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The Compulsive Reader: February 2008

Friday, February 29, 2008

Prize Winners!

Hey guys,

Thanks so much for making our first ever author chat such a success! You can check out all of the questions and answers here.

Also, congrats to the book muncher for asking the most creative question! Send me your address and I'll get your prize in the mail!

Also, Ellen S., Tasha S., and Megan S. are the winners of the Aladdin M!X Giveaway! Your books are in the mail.

And finally, Book Chic, Cynthia H., Samantha S., Erin M., and Karin P. are the winners of this month's Book of the Month contest! Way to go guys. And I've noticed that TONS of you haven't read a Melissa de la Cruz book. If you didn't win one this time, be sure to go out and buy one. I haven't read Bluebloods yet, but since so many of you (35!) have told me to, I most definitely will!

I've got tons of exams this week, but check back soon for more!

~TCR

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Chat With Melissa de la Cruz!

Just a heads up to let you all know that this week's Book of the Month feature is going to be a little different. Melissa de la Cruz has graciously agreed to answer any and all of your questions in a reader to author chat on Thursday! Just click here to register to be a part of it (don't worry, all you need is an email), and start leaving your questions for Mel now through Thursday. On Thursday, Mel will be visiting there throughout the day to answer them.

So what are you waiting for? Get asking!

~TCR

P.S. A special prize to whoever asks the most creative question! The winner will be announced Friday!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Kitty Kitty by Michele Jaffe


Venice, Italy better watch out...Jasmine Callihan is on the loose. But this time she's determined not to get involved in anything Dadzilla would disapprove of...especially after what happened in Vegas, resulting in him whisking her away from her wonderful new boyfriend. She will be perfecting her skills as the Model Daughter. But all of her intentions go poof in the wind when her new friend Arabella is found dead. With her keen knack for solving crimes, super power for attracting cats, and le crazy friends, how can Jas not get involved?


Jump in quick, Kitty Kitty is yet another wild and hilarious ride. Never boring, Jas is an upbeat, witty, and dramatic narrator whose flair for trouble and intelligence will enrapture the reader. Each character is vividly expressed, unique, and entirely unforgettable. Throw in a completely absorbing mystery with some unexpected plot twists and you have yourself an extravaganza that is le fabulous!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Earthly Pleasures by Karen Neches


For Skye Sebring, life is Heaven. Literally. As an official Greeter in the Hospitality Department of Heaven, it's her job to ensure that every person who comes her way has a nice, smooth transition from death to life in paradise. Everything is absolutely perfect, as it should be. But things start to fall apart when Ryan Blaine dies and comes her way. He seems to recognize her instantly, but Skye's never been to earth. And when Ryan returns himself, she's left even more confused...how did he know her? When Skye falls to Earth, she'll soon find out.

Oh so fun and perfectly delightful, Earthly Pleasures will give you a light, airy feeling as you read it. Neches's attention to detail and light and fresh voice are a welcome relief. Her ironic and sweet plot is carefully balanced with a dose of seriosuness and reality that creates the perfect froth of mystery, romance, and humor to keep you turning pages in this exciting novel that truly lives up to its name.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Book of the Month: Interview With Melissa de la Cruz!


This week Melissa de la Cruz has been so kind as to sit down and answer some of your questions about The Ashleys, writing, and every day life.


Hello and welcome!


Hi Compulsive Reader! :)
Thanks for making February Ashleys month!


Why did you decide to write about a younger set of girls?


I think it's because seventh grade was SUCH a memorable and traumatic and awesome time for me. There's something about being the cusp of teenhood, where everything is exciting--sleepovers, crushes, shopping, your first "high heel". You're discovering the "grown-up" world for the first time and everything is new. But more important than boys are your friends, and at twelve, your MOM is a HUGE influence. (Of course parents are a huge influence in life but I can't remember fighting with my mom MORE than when I was a seventh-grader!)


I felt I could capture what it was like, all the fun my friends and I had, calling up our crushes, and also just how fun hanging out with your friends is like, even though maybe you secretly want to strangle them. Do you have those kinds of friends? Who are fun and adorable and insane and you secretly sometimes want to strangle? I know I did (and still do!)


How many books do you think there will be in The Ashleys series?


Right now there will be four, but I think there will be more. My publisher is very excited about it and has said they would like to continue. But it's hard to say, how many in the end there will be. I had envisioned it as a long-running series, which would end when the girls get into "their prep school of their choice". This whole manic prep-school application crunch like college admissions, culminating in ecstasy or despair accordingly.


If you had your choice of any superpower, what would it be?


The ability to have two clones - one who only concentrated on writing the books, the other who only spent time with my family. And I of course, would just spend all my time shopping and at the spa. Haha.


What was the last book you read?


I just finished "A Perfectly Good Family" by Lionel Shriver. I'm on a kick of contemporary female fiction right now--I just finished Kate Christensen's "A Great Man" yesterday and the Shriver today. I've had the flu for several days, so it's been a reading vacation--the best.

I'm on a Shriver kick--I read "We Need to Talk About Kevin" and "The Post-Birthday World" last week too. She's so funny and mean, which I love. In YA, I just finished Sherman Alexie's "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" which lives up to every expectation. It's awesome.


What is one thing you want your readers to know about you?


That I am just like them. I still hold grudges from what happened in seventh grade! I never really grew up. And I'm totally approachable. I love hanging out, and I love chatting. So if you have a website or community page devoted to my books, let me know and I'll stop by! Right now I am really behind on the emails--a year behind I think. But I read them all and I do reply to everyone! It just takes a long, long time.

What are you writing now?


Right now I am writing BLUE BLOODS 3: REVELATIONS.


If The Ashleys were to be made into a movie, who would you want to play the main characters?


This might sound weird but that girl in the Royal Carribean ad? You know where the mom says "We're trying to look for something very rare" and it's her 12-year-old daughter's smile? The daughter in the ad is SUCH an Ashley. The long blonde hair, the scowl. So she should be in it, or someone like her.

Do you have any new series coming out in the near future?


Yes! I have another new series - it used to be called Social Life, but I think I'm changing the series title because the story has changed a bit, coming summer 2009. And don't forget this year, all four Ashleys books are out - Jealous is out in April, Birthday Vicious in August, and Lipstick Jungle in December. And Revelations is out in December as well!


Is there anything you wish I had asked that I didn't?


What's hot for spring? :) Florals and gladiators! And bright blue coats! I'm lusting over this gorgeous royal blue Philip Lim coat and camo Balenciaga gladiator sandals!



Thanks so much to Mel, and keep those contest entries coming in! I've noticed on our ongoing poll to the left that a LOT of you haven't read anything by the lovely Melissa de la Cruz! What a shame. There's only three things you can do...enter our contest, go here, or visit your nearest bookstore/library! Now!

...Or Not? by Brian Mandabach


Cassie is a mature, independent, non-conformist, and intelligent girl for her 13 years. But middle school is not kind to girls like Cassie. When she refuses to sing I'm Proud to Be An American during the September 11th memorial service, she finds herself more than just a loner, but a complete outcast. Bullied and harassed, Cassie withdraws, confiding only in her diary. As she becomes more and more unhappy, she tells of the previous summer, where she was content and set in her beliefs. But when one of her short stories in taken the wrong way, and she is thought to be depressed, Cassie will slowly make alliances with people her age. But will her refusal to report the bullying against her put those new friendships at risk?

...Or Not? is a your thinking girl's read. Cassie is an amicable, engaging, and engrossing narrator this so unlike the typical teen girl, but yet so alike at the same time. Her incisive and thoughtful views and questions will challenge the reader in this very tangible and believable book that every teen can relate to at one time or another. Mandabach portrays a very vivid picture of middle school and young teens today, and this is sure to be a novel that will get through and hit home to numerous readers.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder


There's no rest for Yelena, the popular heroine of Poison Study and Magic Study, in this spellbinding and fast paced third novel. Picking up from where Magic Study left off, Yelena is called away from The Citadel in Sitia by her Storyweaver, Moon Man, to capture the killer Ferde, and his rescuer, Cahil who are in the hands of the Daviian Vermin. But the Vermin lead Yelena, her brother, Moon Man and their group on a wild chase throughout the whole of Sitia, always one step ahead. They are smarter than what Yelena gives them credit for, and soon have easily influenced the Councilors and Master Magicians who rule Sitia.

Very quickly, Yelena and Leif go from predator to prey and must flee to Ixia in order to avoid execution. Cut off from her Sitian allies, and afraid to even use her own magic, Yelena finds herself walking a fine line. She must learn to accept help from others, to know her own limitations, begin to trust herself and her power, and ignite that stubborn streak of hers towards her foes if she's to preserve both of her countries' ways of life.

Once again, Snyder proves she knows how to please readers. Fire Study lives up to its name in this flaming hot and unforgettable read. Fast paced and quick witted from the beginning, you'll lose track of time throughout this page turner. Fire Study achieves an elite status that very few novels could ever live up to. All the favorites from Snyder's previous novels are present, from Ari and Janco to Perl and Esau, Cahil to Valek, Star to Fisk, and Nutty to Dilana; they're all wound into this suspenseful and splendid novel to make this third Study novel a glorious finale.

Fire Study will be released from MIRA on March 1st, 2008
Be sure to check out the first Study books, Poison Study and Magic Study, and Maria's website!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Mind of a Genius Excerpt

Here's an excerpt of a new book, The Mind of a Genius by David Snowden!
_________________
As they continued to wait, a metallic red Honda Accord cruised towards them from the opposite side of the road. The car slowed down when it got to Prince’s house and they noticed two Chinese guys sitting side by side in the car. They both wore dark sunglasses, and as he continued to stare at them, Jones had a feeling that he had seen them somewhere before. But where? He racked his brains for a few seconds, but he still couldn’t place them. And yet, as he continued to stare at them, as they cruised along the road in the left-hand drive car, heading in their direction, he was now sure that he had seen them before.
Then they saw the guy in the passenger’s seat suddenly point towards the house as they drove past, and Jones’s instinct for danger suddenly kicked in.
“Those guys look familiar,” said Jones, as they watched them cruise past.
“Driver’s mate was pointing towards the house,” said Lawlor, who had never seen them before, but was now quite suspicious himself. “Who are they?”
“It’ll come to me,” said Jones.
Then they saw Laura Prince drive through the automatic gates in her gleaming, silver Mercedes SL350 convertible.
They watched her drive through the gates. She was wearing dark sunglasses, a black shirt and her lovely blonde hair was bound at the back.
She drove along the road in the opposite direction, the way the Chinese guys had gone.
Gorgeous Steve gave her a bit of a head start then he made a U-turn and went after her.
As he went after her, he was still trying to remember where he had seen those guys before. But it wouldn’t come to him.
_______________

About David Snowden:

British thriller writer, David Snowdon was born in London, and lives in London. He started writing in 1983, and wrote his first book, which hasn’t been published in 1984. His first published work, Too Young To die, was published in August 2006. And his second novel, The Mind of a Genius, was published in November 2007.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine's Day Cheer Winners

Hello guys,

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day! I sure did. I spent the night reading away at my ARC of Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder, so expect a review sometime soon, but until then...

Congrats to Erin and Nichole B. for each winning an ARC of Lucky by Rachel Vail! Email me you addresses ladies, and I'll get your Valentine's cheer in the mail!

And if you didn't win this time, don't worry. You still have time to enter in the Aladdin M!X Giveaway (I'm giving away a copy of Class Favorite, Dumped by Popular Demand, and 2 copies of The School for Cool!) and the Book of the Month Contest (5 lucky winners get a copy of Melissa de la Cruz's latest, The Ashleys). It's very easy to enter, so don't be shy!

Also, throughout the month of February, TeensReadToo.com is giving away LOADS of copies of Simon and Schuster's Romantic Comedies for teens! I fyou haven't already entered, it's not too late! The contest lasts all month. Click here for more info on how to enter!

I hope you all enjoy your looong President's Day Weekend!

~TCR

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day Cheer!

Hey guys!

Unfortunately, our Book of the Month features will have to be stalled today. Sorry!

But instead, I'd thought I'd move on to my second favorite activity here on TCR...a book giveaway! Today, I'll be giving away two ARCs of Rachel Vail's upcoming book, Lucky! Just leave me a comment telling me how your Valentine's Day went. I'll be picking the winners tomorrow at noon, so hurry up!

I hope you all had a good time, and will eat some good chocolate today!

~TCR

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wish You Were Here by Catherine Clark


Ariel (no, not the little mermaid) knows her mother has completely lost it when she drags her and her little sister on a road trip for a "bonding experience" the summer after her parent's divorce. And not just any road trip, but a bus tour complete with cheesy tour guides, Oklahoma! music and a plethora of senior citizens. Thankfully, she is saved from complete insanity by Andre, who is also forced to accompany his crazy mother and her beloved Chihuahua. But besides making things bearable, Andre also makes things quite complex. Fasten your seatbelts for this one, it's going to be a long, crazy, and hilarious ride.


Impulsive, laugh out loud funny, and unforgettable, Wish You Were Here will take you on a trip with a cast of fun, eccentric characters, and a plot line that can't be beat. Catherine Clark does it again, weaving her talent for painting clever and colorful characters with real to life issues and dysfunctional families to reveal a poignant, expressive, witty, and lovable story. Fans of Maureen Johnson's 13 Little Blue Envelopes will enjoy this one, although Wish You Were Here is certainly a novel of its own class. Ariel is a strong, humorous, and down to earth narrator whose incisive and grounded voice will attract readers of all ages. Clark fans will be hard pressed not to miss this one.
Wish You Were Here will be available from HarperTeen on March 25, 2008!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Manderley Prep: A BFF Novel by Carol Culver


Everyone at exclusive Manderley Prep has the right clothes, the right car, and the right friends, which makes Cindy Ellis stand out like a sore thumb. Attending Manderley on a scholarship is her ticket to a chance at an Ivy League school, where she can get as far away as she can from her demanding stepmother and two conniving stepsisters. She intends to stay focused on her studies. But when charming Italian exchange student Marco shows up, she just can't help but fall for him, despite her intentions. Is a fairy-tale ending in the works?

The first in the new BFF series, Manderley Prep is upbeat and engrossing. It gives the reader a taste of what a privileged life is like--good and bad--without appearing pretentious. Also a real breakaway from the tired modern day re-tellings of Cinderella, this story is subtle, and the fairy tale doesn't dominate the entire plot, which allows for more serious plot twists that make this story believable and easy to relate to. Readers will love Cindy, and be rooting for this modern princess with a punch every step of the way.
Check out the sequel, Rich Girl, available now.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sorority 101: Zeta or Omega? by Kate Harmon


Jenna, Roni, and Lora-Leigh couldn't be more different. But when these three girls arrive on the campus of Latimer University, one thing will pull them together: sorority recruitment. Roni has been looking forward to it for months and knows which one everyone expects her to belong in. Jenna decided to try it on a whim, but is worried that if she does, everyone will discover the secret she is desperately trying to keep hidden. Lora-Leigh is doing it just to please her mom, but will she find that sororities are more than just superficial groups of girls? Throughout the recruitment process these girls will become friends, defy expectations, and learn to decide for themselves what they truly want.

Zeta or Omega? is a satisfying and wholesome read. Jenna, Roni, and Lora-Leigh have a sense of realness about them that will make them instantly likable and entertaining characters. Harmon has a real knack for capturing the fun, exciting, nerve-wracking, and overwhelming feeling of those first few weeks of college. This pleasurable read will abolish any of those preconceived notions that sororities are just full of shallow girls who like to party, and will be sure to reel in countless readers.

This title will be released from SPEAK, an Imprint of Penguin USA on May 1, 2008. Click here to pre-order it. Also look for the next book, Sorority 101: The New Sisters.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Interview With J. Eric King, Author of The Byron Carmichael Series



First of all, what are three words that you would use to sum up your first book?


Next Great Adventure.


What led you to write young adult fiction?I got caught up in the Harry Potter series just like many other people.


Through it all, I really appreciated how J. K. Rowling introduced reading to so many children and young adults. She made reading fun for them. I decided to write young adult fiction because I wanted to do my part in continuing this introduction of reading and fun and adventure.


How did you come up with the character Byron?


He came out of a ‘what if’ type question that many ideas come from. “What if after 15 years a boy learns that his father made a break through scientific discovery before disappearing?” From this question, I knew this boy was going to be intelligent, into science, a little insecure and unsure of himself, and a bit sheltered being raised by two elderly grandparents.That was how I saw this boy in this ‘what if’ situation. He evolved a few times over writing and re-writing the story, but to me I see him as the underdog teenager that I can’t help but route for. I really want to see him succeed.


How many books will be in the series?


In my mind today, I see five total books to this series, but I always want to leave my mind open to any unexpected twists that may come along.


What are you working on now?


Right now Byron Carmichael Book Two is working its way around in my head. I have roughly 70 pages typed out and a rough outline to about half the story. Right now I am seeing the story as a large puzzle, the frame put together, but only about 65% of the picture complete. But it is coming together.


You recently founded your own publishing company. What was that experience like?


It has been a learning experience to say the least. It can be difficult at times to balance the job of the writer and the publisher. There are times when you have to remove one hat and put on the other. The writer part of you tends to look at your work as your very own child getting ready to face the challenges of the reading world. Your thoughts are, will it be liked, will it be accepted, did you do a good job raising it? The publisher side of you, however, refers to it as a title and focuses instead on audiences, marketing, budgeting, and distributing to the reading world.


I can say that I am discovering many new aspects of publishing I never knew. I am meeting many new people, and am finding that by wearing both hats, I can give all that I have to introducing Byron to some new readers.


Did you base any of the characters off people you know in real life?


I didn’t base any of my characters off real people. Often times I put myself into my characters. I try to assume all the characteristics that make them who they are, and then I ask myself how I would react if I were them. Sometimes, only sometimes, with my female characters I do the same thing except that I place the characteristics on my wife and ask how I ‘think’ she would react. I should say I am not always right in this case, but it does at least give me another perspective.


Is there a certain ritual that you go through when writing?


Often times I end up writing late at night. For some reason, I’ve had the best moments of writing and the best vision of the story between the hours of 11pm and 3am. As far as ritual, I am ashamed to admit that before I sit down to a writing session, I will usually play a handful of games of solitaire until I either win or force myself to start writing.


Is there anything you would like your readers to know about you?


I guess I would like them to know that I hold their opinion very high when it comes to my writing. Each time I look at a scene, think of a new twist, think of how to end a chapter, or just in my approach to writing in general, I am always thinking of my readers. The focus of my writing is wrapped up in how I can grip my readers, keep them turning the pages, and take them down the path of a great adventure. That is what writing is all about! If I can do just that, then I am successful.


Be sure to snag yourself a copy of The Human Corpse Trade! Click here for the review, and here to purchase it!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Breaking Dawn Release Date!


Hey all you fans and followers of all things Stephenie Meyer and Twilight! The release date for Breaking Dawn will be August 2, 2008! How exciting! I for one can hardly wait. Be sure to pre-order your own copy here!

Tell me your thoughts on what you think will happen in the fourth and final book!

Byron Carmichael: The Human Corpse Trade by J. Eric King


Fifteen years ago, Byron Carmichael's father disappeared, and with him his revolutionary new research...or did it?

Flash forward to today. Byron is a genius whose local high school classes can't seem to satisfy his thirst for knowledge. This leads him to apply for a scholarship to an elite summer program where he'll work with students like him on the most cutting-edge research. But when his work lands him and two of his friends into the middle of a human corpse trading ring, he'll need to rely on the help of his new friends to discover just how advanced his father's work really was, and save it from those who would use it against them.

The Human Corpse Trade is the first in J. Eric King's suspenseful and exhilarating new series. King is a newcomer to young adult science fiction, and The Human Corpse Trade gets off to a rocky start, but King's delivery rings true, and the storyline can't be beat. The dynamic trio of characters is witty, fun and intelligent. The amount of research put into this novel is evident, and the end product is a wholesome, satisfying read than will leave anticipating more.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

February Book of the Month: The Ashleys by Melissa de la Cruz

Hola, readers! After the smashing success Book of the Month made in January with Click!, I am thrilled to announce that February’s Book of the Month is The Ashleys by popular YA goddess Melissa de la Cruz!

The Ashleys

The moment her father’s website, YourTV, went global, Lauren Page’s life changed. No longer is she the outcast scholarship student with frumpy clothing at the prestigious Miss Gamble’s Preparatory School for Girls. No, thanks to a new personal shopper and a rather large cash influx, she has a plan for seventh grade: a plan that includes getting even with the three privileged Ashleys who have made her life miserable for seven years. But her plan of infiltrating their clique and extracting revenge might not be as easy as she thought. Because no matter how big her house is, how many jets her dad owns, or how much money her family now has, it will take more than possessions for Lauren to earn the materialistic Ashleys’ Seal of Approval.

The Ashleys is hip and fresh, and a wonderfully entertaining book for those girls who are past the children’s books but may not yet be ready for some of the more popular YA reads. An intriguing and attention holding story, The Ashleys sheds light on to the privileged world of preteens without being obnoxious or too boastful. Rather than blending the characters together, which happens often within this genre, the author gives each character her own strong voice, which is a refreshing change. Accurate, amusing, and quick witted, The Ashleys is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Melissa de la Cruz is the author of The Au Pairs series, Blue Bloods, Fresh of the Boat, Angels on Sunset Boulevard and many other memorable teen books, along with a few adult titles as well. She lives with her husband and daughter in Los Angeles.

Well, we have loads of fun stuff planned out every Thursday this month, including a Valentine’s Day special and an interview with Mel herself (so you guys know the drill…if there’s anything special you’d like to ask her, email me any questions by Monday, February 18th, and you might just see it in the interview)!

And if you haven’t snagged a copy of The Ashleys yet, don’t worry! Thanks to the generosity of Simon and Schuster, we’ll be giving away 5 copies of the book to 5 lucky winners! Just email me your name, email, and mailing address with THE ASHLEYS in the headline for a chance to win. Only one entry per person, please! Multiple entries or those without complete information will NOT be included. All you entries must be mailed to thecompulsivereader@gmail.com by February 27th. Winners will be announced February 28, 2008!

Good luck guys, and stay tuned next week for Valentine’s Day Ashley style!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Secrets of My Suburban Life by Laura Baratz-Logsted


A lot has happened to Ren in the past few months...her mother has died (in the most unconventional way: crushed under a load of Harry Potter books), her father has moved them from their duplex in New York City to a regular house in the dreadfully boring suburb of Danbury, Connecticut, her best friend is barely returning her emails, and she is being ostracized by everyone at Waylord Academy. Everything in Danbury is the exact opposite of NYC. She is the only one who doesn't drive which causes her to resort to taking a cab everywhere via the small and often times unreliable Wheels Instead of Heels, and Waylord Academy requires every one of its students to participate in a sport. It is by default that she is thrown on to the cheerleading team, and into Farrin Farraway's evil clutches. Then Ren learns Farrin has a secret: she's been communicating with a mysterious older man online, and is planning to meet him. As much as she may despise Farrin, Ren can't bring herself to allow her to do this...especially when she thinks she might know who the man is.


Secrets of My Suburban Life is a page-turner that will suck the reader in. Baratz-Logsted's style is unique, and stashed with subtle humor. Ren's reaction to her mother's death is wholly believable and raw, from her emotional state to her frequent letters addressed to her mother that give the story life, and her expressiveness and loyalty are to be admired, and make her character real. There is a pleasant balance between Ren's grief and friend problems, and the disaster that she is desperate to save Farrin from, which makes this story relatable and plausible. Every word will count in this heartrending, witty, and suspenseful novel.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

SUPER TUESDAY

Hey all! HAPPY SUPER TUESDAY!

Not only this Tuesday Super Tuesday due to all the voting that's going on (although, that is important, so if you are over 18, GO VOTE NOW!), but it's Super Tuesday at The Compulsive Reader because we have TWO book reviews, LOADS of contest announcements, and TONS of news! So let's delve in!

The first book review of the day:


The Social Experiments of Dorie Dilts: Dumped by Popular Demand by P.G. Kain

Most 13-year-old girls would be devastated to learn that their family has to move across the country from sunny California to New Jersey. But most girls aren't Dorie Dilts. Dorie is a scientist, and a bit of a loner. She has long been observing the popular girls at school, envious of their friendships. So moving to a completely different school makes her excited, because now she has the perfect opportunity to put her scientific experiment into play. Objectives: To get popular. Hypothesis: If she gets dumped by Grant, then she will become popular. Results: Inconclusive...perhaps?

The first in The Social Experiments of Dorie Dilts, Dumped by Popular Demand is inventive, smart, and funny. While Dorie may be wise in all things academia, her social awkwardness is something that girls of any age can relate to. Dorie's discovery of true friendship and the meaning of popularity will be unforgettable in this humorous novel that has more heat than an exothermic reaction!

Now for some news:

All you fans of Simon Pulse's Once Upon a Time series, get ready! A new book, The Crimson Thread, A Retelling of Rumpelstiltskin will be out June 17, 2008. How very exciting. They seem to be running out of fairy tales to rewrite. The only popular one I can think of is The Princess and the Pea. But then of course there are the many, many lesser known ones to write about, like Nancy Holder did in The Rose Bride, which was fantastic, by the way. So mark June 17 on your calendar!

Remember that review of NOT Anything by Carmen Rodrigues? Well, now you can find out just how awesome it is for yourself! It's now in bookstores today!

So is the sequel to Dumped by Popular Demand! The School for Cool , as is the review of it!


Dorie Dilts is back again for more hilarious experiments in The School for Cool. She and her BFF have been selected to go to Washington D.C. for the summer to attend an exclusive summer program for Arts and Sciences. Dorie is ecstatic, for this is the perfect chance to meet her idol, scientist Jane Goodall. But with a stuck-up roommate, a condescending project leader, and the realization that she may not be the smartest kid in the program, Dorie's chances are looking pretty grim. Until she comes up with the perfect science experiment that will provide a solution for everything...

Once again, Dorie will keep readers riveted to the pages of The School for Cool as she weaves her intricate experiments. Branching out beyond just science, Dorie proves that just because you are smarter than many of your peers doesn't mean you are in any way immune to the problems many teens face. Dorie is a lovable heroine that no one will want to miss.

And now for some cool contests: I'll be giving away three titles from Aladdin M!X...a copy of each of the Dorie Dilts books and Class Favorite by Taylor Morris! All you need to do to enter is email me your name, address, and email with Aladdin M!X in the subject heading by February 29.

Also, check in Thursday for the unveiling of February's Book of the Month and the cool contest that'll be going along with it! If you are smart and cunning, you might have already figured out what book it is...

Now for some non-site related contests...it's not too late to be entered into The Page Flipper's Go Figure Giveaway! You've got until the tenth! And if that doesn't interest you, be sure to enter her PRIZE PACK GIVEAWAY. 5 books! For free!

Elizabeth Scott, author of Bloom, Perfect You, and Stealing Heaven is giving away a signed copy of the upcoming novel by Lisa McMann, WAKE, on her MySpace blog. Both Elizabeth and Lisa are on my top friends list on MySpace. Sorry, but you'll need an account to enter!

And keep those comments coming, folks...I've got a drawer full of books (literally) that need to be given away!

Well hopefully you all have a wonderful Tuesday. I for one an am excited to see the poll results for tomorrow. My Law instructor is sure that Romney and Clinton will win...we'll have to see!

~TCR

Monday, February 4, 2008

Rich Girl: A BFF Novel by Carol Culver


Victoria Lee is living every teenager's dream: she's beautiful, rich, and she has a whole mansion to herself while she attends Manderley Prep in San Francisco and her parents run the family business back in her home city of Hong Kong. Gabe Thomas's mom's employers are moving across the country, and unwilling to uproot him, she accepts a job as housekeeper for an absentee couple and their teenage daughter. For eco-conscience Gabe, this means a new house next door to a snotty rich girl and a new school full of snotty rich and wasteful kids. And when Victoria and Gabe are thrown together, there are sure to be sparks…

Don't be fooled by the title, Rich Girl is not your run-of-the-mill YA novel. Victoria's values are true, and her honesty and her lack of an egotistical and materialistic nature will make her an instant favorite. Readers will eagerly devour Victoria's valiant attempts at being a normal American teenager, while at the same time sympathizing with her with her and her many blunders. Gabe is also a wonderfully unique character, a cool relief from the many of stale male leads. Rich Girl contains all of the essentials for this brand of YA: hot guys, mean girls (and guys!), best friends and one big party. This exciting second novel is a fun break from the norm in what looks to be a promising series.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Survey!

I try not to do these survey things too often, but every once and a while they can be fun. Em sent this one to me just today. Comment or email me with your own answers!

Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?

Honestly? Julius Caesar. I don't know why. So many people tell me it is amazing.

If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be?

Hm...Georgia Nicolson, Clio Ford (Girl at Sea) and Elizabeth Bennett a a dance. Much fun.

(Borrowing shamelessly from the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde): you are told you can’t die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for awhile, eventually you realize it’s past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave?

Great Expectations.

Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you’ve read, when in fact you’ve been nowhere near it?

The Odyssey

As an addition to the last question, has there been a book that you really thought you had read, only to realise when you read a review about it/go to ‘reread’ it that you haven’t?

I can't say as that's ever happened to me. I usually remember pretty well which books I have and haven't read.

You’re interviewing for the post of Official Book Advisor to some VIP (who’s not a big reader). Which book would you reccomend to them first?

It would depend on the person and their personality, but you can't ever go wrong with Harry Potter.

A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: you will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language do you go with?

Latin. Just think of all the things you could read...

A mischievous fairy comes and says that you must choose one book that you will reread once a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books as well). Which book would it be?

Pride and Prejudice. I love it, but I rarely can get the motivation to reread it.

I know that the book blogging community, and its various challenges, have pushed my reading borders. What’s one bookish thing you ‘discovered’ from book blogging (maybe a new genre, or author, or new appreciation for cover art-anything)?

I've learned about so many great books I never knew existed. I tend to get stuck in a rut...continuously reading the same authors over and over.

That good fairy is back for one final visit. Now, she’s granting you your dream library! Describe it. Is everything leatherbound? Is it full of first edition hardcovers? Pristine trade paperbacks? Perhaps a few favourite authors have inscribed their works? Go ahead-let your imagination run free.

Ah, a nice large circular room that is two stories high with lots and lots of windows and a huge fireplace and comfy chairs and couched. There would be shelves that lined all of the walls, and they would have ladders that ran on rollers all over the place. There would also be a circular staircase between the two floors. The books would all be sorted according to my system (don't ask, it's much to complicated for anyone by myself to understand), and would be a nice mix of leather bound classics to hardcover signed first editions of all the more contemporary works.

Star-Crossed by Linda Collison


Abandoned and penniless, Patricia Kelley, once a gentleman's daughter, stows away on a ship headed for the West Indies, and Barbados, the island of her birth, in hopes of reclaiming her father's estate after his death. It's not long before she is discovered, and she is torn between the simple life and love of a commoner, and the station that which she was born into. But will she really have any choice in the matter, or does Patricia dare to forge her own way into this new world?


The book contains three parts, the first of which is slightly hard to read into. Collison's writing is wrought with many, many details, but rather than bog the plot down, it does a commendable job in building suspense throughout the story. Once readers get past part one and into the heart of the novel, they will find themselves falling for the characters. This is perhaps one of the most realistic tales considering the traditions and customs of the era, but rather than turn off the reader, they will find themselves completely absorbed in Patricia's quest for fulfillment in this unflinching and poignant tale.

Friday, February 1, 2008

NOT Anything by Carmen Rodrigues


In the six years since her mother's tragic death, Susie Shannon seems to have withdrawn from the world, relying on only her best friend Marisol and her mother, and occasionally her absent-minded father to keep plowing though life. She's sad most of the time, and painfully shy, only truly coming alive with Marisol. Then her favorite teacher asks her to tutor Danny Diaz, a popular junior. Reluctantly, Susie agrees. She is shocked by Danny's easygoing nature and even more surprised when he seem eager to become her friend. Slowly, Danny draws her out of her shell, setting off a series of sudden and fast paced events that culminate in a massive blow out with the people Susie loves most. Things can never go back to the way they were…

NOT Anything was a surprisingly absorbing read. Susie is a freshly realistic character, and her indecision and grief are tangible. The captivating, witty, and honest dialogue easily propels the reader through the book. Rodrigues writes with a confidence that proves she knows teenagers and the emotions that being a teen often entails. Full of mistakes, regrets, forgiveness, humor, and love, NOT Anything is one rewarding read.


This book will be available from Berkeley Jam (An Imprint of Penguin Group USA) on February 5, 2008. The sequel, A Little Something, will be available in July!


Also, a cool new site has been brought to my attention: Girl Kibitz! If you would like to read about more than just books for a change, check this site out! Advice, product evaluations, recommendations....what more could a girl ask for? Check it out!