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Paranormalcy by Kiersten White


Well, minions. I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while, but I've been sick. Not only was my brain not working to write up any reviews, but I could barely stay awake to even read! The horrors! But, I am on the mend and I have a review for you.
 

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White:


 
I really enjoyed Paranormalcy by Kiersten White. It's got a little bit of everything. Paranormal creatures, a great romance, a sense of humor and it's a whole lot of fun. I highly recommend it.
 
Evie has spent most of her life living in foster homes, never really knowing where she came from. All she knows is that there is something special about herself, she has the ability to see through the glamour of any and all paranormal creatures. No vampire, werewolf, fearie or other even scarier being can hide from her, she can see their true form beneath the human skin they hide behind. This makes her a perfect fit for her current "home" and employer. Now a teenager, Evie is putting her ability to good use. She works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, or the IPCA, catching and tagging the paranormal creatures that could harm humans and she makes them as harmless as possible. If they can't be tamed, they will have to suffer the consequences. Evie is tough and very good at her job. She's armed with a taser and ready to zap at a moments notice. It's not a normal life, but it's all she's known. She does dream about going to school and dating boys like a regular teen, but her life is with the IPCA and there is nothing she can do about it. It's not like she doesn't have friends there. As a matter of fact, her best friend is a mermaid and she's been romantically linked to a fearie. How many normal teens can say that? This is her life, but it's about to be turned upside down and inside out.
 
A routine mission becomes complicated and leads to the discovery that paranormals are turning up dead. Evie begins to have terrifying and haunting dreams that make her question herself and her entire life. She is dreaming of a prophecy that could put her on the wrong side of what she believes to be good. There is also a horrible creature on the loose hunting down paranormals and it seems to be getting closer. Evie must find out what this thing is and why it is killing before it destroys everything and everyone she knows and loves. Not only does she have to deal with this imminent danger, but her heart also becomes involved. She's finding herself falling for a hot shapeshifter that was recently taken as a prisoner at IPCA. Evie now has to figure out where (and if) love can possibly fit into her less than normal life. 


This book immediately made me think of this song and video. And I've had it stuck in my head ever since I finished the book. That's a good thing though, because I love this song. "Walking on Air" by Kerli.





 


I would like to announce the winner in The Pace contest! I have randomly selected, notified and sent out autographed copies of The Pace and The Broken Lake to ... Jackie M. in Virginia!! Congrats, Jackie! I hope you enjoy your new books! As for everyone else who entered, well, good luck in the next contest. Look below for details.


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This week, I was fortunate enough to meet the totally cool, awesome and hilarious Scott Westerfeld. He discussed his books, writing and other (sometimes odd) things. I am a HUGE fan of his, I love all of his books which include The Uglies series, Peeps, The Last Days, So Yesterday, Leviathan and Behemoth. I was absolutely thrilled to meet him and I would like to report that he is, in fact, made of awesome (just in case you were wondering). So, my fine minions, I have decided to share my spoils with you.





One lucky person will win an autographed copy of Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. Along with the book, I will include lots of other cool bookish swag.

If you'd like to know what the book is about, click on the word Leviathan above for a link to my review.


All you have to do to enter is send an email with your name in it to michellesminions@yahoo.com. Make sure the subject of the email is LEVIATHAN CONTEST, to make sure I get it. There is no need to send your address, I only need that if you are chosen as the winner. This contest is International. I will randomly choose a winner on Sunday, October 17th and that person will be notified by 6pm est.


 


Above is a picture of me with Scott Westerfeld.




And there is Scott Westerfeld signing my book. He rocks.


GOOD LUCK!!!!
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<3 Michelle




Not That Kind of Girl


I loved this book! It's such a well written and empowering read. Siobhan Vivian does such an amazing job making the characters and situations realistic and relatable. This is about a smart girl who thinks she has everthing figured out, but realizes that there is much more to life and love than she could have ever anticipated. Not That Kind of Girl shows that it's not always about good and bad or black and white. Sometimes there is gray, and you may need to spend a little time in this gray area to learn a few lessons and become a stronger person.   


Not That Kind of Girl
by Siobhan Vivian: 


 

Natalie Sterling has always been the responsible one. She's the newly elected class president and prides herself in making good decisions and standing up for those who don't. She's tough and strong and she's definitely not the kind of girl who would let a guy ruin her life. She's so much smarter than that. After all, she's had to be there for her best friend when one of the vile guys in her school single-handedly destroyed her reputation by spreading rumors about her. Natalie knows what can happen if you let your guard down, so she has made it her mission to help as many girls as possible to make better decisions, and to teach them how to respect themselves. If they need a role model, she's there to provide it. She's always seen herself as an independent spirit and she knows the difference between right and wrong. It's very clear cut for her, or at least it used to be.
 
When Natalie discovers a crisis in the way that the freshmen girls approach guys, by flaunting their bodies and letting themselves be taken advantage of, she decides it's time to step in and do something about it. All she wants is to prevent them from going through devastation, heartache and embarrassment, so she uses her position in the student council as a platform to show them how to behave so that nobody takes advantage of them. Her intentions were good, but her plan backfired on her. Now relations between the girls and guys are worse, and on top of everything, Natalie is falling for a guy who she had only thought of before as "wrong". When the two of them are together, it seems so right, but this is not how a good girl should behave. As she leads a secret double life, her guilt (and lack of sleep) begin to wear on her. Her grades are suffering and she's unable to keep up with her responsibilities. All she can think about is the guy she shouldn't be thinking about. She's supposed to be a role model, but what would people say if they found out that she's "that kind of girl"?
 
What Natalie does next could very well lead to her downfall, but there is also the chance that it could be the best thing she's ever done. Everything she thought she knew about right and wrong is in question. Natalie may find out that whatever decision she makes could be the right one, if she's willing to stand by it with pride.  

I recommend this to fans of Elizabeth Scott (Bloom, Stealing Heaven, Perfect You, The Unwritten Rule)


"She's been everybody else's girl...maybe one day she'll be her own" - Tori Amos

The perfect song to go with Not That Kind of Girl, "Girl" by Tori Amos. Unfortunately, I could only find a live version. Fortunately, Tori is amazing live.


 

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<3 Michelle


I have randomly selected a winner in the Cassandra Clare Contest, and I would like to congratulate Kenny from Utah!! You are now the proud owner of an autographed copy of Clockwork Angel AND an autographed copy of City of Bones. Yes, I have already gotten a reply and the books are on their way! Woo hoo! Congrats, again!


So what is up next? Well, I'll tell you...


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New contest!!!!

 

This year, I have been lucky enough to meet the AMAZING Shelena Shorts on more than one occasion. She is awesome and her books are phenominal. I've said this before, but she is becoming one of my favorite authors. I love, love, love her Pace series. So far there are two books available, The Pace and The Broken Lake. If you haven't heard of them, here is my review of The Pace from a few months ago. Below is a picture of Shelena when she came to my store for a signing. She's so sweet!






I would love to share these books with you, so I think I will. In this contest, someone will win an autographed copy of both The Pace and The Broken Lake. All you have to do to enter is send me an email with your name in it to michellesminions@yahoo.com . Please make sure the subject is THE PACE CONTEST, so I don't miss it. There is no need to send your address, I only need that if you win. I will randomly select a winner on Monday, October 4th, and that person will be notified by 6pm est. This contest is International. So, good luck to all!!

Happy reading!


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<3 Michelle



Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King (October 12th, 2010):

 

 
This is me using spectacular in a sentence. I actually finished reading Please Ignore Vera Dietz a while ago, but it's one of those books that says with you long after the last page has been turned. It's kind of quirky and the characters are interesting and quite memorable. I would recommend Vera to fans of John Green (Paper Towns, Looking For Alaska), it's that same kind of book, but A.S. King has a unique style that is definitely all her own. I love how the story is told, alternating between characters and well, inanimate objects, as the past and present collide to form a full picture. The story takes place in a fictionalized Reading, PA and pieces of the story are revealed through the eyes of a Pagoda, much like the actual one that resides in the real Reading. Recently, the movie "The Last Airbender" was filmed there.

  

  If this is sounding curiouser and curiouser, well, good. I hope I've sparked your interest enough for you to take a journey with a girl who wants to be ignored, her dead best friend, a despondent dad, a few pizzas, the detentionheads and an overly friendly nazi.
 

 Vera Dietz has always been in love with her best friend, Charlie. They have been inseparable since they were children and she knows all of his deep, dark secrets. She knows about his family and their issues, which terrify her, but she could never betray him and let anyone know about what happens behind closed doors in is home. Charlie has more than one secret, but Vera has one really big one. Her mother left her and her father years ago for less than honorable reasons. Because of this, Vera has done her best to keep a low profile, to not be noticed. There is only one person who she wants to notice her, and that is Charlie, but lately, they have been drifting apart. Charlie is cool. Way cooler than Vera, and she knows it. He's been hanging out with the detentionheads more often, and what's worse, he's been hanging all over Jenny Flick, Vera's arch enemy and most frequent tormentor. His new friends have even caused Charlie to do the unthinkable. He betrayed Vera's trust.

 Sadly, this is all in the past. Charlie is dead. Everyone thinks that he's guilty of a horrible crime and the circumstances surrounding his death are very strange, indeed. Vera is keeping one last secret of his, and that secret is the truth about what really happened the night that he died. She is tormented by this knowledge, but her anger for what Charlie did to her is holding her back from doing what she knows is right. So instead of telling the truth, she moves on with her very peculiar life, doing her best to disappear into the background scenery. Unfortunately, it seems that no matter what she does will erase the past. It also seems impossible to take the first steps needed to move towards the future. She can't forget Charlie, but in order to clear his name she'll have to forgive him. While she's at it, she's going to have to forgive herself and grow up a lot. His secrets are hers to keep, but only the truth will set her free.

 The mystery of Charlie's death and the events that lead up to it unfold like an origami crane. You know what it looked like finished and are amazed with the removal of each fold that made it that way. In the beginning it was only a piece of paper and it eventually became something so intricately constructed. This is a story that will leave you feeling a little bit sad. It will make you laugh, leave you thinking, surprise you and even make you feel a little bit liberated. If you are looking for an intelligent, edgy and unusual book, I highly recommend Please Ignore Vera Dietz.   

*for older teens.


I can't really explain why I'm choosing this song to go with Vera, except that it just feels right. Enjoy the music, "Free" by Phish.

 



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<3 Michelle
 


Halo


What a lovely book this is! Halo is a breathtaking love story that is beautifully written by a very talented young woman, Alexandra Adornetto. I am so impressed with this book. It is definitely more focused on the romance between a human and an angel than anything else. And my goodness,  is it a wonderful romance. It makes you believe in pure, true love. Not to steal from the good people at Red Bull, but HALO will give you wings. It will take you above the clouds, to soar through heavenly bliss, then gently drop your feet back on the ground. There are dark forces that get involved and there is quite a bit of "angelology" involved in the story, but the main focus is on love.

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto:

(And how AMAZING is this cover?)

This is Bethany's first time visiting earth. She is an angel, a young one, unlike her "brother", Gabriel, and "sister", Ivy, who have visited before. The three angels are now in Venus Cove, a sleepy town by the sea, on a mission to bring peace and keep dark forces at bay. They are supposed to blend in with the local humans, but not get too close. While this is relatively easy for Gabriel and Ivy, Bethany is finding it more of a challenge. Everything is new and exciting to her eyes. She is fascinated by these humans and has even found herself liking them. When she begins to attend school with them, she makes friends and starts to enjoy the things that they do. She is having fun, and there is no real harm in that, right? Well, at least not until she meets Xavier Woods. The moment that Xavier and Bethany locked eyes, their souls entwined. It was as if they had been calling for each other for ages and finally found what they were looking for. From that moment on, their fate was sealed. The only problem is that an angel and a human cannot be together. Bethany is on a mission, and when that mission ends, she knows she has to leave. They also don't know the consequences of having this forbidden love. It could lead to damnation, but how so, when it feels so much like heaven? Her siblings do not approve, but there is nothing that can tear them apart.

As the days pass in blissful happiness for Bethany and Xavier, there comes another obstacle. Dark forces are threatening Venus Cove. People are getting hurt, and much worse is on the horizon. It is time for the angels to take action and do what they were sent here for, but they are about to step into certain danger. The love that is shared between the angel and the human is about to be tested against a powerful demon. Will it be strong enough to keep them alive? Or will it lead to their downfall? Only fate knows the answer, and you can too, if you read Halo.  

This song reminds me of the love that Bethany and Xavier share. "All Around Me" by Flyleaf. I love this song.

 


Go read and love <3

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<3 Michelle



Hey, everybody! I can finally announce the winner of the Matched Contest. Congrats to Alison in NJ, your advanced copy of Matched by Ally Condie is on it's way. Jersey, represent! I had originally chosen a winner on August 29th, but I never got a response and had to pick a new one. I am still awaiting a response from the winner of the Back to School contest. Check your email Meaghan M


Congratulations Alison, and enjoy the book!




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Now, for a new contest!!

If you look at a one of my recent posts, you can see that my store had a huge Cassandra Clare signing. You know she is made of awesome, and I feel bad that not everyone could get a chance to meet her. The very least I can do to make up for it is share a little something with you. So, here is what is up for grabs:

One lucky person will win an autographed, hardback copy of Clockwork Angel AND an autographed, paperback copy of City of Bones!  

 


Even if you've already read them both, don't miss out on your opportunity to win autographed copies of the first books in two fantastic series, by one amazing author! If you have not read either one...you must enter this contest so you can experience these books. Cassandra Clare is my favorite author and these are my favorite books.  

To enter, simply send an email with your name in it to michellesminions@yahoo.com. Please make the subject of the email "Cassandra Clare Contest". There is no need to include your address, I only need that if you win. This contest is US only because of the hefty size of the books. I will randomly choose a winner on Sunday, September 19th and notify that winner via email by 6pm est. If I do not get a response within a week, I will choose a new winner. I know this is a short time period for a contest, buy I have a lot more coming, which is good for you! I will have an international contest coming soon. 


One more thing, I didn't get a chance to post this earlier, but I wanted to give a shout out to the awesome Lillie, who runs the blog Read My Mind (alise on life). I've seen a lot of her this year at various signings and YA events. It's been a big year! Below is a picture of us with Cassandra Clare from the signing. I did not have this picture yet when I posted earlier and I wanted to include it here. Hi, Lillie! You rock!




Here is the song I would like to put with Clockwork Angel. "Cry Little Sister" by Seasons After (originally by Gerard McMann). I like the Seasons After version. It's grittier.




Good Luck and Happy Reading!!
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<3 Michelle


Monster High


Monster High is really cute, fun and VOLTAGE! At least that's what Frankie Stein would say. I would definitely recommend it for younger teens and even tweens, especially since the dolls, toys and accessories being marketed with the book are targeted to that age. It's a quick read that begins a series that could become very popular, after all, it's written by Lisi Harrison of The Clique fame. While those books have cooled down a little bit, Monster High will hopefully spark some interest in place of them. I wasn't sure if I would like Monster High, but darn it, I thought it was adorable and I can't wait for the next book in the series. It wasn't what I expected because I was playing on the website long before the book even came out. Yes, I made myself a Monster High student I.D., decorated my locker and printed up cool bookmarks. Don't judge...it was fun! Anyway, judging from the website content, I was expecting a book about a bunch of monster children in monster school but that's not at all what the book was about. It's actually about a group of monster children who attend a normal school and are hiding amongst the humans. I have a feeling the more monsterific stuff is planned for later books in the series. Still, I liked it and I'm eagerly awaiting more Monster High fun!

Monster High by Lisi Harrison:

 
 
Frankie Stein may have been built a few days ago, but she wasn't born yesterday! She is the grand daughter of the famous Frankenstein himself, and she wants nothing more than to flaunt her fabulous heritage (and her super-cool outfits). But alas, her parents have other plans for her. She's been forbidden to reveal her true, gloriously green and glittery, self to anyone. She had to learn the hard way that the "normies" don't always appreciate her monster side. They can be SO judgemental! If they only got to know the real Frankie, she's sure they would like her, bolts and all, but to make her conformist parents happy, she decides to cover her seams and blend in with the boring crowd at Merston High. At least until she meets Brett, an adorable weirdo who is obsessed with monsters and monster movies. He even wears a shirt with her grandpa on it! How VOLTAGE is that? Frankie just knows that they are meant to be...but Brett's overpossessive normie girlfriend, Bekka, couldn't agree less.    
 
Melody is about to start a new life in a new town. Her entire family left the glitz of Beverly Hills behind for the country, in hopes that it would help her severe asthma condition. Starting anew is always tough, but for Melody it's a chance to shed her old self, and her old nickname, "Smellody". You see, before her plastic surgeon father put a perfectly pert sniffer on her face, Melody had a wickedly crooked nose that made her want to hide from the world. It didn't bother her nearly as much as it did her genetically perfect family, but she underwent surgery in hopes that it would help her breathe better. After that and some cosmetic dentistry, Melody now has a shot at being pretty for once, like her adored-everywhere-she-goes sister Candace. At first melody found it hard to embrace her new beautiful self, but when she meets Jackson, the shy hottie next door, she begins to enjoy her new looks. All the while she worries what he would think if he knew about her less than pretty past, but it seems that Jackson may have a little secret of his own, perhaps even a secret identity because he almost seems like he's two different people! One minute he's sweet and quiet, the next he's ignoring Melody and chasing other girls. Why does everything have to be so confusing? And what's with the monster obsession the students and teachers have at Merston High? Weird.
 
Frankie and Melody are about to discover that they have a few things in common. Both of them know what it's like to be judged solely on looks and they each have a sense of justice and a hope for equality. Soon, their worlds will collide in a truly monstrous way. In one night, they will both discover that neither one of them is alone in the world. Hopefully, the truth will set them free and not make them prisoners, outcasts or worse.

Check out what I made on the Monster High website:

 
My Monster High student ID:


I decorated my locker and printed up a bookmark:

 


These are some of the dolls being marketed with the book. The dolls are for much younger kids, but the book I'd say is for ages 10 and up (I stress the UP, because I'm not nearly 10, and I enjoyed it).





There are also bags, accessories and school supplies available.

Here's a perfect song to go with Monster High. "I Am A Vampire" by VAST.



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<3 Michelle

Cassandra Clare Signing 9/1/2010


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Here is a slideshow from the Cassandra Clare signing held in my store on Tuesday, September 1st, 2010. Once again, I would like to say:


THANK YOU SO MUCH CASSIE!!! We love you!!! You are the best.

The slideshow is only 100 of 174 pictures. 100 is the limit for slideshows. If you would like to see the full album,here is the link.

It was such a wonderful and fun night, and Cassandra Clare is so nice. I have never seen so many happy people in one place!

Now, go read Clockwork Angel (if you haven't already)!!!!



Me & Cassandra Clare



Me, saying "rock out & read".

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<3 Michelle

You Wish


I absolutely adored this book! You Wish by Mandy Hubbard is a cute, funny, romantic and sweet read with a big heart. It's not just fluffy stuff either. Behind the hilarity is a heartwarming story about a girl who is trying to figure out who she is and where she fits in. It's about love, friendship, family, letting go of the past and finally moving forward.



Kayla is kind of a rebel. It's not that she wants to stand out, she just doesn't want to blend in. She wears the latest trends in her own unique and ironic way and mocks those who don't get said irony. As far as Kayla is concerned, those people are sheep who move with the flock, too stupid for her to bother with. She doesn't need to impress any of them because she's got her best friend Nicole, a fellow outcast, by her side. But lately, Nicole has seemed distant. Maybe it's because she's spending so much time with her new boyfriend, but there is definitely a rift forming. Perhaps it's best that they don't spend as much time together, since Kayla is secretly in love with Nicole's boyfriend (which is totally not cool). The situation was manageable, at least until Kayla's sixteenth birthday, otherwise known as "the worst birthday ever". That was the day that the impossible happened. Kayla finally got her birthday wishes. All of them.

So, a sweet sixteen party may sound fun, but not to Kayla. For one thing, her mother has gone WAY overboard and turned it into a massively huge, putridly pink production. Kayla would just go with it, but she knows that the only reason her mother is throwing this party is to attract more clients for her party planning business. She doesn't even know half of the guests and the ones that she does know, she doesn't even like. The only person she really wants there is her best friend, who is a no-show because she's on a date with the guy of both of their dreams. At the end of this awful evening, Kayla blows out the candles on her pink monstrosity of a cake and makes a wish. She wishes that all her birthday wishes actually came true, because they NEVER do. Never say never, Kayla. And be careful what you wish for.

When she wakes up the next morning, there is a life-sized My Little Pony outside of her window, which is strange, but not enough to cause alarm just yet. At least not until the following days when her room is full of gumballs and her Ken doll comes to life and he's convinced that she's Barbie. This may sound like fun, but there are a few problems with this wish business. Kayla has no idea what other stupid things she wished for over the years, but there is one that she does remember. She wished that Ben would kiss her, which can NOT happen because Ben is her best friends boyfriend. Kayla must stop this insanity before that happens, her friendship depends on it, and that may be the only thing left for her after these crazy wishes destroy any chance at a normal social life.

The wishes don't seem to show up in order and every day is a surprise. Kayla is beginning to understand that all the things she once wanted so badly are now just silly. As she revisits her childhood and faces her past, she gains a new perspective on the future. 


Poor Kayla, she just wanted Ben's love and look what happened! So here's a cute song to go with a cute book. "I Just Wanted Your Love" by Alexz Johnson.


 



I know I would be freaked out if some of my birthday wishes came true. When I was a wee little one I was obsessed with sharks. I KNOW I once wished that had a pet shark as big as Jaws in my backyard (which would become an aquarium). I would NOT like to wake up to that! I also wished that I could marry my cat. Although the money tree I wanted would come in handy. I could buy a lot of books with that!


Happy Reading!    
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<3 Michelle
 



I'd like to take a minute to remember a friend I lost recently. The world, and the world of books, lost one of the true good guys. Joe Drabyak was an inspiration and a wonderful person. I worked with him for many years, and he meant so much to so many people. Joe was a "bookseller extraordinaire" at the Chester County Book & Music Company in West Chester, PA and president of the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association (NAIBA), but most important, he was friend and an incredible person, who's positivity and love of books was unmatched by any. Even if you don't know who he was, you should click the link and read about him, especially if you love books. He inspired me to be what I am. I doubt there would be a "Michelle's Minions" or so many "Michelle's Picks" on the shelves of my store if it wasn't for him (and his "Joe's Picks"). My own enthusiasm for books and connecting with other book people, authors, publishers, readers and bloggers was in part modeled after Joe's. If there were more people like him, the world would be a much better place. Now, without him and his infectious smile and passion for reading, the world is less bright, but I promise to continue to do what he (and I) loved most. That is share the love of a good book and make sure each one gets a voice. It's kind of like the philosophical riddle "if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?", except it's more like, "if a book lands on a shelf, does it make a sound?" Thanks to Joe, I know that it makes a HUGE CRASH if there is someone to speak for it. I'll always be there Joe, I'll make you proud. I'll miss you, my friend.

I have so many great memories of Joe, and I'm grateful that I had the pleasure and privelage of having him in my life.

Click on his name to learn more about...

Joe Drabyak , the man, the myth, the legend.




Rest In Peace, Joe.


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 <3 Shelly...


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Wow. *sigh* That's it. The Hunger Games are over. What a ride that was. I've been hiding from the internet while I was reading Mockingjay, the final installment in The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. My pulse has finally slowed down and my tears have dried. I cried for both the end of a fantastic series and for the fictional lives lost throughout the books. I don't want to give any spoilers, so I'll just share my thoughts about the books, my experiences involving them and my gratitude to Suzanne Collins for writing them. I doubt she'll see this, but I'm sure she's aware of how much the story, characters and contribution to YA literature mean to so many people. 

Many have grown to admire the bravery of Katniss, "girl who was on fire", and appreciated her sacrifices. We cheered her on, watched her fall in love, felt her anguish as she questioned herself and her decisions and were inspired by her toughness and ability to survive in the most impossibly horriffic situations. Horror is something that she faced often. Cruelty and brutality were commomplace in her world. But so were compassion and strength. As much as Katniss had to endure, and no matter how many terrible things she had to do to survive, we were constantly reminded that she was just a girl. A girl who only expected to die saving someone she loved but ultimately became the face of a revolution that had plans to change the ways of the world. 

This is also a story about humans and what we are capable of becoming. As we become bored with what is on television, we are turning more often to reality tv and watching the "real" lives of others. We have become obsessed with watching the lives of others and are even more thrilled to get involved, which leaves me to ask the question, how far will we go entertain ourselves? Hopefully, not as far as a televised Hunger Games, but I still wouldn't be surprised to see a promo for something like it coming soon. Yes, I am guilty of watching myself. One of my favorite shows is Big Brother. I anxiously await the new season every year, much like the citizens of the Capitol probably would have. I watch the shows, keep updated with the live feeds online and have even *gulp* PAYED money to vote on what the "houseguests" should be allowed to eat and who should get money or privelages. One year they had an "America's Player" who was planted in the house and controlled by the fans of the show. So, yes, I am as guilty as a Capitol citizen in some respects. Will the story of Katniss, Peeta, Rue and the others stop me from watching Big Brother? Probably not. But I promise not to let the lines of what is ok and what is wrong blur, no matter how cool it promises to be. One example is the short lived show Kid Nation. That show went too far, and it was creepy. Thank goodness it was cancelled:



Wrong. SO WRONG.


Back to The Hunger Games...

I am very satisfied with how it ended in Mockingjay. It was intense, exciting, heartbreaking, inspiring and there were definitely no punches pulled. I don't think it's a spoiler to say that people died. If people didn't die, it wouldn't have been consistent with the other books in the series. Your heart is supposed to break. Suzanne Collins did a fantastic job making every character seem real so that you hurt when they hurt and you grieved when they suffered a loss. The story is harsh, raw, and does not sugar coat anything. Not the brutality of combat or the emotional toll it takes in those involved. I feel privelaged to have been a witness to the birth of a new classic. The Hunger Games is already showing up on required reading lists for schools, and it is very well deserved. This is something that speaks to people and is so much more relatable than it's predecessors, books like 1984 by George Orwell and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Those are still great books and will always be classics, but I think it's time they welcome a new friend to their ranks. The Hunger Games.

Thank you Suzanne Collins. I can't believe it's over.




 

         


The results are in from the Summer Contest! It ended last week, but I have just heard from both winners. That's right, winners, plural. I was able to double the prize this time! So, Congratulations to Taneisha from Missouri and Gen from Pennsylvania! Enjoy your new books, Sea Change by Aimee Friedman and Star Shack by Lila Castle! Summer is almost over and I hope these are a nice way to end the season! They are two of my favorites.





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Now for a new contest!


It's time to go back to school, so I figured I'd offer a huge prize package to one lucky winner to start the year out right! Here is what is up for grabs:




The Back to School prize package includes:

- 2 books: Another Foust by Daniel and Dina Nayeri and Troy High by Shana Norris (click on the book titles to see my previous reviews)
- 3 gothic notebooks (one large, two small)
- a Maria V. Snyder (Storm Glass) pencil
- a Vladimir Tod tote bag
- 4 stickers (perhaps to decorate your book covers): 2 Body Finder stickers, 1 Whisper sticker, 1 Angel Star sticker
- 2 pins featuring the book 13 to Life by Shannon Delaney (one of them glows in the dark!)
- 4 autographed post cards: 13 to Life (Shannon Delaney), Angel Star (Jennifer Murgia), We Hear the Dead (Dianne K. Salerni),Rain (Kieryn Nicolas)
- 1 magnet  featuring the book Fairy Tale by Cyn Balog (perhaps for your locker)
- 2 autographed bookmarks: Before I Fall (Lauren Oliver), Shade (Jeri Smith-Ready)  
- 6 other bookmarks (Angel Star, The Pace Series, 13 to Life, Forget-Her-Nots, Sleepless, We Hear the Dead)

And who knows, I may throw other things in...

That's a lot of stuff!!

To enter, all you have to do is send an email with your name in it to michellesminions@yahoo.com and make sure the subject is BACK TO SCHOOL. No need to give your address, I only need that if you are chosen as the winner. I am sorry to say that since there is so much in this prize package, this contest is US ONLY. Not to worry, my foreign Minions, I will have contests for you coming up. This contest ends on Monday, September 6th and I will do my best to choose and notify the winner by 6pm, est. Oh, and you don't have to be going back to school to enter!!

Good Luck!!!

Here's hoping your first day back is filled with choreographed dance routines like it was for the kids in Grease 2! "Act cool, look cool, be cool!!"


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<3 Michelle


PAYA Festival


Yesterday, I went to the PAYA Festival (Pennsylvania Young Adult festival) in West Chester, which, coincidentally is where I live! I was lucky enough to get to show off my town to several YA authors and fellow bloggers! What a fun and exciting day it was! The event was a fund raiser for PA libraries and schools, and I have a feeling it was a smashing success! I spent a TON of money, so I think I did some serious good for PA teens! I know I had a wonderful time meeting some fantastic authors, bloggers and a lot of really great people! I made a ton of new friends who love books as much as I do! Let me take you on a tour of my day...


It started off with brunch in "town" (West Chester) with Cyn Balog (Sleepless, Fairy Tale), Jennifer Murgia (Angel Star), Shelena Shorts (The Pace series) and a group of bloggers/booksellers. It was an absolutely gorgeous day with the sun shining and good vibes everywhere. I had a cheese omelette and some great conversation:




Then it was off to the Center for Performing and Fine Arts for the signings!

The signings were broken into two hours since there were so many authors. The day was a bit of a blur, so I don't remember when everyone was signing. I think I'll let the pictures speak for me right now:

 

Stephanie Kuehnert (Ballads of Suburbia, I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone), who is awesome.



The VERY cool and sweet Jeri Smith-Ready (Shade). I really enjoyed talking with her, and I hope to see her again soon!



The wonderful Shannon Delaney (13 to Life) and her little wolf friend. She is SO nice! 



The fabulous Shelena Shorts, who is fast becoming one of my favorite authors! Seriously, go read her books, The Pace and The Broken Lake. They are phenominal!!




That is the super sweet Dainne K. Salerni (We Hear the Dead). She gave me tons of stuff to share...and a t-shirt for myself. I always think about you guys, but sometimes I need a little something for me!



The awesome Jon Skovron (Struts & Frets), who I may see again...YAY!



My dear, sweet Jennifer Murgia (Angel Star), first being serious and authorly while signing, then later smiling, having fun and looking adorable! 



Amy Brecount White (Forget-Her-Nots) and Josh Berk (The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin). They are so cute! And Josh Berk cracks me up!



Ah! One of my favorite new friends! This is Kieryn Nicolas, a 15-year-old published author and an amazing person! She is such an inspiration to any aspiring author. It was a pleasure to meet her and I hope to see her again soon in my store for her own signing!

There were some other authors there who I have met before:

Ellen Jensen Abbott (Watersmeet)
Jennifer Hubbard (The Secret Year)

And others that I just didn't get a picture of in the whirlwind of events:

Andrew Auseon (Freak Magnet)
Chelsea Swiggett (Rae)
Christine Marciniak (When Mike Kissed Emma)
Holly Nicole Hoxter (The Snowball Effect)


I also got to meet (face to-face) some fantastic bloggers. I really enjoyed being able to talk to them. It just goes to show, all book people get along as if they have been friends for their entire lives!  



This is me (in the middle) with Jenn and Rebecca from fallenarchangel.com/  , THE best fan site for Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. Go check it out if you haven't already!

I also met Christina from Confessions of a Book Addict , Katelyn from The Bookshelf Sophisticate , Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner  and Anne from Potter, Percy and I . Also, please show some love to a new blogger and Michelle's Minions reader:  Bookspeak .

It was a pleasure to meet all of you! *waves hi*

Here is a picuture of some of what I came home with:



Of course, I will share my spoils with you, my Minions, so be on the lookout for future contests!! There will be autographed books up for grabs as well as some other cool swag. I want to show my appreciation to all of you!


One of the best parts of the whole day (besides the awesome people), was that I was able to get ALL THESE BOOKS for one of the local High Schools!!! It is SO exciting to be able to help them out and share the book love!!





PAYA was one of my favorite days ever! Great people, great day, great books!
 

These are Days ... to remember. Happy Reading all :)

 


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<3 Michelle


 


Matched Review + Contest to WIN a copy!


Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
-Dylan Thomas


I have never understood or appreciated poetry until the moment I finished reading Matched by Ally Condie. There is apparently a lot that I, and all of us, don't appreciate. One thing I know for certain is that I will not take this beautiful book for granted. I loved every single moment I spent with it. It left me breathless from the innocent sweetness of a first romance and heartbroken over what could possibly be our very own future as human beings. In this spectacular dystopian novel we are taken to a world where people are controlled by the The Society in order to assure that they live their lives to an optimum efficiency, with as little conflict as possible. They are forced to give up almost everything that makes them individuals and surrender themselves to the science of statistics. This is a cautionary tale about what happens when choices are taken away and how some things really are worth fighting for. 

Matched by Ally Condie:

 

In a world once overrun with chaos, there is now order. The Society keeps that order with strict rules and regulations. They tell you when and what to eat, what to wear, what you will be, when you will die and who you will love. It's is all decided by statistics and it is done for your own good. There is no more disease and everyone gets along with each other. There is no reason not to get along, it would only waste time. Everything has been simplified because too many choices cause confusion and clutter. Citizens are allowed to have one "artifact", or item from the past. Everything else about life is about the future. The Society has managed to selectively narrow everything down to only 100 of each thing. There are 100 songs, 100 poems, 100 books, and so on. The rest has been forgotten. Life is simple and everyone should be content and feel safe. Cassia does. It is her seventeenth birthday and she and her best friend Xander are on their way to their Match Banquet to find out who they will be spending the rest of their lives with. Cassia is excited to meet her perfect mate, and nervous about losing Xander to his. When it is her turn to face the Matching screen, she is thrilled to find out that she has been Matched with Xander. This is the best moment of her life and she knows that this is how it should be. When she is given a card with information about Xander to watch, she knows she doesn't need to see it because she already knows everything about him, but she decides to watch anyway. Her heart nearly stops when the screen fades to black and the face she sees is not Xander's. It is someone else, someone she knows. His name is Ky and from that moment, Cassia can't stop thinking about him. It's supposed to be a mistake, but the more she gets to know Ky, the more she begins to wonder.

As the days pass, Cassia finds herself in a love triangle involving herself, Xander and Ky. She has always loved Xander, but she is falling in love with Ky. How can her heart want both of them? As she questions her own situation, Cassia begins to wonder about the way that things are. She wants to make her own choices, but that is forbidden. You do what they tell you to do and don't ask questions. She has never before thought about what could be, but when she does, she draws attention to herself and now They are watching her. She could put her family and friends in terrible danger if she doesn't fall back in line and follow the rules, but just like the words of the illegal poem that her grandfather gave her, she is not willing to "go gently into that good night". Cassia must decide if she is willing to risk everything for love and freedom. 

I really enjoyed Matched and I think I'm in love with Ky. He's such a wonderful character. Gorgeous, emotionally damaged, smart and a real fighter. I would follow him anywhere, but that's not what he would want. He would be more interested in a girl who wanted to lead. Xander is a great guy, too! He's tough, intelligent and also adorable. I can see how Cassia could have been so torn. Don't get me wrong, this is not just a book about a girl pining over two guys, it is a brilliant social commentary that gives so much to discuss. If there is anything I learned from MATCHED, it's that everything is important. Take nothing for granted and savor every moment, every sound you hear, every color you see and every person you know. Remember and revisit the past and take the time to understand the present. Be yourself and not what others tell you to be. It may not be the safe road, but it's probably the right one. This is an amazing book and I can't wait for it to be available for everyone to read (November). I also can't wait for MORE! Please, more!  

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Contest!!!!

November is a long wait for this book, but, I happen to have an extra advanced copy that I would LOVE to give to one of you! Here is how you can enter to win it:

It's quite simple! Send an email with your name in it to michellesminions@yahoo.com and please make the subject of the email MATCHED CONTEST. Again, you do not need to include your address. I only need that if you win. This contest is International. The contest runs until SUNDAY, AUGUST 29th. I will randomly choose and notify the winner by 5pm est and post the reslult as soon as I receive confirmation from this person. If I do not get a response within a week, I will choose a new winner. GOOD LUCK!! 

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Remember,
there are some things in life worth standing up for. Sometimes people are actually looking out for your best interests, but it's up to you to decide whether they are telling the truth or just trying to keep you pacified. Be strong and don't be afraid to be yourself. Pay attention to life and don't become a "zombie".

********************
<3 Michelle

 

I Am Number Four


WHOA! Everyone must read I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore. It is totally number one for me! It's fun, exciting, and lots of stuff blows up! It made me jump up and cheer while I was reading it, several times. In fact, my adrenalin is still pumping, and that's just from thinking about the book. I became instantly attached to the characters and felt true compassion for them, even for some of the "bad guys". If you want edge-of-your-seat action, creepy aliens, amazing superpowers, a really cool story and a romance that is literally star-crossed, than look no further. I Am Number Four is for you. If like the show Smallville, just do yourself a favor and go get this book! If you like sci-fi, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?? You mean you haven't left for the store yet? GO! Before it's too late and the aliens have invaded and blocked your path! Um, sorry...a little overdramatic? Oh, well, I think you get the point. I Am Number Four is awesome. Read it. 


I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore:
 
 
 
 
Ten years ago, the planet Lorien was invaded by a race of aliens known as Mogadorians. Their evil plan was to kill all the inhabitants of Lorien and steal the planets resources. The people put up a good fight and an epic battle took place. Unfortunately, the Mogadorians had the element of surprise and they succeeded in their mission. There was one thing they didn't count on though. A ship made it off of Lorien, and on board were nine children and their guardians. These children are the last hope of the planet and the civilization, and they are guarded as if they are precious. A charm was put on them, making them invincible unless they are killed in a special order. They arrived on Earth and were immediately separated for their own safety while their powers, or Legacies, develop. They now must blend in with normal humans, much like their people have done in the past. Aliens have been walking among us for thousands of years without being noticed, how do you think the idea for superheroes came about? That's right, aliens. The pyramids? You guessed it. Aliens. But these nine Loriens can not let anyone know they exist. They have to dissappear because the Mogadorians are also on Earth, and they are looking for them. They already killed Numbers One, Two and Three. This is the story of Number Four. He knows he is next on the death list, but he won't go down without a fight.
 
He is Number Four. He has been moving around the country, changing his name. This time he is John, and he has just arrived in rural Ohio with his guardian, Henri. John hopes to stay here for a while, but he knows that he might have to leave at any moment. He's already failed at keeping a low profile in school. One day and he's already nearly gotten into fight, made a spectacle of himself and somehow made made a new friend. And then there was a girl. Sarah. He just can't get her out of his mind. Things could get very complicated, especially since he's finally beginning to develop his powers. As long as he can control them, things shouldn't get too out of hand. He wants to stay as long as possible because for the first time he feels like he is fitting in and has a chance for as normal a life as he can ever have. But danger is always looming ahead because the Mogadorians are getting closer by the day and if he can't master his abilities he could be putting his life, and the lives of those he's grown to love, in danger. As he trains with Henri, he will also learn the about his family and about what really happened that fateful day on Lorien when he made his escape. Sacrifices will be made and a hero will arise. The fate of the world rests on Number Four's shoulders. Hopefully, for all of us, he will be able to carry it.
 
What an exciting adventure this is! I was holding my breath at times and cheering at others. I had chills and I was creeped out by the Mogadorians (who, for some reason, reminded me of the creatures from the "Hush" episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer). I didn't want the book to end and I can't wait for the next installment, The Power of Six, set for release next year. The vivid imagery of the story played out like a movie in my head. Speaking of movies, I Am Number Four is already filming (starring Alex Pettyfer) and will be released in theaters in February of 2011. I CAN'T WAIT! What's even more exciting is that it's being directed by Michael Bay (Transformers), so I have a feeling it's going to be huge and explosive! I'll be lining up early for this one, for sure!       

These are the creepy "Hush" creatures (The Gentlemen) from Buffy that the Mogadorians remind me of:



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Sorry about the creepy part...*shiver*. I hope the music helps get the images out of your head, lol. Enjoy a little Muse. "Time is Running Out". It goes well with I Am Number Four.

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<3 Michelle




 


Today I randomly chose a winner in the Sleepless Contest and I have notified this person and gotten a response! Congratulations to Kim M. in Texas! I will send your new books, Sleepless and Fairy Tale (autographed by the author, Cyn Balog) on their merry way to you! Thank you to all who entered!


What do I have up next? Well, I thought I would do a little Summer Contest! Since we're in the final and hottest month of the summer, I am going to give away, as a package, two cool books. They are two of my recent favorite summertime reads, Star Shack by Lila Castle and Sea Change by Aimee Friedman. All you have to do to enter is send an email with your name in it to michellesminions@yahoo.com and please make the subject of the email SUMMER CONTEST. Again, you do not need to include your address. I only need that if you win. This contest is International. The contest runs until WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 18th, so that I can get the books to the winner before the summer is over. I will randomly choose and notify the winner by 5pm est and post the reslult as soon as I receive confirmation from this person. If I do not get a response within a week, I will choose a new winner. GOOD LUCK!! 




I reviewed Star Shack earlier this summer. Ifyou missed it, here is the link to the review:

http://community.livejournal.com/michelesminionz/31782.html

Let me give you a quick review of Sea Change, which was recently released in paperback: 

Sea Change by Aimee Friedman 
Miranda Merchant has just left New York City to spend the summer on the small Southern island of Selkie. Her rather eccentric grandmother passed away leaving Miranda's mother her house here and from the moment Miranda arrives, she knows that this is going to be a very strange summer.
 
The island itself is almost frozen in time. There are no cars allowed and there seems to be an air of Southern hospitality. Selkie has a rich and mysterious history that the residents seem very proud of. Along with this, Miranda begins to notice that there is also a distinct separation between the classes. She meets her neighbors, who are very well off and a bit on the snobby side. They all dress well and have impeccable manners, which makes her feel a little self conscious in her "comfortable" clothing and "casual" attitude. Miranda is more into science than fashion, but these people seem nice, so she does her best to fit in.
 
Things appear to be going well enough, but Miranda can't help but think that there is more to this island than meets the eye. It all begins with an old book she finds in the library of her grandmothers house that tells tales of a fantastical sort, explaining the true origin of the islands inhabitants. She is certain that there are deep secrets hidden on the sandy shores of Selkie, but she has no idea that what she is about to dig up may effect her for the rest of her life. While she is searching for the truth, she meets a gorgeous local boy who may hold the key to unlocking her heart as well as truth about her own family's history. But only by understanding the past can Miranda and her mother change the course of their futures.
 
This is a beautifully written and romantic coming of age story that will completely transport you into it's pages. I swear, I felt a sea breeze ruffling my hair and smelled the salt water. It could have been the air conditioner blowing on me, but I doubt it. I think the chills I got were from the amazing and vivildy drawn story. This is a perfect summer read, So grab yourself a sweet tea and plunge into Sea Change.

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Later this week there will be a contest coming for a chance to win an advaced copy of Matched by Ally Condie! SWEET!!




HAPPY READING!!!
-------------------------
<3 Michelle

Join Me On Facebook!


I just wanted to let you know that I now have a Facebook group for Michelle's Minions! It's called:

Michelle's Minions Young Adult Book Reviews.

Here is the link to the page:

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=128283003882764&ref=ts




If you see that picture ^ , you're in the right place!


Come on over and join! I'll post new reviews, contest updates, book news, pictures, book trailers, what I'm reading and pretty much everything that has to do with books. I'd love to know what you're reading too, so go ahead and post it on the wall. I just started it up so I hope to have more topics in the discussion section soon.

There are already a lot of authors who joined! 


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This song has absolutely nothing to do with anything, I just like it. It's "Make Me Wanna Die" by The Pretty Reckless and it rocks. Actually, it sort of does have a book tie in...sort of. That is Taylor Momsen singing (and what an AMAZING voice she has!). She played Jenny Humphrey on the show "Gossip Girl", which is a book series by Cecily von Ziegesar.  




-------------------------
<3 Michelle

Like No OTHER

Other by Karen Kincy is an enchanting urban fantasy that will fill readers with delight and wonder. Karen Kincy has created a wondrous world that features a bevy of supernatural creatures, all living together alongside humans. It is also a pulse-pounding, who-done-it kind of mystery and a sweet romance all wrapped up in a coming of age story. It is perfectly enjoyable and compulsively readable. You won't want to put this one down until you find out how it ends.



Other by Karen Kincy:

Gwen is shapeshifter. A pooka, to be exact, meaning that she can transform herself into any animal. The legends are correct when they claim that a pooka's most comfortable form is a black horse, but they are wrong when claiming that pookas are malicious troublemakers. Now, that's not to say that there aren't some individuals out there who are "bad apples", but those are isolated incidents. This generalization is why Gwen and many Others like her must face daily discrimination from humans who's knowledge of the supernatural is often limited to what they read or hear. This is why many Others decide to hide their magical identity from the world, and Gwen is one of them. By Others, this means that, living amongst humans are dryads, centaurs, water sprites, leprechauns, werewolves and vampires, to name a few. Some, like Gwen, are born Other and some are made, like werewolves and vampires. They are all very different, but they have one thing in common, many humans see them as freaks, and even hunt them. To stay safe, Gwen keeps her pooka side a secret, even from her very human boyfriend. She is terrified of what he would think of her if he found out what she really is.

It begins to be increasingly difficult to stay hidden, but even more so when there is a murderer on the loose in Gwen's town who seems to be targeting Others. What is most disturbing, is that Gwen may be the next target. After the killer gets to someone close to her, she decides to turn the tables on who or whatever is taking the lives of so many Others. She can't do this by herself, so to solve these crimes she accepts the help of Tavian, an online friend and fellow Other. He's a cute and "foxy" kitsune (a Japanese fox spirit) who Gwen is beginning to have feelings for. In a perfect world, her ONLY problem would be that she already has a boyfriend. She has to deal with real, honest-to-goodness danger every day, plus the usual stresses a girl faces while growing up. Life and love are confusing enough, but when someone is trying to kill her it's downright impossible! Who can Gwen trust, and will she be able to stop he killer before he, she or it makes pooka patties out of her?

I loved this book so much! Karen Kincy has made me believe that anything is possible. And also that I may be a kitsune. Or a leprechaun...I do like to hoard shiny things.       


I think Gwen would appreciate the song I chose to go with her story. "Hail" by Anouk. Gwen fought back and I think she'd like to see all creatures live together in peace.

 



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<3 Michelle

 


Tags:

Kallisti


Ok, so technically Discord's Apple by Carrie Vaughn is not a Young Adult book, it's categorized as sci-fi/fantasy. But, I loved it so much and I would recommend it to older teens. I also know that there are minions here who are not teens, so I figured I would post a review of this book. Carrie Vaughn did write Voices of Dragons, which is a YA book. She's also the author of the Kitty Norville series. I would recommend Discord's Apple to fans of Neil Gaiman(American Gods), Charles de Lint(Newford series, The Blue Girl), Tom Robbins(Jitterbug Perfume) and even Gregory Maguire(Wicked, Son of a Witch).  If you are a fan of any of those authors, you should definitely pick up Discord's Apple. It is a modern-day fairy tale set in a dystopian future where Greek Gods attempt to regain control of humankind, but myth, magic and mortals are fighting back with a little help from King Arthur himself. And it is so much fun!

Discord's Apple by Carrie Vaughn:





In the not too distant future, the world has faced war, turmoil and terrorism. Evie lives in LA and she's the writer of the worlds most popular comic book, Eagle Eye Commandos, a millitary adventure about the horrible state of the world and a group of men and women who fight the bad guys (whoever they may be that week). When her father becomes ill, she decides to go home to her small, sleepy hometown in Colorado to be with him. What Evie thinks will be a quiet visit home will become an adventure of seriously epic proportions.

Evie just found out that she is the heir to a magical storeroom, housed in her fathers basement. Inside are artifacts and objects from fairy tales and myths as well as history and legends. For thousands of years her family has been keeping these enchanted items safe, but recently the true owners have been returning for them, along with dangerous villains who want to use them for their own evil plans. She must protect what is in the storeroom because there are things in there that could destroy the world. With the help of a mysterious stranger (with an even more mysterious and amazing past) named Alex, a dog named Queen Mab and a few Arthurian legends, Evie must do everything she can to stop the Greek goddess Hera and her henchmen from getting their hands on the most dangerous mystical weapon of all, Discord's Apple. If she fails, the results will be nothing short of apocalyptical.

*Recommended for older teens and adults as well as fans of mythology and Ancient Greece. 

I know it's highly unlikely that it would happen, but this would make an awesome movie. So, let's just have fun and pretend. I kind of cast it in my head as I read and here is what I came up with:

Evie: Eliza Dushku (Buffy, Tru Calling, Dollhouse)




Alex: Johnny Depp


Evie's father: Christopher Walken



King Arthur: Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy)



Merlin: Hugh Laurie (House) - he IS Brittish and he'd make a pretty cool Merlin.



Hera: Scarlett Johanson



Robin-Hera's henchman: James Marsters (Buffy, Angel)


 

Bruce-Evie's friend and the illustrator of the comic Eagle Eye Commandos
Kevin Smith (Clerks)




I like to play make-believe! Imagination is wonderful thing.

Also check out Carrie Vaughn's Young Adult fantasy novel, Voices of Dragons!




What music goes with the impending apocalypse? Hmmm...how about "Tear the World Down" by We Are The Fallen?


 


Go read something!!!

-------------------------
<3 Michelle


 


Immortal


Immortal by Gillain Shields was one of my favorites from last year and it is now available in paperback. The sequel, Betrayal, is also now available (YAY!). I figured that now would be the perfect time to post a review of Immortal, just in case you missed it in hardback. I admit that I enjoyed it so much that I've read it more than once, which is unusual for me since I have so much to read. If you are a fan of A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray you will enjoy this series. While it is set in a modern day gothic boarding school, parts of it also take place over 100 years ago in the very same place. Past and present collide as age old secrets are exposed and first romance blooms. It is lovely, dark, lushly ambient and mysterious!

Immortal by Gillan Shields:




 Evie Johnson is forced to leave her home by the sea when her beloved Grandmother becomes too ill to take care of her. Her father is overseas serving in the army and she lost her mother long ago. The only option left is for her to attend Wyldecliffe Abbey School for Young Ladies, a very exclusive institution set amongst the moors in a creepy Gothic mansion. She should consider this a privilage since she was lucky enough to be given a scholarship, but the snobby girls there are not very welcoming and they even threaten to make her stay as miserable as possible. Evie has never felt so alone.

One night she decides to take a walk by the lake and she finds the mysterious and handsome Sebastian there. The two of them begin meeting every night and Evie feels her lonliness slipping away. She eagerly awaits the approach of darkness so that she can see Sebastian. When she is with him it is the only time she feels free. The more she gets to know him, the more she is convinced that he is hiding something from her. While Evie is trying to find out Sebastian's secrets, she is also plagued by visions of a girl that looks eerily similar to her, but seems to exist in a whole other world. For some reason, she believes that this girl holds the key to everything, and Evie must race to discover who or what this girl is and how she is connected to what is happening to her. What troubles Evie the most is that she feels drawn to the cool and murky waters of the lake, which have recently claimed the life of one of her classmates. Everyone at Wyldecliffe is acting so strange, especially the teachers. She doesn't know who to trust anymore but she knows one thing for sure, she must unravel the mysteries of the past to have any chance at understanding and saving her future.  

Immortal is a gorgeous and haunting supernatural tale of romance, magic and mystery that will leave you spellbound and eager to read the next book, Betrayal (now available!).

*Ages 12+. It is approriate for younger readers who want to experience this genre (YA paranormal romance), and enjoyable for all. 

I am SO psyched for this book! So head out to the store for it!

 


Now for the music! I have chosen "Memories" by Within Temptation. It's a beautiful song that captures the mood of the book.

 


---------------------
<Michelle
 


ANGEL STAR Contest Winners!!




Congratulations to the winners of the Angel Star contest! I randomly chose the winners earlier today. They have been notified and I have already heard back from them both. I will be sending each of them an autographed copy of Angel Star by Jennifer Murgia and some other cool book swag. 

Congratulations to:

Heather from Georgia

and 

Amy from Ontario, Canada

Here is a picture of Jennifer Murgia right before she signed the very copies of Angel Star that you will be receiving! 



Thank you all for entering and don't forget, there is still one week left to enter the Sleepless contest. This is a contest to win TWO autographed books, Sleepless and Fairy Tale by Cyn Balog! The link below will take you to the contest and details: 

 http://community.livejournal.com/michelesminionz/33493.html


Good Luck and keep checking back for more reviews, music and contests!

HAPPY READING!!

---------------------
<3 Michelle

 


Sleepless + Another CONTEST!!!


What a wonderful and dreamy book this is! Sleepless is honestly a breath of fresh air that left me on cloud nine. It's got a truly original concept and Cyn Balog's writing absolutely put a smile on my face and gave me sweet, sweet dreams! It is easily one of my favorites of the year. Actually, I enjoyed it so much it inspired my future Halloween costume! I plan on being a character from the book this year, Chimere, an Original Sleepbringer. Simply put, Sleepless is about a Sandman who falls in love with one of his charges, but it is much, much more. Cyn has created a beautiful, mystical and ethereal world that gives me a new appreciation for when I go to 'sleepytime'. Who knew that Sandmen had their own culture and rules? Sleepless is a delightful modern-day fairy tale, much like her previous book titled, well, Fairy Tale. I absolutely adore her books as much as I adore her. And that's a lot. THIS MUCH *holds arms as far apart as they can reach*!!!


Sleepless by Cyn Balog:




Eron DeMarchelle is a Sandman. For 100 years he has diligently taken care of his charges, soothing and seducing them to sleep each night. He has mostly followed the rules, except for once when he helped Julia when she was in danger. Julia was a sweet red-headed child at the time and she needed him. Sandmen are forbidden to interfere in the lives of humans, but just once he had no choice but to break this rule. Now, Julia is a beautiful young woman and Eron relishes every evening that he spends easing her into a blissful slumber. Over the years, Eron has fallen in love with Julia and he is about to get his chance to share the same world with her. You see, he is about to finish his time serving as a Sleepbringer and become a human once again. No longer will he watch outside the windows of his charges for the right moment to sprinkle them with sand and take them to dreamland. Soon, his mentor Chimere, an Original Sleepbringer, will choose another soul for him to train to take his place. Eron will be released of his duties and be permitted to tend to his "unfinished business", whatever that may be. He's not sure what that business is, but he knows he wants nothing more than to be able to talk to Julia as a human.

But alas, things are never that simple. His replacement does not seem to be taking to the job very well. He is quite difficult and he's not able to let go of the people and things he left in the human world. If he can't be trained in time, Eron will lose his chance at freedom. But that's not the only problem he faces. Eron has been frozen in time for a century, from his clothing to his view of the world. He's seen things in people's dreams, but nothing that could prepare him for a very changed world. Everyone he knew and loved is gone and he has no idea what to do next. The worst thing is that he's been told he must stay away from his former charges once he becomes human. This includes Julia, who he believes is in terrible danger once again. He's broken the rules once, but this time it could cost him his only chance to be near the girl he loves. If he does nothing, he could lose her anyway.

Sleepless is sweet, funny, romantic and imaginative. It is a refreshing and one-of-a-kind addition to YA, giving it something it's never seen before. Cyn Balog literally gave us the man of our dreams!   


**********************************
NEW CONTEST!!!

The lovely Cyn Balog visited my store recently to sign books!



That's me & Cyn. She is amazing and SO nice! Once you read Sleepless, you'll understand why I decided to be Chimere for Halloween. *Hint: Check out my braids.*


I thought I would share my good fortune with you and have another contest! I am giving away as a package, an autographed copy of Sleepless AND an autographed copy of Fairy Tale! All you have to do to enter is send an email with your name in it to michellesminions@yahoo.com and please make the subject of the email SLEEPLESS CONTEST. Again, you do not need to include your address. I only need that if you win. Because this is two hardback books, this contest os US only. The contest runs until SUNDAY, AUGUST 8th. I will randomly choose and notify the winner by 6pm est and post the reslult as soon as I receive confirmation from this person. If I do not get a response within a week, I will choose a new winner. GOOD LUCK!! 

For my review of Fairy Tale, click the link below:

http://community.livejournal.com/michelesminionz/tag/cyn%20balog




Now, enjoy some music that I chose to go with Sleepless!
"Goodnight" by The Birthday Massacre:


 For my next contest, I think I'll give away an advanced copy of something VERY good. Keep checking back!

-------------------------
<3 Michelle 



 


The Pace


I just read The Pace by Shelena Shorts, which came out last year, but I figured I would post a review of it since the sequel, The Broken Lake, is coming out in August. I was blown away and completely surprised by The Pace and I hope that more people will read and enjoy this fantastic book. It's a little harder to find, but I hope to change that. You can find it in some stores but you may have to order it. You should do whatever you can to get your hands on it. If you  like suspense, mystery and romance you don't want to miss this one. 

The Pace by Shelena Shorts:


 

WHAT?!!? HOLY BAJEEZELS!! After I finished reading The Pace my jaw honestly hit the floor. It's still there actually. I haven't been able to speak for days. I must have the sequel. NOW. This definitely wins my personal award for "best cliffhanger." Seriously, I got to the last page and started yelling at the book and begging it to continue so I could find out what happens next. To my dismay, it not listen and I looked very silly. Wow. I'll try, but I don't even know how to review this without giving crucial plot twists away. Yes, I said twists, plural, because just when you think it's safe...BAM! You get hit with another one. The Pace has a fantastic, intriguing and original concept that blends paranormal elements with science. It is also a sweeping romance that will leave your heart pounding and a brilliant mystery that will leave you guessing until the very end. Oh, it all starts out innocent enough, but then POW...SMACK!! You get knocked out. I totally can't wait to get back in the ring and face another round with this series.

Sophie and her mother move around a lot but they have finally settled themselves for a while in California. Rather than becoming "the new girl" at yet another school, Sophie has been allowed to take her classes online with the condition that she meet with her mother regularly on the Berkeley campus where she works. Her mother hopes this will give her the opportunity to meet some people close to her own age, but Sophie really has no desire to make any new friends. She doesn't mind being be herself, especially since she always seems to be leaving friends behind. She still occasionally talks to her friend Kerry who is back in Virginia, so for now, she's fine. At least until one day when she literally runs into the guy of her dreams. Sophie backs into Weston's car while leaving campus and her life is forever changed. Wes is unbelievably gorgeous, incredibly rich, completely fascinating and very mysterious. She's never met anyone like him yet she feels like she's known him forever. Their connection is instant and intense and he somehow becomes all that she can think about. As much as she loves Wes, she can't help but feel like there is something off about him. He's told her about his past but some things don't quite make sense, so Sophie decides to do a little detective work. There is no way to prepare for what she is about to discover.

There truly is nobody else like Wes. He is part science experiment, part miracle. His story is one of both tragedy and triumph that involves a century of secrets. Who or what is Wes and how does Sophie fit into everything? Is she ready to get involved in the mystery and risk her own safety to be with the one she loves? Only time will tell, and time is something Wes has plenty of, but for Sophie it may be running short.   

When you turn the last page you will be aching to read the sequel, The Broken Lake, which will be available in August. I can't wait!




So, what music did I pick to go with The Pace? Well, I decided on "Again" by Flyleaf. But I can't say why...
 

 


-------------------------
<3 Michelle
 




Well, Minions, I have chosen randomly a winner in the Nightshade contest!  Congratulations to HARMONY in Florida!!! She has been notified that she's won herself an advanced copy of Nightshade by Andrea Cremer, as well as some other cool book swag. I have already heard back from her and will send it out ASAP!! WAY TO GO!!! Thank you to all who entered and on to the next contest!!





Now, I will tell you about the new contest!



I am giving away 2 autographed copies of Angel Star by Jennifer Murgia!  

I absolutely loved the book and if you missed my review, here is the link:


http://community.livejournal.com/michelesminionz/tag/angel%20star

It's actually a few posts below this one. When you click the link it shows this post and the Angel Star review is right below it. 

I was lucky enough to meet the absolutely wonderful Jennifer Murgia when she came to sign at the store where I work and we had a blast! She is made of awesome, and so is ANGEL STAR. It's only fair that I share with you, so give it a shot and enter to win! Again, send an email with your name in it and ANGEL STAR CONTEST as the subject to michellesminions@yahoo.com. No address is necessary until you are notified as a winner because some people may not feel comfortable with that and it's not necessary. This contest closes at 5:00 pm est. on Sunday, August 1st, and it is international.

Here is Jennifer Murgia signing the very books I'm giving away:



And here is a picture of Jennifer and me that my magical-cute-picture-taking camera captured:




GOOD LUCK!! Send me lots of entries and maybe I'll let you in on the secret of how I select the winners!

Other contests to look forward to include other autographed books by some really amazing authors (Beth Fantaskey, Cyn Balog, Cassandra Clare, Maria V. Snyder- to name a few) and other advanced copies of books such as Matched by Ally Condie(TBR in November, 2010)  and Delirium by Lauren Oliver(TBR in January, 2011). Contests could start at any time, not just when one ends, so keep checking back. You never know what you might win!

P.S. Leave me some comments so I know you're all real, lol. I know you're there because I got a lot of emails ;)

------------------------------
<3 Michelle



Mystical Misdemeanors


What an interesting concept! Holly Black has not just written a new and original story, but she has literally turned the world upside down and rewritten history to do it. White Cat stands out from most of what is out there, that's for sure. It's like you're getting several books for the price of one. It's a gritty crime drama, filled with double crosses and shady bosses, an angsty coming of age story, where a boy is dealing with the dysfunctions of his family, a bittersweet romance, where love and loss are part of growing up and a magical dark fantasy, where power corrupts, destroys and ultimately saves. The whole story is skillfully crafted by the iconic Holly Black in her truly unique style.

White Cat by Holly Black:


 
This is a world where some people wield powerful magic and are able to manipulate others with the touch of their hand. Some can change your luck, your memories or your mind. Some can invade your dreams, give you living nightmares or even bring about your death. There is no way to know who holds what power, so everyone must wear gloves to protect themselves. An ungloved hand could be more dangerous than a loaded gun pointed in your direction. People with powers are referred to as curse workers and are forbidden by law to use their magic for any reason. Naturally, when people are told not to do something, there will be those that disobey the laws. When these people organize themselves, are usually known as mobsters. Now, imagine if these mobsters had an arsenal of weapons that rival any that ordinary men could make. Pretty scary stuff.
 
Cassel Sharpe comes from a family of mobsters who are also curse workers. Unfortunately, Cassel is neither. He does run a  small- time gambling ring at his boarding school, but it's nothing like the trouble his brothers are into. Cassel is basically the white sheep in a family of black ones. He tries to blend in and stay unnoticed and it's working. All of this is to cover up one secret, horrible mistake he made three years ago. Cassel killed his best friend Lila, a rival crime bosses daughter. Nobody but his family knows about this, and he's been able to move on, but the guilt always follows.
 
One night after a particularly realistic dream about a white cat, Cassel wakes up on the roof of his dorm in his underwear. He nearly sleepwalked to his own horrific and slightly embarrassing death. He's sent away from school until a doctor can vouch for his safety and mental well being, but this means that he now has to move back home, where the real danger might be lurking. He is soon thrust into a world of organized crime, con men and dark magic. Danger and betrayal seem to follow Cassel wherever he goes, and so does a stray white cat who seems to have some powers of her own. He knows his brothers are keeping secrets from him, and he will not rest until he figures out what they are. It will take all he has learned from the crooked company he keeps to outsmart those very same people. Cassel is in way over his head, and the only way to get out could be to revisit his past. He fears this may all be one big con game, a very dangerous one that could cost him his life. 


"Die By the Drop" by The Dead Weather kind of fits with the dark and gritty world of White Cat. Plus, it's a really cool song! 



--------------------------------------

<3 Michelle


Nightshade Preview + A CONTEST!!


Nightshade by Andrea Cremer will not be released until October of this year, but after the review below there are details for how YOU can win an advaced copy, courtesy of me! Enjoy the early review and the music...and GOOD LUCK!


Nightshade by Andrea Cremer:



Calla has always known who and what she is. She is part girl, part wolf and she will one day marry her childhood friend Ren, who is just like her. They each control their own pack, but they will soon unite as one. This is her destiny and she has been preparing for this all her life. In the meantime, Calla has to worry about graduating from her exclusive school which she and the other wolves attend alongside humans. She's always been at the top of the social ladder, respected and even feared by her peers. Her alpha female status has it's perks, but she still has her responsibilities and duties within her own pack. One of these responsibilities is guarding the sacred sites, believed to be mystic places of power in the mountains. One day while on patrol in wolf form, Calla came upon a hiker who was being attacked by a bear. She should have left him, but against her better judgement, she saved him. Not only that, but she did the unthinkable, she transformed in front of him. It was the only way to save this gorgeous human. Besides, she'll never see him again. All that matters is that he is safe and that nobody finds out that she broke the laws forbidding her to reveal herself. For some reason she trusts that her secret will remain safe, at least until the hiker appears as a new student in her school.
 
Now Calla is afraid that the Keepers who watch over her and her wolf pack will discover her disregard for the rules. Not only that, but she's beginning to doubt the validity of these rules she's been told to follow for her entire life. As she grows closer to Shay, the hiker she saved, she begins to question everything from her magical existence to her own feelings. She is supposed to be with Ren, who is quite sexy and alluring himself, being an actual alpha male. Her heart is pulling her towards a forbidden romance with Shay, but her body seems to have a mind of it's own and responds to both suitors. None of this matters because her fate is sealed, but new information from ancient texts reveals that things are not what they seem. There is deception, corruption and betrayal around every twist and turn and Calla must decide if she should follow her heart or fall in line like all that have come before her. 
 
Oooh, this is a deliciously dark and exciting story. Nightshade has a very interesting and original take on traditional werewolf lore, adding magic and a new mythology. Andrea Cremer does a fantastic job building this captivating world and at times her writing left me a bit breathless. This is one book and author to look out for!

*****************
If you would like to enter to win an advaced copy of Nightshade, all you have to do is send me an email to michellesminions@yahoo.com with your name included and please put as the subject "NIGHTSHADE CONTEST". The winner will be randomly chosen on SUNDAY, JULY 11th. So that's 2 weeks you have to enter. I will contact the winner via email and post the winner as soon as I receive confirmation from that person. If there is no response within a week, a new winner will be chosen. So, GOOD LUCK and enjoy a little music that reminds me of the book:

"Path to Decay" by Sirenia:




-------------------------------
<3 Michelle

Clockwork Angel (!!!)


I was EXTREMELY lucky and I'm eternally grateful to get my hands on an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of Clockwork Angel, the first in Cassandra Clare's The Infernal Devices series(release date August 31st). The first thing I'll say is, WOW. That's nothing new, Cassandra Clare has a habit of blowing my mind. She has a gift and I am so thankful that she continues to share it with the world. She has written another phenomenal and fascinating book brimming with action, excitement, romance and characters that already hold places in my heart, even though we just met. This is not a book that you will simply read and put down, it is one that you will savor and return to, more than once. Miss Clare is wise beyond her years and she has left us with countless quotes and philosophical musings. As a matter of fact, I now have a new, all-time favorite book quote thanks to Clockwork Angel (if you wish to know what that quote is, scroll down all the way to the bottom of this review-it's not a spoiler, but you may want to discover it for yourself). Each page is a feast for the eyes and an indulgence for the senses. Be prepared to be amazed, thrilled, enchanted, frightened, shocked and have your breath taken away...again. Cassandra Clare has taken the contemporary world of magic and mayhem that we know from The Mortal Instruments series and flawlessly placed it in Victorian England for this prequel series. Here you will find some familiar faces but you will also encounter new villains, creepy monsters and a fresh group of young (and hot) Shadowhunters ready to do battle. This is one thrill ride I will happily get back in line to ride again. And for those of you still in line, it is worth the wait.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (The Infernal Devices, Book One):

The year is 1878 and young Tessa Gray has left the safety and familiarity of New York after the untimely death of her Aunt Harriet. She has crossed the ocean to join her brother Nate in London. Upon arrival to this new and very gloomy place, she does not find dear Nate and is instead kidnapped by two strange women called the Dark Sisters who claim association with a mysterious organization known as the Pandemonium Club. Tessa is taken away and locked in a room, told that if she didn't cooperate with them, it would mean certain death for her brother. The Dark Sisters are asking her to use her powers, but Tessa has no idea what they mean, at least until one day when something extraordinary happens. She discovers that there is more to her and the world itself. She is now a prisoner and apparently a magical one, but all she hopes for is that she can one day escape. Her wish is about to come true when a handsome and slightly smug young man named Will comes to the rescue.

Tessa now knows that the world she sees is only the tip of the iceberg. There is a whole other side filled with Downworld creatures  like demons, vampires, werewolves and warlocks. There are also Shadowhunters, who are sworn to defeat evil and protect humans from even discovering the truth about the things that go bump in the night. This is a lot for Tessa to take in, but she has no choice. She is now a part of it, and she is also being hunted by dark forces because of her own powers. She is offered protection by the Shadowhunters but she still must find her brother, if he is still alive. While she is learning about this new and frightening world, she is captivated by two handsome and very different Shadowhunters. The gorgeous and slightly annoying Will and the quiet and gentle Jem. She feels a connection to both, but she also believes that each is hiding a secret.

As Tessa searches for the truth about herself and her new identity, she can't avoid being pulled into the middle of a battle between the Shadowhunters and Downworlders. The time for innocence is over for her. Now it's time to kick some evil fanny (she is a lady, after all). Someone is behind an evil plot involving murder and magic. All anyone knows is that this sinister being is called The Magister, and he is creating an army of abominable clockwork automatons intent on the destruction of all that is in their way. It will be a fight to the finish for Tessa and her new allies. One that will test her strength as well as her convictions.

I already can't wait for the next book! WOOO! I hope my heart rate has gone down by then! And I now have another choice to make in life: Will or Jem?

*******************************************

No music to go with it, but I will leave you with this. It's an actual unrestored automaton circa 1880. And it's kind of creepy ;) 

 




*******************************************

"Whatever you are physically...male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy-all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. All those other things, they are the glass that contains the lamp, but you are the light inside."
-Jem from Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

******************************************
<3 Michelle



 


What's Your Sign?


I *heart* this book. It is so sweet and fun, a perfect book to take on vacation or to read at home and pretend you're on vacation. I just felt good after reading The Star Shack by Lila Castle, and not just because I'm a Gemini and my horoscope today said that I had a lot of positive energy. Maybe it was in the stars that I was meant to spend my day reading this book, and the rest of my night smiling because of it. You know, if you believe in that stuff.

The Star Shack by Lila Castle:



Pete is a Red Sox fan. He loves baseball and spending his summers at Gingerbread Beach. It's not the nicest beach, nor does it have the best weather. In fact, it rains more often than the sun shines. But it does have one thing going for it. Annabelle. Ever since Pete met her when they were in middle-school, he has been in love with her and has known that they were meant for each other. Even the fact that she's a Yankees fan isn't enough to keep them apart. Normally a Red Sox guy and a Yankees girl do not mix, but Annabelle is special. Pete normally can't wait for Summer to see her on the rain-crunchy beaches of Gingerbread (that's how it got it's name), but lately Annabelle has been obsessed with astrology and that's something that Pete can't deal with. He doesn't like that New Agey stuff and wishes that Annabelle would just act normal again. She even swears that she can predict the outcome of baseball games by consulting the stars, which sounds like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo to Pete. Sure, she crushed EVERYONE in her fantasy baseball league, but that can be attributed to knowledge of the games and good old fashioned luck. He thinks it's time for her to give up on the stars and come back to earth, but Annabelle has other plans.

Annabelle is a Yankees fan. She has been so excited to spend a rainy Summer with her soul mate Pete at Gingerbread Beach.She has loved him since the moment she saw him, even though he's a red Sox fan. The second she gets there she rushes to see him, but he's been acting kind of distant lately. Maybe she should check his horoscope and see if there is something in the stars that could help her figure out his problem. The problem, it seems, is that Pete doesn't like her talking about astrology, which she would like to point out, is a SCIENCE. This is a part of who she is, and if he doesn't like it, maybe he doesn't like her. She never expected him to agree with this. He can't leave her, they are meant to be! It's in the stars! What was supposed to be a wonderful and romantic summer has turned into a sad and lonely mess. Now Pete is dating someone else and Annabelle is left to stand in the rain, but she has a plan that could turn things around.

Pete is never one to turn down a dare, and when Annabelle challenges him to open an astrology business on the boardwalk called "The Star Shack", he reluctantly agrees. She wants to prove that astrology is for real and he wants to prove it's all a joke. Annabelle believes that spending time with Pete will bring him back to her, but her plan backfires. She and Pete are finding love matches for everyone else, but the two of them are drifting farther apart each day. How is that something HUGE like a baseball rivalry won't keep them apart, but a little thing like stars will? They have the whole summer to figure out if these stars will align for them or if it's time to go their separate ways.   

I totally understand the sports rivalry thing. To overcome that obstacle must mean true love, so I applaud their tolerance for each other and I am awed that they can even have a relationship. So, yes, I was rooting for Pete and Annabelle the whole way! I'm a hockey fan and there is NO WAY I would date a fan of my rival's team. I won't tell you what team that is, just know that they are evil, lol.


If you like astrology and romance, you might also want to read the Star Crossed series by Bonnie Hearn Hill. The first two books, Aries Rising and Taurus Eyes are available now and the third book, Gemini Night will be out in September:




Todays song is "Oh Star" by Paramore.
 


----------------------------
<3 Michelle



Just Like Heaven


Angel Star by Jennifer Murgia is stunning, exciting, romantic, breathtaking, sumptuous and enthralling. I kind of want to unfold every page and wrap myself in them like soft angel wings. Seriously, this is a true stand-out book. Jennifer Murgia's writing is gorgeous and captivatingly poetic. She does an amazing job of transporting you directly into the story, making you feel like you are part of it. It's one of those books you want to open up, lay flat and dive into like a swimming pool. At times I honestly got goosebumps. I really did, and it was about 90 degrees out. I loved every single thing about this book, except that it ended and I have to wait for the sequel, Lemniscate, due out in 2011.


Angel Star by Jennifer Murgia:


Teegan spends her days in school like a normal seventeen-year-old, but at night she is plagued with horrifying nightmares. She does her best to shake them off, but lately they are beginning to manifest themselves in the real world. It feels like dark shadows and the sound of beating wings are following her wherever she goes. One day, a new face appears in school, a gorgeous one, and his name is Garreth. The moment Teegan sees him, she feels an instant and impossibly deep attraction to him. For some reason when she is near him, she feels safe and it's as if the shadows disappear and the world is golden and warm. Garreth feels like he's her guardian angel and every second she is with him makes her heart beat faster and her head spin. Garreth is her light, but she can't help but notice that darkness is beginning to creep into her life.

People around Teegan begin to act strangely, including her best friend Claire. When she is not with Garreth, the shadows still lurk and she still can't shake her nightmares. When she notices a star-shaped mark on Garreth's hand, she begins to do research to find out what it means. She is about to discover how close to the truth her theory about him being an angel is. She now knows what Garreth has given up to be with her. Unfortunately, love isn't the only reason Garreth is here. There is a dark angel named Hadrian that has plans of his own. These plans could destroy Teagan's life and the lives of everyone she holds dear, and she is the only one who can stop him. While she fights this battle she will also learn family secrets that have set everything that is happening into motion. As evil creeps further into her world, it becomes harder to fight, especially when she begins to feel drawn to the dark angel himself. She and Garreth must stay strong if they want to stay alive, but it appears that death may be the only way to save the world from Hadrian's malevolent scheme.

ANGEL STAR is teeming with beautiful imagery, powerful emotion and dramatic action. This is a story about good versus evil and how love can complicate, conquer and motivate both.

*everyone should read this but if I had to put an age recommendation on it I would say 12+.

The perfect song to go with Angel Star. "Sleep Well, My Angel" by We Are The Fallen. Beautiful.

 


-------------------------------

<3 Michelle


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