Friday, December 31, 2010
Review by: Lauren
Copy From: http://www.teensreadtoo.com
Amazon Associate: Buy the book from this link, and we get a small percentage!
Summary: Sasha is in quite a predicament...friend and boy wise. Her BFF Callie thinks she's after her crush, Eric, but Sasha swears they are just friends. After all, she likes Jacob and wishes he was back at Canterwood Crest so they can talk about her outburst before he left. Regardless, Callie won't talk to her...and that means Sasha really only has Eric and her horse, Charm, to turn to. In the process of trying to win back her friend, Sasha learns that mean girl Heather isn't all she appears to be, the older girls have a trick up their sleeve, and being in a clinic might be harder than she thought.
Review: Jessica Burkhart has written a fun series that is sure to suck younger girls in! There is plenty of jealousness, yet realistic situations and actions! You get a wide variety of characters from mean girl to mistaken mean girl and all the types inbetween. Everyone, for the most part, seem fleshed out and real and Sasha is definitely one herione to root for!
Eric is a swoon-worthy friend, ready and willing to do whatever he can to help another. He has his own feelings though, and you'll definitely feel for him throughout...even when Sasha is too lost in her own problems to realize someone else's thoughts.
Behind the Bit is just one book in the series but it can stand alone quite fine, and is sure to make most curious for the rest!
Thursday, December 30, 2010
I recently came across one of the cutest etsy shops. For one thing, I love etsy. They have wonderful products and it's nice to support the person and not a huge company sometimes. As for this shop, it's called Wonderland Contraband and they sell miniature sculptures that look like some of the people we all know and love. As for the pictures above...those are only a small amount of what you can buy right now. The red-headed fellow is Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter. Isn't he great? You can even find Sweeney Todd and Jack Sparrow in the store!
If you're a fan of Alice in Wonderland...there are a few Alice-inspired charms apart from the Mad Hatter. You can see one of them above as well. It's the last picture at the very bottom...Alice riding on the Mad Hatter's hat!!
There is even a Lady Gaga (which makes me smile) and William Shakespeare (which is fun if you are studying him!)
You should definitely check out the shop and pick out the ones you like. These would make the cutest little gifts.
ALSO...you can enter a giveaway right now to win $40 to the shop. It says it ended the 27th, but since this was posted on the 28th...I think that was a mistake, and it ends THIS Monday, January 3rd so hurry hurry!!
FOR THOSE THAT ENTER: If you do head on over and enter the giveaway, please leave in one of your comments that you found them or are entering through Shooting Stars Mag. Thanks!
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Monday, December 27, 2010
Review by: Lauren
Copy from: Publisher. All opinions are my own.
Amazon Associates: Buy the book from this link and we get a small percentage
Official Summary: Max Parkman—autistic and whip-smart, emotionally fragile and aggressive—is perfect in his mother's eyes. Until he's accused of murder.
Attorney Danielle Parkman knows her teenage son Max's behavior has been getting worse—using drugs and lashing out. But she can't accept the diagnosis she receives at a top-notch adolescent psychiatric facility that her son is deeply disturbed. Dangerous.
Until she finds Max, unconscious and bloodied, beside a patient who has been brutally stabbed to death.
Trapped in a world of doubt and fear, barred from contacting Max, Danielle clings to the belief that her son is innocent. But has she, too, lost touch with reality? Is her son really a killer?
With the justice system bearing down on them, Danielle steels herself to discover the truth, no matter what it is. She'll do whatever it takes to find the killer and to save her son from being destroyed by a system that's all too eager to convict him.
Review: Saving Max is all about the lengths a mother will go to for her child. Danielle knows that Max has his issues, and having lashed out at her, she's aware he can be a bit violent...but a killer? She can't believe that. It takes a tremendous amount of faith and motherly love to keep going though. Even when she starts to think...what if...she doesn't let that stop her from searching for a new answer, a better outcome.
There were many times in this book that I just wanted to shout at Danielle and ask her "what are you thinking?! you're not helping things!" However, you coudn't deny her determination...and by not backing down, she is able to see things in a new way and figure out just what the truth is, good and bad.
I was definitely invested in these characters, which screams a good story for me. I want these people to seem real and I want to believe that this is not fiction, but a real story. You even feel for Max and start to feel for this often misunderstood kid, despite horrible evidence against him and despite the fact that the book focuses mainly on Danielle who is forced to be away from Max for most of it.
This book gives you a new definition of a mother...the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. It's an emotional book and I would take caution if you are a mother as it might hurt you more to read certain moments in this book.
Overall, it's a well-written story that gives a courtly novel a more personal feel. I highly recommend!
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Entice (Need #3) by Carrie Jones
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Age Group: YA
Release Date: Out Now
My Copy: ARC
Review by: Alicia
Zara and Nick are soul mates, meant to be together forever. But that's not quite how things have worked out.
For starters, well, Nick is dead. Supposedly, he's been taken to a mythic place for warriors known as Valhalla, so Zara and her friends might be able to get him back. But it's taking time, and meanwhile a group of evil pixies is devastating Bedford, with more teens going missing every day. An all-out war seems imminent, and the good guys need all the warriors they can find. But how to get to Valhalla?
And even if Zara and her friends discover the way, there's that other small problem: Zara's been pixie kissed. When she finds Nick, will he even want to go with her? Especially since she hasn't just turned. She's Astley's queen.
The Need books are one of my favorite series, so I was beyond excited when I got Entice. Reading about pixies is just awesome.
Entice literally picks up where Captivate ended.
Poor Zara. Not only is Nick dead, but she now has to deal with the fact that she is a pixie, and a pixie queen at that! Zara was just as funny, quirky and lovable as she was in the two previous novels. I felt like her character grew even more and she learned more things about herself which I loved.
Astley. Oh Astley. When we first met him in Captivate, I was weary of him just like Zara. But in Entice he just grew and grew and so did my love for him. He character grew and developed so much—it was great, and made him feel incredibly realistic. I think I might like him even more than Nick…nah. I’d said I’m split 50/50 between Astley and Nick. The lack of Nick was saddening, but there was no way he could be in the entire book, and that’s all I will say about that because I don’t want to spoil anyone.
All of the other characters were just as awesome as they were before. Hearing about Issie and Devyn made me smile—they’re just too cute. And Betty was still one of the most amazing grandma’s. The only character that I didn’t really like (besides the evil pixies) was Zara’s mom. The way she acted in the book…ugh. Though I can’t say I was too surprised about her reactions.
The only thing I really didn’t like was Zara’s obsession to find Nick. Her main focus was him and it was a little irritating. And all of the times she finally thought she had found a way to Valhalla and failed sucked.
I am eagerly awaiting the next book! I can’t wait to find out what happens to everyone and learn if the evil pixies succeed or if Zara and her crew win. My money’s on Zara.
Cover comments: Sooooo pretty! And I think it really fits. (Although there was an earlier version of this cover that I loooved. It was the same thing, but the girl was blowing the glitter on a guy’s neck. Hot.)
Here are some cool links to check out:
- Here is a link to the super cool trailer for Entice (I really like the song they used, even though I don't know what it is).
- There is a Team Nick or Team Astley poll going on now.
- A contest where you can tell us who would be your dream cast for if they made a movie for the NEED series; upload your favorite actors and actresses and you could win a FLIP video camera!
- And coming soon….a Pixie Kiss App! Send your friend a smooch from Zara, Nick or Astley.
- And don't forget to check out the fanpage!
And now for a giveaway.
I have ONE hardcover of Entice along with a super cool Drake Chronicles/Need bookmark. (I totally want one)
To Enter: Fill out the form below
Ends: 1/1/11 at Midnight PST. Winner will be contacted sometime on January 2nd and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be picked.
Open to: US residents with street addresses; no PO boxes!
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Catherine writes books for YA and Adult, and this challenge ecompases everything. Read what you like and feel good about it!
To sign up for this challenge, you have to agree to read ONE Catherine Ryan Hyde book in 2011. Great odds of succeeding, isn't it? I don't want to make it too hard. I just want people to start reading more of her books, spreading the word, and hopefully helping a wonderful author have some awesome sales next year.
Obviously, you can borrow a book from the library or get it second hand...but if you can buy at least one book, it would mean a lot. Especially if it's one of her new ones like Jumpstart the World that came out a couple months ago.
Feel free to divvy up the books for other challenges too if you can! We certainly don't mind!
Want to sign up? Use the Mr. Linky below!
So what do you read? Here is a complete list of Catherine's books and visit her website for more information.
Jumpstart the World
Second Hand Heart
When I Found You
Diary of a Witness
The Day I Killed James
The Year of my Miraculous Reappearance
Love in the Present Tense
Walter's Purple Heart
Electric God/The Hardest Part of Love
Pay It Forward
Funerals for Horses
If you sign up for this giveaway, please post the button if you can. Amanda from the Zen Leaf was kind enough to make it for us, and I love it! You can simply link to your blog or you can make a post about this challenge and link to that in the Mr. Linky above. It's up to you!! But the button would look great in your sidebar. ;-) I want as many people as possible to join this, as I think it will be fun.
We'll have lots of fun giveaways throughout the year as well, so you definitely want to join up to enter those!
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Review by: Lauren
Amazon Associates: Buy from this link, we get a small percentage
Also for/Copy from: http://www.teensreadtoo.com/
Theo has never been around more than three people in his life: his guardian, the butler, and the maid. He is told to have a serious illness, having to be put inside the Mercy Tube everyday, always wear gloves, and never be allowed to do anything too exciting for fear of overstimulation. The truth though is much creepier and Theo soon realizes that his guardian is not the good man he believed him to be and that Theo himself is quite powerful in ways he never knew.
The Candle Man is a new steampunk series for middle grade, with the second book just recently released. Theo is a fun narrator, finding himself as the reader goes along. It's interesting to see how The Society of Good Works is actually a bad group and just how they disguise their plots as good deeds. It's definitely a lesson in manipulation and secrecy, but good old creepy fun for the younger readers!
I loved that the book is set in London as it fits the atmosphere really well and it makes sense that the various creatures, like Gargoyles, could come to life here.
One of the most interesting characters was the butler, as he's a bit conflicting. You can't say he's perfectly good, but you can't say he's perfectly bad like other characters either. He's certainly a fascinating man to really think about.
This is a quick read overall and sure to excite younger fans!
Friday, December 17, 2010
The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood with The Duchess of Northumberland
Age Group: YA
Formant: Hardcover, 288 pgs.
Release Date: Out Now
My Copy: ARC, 282 pgs.
Review by: Alicia
In the right dose, everything is a poison. Even love . . .
Jessamine Luxton has lived all her sixteen years in an isolated cottage near Alnwick Castle, with little company apart from the plants in her garden. Her father, Thomas, a feared and respected apothecary, has taught her much about the incredible powers of plants: that even the most innocent-looking weed can cure -- or kill.
When Jessamine begins to fall in love with a mysterious boy who claims to communicate with plants, she is drawn into the dangerous world of the poison garden in a way she never could have imagined . . .
The Poison Diaries was very different from what I expected. It took me awhile to get into the book, mainly because I wasn’t all that interested in what Jessamine was doing. Once all of the other characters were introduced—especially Weed—I was hooked.
Weed was incredibly interesting and very different. When he said that he could talk to plants, I wasn't surprised. You could tell that there was something off with the way he reacted to plants and things that came from the earth. I wasn’t all that crazy about Jessamine in the beginning, but as the story continued, I liked her more and more. Her moments with Weed were my favorite. I did not trust Jessamine’s father at all. The fact that he wouldn’t let her near the garden and appeared to be keeping things from her didn’t sit well with me.
All of the information about the plants and poison garden were fascinating. Reading about what they looked like and what they could do creeped me out, but interested me too.
The writing was lovely and definitely set the feel of the book. Since The Poison Diaries is historical, I was worried that the writing would be boring and too wordy, but it wasn’t.
The ending had a killer twist that I both loved and hated. I loved it because I saw a little of the twist coming, but not most of it. And I hated it because it left me dying for the next book.
Cover comments: Pretty.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Tonight starting at 9/8c on the USA Network, you can see the holiday episodes of Psych. And yes, that is plural....you get TWO whole Psych episodes in one night, which is why it's starting an hour early. Be sure to set your DVR or sit down at 9 p.m. TONIGHT so you do not miss them. I know I won't...I'm taking a break from exam papers and tests to watch these for sure!
Here are the summaries of the show and a clip from each to get you ready...both sound/look quite amusing so check it out.
The Polarizing Express @ 9/8c
Shawn's antics cause evidence to be thrown out in the high profile prosecution of a known crime lord named Czarsky, resulting in the dismissal of the entire case and the firings of not only the Psych agency but also of Henry as their liaison. After Henry wonders to Shawn what life would have been like in Santa Barbara if he had never returned, Shawn travels through a series of dreams which answer that question and aid him in discovering a new way to bust Czarsky for good.
Dead Bear Walking @ 10/9c
After the zoo's polar bear trainer is murdered unexpectedly, officials are quick to point the finger at the polar bear, but Shawn believes the animal to be innocent, resulting in Shawn becoming an advocate for the bear and embarking on a desperate search for the real murderer.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Right now though, I'm looking to see if anyone would want to make me a button for a 2011 book challenge. I'll give out more details ASAP. I'm sorry for such short notice. I know a lot of people have challenges already assigned for, but I hope you'll join in if interested...this one isn't too hard, and I hope to make it fun.
But FIRST, I need a cool button people can post on their sites and whatnot. So please let me know if you can help. So you know, this challenge involves ONE author and reading their collection of books.
Friday, December 10, 2010
One of the things that I love about gift baskets is the actual basket or "carrying case" if you will that it comes in. As you can see from the photo above, that is the basket that I recieved. It's super cute and is a great holiday decoration. Either set out the basket full of goodies or put something else in the inside and voila! At my house, we have the left over products from the gift basket. Obviously, we already ate some and mmm mmm...was it yummy!
Here is the website's list of its contents:
Holiday Apple Crate 8-10"
Chocolate Covered Pretzels
4 oz. Butter Toffee Pretzels
2 oz. Holiday Caramel Corn
Double Chocolate Holiday Cocoa
Creamy Vegetable Spread
Old Fashioned Chocolate Fudge
2 Assorted Cheese Bars
Tomato Basil Crackers
Asst Holiday Chocolate Covered Cherries 6.6 oz box
Savory Holiday Tavolare Snack Mix 2 oz.
Personally, I really enjoyed the Old Fashioned Chocolate Fudge, Chocolate Covered Cherries (I always get these during the holidays anyway and grab one every now and then), and more.
-The snack mix is essentially a chex mix type of snack, but still good!
-My chocolate covered pretzels ended up being yogurt covered...the white covered pretzels, you know? I love those as well though so I was super excited. They are great!
As for the crackers, cheese, and vegetable spread...my mom and sister practically devoured most of that. They really loved it.
This was certainly a family-friendly basket. We all seemed to have something we grabbed and loved, and the rest is in the basket waiting to be eaten at a random moment.
The holidays are fast approaching so if you're still looking for a fun gift, seriously consider Bea's Gift Baskets! There are so many choices and it doesn't even have to be holiday themed if you don't wish!
Prize: Choice of gift basket up to $50
Open To: U.S. Only
Ends: Wednesday, December 15th (must have order to them by December 20th...last day for ground shipping)
TO ENTER: Visit the site and leave a comment with a basket you love!
+5 post about this (click the link) somewhere (leave five new comments)
+1 like Bea's Gift Baskets on facebook (leave one new comment)
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Lauren's Mega Waiting on Wednesday!!
Dead Rules by Randy Russell. Summary here.
It sounds hilarious and dark and creepily awesome!
These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf. Summary here.
A mystery that seems to appeal to adults and young adults.
This book is said to be great for Pretty Little Liars fans. I haven't read that series yet, but this one sounds all sorts of crazy fun.
The Babysitter Murders by Janet Ruth Young. Summary here.
I love the unique premise of this one! It sounds like a real page-turner.
An LGBT novel that seems equal parts amusing and deep.
NO COVER YET
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. Summary here.
This one sounds like a interesting Witness Protection-esque novel. I'm curious and would love to read it!
How I Stole Johnny Depp's Alien Girlfriend by Gary Ghislain. Summary here.
I'm a big Johnny Depp fan, so anything with his name in the title catches my attention right away. This sounds like a fun and funNY novel.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Leave a Mark Auctions brought to you by Lauren of Shooting Stars Mag and Chelsea of The Page Flipper!
Welcome back to the Leave a Mark auctions. For those that don't remember or haven't taken part in the past, here are some basic rules. If you have any further questions please email me here: lauren51990 AT aol DOT com. If you want to donate a book, please read the information in the right hand sidebar...we have an email set up there!
1. The first bid must start at $10 for every single book.
2. You are then allowed to go up in 50 cent increments. Ex. 10, 10.50, 11. You CAN go up more than though. Ex. first bid is 15...you go up to 20, etc. Again, any questions, let me know!
3. The deadline for each auction might vary... so please read when it will end so you don't miss out on bidding the highest! For the most part, there will be a new auction every one to two weeks.
4. You can be from any country to bid, but the bids WILL be in U.S. dollars.
5. All money will go to First Book and you can find us here: http://www.firstbook.org/leaveamark
6. Once the auction ends, we will get in touch with the highest bidder (so please leave a contact email if you can or check back to this site and we'll post the winner) and you will donate your money here and we'll have your book sent out!
Marked Up Books-
A marked up book is a regular book you would get in stores but instead of it being plain, the author went through and made notes in the margin...giving the winner of these books an inside, behind-the-scenes look of the story. It's essentially a directors-cut. You know you want these!!
This Auction Ends Tuesday, December 14th at 11:59 EST! DO NOT BID HERE. You must visit Leave a Mark Auctions at THIS LINK.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Interested in a copy of Forget-Her-Nots by Amy Brecount White this holiday season? Of course you do! And what's even better is that you can get a copy RIGHT NOW that is marked up by the author.
Amy will go through a copy of the book and leave notes in the margins throughout the book giving the reader a behind-the-scenes look on Forget-Her-Nots. You can't go out and buy a copy like this...so you know you want it now.
Go on over here and check it all out. You must do so before 11:59 EST tomorrow, Dec. 6th!
Support Amy, support First Book, support...well, whoever this would be for!
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Godiva Gift Basket
I know one thing that my mom and sister would love and it's the Godiva Gift Basket. We all love Godiva chocolate and to have a whole collection would be amazing. I'm sure I'm not the only one craving this! It's a great holiday gift...check out the link to see the wonderful presentation it comes in.
Bonding Buddies Gift Basket
Know someone who loves their dog? This basket includes some wonderful items for them AND their dog...it's a gift that gives twice. What could be better? I know I'd love to give something for my own dog. After all, her birthday is actually December 23 so it would be a gift for two days.
Old Time Coke Snack Pack
This would be a perfect gift basket for myself or most of my friends. We love getting together to watch movies, and with this, you have the perfect drink and snacks all ready to go...just a pick a favorite movie and voila! It's a fantastic evening in. I know my brother and his wife would enjoy this as well, so it's also a perfect gift for couples.
As you can see, I'm a huge fan of gift baskets. If someone would give me one for the holidays, I would be sincerely grateful. They are fun and thoughtful and include some wonderful items. Plus, if you buy one...you get a whole theme ready to go without any work from you apart from picking just one to give...and picking just one is really hard!
I'll have a review and giveaway up next week sometime. But for now, check out the site and share what you enjoy. I'm curious to know! Are you planning on doing gift baskets as gifts this year?
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
I did one of these months ago and kind of forgot about doing them after that. Now I'm going to do one every week....hopefully.
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Release Date: March 22, 2011
What if you knew exactly when you would die?
Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.
When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.
But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.
Why I want it:
I WANT THIS BOOK SOOOOO BAD! *cough* I've pretty much been in love with the sound of this book ever since I read about the deal for it. It sounds amazing and everyone I know that has read it has said that it is amazing--which makes me want it even more. And how gorgeous is that cover!? I could stare at it all day. I would pretty much do anything to get a copy of this book.