Thursday, August 28, 2008

Review: The Day I Killed James by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Hyde delivers a heartfelt tale of love and heartbreak that truly captures your heart!

>Theresa invites her next door neighbor James on a one time party date to make her boyfriend jealous. While Theresa’s plan worked in making the boyfriend jealous, it backfired in hurting James in the process. Theresa becomes guilty when she finds out how bad she hurt James. She flees her old life by changing her name, shaving her head and moving where no one knows her. Reality soon sets in with meeting a young girl similar to herself and she realizes that she can’t runaway any longer.

>The Day I Killed James is a powerful story that from cover to cover is amazing. It will take you through a world wind of emotions. Catherine Ryan Hyde is an exceptional writer, from the intense plot to the insightful journal entries, The Day I Killed James is a story once read will not soon be forgotten.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Q & A with Jennifer Banash!

I am very excited to get to interview the author of The Elite. Jennifer Banash is truly talented and not to mention super busy. From working on In too Deep, the sequel to The Elite, having plans for another book called Bitten and being the co founder and co publisher of Impetus Press, an independent publishing house. It makes me wonder, how does she find time to smell her dogs paws…..well you’ll get what I mean later on in the interview.

TP: How did you get the idea to write The Elite?

JB: The impetus to write THE ELITE was largely based on my own experiences going to a private school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. I knew I wanted to write about that world, but that I also didn't want it to be just an escapist fantasy--I wanted to temper that glamorous lifestyle with real issues.

TP: Do you have a favorite character from The Elite? If so, who is it and why?
JB: My favorite character changes all the time! Usually it's Drew because I love walking around in a guy's head ad figuring out what makes them so, well, difficult, lol! But lately, because I'm so cranky and tired, it' Madison--there's something really liberating about writing in her voice, and just getting to be as bitchy as I want with no repercussions (well, at least not in MY life!).

TP: What character do you most relate to?
JB: Casey. I always feel like everything I do is either wrong, or that I could've done a better job. I'm definitely harder on myself than anyone else could ever be. I also relate to Casey the most because she can really laugh at herself, no matter how bad things get, and that's a quality I'm desperately trying to cultivate!

TP: In reading The Elite, I noticed that it has laugh out loud moments but makes a point of tackling serious issues, how hard was it to have a balance of both?
JB: It was really important to me. I think it's irresponsible to write a series with no real issues or problems for its characters. That's not the way life was for me when I was a teenager, and it's certainly not the way it is now for many teens growing up. I gave the characters real problems because it reflects the world that young adults grow up in today. It's funny, because my editor really tried to get them to take out the plot line about Sophie being a cutter, and I fought to keep it in. After all the appreciative emails I've gotten about that particular story line from readers, I'm very glad I did.

TP: How many books are planned for The Elite series and what can readers expect next in In Too Deep?

JB: There are three books scheduled so far. The next installment, IN TOO DEEP drops in January. The third book will be out sometime next June. All I can tell you about IN TOO DEEP is that it involves reality TV and a fabulous sweet sixteen bash! You wouldn't want me to ruin the surprise now, would you? I think not.

TP: What is the best part about being an author?
JB: The best part about being an author is fame and money, the circling photographers that stake out my house daily, getting the best tables in restaurants, not worrying about my cell phone bill . . .

Oh wait. That's Britney Spears . . .

The best part about being an author is getting to feel like I'm contributing something to the world--no matter how small.

TP: Who is your favorite author and what is it that strikes you about their work?
JB: My favorite author overall is Virginia Woolf. I love her sentences, how she wasn't afraid to take risks in her work, her tenacity. Reading her books is like stepping in to a beautiful dream. I could spend hours lost in the pages of her writing. In terms of YA, I love Melissa Walker, RA Nelson, Barry Lyga, Alexa Young, Anna Godberson, and I'm dying to read SISTERS OF MISERY by Megan Kelley Hall.

TP: What is something that people might be surprised to learn about you?
JB: Umm . . . I smell my dogs paws a lot? He usually smells like corn chips, but lately since we have been going to the beach so often, he smells kinda salty . . .

TP: What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
JB: Just keep writing-and don't let anyone's negativity discourage you. Actually, I"m still trying to take my own advice on that one . . .

I would just like to thank Jennifer for allowing me to interview her and for giving me a glimpse into her Elite world!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Book Blogger Appreciation Week!

My Friend Amy is holding this and I think it is really cool. Make sure you register so you can be apart of this exciting week!

Book Blogger Appreciation Week September 15-19

Book Bloggers: You work hard. You read books, you write reviews, you maintain relationships with your readers, publicists, and authors. You are constantly running to the post office to mail your giveaways and participating in carnivals to help boost traffic. You sometimes want to faint when you see the size of your TBR pile, but faithfully you read. And you do it because you love it. Book blogging is for most a hobby. But it's a hobby that takes a lot of work and time. It's a labor of love.

I've been blogging for three years but only really got into book blogging in the last year. I have found, without a doubt, that book bloggers are the kindest, most open minded, and supportive group of bloggers on the internet. With book blogging, it's about community and a love for the written word.

The Readers: We love you! You don't have a blog, but you read our reviews and share your thoughts with us. You enter our giveaways and click on our Amazon associates link. We do this for you and appreciate your readership. We hope you'll join in the fun and festivities of BBAW! (we'll have a special contest just for you!)

Book Blogger Appreciation Week: Acknowledging the hard work of book bloggers and their growing impact on book marketing and their essential contribution to book buzz in general, I am excited to announce the first Book Blogger Appreciation Week. Think of it as a retreat for book bloggers and a chance for us to totally nerd out over books together. And of course, shower each other with love and appreciation.

Register: In order to experience the maximum impact of the week, I invite you to register your participation (just like a retreat)!
To register, just send an email to bookbloggerappreciationweekATgmailDOTcom with your blog url and what you consider your niche...i.e, general book blog, classics blog, personal blog with a healthy dose of books, YA books blog, etc. Then, add one of the two buttons at the top of this post to your sidebar. If you are a reader (no blog) just send an email announcing your plans to follow along.
Why bother? If you register, you will be added to a book blog directory which will exist long after this week is over. Additionally, you will receive one raffle entry into the daily giveaways during BBAW here at My Friend Amy.

Awards: Oh yes, there will be awards. The Oscars of Book Blogging. :) Nominations start next week.

Spread the Word: If you are excited about this idea like I am and the other book bloggers who are helping, please consider writing a post on your blog announcing this event and inviting other book bloggers and readers to join.

Help Wanted: If you have a talent for designing buttons (like those below) and would like to donate some of your time and skill to me, please email me personally at mypalamyATgmailDOTcom

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Review: The Elite by Jennifer Banash

Casey's move from Normal
New York is top rank!

Casey McCloy left the Midwest to move to New York City. She is going to live with her grandmother and attend the prestigious Meadowlark Academy. At her new home, The Bramford, she meets some of her Meadowlark classmates, Sophie, Phoebe and most of all Madison. With Madison’s popularity being iconic, Casey tries to make friends with her. But staying on Madison’s good side is harder than she thought and things quickly go sour when Madison’s ex Drew is thrown into the mix. This Normal, Illinois native finds out her life in NY will be no where near Normal.

The Elite is well written and a great read. I love how each chapter was from the point of view of a different character. It really helps you get a better understanding of each of them. I enjoyed the plot and the relatable characters. Banash has truly created a book that leaves you wanting more. I can’t wait for the sequel, In Too Deep, out in the fall.

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