Gone News!

I first read Gone by Micheal Grant back in January. I had gotten an ARC of Gone through the Harper Teen First Look Program. It was actually one of the first ARCs that I had reviewed here at TSS.

I thought it was a great novel. You can even read my review here, although it was one of my earlier reviews, my style was a little different back then, but I think it was still a good review regardless.

To my surprise I received an email earlier this week, stating that my review was going to be used as part of the marketing campaign for Gone over in the U.K.!! I was speechless! On top of that the campaign also includes an advertisement that will be displayed on phone booths! They are supposed to look just like the image posted to the right! You might not be able to see it, but there is a quote from the Stephen King and then under that quote see those five stars…. well guess what is says under those five stars…. The Story Siren! How insanely cool is that!? There are supposed to be on the phone booths starting April 8th! I wish I could fly over and take a picture!

There will also be a free e-book of Gone available April 8-22! I’ll be sure to post a reminder with the website on the 8th for all those that are interested!

This is a phenomenal boost to The Story Siren, and really all book bloggers. I know I would not have gotten this attention without all my followers/readers/fellow bloggers, this means a lot to me, and I’m so thankful for all your support

Books to Pine For (14) or I’ll take one of everything Please!

Books to pine for… a collection of various Young Adult titles that have yet to be released. Books to pine for are found on my aimless wanderings on Amazon.com and Young Adult author websites. Almost all the titles mentioned are not in my possession, but oh… how I wish they were.

to pine (third-person singular simple present pines, present participle pining, simple past and past participle pined)

(intransitive) To long, to yearn so much that it causes suffering. (yep that pretty much sums it up)

My original books to pine for post: Books to Pine For, has a wide range of titles, some have been released since its post date. I hadn’t intended to make Books to Pine For a regular feature, but I continued to find books that caught my interest, thus, more posts where made: check out all the books to pine for posts!

Royal Blood: A Vampire Kisses Novel by Ellen Schreiber
(Okay, technically I have’t read any of this series, I do own the first two books, but the new covers have intrigued me…. maybe)
Fade Out: The Morganville Vampires by Rachel Cain

The Uninvited by Tim Wynne Jones
Ballads of Suburbia by Stephanie Kuehnert

Whistlin’ Dixie in a Nor’easter by Lisa Patton
Ash by Malinda Lo
(I wish I would have made this cover bigger because I really like it! Here is a good image.)

Bad Blood Mari Mancusi
(Another series I haven’t read! Own the first book! Love the new covers)
Blood Promise by Richelle Mead
(What I wouldn’t give to have this little baby in my hands!)

Scarlett Fever by Maureen Johnson
(Haven’t read Suite Scarlett, but I do own it, and I’ve heard great things about it, so the sequel will obvi. be fab!)
Girlfriend Material by Melissa Kantor

The Stone Child by Dan Poblocki
Prizm by Faye Kellerman & Aliza Kellerman

Voices in the Dark: The Last Descendants Trilogy by Catherine Banner
Fire by Kristin Cashore

Sunset Boulevard: An A-List Hollywood Royalty Novel by Zoey Dean
Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter

Postgrad: A Pre-Life Crisis by Emily Cassel
Hancock Park by Isabel Kaplan

The Comeback by Marlene Perez
VIP Lounge by by Ed Decter and Laura J. Burns

Sphinx’s Princess by Esther Freisner
A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn

Full Moon & Dark Moon by Rachel Hawthorne
(Sorry about the little covers, I tried to make them bigger and it just distorted them.. yuck! The only pics I could find were these small ones on Hawthorne’s website..)

Gorgeous by Rachel Vail
L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad
(What!? Don’t look at me like that, I’m CURIOUS!)


Author Interview

Author Tales: Julia Hoban

Julia Hoban is the author for this Thursday’s Author Tales. Julia’s debut novel Willow will be released April 2, 2009. I should have my review posted within the next few days. Julia is a wonderful author and I’ve enjoyed getting to know her tremendously! Be sure to add Willow to your TBR pile!

Is there anything that you would like people to know about the book? Something that might not be immediately obvious from the description?

You may be surprised to hear it, but I don’t really consider WILLOW to be a novel about cutting. It’s about someone who self harms, yes, but it’s really about learning to move beyond that behavior. I wrote it for those of us with self destructive urges, even if they are not always as dramatic as Willow’s, I wrote it especially for young women because I think being a teenager can be so difficult, but above all I wrote it to show how relationships can change us, how love can heal us. That is really what I consider WILLOW to be about.

What kind of research did you do for WILLOW?

I read a fair amount of case studies. Steven Levenkron’s “Cutting” was very helpful. One thing that may surprise people is the amount of care many cutters take with their wounds. It may seem counter intuitive, why cut yourself and then clean and bandage the cuts? But that’s a real window into the psyche of a self injurer: as Willow says, cutting is not a dress rehearsal for suicide. It is most often a way of stuffing down feelings that would otherwise be overpowering.

The location of the story is never mentioned, why? Did you have a specific place in mind when you were writing?

Willow is about a sensitive subject, something that many people could find difficult. I needed people to connect with the book as immediately as possible. I felt that readers needed to have their own place in mind, not be presented with a location that might possibly distance them from the story. That is why I never describe the locale, but for me, WILLOW takes place on the campus of Columbia University where I went to school, the Museum of Natural History which I visit regularly, and Riverside Park where I walk every day.

What has your experience with YA bloggers been like? Do you think it will make a difference for WILLOW?

I’m so glad that you asked me that! I’m thrilled to have a chance to publicly acknowledge the amazing reception I’ve had from the blogosphere! I never knew that there was such a community of book lovers. I’ve met some extraordinary young women in the past few months (and of course James, of Book Chic!) some absolutely extraordinary young women! I’ve been astonished at the passion for books, the generosity of spirit, and the overwhelming kindness that I’ve encountered. And it’s not just that you’ve all been so wonderful to me, you seem to be a tight knit community that looks out for and supports each other as well. It’s been an absolute honor and delight getting to know you all.

As to whether I think it will make a difference for WILLOW…. Let me put it to you this way, if WILLOW succeeds it will be in very large part due to the reception I have gotten from the YA blogging world. I could never thank all of you enough.

Do you have any personality quirks? What else do you like to do besides write?

I think the more accurate question might be is there any part of your personality that is normal?! I am exceedingly eccentric. I wear hats and gloves 365 days a year, yes you read that correctly. I design my own clothes, which people seem to find interesting, though I think if they saw some of my sketches they would be less than impressed! I went to graduate school in physics which also seems to interest people, but again, I think if they saw my grades they would be less than impressed! The following may give an accurate idea of my personality: I needed a black scoop necked shirt for some photos, but of course I couldn’t find anything that worked. I was having lunch at a rather fancy French restaurant, and the woman at the next table was wearing exactly the top I needed! I asked her if she would sell me the shirt off her back. Thankfully she was charmed and we went into the bathroom to make the exchange. We’ve since become good friends, but do you know, some people consider that rather forward behavior! Go figure!

If you could ask yourself any interview question, what would you ask, and how would you answer it?

Q) You say that you wrote WILLOW for those of us with self destructive urges, that it is a book about the power of love to heal. All well and good, but do you think a book, any book can help someone with such severe problems?

A) Absolutely. I can tell you from personal experience that I count many books as good and trusted friends, that there are books that have helped me through the deepest despair and through intense loneliness. Now WILLOW may not be a book that speaks to everyone, but if someone is able to learn from it, to question why they might treat themselves as less than they should, then this author will have truly done her job.

Thanks Julia for that fabulous interview! Would you like to win a signed ARC of Willow?! Leave a comment below to enter. Deadline is April 2, 2009. Post about this contest and I’ll give you an extra entry! Just leave a comment with the link! This contest is open to EVERYONE, yes that means you international readers!

Book Review

Stargazer by Claudia Gray

Stargazer by Claudia Gray

Release Date: March 24, 2009
Publisher: Harper Teen
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 336
Other Titles in the Series: Evernight

The vampire in me was closer to the surface . . .

Evernight Academy: an exclusive boarding school for the most beautiful, dangerous students of all—vampires. Bianca, born to two vampires, has always been told her destiny is to become one of them.

But Bianca fell in love with Lucas—a vampire hunter sworn to destroy her kind. They were torn apart when his true identity was revealed, forcing him to flee the school.
Although they may be separated, Bianca and Lucas will not give each other up. She will risk anything for the chance to see him again, even if it means coming face-to-face with the vampire hunters of Black Cross—or deceiving the powerful vampires of Evernight. Bianca’s secrets will force her to live a life of lies.

Yet Bianca isn’t the only one keeping secrets. When Evernight is attacked by an evil force that seems to target her, she discovers the truth she thought she knew is only the beginning. . . .

I really liked Evernight. I mean I really really liked it! Loved it even! And as much as I loved EvernightStargazer is even better!

I don’t want to go into the plot too much and really go into what happens because a lot happens! And you’re really going to want to discover it all for yourself!

In my review of Evernight, I mentioned that I would like to learn more about Balthazar, and I was happy to see happen in this novel. The plot becomes even more complicated if you can believe that. Gray threw some huge twists in there, that I DID NOT see coming.

The character relationships became more complex as well, adding to the overall allure of the novel. It was interesting to see how some things tied together completely. One of the most important things to me as a reader is good characterization and Stargazer has that. As well as impressive writing on Gray’s part. I love Bianca and Lucas’s story!

The only thing bad about this novel is that ended! I’m dying to know what happens next! I really don’t know if I can wait! A must read for vampire fans!


Book Review

Something Maybe by Elizabeth Scott

Something Maybe by Elizabeth Scott

Release Date: March 24, 2009
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 224

Everyone thinks their parents are embarrassing, but Hannah knows she’s got them all beat. Her dad made a fortune showcasing photos of pretty girls and his party lifestyle all over the Internet, and her mom was once one of her dad’s girlfriends and is now the star of her own website. After getting the wrong kind of attention for way too long, Hannah has mastered the art of staying under the radar…and that’s just how she likes it.

Of course, that doesn’t help her get noticed by her crush. Hannah’s sure that gorgeous, sensitive Josh is her soul mate. But trying to get him to notice her; wondering why she suddenly can’t stop thinking about another guy, Finn; and dealing with her parents make Hannah feel like she’s going crazy. Yet she’s determined to make things work out the way she wants — only what she wants may not be what she needs….

After Living Dead Girl, I’m glad to see the romantic side of Scott’s writing shining once again! Not only that, but it had the humor and satire that makes a very satisfying read.

As soon as I started reading this book I was hooked. Hannah’s voice captivated me from the start, as well as the story line. I loved the unusual family dynamics that were displayed. It was a highly used theme– embarrassing parents– but it was crafted in a totally new angle. I loved it.

Not to mention the love triangle of Josh, Finn and Hannah. And even though it’s obvious to the reader who Hannah should be going after, it takes her a while to figure it out on her own. Despite having semi-famous parents, I loved the normalcy of Hannah’s character.

Just an overall, funny, quick and charming read! I will happily be adding this to my Elizabeth Scott collection!

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