Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

February 28, 2012

Video review of Anna and the French Kiss. Further book details and a quick review overview is located below the video, if you just want an idea of what I thought about the book.




Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Released: December 2, 2010
Series: n/a but has companion novels
Publisher: Dutton
Pages: 372
Format: Hardback
Source: Purchased
Buy it: Book Depository (free shipping)

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near - misses end with the French kiss Anna - and readers - have long awaited?


Review Overview:
Simple, yet satisfying plot that keeps you wanting to read until the very end. I devoured this book in a day! It has a quirky and entertaining writing style, which is beautifully paced

The characters were amazing. Anna was funny, witty and a believable main character. Then we have the gorgeous St. Clair... who is beautiful, charming, clever and funny. The whole package, really. I am more than a little jealous.

Anna and the French Kiss was an absolutely FANTASTIC read. I have never read much in the way of contemporary, but this book converted me to the wonderful, romantic world instantly. I fell in love straight away.

New YA Releases: 28 February, 2012

February 27, 2012

Here are some upcoming releases this week.

Paperback:


+ Torn by Amanda Hocking
+ Shooting Stars by Allison Rushby

Hardcover:


+ Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
+ BZRK by Michael Grant
+ Partials by Dan Wells
+ Fugitives by Alexander Gordon Smith
+ A Touch Morbid by Leah Clifford
+ When the Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellison

Interview with Meredith Zeitlin

February 24, 2012

Meredith Zeitlin is a writer and voiceover artist who lives in Brooklyn with two adorable feline roommates. She also writes a column for Ladygunn Magazine, changes her hair color every few months, and has many fancy pairs of spectacles. In case you're wondering whether any of Kelsey's experiences are based on Meredith's own, the answer is NO WAY. When she was fourteen, Meredith looked and behaved perfectly at all times, was never in a single embarrassing situation, and always rode to school on her very own unicorn. If you want to know more about Meredith's voiceover work, check out www.mzspeaks.com.




In one or two sentences, explain why we should pick up your book.

You should pick up my book because you want to read about the slightly-bonkers adventures of a girl who is probably a lot like you - uncertain, excited, prone to making mistakes, but willing to learn from them. Also because you want world peace and happiness for all - this book is the key! Go get it right away!


What inspired you to become a writer?

I've just been one, really - since I was very little. I come from a family of writers and readers, and books were always everywhere. It sort of came naturally, I think. But my aunt Rhea (Kohan) is a novelist, and her books are hilarious. She definitely inspired me to try my hand at a book.



Do you usually work with an outline, or just write your stories without much more than an idea?

No outlines - far too disciplined for me! Even in school I used to cobble outlines together after I'd finished my papers, and then only if I had to hand them in. I just sit down and write whatever comes to mind. Not a perfect system, but it's all I've got!


Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters certainly was an entertaining read full of horrifically embarrassing moments that were incredibly amusing. Where did the idea for the story come from? Did a specific scene or character pop into your mind first?

Well, most of those moments really were based on actual events from my own horrifically embarrassing life (yes, I know what my bio says. I can't give everything away up front, right??). I get into a lot of pretty ridiculous situations somehow. The Loehmann's scene, which was originally much longer, was the first thing that came to mind, though - I had plenty to say about that, having been dragged to that store against my will for my entire childhood. (Note: I totally love Loehmann's now that I'm old. Yay Loehmann's!) Kelsey and her mom were the characters that I knew exactly how to write from the beginning, so that's where I started. Then the rest of the story unfolded as I went along.


Whilst writing Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters, did you have any characters write themselves into the story or attempt to take over?

Well, Travis's character got much bigger for a while, and then got trimmed down again, but I was always in control of her antics. I think the characters or moments that surprised me by having a bigger or different part than I'd originally planned happened pretty organically. JoJo's storyline changed a lot; her being gay came to me well into the editing process, and it just made sense. Same for the Ben/Valentina angle. So no - I didn't let the characters escape my iron grasp!


What was the hardest scene you had to write? 

There were a few scenes I worked on for many, many drafts to try and get just right - Kelsey's first meeting with Ben was one, and the scene where Kelsey ends up in a bedroom alone with Sam at the party was another. But the opening chapter was the hardest for me. It's the first impression the reader will have of the book and the characters, which is SO important, but I also had to work in a lot of information and set up the story without it getting boring or expositional. Probably because it got rewritten so many times, it got harder and harder to tell if it was any good. So that was difficult. Hopefully it came out okay - I can't really tell anymore!


Do you have any other books planned or that you are in the process of writing?


I wrote a children's picture book that I'm hoping will find a home soon, and a friend and I wrote a super-creepy horror feature. (So, some pretty different stuff!) I'm also working on another YA novel. It's not a sequel to Freshman Year..., but it takes place in the same world, so you'll see some of the characters again.


FUN FACTS

What is your favourite sweet food?
ICE CREAM.


Do you take shampoo and conditioner bottles from hotel rooms?
Nope.


What is your biggest pet peeve?
Chronic lateness. It drives me crazy.


What book are you most anticipating for this year?
The Twelve, by Justin Cronin.

If you could have one super power, what would it be?
Hm. Maybe the ability to shape-shift. This or That?

Computer or Television?
Well, a computer can function as a TV, but not the other way around... so I guess computer.


Vampire or Werewolves?
Vampires. I'd certainly rather BE a vampire than a werewolf!


Coke or Pepsi?
Coke. Extra points for Cherry Coke.

Blind or deaf?
Oh, this is so hard. I don't think I could bear to be blind, but not being able to listen to music - or laughter! - would be crushing... If I HAD to choose, I'd say deaf. Hopefully that won't ever happen.

Harry Potter or Twilight?
HARRY POTTER. No contest.


Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions! It has been a pleasure to have you on Little Book Owl.

Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters

February 23, 2012

I received this book for free from authors PR in exchange for an honest review.


Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin
Released: March 1, 2012
Series: n/a
Format: e-book
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Source: PR
Buy it: Book Depository (free shipping) | Amazon

Kelsey Finkelstein is fourteen and FRUSTRATED. Every time she tries to live up to her awesome potential, her plans are foiled – by her impossible parents, her annoying little sister, and life in general. But with her first day of high school coming up, Kelsey is positive that things are going to change. Enlisting the help of her three best friends — sweet and quiet Em, theatrical Cass, and wild JoJo — Kelsey gets ready to rebrand herself and make the kind of mark she knows is her destiny.

Things start out great - her arch-nemesis has moved across the country, giving Kelsey the perfect opportunity to stand out on the soccer team and finally catch the eye of her long-time crush. But soon enough, an evil junior’s thirst for revenge, a mysterious photographer, and a series of other catastrophes make it clear that just because KELSEY has a plan for greatness… it doesn’t mean the rest of the world is in on it.

Kelsey’s hilarious commentary throughout her disastrous freshman year will have you laughing out loud—while being thankful that you’re not in her shoes, of course…


In the mood for plenty of laughs? Keen to pick up a really entertaining book? Then Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters is PERFECT for you!

Meredith Zeitlin's debut novel for 2012 is a fun, entertaining read that keeps you simultaneously giggling and cringing throughout. There sure are plenty of disasters, alright, a continuous string of amusing situations that Kelsey finds herself in.

The pacing of the book was pretty good - a very easy, quick read. The pacing at the end, however, was a little too fast for me. I felt that it ended really abruptly and seemed a little rushed. It is a shame because I would have liked to have more of a chance to savour the events that occurred in the last chapter.

Kelsey is your average teenage girl who manages to find herself in so many torturous and embarrassing situations. Everything bad that could possibly happen, happened. I felt so bad for Kelsey! Yet, she manages to handle them humorously without losing a sense of who she is. She is a very realistic and relatable character - wanting to make a name for herself in high school, but unfortunately manages to do so in the worst ways possible.

At the start I was a little confused between Kelsey's three best friends, JoJo, Cass and Em. Eventually as their personalities and characteristics are unveiled, I was able to easily distinguish between them all. They are all very different characters, and each cause their fair share of drama and/or entertainment.


Top Ten Tuesday (7)

February 21, 2012




I am participating in Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! Each week, there is a specific topic for a top ten list.

This weeks topic is:
Top Ten Books I'd Quickly Save If My House Was Going To Be Abducted By Aliens


1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
My absolute favourite book of all time. One of my first picks, definitely.

2. Divergent by Veronica Roth
I loved this book. So, so much. And the cover is amazing.

3. Disney's Classic Treasury: Volume One
Probably my favourite book from my childhood, including some of my favourite Disney stories including Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan :)

4. The Host by Stephanie Meyer
I have read this book a couple of times and it is one of the few books I have actually re-read so far. I loved it. Twas amazing.

5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Amazing. Do I really need to explain myself on this one?

6. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
I am not cheating and counting the series as one book.. or maybe this is a way of just filling up the top ten list? Who knows ;)

7. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Obviously. Can't read the first two and miss out on the last!

8. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
I loved this book. It was so, so good. Would love to re-read this. Plus the cover is gorgeous.

9. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
I loved Lola more than Anna... didn't think that was possible. But I would choose this because it is an AMAZING romance. Plus it has Anna and St Clair in it as well, so it's a snippet of Anna and the French Kiss alongside a new romance.

10. Room by Emma Donoghue
This was an incredible book. And very adorable.

Might add some pretty pictures (aka covers) soon.. Maybe

New YA Releases: 21 February, 2012

February 19, 2012

Here are some upcoming releases this week.

Hardcover:

+ The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg
+ A Beautiful Evil by Kelly Keaton
+ Fever by Lauren DeStefano
+ Double by Jenny Valentine
+ Faery Tales and Nightmares by Melissa Marr

Giveaway Spotlight: February 18

February 18, 2012

Here is a quick giveaway ending today!

One of two STORM ARCS @ Quick and Dirty ARC COntest
Brigid Kremmerer is giving away two copies of an ARC of her novel, Storm.

International
Ending 18th Feb at 11:59 NYC TIME






The Mail Still Runs - Trailer

February 16, 2012

The book trailer for The Mail Still Runs, the sequel to Far From the War, has recently been released. I did a book review of Far From the War last year, and if you would like to see what I thought of it, then take a look here.



Giveaway Spotlight: 14 Jan 2012

February 14, 2012

This week I have an incredibly EPIC giveaway to tell you about, if you haven't heard already.
And I want to ask your opinions: would you like to see this as a more frequent thing? Would you possibly like to even have your own giveaways linked up? I could figure something out. Let me know!

Now, onto the giveaway!


The Contest and the Winning and the Free Books @ Stir Your Tea

Tahereh Mafi is giving away 6 PRIZE PACKS, with 3 BOOKS EACH!?! Holy moly. This is just a little bit exciting.

International
Ending 22nd Feb at 11:59 PST





You can't deny how awesome it sounds. Seriously.


Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Video review of Shatter Me. Further book details and a quick review overview is located below the video, if you just want an idea of what I thought about the book.






Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Released: November 15, 2011
Series: Shatter Me Series [Book One]
Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 388
Source: Purchased
Buy it: Book Depository (free shipping)

Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color. 

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war-- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now. 

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

Review Overview:
The plot is extremely captivating, dragging you right in to the story. I could not put this book down.

I loved the writing style. It was beautiful, poetic, lyrical and very visual language. The crossed out portions of the book were very intriguing, enabling you to really get inside Juliette's mind and see what her true feelings and thoughts are.

Juliet was a wonderful and strong main character who has been through some

Adam started out a bastard, but you soon learn why this was and what his motives were.

I loved Warner. He was a fantastic antagonist. He is pretty messed up mentally, but he was a very solid character. He had feasible reasons for his actions, and he was pretty much just a really evil character.

Week of Videos - Ask & Suggest Away!

February 13, 2012

I received all of your suggestions and I have organised 7 videos for 7 days! Now all I need are;
1. Questions that you would like me to answer
2. Some book discussion topics to talk about for the video and/or in the future
3. Anything in particular you would like to see in my daily life?

Here is the video which explains things in more detail:

New YA Releases: 14-16 February, 2012

February 12, 2012

Here are some upcoming releases this week.


Paperback:



+ The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen



Hardcover:



+ The Vanishing Game by Kate Kae Meyers
+ Graffiti Moon by Catch Crowley
+ The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison
+ Bewitching by Alex Flinn
+ Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
+ Trafficked by Kim Purcell
+ The Nightmare Garden by Caitlin Kittredge
+ Arcadia Awakens Kai Meyer

Top Ten Tuesday (6)

February 8, 2012



I am participating in Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! Each week, there is a specific topic for a top ten list.

This weeks topic is:
Top Ten Books I'd Quickly Save If My House Was Going To Be Abducted By Aliens


So these are some of the books I would recommend to anyone and everyone. These are not in any particular order.


1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I think this one is pretty obvious.. I mean come on ;)



2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Basically because this is one of my favourite books of all time. Incredible. It is really unique, particular considering the fact that the narrator is death.





3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
It is a really short and easy read, which was just truly amazing.


4. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
If I met someone who did not like to read and had NOT read the Harry Potter books.. what are the chances of this, though. Seriously? But if I DID stumble upon someone like this, I would definitely recommend them.


5. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
This was just a gorgeously entertaining read with an irresistible romance. Loved it so much. I would also recommend Lola and the Boy Next Door along with it.



6. Divergent by Veronica Roth
This book was just pure awesome. Awesomesauce, to be precise.




7. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
This was just incredible. I raved about this book and absolutely loved it. Would recommend this to anyone.



8. Room by Emma Donoghue
I loved Room. So much.





9. The Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead
This was an amazing vampire series. As the series progressed, the books got better and better!





10. Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott
I was just amazed by this book. I loved the voice of the narrator, and how her story was told. Amazing. Again, I have raved about this book plenty of times.





What books would you recommend? Would love to hear!

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