Monday, March 30, 2009

Fairy Tale, Award, & Vote for Me!

Fairy Tale Contest

In honour of the upcoming release of her novel Fairy Tale and her birthday (April 13th!),
Cyn Balog is hosting a contest! The Fairytale Contest will end on her birthday, so hop on over and check it out.

(See sidebar for release countdown widget)

Proximity Award~

The supersweet Carrie of
Carrie's YA Bookshelf has recently bestowed this award on Lucid Conspiracy, which is awesome. Thanks muchly, Carrie!

This blog invests and believes in the Proximity - nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this clever-written text into the body of their award.

Vote For Moi!

I created the following video for
Justina Chen Headley's Find Beauty Challenge. (In fact it's still not too late to enter - she's donating $10 for reconstructive surgery for cleft lips and palates for each video!)

Anyway, it's a bit of a contest, so if you guys could pop by and rate/comment, that would be awesome, and really appreciated! [

Sunday, March 29, 2009

In My Mailbox (2)

Courtesy of Pop Culture Junkie and The Story Siren, presenting Week Two of Lucid Conspiracy's In My Mailbox:

Top left & middle left - This Summer. Escape with the Seven bookmark. (it's just the front/reverse view). I think they have promotional (printable) material & more information @ that link.
Top right - Edgar A. Poe stamp. (Okay, okay, so this was on the envelope, but I just had to share it!)
Bottom - Shadowed Summer bookmark.
Kate and Saundra!

Love Medicine - Louise Erdrich
*Thanks Megan!
**Not the cover I received though - can't seem to find it on Google...

What did you get this week?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

In My Mailbox (1)

Looks like I'm going to be hopping on this bandwagon now - first ever In My Mailbox post! The concept behind this meme was inspired by Alea and hosted by Kristi; great ideas ladies. It's started a bit of a book blog revolution, hmm? This week was Spring Break, so let's just say that it involved excitedly checking the mailbox each day. ;) Summaries from Amazon.

Fade - Lisa McMann
For Janie and Cabel, real life is getting tougher than the dreams. They're just trying to carve out a little (secret) time together, but no such luck.
Disturbing things are happening at Fieldridge High, yet nobody's talking. When Janie taps into a classmate's violent nightmares, the case finally breaks open -- but nothing goes as planned. Not even close. Janie's in way over her head, and Cabe's shocking behavior has grave consequences for them both.

Worse yet, Janie learns the truth about herself and her ability -- and it's bleak. Seriously, brutally bleak. Not only is her fate as a dream catcher sealed, but what's to come is way darker than she'd feared...
*Thanks Elizabeth!

Wordle Journal and The Season Postcard
(Excuse the 1.5MP quality of my cell's camera.)
*Thanks Sarah!

Invisible Touch -
Kelly Parra

Kara Martinez has been trying to be "normal" ever since the accident that took her father's life when she was eleven years old. She's buried the caliente side of her Mexican heritage with her father and tried to be the girl her rigid mother wants her to be -- compliant and dressed in pink, and certainly not acting out like her older brother Jason. Not even Danielle, her best friend at Valdez High, has seen the real Kara; only those who read her anonymous blog know the deepest secrets of the Sign Seer.

Because Kara has a gift -- one that often feels like a curse. She sees signs, visions that are clues to a person's fate, if she can put together the pieces of the puzzle in time. So far, she's been able to solve the clues and avert disaster for those she's been warned about -- until she sees the flash of a gun on a fellow classmate, and the stakes are raised higher than ever before. Kara does her best to follow the signs, but it's her heart that wanders into new territory when she falls for a mysterious guy from the wrong side of town, taking her closer to answers she may not be able to handle. Will her forbidden romance help her solve the deadly puzzle before it's too late...or lead her even further into danger?
*Thanks Amanda and Kelly!

How was your week?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Faketastic Review

Faketastic - Alexa Young
From besties to worsties and back again...

Team Havalon is reunited and stronger than ever. Avalon's on top of it all - fashion trends, friends, fun. But when her fellow cheerleaders decide that Avalon is out this time around, who's side will she really be on?

Halley's got her old bff Avalon back, new bff Sofee, great new clothes, and maybe a romance on the horizon. But when a plan Team Havalon concocts spirals out of control and is catalyzed by the meddling of their respective new buds, who will be left standing when World War Havalon seems inevitable?

Faketastic flows seamlessly from its predecessor, Frenemies. In this second installment, Alexa Young has delved even deeper into Halley and Avalon's love-hate relationship. The dynamic duo shed some of their immaturity and the story went beyond snarky fashion disses.

Characterization of the leading ladies seemed stronger and more hard hitting. A lot of the drama this time around came from the meddling of the supporting cast. The misunderstandings, effectively shown in juxtaposition of dramatic irony, allow readers to feel frustration and emphathize with what the characters are going through. Wade, although portrayed as a likeable character, did seem to been toeing the line of Gary Stu. Dreamy, confident, and suave with the girls at the ripe age of thirteen - is slight shallowness his only flaw? But this is a negligible detail (still pining over Dead Romeos. Gosh - what's in a name? Beautiful.)

The Style Snarks blog was a nice touch - and of course, the witty banter of the comments was amusing. Young's writing style just has that little zing that you can't quite phrase specifically, but effectively draws you into the story. The plot was more driven this time around, and overall, Faketastic seemed to be an improvement over Frenemies. The unique lingo adds flair. And even better? The messages [it] sends out aren't nearly as superficial as some of the other novels in this genre: it isn't all about brand names. If you can pull it off, go for it.

Faketastic is a charismatic series; something about Young's writing is just rapturing. The ending was a little abrupt here as well, but if the previous two are any indication, I'll bet that it leads smoothly into the next installment, Glamnesia. (Gosh - don't you just love these titles?) Out this summer, July 1st. A snarky light read. This is one series that I'm definitely going to be keeping up with. In this case, the saying holds true - don't judge a book by its cover. Because Faketastic will blow away your misconceptions of superficial-guilty-pleasure-type-read by providing insight on teenybopper friendships that just sneaks up on you.

Frenemies Review

Frenemies - Alexa Young
What happens when two besties become full-blown worsties?

Halley Brandon is back. After spending the summer at art camp where she's discovered a funky new style, Halley can't wait to see her best friend Avalon Greene. And boy are the duo in for a surprise! Avalon has been planning the soiree of the season to celebrate her forever-friendship with Halley. But maybe Halley's new funky artist rocker chic clashes with what Avalon wants...

Avalon and Halley are in for quite the emotional ride when they discover what happens when you battle the person who knows you best - and isn't afraid to use your secrets for personal gain. From sharing custody of Pucci, their puppy, to seperating extra-cirriculars, Avalon and Halley better be prepared to deal with the carnage of this full out battle.

Best friends. Worst enemies. Frenemies.

In Frenemies Alexa Young has struck just the chord when it comes to teenybopper friendships. Individually, Halley Brandon and Avalon Greene are both likeable enough characters. Together though, they're explosive. Throughout the course of Frenemies, characterization was well done. Although a little more development before the major fall out would have been nice, sometimes tween-teen friendships can be fickle, especially since at that age, even little things can seem like the end of the world.

Emotions are portrayed nicely and readers are able to emphathize with what the characters are going through. The plot is nicely woven, leading through a series of spikes before getting to the climax. And of course, what's a book nowadays without a love interest? Wade fills the role of Romeo beautifully - a nice play-on, considering that he's in a band called the Dead Romeos. The supporting characters are also characterized relatively well, but in Frenemies, they seem to be just that - support. It works though, in this case. The ending also seemed a little abrupt, but it melds seamlessly into Faketastic.

The writing itself was crisp, fresh, and snarky. In short, entertaining; and surprisingly hard to put down. It was actually a pretty pleasant surprise that Frenemies delved deeper into the intricacies of friendship and thirteen year old behaviour than some of its counter parts for older teens. It's the kind of insight that you don't really realize right away. Frenemies is an entertaining read brimming with witty play-ons and banter. Snarky.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Interview: Alyson Noel

The superb Alyson Noel is the author of fly me to the moon, Cruel Summer, and most recently, Evermore, the first in her immortals series. (My review of Evermore can be read here.) I was lucky enough to conduct an interview of sorts with her, so without further ado, the fabulous Alyson Noel, ladies and gents:

In Evermore, a lot of your characters seem to have unique names. How did these come about?
I love unique names! In fact, I sort of collect them. Whenever I think of a new one I add it to my “unique names” file, then cross them off as I use them!

That's pretty cool - I used to have a name notebook as well, but lost it. Maybe I'll take up that practice again. What's a little known fact about you?
Hmmm, after high school I flew to London, England by myself and stayed for two weeks. It was a trip that spawned a life-long love of travel!

Damen definitely has flair, when it comes to romance. What would your ideal date consist of?
An impromptu trip to Paris where we dine at a tiny, locals only, bistro, then stroll along the River Seine, gazing at the stars. Either that or backstage passes to a U2 concert—I’m flexible!

Mmm... Describe (in as much detail as you like) your favourite meal/dish.
Oh, I have many! And I was lucky enough to marry a gourmet cook since I can’t even boil water without burning it! But my favorite type of cuisine is French Bistro (hence the date above!). Pommes Frites, cassoulet—it’s all good!

Yum! What's writing like for you? Do you try to get in the zone, do it at a specific time, or place, need anything in particular, etc.
I used to be very particular, needing to be at home, in my office, at my desk, with lots of quiet time. But last summer I was on deadline just as my husband’s family reunion was looming near, and since I wanted to go, I was determined to break myself of this habit. So I dragged my laptop along and wrote in the hotel room during the day and came out to socialize at night. Everyone joked that I was a vampire, but it worked—I met the deadline and managed to have some fun! But even though I know I can do it, I still prefer to write at home, in my office, at my desk . . .

What are your major pet peeves / endearing quirks?
When I was a flight attendant I had a gazillion pet peeves—the result of serving thousands of people each day. But now that I’m basically a shut in, I can’t really think of any other than people with a bossy, self-important, “me first” attitude.
Endearing quirks? Well, I pronounce the word “thing” like “theen.” I’m not sure if it’s endearing, but there it is!

Aww, that is cute! Words of wisdom - give a quote of personal significance?
Two of my favorites are:
“Be the change you want to see in the world.”- Ghandi
“The cheapest way to feel good about yourself is by feeling superior to others.”- Deepak Chopra
They pretty much sum up how I try to be in the world!

Can you give us a hint about what's to come in Blue Moon?
Here’s a little cover copy:
Just as eager new Immortal Ever’s powers are increasing, her beloved Damen’s are waning. In an attempt to save him, Ever travels to the magical dimension of Summerland where she discovers an ancient text that details the workings of time. Now Ever must choose between turning back the past and saving her family—or staying in the present and saving Damen . . .
It’ll be in stores on 07.07.09

And thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions! Doesn't the cover for blue moon look just gorgeous? I know I'm looking forward to its release; how about you?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pi Day, Blog Love, and Oh Noes!

3.14, Happy Pi Day!

The super sweet Iryna over at A Garden of Books has nominated me for I [Heart] Your Blog. award, which is really exciting. Thanks muchly! So technically I'm supposed to nominate at least seven other blogs, but it seems this award has really made a round of the YA blogosphere, and I'm not really feeling up to it right now, which leads smoothly into the next point.

Alas, I seem to have come down with something. It started out with a pretty nasty cough, and then I lost my voice, and now it's just turned into a pretty icky cold. Which really sucks (hence the Oh No!) Last week was sort of a joke; Wednesday was a Snow Day, and Thursday I just stayed home sick.

But but but - now Spring Break has started! (Hopefully I'll get over this cold soon so I can actually revel in how chill this week should be.) Big plans for the week, I would really like to get some things done. For example, Kevlar Moustache. And I'll definitely have to try and schedule in some photoshoots. And of course, maybe some SAT prep and driver's test. But best of all is just the downtime to chillax. =)

Oh right! Today is also deltay's one year anniversary on deviantART (because technically I've been on dA for way longer, except under different accounts).

In other randomness, I've been looking up a lot of random videos on Youtube, and there are some really talented people on there! I seem to have rekindled my love for guitars, and now I really want to learn to play. Like, right now. But then after this week, when the horrors of IB start again... maybe I should just hang on until the summer. And my other rekindled love? Jesse McCartney's music. (No, I'm not kidding ;) He's just got such a beautiful soul.

*PS We had two Friday the 13ths in a row this year! And aww, the Zokutou wordmeter is broken. Or something.

**Kate is holding a giveaway for Violet on the Runway, Oh. My. Gods., or Spring Breakup here, so hop on over to check it out! Contest ends Sunday at midnight.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Evermore Review & Bookmark

So, I actually read this last Saturday, but found myself unable to review it. Maybe I'm just still stuck in over-critical-analytical mode due to IB English, or maybe it's because TOK (Theory of Knowledge) is really starting to mess with my head because of all these perception, reality, bias etc. concepts. I don't even know. But to get back in the spirit of things, I guess the only way is to just jump right in and go for it. So without further ado:

Evermore (the immortals) - Alyson Noel

After the death of her family, consumed with guilt Ever Bloom's personality takes a one-eighty dive. No longer Miss Popular, she's turned into a freak. A physic freak who avoids human touch at all costs, so she won't have to hear their life stories. New school, new city, new Ever. And it sucks. Until she meets Damen Auguste, and she's drawn into a mysterious world chockful of secrets and danger. Falling illogically in love with someone who leaves an endless trail of questions but can silence the visions in her head - is that really prudent? Who - or what - is Damen really? And just what is the significance of all those red tulips that accost her everywhere?

In Evermore Alyson Noel has woven an enticing beginning to her the immortals series. The main protag's name, Ever Bloom*, is beautiful and original, and makes an interesting play-on. The relationship between Ever and Damen progressed a little too quickly in the beginning, going from I-definitely-don't-have-a-thing-for-him to BAM! I'm-irrevocably-in-love-with-him, but this doesn't stand out glaringly, due to Noel's beautiful storytelling style.

Diction choice was eloquent and flowed beautifully, especially with those descriptions coming in groups of three. The concept behind the story was intriguing, and it was a new take on common YA themes. Characterization was very well done; Ever is real and dimensional, suffering in silence and just wanting an escape from the angst of her life experience at such a tender age. The besties Haven and Miles were interesting personas, quircky but endearing. The "magical" characters were relatively good, but there were facets that were slightly shallow and uncredible. The tie-ins to history were nicely inserted, and rooted the story more firmly in realism.

Summerland was a beautiful idea. Noel has crafted quite the introduction to her immortals saga, and it's no wonder that Evermore has cracked bestseller lists. Evermore is a wonderful urban fantasy/paranormal romance read that will be enjoyed by many teenage female fans, if current trends are accurately predictive. I'm definitely going to be checking out the sequel, Blue Moon (August 2009).

*Although I actually didn't know her surname was Bloom until after I finished the book and re-read the synopsis on the back.

**Feel free to print & use the Evermore bookmark (left)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Fabulous Me (+ 5)

Recently I've been nomiated for Your Blog is Fabulous! by the super-awesome Steph of Steph Su Reads, which is really exciting as it's my first blog award. And of course, the fact that it says "I'm Awesome" doesn't hurt. Thanks muchly!

Rules: List five things you are obsessed with/addicted to and then nominate five other fabulous blogs to pass on this award on to!

I'm not very good at these things, but I guess I'll try to come up with a couple [interesting] ones.

[1] Food - It's just so good. Seriously, I'm addicted to junk food or something. I eat a lot; my metabolism works pretty fast, so I'm hungry often. Especially during badminton season. Practises (and tournaments) can be intense!

[2] Badminton - No, not backyard badminton - that's almost an insult to the sport. And yes, badminton is a real sport. Not for the weak, I assure you, despite popular belief! It's intense. It's good. It makes me feel awake, as odd as that may sound.

[3] Sticky Notes - These things are just so versatile! Scrawl down random notes and stick them wherever. Super useful, what can else can I say?

[4] Crimson Hero - (By Mitsuba Takanashi) I don't read manga, but this is the one I do read. It's great; beautiful artwork combined with a hilarious storyline! And the characters are just so lovable. (It's about volleyball, and there's love triangles and much humour!) I've actually laughed out loud numerous times while reading it. And there's this one image of Yushin where he really reminds me of Squib, from 15/Love (show), which I also really like.

[5] Okay, so about #5. I'm [pretty sure] that I had one for this... and then I forgot. And now I don't want to just randomly put in something else. So perhaps I'll come back and fill it in when I remember. Or figure out which exactly of the many I was originally intending to put in here. ;)

And I nominate...
Oh Clementine
The Shady Glade
Jennifer Banash

Bookroom Reviews is currently hosting a Book Giveaway Carnival. Presently there are links to 150 various contests. Hop on over if you haven't already :)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Elizabeth Scott Party

In honour of Something, Maybe's upcoming release, Elizabeth Scott is hosting a celebration (read - giveaways!) for the 22 days leading up to it.

As it turns out, in addition to numerous other novels, she is also the author of Living Dead Girl, which I came thisclose to snagging an ARC of last year, but alas, I arrived at the meeting a little late and all the copies were gone.

You can bet this 22 - day Countdown Celebration will be tons of fun, so hop on over to
for more details.

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