Friday, April 30, 2010

Come One, Come All! Blogmania 2010 Has Arrived!


One day...multiple blogs....many contests....are you game?
Of course you are, you're here aren't you?

Today is the day!  Blogmania 2010 has arrived and it's chockfull of bookish fun for you!
You’ve arrived at exactly the right time to explore lots of new blogs, but that's not all!  All the blogs participating in this event are holding a special ONE DAY ONLY contest too!
You literally have the chance to win hundreds of prizes. We’ve done all the work for you. No hunting or surfing for just the right blogs. Every blog you visit will have more links for you to follow, all of them with a special BLOGMANIA giveaway just waiting for you to drop by and submit your entry.

Each blog has been assigned a number allowing you to keep track of which blogs you’ve visited and how many are left to visit. Links for a several blogs are listed on each site to make the navigating the event a breeze.  Now really, isn’t this the easiest thing ever! AND SO MUCH FUN


I know you’ll want to visit as many blogs today as you can. So, if you see something that interests you on any of the participating blogs, why not bookmark that site or become a blog follower (it only takes one click with Google Friend). Later, when you have more time, you can discover all the fabulous treasures each site has to offer.  Remember! The special Blogmania contest and prizes are only available TODAY, April 30th. The number of prizes you can win overall is only limited by the NUMBER of blogs you visit.

Get Ready—Set —Go !



So, you wanna chance to win some cool prizes?
Fantastic!  Here's the scoop....

This is Blog stop #32 of 123...
Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers BLOGMANIA Contest!
This contest has prizes available for US/Canada AND International participants!


The prizes:

1) Book up to $10 from Book Depository
INTERNATIONAL residents
(As long as they can ship it to where you live, enter away!)


(1) Book up to $10 from Book Depository
US/Canada residents


(2) Insatiable Reader prize packs
US/Canada residents
(consisting of elastic bookmark bands, sticky notes, note cards or wipe off board, and a small book for a little fun)


So we have 4 prizes in total....3 open to US/Canada only and 1 reserved specifically for our International friends.


How to enter:
Fill out this FORM.
(Promise it's short and sweet...but to enter you must fill it out.)







The rules:
*Prizes are open to US/Canada and International residents as listed abvove.  No P. O. Boxes please.
If you are an international participant, be sure to check that the Book Depository ships to your location prior to entering.
* Entries will be accepted TODAY ONLY, Friday, April 30th, 2010 through midnight CST.  The entries will be entered into the random.org randomizer, after which a random number will be picked by their number generator.
(This way all the entries are mixed up nicely.)
* To enter, you must fill out the form.  You MUST include your email address in order to be counted as well as contacted should you be chosen as a winner!
*Winners will be announced on this site and contacted via email on Monday, May 3rd, 2010 and will have 48 hours to respond with their mailing address and book choice if applicable.  Should they fail to respond in the given time, a new winner will be chosen.
*Winners name and address will be used for prize send out and then discarded.

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Not quite ready to leave?
No worries!  Check out my other contests still open for entries...
**Chance to win 1 of 3 copies of I Has A Hotdog by Professor Happy Cat**
**Chance to win 1 of 3 copies of Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow**



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After you've entered, check out a few more of the great blogs on the list....don't forget there are 123 to cover!  You might need a check list!

#1 - Between the Pages (Event Host)
#2 - The Black Sheep Dances (Event Co-Host)
#3 - Books, Books, Everywhere (Event Co-Host)
#12 - Off the Keyboard
#46 - Tribute Book Reviews
#56 - My Favorite Things
#59 - Curling Up By the Fire
#63 - D. B. Reynolds, Writer
#82 - Carpe Libris
#94 - Romance Book Scene
#106 - Bitten By Paranormal Romance



IF YOU GET LOST IN THE "MANIA", OUR HOST HAS PROVIDED A MAIN LINK PAGE TO HELP YOU "RECOVER".  REMEMBER, HAVE FUN WITH THIS EVENT!  THAT'S WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT!
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Until next time....happy reading!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Let's Celebrate the Letter "A"!

Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers!  Today is a day filled with excitement!  Want to know why?  (Oh, come on...you know you do...or at the very least you are curious about the title of this post...) First reason (and first "A" to celebrate)...I just saw Avatar.  I know, I know...I'm behind on this band wagon of fans, but honestly I had no interest in seeing it....and honestly I was wrong for not having seen it sooner.  It's not that the graphics were fantastic or anything (which was the main buzz), to me they were a bit more along the lines of "eh"...it's the story that really spoke to me (despite the blue creatures...yeah, never could quite get my mind around that one...they always seemed a bit awkward to me).  At it's heart of hearts, it is a story of...well, us.  Not "us" us in the literaly sense of you and me at this very moment, but "us" in the sense of our history and history-in-the-making.  Claiming land, destroying nature and cultures, all in the name of progress.  What can I say, I love new things as much as the next person, but if we continually use and use without giving back, one day...what will be left?


Conservation is a step taken by the largest of us and the smallest of us; both have equally important impacts on our futures.  I'm not saying that each and every person needs to become 100% green right this very moment (though it would help), but doing your part will go a long way in creating a better tomorrow.  How can you help?  There's recycling, turning off the lights when you leave a room, turn the water off while brushing your teeth...just to name a few.  Some companies have gotten in on the action too and made the process easier and even more fun.  You may or may not have heard of a little company called Terracycle.  Their site explains it better than I could, but basically they take different categories of recycled goods and turn them into various products....including school supplies, purses, lunch bags, and more.  They are actually pretty cool (in my opinion)...er, unique (yea, that sounds better).  So the next time you toss your soda can by the wayside or leave your office for lunch....why not consider taking the green step available to you?  (End of "A" celebration number 1...moving to celebration number 2....ready?)


Our second "A" celebration focus is due to the given day!  It is 04/30/10 (or at least it is in a few minutes) and Arbor Day is here!  What's Arbor Day?  (My, my, my...aren't we curious today.  That's okay, I like it that way.)  Arbor Day is the day that we all band together across the 50 states to plant a tree and help preserve the beauty and majesty of the world we live in.  It's growth in popularity has even made it an idea celebrated in several other countries around the globe.  With this wonderful message of helping Mother Nature with her tasks, the post for today is offered for your review.  Today's book of choice is....

by
Kathryn O. Galbraith
Illustrated by
Cyd Moore

Katie and Papa are the true narrators of the story but the star of the show is nature's wonder itself....the tree!  From start to finish, we follow Katie and her family as their little portion of the world under goes changes for the better under their own hands.  We start out with a dry treeless plain (GASP!  The horror...) and slowly but surely move to a land of green generations later, all thanks to a little thought from the townspeople.  You see, this little town needs a towns square.  Why?  Well, if you have one where you live (I did back up North and it was literally a square, but alas, not down here), you know that they are more than a potential marking point for the center of town.  They serve as a gathering place as well for relaxing, festivals, and all sorts of fun.  People meet, greet, and play in these designated areas and why not have it be a place of beauty?  With a little hard work and a little community love, this is one little town that will show the world that green is a great color to be.

A sweet and touching story, the author has done a wonderful job of keeping the spirit of the day it celebrates while creating a story that will capture young readers.  The illustrations are warm and full of life while still depicting the quaint nature of their beginnings straight through to their prolific city of tomorrow.  Trees (and Nature in general) are an important aspect of our natural enviroments.  They provide shade, housing (in both lumber and for small animals), food (acorns, and leaves depending on the critter), and of course they help to clean our air of carbon dioxide.  That's right!  Your favorite little places to while away a summer day while appreciating the beauty of the world, the feel of the breeze, and a good book (oh, wait, that's MY ideal...well, perhaps you share "the dream") also do their part in making our world a better place.  I love the fact that the author takes the last page and dedicates it to the abbreviated history of this yearly event sharing its origins (in 1872 no less!), the worldwide appeal and also the website for the National Arbor Day Foundation.  (Loads of great information there....including the option to buy trees online, participate in contests, and even a tree identifying index!)

To say that this book is just that, a book....would be doing it a disservice in my eyes.  The story is touching, the pictures a perfect accompaniment as you read along, but the message it conveys is relevant for this generation and every generation.  If we want a greener tomorrow, it all starts with the little choices we make today.  From recycling, turning off lights and electronics when not in a room, turning off the water while brushing our teeth....there are so many little things we can choose to be a part of that will have an impact on the overall picture.  So, how will you start?


Review copy received courtesy of Erin at Peachtree Publishers. (THANK YOU) For more on this and their other great titles, be sure to check out their site, BLOG, or follow along on ther Twitter feed (one and two).


COMMENT CREATOR
What are you doing for Arbor Day?  What programs or activities do you participate in to ensure a greener tomorrow?  Care to share?  The comments are open....


Until next time....give Mother Nature a hand and plant a tree today!
(...and of course, happy reading!)

**Special thanks to Erin and the art team at Peachtree Publishers for the beautiful book art to include in this post.  Aren't they beautiful?**

The Winnitok Tales: The Hunt for the Eye of Ogin by Patrick Doud

Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers!
One more day until the big BLOGMANIA event...are you ready?  One day, 24 hours...multiple blogs, many prizes....all the fun starts at the stroke of midnight, so be sure to stop by and check it out!  In the mean time, don't forget to enter for your chance to win in the two contests currently open, further information is available in the right hand sidebar.  ALSO, tomorrow is Arbor Day!  To celebrate, we will be having a special post centered on this unofficial U.S. holiday with a book review to match!  Loads of fun to be had all around...hope to see you there (I mean, here...hehe).


Typing up this review while listening to the newest CD to be released from the GLEE cast, The Power of Madonna.....perhaps you've heard of it? (*sings* don't go for second best baby, but your love to the test... *sings* ... whoops!  Back on topic...) Drenched in messages of female power and equality for all, it's actually quite befitting the feature of today's post (huh, how did the folks at GLEE know I was reading this book? *ponders*).  Today's book of choice is....

The Winnitok Tales:
by
Patrick Doud

Picture it.  You are 13 years old.  Your family moves far from where you grew up, leaving friends and familiar haunts behind.  You're disoriented, outraged, and generally unhappy.  Unable to express your feelings in words, you find escape in separating yourself from others as much as possible in school, resolve to wallow in negativity frequently, and roam the hillsides surrounding the new place you dwell (since you don't really consider it home).  One day while out exploring the "lands", you happen upon a strange portion of a now familiar pathway.  Curiousity gets the better of you, and...WHOOSH!  You find yourself in a place that begs recollection, yet you simply can't place.  It looks like "home" and yet not all at once...

Such is the plight of young Elwood Pitch (gotta love the name, right?) and his faithful companion Slunkee (such a cute doggie and loyal too) who are whisked away unknowingly to a land of beauty and great peril.  That mysteriously appearing pathway?  It lead to the land of Ehm where magic and mahem are aquaintances and the loyal department store is light years from ever being built let alone considered.  This is a time of great peril for all those in Ehm as the immortal being Granashan the Nohar (protector) is missing and her Dread of protection is failing allowing those with evil intentions to enter the lands leaving destruction and death in their paths.  From the moment he enters this strange land, Elwood knows that he is there for a reason and with the help of Drallah Wehr and her raven friend Booj, the unlikely foursome set out for an adventure they won't soon forget.  They need to find the Nohar and all signs point to the 'eye of ogin' being the only way to locate her.  Will they be able to save the lands from the invading forces of ill will?  Perhaps more pressing yet unspoken in Elwood's mind, will he ever be able to return home? 

So...if you've followed my progress on here (or GoodReads, or Twitter, etc), you might have noticed this one took me a little longer to read than some.  Nothing against the book, it was an adventure to be certain...problem for me, it might have been a smidge too much.  Allow me to briefly (hehe...me, brief?  No I promise to be brief....) explain.  It's books like this one that help to show you what you prefer and what you don't in reading.  This is an epic fantasy if I had to put a genre label on it.  Yes, it was written for young adults, but it reads similar in story structure to the all time heralded Lord of the Rings trilogy.  That's not a bad thing, I mean they are famous for a reason.  It's just that they are not for everyone.  For me, I prefer the movies of that big named series...less history, more action, still true to the story line.  While the author didn't weigh you down with too much history, there were many fantasy elements that added their own heft (the language, the creatures, etc.). 

There is a full cast of creatures unfamiliar in origin yet recognizeable thanks to descriptive text.  From the fox truans to the frog people of the Swamp, the evil sorceror with a power source in lieu of a heart to the evil Zaw (a giant frog creature that would give anybody the hebegebees...~shivers~), you can vividly imagine them as they are introduced for better or worse within this tale.  Unexpectedly, there is a cast of strong female characters that dominate in this tale.  Drallah, Elwood's first friendly acquaintance, future scout for her people and defender of the land (and friends she holds dear).  Ainathuai (Queen of Ashwada), spoiled though she may be, her pride and will are as strong as any male leader.  Nemoor, the young Queen's cousin and magical witch in her own right, more powerful than looks betray.  Each one has their own will, their own path, and though times get tough, none shy from the matter at hand (though they do accept a helping hand from time to time....no man or woman is an island after all).  Definitely an unexpected large cast of strength, but refreshing nonetheless. 

In the end, I enjoyed the overall story, but the ending was not what I expected at all.  The journey comes to an end for all intents and purposes and we discover the fate of Elwood Pitch and friends, but there is a slight twist in the last few lines that just leaves me unsettled.  It feels like the story was finished (for now at least) and perhaps the added in feelings might have been better kept for the next story....then again, the author could have wanted to leave you in this emotional quandry thus building anticipation for book two. (*ponders*)

Will I be looking for the next book in the series?  It's hard to say.  While I am curious about the next adventure and how their relationships grow, I'd have to try to make sure I create a reading cone of sorts (similar to the "cone of silence" referenced in The Avengers movie, but less funny, more uninterrupted time) to allow full immersion into the other world to take place, otherwise it becomes too hard to follow.  (Ever have a book like that?  Wait, don't answer that...wait for the 'comment creator'...)

There is a site dedicated to this new series.  Providing both a sneak peek at the current release as well as information on the next installment (The Mornith War) scheduled for 2011, it's sure to wet your appetite for adventure.  Once you're a fan, you can start your indepth exploration of the characters and lands with the other interactive features available.

Special thanks to Kat at North Atlantic Books for the ARC for review.  (THANK YOU!)  For more information on this title and more, check out their blog, site, or follow along on Twitter (publisher or book)!


COMMENT CREATOR
Regarding reading preferences, everyone has some to a certain degree at least.  Do you read epic fantasy novels or series?  (By epic fantasy, I am referring to books where the fantasy world comes at you full force in language, lands, creatures, etc...in a 'heavy' way.)  If so....what draws you to them?  Which one is your favorite?  If not, why?


Until next time....happy reading!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

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This page is 'Under Construction'.
Nothing to see....move along, move along.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Noonie's Masterpiece by Lisa Railsback

Hello, hello!
How are you today?  Good, I trust...if not, best wishes to one and all.  Just wanted to say thanks for stopping by Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers and making it a part of your busy day.  Only a few more days until BLOGMANIA!  Are you ready?  I am!  Remember, all the fun starts at the stroke of midnight, 04/30/10.  Mark your calendars and set your alarm!  Let's jump right into the post now shall we?  Filled with creativity and a penchant for getting into a tad bit of trouble, the featured title of the day is great for readers of all ages, though what you take away from the story may differ slighty.  Today's book of choice is....


by
Lisa Railsback
Art by

Think back to fourth grade.  Did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up?  Not like a super hero or president (not that either are impossible), but in the literal sense of your passion and desire.  Could you honestly put your fingerpaint wet hand upon the actual goal you wanted to reach?  Noonie Norton can.







Welcome to the creative world of Noonie.  She is a fourth grade artist extraordinare that knows (notice it doesn't just dreams, she KNOWS this) one day her artwork will be noticed for the treasure it truly is and catipult her to artistry fame.  Her constant companion, a library book....which she has had out for quite a while with no plans on returning it any time soon (imagine the late fees associated to a book out for over a year, perhaps two....scary).  It's not that she's a bad apple, she just can't bear to part with it.  So which book is THAT important to Noonie?  Masterpieces.  Any guess what's inside?  Only her favorite figures of the art world of all time ranging from Picasso to O'Keeffe, Andy Warhol and Vincent Van Gogh...no one is left out of the creative collection.  As with most artists though, making her big start is proving a little harder than anticipated.  Her random drawing of the Math teacher on the chalk board while she was suppose to be finishing a problem, met less than stellar remarks.  The jelly self portrait she drew on the school hallway floor only seemed a favorite of the mop that swept it away.  Even the combination artwork and artistic presentation that came off as a bit of mayhem went under appreciated.  What's a creative soul to do?

Lucky for Noonie, her prayers are answered in the form of an art contest being held at her school.  The subject of their artistic creation?  Their own families....as their creative minds see them.  This poses a slight problem as her Mom passed away a few years ago and her Dad is constantly on the go with his work.  Will Noonie's portrait end up with a small stick figure of Noonie herself and nothing more or will inspiration strike when she least expects it?  Move with Noonie from her Blue Period through her Purple Period and see what awaits beyond for a truly artistic soul can not be hampered by the trials of life for long, no matter what age; creativity must flow!

Noonie's Masterpiece was about more than just her amazing artwork (though the artwork displayed throughout the book was just a perfect fit)...it was about life and the changes that occur everyday.  She's had her fair share of loss at such a young age and is dealing with it as best as she can.  Underneath all of her understanding though, she longs to be noticed, counted...especially by her Dad.  Though she claims to be fine with the arrangement and understands why he is away, I think deep down she still misses that face-to-face connection...that's where her art comes into play.  Through her artistic form of self-expression, Noonie not only uncovers her "family" but also a true friend in Math-ish Reno (clumsy though he may be, he is there when it counts), the person behind the mask of perfection in her classroom rival Sue Ann (perfect paint brushes and curls do not make a happy person), and even the true feelings of her little "alien" cousin Junior.

Overall, I loved this book! I was looking for a light break from a slighty heavier current read (at the time...finished that one now) and this was just the ticket (what can I say, the cover spoke to me). The creative way Noonie's story is presented combined with a message good for both young readers ("a brillant artist must try not to be afraid") and adult readers (the story presented has many underlying themes to ponder) makes this book a definite to check out the next time you are out and about.  Children will frolic with the imagination used (her family portrait drawing is a hoot) as well as learn a thing or two about many famous artists along the way.  Who knows?  You may even awaken the sleeping creative spirit within them.  For more fun with Noonie, check out all the added fun at her site (check the link in the book title at the top of this post), including my own family portrait (yep, that's my drawing at the bottom of this post...you can do one as well with the downloadable art sheets at the site) and the excerpt of the book as seen below!  What can I say, a picture really can say a thousand words....





Noonie's Masterpiece



Review copy received courtesy of Lara at Chronicle Books. (THANK YOU!) For more information on this title and many more, check out their site, or follow along on Twitter!


COMMENT CREATOR
Do you have any artistic-type talents or wish you did?  Do tell!  (Or share if you are so inclined...link to your own drawing after completing and posting one of the art sheets from the site!  I love to see your renditions....that's mine over there.  Hey, I never claimed to be artsy now....)


Until next time....happy reading!

WINNERS: This Is Me From Now On CONTEST

Hi everyone!
Today is the day!  What day?  Why the day This Is Me From Now On by Barbara Dee hits shelves AND the day we find out whic of you lucky readers scored a copy of your very own and/or an Evie-licious swag pack!  Entries were approximately when all is said and done....let's get this show in the road!  The winners as selected and randomly drawn are as follows....


Book & swag...
#82 - Angie D

Swag pack...
#69 - Kate the Book Buff

 
Congratulations!  You now have 72 hours to respond to the email I sent you to claim your prize.  If a response is not received in the allotted time frame...no worries!  I have two back up numbers drawn...
Didn't win?  Did you enter on my "partner-in-review" 's site?  If so, check out her post today (There's A Book) to see if you snagged a win there!  For those that did not win this round in either locale, but would like another chance, no worries!  Hop on over to The Cajun Book Lady and check out her review and contest for this title starting today!

Special thanks to author Barbara Dee for the opportunity to participate in the early review of this title and to "the1stdaughter" at There's A Book for teaming up with me for the review and giveaway!  Remember...the book hits shelves today so be sure to keep an eye out for it!  Thank you to all those that entered (and those that merely thought about it...you lurkers you...)!   Don't forget we still have two open contests on the site and Friday is the big BLOGMANIA event!  There's lots more fun to come...stay tuned...
Until next time....happy reading!

Taste Testing Tuesdays (25)


Good morning (or whatever time it is where you are), everyone!
Welcome to another installment of Taste Testing Tuesdays!
Taste Testing Tuesdays was inspired by 'Teaser Tuesdays', a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading
On the menu this week ... two current reads in progress.  First up, a title that we currently have a giveaway for (check out the right sidebar for details) and secondly, a humorous look at life through a dog's eyes.
Let's have a taste, shall we?




Is it synthetic?  I asked.
Do you think we could afford wool?  she replied.
-- pg 154, Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow










Seconds later she emerged from the house with the "medical dressing" in her left hand.  What she found would have put the average dog in a psychiatric kennel, or at least required some serious counseling.  Her brilliant life-saving idea?
A Stayfree maxi pad.
--pg 76, Bad to the Bone:  Memoir of a Rebel Doggie Blogger by Bo Hoefinger



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Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
*Grab your current read
*Open to a random page
*Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
*Share the title & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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Until next time....happy reading!

Monday, April 26, 2010

REMINDER: This Is Me From Now On CONTEST Ends Tonight!


Just a quick reminder....
...a contest at SFIR is ending tonight at midnight CST!
Enter now for your chance to win your very own copy of ....
 
 
This Is Me From Now On by Barbara Dee
and/or Evie-licious swag pack...
...courtesy of author Barbara Dee and There's A Book!


For more information and to enter, click here!

In My Shopping Bag (26)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.
Through her guidelines, your post does not actually have to be named the same and thus my post shall be..."In My Shopping Bag".  (just fits with the "foodie" theme a bit better in my humble opinion)
Let's take a peek inside my shopping bag from this past week....

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For Review

Arbor Day Square by Kathryn O. Galbraith
(courtesy of Erin at Peachtree Publishers)
Featured title in the special Arbor Day celebration post this week!



 
Possessions:  The Evil Within by Nancy Holder (ARC)
(courtesy of the author and Razorbill/Penguin Group)
Look for special post coming in June!


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Won

The Wish Stealers by Tracy Trivas
(via contest from Steph at Steph Su Reads)



Every Day In Tuscany by Frances Mayes (signed copy)
(via contest at author's site)


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Until next time....happy reading!


Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Roving Reader

Pardon the blurry photo but you know that this intriguing book cover is making you turn with envy...
Green
by
Laure Peyton Roberts

Check it out!
^_^

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Roving Reader

Okay so if you're not a bird person, the cover may not appeal to you, but come on...that title definitely draws your attention, or least it did mine.  Check out the small print at the top.

Winging It
by
Jenny Gardiner

Check it out!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Book Blogger Hop (6)


It's that time again!  Time for the BOOK BLOGGER HOP, brought to you by Jennifer over at Crazy-for-Books! This idea was created as another means of finding, sharing, and otherwise connecting those in the blogosphere! How can you participate? Check out the main post on Jennifer's page, add your blog name and link into the MckLinky, and get "hopping" over to the other sites listed to make those connections!

Now that I've spread the news, I'm off to "hop" on over to a few other sites!
Until next time....happy reading!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

How to (Un)Cage a Girl by Francesca Lia Block

Hi everyone!
Well, April is almost said and done, but we've got a lot going on and more still to come here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.  From blog tours and author interviews, to reviews, contests (some of which are going on right now, check the right sidebar for those opportunites still open for entries) and the upcoming event not to be missed called Blogmania 2010 (04/30/10)...there's something for everyone, so stick around and join the fun!

Beyond April being a busy month blog wise, it's also a month that celebrates a particular genre of prose and wordly beauty.  April is in fact National Poetry Month!  That's right and although the month is almost through, I figured what better time to post a review of a YA poetry collection!  (Yeah, I know....I'm original like that....) So, put on your thinking caps or at the very least your most scholarly face and pose and let's take a look at a rather unique collection of feelings recorded with pen and paper.  Today's book of choice is....

by

Did you just do a double take after reading the author?  I know I did when I first looked at the book.  I've heard many things about this particular author, but my own experience is limited to her one book entitled Pretty Dead (my review...just in case you're curious about the title).  It being a work of fiction, I didn't necessarily consider looking for this author to have a poetry collection, but it just goes to show you how versatile an author can be.  A constant camelion, they can change their style to meet the needs of themselves as well as those of their readers in the blink of an eye....plus it helps to broaden their appeal to a larger audience, a bonus for anyone in the publicity arena....but I digress, I'm getting off subject here....

Upon embarking on this poetic adventure, I wasn't sure what to expect.  The title was rather interesting and the choice of cover art made one wonder about it's origins (a fact that is explored in the included EXTRAS section at the back of the book....turns out her name is Moira and she was one of her original fans when the author began posting her poetry on MySpace...).  Without any preconceived notions about the books contents, I dove in head first.  The result?  Well, the waters were a bit murky and I can't say that it will become one of my favorites of all time, but I did appreciate many aspects of it overall.

First off, the set up or divisions between the poems.  They're separated into 3 sections based upon both the age of the poet and the life changes being experienced.  It allows readers to slowly grow with the poems or seek one out befitting their current mood or experience.  Second, out of the myriad of prose presented, I did have three that I favorited a bit more than the others (honestly, they were really the main ones that I connected with...the others, well....they just weren't so much for me).  "Media Queenz" tells of the way we idolize (or are told to) famous women and how one day we will reach a level of understanding that allows their beauty to be appreciated but no longer envied (acceptance of self is the message here, in my opinion).  "Vampire in the City of Lost" takes a look at two young girls desire to become one of these mythical fanged wonders and how the denial of their request made them appreciate the futures lying in wait for them (interesting to see one of these "immortals" talk a "victim" out of becoming one of them....the reasons given are quite unexpected as well.....great message of enacting change here).  Last but not least, we have "Happi Happi Joy Joy and Sad in Hawaii" which imparts a message of learning to accept the good with the bad and never forgetting to eat more birthday cake (you have to read it to understand the reference, but it works).

Personally I'd recommended this one for older teens and adults only.  The language is quite graphic at times and being that it's presented as a personal collection of poetry following a young girls life as she grows into her own person, the focus tends to reflect the private thoughts of the individual....not necessarily something that you'd want to share say with a 13 or 14 year old (or at least not without A LOT of explaining).  As I stated earlier, it's not necessarily my perfect cup of tea, but it may just be right for you.  If you're looking for a dose of poetic waxing in your YA reading, take a look within the pages of this collection. 





Review copy received courtesy of Laura at HarperCollins Publishers. (THANK YOU) For more information on this book and many other fabulous reads, check out their website or follow along on Twitter!  (See, if you don't have a Twitter account....you are truly missing out!)

Happy National Poetry month!
Until next time....happy reading!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Rhythm of Life: House of Dance by Beth Kephart

Hi there!

It's Wednesday (well, perhaps not if you're reading this on another day, but it's posting on a Wednesday)!  Whoo-HOO!  Halfway through another week and heading towards the weekend...hopefully the weather is cooperating with you in your neck of the woods.  I'd like to take a moment to thank those followers that have been with me for a bit now....your readership (is that a word?) and comments never fail to bring a smile to my face or a new thought to ponder.  Since I'm not one to leave out others if it can be helped, I'd also like to welcome our newer followers and readers to the site!  You've all chosen a marvelous time to be here as we head ever closer to my blogoversary (wow, hard to believe THAT'S just over the horizon) and celebrate many wonderful titles that have been released or are about to be with reviews, interviews, and contests in the coming weeks!


Speaking of contests, currently there are three running on the site.  First up is a new addition to the YA genre hitting shelves 04/27/10 by author Barbara Dee called This Is Me From Now On!  This was a joint review with There's A Book and the giveaway offers you a chance to win both book and swag, 2 winners in all!  Next we have a perfect match for dog lovers and humor fans alike entitled I Has A Hotdog....3 winners!  Finally, we have a legal thriller of a page turner from Scott Turow entitled Presumed Innocent....3 winners!  For all the details, check the right hand sidebar under CONTESTS!


Oh, wait..did I say that was all?  Nope!  There is a special ONE DAY ONLY contest coming up on Friday, 04/30/10 as we celebrate Blogmania 2010!  Haven't heard about this event?  Though hard to believe (the buzz is seriously strong out there)...no worries!  It's simply a one day MAJOR blog hop type event where everyone hosts a special contest all their own.  (Psst...on here, my contest will have multiple winners including one of our international readers as well!)  So be sure to check out all the fun...now on with the show!


Today's pick resides in the YA genre and is from an author that is on the rise in many circles.  Known for her touching stories and way with words, she comes highly recommended by many readers out there....despite all of this, I hadn't actually read any of her books (GASP!).  No worries, that fact has now been rectified and as a result of those efforts, the following review I submit for you!  Today's book of choice is....

by

Rosie is alone in the world.  Okay, not really, but for all intents and purposes she may as well be.  It's not that everyone has disappeared from the face of the Earth leaving her behind to fend for herself, but it can sure feel that way to a young girl.  Let's take stock of her current situation.  Her father ran off with someone else several years ago, yet tries to show his "love" by sending her money every week (hence the box of growing bills hidden away in her room....the hidden part, definitely reveals how she's dealt with the feelings from this situation).  Her mother, unable to move on finds solace in her work and perhaps the arms of another that aren't exactly free to accept visitors.  Her friends are scattered about since it's summer time and each had their own agendas, most not including her.  Her grandfather....is dying.  (I'll give you a moment to digest that shorter sentence....all better?  Okay, let's continue....)

One day after coming home from window washing (her work), Rosie's mother drops this heart-wrenching news on young Rosie.  The only thing is that while it is a bitter pill to swallow, the real tragedy is that she has yet to truly get to know him...a simple fact that is about to be rectified.  Unable to come to terms with her father since the last disagreement they had any more than she can with her ended marriage, her mother suggests Rosie visit with him throughout the summer.  Spend some time with him, get to know him...the works.  Begrudgingly, Rosie takes to the task at hand if only to escape her life as it now stands.  Little does she know the change in herself as well as her world that is about to take place thanks to the forever bonds of family and the colorful world of dance.  Watch as one persons small steps within a growing crowd, enables a garden of color to blossom before the eyes of a loved one simply as a means to remember and be remembered.

The House of Dance is not only the book's title, but also the dance studio within the novel.  It becomes a source of great joy for Rosie as she trains to bring the vibrant world her grandfather has traveled to in his mind and memory to life once again through dance.  Anyone that has ever taken a dance lesson (*raises hand* ....ballet and tap for me when I was younger) or even attempted to learn a new step on their own can appreciate the dedication even the smallest venture requires as well as the heart necessary to really make it shine.  You've seen people on TV dance before.  You can tell who is having the time of their lives (okay, stole that line from Dirty Dancing, the movie...but it fit perfectly) and who is merely going through the motions.  It shows on their faces, in their body language, and during the overall performance.  Dance is an expression of oneself that can communicate our true feelings and emotions for better of worse...that's why I think it works so well for this story.  The author's choice for Rosie to truly make a final connection with her grandfather, her mother, and the whole of the town as one through dance is a graceful way to show that the bonds of life run deep....much deeper than we can even know...and that making someone's experience here better starts with just one little step in their direction.

Tinged with sadness but with an overall zest for life, this one will definitely have you taking stock of those you need in your life and those you love to have in your life. The only thing that didn't quite work for me was the writing style....it didn't quite flow.  I found it very hard to stay focused on the story while reading the descriptive yet often times choppy sentences.  Still, when all is said and done, I can appreciate the underlying messages and the way the author describes things through the characters eyes in such detail and color. Anything that has a hint of color is brightened ten fold when her writer's spotlight is applied.  You can feel the intensity of the reds, the mellow vibrations of the yellows, the liveliness of the greens.  It's almost as if for all the loss and sorrow within the story itself, the world surrounding them is making it it's job to chase away the dark clouds.  She truly shares a story that will leave readers with much to ponder after the last page is turned.

Special thanks to HarperCollins Children's Books/HarperTEEN for the review copy. (THANK YOU!) For more information on this title and many more, stop by their site or follow along on Twitter!  Look for a special post featuring another review on a title from this author (The Heart Is Not A Size) coming in May as an informal book tour (organized by Amy over at My Friend Amy) makes its rounds here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers!

COMMENT CREATOR
It's a simple question really.....in addition to any comments you'd like to share about the book or review, I'm curious to know....do you dance?  If so, why?  What type of dancing do you enjoy?  Be it fast or slow, rumba or ballroom....feel free to share!

Until next time....happy reading!
Are you an avid reader looking for your next "fix"? Can't bear to be without some form of reading material in your spare time? Welcome to my world! Whether you are seeking a new book to "feed your need", or you are an author seeking an unbiased point of view on your own recent masterpiece, this is the place to be. With life as with books, you never know where the next step might take you...
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