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May 29, 2011


imageTitle: Ripple
Author: Mandy Hubbard
Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin
Release Date: July 21, 2011
Received From: ATWT
Summary: Lexi is cursed with a dark secret. Each day she goes to school like a normal teenager, and each night she must swim, or the pain will be unbearable. She is a siren - a deadly mermaid destined to lure men to their watery deaths. After a terrible tragedy, Lexi shut herself off from the world, vowing to protect the ones she loves. But she soon finds herself caught between a new boy at school who may have the power to melt her icy exterior, and a handsome water spirit who says he can break Lexi's curse if she gives up everything else. Lexi is faced with the hardest decision she’s ever had to make: the life she's always longed for - or the love she can't live without?

Review: This is my favorite book that Mandy Hubbard has written. I mean how can you go wrong with sirens?

This book was written really well, the characters popped off the page, and had real reactions to things. It drives me nuts when characters react in ways that no one would ever really, and people act like its normal. I appreciated that this book didn’t have any of that!

I loved the mythology of the sirens but I wish we could have known a little more about it, sirens are great mythological creatures and it would have been nice to see Hubbard’s spin on it a little more.

The ending? I never expected it! and I loved that, books where I can figure out the ending too easily are annoying to me. I mean I had an inkling, but I was shocked by what actually happened.

Overall a really good book, a great step up from many paranormal book lately!

4 maps




May 24, 2011

With or Without You Guest Post!

imageToday I have with me the author of With or Without You Brian Farrey, to talk about his favorite authors!

Five Authors I Adore (and why)

Hey, guess what.  MY BOOK IS OUT TODAY! Yes, that’s right. May 24th is the official release of With or Without You. So it’s extra special to be spending today on Mariah’s blog and discussing writers I adore.

I always feel uncomfortable singling out favorite authors. I don’t know why.  Possibly because I love so many writers that I feel like a parent singling out imagea favorite child.  I think the ones that inevitably become the ones I discuss when pressed are those that I can genuinely say I’ve learned from. Or that I hope to learn from, after more study.

So here, in no particular order, are a few authors whose work I admire and learn from:

When writers ask me for book recommendations, the first title I say is “Kit’s Wilderness by David Almond.”  I know his book Skellig may be slightly more well known and loved but Kit’s Wilderness blew me away.  I call it a “technically perfect” novel.  Almond doesn’t waste a single word.  He uses each and every one to create a very intricate, delicate structure.  Everything—everything—links to emphasize theme, character, and atmosphere. His minimalist language never ceases to amaze me. 

Picking up the first Bartimaeus book was, in many ways for me, a revelation. There, on the pages, was this voice. This remarkable, wonderful, funny, sarcastic voice. Something I’d never really seen in a book for kids. And it just wasn’t the first person sections told by Bartimaeus. It was everything. This very authoritative voice that commanded my attention.  It’s just a treat when an author says to me, quietly, “Pay attention now.”  That’s what Stroud does to me.

At the risk of appearing to jump on a very popular bandwagon, I really do love Rowling’s work.  She’s very good at emotional manipulation. You love the characters you’re supposed to love and hate the characters you’re supposed to hate. But she doesn’t back away from ambiguity.  There are several characters she’s created that you’re supposed to feel conflicted about.  Those, I think, are some of the hardest to create and she does it with a great amount of skill.

Once a year, every year, I re-read Raskin’s The Westing Game. She’s known for many great books but this is the one that really grabbed my imagination as a kid.  The plot is masterful and I say that as someone who doesn’t typically get into mysteries.  Raskin’s really terrific with balance. You get just the right amounts of character and plot and pacing.  Each time I finish, I feel fully satisfied, like after a gourmet meal.

Andrew is fairly recent discovery for me.  I read The Marbury Lens and then immediately ran out and bought his other books.  And now I’m anxiously awaiting the publication of his new book, Stick. Marbury Lens shook me up and left me feeling uncomfortable, paranoid, and strangely eager to return to the unsettling world he was creating.  He’s one of those writers where I finish his work and ask myself, “How did he do that?”   I hope that if I keep reading him, I’ll figure it out one of these days.

So, those are the authors I adore.  Now, if you’ll allow me one quick plug: check out my blog (link below) on May 24 (today-ish) for a couple contests: one specifically for writers, the other for voracious readers, both with awesome prizes!

Brian Farrey’s debut YA novel, WITH OR WITHOUT YOU, will be published May 24 by Simon Pulse. He tweets @BrianFarrey and he blogs at www.brianfarreybooks.com/wordpress.

Thanks for coming Brian and happy book birthday!

May 14, 2011


imageTitle: Dreamwalk
Author: Sarah MacManus
Publisher: Young Rebel Productions
Release Date: March 14, 2011
Received From: Teen {book} Scene

DREAMWALK is a romantic mixed beat of time travel and mythology for both teens and adults. After the death of her mother, Chloe Hawthorn is haunted by terrifying nighttime hallucinations. Determined to take control of her dreams, she uses them to find Shane Anderson, a charming and troubled musician whose online videos have been holding her in thrall. She finds him in the Dreamtime, sweating out heroin detox in a run-down rehab center.
Chloe sets out to find Shane in the waking world and discovers her dreams have been taking her into the past. Horrified, Chloe realizes Shane doesn't survive his addictions. In order to save him, Chloe must master her Australian mother's legacy — the secret of walking the Dreaming through time. But what price will Chloe pay for this Dreamwalk and will she save Shane only to lose him forever?

Review: This book was very different than anything I ad read before. I originally picked it up cause the premise sounded so exciting. It is only 149 pages so its not very long, but a lot of story was crammed into those few pages.

I loved experiencing Chloe and Shane's relationship through both their eyes and was surprised to see it portrayed in this way. Chloe kind of made me mad how she refused to try and get used to her life in New York because people have to move all the time you know?

The only other problem I had was that it was kind of slow in my opinion, basically the same thing happened over and over for about 20 pages. But beyond that it was a very interesting book!

4 maps




May 13, 2011

Dreamwalk author interview

Today I have the author of Dreamwalk to answer some questions!

Where did you get your inspiration for Dreamwalk?*

I got the inspiration for Dreamwalk from a number of places, to be honest.
It was sort of the culmination of a lot of factors, the first being my own
experience with hypnogogic hallucinations. It started from idly wishing I
had a time machine one day, because I would have loved to have seen the
Beatles playing in the Cavern Club and it occurred to me that if I learned
how to use lucid dreaming, I’d sort of be able to do just that. I’ve always
been fascinated with the concept of non-linear time, anyway, and the concept
of how perception can be manipulated to alter reality.

*What has been your favorite part of getting your book into the hands of
other people?*

Well, of course I like it when a reader really enjoys the book. Getting
positive feedback is a real joy, especially insightful feedback that shows
that they’ve really thought about what you’ve written. I can’t speak for
other authors, but I do take time to make sure that every word counts. I
also write to thematic plots, and it’s important to me that those themes are
perceived. I’m delighted when they are and when those themes have found
their way into the readers feedback.

*If you could live in one fictional world what would it be?*

Oh, that one’s easy – Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. No question. I’m not sure
if I’d want to be a Ram Tops witch or a seedy denizen of Ankh-Morpork. Maybe
a bit of both.

*What inspired you to become a writer?*

Classic science fiction and fantasy authors. I ate them for breakfast, lunch
and dinner when I was a kid. Particularly Heinlein, who was the first author
I ran into that explored philosophy and ideology through plot and character.
I’ve always had some very definite opinions about the shape of reality and
found I could talk about those ideas through fiction.

*What's your favorite/oddest writing ritual? *

I don’t really have a favorite ritual – I have THE ritual – which is the
only one that works. I have to have a fan going, listen to music, drink
coffee and be wearing flip-flops.