Monday, October 26, 2009

Review of Little Black Lies

Little Black Lies by Tish Cohen
Publisher: Egmont USA (October 13, 2009)
Hardcover: 320 pages
Reading level: Young Adult
"Sara Black is tiptoeing across a fraying tightrope. As the new eleventh grader at Anton High–the most elite public school in the country–she sticks out like an old VW bus in a parking lot full of shiny BMWs. But being the new kid also brings a certain advantageous anonymity. In Anton High’s world of privilege, intelligence, and wealth, Sara can escape her family’s tarnished past and become whomever she wants. And what’s the harm in telling a few little black lies when it can lead to popularity? That is, until another it girl at Anton becomes jealous of Sara’s social climbing. With her balance evaporating, one small push could bring Sara crashing down." 
Review: Little Black Lies was a wonderful read! It wasn't that hard to get into at all and by the time your halfway through with it, it's hard to put down! First off, I'd like to mention that one of the reasons I was drawn to this book because it takes places in Boston, one of my favorite places and it has to do with a private school -well, technically this school isn't one, but it might as well be. And Tish Cohen does this neat little thing with the chapters, she starts them all out with a quote about ants, which the students at Anton High calls themselves.
Sara Black never planned on lying, but soon one lie leads to another and pretty soon she's dug herself into a pretty deep hole that she's having a lot of trouble getting out of. What I liked about Sara is that even though she does get mixed up with some pretty snobby girls like CARLING, Isabella, and Sloane, she still had a good heart and at times I couldn't help but feel bad for her. I felt that the book was realistic and it was easy to see where she was coming from. In the end, there are consequences for everyone and I was glad to see Sara coming clean of all her lies.  
 
I  loved the relationship between Sara and her dad. I admired Sara's dad, Charlie, was always there for her (especially when her mother isn't.) I'm glad that this book talked a lot about what Charlie had go through with his OCD. I wasn't expecting Little Black Lies to talk about the seriousness of the disorder, but I'm glad it does!  Another thing that I really, really liked about the book is that it actually talks about the hard work that students actually get. I relate to Sara so much when she spent a lot of her time studying to maintain her grades. But, unlike Sara, I am no mathwhiz! The ending of the book was really good. I liked the bit of relationship that Sara has,  its a nice touch. 
Rating:
Characters: 8/10pts
Originality: 6/10pts
Ending: 10/10pts
Writing: 9/10pts
Voice: 9/10pts
Plot: 6/10pts
Favorite characters: Noah- now I know he wasn't a huge character, but I really liked his personality. It was really genuine. Also Leo because he sweet and just an overall nice character! I liked that even though he was rich and all, he wasn't stuck up like some of the others. & Poppy was another character I liked. I liked that she was into filming and even though some of the characters found her weird, I could relate to her a lot.  
Cover: A+! The cover is soooo freakin' pretty.  
Overall: Enjoyable read! Can't wait to read more books by Tish Cohen! 
To visit her website, click HERE!
Buy on amazon.com
Buy at BN.com

Review of NIGHT

NIGHT by Elie Wiesel
Publisher: Bantam Books (1960)
Reading Level: Young Adult

For the record, I never planned on this being this long! 

My English 10 honors class was assigned to read this book a couple weeks ago. It is shorter than all the other novels we have read, but the most powerful one in my opinion. This a a non-fiction story where Elie Wiesel talks about his time in concentration and death camps during the Holocaust. This book is a must read. It isn't long at all, around 80 pages in fact, but it really makes you think about life and what the Jewish people went through. 

Elie Wiesel and his family are from little town Sighet, Transylvania. Elie, the voice of the books, starts of describe Moshe the Beadle, who was this kind and gentle soul that everyone liked. He takes care of the town's synagogue at night, offered others comfort and found great happiness in his religion. Now, by this time it is the start of WWII. Moshe the Beadle, before anyone else in the town, was taken away first because he is a foreign Jew (meaning he was a Jew from a different country,) but he manages to escape and comes back months later. Instead of the once happy person he was, he has become a person filled with sorrow. He tries telling the town the horrors he saw at the camps, but no one dare believes him. They all think he's gone crazy.

However, they learn that wasn't the case. The Nazi's quickly entered the town and strip the Jews of their laws and they are soon placed into Ghettos. Eventually, they are all hauled up into the little trains and are taken away to the concentration camps. When they get to Auschwitz, Elie's mother and his sisters are almost immediately sent to be burned to death. Elie lies about his age (now 15) to be able to stay with his father. Through the course of the many, many months of going to different concentration camps, they must face selection (where the Nazi doctor determine who lived and who died,) being malnourished, very bad health, and so many other unimaginable things. 

There were a couple things that just really stood out to me. The first was when Elie -who was in the little hospital ward at the time for an injured foot- and his father made the choice to go with the others to the next concentration camp instead of staying with the people in the hospital who were too ill to move. Elie and his father thought they would be killed if they had stay. They learn that those who had stayed behind had been liberated. That just broke my heart. Of course, how were they supposed to know that. Another thing that stood out to me was when Elie loses faith in his religion. With all that is going on, Elie can't believe that his God could let something like this occur. 

Reading through his experiences at the concentration camps create so many feelings at once. Mostly heartache for him and his family and for what MILLIONS of people had to endured during the Holocaust. You find out that one of the reasons the book is called Night is because that is the time when Elie and all the others would be forced to get up and go to the next camp, and it is one of the things he remembers most. 

This is a phenomenal and moving book and I'd would suggest it, if you want to learn more about the Holocaust. 

** I'd like to mention that the edition of the book that we read from, is a different cover from the image on the left. And also the edition we had had about 100 extra pages with other stories on the Holocaust. 

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cindy's surprise contest!

So yesterday night, I mentioned that Cindy over at Princess Bookie was hosting TONS of book contests. Well, I just saw today that she posted a mini challenge. All you have to do is tell us your favorite things and you could win an ARC! 
--------------------------------------------
Name 8 Of Your Favorite Things (not all books either LOL)
My List:
1. Watching baseball. I love the Royals and the Red Sox!!
2. Post-it notes! 
3. Sharpie pens!
4. Broadway!
5. Getting A's on report cards. I NEED MORE OF THOSE!
6. Daytime TV. Yes, I love watching The View and soap operas. xD
7. Good friends. 
8. Goodfellas. Favorite movie of all time! 
Click HERE to enter. 

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Go check out Cindy's blog! NOW!

Cindy over at Princess Bookie is hosting a HANDFUL of contests today! I'm talking DOZENS! 
Go enter some right now because it ends tonight! 
If you need some help choosing which contest to enter, here is a great one for you: Win 4 ARC Bundle. You have the chance to win ARCS of The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott, The Dark Divine by Bree Despain, Voices of Dragons by Carrie Vaughn, and Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves. 
THE NUMBER 1 REASON WHY I MUST HAVE THESE BOOKS: I freakin' LOVE Elizabeth Scott books! I even had The Unwritten Rule as one of my WoW posts! OH and 3/4 of the books have purple covers  and not too mention the fact that those 3 books also have a feet theme going on. I love themes. C: 

In My Mailbox (9)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren
Ciao Bella by Gina Buonaguro and Janice Kirk
"For Graziella, the quiet, cultured life she lived in Venice with her musician husband, Ugo,  was everything she could have hoped for. But when Italy allied itself with Nazi Germany in 1940, her world changed forever. Ugo, trading in his violin for a gun, joined the Resistance, while Graziella was forced to seek 
refuge at his family’s farm in the nearby Euganean Hills. “Just until the war is over,” Ugo had promised, but it has been months now since the Nazis retreated, and no one has seen him since.

With Ugo gone, it seems as if she will be trapped forever on this remote farm with her lost husband’s difficult family. So when an American soldier named Frank is stranded on the mountain, Graziella embraces this unexpected chance at being happy again. But as tempting as it is to leave behind this war-torn country and her painful memories for a new life in America, can she go without learning her husband’s fate?

With quiet grace and humor, Ciao Bella explores the possibilities of love and redemption in the wake of war, showing that some of the hardest decisions come only after the fighting has stopped."

Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick
"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. "
Candor by Pam Bachorz
"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. 

Sunday, October 18, 2009

In My Mailbox (8)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren
I haven't done an IMM in a couple books, so hear are most of the books that I've received since my last one.
For Review:
Random Magic by Sasha Soren
Won from contests:
Breathing by Cheryl RenĂ©e Herbsman
Viola In Reel Life by Adriana Trigani (ARC)
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins -along with shirt and pin (I haven't read Hunger Games, yet)
Sea Glass by Maria V. Synder (Haven't read Storm Glass, yet)
Alphas by Lisa Harrison
NatureShock by Po Bronson &Ashley Merryman
Solace of the Road by Siobhan Dowd
Troubadour by Mary Hoffman
Received from blogger as a gift: 
Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen (thank you soo much Cecilia!)
Bought:
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
For School:
Night by Elie Wiesel 
1776 by David McCollouch
**I didn't include all the images of the books I've received.

Random Magic Tour!!

I am so happy to announce my first blog tour! My stop is on November 20 and I hope you all will stop by! Here are the rest of the dates: 
Oct. 17 - Nov. 25, 2009 Author site: Sasha Soren Main blog host: The Other Shelf Contact the tour: @RM_TheCoven 2/Oct. 17 Michelle Michelle’s Book Blog 3/Oct. 18 Aimee My Fluttering Heart
Tw: http://twitter.com/aimeefluttering 4/Oct. 20 Allison Well-Read Reviews tw: http://twitter.com/wellreadreviews 5/Oct. 22 Casey A Passion For Books tw: http://twitter.com/casey625 6/Oct. 24 Kim And Anything Bookish tw: http://twitter.com/sunxxmoon 6b/Oct. 25 Kate The Neverending Shelf tw: http://twitter.com/neshelf 7/Oct. 26 Trisha Lynn Trisha’s Book Blog tw: http://twitter.com/trishalynn0708 7b/Oct. 27 Becky The Bookette 8/Oct. 28 Brande Book Junkie 9/Oct. 29 Jenny Take Me Away tw: https://twitter.com/JennyTakeMeAway 10/Oct. 30 Elnice Ellz Readz 11/Oct. 31  Mariah A Reader’s Adventure 12/Nov. 2 Cat Beyond Books tw: http://twitter.com/beyondelsewhere 13/Nov. 3 Jill The O.W.L. Blog 14/Nov. 4 Juju Tales of Whimsy 14b/Nov.9 Charity Lynn Keep On Booking tw: http://twitter.com/CharityGamble 15/Nov. 10 Alaine Queen of Happy Endings tw: http://twitter.com/madscrapper 16/Nov. 11 Tina Tina’s Book Reviews (alt: http://blogwithbitereviews.blogspot.com/) 17/Nov. 12 McKenzie The Book Owl 18/Nov. 13 Willow Raven Red House Books 19/Nov. 15 Emily What Book Is That? tw: http://twitter.com/heynocupcake 20/Nov. 17 Jenn Fallling Off The Shelf 21/Nov. 18 Nicole Books! 22/Nov. 20 Bianca Wicked Good Books tw: http://twitter.com/bianca1946 23/Nov. 21 Michelle The True Book Addict tw: http://twitter.com/truebookaddict 24/Nov. 23 Andrea The Little Bookworm tw: http://twitter.com/lilbookworm 24b/Nov.24 Elizabeth (Miss Eliza) Strange & Random Happenstance 25/Nov. 25 Eleni La Femme Readers tw: http://twitter.com/lafemmereaders

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cirque du Freak / The Vampires Assistant Movie Giveaway

The Vampire's Assistant movie is due to be released on October 23, 2009. It is based off on the Cirque du Freak books by Darren Shan
"Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant, based on the popular series of books by Darren Shan, is a fantasy-adventure about a teenager who unknowingly breaks a 200-year-old truce between two warring factions of vampires.  Pulled into a fantastic life of misunderstood sideshow freaks and grotesque creatures of the night, one teen will vanish from the safety of a boring existence and fulfill his destiny in a place drawn from nightmares."
*CIRQUE DU FREAK has been rated PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned - Some Material May Be Inappropriate for Children Under 13) for sequences of intense supernatural violence and action, disturbing images, thematic elements and some language.

Check out the Official Website and Facebook Fan Page to find out more about The Vampires Assistant!!! 

Do you love to be scared? Then don't miss the terrifying adventure that begins when Darren and his best friend, Steve, get tickets to the CIRQUE DU FREAK, a wonderfully bizarre and creepy freak show. Brace yourself for thrills and chills as the boys witness a parade of grotesque creatures and face their deepest fears by entering the darkest world of the vampire. In the blood-curdling tradition of Anne Rice and Stephen King, CIRQUE DU FREAK will have you shrieking for the next horror show!

Two (2) winners will receive:

• Cirque du Freak box set (A Living Nightmare, The Vampires Assistant, and Tunnels of Blood.)

• Cirque du Freak: The Vampires Assistant Locker Mirror

TO ENTER:

Leave your name and email address. I will be using random.org to select the winners, if you don't leave a way for me to contact you, I will pick another winner!

EXTRA ENTRIES:

+5 For being a follower

+4 For becoming a new follower

+5 For making an actual post about this giveaway on your blog

+3 For linking on sidebar, tweeting, or linking elsewhere! (3 for each place you link!)

+5 For voting for your favorite Cirque du Freak t-shirt caption.

This contest will close October 29, 2009!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Review of WAKE

WAKE by Lisa McMann
Publisher: Simon Pulse --March 4, 2008
Hardcover (224 pages)
Reading Level: Young Adult
Not all dreams are sweet.

For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people's dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie's seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.

She can't tell anybody about what she does -- they'd never believe her, or worse, they'd think she's a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn't want and can't control.

Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else's twisted psyche. She is a participant.... 

My Review: When I heard about this book a couple of months ago, I thought it sounded so freakin' interesting! I love dreams and the meaning behind them and it's awesome. What I liked about this book is that it was a really quick read and really good! 

Wake is one of those books where it's really easy to get into and it's hard to put down! The main character Janie, has this problem. She can't control getting sucked into other people's dreams. She comes from a broken home, in which she lives with a mother that drinks to much and lives in a bad part of town. Janie is determine to make enough money to go to college and so she works at a nursing home. 

I loved the added romance between Janie and Cabel. Cabel is somewhat of a misunderstood guy at her school, but they soon cross paths and help each other out. The romance isn't overly the top, but it was really nice to read. I also loved the task they are given later on in the story.  

(will have review of Fade soon!)

Rating:
Characters: 8/10
Originality: 9/10
Ending: 7/10pts
Writing: 9/10pts
Voice: 8/10pts
Plot: 7/10pts
Total score: 48/60
Favorite character: I love Cabel! He is a really nice addition to the book!
Cover: A. I love the purple on black. Simple but very pretty!
Overall: I thought it was a great book!