Monday, January 31, 2011

There's no cure for my deliria

I thought it would be easy to write a review on DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver. Wrong! Where do I even begin? It's so good. So freaking good that I've been staring at a blank screen, trying to come up with the right words. Yes, it's THAT good.

Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn't understand that once love--the deliria--blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold.

Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Haloway has always looked forward to the day when she'll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: she falls in love.

I read great books often. Books I rave about, recommend to people. But DELIRIUM is in a whole different league. It's the kind of book you'll see kids reading in a high school English class. A modern day classic. It's brilliant. Mind blowing. Lauren Oliver's writing, characters and concept make me want to curl up in a ball crying and give up on writing, then crawl back to my laptop and write until my fingers cramp up.
I don't remember feeling this inadequate and inspired since my first time reading THE HUNGER GAMES.
There are similarities between the books. (can't sleep until you finish kind of page turners) The crumbled society, the government control, the love. Oh, the love... I've heard people saying DELIRIUM is a modern day (er, would it be future day?) Romeo and Juliet and I agree. The love Lena finds is epic. It's a grand, sweeping romance in the best way possible. It's a story of a girl who finds herself against the worst imaginable odds. I adore Lena. And I adore the boy who steals her  heart. And as you may have noticed, a boy who I haven't named. Nope. Won't do it. You need to find that out for yourself. But I adore him too. Swoon.
As if Lauren's books aren't amazing enough, she's just as fantastic. My sister and I had the opportunity to meet Lauren when she visited a nearby town for a very amazing reason. If you've got time please read more about how Lauren paid it forward here. She rocks! Just another reason I'm wishing Lauren and DELIRUM a very very Happy Book Birthday! I have no doubt that they'll dominate the best seller lists of every kind.
I hope you'll join me in picking up a copy of DELIRUM tomorrow! (yes, I know I've already read it but who could resist that gorgeous cover of the finished hardcover?)
Happy Reading! Beware the deliria...
My sister Jenn and I with the signed cover Lauren so generously gave us. *Fangirl moment*

A big thank you to Netgalley and Harper Teen for allowing me
 to read an electronic advance copy of DELIRIUM.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Calling all YA and MG writers--A contest you can't miss!

The amazing editor behind Dear is hosting one of the best contests I've ever seen. If you write YA or MG you can't miss this opportunity. This goes beyond paying it forward. Count me in!

To celebrate the completion of her manuscript for Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies, the Editor is giving away a FREE Substantive Edit of one YA or MG fiction manuscript. Deadline: January 31, 2011.

Get all the details here! Good luck!

Friday, January 21, 2011

And I thought my diary was interesting...

I confess. I'm a fan of the Vampire Diaries TV series. A crazed fangirl. I love the sexy boys, the star-crossed love story, the insane plot twists, a female lead I'd be proud to call my BFF. Every bit of the show is brilliant. The funny thing is that I've never read the books. Gasp. I know, I know. I'm always going on and on about how I read so much YA books, especially paranormals. And I don't plan on it anytime soon. For one simple reason. I don't want to spoil the show! (I've heard they are very different but still don't want to risk it)

Now the new books, based on the series AND TV show...I'm all over it. Stefan and his diaries---amazing!

The Vampire Diaries: Stefan's Diaries #1: Origins

By L. J. Smith, Kevin Williamson & Julie Plec

Set during the Civil War, against a backdrop of grand estates, unimaginable riches, and deadly secrets, three teenagers in Mystic Falls, Virginia enter a torrid love triangle that will span eternity.

 Brothers Stefan and Damon Salvatore are inseparable until they meet Katherine, a stunning, mysterious woman who turns their world upside down. Siblings turned rivals, the Salvatores compete for Katherine's affection, only to discover that her sumptuous silk dresses and glittering gems hide a terrible secret: Katherine is a vampire. And she is intent on turning them into vampires so they can live together-forever.

The Vampire Diaries: Stefan's Diaries #2: Bloodlust

By L. J. Smith, Kevin Williamson & Julie Plec

A new beginning . . .

When Stefan Salvatore's first love turned him into a vampire, his world—and his soul—were destroyed. Now he and his brother, Damon, must flee their hometown, where they risk being discovered . . . and killed.

The brothers head to New Orleans, looking for safe haven. But the city is more dangerous than they ever imagined, full of other vampires—and vampire hunters. Will Stefan's eternal life be forever damned?

 If you're a fan of the shows then you have no choice but to read them. They show has plenty of flashbacks but these books are different. You get inside Stefan (and sometimes Damon's) head. A very dark place at times but fascinating and eye-opening. All that hostility and dickheadedness Damon flaunts now, totally explained. How one supreme bitch could fool two sexy, intelligent, loyal brothers? Yep, that's covered too.
Pre-vamp Stefan and Damon. Looking mighty fine even with the flashback hair

I love that they used the logo from the TV show and the characters faces on the covers. My only disappointment is that the writing doesn't live up to my 5 out of 5 stars review of the books. More like a 4 out of 5 stars. The plot and content more than make up for that. They're quick reads and packed full of everything you want to know about Damon and Stefan's past. Like I said, if you're already a fan of the TV shows don't wait a second longer to learn more about the sexy Salvatore brothers mysterious past before their return to Mystic Falls. If you haven't watched the show...GO NOW then pick up the books.

I even have a way for you to snag a copy! We're giving away (thanks to the awesome folks at Harper Teen!) 5 copies of Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 over at Fallenarchangel. Check out the awesome TVD feature page, complete with dripping blood and Damon's crow, that my rockstar sister added last night and enter for your chance to win HERE.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I'm in love with Anna!

Take one look at most bloggers favorite books of 2010 lists and you're sure to see ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by the brilliant Stephanie Perkins. And with good reason. It's perfection!  No, it's better than perfection. It's brilliant, romantic, funny, sweet, charming, sexy, heartbreaking, honest. And I love it. I mean I really love it. I'd make out with this book if it weren't a book. (OK, maybe just a little lick over the cover since that arm to the left is supposed to be a certain someone. *Swoon* )

The funny thing is that I didn't expect to love ANNA this much. With all the hype and the fact that it was a romantic comedy kind of book instead of my usual gritty paranormal type I didn't have the highest of expectations. I'm SO happy to be wrong. I was like one of those dark and jaded chicks that didn't believe in love and skulked around in black. Then I met ANNA. Now I'm twirling around in my pink dress. Frolicking in the clover and kissing baby bunnies. I fell in love! In love with the characters, the setting (Oh GOD, the setting--Paris!), the writing...

I read this on my Kindle but I plan on purchasing an actual book. It's just too good not to share! I intentionally put the book description below my comments. I've found that skipping the details about the book make the read even better. More surprises! Especially when it comes to love interests. I did it once by accident and haven't gone back. I love going into a story with no clue what's going to happen.

Anna was looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where shehas a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she's less than thrilled about being shipped off to boardingschool in Paris—until she meets √Čtienne St. Clair. Smart, charming,beautiful, √Čtienne has it all . . . including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss? Stephanie Perkins keeps the romantic tension crackling and the attraction high in a debut guaranteed to make toes tingle and hearts melt.

See how dreamy it all sounds? Now go read it! I guarantee you'll end up joining me to frolick in the clover. ; ) Happy Reading!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Kicking off 2011 with one of my favorite authors!

Happy New Year!

Whoa! What a crazy last few weeks it's been. Parties, dinners, family, shopping, reading, enjoying life. I'm sad to see the holidays end but ready to start back in a routine and get these revisions done. I've missed my writing/book friends and can't wait to get back into the swing of things and blog regularly again. Hope you all had a great time with family and friends and made the most of vacation days and celebrating.

To kick off my first post of 2011 I'm redirecting you to the interview I did with Maria V. Snyder on our Fallenarchangel blog with a contest that starts tonight. Which you can find right HERE.

Check out the covers of the Australian Study series books Maria's providing for the contest. So cool! Sigh. If only I was eligible to enter our own contest. Lucky you can! Go check out the interview and enter for you chance to snag this amazing set of books. I just finished 2 more of Maria's books this week. And WOW.

INSIDE OUT and the upcoming OUTSIDE IN. Soooo good! Can't wait to share my thoughts soon.

And now that I've got my Kindle, watch out! I've got
Anna and the French Kiss and The Dark Divine ready to go! I've heard
great things about both books.

I'm reading (actual book) The Vampire Diaries Stefan's Diaries Vol 2: Bloodlust
for the second half of our January feature on Fallenarchangel. Oh how I love
being inside Stefan's head again!

Ohhh and Beth Revis's Across the Universe was out early in our local B&N!
Woohoo Beth! DYING to start this one because the story is so damn awesome but
also because I have followed Beth's blog since I started writing and saw first hand
how she went from aspiring/querying/revising writer to superstar debut author. So happy for her!

Have you read any of these books? Planning to? I'd love to hear what you think!