Sunday, June 27, 2010

[Review] Split by a Kiss by Luisa Plaja

Review - Split by a Kiss by Luisa Plaja
I finished this book in one day, the story was so compelling that I didn't want to go to sleep without having finished it!

Blurb: Jo has never been one of the popular kids...until she moves to the USA. Suddenly the coolest girls at her new high school adopt her, and the hottest boy, Jake Matthews, notices her. But when Jake picks her as his partner in the kissing game Seven Minutes in Heaven, it's not half as heavenly as she imagined!
Jo has a choice: should she carry on with Jake for guaranteed popularity- or should she tell him where to get off and risk losing her new friends ... ?
At ths moment- Jo splits. She's Josie the Cool - girlfriend of Jake, member of the in-crowd. But she's also Jo the Nerd - rejected by the It girls, single ... ordinary.
Will her two halves ever come together again?

Review: This book is pretty much everything you'd expect it to be-- a funny, engagingly witty read about a girl who is warped into some sort of Freaky Friday situation. I liked the format of the book- the two narratives "Josie the Cool" and "Jo the Nerd"- was original, and I really enjoyed that. Plaja switched back and forth between both voices/stories smoothly, and I was waiting for a moment where something wouldn't quite fit, but- alack, I could find none. While the magical concept of splitting into two selves, who are at different places at the same time, is impossible, the issues and themes that are addressed are very much relatable to many teenage girls (and boys).

Also, relative to its context and form, the writing fits in very nicely. I found myself thrown with so many emotions- this book made me laugh, smile, tear up and just plain angry- in a good way, of course. That is a sign of a great writer. More on the format of the novel, the short chapters/parts make for easy reading. You can read it on a train, over a short 10 minute period before going to sleep, in the bathroom (although I'm personally not a fan of taking books into the bathroom-- wet books are not good!). For me, this is an important thing for a YA novel, as I don't want to be halfway through a chapter, get bored, and then forget what I'm up to, sigh, and start the chapter over again.

Luisa Plaja writes with an honest voice that rings so true to what is addressed. I would recommend this book to be read by all ages, though it should be noted that there are several sexual references, but nothing too descriptive. Probably a PG-13 rating, though the standards seem to be changing, and for all I know a ten-year old might be comfortable reading this, I would have no idea. When I was ten, I read books about animals. :P

Rating: 4.5/5

I've got to go out and buy EXTREME KISSING someday. Plaja is wonderful. :)

Buy SPLIT BY A KISS by Luisa Plaja at Amazon, BookDepository.
Thanks Luisa Plaja for a free review copy!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

In My Mailbox (1)

First off, In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that was 'invented' by The Story Siren. I think that this site is so amazing-- it is also the founder of the 2010 Debut Authors Challenge! Anyway, the idea of In My Mailbox is that you post up the books that you have bought, borrowed from the library or won for that week. I don't have the money/time to buy enough books for a weekly meme, so I'm going to make this a monthly thing. I have 3 books this month. I will post every month, near the end. (25-31)

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld [to-be-reviewed]

Swapped By A Kiss by Luisa Plaja [Goodreads review]

Split By A Kiss by Luisa Plaja + swag (Thanks so much! You're a sweetie. ♥) (I love how there's a rainbow reflection in this photo! And yes, that is a BookDepository bookmark-- I received it with Swapped By A Kiss)

Also, I have created a TBR page. Follow my blog for further reviews, and (hopefully) in the future interviews, contests, book discussions, polls, etc. I already have some great book stuff which I hope is along the way to reaching my mailbox for my next IMM segment. :)

Happy Reading!

[Review] Killer (#6 of PLL series) by Sara Shepard

* I updated my giveaways page, with most of the contests for until the end of this month. Go check it out!

Review - Killer by Sara Shepard (#6 of PLL series)
Oh boy, this book took so long to finish. Not because it was boring or anything-- I just had a busy packed week, full of blood, sweat and tears (in the literal sense) and finished it all this morning snuggled up in bed.
*There are spoilers in this post, so if you have not read it already DO NOT READ AHEAD!

In picture-perfect Rosewood, Pennsylvania, ash-blond highlights gleam in the winter sun and frozen lakes sparkle like Swarovski crystals. But pictures often lie—and so do Rosewood's four prettiest girls.
Hanna, Aria, Spencer, and Emily have been lying ever since they became friends with beautiful Alison DiLaurentis. Ali made them do terrible things—things they had to keep secret for years. And even though Ali was killed at the end of seventh grade, their bad-girl ways didn't die with her.
Hanna's on a mission to corrupt Rosewood's youth, starting with a very attractive sophomore. Aria's snooping into her boyfriend's past. Spencer's stealing—from her family. And pure little Emily's abstaining from abstinence. The girls should be careful, though. They thought they were safe when Ali's killer was arrested and A's true identity was finally revealed. But now there's a new A in town turning up the heat. And this time Rosewood is going to burn.

So, what do we have here? "Killer" is a book that shot me with surprises, twists and turns-- I felt about as lost (but getting closer to the truth) as the girls. I felt that their own story lines weren't too interesting- they were good, yes, but not AMAZING. My favourites for this one were Emily's and Spencer's. Emily is engaged in a relationship with a guy, Isaac who, unlike Ben (the boyfriend we meet Emily with), provided her with comfort and someone who would actually care for her. They lose their virginity to one another, and his mum finds out (or just really hates all his girlfriends), and so she plots to destroy their relationship. Spencer has more family problems, and with the aid of Andrew, she signs up to an "adopted children's" thing in the hopes that she is adopted. Unfortunately for her, in the end she's scammed off all her bank funds and left feeling used and lost.
What really gave me that satisfied feeling towards this book was the clever tying together of everything that has happened up until now. The little clues they all found out, and then they come together and everything just fits. We are left to wonder whether "A" is ally or foe. The end was astonishing. I had dismissed *** dead quite a while ago, so I was completely shocked. Shepard ends each book with great cliffhangers that leaves readers wanting more. I can't wait to read the final two installments of the series, but at the same time I'm sad that there are only two more left. I also am worried. Is the ending going to be satisfying enough for me to continue loving the series as a whole?

Rating: 4/5

Buy Killer at Amazon, The Book Depository

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Blog Hop & Teaser Tuesday

I'm blog hopping for the very first time.
Basically, this is a blog meme among other popular memes: "In My Mailbox" (the Story Siren), this one, "Teaser Tuesday" (Should Be Reading), and more. The idea is to, well, blog hop. Find new book blogs, add your site to the list. It's a weekly thing, so there are boundless amounts of blogs to be visited. Not enough time in the world. Here are some nice sites that I have stumbled upon.

Now, I am in no way a crazy-obsessed book reader. Actually, let me re-phrase that. I'm not one to buy books like wildfire and complete books in 2 hours. Granted, I have read about 12 books in a month, which is an astonishing effort on my part. :) Most of them were ebooks and from library-- only one of them of which I bought. Speaking of which, I think I shall have an IMM, although I won't be able to participate each week, considering I'm a pretty poor person.

Check at "Should Be Reading" for more details

This one is fairly simple: read a passage/few sentences from a book you are currently reading. Here's a passage from "Killer" by Sara Shepard. I don't think it's spoiler-y, so it's all good.

"Aria smacked her hand to her forehead. "Emily, you have Ali on such a pedestal. She was a lying, conniving, manipulative bitch- to me, to Jason, and to you too. Deal with it." Then Aria hit end, dropped her phone into her bag, and walked back inside for the keys to the Subaru."
Check in for next weeks "Teaser Tuesday" segment! If I perceive correctly, it will probably be for "Split by a Kiss", or perhaps even "Glimmerglass". How fast can I read during a packed week of school and important exams?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Your hair was long when we first met...

Sorry for the kind of weird title. This song "Samson" by Regina Spektor just speaks to me in so many different ways, and though I know the real meaning (that in itself is BEAUTIFUL-- it is reminiscent/reflective of the very famous "Hallelujah") Also, it's kind of funny, because I started high school in Year 7 with daggy really long hair, up to my waist. I'm now in Year 12, last year of high school and I've grown my hair again, but it's only up to my...armpits. You have to listen to the song! It's brilliant! Well, just lately I've been going through all my music, and I'm going to do a full format with my mp4 player. I'm "cleaning out my closet", as Eminem did a few years ago. :P No, I don't have that song, but now that I've mentioned it, I feel like listening to it. The only song of his I have is "Mockingbird", which I have a horrid affection towards, and I have NO idea why.
Anyway, I'm just here to post random stuff and status update. I've got too much work-- I have no idea why I have a blog. It's been 1> since I've completed a book, though I took a 2 day break after finishing "Uglies" by Scott Westerfeld, just because I thought it'd be a good place to take a break.

I am 66% through Sara Shepard's 6th PLL series book, "Killer". I've been kept interested all this time, although it has been a bit like nothing has happened. Even so, it just makes me want to finish it even quicker, so I can start on "Heartless", not that I will be able to start reading it in a while. It's like #2 on my TBR list.
I've updated the contests on the sidebar, and here's a contest!

At "So Many Books, So Little Time", there is the opportunity to win one book of your choice at the BookDepository! :D Get in there quick, it ends tomorrow! [22nd]

I'm having a hard time to post which book I want to win...I have so many I'd love to own! It's a toss-up between Sea by Heidi R. Kling, The DUFF by Kody Keplinger, or A Blue so Dark by Holly Schindler. It's difficult being this greedy. :| (it was a joke)

I've been stuck on twitter, flickr and deviantart the past few days. I noticed there's a complete lack of photos and stuff, so here are a few (IMO) really pretty ones.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Best sites for the obsessed bookee

Where should one go to feed their book reading urges? Goodreads. Why? I'm not sure if this is just me becoming old and decrepit or not, but I could spend hours on end just browsing around goodreads-- there's just so much to do! Granted, there are no games or juicy gossip columns, not the typical teen experience here. It's pretty much everything books. They categorize everything so whether you're into YA, mystery, non-fiction, chick-lit, guy-lit, paranormal, romance; they have it. There are also many authors who are goodreads members, so you can follow up what their upcoming works are, and keep updated. Also, it's great when you just can't decide which book you should tackle next. You have a book? They have reviews.
Oh, and don't forget the firstreads program! You can enter for free books of your choosing! I guess it's because of goodreads that I'm such a frugal nut nowadays and enter enter enter in contests/giveaways hoping to win. Oh man it feels great knowing that something is coming along in the mail. :D (I shall talk about that more later)
I have 300+ books in my TBR pile, but that's because there's just so much variety, so many books, so many good drool-worthy book covers. I think 300 books could last me the rest of my life.


Note: there is a UK site as well, which in some cases offers books of slightly lower prices.

What can I say? If you need to buy books, bookdepository has it covered, at least for the most part. I have not seen a place that sells books at a more competitive price. They advertise free postage, which is actually added into the book prices, but even so the prices are cheaper! How do they do it? Anyway, I can't say TOO much, since I haven't officially bought from them yet, but I can say something about postage speed and packaging, since Luisa Plaja sent me "Swapped by a Kiss" through BookDepository. They're sent from UK, and it took 5 days to reach my mailbox. I live all the way over in Australia, which goes to show how efficient their shipping is. Also, it was nicely packaged, it was a padded medium-size package, and in it was a receipt of purchase AND a free bookmark! :) The book came in great condition, no rips, tears or even bent corners.
Free shipping, cheaper than cheap books, great condition, quick service/shipping and an organised, clean site that is regularly updated. Also, if you purchase several books, they individually send the books, so your mail will be VERY fun for the next week or so. :) I can't wait to verify my paypal account so I can buy!

Really, if there were only two sites I could visit on a daily basis, it would be these two sites. Brilliant. Also, I can't live without blog-hopping around for book reviews, interviews and more giveaways! Thanks for every blog owner out there! You're all awesome. :)

[NEW] Giveaways page - Check it out! I have the next few days up, and will progressively be updating and adding more and more. I can't add anymore at the moment, as I have work to do. >_< Thanks for reading, and follow my blog/twitter! :) I would really appreciate it, and it motivates me to actually blog here.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I wish there was more time in the world to read

Well, here's another fabulous contest, hosted at The Book Smugglers.
There are 8 books up for grabs:
  1. Passing Strange by Daniel Waters
  2. The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
  3. Night of the Solstice by L.J. Smith
  4. Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
  5. Buffy The Vampire Slayer (Books 1 and 2)
  6. Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick
  7. The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
All you have to do is go click on the link here, comment on what book you're most anticipating! It's that simple. :) Some really great titles here, so it would be fabulous to win, but obviously lots of people are going to want to get their hands on the prize!

I've been finding a whole hoard of giveaways lately, and it's so overwhelming! So many good book titles out there for grabs, and I can't stop! There's not enough time to read them all, especially since I've got exams coming up soon, but that isn't stopping me. It really should be. It's just so easy to get caught up reading a book, and lose track of the time.

If/when I found out how to make separate pages, I'll have a giveaways page so I can dump all my links and stuff. Believe me, I have a really long list. I will make a post when I make the page, SO follow me, or you can subscribe my e-mail. I also have a twitter, which I use to tweet a heck of a lot of contests/giveaways, so you can follow me there, also. :)

Currently Reading:

Wintergirls is a debut novel by Laurise Halse Anderson, and it focuses on a girl who is obsessed with her weight, and yes, it's an eating disorder book. I haven't read nearly enough to disclose spoiler-worthy comments, or any comments at all. I've read good reviews about it, so I hope it holds true to my expectations of it.

Killer is the 6th in the 8 book series, Pretty Little Liars, by Sara Shepard. I love the series, and it's just so easy to read. It was, essentially, the book to get me into the groove of reading. Each book is a bit more than 300 pages, so they're a fair length. (length doesn't hold a candle to Harry Potter or many other series, though) I can't talk about what has happened so far, as it is INCREDIBLY spoiler-ish!

I received Split by a Kiss from Luisa Plaja, herself! I won her sequel, Swapped by a Kiss, and so she sent me Split by a Kiss, signed! :D She's such a sweet person. I have yet to start reading it, since I'm still reading Wintergirls and Killer. Swapped by a Kiss was a lovely book. It made me laugh, smile, and I cried, or almost cried at one point. People of all ages will find something to like about this book. Also, pretty G rated, so I'm sure even little kiddies will be able to read it and appreciate it! I can't wait to get started...if only my To-Read pile didn't keep on growing. :\

Monday, June 14, 2010

Welcome to Words on Paper!

Hi there!

I figured that I didn't like the very limited features available in Livejournal for a "blog", so, before getting too far along I've decided to change to Blogger. :) Check out my old blog for 10~ entries. anyway, I'm not sure how Blogger is going to work, exactly, so just wait for me to figure all this out.

"Words on Paper" is a YA lit-focused blog which will feature reviews, updates on upcoming and newly released books in YA, contests/giveaways, book trailers, etc. There may be the occasional TV/DVD squee, we'll see how it all goes.

Thanks for reading!
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