Tag Archives: Book Tour

Dear Teen Me Blog Tour: Review

I’m really happy to be a part of the Dear Teen Me blog tour!
 Dear Teen Me by Loads of Amazing Authors (Edited by E. Kristin Anderson and Miranda Kenneally)Publisher: Zest Books
Release Date: October 30th 2012
Pages: 192
Dear Teen Me includes advice from over 70 YA authors (including Lauren Oliver, Ellen Hopkins, and Nancy Holder, to name a few) to their teenage selves. The letters cover a wide range of topics, including physical abuse, body issues, bullying, friendship, love, and enough insecurities to fill an auditorium. So pick a page, and find out which of your favorite authors had a really bad first kiss? Who found true love at 18? Who wishes he’d had more fun in high school instead of studying so hard? Some authors write diary entries, some write letters, and a few graphic novelists turn their stories into visual art. And whether you hang out with the theater kids, the band geeks, the bad boys, the loners, the class presidents, the delinquents, the jocks, or the nerds, you’ll find friends–and a lot of familiar faces–in the course of Dear Teen Me. (Goodreads)
mythoughts
Dear Teen Me was so refreshing. Each letter was like it’s own short story, with twists and turns to keep you on your toes. I was never bored while reading because all the letters were different and each had a really interesting story behind them. Plus, it was fun getting to know more about authors that I like, and now I want to go read the books from all the other authors in the book.
For this post I really wanted to write a letter to myself, but seeing as I’m still a teen, that wouldn’t really work. It was cool to read these letters and speculate about the letter I might be writing to myself in 10 years… But for now, here’s a short letter to my Grade 6 self (I’m in Grade 10 now).
Dear Grade 6 Self…
Looking back, I’m pretty embarrassed by you. You were 11 and thought you were amazing because let’s face it: Grade 6 is so much more mature than Grade 5. And in a school that only started in Grade 4, you felt like you were finally one of the older kids.
Go ahead, feel cool. But please, please listen to these few tips:
1) Do not get that haircut. It doesn’t look good.
2) Do not wear A. the poodle shirt (just because you have a poodle doesn’t mean you need to advertise it on a shirt) or B. the Vampires Prefer Brunettes shirt (just don’t).
3) Do not purchase Twilight on audio book. First of all, you don’t even know what an audio book is. Secondly, it will cost you over $60. And third, you will never, EVER listen to it. I know you want to profess your love for Edward by buying all the Twilight merchandise possible, but you will grow tired of vampires soon.
4) Read Harry Potter. I know you’ve tried and you think it’s boring, but try again. You will eventually read it and wonder WHY, WHY didn’t I read this sooner? Harry Potter is amazing. Go read it.
Sincerely,
Teen You
Overall, Dear Teen Me was at times funny and other times sad, but it was always enjoyable! I think any teens or adults would enjoy this book.
Other blog tour stops today:

Review of Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

Hemlock (Hemlock, #1)Hemlock (Hemlock #1) by Kathleen Peacock

Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: May 8th 2012
Pages: 400
Reading Level: Young Adult
Buy the Book: Amazon
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Mackenzie and Amy were best friends. Until Amy was brutally murdered.

Since then, Mac’s life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac’s hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy’s killer: A white werewolf. 

Lupine syndrome—also known as the werewolf virus—is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control. 

Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy’s murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy’s boyfriend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life at risk.

This book was so good. It starts off with a bang, and I kept my interest from page one. I’m not normally into werewolves, but the way Kathleen Peacock has created this world is incredible, keeping all the familiar elements of our world, and weaving in lupine syndrome – A.K.A. the werewolf virus. Lupine syndrome is an epidemic, an outbreak of monsters, so to speak. But are all werewolves monsters? This is one of the big questions the main character, Mac, asks herself throughout the book.

Mac is also trying to solve the murder of her best friend Amy, while an extreme anti-werewolf group (The Trackers) are doing investigations of their own. The mystery element in this book is really fast paced and exciting, and I was always on the edge of my seat. Kathleen Peacock’s writing flows so well and is so easy to read, I just kept flipping the pages.

Mac is a solid main character. We learn about her history and how she got to be where she is today. She felt sort of like a friend throughout the book, because her character was built very well. The other characters – namely Jason and Kyle – were also good additions. But, I have to admit, I didn’t really feel the chemistry with Kyle and Amy. It was there, but didn’t really capture me.

Okay, here’s my one complaint – the love triangle. I guess I should have seen it coming earlier on, but I was so engrossed with the story that I didn’t really notice until BAM there it was – love triangle. Even though the bulk of the love triangle madness only lasted a few pages, it bugged me. Mac was all torn between the two guys, and then of course there was punching and kissing and other love-triangley things. It wasn’t the worst love triangle I’ve ever read. Peacock still maintained her awesome writing style, and Mac didn’t start to act weird or anything. But still, I wasn’t really a fan of that bit.

Overall…
This book was fast paced, intriguing, and well written. Other than the love triangle, I loved it!

4.5 birds
Sweet read! Would fight a flock of crazed birds to read it!

Interview With Kathleen Peacock (Hemlock)

I loved Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock. It was suspenseful, intriguing, and very fast paced. Today I’m very lucky to be hosting the lovely Kathleen Peacock on the blog for an interview about Hemlock, which comes out May 8th 2012!

Hemlock (Hemlock, #1)Goodreads | Amazon

Mackenzie and Amy were best friends. Until Amy was brutally murdered.

Since then, Mac’s life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac’s hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy’s killer: A white werewolf.

Lupine syndrome—also known as the werewolf virus—is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control.

Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy’s murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy’s boyfriend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life at risk.


1. What is your favourite part about being an author?
That moment when the music is blasting and my fingers are flying over the keys and I see a scene unfolding in my head. Nothing beats that.

2. If you had to re-title Hemlock, what would you call it and why?
I’m actually really rubbish at coming up with titles. Even “Hemlock” was intended as a placeholder while I was querying. I figured that someone would eventually tell me to change it. No one did.
In hindsight, though, I think it works really well with the title of book two (which is still a secret).

3. If Hemlock were made into a movie, who would you want to play different characters?
I think Kyle would look a little bit like Jason Behr did in the first season of Roswell. While he’s about 13 years too old to play Kyle now, I’d want an actor with that quiet intensity. I could also totally see Alex Pettyfer playing Jason—especially after his turn in Beastly. I’m not sure who would make a good Mac… 
 
4. How do you think Hemlock fits in with (or steps out of) the recent trends in YA books?
Hemlock sort of falls into the werewolf and love triangle trends, but I think (well, I hope) it’s different enough that it stands out. It’s a book that has werewolves in it, but it’s not really a book about werewolves—it’s much more focused on the friendships between the characters and the mystery of who killed Amy and why.
I also think the love triangle in Hemlock is a bit different than the norm. All three characters stand to lose so much more than a boyfriend/girlfriend, and they’re all aware of that. A few people have commented on Mac’s lack of enthusiasm for her predicament; a lot of that is her not wanting to hurt someone she cares about and not wanting to be the person who comes between two friends.

5. Hemlock has a gorgeous cover. What different aspects from the cover link to the story?
I think the dark, brooding tone of the cover is a clear link to the story. Looking at the girl on the front, I always have a sense that she has lost something or someone important to her. A huge part of the book deals with how Mac, Jason, and Kyle cope with the loss of Amy and the unresolved questions surrounding her death. I think that really comes through with the mood the cover creates.


PeacockSmallBW.jpgKathleen spent most of her teen years writing short stories. She put her writing dreams on hold while attending college but rediscovered them when office life started leaving her with an allergy to cubicles.
Hemlock, her first novel, will be released on May 8th by Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins.
Goodreads | Website
Twitter: @kathleenpeacock

Review of Girl Unmoored by Jennifer Gooch Hummer

Girl UnmooredGirl Unmoored by Jennifer Gooch Hummer

Publisher: Fiction Studio Books
Release Date: March 6th 2012
Pages: 328
Reading Level: Upper middle grade/Young adult
Buy the Book: Amazon
Source: Received copy in exchange for honest review

     Apron Bramhall has come unmoored. It’s 1985 and her mom has passed away, her evil stepmother is pregnant, and her best friend has traded her in for a newer model. Fortunately, she’s about to be saved by Jesus. Not that Jesus—the actor who plays him in Jesus Christ, Superstar. Apron is desperate to avoid the look-alike Mike (no one should look that much like Jesus unless they can perform a miracle or two), but suddenly he’s everywhere. Until one day, she’s stuck in church with him—of all places. And then something happens; Apron’s broken teenage heart blinks on for the first time since she’s been adrift. 

Mike and his grumpy boyfriend, Chad, offer her a summer job in their flower store and Apron’s world seems to calm. But when she uncovers Chad’s secret, coming of age becomes almost too much bear. She’s forced to see things the adults around her fail to—like what love really means and who is paying too much for it.

I think I got a lot more than I expected from this book. It was actually really different from what I thought it would be about. I really liked Apron. She was an honest, realistic portrayal of an average 7th grader. I also liked the fact that it took place in the 80s. It was refreshing.

The other characters, like Mike and Chad, M and Apron’s dad, were also well portrayed. I especially liked the way M was crafted. She was this mean, nasty woman who hated Apron, but once in a blue moon she would give a genuine smile. And Apron’s dad, with the Latin phrases and everything, was really cool. Not cool as in he wears his hat backwards and rides a skateboard, but cool as in his character had a lot of different levels. On one hand, he loved M, and tried to ignore the way she treated Apron. On the other hand, he loved Apron, and didn’t want to see her being bullied by M. I especially like the way he turns out in the end.

The story line wasn’t too complex on the surface, but underneath it was very well formed and interesting. It was fun (and sad, at times) to see Apron grow up and realize different things about the world around her.

Overall…
I really liked Apron’s voice, and the way she grew so much throughout this novel. I wish we could have learned a bit more about her mom.

4 birds
Would definitely fight a few birds for this one!