Friday, July 30, 2010

Blog Hop (6) / Follow Friday (4)

Hey there. Blog hopping for the sixth time around, and I've found a few more blogs that are worth mentioning. :) But firstly, if you check it out at, Crazy Jennifer has asked yet another question. This week, the question is:

"Who is your favorite new-to-you author so far this year?"

Well, I barely knew any authors before this, my favourite author? Hard question, since most of the books I've loved have been debut, standalones. I think I will say Sara Shepard, who is the sole reason I got into reading in the first place. She also introduced me to this thing called YA. This amazing world was going on and I had no idea for all this time. I'm so glad I picked up Pretty Little Liars, because it is one of the most addictive series I've ever read/seen. This is one of those series/books I am waiting to buy.

New Book Blogs:
  1. Erika @ Moonlight Book Reviews
  2. Elle @ Media Molly
  3. Monica @ The Ramblings of a Book Addict
  4. Cara @ Chasing Words
  5. Ariel @ Must Love Books

    Hosted by parajunkee, basically another feature meme through which you can discover new blog sites. :) Click the big button and look for yourself!!!
    I will follow back anyone with a blog who adds me over the weekend.
    Happy Reading and have a great weekend, everyone!

Weekly Giveaways Newsletter + My First Award!!!

Hi, thanks to everyone who follows me and continues to read the things I type up here. I'll be posting up a review on The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson sometime later today, so look out for that. :)

More news, I'll be posting a weekly giveaways newsletter, most of which will be book-ish, and I will send it to anyone who e-mails me at cc932005[at]hotmail[dot]com, expressing their interest. Also, to those who have commented on my giveaways page, you will automatically be sent the newsletter. This will commence this Sunday, 9am~ (GMT +10), so e-mail me before then if you want the first ever edition! It won't be anything fancy. I don't have the time to format everything so that you can stare at it...I'm doing this so that those who are giveaway-obsessed have a quick list with the links, and this newsletter aims to do that. Maybe later on, come November, I may be able to create a template to make it prettier, but I just can't do that. I will also throw in any extra links, maybe a weekly YA author and compile up a list of interviews and tours... I'll add in whatever I can think of at the time! Also, I'm open to suggestions!

THIS IS MY FIRST AWARD! I received this from Twisted Book Junkie, at Broken Day Dreams & A Literary Odyssey. Her blog is amazing, and I love her way of writing reviews. :)

Here's how this award works:

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic for whatever reason! (In no particular order...)
4. Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.

Alright, here are 7 things about myself:
1. I am graduating high school this year, in fact, my final exams are in 2 months~. Reading helps keep me in check. If I didn't have books, as well as this whole blogging community, I'd probably go insane!
2. I am a huge music lover. I have 2000~ songs so far, and that's considering I lost most of my songs when I had to format my computer earlier this year. Also, I love playing guitar and singing. :D I'm an acoustic girl.
3. Uh...well, I'm Asian -> Chinese -> Hong Kong = Cass @ Words on Paper. I'm actually very Westernised for an Asian though. I don't know Cantonese that well; prefer pizza, pies and chips (Aussie!) to rice...but I love noodles and spicy stuff.
4. The only library card I have in possession is my school's, and everyone receives one. It's pink. :P Also, I've never borrowed a book from the local library for READING before, only for research and assignments. Insane, right?
5. From about...gosh, 10-16 years of age, I was involved in a jump rope team (1 for primary/elementary school, and 1 for high school, which, here is yrs 7-12). I could do some intermediate/advanced moves, but I doubt I have the fitness levels required to pull it off nowadays.
6. I love to travel, though I've only ever been outside Australia once (and it was an amazing experience). I love being in a plane, looking out the window and seeing nothing but clouds...lighter than air. It's breath-taking! I'd love to go to Asia- Japan (I'm studying Japanese right now at school); America (for cheap books & author signings/events, as well as shopping like NY!!), Europe (France, England...), etc.
7. I love colours! One time in school, I remember being super bored and writing up this whole essay on the importance of colours. I don't remember a word of it, but I got a few laughs from my friends, as well as some fake-slaps and head-shakes. My love of colour obviously stems for my love and admiration for all things art. Photography, paintings, digital art, videos; just to name visual art.
For my 15 bloggers, I'm going to add those I discovered last week during my blog hop (10) and those I discovered this week (5). Most of these are fairly new blogs, like mine.
Here are my 15 award recipients!
  1. Erika @ Moonlight Book Reviews
  2. Elle @ Media Molly
  3. Monica @ The Ramblings of a Book Addict
  4. Cara @ Chasing Words
  5. Ariel @ Must Love Books
  6. Bella @ A Girl Reads
  7. Alison @ Alison Can Read
  8. The Crazy Bookworm
  9. Random Ramblings
  10. Perpetual Page-turner
  11. Michelle & Leslie's Book Picks
  12. Super Reader Girl's Book Reviews
  13. Butterfly Feet Walking on Books
  14. Collegiate Bookworm
  15. Rachel @ Under A Star-Studded Sky
I'll be e-mailing the award winners soon! Everyone, have a great weekend! I'll be posting my Blog Hop/Follow Friday up, shortly! Also, TSiE by Jandy Nelson.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

[Review] Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala

I've been thinking of how to go about writing this review for the past few days. Hopefully, this time I'll be able to go through with it, without scrapping it all in the end.

Title: Tell Me a Secret
Author: Holly Cupala
Publication: June 22nd 2010
Publisher: HarperCollins [HarperTeens]
Review Copy: Hardcover, 1st edition
Pages: 292

Goodreads description:  
Tell me a secret, and I'll tell you one…

In the five years since her bad-girl sister Xanda’s death, Miranda Mathison has wondered about the secret her sister took to the grave, and what really happened the night she died. Now, just as Miranda is on the cusp of her dreams—a best friend to unlock her sister’s world, a ticket to art school, and a boyfriend to fly her away from it all—Miranda has a secret all her own.

Then two lines on a pregnancy test confirm her worst fears. Stripped of her former life, Miranda must make a choice with tremendous consequences and finally face her sister’s demons and her own.

In this powerful debut novel, stunning new talent Holly Cupala illuminates the dark struggle of a girl who must let go of her past to find a way into her own future.

My thoughts: First off, I've got to say I LOVED Tell Me a Secret. Of course, from the very moment I saw the cover, read the title, met the author (over the internet and through her massive book tour blow-out!) I had a feeling that this was going to be one sweet book. It was more than anything I could have expected... It was exactly the kind of book I needed. No, I'm not pregnant, or a fan of labrinths or have a dead sister. This book goes from a completely hopeless point in a teenage girl's life, when her perfect girl image crumbles at the seams, and she's broken and lost and just trying to find something to cling a realisation and acceptance of that which is reality.

Teenagers have issues, and I believe that Holly Cupala's debut novel Tell Me a Secret has successfully and effectively established and developed the idea that, yes teenagers have problems and issues, but there is always some little inkling of hope and that "faith manages" (a recurring message in the novel). I think this is something that teenagers could walk away from the novel with because it just makes so much sense to me. :) Also, despite being a definite YA novel, there were so many analytical elements of the book that I couldn't help thinking "Hmm...the ____ means ___", as though TMAS was a book I had to read for english class. (believe me, if I did, I'd be doing a whole lot better in english!)

Tell Me a Secret was a hard-hitting, emotional read and while it explores deep and serious issues (pregnancy, death), it was really quick and easy to read through to the end. This one is a page-turner, as others have declared. Oh, and just so you know, I'm trying to be subtle and not give any spoilers away. However...

Here's a teaser:
A blue patch of light stretched across my sketch and I smiled, remembering how Xanda and I used to draw pictures of the minister and choir. We would sit with Essence as far back from the minister as we could get away with.

Even at twelve my drawings were smooth, balanced, carefully rendered. Xanda's were angular and dramatic, with dark lines and unexpected details. Like the eyes of the soloist, one of them bigger than the other, or the too-loose blouse on the Elder after her mastectomy. Essence drew them as stick figures, acting out their secret sins on a stage and sending Xanda and me into snorts of laughter. (pp. 43-44)


Just get it already! Order it (HB) now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, The Book Depository-- wherever the heck you want to.

Still not convinced the TMAS is a beautifully crafted and emotionally stimulating read? Go to the goodreads page for more opinions! Average rating is 4.43 over 90+ ratings. Pretty good, Holly. ;) Heres to hoping that Street Creed (Fall 2011) is just as successful, well-received, deep and engaging with the YA-reader community.

Thank you so much, Holly for the awesome book tour, (Everyone go to Holly's blog if you're still missing out!) and for sending me a free signed copy + swag from the tour & shipping it internationally to little ol' me. You are beautiful, incredible and such a treat to know! :D One last thing, come August 2nd, Holly's book trailer for Tell Me a Secret will be out for the whole world to view! They had a screening at her launch party, but us internationals have to wait until the 2nd... All those who attended were SMILING and CLAPPED their hearts out, and the audio sounded pretty good. So, there's that to look forward to. I am one of the 80+ book bloggers who will be publicly posting it on my blog on Monday... if you're a follower, you'll without doubt be able to view it.

Monday, July 26, 2010

[Questions] I'm curious...

Hmm...thanks to all those who visit my little blog. :) Just a tiny announcement that I will be posting less frequently than before, so maybe like once every few days or so. Don't un-follow me just yet! I will be hosting a BIG giveaway around October/November to celebrate my graduating high school & finishing all my exams. It'll start November 4th...just letting you know. ;) Write a note of it, or bookmark, or something! I will have reminders every month leading up to it, so maybe some people will stick around just for that. Yes, book blogging isn't all about followers, HOWEVER, I feel sad when I post reviews for these awesome books and they don't get quite the recognition they deserve.
So, keep on reading & visiting my blog! Perhaps I'll also have a prize for top commentator-- I really appreciate all those who comment! I read each and every one, and sometimes I can't get back to you on your blog, but I'm sincerely sorry for that. :)

Onto my questions:
  1. Over the course of an average week, how many books do you read? For book bloggers, how many reviews do you get around to posting, usually?
  2. Book bloggers, do you blog everyday? Why, why not?
  3. Readers, does it matter significantly whether or not a blogger posts everyday, or just a few times a week? Quality over quantity?
  4. What do you all think of weekly memes, such as those that I do on my blog? (IMM, Mondayreading, TeaserTuesday, WaitingonWednesday, Follow Friday, Blog Hop...) Waste of time, or interesting and fun? A good way to find new blogs & books? Or just filler?
I think that's all for now. I'm going to post this in lieu of my Monday meme post (I only read one this week- The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson). I'd like to know what you guys think, and thanks to those who bother to answer them! :D I'm kind of in a slump right now...mostly because my whole life seems to be plummeting. I don't know where anything is going, and I wish I could just read from now until forever. All of you would like to do that though, wouldn't you?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

In My Mailbox (2)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren.

I said in my first IMM post that I would make this a monthly thing. However, at 15 books, I figured that there would be more coming in the week that is approaching. Henceforth, I am prematurely posting it, at 3 weeks. :)

 Note: Sorry for the old-fashioned blanket...and The Sky is Everywhere is missing it's band? No, I'm still reading it. :) Also, The Dead, Witchfinder & Crawlers are ARCs, though the cover for Crawlers is final.
The Book Depository
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
One Night that Changes Everything by Lauren Barnholdt
Itazura na Kiss Volume 2 (manga)

Forbidden Dance Volume 2 (manga)

Total: $80AU~ (that's about all the money I spent on myself this month! On anything!)

I Say Tomato by Katie Wall Won from goodreads giveaway [review]
Walker's Wedding (The Western Sky Series, #3) by Lori Copeland Won at Clarke's blog
Melinda and the Wild West by Linda Weaver Clarke Won at Clarke's blog
Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala Won at Cupala's book tour!
The Dead by David Gatward (ARC) Won at Caroline Hooton's blog
Witchfinder: Dawn of the Demontide by William Hussey Won at Caroline Hooton's blog
Crawlers by Sam Enthoven Won at Caroline Hooton's blog
Nobody's Girl by Sarra Manning Won at WINTER FLINGS (Australian)

Cage of Stars by Jacquelyn Mitchard

I also got a bunch of cool swag, and also some of the books are signed!!

  • Sampler of Kristan Higgin's All I Ever Wanted
  • Bookmarks (left to right): Melinda and the Wild West, All I Ever Wanted, Tell Me a Secret *SIGNED*, 2 from The Book Depository & 1 from Katie Alender
  • Spiffy letter from Katie Alender, author of Bad Girls Don't Die! Included was the bookmark, a bookplate  and a nice card. :)

Which brings us to...SIGNED stuff!

 So yeah, this month my mailbox has received so many great books and swag. :D Hopefully next week I'll be receiving a few more treats! I'm expecting 2-3 books. I've got a few that shipped out in the past few days, and they probably won't reach me in time. It takes usually a bit more than a week to get here. :S Also, I have a "book fairy" of sorts-- he's holding about 8 books & swag for me so far. So if you've sent me a book from a contest and I have not featured it yet, it's because it's still over there in the US!
Check back next week for more "In My Mailbox"! 
Oh, the formatting of this post was a horrendous task! Thanks to all those who were willing to expend the extra cash to send stuff my way. :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Blog Hop (5)

Hey there. Blog hopping again, however unfortunately I haven't been able to blog hopt that much yet.. :)
However, if you comment me, I'll definitely come visit your blog and check it out! This meme is hosted at, and Crazy Jennifer has added a new twist. This week, the question is:


My Answer: I've been trying to read Glimmerglass by Jenna Black, up to 13% or something, but haven't touched it in days (which I believe is mostly because it is an e-book and I have to read it on the computer). 
I'm currently in the thick of reading The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. This book is simply written, but that's not such a bad thing at all. In fact, the modesty & simplicity in Lennie's voice make the extravagant passages really quite special, as well as the beautiful colour-pages of notes and poems that she leaves around. I find that there is something relatable to the characters in the book, and I like Lennie's family, her friend, and Joe (not Toby, although I can sympathise with him). If you're planning on reading this one, you will be astounded by how beautiful the book is! (I have the UK edition) Also, while there is the immoral issue of being entangled between two guys, I feel that there is a justified reason-- she is grieving. She just found a rotten way of dealing with it.

For new visitors, check out my new review of Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli! I shall be posting a review for Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala soon, too. Also, I have an extensive giveaways page. May luck be with you! :)

No follow friday this week. I have too many followers at the moment. However, comment me and if I like your blog, I'll follow! :)

Book blog finds:
Collegiate Bookworm
Under a Star-Studded Sky 

Hope you visit some of my blog findings-- those are the ones I clicked that are a) new, b) interesting, in my opinion and/or c) has a good layout. I get no money from looking around the blog, but I get to see a lot of new spaces around the blogosphere! :D

[Review] Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

Review - Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

Title: Stargirl
Author: Jerry Spinelli
Genre: Realistic fiction
Ages: Middle-grade-YA 10+,clean
Blurb from Goodreads: 
Stargirl. From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of color and sound, the hallways hum with the murmur of “Stargirl, Stargirl.” She captures Leo Borlock’s heart with just one smile. She sparks a school-spirit revolution with just one cheer. The students of Mica High are enchanted. At first. [continued]
Release Date: August 8, 2000

Thoughts: Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli is a story about a fantastically strange girl who wears unique clothes, plays the ukelele around school and just does not care what others think of her. It also follows, but does not focus on, a sad, innocent romance between her, Stargirl and the narrator, Leo, tainted by the corruption of peer pressure and high school.

The characters are well-developed and funny, and I really could connect to them on some level. I especially liked Archie and his cactus, Señor Saguaro- I found that they presented a form of escape and sanctuary, away from the judging eyes of the couple's peers, as well as this "mystical place" out in the desert. There was a good sense of balance in all areas, in that aspect.

The plot was quite simple, but very effective and emotional. I only wish that Leo had done more for Stargirl, because she is an eccentric and wonderful character, and even after finishing the last page and putting the book down she still remains imprinted in my mind. Would I recommend this book to others? Definitely. I think this book has the potential to appeal to many audiences, as perspectives from all kinds of people are represented, and themes/issues that appear in this book are universal-- high school, 'love', betrayal, friendship, peer pressure, etc. I definitely want to read the sequel, Love, Stargirl.


You can buy "Starigirl" (PB) at Amazon. Alternatively, you can buy the box set (which includes both Stargirl and Love, Stargirl). It released in 2000! Hoorah. A decade of Stargirl. :)

Phew... tomorrow, I will post up a review of Holly Cupala's Tell Me a Secret, and The Sky is Everywhere (if I can finish it tomorrow). Thanks for reading! Have you read Stargirl, and what did you think of it? Also, sorry for the weird formatting. I just switched to the new editor, and it's acting up for some reason. :\

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (3)

Okay, so I'm back from my short few days break. I've got a few reviews to write up. If I don't leave them 'til tomorrow, they'll be short and not adequate for posting. So, here's a WoW post! :D

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

For this week, I am swooning over Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, which released December 2nd 2010!

Why I'm Waiting on Anna and the French Kiss:
I like the idea of the title & cover link. Also, it sounds like a nice and breezy kind of fun, romantic comedy kind of story. Plus, there are some crazy (and lucky) bloggers out there going nuts over this one. [The Hiding Spot & The Book Cellar]

Blurb (from Goodreads):

A contemporary romance set in the City of Light, guaranteed to make toes tingle and hearts melt

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris — until she meets Étienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna — and readers — have long awaited?
Well, doesn't it sound so fun? Thanks for visiting my weekly WoW post.

What are you waiting on this week?

[WINNERS] 50 Followers Contest!!!

I'm ending this 2 and a half hours early. Sorry, but I simply must, as I have homework to do, and I'm going to have to turn my computer off soon if I'm going to be able to finish it all in time. (Around 6:40 pm here) For all those who missed out on entering, bad luck. However, there will be more contests in the future! Well, the only way you'll be able to know for sure is if you continue to follow me! (+2 for old followers)

There were 184 entries. I checked all of the entries twice. :\ It took longer than I wanted it to take, but anyway...I know all you just want to know if you're a lucky winner.

Here we go. Lucky, show me...


[#100] Alessandra @Out of the Blue who says that Matched is at the top of her wishlist right now! (Release November 30th)

[#65] The Library Lurker @The Library Lurker who says that her favorite '10 debut so far is Sea by Heidi R. Kling.

Congratulations, you two! (both of you had the same amount of extra entries...5!)

I will shortly e-mail the winners so they can choose their prizes. Remember all, there is a 10% off thing going on at The Book Depository!!!

Thank you all for entering! You made it quite a chore/feat to trudge through and count the entries. Next time, as I mentioned earlier, there will be NO EXTRA ENTRIES, other than commenting. :) Although, it will be aimed towards one special book. Hehe. *hint hint YAtobereleased!! hint hint* Look out for that in the next few months. :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Random updates...

My contest ends on Wednesday (21st). Almost up to 100 followers. I realised that the number of followers aren't that important anymore, so the next giveaway I will only require simple entry. I won't make people jump through hoops... :P I really appreciate those who visit, follow and genuinely read the stuff I put out here. It makes all this time well-spent.

I am half-way through Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli, and will leave Glimmerglass for the coming week. I predict I will finish reading Stargirl sometime tonight, and so I will post up a review shortly afterwards. After that, I will not be online or checking blog-ish stuff until the 21st when I have to count up all the entries and the winner/s. (I counted 2 days ago-- over 100 entries...never again will I have massive extra entries...)

Isn't the cover so completely simple, yet adorable? Also, to those who have read Stargirl, I am ashamed to say that I realised Leo was a boy like 1/3 of the way through the book, during the Valentines' Day event. I don't know, maybe Leo can be a unisex name...

Teaser: "Her caught-in-headlights eyes gave her a look of perpetual astonishment, so that we found ourselves turning and looking back over our shoulders, wondering what we were missing. She laughed when there was no joke. She danced when there was no music. She had no friends, yet she was the friendliest person in school."

Book Extravaganza is buzzing around the blogosphere! While my contest isn't aimed for this event, it is still very well in the spirit of giving someone the chance to acquire a free book. :) There are a fair few lists out there, so just search a bit and you shall find. Also, check out the new Halo trailer (Alexandra Adornetto)!

One last thing. My contest page is hideously outdated. If anyone is TRULY interested in all of the contests I've found, e-mail me at cc932005[at]hotmail[dot]com. I can send you a .html file of my bookmarks (contests folder)-- it's not fancy, but it will get the job done. However, I've stopped giveaway scouting, except for giveaways on blogs I follow. You can also go to Giveaway Scout-- about 9 pages of book giveaways, though it's not the best of listings (no US/international info!). Yeah. That's all I'm doing for now.

If I do not post the Stargirl review by tomorrow, I'll post one on the 21st!

Just a few contest-y thingies I need to mention. Win a free, autographed, personalised copy of The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting (2 winners!) at Kimberly Franklin's blog here! How generous of her! It ends when she returns back from vacation, so get your entries in quickly!

Also, there is a random, random book-ish-but-not-really giveaway over at twin blogs: Random Thoughts & Winded Words! Many, many winners, and a HUGE prize at the end of July. :D Awesome. There are people getting rocks. Hehe, just kidding.

It's Monday! What are you reading?

Also, in regards to reading, I have read 3 books this week-- due for review are Stargirl and Tell Me a Secret, both of which I devoured in one day! Both highly recommended. I'm currently reading Glimmerglass, as is apparent over at my sidebar.

Blog Hop (4) / Follow Friday (3)

Oh my...I did it again. If you're reading this now, it means I was "editing" this post for the coming week's Blog hop / Follow Friday. Unfortunately, I didn't think fast enough and clicked the "publish post" button too quickly. Soo... :| The list was pretty epic though.

The question this week was:

Books I'm looking forward to:
Crossing the tracks, The DUFF, Anna and the French Kiss, Harmonic Feedback, & more

[Review] The Light of Asteria: Kailmeyra's Last Hope by Elizabeth Isaacs

Review - The Light of Asteria: Kailmeyra's Last Hope by Elizabeth Isaacs
Thanks to Elizabeth Isaacs for a review e-book!

Title: The Light of Asteria: Kailmeyra's Last Hope

Author: Elizabeth Isaacs
Genre: Fantasy, romance, adventure, action
Ages: YA- 14+, there are some sexual scenes, but no language

Blurb from Goodreads: If Nora Johnson hadn't been on campus that day she would have never known her true destiny. Helping her friends move into the dorm that she wanted to call home, Nora accidentally collides with mysterious stranger, Gavin Frey. His very first touch sends flames through her heart. The world seems different-something within her has changed... [continued]

Thoughts: I asked for a review copy from Elizabeth Isaacs upon reading a post from her on Goodreads (she wanted reviewers), and at first I was a bit hesitant. Would I enjoy this read? However, the little reviews out there persuaded me to push forward and ask, and I am SO glad that I did, because had I not done so, I would never have found this treasure.

It is beautifully written, and from the first page, Isaac's eloquent and sophisticated language and form is prominent, though still very much YA. [example] At 380~ pages, this is not a quick read, but was a rewarding one. Not often have I felt like I was truly in there with the characters, in the setting, a bystander to the events that unfolded. However, the immaculate use of description did not throw me away from the plot. The storyline was at times very conversation-driven, lots of dialogue. At others, there was great action, and at at least two times during the novel, my eyes were welling up as I read. I was brought to really CARE for the characters. Each of them were different, and I couldn't help feeling the emotions that Nora felt as her narration followed through these events.

The Light of Asteria really needs more recognition, and to the very few reviews I have read out there, I thank you for bringing me to reading this lovely novel. The Light of Asteria is the first of a series. I'd assume the second one will be releasing in 2011. I will be readily awaiting Isaac's second book, and I have no doubt that it will be just as mystical and enchanting and, well, out of this world. Highly recommended.

Last thing. Why it DIDN't get 5/5. There were one or two rough patches where I put the e-book down and didn't feel like reading it until a few hours later. It wasn't because of a fault in the writing, just the pacing of that part was a bit slow. Most books have that, though, and that's why 5/5s don't get handed out often/at all. :P

You can buy "The Light of Asteria: Kailmeyra's Last Hope" (PB) at Amazon or Book Depository. It released March 22nd 2010! Also, check out her website!, blog, and follow her on twitter if you must (@kailmeyra) Also, if you're reading this Elizabeth, consider coming to Australia sometime! I'd love for you to sign my metaphorical book! (I will definitely be buying a copy, even with my poor student-y funds)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (2)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

For my first WOW meme, I am swooning over Crossing the Tracks by Barbara Stuber, which released July 6th! So, it's already released...

Interested? Read on!

Why I'm Waiting on Crossing the Tracks
I love love love the cover and trailer! I think this book centralises ideas and settings and characters that have been so neglected in YA, so I'm interested to see how Stuber did with dealing with something that is different. Plus, the reviews I have read of her debut novel (Crossing the Tracks) were all positive, with praises of writing style, character development... One person: "I just like the sound of it. Can’t explain it."-- which echoes my thoughts exactly. :)

Blurb (from Goodreads):
At fifteen, Iris is a hobo of sorts – no home, no family, no plan. After her mother’s early death, Iris’s father focuses on big plans for his new shoe stores and his latest girlfriend, and has no time for his daughter. Unbeknownst to her, he hires Iris out as housekeeper and companion for a country doctor’s elderly mother. Suddenly Iris is alone, stuck in gritty rural Missouri, too far from her only friend Leroy and too close to a tenant farmer Cecil Deets, who menaces the neighbors, and Iris suspects, his own daughter.

Iris is buoyed by the warmth and understanding the doctor and his mother show her, but just as she starts to break out of her shell tragedy strikes. Iris must find the guts and cunning to take aim at the devil incarnate and discover if she is really as helpless - or hopeless – or homeless - as she once believed.

I hope that more people will see this title and be interested, or, like me, be strangely drawn to it. I just really like how it sounds, and it's been noted that it's "beautifully written". There is a preview here, also apparently personalised copies. I'm going to e-mail her about that, because I'd love a signed copy! :D

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (3)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.
Grab the book you are currently reading and randomly post a couple sentences.
Wow! Already at 3 Teaser Tuesdays. Hehe. My blog is solidifying.

Here is a teaser for "The Light of Asteria: Kailmeyra's Last Hope" by Elizabeth Isaacs (galley from Elizabeth Isaacs):

“Sophie?” I hollered, as I headed into the darkness. “Is that you?”

The air became heavy. I glanced back and was surprised by the distant flicker of colored bulbs. I was farther from the festival than I thought. Adrenaline rushed, and my heart found its way to my throat as my senses heightened. I had never been scared of the dark, but I now had a deeper understanding of the world—and there was definitely something unnatural about this night. I stepped into the forest wall, straining to look through the darkness... (p.72)

So there you have it. This book was released March 22nd 2010, and I'm enjoying it so far. It's a fantasy YA novel, very well written as you can see (and this is a galley, and some wording and spelling errors make that fact apparenty), and so far I'd definitely recommend you at least check it out. I'm not usually a fantasy person, but I'm pretty drawn in to the story, and characters and the world that Elizabeth Isaacs has painted with her 'words on paper'. :P

Hope you enjoy this week's
Teaser Tuesday! What are you reading?

The Light of Asteria: Kailmeyra's Last Hope by Elizabeth Isaacs
Pages: 380
Release date: March 2010
Genre: fantasy, romance, action, adventure
Ages: YA-- some sexual scenes, I have not finished, so there may be and possibly are more

If Nora Johnson hadn't been on campus that day she would have never known her true destiny. Helping her friends move into the dorm that she wanted to call home, Nora accidentally collides with mysterious stranger, Gavin Frey. His very first touch sends flames through her heart. The world seems different-something within her has changed.

Nora tries to resume her mundane life, but she is now consumed with the one whose very presence ignited her soul, the one with eyes of emerald. Nora soon learns that an energy buried deep within has been unleashed. She now wields unimaginable power and has become Gavin's source, his strength.

Her newfound joy is shaken when she discovers that Gavin is not who he appears to be and she has been thrust in the middle of a war of mythical proportions. Negativity has allowed all things evil to flourish, the earth is under siege. The fate of creation hinges on the power within her heart. Will she be strong enough to survive?

A gripping tale of unbounded love and ancient power, The Light of Asteria will take you on an epic adventure filled with war, treachery, and demons, as well as unimaginable delights.
Also, new visitors, go check out my contest. Open to all those who The Book Depository ships to. :) Please check that your country is on there before entering.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Tell Me a Secret Cover Contest

Hosted at Princess Bookie. I was determined to at least make a cover, so here it is. I don't aim to win, I just entered for the fun of supporting a book I'm really excited about!

Ugh...I'm so rusty on Photoshop, and it doesn't help that my version is really old. Here's my embarrassing attempt at a cover image. :\ Sorry Holly...I tried to find a good image, and it's an amazing image, but I couldn't fix the quality of it so it looks like a disaster.

Original Cover:

My embarrassing re-made cover:

Click on the link to view the original, non-resized version. I had mega trouble finding good fonts & colours, and I got frustrated and gave up. So yeah, that's why it's mostly white. :P

It's Monday! What are you reading? (2)

This here is a weekly meme hosted at Book Journey, and basically we have to post what we have finished reading this week, and what we plan on reading this week.

Books read last week
* The Mermaid's Mirror by L. K. Madigan (review copy from Netgalley) [review]
* I Say Tomato by Katie Wall (Goodreads First Reads)

Books to read this week
* The Light of Asteria: Kailmeyra's Last Hope (Book I) by Elizabeth Isaacs (p.152)
* Glimmerglass (Faeriewalker #1) by Jenna Black

I'm about halfway through The Light of Asteria, and it's a fantasy YA novel. It is beautifully written, so I'm hoping to finish this by tomorrow. I've been meaning to read Glimmerglass for a few weeks now, and so before all my other books arrive, I'm going to read this. Hopefully I'll have some more to read next week. :)

What are you reading this week?

Also, check out my contest! Ends July 31st. One winner (two winners if over 50 entries or 100 followers) get a free book of their choice from The Book Depository! :D Link above this post title.

CLOSED 50 Followers Contest!!! [International]

Bumped end date 10 days earlier, sorry for the inconvenience, but I think the contest would be running for far too long, and I'd rather finish this sooner. Thanks, and good luck!

To celebrate my blog receiving 50 followers, I think it's only right to have a little treat for those who visit me.

You must be a follower to enter. Please disclose whether you're an old follower or a new follower. (old followers before 11th July get +2 extra entries!) To enter, leave a comment. If you have extra entries, you can either bundle them all in one post, or leave separate ones- they will still be counted either way!

Extra entries:
(+1) follow me on twitter (@cc9309)
(+1) link to the giveaway on twitter, facebook, goodreads, etc (+1 each link, leave links. For twitter, while many tweets are appreciated, only +1 is given for linking)
(+2) post it on your sidebar/contest page (leave link)
(+3) blog about it (leave direct link to blog entry-- it doesn't need to be a dedicated post)
(+1) Answer the question: What is your favourite '10 debut novel so far? or What is at the top of your wishlist?

You can link to my giveaway by using the code below:

Words on Paper CONTEST

Count your EXTRA entries and total them up. It makes it easier for me to count the entries as a whole.

I will use to determine the winner/s. Thank you for visiting, and may luck be on your side!

Ends July 21st, 9 pm (GMT +10). I will announce the winner on August 1st. If I get up to 100 followers, I will add in another winner, so two lucky readers can potentially win a free book of their choice! (under $15 AU*)

There will be more contests in a month or two, so stay following and if you don't win this time around, there will be more chances! :D

* if you are a winner, I will e-mail you promptly. Then you ask for what book you'd like with a direct link to The Book Depository page-- have a few books in order of preference. ALSO no pre-orders, however if there is a new release in the first two weeks of August, I might be able to order it.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Thanks for the 50 followers + contest + semi-HIATUS

Thanks for getting me to 50 followers, everyone! It means a lot to me. In fact, I'm going to host an international contest for you all. I'll get all that organised tomorrow.

I've got school stuff to do for now, so this will just be a little update.

I may not be able to blog as much as I would like, however please stick around. I'll try and read and review at least one book a week. It's my senior year of high school, and so I really appreciate it if you all could just stay with me for until November. The months before that are going to be tricky, but I'll try to post as often as I can. Unfortunately, this also means I won't be posting giveaways as often, as I won't be on the internet as much.

I've been buying and winning contests (thank you so much-- you know who you are), so I'll hopefully have an IMM monthly post up when all of that arrives in a week or two. I have a couple debut '10er books to arrive to my mailbox-- Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala, Mistwood by Leah Cypress, Glimmerglass by Jenna Black and One Night that Changes Everything by Lauren Barnholdt!), as well as other current YA. If I'm lucky I may be able to pull off my first author interview. I don't really know how they work-- do you usually ask, or do they come along? Anyway, I'd love to have an author interview. What else? I'll try my best to keep on doing "It's Monday! What are you reading?", "Teaser Tuesdays", "Waiting on Wednesday", and "Book Blog Hop & Follow Friday".

Not really much else to say, but stick with me and look out for a contest! :D

You guys rock.

Friday, July 9, 2010

[Review] I Say Tomato by Katie Wall

Review - I Say Tomato by Katie Wall
Won a free copy as part of Goodreads' First Reads Program! Thank you Scribe Publishing!

Title: I Say Tomato
Author: Katie Wall
Genre: Romantic comedy, chick-lit
Ages: Young women?

Blurb: Sunny, a young Australian actress, has recently arrived in Hollywood — having left heartbreak behind at home — and is still finding her feet. Soon enough, she’s auditioning for parts, being swept off to the Sundance Film Festival and negotiating tricky cross-cultural misunderstandings. And all the time, she’s trying to work out what — and who — is really important in her life.

I Say Tomato is both a satire of the LA film scene and a charming romantic comedy, filled with humour and heart. It’s about a young woman trying to find herself, but perhaps looking in all the wrong places.

Review: I had not previously heard of I Say Tomato before the giveaway, so I did not know what to expect, especially since it was the author's- who is also an actress- debut novel. In three words- charming, raw and humorous.

The story follows the journey of a twenty-something actress from Australia, Sunny, who is trying to find herself career-wise in LA. Along the way, she has a few love interests, but she's still trying to figure out why her previous relationship with Tobey ended so abruptly upon hesitation of his marriage proposal. I can't say too much about the storyline, or else I might give it all away. I can say, however, that I really liked the characters and the writing. Katie Wall created a voice that seems believeable, who was witty and charming, but also realistic. Uncertainty, doubt, sarcasm.

Perhaps Americans may be offended by this novel, I can't say for sure. I found it to be a very enjoyable read. Katie Wall constructs several comparisons between Australia and America-- LA in specific. One such example would be when Sunny talks about how sarcasm is lost on Americans, and so she makes sure not to throw in comments that may come across as snide. I can't find the quote right now, but read it if you're curious!

If you're an Australian young-mid woman, I would recommend you to read this book, even just for an entertaining evening. It's a nice read, and I'm already missing Sunny and other characters. I love chick lit with endearing characters who are interesting in their own ways. If you're American, you may just need to be a little open-hearted. I mean, we Australians don't ride kangaroos instead of cars, or keep koalas as pets.

Rating: 3.5/5

You can buy "I Say Tomato" (PB only) at Amazon or Book Depository. It released May 3rd 2010!

On a side note, I just checked the Book Depository page, and it says it's Out of Stock! :D I'm glad people are buying them (the implications of OOS), because I enjoyed it and I hope others do too! I hope that it continues to sell, and that Wall will continue writing.
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