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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.





 

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THE PACE Contest Winner + New Leviathan Contest


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




darkfuzzy

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
darkfuzzy

Cassandra Clare Contest Winner + NEW Pace Contest


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


darkfuzzy

Please Ignore Vera Dietz (Really, don't ingnore her though. She rocks)


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
 


darkfuzzy

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


darkfuzzy

Matched Contest Winner + New Cassandra Clare Contest


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


darkfuzzy

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

darkfuzzy

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
darkfuzzy

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