Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

I just wanted to wish everyone a very happy and safe Halloween!

Also, there is this awesome contest over at Book City Chick where you can win 3 bundles of 7 books. Go check it out and enter. Contest ends tomorrow @noon.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hush, Hush Launch Contest at Becca Fitzpatrick's Livejournal

Check out Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. If you head over to Becca's livejournal you can enter two contests to win a signed copy of Hush, Hush, as well as a bunch of swag.

Here's some info:
1. The Big HUSH, HUSH Launch Contest

Many of my author friends have done this, and since I love the idea, I think I can't NOT do it. Contest rules: be the FIRST to capture a picture of HUSH, HUSH out in the wild (be it at your local indie store, Barnes and Noble, Borders, Books-A-Million, etc.) and email it to me (becca at beccafitzpatrick dot com) and I'll send you a prize pack including:

1 signed copy of HUSH, HUSH (hardback)
1 $10 iTunes card
1 HUSH, HUSH tee

2. The Really Big HUSH, HUSH Launch Contest

Take a picture of you with HUSH, HUSH (hardcover, not ARC) and post it to your blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc. between now and October 31st, and enter for a chance to win the really big prize pack, including:

1 signed copy of HUSH, HUSH (hardback)
1 audiobook
1 bag of HUSH, HUSH personalized M&Ms
1 HUSH, HUSH tee
1 HUSH, HUSH locker poster
1 $10 iTunes card
A five-page critique from my agent, Catherine Drayton, plus she'll help you whip your query letter into shape!

Email me the link(s) to your pictures (becca at beccafitzpatrick dot com), and I'll give you one entry point for every location you post. Also, I'm more than happy to ship internationally, so if you're from, say, The Netherlands, and happen to be in Los Angles or London or Des Moines during October and take a picture of yourself with HUSH, HUSH, as long as you post the picture and email me the link(s), you're entered.

Make sure the picture includes both you and HUSH, HUSH. Oh, yeah. And maybe, just maybe, there will be bonus points for creativity!

Contest ends October 31st, so hurry up and enter!

Project 17 by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Title: Project 17
Author: Laurie Faria Stolarz
Publisher: Hyperion
Paperback, 248 pages
Date Published: June 9, 2009 (Reprint)

Description (Taken from Amazon)
High atop Hathorne Hill, near Boston, sits Danvers State Hospital. Built in 1878 and closed in 1992, this abandoned mental institution is rumored to be the birthplace of the lobotomy. On the eve of the hospital's demolition, six teens break in to spend the night and film a movie about their experiences. For Derik, it's an opportunity to win a filmmaking contest and save himself from a future of flipping burgers at his parents' diner. For the others, it's a chance to be on TV, or a night with no parents. But what starts as a dare quickly escalates into a nightmare. Behind the crumbling walls, down every dark passageway, and in each deserted room, they will unravel the mysteries of those who once lived there and the spirits who still might.
Project 17 is a ghost story. It’s about these high school students who appear to have nothing in common, but all come together to make a movie in an abandoned mental institute that is scheduled to be knocked down. The mental institution sits high atop a hill in Danvers, MA and has a long history of patient abuse and mistreatment. People view the place as being haunted because so many people died there. Derick, a bad boy ‘playa’ who knows he’s going to be stuck taking over his parent’s diner once he graduates, decides to enter a film contest as his final hope of escaping the life he’s stuck in. He recruits five other students to be in his film, all of whom have their own reasons for doing it. They go in a little frightened, but once the night is over, their lives are forever changed.

The story is told from the different perspectives of the teens with each getting their own backstory. I have to say that it was a bit of a slow start, but once the kids went into the mental institute, I was hooked. The descriptions alone were eerie, creepy, and at times, downright scary. You can feel the atmosphere change from Derick’s first step into Danvers State Hospital. Everything becomes more thrilling and more mysterious. It was an exquisitely creepy thrill-ride.

Laurie Faria Stolarz truly knows how to speak teenager. She does an excellent job creating these characters that have such distinct voices and personalities. There is definitely a sort of Breakfast Club feel to everything, but it’s not overdone at all. Each character has a purpose, even if it’s minimal, and they each add an emotional aspect that makes the story that much better.

This was a great read, especially around Halloween.


November Novella Challenge

This is my acceptance post to the November Novella Challenge. It's my first challenge, so I'm excited to get underway. The challenge is hosted by J.T. at Bibliofreak.
The levels of participation are as follows:
Level I: Read one (just one!) novella by November 30, 2009
Level II: Read four novellas (one each week, mayhaps?) by November 30, 2009
Level III: Read eight novellas (two a week?) by November 30, 2009
Level IV: AKA, the As Many As You Freakin’ Can level: Read as many novellas as you freakin’ can by November 30, 2009

For more details visit the challenge site posted above.

I'm tentatively signing up at a Level II, but I may bump up to a Level III. This is my reading list:
1. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
2. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
3. The Pearl by John Steinbeck
4. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Depending upon how fast I read everything, I might move A Christmas Carol to later in the month, so it's closer to the holiday season when I read it.

That's it :D I'll update as I read them and add any if necessary.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

In My Mailbox - (10/26/09)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It is a list of any of the books you may have received in the past week from bookstores, libraries, authors/publishers, trades, etc.

After promising myself that I wouldn't buy any books this week, I caved and spent money I really shouldn't have spent.

Deadly Little Lies by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
The Maze Runner by James Dashner

An awesome Hush, Hush poster randomly sent to me by Simon & Schuster

I just wanted to let everyone know that I'm going to be reviewing some adult books along with YA. The three I picked up this week will hopefully be reviewed sometime in November.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Music Mondays - (10/26/09)

I know this is super late, but I've been extremely busy all day long. I wanted to get in all of the posts that I had planned for today, so I'm gonna start now.

For today's Music Mondays, I chose to spotlight Between the Trees
They're album Spain was released this year and it is leaps and bounds ahead of their first album. Check them out:

Laurie Faria Stolarz Signing

This past Saturday October 24th, I was lucky enough to attend a Q&A and book signing by both Laurie Faria Stolarz and Megan Kelly Hall at Barnes & Noble in Peabody, MA. Both authors are local to the area and are continuing their tour throughout Massachusetts this month and into next month. Most of the people there seemed to be there for Laurie, though there were a few for Megan as well. That being said, this will mostly focus on Laurie and what she had to say at the Q&A.

Lauria Faria Stolarz is the author of the Blue is for Nightmares series, Bleed, Project 17, and the new Touch Series.

Deadly Little Lies, the follow-up to Deadly Little Secret, is scheduled to be released November 10, 2009, but I was lucky enough to get a copy on Saturday. Laurie's publisher was able to get 40 copies of the book at the local B&N for the signing. I haven't started reading it just yet because I'm swamped with school stuff, but I hope to start it soon.

Here's some tidbits that I remember from the Q&A:
  • Prior to becoming published authors, Laurie was a business major and Megan had some well-known professors who were authors or involved in the industry (I distinctly remember her talking about her professor who is Leo Tolstoy's granddaughter and how she ripped her writing apart)
  • Laurie tries to write 10 pages per week when she's working on something. Megan is a procrastinator and lets things simmer for a while
  • Both women wrote about the Danvers State Hospital, an abandoned mental institute that was shut down in 1992 (Laurie-Project 17 & Megan-Sisters of Misery)
  • Both use their Massachusetts roots in their stories
  • Laurie's novel Bleed was written for an adult audience, but the publisher felt it fit better in the YA genre
  • Laurie loves writing novels in a series and developing characters over several books
  • Deadly Little Game, the third novel in the Touch series is already complete. It's still being edited, but is scheduled to be released around this time next year.
  • Laurie only likes to give her characters 'powers' that she feels could exist in real life
  • Blue is for Nightmares has been optioned to be a film, but nothing has come of it yet.
Both Laurie and Megan were extremely nice and if you live in the area you should definitely go and say hi. I know they're holding a Friday the 13th seance (November 13th) in Marblehead.

Check out Laurie's website and Megan's website and make sure you pick up Deadly Little Lies on November 10th.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Princess Bookie Read-a-thon Contest-a-thon

Everyone head over to Princess Bookie to enter a slew of contests. They only go to about midnight tonight, so start entering.

Here's a link to the contest Rules

In other news, I went to a signing by Laurie Faria Stolarz, so be on the lookout for a post about it in the coming days.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Title: Deadly Little Secret
Author: Laurie Faria Stolarz
Publisher: Hyperion
Hardcover, 252 pages
Release Date: December 23, 2008

Description (Taken from Amazon)
Some secrets shouldn't be kept...

Up until three months ago, everything in sixteen-year-old Camelia's life had been fairly ordinary: decent grades; an okay relationship with her parents; and a pretty cool part-time job at the art studio downtown. But when Ben, the mysterious new guy, starts junior year at her high school, Camelia's life becomes anything but ordinary.

Rumored to be somehow responsible for his ex-girlfriend's accidental death, Ben is immediately ostracized by everyone on campus. Except for Camelia. She's reluctant to believe the rumors, even when her friends try to convince her otherwise. She's inexplicably drawn to Ben...and to his touch. But soon, Camelia is receiving eerie phone calls and strange packages with threatening notes. Ben insists she is in danger, and that he can help--but can he be trusted? She knows he's hiding something... but he's not the only one with a secret.
Deadly Little Secret is a story about mystery, stalkers, and a bad boy that we know we shouldn’t want, but do anyway. Camelia Hammond is the average high school student who has a near death experience with the new bad boy. She is drawn to him by the way he touched her and she sees past the label that everyone else gives him. New bad boy Ben has some dark secrets and his arrival coincides with Camelia receiving some not-so-welcome packages. Camelia is determined to figure out who is sending her stalker notes, befriend the bad boy/new lab partner Ben, and do all her school stuff at the same time. It could be exhausting, but Laurie Faria Stolarz ties it all together so well, that it never seems convoluted.

I picked up this book as a spur of the moment thing and I’m really glad that I did. The novel is short, topping out at 252 pages and the only bad thing I have to complain about is that I wish it had been longer. Camelia is a strong female character and I really enjoyed her voice. She becomes attracted to Ben throughout the story, but she never throws caution to the wind to pursue him. She remains rational and never really loses herself in a boy. Ben is the mysterious bad boy that no one seems to understand. His past is very interesting and it’s easy to see why Camelia is so intrigued by him.

The stalker aspect of the story is incredibly creepy. I love how the stalker’s diary entries are part of the book. It certainly adds a degree of ‘sketchball’ to the guy. The diary entries also help to offset the romanticism. Using the creepy diary entries reminds the reader that it’s not all about Camelia and Ben, but that there’s a bigger picture as well. The way we see the bigger picture is so explosive and raw that I was unable to put the book down towards the end.

Deadly Little Secret is well-written, funny, witty, sexy, creepy, and so many other contradicting adjectives. It was an excellent (but short) read and I look forward to seeing where the series goes.  
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it

Check out the book trailer:

New Background!!

Hi everyone!

I just wanted to apologize for the constantly changing background. I've been trying to find something that really suits me well and I think this is it. I really love this new background/layout, so I think this will stay for quite a while.

Thanks for sticking with me :D


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink

Title: Prophecy of the Sisters
Author: Michelle Zink
Publisher: Little, Brown
Hardcover, 352 pages
Release Date: August 1, 2009

Description (Taken from Amazon)
An ancient prophecy divides two sisters-

One good...

One evil...

Who will prevail?

Twin sisters Lia and Alice Milthorpe have just become orphans. They have also become enemies. As they discover their roles in a prophecy that has turned generations of sisters against each other, the girls find themselves entangled in a mystery that involves a tattoo-like mark, their parents' deaths, a boy, a book, and a lifetime of secrets.

Lia and Alice don't know whom they can trust.

They just know they can't trust each other.
Prophecy of the Sisters is a Gothic novel set in Victorian New York. The story focuses on twin sisters, Lia and Alice, who are a part of this centuries old prophecy that pits them against one another. Lia is the main character and we only see Alice through Lia’s eyes, but you get a feel for each girl’s distinctive personality. The story starts off with death of the girl’s father and the appearance of a strange tattoo-like mark on Lia’s wrist. From there we get a view into their family, friends, and the paranormal that now surrounds their lives.

After a strange encounter spurs Lia into investigative mode, she becomes determined to discover the reason for the mark on her wrist, and for her sister’s increasingly strange behavior. What she discovers is that her family has some deep, dark secrets that she was never privy to, but that she would soon become the center of.

The thing about this book is that it is so different from any other YA book that I’ve ever read and it was a little harder to get into the swing of it at first. Michelle uses the most beautiful language and has developed these incredible characters, so once I started reading it more, I quickly found myself thoroughly involved in the story. Lia is such an emotional character that the reader can’t help but want to know where the story is taking her. Alice, on the other hand, is only seen through Lia’s eyes. She is portrayed as the ‘bad twin,’ but it’s hard to actually hate her because Lia never hates her. The reader feels everything that Lia feels, so the strongest part of the story is the relationship between the twins. The prophecy and the mystery surrounding it gives the story a great moody feel, but Lia and Alice’s confusing relationship is what had me hooked.

Every little aspect of this book had me reeling for more. The prophecy is interesting, the characters are rich, the settings are vivid, and the mini love story is delectable. From the moment Lia discovers the prophecy I needed to know more. The mythology behind the prophecy kept me interested and the possible outcome kept me reading from beginning to end. The twins are on opposite ends of the prophecy and are undoubtedly against one another, but they can’t help but love each other anyway. Their relationship changes so much over the course and of the novel and I cannot wait to see what happens in the next book.

I loved the language in the novel and Michelle did such an incredible job with her descriptions that I found myself needing more once I finished. The characters are so engaging and the premise just draws the reader in so much that it would be impossible for me to give this book a bad rating. I am definitely looking forward to the next two books in the series.

"Waiting On" Wednesday: Deadly Little Lies

Waiting on Wednesdays is an event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating.

Since I just finished Deadly Little Secret, I wanted to spotlight Deadly Little Lies. I loved the first book and I can't wait to see where the Touch Series goes.

Deadly Little Lies
By Laurie Faria Stolarz
Publication Date: November 10, 2009 (so soon!!)

Description from Amazon:

Last fall, sixteen-year-old Camelia fell for Ben, the mysterious new boy at school who turned out to have a very mysterious gift--pyschometry, the ability to sense the future through touch.  But just as Camelia and Ben's romance began to heat up, he abruptly left town. Brokenhearted, Camelia has spent the last few months studying everything she can about psychometry, and experiencing her own strange brushes with premonition. Camelia wonders if Ben's abilities have somehow rubbed off on her. Can the power of psychometry be transferred? 

Even once Ben returns to school, Camelia can't get close enough to share her secret with him. Despite the romantic tension between them, Ben remains aloof, avoiding contact. Then when an unexpected kiss leads to a frightening argument, Camelia makes the painful decision to let Ben go and move on.  Adam, the hot new guy at work, seems good for her in ways Ben wasn't.  Adam is easygoing, and seems to really care about her.
But when Camelia and Adam start dating, a surprising love triangle results. A chilling sequence of events upturns secrets from Ben's past--and Adam's. Someone is lying, and it's up to Camelia to figure out who-before it's too late.

Hi, My Name is Nikki and I'm a (Twilight) Addict - Part 2

This is part 2 of my extremely long "I'm addicted to Twilight" post (and there's some more pretty pictures):

Here's the most interesting part of my incredibly long 'I'm an Addict' story: I didn't really care for the movie. I wanted to like it. I really did, but that didn't happen. I laughed when it was supposed to be serious and I thought the acting was sub-par. The constant screaming every time RPattz came onscreen got me so angry and I could barely stand the movie. One scene I really enjoyed was the baseball scene...and I think a lot of that had to do with Kellan Lutz and Robert Pattinson's cute onscreen bromance. I left the theater thinking maybe I didn't like it because of the screaming girls. So I saw it again. And again, I didn't really like it too much. It wasn't what I had pictured while reading it at all. This newfound dislike for my obsession made me reread the books. I had hated Breaking Dawn from the first read, but I reread all of them anyway.

After this epic obsession reread, I realized that the Twilight Series isn't even what I would consider to be great writing. The books are easy to read and easy to get hooked on, but they aren't on the same level (in my opinion) as something like Harry Potter. I still enjoy them though. It's easy to get lost in the world of Twilight and I think that's one of the things that really drew me in. Aside from the fact that I do enjoy the books, I don't know why I'm obsessed it. I buy some of the magazines, I own the movie (which I've watched maybe twice), I have the soundtrack, there are posters hanging on my wall, I have the trading cards, and I follow what the actors are doing. I'm obsessed and I don't know why.

In June, I was in NYC for my birthday and I made an unplanned visit to the set of Remember Me, Robert Pattinson's new movie. I stayed for about 4 hours just watching them film a scene. Craziness, right? Just this past week I drove an hour away in hopes of seeing Jackson Rathbone filming a movie in Wayland, MA. I signed up to be an extra for the second to last day of filming, got a call saying I lived too far away and wouldn't be able to make it in time, and I was angry. I really wanted to meet Jackson. But I didn't.

Summit Entertainment and Hot Topic announced that they are doing another mall tour. And I plan on going. Again. Even though this one is sure to be insanity (not that the other one wasn't, but this one will probably be worse). I plan on waiting in line for however long it takes to meet whoever comes to my area. Not only that, but next summer there is going to be a Twilight Convention in Boston and I have already planned on going. It's an obsession and I can't seem to shake it.

I've gotten to the point where I don't even want to like Twilight, but I'm obsessed with it all the same. The insanity that surrounds it has made me almost ashamed to be a Twilight fan because of the negativity that comes with the title. Twilight fans are described as being crazy and willing to do insane things for the series and I don't want to be bulked into that category; Even though all of the aforementioned seems to put me right there.The last thing I want is to be featured in some 'crazy Twilight fans' picture or video. I don't want to be considered crazy and obsessed...just devoted.

So if you have been able to bear through my insanely long post, why has Twilight taken over the planet? What is it about the books and movies that has people (me included) so hooked? And, if there's a way, how do I become unobsessed?

Thank you for reading and once again, my name is Nikki and I'm an addict.

P.S. I still love Twilight!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Teaser Tuesday - Deadly Little Secret (10/20/09)

Teaser Tuesday - Prophecy of the Sisters (11/13/09)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading

The Rules:
•Grab your current read
•Open to a random page
•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
•Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"'I have three words for you: underwear, broken elastic waistband, down around my ankles in Spanish class.' 'Okay, but that was way more than three words.'"~pg. 63

Some secrets shouldn't be kept...

Until three months ago, everything in sixteen-year-old Camelia's life had been fairly ordinary: decent grades, an okay relationship with her parents, and a pretty cool part-time job at the art studio downtown.  But when a mysterious boy named Ben starts junior year at her high school, Camelia's life becomes anything but ordinary.

Rumored to be somehow responsible for his ex-girlfriend's accidental death, Ben is immediately ostracized by everyone on campus. Except for Camelia. She's reluctant to believe he's trouble, even when her friends try to convince her otherwise.  Instead, she's inexplicably drawn to Ben.and to his touch.  But soon, Camelia is receiving eerie phone calls and strange packages with threatening notes. Ben insists she is in danger, and that he can help-but can he be trusted? She knows he's hiding something... but he's not the only one with a secret.

Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz

In My Mailbox - (10/20/09)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It is a list of any of the books you may have received in the past week from bookstores, libraries, authors/publishers, trades, etc.

I meant to post this yesterday, but better late than never.
I only got 2 books this week. I'm running very low on cash and I still need to put gas in my car.

The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins + a T-shirt and a pin

Monday, October 19, 2009

Music Mondays - (10/19/09)

So for today's Music Mondays I wanted to combine some awesome music with a movie that I am dying to see:
Where the Wild Things Are

I grew up reading Where the Wild Things Are and I'm so excited to see the movie version. The soundtrack is all that I could hope for. Karen O did an incredible job creating music to fit the feel of the film.
Here's the trailer for the movie using a song I love, even though it's not on the soundtrack I had to include it today. Enjoy!

"Wake Up" by Arcade Fire

"All Is Love" by Karen O and the Kids

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Hi, My Name is Nikki and I'm a (Twilight) Addict - Part 1

Twilight has taken over the world this past year and I was definitely affected by it. This is my story...
Sorry if you're a Twilight hater and for this being so long

For the past year and a half I have had an increasing obsession with Twilight. I don't really know why I'm so drawn to the book series that has now skyrocketed in popularity with the movies, but I am. I picked up the first book about 2 years ago and read through to Eclipse while desperately awaiting the release of Breaking Dawn.

When I heard that they were making the series into movies, I was ecstatic. At that point I didn't realize just how popular the series was and I never even knew about the extensive online fan community. I was confused at the casting of Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen because the picture that was posted on Stephenie Meyer's website didn't resemble my Edward at all. I settled for it though. I didn't freak and join in on the RPattz hate, nor did I sign any petitions.

In August '08, I drove 4 hours to NYC to go to the Breaking Dawn Concert Series. I realized that it was a bit of an extreme move on my part, but I did it anyway. It was fun...kind of anticlimactic, but fun all the same. I loved the music that was played, but the little girls everywhere sort of got on my nerves. (This was the first sign that maybe this Twilight phenomena wasn't for me)

The books started my obsession, but the knowledge of future films is what really fed it. I began following the development of the film and enjoying the mass amounts of photos that were released. Robert Pattinson pleasantly surprised me by looking so much better than he did in the press photo on SMeyer's website and I thought the rest of the cast was gorgeous.

I think it was the gorgeousness that drove my obsession to new heights. See, I have an obsessive personality as it is. I know this and I accept it, but I see no way of correcting it. I just ride out my obsessive waves until something new comes along for me to love.

As I anxiously awaited the release of Twilight, I looked into the incredible amounts of fansites throughout the web. Seeing how some other people reacted towards the series made me feel less pathetic and even less obsessed. All the same, in November, I slept outside a mall in the cold with two of my friends to meet Robert Pattinson. And it was a blast. I kid you not. I had fun in the cold for seven hours on hard concrete. I didn't really talk to too many other people because I found them a little crazy (so says the girl who drove an hour to hang outside for 7 more hours), but just hanging out with my friends was fun. The next day when the signing actually took place, I felt incredibly stupid though.

It was rainy outside and the hundreds of girls freaking out was freaking me out. I kept going on and on about how stupid it was for us to wait 7 hours to meet some random guy from a movie...then we were standing outside the store. In the moments leading up to meeting Robert Pattinson I went complete fangirl. My heart was beating fast and I was getting all clammy. I was incredibly nervous for no reason. When I finally went up to him I felt like every other girl who I had made fun of. He was gorgeous and he had an accent. What more could a girl ask for? We shared a brief 20 second  conversation about poetry before I was pushed away, but I loved it.

Once outside the store, I was still all fangirly. I was squeeing in the mall with hundreds of other people and I wasn't embarrassed about it at all. The Q&A after brought me back down to earth and I was once again my sarcastic self making fun of everyone else. I legitimately wanted to hear what the guy had to say, but all I could discern were screams. It pissed me off. (Once again, I didn't really fit well with everyone else)

In the meantime, I had picked up a flier from the floor that showed Edi Gathegi and the beautifully buff Kellan Lutz. The man playing Emmett Cullen was going to be in Boston on the night the movie opened (the vampire Laurent was going to be there too) and he was going to introduce the film at one of the theaters. My fangirl kicked in full force and my friend Jackie got her boyfriend on the phone to buy us our tickets. He did...and we went.

On November 20th, I went to see Twilight. But I didn't just see it, I saw it with two of the stars introducing the film. Kellan and Edi were doing some interviews outside the theater, but once they were done I asked if they would sign some pictures for us (we came very prepared). They were both incredibly kind and did so willingly. We talked to both the actors for a few minutes and I managed to get pictures with both of them(Edi's came out terribly), so it was an awesome night. Kellan hugged me before we went back to our seats so I was on cloud nine. Once we were in the theater and the movie was about to start (my fangirl was kicking in big time). Kellan and Edi came in to a huge amount of screams. Kellan randomly sang happy birthday to some girl and they gave away some prizes. We were in the last row in the first section, so the guys were right behind us. Kellan was close by and, in my obsessive ways, I discovered he loves candy, so I tapped him on the shoulder to give him a box of something. He thanked me, hugged me, and said he loved me. My obsessive fangirl died right then. I'm pretty sure my friends had to revive her. Then, the movie began...

*Stay tuned for the conclusion to my looooong story about addictions* There's quite a twist to it

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Generation Dead by Daniel Waters

Title: Generation Dead
Author:  Daniel Waters
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Hardcover, 400 pages
Release Date: May 6, 2008

Description (Taken from Amazon)
Phoebe is just your typical goth girl with a crush.  He's strong and silent.and dead.

All over the country, a strange phenomenon is happening.  Some teenagers who die aren't staying dead.  They are coming back to life, but they are no longer the same-they stutter, and their reactions to everything are slower.   Termed "living impaired" or "differently biotic," they are doing their best to fit into a society that doesn't want them. 

Fitting in is hard enough when you don't have the look or attitude, but when almost everyone else is alive and
you're not, it's close to impossible.   The kids at Oakvale High don't want to take classes or eat in the cafeteria next to someone who isn't breathing.  And there are no laws that exist to protect the differently biotic from the people who want them to disappear-for good. 

With her pale skin and Goth wardrobe, Phoebe has never run with the popular crowd.  But no one can believe it when she falls for Tommy Williams, the leader of the dead kids.  Not her best friend, Margi, whose fear of the differently biotic is deeply rooted in guilt over the past.  And especially not her neighbor, Adam, the star of the football team.  Adam has just realized his feelings for Phoebe run much deeper than just friendship. He would do anything for her, but what if protecting Tommy is the one thing that would make her happy?   

I picked up Generation Dead by Daniel Waters about a year ago, but I just got around to reading it. The cover was the first thing that drew me in and I’m glad I finally cracked it open.

Generation Dead is Daniel Waters’ first YA novel, but you wouldn’t know that by reading it. He did a very good job crafting a witty, funny, and sometimes saddening story about kids who die, but don’t stay dead. The kids come back as zombies (or differently biotic).

The YA genre is bountiful with stories about zombies, but Generation Dead is handled in different way. Phoebe is the main character in this zombie-ridden story. I found it kind of funny and ironic that in a school that has more zombie kids than most others, Phoebe insists on keeping her Goth look. At least she stays true to herself. Her best friend Margi, is quite similar to Phoebe, but she is extremely wary of the zombie kids. Adam Layman, Phoebe’s good friend and popular jock, plays the role of the oft ignored, but completely lovesick guy friend, but that didn’t bother me. I actually enjoyed his character more than Tommy Williams, the zombie that Phoebe has undetermined ‘feelings’ for.

I enjoyed the book, but I noticed that the clich├ęd high school cliques are present throughout the novel. Adam is a jock and Phoebe is a goth chick. They are very close friends, but at the start of the novel, Adam won’t even acknowledge her at school. Aside from that, Phoebe is sympathetic towards the outsider zombies and she even begins to develop feelings for one. At the same time, she is completely oblivious to the fact that Adam has more than friendly feelings for her. Margi is the bright light within the book. She is unique in her feelings towards the zombies because she has a legitimate reason to feel the way she does. Oakvale High School attempts to integrate the zombie students with the regular students through a special program that the aforementioned characters all join. It is through the program that the plot advances.

Generation Dead is peppered with interesting characters and the stories about some of the zombie students deaths can be upsetting. I found Collette to be the most heartbreaking of the bunch. I liked this new spin on zombies and I’m interested to see where the story goes from here. Hopefully we get to know why these kids are coming back and why it’s only happening to kids in America. I also hope the sequel delves more into the school program and the research they are doing because it seems like there could be something nefarious going on behind the scenes.

One thing that did start to bother me after a while was the pauses in speech that the zombies had. It’s only a tiny aspect of the novel, but the constant use of ellipsis just aggravated me after a while. The premise was also somewhat predictable, but the writing, storytelling, and the more interesting characters are strong enough to make up for that. The last 100 pages or so really had me hooked. It amazes me how some of the teens act in Generation Dead and the ending is certainly not an exception.

Generation Dead was a good read. Not the best thing I’ve ever read, but worthy of buying. There’s already a follow-up out titled Kiss of Life. I haven’t read that one yet, but I’ll be picking it up soon. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens after such an explosive ending in Generation Dead.
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Celebrate release day of Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick was released today in the US. I'm hoping everyone went out to get their copy. The spanking new hardcover is absolutely gorgeous. The cover has a little sparkle to it and the red on the feathers really 'pop' on this version, as opposed to the ARC.

The following is a list of other blogs where you can find interviews with Becca and also some reviews of Hush, Hush. If you were on the fence about getting the book before, take a look at these and change your mind:
Becca Fitzpatrick's Website                                      
Note from Becca on Hush, Hush Fansite                   

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