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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Review: I Like It Like That (A Gossip Girl Novel) by Cecily von Zeigesar

"Welcome to New York City's Upper East Side, where a week off from school means wild parties, new alliances, and clues to some truly outrageous mysteries.

Enter the world of Gossip Girl - and watch us drown in luxury while indulging in our favorite sports - jealously, betrayal, and late-night bar-hopping.

Spring Break is here and it's time for S & B to jet out to Sun Valley for plenty of apres-ski hot tub fun. Too bad for those unfortunate few who have to saty in NY and intern among the city's most fabulous glitterati. Back on the slopes, when the ski house is this big, who can keep track of N, and who's sleeping where? So get out your cashmere-lined boots and meet me by the fire!"

I think I'm getting back into the GG books, they just are kind of addicting. Who doesn't want to hear about their outrageous parties and problems? Not that anyone would want to live that way or anything...

Review: Amelia and the Outlaw by Lorraine Heath

With a strict, eagle-eyed judge for a father and two older brothers to back him up, Amelia Harper is doted upon and protected within an inch of her life. She's not even allowed to have a sweetheart until she's seventeen, for example. Amelia longs for the day she can do as she pleases, but that day doesn't seem to be in any hurry to arrive.

The Outlaw
For a young fellow, Jesse Lawton has a surprisingly shady background. The only wonder is that it took him until the age of fourteen to end up in jail, so wild was the path he'd been on. But five years have passed, and his luck finally seems to have turned: he's been freed. If only he can stay on the straight and narrow...

When Jesse arrives at the Harper ranch to work off the remainder of his sentence, it's not surprise that the judge's pretty daughter catches his eye. What he doesn't know is that this young lady is itching for excitement, and with one look into his haunted eyes, Amelia knows she's found it in Jesse. Without meaning to, Amelia forces the erstwhile outlaw into a choice between his freedom and his heart."

This book wasn't my favorite of the Avon True Romances, but it was pretty good. I really liked Jesse's story... but I didn't really like Amelia all that much. She seemed kind of boring to me and she didn't have much personality. Jesse was very well rounded though.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Review: Because I'm Worth It (A Gossip Girl Novel) by Cecily von Zeigesar

"Welcome to New York City's Upper East Side, where my friends and I live fabulously, go to school occasionally, and play - constantly.

Enter the world of Gossip Girl - a world of jealousy and betrayal, where everything is hip, beautiful, and far more fantastic than anything you ever imagined.

It's February and most cities are a cold, gray wasteland. But not New York. At least, not my New York. Our college applications are in and it's time to blow off some steam. Best of all, Fashion Week is just around the corner, giving us plenty of opportunities to get dressed up and go completely wild. And just think: The later you stay out, the quicker the days will blur by."

This was my favorite Gossip Girls book so far. I really liked the first one, but then was kind of bored by the next couple. This one, however, was good again. I actually found my self excited to continue reading and couldn't pay attention in class because I kept trying to read.

My favorite characters were present again (Vanessa, Blaire, and Jenny, Aaron), as well as the characters I love to hate (Serena, Daniel, and Nate). And there were a whole new set of outrageous happening that kept you reading - even though you know that their lives are totally ridiculous.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Review: Secret Admirer by Michele Jaffe

"Lady Tuesday Arlington seeks refuge from the horrible nightmares that invade her sleep by doing what she does best - she paints them. But when her husband is found dead in a setting identical to one she has painted, she become the prime suspect. Lawrence Pickering, special investigator to Her Majesty, the Queen, takes over the inquiry and cannot help but fall for the beautiful and talented Tuesday. But a cruelly sinister presence waits to turn their picture-perfect love into a masterpiece of murder"

This is another great story by Michele Jaffe, the author of The Stargazer, The Water Nymph, Lady Killer, and Bad Kitty. While I really enjoyed this book, I thought it was quite a bit different than her others. In the others the main characters fall for each other pretty quickly and don't resist as much it seems, but Tuesday and Lawrence seem to have a harder time finding their way to each other. Regardless, this book was still great.

Review: Nicola and the Viscount by Meg Cabot

Nicola Sparks, sixteen and an orphan, is ready to dive headlong into her first London Season. A whirlwind of fashionable activities awaits her, although nabbing a husband, ordinarily the prime object of every girl's Season, is not among them. For Nicola has already chosen hers: a handsome viscount by the name of Lord Sebastian.

The Viscount:
Lord Sebastian Bartholomew is wealthy, attractive, and debonair, even if the few tantalizingly short moments Nicola has spent with him have produced little save discussions about poetry. Nicola is sure that a proposal from Lord Sebastian would be a match made in heaven. Everything is going well, until the infuriating Nathaniel Sheridan begins to cast doubt on the viscount's character.

Nicola is convinced Nathaniel's efforts to besmirch Lord Sebastian's sterling reputation will yield nothing. But when she begins to piece things together for herself, the truth is revealed has as much to do with the viscount as it does with Nicola's own heart."

The book is another of the Avon True Romance books. I didn't enjoy this one as much as Cabot's Victoria and the Rogue, but it was still a good book. Nicola and the Viscount just didn't seem as funny or as developed as Victoria and the Rogue.

I did however like Nicola's fashion diva side, even though sometimes the wardrobe comments weren't that good though. I also really liked Nathaniel, but he didn't really seem to be in the book all that much.

All in all, this was not my favorite book by Cabot.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Review: Lady Killer by Michele Jaffe

"Three years ago Miles Loredan believed he had killed the bloodthirsty fiend known as the Vampire of London. When a beautiful sleuth named Clio Thornton stumbles upon what can only be the Vampire's latest victim, Miles is drawn into a terrifying race against the clock. Captivated at once by intelligent, lovely Clio, his first impulse is to protect her. And every clue points to the Vampire's next victim: Clio."

This is one of Jaffe's historical/mystery/romances that I loves. Each one tells the story of one of the Aboretti cousins and solves a murder mystery. Lady Killer is one of my favorite so far because of the vampire storyline. I'm not really a mystery or romance reader, but Jaffe is just too amazing to pass up. Her stories take place in Renaissance England, one of my favorite time periods, have passionate love stories, and great mystery plots. The female leads are not sickeningly weak and the main guy characters always have a few flaws to make them seem mortal. The murder mysteries are always captiviating as well...

Clio and Miles were another great duo... Jaffe did a spectacular job at weaving their seperate stories together and I really liked to read about Miles after Jaffe's brief mentioning of him in other books.

Look for the Aboretti cousins in Secret Admirer, The Water Nymph, and The Stargazer.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Review: The Dragon Prince by Melanie Rawn

"The Dragon Lord - When Rohan became the new prince of the Desert, ruler of the kingdom granted his family for as long as the Long Sands spewed fire, he took the crown with two goals in mind. First and foremost, he sought to bring permanent peace to his world of divided princedoms, realms hovering always on the brink of war. And, in a land where dragon-slaying was a proof of manhood, Rohan was the sole champion of dragons, fighting desperately to perserve the last remaining lords of the sky and with them a secret which might be the salvation of his people...

And His Sunrunner Witch - Sioned, who was fated by Fire to be Rohan's bride, has mastered the magic of sunlight and moonglow, catching hints of a yet to be formed pattern which could irrevocably affect the destinies of Sunrunners and ordinary mortals alike. Yet caught in the mechinations of the Lady of Goddess Keep, and of Prince Rohan and his sworn enemy, the treacherously cunning High Prince, could Sioned alter this crucial pattern to protect her lord from the menance of a war that threatened to set the land ablaze?"

When I really like an author, especially a fantasy authors, I have a hard time not comparing new fantasy authors I try to previous favorites. The new books just always seem to come up short... I just can't get into them. With Melanie Rawn, I've found another favorite! The book is good right from the first page. There is no boring beginning to set the scene, the reader steps right into Rawn's world and the action.

Sioned, the main female lead, is a good, strong character - full of love and defiance - aware that she is dependent on the male lead, but not stupid (which is what seems to happen to most female characters when there is a romantic plotline). Sioned knows that she is in love and when Rohan hurts her, she doesn't just whine about it, she gets even... She's no "girl".

Rohan is a good character at the beginning... full of youth and scholarly, but the I found myself disliking him towards the middle of the books. The perfect guy was gettimng a little rough around the edges - you couldn't help but hate him. Rawn did this perfectly, causing me to like Sioned better and hate the villians more than I did before... showing exactly how evil they were. Rohan, of course, gains back the reader's approval when he looks at the world a little more realistically and owns up to mistakes without blaming others.

A great epic fantasy read...! Dragon Prince is the first in a trilogy that includes The Star Scroll and Sunrunner's Fire. There is also a continuation trilogy that includes Stronghold, The Dragon Token, and Skybowl. Rawn has a seperate trilogy called Exiles.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Review: When Lightning Strkes by Jenny Carroll

"Just because her best friend wants to exercise, Jessica Mastriani agrees to walk the two miles home from their high school. Straight into a huge Indiana thunderstorm. And straight into trouble. Not that Jess has never been in trouble before. Her extracurricular activities, instead of cheerleading or 4-H, include fist fights with the football team and monthlong stints in detention - luckily, sitting right next to Rob, the sexiest senior around. But this trouble is serious. Because somehow on that lond walk home, Jess acquired a newfound talent. An amazing power that can be used for good... or evil. Run, Jessica, Run."

This book was written by Jenny Carroll, aka Meg Cabot, and is the first in her 1-800-WHERE-ARE-YOU series. I really loved Cabot's Mediator series so I decided to try these ones. In the Mediator series, the main character, Suze, helps ghosts pass on to the next realm/life/whatever and uncovers the mysteries of their deaths to do so. In the 1-800-WHERE-ARE-YOU books, the heroine is Jess, and she has the power to locate children and people that are missing. She goes to sleep and when she wakes up she knows where they are. This aspect of the book is really good.

However, I did have a problem with Jess. She was just too obnoxious at times I thought. She is supposed to be "tough" I think, but just sounds really immature at times. Then other times she sounds like the 16-yr old she's supposed to be. I had the same problem with the first of the Mediator books and Suze, so I think that the next books in the series might not have this problem.

Review: The Sound of Munich by Suzanne Nelson

"Siena Bernstein is leaving her yoga mat behind for a semester of study abroad in Munich. She's thrilled with the prospect of a German adventure (her horoscope is encouraging as well), but she hopes to make more than just her dreams come true while she's there. Siena's dad, who passed away when she was a baby, kept a "Carpe Diem" list - sort of his top-ten adventurous things to do. He completed all but one of the tasks - going to Germany to thank the man who helped smuggle his family past the Berlin Wall. Amidst her adventures in biergartens, Alpine skiing, and a rigorous course load, Siena is on a quest to complete her father's list. But she's also set on having the best possible time while she tries. With the help of two new best buds and a handsome RA in her dorm, she'll surely succeed."

This book is one of the Students Across the Seven Seas books, the first one I've read. The plot of the book is good...something that short books don't always possess. I really like the idea of travelling to different places, especially Europe, and I like YA fiction - so I figured this book would be for me! I was right, but it isn't a fantastic book, just a good one. It isn't one that I would read again, but I would recommend it to other readers.

The main reason that I didn't really love this book was the main character, Siena. I really did like her, but sometimes her "personality" got in the way. The author tries to make her "bohemian", but she just sounded hippie-ish... and not in a good way. Her easy-going vibe was just a little annoying at times. Other than that she was fine.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Review: Psyche in a Dress by Francesca Lia Block

"Psyche has know love - scented with jasmine and tasting of fresh oranges. Yet he is fleeting and fragile, lost to her too quickly. Punished by self-doubt, Psyche yearns to be transformed, like the women in the myths her lover once gave to her. But as she is repeatedly challenged, tested, tempted, and changed by beautiful gods and brutal demons, Psyche must discover a way to find herself again."

From Booklist:
Far from action-packed adventures of brave heroes on perilous journeys, these contemporary retellings of Greek myths are erotic and intellectual, and they are for older readers (including adults) who can appreciate the meanings of the complex metaphors. These aren't playful fractured fairy tales. True to the original myth, Block takes Eros to Psyche's bed at night; Psyche loves him, though she has been warned never to look at him. Block also brings a contemporary sensibility to stories about other mythic figures, including Echo; Persephone; Narcissus, who loves himself; and Orpheus, who plays guitar in a seedy nightclub, where he has sex with the strippers before he meets Eurydice. Readers who don't get the allusions will be confused, even lost, but the short vignettes of urgent free verse make for a fast read, with delicate moments as well as scenes of monsters close to home. Block raises the edgy question, "Is beauty monstrous?" Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Francesca Lia Block is one of my role models. Her books have such dark content, but are at the same time both whimisical and magical. The language and her writing style make Block a fantastic writer and one of my absolute favorites. I have never been disappointed by one of her books.

Review: Invitation Only by Kate Brian

Reed is now popular and is one of the girls to be. Unfortunately she is being blackmailed by her new roomate to dig up dirt on her fellow Billings Girls. Not to mention that the Legacy is coming up and she has no way of getting in, even though its the only way that she may be able to see her MIA boyfriend Thomas. "Life as a Billings Girl is every bit as glamorous as Reed imagined. What she didn't bargain for is the tangled web of private lies these girls weave."

The second book in the Private series is just as good as the first, possibly even better because Reed seems to have acquired a bit of a backbone. The end of this book was definatately a shocker... it sets the scene for book three, leaving readers anxious for answers.

Review: Invitation Only by Kate Brian

Reed is now popular and is one of the girls to be. Unfortunately she is being blackmailed by her new roomate to dig up dirt on her fellow Billings Girls. Not to mention that the Legacy is coming up and she has no way of getting in, even though its the only way that she may be able to see her MIA boyfriend Thomas. "Life as a Billings Girl is every bit as glamorous as Reed imagined. What she didn't bargain for is the tangled web of private lies these girls weave."

The second book in the Private series is just as good as the first, possibly even better because Reed seems to have acquired a bit of a backbone. The end of this book was definatately a shocker... it sets the scene for book three, leaving readers anxious for answers.

Review: Private by Kate Brian

"Reed Brennan transfers to the private school Easton Academy and feels like an outsider with her lack of money and friends until she meets the Billings Girls. they basically rule the school - everyone want to be in their group... Reed uses every part of herself - the good, the bad, the beautiful - to get closer to the Billings girls. She quickly discovers that inside their secret parties and mountains of attitude, hanging in their designer clothing-packed closets the Billings Girls have skeletons. And they'll do anything to keep their secrets private."

If I were to transfer to a private school, I think I'd be Reed Brennan. That is, minus the annoying personality and inability to think for myself. This book would have been MUCH better if the main character wasn't so insipid. I found myself annoyed at her many times throughout the book. Reed is not one of those characters who has a mind of her own - she lives to impress the rich girls that she so wants to be.

Other than this problem, which isn't really that major because Reed is tolerable in most parts of the book, Private is actually quite good. It has mystery and cute boys... what else do you really need? That said, boys probably wouldn't like this book much...

Review: Sabriel by Garth Nix

"Sent to boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young child, Sabriel has had little experience with the random free magic or the Dead who refuse to stay dead in the Old Kingdom. But during her final semester, her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, and Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him. She soon finds companions in Mogget, a cat whose aloof manner barely conceals his malevolent spirit, and Touchstone, a young charter mage long imprisoned by magic, now free in body but still trapped by painful memories. As the three travel deep into the Old Kingdom, threats mount on all sides. And every step brings them closer to a battle that will pit them against the true forces of life and death - and bring Sabriel face-to-face with her own hidden destiny."

I love, love, love Garth Nix. He is one of the best fantasy writers I've ever read. Sabriel is the first in his trilogy which also includes Lirael and Abhorsen.

Sabriel takes place in a land riddled with dead that are trying to overtake the land - and the living - but the heroine, who bears the same name as the book, gives the reader hope as they learn the art of being an Abhorsen as she learns. Definately fantasy at its best!

Sabriel is one of the first characters that I've ever encountered that does not have any distracting flaws that make the reader dislike her. The other characters in the book, including Touchstone and Mogget, are also loveable - though they may not always be nice.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

My To Read List for Spring Book Thing 2007

All of the following books are ones that I own, but haven't read. I have many, many to TBR lists, but I figure that I'll start with these since I own them already:

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice
Tuesday's With Morrie by Mitch Albom
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
The Witching Hour by Anne Rice
The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown
Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks
Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier
Child of the Prophecy by Juliet Marillier
Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton
Daemon Hall by Andrew Nance
Sabriel by Garth Nix
The Way of the Witch by Jan Siegel
When Lightning Strikes by Jenny Carroll
Looking for Alaska by John Green
Eragon by Christopher Paolini
Eldest by Christopher Paolini
The Belgariad - David Eddings
Belladonna - Anne Bishop
Pirates - Celia Rees
Bass Ackwards and Belly Up
The Witches of Eileanan - Kate Forsyth
The Sound of Munich - Suzanne Nelson
Deerskin - Robin McKinley

Review: Victoria and the Rogue by Meg Cabot

From the back cover of the book:

"Victoria: Growing up in far-off India, wealthy young heiress Lady Victoria Arbuthnot was accustomed to handling her own affairs - not to mention everyone else's. But in her sixteenth year, Vicky is unceremoniously shipped off to London to find a husband. With her usual aplomb, however, Lady Victoria gets herself engaged to the perfect English gentleman, even before setting foot on British soil.

The Rogue: Hugo Rothschild, ninth earl of Malfrey, is everything a girl could want in a future husband: he is handsome and worldly, if not rich. Lady Victoria has everything just as she'd like it. That is, if raffish young ship captain Jacob Carstairs would leave well enough alone. Jacob's meddling is nothing short of exasperating, and Victoria is mystified by his persistence. But when it becomes clear that young Lord Malfrey just might not be all that he's professed to be, Victoria is forced to admit, for the first time in her life, that she is wrong. Not only about her fiance, but about the reason behind the handsome ship captain's interference."

Published by Avon Books, an imprint of HarperCollins, in 2003, this book is written by the well-known Meg Cabot of Princess Diaries fame. I'm a fan of Cabot from her Mediator books. Cabot's heroines are always loveable, and above all, hilarious. Victoria, like Cabot's other female leads, is funny, but is set in a historical setting rather than modern as her other books are.

Victoria and the Rogue is not a book that will provoke deep thought. It is not a books that you will reread again and again to get its meaning. In fact, you probably don't even have to read past the first couple chapters to figure out what's going to happen - but it is a wonderful book. Written for teen readers specifically, Victoria is only sixteen, the book offers a funny, chaste love story with a likeable heroine. While there are kissing scenes, there is no hot and heavy sex scenes, which would make the book unsuitable for younger readers.

This book is one of Avon's True Romance for Teens series. My love of Cabot and a good love story sparked my interest and I decided to look into the rest in the set. Cabot also wrote another called Nicola and the Viscount, but the rest of the series are written by seperate authors.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

New Books

I just got new books so I am in a very happy mood. It feels like it is my birthday, possibly even Christmas (which is a nice feeling since I've actually started outgrow the time when Christmas is sparkly and exciting - now it is just comforting.) I suppose I should add these to my list of books to read the Spring Library Thing...

Sebastian by Anne Bishop
Victoria and the Rogue by Meg Cabot
Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Novels by Laurell K. Hamilton

There are a few books that I'm anxiously awaiting as well:

Girl At Sea by Maureen Johnson
The Heart of Stars by Kate Forsyth
Kushiel's Justice by Jacqueline Carey

I hate the waiting...

I also just got news that Betwixt author Tara Bray Smith is planning a sequel to come out sometime next yr... so any that read Betwixt and liked it or read the review and are interested - you're in luck!!

Spring Reading Thing 2007

I've decided to join the *tada* "Spring Reading Things 2007" put on by Callapidder Days... visit her blog to learn more ( This is what I'm planning on reading for the month of April, but the contest goes until June so I guess I'll have to add on.

When Lightning Strikes - Jenny Carroll
Daemon Hall - Andrew Nance (I won this bk a long time ago and still haven't read it)
Eragon and Eldest (my little bro has been bugging the heck outta me to read these)
The Da Vinci Code (I bought this a long time ago and still haven't read it)
The Belgariad - David Eddings (I read these in 7th grade and need to reread them)
Belladonna - Anne Bishop (her newest, I'm very excited to read it!!)
Pirates - Celia Rees (I really need to read this... I've had it for over a yr I think)
Bass Ackwards and Belly Up (couldn't get into this the first time I tried)
The Witches of Eileanan - Kate Forsyth (one of my fav bks ever that I need to reread)

Everyone should join the Spring Reading Thing - its a great way to get those books you've been putting off read!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Paper Back Swap

This is one of my absolute favorite sites because it helps to lower the cost of my book addiction. I use the library a lot, but I like to own my favorite books. Paper Back Swap allows me to do this at a very low cost. They advertise that they are free, which isn't exactly true, but its pretty close. The fees come in when you send books to others in the form of postage. Luckily, this rarely ever over $2. The books that you recieve from this site are free though, the mailers pay the postage of course. To learn more about this amazing site, go to You definately won't regret joining... don't forget to mention that I recommended you! My username is "booklover89" and I might have some books that you are interested in!

Review: Betwixt by Tara Bray Smith

I just finished reading Betwixt by Tara Bray Smith. I've gotta say, it was one of the best books I've read in quite awhile. I'm a big fan of young adult novels and fantasy and this book had a good mix of both worlds.

From back cover:

Betwixt by Tara Bray Smith "For three seventeen year olds, dark mystery has always lurked at the corner of the eyes and the edge of sleep. Beautiful Morgan D'Amici wakes in her meager home, with blood under her fingernails. Paintings come alive under Ondine Mason's violet-eyed gaze. Haunted runaway Nix Saint-Michael sees halos of light around people about to die. At a secret summer rave in the woods, the three teenagers learn of their true origins and their uncertain, intertwined destinies. Riveting, unflinching and beautiful, Betwixt is as complex and compelling as any ordinary reality."

This is Tara Bray Smith's first novel for young adults. The book is not that surprising; you know what is going to happen pretty much, but this doesn't lessen its impact. But the book does end at a bit of cliffhanger and I'm anxious to read the next book. Unfortunately Betwixt won't be out in bookstores until September 2007, so the next book is a long ways off.


Welcome to my blog! The Hiding Spot is dedicated to books, the best hiding spot I know. Ever since I was little, when things got too tough in real life, I would just read a book and imagine that I was someone else, somewhere else. I wouldn't have to deal with everything at home, school, and with friends... instead I would visit magical kingdoms and meet people that seemed much more interesting than the ones I knew in my regular life. The most amazing part of reading was that I could just shut the book and it would all go away if I wanted it to, yet it was always there to go back to. Things written in a book don't change like reality does. You can always write a happy ending...