Harmony Book Reviews

Archive for September 2009

Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith: Book Cover

Title: Eternal

Author: Cynthia Leitch Smith

Rating: 7.5/10

Good If…You enjoyed Tantalize.

Summary:

With diabolical wit, the author of TANATALIZE revisits a deliciously dark world where vampires vie with angels — and girls just want to have fangs.

At last, Miranda is the life of the party: all she had to do was die. Elevated and adopted by none other than the reigning King of the Mantle of Dracul, Miranda goes from high-school theater wannabe to glamorous royal fiend overnight. Meanwhile, her reckless and adoring guardian angel, Zachary, demoted to human guise as the princess’s personal assistant, has his work cut out for him trying to save his girl’s soul and plan the Master’s fast-approaching Death Day gala. In alternating points of view, Miranda and Zachary navigate a cut-throat eternal aristocracy as they play out a dangerous and darkly hilarious love story for the ages.

My Thoughts: Having loved Tantalize as much as I did, I had extremely high expectations. Unfortunately, I must say that this is one of the few cases where my expectations were not met.

The beginning started out slow and though things did begin to happen, I never did become completely engrossed in the story. The characters were plain boring. I did not find anything intriguing about them and found myself rolling my eyes at them several times. I did hold out hope for the romance because I’m a hopeless romantic and love reading forbidden love stories. While there were some good moments to the romance, I felt like it too was underdeveloped.

However, I do recommend that fans of Tantalize read this. It is not nearly as enjoyable as Tantalize and is not a direct sequel but it is set in the same world. Plus, I hear there is a third book coming out that combines the two so it will be important to have read this one.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson

One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.

Hilarious, poignant, and deeply insightful, John Green and David Levithan’s collaborative novel is brimming with a double helping of the heart and humor that have won both them legions of faithful fans.

So I don’t want this one quite as much as those David Levithan fangirls do but it looks soo good. I’ve only read one book by John and none by David but still. I’ve heard such good things about both of them that I can’t wait to read this. April is too far away! 😛

Candor by Pam Bachorz: Book Cover

Title: Candor

Author: Pam Bachorz

Rating: 8/10

Good If…You enjoy books set in a world similar to ours but also different.

Summary: In the model community of Candor, Florida, every teen wants to be like Oscar Banks. The son of the town’s founder, Oscar earns straight As, is student-body president, and is in demand for every club and cause.
But Oscar has a secret. He knows that parents bring their teens to Candor to make them respectful, compliant–perfect–through subliminal Messages that carefully correct and control their behavior. And Oscar’s built a business sabotaging his father’s scheme with Messages of his own, getting his clients out before they’re turned. After all, who would ever suspect the perfect Oscar Banks?
Then he meets Nia, the girl he can’t stand to see changed. Saving Nia means losing her forever. Keeping her in Candor, Oscar risks exposure . . . and more.

My Thoughts: Candor is one of those books that I’ve had a hard time writing a review for – it wasn’t quite good enough for me to write a fangirly review about but at the same time I don’t really have anything negative to say about it.

The first few chapters passed by quite slowly and the story never really picked up until about halfway through. Then it got really good.

Bachorz does an amazing job at creating a world so similiar to ours yet so terrifyingly different at the same time that it’s impossible for the reader to not be drawn in. The scariest part about the world she creates is that it seems so possible – it’s truely not that far-fetched and that itself is terrifying.

The ending is my favorite and least favorite part. It’s my favorite because it was completely unexpected. I’m not sure what I was expecting to happen but it certainly wasn’t what happened. It left me with my mouth hanging open, going “oh. my. god.” in my head. It’s my least favorite because, well, it’s the end. While most things were tied up nicely, I was hoping that a sequel would be in the works because I felt like there was so much more to be explored with the characters and the world.

Overall, this is recommended.

I’ve recently started thinking that I should switch back to Blogger (I had it for like a day when I started the blog!) because so many people have commented on how much they prefer Blogger blogs and it’s easier to follow from there. I know it’d take me a while to get used to so I might need someone to help me figure everything out. I’m worried about losing a lot of my readers in the switch, though…

So I’m leaving it up to you (my readers). Would you prefer I keep my blog here or switch to Blogger? If I make the switch, will you continue to follow me?

Isis by Douglas Clegg: Book Cover

I vaguely remember accepting this book for review a while back, though it appears I didn’t look into it enough as I should have. It looks REALLLY creepy. Like R.L. Stine blurbed it. Yeah. Hopefully it’ll be one of those super-scary books I can get through.

Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater: Book Cover

This also came for review and I’m sososososooooo excited to read it. I actually opened it to a random page and read some and I could barely put it down. I’m waiting for Lament to come in from the library so I can read them. Can’t WAIT.

I also received a completely awesome package from Sharon that included:

Sleepless by Thomas Fahy: Book Cover

The Sky Always Hears Me by Kirstin Cronn-Mills: Book Cover

Blonde of the Joke by Bennett Madison: Book Cover

The Geek Girl's Guide to Cheerleading by Charity Tahmaseb: Book Cover

Break by Hannah Moskowitz: Book Cover

Ash by Malinda Lo: Book Cover

The Eternal Kiss by Tricia Telep: Book Cover

I’ve actually already read Break and Ash which were SO FREAKING GOOD. Seriously. Go out and buy them ASAP. I’m almost finished the The Eternal Kiss and some of the stories are AWESOME. (Especially Sarah Rees Brennan’s!) Reviews for all three will be coming soon! I can’t wait to read the rest of them.  I couldn’t find a picture for it but A Match Made In High School was also included and I’ll probably be reading that one next. So excited!!

Thanks Sharon!!

An Introduction to the Teenaged Megan Crewe

Over the last few months I’ve been posting “flashbacks” on my blog–entries from my journals, written when I was between twelve and seventeen years old.  Those probably give you a far better idea of who the teenaged Megan was than I can now.    But, using them, let me introduce you to the most important parts of teen-me:

1. I was serious about writing, even then.  I finished my first full-length novel when I was 14, and wrote at least one novel a year each year of high school.  They were really *bad* novels, for the most part, and I knew that.  Most of them I didn’t touch again after the first draft.  There was only one I made any attempt to get published, and that was only because my English teacher passed on the address of a literary agent he knew to me (who kindly rejected my query).  But that was okay–those novels were great practice!  They helped me become confident that I could finish a novel, so that I could focus on things like how to write even better novels, and what the best way for me to write a novel was.pubchart

While I wasn’t trying to get my novels published, I was actively sending out the short stories I wrote to various magazines.  The first story I sold was to a Canadian magazine for writers aged 12-21, called In 2 Print, when I was 16.  I kept very careful records of my submissions and still have my “Publishing Chart” file.  As you can see if you squint, most of those ended with “Not published.”  I have a nice stack of rejection letters to attest to my perseverance. 🙂  (attached image – pubchart.jpg)

 

2. I wasn’t boy-crazy ), but there was always a boy.  I didn’t have an actual boyfriend until I was almost 17, but starting in sixth grade , I always had my eye  on a guy I found intriguing, even if he wasn’t necessarily worthy of particular regard . I spent a lot of time that probably could have gone to more interesting pursuits trying to interpret boy behavior.  I finally learned that there’s not really much point in doing so since the boys themselves don’t know what they really want or why they do what they do half the time.

3. I was a pretty thoughtful teen.  When I wasn’t trying to figure out boys, I was trying to figure out myself, which wasn’t always any easier, or to figure out society in general , which often didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.  I could very easily spend a couple hours just hanging out in my room thinking about stuff.  I still do sometimes, though usually it’s because I’m trying to brainstorm a new story!

A few other interesting facts about the teen-me:

-My dad was really into computers, so I grew up using them and had my own before most of the kids I knew did.  We were also the first family I knew to have the internet at home.  Before the internet took off, I used a dial-up modem to connect to local BBSs — kind of like directly calling a single message board where you could e-mail other members, play text-based games, and chat.

-Although writing has always been my main creative interest, I dabbled in other arts during my teen years.  I filled several sketch books with drawings in junior high as well as being part of the choir, joined the drama club in ninth grade, and took guitar lessons when I was 16.

-My parents liked to travel so while I’m Canadian I’ve been around the U.S. a bit.  Family vacations took me to West Virginia, North and South Carolina, Florida, Massachusetts, and Arizona.

If you’d like to get to know the teenaged Megan even better, keep an eye on my blog for further flashbacks (I’ll be posting one each week)!

Great post, right? I’m sure we can all relate to some of the things she said! Remember that a comment on this post = an extra entry in the AOM contest if you enter!

harmonyprize

It’s time for the monthly AOM contest! This time around you can win: a signed copy of Give Up The Ghost, a button, a sticker set, a ghost scent sample, a mini paper latern, and a friendship bracelet. This is one of those contests I really wish *I* could enter!

To enter:

Leave a comment on this post with your email (+1)

Leave a comment on the review, interview, or guest blog (guest blog to come) +1 for each.

+2 if you commented on any of those BEFORE this was posted

Deadline: September 30th.

Hex Hall

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It’s gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie’s estranged father–an elusive European warlock–only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it’s her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

I want this book. NOW. AHH. Sounds so good! (Is there a cover for it yet?!) 2010 needs to come tomorrow!!

The Boy Book by E. Lockhart: Book Cover

The Boyfriend List. This book was cute. But almost to the point where it became annoying. Don’t get me wrong – I liked it enough to continue on with the series, but there was just something gnawing at the back of my head as I read it. Other than that, I found Ruby to be a character I could relate to and found myself LOLing at many of her comments.

 

The Boy Book. This one was even better than the first. I loved it and pretty much read it in one sitting. My love of Ruby was confirmed in this one. She’s hilarious and relateable as ever and my irritation wasn’t nearly as noticeable.

 

Dramarama by E. Lockhart: Book Cover

Dramarama. This one took me quite a while to get into but once I did, I stayed up way later than I should have to finish it. The characters were fun and spunky and I loved the MC. Her bold attitude and the way she stuff up for her friends was amazing. This is currently my 2nd fave E. Lockhart book.

 

Fly on the Wall. This is, hands down, my favorite E. Lockhart book. The whole transformation thing was kind of random but the complete awesomeness of the rest of the book made it so easy to look over it. Fly on the Wall is the most honest book I’ve read in a while and will probably make most readers blush (I wonder what kind of research Lockhart did for this one!) but also be grateful. I highly, highly, highly recommend this one!

How to Be Bad by Lauren Myracle: Book Cover

The Disreputable History of Frankie Lanadau Banks. Ick. I’m so thankful I didn’t attempt to read this one first or I would never have read any of her other novels. I just couldn’t get into this one which I found suprising, since I’ve heard nothing but praise. But, I couldn’t and gave up. Not recommended.

How to Be Bad. I wasn’t sure whether or not to include this one since it wasn’t all written by E. Lockhart but I liked it so much I had to at least mention it! It’s so cute and funny and hard to put down. Definitely recommended!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Confessions of a First Daughter

I read this one the day after I received it. So cute! The review should be coming in a couple of weeks!

The Everafter

I also got 3 other books that Amazon doesn’t have covers for – Forget-Her-Nots by Amy Brecount White, The Vinyl Princess, and The Girl With Mermaid Hair.



  • None
  • 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

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