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Author Interview: Carolee Dean + Take Me There Tour + GIVEAWAY

Take Me There
Hey all!! I'm part of a blog tour along with a few other bloggers. Check out all the other stops here:
http://theteenbookscene.weebly.com/take-me-there-tour-details.html
Be sure to enter all the giveaways (including mine of course)!!!

Carolee Dean, the author of Take Me There was kind enough to answer my questions and here they are:


What was your favorite part about writing Take Me There?
I loved travelling to California and Texas to research the locations. I think setting has a lot of affect on character... where we're from shapes the sort of people we become. Not completely, but it has a strong impact. I also enjoy meeting interesting people from different places. I got to meet Jim Willett, the former warden of the Walls Unit, who used to oversea all the executions in Huntsville. Another interesting person I met was Juan Melendez. He was on death row for 17 years in Florida before being exonerated and set free.
I also loved that I got to eat Blue Bell ice cream while I was in Texas. It's "the best ice cream in the country," made in Brenham, Texas. We only recently started getting it in New Mexico.

Has working at a high school influenced the story in Take Me There? If so, how?
About 80% of the students I work with are boys with learning disabilities. Some of them have been in trouble with the law. They're basically good kids but they get off track. Several of them have also had parents in prison.

Are you currently working on another writing project?

I'm currently working on a novel in verse called No Way Out. That's the current title, anyway. I don't want to say a lot about it, because it's not finished, but it's about a hallway on a school that is haunted by the souls of kids who have died at the school.

You've written a lot about the death penalty. What are your personal views on this topic?
I'm not inclined to discuss my personal views. I feel that people who write for teens have a responsibility to present all the sides of an issue and let teens decide for themselves. The world is full of people who will try to tell you what to think. It's much more important to learn to examine issues with an open mind, to learn how to think. 
With that in mind, there is a scene that was deleted from the book that I would like to share. It's a debate on the death penalty. It's one of my favorite scenes because I spent a lot of time researching the information, but in the end the editor and I decided to cut it because it slowed the pace of the story at a critical point in the plot development.
Here is the scene...



The only thing on my mind is putting as much distance between myself and that red brick fortress as possible, but as I walk to the old Ford, I see something that draws me to the Walls like a mosquito to a bug zapper.
      A TV crew has set up three folding chairs right in front of the building with the huge clock looming overhead. In the middle seat sits the CNN reporter Marianne. On her left sits my father’s lawyer, Buster Cartwright, and on her right is Arnie Golden. Protestors gather behind the men holding up signs like DIE DAWSON, AN EYE FOR AN EYE, GIVE MERCY A CHANCE, and DON’T KILL THE DOZER.
      As I approach, I realize they’re in the middle of a debate, right there in front of the Walls and the death house. Behind Arnie Golden stand three other Texas Rangers along with Tornado T. and his mother, who cries and dabs her eyes with a tissue. I look around for the black Jeep, but it’s nowhere in sight. Then I slip behind one of the protestors so I won’t be seen.
      Mr. Cartwright is speaking. “Statistics show that the death penalty has never deterred crime. In fact, states that impose the death penalty actually show a much higher murder rate.”
      Mariane turns to Arnie, “Mr. Golden, your response?”
      “You got the tail waggin’ the dog,” he tells Cartwright. “States with higher murder rates understand the importance of capital punishment. Imagine how high those crime rates would be without the death penalty. As for statistics—what about the statistics that show death IS a deterrent.  Numbers can say whatever you want ‘em to say. You and I both know that. But one thing is indisputable, once you put a murderer to death he is forevermore ‘deterred’ from killing anyone else.”
      Mr. Cartwright leans into the camera. “We are straining our relationship with the international community and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights who all say we should abolish the death penalty.”
      Arnie Golden, who is much more composed than I would be under the circumstances, looks hard at my father’s lawyer. “The judicial system is responsible for taking care of the law enforcement officers who protect our citizens, because without those men, who are willing to risk their lives each and every day, this great nation of ours would crumble to pieces. What does it say about our respect for life if the only punishment a man receives for shooting down a police officer in cold blood is that we feed and house and clothe the killer for the rest of his life? It’s all fine and good to talk about countries and societies and UN commissions that we may or may not agree with, but let’s talk about my brother. He was twenty-five years old, a decorated war hero. He left behind a wife and a child. They are not statistics. They are people. Look at them!”
      I look at Tornado T., trying to stand tall next to his mother, and I can almost forgive him for putting that gun in my mouth, because I know I might have done the same. If it was my father dead and his father sitting on death row, I’d want somebody to pay. But then he hasn’t learned, as I have, that although the first taste of vengeance is sweet, you can choke to death on its bitter aftertaste.  
      I will never be able to forget the look on Two Tone’s face as he took his last breath. It still haunts me, even if I didn’t mean to kill him. Even if he would have killed Wade.
      “Since 1973 one hundred and twenty-one people have been released from death row,” says Cartwright, fighting to hold his own against Arnie. “The risk of sending an innocent man to his death is just too great to justify capital punishment.”
      “Most of ‘em were let out on technicalities,” says Arnie. “And there is not one shred of evidence to suggest that any of the people actually killed by lethal injection were innocent, which only goes to prove that the appeals process we have in place is sufficient and reliable.”
      “Not every murderer gets sentenced to death,” retorts Cartwright, loosening his tie. “Everybody knows the system is arbitrary. The people who get the death penalty are not always those who have committed the worst and most heinous crimes. They are usually minorities and people too poor to afford their own counsel, who rely on overworked and underpaid public defenders.”
      “Which is precisely the reason,” says Arnie, bitterly, “That the state should not back down from executing D.J. Dawson, a white man… with a private lawyer.”

      Mr. Cartwright stares blankly at the camera and for the first time since I’ve met him, he is at a loss for words.  
GIVEAWAY!!

Okay now on to the giveaway.

Below are the prizes:
comment below or email me (subject: Take Me There) in order to enter to win a cuuuuute stuffed armadillo, a Take Me There tote, and a necklace! Pssst! Do you see that? It has my site name on it!! hehe ;)
Deadline: August 30. 


Now. That is not the only prize you might win. You can also enter to win the super sekrit grand prize (includes signed copy of Take Me There) which Carolee shall post about soon. Go to her LJ for more info on that. The Texas Trivia Challenge she's having will be at the end of the blog tour, on August 5. Don't forget to enter the other giveaways!

My review of the book shall be coming up so watch out for that!



Related:
Carolee Dean
Carolee Dean's live journal -she talks about the places she traveled to in Texas (including HOUSTON!) and the bloggers she met so check it out!

Book Trailer:


~~Lisette~~
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Song: Die Alone by Ingrid Michaelson



Ah, I love her! It was such a huge surprise to see her open for Keane on Sunday. Awesomest concert I've ever been too. She's so charming and funny. Even better live :)


~~Lisette~~
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Love It: Single Ladies Devastation



aww hehehe and that middle girl that is so sweet and wow her glasses are a little too big hehe

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Book Review: Tweet Heart by Elizabeth Rudnick

Tweet HeartRating: 3.5/5; Okay. Worth a read.

Release Date: June 29, 2010

Synopsis:
Claire is a #hopelessromantic. Lottie is determined to set up her BFF with Mr. Perfect. Will wants his #secretcrush to finally notice him. Bennett is a man with a plan.

Claire can’t believe it when her dream guy starts following her on Twitter. She never thought he noticed her, and suddenly he seems to understand her better than almost anyone.

But the Twitterverse can be a confusing place, especially when friends act differently online than they do in person. Things get even more complicated when Claire realizes she’s falling for someone else, the last person she ever would have expected….

Told in an innovative format combining tweets, emails, and blogs, Tweet Heart is a contemporary romantic comedy that will set your heart atwitter


Thoughts:
I loved how this book seems so realistic. As a reader, you really feel like you are getting to know these characters and it seems like they are real people. It completely helps that each character has a real life image in the book. The tweets, the emails, and everything seems just like something you or your friends would write. It's awesome!
Unfortunately, I didn't love this book because of the story. It was just too predictable. It was still pretty cute but not original enough or compelling enough to be a memorable story. I recommend it if you're looking for a short and super quick read that is still pretty cute and fun to read.

P.S--Geeky Bennett is a silly man who does not have great ideas (neither does Will), but who I loved anyway. He's pretty much the only character I'll remember for a long time.

Of interest:
Elizabeth Rudnick
twitter
technology
love stories

~~Lisette~~
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In My Mailbox -- phew + BLOG TOUR with YA author, Carolee Dean!

  Thanks to The Story Siren and Alea for IMM :)

 Sorry I haven't been around lately. I was out of town for almost a week. :)

 Think of a Number by John Verdon
Think of a Number: A Novel
 An extraordinary fiction debut, Think of a Number is an exquisitely plotted novel of suspense that grows relentlessly darker and more frightening as its pace accelerates, forcing its deeply troubled characters to moments of startling self-revelation.

Arriving in the mail over a period of weeks are taunting letters that end with a simple declaration, “Think of any number…picture it…now see how well I know your secrets.”  Amazingly, those who comply find that the letter writer has predicted their random choice exactly.  For Dave Gurney, just retired as the NYPD’s top homicide investigator and forging a new life with his wife, Madeleine, in upstate New York, the letters are oddities that begin as a diverting puzzle but quickly ignite a massive serial murder investigation.

What police are confronted with is a completely baffling killer, one who is fond of rhymes filled with threats and warnings, whose attention to detail is unprecedented, and who has an uncanny knack for disappearing into thin air.  Even more disturbing, the scale of his ambition seems to widen as events unfold.

Brought in as an investigative consultant, Dave Gurney soon accomplishes deductive breakthroughs that leave local police in awe.  Yet, even as he matches wits with his seemingly clairvoyant opponent, Gurney’s tragedy-marred past rises up to haunt him, his marriage approaches a dangerous precipice, and finally, a dark, cold fear builds that he’s met an adversary who can’t be stopped.

In the end, fighting to keep his bearings amid a whirlwind of menace and destruction, Gurney sees the truth of what he’s become – what we all become when guilty memories fester – and how his wife Madeleine’s clear-eyed advice may be the only answer that makes sense.

A work that defies easy labels -- at once a propulsive masterpiece of suspense and an absorbing immersion in the lives of characters so real we seem to hear their heartbeats – Think of a Number is a novel you’ll not soon forget.



Cresendo by Becca Fitzpatrick
Crescendo
Click cover for more info --only if you've read the first book! Wouldn't want to spoil it for ya :)

 Nobel Genes by Rune Michaels
Nobel Genes
 It's tough to measure up to your parents' expectations. Imagine how much harder it would be if your mother told you that your biological father—whom you'd never met—was a Nobel prize-winning genius? What if, after years of testing and tutoring, you never showed that particular spark of brilliance? What if you found out that you'd been living a lie, and that the truth was darker than you could have imagined?

Does it matter who you come from? Or are we all just made from dust?

In Rune Michaels's most powerful novel yet, she examines the fragile emotions surrounding finding out who we are and what we're made of.


 Take Me There by Carolee Dean
Take Me There 
Sometimes sexy, sometimes sad, and always intense, Take Me There is a dark and surprising novel about a boy on the run who's headed nowhere fast.

Dylan has a bad-boy past and a criminal record. He knows that rich, beautiful Jess is way too good for him—but she has always been the one person who sees through his tough exterior and straight to his heart, and he has been hopelessly in love with her from the first time they met. He would change his life for a chance with her.

But trouble follows Dylan wherever he goes, and a deadly mistake soon forces him to hit the road and leave his dreams behind. He’s on the run and in search of answers—answers to questions he wishes he’d never asked

 +

BLOG TOUR!

Carolee Dean is having a blog tour throughout Texas.

Check out more details (including the other participating blogs) here. Be sure to also check out Carolee's LJ where she will be blogging (with pics!) about her tour here.
I will be interviewing Carolee on July 22 (2:00 PM) at Barnes and Noble in River Oaks which is in Houston, TX. IF YOU LIVE IN HOUSTON, TX be sure to stop by and see us!!
Oh and of course, there will be giveaways and cowboy boots ;)


~~Lisette~~

Love It: Tighten Up by The Black Keys



I love this music video and the song! One of my favorite videos ever. So cute! :)

~~Lisette~~
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Foreign Movie Review: Priceless

Priceless
Foreign Film (France)
Priceless/Hors de prix

Rating: 4.5/5; Really liked it, would watch again. Add to your collection worthy. One of my favorites.

Release date: 2008

Synopsis:
Irène (Audrey Tautou), who makes a fortune sweet-talking rich men, puts the moves on klutzy Jean (Gad Elmaleh), unaware that he's just a hotel bartender. But by the time Irène realizes her mistake, Jean is hopelessly smitten with her.



Thoughts:
This is one of those movies that's predictable (not too predictable) and like so many other movies out there yet you can't help but love it anyway. It's such a cute romantic and charming French movie. Throughout most of it my heart broke for poor Jean and I wanted to hurt Irene for being so heartless! She's a gold digger so what can you expect though right?
This is one of those movies you should rent to be entertained. You might be surprised at how much you like it that you may even want to buy it. :)
I'm a huge fan of Tautou ever since Amelie (she's so pretty and the story was aww inducing) so I jumped at the chance to watch this one and I'm very glad I did. I never knew of Elmaleh who's apparently a comedian too, but now I have a crush on him it seems. I like him and I loved his character Jean. It gave me such a happy, giddy, satisfied feeling once it was over which is one of the main reasons I loved it so much. Now go watch the cuteness and pleasantness that is Priceless and enjoy.

I highly recommend you DON'T watch the trailer because it tells you too much, but if you're really curious then here it is.

Trailer:


He's so cute!

Of interest:
If you have Netlix here it is.
Audrey Tautou
Gad Elmaleh
Breakfast at Tiffany's --Priceless is an adaptation of it.
romantic comedies

~~Lisette~~

Book Review: Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy #5)

Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, Book 5)Rating: 4/5; Couldn't put it down. Would read again.

Release Date: May 18, 2010

**BEWARE OF SPOILERS if you have not read the previous books**

Synopsis:
Dimitri gave Rose the ultimate choice. But she chose wrong… 

After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri’s birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir’s—and to her best friend, Lissa. It is nearly graduation, and the girls can’t wait for their real lives beyond the Academy’s iron gates to begin. But Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri, and he's out there, somewhere. 

She failed to kill him when she had the chance. And now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and she knows in her heart that he is hunting her. And if Rose won't join him, he won't rest until he's silenced her...forever.
-goodreads.com

Thoughts:
Wow. This installment was so FUN! As with most of these books, I could not put it down! The previous book sucked way too much, but Richelle Mead really redeemed herself with this one.
As always, Rose is still pretty darn selfish when it comes to Adrian and I can't get past that so I'm never going to fully like her as a character. That was my main beef with this book plus the fact that again, Mead tends to be a bit boring and strays off from what she knows her readers really want. Rose and Dimitri. Mead didn't do that too much though.
What made this book the best one from the series so far (in my opinion) was that it was much more exciting and contained quite a bit of shockers. Near the end was a huge one. I saw it coming, but not so much that I could keep from saying out loud, "Oh shit!" Shocking indeed. I didn't love the twist there, but eh, what can you do? As with the other book, not much happens between Rose and Dimitri. Mead is waiting until the very end (Last Sacrifice will be relased on December 7th of this year) before she really lets us know what will happen with them. It would be nice to have more than just a few scenes with them together though. There are some, but not enough for me. I'm sure as a reader of the previous books, you can guess what will happen with Dimitri in this book. I knew about how he would react though, so that kinda made me not love the book. It was just pretty predictable. I've seen this happen before and I want something to be different. Unique. Awesome.
Even though this series could be a lot shorter without all the boring, pointless things (Rose doing this and that which I don't give a krud about), I'm still too curious to stop this series now, especially with the last book coming so very soon, but not soon enough. Like with this book, I'm not going to run off to get Last Sacrifice.

Of interest:
Richelle Mead
vampires
tales of forbidden love

~~Lisette~~
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Love It/Music Tidbits: Tired Pony

Place We Ran from
Okay, this is what I've been listening to for the past two weeks or so.

I'm a HUGE Snow Patrol (sadly only seen them once) and a while back I learned from a newsletter I'm signed up for that Gary Lightbody (Snow Patrol lead singer) is almost finished with a music project he's been working on. I guess he's finished because well, the album is out on July 20, 2010. In the UK of course. If you're in the states like mua, you can still buy it imported from Amazon (click on the pic if you want to pre-order it) and probably other places.
As you can see from the above image, the album is called Place We Ran From by The Tired Pony. Who's the Tired Pony you ask?

Gary Lightbody  - from Snow Patrol.
Iaian Archer - worked with Lightbody on the awesome Reindeer Section
Peter Buck - from R.E. M (!!)
Richard Colburn - from Belle & Sebastian (!!!!!)
Garret Lee - song writer
Scott McCaughey - from The Young Fresh Fellows
Troy Stewart

and the album features

M. Ward - from She & Him
Tom Smith - from the band Editors
Zooey Deschanel <--Love her style and her movies! Not a huge fan of She & Him though.

Video:
Dead American Writers


You can find many more of the songs from the album here. It's the Tired Pony's official youtube page.

I can't wait!! I love what I'm hearing. I want to buy it already! The imported album is not too much, but I'm not sure yet. I've bought so much lately.

Ah, can't stop listening to the first song they released (well, kind of released) from it, Dead American Writers. Ah, every song is so lovely.

Oops almost forgot!

Go to thetiredpony.com and sign up for their newsletter so you can get more news of course! :)
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Anime Review: Cowboy Bebop

Cowboy Bebop Remix Complete Collection (Anime Legends)
Rating: 5/5; one of my all time favorites. worthy of your collection.

RD: 1998 (Japan)

Synopsis:
Set in 2071, the series follows the misadventures and tragedies of a group of bounty hunters, or "cowboys", traveling on their spaceship, the Bebop.


Thoughts:
This series is just too breathtakingly incredible. From the very well developed characters to the crap they dealt/deal with and the awesome fight scenes. It's just all too good to be missed. The jazz-like music helps. :) This is the kind of show that keeps you glued to the screen for hours, makes you lose sleep, and makes you really attached to the characters so whatever they feel, you feel. I love that.
I honestly don't know what else to say to express how much I'm in love with this series. My only complaint is the ending. For reasons I cannot disclose I was to say the least, unhappy. Not dissatisfied, just unhappy.
Go watch it. Now. You'll love the overall story, the characters, their lives, their past, the fights, the space adventures, and you will love the animation a little too much. 

Sidenote: I hate that I watched this show 7 years after it ran in Japan. It just makes me think, "darn, that's another great thing I could have been doing that year!" Remembering how I watched it really brings back memories. I could not watch it in Japan of course so my only choice was watching it online. This was before the days of Youtube and before it re-ran on Adult Swim. It was back in the beginning days of  "direct downloads." Ah, so slow!

Music:


Movie Adaptation (Anime):
Cowboy Bebop - The Movie
Knockin' on Heaven's door was okay. It was not as awesome as the anime, but still, it was quite fun. Check it out. :) The scenery is every bit as beautiful as in the anime.








Movie Adaption (non-Anime):
On July 22, 2008, IF Magazine published an article on its website regarding a rumor of a live-action Cowboy Bebop movie in development by 20th Century Fox. Producer Erwin Stoff said that the film's development was in the early stages, and that they had "just signed it". Keanu Reeves has been confirmed as playing the role of Spike Spiegel. Varietyconfirmed on January 15, 2009, that the production company Sunrise Animation will be "closely involved with the development of the English language project." The site also confirmed Kenji Uchida, Shinichiro Watanabe, and series writer Keiko Nobumoto as associate producers, series producer Masahiko Minami as a production consultant, and Peter Craig as screenwriter. It is currently slated for release in 2011
Source
I'm scared about the movie. I do not like Keanu Reeves and CANNOT picture him as my much adored Spike. (Sidenote: boy don't I love Spikes! Spike from Buffy and this Spike are just too awesome! I guess Spikes are eternally fated to be loved by all). The only movies I like Reeves in were the Matix ones so I'm very, very afraid.


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Book Review: The Half-Life of Planets by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin

The Half-life of Planets
Rating: 4/5; entertaining. really liked it. would read again.

Release Date: June 15, 2010

Synopsis:
Liana is a girl with a reputation. She's also an aspiring planetary scientist. So one summer Liana, the kissing addict, decides to conduct an experiment. She's going to refrain from locking lips and use her mouth for talking instead.
Hank is a boy with Asperger's syndrome. He's funny- sometimes without intending to be - and more than a little awkward. So he can tell you all about bands called Love and Kiss, but not about loving or kissing. He also may have difficulty closing his mouth long enough to kiss anyone. 
-book flap

Thoughts:
Aww I really liked this book! I fell in love with Hank as I'm sure everyone who comes across him will too. Liana, not so much.
This book reads in alternating chapters from the point of view of Hank, the awkward boy who I don't think is that awkward, and Liana, the girl who can't stop kissing guys, but is trying to.
I read this book in one sitting so that tells you something. I could not keep myself apart from this book until I finished it. I just had to know what was going to happen. It's odd though. I found myself loving the characters and their story but at the same time, there were things I sort of hated. Hate-love kind of relationship. That's what I had with this book.
I felt that I didn't fully get to know Hank and Liana even though I got into their "minds." The reader gets to know pretty much everything they're thinking which I always, always love in a book. I still felt that their backgrounds were not fully developed somehow. I guess I just was not fully satisfied. I wanted to know more about them and why they are they way they are. For the most part of course the reader knows, but I wanted more information on certain aspects of their personality.
Liana and Hank meet each other randomnly at a hospital (I LOVE THIS!) and that's how their relationship, or whatever it is, begins. Gradually they start to get to know each other and so does the reader. They, like all strangers, keep things from each other and the reader too. I am pretty positive the reader was not supposed to know Hank had Asperger's throughout most of the first part of the book, yet there it is on the flap and all the synopsi (?). I hated that. Anyway, some of these tidbits were not very full thought out in my opinion. Like I said, I was not satisfied with that and that's what kept me from fully loving this book.
That's pretty much my only complaint. Oh yeah, then there's that part where I want to slap Liana across the face, but that's a story for another time. ;)
For it's few flaws, I still found myself enjoying this read. I know it's something I would read again. Not the best book in the world, but good enough for me. Hank and his quirks, personality, and love of music (I'm a huge music lover so plus plus plus!) was something I especially kept looking forward to. (Sidenote: I was not fully convinced he had Asperger's. I suspected it when I began reading the book but...still not fully convinced). Liana was pretty cool but sometimes I just found her to be messed up for no reason. Whatever, still worth a read. :)

Quotes:
"'Hi,' I say to her, and go over to the table. I don't touch her of course. It's difficult enough to negotiate the rules of how normal people converse; when and how they hug, much less kiss or run their hands through each other's beautiful hair, is simply too advanced for me right now. Also I have a boner."

"On my 'Hanks' mix, Hank Williams is singing about being so lonesome he could cry"
love that song! i'm so lonesome i could cry did you ever see a night so long when time goes crawling by I'm also a huge fan of the B.J Thomas version. It's one of my favorites :)

"I wish I could say I stare out at the sea in contemplation of my romantic longing, but the truth is I look at her butt as she walks away"

"Stars within a typical galaxy are so far apart that the chances of two colliding are slim to none. But in some dense regions, known as star clusters, they are much more likely to cross paths"

Related:
Emily Franklin
Brendan Halpin
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. I gave this one 3/5 stars. It was just okay in my opinion. The way the two books are written are similar and so is the relationship between the protagonists. Liana and Hank are not sex crazed though.
The House of Tomorrow by Peter Bognanni. Sebastian reminded me a lot of Hank because of his social awkwardness. Jared and Sebastian both love music so of course that also reminded me of Hank.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. Again, another socially awkward protagonist reminds me of Hank. In this case, Charlie. Aww I loooove Charlie!



I just knew they'd mention The Kinks hehe
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Question: Any horror movie recommendations?

Do you guys have any horror movie recommendations?

I'm going to have a movie marathon with some friends and I want us to watch something we all haven't seen.

I mean the good kind though. None of that pg-13 teenybopper shit.

I like:
Let the Right One In --It's not really horror, more of a friendship movie with a sprinkle of horror hehe
28 Days Later
28 Weeks Later
Dawn of the Dead (both versions surprisingly)
Rec

Hmm can't think of any at the moment.

Please help! Thanks :D

P.S- you might get a treat for this...

~~Lisette~~
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Song: Roslyn by Bon Iver and St. Vincent



God I love this song so much!

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Book Review: Fallen by Lauren Kate

Fallen
Rating: 3/5; Just okay. You're better off checking this out at a library.

Release Date: 2009

Synopsis:
 Seventeen-Year-Old Luce is a new student at Sword & Cross, an unwelcoming boarding/reform school in Savannah, Georgia. Luce’s boyfriend died under suspicious circumstances, and now she carries the guilt over his death with her as she navigates the unfriendly halls at Sword & Cross, where every student seems to have an unpleasant—even evil—history.

It’s only when she sees Daniel, a gorgeous fellow student, that Luce feels there’s a reason to be here—though she doesn’t know what it is. And Daniel’s frosty cold demeanor toward her? It’s really a protective device that he’s used again . . . and again. For Daniel is a fallen angel, doomed to fall in love with the same girl every 17 years . . . and watch her die. And Luce is a fellow immortal, cursed to be reincarnated again and again as a mortal girl who has no idea of who she really is.


Thoughts:
One of those reincarnation/immortal stories about forbidden love. Sounds very, very fascinating doesn't it?
Well it would have been had the story not been so damn SLOW! It was more than a little frustrating that the pacing was slower than an f-ing turtle. It did not help that the reader does not really get to find out much about the back story behind Luce and Daniel. He keeps saying "oh well I can't tell you blah blah blah." Who cares that you can't tell her! Tell us! Grr. The fight scene was beyond stupid and so was the antagonist. Stupid. So very stupid and seemed more for a middle school book than for a young adult read.
Even though I hated the first 3/4 of the book I still found myself reading a little faster and faster towards the end (the fight was still lacking anything interesting and so was the little "surprise"), but I couldn't help wanting more of those little cute romantic scenes between Luce and Daniel.
The guy started out as an asshole to her and she ended up being drawn towards him anyway. Stupid odd girl, but then there is a reason why she feels that way. Either way, she was just boring and bland. Just like the rest of the book (for the most part). Cam I liked a lot. He was so sweet and cute, especially in the rain. Daniel was just kind of there. I feel like if the reader were to know him more, he'd be much, much more likable. Luce needs to stop being such a little pansy. The girl drove me nuts sometimes with the dumbass things she did. Sigh.
Bottom line: the book has a lot of potential and I feel that it is possible once we know the characters more that it will be better. For that reason, I am looking forward to the sequel (the beautiful cover helps). This is one of those books that you should check out of the library first before deciding whether or not to spend your money on it to read the rest. It's just too boring and unenjoyable for about 98% of the book to really be worth your time and money.  This book should be marketed for middle graders (take away a lot of the sexual tension though). Young adults will just not find it to be that great.

Complaint: 
Other than the other complaints I had I just want to say that I HATED how one of the character's um situation was dealt with. It was a very, very sad moment and people just acted heartless. These characters are so selfish.

Related:
Lauren Kate
My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares --books about same guy-girl situation. Very similar.
fallen angels
immortals
pansies
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Dandy Books: Etcetera Etcetera

Dandy Books is a feature in which I post books from my never ending to be read list. Hopefully you find something you like :)


Crazy by Benjamin Lebert
RD: 2001
Crazy: A Novel


A smart, funny, poignant, very modern autobiographical coming-of-age novel, written when the author was sixteen years old. Like Catcher in the Rye, Crazy appeals to the teenager in us all.

Benni himself is partially paralyzed and a serial failure (he's been kicked out of four boarding schools in his short life and has just entered his fifth). So he's a little odd, but he's cool and he finds other strange boys to hang with. Together they set out to experience what they can: girls, booze, sex, philosophy, drugs, sex, books, music, sex–pretty much everything whatever. And Benni lets us in on "the crazy life" he figures is the only way to deal with the crazy world.



The Exes by Pagan Kennedy
RD: 1998
The Exes: A Novel
In one of the most critically acclaimed novels of recent years, Pagan Kennedy takes readers on a hip and hilarious tour of today's rock 'n' roll world. The Exes, an up-and-coming indie band, is made up of people who used to be lovers. Progressing from jam sessions in a basement to second-rate clubs to a cross-country tour that requires them to share seedy hotel rooms -- with their exes -- the four band members reveal their quirks, their problems, and their fantasies in alternating narratives.
Wickedly funny, realistic, and poignant, The Exes sheds a knowing light on the compromises and connections we all make in avid pursuit of our ambitions and dreams.


Crooked by Louisa Luna
RD: 2002

Crooked
Melody is just out of prison. Faced with the absence of her brother, who's serving life in San Quentin, and hardened by her own experiences in lock-up, Mel sturggles to adjust to the harsh realities of life on the outside. She quickly discovers that freeedom is relative...she has no money, no prospects, no guidance.
Forced to return to her mother's apartment in Marin County and take a job houling portable toilets, Mel finds herself drinking too much and hanging out with her old gang again. Haunted by glimpses of her own harrowing girlhood and of the mysterious circumstances that put her in prison in the first place, she slowly, bravely begins to forge a potential path toward redemption and escape.

The Fuck-Up by Arthur Nersesian
RD: 1997
The Fuck-Up
Doesn't the title say it all? After a series of set-backs, an unnamed slacker pretends to be gay to get a job which launches him on a darkly hilarious odyssey through New York City grit.







As always, if you've read any of these already, feel free to share your thoughts on them. If you haven't feel free to share why you find them interesting or not :)
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In My Mailbox: hungry for vampires in half life planets tweeting their hearts throughout dead generations and something about a cute dress

Thanks to The Story Siren and Pop Culture Junkie for IMM!

For Review:
HungerHunger by Jackie Morse Kessler (for a T2T tour)
RD: October 18, 2010

"Come on, Lisabeth," Death said, not unkindly. "It’s time to do your job."

The words didn’t make any sense. "My job?" Lisa said as Death helped her to her feet. She was a seventeen-year-old high school junior in the suburbs; she didn’t have a job. 

"Thou art Famine, yo," Death said. "Time to make with the starvation." 

Lisabeth Lewis is no stranger to starvation. Her life revolves around counting calories, constant exercise, denying herself even the strongest cravings. Lisa is in a constant battle with hunger for control over her body. When, in a moment of desperation, she almost gives up that control completely, she is visited by a wisecracking messenger who turns out to be Death. He offers Lisa a rare opportunity: to become one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse—Famine. As Famine, Lisa travels the world on her black steed, visiting parts of the world where hunger is a painful part of everyday life. She’s horrified to see her own power destroy crops and turn food to dust. But when she finds a way to harness her power as Famine and use it for nourishment rather than deprivation, Lisa finally gains the courage to face her own problem. 

A wildly original approach to the issue of eating disorders, HUNGER is about the struggle to find balance in a world of extremes, and uses fantastic tropes to explore a difficult topic that touches the lives of many teens.

This book really does sound unique, I can't wait to read it!

Almost to Die For: A Vampire Princess Novel by Tate Hallaway
RD: August 3, 2010
Almost to Die For: A Vampire Princess Novel (Vampire Princess of St. Paul)
On her sixteenth birthday, Anastasija Parker's present winds up being the shock of a lifetime. When her mom referred to her absentee dad as a deadbeat it was actually half true -- he's a vampire. And a king, no less. A king who wants his daughter to assume her rightful position at his side. But, thanks to Ana's mother, the blood of a witch also runs through her veins.... 

Too bad vampires and witches are mortal enemies. 

With her parents gearing up for an all out brawl over her destiny, Ana's about ready to scream. But things get even crazier when a male witch and a brooding bad boy vampire start vying for her affection. Then the barely leashed tension between the vampires and the witches starts to boil over, and Ana has to figure out once and for all if she wants to become heir to her dad's throne. And deciding your eternal destiny is a pretty big deal for a girl who just wants to get through high school.

Ahh can't wait to get to reading this one!

The Half-Life of Planets by Emily Franklin
RD: June 15, 2010
The Half-life of Planets
Liana is an aspiring planetary scientist . . . and also a kissing addict. This summer, though, she plans to spend every kissworthy hour in the lab, studying stars. Hank has never been kissed. He’s smart and funny and very socially awkward, because he’s got Asperger’s syndrome. Hank’s plan for the summer is to work at a music store and save enough to buy the Fender Jazzmaster he craves. What neither Liana nor Hank plans for is their fateful meeting . . . in the women’s bathroom at the hospital. But their star-crossed encounter could be the very best kind. Two veteran YA authors tell, in alternating chapters, the story of two kids who discover that the best parts of people can’t be summed up easily.


Boy does this one sound good or what?

Tweet Heart by Elizabeth Rudnick
RD: June 29, 2010
Tweet Heart
Claire is a #hopelessromantic. Lottie is determined to set up her BFF with Mr. Perfect. Will wants his #secretcrush to finally notice him. Bennett is a man with a plan. 

Claire can’t believe it when her dream guy starts following her on Twitter. She never thought he noticed her, and suddenly he seems to understand her better than almost anyone. 

But the Twitterverse can be a confusing place, especially when friends act differently online than they do in person. Things get even more complicated when Claire realizes she’s falling for someone else, the last person she ever would have expected…. 

Told in an innovative format combining tweets, emails, and blogs, Tweet Heart is a contemporary romantic comedy that will set your heart atwitter.

Interesting format. I love the back cover of this book and the inside, it actually has pictures of the characters. It's very unique. 

Generation Dead: Passing Strange (book #3) by Daniel Waters ***POSSIBLE SPOILERS since it's part of a series***
RD: June 1, 2010
Generation Dead: Passing Strange
Karen DeSonne always passed as a normal (if pale) teenager; with her friends, with her family, and at school. Passing cost her the love of her life. And now that Karen’s dead, she’s still passing—this time, as alive. Karen DeSonne just happens to be an extremely human-like zombie. Meanwhile, Karen’s dead friends have been fingered in a high-profile murder, causing a new round of antizombie regulations that have forced them into hiding. Karen soon learns that the “murder” that destroyed their non-life was a hoax, staged by Pete Martinsburg and his bioist zealots. Obtaining enough evidence to expose the fraud and prove her friends’ innocence means doing the unthinkable: becoming Pete’s girlfriend. Karen’s only hope is that the enemy never realizes who she really is—because the consequences would be worse than death.

I must read the other books in the series! I've been very curious about it so hopefully I like it. Sounds very fun. 

Dracula in Love by Karen Essex
RD: August 10, 2010
Dracula in LoveKaren Essex turns on the heat in this transporting and darkly haunting new tale of love and possession that puts forth the question: What if everything you knew about Dracula . . . was wrong?

From the shadowy banks of the River Thames to the wild and windswept coast of Yorkshire, the quintessential Victorian virgin Mina Murray vividly recounts in the pages of her private diary the intimate details of what transpired between her and Count Dracula—the joys and terrors of a pas­sionate affair and her rebellion against a force of evil that has pursued her through time. 

Mina’s version of this timeless gothic vampire tale is a visceral journey into the dimly lit bedrooms, mist-filled cemeteries, and locked asylum chambers where she led a secret life, far from the chaste and polite lifestyle the defenders of her purity, and even her fiancé, Jonathan Harker, expected of her. 

Bram Stoker’s classic novel was only one side of the story. Now, for the first time, Dracula’s eternal muse reveals all. What she has to say is more sensual, more devious, and more enthralling than ever imagined. The result is a scintillating gothic novel that reinvents the tragic heroine Mina as a modern woman tor tured by desire.

Too excited too excited!!

Carter's Big Break by Brent Crawford
RD: June 1, 2010
Carter's Big BreakAfter surviving freshman year (just barely), Carter is craving his summer break. Unfortunately, when he and his girlfriend, Abby, part ways, it looks as though summer just might break him. Things start to look up when he’s unexpectedly cast in an independent film opposite the world’s biggest tween sensation, Hilary Idaho. With Hollywood knocking on his door, Carter gets a taste of the good life. But as the film spirals out of control, he begins to fear that he’s not the “somebody” he thinks he is and more the “nobody” he’s sure he always has been. Find out if Carter goes Hollywood . . . or Hollywood goes Carter.



I really really had a fun time with the numerous laughs in the first book about Carter's "adventures" so I'm very curious about what's next in his life. Check out my review of the first book.


+

GIVEAWAY GOODIES! (huge giveaway coming up on July 18 and another one sooner rather than later)

Ignore the Iron King on there. That's MINE hehe ;) BTW those hands are two of my cousins' hands. I'm babysitting tonight until midnight so yah. They're so funny!


Won:






The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (thank you The Eager Readers)
RD: February 1, 2010
The Iron King (Harlequin Teen)
Meghan Chase has never fit in at her small-town high school, and now, on the eve of her 16th birthday, she discovers why. When her half brother is kidnapped, Meghan is drawn into a fantastical world she never imagined--the world of Faery, where anything you see may try to eat you, and Meghan is the daughter of the summer faery king. Now she will journey into the depths of Faery to face an unknown enemy . . . and beg the help of a winter prince who might as soon kill her as let her touch his icy heart. The Iron King is the first book in the Iron Fey series.

So excited about The Iron King! Sounds really awesome! ;)



Hailey's War: A Novel
Hailey's War by Jodi Compton (shelf awareness)
RD: June 15, 2010

Twenty-four-year-old Hailey Cain has dropped out of the US Military Academy for reasons she won't reveal. She has had to leave Los Angeles and it would be too big a risk for her to return. Now working as a bike messenger in San Francisco, Hailey keeps a low profile, until her high school best friend Serena Delgadillo makes a call that will turn her whole life upside-down. Serena is the head of an all-female gang on the rough streets of LA. She wants Hailey to escort the cousin of a recently murdered gang member across the border to Mexico. It's a mission that will nearly cost Hailey her life, causing her to choose more than once between loyalty and lawlessness, and forcing her to confront two very big secrets in her past...


Read on Amazon that it's Kill Bill-like so that got me hehe


The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June
RD: August 3, 2010
The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June
Three sisters, three extraordinary, life-changing powers!

I hugged my sisters and they fit against my sides like two jigsaw pieces that would never fit anywhere else. I couldn’t imagine ever letting them go again, like releasing them would be to surrender the best parts of myself.

Three sisters share a magical, unshakeable bond in this witty high-concept novel from the critically acclaimed author of Audrey, Wait! Around the time of their parents’ divorce, sisters April, May, and June recover special powers from childhood—powers that come in handy navigating the hell that is high school. Powers that help them cope with the hardest year of their lives. But could they have a greater purpose?

April, the oldest and a bit of a worrier, can see the future. Middle-child May can literally disappear. And baby June reads minds—everyone’s but her own. When April gets a vision of disaster, the girls come together to save the day and reconcile their strained family. They realize that no matter what happens, powers or no powers, they’ll always have each other.

Because there’s one thing stronger than magic: sisterhood.



Sounds like a very enjoyable read :)




All of these were on my TBR list so you have no idea how happy it makes me to have won them (!!!).


Stolen: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy Christopher (Stolen, Before I Fall and The Secret Year were won at I Should Be Writing, thanks again!!)
RD: May 1, 2010
Stolen
Told in a moving letter to her captor, sixteen-year-old Gemma relives her kidnapping from Bangkok airport while on holiday. Taken by Ty, her troubled young stalker, to the wild and desolate Australian outback, she reflects on a landscape from which there's no escape. A story of survival, passion and darkness, Gemma reveals how she had to deal with the nightmare, or die trying to fight it. Sensitive, powerful and beautifully written.


Sounds like a very intriguing read and like a story somewhat about Stockholm Syndrome. Interesting!!! Been on my tbr list for a very long time so I'm very, very excited to read this one :D


Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
RD: March 1, 2010
Before I Fall
What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life? 

Samantha Kingston has it all—looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12th should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it’s her last. The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. In fact, she re-lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she had ever imagined.


Curious about this Groundhog Day-like book. Sounds really good. :) 


The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard
RD: January 7, 2010
The Secret YearSeventeen-year-old Colt has been sneaking out at night to meet Julia, a girl from an upper-class neighborhood unlike his own. They’ve never told anyone else about their relationship: not their family or friends, and especially not Julia’s boyfriend.When Julia dies suddenly, Colt tries to cope with her death while pretending that he never even knew her. He discovers a journal she left behind. But he is not prepared for the truths he discovers about their intense relationship, nor to pay the price for the secrets he’s kept.

Eeeh! Sounds really neat-O!


Nail Polish and other goodies :)
Won these over at Cocobella Thanks again!!!



I'm already wearing the green one, it's so pretty!!

Bought:
The Complete James Dean Collection (East of Eden / Giant / Rebel Without a Cause Special Edition)
Ahh!! I LOVE James Dean!! RIP JD :(









Cute dress from Forever 21. It was around $15 ;) It's awesome I love it!



Currently reading:


Fallen
Hmm kinda slow so I keep putting it down, picking it up, putting it down, repeat.

Edit: Okay I just finished reading this one. The first 3/4 of the book are sooo boring, but the last part is oh so fascinating with a lot of cute romantic moments. The fight scene and "twist" are so stupid do not get me started. My opinion: check this one out of the library instead of buying it. Thankfully I only traded it so that was only $2.38 :) Still, I'm very curious about the sequel. It's possible it will be much better. That does happen sometimes with series.


If you've read any of the above be sure to let me know what you thought + what'd you get this week?


;)

hold tight, count to three
gotta stay close by me
and hold tight sing and shout
just ride my round about
-Hold Tight by Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich


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