Saturday, February 28, 2009

Let's Talk About Winning Speak

GIVEAWAY!!

Part 1 Steph and Lenore speak up about Speak (Reviewer X)
Part 2: Steph and Lenore speak up about Speak (continued) (Presenting Lenore)
Part 3: Authors speak up about Speak (Presenting Lenore)
Part 4: Win one of 20 copies of Speak (Both)

One more part coming! :)

Can’t wait to speak out about SPEAK because you don’t have a copy yet? Well, we want to remedy that situation. Lenore and I have 20 copies of the 10th Anniversary edition (right) to give away. All you have to do is win one of them is comment on this post. For a second entry, comment on the giveaway post over at Lenore’s. And to double your entries (for a total of four) comment on both AND post a link to this giveaway at your blog (sidebar is fine) AND let us know that you did so. This contest will stay open until 9 pm CST March 12th and is open to US and Canadian residents only.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Let's Talk About Speak I

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Penguin is doing a special promo for it (including a 10th anniversary edition!) and Lenore and I decided to take part by doing a special tandem feature. This is Part 1 - we have more to come.

If you're interested in purchasing Speak (and you should be, it's a fantastic book), I found a $3.99 bargain edition (new and everything) on Amazon here. There's also the 10th Anniversary edition (mentioned above) here, for you collector folks ;)

Here's the handy table of contents so you can follow along in order:

Part 1 Steph and Lenore speak up about Speak (at Reviewer X)
Part 2: Steph and Lenore speak up about Speak (continued) (at Presenting Lenore)
[more surprises will be added on!]

So, here goes!

Steph: I'm going to start this whole shebang by reprimanding you, my friend. Actually, REPRIMANDING is too weak: I should be SPANKING you. Why had you NOT READ THIS SOONER?! And what was your overall impression now that you have?

Lenore: Hey, at least I FINALLY bought it and read it right? I don’t know. I knew it was well loved by many, banned by some, described as "that rape book", or compared to Sarah Dessen's Just Listen (which is sitting on my shelf, waiting patiently to be read). I was prepared for the dark parts of the narrative: the feelings of hopelessness, the cruelty of high school. I wasn’t surprised by Melinda’s depression, but I was surprised how much humor there was throughout. I am thinking about the darkly funny holiday scenes (that poor turkey!) or the political correctness absurdity of the school mascot scenes. It’s a fine line to walk in an “issue” book, but Anderson pulls it off brilliantly.

Steph: So basically, you're a fangirl?
Lenore: Fangirl doesn't really seem like a reverent enough term for this novel somehow - so I'd say I'm an evangelist. When did you first read it? What were your first impressions?

Steph: Hallellujah! I have this habit of reading hyped books really quickly which in turn makes me miss some of the meaning in the process. When I first read SPEAK, I was like, "Huh." I set it down. Then I returned to it two weeks later and reread it, calmly this time, and...well. One way of putting it is: Soon as I'm legal, I'm getting a tattoo to show my love.

Lenore: Wow - that's pretty permanent. So would you say this is one of your favorite books ever then? And what is that makes it so special in your eyes?

Steph: Well, I don't know if I'll actually get a tattoo. It'd be pretty unreadable by Age Geriatric. But, I would have to say that, YES, I love it. The reasons are a bit more complex: writing that doesn't get weighed down by the subject matter; Melinda's way of conveying her horrible experience in a sensible, poignant way; and, finally, how hopeful the book ends up being.

Basically, this book's potential to touch a million people individually. It's universal and unique, and that's awesome.

Lenore: I know what you mean. I'm not a teen anymore, but there is so much I can relate too. I think about that scene near the beginning when Melinda enters the cafeteria and panics because she's not sure where she should sit. You can't sit alone in high school. Everyone knows that. But it doesn't get any easier when you get older either. I've gone to client parties where I am expected to socialize even though I don't know a soul. It can be scary and intimidating, especially when everyone is in their little cliques and you have to go in somewhere and break the ice.

What part could you really relate to?

Continue reading at Presenting Lenore.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sexy Foot Eating

For those who didn't join our Twitter Oscar party (basically we would comment on each and every development that unfolded on our screens at home so everyone could see - fun conversations!), I said, after the millionth Slumdog Millionaire win, that if they won something again, I'd eat my foot.

Long story short, they won two more.

But I'm still only eating one foot.
So, funny story. I asked my mom to take the picture. I was planning on making a foot sandwich, complete with bread, mayo, salad, etc, all 'clothing' my foot, so to speak.

Try telling your mom this.

Mrs. Steph's Mom: WHAT? HELLLLLLLLLLLLLL NO.

Steph: But Mom, the blog people will like it way more than me just biting my foot. That is not the Steph Special!

Mrs. Steph's Mom: We are not wasting food dressing your foot! Have you lost your mind?

Mrs. Steph's Mom's Mom (grandma): You want to cater your foot? That is a waste of food. Have I told you about World War II in Greece when my entire family was starving and we'd eat an orange for lunch and the peel for dinner? Then my father, who was a philosopher in Greece, decided he didn't want to live through another war - mind you, he was in WWI ---

[Steph and Mrs. Steph's Mom stare at Mrs. Steph's Mom's Mom. While this story is sad and we are all very aware of world hunger in my family and are never wasteful, etc, it was not the Point at the time.]

Mrs. Steph's Mom: You heard her.

Steph: But I'd eat the thing afterwards. It's my foot. I have no shame.

[Pretend you don't know how disgusting that is. I do. That is the sacrifice I am willing to make for You.]

Mrs. Steph's Mom: Honey, I am giving you two seconds to get on that bed and take a tasteful picture biting your foot. That is it.

Steph: Well, maybe tasteful but not tasty...

Mrs. Steph's Mom: GET.

Yeah, that was awesome. Bloopers:

Fin.

Blogger Follower Probs

From Eighty MPH Mom:

If you use Blogger as your platform, I'm sure you've noticed that your follower count is down. Apparently Blogger has changed everybody's followers to "anonymous" and anonymous followers don't show. If everyone can do these simple steps, we can all get our followers back:

Go to dashboard, you'll see "Blogs I'm Following"

Scroll down to the bottom of that list and click on manage.

Then you'll see that all the drop down menus have been changed to anonymous. You just need to change them back to public.

Hopefully we can get the word out, so everyone can take these steps. I hope this doesn't happen again!

Yeah, that happened to me. I checked my settings and they're all public, but yours might not be. If you wanna show the love for your favorite blogs, go ahead and check. :)

Steph

Monday, February 23, 2009

Oh oh oh!

Full circle.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

So... why would you want to?

Really interesting discussion going on in the comments section of my last post. I thought I’d reply in an actual post, though, so it wouldn’t get lost after all those lengthy texts. :)

The main idea in the opposition is that ideas aren’t copyrightable and there isn’t a lot you can do with a book blog. I…see, I suppose, what the ones saying this mean, but to me it’s such a defeatist’s outlook. I don’t understand how people can stand to look at anything with this much pessimism. (This coming from a pessimist.)

I disagree entirely with the idea that a book blog is a limited thing. It’s limited in the sense that it’s about books, but the possibilities of what you can do with every resource therein are endless. It’s quite sad to think people actually approach their blog under the assumption that they can’t bring something new to the table. Or, if they can, it’ll be derived from someone else’s idea, because ideas aren’t copyrightable.

Now, I’m not saying your inspiration for something worthy has to come from the vacuum. The world overlaps in more ways than we can imagine and everything is related in some way or another. But it seems downright lazy to me to give up without even trying. Imagine what it’d be like if no blog had content unique to it alone; if everything and everyone was a badly masked derivation from something or someone else. (Usually that’s how it is, too—I mean, do you really think someone who can’t be bothered to come up with their own thing will bother replicating someone else’s well?)

I’m not even saying my blog is anything original. (Evidently, it isn’t.) But I do hope when you come here, you’re not thinking, Ohhh, she totally got that from so-and-so!

Aside from my disagreement about other minor things, this is my main point. Why start something up if you think you can’t bring anything new to it? Why sell yourself short like that?

Something to keep in mind from this whole discussion: People are less likely to get mad if you take something from their blog if you do it well (which goes with what I said on the last post about making something yours) and if you link to them every time you do it. (Speaking generally here. Each case is different, as evidenced by GW.)

Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s late. ;)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

It should go without saying.

The need to even have this conversation blows my mind given how amicable the blogosphere is, but so it goes.

Let’s talk about blogger ethics. We’re all each other’s ‘colleagues’ so to speak, which implies a bit of competition, sure, but mostly a lot of companionship and cooperation. We have fun, we visit each other’s blogs, and we have others visit others. Everyone’s happy, right?

Then someone gets a good idea. They use it. It’s theirs for that intangible period between genesis and application, and a bit longer still after they make it public. Everyone looooooooooooves it.

But. It ruffles some feathers. We all want people coming to our blogs, and if so-and-so got a ton of visitors for some particular thing, they must’ve done something right, yes? So this hypothetical individual decides to change the idea’s name but not much else and post it on their own blogs. If it worked once, it can work twice, yes?

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Admiration is fine. It’s when that admiration crosses the line to blatant, flagrant copying that it becomes a problem. The bigger problem lies in the fact the blog’s audience will most likely not call them out on it, even if they register on the stealing.

And that’s what it is: stealing. “Imitation is the best form of flattery”, my ass. I’m sure people don’t mind just being told their idea is awesome without seeing it on other blogs.

Here’s a lesson for all those people who email me and/or other bloggers asking for advice on getting started: See something you like? It’s not yours unless you’re explicitly invited to host it on your blog. If that’s not the case, don’t touch it. If you must have it, find a way to spin it differently (and repeat after me: a name is a LABEL, not the SUBSTANCE—changing it doesn’t count as innovative) and make it your own.

I’ve had multiple features stolen from me and I haven’t really ranted about it on my blog before because they were minor. You know, mostly some reviews almost identical to mine, posts stolen almost verbatim, people not crediting me, etc. Water under the bridge.

But some things are inexcusable. I’ve seen many of Alea’s features get stolen or reproduced. Alea. One of the nicest people in the blogosphere. I’ve also seen incarnations of Melissa Walker’s Cover Stories, which I’m not sure if she minds or not, but I find shameful.

Repeat after me: They’re provided for free but they are not public domain.

Lately, Kristi and I saw this attempt at a YA Connection—a knockoff—which we thought was pretty funny if only because the organization was spotty. With the announcement that it’s on hold today, I’d like to take this opportunity to say: It’s still ours. Don’t go there.

And just tonight I saw something that bore uncanny resemblance to Girl Week, even on its title. Which is what brought on this whole post. I am a momma bear to Girl Week—it is mine, and I even said after the event was over that I would appreciate it remaining so. I worked my ass off on that event, and hell if I’m okay with this. I’m on my way to email this blog’s people about it.

I’m sure this post will turn me into an even bigger bitch to some people, but it needs to be said.

YAC

K said it better than I could:

I just wanted to give everyone a heads up about what is going on with YAC. Really, at this point I'm not all that sure myself. My partner in crime has an insane academic schedule, so she is sort of MIA at the moment. So I'm just going to go out on a limb here and say that YAC is going to be postponed indefinitely at this time.

We've decided to put it on hold for now. One, because I'm never online anymore. My course load is insane right now, and in March it'll get worse (there'll be a blog post when it's all certain), so I can't commit to doing it weekly anymore. Two, because I don't keep up with my email any longer - if you've emailed me in this last week, chances are I won't be responding until tomorrow.

And, to be honest, I don't know what to do with the blog. I love it, but what fun is it when I come on my homepage every day and see no new updates and only a bunch of BS latest updates that have nothing to do with books? The only thing I've been reading is my textbook lately, and I doubt anyone wants to know about that.

Sigh.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Haha, I knew it.

Remember that post about the similarities between the packaging of the Twilight fragrance and Nina Ricci's perfume?

Well... they're suing.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday: Slept Away

Slept Away by Julie Kraut
What’s this city girl’s worst nightmare? Summer camp.


Laney Parker's a city girl through and through. For her, summertime means stepping out of her itchy gray school uniform and into a season of tanning at rooftop swimming pools, sidewalk dining in the Meatpacking District, and—as soon as the parents leave for the Hamptons—parties at her classmates’ apartments.

But this summer Laney’s mother has her own plan for Laney—Camp Timber Tops—and faster than a girl can pack her eye cream, she’s shipped off.

Now, splattered with tie-dye fallout, stripped of her cell, and going through Diet Coke withdrawals, Laney is barely hanging on. But when she realizes her summer crush is untouchably uncrushable in the real world, she has to start asking herself some serious questions. Can camp cool possibly translate to cool cool?

Sleepaway camp might just turn this city girl’s world upside down.

Find out more.

Noooooooooot sure if I'd LOVE this based on the premise, but the cover is pretty.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Quick Question(s)

I'm procrastinating on studying by adding stuff to the Bargain section of my Amazon Store because it's fun. (Speaking of which: it's been updated since my last post. Wanna see? Click! And to answer the questions: Yes, I will update it whenever I have time. Keep an eye on there if you're looking for good deals!)

Anyway, I just realized I have noooo idea what percentage of my readership are ebook readers. Are you? (Poll below!)



I've thought about adding some Kindle products on the store, but I'm not sure if I should bother if no one likely to step into my store HAS a Kindle, so here's a poll for ya:



P.S. Why yes, I did adopt a capitalist mentality overnight. Thanks for asking ;) Nah, it's just that I was really bored and so I thought, why not organize my own store? And that led to the Amazon Associates thing. I honestly have no idea how much money can be made from that, but I'm thinking not a lot because I'd have to sell over $160 to make $10. Which takes even longer because I'm big on bargains, which in turn earn me even less. But hey - I'm happy to have hooked some people up with affordable copies of books they wanted. That's my goal.

So yeah, not doing this for the (crappy wage) money. Though whatever I make will go into this trusty fund I have going on to buy my dad the rest of his beloved Poirot novels. 16 more to go, woo hoo! Wish me luck. The world hasn't seen a Christie fan this avid since, ever.

Amazon Book Bargains (Yay!)

So, I was browsing through Amazon last night and came into a bunch of great deals for books. Bargains, if you will. Among them are:

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson for $3.99
Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway for $4.99
Leftovers by Laura Wiess for $4.99
My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger for $6.29
Artichoke's Heart by Suzanne Supplee for $6.29
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart for $6.99

and more! I'm finding a bunch still. I compiled the ones I could find in my braaand new Amazon store (which is a work in progress - right now it only has ALA award winners and the bargains), which you can find here. Right now there are 10 listed, but soon as I find more, I'll add 'em!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Purse and the Prune

I'm really sorry to the people sick of looking at personal-like posts filled with photos, etc., but 1) I really have nothing new to share, 2) my book reading has taken a serious hit. So, work with me here.

First and foremost, exactly 2 weeks ago, I said I'd show you my spectacular purse/bag. It's a fashion statement, if I do say so myself, although my sense of fashion is somewhere toward the Celsius freezing point, so... Keep in mind it was $17. I'm not kidding. I was looking for something huge to stuff more books in to take on the plane cos I thought my bags would go over the weight limit.

I really thought I'd get teased because of it this year, but so far all the girls in my class want to know where I got it. (While I am flattered, I find this annoying. I bought it in the US, but if it were a national store, would they also buy themselves one? Spare me. Or maybe they liked the funky feel and wanted to find something similar, but not quite? Hmm...)

AND... The latest addition to my universe, my niece and goddaughter, Prune. She is so aptly named because most newborns look like such, and even though I think I love her more than life itself, I will acknowledge that at this point she is just not the cutest (yet). Give it a few weeks and she'll be a knockout :P
Three things I like in that picture: my thumb looking like a ghost's, my school uniform, and finally, to end this post with a bang, Prune m'dear.

Giftcard Winner

http://reviewerx.blogspot.com/2009/02/hey-guys.html?showComment=1234672920000#c1372900880954126810

It's an anonymous comment for a Kory K.

'Thanks for entering, everyone!

The next contest is gonna be something like, "If someone can please take my optics (physics) exam for me this week, I'll give you 50 bucks." If you're interested, get your passport ready.

:)

If you don't see me around this week, that's where I'll be.

Steph

Email...

...works again! Bless.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Thoughts on Blog Stats

You know the $10 giftcard? Contest deadline extended till tomorrow because it's Valentine's day today. Enter on the post below this one.

Email still being a bitch.

And...

I see this come up a lot and I just wanted to say that:

Follower count? It's not indicative of a lot. I mean, obviously a blog that has 100 followers is more accessed than one with, say, 10 followers. But if you're worried your follow count is too low or whatever, don't be. A lot of people subscribe via Google Reader, Bloglines, etc. Others still don't even have Blogger accounts. It depends largely on your readership. Also, you have to remember that some people become followers and then never return, which doesn't help at all.

That said, it's nice to have followers, isn't it? :)

Visitor Count vs Page Views: Between the two, a higher visitor count is more valuable. Visitor = person who comes around your site. Page view = number of times your visitors clicked on your site. Some click once (they come on, see your latest update, leave). I've had as many as 191 page views in a minute once, from a single visitor. I'd choose 191 visitors over 191 page views, but in any case, that was awesome. :)

So, if you're looking at page view count and getting disappointed because yours isn't as high as others', look at the visitor count. Some people get visitors who venture on their site a lot, which is nice, but if it's only 25 people clicking around 10 times each (250 views), and you've got 100 visitors clicking around 2 times each (200 views), you're the one who's better off.

What are good stats for a book blog? This keeps getting asked. Honestly? I've never gotten much response on this from publishers. I mean, it seems they'll send to anyone (if they're in the US), even if you get 5 visitors a day. HOWEVER... One publicist from St. Martin's told me she prefers 5,000 visitors a month (see! she used visitors instead of page views!), but it's not like she wouldn't send to anyone with only 1,000. Depends on materials. She said a well-accessed blog has 8,000-10,000 visitors a month (made me happy - I get around 12-14,000 a month!), and that 25,000/month is like a prime advertising space.

Another publicist from Penguin told me she doesn't look really look at stats. She says that since she's active in the YA book blogging community, she'll get an idea of who's popular by how much they get linked, how many comments they receive, etc. So there's that.

Are subscribers important? Never heard anyone give a clear opinion on this, but personally, I think your subscribers are vital. They get every post you make via their feed reader. How is that not more important? They're less likely to miss one of your updates than visitors.

For the record: Followers don't necessarily equal subscribers. A lot of people will just follow your blog in hopes you'll follow theirs in return, or will just follow because they follow everyone because they're like that, or will follow and it means nothing except that they like your blog. So I'd discard those when you're tallying up your subscribers. But that's just me.

Anyway, just my two cents. I'm not an expert or a pro nor did I conduct any proper research on this. Just my musings. Now, I'll go back to reading Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature by Robin Brande (thanks, Alea!).

Friday, February 13, 2009

Hey, Guys

How's everyone?

Just a head's up that my inbox = inaccessible right now, so if you emailed, next week, baby.

Also: if you want a $10 Amazon giftcard, leave a comment below. Winner will be chosen tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott

Hannah hasn’t got your typical parents. Her dad’s something of a has-been celebrity trying to keep his fame well into his old age (he’s over seventy) and her mom’s recent claim to fame is a pizza commercial for which she was barely clad. Hannah’s perfected the art of flying under the radar at school but with her mom’s recent antics, that which she’d achieved is compromised.

All too sudden, way too many things start changing—her father who hasn’t spoken to her in five years wants to reconnect (but it might just be for his show’s ratings), her somewhat stabilized work life gets a pulse (except there are two—cute, whether she wants it so or not—guys there, and how do you keep from getting confused in such a scenario?), and drama keeps finding its way to her door.

Initially, Hannah’s mom Candy is presented as your average overgrown child, but she immediately springs a surprising amount of substance. It was refreshing to see a book where the relationship between the protagonist and their parents wasn’t transparent or unilateral. She’s troubled, and a good, unique type of troubled that didn’t involve bottomless pity-parties with no resonance whatsoever. This part—along with the entire family subplot, and the general plot—was revealed in layers, deliberate and gradual, and it worked really well.

You know, I don’t care what Elizabeth Scott is known for, I firmly believe her forte is family-building. Every single book of hers has a number of constants you can expect—intuition tells you where the romance is going; the main characters are, obviously, relatable—but the family is always a surprise (in a good way). The usual trope gives way to a happy resolution, but not in Elizabeth’s books. She strikes the balance the reality of the situation by not giving any happy endings and giving a definite feeling of closure nevertheless.

Here, for instance, both parents have unusual jobs (which is proving to be a trademark, eh? Stealing Heaven’s premise comes to mind). Her dad owns a castle in upstate New York, for god’s sake. Anyway, they’re both eccentric personalities and neither are right per se (but who is?), and while it’s developed and explored in the book, in the end it’s not like they’re magically better, though Hannah does understand at least her mom better. I love this touch of realism.

Hmm, let’s put a fresh spin on my reviews. You know how in chemistry there’s that solubility thing where there’s a maximum amount of any given solute you can add to any given amount of a solvent before the solution becomes saturated? Well, like that. Reaching the max, but not going over (no weighty precipitation or overcharged, unstable supersaturation!).

In fact, if anything, this book made me feel weightless. Plot, voice, characters—they were all a thrill. And the best thing is that it’s not just a romance, as the official description leads one to believe. Once again, Elizabeth Scott delivers. B+

(P.S. Bonus points for Hannah not mentioning her name is a palindrome.)

Simon Pulse | 210 pages | March 24th, 2009 | Elizabeth Scott's site | Excerpt | GoodReads | Amazon | IndieBound

Waiting on Wednesday: Crazy Beautiful

Waiting on Wednesday = Jill's idea. My pick for this week:

Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
In an explosion of his own making, Lucius blew his arms off. Now he has hooks. He chose hooks because they were cheaper. He chose hooks because he wouldn’t outgrow them so quickly. He chose hooks so that everyone would know he was different, so he would scare even himself.

Then he meets Aurora. The hooks don’t scare her. They don’t keep her away. In fact, they don’t make any difference at all to her.

But to Lucius, they mean everything. They remind him of the beast he is inside.

Perhaps Aurora is his Beauty, destined to set his soul free from its suffering. Or maybe she’s just a girl who needs love just like he does.

Find more on Lauren's site.

It sounds different. I like different.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Welcome to the world...

...niece, my dear.

She was born yesterday at 3:30am. She's my goddaughter. (Originally Little Dude was, but we decided to match genders, so my bro gets him and I get her.)

Which - coupling many other factors - is why the blog is going to go through a dead phase.

Also: math exam on Thursday - wish me luck!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

What the HELL

Jason Mraz lost the Song of the Year Grammy to fucking Coldplay? COLDPLAY?!?! COLDPLAY?!

Bull-

COLD-

-almighty-

-PLAY?!?!

-shit.

As Taren said: I hate Coldplay and I hate that all their songs sound the same.

COLDPLAY?!?!?!?!?

How could that win over "I'm Yours"?!?!?

Well, there goes my night.

All the way or just halfway?

Feed readers: Poll embedded below. Join us!



Do you guys finish every book you start or do you stop once you lose interest?

If you answered the former: Do you ever wonder if you're wasting your time waiting for a bad book to redeem itself when it ultimately doesn't?

If you answered the latter: Do you ever wonder if maybe, had you stuck it out longer, the book would've improved and you missed out on a great, great book?

Just testing out the dichotomy of disaster books. And, also, posting because it's been three days and a belly-up blog burdens me.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Whoaaa, Big Reply

There seemed to be a great many people suggesting:

His Dark Materials
Lament
Willow
Maureen Johnson
North of Beautiful
Markus Zusak
Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature

and... others.

I went with The Goose Girl, recommended by Anilee and seconded by R.J. Anderson, because it called to me. Loving it so far, regardless of how many times I have to stop reading it :)

Thanks so much for all the lovely recommendations! This comment in particular almost had me buying the book (it's in stock here so it'd be dispatched within 24hrs!) but I didn't because I'm broke. Le sigh. It's up there, though!

And now, if you'll excuse me...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Enough is ENOUGH.

Someone recommend me a good book to get me out of my reading funk? Like, a book you thought was absolutely sensational. Fangirl-making.

Bonus points if it's already on my to-read...

And So Stephen Disses Stephenie

Bet you can guess which ones I'm talking about :P

This was...interesting.

But not enough to make me forget the whole let's-kick-the-YA-genre-while-reviewing-one-of-its-books debacle back in 2008 in EW.

(Via Kelly Parra)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Omg!

I realize most people applicable to answer this are probably at school right now, but I'll post it nevertheless. You know, before I get buried in my schoolwork (oh and remind me to post some not-so-happy [if you like this blog] news in about two weeks)

Who takes honors/AP classes? How many?

How long is your school day?

How many subjects do you take?

How many hours to you spend on schoolwork every night?

What major do you want to do?

I only ask because, um, ... I wanna.

Okay, y'all, I'm off. Well, until Lenore releases me from MSN.

Teen? Writer? Looking to Get Published?

Deborah Reber, author of Chill (S&S), emailed me asking to post about this opportunity for teen writers to get published.

From the site:

- Do you love to journal or blog?

- Is writing your passion?

- Do you have an important real-life story to tell?

- Do you dream of being a published author?

- Are you a girl between 13 - 19 years old?

If I just described you, then read on! This new project is about giving a voice to young writers with important things to say. It's for teens who are interested in writing a memoir (yes, that’s right…a whole book) about your true-life story.

From Deborah Reber's email to me:

The series is being created by HCI Books (Health Communications, Inc.), who publishes all the Chicken Soup books, etc. They hired me as the editorial director, so my job is finding the writers and working with them to create and edit their book. The first three books will be coming out in Fall 2009, with additional titles coming out every six months.

The specifics of the contract are confidential, and will be detailed when an official offer is made to a potential author. I can say that it is a flat-rate fee for the book.

With regards to the market, we've received a lot of interest from booksellers, and are especially excited because this will be the first-ever memoir series written by teens. We're have great hopes and expectations for the success of the series (or we wouldn't be creating it!). As the developer and editor of the series, I can say that this is the perfect opportunity for someone who is a very talented writer, has been journaling for some time, has a story to tell, and dreams of being published.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Today is not my day.

Loved school as per usual (you may think I'm being dorky but ten bucks says you would absolutely adore my school if you went there), actually studied this afternoon as opposed to just wasting it away doing a bunch of nothing-browsing on the internet, found out my mom bought this apple cinnamon thing that I love, all of which made it kind of worthwhile.

So I'm trying to understand why I feel so meh. It's like I've hit a plateau somewhere and things just won't move. I'm sick of awaiting replies to pressing things, I'm sick of having no excitement whatsoever for reading (hence the lack of reviews and bookish posts), I'm sick of here, and I'm sick of the general unappreciative stance that seems to be going around. And I am snappy. I barked at my mom today for no reason other than her taking the cheese a few paces ahead, to the table, while I was still using it.

Yeah, I know.

I hate to use this as an excuse for stuff because I don't think it justifies anything, but I hand-to-god think I'm PMSing.

And I had to share just because. And now? Back to taking notes on whatever else is still left for me to take notes on.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

You Get To Learn More About Me

I'm bored and school starts tomorrow so I'm not at my best right now (except really, really excited because my school is that liberal, independent studying minded sort of place which is a perfect fit for me even though I rarely study, though I do need to change it). So. I'll go back a couple of months to all those posts about me (bio - questions answered) and answer more stuff:

Favorite bands?
Your average taste: Led Zep, Pink Floyd, Prodigy, Evanescence, Lasgo, The Veronicas, JASON MRAZ, Tiƫsto, etc. I like everything from alternative to rock to contemporary to electronica (I *LOVE* trance), to pop to ... you get the picture.

Favorite colors?
Black, even though that's the absence of color. I'm not just saying this because I like to express how much my life sucks or whatever - I like black because it's the color that most consistently looks good on me. Also, I love purple. And the background color of my blog. Love love love!

Favorite animals?
Flamingo because they rhyme with 'lingo' and because I like their bold color and stance. Dolphins because they're intelligent.

Favorite names?
Eli, Sam (boy), Luke, Andy (boy). ... hmm, what else? Savannah, Chloe, Emily, Skye, April, and I really love Aprilynne Pike's name. It's got a faerie ring to it, I think, or something.

Hmmm what is your favorite movie?
My taste in movies sucks because I just don't watch that many. That in mind, from what I've watched, I've loved Million Dollar Baby, My Big Fat Greek Wedding (I'm half Greek and lemme tell you, our family is exactly like that, only worse), Perfume: The Story of A Murderer, and Star Wars the original trilogy.

Whatever happened to the doctor dreams of yours?
I'm often asked this when I say I would love to be an editor. Let me be the first to say I find medicine a beautiful career. But you need to have the vocation for it, and a whole lot of dedication. While I would most assuredly LOVE to work with children with cancer, I don't know if I have the drive to study and build up, etc., for ten years before I can set out to find a good job. I want to travel, I want to LIVE - so the sacrifice doctors have to make may not be something I'm able to give. But hey, I'm fifteen - a year and a half still to decide. We'll just wait and see :)

Do you hate it when you get sand stuck between your toes?
Nope - a good beach with warm, blue water and lotsa white sand is god's gift to his green earth, so how could I resent even a tiny portion of that image? :P

Do you like Hugh Jackman? Is the movie, Australia, coming out there soon (if it hasn't already)? Please realise that we all don't sound like that ... much.
No, I think the guy is - as you Aussies put it - an arsehole.

When you're on an international flight, are you a person who prefers to snooze the entire time, or will you be alive and awake watching the movies on the big screen (or reading away)?
Read. I absolutely, positively cannot sleep in an upright position. It's against my very moral foundation.

Some extra facts:

- Tomorrow I'm taking an oversized purse (you will get a picture!) when last year I didn't use purses at all. It's got musical line thingies all over it, which should be fun to get a reaction out of everybody.

- I've gone on a health thing this summer, so I'll be going back all healthed out. Green tea carrying, apple bitin', and all.

- I am invariably late or delayed or whatever for everything I set out to do. It's ridiculous.

- I am procrastinating organizing my oversized purse and getting everything ready (including the green tea, apple, yogurt, etc) by talking about myself on my blog which isn't even supposed to be about me but rather books, which just about makes me the most selfish procrastinator on the planet. So, hey, new to the blog? Let's have a ball ;)

If you have any questions, feel free to ask! It'll give me something to do when I should be revising tomorrow's lessons in the afternoon. (Yup, none of that get-to-know-you bit at my school - straight into the wonderful world of knowledge we go!)

Here's A Contest You Don't Wanna Miss

Today is the debut of The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King. What this means in practical terms is, awesome has been unleashed into the world. And to celebrate, I and a bunch of other bloggers bring to you...

The Dust of 100 Dogs Deal

This is an idea I got from Lauren at Shooting Stars Mag.

Here's what Dust is about: In the late 17th century, famed pirate Emer Morrisey was on the cusp of escaping pirate life with her one true love and unfathomable riches when she was slain and cursed with the dust of 100 dogs, dooming her to one hundred lives as a dog before returning to a human body—with her memories intact. Now she's a contemporary American teenager, and all she needs is a shovel and a ride to Jamaica.

What do you do? Buy the book and send an email to dust@reviewerx.com with a picture/scan of the receipt OR screenshot of your Amazon purchase thingy OR a picture yourself with the book.

I'm well aware there's are ways to cheat this, but I'll go by the honor system because so far the blogosphere has proved to be the bestest kind of honest there is.

If you donated an item, you are welcome to enter, too! And if anybody has an ARC or book in new condition and wants to throw it in here, please email me (reviewerx at gmail.com).

What do you get? You get entered to the drawing to take home all the prizes.

What are the prizes? We have $110 in giftcards to giveaway. Here's the divide:

$70 to Amazon (in the form of 7 different $10 giftcards)
$20 to whatever online store you want
$10 to B&N
$10 to an indie bookstore of your choice

(Thanks to Lenore, Abby, Liv, James, Kristi, Shalonda, Khy, Renay, and Lauren for this!)

And we also have a bunch of books to giveaway:

Wake and Fade signed by Lisa McMann

Tips on Having an (Ex) Boyfriend
, Love (And Other Uses for Duct Tape), Girl, Hero, and Need all signed by Carrie Jones

Eighth Grade Bites and Ninth Grade Slays signed by Heather Brewer

Death by Bikini, Death by Latte and Death by Denim (ARC - May 2009 release) signed by Linda Gerber

I Know It's Over signed by C.K. Kelly Martin

Your choice of Violet on the Runway, Violet by Design or Violet in Private signed by Melissa Walker

Just One Wish by Janette Rallison (ARC - March 09 release) (donated by James)

The Center of the Universe (Yep, That Would Be Me) by Anita Liberty (donated by Tirzah)

Ivy by Julie Hearn (donated by Carol)

You Are So Undead to Me by Stacey Jay (donated by Nancy)

Seriously? Yup, all of that and all you have to do is buy a $10 book. The commercial value of all of these, tax not added, is over $300, plus with all the author signatures all over them... priceless :P And you get The Dust of 100 Dogs regardless, which is also an awesome book.

When does the giveaway end? A month from now, on March 1st.

Wanna do Steph a favor? Blog about this! Add it to your sidebar! Whatever. Anything you can do to spread the word will be greatly appreciate. This contest is to promote a book, so you'd be doing a huge favor.

Can you keep a secret?
A.S. King has no idea about this so don't tell her!

But because I'm sure she'll find out anyway...

SURPRISE, Amy, and happy debut!