blo Teens Read and Write: July 2010

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cassandra Clare Video Chat

If you're a mega Cassandra Clare fan, like us, you need to know...

"Wednesday, August 4 at 5 pm ET, author Cassandra Clare will be making a major announcement about The Mortal Instruments series and taking questions during a video chat on 

There’s also a sweepstakes to win a limited edition Clockwork Angel pendant. "

Sounds exciting!

Friday, July 30, 2010


SIREN author, Tricia Rayburn,was kind enough to stop by for an interview!

Seventeen-year-old Vanessa Sands is afraid of everything—the dark, heights, the ocean—but her fearless older sister, Justine, has always been there to coach her through every challenge. That is, until Justine goes cliff-diving one night near the family’s vacation house in Maine, and her lifeless body washes up on shore the next day. 

Though her parents hope that they’ll be able to find closure back in Boston, Vanessa can’t help feeling that her sister’s death wasn’t an accident. After discovering that Justine was keeping a lot of secrets, Vanessa returns to Winter Harbor, hoping that Justine’s boyfriend might know more. But Caleb has been missing since Justine’s death. 

Soon, it’s not just Vanessa who’s afraid. All of Winter Harbor is abuzz with anxiety when another body washes ashore, and panic sets in when the small town becomes host to a string of fatal, water-related accidents in which all the victims are found, horrifically, grinning from ear to ear. 

Vanessa turns to Caleb’s brother, Simon, for help, and begins to find herself drawn to him. As the pair try to understand the sudden rash of creepy drownings, Vanessa uncovers a secret that threatens her new romance—and will change her life forever.

Vanessa goes through a terrible loss. What made you decide to use something so heart-wrenching and was it based on any real life experiences?
Thankfully, Vanessa’s loss wasn’t inspired by any real-life experiences. But I’m very close to my siblings and know I’d be lost if anything ever happened to them—which is exactly how Vanessa feels when Justine disappears. This, however, forces her to grow in ways she wouldn’t have otherwise, and that evolution was essential to the story.

What inspired Simon's weather fascination/quirk?
You know how a lot of good girls are attracted to bad boys? Well, I was never one of them! I wanted Vanessa’s love interest to be kind, caring, and a bit of a brainiac—in part because that made him more fun for me to write! 

The sexuality was handled tastefully in SIREN. How do you decide how to handle it and how far your characters will go sexually?
The sexuality came very naturally while writing the story. Perhaps surprisingly (in retrospect), I never debated how far the characters would go or how I’d write those scenes. The characters do what they do out of love and genuine emotion, and that, I think, softens any potential awkwardness or discomfort.
Love triangles are all the rage in YA. Will there be one in the upcoming Siren books?
It might be more of a triangle with rounded corners, but yes. Simon won’t be the only boy vying for Vanessa’s attention!

What are you working on now and when can we expect the SIREN sequel?
I just finished Siren 2 (out next summer!), and while I await my editor’s fabulous revision notes, I’m working on a fun new middle-grade project. It’s in the very beginning stages so I can’t say much, but I’m very excited! 

Alright, you've faced your worst fears and dove into the ocean, battling through murderous sirens, mermaids, sea serpents, megalodons and with your advanced underwater ninja skills even conquered the fearsome Kraken (released on the order of Liam Neeson).  You've fought so valiantly and risked life and limb to save/retrieve something. What is it?
Good grief, the ONLY reason I’d endure all that is to save my friends and family from said murderous sirens, mermaids, sea serpents, etc.! And you can bet they’d get an earful once we were safely back on land! 

Any final thoughts or comments you'd like to add?
Thank you so much for having me—and for asking such great questions! I hope your readers enjoy Siren!

We loved having you here and thanks for your insightful answers! Definitely looking forward to the sequel and dying to see how that love triangle works out - who is the mystery man?!

Alyssa adored SIREN (read her review HERE) so we highly recommend you pick up it up pronto! 

Tricia Rayburn on the Web:

And you can follow Tricia on her blog tour - tomorrow she's visiting Steph the Bookworm!

Avatar Jake DresdenGregory Soccer AvatarAK Avatar crop

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Friday Networking and Contest - 7/30/10

Happy Friday, Everyone!!
We always enjoy finding new blogs and visiting our favorites and we do it TWO ways! 

It's the Book Blog Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee
And Book Blogger Hop hosted by Jennifer @ Crazy of Books!

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

JAKE: Catherine Fisher (INCARCERON and SAPPHIQUE) - complex and compelling reads.

GREGORY: Scott Westerfeld (LEVIATHAN) - killer steampunk!

ALYSSA: I can't pick just one so I'm going with Andrea Cremer (NIGHTSHADE) - currently reading and loving it -, Brenna Yovanoff (THE REPLACEMENT) - had me laughing crying and creeped me out! -, Leah Cypress (MISTWOOD) - original and full of twists -, and Tricia Rayburn (SIREN) - who happens to be showing up for an interview later today. 

If you're visiting for the first time, Welcome!
If you're an old follower, Good to hear from you again!

To all, THANKS for stopping by and...

Enter to win BLOOD FEUD by Alyxandra Harvey! 
(see review HERE) 
-Fill out the FORM below
- Open to wherever Book Depository ships
- Enter by Aug 12, 11:59 pm PST


Avatar Jake DresdenGregory Soccer AvatarAK Avatar crop


Stacey - xxsquigglesxx
Eleni @ La Femme Readers

- SHADOW HILLS by Anastasia Hopcus -

Congrats to All!

Avatar Jake DresdenGregory Soccer AvatarAK Avatar crop


by Jenna Black
pub: May 2010/St Martin's Griffin
Teen Fiction

Dana Hathaway doesn’t know it yet, but she’s in big trouble. When her alcoholic mom shows up at her voice recital drunk, Dana decides she’s had it with being her mother’s keeper, so she packs her bags and heads to stay with her mysterious father in Avalon: the only place on Earth where the regular, everyday world and the magical world of Faerie intersect. 

But from the moment Dana sets foot in Avalon, everything goes wrong, for it turns out she isn't just an ordinary teenage girl—she's a Faeriewalker, a rare individual who can travel between both worlds, and who can bring magic into the human world and technology into Faerie.

Soon, she finds herself tangled up in a cutthroat game of Fae politics. Someone's trying to kill her, and everyone wants something from her, even her newfound friends and family from her newfound friends and family to Ethan, the hot Fae guy Dana figures she’ll never have a chance with… until she does.  Caught between two worlds, Dana isn’t sure where she’ll ever fit in and who can be trusted, not to mention if her world will ever be normal again… Suddenly, life with her alcoholic mom doesn't sound half bad, and Dana would do anything to escape Avalon and get back home. Too bad both her friends and her enemies alike are determined not to let her go . .

GLIMMERGLASS delivers fast-paced faerie fun!

Dana gets hit with disaster after disaster from the moment she steps into Avalon. Life sucked with her mom but at least she knew what to expect and where people stood. In Avalon, very little is what it seems. Her dad’s in jail when she arrives and her aunt’s “hospitality” proves dangerous. She gets rescued by Ethan – gorgeous and charming – and his sister Kimber. But they have ulterior motives as well. Then Dad finally shows up and turns out his happiness at her arrival may not be simple paternal love. And because of her powers as a Faeriewalker, people want to kidnap or kill her.

I loved Dana’s voice – sassy, tough, witty - yet she's often lost and vulnerable. She didn’t always make the best decisions. Her behavior could change from mature and smart to juvenile and silly but she was always sympathetic and seemed to be doing the best she could in her new-found crazy situation.

Her initial ga-ga reaction to Ethan was annoying but then he proves less than honest, and she makes some smart decisions on how to deal with him. Kimber turns out to be a sweetheart and they develop a nice friendship. Dana gets this terrific bodyguard, Finn – you know, the dangerous dude with a soft side. His son, Keane, is initiated to help train her how to fight. He’s the brooding bad boy – who’s really not so bad, and one of the only people who’s honest with her. There’s a potential love triangle here and so far, I’m leaning toward Keane…but Ethan is adorable.

There’s so much action going on in GLIMMERGLASS that I didn’t mind that Dana’s powers aren’t developed. Actually, she hardly uses them or even understands them. Yeah, it’s a set-up book but one of the better ones with exploding action and dangerous intrigue dragging you into dazzling drama - what a good time!

The romance stays on the reserved side. While things initially burn hot with Ethan, his deceit cools that fire. And Dana only has a potential spark with Keane. He’s not even around much - it's great when he is and look forward to more. But the action, combined with interesting characters and trying to figure out who’s doing what and why – lots of twists - kept me riveted.

The ending is exciting and satisfying, and while hopeful in some ways, it’s also rather sad because Dana keeps getting hit with disappointment. I’m looking forward to seeing her develop into an even stronger character who masters her powerful potential, and her destiny!

SEXUAL CONTENT: Mild. Doesn’t go beyond a hot kissing make-out session.
COVER: Love it – beautiful and magical!

BOTTOM LINE: Little light on romance, or development of Dana’s powers but packed with action! Spunky protagonist, engaging secondary characters, intrigue and danger peppered with plenty of twists. Love faeries? Grab it! Highly recommended for older and younger teens.

Jenna Black is your typical writer. Which means she's an "experience junkie." She got her BA in physical anthropology and French from Duke University.

Once upon a time, she dreamed she would be the next Jane Goodall, camping in the bush making fabulous discoveries about primate behavior. Then, during her senior year at Duke, she did some actual research in the field and made this shocking discovery: primates spend something like 80% of their time doing such exciting things as sleeping and eating.
Concluding that this discovery was her life's work in the field of primatology, she then moved on to such varied pastimes as grooming dogs and writing technical documentation. Among her other experiences . . .
  • Ballroom dancing.
  • Traveling all seven continents. Yes, even Antarctica.
  • Becoming a Life Master in Bridge.
  • Singing in a barbershop chorus.
Shadowspell (Faeriewalker book 2) will be released on 1/4/2011 by St. Martin’s Press – I’ll definitely be reading this one.  You can read a free Faeriewalker prequel short story here. Jenna is also the author of several popular adult urban fantasy/paranormal novels.
Jenna Black on the Web

AK Avatar crop

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday - 7/28/10

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine to spotlight upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating.
by Jana Oliver 
pub: Jan 7, 2011/Macmillan Childrens
Riley has always wanted to be a Demon Trapper like her father, and she's already following in his footsteps as one of the best. But it's tough being the only girl in an all-guy world, especially when three of those guys start making her life more complicated: Simon, the angelic apprentice who has heaven on his side; Beck, the tough trapper who thinks he's God's gift, and Ori, the strikingly sexy stranger who keeps turning up to save her ass. One thing's for sure - if she doesn't keep her wits about her there'll be hell to pay...

by Lish McBride
pub: Oct 12, 2010/Henry Holt

Sam leads a pretty normal life. He may not have the most exciting job in the world, but he’s doing all right—until a fast food prank brings him to the attention of Douglas, a creepy guy with an intense violent streak. 
Turns out Douglas is a necromancer who raises the dead for cash and sees potential in Sam. Then Sam discovers he’s a necromancer too, but with strangely latent powers. And his worst nightmare wants to join forces . . . or else.
With only a week to figure things out, Sam needs all the help he can get. Luckily he lives in Seattle, which has nearly as many paranormal types as it does coffee places. But even with newfound friends, will Sam be able to save his skin?

by Carrie Harris
pub: July 11, 2011/Delacorte Press

Someone’s been a very bad zombie.

Super-smartie Kate Grable gets to play doctor, helping out her high school football team. Not only will the experience look good on her college apps, she gets to be thisclose to her quarterback crush, Aaron. Then something disturbing happens. Kate finds out that the coach has given the team steroids. Except . . . the vials she finds don’t exactly contain steroids. Whatever’s in them is turning hot gridiron hunks into mindless, flesh-eating . . . zombies.

Unless she finds an antidote, no one is safe. Not Aaron, not Kate’s brother, not her best friend . . . not even Kate . . .

It’s scary. It’s twisted. It’s sick. It’s high school.

What are you waiting for?

Avatar Jake DresdenGregory Soccer AvatarAK Avatar crop

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

LINGER by Maggie Stiefvater

 LINGER (Wolves of Mercy Falls 2)
by Maggie Stiefvater
pub: July 2010
Teen Fiction

In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other.  Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack.  And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.

LINGER progresses Sam and Grace's story with Stiefvater’s evocative writing style that delivers intense emotion, complex characters and haunting drama. 

The first book, SHIVER, alternated between Sam and Grace’s points of view and it worked. LINGER introduces two more POV’s – Cole and Isabelle - and I was skeptical about having four first person POV’s. But, gotta say, Stiefvater pulls it off. Sure, sometimes I was wishing to get back to Grace or Sam but I enjoyed Cole – mega rock star turned werewolf – exploring all his twisted emotional layers, watching him develop. And Isabelle is a good sassy match for their budding relationship.   

Sam is still his sweet self, struggling to acclimate to his new situation and forge the bond between himself and Grace who has her own difficulties. Lots of secrets, tensions rising - I don’t want to say too much, especially if you haven’t read SHIVER – which you should before you delve into LINGER. More about the werewolf curse/disease is revealed. And while I found the story a bit slow at times - I had that same problem with SHIVER – the characters are once again engaging enough to keep me reading.     

The ending? Dramatic. And leaves you hanging, with equal parts bittersweet and hopeful, and wondering if Sam and Grace will ever catch a permanent break. UGH! How long do I have to wait for the next one?

COVER: I've never loved these covers - as in, "WOW! Look at those covers!- but I really, really like them. They're simple, elegant and poetic.

BOTTOMLINE: Enjoy poetic writing and haunting romance - werewolf style? Read SHIVER. If you like it, read LINGER.  

Maggie Stiefvater on the Web

AK Avatar crop

Monday, July 26, 2010


Not too much longer (okay, it's still too long) before MOCKINGJAY is released. Here's the just-released trailer to help tide us over!

And FYI - there's a new HUNGER GAMES Facebook Page!

Sunday, July 25, 2010


The Avengers cast is finally complete! What you see below is the cast of quite possibly one of the biggest films ever created. 
I mean just look at it! 

Pictured left to right: Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man), Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Chris Evans (Steve Rogers/Captain America), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Jeremy Renner (Clint Barton/Hawkeye), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/Hulk), Director Joss Whedon, and Producer/Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige.

Thor and Captain America are slated for a 2011 release with The Avengers hot on their heels in 2012.

What do you guys think? Are you excited?

Avatar Jake Dresden

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Friday Networking 7/23/10 & CONTEST!

Happy Friday, Everyone!!
We always enjoy finding new blogs and visiting our favorites and we do it TWO ways! 

It's the Book Blog Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee
And Book Blogger Hop hosted by Jennifer @ Crazy of Books!

QUESTION: Tell us about what you're reading. 
Jake: SAPPHIQUE by Catherine Fisher - the complex dystopian sequel to her terrific INCARCERON.
Gregory: Literally just finished TRACKERS by Patrick Carman, a computer suspense thriller.
Alyssa: GLIMMERGLASS - a fun "fairy" tale by Jenna Black.

If you're visiting for the first time, Welcome!
If you're an old follower, Good to hear from you again!

To all, THANKS for stopping by and...

Enter to win NOMANSLAND by Lesley Hauge 
(see review HERE
-Fill out the FORM below
- Open to wherever Book Depository ships
- Enter by Aug 5, 11:59 pm PST


If you comment, we'd love for you to leave a link to your site!

Avatar Jake DresdenGregory Soccer AvatarAK Avatar crop

JEKEL LOVES HYDE by Beth Fantaskey PLUS Contest


by Beth Fantaskey pub: May 2010/Harcourt
Teen Fiction


Jill Jekel has always obeyed her parents’ rules – especially the one about never opening the mysterious, old box in her father’s office. But when her dad is murdered, and her college savings disappear, she's tempted to peek inside, as the contents might be key to a lucrative chemistry scholarship. 

To better her odds, Jill enlists the help of gorgeous, brooding Tristen Hyde, who has his own dark secrets locked away. As the team of Jekel and Hyde, they recreate experiments based on the classic novel, hoping not only to win a prize, but to save Tristen’s sanity. Maybe his life. But Jill’s accidental taste of a formula unleashes her darkest nature and compels her to risk everything – even Tristen’s love – just for the thrill of being… bad.


I loved Fantaskey’s JESSICA’S GUIDE TO DATING ON THE DARK SIDE and I have to say if you compare the two books, JEKEL LOVES HYDE falls a bit short. Is it fair to compare? I’m not sure but I did, and that being said, I find Fantaskey’s writing solid, and JEKEL LOVES HYDE stands on its own as a fun enjoyable read.

I love this set up! Jill, a mousey, goody-two-shoes, rule follower, gets pushed around a lot at school, but when she has to take care of her mother who’s mental and physical health is deteriorating, Jill rises to the task. She teams up with dark, brooding Tristan Hyde who has his own demons he’s trying to slay and believes Jill is the only one who can help.

Let the chemistry begin!

Tristan's violent side can be scary. He’s tragic, he’s tortured, and he’s often a bit of a pushy jerk, but he’s desperate and fighting a losing battle unless he gets help. He also changes over the course of the book - his softer side overcomes his beast and he becomes more endearing.  

They come together and romance blooms. It isn’t instant attraction but heats up nicely, and is more dangerous than forbidden based on Tristan’s violent tendencies. Good mystery, interesting twists and I like that Jill is smart – not just academically, but wary of Tristan’s violent nature and takes her time to trust him, or even be alone in an isolated place with him.

Written in alternating points of view (Jill’s and Tristan’s), some chapters were a bit jarring in their brevity (half a page). I wish the ending had more actual action rather than having things implied. And I’d have loved more time spent on Jill drinking the potion. That’s when she transforms into her bad “Ms. Hyde” mode. So intense and fun – mousey doormat into femme fatale. Come on, who doesn’t love that! Jill was a blast as her bad girl self. I wanted more! (Does that make me a bad person?)

SEX/LANGUAGE/DRUGS/VIOLENCE: No actual sex but it’s talked about and there are some sexual moments. There’s strong language on occasion and a minimal amount of underage drinking. Definitely violence in this one although not a horror by any means. Probably for older teens.

COVER: Good. Love the colors and the flask with the creepy green smoke. And can't you just see the hint of bad-girl lurking behind that good-girl shell!

BOTTOMLINE:  Dark, dangerous yet fun mystery, suspense and romance with surprising twists, fast pace, creative take on a classic, and smart characters. Wanted more of Jill as her bad girl “Ms. Hyde” self - because I'm warped! - but overall delivers an entertaining read! Recommended for older teens.
If you’d like to enjoy it for yourself, just fill out the form below for a chance to win it!

Fill out the FORM
Open to wherever Book Depository ships
Deadline: Aug 6, 11:59 pm PST

AK Avatar crop
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...