Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (3)

Fallen - Lauren Kate
Delacorte - December 8th, 2009

Seventeen-Year-Old Luce is a new student at Sword & Cross, an unwelcoming boarding/reform school in Savannah, Georgia. Luce’s boyfriend died under suspicious circumstances, and now she carries the guilt over his death with her as she navigates the unfriendly halls at Sword & Cross, where every student seems to have an unpleasant—even evil—history.

It’s only when she sees Daniel, a gorgeous fellow student, that Luce feels there’s a reason to be here—though she doesn’t know what it is. And Daniel’s frosty cold demeanor toward her? It’s really a protective device that he’s used again . . . and again. For Daniel is a fallen angel, doomed to fall in love with the same girl every 17 years . . . and watch her die. And Luce is a fellow immortal, cursed to be reincarnated again and again as a mortal girl who has no idea of who she really is.
Wow! Just listen to the premise of that; beautiful yet tragic, with elements of the paranormal thrown in. And a beautiful cover to boot!

What are you waiting on, this Wednesday?

*WoW is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Another Faust Review

Another Faust - Daniel & Dina Nayeri
*August 25th, 2009 Candlewick Press

One night, in cities all across Europe, five children vanish - only to appear, years later, at an exclusive New York party with a strange and elegant governess. Rumor and mystery follow the Faust teenagers to the city’s most prestigious high school, where they soar to suspicious heights with the help of their benefactor’s extraordinary “gifts.”

But as the students claw their way up - reading minds, erasing scenes, stopping time, stealing power, seducing with artificial beauty - the side-effects of their own addictions. And as they make further deals with the devil, they uncover secrets more shocking than their most unforgivable sins.

At once chilling and wickedly satirical, this contemporary reimagining of the Faustian bargain is a compelling tale of ambition, consequences, and ultimate redemption.

The dynamic duo of Daniel and Dina Nayeri has taken the age old concept of Faustian bargain and spun it around to crank out a modernized version that youth today can relate to. Another Faust is a captivating tale demonstrating the epitome of human desire and just how far one would be willing to go to obtain it. (Although knowing the Faustian legend could enhance the reading experience, it's not necessary per se, as the concept of "what you'd be willing to sell your soul for" is pretty universal).

Each of the characters are portrayed in a very intriguing light. They seemingly fit neatly into one stereotypical category at first glance, but they each have something special, a need, a burning desire, that transcends any attempts to categorize them neatly. At times [the five teens] do seem to be on a bit of a one-track mind, but this further augments the contrast with normalcy and how far Victoria, Christian, Bice, Belle, and Valentin have strayed from the norm. (Such beautiful names too!)

Madame Vileroy - quite the interesting creation! She's more than just a character, she's a concept, something that transcends time (both literally and figuratively speaking). Another really cool aspect of Another Faust was the little snippets showing instances throughout history where Vileroy played a role. Because the Faustian bargain idea has been around for ages; as humans, if we want something badly enough, would we be willing to sell our soul for it? Would you? Now, although the entire story is told in third person, each chapter focuses on a particular perspective (out of the five) which allows additional insight into the motivations of [the character], increasing the immediacy with the audience and credibility.

The supernatural aspect in Another Faust was dealt with nicely as well; it's not ostentatious or all pomp and circumstance. There's a more subtle tone to it, creeping into the story as easily as Vileroy creeped into the children's lives. It makes the story, the characters, more relatable to for the audience. At one point or another, haven't we all wanted to be the best, to win at a sporting event or extra-cirricular competition? Haven't we all wanted to score perfect on a test? Nayeri & Nayeri have modernized the Faustian bargain to a level where teens today can understand.

In terms of the writing, there were a couple of metaphors here and there that didn't make a whole lot of sense, but there was still something quite captivating about the diction choice. The pacing, the characters, the plot; all combined, Another Faust is quite difficult to put down. The ending was especially - Wow! It was unexpected, but a very nice twist, and left off with an important message, let's just say. Definitely does not disappoint.

The Nayeri siblings and their Another series are definitely going to be players to watch for.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

BBAW Nominations?!

"Book Blogger Appreciation was started by Amy Riley of My Friend Amy in an effort to recognize the hard work and contribution of book bloggers to the promotion and preservation of a literate culture actively engaged in discussing books, authors, and a lifestyle of reading.

The first Book Blogger Appreciation was observed in the fall of 2008 and occurs every September. The week spotlights and celebrates the work of active book bloggers through guest posts, awards, giveaways, and community activities. Book Bloggers are encouraged to register their participation for inclusion in a database of book bloggers."

- BBAW About Page

I'm absolutely blown away by the fact that Lucid Conspiracy has received 5 Edit: 7?! nominations for this amazing celebration of the book blogging community!

Best YA Blog
Best Literary Fiction Blog

Best Writing
Best Reviews
Most Eclectic Taste Blog

Best Post (The Hunger Games)
Best Blog Name

I'm really touched for the recognition for my little corner of the interwebs. It's hard to believe that [Lucid Conspiracy] has only been around since January of this year. The book blogging community is really something different, something special. The sense of community, of camaraderie, it's a rare diamond in the rough that's hard to find in this day and age. Everyone's been so kind and so friendly and the connections developed with other like-minded people is definitely one of the most rewarding aspects of this entire experience!

I just want to thank everybody who's made the book blogging community what it is, the people who've helped contribute to Lucid Conspiracy, those who've helped out, who've supported it, who've nominated it. Thank you guys so much!

The competition is tough, and the race to get shortlisted is cut-throat. I don't think Lucid Conspiracy's chances of getting shortlisted are all that great, but even just getting nominated feels so major. Especially since I know I'm in great company in all of these categories!

Especially juxtaposed to the recent negative drama episodes involving the book blogosphere, it's great to see the positive reactions that [BBAW] is evoking. The positive feedback in blog comments, the supportive congratulations on Twitter... it far outshines the negative and injects fresh hope. Sometimes it's easy to forget how much one snarky quip can bring somebody down, how much one simple compliment can brighten someone's day.

So let's keep riding this wave of positivity, see if we can stretch the rainbow all the way to the pot of gold. No matter what happens next, just being nominated? That feels like a victory in itself. Thanks to all of you who've helped to make this possible.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (2)

The Line - Teri Hall
Dial - March 4th, 2010

Set in the near future, THE LINE chronicles the adventures of fifteen year old Rachel Quillen. Since her father died in a war, Rachel and her mother, Vivian, have lived in relative isolation on a place called The Property. It's the home of Ms. Moore, a taciturn woman who makes her living growing orchids. She hired Rachel’s mother as a housekeeper, even though she sensed Vivian was in some sort of trouble. Ms. Moore couldn’t be too picky, for there are reasons that good help is hard to find when you live too near the Line.
The National Border Defense System is an impenetrable barrier intended to protect the Unified States from invasion. Because of an impending attack, construction of the System had to be rushed, and the last section—called the Line—was built inside the U.S. border. When it was hastily activated, it created a permanent division between those lucky enough to be on the U.S. side and those who were not. Families were ripped apart, lovers separated. The territory left unprotected became known as Away; the abandoned unfortunates who survived the enemy attack became the Others. Over the years frightening stories circulated about the Others, stories about strange abilities and evil intentions. The Line became a place to avoid.

For Rachel, the activation of the Line is just a history lesson; it happened long before she was born. Life on The Property has been good, if rather dull, and the Line is just something that has always been there. But things are about to change in ways she never imagined and suddenly the world outside The Property—a world of government control and corruption, where people without power or influence have few choices—begins to intrude.

What's not to anticipate about The Line? It's from a Tenner, it's dystopian, it's science fiction... (and okay, so I'm kind of still on that rampage.) The cover's simplicity and lighting is pretty captivating, and the synopsis sounds intriguing!

*WoW is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine

Things have been pretty hectic recently, and I've got a pretty major project pretty much hurtling towards its finish, and of course there's the last minute summer rush, but hopefully things'll slow down a bit soon and more reviews etc. will abound! I'd also like to say thanks a ton for the BBAW nomination! You guys rock :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Winner & Awards Updates

All good things must come to end, to allow for even better things. Alas, the contest for a copy of After by Amy Efaw is now over. The silver lining of that, though? It's time to announce the winner! So without further ado... *drum roll*

The winner, courtesy of the Random # generator, is...

I Heart Monster!


I've already e-mailed you, so please try to respond in a timely fashion. Thanks to everyone to participated, and better luck next time! :)

The Lemonade Award: a feel good award that shows great attitude or gratitude.
Thanks so much, Books are my Best Friends!

Let's Be Friends Award

Blogs that receive the Let’s Be Friends Award are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and befriends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated.

Thanks a bunch A Flight of Minds and Books are my Best Friends!

Both of these blogs are super cool, so be sure to drop by :)

*Will be back to nominate at a time when I'm more lucid. ;) If I've missed one, really sorry about that! Feel free to gimme a prod.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

In My Mailbox [19]

Brought to you by Alea & Kristi, Lucid Conspiracy presents In My Mailbox #19...

Once a Witch - Carolyn MacCullough & Sleepless - Thomas Fahy
*For review

My Name is Will - Jess Winfield
*Thanks Cinnamon from A Journey of Books & Little Brown (Contest)

So now that you've seen the contents of mine, what was in your mailbox this week?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (1)

The Body Finder - Kimberly Derting
March 16th, 2010 from HarperTeen

Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her “power” to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world . . . and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he’s claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping that Jay’s intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she’s falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his prey herself.

Hopping aboard the WoW bandwagon here! So why this selection for this week? Well, the cover is gorgeous, for one thing, and the premise sounds amazing and unique! What're your thoughts on this one?

*WoW is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine

Monday, August 10, 2009

Interview: Hannah Moskowitz

Teen author Hannah Moskowitz is foraging into new territory with YA. Her debut novel Break is edgy and pushes the envelope.

The first feeling is exhilaration.
The second feeling is pain.
The feeling that never comes is regret.

Jonah is on a mission to break every bone in his body. Everyone knows that broken bones grow back stronger than they were before. And Jonah wants to be stronger—needs to be stronger—because everything around him is falling apart. Breaking, and then healing, is Jonah's only way to cope with the stresses of home, girls, and the world on his shoulders. This is the story of his self-destructive spiral, his rock-bottom moment, and how he finally learns to accept help and find true strength through recovery.

Break will be released by Simon & Schuster on August 25th, 2009, but in the meantime Hannah has been kind of enough to grace us with an interview!

Break, your debut YA novel, was written in merely six days. Can you tell us a little bit about how the process was like, how the motivation managed to last, and what the book's about?
Sure. Before BREAK, I'd had a bunch of false starts and wasn't quite sure what I wanted to be writing. I'd finished my last book a few months ago and I was born and stumbling around for a new idea. BREAK really hit me all at once--what if there was a boy who wanted to break all his bones? I really figured out the book while I was writing that first draft. I was unfolding Jonah's motivation as I went. That's the point of the story--why does Jonah want to break all his bones? I guess I wrote so quickly because I was anxious to find out.

A journey of discovery for both of you then - that's awesome that there was such a deep connection with the MC! If the apocalypse were coming tomorrow and you could only choose three books (in the entire world) to keep safe and bring into the "New World", which ones would you choose?
Oh God...that is so hard. I'm going to say Peter Pan, Fight Club, and The Kiss of the Spider Woman. There are so many books I love, but I think those are three that have a distinct point of view I wouldn't want to get lost.

Very worthy choices. Care to describe the circumstances surrounding The Call?
Sure! It was just about this time last year, and I was about to go get my ear pierced. I remember I felt pretty gross because I'd just eaten an entire enormous bag of cheese popcorn. My dad came downstairs and said my phone had been ringing constantly for the past ten minutes. I grabbed it and found my old agent, who'd tried to call me five times already. And she told me we had a sale.

I still got my ear pierced that day.

Haha, well. Now, your MC Jonah is on a self-destructive spree. Have you broken anything before?
I've never broken a bone. Fingers and toes, but those don't really count...unless you break them the way Jonah does, which I did not.

That's good that there hasn't been any major injuries! If you could meet any character from your book to just chill for a day, who would you hang out with, and what would you guys do?
I think it's pretty clear to anyone who reads the book that I absolutely love Jonah's brother Jesse. I would love to hang out with him. He could teach me how to ice skate.

He sounds lovely; speaking of the realm of the fictional sweetie pies - do you have any fictional or literary crushes? (Who?)
Billions. Charlie from The Perks of Being a Wallflower, James from Someday This Pain Will be Useful To You, Tyler Durden (of course), Elijah from Are We There Yet?, Pudge from Looking For Alaska, Nick Carraway from The Great Gatsby...basically there are millions.

Any other projects currently in the works that you'd care to share a little bit about?
Right now I'm working on a book about a chorus, told from the points of view of a soprano, an alto, a tenor, and a bass. It's about the crazy stuff that goes on in their lives when two of them fall in love, two of them fall out of love, one gets beat up in a bathroom and their choral director gets fired. It's working title is ALL TOGETHER WITH FEELING.

Sounds like a great premise, and what a beautiful title. Words of wisdom - what do you do when the muse has gone on vacation?
Listen to your favorite CD on repeat. Stare out the window. Read something. It'll come to you. Screw self-motivating. I'm lazy. And it always comes.

Now, about the unexpected. What're the best and worst unforseen things that have come along with this whole process (e.g. the planning, outlining, writing, querying, submitting, publishing, etc.)?
The people I've met, without a doubt, are the best part. It's been amazing getting in touch with people around the world I never would have met if we didn't have writing in common. And it's so comforting to be able to whine about word count or publishing trends or query letters with someone who understands.

The worst part, I suppose, is how much time it's sucked away from my real life. My friends and family complain they never see me.

Anything else to add?

Don't think so. Thanks so much for the interview!

Thanks for stopping by, Hannah!

Other places to where Hannah can be found on the world wide web: her website, her blog Invincible Summers,and her YA group blog Yapping About YA (of which Tenners Trish Doller and Suzanne Young are also part of). She's also a frequenter of the Absolute Write forums.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

In My Mailbox [18]

Brought to you by Alea & Kristi, Lucid Conspiracy presents In My Mailbox #18...

So, this is actually pretty ironic, but if you recall by post back in April about tense, I'd been marveling over the fact that there're so many books written in present tense nowadays. In fact, I've even gotten used to it. (Actually, my WIP is in present tense.) So it was pretty cool to see that the following three books are all written in past tense! Pretty excited this week :)

The Dark Divine - Bree Despain

Brightly Woven - Alexandra Bracken

Epitaph Road - David Patneaude

Philippa Fisher and the Dream-Maker's Daughter - Liz Kessler

Now that you've seen the contents of my mailbox, it's your turn - what was in yours this week?

*And while you're here, don't forget to enter the giveaway for a copy of After by Amy Efaw!

Friday, August 7, 2009


An infant left in the trash to die. A teenage mother who never knew she was pregnant . . .

Before That Morning, these were the words most often used to describe straight-A student and star soccer player Devon Davenport: responsible, hardworking, mature. But all that changes when the police find Devon home sick from school as they investigate the case of an abandoned baby. Soon the connection is made—Devon has just given birth; the baby in the trash is hers. After That Morning, there’s only one way to define Devon: attempted murderer.

Who would do something so terrible? Certainly not someone like Devon—straight-A student, soccer player with Olympic dreams, more mature than her own mother. But desperation and panic drove her to do what most people can’t even imagine. Now Devon ’s in a juvenile detention center charged with attempted murder. If she’s tried as an adult, she faces life in prison.

Does Devon deserve that punishment? Your answer depends on whether you believe her story.
*Viking, August 11th, 2009

Now you can have a chance to decide for yourself whether or not you believe Devon's story. Penguin has been kind enough to offer up a finished copy of After. Now, if you've seen my review and my interview with Amy, you'll know that this is definitely one to check out! (And if you haven't, pop on by :)

So now that your attention's hooked, you're probably wondering how to enter. It's simple. Just comment with an e-mail address. Contest is open to the US and Canada. Will end Saturday, August 15th.

Additional entries available (please leave a separate comment for each for simplicity's sake!)

+1 For each place you link the contest to (e.g. blog, twitter, sidebar, etc.)
+1 For reposting the trailer (& linking to contest)
+1 For followers
+1 Twitter followers
+1 [Meaningful] comments/feedback on the review
+1 [Relevant] comments on the interview
+1 For following Penguin on Twitter (@penguinusa or @penguincanada)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Stephenie Meyer Sued for Plagiarism?!

Just out of curiosity, how many of you guys have seen this news article regarding Stephenie Meyer allegedly having plagiarized Breaking Dawn off of another young author, Jordan Scott? (If anyone else feels like running a quick search, there are numerous other articles about it out there by now.)

Basically, the general gist is that there are "striking" similarities between Breaking Dawn and 21-year-old Jordan Scott's The Nocturne.

Similarities such as "a wedding, a sex-on-the-beach episode and a passage where a human-turned-vampire describes the wrenching change...characters in both books call their wives 'love'"(Today @ MSNBC). And then it goes on about how Scott & lawyer plan to file a copyright infringement lawsuit, but aren't seeking any monetary compensation. Um... okay?

Apparently, the lawyer also says "I think the fans have to read both books and make up their own mind, like a judge is going to have to." Furthermore, this dude has no idea how many copies his client's book (written in her teenage years, published "in book form" in 2006) has sold. Doesn't exactly sound like a good sign...

There was that major episode awhile back where JK Rowling got sued or something for her brilliant Harry Potter series (which kind of ended up being a bust, as I remember). So what do you guys think of this, is it simply more of the same? Trying to capitalize on a bestseller's success, or a legit claim? Weigh in with your opinions!

*Originally noticed by the fabulous Katie Alender here

Sunday, August 2, 2009

In My Mailbox [17]

In My Mailbox is inspired by Alea and meme-ified by Kristi...

Willow by Julia Hoban
Obama's Blackberry by Kasper Hauser - Thanks Cinnamon from A Journey of Books & LB
Give Up the Ghost Swag - Thanks Megan Crewe!
'Beautiful Creatures' Subliminals Painting - Thanks Kami Garcia!

*Pictures to come later on! So check back for visuals ;)

So now that you've seen the contents of mine, what was in your mailbox this week?
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