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Thursday, December 31, 2009

My Favorite Books of 2009 & Contest!

This list was really, really hard for me to narrow down. And every time I think I have my top favs, I start to second guess myself. So of the 32 books that were on my original list, here are the 20 I feel were the best! Well, right at this moment anyway! Keep in mind that these are only the top books out of those I read in 2009 that were also published in 2009. I read so many great older titles and 2010 titles, but those are not factored into this list!

1. Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols
2. Taken by Storm by Angela Morrison
3. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
4. Fire by Kristin Cashore
5. Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev
6. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
7. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
8. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
9. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
10. Soulless by Gail Carriger
11. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
12. How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford
13. Darklight by Lesley Livingston
14. Nothing but Ghosts by Beth Kephart
15. The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
16. Cross My Heart & Hope to Spy by Ally Carter
17. Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund
18. Molly Fyde and the Parsona Resuce by Hugh Howey
19. Blood Promise by Richelle Mead
20. Fat Cat by Robin Brande

The books listed are not in any particular order, I couldn't bring myself to order those - I loved each for a different reason! I want to add in all the others I loved as well, but 32 was just too many. It was only supposed to be a list of 10! :D

Bree Despain's debut novel, THE DARK DIVINE was a late December release, so it is almost a 2010 book. In fact, some may consider it a Tenner. I want this amazing novel to be on some Best of 2010 lists next year, so I'm giving away an arc of THE DARK DIVINE to one lucky winner!

You must be a follower of The Hiding Spot to be eligible. To become a follower, head over to the left sidebar. Those of you who already are, as a thank you, you get 4 extra entries authomatically, just let me know when you fill out the form! To enter, simply fill out this FORM!

There will be one winner. This contest is open to US & Canada mailing addresses, unless you are an old follower. Old followers worldwide can enter! :D

Contest closes: January 30th!

Good luck and have fun!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Contest: Win Magic Under Glass swag!

Jaclyn Dolamore is giving away some awesome MAGIC UNDER GLASS swag for one lucky winner at The Hiding Spot!

The Prizes:
A Signed Magic Under Glass bookmark
A Nimira-fashion-sketch bookplate

Entering is easy, just fill out this handy form!

There are even ways to gain some extra entries to up your chances of winning!

+2 if you follow The Hiding Spot
+3 if you comment on my review of Magic Under Glass, here!
+3 if you comment on my interview with Jaclyn, here!
+2 each time you link this contest (Twitter, Sidebar, etc)

This contest is open INTERNATIONALLY! :D
The contest will close January 14th!

Good luck & have fun!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Interview: Jaclyn Dolamore (Author of Magic Under Glass!)

I'm thrilled to have debut author Jaclyn Dolamore here today to chat about her new novel, Magic Under Glass, and other various topics!

A Brief Biography:
Jaclyn Dolamore was homeschooled in a hippie sort of way and spent her childhood reading as many books as her skinny nerd-body could lug from the library and playing elaborate pretend games with her sister Kate. She skipped college and spent eight years drudging through retail jobs, developing her thrifty cooking skills and pursuing a lifelong writing dream. She has a passion for history, thrift stores, vintage dresses, David Bowie, drawing, and organic food. She lives with her partner and plot-sounding-board, Dade, and two black tabbies who have ruined her carpeting.

The Interview:

What inspired you to write MAGIC UNDER GLASS?
I thought there was a surprising lack of Victorian era fantasy in young adult. The Gemma Doyle books were huge and I hoped they would start a mini trend, but... they didn't, really. I wanted more. So I wrote one! Technically, it's on another world, but I think it's obvious what inspired me... I thought of novels like Jane Eyre, A Little Princess, The Secret Garden, and Rebecca, and nonfiction inspires me a lot as well. I had just read "Inside the Victorian Home" by Judith Flanders, which had so many interesting details.

Are you anything like your main character, Nimira?
I'm not tremendously like her. I'm practical, but I think she is more practical than I am. Her life has been more difficult, so she is more independent by necessity. I also don't think I would fall in love as quickly, but she is pretty desperate for someone to love her. Poor girl! It's hard to be a book character!

The names used the book are unique; how did you choose them?
They really just came to me. I wanted them to sound like real names from different countries without being quite obvious. But I don't hit baby name books or anything. My next book had a lot of trouble getting off the ground because the characters' names were not coming to me...

Did you do any research while writing MAGIC? If yes, please explain.
I did a ton of research on the 19th century. Even creating a faux 19th century takes a lot of work. It was fun work, of course. When I was first writing the draft I read a lot of general books on daily life in 19th century. During revisions, one of the things I did was go through a number of books of early photography and take notes on how things looked. I found a gem of a book called "The Tasteful Interlude" in a used bookstore that was nothing but photographs of middle-class home interiors with commentary. You can thank that book for most of the interior descriptions!

What was the most difficult aspect of writing MAGIC?
The ending. Oh God, the ending. I originally thought of this book as a trilogy. Then, I decided that was a bad idea as I queried it and made an ending that was neatly tied up when I totally rewrote it. Then my editor wanted it open again. It's changed so many times and I've never been quite happy with it. And more reviewers gripe about it than anything else, so... that's frustrating. I knew it was a problem all along and I just couldn't seem to nail it.

MAGIC has been compared to Jane Eyre, are you a big fan of this classic?
Yes! I love that book. I still remember finishing it for the first time, closing it, feeling so satisfied. I might have teared up a little, I can't remember, but my mom commented on how emotional I looked. "That was just a great book," I said. Happy sigh!

Did you always want to be a novelist?
As a kid I had no doubt of it. I used to keep diaries just so they could be published after I was dead for my fans. It was only in my teenage years that I doubted myself somewhat. But, my kid self was right after all.

What jobs did you have on your way to being a writer? Did they help you in any way as a writer?
My first job was working at Sears. I worked there for five years because I hate change. It was a pretty lousy job, but I certainly learned a lot about different kinds of people. From there I got a job at a health food store, where I learned a lot about even more interesting kinds of people. That job did not pay any better than Sears (I developed serious thrifty skills) but it was a lot of fun and I became an excellent cook browsing all the cooking magazines!

When and where do you usually write?
I write at my desk. It's cluttered and ergonomic and boring. I used to write on the porch and watch the squirrels, but I had to stop when I developed a repetitive stress injury. I do most of my writing either after lunch or after dinner. It helps to be well fed!

Is there something that is a must have for you to be able to write?
I wish I could say something romantic and strange. Like a vintage hat or an ancient charm or sitar music or tea blossoms.
But, alas. The answer is pajama pants.

What author or book most influenced you as a writer or in general?
Well, I have to go back to age 12. That was when I stopped writing and drawing other people's characters and created my own world. My big influence at the time were Piers Anthony's Xanth books and Elfquest comics. My writing style, however, was probably most influenced by classic children's literature like L. M. Montgomery, Little House, Narnia, Betsy-Tacy, Ramona, etc. etc.

Can you tell us anything about your next YA novel(s)?
Now that Magic Under Glass is out, everyone wants a sequel! So I am sorry my next book is not a sequel. But, I wrote another book while I was waiting for edits to Magic Under Glass. That's the most efficient way to do it, after all. It's about a mermaid and a winged guy who were childhood friends and they meet again against the backdrop of a struggling theater show. It's the same planet as Magic Under Glass but based on late 18th century Italy. So it's a generation or two before Nimira.

The Hiding Spot is dedicated to my personal hiding spot, books. Is there a place, activity, or person that is your hiding spot?
I think my hiding spot is the bathtub... few places are so conducive to cozy, solitary thought!

Anything else you would like to share with us?
Thanks for having me! And if anyone is in the Orlando area, please check out my launch party on January 19, 7 pm, at the Barnes & Noble on Colonial Drive!

Review: Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore

Title: Magic Under Glass
Author: Jaclyn Dolamore
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pub. Date: 12/22/2009
Genre: YA
Main Themes: Magic, Love, Prejudice, Sorcerers, Fairies
Pages: 240
Plot (from back of arc):
Nimira is a music-hall girl used to dancing for pennies. So when wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to sing acompaniment to a mysterious piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it will be the start of a better life. In Parry's world, long-buried secrets are about to stir. Unsettling rumors begin to swirl about ghosts, a madwoman roaming the halls, and Parry's involvement with a league of sorcerers who torture fairies for sport. When Nimira discovers that the spirit of a dashing fairy gentleman is trapped within the automaton, she is determined to break the curse. But even as the two fall into a love that seems hopeless, breaking the curse becomes a perilous race against time. Because it's not just the future of these star-crossed lovers that's at stake, but the fate of the entire magical world.

Jaclyn Dolamore's debut novel is a quick and engaging read that left me me wanting more. Not only did the slim volume end much to quickly, Dolamore's unique plot line and characters stayed with me even after I finished the last line.

First off, I'm still a bit in awe of the cover art. I thought it was gorgeous when  I first saw it on Jackie's website and when I saw the arc, but it was nothing compared to the bound version when I saw it in the bookstore. It definitely is eye catching!

I was intrigued by the mention of an automaton as I read the plot summary for the novel. I wanted to know how Dolamore would pull off this interesting love story and how the more magical elements would play into the story.

I will say that I did find the explanation of the magical elements of the plot line a bit lacking. I'm hoping that an additional installment will bring some of unexplained details to light. I liked the idea of sorcerers and fairies, but wanted to know more about them. I think may have been the epic fantasy geek in me shining through... I longed for Magic to be a few hundred more pages long with lots of detail about these magical elements.

Ratings (out of 10):
Plot: 8
Characters: 9
Writing: 10
Romance: 10
Originality: 10
Total: 47/50 (A)

Dolamore has succeeded in writing a wonderful debut novel! I will definitely be reading her next novel(s). And I am so excited to see the next book's cover!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Review: Fallen by Lauren Kate

Title: Fallen
Author: Lauren Kate
Publisher: Delacorte
Pub. Date: 12/8/09
Genre: YA
Main Themes: Supernatural, Angels, Love, Reincarnation, Friendship, Boarding School, Sanity
Pages: 452

Plot (from GoodReads): 
There's something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori. 
Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price's attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He's the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move. 
Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce--and goes out of his way to make that very clear--she can't let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

 I wasn't sure what to expect from Fallen. The cover drew me in, but I'd been reading mixed reviews. After reading, I have to side with those who are fans of the novel: I read it in one sitting and can't wait to read the next installment, Torment.

Fallen definitely wasn't an action-packed novel, but I appreciated the slow unfolding of the plot and found it interesting and intricate. The pages really started flying by when I hit the middle of the novel.

One of my favorite aspects of the novel was Kate's attention to detail. In the novel, Luce uncovers the secret of why she knows the mysterious Daniel Grigori.. As more of the mystery is revealed, the seemingly unimportant details from earlier in the novel are incorporated. I was highly impressed by Kate's writing skill.

Luce falls for Daniel immediately, despite his cold demeanor and rudeness. Normally, I would be a bit annoyed by this, since  it often makes the main character seem silly. I appreciated the fact that Kate showed that Luce realized that her almost-obsession with Daniel was odd and a bit crazy. I really enjoyed the love story though. I loved when Daniel told Luce of all the times he'd loved her throughout history - so romantic!

The only part of the novel that I was disappointed by was the explanation of why Luce landed herself in a reform school. Readers are left wondering what happened the fateful night that Luce's crush died in a mysterious fire. I can speculate about what happened, but an actual explanation would have been nice. Hopefully Torment will give some answers.

Ratings (out of 10):
Plot: 8
Characters: 10
Writing: 10
Romance: 10
Originality: 10
 Total: 48/50 (A)

In my opinion, Fallen lived up to my expectations. I read it as a tour book, but I will be picking up my own copy of the novel. The end of the novel was amazing (I even read the last few lines aloud to my sister), so I definitely can't wait to read Torment!

Reviewed for Around the World Tours

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Holidays, Horrible Internet Connections, and a Delayed IMM

Hey Everyone!

I hope everyone is having a fun holiday season. Michigan has had some crazy weather this past week, but I've been relaxed and cozy thanks to holiday break from school and taking a week off from Old Navy. I'm back in my hometown in Northern Michigan until Wednesday, which has pros and cons. I love being home with family and seeing friends, but we have dial-up internet here... and my laptop and I hate it. So, that explains my absence. I plan to head into town to us the wireless on Monday, but until then, I probably won't post. So that means my IMM will most likely be posted Monday as well - I got LOTS of goodies from Bloomsbury this week (... THE MARK, DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS, and a few other awesome titles...)! :)

The bookstore in my town is closing too, so there are some super sales going on that I might have to hit up! It would be silly to spend my xmas money on anything else!

I hope to get some books reviewed over this break as well, so look forward to those when I'm back down in the land of speedy internet. And I totally have some more awesome books and swag that will up for grabs! I'm thinking a New Year's Contest will be fitting... perhaps with the theme being blog resolutions? :)

I'm hoping to add a few more features for 2010 too... perhaps there will be a contest feature? I must think further about this...

<3 Sara

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (22)

WoW is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine!

Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala (HarperTeen, 6/10)
It’s tough, living in the shadow of a dead girl…

In the five years since her bad-girl sister Xanda’s death, Miranda Mathison has wondered about the secret her sister took to the grave, and what really happened the night she died. Now, just as Miranda is on the cusp of her dreams—a best friend to unlock her sister’s world, a ticket to art school, and a boyfriend to fly her away from it all—Miranda has a secret all her own.

Then two lines on a pregnancy test confirm her worst fears. Stripped of her former life, Miranda must make a choice with tremendous consequences and finally face her sister’s demons and her own.

In this powerful debut novel, stunning new talent Holly Cupala illuminates the dark struggle of a girl who must let go of her past to find a way into her own future.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Contest: Win a copy of Darklight by Lesley Livingston! CLOSED

Lesley is offering a one lucky reader of The Hiding Spot a hardcover copy of her newly released novel: DARKLIGHT!

I think everyone should go out right now and buy their own copy of DARKLIGHT, but this copy of the book is special.... because it's signed!

Entering is simple, just fill out this form and answer the following question in the comments! You must do both of these things to win!

In Lesley Livingston's novels, Central Park is a gateway to the faery realm. Tell me about a place that you think could be a gateway. You can name a specific place or describe a type of place or answer the question however you like. Have fun!

For Extra Entries:
Follow The Hiding Spot!

Follow Lesley on Twitter (@LesLivingston)!
Comment on my review of DARKLIGHT, here.
Comment on my interview with Lesley, here.
Link this contest (Sidebar, Blog Post, Twitter)
If you are claiming extra entries for commenting, be sure that is an actual comment that shows that you actually read the review! Thank you.

This contest is open to the US and Canada.

The contest will close January 5th, 2010! ***CLOSED****

Good luck and have fun!

Interview: Lesley Livingston (Author of Darklight!)

Please welcome the fabulous Lesley Livingston, author of WONDROUS STRANGE and DARKLIGHT to The Hiding Spot!

A Brief Biography (from Lesley's Website!):
Lesley is a writer and actor living in Toronto, Canada. Captivated at a young age by stories of mythology and folk lore, past civilizations, and legendary heroes, she developed into a full-fledged Celtic Mythology Geek, steeped in stories of the Otherworld, Faeries and King Arthur. Lesley went on to earn a Master’s Degree in English from the University of Toronto specializing in Shakespeare and Arthurian literature.

For almost three years, Lesley hosted weekly late-night movie marathons on the nationally broadcast television show, SPACEBAR, as the Waitron-9000, a sparkly holographic waitress with an encyclopedic knowledge of obscure B-movie trivia. She is also a founding member and principal performer with TEMPEST THEATRE GROUP.
Lesley is an unrepentant egghead – a character-trait that somehow doesn’t interfere with a love of shoes and shiny things. WONDROUS STRANGE is her debut novel, the first in a trilogy published by HarperCollins. The second book in the series, DARKLIGHT, [is out now].

The Interview:
Tell us a bit about your books WONDROUS STRANGE and DARKLIGHT.
Here—my website blurbs are much better at this than I am! (Plot spoiler-y-ness ahead!! BEWARE!)
Kelley Winslow is living her dream. Seventeen years old, she has moved to New York City and started work with a theatre company. Sure, she's an understudy for the Avalon Players, a third-tier repertory company so far off-Broadway it might as well be in Hoboken, but things are looking up—the lead has broken her ankle and Kelley's about to step into the role of Titania the Fairy Queen in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Faeries are far more real than Kelley thinks, though, and a chance encounter in Central Park with a handsome young man will plunge her into an adventure she could never have imagined.
For Sonny Flannery, one of the Janus Guards charged by Auberon, the King of Winter, with watching over the gate into the lands of Faerie that lies within Central Park, the pretty young actress presents an enigma. Strong and willful, she sparks against his senses like a firecracker and he can't get her out of his mind. As Hallowe'en approaches and the Samhain Gate opens, Sonny and Kelley find themselves drawn to each other—and into a terrible plot that could spell disaster for both New York and Faerie alike.

In this sequel to Wondrous Strange, Kelley Winslow finds her NYC acting career blossoming as she takes the lead in Romeo and Juliet. But she also finds herself desperately missing Sonny Flannery—who was forced back to the Faerie Otherworld, charged with a dangerous mission by Kelley’s father, King Auberon.
When Kelley finds herself thrown into the Otherworld following a deadly chase in Central Park, her passionate reunion with Sonny is cut short. Ancient magick is stirring, and a dangerous enemy has Sonny and Kelley caught in a web of Faerie deception that could tear their love apart.

What inspired you to write a books with supernatural/fantasy elements?
I’ve always loved reading about this kind of stuff. I grew up devouring everything I could get my hands on that had anything to do with myths or legends or King Arthur or the Otherworld. Even in Shakespeare, the elements of the supernatural are very present and were always fascinating to me; Macbeth’s witches, Hamlet’s ghost, the fairies in Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest… When it came time for me to write my own stories, it seemed only natural that I should gravitate toward those sorts of subjects.

Are you anything like your main character, Kelley?
Ha! Well… we share a common background that involves a disastrous theatre school experience… and we’re both Shakespearian actors… but I think Kelley’s a little (maybe a lot!) braver than I am. I’m not so sure that I would have been able to handle moving to NYC all by myself to try and catch my big break. Also I’m reasonably certain I’m not a Faerie princess in hiding. Reasonably certain.

How did you choose the titles WONDROUS STRANGE and DARKLIGHT?
The titles are both Shakespearean in nature. “Wondrous Strange” is a phrase the Bard used in both A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hamlet – and just seemed to fit the feeling of the book so well. And Darklight refers to both Kelley’s burgeoning power and the situation she and Sonny find themselves in, and also refers to lines from Romeo and Juliet: “Oh now be gone, more light and light it grows.” “More light and light, more dark and dark our woes.”

Did you do any research while writing WS and DARKLIGHT? If yes, please explain.
I did, but it was mostly for the setting of the book and the underlying back-story. Because of my own background in the theatre, I already had an intimate familiarity the inner workings of a theatre company and all of that Shakespeare under my belt. And I have a fairly extensive knowledge of Faerie lore and legend because I’ve been reading that stuff since I was a kid. But I had to really get to know Central Park and New York and—particularly the history behind the Park’s inception, and the story of one of the lesser known historical figures behind the creation of what is now one of the most spectacular green spaces in the world. Because that became a key bit of back-story on which the entire trilogy is based.

What was the most difficult aspect of writing your novels?
Stopping! Seriously… I just finished the third (yet to be named) book in the trilogy and, near the end, I just kept writing and writing and I never seemed to get any closer to being finished! I guess part of me didn’t want it to end, maybe? Or maybe it’s just that there was so much left to tell! I don’t know. But really—I can’t, in good conscience, call any of this “hard”. It’s actually an obscene amount of fun to be able to disappear into your own world and play “what if?” for hours at a time. Even on the days when the words aren’t coming out so easily, I still have the best job on the planet. I’m grateful for that!

Did you always want to be a novelist?
I’ve always wanted to be a storyteller. I guess I sort of fulfilled that ambition in two ways – through both the acting and the writing. I know they are two very different mediums, with very different disciplines but, to me, they’ve always felt connected. I feel very privileged to have been given the opportunity to develop my ear for language under as great a tutor as Shakespeare.

What jobs did you have on your way to being a writer? Did they help you in any way as a writer?
Well… the acting gig. And, as I mentioned, it has definitely helped! Of course, being an actor and a writer has necessitated that I hold a variety of other jobs over the years (grin), mostly office work. Anything that gave me any kind of time to think has always been a helpful situation to be in. Oddly enough, when I was in University, I didn’t get anywhere near as much work done writing fiction as I did when I graduated. I was always busy thinking… I was just always busy thinking about assignments. Although, that, too provided me with a whole bunch of fodder for stories later on.

When and where do you usually write?
Anytime, anywhere I can! I’m thinking of having one of those whiteboards installed in my shower! Seriously. I do the majority of my work in my office – I call it The Nook – but I always have either my laptop or a pad and pen with me. And I used to have ‘rituals’ to get me into the mood. You know – light a nice candle, brew a cup of herbal tea… now I just grab a quick coffee and try to plow right in. Deadlines don’t really allow you to not be in the mood so I find I get into that state a lot quicker now!

Is there something that is a must have for you to be able to write?
Hee – I guess I kind of just answered that one. But I will add to it and say this; I like to be warm when I write. My fingers get cold really easily and then I find it hard to type. So you’ll often find me with a blanket on my lap. I also do like to have my iPod set to one of my book playlists. But really? Just a writing implement. That’s all I really need. I’ll use a pointed stick and a patch of dirt if I have to!

What author or book most influenced you as a writer or in general?
There isn’t just one author or book, I don’t think. Growing up I was most influenced by mythology, Shakespeare, Guy Gavriel Kay, Tennyson, Parke Godwin, and anything even remotely connected to Arthurian or Celtic legends. I guess I still am. I’ve always influenced by and attracted to a sense of wonder in the things I read. And I also like a sense of humor in the things I read (hence the things I write). Stuff that takes itself too seriously all the time tends to make me a bit itchy.

Can you tell us anything about your next YA novel(s)?
Let’s see… I do have another YA project I’m working on currently—I can’t say much but I can tell you it has elements of the paranormal, and a strong historical bent and there’s also a somewhat complicated romantic angle to it. And maybe time travel. Maybe. But you didn’t hear it from me. Also, there is another project that has become very distracting of late…look—shiny!

How many books do you expect to write about Kelley and Sonny?
I just finished writing the third book in the WONDROUS STRANGE saga… and that is as far as this particular story arc goes with these particular characters. At the end of book three, Sonny and Kelley’s story will be wrapped up. I’m just not going to tell you how! ;-) And, of course, that certainly doesn’t preclude me writing other stories that are companions to this one. I’m certainly open to considering the possibility of another tale set in the WONDROUS universe, you know…..

The Hiding Spot is dedicated to my personal hiding spot, books. Is there a place, activity, or person that is your hiding spot?
My brain! Definitely, that’s where I go when I have the urge to hide. I disappear into whatever story I’m working on (so that you’ll have a good place to hide when I’m done! I think that works out rather nicely!). I go up to The Nook and disappear for hours. When I’m not writing, and weather permitting, I’ll go our and spend a few hours hiding in—and terrorizing—my garden.

Anything else you would like to share with us?
Maybe just how incredible it feels to have a second book hitting the shelves this week. It’s only been a year since WONDROUS STRANGE was released and I’m still riding that roller-coaster. It’s such great fun being able to do blog visits like this one and be able to share all of this with you and your readers and I really just want to say “Thank you”! I feel like I’ve been doing that a lot lately and I mean it every single time.

I can't wait to read the final installment of Kelley and Sonny's story! I'm sad that it will be the last book about those particular characters, but I'm extremely excited about Lesley's upcoming novels that she briefly mentioned!

Thank you for taking the time to chat, Lesley!

Check out my review of DARKLIGHT here!
Win a signed copy of the novel, here!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Review: Darklight by Lesley Livingston

Title: Darklight
Author: Lesley Livingston
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pub. Date: 12/22/2009
Genre: YA
Main Themes: Fae, Theater, Shakespeare, Love, Family
Pages: 320
Plot (from GoodReads):
Much has changed since autumn, when Kelley Winslow learned she was Faerie royalty, fell in love with changeling guard Sonny Flannery, and saved New York City from a rampaging Faerie war band. When a terrifying encounter in Central Park sends Kelley tumbling into the Otherworld, her reunion with Sonny is joyful—but cut short. For they’ve been plunged into a game of Faerie deception and wavering allegiances in which the next move could topple a kingdom...or part them forever.

I liked Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston, but I loved Darklight! Since most of the background story was introduced in the first novel, readers were able to jump right into the action with the second book.

In this novel, readers are able to explore some of the minor characters from Wondrous Strange to a further degree. I enjoyed reading more about Kelley’s parents, Bob (Puck), Fennrys, and the Autumn and Spring Courts of Faerie. Fennrys, one of Sonny’s fellow Janus guards, plays a larger, more integral role than he did in the first installment. Some readers will find his presence maddening, but I enjoyed the discord he caused; I felt that it added an interesting element. I have a feeling Fennrys will be making another appearance in the third novel, as there were some loose ends left.

Kelley and Sonny’s love sparkled in Darklight. Since they were separated during the time between the end of Wondrous Strange and the beginning of Darklight, there was plenty of tension every time they saw one another again. While I always want my favorite characters to end up together in the end, I love when they have issues getting to that point. Not only does it make their story more interesting, it makes their story one I can actually relate to. In Darklight, Sonny and Kelley’s relationship still shines bright, but there are some darker undertones of jealousy and distrust.

The action in Darklight was well written and engaging. Livingston does a great job writing sinister characters, like the Leprechauns found in the novel. Not only are they not the cliche you imagine them to be, they’re better.

Ratings (out of 10):
Plot: 10
Characters: 10
Writing: 10
Romance: 10
Originality: 10
Total: 50/50 (A!)

A major secret is revealed near the end of Darklight, leading to a shocking conclusion. I was left anxious for the next book and the continuation of Sonny and Kelley’s story. I can only imagine that the third book will be a page-turner as well!

Read my interview with Lesley, here, in which she discusses her released novels, future novels, and other various things! Then go here to win a signed copy of DARKLIGHT!

Review: The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

Title: The Dark Divine
Author: Bree Despain
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Pub. Date: 12/22/09
Genre: YA
Main Themes: Supernatural, Love, Good vs. Evil, Mystery
Pages: 375
Plot (from GoodReads):
Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared--the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in his own blood--but she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night held.

The memories her family has tried to bury resurface when Daniel returns, three years later, and enrolls in Grace and Jude's high school. Despite promising Jude she'll stay away, Grace cannot deny her attraction to Daniel's shocking artistic abilities, his way of getting her to look at the world from new angles, and the strange, hungry glint in his eyes.
The closer Grace gets to Daniel, the more she jeopardizes her life, as her actions stir resentment in Jude and drive him to embrace the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind the boy's dark secret...and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it--her soul.

THE DARK DIVINE is, without a doubt, one of my favorite YA supernatural books of 2009! I was thrilled to find that THE DARK DIVINE was not only a pretty face (or should I say cover?), it also had an amazing plot and stunning supernatural elements! As soon as I finished it, I started looking forward to the release date because I couldn’t wait to share and discuss it with other readers! In fact, I borrowed it to my sister so she could experience the awesome that is TDD. Needless to say, she loved it as well!

I’m not sure why I didn’t know this, but the supernatural aspect of TDD was a bit of a surprise for me. I had a vague understanding that it had supernatural elements incorporated, but I didn’t know details. So I enjoyed trying to figure out what exactly was going on in the novel. I’m one of those readers who doesn’t refrain from reading reviews, even if they contain spoilers. I often know details about the plot before reading, but that wasn’t the case with TDD. Bree Despain kept me guessing, I wasn’t sure until quite a ways into the book what was really going on.

I adored the romantic plot line of TDD! Since it was a YA novel, of course it was predictable in some ways, but I liked that Despain added some twists as well. Characters had unexpected depths, and secrets, that kept me furiously flipping pages.

TDD is full of suspense and mystery as well. As the reader learns more and more about the supernatural elements and creatures in the novel, the tension continues building in regards to how various issues will be resolved. I really didn’t know how Despain would pull it off, but the conclusion was phenomenal!

Ratings (out of 10):
Plot: 10
Characters: 10
Writing: 10
Romance: 10
Originality: 10
Total: 50/50 (A!)

THE DARK DIVINE is an amazing debut novel and I cannot wait to see what Bree Despain writes next! I’ll definitely be buying a hardcover copy of TDD and recommending it to everyone! I wouldn’t hesitate to preorder Despain’s future novels, I don’t doubt that I’ll love those books as well!


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Celebrating 300 Followers {Contest}!!

As a thank you to all of 300 some of you that follow my blog (especially those of you who read and/or comment on posts!), I'm holding a contest!

Since this is a contest in honor of followers of THE HIDING SPOT, you must be a follower to enter this particular contest. New followers are welcome of course!

The Prizes:
(1) Hardcover copy of CATCHING FIRE by Suzanne Collins
(1) arc of SNAP by Carol Snow
(1) paperback copy of DAIRY QUEEN by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
(1) paperback copy of DREAMING ANASTASIA by Joy Preble
(1) Swag Pack (including a signed EVERAFTER bookmark, a signed RAMPANT bookmark, CINDERELLA SOCIETY bookmark, & a CANDOR bookmark)
(1) Swag Pack (an EVERAFTER bookmark,  a signed RAMPANT bookmark, a CS bookmark, and a CANDOR bookmark)

There will be (6) winners total!
I cannot afford to send books further than the US and Canada, but I am willing to send the swag packs, so International followers, feel free to enter to win those! I'm sorry that I have to limit the contest, as I greatly appreciate those of you outside of the US and Canada too!

The contest will end January 10th at midnight!


In My Mailbox (14)

IMM is hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren!

This week was insane because of finals, moving out of my dorm room, working at Old Navy, and my birthday... so my blog was sadly neglected! :( I can't wait to share some reviews (and mini-reviews) next week! Here are the books that I got this past week, but only got to look at longingly!

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers (St. Martin's Griffin, 1/10)
Climbing to the top of the social ladder is hard--falling from it is even harder. Regina Afton used to be a member of the Fearsome Fivesome, an all-girl clique both feared and revered by the students at Hallowell High... until vicious rumors about her and her best friend's boyfriend start going around.

Now Regina's been "frozen out" and her ex-best friends are out for revenge. If Regina was guilty, it would be one thing, but the rumors are far from the terrifying truth and the bullying is getting more intense by the day. She takes solace in the company of Michael Hayden, a misfit with a tragic past who she herself used to bully. Friendship doesn't come easily for these onetime enemies, and as Regina works hard to make amends for her past, she realizes Michael could be more than just a friend... if threats from the Fearsome Foursome don't break them both first.
Tensions grow and the abuse worsens as the final days of senior year march toward an explosive conclusion in this dark new tale from the author of Cracked Up To Be.
SOME GIRLS ARE came on my birthday! I was so excited!!

Little Miss Red by Robin Palmer (Speak, 2/10)
Sophie Greene gets good grades, does the right thing, and has a boyfriend that her parents— and her younger brother—just love. (Too bad she doesn’t love him.) Sophie dreams of being more like Devon Deveraux, star of her favorite romance novels, but, in reality, Sophie isn’t even daring enough to change her nail polish. All of that changes when Sophie goes to Florida to visit her grandma Roz, and she finds herself seated next to a wolfishly goodlooking guy on the plane. The two hit it off, and before she knows it, Sophie’s living on the edge. But is the drama all it’s cracked up to be?
My copy has a cover image, but it doesn't see to be online anywhere...?
Siren by Tricia Rayburn (Egmont, 6/10)
A mix of drama, romance, paranormal, and mythology, in which a woman returns to her home to better understand her sister's fatal cliff-dive, but finds a town plagued by death in which men are discovered washed ashore, grinning from ear to ear.

The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride (Egmont, 5/10)
It’s been two years since Noelle disappeared. Two years since her bike was discovered, sprawled on a sidewalk. Two years of silence, of worry, of fear.

For those two long years, her best friend Tessa has waited, living her own life in a state of suspended animation. Because how can she allow herself to enjoy a normal high school life if Noelle can’t? How dare she have other friends, go to dances, date boys, without knowing what happened to the girl she thought she would share everything with?
And then one day, someone calls Noelle’s house. She’s alive.
A haunting psychological thriller taken straight from the headlines, The Tension of Opposites is a striking debut that explores the emotional aftermath of a kidnapping on the victim, and on the people she left behind.

Fortune and Fate by Sharon Shinn (out now)
For the Rider Wen, peace in Gillengaria has only brought despair. Plagued by guilt for failing to protect her king, Wen has fled the royal city and given herself the penance of a life of wandering, helping strangers in need, making sure they remain just that: strangers.

Until the day she helps a terrified young woman abducted by an overeager suitor. The girl, she discovers, is the daughter of one of those who rose against the dead king, and is now heir to the great estate known as Fortune. Once she has delivered her safely home, Wen wants nothing further to do with the girl or her family.
But fate has other plans...For behind the walls of Fortune, Wen will find her future - and she will finally confront the ghosts of her past.

Epitaph Road by David Patneaude (Egmont, 3/10)
2097 is a transformed world. Thirty years earlier, a mysterious plague wiped out 97 percent of the male population, devastating every world system from governments to sports teams, and causing both universal and unimaginable grief. In the face of such massive despair, women were forced to take over control of the planet--and in doing so they eliminated all of Earth's most pressing issues. Poverty, crime, warfare, hunger . . . all gone.

But there's a price to pay for this new "utopia," which fourteen-year-old Kellen is all too familiar with. Every day, he deals with life as part of a tiny minority that is purposefully kept subservient and small in numbers. His career choices and relationship options are severely limited and controlled. He also lives under the threat of scattered recurrences of the plague, which seem to pop up wherever small pockets of men begin to regroup and grow in numbers.
And then one day, his mother's boss, an iconic political figure, shows up at his home. Kellen overhears something he shouldn't--another outbreak seems to be headed for Afterlight, the rural community where his father and a small group of men live separately from the female-dominated society. Along with a few other suspicious events, like the mysterious disappearances of Kellen's progressive teacher and his Aunt Paige, Kellen is starting to wonder whether the plague recurrences are even accidental. No matter what the truth is, Kellen cares only about one thing--he has to save his father.

The Other Girl: A Midvale Prep Novel by Sarah Miller (St. Martin's Griffin, out now)
Molly McGarry is about to learn that the only thing more traumatizing than spending six months trapped in your boyfriend’s head is being stuck inside your ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend’s head. After Molly dumps Gideon because she thinks he’s lusting after some one else, a game of spin the bottle leads to a kiss between Gideon and the beautiful, sexy Pilar Benitez-Jones. Somehow, the kiss knocks Molly out of Gideon’s head—and right into Pilar’s. Now she’s desperate to get Gid back. She uses all her “superpower” to try come between Pilar and Gid, but instead of breaking them up, she seems to be bringing them closer together. Can she stand to be at school with Gid and at the same time be inside the mind of the girl he moved on with? How does Molly win back Gid without letting him know what’s going on? And how on earth is she ever going to get out of Pilar’s head...?

Fallen by Lauren Kate (Delacorte, out now)
There's something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price's attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He's the one bright spot in a place where cell cphones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.
Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce--and goes out of his way to make that very clear--she can't let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Two more days and finals is week is OVER! Thank goodness!
When I get back into the swing of things, I'll be holding my 300 follower contest (!!), sharing some reviews of some amazing December titles, interviewing the amazing Lesley Livingston, and all kinds of other good stuff!
Also, I must say that I am pumped for 2010. I've already got some fun things planned... Though it seems like I haven't been reading very much (hence the lack of reviews), I've actually been reading lots of 2010 titles. Which brings me to this question:

Should I post mini-reviews of 2010 books? Let me know.

I have a hard time not being able to discuss the awesomeness of the 2010 books, so this would be a great way to share the awesome without telling too much... :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

In My Mailbox (13)

IMM is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren!

Here is a quick IMM post before I buckle down for finals! (Wish me luck!)

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins (Disney Hyperion, 3/2/10)
When Sophie Mercer turned thirteen, she discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-Gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hecate Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward prodigium, a.k.a. witches, fae, and shapeshifters. By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard. Three powerful enemies who look like supermodels; a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock; a creepy, tag-along ghost; and a new roommate, who happens to be the most-hated person and only vampire on campus. Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her friend Jenna is the number one suspect. Meanwhile, Sophie has a more personal shock to grapple with. Not only is her father the head of the prodigium council, he's the most powerful warlock in the world, and Sophie is his heir. As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all prodigium, especially her.

Heist Society by Ally Carter (Disney Hyperion, 2/9/10)
When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own--scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving "the life" for a normal life proves harder than she'd expected.

Soon, Kat's friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring her back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat's father isn't just  the suspect list, hethe list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat's dad needs her help.
For Kat there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it's a spectacularly impossible job? She's got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in history-or at least her family's (very crooked) history.

Gone by Lisa McMann (Simon Pulse, 2/9/10)
The conclusion to the Dreamcatcher Trilogy!

The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea M. Campbell (Egmont, 05/10)
Damien Locke knows his destiny--attending the university for supervillains and becoming Golden City's next professional evil genius. But when Damien discovers he's the product of his supervillain mother's one-night stand with--of all people--a superhero, his best-laid plans are ruined as he's forced to live with his superhero family.

Going to extreme lengths (and heights), The Rise of Renegade X chronicles one boy's struggles with the villainous and heroic pitfalls of growing up.

The Education of Bet by Lauren Baratz-Logsted (Houghton Mifflin, 07/10)
Bet is sixteen, very intelligent, but only knows as much as her limited education will allow. In Victorian England, girls aren't allowed to go to school.

Will is also 16, and though not related by blood, he and Bet act like brother and sister. In fact, they even look like brother and sister. And though they're both raised under the same roof, by the same kind uncle, Will has one big advantage over Bet: He's a boy, and being a boy means he isn't stuck in the grand house they call home. He gets to go out into the world--to school.
But that's not what Will wishes. He wants to join the military and learn about real life, not what's written in books.
So one night, Bet comes up with a plan. She'll go to school as Will. Will can join the military. And though it seems impossible, they actually manage to pull it off.
But once Bet gets to the school, she begins to realize the education she's going to get isn't exactly the one she was expecting.

Hearts At Stake by Alyxandra  (Walker, 01/10)
On Solange’s sixteenth birthday, she is going to wake up dead. As if that’s not bad enough, she also has to outwit her seven overprotective older brothers, avoid the politics involved with being the only daughter born to an ancient vampire dynasty, and elude Kieran Black—agent of an anti-vampire league who is searching for his father’s killer and is intent on staking Solange and her entire family. Luckily she has her own secret weapon—her human best friend Lucy—who is willing to defend Solange’s right to a normal life, whether she’s being smothered by her well-intentioned brothers or abducted by a power-hungry queen. Two unlikely alliances are formed in a race to save Solange’s eternal life—Lucy and Solange’s brother Nicholas, and Solange and Kieran Black—in a dual romance that is guaranteed to jump start any romance-lover’s heart. Even fans of the genre who’ve seen it all will find a fresh read with kick-butt characters and family dynamics that ring true for all brothers and sisters—vampire or otherwise.

A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper (out now)
“There’s a fine line between gossip and history, when one is talking about kings.”

Sophie Fitzosborne lives in a crumbling castle in the tiny island kingdom of Montmaray with her eccentric and impoverished royal family. When she receives a journal for her sixteenth birthday, Sophie decides to chronicle day-to-day life on the island. But this is 1936, and the news that trickles in from the mainland reveals a world on the brink of war. The politics of Europe seem far away from their remote island—until two German officers land a boat on Montmaray. And then suddenly politics become very personal indeed.
A Brief History of Montmaray is a heart-stopping tale of loyalty, love, and loss, and of fighting to hold on to home when the world is exploding all around you.

Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan (out now)
Fifteen-year-old Blake has a girlfriend and a friend who’s a girl. One of them loves him; the other one needs him. When he snapped a picture of a street person for his photography homework, Blake never dreamed that the woman in the photo was his friend Marissa’s long-lost meth addicted mom. Blake’s participation in the ensuing drama opens up a world of trouble, both for him and for Marissa. He spends the next few months trying to reconcile the conflicting roles of Boyfriend and Friend. His experiences range from the comic (surviving his dad’s birth control talk) to the tragic (a harrowing after-hours visit to the morgue). In a tangle of life and death, love and loyalty, Blake will emerge with a more sharply defined snapshot of himself.

The Espressologist by Kristina Springer (out now)
What’s your drink of choice? Is it a small pumpkin spice latte? Then you’re lots of fun and a bit sassy. Or a medium americano? You prefer simplicity in life. Or perhaps it’s a small decaf soy sugar-free hazelnut caffe latte? Some might call you a yuppie.

Seventeen-year-old barista Jane Turner has this theory that you can tell a lot about a person by their regular coffee drink. She scribbles it all down in a notebook and calls it Espressology. So it’s not a totally crazy idea when Jane starts hooking up some of her friends based on their coffee orders. Like her best friend, Em, a medium hot chocolate, and Cam, a toffee nut latte. But when her boss, Derek, gets wind of Jane’s Espressology, he makes it an in-store holiday promotion, promising customers their perfect matches for the price of their favorite coffee.
Things are going better than Derek could ever have hoped, so why is Jane so freaked out? Does it have anything to do with Em dating Cam? She’s the one who set them up! She should be happy for them, right? With overtones of Jane Austen’s Emma and brimming with humor and heart, this sweet, frothy debut will be savored by readers.

Of All the Stupid Things by Alexandra Diaz (Egmont, 12/22/09)
It really was a stupid thing that Brent Staple did – doing it (so the rumour goes) with Chris Sanchez, one of the guy cheerleaders. Who’d have thought that Brent, the school’s hottest jock, could be gay? But the doubt about Brent doesn’t just hurt Tara – it’s the beginning of the end for an inseparable trio of friends. Tara’s training for the marathon, but also running from her father and her fear of ever being abandoned again. Beautiful Whitney Blaire’s got everything and nothing, because her parents have never had time for her. And Pinkie has a compulsive need to mother everyone to make up for the mom she never stops missing. The girls couldn’t be more different, but doesn’t that just prove the strength of their friendship?

Then new-girl Riley arrives in school, wafting her long black hair and a scent of lilacs. Suddenly, Tara starts to feel things she’s never felt before for a girl - and to reassess her feelings about Brent and what he may/may not have done. Is Tara gay – or does she just love Riley? And can the map of her deepest friendships ever be redrawn in a post-Riley world?
Reviewing for ATW Tours.

Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony (Putnam Juvenile, 5/13/10)
The year is 2041, and Molly McClure was only six when the Collapse of ’31 happened, ending life as the world’s population knew it. When she is forced to leave the comfort of her small B.C. island to travel down to Oregon, Molly discovers how hard the Collapse has been on the rest of the world. What starts out as a quick trip to the U.S. to convince her grandfather to return to Canada and be the island’s doctor, becomes a rescue mission. How much will she have to compromise to succeed in getting back home?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Review: Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony

Title: Restoring Harmony
Author: Joelle Anthony
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Pub. Date: May 13, 2010
Genre: YA
Main Themes: Dystopia, Love, Family, Crime
Pages: 300 (ish)
Plot (from back of arc):
"Heading off on her own to a big American city might have been a fun adventure for sixteen-year-old Molly McClure in the good old days before the Collapse, when nearly all the oil ran out; but in 2041, when family calamities strike all at once and Molly must leave her isolated farming island in Canada for the very first time, the world she meets is anything but fun. Food is in short supply, crime is rampant, and once-bustling cities stand abandoned and crumbling - danger lurking around every corner.
No one is as they seem, and Molly has to make some fast, tough decisions about whom to trust, especially when a dangerous crime organization sets her in their sights. Luckily, Molly is a determined, can-do kind of girl, and with the help of a handsome stranger, she may just make it home alive."

I found Restoring Harmony to be a quick and interesting read. I love dystopian novels, so I was intrigued by this 2010 novel. While I liked it, I found some aspects to be lacking and the dialogue awkward at times.

The portrayed world of 2041 is definitely a different world than that of today's 2010. I liked that Anthony focused on oil one of the main contributors to the Collapse, as that is a definite possibility. I found the story that much more believable because of that detail.

I really liked Spill, the boy that Molly meets in America. I felt a stronger bond to his character than to Molly's actually. I found Molly somewhat one-dimensional and found Spill to be much more dynamic.

I did find some one the dialogue awkward though. And sometimes I felt like the story was flying along and then it would slow to a stop. I think part of this might be attributed to the fact that in some parts of the book I felt like the author had more detail and then other parts would be kind of bland. Since I felt like there were inconsistencies I have a hard time rating this novel.

Ratings (Out of 10):
Plot: 9
Characters: 7
Writing: 7
Romance: 9
Originality: 10
Total: 42/50 (B)

Fans of dystopian novels should defintely check out Restoring Harmony when it is released in 2010. I really did enjoy it, even though there were some parts that I felt dragged - I still finished it in one sitting! :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (21)

WoW is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine!

Glimmerglass by Jenna Black (St. Martin's Griffin, 5/25/10)
Dana Hathaway doesn’t know it yet, but she’s in big trouble. When her alcoholic mom shows up at her voice recital drunk, Dana decides she’s had it with being her mother’s keeper, so she packs her bags and heads to stay with her mysterious father in Avalon: the only place on Earth where the regular, everyday world and the magical world of Faerie intersect. But from the moment Dana sets foot in Avalon, everything goes wrong, for it turns out she isn't just an ordinary teenage girl—she's a Faeriewalker, a rare individual who can travel between both worlds, and who can bring magic into the human world and technology into Faerie.

Soon, she finds herself tangled up in a cutthroat game of Fae politics. Someone's trying to kill her, and everyone wants something from her, even her newfound friends and family. Suddenly, life with her alcoholic mom doesn't sound half bad, and Dana would do anything to escape Avalon and get back home. Too bad both her friends and her enemies alike are determined not to let her go . . .

All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab (Delacorte, 1/12/10)
Carly: She was sweet. Smart. Self-destructive. She knew the secrets of Brighton Day School’s most privileged students. Secrets that got her killed.

Neily: Dumped by Carly for a notorious bad boy, Neily didn’t answer the phone call she made before she died. If he had, maybe he could have helped her. Now he can’t get the image of her lifeless body out of his mind.
Audrey: She’s the reason Carly got tangled up with Brighton’s fast crowd in the first place, and now she regrets it—especially since she’s convinced the police have put the wrong person in jail. Audrey thinks the murderer is someone at Brighton, and she wants Neily to help her find out who it is.
As reluctant allies Neily and Audrey dig into their shared past with Carly, her involvement with Brighton’s dark goings-on comes to light. But figuring out how Carly and her killer fit into the twisted drama will force Audrey and Neily to face hard truths about themselves and the girl they couldn’t save.

Cover Alert: Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

If you're a fan of Elkeles' PERFECT CHEMISTRY, be sure to check out her next novel, RULES OF ATTRACTION!

Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles (Walker Books, 4/27/10)
New sparks will fly in the sequel to Simone Elkeles’s breakout book Perfect Chemistry

When Carlos Fuentes returns to America after living in Mexico for a year, he doesn’t want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him at a high school in Colorado. Carlos likes living his life on the edge and wants to carve his own path—just like Alex did. Then he meets Kiara Westford. She doesn’t talk much and is completely intimidated by Carlos’ wild ways. As they get to know one another, Carlos assumes Kiara thinks she’s too good for him, and refuses to admit that she might be getting to him. But he soon realizes that being himself is exactly what Kiara needs right now.
With new characters to fall in love with and the same hot romance found in Perfect Chemistry, Simone Elkeles has crafted another sure-fire hit for teens.

Not only does this novel sound amazing - I love the cover art! I can't wait until April!