We owe it to each other

to tell stories.

Title: Love Letter’s to the Dead

Author: Ava Dellaira

Publication Date: April 1, 2014

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Format: purchased copy

Rating: 8/10

What begins as an assignment for an English class turns into a story of growing up, finding yourself, and overcoming a tragedy.  After her first letter to Kurt Cobain, Laurel can’t help but keep writing. She writes to Amy Winehouse, Amelia Earhart, Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, and many more. In her letters to the dead Laurel talks about her first day at her new high school, her crush on a boy named Sky, her sister’s death, and a secret that has been tearing her apart. Only when she has written it all done is Laurel able to see her sister for who she really was and allow herself to start healing.

Ava Dellaira’s Love Letters to the Dead is a coming of age novel in that can be paralleled with Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Dellaira’s novel has a rawness and honesty in it that sucks the reader in and makes them want to sit and read the novel in a single sitting. In Love Letters to the Dead readers will watch Laurel grow and mature through her writing as she tries to make sense of her sister’s death and her own dark secret. Dellaira does not shy away from controversial topics nor does she try and sugar coat these issues; she tackles them head on and in a way that makes readers understand and relate. This is definitely a novel that needs to be read and experienced.

Title: Allegiant 

Author: Veronica Roth

Publication Date: October 22, 2013

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Format: purchased copy

Rating: 10/10

The world Tris Prior knew has been torn apart by a violent struggle for power. With very little left to loose Tris and Tobias decide to venture beyond the fence in an attempt to start a better life; but as they soon discover life outside of the fence is anything but simple. Unveiling of new truths threatens relationships as Tris must work to understand the complexity of humans, life, and love.

To be completely honest I have been avoiding reading Allegiant. Part of the reason was because of the mixed reactions it has had from people that read it and partly because this was it—the end of an awesome trilogy. After some seeing Divergent in theaters I knew I needed to read Allegiant. So I took my copy of the shelf and began reading.

At first I felt skeptical about the novel and even a little bit annoyed with the plot. As the story continued, however, I could not put it down; I ended up staying up till about 3 a.m. reading it.

In Allegiant Veronica Roth turns everything the readers know on its head. Nothing and no one are what they seem; everyone has a motive. In the novel, Tris and Tobias undergo changes and growth as individuals and as couples. But I think the most shocking thing is the ending. I know that some people were unhappy with the ending (or the entire novel), but for me personally the ending was perfect. Yes the ending broke my heart and left me with a huge book hangover, but I don’t think Roth could have ended the trilogy in any other way. 

Hi guys!
I hope you all are having a nice week and reading plenty of spectacular books.
As promised, I’m trying to keep a Camp NaNoWriMo journal to record my experience and my progress. I am ashamed to admit that I have not written a single word in the past week and a half. Yes, you read it correctly I have done nothing—nada—towards achieving my word goal. The first week and a half of Camp NaNoWriMo I wrote furiously but after a point I needed to stop. You see my novel consumed my every thought. I was walking around in a haze during that week and a half. That is a big problem when you have classes that you need to pay actual attention in and papers that need to be written. That is another reason as to why I needed to take a break: I had (still have) a ton of papers that I need to write and it’s hard to write a paper when the only thing you can focus on is your WIP. I’m hoping to start writing sometime next week (once I’m finished with my papers of course). 
Hope you have a great weekend and happy writing.
-K

Hi guys!

I hope you all are having a nice week and reading plenty of spectacular books.

As promised, I’m trying to keep a Camp NaNoWriMo journal to record my experience and my progress. I am ashamed to admit that I have not written a single word in the past week and a half. Yes, you read it correctly I have done nothing—nada—towards achieving my word goal. The first week and a half of Camp NaNoWriMo I wrote furiously but after a point I needed to stop. You see my novel consumed my every thought. I was walking around in a haze during that week and a half. That is a big problem when you have classes that you need to pay actual attention in and papers that need to be written. That is another reason as to why I needed to take a break: I had (still have) a ton of papers that I need to write and it’s hard to write a paper when the only thing you can focus on is your WIP. I’m hoping to start writing sometime next week (once I’m finished with my papers of course). 

Hope you have a great weekend and happy writing.

-K

Title: Summer on the Short Bus

Author: Bethany Crandell

Publication Date: April 1, 2014

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Format: RC provided by publisher 

Rating: 9/10

Cricket Montgomery’s designer clad world is turned upside down when her father decides to send her away to a camp for disabled teens for the summer in order to teach her a lesson. Cricket thinks her chauffer has dropped her off in hell—one that will last for the next three weeks.

But as Cricket steps away from the world of designer labels and exotic vacations she begins understand that the campers are just like every other teenager and that they do not let their disabilities from doing incredible things.

Bethany Crandell’s Summer on the Short Bus is fun, witty, and heartfelt. Readers will found themselves laughing at Cricket’s sassy attitude and witty remarks as they, the readers, get journey through Camp I Can. Crandell keeps the story interesting by including an array of interesting characters and by intertwining humor, romance, and secrets. Summer on the Short Bus is a fantastic read that is sure to brighten anybody’s day. 

STEAL THE NORTH Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway

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Title: Steal the North

Author: Heather Brittain Bergstrom

Publication Date: April 10, 2014

Publisher: Viking Adult

Format: RC provided by publisher 

Rating: 9/10

Emmy has spent her entire life believing that her father was dead and that her mother, Kate, had no family. When Kate’s past comes back for her, Emmy is sent away to Washington to spend the summer with an aunt and an uncle that she has never met to participate in a ritual that may help Emmy’s aunt carry a child to term. At first Emmy feels reluctant about the entire situation but as she spends some time with her aunt and uncle she realizes that she shares a bond with them that time and distance could have never destroyed.  Along the way Emmy meets Reuben, a Native American boy, how shows her what it truly means to be in love and be loved in return.

Heather Brittain Bergston’s Steal the North blew me away! When I first began reading Steal the North I was not sure that it was “my type of a book,” because of the religious element in the story. As I got further into the novel, however, I found myself completely drawn into this beautiful story. Don’t let the religious aspect of this novel scare you away, this novel is not about religion, it is so much deeper. Bergston perfectly captures the beauty of young love, the strength is carries, and the power it takes to overcome one’s past. Bergston writes beautifully and I recommend this to anyone and everyone looking for a great novel to read. You won’t be disappointed! 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Heather Brittain Bergstrom grew up in a small farming town in eastern Washington, located between the two largest Indian reservations in the state. Her family has deep roots in the Pacific Northwest, and she remembers her grandmother telling stories of how the Snake River used to flood their house every spring. For much of Bergstrom’s childhood, her parents were members of a fundamentalist Baptist church where she attended school in an unaccredited basement academy. Bergstrom has worked as a truck stop waitress and as a teacher. She has won multiple awards from Narrative Magazine, including first place in the Fall 2010 Story Contest. Four of her short stories can be found online at Narrative. Leslie Marmon Silko chose a story by Bergstrom to win the Kore Press Short Fiction Chapbook Award. She has also won writing awards from The Atlantic Monthly and The Chicago Tribune, as well as other places. One of her stories was picked as a notable story in the Best American Short Stories 2010.  Steal the North is her debut novel and first published book. Bergstrom currently lives in the Sacramento Valley with her husband and two children. She returns often to the Pacific Northwest to visit the rivers and to feel the wind in the canyons and coulees.

GUEST POST:

Heather Brittain Bergstrom discusses the title of her debut novel, Steal the North.

The title, Steal the North, evokes the Native American myths in the novel. These myths are most at play in Reuben’s chapters, of course, because he is Native American. But he also shares these myths with Emmy. Even Aunt Beth, who believes truth comes only from the Bible, knows an Indian myth or two. They are part of the land. The title also evokes native myths in a larger context. Coyote, Raven, and other Animals—in the time before humans—stole the sun, stole fire from the Sky People, stole each other’s wives, stole food, tails, fancy clothing. My female protagonist, Emmy, steals the north (her birthright) from her mom, the dad she’s never met, and even her beloved aunt and makes it her own. Reuben and Emmy steal the north for themselves: by taking long drives, but also in the way lovers take intimate possession of places. And then, of course, the north was stolen from the Indians by whites. There is another way that the title works, but to discuss it would give away the ending.

Let me discuss, instead, the idea of birthright. Emmy has had hers stolen from her by both her parents. Her dad, a multi-generational farmer in the Palouse region of eastern Washington, doesn’t claim Emmy when she is born and he shuns her mom. In response to this shunning, and for other painful reasons, Emmy’s mom gets on a bus with baby Emmy on her hip and leaves eastern Washington, heading south to California to begin a new life. Emmy grows up thinking she has no extended family on her mom’s side and that her father is dead. Then suddenly, the summer Emmy is sixteen, her mom sends her far north for the summer to live with an aunt and uncle she never knew she had. This is a drastic and shocking thing to do. Emmy, although painfully shy, is a California teenager who attends art school in Sacramento and lives in a midtown apartment surrounded by theatres, ethnic restaurants, and shops that sell Buddha statues. Her aunt and uncle live in a trailer park surrounded by sagebrush and potato fields and they attend a fundamentalist Baptist church that doesn’t even allow females to wear pants. Within a few weeks, Emmy has fallen madly in love with her aunt and uncle, the landscape, and the Native American neighbor boy, Reuben. She pieces together her mom’s past, and she attempts to meet her father. By summer’s end, she is determined to stay in Washington. She knows in her bones and feels in her heart that she has found (or returned to) her real home. Much happens, and the beating pulse of the novel is the love story between Emmy and Reuben. But Steal the North is also a novel of reclamation: a daughter’s journey to steal back her birthright.

Secret Revealed: My original title for this novel was Coyote’s Son and the Girl (I still kind of like this title). And then Coyote’s Son and the Girl Steal the North (obviously too long). Then Steal the North (my agent suggested this. Thanks, Lisa).

Visit Heather on her website: http://heatherbrittainbergstrom.com/, Like her on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/hbbergstrom, or find her on Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4196296.Heather_Brittain_Bergstrom

THE GIVEAWAY:

Thank you to he lovely people at Viking who have offered to ship a copy of Steal the North to the winner of this giveaway.

Here are the rules to enter the giveaway:

  1. Must be following me HERE
  2. USA only and NO P.O. Boxes
  3. Reblog this post and/or tweet the link to this post on twitter and tag me in it (@kir_watson)
  4. Winner will be notified by Saturday (4/19/14) and will have until Sunday (4/20/14) to send me their contact information.

Good luck to all!

I’ve decided to surprise one lucky follower with some swag. If you would like to be that lucky follower send me an ask with your name (first and last) and your mailing address.

district13-erudite-shadowhunter:

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Now available on Kindle & Nook!

Coming to paperback April 27th

http://orendaseries.com

Join forces with a parallel universe.

Dark forces, magical creatures, and the world Lil thought she knew collide when a dream transports her to the strange world of Orenda. Stunned and terrified,…

THEY ARE ALL OKAY, and all those things could exist in THE SAME WOMAN. Women shouldn’t be valued because we are strong, or kick-ass, but because we are people. So don’t focus on writing characters who are strong. Write characters who are people.

Just a head up guys: Next Wednesday (04/16) I will be posting a new review, a gues post from an author, and a giveaway. be sure to check back to see how you can win a book!
Camp NaNoWriMo update:

I know I said I was going to try and blog about each day of Camp NaNoWRiMo…but as we can all see that has not happened yet. That said however, I did reach 50,000 words today! That means I have 20,00 more to go before I start editing.

Hello lovely followers,
I’ve decided to give Camp NaNoWriMo a shot and I am going to try and post some blog entry updates on my progress, the general experience, and anything else writing related. If you’re participating and want to add me as a friend send me a message.
Good luck to all and happy writing!
-K

Hello lovely followers,

I’ve decided to give Camp NaNoWriMo a shot and I am going to try and post some blog entry updates on my progress, the general experience, and anything else writing related. If you’re participating and want to add me as a friend send me a message.

Good luck to all and happy writing!

-K

Title: Attachments

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Publication Date: April 14, 2011

Publisher: Dutton Adult

Format: NetGalley RC 

Rating: 8/10

When Lincoln O’Neill takes a job at a newspaper as an “internet security officer,” little does he know that the job involves writing warning emails to the other employees of the newspaper for using the computer in an inappropriate way.  When Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder’s emails end up being flagged Lincoln can’t find it in himself to report them. As the number of emails begins to accumulate, Lincoln finds himself falling for Beth. But how can he introduce himself when he already knows so much about her?

Attachments is the second Rainbow Rowell book that I have read and enjoyed. When I first started reading the book I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it, but as I read on I found myself deeply enveloped in the story. Rowell links three different stories flawlessly and in a way that is entertaining. I loved seeing Lincoln develop as a character and overcome his past. I think Jennifer and Beth’s part of the novel was equally revealing and entertaining. Rowell’s characters are written in a way that makes them feel real. Rowell is not afraid to make her characters flawed because she understands that is what makes people interesting. I know that some people complained about the ending, but I think the ending was lovely, light, and uplifting.  Attachments is a great read for readers looking for a novel that is fun, witty, and sweet.

STORM Trailer Reveal & GIVEAWAY:

TRAILER: HERE

Synopsis 
 
From #1 New York Times bestselling author D.J. MacHale comes STORM —the exhilarating, action-packed sequel to SYLO :

“Absolutely un-put-downable, more exciting than an X-box and roller coaster combined.”—Kirkus, starred review

“With this extremely high-octane story that’s the equivalent to a summer movie blockbuster, MacHale kicks off an apocalyptic trilogy sure to leave readers demanding the next installment.”—Booklist

“An entertaining and creepy tale.”—Publishers Weekly

   

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
D.J. MacHale is a writer, director, executive producer and creator of several popular television series and movies. As an author, his ten-volume book series: PENDRAGON – JOURNAL OF AN ADVENTURE THROUGH TIME AND SPACE became a New York Times #1 bestseller.

He was raised in Greenwich, CT and graduated from Greenwich High School. While in school, he had several jobs including collecting eggs at a poultry farm, engraving trophies and washing dishes in a steakhouse…in between playing football and running track. D.J. attended New York University where he received a BFA in film production.
His filmmaking career began in New York where he worked as a freelance writer/director making corporate videos and television commercials. He also taught photography and film production.

D.J. broke into the entertainment business by writing several ABC AFTERSCHOOL SPECIALS. As co-creator of the popular Nickelodeon series: ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK?, he produced all 91 episodes over 8 years. D.J. also wrote and directed the movieTOWER OF TERROR for ABC’s WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISNEY which starred Kirsten Dunst and Steve Guttenberg. The Showtime series CHRIS CROSS was co-created, written and produced by D.J. It received the CableAce award for Best Youth Series.

D.J. co-created and produced the Discovery Kids/NBC television series FLIGHT 29 DOWN. He wrote every episode and directed several. His work on FLIGHT 29 DOWN earned him the Writers Guild of America award for “Outstanding Children’s Script” and a Directors Guild of America award nomination.

Other notable writing credits include the ABC AFTERSCHOOL SPECIAL titled SEASONAL DIFFERENCES; the pilot for the long-running PBS/CBS series GHOSTWRITER; and the HBO series ENCYCLOPEDIA BROWN, BOY DETECTIVE for which he received a CableAce nomination for writing.

In print, D.J. has co-written the book THE TALE OF THE NIGHTLY NEIGHBORS, based on his own teleplay and penned the poetic adaptation of the classic Norwegian folk tale EAST OF THE SUN AND WEST OF THE MOON. His most current work is the spooky MORPHEUS ROAD trilogy; and a whimsical picture book THE MONSTER PRINCESS.

D.J. lives in Southern California with his wife Evangeline and daughter Keaton. They are avid backpackers, scuba divers and skiers. Rounding out the household are two elderly goldfish and a Kitten, Kaboodle.

GIVEAWAY:

ENTER HERE

or  http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e849f7814

 

Title: The Secret Side of Empty

Author: Maria E. Andreu 

Publication Date: March 11, 2014

Publisher: Running  Press Kids

Format: RC provided by publisher

Rating: 9.5/10  

To most people M.T. looks like an all American girl next door who has the perfect grades and a loyal best friend. But M.T. has a secret—she’s an undocumented immigrant.

As M.T.’s senior year begins her secret becomes harder to hide. When her friends begin to talk about college and the bright futures that await them M.T. knows that for her that is not the case. To make matters even more complicated M.T.’s family is slowly falling apart. As M.T. struggles to find a way out of her situation she is forced to make a desperate choice.

Maria E. Andreu’s The Secret Side of Empty is raw and captivating. Readers will be drawn into M.T.’s story as she navigates her way through her heartbreaking situation. Ardeu does a spectacular job of making the various emotional topics feel real and relatable. Ardeu’s characters feel like real teenagers with real problems. Reader’s will witness M.T.’ fall in love, have her heart broken, loose hope, and most importantly grow into her own and stand up for what she believes in. Ardeu’s novel is truly refreshing, emotional, and inspiring; it will make readers go through a plethora of emotions as they read The Secret Side of Empty. I highly recommend this novel to anyone looking for a fantastic contemporary YA!

P.S. The title is really clever! Read the book to find out why :D

 

Title: Eleanor & Park

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Publication Date: February 26, 2014

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Format: purchased copy

Rating: 9.5/10 

Eleanor is the new girl in school. She stands out like a sore thumb with her wild red hair and her odd clothes. At home her family life is a mess and her stepfather is making it harder for Eleanor to be a teenager. When she first meets Park things begin to change. It starts with the comic books and ends with love—but will this first love last?

I’ve heard so much buzz over Eleanor & Park and I knew I had to check it out.  From the very moment I finished reading the prologue I knew Rainbow Rowell was going to rip out my heart by the end of the book—which she did. I loved the dual narration because it provided a view of both characters, how they perceive one another, and how their love grows and develops. The only issue that I had with Eleanor & Park was the ending. I felt betrayed as a reader and I wanted more. But after thinking it over I realized that Rowell could not have ended Eleanor & Park any other way. There is something captivating and relatable about Eleanor & Park; Rowell really knows how to captivate the reader and leave them wanting more.