"YA Weekly/Weekly Odyssey" We’re still working on a Name

I’m sure you’ve all heard the saying two heads are better than one, right? Well I also think two reviewers are better than one! Thus the birth of this collaboration! I’m going to hand the virtual mic over to Steph from Reviewer X for a further explanation. It’s over to you Steph…..

Hey people, Steph here. Last week, I emailed Kristi about the fact we both had these weekly roundups, and together we came up with a solution to annihilate the repetitions in our two posts. So, here we present you our tandem weekly compilation! Admittedly, given my midterms this week, Kristi did, like, 99.999999999% of the work and all you’re getting from me is this introductory blurb and a couple of links here and there.

So, palms together for Kristi and a big crowdful of boos for me ;)

In the interest of avoiding further monotony, let’s cut to the chase. Here’s how it works: This compilation will be alternately posted here on The Story Siren and on my blog, Reviewer X. (This means that next week, it’ll be on my blog. The week after, back here. The week after that, my blog again. ¿Sí?) When it’s posted HERE on SS, there will be a contest on my blog. When it’s posted on MY blog, well, Kristi and I will have to work out contest details for then.

Scroll down for the compilation (which Kristi so awesomely did by herself), and then come over to my blog for this week’s giveaway, which is $10 to any online retailer of your choice.

I’m mega excited to be working with Kristi on this! I know I speak for the both of us when I say I hope you all like this collaboration!

If you are an author, reviewer, publisher, book person in general and would like to be mentioned please email me at thestorysiren(at)hotmail(dot)com or Steph at reviewerx(at)gmail(dot)com!

Week of August 25-31, 2008


Here is a compiled list of some of the contest I’ve come across! Please be sure to check the official guidelines and deadlines!

Kimberly Pauley (Sucks to be Me) is having a book launch party! It is running until Sept 10th! For complete information and all the prizes check out her blog.

Vanessa at What Vanessa Reads is having a contest for a copy of I Heart you, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder!

Chelsea aka The Page Flipper is still having her weekly contests! Check out her site for more information!

Ya Fresh is giving away a copy of All About Vee by C. Leigh Purtill.

Chick Lit Teen is having a contest for a signed coy of I’d Tell You That I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You by Ally Carter and an “I’m a Gallagher Girl” button!

Holly at Writer’s Block Reviews is holding a contest for a signed copy of Severed Ties by Kevin Krohn.

Bookluver-Carol is hosting a contest to receive a signed copy of The Debs by Susan McBride.

Author Musing

Alexa Young (Frenemies) is back! Yes she is still alive and kicking and she has the finished revisions of Faketastic under her belt. You can thank Steph for bringing Alexa out of the hole she’s been occupying since early August.

P.C.Cast and Kristin Cast (Chosen) blog about their adventures in Canada, promoting their House of Night vampyre series!

Taylor Morris (Total Knockout: Tales of an Ex-Class President) had an unexpected visitor at her house!! EEEK! Check out the details here!

Kelly Para (Invisible Touch) announced the new release date of her book, Invisible Touch. The official release date is now set for October 14, 2008.

Carrie Ryan (The Forest of Hands and Teeth) has posted the final cover of her debut novel The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Teri Clark (Sleepless) is buzzing about the rave reviews her new novel Sleepless has been getting!

Ally Carter (Cross My Heart and Hope To Spy) asks asks when you do you go back to school? (In Kristi’s case, the lucky girl isn’t go there no more! In Steph’s, she’s been back since July 31st.)

Josie Bloss (Band Geek Love) announced the cover for her new novel
Band Geeked Out!

Keri Mikulski (Screwball) has been having some weird dreams lately. Polar Bears/Tornadoes??

Looking for a cool blog where a lot of authors are in one place check out this blog that features these authors: Amanda Ashby (You Had Me At Halo), Lauren Baratz-Logested (Secrets of My Suburban Life), Teri Brown (Read My Lips), Jessica Burkhart (Canterwood Crest: Take the Reins), Liz Conrad (High School Bites), Linda Gerber (Death By Bikini), Sara Hantz (The Second Virginity of Suzy Green), Stephanie Kuehnert (I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone), Alyson Noel (Cruel Summer), Kelly Para (Invisible Touch), Wendy Toliver (The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren), Melissa Walker (Violet on the Runway), and Sara Zarr (Sweethearts).


You should check out YA Fresh! Hosted by YA authors Tina Ferraro (How To Hook A Hottie) and Kelly Para (Invisible Touch).

Maureen Johnson (Suite Scarlett) has a very funny post entitled What We Did Before the Internet.

Justine Larbalestier (How To Ditch Your Fairy) posted about winning awards/being included in things solely because you’re a woman. The inner feminist in all of us growls at this, does it not? Rawwr.

Melissa Marr’s dog had a b-day this week. She posted some cute pics on her blog! I just had to tell you about it because she has a rottie, like I do!

Regina Scott (La Petite Four) blogs on Nineteen Teen with fellow author Marissa Doyle (Bewitching Season). She recently posted about the common practice of an aristocratic lady having a country house visit! Very interesting post if you like historical facts!

Erin Dionne (Models Don’t Eat Chocolate Cookies) is not only an author but also a teacher! She blogged about going back to school and her excitement of teaching creative writing!!

Lisa Schroeder (I Heart You, You Haunt Me) is working on the final changes on her new novel Far From You! The title page looks very nice!

Mary E. Pearson (The Adoration of Jenna Fox) blogs about her novel being made into a movie! She recently met with the screenwriter. This is a book I would love to see on the big screen! If you haven’t read The Adoration of Jenna Fox. I suggest you do! I know I am big fan, as well as Reviewer X!

Stacey Jay (You Are So Undead To Me) wants to know if you have any weird food quirks?

Maggie Steifvater (Lament) has gotten a final copy of her debut novel LAMENT: THE FAERIE QUEEN’S DECEPTION!! Don’t forget to check out her Twisted Tuesday Teaser!

Author in the Spotlight

“Susan McBride is the author of THE DEBS, the first in a new young adult series from Random House featuring four prep school seniors in Houston, Texas, during their debutante season. LOVE, LIES & TEXAS DIPS will follow in June of 2009, and Susan has signed to pen two more DEBS books. She has also written five Debutante Dropout Mysteries for HarperCollins/Avon. Once called “The Lou’s Whodunit Queen” by Sauce Magazine in St. Louis, Susan was selected as one of the city’s “top singles” in 2005 by St. Louis Magazine but is single no more. She tied the knot in late February of 2008.” http://www.susanmcbride.com/

Blogger Blurbs

The Book Muncher has been busy this week! She must be on a booking binge, check out her reviews for Private by Kate Brian, Screwball by Keri Mikulski and Specialists: Model Spy by Shannon Greenland.

Nicole at Word for Teens reviewed Physik by Angie Sage. “The writing style is rather unique, as is the plot line and the type of magic – or should I say magyk – that is used.”

Presenting Lenore reviewed Into The Woods by Tana French: “The best part of the novel for me was the exploration of the close friendship between Rob and his partner Cassie. … Although investigating murder can be a heavy topic, there are moments of lightheartedness and humor.” Lenore also has exciting book contract news!

Bean Bag Books reviewed Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause. “Klause’ writing is pure poetry, like chocolate melting on your tongue.”

Kyle at Book Review Maniac reviewed Evernight by Claudia Gray. “Evernight is tied with Twilight for number one on my list of my favorite vampire books; they are both great vampire books that have great plots, and awesome characters.”

Harmony Book Reviews read All About Vee by C. Leigh Purtill. “The characters were well-developed and relatable and the prose was well-written”.

Alea of Pop Culture Junkie posted a new Lookalikes for North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headly, Evermore by Alyson Noël, and Angels in Pink: Raina’s Story by Lurlene McDaniel. Lookalikes is one of Steph’s favorite feature over at Pop Culture Rants: Alea takes book covers that are similar and groups them together to display how many publishers use stock images. For more Lookalikes, click here.

The Book Girl Reviews read Night Road by A.M. Jenkins. “It was amazing; there was action, suspense, and you could watch as Cole developed.”

Surburban Trash reviewed Secret Vampire by L.J. Smith. “It’s a great beginning, but I am glad there’s more.”

Gabbi of All Five Stars reviewed Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky: “Overall, I thought this was a very… (I’m searching for an interesting adjective, but I can’t come up with one!) smart book. It’s interesting to read about love and sex in the frank point of view of a teenage girl who tries to use her head but is usually driven by her big heart.”

Liviania at In Bed with Books reviewed Play Me. “There are high points, many of them, but they’re followed by dull stretches.”

Chelsie at Read Read Read reviewd Outside Beauty by Cynthis Kadohata. “The characters in this book were all unique; each sister had their own personality, and their mother was by far the most fascinating person out of them all.”

Melissa the Book Nut reviewed Peeled by Joan Bauer. “Far-fetched? Probably. Entertaining? Very.”

Hillary at The Book Reader reviewed Artichoke’s Heart by Suzanne Supplee. “Artichoke’s Heart is not just about a girl struggling with her weight, but also about her journey with learning to love herself regardless of the numbers on her scale and accepting that others can love her as well.”

Ambeen of The Ravenous Reader posted posted a very cool Melissa Walker (Violet in Private) guest VLOG! Also, Ambeen found the single coolest bookshelf in the history of the universe, a picture of which you can find by clicking here. Your bookish heart will be mangled at the sight of it – don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Our Reviews

Steph didn’t review any new material this week as her mind, body and soul have been subdued by the midterm devil. Tune in next week for some intense detox reviewing.

The Story Siren reviewed How To Be Bad, by E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynoski & Lauren Myracle Aurelie: A Faerie Tale by Heather Tomlinson, Courage in Patience by Beth Fehlbaum and
Eyes of a King by Catherine Banner.

Reviewer X and The Story Siren’s pick for “Book to Pine For”

Summary from back of book: The heat is on down South! Debutante season in Houston is under way and four ultraprivileged girls await their invitations from the illustrious Glass Slipper Club. Laura Delacroix Bell: This trust-fund baby’s size-fourteen figure doesn’t stop her from attracting hot boys or the admiring eye of the GSC selection committee. But a salacious secret could take her out of the running quicker than you can say “Rosebud.” Michelle “Mac” Mackenzie: She’d rather bury her nose in a book than embrace her deb destiny. But Mac’s debut is her late mother’s dream and her stepmother’s obsession. If Mac doesn’t bow out now, she may become the crankiest deb in Texas. Ginger Fore: She hopes to wear her grandmother’s vintage ball gown on her big presentation day. But when a mysterious college guy puts Ginger’s deb eligibility in jeopardy, she may end up wearing an unflattering orange jumpsuit instead. Jo Lynn Bidwell: A former beauty queen, she makes it her mission in life to take out the debu-trash. For now, Jo Lynn’s sights are set on Laura Bell, and what she has in store for her bitter rival is anything but ladylike. The Debs…high society doesn’t get any lower than this.


These cool people stopped by The Story Siren and commented on a review or post! I just wanted to thank you personally for stopping by!

Maggie Stiefvater, The Book Muncher, ambeen, tetewa, Beth Fehlbaum, Author, Kelsey, Booked Books, Bluetiful Nostalgia, YA Book Realm, cat, Breanna, The Runion’s, Reader Rabbit, Adayla S., Gabrielle, Ladytink_534, Diana Dang, Amber, Carolsue, Meredith, Chelsea, WannabeWriter, Shooting Stars Mag,, Lauren, Chelsie, Alea, softindierocker, Khyrinthia, Steph, and Sarah MacLean

In other news….

Hope you like the new changes to our “To Be Named” linkage fest!!!

My forum will be changing. In the spirit of teaming up with other reviewers. I will be teaming up with fellow book reviewer, Harmony’s Book Reviews , to do a joint forum. I hope this change with help alleviate the SPAM madness I have been experiencing at my own forum!

I will be having a contest announcement, hopefully this week. So stay tuned for that! And speaking of contest, don’t forget to show the love for our new feature and head over to Reviewer X’s blog and sign up to win $10 to an online retailer of your choice!!


Book Review

How To Be Bad

How To Be Bad by E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynoski & Lauren Myracle

Release Date: May 2008
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers, HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 336

Take three girls, add a beat up car and throw in an alligator or two and you’ve got yourself, How To be Bad, one kick arse novel!

Summary from Barnes and Noble:

From three critically acclaimed and best-selling authors comes one story – equal parts charming, hilarious, and emotional – of a road trip that proves that sometimes it doesn’t matter where you’re going, since getting there is half the fun.

Three girls who couldn’t be more different have one goal in mind: to get the heck out of Dodge. Well, Niceville, Florida, actually. But it might as well be called Nowheresville. Vicks is the wild-child fry cook whose boyfriend left for college and isn’t returning any of her calls; Mel, the good girl in expensive jeans who just wants everyone to like her; and Jesse, the trailer-dwelling human morality meter who’s discovered a life-altering secret -

Each has her own reason for climbing into Jesse’s mom’s beat-up station wagon and hitting the highway for a weekend trip, whether she knows it or not. Armed only with Vicks’s ancient, battered copy of a guidebook called Fantastical Florida, a map Jesse picked up with her dwindling funds, and Mel’s mom’s credit card, they’re Miami bound. Hearts will be broken, friendships will be tested, and a ridiculously hot stranger could change the course of everything. And if they don’t kill each other first, Vicks, Mel and Jesse will not only have a road trip to remember, they’ll have friends for life.

Lockhart, Mlynowski and Myracle’s collaboration reaches an all time sensational reading high! I’ve read two out of the three authors’ works, so I wasn’t surprised of my fondness. The three voices gave an interesting perspective as a reader. Their problems are realistic and valid problems that teens face. Witty dialogue and a fast moving engrossing plot only add the overall premise of the book! I found it almost impossible to put this book down, once I started reading it! So be prepared!

Buy the Book: How to Be Bad


Book Review

Aurelie: A Faerie Tale

Aurelie: A Faerie Tale by Heather Tomlinson

Release Date: September 2, 2008
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company, LLC
Age Group: Young Adult, ages 11 and up.
Pages: 192

Once there where four friends, three human and one river dragon. Princess Aurelie, Garin, Netta and Loic. The three humans were gifted with the sight of the Fae, only on the condition that no one would ever know. Netta mistakenly recognizes a Fae when visiting the marketplace and consequently loses her sight. The four friends drift apart after the tragic event. Aurelie, Garin and Netta stop visiting Loic for fear of what might happen if he finds out about Netta. Garin’s country is at war with Aurelie’s, so he has returned to his home. And after the accident Netta moves into the country with her uncle.

Aurelie is deeply upset at the loss of her friends and the sting only sharpens when she loses her mother. Aurelie finds herself crossing the sea to Garin’s homestead on a diplomatic mission, which inevitably brings the handsome Garin back into her life. Will the princess be able to bring her four friends back together and save her kingdom at the same time?

Aurelie: A Faerie Tale immerses its readers in a tale of magic and fascination. The narration of the story shifts from the four characters. Not only do readers get to know the Princess, but also the lives of the other characters. And they all intertwine meticulously. Aurelie is a beautifully written tale and I’m sure you will think so too! Readers will eagerly turn the pages full of vivid descriptions and surprising plot twists! I hadn’t read Tomlinson’s novel,The Swan Maiden, but I had heard great things about it. I am thrilled to have had the chance to read Aurelie!!

Preorder the Book: Aurelie: A Faerie Tale

Author Tales: Beth Fehlbaum

Beth Fehlbaum is the author for this Thursday’s Author Tales. Beth is the author of Courage in Patience, which will be released September 1st! You can see my review of Courage in Patience below. Remember to leave a comment on this post to be entered into the Monthly Contest!

After six years of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse from her stepfather, 15-year-old Ashley finally finds the courage to reveal the painful details of her experiences with her mother, who refuses to acknowledge the problem and turns her back on her daughter. After confiding in her teacher—the only adult whom Ashley can trust—she is removed from her home and sent to live with her father and his second wife, Beverly, an English teacher. Nurtured by Beverly, an extraordinarily positive influence in her life, Ashley and a summer school class of troubled teens learn to face their fears and discover who they really are.

Hi! My name is Beth Fehlbaum, and I am the author of Courage in Patience, which releases in just a few days! I’m excited as well as nervous– this experience has been described to me as what it’s like when a teenager is leaving for college: “You don’t really know what to expect, but you know it’s going to be exciting.”

That’s an apt description of the days leading up to my book’s release. But for me as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, becoming published– and more of a public figure than I have ever been before– it’s also been like being pulled out of a dark hiding place, into the light of the day. There have been times, too, on my journey to recovery, that I have felt that I was kicking and screaming my way out of the darkness.

One thing that has been illuminating for me is the way people have contacted me, expressing enthusiasm, support, and gratitude for a book like Courage in Patience. I’ve heard from victims of abuse as well as people who consider themselves survivors now and those who love people who have been abused.

Besides being encouraging in terms of Courage in Patience doing well, the letters and messages I have received have reminded me that I’m not alone– and that’s exactly the message I hope to convey through the story of Ashley. She learns that everyone has challenges they have to confront– times they must face their greatest fears and find out what they are made of, no matter what those fears are.

As one of the wisest people I know once told me, “Hope is the opposite of fear.” I hope that people like Ashley (and me)– people who have lived through very fear-inducing stuff — will come away from Courage in Patience, knowing that, even when life looks the darkest, there is always, always hope.

For more information on Beth and Courage in Patience you cana visit the following links:

MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/bethfehlbaum
Web site: http://www.bethfehlbaum.com/


Book Review

Courage in Patience

Courage in Patience by Beth Fehlbaum

Release Date: September 1, 2008
Publisher: Kunati Inc.
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 352

Ashley Asher has been sexually abused by her stepfather since she was nine years old. When Ashley finally finds the courage to expose her abuser, her mother turns her back on Ashley and insists that Ashley is lying. The only person that takes Ashley’s claims seriously is her high school English teacher, who in turns gets Ashley the help she needs.

Ashley moves to Patience, Texas to live with her biological father, his wife and his adopted son. It isn’t surprising however that Ashley has a hard time trusting her new family. Bev, her step mother is an English teacher at the local high school and when she finds herself unexpectedly teaching summer school Ashley asks if she can take the class as well.

Ashley’s eyes are opening in the class when she discovers the problems of various students within the class, ultimately helping Ashley in the road to recovery.

Courage in Patience is the debut novel for Beth Fehlbaum. Not since the poetic storytelling of author Catherine Ryan Hyde has a book moved me so emotionally. At first glance you would assume as I did that this was a novel about sexual abuse, but let me assure you that there is so much more to this story. While sexual abuse is the main theme in the novel the story also touches on the topics of racism, acceptance, fear and most importantly hope. The novel conveys a powerful message, and I’m so very thankful that I had the chance to read it.

Buy the Book: Courage in Patience: A Story of Hope for Those Who Have Endured Abuse

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