Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sarah Dessen Week: "Keeping the Moon"

I really enjoyed reading "Keeping the Moon" because it doesn't follow the pattern of a lot of Sarah's books: Girl has problems, Girl meets boy, Boy Helps Girl get over problem and they live happily ever after. I mean, those stories of Sarah's are really incredible, I love them, but the fun part about this book is that it isn't the guy who really helps her get over her low self esteem (the main conflict in the book), her friends do. And, I mean, let's be honest, this is probably gonna be what most of us go through. We aren't all going to find these gorgeous, wonderful, sensitive, guys, the perfect guys for us at ages 15-19!! But we will always have our friends.

Here is a summary (no spoilers!):

Colie expects the worst when she's sent to spend the summer with her eccentric aunt Mira while her mother, queen of the television infomercial, tours Europe. Always an outcast -- first for being fat and then for being "easy" -- Colie has no friends at home and doesn't expect to find any in Colby, North Carolina. But then she lands a job at the Last Chance Cafe and meets fellow waitresses Morgan and Isabel, best friends with a loving yet volatile relationship. Wacky yet wise, Morgan and Isabel help Colie see herself in a new way and realize the potential that has been there all along.

Also, I love the character of Mira. She is just so quirky! I also love Isabel, because even though she hated high school and didn't have an ideal school experience, she still has confidence. All in all, this is a wonderful, charming story.

To learn more about Sarah and her books go to http://www.sarahdessen.com/ , http://www.sarah-land.com/ or keep coming back to OfficiallyMRS every day this week to read more reviews of Sarah's books.

More to come,


Monday, June 29, 2009

Breaking News!!!

Breaking news!! For all of you who have read and loved Maureen Johnson's "13 Little Blue Envelopes....."
Mauren is writing officially a sequel to
"13 Little Blue Envelopes!!"
*starts squeeling like a fangirl*
I'll post more info as soon as I recieve it!!
More to come,

Sarah Dessen Week: "The Truth About Forever"

"The Truth About Forever" is probably my favorite of all of Sarah Dessen's books. Here is a synopsis from Sarah Dessen's website (no spoilers):

Macy's summer stretches before her, carefully planned and outlined. She will spend her days sitting at the library information desk. She will spend her evenings studying for the SATs. Spare time will be used to help her obsessive mother prepare for the big opening of the townhouse section of her luxury development. But Macy's plans don't anticipate a surprising and chaotic job with Wish Catering, a motley crew of new friends, or ... Wes. Tattooed, artistic, anything-but-expected Wes. He doesn't fit Macy's life at all--so why does she feel so comfortable with him? So ... happy? What is it about him that makes her let down her guard and finally talk about how much she misses her father, who died before her eyes the year before? Sarah Dessen delivers a page-turning novel that carries readers on a roller coaster of denial, grief, comfort, and love as we watch a broken but resilient girl pick up the pieces of her life and fit them back together.

This book is one that cannot be ingored. Although slightly corny and most deffinately "chick lit" this book is well written, thought full and allows for readers to get a glimpse of what is going on in the male mind, or at least in Wes's. I found it beyond fascinating to get to know a character the way Macy gets to know Wes, through a game. A game that has become popular among my friends during sleepovers because of this book.

This story also takes place in Lakeview, a community that Sarah often writes about, allowing you to meet characters and go to places that you have already visited in Sarah's other books.

To learn more about Sarah and her books go to http://www.sarahdessen.com/ , http://www.sarah-land.com/ or keep coming back to OfficiallyMRS every day this week to read more reviews of Sarah's books.
More to come,

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Regina Spektor

So, I know that Regina Spektor's new album "Far" has been out for a few days now, but I was just listening to "Laughing With" and it is a seriously powerful song. You can listen to it by watching the video by clicking here and if you haven't listened to the entire Regina Spektor album yet, go do so by clicking on the album below. Immediately. Because your missing out!!!

More to come,


Sarah Dessen Week: "Along for the Ride"

Of all that I have read from the young adult genre, Sarah Dessen's books have been by far some of the best books I have ever read. You can't go wrong with Sarah Dessen. Ever. She is one of the most foolproof authors I have ever read because her writing is beautiful and she creates strong characters with her their own individual voices.

So that's why this week is going to be Sarah Dessen week on OfficiallyMRS.

I am doing this in honor of Sarah's newest book, "Along for the Ride," which if I do say so myself, is one of her best.

This is what Sarah says on her website about the book:

"Along for the Ride"
In Sarah's Words
A lot of people were surprised when it was announced that I’d have a
new book coming out in Summer 2009, only a year after my last novel, Lock and Key. I can relate. It was kind of a shock to me, as well.
I wrote Lock and Key while I was pregnant, and edited it in the last few months before my daughter was born. Writing and editing is never that easy for me, and when you factor in the hormones and all the other fun stuff that comes along with carrying a baby, it was quite a wild ride. Suffice to say, I was more than ready to take a big, long break from writing to focus on being a mom. Or so I thought.

About three months after she was born, though, this idea started to
come to me, bubbling up in my sleep-deprived mind. I was up at all hours, feeding the baby, trying to sleep or trying to stay awake, and it got me thinking about the night, and how it can seem so long or so short, depending on what you have waiting for you in the morning. I’d look out my window at three or four a.m.—times I was never coherent before motherhood—see a light on in the distance, and wonder who else was up, and why. There was a whole other world at night, one I’d been completely unaware of, and it made me start thinking about the people who chose to live in it, and how they found themselves there. That’s where Auden’s story began.

Some books are incredibly hard to write. Most are, actually. But this one, for me, was a little escape once in a while, and I was more grateful for it than I expected. I wrote Along for the Ride in my daughter’s room, while she slept downstairs, and in the guestroom, while she babbled to the babysitter. I stole half hours here, afternoons there, taking what I could get and using it to get more, and then more, on the page. And when I got stuck, I’d often look out the window and see one of my husband’s friends go zooming by on a bike, taking flight on one of the dirt jumps in my backyard. It was a crazy and chaotic way to write a book, and not at all the kind of structured, methodical approach I’d always used before. And you know what? Somehow, it just worked.So I might be surprised to find myself here, with a new novel, so soon after the last one. But more than anything, I am grateful. This is the story I was clearly ready to tell. I can’t wait for you to hear it.

I personally adored this book. The characters in it were interesting and fun, people whom I could relate to, point to in my everyday life and say "that's Maggie" or "that's Auden." "That's Eli" "That's Adam."

That's just the joy of reading Sarah Dessen's books. You meet people whom you "know" or can sympathize with and get to see how they deal with their issues, either ones that you've never faced or you handled in a different way. The concepts of friendship, hard work and so forth are all things that teenagers go through in their everyday lives.

As a kid who never really did learn to ride a bike (or at least not well) and grew up at adult cocktail parties (I am the youngest of my first cousins by about ten years), this book especially struck a chord with me. The story focuses on the fact that Auden, the narrator, never really did have a childhood, with kickball and food fights, friends, boyfriends, drama, ect. She just had books, and her schoolwork, as both of her parents are college professors. Auden goes to live with her father (her parents are divorced) and his new wife and baby in Colby, South Carolina (a town that many of Sarah Dessen's books take place in, allowing you to meet characters from her other books, such as "Keeping the Moon"). Auden meets Eli, a fellow amnesiac, and together they go night by night to give Auden a second chance at the childhood she never had. Here is the short synopsis of the book from Borders (no spoilers):

Following her parents' bitter divorce, Auden has the chance to spend the summer with her dad and his new family in a charming beach town. There she meets Eli, and together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree life she's been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a

This is a wonderful book and one of my favorites (third on the list, if we are being exact) of Sarah's. It is currently Number 1 on the NY Times Bestseller List!! Congrats Sarah on such a wonderful book!

To learn more about Sarah and her books go to http://www.sarahdessen.com/ , http://www.sarah-land.com/ or keep coming back to OfficiallyMRS every day this week to read more reviews of Sarah's books.
More (Sarah Dessen) to come,


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Summer Reading

Sometimes, I really resent it when teachers are right. I mean, sure, they are suppose to be, because they are our “role models” and the wise ones and all that. But when they are right that we might actually enjoy our summer reading, it makes me both resentful and really happy that I have found a good book.
This has happened to me on several occasions. The first was when my teacher gave us a list of over one hundred books and told us to pick one for summer reading. I chose “The Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd.
And honestly, it was one of the best books I have ever read.
It’s not made for teens by any measure but the amount that I was able to connect to the character and really learn about the time period and the circumstances of the rural south was enlightening for me. It was especially interesting for me to read because my mother is from Louisiana, so whenever I get a chance to read a book about what my family has gone through in the past, it is always interesting. I encourage all of you to read books that could have been applicable to your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and so forth but are not necessarily applicable to you. You will be surprised at both how much has changed and how much has remained the same.
This story is about a teen aged girl named Lily living in the south with only an abusive father as a parent and her housekeeper, Rosalie. Lilly is also living with the guilt about how her mother died. In these circumstances, Lilly goes on a journey to find out about her past and her mother. Along the way she meets three very special ladies who help her find who she really is and what happened to her mother in years past. People say that finishing a good book is like loosing a good friend. I found a friend in Lilly and the “Secret Life of Bees” and have no doubt that you will too. After I finished this book, I passed it onto both my mom and my dad who both thoroughly enjoyed it.
This is the summary from Sue Monk Kidd's website (there are no spoilers)!

Living on a peach farm in South Carolina with her harsh, unyielding father,
Lily Owens has shaped her entire life around one devastating, blurred
memory--the afternoon her mother was killed, when Lily was four. Since then, her
only real companion has been the fierce-hearted, and sometimes just fierce,
black woman Rosaleen, who acts as her "stand-in mother."
When Rosaleen
insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily knows it's time to spring
them both free. They take off in the only direction Lily can think of, toward a
town called Tiburon, South Carolina--a name she found on the back of a picture
amid the few possessions left by her mother.
There they are taken in by an
eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters named May, June, and August. Lily
thinks of them as the calendar sisters and enters their mesmerizing secret world
of bees and honey, and of the Black Madonna who presides over this household of
strong, wise women. Maternal loss and betrayal, guilt and forgiveness entwine in
a story that leads Lily to the single thing her heart longs for most.
Secret Life of Bees has a rare wisdom about life--about mothers and daughters
and the women in our lives who become our true mothers. A remarkable story about
the divine power of women and the transforming power of love, this is a stunning
debut whose rich, assured, irresistible voice gathers us up and doesn't let go,
not for a moment. It is the kind of novel that women share with each other and
that mothers will hand down to their daughters for years to come.

It has become a feature film with Dakota Fanning and Queen Latifa within the past year. I think that the book to movie transition for this story was absolutely fantastic. The only significant piece of the book that was left out of the movie was the part about their religion. Even though it was most definitely not my favorite part of the book, I thought that this part gave the story much more depth and meaning for Lilly and really defined the lives of the sisters in the book. Whether you decide to read the book or go rent the movie, the story of Lilly and “The Secret Life of Bees” is fantastic and should not be ignored.
This summer, I have been assigned to read "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak. I have not started it yet, but from what I hear from my friends, it is a great book. One of my best friends(shout out to Kat) said that it is one of her favorite books. All that I know about the book so far is that it is about the Holocaust and is narrated by death (which sounds not only creepy but interesting). I will be sure to post a review about it with more details when I read it.
Here is a really cool article I found from the New York Times website about the book. Click here if you want to read it!
More to come,

Officially MRS

Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy (Belated) Father's Day

Because I was too busy hanging out with my father yesterday, my father's day post is a bit late. so here goes.
To all of those fathers out there one of the best youtube videos I have ever found....
And an especially happy father's day to my dad, who received that very video from me in an email and sent it to more than twenty people in turn.
This video is made by Hank Green (brother of author John Green... see the post on "Looking for Alaska" below)
Happy belated fathers day guys!
More to come,

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Disney freak in me...

So, today I was doing a little bit of author stalki-- I mean author research when I stumbled across the blog of Sarah Cross. This author is one of the many on my extensive summer reading list. I found her by stalk-- i mean researching more about Wings by Aprilynne Pike (see my review of Wings below. Its a great book!!).

Anyways, the point is that I stumbled upon this video on Sarah's blog entry and I thought you guys might like to see it.

aparently it is by an artist called Pogo and it is "an electronic piece of which 90% is composed using sounds recorded from the Disney film 'Alice In Wonderland'."



Also, it has recently come to my attention that you can read an online copy (or the first 81 pages)of Maureen Johnson's "13 Little Blue Envelopes"

'CoverCover of 13 Little Blue Envelopes

by going to this site. Maureen actually posted the link herself to twitter, so by all means, click away (without the fear of legal procecution).

If you are interested in stalk-- *cough, cough*-- I mean researching more authors on twitter, here is a pretty cool article of some authors on twitter.

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The summer is here and all of my artistic friends are headed off to northern michigan to attened one of the most wonderful and prestigious art camps in the country. AKA Interlochen Arts Camp.
I only wish I could be going back with you this summer, guys. Just writing about it makes me want to cry.

So as you all enter that packing frenzy, I'm sounding the call to dear old Interlochen, land of the stately pine. If only I would be meeting my old friends and greeting the new ones that I would inevitably meet.
But as I wont be going back this summer, a shout out to all of you guys who are.
Thank you a million times over, to Dude, Jimbob, Maestro and Evie for giving me the confidence to follow my dreams and be the best I can be, while not necessarily being the best. You always had confidence in me even and most especially when I wasn't so confident in myself.

Maggie, Jessi, Sophie, Lena, Paula, Cabin niners and the house on fire creative writing class (you know who you are), have a wonderful time and don't forget me while you are molded into some of the most talented musicians and artists in the country.
It's time for me to have a new adventure.
And to all of you who, like me, wont be going back, I want to hear about your new adventures too.

More to come,

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Author Focus: Ally Carter!

Let's talk authors.

In particular, let's talk Ally Carter!!

Ally Carter is the New York Times bestselling author of the Gallagher Girls series: "I'd Tell You I Love You, but Then I'd Have to Kill You," "Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy" and her most recent book "Don't Judge a Girl By Her Cover." All of these books are great and I strongly recommend them.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting Ally Carter at a signing in Anderson's Bookstore in Naperville, where Ally had a tour stop for her new book "Don't Judge a Girl By Her Cover.

'CoverCover via Amazon

" (I just realized while reading the book today that "cover" not only means her appearance but the false identities that spies assume.) In total, I traveled three hundred miles and about six hours in one day to go see Ally. Although this is a bit dramatic, author signings are a lot of fun and this one was definately worth it!

Ally really gets that teenagers are smart. Her stories, not only her books but her personal stories on how the books came to be, are incredible. Although there is much, much more to her story, Ally told us about how we should always have someone in our lives who gives us the honest answer, even and most especially when that answer is not the one we want to hear, as this is what Ally's publisher did for her. For me, those people are my friends, Em, Kat and Ryan as well as many others. Thank you guys! If you want to here more about Ally's story to becoming a NYT bestselling author as well as a video of a book signing very similar to the one I attended, click here.

There were a lot of different questions answered by Ally during the Q&A section of the signing. I was lucky enough to get called on, so I asked "If the two boys (Zack and Josh) were real, which one would you choose for yourself?" This got quite a big laugh, followed by an unexpected answer.
"Joe Soloman. He's my man." As well as something along the lines of "He is a hottie."

This made me smile and laugh, along with all of the other girls at the signing. Ally then went on to talk about a character in her book that is coming out in February about teen age thieves. I believe his name was Hale, and even though we have not met him yet, I have been assured that he is a babe and we will love him, so that is something to look forward to for all of you Ally Carter fans out there.

The photo above is of me and Ally after she signed my books. Ally is really, really nice and the way she talks about being a young adult writer gives you no doubt that she really loves her job. She says that the three things that writers do for a living is:

GG3 - AmazonImage by Jess ::as cute as ever:: via Flickr

1) Work in their pajamas

2) Lie

3) Screw with people's lives (in this case, her characters)

Here is the synopsis from Ally's website (and I believe that it is on the back of the book as well...)

When Cammie “The Chameleon” Morgan visits her roommate Macey in Boston, she thinks she’s in for an exciting end to her summer break. After all, she’s there to watch Macey’s father accept the nomination for vice president of the United States. But when you go to the world’s best school (for spies), “exciting” and “deadly” are never far apart. Cammie and Macey soon find themselves trapped in a kidnappers’ plot, with only their espionage skills to save them.
As her junior year begins, Cammie can’t shake the memory of what happened in Boston, and even the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women doesn’t feel like the safe haven it once did. Shocking secrets and old flames seem to lurk around every one of the mansion’s corners as Cammie and her friends struggle to answer the questions Who is after Macey? And how can the Gallagher Girls keep her safe?
Soon Cammie is joining Bex and Liz as Macey’s private security team on the campaign trail. The girls must use their spy training at every turn as the stakes are raised, and Cammie gets closer and closer to the shocking truth…

Ally was the first author I have ever met personally, although I know many, many through twitter and facebook (oh the wonders of technology). You can find Ally on twitter and myspace as well her personal page.

If you have not read the Gallagher Girls series, I would highly recommend it! These stories are well written, well thought out, and really great, fun reads!!!
If you have never been to a "meet the author" or book signing, keep your eyes open as it is a great opportunity to really connect with authors and the books that they write. Check author websites and call your local bookstores to see if any authors are headed your way.
Thank you so much to Anderson's bookshop for hosting the event! We had an amazing time. Also, thank you Ally! You are so talented and an all around really nice, fun person. It was awesome meeting you!

More to come,


P.S. Here is a cool video I found with Ally Carter talking about the series. It is very sleek and "spylike" and I enjoyed watching it.


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Sunday, June 14, 2009

"Welcome to Packer's Country- How May I Help You?"

As a rule, I do not enjoy road trips. The long, cramped hours in the car make me claustrophobic, not to mention bored out of my mind. But this four-hour journey to the place in northern Wisconsin where I have spent ever summer of my childhood does not bother me anymore. Sometimes I even have fun while singing the lyrics to Elvis Presley’s “Burning Love” with my mom in the car.
My family and I rose before the sun did, with the car entirely packed and all of the three dogs (and the cat the size of the dogs) in tow. Pal, the oldest of the animals, a beautiful and blind English cocker spaniel who has a salt and pepper combination sprinkling his soft fur and a majestic way of walking that leaves no doubt in your mind that he was born to show, was sprawled across my lap in the already overcrowded car. His company, how ever uncomfortable it may be, is welcome always, as he is one of the most loving and friendly creatures I have ever had the pleasure to know.
The incessant impatience of the drivers in the suburbs of Chicago soon turned into the lazy drivers of farm trucks and lawnmowers as the paved parks turned into farm fields with ancient silos that were more often the subject of a paintbrush than that of actual use. The land was green this year, greener that I am use to, with different hues of lush moss and leaves stretching until your eyes meet the sparkling blues and grays of Lake Michigan.
I doubt that you could call this place anything but charming (and on certain weekends, it becomes a charming little tourist trap as well). The entire neighborhood falls under the category of “historical site” with the houses clearly belonging to another era and time entirely. I have even found an one hundred year old medicine bottle in a tree stump. We have the whole package. The views that still to this day take my breath away, the fish boils, the bratfests (both of which are remainders of the heavy Swedish heritage and influence of the town) and the one hundred year old ice cream parlor with the red booths, the tiny juke box at every corner and the black and white check tile that decorate the floor (pretty much the original Johnny Rockets). Our local movie theatre is one of the last drive-in theatres left in the country, with the only normal theatre a forty-five minute drive out of town. We always see the movies about two weeks after their release date because the drive in can only play two movies a night. The nearest target is an hour away and we only really have one or two gas stations.
Sailing is our family’s common sport, something that I have enjoyed since I was the age of eight or nine. Most of my cousins are at least sailing instructors, if not sailing protégées, a title that at the moment, I neither want to assume nor feel that I ever could assume. The yatch club shouldn’t really be called a yatch club. A title such as community center would be much more relevant to what it is. I know everyone there, and the kids that I have grown up with here are my only social circle. Sometimes it gets lonely, but I would not want it any other way.
So this is what my summers are made up of: swimming and sailing and beautiful views and family. Tons and tons of family. These are the people who I wouldn’t trade the world for. My family up here is made up of both my mother’s and my father’s sides of the family. It’s how they met, up here where their two families had been friends for generations. Being the youngest on both sides of the family, I have grown up at adult cocktail parties. We are all very close, especially among the cousins. I think that this summer it is expected of me that I become the designated driver (although I insisted it does actually work like that).
There are so many things that I could tell you about this place. The green boat with the red sails that goes out every single day, no matter the weather conditions. The way my dogs howl whenever a siren goes by. The countless picnics I have taken to near by islands on our small motorboat where I have pounded up and down in the front like a jackhammer with the waves. The millions of sailboat races where tears have been shed over lost hats or other items that can now be found at the bottom of the lake, or the other ones where I have come home with a trophy of some sort. The way the water laps away at the shore, and the way you can almost hear the water echo within the lake itself, making being by this water one of the most unique things you have everyone. The times when I go and sit in my tree house and look at the stars, or view the old barn that is covered in the huge scrawl of colorful names that belong to those who have been there. I could tell you more about the watchtower up on the bluff where you can see all the way to Green Bay, Wisconsin if you go on a clear day. I could tell you the Native American legends about the cliffs in the bluff across the bay. The green house that I live in which once belonged to my great grandma, my grandma, my mom, and hopefully me one day too. The bats that fly around our house at night or the wildflower patch up in my grandmother’s house. But no matter how I describe it, this place has an indescribable beauty that you have to experience to understand. It’s magic.

This place where I have spent my childhood summers is also the place where I first learned to love to read. It took me many summers, but as I said, it can be incredibly lonely up here too, so eventually, you learn to pick up a book. So about four or five years ago, I picked up a story called “Hope Was Here.” I don’t know what was about that book that made me pick it up. I didn’t identify with the character, she was years and years older than me, and I had no way to understand those kinds of circumstances, but this book opened up my eyes to what it means to read a really, really good book. People say that a good story happens when you take ordinary people and twist their lives to such an extent that they become truly interesting. In many ways, I agree, and this book falls under that category to unequivocally, but also, there is no doubt that this story could and probably does happen in people’s everyday life. This book is also the first book that I ever re-read. I have read it every summer since I first picked it up. So if you are looking for a shorter, really astounding, heartfelt and emotionally powerful book to read this summer pick up “Hope Was Here” by Joan Bauer, a Newberry Honor Book.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Love is Hell

Next up on the list is "Love is Hell." I picked this one up of the library bookshelf because it is a collection of short stories by a bunch of YA authors. Reading short stories is one of the best ways I have found to find awesome authors that you may have either read before or never actually heard of. Either way, its a great way to branch out of your comfort zone of authors, especially if you have some familiar faces in the mix of stories. "Love is Hell" is written by Melissa Marr ("Wicked Lovely"), Scott Westerfeld ("Specials"), Justine Larbalenstier ("Magic or Madness), Gabrielle Zevin ("Elsewhere") and Laurie Faria Stolarz ("Blue is for Nightmare"). The stories in it are fantastic. They aren't too racy but they set characters in unique circumstances, whether it be our world far in the future or in the past or anywhere else in between, and create realistic people whom we can all relate to. A portion of the books proceeds go to College Summit, which is pretty cool and generous if I do say so myself.
The next short story book I am going to read is a new one called "Vacations from Hell "which is written entirely by authors who I read and loved, such as Cassandra Clare, Libba Bray, Maureen Johnson, Sarah Mylnowski and Claudia Gray.
More to come,


One of the newer things in bookstores these days is "Wings" by Aprilynne Pike. This story is intriguing and wonderful as it fully immerses you into a world of faeries, in which faeries are so much different than any folklore I have ever heard or read about. It was a quick read and the writing was not too challenging but really a fantastic story. I finished it in about three hours because I was so into it. It is going to be one of four books in a series and was Pike's debut novel. It is really a wonderful, original story that is up and coming and fresh and just plain fantastic. Also, for all you twihards out there, this book was given a wonderful review by Stephenie Meyer!

Aprilynne Pike's best-selling debut, Wings, is the first of four books about a seemingly ordinary girl named Laurel who discovers she is a faerie sent among humans to guard the gateway to Avalon. When Laurel is thrust into the midst of a centuries-old battle between faeries and trolls, she's torn between a human and a faerie love, as well as her loyalties to each world. In this extraordinary tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever.

You can learn more about Aprilynne Pike and "Wings" by visiting her website, friending her on facebook or by following her on twitter!
More to come,

Looking for Alaska

I have currently finished reading John Green's "Looking for Alaska." (dont worry, Miles, the main character, isn't actually looking for Alaska the state, she is a person. He isn't map-inept.) It has most definitely become one of my favorite books. I like to think of it as a modern day version of "Catcher in the Rye" which writing that far surpasses that of the latter while also creating a realistic world with funny, humorous and relatable characters. Five stars. It was amazing! If you are ever in doubt on what to read, I will be posting the OfficiallyMRS list of fail proof authors one of these days, and John Green will definitely be on it!

Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words--and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps." Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps.

To learn more about John Green and his books, go to http://sparksflyup.com/ , friend him on facebook or follow himn twitter!

More to come,

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What Makes You Sing

The summer has started and my freshman year is over (thank the lord almighty). Done with. No more! If anyone ever tells you that your high school years are the best years of your life, they either recently got hit on the head with a cinder block or are just really creepy. Either way, it is not true and you should start running the other way. Seriously run... fast.
All I have really done in the first week of my summer vacation is eat, read and sing. I went to a graduation party, I went to an actual graduation. But since I know my summer and my life for that matter is going to be filled with books, I thought I might share some with you!! I will be posting one or two "book reviews" or suggestions a day, along with my own personal tidbits and so forth.

The first book I read this summer is called "Suite Scarlett" by Maureen Johnson. Its a story about a girl who gets a hotel room for her fifteenth birthday. All though that might sound really, really cool, it actually kinda sucks because she doesn't get to live in the room, she gets to take care of it. You can pretty much gather all of that from the back synopsis. What that page doesn't give on is how involved this character, Scarlett, comes to the acting world in NYC. If you are an aspiring actor or actress, like I am, read it! Its a fun, charming, witty story by an incredible author about what it means to be a teen, a friend, a girlfriend, a sister, part of a family and part of one of the most glamorous worlds in NY (or so I think- its really hard work, but man, what a cool job would it be to sing all day long). Also, it is a series, so for all of you who really like getting into the world of a character and then actually staying there this is a great read for you.

My summer has consisted of way more than just books though. As you will learn about me, music is also a huge part of my life. A few days ago, I preformed at the graduating high school seniors graduation. During the ceremony, our musical director got up and gave one of the most beautiful speeches that I have ever heard. After an incredibly difficult year for him personally, he talked about "what makes you sing." In other words, what makes you you, what makes us all unique from one another, what makes us all get up in the morning, our motivations, the things that define our lives, the things we truly love and those things that we are truly talented at. Our passions. He described what it felt like for him to sing and how much a part of his life the arts were and how singing had become his passion in life, what made him him. Those passions that we find as we get older will always have a special meaning in our lives. So just as our director wished that we would find our passions or "what makes us sing" I wish the very same to you. Find what makes you sing, and love it, breathe it, live it.

More to come,


The Basics of the YA Genre

Writing this blog makes me feel like some sort of columnist in a paper or something, but instead of talking a lot about the world’s breaking news all the time, I get to talk about some of my own and the world of writers as well. It’s a really cool, empowering feeling to write like this. I love it!
Anyways, shall we move onto the actual subject of the blog?
I feel like even though I have written a few book reviews at this point, I need to hit the extreme basics to really call myself a YA blogger. So even though this blog is probably going to be extremely boring for those of you who actually participate in society, here we go.Shall we talk Twilight?
Hello, my name is (insert name here) and I am a Twilight addict.
It has come time when I, along with most of the world's teenage female population, need a Twilighters anonymous. So just in case you fell down and smacked your little head on the pavement, there are these books that are apart of what is called the Twilight Saga (which, at this point, should probably just be declared an empire and get over it). They are wonderful, amazing, bible sized books that most of the teen world is obsessed with. Instead of being a completely unoriginal person and devoting an entire blog to the awes of the twilight saga, I am just going to say this. Read the books and decide for yourself. The writing is not the best but the world that Stephenie Meyer creates is incredibly creative. Although I do think that the books should come with a warning label- may cause sever obsession/addiction as well as the common side effect of falling in love with a fictional character. (Whether that fictional character be Jacob, Edward or any of the other characters. I for one am proudly team Edward.) My Dad refers to Stephenie as "the cult leader." My mother is actually taking the time to read the books. I for one think that Stephenie is an incredibly talented author. If she wasn't, half the teenage population would not be in love with either Jacob Black or Edward Cullen, just saying. My favorite of the books is Twilight, the first book in the series, but read them and decide for yourselves. It can't hurt.

If you are just dead set against reading the books, I think that the movie was pretty good. It did not have nearly the power as the books had and the special effects really weren't that great but for the most part it stayed true to the story line of the books. There are just little moments missing here and there that really made the books what they are. I think that Catherine Hardwick, the director did an amazing job and the soundtrack is awesome. Here is a song that was made for the movie, Paramore's "Decode."

And if you want to find out more about the books or just stalk Stephenie Meyer go to http://www.stepheniemeyer.com/

Now onto square two. Let’s talk Potter. Harry Potter.
I’m pretty sure that at this point everyone knows the basics, if not the extreme details, of Harry Potter, but in case you are living under a rock, Harry Potter is a book about wizards and the magical world that was created by J.K. Rowling. There is a major theme of genocide against a race called muggle-borns. Your going to have to read the books or come out from underneath that rock you’re living under to find out what I’m talking about for the rest of the section of this blog because I personally feel like an idiot for stating the obvious about this book.
Have we all seen the clip for the 6th movie, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, which is coming out July 15th? Let’s make sure.
If you want to see the rest of the trailers, click on the picture below.

If you haven’t read the books, then give them a try. They aren’t very hard books to get through because they are very addictive and fun, relatively easy reads. Some people don’t like the Harry Potter series because they feel repetitive. I, however, feel that each book is very unique to the others. I read them out of order because I started reading the books on a dare, and although it was somewhat difficult to follow, I realized that each book in this series is unique unto itself in many aspects. They are fantastic books and at this point, I think they are a must read. If you decide not to read the books, then do go see the movies. They are really good movies, even if they don’t exactly match up with the books themselves. They are not very consistent with the details through the different movies because no two movies have been led by the same director. An example of this is how the dementors are different in the third and fifth movies, but there are many, many more examples. All of the actors in the movie are very talented, popular actors in Britain. It is really worth going to go see the movies just for the special effects. If you can, go see the movie in Imax. It is a really incredible experience!!!!

Even though I know there are many other books such as the Dark Materials series, the Eragon books, and the Mortal Instruments series that are pretty basic to the YA section of the library, I feel like these two are the ones that have created the biggest empire at this point and need to be recognized at this time. I will be sure to blog about the other series as well when I get the chance.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Book Review Policy

Due to the amount of requests for ARC copy reviews I have been recieving, I thought it was about time to change my review policy.

For the most part, if you are a publisher wanting to send me a review copy, I would be absolutely thrilled to read it and would love it if you would send me an email (OfficiallyMRS@gmail.com) so that I can give you my shipping address.

But I do have some things that you need to know if you are going to send me a book:

1) If the book is in the Young Adult genre, I would love to review it. I enjoy fantasy as well as realistic fiction, but usually as long as it is young adult, I will accept it without question. If you would like to set up an author interview as well, I love doing those too.

2) I usually do not accept books for adults. Sometimes I will depending on if I am interested in the story, but please keep in mind that this is a young adult literature blog. There is no harm in sending me an email at OfficiallyMRS@gmail.com if you are interested in sending me an adult book.

3) I will try to post about every book that I recieve, because that is why you are sending me a review copy. I reserve the right to post about whatever book you send me in a negative fashion. I will always give books an honest review, whether I like it or not.

4) I reserve the right to post about this book whenever I get the time to do so. It is not possible for me to read all of the advanced copies I get before the release date. I will do my best to get it done before then (because I like knowing things before other people) but please do not expect me to read a review copy that I recieve a week before the release date by the time it hits the shelves. I am in high school and my time is limited.

Thank you,

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