Friday, May 31, 2013

Would the real Poseidon Princess please SWIM up?

Hi guys!
Welcome back to the place that aims to please the reader in you as well as entertain those not attending BEA this year either by choice or by circumstance (I'm definitely the latter)...Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.  Hopefully when you leave here you've had a bit of bookish fun, have a story to tell and perhaps even a new read to investigate...including today's choice.

The book on the reviewing platform today was just released this past Tuesday and is the sequel to a title released around this very same time last year (2012).  It stars a young girl (Emma) who has just learned that life under the sea A) actually exists beyond the fishies, B) a hot guy in pursuit of her isn't merely after her looks (though it might be enough), and C) she happens to be a long lost heir to the watery kingdoms possessing gifts that they haven't eye witnessed in eons...despite the fact that she can barely walk on two feet.  (Hey, maybe THAT'S why I'm so clumsy!  Jk!)  Yep, life was a barrel of monkeys for Emma the first time around (for more, check out my overly enthusiastic but totally warranted review from once-upon-a-time), and yes, I'm being sarcastic to some degree, but she also left us in a bit of a lurch at the end of the book.  A cliffhanger of mammoth proportions is what we got and a year later, we finally had the chance to discover just who was who, what was what, and where in the world all this was leading!  Ready to dive back into the waters?  Let's do this!  A great big birthday week shout out to today's title of choice...


by

About the book...
The Syrena kingdoms are warring, and Emma needs to choose who she will save.
In this sequel to Of Posiedon, Emma has just learned that her mother is a long-lost Poseidon princess, and now struggles with an identity crisis: As a Half-Breed, she’s a freak in the human world and an abomination in the Syrena realm below. Syrena law states that all Half-Breeds should be put to death.
As if that’s not bad enough, her mother’s reappearance among the Syrena turns the two kingdoms—Poseidon and Triton—against one another. Which leaves Emma with a decision to make: Should she comply with Galen’s request to keep herself safe and just hope for the best? Or should she risk it all and reveal herself—and her Gift—to save a people she’s never known?



A great follow up to book one filled with the characters we came to know and love as well as some new ones to loath.  Yes, if you thought Emma had troubles to face in her first adventure...think again.  You haven't seen anything yet.

Now, it's come to my attention that perhaps my review of book one was a bit TOO enthusiastic...i.e. too much of the story was revealed, at least to those that don't necessarily appreciate the fact that just because you have the "bones" of a book, does not mean you have to whole story.  The details, the experience, the feelings and what not all go into actually making THE STORY; my review was merely a case of run-at-the-mouth syndrome.  I'm sure you've all had it before.  It happens when you just simply loved a read and everything is worth mentioning down to the last line.  Yep, won't be making that mistake twice though so prepare for an air of mystery.  *dons cape*

Emma is still Emma in this installment (hopefully "installment" because really, there is SO much more to explore in this underwater world and above with or without Emma....dun dun dunnnn)...only stronger.  It's not simply in powers either, though those are rather impressive.  Try having a play date with a whale and see if YOU could control him any better?  I think not.  Anywho, as I said, it's not merely her Syrenian powers that have increased, it's her own sense of self.  Yes, she's still easily influenced...just check out the first part of the book for proof of that.  Yes, she's still not certain where her relationship stands with Galen from time to time.  However, she can handle her own with Rayna.  She is through with trying to please everyone at every turn.  By book's end, she's even found her footing within the two worlds (though how long she has in either one is debatable as chaos begins....dun dun dunnnn) and with the help of those she calls "friend" show the true size of her heart.  Would I have done what she attempted to do?  I'd like to think so...but I think I'd like to hire a few more "bodyguards that like to beat up..." well, you know (think Nickelback) before I get started.  Believe me, they are TOTALLY warranted....as you will see in the story.  Moving forward...

While Galen, Rayna and Toraf were more a focal point in book one, book two has us meeting them more in passing glances (don't worry, they still get face time...or fin time ^_^) as we focus on the bigger picture...the fate of the underwater kingdoms (hello reappearance of the long lost Poseidon princess...or is she? dun dun dunnnn), the potential exposure of all Synrenians to the human world, and just who will unite the kingdoms or bring them to a division unfathomable and beyond repair.  Oh yes.  There's politics of some sort no matter what race you claim as your own, but how the royal lineage comes into question will definitely raise a few eyebrows as well as introduce some new characters you can't help but love (Emma's grandfather...love him!).  But I digress....

We win some and we lose some this time around, including a pretty central character.  Just who might that
be?  Ha!  Yeah, my lips are sealed but suffice it to say that they will be missed.  Who knows?  Maybe there will be a spin off/add on to the set here that explores that particular person... (*winks at author*).  My concerns while reading started early, as I was afraid that Emma's wishy washy feelings of self worth would preclude the story line from moving forward.  The see saw of her trust in Galen's feelings...or not...was giving me a bit of a headache.  Thankfully, that draws to a close sooner rather than later bringing us back to familiar waters fertile with story building potential....and boy were they utilized.  Yes, to say I enjoyed the read would definitely work...just make certain you use your best cheerleader impression when voicing it.  ^_^

In summary, this is a story of what happens when power is the most important thing in your life, love is on the line and what it means to truly be called friend or family.  It's true, blood goes into the latter bit for certain, but it's not ALL that makes them who they are.  It's the choices they make for better or worse and the kindness they show to their fellow man or Syrenian that creates their true character and makes them worthy of our adoration or contempt.  Good thing our gal here has a BIG heart because honestly, what's swimming her way is a far worse fate than she ever could have dreamed.  Recommended read for Young Adult fans of all ages and beyond...from experience no less.  Seriously, I recommended the set to several coworkers that wouldn't have picked it up otherwise (yay for incessant rambling!) and guess what?  They all loved it!  (score one for me)

ARC for review courtesy of Ksenia at Macmillan Children's Publishing Group.  (THANKS!)  For more site, pin them on Pinterest, like them on Facebook, or follow along on Twitter.  To discover more of the writing works of author Anna Banks, catch up on her blog or make her acquaintance on Twitter.  This title was released THIS WEEK via Feiwel & Friends, an imprint of Macmillan, and is most certainly available now on a bookstore shelf near you.  Seek thee out a copy; you won't regret it!
information on their incredible catalog of books, be sure to stop by their




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As for me, I'm in for a double day at work but job two I am most looking forward to tonight.  Guess who we're hosting in store?




Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.
^_^

For anyone in the local area or traveling through, be sure to stop by! (More info HERE!) I'd love to make your acquaintance and I'm certain Ms. Banks would too.

Until next time...happy reading!


Thursday, May 30, 2013

It's everyone's business when it's...NOBODY'S SECRET by Michaela MacColl

Hi there!
Welcome back to another day, another post here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.  Whether you're at the BIG shindig going on in New York right now (aka BEA) or at home sighing over missing yet another year of bookish fun....I mean, having a blast with all your other bloggish pals like moi (^_^), I'm here for you and will do my darnedest to add yet another title to your list.  Speaking of which...

Today's featured title combines a little fact, a little fiction, and a whole lot of mystery...as in the "who-done-it" kind as well as people with an air of it (cute ones too! *ahem*).  It comes to us from the folks at Chronicle Books (if you haven't checked out their catalog, you are sorely missing out) and happens to be traipsing around the blogosphere on tour as we speak (be sure to check that out too!), but I couldn't wait a moment more to share this little beauty with all of you...and if you stick with me til review's end, there might even be another surprise waiting in the wings.  (Yes, that's my injection of mystery to this post...hehe.)  Ladies and gents, readers and read-ettes, feast your eyes on today's book of choice...


by

About the book...
One day, fifteen-year-old Emily Dickinson meets a mysterious, handsome young man. Surprisingly, he doesn’t seem to know who she or her family is. And even more surprisingly, he playfully refuses to divulge his name. Emily enjoys her secret flirtation with Mr. “Nobody” until he turns up dead in her family’s pond. She’s stricken with guilt. Only Emily can discover who this enigmatic stranger was before he’s condemned to be buried in an anonymous grave. Her investigation takes her deep into town secrets, blossoming romance, and deadly danger. Exquisitely written and meticulously researched, this novel celebrates Emily Dickinson’s intellect and spunk in a page-turner of a book that will excite fans of mystery, romance, and poetry alike.



I have to agree with that last line there and would like to add that it makes her life and times even more accessible to those either initially disinclined to sample her work or those up and coming young readers just getting started.  While not a biography by any means, it does take the wit, humor and resourcefulness we've come to love of both Ms. Dickinson herself and her writing, infuses it with a brush of romance, and winds things up with a case worthy of intrigue.  The goal is to both right a wrong and discover just who her Mr. Nobody was...and of course keeping oneself among the living would be a BIG bonus.  Yes, my friends, Emily's investigation is not without its dangers because some secrets people will do ANYTHING to keep.




As you might know, I'm a big fan of the play-on-word technique...you know, where you say one thing, but it means another...and it's a device used throughout this work.  A prime example, the title.  It sounds like it's about a secret that belongs to nobody and yet, it's a secret ABOUT Nobody...with a capital "N".  No, that's not their real name per se, but it's the one she knows him by, her mysterious, and handsome acquaintance who understood in a mere meeting (or two) young Emily's curiosity with the world and pursuit of all things unknown.  Who when the information of her heart's secret desire was shared did not balk, scoff, or otherwise belittle it, but handled it careful as anyone's dream should be handled.  The possibility of the seemingly impossible is what makes dreamers into creators, plotters into inventors and so on.  So why NOT a lady poet...or a PUBLISHED lady poet?

Author Michaela MacColl
Character wise, I loved Emily from start to finish.  Her quirkiness.  Her love of family.  Her dedication to doing the right thing even if others may not see it as such.  Her acceptance of help (eventually) when it makes the bigger picture possible.  Her tenacity, bemusement with the world, her...let's just say that though a shorter read at only 248 pages, development was definitely present.  As for the rest of the cast, some will wound you with a glance while others will bring you to fits of laughter.  Whether playing on the side of good (such as her sister, Vinnie) or still residing in the land of questionable intents (like Henry), they all leave their mark behind for better or worse.

Story wise, though not a historical fiction fan myself (yes, I've read a few, but very scant few...which shall not be changing any time soon), I found myself thoroughly involved in both the time and place as well as the events unfolding.  Perhaps it was those events that kept me side tracked from the tangible history there for the buffs in the audience, or perhaps it was simply one of those rarer wonders that wins be over regardless...even still, I like the author's own assessment of her work.  On her site, she calls it "Modern Historical Fiction"...very fitting.  If this novel is indicative of her other works, I might just have added two more to the wish list.  ^_^

In conclusion, a great read for Young Adult fans of all ages that like to indulge their own fascinations about the life and times of famous figures...in a fictional and thoroughly entertaining way.  It makes for a great weekend read or summer escape while also stirring the fires of curiosity.  The end result of that stirring depends on the reader, but I wouldn't be surprised if many were put on the path for further investigation...which, by the way, happens to be the subject of the final page in the book!  (Many thanks to the author for that!)  If you like your reads historically tinged but only just, with heroines worth their weight in salt, mysterious strangers, and unexpected endings (in more ways than one), this is definitely a book for you.

Review copy received courtesy of Laura at Chronicle Books.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as their full catalog of books and more, be sure to visit them  online, pin them on Pinterest, like them on Facebook, or follow along on Twitter.  To discover more about author Michaela MacColl, check out her official site, catch up on her blog, like her on Facebook, or follow along on Twitter.  This title reached publishes status April this year and should be available now on a bookstore shelf near you.  Now, about that mysterious "something else" I mentioned...


...first, how's about a little sample of the book we just discussed?  Sounds good, right?  Here ya go!







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Ahh.
Satisfying, right?
What's that?
Oh, you want MORE do you now.
No worries, I've got you covered.



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Thanks to the generosity of the folks at Chronicle Books, YOU get the chance to win a copy of this book to call your own!  Excited? Yes? YES? Okay! I won't keep you in suspense any longer.  Here's the scoop...


The prize...


(1) copy of Nobody's Secret by Michaela MacColl from Chronicle Books






How to enter...
...just fill out THIS FORM and you're in to win!






The rules...
...entries will be accepted through Friday, June 7th, 2013 at midnight CST.  Open to US/Canada residents; no P.O. Boxes please.  Winning name will be drawn and contacted by Monday, June 10th, 2013 and have 48 hours to respond with their full name and mailing address to be passed on to the publisher for prize send out.  If a response is not received within the given time frame, a new winner will be chosen.




That's it!
That's all she wrote...or rather I wrote.
So, what are you waiting for?
Mr. Nobody needs your help...before it's too late.

Until next time...GOOD LUCK...and happy reading!



Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Taste Testing Tuesdays...on a Wednesday!



Good morning (or whatever time it is where you are), everyone!
Welcome to another installment of Taste Testing Tuesdays here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers! Taste Testing Tuesdays was inspired by 'Teaser Tuesdays', a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. 

On the menu this week...a book I am steadily devouring with both interest, shock and awe all fleeting across my face at any given moment.  Curious?  If you're an older teen or beyond then it's fair game for you (in my opinion)....so let's take a taste shall we?




Screwed
by
 Laurie Plissner

Snow floated silently past the windows, like feathers from some extraterrestrial pillow fight.  Helen's attic was a cozy refuge from the real world, and Grace and Charlie treated it like a secret clubhouse, sprawling at either end of an enormous and ancient leather sofa.  They talked, read, and listened to music, their feet meeting under an antique, moth-eaten striped wool Pendleton blanket.  It was heaven, and Grace wished they could stay up there forever.
-- pg 185







Now don't be fooled by the supposed beauty and majesty of the scene laid before you. While the writing is at times eloquent, the story is much more "real life" than all of that and the troubles that Grace is dealing with are hardcore in both issue and general reaction from others.  In two words...teen pregnancy; but it'll take many more than that when review time comes I'm sure.  Stay tuned...




~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~






So...what book are you lost in this week?
Oh come on...just a little tease?


^_^






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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!





Tuesday, May 28, 2013

BOOK BIRTHDAY: Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman + Giveaway!


Hi guys!
Welcome back to the place that aims to please the bookish side of you with reads that will speak to your mind and your heart...Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

So, it's the day after the holiday (Memorial Day to be precise); also known as first-day-back-to-work-after-a-3-or-4-day-weekend for many (even me this time, woo-hoo...or not?).  *sigh*  How is it that weekends, time off, or vacations never seem to be long enough?  I mean, it is a curiosity is it not?  The moment we step out of our daily routines to enjoy some "freedom", Father Time seems to kick it up a notch.  *glares at Father Time*  Oh well.  At least I got in some good reading, some fun time with the family, and some much need relaxation; here's hoping you scored much of the same (or more!) as well.  Now, speaking of reading...


It's Tuesday and we in the bookish world know what THAT means...NEW RELEASE DAY!  This week is no stranger to the MUST WATCH/READ titles hitting store shelves.  From a Anna Banks' latest YA lit title, Of Triton (which by the way, rocked!  Oh, and did you know she has a BOOK SIGNING coming up THIS FRIDAY? Yep, sure does...) to today's featured selection, we're all over the board with bookish goodness, and ready to increase your wish list pronto...starting with today's featured title.  

It's a book that I've been excited about for quite some time not only because the author is a doll (no really, she's so nice!  If you haven't connected with her on Twitter yet, I highly suggest you do... ^_^) or even simply because her first book (Saving CeeCee Honeycutt) was fabulous, but because the synopsis of it sounded interesting, the cover image was enchanting and the title was curious.  Yep.  I was drawn in by the outside and my knowledge of what had been with high hopes for what's to come...and I was not disappointed.  May I introduce you to today's BOOK BIRTHDAY celebrant and book of choice...


by

About the book...
Teddi Overman found her life’s passion for furniture in a broken-down chair left on the side of the road in rural Kentucky. She learns to turn other people’s castoffs into beautifully restored antiques, and eventually finds a way to open her own shop in Charleston. There, Teddi builds a life for herself as unexpected and quirky as the customers who visit her shop.  Though Teddi is surrounded by remarkable friends and finds love in the most surprising way, nothing can alleviate the haunting uncertainty she’s felt in the years since her brother Josh’s mysterious disappearance. When signs emerge that Josh might still be alive, Teddi is drawn home to Kentucky.  It’s a journey that could help her come to terms with her shattered family—and to find herself at last.  But first she must decide what to let go of and what to keep.


This is a book that you can sit back, grab your favorite reading requirements, and sink into the beauty of it all.  There's heartbreak that haunts those still actively seeking life.  There's sorrow that the progression of time delivers in the form of souls lost along the way.  There's dreams broken, aspirations squealched and feelings trampled upon...but through it all, there's hope.  There's hope that those lost to us will return one day in some way or another.  There's hope for a better understanding to be grasped of why those we love did the things they did.  There's hope for a future we thought was just out of our reach thanks to the kindness of a stranger and the open arms of a friend.  There's chance and circumstance all dripping with the hopes of a spirit stronger than it appears on the outside and filled with a heart of gold that refuses to let go of anyone or anything.  As I said, it's quite a beauty.

Teddi is an endearing character and a wonderful narrator from start to finish.  She is welcoming in voice and nature as well as easy to identify with.  Her connection to things of the past is remarkable and I loved how she could find the heart of things long overlooked, bring it to life once again, and allow it to find a new beginning.  In life and with furniture, she was a soul that was often handed the chipped edge of the dish but was smart enough to turn it a quarter ways to avoid being cut.  I loved her choice in friends from Olivia the eccentric collector and best gal pal a girl could ask for (she's not shy about pretty much anything and will call you out when it needs to be done) to Max  the strong silent workman who can work magic with wood in almost any stage of life (and knows when to get into things versus keeping his silent persona...good man!  ^_^), from Stella, her mother's lifelong friend to Grammy, a vital spirit raring to go on life's next adventure, the list goes on and on and even still, mentioning them all would not do them justice.  You need to read about them to fully make their acquaintance and enjoy their company.

Now, I'm not going to tell you that it's all sunshine and flowers, it has its emotional roller coasters and darker aspects aplenty.  The mystery of just what happened to Teddi's brother so many years ago is just one of many unfinished tales to finish.  Some lead to endings you didn't see coming such as the deeper connection Teddi finds with her mother even when it seems past the time for doing so, while others lead to new beginnings filled with just as much wonder and surprise as the latter, such as the wildlife rehab facility granted existence thanks to TWO kinds hearts; either way, they are moments you'll want to remember first hand.  Now, back to that darker side of things..there are also memories of a heart touched by evil that displayed itself violently in her youth and the effects it had on those kind spirits in its proximity.  It does not shy away from things we wish man were incapable of, but it does turn them on their ear offering us a "hero" in some form or another.  Just try not to chuckle or fist pump too much when you discover these moments or "victories"...you might get a few strange looks depending on where you are.

In short, for fans of the author's previous work, you won't be disappointed.  For fans of Fiction draped in Southern hospitality (and at times, a lack thereof), you won't be disappointed.  For those fans of Women's Fiction or Chick-Lit if you prefer because you like the style of story that is generally presented with female leads and hearts beating just below the surface, you won't be disappointed.  Even those that are simply looking for a moving story with an unexpected version of happily-ever-after and feelings to spare, you won't be disappointed.  Full of heart and unexpected moments of mirth (literally laughed out loud several times), it reminds us that our familial bonds are what help shape us but need not fully define us in the end.  We are free to follow our dreams and seek out our own paths towards happiness.  Sometimes we'll succeed and sometimes we'll fall on our faces, but that's life.  We roll with the punches, have a few laughs along the way, pick ourselves with the help of those positive influences in our lives and move on to see a new day brimming with the possibility of what if.  So, what's your dream?  Got it in your heart of hearts?  Good.  Now, make the next step towards it with purpose because you never know just what might be waiting around the next corner of your life...

Author Beth Hoffman
ARC courtesy of author Beth Hoffman (wrapped in pink tissue with a polka dot bow and a personal note...see, I told you she rocked! ^_^).  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as her first and future releases, be sure to visit her official site, like her on Facebook or follow along on Twitter.  Don't forget to check out her upcoming tour that kicks off TOMORROW; the scheduled to which can be found right here.  This book is celebrating its book birthday TODAY via Pamela Dorman Books - Viking/Penguin.  To discover all the bookish worlds the publisher has to offer, click on through to their sites as you desire via the links above, or feel free to check them out on Facebook and Twitter respectively. A trip to the bookstore not in your schedule today?  For shame!  (Just kidding!)  Here's a few online options to get you started...Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Indiebound, and Penguin Publishing.



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Now, I have an EXTRA special treat for you today thanks to Catherine over at Viking/Penguin (THANK YOU!).  Can you guess what that is? ^_^  Yep.  You got.  Your chance to win a copy of this JUST RELEASED title STARTS NOW!


Just click HERE 


.....and fill out the Google Form and presto changeo, you're in to win!


The rules are simple...open to US residents only, no P.O. Boxes please.  The contest will run from TODAY through midnight CST on Monday, June 3rd, 2013.  The winner will be drawn and contacted by Wednesday and have 48 hours to respond with their full name and mailing address which will be passed on to the publisher for prize send out.  If a response is not received in the time frame listed, a new winner will be chosen.



So there you have it!
A happy book birthday celebration for both the author AND us in more ways than one.

Until next time...GOOD LUCK...and happy reading!



Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day!

Wishing you and yours a day of happiness, togetherness, and remembrance. 
Spending my long weekend with family...will be back tomorrow to shake things up again.
Happy reading!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Everything Was Good-bye by Gurjinder Basran


Hi there!
Welcome back to the site that loves you and you and you and EVEN YOU for simply making a stopover at my site a part of your day....Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.  Hopefully you leave with some new bookish news, wonder, or desire that leads you onward to your next reading adventure, wherever that may lead.  


Speaking of adventures....blogging has been an adventure and a half!  With four years under my belt, I can only thank each and every one of you that has touched my life in some way whether it be reading/sharing your work, friendship, a kind word in passing or simply a book recommendation (though really, those aren't THAT simple either...^_^).  It's been fun and I'm looking forward to the coming year.  In celebration of our AWESOMENESS, you have a chance to win 1 of 5 copies of a fabulous MG Fiction title from the great folks over at Quirk Books.  Sound good?  Great!  I mean, good.  ^_^  Tell you what, finish reading today's post and then hop on over to the contest and get yourself entered to win.  Deal?  Okay.  Let us continue...

Today's selection is a story that mixes cultures and strong traditions in a steaming, bubbling stew of life, love, and heartache.  There's tragedy, romance, beginnings, endings and everything in between and though it might sound similar to something you've read before, I highly suggest you reconsider because this one doesn't follow any "formula" that I've read...and with much success.  Today's book of choice is...


by

About the book...
THE YOUNGEST OF SIX daughters raised by a widowed mother, Meena is a young woman struggling to find her place in the world. Originally from India, her family still holds on to many old-world customs and traditions that seem stifling to a young North American woman. She knows that the freedom experienced by others is beyond her reach. But unlike her older sisters, Meena refuses to accept a life dictated by tradition. Against her mother’s wishes, she falls for a young man named Liam who asks her to run away with him. Meena must then make a painful choice—one that will lead to stunning and irrevocable consequences.



This is one of those books that breaks the mold on what we've come to anticipate in female character driven novels and pulls the rug out on happily-ever-after's, sending you for loop after loop of textual highs and lows you'll not want to break away from.  In short...don't be fooled by it's illustrated cover (though I personally like it) or the shorter length (but those are refreshing sometimes), it's GOOD.

Don't believe me?  Check my GoodReads updates during my read.  There's maybe 1, perhaps 2?  No, it's not because I got lazy; it's because there's not really a breaking point within the story.  It's page after page of family drama dosed with enough love and failed attempts at it to break your heart.  Meena's life was tough, and I mean TOUGH, at times but she was also graced with so many loves.  Love of family and from her family despite the veiled ways in which it was shown and even withheld at times.  Love of her life times two with an idiot in between to liven things up.  Okay, I'm being unfair.  The situations she found herself in were not purely her own doing nor those of the incredible ignoramus she wound up with, more like a result of turning a blind eye to love's actual glow in favor of what looks best or keeps in step with a certain way of life.  I'm not knocking tradition or anyone's culture but really...come on!  There had to be a better choice here.  There HAD to be.  *shakes head*

It was hard reading at times what this young lady was going through.  Trying to find yourself at that age is hard enough let alone having to define yourself by someone else's standards and hide your true heart.  There were many times when I wanted to simply offer my shoulder to cry on or pull her out of her misery myself and into the arms of the one that held her heart.  Now, before you go thinking that her heart belonging to another caused all the troubles to come, trust me...it didn't.  The ground work for unhappiness was laid when the arrangement (marriage) was finalized; it's simply the true colors of who was suppose to be her "better half" coming out to play in not so good ways that turned what could have been an amicable life into something to fear.

Those that play vital roles in Meena's life are plenty, and yet those that actually "act" on her behalf are fewer and further between.  A quick run down:  Sunny, movie star looks and that's about as deep as the man goes...on the good side of things; Kal, decent guy though held back by tradition to some degree...he's the steadiest and truest of the bunch; Liam, the apple of her eye, the beat of her heart, the...well you get the picture...but by the time a re-connection is made, it might be too late.  That my friends is just the fellas.  We haven't even spoken of her many "Aunties" (a term applied to almost all females in the culture from what I've gathered...not necessarily their true Aunt), her mother Serena, or grandmother, sisters, neighbors...etc.  Too many to count make cameos but the select few that remain will make an impression, I assure you.

In conclusion, a story that leaves its mark on both your heart and your mind. It reminds us to not take for granted the freedoms most of us enjoy in life AND in love.  Freedom of speech.  Freedom to act (within reason obviously).  Freedom to do the things we do every day that seem mundane and unimportant because in some cultures, it may not be permitted...and you thought banning books was bad.  Open your eyes to a new fictional adventure through the cultural landscape that helps shape our world and revel in a story of a life that could have ended many times over, yet persevered.

ARC for review courtesy of Irwin at Pintail Books, an imprint of Penguin Group USA.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as their complete catalog, be sure to stop by their site, like them on Facebook, pin them on Pinterest, or follow along on Twitter.  To discover more of the writing world of author Gurjinder Basran, she can be found at her official website and on Facebook.  Recommended read for older teens through adults due to some content.  This book is available now so be on the look out for it on a bookstore shelf near you.


Until next time...happy reading!


Thursday, May 23, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Click to Subscribe by L.M. Augustine + GIVEAWAY!


Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers...the place to be when you're in the mood for a great read, but you need a bit of help in the suggestion department; you can count on me!  ^_^




Today, we are playing host to a blog tour featuring such a title thanks to Bookcase to Heaven Blog Tours (Thanks guys!)  It stars an ebook that's the perfect excuse to escape to the Young Adult lit side of things and smile/giggle like a teenager once again....or revel in it if you are still one or fast approaching it.  ^_^  Ready to jump right in?  Alrighty my tech savy readers, get ready because today's title is right off the virtual presses and sounds like something you'd do on your daily visits in the blogosphere.  Today's featured title and blog tour guest is...


Click to Subscribe
by
L.M. Augustine


About the book...
1,135,789. That’s how many subscribers sixteen-year-old West Ryder has on his web vlog series. But he only has eyes for one of them. 

As one of the internet’s most prestigious video bloggers, West talks about high school relationships under the name “Sam Green.” As far as he knows, no one from school, not even his best friend, Cat, has seen his videos. But the highlight of the whole thing is Harper Knight, who comments every day at exactly 2:02 in the afternoon. He doesn’t know anything about her aside from the occasional deep philosophical messaging on why pizza tastes so delicious, but as stupid as it sounds, he might be falling for her. So when they finally agree to meet in real life, West’s hope for romance seems more and more in reach. But that all changes as soon as he arrives at their meeting spot and sees Cat walking toward him, wearing the same “I < 3 Sam Green” T-shirt Harper promised she'd have on.



It's a sweet and fun summer read that'll leave a smile on your face and a flutter in your heart.  It combines all the best of what new love should be with the complications that our crazy world can throw at it, gives it a good slathering of sunscreen to avoid the potential burn and presents itself to a world ready for a YA romance (though very YA in details...good job to the author!) ...from a different point of view.

How "different" you might ask?  Well, different in the sense that MOST YA lit romance centered books are narrated by a female voice...this time around, we're in the mind of a male; West Ryder to be exact.  Now before you go making assumptions, it's not THAT kind of book.  West is definitely not your typical "guy" in thought or actions...in fact up until a certain point, I was actually thinking MAN, are we sure this is a GUY character?  He's so...so...demure; so less than "on the hunt" oriented...much more fun and easy going than hardcore, well pretty much anything...other than ice cream or his best gal pal.  Not that there's anything wrong with that, it's refreshing actually and totally understandable considering everything else happening in his life (family times aren't so hot....lost his Mom, Dad's virtually a stranger), but still...definitely not your typical male lead character.  Even so, up until about page 40 (give or take), I was caught in the conundrum of it all...then, the "OMG-you-silly-silly-boy" choices started happening and yep, totally bought him as a male character.  (LOL!  No really, though.  ^_^)

It's quite the role reversals in this story, with the female being a smidge more outgoing and flirtatious than the male.  More often than not, it's the other way around, so it was great to see a girl who knows what she wants and is not afraid to fight for it.  (You go girl!) The greatess part about the "fight" is that its not fist-to-fist but word-to-word AND even though feeling get hurt (rejection SUCKS), the bond they've formed is still there, still vital and still as beautiful as the day it was born.  Looking in from the outside, the support they gave each other through thick AND thin was well beyond their years...or perhaps something that some grown ups might take a cue from.  It can be hard to swallow one's pride but if it's best for all parties involved so that someone is not left out to dry, it's a bitter pill worth the taste.

In conclusion, a story that begins and ends at the speed of "bytes" that celebrates the ups and downs of something we all search for... "the one".  It brings joy, it brings strife; it brings the things that make up a life worth living, worth remembering.  The potential couple here with their witty banter (loved the banter) and caution-to-the-wind attitudes (at least in fashion and ice cream eating) will leave you with a smile on your face and a thump in your heart.  The only drawback I can say I saw in the book is that the "revelation" of who is who (which occurs no later than midway through the book) was WAY more than obvious...but overall, it worked.  The final pages provide us with an epilogue to tie things up but if you're expecting everything neat and in order, think again.  This is "real" life after all...not everything comes adorned with a pretty shiny bow.  I will say that you do get your "ever after"...just not in all the ways you might suppose. Recommended read for teen readers of all ages and beyond.  A sweet story to while away a summer day...what more could you want?  

Ebook for review courtesy of Selina at Bookcase to Heaven Blog Tours.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this tour as well as those forth coming, be sure to stop by their site, or follow along on Twitter.  To discover more about this title, seek thee out the author's blog, like them on Facebook, or follow along on Twitter.  This book is available now at on online retailor of your choosing (for the most part).  Looking for a few leads?  Wish granted!  Check it out on Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon CA, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords...to name a few.



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Still with me?  Yay you!
No really, yay YOU.  ^_^
There's a contest associated with this tour that you might be interested in knowing about.  Your chance to win an ebook of your choice or a $10 Amazon Gift Card!  Pretty snazzy, right?  The possibilities are endless and just think, you can pick up a copy of THIS VERY EBOOK even?!  (^_^)  All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter below.  Easy peasy.



a Rafflecopter giveaway





When you're finished, don't forget to enter by Blogoversary contest going on through 05/25!  Just click on the right hand side bar under "Contests" for more details.

Until next time...happy reading!




Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mermaid in Chelsea Creek by Michelle Tea


Hi guys!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers...the place to be when you search deep inside yourself and discover that your zawolanie sounds like the rustle of book pages in the morning breeze.  ^_^

What's a zawolanie, you ask?  Good question...but the answer to that and MUCH more lies within the pages of today's featured title.  It's the first in a brand new Young Adult trilogy that's, well....definitely different than most things I've seen and that's merely on the surface.  Ready to take a plunge beneath the salty water of the creek to discover the world you know from an unimaginable view?  Let's.  Today's book of choice is...


by
Michelle Tea
Illustrated by
Jason Polan

About the book...
Everyone in the broken-down town of Chelsea, Massachusetts, has a story too worn to repeat—from the girls who play the pass-out game just to feel like they're somewhere else, to the packs of aimless teenage boys, to the old women from far away who left everything behind. But there’s one story they all still tell: the oldest and saddest but most hopeful story, the one about the girl who will be able to take their twisted world and straighten it out. The girl who will bring the magic.
Could Sophie Swankowski be that girl? With her tangled hair and grubby clothes, her weird habits and her visions of a filthy, swearing mermaid who comes to her when she’s unconscious, Sophie could be the one to uncover the power flowing beneath Chelsea’s potholed streets and sludge-filled rivers, and the one to fight the evil that flows there, too. Sophie might discover her destiny, and maybe even in time to save them all.



This is a hard one to describe, but I'll do my best.  Perhaps a break down of the varied aspects of the text would do us both well.

THE GOOD:  The story line and mixed characters.  The story itself braids threads of ancient myths and lore with today's world full of mixed emotions and environmental neglect.  It blurs the line between fact and fiction gracefully, thereby making the impossible seem possible....just don't go poisoning anyone from a salt overdose, kay?  *nods*  I liked the fact that the "old country" was brought to life in memories and histories, and the power of words both spoken and thought emphasized.  Think "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named" versus Voldemort.  Speaking of characters...

No, old Volde does not play a role in this book (though I wouldn't be surprised if Kishka knew him *-* ...~ahem~), but the cast of friends and foes here is rather unique.  EVERYONE has a part to play from the pigeons to the dog, the "best friend" to the neglectful mother, the presumed evil grocery store owner to the tomboy at the dump...they are all there for a reason, with a purpose bigger than themselves and willingly accept the destinies laid before them, even if they are unable to see the full scope of what's to come.  Where's a Dola when you need them?  (Sorry, book reference joke...^_^)  Sophie, our lead, has had a childhood that many wouldn't want while some still would hope to partake of and yet she herself, though not grateful for it, comes to terms with it.  It certainly wasn't her fault the way things were...and surprisingly, it wasn't fully her mother's either, something we come to learn as time goes by.  No, I shan't be ruining the surprise for you, just rest assured her character's past plays a big part in who she is today (as usual) and will still become (yep, it's not over for her yet...both good times and bad).  

THE CONFUSING:  Viewpoints.  There are many of them (which I can totally handle) and they switch OFTEN (which made it more challenging).  Even within the same conversation, one character will lead us there and be speaking and BOOM, you're now seeing things through the other character's eyes, heart and mind.  It was disorienting for me and made it hard to get a handle on just who was who and what was what.  Once we hit around page 40 or so, I had things sorted for the most part but until then, it was rough seas indeed.

THE CONCLUSION:  With characters you'll come to care for and animal friends you wouldn't dream of, this book certainly takes one for the team of "unusual" but bears the term proudly as a zawolanie (oh, that term...it's sorta like a person's individual call to magic) all its own. Sophie's rings loud and clear of purity, an open heart touched by evil but not broken by it, and a fierceness she's only begun to uncover.  She'll draw you into her crazy world and remind you how powerful feelings truly are, both those felt within and those tangible to all.  The next time you see a friend, coworker, or acquaintance with their head bowed and the light of uncertainty in their eyes...perhaps you'll be more forthcoming in offering your ear in kindness or shoulder in sympathy.

A fantastical tale for those in their mid-teens and beyond; there is drinking, smoking, and a smidge of swearing but the rougher and tumbler aspects is what I'd keep from prying little eyes until their sensibilities about the world around them have settled a bit.  After all, life is not all rainbows and sunshine but there's no need to introduce them fictionally to that aspect of reality any sooner than necessary.  Take what you will from the creek at Chelsea.  For me, I'm storing away a bit of magic, a love of the striking cover, a lot of sorrow, and the hugeness of the possibilities still to come from this amazing group of friends.  Book 2 will certainly have a spot on my future reads list.

ARC and final edition for review courtesy of Allie at McSweeney's Publishing.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as their complete catalog ranging from magazines and books to t shirts and more, be sure to visit them online, like them on Facebook or follow along on Twitter.  This book just celebrated its book birthday yesterday via McSweeney's McMullens, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf near you.

Until next time...happy reading!



Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Taste Testing Tuesdays



Good morning (or whatever time it is where you are), everyone!
Welcome to another installment of Taste Testing Tuesdays here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers! Taste Testing Tuesdays was inspired by 'Teaser Tuesdays', a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. 

On the menu this week...a book that's rather different and in what way, I can't exactly pinpoint, but it is a BOOK BIRTHDAY celebrant this month so you can join me in my ponder.  Final verdict will be made later tonight (aiming to finish it this evening...~fingers crossed~) but for now, get ready for your tease!



by
Michelle Tea

The terror at Sophie being gone, the sorrow at Sophie being gone.  The dread at having helped her pass out, the guilt at the sight of her, her breathing gone weird, slowed-down, stop and go, had Ella helped her best friend into a coma, had she killed her even?
-- pg 130 (ARC)




Yes.  This was certainly a dramatic scene....but there's so much going on in the story and so many quirks to figure out, right now I'm still puzzled as to whether I love-like-or-loathe it.  We shall see...open minds and all that during the reading process and there is certainly much to ponder.  Oh and final thought...whatcha think of that cover, hmm?  Curious, right?  It's even prettier in person.  ^_^




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So...what book are you lost in this week?
Oh come on...just a little tease?


^_^






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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!





Sunday, May 19, 2013

Happy Blogoversary to....ME!

Keep reading...the contest end date has been extended!

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Hi guys!
Welcome back to the place that aims to be your online source for bookish fun EVERY day of the week...Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.


So, yesterday.
It marked a milestone here at the site.
As of May 18th, 2013....I've been blogging here for exactly

FOUR YEARS.

Wow.
Amazing how the time fly's when you're having fun.




For all of those that have made this journey so enjoyable, offering their friendship, insight, bookish conversations and more, I THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.  You're what helps make this ride SO MUCH FUN to begin with...otherwise, I'm just sending words into outer space and it's doubtful that Captain Kirk will be responding anytime soon. ^_^  Anywho...




...it wouldn't be much of a celebration without some presents, now would it?
Nope. Sure wouldn't.
SO, if you'd like to send anything my way for the event I....
...JUST KIDDING!
It's a blogoversary for pete's sake....this is when the presents go to YOU!




Now, today marks the end of the official Children's Book Week celebration, along with the giveaway hop that began about a week ago.  If you haven't gotten your entries in yet, I really suggest you do....it's open INTERNATIONALLY and there are pretty cool prizes up for grabs if I do say so myself.  




In the spirit of the week and in celebration of my own party worthy event, Eric over at Quirk Books (THANKS!) was gracious enough (okay, extremely COOL enough) to offer up a FABU prize I get the joy of passing on to one of you.
Oh wait...correction.  To FIVE of you.

Yep, that's right!
FIVE winners...just think of it as one winner for each year SFIR has been online AND one to grow on.  So, what's the FABU prize mentioned?  Well, each winner will score an ARC copy of....



Tales from Lovecraft Middle School, Book 3:
Teacher's Pest
by
Charles Gilman
Illustrated by
Eugene Smith

About the book...
DON'T BE FOOLED by his friendly smile, his perfect manners, or his shiny red apple. Student council president Howard Mergler is actually a sinister bug-monster in disguise—and he's summoning swarms of roaches, wasps, fleas, and head lice into the corridors of Lovecraft Middle School! Twelve-year-old Robert Arthur is the only student who can stop him--but he'll need help from his best friends: the school bully, the school ghost, and an extremely courageous two-headed rat.



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Now don't be scared off by the "book 3" aspect of it all because although I definitely recommend reading the ENTIRE series, you don't have to in order to follow the story and enjoy the heck out of it too!  For a sneak peek at what's inside, just check out my review.




So, who wants a copy?
Are you nodding your head vigorously?
I thought you might be.

The rules are simple....
...US/CANADA residents only; no P.O. Boxes please.
...entries accepted NOW through Saturday, May 25th, 2013.

Something happened to my former Google Entry form so all of YOU benefit...as entries are now being accepted for one more week (through May 31st)!

...enter your information in the Google form 





...and BAM you're in to win!




Good luck to everyone!
Here's to another year of bookish magic in the making.
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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