Wednesday, May 29, 2013

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY: Sequels by Sarahs!!

Hey there, "Waiting on Wednesday" is a meme hosted over at Breaking the Spine, featuring those books that you wish were out. Right. This. Second.

This week I'm featuring 2 fantastic sequels--both of which happen to be written by a different Sarah lol :-).

This book has AWESOME written all over it.  Sequels rock.  Yay Team Chaol!!!
An assassin’s loyalties are always in doubt.  But her heart never wavers.

After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king's contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.

Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king's bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she's given a task that could jeopardize everything she's come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon -- forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice.

Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?

And this one sounds like it could potentially break my ninja heart.  Kami & Jared must end up together.  Period.  Or I will lose all faith in humanity.  Do the right thing, Ms. Brennan!  *resorts to groveling* Pretty please... o_o
Free from bonds, but not each other

It’s time to choose sides… On the surface, Sorry-in-the-Vale is a sleepy English town. But Kami Glass knows the truth. Sorry-in-the-Vale is full of magic. In the old days, the Lynburn family ruled with fear, terrifying the people into submission in order to kill for blood and power. Now the Lynburns are back, and Rob Lynburn is gathering sorcerers so that the town can return to the old ways.

But Rob and his followers aren’t the only sorcerers in town. A decision must be made: pay the blood sacrifice, or fight. For Kami, this means more than just choosing between good and evil. With her link to Jared Lynburn severed, she’s now free to love anyone she chooses. But who should that be?

Have a great week!!
Ninja Girl

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

ELEANOR AND PARK by Rainbow Rowell

This book wasn't what I expected.  Judging by the cover and the dialogue on Goodreads, I thought Eleanor and Park was going to be another sweet romantic comedy.  I know, I know.  Couldn't have been more off-base if I tried.  But that's what I thought going in.
Now, imagine my surprise, when I start reading only to find something completely different.

A story about two characters that transcend the fictional and actually come to life in these pages.  A dual POV where I get to know them both.  A love story about first love, true love, involving two high school kids who couldn't be more different--at first.

This book deftly mixes the bitter and the sweet to come up with something completely real and timeless.  I loved it <3 <3 <3

Eleanor was my girl from page 1.  I felt for her immediately, standing there on the bus all awkward in the wrong clothes, wrong hair, wrong everything.  I wanted to hurt anyone who hurt her (especially those jerks on the bus and her a-hole stepdad, Richie).  Later, we learn that: a) Her home life sucks.  b) She can't afford new clothes--among other things.  c) She is one tough cookie who's smart and vibrantly full of life despite everything trying to tear her down.  Oh, and I liked her b/c of her take on Romeo and Juliet.  It closely aligns with my own.

Park was imperfectly perfect.  *Sigh*  He's a rare breed in YA, a flawed hero (or at least a very human one) whose innate goodness and badassery shines through even before he kicks the crap out of one of his friends who's cruel to Eleanor--which he totally does in the book.  I cheered in my head.  I loved Park b/c: a) the comics, b) the mixed tapes, c) the batteries.  Oh my Lord, the batteries!!!  Made me weep like a baby.  It was seriously one of the sweetest moments I have ever read in a book J.

Rainbow Rowell is the best kind of storyteller.  Every misunderstanding between Park and Eleanor was so real.  She didn't just make them fight to create tension.  It happened b/c of their different views on life, which, of course, were formed by their wildly different family lives.  Even though it wrecked me--and it did--I appreciated the drama.  I was glad it was never drama just for drama's sake.
And the romance.  Heartbreaking, achingly sweet, funny.  I wanted Eleanor and Park to find their HEA.  I wanted them to find a way to stay together.  My goodness, I literally cried, when they finally held hands.  Think that's an exaggeration?

"If he were to look up at her now, he'd know exactly how stupid she was.  She could feel her face go soft and gummy.  If Park were to look up at her now, he'd know everything. 

He didn't look up.  He wound the scarf around his fingers until her hand was hanging in the space between them.

Then he slid the silk and his fingers into her open palm.

And Eleanor disintegrated."--page 71, Eleanor and Park

There's so much more, but I'm going to stop here.  As a YA writer, this is the kind of book you aspire to--and that makes you fear you may never get there.  Rowell's book was incredible, a rare and beautiful find.  I strongly recommend to anyone who loves romance, great characters, great writing, The Smiths, X-Men comics etc.  Perfect.  Simply perfect.

Happy reading everyone!!

Ninja Girl

(P.S. Have tissues ready)

Thursday, May 16, 2013


Hi all!  I don't do writing posts that often--mainly b/c this is a book review blog J.  Plus, there are more comprehensive posts by publishing industry experts, literary agents, editors and writers, who've covered everything there is to know about writing.  But I'm a big fan of lists, and I've learned a few things about the publishing process, so...

Here are a few quick definitions for any new authors (or any bloggers who're curious :-D).


MS = manuscript (i.e. the story you've written)

WIP = work-in-progress (i.e. the story you are still in the process of writing)

MC = main character

Word count = the number of words that are in your novel

Genre = the type of book you've written (i.e. fantasy, contemporary, mystery, horror etc.)

Audience = the target market for your book (i.e. middle grade (MG), young adult (YA), new adult (NA), adult etc.) 

Hook = concise, compelling description of your book, usually about 1-2 sentences (also may be called the "elevator pitch")

Query = letter containing all the particulars about your book, usually includes the hook, a short summary, word count, genre, target audience, and a couple sentences about the author

Synopsis = short summary of your book that tells all of the main plot points from beginning to end (longer than a query, usually only a few pages (unless it's a 1-page synopsis which another beast altogether J))
Form R = form rejection of your MS
Personalized R = rejection where the agent (or editor) says "why" your book wasn't right for them
Partial = request for a small portion of your book (i.e. first 3 chapters, 50 pages, 100 pages etc.)

Full = request for your complete MS

R & R = Revise & Resubmit; when an agent leaves the door opent to resubmit an MS after significant revision

Literary Agent = the person who represents you and your book and tries to sell it to an editor

Editor = the person who edits your book and works for a publisher

Publisher = the company that publishes, produces, and markets your book

Submission = the process of submitting to editors/publishers (aka "on sub")

Traditionally published = being published through traditional means (i.e. selling your MS to a publisher who then turns your story into an actual book and markets it to readers)

Self-published = publishing a book yourself (where the author assumes the role as their own publisher) and = the two sites any newbie writer should join.  Immediately!!

Obviously, this is not a comprehensive list.  There's a ton I still need to learn about publishing--and I can't wait!  I knew absolutely nothing when I started out, so I hope this helps someone :-).

Have a great week!

Ninja Girl

Thursday, May 9, 2013

SPEECHLESS by Hannah Harrington

This book was such a surprise.  Speechless by Hannah Harrington has a great premise: Gossipy girl takes a vow of silence after telling someone else's secret nearly gets that person killed.  But the plain white cover, the starkness in comparison to every other book on the shelf was what initially drew me.

I'd read the summary for the book several times--on Goodreads, reviews, other blogs.  But I loved the look of this edition b/c it spoke to me (no pun intended).  This unique cover told me in not so many words that, "This book is different."

And it was.

Chelsea Knot, our main character, is one of those girls.  A mean girl.  A popular.  A girl who knows what it takes to stay in the inner-circle and doesn't mind telling others' secrets to stay there.  Don't believe me?  Here's a taste of Chelsea's voice. 

"Keeping secrets isn't my specialty.  It never has been, ever since kindergarten when I found out Becky Swanson had a crush on Tommy Barnes, and I managed to circulate that fact to the entire class, including Tommy himself, within our fifteen-minute recess--a pretty impressive feat, in retrospect.  That was ten years ago, and it still may hold the record for my personal best."--pg. 1 Speechless

Love it.  Here's this girl who holds a "personal best" in gossip.  The voice was quick, witty, and Chelsea's character was obviously flawed.  I was instantly in the story.  I knew from the summary that Chelsea was in for a wake-up call, and I wanted to see if Harrington could pull off that difficult balance between light/fun voice and dealing with a tough/darker subject and still make it believable.

I'm going to be honest: I don't like books about popular girls who start out all bitchy and then suddenly turn over a new leaf.  1) B/c that's just not the way things really are, and 2) B/c I hardly ever buy it.  This is a personal pet peeve of mine.  I hardly ever pick up books about the mean-girl-with-a-hear-of-gold b/c I can still see the mean-hearted, selfish girl underneath in the end.

Here is where this book really soared.  There was never a point where I didn't like Chelsea.  I'll repeat: There was never a point where I didn't completely and utterly root for her.  Why?  After reading this book, I realized Harrington knew exactly what she was doing from start to finish.  B/c Chelsea was never actually a mean girl.

The proof is right there in the summary.  After sharing a secret that wasn't hers to share, she immediately tries to right that wrong.  She turns in her BFF's boyfriend and his crew, who put another kid in the hospital, when no one else steps forward to tell the truth.  She then takes a vow of silence and maintains this throughout the novel despite taunts and abuse.

Despite all this, Chelsea still thinks she's a mean girl.  And that's what made me like her even more.  Loved the new friends she makes in the novel, Asha and Sam.  Loved how she and Sam developed a relationship through notes *sigh*.  Loved how this book managed to tackle such a heavy subject while never coming off preachy.  This was a great story, definitely recommended.

The romance was right on point as were the friendships and voice.  But my favorite part was the mean girl who wasn't actually a mean girl.  That's a hard one to write successfully--but Harrington made me a believer J.

Happy reading,

Ninja Girl

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tunes & Teaser Tuesday: BEAUTIFUL CREATURES by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading. Here are the rules:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open it to a random page
  • Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO REVEAL SPOILERS! (Be sure not to spoil the book for others!
  • Make sure your sentences don't reveal something important!)
  • Include the title and author to, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!
Full disclosure: I saw the movie first--which I really enjoyed btw :-).


"But all I could see was a beautiful girl in a long gray dress, under a white track jacket with the word Munich sewn on it, and beat-up black Converse peeking out underneath.  A girl who wore a long silver chain around her neck, with tons of stuff dangling from it--a plastic ring from a bubblegum machine, a safety pin, and a bunch of other junk I was too far away to see.  A girl who looked like she didn't belong in Gatlin.  I couldn't take my eyes off her."--pg. 32, Beautiful Creatures

Almost finished with the book, and I think it's a really great example of YA written from the male POV.  Also, I love how we get a clear picture of Lena--and how Ethan can't take his eyes off her.  And as my TUNE IN TUESDAY pick (hosted over at Kate's Tales of Books and Bands), I chose "Best Day of My Life" by American Authors b/c it's such a happy, feel good song :-).  Enjoy!

Have a great one!

Ninja Girl

Sunday, May 5, 2013


Hi everyone! Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  I went to the local Old Book Sale this weekend and found some wonderful books--also dropped by BAM and got some great new releases :-).

List of Books: All-American Girl by Meg Cabot
                        The Archived by Victoria Schwab
                        The Rules by Stacey Kade
                        Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
                        Reboot by Amy Tintera
                        For the Roses by Julie Garwood
                        Prince Charming by Julie Garwood
                        Hot Shot by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
                        Hell on Wheels by Julie Ann Walker
                        One Red Rose by Julie Garwood
                        The Secret by Julie Garwood
                        The Princess and the Barbarian by Betina Krahn
                        Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn
                        A Night Like This by Julia Quinn

Old book sales rock!!  Period.  Have a great week!

Ninja Girl