Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Hey everyone!! I hope you all had a great holiday.  I got way too much again this Christmas (no one's that good lol), but in our family Christmas is a really big deal.  We go all out; that's just how it is :D  So, I thought I'd share some of my favorites! Though, I loved everything I received, these were just too fantastic not to post.

My awesome book basket from Ninja Aunt!  Already read one book; review coming soon ;)

Tokidoki Rogue!  Too awesome for words

Ninja Girl Reads hoodie!!!

And finally, to feed my Kdrama addiction...Secret Garden season 1 DVD!!

That is a fair representation of the awesome found under my tree this year.  How was everyone's Christmas? Did you guys get anything too good not to share?  Did you give anything you're particularly proud of??  (I gave my own book basket that imo ROCKED!)  I'd love to hear how everyone's Christmas went!!

Hope you're all doing well and had a great holiday,

Ninja Girl

Friday, December 23, 2011


So, here it is J  The post I've been dreaming of writing for years!!  Yes, you read right, I said years.  I've heard several stories of authors waiting longer than me to get "The Call," but believe me, I felt every moment of those three years.  In that time, I learned a lot about the submissions process, form rejections, full requests, and that little booger bear better known as subjectivity.  If you're interested, here's a quick rundown of my story.

I started my first manuscript in 2008.  It was shortly after I'd discovered Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series (little late to the game on that one J).  Now, say what you will, but those books inspired a lot of people.  Over in my profile description, you'll see that J.K. Rowling got me reading, but it was Meyer who made me think, "Hey, I can do that!  I can write a first person POV for teens that'll rock people's socks off!"

Yeah, not as easy as it sounds.

The biggest things that held me back could be narrowed down to two facts: 1) I didn't know how to write transition.  In other words, I had trouble skipping anything, thought I had to write every hour of every day and every action of my characters.  Those were dark days O_o.  2) I was afraid to write romance.  That one seems particularly ridiculous to me now.  All three of my completed MSs have a romantic element, but back then it terrified me.  I guess I thought people would laugh or that my take/what I thought was romantic wouldn't resonate with others.

Anyway, back to the point.  Book 1 was a YA paranormal that took me two years to write.  I queried too quickly, got tons of form Rs, had my confidence beaten to a pulp.  Each rejection was like a punch to the gut, but I learned a lot.  Part of my problem was I could never nail the query for that particular story (not to mention the saturated YA paranormal market).  I didn't sell it as good as I should have.  Novel 1 was my baby; I still love it, still think readers would enjoy it, haven't read a paranormal yet tackling the mythology of the book.  But as much as it pained me, after 50+ Rs, I knew it was time to write something new. 

Book 2 was a YA romance murder mystery (catchy right? J) that I wrote in less than a year and had agents requesting left, right and center.  I knew I'd done it this time.  The query killed.  Book 2 was original, nothing else like it out there.  The writing was better, the characters more realized, the mystery/romance combo a real winner.  But then…I got my first R on a full.  And my second, third…you get the picture.  Though some of those were personalized, and I got a lot of compliments on my writing, there was still something missing.

Then came the idea for Book 3.  It was like the heavens opened up.  *cue angels singing*  I outlined the story in a single night, sat down and wrote the book in about 5 months.  Seriously, it was like magic.  The process for this story (ironically a YA romance) was so easy, so certain. It probably sounds dumb, but Book 3 just poured out of me.  There was very little work involved.  It was fun and funny and romantic.  Who knew I had it in me???  I sure didn't J

When I started querying, I got requests faster than I ever had before (most of those for the full).  Even when the inevitable Rs rolled in, I remained confident in my characters and the story.  What's funny is even with all my belief and sureness, when I got my first Revise and Resubmit, it all came crashing down.  I continued querying, tried not to lose faith in the other agents who had my book, but I knew I'd fail.  This would be just like Book 1 and Book 2.  I was never going to find an agent.  My awesome characters would never see the light of day b/c I just wasn't good enough.

The pity party was in full swing when I got an update email.  The first I'd received form an agent--and she hadn’t even had my full a month!  It was so considerate that I liked her immediately, but I didn't want to get my hopes up.  Her comments were complimentary, but I'd heard it before.  There was no way I'd be lucky enough to get an agent--especially not a nice, considerate one.  Then a few days later, I got the call. *Cue angels again* J

During that call (the week of Thanksgiving), several things happened: I realized that this agent got my story, that she loved my characters as much as me.  She had ideas, real concrete ideas, on how to take the manuscript to the next level.  She was the one I wanted to rep my book.  Hands down, no questions.  I wanted to work with this lady.  Literally when she said the words, "I'd like to offer you representation," the volume on the phone went out (of course!).  So I sat there kinda dumbfounded, thinking, "Did she say what I think she just said?!?!?!?"  Still, don't know if I heard her right, but the contract's been signed and I've got my first edits, so I'm just going to go with it!!!!!! 

So, that's my story!!! Ninja Girl's Best Thanksgiving EVER!

Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas, full of great books, great surprises, and even better people!  The vid below is how I feel.  See the little girl with the dark hair and green dress?? Yeah, that's me doing my happy dance J

Ninja Girl

Thursday, December 15, 2011

DEADLY COOL by Gemma Halliday

An updated Nancy Drew (or should I say Veronica Mars? J) for this generation with sass, sarcasm, and a brash attitude that'll have you laughing out loud.  Truly, if you're looking for the funny, give Deadly Cool a try.  Halliday has written a fast-paced and fun mystery that keeps you hooked from page one.

Here's the rundown: Hartley Featherstone has just discovered an open condom wrapper in her boyfriend Josh's locker.  Worse, rumor has it he's cheating on her with the not-so-virginal Queen of the Chastity Club.  When the Queen's corpse is found in his closet with a pair of iPod buds wrapped tight as a noose around her neck, the cops finger Josh as the murderer.

Too bad he's suddenly MIA.

With Josh popping up in her bedroom at odd times, begging her to solve the case, Hartley has two options: Push him out the window like he deserves or help the dirtbag prove his innocence.  Decisions, decisions.  What's a girl to do?  If you're Hartley, you throw yourself head-first into the investigation, partnering up with your best friend Sam and the bad-boy-next-door Chase, asking questions and running down leads better left to the cops.  After she stumbles over her second dead body, Hartley knows she's in over her head.  But even with the bad boy guarding her back, it may not be enough to stop the killer before Hartley ends up six feet under.

The book was such a nice break from the Epic, Dark, and Scary in YA I've been reading.  I've noticed that after reading a few dystopians/urban fantasy/paranormal I always enjoy a good laugh.  Deadly Cool was a welcome change of pace and tone.  Hartley--though not dressed in leather and with decidedly no superpowers--had me cheering and laughing and wanting her to find the bad guy and get the bad boy J

I really enjoyed her sense of the ridiculous and the humor that was carried throughout the story.  She was so likable and fresh that she single-handedly rejuvenated the YA mystery genre.  Not many a MC could carry that one off, but Hartley did it without even a hint of paranormaly goodness!  Good on you Gemma Halliday J

Also, the mystery was interesting and never boring.  Although I think I called it pretty early, I still wanted to see how Hartley ended up catching the murderer.  For me, it wasn't so much about the surprise of "Who done it?"  The kind of mystery I enjoy matches the story with a character I want to follow, someone I'm interested in and care about.  The setup pretty much assured that: A teenage MC done wrong by her boyfriend, who she, despite his lying, cheating ways, decides to help anyway?  Yeah, there was no way I wouldn't like Hartley.

Chase Erikson, bad boy extraordinaire who's got smarts to boot, was an added bonus.  Rarely in YA do the Bad Boy and the Smart Guy mix, but Chase was a hybrid, and I was all about it J

I'll definitely be picking up Social Suicide (Book 2), and I'd recommend it to readers looking for a little light after all the dark popping up in YA.  It's a good, quick read.  You won't be disappointed!

Happy reading,

Ninja Girl

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Hi everyone!  This is my first "Waiting on Wednesday" post, which is a really cool meme hosted over at Breaking the Spine.  It's all about the books that you've been eargerly anticpating, waiting forever for, keep looking up again and again to see if the release date has changed ;)

I've been waiting for this book to come out for months now, so I thought it'd be a perfect fit.

Summary from Ms. Glines's website:

What happens when you're stalked by Death? You fall in love with him, of course.

Pagan Moore doesn’t cheat Death, but instead, falls in love with him.

Seventeen year old Pagan Moore has seen souls her entire life. Once she realized the strangers she often saw walking through walls were not visible to anyone else, she started ignoring them. If she didn’t let them know she could see them, then they left her alone. Until she stepped out of her car the first day of school and saw an incredibly sexy guy lounging on a picnic table, watching her with an amused smirk on his face. Problem is, she knows he's dead.

Not only does he not go away when she ignores him, but he does something none of the others have ever done. He speaks. Pagan is fascinated by the soul. What she doesn’t realize is that her appointed time to die is drawing near and the wickedly beautiful soul she is falling in love with, is not a soul at all.

He is Death and he's about to break all the rules.

Seriously, I love the premise (and the beautiful cover!!).    Plus, that last sentence--He is Death and he's about to break all the the rules--totally rocks, great punch to end, made me want to own the book.  I've always been a fan of Death as a character, and in a YA setting, I think this concept could really take off.  I've been waiting and waiting and waiting for this one to release, and it finally came out yesterday *whoop*  Can't wait to read Existence!!

Hope you all are having a great week,

Ninja Girl

Friday, December 9, 2011


Hey there, and welcome to another Follow Friday!!  I love finding new blogs and meeting new people, and that's what the Follow's all about :)  The weekly meme is hosted by the always awesome Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.  This week's features are Keeping Up With Roxy's Books and Anonymous Reads.

Q: Keeping with the Spirit of Giving this season, what book do you think EVERYONE should read and if you could, you would buy it for all of your family and friends?

There's no contest.  I think everyone, everywhere should read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.  I'd give a copy to every child, adult, girl, or boy that I know (or don't know).  I think Rowling's writing speaks to all people.  The magic she managed to contain in that book--that series--doesn't fade over time.  It casts that same spell every time you open the book, and I wish for everyone to experience that :D

Hope everyone's having a great holiday season!

Ninja Girl

Thursday, December 8, 2011

NICK & NORAH'S INFINITE PLAYLIST by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

One of the best titles for a book (and movie imo) and the most fitting for this particular YA.  If I was as cool as either one of the MCs I'd be able to reference some awesome bands and throw in a few lines of song lyrics to sum up the book perfectly.  But I'm not, and I can't.  Ninja Girl = Geek to the core J  But what I can do is tell you why I thought the YA was such a hit.

There's something so intriguing about two strangers meeting and falling for each other over the space of one incredible night.  It's a little more believable than love at first sight, lets us get into the heads of the characters and actually see the "why."  What led up to that first kiss?  Why did Nick give Norah his jacket?  What was up with the evil exes?  Why would "frigid," too-cool-for-school Norah suddenly fall for heartsick, puppy-dog-eyed Nick?  We get to see the whole relationship unfold, its ups and downs--and there are plenty of those.  Nick and Norah were always perfect for each other (even if they didn't know it, we did), and it's that need to see how they finally get it together.  The want to see their happy ending that drives you to devour the book in one sitting.  183 pages?  I could've read about them for 300 and never been bored J

I will confess: I saw the movie first and loved it.  But the book didn't disappoint.  The same humor was there paired with a sweet innocence absent in so much of teen lit/TV/movies these days.  The gesture of Nick asking Norah to be his five-minute girlfriend to save face in front of the ex that trampled his heart.  The fact that a teenage boy would/could do that, put his pride aside and ask that question with no ulterior motive, made me love Nick immediately.  (Note: In the movie, it's Norah who asks Nick, but I liked it better when Nick asked J)  And Norah's near-immediate acceptance and how that first kiss sparked something neither of them had anticipated.  *Sigh* That, my friends, is why I love YA!

I loved Salvatore and how Nick said it looked better on Norah.  That jacket was one of my favorite characters lol!  I also really loved Norah.  I don't know why exactly.  She was guarded and protective and kind of a potty mouth, but her vulnerability, the depth of her thoughts, those won me over.  I loved the Nick in the movie a little better.  Michael Cera was not nearly as cool as the Nick in the book (and I love that Michael Cera kid; he's golden ;)).  But book Nick was wonderful, too.

Overall, I think I liked the movie just a tad better.  The innocence of it, the SOUNDTRACK, and of course, the Michael Cera.  Kat Dennings was the perfect Norah, and the chemistry was right on.  It was great to see where the movie got its inspiration (I'd actually have liked it even more if it kept in some of the parts that were left out).  The book provided a deeper look into these characters I'd enjoyed watching on screen.

I'd recommend it to readers looking for great contemporary YA with humor and heart!  And (b/c I loved the soundtrack sooooooo much!) here's one of my favorites from the movie.

Happy reading (and listening)!

Ninja Girl

Monday, December 5, 2011


I got these awards a while ago, and I'm so glad to pass them on!  I follow a lot of great, great blogs so I love to pay it forward :D  The first award is called the Blog on Fire Award.  Thank you Jenni Elyse and Lynn(e) for passing it on to me!!  This one is so pretty O__O  Could stare at it all day lol!  To accept the award you post a few random facts about yourself and give it to other blogs you think deserve it.

The second award is called One Lovely Blog Award, and as you can see, it's gorgeous as well!  I received this one from Lynn(e) and CassieMae.  If you're not already following, these two writerly women are tops, so go check them out J Thanks ladies!

Random Facts:

1) I had some awesome news over the holidays: I got an agent!!!  One who really loves my book and wants to work with me on it to make it the best it can possibly be J  Best. Thanksgiving. Ever!

2) Florence + The Machine is one of my favorite bands to come out in the last decade.  Cosmic Love is freaking transcendent people, and so are the lead singer's vocals.  Could listen to them all day!

3) I usually love to watch new movies, but until The Hunger Games is released, it's pretty much a waiting game J

4) My favorite type of dancing to watch is either hip hop or contemporary (or anything where the dancers kill the choreography).  My favorite style to do is contemporary. The style I'm probably best at (and teach the most classes in) is tap.  The style I'm definitely worst at is pointe.

5) My deepest wish is for my family to be truly happy.  Forever.  To get everything their hearts desire and nothing less.  I hope to help out with that. 

So, that concludes my randomness!  Onto the great blogs I think are truly awesome and fantastic and all things golden:

Have a great week everyone!

Ninja Girl

Thursday, December 1, 2011

SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi


At first, I thought it was the concept that would make Shatter Me great.  A girl who's been locked up for 264 days without any human contact?  An MC whose touch is a danger to all those around her?  It was golden.  But what made the book truly extraordinary for me were two things: 1) Juliette's lyrical voice and 2) an irresistible bad guy with evil and charisma dripping from his pores.

As a longtime X-Men fan, the premise (i.e. the power) sounded somewhat familiar to me.  It reminded so much of Rogue and all the troubles her power brought her that I just had to see what made Juliette tick.  Immediately, from the first page, I could tell this girl was different.  She saw the world differently, processed images and interactions differently, and I enjoyed reading her lyrical thoughts.  Even locked in a prison cell, Juliette's inner voice read like poetry.  Bleak yet beautiful, hopeful yet haunting, she had an outlook all her own.  Reading her thoughts was like being re-introduced to the world.  It was refreshing to find a new voice in YA, a girl I'd never met before but wanted to know better.  Juliette feared herself--her touch--yet even with all her self-loathing she was a survivor.  Just b/c she felt weak didn't mean she was weak.  When the chips were down, Juliette showed more defiance and fire than anyone gave her credit for (except Adam and possibly Warner).

Speaking of, that brings me to the other element that made this book beyond awesome.

One word: Warner.

He was handsome, arrogant, cruel, ruthless.  Fearless.  Warner, the nineteen-year-old leader of the Reestablishment, was made out to be more evil than the devil himself…but.  There was something about him.  Like the best bad guys, Warner had qualities you couldn't help but admire even as you loathed him.  His self-assurance was obviously attractive, but the thing I liked best was his obsession with power (and therefore Juliette).  He wanted her to see that she was strong, that she could do and have anything she wanted.  Even though his outlook was a bit Hitler-esque, I loved how he encouraged her.  Or course, he was just using her to be a weapon for the Reestablishment, but that's beside the point J  Paired next to Juliette who could see so much more when she looked at the world, Warner was narrow minded, focused, a little sad.  I wanted to know more about him, and I greatly appreciate Mafi for creating an evil yet intriguing baddie.

The end of the book went even more into X-Men territory, but I liked what made it different, namely Juliette and Warner.  The romance was wonderful and so was the action, but Juliette's unique take on everything going on around her, that's what made the read worth it for me.  I will definitely be getting the next book when it comes out!  Loved it :D :D

Happy reading everyone,

Ninja Girl