, everything changes. For the first time, Dani starts to feel at home. She's making friends and has even met a guy. But these people can never know the real Dani--because of who she is. When it turns out that her new friend lives in the house they've targeted for their next job and the cute guy is a cop, Dani must question where her loyalties lie: with the life she's always known--or the one she's always wanted.

I was so excited to read this one! I love all of Elizabeth Scott's books and this one sounded so unique! Which, as it turns out, totally was unique! This book captures you right from the very first page. It also makes you fall in love with the whole town of Heaven. I wish I lived in a nice place like that where everyone knows each other and everyone is nice. I also loved Greg. Greg was so adorable and so nice! Elizabeth is really good at creating lovable boys in her stories. She should just like, write my life or something. I have a feeling it would be much more exciting that way. Stealing Heaven was a great read and it was so unpredictable that it was refreshing. Sometimes when books are too predictable I'm just like, come on, really? But I couldn't see anything coming with this book. I could not wait till the end! I would recommend this book to anyone, really. It's a quite interesting book so go pick it up! Try it out! I'm sure you'll like it :)
Happy Reading!

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Match Made In High School by Kristin Walker

Hey everyone! Sorry for the lack of posts-- I had two tests, an english paper, and a bunch of math homework all due this week! Unfortunately, I don't have an author interview today, but I should have one for next weekend! I do have a review for you guys though. It's A Match Made In High School by Kristin Walker! The description of this book is:

When the principal announces that every senior must participate in a mandatory year-long Marriage Education program, Fiona Sheehan believes that her life can't get any worse. That's until she marries her “husband”: jerky jock Todd, whose cheerleader girlfriend, Amanda, has had it in for Fiona since day one of second grade. Even worse? Amanda is paired with Fiona's long-term crush, Gabe. At least Fiona is doing better than her best friend, Marcie, who is paired up with the very quiet, very dorky, very big Johnny Mercer.

Pranks, fights, misunderstandings, and reconciliations ensue in an almost Shakespearean comedy of errors about mistaken first impressions, convoluted coupling, and hidden crushes.

When I had an interview with Kristina Springer, she answered one of the questions by saying that she would love to work with Kristin Walker because she was hilarious. I thought she meant as a person, but I guess it's both! I laughed out loud so many times throughout this book. You guys know how I always say I love sarcasm and jokes that make me laugh in books? This book definitely does that. I was laughing so much and so hard that my roommate ended up asking me what the heck I was laughing at-- it was that funny. It's also not your typical story. This book takes a lot of twists and turns that you wouldn't expect, and I loved how it ended. Kristin Walker is a very awesome and talented author and I can't wait until her next book! I should be having an interview with her soon so make sure you guys stay tuned to check that out! I absolutely recommend this book to everyone. I guarantee you will laugh at least once! Happy Reading!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Contest update and other stuff

Hey guys! Just wanted to drop in and clear up a few things. There have been questions about the contest so I'll just post all the rules here in a list. Sorry I didn't really make everything clear-- I'm still new to this!
Here are the rules:

1. To enter, tell me your absolute favorite book and why. Then post a link to this blog on your facebook, twitter, myspace, a blog, etc. If you don't have any of those things, you can still enter-- I just added that last part on so we can spread the word a bit about this blog. Post all of that in a comment to either this entry, or the Funday Friday entry talking about the contest.

2. I'm extending the contest to next Friday, April 24th until Midnight. So tell all your friends and start telling me about your favorite books! :)

3. Because of cost reasons, I can only open this to U.S. residents. If you have someone in the United States that can receive the package for you though, you can still enter.

Hope that answers all your questions! Enter away!

PS: There will be a review up later today-- probably around 2 or 3pm eastern time. I would do it now but I just got back from class so I'm going to take a nap :)
Happy Reading!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Hey guys! I just got back from Pittsburgh from meeting one of my favorite actors! I'm a teeny bit obsessed with the show Ghost Whisperer and I absolutely love Jim, who is the main character's husband. His character is just so, so sweet and romantic. I'm a sucker for a romantic guy, even if they're, um, fictional. So anyway, I met the actor, David Conrad, today and it was awesome! Photo!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
How awesome!!

Okay, time for the review. Today's book is The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. The description of this book is:

Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life—and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey's boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie's own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they're the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can't collide without the whole wide world exploding.

I had heard of this book before I got it, and when I saw it in my package from Elizabeth Scott, I got really excited. Susane Colasanti had blurbed about it on her blog and said it was wonderful, so I figured it had to be good. I was not ready for how good though. Jandy's writing is truly beautiful. She has such great talent. This is the best form of writing I've read since Sarah Dessen. The story was very, very captivating and it was like you were there with the characters. This book almost made me cry several times but I'm just really good at not letting the tears fall. This book will make your heart break, swell, and break all over again. There are so many emotions in this book and the poetry throughout adds even more. I think I need to meet my own Joe Fontaine. Hopefully boys like him actually exist. I truly cannot wait to read Jandy's next book. I'm sure it will be just as great as her debut. If you're looking for something that will have a great impact on you, this one's for you. I definitely recommend this one to everyone out there. Happy Reading everyone and don't forget to enter the contest!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Funday Friday!.... Contest! Plus New Layout

Hey everybody! As you can tell, I changed the layout. I thought this one was really cute. I seem to get bored with Layouts really easily...
Anyway! Today we have another contest. Whooo! This time, I think it's a little more fun :)
For this contest, I want you to tell me your ULTIMATE favorite book and why and then post a link to this blog on facebook, twitter, your own blog, etc. The best answer will get the prize!
What's the prize you ask? The prize is a signed and hardcover copy of Invisible I by Melissa Kantor, an ARC of Before I fall by Lauren Oliver and a signed bookmark by Kristina Springer. And like last time, if I get a significant amount of new followers, I'll add another book!
I'll keep this contest open until next Friday, April 16th at midnight. So enter away people and tell me your favorite book! I'm interested in seeing what everyone picks :)

Also, I will be posting a review of Jandy Nelson's book The Sky Is Everywhere on Sunday. Thanks for checkin' in! Happy Reading!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Hey everyone! Today's book is Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. The description of this book is:

Samantha Kingston has it all: the world’s most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High, from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12 should be just another day in her charmed life.

Instead, it turns out to be her last.

Fortunately, she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

I had heard a lot of good things about this book before I started reading it. I was going to get it from my library once they received it, but to my surprise, it wound up in my package of books from Elizabeth Scott! I was so excited when I saw it and The Sky Is Everywhere. I thought this book was pretty good. I loved it, but at the same time, some of the parts in the middle kind of dragged on a bit. I understand why Lauren put those things in the book but some of it just kind of bored me. But! I overall did really like it a lot. This book is another intense one and you'll be surprised to see how it ends. It's a very heart wrenching book too. I loved this first novel and I can't wait to read more of Lauren Oliver's work. I also think this would be a really good movie! They should definitely make it one :)
Sorry today's review is a little short!

Also, if you guys want some free Susane Colasanti books, she's having a contest over at her blog to win some spiffy new Paperback versions that just went on sale today! It's a fun contest so head on over and check it out!
Susane's Blog:

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Funday Friday! Featuring.... Elizabeth Eulberg!

Okay, okay. I know it's Saturday. I COMPLETELY forgot about posting this yesterday. But! It is here now and it's only like, 24 hours late. So I don't think it's that bad, right? Anyway, this week's Funday Friday (Saturday) is featuring Elizabeth Eulberg. I met her while in NYC and she was super nice! We had a cool conversation and she was full of fun-ness. Here's the interview:

1. Where did you get the idea for The Lonely Hearts Club?

"I was out one night with a friend that we all have – the one who only wants to hang out when her boyfriend isn’t around. She was, once again, getting attention from guys and I started having a pity party for myself, but then I thought “I have so many awesome, single girlfriends, we should get together every Saturday and enjoy being single!” I realized that would be a great idea for a book and The Lonely Hearts Club was born!"

2. Have you always been good at writing/ wanted to be a writer?

"I’m continually working on being a better writer, but I really didn’t think that I would ever be a writer. I still have a hard time considering myself an author. An author – who, me? I did always enjoy writing, but it wasn’t until I was encouraged by an author I worked with (Dav Pilkey) that I had the confidence to try writing a book."

3. If you could work with any other author, who would it be?

"Jane Austen, but since that’s impossible, I’m currently working on a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice, entitled Prom and Prejudice, which will be out in early 2011."

4. Are there any parts of your books that are based on events in your own life?

"Unfortunately, a lot of the break-up stories in The Lonely Hearts Club are based on either something that has happened to me or one of my friends. Like Penny, I also worked in a dental office (but it wasn’t my father’s) and my sister wasn’t paying any attention to me when I was two and I fell off a bunk bed. I put that story in mostly to make my sister Meg laugh and I believe that is her favorite part of the book."

5. How long did it take to find an agent/publish your book after finishing the manuscript?

"I started writing The Lonely Hearts Club in the spring/summer of 2004. I didn’t send the manuscript to an agent until mid-2006. Fortunately because of my career in publishing, I already new some literary agents which helped me to secure one. Even so, I worked on many edits of LHC with my agent and we didn’t send it out until mid-2008 to publishers. I signed with Scholastic in July 2008."

6. What advice would you give to people who "run out of creativity" when writing?

'Get up from the computer and do something else, take a break. I find when I need to rethink a line or plot point, I’ll go to the gym or get some coffee. Staring at a computer screen has never helped me so I’ll do something else and generally an idea will come to me when I’m least expecting it!"

7. What's your favorite part of a book?

"I really like it when a character either gets his or her comeuppance or a character is finally vindicated for something. I like happy endings!"

(Now for a couple fun questions)
8. Favorite song?

"So hard! I have so many favorite songs, but my song of the moment is Elbow’s “One Day Like This” – I listen to it a few times a day. It is so beautiful and uplifting."

9. If you were going to be stuck on a deserted island, which book, movie, food, and person(s) would you take?

"Pride and Prejudice; Moulin Rouge; if refrigeration wasn’t an issue, my mother’s cheeseball (I am from Wisconsin after all!); and Gary Lightbody from Snow Patrol because I’d make him sing to me (what else would he have to do?)."

10. Five of your favorite things?

"My iPod (I can’t leave home without it!)
My Les Paul electric guitar
Going to Concerts
Glee (is it possible to NOT smile while watching that show?)
Friends – I don’t really consider them “things” but I can’t imagine life without them!"

Hope you guys enjoyed it! I Love Snow Patrol and Glee also! I'm a huge Gleek :) Make sure you guys check out Elizabeth's website at! She also has Facebook and Twitter.
Keep on checking in with the blog because next week there will be another contest! I also have more reviews lined up-- I've been reading like crazy! :)
Happy Reading!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

Hey everyone! Today is such a nice day in Ohio! It's sunny and like, 70 some degrees! I hope wherever you are, It's just as nice for you. Today's book is Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott. The description is:

Once upon a time, I was a little girl who disappeared.
Once upon a time, my name was not Alice.
Once upon a time, I didn’t know how lucky I was.

When Alice was ten, Ray took her away from her family, her friends – her life. She learned to give up all power, to endure all pain. She waited for the nightmare to be over.
Now Alice is fifteen and Ray still has her, but he speaks more and more of her death. He does not know it is what she longs for. She does not know he has something more terrifying than death in mind for her.
This is Alice’s story. It is one you have never heard, and one you will never, ever forget.

When I finished this book, all I could think was Oh my gosh. This book is intense. So, so intense. It is a very well written book, but very serious. Like, I would say only people 14/15+ should read it. It is such a powerful story. I think we're lucky that Elizabeth Scott was the one to write it. She has such talent in making us feel the emotions her characters feel. I was watching one of Elizabeth's V-blogs on the Readergirlz website and she said another author said that no one should read this book, ever. I think that is complete crap. Every story deserves a chance doesn't it? This story, I think, is one that should be read by many. People may not understand that things like this happen all the time. Elizabeth Scott took a risk by writing this book and having it published and for that I give her tremendous credit. Elizabeth is one powerful writer and she seems ultimately fearless. She writes what needs to be wrote. And to her, Alice's story was one people needed to hear.
If you're looking for a book that will put you in a happy mood, this one isn't for you. But, if you're looking for a book that is great, true, and full of intensity, this one is for you. I hope you older folks check this one out-- it's worth a chance. It's only a little under 200 pages also, so it's a quick read. They will probably have it at your library so I would check for it there first. Happy reading everyone! :)