Sunday, January 30, 2011

Vampire Academy Review As Told By Stick Figures

You know how sometimes you love a book so much that written reviews just don't do your feelings justice? And so you're forced to make potentially embarrassing videos to convey your feelings instead?

Oh? No? That's just me? *Shrugs*

My thoughts on the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead, told through stick figure drawings, 'cause...why not?

Anna Reads young adult book blog

In My Mailbox 6

"In My Mailbox" is a weekly post hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren about what new books we got in the mail (or library or whatever) this week. I got some great things this week. But first...

Broken Kindle

TRAGEDY! There was an "incident" with my Kindle. Which included me setting it down on my bed and then a large popping/cracking sound happening out of nowhere. It was like spontaneous Kindle combustion. I'm still in mourning. I've had that puppy for a few years—since they were first on The Oprah Show—but will have to buy a new one this week. Dang.

But I did get some nice things from the library this week. I have the Outside In ARC from NetGalley, so I made sure to get Book 1 ASAP:

But, even better! Lots of goodies in my actual mailbox this week:
Thanks to everyone who sent me such fabulous books. Happy Sunday—I'm off now to Borders to hang with Tara from Fiction Folio and do some bloggish things/BEA planning.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Friday, January 28, 2011

Book Blogger Hop & Follow Friday 14

Happy Friday, guys! It's time for Book Blogger Hop and Follow Friday.

This week’s Hop question is: What book are you most looking forward to seeing published in 2011? Why are you anticipating that book?

So many good choices. I'd say Bumped by Megan McCafferty, but this book is already in my possession. I think the book I'd most like to get my hands on STAT has to be City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare. The book comes out in April, and it's the fourth installment of the Moral Instruments series. I've gotten so committed to the characters over the years that it's just torture waiting to find out how it's all going to end!

And, Follow Friday is asking: What is/was your favorite subject in school?

English, obvs. I remember going into my senior year of high school and convincing my guidance counselor to sign me up for FIVE English classes. She agreed, miraculously, and it was one of the best things that could have happened to me. That's five of my eight hours of class spent talking books and writing. Heaven!

Journalism class in high school was a close second—I was the editor-in-chief of the school paper. I was a reporter for a long time after that.

And, in college, the best class was called—I am not making this up—"Chick Lit from Pride & Prejudice to Bridget Jones's Diary." Double heaven!

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Queen (Iron Fey Book 3)
By Julie Kagawa
January 25, 2011
Harlequin, 368 pages

My name is Meghan Chase.

I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.

This time, there will be no turning back.

— description

Told through vivid descriptions and Meghan's relatable voice (yes, relatable, even though she's a faery princess and all that), get ready for a ton of emotional highs and lows in this book. Yeah, I didn't think it was possible, but the third book in this series brings even more EPICNESS.
Ben Barnes Ash Iron Queen
The characters continue to grow and evolve, which is more than can be said for many series. Their stories reach new levels of emotion and—yes—romance. Ooh-la-la!

Reading too many descriptions of the book, and perhaps even its title, spoiled a bit for me, so I'll leave it at that. Fans at the series will be gasping at the ending, ready to count down for the release of Book 4.

Before I go, can we discuss casting? I love love love Ash, and all I can picture when reading is Ben Barnes. Does anyone agree?

If you like this book, you might also like: Fire by Kristin Cashore

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"Waiting On" Wednesday 16

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

Dark Mirror
By M.J. Putney
320 pages
St. Martin's Griffin, to be released March 1, 2011

Lady Victoria Mansfield, youngest daughter of the earl and countess of Fairmount, is destined for a charmed life. Soon she will be presented during the London season, where she can choose a mate worthy of her status.

Yet Tory has a shameful secret—a secret so powerful that, if exposed, it could strip her of her position and disgrace her family forever. Tory’s blood is tainted . . . by magic.

When a shocking accident forces Tory to demonstrate her despised skill, the secret she’s fought so hard to hide is revealed for all to see. She is immediately exiled to Lackland Abbey, a reform school for young men and women in her position. There she will learn to suppress her deplorable talents and maybe, if she’s one of the lucky ones, be able to return to society.

But Tory’s life is about to change forever. All that she’s ever known or considered important will be challenged. What lies ahead is only the beginning of a strange and wonderful journey into a world where destiny and magic come together, where true love and friendship find her, and where courage and strength of character are the only things that determine a young girl’s worth.

— description

Historical AND paranormal? Two of my favorites in one! This author, Mary Jo Putney, is a popular romance author going by a different name here (if my research holds up, anyway). I've never read her work, but I love to see veteran authors taking on YA works. I'll have to give it a go in March!

Plus, the cover has a quote from Rachel Hawthorne, who writes the most delicious fluff, so I'll trust her opinion on this one.

What book are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Top 10 Books I Wish I'd Read as a Kid

I'm joining in on Top 10 Tuesday at The Broke and the Bookish again. This week's topic: Top 10 Books I Wish I'd Read as a Kid. My list is a little all over the place, from little kids' books to middle-grade reads. Here goes:

Where the Wild Things Are Maurice Sendak1. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

When the movie came out, I was reminded that I'd NEVER read this. It seems like a beloved classic from childhood to so many people, so this makes me sad.

Alice in Wonderland Lewis Carroll2. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

The closest I ever got to reading this was my father's constant quoting of this line:

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

Nancy Drew3. Nancy Drew books by Carolyn Keene

Okay, I wish I'd read them. But forget Nancy Drew—let's talk about Trixie Belden! I inherited my mother's stash of old Trixie Belden books, and I reread them all at least five times each. The Bob-Whites of the Glen were my heroes.

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg4. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

My husband's family was shocked this Christmas to realize I'd never read this as a little girl. Who knew it was a must-read?

Sweet Valley High by Francine Pascal5. Sweet Valley High books by Francine Pascal

I read SO many Sweet Valley Twins books. And, as much as I loved me some Jessica and Elizabeth, I was kind of over them (and Lila Fowler) by the time I would have graduated to the older series. Looking back, I wish I'd read more of them!

Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis6. Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

The Chronic-WHAT-cles of Narnia! Saw the first movie, but never read the books. That Prince Caspian sure looks hot in those ads though...

The Jungle Book Rudyard Kipling7. The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

Saw the movie, but never read the book. And, looking back, that movie is pretty darn racist, soooooo let's hope the book isn't?

Dr. Seuss book cover8. Any Dr. Seuss book

My mom wouldn't let us read them. She hasn't really explained why. Conspiracy?

Lord of the Flies William Golding9. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Everyone read this in middle or high school except me. It's still on my Amazon Wish List.

10. Anything appropriate for my age: I was that kid in fourth grade who brought giant, thick classics (Dickens was a particular favorite) into school to read underneath her desk during school. I was a little to reading advanced for my age. Could this be the subconscious reason I read YA books as an adult? I certainly didn't read YA as an actual YA!

Well, I suppose it's never too late—I might have to read some of these now. Is that a Sweet Valley High readathon I smell coming on?

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Monday, January 24, 2011

Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern

>Book of Tomorrow
By Cecelia Ahern
January 25, 2911
Harper, 320 pages

Born into the lap of luxury and comfortable in the here and now, spoiled, tempestuous Tamara Goodwin has never had to look to the future—until the abrupt death of her father leaves her and her mother a mountain of debt and forces them to move in with Tamara's peculiar aunt and uncle in a tiny countryside village.

Tamara is lonely and bored, with a traveling library as her only diversion. There she finds a large leather-bound book with a gold clasp and padlock, but no author name or title. Intrigued, she pries open the lock, and what she finds inside takes her breath away.

Tamara sees entries written in her own handwriting, and dated for the following day. When the next day unfolds exactly as recorded, Tamara realizes she may have found a solution to her problems. But in her quest to find answers, Tamara soon learns that some pages are better left unturned and that, try as she may, she mustn't interfere with fate.

— description

This book was creepy mysterious. I'm talking creepy on the level of Kathy Bates in Misery. I mean, in the setting of a secluded old Irish gatehouse out in the woods near the ruins of a CASTLE, how can it not be creepy? I loved all the heebie-jeebies this mystery gave me.

And I enjoyed the main character. She's—and I hate this word, so bear with me—sassy. She's sort of a spoiled jerk, but you like her anyway.

The only problem is that the girl is sooo introspective. There's a lot of internal dialogue to weed through, so it felt like we didn't really get into the mysterious (and magical!) parts of it until well past halfway through the novel. I wish the plot hadn't been so would have really enhanced the sense of suspense throughout.

Overall, an intriguing story! Bonus: Cecelia Ahern is the author of P.S. I Love You, which was made into a movie that you should only watch if you are in the need of a great, big cry. Also: She's the daughter of the former prime minister of Ireland. Cool points!

Check it out yourself: Enter my contest below to win and advance copy of The Book of Tomorrow. Be sure to read my contest policies first. (U.S. residents only! Sorry!)

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Sunday, January 23, 2011

In My Mailbox 5

I got a LITTLE bit of loot from the library this week—enough for a "In My Mailbox" post, a weekly event of sorts hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren about what new books came in the mail (or library or whatever) this week. I was in a big rush though, so I didn't have time to shop the shelves.


Very excited to get How to Ruin My Teenage Life, the sequel to How to Ruin My Summer Vacation. (See my review here!) I must know what happens with Avi!

Photobucket SIGNIFICANTLY less fun news, my new book club pick is in. That's it above. You guys, do you see why I seem so reluctant when I talk about book club in my blog header? Love them. Love going and talking and drinking the wine. But this is JUST not my type of book. How am I going to get myself to read it? Ack.

Happy Sunday, guys. I've got the Crock-Pot going and my Devin Hester jersey on...GO BEARS!

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Friday, January 21, 2011

Follow Friday 13

This week on Follow Friday, Parajunkee is asking: Who do you cheer for?

Um, HELLO! I'm from Chicago, what do you think? So what if I'm a natural-born Cheese Head...the Packers are goin' DOWN on Sunday. Go Bears!

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Time for a Lil Bloggiesta


Maw Books Blog is hosting a "Bloggiesta" that I'll be joining in on this weekend. It's a little push to get bloggers to take care of business. We make a to-do list for January 21, 22 and 23, and do our very bestest to cross some things off our blog to-do list. Here are my goals:

  • Write 2 reviews
  • Write 7 feature posts
  • Make some feature buttons
  • Track my progress on challenges
  • Fix the font on my post titles
  • Update my policies
  • Update SEO
  • Clean out my Amazon wish list
  • Decide whether I want to start using GoodReads...or not
  • Organize my Google Reader
Okay, that's more than I can take on. But I'm gonna try. Wish me luck! Anna Reads young adult book blog

One Night That Changes Everything by Lauren Barnholdt

One Night That Changes Everything
By Lauren Barnholdt
July 6, 2010
Simon Pulse, 256 pages

Two years ago, when Eliza Sellman was in ninth grade, her dad found out he was being transfered and the family was going to move. Having always been shy and not so confident about her body, Eliza took that opportunity to start a list in her private notebook of all the things she planned on doing when she moved but had always been afraid to—like wearing a miniskirt and asking guys to dance; singing karaoke in front of strangers; posting a photo of herself on her Facebook wall in a get the idea. New town, new Eliza, right?

Well, she'll never know because the transfer fell through and they didn't move. But Eliza kept adding her goals and secret fears to the list in the notebook. Now it's two years later, and in that time Eliza has had and lost her first boyfriend. But this was more than your average breakup...turns out the sweet and cute Cooper was only dating her as a hazing stunt by a secret society. Eliza got her revenge by posting some pretty nasty (and only sort-of true) stuff about Cooper online. That posting has had major consequences and now Cooper and his buddies have stolen her private notebook and won't give it back until she performs all the things on her list in one night. It's torture...until Eliza steals something from the boys she knows they'll want to trade her notebook for.

What starts out as a night of humiliation turns into a night of revelations as Eliza learns what Cooper was really thinking when they dated, the real reason he's stolen her notebook, and how freeing—and life-changing—it can be to do the things you fear the most.

— description

Dear Lauren Barnholdt,

Hi. You don't know me, but I'm Anna and I'm pretty sure we could be best friends. Do you agree? Please say yes. TTYL!

Your Future BFFL

Oh, I'm sorry, was that creepy? WHO CARES. Because if the dialogue in this book is any representation of how Lauren Barnholdt actually talks/thinks, our friendship is a done deal.

The characters are hilarious, frank and, best of all, realistic. I could not stop laughing out loud. Eliza's thought processes are genius, and she holds nothing back.

"I'm starting to a little bit warm inside, and it feels good, but I know enough to realize that there's a fine line between feeling all warm and good insane and ending up puking into the bushes while people shake their head sadly at you and mumble things about how you can't hold your liquor. Not that that's happened to me before. But I do know some people it has happened to, cough, Jeremiah, cough."*

The cast of characters was superb: Eliza's two best friends are loyal, quirky and endearing,** and Cooper is the perfect mix between popular and geeky-awkward. I read it in just two hours, so I can't recommend this book enough for someone who wants a quick read with plenty of laughs.

If you like this book, you might also like: Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan, another book set over the course of one crazy night.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

*For my favorite part and further evidence of her super awesome dialogue, please check out the exchange regarding "OMG" that begins on page 168. Thank you.

**Please note that Marissa and Clarice reminded me of two of my blogger friends, who shall remain nameless. This made it beyond enjoyable to picture them while reading about the girls' hijinks.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"Waiting On" Wednesday 15

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

By Maggie Stiefvater
368 pages
Scholastic Press, to be released July 12, 2011

The thrilling conclusion to #1 bestselling Shiver trilogy from Maggie Stievater.

In Maggie Stiefvater's SHIVER, Grace and Sam found each other. In LINGER, they fought to be together. Now, in FOREVER, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.

— description

I've always thought, "Werewolves? I mean...ugh. Gross. No, thank you." And, well, I still feel this way.

But this series opened me up to reading some books that, yeah, happen to feature werewolves, but are also beautifully written stories of struggle, triumph and—heck yeah—romance. If I hadn't read Shiver, I probably wouldn't have given Nightshade by Andrea Cremer a second glance, but I ended up really enjoying that book. I like finding reads that open you up to new things.

This series is poetically written, too thrilling to put down and one of my favorites. Ever. Hands down. Can't wait for the last book!

What book are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Anna Reads young adult book blog
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