Thursday, February 25, 2010

Eternal by Cynthia L Smith Review

eternal Eternal by Cynthia L Smith Review 
Publisher: Candlewick Press 
Pub. Date:  February 10th, 2009
Pages: 307
Age Level: Young Adult  
Obtained: Library

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

My Thoughts:

It isn’t everyday that you catch the main character as the “bad one” or let’s say, “the evil one”, so this novel was quite refreshing in that sense. I did get to read Tantalize (which I loved) and this book is written almost identically. The main character Miranda is such a strong willed character, although it falters when she goes “undead”. Zach is such a guy! Even though he’s an angel or more specifically Miranda’s Guardian Angel, he’s still expresses the need for love in his life and without realizing it, he falls straight for Miranda. I loved the alternate point of views between Zach and Miranda, it’s funny because they don’t really anticipate each other’s motives or next moves. I actually didn’t see the ending coming! Through out the novel you could def see how both of the characters change for better or for worse, you’d have to read the book to find out! Anyway, I so can not wait until the final novel come out! It’s supposed to intermingle together from books 1 and 2! I give this novel 3.5 out of 5 paws!

3.5 paws Comment Question of the Blog:

Do you believe in guardian angels? Lemme know in the comment section below!

As always,

That Chick That Reads

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Author Spotlight: Jake Black Interview!!

I got the chance to read and review Jake Black's Authorized Ender Companion! You can find the review HERE. I also got the chance to interview him! So check it out below!

1. How long did it take you to gather all the info in the book?

I spent just about two years researching, compiling and writing the Ender Companion. It was a thorough endeavor, and one that I'm very proud of.


2. Do you have a favorite book in the series? If so, why?

I like the books of the Shadow series the best because of the Earth-bound intrigue. I'm fascinated by political machinations, and the Shadow books are full of them. I also really like War of Gifts a lot because of its commentary on religious extremism.


3. When were you first introduced to the series?

I first learned about it when I was in jr. high. My best friend at the time was reading Ender's Game, Speaker, and Xenocide, and really spoke highly of them. While I was exposed to the books then, I didn't really get heavily into them until I started the Companion.


4. What appealed to you most about the series?

It's a very human story. I appreciate so much the depth of humanity of the characters. They're so flawed, and relatable, yet they accomplish phenomenal things.


5. Did you learn anything new while writing the encyclopedia?

Wow, that's a tough one. I think I saw how science fiction can present deep philosophical ideas in guise of an adventure. There's a lot of commentary on the human experience in the telling of the Ender tales. While I'd recognized that in sci-fi I'd read/watched in the past, I never quite witnessed it to the depth I did with the Ender books.


6. What was the most difficult aspect of writing the encyclopedia?

Making sure I got it right. These books are very, very important to people. I knew there was a legion of fans who had spent years studying the series, and I wanted to make sure I was as accurate as possible in detailing the Ender Universe.


7. Do you have a favorite character?

I think Bean, probably. He's an interesting study in precociousness. :-)


8. What was it like working with Orson Scott Card?

Mr. Card has been tremendously supportive of my writing, not only in the Ender's stuff, but in everything I do. He was always there to help clarify questions about the Ender books, and stood by me as I tackled some pretty big professional and personal challenges.
You can check out some of his other stuff at his website HERE.
As always,
That Chick That Reads

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Explorer X-Alpha (ARC) by LM Preston Review

explorer Explorer X-Alpha (ARC) by LM Preston 
Publisher: Phenomenal One Press 
Pub. Date:  February 7th, 2010
Pages: 366
Age Level: Young Adult 10+  
Obtained: Received for Review

For most kids, a trip to space camp is the trip of a lifetime for Aadi it was life altering. After receiving a camp immunization needed for travel to Mars, Aadi finds that the immunization is the catalyst of an insidious experiment. He realizes what is happening too late for a change of fate. The full experiment is set in motion when he and his co-pilot, Eirena, crash in a distant galaxy called Shrenas, where they change and realize the full extent of their power. This turn of events forces him to grow up quickly, accept his change, and to decide to save a world, or to do what he was trained to do dominate it. His power is coveted by the warring leaders of Shrenas, and he is forced to choose sides a decision that may prove just how much humanity he has left.

My Thoughts:

The beginning to the novel was a little slow for my liking but about halfway through the book it started to pick up. The novel revolves around Aadi, a teen sent off to space camp against his will by his parents and soon is caught in a battle of good vs. evil. I think the reason why it was so slow for me was the writing. It just sounded like they were more adult then teenagers. Phrases were repeated often and the sounded like robots a lot of the time. Although, I will give the author kudos on how she would change the point of views every once in a while so that we could see it from a different character’s perspective. Those were def my favorite ones to read. I loved the idea of the novel and the overall message it expresses. There was def some action, a little romance and dangerous situation in which the author put the characters choose their own destiny. Overall it was a pretty good read, it’s one that you can sit down and read on a sunny day. Anyway, I give this novel 3.5 out of 5 paws.

Comment Question of the Blog:

3.5 pawsIf you could go to any summer camp, which one would you go? Ex. Space Camp, Cheer Camp, Running Camp, Basketball Camp? Lemme know in the comment section below!

As always,

That Chick That Reads

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Authorized Ender Companion by Jake Black Review

endersThe Authorized Ender Companion by Jake Black
Publisher: Tor Books
Pub. Date: November 10th, 2009
Pages: 432
Age Level: All Ages
Obtained: Received for Review

The Authorized Ender Companion is a complete and in-depth encyclopedia of all the persons, places, things and events in Orson Scott Card’s Ender Universe. Written by Jake Black under the editorial supervision of Card himself, The Authorized Ender Companion will be an invaluable resource for readers of the series.
If you ever wondered where Ender went after he left Earth, before he arrived at Lusitania, you’ll find the answer here. If you ever wondered how the battle room worked, you’ll find the answer here. If you forgot the names of the people were who discovered the descolada, the answer is here. The history of Gloriously Bright’s world? Here.
The Authorized Ender Companion contains all that and more. There are character biographies, time-lines, colony histories, and family trees.

My Thoughts:

I’m a fan of Orson Scott Card’s Ender series and was delighted to find this companion! I’m slowly re-reading the series and it’s opened up my eyes as well as refreshed my memory on some of the characters and events! The pictures that are included in The Technology of Ender’s Game, were very detailed and made the picture that was in my mind clear up. Black went into exclusive detail of every event, character, giving us a useful encyclopedia that needed to be created. This book provided a great insight to the Ender’s Game. If you are just beginning to read the series, this is definitely a must have! & If you have already read the series than you should def get your hands on a copy because the detail and insight will def blow your mind! This companion NEEDED to be written and thanks to Jake Black it has! I give this novel 4 out of 5 paws!

4 paws Comment Question of the Blog:

Have you read the Ender Series? If so, which book is your favorite? Lemme know in the comment section below!

As always,

That Chick That Reads

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dear John by Nicholas Sparks Review

Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
Publisher: Grand Central
Pub. Date: August 7th, 2007
Pages: 224
Age Level: Adult
Obtained: Bought

An angry rebel, John dropped out of school and enlisted in the Army, not knowing what else to do with his life--until he meets the girl of his dreams, Savannah. Their mutual attraction quickly grows into the kind of love that leaves Savannah waiting for John to finish his tour of duty, and John wanting to settle down with the woman who captured his heart. But 9/11 changes everything. John feels it is his duty to re-enlist. And sadly, the long separation finds Savannah falling in love with someone else. "Dear John," the letter read...and with those two words, a heart was broken and two lives were changed forever. Returning home, John must come to grips with the fact that Savannah, now married, is still his true love--and face the hardest decision of his life.

My Thoughts:


I admit, the only reason I bumped this book up in my tbr pile was because the movie just barely came out and I refused to go watch it before I read the novel. The story was very catching from the first few words, I was completely mesmorized by the John's story. The way that he and Savannah meet is not necessary romantic but original in it's own sense. As I continued to read the novel, I could feel John's pain at having to leave Savannah and his joy at finally getting to see her again. I think the hardest part of the novel to read, personally, was his relationship with his father. Also having to make the choice of being loyal to his team and re-enlisting and sacrificing his happiness. I just loved the overall message of this novel. It makes you see things in such a different perspective. If you wanna see Dear John in movie theaters, then I strongly suggest that you read this novel. The movie doesn't do the novel any justice. That being said, I'm giving this novel 4 out of 5 paws.

Comment Question of the Blog:
Do you think long distance relationships work? Lemme know in the comment section below.

As Always,
That Chick That Reads

Monday, February 8, 2010

Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen Review

someone Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Speak
Pub. Date: May 11th, 2004
Pages: 288
Age Level: Young Adult
Obtained: Bought

Best friends for years, Scarlett and Halley have shared everything. But at the beginning of their junior year in high school, Scarlett discovers she's pregnant and their friendship enters a new and challenging phase

My Thoughts:

As with all of the other Sarah Dessen’s books that I have read, this one is terrific! Everything changes with one phone call. A life lost, lives change, a new life born and a community is brought together by merely chance. Scarlett and Halley are the perfect example of best friends. They support each other in ways that even I haven’t experienced with my own friends. Halley has always seen her mother and Scarlett as the strong ones, but this time it’s Halley who has to be strong for both of them. Michael may be “dead” physically but he seemed so alive to me by the way that he was just ever so present in their lives! Then of coarse this is a Dessen book and we of coarse are going to have the love factor here. Halley ends up falling for bad boy/ Michael’s best friend Macon. This book goes into forgiveness, the choices of having to grow up even if your still a kid yourself, and the power of young love. Dessen continues to completely captivate me in all of her stories and this one is no exception. Definitely a must read guys! I give this novel 4 out of 5 paws.

4 paws Comment Question of the Blog:

When did you meet your best friend? Lemme know in the comment section below.

As always,

That Chick That Reads

Friday, February 5, 2010

How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford

robot

How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pub. Date: October 1st, 2009
Pages: 288
Age Level: Young Adult
Obtained: Won in Contest

New to town, Beatrice is expecting her new best friend to be one of the girls she meets on the first day. But instead, the alphabet conspires to seat her next to Jonah, aka Ghost Boy, a quiet loner who hasn't made a new friend since third grade. Something about him, though, gets to Bea, and soon they form an unexpected friendship. It's not romance, exactly - but it's definitely love. Still, Bea can't quite dispel Jonah's gloom and doom - and as she finds out his family history, she understands why. Can Bea help Jonah? Or is he destined to vanish?

My Thoughts:

This isn’t a book I normally go for, just because I really love those ooowey gooewey love stories but what’s awesome about this book is that it just left me completely and utterly breathless! Bea is such a fascinating character! Her mother tells her she’s a robot because she’s so “emotionless” and throughout the entire novel we see Bea grow and completely do a 360 from the way she was at the beginning of the novel. I think my favorite part of the novel were the late night show! It’s just amazing how people could unite and talk about just random things and make it feel like family. Oh and don’t get me started on Jonah, aka Ghost Boy. His character is a little different than most and he made me look at things so differently than I ever had before. I won’t tell you what it is just because I think it’ll ruin it for ya. This is def a must read in 2010! I give this novel 3.5 out of 5 paws.

3.5 pawsComment Question of the Blog:

If you were a robot, what kind of robot would you be? Lemme know in the comment section below!

As always,

That Chick That Reads

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Deadly Codes by JP O’Donnell Review

deadly Deadly Codes by JP O'Donnell
Publisher: iUniverse
Pub. Date: February 17th, 2009
Pages: 217
Age Level: Adult
Obtained: Received for Review

In the thriller, Deadly Codes, Daniel Cormac Gallagher, Jr., a Boston private eye, is hired to investigate the death of Jennifer Clark, tragically killed in a car bombing in her own driveway.

Gallagher has been commissioned by Jeanne Campbell, Jennifer's twin sister, to find a mysterious woman-Jennifer's secret lesbian lover who vanished immediately after the bombing. While the authorities continue to pursue their suspicions that the terrorist act may have been intended for Jennifer's husband, Bill, who holds a top-secret position in the counter-intelligence division of the National Security Agency, Jeanne reveals intricate details to Gallagher that intrigue him enough to take on the case. While Gallagher begins searching for the missing woman, he has no idea that a bounty has been placed on his own head-two hired gunmen are plotting to kill him. Gallagher's search takes him to Washington DC, where he discovers that the car bombing is only a backdrop to a complex, treasonous scheme to sell code-breaking formulas to a hostile enemy nation.

As the violent mystery unravels, Gallagher finds himself under deadly attack from two shocking but powerful forces-one he knows and another he never expects.

My Thoughts:

This novel has a load of twist and turns! It’s a mystery novel centered around Daniel Cromac, who is a Boston private eye. He is hired to investigate a car bombing that resulted in Jennifer’s death. He’s now married and had promised his wife that he would leave the private eye job to someone else, fearing for his safety and hers. But he decides to take the car bombing case anyway. A lot of the things that happen in this novel, I honestly did not see happening! Especially the ending! O’Donnell exceeds to presenting an awesome second book in this series. I didn’t get a chance to read the first one, but I found no difficulty connecting to the characters and rooting for them, although it would help if you read the first one but not completely necessary. That being said, this novel is a great one if you love mysteries and very wicked twist and turns. I give this novel 3.5 out of 5 paws.

3.5 pawsComment Question of the Blog:

If you had to choose between true love and making thousands of dollars, which one would you choose and why? Lemme know in the comment section below!

As always,

That Chick That Reads

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Book of Samuel by Erik Raschke Review

6385841The Book of Samuel by Erik Raschke
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pub. Date: October 13th, 2009
Pages: 256 pages
Age Level: Young Adult
Obtained: Received for Review

Samuel Gerard is just your average teen: he hangs out at the bike jumps or at the mall with his friends, finds creative ways to avoid schoolwork, and repeatedly asks his parents questions that he knows have no answer. But when his dad leaves on a quest to ‘save the world,’ Samuel’s life takes a turn – a big turn.

Starting the day after his fath er leaves, Samuel finds himself on a dizzying, often humorous series of adventures, from being covered in leeches to accidentally blowing up his friend’s garage, from cheering up his mom to supervising his feisty grandma, from making out with the most popular girl in school to a life-changing fight with school bullies. As Samuel tries to sort out the world around him, he gradually finds himself at crossroads of religion and community, family and friends, newfound love and deep-seated hatred, all of which threatens to pull apart his neighborhood – and his family. And in the end, when violence in the community comes to a frightening peak, Samuel is faced with a tough choice: let things continue on a dangerous path, or make a personal sacrifice for peace?

My Thoughts:

This book journey’s through the young life of Samuel Gerard. He hangs out with his friends, loves to go out and bike ride, experiences his first kiss, among many other things. This book is actually quite interesting! There were times that I laughed out loud, others where I shed tears and many where the thing he said just brought a smile to my face. I could totally relate to Samuel! His character is just so honest and you know as a kid, one battles with what’s wrong or right. There was a lot of religious battles that went on in this novel, because of Samuel’s father and I loved how Raschke made Samuel’s world fit into mine. The one and only thing that I did not like about this novel was the abundant amount of stereotypes against Mexicans. I just completely found it very hurtful in a way, although I will say this, it was kind of necessary for the book. I just wished that there wasn’t as much in it. That being said, this story will leave you completely transfixed into this teens world and will make you question everything you’ve ever known! Def a must read! I give this novel 4 out of 5 paws.

4 pawsComment Question of the Blog:

If you could go anywhere with your friends for a day, where would you go and why? Lemme know in the comment section below!

As always,

That Chick That Reads