Monday, 26 November 2012

Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard

Pretty Little Liars
by Sara Shepard


Summary: Three years ago, Alison disappeared after a slumber party, not to be seen since. Her friends at the elite Pennsylvania school mourned her, but they also breathed secret sighs of relief. Each of them guarded a secret that only Alison had known. Now they have other dirty little secrets, secrets that could sink them in their gossip-hungry world. When each of them begins receiving anonymous emails and text messages, panic sets in. Are they being betrayed by some one in their circle? Worse yet: Is Alison back?
I am shamefully addicted to the TV show adaption of Pretty Little Liars. It definitely has it's annoying qualities and elements of absolute ridiculousness, but it's entertaining. Before the TV show, I had no desire to read the books even though I'd heard of them. Hell, even after watching the show I wasn't particularly interested in reading the books. But, I own the first four, so figured why not. *shrugs*

...The TV show is better. Normally, I find the book better but ones like this are the exception.

Things that I can tolerate in TV shows (like crappy "best friends" and obsessions with things like money, clothes, popularity and a whole bunch of material nonsense) irritate me so much more in books. I don't know if it's because we're not stuck in the characters head in shows or if it's just that those things seem less mind numbingly shallow when they're shown visually instead of written, but for whatever reason, it bugs me in books. And while this book isn't the worst I've read for those things, it is definitely an element in them that I didn't like much.

There also wasn't much going on in the book (or, at least, it felt that way). The entire book is basically the first episode of the TV show. I didn't mind knowing what was going to happen, but it did leave me with a, "That's it?" kind of feeling when I was done. Perhaps if I'd read the book first, the plot would've been more gripping than it turned out to be, who knows.

The characters were a lot more likeable to me in the show than they were in the book and relationships in the show worked better too. Like the Aria/Ezra storyline - it plays out in a similar fashion to the show, but book Ezra seemed so much more immature and kind of creepy and the fact that Aria seemed more her age in the book didn't help with that at all. And that's just one example, I had issues with the other relationships too (another: Hanna pressuring her boyfriend into sex even though he wants to wait until he's married...if the roles were reversed, that subject would've been treated a lot more seriously).

I know this is supposed to be a review of the book, not a comparison to the show, but I don't have much to say about the book - it was bland most of the time, with annoying moments, there were only one or two scenes in the whole book that actually had me hooked. (Plus, lets not forget my general aversion to books with multiple narrators - this has four, so that probably lowered my enjoyment of the book.)

It felt like a book that was written to be a TV show (which it might've been, actually - I'm not sure how the whole Alloy Entertainment thing works but pretty much every book series of theirs has been made into a TV show and with the ones I've seen, it's been the same: mediocre books, decent/good TV shows and I think they pay authors to write ideas, it's not always just authors writing their own books from scratch).

You might enjoy the books more than I did, so don't be put off by this review, I have seen other bloggers who loved the books. For me, the fact that I like the show was the only thing that stopped this book from being a Did Not Finish. It wasn't terrible but I'd still only rate it about 2.5 stars out of 5 and I think it would've been lower had I not seen the show first.

I think I'll read the other three books in the series that I own and then stop there, unless it takes a turn for the amazing (doubtful). Plus, those book series that just won't freaking die bug me so much - more than 4 books in a series is really not necessary, with few exceptions.

This review has been a bit rambling, sorry. I'll shut up now.

Later.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Book Haul (140)

Julie:

Long time no share, I know! But I only got two books one week, then one book the next week...then I bought 4...then there was this week when I finally got to go home and see what showed up.

The Dead and the Buried by Kim Harrington (ARC for review from Scholastic)
Sanditon by Jane Austen and Anne Telscombe (paperback purchased from Strand)
Ripple by Mandy Hubbard (paperback purchased from Strand)
The Education of Bet by Lauren Baratz-Logsted (paperback purchased from Strand)
So Close to You by Rachel Carter (hardcover purchased from Strand)
Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally (paperback purchased from Bank Street Books for signing)
Who I Kissed by Janet Gurtler (paperback purchased from Bank Street Books for signing)
The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (hardcover received for review from Simon and Schuster)
Just One Day by Gayle Forman (ARC for review from Penguin)
Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys (ARC for review from Penguin)
Poison by Molly Cochran (hardcover received for review from Simon and Schuster)
The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart by Leanna Renee Hieber (egalley received from Sourcebooks)

So, yeah, it was a pretty good few weeks. I'm expecting at least one more package that'll be a birthday present I can pick up when I come back to my parents' next weekend. Otherwise, we'll see what happens!

How have your holidays been? Any good books?

--Julie

Lanna:

Bought:

Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta

DFVKNDFLJVNDJVB! I love this series and Melina Marchetta is one of my favourite authors, so I couldn't wait for the international release of this book and ended up ordering it from fishpond and getting it shipped from Australia instead. I'm about a third of the way into the book so far and dfkvbslkfdvblsk! I prefer the Australian covers anyway. (I actually bought it a while ago, but it took a few weeks to get here.)

For review:

Broken Illusions by Ellie James (I think the first book is called Shattered Dreams, which I own but haven't read yet.)
The Day I Met Suzie by Chris Higgins
Siege by Sarah Mussi

I got some ebooks too, probably, but I can't remember which ones. What'd you guys get this week?

Later.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

November 22nd

November 22nd is a special day. You see, many years ago, on this day...Toy Story was first released (seriously). And, you know, it's Julie's birthday, too. And I suck at birthday posts, so I'm going to try and distract her from that with some lovely things.

Like this picture of a massive dog licking a tiny rabbit as it washes it's face:


Or this gif of a pug running up the stairs:


Or this one of Ryan Gosling taking his top off. Because...reasons.


Or maybe some Matthew/Mary adorableness:


Or! OR! A Doctor/Rose fan video...set to a Mariana's Trench song. (Also, Julie, have I told you how much I DFKJNVSJLNFVYAY! the fact that you're actually watching Doctor Who now? Because DFFKNSLDKNVSLGNBGYAYAYAY!)



Or, uh, Robert Pattinson talking about his love for Twilight:



I know, I know.

Basically, just...Happy Birthday, Julie. I hope you have a day as awesome as you are. :)

Later.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Publishing Edumacation (2)

And we're back!

Pace University

Today, I'll be talking about the Publishing Program at Pace University. As I mentioned in the last post, I don't know as much about this program because...I don't go to Pace. I DID apply to Pace specifically for this program though, because it is fairly awesome if you don't mind the insane cost of Pace.

To start with, Pace University is a private school (which is why it's ridiculously expensive, no matter where you live) and it has two locations, one in Pleasantville, New York (which is in Westchester County) and one in New York City (...somewhere on the island of Manhattan is the best I can give you). Both campuses offer the Publishing Program and Pleasantville isn't that far from the city if you wanted to do internships or work but not live in the city.

One of the unique things about Pace's program is that it's a 5-year program that ends with you getting a Bachelor's and a Master's degree. English majors with a 3.2 GPA or higher and a 3.0 QPA or higher can apply during their junior year and, if they get in, graduate 2 years later with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Science in Publishing.

In your first semester of the Publishing Program, which would be the first semester of your senior year at the college, you have to take 2 of the following courses:
  • Book Production and Design
  • Financial Aspects of Publishing
  • Informational Systems in Publishing
  • Editorial Principles and Practices
 The next semester, you have to take 2 of the following courses:
  • General Interest Books
  • Editorial Principles and Practices
  • Marketing Principles and Practices
In your fifth year of school, or when you start graduate school, students are required to do an internship in the fall and the spring semesters. In the fall, students are also expected to take 2 more of the core courses (basically what's listed above, give or take a two) as well as one elective. In the spring semester, three elective courses are expected. 

I'm not 100% sure about the details, but I believe you can also go to Marymount College in Manhattan and you can also be a part of this program at Pace. It was something I stumbled upon while looking for the links to the Pace Publishing pages, but I didn't have time to research.

That's...really all I know about this program, but yeah. It's an option. Pretty well known and lots of the professors work in the industry and then they probably have lots of help to get internships. 

For more information, you can go here or here.

--Julie

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Shock Point by April Henry

Shock Point
by April Henry


Summary: Cassie discovers that her stepfather, Rick, a teen psychiatrist, has been illegally prescribing a new behavioral drug to his patients—and three teens have died. Before she can report him, Rick commits Cassie to Peaceful Cove, a boot camp for troubled teens in Mexico. Cassie knows she has to get out now, before more teens die. But no one has ever escaped from Peaceful Cove alive—and even if Cassie gets over the walls and survives the Mexican desert, will anyone believe her story?
I'm kind of torn on my opinion of this book. It wasn't a bad book, but there was something off about it and the problem is...well, I'm not sure if the problem was the book or the expectations I had for the book.

My expectations: It was the whole boot camp aspect of it that interested me and made me pick it up. I've read and seen a lot about those camps. So, I went into the book expecting it to have the same kind of impact on me as reading the true stories about them had, but it didn't and there were a few reasons for that.

The first one, the biggest one, is the almost soap opera-ish plot with her step dad. Everything about that just took away from the real, raw impact a story about one of those boot camps should have (it wasn't a bad plot line, I just didn't like it combined with the boot camp thing). Also, the fact that the book was so short, it seemed to gloss over important things about how the long lasting effects the camps can have.

I'm not sure if there are any of the really bad camps still open (I'll add some links at the bottom for you to read more about them), but I do know that the ones that were open and got shut down were awful. The teenagers sent to them were abused (definitely mentally, usually physically, sometimes even sexually). And it would go on for months, if not years (they were allowed to keep them there until they were 18 if their parents didn't come for them, some went in as young as 12).

What they go through, it's not just a case of everything being all rainbows and butterflies as soon as they're released - abuse like that, it leaves them emotionally scarred after it. Scarring that can take years to get over, if they ever get fully over it.

That's one area I think the book really failed. It didn't really seem like Cassie had any trauma caused by the camp at all, it was like she just went back to pretty much how she was, and it didn't show anything negative really happening to the relationship between Cassie and her mum (having the person you should be able to trust the most choosing to believe someone elses word over yours without even hearing your side of things, and sending you away someplace awful where you are abused for months...that should have some sort of impact on their relationship).

I don't know if the shortness of the book is to blame for that or if maybe the author just wanted to end on a happy note instead of a sad/bittersweet one.

Most of the issues I had with the book really are down to the fact that I expected more from it considering the subject matter and I think it could've been handled better. Beyond that, the only actual issue with the book itself--beyond my expectations for it--was the thing with Cassie and her mum and how it skipped over the part where her mother apologizes for being an epic fail of a mother (but I'm not sure if the reader is supposed to think of her that way, Cassie doesn't seem to, but I did).
Positives: The kind of stuff Cassie goes through while at the camp - that part was done pretty well. And I do like Aprils writing and I liked some of the characters.

Basically, I was expecting a book that was really raw and showed how hellish those camps can be but instead it was just...a story. And I know it's fiction, but when there's reality in the horrible aspects of the plot, it can feel realistic (e.g. Between Shades of Gray or Speak) but aside from some of the camp scenes this one didn't, it was too watered down by the plot with her step dad, the ending too sugarcoated. It was a decent adventure/thriller (not sure the correct word to use for this), but my expectations ruined it for me and it just wasn't my kind of thing.

 I'd rate it 2 stars out of 5. Maybe 2.5.

Later.

p.s. Links to read more about the camps:
There's loads of stuff on the internet about these places.

Trailers for 2013 Book to Movie Adaptions

I have really, really sucked at blogging these past few months and this month has been the worst so far. It's just that I've not really been reading and NaNoWriMo has been happening, but I miss blogging. So, I'm going to try and be less terrible at posting.

Next week, I'm gonna attempt to have a reading week (but, I'll still be doing NaNo so that might not go so well...I'll try anyway).

But yeah, enough about that, I wanted to talk a little bit about some of the book to movie adaptations that are coming out next year because a few trailers/teaser trailers have just been released for them recently and...yeah.

So, here are the trailers and my thoughts on them (feel free to skip my thoughts and just watch the trailers and tell me your thoughts):

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones


What I like: 
  • I admit, I wasn't the biggest fan of Jamie being cast as Jace and while he will never be Book-Jace to me, it looks like he's done a pretty good job.
  • Lily was my fan cast Clary even before it was announced she was cast, same with the actress playing her mum, so love that.
  • Basically, I love the cast (especially Robert Sheehan as Simon). The trailer was a lot better than I expected it to be. 
  • I just think that it's really good for a teaser trailer.
What I didn't like:
  • The only part of the trailer that seemed a bit odd to me was the screaming in the club scene. Something about it was just off...it was so - rehearsed, but maybe it'll work better in context while watching the movie.
  • Would've liked to see Magnus, but it is only the teaser trailer. :)
Overall opinion: I am really, really excited for this one.

The Host


Thoughts: I think this looks surprisingly good.

I'm not a fan of the fact that they aged all of the characters down, the characters really do not even come close to how they're described in the book, which sucks if people are hoping for a really faithful adaption of the book but I think it looks like it'll be good as a movie in its own right. It looks like they stayed true to the plot mostly and the actors are good, well, actors. (Also, love that they used Imagine Dragons in the trailer.)

Issues: No real issues with the trailer itself, the only issues I had were about the book to movie comparisons, not the movie on its own. The second voice over--the one that isn't Saoirse--is a bit...meh, but that's about it.

Warm Bodies


Thoughts: I adore Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer, and it looks like they're going to be awesome in this. I started reading the book last year or something and didn't get into it, so it's unfinished, but the movie looks good and made me want to give the book another shot. It looks funny and cute and the fact that it seems kind of like a comedy instead of going for the serious, tortured Twilight-esque romance, it makes me not mind the fact that they turned a zombie into a romantic lead.

Issues: None that I can think of.

Beautiful Creatures



Thoughts: Hmm. Kind of torn on this one. It made me want to read the book, and I am interested in seeing the movie but it didn't wow me. I think the issue might be that the main character and her love interest didn't really have much spark or leave much of an impression, they seemed kind of bland in comparison to the rest of the cast when they're the ones who should be standing out (since I've not read the book yet, I'm not sure how much like the book characters they are - for anyone who has read it, do you think they were well cast?).

Issues: Pretty much covered that above, didn't I? Woops.


Other book to movie stuff: 

Shailene Woodly has been cast as Tris in the Divergent movie. She's far from being my first choice but I'm alright with her as Tris, I don't hate her like some people seem to and while she may not be the petite blonde that Tris is described as being, she does still have that kind of fragile quality/look to her that could make people underestimate how strong she can be so that's not so bad. So yeah, I like her.

Also, apparently there's four guys in the running to play Four. there's only one of them that I would really dislike, mostly because he looks far too old (Luke Bracey), but the others - there's one I really like (Brenton Thwaites), one I'd be cool with (Jack Reynor), and one who I think seems a bit too nice/friendly looking to play Four but I would still be cool with him being cast (Lucas Till).

If anyone is actually still reading, what do you think of the trailers? And the Divergent casting news?

Later.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Publishing Edumacations (1)

I mentioned on twitter the other day that I was taking an Intro to Publishing course next semester so I can start the process of getting the Publishing Certificate my school offers. I heard from a couple of high schoolers who weren't aware this kind of thing was an option and I don't blame them. Finding publishing programs is INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT. I actually didn't know my school had one until I'd already been accepted. I just decided to go through the English courses offered and found them and immediately realized I had to go here.

There are different ways to go about getting a Publishing Certification of some sort, but from what I've heard, it's not a necessity to get a job in publishing and the classes aren't what really matter so much as the internships and experiences you get are. If you do want the certificate, there are both undergraduate and graduate programs to get you some type of degree. Some schools also just offer classes you can take. 

Because I want other people to be educated, I decided I'm going to try and take about some of the options out there. I'm not an expert and I haven't done any of these programs. But when I was applying to college, I learned a lot about the two of them, then I know about my school's program, and some basic research will help me find the information on the others I know about. I'd also love to hear from anyone who's in a program or taking classes or knows anything about college and publishing educations so I can make more than the 3-6 posts I'm planning to do. And I know this isn't really what we do here but...roll with it, okay?

So, today I'm going to start with the one that is easiest for me to talk about because...I go here and starting next semester, I'll be in the program.

City College of the City University of New York [CUNY] aka City College aka CCNY

Some basic information on the school itself, first. In New York, we have SUNY, which are state schools and then there's CUNY where are city schools. Both are public schools and cost about the same (I think CUNYs might be a bit cheaper?). City College in particular is the first school in the CUNY system and because it's been around so long, it has this weird mix of buildings that look like castles and really new buildings. We have an actual campus and there's dorming that's semi-on campus (it's like a 7 block walk and normally you COULD walk through campus, but they're doing construction in the area between the dorm and the main buildings so you have to walk around the campus). It's known as an Engineering and Architectural school. We have really competitive programs and you basically have to apply to be in these majors when you apply to the school to have a chance at getting in. (Hunter College - a different CUNY - is the liberal arts school...just in case you were wondering.)

The Publishing Program itself isn't really known about because, as I said, this isn't a liberal arts school. It's also a fairly new program, established in 1997 by Walter Mosley, who's a best-selling author and graduate of CCNY.

From the brochure:
A special concern of the Program is the issue of diversity in the book publishing industry and its impact on cultural production and our national and global markets. Drawing on CCNY's racial, ethnic, and class diversity, and its proximity to the national center of the book industry, the PCP is uniquely situated to address the industry-wide concern. Professional training, meaningful employment and job retention are of key interest to the program faculty and administration.

Students start with the Introduction to Publishing course. 
This required course offers students a dynamic overview of the book publishing industry, including book acquisitions, editing, design and production, sales, marketing, advertising, corporate management, law and finance.
From there, students can take one of three courses: Editorial, Design or Marketing and Advertising. Personally, I'm heading for the Editorial track, but also hope they'll let me play in Marketing and Advertising a bit. 

The Editorial courses currently offered are 
  • Digital and E-Book Publishing
  • Publishing Practicum
  • Books for Young Readers
  • The Editorial Process
  • Fundamentals of Copyediting and Proofreading
  • Legal Issues in Publishing and the Arts
Design courses currently offered are
  • Typography
  • Graphic Design Concepts
  • Illustration
  • Electronic Design I
  • Print Production
  • Design: World Wide Web
  • Electronic Design II
Marketing and Advertising courses currently offered are
  • Introduction to Public Relations
  • Introduction to Advertising
  • Public Relations Writing
  • Advertising Copywriting
  • Advertising Management
  • Advertising Planning
  • Principles of Marketing
In order to get your certificate
[S]tudents must take Introduction to Publishing and any three other publishing courses. Students who maintain a 3.0 average or better are placed in internships for which they register as a fifth course. MCA and Design majors are required to take two editorial track courses. Most courses require departmental approval.
On top of that, the PCP program works in collaboration with BEA and they have ten students volunteer in the autographing area each year. There's also two grants given each year called the Bernard L. Mazel Publishing Opportunity Scholarships. 

This is all of the information in the brochure that I was told to take when I went to ask the director (who's a really cool dude) if I could start as a freshman. If you look at the website and the course catalog, you find slightly different information, but it's basically the same. You can actually take a second internship and the course catalog (if I remember correctly) says both are paid. You also learn that Publishing Practicum is only offered in the spring semester and you can't take it until you take Introduction to Publishing. In other words, I won't be taking it until next year, if at all.

The school also has what's supposed to be a really good career center. And if you get into the Macaulay Honors College or the City Honors Program, there are only 4 advisers for like...500 kids? And they're around to help you get internships and jobs and whatever else you need. 

I'd also like to clarify that you can be ANY major and take this, though it's obviously easier if you're an English major doing editorial, Art major doing Design, and Advertising and Public Relations major for Marketing and Advertising (though it's actually called the MCA and covers all branches of media/broadcasting and it's really cool and competitive and a lot of work and therefore SO MUCH EASIER to do this track if you're in this major).

So, yeah, that's the program at my school and the one I'll be taking. I'm hoping to take at least one class a semester. This upcoming Spring semester, I'll be spending two days of the week working on y requirements and two days working towards my BA and the PCP. But starting next fall, I will only have three required courses to take, one next fall, one next spring, and then one I can take any time then and graduation. I might also have to take a couple foreign language courses, but we'll see. 

Anyway, since I'll have so much time and freedom in my schedule as of next year, I'm hoping I can finish the Editorial track, get a BA in English Literature, maybe also get a BA or minor in Creative Writing, minor in History, and maybe also take some of the Marketing and Advertising courses. Sounds like a good mix of classes, yes? 

And that ends my schpeal about the Publishing Program at CCNY. For obvious reasons, this one is WAY more detailed than you can expect future editions to be because...I'm involved in this one and I've spent a lot of time studying this one and I have the fancy brochure right in front of my face. But hopefully you'll find the others informative too.

--Julie

Monday, 5 November 2012

Suzanne Lazear on Her Perfect Critique Group and a Giveaway: A Two and Twenty Dark Tales Blog Tour

If you can't tell, today I have Suzanne Lazear here with a guest post. We're celebrating the release of Two and Twenty Dark Tales, an anthology from Month9Books. 

Month9Books, a new publisher of speculative fiction for teens and tweens launches in October 2012, with the release of TWO AND TWENTY DARK TALES: DARK RETELLINGS OF MOTHER GOOSE RHYMES.  This unique collaboration’s proceeds (from the first 5,000 copies sold) will be donated toYALITCHAT.ORG, an organization that fosters the advancement, reading, writing and acceptance of young adult literature worldwide  

TWO AND TWENTY DARK TALES: DARK RETELLINGS OF MOTHER GOOSE RHYMES features some of today’s most admired young adult authors, including: Michelle Zink, Lisa Mantchev, Sarwat Chadda, Nina Berry, Leigh Fallon, Suzanne Young, C. Lee McKenzie, Angie Frazier, Jessie Harrell, Gretchen McNeil, KM Walton, Heidi R. Kling, Nancy Holder, Karen Mahoney, Suzanne Lazear, Pamela van Hylckama Vlieg, Shannon Delany with Max Scialdone, Leah Cypess, Sayantani DasGupta, and Georgia McBride, founder of Month9Books. Francisco X. Stork, author of the critically acclaimed MARCELLO IN THE REAL WORLD, provides a foreword that is nearly as riveting as the stories themselves.

Now that you know a bit about the anthology. Let's hear from Suzanne!

If you could choose four authors, dead or alive, to make up your very own dream critique group, who would they be and why? How have these authors and their books impacted your writing?

Thank you so much for having me on. So, what four authors, dead or alive, would I have as part of my dream critique group? Wow, this is such a difficult question. There are so many authors who have influenced me at different periods and choosing only four is tough. 

But, if I had to choose... 

Louisa May Alcott is one of my all time favorite authors. I read Little Men and Little Women over and over again. I loved her stories so much –especially how I could re-read it and never tire of it. 

Ann M. Martin is my favorite author from my childhood. The very first book signing I ever went to was hers and I had her sign one of my Babysitter’s Club books. I told her I wanted to be an author when I grew up and she gave me incredible advice.  

As an adult, my writing was hugely influenced by Kim Harrison, who writes the Hollows series. The depth and breadth of the worlds she builds continued to astound me.  

Jules Verne’s worlds and stories fascinate me. They are just so incredibly detailed and thought out – not to mention he is considered the grandfather of steampunk. 

Finally, I’d choose Marion Zimmer Bradley. I read all of the Darkover books when I was in college, and they made a big impact on my life and really made me want to write in fantasy. Her worldbuilding astounds me, since her stories span thousands of years (and galaxies).  

Can you tell I am enthralled by worldbuilding and creating new, creative, and intricate worlds? 

Oh wait. Did I just say five? Whoops. I told you this was tough.

Anyway, these authors and many others influenced me in many ways. The poem How Many Miles to Babylon, which is the subject of my short story Candlelight in the Two and Twenty Dark Tales anthology, influenced me as a child as well. It was always such a fascinating poem, and mentioned in several books I read as a kid – the one I remember most vividly being Can I get there by Candlelight.  

While writing my short story Candlelight, I drew on quite a few influences from childhood in order to create something dark and creepy, yet still (hopefully) true to the poem.

What authors influenced you?

~Suzanne Lazear

Some awesome choices here, Suzanne! And now, you have the chance to win an ebook version of Sarwat Chadda's DEVIL'S KISS. Just leave a comment below. This contest is international and you have until Monday (11/19) at 5 EST to enter.

Suzanne Lazear loves steampunk, faeries, and fairytales, which is why her YA series THE AETHER CHRONICLES blends all three of them. Book #1, INNOCENT DARKNESS, is out now and book #2, Charmed Vengeance, releases in 2013 from Flux. Suzanne lives in Southern California with her family where she’s attempting to make a raygun to match her ball gown. She’s a member of the RWA, holds a masters degree in Public policy, and is part of the popular Steampunk group blog Steamed. Visit www.suzannelazear.com or www.aetherchronicles.com for more information on Suzanne and her stories. 

INNOCENT DARKNESS
Be careful what you wish for...In an alternate version of 1901 Los Angeles sixteen-year-old Noli Braddock's hoyden ways land her in an abusive reform school far from home. On mid-summer's eve she wishes to be anyplace but that dreadful school. A mysterious man from the Realm of Faerie brings her to the Otherworld, only to reveal that she must be sacrificed to restore his dying world.  Her best friend, V, who has secrets of his own, appears to help Noli escape and return to the mortal realm.  If they are successful, Noli will live, but if she does  the entire Otherworld civilization will perish. 

Month 9 Books is a publisher of speculative fiction for teens and tweens… where nothing is as it seems. Month9Books will donate proceeds from each of its annual charity anthologies to a deserving charity. Individually, authors may donate his or her advances and royalties to a charitable organization. Month9Books will also release 10-12 non-charitable titles annually. TWO AND TWENTY DARK TALES: DARK RETELLINGS OF MOTHER GOOSE RHYMES is Month9Books’s first release. Month9Books is distributed by Small Press United, a division of IPG. 

You may visit www.month9books.com for more information. You can also find them on Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, and their Blog.

--Julie

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Book Haul 139

Lanna:
So, it's been a while since I've done one of these, and I was going to record a book haul video but I feel like hell today, so I just took pictures (also means no goodreads links, because all I really want to do today is alternate between sleeping and watching Disney movies until I feel better). But anyway, books I got:
These are books I've gotten in the past month or so, not all from this week. Read any of them? Like them? Hate them? What'd you guys get this week?

Also, I'm doing NaNoWriMo again this year so I probably won't be reading much this month, which means I won't be reviewing much (I haven't been reviewing or reading all that much for the past couple of months really, I miss it). Anyone else doing NaNoWriMo? I know Julie is. If you are, how's it going so far? (Luckily I got off to a good start, I'm close to 15K already, meaning I don't have to write today while ill if I don't want to.)

And now I'm going to go back into my cocoon of blankets and watch Tangled or Beauty and the Beast.



Later.

Julie:

So, even in the face of disaster...I still spent money on books. 

I'm fine, my family is fine. My grandma lost power, but her neighbors hooked her up with a generator, giving her everything but heat. Finally on Friday, she caved and moved into my room back home. I've been stuck uptown most of the week, but it's probably better than being literally stranded or flooded or worse. 

Yesterday, I ventured downtown, took a subway as far as I could, then walked 20 blocks to Strand. My mission was one book (that wasn't where it was supposed to be, so Danielle and I had to hunt for it.) and that...didn't go well. But I mean...they'd been closed for 5 days! Putting money into the store and the neighborhood was important! 

Purchased:
Black City by Elizabeth Richards (hardcover purchased at the Strand Bookstore)
Venom by Fiona Paul (hardcover purchased at the Strand Bookstore)
Taken by Storm by Angela Morrison (hardcover purchased at the Strand Bookstore)
Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer (paperback purchased at the Strand Bookstore)
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (paperback purchased at the Strand Bookstore)
The Treachery of Beautiful Things by R.F. Long (hardcover purchased at the Strand Bookstore)
Eon by Alison Goodman (paperback purchased at the Strand Bookstore)
Seduced by a Pirate by Eloisa James (ebook purchased from Amazon)
A Night Like This by Julie Quinn (ebook purchased from Amazon)

But next weekend I will...probably not buy any books. I may end up buying like...one. MAYBE two. But...they're paperback? 

The weekend after that, a bookstore in Brooklyn called powerHouse Arena is having a huge sale. Donations, author visits/signings, musicians, and books galore. They lost about $50,000 worth of books due to flooding and are trying to get back some of that money. My roommate and I will be going and if you can go, you should too.

How did your week go? Everyone okay?

--Julie

Thursday, 1 November 2012

A Very Belated Post: YA at ComicCon

So, I think I've put this post off long enough. That I've officially gotten a week off of school and done almost nothing productive...maybe it's time I get this post done, yeah?

It's no secret that I went to ComicCon...well last month now. I wasn't there for the nerdy stuff (though, I did take advantage of that occasionally), I was there for books and meeting people I've worked with and people I've been talking to for years. Almost all of it was spent with Nicole from Paperback Princess and a good deal of it was also spent with her co-blogger, Danielle, who were awesome at getting around and teaching me how to do conventions.

I'm going to try and organize this by publisher because it seems easier than remembering when different things happened.

HarperTeen

HarperTeen was one of my most frequent stops. The people working that booth were so lovely and wonderful and generous. And they were always happy to talk to us.

On Friday, the Epic Reads girls, Aubrey and Margot, were there with Snarkles. Snarkles and my Dapper Octopus had become very good friends before ComicCon, so I'd brought him and Dapper Octopus and Snarkles got to meet. Pictures were taken and we chatted plenty about books we loved and were excited about.

Tahereh Mafi did a Passion, Power, and Paranormal Panel (...I may have mixed up my Ps) on Friday and was supposed to sign after, but things got a bit mixed up, so she came for a little while Saturday morning. On Friday after her panel, I walked up awkwardly to the stage and said "Hi, I'm Julie" and she knew who I was and made me come up on the stage so we could hug and chat. Then Saturday morning, we got on the floor early for her signing, but since we were so early, we had time to chat more and hug more and then eventually we actually got around to the signing. I brought my hardcover of Shatter Me and they provided ARCs of Unravel Me. Tahereh's the sweetest human being on the planet and she's adorable and IT WAS SO AWESOME to finally meet her.

Jocelyn Davies, author of A Beautiful Dark, was the moderator on the panel, and she did awesome on keeping things flowing and asking interesting questions. I ended up buying a copy of A Fractured Light for her to sign because my copy of A Beautiful Dark was at my parents'.

On Sunday, there was the YA Panel, where editors and publicists and marketers got to talk about books that are out or are coming out in the near future. Harper talked about:
  • Fragments by Dan Wells. Pitched as Battlestar Galactica meets The Hunger Games. Sequel to Partials. Comes out February 26, 2013.
  • Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi. Comes out February 5, 2013. Pitched as X-Men meets V for Vendetta. Sequel to Shatter Me. The series has been optioned by Fox.
  • Requiem by Lauren Oliver. Pitched as Brave New World meets Casablanca. Optioned for film. Third book in the Delirium trilogy. Comes out March 5, 2013.
  • Mind Games by Kiersten White. Pitched as The Lying Games meets Alias. Comes out February 19, 2013.
  • House of Secrets by Ned Vizzini and Christ Columbus. Pitched as The Goonies meets Inkheart. J.K. Rowling blurbed it. Comes out April 23, 2013.
  • Light by Michael Grant. Pitched as Lost meets Lord of the Flies. Sixth and final book in the Gone series. Comes out April 2, 2013.
  • Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza. Pitched as Bourne Identity and...something I missed (fail). Comes out March 12, 2013.
  • Arclight by Joslin L. McQuein. Pitched as Stephen King meets The Passage. Comes out April 23, 2013.
  • Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenblum. Pitched as Terminator meets 1984. This is an Alloy book, so a book or movie is likely to follow. Comes out January 8, 2013.
  • Reboot by Amy Tintera. Pitched as Maximum Ride meets La Femme Nikita. First on a two-books series. Comes out May 7, 2013.
I picked up ARCs of Prophecy by Ellen Oh, Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi, Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenblum, Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi, and Mind Games by Kiersten White. I'm also super psyched for Mila 2.0 and Reboot.

Disney:

We ended up spending a lot of time at the Disney booth and got to know some of the people working there really well (*waves to Dina and Lizzy*) because we went to a couple of signings and had a tendency to get there VERY early and start a line.

On Friday, I went to Alexandra Bracken and Dan Krokos's signing for The Darkest Minds and False Memory. Alex was super sweet and Dan's really funny. 

Later during the panel with all of the Ps, Alex and Dan were again there, being lovely and charming. After the panel ended, I had them sign Brightly Woven and False Memory for me. I loooooooooooove Brightly Woven and I figured since I had False Memory, I may as well get the first book while I was there.

On Saturday, we dashed over after our chat and signing with Tahereh Mafi to wait in line for Victoria Schwab. She was lovely and sweet and provided us with tote bags and as many bookmarks and stickers as we would like. And, you know, signed ARCs of The Archived. We then had to dash off to another signing, but came back a short while later. Nicole helped Victoria and some people at the Penguin booth, while I stayed with Lizzy, chatting and helping to mark where the end of the line was.

During their session of the YA Panel on Sunday, Disney discussed (I'll only briefly mention non MG/YA books):
  • Frankenweenie: There's a related ebook that is free (I question my notes now) and a graphic novel coming in May.
  • Red Pyramid graphic novel went on sale the week before ComicCon.
  • The Blue Bloods graphic novel and the seventh - and last - book in the series, Gates of Paradise release on January 8, 2013.
  • Marvel Origin Stories and Apps were released earlier in October.
  • Wreck it Ralph, which comes out in theaters November 2, will have some digital stories coming out and available November 1.
  • Beta by Rachel Cohn. Sci-fi story with Chris White attached as producer.
  • The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken. Alexandra was nominated for Best New Author on Goodreads in 2011 and The Darkest Minds has been optioned by 20th Century Fox. Comes out December 18, 2012.
  • The Archived by Victoria Schwab. Comes out January 22, 2013.
  • The Odd Squad: Bully Bait by Michael Fry. Coming out February 12, 2013.
  • The Lives We Lost by Megan Crewe. Sequel to The Way We Fall. Coming out February 12, 2013.
I picked up ARCs of The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken, False Memory by Dan Krokos and The Archived by Victoria Schwab. 

Little Brown/Hachette:

We didn't spend a lot of time here because their YA section was fairly small. I did grab a sampler of Etiquette and Espionage (which I read and was awesome and that little bit was not enough!) and some swag, especially Beautiful Creatures stuff.

At the YA Panel, the people at Little Brown talked about:
  • Lemony Snicket's newest book, Who Could That Be at This Hour?, which came out October 23. It is the first in a 4 book series and made up partly of comics. The series is also somewhat of a memoir.
  • Monster High: GhoulFriends Forever, which is illustrated.
  • The Diviners by Libba Bray. X-Files meets Flappers. It's already a NYT Bestseller and the first in a 4 book series.
  • Zom-B by Darren Shan. The first in a 12 book series. The sequel comes out in January.
  • Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor. Sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Comes out November 6.
  • Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger. Comes out February 5, 2012. It takes place 25 years before Gail's adult series, which starts with Soulless, and is the first in a 4 book series.
  • Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Bestselling series. This is the 4th and final book in the Beautiful Creatures series. The Beautiful Creatures movie will premiere February 13, 2013.
  • Breaking Dawn and the rest of the saga will be coming out in a collection.
  • The series will also come out in a white edition box set on December 4, 2012.
  • Struck by Lightening by Chris Colfer. NYT Bestseller. This is the expansion of a movie Chris wrote, produced, and starred in, but this is his first YA book.
I really love The Diviners and I'm super excited, as I said, for Etiquette and Espionage.

Macmillan:

Macmillan didn't have a booth, so I only got to see them at the YA Panel. After, Lizzy did introduce me to Ksenia, who I met briefly at...some other event (I also saw her again like a week later at the Fierce Reads event I went to). But they brought up:
  • Scarlet by Marissa Meyers. Comes out February 5, 2013. This is described as fairy tales in space. Scarlet is the sequel/companion to Cinder and the retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. The third book in the series will retell Rapunzel and the fourth will retell Snow White.
  • Unremembered by Jessica Brody. First in a new series, this comes out March 5, 2013.
  • Shadow and Bone is the first in a new tsarpunk series and came out earlier this year. Seige and Storm, the sequel, will come out next June. Dreamworks has optioned the movie and a Harry Potter producer is attached (I forget which one).
  • Crewel by Gennifer Albin. Came out October 16 and is the first in a new trilogy.
  • Eve and Adam by Michael Grant and . The second book comes out in 2014.
SCARLET! I'm dying for that one. I also really, really enjoyed Shadow and Bone and Crewel and was really happy to meet them at the Fierce Reads signing.

Penguin:

Penguin was another place we spent a lot of time at. They were just so friendly and had so much stuff.

On Friday, they had Maureen Johnson at the panel with all the Ps, but she wasn't feeling well and ducked out. We talked with her a bit during the signing time. But mostly, Friday was spent stalking for the next book drop.

Saturday, we ran to the Beth Revis signing from the Victoria Schwab signing (it was a busy morning) and she signed a copy of A Million Suns that I'd purchased the previous day and an ARC of Shades of Earth that they provided, which was awesome. She's really sweet and I was happy to see her a few times during that weekend.

Later in the day, we returned for Maureen Johnson's signing. They were trying not to start a line, but somehow one started anyway, so we hopped on. The line ended up wrapping around the block of booths, which the neighbors didn't really enjoy. I felt bad, but it moved pretty quickly and I walked away with a signed copy of The Name of the Star and The Madness Underneath. Maureen is lovely and funny and if you get the chance to see her, take it.

On Sunday, my one and only book I picked up was Department 19 by Will Hill because he was doing a signing. Nicole wanted to go, so I tagged along. He was really awesome and now I'm more excited to read the book.

Some of the books that Penguin talked about:
  • Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes. The first of two books and comes out December 11, 2012.
  • Rise by Andrea Creamer. The sequel to Rift and it comes out January 8, 2013.
  • Shades of Earth by Beth Revis. The third and final book in the Across the Universe series. Releases January 15, 2013.
  • Prodigy by Marie Lu. Sequel to Legend. Blade Runner meets Les Miserables. CBS Films is planning to adapt Legend into a movie. Prodigy comes out January 29, 2015.
  • The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson. Sequel to The Name of the Star. Comes out February 26, 2012.
  • Brotherband Chronicles by. Available now. This is the first book and the third book will be out by fall.
  • The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey. Alien invasion/Sci-Fi book that comes out Summer 2013. I talked to one of the women at the booth about it before the panel and she said that they had only read what was in the sampler and loved it.
From Penguin, I got ARCs of Shades of Earth by Beth Revis, The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson, The Obsidian Mirror by Catherine Fisher, Prodigy by Marie Lu, The Different Girl by Gordon Dahlquist, as well as finished copies of The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson and Department 19 by Will Hill.

Random House:

We didn't spend much time at Random House either since they were really just displaying their books. I did grab a copy of Dualed by Elsie Chapman because I'm stoked for that book.

At the panel, they discussed:
  • Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. Debut novel. NYT bestseller. Christopher Paolini blurbed it.
  • The Fire Chronicle by . NYT Bestseller. On sale now. Sequel
  • Every Day by David Levithan. Available now.
  • The Kill Order by James Dashner. Lord of the Rings meets The Hunger Games. Prequel to The Maze Runner. NYT Bestseller.
  • The Paladin Prophecy by . Author was the co-writer of Twin Peaks.
  • Mystic City by Theo Lawrence. Romeo and Juliet, The Hunger Games, Blade Runner, and X-Men combined.
  • Inheritance by Christopher Paolini. Came out October 23 in paperback and special edition. It's the last book in the Eragon series.
  • Dualed by Elsie Chapman. A debut novel coming out in February.
I'm so excited to read Dualed. I also have a lot of these books but haven't read them yet, so now I'm just more pumped to get to them. And I want to get my hands on The Maze Runner. I also did get a signed copy of Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel at the Del Ray booth. That was awesome.

Simon and Schuster:

The people at Simon and Schuster were wonderful and helpful and kind. I also got to meet Lydia, who I've worked with a lot. They were also super awesome and gave out copies of Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans. It was always nice to stop over there and pet the pretty books.

At the panel, they discussed:
  • Unwind and Unwholly by Neal Schusterman. NYT Bestsellers.
  • Flesh and Bone by . NYT Bestseller. Book 3 in the series.
  • The Blessed by Tonya Hurley. NYT Bestseller. First in trilogy.
  • Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger. Debut novel. MG
  • Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger. YA coming out March 5, 2013.
  • Ruins by Orson Scott Card. Came out October 30. Sequel to Pathfinder.
  • Witch World by Christopher Pike. His first book in a while. Comes out November 3.
  • Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans. Debut novel. Comes out January 15, 2013.
  • Beyonders . Book 3. On sale March 13, 2013. NYT Bestseller.
Let the Sky Fall is one of those books I kept going to pet because I WANTED but they only had the display copy and couldn't give it away. Also, I've already read Level 2 and it's really good.

Tor Teen:

Tor was there, but Tor Teen was not, so I didn't really swing by. But at the panel...
  • Earthseed. Lord of the Flies in space. First in trilogy. Paramount has optioned and Melissa Rosenburg is set to write and produce. This is a reprint from 1983.
  • Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake. Sequel to Anna Dressed in Blood.
  • Pirate Cinema
  • Renegade by J Sauders. Comes out today! First in a trilogy.
  • Breaking Point by Kirsten Simmons. Sequel to Article 5. Comes out February 2013.
  • Homeland by Cory Doctorow. Sequel to Little Brother. Comes out February 2013.
  • The Nightmare Affair by Mindy . March 2013. First in a trilogy.
  • Cartboy and the Time Capsule by . MG debut. Comes out April 2013.
  • The Rithmatist. YA epic fantasy. Comes out May 2013.
  • Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. The movie comes out in November 2013 and there will be movie tie ins.
You'll notice I gave up on links after a while. Part of me is sorry, but the other part of me spent so many hours just typing this post that it's no longer sorry.

So...I hope you guys appreciate the wrap up. I provided as much as I could without...going insane. Towards the end, it's just my notes because I didn't have the mental capacity to look up the rest of the information (I still have to shower...and start NaNoWriMo because it's past midnight). And for the rest of you starting NaNoWriMo, good luck!

--Julie

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