Saturday, April 30, 2011

In My Mailbox Vlog [16]

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted over at the lovely blog The Story Siren. The point is to blog about books that you have somehow procured during the week!

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
Where She Went by Gayle Foreman
City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger

Drought by Pam Bachorz
Rose Sees Red by Cecil Castellucci
Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (whoops ignore the fact I called her Lauren in the vlog.... :P)
Thanks Valerie @ Truth Be Told!!! :)

From an Author
Across the Universe Swag!!! Thanks Beth Revis. :)

Tomorrow I'm going to be posting the giveaway info for the Across the Universe swag AND I'm also going to be posting a feedback survey for you guys to fill out if you want to! Be on the lookout! Have a great weekend.

That's what I got "In My Mailbox" this week! What did you guys get?

Julia :)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bookish Questions: Favorite Childhood Reads

Today we're talking about our favorite childhood reads! Those books that we read and LOVED when we were kids. I don't know about you guys but I've always been a huge reader ever since I was really little. Not only did I read a lot but I also read way above the average reading level for my age. I totally skipped over the Dr. Seuss reading stage. I think I only read like 2 of his books when I was little. Crazy but true. Anyway these were my favorite books when I was a kid starting from when I was in Kindergarten all the way up to 5th grade. :)

Kindergarten - 1st Grade

The first actual book I remember reading as a kid was Go, Dog, Go by P.D. Eastman. Its the book my Mom had all us kids read first! Because of that it definitely holds a special place in my heart. Which sounds so sappy, but its true. :P I love this book.

After I got better at reading I became OBSESSED with the Fox books by Edward Marshall. I thought Fox was awesome because he was such a sassy pants and in my little kindergarten mind he was such a badass. Hilarious right? I especially liked that Fox would always say "Rats!" I tried to adopt it for myself and lets just say my Mom wouldn't have it! Haha.

2nd-3rd Grade

I don't remember exactly how old I was when first heard the The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner on tape but I loved it immediately. I've read this book so many times and countless books in the series too. I totally used to fantasize about living out on my own with my siblings when I was younger because of this book series. I can't tell you how many times we pretended to be the Boxcar Children. I always was forced to be Henry because my older sister didn't want to be the boy. :P But if you really think about it the story is so unrealistic because honestly a 14, 12, 10 and 6 year old living on their own? Yeah not really gonna work. Haha. But still its such an awesome idea and an awesome story. :)

 Nancy Drew Mysteries by Carolyn Keene. Just about every girl has read one of these books. I've read nearly all of them. I was really into mysteries when I was little and these were my favorites! My sister thought they were too scary but I thought they were just right.

4th Grade - 5th Grade 

In 4th Grade I went through this mouse crazy stage. Which sounds really weird but its true. I read any book I could find that had mice in it. I would even search by subject through the Library system and put in mice. No joke! So these are some of my favorite mouse related books: The Mouse and His Child by Russell Hoban, Basil of Baker Street by Eve Titus, and Poppy by Avi. 

Finally the last of my favorite books I read as a kid is Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. I went through a fantasy stage and this was by far my favorite. I really like the idea of being able to read things out of stories or getting read into stories!

So those are my favorite books that I read as kid! What about you guys? What are some of your favorite childhood reads?

Julia :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday [7]

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted over at Breaking The Spine. The purpose is to spotlight upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating!

This week I'm waiting on The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore!

I've seen him on the news. Followed the stories about what happened in Ohio. John Smith, out there, on the run. To the world, he's a mystery. But to me . . . he's one of us.

Nine of us came here, but sometimes I wonder if time has changed us—if we all still believe in our mission. How can I know? There are six of us left. We're hiding, blending in, avoiding contact with one another . . . but our Legacies are developing, and soon we'll be equipped to fight. Is John Number Four, and is his appearance the sign I've been waiting for? And what about Number Five and Six? Could one of them be the raven-haired girl with the stormy eyes from my dreams? The girl with powers that are beyond anything I could ever imagine? The girl who may be strong enough to bring the six of us together?

They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They tried to catch Number Four in Ohio—and failed.

I am Number Seven. One of six still alive.

And I'm ready to fight.

Okay so I know this is coming out of James Frey's fiction factory (which I totally DO NOT support) but I actually thought I Am Number Four was pretty good (the movie was freaking AWESOME!) and I'm curious to see where the story goes. The summary of this one sounds even better than I Am Number Four. Although I have to say that the title is super misleading. Its not about Number Six but Number Seven? Yeahhh weirdness.

The Power of Six is coming out on August 23rd. Will you be reading it?

Julia :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Book Review: The Last Little Blue Envelope

Ginny Blackstone thought that the biggest adventure of her life was behind her. She spent last summer traveling around Europe, following the tasks her aunt Peg laid out in a series of letters before she died. When someone stole Ginny's backpack—and the last little blue envelope inside—she resigned herself to never knowing how it was supposed to end. 

Months later, a mysterious boy contacts Ginny from London, saying he's found her bag. Finally, Ginny can finish what she started. But instead of ending her journey, the last letter starts a new adventure—one filled with old friends, new loves, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Ginny finds she must hold on to her wits . . . and her heart. This time, there are no instructions.

The Last Little Blue Envelope picks up almost a year after 13 Little Blue Envelopes left off. Ginny is attempting to write college application essays when BAM she gets an email from a mysterious British fellow who apparently has the 13 missing envelopes. And then, in perfect Maureen Johnson fashion, hilarity ensues.

If there is one thing that Maureen Johnson excels at in her novels it is humor. Her books are so darn funny!!! Allow me to prove this to you with the following excerpt:

"Cheer up," he said, putting an arm around her shoulders. "It's me you're with. Would I ever lead you to do something stupid? Best not to answer that. Just follow me down this dark path over here."

Just follow me down this dark path over here?!?! Yep, hilarious. XD The thing that makes this quote even funnier is that when I read it to my mother (after she asked me why I was cackling like a crazy person....) she proceeded to tell me that she could imagine one of my guy friends saying that. Apparently I have some frightening friends.... Anyway I can assure you that this book is a riot.

The one thing that detracts from The Last Little Blue Envelope is the characters. I wasn't that big a fan of Ginny in 13 Little Blue Envelopes and she still wasn't able to win me over in this one. She just spent a lot of the book pining away for Keith and ultimately being kind of a pushover. And speaking of Keith I REALLY don't like that guy. He was sooooo mean in this book! It was somewhat rationalized meanness but honestly he was just not nice. It made me sad. :( Oliver was a bit better but he totally gave me the creeps in the beginning. I mean a guy who holds your mail ransom? Yeah, creepy would definitely be the right word. However he did redeem himself in the end! The one character that I did thoroughly enjoy was Ellis, Keith's girlfriend. She was so quirky and wonderful and all I can say is girl you need to find yourself a better boyfriend because KEITH IS A JERK!!! You deserve better. Oh and lets be best friends yeah?

I LOVED the ending to this book. It wrapped up the whole 13 Little Blue Envelopes saga perfectly. If you want a funny, contemporary. moving, and slightly romantic read then The Last Little Blue Envelope definitely fits the bill. I just wish the characters were more loveable. :/ Overall the book gets 3 and a half out of 5 ice cream cones.

After reading these books I now want to travel all over Europe. Whose with me?

Julia :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Kawaii Monday: Llamas, Llamas, LLAMAS!!!!

This weeks Kawaii Monday features llamas! All sorts of crazy llamas. Because llamas are awesome. And also because I found all these crazy random llama cell phone charms and I couldn't pick just one to feature. They were all too funny. XD Check them out.

 The "regular" llama!

Albino llama!!!! XD
The cupcake llama. For the cupcake AND llama lover in your life. XD

 The pirate llama! As if llamas weren't already badass enough.
 Zombie llama: Because even animals can take part in the zombie apocalypse.
 And last, but certainly not least, the rainbow llama. Just think. If you have the rainbow llama cell phone charm AND wear this lovely rainbow llama ring:
 It will be like a double rainbow llama. ALL THE WAY!!! XD

Haha like I said all the llamas were just too good to be true! I particularly like the rainbow llama and the cupcake llama. Ohhh and the zombie llama is pretty funny too. XD Which is your favorite?

You can find all of these cell phone charms at Cute Plush!

Julia :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Author Interview: Megan McCafferty

Hey guys! About a week ago I posted a review of the book Bumped. Well today I have an interview from the wonderful author Megan McCafferty!

1. The world you created in Bumped was amazing. What was it like as an author to create something so real and vivid? Was it difficult or did it come easily to you?

Thank you! I did about a year's worth of research before I started writing BUMPED. I read a lot about the history of surrogate motherhood, teen pregnancy, adoption and sex education because I wanted to ground my frightening future in reality. (if you go to my Goodreads page, you can check out my "research for Bumped" shelf.) As for the slang, slogans and technology, my Sci-Fi loving husband cautioned me against trying to accurately predict what would be happening 25 years from now. He advised me to just have fun with it, and that's what I did.

2. What was it that made you decide to write a story about two sisters?

Genetics play a huge role in the world of BUMPED. Splitting the narrative between identical twin sisters opened up so many plot possibilities based around their shared DNA. 

3. The two sisters Harmony and Melody come from two very different backgrounds: The Church and kind of a modern family. Why did you choose those particular backgrounds?

BUMPED is a satirical cautionary tale about what happens when extreme thinking crowds out more moderate approaches to social problems. It seemed natural to pit an oversexed culture against a dogmatic religious culture against a dogmatic religious culture because that's what you often see battling it out in the media. In doing so, I hope readers will realize just how much the two sides - as personified by Melody and Harmony - have in common.

4. Zen is one of the few biracial characters I've found in literature. Why did you decide to include a character like that in Bumped? (he was totally my favorite by the way!)

According to the Census, white Americans will be the minority by mid-century. The book is set in Princeton, NJ in the year 2036. Current day Princeton is already a very multicultural town and I imagine that it will be much more so 25 years from now.

5. Who is your favorite character from Bumped? Any character you particularly enjoyed writing?

It's hard for me to choose a favorite character because I have affection for them all...even the ones I kind of hate. In fact, the more loathsome or despicable characters like Ventura Vida or Lib - Melody's rival and Reproductive Representative, respectively - can be the most fun to write because they say and do such outrageous things.

6. What is the main message you hope a reader will get from Bumped?

When people first hear the plot of BUMPED, they think, "Oh, that's crazy." But is it really so far fetched? When "surrogacy tourism" is gaining in popularity, and the girls from 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom get tabloid covers, and Abercrombie and Fitch sells padded bikini tops for eight year olds? I hope readers draw parallels between real life and futuristic fiction, especially in the way teens feel trapped by parental/peer/cultural expectations, or how the media sells messages about sex and virginity. If readers get to the end of BUMPED and can't stop thinking about it, then I've succeeded.

7. Bumped ended at a sort of a cliffhanger. Can you tell us anything about the sequel?

I'm in the middle of revisions right now, so I don't want to say too much. The sequel picks up eight and a half months after BUMPED ends. And there won't be a third book. I always saw it as two narrators, two books.

8. If Bumped were to become a movie who would be in your dream cast?

Oh, I have absolutely no idea! I'll leave that fun to the readers...or hopefully the casting director!

9. What was it that inspired you to become an author?

I've been making up stories since I learned how to talk, and started writing them down right after I learned my ABCs. I've never wanted to be anything else. My last non-writing related job was at Lucky Leo's Arcade on the Seaside Heights boardwalk (Yes, the same Seaside made famous by Jersey Shore.)

10. A crazy natural disaster occurs and you are only able to save 5 books. What 5 would you save?

The Catcher in the Rye, A Good Man is Hard to Find (Flannery O'Connor), Naked (David Sedaris), Feed (M.T. Anderson), and for my husband and son, The Lord of the Rings.

That's so nice of you to save books for your husband and son! I don't know if I would be able to do that. Hehe. I would definitely want to save The Lord of the Rings too. 

Thank you so much Megan McCafferty for the lovely interview! I definitely can't wait for Bumped's sequel to come out. If you haven't read Bumped yet you should really pick it up! Its an awesome book.

Julia :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Words Wednesday [20]

A chance for me to highlight some of my favorite book quotes! This week's quote is from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling.

"I solemnly swear that I am up to no good."

 I don't really think this quote needs an explanation. It is THAT amazing. 

Julia :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday [6]

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted over at Breaking The Spine. The purpose is to spotlight upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating!

This week I'm waiting on Beauty Queens by Libba Bray!

From bestselling, Printz Award-winning author Libba Bray, the story of a plane of beauty pageant contestants that crashes on a desert island. Teen beauty queens. A "Lost"-like island. Mysteries and dangers. No access to email. And the spirit of fierce, feral competition that lives underground in girls, a savage brutality that can only be revealed by a journey into the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Oh, the horror, the horror! Only funnier. With evening gowns. And a body count.

I really liked Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle Trilogy so I'm hoping that I'll enjoy this book too! It sounds super hilarious but also a little bit edgy. I'm expecting a lot of cat fights and mental breakdowns!!! Should be pretty interesting.

I have to say that I'm not a big fan of this cover. Its sort of cheesy. A girl in a bikini wearing a bullet holder full of lipsticks? Yeah just a bit strange. Plus I just know that when I check this book out from the Library my brothers are going to say "Oh my gosh, Julia WHY are you checking out a book with a girl in a bikini on the cover? It's DISTURBING!!!" :P

Beauty Queens is coming out on May 24th just in time for summer! Oh my gosh summer is only like a month away! Are you guys excited? I'm excited!!!

Julia :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Book Review: Bumped

When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents are forced to pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society.

Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and had never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Until now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend Zen, who is way too short for the job.

Harmony has spent her whole life in religious Goodside, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to bring Melody back to Goodside and convince her that “pregging” for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.

When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.

Wow. This book is intense. Really intense. After seeing a lot of reviews I thought I knew what to expect from Bumped. But honestly, nothing can prepare you for a story like this. Its shocking. Its exciting. Its frustrating. Its REALLY frustating. :P But most of all Bumped is the kind of story that sticks with you and makes you question the life that you live.

Neither Melody or Harmony are particularly relatable characters but Megan McCafferty is able to develop them in such a way that its hard not to get drawn into their story. I loved their progression from girls who just accepted everything about their life, to girls who discovered the truth and were willing to stand up for it. I can't wait to see what happens Melody and Harmony in the sequel!

Zen was by far my favorite character in this book. He was the only one that I didn't hate at least once during the story. :P I may be biased because he is half Chinese but honestly who wouldn't love him? He's the type of guy that would help little old ladies cross the street for the sole reason of being helpful! And I loved that fact that he was short. Yay for us people plagued with "insufficient verticality!!!" XD

Because this book is so filled with extremes its hard not to get annoyed with it. The religion is SO over the top its crazy. Then there's the societies sick obsession with teens getting "bumped" and having babies. That's part of what makes this book so frustrating to read. You know that its supposed to be over the top, but at the same time its hard not to take it seriously.

Megan McCafferty has written a book that will strike a chord with readers. Whether you love it, or hate it there is no question that you will remember Bumped. It's funny and lighthearted but it also examines some deeps issues in society. Bumped isn't your average dystopian novel and thats what makes it stand out. I give it 4 and a half out of 5 ice cream cones.

Not everyone is who reads Bumped is going to love it. Its controversial. It ask questions. It confronts you. But it also makes you think. Bumped may be full of extremes, but I think it is an extremely important book that needs to be read.

Julia :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Kawaii Monday: Appa Plush

This weeks Kawaii Monday features an Appa plush!

I don't know about you but I'm a huge fan of the Avatar: The Last Airbender cartoon series. Seriously they are like the best cartoons EVER. Appa is the cutest thing! For those of you who don't know he is a flying bison. One of my friends has one of these Appa plushes and let me tell you they it is SO CUTE. This photo does not do the cuteness of the Appa plush justice. HE'S SO FLUFFY!!!!

If you want to buy Appa you can find him on Amazon here.

Julia :)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Bookish Questions: So what do you think of movie adaptions?

This past week the YA world was hit with Hunger Games casting news. Josh Hutcherson is officially cast as Peeta and Liam Hemsworth is officially cast as Gale. *cue sad music and angry fan outbursts*

I know. I can't believe it either. This was me on the morning the casting news hit:

-Log in to Facebook
-Start reading my news feed
-See the official casting announcement
-FREAK OUT! (And not in a good way.)
-Start throwing a mini temper tantrum inside my head ala "OH MY GOSH MILEY CYRUS' EX BOYFRIEND IS SO NOT GALE!!!!"
-Torture my family with casting complaints for the remainder of the day
-Console myself by painting my toenails to look like dinosaur eggs (no joke!)

So yeah to say that I was disappointed about the casting announcement would be the understatement of the year. Unlike most people it isn't Josh Hutcherson that I'm sad about. On the contrary I like Josh Hutcherson for Peeta! (if you still need convincing just watch this interview of him on Jimmy Kimmel Live. He's totally channeling a Peeta vibe!) No the casting decision I'm peeved about is Liam Hemsworth as Gale. If you've been reading my blog for awhile then you should know that Gale is at the top of my favorite literary guys list. Yep, even after reading Mockingjay I still like him. Don't judge me!!! So the fact that Miley Cyrus' ex is going to be playing him on the big screen? Yeah I'm sad beyond all compare. Everytime I see a picture of him my first reaction is to scream (and NOT in a good way) and then to gag. I just don't find him attractive..... At all.... Plus I don't trust his acting skills. I mean Nicholas Sparks? *gag reflex*

So after experiencing my own reaction to this casting (this is the first time I've ever been this emotionally invested in the casting of a movie) and reading the reactions of others I was inspired to ask the question: What is it that makes a book to movie adaption great? Is it the actors and the quality of their acting? Or is it keeping close to the source material? And should we think of books and their adaptions as the same entity or two separate things entirely?

My all time favorite book to movie adaption is the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. (oh and I totally have this movie poster on my wall. I'm such a nerd.... XD)

In my mind these movies are what book to movie adaptions should be. Its like the book is coming to life before your eyes. The world is vibrant, the essence of each character is intact, and the story is preserved.

But sometimes movie adaptions just don't turn out that way. We read the book, and they make a movie and gosh they BUTCHER IT. Kind of like what happened with the Percy Jackson movie that came out last year.

I love Logan Lerman and all but even he couldn't save this movie. It wasn't that the acting was bad (though I really did not enjoy Annabeths performance) but more that the script was TERRIBLE.

I think its better to separate the book and the movie, at least until the movie actually comes out, that way there isn't as much disappointed when the movie pales in comparison to the original source material. Like for the Hunger Games movie: I'm totally looking forward to it (even with Liam playing Gale) but I don't want to build it up to be something in my mind that it just can't measure up to. That way when I actually see it instead of being marginally disappointed, I might be pleasantly surprised, or totally blown away in awesome!

So my lovely blog readers, what is your stance on book to movie adaptions? Love them? Hate them? Do you think its better to separate the movie and the book? Or do you think we should expect them to both be equally amazing? And what do you think is the most important element of a movie adaption? (personally I think its preserving the essence of the characters!)

Ohhh and I also would love to hear your thoughts on the Hunger Games casting news! Are you as devastated about certain members of the cast as I am? Or are you relatively happy about who they have chosen to play Katniss, Peeta, and Gale?

Julia :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Book Review: 13 Little Blue Envelopes

Inside little blue envelope 1 are $1,000 and instructions to buy a plane ticket.

In envelope 2 are directions to a specific London flat.

The note in envelope 3 tells Ginny: Find a starving artist.

Because of envelope 4, Ginny and her artist, a playwright/thief/bloke-about-town called Keith, go to Scotland together, with somewhat disastrous - though utterly romantic - results. Ginny isn't sure she'll see Keith again, and definitely doesn't know what to think about him. Could the answer be in the envelopes? Ginny doesn't know it, but adventures in Rome and Paris are in envelopes 6 and 8. The rules are that she has to open one at a time, in order, so perhaps it isn't surprising that she discovers things about her life and love one by one. Everything about Ginny will change this summer, and it's all because of the 13 little blue envelopes.

5 Words to Describe this Book
Ignore the really bad cover..... XD

Why oh why did they have to give this book such an ugly cover? I mean seriously I don't know ANYONE who would see the cover of this book and say "Oh my gosh its gorgeous! Now I want to read it!" Instead you look at it and think "What is up with that girl and why is she trying to look all swanky?" Or maybe that's just me..... I guess what I'm trying to say is it makes me so sad that this book has a weird cover because the story inside is so great! I don't want anyone to miss out on this book merely because of its outside appearance! ITS WHAT'S ON THE INSIDE THAT COUNTS!!!

Anyway this book is AWESOME. All kinds of awesome. Who doesn't dream of randomly traveling across Europe? Although I have to say that the premise of this story is totally unrealistic once you think about it. Clearly this book was written before the movie Taken came out (Click the link if you're unfamiliar with the movie). I mean a teenage girl going off to Europe with no way of contacting home? No cell phone, no internet access, ohhh yeah and no money (well at least until she gets to Europe. And even then its fishy)? I just don't see that flying with anyones parents nowadays.... Not to mention that one envelope that instructed Ginny to ask some random European guy on a date? Yeah, in real life that would be a REALLY BAD IDEA. But regardless of its many unrealistic factors 13 Little Blue Envelopes still remains awesome.

Maureen Johnson is a HILARIOUS author and a just plain genius author all around. She is able to combine humor, romance, emotional confrontation, AND international travel and have all of it fit together and make sense. Not an easy task I'm sure!

I'm going to be honest and say my favorite characters have to be the Knapp family. They may have only been in the last 3rd of the book but gosh they were SO FUNNY. Talk about vacation nightmare right there! I felt so bad for Ginny having to endure their showtune singing and crazy touristiness. I honestly don't know what would have been worse: hanging out with the Knapps for a week or Ginny staying at that disgusting youth hostel place. I guess the Knapps were the lesser of two evils but honestly you lose both ways. XD

13 Little Blue Envelopes is an all around amazing book. Its funny and lighthearted, but also has some deep moments and some romantic ones too. Reading the letters along with Ginny definitely kept me glued to the page. I was always curious to know what adventure her aunt would send her off to next! If you're a fan of international travel, romantic comedies, or European guys with awesome accents (and honestly, who isn't?) then you'll LOVE 13 Little Blue Envelopes. I give it 4 and a half out of 5 ice cream cones!

Oh and I've decided that HarperCollins needs to hire me to redesign this book cover. I've already got it all planned out! The cover will no longer feature Ginny, but instead have all of the 13 envelopes that the aunt designed on it. They would be in rows of 3 and then the 13th envelope would be at the bottom and it would have the title in it. Yep, its genius. I am currently trying to figure out how to make it using my meager photoshopping skills..... Of course if  I end up succeeding I will share it with you all!

So I'm curious to know: If you got to travel to one country what would it be and why? Personally, I would like to travel to New Zealand so I could see the filming spots of LOTR. Especially Hobbiton. I would do just about anything to see Hobbiton!

Julia :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Book Review: The Betrayal of Maggie Blair

When Maggie's grandmother is accused of witchcraft, the sixteen-year-old has to run for her life. With English soldiers on the march, nowhere is safe - certainly not Ladymuir, where her uncle is determined to defy the king. And wherever Maggie goes, disaster follows. When an old enemy turns up at Ladymuir and settles in as one of the family, Maggie knows that trouble will result, but even she can't imagine the deceit and betrayal that's to come....

The Betrayal of Maggie Blair is a fascinating look into a world where small mistakes can lead to huge consequences and what you believe can get you killed. Historical Fiction never ceases to surprise me with the way it can weave together history and modern principles. Elizabeth Laird has done a great job with that in this book. The Betrayal of Maggie Blair isn't just about history, but also about one girls journey of self discovery and finding out what she is willing to stand up for and believe in.

Trouble was always following Maggie. But regardless of that fact, she remained surprisingly optimistic. Not only that but she hardly ever thought of herself. She was a very selfless character which I really liked. Another character that I thought was fascinating was Tam. He wanted to be helpful, and quite often he was, but at the same time he was only looking out for himself. At first I couldn't decide whether or not I liked Tam because he would waffle between being trustworthy, and then doing something completely selfish. But by the end of the story I really liked Tam and I understood why Maggie really loved and trusted him.

This book sort of had an episodic nature to it. Maggie would get out of one problem only to get thrust into another. It wasn't a bad thing, but it just made the everything fairly predictable. The great thing was that with every problem that Maggie faced, she would grow as a character, and by the end of the book she finally realized where she belonged in the world.

I give The Betrayal of Maggie Blair 4 out of 5 ice cream cones!

Julia :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Kawaii Monday: In which I revisit my childhood and talk about the Ninja Turtles.

This weeks Kawaii Monday features super cute Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle art. I was randomly searching the ninja turtles on Google and up popped this:

I couldn't resist sharing it! I mean its SOOOOOO CUTE!!!! I would so buy a t-shirt with this design printed on it. In fact after I found this image I proceeded to find out if it was from a t-shirt. Alas it is not. Maybe I can do it myself or something..... But anyway I love that each of the ninja turtles is doing a face to match their personality! So funny. The person who designed this was GENIUS.

I used to watch the TMNT cartoons all the time when I was younger. For about a year they were the favorite Saturday morning cartoon in my house! I don't know if I actually have a favorite ninja turtle. I just love them all! I guess my two favorites would be Michaelangelo and Donatello. Michaelangelo because he's so dang funny and Donatello because he's smart. My random ninja turtle knowledge may seem useless BUT it has come in handy while babysitting! No joke. XD

Do you have a favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle? How about a cartoon you loved watching as a kid? (and admit it you totally would buy this if it was a t-shirt too!!!)

Julia :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

In My Mailbox Vlog [15]

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted over at the lovely blog The Story Siren. The point is to blog about books that you have somehow procured during the week!

Haha sorry about my random sniffling throughout the video. I have a little cold and I'm at that stage where my nose keeps running. :P

Scorpia Rising by Anthony Horowitz (Oh and I was wrong in the vlog. This is not the 8th but the 9th one in the Alex Rider series. Silly me. :P)
Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac

Inkspell by Cornelia Funke
Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke
The Lost Cities by Dale Peck

The Girl Who Was on Fire: Your Favorite Authors on Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games Trilogy

So that's what I got "In My Mailbox" this week! What did you guys get?

Oh and if you made it through my vlog I really AM curious to know about the Mockingjay thing! Do you think Suzanne Collins really does hint at "something" happening between Katniss and Peeta at the end of Mockingjay (before the epilogue obviously!)? Or do you think that people are analyzing things just a little bit too much? If you don't want to watch the whole vlog but are curious to see what I'm talking about just go to the 4 minute mark in the movie and watch to the end.

Julia :)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Blooming Books Giveaway Nominees!

Wow. I had an ASTOUNDING number of entries to this giveaway! Not surprising since the prize is freaking amazing. Thanks to all my new followers! I hope you enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy writing it. Anyway back to the giveaway. It took forever to tally up all the entries but I finally did it! Haha. Without further ado the nominee for the 1st Place Prize ($100 gift card) is:


And the nominee for the Second Place Prize ($30 gift card) is:

Congratulations guys!!!! You will be entered into the final drawing for the two giftcards. The winner of that drawing will be announced over at Squeaky Books on April 4th! And may the odds be ever in your favor! (I just couldn't resist saying that!!! XD)

For all the peeps who were interested to know the answers to the cover guess here they are:

1. Sean Griswolds Head by Lindsay Leavitt
2.  Choker by Elizabeth Woods
3. What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
4. Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting
5. Wither by Lauren DeStefano
6. The Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roeckers
7. Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins
8. The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

The covers that people had the hardest time guessing were Choker and What Happened to Goodbye. I also had a lot of people put The Dead Tossed Waves in instead of The Dark and Hollow Places. But practically everyone guessed Wither and Desires of the Dead correctly! 

Did you guys like the cover guess aspect? Or did you think it was too challenging? Personally I like a challenge!

Congratulations again to the nominees and don't forget to check for the winners at Squeaky Books on April 4th!

Julia :)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...