31 May, 2012

My Favorite Reads Giveaway Hop (INTL)



Hi everybody! Thanks for stopping by.

Today you can win one of my absolute favorite books of all time:


It's an awesome, kick-ass fantasy romance with magic, spies, and... chocolate?

Just trust me on this. It's really good.

If you're on Goodreads you can log in and read my "Poison Story" here, about how I got hooked on Maria V. Snyder's writing. And if you win but you already have Poison Study, I will substitute any one of Maria V. Snyder's books instead. The winner can also choose an anthology with her writing in it :)

Rules: 

Open internationally, wherever bookdepository.com ships. To enter you must be over 13 years old or have the permission of a parent/guardian since you may be sharing personal info such as your email address. The winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter. Good luck!

Don't forget to enter to win more books on other blogs in the hop!


28 May, 2012

A read-a-long of Ice and Fire


I am all. over. this.

I've been stuck on Feast for Crows for a long while now thanks to the audiobook producers' mistakes. Yes, I blame them!

But this read-a-long sounds fun and just the thing to get me out of my FFC funk. 

Here's what Pam says on bookalicious.org:
We will begin reading the first book A Game of Thrones in July. For bloggers there will be a weekly topic as we read and a linky posted so that we can all keep up with each others progress. I don’t know about you guys, but I could use a heartwarming community building event this summer. Those who are not book bloggers are welcome to join! You may ignore the weekly topics or post your thoughts in the comments!
Well, there you go! Sign up here.

I'm hoping to finally revive our Podcast series on ASOIAF.

And also make lots of nifty related icons. <3

26 May, 2012

Good Night: Marissa Meyer + Book Blogger Meetup


We did a Good Morning with Read Now Sleep Later last time; this time it's a good night!


Who: Marissa Meyer, author of Cinder



What: We'll attend the signing at 7 and then congregate next door at
Rocky Cola Cafe for munchies. They are open til 10 pm and have great diner food!

RSVP: You don't have to RSVP but we highly recommend that you reserve your copy before May 31 if you are going to buy one*. I'm calling on them tomorrow to make sure they hold me a copy! Call 818-248-9668 to reserve.

*If you already have a copy of Cinder, you will need to at least make a purchase to get a signing line ticket. Once Upon a Time is a local indie bookstore, and in order to stay in business as well as continue to provide you chances to meet your favorite big-name authors from around the country, they need to sell some books!

Contest: The bookstore is also having a contest--bring your best Cinder shoe and you could win a gift card!

Ok, RSVP: I DO kinda want to know if anyone's coming, so leave a comment below :D or email frootjoos at gmail dot com

Please help spread the word on Twitter, GoodreadsFacebook, and just to whoever you know who loves YA! You don't have to have a blog (though if you do have one, it would be great if you posted about it in advance! -- and if you do so please tell me so I can add your link here).

The shortlink to share is:


Thanks for reading, and see you there!

24 May, 2012

Splash into Summer Giveaway Hop (US/CAN)


Splash into Summer Giveaway Hop

When it gets hot, hot, hot, the only thing I regret about having pool access is that books and water don't mix. This is especially true with eReaders, haha! It's cool though--after a dip and getting my hair wet, I love to chill out poolside with a good book (slathered in sunscreen, of course!)

The winner of our Splash into Summer giveaway hop can pick up one of the Summer Lovin' Tour books!


You can't have my iPad or my Vera Bradley bag, sorry!
Click here to read Thuy's recap of the Summer Lovin' Tour.






The winner gets to choose one of these books:




Moonglass by Jessi Kirby



In Honor by Jessi Kirby

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson


Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
The prize will be purchased from one of our favorite indie bookshops, Once Upon a Time in Montrose :) Depending on what's available at the time, the winner's book might even be autographed!



The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han


It's Not Summer without You by Jenny Han



We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han



Also! The winner gets this cool swag I picked up at the signing. 

Rules:


Open to US/CAN. To enter you must be over 13 years old or have the permission of a parent/guardian since you may be sharing personal info such as your email address. The winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter. The book may or may not be autographed depending on what I can get a hold of!

All of the entries are optional but you have to do at least one to enter :D

Good luck! Visit more of the participating blogs for more chances to win!




a Rafflecopter giveaway


22 May, 2012

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight - Review


The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
Publication date: 2 January 2012 by Poppy/Little Brown
ISBN 10/13: 0316122386 | 9780316122382

Category: Young Adult Fiction
Keywords: Young adult, contemporary, romance, travel, family, love
Format: Hardcover, eBook
Source: Library


Thuy's review:

I had high hopes for this book when I started it. The pretty cover and clever title gave me the impression that it was going to be an impossibly romantic and sweet read that would make me want to hop a plane to London immediately. I am really happy to say that The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight met all of my expectations and more.

The story begins in a place where most of us have been before. Hadley, rushing to catch a flight to London for her father’s wedding, misses it by four minutes. By chance, Hadley meets Oliver, who is also waiting for the next flight. Amid quiet conversations, jokes, a duck movie, pretzels and a bit of whiskey, Hadley and Oliver get to know each as they cross the Atlantic.

I am not usually a fan of characters falling madly in love right away so I was a little worried that the relationship in Statistical Probability would seem superficial or inauthentic. I think this could have easily gone into cheesy and clichĂ© territory, but it didn’t. Oliver and Hadley’s relationship never seemed forced. Even though they only know each other for a short period of time, they spend that time really getting to know each other. They talk about their families and the issues with them and about their feelings as well. The things that they share are things you wouldn’t normally share with someone you just met, but their connection is real enough that I could imagine them sharing these things with each other. The romance aspect is always there but it’s not overpowering. Smith lets the characters take the lead on where the relationship will go.

And speaking of characters, I really liked both Hadley and Oliver. Hadley was someone I could immediately relate to. She is a normal teenager with her own quirks and imperfections. She’s impetuous and sweet and shy at times. She has a lot of anger and sadness about what happened with her father. Despite her anger, she also really misses her father and she is trying her best to accept his new life. Their relationship is complicated and I was really invested in the outcome of it. There were some really touching moments between father and daughter that had me a smidge teary eyed (just a smidge).

Oliver is exactly the type of boy that I always wish would sit next to me on a plane. He’s funny, cute and has a British accent. He’s the perfect companion to spend a long flight next to. I loved that he tried to distract Hadley from her fear of flying.

This is the first book I’ve read by Smith and I really enjoyed her writing style. It’s easy to follow and she manages to pack a lot into a fairly short book. Her writing is full of little details that add up to a very rich and three dimensional story. I really felt like I was in the airport with Hadley and Oliver, navigating the crowded terminal, and later taking the long flight with them. I loved listening in on Hadley and Oliver talking about everything and nothing at all and learning each other in process.

Statistical Probability was a really fun, refreshing read. It made me smile and sigh and break out my travel guides. In a world of cynicism, it’s a story of love, hope and second chances that makes me believe that maybe a happy ending is possible. It also makes me hope for a cute British seat mate on my next plane flight, though that’s probably a long shot. But one can hope, right? :)


Find the author at www.jenniferesmith.com and follow @JenESmith on Twitter

20 May, 2012

In My Mailbox (11)


In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren (inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie) where you can show off the books that you got last week.

Yikes, it's been a while.

Here's what I've gotten since my last IMM

Borrowed:


Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard

Been lusting after this one! Thanks to Jane from Young Adult Book Council, I can cuddle up to it tonight.

Downloaded:


My Audible credit this month went to another Katherine Kellgren audiobook--Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen. I love it so far!

Bought on Kindle:


Thuy signed us up to be a street team for Jennifer L. Armentrout's #DaemonInvasion, so I downloaded Obsidian while waiting for my local bookstore to stock it. I've already read it! Definitely a book that makes your skin tingle. I may have to go jump in a cold pool just thinking about it... *fans self*

It was pretty funny also, especially from a book blogger standpoint. Other book bloggers who have read it will get what I mean, haha!

Bought:


Chloe, Instead by Micah Player

We put on a super cute event yesterday where James BurksAnn StamplerCandace RyanFrans VischerMax KornellLaura Lacámara, and Micah Player read and signed their books. (If you want to grab any signed copies, I'd check out Once Upon a Time Bookstore if I were you! They will ship books, if you need them to.) I couldn't resist getting this for my nieces! It's about a girl named Molly who wishes for a little sister, but gets a little more than she bargained for. Very colorful and sweet!

I also special-ordered this:


Cool cover, huh?

Oh, and I got these a little while back and then forgot to post them. See?


It was ages ago, it seems... You can read about the Summer Lovin' Tour with Jessi Kirby, Jenny Han, and Morgan Matson on Thuy's event recap post

Ok, I think I'm mostly caught up now :) 

17 May, 2012

Love in Bloom Giveaway Hop (INTL)


Love in Bloom Giveaway Hop

Featuring Lighthearted/Contemporary Young Adult Romance
& Sweet, Clean Adult Romance


We are giving away a copy of Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik!


From Goodreads:

In this modern take on "Pride and Prejudice," Elise Benton, who has just moved to California, is a junior at an exclusive prep school where, in spite of her initial bad impression, she finds herself attracted to the moody and handsome son of Hollywood's most famous celebrity couple.

Thanks to Ambur from Burning Impossibly Bright for this recommendation!

Rules:

1. First entry is free!


2. There are 4 optional entries too. If you comment, comment on any post that is NOT the giveaway post! (Please DO NOT leave your email address or any personal info in your comment, or it will be deleted!) Comments on the giveaway are also appreciated, but will not count toward your entries.

3. Contest is open internationally. If you are under 13 please get your parent or guardian's permission before entering since you will be sharing personal info with me via the Rafflecopter widget.

4. The winner will be chosen randomly using the Rafflecopter widget, so don't forget to come back and click on it!


books!
Remember to also visit the other blogs on this hop for more chances to win books! :)









a Rafflecopter giveaway



15 May, 2012

Along a Long Road - Picture Book Review


Publication date: 28 June 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
ISBN 10/13: 0316129259 | 9780316129251

Category: Children’s Picture Book
Keywords: Picture book, children’s, bicycling, travel
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed from the library


I picked up Along A Long Road at the library because of its eye-catching cover. Along A Long Road is unlike any picture book I’ve read recently. The illustrations are very graphic and stylized, with clean, fluid lines and only 5 colors (black, blue, red, white, and yellow). It doesn’t have much of a narrative. A bicyclist rides his bike up, down and all around - through town, by the sea, into a tunnel, by a carnival--following a yellow road throughout the book.

I really liked Viva’s illustrations and the fact that the road was shiny while the rest of the book was matte. It really gives the book a unique look and feel. I personally found the story to be a little boring and might have preferred it without words. That way I could have just lost myself in the imagery. However I can see how a simple story like this would appeal to very young children.

I think it would be really fun to have them follow the road and point out all of the people and things that are along the road. The standout here is definitely the art. I also just read on Viva’s website the following: “This celebration of cycling was created as a single, continuous 35-five-foot-long piece of art.” This actually makes me more impressed with the artwork than I already was and I would love to see this in its original 35 foot format.

I picked this book up for the illustrations and I can say that I wasn’t disappointed. While the story itself wasn’t a personal favorite, it’s a really easy read and I can see this appealing to very young children.

tweet @fishgirl182

Spotty, Stripy, Swirly - Picture Book Review


Publication date: 1 January 2012 by Millbrook Press
ISBN: 0761346139 | 9780761346135

Category: Children’s Non-Fiction Picture Book
Keywords: Children’s, non-fiction, picture book, patterns
Format: Hardcover
Source: Netgalley



Spotty, Stripey, Swirly is one of the newest additions to author Jane Brocket’s Clever Concepts line of non-fiction picture books. Like her other books, this one is not traditionally illustrated but is filled with photos that Brocket has taken herself. As you can tell from the title Spotty, Stripey, Swirly is about finding and recognizing patterns all around us.

Stripes, dots, zig zags, and circles abound, punctuated by Brocket’s signature style of bright, colorful photographs. Using eye catching photos, Brocket teaches children what a pattern is and how to recognize them. She urges them to find patterns in everyday objects. From simple to complex, patterns are everywhere if you just know where to look. This would be a nice addition to a very young child’s library.

say "twee"!

13 May, 2012

Crayon Dragon - Video

I know I'm running super-late on IMM now but I just had to share one more thing for the end of Children's Book Week:
"This animation, Crayon Dragon, was made by California Institute of the Arts student Toniko Pantoja as a second-year project."
Thank to my cousin TJ for drawing attention to this post on io9. I hope you love it as much as I did--if you like it, share it everywhere!

Descanso Gardens

rosecottagepoolsilverspartanpepperminttuliptree
creeksidecaterpillarkoicacti_yellowpinkredpalmtree
poppiesbuckeyegoldenpoppyboddycacticactiblooms
succulentsboddyhousesculptureminekogreenparadisenestorhive
Descanso Gardens, a set on Flickr.
Here is a set of photos from our trip to Descanso Gardens for Mother's Day today. I walked around for hours with my husband's family. No books, but enjoy it anyway!

http://www.descansogardens.org