Tuesday, August 25, 2009



Welcome to the promotion of epic proportions readers! In honor of the James Patterson Bestseller, Max, coming out in paperback, Big Honcho media is teaming with ReaderGirl Reviews to give YOU (the reader) a chance to read the whole series for free!

BUT WAIT, there's more! ;D

Not only do you get the whole series if you win, but also You get the first two books of James' Daniel X series!
If you don't know what series I'm talking about (shame! haha just kidding. =P) click here to learn more about the books from James Patterson's webby!

And a little blurb about Max...

Still reeling from their most recent adventure, Maximum Ride and the rest of the flock must head out to sea to uncover the secret behind a brand new series of disasters—fish are dying off the coast of Hawaii, hundreds of ships are being destroyed. As if that weren’t enough, they’re also being tracked by a criminal mastermind with, oh yeah, an army of mercenaries. Can the flock save themselves and the ocean, and the world, from utter destruction?

Even if you don't win, paperbacks are affordable right? So go out and read “MAX” - the newest book in the bestselling Maximum Ride series asap, on sale in paperback NOW!

OK, but seriously, but to the prizes! Big Honcho Media has supplied me with two HUGE prize packs including:

~ Maximum Ride: Max (paperback)
~ Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment (paperback)
~ Maximum Ride: School’s Out – Forever (paperback)
~ Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports (paperback)
~ Maximum Ride: The Final Warning (paperback)
~ Maximum Ride: Manga (paperback)
~ The Dangerous Days of Daniel X (paperback)
~ Daniel X: Watch the Skies (hardcover)

All you have to do to enter is comment! *is a comment glutton* As many times as you want to be entered, you should comment saying whatever you want! Not so much one word an entry, it doesn't hurt you to say a little something with each entry, but you don't have to write you're first novel out into the comment form either. xP

I'll pick the winners on Friday the 18th of September, so you have roughly two weeks to enter.

Also here's the "Fine Print" for you're consideration:

The Maximum Ride: Max Promotion is open to legal US residents who are at least 13 years of age as of August 24, 2009. There will be two prizes for each Promotion. Each prize consists of the following eight (8) books: Maximum Ride: Max (paperback); Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment (paperback); Maximum Ride: School’s Out – Forever (paperback); Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports (paperback); Maximum Ride: The Final Warning (paperback); Maximum Ride: Manga (paperback); The Dangerous Days of Daniel X (paperback); and Daniel X: Watch the Skies (hardcover). The approximate retail value of each prize is $72.00. Winners will be confirmed on or about September 28, 2009 by email. Prizes will only be shipped to confirmed winners with addresses in the US. Prizes will be shipped within 30 days after a selected entrant is confirmed as a winner.

Awesome! I'm so excited and I'm not even eligible! lol Thanks again to Big Honcho Media for allowing me to be apart of their promotion and giving you all this awesome chance to WIN! haha Big props to them and all the work they did to make this possible for you guys.

You may enter... NOW!

Long time no... um, read?

Hey all! It's been weeks since I've blogged properly but school's started and it's been a bit of a hassle going from my summer schedule to my school schedule, so I promise I'm working on it but it'll just take a little balancing... e.e

Lots of fun stuff planned for September though, I've gotten a ton of great new upcoming books that'll be coming out next month that I've loved and I can wait to tell you just how much I loved them! ;)

We'll be having a week of Maximum Ride by James Patterson the first week of September, with an review of Maximum Ride and moooaaar! Plus Big Honcho Media is doing a HUGE promotion for Max the latest Maximum Ride Novel (Out in Paperback NOW!)that I'm lucky enough to be apart of!

It basically includes all of the Maximum Ride books including the Manga of the first book and James' new best seller, Daniel X! So, seriously guys, it's gonna be a great month. Trust me!

Hope you guys've stuff with me even though I've been a bit lax about posting as of late. Really love hearing from you guys, and I'm trying to plan as much stuff ads I can so you'll keep coming to visit me but I am just human despite popular belief so I sometimes have massive blogging fails at random intervals. It happens! ;)

Love ya'll, and keep checking back for posts eventually they will be here! XD


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Gone by Michael Grant

Product Description from Amazon:

In the blink of an eye. Everyone disappears. GONE.

Except for the young. Teens. Middle schoolers. Toddlers. But not one single adult. No teachers, no cops, no doctors, no parents. Just as suddenly, there are no phones, no internet, no television. No way to get help. And no way to figure out what's happened.

Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers—that grow stronger by the day.

It's a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen, a fight is shaping up. Townies against rich kids. Bullies against the weak. Powerful against powerless. And time is running out: On your birthday, you disappear just like everyone else...


My Review:

At first, I wasn’t sure how I felt about this book. The descriptions, sometimes pretty out there and scary, were also very vivid. While that was sometimes hard to read, in a way, it also added a bit of edge to the story that you would expect when you understand the circumstances of the setting for Gone.

A community devoid of parents and grandparents – people with more experience compromising and dealing with others in everyday life, and the knowledge to understand more complex situations – can’t be without hardships. As kids, older people are absolutely essential, and without them it doesn’t leave the world in good hands to think the oldest kids in the bunch are just starting puberty.

Add to this the fact that not every child has in an ideal home environment and grows up to have hateful feelings towards peers, and you’ve got some major problems to deal with. And yet, they slowly but surely find their way.

One of the things I loved about this novel was how the kids were able to find some sort of solace in their desperation. The ability they learned to bond with perfect strangers just because they were all in the same boat definitely lended an air of hope to the story, and I think the author (Michel Grant) did a great job balancing out the terrible situations with hope found in the connections the kids had made with one another.

Such as Sam and Astrid, who’s relationship I LOVED. But of course I loved them both as individual characters before they got together, so when they did I “squee’d” for about ten minutes in my excitement! Lol

The only thing that I was slightly bothered about in this novel was the powers. The idea definitely grew on me, but I think at first it felt a little out of nowhere for a while. Guess I was thinking it’d go a different direction, but it ended up being alright in the end.

All in all, the characters were very well written, the book had an interesting premise, and I definitely think I’ll have to read the next book in the series, Hunger, right away!


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New Moon trailer Leaked!

Ok so I know it's way, way, way hard to watch in french, but still, this movie is seriously going to be AMAZING!


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Winner of Crazy Beautiful ARC




Congratulations! Email me at readergirlreviews@gmail.com a with your address and I'll send it SOON!



Sunday, August 2, 2009

Lauren Baratz-Logsted Takes Over The Blog!

In September my next YA novel will come out, CRAZY BEAUTIFUL, a contemporary re-visioning of Beauty & the Beast told in he-said/she-said fashion about a boy with hooks for hands and a gorgeous girl who meet on their first day at a new school.
Now, about those hooks...

When I originally conceived the book, the first draft I wrote had it as a middle-grade novel for the 9-13 set. Because of a contractual obligation - an editor had an option on my next book for that age group - I showed it to that editor who, for clarity purposes of not repeatedly calling her "that editor," we'll refer to as Editor X.

Editor X said she liked the book well enough, but the hooks bothered her, because: 1) for some reason she couldn't articulate, she found them off-putting; and 2) she didn't "buy" them - she was absolutely certain that the boy would have something more technologically advanced, like mechanical hands. This was a problem, since in my mind my story was married to those hooks. But what if she was right? What if it made no sense for Lucius Wolfe to look the way I wanted him to?

I began doing research, lots of it, and found plenty that supported my vision. The most significant was an article about returning Iraqi War vets who were double-arm amputees and who were overwhelmingly opting for what they referred to as "the WWII technology" of hooks over mechanical hands because of features like less weight and greater flexibility. Additionally, a physician told me a boy might opt for hooks based on other factors like expense, insurance coverage and how much growing the boy still had to do. Thrilled, I told Editor X about what I'd learned. She still wasn't buying those hooks. They bothered her.

I always say that with every book I write, nearly everything is negotiable. This means that I'm always open to hearing other people's views on what will improve the work. You say I need to find a way to increase reader sympathy for a character? I can shift the mirrors and do that. You don't like having the kid sister on stage so much? Poof, now you hardly know she's there. But if nearly everything is negotiable, there's always one thing that is not negotiable; the one thing that if changed, destroys the integrity of my vision for the work.

So I wasn't changing the hooks, and now Editor X wasn't buying the hooks or the book, but that was OK because somewhere during this extended Hook Debate, I'd realized there was something not right about my book: it needed to be a YA novel, not middle grade, in order to really get at the heart of the story I wanted to tell.
So I re-cast the whole thing.

See? I'm not unwilling to work. I'll work forever to make something better. I just won't change the thing that makes something what it is.
Here's what wound up happening: another editor at Editor X's publishing company liked the proposal for the YA version of CRAZY BEAUTIFUL so much, she wound up bidding on it at auction against an editor at another house. [Note: Editor X's publishing company lost the auction.]

Since then, CRAZY BEAUTIFUL has aroused more pre-publication interest than any book I've written. [Note: I've sold a total of 20 books to various publishers.] YA bloggers have been requesting ARCS, interviews and guestblogs in numbers unprecedented in my career. And the thing that apparently intrigues them most? Those hooks. They're fascinated by those hooks.

Now, getting back to Editor X: was she wrong not to buy CRAZY BEAUTIFUL? No, she was not. Taste is subjective, and we all simply feel what we feel. What would have been wrong would have been for her to buy and publish a book that she had no feeling for.

So she wasn't wrong, but I was also right.

I'm pretty sure there's a moral to the story in there. We, as writers, need to become fully in tune to our own internal editors. Does it pay to be the kind of author who's so inflexible that she never listens to anyone else's opinion, never changes a thing? No, because chances are, unless that author is naturally brilliant, she will never be published. Does it pay to be the kind of author who will change anything in order to get published? Your mileage may vary, but for me the answer is simply: No. If it ever becomes that way - writing someone else's vision for my work, no matter how I feel about it - then I might as well get a different job, one with less grueling hours, a reliable paycheck and, oh, medical benefits would be nice.
Find that one thing in your work that is non-negotiable. Find that thing that makes your book different and special. And hold on tight.


Thanks so much to Lauren for being with us this week, and don't forget to enter the contest on Lauren's interview page for an ARC of Crazy Beautiful!



Crazy Beautiful (Review)

From the back cover:

“In an explosion of his own making, Lucius blew his arms off. Now he has hooks. He chose hooks because they were cheaper. He chose hooks because he wouldn't outgrow them so quickly. He chose hooks so that everyone would know he was different, so he would scare even himself.

Then he meets Aurora. The hooks don't scare her. They don't keep her away. In fact, they don't make any difference at all to her.

But to Lucius, they mean everything. They remind him of the beast he is inside. Perhaps Aurora is his Beauty, destined to set his soul free from its suffering.

Or maybe she's just a girl who needs love just like he does.”

My Review:

To start, I’d been hearing buzz about this book for quite a few weeks before I actually started looking into it, but once I did I had to read it. Beauty and the Beast is one of my all time favorite Disney movies (I cry EVERY time… >_<) and so I was super excited but also a little nervous to read Crazy Beautiful, hoping it would be a good retelling, and not too sad. I was NOT disappointed.

Lucius is a great reimagining of the beast; dark and brooding, hardened by his past, yet still maintaining the softness of character that we look for in our favorite anti-hero.

Aurora fits the bill of Belle perfectly, from pretty face, to her saintly morals and manners; she’s the picture of loveliness, and we can easily see why Lucius is drawn to her from the start.

The POV switching between chapters kept the story moving along nicely, and I loved getting to see their reactions to each other, and the chapters never got to long so all and all it flowed really well!

The only thing I didn’t like about this book was that I felt like it ended kind of abruptly, I wanted more! But overall it was a great quick read I’d definitely recommend!


Don't forget to comment on Lauren's interview post as many times as you want to be entered to win my ARC of Crazy Beautiful!


Interview With Lauren Baratz-Logsted

~ In Crazy Beautiful, one of the main characters Lucius has hooks instead of hands. One questions I'm sure a few of us are wondering is, why hooks? (LOVE the idea, but just curious.)

Because in his world they make him visually unique. In his school, Lucius is the only one who has hooks, making others' perception of him be that he's like no one else.

~ Aurora, your heroine, is sensitive to Lucius' feelings throughout the book, while the rest of her classmates either treat him badly or avoid him entirely. This is a good example of how people who are different can be treated in schools/ society today. Do you have any thoughts on why that might be a standered reaction in schools today?

I don't think it's always an evil thing, but humans can't help but notice the physical appearance of others: skin color, size, gender, disabilities. They're all salient features and humans immediately assume certain things about others based on those first physical impressions. It's what we do with that information after the first impression that counts. Do we react as Aurora does, with a generosity of spirit? Or do we let ourselves be guided by fear based on rumors, as almost everyone else in the book does? It would be Utopia if people were always judged by their actions and not by their looks, but it's impossible to ignore that the first thing we encounter is another person's looks.

~ Aurora is also very close with her father in the book since her mothers death, and Lucius in his own way has had to deal with loss as well, so it definitely seems to be a central theme of the book. Is there an experience/s in your life that you used to help you get into to mode of writing from these character's perspectives, dealing with all that?

I'm not my characters, meaning I've never been as intriguingly complex as Lucius or as purely good as Aurora, but like most human beings I've suffered my share of losses: pets, friends, relatives, relationships. Elizabeth Bishop has a great poem called "One Art" about losing tings in which she claims to have lost a continent once. I don't think I've ever lost a whole continent! But I've certainly lost plenty.

~ During my reading of the books I had a hard time visualising Lucius doing a lot of the everyday things he had learned how to do with his hooks for some reason. Do you have a clear mental picture of what it's like for Lucius going through everyday tasks with hooks?

You know, it's not necessarily a bad thing that you had a hard time visualizing those things. I think the challenge of a character like Lucius is that it takes work to picture what he must go through just to accomplish the simple tasks you and I take for granted. It's a little easier for me to form those mental pictures since I used to shoot pool with a guy who had hooks for hands - very different situation than Lucius in that he'd lost his hands in a train accident. He was one of the best pool shooters I ever shot with, which is where Lucius gets his authentially mad skills at the game. I also have strong visuals of seeing my friend do basic things like put on a jacket, hoist a glass of beer and light his own cigarettes with a small lighter. At least Lucius is smart enough not to smoke.

~ While Aurora's problems have brought her closer to her father, Lucius' problems seems to have pulled his family apart altogether. Do you think it was just the difference of situation that made things work out that way or something else?

I think it absolutely comes down to circumstance. Aurora and her father suffered a natural loss, even if it was brought about by disease. Lucius's loss, on the other hand, without getting into spoilers, is the fault of his own actions. And not only did Lucius lose his hands but his family also lost their house and felt the need to move to a new town. So while Aurora and her father may blame the unkind Fates for the loss of Mrs. Belle, Lucius and his family pretty much focus all their blame on Lucius.

~ Let's talk the first story you ever wrote; did you ever finish/ give up on it? Try/ plan to publish it? Show it to anyone else?

If you mean the first short story I remember writing, that would be something I wrote when I was 12. My English teacher read it to the class three days running and it was the first time it occurred to me that people might be interested in what I wrote. If you mean my first novel, that was in 1994 and was a comedic mystery. I did try to get it published, and even had an agent for it, but alas and alack, that one has yet to see the published light of day.

~ The first time you thought seriously about becoming a writer you were....:

Twelve, then thirty-two.

~ Describe your writing process in 3 words:

Write, write, write. I'm compulsive that way.

~ Finish this sentence, "Aspiring writers should...":

Read, read, read - you can't be a good writer if you're not a good reader.

~ "Before I wanted to be a writer......."-- You wanted to be....?

A psychologist or a vocalist, but my family laughed when I suggested the latter, so I went for the former.

~ Has there ever been a point in your writing where you got seriously stuck and considered quiting?

I've never gotten stuck on the writing and the writing has never made me want to quit - I love that part! - but the publishing aspect can sometimes get a person down. It took me eight years to get published and I'm glad now that I never quit.

~ Does music Influence your writing?

Almost never. I wrote the adult novel VERTIGO while listening to the original soundtrack from The Piano but mostly I labor in silence. Well, except for 3-4pm on weekdays when I turn General Hospital on in the background.

~ What are your favorite books of '09 so far/ to come?

My favorite YA novels of what I've read so far this year are: Freeze Frame, Heidi Ayarbe; Impossible, Nancy Werlin; What I Saw & How I Lied, Judy Blundell; Graceling, Kristin Cashore, Evermore, Alyson Noel; Fade. Lisa McMann; Dust of 100 Dogs; A.S. King, Right Behind You, Gail Giles. I'm look forward to any books coming out by my sisters over at Teen Fiction Cafe - http://teenfictioncafe.blogspot.com/ - and many more.

~ What's next for you?

A lot! In addition to CRAZY BEAUTIFUL, which comes out in September, I have four more books coming out in 2010:

THE EDUCATION OF BET in spring 2010, about a 16-year-old girl in Victorian England who impersonates a boy in order to get a proper education.

The next two books in THE SISTERS 8 series for young readers which I write with my novelist husband Greg Logsted - www.greglogsted.com - and our nine-year-old daughter Jackie: MARCIA'S MADNESS (April) and PETAL'S PROBLEMS (Sept).

THE TWIN'S DAUGHTER in fall 2010, about a Victorian girl whose life is changed forever when she learns her society mother has an identical twin who was raised in a workhouse.

Thanks so much for having me!


Thank YOU Lauren!

And on to the contest, I'll be giving away my ARC of Crazy Beautiful to a USA entrant who comments on this post! I'll be pulling them out of a bag (hat, stirafoam cup, something!) so enter as many times as you want!

And if you get a friend to enter I'll take on an extra 2 entries for you. Sound fun?! I'll be posting a winner next Sunday with my In My Mailbox post, so you have until Saterday to enter. Enter awaaayyyy!


It's a Crazy Beautiful Kind of Week!

Hey Everyone! CB doesn't hit shelves until next month, but in preperation for it's release we'll be having a week with the author, Lauren Baratz-Logsted!

Here's the plan:

Tuesday - an interview with Lauren and "Mystery Contest" is announced.

Wednesday -
Crazy Beautiful Review.

Thursday - Inspired by Beauty and the Beast....

And.... Friday: Lauren does a blog.

Hope you'll watch out for our posts this week,and remember to comment on Lauren's interview tommarrow to be entered to win the prize that will be announced tommorrow! (US entrys only, sorry. =/)