Interview with Jason Ancona & contest!

Today, we have the super awesome Jason Ancona on the blog, author of the book Covert Youth Agency. CYA is about a group of "nerds" (you say nerds, I say nerdfighters!) who are secretly a C.I.A for the teens of their school, righting wrongs that have been going on in their student body! My review for it should be going up soon but for now, here's Jason!

What inspired you to write Covert Youth Agency?

In high school, I always wanted to be someone else. Someone better than who I was. Someone much cooler. I wanted to be admired. And liked. And part of something bigger.

Also, I was always fascinated with the C.I.A. and F.B.I., and enjoyed reading true stories about those organizations. I would have loved to have been a part of something like the Covert Youth Agency in high school.

If you could live with three Fictional YA Characters, who would they be?

Katniss Everdeen – I LOVE her. She’s so strong, and yet vulnerable.
Sherlock Holmes - Best sleuth of all time.
Hermione Granger - Think she's the smartest wizard. Sorry, Harry.

Describe your novel in 3 words.
Nerds rule school.

Greatest fear?
No one shows up at my funeral.

Biggest pet peeve?
When people mistreat other human beings. Especially when someone belittles a person in the service industry. Recently I was in a lost baggage claim line, and a guy right behind me was loudly complaining the entire time. He was berating the two workers at the counter from his place in line. And he never shut up. This goon was beyond rude. I cringed, wishing he would just stop. I wanted to say something, but he was bigger than me, and I don’t like being confrontational.

Finally the guy got his bag and went away, while I was waiting for mine from the other worker. When the worker returned with my bag, I said, “What was that guy’s problem? What a jerk.” The worker gave me a big smile and responded, “I know, what was his deal?” I felt better after that, like I connected with the worker. But I was mad at myself for not saying anything. Hopefully I’ll have the courage to speak up next time.

Win a copy of Covert Youth Agency in a Ebook Format! Fill out this form! Deadline is October 31th

Thanks for stopping by!
Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.


Fairview Felines Guest Post!

The question for Michele Corriel was....

Discuss why you write MG versus YA or adult, what’s great about it, what’s hard about it.

In my other life (the one that sort of pays the bills) I’m a freelance magazine writer. I write about art, and houses, interesting people and places. In that world I know I’m writing for an adult audience. When I sit down to write middle grade, I know I’m writing for kids of a certain age, but I don’t do it consciously. I do it because that’s the story that needs to come out, needs to be written by the characters in my head that just happen to be that age.

What’s great about writing Middle Grade books? Everything! I love the fun, most of all. How everything can be just what it seems to be. I know there are some very edgy middle grade books out there … but to me, this age seems to scream for funny books that everyone can read and enjoy. And, as an added bonus, the middle grade voice feels very natural to me. For me, when I’m in the middle grade mode, it’s a matter of connecting with my characters in a very honest, up front way.

Maybe it’s the kid I never was – because when I was in middle school I was more serious than any forty-year-old I ever came across.

I also write YA, although those books aren’t out yet, and for me YA is different, a tad bit more serious, maybe more poetic? I don’t know. I’ve read plenty of YA books that weren’t the least bit poetic, so I guess that’s just my personal YA voice.

And I love to write in all the genres. I don’t feel like I have to be limited to one genre. Maybe that’s something I need to talk to a therapist about J But I feel like I have a lot of stories to tell, and limiting myself to one voice, one age group wouldn’t help me to get those stories out there.
Thanks Michele! Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.


The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Who: Kimberly Derting
What: The Body Finder
When: March 1st, 2010
Why: Hype
How: Contest

Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her "power" to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world . . . and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat left for her. But now that a serial killer is terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he's claimed haunt her daily, Violet realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved by her hope that Jay's intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she's falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his prey herself.

I had heard countless reviews of awesomeness about this book and have been wanting to pick it up for so long! Finally, I won it in a contest! The Body Finder is the story of a girl with a morbid ability who's falling in love for the first time while trying to find a killer...before he kills her.

Violet was a a really good heroine. She was impulsive and determined and had crazy frizzy curls that she wished were straight (me too Violet, me too...). And before you saw how cliche that is, 2/4 girls whose hair is straight when she goes to school is really frizzy curls that she takes like 2 hours to do so she can look "acceptable." Ehh. And it's obviously not cliche if I can relate to her for having them in the first place. Relateability is key!

Then there was the plot. Which was actually pretty cool since you see the Killers POV at the end of some of the chapters and those are just epic. But I would have liked it not to be so romance focused (I can't believe im saying this because I freakin' love romance). Like, most of the book was consumed majorly by Jay and Violet's romance and less about KILLER on the loose. Sometimes I was just like: "Gah, I don't care that you're shopping for shoes and Jay is super awesome, get to the KILLER!"

But when the Killer parts with Violet did come, they were awesome. I swear, my mind was gonna like this: *Da dun, da dun da dun, AHH RUNN! KILLER!" Which is always a good sign. Violet was a character who made some impulsive decisions that may or may not have screwed her over, but hey, don't we all? Which is another thing I liked about!

And then we get to Jay. This is the part in my reviews where I start fangirling. But i'ma be honest, I didn't like Jay. He was annoying, and possessive, and extremely temperamental and bipolar and you KNOW, I don't do bipolar boys. Like she does something, and he doesn't talk to her for a week?! It wasn't that effing bad! He just seems like the type of guy who will become like abusive in his future or something! Sure, he had his rare moments...but overall? Jay is a no-no.


Happy Reading!


In My Maailbox (15)

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi over at The Story Siren and inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie!

For Review:
Awakened by Ednah Walters
Knight Angels: Book of Love by Abra Edner
Knight Angels: Book of Revenge by Adra Edner
Crash into Me by Albert Borris (x2)


The Ivy by Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur (Thanks, Eleni!)
Cate and the Lost Colony by Lisa Klien
& The Twin's Daughter by Lauren Baratz-Logsted (Thanks, Donna!)
Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler
Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.


Personal Demons Week: CONTEST

Today, i'm giving away a SIGNED finished copy of Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers for YOU guys!Canada & US ONLY

Just fill out this FORM.

The Deadline is October 9th! I hope you guys enjoyed Personal Demons Week!
Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.


Personal Demons Week: Interview with LUC

In the final round of Character Interviews, we have LUC (*squeee*) the last in the Frannie-Web in Personal Demons! Luc a character of Pride in and out, and just...SMOKING! And sweet, but sexy ;)


How'd you work your way up from a lesser demon to one of the most important?

Even in Hell there are perks for being the best at what you do. There aren’t too many Acquisition records that I don’t hold. Although I guess I should admit that I did a gig in security for a millennia before I moved to Acquisitions that I wasn’t so hot at. I patrolled the Gates. I had a hard time taking that seriously. Like anyone’s going to try to break into Hell.

What would you do if you had to spend a night in Gabe's house?

I’d say, kill him in his sleep, but he doesn’t.. Sleep, that is. So, puke, most likely.

How's it like living in Hell?

Hot. And crowded. Like I said, I’m very good at what I do. Thanks to me, there are a lot of us down there.

Do you think you'd be as high ranked as you are if you weren't a creature of Pride but of Lust, etc.. etcc..?

First of all, Creatures of Lust are single-minded and truly disgusting. But I’ll overlook your blatant insult for the moment. Creatures of Pride are superior to all others. Creatures of Wrath can’t chill long enough to get anything done, the Greedy sit around and pine for what they don’t have, and the Envious pine for what other have, the Gluttonous are too busy gorging themselves, and don’t even get me started on the lazy. Sloth is the worst. They’re totally useless. None of them have my work ethic, so, the short answer to your question is: no.


And that's Luc! Tomorrow, i'll be doing a Fragment Friday to give you a taste of what Personal Demons is like!

Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.


Personal Demons Week: Interview with Frannie

Today we have Frannie, the protaganist and one of the dual POVs in Personal Demons. She's pessimistic, a tad snarky, and not a big believer in love. And hereeee she is!


First, tell us a bit about yourself. Favorite things, etcc.. etc..

Well, I’m seventeen, and I like working on old cars…especially Mustangs. Um…I don’t know…I do judo, I guess. What else…? Oh! I organize this pen pal thing with kids in Pakistan, which is kinda cool. They did and article about it in the paper. I like to read and I can’t wait to go away to college. I’m going to UCLA in the fall.

How did it feel to learn the guys you feel for aren't human?

I know it sounds stupid, but I really wasn’t scared about Luc. I knew he was different, I guess. I just didn’t realize how different. But I had a hard time believing about Gabe…for a lot of reasons mostly having to do with my brother.

How's it like living with such a big family?

My sisters are all crazy. Well…except for Mary. I don’t know, I guess it’s okay. I’m the only one with my own room, so it could be worse. And I hang out at Grandpa’s a lot, so that helps.

Finally, if you were one of the Seven Deadly Sins, which would you be?

That’s sort of embarrassing, because I think I’d be lust. I’m no angel—I’ve been with guys. Well, not with them, but you know what I mean. I don’t have a problem with lust. I just don’t believe in love.


Well, that's the Frannie! Like her? Hate her? Now, tomorrow we have the last member of the Frannie Web (and my personal favorite!) Luc!

Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.


Personal Demons Week: Interview with Gabe

Today you'll be meeting the lovely angel, Gabe, from Lisa Desrochers novel, Personal Demons! Gabe is the choice of Heaven, working his butt off to get Frannie tagged before Luc gets ahold of her. And tangling himself up in the Frannie-web of love along the way......

How does it feel to love a girl who also loves a demon besides you?

I…I’m not sure I want to…. I’m an angel. I love everybody. It’s what I do. If you’re talking specifically about Frannie…she is free to make her own choices. And I can’t love her. I…can we…. What else do you want to know…?

What would you do if you had a spend a night in Luc's apartment?

Since I don’t sleep, I’d read. He’s got some killer books, like an original Dante’s The Devine Comedy. Course, I’d also have to keep one eye on him, because I totally wouldn’t put it past him to try to screw with me.


How is living in Heaven? As awesome as it seems?

It’s really no big thing. Heaven’s not nearly as stuffy as people think. It’s pretty normal. I just got an iPhone and downloaded a bunch of Three Days Grace and Saving Abel. I play in a pick-up basketball league, train guardian angels and hang out with God. Just the usual stuff. The weather’s pretty decent, and I’ll admit here is a killer view. But I’ve been spending a fair amount of time on Earth with Frannie recently and the view here’s pretty good too.


Thanks for taking the time to be interviewed Gabe! You may return to your Angel duties ;) Tomorrow, you'll be meeting Frannie (the inventor of the Frannie-web) and THEN you'll meet Luc. *dun dun dunnnnn*

Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.


Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers

This week is PERSONAL DEMONS week on the blog!

Who: Lisa Desrocher (who is epic)
What: Personal Demons
When: September 14, 2010
Why: Epic-ness.
How: Gifted by Kelly Hobbs.
Cover note: Still think the people in this cover are WAY too old to be in High School but..it's growing on me.

Frannie Cavanaugh is a good Catholic girl with a bit of a wicked streak.
She's spent years keeping everyone at a distance—even her closest friends—and it
seems her senior year will be more of the same...until Luc Cain enrolls in her
class. No one knows where he came from, but Frannie can't seem to stay away from
him. What she doesn't know is that Luc works in Acquisitions—for Hell—and she
possesses a unique skill set that has the King of Hell tingling with
anticipation. All Luc has to do is get her to sin, and he’s as tempting as they
come. Frannie doesn’t stand a chance.

Unfortunately for Luc, Heaven has
other plans, and the angel, Gabe, is going to do whatever it takes to make sure
that Luc doesn’t get what he came for. And it isn't long before they find
themselves fighting for more than just her soul.

But if Luc fails, there
will be Hell to pay…for all of them

I had first heard of Personal Demons by stumbling upon Lisa's blog, where she posted the first chapter of Personal Demons for everyone to read. That got me hooked. When I heard ALA was gonna have ARCs, I asked my friend Kelly, who I knew was going, if she could snag me a copy. She said she would try but no promises. 2 and a half weeks passed and I had given up hope, then I got a tweet that said: GOT YOU PD! And then I did a lot of this: *dance* and this: *flails*. I expected Personal Demons to be awesome, and it WAS.

Frannie is a "good" catholic girl with a wicked streak, and most of the time, I liked her. She was pessemistic and a tad snarky, which is always a plus. But sometimes I was just like: "Really Frannie, REALLY?" She was one of those characters that you love but sometimes just want to strangle! She is really built on the grief of a past family death and along in the book You have Frannie's POV, which really does help you get inside her head because...well you ARE! But then we have Luc's POV, which really helped learn about his character and why he does what he does. Honestly, I would've thought Luc was a coniving bastard if we didn't have his POV.

Luc, while super sexy and streamy and yummm, was sooo endearing once he got over his "I iz Pride, bow down to me." thing. I loved his relationship with Frannie and how his POV shows you not only how he views her, but how he changes majorly as well. I think thats my favorite part of dual POV, because both of the characters are always affected by the relationship, you just almost never see it.

And then there's Gabe. I can't really tell you much about him expect "he's an angel and...I suppose he's nice..." Even though i'm Luc Fangirl Captain all the way, I do want to see more of him and next books and actually see a little bit into his mind! Thrice POV, maybe? Lisa's hinted at more Gabe thoughts in the future so we'll see! But this is a MUST-READ.


Happy Reading!


SPEAK loudly: it's time to LISTEN.

Ok, i'ma going to try EXTREMELY hard not to go ranting like a manic in this post but....URGH. I never, ever thought i'd have to write this post. But things just come to a point where I wanna punch someone in the face. Since I can't, the next best option is too put it on here.

Banning books and Censorship have always been a problem when it comes to literature. Especially YA. Something that we all fight against, you know, especially being a teenager. They feel that not exposing us to things like books that include sex,rape,drugs,alcohol, underage ANYTHING, will stop us. But i'm sorry adults, it won't. Teens will drink, teens will try drugs, teens will do whatever the hell they feel like it WHEN they feel like it.

But READING about it is not gonna turn us into pot head sex crazed, alcoholic whores. I can promise you that.

But this article, this was just way too much. He called books like Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson and Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler (who is one of the FREAKING NICEST PEOPLE EVER.) filthy and inappropriate to be taught in schools. As a matter of fact, he thinks they should even be in your child's library. Why? Not because it's JUST his opinion, but because CHRISTIANS shouldn't let their children read this immoral stuff.

Soft Porn. That's what he called Speak. This makes me want to cry and kick and scream. IN NO WAY IS RAPE EVER PORN OF ANY SORT. For you to even SUGGEST that is just sick and wrong. Rape is something horrible and awful that HAPPENS in the world. And even though we never want it to happen, it DOES. It happens around us, it happens almost every day. And you can ban all the books you want and whine and complain and burn them, BUT IT ISNT GONNA STOP HAPPENING.

Rape is STILL going to happen to teens and young adults. Not letting us read about it isn't gonna to make it NOT EXIST. It's the brutal and horrible truth of the world and keeping it from us? It isnt going to mask the pain.

Because of people like this, rape survivors feel like they have to be ashamed. I had a friend who was a rape survivor once, and she was always so happy. She smiled and ate lunch with us but you could tell she never healed. You could see that the smile never reached her eyes. Having books like SPEAK let them know that they're NOT ALONE. That this isn't something that they have to face by themselves.

I applaud Laurie Halse Anderson for having the courage to write a book like SPEAK.

I'm tired of being censored and being told i'm too young to read about something. I'm tired of being shielded.

Its time to not just SPEAK UP, but its time to LISTEN.

Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.


Repost: The Giving Tree and why its special

I'm reposting this because I was talking to one of my friends on twitter (I'd post your blog Alybee, but I can't find it *facepalm*). Her and the awesome Shannon Delany were talking about children's books and I mentioned the Giving Tree. Immediately a good response. But then Aly commented that some people didn't like the book and it didn't represent the right things and that....well, pissed me off. Maybe of you might have never read this, because I posted it back when only like 7 people followed the blog (love you all!) but here it is:

The Giving Tree.
It's the story of a small boy who is always playing around the tree (picking apples, resting in the shade). That tree brought him so much happiness and fun. Then he got older and started having "adult" problems. And he'd ask the tree for things and since the tree thought if he gave him those trees, the boy (now man) would play and be with him again. But he would take what he needed and leave, only coming back when he needed something. Pretty soon, all that was left was the stump of the tree.

When I was little, this was just a silly book about a tree and a boy. I was in about 2nd grade. I'm in 9th grade now (I know, freshmen) and to relive some old memories, I read it again. It had me at tears. I had grown up (at least a bit) and now understood the way the story worked.

It wasn't just a story about a tree! It was a a book about loving the things that make you happy and never taking advantage of the things and people that love you. The boy had taken everything from the tree (it's apples, it's lumber, it's branches) because the tree wanted the little boy that loved him back. I think if our old children toys could feel, they would feel the same way. Abandoned, left behind. All those barbies you never play with anymore, those dolls and trucks and those weird Baby Alive babies. They all got left behind as we grew up. The little boy grew up as well.

The little boy grew into a person who was busy to sit in the tree's shade, too old to climb it's branches, too mature to make crowns out of it's leaves. It's a metaphor really. I think what it's trying to say is that when people mature and grow into adults, they leave the imagination and the happiness behind. They focus of business, of making money, and not on the things that made them happy.

See, this is something I love about YA and YA authors. Because they are people who haven't let go of their imagination, of what makes them happy. They've held on to their childhood and molded it to make people like us happy. They are those adults that don't leave the tree behind. When i'm older, I won't leave the tree behind.

Writing this makes me want to read it again :) It's a really beautiful story, even though it's not long at all and has pictures and you can only find it in the children's section at the store.

Don't leave the tree behind. YOU need it as much as it needs you!

Happy Reading,
-Harmony B.


Meet Tamra from Firelight!

Today I have the...lovely Tamra from Firelight by Sophie Jordan with me on the blog! Tamra is Jacinda, the MC's 100% human sister, who never manifested into a draki! And here is...how she feels about that!


1. If you had manifested, do you have any ideas what your talent might have been?

Well, once Jacinda manifested into a fire-breather, everyone kept looking at me like I would turn into a fire-breather, too. I mean, we’re twins. Why wouldn’t we be alike in this way? I guess I kinda expected it to happen for me, too.

2. What talent would you have liked to have?

I’m not sure … other than expecting that I would be a fire-breather, I’m not sure I would have preferred to have any particular talent. I just wanted to manifest like everyone else. Period. What I really would have liked to do … is fly. That’s something I always dreamed about … and maybe the most disappointing thing is that I never will.

3. What are you good at in the human world?

Well, I can drive a car! About the only thing I can do that Jacinda can’t. But seriously, that’s something I’ve never really had a chance to find out … and I’d really like to have that chance. I am human, for all intents and purposes. I belong in the human world. I think I deserve the chance to figure out what it is I’m good at.

4. If you manifested, do you think you'd get along with your sister more?

Sometimes I think it would make things easier … that we would be how we used to be. We would have common ground again. I miss that. Miss when there wasn’t this tension between us.

5. Would you choose Cassian, if he made an offer?

It will never happen. The clearer it became to everyone that I was a defunct draki, the further he pulled away from me. I try not to even contemplate it.

6. What do you think of your sister with Will?

I think if it makes her happy … and makes her forget about going back to the pride, then all the better.

I know we don’t always get along, but I really do want her happy. Even if what makes her happy is Will.

Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.



I interupt this review blogging to bring to you a SPECIAL DAY! Why is it special? How three reason!

Reason 1: It's my Sixth Month Blog-o-versary! I know this doesn't seem like a big deal BUT i'm no longer considered a new-bie! YAY!

Reason 2: PERSONAL DEMONS by Lisa Desrochers is out TODAY! You WANT this book! Like badly! As official fangirl captain, I obviously love it. Review should be up next week along with a little....surprise.

REASON 3: IT'S BIANCA'S BIRTHDAY! You may not know Bianca as Bianca but as Nyxen from
Nyxen's Sidewalk Journey through Life. If you DO know her, you know she is an awesomesauce person with an awesomesauce blog that is GOING places. Bianca, MUAH! Happy, happy birthday and buy lots of books! Hope you liked your present and HERE: is your secret surprise:



In My Mailbox (12 or 13)

In My Mailbox is started by the Story Siren and inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie.

For Review:

Girl Parts by John. M. Cusask (Thanks, Candlewick!)

Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins (Thanks, Hallie!) (!!!!!!!)

Freefall by Anne Levine (Thanks, Anne!)


The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney (Thanks, Julie!)

Acsendant by Diana Peturfrend (I don't know who gave this to me...but thank you!)


The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting and swag. (Thanks, Pam!)


Birthmarked by Caragh 'O Brien

Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.


Butterfly by Sonya Hartnett

To everyone who suffered during 9/11, my condolences go to you. It's a day in history that will never be forgotten, even if I was too young to remember. May they rest in peace.

Who: Sonya Hartnett
What: Butterfly
When: August 2010
Why: Cover love
How: Review Copy from Candlewick

Plum Coyle is on the edge of adolescence. Her fourteenth
birthday is approaching, when her old life and her old body will fall away, and
she will become graceful, powerful, and at ease. The strength of the objects she
stores in a briefcase under her bed —a crystal lamb, a yoyo, an antique watch, a
coin —will make sure of it. Over the next couple of weeks, Plum’s life will
change. Her beautiful neighbor Maureen will begin to show Plum how she might
fly. The older brothers she adores will court catastrophe in worlds that she
barely knows exist. And her friends, her worst enemies, will tease and test,
smelling weakness. They will try to lead her on and take her down

It's going to be complicated writing this review because even after a week of complentating, I still don't know if I liked it or hated it. So i'm gonna try to sort through why I did and why I didn't. Here we go:

Butterfly is about a young girl who has self-esteem issues and just wants to be richer/popular/beautiful. Basic stuff right? Well, Plum (or Aria) was for the most part, was extremely annoying. She was a brat, ungrateful, and just made...issuses with everything. I mean, yeah she's a 14 year old, what can you expect? But i'm a fourteen year old and i'm nothing like her. I never connected with Plum, I just stood in the sidelines going 'Urgh, seriously?" So her, was pretty much a major no-no in my book.

Then came the side characters, which were really well done. Especially her two brothers, which are main components to the story. All of Plum's friends were perfectly judgemental yet caring, even if Plum didn't appreciate them like she should. Sure Dash, Rachel and Sam were especially mean, and I would've dropped them like potatoes if they were my friend, but Caroline and Sophie? Super nice people that she should've tried more to impress than the other jerks.

Now my favorite part of this book was Sonya's writing. She writes in a way so lyrical and beautiful and that's what made me keep turning the pages. It's the way she'd put things, her metaphors and such, that had me eating out of the palm of her hand. The writing is what saved this book from never being finished.

My rating? MEH. Even if the writing was good, the main character pretty much spoiled my enjoyment for this book.

Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.


Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Who: Kiersten White
What: Paranormalcy
When: August 31st
Why: Hype
How: For review from HarperTeen

Weird as it is working for the International Paranormal
Containment Agency, Evie's always thought of herself as normal. Sure, her best
friend is a mermaid, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a
shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals'
glamours, but still. Normal.

Only now paranormals are dying, and Evie's
dreams are filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies. She soon
realizes that there may be a link between her abilities and the sudden rash of
deaths. Not only that, but she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie
prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for

BLEEPING amazing. I'm serious guys, you should go out right now and buy this book and then drop whatever else you're reading and read it and love it then email me so we can fangirl about it together! Best debut of the year!

Kiersten wrote a world that had vampires, werewolves, mermaids, all the usual paranormals and wove it into something so unique and original! Evie works for something called IPCA, where instead of killing paranormals, they just track them and keep them confined so they can't do no harm. She's been working on this since she was a kid, not knowing who her parents are because IPCA picked her up from the foster care system.

Evie was an extremely likeable character! I wish she was real because she'd be an awesome friend to have. Getting to be in her mind was extremely funny with her sarcasm and witty quips! But the book wasn't all funny, which I did like. In truth, Evie had sad thoughts for being alone and scared and empty. I liked that her mind wasn't only funny, but it wasn't completely depressed. It created a nice balance within the story.

And then there's Lend. Oh sweet, sweet Lend. He's awesome, like seriously. He was nice and sweet and just in the words of my fangirl email to Kiersten: "the most IMPERFECT PERFECT TEENAGE BOY EVER." Reason for the imperfect? Because he wasn't perfect. He fumbled with his words, was awkward, sometimes didn't know exactly what to say. That goes for the both of them and was one of my favorite parts. The fact that they were so awkward at times was something that happens with ALL relationships, not the constant 'I love you *make out with fierce intense passion thing' going on.

And Reth.......was creepy. But amusing and actually pretty helpful....but still kinda creepy.


Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.

Waiting on Wednesday...on a Thursday

Waiting on Wednesday was created by Breaking The Spine.

Torment by Lauren Kate
September 18th
Random House

How many lives do you need to live before you find someone worth dying for? In the aftermath of what happened at Sword & Cross, Luce has been hidden away by her cursed angelic boyfriend, Daniel, in a new school filled with Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans. Daniel promises she will be safe here, protected from those who would kill her. At the school Luce discovers what the Shadows that have followed her all her life mean - and how to manipulate them to see into her other lives. Yet the more Luce learns about herself, the more she realizes that the past is her only key to unlocking her future...and that Daniel hasn't told her everything. What if his version of the past isn't actually the way things happened...what if Luce was really meant to be with someone else?

Despite some of Fallen's faults, it really was an overall awesome read. So I can't help but be excited for Torment! And plus, I have MAJOR Cover Lust for this cover. Just OMG....I love all of the Fallen covers. *drools*

Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.


In My Mailbox: The Late Edition

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren and inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie!

For review:

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler


Matched by Ally Condie

and swag, swag, and MORE SWAG!

Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.


Blog Tour: Firelight by Sophie Jordan

Who: Sophie Jordan
What: Firelight
When: September 7th, 2010
How: Gifted by lovely Jennifer.

With her rare ability to breathe fire, Jacinda is special even among the draki—the descendants of dragons who can shift between human and dragon forms. But when Jacinda’s rebelliousness leads her family to flee into the human world, she struggles to adapt, even as her draki spirit fades. The one thing that revives it is Will, whose family hunts her kind. Jacinda can’t resist getting closer to him, even though she knows she’s risking not only her life but the draki’s most closely guarded secret.
I have no idea how i'm going to explain my blunt love for this book. So you should just go buy it. Like now.
(Anything in green is stuff my co-author, who has already read Firelight, had to say about the awesomeness)

Firelight is about a girl named Jacinda who loves being a draki and flying and breathing her fire. Her mom and sister? Yeah, not so much. Especially her super bitter sister, who never manifested. So they move her to the desert and enroll her in high school and there she meets Will, the super hot, tortured ball of awesome draki hunter.

Now the basic premise for Firelight isn't what's so original about it. I mean Predator falling in love with his prey, we've heard that before. But the way Sophie executes it, and the creatures she uses (i've never heard of draki in my life. Dragons, sure, but dragons are boring. Draki were definitely not) are what really make the book stand out among the rest. And then there's the awesome world-building going on there. Sophie invented a whole secret world for them, with type classifications, and locations, and rules. There's clans and even arranged marriages crap. Oh, i'll get into Cassian later!

Jacinda was headstrong, stubborn, and knew what she wanted and tried hard to get it. Jacinda is one of my favorite debut heroines of the year. I loved how she was so in touch with her draki side, how she never wanted to let it go no matter how much her mother tried to convince it wasn't what she needed. She argued that if her draki died, a part of her did, and the fact that she embraced it so much made me nod. You notice a lot in book that a lot of the time the girl never wants to be what she is. But Jacinda did and was determined to stay that way. Even when Will got into the equation.

Will (in the beginning) was an arrogant jerk as pretty much they all are in the beginning. But once he like, opened up, he was so so sweet and nice and honestly cared and loved Jacinda. Now, he was extremely persistent, and Jacinda was a bit of an idiot to get into some strange kid's car in the middle of the night, but I relent. Love at first (or second) sight is extremely hard to pull off without me not thinking it's genuine but she certainly convinced me.
And Cassian. Am I the only one who seriously loves him (or at least, the current and future prospect of him)? I love him too! can't wait to see for more of him in book 2. Agreed! I can't wait! He had that mysterious badass air to him, and.....I like that. Yeah, i'm lame. But Will was still my #1!

Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.


What's Your Genre? Week. Kari from A Good Addiction

Today, we have the blogger Kari talking about her favorite genres and how they work!


One of the best things about YA is that while it is a genre… in some ways… there are so many genres within it, that people can find some niche of it that fits them. I admit, a few years ago when I first started reading it, I primarily stuck to fantasy/paranormal. After awhile of tearing through those, I started branching out. I slipped into the books that deal with the issues, then to the happier contemporary and the chick lit… and now, I will read most anything in YA as long as the book itself appeals to me, rather than having a personal stigma against any subset of it. And with that in mind… for those of you still interested… you now get an expanded version of book recs from me, by subgenre and why each rocks.

Contemporary: My personal favorite. I know the fantasy escape of the supernatural/fantasy books is nice, but I also like the glaring dashes of reality in the contemporary books. Not to mention, many fantasy books have a very contemporary, current setting, with just a bit of the supernatural thrown in. But these books really challenge me, make me question things, and make me really feel. They bring in so many family dynamics, backgrounds and situations… ones that someone, somewhere, just might be going through. Some of my favorites: Anything by Laura Wiess, Lisa Schroeder, CK Kelly Martin. Tell Me A Secret by Holly Cupala, Compromised by Heidi Ayarbe, Split by Swati Avasthi and Hate List by Jennifer Brown.

Dystopian: I have a huge amount of respect for anyone who writes dystopian. It is creating your own world that is, in my opinion, in a different way than the world building in fantasies. You are building an entirely new construct, setting, living experience… and there are so many ways that this can just not go right. But when it’s done well… these books have a powerful, lingering effect. Patrick Ness’ Chaos Walking trilogy is phenomenal, as is, of course, The Hunger Games. Caragh O’Brien’s Birthmarked and James Dashner’s The Maze Runner are also some striking dystopians.

Historical: I admit, this is the genre I read the least of. For me, what works the best, are the ones that while being clearly historical, it’s easy for me, as a chick in 2010, to read, and it’s got enough connection to me to still get into it. Some great ones: Everlasting by Angie Frazier and Crossing the Tracks by Barbara Stuber.

Chick Lit: I think I actually read more of this than I realize. But I have read some great fluffy books that still had some deeper things going on, not to mention they were just, well, light and fun. I’m going to put the romancey books into this category, since I can’t really see many boys picking them up… call me sexist on that, but all the guys I know, even the ones who read YA, won't pick up a romance. The ones recommended by me: The Naughty List by Suzanne Young, anything Jennifer Echols and Simone Elkeles, and Kiss It by Erin Downing. I would even put the Gallagher Girls books by Ally Carter into this section, despite the spy girls aspect.

Fantasy/Supernatural/Paranormal: Honestly, I couldn’t tell you what the difference between these three are, and I think many books blur the lines with it… so we are going to mix them all together for this post. This is definitely the most popular category in YA, but considering not only how rapidly these subsets are growing and the great quality of them, it’s really no surprise. Authors are free to create their own world, or simply twist the one we already know. There are books where it’s all new, and ones where it is pretty much a contemporary, except for that one supernatural type twist. This subset has expanded so much that people can read only this and never run out of books, not to mention there is likely going to be something for everyone unless the person just doesn’t want to read fantasy, etc. Some great ones that I loved: Strange Angels series, Vampire Academy, Angelfire by Courtney Moulton, Firelight by Sophie Jordan, Paranormalcy by Kiersten White, Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus, Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater… this list is pretty endless.

So… that’s my views on the main categories of YA and some recs to get your feet wet in each. There really is something for everyone, and there is a reason YA has exploded in the past few years.


What's Your Genre? Week: Lauren Baratz-Logsted on Historical

Today, we have Lauren Baratz-Logsted talking about Historical Fiction!


Of the 23 books I've sold to publishers since 2003 the overwhelming majority have been set in contemporary times. Only three have been historical, all set in Victorian England: the adult novel Vertigo and the YA novels The Education of Bet and The Twin's Daughter. In each case I never made a decision first, "Oh, I want to write a historical novel!" Rather, setting was dictated by story idea. Vertigo is about a society wife who strikes up a correspondence with a man in prison for murdering his own wife who ultimately decides that the only way to get the life she wants is for her husband to get out of the way. The Education of Bet is about a teenager who will go to drastic lengths to get an equal education. The Twin's Daughter is about a teen who discovers her gorgeous mother has an identical twin who was raised in the workhouse. For either social or forensics reasons, all three stories only work if set in a time period other than our own.

In the case of Vertigo, I did no research before sitting down to write the first draft. Rather, I was guided by a lifetime of reading many novels set in that time period and a love of Masterpiece Theatre. It was only after the first draft was completed that I went back and read some 10 books on Victorian architecture and design and penal law so those details would be as accurate as I could make them.

For The Education of Bet, I re-read the classic novel of English boarding school life, Tom Brown's Schooldays by Thomas Hughes, to get an overview of what constituted bullying at that time and to remind myself of details of that very specific setting. I also researched how Will, the boy Bet is raised with, might go about secretly joining the military.

Finally, for The Twin's Daughter, since Lucy is essentially home-schooled, I did a lot of research on what she might be reading in the 1800s. I also researched British military involvements of the time for Lucy's love interest, Kit, and a lot on Victorian fashion.

That's it, really! Except before closing I would like to clear up two points. I've seen a few bloggers, when discussing The Education of Bet, quoting something that says that girls weren't allowed to go to school in Victorian England. I have no idea where they're getting that because I never said that, the book never says that, and it's simply untrue. The reason Bet is denied an education is because of social status. Could girls go to school? Of course. Would the deceased maid's daughter be given an expensive education? Of course not. Another mistake I've been seeing is a few sites saying The Twin's Daughter takes place during WWI. Again, there's nothing I've ever written in the book or said about the book to indicate anything other than that it takes place in the 1800s so I don't know where this is coming from either. Not complaining - an author should never do that! - but I am explaining for once, something I normally caution authors against, because while I don't mind at all being taken to task for errors I have made, I rather prefer not being so for things I've never said.

And now that really is it - thanks for having me!


What's Your Genre? Week: Caragh M. O’Brien on Dystopian

“Dystopia” sounds like a kind of near-sighted vertigo, but actually it’s worse. In essence, a dystopia is the opposite of a utopia, an ideal society. It’s a society where something has gone very wrong. If you ever read Orwell’s 1984, Rand’s Anthem, Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Lowry’s The Giver or more recently McCarthy’s The Road, Collins’s The Hunger Games or Ness’s The Knife of Never Letting Go, you’ve read a dystopian novel.

Beyond that definition--the opposite of an ideal society--the parameters are pretty wide open. What makes a dystopian novel (often simply called “a dystopia,” or “a dystopian”) interesting is that it calls into question what makes a society work at all, and it holds up a twisted mirror to our own society so that we’re likely to squirm at a freshly seen truth, even if it’s extreme in the novel. Cloning, climate change, plastic surgery, suburbia, and child warriors are all fair game. The action can take place in the future or in an alternative reality, and because of this, dystopian novels often are categorized with Sci-fi.

Dystopian novels have conflict inherently built in, because any self-respecting protagonist is certain to start resisting the warped society sooner or later. Even a small, private action like keeping a diary or a list of baby names becomes political, with bigger repercussions. Such novels are fun to write for this reason, and at the moment, popular to read as well.

In the recent surge of middle grade and young adult dystopian novels, gutsy young protagonists abound. They’re smart. Like Katniss Everdeen, they’re survivors, even if they aren’t literally fighting for their lives in a deadly arena. Under pressure, these survivors discover what matters to them: the people they love, their own morals, and what’s worth living for. They often laugh and act like regular kids along the way, so it’s easy to love them.

In short, a dystopia brings out the best in us. Maybe we should try living in one. Just kidding.

Are you already a dystopia fan? Can you match the following mini summaries to the titles further below? This is an eclectic compilation of some of my favorite middle grade and young adult dystopian novels, recent and classic.

1. A boy clone exists to provide genetically matching organ transplants for El Patron.
2. A teen midwife from outside the wall tries to save her parents arrested by the Enclave.
3. Twelve districts each donate two children who will fight each other to the death on TV.
4. Families are allowed to have two children maximum, but a third child lives in secret.
5. A young boy discovers choice and color in a world where they’ve been eliminated.
6. A boy and a dog, who read men’s and animals’ minds, run with a girl to evade killers.
7. A girl on an orchid farm receives a plea for help from across the forbidden borderline.
8. At sixteen, everyone has an operation to become beautiful, until one girl rebels.
9. A girl wakes post-coma with amnesia, an awkward body, and a family full of secrets.
10. A boy’s brain chip connects him to ads, other teens, and a girl who resists her chip.

A. The Adoration of Jenna Fox (2008) by Mary E. Pearson
B. Among the Hidden (1998) by Margaret Patterson Haddix
C. Birthmarked (2010) by Caragh M. O’Brien
D. Feed (2002) by M. T. Anderson
E. The Giver (1993) by Lois Lowry
F. The House of the Scorpion (2002) by Nancy Farmer
G. The Hunger Games (2008) by Suzanne Collins
H. The Knife of Never Letting Go (2008) by Patrick Ness
I. The Line (2010) by Teri Hall
J. The Uglies (2005) by Scott Westerfeld

Answers: 1-F, 2-C, 3-G, 4-B, 5-E, 6-H, 7-I, 8-J, 9-A, 10-D.

-Caragh M. O’Brien is the author of the dystopian novel Birthmarked, recently nominated for the YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults. For more info, see www.caraghobrien.com.


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