Thursday, August 29, 2013

"Purity" (A Lexi Review)


Sometimes we need to go off and experience life. I don't think I've fully lived mine, especially without restraint, and this novel had me thinking about it all. That's one of the reasons that I've enjoyed reading it so very much!

This novel is Purity by Jackson Pearce.

Summary: "A novel about love, loss, and sex -- but not necessarily in that order.
Before her mother died, Shelby promised three things: to listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restraint. Those Promises become harder to keep when Shelby's father joins the planning committee for the Princess Ball, an annual dance that ends with a ceremonial vow to live pure lives -- in other words, no "bad behavior," no breaking the rules, and definitely no sex.Torn between Promises One and Three, Shelby makes a decision -- to exploit a loophole and lose her virginity before taking the vow. But somewhere between failed hookup attempts and helping her dad plan the ball, Shelby starts to understand what her mother really meant, what her father really needs, and who really has the right to her purity." (Yay for Goodreads!)

This novel has a main character that truly remembers to live without restraint (okay, so it's a rule, which could be considered a restraint, but let's not be so philosophical about this). If you were to promise to live your life without restraint, would you be able to? Do you already?

The characters all are relatable, whole, and have histories of their own. This is such a great novel. If you're religious, don't be afraid of this novel, okay? I know that this is probably a banned book by now, but it's so very good. I would have every girl read this, establish it in high schools, and show how realistic living without restraints can be.

In Conclusion: Read this, then go reevaluate your life.

5/5 crowns

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

"Pulse" & Bad Miley Cyrus! (a review and counseling for your inner child by Lexi)

Our awesome readers,

You know, Miley's foam finger at the VMA's kinda left my inner child traumatized, so I'm currently watching "Casper" to sooth her, lol. I've missed this movie.

Anywho, there's this novel that I read that you guys will like! It's called Pulse, and it's by Patrick Carman!

Summary: "From New York Times bestselling author Patrick Carman, a teen fantasy-adventure of epic proportions. In 2051, some teens have a “pulse,” the power to move objects with their minds. Compulsively readable, with thrilling action scenes and a tender love story.

The year is 2051, and the world is still recognizable. With the help of her mysterious classmate Dylan Gilmore, Faith Daniels discovers that she can move objects with her mind. This telekinetic ability is called a “pulse,” and Dylan has the talent, too.

In riveting action scenes, Faith demonstrates her ability to use her pulse against a group of telekinesis masters so powerful they will flatten their enemies by uprooting street lights, moving boulders, and changing the course of a hurtling hammer so that it becomes a deadly weapon. But even with great talent, the mind—and the heart—can be difficult to control. If Faith wants to join forces with Dylan and save the world, she’ll have to harness the power of both.
Patrick Carman’s Pulse trilogy is a stunning, action-filled triumph about the power of the mind—and the power of love." (Thanks, Goodreads!)

This novel was really cool. This idea that there is a second pulse is cool. If you do have it, it means that you are advanced in telekinetics. This idea that it will eventually happen seems surprising, but fun to think about. (As for the "second pulse," do heart murmurs count? lol) Faith has a lot to learn in this novel, including a bit about her own family.

When you find out the secrets that are held in this novel, you won't be able to stop reading, just like I couldn't. This novel couldn't have been written any better than it has been. The plot itself was a lot of fun, and the characters are relatable.

In Conclusion: *chanting* Read it! Read it! Read it!


5/5 Caspers!!! (You know I had to do it.)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Lexi's Interview with the Wonderful April Lindner (Part 2)!!!!!


Here's part 2 of the interview!!!

April Lindner Interview (Part 2)

What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?
Sitcoms.  I watched a lot of them when I was little, and I still find them comforting.  I just blitzed through the first seven seasons of How I Met Your Mother and I’m a little homesick for that world and those characters.  I also have a weird and abiding love for Italian pop music.  I started listening it to practice the language, and now I love it for its own sake.

What do you like to do when not writing?
I love live music.  I go to way too many concerts.  I’ve seen Bruce Springsteen over fifty times, but there are a lot of other acts I follow.  Also I love to travel and am obsessed with learning to speak Italian; I listen to Italian radio stations, read Italian magazines, and dream of living there someday and learning to speak like a native.

Which book boyfriend would you choose?
Though I have a longstanding crush on Mr. Rochester, he would be a difficult and demanding boyfriend.  So I’ll say Henry Tilney of Northhanger Abbey.  He’s charming, witty, and deeply kind.  And he can dance!

What were you like as a teen? And in college?
In high school I was very shy.  I had a handful of very good friends and basically never spoke to anybody else.  We all hung out in the band room; Mr. Dugal the music teacher rigged it so we could all skip study hall and homeroom and just be ourselves in his orange-carpeted sanctuary.  My best friend and I hung out together and went to a lot of rock concerts, but other than that my social life was pretty quiet; I spent a lot of time in my room, writing, drawing, dreaming,and playing guitar.
When I went off to college at the University of New Hampshire, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.  I moved into a special interest dorm for the creative arts—a bigger and even better version of Mr. Dugal’s band room--and was surrounded by painters, musicians, writers and actors.  I took a lot of creative writing class and felt generally thrilled to be in a bubble of young people who got to spend our days thinking about literature, writing, film, art, and music history. Also I met the guy I would go on to marry and people who to this day are among my closest friends.

What would you tell to today’s teens?
I don’t feel qualified to pass on advice to all teens, but to the ones who were shy and nerdy like me, I would borrow the words of that wise campaign aimed at gay teens who are bullied and discriminated against: it gets better.  In middle school I was bullied pretty relentlessly; in high school the popular kids were actually kind and polite, but I suffered from a kind of post traumatic stress disorder from all that earlier bullying. I still felt as though I had to hide my inner quirkiness just to pass unharmed through the world.  But once I got past high school I saw there were places in the world for someone like me; I just had to get out there, let my freak flag fly, and find my soulmates. 

What do you want your fans to know about you?
I guess that the books I choose to retell are all books that have, in one way or another, changed my life.  If they like my books, I hope they’ll go back and read (or reread) the originals. 

What do you want to tell them?
I’d like them to know that their enthusiasm for books makes my life as a writer worthwhile.  YA readers are the best readers!

Oh, and also, I’ve been blogging lately.  I’d love for them to visit my blog:

Any parting words or anything you want to talk about or discuss? Feel free to write anything here.

I just want to say thank you for all the great questions!  

YAY!!! How much do you adore her? I know me and Ash love her, and CANNOT wait till the next book comes out!!!



Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Lexi's April Lindner Interview (Part 1)


Here's what y'all have been looking forward to! So let's dive right in!

Interview with April Lindner

As a teen and in college, what did you like to read?
My taste in books hasn’t changed much over the years.  I’ve always loved really thick novels that I can get lost in.  Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights were my favorites then and still are now.   But I’ve always  loved contemporary novels too, and poetry.  In high school and college I was obsessed with Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton, poets who turned their personal lives into art.

What books are you into now?
Novels are my favorite reading material, and I tend to read a mix of YA and adult.   Right now the stack beside my bed includes Diana Peterfreund’s For Darkness Shows the Stars, and Lisa Klein’s Ophelia, both YA literary retellings.  It also includes poetry—the Collected Poems of James Merrill, and Full Woman, Fleshly Apple, Hot Moon: Selected Poems of Pablo Neruda.  And there’s a memoir in there, Amy Smith’s All Roads Lead to Austen, about reading Jane Austen’s novel with book groups in Latin American destination. I also just finished reading Cheryl Strayed’s wonderful memoir Wild, about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail while mourning the death of her mother and the breakup of her marriage.  For the first few chapters I kept shaking my head and wondering why anyone would want to hike the Pacific Crest Trail with its bears and rattlesnakes and scary weather, and by the end I was making plans to hike the Appalachian Trail myself…or maybe just a tiny little portion of it.

How did you decide to update the classics?
I have a passion for retellings of classic literature; I can’t seem to get enough.  It was only natural that I would want to write one of my own, and Jane Eyre seemed ripe for an update.  Writing Jane was so satisfying that I wanted to keep going, so I dug into Wuthering Heights and wrote Catherine next.

What and/or who has influenced your writing?
This is a tough question because I’ve had so many influences.  I’ve taken a lot of creative writing workshops with amazing teachers, many of them poets: Mekeel McBride, Thomas Lux, Jean Valentine, Cornelius Eady, Andrew Hudgins, Don Bogen—too many to name, really.  I’ve also studied with the fiction writers Thomas Williams and Chuck Wachtel.   And then there are the authors I’ve never met but whose books have taught me important lessons about writing: Francine Prose, Ann Patchett, and Meg Wolitzer spring to mind.  And my Mom, Grace Lindner, who helped me to fall in love with books in the first place.

We know that you’ve updated Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. What other classics are you working on or considering?
I’ve been working on a modernization of E. M. Forster’s A Room With a View, about an American backpacker in Italy whose encounter with a street musician changes her life.  I’ve just been told it will be published by Poppy in Fall or Winter 2014.

How long have you been writing?
Forever!  I’ve been writing stories and poems since I could hold a pencil.    

How long did it take to get an agent? How about to get published?
Things happened very quickly once I wrote Jane.  The first agent I queried took me on as a client, and one of the first batch of publishers she sent it to accepted it.  But that’s the tip of the iceberg.  I’d been working on my craft as a writer for decades, and have been struggling to establish myself as a poet for almost as long.  So the real answer is my whole adult life.

What would you like to tell hopeful writers?
Don’t give up.  There were many discouraging years when I was constantly sending my poems out to literary magazines and if I was very lucky I would get one acceptance a year.  But while I was sending work out I was also continuing to hone my craft.  Over time, the acceptances began coming more quickly.   No matter what, keep writing.
Also read deeply and widely.  It may seem like a paradox, but the more you read the more powerfully your own voice will emerge.  If you fall in love with one writer and read only them your voice will come out sounding like an imitation of that writer.  But if you read many writers your own voice will emerge, and it will be a blend of everyone you’ve read and your own unique sensibility.

Alright, Readers, you read it; Lucy's story is next!!! The rest of the interview is where I ask more personal questions, so stay tuned for Wednesday!

Sincerely yours,

Saturday, August 17, 2013

"Sorrow Woods" & A Special Announcement!!! (a happy Lexi review)


First, let me announce the coming of a two or so part interview exclusive on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Who with? APRIL LINDNER!!!!! She is the author of Jane and Catherine, and has another coming out next year!!!!! So be here and check it out!!!

Today's book is Sorrow Woods by Beckie Stevenson. This novel is really good and surprising.

Summary: "When Kaiden stumbles across Serena Scott whilst hunting in Sorrow Woods he thinks all of his birthdays have come at once. Finally, the girl that’s haunted and intrigued him and his parents for the last fourteen years is standing in front of him.

And she’s alive.

Serena should have known that he would shatter her life into a thousand pieces. It wasn't because of the gun, or the tattoos that snaked around his arm, but because he was the first boy that she’d ever set eyes on.

He wasn’t just any boy either; he was Kaiden Matthews.
He was dark, dangerous and strangely alluring.
And he was beautiful.

Serena’s life as she knows it is destroyed after Kaiden drops his bombshell. As the consequences of his actions begin to penetrate through into her life she vows to stay away from him, and while she might have been in his past, she refuses to be his future. 
Kaiden knows that in order for either of them to salvage anything from the mess he’s made he needs to make sure the secrets of his past stay hidden, but as they start to rebuild their lives they find themselves stuck in a whirlwind of secrets and confessions that could threaten to break their already fragile relationship." (Goodreads, I yuv yoooooou.)

This book was really good. There were some things that got me confused and frustrated (namely, Kaiden's gf). Also, I can't see how the reconstructing of one's world happened as fast as it did. Otherwise, this book was really interesting. It's in both Kaiden and Serena's points of view. Imagine living in the woods for most of your life, and then finding out from a complete stranger that your entire life was a huge lie. Then what would you do? This novel explores just that, and in a technically good way. (In other words, Serena and Kaiden's lives are realistic and well described. You feel like you know them very well.) I just think it was too fast pace for some of the events in the end. I do love this novel though. It was insightful and sweet, even though you can't even imagine what it feels like to be Serena or Kaiden.

In Conclusion: If you want a quick read that's interesting and not really covered too much in YA (never in this POV or way), then read this novel! It's good!

3.8/5 trees

Now You: If you found out that your life was a lie, what would you do? Comment away!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

"What Happened to Cass McBride?" (a review buried deep by Lexi)


Continuing this line of creepy books, I've gone on to What Happened to Cass McBride? by Gail Giles. Okay, so this novel is really interesting and good, so even though it's from 2006, I gotta review this.

Summary: "Kyle Kirby has planned a cruel and unusual revenge on Cass McBride, the most popular girl in school, for the death of his brother David. He digs a hole. Drugs Cass. Kidnaps her. Puts her in a box-underground. He buries her alive. But Kyle makes a fatal error: Cass knows the power of words. She uses fear as her weapon to keep her nemesis talking - and to keep herself breathing during the most harrowing 48 hours of her life." (Goodreads, you're awesome, and I love you.)

Okay, so this novel is super creepy. You get what goes through the mind of Cass, Kyle, and the police. It's crazy what you learn throughout the book. I mean, what is Cass's character like that Kyle (insanely) felt he needed to hurt her like this? (In other words, why Cass?) What is going on in her mind underground? What was Kyle like before this? When came the breaking point and what was it?

You may be tempted to get directly to one or another's POV chapters, but don't. Just read as is. It's really good, and the plot's twists, turns, and details will be shocking and you'll feel in the gray when it comes to what happened that spurred this. You might even feel kinda bad about Kyle. You'll see. The revealings of characters' lives, characters, etc. are awesome, so you'll like the character-building. The world building, way of transitioning, and more are very good as well. You'll find that this book may even change your own views, appreciations, and behaviors.

In Conclusion: If you've ever wondered what goes through the mind of all these people on the news, from the victim to the detectives to the perpetrator themselves, go for it. It's interesting.


4/5 dirt piles

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Decoy Bride on a Sunday (Lexi's Sunday Post)

Our wonderful readers,

That's pretty much what's happening. I'm watching this awesome movie while relaxing with my stuffed Stitch that Ash gave me. I'm also about to write a piece that was supposed to happen yesterday.

If you haven't seen the movie, you should. Especially if you hate guys at the moment. Or even love them. It's just an awesome movie. The chick that voiced "Merida" in Disney's "Brave" is the main character, and The Tenth Doctor from "Doctor Who" (David Tennant) is on here with his fake British accent as well. (I do wish he would have kept his real Scottish one for it though.)

Anywho, here's a peek of what it's about (thanks, Wiki): "Lara Tyler is one of the most famous film stars around, but all she wants to do is marry her fiance, writer James Arber. Besieged by paparazzi, especially Marco Ballani, who is obsessed with Lara, they escape to the tiny Scottish island of Hegg to try to wed in peace. However, when the paparazzi track them down, and with the locals smelling a payday, Lara becomes upset and runs away. In desperation her management team, led by Steve Korbitz, decide to stage a fake wedding, hoping the paparazzi will fall for the scam and leave the island. Local girl Katie, who is nursing a broken heart, is recruited to pretend to be Lara. But is James really sure Lara is his true love?"

It's perfect for those who love our reviews and the books we love. Go watch this movie!



Saturday, August 10, 2013

"Beyond" (a haunted review by Lexi)


This creepy novel is awesome. It scares you enough to keep you going on, trying to figure out what the heck is happening. It's called Beyond, and was written by Graham McNamee.

Summary: "Jane is not your typical teen. She and her best friend Lexi call themselves the Creep Sisters. Only Lexi knows why Jane is different from anyone else: Her own shadow seems to pull her into near-fatal accidents. Jane is determined to find out why these terrifying things happen, and to overcome her shadow enemy. Her sleuthing with Lexi connects her own horrors to the secret history of a serial killer." (Oh, Goodreads, what would I do without your wonderfulness?)

This novel was super interesting, and picked up fast. However, there was a drag to it in the middle, and you kinda want it to go faster, to learn more earlier.

In Conclusion: It's a quick read, so why not?


3/5 stars

Thursday, August 8, 2013

"Damage" (a real/imaginary review by Lexi, lol)

My favorite people (a.k.a. Our Readers),

Hello there, loves! This week has been a crazy one for me, watching a house, four dogs, and my grandparents each day. I'm definitely not complaining though; we've been having a fun time! However, I can't concentrate enough to read. Anybody else have this problem? I've been writer's blocked (only for my fiction) for so long, and now reading (for fun) is getting a bit difficult to focus on. Weirdness, right??? If you feel/have ever felt the same way, please comment. It'd be nice to know that I'm not alone on this one.

Anywho, today's book is Damage by Anya Parrish.

Summary: "There was a time when I prayed for Rachel to be real--it ended the night she tried to kill me.

When Dani was eight, she fell from a building. No one believed her claim that she was pushed by Rachel, her imaginary friend. It took years of therapy to convince Dani that Rachel was a product of her own mind. Now fifteen, Dani wants to make it as a dancer. But a deadly freak accident sends her a terrifying message: Rachel is back, she's real, and she'll stop at nothing to kill Dani. Complicating matters is Jesse, the school bad boy who's being stalked by his own invisible childhood monster. When Dani and Jesse join forces to learn why their tormenters are back, their investigation leads to a horrifying discovery--and the secret that binds them to each other." (Goodreads, I owe you my love. So here: <3 font="">

This is one creepy book here. No lie. I never get creeped out, really, but just imagining "Rachel" is insanely creepy. You would not want to be Dani in this book. But this book is very imaginative and it's an idea that hasn't been put out there before, so even if you're easily creeped out, read it anyways. The mystery is a fun one, and the book has perfect pace! The characters are interesting as well, and the bits of their pasts were so fun to dive into and piece together when revealed; it helped me get to know the characters better.

In Conclusion: Go for it if you like weirdness! It's imaginative and fun!


4/5 dragons

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

"Amber House" & Busy Life (a sprawling Lexi review)


Hey, loves! I had to be gone to take care of emergent matters. However, now everything is good, so let's make up for that sucky-ness with an awesome book review, shall we?

Okay, so this next book is Amber House by Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed, and Larkin Reed. (A lot of authors, ay?) Look at this absolutely gorgeous cover!!!

Summary: "'I was sixteen the first time my grandmother died . . .'

Sarah Parsons has never seen Amber House, the grand Maryland estate that's been in her family for three centuries. She's never walked its hedge maze nor found its secret chambers; she's never glimpsed the shades that haunt it, nor hunted for lost diamonds in its walls.
But all of that is about to change. After her grandmother passes away, Sarah and her friend Jackson decide to search for the diamonds--and the house comes alive. She discovers that she can see visions of the house's past, like the eighteenth-century sea captain who hid the jewels, or the glamorous great-grandmother driven mad by grief. She grows closer to both Jackson and a young man named Richard Hathaway, whose family histories are each deeply entwined with her own. But when the visions start to threaten the person she holds most dear, Sarah must do everything she can to get to the bottom of the house's secrets, and stop the course of history before it is cemented forever."
(Thank you yet again, Goodreads!)

Maybe it's the three-author thing, or maybe it's my love of books that can take me to another time and place. Maybe it's because I'm close to my little brother and can still decode what he's saying (he speaks Lexi, lol). I dunno. But the book is amazing.

The historical parts of this novel are quite wonderful. Maybe one author created just the house itself. Maybe another took on the characters. Maybe that's why everything is so beautifully and wonderfully detailed and developed. You'll get caught up in this great story plot, the beautiful house that serves as amazing scenery, and the characters that make this tale shine. This is a fun story. It even has a ball!

This reminds me of a beautiful mansion in the South, you know? And I love the love and drama that the South always evokes. (I'm not talking about any kind of hatred towards anybody, cuz that just breaks my heart.) There's this romanticism that makes me think of a Willow tree in front of a sprawling house, tons of history, and then ghosts from the past. Might just be me, lol. But this story evokes the same kind of feeling with all of the history and everything.

Even if you're not into things like that, you should read this novel. It has so many twists and turns in it! And then you get blown away by the entire book, especially the ending!

In Conclusion: READ. THIS. BOOK.


5/5  mazes