wtorek, 15 maja 2012

Semi-hiatus announcement

Due to upcoming exams and assignments piling up terrifyingly fast, I decided to go on semi-hiatus. I will still be posting reviews on the blog as well as guest posts and/or interviews, but I will not participate in weekly memes. My reviews will be posted not as often as usual, too.

I deeply apologize and I promise to be back fully after exams! Wish me luck on my Bachelor's degree thesis writing. :)

środa, 9 maja 2012

REVIEW - Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen

TITLE: Dark Kiss
AUTHOR: Michelle Rowen
GENRE: paranormal romance
SOURCE: NetGalley
I don't do dangerous.  Smart, über-careful, ordinary Samantha-that's me. But I just couldn't pass up a surprise kiss from my number-one unattainable crush. A kiss that did something to me...something strange. Now I feel hungry all the time, but not for food. It's like part of me is missing-and I don't know if I can get it back. Then there's Bishop. At first I thought he was just a street kid, but the secrets he's keeping are as intense as his unearthly blue eyes. If he's what I think he is, he may be the only one who can help me. But something terrifying is closing in, and the one chance Bishop and I have to stop it means losing everything I ever wanted and embracing the darkness inside me.... NIGHTWATCHERS When angels and demons must work together, something beyond evil is rising..

I'm not really experienced when it comes to angel/demons books. In fact, I tend to avoid them. The only time I actually wanted to read an angel story was when I picked Angelfall, and I ended up not knowing how to really rate it.

My approach to Dark Kiss was... careful, to put it mildly. But I started reading it after the disaster that was Glitch and I was surprised how much I liked it! Dark Kiss is actually everything I could ask for when it comes to paranormal romance. Strong, witty heroine, a few hot guys, quickly developing but detailed plot. Despite the cover, which suggest a dark story with brooding characters, Dark Kiss is a light, fun read. Really!

Samantha is your ordinary girl next door until she gets kissed by this mysterious boy. The kiss changes her. Actually it... steals her soul. And now she's able to feed on other people's souls too. The whole city is in danger, soulless people are roaming the streets like zombies. The only one who can actually save the day is... Samantha. She decides to help Bishop, a boy she 'accidentally' finds when she walks home. And when it turns out that the boy is an angel, dangerous one on top of that, there's no returning.

What I think I loved the most about Dark Kiss were the characters. It happens definitely too often that I hate the main character. You have to agree with me that there's a tendency in YA books (especially paranormal) to make the heroine to be a supposedly strong protagonist when she is, in fact, nothing but a whiny, irritating damsel in distress, in need of saving her all the time. Fortunately, Samantha is not one of them. She can manage just fine on her own, she is witty and sarcastic but not to the point when you think it's fake. By the way, it amused me greatly when I got a bit angry that all the demons and angels in the team were boys, when Sam burst out that it's sexist. Seriously. Greta minds think alike.

Bishop and Kraven. An angel and demon. I liked both of them, although I have to admit Kraven and his inner demons (pun intended) were just a tad bit more interesting. There's plenty of back story to be explained about Bishop in the next books though, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I also liked Sam's best friend, Carly, and the rest of the angel/demon team, especially Zach. Even if we didn't get to know the team too well because of the constant action and the fact that the last member of the team was found just by the end of the book... I'm pretty sure there's more waiting for us.

As for the love story and what can possibly turn into a love triangle in the future - I am kind of anticipating it! If you read the book, you will see that this love triangle, if happens, can become something deeper, complicated, twisted, because of the connection between Bishop and Kraven. It reminded me of The Vampire Diaries (the tv show) a bit, back in the day when I loved that show. In Dark Kiss Sam has her eyes only for Bishop. But you never know.

Sure, there were plotholes. Sure, it's not a perfect book. But it's an intriguing start to what might be an awesome series, so I'm definitely looking forward to it. I can't wait to see what happens next!


niedziela, 6 maja 2012


Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga @ Tynga's Reviews (click if you want to find out more). It's a meme about showcasing the books we received this week! Let us see the ever-growing TBR-pile!

I decided to participate in this meme with my own twist, because I'm forgetful and I'm pretty sure I'd forget what I was supposed to read and/or review this week... ;)

  A few review titles and freebies this week!


Can't wait to read both! I've already started Code Name Verity, but I have other stuff to read first, so it has to wait. But I am so happy to finally have it!


This week I'm planning on reviewing:

I was so surprised when I started reading Dark Kiss! I love it so far!

Please link me to your mailboxes, weekly memes and so on, so I can drop by!

sobota, 5 maja 2012

REVIEW - Glitch by Heather Anastasiu

TITLE: Glitch
AUTHOR: Heather Anastasiu
GENRE: dystopian
PUBLICATION DATE: August 7th 2012
SOURCE: NetGalley

In the Community, there is no more pain or war. Implanted computer chips have wiped humanity clean of destructive emotions, and thoughts are replaced by a feed from the Link network. When Zoe starts to malfunction (or "glitch"), she suddenly begins having her own thoughts, feelings, and identity. Any anomalies must be immediately reported and repaired, but Zoe has a secret so dark it will mean certain deactivation if she is caught: her glitches have given her uncontrollable telekinetic powers. As Zoe struggles to control her abilities and stay hidden, she meets other glitchers including Max, who can disguise his appearance, and Adrien, who has visions of the future. Together, this growing band of glitchers must find a way to free themselves from the controlling hands of the Community before they’re caught and deactivated, or worse. In this action-packed debut, Glitch begins an exciting new young adult trilogy.
Zoel lives in a society when everything in her life is controlled by so-called Link. Any anomalous behavior is to be reported immediately upon discovery. But what is she supposed to do when she starts glitching herself? What are those things she starts to feel? Who is this boy with mysteriously turquoise eyes? Why is she able to move things only with her thoughts?

It’s not a secret that I’m a big fan of dystopian novels. And it saddens me greatly when a dystopian book is disappointing. Unfortunately, despite the absolutely gorgeous cover that promised me great things and interesting premise, Glitch falls in the disappointing dystopian books category.

After first 50 pages or so, I wasn’t thrilled. In fact, I was a bit annoyed by the lack of originality. The narration was so dull and felt like a rip-off of all the dystopian novels that popped up in the past two years. To me it felt like a weird mash-up of three novels: Divergent, Delirium and Matched. And given that I wasn’t really enthralled by these books, I could tell my adventure with Glitch wasn’t going to end well.

There is a lot of telling, not showing. I am a fan of action and characters that make us understand what happens through their reactions. But in Glitch, almost 50 pages in the beginning are one big description.

After I struggled through the first few chapters, things got interesting. Zoe finally started to grasp what was happening to her, she met new people… only to be dragged back where she started. And then a new factor was added to the mix – love triangle.

I am not entirely sure why some authors think that a dystopian novel cannot exist without a love story. The more complicated the better. To be honest, my favorite dystopian novels do actually have some love plotline at some point, but it’s not their main point.

I didn't believe the love presented in Glitch. The big confession by Adrien is not exactly understandable to me. In fact, it came out of the blue. I don't know WHY he claimed to love Zoe. Other than the fact that she's an uninteresting, annoying character who is supposed to be special, they don't even talk about anything important. It's mostly Adrien doing some explaining and Zoe having to choose between two boys. The whole Max issue and love triangle popped up quite out of the blue too.

I think it would be beneficial for Glitch if there were fewer hormones-driven teenagers and more actual action. There were some parts of the book I really liked – like the whole X-men aspect of the ‘glitchers’. I also admit that the resistance part of the story was interesting – unfortunately, it was underdeveloped and hidden under a thick layer of love confessions and pointless fights between main characters.

Speaking of characters, I don’t think I liked any of them. Zoe was balancing on Mary Sue-istic tendencies, Max was just disgusting and Molla was a hysteric. And every time I thought I liked Adrien, he started to curse – his curses being ‘cracking hell’ and ‘shunting’. A distinctive voice of a character isn’t exactly about making him or her speaking funnily. It’s a minor feature, but it’s not necessary, and I think Adrien’s weird vocabulary was added here to make him stand out. It worked – he irritated me.

As for the writing, it was too long and too descriptive for me. Let me give you an example (quote from ARC, final version my vary!):
‘I speared a piece of broccoli with my fork and chewed on it thoughtfully, enjoying the texture on my tongue and the crunch that echoed in my ears with each bite. I wished I could draw this feeling so I could hold it in my hands.’
To make it sound all tech-like and completely incomprehensible, Anastasiu throws words such as 'luminescent 3-d projection' or 'bionic data nanodes'. Which are just empty words, really, instead of real world building that I expect from a good dystopian book.

And there are plotholes. Lots of them. I made notes of just a few. If people are 'subjects' and are behaving almost like robots, why do they even bother to have names? Wouldn't a serial number be sufficient? How come Zoel learns what emotions are from 'the old textbooks'? How is she capable of properly naming them all if she's never seen a normal, emotional person? Living for 16 years as an emotionless robot would do some irreversible changes to her brain, so this aspect of the book made me raise an eyebrow.

To make things worse, Zoel learned how to control her superpowers just in time. She spent the whole book not knowing how to lift a pillow and just when she and the other characters were trying to escape by the end of the book, she suddenly could defeat an entire unit of Regulators on her own.

To sum up, I didn’t enjoy this book at all. I expected a lot for such quite a buzzed book, but it only disappointed me. I don’t think I will be reading the sequel (which is obviously going to happen. The entire trilogy is going to happen).


piątek, 4 maja 2012

FF #10 - a thing to tell your favorite author

Feature & Follow is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read weekly. You can join me and post the links to your own #FF posts in the comments below.
The question this week is...

Q: What is one thing you wish you could tell your favorite author?

Dear Stephanie Perkins!
Thank you for creating Anna, St. Clair, Cricket and many more absolutely awesome characters that helped me to go through some rough time in my life. Thanks to them I didn't feel as bad as I did earlier. Their colorfulness and kindness let me bear with some real life problems. Thank you for that.
And I can't stop dreaming that one day I will meet my very own St. Clair. ;)
Agnieszka Nashi

What is your answer to this question? Link me your FF/answer in the comments, so I can peek. 

While you're here, you should check my giveaway! Win a paperback copy of THE VICIOUS DEEP by Zoraida Córdova (US/CAN)

You can follow me via GFC, Linky Followers, Networked Blogs, Goodreads, e-mail or/and Twitter.

środa, 2 maja 2012

BLOG TOUR: Interview with Zoraida Córdova and giveaway!

Welcome to May 2nd stop on BLOGGERS OF THE DEEP blog tour! I have an interview for my dear followers, so scroll down! :) There's a real treat for you - a giveaway. You can win a copy of The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Córdova, which I've already reviewed HERE. 5/5 stars!

About the book:

For Tristan Hart, everything changes with one crashing wave.

He was gone for three days. Sucked out to sea in a tidal wave and spit back ashore at Coney Island with no memory of what happened. Now his dreams are haunted by a terrifying silver mermaid with razor-sharp teeth.

His best friend Layla is convinced something is wrong. But how can he explain he can sense emotion like never before? How can he explain he’s heir to a kingdom he never knew existed? That he’s suddenly a pawn in a battle as ancient as the gods.

Something happened to him in those three days. He was claimed by the sea…and now it wants him back.
ORDER THE VICIOUS DEEP: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Powell's | Book Depository
 About the author:

In the 3rd person:

Zoraida Córdova was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador. She made her way up north and now works in the glittering New York City nightlife. She likes shiny things like Christmas, merdudes, and the skyline at night. She's currently working on book #2.

In the 1st person:

Hello there! This is my shameless first person behest to add my novel to your TO READ list.

It is also where I tell you that I love meeting people from everywhere. Even though, I'm shy in the first 5 minutes, it's all for show. After that, all of my inappropriate sayings/comments come out.
So... why mermen? I have to admit it's quite an unique theme.
When people think of YA books, they assume it's for girls! I'm so happy my book is one of many with boy POVs. I think the story called for it, so I did it. If not, it'd be a very different sort of book.
This year and last year alone, there were (at least) four YA books about mermaids. How does The Vicious Deep stand out?
I haven't read the most recent merbooks. But from summaries, mine is an urban fantasy. You have Coney Island colliding with fantastical creatures. That alone makes it different.
World cultures are full of stories about merpeople. Your favorite mermaid or merman?
I don't think I have one. I hope recent stories will give me a favorite. This is because most of the older stories make mermaids out to be primpy girls combing their hair, waiting to fall in love. And while some mermaids are like that, I think we should explore their world a bit more.
How long did it take you to write your debut novel?
I didn't keep track! It was brewing in my head for so many years.
What's the last book you read?
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.
If Tristan was to befriend one character from another book, who would that be and why?
I'll go with Calder White, from fellow Apocalypsie and deep sea writer, Anne Greenwood Brown's LIES BENEATH. As mermen, they could swap stories!

(Just for fun, so that your readers get to know you better, short questionnaire!) 
Coffee or tea? Coffee
Cats or dogs? Cats 
Vampires or werewolves? Vampires 
Deadly handsome stranger or the boy next door? Handsome stranger 
E-books or paper copies? Paper! 
Sunrise or sunset? Sunset
Time or money? Money 
Fact or fiction? Fiction
Writing or reading? Writing
Thanks for the interview! Any final words to your future readers?
I truly hope you enjoy The Vicious Deep! Feel free to leave me comments at my website www.zoraidawrites.com and tweets @zlikeinzorro .

Now, onto the giveaway!
The publisher has kindly offered one copy for giveaway. Fill the rafflecopter to win! US/CAN ONLY.


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, where we present the upcoming books we're most anticipating at the moment!
As for this week, the book is...

When Nicole Castro, the most beautiful girl in her wealthy New Jersey high school, is splashed with acid on the left side of her perfect face, the whole world takes notice. But quiet loner Jay Nazarro does more than that—he decides to find out who did it. Jay understands how it feels to be treated like a freak, and he also has a secret: He's a brilliant hacker. But the deeper he digs, the more danger he's in—and the more he falls for Nicole. Too bad everyone is turning into a suspect, including Nicole herself.
 I have a thing for genius hackers. I added this book to my wishlist as soon as I saw it! Looks promising.

♥♥♥In other news...
Nook of Books has got 200 GFC followers
thank you everyone for this huge step in my blogging experience. ♥♥♥

So what are you waiting for, guys? And what do you think about my WoW? Share in the comments! 

niedziela, 29 kwietnia 2012


In the light of recent events, I decided not to participate in In My Mailbox meme from now on. I will visit your blogs if you participate in it, but my weekly Sunday meme is going to look like this - short summary of what happened in the past week on my blog, sharing the titles I received AND sharing the plans I have for the next week. Easy, right?

You can join me if you want!

I'm not involved in the whole Kristi from The Story Siren case, but a lot of my favorite bloggers decided not to do IMM anymore and it lost its appeal to me. :(

So here!

I also added rating system, review index and changed design a bit. 
How do you like it? :)

 I have some great titles to share with you this week! :)

For review:
(thanks to the author)

(thanks to NetGalley)

From the library:

I've already read Plague (this series is so gross but I just can't stop reading!). I also started reading Glitch and Eden's Root. Both are interesting reads so far. :)

This week I'm planning on reviewing:
Plague (Gone #4) by Michael Grant
 If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Blog Tours:
May 2nd - The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordóva
so make sure you come back here for some fun with a chance to win!

Please link me to your mailboxes, weekly memes and so on, so I can drop by!

piątek, 27 kwietnia 2012

REVIEW - The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Córdova

 TITLE: The Vicious Deep
AUTHOR: Zoraida Córdova
GENRE: paranormal, paranormal romance

SOURCE: ARC from the publisher

For Tristan Hart, everything changes with one crashing wave.

He was gone for three days. Sucked out to sea in a tidal wave and spit back ashore at Coney Island with no memory of what happened. Now his dreams are haunted by a terrifying silver mermaid with razor-sharp teeth.

His best friend Layla is convinced something is wrong. But how can he explain he can sense emotion like never before? How can he explain he’s heir to a kingdom he never knew existed? That he’s suddenly a pawn in a battle as ancient as the gods.

Something happened to him in those three days. He was claimed by the sea…and now it wants him back.


DON'T MISS IT! THE VICIOUS DEEP BLOG TOUR! On May 2nd come back for a fun interview with Zoraida AND a giveaway of the book!

Brilliant. Fun. Exciting. I can only find positive words to describe The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Córdova! With the recent flood of mermaid stories (Of Poseidon, Lies Beneath, Monstrous Beauty to name a few) I was a bit vary. I thought that it may be yet another dull love story with bland characters and lackluster plot.

Obviously, I was wrong. The Vicious Deep is Zoraida Córdova's debut novel and I can already that it's a great success!

What's different about The Vicious Deep is that the main character is not yet another 'strong female protagonist' who turns out to be a boring teenager with non-existent problems. Córdova shows us that male protagonists are cool too. And not only cool, she takes it to the whole next level of awesome. But I will talk about it later.

The title of the book suggest a deep, dark story. Nothing could be further from the truth! Although the story indeed progresses into something darker by the end of the book, it's mainly a fun ride filled with laughter.

Let me say this: I absolutely, totally and wholeheartedly adore Tristan Hart. He's one of the most likable male protagonists ever! A little selfish, a little too much in love with himself, witty but at the same time not the sharpest tool in the shed - that's our Tristan, whose heart is made of gold.

What is more, Tristan not only has parents, but he's on quite a friendly terms with them! I was absolutely delighted to learn that his parents are present AND participating in his life. I've grown tired of YA books getting rid of parents because it's easier to tell a story without them. See? You can write an amazing book without doing that.

There are many laugh-out-loud moments. I can't even count the number of times I burst out laughing when Tristan was reassuring himself how manly he is. Despite being a mermaid. Pardon. A merman.
He's good-looking and he knows it, and it makes it even more hilarious to see his pride hurt so much when somebody isn't attracted to him.

Other characters - especially Kurt, Thalia and Marty - make a team which the reader will find hard to forget. They are colorful, witty and very distinctive compared to other YA books I've read recently. Each one of them has their own voice, thoughts and traits.

As for the 'darker part' of the book... I didn't expect one of the characters to die, to be honest. Not telling you who did, but I must admit it made me really sad and that means that Zoraida Córdova  did a great job portraying the character. She made me care about all the characters, a little more that I would expect, actually.

When there's no action, The Vicious Deep is a light and fun ride, filled with great dialogues that make you giggle every other page and characters you fall in love with. Definitely recommended to everyone!

Overall rating:
5 out of 5 stars!

To prove that The Vicious Deep is filled from cover to cover with hilarious quotes, let me give you some! (warning: quotes are from ARC, the final version may vary)

"Wait. Is there a mermaid hell?"
"Yes." she says, "I call it humanity."
"Is there a way you can fix that? Make yourselves look different so you don't attract so much attention?"
"We do look different. We are glamoured," Kurt says indignantly. "It's a light spell to tone down our natural colors. We are no longer achingly beautiful. Now we're just exceptionally beautiful."
(a father-son conversation)
"Oh come on, son, your merbaby zygote didn't make itself."
Orange juice comes out of my nose.
There's something familiar about her, only I can sift through my mind fast enough. She bows lightly at me. Kurt looks up at her, wearing the same expression I am.
"Have we met?" he goes, Mr. Smooth Criminal.

FF #9 - disappointing characters

Feature & Follow is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read weekly. You can join me and post the links to your own #FF posts in the comments below.
The question this week is...
Q: Have you had a character that disappointed you? One that you fell in love with and then “broke up” with later on in either the series or a stand-alone book? Tell us about him or her.
I think not many of you will agree with me but...

Gale from The Hunger Games
At first, I liked him more than Peeta. He understood Katniss, he was the one always by her side. I didn't exactly cheer on his romance with Katniss, but I wasn't really against it. But then the third book happened and he started to act... strangely, to put it mildly. I was a little disappointed in him.

That was a seriously hard question! It took me a while. I usually love or hate a character immediately and stick with it to the end, it rarely happens that I change my mind about him or her. :)

What is your answer to this question? Link me your FF/answer in the comments, so I can peek. 

You can follow me via GFC, Linky Followers, Networked Blogs, e-mail or/and Twitter.

wtorek, 24 kwietnia 2012

REVIEW - Firelight by Sophie Jordan

TITLE: Firelight
AUTHOR: Sophie Jordan
GENRE: paranormal romance

PUBLICATION DATE: September 7th 2010
A hidden truth.
Mortal enemies.
Doomed love. 

Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki—a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.
Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away—if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.
Mythical powers and breathtaking romance ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide.

I admit that I was lured by the absolutely stunning cover and the promise of a good story about dragons. Dragons! How cool is that? I love dragons, duh. So I was more than happy to see Firelight in my library.

And... the disappointment. It's there.

Let me start with the story. It's not bad, but it's not good either. The main character, Jacinda, lives with her mother an twin sister in a draki community. Drakis are, as explained in the later part of the book, descendants of the dragons. However, after an unfortunate encounter with the hunters, Jacinda has to flee with her family to save not only the community and her family, but also herself. As she struggles to fit in a strange, human world, she meets a guy named Will, who is both a danger and somebody she cannot live without...

The writing is not very bad, although a lot of - presumably poetic - phrases were nothing but awkward. It was also filled with love confessions that were supposed to touch me deeply, but made me laugh.

Alright, so Jacinda. The main character of Firelight is one of the most annoying, indecisive female protagonists I've ever seen. But not only that; she's whiny and blames everyone for everything. She can't even even spark the tiniest bit of remorse - she'd much rather feel sorry for herself. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I had to put the book down, because Jacinda's behavior simply irritated me. She thinks that absolutely everything, the entire world revolves around her. Even when she's confronted about it by her own sister, she can't understand that.

The other characters are just two-dimensional. The mother with dark past, the friend who is an outsider but befriends our main character, bad guys who are... well, bad guys. And the love interest, who is dangerous not only to Jacinda but her family too. Of course, Jacinda ignores that fact.

I found Tamra, Jacinda's twin sister, to be the most interesting character that showed some signs of being something more than just schematic sister in a YA book. But it didn't matter, because the story wasn't about her. I think the whole book would benefit greatly if it were about Tamra instead of Jacinda.

But what we got is a typical YA paranormal romance without any outstanding (or even interesting) characters, dialogues without the wit and plot without creativity.

Overall rating:
1 star out of 5

niedziela, 22 kwietnia 2012


IMM is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.
Three books this week as well. I'm keeping the number of books low, I have exams and graduation coming... and it's not the best combo with reading, unfortunately. :(
Started reading it and I'm not entirely sure if I'm going to like it, but we'll see!
This one starts out hilarious, can't wait to read it. ;)
I've heard a LOT about this book! And the cover is just gorgeous. Really an eye-catching cover, isn't it?

Please link me to your IMM so I can drop by!

PRETTY AMY BLOG TOUR - Interview with Lisa Burstein

Welcome to April 22nd stop on Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein blog tour! I have an interview for my dear followers, so scroll down! :) I'm so excited too, because it's my first blog tour!

A little info about the book:

Amy is fine living in the shadows of beautiful Lila and uber-cool Cassie, because at least she’s somewhat beautiful and uber-cool by association. But when their dates stand them up for prom, and the girls take matters into their own hands—earning them a night in jail outfitted in satin, stilettos, and Spanx—Amy discovers even a prom spent in handcuffs might be better than the humiliating “rehabilitation techniques” now filling up her summer. Worse, with Lila and Cassie parentally banned, Amy feels like she has nothing—like she is nothing.

Navigating unlikely alliances with her new coworker, two very different boys, and possibly even her parents, Amy struggles to decide if it’s worth being a best friend when it makes you a public enemy. Bringing readers along on an often hilarious and heartwarming journey, Amy finds that maybe getting a life only happens once you think your life is over.


Hi Lisa! I'm so glad to have you here on my blog. Welcome to A Nook Full of Books.
Thank you, so glad to be here :)

What's the inspiration behind Pretty Amy?
I was arrested during my senior year of high school, not for the same reason Amy was, but that was where the kernel came from. I also knew I wanted to write a "shocking" book from a teenage girl's point of view. I feel like you can get away with your character being a murderer, or a jerk, or just a smart ass more easily if your book isn't contemporary and I wanted to try to break that mold with PRETTY AMY. I also wanted to write a contemporary YA book that was about what real teens go through. I feel like teenage girl's lives are complex and I hoped to show that in PRETTY AMY.

There are so many high school stories, how does Pretty Amy stand out? 
I think what makes it stand out is how much it seems to be resonating with readers. How many of them are able to see Amy in themselves or in a friend of theirs. What I love about Amy is her universality. One reviewer mentioned recently that I was able to put all the insecurities of the modern teenage girl in one character. Yup, that's Amy.

If Amy was to befriend one character from another book, who would that be? 
Nick Twisp from Youth in Revolt.

What's your favorite genre among YA books besides contemporary? 
I guess dystopian. I loved the Hunger Games.

And some of your favorite YA writers? 
I love Courtney Summers, Sara Zarr, John Green and Deb Caletti, any author who is willing to be raw and real.

Was it hard to write a book? 
YES! VERY! well it wasn't hard to write, but it was definitely hard to publish :).

What does the process of writing look like in your case? Any special rituals? 
Well I work full time, so usually its after work and on weekends. I write on legal pads longhand and when I type up first drafts, I usually do it without punctuation. Both these methods help me write quickly and also help me get to that place when  you forget you are writing. This "place" is essential for writing real and raw, which I feel like gives me my best work. It is one of the things that I feel like people have really been responding to in PRETTY AMY, that i don't sugar-coat things, I get to places in my work that are sometimes uncomfortable, but are undeniably real. My only ritual is total silence :).

What would you like to say to all the aspiring writers who don't have enough confidence to publish their writing?
PRETTY AMY got rejected A LOT, but somehow I knew it was an important story and one that teen girls needed to read. That was what kept me going. I guess I would say believe in your work it's the only thing that will keep you going.

Any plans for next books? 
A companion novel to PRETTY AMY, titled DEAR CASSIE about the aftermath of the girls’ arrest and its effect told through diary entries of Amy’s best friend Cassie. I'm about 1/5 of the way through and what I can say is, if you liked the humor and edge in PRETTY AMY, you will love Cassie's story.

Thanks for the interview, Lisa. I wish you all the best with the promotion of Pretty Amy! Any final words to the readers? 
Only that I hope you have as much fun reading PRETTY AMY as I had writing it!

Lisa Burstein is a tea seller by day and a writer by night. She received her MFA in Fiction from the Inland Northwest Center for Writers at Eastern Washington University and is glad to finally have it be worth more than the paper it was printed on. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her very patient husband, a neurotic dog and two cats. Pretty Amy is her first novel. She never went to her senior prom.

My review of Pretty Amy will be posted on A Nook Full of Books closer to the release date, so stay tuned!