sobota, 31 marca 2012


IMM is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.

Not a lot this week, but still filled with awesome.

From the library:
I was kind of prejudiced, but turns out it's a great read if I don't expect too much from it. ;)

Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta
I've read it already and reviewed HERE.

I haven't heard of this earlier, but it sounds super interesting!

I picked it up because OMG. Cyberpunk, Japan! But I haven't noticed it's a sequel, so yeah... I need to look for the first part. ;)

For Kindle:
Prison Nation by Jenni Merritt
First of all, it's a dystopia. And I've seen some rave reviews of this book, so I hope it's as good as it sounds!

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

REVIEW #21 - Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta

 TITLE: Looking for Alibrandi
AUTHOR: Melina Marchetta
GENRE: contemporary
SOURCE: library

For as long as Josephine Alibrandi can remember, it’s just been her, her mom, and her grandmother. Now it’s her final year at a wealthy Catholic high school. The nuns couldn’t be any stricter—but that doesn’t seem to stop all kinds of men from coming into her life.

Caught between the old-world values of her Italian grandmother, the nononsense wisdom of her mom, and the boys who continue to mystify her, Josephine is on the ride of her life. This will be the year she falls in love, the year she discovers the secrets of her family’s past—and the year she sets herself free.

Told with unmatched depth and humor, this novel—which swept the pool of Australian literary awards and became a major motion picture—is one to laugh through and cry with, to cherish and remember.
Originally published in Australia in 1992, Looking for Alibrandi is Melina Marchetta's debut novel. It's my first book by this author and I can tell you one thing - she's lived up to my expectations. All the praises are fully deserved, as Melina Marchetta skillfully navigates between smaller story of just one family and a larger, global problem of cultural, ethnic and generational differences.

The plot revolves around Josephine Aribaldi, 17 year old Australian girl with Italian roots, raised by his single mother. As she uncovers the story of her mother and grandmother, their secrets and life aspirations, she discovers not only a deep bound connecting the three woman but she finally realizes who she really is.

It's a great coming-of-age book, with great both main and secondary characters. Josie is lost and still searching for what she really wants from life, but readers can tell she's on the right track. I liked her especially for her fierce attitude and the fact she wasn't afraid of speaking her own mind.

What I also liked was that there were big declarations, conversations about love and marriage, but it ended just like almost every teenage crush ends. 

You won't find epic car chases and epic fights in Looking for Alibrandi. You won't find sugar-coated half truths. But if you're looking for a smart, deep book that deals with a lot of problems of teenage girl who is different but wants to fit - this book is definitely for you.

Overall: 4 out of 5 stars

And the winner is...

The winner of the international giveaway for CAT GIRL'S DAY OFF by Kimberly Pauley is...

*** EvieSeo ***

Her answer to the question what (seemingly useless) superpower she'd want to have was:
To answer your question: My talent would be to get up early in the morning (I seem to have beef with early mornings, I definitely like to stay in bed until at least 10 am :P), read with a lightning speed and write awesomely witty (but not offensive) reviews :P Sounds boring, I know, but well, I'm just a simple blogger with simple blogger dreams :P I am quietly wishing for a day when my TBR pile will stop being taller than my hubby and I combined :)

That's a lovely answer, isn't it? Congratulations Evie, you have 48h to email me back. :)

piątek, 30 marca 2012

FF#9 - how many?

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: Do you read one book at a time or do you switch back and forth between two or more?
Usually I *hate* alternating between books, so I stick to one, which I read to the end and then I go for the next one. It changed recently, because I have too many books to read. Now I often read two books - one in paperback and one on my computer from NetGalley. ;)
A kitten for your time:
BEFORE YOU COMMENT - if you have a second to spare, check out my international giveaway HERE! It end TOMORROW. You can win a signed hardback copy of an awesome book, CAT GIRL'S DAY OFF by Kimberly Pauley!

What about you? Leave links to your #FF in the comments! :)

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

czwartek, 29 marca 2012

REVIEW #20 - Eon by Alison Goodman

TITLE: Eon: Dragoneye Reborn
AUTHOR: Alison Goodman
GENRE: fantasy
SOURCE: library

Eon has been studying the ancient art of Dragon Magic for four years, hoping he'll be able to apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune. But he also has a dark secret. He is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been living a dangerous lie for the chance to become a Dragon-eye, the human link to an energy dragon's power. It is forbidden for females to practice the Dragon Magic and, if discovered, Eon faces a terrible death. After a dazzling sword ceremony, Eon's affinity with the twelve dragons catapults him into the treacherous world of the Imperial court, where he makes a powerful enemy, Lord Ido. As tension builds and Eon's desperate lie comes to light, readers won't be able to stop turning the pages...


Deemed "best fantasy book for young adults 2008", Eon: Dragoneye Reborn was a book I definitely looked forward to reading. I have to admit I am a bit disappointed.

What would happen if a Dragon-eye, the key to save the whole empire, is actually a girl? In the world of men it's a betrayal so deep it's unimaginable. Yet Eona, known as Eon, is a chosen one.

I think I expected too much from Eon, with all the hype surrounding it. But still, it's a decent book and a good read. Despite the info dumps and a lot of mythology, I found it the most intriguing element of the Dragoneye world. It's fascinating to watch how Alison Goodman incorporated ancient Chinese beliefs and myths, the lunar cycle, the ying and yang theory. Definitely an interesting read for those who love Asian culture.

For the majority of the book, Eon(a) was irritating me. Although I could understand her motivations and aspirations, her journey to discover her true self was infuriating. I'm glad she accepted herself though.

The best characters were in my opinion Lady Dela and Ryko, but I am not going to spoil them to you - you will have to read the book to find out who they are.

I didn't like how slow paced the story was. Only the end was action packed and a real page-turner, as opposed to the rest of the book full of nuances and politics which weren't necessarily the most interesting part of the book. On top of that, the story was just too predictable for me and although the title reads Dragoneye Reborn, there were next to none of what I looked forward the most to! Appearances of the dragons.

All in all, I'm still considering whether or not I'd like to read the sequel. The premise left by Eon: Dragoneye Reborn promises great adventure and (finally!) more dragons on the scene and less politics. Given that those were two main things that irked me in the first book, it could be the deciding factor in picking up Eona. That and... I wouldn't mind to hear more from the handsome prince.

Overall: 3 out of 5 stars

sobota, 24 marca 2012


IMM is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.

Look what I got this week!
So much awesomeness, I can't contain my feelings! On the picture you can see swag I got from Zoraida Córdova (author of The Vicious Deep), Jill Hathaway and a book & swag I won from Book Lovin' Mamas! THANK YOU ALL GUYS SO MUCH! *dances*

Dire Needs by Stephanie Tyler 
It is a werewolves/shifters adult book, and I won a signed copy along with swag (a bag, some bookmarks, can opener, chapstick, pen... all the awesomeness!). I admit it's not something I usually read (too testosterone-packed for me) but I started reading it earlier today and I love it so far.
I received the book from Zoraida via the publisher for review as a part of the blog tour, which I'm excited to be part of! And even more, I was excited to receive some swag from Zoraida, lookie:
YES IT ACTUALLY CAME TO ME IN AN ENVELOPE WITH A HAND-DRAWN MERMAID TAIL. I swear Zoraida is the awesomest author ever!!! I love it so much and it made me smile when I saw it. :D
In the envelope I found a personalized card (with seashells!), two pins and The Vicious Deep stickers to share. ♥
 Last but not least, I got signed SLIDE bookmarks from Jill Hathaway. I love them, they're beautiful. I can't wait to finally read SLIDE, I hope to do so soon. :)

And for review:
Thanks to HarlequinTeen!

Sorry for being so... enthusiastic this week!

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

piątek, 23 marca 2012

FF#7- thick books!

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 the longest book you’ve read? What are your favorite 600+ page reads?

I have a feeling I've read longer books, but these two I loved:
Quo Vadis? by Henryk Sienkiewicz
Despite it being over 700 pages in Polish, I managed to read it in just one day, I was so engrossed. I loved it and I cried a lot - and I tend to absolutely worship the books that make me cry. It's a great book by a Polish writer - it's translated to English of course, and I think there is a US movie based on it.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
One of my favorite books from Harry Potter series and definitely the last one I loved so much. The next ones seemed to lose its magic to me. Goblet of Fire was magical.

BEFORE YOU COMMENT - if you have a second to spare, check out my international giveaway HERE! You can win a signed hardback copy of an awesome book, CAT GIRL'S DAY OFF by Kimberly Pauley!

What about you? Leave links to your #FF in the comments! :)

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

czwartek, 22 marca 2012

REVIEW #19 - Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky

TITLE: Awaken
AUTHOR: Katie Kacvinsky
GENRE: dystopia
Maddie lives in a world where everything is done on the computer. Whether it’s to go to school or on a date, people don’t venture out of their home. There’s really no need. For the most part, Maddie’s okay with the solitary, digital life—until she meets Justin. Justin likes being with people. He enjoys the physical closeness of face-to-face interactions. People aren’t meant to be alone, he tells her.
Suddenly, Maddie feels something awakening inside her—a feeling that maybe there is a different, better way to live. But with society and her parents telling her otherwise, Maddie is going to have to learn to stand up for herself if she wants to change the path her life is taking.
In this not-so-brave new world, two young people struggle to carve out their own space.
After reading this book I'm surprised to see so many mixed or outright negative reviews of this book. It's one of the best, most intelligent dystopias I've read in a while.

In fact, I think Katie Kacvinsky's idea in her debut novel is the most intriguing and plausible at the same time among the dystopias. Let's face it - the genre is becoming more and more far-fetched, as the authors struggle to fit in because of the trend. Awaken stands out with a world not really different from ours. It takes place only 50 years in the future, but the society has changed. Every person in the country has an access to free education - they attend so called Digital Schools via internet. Everything happens online - there's no point in even going out of the houses anymore, as people can order whatever they want, they socialize, relax and study in front of their computers.

I liked how well-thought this book is. The reasoning behind every change in the society is well explained and I found myself nodding at some of the ideas. The government had a good reason to enforce DS on the society, as well as society had a good reason to fight it later.

The main character Maddie is no damsel in distress. She can think for herself and despite her not being street smart, she learns quickly. There's a huge character development throughout the book, but you can't really pinpoint certain points in her change - the transition is smooth. The reader can see that it was building in her for quite some time. Justin is just as fascinating character. Easy going and friendly, he's got his own demons.

I absolutely loved how INTELLIGENT the dialogues were. Especially between the main characters, Maddie and Justin. These two actually talked with each other and built a solid base for their later romance.

There were some minor issues like continuity errors, a few awkward phrases that (hopefully) were gotten rid of in the finished version of the book. I think I was also a bit annoyed by the tug-of-war Justin was playing with Maddie - the constant "You're too good for me, you deserve better" was a little overdone.

Overall, it's a good, thought provoking read. Not for everyone, but if you enjoy dialogues that don't seem forced, dystopias and likable characters, I'm sure you will love it. I can't wait to read the sequel!

4 out of 5 stars

środa, 21 marca 2012


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!

Since today is the first day of spring (hurray!) I decided to go with contemporaries! 
So this week, the books are...
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Out June 12th 2012
"One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time."
The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them… until one summer evening Jase Garrett climbs her trellis and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love and stumble through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first romance, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own - even as she keeps him a secret from her disapproving mother and critical best friend. Then the unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha's world. She's suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?
A debut novel about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.
 I have a HUGE thing for boys next door. I love Meg Cabot's Boy Next Door and Stephanie Perkins Lola and the Boy Next Door. I hope this one doesn't disappoint me, because it sounds great!

Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson
Out June 12th 2012
Four girls. One magical, and possibly dangerous Italian summer. Family mysteries, ancient castles, long hot nights of dancing under the stars . . . and, of course, plenty of gorgeous Italian boys!
Doesn't it just sound adorable? I love Italy, it was one of the best trips of my life. I bet this book will remind me of it all the way.

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

wtorek, 20 marca 2012


TOP TEN TUESDAY is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's list is to-be-read pile. I'm doing a list of released/soon to be released books, because there are SO MANY that I want to (or should) read soon!

1. Starters by Lissa Price
What can I say. I've read chapter sampler I got from Lissa a while back and I loved it so much. I just can't wait to read it! And the cover is one of the most intriguing and beautiful covers I've seen this year.
2. The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda
I actually have to read it soon-ish. I got it from NetGalley and I just need to finally find some time to read it. It sounds great! And yet another great cover.
3. Wonder by R. J. Palacio
I've seen a few reviews of this book as well as trailer and it sounds like a book that will tug at my heart. Repeatedly.

4. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
I'm not sure why I haven't read this one yet. Patrick Ness wrote my favorite trilogy - Chaos Walking - and I guess I'm dreading the day I'll finally read A Monster Calls. It would mean I'll have to wait for another book by Patrick Ness to be released... God knows when!
5. Partials by Dan Wells
Dystopia with BSG Cylon-like creatures. I just couldn't resist. Now I'm anticipating the time I finally get the book!
6. Slide by Jill Hathaway
I thought I wouldn't be interested (much) in the book, but judging by the reviews, it's exactly my type of a story! I can't wait to read it.

7. The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder
Because I need a heartbreaking book once in a while.
8. Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
I know nothing about graffiti, but I'm growing fond of contemporaries. This one got some rave reviews and I'm willing to read it too.
9. Grave Mercy by R.L. LaFevers

REVIEW #18 - Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

AUTHOR: Emmy Laybourne
GENRE: post-apocalyptic

Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not—you hurdle down the stairs and make a run for the corner.
Only, if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you’d stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus.
But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.
Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.
In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.

I hate starting my review with "I had a problem with this book". But I can't help it, so I will say it: I had a problem with this book. Part of me loved it and part of me hated it.

I've read an uncorrected proof, so I shouldn't judge the writing. Well, I will do it anyway, because there were typos, grammar errors, missing/additional words and even tense changes. Normally I wouldn't have even noticed it, but tense changes tickle me the wrong way so much. I hope all the errors and mistakes will be edited out in the final version, because the book loses its appeal because of that!

Now onto the story. Because of the writing (errors aside) I had a hard time getting used to narration for a while. I think it took me about... half of the book? To finally feel our main hero. The POV is in the first person  - the boy named Dean - but he's such an outsider it feels as if it was 3rd person. I don't think the book would lose much if it was like that.

That being said, I loved the characters. They were a bit stereotypical, at least the big kids: book nerd, outsider, tech genius, jock, bad boy, beautiful girl, slutty girl. But they were doing things that prevented from pigeonholing them into one category or another, thanks to the addition of small kids - six primary school kids, who they had to take care of. On top of that, the dialogues were great, especially these with the small ones. And I must admit I went a little soft every time little Max and his cowlick hair was mentioned. ;)

The action was... kind of non-existent. There was an apocalypse going on outside the mart, but the kids were locked safely inside, so we didn't get to see much of it. I didn't mind it that much, though. We got to see the relations between the characters, and observe how they managed to build a small community within their group. I must admit it was quite fascinating to watch.

What I didn't like... some plot devices were random, as well as the characters' choices. I didn't really understand some of the choices the author made for this book. From the reviews I've seen so far I gathered the book is pretty bloody, a lot of characters die, etc. I was surprised to discover it was not the case; instead of that we got cursing (while the "f" word was censored, others weren't!), violence, drugs and teen pregnancy (!!!). The last one got me completely lost, because it was so random!

The premise was all kinds of awesome. I just don't think the book lived up to it.

sobota, 17 marca 2012


IMM is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.

This week brought yet another awesomeness! Look at the pretty!
Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky
I've got these books and swag (bookmarks! Some are signed, like the one by Julie Kagawa O M G) from Lenore from Presenting Lenore, who turned out to be my EU neighbor. ;D Thank you so much Lenore, I LOVE IT! ♥♥♥
(no guys, I didn't get Scarlet nor Article 5, these are postcards ;))

For review:
Yesterday by C. K. Kelly Martin (thanks to Random House via NetGalley)
Dystopia dystopia dystopiaaaa! And post-apo. And I hope it's good!!!

 Play Fling by Amber Scott (seems like such a fun read! I need to read more chick lit)
Jenny Pox by J. L. Bryan (I've heard good things about this book, and the concept seems intriguing)
Shatter by Elizabeth C. Mock (gorgeous cover and awesome premise, I hope I will like it)

That's it, guys! Before you leave a link to your IMM, please take a small detour and have a look at my ***INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY*** of an awesome book by even more awesome author!

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

REVIEW #17 - Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

TITLE: Catching Jordan
AUTHOR: Miranda Kenneally
GENRE: contemporary

What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though-she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there's a new guy in town who threatens her starting position... suddenly she's hoping he'll see her as more than just a teammate.

I have a confession to make.
I'm European and yet I love American football. I'm not crazy about it and I know next to nothing about it, but I love movies and tv shows about it. Yes, I am a Friday Night Lights fan, how did you guess? You can't blame me for loving Garrett Hedlund in the movie and Taylor Kitsch in the tv show though.
That was the reason I've always wanted to read Catching Jordan, even if the synopsis didn't appeal to me all that much. I read it and I don't regret it. All the rave reviews the book is getting - totally deserved!

What I loved the most in this book were the characters and their relationships. Jordan is a great main character - very unique in her aspirations and tomboy attitude. Many books these days display a female main character that is supposed to a) be a tomboy b) go through a metamorphosis. While Jordan is definitely a), there's no b) and I loved it so much. And her being a tomboy is totally different than girls in the other YA books, where the girl wears sneakers and old jeans and doesn't wear make up and suddenly she's such a tomboy. You can tell this annoys me a lot. But Jordan is a tomboy with her whole being. She hangs out with guys, she thinks a lot of things that girls do are weird/disgusting/silly. Of course, deep down, she just needs a girlfriend to talk to, but it's like her hidden identity. 

Other characters were just as lovely - I don't think anyone could hate Sam Henry, even if he had some flaws. I liked Jordan's family, her friends (especially Carter, but JJ was awesome too). As for the romance - I didn't expect that. I really didn't, which proves I'm as dense as Jordan. ;) For a while I hated what was happening in the book BUT after some time I realized it's more like real life than anything. Small complications that lead to a bigger thing. And that not always we're supposed to stay with the same person, because he or she is not right for us. I liked it.

What I didn't like was that Jordan was very quick to judge. I know the cheerleader stereotype is alive and well in the US (and as a consequence, all over the world), but does that mean that every cheerleader is bitchy and/or stupid? Come on. I'm glad there were characters like Marie and Carrie, who dulled my disgust a bit, showing that cheerleaders can be fun characters as well.

To be honest, I wouldn't mind reading a book about cheerleaders. Their practices, contests, joys and hard times. It could be quite a good book!

This book is hilarious, it's witty, it's fun. I usually read on the bus, so passengers were a little shocked to witness my snickering and giggling when I did so.

Overall, it's a fun, quick read that a lot of you will enjoy. It's not necessarily deep nor makes you think, but it's good to read something light and funny from time to time, right?

Overall rating:
4 out of 5 stars.

czwartek, 15 marca 2012

REVIEW #16 - THE FOREVER GIRL by Rebecca Hamilton

TITLE: The Forever Girl
AUTHOR: Rebecca Hamilton
GENRE: paranormal romance
SOURCE: from the author

 Sophia Parsons’ family has skeletons, but they aren’t in their graves...

Solving the mystery of an ancestor’s hanging might silence the clashing whispers in Sophia's mind, but the cult in her town and the supernaturals who secretly reside there are determined to silence her first.

As Sophia unknowingly crosses the line into an elemental world full of vampire-like creatures, shapeshifters, and supernatural grim reapers, she meets Charles, a man who becomes both lover and ally.

But can she trust him?

It’s not until someone nearly kills Sophia that she realizes the only way to unveil the source of her family's curse: abandon her faith or abandon her humanity. If she wants to survive, she must accept who she is, perform dark magic, and fight to the death for her freedom.


I had a problem with this book. While it's not a bad book nor it is badly written, there were things that bothered me too much and forced me to lower my overall rating.

Sophia Parsons is a Wiccan who tries to live peacefully in a small town. But it's not that easy. She starts hearing voices in her head and after a ritual that goes awry, she gets mingled with the supernatural world. Little does she know that her part in the forthcoming event will be crucial...

The book starts a little slow, but picks up the pace in the later half. As much as I love fast action, I admit that I liked the first half better. I liked the relationships presented between the characters, especially Sophia and Charles before they started being together.

The most intriguing characters - the creepy twins - were introduced to us at the end of the story. It left me with the feeling of wanting more to learn about them, where did they come from, what could they do? Hopefully it will be explained in the next books.

I liked the dialogues - it's not a secret I'm a fan of witty banters and discussions that can melt your heart. There were a few of these in The Forever Girl and it showed the skill of the writer.

What did bother me then?

Little things, like over-explanations of some things (history info dumps in dialogues, for instances) and lack of explanations of other things. I had to stop and stare at the book in disbelief at the mention of supernatural beings being able to produce photography in 17th century. The explanation was that their world was far more advanced than ours. Just that one sentence, nothing else.

What irked me the most were the deus ex machina devices all over the place. Sophia doesn't know how to draw her powers - she doesn't even know she had any powers - for the most time, yet she learns how to do it just in time. Conveniently, one of the characters remembers what could enhance her powers just before they jump into the climax part of the book. And just as conveniently, Sophia finds in her head that she can understand random Latin incantations. What?

I don't mind occasional damsel in distress action, but Sophia had to be saved all the time. At the end of the book, she was rescued by a secondary character readers all but forgot about throughout the events, yet it was Soohia who got all the thanks and standard "we'd be dead if it wasn't for you". I was a bit surprised.

The writing, however, is strong. I think many of you will love this book! The Forever Girl has got an interesting mythology, a whole new world of supernatural beings - Strigoi, vampires, witches and so on. There's a Great War coming and human race is in danger. Will Sophia, Charles and their friends be able to stop it? 

We will have to wait for the sequel to find out.

2 out of 5 stars.
For older teens (scenes of non-explicit sex).

środa, 14 marca 2012

Interview with CAT GIRL'S DAY OFF's author Kimberly Pauley + GIVEAWAY!

Today I have an amazing guest on my blog. I'm super excited about it - because it's my first interview AND it's with an absolutely awesome author!
Please welcome Kimberly Pauley, author of CAT GIRL'S DAY OFF! Below you'll find a short info about the book and Kimberly, an interview with her, as well as a giveaway.

Natalie Ng’s little sister is a super-genius with a chameleon-like ability to disappear. Her older sister has three Class A Talents, including being a human lie detector. Her mom has laser vision and has one of the highest IQs ever. Her dad’s Talent is so complex even the Bureau of Extra-Sensory Regulation and Management (BERM) hardly knows what to classify him as.
And Nat? She can talk to cats.
The whole talking-to-cats thing is something she tries very hard to hide, except with her best friends Oscar (a celebrity-addicted gossip hound) and Melly (a wannabe actress). When Oscar shows her a viral Internet video featuring a famous blogger being attacked by her own cat, Nat realizes what’s really going on…and it’s not funny.
(okay, yeah, a frou-frou blogger being taken down by a really angry cat named Tiddlywinks, who also happens to be dyed pink? Pretty hilarious.)
Nat and her friends are catapulted right into the middle of a celebrity kidnapping mystery that takes them through Ferris Bueller’s Chicago and on and off movie sets. Can she keep her reputation intact? Can she keep Oscar and Melly focused long enough to save the day? And, most importantly, can she keep from embarrassing herself in front of Ian?
Find out what happens when the kitty litter hits the fan.
You can read MY REVIEW HERE || Add to Goodreads 

Sucks to Be Me (2008) was Kimberly's first book, followed by the sequel Still Sucks to Be Me (2010). The books have won a number of honors, including a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers (Sucks to Be Me), and the VOYA Best Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror list 2010 (Still Sucks to Be Me). 
She was an English major at the University of Florida and her favorite classes by far were those in adolescent literature. After college, she worked a number of (boring) corporate jobs and also founded YA Books Central, one of the leading websites for Young Adult (YA) books.
Born in San Mateo, California, she has moved around all over the place (Florida, Mississippi, Kentucky, Illinois) and now lives in London (UK).

You can follow Kimberly on her twitter or website.


Why cats?
Well, a number of reasons, I guess. I've always loved cats and have had at least one cat in my life nearly my whole life. Strangely enough, I don't have one right now because when we moved to London, our cat Gracie stayed with my mom in Florida as she was too sick to travel that far. She has since passed on from cancer. Our cat Harley died a couple of years ago from a tumor. They both make appearances in the book, by the way (PD is like Harley and Queenie is like Gracie). Anyway, I needed an animal that was around enough for Nat to talk to, which pretty much means a cat, a bird, or a dog. I don't know much about dogs, though I've owned some in my life, and I thought cats would be much funnier and snarkier, so I went with them. I can't imagine a dog saying the things the cats say in the book. They're just too nice.

What inspired you to write a book with such a mix of themes? Cats, bloggers, superpowers...
Um. Er. That's kind of my brain. It just really developed that way. It started as a story about silly superpowers and then went to adding in the stuff about a redux of Ferris Bueller, which meant I needed someone famous to be kidnapped... Honestly, it's kind of like stream of consciousness, you know? One thing leads to another and by the time you get to the end, you have no idea how you got there. It really kind of took off once I started thinking about Ferris, which is, incidentally, one of my favorite movies.
It's hard to find a YA book with a heroine that is not white. Weren't you tempted to leave out Nat's roots in favor of "going with the flow"? What do you think about such cases in YA world?
I'm half-Chinese myself and, for whatever reason, once the main character was "Nat" in my head, she was too. The original idea for the book, with a character named Kathryn, was white. I'm really happy that Nat came out the way she did, though. While her ethnicity really isn't an important factor in the story, it's part of who she is. I would have loved reading about her when I was growing up. I wasn't tempted at all to make her white and I'm really happy that the cover of the book shows her how she is. I know that there's a possibility that will hurt the book's sales in the long run, but things don't change in the world if we don't change them. There's absolutely nothing wrong with books with white characters. It's just nice to have books out there that reflect the diversity of the world at large.
As far as what I think...I think it's a tough and complex question. There are so many factors and while some people find it easy to point the finger and pass blame on publishers, bookstores, authors, readers, etc., it's just not that easy. It's not black and white. What I hope is that a) writers will write more stories with characters of all races, b) publishers will publish them, c) covers will reflect them, d) bookstores will stock them, and e) readers will read them and either find themselves or learn about others. Honestly, in my ideal world, the race of the characters would not matter at all; just the story.

What would be your Talent if you had any?
If there's such a talent where you could unleash a horde of brownies to clean your house for you, I think I'd like that a lot. Especially if they did laundry.

What's your usual ordeal when it comes to writing? Any special 'rituals'?
Not really. Though I have found that I do my best writing...or, at least, my most productive writing...when I go to a cafe or pub that does NOT have Wi-Fi...

Nat mentioned she only knows a couple of words in Chinese. What are they?
She can say hello, count to ten, thank you, things like that. And she knows the proper honorifics for her grandparents. Which is about the amount of Chinese that I know too. We went to China a couple of years ago and I was totally lost. My mother's family is Cantonese, so the few words that I knew were useless in Shanghai since everyone mostly speaks Mandarin. The sad thing was that the people there would look at me, then look at my husband, who is tall and most definitely white, ignore him completely and start talking to me a mile a minute in Chinese and I would have almost no idea what they were saying. I wish I knew more, but we moved away from San Francisco when I was three. A lot of my cousins know quite a bit.

If Nat could befriend one character from another YA book, who would that be?

Hm, that's a good question. I think she'd like to get to know Emerson from Hourglass.

And one character she wouldn't get along well?
Oh! Yikes! Um...Well, she'd have no patience with Draco Malfoy, that's for sure.

I felt a little offended on behalf of dogs and the implication that they're stupid! Is there a person who can speak dog? They should get a spin-off! ;)
Ha, that would be fun! Dogs really aren't stupid, but cats generally think they are. And, as Nat says, that's probably what dogs say about cats as well.

A few words to your readers, please! Why should they read your book?
Let's my book because...I want to bring laughter to the world. Seriously. I want to make you snort your drink through your nose. I want to make you laugh out loud in public and make people move away from you on the bus because they're not entirely sure you're okay in the head.
And besides, don't you want to know what cats really think?

Thank you so much, Kimberly!

Kimberly has kindly offered a copy of her finished book CAT GIRL'S DAY OFF and a signed bookplate to one lucky reader! The book will be shipped to you after the release of the book (April 1st). This giveaway is international. Fill the Rafflecopter for the chance to win!