Monday, January 31, 2011

It's Monday! What are you reading?


It's Monday! What are you reading? This great meme is hosted by One Persons Journey Through a World of Books. Each week will share with you the books we are reading, just finished reading and those books we are planning to read this week.

Currently reading:
Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey

Just finished reading:
Jenna & Jonah's Fauxmance by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin
Prom & Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg

Planning to read:
Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper
Swoon by Nina Malkin

Please share with us what you are currently reading in a comment. We'd love to check out your blog. :o)

Review: You Killed Wesley Payne By: Sean Beaudoin


Review: You Killed Wesley Payne By Sean Beaudoin
Release Date: February 1, 2011
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Genre: YA Mystery/Crime, Fiction, Pulp Noir

The Story: (from http://www.youkilledwesleypayne.com/)

He’s come to do a job.

A job that involves a body.

A body wrapped in duct tape found hanging from the goal posts at the end of the football field.

You Killed Wesley Payne is a truly original and darkly hilarious update of classic pulp-noir, in which hard-boiled seventeen year old Dalton Rev transfers to the mean hallways of Salt River High to take on the toughest case of his life. The question isn’t whether Dalton’s going to get paid. He always gets paid. Or whether he’s gonna get the girl. He always (sometimes) gets the girl. The real question is whether Dalton Rev can outwit crooked cops and killer cliques in time to solve the mystery of “The Body” before it solves him.

Sean Beaudoin (Going Nowhere Faster, Fade to Blue) evokes the distinctive voices of legendary crime/noir authors Dashiell Hammett and Jim Thompson with a little bit of Mean Girls and Heathers throw in in for good measure. It’ll tease you, please you, and never ever leave you. Actually, that’s not true. It’s only a book. One that’s going to suck you in, spit you out, and make you shake hands with the devil. Probably.

My Review: What to say about You Killed Wesley Payne? Much about this book was over the top. Usually this would annoy the daylights out of me, yet in this book it... worked. This book was like Grease meets Who Framed Roger Rabbit? an odd combination to be sure.

I don't want to get into the plot too much, it would be easy to slip and include spoilers. So, I'm keeping this simple. I, for one, found myself laughing nearly the entire way through the book. You Killed Wesley Payne has a dark, edgy humor that will set your teeth on edge if you don't like that sort of thing and maybe even if you do. Those of you who have followed BCM for a while know that I am a really odd person, so you should not be surprised at my rating below.

Now, here I should go into the deeper issues of how deeply disturbed the characters are. Maybe something about the problems of cliques, etc. I should probably consult a psychologist. In fact, I should have recommended to the author, Sean Beaudoin, that he seek immediate professional help. Instead, I interviewed him (a much better and more productive use of my time). Check back tomorrow to see what he has to say.

My Rating:

Sunday, January 30, 2011

IMM - Take 28

All of us here at BCM are so excited to be a part of the awesome list of blogs who participate in the "In My Mailbox" meme. In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren so make sure you check out her book blog for a list of many of the blogs participating. She also has some helpful information on how to participate on your own blog. Click HERE to find out more.

This is a weekly meme where we will post any books (and other things) that we have received in the mail, bought, loaned from the library, etc. It's not limited to just books. It can be anything we have just gotten and are excited about.

This week we are excited about the following:

Mindy won from Goodreads: 


 
Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke

Kendra received from the library: 




Prom & Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg
The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
The Lost Saint by Bree Despain

Cindy received via purchase: 

The False Princess by Eilis O’Neal
Shadowspell (Faeriewalker Series #2) by Jenna Black

Via Blog Tour:

Prom & Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg

From publishers for review: 


Jenna & Jonah’s Fauxmance by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin
Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper
Mad Love by Suzanne Selfors

Since Kendra and I both got Prom & Prejudice this week we're going to post a joint review of it soon. We love doing joint reviews and this book is so much fun to read. :-) 

What did you get in your mailbox this week? Pleas leave us a link and we'll stop by to check out your blog.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Review: Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: February 15, 2011
Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal

The Story: (from HarperTeen) First there are nightmares. 

Every night Ellie is haunted by terrifying dreams of monstrous creatures that are hunting her, killing her. 

Then come the memories. 

When Ellie meets Will, she feels on the verge of remembering something just beyond her grasp. His attention is intense and romantic, and Ellie feels like her soul has known him for centuries. On her seventeenth birthday, on a dark street at midnight, Will awakens Ellie's power, and she knows that she can fight the creatures that stalk her in the grim darkness. Only Will holds the key to Ellie's memories, whole lifetimes of them, and when she looks at him, she can no longer pretend anything was just a dream. 

Now she must hunt. 

Ellie has power that no one can match, and her role is to hunt and kill the reapers that prey on human souls. But in order to survive the dangerous and ancient battle of the angels and the Fallen, she must also hunt for the secrets of her past lives and truths that may be too frightening to remember.

My Review: Ellie is a beautiful, popular soon to be seventeen year old who is suddenly having nightmares that scare her even after she's awake. When Will, a strange but attractive boy shows up, Ellie can't help but to be drawn to him. He's brooding, covered in tattoos and comforts Ellie in a way she's not sure she trusts at first. It isn't long before Ellie's nightmares become a reality, though, and she realizes she has no choice but to trust Will. 

She learns that she's the Preliator and that Will is her Guardian. Together, they are supposed to be fighting the awful creatures of the Grim. The problem is, Ellie has never survived. At some point in each of her past lives she has been killed, no matter how hard Will tries to protect her. Ellie normally returns in human form within a few years but this time Will had to wait four decades. Neither of them is quite sure what it means but the fact that Ellie is taking longer than usual to remember her past lives is also something to worry about. 

Ellie and Will's growing relationship kept me turning the pages well past when I should have been asleep for the night. The action scenes in Angelfire are unparalleled in YA books. Courtney gives you amazing detail of each fight that will keep you on the edge of your seat. I am super excited about book two in this series and am looking forward to more from this talented new author. 
My Rating: 

Learn more about Courtney Allison Moulton by checking out her WEBSITE, BLOG and TWITTER.

Guest Post with Eilis O'Neal


I am so excited to have the Eilis O'Neal, the author of The False Princess, here with us today for this fun guest post. I have forced her to choose only FIVE books for a trip. Can you imagine? 

Here is her topic: You are going away for an unspecified length of time and can only take 5 books with you. 3 can be previously released but 2 must be upcoming books you've never read. What books would you choose and why? How do your choices help us get to know you better?

Eilis's Response: Just looking at this guest post topic makes my stomach clench a little bit. After all, when packing for trips, I'm a person who thinks Surely I can wear that sweater three times in a week if I'm getting concerned that I won't have enough room for books. I've actually had nightmares about finishing my last book on a plane over the Atlantic and having nothing to read for seven hours. But, if forced by dire circumstances to chose just five books to take on a trip, I think I would have to go with these.
The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. I would pack my omnibus edition, which I'm going to say isn't cheating, because it's all bound together and Tolkien really did consider it one book. I love The Lord of the Rings. In fact, I think I'm legally obligated to, because my middle name is Arwen.  Before I was old enough to actually read the story, my dad used to tell it to me—sort of LOTR Highlights Edition. As an adult, I appreciate everything about the books, but especially Tolkien's worldbuilding, which is still the gold standard for fantasy.
The Once and Future King by T. H. White. I love the Arthurian legends, and when I think about the various versions of the story, this is where my brain starts. The Once and Future King is so densely packed, with everything from laugh out loud moments during Wart's childhood to parts that make my cry no matter how many times I've read it. And it's one of those books that grows with you, so that I'm still getting new insights from it whenever I re-read it.
The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper. This choice might be influenced by the fact that I've recently gotten a yen to re-read this series. (I'm not going to cheat on this one, though, and say that I'd bring my omnibus. I'll stick with just this book.) I read Susan's Cooper's The Dark Is Rising series for the first time when I was thirteen, and by the time I was fifteen I think I'd read it about four more times. As an Anglophile, I love the Englishness of these books. And when you combine that with the age-old battle of Dark vs. Light, you have something right up my alley.
So those are books that I already know and love that I would take with me. As for two upcoming books I haven't read, I think I'd choose these.
The sequel to Robin McKinley's Pegasus. I nearly had a fainting fit when I realized the sequel to Pegasus won't be out until 2012. I mean, gah! Why my angst? Because I loved Pegasus, with it's plucky princess Sylvi and her pegasus best friend, Ebon, and the innovative world McKinley created for them.  Because it was one of McKinley's best books, and it ended on a terrible cliffhanger. Because I've had athing about unicorns and pegasi since I was three. (Seriously, picture anything sparkly, multicolored and unicorn-related and it ended up in my childhood room. I have better taste now, though. Really. There are fewer sparkles.) 
Huntress by Malindo Lo. I really loved Lo's debut novel, Ash, for a lot of reasons. I enjoyed the flavor of the book, both the fairy-tale retelling aspects and new world Lo built. I liked that it portrayed two girls falling in love no fanfare aside from that of two people learning that they love each. Ash also has a quietness to it that I really appreciated on the first reading it felt like a comfy sweater. So I can't wait to read Huntress, which takes place in the same world many years before Ash.

Thank you so much for humoring me with this guest post, Eilis! 

If you'd like to follow along with th rest of this blog tour just click on the graphic at the top of this post.  

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Review; The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal


The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal
Publisher: Egmont USA
Release Date: January 25, 2011
Genre: YA Fantasy

The Story: (from author's website) Princess and heir to the throne of Thorvaldor, Nalia has led a privileged life at court. But everything changes when she learns, just after her sixteenth birthday, that she is a false princess, a stand-in for the real Nalia, who has been hidden away for her protection. Cast out with little more than the clothes on her back, the girl now called Sinda must leave behind the city, her best friend, Kiernan, and the only life she’s ever known.
 
Sent to live with her only surviving relative, a cold, scornful woman with little patience for her newfound niece, Sinda proves inept at even the simplest tasks. Then she discovers that magic runs through her veins – long-suppressed, dangerous magic that she must learn to control – and she realizes that she will never learn to be just a simple village girl.

Sinda returns to the city to seek answers. Instead, she rediscovers the boy who refused to forsake her, and uncovers a secret that could change the course of Thorvaldor’s history, forever.

My Review: The synopsis of this book pulled me in right away. Could you imagine learning that your entire life has been a fraud and that your parents aren't really who you thought they were? And that you aren't even who you thought you were? 

This book was interesting on many levels. I loved watching Sinda grow and realize her choices and actions had consequences. There is some mystery as to who is endangering the lives of the royal court and it's up to Sinda and her best friend Kiernan to solve before it's too late. There were some unexpected twists that I enjoyed as well. 

The storyline is fast paced in the beginning but begins to slow down more towards the middle. One minute Nalia is the princess and the next she's Sinda and her life is completely upside down. There is some romance that is very well written and appropriate for readers of all ages. I loved the magical elements to the story and thoroughly enjoyed the complex characters. Overall, I found this book to be very enjoyable and would highly recommend it. 

My Rating: 




This review is a part of The False Princess Blog Tour with The Teen {Book}Scene. You can follow along with the rest of the tour by clicking on the graphic below.




Review: Lost on Spirit River by Tommy Batchelor




Lost on Spirit River by Tommy Batchelor
Publisher: Mirror Publishing
Publication Date: November 2010
Genre: MG (ages 9-12)

The Story: For ages 12 and up. Thirteen-year-old Tony's parents are in the middle of divorce, his mother sends him to his Grandpa's along the banks of the Flint River in Southwestern Georgia. With his younger cousin Kathryn, they set out to look for a Christmas tree for the holidays, along with Grandpa's aging beagle, Sally. The three become lost in a snowstorm, which has not hit Georgia in three hundred years. Finding shelter in a hidden cave, stumbling upon Native American art. Now the adventure begins. "Lost on Spirit River", is Book 1 of the Spirit River Trilogy and Tommy's first Middle grade fiction for ages 8-12.

My Review: Lost on Spirit River is an entertaining book, but some of the dialogue seemed unconsistant with young kids. But the main themes behind the story were cute. Kids working together to accomplish a task.


Review: The Dragon Heir By: Cinda Williams Chima


Review: The Dragon Heir By: Cinda Williams Chima
Release Date: August 12, 2008
Publisher: Hyperion
Genre: YA Fantasy

The Story: (From Goodreads) For centuries, wizards have avoided making war on each other for fear of waking the legendary dragon that sleeps at Raven’s Ghyll. But it is a new age. The patriarch Nicodemus Snowbeard is rapidly failing. The Wizard Houses of the Red and White Rose have united against Claude D’Orsay, Master of Games and keeper of the Dragonhold. D’Orsay and his sadistic son Devereaux seem poised to seize control of all of the magical guilds. But everything changes during a raid on the Ghyll, when the magical stone called the Dragonheart is stolen. It is rumored to be both a deadly weapon and the source of power for all the magical guilds.

In Britain and in Trinity, Jason Haley battles his own demons as he seeks revenge against those who murdered his father. Seph McCauley assumes more and more responsibility as he struggles to keep the Roses at bay. The warriors Jack Swift and Ellen Stephenson train for a battle that they hope never comes, while their Anaweir friends Will and Fitch contribute their technical knowledge to the defense of the Sanctuary.

Over Seph’s objections, the moody and mysterious Madison Moss has gone home to the hills she loves and hates. She sees in the coming battle the destruction of everything she cares about. But it is becoming increasingly clear that Madison may hold the key to the survival of the Sanctuary at Trinity, if the Weirguilds can win her support before she’s found and taken by the other side.

My Review: As soon as I finished The Wizard Heir, I picked up this book, without even pausing. I just could not wait to find out what happened to all the characters I found so intriguing.

The magical guilds are at war. The wizards want to maintain the control they've had for centuries, but the other guilds do not want to give up what little influence they gained from the conclusion of the last Game (occurred in The Warrior Heir). Jason has discovered some powerful objects in Raven's Ghyll, one of which could destroy them all.

As the story unfolds, there are surprising twists and turns around every corner. In The Dragon Heir we discover the truth behind all the guild myths including how the guilds received their powers. There's even a surprise about a beloved character, Nick Snowbeard. This was an awesome read, but I feel I should offer a warning (without too much of a spoiler): Chima's descriptions in the "last" battle could leave you aggravated and sad, because as with any war, there are losses on both sides.

My Rating:
Rarely do I give every book in a series the same rating, but this once certainly deserved it...


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Review: the Wizard Heir By: Cinda Williams Chima

Review: The Wizard Heir By: Cinda Williams Chima Release Date: May 1, 2007 Publisher: Hyperion Genre: YA Fantasy The Story:(from Goodreads) Sixteen-year-old Seph McCauley has spent the past three years getting kicked out of one exclusive private school after another. Unfortunately it’s not his attitude that’s the problem. It’s the trail of magical accidents—lately, disasters—that follow in his wake. Seph is a wizard, orphaned and untrained—and now that the only person who could protect him has died, his powers are escalating out of control.

After causing a tragic fire at an after-hours party, Seph is sent to the Havens, a secluded boys’ school on the coast of Maine. At first, it seems like the answer to his prayers. Gregory Leicester, the headmaster, promises to train Seph in magic and initiate him into his mysterious order of wizards. But Seph's enthusiasm dampens quickly when he learns that training comes at a steep cost, and that Leicester plans to use his students' powers to serve his own mysterious agenda.

In this companion novel to the exciting fantasy The Warrior Heir, everyone's got a secret to keep: Jason Haley, a fellow student who’s been warned to keep away from Seph; the enchanter Linda Downey, who knew his parents; the rogue wizard Leander Hastings, and the warriors Jack Swift and Ellen Stephenson. This wizard war is one that Seph may not have the strength to survive.

My Review: As promised, I began this book as soon as I completed the review for The Warrior Heir. I would have posted this review sooner, but I did not take the time to stop and review before I started the third book The Dragon Heir...

Seph is very powerful. He knows that he is a wizard, but he has not been trained to control or use his powers. Raised by an enchanter, he did not know who his parents were. At the beginning of the book, we discover that he is orphaned (the enchanter had died before this story began), and is headed to an exclusive all boys school due to some... er, mishaps. His guardian determined that it was in his best interests to go to Maine.

Things in Maine did not go the way that Seph was expecting. He discovers more wizards like him, but they are not offering to train him as he had hoped. He barely survives the exclusive school with his sanity intact, but he does make a new friend, Jason(another wizard) he teaches him how to cope with life at school though he had been strictly forbidden to have contact with Seph. Seph manages to escape with the help of Linda Downey who takes him to Trinity, Ohio.

In Trinity, Seph finally begins to receive the training he really needs. But he soon discovers more than just how to use his powers. There's a girl who's not what she seems (yet she's not a member of the guilds), there's intrigue all around in the escalating chaos since the Game, and Seph finally learns the information he's always wanted to know: who his real parents were.

This book was just as good as The Warrior Heir, only better in some ways. Seph is a great character that is easy to fall in love with. I mean, who wouldn't fall in love with an orphaned, very powerful wizard whose eyes change colors, and he's always trying to do right, but usually things go awry? We get to meet some interesting new characters, plus Jack, Ellen, Will, Linda, Leander, and the rest of the old gang are back in this adventure. The Wizard Heir was just as exciting to read as The Warrior Heir. (Now, I've already read Dragon Heir, the conclusion of the trilogy, but I'm afraid you will have to wait a bit for my review).

My Rating:

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Delirium Blog Tour Day Two: An Excerpt & Giveaway



Welcome to Day Two of the Official Delirium Blog Tour! Today we will be sharing an excerpt from chapter two of the book with you.

Here is the synopsis of the book, just in case you haven't yet read it:

Summary from HarperTeen: Ninety-five days, and then I'll be safe. I wonder whether the procedure will hurt. I want to get it over with. It's hard to be patient. It's hard not to be afraid while I'm still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn't touched me yet. Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don't.





And now, please enjoy this excerpt:

 
Excerpt:
Chapter Two.

We must be constantly on guard against the Disease; the health of our nation, our people, our families, and our minds depends on constant vigilance. —“Basic Health Measures,” The Safety, Health, and Happiness Handbook, 12th edition, p. 7

            The smell of oranges has always reminded me of funerals. On the morning of my evaluation it is the smell that wakes me up. I look at the clock on the bedside table. It's six o'clock.
            The light is gray, the sunlight just strengthening along the walls of the bedroom I share with both of my cousin Marcia’s children. Grace, the youngest one, is crouched on her twin bed, already dressed, watching me. She has a whole orange in one hand. She is trying to gnaw on it, like an apple, with her little kid’s teeth. My stomach twists and I have to close my eyes again to keep from remembering the hot, scratchy dress I was forced to wear when my mother died; to keep from remembering the murmur of voices, a large rough hand passing me orange after orange to suck on, so that I would stay quiet. At the funeral I ate four oranges, section by section, and when I was left with only a pile of peelings heaped on my lap I began to suck on those, the bitter taste of the pith helping to keep the tears away.
            I open my eyes and Grace leans forward, the orange cupped in her outstretched palm.
            "No, Gracie." I push off my covers and stand up. My stomach is clenching and unclenching like a fist. "And you're not supposed to eat the peel, you know."
            She continues blinking up at me with her big, gray eyes, not saying anything. I sigh and sit down next to her. "Here," I say, and show her how to peel the orange using her nail, unwinding bright orange curls and dropping them in her lap, the whole time trying to hold my breath against the smell. She watches me in silence. When I'm finished she holds the orange, now un-peeled, in both hands, as though it's a glass ball and she's worried about breaking it.
            I nudge her. "Go ahead. Eat now." She just stares at it and I sigh and begin separating the sections for her, one by one. As I do I whisper, as gently as possible, "You know, the others would be nicer to you if you would say something once in a while."
            She doesn't respond. Not that I really expect her to. My Aunt Carol hasn't heard her say a word in the whole five years and three months of Grace’s life--not a single syllable. Carol thinks there's something wrong with her brain, but so far the doctors haven't found it. "She's as dumb as a rock," Carol said matter-of-factly, just the other day, watching Grace turn a bright-colored block over and over in her hands, as though it was beautiful and miraculous, as though she expected it to turn suddenly into something else.
            I stand up and go toward the window, moving away from Grace and her big staring eyes and thin, quick fingers. I feel sorry for her.
             Marcia, Grace’s mother, is dead now. She was walking down the street one day and—bam! Heart attack.
            Hearts are fragile things. That’s why you have to be so careful.
            It will be hot today, I can tell. It's already hot in the bedroom, and when I crack the window to sweep out the smell of orange, the air outside feels as thick and heavy as a tongue. I suck in deeply, inhaling the clean smell of seaweed and damp wood, listening to the distant cries of the seagulls as they circle endlessly, somewhere beyond the low gray sloping buildings, over the bay. Outside, a car engine guns to life. The sound startles me, and I jump.
            "Nervous about your evaluation?"
            I turn around. My Aunt Carol is standing in the doorway, her hands folded.
            "No," I say, though this is a lie.
            She smiles, just barely, a brief flitting thing. "Don't worry. You'll be fine. Take your shower and then I'll help you with your hair. We can review your answers on the way."
            "Okay." My aunt continues to stare at me. I squirm, digging my nails into the windowsill behind me. I’ve always hated being looked at. Of course, I'll have to get used to it. During the exam there will be four evaluators staring at me for close to two hours. I'll be wearing a flimsy plastic gown, semi-translucent.
            "A seven or an eight, I would say," my aunt says, puckering her lips. It's a decent score and I'd be happy with it. "Though you won't get more than a six if you don't get cleaned up."
            Senior year is almost over, and the evaluation is the final test I will take. For the past four months I've had all my various board exams--math, science, oral and written proficiency, sociology and psychology and photography (a specialty elective)--and I should be getting my scores some time in the next few weeks. I'm pretty sure I did well enough to get assigned to a college.
            The evaluation is the last step, so I can get paired. In the coming months the evaluators will send me a list of four or five approved matches. One of them will become my husband after I graduate college (assuming I passed all my boards. Some girls get paired and married right out of high school.) The evaluators will do their best to match me with people who received a similar score in the evaluations. As much as possible they try to avoid any huge disparities in intelligence, temperament, social background, and age.
            The stairs let off their awful moaning, and Grace's sister, Jenny, appears. She is nine and tall for her age, but very thin: all angles and elbows, her chest caving in like a warped sheet pan. It’s terrible to say, but I don’t like her very much. She has the same pinched look as her mother did.
            She joins my aunt in the doorway and stares at me. I am only 5' 3" and Jenny is, amazingly, just a few inches shorter than I am now. It's silly to feel self-conscious in front of my aunt and cousins, but a hot, crawling itch begins to work its way up my arms. I know they're all worried about my performance at the evaluations. It's critical that I get paired with someone good. Jenny and Grace are years away from their procedures. If I marry well, in a few years it will mean extra money for the family. It might also make the whispers go away, sing-song snatches that five years after the scandal still seem to follow us wherever we go, like the sound of rustling leaves carried on the wind: Sympathizer. Sympathizer. Sympathizer.
            It's only slightly better than the other word that followed me for years after my mom's death, a snake-like hiss, undulating, leaving its trail of poison. Suicide. A sideways word, a word that people whisper and mutter and cough: a word that must be squeezed out behind cupped palms or murmured behind closed doors. It was only in my dreams that I heard the word shouted, screamed.
            I take a deep breath, then duck down to pull the plastic bin from under my bed so that my aunt won't see I'm shaking.
~~~
Also check out this video of Lauren Oliver talking about her inspiration for Delirium and other fun facts about this amazing book:



Be sure to follow along with the rest of the blog tour for more exciting information about the book and more chances to win.
Monday: Between the Covers - Welcome to the World of Delirium
Wednesday: A Good Addiction - Meet Alex
Thursday: Mundie Moms - Meet Hana
Friday: Page Turners Blog - Meet Lena

And of course, check out Lauren Oliver's WEBSITE for more info on her and her books. 

Now we'd like to offer you a chance to win your own copy of Delirium.

Giveaway Rules:
  • You must have a U.S. mailing address to enter (sorry international followers!). 
  • You are NOT required to be a BCM blog follower but you will get extra entries if you are. 
  • You get extra entries for sharing this giveaway on your blog, facebook and/or twitter. You must provide links in the form below.
  • Giveaway ends at midnight CST on Wednesday, February 2nd.

Interview: Jacquelyn Wheeler


Thanks to The Teen {Book} Scene I had the opportunity to interview Jacquelyn Wheeler. I hope you enjoy the interview and be sure to check out the rest of the tour by clicking on the tour graphic above.

BCM: Where do you find inspiration?

JW: In everything around me--things I hear on the news, conversations I overhear on the train, and especially stories of everyday people acting courageously and being heroes. I love the constant reminders that you don't have to have special powers to be a superhero.

BCM: Where do you like to volunteer?

JW: Lately, most of my volunteer work has been doing massage therapy for refugees. It's incredibly powerful work to help people get out of pain and feel comfortable in their own skin again after the unbelievable horrors they've endured.

BCM: Which charity is closest to your heart?

JW: It's hard to choose one (I list eleven of my favorite charities on the Missions page on the Soterians web site), but I think it would have to be a toss-up between Doctors Without Borders and Direct Relief, both of which provide medical care to people all over the world, especially those in dangerous areas.

BCM: What is one of your goals for the New Year?

JW: My ongoing goal is to learn to let go of fear. I think every negative thing we do stems from fear of one sort or another. Even if your life and survival aren't at stake, there are more subtle fears like not being good enough (and therefore not being worthy of love). I think we all grapple with that one way more often that we realize.

BCM: What is your type, of Soterian that is?

JW: I love that question, because I feel like I'm definitely a blend of all of them, so I'd consider myself an Alchemist. But if I had to choose a primary type, it would be a Scout followed closely by an Empath. I love doing research and looking for clues, and I had unusually good hearing and vision when I was younger. But I am also very sensitive to other people's emotions, and I love the healing arts--I really wanted to be a doctor, but med school just never seemed to fit into my schedule.

Thanks so much to both Jacquelyn and The Teen {Book} Scene for this great tour!

Monday, January 24, 2011

It's Monday! What are you reading?


It's Monday! What are you reading? This great meme is hosted by One Persons Journey Through a World of Books. Each week will share with you the books we are reading, just finished reading and those books we are planning to read this week.

Currently reading:
Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Just finished reading:
I Am J by Cris Beam
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Planning to read:
Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper
Swoon by Nina Malkin

Please share with us what you are currently reading in a comment. We'd love to check out your blog. :o)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Review: Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley

Where I Belong  by Gwendolyn Heasley
Release Date: February 8, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA

The Story: Meet Corrinne. She's living every girl's dream in New York City—shopping sprees at Barneys, open access to the best clubs and parties, and her own horse at the country club. Her perfect life is perfectly on track. At least it was. . . .

When Corrinne's father is laid off, her world suddenly falls apart. Instead of heading to boarding school, she's stripped of her credit cards and shipped off to the boonies of Texas to live with her grandparents. On her own in a big public school and forced to take a job shoveling manure, Corrinne is determined to get back to the life she's supposed to be living. She doesn't care who she stomps on in the process. But when Corrinne makes an unlikely friend and discovers a total hottie at work, she begins to wonder if her life B.R.—before the recession—was as perfect as it seemed.

My Review: At the start of Where I Belong I was instantly intrigued by Corrine's character. She was clearly a spoiled brat who expected everything she wanted to fall right into her lap. She was born into a wealthy family in New York City but her life is about to change drastically. 

Corrine's dad loses his job and suddenly she finds herself thrown into small town living in the middle of nowhere Texas. She refuses to accept this new life of hers and devises a plan to get things back on track and her back into boarding school where she belongs. Of course, things don't always work out the way she wants them to. Corrine gives everyone she meets a hard time and it's pretty difficult to like her initially. However, her growth over the course of this book kept me reading and by the end of it I was rooting for her to realize money isn't the key to happiness - at least not for her. 

I really enjoyed Where I Belong. The secondary characters were charming and easy to love and the storyline was completely believable. I enjoyed the dialogue between Kitsy and Corrine and of course, there is a definite crush-worthy boy to swoon over. The author did a fantastic job of showing us Corrine's growth and maturity and and I am hoping we can read more from her soon. 

My Rating: 



This review is part of the Where I Belong Blog Tour with The Teen {Book} Scene. Click HERE to follow the rest of the tour. 



IMM - Take 27

All of us here at BCM are so excited to be a part of the awesome list of blogs who participate in the "In My Mailbox" meme. In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren so make sure you check out her book blog for a list of many of the blogs participating. She also has some helpful information on how to participate on your own blog. Click HERE to find out more.

This is a weekly meme where we will post any books (and other things) that we have received in the mail, bought, loaned from the library, etc. It's not limited to just books. It can be anything we have just gotten and are excited about.

This week we are excited about the following:

Julie Received from Publishers/Authors for Review:


  You Killed Wesley Payne by Sean Beaudoin

Kendra Received from Publisher for Review: 


Outside In by Maria V. Snyder

Mindy Received from Authors for Review:

Wanted Dead or Alive by Jonathan Maberry & Janice Gable Bashman

Won from Contests/Giveaways:


Burned by P.C. & Kristin Cast
Awakened by P.C. & Kristin Cast
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
The Other Side of Dark by Sarah Smith
I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder


Cindy Received from Publisher for Review:



I Am J by Cris Beam

Please leave us a comment with the link to your IMM post. We'd love to check it out!




Friday, January 21, 2011

Review: Legacy by Kate Kaynak

Legacy by Kate Kaynak
Release Date: January 28, 2011
Publisher:  Spencer Hill Press
Genre: YA Paranormal
Genre: YA Paranormal

The Story:

The Third Ganzfield Novel
Maddie has more problems than the average seventeen-year-old:

A psychotic killer with superpowers wants her dead.
A serious medical issue makes a "normal life" impossible.
And she's about to be introduced to Trevor's family.

Guess which one freaks her out the most?

If you haven't yet read the first two books in the Ganzfield series you can find our reviews of Minder and Adversary by clicking their names. 

Our Reviews:

Mindy's Review: The day I got this book in the mail, I carried it with me to the doctor's office. Just from the cover of the book, 2 nurses & 1 doctor will be reading the series (the cover got us talking about the series). I LOVE the covers of these books. The world that Kate Kaynak has created is incredible. I can honestly say that Maddie & Trevor have wrapped themselves around my heart & head. I feel they will forever live there too. They feel so real to me. Kate has a unique way of setting you into the story. It feels so real. I laugh out loud, cry, gasp, smile & frown as I am reading. This book conveys so much emotion.

I have always wanted to have a special talent since I was a young child. Telekinisis used to be my power of choice. After reading this series, being a Charm would definitely be my talent of choice however I have decided that I would probably get into a lot of trouble in the process of being good! I am highly anticipating the next book in the series Accused.

Nicole's Review:  OK, So my favorite author has kept it up with her third book in the Ganzfield series.  Legacy picks up with the remaining kids and G-positives heading to the main campus.  Trevor finds out his dad, who was a G-positive, is dead and wants to get his family to come back to the school with him.  Maddie is so funny about it all, thinking his family won't approve of her, but then again what happened at the end of Adversary has left her disabled.  But who would be excited about meeting your boyfriend's family? 

I can't wait for the rest of this series.  I was hooked with Minder, and haven't been dissapointed yet!  Plus, I don't think I will be either.  Kate's created a world that you can easily get lost in, but which has realistic dialogue and events.  Ok, sure, you aren't able to control fire with your mind, but that's the fantasy part!  I'm talking about the interactions between teens and adults.  Between parents and children.  Those events are realistic!  I promise you that if you enjoy sci fi, you'll enjoy the Ganzfield series. 

Kendra's Review: I was in the middle of another book when I received this one in the mail. Needless to say, I put the other one on hold so I could break into this book as soon as possible. I had been on pins and needles waiting for it to arrive. And once I started reading it, I could not put it down. I flew right through it. Kaynak definitely did not disappoint. This book was fantastic! The world that she creates in the Ganzfield series, is so realistic, it makes you look around at the people around you and wonder if any of them are Minders, or Sparks, or Charms. There is one negative thing I can say though... I have to wait too long for the next book to come out!! I can't wait to find out what happens next! This is a 5 star book for me all the way!

Cindy's Review:  I love, love, love this series! My adoration for Maddie, Trevor, Drew, and well - everyone in this series - grows with each book. These characters pull you into the story like none I've ever read before. Sure, Trevor and Maddie's relationship is sweet and pure and even hot, but that's just a tiny sliver of what this series has to offer. For one, there aren't any annoying love triangles - at least not yet - and the bonds that the characters have with one another feels so real that you can often forget that these people aren't real.

It's fascinating to watch the characters mature and develop over the course of the story and Kate introduces some new characters in this book that you will love to hate. Isaiah, the bad guy at the center of all the problems needs to be stopped but the question is: Can they do it? I'm not telling. You'll have to read to find out.

Kate's ability to blend humor, danger and grief all into one amazing book is truly admirable. I've never been able to put her books down once I've started it. I can't tell you how much I enjoy this series. If you haven't yet picked it up, I would highly recommend it. It's still shocking to me that these books aren't on the bestseller lists. 

Our Collective Rating:


Learn more about Kate Kaynak and her books by checking our her WEBSITE and BLOG.

Top Ten: Lost on Spirit River by Tommy Batchelor



Tommy Batchelor has given us his Top Ten Books!



10. Harry Potter books

9. Angels and Demons

8. Clive Cussler books (tie)

7. Dr. Seuss

6. Lost on Spirit River, Book One

5. The First North American Series

4. Tom Sawyer and Huckaberry Finn

3. The DaVinci Code

2. Gone with the Wind

1. The Bible

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Review: The Warrior Heir By Cinda Williams Chima


Review: The Warrior Heir By Cinda Williams Chima
Release Date: 2006
Publisher: Hyperion
Genre: YA Fantasy

The Story: (from Goodreads) Before he knew about the Roses, 16-year-old Jack lived an unremarkable life in the small Ohio town of Trinity. Only the medicine he has to take daily and the thick scar above his heart set him apart from the other high-schoolers. Then one day Jack skips his medicine. Suddenly, he is stronger, fiercer, and more confident than ever before. And it feels great until he loses control of his own strength and nearly kills another player during soccer team tryouts.

Soon, Jack learns the startling truth about himself: He is Weirlind; part of an underground society of magical people who live among us. At the head of this magical society sit the feuding houses of the Red Rose and the White Rose, whose power is determined by playing The Game a magical tournament in which each house sponsors a warrior to fight to the death. The winning house rules the Weir.

As if his bizarre magical heritage isn't enough, Jack finds out that he s not just another member of Weirlind he's one of the last of the warriors at a time when both houses are scouting for a player. Jack s performance on the soccer field has alerted the entire magical community to the fact that he's in Trinity. And until one of the houses is declared Jack's official sponsor, they'll stop at nothing to get Jack to fight for them.

My Review: When I went to the library the other day, I had no intentions of picking up this book. In fact, I never even heard of the Heir trilogy (yes, there are occasions when I realize I live in a weird bubble) . I happened to be in the YA section, and saw this book. As I continued to browse, I noticed that all three books of the trilogy were present, so I thought, "why not?"

The Warrior Heir begins the Heir trilogy, obviously. As I began reading the book, I was surprised that it contained so many elements that I enjoy: a strong background that weaves the storyline through actual historical events, amazing characters, and an excellent plot that has the reader racing through the pages.

This book was fast paced with riveting action scenes, strong historical connections, and interesting twists. There were times I grew impatient with the book, but mostly because I was just dying to find out what would happen next. I really enjoyed this book; in fact, I am very glad I picked up all three books, because I am starting The Wizard Heir as soon as I finish this review.

My Rating:

Review: The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan


The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
Publisher:
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: March 9, 2010
Genre: YA Dystopian

The Story (from the book jacket): Gabry lives a quiet life, secure in her town next to the sea and behind the Barrier. She's content to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. Home is all she's eve
r known, and all she needs for happiness.
But life after the Return is never safe, and there are threats even the Barrier can't hold back.
Gabry's mother thought she left her secrets behind in t
he forst of Hands and Teeth, but like the dead in their world, secrets don't stay buried. And now, Gabry's world is crumbling.
One night beyond the Barrier...
One boy Gabry's known forever and one veiled in mystery...
One reckless moment, and half of Gabry's generation is dead, the other half imprisoned.
Gabry knows only one thing: if she is to have any hope of a future
, she must face the forest of her mother's past.

My Review: It is no secret that I was not very
fond of The Forest of Hands and Teeth. I really wanted to be, but I just wasn't. I was worried about reading this book, being the next book in the series. People I had talked to told me to stay with it, that it was better than the first one.
I am glad I listened to them. I really liked this book, to the point of a few late nights of reading, because I couldn't put it down.

**For those of you who haven't read it, there are possible spoilers in this review, so you might want to stop now. **

This book takes place many year after The Forest of Hands
and Teeth. Gabry is the daughter of prior heroine, Mary. Mary has taught Gabry to be very careful when it comes to breaching the Barrier. She wanted her daughter to be cautious, but instead she became fearful. She never wanted to do anything the other kids did, or take any of their risks.
One night, she finally decides to do it, mainly for a boy she likes, and the repercussions are enormous.
Gabry finds herself reevaluating everything she kn
ows and taking risks she never thought she would ever take.
There are some small things that irritated me in this book, but they were not enough to take away from how much I liked it.
I liked the fact that it took place in the future,
instead of continuing on where The Forest of Hands and Teeth left off. I still found out what happened to Mary, and later on in the book, even some of the other characters.
But this story is Gabry's journey, and how she g
rows and finds out things about her life that change everything she ever thought... About her mother, about her life, mostly about herself.
There were a lot of "wow, I never saw THAT coming" moments in this book as well.
I definitely recommend this book to everyone out there, whether you liked The Forest of Hands
and Teeth, or not.
I am on the edge of my seat waiting for The Da
rk and Hollow Places to find out what happens next.

My Rating:





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