Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Giveaway Winners!

The results of our first giveaway are in! Oshie used random.org to pick the winners. They are:

ezraquijano: Lament

Tanyaw1224: Immortal

Damla: The Iron King

Congratulations to the winners!! And a big thank you to everyone that entered!!

This has been so much fun for us. :) Mr. PoPo is especially happy, because the more books we give away the more shelf space he has to take a catnap on. That said, we're planning to take part in Inspired Kathy's and the Page Turners Blog's next giveaway "Splash Into Summer" 5/25 to 5/30 (not too far into the future!) and we hope you'll stick with us for that!

Review: What Would Emma Do?

What Would Emma Do?What Would Emma Do? by Eileen Cook

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"Thou Shalt Not Kiss Thy Best Friend’s Boyfriend...again...

There is no greater sin than kissing your best friend’s boyfriend. So when Emma breaks that golden rule, she knows she’s messed up big-time...especially since she lives in the smallest town ever, where everyone knows everything about everyone else...and especially since she maybe kinda wants to do it again. Now her best friend isn’t speaking to her, her best guy friend is making things totally weird, and Emma is running full speed toward certain social disaster. This is so not the way senior year was supposed to go.

Time to pray for a minor miracle. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s time for Emma to stop trying to please everyone around her, and figure out what she wants for herself."

I can't believe I waited so long to read this! I've had the book for about a year, and honestly, the cover and description kinda kept me from reading it. I figured it was about some spiteful, evil girl who doesn't care if she steals her friend's boyfriend...but I was wrong, it's much deeper than that, thankfully. Emma's thoughts are laugh-out-loud funny. I'd say this book ties with "Nightlight" for funniest book I've read all year. To me, the plot was very original, and I wasn't quite sure how it was going to end. Emma's small town reminded me of my own hometown (that I still lived in up until about six months ago), so I might be a little bias, because I like stories about people trying to escape small towns to follow their dreams. However, I feel that “What Would Emma Do?” is a fresh take on the escape-small-town plot line. Fun read!

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Review: The Boyfriend Bylaws

The Boyfriend BylawsThe Boyfriend Bylaws by Susan Hatler

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Melanie is a young woman with lots of great things going for her. She teaches classes at the Totally Fit gym and has finally saved up enough money for her dream car. However, she hasn't been as lucky in the romance department. After dating one lame guy too many, her best friend decides to lay down “The Boyfriend Bylaws” or rules that will help Melanie find “The One”.

The Boyfriend Bylaws is a fun and witty read! I loved Melanie's character and the back-and-forth banter and antics between her and her Totally Fit co-workers. I wanna work out at their gym!

I only wish the story had been longer. I wanted to know more of Melanie's backstory and what happened to some of the minor characters. Otherwise, I enjoyed it and I will be checking out more of Susan Hatler's work in the future!

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The Story Siren: One Million Visitors Giveaway!

Speaking of Giveaways, check out The Story Siren!

The Story Siren: One Million Visitors Giveaway!: "Sometime early this morning, or late last night, The Story Siren received its MILLIONTH visitor!"

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway!

Just in time for Easter, we're one of the 200+ blogs that are taking part in the Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway! It's our first giveaway and we plan to have more in the near future.

Up for grabs here on Vonze's Reader Blog we have: Immortal by Gillian Shields, Lament by Maggie Stiefvater and The Iron King by Julie Kagawa, as Mr. PoPo is modeling for us (sorry, cat not included!).
Okay, here are the things you need to know:
1. We're giving away 3 books, so we will have 3 winners! Yay!

2. The contest runs Wednesday, April 20th to Monday, April 25th. The 3 winners will be announced and emailed Tuesday, April 26th.

3. The contest on this blog is international, but I will be shipping the books the cheapest way possible, so it might take a while for it to reach you.

4. You must sign up to follow Vonze's Reader Blog to win one of the books :)

To Enter the Giveaway Please fill out this form:

Lucky you, you can enter all of these great giveaways! Check out the links below.

Graphic Novels I Wish Existed

So, if you look through this blog or my book list on Goodreads, you'll notice that I love graphic novels just as much as plain ole fashion novels. For the most part, I think it's cool when popular books also come out in graphic novel format (ex: Twilight, Maximum Ride, Pride and Prejudice). Here's a list of books I wish also had graphic novel versions:

1. Harry Potter series...I wish J.K. Rowling would give the greenlight on this! The proceeds would be a great way to raise money for her charities. I love the Harry Potter movies, but sometimes they fell short of my imagination, and I think it'd be great to give it another go with a graphic novel series.

2. The Hunger Games...ditto, with all the action and suspense in this book, it'd make for a great graphic novel.

3. Lord of the Rings...ditto again, I know they made The Hobbit graphic novel...not really a fan of The Hobbit though (Oshie knows I have my reasons).

4. All of Jane Austen's novels...I know Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility have already been turned into graphic novels (even Pride & Prejudice & Zombies), but I'd really like to see a graphic novel version of Emma or Northanger Abbey.

5. Little Women...I swear I had a Little Women anime Christmas special VHS when I was a kid, dunno what happened to it. I know it's really not action-packed, but if they created a graphic novel for P&P and S&S, they surely can turn Little Women into a good graphic novel too. Maybe make Professor Friedrich Bhaer really hot...there's too many "Team Teddy" fans out there.

6. Dealing With Dragons...A princess and a dragon, in the graphic novel world, what's not to love with that combo?

7. The Princess Bride...if it read more like the novel instead of the movie, it would be a fresh take for fans who've never read the original story.

8. The Giver....while not extremely action-packed either, if done right this could be a very moving graphic novel. *Spoiler* Maybe have it in black-and-white until Jonah starts to see bits of the real world.

9. Phantom of the Opera...I love everything to do with the Phantom of the Opera, the book, the music, the movie and the play. If a sexy, well-drawn graphic novel was created, it'd be #1 on my pre-order list!

10. Gone With The Wind...since it's the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, you'd think the Margaret Mitchell estate would have more new releases of the classic coming up and I think a graphic novel, if done right with great sensitivity, and more scenes from the book instead of the movie, would be an interesting take on the story.

11. 1001 Arabian Nights...My husband and I agree this could possibly be a truly great source for an entire series of graphic novels. The depth of imagination invested in these stories combined with the sear volume of old world mythological context would certainly be great to see fully realized in a graphic novel format.

Anyone else know of a great book that would make a good graphic novel? I tried to check and make sure none of the books mentioned are already graphic novels, but if I listed one that already exists, please let me know. Any thoughts or ideas?

Upcoming Book Release and Great Giveaway

Coming August 2011
A darkly delicious new fantasy world
of sizzling romance amid the pageantry
of Georgian England.

Check out her website for details on how to win a beautiful genuine blue topaz raindrop necklace! Giveaway ends June 30, 2011!

Review: The Iron King

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Harlequin; Original edition (February 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9780373210084

Vonze: 4 out of 5

Book description: "Meghan Chase has a secret destiny—one she could never have imagined…

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school…or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth—that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face…and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart."

The Iron King was a cool and quick YA fantasy read for me. Meghan Chase is a nerdy girl who enjoys computers and hanging out with her best guy friend. Her mom and step-dad kinda ignore her cause they're so focused on her little brother. Then strange things start happening in her life, her little brother starts acting strangely and then disappears. Turns out her best guy friend wasn't who she thought he was...lots of things turn out not as they seem for Meghan.

The story is obviously inspired from "A Midsummer Night's Dream," however, it also reminded me of Labyrinth, in a good way. Mainly, the lost little brother in a magical world part, the comparisons pretty much end there.

One of the best aspects of the book is the love triangle between Meghan, her best guy friend and a rival prince. While the triangle wasn't as intense as Team Edward/Jacob or Team Peeta/Gale to me, it's fun (I'm totally Team Ash!).

Overall, it's a good read for fantasy/romance fans. If you like Labyrinth or books dealing with the Fey in general, you'll enjoy it!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Happy Birthday Day Beverly Cleary!

I just browsing through my blog list and saw GreenBeanTeenQueen's post about Beverly Cleary's birthday. Ms. Cleary is 95 years young today! That's quite an accomplishment!

I've been a fan of Beverly Cleary since I was about three years old, no joke, as a little kid I loved "The Mouse and the Motorcycle" (Ralph the mouse) movie.

And when I was old enough to read, I loved Beverly Cleary's "Ralph" books. Just thinking about them really takes me back. I highly recommend them if you have kids or little siblings!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Review: The Anne Frank House Authorized Graphic Biography

Anne Frank: The Anne Frank House Authorized Graphic BiographyAnne Frank: The Anne Frank House Authorized Graphic Biography by Sid Jacobson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The facts and information in this graphic novel are great. I've read the Diary of Anne Frank three times (twice for myself and once for school) and from this biography I learned a lot of new details about Anne's life prior to when her family went into hiding. The book starts when Anne's parents marry and continues until her father's death in 1980.

However, I didn't care for the style of art in this graphic novel. I love graphic novels and I think they are a great way to teach kids and keep their attention. The art on the cover is nothing like the art in the book. And as another reviewer wrote, sometimes the dialog boxes seemed misplaced, and I'd read them out of order and have to go back over them. So, that's why this book gets four stars instead of five.

Overall, it'd make a good companion book to a class who's reading the Diary of Anne Frank.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

R.I.P. Diana Wynne Jones

Diana Wynne Jones, author of one of my favorite books, Howl's Moving Castle, and over 40 other stories, recently passed away at age 76. She was battling lung cancer.

She was a splendid writer and created beautiful, magical worlds and characters. She will be missed, but apart of her will live on through her creative work.

In her honor, Oshie and I will be rewatching the anime of Howl's Moving Castle, a great movie that introduced me to Diana's writing.

Review: Nightlight (Twilight Parody)

Nightlight: A ParodyNightlight: A Parody by Harvard Lampoon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary (from Goodreads):" About three things I was absolutely certain. First, Edwart was most likely my soul mate, maybe. Second, there was a vampire part of him–which I assumed was wildly out of his control–that wanted me dead. And third, I unconditionally, irrevocably, impenetrably, heterogeneously, gynecologically, and disreputably wished he had kissed me.

And thus Belle Goose falls in love with the mysterious and sparkly Edwart Mullen in the Harvard Lampoon’s hilarious send-up of Twilight. Pale and klutzy, Belle arrives in Switchblade, Oregon looking for adventure, or at least an undead classmate. She soon discovers Edwart, a super-hot computer nerd with zero interest in girls. After witnessing a number of strange events–Edwart leaves his tater tots untouched at lunch! Edwart saves her from a flying snowball!–Belle has a dramatic revelation: Edwart is a vampire. But how can she convince Edwart to bite her and transform her into his eternal bride, especially when he seems to find girls so repulsive?

Complete with romance, danger, insufficient parental guardianship, creepy stalker-like behavior, and a vampire prom, Nightlight is the uproarious tale of a vampire-obsessed girl, looking for love in all the wrong places."

My Thoughts: It's been a long time since I laughed so hard at a book...the can't-breathe-type-laughter that made my husband give me a look like "you are crazy, go to bed."

Nightlight is a very good SNL-type (maybe even as good as Monty Python) parody of Twilight. I feel that it's geared towards Twilight fans with a sense of humor about their fandom (much like the Star Wars Robot Chicken special...you have to be a fan or have a certain amount of knowledge about Star Wars to get the jokes). It's great vampire obsessed fun!

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