Mundie Moms

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Book Review: Pure by Jennifer Armentrout

Published by: Spencer Hill Press
To Be Released on: April 3rd, 2012
Source: ARC from publisher to review
5 stars: I Loved It
Pre-Order from: Amazon
Series: Covenant #2

There is need. And then there is Fate... 

Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn't exactly awesome--especially when Alexandria's "other half" is everywhere she goes. Seth's in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom--so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do--and sacrifice--for her.

When daimons infiltrate the Covenants and attack students, the gods send furies--lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants and to the gods, and that includes the Apollyon... and Alex. And if that and hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn't blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude... or killing her. 

When the gods are involved, some decisions can never, ever be undone -quoted from Goodreads

This book is PURE awesomeness! If you thought Half Blood was hard to put down with it's action packed plot line, incredibly hot character chemistry, surprising twists and rich Greek mythology, wait till you read the exciting sequel, Pure. Jennifer Armentrout takes this story up a notch and WOW, talk about hot! This story is loaded with intensity, sizzling character chemistry, plenty of snark, and of course action. We all know how much I love a great mix of chemistry, snarkiness and action. What I wasn't prepared for was the surprises Jennifer throws into this sequel and falling in love with Seth! I know! Seth out of everyone that was introduced in Half Blood completely blindsided me in Pure.

This sequel picks up right after Half Blood left off, and I absolutely loved being back in Alex's world. The fighting, the romance and the danger are more intense, exciting and just as engaging as in book one. Alex is one of my favorite heroines. Honestly how could I not love her? She's feisty, stubborn, snarky, and isn't afraid to get into someone's face if she needs to, and believe me she does that often and well. One of the other things I love about her is she's tough. I've come to love and admire how she dishes it right back to both Aiden and Seth. Oh these boys..... Alex definitely gives them a run for their money in Pure. I adore Aiden. I mean who doesn't right? He's the tall, strong, swoon worthy Pure who we all know has a talent for kicking butt, and has stolen Alex's heart. Who doesn't love a forbidden romance right? Well let's not forget about Seth! Oh Seth, that hot, infuriating Apollyon who not only got under Alex's skin in Half Blood, but mine as well. He really steps up his game in Pure and WOW that boy completely took me by surprise!

Now, don't get me wrong, I love Aiden, but I fell in love with Seth more in Pure. There's so many complex layers to his character and though he's unpredictable, cocky, and overly self confident, I loved seeing a whole different side to him. It was during the times were it was just him and Alex that I felt like I was getting to see glimpses of who he really is, even if it was for a brief moment. He really made this sequel that much more exciting. There's two scenes between he and Alex that are both swoon worthy and hysterical all at the same time, because of the events that happen during both scene. If you guys thought the chemistry between Aiden and Alex was hot in Half Blood, wait till you read about the chemistry between Seth and Alex! Talk about sizzling, their chemistry is seriously hot!

I love Jennifer Armentrout's writing style! I've come to the admire the awesome job she does at combining all the elements I love in a well written YA paranormal. She knows how to keep her story line fresh, exciting, engaging and completely unpredictable. I like that her writing has a little bit of an edge it with slight in your face style. There's no trying to read between the lines or second guess what her characters motives are and what's really going on. She puts it all out there. Jennifer has quickly become one of those authors's whose books I can without a doubt sit down to read and know I'll enjoy every moment of it.

If you're looking for a series that will surprise you, deliver plenty of romance, action, mythology and so much more, I highly recommend picking up the Covenant series today! If you've read Half Blood and you're wondering about whether or not you want to pick up Pure, let me just say that Jennifer takes everything that goes on in Half Blood up a notch (or more) in this book. Believe me, you'll want to have Pure in your hands asap! I can't wait to jump back into this world with Deity.


Be sure to stop back by MM's on April 5th when Seth stops by the blog! Believe me, you don't want to miss my interview with me. Right now you can also go read the 1st three chapters of PURE here

Ally Carter's Out of Sight, Out of Time Tour - San Jose Stop

(top row: Ally Carter, Hickleebee's sweater-tree. bottom row: the audience and look at the cuteness all around the store, me, and my two Gallagher Girls with Ally)

Just had to post a big thank you to Hicklebee's in San Jose for a wonderful afternoon with Ally Carter. I'm beginning to get used to my seven hour, round trip drive to the Bay Area because it's just so fun to attend these events.

Although, there were no spoilers talked about during Ally's Q&A, I think I can share that in the next Heist Society novel, Kat's glasses will reflect...(removed for spoilers). Okay, I won't tease you. It was a fun hour and we learned quite a bit about both Gallagher Girls and Heist Society.

In the spirit of Cammie, let's do this as a fact or rumor list:
  • The book that was the most challenging to write was Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy because it introduced Zach and according to Ally "you never forget the boy who gave you gray hairs and made you fat". (Aside: can't do RUMOR/FACT because I saw no evidence of either, but boy did I chuckle 'cause kids cause the same symptoms in some of us) 
  • The inspiration for Gallagher Girls was Ally's own experience in spy school. RUMOR.
  • Mr. Solomon was written in just for us mom's to enjoy. NEITHER. It was a comment that I had to make to Ally.
  • We can look forward to more short stories, multiple POVs like the one on The Gallagher Academy with the release of the next book. FACT. Ally's publisher gave her the idea and she enjoyed writing the different POVs.
  • The last Gallgher Girls book will be book 6. FACT.
I'm still sad about the last fact. I know, I know, I'm one obsessed mom. So, if you haven't read the series yet, both Katie and I have reviewed the books here, and Katie still has to finish books 3, 4 and 5. But, be sure to get them. Get all of them. I feel confident that you will enjoy the characters, their world and ohmyeverything their stories as much as we did.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Unidentified Snippet

Jem leaned closer against the chair, staring into the fire. “Better it were my hands,” he said.
Will shook his head. Exhaustion was muting the edges of everything in the room, blurring the flocked wallpaper into a single mass of dark color. “No. Not your hands. You need your hands for the violin. What do I need mine for?” 

You can read ALL the Unidentified Snippets HERE.

TMI Movie Stuff

Cassie posted a response on tumblr earlier today regarding a question she received about the TMI movie and recent movie news. Here's what was asked & what her answer was:
look-what-youvedone asked you:
“I heard they were starting filming for The city of bones. As in your book! And lily collins was going to play Clary. Is this true? I really hope so!”
I think that half of the questions in my inbox (the ones not about sex) are about “the movie.” So I will tell you what I know and if you sent me an ask about the movie hopefully this will be a useful answer.
Basically everything I know about the movie is right here. If it isn’t there, I either don’t know it or am not allowed to say it because it’s speculation or the details aren’t nailed down or whatever. I am honestly not the greatest source for movie news. Last night Deadline reported that Sony Pictures is the frontrunner to distribute the City of Bones movie (distribute means to actually get the film into theaters) and that was the first I heard about that. I knew there were a number of studios interested but that’s all I knew. In fact, I don’t even know if the Sony thing is true though Deadline is fairly reliable. While securing the right distributor for a film is super important, it is not the sort of thing that anyone consults the author on (and why would they — I don’t know anything about film distribution.)
I try not to report things or stick them on my website unless I am 100% sure they’re true. That is not to say that things can’t change as regards the movie because things can always change. Lily and Jamie are still set to star (and I would be sad to lose either one of them, they are perfect for the roles AFAIC), the shoot date is still set for August 15 in Toronto. The film is floating around somewhere between development and pre-production. They are not yet filming it. 
Until they do start filming, anything and everything could change.
You’ll know when they do start filming because 1) IMDB will have the film listed as “in production” (which is when they lock down the page and stop letting anyone edit it, until then, I think, the pages are run by rabid squirrels or something) and 2) there will be a release date. A release date is generally the last thing a film gets before the green light to go ahead. So look out for those things, and until then, any news I have is on my website.
* Several people have asked me if the film “has been cancelled.” (Which is odd, as things have been looking better for the possibility of a Mortal Instruments movie in the past few weeks/months than they ever did before!) Films don’t get cancelled. Sometimes they get put into turnaround. Sometimes they are moved from one studio to another. Sometimes the option rights expire and the production company doesn’t renew them. They don’t “get cancelled.” If you run across some article saying a film has been cancelled, then the article has been written by someone who doesn’t know anything about movies. Ignore it. 
And now back to your regularly scheduled silliness.

#DivergentNation: #TeamABNEGATION

I'm totally late to the posting party about today's awesome surprise and the upcoming friendly Divergent/Insurgent competition that's about to take the blogging world by storm. I was greeted this morning with a lovely early delivery by the UPS man with a box that contained this:

(yes I squealed like a little girl and totally danced around, wearing the stupidest grin on my face) along with a letter and a label on the inside of box announcing my fraction which is:


What exactly is all this about? In case you missed this last week's post about what's in store with the 5 factions you can read this post from our faction's team leader here. There's 5 factions made up of 10 bloggers who all want YOU to help their faction. That's 50 different bloggers! We need your help!

Between April 2nd through April 30th each faction will be competing with each other to get clicks to their links for their faction's posts on Tumblr. You can check out the ABNEGATION site here. Each faction will have a tumblr account that will be updated come Monday with a list of each of the leaders, as well as their faction members. Be sure to follow along with what's going on with each faction by following the #DivergentNation hash tags! Through there you'll have each faction's links to their site, each faction's plans of action and much more.

 I am so excited about this next month's Divergent Nation competition!! Be sure to stay turned for more info that will be posted come Monday morning. Let games begin (though I'm sure like many of you, you're thinking "Let the odds forever be in your favor")! 

Blog Tour: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

I'm extremely excited about today's blog tour for  The Book Vortex's Between Shades of Gray. It's not every often I have had the chance to interview the creative genius between a book's soundtrack. Today I have Gavin Mikhail on the blog! If you haven't had the chance to, I highly recommend listening to Gavin's soundtrack for Ruta Sepetys's Between Shades of Gray. This sound track captures this story perfectly. It's beautiful and haunting all at the same time. 

Hi Gavin! Thank you so much for stopping by Mundie Moms today. Your soundtrack for Ruta Sepetys's Between Shades of Gray is both beautiful and haunting. I felt like it captured the feeling of the story perfectly. Did you find it challenging to create music that would set the tone for the book?

Thanks so much for saying that, Katie, and... absolutely! Both challenging and exciting.  I'm a longtime fan of film soundtracks (i.e. Thomas Newman, Alan Silvestri, etc.), and when Ruta mentioned the possibility of doing a soundtrack for her book, I jumped at the chance.  Given that it's such a new medium, though, she and I had to discuss at length how best to translate such a poignant story into music.  Unlike a traditional movie soundtrack that underscores visual action, the book soundtrack needed to paint a picture without that added dimension.  And, that's where the challenging part came in...  In the end, Ruta wisely directed me toward a more 'thematic' (as opposed to 'ambient / soundscape') kind of approach.  For example, the track 'Far From Home' originally had a much more dissonant, disjointed sound.  I'd come up with the idea of mimicking the rhythmic beats of the train track using the low register of the piano... then adding in high dissonant chords dropping at odd intervals over the top (to illustrate the desperation of the characters).  At the very end of the work-in-progress mockup, I introduced the theme but only as a one-line sort of thing.  Listening through, Ruta immediately picked out the theme saying 'I love the soundscape, but the theme is what really hits this home.  Can we develop that out more?'  And, that ended up becoming the majority of the piece.  As usual, with Ruta, she has an uncanny way of getting to the heart of things, and she was absolutely right.  If we ever get to a movie version... maybe we'll bring the soundscape back. :)

What was it about this book that inspired you to create a soundtrack for it?

Where to start... it's an amazing story.  It's an INSPIRING story. (and one that certainly needed to be told from a historical perspective)  And, more than anything else, it was written by, hands down, one of the most inspiring PEOPLE I've ever met.  Ruta is a true original, and her writing has an incredibly visual element to it (which helps so much in soundtrack composition).  She was kind enough to give me an early copy of the book, and like you, I fell in love with it.  When she brought up the idea of doing a book soundtrack... didn't think twice. :)

How long have you been writing music for and made you to get into the music business?

Like most people who pursue music or acting writing (or any sort of 'passion' career really), I fell in love with music young.  My Mom pushed my four sisters and me incredibly hard in classical piano and pipe organ as kids, and I remember starting to write my first pining (and yes... godawful... :)) love songs in my early teens.  Been writing ever since. (although hopefully better than those early songs :))  With music being so much a part of my daily life, by the time I graduated college, I really couldn't see myself doing anything else.  It took years after that to really get anywhere with it, but as trying as that time was, I wouldn't trade it for the world.  I'm beyond fortunate to do this as a career, and between my incredibly supportive fans and getting to work with brilliant people like Ruta... yeah... I'm a lucky guy.

Can you give a little behind the scenes on the making of the Between Shades of Gray soundtrack? (What's the time frame you normally have from writing the music, recording and publishing the sound track?)

As with most writers, the timeframe tends to vary.  Sometimes a track can come together in literally minutes (i.e. Run To Something Beautiful).  Other times, it's a 'honing' process that can take weeks.  In this case, from the first discussions with Ruta to finished masters, it took roughly 5-6 weeks.  About 3 or 4 weeks of discussing the themes/mocking up ideas, and another 1-2 of recording/mixing/mastering.  We probably could have done it quicker, but Ruta and I are both perfectionists about our work.  Not sure 'good enough' has ever entered either of our vocabularies. :)  That isn't to say there aren't things that could be revised or improved upon... just that, after years of doing anything, you tend to develop that 'sixth sense' about whether or not something is working.  And, until you get there... gotta keep pluggin' away. :)

I'm having a hard time picking one song that I feel fits the book perfectly, as I feel each song is so fitting for different parts of the story. If you had to pick on song you felt best describes Between Shades of Gray in music, what song would that be and why?

Well, first off... I love hearing you say that!  'Cause really, that's what we were going for.  Each piece was created with a specific theme, character, or relationship in mind...  But, if I had to pick a single piece that encapsulates the book, it would definitely be the final track 'Between Shades Of Gray.'  After all the sadness and pain and desperation in this book... there's hope.  To me, that really is the takeaway.  The main characters never lost their dignity... and wow... what an amazing illustration of the human spirit...  I wanted not only the theme, but especially the ascending chords at the end to illustrate that...

As to my FAVORITES (which you didn't ask, but I'll tell you anyway...  :)) - Ice And Ashes and Krasivaya.  Ice And Ashes was written with the artwork of Edvard Munch in mind (and how that plays into the story), and honestly, it's one of the pieces I'm most proud of in my career.  Krasivaya was written as an illustration of Elena's love for her children, and me being a father of 3 kids now... yeah... that theme hits pretty close to home. :)  When it came time to write that one, I remember going into my kids bedroom and just... watching them sleep.  Trying to imagine what it must have felt like to be any number of  'Elenas' during that horrible period in history... being forced to watch your child suffer immense cruelty and feeling such an overwhelming, from-the-core-of-your-BEING drive to help them.  In the end, the visual I used while writing was simply Elena watching them as they slept... seeing their chests rise and fall in the darkness as she felt such overwhelming love for them...

Are you currently working on any other soundtracks?

Not at the moment, but after this experience... I definitely hope to!  Maybe for Ruta's future books, maybe for others... maybe even film work...  we'll see... :)

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions!

Thank you so much for asking, Katie.  I'm a huge fan of Ruta's work just like you, so it's an honor to have even been a part of this...


Thank you Gavin for stopping by Mundie Moms today!

Please be sure you visit Gavin via his Website | Facebook | Blog | Twitter

You can purchase Between Shades of Gray on Spotify | iTunes | Amazon 

By: Ruta Sepetys
Published by: Penguin
Released on: March 22nd, 2011
Purchase from: PenguinAmazon | Barnes & Noble

In 1941, fifteen-year-old Lina is preparing for art school, first dates, and all that summer has to offer. But one night, the Soviet secret police barge violently into her home, deporting her along with her mother and younger brother. They are being sent to Siberia. Lina’s father has been separated from the family and sentenced to death in a prison camp. All is lost.
Lina fights for her life, fearless, vowing that if she survives she will honor her family, and the thousands like hers, by documenting their experience in her art and writing. She risks everything to use her art as messages, hoping they will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive.

It is a long and harrowing journey, and it is only their incredible strength, love, and hope that pull Lina and her family through each day. But will love be enough to keep them alive?

Between Shades of Gray is a riveting novel that steals your breath, captures your heart, and reveals the miraculous nature of the human spirit.

You can read my 5 star review for Between Shades of Gray here.

Please be sure to visit Between Shades of Gray via Website | Facebook


The Giveaway:

Thank you to Ruta, I have a signed paperback copy of Between Shades of Gray to giveaway! Thank you to Gavin, I also have signed soundtrack cards to giveaway! The 1st winner will receive: A signed paperback copy of Between Shades of Gray along with an unsigned bookmark. The 2nd winner will receive the signed soundtrack cards.

To Enter:
Please fill out the form below.
- Open internationally
- You must be 13 yrs & older to enter, or have a parent/guardian's permission if under 13.
- 1 entry per person
- This giveaway will end on April 22nd, 2012

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Take A Bow Interview with author Elizabeth Eulberg

I am so excited to have Elizabeth Eulberg on the blog today to talk about her upcoming release, Take A Bow! If you've not yet pre-ordered this book I highly recommend you do. In some areas I know you can already go pick it up at your local in there and do so! 

I love that there are 4 characters we get to meet in Take A Bow. Did you find yourself relating to one character more than the others? If so, who and why?

Emme. I’ve spent a lot of time “in the background” so to speak when I was a publicist, and I struggled a bit when I had to come out and be the author. I’m not a shy person, but it was really uncomfortable for me to talk bout my books and myself at first. So I related to Emme’s struggle the most. What’s funny is that I didn’t even realize the corollary until I was almost done writing the book. But I started working on Take a Bow right after I was done promoting my first novel, The Lonely Hearts Club, so I apparently had some stuff I needed to work through!

What inspired you to write a story centered around the performing arts?

I’ve been obsessed with performing arts high schools since I was a kid, probably because of Fame. I loved playing music so much, I really wish I could’ve gone to a school where the arts were the focus, but there wasn’t one near the small town in Wisconsin that I’m from. So I was in every type of music program/band my high school had (orchestra, jazz band, pep band, marching band). I always knew that I wanted to write a book set in a performing arts high school and once I did the research and realized how competitive they can be, the story began writing itself.

Out of the four, Sophie, Emme, Carter and Ethan, who do you feel grew or changed the most from your rough draft to the published book?

Definitely Carter! When I originally came up with the idea for Take a Bow, Carter was going to be a secondary character. He was only Sophie’s boyfriend, the former child star. Then I realized he had a secret and knew that he had his own story to tell. I also think out of the four of them, he grows the most throughout the book.

How would you describe each of your characters using one word?

Emme: Sweet

Sophie: Driven (although I’m sure people have a different word they’d use to describe her!)

Carter: Conflicted

Ethan: Self-destructive 

Who would you have been friends if you had gone to school with Sophie, Emme, Carter and Ethan?

Emme - we have a lot in common (we are both a little too trusting for our own good). I also think I would get along well with Carter, but his famous past would’ve probably intimidated me. 

Is there a YA book you've read recently that you'd recommend we go pick up and read?

Yes! Being Friends with Boys by Terra Elan McVoy! I LOVE this book, if books could have best friends, Being Friends with Boys would be Take a Bow’s. BFWB also features a girl who’s in a band with guys (and likes to be in the background), but it’s a completely different story than my book. I’m in awe of how well Terra writes the music scenes, you feel like you’ve been given a backstage pass into her character’s world.

Do you have one piece of writing advice you'd like to share with aspiring teen writers?

WRITE! I hear a lot from teens who get stuck on a story or aren’t sure what they should write or how to get published. The most important thing is to write. Everything else can come later. If you’re stuck on a story and it doesn’t appeal to you anymore, write something else. Just write!


Thank you Elizabeth for stopping by and chatting with us today about your newest release! 

Please be sure to visit Elizabeth via her Website | Twitter | Facebook

You can read my review for Take A Bow, and meet Carter.

Published by: Scholastic
To Be Released on: April 1st, 2012
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

From the fantastic author of The Lonely Hearts Club and Prom & Prejudice comes a story of all the drama and comedy of four friends who grow into themselves at a performing arts high school.
Emme, Sophie, Ethan, and Carter are seniors at a performing arts school, getting ready for their Senior Showcase recital, where the pressure is on to appeal to colleges, dance academies, and professionals in show business. For Sophie, a singer, it's been great to be friends with Emme, who composes songs for her, and to date Carter, soap opera heartthrob who gets plenty of press coverage. Emme and Ethan have been in a band together through all four years of school, but wonder if they could be more than just friends and bandmates. Carter has been acting since he was a baby, and isn't sure how to admit that he'd rather paint than perform. The Senior Showcase is going to make or break each of the four, in a funny, touching, spectacular finale that only Elizabeth Eulberg could perform. -quoted from Goodreads

Thank you to Elizabeth, she's offered to give away a published copy of her book, Take A Bow! 

To enter, please fill out the form below. 

- Open to residents in the US
- You must be 13 yrs & older (if under you must have a parent/guardian's permission to enter)
- 1 entry per person
- This giveaway will end on April 14th, 2012

Book Review: Take A Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg

Published by: Scholastic
To Be Released on: April 1st, 2012
Source: ARC/book from publisher to review
4.5 stars: I Really Enjoyed It
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

From the fantastic author of The Lonely Hearts Club and Prom & Prejudice comes a story of all the drama and comedy of four friends who grow into themselves at a performing arts high school.
Emme, Sophie, Ethan, and Carter are seniors at a performing arts school, getting ready for their Senior Showcase recital, where the pressure is on to appeal to colleges, dance academies, and professionals in show business. For Sophie, a singer, it's been great to be friends with Emme, who composes songs for her, and to date Carter, soap opera heartthrob who gets plenty of press coverage. Emme and Ethan have been in a band together through all four years of school, but wonder if they could be more than just friends and bandmates. Carter has been acting since he was a baby, and isn't sure how to admit that he'd rather paint than perform. The Senior Showcase is going to make or break each of the four, in a funny, touching, spectacular finale that only Elizabeth Eulberg could perform. -quoted from Goodreads

Elizabeth Eulberg has a talent for writing books that connect me with her characters, engage me with her story telling and leave me wanting more when the story is done. With Take A Bow she does all that and a little more. I loved getting to meet Carter, Emme, Ethan and Sophie. I was completely blown away at Elizabeth's talent for creating and writing four distinct voices whom I never had to ask myself who was talking through out the course of reading the book. Elizabeth made it so easy to not only get to know each character, she created an incredibly engaging story for me to love. 

Even though I don't know what it's like to be a child and teen actor like Carter does, I'm not in a band like Emme and Ethan are and I have no desire to be an aspiring singer and actress like Sophie does, Elizabeth made it easy for me to relate to and identify with each of her characters. Sure they go to the prestigious CPA performing arts school for the gifted, but they are just like every other teen. This is their senior year and like many seniors they're trying to figure out what they want out of life, as well as finding their place in the world. Some of them deal with heartbreak, betrayal, rejection, and others fall in love, learn to say no, find their own and take hold of their destiny. What I loved about these characters is how easy it was for me to connect with and identify with them. I fell in love with them (well most of them), enjoyed getting to know them and admired them for how much they changed/grew as the story progressed.

I am extremely picky when it comes to reading books with multiple points of views, but I loved the way Elizabeth wrote Take A Bow. She not only kept the story progressing with each of the four character's points of views, but also allowed me to get to know them on an individual level, as well as see how all four of them interact together. While Sophie angered me to know end, Emme, Ethan and Carter made it so easy for me to love them. The reason being is that they're characters who are flawed, they're real, realistically portrayed and they all inadvertently do things to help each other out. These three characters are the ones I felt grew the most, and they all do so in extremely different ways. I didn't care much for Sophie and how shallow she was through out the entire storyline, but I did appreciate what her character added to the story. Emme was the one that grew the most for me. Carter had me rooting for him from the beginning and Ethan is the one I left with a stupid grin on my face. 

Elizabeth Eulberg does such a beautiful job at creating characters I fall in love with, root for and want to go hang out with. With Elizabeth's book I always know I'll feel completely satisfied with the story, will love with her writing, her story telling and her characters. Without fail her books always give that little pick me I needed and leaving me grinning when I'm done with them. If you're looking for a book that will whisk you away from reality for a bit, give you a richly written dialogue between four distinct well written characters and leave you feeling all hopeful and completely after reading it, than I highly recommend picking up Take A Bow. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

On Set at the COLS Book trailer Filmage

Cassie shared a teaser with fans today taken from the filming of the COLS trailer! Check out this lovely back shot of JACE!!

I seriously LOVE this teaser! Here's what Cassie had to say about it:

Onset at the City of Lost Souls book trailer filmage. (Is filmage a word?) The director and the back of book-trailer Jace’s head. I don’t know who is playing Jace in the trailer, but he has nice hair. And a stylin’ sweater. Which fits, as City of Lost Souls Jace has fancier clothes than previous Jace.

Did Cassie just say Jace is in fancier clothes!?!? I can't wait to read about a fancier dressed Jace and find out why he's dressed that way. ;)

Blog Tour / Book Review: Emerald City by Alicia K Leppert

Published by: Cedar Fort Books
To Be Released on: April 10th, 2012
Source: ARC from publisher to review
Pre-Order from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Olivia Tate is a broken shell of a girl haunted by the tragic events that fill her past. She has closed herself off from the world, each day grasping at something—anything—to live for. Convinced there will never be a way out, she seeks solace in the depths of her medicine cabinet. When she wakes up days later in the hospital she is introduced to Jude, the quiet stranger responsible for saving her life. She never could have guessed then that her mysterious rescuer would end up saving her life a second time, while simultaneously turning her world upside down -quoted from Goodreads

Emerald City has the feel of a realistic contemporary, but will surprise readers with it's paranormal twist. I normally don't judge a book by it's cover, but this is one cover that drew me and made me want to read it. Not only is it catchy, but it sets the mood and tone for this book. I love that it was set in Seattle and Alicia Leppert does a wonderful job at describing Seattle's scenery and a few of it's popular places that are featured in Olivia's story. The main focus of this book is twenty year old Olivia, who's spent the past year dealing with her emotional scars. She's lost herself to severe depression, hasn't gotten over her mother's death, is still copping with her father's abundant from when she was a young girl, and working a minimum wage job to make ends meet. Her life slowly begins to change when her new neighbor Jude saves her life, literally.

Olivia for me was a hard character to connect with. While I sympathized with her and I felt bad for her situation, I just couldn't emotionally connect with her no matter how hard I tried. Despite that, I couldn't help but cheer her on. She's the underdog I wanted to win as she learns to find herself again. This poor girl has been through so much and though she was at rock bottom when the story starts, I liked the hope and determination she finds with Jude in her life. He helped her find that spark, and the desire to just live life. I liked Jude, and I loved that he was so willing to sacrifice so much for her. I liked how they both slowly but surely learned to trust one another. I admired Olivia for taking the stand to find the professional help she needed in dealing with her depression and suicidal feelings outside of just talking with Jude about it.

Alicia does a great job at taking readers into the darker, traumatic side of dealing with demons, depression and being at rock bottom with Olivia. This book definitely has a darker side to it given the subject matter that is discussed through out the storyline, but it's also a story about hope as Olivia learns to overcome her obstacles. Overall this was an okay read for me. There's parts of Emerald City I liked and other parts I had a very hard time being able to relate to. I wish I had gotten to know more about Jude sooner in the book instead towards the end. I enjoyed getting to finding out about his secrets. I felt the ending was a bit rushed given everything that gets revealed towards the end of the story. Having said that, I did love the twist at the end. Given the older characters and their situations, I think this is a story that those 17 yrs & older will enjoy more than younger readers. Emerald City is a book I'd recommend for those who are looking for a YA/adult cross over that's a blend of realist contemporary and urban fantasy.

Please be sure to visit the rest of the Emerald City blog tour here.

Waiting on Wednesday: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Published by: Katherine Tegen Books / Harper Teen
To Be Released on: May 1st, 2012
Pre-Order from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love. 

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so. 

New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature - quoted from Goodreads

I know I'm one of many of Veronica's fans who is patiently waiting for May 1st get here so I can get my hands on this sequel! I seriously need answers and if you've read the sneak peak from EW's Shelf along with some of the recent Insurgent teasers here, you'll know what I'm talking about. Plus, I need more FOUR! I also really love the cover for this book. I'm a huge fan of covers matching within the series, and I think Harper Teen has done a great job with both this cover and Divergents. What book are you waiting to get your hands on?