Saturday, February 27, 2010
Pub date: June 10, 2008
Age Range: Young Adult
Maya Laor just arrived ath the campus of the University of Virginia to start her Astronomy study. Maya comes from Israel, and has left her home in Tel Aviv because of grief and guilt. Her boyfriend Dov recently died because of a suicide bomber in Maya's favorite cafe where he and Maya would meet a few minutes later..if Maya's bus was on time. And she knows who was the bomber, and blames herself that maybe she could have done something to prevent it from happening..
The attack and Dov's dead change Maya's life drastically. She was serving in the Israeli army, but now she doesn't know how to move on and if she should go to Virginia.
She decides to go, and meets new people at the college dorm. Like Payton, her new nice roommate, Justin and Chris. Justin is dating another girl but soon it becomes clear thet Maya and Justin become more than friends..
If you are looking for a beautifully written, impressive and amazing good novel, don't look further and pick Light Years by Tammar Stein. I was really impressed by it because it the story is very realistic and Tammar Stein writes in a wonderful first person point of view.
The narrative changes in chapter from Maya's present time at university in Virginia, and in her past time in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Maya's strive to move on with her life in Virginia but still struck with grief and guilt are very beautiful and detailed described by the author. It also really gives a good view of what life in an Israeli city like Tel Aviv is like and how for example, frightened Maya is because of the attacks that happen there sometimes. The author really know what she writes about as she lived in Israel herself. It also reminded me of the book How to ruin boyfriend's'reputation by Simone Elkeles, which is also a book about a girl in in Israeli military camp, and which was also a book I really enjoyed and recommend. Outstanding book, just read it!
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Uitgever: De Fontein Jeugd
Paperback, 299 blz
In het eerste deel van deze serie, Kamer 16, maakten we al kennis met Scarlett Martin. Haar ouders hebben een hotel in New York, hotel Hopewell, een hotel dat wel eens betere tijden heeft gekend en in een staat van vergane glorie is vervallen.
In Love Street 13 zijn we weer terug in hotel Hopewell, en het hotel lijkt nog meer negatieve recensies op internet te hebben gehad, sommige gasten noemen het in hun internetrecensie zelfs ''Hotel Hopeless''', en er komen nauwelijks nieuwe gasten, alleen als andere hotels overboekt zijn.
Gelukkig wonen Scarlett en haar acterende broer Spencer in het hotel, en met hun productie van Hamlet die in het hotel word opgevoerd weten ze toch nog bezoekers te trekken.
Mevrouw Amberson, de mysterieuze dame voor wie Scarlett werkte als personal assistant, is inmiddels vertrokken uit kamer 16 van het hotel maar Scarlett wordt door haar gevraagd voor haar nieuwe agentschap voor beginnende acteurs.
Spencer heeft hier veel aan, eindelijk is het afgelopen met de kleine acteerbaantjes, en heeft hij een grote rol te pakken in de bekende politieserie Crime and Punishment. Alleen moet hij in zijn rol de grote held van de serie Sonny Lavinsky neerschieten..en wordt Spencer hierna overal achterna gezeten en met donuts bekogeld door fans van de serie, die het maar niets vinden dat hun held Sonny Lavinsky uit de serie is.
Ook helpen Mevrouw A en Scarlett een jonge actrice , Chelsea Biggs, die in de meest slechte musical van New York staat en een verschrikkelijk pushende moeder heeft, en moet Scarlett van Mevrouw aanpappen met de broer van Chelsea, Max, die bij Scarlett op school zit.
En opeens duikt Max overal op waar Scarlett is en lijkt hij meer van haar te willen..maar of Scarlett dat ook wil..
Helaas is het niet meer goedgekomen tussen Scarlett en haar vriend Eric, die ze nog steeds erg mist en uit haar geheugen (en haar mobiele telefoon) probeert te wissen. En dan maakt haar zus Lola opeens bekent dat ze getrouwd is met haar rijke vriend Chip en dus het hotel gaat verlaten..
Na het lezen van Suite Scarlett, de Amerikaanse editie van Kamer 16, had ik hoge verwachtingen van Love Street 13 (Scarlett Fever). Over het algemeen is Love street 13 even goed als Kamer 16.
Maar toch miste ik iets. Ik vond er iets minder spanning in zitten dan Kamer 16 .
Love Street 13 heeft wel de meest fantastische personages, en het boek is heel anders dan de meeste meidenboeken. Love Street 13 ging iets minder over de dingen die zich afspeelden in Hotel Hopewell, in dit boek ga je hotel Hopewell uit en met Scarlett New York in en worden de hoofdpersonen meer uitgediept.
Maureen Johnson heeft weer een erg goed boek geschreven met Love Street 13 en als je haar vorige boeken (13 enveloppen en 1 rugzak, 3 zussen en 1 auto, Kamer 16) fantastisch vond mag je Love Street 13 gewoon niet missen. Ik hoop dat er nog vele boeken in deze serie volgen!
Pub. Date: February 2010
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Marielle Lingwood is a young woman living in Victorian London in 1854 Her cousin Rosa Barr (which she is really good friends with) has left for the battle grounds of the Crimean War in Russia, in the footsteps of Florence Nightingale. Rosa Barr - young, headstrong and beautiful - travels to Balaklava, determined to save as many of the wounded as she can.
Marielle's fiancee, the surgeon Henry Thewell also travels to the war zone of Crimea to volunteer. But as many people during that time( diseases as cholera and tubercolosis where very common) he fall is and is sent for recovery to Italy.
Marielle hears of his illnes and travels to her fiancee in Italy, where she hears that Rosa is missing, no one has heard of her again. She starts the search for Rosa, which starts in London and ends in the war scattered Crimea.
She gets help of Rosa's stepbrother. She discovers a lot about Rosa during her journey, but if she will be in time to find her back..?
What I liked about The Rose of Sebastopol was the style of writing. In short and greatly described chapters the readers gets to know more about Marielle, Rosa and Henry. The chapters switch in time,and go from London to Crimea. A bit fuzzy is the issue of the Crimean war. I personally never heard of this war and which countries where involved, so that was a bit harder to understand.
The story itself was good. It wasn't the most exciting one to be honest, especially at the end I had my thoughts about it, I will not fold this out here, because then I would leak a huge spoiler.
Overall a very interesting historical novel, very good written and romantic, and a lovely cover too as a cherry on top!
Friday, February 19, 2010
Amy Nelson-Barack is back...back in Israel for another summer! Now not spending her summer in the moshav of her Israeli father's family, no, she is spending her summer in a real military boot camp, the boot camp of the IDF, the Israeli Defense Force.
Her Israeli boyfriend Avi is stationed at the same base as the boot camp, and she doesn't told him she will be spending the summer so close to him. Amy's friends from America, Jessica, Miranda and Nathan are going to the boot camp too. And they soon discover the boot camp has a well..more simplified style than they are used to. Have to go to the toilet? You can use a hole in the ground to do your duties...nice! And they get drilled too, they are treated like real soldiers, and they soon even have to carry a real M16 rifle..they even have to sleep with it!
And then Avi discovers that Amy is at the boot camp, and he seems not really pleasantly surprised by Amy's stay. Avi is a real Israeli soldier now, and together with other soldiers he is training the boot camp attendants, also a pretty girl named Liron who seems to can do everything better than Amy..does she have something to do with the strange and aloof behavior of Avi to Amy?
The tasks and assignments at the boot camp become more though, and Amy is really distracted by the fact that she and Avi aren't allowed to be together, the army leaders are keeping a close eye on them and nothing seem to work out in the favor of Amy..but then she gets the news that a family member is in the hospital, and Amy and Avi go to the hospital together , and finally have time to be alone and to straighten some things out..
The How to ruin..series by Simone Elkeles surprise me every time how amazing fun and great they are. The first book was just a perfect read, the second one the same..but doubled in al the fun and great story stuff. This third novel just keeps going the same way. I loved it from the first till the last page. It really gives a close look in the live of an Israeli military boot camp, all through the eyes of the fantastisc and witty narrator Amy. And readers certainly will learn some facts (I certainly did!)about Israel (and how it is to live there) they didn't know before.
Everytime I finish a Simone Elkeles novel, I want to read more. Luckily her fans don't have to wait long, the sequel to her book Perfect Chemistry, Rules of Attraction, will come out in April 2010!
Thursday, February 18, 2010
First, can you tell me and the readers something about yourself and about your book?
UNDONE is a story about the intense friendship between the two teenage girls, Kori and Serena. Serena believes she knows Kori inside and out; but it is only when Serena loses Kori that she begins to learn about who her friend really is. Here’s the official blurb:
Kori Kitzler is the "dark angel" of her high school: beautiful, mysterious, the subject of rumors. Serena Moore is just an average girl, until a run-in with Kori in the bathroom in eighth grade. When Kori tells her that they are more alike than she thinks, Serena is instantly intrigued, and their fateful friendship begins.
When the girls are asked to complete a writing assignment listing the five things they would want to happen--their five ways to tempt fate--Serena doesn't take it seriously. But when something tragic happens to Kori, Serena is left with her loneliness and Kori's five things. Can Serena complete her best friend's tasks, or will she leave her list undone?
When did you know you wanted to write professionally?
I’m one of those—I’ve-always-known kind of people. Or at least as soon as I could write, I was writing stories. One of my favorite days in school was when we made our own stories and even made hardback covers for them. But it wasn’t until a few years ago when I joined a local writers’ group and learned about agents and editors and all the publishing basics that I really went for it.
What inspired you to write your book Undone? What influences and experiences did you bring into the book?
It’s funny—there are lots of little inspirations for scenes and characters and such, but what started the whole book was a license plate on a car that read “CCCCCF8” aka seize fate. And I’ve always had an interest in the concept of fate, so things just started rolling from there. I’d also done a similar exercise to the fate assignment in Undone and everything on my list did in fact come true. Finish writing a book was one of my five things.
What do you like most about writing for young adults?
I like having a legitimate reason for watching teen television shows and movies. But mostly I love hearing from teens. I get the best fan mail and really love hearing about what they’ve taken away from the book.
Since you are a YA writer can you tell us what you were like as a teen? Does that influence your characters and if so, how?
I’ve always been a daydreamer—so classes were really hard for me to stay focused in. I was always more interested in the various interpersonal dramas than in school work. I hated the clique mentality, but cliques were a major factor for the majority of my teen years.
My characters are essentially their own people, but I’m sure my own experiences influence them.
What did you read as a teen?, which authors inspired you the most? And which are your favorite books and authors now?
The YA books that were out when I was a teen were the Sweet Valley High books and similar kinds of series books. They were quick reads, though—so I also picked up literary books like Dracula. I read it a lot. Now I have too many faves to list. But I always recommend John Green, Jay Asher, and Judy Blume to fans of my book looking for similar reads.
What's your favorite and least favorite part of being a writer?
My favorite part is hearing from readers and my least favorite part is edits. I don’t like to be reminded how little I learned about grammar and punctuation. (see daydreaming above)
Do you have a dream for the future of your writing, something you love the accomplish?
I just want to continue writing and relating to teens. There a few awards I’d love to win too…*cough* Printz *cough*.
You can win a copy of Brooke's book Undone! One lucky commenter will win! You can also enter by email with the topic UNDONE, at marjoleinbookblog at gmail dot com
extra entries: become a follower of my blog, or post about it on your blog, twitter or facebook (leave the link) please leave your mail info in the comment so I can contact you if you win.
Open international, and contest ends at the 30th of March!!
MANY THANKS, BROOKE!
The 47th edition of the Bologna Children's Book Fair is coming up very soon! 4 days long, from 23 till the 26th of March, it is THE place to network for professionals and for you if you love children's books and publishing.
If you are an SCBWI Member(Society Of Childrens Book Writers and Illustrators), Bologna is also the place to be.
The SCBWI Bologna Symposium is a professional conference for writers and illustrators of children's literature held in conjunction with the Bologna Book Fair in Bologna, Italy. It will take place on March 22 2010 at the Bologna Fair Grounds
.More upcoming book news!
Laura Resau's fourth novel, Star in the Forest will hit the bookstores on March 9.
Laura is an amazing author, and as I am a big big fan of her books I am really looking forward to read and review Star in the forest. And isn't the cover just gorgeous?
And if that isn't enough amazing upcoming book news..there is more!
Rules of Attraction, the 6th novel of author Simone Elkeles, is launched in April 2010!!Rules of Attraction is the sequel to her book Perfect Chemistry(which I reviewed HERE) .
I am currently reading How to ruin your boyfriend's reputation by Simone Elkeles, and I can tell you already..it is really really a great read! In this third book in the How to ruin...series, Amy is going back to Israel, now to attend an Israely army boot camp, at the same base where her Israeli boyfriend Avi is stationed..
She tries to escape the mess at home ( a posh New York city apartment) and goes more and more out with her best friend Luisa.
Then she meets Luisa's older brother Frank, and they start dating.
They start discussing lots of things during their dates , especially astronomy because Camilla wants to be an astronomer, and Camilla finally seems to have found a trusthworthy person in the mess her parents make of their lives and accidentally take Camilla with them.But then Frank suddenly goes away to a school in Cincinnatti, without saying even a goodbye to Camilla...
This is all set on a background of New York in the 1940's.
I got a copy of Camilla recently in a pack of review books, I never heard about this book before, It is more ''oldie''kind of YA novel, because it was first published in the sixties.
You could really read that this book is a bit dated. Altough I liked the overall idea of the novel, it was just a bit too slow and there didn't was any action in it.
But it also was very classy in a good way, I love books about New York in gone days like the 30's, 40's and 50's, . It is not a book you can read just ''in between''. This is more like the kind of book you have to make time for, otherwise you can get annoyed by the slow paced style of writing.
Worth a try.
Monday, February 15, 2010
(This is the Dutch edition of What I saw and how I lied)
World War II has ended. The fifteen year old Evie Spooner and her family are living in Queens New York. A few weeks before school starts, her father Joe (who just returned from serving in the war) takes Evie and her mom on a vacation to Palm Beach, Florida.
When they arrive there, most hotels are closed up because of the off-season. They land in a little hotel called Le Mirage, where they soon meet the other hotel guests, Mr and Mrs Grayson, and the two families who both have in common that they are from New York, become friends.
Evie also meets Peter, a handsome guy, and it seems he has only eyes for her, and they secretly start dating.
As it turns out Peter and Evie’s father has known each other in the war. Peter soon becomes a part of Evie’s life, and her family’s life. He joins them for dinner on a regular basis and begins to take Evie and her mother for daily drives.
As Evie’s relationship is progressing with Peter so is her father’s relationship with Mr. Grayson. Joe and Mr. Grayson decide to go into business together by buying the hotel where they are staying. However, the current hotel manager finds out that the Graysons are Jewish and asks them to leave.
Soon Evie and Peter are caught kissing by Evie's mom. She gets furious and Evie is not allowed to see Peter again for her own good will. But is this the real reason Beverly gets angry?
Then Joe, Beverly and Peter go out for a boat ride, ignoring the hurricane announcements. And this is the start of the unfolding of some tragic and serious looking events which involve all of them..
To be honest, I had higher expectations of this book. Especially after I had read raving reviews of it. But somehow it wasn't working, and I ended it with a few questions and confusings, like some unimportant one: One moment the house of the family was in Brooklyn, I once thought New Yersey, and I ended up in..Queens?? Is this just my confusement or isn't something like just one place where the Spooners are living? And somehow the title didn't work for me, I didn't get the point of what it had to do with the story.
I thought this was a very serious novel, which you have to be in the mood for the get through it.
Overall okay, not my most favourite ya novel in the world, certainly not bad.
De droom van Phoebe Swift is uitgekomen, ze heeft haar eigen vintage couture boetiek geopend, genaamd Villa Vintage! Helaas heeft haar beste vriendin Emma dit niet meer mogen meemaken, gezien ze kort geleden door tragische omstandigheden is overleden, iets waar Phoebe zich erg schuldig over voelt omdat in haar ogen geen goede vriendin voor Emma is geweest.
In het boek maken we ook kennis met Phoebe's moeder; die de bijna dagelijkse bezigheid heeft om erachter te komen hoe ze er nòg jonger uit kan zien, en Annie; de nieuwe part-time verkoopster van Villa Vintage.
Phoebe is een echte expert op het gebied van vintage couture, mede door haar ervaring van de tijd dat ze bij het beroemde veilinghuis Sotheby's werkte. Ze krijgt dan ook veel aanbiedingen van (meestal welgestelde oudere) dames die hun couturejurken aan haar willen verkopen.
Zo ook mevrouw Therese Bell, een oudere Franse dame, die op een dag contact met Phoebe opneemt om een afspraak met haar te maken om haar couture garderobe te bekijken. Als Phoebe op de afspraak de collectie bekijkt, ziet ze tussen de couture iets hangen wat er niet thuishoort. Een kleine blauwe kinderjas. Dit wekt Phoebe's nieuwsgierigheid, omdat Therese eerder vertelde zelf geen kinderen te hebben. Phoebe vraagt door, en al snel neemt Therese; die helaas kort geleden te horen heeft gekregen ernstig ziek te zijn en niet lang meer te leven heeft, haari n vertrouwen en ze verteld Phoebe het verhaal achter deze blauwe kinderjas.
Het verhaal van de blauwe kinderjas neemt de lezer naar Avignon, de plaats waar Therese Bell als jong meisje woonde tijdens de begindagen van de Tweede Wereldoorlog. Ze had de blauwe kinderjas bewaard voor haar beste vriendin Monique, die zich toen moest verstoppen omdat ze Joods was, maar per ongeluk en door onwetendheid brengt Therese Monique in gevaar..
Door het verhaal dat Therese aan Phoebe vertelt, kan Phoebe een manier vinden om er mee om te gaan dat haar beste vriendin er ook niet meer is..
Ook is er ruim plaats voor romantiek in Villa Vintage, als Phoebe op een dag Miles ontmoet op een veiling voor vintage couture jurken, maar wat is er toch aan de hand met zijn dochter Roxy?
Al eerder heb ik de Engelstalige editie van Villa Vintage gelezen, en de Nederlandse editie (dit is gewoon een van de weinige boeken die je meerdere keren wilt lezen!!) doet in alle opzichten niets onder voor de Engelse. Het verhaal is uiteraard hetzelfde, en de vertaling is gewoon perfect. Het is echt een boek wat je gewoon gelezen moet hebben. Het heeft echt meerdere lagen, het is gedeeltelijk tragisch door het verhaal van mevrouw Bell, en vrolijk en romantisch door Phoebe's karakter en haar fantastische winkel. Villa Vintage is gewoon een fantastische roman die ik iedereen kan aanraden!
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Pub. Date: February 2010
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Format: Paperback, 464pp
Series: PENNY NICHOLS Series
In A Rather Charming Invitiation, the third novel in the Penny Nichols series by author C.A. Belmond, heiress Penny Nichols and her fiancee Jeremy Laidley are making preparations and the plannings for their wedding. Suddenly a relative of Penny's French side of family appears on their London townhouse doorstep, and they need to return her to her parents in Mougins, France. There, her Aunt Leonora and Uncle Phillipe offer the loan of an ancient bridal tapestry and their chateau for their wedding vows.
There is still a bit confusion of where the wedding will take place; In France (Penny's family insists) or England?(Jeremy's family won't have it anywhere but there)
Penny, who always loves to research historical and antique items, starts researching the history of the bridal tapestry, who has been told was owned by one of the French kings.
And that is the start of mysterious and strange events; suddenly the bridal tapestry is missing, and this leads to a few events that get the wedding of Penny & Jeremy in danger. And even more danger is in view when they discover that Penny is followed by a strange men. They hire a private investigator to help them find the tapestry back, who stole it and why. But
they have to hurry, because the clock is ticking the time off for their wedding day..and all in a background of the most fabulous places in Europe: London, the South of France, Monaco and Paris.
I absolutely loved this A Rather Charming Invitation. I have read and reviewed the two previous books (reviews can be found here and here), so I was rather excited when I received this brand new third book in the series for review.
The title says it all: The story and style of writing of the book are very charming and inviting, and très elegant. (to say it in the style of the French characters)
As a read, it is just like Penny and Jeremy take you with them on all their adventures, crisscross through the most fabulous places in Europe, and as if you are also a guest in the French Chateau of Penny's aunt and uncle. The author really describes everything very detailistic, you really smell the lavender flower perfume that the family is in business of, and you really are given a grand tour in a classical French chateau, with view on the Mediterranean.
The story is both exciting (because of the mystery and sleuthing) and relaxing (because of the South of France atmosphere). I can't name anything I disliked about this book.
A Rather Charming Invitation is just a perfect contemporary mix of a romantic holiday and a vintage classic movie. And the end makes you really curious for what's coming next..
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Pub. Date: March 2007
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Format: Paperback, 208pp
Age Range: Young Adult
Synopsis:Sofia comes from a family of storytellers. Here are her tales of growing up in the barrio in McAllen, Texas, full of the magic and mystery of family traditions: making Easter cascarones, celebrating el Dia de los Muertos, preparing for quinceañera, rejoicing in the Christmas nacimiento, and curing homesickness by eating the tequila worm. When Sofia is singled out to receive a scholarship to boarding school, she longs to explore life beyond the barrio, even though it means leaving her family to navigate a strange world of rich, privileged kids. It’s a different mundo, but one where Sofia’s traditions take on new meaning and illuminate her path.
I had read great reviews of The Tequila Worm, and as I love books with an Hispanic theme, I decided to give it a try. It didn't meet the expectations I had of it. The story was okay and cute. but too thin to really make it an outstanding book. It just missed something. This book is aged as young adult, but I think it is more suitable for tweens as the style of writing seems to be more pointed in the direction of this age group.
Monday, February 8, 2010
Pub. Date: April 2009
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Format: Paperback, 192pp
Age Range: Young Adult
It al started when V was hit on the head with a hockey puck..
V(Vivienne) lives with her grandparent in Brockport, after her mom had left her there. Her mom, Aimee, is kind of a hippy dippy traveler who jumps living from place to place and lives day by day. And even seems to have another boy toy every day..
V is missing a stable home base, and a stable boyfriend. After her high school graduation (without her mom, who promised to be there but again 'couldn't make it') she has set her eyes on Sam, she landed on his lap because she was hit by a hockey puck on a hockey game. But at the graduation party V makes some mistakes and it seems she is losing Sam forever. Now she has lost and her mom and her wannabe boyfriend. She definately doesn't want to end like her mom and spending as much boyfriends as she does. Then her mom invites her to spend the summer with her in Texas, and V steps in her car for a long car trip crisscross through American, in the hope she finally can see her mom again and forget Sam. But when she is almost in Texas, things change again..
Guyaholic is a hilarious girly YA novel. It is the first novel by Carolyn Mackler I've read and I really like it. You really felt sorry for V because how bad her mom threats her without her mom realising that she is very egocentric. This book takes you on a crazy road trip through America with V. A must read for every teen girl!
I have read the Dutch edition of this book, in Dutch it is called: Vriendjes, Vrijheid en Andere Valkuilen, which means: Boyfriends, freedom, and other traps, and this is the Dutch cover..
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Publisher: Moon Uitgevers
Paperback, 225 pages
Reprint februari 2010
The seventeen year old Ruby lives in the whealthier part of Johannesburg, South Africa. The time is the 70's and the apartheid is still ruling South Africa.
In Ruby's part of Johannesburg live mostly white people, and the fights, hate and agression that are going on in the townships of Soweto seem far away. Ruby's mother owns an art gallery where art works of black artists are shown, and her father is a liberal lawyer. Her mother is coaching Julian, a young artist from Soweto, and the police is keeping a close eye on the gallery, because it is forbidden to show artwork of black artists. Ruby meets Johann, a boy who is an Afrikaner, and who has a very active racist father . An impossible and secret love affair starts, and Ruby and her family are soon in danger because of their liberal thought. More riots and agression is happening in the city and it is hard to know for Ruby who can be trusted.Because of the political actions Ruby is forced to make some difficult choices, and to leave people behind who she loves.
Ruby Red is a very impressive novel about the horrible apartheid and a girl who is in between all this. Ruby is also in between segregation between the white people of South Africa, Johann is from the dutch descendants and Ruby from the English immigrants. It is really shocking to read how cruel it was during that time in Johannesburg and how black people where threaten as the lowest kind of people.
One of the best YA novels between cultures, highly recommended!
Thursday, February 4, 2010
So here it goes:
My blog which I called MarjoleinBookblog was started in april 2008. After I finished reading the first four Dutch translations of the Princess Diaries books by Meg Cabot, there where not more books, only the US/UK editions. So I started to ordered the books from my local American bookstore. (I am so lucky to have a store like that close to home!) That store has a website and blog, and has a customer book review program, which I participate in. Then I thought: Hey, wouldn't it be great to start my own blog where I can review books? That started my blog. With thanks to some great authors who helped me out in the start up period and sended me books to review! Wich leads me to a question/comment I hear often when I tell people about my blog;
Ah, you have a book review blog..you must be getting lots of books publishers and authors send you to review?
Yes and no is my answer when I people ask me this. My review blog is first not started because I want to get (free) review copies or ARC's. (= Advanced Reader Copies; sample books publishers /authors send out to reviewers/media for a review before the actual book launch date) If I had to depend on review copies/arc's, then wouldn't have much choice about books to read. I am very thankful if an author/publisher/PR contacts me because they want me to review a new or upcoming book. So I review every book that is send for review, because I really appreciate that they took the time and attention to give my blog a look. The amount of review copies that I get is very tiny, as publishers from the usa don't send out many review books overseas, which is totally logical because of the costs. I am happy with every review book I get!
But as I said, you have to have more sources to get books. The main source for me is that I buy them. That gives me the chance to review the book I really, REALLY want to read, and that makes your blog and reviews more original and gives it a personal touch. I often see on other blogs that everyone is reviewing the same books, and that makes more and more bookblogs look like the same.. I try to avoid that.
As everyone knows, buying all your books can become pretty expensive, especially when you are on a temporary sabbatical like me. That's where libraries are for! Altough I focus on American and British books and particularly Young Adult/Teen books , my local library (which I recently became member of after years of abscence) has lots and lots of Dutch translations of USA/UK YA books. So I just read those and review them as the US/UK edition. But more and more English books can be found in my library, a great thing!
And it really is much fun to enter book contests and giveaways! Over the years I have won some great books and you get in touch with many great authors.
About blog content: Try to keep it relevant. I sometimes see people post really irrelevant content on their blog. Ofcourse, that's their decision and right to do so, but did they start a book review blog for that?? Ok if you don't post what you wanted to post, but don't bother your readers with 1001 excuses.
My review policy:
Authors and publishers are always welcome email me for a request to review a book. I try to review new books as soon I get them, especially with arc's. I don't handle a special scheme which says whichs book I have to read in any particular order. It just depends on which book I want to read, but that I read and review them is sure, as I review every book that I read, and read every book I get. If you are an author/publisher and are planning a book blog tour, I am very pleased to participate. Want to write a guest blog or be interviewed or do you want me to host a book giveaway of your book? just email me, my email addy can be found in the sidebar menu.
Finally, I really would like to know your opinion about the blog. What would you like to see on the blog? A few months ago I created a blog survey which is still open, and can be anonymously be filled in by clicking here At the moment Iseriously want to know how to attract more readers and fellow booklovers to my blog and how to get more followers.
If you have any more questions or comments about my blog, just leave a comment or send an email,
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury (May 2008)
Age range: Young Adult
Devorah and her younger sister Nechama are living in a little village in Poland, 1921in a Jewish shtetl. The village burns down one night during the horrible Pogroms, and the parents of the girls die of typhoid. The girls are send to an orphanage in Warsaw, where a Jewish philantropist, Isaac Orbech is collecting Jewish children who have lost their parents because of the pogroms and poverty, to give them the chance for a better life in South Africa. The girls are picked for this, and soon they are on a ship to a whole new life. Arrived in Cape Town, the girls have to get accustomed to everything. Soon Nechama is adopted by whealthy parents who spoil her and change her name, and Devorah is again alone. But then she gets adopted too, and she has to get used to her new parents. Based on a true story, it's a powerful and amazing first-person view of the trauma experienced by a child, and her journey from despair to hope. I was really amazed by this novel, wich I found at my local library. At the end I was stunned to read that the novel was based on real facts. The character and story are page turning, it is real, and I think an important lesson can be learned from this book. A book I really recommend to everyone from every age. Younger readers will absolutely learn from its historical value.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
For the readers who don't know you, can you tell a little about yourself and your books?
I was born in India but immigrated to the States when I was seven, and have always stayed interested in that region of the world. My husband and I lived for three years in Chiang Mai, Thailand, which is where I learned of the situation in Burma and met the Karenni people in the refugee camps. Their stories inspired me to write BAMBOO PEOPLE. www.bamboopeople.org
What influences and experiences do you bring into your books?
Many of my experiences are woven into my books, but the closeness between sisters is a recurring theme, probably because of the strong bond I share with my sisters. Even in BAMBOO PEOPLE, a book featuring two guy protagonists, you’ll meet a pair of sisters who are quite close.
When did you know you wanted to write professionally?
I always wrote as a hobby, but when MONSOON SUMMER released in 2005, I decided to attempt it as a profession.
What do you like most about writing for young readers?
I like to write happy or at least hopeful endings. I love meeting kids. More practically, books for young readers stay in print longer and we get the support of the school and library markets.
If you could be a character from your books for one day, who would it be and why?
Oooh, good question. I think I’d be Sameera from the FIRST DAUGHTER books, because it would be such a blast to live in the White House for a day.
What did you read when you were young, which authors inspired you the most?
C.S. Lewis. L.M. Alcott. Maud Hart Lovelace. Frances H. Burnett. J.R.R. Tolkien. Elizabeth Enright. Edward Eager. E. Nesbit. L. M. Montgomery.
And wich are your favorite books and authors now?
The same as above. :) Except I’d add J.K. Rowling.
What's your favorite and least favorite part of being an author?
I hate having to be my own boss — it’s hard to motivate myself. On the other hand, I love being my own boss — there’s no fear of losing my job!
Do you have a dream for the future of your writing, something you love to accomplish?
I would like to write a fantasy novel. I’m thinking about it. Feels daunting but exciting.
MANY THANKS MITALI!
For more about Mitali, click here to go to her site
Pub.date: Feb 2008
Mouse Kannaghan is a boy who is trying to stay out of trouble, after he is suspended from school because he has colored the school's walls with graffity.
One day when he walks out the office of his social worker who tries to makes his life a little better, he is followed by a dog. And even here trouble follows Mouse because the dogs get hit by a bike a few minutes later. The girl on the bike, Cat feels awfull that she has hit a dog and they bring the dog to the vet, and Mouse decides he wants to keep the dog, who obviously doesn't have an owner. Mouse and Cat become friends, and Cat wants only want thing: to cheer up Mouse's life a bit and to get out of her own boring life. Opposite attracts, and this is certain the case for Mouse and cat Mouse lives in a bad neighborhoud, which is ruled by drug dealers and other shady people. Cat goes to a posh school, lives in a whealthy neighbourhood, but she seems to has a few secrets to..
Mouse's mom works at the Phoenix, a social center who helps drug addicts to get their life back on track. It seems the dog, who Mouse has called Lucky, has an owner, a notorious and violent drug addict, who discovers that Mouse has Lucky now under his wing and threats Mouse and his mother. Together with Cat, Mouse tries to keep Lucky, and this is not without danger..
I truly did't know what to expect, I found this book in the library and gave it a try. It is a few things in one: a light but edgy, fun but tragic, and just a great teen story about two teens who it seems have nothing in common and live in different worlds in London, but become the best friends because of a dog they found. You sometimes feel really sorry for Mouse because he is trying so hard but gets in trouble everytime, under his graffity guy looks he is just a good guy. Recommended for young teens. Lucky Star gets four stars!
Maureen is covering up for author John Green at the moment (he just became father, congrats John!)for the Vlogbrothers videos, and this is the newest one, in wich she tells about if writing is an actual job
At the Readergirlz blog, the book theme this month is Resilience, and the monthly author guest is Sharon Draper, an author with amazing great books set in Africa. Don't miss the chance to chat with her!
Monday, February 1, 2010
Pub. Date: September 2009
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Format: Hardcover, 256pp
Source: Review copy
Age Range: Young Adult
It has been a topic in many young adult novels; being the unpopular, nerdy one at school. Jessie, the main character in the book thinks she is a nerd. A real one.
Her two best friend turned into punks overnight, and her punk brother is becoming a non-punk, leaves soon for college and is dating the prom queen. Jessie's talent is sewing. She is great in sewing themed skirts (like with the theme popcorn: popcorn boxes, kernes and the word POP!)and her hobby is listening to audiobooks (the author really makes this a great point with describing the books Jessie is listening too).
And then, the even bigger nerd in her class, Dottie, asks her to sew some costumes for her Dungeons and Dragons group, and if Jessie wants to try if she likes to play along with Dungeons and Dragons. Jessie doubts first, but when she agrees, it leads for her to a new group of friends, even if everyone else calls them 'nerds'. She even gets a new boyfriend, Henry, one of the D&D crowd. Because of this all, Jessie discovers a whole new world, and when her brother lets her read his college essay, she discovers that she isn't a nerd to the people she thought who saw her as a nerd, but that she is more a unique, inspirational kind of person who people look up to..
Jessie is a great narrator, and the fun sparkles of the pages.
Recently I have read Get well soon by Julie Halpern, which was a more serious and edgy YA novel, but this book showed me that she can write very hilarious and fun too.
I loved every single page of this book. Fans of Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway will love this book, I'm sure, because it is the same style of fresh fun YA. What can I say more about this book.. JUST.READ.IT!