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Showing posts from April, 2010

Retro Friday Review: And Both Were Young by Madeleine L'Engle

Retro Fridayis a weekly meme hosted here at Angieville and focuses on reviewing books from the past. This can be an old favorite, an under-the-radar book you think deserves more attention, something woefully out of print, etc. Everyone is welcome to join in at any time! I include roundups from participating bloggers in my post every week. I think this may have been the last Madeleine L'Engle book I read (for the first time) as a teenager. And for some reason it holds a sort of distinction in my head because of that fact. I, like most other readers I know who love her books, got in on the whole thing with A Wrinkle in Time, moving on to the other Murry and O'Keefe family books and then the Austin family series and so on from there. I must have been somewhere around ten or so when I first read the Time series and by the time I got through all the others and worked my way around to her standalones I was a bit older. Although one of my very favorite things about her body of young a…

This Gorgeous Game by Donna Freitas

Prior to being contacted by Farrar, Straus and Giroux about whether I might be interested in reviewing This Gorgeous Game, I had never heard of Donna Freitas or the novel itself. This is actually Ms. Freitas' second book for young adults after her debut The Possibilities of Sainthood. And I have to say I wasn't sure whether or not the book was for me after reading the basic synopsis available over at Macmillan's site. But then I scrolled down and read the lovely blurbs by Sara Zarr and Francisco Stork, as well as the always awesome Little Willow's review and I was sold. Thanks to those excellent encouragements, as well as one impressive and refreshingly heartfelt recommendation from my contact at Macmillan, I accepted a copy for review. And I am so very glad I did. Because this is a singularly  impressive book and one that deserves to be passed around and read and shared and talked about.

Seventeen-year-old Olivia Peters cannot believe her good luck. The results of the…

Perfect Chemistry + Rules of Attraction Giveaway Winners!

And the winners are . . .

Samantha Rfor Perfect Chemistry
and 
Nancyfor Rules of Attraction!

Congratulations, you two! If you'll slip me a quick email with your mailing addresses I'll see that your books gets on their way soon. Thanks to Simone for participating in the interview and to Bloomsbury for providing the books and swag for giveaway. And thank you to everyone who entered and shared your favorite literary bad boy crushes. Samantha chose Bran from Juliet Marillier's Son of the Shadows--a personal favorite of mine, while Nancy chose Jack from Ellen Emerson White's Long May She Reign(followed closely by Zachary Grey from Madeleine L'Engle's Austin and Murray series)--also two of my all-time favorites! Other bad boys who made repeat appearances on the list included Roarke from J.D. Robb's In Death series, Patch from Hush, Hush, and Eric from Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series.

Monday Morning Visits

It's Monday morning again. I hope your weekend was a good one and that you're not too tired and grouchy this morning. I'm in a good mood because in my most recent trolling I had the startlingly happy experience of coming across several reviews of books I regularly sing the praises of by a handful of bloggers I love. By the time I finished reading them, I had a grin of pure delight on my face and just had to share the links with you. Go read their lovely reviews and say hi. 


For the last little while, Kristen over at Fantasy Cafe has been the patient recipient of a little not-so-gentle nudging from Ana of The Book Smugglers and myself to read Megan Whalen Turner's Queen's Thief series. She read (and enjoyed) The Thiefnot long ago and yesterday's Leaning Pile of Books post revealed she recently devoured The Queen of Attoliaas well. In her little teaser, she had the following to say:
I've already finished this one since I was unable to stop reading it today unti…

Retro Friday Review: Eva Underground by Dandi Daley Mackall

Retro Fridayis a weekly meme hosted here at Angieville and focuses on reviewing books from the past. This can be an old favorite, an under-the-radar book you think deserves more attention, something woefully out of print, etc. Everyone is welcome to join in at any time! I include roundups from participating bloggers in my post every week. I first read Eva Underground back in January of 2007. It had been out about a year at that point and so it's certainly  not an older book, but it is very underrepresented in my opinion. I can no longer remember exactly where I heard about it and I'm pretty sure I picked it up based on the strength of the cover alone. Take a look at that baby. Just gorgeous. And an actual scene from the book--one of my very favorite things. The fact that it was YA historical fiction set during the late 1970s in Communist-occupied Poland certainly intrigued me. You don't get many of those, you know? I had never heard of Dandi Daley Mackall before, but my lib…

Required Reading: a Love/Hate Relationship

The other day Diana Peterfreund wrote a post asking after the books you loved and hated from high school English class. This stemmed from a post over on Robin Wasserman's blog, in which she discusses the same issue. I enjoyed reading them both (along with all the comments--seriously, you should definitely go read them) so much that I wanted to do a similar thing here and post the required reading I loved and hated in high school and ask for your comments and input. Like Diana, I had a killer high school English teacher. I actually had her for almost three years and so was fortunate enough to have a sort of idyllic experience reading all of these classics. The results were an increasing love for literature and only a short list of select books I hated. But those I hated with a fiery passion. The kind you can only feel as an enraged and entrapped high school student, I think. And that hatred stands to this day. My, I can be vindictive. Yep, Thomas Hardy, I'm lookin' at you. …

The Many Covers of Sunshine

So we bloggers as a whole spend a fair amount of time dissecting cover art and the pros and cons of US vs. UK covers, hard vs. paperback, originals vs. reissues. I get just as excited as the next girl about the latest and greatest--see my angel book cover post from a few weeks back. And most books go through a handful of different covers and styles over the course of their lives, some more attractive and more accurate than others. But how often does a book go through three, say four different covers and every single last one of them are made of win? Not that often, I'm afraid. Then yesterday I ran across the newest reissue ofa book I have been in love with for almost seven years--Robin McKinley's Sunshine. This book has been just extremely lucky in the cover department, in my opinion.

Here are the first two U.S. covers (hardback on the left, trade paperback on the right): I love them both. So much. They are perfect, they're both drawn from one of my absolutely favorite scene…

Tangled by Carolyn Mackler

It's been a couple of years since I picked up a Carolyn Mackler novel. I started with the wonderful Vegan Virgin Valentineand enjoyed it so much I followed it up with her Printz Honor-winning The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things, which I also thought was an entertaining and thought-provoking read. And while Mara from Vegan Virgin Valentineis my favorite of her protagonists, I particularly enjoyed Virginia's journey to self-possession in The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things, with her "Fat Girl Code of Conduct" and her refusal to starve herself to change who she is. When I heard about Tangled, I was interested in the story of four very different teenagers whose lives become entwined and how they are changed as a result. So when I encountered the opportunity to review the book here I jumped at the chance to return once more to an author I'd enjoyed so much in the past.

Jena is on the vacation from hell. Which is ironic as she's come to an isl…

Interview with Simone Elkeles + Perfect Chemistry & Rules of Attraction Giveaway!

When my friend Trishawent wild over Perfect Chemistryaround about a year and a half ago, it didn't take me long at all to track down a copy and immerse myself in the teen drama/love/angst fest that is that awesome book. I fell in all kinds of deep and gooey love with it and recommended it right and left to friends in need of the kind of sweet and addicting read that leaves you feeling like your craving was sated in the most satisfying of ways. When I found out Simone Elkeles was writing a sequel, I joined the rest of the PC fandom in a collective, "Squee!" Rules of Attractionwas released almost a week ago (my review here) and, to celebrate the event, Simone was so good as to answer a few of my most burning questions.
First things first: Were you at all surprised by what a hit Perfect Chemistrywas?
Honestly, no. I can’t begin to tell you how much I loved that book from page one, and knew Alex and Brittany’s story was something special. I don’t know if this is politically co…