Thursday, December 3, 2009

Deva Fagan's Spreading Bookish Cheer Giveaway

Deva Fagan is holding a holiday book giveaway over at her blog!

The fabulous prizes include:

Ghostly Prize Package: A hardback copy of Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell and a SIGNED hardback copy of Give Up the Ghost by Megan Crewe
Fairydusted Prize Package: A hardback copy of Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter by R. J. Anderson  and a hardback copy of Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev 

For more information on how to enter, click the link below:                                                 Deva Fagan's Spreading Bookish Cheer Post

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Give Up the Ghost Book Trailer and Megan Crewe's End of 2009 Giveaway

Here is the wonderful book trailer for Megan Crewe's Give Up the Ghost. 

The author of Give Up the Ghost is hosting an end of the year giveaway on her blog... for more information on the fabulous prizes and how to enter, click on the link below!

End of 2009 Giveaway Post

On a side note, I have already read and loved Give Up the Ghost and a review will posted shortly!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Review: The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride, #1) by James Patterson


The Angel Experiment by James Patterson                                                                                                                  Publisher: Grand Central Publishing                                                                                                                                        Paperbound, 464 pages                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Publisher's Blurb                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        In James Patterson's blockbuster series, fourteen-year-old Maximum Ride, better known as Max, knows what it''s like to soar above the world. She and all the members of the "flock"--Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman and Angel--are just like ordinary kids--only they have wings and can fly. It may seem like a dream come true to some, but their lives can morph into a living nightmare at any when Angel, the youngest member of the flock, is kidnapped and taken back to the "School" where she and the others were experimented on by a crew of wack jobs. Her friends brave a journey to blazing hot Death Valley, CA, to save Angel, but soon enough, they find themselves in yet another nightmare--this one involving fighting off the half-human, half-wolf "Erasers" in New York City. Whether in the treetops of Central Park or in the bowels of the Manhattan subway system, Max and her adopted family take the ride of their lives. Along the way Max discovers from her old friend and father-figure Jeb--now her betrayed and greatest enemy--that her purpose is save the world--but can she?

My Thoughts                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm not going to lie, the rumour that James Patterson uses ghost writers has tainted my view of this book. However, it does offer an explanation for the substandard writing. A mishmash of an unnamed writer's words and some other guy's farmed-out ideas will do that for you. Details are reiterated throughout the story unnecessarily and not in the 'I'm just reminding the reader of something that happened earlier on in the book' fashion but rather 'I'm reminding the reader of what happened, oh, four pages ago" way. 

  The dialogue often felt artificial. I found that the way the kids communicated with each other in the novel, did not accurately represent conversation among today's fourteen year olds (Even among the mutant preteens).

  So, with all these apparent weaknesses what kept me from chucking the book out of a window and awarding it a measly one leaf? Well for one, I don't chuck books. Even the not so good ones. I'd feel sorry for it and I think it's unhealthy to have sympathy for an inanimate object. But more importantly, I felt that there were enough redeemable qualities that made the overall experience still enjoyable.

  Although the previously noted issues with the writing are disruptive, the action within the plot never ceased gaining momentum. The novel advertises itself as a page-turner and that claim is warranted.  The characters, although at times stale due to the issues with the dialogue, still had their unique quirky habits which made them amiable.

  I would only recommend this book for a reader who is in a particularly tolerant mood and in the need of an entertaining fast-paced story or for the reluctant reader who enjoys adventures of the science fiction like.

Overall Rating:




Sunday, November 29, 2009

2010 Debut Author Challenge

The Story Siren is holding a 2010 Debut Author Challenge

The objective of the challenge (as provided on is as follows;

The objective is to read a set number of YA (Young Adult) or MG (Middle Grade) novels from debut authors published this year.* I'm going to challenge everyone to read at least 12 debut novels!

Here at The Novel Emporium, I'm challenging myself to read at least 30 2010 debut novels. (*This list is currently a work in progress*)

Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken (Release: March 23, 2010)

A Most Improper Magick (The Unladylike Adventures of Kat Stephenson, #1)by Stephanie Burgis (Release: April 20, 2010)

Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore (Release: February 1st, 2010)

Scones and Sensibility by Lindsay Eland (Release: December 22, 2009)

Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus
(Release: July 13, 2010)

The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell (Release: May 11, 2010)

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain (Release: December 22, 2009)

Other by Karen Kincy (Release: July 1st, 2010)

Hex Hall (Hex Hall, Book 1) by Rachel Hawkins (Release: March 2nd, 2010)

Everlasting by Angie Frazier (Release: June 1st, 2010)

Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves
(Release: January 5, 2010)

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting (Release: March 16, 2010)

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (Release: February 1st, 2010)

Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin (Release: January 12, 2010)

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (Release: April 8 2010)

The Mark by Jen Nadol (Release: January 19, 2010)

The Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy (Release: April 13, 2010)

13 to Life: A Werewolf's Tale by Shannon Delany (Release: June 22, 2010)

Wolves, Boys and Other Things That Might Kill Me by Kristen Chandler (Release: May 13, 2010)

Forbidden Sea by Sheila A. Nielson (Release: July 1st, 2010)

A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler (Release: May 1st, 2010)

Plain Kate by Erin Bow (Release: ? 2010)

Do you have what it takes? Take the challenge by clicking the picture below.

The Story Siren

Friday, November 27, 2009

Review: Give Up the Ghost by Megan Crewe

Give up the Ghost by Megan Crewe

Publisher: Henry Holt

Hardcover, 256

Publisher's Blurb Cass McKenna much prefers ghosts to 'breathers. ' Ghosts are uncomplicated and dependable. They know the dirt on everybody . . . And Cass loves dirt. She's on a mission to expose the dirty secrets of all of the poseurs in her school. But when the vice president of the student council discovers her secret, Cass's whole scheme hangs in the balance. Tim wants her help to contact his recently deceased mother, but Cass is less than enthusiastic. Kicking and screaming, Cass becomes increasingly entwined in Tim's life. And she's more surprised than anyone when she realizes that maybe some living people aren't so bad if she'd only give them a chance.

My Thoughts

Give Up the Ghost was an excellent debut novel by Canadian author Megan Crewe. Based on the publisher's blurb, I had both hoped for and expected an intriguing storyline with engaging characters. What I hadn't anticipated and was pleasantly surprised by, was the depth of the entire novel. Cass's inability to befriend fellow living students is caused by a multitude of interplaying factors. She is isolated not only because of her gift to see and speak with the dead but also due to the cruelty of betrayal, her sister's death and the ongoing issues with her mother. The incidents of Tim's substance abuse, particularly because it involved a youth, was also striking. It made him all the more genuine and human because it is through these flaws, that his pain was made ever more apparent.

One of the most alluring features of the story was the authenticity of it all. Sure, it may have starred several of the dead but I never found myself second guessing Crewe's take on the supernatural. Their interactions with Cass were at times hilarious and at other times more serious but always convincing. Furthermore, I believe most teenagers have had to come to terms with the obstacles Cass faced throughout the novel. I, for one, remember very similar incidents of feeling isolated,ridiculed and double-crossed by the people I most counted on. I can also relate to the feeling of hope, the friends some might call 'odd' and the desire to stand up for myself ,which helped me get through it.

I only wish that the novel hadn't ended as abruptly as it had. The main strings of the plot were tied up and cleverly so but I was left wanting to know more about Cass's sister and her reasoning for lingering behind. I was also hoping to have a little more of a resolve with Tim. Perhaps a sequel is in the works? And if not, the ending was not disappointing in the least, just slightly different than expected.

Overall it was a terrific read and much more enthralling than I had initially expected. I REALLY enjoyed this one and I highly recommend this book to lovers of the paranormal and young adult fiction alike.

Overall Rating:




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