Sunday, March 31, 2013

Taken by Erin Bowman Chapter 7 Reveal

I am absolutely thrilled to be part of the chapter reveal blog tour for TAKEN by Erin Bowman that HarperTeen has put together.

Taken by Erin Bowman
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: April 16, 2013

There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone.

They call it the Heist.

Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive.

Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?

----

Sounds amazing, right? I'm currently more than halfway through it right now, and I'm totally in love with it. I definitely recommend you buy it when it comes out.

Add TAKEN on goodreads
Pre-order TAKEN: IndieBound / Barnes & Noble / Amazon / Book Depository
Links for Erin Bowman: website / twitter / tumblr / goodreads
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HERE IS CHAPTER 7!

The full schedule:

Monday, 3/25 – Chapter 1
Tuesday, 3/26 – Chapter 2
Wednesday, 3/27 – Chapter 3
Thursday, 3/28 – Chapter 4
Friday, 3/29 – Chapter 5
Saturday, 3/30 – Chapter 6
Monday, 4/1 – Chapter 8
 
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What did you think of chapter 7 and of Taken so far?

-Alicia

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Guest Review: What the Spell by Brittany Geragotelis



Guest Review by Kari
copy sent for review, but all opinions are our own
Review: What the Spell? by Brittany Geragotelis is the author’s first published book. Her debut book is a fun story about a girl named Brooklyn who receives her powers as a teenager. Brooklyn is a witch who had her powers bound by her parents until she turned sixteen because they believed she needed to learn how to live life without magic. Before she turned sixteen, Brooklyn was not popular and she didn’t have any friends besides her school guidance counselor. On the day she receives her powers, she decides to change things up. She gives herself a magical makeover and is barely recognizable at school the next day.
Her new look gets her noticed by the Elite, a group of popular kids who rule the school, and by the handsome Asher. Brooklyn’s world starts changing immediately. She begins to do tasks for the Elite to prove she can be loyal, but the tasks start to compromise her morals. Things become even more complicated when she realizes she has a special talent for setting people up as a couple. She decides to match herself with Asher and this causes her to doubt their relationship.
Her popularity starts to overwhelm her and her secret life as a witch is becoming compromised. Brooklyn soon learns that she may be over her head and that there are more things to worry about than being a part of the Elite.

Geragotelis tells an enjoyable story about a girl who has to learn who she wants to be as a witch and as a person. There are times when Brooklyn does get annoying because the reader doesn’t agree with her decisions, but that doesn’t ruin the story. The great thing about the book is that it does leave the reader wanting more. There are events that aren’t explained and I hope this means there will be a sequel.

***

And there will be... Life's a Witch comes out July 9, 2013!!


Monday, March 25, 2013

Review: Curses! Foiled Again by Jane Yolen


Curses! Foiled Again by Jane Yolen (Art by Mike Cavallaro)

Review by Lauren

copy sent for review, but all opinions are my own

Official Summary: Aliera Carstairs is back. This time she's got her cousin—and best friend—Caroline in tow, and the stakes are higher than ever. The realm of Seelie, the fairy kingdom of which Aliera is the hereditary defender, is under attack, and only Aliera and Caroline can set things right. Caroline, fragile and wheelchair-bound, may seem like more of a liability than an asset, but Aliera knows there's more to her quiet cousin than meets the eye. Curses! Foiled Again, a follow up to graphic novel Foiled! is Jane Yolen at her best, reunited with her partner in crime, the fabulously talented illustrator Mike Cavallaro.

Review: It's been awhile since I've read the first in this graphic novel series, Foiled, but Jane and Mike take a note from television and give readers a look back at what happened. It says Previously...and then you get a few pages that update you on what happened in the first book, so you are ready to go for the second! I'd still recommend reading this series in order, as they are fairly quick, but I suppose you could go right into this one if you wished.

Some things that I liked about this one-

The artwork is really well done and I liked that it's mostly black and white in the beginning...adding more and more color as the book progresses. The color added is mostly in conjunction with the fairy world, so if you see a creature, then they will be color, while Aliera is still black and white. Fairy world plays a larger part near the end, so most of those pages are all color. It's a nice idea; makes the book a bit unique.

Trolls are one of the fantasy creatures that you see a lot of in this one, and I thought that was nice. I don't read a lot of fantasy/paranormal books...but when I do, they tend to have the most basic of creatures like vampires and the like. Trolls are a nice change of pace!

I really liked seeing Caroline more, Aliera's cousin. She's in a wheelchair but that doesn't stop her from helping Aliera when she needs it. She's also much more positive and understanding than Aliera at times, so it's a welcome addition.

Some things I wasn't too fond of-

Now, I have to admit that Aliera frustrated me sometimes. Avery, a troll who must help Aliera, is often ignored by her. I can understand how she wouldn't always know who to trust and isn't sure about Avery...but he doesn't really seem the type to let her down, and he does keep trying to help her out. It got a bit annoying how badly she treated him at times. Avery isn't the smartest guy in the world, but he does prove his worth (which is another positive to the book!)

Overall, though, I did enjoy this one. I'm trying to read more graphic novels and it was nice to continue the series. It's a fast read (only took me a couple days) and I think a lot of people would find something to enjoy within its pages, both guys and girls.



Saturday, March 23, 2013

Who Says...The Music You Loved Then, You Now Must Hate?

New Feature: I think discussion posts can be a lot of fun and it allows more feedback and interesting conversations. So, I came up with one for Shooting Stars Mag called Who Says? Unfortunately, I don't know how to make a fun graphic...if anyone wants to make one, go ahead, and if you would like to have your own Who Says? post, place your link in the comment section!

Who Says...The Music You Loved Then, You Now Must Hate? 

I'm a big fan of music and I like a wide variety of artists and genres. That means there are plenty of acts that I've loved that some people might think are embarrassing. It seems that as people grow up, they're always saying "I can't believe I liked that band!" or "I can't believe I was part of that fandom!" (music or otherwise). For me, though, if I've ever liked a type of music...I don't really grow out of that appreciation. I can still listen to, and enjoy, them today. Sure, I might not listen to them as much...and yeah, I am continuously listening to and loving new things. Regardless, I still like the groups and bands from my past. I'm not embarrassed to admit that!

Before I go on to share some of these artists, I want to mention that if you do your own Who Says? post, you should share the acts you used to love and yet would still listen to and enjoy...and if you don't want to do a post, feel free to just leave a list in the comments!

 Hanson

I used to love Hanson when I was younger...their video MMMBop (video below) came out in 1997, so I guess I became a fan when I was around seven years old. I've never seen them live, but as they are a band that is still together (did you know that?!), I would definitely go if given the chance. I know their old stuff but not much of the new music they've made...so I guess I really should pay attention to them more. I do love their song "Penny and Me" though, which they made when they were a bit older, so I'm sure I'd enjoy all their other songs!


Nsync

This is one group that I would love to see reunited, but with Justin Timberlake doing so well on his own...I'm not sure that will ever happen. Regardless, I was a huge Nsync fan growing up and they were even my first concert. This is one group that certainly knows how to put on a good show! Nowadays, I don't listen to their music all that often, but I'm excited anytime I hear it and will certainly sing along. Their albums are just some of the many I still need to get on my iPod!

Enjoy some early Nsync with "Tearin' Up My Heart"- 


Good Charlotte

This is a band that I fell in love with when I was in middle school. I still remember talking to a friend my freshmen year of high school about them...she was a Green Day fan. We're friends to this day, so she still finds it funny because it was the first conversation we ever had. Along with Good Charlotte, there was Simple Plan...both bands have a similar pop/punk sound and I loved them both, though probably GC a bit more. I got to see them both live (together) at the end of my freshmen year and had a blast. I traveled two hours to see the show (the farthest I'd gone for a concert that point in my life) and it was totally worth it.

"Little Things" is off of GC's first album...they've certainly evolved since then, but it's a fun one-


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Review: Exposure by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes


Exposure by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes

Review by Lauren

copy sent for review but all opinions are our own

Official Summary: Double, double, toil, and trouble! The quest for high-school royalty can turn deadly when teen ambition outstrips reason. Skye Kingston is a shy shutterbug who prefers observing life from behind her camera lens. She doesn't know she's stunning, and comes off the sidelines only when she's forced to by the terrifying events of one treacherous school year in Alaska. A boy named Duncan is dead, and his death may or may not be an accident. Skye's three new best friends are eerily able to foretell the future, and cheerleader Beth might be more than a social climber--she quite probably is a sociopath. Then there's Skye's growing attraction to the school hottie, Craig, The Boy Who Would Be Prom King. But their time is crossed by fate. There's already been one death, and who can say if it's only the first? As Skye falls for Craig, she also slowly realizes that he is caught in the crosshairs of a deadly plot. Can she save Craig and herself from a murderous fate? Exposure is not only a modern take on the classic Macbeth, it's proof that nothing has changed since Shakespeare riffed on the subject nearly half a millennium ago: the quest for power can lead to bloodstained hands.

Review: If you remember, I mentioned that I was reading this one a few months ago...amongst all my books for school. Obviously, class titles take precedence and Exposure had to take a backseat, though I tried to read it when I could. Finally, though, I can let you all know what I thought...since I'm sure you were waiting on the edge of your seat for months now. I know, I know. Okay...back to the story.

Skye- I really liked her as a narrator. I relate to her realization that maybe she hid too much in high school. For her, it was behind a camera lens. For me, it was behind a book. I was the quiet girl that always seemed to be reading. I don't really regret that in high school, but college is ending for me soon and I do wish I did a bit more there. I'm fairly satisfied overall though, and that's kind of how I feel about Skye. She's not an annoying character, she's easily relatable, and she really does care about people...but knows they ultimately have to direct their own life.

As for the re-telling of Macbeth, I enjoyed it! The witches were fun, especially how their prophecies came into a play, since they aren't really witches. I also liked the use of some names from the original play, when fitting. It wasn't overdone or weird. They actually looked like high school names in this day and time. Obviously, it's a bit hardcore for a high school; murder and mayhem and the like. Aspects made sense, since high school is a very emotional and stressing time for people...but the rest you just have to go with and enjoy!

I will admit that since I read this over a longer period of a time than I normally would, I tended to notice more things that annoyed me. In general, this would be a fast read as it's not very long, so I think many people would enjoy diving into it and finding out how a high school setting can flip Macbeth on its head. However, there were some dialogue (this is an ARC though...) that seemed a bit unrealistic and not at all how you'd image actual teens talking. This was more of a recent thought, as I was finishing up the book these last couple days, so it wasn't a huge bother throughout. I'm also a bit tired of the idea that a quiet girl doesn't realize she's stunning thing. Not all the quiet girls are like this, and it would be nice to have some regular characters that are just that...actually average in looks, but all sorts of awesome in other ways. Regardless, I liked that Skye and Craig (her love interest) actually had a reason for liking each other. This isn't just Skye crushing on the popular boy in school who suddenly notices her; they had a relationship before popularity and school politics came into play. So points for that at least!

In the end, this was a fun read. I do like Shakespeare, so I'd be curious to read more Twisted Lit novels by these two ladies to see how they twist some more plays from the Bard.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (13)


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases people are excited for.

Title: In the After 
Author: Demitria Lunetta
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: Hardcover, 400 pages
Release Date: June 25, 2013

Summary:

They hear the most silent of footsteps.
They are faster than anything you've ever seen.
And They won't stop chasing you...until you are dead.

Amy is watching TV when it happens, when the world is attacked by Them. These vile creatures are rapidly devouring mankind. Most of the population is overtaken, but Amy manages to escape—and even rescue “Baby,” a toddler left behind in the chaos. Marooned in Amy’s house, the girls do everything they can to survive—and avoid Them at all costs.

After years of hiding, they are miraculously rescued and taken to New Hope, a colony of survivors living in a former government research compound. While at first the colony seems like a dream with plenty of food, safety, and shelter, New Hope slowly reveals that it is far from ideal. And Amy soon realizes that unless things change, she’ll lose Baby—and much more.

Rebellious, courageous, and tender, this unforgettable duo will have you on the edge of your seat as you tear through the pulse-pounding narrow escapes and horrifying twists of fate in this thrilling debut from author Demitria Lunetta.

Why I want it:

I've been wanting to read In the After ever since the deal for it was announced. It is one of my most anticipated books for this year.

I pretty much only read books that have romance in them (it doesn't have to be a huge part of the book, but there has to be something), but it looks like there isn't a romance in In the After, and I don't even care because the book looks sooo good. I can't wait to read about Amy and Baby, and find out about Them. 

I just really want to read In the After! June 25 can't get here soon enough!

What are you waiting on?

-Alicia

Friday, March 15, 2013

Guest Review: Wright for America by Robin Lamont


Wright for America by Robin Lamont

Guest Review by Kari

Copy for review, but all opinions are our own

Official Summary: Pryor Wright’s ultra-conservative radio show has millions of devout fans who are sure that the slurs and wild accusations fired at the liberal left prove him a true patriot. But when his venomous rantings catch Maren Garrity’s twin brother in the crossfire, the struggling actress pursues her own style of justice and enlists a troupe of fellow unemployed actors to teach Wright just how powerful words can be.


Review: Wright for America by Robin Lamont is a book with many twists and turns. It focuses mainly on Maren Garrity and her quest to bring down radio show host Pryor Wright. Wright is a very conservative man who goes too far during his show. He hates the liberal left and will say nothing but negative comments about them. He uses name calling and untruthful accusations to gain popularity with his listeners. Wright especially likes to talk about how being gay is wrong and that something must be done about it. His radio show even suggested violence towards them. Maren’s twin brother was attacked because he was gay and the attacker even said Wright’s name during the attack. Maren believes Wright instigated the attack and that he needs to be taught a lesson about how words can cause harm.
 
Maren is an unemployed actress who works for an undercover agency trying to stop the distribution of counterfeit designer purses. Maren uses her acting skills and her ability to change her look, to get into the radio station as an intern. She even gets her friends to help her with her plan. She wants to get close to Wright to learn his weaknesses and to come up with a plan to hurt him. She especially wants him to be embarrassed publicly.
             
The story starts to take twists and turns when the FBI starts tracking her. A lot of misunderstandings occur because of her disguise as an intern and her position as an undercover working on a case. This causes a lot of confusion and Maren and her friends get caught up in more than they originally planned.
           
 Lamont does an amazing job engaging the reader from the beginning. The complex plot makes it even better to read. The different elements of the story helps keep the reader engaged. It definitely shows you how words can cause harm and that everyone should be accountable for what they say.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Movie Review: 21 and Over


Movie: 21 and Over

Review by Lauren

IMDB Summary: The night before his big medical school exam, a promising student celebrates his 21st birthday with his two best friends.

Review: I've been featuring Justin Chon on Shooting Stars Mag for years now, starting when he was starring in the Twilight films as Eric Yorkie. Therefore, I first heard about his latest project, 21 and Over, from his publicist before I ever saw trailers for the film. I knew I wanted to check it out in support of Justin, but I was even more excited once I started learning more about the movie. For one thing, it also stars Skylar Astin from Pitch Perfect (great movie!) and it's also written by the guys who made The Hangover. Basically....that should tell you whether you will like 21 and Over or not. Have you seen The Hangover and did you like it? If yes, see this movie! If not, well, why not? If it was pure hatred for these type of films, then you won't enjoy 21 and Over...but if you just want some different situations and/or actors, then this might still be a good one for you. Worth checking out at least.

There are some crazy antics and lots of drinking, but there is an overall plot and some "deeper" moments if you will. These are the aspects that make the movie for me. I don't want just a party film; there has to be some substance for me, or it just feels like a waste of time after awhile. These three guys: Jeff Chang (Chon), Casey (Astin), and Miller (Miles Teller) are friends from high school but who haven't really stayed in touch while in their college years. Now Jeff Chang is turning 21 and Miller is all about getting his friend drunk and having a great time, despite Jeff's big medical interview the next morning. Despite all the crazy that happens during the evening, each of the guys deal with aspects of their lives that they aren't happy with or want to change, and Casey and Miller, especially, deal with their current level of friendship.

Having seen Chon and Astin in films before, I knew I would be excited to see them in something else, but I have to commend Miles Teller for his role as Miller. He adds a lot of the humor and I love the "serious" side of his character, which shows that he wants to go out and get wasted to forget that his life isn't going where he wants it to...or that his friends are seemingly doing better than him, leaving him behind as they get older and more successful.

Basically, 21 and Over is a younger version of The Hangover. It's got the drunken antics, crazy humor, and interesting male bonding. It also adds a blend of seriousness concerning growing up and growing apart, which made this movie much more enjoyable for me than a 90 minute drunk fest.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Put Me in the Story Product Review

do not own any photos in post

Last month I told you about Put Me in the Story and how you can create your own personalized book for a child! Luckily, I was given the chance to review one of these books for my niece. My mom and I visited the site and decided on Elmo Loves You as our book of choice. Sorry for the lack of photos, but now our book says Bella, Elmo Loves You! with Made Special for Bella in the bottom left hand corner and Made Special By Grandma Becker in the lower right hand corner. The items in the lower corners are also included on the title page within the book (right side). However, one of the most unique touches is on the left title page---an actual picture of my niece and a personal note that my mom came up with.

My Mom's Thoughts about the Final Product

*A fun concept
*Loves that you can have a photo of who the book is for in it
*Easy to make
*Good selection of books
*The product arrived fast in the mail
*Illustrations are bright and cheerful

Pros of Put Me in the Story

*Again, I love that you can add a photo to the book. I've seen many personalized books for kids and this is by far my favorite, and the photo is one big reason why.

*You can tour every single book, allowing you to see where your photo would be placed, where your child's name would appear, and of course...it gives you a chance to find the right book for your special little one!

*Free shipping is included on every standard order (Each book is $32.99)

*There are currently eight picture books to choose from---and they state that more are to come

*All of these books are actual titles you could find in stores; they are just changed to include your child's name. Other personalized book places have their own stories they personalize, but that is not the case here!

Website example of what the title pages will look like!


Cons of Put Me in the Story

*My one and only con about Put Me in the Story is simply that you are limited on the characters for Made Special By. We went with just Grandma Becker, because Grandma and Grandpa Becker wouldn't fit (and we need the last name because my niece has a few sets of grandparents). This is obviously not going to be the case for every child, so for the most part, you're given enough room. However, I thought I'd mention it in case you have a long name for Made Special By. It may or may not fit!

The Rest of My Experience

I have to commend a company that really cares about their customers and making sure their product is made well. When I uploaded the picture of my niece, I didn't move the box to "crop" it as it seemed to be around the area I wanted. However, I went to the next page and the photo only showed the sky, not my niece. I went ahead and ordered, because I thought it would be fine. Silly me, it wasn't! I got an email from the company showing me the photo and asking if that was what I wanted, since it was obviously not a photo of a child. Since I realized it really didn't fix itself, I went through the process again of making the book. This time, I moved the box around my niece's photo, to show that I was "cropping" and when I went to the next page, there she was! I am very happy with the photo, and like I said, it makes this one of my favorite personalized books.

I am more than satisifed with my final product and I would certainly purchase more books from them...perhaps when my nephew is a bit older!

Who would you buy a book for, and what title looks good to you?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Mosaically Giveaway


I was contacted by the website, Mosaically, to check out their product and offer my readers a giveaway. As you can hopefully see by the above photo (and their name) Mosaically makes mosaics from your own photos. The best way to go about this is to upload your main photo and then all the other photos you want that main photo to be made from. Since I didn't have time to do that yet, I went with their facebook option. This means that you log into your facebook from the site and they take your profile picture for the main photo...and the photos that make up the main one are taken from your profile, as well as your friend's profile pictures.

I wouldn't recommend the facebook route to everyone...if you're going to actually purchase your print, it's nicer to have chosen the actual photos you want. Another reason the facebook mosaic isn't the best is because my facebook page is a mix of personal/business/bloggers so some of the profile pics of "friends" are really blogger buttons, etc. Regardless, the facebook mosaic is a great way to start and see how it all looks when finished (it takes them about three hours before the mosaic will be loaded onto your personal mosaically page).

To see my facebook mosiac clearer, visit this link. If it works, you should be able to make the mosaic bigger to see the smaller pictures. If you double click on a smaller photo, it will appear larger over the mosaic so you can see that photo clearer.

I do like the idea of mosaics and I think they would make wonderful gifts. Wedding and graduation season are both coming up, and I think a personalized mosaic would be a fantastic gift for either occasion!

And now, it's time to enter the giveaway. You are entering for a 30x20 mosaic print. This is a $62.50 value. HOWEVER, if you win, you have to pay for your own shipping ($10) and this is only open to those in the U.S. The code will be sent to your email (once you confirm the win) by me, but I am not responsible for your subsequent experience.

Please enter only if you are 13 years of age or older. 

Giveaway ends March 15 at 11:59 p.m. EST


Please use the rafflecopter below to enter. If you have trouble, let me know.

a Rafflecopter giveaway





Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (12)


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases people are excited for.

Title: Siege and Storm (The Grisha Trilogy #2)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Format: Hardcover, 448 pages
Release Date: June 4, 2013

Summary:


Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can't outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling's game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her--or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

Why I want it:

Not only do I looooooove Shadow and Bone, but it also happens to be one of my favorite books! I love Alina and Mal, and I find the Darkling incredibly intriguing, so I can't wait to find out what happens next. I can't wait to meet new characters, see new settings, read about Alina and Mal being together, and find out more about the Darkling. Basically, I'm dying for Siege and Storm!

And it has a gorgeous cover. I see a dragon on there, so I hope that means a dragon will be in it (I love dragons)!

I just really want the book now! At least June 4th isn’t too far away (it currently feels really far away though).

What are you waiting on?

-Alicia

Monday, March 4, 2013

Musical Review: Million Dollar Quartet

Million Dollar Quartet, the musical

Review by Lauren

See it live! 

do not own any of these photos, using for promotional means only

Official Summary: MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET is the new smash-hit musical inspired by the famed recording session that brought together rock 'n' roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for the first and only time.

On December 4, 1956, these four young musicians gathered at Sun Records in Memphis for what would be one of the greatest jam sessions ever. MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET brings that legendary night to life, featuring a score of rock hits including "Blue Suede Shoes," "Fever," "That's All Right," "Sixteen Tons," "Great Balls of Fire," "Walk the Line," "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On," "Who Do You Love?," "Matchbox," "Folsom Prison Blues," "Hound Dog" and more.

Review: I figured I would enjoy Million Dollar Quartet going into the musical because I'm a fan of Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. What I didn't realize is that I'd also recognize songs by Jerry Lee Lewis, though unfortunately, Carl Perkins didn't seem familiar (though still enjoyable). The one fault that this musical has is that you kind of have to be a fan of these artists (or at least one or two) to enjoy the show since all the songs are their own. Furthermore, while only taking place during one evening, it does delve a bit into the personal stories of these musicians...a welcome addition to make Million Dollar Quartet more than just a memorial rock concert.

To be honest, this isn't my most favorite musical, but it was still enjoyable and worth seeing. I can see an older audience really enjoying it, especially if you grew up when these singers were in their hey-day.



 I will say that Jerry Lee Lewis was my favorite character, as he added most of the comedy and liveliness to the show. You're sure to be amused by his antics! And he's one amazing piano player! The actors did a phenomenal job bringing these musicians to life. Again, I know Presley and Cash better than the other two, but they were great...and I still felt that Lewis and Perkins were probably just as well done. It's hard enough to lose yourself in a character, but imagine that character being based on a real person. You have to give these actors credit!


And finally, I leave you with the above photo...which shows the original quartet, taken during the infamous jam session that inspired the hit musical. This image is actually shown near the end of Million Dollar Quartet and it's almost enough to give you chills. I'm certainly glad they decided to utilize it in the show.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Guest Review: Phantom by Laura DeLuca


Phantom by Laura DeLuca

Guest Review by Kari

copy from the author, but all opinions are our own

Buy the paperback

 Buy the e-book

Review:  Phantom by Laura DeLuca is a suspenseful, unique novel about a girl and two boys in high school starring in the school musical of the Phantom of the Opera. The main character, Rebecca, loves the musical and the book so much that she decides to audition for the part of Christine. She had never been in the school play before, but she gets selected to play Christine because of her amazing voice. The new boy, Justyn, gets the role of the Phantom and the popular boy, Tom, is cast as Raoul. The casting causes a stir throughout the school because the two popular kids (and usual stars in the plays), Tom and Wendy, aren’t given the lead roles.
            The action starts immediately once the play has been cast. Accidents start occurring during rehearsals. Rebecca starts getting notes and phone calls that become increasingly threatening. People get seriously hurt. It’s like the play is coming to life. Some blame the threats and accidents on Wendy because she is jealous of Rebecca getting the lead role. While other students suspect Justyn because he’s new and dresses like a Goth. Rebecca doesn’t know what to believe and to make matters more difficult, she starts feeling pulled in two different directions when it comes to her growing feelings for both Justyn and Tom.
            The fun thing about the book is that the author incorporates the lyrics of the musical into the book. I loved reading the lines from the play and seeing how they related to the events in the novel. I wish a soundtrack could’ve come with it! Phantom is a fast and fun read. DeLuca keeps the reader interested in the plot throughout the entire story. It’s suspenseful and scary. This is not just someone playing a joke, people really do get hurt. The best part is that DeLuca keeps you guessing until the very end.