Under the Lamplight: Priya from Book Crumbs

Friday, July 30, 2010 | | 6 comments ♥
This week the lovely Priya from Book Crumbs is joining us!

Blog Link: http://priyaganesan.blogspot.com/

Could you give a little blurb on your blog?
My blog, Book Crumbs, consists of Middle Grade and YA book reviews (with a few classics and children’s books thrown in); poetry and other writing; any book related info; movie reviews (and trailers); interviews with authors and bloggers; arbitrary musings on absolutely random things; and more.

What got you hooked on reading- did you love it as a child, or was it something you grew into?
I always loved reading as a child. I would come back from the library with huge stacks of books that I would finish in a few days. My school librarian in elementary school also had a big influence on me – she recommended great books and encouraged me to keep reading. I’ve always been a bookworm since then!

How were you introduced into the blogging world?
I first started blogging in June 2006, when a friend showed me her blog and encouraged me to start one. I was in fifth grade at the time and only posted poems and random stuff like weather forecasts. In the summer of 2008, though, I discovered Miss Erin, and I was inspired by her blog and her involvement in bookish things to start blogging about all the books I read.

What’s been the most fun or exciting thing you’ve been able to do on your blog lately?
In January, I got the opportunity to interview Shannon Hale about her new graphic novel, Calamity Jack. I’ve been a fan of Shannon Hale since I first read Princess Academy and The Goose Girl, and I was so excited that I got the chance to talk to her.

What’s your opinion of books made into movies? Love ‘em or Hate ‘em?
I’m always excited to see movies that are based off of books. Usually, I’m pretty disappointed because nothing can match up to the book! But there are a few movies which I think are just as good as the book, such as The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

You can only afford to purchase one book at the bookstore today. What do you choose?
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale – I still don’t own any of the books in the series!

What’s your favorite guilty-pleasure T.V. show? Or book?
I love watching Arthur on PBS Kids sometimes – I think that the episodes are timeless and most people can sympathize with the characters despite age differences. As for a guilty-pleasure book, I’m still an avid fan of the Warriors series by Erin Hunter. I started reading the books in fifth grade, and I can’t stop! Every book ends in a cliffhanger, and I just have to read the next one.

What is one thing that most people don’t know about you?
I HATE crayons with a burning passion.

If your life were being made into a movie, what would it be called, and who would you cast?
I don’t know what it would be called, but I do know that it would be very, very boring. As for casting, it would be ideal if I could play myself, but if not, my sister could play me. Or maybe it could be an animated movie…

Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you so much for interviewing me, Cate!

Wishlist Wednesday

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 | | 3 comments ♥
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins’s groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.

I lovvvved the first two books in the series. Suzanne Collins writes the kind of books you can't set down for a second. (Literally...when I was reading Catching Fire I had trouble leaving it for meals, haha.) However, that was, for me, because of the Hunger Games event itself. Will there be a third Games? And, if not, will Collins still be able to hold my attention?

My guess is yes. She's pretty talented.

<3 Cate

Going off on Vacation

Saturday, July 24, 2010 | | 3 comments ♥
Hi Everyone!

I just wanted to let you know that for the next week, I'll be going on vacation! Although I have a couple of scheduled posts, I won't be on the internet very much during the week. I'll be coming home next Sunday, August 1st, so after that most everything should be back to normal.

Have a lovely summer, and I'll see you next week!
<3 Cate

Wishlist Wednesday

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 | | 5 comments ♥
Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris-- the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.

Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts fiercely alongside her. Now Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves and finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax-- but loving him means betraying her sister and has the potential to destroy all they've worked for.

Um, you guys. It's a fairy tale retelling. I'm all over this. Lovvvvve. :D

Have any of you managed to get your hands on this gorgeous, gorgeous book?

My Blogoversary Contest Winner!

Sunday, July 18, 2010 | | 2 comments ♥
With the help of Random.org, I have the winner of my Blogoversary/200 Followers Contest to announce!

And the winner is...



Lydia, you've been emailed. Please contact me within 48 hours or I will have to choose another winner.

<3 Cate

Under the Lamplight: Steph Bowe from Hey! Teenager of the Year

Friday, July 16, 2010 | | 3 comments ♥
Under the Lamplight is a bi-weekly meme that I have created to get to know the blogging community! If you're interested in being interviewed, please email me.

This week Steph Bowe from Hey! Teenager of the Year is joining us. :)

Blog Link: http://heyteenager.blogspot.com/

Could you give a little blurb on your blog?
Hey! Teenager of the Year is funny, happy, awkward and sarcastic. It combines book reviews & author interviews with advice for writers and daily musings of 16-year-old YA author Steph Bowe.

What got you hooked on reading- did you love it as a child, or was it something you grew into?
My parents read to me a lot when I was little, and I loved reading as a really young kid. I started reading YA when I was 11. Now I devour probably one book every two days.

How were you introduced into the blogging world?
I loved the blog by author Penni Russon (Eglantines Cake) and was inspired to start a blog myself. Then I somehow stumbled across the YA book blogging community, and gave my book a focused theme of YA book reviews.

What’s been the most fun or exciting thing you’ve been able to do on your blog lately?
Announce my book deal! I don't have many friends who are readers/writers in real life, so it was great to have the support of lots of people on my blog.

What’s your opinion of books made into movies? Love ‘em or Hate ‘em?
Depends on the book & movie! Generally, I prefer books, but sometimes the visual aspect of movies adds something that the book didn't have.

You can only afford to purchase one book at the bookstore today. What do you choose?
I already read the ARC of this, but I want a finished copy when it comes out: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

What’s your favorite guilty-pleasure T.V. show? Or book?
TV show: Supernatural.
Book: anything paranormal romance YA...

What is one thing that most people don’t know about you?
If you didn't know me when I was fourteen, you don't know that I totally shaved my head. I went from having waist-length hair to total baldness. It was a bit of a shock!

If your life were being made into a movie, what would it be called, and who would you cast?
I'd call it 'The Girl Who Knew Too Much' and I'd cast Angelina Jolie as an older version of myself. My parents would be played by Paris Hilton and Robert Pattinson.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks for interviewing me!

<3 Cate

Shifty by Lynn E. Hazen Review

Thursday, July 15, 2010 | | 4 comments ♥
Fifteen-year-old Shifty knows all about moving around and next to nothing about where he came from. When he's assigned to a new foster home and family, he tries hard to keep cool and stay out of trouble. But it seems like the more he tries to do the right thing, the more trouble he finds. As Shifty navigates a series of messy summer adventures, he struggles to find a balance between the street-wise spirit that has helped him survive and his longing for a place to call home. -Goodreads

Honestly, when I received Shifty for review, I was sure that it was only going to revolve around troubled kid who had hit rock bottom. In some aspects, it was. But there was one thing I hadn't counted on: Shifty was FUNNY. Laugh out loud, reread it three times funny. Although, when I first began reading it, I don't think I quite grasped exactly how hilarious it truly was. It didn't hit me until my mom asked about the book, and I recounted all the events that I had read up to. By the time I finished, we were rollin'. I'll never understand how Soli managed to get himself into so much trouble, but it was undoubtedly entertaining.

Here's an excerpt that I found particularly chuckle-worthy; Soli had just been given instructions from an elderly woman to deliver dinner to Lester, who was living in her home:

When we get in the elevator I look in the bag at Lester's dinner, it's a small bottle of water and a big can of cat food.
"Sissy, this is crazy. We can't do this."
"Why not?"
"Because either Lester is a cat, or he's a strange guy who eats cat food."
"Either way," Sissy says, "Lester's hungry."
I wouldn't say this is a traditional young adult book, by any means. There were times I felt that the story could easily fall into middle grade, had Soli been a bit younger. The book as a whole was a good surprise, and I'm interested in seeing what else Lynn Hazen has to offer the YA community.

Rating: 8.5/10

Once Upon a Read-a-thon Wrap-Up

Let me start out by saying what I have learned from this read-a-thon experience, concerning myself, my reading habit, and things in general that I need to keep in mind for the next time I do this:

1) Choose books that are on the short side- you'll feel like you've gotten more accomplished
2) Do your best to block out those three days completely; I took a short break on Tuesday to hang out with some friends and ended up reading only a few pages for the day because I got so distracted ;P
3) I am a slow reader. That's just the way it is. Don't worry too much if you're like me- the read-a-thon is for your enjoyment, not something else to stress over. (Thanks to Sandy for helping me realize that!)
4) Have Twitter buddies! It just makes the experience a LOT more enjoyable.
5) Keep chocolate nearby. I don't think there's a logical reason for this, but I'd recommend it anyway.

In the end, I only read two books, but I ADORED both of them. I was amazed by the sheer imagination used in Brightly Woven, and Sisters Red was downright awesome. Chuck Norris would be proud. I can't wait to share my reviews with everyone!

<3 Cate

Wishlist Wednesday: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Wednesday, July 14, 2010 | | 3 comments ♥
Release Date: February 1st, 2011
Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that one 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 governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holway 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.

Okay, so I'm unsure as to whether the cover for Delirium has been released yet, but I've been unable to find it online. I *think* I saw the cover uploaded from a personal photo on an ARC tour site. Anyway, I remember it was quite breathtaking. I have yet to read Oliver's other book, Before I Fall, but when I read the synopsis for this one, I knew that she was an author to watch. I'm really interested in books that deal with government regulation of emotion or personal rights, and I would say that Delirium definitely falls into that category.

Plus, I love the name Lena. I'm not exactly sure why, but I always end up rooting for characters with the name. It all started with The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, I'm sure. :)

<3 Cate

Once Upon a Read-a-thon

Sunday, July 11, 2010 | | 3 comments ♥
Once Upon A Read-A-Thon

Hey Everyone! For the next three days I will be participating in the Once Upon a Read-a-thon! It's my very first read-a-thon, so I'm not really sure how what my tatctic will be yet (I haven't decided if I'm also going to write reviews during that time.) I plan on taking a short break on Tuesday so I don't go crazy, but otherwise my nose should be permanently stuck in a book. Here's a list of books that I have piled next to my bed at the moment. I have no clue how many I'll get through, but I'm giving myself plenty of options. If you have any suggestions or tips, I'd be very grateful!

Although I might not be on the blog as much, I'll definitely be on Twitter!

1) Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken (EXCITED!)
2) Tyger, Tyger by Kersten Hamilton
3) Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
4) The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
5) The Last Treasure by Janet S. Anderson
6) Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen
7) King Dork by Frank Portman
8) Manifest by Artist Arthur

Eight books in three days? I hope so!
<3 Cate

Affiliate Contest Winner!

Friday, July 9, 2010 | | 0 comments ♥
For the past few weeks I've held an Affiliate Contest to help promote my fellow blogger (and affiliate), Kirthi over at Pages.

Drumroll Please....

The winner of my affiliate contest is......

Allison from Read Into This!

Allison, you have been emailed. Please get back to me within forty-eight hours or I will have to choose another winner.

Didn't win this time around? No worries, there's still one more day to enter my Blogoversary Contest!

CSN Stores Review Teaser

Hi Everyone!

I've been given the awesome opportunity to review a CSN product from one of their 200+ stores for the ol' blog! While CSN offers anything from lights to recliners to bookshelves!(Can you guess which one I chose?) Recently, my books have been taking over my room, so I'm really excited to be able to try out a new bookshelf!

4D Concepts Hanging Corner Storage In Espresso

Nantucket Bookcase

Decisions, decisions. I'm excited. :)

<3 Cate

Wishlist Wednesday

Wednesday, July 7, 2010 | | 3 comments ♥
Release Date: August 31st 2010
Sixteen-year-old Evie's job is bagging and tagging paranormals. Possessing the strange ability to see through their glamours, she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency. But when someone--or something--starts taking out the vamps, werewolves, and other odd beasties she's worked hard to help become productive members of society, she's got to figure it out before they all disappear and the world becomes utterly normal.

Oh my goodness- I CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS BOOK!! Back before school got crazy, I was constantly checking Kiersten White's blog for updates (okay, I'll admit, I was borderline stalkerish.) Anyway, from the reviews I've read, there seems to be a unanimous conclusion: it's awesome. I'm not sure I can wait until the end of August.

Also, this is one of the most stunning YA covers I've seen in a while. Just gorgeous. Wanttttt.

<3 Cate

Interview with Thalia Chaltas!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010 | | 3 comments ♥
I have the great (and exciting) pleasure of welcoming Thalia Chaltas, author of Because I Am Furniture, to Sparrow Review for my first-ever author interview! Ms. Chaltas currently living in California, where she continues writing other works no doubt as brilliant as Because I Am Furniture.

Your biography reads that you have had trained to become everything from a kinesthesiologist to a helicopter pilot. When did you discover that you wanted to be a writer, and how have your many experiences helped you during your writing process?
I always wrote poetry, and I always wanted to write a novel (adult), but I didn't necessarily want to be a writer, per se. I think I thought that having one book on the library shelf would be great, but not my profession! "Oh I'll just whip off one novel and then move on..." After college, I kept learning new skills and finding them to be not quite what I wanted to "do" in life, interesting to me, but not applicable to what I thought of as real life. And along the way, I kept writing... In 2000 I joined a writer's critique group specifically for writing for children (because I thought it sounded "fun"), and this built a foundation and accountability, and a professionality I had not thought of before. I have not stopped since!

I don't know that specific past experiences and interests have helped my writing process, but I understand now that my tendency to gather information by learning something or doing something new is very useful. It is a great benefit as a writer to have the willingness to jump through the wormhole when it opens - how can I show what a character feels when they are bounced out of a raft in the rapids, if I am not willing to jump into rapids myself? So my passion for trying new experiences is what helps my writing, not necessarily drawing on the experiences I've already had. Although, sometimes those work, too. :)

Where did you find your inspiration for Because I Am Furniture, especially in light of its darker subject matter?
Unfortunately, my own childhood. I did not intend to write the novel, but poems came out of me, and after a lot of work I connected them together and started making it fiction. Once it was fiction, I loved writing it! I did not write BECAUSE I AM FURNITURE to state my case or punish or feel better - I wrote it because it developed into a novel with a great story and an unusual format and I enjoyed it.

What is one book that you would recommend to young adult readers, and why?
I happen to love books that stretch boundaries for me. I read a ton of sci fi and fantasy as a teen (and still do). One of my personal favorites recently was THE MAZE RUNNER by James Dashner. The main character does not know who he is or where he is, and the reader has to learn it all one page at a time with him. Social aspects, communication difficulties, friendships, broken bonds, self doubt - it's all in there. Brilliant, edge-of-your-seat stuff.

I read that you collect children's books- which would you consider the highlight of your collection?
I have some first editions I try not to drool on, like THE WIZARD OF OZ by Frank Baum, but honestly, my very favorite is an unusual middle grade book, tattered and discarded by a library when I was young, called TAASH AND THE JESTERS, by Ellen McKenzie. I am fairly certain it is not in print and I have never found anyone else who has read it! Taash is a young boy who is getting restless and curious (and damn grumpy) about the outer world and takes off into it, and ends up in a separate world from his, with the unlikely protection of twin jesters who appear and disappear. Of course, Taash finds out he is not who he thought he is. And isn't that true for all of us?

Do you listen to music as you write, or do you prefer quiet?
I would love to listen to music! I would love to have a playlist on my website and say "I listened to this because it inspired such and such -" But honestly, although I am very musical myself, I tune out everything when I write. So I could put on the iPod or a cd but I would not hear any of it! Waste of electricity for me.

Are you in the process of writing any other novels, and are they also in poems? Have you dabbled in prose as well?
I am finishing a new novel in poems, and it is scheduled to come out in Summer 2011. Keep track of news on that on my website. I have always written poetry, but I have always written my stories in prose, until recently. I tend to think in small gatherings of words, as in poetry, so writing prose takes a bit longer for me. Poems just come out of me fastest, and I am very happy that there is a genre specifically for novels in verse. It suits me!

Thanks for having me aboard for the interview, Cate!

You're so welcome! It was such a pleasure. :)
If you would like to learn more about Ms. Chaltas, you can visit her website or blog. And if you're interested in purchasing her book (which you should be!), Because I Am Furniture, you can do so here and here.

The Education of Bet Review

Monday, July 5, 2010 | | 4 comments ♥
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.

I didn't know exactly what I was getting into with The Education of Bet. I'd seen its gorgeous cover on an ARC tour site, read the synopsis, and signed up for it on the spot. I still haven't actually read any reviews, but I know a few other bloggers that were equally as excited about cracking open the cover as I was.

That being said, I wasn't sure if this was going to be hard-core historical fiction. Even though I really love the genre, it's unusual that I'll pick up an HF book, because I feel like you have to have a certain mood and minset. BUT, I was so pleasantly surprised. Bet was light read, it was easy to slip in and out of the story. Although the tale started off slowly, Bet's humor and naivety quickly roped me in. I laughed at her hilarious mishaps and shook my head at her stupidity. I even wanted to punch (or take a punch from) Hamish for her.

And then there was James. Talk about sweet. I just loved this quote Bet used to describe him:
"I'd read about beauty in books. I'd even seen some of it in the world. But I'd never before seen so much of it gathered up into a single human being."

How can you deny that? You can't, my friends. You just can't.

It's amazing the kind of education you can get from a bunch of boys. Read and learn. :)

Rating: 9/10
<3 Cate

In My Mailbox

Sunday, July 4, 2010 | | 8 comments ♥
In My Mailbox is a meme created by the very lovely Kristi at The Story Siren.

This week I actually got several books! After my unannounced little hiatus, I'm getting back into the swing of reading. I keep having to remind myself that I have a 100 Book Challenge for this year, and not to mention several others, and I don't want to be a complete failure. ;)

From Traveling ARC Tours:

For Review:

Won from a Contest at the Library:

I'm excited to dive into all of these!
<3 Cate

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Trailer

Saturday, July 3, 2010 | | 5 comments ♥

I get goosebumps EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

Four months, my friends. Four months.
<3 Cate

Under the Lamplight: Amber Sky from Reading Addict

Friday, July 2, 2010 | | 0 comments ♥
Under the Lamplight is a bi-weekly meme that I have created to get to know the blogging community! If you're interested in being interviewed, please email me.

Amber Skye from Reading Addict has been so kind as to be this week's guest.

Blog Link: http://addicted2reading4evr.blogspot.com

Could you give a little blurb on your blog?
Hmm, a little blurb on my blog. Well, I started this blog to keep track of my thoughts on the books I read. Ever since the second grade, when my mom got me hooked on Nancy Drew books, I've been addicted to reading. Hence, my blog's name (Reading Addict). I mostly review books, but I also post information on the latest series, participate in weekly memes, and ramble about bookish things.

What got you hooked on reading- did you love it as a child, or was it something you grew into?
As I said in the questions above, my mom was the one who got me hooked. Reading has always been something I've loved. There's nothing better than curling up with a good book after a long, hard day. I've been doing that since I learned to read.

How were you introduced into the blogging world?
I was feeling bored last summer, so I started checking out a couple of book websites. I clicked on a link to another book blogger (Bloody Bookaholic) and was fascinated that someone like me had started their own website. I decided that I wanted to become a part of the blogging world so that I could share my passion for reading with others who feel the same way.

What’s been the most fun or exciting thing you’ve been able to do on your blog lately?
I've actually been able to interview a few authors, which has been amazing. I would never have gotten the chance to talk to these authors if it weren't for my blog. My latest interview was with Jennifer Laurens, the author of Heavenly, which I loved.

What’s your opinion of books made into movies? Love ‘em or Hate ‘em?
That depends. I've never seen a movie that was better than the book, but I do enjoy some movies that are based on books. The most important thing for me is that the movie captures the feel of the book, even if it doesn't follow the plot exactly.

You can only afford to purchase one book at the bookstore today. What do you choose?
... Only one? *sighs* I guess I would probably choose Hex Hall. It looks like a really good read. My second choice would probably be Before I Fall, which looks awesome as well.

What’s your favorite guilty-pleasure T.V. show? Or book?
I read like other people watch TV, so I don't know many TV's shows besides LOST and The Office (both of which I love, even if Lost took a bit of a turn down the path of no return).

What is one thing that most people don’t know about you?
I'm allergic to gold. Seriously, I can't wear gold earrings, which is kind of tragic.

If your life were being made into a movie, what would it be called, and who would you cast?
I would love to cast Anne Hathaway as me. She cracks me up, and her role in the Princess Diaries pretty much describes me. People always tell me that I look like her. I have no idea what my title would be. Sad, I know.

Anything else you’d like to add?
I'd love for you guys to come check out my blog! Thanks so much for letting me do this interview. :) I had fun, and I hope you guys enjoyed reading this.
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