Archive for December 2008
2008 was an amazing year for new books, particularly in the YA genre. I got to read (and review) so many new books that I thought I’d share 10 of my favorites. Here they are (in no particular order):
1.) Deadly Little Secrets by Laurie Faria Stolarz
2.) I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone by Stephanie K.
3.) Artichoke’s Heart by Suzanne Supplee
4.) I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder
5.) Rules by Cynthia Lord
6.) Undone by Brooke Taylor
7.) In Your Room by Jordanna Fraiberg
8.) Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky
9.) Madapple by Christina Meldrum
10.) Violet in Private by Melissa Walker
Of course, these are only a few of my favorites. There were a ton of other awesome books I got to read so these are just a few off the top of my head
Since it’s New Year’s Eve (or it will be when this is posted. Right now it’s the Eve of New Year’s Eve), I figured there’s no better time to post my list of resolutions. I’m dividing this into three parts – resolutions are a blogger/reviewer, resolutions are a writer, and other resolutions. I know many of you are also making resolutions so feel free to comment with yours!
*Post atleast FIVE times a week, whether it’s a review or something else
*Post 2-3 reviews each week
*Read more each week, hopefully 3-4 books
*Stay in touch with authors and other reviewers more
*Double my stats
*Write something non-review-related at least once a week
*Write a few short stories/articles
*Find some people to critique my work
*Start and finish at least one book
*Rewrite something, whether it’s a short story or a book
*Figure out some way to make money (any suggestions? I’m too young to get a “real” job.)
*Start saving money for a car and college
*Get a new camera and take more pictures
*Print out the pictures I have for scrapbooks and frame
*Finish the five billion scrapbooks I have going
*Try something new
First off, how was writing Far From You different from writing I Heart You, You Haunt Me?
Hmm, good question. Each book is different in how it gets written. I don’t know if I can explain HOW they are different, they just are. I wrote Far From You before I Heart You was released and I was really aware that soon there’d be a book out there with my name on it. So I think in some ways it was harder. I Heart You came really easily to me, and Far From You didn’t come nearily as easily. But I worked hard to finish it because I really wanted to make sure that the reviews and things didn’t freeze me and make me unable to write, in case there were any negative reviews.
Author: Meg Medina
Summary:Milagros de le Torre hasn’t had an easy life: ever since her father sailed away with pirates she’s been teased at school and there’s the constant struggle for her family to make ends meet. Still, Milagros loves her small island in the Caribbean, and she finds comfort in those who recognize her special gifts. But everything changes when marauders destroy Milagros’s island and with it, most of the inhabitants. Milagros manages to escape in a rowboat where she drifts out to sea with no direction, save for the mysterious manta rays that guide her to land. In stunning prose,Meg Medina creates a fantastical world in which a young girl uncovers the true meaning of family, the significance of identity, and, most important, the power of a mother’s love.
My Thoughts:I have mixed feeling about this book. On one side, I was completely blown away by the story itself but on the other, the ending was just..weird and there were parts the dragged by. For instance, for the first part of the story, there’s all this build-up and excitement and then something semi-big happens and then…nothing. Then, there’s more build-up and excitement about what’s going to happen and then you have the weird ending. It’s not icky weird or anything but it left me going “Um, okay?”
But other than that, I really enjoyed it. Milagros was an interesting character to read about and I loved her adventurous style. The prose itself was nearly poetic, making this a flowing read, and the plot was intriguing.
So despite the ending, I’m going to recommend this one. I look forward to any upcoming novels from this author.
Author: Cynthia Lord
Summary: (Taken from Amazon)
Twelve-year-old Catherine has conflicting feelings about her younger brother, David, who is autistic. While she loves him, she is also embarrassed by his behavior and feels neglected by their parents. In an effort to keep life on an even keel, Catherine creates rules for him (It’s okay to hug Mom but not the clerk at the video store). Each chapter title is also a rule, and lots more are interspersed throughout the book. When Kristi moves in next door, Catherine hopes that the girl will become a friend, but is anxious about her reaction to David. Then Catherine meets and befriends Jason, a nonverbal paraplegic who uses a book of pictures to communicate, she begins to understand that normal is difficult, and perhaps unnecessary, to define. Rules of behavior are less important than acceptance of others. Catherine is an endearing narrator who tells her story with both humor and heartbreak. Her love for her brother is as real as are her frustrations with him. Lord has candidly captured the delicate dynamics in a family that revolves around a child’s disability. Set in coastal Maine, this sensitive story is about being different, feeling different, and finding acceptance. A lovely, warm read, and a great discussion starter.
My Thoughts:Whoa. I can honestly say this is one of the best books I’ve read in a while, which is saying something, especially since this is classified as MG. Anyway, I started this on Christmas Day night just to try it , even though I’d really started a few books I’d received as Christmas presents, and I only put it done once (and that was only because we were going to my grandma’s). I stayed up half the night, despite being ridiculously tired from the food and excitement of the day, just to finish it. So what made the book so great?
For one, the plot flew by effortlessly. It wasn’t one of those plots were one big thing happens and everything is resolved. It’s one of those where the MC learns to deal with something better and also experiences some little things that change her point-of-view, which sometimes makes it seem like there’s no plot but in this case, it worked out perfectly.
Then there’s the characters. Catherine, David, and Jason were so incredibly well-developed that I felt like I knew them. Catherine was so easy to relate to that it almost felt like I was her, dealing with David and Jason myself. David, having had some friends with autism in the past, was also realistic. But, above both of them, Jason was by far my favorite. Not a whole lot is said about why he’s in the wheelchair but the way he treats Catherine and how he acts makes him a unique character. I would have loved to see more of him in the story.
Rules was not what I expected but it blew me away. If you haven’t read it, I recommend that you do. You won’t be disappointed.
If you have Yahoo set as your homepage, you probably noticed their story on how the day after Christmas is becoming the new Black Friday? Well, one of their featured stores was Barnes and Nobles who is have 50-90% thousands of books. So, since I had a giftcard to there, I decided to take use of the sales. Here’s what I bought for just $25.92
Queen of Babble
Pretty Little Liars
Bras and Broomsticks
Between Mom and Jo
Are We There Yet?
CosmoGirl Quizbook (hey! it was only $2!)
The Geography of Girlhood
So eight books for $25! That, to me, is a crazy deal, since normally, I would be lucky to get three or four books for that price!
Some of these books are sold out already but they have tons more so if you have a giftcard, maybe you should go and check these out!
I absolutely adored Suzanne’s book, Artichoke’s Heart, (see my review here) and Suzanne is extremely nice to chat with. So I’m very happy to present this interview to you. Enjoy!
Here’s some of the stuff I got for Christmas:
*Rebel Angels and The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray. I’m reading Rebel Angels right now and already I like it better than the first!
*The last three books in the 1-800 series by Meg Cabot. I read the first two forever ago and loved them so I can’t wait to start on these!
*The Twilight Collector’s Edition and the Official Twilight Movie Companion. I was so excited because my copy of Twilight is in pieces and I adore the pictures in the movie companion.
*WHI#4+5: Castaway Colt and Fire Maiden by Terri Farley. Phantom Stallion and Wild Horse Island are my favorite horse series and I’ve been reading them since I was about ten. Even though I’m older, they’re still a favorite!
*The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling. I was so excited to get this one because I’m a COMPLETE Harry Potter geek and I’ve been lusting after it since I first heard about it. Your Name in Print is another book I was excited to get. I adore writing and hope to get published someday. It’s written by a father/daughter team who have both been published and it’s extremely helpful.
Apparently, my Uncle also bought The Luxe and Rumors by Anna Godbersen and Masquerade by Melissa de la Cruz but they haven’t arrived yet.
Also, I got an Ipod Nano, a Flip Video Camera, a roll out drum kit, a scrapbooking kit, a popcorn machine, a bookshelf (it’s totally gorgeous. I’ll have to post some pictures), and a bunch of other really small things.
What did you guys all get for Christmas?
Just wanted to let everyone know that I won’t be making any posts for the next few days. I’m going to be crazy busy the next few days, running from my dad’s family to my mom’s and back and doing all the normal crazy Christmas things.
So no posts for a few days but I’ll have a very special surprise for you in January
Last Christmas by Kate Brian - I requested that the library get this one in and I read it in one night. I absolutely adore the Private series and this is my favorite so far. It definitely made my week to get this.
Models Don’t Eat Chocoloate Cookies by Erin Dionne – I recieved this one in the mail yesterday from the author and it totally made my day. I love the whole concept and can’t wait to read it!
And that’s all for this week. Only two books but that’s okay because they were both books I’ve been waiting for!