Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Finds (9/30)

Friday Finds is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should be reading. What great finds did you discover this week?

Yay! I only found four books this week, and my TBR list is being slowly managed. ;P Goodreads has a whole bunch of updates from the past couple days, please check it out and again, every view and boost for our badge is extremely appreciated! Thanks so much guys! Thanks for stopping by visitors! -C
My Finds:

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Author interview with Katie Bridges and review of Warriors of the Edge: the Search for Stone

     Katie Bridges is the author of Warriors of the Edge: the Search for Stone. Her website can be viewed here.

1. Can you tell us a little about your book and yourself?

I’ve been writing stories since I was seven years old. My mother keeps reminding me that I was telling stories years before I could write. I must have been a born storyteller. Even when I write directions, it comes out as a story, with all sorts of curious details for people to ponder as they make their way to my house. I’ve tried my hand at all sorts of stories, romance, mystery, animal stories. But I always return to what is most comfortable and delightful for me, science fiction.

My book contains all the elements I love most about science fiction: futuristic cities, technological wonders, scientific experiments, dimensional life, and robots. I absolutely love robots, especially the cute kind. I imagined the kind of future I would want to live in and developed my ideas from there. Since I’m a huge fan of Disney parks, my future world needed to have some kind of theme park, only more advanced than anything we know of today. And so I came up with the Maze of Desires, a dimensional wonderland that utilizes space-splitting technology.

2. Throughout your novel, you created and explained the concept of "wit" games, types of programs that were installed in the brain to make learning less difficult. How did you come up with this concept? Can you further detail this technology and its purpose?

The idea for wit programs (wit stands for wired-in-teaching) came from my lifelong struggle with learning disabilities. These learning disabilities are tied in with my diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome (high-functioning autism). They involve difficulties with retaining new information, following instructions, and making sense of written and verbal communication. There have been times I wished for some kind of implanted program that would make learning easier for me. Once during grade school, I tried sleeping with my textbook under my pillow, hoping I would learn by osmosis. All I ended up with was a stiff neck. As a child, I thought it unfair that learning should come with such struggle when I was usually the one student in class most eager to learn. And so I invented a way for the students of the future to have an easier time of it. A student merely has to visit a wit clinic, get outfitted with a specialized cap, and within an hour or so, their brain is functioning at a higher level than before. Of course, no wit program can make a student want to learn. If the lessons are boring, no studying will get done, and the wit program will go underutilized.

Children typically have their first wit program installed in their brains within the first six months of life. The programs are easy to install and most have no side effects. Sometimes, with the more complex programs, the brain will get revved up too fast and thoughts will become jumbled, but this problem usually dies down over time. There is no limit to how many wit programs a brain can handle. The only deterrent to someone getting additional wit programs is cost. They’re very expensive. The more elaborate they are, the most expensive they can be. Some people have been accused of buying their way through medical school, simply because they can afford the kind of wit programs that guarantee they will pass every class. The one thing wit programs can’t do is lead to moments of creativity. It’s one thing to be able to recite facts quickly, it’s another thing to be inventive with those facts. But when an already creative mind is able to take on more facts through a wit program, amazing inventions are often the result.

3. If you were a player in "Warriors of the Edge", what do you think your game name would be?

My game name is Bridges. I create bridges, all sorts of bridges. I create bridges so that people can pass safely from one dimension to another. I create bridges linking one generation to another, making it possible for people to be more understanding of one another. I create bridges to the future, helping people see the possibilities that lie before them.

4. Do you feel like the characters in your novel are always moving "forward"? When are we, as individuals moving "backward"?

Sometimes my characters begin to drift backwards without realizing it. But as long as they have a sense of their destiny, it will pull them in the right direction before long. We run the risk of going backward when we stop looking forward. When all we can see are the problems we’ve just come through, we lose sight of what we can yet do with our lives. It can be a struggle to get moving forward after a disappointing defeat, but the forward march holds great promise of bringing us fulfillment again. Forward is always an exciting way to go.

5. I absolutely loved your book; can we look forward to seeing a sequel? Are you going to be appearing anywhere online or in person in the near future?

I am hard at work on my sequel. My first scene will take you to the capital of Interspersia, where the senators work. It is a place with amazing inventions not seen anywhere else in Interspersia. I have done an online interview with the Autism Society and am in the process of doing an interview with AWN (Autism Women’s Network). These interviews can be found on my website. I have not yet been scheduled to appear in person. But as soon as that happens, I will leave notice of it on my website.

6. Thanks so much for letting us review your book and spending your time answering these questions. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

When I write my first draft of a scene, I think of it as being like a flat tire. A flat tire needs to be pumped up so the vehicle can get moving. If I give the tire only a little bit of air, it will make for a bumpy ride. The more air it gets, the smoother the ride will be. I must keep pumping my scenes up with more details, more suspense, more unanswered questions, more tension, more danger, more inventions, more humor, more witty dialogue, and more fun. I think to myself, “My scene is flat. What can I do to put more air into this scene?” And just when I think it’s got enough air, I add a little bit more. I don’t want to add so much air that it explodes into a mess. Then my vehicle will crash and it will be difficult to sort out all the pieces and see where they belong. But I do want to make that tire as full as it can be. My advice for writing is to pump it up. Keep adding air. You’ll love the results.

     Reviewed by: Caressa
     I give it: 4.8/5 stars

     After searching for a book to review online, I found Kate's Blog(a blog with review requests from authors). I read the synopsis for Warriors on the Edge by Katie Bridges and fell in love with the description. Katie provided a copy of her novel free of charge, but everything from this point on is solely my opinion. ;)
          This novel was both unlike what I expected and anything I've every read before. I absolutely loved it. Bridges has found the perfect balance of plot and description, twisting and turning the story every second so that you can't look away and taking time to explore the worlds so clearly you can see it in your imagination perfectly. The passage of time was realistic without feeling too slow or fast AND the story still managed to feature a plethora of full supporting characters!I am very much in love with books that have epic, original plots (like this one!!) and characters-- supporting, main, and antagonists-- that feel like they belong in your English class, not a novel. This story had both. All the characters were real and developed.
          This story also felt pretty realistic, or at least romantically so, in certain regions. Kids were obsessed with video games, especially after a year of being unable to pass the first level. Without spoiling, the huge increase of players felt brilliant and interesting, really helping to close up the novel. The psychology, however, demonstrated in characters such as the freelance teacher Miss Jade and the lack of school curriculum felt a little far out there, even to me. I'm not sure we as people will be able to evolve that far for a long, long time.
          The cover art was also a little confusing, but I didn't really connect it with the novel at all. Even with the exceptional writing it took me a couple chapters to catch up to the narrator, but after I did I read through the rest of the book in one sitting. The interactions between the two worlds really connected a lot for me. I was left with a lot of anticipation for the next book in the series. There were so many questions and subplots through the novel I left satisfied with almost all of questions answered, and continued to create twice as many questions as there were originally.
          I recommend this novel for every sci-fi geek out there. I almost guarantee this will earn a place on your favorite books shelf. If you're not a fan of science fiction or the future, there's a lot of substance in the characters and relationships, and I think it'll be a fun read. I know I'll be suggesting this book to a great amount of friends. What about you?

          Thanks for joining us Katie! What would your game name be viewers?
          Player's names in the game Warriors of the Edge say something about them and their destiny (Ex. Stone, Butterfly, Friend).

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"Waiting on Wednesday" (9/28) and Banned Books Week

“One must always be careful of books," said Tessa, "and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”
― Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Angel

     It's Banned Books Week and I found a fun video to share with you guys. Rae's review on Tuesday talks about a commonly challenged book; what are your thoughts? I'm going to try to complete my own project, although we'll be joined tomorrow by author Katie Bridges in a non-banned book related review. Enjoy, guys. ;)

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

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

"Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit -- more sparkly, more fun, more wild -- the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

"When Cricket -- a gifted inventor -- steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door."

I have been dying to read "Anna and the French Kiss" with it's incredible amount of beautiful reviews for a couple months now. After discovering it's not at my library, I'm going to buy a personal copy. This sequel looks fantastic too. Let me know your thoughts in the comments! Do you think books should be banned? (A world without the Hunger Games? I can't even imagine... ;P)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays (9/27)

     Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My teasers:
"Then Warthrop opened the chest,just above the leering mouth, using the rib-spreaders to make room for his hand to retrieve the liver, the spleen, the heart, and the lungs, grayish white and oblong like deflated footballs.All the while he continued his lecture, interrupting himself  from time to time to dictate measurements and describe the conditions of the various organs."(pg.26 The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey)
I hope you love the delicious tease, if you have any gruesome snarls just leave them in the comments box. Hehe. :D. -Rae

Tuesday Review from Rae 9/27

I rate this:4.56/10 units 

Another book from a selected reading list, oh boy. I actually didn’t enjoy this book as much as I did Jane Eyre. It was just like a repeat of a book twice inside one novel.

A Separate Peace takes place in the 1940s. This novel is a flashback into Gene Forrester’s life. As Gene revisits the school he has a flashback of the days when he was 16 and he spent his time with Phineas the most athletic guy in school. Finny and Gene live life trying not to believe in the war and what it stands for. They believe it is a joke. Gene finally becomes too jealous of Finny and his athletic abilities and the way he couldn’t get in trouble for one thing. Gene sets Finny out as his enemy and he attacks Finny in ways that will haunt him for the rest of his life. Finny and Gene think they have created A Separate Peace away from the war, but peace can only last so long.

I deeply enjoyed the writing of this book. I imagine that the author must have worked on this piece for a long time. The writing by far is the best I have seen. The plot didn’t intrigue me, but the writing led me to read the first chapter, when I first received the book. I felt that this book was separated into two parts of the same thing. I wasn’t impressed with either part. I gathered the same thing from each part Gene is a typical teenage boy and this book is all about the things he wished he could redo in his life.

I do not recommend this book to young adults or beginning readers. If you plan to be a History major or you enjoy reading novels about war then I would suggest that you read A Separate Peace. Also if you are studying different types of writing style you should check out this book.

 If you would like to share something pertaining to this review just leave it in the comments box, or you can leave a link to your blog and I’d gladly check it out and leave a comment. Thanks! -Rae

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday Musing (9/26)

This week’s musing asks…

What does it take for you to give up on a book you’re reading?

     I very rarely, if at all, give up on a book. To the best of my memory I've only not finished two or three books. Although both books were works worth finishing, I simply didn't have the concentration to finish them. It's far too easy for me to lose interest in books when they're not developing their characters. I suspect, however, that my views are open to a lot of change in the near future. Although I read an extreme amount, reading on a deadline leaves a lot less wiggle room for indifference.

I'm really curious to hear others' opinions, especially those who book blog; leave your Musing Monday or link in the comments and I'll check it out. Thanks for stopping by. ;)-C

Sunday, September 25, 2011

And the Winner of the Malice giveaway is...

The results of this giveaway are...

All winners are selected using ;)

And the winner is...


Nikki @ Close Encounters with the Night Kind!!

Congrats Nikki! We've sent an email your way. ;)

Good luck to everyone in future giveaways. :) Although we're not participating in the Banned Books Hop, we will be participating in some others down the road.
If you haven't already seen our profile at, our badge is in our sidebar. ------>
We're currently ranked #1. Thanks so much guys! Let's keep it up. ;) -C

Saturday, September 24, 2011

In my Mailbox. (Caressa 9-24)

IMM is a book meme brought to us from The Story Siren. It's a really great activity to share the books we won't get to review on the blog and point out some really good titles. I'm not sure how regularly we'll be posting an 'IMM' but we'll do our best ;) because it's our first 'IMM' some of these books will be over a time span exceeding a week or two.

Won and recieved from first reads(Goodreads) giveaways (in the past two weeks):

(first edition)  (ARC)   (ARC)   (first edition)  

For review from author (received):

Look for this author's interview and my review on Thursday. 

From the library(this week; I LOVE the library):


Bought (the past week):

I went to a book-sale with books for 50 cents each, so rather than list all ten or so, I'll name some of my favorites. ;)


So I think that's everything. What have you acquired recently? I'm a little behind on my reading (all my books got here at once) so you can find reviews as I read, write, and produce them on Goodreads; for those who've noticed I'm behind on Goodreads, I'll be spending tomorrow spending time with my family, doing homework, and yes, catching up on my book blogging. ;) Click on our badge below and leave a comment on our profile for some major brownie points or comment below. Thanks everyone!; and welcome to our new followers!-C

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Finds (9-23)

     Friday Finds is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should be reading. What great finds did you discover this week?:D

In attempt to conquer my never-ending to read list, I've been going through my TBR pile and reorganizing, eliminating, prioritizing, and of course, reading. Here are ten books I've found the past two weeks I couldn't resist!

 What releases are you excited about? Thoughts on these? Leave them in the comments! -C



Thursday, September 22, 2011

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling and New Moon by Stephenie Meyer (Review by C)

Reviewed by Caressa.

     I give it: 4.8/5 Pottermore's
      "The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts Schools of Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he's packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.

     "And strike it does. For in Harry's second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockhart; a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls' bathroom; and the unwanted attention of Ron Weasley's younger sister, Ginny.

     "But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone—or something—starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects . . . Harry Potter himself?"

     I give it: 3.3/5 cliffs

     "Shoot, I muttered when the paper sliced my finger; I pulled it out to examine the damage. A single drop of blood oozed from the tiny cut.It all happened very quickly then.Edward threw himself at me, flinging me back across the table...I tumbled down to the floor by the piano, with my arms thrown out instinctively to catch my fall, into the jagged shards of glass. I felt the searing, stinging pain that ran from my wrist to the crease inside my elbow. Dazed and disoriented, I looked up from the bright red blood pulsing out of my arm-into the fevered eyes of the six suddenly ravenous vampires.Legions of readers entranced by Twilight are hungry for more and they won't be disappointed. In New Moon, Stephenie Meyer delivers another irresistible combination of romance and suspense with a supernatural twist. The "star-crossed" lovers theme continues as Bella and Edward find themselves facing new obstacles, including a devastating separation, the mysterious appearance of dangerous wolves roaming the forest in Forks, a terrifying threat of revenge from a female vampire and a deliciously sinister encounter with Italy's reigning royal family of vampires, the Volturi. Passionate, riveting, and full of surprising twists and turns, this vampire love saga is well on its way to literary immortality."

      In order to write this review properly, I must explain why I am, at 15, reading the Harry Potter series for the first time. As explained in my intro, as a child I cast away popular literature and promised to read only old, old books in hope of finding better reading material. This plan backfired as my peers became more interested in reading and discussing what they read and how they felt about the material. Grudgingly, I eased myself into a more recognized collection of works, still avoiding the most popular literature as possible. I primarily tried to read books my fellow “book-nerds” enjoyed, particularly older ones like Time Cat by Lloyd Alexander and A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle and eventually read books like Twilight by Stephanie Meyers and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by none other than J. K. Rowling. I disliked both. Never having been a fan of blank-slate characters, Bella was an extremely fake character to me. With the belief that I love my friends deeply without thought, it's logical to have a character or person brighten up their day at the sight of a friend or love interest, or suffer from depression at the loss of them. What irked me was Bella's lack of background and other motivation. Regardless, there is obviously a lesson to be learned as Twilight pulls more and more people into the world of literature (/end Twilight rant).
      Harry Potter, however, was a different story. Everyone of my friend “book nerds” loved this book in capital letters. I began to learn all the points of discussion and major plot turns and characters as they eagerly read book after book. By the time I was willing to read Harry Potter, however, the book simply felt under-developed and young. Without growing up with them, the book itself was interesting and lightly good, but nothing to the flamboyancy of my expectations. Finally, I started reading and commenting on book discussions discussing the amount of discrepancy between the first two books and those that followed them. After watching a Very Potter Musical and its sequel I gave in. I finally picked up New Moon and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets from the library and resolved to read them and expect nothing.
      And I absolutely LOVED J. K. Rowling's second book.
      Because I had loved and watched A Very Potter Musical and its sequel before caving in for the second installation, I couldn't read Draco's dialog without imagining him rolling around on the floor. I laughed, I cried, I gripped the book in expectation, and was late to class because I couldn't stop until I finished reading the chapters. All the words of the various Harry Potter nerds I'd met over the ages came to life in a book. I expected nothing when I read this book, but I got everything.
      If you have not read this book yet, PLEASE go read it. The first book is exceptionally dull when you expect perfection, but abandoning your pretenses I think you'll find the rest of the series most wonderful (or at least the second book).
      And, surprising even myself, I didn't hate New Moon (Please forgive me for starting sentences with and. ). It seems like everyone has lost someone they loved, whether it be a breakup, a friend moving away, or the death of a family member. I myself, have had this experience countless times and I get really depressed after a big loss. There are a lot of things about New Moon that I really appreciated because it didn't cut any corners. There were also reasons I loathed the novel or characters and got distracted easily.
      To start with what I did like, I really enjoyed the full representation of Bella's loss. Sure, many claim she's being melodramatic, and I agree. Bella only knew Edward for a little under a year before he left. Still, I think it's important there is a book out there that represents the full experience of losing someone you love. It didn't surprise me at all that Bella was about to move on. It what we “as humans” do. Furthermore, it was also obvious to me throughout the whole book that when Edward was an option, she would be off in a heartbeat. Isn't that almost always true?
      Now, I didn't like Bella's exaggerations. In my own experience, when you realize you're depressed you try to pick yourself back up. Bella had to have Charlie threaten her before she was able to jump back into her life.
      The twilight books (and I've only read one and two so far, so don't pick on the lack of application, if at all, in the following two) are a chronicle about different kinds of love (the hard, if totally illogical parts). Twilight was almost all about obsession (many will argue with me, leave your thoughts in comments) and New Moon was about loss and starting recovery. I'm glad these books exist because they help to bring people into the world of literature and yet, the series is not at all what I would read if I was in the mood for a plot and full side characters. Still, (and Rae I AM talking to you as well) the series does have a purpose.
      So that's all for this week. Please leave your doubtlessly controversial thoughts in the comments. ;) No hate please, but don't be afraid to disagree. :P And, how excited is everyone about the upcoming Pottermore

Also, PLEASE check out our book blogs profile and leave a comment. ;) A big shout out to Sari (if you read this, we're more than willing to post a link to your blog if you'd like. I'm sure Rae is overly excited about bringing her posts to attention. ) for posting the first comment on our page!! Our Malice by Chris Wooding giveaway ends Saturday, so go check it out and a big welcome to all our new followers; we appreciate you. ;)-C

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

WWW Wenesdays from Rae

To play along just answer the following three (3) questions…
• What are you currently reading?

• What did you recently finish reading?

• What do you think you’ll read next?

My answers:

I am currently reading The Only Way to Paradise by G.G. Vandagriff. I am so exicted.

I just finished reading A Seperate Peace by John Knowles for my English Class.

I think I will read The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo by Steig Larsson next. I have been needing to read it for some time now. I will get to it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Trailer Tuesday (9-20)

     The pirate speaks,"Hey everyone. I wanted t' apologize for missin' 'International Talk like a Pirate Day' and, doubtless, talk like a pirate even if i be a tad late. ;)
     "In effort t' switch thin's around, we're goin' t' do a Trailer Tuesday. I don't know where I first found this, so if you do, leave a link in t' comments and I shall reward ye with vast plates o' virtual cookies. :P
     "Of course, I also can't remember t' restrictions for trailers. Neither o' t' two were made by meself and both have been released for years.
     "Here's me all-time favorite trailer for City o' Bones by Cassandra Clare."

     The pirate speaks,"And in effort t' highlight how excited I be about T' Hunger Games movie comin' out on March 23, 2012 Here's that trailer as well. ;)"

     The pirate speaks,"Are you lookin' fore t' these releases(movie wise)? What did you think about t' books?"

     So, you guys, hoped you enjoyed. I did cheat a little by using this translator; forgive me and check it out! ;) Please check out our new badge linking to our profile on Book Blogs. It has all our links and a short description. Please check that new profile out and comment-------> (extra virtual brownies to first comment ;P) -C

Tuesday Review from Rae

I rate this: 7.03/10 points

I am reviewing this book to refresh my memory for the upcoming finale of the Beautiful Dead series entitled Phoenix Beautiful Dead. I have read this book so many times and I am very happy to share it with you.

Jonas Beautiful is about Darina a grief-stricken high school student who deeply misses her dead boyfriend Phoenix.  Darina starts to notice that Phoenix along with three other students disappeared from Ellerton High School within the past year. She becomes curious with the deaths being so close together. Darina begin to drive around and search for secrets about these deaths. She stumbles upon a cabin and a barn. She is overwhelmed by the beating sound of wings. Finally she persists and sees a man with long hair, Hunter, who is the leader of the Beautiful Dead. Hunter is on a mission to help Jonas, Summer, Arizona, and Phoenix to help unravel their pasts. There is only one catch, they only have one year since the day of the person’s death to figure out what happened. Hunter therefore uses Darina to find out information about Jonas’ death. Darina feels that she has a purpose again and the best part is that she can see Phoenix. Darina begins to ask too many questions and draws attention to herself ,by asking questions, leading her into a dangerous path that she cannot return from.

Jonas Beautiful Dead is predictable, the book is too short for an elaborate plot and that is easily noticed. The writing is also very simple, and at times begins to become a bore. The author did pull off the book though because I have followed the series for a couple years now.

Jonas Beautiful Dead is an easy read and I recommend it for a day read and even for a beginning reader. It would also be a good introduction into fiction because it isn’t too out of this world. For more advanced readers, I would suggest that you surpass this book and not even consider reading it. This book is short and the plot is easily foreseeable, but in conclusion this book is overall an average read.

If you would like to share something pertaining to this review just leave it in the comments box, or you can leave a link to your blog and I’d gladly check it out and leave a comment. Thanks! -Rae

Monday, September 19, 2011

Musing Monday From Rae

This week’s musing asks…  
     How often do you read a book, just because you’re in the mood to read it? (not because you’re obligated to for a book club, or a challenge, or for review)

Very often, people always see me with books. I carry books around like a woman would carry a purse. I read any spare moment I get because reading is an enjoyment and a hobby.-Rae

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Finds (9-15)

     Friday Finds is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should be reading. What great finds did you discover this week? :D

Hello everyone this is Rae. I am doing my first Friday finds. I am very exicted because finding books and sharing them with other people is one of my hobbies. Hope you find these books and enjoy them. -Rae