Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Win "Radiance" Through Free Book Fridays!

Hey Readers! 
So as I’m sure most of you know, Alyson Noel, author of the wildly popular “Immortals” series, was one of our awesome TBF 2010 authors. I wanted to do a quick post today to let you know that you have the opportunity to win an autographed copy of Alyson’s newest book “Radiance” by going to Free Book Friday Teens. Not familiar with Free Book Friday? Allow me to explain. According to Free Book Friday’s website: 
“Each week, we feature a new young adult author with an exclusive author interview podcast or written Q&A and host a drawing to win free signed copies of his/her book. All you have to do to enter to win each week is sign up using the entry form on the left sidebar. Winners are chosen at random and posted on the site every Friday morning. Hence the name, ‘Free Book Friday!’” 
Ummm hello???? How did I not know about this? It was such an exciting find that I had to pass it on to you, readers! Enjoy! 

Friday, August 27, 2010

Get Your Hands on "Get Well Soon"

Hello Readers! 
I’m sooooo tired! I’ve been packing since 7 a.m. this morning and only just finished (at 11 p.m.)! Let this be a lesson to you, readers. When you pack for college, don’t wait until one day before you leave … 
But, at last, I am done and so … I have a book review for you! 
In “Get Well Soon” by Julie Halpern, 16-year-old Anna is depressed. So depressed, in fact, that her parents commit her to a mental hospital for 21 days. “Get Well Soon” is very character driven, rather than plot driven. It’s greatest strength lies in the character development and the relationships between Anna and the other teens at the hospital. 
“Get Well Soon” is based on Julie Halpern’s own experiences as a teenager. Included at the end of the story is an interview with Julie, in which she discusses the parallels between “Get Well Soon” and her own life. It was the fact that “Get Well Soon” was based on Julie’s own life that initially drew me to the book. I always wonder, when I read YA fiction, whether the author has based any of it on their own adolescence, so I was excited to come across a book largely based on the writer’s life. 
I’d also like to mention that Julie maintains a hilarious blog. Read it here, and be sure to read this post (my favorite so far)! 
I suppose that it’s a little bit to early for a countdown, but I’m going to tell you anyway … 259 days until Teen Book Festival 2011!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hungry For More "Hunger"

Hey Bookworms! 
Be super, super excited because … I have another sneak peek book review for you today! The wonderful Stephanie Squicciarini, fearless leader of the Teen Book Festival, was able to get me an ARC copy of Jackie Morse Kessler’s YA debut, the novel “Hunger.” 
The jacket flap description of “Hunger” reads: Lisabeth Lewis has a black steed, a set of scales, and a new job: she’s been appointed Famine. How will an anorexic seventeen-year-old girl from the suburbs fare as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse? Traveling the world on her steed gives Lisa freedom from her troubles at home—her constant battle with hunger, and her struggle to hide it from the people who care about her. But being Famine forces her to go places where hunger is a painful part of everyday life, and to face the horrifying effects of her phenomenal power. Can Lisa find a way to harness that power—and the courage to fight her own inner demons? 
I assumed, from the description, that “Hunger” would be some sort of post-apocalyptic novel, in a way akin to “The Hunger Games” series. But I was wrong. I didn’t actually realize that Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are a biblical reference. (Thank you, Wikipedia, for clearing that up for me.) According to Wikipedia: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are described in the last book of the New Testament of the Bible. The chapter tells of a scroll in God's right hand that is sealed with seven seals. Jesus Christ opens the first four of the seven seals, which summons forth the four beasts that ride on white, red, black, and pale-green horses symbolizing conquest (or pestilence), war, famine, and death, respectively. The Christian apocalyptic vision is that the four horsemen are to set a divine apocalypse upon the world as harbingers of the Last Judgment. 
So, as you may have already guessed, “Hunger” was unlike anything I have ever read. And that was a good thing. Lisabeth Lewis is seventeen years old, anorexic, and in denial about her condition. She’s no longer speaking to her best friend, she’s fighting with her boyfriend, and after attempting suicide, she is visited by Death who appoints her Famine. While that may sound like hardcore fantasy, “Hunger” is, in actuality, more of a reflection on the devastating effects of an eating disorder. I would rank “Hunger” as being of the same caliber as Laurie Halse Anderson’s “Wintergirls,” which is the best account of anorexia that I have ever read. 
“Hunger” is due out on October 18. It’s a relatively short book (180 pages), and it moves fast. I devoured it in only a few hours. It’s the sort of book that you’ll wish was longer, but only because it’s one that you’re sad to part with. 

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Hey Readers!
You may have noticed that Carly Reads has a new look - again.  (At least I hope you've noticed! It's a pretty drastic change!)  I still wasn't happy with the look of the blog after the last make over, so I went for a make-over-do-over.  Thoughts???? (I LOVE it!)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Case for "Payback Time"

Hey Readers!
I know it’s been too long since I last posted! (That’s been my song all summer, huh?) But I think that what I have for you today will make up for it … I have the first sneak peek book review of Teen Book Festival 2011! 
I received an ARC copy of Carl Deuker’s newest novel “Payback Time.” Now, I’m just going to lay it all out on the line here and honestly tell you that I hate sports. HATE sports. I don’t play them, I don’t watch them, and I don’t find them interesting. So when I saw the cover of “Payback Time,” I groaned inwardly. 
However, I was pleasantly surprised by “Payback Time.” The main character of “Payback Time” is Mitch, an overweight, aspiring journalist who is not happy to be reassigned from the news section to the sports section of his school newspaper. Although Mitch likes sports (but hates gym class), he doesn’t see sports as news breaking. Once football season starts, though, Mitch changes his mind. Angel is a new student and star player, but the coach rarely plays him, electing instead to have him sit on the bench as the team struggles through games. As Mitch begins to investigate this odd decision, he learns that digging around in someone else’s live can unearth more than one may think. 
One of the reasons that I enjoyed “Payback Time” is that is wasn’t totally sports-centered. I will admit to skimming through the details of the football games. (I am football illiterate and gave up when it became clear that I was NOT going to figure out what was going on …) Although football is central to the book, the focus is more on the mystery surrounding Angel and on Mitch’s career aspirations. There is also a side story about Mitch’s attempt to lose weight and about his crush on the school newspaper’s sports photographer. 
“Payback Time” is set to be released on September 6. I give it the sport-haters seal of approval; so even if see the cover and think “Eh, not for me,” give it a try! I don’t think you’ll regret it!