Friday, 31 December 2010

Prisoners in the Palace by Michaela MacColl (Mini Review)

Prisoners in the Palace
Michaela MacColl
Chronicle Books
[September 1, 2010]

London, 1838. Sixteen-year-old Liza's dreams of her society debut are dashed when her parents are killed in an accident. Penniless, she accepts the position of lady's maid to young Princess Victoria and steps unwittingly into the gossipy intrigue of the servant's world below-stairs as well as the trickery above. Is it possible that her changing circumstances may offer Liza the chance to determine her own fate, find true love, and secure the throne for her future queen? 

Meticulously based on newly discovered information, this riveting novel is as rich in historical detail as Catherine, Called Birdy, and as sizzling with intrigue as The Luxe.

Ever since falling in love with the Young Victoria, I've been wanting to learn more. And this book does tricks! It has a special cover and under the dust slip it has this cool cover...you have to see it for yourself. Needless to say, I had to have it! And it didn't disappoint.

I can't pinpoint why I loved this book. I wasn't crazy about how Victoria was portrayed. It may be how she really was, but she was shown in a different light in the movie and I preferred that way. But I loved the plot and the romance and...just so much about this book!
I wish I could say more, but I put off writing this review for so long, I'm not sure I can! But this has my stamp of approval!

--Julie

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen

Bright Young Things
Anna Godbersen
HarperTeen
[October 12, 2010]

The year is 1929. New York is ruled by the Bright Young Things: flappers and socialites seeking thrills and chasing dreams in the anything-goes era of the Roaring Twenties. Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey escaped their small Midwestern town for New York's glittering metropolis. 

All Letty wants is to see her name in lights, but she quickly discovers Manhattan is filled with pretty girls who will do anything to be a star… 

Cordelia is searching for the father she's never known, a man as infamous for his wild parties as he is for his shadowy schemes. Overnight, she enters a world more thrilling and glamorous than she ever could have imagined—and more dangerous. It's a life anyone would kill for . . . and someone will. 

The only person Cordelia can trust is Astrid Donal, a flapper who seems to have it all: money, looks, and the love of Cordelia's brother, Charlie. But Astrid's perfect veneer hides a score of family secrets. 

Across the vast lawns of Long Island, in the illicit speakeasies of Manhattan, and on the blindingly lit stages of Broadway, the three girls' fortunes will rise and fall—together and apart. 

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Luxe comes an epic new series set in the dizzying last summer of the Jazz Age.

I loved this book!

At first, I worried it'd be The Luxe set in the 20s and had an "OH NOEZ" moment. But then I decided I'd trust Anna and cross my fingers my heart would not be ripped out and stomped on like it was at the end of The Luxe series.

About half way through the book, I began thinking "This IS kind of like The Luxe..." then Anna started throwing the curveballs I should've been expecting that made it so totally different.

This book was addicting from the very beginning. I was totally engrossed and had to find out how it would end. The romances were amazing and I just...GAH. I loved all the romances in this book. *sigh*

And this book was totally not predictable. It was so different from anything I expected and so wonderful and SO MUCH LOVE.

Bright Young Things is the beginning of another fantastic series from Anna Godbersen. Very different from The Luxe, but still with all the romance and unexpected twists! I'll be eagerly waiting for the sequel!

--Julie

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Snow Queen by Emma Harrison

Snow Queen
Emma Harrison
HarperTeen
[December 1, 2009]

Chamberlain Ski Resort and Spa
Welcome to the 10th Annual Snow Queen competition!
I can't believe I got roped into this.
Snow Princesses must attend all pageant rehearsals, with appropriate outfits.
Well, no matter what it takes, I'm going to wipe that smirk off Layla Chamberlain's face.
Our rehearsal space can be booked to practice your talent.
Um, does "looking dumb in a dress" count as a talent?
See Grayson Chamberlain, the assistant director, with any questions.
If you insist! First question: How can someone so sweet (and hot!) be a Chamberlain?
Good luck! One of you will soon be our new Snow Queen!
Oh joy.
Unless Grayson comes with the tiara . . .

Snow Queens was an adorable read, perfect for this time of year.
Aubrey was kind of a difficult character to really enjoy at times, but that seemed to be the point. She had to fully evolve to make the book work.


I loved the other characters in this book. They all made sense and did their purpose well. Sometimes Aubrey's best friend was kind of ignored in the scheme of things, but it wasn't enough to really bother me. 


This book was a fast read, it only took me an hour or two. And it was just a cute, fun, feelgood read. Do I recommend it for you to find the answer to life? Of course not! But when you just need some winter fluff, this is the perfect book!


--Julie

Monday, 27 December 2010

Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg

Prom and Prejudice
Elizabeth Eulberg
Point
[January 1, 2011]

After winter break, the girls at the very prestigious Longbourn Academy become obsessed with the prom. Lizzie Bennet, who attends Longbourn on a scholarship, isn’t interested in designer dresses and expensive shoes, but her best friend, Jane, might be — especially now that Charles Bingley is back from a semester in London.

Lizzie is happy about her friend’s burgeoning romance but less than impressed by Charles’s friend, Will Darcy, who’s snobby and pretentious. Darcy doesn’t seem to like Lizzie either, but she assumes it’s because her family doesn’t have money. Clearly, Will Darcy is a pompous jerk — so why does Lizzie find herself drawn to him anyway?

Will Lizzie’s pride and Will’s prejudice keep them apart? Or are they a prom couple in the making? Whatever the result, Elizabeth Eulberg, author of The Lonely Hearts Club, has concocted a very funny, completely stylish delight for any season — prom or otherwise.

While reading this book, I felt like I was revisiting my old favorite. I didn't feel like I was reading a retelling, I felt like I was reading Pride and Prejudice.

This book was simply amazing. I was totally swept up in it and was half way through before I realized it. Then I stayed up until 1:30 on a school night to finish it. It's a quick, fast paced read but so totally addicting!

I absolutely loved Lizzie. She was exactly what I imagined for a modern-day Elizabeth. And I think there's a small chance I preferred this Darcy to the original. He was just...so much sweeter. It was more obvious that he liked her the whole time than it was in Jane Austen's. I loved the character of Jane and Charles and how obviously in love they were. I wish we could've seen more of Charlotte, Caroline, and Bingley. They're always good for a laugh.

As a music geek myself, I adored the musical aspect of it. Piano isn't my forte, singing is, but I understood her thrill and how swept away she got. It was something relatable and wonderful and it made sense to me. 

I simply can't say enough how much I LOVED this book. Love, love, love, love, love, love, love....nope. Not enough times.

GET IT GET IT GET IT!

--Julie

Friday, 24 December 2010

Happy Holidays!

For me, Christmas is a big family thing. Usually one of my siblings flies in (we tried for two this year, but having a wedding kind of drained my sister's finances for flying cross country). I spend a day with my Grandma and go to church then wake up God-awful early to open presents at home and shower to drive over to my aunt's and spend 5 or 6 hours there. Then we all crash around the house for another 24 hours or so.

Family fun so I'll be offline pretty much until Sunday (maybe tomorrow night. We might end up curling on the couch with Despicable Me) when I'm recovering. I'll try to do in IMM, but no guarantees. And I can't speak for Lanna.

So, for you celebrating Christmas this year: Merry Christmas and may Santa not leave coal and reindeer poop, but books and gift cards to buy more books!

To those not: Happy belated-Hanukkah/Boxing Day/Kwanza/Weekend

To all: HAPPY FESTIVUS!

--Julie

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

In Which I Am a Thankful Sap: Good-Bye 2010

2010 was a hard year for me personally. School problems, friend problems, family problems, health scares. You name it. Nothing horribly tragic happened, we even had a few miracles, but it wasn't the year I wanted for myself.

But this community made it totally worth it.

I know it's not Thanksgiving, I'm like a month late, but I DO want to make sure I give credit where credit is due.

To the bloggers, most importantly. This community is what it is because of bloggers that came before us and shaped it and the new bloggers that made me feel like I could be helping people. The people that cheer me up and wish me happy birthday and retweet my pathetic tweets when we're SO CLOSE to milestones. 

I especially want to thank Kristi, but I think we've said all there is to say about her during Story Siren Appreciation Week. ;)

And I want to thank Nicole, who has helped me a lot, whether she realizes it or not.

I want to thank Brent, for his sass and his flair and his willingness to always help. He's done me a lot of good and he's kicked quite a bit of ass on the way.

Of COURSE I must thank Harmony, my critique partner extraordinaire. And though I've never met you in person and God knows when I will, you're probably one of my best friends. Thank you for having faith in me when I told you to start your blog.

And obviously I must thank Lanna. I never would've had the guts to be in this community if she hadn't already invited me to be a member of this blog and it wouldn't be what it was without all her procrastinating by making images and layouts and such and just...being there. 

Really, there's a TON of you I'd like to thank (I'm looking at YOU everyone I talk to on twitter) but umm...there's a lot of you. And it's kind of late and I still have homework, so... 

To the publishers for being so amazingly supportive of book bloggers. I won't say I have tons of contacts or anything, but the few publicists I have been in contact with have been pretty amazing. My pile of review books currently staring at me, waiting for me to dive back in, agrees.

To the authors. Oh to the authors. There would BE no community without the YA authors.

My thanks to John Green, who inspires us all with his nerdi-ness. I'm blown away every day by what John, and Hank, do every day and what they've accomplished. A community of nerdfighters. And amazing books. And through it all remaining humble. We are lucky to have him.

I must thank my idols, who actually know I exist, even if they don't know how special that is to me. Meg Cabot, who mentioned me and our blog on HER blog back in June. I mean...it's MEG FLIPPING CABOT. And she found and read one of our blog posts. It boggles my mind. And Libba Bray. She said happy birthday to me on facebook. What does this mean in the grand scheme of my life? Nothing really. But Libba is my hero and she took the time to say happy birthday to me when she's never said a word to me (that she knows of. There was that one time she replied to my comment on her blog...)

To the authors that follow our blog, I'm honored. Slightly mystified as to WHY you follow our little blog, especially those that have been for months, but honored. Every time I look to see who our new followers are and see an author I recognize, I think an angel gets it's wings.

To the authors that follow me on twitter. You're brave souls. I know I'm a weird tweeter (no really, 1,100+ followers? REALLY?) and I should probably spend less time on it. New Year's Resolutions, yeah? But seriously, you make my day.

And many, many, many thanks to the authors that just plain have faith in the blog. The ones that send their books and leave comments and retweet links or post links on their website. To the ones I consider friends (I'd list you, but there's many, I'd probably forget someone, OR I'd say someone who doesn't consider me their friend and that leads to AWKWARD TURTLE).

Thank you, YA community, for making 2010 epic and memorable and beyond amazing. Here's to 2011 being even better.

--Julie

P.S. NO we are not done blogging for the year. I was have a sentimental...hour and we had nothing to post...shhhh.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Delirium
by Lauren Oliver

Release Date: February 1st, 2011

Summary: Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -the deliria- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen.

Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy. But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

There are some books that are just so awesome that it’s easy for me to gush about all the things I loved about them and then there are a few rare gems that are just so beyond awesome that they leave me speechless.

…I’ve been staring at this page for about 20 minutes now. I think it’s safe to say that Delirium left me speechless.

But I guess, for the sake of the review, I’ll try to tell you why I loved it -- but I assure you now, whatever I write won’t even come close to doing the book/my feelings on the book justice.

I love dystopian novels and this is definitely one of my favourites (tied for first with The Hunger Games). The world Lauren Oliver created was really original and the way she wrote it sometimes even had me convinced that love was a disease. And then other times I felt claustrophobic and breathless just reading about this world they were in that, on the surface, seems all rainbows and butterflies when it’s really just a lie.

It’s easy to see how in their world people are brainwashed into believing that curing love will solve all their problems, I felt as conflicted as Lena did while I was reading.

Lena, she was an awesome protagonist. Sometimes she annoyed the hell out of me, sometimes I adored her and sometimes I wished I could be just like her -- she was the perfect character, because she wasn’t perfect, not even close. Alex? I just want to keep him. There isn’t much more I can say about him than that without spoiling the book.

I loved all of the characters really, even the ones that irritated me, it made them real, I loved how all of them were written.

When I finished the book, I hated Lauren Oliver (and adored her in that, “Ohai! You’re now one of my favourite authors.” type way). Seriously. I need the sequel now, I need to know what happens next - I wanted to cry when I saw on goodreads that the sequel was estimated to be released in 2012.

Basically, I just loved the book. It’s definitely one of my favourite books now and it makes the top five in my favourite book series’ I’ve ever read.

The funny thing is, I didn’t even really intend to read it right now -- I had at least five other books to read before I could get to Delirium, but I thought I’d just read one chapter since I was on my laptop anyway (and normally I hate e-books)… yeah, that didn’t go as I’d planned. I couldn’t stop reading. The only time I really stopped reading was when I wanted to gush about the book on MSN or when I had to sleep because my eyes were hurting from staring at the screen for so long (my eyes hurt now -- and I don’t regret it).

Later.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers

Fall for Anything
Courtney Summers
St. Martin's Press
[December 21, 2010]
 
From the author of Cracked Up to Be and Some Girls Are comes a gripping story about one girl’s search for clues into the mysterious death of her father.

When Eddie Reeves’s father commits suicide her life is consumed by the nagging question of why? Why when he was a legendary photographer and a brilliant teacher? Why when he seemed to find inspiration in everything he saw? And, most important, why when he had a daughter who loved him more than anyone else in the world?

When she meets Culler Evans, a former student of her father’s and a photographer himself, an instant and dangerous attraction begins. Cullen seems to know more about her father than she does and could possibly hold the key to the mystery surrounding his death.

But Eddie’s vulnerability has weakened her and Culler Evans is getting too close. Her need for the truth keeps her hanging on...but are some questions better left unanswered?

This was my first Courtney Summers book. It will not be my last. 
You know when people say they got chills at how beautiful or moving or gorgeous something was? I never understood that. Until I finished this book. I closed it, completely done, and I didn't cry but I got chills down my spine.

This book was just so utterly...raw. I felt like every YA book I've read before was muted and the character was muffled before I read this book. Eddie's feelings were just so intense even though she seemed so totally out of it at times. It was the kind of emotion that I feel a lot this time of year when I'm so stressed out and it was nice. Refreshing. Kind of like a slap in the face.

Eddie was probably one of the most...interesting characters I've ever read. She wasn't easy to like, but she was easy to sympathize with and easy to understand. She was a real teenager that I could relate to without ever having been in her shoes. 

Culler. What to say about Culler? I think I'll have to let you decide on Culler for yourselves or I'd just spoil you. And I definitely don't want to do that in this book.

Words will not do this book justice, honestly. I could try and keep going but I can't explain how truly amazing this book was. It's behind my abilities to explain it. So I'm going to leave it on you guys to read this yourselves then come back and tell me how much you loved it.

--Julie

Saturday, 18 December 2010

In My Mailbox (49)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren and inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie.

No vlog this week due to Major Sick. No pictures cause...it's not worth it.

Bought:
Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

Won:
Real Live Boyfriends by E. Lockhart

Lanna:

For review:

Logic of Demons by H. A. Goodman
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
The Pain Merchant by Janice Hardy

Bought:

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (that one has been on my to buy list for ages, I decided to buy it now because someone posted a quote from it on tumblr which made me want to read it more... and, well, I want to read it before the movie is out because I do not want annoying people thinking I only read it because Robert freaking Pattinson happens to be in the movie version, eugh.)

Later.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Broken Soup by Jenny Valentine

Broken Soup 
by Jenny Valentine

Summary: When the good-looking boy with the American accent presses the dropped negative into Rowan's hand, she's sure it's all a big mistake. But next moment he's gone, lost in the crowd of bustling shoppers. And she can't afford to lose her place in the checkout queue -- after all, if she doesn't take the groceries home, nobody else will.

Rowan has more responsibilities than most girls her age. These days, she pretty much looks after her little sister single-handedly -- which doesn't leave much time for friends or fun. So when she finds out that Bee from school saw the whole thing, it piques her curiosity. Who was the boy? Why was he so insistent that the negative belonged to Rowan?

This book has put Jenny Valentine on my instant read list, it was brilliant. It managed to make me cry both sad and happy tears and not many books can do that - especially the happy tears.

The funny thing is, even if this book has a really sad subject matter, I wouldn’t really say it’s a sad book. It’s more… real and, well, hopeful. And I think I needed to read something like that right now because all of the books about sad things I’ve been reading recently have left me feeling emotionally drained and torn to shreds -- this book broke me a little, but it fixed me even more (if that makes sense?).

I literally adored all of the characters, none of them were perfect and I loved that. I even loved Stroma and Sonny, which is strange because often when little kids are in stories I will be bored or annoyed by them and find myself wanting to skip over those parts to get to the drama or romance or whatever, but this book was one of the rare exceptions.

The story had the perfect balance of family, friendship and romance. I admit, I usually favour the romance in stories, but all of the aspects of this book were so well done that I just liked it all and I wasn’t reading just for one specific part. (Although, as far as the romance goes, it has to be said that there are two very lovely boys in the book: Rowan’s brother, who we only get to see second hand and past tense,  and Harper.)

Also has to be mentioned: Jenny’s writing. I love the way she writes, she has a distinct style and I found myself fumbling around in the dark (I read by tiny torchlight) trying to find scraps of paper to bookmark a whole bunch of pages with quotes I liked, so much of the book was just really quotable. I love quotable books.

The book was set in the UK too, which makes me loving it even more surprising because I can count on one hand the amount of UK set books that I’ve completely loved (well, if I get to count the Harry Potter series as one instead of seven). The UK-ness of it not only didn’t bother me, but I actually really liked it.

…I guess I should stop gushing now, but really, the book was awesome and I regret not reading it sooner -- it had been on my to buy list for so long and other people had told me it was a good book but I procrastinated buying it until recently and well, I just wish I had read it sooner. Go read it!

Later.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

LOSER/QUEEN Giveaway!

What IS Loser/Queen you may ask? Let me show you:

Loser/Queen
Jodi Lynn Anderson, Brittney Lee (illustrator)
[12/21/10]

Cammy Hall is what anyone would describe as a loser. She lives with her grandparents and has adopted their way of life… right down to the comfortable shoes and early bedtime. And can she help it that she actually likes to knit?

At
school, her skills with knitting needles and some yarn go completely unappreciated: people like Bekka Bell reign while Cammy and her best friend, the fearless Danish exchange student Gerdi, watch from the sidelines. Cammy’s used to being an outsider; after years of humiliating moments, her goal is simply to fly under the radar. Then she suddenly starts receiving mysterious text messages that lead her right to all the embarrassing secrets about the most popular kids in school. Cammy never expected to be able to climb up the high school food chain, and the agenda of the texter may be questionable—but how can she possibly give up the chance to be Queen?

This is the print version of the groundbreaking online interactive serial LOSER/QUEEN that premiered in July 2010 on www.loserqueen.com. Each week, readers voted on major plot twists. The winning choice was then encorporated into the next week's chapters. Now that voting—and the book—are complete, LOSER/QUEEN will be published as a paperback and packed with extras from the author… and readers will have the opportunity to own the book they helped create!

Jodi Lynn Anderson, the national bestselling author of Peaches and The Secrets of Peaches, has lived in Georgia, Costa Rica, and New York, but she currently lives in Washington, D.C.

Brittney Lee is a designer and animator. She lives in Emeryville, CA.


Sounds awesome, right? Well now YOU can win a copy!

What you win:
(1) Finished copy of the book
(2) Handmade, knitted pom-pom keychain, like the ones on the cover.

Rules:
-Ends December 27
-US Residents Only
-Must be 13 years or older OR get parental permission.
-Complete the form

Simple, yes? Now fill out the form:



Good luck to all the entrants!

--Julie

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Fused by Kari Lee Townsend


I meant to get this review up way sooner than this but I’m in kind of a reading funk right now, sorry.

Fused 
by Kari Lee Townsend

Summary: After Sam is fused with her cell phone, she's ready to conquer the world! Or at least the 8th grade...

When Samantha Granger touches a meteor while talking on her cell phone, her life is changed forever: her body now has all the capabilities of her phone (GPS, phone, text, camera). She secretly calls herself a "Digital Diva" as she rushes to answer emergency calls.

But will her identity be discovered when sparks fly (literally!) between her and Trevor, her dreamy crush? Samantha has to get a handle on her abilities and quick, because when Sam gets kidnapped and the entire town is in danger, she is the only one who can save them.

This review is going to be kind of mixed. I mean, I liked the book but at the same time, it wasn’t really my cup of tea and some things about it annoyed me a little.

I guess I’ll start with the negatives, just to get those out of the way.

In the beginning, the characters seemed kind of shallow, too focused on looks and clothes and material things and that is one of my biggest pet peeves in books. It’s the reason I’m not into books like Gossip Girl and that sort of thing… but I didn’t notice it so much as the story progressed.

Then there was the biggest negative for me: the age of the characters. I don’t read a lot of middle grade books, but in this one, it was like half the time it seemed as if the characters should’ve been older teens based on the way they talked/acted and the other half, they seemed too immature/young.

Examples of both of these things: with the main character, the way she thought about her crush seemed a bit off -- I mean, a 13 year old girl who hasn’t even had her first kiss yet checking out the body of her crush and describing how his muscles ripple as he walks and he looks like an Abercrombie model (and the guy she’s describing is also only 13 so the description doesn't sound that convincing anyway).

Maybe I was just more innocent when I was 13 (although, that doesn’t seem likely), but my crushes at that age were usually about how cute the guy was and his personality usually played a part in it too (I liked the guys that could make me laugh), it wasn't about how hot his body was... that was strictly limited to Leonardo DiCaprio/Backstreet Boys/NSync posters, not real life crushes.

And for the flip side of the coin, for example: there was this party scene and just… the reactions/interactions in that scene seemed younger than the characters were meant to be. They were too accepting of the whole superhero thing, almost… like, you’d expect 8 year olds to easily accept and react to in that sort of way but not 13 year olds.

Basically, the voice didn’t really match up to the age of the characters a lot of the time. I think it would’ve worked better if the characters were about 15/16 to start with.

Those are the only things about the book that particularly bothered me. Beyond that, it was cute and entertaining and it managed to make me laugh a few times and I did connect to the main character because I found myself rooting for her and the boy she liked to work things out and I would totally cringe in empathy for her when she would say or do something dorky and embarrassing.

I liked the plot, it was really interesting and that was probably my favourite part of the book.

I would recommend the book because it was a fun read, the reason I wasn't that into it was more down to personal preference than an actual problem with the book (I’ve seen plenty of positive reviews of the book so the issues I had weren’t a universal thing, it’s just personal taste/opinion.), I’d probably give it 3/5 stars.

Later.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Event Recap: Teen Author Event

[All pictures were actually my mom's. I was too excited to take more than a few at the very end. I have more pictures, but blogger hates me and takes forever to LOAD said pictures, which slows down my internet.]

Never seen one of THESE before have you? That's cause I just went to my first ever event this past Saturday. What a way to end a blogoversary celebration week, eh?

Around two o'clock, we picked up my friend Julia and headed towards Barnes and Noble. Even the car ride was exciting. We *almost* got into a car accident on the way there and only my mom quickly swerving out of the way kept us from colliding into the other car. Would've been a huge mess since we would've pretty much hit the driver. 
[From Left to Right: Jen Nadol, Shannon Delany, Margie Gelbwasser, Jame Richards, Shari Maurer] 
By 2:20, we arrived at the bookstore. Julia and I were introduced to the authors that were there and told we'd start doing critiques in a little bit. Julia and I browsed the YA section, came back empty handed, and waited for everyone to arrive so we'd be split up.

My friend and I went with out respective authors to get our work critiqued. My author was Jame Richards and we spent 10 minutes chatting about my writing, ways to improve, things that were good, whether I'd expand, etc. etc. It was amazing to talk about my work and she seemed to really like it, which made me feel over the moon.

Jame and I were the first done, so I gave my mom everything Jame gave to me (a copy of Three Rivers Rising and notes on the piece I'd submitted) and went to wander. My mom decided to read my short story so I kept myself away while she read. It's been a long time since my mom's read anything of mine and it was probably scarier then entering the contest.

By 3:00 I was back sitting with my mom next to me and my friend in front of me. There were only three rows of chairs then the two my mom and I sat in. A few extra chairs were pulled up on the sides, but most people sat on the floor or stood and leaned on bookcases.

Shari Maurer stood up, talked a bit about the event, and then listed all the people that participated in the writing contest. She asked the winners to stand up, which was fun. 

Shari then talked a bit about her book, Change of Heart, and why she set it in this area and read the prologue for us all. I've read Change of Heart before, but hearing it out loud was a totally different experience.

Next Margie Gelbwasser got up and talked about the inspiration for her book, Inconvenient, and the fact she also set it in her area because it was what she knew. She read a short excerpt from her novel and it was beautiful.

Shannon Delany was next and she was hilarious! She told us about how 13 to Life had started as a cell phone novel and when she won the contest, she was offered a movie deal or a book deal and she chose the book deal because you can smell a book, but you can't smell a movie.Then she told a bit about what her novel was about instead of reading an excerpt.

Jen Nadol came up next and told us about her journey to publication from beginning to end, then read us part of the first chapter in The Mark. It sounded really good and it was really suspenseful.

Jame Richards was last and she told us the story of the Jamestown flood because only a couple people knew it. She told us how she wrote in verse and it didn't have to be feared. And then she read several excerpts that made me really excited to read it.

The floor was then opened to questions. People asked about titles and hardcover vs. paperback and getting published, editing, and agents. It was really interesting questions and started some interesting conversations between all the authors.

After that, everyone came up to grab copies of books, or brought their already purchased books, up to be signed. My friend and I grabbed a bunch of bookmarks (I grabbed a couple extras to put in giveaway envelopes). I first picked up a copy of The Mark and had Jen sign it for me. I grabbed a copy of 13 to Life, but Shannon was already signing a bunch of other books, so I moved to the other end of the table where Shari was standing. I gave her my copy so I could get it personalized. She had signed some stock and I'd bought a copy a few months before.

Shari signed my book and chatted a little bit about my submission. Others came up to talk to her, so I grabbed her copy of Change of Heart and I signed it for her. She keeps a copy and brings it to her signings so readers can sign it, which is an awesome idea. I loved it.

I got my copy of 13 to Life to Shannon and had a little laugh when she asked if it was Julie or Julia. Since my friend's name is Julia, people mix up our names all the time and it's a bit of a joke between us. We also talked about other bloggers a bit. 

We went off and browsed a little more while my mom paid for the books. Then we went back to chat a little more with the authors and pictures were taken. My mom was getting bored (though, I applaud her for sticking it out as long as she did!) so then we decided to leave. 

It was an amazing event and they made me feel really special. I had so much fun talking to the and I'm pretty proud of myself for not getting all tongue tied and keeping cool. I was sure I'd have some kind of panic attack!
 [Left to right: Julia, Jen Nadol, Shannon Delany, Margie Gelbwasser, Jame Richards, Shari Maurer, Me]

I really hope there are more events like this in the future. I loved every minute.

--Julie

Monday, 13 December 2010

Jane by April Lindner

Jane
April Lindner
Poppy
[October 11, 2010]

Forced to drop out of an esteemed East Coast college after the sudden death of her parents, Jane Moore takes a nanny job at Thornfield Park, the estate of Nico Rathburn, an iconic rock star on the brink of a huge comeback. Practical and independent, Jane reluctantly becomes entranced by her magnetic and brooding employer, and finds herself in the midst of a forbidden romance. But there's a mystery at Thornfield, and Jane's much-envied relationship with Nico is tested by a torturous secret from his past.

Part irresistible romance and part darkly engrossing mystery, this contemporary retelling of the beloved classic Jane Eyre promises to enchant a new generation of readers.

This book was magical. 

The writing was simple but captivating. I never wanted to stop reading and got pissed when people stopped me.

I loved Jane. Loved, loved, loved. She was easy to relate to and easy to understand and she makes the right decisions, ones that you'd make in the same situation. She's intelligent and patient and everything wonderful.

I loved Nico. He was kind of insane and very temperamental, but his heart was always in the right place. He was as good as dad as he could be and more than just your stereotypical rocker. I kind of loved him and I now crave more books with celebrity love-interests (I had the same problem after reading Just One Wish and had NO luck).

And Maddy was wonderful. Loved that little girl.
This was truly just a remarkable story, probably one of my absolute favorites of all time (you already know it made my Top 12 of 2010). I absolutely, positively recommend it, even if you haven't read Jane Eyre because I haven't either. No excuses!

--Julie

Sunday, 12 December 2010

In My Mailbox (48) + Contest Winners

Before we get to the IMM part, the contest winners (and yes, there were two instead of one because a bunch of awesome people filled out our poll):

Emmelyn and Laura Christina

I'll email you tomorrow... or once I finish writing this, whichever. Now, onto IMM (and combining mine and Julie's books, there's 31 this week. o.O)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren and inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie.

This week...oh this week. I went to my very first author event yesterday (recap coming soon), won a writing contest, and got an excellent score on my PSAT!




Won:
Snow Queens by Emma Harrison + swag
Three Rivers Rising by Jame Richards

Random Buzzers:
A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper 

Bought:
Dueling Princes by Tyne O'Connell
Dumping Princes by Tyne O'Connell
13 to Life by Shannon Delany
The Mark by Jen Nadol
Inconvenient by Margie Gelbwasser

For Review:
Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers
Memento Nora by Angie Smibert
Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen

Lanna jumping in:

I haven't done an IMM for a few weeks (2, I think?), so these books are for more than just this week. I got 20 books. Oops. o.O


2 of the books aren't in the picture (Tyme's End and The Mallen trilogy) and ignore the little new tags - I just print screened the covers from my Shelfari as always. =P

For review:

Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson (sounds really interesting, but it's the sequel to Chains which I haven't read and don't own - I'll need to wait to get that one first)

Crusade by Linda Press Wulf (Can't wait to read this one)

Fused by Kari Lee Townsend (nearly finished - actually, I will be finished by the time this IMM goes up and should have the review up soon...)

Tyme's End by B. R. Collins

Not really my kind of thing, but I'll give it a chance, it does sound like it could be good.

Bought:

Matched
by Ally Condie

[insert big smile here]

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

[And aforementioned big smile gets wider] 

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

[The smile is starting to hurt...]

I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak

Another one of those ones I've been putting off for a really long time and not sure why - it's not cause I don't want to read it, it's just more kept getting added to my wishlist and bumping it down and other books took priority.

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

Stumbled across this one while looking for something on Amazon and it sounds really good.

Broken Soup by Jenny Valentine

Same as with I Am the Messenger... 

Jane by April Linder

I've been dying to read this one since I heard of it. 



Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

I actually still have to read the 5th book, I own it, but I haven't gotten to it yet (and I think I bought the wrong cover for this one *facepalm*)


A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens


Another classic I've been meaning to get to.

The Mallen Trilogy by Catherine Cookson

I was in an odd mood and had a Catherine Cookson marathon and it made me want to read some of her books, I enjoy the TV adaptions of them, I used to watch them when I was a kid - which maybe I shouldn't have, I was a bit young to really get them/understand the subject matter probably.

On The Road by Jack Kerouac

I've been putting this one off for ages, I've got a lot of classics on my wishlist/to read list and I buy them every now and then. I want to read this one before the movie is out - I don't want people to assume I'm one of those Twilight fans that only read it/claimed to like it because Kristen Stewart was in the movie version, because really, I'm not particularly a Kristen fan or a fan of the Twilight movies.

The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest by Stieg Larsson


I own the first book in the trilogy, but Batman (my girl best friend) has it right now. I figured I'd get the rest of the trilogy so I can read them all at once.


The first four books in The Vampire Diaries series by L. J. Smith


But it's two bind-ups, so technically only two books. I've heard mixed things about the books - that book Elena is whiney and unlikeable and it's very different from the show but I figured I'd give it a try anyway. My older sister is borrowing the first two books right now though, seeing as my TBR pile is a mountain.

  Won:


Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger 

It's funny, my sister bought me a bar of Galaxy chocolate and they have this thing where you go to a website and put in the code on the packet to see if you won a book and I never win those sorts of things, but I did this time and this book has actually been on my wishlist for a ridiculous amount of time, so... awesome.

Later.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Blogoversary: Blogger Guest Post


Authors and other bloggers are a huge part of the reason book blogging is so fun, they're all totally awesome and I love the way they all pull together and stand up for things like censorship and the whole Speak Loudly thing... and, well, they're just a really great bunch of people in general.

I suck at talking about this sort of stuff. Julie is way more articulate in this area than I am.

So, seeing as bloggers are awesome and my co-blogger is awesome, Julie came up with the idea that we should get some authors and bloggers to tell us their favourite book of 2010 (considering we started our Blogoversary with our favourite books from this year). /Lanna input.

Author and blogger recommendations on twitter are a huge source of books for me. I see an author being epic on twitter? I want their book. I see a book being raved about? I want that book. My twitter friends are good that way. So, what better way to both acknowledge authors and bloggers we appreciate AND highlight some 2010 books we might not have in our own post?

Best Books of 2010: Blogger Edition

Heather from Book-Savvy

The best book I've read in 2010 was The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa.

After reading the first book of the series, The Iron King, I counted the days until TID was released. It truly is a modern-day faerie tale of epic awesomeness. Meghan, the MC whose self-image is undeservingly poor, discovers she is much more than just a boring farm-girl. Falls in love with a faerie whom is not only emotionally broken, but is the son of her birth fathers nemesis. Through the course of a heart pounding and desperation-laced adventure, the two of them finally come to terms with their endearment, which wrecks her friendship with the only real friend she's ever had. The plot is like riding a roller-coaster blind folded. The accuracy of the incorporated faerie folk-lore and the compassion evoking depth of the characters made me want to wander into a trod and accompany them on their quest. I am Team Ash all the way, but I'd be happy forever with a Puck of my very own.

The story is inspiring and a great escape from my mundane reality. I've already re-read it twice and am now feeling the need to go again.

Julie from Magna Maniac Cafe

There were so many great books in 2010, but I have to go with Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes. It's a deep, emotional read, about love, hope, and strength in adversity. While I was reading it, Nothing. Else. Existed. I just wanted to follow along with Lanesha as she matured from a caring young girl to a compassionate and optimist young woman. Equal parts heartbreaking and uplifting, this book knocked my socks off.

Dani from Wrangler Dani

Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert. Her honesty and poise won us over in Eat Pray Love, and Gilbert continued it graciously in Committed. While I didn't agree with everything she believes about love and marriage, I felt like we were getting somewhere in a deep and vital conversation, one that's growing ever louder because of it's sidelined status in pop culture. It was a brave, thoughtful and moving look at men and women and love and marriage, and I was engrossed the whole way through.

Farrah from I Eat Words

If so, my favorite book was Lifted by Wendy Toliver (YA novel). I like Toliver's spunky story of teenage rebellion, and finding the meaning of real friends. She gives realistic feelings and emotions to her main character, Poppy, allowing you to really be pulled in to the story. It's a fun read if you're looking for a heartwarming book filled with boys, backstabbers, and trying to fit in.

Liz from Consumed by Books

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Why: Samantha Kingston lives the same day, seven days in a row, which is a premise I'd never seen in a novel before. I loved watching Samantha grow as a person throughout the novel. However, it makes my favorites list because it is beautifully written. I already want to re-read this novel, and will definitely check out anything else Oliver writes.

Ari from Teens Actually Read

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. It's the unconventional story of being gay. It shows they have feelings and that they do fall in love.

Angela from Reading Angel

Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala. Not only was this a fantastic read all the way around, it was a very emotional story for me personally. I was pregnant at 17 as well, and was able to see alot of my fears and doubts in the character. It was great seeing how someone else dealt with the same situation.

Jamie from Bookmarked

I'm going to go with Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder. It was hard to choose with books like Before I Fall, Anna and the French Kiss, and Mockingjay all vying for the top spot, but I chose Chasing Brooklyn for its format. It was easily the shortest book I've read all year (it's written in verse), but in just a few words it delivered a hard punch to my emotional gut. It was also a dual narrative, which I love when done right, that gave me two perspectives that were equally believable and distinct. This was a chilling read that earned the top spot on my list of books released this year.

Lisa from Fragments

I really loved Wildthorn by Jane Eagland. This book made me thought about how lucky I'm for living in the 21st century, where women can stand up for what they believe and not being punish or severely reprehended by that. I also loved the main character, she's strong willed and smart but at the sometime sweet. The mystery that this book had, made me devour it and wanting more!

Misty from Misty's Book Nook

My favorite book of 2010 is the Morganville Series by Rachel Caine. They are very well written. I actually felt like i was the main character and I could feel every thing she felt... Def not your normal vampire series.

Quite the variety, ehh? Plenty of books we haven't read ourselves!

--Julie&Lanna

Friday, 10 December 2010

Blogoversary: Discussion - Why Do We Read YA?

Todays favourite thing about blogging:


One of my favourite things about blogging is interacting with readers on the blog, it's so awesome when I want to talk about something so I write up a discussion post and well... people actually discuss it with me. I love reading other peoples opinions like that.

So, in keeping with the theme, here, have a discussion post (and I'll love you forever if you tell us what you think in the comments):

Why YA?

[Note, black writing = Julie, Blue writing = Lanna]

Maybe this seems like a silly question, but why? I may be a teenager and Lanna be very child-ish (it's why I love her) but it doesn't meant we have to read Young Adult books, does it?

I got back into reading when I was 12, the summer before I turned 13. Obviously, I shouldn't have been reading a lot of adult books at that point. But now I'm 16. I don't have to read young adult books.

I do read some, I won't lie. I've read a lot of Meg Cabot's books and Mitch Albom's a beautiful writer and I love my Jane Austen. But it's almost like I can't read adult fiction anymore. The few times I've tried since I began blogging seriously failed. I couldn't get into the book. It'd take me ages just to get a few pages in and I never finished the book.

There are 50 books on my Favorites Shelf. Two are adult books. But why do I love young adult books so much?

I've thought that maybe it's because I just relate better to the characters, but that's not it. I've always been more mature for my age and when I was 13, my mom said I was a 30 year old trapped in a 13-year-old's body. At family party's I'm always with the adults and I don't really relate well to others my age who can go out every night. I'm too damn tired.

I think it's more of the stories themselves. I'm 16 and never been kissed. I've never been totally wrapped up in emotion for a guy and never been asked out. I've been bullied, picked on, ignored in school. There are times where I feel excluded from my own best friends. (I'm totally not looking for sympathy here, though. I'm totally happy with the wonderful bloggers I talk to every day.) So when I read these books full of romance and magic and people who fit in or at least has a friend who gets them, I think "This is what I should have. This is what normal teenagers get."

And a love story like some of these characters get? Yeah, I want that kind of love. (I mean, there are some books where I'm perfectly happy not to be in that situation, like Hex Hall. But you get what I mean). I get the same feeling when I read "Love Gives Me Hope" stories. I want that happy ending.

Are these things in adult fiction, too? Yeah. But the adult's are different. The way they love, the friendships they have. That's not like what I have now. They don't have stories set in a world I understand or a world I want to be in.

And that's why I read YA.

--Julie

I'll try to keep my answer for this short and my answer is actually a little different from Julie's - maybe because I'm older, who knows? (Although, as far as maturity levels go, Julie seems like the adult and I'm like a little kid who talks too much and gets worked up about the dumbest of things.)

Julie did mention a part of the reason I prefer YA books: adult books show things like love differently. When you fall in love as a teenager, it's different, you're feeling a lot of things for the first time and there's usually less bitterness or hesitation and it's easier to throw yourself right into love without caution... when you're older, you're faced with the reality that even though it feels like you'll love someone forever, chances are one or both of you will end up with a broken heart. It doesn't make the love less real, just more innocent in a lot of ways and I like reading about that kind of love.

Being a teenager is one of the best ages to read about, the changes you go through when you're a teenager; first loves, first heartbreaks, so many firsts and a lot of first mistakes, as well as growing up a lot and figuring out what the hell it is you want to do with your life and who you are as a person... that stuff, it's fun to read about and amazing to experience. You're stuck in this in between place where you're not a kid anymore but you're not an adult yet and you're having to figure things out.

Even sticking teenage characters in an unrealistic setting where vampires or werewolves or whatever exists doesn't kill those things.

Then there's the fact that reading is an escape in a lot of ways... I want to lose myself in a whole other world but most of the adult books I've read fall into two catagories:

1. Books that focus on realistic things/problems; marriage, divorce, pregnancy... that kind of thing. And to be honest, I'm not even remotely interested in reading about that stuff at this point in my life (I even have a slight aversion to it in YA - I don't really read books about teen pregnancy often or books that revolve around family issues) because reading about that isn't much of an escape to me, it's too much... well, reality. And it's often really boring.

2. Fantasy/supernatural/crime/thriller type books... that are filled with sex. Now, don't get me wrong, it can be amusing to read books like that from time to time but I can count on one hand the number of adult books I've read that can get the balance between plot/sex/characters right. Two of my favourite adult books aren't really an exception to that. With YA books, you often get the romance but it's not over the top, or in the cases where there is a lot of it - it focusses on the feelings and the relationship, not just the physical side of things. Again, YA has this innocence to it that adult books are often extremely lacking.

Now, I guess in my case it's probably just that I haven't read the right adult books (recommend some if you know any good ones), but I haven't really felt the need to either because while 90% of the adult books I have read have just bored me or been mediocre/forgettable, the YA books I've read totally bring the awesome so why would I stop reading what works for me?

To be honest, I think a lot of adults would read more if they were open to reading YA (my male best friend said this to me earlier: "You did succeed in lifting my blanket distrust of YA fiction with Perks of Being a Wallflower." - he was completely against it before, so I sent him a few that I love and he loved PoBaW).

And so much for me keeping my answer short, sorry. But anyway, if you read this: Why do YOU read YA? Do you have an adult book recs or anything to say in defence about adult books? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this subject.

Later.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Blogoversary: Julie & Lanna Interview

Favourite thing about blogging:



I wonder if maybe I would get bored with blogging if it wasn't for Julie... I have a short attention span and I get tired of things quickly, but I think having Julie as a co-blogger is a big part of the reason I still love blogging. I have someone to rant to or gush about awesome stuff, someone to remind me of blog-y things that I would probably forget, someone to discuss blog related things with.

The blog would probably completely suck without Julie. I mean, if I'm in a reading funk or something, then because there is two of us, stuff still gets posted on the blog and there isn't huge absenses... and take the Speak Loudly thing for example, Julie's post inspired me to write something more personal too when I would've just stuck to ranting about how wrong I thought the guy/censorship is.

Speaking of Julie's and her awesomeness, she wrote up a history of our blog (because it is kind of chaotic, how we began - at one point there were more than 10 contributers to this blog). It's linked on the navigation bar but clicking the link above will take you to it too.

Moving on... to go with the theme of this post, we figured we'd let you guys interview us, so we got some people to submit questions for us to answer:

Julie & Lanna Interview

How many books do you read a year?

Lanna: It varies. I don't really keep track. More than 50, at least. I could read over 100 if I don't go through major reading funks (which happens from time to time -- stuck in one of those now actually, it's driving me nuts).

Julie: I'd like to say over 100, but I'm not really sure...*goes to goodreads* Apparently, I've read 106 or so books.

Do either of you write?

Lanna: Yeah, I used to just write crappy poetry and short stories and I kept a thoughts journal (like, not one of those journals where you're all "dear diary" or talking about how your day went, just things that I'd think about). Then I tried fanfiction and that wasn't enough, I wanted to create my own worlds and work with my own characters so the novel thing started - I have about 200 novel outlines/started novels/novel ideas in my Idea Graveyard right now... I have a short attention span, so finishing them is the challenge. I do NaNoWriMo and attempt other writing months through the year too.

Sorry, that was kind of a long answer to just say "yes, I write." - but yeah... it's just something I do for fun, a creative outlet. I'm nowhere near good enough to get published, I doubt I'd ever even attempt it.

Julie: I do write. I've won NaNoWriMo twice and JulNoWriMo once, I've finished one manuscript, I've written songs and poems and all sorts of short stories. I've also written a lot of fanfiction.


Can both you name your favorite book--or is that too hard?

Lanna: That's like asking someone with a bunch of kids to choose a favourite. I can't do it. Actually, it's even more difficult because with kids, at least it's narrowed down a little, while there's at least 20 books in the running for my favourite book.

Julie: Pride and Prejudice is probably my all time favorite based on the fact I've read it at least three times and it's my go-to read. But favorite favorite because I love it more than anything else? Not sure I can say.

You like nonfiction?

Lanna: I haven't read much nonfiction to really decide. I've read a few biographies and I own some books on writing and books about mythology and things, but beyond that, I tend to stick with YA fiction.

Julie: I don't read it often because it tends to bore me. I do have one on my TBR pile about Marie Antoinette because I love her and the book is what the movie Marie Antoinette movie is based on and supposedly reads like a novel.

Who are your current favourite heroines/heroes?

Lanna: Not really sure of the context... does the question mean in fiction? I'll assume it does seeing as this is a book blog and all. In that context; Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley and Harry Potter always make the list (and Dobby and Snape!) from Harry Potter. Katniss Everdeen... I don't know, I kind of hate questions like that, I'm not quite sure why. =P

Julie: Ooh, very tough question.  The only ones that come to mind are Rose from Vampire Academy and Attie from Salvaged. Both are very strong characters and there's just so much about each to love and admire.

What was the most disappointing book ending you've encountered this year?

Lanna: I don't really want to give an answer to this one, because I wouldn't want to say it's disappointing without explaining why and explaining why would spoil the book for the people who haven't read it. So pass, sorry.

Julie: I didn't like the ending of Spirit Bound or Hex Hall, but not so much because I was disappointed as they were cliffhangers that made me want to scream. I don't think any really disappointed me. Well...I guess Sea by Heidi Kling. It wasn't the ending I wanted for Sienna, which was disappointing, but I do still respect it.

The least disappointing?

Lanna: Well... basically ever book I've enjoyed this year? *shrugs* I guess if I had to choose one, I'll choose Mockingjay because it's gotten a lot of criticism from people who either got pissy about the epilogue or because Katniss didn't end up with who they wanted her to or because people died that they didn't want to die - but really, I thought it was a perfect ending to the series. Were there things I wish had happened/hadn't happened/weren't so rushed? Sure, but overall, I think it was great and it made sense and there was this kind of poetic symmetry to the thing with Prim (which was something I've seen people whine about a lot).

Julie: I've read so many amazing books this year. But I think the least disappointing WILL BE Last Sacrifice. I'm trusting Richelle to give us a good ending to the series, or at the very least the one we deserve. (Team Dimka FTW!)

What are your top five books of all time?


Lanna: This is difficult, there's a lot. I guess right now they would be; Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, Looking for Alaska by John Green, The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling (and I refuse to say which one, I'm counting the series as a whole as one) and Paper Towns by John Green.

Julie: O.O I...I...*combusts*


Favourite bands?

Lanna: I listen to stuff from pretty much every genre, music is probably one of my biggest addictions other than reading. I'll just name a bunch from different genres; Ludovico Einaudi, Yiruma, Marianas Trench, Manchester Orchestra, Hedley, Bon Iver, Florence + The Machine, Joshua Radin, Metric, The Fray, Killswitch Engage, You Me At Six, Go Audio, Trading Yesterday, Little Joy, A Day To Remember, Bat For Lashes, Bright Eyes, Death Cab For Cutie, Johnny Cash, AC/DC, The Beatles... I'll stop now.

Julie: I listen to a lot of country, pop, and rock, as well as some hip hop. Love Trading Yesterday, Between the Trees, Marianas Trench, Glee cast...after that it very much becomes a based by the song thing.

And movies?

Lanna: Gah, there are so many. Horror movies are my major guilty pleasure, even the bad low budget cliche ones crack me up, so I won't list those, outside of the horror genre; Drop Dead Fred, Keith, Ten Inch Hero, Edward Scissorhands, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Rent, Heathers, Breakfast Club, Beetlejuice, 10 Things I Hate About You, Get Over It, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Beauty and the Beast... and because I am a cliche girl, Dirty Dancing (and Dirty Dancing 2), A Walk To Remember and The Notebook.

Julie: Hmm...Marie Antoinette, Pride and Prejudice (BBC and Kiera versions), Juno, Dirty Dancing, Becoming Jane, North and South (based on Elizabeth Gaskell's book), Beauty and the Beast (nerdy princesses FTW), The Prince and Me, um...Elf! I like my fluffy romance, especially historical.

Lanna (in response to Julie's answer): It surprises me that you left out Everafter. =P

Who is your favourite fictional character?

Lanna: I can't choose just one. Hermione Granger from Harry Potter (and fanon Draco Malfoy), Taylor Markham and Jonah Griggs from Jellicoe Road, Alaska Young from Looking for Alaska,  Jace Wayland from The Mortal Instruments series, Adrian Ivashkov (?) from Vampire Academy. Gah, there's so many and I love them for different reasons; some make me swoon, some make me laugh, some I just relate to a lot...

Julie: I really don't know...yeah, no clue. Well...I guess Evie and Sophie from Paranormalcy and Hex Hall. Love the snark.


What do you do for fun (other than blogging and reading)?

Lanna: This was already mentioned above, but writing. I draw too, but not very well and I love messing around on photoshop. I'm addicted to tumblr... and reading fanfiction is my guilty pleasure (yeah, I know that's reading too but it's a different kind of reading). Talking on MSN with my best friends. Randomly wandering around at night with my best friend, just talking and laughing and playing on swings. *shrugs* I sound ridiculously boring but that stuff is fun for me.


Julie: I sleep a lot. High school is draining, especially as a junior. I write a lot...depending on my mood. I edit (or will be soon) for my critique partners. I love walking when it's warm. I babysit a lot. I tend to hang out at the mall with my friends, or we hang out here and go through my books (depends on the friend). I love watching and rewatching movies. Mostly, I go on twitter.  Anyone that follows us knows I'm on twitter a LOT...especially when I shouldn't be.

Thanks to Ashlea who submitted a few questions, the others were done anonymously.

Later.

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