Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Wicked Lovely: Desert Tales by Melissa Marr

Wicked Lovely: Desert Tales
Volume 1: Sanctuary
by Melissa Marr

Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantasy
Published: 2009
Paperback: 176 pages
Rating: 4

Inspiration: I loved the Wicked Lovely novel and was curious about this graphic novel.

Description from the book
Discover Melissa Marr's mesmerizing world of Faerie . . .

The desert is far away from the schemes of the Faerie Courts—and that's how Rika likes it. Once a mortal and now a faery, Rika seeks isolation and revels in her ability to appear invisible to humans. Then, she meets him. Artistic and kind, Jayce is the last person Rika wants to hide from.

But change is coming, challenging Rika's freedom and her new romance, as her past pursues her, even into the heart of the desert. . . .

My thoughts:
In-a-word(s): Desert Fae
So we see Keenan as a manga graphic image! Cool. I thought this book was a great way to portray the fae world. Per Wicked Lovely theme, it goes into a budding love relationship between human and fairy all set in a desert environment. It's volume 1 of a series so we're left with a cliffhanger. However, I loved the images and the storyline so far. Looking forward to volume 2.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy
by Ally Carter

Genre: Espionage
Published: 2007
Paperback: 236 pages
Rating: 5

Inspiration: 2nd book in this fun spy series, also following along with the Gallagher Girl book discussion hosted by Cecilia

Description from author's site:
Cammie Morgan may have a genius IQ and attend the best school in the country, but as she starts the spring semester of her sophomore year there are a lot of things she doesn't know. Like will her ex-boyfriend even remember she exists? And how much trouble did she really get in last semester? And, most of all, exactly why is her mother acting so strangely?

All Cammie wants is a nice, normal semester, but she's about to learn her greatest lesson yet—that when you go to a school for spies, nothing is ever as it seems.

My thoughts:
In-a-word(s): Pop quiz
Don't be fooled by the cover. I've heard some people say they were not interested in this book series because it looked like a frou-frou kinda story. Not so. There is more to the girls than what you see. This book is more of the same spy fun and honeypotness as in book 1. I liked the character growth and scenarios the Gallagher Girls encounter. Definitely looking forward to book 3 for more.

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You
Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy
Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover
book 4 - "Now, don't worry, I'm going to go get started rewriting GG4 (title and release date to be determined)." -Ally's blog

Ally is currently on tour for book 3. Check out her blog for pictures and juicy tidbits.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

In My Mailbox - 11

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren and inspired by Pop Culture Junkie. A post where we share books acquired via mailbox, library, store, etc. You can find out more information on how to setup your own In My Mailbox here.

Below is a list of books I've acquired this past week. Can't wait to dip into them.


Fairy Tale
by Cyn Balog

-because the Fae are calling

Wicked Lovely: Desert Tales - Sanctuary
by Melissa Marr

-because the power of the Fae is strong this week

My book review here.

Breathers: A Zombie's Lament
by S.G. Browne

-because of September Zombies week


Zombie Blondes
by Brian James - my review

-because of September Zombies week

Author: Mandy Hubbard

Mandy Hubbard
author of Prada and Prejudice

(my review here)

I'm excited to present my first author interview blog. It's short, but sweet!

Mandy Hubbard grew up on a dairy farm outside Seattle, where she refused to wear high heels until homecoming—and hated them so much she didn’t wear another pair for five years. A cowgirl at heart, she enjoys riding horses and quads and singing horribly to the latest country tune. She’s currently living happily ever after with her husband (who, sadly, is not a duke) and her daughter (who is most definitely a princess). Prada and Prejudice is her first novel.

Mandy's thoughts on...

- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I don't think any author in history will ever be able to create another Mr. Darcy-- a character women everywhere obsess over, compare their boyfriends to, and dream about. I think I'd eat an entire gallon of curdled milk with a spoon for one date with Mr. Darcy. I mean, the whole novel is pretty dang amazing, but Mr. Darcy steals every scene he's in. (Don't tell my husband I'm obsessed.)

- Fashion

I wish I could pretend to be a fashion guru! I think becuase I wrote a book like Prada & Prejudice, people get the impression I'm a fashionable person. I only JUST discovered jeans that fit me properly, so I consider that my shining achievement. If you're 5'10, its nearly impossible to find pants that are long enough. (BUCKLE is the place to shop, seriously.) I'm always behind on trends. Would you believe me if I told you I just bought Uggs knock-offs like two months ago? Yeah, I am THAT far behind.

- Current favorite fashion wear or accessory

I love layering tank tops! That's my current favorite fashion, paired with jeans and some cute flip-flops.

Thanks a bunch Mandy!

For my Prada and Prejudice contest, I asked for everyone's favorite fashion wear/accessories.

Here are the results:

Alexa - gold earrings

austenfan - beaded (blue and purple) necklace

Bee - red ray ban wayfarers

Blodeuedd - my ballet flats

Briana - my mother's diamond ring that she gave me for my 16th birthday

Celia - Sam Edelman 'Giada' sandals

Christy - skinny headbands

Debbie - my watch

Diana - plain leather band ring with a crystal in the middle which I won from a contest

Emily - my wedding ring

fayeflame - hoop earrings

Jenn - necklace my mom gave me a couple years ago

Jennifer - Tiffany necklace my husband surprised me with this past Christmas

Kim - necklace my mom gave me

Lin17 - bracelet embedded with different gemstones

Lizzy - headband

Lucile - checkered scarf--it's about eight colors and woven and silk maybe?

Marie - bracelet I won that has the word mother in several different languages

Megan - necklace I got for my birthday

Melanie - black bracelet that says "wish" in white letters

Paradox - beaded bracelets that I make myself

Rebecca - Turkish Puzzle Ring

Sara - ring my boyfriend got me for Christmas a couple years ago
throuthehaze - ring I recently won in a contest

Sylvia - earrings and headbands, especially ones with ribbon, it makes me feel more feminine:)

Trisha - my engagement ring

and for me - my orange Vans

Thanks again to all the contestants!

Prada and Prejudice Contest - Winner

Hey, my second giveaway! This was part of the YA Book Carnival hosted by Shooting Stars Mag.

For more giveaways check out the other carnival booths at Shooting Stars Mag.

Thanks to all contestants. I enjoyed receiving your Austen heroine personas and reading about your favorite fashion wear/accessories - total results below.

Please note: The winner was generated using List Randomizer.

and the winner of the Prada and Prejudice contest is...

( drrrrrrrrrrummmmrolllllllllllllll )

whose Austen Heroine persona is Anne Elliott
and her favorite accessories are "earrings and headbands, especially ones with ribbon, it makes me feel more feminine:) and of course, my favorite book by Jane Austen is Pride and Prejudice, just because:)"

I shall be emailing you for your snail mail. If you don't receive it, please feel free to send your info to me vvb32@yahoo.com -- enjoy the read!

Thanks again to all the entrants!

The book giveaway prize:

You can read my review here.

In tribute of all things Jane Austen, why not join in the Everything Austen Challenge at Stephanie's Written Word.

Contest results:

The Austen Heroines:

10 = Elizabeth Bennet

8 = Elinor Dashwood

6 = Marianne Dashwood

2 = Catherine Morland

2 = Anne Elliot

1 = Fanny Price

0 = Emma Woodhouse

Top Favorite Austen books

14 = Pride & Prejudice
5 = Sense & Sensibility
4 = Persuasion
2 = Emma
0 = Mansfield Park
0 = Northanger Abbey
and mine is: Pride & Prejudice

Top Favorite Fashion Wear/Accessories are here.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sookie Stackhouse Reading Challenge

Sookie Stackhouse Reading Challenge
hosted by Beth Fish Reads

I first saw this challenge at Everything To Do With Books and thought it was a great way to finally work through my stack of Sookie books. Also coincidentally, I just got the True Blood DVD disc one from Netflix last week. So, I'm totally ready to get into Sookie mode.

Details: The challenge runs July 1, 2009 - June 30, 2010.

No matter if you're starting with book 1 or book 8, you have a year to read all about Sookie. more info

The Books:
Dead Until Dark - my review
Living Dead in Dallas - my review
Club Dead - my review
Dead to the World
Dead as a Doornail
Definitely Dead
All Together Dead
From Dead to Worse
Dead and Gone

TV Series
True Blood: Season One (2008)
-my review for episodes 1-6

True Blood: Season Two (2009)

For more Sookie...

Short Stories:

A Touch of Dead
(Sookie short story collection)
-Ace, October 6, 2009

Unusual Suspects
(contains short story, “Lucky” with Amelia and Sookie)
-Ace, 2008

Wolfsbane and Mistletoe
(contains short story, “Gift Wrap” with Sookie and Niall)
-Ace, 2008

Many Bloody Returns
(contains short story, “Dracula Night” with Sookie, Eric and Pam)
-Ace, 2009

My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding
(contains short story "Tacky")
-St. Martin's Griffin 2006

(contains short story "One Word Answer” with Hadley featured)
-Jove 2005

Night's Edge (novella)
(a Sookie-universe story, although Sookie herself does not appear in it)
-Harlequin, August 1, 2009

Powers of Detection
(contains short story, “Fairy Dust” with Sookie, Claudine and Claude)
-Ace, 2006


Charlaine Harris

Sookie Cover Art by Lisa Desimini

HBO's Official site: True Blood

==end result==
got a few, however, challenge not completed

Never Slow Dance With A Zombie contest

Come one...
Come all...
Step right up and...

I'm gearing up for September Zombie week and want to give away my signed ARC of:

Never Slow Dance With A Zombie
by E. Van Lowe

To enter you must:

Comment below with a link to a zombie-related blog post you have created. The posts can be your past or present zombie-related book or movie reviews as well as other zombie stuff you can think of.

Note:  I may be adding your links to the September Zombie week event posts to share with the blogosphere.  

+ 1 entry per additional zombie-related post links you send me

+ 1 entry per zombie sightings in YA book(s) - meaning if you see the word "zombie" or if actual zombies make an appearance in the book - let me know what book 

Entries: open to all countries
Deadline: Friday, July 31, 2009, Midnight PST
Winner announced: Saturday, August 1, 2009
The prize is mailed within the week of winner announcement.

Giveaway has ended - winner is here

For more giveaways check out the other carnival booths at Shooting Stars Mag.

FYI:  visit E. Van Lowe's website for another zombie contest. It looks like a fun one that runs June 15 - July 4th - win a Never Slow Dance With A Zombie swag-bag!  The picture above, Zombie daughter, is my entry for the contest.

*** updated 8.1.09 ***

Everything Austen Challenge

Everything Austen Challenge
July 1, 2009 – January 1, 2010
~~ completed ~~

Go to Everything Austen II here.

I first saw this challenge at Debbie's World of Books and thought it was just right for me in my current Austen mode.

All you need to do is sign up and pick out what six Austen-themed things you want to finish to complete the challenge. more info

And, if 6 is not enough. You can double the challenge at Austenprose.


I've been so turned on and inspired to check out more Austen stuff after reading everyone's self-challenge selections and posted reviews. I'm gonna go beyond my original six picks. I'm sure I'll be adding more along the way. I've got the Austen fever.

*Note: I decided to include my Hubby's rating and review comments on my Austen movie posts, because he is going to be watching most of the movies with me anyway. I'm also gonna try to get him to read his first Austen novel. I thought it might be fun to get a guy's perspective.


My Giveaways:

Never Slow Dance With A Zombie book tor those who have read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by September 5, 2009. Details here.

Sense & Sensibility & Sea Monsters book - offer ends September 14, 2009

Pemberley Ball - virtual party with various giveaways - offer ends November 29, 2009

Janes Bites Back book - offer ends December 28, 2009


My Austenesque challenge picks:

Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen and illustrated by Hugh Thomson
-this will be a re-read, but a first read of this edition
-i'm looking forward to viewing the sweet Victorian illustrations along the way.

and those using the P&P theme:

According to Jane
by Marilyn Brant - my review

Prada and Prejudice
by Mandy Hubbard - my review
-YA and posted pre-challenge

Mandy Hubbard
- author interview

Flirting with Pride and Prejudice
edited by Jennifer Crusie
-Essays, short stories, quiz - my review

Pride, Prejudice & Zombies
by Sean Grahame-Smith - my review
-a twisted version with illustrations

An Assembly Such as This:
A Novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentlemen
by Pamela Aidan - my review
-Darcy's perspective during Pride and Prejudice

Seducing Mr. Darcy
by Gwen Cready - my review
-Darcy in danger

Love, Lies and Lizzie
(Jane Austen in the 21st Century)
by Rosie Rushton - my review

Mr. Darcy, Vampyre
by Amanda Grange - my review
-a twisted Darcy version

Pride and Prejudice graphic novel
by Nancy Butler (Author)
Hugo Petrus (Illustrator)
-comic book #1
-comic book #2 - my review
-comic book #3
-comic book #4
-comic book #5

Darcy's Hunger:
A Vampire Retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
by Regina Jeffers

Sense and Sensibility
by Jane Austen
-this will be a re-read

and those using the S&S theme:

The Dashwood Sisters' Secrets of Love

by Rosie Rushton - my review

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters
by Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters
-just gotta check out the sea monsters

Mansfield Park
by Jane Austen - my review
-this will be my first reading

and those using the MP theme:

Mansfield Park And Mummies
Monster Mayhem, Matrimony, Ancient Curses, True Love, and Other Dire Delights
by Jane Austen And Vera Nazarian
(release date: October 15, 2009)

the remaining 3 of Jane's original 6:

Northanger Abbey
by Jane Austen
-this will be a re-read

by Jane Austen
-this will be my first reading

by Jane Austen
-this will be my first reading
-currently reading


Lady Susan - my review


Jane Austen's Sewing Box:
Craft Projects and Stories from Jane Austen's Novels

by Jennifer Forest - preview
-I plan on doing a craft from this book. So stay tuned for pics.

Tea with Jane Austen
by Kim Wilson

Becoming Jane
-movie soundtrack - my review

What Would Jane Austen Do?
by Laurie Brown - my review

Jane Bites Back
by Michael Thomas Ford
(release date: December 29, 2009)

Lost in Austen - DVD - my review

The Jane Austen Book Club (2007) - my review

Mansfield Park (1999)

Persuasion (2007) - my review

Kandukondain Kandukondain (2000)
-Sense and Sensibility theme - Indian
-see At Pemberly's review

Movies to re-watch:

Bride and Prejudice (2004)

Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) - my review

Clueless (1995)

Emma (1996) - my review

Pride and Prejudice (2006)

Sense and Sensibility (1995) - my review

Sense and Sensibility (2008) - my review


* updates and links will be made to this post as reviews go up

Lost in Austen (2008) movie

Lost in Austen (2008) 

Director: Dan Zeff
Based on book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Available on DVD and on YouTube
Official site: Lost in Austen - itv
Rating: 5

Inspiration: In a Jane Austen mode after reading Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard. My review here.

Description from imdb:
Amanda, an ardent Jane Austen fan, lives in present day London with her boyfriend Michael, until she finds she's swapped places with Austen's fictional creation Elizabeth Bennett.

My thoughts:
In-a-word(s): "From the talking comes the love." -- Amanda Price
I absolutely enjoyed this swap story where the main character, Amanda, switches places with a literary character. Although at first Amanda bumbles around in the Austen world, she manages to hold her own. The story has a believable quality to it which makes it that much more fun to watch. Definitely a must-see for Austen fans.

Surprisingly: Wickham's character is made quite appealing in this story! Just as delicious as Darcy!

Memorable quote from imdb:
I know I'm giving you all a spoiler with this picture and quote, but I couldn't resist -- just as good as Colin Firth!

Amanda Price: [after Mr. Darcy emerges from the water] I am having a bit of a strange post-modern moment here.
Mr. Darcy: Is that agreeable?

Amanda Price: Oh, yes. Yes.

Lost in Austen trailer:

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Models Don't Eat Chocolate Dress

If books were dresses...

(a weekly post where I create fashionable wear with book cover art)

Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies
by Erin Dionne

Walk the runway for all the world to see?

Nope. No way. Never.
At least, that’s what I thought—until Aunt Doreen secretly entered me in the Miss HuskyPeach pageant for plus-sized girls. I had to get out of it, but I felt too guilty to just quit.

There was only one choice: I’d sacrifice my chocolate cookie snack obsession and a lifestyle I was perfectly happy with. I’d lose weight.
It was the only way out.
This is how it happened.

I want this book.

*source for silhouette

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Prada & Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard

Prada & Prejudice
by Mandy Hubbard (interview)

Published: 2009
Paperback: 238 pages
Genre: Coming of Age, Romance
Rating: 4

Inspiration: could not resist fashion and Pride and Prejudice combo, also part of my 2009 Debut Author Challenge

Description from author's site:
Fifteen-year-old Callie buys a pair of real Prada pumps to impress the cool crowd on a school trip to London. Goodbye, Callie the clumsy geek-girl, hello popularity! But before she knows what’s hit her, Callie wobbles, trips, conks her head… and wakes up in the year 1815!

She stumbles about until she meets the kind-hearted Emily, who takes Callie in, mistaking her for a long-lost friend. Sparks soon fly between Callie and Emily’s cousin, Alex, the maddeningly handsome—though totally arrogant—Duke of Harksbury. Too bad he seems to have something sinister up his ruffled sleeve…

From face-planting off velvet piano benches and hiding behind claw-foot couches to streaking through the estate halls wearing nothing but an itchy blanket, Callie’s curiosity about Alex creates all kinds of trouble.

But the grandfather clock is ticking on her 19th Century shenanigans. Can Callie save Emily from a dire engagement, win a kiss from Alex, and prove to herself that she’s more than just a loud-mouth klutz before her time there is up?

My thoughts:
In-a-word(s): red shoes (there's no place like home... wait that's another story... )

What a fun summer read! I enjoyed this mash-up of prada, austen and time travel. You'll get a bit of romance and character growth as well.

Waiting on Wednesday - 4

I'm waiting for...

Secrets of Truth & Beauty
by Megan Frazer

Date released: July 7, 2009

-because of the ARC review at My Favorite Author, also what's up with the sis?

Description from author's site:
When Dara Cohen was little, she was a bright, shiny star. She was the cutest seven-year-old who ever sang Ella Fitzgerald, and it was no wonder she was crowned Little Miss Maine.

That was then. Now Dara’s seventeen and she’s not so little anymore. So not little, that when her classmates find out about her illustrious resume, their jaws drop. That’s just one of her many problems. Another is that her control-freak mom won’t get off her case about anything. Yet the one that hurts the most is the family secret: Dara has an older sister her parents tried to erase from their lives.

When a disastrously misinterpreted English project lands her in the counselor’s office–and her parents pull her out of school to save face–Dara realizes she has a decision to make. She can keep following the rules and being misunderstood, or she can finally reach out to the sister she’s never met–a sister who lives on a collective goat farm in Massachusetts. Dara chooses B. What follows is a summer of revelations, some heartbreaking, some joyous; of friendship, romance, a local beauty pageant; and choices. And as autumn approaches, Dara finds she may have to let go of everything she’s taken for granted in order to figure out who she really is, and what family really means.

* Waiting on Wednesday
was created by Jill at Breaking the Spine

My Little Red Book edited by Rachel Kauder Nalebuff

My Little Red Book
edited by Rachel Kauder Nalebuff

Published: 2009
Hardback: 225 pages
Genre: Short Stories
Rating: 5

Inspiration: fascination with menstruation

Description from book:
My Little Red Book is an anthology of stories about first periods, collected from women of all ages from around the world. The accounts range from lighthearted (the editor got hers while waterskiing in a yellow bathing suit) to heart-stopping (a first period discovered just as one girl was about to be strip-searched by the Nazis). The contributors include well-known women writers (Meg Cabot, Erica Jong, Gloria Steinem, Cecily von Ziegesar), alongside today's teens.

Ultimately, My Little Red Book is more than a collection of stories. It is a call for a change in attitude. By revealing what it feels like to undergo this experience firsthand and giving women the chance to explain their feelings in their own words, My Little Red Book aims to provide support, entertainment, and a starting point for discussion for mothers and daughters everywhere.

For additional stories, video, and more information go to: http://www.MyLittleRedBook.net/

My thoughts:
In-a-word(s): Monthly visitor
Wonderful collection of experiences that run the gamet from indifference to reeeeeally BIG deal.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Prada and Prejudice contest

Come one...
Come all...
Step right up and...

Enter to win my copy of Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard
which was just released - June 11, 2009!
Contest has ended - winner is here

To enter you must:

1. Take the Austen Heroine quiz here.

2. Email me ( vvb32@yahoo.com ) your image result or comment below with a link to where you've posted it. See my sample -- I'm an Elinor.

+1 entry if you tell me what your current favorite fashion wear or accessory

+1 entry if you tell me what your favorite Jane Austen book

Entries: open to all countries
Deadline: Saturday, June 27, Midnight PST
Winner announced: Sunday, June 28
The prize is mailed within the week of winner announcement.

For more giveaways check out the other carnival booths at Shooting Stars Mag.

My Prada & Prejudice book review.

******* updated 6.25.09 ********

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Ghostgirl: Homecoming by Tonya Hurley

by Tonya Hurley

Release date:  July 1, 2009

Genre:  Friendship, Ghosts
Published:  2009
Hardback:  285 pages
Rating:  4

Inspiration:  My second requested review copy. I liked the first book, so the sequel sounds just as good.

Description from book:
The to-die-for sequel to teen phenomenon ghostgirl. Charlotte Usher, a.k.a. ghostgirl, discovers that the afterlife isn't quite what she expected when she's forced to intern at a hotline for troubled teens. But duty calls when Hawthrone High's leading love-to-hate cheerleader and her gothic little sis suddenly find themselves in dire need. Charlotte's opportunity to help them may prove to be the risk of a lifetime -- for all of them.

My thoughts:
In-a-word:  Homecoming  - yeah, just like the title
Charlotte's story continues moving on to the next level of the afterlife. The other characters we came to like are along for the ride. We get to see Charlotte's character blossom more and get just a smidge more background info on her. Also, it was interesting to learn more about Charlotte's new world. 

Again, I enjoyed the chapter teasers and illustrations. There are nuggets of life lessons to be learned with this book as with the first. If there is another book coming, I'm game. I sure want to know what happens next because the end leaves us in a bit of a cliffhanger.

Couple alert:
Scarlet and Damen have been added to my personal fave YA couples list. Loved how they developed as a couple from the first book and into this one. I get a kick out of "their" song, I Will Follow You Into The Dark by Death Cab for Cutie. The song suits them perfectly. I like this cover version by sunjunky23 - give a listen.

Visit the ghostgirl site for some fun paranormal activities.


Favorite YA Couples

Sometimes the romantic in me is sooo touched with certain couples I come across in novels. There are just certain elements of how they treat each other or how the chemistry between them sizzles enough for me to appreciate.

I'm going to start making a list of those who really grab me. I'm starting with the books I've reviewed thus far for this blog and will just add on as moves me.

Current Fave YA Couple:
Jacinda and Will
Firelight by Sophie Jordan - my review


Bella and Edward
by Stephenie Meyer - my review

Bianca and Lucas
by Claudia Gray - my review

Ginny and Harry
Harry Potter series
by J.K. Rowling - my review

Grace and Sam
by Maggie Stiefvater - my review

Jessica and Lucius
Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side
by Beth Fantaskey - my review

Janie and Cabel
by Lisa McMann - my review

Katniss and Peeta
Hunger Games series
by Suzanne Collins - my review

Scarlet and Damen
by Tonya Hurley - my review


* *source of couple pic

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

Fun Home - A Family Tragicomic
by Alison Bechdel

Genre:  Family, Graphic Novel
Published:  2006
Paperback:  232 pages
Rating: 4

Inspiration:  It was an impulse pickup at the library.  Flipping through this graphic novel intrigued me and I wanted to find out what a "tragicomic" is.

Description from the book:
In this groundbreaking, best-selling graphic memoir, Alison Bechdel charts her fraught relationship with her late father. In her hands, personal history becomes a work of amazing subtlety and power, written with controlled force and enlivened with humor, rich literary allusion, and heartbreaking detail.

Distant and exacting, Bruce Bechdel was an English teacher and director of the town funeral home, which Alison and her family referred to as the "Fun Home." It was not until college that Alison, who had recently come out as a lesbian, discovered that her father was gay. A few weeks after this revelation, he was dead, leaving a legacy of mystery for his daughter to resolve.

My thoughts:
In-a-word(s):  Ulysses
This was a great memoir of the relationship between a father and daughter. It was told in graphic novel style with images and words that fit beautifully. I loved how the author intermingled literary references to her father and his life. Along with learning about her father, the author discovers herself - all told with a sense of humor.

I love her artwork!  Check out Alison's site to see samples.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

In My Mailbox - 10

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren and inspired by Pop Culture Junkie. A post where we share books acquired via your mailbox, library, store, etc. You can find out more information on how to setup your own In My Mailbox here.

Below is a list of books I've acquired this past week. Can't wait to dip into them.


Prada and Prejudice
by Mandy Hubbard

- because I'm Jane Austen fan

- anaaaaaaand, I'll be giving my copy away during the YA Book Carnival week at the end of June!

My book review
Interview with Mandy

The Dashwood Sisters' Secrets of Love
by Rosie Rushton - my review

- sticking with the Austen mode, this one uses the Sense and Sensibility theme

An Assembly Such As This:
A Novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy - Gentleman
by Pamela Aidan - my review

- this one is the first of a trilogy that gives us what might have been Darcy's story

For review:

Never Slow Dance With A Zombie
by E. Van Lowe - my review

- yipeeee! my very first ARC from the author

- Thanks so much E!

- visit E. Van Lowe's website for a new contest. It looks like a fun one that runs June 15 - July 4th - win a NSDWAZ swag-bag!

- also, the review and giveaways for this September 1 book release will be featured during September Zombies week, August 26 - September 6, 2009

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Ghostgirl: Rest in Popularity by Tonya Hurley

Rest in Popularity 
by Tonya Hurley

Genre:  Friendship, Ghosts
Published:  2008
Hardback:  328 pages
Rating:  4

Inspiration:  My first requested review copy and it looks like a fun one just by its shape. And, I like ghost stories.

Charlotte Usher feels practically invisible at school, and then one day she really is invisible. Even worse: she's dead. And all because she choked on a gummy bear. But being dead doesn't stop Charlotte from wanting to be popular; it just makes her more creative about achieving her goal.

If you thought high school was a matter of life or death, wait till you see just how true that is. In this satirical, yet heartfelt novel, Hurley explores the invisibility we all feel at some times and the lengths we'll go to be seen.

R.I.P. - Read In Peace 

My thoughts:
In-a-word(s):  Beware of the gummy bears in life

This story started out slow for me. I didn't hit it off with the main character, Charlotte, until midway through the book. But when I think of it, the reason could be part of what makes the story a good one. Charlotte really doesn't come "alive" to the readers until she is dead. 

With the unusual and eye-catching cutout cover, entertaining illustrations, and pre-chapter teaser quotes, you get a fun read. The story makes interesting points of love, life and death. 

Visit the Ghostgirl site for some fun stuff:
- Learn about the characters
- Charlotte's playlist (for music lovers)
- Print out your own ghostgirl paperdoll
- Print out bookmarks
- Get your horrorscope
and more...


Friday, June 12, 2009

Dull Boy By Sarah Cross

Dull Boy
by Sarah Cross

Genre: Friendship, Superhero
Published: 2009
Hardback: 308 pages
Rating: 5

Inspiration: Superhero mode, first heard about this book on The Story Siren's IMM (26) , also part of Debut Author Challenge

Description from the book:
Superpowers are awesome -- unless you actually have them, as Avery does. There's only so much he can pass off as "adrenaline" before people start to get suspicious. Probably it's best to lie low so guys in white lab coats don't come to carry him away, to find out what makes him tick. Who wants to be vivisected? But flying under the radar becomes a whole lot harder when you can actually fly. It's dangerous to be different, so for now he'll pretend to be normal, unremarkable Avery -- a dull boy -- anything to keep his secret safe.

What he doesn't expect is the horrifying truth about where his powers came from, who else might have them, and the madness of one villain's plan to turn this superpowered dull boy into something even more powerful and amazing.

My thoughts:
In-a-word(s): Donkey Kong

So, the question is... what do you do when you find out you have superpowers?

First off, did the Dull Boy/ Twilight picture grab your attention? I got a chuckle from it. I found it on Sarah's site and thought it would be a fun one to post for the book pic. Also, definitely check out her site for more of her goodies.

This book was soooo entertaining in giving us the perspectives of a group of teens struggling with their special abilities. It is a coming-of-age story with a twist. The twist being that the teens are turning into superheroes.

The story is sprinkled with popular and current lingo with a comic book feel to it. References about X-men has got me curious to check them out.

As with all superhero stories, the theme of good and evil is dealt with. What I like about this story is that things are not black and white. The superteens struggle in the grey areas and come out better people in the end.

Fun stuff on Sarah Cross site:

Character profile pages for the superteens:


More Superhero action:

Imagination Designs
Images from: Lovelytocu