Thursday, December 30, 2010

FIVE Great Rereads

This past week, Adele at Persnickety Snark has been posting a week of FIVE lists. I'm a bit late to the party, but I jumped in earlier this week with FIVE Great Series and today will be tackling with FIVE Great Rereads. Click here to check out her list! Okay, so maybe I picked six...

Pride and PrejudiceJessica Darling SeriesGoing Too Far Jennifer Echols
Stealing Heaven Elizabeth ScottWrinkle in TimeTwilight book cover


1. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
I will never swoon for anyone as much as a swoon for Mr. Darcy. Well, except for my husband, but maybe he won't see this. I reread it about once a year, not to mention that I pop in the DVDs whenever I'm cleaning. (Keira Knightley version or Colin Firth version, no matter to me! The more Darcy the merrier!)

2. The Jessica Darling Series
Oh, have we not covered this series enough already on this blog? I'm so sorry, let me remedy that fact: I LOVE IT. I reread this series...a LOT.

3. Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols and Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott
Those who have read both will know what they have in common. And I am as baffled as you are as to whether that's why I would reread them both a million times.

4. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
I adore every book in this series. A favorite and constant reread of my middle-grade years.

5. The Twilight Series
Whatever. Shut up. Don't judge me.

What's on your list of rereads?

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

"Waiting On" Wednesday 13


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine to shine a spotlight on upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Fury of the Phoenix
By Cindy Pon
416 pages
Greenwillow Books, to be released March 29, 2011

When Ai Ling leaves her home and family to accompany Chen Yong on his quest to find his father, haunted by the ancient evil she thought she had banished to the underworld, she must use her growing supernatural powers to save Chen Yong from the curses that follow her. Part supernatural page-turner, part love story, and altogether stirring, Fury of the Phoenix further heralds the arrival of Cindy Pon as a stellar author of paranormal romance and fantasy.

— Description yanked from CindyPon.com

I have been anticipating this sequel to Silver Phoenix for more than a year now. The first book had hints of romance, tons of danger and a kick-ass heroine—which you know I love—but it was the unique setting of supernatural, ancient Asia that made this book a winner for me. I'm excited to see how Cindy Pon handles the continuation of the story in book two!

What book are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

FIVE Great Series

This past week, Adele at Persnickety Snark has been posting a week of FIVE lists. I'm a bit late to the party, but I'll be jumping in today with FIVE Great Series and Thursday with FIVE Great Rereads. Click here to check out Adele's list! So, without further ado...

1. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter book cover

This goes without saying, right? The books...the movies...wow! As far as I'm concerned, nothing holds a candle to the world created by J.K. Rowling. I'm not a superfan by any means, but I might be planning a trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter park in Florida for the coming year. If you say you're not curious what butter beer tastes like, you're lying. (Warmed up, melted, boozy Werther's Originals candies, right? You know I'm right.)

Books:
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows



2. The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne CollinsCatching Fire book cover

A fierce heroine. The Peeta vs. Gale battles. All that gore and suspense. This series is unputdownable to the core. Can you imagine the movies? EPIC!

Books:
The Hunger Games
Catching Fire
Mockingjay



3. The Morganville Vampires Series by Rachel CaineGhost Town Morganville Vampires book cover

It's full of funny yet moving gooey goodness down to its vamptastic core. And I love it.

Books:
Glass Houses
The Dead Girls' Dance
Midnight Alley
Feast of Fools
Lord of Misrule
Carpe Corpus
Fade Out
Kiss of Death
Ghost Town



4. The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra ClareCity of Glass book cover

Love them. Need to reread them STAT before the next book comes out. Amazing characters, the perfect amount of suspense and—who could forget?—JACE!

Books:
City of Bones
City of Ashes
City of Glass
City of Fallen Angels
(not released yet)


5. The Baby-Sitters Club Little Sister BooksBabysitter's Club Little Sister book cover

Gotta respect the "classics," y'all. Yes, we are talking the LITTLE SISTER series here. It's what I was reading at age 7 when my parents let me read chapter books, and it's is where my love of series began!

What's on your list?

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Monday, December 27, 2010

Prom Nights from Hell

Prom Nights from Hell
Stories by Stephenie Meyer, Kim Harrison, Meg Cabot, Lauren Myracle, Michele Jaffe
April 10, 2007
HarperTeen, 304 pages


In this exciting collection, bestselling authors Meg Cabot (How to Be Popular), Kim Harrison (A Fistful of Charms), Michele Jaffe (Bad Kitty), Stephenie Meyer (Twilight), and Lauren Myracle (ttyl) take bad prom nights to a whole new level—a paranormally bad level. Wardrobe malfunctions and two left feet don't hold a candle to discovering your date is the Grim Reaper—and he isn't here to tell you how hot you look.

From angels fighting demons to a creepy take on getting what you wish for, these five stories will entertain better than any DJ in a bad tux. No corsage or limo rental necessary. Just good, scary fun.


— Amazon.com description

This wasn't my favorite collection (one review on Amazon called it "uneven," and I'd have to agree), but the tales of paranormal prom nights were amusing overall.

The highlight for me was "The Exterminator's Daughter," a Meg Cabot tale about a young vamp fighter. The "never read anything by Meg that I didn't love" hot streak continues! It was cute and funny, and I think that woman's brain is a story factory/gold mine. I'd like her to be my friend, please.

"The Corsage" by Lauren Myracle was fittingly creepy and encouraged me to look up more of her work. Fans of the Madison Avery books by Kim Harrison will probably get a kick out the "prequel" included here, but this and the remaining stories seemed too much like book previews to really catch my attention as standalone stories.

If you like this book, you might also like: Love Is Hell, a collection I enjoyed a bit more (stories by Scott Westerfield, Melissa Marr, Justine Larbalestier, Gabrielle Zevin and Laurie Faria Stolarz) because the stories seemed to stand stronger by themselves.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Love on the Lifts by Rachel Hawthorne

Love on the Lifts
By Rachel Hawthorne
December 13, 2005
HarperTeen, 320 pages


Winter Break super-secret perfect cocoa recipe:

8 oz steamed whole milk
(no skim! doesn't work!)

2 tbsp. dark cocoa powder (big scoops)

1 tbsp. sugar (can't be too sweet)

4 dried, crushed mint leaves
(or 1 tbsp. mint syrup)

Stir thoroughly. Add mint swizzle stick. Combine with cute ski instructor, or brother's cute best friend, or cute guy you never noticed was so cute...Enjoy.


— Amazon.com description

To me, this is the book equivalent of an Amanda Bynes* movie. Do I expect them to be Oscar-winning? Nope. But will there be cute boys and romance and will it end exactly the way I want it to? YOU BET IT WILL!

Which is why I was so pleased with Love on the Lifts. It was everything a "romcom" in book version should be. Now, I only gave it three stars. That's because it wasn't life-changing, and it wasn't spectacular. But I'm raving about it in this review because I didn't expect it to be any of those things. It was everything I wanted it to be.

PhotobucketPlus, I enjoyed it the way I think it was meant to be enjoyed: During a huge blizzard with a steaming cup of hot chocolate (see picture).

If you like this book, you might also like: Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

*My best friend Rachael and I have a thing where, when we're looking for movies to rent, we just say "I want an Amanda Bynes movie." We don't mean it has to be a movie starring Amanda Bynes...that's just our name for the genre. And don't deny that you don't know exactly what I'm talking about. Last time around, it meant Post Grad starring Alexis Bledel.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"Waiting On" Wednesday 12


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine to shine a spotlight on upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

What Happened to Goodbye
By Sarah Dessen
416 pages
Viking Juvenile, to be released May 10, 2011

Another town. Another school. Another Mclean. Ever since her parents' bitter divorce, Mclean and her father have been fleeing their unhappy past. And Mclean's become a pro at reinventing herself with each move. But in Lakeview, Mclean finds herself putting down roots and making friends—in part, thanks to Dave, the most real person Mclean's ever met. Dave just may be falling in love with her, but can he see the person she really is? Does Mclean herself know?

— Description yanked from the fan site Sarah-Land

Let's take a moment for a little honesty. I honestly had no idea what this book was about when I started writing this post.

So it's no exaggeration when I say that if Sarah Dessen wrote it, I will read it. It always feels like I'm "waiting on" her next book! No one, in my opinion, is better than her at writing the juicy romances I can't help but crave.

Bonus now that I've read the description: This. Sounds. Awesome.

What book are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Oh, Santa: The Top 13 Books I Want Right Now




A Top 10 Tuesday post organized by The Broke and the Bookish.
This week's topic is "The Top 10 Books I Hope Santa Brings,"
though I think that's the meanest thing you can ask of a book blogger. Only 10? I failed.
Here are my top 13 in no particular order.



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What's on your list?

  Anna Reads young adult book blog

Monday, December 20, 2010

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss
By Stephanie Perkins
December 2, 2010
Dutton Juvenile, 384 pages


Anna was looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she's less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets Etienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Etienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss? Stephanie Perkins keeps the romantic tension crackling and the attraction high in a debut guaranteed to make toes tingle and hearts melt.


— Amazon.com description

Okay, so I know as much French as Anna did going into her Parisian adventure, and I was a little nervous about reading this book because of all the hype surrounding it, but my overall response this book is: Oui, s'il vous plaƮt!

Anna's voice was wry and witty, and the dialogue was quick and realistic. Those are the top things I look for in a main character (See: Darling, Jessica), and Stephanie Perkins did a wonderful job of fulfilling all my wishes with Anna.

That's not to say Anna didn't frustrate me. Oh my gosh, stop moping in your room. It's legal to drink at your age in France, Anna! Go have some wine and see the sights! But, then again, I like my main characters to be a little flawed, so I mostly found all that to be endearing.

[Potential spoiler alert!] I see the appeal of St. Clair (accent! worldly! funny!), but I'm not swooning. I think I like Anna so much that it was hard for me to root for what seemed like a hopeless romance. Not that the guy she left at home seemed like much of a winner, but...St. Clair has a girlfriend! Girl, you're young. You're in Paris. Go meet some French boy and have some fun till St. Clair comes to his silly British senses. Make him chase you a bit!

In short, this is definitely a book I'd recommend. Very impressed by Stephanie Perkins!

Post-read observation: I have never read a book about boarding school I didn't like. Seriously...aren't they the best? Also: Let's discuss how Anna's dad was totally Nicholas Sparks. Hilarious!

If you like this book, you might also like: Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott (because you are probably sick of me and all the Megan McCafferty talk by now)

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Friday, December 17, 2010

Book Blogger Hop & Follow Friday 10

It's time for Book Blogger Hop and Follow Friday.

Book Blogger Hop

This week’s Hop question is: What do you consider the most important in a story: the plot or the characters?

To me, plot is essential. I can like a character, but if she never grows or does something with herself, what's the point? And if I dislike a character but see her change throughout the course of a book, I'm usually pretty satisfied at the end. (See: The Duff) So maybe it's a combo of both: Characters who DO something, or characters I don't like who grow to become someone I do like.

And, Follow Friday is asking: What did you study in college, or are currently studying, and did it lead to your current 9 to 5 or are you doing something totally different?

I studied journalism, and though I'm no longer a girl reporter (yes, I had to wear a fireman suit like Bridget Jones for one piece), you bet I'm still using what I learned in school!

Today is actually my last day in my dream job, where I have been the copy editor for a major website. I've used the skills I learned in journ school on a daily basis since I graduated, and though I'm moving on to a new job, I'll still be writing and researching daily.

Wish me luck today as I start a new chapter. Thanks for stopping by!

PS: I'm featured today on Melissa's blog I Swim for Oceans. Check it out!

Anna Reads young adult book blog
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