Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bad Kitty by Michele Jaffe - Meg Cabot Fans Unite!

Title: Bad Kitty
Author: Michele Jaffe
Publisher: HarperTeen

Publication Date: January 24th, 2006

Number of Pages: 268

Amazon Page
Author Site

Meet Jasmine, forensic supersleuth and unwitting victim of a naughty feline.

All Jasmine really wants is to enjoy her family vacation in Las Vegas. And avoid her evil cousin Alyson and Alyson's best fiend, Veronique. And show her suspicious dad that she can be a Model Daughter. And maybe meet the hot guy she's been eyeing from across the pool. It that too much to ask?

Apparently, yes. One moment she's an innocent bylounger, the next the central figure in a Las Vegas-sized mystery. Fortunately, Jasmine is both a forensics enthusiast and possessed of some very, well, special friends. Polly, Tom, and Roxy crash the vacation, BeDazzle Jasmine's wardrobe, and find themselves key players in the most outrageous adventure in a town known for outrageous adventures.

All because of a very bad kitty.

I'm going to start off this book review with a conversation I had with my mom yesterday (the day I finished reading Bad Kitty):

Around 4 p.m., I sat down at the kitchen table to read, while my mom flipped through a magazine in the seat beside me. After laughing uncontrollably several times (according to her), my mom finally asked me the question that she knew she would regret later: "What are you reading?"

Now, if you know me at all, asking me what a book is a about is a sure-fire way of getting me to talk for at least ten minutes straight, so my mom was taking a big risk here when she asked me. For once I let her down.

"Oh, just a murder mystery," I said absently, my nose still in the book.


My mom's shocked answer caused me to look up, and I finally realized what I said. Since I didn't really want her worrying about me being a psycho, I tried to explain to her that while this book did have murder in it, it had some pretty funny parts too.

Even now, a day later, I don't think she understands what was so funny about this book, but that's not what matters. The important thing is, if this book made me laugh so hard that I was in tears AND it has dead people in it, you know Michele Jaffe's got some serious talent.

I found that I could relate to the characters really well, because each one of them had a different opinion on each situation that they landed themselves into. Even if I completely disagreed with each person I could always turn to Roxy and agree with her, "I'm hungry" motto. I also liked that there was a guy that was one of the main characters that wasn't the love interest for once.

In The End: Great book, overall! Fans of Meg Cabot, mystery lovers and people who just want a good laugh overall will enjoy!

. . . I also LOVED the sparkly cover! So cool!

Quote To Live By: "Perfection is suspicious." - Roxy, page 250.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Interview with Chelsea of The Page Flipper - Not A Pencil Girl

I got the wonderful chance to interview Chelsea of The Page Flipper (yup, that awesome YA blog that you're all following), who is also going to have her memoir published in stores next year by HCI (yes, the people that publish the awesome Chicken Soup for the Soul books). It's time to figure out is she's a Colgate or Crest type of girl . . .

It's A Writing World After All . . .

Moi: 1. How did you find out about the Louder Than Words series?

Chelsea: I'd seen it posted about on a lot of blogs, and I actually sent in my story/writing samples for the first batch. I was pitched to HCI, but they didn't give the okay until they decided on a second set of LTW books. I'd already seen reviews and publications of the series, so I thought I missed my chance and was definitely surprised to get an email from Deborah, the editor, in my inbox. You should have seen me after I opened it. I think I might have ran laps around the house with my cat, whose probably still traumatized from it. Poor Kringer.

Moi: 2. How does it feel to know your memoir is going to be out in stores next year?

Chelsea: It's awesome, but really really nerve-wracking. If just one person likes or identifies with my story, then it was worth writing. But there's still that "I-hope-people-don't-hate-it" feel that I think every author has before their book hits shelves.

M: 3. Are you going to be pursuing a career in the writing industry, or will you be studying to be something else?

C: Yes! I'd already started working on a fiction book before I had this option, so I'll be heading straight back to that when everything is done and edited. I have a backlog of writing ideas, so I have a feeling I'll always be working on something. I'd really like to major in lit when I go to college (soon!). I hear creative writing classes can ruin your creativity.

M: 4. What do you want your author photo to look like? Your dream book cover?

C: Actually, this is a funny story. For the first batch of Louder than Words books, each of the covers has a girl on it and a color scheme. Like, Marni is blue, Emily is purple, and Chelsey is green. Each of the colors, if you look really closely, is actually the color of the cover model's eyes. If they do the same for batch two, I'm positive I'll be red. Demon eyes!

M: 5. How many times have you been interviewed by someone?

C: (I'm bolding this one just because I have no fricken' clue. I've been interviewed for reviewing, aside from the LTW books, and counting would be way too tiresome for the measly amount of caffeine I've had.) :)

The Serious Stuff

M: 1. Describe yourself without using any words. You can use pictures.


M: 2. What's one thing you've always wished someone would ask you?

C: Not this one! It's hard thinking of a question to ask yourself, and kind of questionable of your sanity. I feel like I'm totally talking to myself. But, anyway, hmm. "If you could turn into any fictional character, who would it be?" Jacky Faber from Bloody Jack.

M: 3. Crest or Colgate?

C: Crest, all the way. *grins*

M: 4. What colour is the nearest pencil? (Not the lead, but the decorative strip).

C: I can't find one! My room is a complete mess - books everywhere. But I usually use pens, anyway. Pens are more dangerous - they don't erase, so everything you put down is permanent. Yeah, I like to live on the edge.

M: 7. Up to this point, have you answered every single question right away, or are you reading them through first?

C: I read them through. I like to know what I'm getting into before I dive. Even though I jokingly said I like to live on the edge, I like to know what's over the edge first.

M: 7. Did you notice that this question is numbered #7 . . . just like the last question?

C: Oh, boy. Is this an analysis test? (How did I do?) Yep, I noticed. I'm observant like that. :)

Note From Iryna: Yes - this was an analysis test. *adjusts serious-looking, black-rimmed glasses* However did you guess? :)

M: 9. Bold a question you don't want to/don't feel like/haven't got the time of day to answer.

Thanks for the interview Chelsea, and good luck on you memoir!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Three Things (Not Seven*)

First of all, I just wanted to say sorry for not posting all that often. Is that annoying? I mean, I know when I read other peoples blogs I don't find it "annoying" that they don't post, but I feel as a blogger I owe some responsibility for keeping up this blog. This isn't just me, is it?

Secondly, I was wondering if I could get your opinion on something. I need a new laptop (this is a definite need - not a want!), but I'm having a hard time deciding between getting a Mac or a PC. Should I get the eco-friendly one, or the one I've known my whole life? Should I get the one that will always be virus-free, or should I get the (probably) cheaper one? What do you think?? What do you personally have?

Lastly, it seems this book-focused blog is starting to steer away from book-ish things, so what do you think about me starting a more personal-type blog, and maintaining two blogs at once? Or should I just start up a whole new blog with an "eveything" topic and then review books on that website? For those people out there with more then one blog, do you find it very hard to balance two blogs at once? Thanks and happy Friday/Saturday!


*Yes, yes - this is me trying to make a joke. Did it work?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

In Between These Pages #14

Has a quote ever painted a smile onto your face? Or made you seriously think? Or even have made you see things in a different perspective? Well, that's what "In Between These Pages" is all about: Great, wonderful quotes from books. This meme was invented by Christina at "Insert Book Title Here" and a similar one by Karin at "Karin's Book Nook" but I have decided to rename it "In Between These Pages".

"Narcissus was so vain that he fell in love with his own reflection and drowned." She leveled her eyes at Allie. What do you think about that?"

Uh, I know how the drowning part feels
, she wanted to say. But instead she reached deep into her soul and said, "His parents must have been so upset."

"I think it's a metaphor for people who use love as a mirror. Instead of seeing the other person, they see themselves. Always themselves. And how that person reflects on them. Sad, isn't it?" With that, Keifer turned on
her heel and walked away without another word.

I guess Mr. Fisher was good-looking, for a dad. He was better-looking then my father anyway, but he was also vainer then him. I don't know that he was as good-looking as Susannah was beautiful, but that might've been because I loved Susannah more then almost anyone, and who could ever measure up to a person like that? Sometimes it's like people are a million times more beautiful to you in your mind. It's like you see them through a special lens - but maybe if it's how you see them, that's how they really are.

Mom says each of us has a veil between ourselves and the rest of the world, like a bride wears on her wedding day, except this kind of veil is invisible. We walk around happily with these invisible veils hanging down over our faces. The world is kind of blurry, and we like it that way.

But sometimes our veils are pushed away for a few moments, like there's a wind blowing it from our faces. And when the veil lifts, we can see the world as it really is, just for those few seconds before it settles down again. We see all the beauty, and cruelty, and sadness, and love. But mostly we are happy not to. Some people learn to lift the veil themselves. Then they don't have to depend on the wind anymore.

. . .

I've thought a lot about those veils. I wonder if, every once in a while, someone is born without one. Someone who sees the big stuff all the time. Like maybe you.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Rock That Hit My Head

Sorry guys - this isn't a post related to books. At least, not really . . .

Like a huge chunk of book lovers, I want to make a living off writing novels. Because of this, last year I entered my public library's annual poetry. The topic was inspiration: what inspires you, what is means to you etc. I wrote down a bunch of stuff about sunsets and rainbows and set it in with my fingers crossed. A few weeks later I found out that I was one of the winners. I got a library T-shirt three sizes too big, a coupon for one free used book and a reading notes journal. People at the library told me how much my poem inspired them and I was happy. I was on my way to becoming a published author.

Now, almost a year after that contest, I've barely written anything. Story ideas come and go. The only time I use Microsoft Word is for my homework. I'm not doing anything to fulfill one of my #1 goals for the future. What's up with that? Didn't I win the contest? Aren't I supposed to . . . I don't know . . . magically be on my way to success and happiness? WHY ISN'T ANYTHING HAPPENING?!

I think it was really today that I got it. Today that the rock of "duh" fell on my head. The day it hit me.

Before I continue, I need to confess something: I am a Lululemon addict. I love their clothes and even though I never buy anything from them (it hurts my wallet), I stalk their website and blog. Today I was Googling them, and stumbled upon this article.

I was shocked. Not so much that Lululemon said those kinds of things, but one of the notes that said,"You only have 30,000 days to live and then you are dead." I quickly did the math and figured out that already 1/6 of my life had flashed by. My clock was ticking.

After that I went on a bike ride with my friend, Serena, asking her to PLEASE stop and take a break at a park. (In other words, I'm not the strongest/fastest person in my class. "Sweatpants" is a foreign word to me.)

At the park we decided to go on the swings since we were insured to not get buckets of sand kicked into our shoes. At first we swung in silence, gaining momentum until we were sure we were flying: touching the clouds, soaring through the air. The huge hill we were on fueled our imaginations - the whole world spread out around us. I think it was because of the atmoshpere and the article I read regarding Lululemon only two hours before that I asked Serena, "What are your life goals, other then to get married and become an actress?"

And so she told me about how she wanted to travel to a third-world country to help the people there, swim with a killer whale, and meet a great white shark before they become extinct, among other things. All the while Serena was telling me this, I kept thinking, What are my life goals? How am I going to make the most of the rest of my life? It is because of that that I made my #1 goal: Find out my life goals, and my #2 goal: Start paving the way to becoming a published author.

Now, I've discovered that it's hard for me to do anything in life "that I don't have to do" (read: other then schoolwork and household chores) without motivation or inspiration. If I wasn't a morning person then I have no idea how my parents would drag me out of bed. At that note, even though I really do enjoy writing, I prefer planning everything out in the my head rather then taking the time to sit down and write.

It was today, not more then five minutes before I started writing this blog post that I got my inspiration.

Many of you might already know that Chelsea from The Page Flipper and Steph from Hey! Teenager of the Year have book deals. Yes, actual book deals. In the looming future THEIR BOOKS will be on STORE shelves for us to BUY and actually READ!! At first I was like, "Wait - what are we talking about?", then I was like, "Omigosh, they have book deals!!" and the I though, "Oh, shoot. I am jealous!". However, I think this is a good type of jealousy. The motivational/inspirational kind. The kind that lets you think,"Hey, they did it so why can't I?"

I don't know what kind of post this is. Maybe I'm just writing it all out so I won't forget it. Maybe because . . . it's the start of something new (everyone loves High School Musical!). Maybe I'm just writing because . . . I'm inspired. ;) Either way, I'd like to say a big thank-you to Chelsea and Steph for giving me that motivation, Lululemon for making great clothes and doing that weird thing with the bags, and my friend Serena for the conversation on the hill. Thanks, you guys - thanks.


P.S. Now it's my turn to ask - has the rock hit your head yet??

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I'm Baaaaaack!! (With Perfection).

Alright. I know technically I came back from my vacation in the Ukraine a week ago, but I have a good excuse for not posting sooner! Okay, maybe not really a good excuse, but it's still an excuse: You know how after you haven't seen someone for two months and suddenly you're going to be seeing them five days a week, six hours a day for ten months now (I'm talking about school here, ladies!)? Well, you'd want to create a good first (okay, probably not first) impression, like me, right? Well, of course you know!! For the past two months all of the teen magazines on the stands have pages dedicated to picking out the "perfect" first day of school outfit, so I think that's saying something about our society.

Anyways, when I came back from Europe I spent quite some time trying to think up of the "perfect" back-from-vacation outfit (did I just say outfit? I meant to say blog post!), but as you can see, that didn't turn out so well. However, that's why I'm going to take pride in the fact that at least I'm writing something (I have to stop italicizing so many words! And using so many brackets!).

Before I don't forget, I also just wanted to say that I'm probably not going to do my two weekly memes - In Between These Pages and Guess Who? - every week anymore. Blogging is supposed to be fun and I sometimes find it a chore to quickly think up of a Guess Who? post on Fridays when I'm in the middle of a good book. I also want to gather up more then just two or three quotes for my In Between These Pages meme so I can post more quotes at once. However, I AM planning on doing these two memes at least twice each per month! Unless, that is, you don't particularly enjoy them . . . Do you?

Also, as you know, I've only done two interviews (I think) in my whole life of being a blogger which I think is pretty sad so expect to see quite a few more of them in the future!!

P.S. As a matter of fact, yes, I did get a new signature!
P.P.S. Thanks to all of my awesome followers (yes - YOU) for sticking with me even though I wasn't posting. That was really sweet of ALL of you!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Blog Tour: T'Aragam by Jack W. Regan

Title: T'Aragam
Author: Jack W. Regan
Publisher: Sweatshoppe Publications
Publication Date: April 16th, 2009
Number of Pages: 286

Amazon Page
Author Site

Young Max Ransome watched his father die, killed by marauding phantors as they swept through T'Aragam at the bidding of the evil wizard Zadok. Barely escaping with his own life, Max is thrust into a whirlwind journey as he races against time to save T'Aragam, the world he loves, from a dark dominion. Can Max overcome the horror of his father's death and save T'Aragam from the grasping talons of its enemies? Woven with a charming mix of zany humor and genuine danger, "T'Aragam" immerses the reader in a world of original characters and tightly-woven plot. Young Max leads the cast and is ably supported by, among others, a faithful medgekin friend named Gramkin, two monster brothers named Doom and Gloom, and an equuraptor named Dresden. Coupled with quirky supporting characters, such as mercenary Captain Baggywrinkle, Lord Stench, and a perpetually hungry sea serpent named Bob, this cast of characters steps from the pages and pulls the reader into the story.

The first thing that pops into my head when I think of T'Aragam, is of my uncle who insists that T'Aragam is some sort of food in central Europe (I'll have to Google that). The second thing, however, is all of the danger and adventure in this magical tale.

In my opinion, the most impressing part of this whole novel was the way the characters talked among one another. The high and mighty wizard Zohar had this professional and serious air about him, Doom was quite the British gentleman, and the pirates really did sound like pirates! The way everyone spoke fitted their character perfectly. That is one thing I will always remember about Jack W. Regan.

Another thing I won't forgot is all of the fighting scenes in this book (and there were quite a few!). The author described them so well, in so much detail, that is was almost hard to read on. Now that I think about it, scenes that didn't have any violence in them were also written very well.

As you can see, the book seems to have it all. And I do think it does have it all (except romance! Who doesn't love a good romance?!) but. But, I think it could have been a bit better.

There are more then your fair share of deaths in T'Aragam (or, almost deaths) and I couldn't help but notice how the main character, Max, hardly gave them a backwards glance when someone died or was seriously injured. I know you're a guy, but can't you even show a little compassion, Max?

Even though this book was written quite well in terms of research and characters, personally, I think some scenes could have been more dramatic. I have to say that it wasn't hard to stop reading. And other scenes could have been a little shorter. During many of the fighting scenes, I wished the fighting would just stop. I don't know about you but reading about how some guy was mudered is not what I like to do best in my spare time.

Overall, judging by reviews I've read of T'Aragam, many people have enjoyed it. I'd give it a try if you like fantasy books, and I think boys will especially like this novel (my brother even asked to read it! Shocking!). I'm giving this novel an A-.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Title: The Summer I Turned Pretty
Author: Jenny Han
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: May 5th, 2009
Number of Pages: 276

Author Site
Amazon Page

Belly measures her life in summers.
Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer--they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.

I have five words for you: The Perfect Summer Beach Read. Sure, this novel like any other does have a few flaws, but other then that, I loved it.

When I first picked The Summer I Turned Pretty up, all I was expecting was a fun, cute summer read that would remind me that summer is a time where anything can happen. And I did get that. From the very first page you can smell the salty air, hear the familiar music from the beach radio station and feel the sun on your face. However, under the sand and jugs of ice tea, there's more to this story of undecided love and friendship.

I think Belly was a good main character. Not great, but good. Sometimes, I didn't quite understand her but more often then not when she thought something or did something I'd say to myself, "That's what I was thinking!" or, "Belly, I totally agree with you." But even more then Belly, I loved the supporting characters. Loved. From wonderful Susannah who I wished was my mother's best friend to sweet Cam who I personally fell in love with to the girly Taylor who I had to laugh and yell at along with Belly.

The flashbacks that Jenny Han sprinkled through this novel were a great idea. I got to see a part of the main character that you don't get to often see in books, and I just thought they were plain interesting.

Now about the ending . . . I have a few things to say about it. The first time I read it, I couldn't believe it. In good and bad ways. I kept thinking that Jenny Han should have led the story down a different path, it should have been different. But the second time I read this novel, I think I finally understood. Going down the other path would have been my decision - not Belly's. And even if Belly had gone that way I don't think it would have made much sense. Also, the novel kind of has this unfinished feel to it. Like it has this whole other story that goes along with it that the author just didn't tell . . . so I'm thrilled to say that Jenny Han is currently in the works of writing a sequel called: It's Not Summer Without You. Yay! I'm super excited to find out what's going to happen to Belly and the other supporting characters. Write this one quick Jenny, I want to read it! A.

P.S. The cover? At first, I couldn't picture Belly, Jeremiah and Conrad like that but after reading the book I can't see them any other way. Whoever did this cover did an absolutely outstanding job on it.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Guess Who? Answer #17

Last week's mystery author was . . .

. . Melissa Walker!! Yay!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Guess Who? #17

As usual, here are the rules: this is an (educated) guessing game where every Friday I post five facts about an author, each one a little more revealing then the previous one. I'll give you the weekend to try and figure out who I'm talking about, and the Monday following, I post the answer:
  1. Female author.
  2. She's been a staff member of ELLEgirl and Seventeen.
  3. I heart her blog.
  4. Does she likes violets . . . ?
  5. Last: reklaw
I wanted to try and make this post a little harder, but not so that it comes to the point of confusing. What do you guys think?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sloane Sisters by Anna Carey

Title: Sloane Sisters
Author: Anna Carey
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: April 20th, 2009
Number of Pages: 208

Style. Sabotage. Sisterhood.

When Cate and Andie Sloane's Upper East Side dad met Stella and Lola Childs's British-model mom, nobody thought a transatlantic relationship would last. But then their parents drop the M-bomb—marriage—and it looks like Cate, Andie, Stella, and Lola are going to be one big happy family. Well, big anyway. Meet:

Cate Sloane: She dominates the ninth grade at exclusive Ashton Prep. Tantrum-prone and competitive, Cate would rather wear Laura Ashley every day than be second best at anything. Luckily there's not a rival in sight. Yet.

Andie Sloane: Twelve-year-old Andie desperately wants to walk the runway. Her face is flawless, and boys flock to her like love-struck sheep. There's just one leetle problem: She's only 4' 11". But with a new supermodel stepmom, she'll be voguing in no time. Right?

Stella Childs: With her take-charge attitude and a closet full of supermodel swag, Stella was the It Girl at her London middle school. She's determined to rule Ashton Prep—even if that means dethroning the current queen bee. Can you say British Invasion?

Lola Childs: London boys called gawky Lola "Sticks," but she's got a new mission in Manhattan: boyfriend or bust! With the help of her boy-magnet stepsister, Lola sets her sights on supercute Kyle Lewis. Too bad Kyle's only got eyes for . . . Andie.

Alright, alright - you've got me. I've never admitted this on my blog before, but I really like The Clique series, and even though I haven't read it, I'd probably like the Gossip Girl series too. It's not because I like girls calling the B-word behinds each others backs, but it's more because I love reading about all of the predicaments the girls find themselves in, all because they want to be popular and for people to like them. That's probably why I didn't find it hard to pick this book up, but believe me when I say this novel has more to it then it seems.

Sloane Sisters starts off with a very interesting introduction. In interesting, I mean kind of shocking. Anna Carey wrote it so that we get the basic facts we need in a crisp voice that got to the point, but she also wrote it in a way that told us "People, anything can and will happen." And that it did.

I found that, unlike characters from other Gossip Girl type books, the main characters in this novel actually seemed to have a valid reason for doing what they did. Sort of. While Cate and Stella spent most of the book fighting to "rule the school" which I found quite pointless, Lola's urge to find friends and get her crush to notice her felt real and true. Andie's dream of proving her older sister, Cate, wrong by pursuing in modeling did not seem led by jealousy (at least, not much) but it was more . . . inspiring.

In Sloane Sisters the author used lots of neat phrases like, "she finger-combed Lola's wind-knotted waves" and "she gathered her hair together at the nape of her neck in a ponytail" (notice how they're both about hair? *smiles*) that I find people do all the time in real life, but authors rarely put these common tid-bits in books. Well, unless it's just me. But it's not me . . . right?

The point is, Anna Carey's debut novel is an entertaining, quick read that can't hurt to take out from the library. They don't even swear! Yes, the ending does become clear two-thirds into this book, but it's still fun to read all the same. My only complaint? At the very, very end when Carey dedicates a page hinting to what the next book is about, she takes a Gossip Girl approach to the book and, I think, kind of dampens the happy feeling you just got from the ending. Unless it's just me. It seems to be that a lot these days . . . A-

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

In Between These Pages #14

This week's topic is:


We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.

- Sam Keen, from To Love and Be Loved

The spaces between your fingers were created so that another's could fill them in.

- Unknown

Sometimes people put up walls, not to keep others out, but to see who cares enough to break them down.

- Unknown

People will forget what you said.
People will forget what you did.
But people will never forget how you made them feel.

- Anonymous

If you're thinking, "Huh? What happened to the original In Between These Pages?," then click here.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I'm Here! (Or There?)

Some of you may or may not know this but I'm currently in Ukraine for the summer visiting my family. In other words, if I'm terrible at updating my blog you now know why.

The flight over here was fine but I chose to sit next to my younger brother which was a BIG mistake. In simpler terms, the first hour consisted of non-stop talking, the second of complaining how weird the "green stuff" in our dinner tasted, and in the third hour he decided he was meant to be British so he said really random stuff like "I like trays. I really, really like trays." And even now as I'm writing this with my brother reading over my shoulder he keeps saying that is wasn't "trays" that he said but "trays". Right. I'm really sorry. (Pure sarcasm.)

Anyways, I'm having a good time here. It's nice to see all my cousins and grandparents and everyone. Some of the food here is quite weird in the way they package it. For example, they put the milk in these small paper envelopes that are coated inside with wax stuff so that the milk doesn't leak through. Very weird. The juice over one litre here is also packaged in these giant versions of those juice boxes you normally take to school. The only difference is that instead of drinking the juice from a hole in the box with a straw, there's this weird open-close thing.

Next week we're planning on going to the Black Sea for a few days to vacation. I'm pretty excited as I've only been to a real beach with actual sand and stuff (lakes don't count) once in my life.

A few times a year I go into these phases where I'm obssesed with something. It can be a sport, a craft - anything really - that I get so attached to that I end up spending hours every day at the computer or library researching that one thing. Lately, I've been really obssessed with sea glass. Yeah, I know that's kind of odd but it's a lot better then when I was in love with LUSH. Or what about my Hamtaro phase? (Granted, I was only nine at the time.) Anyways, does ayone know if you can find sea glass in the Black Sea? I tried Googling it but I only came up with a bunch of articles discussing black sea glass. Like, as in the colour. Not what I'm looking for.

Before I go I just want to recommend a really cool blog that I found out about a while ago. Kay Cassidy, the author of The Princess Society, recently started an author blog that is currently revolving around a Teen Author Challenge. In her own words, "If you’re an aspiring author of fiction for teens and tweens, this special feature is just for you! I’ll be sharing exclusive writing tips from fabulous YA and middle grades authors, talking about the ins and outs of writing a novel from start to finish, and offering links to great online resources that’ll help you grow your writing career. Get all the details here." It's a marvelous blog that I would totally urge you to check out, even if you don't want to become a writer!

I hope everyone's having a great summer!


Monday, July 13, 2009

Guess Who? Answer #16

*Drumroll* Last week's Guess Who? author was . . .

. . . Lisa Mantchev!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Across the Pond by Storyheart

Title: Across the Pond
Author: Storyheart (a.k.a. Barry Eva)

Publisher: Xlibris Corporation

Publication Date: September 2008

Number of Pages: 117

Author Site
Amazon Page

When almost fifteen-year-old, English born Fred Squire’s parents win a trip to Australia, Fred finds himself packed off to visit family friends in the United States. Even worse, he’s given a boring language project to complete. But then he meets Brittany.

Fred soon finds himself struggling, not only with his growing feelings for Brit, but also with the language differences. A state confusion, that increases when he meets Brit’s flirtatious friend, Angel. Escaping from a confrontation with Steve Harris, the neighborhood bully, Brit tells Fred her dark secret about Harris, and Fred´s world is turned upside down.

Life continues to throw Fred a curveball when he catches a ball worth thousands of dollars at a baseball game. Further angry run-ins with Harris, a crazy family BBQ, and being chased through a Boston mall all add to the thrill of Fred´s American adventure.
A final fight between Fred and Harris, leads Brit to at last reveal her painful secret to her parents.

"Brit and her Brit", know that their young love will be followed by heartache when Fred has to return back "Across the Pond" to England.
However, not before some final twists in the tale.

For those reviewers out there who read this blog, have you ever had trouble finding a way to start a review? Do you ever type a sentence only to quickly delete it and start over? It's not just me, is it? This isn't the first time this has happened to me and my theory is because I have a lot I want to say about the book, and I simply can't find away to organize all of those thoughts in my head. Keeping that in mind, I'm going to break this all down so I won't get a migraine:

Writing: Barry Eva's writing was nice. It wasn't beautifully lyrical or anything like that and even though I think sometimes it was a bit boring, I wasn't tempted to put the book down. I enjoyed reading the thoughts of the main character, Fred, as he was both funny at times and, well, not as immature as I know most of the boys in my class are. Eva's writing was straight-forward making this a short, but very pleasant read.

Point of View: By reading the back cover of this book, you might think that the plot is a bit ordinary but that's not the case. The way the author decided to write from Fred's POV . . . it was perfect. If the POV was written from Brit's point of view then I can only imagine it as her gushing over how great Fred was (which I would be doing too), but we already know what Brit is thinking as - how do I put this? - it seems there are more avid female readers in the world then males. From Fred's POV we get to see everything from a guys perspective, which is not normally something we find in YA literature (at least for me). This novel was very refreshing as it was like looking across the pond. ;)

Grammatical Errors: This is probably just the inner perfectionist in me speaking out but I did notice I few errors in the writing - forgotten punctuation, phrases put into italics when it wasn't necessary etc. Even though this didn't really effect the story it was - at least for me - a bit distracting.

Ending: I must say that I really like the ending. At first near the last 20 pages or so I was getting quite upset because . . . well, I can't really tell you now can I? Let's just say that some people did not seem to agree that "the pen is mightier then the sword" and that made me quite upset as I am a strong believer in that quote. Anyways, I was feeling a tad annoyed but the very end - oh, did it ever make up for it!! I loved it!

The Bottom Line: Overall, this is quite a nice novel that may need a little editing but is quite enjoyable. Perfect to read right before, or on a vacation out of the country! B+

Friday, July 10, 2009

Guess Who? #16

As usual, here are the rules: this is an (educated) guessing game where every Friday I post five facts about an author, each one a little more revealing then the previous one. I'll give you the weekend to try and figure out who I'm talking about, and the Monday following, I post the answer:
  1. Female author.
  2. The first stepping stone on her path to becoming a writer was when she became involved in drama.
  3. Her debut novel came out this year.
  4. I'm sure she loves both plays and books equally.
  5. Title: Faulter

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

In Between These Pages #13

Normally my In Between These Pages posts contain quotes from books that I simply adored, but for the next few weeks I'll be away in Europe to visit my family. Keeping that in mind, I don't know when I'll be able to update my blog so I'm scheduling these posts ahead of time (I know - this is quite shocking!). Until I come back on the 25th of August, I'm going to schedule a bunch of posts that do still include quotes, but they may not be from books and they all revolve around one common theme. This week's theme, for example, is:


If all my friends were to jump off a bridge, I wouldn't jump with them. I'd be at the bottom to catch them.

- Unknown

Friends are those rare people who ask how we are and then wait to hear the answer.

- Ed Cunningham

A stranger stabs you in the front; a friend stabs you in the back; a boyfriend stabs you in the heart, but best friends only poke each other with straws.

- Unknown

Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

- Albert Camus

Guess Who? Answer #15

Yes, yes - I know. I suck. A lot.

I was supposed to post the answer to last week's Guess Who? on Monday, but of course, I totally forgot and to make matters worse I didn't post the answer yesterday either!! Fear not, however, for the future since I am scheduling a few posts while I'm on vacation. Anyways, without further a due:

Lisa McMann
was last week's Guess Who? author!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Guess Who? #15

As usual, here are the rules: this is an (educated) guessing game where every Friday I post five facts about an author, each one a little more revealing then the previous one. I'll give you the weekend to try and figure out who I'm talking about, and the Monday following, I post the answer:
  1. Female author.
  2. Lives in Arizona.
  3. She wrote a bestselling series with one word titles.
  4. Pillow, glass, chair.
  5. This author's last name begins with "Mc".

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend

Title: The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 Author: Sue Townsend
Publisher: Harper Teen

Publication Date: Harper Teen, August 14th, 2003. Original, October 7th, 1982.

Number of Pages: 272

Author Site
Amazon Page

Adrian Mole's first love, Pandora, has left him; a neighbor, Mr. Lucas, appears to be seducing his mother (and what does that mean for his father?); the BBC refuses to publish his poetry; and his dog swallowed the tree off the Christmas cake. "Why" indeed.

Do you see that little statement above the title on the book cover? The one that says "Almost definitely 5 million copies sold"? Well, that has to, has to be incorrect. I don't mean to be rude here, but I really don't know who would want to read this type of book. I mean come on: crude humor, confusing British terms and a protagonist that doesn't have his head screwed on the right way isn't what I would consider the best literature I've seen in ages.

I hope (like many other people) to one day write professionally. I've researched author sites and checked out books from the library to figure out what aspects are key in a good novel. Among other points, one of the most important ideas I've come to the conclusion you need to have in a good book is a well thought out plot. Quite honestly, I don't think there was any plot in The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole. It was basically an ordinary kids life and how he made a fool of himself. I was snoring by page 2.

Even though this book was very dull, I persisted on reading it. I was almost exactly half-way done this book - dragging myself through it - when I decided it. I read to learn new things and also for a good laugh or two. However, while this book was occasionally funny, the only thing it taught me was not to pick up any more books from this series. So I stopped reading it.

In the end, I don't think I would recommend this book. If you especially like crude humor then this novel would be right up your alley, but other then that, I don't know. Looking at the reviews from Amazon, it seems very few people didn't like this book, so maybe you'd like it. I don't know. D.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

In Between These Pages #13

Has a quote ever painted a smile onto your face? Or made you seriously think? Or even have made you see things in a different perspective? Well, that's what "In Between These Pages" is all about: Great, wonderful quotes from books. This meme was invented by Christina at "Insert Book Title Here" and a similar one by Karin at "Karin's Book Nook" but I have decided to rename it "In Between These Pages".

" . . . I thought about how there were two types of secrets: the kind you want to keep in, and the kind you don't dare let out."

"' So the question is," Bex said, crossing her arms, "what are we gonna do about it?'"

"Paper has more patience then people."

"Things . . . well, things suck sometimes. And sometimes you can fix them. And sometimes you can't. It's just the way it is."

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev

Title: Eyes Like Stars
Author: Lisa Mantchev
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: July 7th, 2009
Number of Pages: 356

Amazon Page
Author Site

All her world’s a stage.

Bertie Shakespeare Smith is not an actress, yet she lives in a theater.

She’s not an orphan, but she has no parents.

She knows every part, but she has no lines of her own.

That is, until now.

Enter Stage Right

NATE. Dashing pirate. Will do anything to protect Bertie.

COBWEB, MOTH, MUSTARD SEED, and PEASEBLOSSOM. Four tiny and incredibly annoying fairies. BERTIE’S sidekicks.

ARIEL. Seductive air spirit and Bertie’s weakness. The symbol of impending doom.

BERTIE. Our heroine.

Welcome to the Théâtre Illuminata, where the actors of every play ever written can be found behind the curtain. They were born to play their parts, and are bound to the Théâtre by The Book—an ancient and magical tome of scripts. Bertie is not one of them, but they are her family—and she is about to lose them all and the only home she has ever known.

Lisa Mantchev has written a debut novel that is dramatic, romantic, and witty, with an irresistible and irreverent cast of characters who are sure to enchant the audience.

Eyes Like Stars. The title alone holds so much promise, so much possibility. The beautiful cover painting of Bertie, our heroine, is absolutely breathtaking. You open the book to the first page, and the fancy font brings a smile to your face. The only question that remains is, "What about the actual content of the book? Was it as enchanting as you thought it would be?" Well . . . yes. No. Yes and no.

Let me start with the best part of this book first: the writing. Lisa Mantchev's writing is just astonishing. It's one of those things that you simply can not describe because it's so amazing and wow-ifying. It was an elegant butterfly fluttering in the breeze. It was a heart shattering in an infinite number of pieces. Mantchev's writing is so wonderful that I think you should read this book just to witness it's beauty.

However, even though I loved the writing, Eyes Like Stars also has it's weak points.

For example, the beginning is quite confusing at first so you have to re-read a few parts to understand what is happening. This novel is also a little slow and takes time reading (at least for me). It's one of those books that you just can't read in one sitting. I also feel that even though the twists in this story were clever, I'm sure they could have been delivered a little better.

Even then, the ending of this book left me feeling very satisfied and paved out a very promising Book Two in this series. Lisa Mantchev is a flower that will soon flourish - I'm sure of it. :) B+

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Same Difference by Siobhan Vivian

Title: Same Difference
Author: Siobhan Vivian

Publisher: Push

Publication Date: March 1st, 2009

Number of Pages: 287

Amazon Page
Author Site

Emily needs a change of scenery. She’s been pegged as the “arty girl” by the kids in her school —even her own friends. There’s some truth to that…but there’s also more to the way she sees the world than drawing or painting. Nobody seems to understand, and that’s not going to change any time soon. So when Emily gets the chance to go to an art program in Philadelphia for the summer, she jumps at it. A new cast of characters enters her life…and suddenly she has to figure out who she wants to be. She’s gone from the suburbs where everyone’s trying to be the same to a school where everyone is trying to be unique. The rules may have changed, but a lot of the pressures remain the same. With wit and empathy, Siobhan Vivian goes straight to the heart of a teen girl’s search for identity including the pain and heartache we have to go through to figure out who we are.

This book should be on the New York Times bestsellers list.

This book should be the next Twilight.

But it's not. This witty, wonderful and truly remarkable book isn't making more money then the Harry Potter series. *sigh* What is this world coming too?

Same Difference starts off with Emily spending the day with her best friend Meg, and Meg's boyfriend the day before Emily starts her summer art program. The first chapter is a tad uneventful which may make some people put this book down but I still think that Siobhan Vivian was smart to start off where she did. Even though the beginning was slightly boring, it speeds up and it's important that we get a glimpse of Emily's life before art becomes a large part of her life.

The characters in this book are wonderfully realistic and I loved them all. Even the people that you're kind of meant to dislike. They were all just so interesting to read about that I fell in love with them - especially the artists. Reading about the summer art program that Emily went to was also quite fascinating and it was refreshing to look at things from an artist's perspective. I even looked up "Art Classes" in the phone book after reading this book!

When a storm cloud passed over Emily's life, I still couldn't stop reading this novel. It wasn't necessarily because Same Difference is a real page turner, it was more to do with the fact that the writing really drew you in to the story. It was fun, humorous, dark and casual. It was . . . everything. I absolutely loved it.

Overall, this is a great, wonderful story that I can't imagine you not loving! Warning: will inspire you to pick up a pen or paintbrush. A+.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Guess Who? Answer #14

A big applause to everyone who guessed last week's featured author! She was . . .

. . . Stephanie Meyer!

P.S. Sorry for not posting any posts other then my weekly memes lately - I've been super busy. However, expect a review of Same Difference by Siobhan Vivian tomorrow morning!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Guess Who? #14

As usual, here are the rules: this is an (educated) guessing game where every Friday I post five facts about an author, each one a little more revealing then the previous one. I'll give you the weekend to try and figure out who I'm talking about, and the Monday following, I post the answer:This author is female.
  1. This author is female
  2. She wrote a very popular series for teens.
  3. Author X also wrote a novel for adults.
  4. If you simply guess now, the first author that pops into your head is probably correct.
  5. Her whole best-selling series is being turned into a collection of movies.

This post maybe a little vague at first glance, but trust me when I say the author is quite obvious!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

In Between These Pages #13

Has a quote ever painted a smile onto your face? Or made you seriously think? Or even have made you see things in a different perspective? Well, that's what "In Between These Pages" is all about: Great, wonderful quotes from books. This meme was invented by Christina at "Insert Book Title Here" and a similar one by Karin at "Karin's Book Nook" but I have decided to rename it "In Between These Pages".

"Things change. Stuff happens. Life goes on."

" . . . once you figure something out, it's impossible to go backwards."

"You have to have courage. Real courage to explore, to fail and to pick yourself back up again."

"And partly . . . well, life wins. In the end, life always wins."

Monday, June 15, 2009

Guess Who? Answer #13 + Explanation(s)

The answer was . . .

. . . Elizabeth Scott! (Isn't the dog in the photo adorable?!)

P.S. I know I've been terrible at posting lately and I am really, really sorry! I still have school and my teachers have decided to do all of the tests last minute so I have quite some studying to do! It's also my birthday next week (yay!) so I'm busy this weekend as well since a bunch of my friends are coming over. I'll try my best to squeeze in a review, though!

P.P.S. Sorry about the background!! The wonderful Lena who created this template had some troubles with PayPal or something like that, but she's got it sorted out and things should return to normal.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Guess Who? #13

It's no big surprise that I'm late again with this post, but this time I have a good excuse: Yesterday at around 7 p.m. I was reading some of the blogs I follow and leaving comments, with the FULL intention of publishing this post. However, while I was reading Deltay's blog, I tried to leave a comment but my "Enter" key wasn't working. I tried pressing the "Publish Comment" button but that button didn't want to cooperate either. Finally, I decided to just re-do my comment all over again but once again, the comment didn't want to publish.

At this point I was panicking about posting my "Guess Who?" post on time, so I went to my dashboard only to find out I was somehow signed out. I tried logging back in but, like when I was trying to post a comment on Deltay's blog, it wasn't working. After a while I gave up and just decided to post this today. I asked my dad why the computer was acting funny, but he doesn't know for sure either. Anyways . . .

As usual, here are the rules: this is an (educated) guessing game where every Friday I post five facts about an author, each one a little more revealing then the previous one. I'll give you the weekend to try and figure out who I'm talking about, and the Monday following, I post the answer:

  1. This author is female.
  2. She has a dog (and a husband!).
  3. On her website, she writes.
  4. We definitely love her and we'd never hate her. ;)
  5. Author X's last name is also a common first name . . .
Who do YOU think it is?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Alchemyst by Michael Scott

Title: The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel
Author: Michael Scott
Publisher: Delacorte

Publication Date: May 22, 2007

Number of Pages: 400

Amazon Page
Author Site

He holds the secret that can end the world. The truth: Nicholas Flamel was born in Paris on September 28, 1330. Nearly 700 years later, he is acknowledged as the greatest Alchemyst of his day. It is said that he discovered the secret of eternal life. The records show that he died in 1418. But his tomb is empty. The legend: Nicholas Flamel lives. But only because he has been making the elixir of life for centuries. The secret of eternal life is hidden within the book he protects—the Book of Abraham the Mage. It's the most powerful book that has ever existed. In the wrong hands, it will destroy the world. That's exactly what Dr. John Dee plans to do when he steals it. Humankind won't know what's happening until it's too late. And if the prophecy is right, Sophie and Josh Newman are the only ones with the power to save the world as we know it. Sometimes legends are true. And Sophie and Josh Newman are about to find themselves in the middle of the greatest legend of all time.

Oh. My. Gosh.

I have seen quite a few bloggers get the third book in this series, The Sorceress, but I have not yet seen anyone review it. And let me tell you right now - you guys are missing out on something BIG. This might possibly be my favourite fantasy book ever, and I don't use the term "favourite" when it comes to books lightly.

Michael Scott starts off this book with a prologue that tells us just enough about the book without giving anything away and while at the same time leaving us eager to turn the page. Scott uses writing techniques like foreshadowing at exactly the right time and describes things in great detail without making us yawn and wonder when we'll finally be able to see some dialogue. In other words, this guy had some awesome writing skills!!

One of the things I especially liked about The Alchemyst was how it takes your perspective of legends, myths and historical events, then twists and molds them until they turn into something completely different . . . and even more exciting and enchanting than they were before. By the time you finish this book, you'll put vampires next to grass on your list of related things.

Another wow-ifying thing was that the author managed to pull off writing a book that occurred over a time span of - wait for it - only two (2!!) days. I have never seen this accomplished before so I think Michael Scoot definitely deserves some kind of award for this. I mean, come on! Have you ever read a book whose time span was less then a week?? If you have, please tell me! I'd bet you that it's nothing along the great lines of Michael Scott's writing.

I think that the only bad thing I have to say about this novel is that in the end, Josh has a very difficult time deciding whether to trust Dr. Dee (otherwise known as the bad guy) or Nicholas Flame (he screams good guy to me). I don't understand how Josh doesn't see that Dee is a vile person and that even though Flamel doesn't always give you a straight up answer, he means (and is!) well.

The Bottom Line: A very enjoyable read that leaves you begging for more. Even if you're not fond of fantasy, I'm sure you'd like this book! A+.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

In A Month . . .

. . . I'm going to drive to Toronto with my family.

We will arrive at a very large and busy building.

My family and I will have our passports with us, and our suitcases.

If you haven't guessed it yet, I'm going on vacation!!! I am so excited!! My whole extended family lives in Ukraine (which is Poland's neighbour), and I'll finally be able to see them after three years! In case you're wondering, I don't usually do anything during Summer Vacation, so I feel like I'm going to burst with excitement! After watching my friends go to Chicago and Rome and Italy, it feels so cool knowing that it's my turn to do something exciting and new (sorry for all of the exclamation points here - I'm just super happy)!

The only thing is that my family and I will be going from July 11th, to August 25th so I don't know how many posts I'll be able to schedule ahead of time. However, I think I might be able to work something out.

You see, I'll be in Ukraine for approximately five weeks so my parents have agreed to set up an arrangement where they both get to spend an equal amount of time with their sides of the family. First, my brother and I will visit my moms side for 2.5 weeks, then we switch and visit my dads side for the remainder of the time. I remember from the last time I visited my mom's uncle that he does have (English) internet, but it is very, very slow so I don't know if I'll be able to use it. My dad's cousin also has internet but I don't know whether or not it's in the English language. I have a strong feeling it is though since he works with computers for a living. Anyways, if my relatives let me use their computers, I promise to post as often as I can!!

I'm already planning on what to bring and what places to visit. There are a lot of castles in the area where I'm going (from what I remember) so I plan on visiting many of those. My parents were born and raised in the city of Lviv, so that's obviously where I going. If you look on the map on the left, Lviv is way on the left somewhat near the border.

My mom and dad have already made it crystal clear to me that they don't want me bringing any more then two books (they claim that I should "give my eyes a break" from all of that reading and "enjoy the scenery" - sure thing), but I think they already know that that's not going to happen. I planning on hiding some of my paperbacks in between my clothes and bribing my younger brother into letting me stash some of my books in his suitcase.

Anyways, one of my main reason for this post is because I want to know what greatly fantastical books I should bring with me! If you have any suggestions, whether or not you read the book, all would be greatly appreciated.

A Note From Iryna

A just wanted to apologize for being MIA these past few days. Unlike some of you luckier people, I'm still in school and we are currently in the middle of huge test season. There should be a review of The Alchemyst by Michael Scott up soon, however!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Guess Who? Answer #12

Once again, a big thank-you to everyone who participated in last week's "Guess Who?"!! The mystery novelist is . . .

. . . John Green!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Guess Who? #12

As usual, here are the rules: this is an (educated) guessing game where every Friday I post five facts about an author, each one a little more revealing then the previous one. I'll give you the weekend to try and figure out who I'm talking about, and the Monday following, I post the answer:
  1. Author X writes contemporary fiction.
  2. For once, he is a male.
  3. This author has three published award-winning novels.
  4. He likes You Tube (and so does his brother).
  5. French: vert.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sisters In Sanity by Gayle Forman - EDITED

Title: Sisters In Sanity
Author: Gayle Forman

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication Date: August 28th, 2007 (Reprint: April 21st, 2009)

Number of Pages: 290

Amazon Page
Author Site

Have you ever had the out-of-control dream? The one where you know you're not crazy, but no one around you—not your parents, not your teachers, not even the authorities—will listen to you?

For sixteen-year-old Brit Hemphill, the out-of-control dream comes true when her dad enrolls her at Red Rock, a bogus treatment center that claims to cure rebellious teen girls. At Red Rock, Brit is forced into therapy, and her only hope of getting her life back is in the hands of an underqualified staff of counselors. Brit's dad thinks Red Rock can save her, but the truth is it's doing more harm than good.

No girl could survive Red Rock alone—but at a treatment center where you earn privileges for ratting out your peers, it's hard to know who you can trust. For Brit, everything changes when she meets V, Bebe, Martha, and Cassie, four girls who keep her from going over the edge. Together they'll hold on to their sanity and their sisterhood while trying to keep their Red Rock reality from becoming a full-on nightmare.

Ever since the buzz of Gayle Forman's novel If I Stay started, I've been wanting to read it. Unfortunately when I asked for it at my library, a bunch of other people were on the waiting list to read it so I had to settle with Sisters in Sanity. I thought it would be a phenomenal novel . . . and it was, mostly, just not in the ways I expected.

First of all, I guess you could say I thought this novel would have a nice, easy beginning - yeah, right. This book starts off with Brit's dad "taking" Brit to the Grand Canyon - the trip that never happens. Instead, Brit is tricked and thrown into Red Rock. All in one short chapter.

Okay! Hold up and slow down. I had to re-read that part because I wasn't sure what was going on. It was a real blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment which I also noticed occurred when the sisters friendship was forming. This was the first difference that kind of made me lose some of my interest in Sisters In Sanity.

Another cupful was thrown out the window when I came across this sentence on page 113:

"This girl needs some cheering," said V , who, along with Cassie, Bebe and Martha was standing over me at lunch.

Um, did anyone notice the grammatical error? I expect, out of habit, that each and every novel I read will not have a single mistake. Silly, I know. *sigh* I should know that no one's perfect especially considering how true that rings for me. *

Even so, I think that was when I really didn't want to finish this book. The real climax hadn't made it's appearance yet so I was quite bored. I wanted to quickly read this book, review it on my blog and be done with it - once and for good. This might be the only reason I persisted on reading Sisters In Sanity - which I am ashamed of - but I am really glad I did continue to read. Why?

Gayle Forman's debut novel made me cry unlike any novel has done before (in a good way). There were times where I would read a page but then have to put it down again because I was crying so hard. I would pick the book up again after I had calmed down, but I'd simply have to put it down again because the water works were going faster then ever. This book is truly touching and deals with matters I don't think I've ever read about before.

Even though this novel's writing was a little bumpy, it speaks the truth which I think is the greatest gift you can ever have. We all think we know "the truth", but reality is that each and every one of us has a different, edited version. It takes a remarkable person to know it and then put it into words. It takes someone special to write a whole novel about the truth. One of these people is Gayle Forman.

And did you see who this novel is dedicated to?

To misunderstood girls everywhere.

I liked her from the start. :) B+.

* How ironic it is that I said "no one's perfect" right after I made a mistake myself! Laina has kindly pointed out to me that it is in fact supposed to be "was" - not "were". Thank-you very much Laina!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

In Between These Pages #12

Has a quote ever painted a smile onto your face? Or made you seriously think? Or even have made you see things in a different perspective? Well, that's what "In Between These Pages" is all about! Great, wonderful quotes from books. This meme was invented by Christina at "Insert Book Title Here" and a similar one by Karin at "Karin's Book Nook" but I have decided to rename it "In Between These Pages".

"But that's a girl's right - isn't it? To cry sometimes for no reason? Really, when you think about it, that ought to be in the Constitution."

"Mr. Solomon was right - the worst kind of torture is watching someone you love get hurt."

"That's all we can do, Brit. Take steps. Take enough of them and suddenly, you're somewhere."

"'But what if I have it? Like a sickness. Inside of me.'

'Then you have it, and maybe one day it gets you. But you decide how you live life in the meantime. You can hide in fear. Or you can live life.'"

Monday, June 1, 2009

Guess Who? Answer #11

Last week's "Guess Who?" author was . . .

. . . Ally Carter!