Category Archives: Books for Girls

Tween Tuesdays With Jordin

Today at Stiletto Storytime we debut a new feature and a new guest reviewer. In fact not only is she my first ever guest reviewer in almost six years of blogging here at Stiletto Storytime but she also just happens to be my little sister as well. You see in our family reading has always been a family affair so it only felt right to let my tween sister review some books written for her age in mind.

An adult can review books for all ages but one often likes to get the actual intended reader’s opinion. As a children’s librarian I am pretty good at knowing what’s good and will be well received and what won’t for a variety of ages. But why not get the point of view of a reader at the age for whom the book was written? So without further ado here is Jordin and her review of Famous for Thirty Seconds by P.G. Kain. This book is the first in the Commercial Breaks series for tweens which means it was written for kids roughly between the ages of 9-12. So please give a warm welcome for Jordin here at Stiletto Storytime.

“You know me. You don’t know how, but you’ve definitely know me.”

            This was true about a thirteen year old actress, Brittany Rush. She has been on the cover of just about everything since she was in diapers. All of that came to a sudden stop when she and her family moved to Hong Kong for a year. When Brittany returned to New York City, she expected to find her old life of call-backs, go-sees, and auditions. Instead she came to find that her spotlight had been given to Phoebe Marks. The girl who before Brittany left, rarely ever got call-backs.

I thought that this was a great book because it has stuff about fashion, romance, and a good rivalry. You should really read this book because not only was it fun but it was also exciting enough to make me want to read the next book in the series too! Book two in the series Picture Perfect is available now and Book three Dramatic Pause will be released on November 27, 2012.

    Need another summer read or how about an option intended more for the boys? Check out Scary School by Derek the Ghost and Scott Fischer. You can also check out the second book in the series Monsters on the March. Here’s a little about the book from it’s description:

“You think your school’s scary? Get a load of these teachers: Ms. Fang, an 850-year-old vampire, Dr. Dragonbreath, who just might eat you before recess, Mr. Snakeskin—science class is so much more fun when it’s taught by someone who’s half zombie and Mrs. T—break the rules and spend your detention with a hungry Tyrannosaurus rex! Plus gargoyles, goblins, and Frankenstein’s monster on the loose The world’s most frighteningly delicious school lunch and the narrator’s an eleven-year-old ghost!

 Join Charles “New Kid” Nukid as he makes some very Scary friends—including Petunia, Johnny, and Peter the Wolf—and figures out that Scary School can be just as funny as it is spooky!”

Sound like some good reads for either yourself or someone you know? Perhaps they may be perfect for your classroom or school library? Do you like having a tween’s point of view on newly released books here at Stiletto Storytime? Would you like to see more reviews by Jordin on Tween Tuesdays or do you have a book you’d like Jordin to review? Just let us know. We love feedback and comments are always not only accepted but truly appreciated as well.

Thanks to Jordin for taking the time to review for Stiletto Storytime and thanks to my readers for allowing her a chance to share some great new tween books with you, your kids or even your grandkids. And as always Happy Reading for All Ages!

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Filed under Books for Girls, Children's Literature, Girly Books, Middle Grade, Reading Fun

2nd Annual Holiday Read-a-Thon

It’s that time of year again. Time for the second annual Holiday Read-a-thon! So cozy up with a nice big pile of your favorite reads and let’s get going! And while diving into your very own favorite books might seem like a holiday treat in and of itself…make sure to check out the all the details and the awesome mini-challenges that Liza at WhoRuBlog has put together including one from moi! That’s right a fantastic mini-challenge and prize pack giveaway from one of my favorite authors who just happens to be a spectacular person as well. And don’t fret…it’s not too late to enter.

Stiletto Storytime Mini-Challenge

What better way to celebrate holiday reading than with a great holiday book. Enter the latest addition to The Mother Daughter Book Club Series titled Home for the Holidays where the girls get introduced to none of than the Betsy-Tacy books! So for this mini-challenge what better prize than to win your very own autographed copy of Home for the Holidays, the newly released Betsy-Tacy Treasury, the first two Betsy-Tacy High School Books and a special Betsy-Tacy tote bag! What a haul! Big thanks to the always generous Heather Vogel Frederick for making this giveaway not only possible but wonderful as well.

So what’ the challenge? It’s really easy- just share your favorite holiday read? It doesn’t have to be a classic or even holiday related…just let us know in the comments below what you enjoying reading this time of year and most importantly why? It can be from a cherished childhood memory, a yearly personal tradition or just your own preference…just let us know why it’s important to you. That’s all it takes. Simple right?

 Giveaway ends midnight EST December 5th 2011. This giveaway is open US/Canada shipping addresses only. Winner will be chosen by random.org and notified by e-mail address or Twitter. Good Luck to all and Happy Reading!

Want extra entries? You can get an extra entry by doing any of the following:

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime

Be/Become a Follower Stiletto Storytime on Twitter (Leave Name)

Be/Become a Follower of Liza of WhoRuBlog on Twitter (Leave Name)

Like the new “Mother Daughter Book Club Page” on Facebook (Leave Name)

Tweet or Blog about this Giveaway (Please leave link in comments)

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Filed under Books for Girls, Challenges, Children's Literature, Girly Books, Heather Vogel Frederick, Middle Grade, New Books, Reading Challenge, Young Adult Books

Book Birthday: Past Perfect by Leila Sales

Happy Book Birthday to Past Perfect by Leila Sales!

“All Chelsea wants to do this summer is hang out with her best friend, hone her talents as an ice cream connoisseur, and finally get over Ezra, the boy who broke her heart. But when Chelsea shows up for her summer job at Essex Historical Colonial Village (yes, really), it turns out Ezra’s working there too. Which makes moving on and forgetting Ezra a lot more complicated…even when Chelsea starts falling for someone new.

Maybe Chelsea should have known better than to think that a historical reenactment village could help her escape her past. But with Ezra all too present, and her new crush seeming all too off limits, all Chelsea knows is that she’s got a lot to figure out about love. Because those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it….”

Girl meets boy. Girl falls for boy. Girl and boy begin relationship. Boy ends relationship with no real reasoning. Girl ends up heartbroken. It plays out all the time in a multitude of genres and among books for various ages. However I really can’t express enough how much I enjoy Leila Sales’ realistic fiction for young adults and how she has handled this really common occurrence in teen life. Realistic fiction is tough..it’s a genre that can go amazingly well or horribly wrong with just a turn of the page. The key is being believable and being able to relate and Sales seems to excel in her newest work just as she did before in Mostly Good Girls.

In addition placing Past Perfect in the world of historical re-enactment is solid gold…it’s like a secret language that will leave you giggling long into the night. The “historical” comedy and sometimes sarcastic voice of Chelsea make the plot perfectly matched to it’s setting. However the story goes much deeper. It’s the story of a girl with a broken heart who try as she might still makes mistakes along the way to finding her way in the world. But as she does so she also learns, grows and becomes a better person for it. It’s the kind of book that I personally would want any teen to read. It’s still fun, quirky and laugh out loud hilarious at times but in the end…it’s more than just a pretty cover which is what really matters.

Book Giveaway

Thanks to the always generous Leila Sales one lucky reader of Stiletto Storytime will win their very own copy of Past Perfect. Giveaway ends midnight EST October 18, 2011. US and Canada address only please. Winner will be chosen by random.org and notified by e-mail address. Good Luck to all and Happy Reading!

To enter simply leave a comment below letting my know what “Book Birthday” you are looking forward to in the near future. What new release are you eagerly anticipating? Any pre-order worthy books coming up for you?

Want extra entries? You can get an extra entry by doing any of the following:

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime

Be/Become a Follower Stiletto Storytime on Twitter

Be/Become a Follower Author Leila Sales on Twitter

Tweet or Blog about this “Book Birthday” Giveaway (Please leave link in comments)

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Filed under Book Birthday, Books for Girls, New Books, Young Adult Books

Beach Bound Books Giveaway

There is something about going to the beach in the summer that makes you need to find the perfect book to take along with you as you walk into the sand….and there’s something about summer when you’re a teen that makes the beach and that perfect summer romance seem only a breath away. And so two perfect books for this summer’s reading are no doubt: Moonglass by Jessi Kirby and We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han. Read below to see if one might be the summer “it” book for you and enter for a chance to win both.

Moonglass by Jessi Kirby

When Anna was little, she and her mother used to search for sea glass, but since they looked at night, they called it moonglass.

 Now, ten years after her mother’s mysterious death, her father is working as head lifeguard on the same beach where her mother grew up and her parents first met and fell in love. Reluctant to get close to anyone (including her father) and not pleased about having to start at a new school, Anna begins to spend more time alone, running the length of the beach and wondering about who her mother really was. After meeting a lifeguard named Tyler, she slowly lets her guard down and together they start exploring the abandoned houses that dot the beach.

 But when learning more about her mother’s past leads to a painful discovery, Anna must reconcile her desire for solitude with ultimately accepting the love of her family and friends. Moonglass is a dazzling debut from an undeniable talent.”

We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han

“Jenny Han’s bestselling trilogy, which includes The Summer I Turned Pretty and It’s Not Summer Without You, concludes with an impossible choice in We’ll Always Have Summer.

Belly has only ever been in love with two boys, both with the last name Fisher. And after being with Jeremiah for the last two years, she’s almost positive he is her soul mate. Almost. Conrad has not gotten over the mistake he made when he let Belly go even as Jeremiah has always known that Belly is the girl for him. So when Belly and Jeremiah decide to make things forever, Conrad realizes that it’s now or never–tell Belly he loves her, or lose her for good. Belly will have to confront her feelings for Jeremiah and Conrad and face a truth she has possibly always known: she will have to break one of their hearts.”

Beach Bound Books Giveaway

One very lucky Stiletto Storytime reader is going to win a copy of both these great books nestled together inside a great beach tote…what a way to start off the summer! Wanna be that winner? To enter simply leave a comment below sharing your favorite “summer reads” of the past. Is there one that really sticks out for you? I would love some new titles for my summer reading list.

Giveaway ends midnight EST May 30, 2011. US and Canada addresses only please. Winner will be chosen by random.org and notified by e-mail address. Good Luck to all and Happy Reading!

Want extra entries? You can get an extra entry by doing any of the following:

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime on Twitter

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Filed under Books for Girls, Contests, New Books, Reading Fun, Young Adult Books

Review & Giveaway: Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg

“Lizzie Bennet, who attends Longbourn Academy on scholarship, isn’t exactly interested in designer dresses and expensive shoes, but her best friend, Jane, might be—especially now that Charles Bingley is back from a semester in London. Lizzie is happy about her friend’s burgeoning romance, but less than impressed by Will Darcy, a pompous jerk who looks down on the middle class. So imagine Lizzie’s surprise when Will asks her to the prom! Will Lizzie’s pride and Will’s prejudice keep them apart? Or are they a prom couple in the making? From Elizabeth Eulberg comes a very funny, completely stylish prom season delight of Jane Austen proportions.”

Confession: I’m slightly finicky about my Austen-inspired books. I adore that they represent new windows into experiencing Jane Austen again and again but I get dare I say…protective of her at times. A work or series too racy (Miss. Austen would blush profusely over many) or deviating vastly from Austen’s characterization means I’m usually not going to enjoy it. However I’ve noticed the odes to Austen that I like the most seem to take a general Jane Austen related theme (be it a particular book, character or even the author herself) and make them over into something modern, inventive or even sometimes fantastical. I have my personal favorites but I have to admit it takes a keen eye and a good grasp of Jane Austen in an Austenish work for me to even get a few chapters in.

Prom and Prejudice is one that I not only got into but I simply could not put it down. I believe I finished the book in the span of a few hours. It’s the perfect modern young adult book to excite readers with fun and readable literature while also drawing on a true masterpiece. One of my favorite attributes of this book in particular is the care given to the somewhat lesser known figures such as Charles Bingley, Carolina Bingley, Lydia Bennet and the wicked Wickham. Eulberg works them seamlessly into her work in a novel based on modern day and yet they remain completely recognizable and often quite hilarious. Readers of Austen will enjoy making connections in all of the ways both big and small that Eulberg draws on Pride and Prejudice to create Prom and Prejudice but the book is also great because it can stand on it’s own as well drawing in teen readers who might have never known Darcy otherwise. And what is life without Darcy worth anyway?

Think you might like Prom and Prejudice? Check out the Book Trailer or learn more about author Elizabeth Eulberg.

Book Giveaway

Two lucky Stiletto Storytime readers will receive their own copy of Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg to enjoy. It’s perfect to enjoy yourself or give to that young adult in your life who you just know will love it. To enter simply leave a comment below sharing your favorite Jane Austen related/inspired book or if you have never read one tell us why you would like to give this one a try. US/Canada addresses only please. Giveaway ends at midnight on January 25, 2011. Good luck and happy reading to all.

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Filed under Books for Girls, Contests, Girly Books, Jane Austen, Young Adult Books

Review & Giveaway: Pies & Prejudice by Heather Vogel Frederick

“Right before the start of their freshman year, the mother-daughter book club faces yet another challenge when Emma’s family unexpectedly moves to England. Leave it to the resourceful girls, however, to find a way to continue meeting and discuss a particularly fitting choice, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

In England, Emma encounters a new queen bee, Annabelle, who sets out to make her life miserable. Back in Massachusetts, meanwhile, Annabelle’s cousins swap homes with Emma’s family and are causing some major distractions. Cassidy clashes with moody Tristan, a modern day Mr. Darcy, while her friends swoon over Tristan’s younger brother Simon. As the year progresses, the girls each discover new talents, and when they cook up a plan to bring Emma home for a visit by holding a bake sale, it grows into a thriving business, Pies & Prejudice. After their sweet scheme looks like it’s going to fall short, though, they’re left wondering if the club will ever all be together again.”

It’s no secret that the The Mother Daughter Book Club series is one of my favorites for girls and now for teens as well since the girls are growing up and so are their book selections.  Best of all they are finally discovering my favorite author: Jane Austen. From the very first book in the series, we saw Austen connections with Emma whose mother just happens to be an Jane Austen loving librarian. She even named her son Darcy (something I tried and my husband nixed by the way). So it was only a matter of time before the girls aged and encountered Jane among other things such as boys and the pressures of starting of high school.

In Pies & Prejudice we get all the things we love about the series and much much more. One of my favorite aspects of the books has always been the girls themselves. Each girl is so unique that almost any reader can identify and connect with a character on a personal level. As the girls have grown older, readers may find themselves connecting with another or multiple characters as well. No matter what there is a girl for each reader to find something in common with. With a great story, fantastic characters and the immersion into the true classic Pride and Prejudice, this book has become my favorite of the series so far. I loved how each chapter began with an Austen quote which connected with the upcoming happenings in that chapter. Austen lovers, teens and mothers will all enjoy this special book.  Read it with The Mother Daughter Book Club Series, read it as a stand alone or even read it along with Pride and Prejudice. No matter what you choose you’ll be glad you did. And don’t forget to share it with all the mothers and daughters in your life.

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Series Giveaway

Thanks to the fantastic Heather Vogel Frederick two lucky winners will receive a copy of all four books in The Mother Daughter Book Club series by simply leaving a comment below sharing their favorite Austen themed book or series. Remember to leave your e-mail address. US/Canada addresses only. Giveaway ends on December 31, 2010. Merry Christmas & Good Luck to All from Heather Vogel Frederick and Stiletto Storytime.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Books for Girls, Children's Literature, Girly Books, Heather Vogel Frederick, Jane Austen, Middle Grade, New Books, Young Adult Books

Review: Matched by Ally Condie

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_ibedmbivr60/TKOlluMpyYI/AAAAAAAABHw/YnjdVDmTPoI/s320/matched.jpgIn the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s barely any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one . . . until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow—between perfection and passion.

Matched is a story for right now and storytelling with the resonance of a classic.

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Books with hype make me nervous. I don’t know if it’s that I am afraid that they won’t live up to the buzz or if I just want to hold them off until I am in need of a sure-to-be page turner. Whatever the reason I don’t dive into them as soon as I get them especially when they are advance reader copies far in advance of publication. And so goes the story of Matched by Ally Condie. Anyone who has read my blog knows I love YA. I also love dystopian…put the two together and I am a pretty happy reader. However I received an ARC of Matched from BEA this year in May….and I just read it yesterday. Despite it’s being my “cup of tea” and having a fantastic cover and even more fantastic hype…I just didn’t pick it up. But when I did get around to reading it, I could not put it down.

Condie has really created a unique dystopian that reads not only as a thought provoking take on society and our future but also as a well written story in general. Lovers of dystopian will be in Heaven but teens and adults who enjoy a good read will also be mostly satisfied with Matched. Most intriguing to me was the idea of simplicity. Would a more simple life make us happier in the future? What if all the choices we make were made for us? Would we be relieved of burdens or deprived of the most important aspect of life? Even better is the fact that this is only the first book in the trilogy. Readers still have two more books to look forward to.

If I had any complaints for the book it would probably be that the characters were not quite as deep as I would have liked. I felt we only scratch the surface on who they are…we never really see them come alive on the page. It’s seems as though the setting and the “Society” took center stage and the characters in some way fell behind. Hopefully just maybe that will change in the next book in the series. I do know that Matched was good enough to make me read the next book and to look forward to more from Ally Condie in the future. I guess sometimes the hype is deserved.

Matched by Ally Condie will be released on November 30, 2010.

How do you feel about books with a big buzz? Does it make you more likely to grab the book as soon as possible or more hesitant?

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Filed under Books for Girls, Dystopian, Girly Books, New Books, Young Adult Books

Review & Giveaway: Prisoners in the Palace by Michaela MacColl

London, 1838. Sixteen-year-old Liza’s dreams of her society debut are dashed when her parents are killed in an accident. Penniless, she accepts the position of lady’s maid to young Princess Victoria and steps unwittingly into the gossipy intrigue of the servant’s world below-stairs as well as the trickery above. Is it possible that her changing circumstances may offer Liza the chance to determine her own fate, find true love, and secure the throne for her future queen?

Too often historical fiction for children and teens gets relegated to the dreaded “school assignment reading” category or it’s only appealing to those who are bookworms at heart and read large amounts of just about anything they can get their hands on. The average young reader won’t pick it up and often won’t even give it a second glance on the shelf. Michaela MacColl and Chronicle Books have fixed that problem with Prisoners in the Palace. Not only it it a captivating and well-written Victorian era novel, it also has some major shelf appeal for young adults. The book literally shines with it’s metallic foil cover and modern day make-over of Queen Victoria along with a back cover uniquely designed like a Victorian broadsheet (think TMZ on paper). The book presents a well-thought out mix of the old and new while staying true to it’s subject matter- a great combination for young adult readers. In a new twist to Queen Victoria’s ascent to the throne, MacColl has created a work that will keep teens interested and flipping the beautiful pages until the very end. Every page reflects her research, timing and attention to detail perfectly. It’s a must not only for young adult readers but also for anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

Today I am happy to welcome Michaela to Stiletto Storytime and what better topic for a guest post than censorship. As a librarian I have to say I have been on both sides of censorship in some ways. I have dealt with the parent that is upset that the picture book about a dirty puppy has the word “stupid” in it. She felt it should be pulled from the shelf. (Yes, this really happened). I have also read books that our library system may have had classified in the children’s fiction section (typically books for 12 and under)  and made the decision based on content to move them to young adult (13+). I firmly believe in everyone’s right to express themselves but as a children’ librarian I am a stickler for designating books for the ages that are appropriate. In the case of Prisoners at the Palace, I think both the author and the publisher have done a good job of setting both the age range and content appropriately. Although as Michaela shows…someone will almost always disagree……

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“What makes an historical book appropriate? Or as I was told recently, not appropriate?

I had made tentative plans to go to a bookfair in Westchester County, a wealthy suburb north of New York City. The PTA wanted me to do a presentation and sign books. I love doing this, so I agreed. The Principal and the Bookfair chairperson would read the book and make a final decision. I just heard that they have decided against me and The Prisoners in the Palace. Although they will sell my book, they don’t feel comfortable with the content for all students in the middle school and they don’t want to appear to be promoting it.

Prisoners in the Palace is recommended for ages 12 and up. That was Chronicle Books’s (my fabulous publisher) decision and I completely endorsed it. The story is about two seventeen year olds, Princess Victoria and her maid/spy/friend Liza Hastings. The Princess’s romantic life is almost entirely in her head and her great love affair with Prince Albert is still four years away. Liza has a chaste romance where both parties have the best of intentions. There are hints that the Duchess of Kent (Victoria’s widowed mother) might be having an affair with her Comptroller of the Household, Sir John Conroy.  There is a wholly untrue scandal about the Queen having an affair. And then there’s the sub-plot with the maid, Annie.  Before the start of the book, Annie was dismissed preemptorially from Kensington Palace because of lewd behavior (this was a tidbit I found in the historical record). When we meet her several months later, she is a prostitute – a common fate of servants who were fired without a “character” or recommendation. There are hints that Sir John may have “had his way with her.” I don’t want to give away anymore – but those are the basics. For a generation raised on Gossip Girl, Twilight, The Jersey Shore and even the Disney Family Secret Life of an American Teenager, this seems pretty tame, doesn’t it?

The Bookfair Chairperson told me that the Annie sub-plot was the issue that gave the school pause. (I was a little confused that Annie being taken advantage of was objectionable but that she was to be commended for keeping the baby – but that’s a political discussion that has no place here!) They thought it was too much for their youngest readers (this would be sixth grade).

Let me be clear – this bookfair had not made a firm commitment yet. The bookfair chairperson who wrote to me couldn’t have been more gracious. She personally enjoyed the book and didn’t consider anything in it to be gratuitous. I responded in a like manner – I appreciated her thoughtful comments, my next book would be solidly middle grade and perhaps I could visit next year.

But I’m worried. If this novel isn’t appropriate, what is? Prisoners in the Palace does tackle the powerlessness of women in the 1830’s. It was a sad and undeniable fact that young women servants were completely at the mercy of the men of the household. Liza, my heroine, is a recent orphan without any means of support. Her situation can’t much more precarious. As a child, even the future ruler of Great Britain, Victoria has zero control over her life. Annie is a cautionary tale for Liza and Liza’s role is to make sure that the future Teen Queen knows a little something about the real life outside the palace walls. How can this not be a good message for kids, twelve and up to learn? Especially since they learn it in context of a well-researched story that paints a portrait of early Victorian England?

I have two daughters, one fourteen and one twelve. They were always in my mind when I wrote. Frankly, I’m a bit of a prude and I’m not interesting in writing something that I have to “talk about” with the kids. There are many authors out there who write this kind of book well, and I’d much rather “talk about those books” with my girls.  I’d rather that my readers talked history and a good story.

To see if I’ve been disinvited anyplace else, please visit my website, www.michaelamaccoll.com

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Book Giveaway

Thanks to Chronicle Books (one of my favorite publishers due to their unique releases and attention to detail) readers can use the promotion code PRISONER at Chronicle Books and get 25% off plus free shipping on their very own copy of  Prisoners at the Palace. One lucky winner will receive a copy by simply leaving a comment below with their e-mail address. US/Canada addresses only. Giveaway ends on November 12th at midnight EST. Good luck to all!

You can also see other reviews from the Blog Tour of Prisoners in the Palace & other features here.

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Filed under Author Interviews & Posts, Blog Tour, Books for Girls, Girly Books, historical fiction, Young Adult Books

Blog Tour: Unstoppable in Stilettos by Lauren Ruotolo

http://karenkellywriter.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/41sunmn3ghl_sl500_aa300_1.jpg I don’t really read “self-help” books. It’s a personal reading choice. Some readers love them and some can’t stand them. I tend to fall in the latter category. Most of the time the information between their pages seems to be largely common sense and simply packaged in different ways again and again. We all logically know we need to be positive, believe in ourselves, work hard and chase our dreams….this is nothing new. No matter how it’s stated it remains the same. It’s not going to get any easier. There is not a magic answer everyone knows but you. What can make a difference is the story behind someone’s advice. Is it inspiring? Did you enjoy reading about their life? Did it give you hope?

Lauren Ruotolo’s Unstoppable in Stilettos: A Girl’s Guide to Living Tall in a Small World grabbed me at the title obviously. When I received it….well I had my doubts. (Again I hate self-help books.) However what really made me enjoy this book is Lauren’s story. She’s an incredibly successful woman who was forced at a very young age to choose just how strong she would be: both physically and mentally. Her personal story is both interesting and inspiring. I wish there was more of it. However I can say that she is definitely qualified to give the advice that she does. She demonstrates in each instance how she took the advice she gives and applied it to her own life and the results she got from doing so. This is a woman who has faced true challenges that make most of our worries look like “walks in the park”. And she does it all in stilettos…how can you not love that?

This book would especially be good for younger teen girls. The messages inside are highly relevant to many of the changes they are encountering in their lives and it’s written in an easy and fun manner that would keep them both interested and entertained.

Thanks to TLC Book Tours and Health Communications Inc. one lucky reader will win a copy of Unstoppable in Stilettos. To win simply leave a comment below with your e-mail address. You must leave an e-mail address to be eligible. US/Canada addresses only. No P.O. Boxes please. The giveaway will end  November 1, 2010 at midnight.  Winner will be chosen by Random.org and contacted by e-mail.

 

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Filed under Adult Books, Books for Girls, New Books, Non-Fiction, Young Adult Books

Review: The Intern by Jess C. Scott

http://keris.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451956869e20134876c53a1970c-pi “A 17-year-old intern must choose between trusting an irresistibly suave dance instructor—or her instincts. SINS07 is a series featuring lighthearted tales that explore each of the seven sins in order, beginning with lust.”

The Intern is the first in a new young adult series focusing on the seven deadly sins in contemporary modern young adult life. However that description can be somewhat misleading as can the title of the actual book. The Intern really centers around the social life of it’s seventeen-year-old protagonist Suzie Quinn or “Suzie Q” during a period when she is doing an internship away from home for her well-known school Nova Academy. During her two week museum internship Suzie is free to live and explore a new city while living at the Bliss Hotel.  While we do actually learn some things about the internship, most of the central plot focuses on what happens out of work hours when Suzy has time to pursue her own interests such as dance classes and becoming part of a new Fitness Dance DVD. The “lust” element comes in when Suzie meets Jo-Zee, hot dance instructor and DVD creator. Needless to say she finds herself completely head over heels. It all starts with one dance class but it doesn’t stop there.

Suzie is an interesting character as is her sidekick intern and close friend Chester, however in some ways the book is kind of spotty with consistency, pop culture references, fashion..etc. It took awhile to really get into the setting since it came off British at times but American at others. The characters also seemed to sometimes be modern and other times somewhat dated. However I think most of that was explained away once I researched the author Jess C. Scott and learned she grew up in Singapore and now resides in Maine. I just don’t know if it will translate well to a modern American teenage audience. I don’t know how much they will have in common pop culture wise. However there are some simple things that made the book very translatable.

I really liked Suzie as a character because she was understandable and attainable in some very important ways…she’s the good girl, intelligent, not the prettiest or the most popular. She’s pretty average but has secret interests you would never expect like hip-hop dancing and natural dance talent. Dancers might especially enjoy this book since it focuses quite a bit on different dance techniques and styles in detail. Non-dancers may start skimming through some of those sections though at times since they can become very detailed. Suzie also has a crush, one that seems far from possible. She “lusts” after a boy, a boy her instincts say may not be all good. What girl cannot relate to that? She’s also pretty funny and her humor always shines through as she moves along through the book. She’s not above laughing at herself and that’s a great quality in any character in my opinion especially in the young adult genre.

The book is slow to start but builds along and is definitely worth read for the ending if nothing more. The twist is great. It will be interesting to read the next book in the series and see if the twists continue….I also really like the cover which was done by the author as well.

Book #2 in the series is said to focus on “gluttony” and have a male model as a possible  protagonist.

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