Sunday, May 31, 2009

Book Background

Uhg. I was going to post a picture of this REALLY cool book wallpaper for your computer but for some reason Blogger think my "Add a Picture" button is another "Save" button. Computers are not for me. Anyways, I'll try to upload the picture later but for now you can find the wallpaper here.

. . .

Isn't it neat?! I love the quote they added there too! It totally completes the picture!

UPDATE: Ooops. The link for the "Upload Image" button was lost amid all my other windows. My bad. Anyways, here it is:

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You by Ally Carter

Title: I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You
Author: Ally Carter
Publisher: Hyperion
Publication Date: April 1, 2007
Number of Pages: 284

Amazon Page
Author Site

The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women is a fairly typical all-girls school—that is, if every school teaches advanced martial arts in PE, chemistry always consists of the latest in chemical warfare, and everyone breaks CIA codes for extra credit in computer class. So in truth, while the Gallagher Academy might say it's a school for geniuses what they really mean is spies. But what happens when a Gallagher Girl falls for a boy who doesn't have a code name?

Cammie Morgan may be fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways (three of which involve a piece of uncooked spaghetti), but the Gallagher Academy hasn't prepared her for what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she's an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, and track him through a mall without him ever being the wiser, but can she have a regular relationship with a regular boy who can never know the truth about her? Cammie may be an elite spy in training, but in her sophomore year, she's doing something riskier than ever—she's falling in love.

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You is the first book in the Gallagher Girls series. I absolutely adored the second book - Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy - (which I reviewed here), so I decide to read GG1 all over again!

Many spy novels are just about the main character on going on a spy mission and saving the world. There might be a little romance thrown in if the book is for older audience, but that's it. Nothing more. That's why I particularly like this series. Cammie goes to school for spies and her main "mission" is to stalk, I mean, friendly follow the boy that she had fallen in love with. That's a rather new twist that some people might find more realistic than your average spy story. Even if you still like the whole travel-to-Hong-Kong-and-infiltrate-a-group-of-bad-guys idea then there's some of that in the end too.

I said this in my review of GG2 but it is so easy to see that Ally Carter spent a LOT of time editing this book. She used the perfect words, made sure everything was spelled correctly, and unraveled the story at precisely the right time. You'd you shock me if you pointed out a line that didn't make sense or a grammatical error.

Cammie and her friends Bex and Liz are all very different. I think that this was very clever of the author to do because if you couldn't relate to Cammie, then there were two other people with their own opinions that you could agree or disagree with. However, I personally thought that Cammie was not only an easy person to associate with, but she was hilarious at times, too!

Plus, this novel had a very high re-readability factor. You can easily engross yourself in GG1 and find yourself turning the pages madly to read what will happen next just as if you were reading the book for the first time. This is definitely one of those books that you buy and read over and over and over again.

The Bottome Line: I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You is very enjoyable and will leave you thinking "I will never judge someone by their appearance again!" For spy and adventure fans. A.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Guess Who? #11

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. She is proud to be called a "Miss".
  2. Her first book was actually for adults.
  3. Author X's current best-selling series has two books in it . . .
  4. . . . the first which was optioned by film by Walt Disney Pictures . . .
  5. . . . and the third book in this awesome series will be out on June 9th, 2009.
So, this one wasn't too hard . . . right?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

In Between These Pages #11

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! Each week I will post quotes from books that have done just that. 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".

"Maybe all the strings inside him broke," she said.

"I mean, at some point, you gotta stop looking up at the sky, or one of these days you'll look back down and see that you floated away, too."

"The longer I do my job," he said, "the more I realize humans lack good mirrors. It's so hard for anyone to show us how we look, and so hard for us to show anyone how we feel."

"Love is the water of life. Drink deeply."

Monday, May 25, 2009

Book Personality Quiz!

Okay, everyone else is doing this quiz so I thought I'd join in the fun!

What's your reading personality? Are you an eclectic, serial, exacting or involved reader? Find out now by taking BookBrowse's fun, fast (and not to be taken too seriously!) quiz.

My Answer:

You don't just love to read books, you love to read about books. For you, half the fun of reading is the thrill of the chase - discovering new books and authors, and discussing your finds with others. If you don't already belong to a book club you probably should consider joining one, or even starting your own!

So, so true! If you've ever wondered why I started book blogging, the answer is staring you in the face! I love reading books, I love reviewing book, but most of all, I LOVE reading about books! The sad/funny thing is, that I am actually part of a book club (which is awesome BTW. You totally need to join one if you haven't yet).

What are you waiting for? Take this fun quiz.

Guess Who? Answer #10

Last week's answer was . . .

. . . Lauren Myracle!

P.S. Would you guys like me to explain some of the hints in the original "Guess Who?" posts?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Paper Towns by John Green

Title: Paper Towns
Author: John Green
Publisher: Dutton Books, A Member of Penguin
Publication Date: October 21st, 2008
Number of Pages: 305
Amazon Page
Author Site

When Margo Roth Spiegelman beckons Quentin Jacobsen in the middle of the night dressed like a ninja and plotting an ingenious campaign of revenge follows her. Margo has always planned extravagantly, and, until now, shes always planned solo. After a lifetime of loving Margo from afar, things are finally looking up for Q . . . until day breaks and she has vanished. Always an enigma, Margo has now become a mystery. But there are clues. And they are for Q.

Printz Medalist John Green returns with the trademark brilliant wit and heart-stopping emotional honesty that have inspired a new generation of readers.

Brilliant. Amazing. Astonishing. These are words that can't even justify a fraction of how beautiful and powerful this book was. I am deeply shocked and upset with myself that I have not discovered the outstanding John Green sooner.

Paper Towns was an interesting and different idea. I liked reading from a males perspective, which I don't remember the last time I've done. I must say that Q was much more mature when I thought he would act like my eight-year-old brother but he (along with his companions Radar and Ben) did make me think "ew" once in a while.

I also thought the mystery aspect of this book was quite different. Have you ever read a mystery novel where the person that leaves the clues wants to be found? That they left the evidence on purpose? This novel had an interesting twist that still kept me entertained and VERY tempted to flip to the end of the book.

This novel also made me think of us book lovers. There is always going to be a line between us and everyone else. Not everyone will see it, but it's there. True readers will see the world differently. They can understand people more clearly, live in their shoes. They will analyze things from a more observant pair of eyes. Why? Because we've been there. We know what people think and why they do things. Some people will say that reading is similar to watching T.V., and it is - a little - but it's not the same. When we read, we know why things happen. We get inside the persons' head and understand. In watching television we draw things out of our own experiences and use that, which is not always valid. I know that Paper Towns has made me think of things differently. Very thought-provoking.

The Bottom Line: This is a book that I think everyone should read. If you don't, I have a feeling someones will convince you to pick it up anyways. This is NOT my last John Green book. A.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Guess Who? #10

I'm sorry for the late "Guess Who?" post - again. I'm going to start doing them in advance so that they're never late.

Guess what?! It's "Guess Who?" time! If you're new, this meme is a guessing game where every Friday I post five facts about an author, each one a little more revealing then the one before, and then I give you the weekend to try and figure out who I'm talking about. The Monday following, I post the answer:
  1. This author is a female.
  2. She likes to write contemporary fiction.
  3. Author X co-wrote two books with other a few other authors . . .
  4. She's a books' BFF!
  5. Another author miracle (sound familiar?).

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Weedflower by Cynthia Kadohata

Title: Weedflower
Author: Cynthia Kadohata

Price: $5.99 U.S. ($6.99 CAN) Paperback

Publisher: Aladdin Paperbacks an imprint of Simon and Schuster

Publication Date: Aladdin Edition: January 2009, Original: 2006

Number of Pages: 260

Twelve-year-old Sumiko feels her life has been made up of two parts: before Pearl Harbor and after it. The good part and the bad part. Raised on a flower farm in California, Sumiko is used to being the only Japanese girl in her class. Even when the other kids tease her, she always has had her flowers and family to go home to.

That all changes after the horrific events of Pearl Harbor. Other Americans start to suspect that all Japanese people are spies for the emperor, even if, like Sumiko, they were born in the United States. As suspicions grow, Sumiko and her family find themselves being shipped to an internment camp in one of the hottest deserts in the United States. The vivid color of her previous life is gone forever, and now dust storms regularly choke the sky and seep into every crack of the military barrack that is her new "home."

Sumiko soon discovers that the camp is on an Indian reservation and that the Japanese are as unwanted there as they'd been at home. But then she meets a young Mohave boy who might just become her first real friend...if he can ever stop being angry about the fact that the internment camp is on his tribe's land.

With searing insight and clarity, Newbery Medal-winning author Cynthia Kadohata explores an important and painful topic through the eyes of a young girl who yearns to belong. Weedflower is the story of the rewards and challenges of a friendship across the racial divide, as well as the based-on-real-life story of how the meeting of Japanese Americans and Native Americans changed the future of both.

Before I start this review I just want to say one thing: I wouldn't have picked this book up if one of my favourite teachers hadn't recommended it to me. I often find historical fiction books confusing. In other words: history is not my favourite subject.

Halfway throughout this novel I thought I had the review already figured out: The Japanese internment idea was unique. Sumiko's lifestyle was very interesting to read about and it was described well. But.

I don't know if this was just me but the author wrote like she was talking to a six-year-old. Cynthia Kadohata's word choice was simple except for the occasional odd sentence or two. Japanese terms in this book were common and they were translated, but I couldn't for the life of me remember what they meant so I had to flip back a few pages and find the term. The protagonist's friendship with the Mohave boy occurred at the very end of the book so for a good chunk of this novel I was, well, bored. But.

Even though there wasn't much action in the beginning of this novel and Sumiko's friendship with Frank (the Mohave boy) didn't bloom until the end of the book, the friendship felt . . . different. Not like what so many people these day, especially kids, label as "friends" but something else.

Considering the fact that Frank and Sumiko were different genders, there was none of that mushy-gushy stuff or the "ewww, you're a girl" stuff either. The friendship between these two was close to hatred at first, but it grew to something unexpected - in more ways then one. I think that everyone should read this novel, if just for the ending.

The Bottom Line: An alright book but the author's take on friendship was "wow". This one is for you, historical fiction fans! B-.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

In Between These Pages #10

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! Each week I will post quotes from books that have done just that. 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".

"Now, looking back at a life of doing what I was told, I realized I'd bought into the game When adults patted me on the head and told me I was so grown-up, what they really meant was that they were glad I wasn't grown up enough yet to question, to fight back."

". . . that sometimes when you were low, all you had left in life was your right to close the door on the world and sit in your room alone where nothing further could befall you."

"Watching her, Sumiko knew she was struck by a type of lightening when she was born. There were people like that in the world."

"'Read that book', Bull said. "Don't forget the title: Basic Irrigation for Small Farms by Samuel Morrison. It was the best book I ever read.'

Sumiko hadn't even known Bull had ever read a book.

Bull continued, 'You can't put it down. It's better then a mystery. I read it three times

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sarah Dessen Challenge

Em over at Em's Bookshelf is hosting a Sarah Dessen Challenge so I've decided to join her!

The Rules:

1) Read all 9 books by Sarah Dessen.
2) Set your own time frame. Don't stress...this is supposed to be fun! :)
3) Comment on this post or link to this post on your blog. The more people that hear about this, the more people we'll have cheering us on!

I'm going to try and read all of the books by the end of the year, not because I'm a slow reader (I don't think) but because I want to own all of the books as I read them.

Em is also hosting a contest to win an ARC of Sarah's newest book, Along For the Ride, so go over there and read the details! It ends tomorrow so you'll have to hurry!

P.S. I made the button up there by myself (my first!) and I was wondering if you guys had any suggestions on improvement for next time? The quality is kind of suckish because I made the button small, then had to expand it.

Guess Who? Answer #9

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

. . . Courtney Summers! Thanks to all who participated!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong

Title: The Awakening
Author: Kelley Armstrong

Price: $17.99 U.S. (Hardcover), $16.96 CAN (Paperback)

Publisher: Doubleday (Canada), Harper Teen (U.S.) and Little Brown (U.K.)
Publication Date: May 2009

Number of Pages: 360

Warning: Do not read this review if you have not read the first book in the Darkest Powers series - The Summoning.

If you had met me a few weeks ago, you probably would have described me as an average teenage girl—someone normal. Now my life has changed forever and I'm as far away from normal as it gets. A living science experiment—not only can I see ghosts, but I was genetically altered by a sinister organization called the Edison Group. What does that mean? For starters, I'm a teenage necromancer whose powers are out of control; I raise the dead without even trying. Trust me, that is not a power you want to have. Ever.

Now I'm running for my life with three of my supernatural friends—a charming sorcerer, a cynical werewolf, and a disgruntled witch—and we have to find someone who can help us before the Edison Group finds us first. Or die trying.

When I first started reading The Awakening I was pleasantly surprised. The previous book in this series - The Summoning - had a two-faced beginning so I was kind of wary to begin reading this novel. However, The Awakening showed not only a promising start with the always lovable Chloe, but there was also some Nancy Drew sleuthing going on which immediately had me smile.

After Chloe found out some dark secrets about the Edison group and escaped with Tori following a plan that can only be declared as "genius", I was sure that some exciting times were bound to follow. And I was right . . . kind of.

You see, while The Awakening contained some pretty cool fight scenes and you could sense a little romance in the air, it all just seemed very repetitive. Chloe along with the other supernaturals just always seemed to be doing the same thing: either running or hiding. Even though that made sense with the Edison group trying to find them, I was more then ready for a change of scenery.

Like The Awakening, I also found that there were some scenes that were a little too descriptive (read: scary parts). You can decide if this is a good thing or a bad thing. But, besides that, I really enjoyed this book.

The Bottom Line: A little repetitive, but a good novel overall. A definite must of those of you who have read The Summoning. I believe fans of Twilight will like this book. A-.

I just have one question: Does anyone else find it odd that the protagonist's name, Chloe, isn't mentioned on the blurb? I checked on my Canadian copy of the book and it doesn't mention Chloe's name on the cover or inside flap anywhere.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

New Layout + Widget

As you can see, I changed my layout. I thought the previous one seemed a little too dark so I decided to change it to this bright one! What do you think? It's not too in-your-face, is it?

I also included a Amazon Book Search widget to the right for those of you who felt you need to order a book or get some more information right away. :)

Okay, now I'm just avoiding the real reason for this post. I don't know if this is just my computer, but is my blog post header turning up bright blue for you too? I'm pretty sure it's not supposed to do that . . .

Does anyone know how to fix this? I'm horrid at this computer stuff.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Guess Who? #9

Guess what?! It's "Guess Who?" time! If you're new, this meme is a guessing game where every Friday I post five facts about an author, each one a little more revealing then the one before, and then I give you the weekend to try and figure out who I'm talking about. The Monday following, I post the answer:
  1. This is a female.
  2. She lives and writes in Canada (woohoo!).
  3. She believes in the Nike slogan "Just do it!".
  4. Her book may or may not have appeared on my blog. :)
  5. I do believe she likes the "Summer" season.
So . . . what do you think? Is this too hard/easy again?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers

Title: Cracked Up to Be
Author: Courtney Summers
Price: $9.95 U.S. ($10.95 CAN) Paperback

Publication Date: December 2008

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Number of Pages: 214

Perfect Parker Fadley isn’t so perfect anymore. She’s quit the cheerleading squad, she’s dumped her perfect boyfriend, and she’s failing school. Her parents are on a constant suicide watch and her counselors think she’s playing games…but what they don’t know, the real reason for this whole mess, isn’t something she can say out loud. It isn’t even something she can say to herself. A horrible thing has happened and it just might be her fault. If she can just remove herself from everybody--be totally alone--then everything will be okay...The problem is, nobody will let her.

It's hard to explain certain aspects of this novel. Sometimes, this book is a hard slap on the face and other times, the writing is knowing, smart . . . a little surprising in this kind of novel. However, one thing I know for sure is that this book will stick with you for a while after you finish it. It really questions (in my opinion) destiny and whether some things are inevitable.

I couldn't get into this novel in the beginning. At first, I had absolutely no idea what they were talking about and I didn't get any insight into the big secret. Parker wouldn't let me get to know her. I know that's the way her character is and everything but I don't think that's the best way to start a book.

Thankfully, Parker opened up a little and then I was completely sucked into her story. Yesterday I was supposed to study for a rather large test I had today but I barely got any study time in because I was so engrossed in the book! If I fail my test I am blaming it all on you Courtney Summers . . . ;)

The author delivered pieces of Parker's mysterious past at just the right moment and she revealed just enough. I could also relate to Parker quite well even though she was quite the witch. I understood why she became who she was and why she did what she did. I believe anyone can relate to Parker's need to strive in perfection.

My only other complaint is the swearing in this book. They say the most colourful phrases I have ever heard/read. Grandma would be ashamed. Punk rockstar would be proud.

The bottom line: A good read despite what you might think at first. Will definitely make you think. Courtney Summers doesn't waste any words. B+.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

In Between These Pages #9

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! Each week I will post quotes from books that have done just that. 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".

"How can a person understand an experience that lies completely outside their
own? She can see it, feel it, imagine what it would be like to live it, but it's no different from seeing it in on a movie screen and saying "Thank God that's not me."

"I can tell this is really hard for him and I feel sorry for him because it's really
complicated and stupid when you can't even figure out why you like a person - especially a person like me - but everything inside you is telling you that you do."

One other thing: I'm thinking of having a contest but I don't know what to give away. Are there are books that you guys would love to win? Or do you think a gift card would suit you better? Or maybe some book-ish merchandise like a book-turned-into-a-movie?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Interview With HerInteractive

HerInteractive is the company behind the wonderful world of the Nancy Drew PC games.

You do remember Nancy, right? The one that always had a spare bobby pin for picking locks and knew Morse code so that she could tap-dance her way out of danger? The one with the original titian hair? The famous daughter of Carson Drew? I wish with all my heart I could interview one of the authors of the original hardback series, but I think they're all dead. Instead, I got to interview the wonderful Her Interactive team. Thanks Jessica!

. . .

Iryna: What inspired you to create a series of PC games based on the beloved Nancy Drew?

HerInteractive: Nancy Drew interested us because she is an icon and positive role model. Girls who read her books are taken to world where they can solve mysteries, find ill-gotten treasures, and capture culprits. Debuting in 1929, she was one of the first female heroes; her gutsy, resourceful, and intelligent nature make her a great heroine for the adventure game genre. Her Interactive secured the Nancy Drew license from Simon & Schuster in 1997.

Iryna: Are the staff members at Her Interactive a fan of the Nancy Drew books too?

HerInteractive: Yes! We have a collection of Nancy Drew books in our library that we like to peruse through every so often to get into the spirit of Nancy Drew.

Iryna: What would you consider to be the best part of your job?

HerInteractive: I love interacting with our fans and hearing what they have to say about our games. It’s important for us to understand what the fans want, and one of the most important aspects of my job, is to get feedback about what we’re doing well and what we could do better. So if you ever want to tell us something, email us at I also get to play a lot of games, Nancy Drew and then some – it helps us get a good idea of what other options girls might have besides our games.

Iryna: Do you ever wish that you could solve mysteries and travel the world like Nancy Drew?

HerInteractive: Yes! Although, I’m not sure I’m as brave as she is to go running into haunted houses.

Iryna: What do you think is Nancy’s best quality? Her worst?

HerInteractive: Nancy’s best quality is her ability to get things done, no matter what the obstacles are. She thinks outside of the box and uses all of her knowledge to find creative solutions out of sticky situations. Her flaw might be that she’s too perfect. She hardly ever makes a mistake and never has a bad hair day. It makes her character a little harder to relate to, but I suppose that’s part of the appeal of being Nancy Drew.

Iryna: How do you think up of the plot lines for all of your games?

HerInteractive: We look for topics that might be interesting to our fans and then craft a story around it. There’s also a wealth of Nancy Drew books that we can draw inspiration from, so that’s also very helpful. We also research a lot of topics and check our message board for anything our fans have been interested in experiencing. It’s all about the storytelling. We start off with a great mystery to hook the player, and then we lead them clues about the suspects until they reach the climax of the game. You’re constantly gathering clues and learning more about the suspects, but you never quite know if you’ve solved the case yet, so you keep going. The games appeal to a lot of people because they’re fun, challenging, and also wholesome. Once you’ve played one game, you’ll want to collect them all. We’ve sold over 5.5 million units to date.

Iryna: In your PC games you see the game directly as Nancy would. Why did you not decide to show how Nancy physically looks and what gave you the idea to do this?

HerInteractive: You’ll never see Nancy in our games because we want our players to be able to step into her shoes and be a spunky young sleuth who can solve any mystery. Nancy is smart, adventurous, and gutsy and this is the players chance to be just that. Wearing the perfect outfit and having killer heels is just the icing on the cake. J

Iryna: How long does it typically take for a ND game to be created?

HerInteractive: It takes about 8 months to create a game.

Iryna: Recently, you created a new Nancy Drew: Dossier PC game series that is a lot like “I Spy” - you must find items to advance in the game. What gave you the idea to do this?

HerInteractive: Our fans have always asked us to make more Nancy Drew games – they have to wait a long time from the fall release to the summer release. So we’ve created a new series, called Nancy Drew Dossier that Fast Fun for Busy Detectives. It has everything a fan would want from a Nancy Drew game - puzzles, mystery, suspects - but the gameplay is different. You still need to look for clues, but this time, you’ll find them all in the same scene, and then you’ll have to use them together correctly to solve the mystery. In addition, there are some fun mini-games that you can replay in Arcade Mode. We came up with this idea because not everyone has the time to sit down to a complex and challenging adventure – it’s a great way to fill the time between the Adventure Series games. To see more information about the two series, check out our comparison chart. Our first title in the Dossier series is Lights, Camera, Curses! – try it out, it’s different, but it’s still fun!

Iryna: Sometimes, in the ND adventure games you can call the famous Hardy Boys to ask for help in the case you are currently working on. How did you think up of this?

HerInteractive: Nancy has friends that she often asks for help from in the books ranging from Bess, George, Ned, Carson Drew, and the Hardy Boys. They’re all a very important part of her world. We needed a hint system for the games, and since Nancy collaborates with the Hardy Boys in the Super Mystery books, we though this would be a great idea. You can actually play as the Hardy Boys in Nancy Drew: Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon and Nancy Drew: The Creature of Kapu Cave. In Nancy Drew: Ransom of the Seven Ships (releases summer 2009), you’ll be able to meet Nancy’s best friends, Bess Marvin and George Fayne, as animated characters for the first time!

Iryna: What’s in the future for Her Interactive?

HerInteractive: We had a phenomenal year in 2008 with the release of our first Wii game, Nancy Drew: The White Wolf of Icicle Creek, and two chart topping PC games: Nancy Drew: The Phantom of Venice and Nancy Drew: The Haunting of Castle Malloy. This year, we’ll release two Adventures series titles, the first being Nancy Drew: Ransom of the Seven Ships releasing this summer and our 21st game in the fall. Recently, our new Nancy Drew Dossier: Lights, Camera, Curses just shipped into retail stores and we’re looking forward to releasing a sequel to the game this summer as well. Also, look for our first entry into the handheld market and Hardy Boys game with The Hardy Boys: Treasure on the Tracks. It’s going to be an exciting year, so make sure you keep checking for the latest updates!

. . .

Thanks for letting me interview you, HerInteractive!

So, what did you guys think? Do you want more interviews that have to do with books, but don't always have to do with authors or bloggers? Or was this a little too off topic?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Guess Who? Answer #8

I'd like to say thank-you to everyone who provided me with feedback on last week's "Guess Who?". I think I made that one a little too hard . . .

Anyways, last week's featured author was . . .

. . . Gail Carson Levine who is also the author of Ella Enchanted!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

Title: The Summoning
Author: Kelley Armstrong

Price: U.S. $17.99 (Hardcover), CAN $14.95 (Paperback)

Publisher: Doubleday (Canada), Harper Teen (U.S.) and Little Brown (U.K.)

Publication Date: July 1st, 2008

Number of Pages: 390

Chloe Saunders sees dead people. Yes, like in the films. The problem is, in real life saying you see ghosts gets you a one-way ticket to the psych ward. And at 15, all Chloe wants to do is fit in at school and maybe get a boy to notice her. But when a particularly violent ghost haunts her, she gets noticed for all the wrong reasons. Her seemingly crazed behaviour earns her a trip to Lyle House, a centre for 'disturbed teens'. At first Chloe is determined to keep her head down. But then her room mate disappears after confessing she has a poltergeist, and some of the other patients also seem to be manifesting paranormal behaviour. Could that be a coincidence? Or is Lyle House not quite what it seems...? Chloe realizes that if she doesn't uncover the truth, she could be destined for a lifetime in a psychiatric hospital. Or could her fate be even worse...? Can she trust her fellow students, and does she dare reveal her dark secret?

I'm having a hard time writing this review. I mean, hard. Have any of you book bloggers out there ever felt this frustration? I've been staring at this computer screen for at least half an hour and nothings coming, so I've decided to create a list, which always seems to help:

What I Liked About This Book:
  • Even though the plot isn't 100% original, I liked the whole idea. If you're a fan of Ghost Whisperer, I have a feeling you'll like this one!
  • Something I don't see often in a book is a protagonist who wants to be a movie director. Chloe's thoughts and opinions were sometimes dusted in a sparkling, strawberry-scented coat of the movie world. I definetly learned a few things about the film industry!
  • I definetly didn't predict the twists and turns in this book. And the fact that there were so many of them really made this a surprising novel.
  • The ending holds a lot of potential for the second book which, in other words, makes it GREAT! The Awakening, the second book in the Darkest Powers series, is definitely at the top of my TBR list!
What I Didn't Like:
  • I don't know if this is just me, but I noticed that some sentences just didn't make sense. I would post an example, but I think the grammarical error-ified sentences are hiding from me. I'll try to find an example and I'll post it here later.
  • In the beginning, it felt like someone hit the fast-forward button. I missed quite a few vital details so I had to re-read. Then, when Chloe arrived at the Lyle House, things slowed down so much that my eyes started to droop. Thankfully, things sped up again once I got to the middle of this novel.
The "In The Middle" Stuff:
  • There is a scene where Chloe accidentally raises zombies from the dead which is, in my opinion, plain creepy! I got goosebumps over goosebumps! Sure, this is a sign of good writing, but it was also scary! This might not be the case for everyone however, since I seem to be a bit of a scardy cat . . .
The Bottom Line: This was a pretty good book after you got over the two faced beginning! Would be best for paranormal and movie lovers. B+.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Guess Who? #8

"Guess Who?" is the guessing game where every Friday I post five facts about an author, each one a little more revealing then the one before, and then I give you the weekend to try and figure out who I'm talking about. The Monday following, I post the answer. Here is this week's:
  1. The author is female.
  2. She likes to roam the world of fantasy.
  3. This author was born in 1947.
  4. Author X's first book was written before 2000 . . .
  5. . . . which was turned into one of my favourite kid's movies.
So, what do you think? Was this too easy? Too hard?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

In Between These Pages #8

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! Each week I will post quotes from books that have done just that. 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".

"Sometimes you're gonna have to make decisions that not everyone is going to like. But if you think it's the right thing to do, you have to do it. You have to start trusting yourself."

"I stared at their clasped hands, wishing ----- would take my hand. Why wouldn't he?

Maybe because they're in my pockets?

Oh, yeah."

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Specialists: Down to the Wire by Shannon Greenland

Title: Down to the Wire
Author: Shannon Greenland
Average Price: $6.99 U.S. ($8.99 CAN) Paperback
Publication Date: September 2007
Publisher: Penguin
Number of Pages: 213

Frankie has an uncanny knack for electronics, specifically breaking into the most elaborate security systems. Which is precisely why he was recruited by the Specialists. And after only a few months in the organization, Frankie, aka Wirenut, is ready for his first mission. When wealthy entrepreneur Octavias Zorba hires the Specialists to recover a stolen neurotoxin, the head of the Specialists is sure that Wirenut is perfect for the job. But there's a catch. The computer-coded hints that will lead to the neurotoxin are hidden in a few precious museum artifacts, which happen to be securely locked away. And when these hints are found, there is limited time to get them decoded or they will disappear forever. Enter GiGi and her computer-code genius ability. But when GiGi and Wirenut begin their mission, they find themselves up against a few obstacles, including a copy cat who turns up everywhere they go. And suddenly they find themselves on a fast-paced hunt for the criminal, with time quickly running out....

Before I start this review I just want to say sorry about my current spy book addiction. You all must be sick and tired of hearing about the latest (and greatest) spy books. I'll try to mix to up a bit!

The second book in The Specialists series starts off with how one of the spies, Wirenut (a.k.a. Frankie) lands a position as one of the member of the Specialists. I thought his story was very interesting and had a wonderful tie-in with the plot of this book. I also liked how each book of The Specialists series focuses on one particular member. I really felt like I knew the characters.

Right after Wirenut's story ends we pick right up from the first book, Model Spy. The story moved quickly which made this book quite enjoyable. Unlike last time, I found that Shannon Greenland made the cliffhangers in these books a bit more dramatic and realistic.

What I noticed straight away when I started this book was all the detail that went in regarding each person's special skill. I learned so much about security systems, what types there are and how to break in to them that I'm sure I could write a little "how to" right now! It was incredible!

I like the betrayal the author threw into the end and how the mission in this book had a lot to do with Wirenut and his past. The only thing that I thought was really unnecessary was the gory scene at the mansion. Ewwww. Too much detail. In fact, I think that could have been taken out all together.

The Bottom Line: This is a cute, fast-paced novel that I would recommend to you spy book lovers out there and to some of the younger readers. I'm giving this novel a B.

Cover Note: I don't know if this is just me, but does the leg on the cover bother you? I don't think it looks natural and its driving me insane!


Monday, May 4, 2009

Confessions (Sunday Scribbles #1)

I've decided that once in a while, probably not every week, I'm going to participate in this new meme that actually doesn't have to do a lot with books. However, I think it is pretty darn cool so I'm going to try my hand at this.*

Over at the blog Sunday Scribbles two bloggers post a writing challenge for people to complete each week. This week's challenge is to talk about confessions.

Hmmm. Do I have any confessions? I hate cherries. Everything except for the pure, wholesome, un-sugar-afied, organic thing. But that's not really something you want to hear about, am I right?

I guess I picked a pretty bad day to start this "Sunday Scribbles" thing on but I just thought the idea was really, really cool so I wanted to try it. That's a confession, right?

Okay, think book-related . . . Oohh! I got something! I guess this isn't really a confession to you 99% of the readers on this blog, but to one person in particular . . . you'll figure it out. :)

Here is a conversation I had with Friend X:

Friend X and I are walking to math (?) class when X says:

"You won't believe it Iryna! You know that book that I requested from the library?"

X doesn't wait for me to reply.

"Well, I went to pick it up from the library yesterday but some idiot didn't return it on time so I didn't get it! Can you believe it?!"

Oooops. I don't say anything but in my head I make a mental note to return the only copy of that book to the library ASAP.

X? I'm sorry! *blushes*

*Yeah, I know it's not Sunday but "Monday" rhymes with "Sunday" so it totally works out. :D

Guess Who? Answer #7

You guessed it! The answer to last week's "Guess Who?" is . . .

. . . Sarah Dessen!

P.S. Would you like me to make these "Guess Who?" posts harder?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

I Need Your Help!


If you are my mother, stop reading this blog entry right now. With that said . . .

As you all know, Mother's Day is coming up in a week. I suck at buying/making presents for my parents so I have decided the safe way to go about to buying a Mother's Day gift is to buy her a book. However, I can't just buy my mom any old novel because last Christmas I bought her a romance novel (all women like romances, right?) and the only purpose it has served is a good coaster for hot drinks.

The other day I was at Chapters and saw a display of The Chicken Soup for the Soul books and I though "Huh, why I don't I buy her one of those books?." But when I went over to the display a different series by Jack Canfield caught my eye - the Life Lessons series.

This looks like a really good new series and I think I want to buy my mom one of the three of these books.

My mother is a women and a mom (duh) but she's also into this whole "positive thinking" thing which I think is what the gold/blue book is all about. All of these books cost the same so price won't come into the overall scheme of things.

So, what do you guys think? Which book do you think I should buy her? Or do you have a whole new book idea?

Life Lesson for Busy Moms

Life Lessons for Women

Life Lessons for Mastering the Law of Attraction

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

Title: Audrey, Wait!
Author: Robin Benway
Average Price: U.S. $8.99 ($11.00 CAN) Paperback
Publisher: Razor Bill (Penguin)
Publication Date: 2008
Number of Pages: 313

Book Excerpt


California high school student Audrey Cuttler dumps self-involved Evan, the lead singer of a little band called The Do-Gooders. Evan writes, "Audrey, Wait!," a break-up song that's so good it rockets up the billboard charts. And Audrey is suddenly famous!

Now rabid fans are invading her school. People is running articles about her arm-warmers. The lead singer of the Lolitas wants her as his muse. (And the Internet is documenting her every move!) Audrey can't hang out with her best friend or get with her new crush without being mobbed by fans and paparazzi.

Take a wild ride with Audrey as she makes headlines, has outrageous amounts of fun, confronts her ex on MTV, and gets the chance to show the world who she really is.

For those of you who have read Audrey, Wait! then I'm sure it won't shock you when I tell you that my first thought when I finished this book was "Wow. Just wow."

When I first started this novel I had some trouble getting into it. I couldn't relate to Audrey at all. I remember reading a line in the book that went something like "If you don't like you music loud enough for the neighbours to call the cops then I'm afraid we won't get along very well." Please Note: I don't speak music (except for Christmas carols). I still have no idea who Lady Gaga is and I pride myself in the fact that I am familiar with Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus.

I also absolutely loathed the swearing in this book. Me + swearing = unhappy customer. Every time someone swore in this book I flinched. I'm sure I got permanent nerve damage from that.

However, I hung on to this book and kept reading because A) Audrey is one of the most entertaining fictional characters that I have ever met, B) I wanted to know if James would start speaking again and C) It was HILARIOUS reading about the predicaments Audrey got herself into. Finally, sometime in the middle of the book, Audrey began to realize that she had to do something about her sudden uprise in popularity if she ever wanted to make it home from school without being trampled by fans. This is probably when I started to relate to Audrey and really get caught up in the story.

On the back of my copy of this book it has a quote from Pop Culture Junkie: "I want to be friends with Audrey, James, Victoria and Jonah" and I have to say - I couldn't agree with you more! The only thing I kind of found . . . unbelievable about James was how different he was once you got to know him. It almost felt a little too surreal.

This book is perfect for anyone (especially music fans!) who would love to hear the truth about being famous and the way some people feel about it. I'm giving it an A-!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Guess Who? #7

"Guess Who?" is the guessing game where every Friday I post five facts about an author, each one a little more revealing then the one before, and then I give you the weekend to try and figure out who I'm talking about. The Monday following, I post the answer. Here is this week's:
  1. Girly-girl (I think).
  2. All of her book covers seem to be made up of legs/arms.
  3. Two of her books were mushed together and made into a movie.
  4. New book coming out this June.
  5. Initials: S.D.
So . . .