Review Rewind (5)

Hosted by Ashley at Books Make Great Lovers.

So, in this post I'm just going to link some of my reviews that never got any comments or reviews that only got one comment. I think that everyone should have the chance to see them and be reminded of the good books that aren't so new!

Review Rewind (1)

Review Rewind (2)

Review Rewind (3)

Review Rewind (4)

The Exile of Gigi Lane by Adrienne Maria Vrettos.
4 Star review.

Sing Me To Sleep by Angela Morrison.
4 Star review.

Love You Hate You Miss You by Elizabeth Scott.
4 Star review.

Kiss Me Kill Me by Lauren Henderson.
2.5 Star review.

Thanks guys!

-Lexi (:

Old vs. New

The book I choose for this week is Taken By Storm by Angela Morrison.

I reveiewed this book awhile ago, if you want to read my review just click here.

And Angela Morrison also did a guest blog, if you would like to read it click here.

For this post, I'll be showing you the US hardback cover and the US paperback cover.

Old Cover:
Also the US hardback.

I really like this cover. The effect of the boy and girl looking at each other like you caught then in a moment, is nice touch. I also really like the colors. They fit the cover well.

New Cover:
Also the US paperback.

I actually don't like this cover as much as I like the Old Cover. I think this one is kind of cheesy with the boy and girl standing apart and sort of reaching towards each other. It goes the main plot of the novel well, but it's not appealing to the eye. The colors on the other hand, add detail to the cover.

The winner for this week, is the old cover/US hardback. I like the colors and how the boy and girl are facing each other more.

But this post isn't just about me, leave a comment and tell me what your favorite cover was this week!

-Lexi (:

Review Rewind (4)

Hosted by Ashley at Books Make Great Lovers.

So, in this post I'm just going to link some of my reviews that never got any comments or reviews that only got one comment. I think that everyone should have the chance to see them and be reminded of the good books that aren't so new!

Review Rewind (1)

Review Rewind (2)

Review Rewind (3)

Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz.
5 Star review.

Lost It by Kristen Tracy.
4.5 Star review.

After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick.
3.5 Star review.

The Life of Glass by Jillian Cantor.
3.5 Star review.

Switch by Carol Snow.
3 Star review.

Thanks guys!

-Lexi (:

Old vs. New

The book I chose for this week is If I Stay by Gayle Forman.

I reviewed this book awhile ago, if you want to read my review just click here.

For this week, I'll be posting the hardback and two other covers that I think are the paperback and UK versions.

Old Cover:
Also the US hardback.

I love the simplicity of this cover. You can just let your imagination run wild about the characters, the setting.. pretty much every part of this book can have whatever picture in your mind that you want it to have.

New Cover:
Also the US paperback.

(The only picture of this cover that I could find was from so it's not that great.)
I don't love this cover as much as the first one, but it deffinitly has a lot of character to it. The dark colors, the mist, the way the girl's face looks all say something about what If I Stay is about. It depicts the novel very well, but it a subtle way.

Another New Cover:
Also the UK cover.

I like this cover about as much as I love the first one. This cover is very nicely donw. I love how there is a slight effect of snow and how it looks like the girl is almost floating without even really noticing. Personally, I think that this cover shows more of the feeling this novel gives you.

This week, I think my favorite cover is... the new cover, also knows as the UK cover!

I think it had a very fun side to it yet it showed the seriousness of the novel.

But this post isn't just about me, leave a comment and tell me what you're favorite cover was!

-Lexi (:

In My Mailbox (4/12 - 4/18)

In My Mailbox was started by The Story Siren and Alea from Pop Culture Junkie. If you want more details, click here. In My Mailbox explores all the books that I get in a week, whether it's in the mail, borrowed from a friend, borrowed from the library, or bought from a bookstore.


The Deadly Sister by Eliot Schrefer (Paperback/ HarperCollins/ May 2010)

Abby Goodwin is sure her sister Maya isn't a murderer. But her parents don't agree. Her friends don't agree. And the cops definitely don't agree. Maya is a drop-out, a stoner, a girl who's obsessed with her tutor, Jefferson Andrews...until he ends up dead. Maya runs away, and leaves Abby following the trail of clues. Each piece of evidence points to Maya, but it also appears that Jefferson had secrets of his own. And enemies. Like his brother, who Abby becomes involved with...until he falls under suspicion.

Is Abby getting closer to finding the true murderer? Or is someone leading her down a twisted false path?

Compromised by Heidi Ayarbe (Paperback/ HarperCollins/ May 2010)

With a con-man dad and a long-gone mom, the only thing that makes sense to Maya is science. In fact, every time her dad’s cons go wrong, she has a scientific way to fix it, to keep both of them safe and together.

Only this time Maya’s scientific method doesn’t work. She finds herself stuck in an orphanage, and then living on the street, where scientific laws don’t apply, with two unlikely allies, and she has to learn to live on instinct alone. But when Maya goes off in search of an aunt she’s never met in hopes of finding some semblance of stability in her chaotic world, she finds something even more important: her own strength.

Alex Van Helsing: Vampire Rising by Jason Henderson (Paperback/ HarperCollins/ May 2010)

A descendant of legendary vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing, fourteen-year-old Alex is stuck at boarding school near Lake Geneva, Switzerland, when he finds himself drawn into a web of paranormal intrigue. It turns out that Lake Geneva is also home to a secret school for vampires called the Scholomance—and now to a dangerous vampire clan lord known only as Icemaker, who’s using the Scholomance for his own dangerous endgame. With the help of his friends and of special agent Sangster, it’s up to Alex to fulfill his family destiny and stop Icemaker’s frightening plans once and for all.

Alex Van Helsing is a showstopping hero set to leap off the page—stake, naturally, in hand. Drawing from centuries of actual vampire lore and literature (and with a nod to zombies, too!), Jason Henderson delivers a breathlessly paced thriller that will captivate vampire fans as well as readers who loved Alex Rider.

Mistwood by Leah Cypess (Paperback/ HarperCollins/ May 2010)

The Shifter is an immortal creature bound by an ancient spell to protect the kings of Samorna. When the realm is peaceful, she retreats to the Mistwood. But when she is needed she always comes.Isabel remembers nothing. Nothing before the prince rode into her forest to take her back to the castle. Nothing about who she is supposed to be, or the powers she is supposed to have.Prince Rokan needs Isabel to be his Shifter. He needs her ability to shift to animal form, to wind, to mist. He needs her lethal speed and superhuman strength. And he needs her loyalty-because without it, she may be his greatest threat.Isabel knows that her prince is lying to her, but she can't help wanting to protect him from the dangers and intrigues of the court . . . until a deadly truth shatters the bond between them.Now Isabel faces a choice that threatens her loyalty, her heart . . . and everything she thought she knew.

Brilliant by Rachel Vail (Paperback/ HarperCollins/ June 2010)

Everything is going to be fine . . . .Quinn Avery can handle change. It's just paint, right? Bright, blinding white paint covering her once dazzling red bedroom walls. Quinn knows she shouldn't be angry at her mom-she's doing what she must to sell the house-but still, Quinn is beyond mad, and she doesn't know what to do about it.Until now, Quinn was doing a pretty good job at pretending to be her old self-calm and brilliant Avery daughter, responsible big sister to Allison and Phoebe, piano virtuoso, girl who makes everyone proud-but without the sanctuary of her room, a new, wild Quinn is emerging. Lying, sneaking out, partying, Quinn is practically asking to get caught. When Quinn adds kissing the wrong boys-including her sister's boyfriend and her own piano teacher-to her list of crimes, has she gone too far to save herself?Brilliant, the final book in Rachel Vail's critically acclaimed sisterhood series, which includes Lucky and Gorgeous, follows Quinn through a summer of change as she discovers that while letting go is never easy, hanging on can be even harder. Witty and poignant, Brilliant is the perfect ending to this addictive trilogy of interconnected sister stories.

Wayfarer by R.J. Anderson (Paperback/ HarperCollins/ May 2010)

The faeries of the Oak are dying, and it’s up to a lone faery named Linden to find a way to restore their magic. Linden travels bravely into dangerous new territory, where she enlists the help of an unlikely friend—a human named Timothy. Soon they discover something much worse than the Oakenfolk’s loss of magic: a potent evil that threatens the fate of all faeries. In a fevered, desperate chase across the country, Timothy and Linden risk their lives to seek an ancient power before it’s too late to save everyone they love.

R. J. Anderson has artfully crafted a world of stunning magic, thrilling adventure, and delicate beauty, where a girl far from home must defeat the pervasive evil befalling her beloved faery realm.

Bullet Point by Peter Abrahams (Paperback/ HarperCollins/ May 2010)

Wyatt never really thought much about his dad-a hardened criminal, a lifer in a prison somewhere on the other side of the state. But then the economy had to go and tank, and the community had to go and cut the baseball program from Wyatt's high school. And then the coach had to go and show Wyatt a photograph of his dad at sixteen, looking very much like Wyatt himself. Through a series of unfortunate-or perhaps they were fortunate-events, Wyatt meets a crazy-hot girl named Greer with a criminal dad of her own. A criminal dad who is, in fact, in jail with Wyatt's own criminal dad. Greer arranges a meeting, and Wyatt's dad is nothing like the guy he's imagined-he's suave, and smart, and funny, and cool, and-Wyatt's pretty sure-innocent. So Wyatt decides to help him out. A decision that may possibly be the worst he's ever made in his life.This is another hold-your-breath thriller by the New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award nominated Peter Abrahams.

Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs (Paperback/ HarperCollins/ June 2010)

Lily Sanderson has a secret, and it’s not that she has a huge crush on gorgeous swimming god Brody Bennett, who makes her heart beat flipper-fast. Unrequited love is hard enough when you’re a normal teenage girl, but when you’re half human, half mermaid like Lily, there’s no such thing as a simple crush.

Lily’s mermaid identity is a secret that can’t get out, since she’s not just any mermaid – she’s a Thalassinian princess. When Lily found out three years ago that her mother was actually a human, she finally realized why she didn’t feel quite at home in Thalassinia, and she’s been living on land and going to Seaview high school ever since, hoping to find where she truly belongs. Sure, land has its problems – like her obnoxious, biker boy neighbor Quince Fletcher – but it has that one major perk – Brody. The problem is, mermaids aren’t really the casual dating type – when they “bond,” it’s for life.

When Lily’s attempt to win Brody’s love leads to a tsunami-sized case of mistaken identity, she is in for a tidal wave of relationship drama, and she finds out, quick as a tailfin flick, that happily-ever-after never sails quite as smoothly as you planned.

Summer of the Geek by Piper Banks (Paperback/ New American Library/ May 2010)

The third compulsively readable book in the smart and witty series about a high school for gifted students. Miranda Bloom has scored an adorable, lacrosse-playing boyfriend, Dex McConnell, and an awesomely easy summer job looking after a ten year old mini-genius, Amelia. This summer is going to be sweet... Then reality puts the brakes on everything. Though Dex and Miranda are official, she feels like he's keeping secrets-secrets that may have to do with his fashion model ex-girlfriend. Meanwhile, Amelia is harder to figure out than advanced trigonometry. How can they bond if all she does is practice the piano? Plus Miranda's mom just invited her to live in London with her. Living across the pond would be great, but can she really leave Geek High andDex? Looks like Miranda has a secret of her own...

Hothouse by Chris Lynch (Paperback/ HarperCollins/ August 2010)

Sorry guys, I couldn't find a picture or a summary.

Life, After by Sarah Darer Littman (Paperback/ Scholastic Press/ July 2010)

After a terrorist attack kills Dani's aunt and unborn cousin, life in Argentina--private school, a boyfriend, a loving family--crumbles quickly. In order to escape a country that is sinking under their feet, Dani and her family move to the United States. It's supposed to be a fresh start, but when you're living in a cramped apartment and going to high school where all the classes are in another language--and not everyone is friendly--life in America is not all it's cracked up to be. Dani misses her old friends, her life, Before.

But then Dani meets a boy named Jon, who isn't like all the other students. Through him, she becomes friends with Jessica, one of the popular girls, who is harboring a secret of her own. And then there's Brian, the boy who makes Dani's pulse race. In her new life, the one After, Dani learns how to heal and forgive. She finds the courage to say goodbye and allows herself to love and be loved again.

Borderline by Allan Stratton (Hardback/ HarperCollins/ March 2010)
Fifteen-year-old Sami Sabiri is a typical suburban teen. He is a good student, has a close group of friends, and struggles to live up to his father's expectations. He faces some bullying at school because of his Muslim faith, and does not get the support from the administration to stop it. When his dad cancels a planned trip to Toronto with him, Sami begins to suspect he might be having an affair. He checks up on him and unknowingly stirs up a completely different investigation of the man's behavior. Is Sami's dad a terrorist? What ensues is a tautly paced thriller with well-crafted characters and realistic teen dialogue. It is the plausibility of the plotline that makes it, ultimately, so disturbing. The FBI breaks into the Sabiris' house one night, destroys their belongings, and takes Sami's father away. The teen's troubles at school are neatly juxtaposed with the assumptions made by the FBI about his dad, and ultimately lead toward a positive resolution to Sami's relationship with his father. This is a great, fast-paced read that will have particular appeal to fans of the television show 24. It is also notable for its characterization of a strong male Muslim who is true to his faith and struggles to do the right thing throughout. While the cover art is not compelling, this title will make an excellent booktalk. Once it finds its way into the hands of teens, word of mouth will ensure that it circulates.

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater (Paperback/ Scholastic Press/ July 2010)

In Maggie Stiefvater's "Shiver," Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in "Linger," they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.

At turns harrowing and euphoric, "Linger "is a spellbinding love story that explores both sides of love -- the light and the dark, the warm and the cold -- in a way you will never forget.

-Lexi (:

Angela Morrison Guest Blog

Today, we have a special guest: Angela Morrison.

Her novel, Sing Me To Sleep, was recently published.

I had the opprotunity to read and review this book before it's publication, if you would like to read my review, just click here!

Now, on with the post!

Thanks, Lexi, for hosting my blog tour today. You are my second to the last stop. I've visited 25 blogs--you are the 26th. The YA book blogging community has given SING ME TO SLEEP a fantastic kick-off. It's doing really well. And I've had a great time visiting with followers from all over the world. So much positive energy. Writing takes a lot of alone time. My kids think I'm a total hermit. It's been wonderful to crawl out of my cave and get to chat with readers and bloggers.

Lexi let me choose my topic today. I wanted to leave you with something new. I've been mulling over a post on the art of cutting (your manuscript ONLY, not the other kind) and how it evolves when you work with an editor for my website's liv2writ blog so I thought I'd preview it here.

I learned my first lessons in cutting from the brilliant pen of Ron Koertge, my first MFA advisor at Vermont College of the Fine Arts. He's a poet and YA novelist (see STONER & SPAZ, etc.) His writing is incredibly succinct--vivid, tight scenes you can step into. He taught me about the dribble effect. I had a tendency to ruin the power of a scene or chapter by dribbling PAST the dramatic point where the scene should stop. This is a common problem in first drafts. Easy fix with Ron's pen to X out the dribble. I got better at doing it myself, too. If you cut the boring tying up stuff--leave the reader wanting more--and jump to the next scene at the start of the next chapter, it makes such a difference.

Ron challenged me to cut entire scenes and chapters that weren't working. It's hard to let go of those words you've sweated out of your creative soul and artfully arranged on the page--but it's a critical skill. I resisted, rewrote, and then finally agreed with Ron. Tough to do, but when it came to working with an editor, I was thankful I'd learned those lessons.

By the time I sold TAKEN BY STORM it was seriously over weight--closing in on 90,000 words. My editor, Lexa Hillyer, who recently left Razorbill to start her own literary development company, Paper Lanterns, Inc., wanted me to cut a third of the novel. Yikes. Some of my favorite scenes and chapters got the ax. Lexa encouraged me to save them for the sequel we planned. (See UNBROKEN CONNECTION.) I used some of that material in UNBROKEN CONNECTION, but many of those scenes will only see the light of day if I ever get around to posting them on my blog.

When I wrote SING ME TO SLEEP, I was prepared to get out the hatchet again. This time, though, Lexa needed me to add scenes. She just asked for one big cut--the epilogue.

I wrote the epilogue in response to my daughter's critique of the ending. She thought it was too abrupt--felt readers needed a bit more denouement. Without her choir experiences and friendships, there wouldn't be a SING ME TO SLEEP, so I wrote short epilogue.

Beth's future surprised even me. I was so proud of her and where the journey she takes in SING leads her.

Lexa's publisher (the boss) objected to the switch to an adult tone and voice, so I agreed to cut it.

One of my favorite novels is Katherine Paterson's JACOB HAVE I LOVED. And my favorite part of that novel is the epilogue--where Louise is delivering babies in Appalachia. I suppose I intuitively wanted to give readers a similar look at Beth in the future as an adult. Not just a few weeks or months down the road.

Perhaps I should have fought harder to keep it in. Lexa suggested I post it on my website as a reader extra--which I've done--so AFTER you've read SING ME TO SLEEP, be sure to visit my ChatSpot Blog and read it and the tributes there. But it isn't the same as having the true beauty Beth becomes as the closing scene the reader walks away with.

Hmm . . . maybe if I'm a really good little author they'll put it back in for the paperback.

Thanks again, Lexi for all your support. If your followers have questions, I'd be happy to stop back in and answer them. Oh, and for all of you who loved the trailer soundtrack, "Beth's Song" is NOW ON ITUNES!!!

All best,


Thanks for the visit, Angela.

If you have any questions, just leave them in a comment and I will be sure to pass them on!

-Lexi (:
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