Harmony Book Reviews

Archive for January 2009


The final giveaway this month is for a signed copy of Willow by Julia Hoban. I haven’t read this yet but I’m extremely excited to and I know a lot of you are. So here’s your chance to get a copy!

To Enter:

Leave a comment (+1)

And I’m going to leave it at that this time. No extra entries but feel free to blog about it.

Deadline: February 7th


Here are the winners for all of the contests that ended today:

In Too Deep – Sharon

Wintergirls – pepsivanilla

Adios to All the Drama – Deidre

Deadly Little Secret – The Book Muncher

Take the Reins – Angie

Violet in Private – Daisy

Beautiful Americans – Mindy

Winners, I will be emailing you all in a few moments. If you read this and haven’t recieved an email, email me (harmonybookreviews[at]yahoo[dot]com) because that means it hasn’t gone through.

 Because I am Furniture

Giveaway #10 this month is not only for a copy of Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas but also three Tshirt with the Razorbill logo. I don’t have a picture of these yet because my camera is stupid but hopefully I’ll have on soon. They’re size M but look pretty small so I’m going to say they’ll fit a size S or XS. There will be three winners for this contest: One person will recieve the ARC of Because I Am Furniture and a Tshirt and two others will get the Tshirt.

To Enter:

Leave a comment asking me a question (+1)

(+2) if you already left questions on the post where I asked for them

Post about this after you’ve asked a question (+1)

Deadline: February 7th

So you know how I asked for questions before? Well, I haven’t gotten around to answering them yet but here’s a bunch of interview questions that Book Chic asked me a LONG time ago that I had yet to answer. Enjoy!

Lightning Round

Alias: Harmony
Headquarters: harmonybookreviews.wordpress.com      
Favorite Book(s): Deadly Little Secret by Lauria Faria Stolarz and anything by Meg Cabot, Sarah Dessen, Stephenie Meyer, or J.K. Rowling
Favorite Author(s): The ones listed above as well as Melissa Walker, Jennifer Banash,  Kate Brian and a zillion others 
Favorite Jelly Bean Flavor: I don’t really eat jelly beans…
Favorite Food: Chinese food!
Favorite TV Show: One Tree Hill!
Favorite Movie: A Cinderella Story
Fictional Character You Relate to Most: I really can’t think of one off the top of my head
Favorite School Subject: English
Least Favorite School Subject: Any type of math!! Yuck!

Actual Questions
1) What made you want to become a reviewer?
Basically, I was bored one day, came across Jocelyn’s blog, and decided I wanted to start one myself. No long story here or anything!

2) Was it difficult to get started with reviewing? What did you do when first starting out to get your name out there?
As for just starting a blog and writing reviews of books I had on my shelf…That wasn’t hard at all. But actually getting my name out there and getting ARCs didn’t happen right away. To get my name out there, I took The Compulsive Reader’s advice and started a Myspace. I also commented on other blogs and emailed other reviewers asking for suggestions.

3) What are your strengths and weaknesses in regards to your blog?
My strength is that I’m going to be honest about whether or not I liked a book. BUT, my weakness is that I generally see much more good than bad in books and I’m very easy to please, therefore I always wonder if it seems like I’m gushing about every other book just to gush.

4) What do you have planned for the future? Anything exciting that’s going to be happening on your blog?
Well, I don’t really have anything planned. I just plan on adding in more features, getting more readers, and expanding the books I read and the authors I interview.

5) What do you like to do aside from reviewing books and blogging? Any hobbies that you enjoy?
I enjoy just reading books to read them, writing (books, short stories…that kind of stuff), scrapbooking, photography, and going to the movies with friends. Oh, and music is my other obsession, second only to books.

6) What are you reading right this very moment (aside from these questions)?
Right now, I’m reading Flygirl. It’s not what I expected but still good. Up next are some books I got from the library. I just finished rereading Twilight for the 100th time.

7) What books are you looking forward to reading, either already released or upcoming?
There’s so many that I want to read that I haven’t had the chance to yet. Three that aren’t released yet that I want so bad are Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen, Peace, Love, and Baby Ducks by Lauren Myracle, and Being Nikki by Meg Cabot. Books that are already released that I really want are Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers, Need by Carrie Jones, and Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston. Oh, and I really want to read Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard and Fairy Tale (previously Fairy Lust) by Cyn Balog!

8) What are your reading turn-ons and turn-offs?
I guess the biggest turn-on is that the beginning, the first chapter, MUST be original and it’s got to capture my attention. If it does, I’m willing to let some not-so-great things slide as the novel goes on because it caught my attention so much. But if it doesn’t, I’ll generally get more nit-picky since it already failed to entertain me.

9) What other book reviewing blogs or author blogs do you enjoy reading that you’d recommend to your readers?
For reviewer blogs, I really enjoy Book Chic, The Page Flipper, The Compulsive Reader, Reviewer X, Becky Book Reviews, and quite a few more. As for authors, I enjoy Jessica Burkhart’s, Mandy Hubbard’s, and Cyn Balog’s.

10) Make up a question that hasn’t been asked and then answer it yourself.
What music are you obsessed with right now?

All American Rejects! I’m addicted to their new cd!!

Today is Jessica’s twenty-second birthday so I figured there was no better day than today to post her interview. So if you haven’t already, head on over to her blog and wish her a happy birthday!


You wrote Take the Reins, your debut novel, during NaNoWriMo 2006. However, you’ve been writing for magazines since your teenage years. Can you give us a brief look at your writing history?                                                                                                                 I started freelancing when I was fourteen. I’d spent months in bed recovering from back surgery and while I rested, I read a zillion teen magazines. After reading so many, I began to think I could write articles and quizzes. So, I started sending out awful queries to editors. It took hundreds of queries before I finally broke in.
I didn’t decide to try book length fiction until I was nineteen. I needed a break from freelancing and wanted to try something different. Since fiction was new to me, I wanted to write about a comfortable topic. I felt that I knew a lot about horses, so I went with it.
I completed the first draft of Take the Reins during NaNoWriMo 2006 and signed with my agent in January 2007. I revised for a few months and got my book deal in May 2007.  

Take the Reins is set at a boarding school with a prestigious horse stable. Is this based on anything you ever experienced? If not, is it something you would have liked to have done?
I always wanted to go to a school like Canterwood Crest! My stable was small and most people didn’t compete in English like Sasha and her friends do. The entire world of Canterwood is my equestrian-centered fantasy as a kid.  

Out of all the characters in Take the Reins, who do you relate to most? Who was the easiest to write about? The hardest?
 I most relate to Sasha. She’s the every girl who worries about boys, zits, school and friends. She’s the easiest to write because she’s most like me. We share a love of chocolate scented body wash, lip gloss, horses and books.
The hardest character to write is Jacob—Sasha’s crush. Sometimes, it’s hard to get inside a boy’s head and think about how he’s supposed to react to a girl who likes him. But it’s also fun to write from a guy’s point of view. Jacob and I do love old school video games such as Super Mario World.
Chasing Blue, Behind the Bit, and Triple Fault, the next three books in the series, all debut this year. Is there anything you can tell us about the upcoming books? Maybe a hint at what happens?
 Wow, that sounds so scary when you say they all come out this year! 🙂 The upcoming books are so different than Take the Reins. They do have the same elements, but there’s more drama, bigger problems, higher stakes and challenges that Sasha never saw coming. I’m hope readers like the cliffhangers and want to read the next book.
Here’s your shot at self-promotion – Why should everyone run out and buy Take the Reins?
 Okay. *deep breath* People should run out and buy Take the Reins whether or not they like horses. If the readers love horses—great! Many scenes happen in the stable and Sasha and Charm might be the best couple in the series. If they don’t like horses that’s fine, too! There are mean girls, boy drama, friendship squabbles and lots of other elements to keep them entertained. My biggest hope is that my passion for horses comes across on the pages.

What’s your writing process like? Do you outline first or just wing it? Do you listen to music while you write?
I start with an outline for the entire book. After that’s set, I do a chapter by chapter outline. My last outline ran just over 30 single-spaced pages (and my editor didn’t complain once! :)) and it covered every major and minor plot point in the new Canterwood Crest book.
When the outlines are finished, I start writing! I love fast drafting and usually finish the first draft within a month. That leaves me lots of time to revise and wonder what I was thinking when I wrote certain paragraphs.I also burn all of my first drafts. Just kidding.
I usually don’t listen to music when I write. I’ve got the TV on all of the time, though!

Name your three favorite of the following: Books, Authors, Movies, Animals, and Bands/Singers.
Riding Lessons by Sara Gruen
Thoroughbred series by Joanna Campbell (I totally cheated on that one!)
Private by Kate Brian
Maureen Johnson
Walter Farley
JK Rowling
Mean Girls
Moulin Rouge
Pirates of the Caribbean

Justin Timberlake

What is one thing that most people do not know about you?
Most people are shocked to learn that I spent a lot of time growing up in the South. I don’t have an accent and when I tell people that I’m from Nashville , I get looks of “Really?”

What advice do you have for your teen readers on getting published?
 Start now! Right now! Don’t wait for high school or college. If you want to be published, begin reading, writing and learning about the craft. Study your favorite writers and learn from them. Try writing EVERYTHING from short stories to magazine articles to see what you like. You’ll get experience and it will give you more opportunities to write. Most important—don’t let anyone tell you that you’re too young. That’s never true.  

Finally, make up a question and answer it!
So, Jess, you’ve mentioned before that you have a lip gloss addiction. How many do you have?
Umm, let me see. *rushes off to look under the couch, behind pillows, in purses…* I’m coming up with 23. There might be more somewhere. 🙂

  Dragoneye Reborn

Giveaway #9 this month is for an ARC (though it is already released) of Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman. I have yet to read it (it’s next on my list) but you can check out reviews for it at Dear Author and at Teens Read Too.

To Enter:

Leave a comment (+1)

Post about this and leave a link in a separate comment (+1)

Deadline: February 7th

 PurgeMy Life in Pink & Green

*Purge by Sarah Littman

*My Life in Pink and Green by Lisa Greenwald

*Both of these are ARCs that I’ve been waiting for. Pink and Green looks adorable and Purge is definitely something I hope to enjoy.

Mother Poems  Cold Hands, Warm Heart

Fortune's FollyThe Guardian

Also Known As Harper

*Mother Poems by Hope Anita Smith

*Cold Hands, Warm Heart by Jill Wolfson

*Fortune’s Folly by Deva Fagan

*The Guardian by Joyce Sweeney

*Also Known as Harper by Ann Haywood Leal (mine has a different cover)

*Those five were all sent to me from Henry Holt and I was excited when they came, even though it was pretty late at night. Review will come closer to the release dates.


 VampsTitle: Vamps

Author: Nancy A. Collins

Rating: 5/10

Summary: (Taken from Amazon)

When the sun goes down, New York’s true elite all head to one place: Bathory Academy, where the young ladies of the finest vampire families are trained in shapeshifting and luring their prey.

Bathory’s reigning queen, Lilith Todd, is the daughter of a powerful vampire businessman, and she knows exactly what she wants from life. She wants to look beautiful for eternity and party till the sun comes up with her gorgeous boyfriend, Jules. And she doesn’t want any New Blood upstarts standing in her way.

Enter Cally Monture, an unexpected threat from a trash zip code. When their first meeting leads to tragic results, Lilith is hungry for revenge.

My Thoughts: Vamps is 235 pages of cliched mush. The characters were extremely shallow and though Cally was beginning to show some other sides, it was barely worth finishing the book for. Don’t believe me? There’s one scene were Lilith is more worried about her dad cancelling her credit card than the fact that her best friend was just killed!

The plot wouldn’t have been half-bad if there hadn’t been so much name dropping. In the end, it was like Gossip Girl with vampires. So I suppose if you really like Gossip Girl, you’ll enjoy this.

There’s not really much to say about this. If you’re a die-hard vampire fan who just adores Gossip Girl, you might like this. If you aren’t, I’d say pass on it.

In Too Deep (Elite Novel)

Giveaway #8 this month is for a signed copy of In Too Deep by Jennifer Banash. You can read my review here.   Below is the book trailer.

To Enter:

Leave a comment (+1)

Post about this contest and link me to it (+1)

Deadline: January 30th

  • Megan: Just read LAST CHRISTMAS. I would SOOO reccomend it to people who havent even read the private series. It is soo good.The suspense was kiling me all t
  • Lola: Oh my gosh! i just finished it....i googled the song for i had never herd it before......may have been a mistake because it is in my head for taciturn
  • mais: heeeyyyy.... can anyonePLEASE give me the link or even send me the copy of the eighth book(revelation on my email because i cant find it anywhere for