Posts Tagged: Bloomsbury

YA Content Review – After Obsession

03 Oct, 2012 by in Steven E Wedel Leave a comment

After Obsession

by Carrie Jones and Steven E. Wedel
Hardcover, 305 pages
Published:   September 13th 2011
by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
ISBN   1599906813
Book Source: Publisher
2.5 Stars
Book Summary From Goodreads:  
Aimee and Alan have secrets. Both teens have unusual pasts and abilities they prefer to keep hidden. But when they meet each other, in a cold Maine town, they can’t stop their secrets from spilling out. Strange things have been happening lately, and they both feel that something-or someone- is haunting them. They’re wrong. Despite their unusual history and powers, it’s neither Aimee nor Alan who is truly haunted. It’s Alan’s cousin Courtney who, in a desperate plea to find her missing father, has invited a demon into her life-and into her body. Only together can Aimee and Alan exorcise the ghost. And they have to move quickly, before it devours not just Courtney but everything around her.

Filled with heart-pounding romance, paranormal activity, and rich teen characters to love-and introducing an exciting new YA voice, Steven Wedel-this novel is exactly what Carrie Jones fans have been waiting for. Meet your next obsession.

Review by ephrielle: It felt like a game. A couple of kids facing down an ancient demon and thinking they have a chance. Of course they are the right people for the job, as they are super prepared.
  • Special demon exorcism training and experience (A few internet searches)
  • Popourri
  • Make shift tent
  • Native American blood
  • Whole bunch of bravado
They can’t possibly go wrong.

I enjoy some good Native American lore and story. Unfortunately the poor young man in this story is alienated from his birthright and, by extension, proper knowledge of the lore. He sure doesn’t lack the desire or the gumption. I felt sorry for him. It was so painfully clear that he was stumbling around in the dark. Sometimes his youth really hurt the power of the lore over the story. Even his rock solid proof didn’t seem like a proper foundation upon which to stake his “helpful delusions”.

The ending was rather cheesy for my taste. I just didn’t think the several parts worked well together. Not a terrible read, but it was definitely a book about three kids facing off against all odds and definitely being out of their depth.

Favorite Quote: “Mom, I promised to behave. It wasn’t easy. I mean, she couldn’t help herself. She was all over this hunk of Navajo manhood and I had to keep telling her I’d promised not to let her violate me. Eventually she wore herself out and fell asleep.”

Content: Moderate violence

About Carrie Jones: Carrie Jones likes Skinny Cow fudgsicles and potatoes. She does not know how to spell fudgsicles. This has not prevented her from writing books. She lives with her cute family in Maine, but she grew up in Bedford, NH where she once had a séance with cool uber-comedian Sarah Silverman.

The Meyers brothers are from Bedford, too, so you’d think it would make Carrie funnier, coming from Bedford N.H. Obviously, something didn’t work.

Carrie has a large, skinny white dog and a fat cat. Both like fudgicles. Only the cat likes potatoes. This may be a reason for the kitty’s weight problem (Shh… don’t tell). Carrie has always liked cowboy hats but has never owned one. This is a very wrong thing. She graduated from Vermont College’s MFA program for writing. She has edited newspapers and poetry journals and has recently won awards from the Maine Press Association and also been awarded the Martin Dibner Fellowship as well as a Maine Literary Award.

Here’s the lowdown about Carrie…

1. Carrie can not drink coffee. It makes her insane. Do not give her caffeine.
2. Carrie is very responsive to loving strokes on the hair, kind of like a puppy. However, do not do this without asking first unless you are a ridiculously handsome man or an editor who is about to offer her a trillion dollars for the first draft of her novel.
3. Carrie is secretly really, really shy even though she’s pathetically outgoing in person. She has a very hard time calling people. So, if you want to talk to her, make the first move. And, if you’re her in-Maine female best friend, Jennifer, do NOT get mad at her because she is so bad at returning emails.
4. Carrie sometimes wears mismatched socks, if you do not think this is cool, do not tell her. You will hurt her feelings.
5. Carrie really, really wants you to like her books. Please like her books. PLEEEAASSSEEEE. She’ll be your best friend forever. That is, if you want a friend who is shy about calling and emailing and who wears mismatched socks and can’t drink caffeine and likes being pet on the head. Hhmmm….
6. Carrie is not above begging.
7. Carrie, like Belle in TIPS ON HAVING A GAY (ex) BOYFRIEND drinks Postum. It’s for the same reason, too.
8. Carrie loves Great Pyrenees dogs. They are huge and white, and furry and it looks like they have white eyeliner and mascara on, which is way too cute. Do you have one? Send a picture!
9. Carrie lives in Maine. She has a hard time with this in the winter. It is bleak in Maine in the winter. Imagine everything shades of gray and brown and no green anywhere except for in people’s noses. This is Maine in Winter. Maine in summer is the best place in the world, so it’s a trade-off. Feel free to invite Carrie to your house in the winter, but not if it’s in Greenland, Canada, or anywhere north of Florida.
10. Forget that. She’d still probably come.

About Steven E. Wedel: Born and raised an Okie, Wedel typically sets his stories somewhere in Oklahoma’s diverse landscape. He began writing in high school in the early 1980s and never stopped. He currently lives in central Oklahoma with his wife and four children. Besides writing, he earns his living as a high school English teacher. 

Find more about author Carrie Jones on:  Website / Twitter

Find more about author Steven E. Wedel on:  Website / Twitter

Book Review- Palace of Stone: Princess Academy #2

08 Aug, 2012 by in Palace of Stone, Shannon Hale, young adult fiction 2 comments

Palace of Stone (Princess Academy #2)
by Shannon Hale
Hardcover, 336 pages
Expected Publication Date: August 21, 2012
by Bloomsbury USA
ISBN: 1599908735
Book source: ALA
5 Stars
Book Summary from Goodreads: Coming down from the mountain to a new life in the city seems a thrill beyond imagining. When Miri and her friends from Mount Eskel set off to help the future princess Britta prepare for her royal wedding, she is happy about her chance to attend school in the capital city. There, Miri befriends students who seem so sophisticated and exciting . . . until she learns that they have some frightening plans. They think that Miri will help them, that she “should “help them. Soon Miri finds herself torn between loyalty to the princess and her new friends’ ideas, between an old love and a new crush, and between her small mountain home and the bustling city. Picking up where “Princess Academy “left off, this incredible stand-alone story celebrates the joys of friendship, the delight of romance, and the fate of a beloved fairy tale kingdom.
Cathy’s review: Miri is back to living her regular, old, boring life after the Princess Academy. She thought that things would have changed when the price of linder had been made more fair, but life has gone on as normal for the people in Mount Eskel. Miri is soon summoned to the capital city to help her best friend and Princess to be, Britta, with the wedding preparations. Miri is also to attend school, something she’s yearned to do for a long time. As she attends school, Miri begins to notice the chasm between the royals and the common people that they rule. She makes some new friends, including a boy named Timon, these friends seem to want to make things better for the common man, and they would really like Miri to join them. But Miri is confused, she is unsure whether she should help in the fight for the common man with Timon, or learn all she can and go back to her life in Mount Eskel with her love Peder. She begins to see that she must make a choice and soon, before that choice is made for her, but just what should she choose?
This book was so great! I love Miri, she is such a strong young woman, she wants to do what’s right, but she’s unsure of just which way she should go. I loved the feel of this book, you can feel the tone of revolution from the very beginning. I love reading the letters that Miri writes to her sister Marda, you can tell just how Miri feels and how much she is learning, including about herself, and changing. I love that this book can be read as part of a series, but it’s great to read just by itself too. It’s been quite awhile since I’ve read the original Princess Academy, but I didn’t feel lost at all. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves to read books by Shannon Hale, and anyone who loves to read about Princesses!
Content: Clean
About the Author: Shannon Hale is the New York Times best-selling author of six young adult novels: the Newbery Honor book Princess Academy, multiple award winner Book of a Thousand Days, and the highly acclaimed Books of Bayern series. She has written three books for adults, including Midnight in Austenland (Jan. 2012), companion book to Austenland. She co-wrote the hit graphic novel Rapunzel’s Revenge and its sequel Calamity Jack with husband Dean Hale. They live near Salt Lake City, Utah with their four small children, and their pet, a small, plastic pig. 
Find out more about author Shannon Hale: Goodreads/ Website/ Twitter

Book Review- After Obsession

21 Dec, 2011 by in Uncategorized 6 comments

After Obession

by Carrie Jones & Steven E. Wedel
Ages/Grade: ages 12 and up / 7 and up
Published September 2011
by Bloomsbury
ISBN: 978I599906812
Pages: 320
Source: BEA

Aimee has good grades, great friends, and a hot boyfriend. But she also has secrets. Like the violent dreams that are almost prophetic. Or the real reason behind her Mom’s death.

Alan is new in town. Rugged, sexy, with a hint of Southern charm, he and Aimee connect immediately. Bye-bye boyfriend. But Alan has his own secrets. His Native American heritage gives him mystical, unlikely abilities. Not the kind of thing you show off in the cafeteria.

But it’s not Aimee or Alan who is in trouble. It’s Courtney–Alan’s cousin, and Aimee’s best friend. She’s consumed by a strange demon. Alan says there are four stages: Invitation:. Then Infestation. Obsession, and finally Possession. Aimee and Alan must figure out what to do, and quickly. Because once the demon takes full possession, there’s no saving Courtney–or anyone else…

(*To me this trailer looks far more intense and adult-ish than the book actually is. Which I think is a good thing as younger readers would enjoy this book.)
Debbie’s review:
This is an interesting story that takes place in the small town that Aimee grew up in. Life has been hard in the past but things seem to be all in place now. That is until she starts feeling a presence and then later something is going on with her best friend.
She has a past with the nearby river, it brings her both peace and terror and something is happening in the town and with her friends that she must figure out. Aimee meets new-comer Alan and is comforted with his friendship.

This was a fun read that took a different twist on the genre. The book is told from both Aimee and Alan’s point of view so it gives the reader a broader look into the intense story.- Debbie CranberryFries

Buy After Obsession: Amazon/ The Book Depository
Add After Obsession to your: Goodreads/ Shelfari
Find Author Carrie Jones: Blog/ Twitter

Review and Signed Bookmark Giveaway

16 Mar, 2011 by in book review 40 comments

Sean Griswold’s Head
by Lindsey Leavitt
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published March 1st 2011
by Bloomsbury USA
Children’s Books
ISBN 1599904985
4 stars

According to her guidance counselor, fifteen-year-old Payton Gritas needs a focus object—an item to concentrate her emotions on. It’s supposed to be something inanimate, but Payton decides to use the thing she stares at during class: Sean Griswold’s head. They’ve been linked since third grade (Griswold-Gritas—it’s an alphabetical order thing), but she’s never really known him.

The focus object is intended to help Payton deal with her father’s newly diagnosed multiple sclerosis. And it’s working. With the help of her boy-crazy best friend Jac, Payton starts stalking—er, focusing on—Sean Griswold . . . all of him! He’s cute, he shares her Seinfeld obsession (nobody else gets it!) and he may have a secret or two of his own.

In this sweet story of first love, Lindsey Leavitt seamlessly balances heartfelt family moments, spot-on sarcastic humor, and a budding young romance.

I won an autographed copy of Sean Griswold’s Head on twitter…well not his actual head, but the book about his head. And, in correspondence I noticed was how genuinely nice author Lindsey Leavitt is. Her cute and tender story tugged at my heart strings.

Payton is a straight A student, slightly obsessive compulsive and highly organized person until one day she accidentally stumbles upon her father’s MS. Life at home and the world is unraveling fast. Payton is recommended to the school counselor by her parents who suggests she pick a focus object to write about…something to get her mind off of the grief and fear. What better than the head of the boy sitting directly in front of her desk? Blonde, with spiky hair, a scar and an orbit bigger than the average noggin.

What starts out as a purely scientific self-help project ends in Payton wanting to learn more about the boy, Sean who is attached to that head. The two begin biking together and in the process discover there may be more to their close proximity than just their last names. Both are facing meddling best friends with an agenda of their own. Leave it to Peyton’s overbearing bubbly BFF since birth, Jac and the goth vampire of the town to complicate matters. Sean and Payton may not work out after all.

In a sweet, fun contemporary read, Lindsey Leavitt taught me about the power of forgiveness and overcoming personal roadblocks. This is a book I would recommend to all readers over age 12. Lindsey has generously donated two author signed bookmarks to our blog followers. Simply comment below to enter. Open internationally and ends April 15, 2011.

BIR2010 YA Prize Pack #1

10 Dec, 2010 by in simon schuster 11 comments

We are so excited with the response we’ve had for out Best I’ve Read 2010 Giveaways. Welcome to all of our new followers and readers! Be sure to click on BIR right sidebar button to be routed to our main contest page. Giveways are going daily until December 15th on 8 other blogs as well!

Our Prize Pack today is for two YA books: Secondhand Charm by Julie Berry and Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry.

Secondhand Charm
By Julie Berry
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published October 12th 2010
by Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books

Summary: In a secluded village, magic sparkles on the edges of the forest. There, a young girl named Evie possesses unusually strong powers as a healer. A gypsy’s charms—no more than trinkets when worn by others—are remarkably potent when Evie ties them around her neck. Her talents, and charms, have not escaped the notice of the shy stonemason’s apprentice. But Evie wants more than a quiet village and the boy next-door. When the young king’s carriage arrives one day, and his footman has fallen ill, Evie might just get her chance after all . . .

Berry’s debut novel garnered glowing reviews and strong sales—and now she’s done it again with a beautifully woven tale to keep all readers, young and old, absolutely charmed.

Rot & Ruin
By Jonathan Maberry
Published by Simon & Schuster
Released: October 5, 2010

Summary: In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn’t want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.

Win both books, open to ship to the US only by entering below. Giveaway ends December 15, 2010.


Lee Nichols BIR2010 Teaser Giveaway

09 Dec, 2010 by in Uncategorized 5 comments

By: Lee Nichols
Hardcover, 310 pages
Published June 8th 2010 by
Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books

Book summary: When Emma Vaile’s parents go missing while away on a mysterious business trip, her brother’s very cute best friend, Bennett Stern—Emma’s knight in J. Crew armor—arrives unexpectedly to whisk her away to New England. There, Emma settles into his family’s museum-like mansion and enrolls at an old-fashioned private school. Emma has memories of Thatcher that she can’t explain—it’s as if she’s returning home to a place she’s never been. Finally, Emma confides in Bennett and learns she is a ghostkeeper, a person who can communicate with ghosts. Bennett brought Emma to Thatcher to protect her, but now he needs her help tracking an other-worldly murderer.

Read all about the series at Lee Nichols’ website:

Lee has offered one copy of Deception to our US readers for BIR2010. Fill out this form to enter and good luck! Giveaway ends December 15, 2010.

The Actor and The Housewife

17 Jan, 2010 by in Maw Books, Shannon Hale, utah authors 1 comment

From Barnes and Noble: Product Details
Pub. Date: June 2009
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Format: Hardcover, 352pp
ISBN-13: 9781596912885
ISBN: 159691288X

A very different kind of fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Shannon Hale.
What if you were to meet the number-one person on your laminated list—you know, that list you joke about with your significant other about which five celebrities you’d be allowed to run off with if ever given the chance? And of course since it’ll never happen it doesn’t matter…
Mormon housewife Becky Jack is seven months pregnant with her fourth child when she meets celebrity hearththrob Felix Callahan. Twelve hours, one elevator ride, and one alcohol-free dinner later, something has happened…though nothing has happened. It isn’t sexual. It isn’t even quite love. But a month later Felix shows up in Salt Lake City to visit and before they know what’s hit them, Felix and Becky are best friends. Really. Becky’s husband is pretty cool about it. Her children roll their eyes. Her neighbors gossip endlessly. But Felix and Becky have something special…something unusual, something completely impossible to sustain. Or is it? A magical story, The Actor and the Housewife explores what could happen when your not-so-secret celebrity crush walks right into real life and changes everything.

From Publishers Weekly
This successful sophomore turn at chick lit (after Austenland) from YA and graphic novelist Hale sets up a platonic relationship between a dashing movie star and a Mormon housewife. While in Los Angeles to ink a deal for a script she’s written, pregnant Becky Jack holds her own against her big screen crush, Felix Callahan, known the world over for charming his way through romantic comedies. Witty banter draws them together, and though they debate what their fascination with one another could mean, an improbable friendship is born. Their alliance weathers the occasional break, Felix’s disinterest in children and his indifference toward Becky’s Mormon faith; spousal jealousy and the chasm separating their lifestyles also throw an occasional curveball. Hale keeps the prose crackling with humor and has a sure hand in creating nuanced, believable characters, so when otherwise unlikely plot turns creep up—Becky getting cast opposite Felix—they’re, well, likely enough. Though Becky just wants to keep her best friend and her normal life, readers will hope she gets nothing less than a fairy tale ending.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

This review contains spoilers…
The beginning chapters of this book were a hard read for me because the idea of a married Mormon woman being able to have a male best friend is one I have pondered and decided it just isn’t possible. That being said, I think Becky goes through all of the emotions any typical married housewife with morals would go through and I admire her strength. As I got more into the book I really admired Becky’s relationship wit her her husband Mike. They are still in love after all of these years, they still have a spark and he trusts her enough to let her keep Felix in her life. Her relationship with Felix is just perfect, full of witty lines and funny situations. I cried through the last four chapters at the raw emotion and grief the family went through losing Mike. I love that the spiritual questions were there and were answered through the traditional means of prayer and service without seeming preachy or unrealistic to those not of the same faith.
I hope as Becky has time to heal her loss and she and Felix have time together their love blossoms. In my mind that will be the way it really ends. Felix is not perfect, he makes his occasional mistakes, but what I love about them is that they are always there for each other, they make one another laugh and the romance would be based on ten years of friendship first.Felix takes care of her financially, sweeps her off on vacation, calls her and woos her in the way every woman would love to be wooed. Come on Shannon…give me my fairy tale ending or even a movie. It would be so fun. I will be waiting! I give it a five out of five stars, good clean romantic fun!
My friend MawBooks recorded these and uploaded them to Youtube…Here is Shannon Hale talking about the book at The King’s English Bookstore.