Thursday, August 25, 2011

Book covers--Do they have a say in your book selection?

This is a guest post question/answer I participated in a while ago on iRandomBlogger: Random Thoughts that is run by my friend Patrick. Check it out! I wanted to post it here so you guys who didn't get a chance to read it, can read it now, if you want, you don't have to. Please read it? Comment? Thoughts?

Q: "Book covers--Do they have a say in your book selection?"

A: Short (but confusing) answer: Yes, and no.

Let's say I am browsing the store or (to add to my to-read list) and I stumble upon a book whose cover looks like this:

or like this:

You can be sure I will be taking a look at the book's synopsis.

There are many factors that influence what book I am likely to pick up at a bookstore. The cover is one of them.The cover attracts my attention, so in a way it does have influence in my book selection. I did have one book that the cover was beautiful , but the book was frustrating to read and all together hard to finish. I saw a friend with said book, and they asked me what I though of it. When I told them that I didn't like it, they were surprised, they said it had such a pretty cover that it couldn't be that bad. Long story short, they didn't like it.

So yes the cover grabs my attention, but if the synopsis is not as attractive as the cover you can be sure I will not be reading it. In the case of the books with the covers above, I did like both (cover and summary) and ended up loving the books!

There are also the books that have non-extravagant covers, simple and nothing exotic about it.


The Hunger Games is one my favorite books ever. I will admit I hesitated at starting it because of the cover, it looked like a boys book and three years ago the only books I read where the girly kind. I want to slap my 13 year old self now, because this book was pretty much amazing. It wouldn't matter what kind of cover this book had, I would re-read it the same amount of times I have re-read it now.

There are many of amazing books out there with covers not as impressive as other books. The story inside the book is what matters, a beautiful cover is just a bonus.

Monday, August 15, 2011

New BOOKISH School Year Resolutions

It is that time of year again...going back to school! New teachers, harder classes, and more responsibilities; all great things to look forward to. Right now, this is me:

Because going back to school will mean I will be doing this:

Instead of reading, Internet browsing, blogging and all the fun stuff.

But I am gong to write up a couple of things I want to stick to doing this school year so I can get in some more reading and blogging time. Also, I am going to write up some things that I gotta stick to during the year so I won't  be so distracted with reading and blogging.

  1. Try to read one book a week, and review that book at the end of each week. (One book a week is an accomplishment for me during the school year, that is how much homework I get.)
  2. Do NOT read before gong to sleep. I always end up telling myself "One more chapter", two hours later I am going to sleep at 3 AM , and wake up tired.
  3. Homework first; reading/blogging later. I did NOT stick to that last year, and ended up doing homework at the last minute.
  4. Limit Twitter time. I am addicted to twitter, so I will limit my time to 30 minutes a day. I will try to stick to that.
  5. Take a book everyday to school. You never know when you will have random free time.
  6. Sleep early wake up early. If I don't have to wake up earlier that usual to study, I will wake up earlier to read. 
  7. Study as far as away from books that I read for fun as possible. When I was in studying hell last year, I used to grab a book from my bookshelf and start reading it (short attention span), no studying got done after that.
  8. Have fun this school year! I cannot tell you all the stress I went through last year, I took everything so seriously  I don't want to do that anymore, I will take my school work seriously but not kill myself over it!
How about any of you guys? Do you have any back to school resolutions? Any advice? 

High School students, have a great year!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Deadly Little Secret

Deadly Little Secret (Touch #1) by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Release Date: December 23, 2008
Publisher: Hyperion Publishing
Source: Bought

Some secrets shouldn't be kept... Up until three months ago, everything in sixteen-year-old Camelia's life had been fairly ordinary: decent grades; an okay relationship with her parents; and a pretty cool part-time job at the art studio downtown. But when Ben, the mysterious new guy, starts junior year at her high school, Camelia's life becomes anything but ordinary.
Rumored to be somehow responsible for his ex-girlfriend's accidental death, Ben is immediately ostracized by everyone on campus. Except for Camelia. She's reluctant to believe the rumors, even when her friends try to convince her otherwise. She's inexplicably drawn to Ben...and to his touch. But soon, Camelia is receiving eerie phone calls and strange packages with threatening notes. Ben insists she is in danger, and that he can help--but can he be trusted? She knows he's hiding something... but he's not the only one with a secret.
From the best-selling author of Blue is for Nightmares comes a story of paranormal romance that's sure to be a thrilling and chilling teen favorite.

My thoughts:

         To begin with, I cannot tell you how relieved I am to have read this book in the privacy of my own home with no people other than my family starting at me every time I laughed out loud, seriously. The dialogue was that funny. Of course, there was plenty of suspense and mystery, but the quirky dialogue between Camelia's friends  ( Kimmie and Wes)   is a good reason alone to have to read this book.

      Comedy aside, this book also has enough creepy moments that you will immediately want to make sure your blinds/curtains are closed. Adding to said creepiness, are the various chapters written as a diary entries from the mysterious person that is stalking Camelia. That person is seriously mentally disturbed.

      But the mystery took front stage throughout the novel. Everyone was a suspect, and I kept studying the diary entries and studying the characters to see if they fit the criteria. Of course, I came up with a possible  culprit, and I was so sure I was right. But surprisingly I wasn't, and the turn of events just were very unexpected. Even though my conclusions  were far from what really happened, the whole "investigator" thing was fun to do.

    The characters, both main and secondary, really came to life the more I read on. Though sometimes Kimmie, Camelia's best friend, seemed kind of annoying and sort of mean, she made up for it by being a quirky and very animated character. Ben, the mystery boy, was such a sweetheart and even though he kinda looked like the bad guy sometimes, you really hoped he was good.

     Sadly have to say though, from all the suspense that was being built up, I would have expected a better conflict at the end. When Camelia seems to have run into some serious trouble, she is out of trouble after about 11 pages. I mean really? That was sort of disappointing, while I really wanted Camelia to be safe, I was sort of hoping for more of a "WOW" factor, while all I got was a "meh" factor. That will affect my rating of the book in general, sine the conflict is such a big part of a book. Sorry for my vague wording, but I don't want to spoil it for anyone who will read it in the future.

    I also noticed there was some Twilight-ism through the book. Meaning, that there was some Twilight-esque scenes going on. Like when Camelia is saved by Ben while a vehicle is rushing wildly towards her. Or how she gets Ben as a Lab Partner in a science class. Also, how he flinches away from her touch and seems to have a secret, and yet Camelia is attracted to him. Those are some things I noticed, but maybe I am just being paranoid. Still thought I should mention it, it didn't really affect the story so much as it took some originality away from it.

    Yes, there was some things that could have been different in the story, but I really did enjoy the romantic tension between Camelia and Ben, the quirky dialogue between Kimmie and Wes, and how the author mixed the contemporary and mystery/thriller with some paranormal.


4 Butterflies

Would have rated it a 4 1/2 were it not for the conflict.

What's Next?
Deadly Little Lies (Touch #2) by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Released: November 9, 2009 
Which means I will be getting my own copy soon. 

* From 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

In My Mailbox

It is Saturday, so most of my blog feed consists of IMM* posts and I love it! It is time for me to contribute to the IMM* madness....

Here is what I have gotten in the past couple of weeks:

(Links take you to book pages.)

For Review:
Love Story by Jennifer Echols (SIGNED!)
Dark Parties by Sara Grant 
Bloodlines by Richelle Mead (not pictured, lent it to a friend)
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins (lent it out)

 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K Rowling (Better late than never!)
Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Falling Under by Gwen Hayes

The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle (Thank-you Katie)
Forever by Maggie Stiefvater (Thank-you Katie)
The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler (Thank-you Erica)

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
(not pictured; already sent out, thank you Brooke)

Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon (Thanks April)

Thank you: Jennifer Echols, Little Brown Co., Razorbill, LibraryThing, 
Katie, Erica, Brooke and April.

*Meme hosted by The Story Siren

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Holly Schindler: On Summer Romances

Sometimes summer romances can bloom into what feels like the greatest love of your life. Maybe it's the heat, maybe it's the fact that summer is so short and sweet, or maybe it is just plain true love when you're not looking, but there's something about love in the summer that makes it unique.**

       Summer Romances. We all read about it and dream about it, but only a few of us have one. But weather we are the ones dreaming about it or experiencing it, love in the summer is very popular and appealing subject in Young Adult books.

          Recently I had a chance to interview Holly Schindler, author of A Blue So Dark and Playing Hurt (read my review HERE), and ask her questions on how she perceives summer romances. I felt that this was a very appropriate subject to talk about, since her new novel Playing Hurt is about a summer romance.

1. Summer love, what do you think makes it so unique?

        I think summer love is innately more intense, because those experiences are usually limited by time. People are drawn together because it’s summer break, they’re on vacation…Before long, they’ll have to return to their homes, to school, to their working lives. Knowing that it’s bound to be short-term, I think people involved in summer romances really throw themselves into them. Try to get the most out of the situation that they can…that intensity, that quick-to-flame experience is a bit different than other romances…

2. Your novel PLAYING  HURT revolves around a summer romance; what is it about summer romances that appeals to authors to write about it?

      That intensity is a big draw. Plus, as an author writing YA, it gives you a chance to get your characters away from the school setting; teen characters’ adventures can really go anywhere when they don’t have to be back at school at 8:00 a.m. Monday morning. It really opens the doors to all sorts of possibilities…

3. What made you decide to involve your main character in a summer romance when she had a loving boyfriend waiting for her when she got back?

       What I initially wanted to write about in PLAYING HURT was learning the difference between loving someone and being passionately IN love with someone. The sports subplot (and chapters written from Clint’s POV) didn’t exist until the last rewrite. Originally, Chelsea was a girl with a boyfriend, who went on vacation and met Clint—and found herself falling in love in a way she’d never fallen for her boyfriend back home.

      I think the cool thing about friendship is how deep it runs…But when you’re first starting to date, that deepness of friendship can make things a bit murky, confusing—it can be hard to figure out what you really feel for a person. Friendship is an important part of romantic love, sure—but it’s not the entirety of romantic love. Until you’ve felt that hit-you-over-the-head passion, you often don’t realize the big difference.

4. Most summer romances seem to take place on beaches; why did you decide on a Minnesota resort as the plot for your story?

      I knew, when I first drafted PLAYING HURT, that I needed to get Chelsea out of town, away from her boyfriend. (I knew she’d never explore her feelings for Clint if, say, he’d come to Missouri.)

     I also chose Minnesota because my grandfather was an avid fisherman, and my mom’s an only child. She went on several fishing trips with him to Minnesota, and spoke about them so often, I felt as though I’d been there myself!

5. Did writing PLAYING HURT change the way you feel about summer romances?

      That’s a really interesting question…One of the things PLAYING HURT touches on is the idea that the people who change our lives the most are sometimes not the people who are in it the longest…Time is not necessarily a marker of impact. I’m really intrigued by this idea…

6. Do you think you would like to write about another summer romance like PLAYING HURT?

I would adore that! I had a blast writing PLAYING HURT. Another romance would be really fun…

7. What are some of your favorite summer romance reads?

      Jessi Kirby’s MOONGLASS (contemporary YA), anything by Elin Hilderbrand (adult contemporary romance), and though it’s a movie, I have to say it: DIRTY DANCING. When a blogger wrote in a review that PLAYING HURT was steamy enough to “easily become this decade’s version of DIRTY DANCING, “ I nearly passed out. What an incredible compliment!

**Quote from an article.

Thank-you Holly for allowing me to interview you!

Holly's Blog:
Twitter: @holly_schindler

Holly also blogs with other amazing authors at the blog YA Outside the Lines. If you haven't followed them (which you should) go do it now!

She also started blogging about Middle Grade Lit. at the approprietly named blog, Smack Dab in the Middle.

Giveaway Time!
Holly Schindler has kindly given me a copy of her second novel Playing Hurt to 
give away to you guys!

Star basketball player Chelsea “Nitro” Keyes had the promise of a full ride to college—and everyone’s admiration in her hometown.  But everything changed senior year, when she took a horrible fall during a game. Now a metal plate holds her together and she feels like a stranger in her own family.

As a graduation present, Chelsea’s dad springs for a three-week summer “boot camp” program at a northern Minnesota lake resort.  There, she’s immediately drawn to her trainer, Clint, a nineteen-year-old ex-hockey player who’s haunted by his own traumatic past.  As they grow close, Chelsea is torn between her feelings for Clint and her loyalty to her devoted boyfriend back home.  Will an unexpected romance just end up causing Chelsea and Clint more pain—or finally heal their heartbreak?

One person will win a SIGNED copy of Holly Schindler's Playing Hurt.
*Giveaway ends August 31,2011.
*I will pick a winner using Random.Org.
*You must be 13 years or older to enter.
*You can get an extra entry by commenting 
and telling me your thoughts on summer romances.
*You do not have to be a follower but I would really appreciate it. 
*You have 48 hours to respond to e-mail if you are the winner. 

*Giveaway NOT international (sorry guys).
 If you have someone that lives in the US that lives in the US that is okay too.

Please fill out the form HERE.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

New blog look!

It took a while, but I finally have a new blog design! I LOVED my old design but I felt that the blog needed a small change since my blogoversary already passed.....don't worry I will have some giveaways soon for that. I went on a short blogging vacation but now I am officially back!

Thanks to Tawni from The Book Worms for the re-design I love it!

What do you guys think?

© Copyright More Than Just A Book. FDS