HELLCATS...My New Guilty Pleasure Show

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Okay so I must say I'm hooked on the CW's new TV show HELLCATS that's on on Wednesdays. Have you watched this one yet? Here's the synopsis:

Marti Perkins has it all -- looks, smarts, talent, and a scholarship to Lancer University to study pre-law. Her world is turned complete upside down when she loses her scholarship and must use her skills as a gymnast to join the legendary cheerleading team. Marti manages to make the team, but she is devastated when she enters a "world of camaraderie, backstabbing and the intersection of sports, backroom academia and big money."

Fun Facts about the show, it's based on a book:

Hellcats is an American cheerleading comedy-drama series[3] for The CW starring Alyson Michalka, Ashley Tisdale, Robbie Jones, and Matt Barr. Based on the book Cheer: Inside the Secret World of College Cheerleaders by journalist Kate Torgovnick[4] and described as "Election meets Bring It On" by critics,[5][6] the series follows the life of Marti Perkins, a pre-law college student who has to join the cheerleading team, the Hellcats, in order to maintain her scholarship.

Okay so I love this show for a couple reasons: One. It's not that far of a stretch from the Young Adult stories that I love. Matter of fact this could be considered New Adult, you know that new category with writing industry is trying to create for college aged protagonist. I would love to read more of that, by the way. Two. There are some HAWT love triangles in this show (3 to be exact!), and I know all you YA lovers are with me in likin' some saucy love triangles.
 Three: There are interracial relationships. Why isn't there more of this out there? In both the literary world and in Hollywood?

*SIGH* Just watching that little clip reminds me of why I heart this show! LOL If you haven't watched this one...YOU.MUST.GOOGLE.NOW and watch!!

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare --Review

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Title: Clockwork Angel
Author: Cassandra Clare
Hardcover, 479 pages

Published August 31st 2010 by Margaret K. McElderry
SeriesThe Infernal Devices #1
Characters:Tessa Gray, Magnus Bane, Will Herondale, Jem Carstairs, Jessamine Lovelace, Jessamine Lovelace, Henry Branwell, Charlotte Branwell, Nathaniel Gray


Magic is dangerous--but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by--and torn between--two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.
My Thoughts:
Okay, okay so you've caught me. I have never read The Immortal Instruments series, but decided to read this one anyway because I say that Ms. Clare said you didn't have to read it before reading CLOCKWORK ANGEL to be able to follow along. With that being said, I can't say if this novel, being a prequel and all, is better or worse that the original series, but I will tell you I loved this novel. It was fast paced and the characters were witty, especially Will. TEAM WILL here all the way! Tessa had her moments when I didn't connect with her, but she somehow found a way to redeem herself and draw me back in.
PLUS I love when characters have a quest to go along with learning about their supernatural powers. That always makes for an awesome read.
The only thing that keeps this from being a 5 star read for me is it is written in 3rd person. But, that's a personal nitpick I have because I'm a 3rd person snob. Very few books written in 3rd get an "I love this book" from me. This one was pretty dang close, though.
Read this if you like supernatural creatures set in a different time period on a great quest!

Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel --Review

Title: Infinite Days
Author: Rebecca Maizel
Paperback, 310 pages

Published August 3rd 2010 by St. Martin's Griffin
SeriesVampire Queen #1 .


Lenah Beaudonte is, in many ways, your average teen: the new girl at Wickham Boarding School, she struggles to fit in enough to survive and stand out enough to catch the eye of the golden-boy lacrosse captain. But Lenah also just happens to be a recovering five-hundred-year-old vampire queen. After centuries of terrorizing Europe, Lenah is able to realize the dream all vampires have -- to be human again. After performing a dangerous ritual to restore her humanity, Lenah entered a century-long hibernation, leaving behind the wicked coven she ruled over and the eternal love who has helped grant her deep-seated wish.

Until, that is, Lenah draws her first natural breath in centuries at Wickham and rediscovers a human life that bears little resemblance to the one she had known. As if suddenly becoming a teenager weren’t stressful enough, each passing hour brings Lenah closer to the moment when her abandoned coven will open the crypt where she should be sleeping and find her gone. As her borrowed days slip by, Lenah resolves to live her newfound life as fully as she can. But, to do so, she must answer ominous questions: Can an ex-vampire survive in an alien time and place? What can Lenah do to protect her new friends from the bloodthirsty menace about to descend upon them? And how is she ever going to pass her biology midterm?

My Thoughts:

I am a paranormal junkie, but even I have gotten a little burnt out on the vampire craze lately. So, when I got INFINITE DAYS as an ARC to review my expectations weren't that high. I am happy to report that I was surprised by this novel. There are some AMAZING flash back scenes that show just how vicious our vampire queen main character was. I would really love a prequel to this novel for more of those scenes!! You would think a 500 year old vampire wouldn't be able to pull off being a teenager in todays world, but Ms. Maizel created Lenah to be a bratty vampire, therefore she never matured during her 500 years of as a vampire. Don't let that statement lead you to believe she wasn't a likable character, though because she totally was.

The only thing I really didn't like is how Lenah's human love interest, Justin dropped his human girlfriend for Lenah. Maybe if he was single before hand, or if his girlfriend was a complete bitch, it might have worked. I just had a little hard getting past that, but it could've been I was just Team Rhode from the beginning...

All in all, a great read. I really enjoyed this one. All you vampire fans give this one a shot.

YA Novel Discovery Contest: No query? No pitch? No problem!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Serendipity Literary Agency has contacted me and asked me to pass along this contest, so all you aspiring authors listen up!

YA Novel Discovery Contest

No query? No pitch? No problem!

Have a young adult novel—or a YA novel idea—tucked away for a rainy day? Are you putting off pitching your idea simply because you’re not sure how to pitch an agent? No problem! All you have to do is submit the first 250 words of your novel and you can win both exposure to editors, and a reading of your manuscript from one of New York’s TOP literary agents Regina Brooks.

Regina Brooks is the founder of Serendipity Literary Agency and the author of Writing Great Books for Young Adults. Brooks has been instrumental at establishing and building the careers of many YA writers, including three-time National Book Award Honoree and Michael Printz Honoree Marilyn Nelson, as well as Sundee Frazier—a Coretta Scott King Award winner, an Oprah Book Pick and an Al Roker book club selection. As an agent, she is known for her ability to turn raw talent into successful authors.

ADDITIONALLY: The top 20 submissions will all be read by a panel of five judges comprised of top YA editors at Random HouseScholastic, Candlewick,  Harlequin, Sourcebooks and Penguin. The first 100 will receive free autographed copies of Writing Great Books for Young Adults by Regina Brooks. Of the 20, they will pick the top five submissions and provide each author with commentary. These five winners will also receive a free ONE YEAR subscription to The Writer magazine. ONE Grand Prize Winner will win a full manuscript reading and editorial consultation from Regina Brooks and free 10-week writing course courtesy of the Gotham Writer’s Workshop.

Please submit all entries via the contest website at WritingClasses.com/YAPitch. One entry per person; anyone age 13+ can apply. Open to the U.S. & Canada (void where prohibited). Entries for the YA Novel Discovery Contest will be accepted from 12:01am (ET) November 1 until 11:59pm (ET), November 30th

In honor of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo.org)—an international event where aspiring novelists are encouraged to write an entire novel in 30 days—this contest is meant to encourage the aspiring YA author to get started on that novel by offering an incentive for completing the first 250 words.

So enter now! http://bit.ly/YAContest

The Grand Prize Winner
 will have the opportunity to submit an entire manuscript to YA literary agent Regina Brooks AND receive a free, 10-week writing course, courtesy of Gotham Writers' Workshop.

The Top Five Entrants (including the Grand Prize winner) will receive a 15-minute, one-on-one pitch session with Regina Brooks, one of New York’s premier literary agents for young adult books. They will also receive commentary on their submissions by editors at HarperCollins, Penguin, Harlequin, Random House, and Sourcebooks. In addition, they will receive a year’s subscription to The Writer magazine!

The Top 20 Entrants will receive autographed copies of Writing Great Books for Young Adults by Regina Brooks.

YA literary agent Regina Brooks and her team , will read all of the entries and determine the top 20 submissions. These submissions will then be read by Nancy Mercado, Executive Editor at Roaring Brook Press(Macmillan); Nicole Raymond, Editor at Candlewick; Cheryl Klein, Senior Editor at Arthur Levine Books (Scholastic); Leila Sales, Editor Viking (Penguin) Evette Porter, Editor at Harlequin and Leah Hultenschmidt, Executive Editor at Sourcebooks. These judges will whittle the top 20 down to five, and each of the five winners will be provided commentary on their submissions

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer --Review

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Title: Nightshade
Author: Andrea Cremer
Hardcover, 464 pages

Published October 19th 2010 by Philomel
http://www.nightshadebook.com/ .
Series: Nightshade #1
Characters: Calla Tor, Renier Laroche, Seamus Doran (Shay)
Setting:Vail, Colorado (United States)
Special Note: Recieved as apart of an ARC tour

Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything--including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

My Thoughts:

The opening of this novel is fast paced and will hook you in right away. The forbidden romance aspect of the novel really keeps suspense high all through the book. There's just something about two people coming together that shouldn't that hooks me every time. It happened with Twilight, and I got that same feeling here between Calla and Shay. This book has an interesting love triangle dynamic. Ren, the alpha male wolf she is already promised to and Shay, the guy she likes by choice. I really like Shay, but Ren totally controls the scene when he's around, making him my pick between the two.

I had a really interesting discussion with one of my good friends about this book. And she pointed out how sexist the whole wolf system is in this novel, which is true, and even Shay spells this out to Calla in several scenes of the book, but it kind of reminds me of periods in history. Times when women were subservient to men and we not treated equally. To me this story represents Calla's choice to break free from her expected role within her own society and make her own choices. Calla's growth throughout the novel was evident, I just hope she continues on the path of standing up for herself against her pack and leaders in her world.

Read this one if you love paranormal/urban fantasy romance in YA!!

Check out this video about Shay I found on Goodreads! LOL

Winter's Passage by Julie Kagawa

Monday, October 25, 2010

Title: Winter's Passage
Author: Julie Kagawa
ebook, 59 pages

Published June 1st 2010 by Harlequin
Special Note: NetGalley

Meghan Chase used to be an ordinary girl...until she discovered that she is really a faery princess. After escaping from the clutches of the deadly Iron fey, Meghan must follow through on her promise to return to the equally dangerous Winter Court with her forbidden love, Prince Ash. But first, Meghan has one request: that they visit Puck--Meghan's best friend and servant of her father, King Oberon--who was gravely injured defending Meghan from the Iron Fey.

Yet Meghan and Ash's detour does not go unnoticed. They have caught the attention of an ancient, powerful hunter--a foe that even Ash may not be able to defeat....

My Thoughts:

I am truly in love with this series! Winter's Passage is a great short story that bridges the gap from when Meghan leaves her house in book one and sets out for the Winter Court in book two. Ash is my favorite guy in the series and this novella has Ash in every page, so I loooooved it. This story also shows the feelings Ash and Meghan have for each other.

Read this one if you loved The Iron King and before moving on to The Iron Daughter.

Adios Nirvana by Conrad Wesselhoeft --Review

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Title: Adios, Nirvana

Author: Wesselhoeft, Conrad
Length: 235 pages
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult
Publisher / Year: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt / 2010
Released: October 25th, 2010
Special Note: Recieved from Publisher through NetGalley


When you piss off a bridge into a snowstorm, it feels like you're connecting with eternal things. Paying homage to something or someone. But who? The Druids? Walt Whitman? No, I pay homage to one person only, my brother, my twin.

In life. In death.


Since the death of his brother, Jonathan's been losing his grip on reality. Last year's Best Young Poet and gifted guitarist is now Taft High School's resident tortured artist, when he bothers to show up. He's on track to repeat eleventh grade, but his English teacher, his principal, and his crew of Thicks (who refuse to be seniors without him) won't sit back and let him fail.

My Thoughts:

I really loved Jonathan's voice. It was believable. A great voice is what pulls me into the story and then keeps me hooked. The struggle Jonathan goes through to grief is brother is touching, along with the scenes when he visits hospice and goes over WWII with David, the army vet who he has to write a story about for school. I know a death of a loved one can haunt people for years, and Jonathan shows his grief in a realistic ways. The book was wrapped up neatly at the end, so I felt content as I closed the book.

So read this one if you like boy narrated stories, and characters that struggle with their grief.

Also I think if you liked The Sky is Everywhere, you may like this one.

Beautiful Dead: Jonas (Book One) by Eden Maguire

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Title: Beautiful Dead : Jonas (Book 1)
Author: Eden Maguire
Paperback, 288 pages

Published: Sourcefire Books March 2010 (Orginally-April 2nd 2009 by Hodder Children's Books)
more details...
Series-Beautiful Dead #1 .

Something strange is happening in Ellerton High. Phoenix is the fourth teenager to die within a year. His street fight stabbing follows the deaths of Jonas, Summer and Arizona in equally strange and sudden circumstances.

Rumours of ghosts and strange happenings rip through the small community as it comes to terms with shock and loss. Darina,Phoenix's grief-stricken girlfriend, is on the verge. She can't escape her intense heartache, or the impossible apparitions of those that are meant to be dead. And all the while the sound of beating wings echo inside her head! And then one day Phoenix appears to Darina.

Ecstatic to be reunited, he tells her about the Beautiful Dead. Souls in limbo, they have been chosen to return to the world to set right a wrong linked to their deaths and bring about justice. Beautiful, superhuman and powerful, they are marked by a 'death mark' - a small tattoo of angel's wings. Phoenix tells her that the sound of invisible wings beating are the millions of souls in limbo, desperate to return to earth.Darina's mission is clear: she must help Jonas, Summer, Arizona, and impossibly, her beloved Phoenix, right the wrong linked to their deaths to set them free from limbo so that they can finally rest in peace. Will love conquer death? And if it does, can Darina set it free?

My Thoughts:

I loved the spin on 'zombies' in this novel and how they can't move on into the afterlife until they find closure. All of the Beautiful Dead have weird circumstances surrounding their death, and Darina gets roped into helping the dead kids from her school move on.

While it is written that Darina and Phoenix had a tight relationship, I never really got a good feel of how they were before Phoenix died. The opening of the novel just kind of throws you in and sometimes it feels like your missing parts of the story. However, the mystery and the whole 'I gotta figure this out thing' kept me hooked. Book one focuses on Jonas, and I wanted to get to the bottom of Jonas's death just as much as Darina did.

Darina is very likable, but I felt her dialog, along with the secondary characters weren't quite up to todays teen standards. That was the only thing that held me back from totally loving this story, because the plot is quite good.
I did enjoy this one, though. I found myself invested into the story and just had to find out how it ended and what happened to Jonas. Looking forward to book two!

The Frenzy by Francesca Lia Block --Review

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Title: The Frenzy
Author: Francesca Lia Block
Hardcover, 272 pages
Publisher: Harper Teen


Love is a werewolf, influenced by the moon and terror, and always about to change. Liv has a secret. Something happened to her when she was thirteen. Something that changed everything. Liv knows she doesn't belong anymore-not in her own skin, not in her family . . . not anywhere. The only time she truly feels like herself is when she's with her boyfriend, Corey, and in the woods that surround her town. But in the woods, a mysterious woman watches Liv. In the woods, a pack of wild boys lurks. In the woods, Liv learns about the curse that will haunt her forever. The curse that caused the frenzy four years ago. And that may cause it again, all too soon.While Corey and Liv's love binds them together, Liv's dark secret threatens to tear them apart as she struggles to understand who-or what-she really is. And by the light of the full moon, the most dangerous secrets bare their claws. . . .

My Thoughts:

This book was a toughie for me. While I loved the concept of this book, I found I couldn't relate enough to the characters to really invest in them. The idea that Liv is a werewolf and doesn't know it, is exactly the kind of concept I usually go crazy for, but not with this one so much. I did, however, love the idea that her mother is a wolf hunter and there was crazy tension between Liv and her parents.

There were some other interesting things about this book that added a nice spin on the traditional YA friend/relationship dynamics. Liv has a gay best friend, whom she pretends is her boyfriend sometimes so his parents won't find out he's gay and hers won't discover she's dating a black guy. You rarely see interracial relationships in YA books for whatever reason, so it was a nice change of pace.

All in all, I have to say this one just wasn't for me. It could just be me. If you like werewolf stories give it a try and let me know what you think.

Pony Whisperer by Janet Rising --Review

Friday, October 15, 2010

Title: Word on the Yard: v. 1 (Pony Whisperer).

Author: Janet Rising
Paperback, 192 pages

Published June 1st 2010 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (first published June 4th 2009)

The Word on the Yard (The Pony Whisperer, #1)The Word on the Yard by Janet Rising

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Pia has always told her pony everything...only now he’s talking back!!

When Pia’s parents divorce, both Pia and her pony Drummer have to start life in new homes. In this smash hit series from the UK, Pia Edwards finds herself in a new town, new school and new stable. Thanks to a mystical statuette that allows her to talk to horses, she discovers that she isn’t the only one having trouble fitting in and making new friends – ponies have problems, too!

Pia immediately gets off on the wrong foot with Cat, ‘queen’ of the stables, but starts to make friends when her newly-discovered talent helps save a pony from colic. Word spreads about Pia’s pony-whispering powers – then it all goes wrong when she gets her own TV show.

Pia suddenly receives more attention than she ever dreamed – from humans and horses alike. But can her dream last forever? When Pia’s invited on national television to help problem horses by talking to them, she’s mortified to discover she forgot her statue.

Pia is convinced the jig is up when James, a fellow horse lover and total hottie, gallops up with the statue and saves the day. She’s afraid he’ll reveal her secret, but James assures Pia the Pony Whisperer that her secret is safe with him. Maybe this new town isn’t so bad after all.

My Thoughts:

The voice of this Middle Grade(MG) book really grabbed me. Most times I find MG books a little stiff in the beginning, but this one hooked me right in. I really liked Pia, she really opens up and you can almost hear her voice. Her pony on the other hand was very sarcastic, which added a lot of humor to the book. Drum was totally opposite of what I thought a talking horses attitude would be like.

The good thing about Middle Grade novels is you don't have to wait long for the action to get started. The horse starts talking pretty close to the beginning of the book.

I think anyone who likes MG books will love this story about Pia and Drum.

View all my reviews


Losing Faith by Denise Jaden --Review

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Title: Losing Faith
Author: Denise Jaden
Paperback, 377 pages
Published September 7th 2010 by Simon Pulse
Special Note: ARC Review


A terrible secret. A terrible fate.

When Brie's sister, Faith, dies suddenly, Brie's world falls apart. As she goes through the bizarre and devastating process of mourning the sister she never understood and barely even liked, everything in her life seems to spiral farther and farther off course. Her parents are a mess, her friends don't know how to treat her, and her perfect boyfriend suddenly seems anything but.

As Brie settles into her new normal, she encounters more questions than closure: Certain facts about the way Faith died just don't line up. Brie soon uncovers a dark and twisted secret about Faith's final night...a secret that puts her own life in danger.

My Thoughts:
I loved a book that starts off with a good party scene, especially when the main character is debating on doing 'the deed' with her sex crazed boyfriend for the first time. LOL Hooked me in right away. The mystery in this story is what kept me hooked. There just wasn't something quite right with those youth group people. This book took a turn I wasn't prepared for when I found out there was a cult involved and Faith's death might not be a suicide after all.
Alis was my favorite character in the book. He was so darn cute and awkward in a normal teen setting because he'd been home schooled. He was a well written character.
I really liked this novel. Although there was some religious overtones in it, I didn't feel like it got too preachy, so I think the general population of YA readers will enjoy this one.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins-- Review

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Hunger Games (Hunger Games, #1)The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

5 out of 5 stars

This book was just as good as everyone says. Can't believe I waited this long to read it. Katniss is such a humble bad ass and has quickly pushed her way into my list of favorite female protagnist. Plus I've jumped on the TEAM PEETA boat.


View all my reviews

What's the Best Books You've Read In 2010??

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Just curious what's some of the best books you've read in 2010, because I'm wondering if there are few I've missed?

Love to hear your thoughts!
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