Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday [16]

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 Slide by Jill Hathaway!

Vee Bell is certain of one irrefutable truth—her sister’s friend Sophie didn’t kill herself. She was murdered.

Vee knows this because she was there. Everyone believes Vee is narcoleptic, but she doesn’t actually fall asleep during these episodes: When she passes out, she slides into somebody else’s mind and experiences the world through that person’s eyes. She’s slid into her sister as she cheated on a math test, into a teacher sneaking a drink before class. She learned the worst about a supposed “friend” when she slid into her during a school dance. But nothing could have prepared Vee for what happens one October night when she slides into the mind of someone holding a bloody knife, standing over Sophie’s slashed body.

Vee desperately wishes she could share her secret, but who would believe her? It sounds so crazy that she can’t bring herself to tell her best friend, Rollins, let alone the police. Even if she could confide in Rollins, he has been acting off lately, more distant, especially now that she’s been spending more time with Zane.

Enmeshed in a terrifying web of secrets, lies, and danger and with no one to turn to, Vee must find a way to unmask the killer before he or she strikes again.

Wow. With a summary like that who wouldn't be interested in reading Slide? A mystery plus some unique and creepy paranormal elements? This sounds right up my alley!

Slide comes out March 27th, 2012.

Click here to add it on Goodreads!

Julia :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Book Review + Giveaway: The Death Cure

The Death Cure
by James Dashner 
384 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 11, 2011
Source: Book Store
Thomas knows that Wicked can't be trusted, but they say the time for lies is over, that they've collected all they can from the Trials and now must rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission. It's up to the Gladers to complete the blueprint for the cure to the Flare with a final voluntary test.

What Wicked doesn't know is that something's happened that no Trial or Variable could have foreseen. Thomas has remembered far more than they think. And he knows that he can't believe a word of what Wicked says.

The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine.
Will anyone survive the Death Cure?

Its probably no surprise to everyone that I'm a big fan of The Maze Runner Trilogy. Ever since I finished The Scorch Trials last summer I have been dying (DYING!) to read The Death Cure! Yes, I do realize the book came out over a month ago and I'm just finishing it now but I'm a little behind on my reading. :P I am happy to say that this is a completely spoiler free review so those who have not yet read the book(s) can read on with no worries!

Like its two predecessors The Death Cure was almost non-stop action from start to finish. The chapters were short, concise, and nearly always end in a cliff hanger. It took me awhile to really get into the story (after all it had been over a year since I had read The Scorch Trials. My memory needed a little refreshing) but once I did I found it almost impossible to put The Death Cure down.

One thing that I found to be a bit confusing about The Death Cure was that unlike the last two books the setting wasn't set in stone. The characters were running around so much that I had a hard time picture where they were and what was going on. I would have liked a bit more description but honestly it wasn't a huge problem.

If you were hoping for more character development (like I was) then you might end up being a bit disappointed. Regardless I still absolutely love some of the characters in this book especially Minho. He is definitely one of my favorite book guys of all time. He's Asian, sticks it to the man, and he's a total badass. If he were real I would totally marry him. Just saying. :P Another character that really deserves a mention (mostly because he scared the crap out of me) was Jensen the Rat Man. Oh my gosh he reached total creeper status in this book. If you thought he was creepy in The Scorch Trials you haven't read anything yet!

Dark, thrilling, emotional, and satisfying are just a few words I would use to describe The Death Cure. I thought it wrapped up The Maze Runner trilogy perfectly. Yes, there were some questions left unanswered, and yes, some important characters do die (don't they always?), but overall I was happy with the ending. It didn't leave me in a depressed book coma (ala Mockingjay) nor did it leave me wanting more. It just felt finished and its been a long time since I've read a book series that wrapped up so well.

The Death Cure earns 4 and a half out of 5 ice cream cones.

Do you want to win an ARC of The Death Cure? Then you're in luck because I just so happen to have  that I'm giving away! Just fill out the handy dandy raffle copter form below and you'll be entered to win! The giveaway ends December 10th.

Julia :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Never Eighteen Blog Tour: Top Ten Character Crushes List

Today I have the honor of hosting one of the tour stops for Megan Bostics AMAZING book Never Eighteen. Read on for Megan Bostics list of her top ten fictional guy crushes! This has got to be one of the best tens lists I've ever read if I do say so myself. Enjoy guys!

These are in no particular order. I love them all.

1. Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: Intelligent, unprejudiced, and a great dad to boot.

2. Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien: Brave, gallant, romantic, what more could a girl ask for?

3. Nick Andros from The Stand by Stephen King: Beautifully quiet and wise beyond his years.

4. Remus Lupin from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling: The respectful, humble, irresistible werewolf.

5. Louis de Pointe du Lac from interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice: Lonely, lost, and brooding, I want to hug him.

6. Tyler Durden from Fight Club: Because there has to be a bad boy in the bunch.

7. Edward Cullen from Twilight: I loved him in the book, not the movie. He was beautiful and good and profound. The movie ruined him for me.

8. Win Lockwood from the Myron Bolitar series by Harlan Coben: Okay, so there has to be two bad boys, but come on, he’s gorgeous and can kill you with his pinky. That’s sexy.

9. Patrick McKenzie from the McKenzie series by Dennis Lehane: He’s handsome, he’s Irish, he’s a private eye, he’s hawt.

10. Hamlet by William Shakespeare: I obviously like men who brood and Hamlet is the original.

Honorable Mentions: Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre, Felton Reinstein from Stupid fast, Myron Bolitar (see Win Lockwood, above), Sirius Black from Harry Potter, Gambit from X-Men (yes, cartoon guys count too), D'Artagnon from the Three Muskateers.

I'm definitely digging some of these choices! Aragorn? HELLS YEAH!!!!

Thanks to Teen Book Scene for the awesome post!

Julia :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Book Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
by Michelle Hodkin
452 Pages
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 27th, 2011
Source: Library

Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed. There is.

She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through she can fall in love. She's wrong.

Mara Dyer was probably the most hyped book of Spring/Summer 2011 so when I finally got my hands on a copy I was a little scared and hesitant to read it. After all the hype monster does have a tendency of making a book seem far greater than it could ever really be. But with The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer I shouldn't have been worried. This book is fan-freaking-tastic!!!!!

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is completely unique. I've never read anything quite like it before. Its a wonderful blend of creepy paranormal, eerie psychological mystery, and of course a bit of romance. Michelle Hodkin is able to weave each of these elements together seamlessly and I absolutely loved it!

Mara Dyer was a such a great protagonist. Even though she had been through a ton of crazy shiz (a building falling on top of you? Yeah that doesn't happen everyday!) she still managed to be down to earth and relatable. What I really loved about her was that she wasn't willing to let her circumstances define her. While Mara Dyer was amazing there was another character who I liked even more and that was Noah Shaw. Ohhh Noah Shaw. If only there could be an equally amazing bedheaded and blue eyed British boy in my life. Noah Shaw is the epitome of fictional hotness. I wasn't totally sold on him in the beginning (after all I'm normally not into guys with a "bad boy" image) but as the story progressed I couldn't help but love him. I mean what's not to love about a cute (and totally sweet) British guy?

Other than the romance of Mara Dyer (which is admittedly pretty great) the mystery is definitely what kept me hooked. Michelle Hodkin did an absolutely genius job of creating a narrative that was both trusthworthy and untrustworthy which made the story intriguing like no other. What was real? What was an illusion? This is the kind of the book that could drive a reader crazy but in the best sort of way! There are all sorts of insane twists and turns and plot aspects that were completely surprising. And the ending, OH MY GOSH THE ENDING!!!! I literally gasped in shock at the ending. I don't think I've ever been so shocked at an ending to a book since reading Catching Fire. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer definitely wins best WTF ending of the year!

Finally I just have to say that I am IN LOVE with Michelle Hodkin's writing style. I don't know how she did it but she was able to create prose that was both creepy, yet not creepy, rational and yet irrational, smooth and flowing and yet at the same time disjointed. It fit the story of Mara Dyer perfectly.

If you haven't yet read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!?!?! Read it NOW! You won't be disappointed!

I give The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer 5 out of 5 ice cream cones.

I can hardly wait for Mara Dyer's sequel!!! Can it be Fall 2012 already?

Julia :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Kawaii Monday: Fox Beanie

This week's Kawaii Monday features a super adorable fox beanie!

My family and I saw this beanie at a Target in Los Angeles but then we couldn't find it at any of the Targets in Arizona. Turns out us Arizonans don't have the pleasure of getting the same products as the people in colder climates. Just one of the many downsides to living in this lovely state! *please note sarcasm*

But even though our local Target didn't have the beanie my sister was kind enough to purchase it online for me for my birthday present!

YAY!!!!! Isn't it totally cute?

You can pick this up at Target (unless you live in Arizona... :P) or buy it online here.

Julia :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Cover Comparison [17]

I'm a big fan of the Gone series by Michael Grant. However I have to say that I'm not a huge fan of the book covers so awhile ago I decided to see if there were any other cover versions. Not surprisingly I came across the UK covers! How about we compare the two cover sets?

US Covers

 UK Covers

US Covers: When I first started reading this series I absolutely detested these covers. I thought they were the epitome of YA cheesiness and that they looked especially vampiresque. Which is actually kind of strange since they really don't look anything like Twilight.... After reading the books these covers have definitely grown on me. I like that they used the same models for each cover and I do think the models are fair representations of how I pictured the characters. However I still feel that these covers are lacking. They're just your basic stereotypical YA photo cover and Gone is far from your typical YA series. They deserve better!

UK Covers: If there is one thing I've noticed about UK covers its that they tend to be more minimalistic especially when it comes to covers for scifi/fantasy series. Just compare these Gone covers to the UK Maze Runner cover and the new UK Hunger Games cover. Similar minimalistic style ehhh? But that's besides the point. I really like these covers despite their somewhat overly minimalistic style. I just love how the neon colors pop against the gray background. I don't know why the cover for Lies is black while the others are more of a charcoal gray but that doesn't really matter too much. My favorite cover of the bunch is definitely Plague with the creepy parasites/germs floating around the letters! Such a nice (and creepy!) touch.

So who wins? I've gotta give it to the UK covers. Even though they are a bit too simplistic I think they stand out far more then the US covers. I'm still a fan of the character representations on the US covers though. The best photo renderings of book characters ever? Possibly!

Which set of  covers for the Gone series do YOU like best? Be sure to vote in the poll below and sound off in the comments about why you made your decision!

If you have any suggestions for future cover comparisons please leave them in the form below and maybe I'll use them in the future!

Julia :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What about those shirtless book covers?

You know the book covers I'm talking about. The ones with the super ripped guy on the front who has, I hate to break it to you, photoshopped abs. Normally these covers are popular in the adult romance genre, but lately I've been seeing them show up in the YA section. The most popular shirtless guy cover of YA is definitely City of Bones by Cassandra Clare.

Why hello shirtless Jace! You're looking mighty fine today. :P

Does anyone else feel a little uncomfortable walking around holding this book because I know I do. I feel like people are just staring at me thinking "What is that girl reading and why does it have a shirtless guy on it?" Okay so maybe people aren't really thinking that but I still feel self conscious about reading City of Bones in public. >.<

The newest edition to the YA shirtless cover family is The Fallen series by Thomas E. Sniegoski. I saw these while walking through Barnes and Noble one day and I was like "Hello! Ummm why don't you go put some clothes on?"

I mean is the shirtlessness really necessary? I don't think its possible for someone to read these books in public without feeling awkward. Just saying.

However I will say that the book covers apparently used to look like this:

Yep. That's just not as enticing as a shirtless guy. XD

Fortunately these are really the only YA books I could think of that have shirtless guys on them. Of course I could be missing some.... If you can think of others let me know! Personally I hope this isn't gonna be a new trend in YA covers. There's already an onslaught of "We're getting our schmexy on" covers in YA (yes I'm talking about you Simone Elkeles!) and I feel like more shirtless guys is the last thing we need. Of course publishers could be thinking "It was good enough for Jacob Black so its good enough for us!" Please Lord let that not be the case. >.<

So I wanna hear from you. Do you like shirtless guys on your book covers? Or do you not really like it? Or do you not even care? Do you think you would be more or less likely to pick up a book if it had a shirtless guy on it? Why or why not? Let me know!

Julia :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday [15]

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 Revived by Cat Patrick.

As a little girl, Daisy Appleby was killed in a school bus crash. Moments after the accident, she was brought back to life.

A secret government agency has developed a drug called Revive that can bring people back from the dead, and Daisy Appleby, a test subject, has been Revived five times in fifteen years. Daisy takes extraordinary risks, knowing that she can beat death, but each new death also means a new name, a new city, and a new life. When she meets Matt McKean, Daisy begins to question the moral implications of Revive, and as she discovers the agency’s true goals, she realizes she’s at the center of something much larger — and more sinister — than she ever imagined.

I absolutely LOVED Cat Patrick's first novel Forgotten (if you haven't read it yet WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!?! Its amazing!) so you can probably imagine how excited I am about Revived. The premise reminds me a little bit of the movie Source Code but a lot better since that movie sort of sucked. :P

Revived comes out May 8th 2012. SO FAR AWAY. :(

Julia :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Book Review: Never Eighteen

Never Eighteen
by Megan Bostic
202 pages
Publisher: Graphia
Publication Date: January 16, 2012
Source: Teen Book Scene
Austin Parker is never going to see his eighteenth birthday. At the rate his Leukemia is progressing the doctors say his chances of surviving are slim to none even with treatments. So he's decided to it's time to let go.

But before he goes, Austin wants to fix the things that have broken in his life. So with the help of his best friend and secret crush, Kaylee, Austin embarks on a journey. He travels to the places he's loved and those he's never seen. He visits the people he feels aren't living life, wanting to make them understand what they're taking for granted. And what starts as a way to say goodbye and mend fences turns into a passage of love, acceptance, and meaning.
If you just read the summary to Never Eighteen and thought to yourself "gosh, this book sounds like a real tearjerker" then you would be right. This is ONE SAD BOOK. I'm warning you now: do not read this in public unless you are prepared to have people stare at you with tears streaming down your face. Not even joking. I don't cry very often or very easily (I can count the number of movies and books I've cried at on one hand) so I thought it would be fine to read this book in the car on a family road trip. Boy was I wrong. I've never read anything quite so tear-inducing in my life.

Never Eighteen is a sad book. But while I might not have gotten my "Happyily Ever After" ending, I did get a beautiful message of hope. Austins journey proved that its never to late to tell someone you love them, to conquer your fears or to reach out to those in need. I didn't end the book feeling sad and depressed. Instead I felt uplifted and strangely happy. Never Eighteen has helped me see that life is what you make it. Its not the challenges, but how you face them, that really matters.

Austin and Kaylee were both wonderful characters that really came alive on the page and I absolutely LOVED their relationship. It was easily my favorite part of Never Eighteen; honest, real, and ultimately heartbreaking. You know an author has done their job when you get to the end of the book and your sobbing right along with the characters. 

If you're even just a little bit afraid to read Never Eighteen because you think its going to be too sad don't be. Megan Bostic has created a beautiful story with both somber and lighthearted moments and its worth every minute. Just be sure to have a box of Kleenex handy. You'll need it.

I give Never Eighteen 4 out of 5 ice cream cones.

Julia :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

My Thoughts on the Hunger Games Trailer!!!!!

In case you were living under a rock and missed in the full Hunger Games trailer premiered today!!!! If you haven't seen it YOU MUST WATCH IT NOW! It is 2 minutes and 30 seconds of pure epicness. Even if you have watched it, it doesn't hurt to watch it again right?


I thought about filming my reaction to the trailer like last time but its a good thing I didn't because I cried the first time I watched it. Embarrassing but true. >.<

This trailer just further cements in my mind that the movie is gonna be FANTASTIC. Its literally like Lionsgate read my mind about what I wanted in the trailer and then put it on screen. The one thing I wanted to see most of all was the reaping scene and what did we get? THE REAPING SCENE! The part where Katniss volunteers gets me choked up every time. And when Gale carries away Prim? My heart just breaks. :(

What's so brilliant about this trailer is that it's great for fans and non-fans alike. Not only that but having the reaping scene in the trailer shows the relationship between Katniss and Prim and it also creates an emotional connection with the audience. My mom said even she started getting choked up at that part! Another thing I loved was that they had pretty much no hint of romance in the trailer. I was afraid they would try to play up the love triangle but so far so good! I also really liked that they had barely any footage of the arena. Its a really good marketing ploy for Lionsgate since they didn't give away too much of the movie. I hate it when it feels like a trailer reveals the whole movie but this trailer doesn't feel that way at all. Its just plain brilliant. The anticipation of what is to come is killing me. :P

Was the trailer everything that you hoped it would be? Which part was your favorite? Was there any scene that you really wished had made it in the trailer? Personally I would have loved to see the opening parade of tributes but they can't show us everything can they?


Julia :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

In My Mailbox Vlog [24]

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!


I've been a bit lazy when it comes to IMM lately and haven't done it in AGES. Its been over a month. I know, I'm disappointed in myself too. :P I'll try to be a bit more regular from now on....

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
The Shattering by Karen Healey
Wither by Lauren DeStefano

The Death Cure by James Dashner
The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith (Thanks Smash Attacks Reads!!!)
The Hunger Games (Special Edition) by Suzanne Collins

Rival by Sara Bennett Wealer
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Wildwood by Colin Meloy
Variant by Robison Wells

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

Julia :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cover Comparison [16]

In case you missed it Nova Ren Suma released the paperback cover of Imaginary Girls this past week! The original cover of Imaginary Girls is one of my absolute favorites so I was very curious to see where they would go with the paperback cover. Its definitely a different look from the original cover but I wouldn't say its bad.... but I'm getting ahead of myself aren't I? Lets take a quick look at the two different covers!

                                        Original Cover           Paperback Cover

Original Cover: Like I said earlier this is one of my favorite covers of all time. Its so gorgeous and eerie and one of the most intriguing covers I've ever seen. I don't know how someone could walk past this book in a store and not have to pick it up. Not only that but I love the way the the red ribbon really pops. The overall cover scheme is genius. Just a beautiful, beautiful cover.

Paperback Cover: This cover is definitely less of an artistic route and more of the classic YA design route. I don't know what it is lately about having covers with pictures of people staring into your soul but its definitely a trend right now. My gripe with this cover is that I feel like there is just too much going on. There's the girl staring at you, and then you've got the boat with the body in the corner and it just doesn't mesh well. The cover feels almost like they just decided to find some images and then sloppily photoshop them together, which is a pity since the original cover is so gorgeous. One thing I do like about this cover is its dark/creepy vibe.

So who wins? The original cover all the way! It captures the magical/creepy essence of Imaginary Girls perfectly plus its just altogether gorgeous. I want to a poster of that Imaginary Girls cover on my wall. No joke. The new paperback cover isn't bad but its really hard to beat something as perfect and beautiful as the original cover.

Which cover of Imaginary Girls do YOU like best? Be sure to vote in the poll below and sound off in the comments about why you made your decision! I'm extra curious to hear your opinions on this one.

Julia :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Book Review: The Night Circus

The Night Circus
by Erin Morgenstern 
387 pages
Publisher: Doubleday
Publication Date: September 1, 2011 

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des RĂªves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Oh The Night Circus. I wanted to love you. I really did! But honestly you disappointed me. *runs away from mob of angry blog readers* I'm sorry guys! I feel like the only person in the world who didn't absolutely adore this book. But I have my reasons for not really liking it and I'm about to dish them out to you guys. But first lets talk about what I did like about the book too sort of ease the blow I guess you might say.

The prose and writing in The Night Circus is absolutely divine. Its got this wonderfully ethereal quality to it that just rolls off the pages. Another element that I loved were the sections sprinkled throughout the book that were descriptions of the different tents in The Night Circus. Those were definitely my favorite parts of the novel.

And now we get down to the nitty gritty. While I felt that the prose of The Night Circus was absolutely gorgeous it quickly became obvious to me that the plot and characters were just lacking. The whole competition element of the book was really poorly developed and absolutely confusing. I mean what was even the point of the competition other than two feuding old men trying to prove something to each other? The characters weren't even competing so much as collaborating. And THIS was the main plot of the novel? *sigh* Not only that but the other main plot device was the romance between Marco and Celia and I hate to say this but I find myself comparing this romance to Bella and Edward. Its a forbidden romance between two characters that really didn't have much substance. In fact the only compelling element to these characters was their ability to do magic and even that wasn't very intriguing.

Another thing I felt was a flaw in the novel was the fact that there were just so many characters. Not only was it extremely hard to keep them all straight but the quantity of characters made it nearly impossible for the author to really develop them. The only characters I found to be mildly intriguing were Tsukiko the contortionist and the twins Poppet and Widget. Unfortunately these characters weren't featured nearly enough.

I know that a lot of other people loved The Night Circus but it just wasn't the book for me. It may have been beautifully written, but a book needs a lot more than just pretty words to make it great. I give The Night Circus 3 and a half ice cream cones.

Since so many other people loved this book I'm curious to hear why so if you've read The Night Circus tell me why you liked or disliked it in the comments below.

Julia :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

For the Love of Literature

When I first told my dad that I wanted to become a Librarian his first response was not:

"That's awesome Julia! You go for it."

Nor was it:

"What a perfect job for you. I could totally see you as a Librarian!"

No, no. Instead his response was:

"A Librarian? But Julia Libraries are probably going to be obsolete in a decade! And not only that but books will probably cease to exist except digitally too."

Really? Libraries OBSOLETE?!?! Books? ONLY DIGITAL?!?! I know I've used this video in one of my posts before but I think you will agree that its appropriate to use it again:

I don't know about you but the thought of Libraries becoming obsolete is absolutely horrifying to me. Like "I should write a dystopian novel about it" horrifying. Ever since I was a kid the Library has been my favorite place to go and hang out and just the thought that a few generations from now there could be kids that don't even know what a Library is? I don't even want to go there....

And on to my Dads second point about books going digital: Is it true? Could there eventually be a time when books go all digital? This scares me almost as much as the thought of no Libraries. I'm not a fan of eBooks. I realize that they're saving the environment one tree at a time but honestly I like my bookshelf full of books even if we had to kill a few trees to get them. I love the shiny covers and the smell of the pages and I especially I love the feeling of cracking open the cover and turning the pages. I DON'T WANT TO LOSE THAT MAGIC!!!! My mom made a good point on this subject. She told me that she doesn't think it would be possible for literature to go all digital simply because of the fact that its easier for digital files to get destroyed or lost. I think that's true to an extent but what if someday they just make a couple of physical copies or maybe just one to put into the Library of Congress? I hope this never happens but what if it does?

I don't honestly think that what my dad said is true but what if it is? Maybe it won't happen for a long time but what if someday there really aren't anymore Libraries? What if someday children aren't reading books and instead just staring at screens? What happens then?

LITERACY FOUNDATION Cinderella (english) from Bleublancrouge on Vimeo

Without Libraries around or physical books for children to enjoy how will stories and the magic of literature live on?

I'm curious to hear your thoughts on this subject. Do you think Libraries are here to stay? Or do you think there is a slight possibility that they could cease to exist? And what about books? How do you feel about the possibility of them becoming all digital?

Julia :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Kawaii Monday: Disney Pixar Cars Erasers

This week's Kawaii Monday features Disney Pixar: Cars Erasers! I bought these guys from my local Target in the trading card section. I think they were around $2? So worth it because these things are dang cute. Quite possibly the cutest erasers EVER!

Adorable right? The detail on them is pretty amazing for small toy erasers! Apparently this is the first set in a series of erasers so hopefully they'll eventually come out with all of the cars!

Target is also selling sets of Disney Princess erasers but those are definitely not as cute as these Cars ones. Personally I want them to make Toy Story erasers. Just imagine how cute a Toy Story Alien eraser would be!!!

Julia :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Cover Comparison [15]

One of my favorite dystopians of the year is Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick. If you haven't yet had the privilege of reading this novel then I highly recommend you do because it is AWESOME! Anyways because I love this book so much I decided to do a cover comparison for it! Lets get started shall we?

                           US Cover                German Cover                  UK Cover

US Cover: I feel like this cover captures the essence of Ashes perfectly. It's creepy, eerie, and dark just like the story! Plus the whole radio wave aspect really coincides with a big part of the novel. I just love this cover.

German Cover: Out of the three Ashes covers I think that this one is the most visually appealing. Its beautifully designed and the girls piercing blue eye really pulls you in. I also love the color scheme and the bird graphic. The only problem with this cover is it doesn't really capture the gritty nature of Ashes. But overall its a gorgeous cover.

UK Cover: Ehhh I'm not too impressed with this cover. Honestly it makes me think of pirates. Maybe because the color scheme looks like old parchment? I don't know. It just doesn't appear as professional as the other covers and I feel like using only two colors for a cover is really kind of bland. :/

So who wins? Oh man this one is tough for me. I love the fact that the US cover matches the story of Ashes perfectly, but at the same time I find myself more drawn to the German cover. I guess I have to give it to the US cover. In book covers capturing the stories essence always trumps beauty! At least for me. :P

Which cover of Ashes do YOU like best? Be sure to vote in the poll below and sound off in the comments about why you made your decision!

Lately I've noticed that some people have been giving me suggestions for cover comparisons so if you have a suggestion please fill out the form below and I'll look into doing a comparison for it!

Julia :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Books I Am Most Thankful For

Because of the awesome contest that Beth Revis is currently hosting I decided to write up a post of the books that I am most thankful for! Of course this isn't a comprehensive list of favorites or anything like that but each of these books definitely holds a special place in my heart. I wouldn't be who I am today without them. <3

I absolutely ADORE these books! I just finished reading through them for the 6th or 7th time (I've lost count...) and I never get tired of them. These books taught me that you don't have to be big and important to make a difference in the world. "Even the smallest person can change the course of the future." :)

Who doesn't love the story of Anne of Green Gables? I grew up on this book/movie and I used to always would call my friend "kindred spirits". And isn't that the most magical cover of this book you have ever seen? I love it. <3

I really love every book in the Freddy the pig series, but I singled out this particular one because my sister and used to always listen to it on tape leading up to Christmas. I still check it out from the Library every year around Christmastime. These books are really special and if you haven't read one yet you should! They're magical.

The original sisters story! I love everything about this book. Well everything but Jo marrying Mr. Behr but that's another matter...

These stories are pure magic. I have so many good memories of them from my childhood. In the 3rd grade I think it was I was totally obsessed. Both my mother and my grandmother used to read these to me and my sister. They're brilliant and the movies don't do them any sort of justice.

One of the most amazing book series I have ever read and probably ever will read. There's so much awesome between these covers its astounding. Harry Potter proves that Love and Friendship always are able to conquer evil. Plus this series has Ron Weasley, Neville Longbottom, and the Weasley twins. 'Nuff said. :)

Quite possibly the first YA book that I ever read! This book really helped me when I was at a really horrible point in my life. I still have the notebook with quotes I wrote down to help me when I was in 7th grade!

No list of mine is complete without The Hunger Games Trilogy. I LOVE these books! Honestly, I might even love these more than The Lord of the Rings Trilogy... The characters, the story, everything in these books is phenomenal.

The Bible

And last but certainly not least of the books that I am most thankful for is the Bible. As a Christian this book is one of the single most important things in my life. It anchors me to Gods truth and it reminds me daily of his amazing love and sacrifice for me. I DEFINITELY wouldn't be who I am today without it. <3

What are some of the books that you are most thankful for?

Julia :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Book Review: Choker

by Elizabeth Woods 
233 pages
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Sixteen-year-old Cara Lange has been a loner ever since she moved away from her best and only friend, Zoe, years ago. She eats lunch with the other girls from the track team and tries to avoid the popular girls who, after an embarrassing incident in the cafeteria, endlessly torture her, calling her Choker. But mostly she spends her time watching Ethan Gray from a distance, wishing he would finally notice her.

Then one day Cara comes home to find Zoe waiting for her. Zoe's on the run from problems at home, and Cara agrees to help her hide. With her best friend back, Cara's life changes overnight. Zoe gives her a new look and new confidence, and the next thing she knows, she's getting invited to parties and flirting with Ethan. Best of all, she can talk about everything with her BFF.

But just as quickly as Cara's life came together, it starts to unravel. A girl goes missing in her town, and everyone is a suspect - including Ethan. Worse stil, Zoe starts behaving strangely, and Cara begins to wonder what exactly her friend does all day while Cara's at school. You're supposed to trust your best friend no matter what.... but what if she turns into a total strange?
Choker is by far the creepiest book I have read all year long. Granted I haven't read Anna Dressed in Blood yet, but still. Choker was dang creepy. It was basically like reading a horror/thriller movie complete with my skin crawling and several "Oh my gosh I'm afraid to turn the page" moments. I loved every bit of it!

Anyone who has seen a horror/thriller movie knows that the strength of the movie is not in its characters but in how well its able weave a convincingly creepy story. The same goes for Choker. None of the characters are particularly amazing but the plot more then makes up for it. Elizabeth Woods had me questioning everything. What was real? What was an illusion? I did see the ending coming about halfway through the book but that didn't make it any less shocking because I was still second guessing myself!

I give Choker 4 out of 5 ice cream cones!

If you're looking for a chilling thriller that's sure to get your skin crawling then Choker is most definitely the book for you!

Julia :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Author Interview: Cat Patrick

So last week I posted my review of the absolutely amazing book Forgotten by Cat Patrick. Seriously, I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!! Anyway today I have an interview with the lovely author Cat Patrick! I literally squealed with excitement when she said that she would do an interview with me! So here's the interview!

Where did the idea for Forgotten come from and what were some things that influenced your writing? 

I got the idea for FORGOTTEN when my twins were really little and I wasn't getting enough sleep. I forgot what I was doing in the middle of an activity. I wondered what it'd be like to have amnesia--particularly in high school. Then I thought, "but what if you could remember the future instead?" That's the day I started writing; FORGOTTEN was born.
Very cool! Who is your favorite character in Forgotten?
That's like asking me to choose between my children: I love them all, even the side characters!

I can imagine it would be hard to choose. Personally I like Luke Henry! In Forgotten London has the ability to see some of her future and because of this she sometimes tries to change it. Are there any moments in your past that you think you might have wanted to change if you could've seen the future like London?
It's easy to wish certain things never happened, but I really believe that everything we experience in our lives--bad or good--makes us who we are. So, I'd hold on to everything because that's what makes

Very true! I don't know if I would change anything about my past either.
Forgotten has been given a lot of different cover designs. Which one is your favorite?

I love all of the covers for different reasons. US is really bold--I can find it in the bookstore in a flash! Australia and France are both very surreal and pretty--they remind me of London's nicer memories of the future. I love the UK cover for the model's hair color and the windy setting; it looks the most like the setting in  my mind. Taiwan is very funky cool; Sweden is creepy beautiful; Russia is so completely unique! Honestly, they're all amazing.

I love all of them too though I have to say that France and Australia are my favorites. (You can see all the covers of Forgotten here.) Forgotten had a very open ending. Have you considered writing a sequel?

I considered it, but ultimately decided against it because I think the ending suits the story. Like London’s future, the ending isn’t set in stone; like London’s outlook, the ending is hopeful. I like that it isn’t tied up with a shiny red or any other color bow. Cause I’ve never really been a bow person. And when it comes down to it, I like that my book lets people go bow-less.
Awww that makes sense. I'm not really a bow person either. Do you have any fun writing quirks like needing to eat skittles during revisions or always wearing your pajamas? 
Hmm...well, I like it to be quiet--I can't listen to music--and I like to eat crunchy snacks when I'm trying to come up with something new because I think they wake up my brain.
Your new book Revived is coming out this May 2012. Could you tell us a little bit about it? 
Sure! REVIVED is the story of Daisy Appleby, a teen girl who's part of a secret government program to test a drug that brings you back from the dead. The drug is called Revive, and at the start of the book, Daisy dies and is Revived for the fifth time. With each death comes a new home, so Daisy moves to a new town, and with it come a friendship and a romantic relationship that make her understand the fragility of life. 
Wow that just sounds amazing! I'm definitely looking forward to reading it. 

Big thanks to Cat Patrick for doing the interview with me!!!

If you want to know more about Forgotten you can check out my review here. You can also add Cat Patricks new book Revived on GoodReads here.

Also be sure to check out her author website and blog!!!

Julia :)
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