Tag Archives: teen reads

10 Days of Anathema Blog Tour Stop #10

15 Jul

Anathema

Evangeline has spent her teenage years in obscurity. Her foster parents have the emotional aptitude of robots and her classmates barely acknowledge her existence. About to turn eighteen and feeling like a social pariah, she is desperate to connect with someone. Anyone.

When Evangeline meets Sofie after literally stumbling upon her café, she believes she’s found that connection. Willing to do anything to keep it, she accepts a job as Sofie’s assistant and drops everything to fly to Manhattan, where she is thrust into a luxurious world of Prada, diamonds, and limitless cash.

With such generosity and kindness, it’s easy for Evangeline to dismiss certain oddities . . . like Sofie’s erratic and sometimes violent behavior, and the monstrous guard dogs. She’s even willing to dismiss her vivid dreams of mob-style murders, beautiful homeless people living in caves, and white-eyed demons that haunt her each night as figments of her imagination—especially when one of those figments is the gorgeous Caden. When she wakes up with bite marks on her neck, the fairy tale quickly turns into a nightmare. She slowly unravels the mystery surrounding Sofie and friends, and the reality of the bites and the “dreams.” What she discovers is far more mysterious and terrible than anything she could have imagined.

In a world where everyone has motive to lie for personal gain, Evangeline must decide which deception is least likely to get her killed.

For the very last stop of the Anathema blog tour, I’m sharing my review of this unique and compelling story. Along with an opportunity to win your very own copy! See after the review, for more details. 🙂

Anathema is one of those amazing stories that you want to run out and tell everyone you know to read—but not tell them anything about the plot. Just reading the book description was enough to make me shake my head and wonder what exactly will happen in this story. Like a movie with a twist ending, I was glad I went in only knowing that this novel came highly recommended from some fellow book blogger friends.

The action in Anathema starts right up within the first few pages. As soon as Evangeline agrees to accompany Sofie to NYC, things get weird. I’ll admit, it took me a bit of time to suspend my disbelief and understand exactly why Evangeline would pick up and move to NYC with someone she just met, but once you understand more about her background, and everything lacking in her life, it makes perfect sense!

I found the story to be a perfect mix of old-time fairy tales (a “princess”, locked in a castle!), mystery (what is happening to Evangeline at night?), and creepy old gothic novels (mysterious voices, deception, possible insanity). In short, many of my favorite genres, blended together!

Mixing “our world” and a parallel world isn’t a new concept. At times, the story actually reminded me of the later seasons of LOST, but spookier. But in Anathema, the two worlds blend together flawlessly, making the concept of “alternate realities”, along with some old familiar paranormal aspects (which I won’t mention, in fear of spoiling you) fresh and new. I really felt as if I’d gone back in time, to my younger days in the 1990’s, when not every book I read seemed suspiciously redundant.

Anathema is also on my short list of “realistic romances in YA”. Yes, there are paranormal elements, but the interaction between the characters, their problems, and how their relationship develops in the first place was refreshingly realistic. Also, it helps that Caden is really hot.

So much happens in this story that in the beginning, you can’t help but wonder “where is this going?”. What is real, and what’s in Evangeline’s head? Who can she trust, if anyone? How much of her life was chance, and how much was straight up manipulation? As soon as I finished, I wanted to go back and re-read it to catch all of the things I may have missed my first time around. The last book that left me feeling this way was CHIME, one of my favorite reads of this year so far.

Overall, I am very glad I went in to the story not knowing exactly what to expect. Anathema is an intriguing tale of lies, destiny, and romance. Plots are tied up (unlike in LOST!), but you’re left with a killer cliffhanger that will have you begging for book two.

4/5 STARS
Thanks to Kathleen Tucker for my review copy!

Kathleen is giving away a signed, print copy of Anathema to one lucky winner at the end of the blog tour. Anyone can enter by visiting her site at http://www.katuckerbooks.com (read giveaway rules posted). Do you want up to 10 extra chances to win? Visit each blog stop for an Anathema Quiz question. Answer it correctly and your name is entered! Simple!
Here’s your quiz question for today, Blog Stop #10: “What does Evangeline need to do to be free of the curse?”
To submit your answer, click here http://www.katuckerbooks.com/10-days-of-anathema-grand-prize-entry-form.html
And if you haven’t read Anathema yet… what are you waiting for?!

Kathleen has also been generous enough to provide an e-copy for a giveaway! All you have to do is comment here to enter. The contest open until 11:59pm on Sunday July 17. PLEASE Leave your email in your comment to enter! No email, no win! 🙂

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BEA Recap: Day Two

2 Jun

I started my second day of BEA by breaking the cardinal rule of attending book expo: don’t be late. My roommate Jenn (a media publicist) and I both seemed to have trouble getting out of the apt. that morning, and also vastly underestimated the length of time it would take to get us from the subway to Javits Center on the far west side of Manhattan.

And: it was HOT. And very humid.

By the time we did walk in to Javits around 9:20am, I already felt dead. But I sucked it up, and after waiting in a very tiny line for our passes, dashed over to the first signing on my list– Jeri Smith Ready. Sadly, there were only 40 or so books available, so I definitely missed getting a signed copy of Shift. Having met Jeri the night before, I didn’t feel too badly, so my next stop was Scott Tracey’s signing for Witch Eyes. I was really excited to pick up a copy after hearing so much discussion of his book on twitter.

Along with roomie Jenn, I ended up hanging out with Lindsi of Books, Sweets and Other Treats in the signing lines. Apparently a crazy older woman actually BIT Lindsi in the arm when she reached past her for a book that AM—an event that would later reach BEA Urban Legend status. (Edit: You can read her account of the incident here.)

Lindsi was shaken by the experience, but appeared rabies-free, so we decided to hang out while we waited for signings to begin. Together, we made an awesome team, and were able to get each other books we would have otherwise missed out on. At one point, running around Javits, we met this bookish Piggie:
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Shortly after we met Melissa de la Cruz (signing Bloody Valentine and Witches of East End), who remembered my blog from the very early “Most Wanted Books of 2011” post I had written about Witches. I’ve met her twice now, and each time Melissa is completely and utterly awesome. She also has the honor of being one of my longest read YA authors (second only to LJ Smith)–I’ve been a fan of hers since the second Au Pairs book!

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Melissa De la Cruz.

After Melissa’s signing, we double teamed the lines of Alma Katsu (The Taker), Claudia Gray (Fateful), Trinity Faegen (The Mephisto Covenant, one of my most highly anticipated YA reads of BEA), and Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Trial by Fire). After, Jenn went back to continue her half day of work, and Lindsi headed to some other signings. I stopped by the Harlequin booth to meet Rachel Vincent. The lines were a bit hectic, but I managed to snag a copy of “If I Die”, and have Rachel sign it. Along with one other similarly named blogger friend in front of me, we all had a nice discussion about the proper way to spell Rachel:

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At some other point that afternoon, I met Trinity Faegen, Jana Oliver, and Jeri Smith Ready again:
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R-L:Trinity, Jana, and Jeri.

I attempted to grab lunch in my downtime, but due to a major Javits FAIL, I wasn’t able to eat. Turns out the entire convention center had lost the use of their credit/debit card network, leaving many attendees unable to purchase food. I was actually chastised by a cashier for not bringing cash, which as a New Yorker, I can say is completely ridiculous. So I continued on, scarfing the only food I had brought with me: a banana, and some peanut butter crackers. Little did I know, I wouldn’t be eating lunch at all that day.

After my lunch disaster, tired, and hungry, I got in line early the Tahereh Mafi signing line for Shatter Me. Which was a good decision, because that line ended up being huge. Tahereh was super nice (and more shy than she seems on twitter), so when I ended up randomly running into her at the Harper Collins booth later that day, she signed a second copy of her book for me to give Jenn, and inscribed it with a “Happy Birthday” message for her!

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Tahereh Mafi.

Post-Shatter Me, a small group of bloggers and I got in line at the Penguin booth for Richelle Mead’s Bloodlines signing later that afternoon. We seemed to be blocking the show floor and the current signing line, so a Penguin employee handed out numbered cards, and told us to come back about an hour and a half later for what was sure to be the biggest YA signing of the day.

As expected, things did not go as smoothly as planned.

People were confused by the number system. People got in line where they didn’t belong. And bloggers were told the number system was “canceled” and the line was a free for all.  Luckily, a smart publicist did a last-minute line organization, so we all managed to get back in line close to our original numbers, and meet Richelle. I feel incredibly lucky to have had the chance to meet her a second time. Since Richelle is 5 or 6 months pregnant, I was surprised she even came to BEA! She was amazing, as always, and we had a brief chat about how busy she was going to be around the end of August. (She has I believe 2 books, a graphic novel, and the baby due all within a week!)

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Richelle Mead.

After scoring both Bloodlines and Shatter Me, I was pretty confident in my author meeting and book procuring abilities. I only had one other “must have” book left to get Wednesday morning.

I got in line to meet Kiki Hamilton, author of The Faerie Ring, but sadly the books ran out 3 people in front of me –after a BEA volunteer had counted out the number of people in line and told me I’d be the last person to receive one. I was sad, but got over it. I did manage to get Leigh Fallon’s Carrier of the Mark, another book high on my want list, so that pretty much made up for missing out on Faerie Ring. One last stop at Jeff Hirsch’s line for The Eleventh Plague (a highly anticipated post-apocalyptic YA novel), and we were done with day one!

Kind of.

Lindsi, and her hotel roommates Casey, Farrah, and Britney needed to go to the post office, so we hopped on the cross-town bus with our massive suitcases (much to the chagrin of the other passengers), and headed to the giant 34th street USPS location. It ended up being much much cheaper than shipping at Javits, but took forever. I sat outside on the steps and got some sun while I waited, and ended up meeting a woman who works as book reviewer & writer for a Canadian newspaper—who has been going to BEA for 20 years! It was insane hearing the stories she had to tell about past conventions.

After all of day 1’s books were securely shipped off, our group headed to Chelsea to one of my favorite cafe’s, Grey Dog. It felt absolutely amazing to sit down, and finally eat some food. Not only is Grey Dog super yummy, but it’s pretty laid back, which was just what we needed after a long day running around like crazy people doing bookish things.

Finally, I made it home. Where I did not go to bed early (mistake!), and instead pet my new books, and read more of an old one. Other than a few books I missed out on, I had a very successful first day on the show floor. And felt like I was slowly learning what not to do on day 2. Check back tomorrow for that story!

I will leave you with this crazy photo. The end of day 2 book pile, featuring books from Monday and Tuesday:
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BEA WEEK EVENTS

18 May

BEA is just under a week away, but I am already feeling the “omg so much to do!” insanity and falling behind on reviews. Along with my regular work, doing fun things like shooting a beautiful fashion show (for blog #1), and helping my parents pack for a move, I am booked for every day this month! Thankfully, BEA’s official schedule ends around 5pm every night, leaving time for blogger meetups, parties, and more signings. Here are some of the most exciting events I’ve found:

SUNDAY MAY 22:

TERRIFIC TEEN TITLES Event at Books of Wonder:
1 pm – 3 pm

CASEY SCIESZKA – To Timbuktu: Nine Countries, Two People, One True Story
STEVEN WEINBERG – To Timbuktu: Nine Countries, Two People, One True Story
ELIZABETH SCOTT – Between Here and Forever
AMY IGNATOW – Popularity Papers: Book 2
ROBERT SHARENOW – The Berlin Boxing Club
MEGAN MCCAFFERTY – Bumped
18 West 18th Street, NYC

MONDAY MAY 23:

Lady Gaga at Best Buy, Union Square.
9pm-??
CD Release/Signing
Not a bookish event, but just as exciting!
(This isn’t confirmed by any means)

Meet the Author: Gena Showalter
Book: The Darkest Secret
Venue: Apple Store, SoHo, 6:30pm
Location: 103 Prince Street, NYC

NYC TEEN AUTHOR CARNIVAL:
May 23 Time: 4-7pm
Mulberry Street Library
10 Jersey Street NYC
24 Authors Reading and Signing, including Andrea Cremer, Gayle Forman, Kody Keplinger, David Levithan, and more! More info here.

TUESDAY MAY 24:

Speculating on Fiction at the NYPL:
Tuesday May 24th 5:30pm
Lev Grossman – The Magicians
John Scalzi – Fuzzy Nation
Cat Valente – Deathless
Scott Westerfeld – Behemoth
Info, and registration here.

WEDNESDAY MAY 25:

Charlaine Harris Signing 3
Word for Word: Charlaine Harris, Dead Reckoning. Moderated by Melissa Marr
Wednesday, May 25, 2011 from 12:30 pm to 1:45 pm
The New York Times bestselling author visits the Bryant Park outdoor reading series to discuss the latest installment in the hugely popular Sookie Stackhouse novels. This event is a part of the “Word for Word” is an outdoor reading series that features bestselling authors, celebrity writers, and expert-panelists sharing anecdotes, answering questions from the audience, and signing copies of their latest books.
The event is FREE and open to the public. For updates and additional information, please visit the website at http://www.bryantpark.org. The Bryant Park Reading Room is located on the 42nd Street side of the park – under the trees – between the back of the NYPL & 6th Avenue. Look for the burgundy and white umbrellas. Rain Venue: Library of the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen 20 West 44th Street (between 5th & 6th Avenue).

Writing for Teens Today : Authors Speak
Wednesday May 25th: 5:30 PM
Join some of today’s hottest YA authors as they discuss writing for teens in today’s market. From developing authentic voices to keeping the reader hooked, from plot twists and turns to keeping the slang right, find out their tips and tricks to staying in style. For ages 12 and up.
Featuring:
Ally Condie – Matched
James Dashner – The Scorch Trials
Ellen Hopkins – Fallout
Maureen Johnson – The Last Little Blue Envelope
Lauren Kate – Torment
Scott Westerfeld – Behemoth
Bring your copy from home or buy a fresh edition on site and collect autographs!
For ages 13 to 18 years
Venue: Mulberry Street Library
Location: 10 Jersey St.

THE CLASS OF 2K11:
Wednesday May 25th 6 pm – 8 pm
JULIA KARR – XVI
BETTINA RESTREPO – Illegal
AMY HOLDER – The Lipstick Laws
ANGIE SMIBERT – Memento Nora
CAROLE ESTBY DAGG – The Year We Were Famous
GAE POLISNER – The Pull Of Gravity
CHRISTINA MANDELSKI – The Sweetest Thing
SHEILA O’CONNOR – Sparrow Road
ALISSA GROSSO – Popular
GEOFF HERBACH – Stupid Fast
CARRIE HARRIS – Bad Taste In Boys
KIKI HAMILTON – The Faerie Ring
TRINITY FAEGAN – The Mephisto Covenant
Books of Wonder: 18 W. 18th St, NYC
More info.

Meet the Author: Christopher Paolini
Book: Inheritance, coming this Fall
Venue: Apple Store, SoHo, 5pm
Location: 103 Prince Street

Meet the Authors: Ally Carter and Melissa De La Cruz
Book: Uncommon Criminals (Carter) and Blue Bloods: Lost in Time (De La Cruz)
Venue: Apple Store, SoHo, 6:30pm
Location: 103 Prince Street, NYC.

7:00 – 8:30 PM Paperback Launch party for Emma Donoghue’s ROOM
Emma Donoghue reads and signs from her acclaimed novel ROOM, just out in paperback. Drinks will be served.
The PowerHouse Arena, 37 Main St, Brooklyn NY

THURSDAY MAY 26:

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Scholastic “This is Teen” Book Signings:
Libba Bray, Meg Cabot, Maggie Stiefvater
May 26, 2011, The Scholastic Store in New York, NY
More info here.

SATURDAY MAY 28:

FANTASTIC FICTION!
DANIEL KIRK – Elf Realm: The Road’s End
BIANCA TURETSKY – The Time-Traveling Fashionista
GAIL CARSON LEVINE – A Tale of Two Castles
MAURISSA GUIBORD – Warped
SARAH REES BRENNAN – The Demon’s Covenant
Books of Wonder: 18 W. 18th St, NYC.

OTHER:

Ultimate BEA Party Guide

Book Expo’s List of Concurrent Events

My Regular NYC Book Signings List