Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Book Review: Enna Burning by Shannon Hale

Yay! I finished Enna Burning! I am starting to be obsessed with this series...

Age Group: Young Adult/Reading level: Ages 9-12
Pages: 336
My Rating: 5 Stars
Enna's life was not meant to be simple. When her brother, Leifer, brings home a mysterious piece of vellum that teaches him how to set fires — without a spark, without flint — Enna cannot decide if this power is one she wants for herself, or something that should be extinguished forever.

    And when Bayern, their country, goes to war, the choice becomes nearly unbearable. Enna never imagined that the warm, life-giving energy of a fire could destroy everything she loves, but she must now save herself and Bayern before fire consumes her entirely.
    (From The Official Site of Shannon Hale see here)
This book kept me turning the pages almost like Twilight by Stephenie Meyer or one of those amazing books. It really was magic. Of course, the story itself was based on a fantastical theme but it had a way of making me feel like it was also really real. All of the characters in Shannon's books make me feel like they're real. I didn't really know what to expect in Enna's story after reading the wonderful tale of Isi in The Goose Girl. But it met more than my expectations. Wonderful! It blew me away.

(P.S. Enna is a lot like Emma...hehe it was almost like I was reading about myself and it was weird, let me tell you)

On another note. I just wanted to tell everyone about the books I've gotten this week and will be reading after I finish the Dark Visions series by L.J. Smith...

Ophelia by Lisa Klein

And I will be reading The Iron King by Julie Kagawa. I didn't have a picture and I actually bought The Iron Daughter which is the second book of the series and haven't even read the first I'll have to buy the first But I think I might just go ahead and read the second book you think I should?

Anyway, have a nice day and I'll see you in a while!

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Friday, August 27, 2010

Book Blogger Hop: August 27-30th, 2010

Book Blogger Hop is a fun meme hosted by Crazy For Books. Just Hop over there an leave your link, then hop around the blogsphere! See you there!

Link us if you hopped here!

Today's Question:

Do you use a rating system for your reviews and if so, what is it and why?

I normally just say something like "5 Stars", "4 Stars" etc. after the review. I wanted to use a visual but haven't used one just yet!

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Book Discussion: Amy & Roger's Epic Detour

I haven't read this book yet (a chapter...) and I thought I could do a Book Discussion for all the people who have read it! SO, if you've read this book or want to talk about what you think it will be like even if you haven't read it :)


(And I switched the Book Discussion picture in case your wondering) [picture from Google Images]

So, submit your thoughts into the form below and your entry might be featured in the next blog post!

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Book Review: The Strange Power by L.J. Smith

I finished reading the first book of the Dark Visions series by bestselling author L.J. Smith and I decided to review it. If you would also like me to review the last two books of the series, request it in the form below this post.

Kaitlyn Fairchild has always felt like an outsider in her small hometown. Her haunting eyes

and prophetic drawings have earned her a reputation as a witch. But Kait's not a witch: She's a psychic. Tired of being shunned, Kait accepts an invitation to attend the Zetes Institute, where she can have a fresh start and study with other psychic teens.

Learning to hone her abilities with four other gifted students, Kait discovers the intensity of her power -- and the joy of having true friends. But those friendships quickly become complicated when Kait finds herself torn between two irresistible guys. Rob is kind and athletic, and heals people with his good energy. Gabriel is aggressive and mysterious, a telepath concealing his true nature as a psychic vampire, feeding off of others' life energy. Together, Rob and Gabriel's opposing forces threaten the group's stability.

Then one of the experiments traps the five teens in a psychic link. A link that threatens their sanity and their lives. And Kaitlyn must decide whom to trust...and whom to love.

Kaitlyn doesn't really have any friends because of her strangeness (psychic drawings, etc.), she feels left out and alone in the beginning of the book and she has to help her father a lot since her mother died. When Joyce comes to her school and she discovers that she is psychic, she goes to the Institute where she meets other teenagers that have powers like hers. I really enjoyed reading this first book of the series and I'm continuing to read the other books. There were a lot of parts of the story where there was a lot of suspense and I was sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for what would happen. I've loved all of Smith's books, they've always been well written and added a new twist to things.

There were a few slow parts where I wasn't that interested in reading it but once I got through those, it was a very good book. Loved it and I would suggest that you check this one out!

My Rating: (4 stars)

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Books This Week

I've come up with a little thing to host. I'm calling it Books This Week. Every week or so, I go to the library and get about 3-5 books. I've decided to feature those so that you know what I'm reading and what I will soon be reviewing! This is just a quick little update to let you know that on Sunday, it will be the first New Reads post!

I took a trip to Barnes & Noble with a little book spending money and bought the Dark Visions series by L.J. Smith. The Strange Power, The Possessed, and The Passion, books 1-3. I'm enjoying it so far!

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Marjolein Book Blog interview with Justina Chen Headley!

An interview from Marjolein Book Blog! with Justina Chen Headley, author of North of Beautiful!

How did the idea for Nothing But The Truth and North of Beautiful originate
Nothing but the Truth (and a few white lies) drew heavily on my experiences growing up as one of a very few Asian-Americans in my high school. I wanted to write a love letter to kids who straddle multiple cultures—whether racial or socioeconomic.
The inspiration for North of Beautiful came through a chance conversation. I had just finished speaking at a middle school and I recognized one of the boys there. He was Mr. Cool on campus: athletic, good-looking, witty. And he has a portwine stain on his face. A couple of days later, I bumped into his mom and I was telling her what a great job she had done parenting him because he didn’t let his birthmark get in his way. She looked at me and said, “That’s because he’s a boy.” That got me thinking: what would it be like for a girl to be under constant scrutiny? What if she had a father who put a premium on physical perfection and her birthmark was a personal affront to him? With Terra, I was able to tackle the whole notion of beauty, a topic that’s been at the forefront of my mind as a mother, woman, and writer! When did size 00 become the figure we are all supposed to attain?

I loved that there was a red line in Nothing But The Truth about Taiwan, which I found truly original because as far as I know aren't any YA novels about. How much of you is in the character of Patty Ho?
It was easy to get into Patty’s head because in many ways, it’s my head! So many things make me uncomfortable—feeling uncomfortable and not quite fitting in, for one. I went to Stanford for my undergraduate degree and for a summer camp—politics and government, not math!

In North of Beautiful, Terra has a very controlling dad and a mom who is suffering his grills, how did the idea for their characters started?
Writing any scene with Terra’s father was really difficult for me emotionally. I’ve been around too many controlling men. One of my teen readers was the impetus for tackling a story with an emotionally abusive relationship. She approached me after one of my readings and commiserated about how she, too, had been afraid of going after her dreams. Instead of a professor mocking me, it was her father who belittled her ambitions. I knew I had to write this story for girls who have been knocked down by Those Who Think They Know Better (but don’t).

Could you tell us about your path to publication? Any sprints or stumbles along the way?
I’ve been writing for teens ever since I was 8 years old and wrote my 50-page epic novel about Kitty and Dot. After a professor at Stanford told me that I couldn’t write, I put away my dreams of being an author. Sad, but true how demoralizing one person’s opinion can be. After I had my kids, I realized that it was shameful to allow one person to derail my dream! So I took a children’s writing course at the University of Washington Extension Program and on my last day of class, I sold my picture book, THE PATCH. My first two novels—NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH (AND A FEW WHITE LIES) and GIRL OVERBOARD—were sold at auction not too long after. (So there to naysayers!)

If you could have dinner with a book character, who would it be and why?
OH, I would have dinner with Gen from Megan Whalen Turner’s Attolia for sure. I have the biggest book crush on him—because he’s a wonderfully complicated character. Mischievous yet deadly serious in intent.

What did you read as a teen? Which authors inspired you the most? And which are your favorite books and authors now?
I read a ton as a teen—but unfortunately, there weren’t as many YA novels back then. I’m so glad teens today have such a wide range of amazing fiction to choose from.

I loved to read that you use your writing also for philantropy. Can you tell some more about this and what readers can do?
I tie every book I publish to some kind of philanthropic effort. In our world, we need more than words; we need action! My biggest philanthropic effort is readergirlz, the world’s leading online book community for teen girls—run completely by volunteers! The divas are all YA authors—Lorie Ann Grover, Dia Calhoun, Holly Cupala, Melissa Walker, Liz Gallagher, Micol Ostrow, and myself. On one hand, we are a literacy group and have been recognized for our different programs that encourage teens to read. But we are also about building exceptional girls! Getting teens to gain their own power through reading books that feature strong girls.

What are you working on now, can we expect new books by you soon?
I’m currently writing another contemporary YA novel, entitled RETURN TO ME. It’s expected out in Spring 2012. And that’ll be followed by another contemporary, title TBD. J

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Book Features: The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott/ North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley

Today I am doing a double post in one featuring The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth S. and North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley! These are on my To-Read list so expect a review coming in the next few weeks or months.

Everyone knows the unwritten rule: You don't like your best friend's boyfriend.

Sarah has had a crush on Ryan for years. He's easy to talk to, supersmart, and totally gets her. Lately it even seems like he's paying extra attention to her. Everything would be perfect except for two things: Ryan is Brianna's boyfriend, and Brianna is Sarah's best friend.

Sarah forces herself to avoid Ryan and tries to convince herself not to like him. She feels so guilty for wanting him, and the last thing she wants is to hurt her best friend. But when she's thrown together with Ryan one night, something happens. It's wonderful...and awful.

Sarah is torn apart by guilt, but what she feels is nothing short of addiction, and she can't stop herself from wanting more...

Born with a port-wine stain birthmark covering her entire right cheek, Terra Rose Cooper is ready to leave her stifling, small Washington town where everyone knows her for her face. With her critical, reproachful father and an obese mother who turns to food to deflect her father's verbal attacks, home life for Terra isn't so great either. Fueled by her artistic desires, she plans to escape to an East Coast college, thinking this is her true path. When her father intercepts her acceptance letter, Terra is pushed off-course, and she is forced to confront her deepest insecurities. After an ironically fortuitous car accident, Terra meets Jacob, a handsome but odd goth Chinese boy who was adopted from China as a toddler. Jacob immediately understands Terra's battle with feeling different. When Terra's older brother invites her and her mother to visit him in Shanghai, Jacob and his mother also join them on their journey, where they all not only confront the truth about themselves, but also realize their own true beauty. North of Beautiful is the engaging third YA novel by Justina Chen Headley. This is a gorgeously-written, compelling book featuring universal themes of defining true beauty, family bonds, personal strength, and love.

Buy these books:
Find it at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and other book stores near you!

Want a book discussion on either of these books? Contact me! Message on, Email, or comment!

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Book Discussion # 1: The Goose Girl

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

1) The queen tells Ani that a "crown princess, like a queen, can succeed only by staying apart. Separation, elevation, delegation". What do you think it would be like to live under these expectations? How do you think this would affect Ani's ability to make true friends and keep them?
(Copyright The Goose Girl Reading Group Guide)

To participate in this discussion, publish your opinions in a comment! Thanks!

(Within a day, I will reply to your thoughts on this Book Discussion)

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Book Feature: The Sky Is Everywhere

Today, I am featuring The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. I haven't read it but I have it on my To Read list so be sure to look for a book review (or request it) coming in a few weeks! So, I will post the summary and such but if you have read it, comment about what you think of it or visit the Request Books page!

  • Pub. Date: March 2010
  • 275pp

17-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends most of her time tucked safely in the shadow of her outgoing sister, Bailey. Their mother left when Lennie was one, and their sisterhood — and the support of their wacky and loving Gran and perfectly Northern Californian hippie uncle — has pulled them through. So when Bailey suddenly dies, Lennie crumples. At first, it seems the only person who truly understands the depth of her loss is Bailey’s ex-boyfriend, Toby. Their mutual grief turns into something that seems confusingly like romance. Then there’s the nearly magical allure of Joe Fontaine, new boy in town and thrillingly talented musician, who is falling for Lennie as fast as she’s falling for him. One boy is like the sun, the other the moon; one takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But Joe’s been hurt before, and when he walks in on Lennie and Toby, Lennie is forced to take responsibility for her actions. What she discovers is not just love, but the strength to admit to her dreams of Julliard, confront her anger towards her mother, and ultimately, claim her rightful position as first clarinet — not just in the band, but in the crazy cacophony of her life.

Out of all the customer reviews that I read at Barnes & Noble (.com) they all said "Wow" or "I loved it so much" I think it would be a really good book. I would recommend checking it out! (including myself haha)

Coming Soon

August 18th: The Goose Girl Book Discussion
August 20th: August Wish List
August 24th: Submit YOUR Requests!/Book Feature
September 1st: The Sky Is Everywhere Book Discussion


P.S.!!! Buy this book:

Barnes & Noble!

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Book Feature: The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

I finished The Goose Girl last night so I decided to feature it and post a review later. So, here is the summary, an editorial review, and the link to buy it for yourself.

Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree, spends the first years of her life under her aunt's guidance learning to communicate with animals. As she grows up Ani develops the skills of animal speech, but is never comfortable speaking with people, so when her silver-tongued lady-in-waiting leads a mutiny during Ani's journey to be married in a foreign land, Ani is helpless and cannot persuade anyone to assist her. Becoming a goose girl for the king, Ani eventually uses her own special, nearly magical powers to find her way to her true destiny. Shannon Hale has woven an incredible, original and magical tale of a girl who must find her own unusual talents before she can become queen of the people she has made her own.

Shannon Hale started writing books at age ten and has never stopped, earning an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Montana sixteen years later, and publishing The Goose Girl, her first book, not long after that. A sometime actress, instructional designer and missionary, she now makes her home in Salt Lake City, Utah with her super-human husband and their pet, a small, plastic pig.

On her way to marry a prince she has never met, Princess Anidori is betrayed by her guards and her lady-in-waiting and must become a goose girl to survive until she can reveal her true identity and reclaim the crown that is rightfully hers.

"In layer upon layer of detail a beautiful coming-of-age story emerges, a tale about learning to rescue yourself rather than falling accidently into happily-ever-after."—The New York Times Book Review

Buy this book:


Barnes & Noble

Look for the Book Discussion, coming tomorrow, and my review!

-- <3>

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Monday, August 16, 2010

My Grand Opening!

Welcome to the Grand Opening of Emma & Books! Or E&B for short :)

I do YA reviews, write YA books, and more! You can find all of my latest book reviews, all the updates on my novel that I haven't published yet but will in 2011!, and like I said, much more. I occasionally host contests too so you have opportunities to win the best books for free!
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