Where She Went

Lately, I’ve been feeling kind of iffy about sequels, and series, in particular. It’s not that I don’t like them, it’s just that I always feel pressured to get the entire series when I find out that the book I’m reading is a part of a series. I like having more time with fun characters, but I am finding standalone books more and more attractive lately that I’d really rather read those than start reading a series that I’m not even sure I will like. Except maybe for the highly recommended ones.

However, I may make an exception for this one. If I Stay by Gayle Forman is one of my best reads for this year. It’s that kind of book that left me almost wanting for more, but also quite satisfied with how the story ended. I really wouldn’t mind leaving the story that way, but I also won’t think it’s an overkill if there would be some kind of sequel. Imagine my surprise and delight when I found out from Adele of Persnickety Snark that there will be a sequel for this book entitled Where She Went. :) Squee!

First, let’s look at the cover:

Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Gorgeous, isn’t it? It perfectly complements the paperback cover, and Mia looks so different and so…I don’t know, free?

And then the jacket copy (if you haven’t read If I Stay yet, major spoiler warning ahead):

My first impulse is not to grab her or kiss her or yell at her. I simply want to touch her cheek, still flushed from the night’s performance. I want to cut through the space that separates us, measured in feet—not miles, not continents, not years—and to take a callused finger to her face. I want to touch her to make sure it’s really her, not one of those dreams I had so often after she left when I’d see her so clear as day, be ready to kiss her or take her to me only to wake up with Mia just beyond reach.

But I can’t touch her. This is a privilege that’s been revoked.

It’s been three years since Adam’s love saved Mia after the accident that annihilated life as she knew it . . . and three years since Mia walked out of Adam’s life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Julliard’s rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia’s home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future—and each other.

Told from Adam’s point of view in the spare, powerful prose that defined If I StayWhere She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

This is absolutely…wow. I’m guessing this will be told in Adam’s POV this time? I wonder what exactly happened that made Mia walk out of Adam’s life? Did she do what Adam told her at the end of If I Stay? What happened in between?

So many questions, and such a long wait until this gets released. Where She Went will be out on April 19, 2011. In the meantime, there was a Where She Went blog tour, which provided teasers for this book. The complete list can be found in Gayle Forman’s blog. This will definitely be one of the books I’ll be looking out for in 2011. :)

Waiting on Wednesday: Sweet Valley Confidential

I don’t remember myself as much of a reader when I was really young, up until a classmate brought some colorful little books to school, ones that immediately got me curious. That was the first time I was introduced to Sweet Valley. I started begging my parents to get me those books (back then they cost Php59.75 — a little over a dollar), and they got me one every month. I was enchanted by the adventures of the Wakefield twins, and I seriously wanted to be one of the Wakefields. I decided I want to be a writer after I found out Elizabeth wanted to be one, too. Copy much?

I was more into Sweet Valley Twins and their middle-school/junior high adventures, because my mom didn’t want me to read SVH and anything older than my age. I tend to shy away from them, because of that, so I missed all their other juicy adventures while in high school. When I try to re-read any of my Sweet Valley books now, I wonder why I liked them so much when it’s mostly inconsistent and Jessica and Elizabeth are like the epitome of all Mary Sues in the world.  I guess I can never look back on something that got me to start reading.

So, after the long intro, here’s my Waiting on Wednesday this week! “Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating. Thanks to Trashionista for the heads up!

Sweet Valley Confidential

No official blurb yet, but here’s what I got from Trashionista:

Is Liz a hot young journalist engaged to pro-basketball player Todd Wilkins and planning the sweetest backyard wedding? Is Jess gracing the covers of international fashion magazines and breaking the hearts of wealthy jet-setters? After the perfect childhoods, how will the real world affect the lives of the Wakefield Twins? We’ll find out soon enough.

Squeeeee. Talk about reliving my childhood! This is set ten years after the series ended. Which series, exactly, I’m not sure — probably SVU? I’m also not sure if the Elizabeth in London series is included. I think Francine Pascal is really writing this one. I don’t have to explain why I am excited for this, right?

You can read the first chapter of the book by signing up at the official website. I finished reading it yesterday and I am so curious. I wonder if anyone in the Sweet Valley gang is already shopping for unique baby shower invitations..hmm curious! 2011 can’t come fast enough!

Sample Fridays (3)

Let’s start off Sample Fridays # 3 with…a logo! Yay!

Yes, it’s a play on Amazon’s logo and Kindle, since I get my samples from Amazon and I read it in Kindle (for iPhone). Hee.

Before I continue, just a sharing. I am still contemplating on getting a Kindle for myself since I seem to be reading ebooks more and more now. So last week, I was browsing and comparing the different ebook readers, namely, the Kindle, the nook, and the Kobo reader (thanks to Chachic for sharing the last one with me). I read reviews, weighed pros and cons and wondered if maybe, the other ebook readers are more worth it than Kindle. I was already leaning into the nook, but then it hit me:

  • I already bought books from Amazon.
  • If I get a nook, that would defeat the purpose of getting those books, right? I’d have to acquire them again.
  • I am really just an Amazon fangirl.

I still haven’t made a final decision, because I’m not even sure if I want to buy. The price drop in the readers ($189 for Kindle, $149 for nook WiFi and $199 for nook WiFi & 3G) made them even more tempting though.

Hmm.

But anyway. I’m not in a hurry. Onto the samples! Book covers and blurbs from Goodreads. :)

Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard

To impress the popular girls on a high school trip to London, klutzy Callie buys real Prada heels. But trying them on, she trips…conks her head…and wakes up in the year 1815!There Callie meets Emily, who takes her in, mistaking her for a long-lost friend. As she spends time with Emily’s family, Callie warms to them—particularly to Emily’s cousin Alex, a hottie and a duke, if a tad arrogant.

But can Callie save Emily from a dire engagement, and win Alex’s heart, before her time in the past is up?

More Cabot than Ibbotson, Prada and Prejudice is a high-concept romantic comedy about finding friendship and love in the past in order to have happiness in the present.

I got curious with Mandy Hubbard when I put You Wish in my WoW for this week. This seems like a fun, normal YA/chicklit/sorta fantasy since Callie ends up being in the past. I bet it’s a dream, though. I just wonder how much similarity this book has with Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice? I hope it has a lot, and I hope it doesn’t disappoint.

Whisper by Phoebe Kitanidis

I’d love a cup of coffee. I wish she knew how pretty she was. I wish I could drop this kid in the dryer sometimes. I just want her to be happy. I hope she didn’t find out what Ben said about her. I wish I knew how many calories were in a bite of muffin…

Joy is used to hearing Whispers. She’s used to walking down the street and instantly knowing people’s deepest, darkest desires. She uses this talent for good, to make people happy and give them what they want. But for her older sister, Jessica, the family gift is a curse, and she uses it to make people’s lives—especially Joy’s—miserable. Still, when Joy Hears a frightening whisper from Jessica’s own mind, she knows she has to save her sister, even if it means deserting her friends, stealing a car and running away with a boy she barely knows—a boy who may have a dark secret of his own.

I finished reading the sample of this last night, and it left me wanting for more! It seemed like a really good story, and it has a lot of good reviews, too! The capitalization of words that refer to their gift/curse kind of threw me off while reading, though — I mean, if you can Hear Whispers, it’s kind of hard to ignore that, right? See what I mean?

Beauty Sleep by Cameron DokeyBeauty Sleep: A Retelling of Sleeping Beauty by Cameron Dokey

The Princess Aurore has had an unusual childhood. Cursed at birth, Aurore is fated to prick her finger at the age of sixteen and sleep for one hundred years — until a prince awakens her with a kiss. So, to protect her, Aurore’s loving parents forbid any task requiring a needle.

Unable to sew or embroider like most little princesses, Aurore instead explores the castle grounds and beyond, where her warmth and generosity soon endear her to the townspeople. their devotion to the spirited princess grows as she does.

On her sixteenth birthday, Aurore learns that the impending curse will harm not only her, but the entire kingdom as well. Unwilling to cause suffering, she will embark on a quest to end the evil magic. The princess’s bravery will be rewarded as she finds adventure, enchantment, a handsome prince, and ultimately her destiny

Fairy tales! Beauty Sleep’s sample is charming, especially at the part where Aurore discusses how magic works in her world: “If you haven’t grown up here but come to live, one of two things can happen, of course: Either the magic leaves you alone, or it doesn’t. And if it doesn’t, it does the same thing to you as to the rest of us: It makes you more of what you are.

Three samples only, since I was pretty busy this week. :) More for next!

If you also sample in Amazon (or even in Barnes and Noble or other sites), what have you sampled lately? Share them in the comments and I’ll check them out!

OH AND DON’T FORGET! Feed by Mira Grant giveaway is still ongoing — if you haven’t entered, then what are you waiting for? :D

Sample Fridays (2)

And it’s time for Sample Fridays! :) Sample Fridays is when I share three to five new samples I got from Amazon’s Kindle Store. Note that they’re not to-be-released books, but books that are already out that I want to get sometime, preferably soon. Sampling is a fun way to get to read the first few pages of the book to see if I really want it. :) So yay.

Here are this week’s samples!

The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea M. Campbell

Sixteen-year-old Damien Locke has a plan: major in messing with people at the local supervillain university and become a professional evil genius, just like his supervillain mom. But when he discovers the shameful secret she’s been hiding all these years, that the one-night stand that spawned him was actually with a superhero, everything gets messed up. His father’s too moral for his own good, so when he finds out Damien exists, he actually wants him to come live with him and his goody-goody superhero family. Damien gets shipped off to stay with them in their suburban hellhole, and he has only six weeks to prove he’s not a hero in any way, or else he’s stuck living with them for the rest of his life, or until he turns eighteen, whichever comes first.

To get out of this mess, Damien has to survive his dad’s “flying lessons” that involve throwing him off the tallest building in the city–despite his nearly debilitating fear of heights–thwarting the eccentric teen scientist who insists she’s his sidekick, and keeping his supervillain girlfriend from finding out the truth. But when Damien uncovers a dastardly plot to turn all the superheroes into mindless zombie slaves, a plan hatched by his own mom, he discovers he cares about his new family more than he thought. Now he has to choose: go back to his life of villainy and let his family become zombies, or stand up to his mom and become a real hero.

This sounds like Sky High meets The Incredibles, in a book. All my geeky tendencies are tickled pink with this book — I’m excited. :) I’m not much of a fan of the cover, though, since it looks more like a graphic novel, but the first few pages seem very interesting. Although maybe I shouldn’t put this in as a sample anymore, as I bought it yesterday. :P Heee.

Swoon at Your Own Risk by Sydney SalterSwoon at Your Own Risk by Sydney Salter

It’s the summer before senior year and Polly Martin has sworn off boys. Who needs the hurt and confusion? Five recent breakups have left her with an unnatural knowledge of NASCAR, the ultimate hiker’s outfit, a student council position, the sixth highest score on the Donkey Kong machine at the mall, and a summer job at Wild Waves with ex #2 Sawyer Holmes.

Success seems a sure thing when Polly’s grandmother, the syndicated advice columnist, Miss Swoon, moves in for the summer. Polly almost doesn’t mind sharing a room with her little sister, Grace. Think of all the great advice she’ll get!

Everything is going according to plan except… Miss Swoon turns out to be a man-crazy septuagenarian! And then there’s Xander Cooper. If only he wouldn’t keep showing up at Wild Waves with his adorable cousins every afternoon — and what is he writing in that little notebook?

No advice column in the world can prepare Polly for the lessons she learns when she goes on a group camping trip (with three too many ex-boyfriends). Polly is forced to see people for who they are — a blend of good and bad qualities that can’t be reduced to a list or a snappy answer in a Miss Swoon column.

This sounds a bit like Judy Blume, for some reason. I read the sample already and it seems pretty interesting, because Polly feels like an endearing protagonist and narrator. Plus it’s a summer book, and I like summer books because I miss summer already. :(

Insatiable by Meg Cabot

Sick of vampires? So is Meena Harper.

But her boss is making her write about them anyway, even though Meena doesn’t believe in them.

Not that Meena isn’t familiar with the supernatural. See, Meena Harper knows how you’re going to die (not that you’re going to believe her; no one ever does).

But not even Meena’s precognition can prepare her for what happens when she meets—then makes the mistake of falling in love with—Lucien Antonescu, a modern-day prince with a bit of a dark side . . . a dark side a lot of people, like an ancient society of vampire-hunters, would prefer to see him dead for.

The problem is, he already is dead. Maybe that’s why he’s the first guy Meena’s ever met that she could see herself having a future with. See, while Meena’s always been able to see everyone else’s future, she’s never been able look into her own.

And while Lucien seems like everything Meena has ever dreamed of in a boyfriend, he might turn out to be more like a nightmare.

Now might be a good time for Meena to start learning to predict her own future . . .

If she even has one.

I’m not a fan of vampire fiction, even before Twilight, but I’m willing to read Meg Cabot’s try at this. I’m guessing Meena is named after that vampire lady that’s included in the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen cast (I think she was originally from Dracula)? This book seems very interesting, although I’m not too crazy about the cover — it looks like those dangerous romance novels that I avoid in the bookstore. Heh.

Zombie BlondesZombie Blondes by Brian James

From the moment Hannah Sanders arrived in town, she felt there was something wrong.

A lot of houses were for sale, and the town seemed infected by an unearthly quiet. And then, on Hannah’s first day of classes, she ran into a group of cheerleaders — the most popular girls in school.

The odd thing was that they were nearly identical in appearance: blonde, beautiful, and deathly pale.

But Hannah wants desperately to fit in — regardless of what her friend Lukas is telling her: if she doesn’t watch her back, she’s going to be blonde and popular and dead — just like all the other zombies in this town….

How awesome does this sound? Zombies! I saw this book while looking at The Book Smugglers archives, and they got me at the word zombies. :P The cover looks simple but effective, too. Look at that barbie cover — can you imagine her being a zombie?

Shadowed Summer by Saundra MitchellShadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell

Iris is ready for another hot, routine summer in her small Louisiana town, hanging around the Red Stripe grocery with her best friend, Collette, and traipsing through the cemetery telling each other spooky stories and pretending to cast spells. Except this summer, Iris doesn’t have to make up a story. This summer, one falls right in her lap.

Years ago, before Iris was born, a local boy named Elijah Landry disappeared. All that remained of him were whispers and hushed gossip in the church pews. Until this summer. A ghost begins to haunt Iris, and she’s certain it’s the ghost of Elijah. What really happened to him? And why, of all people, has he chosen Iris to come back to?

I’ve been seeing this book in the blogs I follow in the web, so I finally gave in and got the sample. I haven’t read it yet, but from the looks of the blurb, it’s about ghosts, and from the looks of the Amazon reviews, it’s comparable to Twilight. I hope it isn’t like that, though — please no more of that. But hm, if it has the same story as Twilight, does this mean Iris will fall in love with a ghost? Interesting.

So that’s it for this week’s samples. I am still on my YA kick, and I can’t help it. I just like them so much. :) But because I splurged on the Kindle Store this week, I can’t really spend so much up until the next few weeks. I have a feeling I’ll just end up sampling and sampling and sampling. Oh well. :)

Sample Fridays (1)

NOTE: I’ve been thinking on how to organize this blog and add more content in this blog, so for the past week, I’ve been looking and reading about book blogging and taking note at what people do to their own blogs. So here’s something I thought of doing weekly, just to add more content in the blog. Yay. :)

I’ve mentioned it before here: I love sampling. Ever since Mina told me about sampling in Amazon‘s Kindle store, I’ve been sampling like crazy. I love that I can read the first few pages of the books to help me decide if I really want to read the whole thing. Sometimes blurbs can be misleading, and reviews, too. Sometimes we need to read the first few pages of the book to know if it’s worth reading, and we can’t always read them in a bookstore. What better way than in the convenience of an ebook reader? (Okay, wait, I’m not sure if that made sense :p)

Oh and did I mention? Samples are free. :D

So presenting…Sample Fridays! Every Friday, I’m going to post about five to seven samples I got from Amazon’s Kindle Store this week, to share what I’m eyeing and contemplating to get. Note that these aren’t unreleased books, since you can’t sample those yet, but books that I just spotted while jumping around in Amazon. :D All blurbs are from Goodreads. :)

Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

Lily Sanderson has a secret, and it’s not that she has a huge crush on gorgeous swimming god Brody Bennett, who makes her heart beat flipper-fast. Unrequited love is hard enough when you’re a normal teenage girl, but when you’re half human, half mermaid like Lily, there’s no such thing as a simple crush.

Lily’s mermaid identity is a secret that can’t get out, since she’s not just any mermaid – she’s a Thalassinian princess. When Lily found out three years ago that her mother was actually a human, she finally realized why she didn’t feel quite at home in Thalassinia, and she’s been living on land and going to Seaview high school ever since, hoping to find where she truly belongs. Sure, land has its problems – like her obnoxious, biker boy neighbor Quince Fletcher – but it has that one major perk – Brody. The problem is, mermaids aren’t really the casual dating type – when they “bond,” it’s for life.

When Lily’s attempt to win Brody’s love leads to a tsunami-sized case of mistaken identity, she is in for a tidal wave of relationship drama, and she finds out, quick as a tailfin flick, that happily-ever-after never sails quite as smoothly as you planned.

I liked Tera Lynn Childs’ Oh. My. Gods. (review coming soon), and I just finished reading the sample earlier, and I kind of have a feeling how this would turn out, but I’m still curious, nonetheless. :) Plus, mermaids? That’s something I haven’t read before. I’m curious. :)

Violet Eyes by Debbie Viguié

When a storm brings the dashing Prince Richard to her family’s farm, Violet falls in love at first sight. Richard also gives Violet his heart, but he knows his marriage is destined to be an affair of state, not of passion. For the king and queen have devised a contest to determine who will win their son’s hand in marriage.

To be reunited with her prince, Violet must compete against princesses from across the land. It will take all of her wits – and a little help from an unexpected source – if Violet is to demonstrate the depth of her character and become Richard’s bride.

This is a retelling of the Princess and the Pea. I love retellings, and The Princess and the Pea is one of my favorite fairy tales. I’m curious at how this would fare. It seems like something I’d find in local bookstores though…maybe I should search around Fully Booked again. Reminds me a bit of Gail Carson Levine…don’t you think?

Donut Days by Lara Zielin

Emma has a lot going on. Her best friend’s not speaking to her, a boy she’s known all her life is suddenly smokin’ hot and in love with her, and oh yes, her evangelical minister parents may lose their church, especially if her mother keeps giving sermons saying Adam was a hermaphrodite.But this weekend Emma’s only focused on Crispy Dream, a hot new donut franchise opening in town, where Harley bikers and Frodo wannabes camp out waiting to be the first ones served. Writing the best feature story on the camp for the local paper might just win Emma a scholarship to attend a non- Christian college. But soon enough Emma finds the donut camp isn’t quite the perfect escape from all her troubles at Living Word Redeemer.

In a fresh, funny voice, newcomer Lara Zielin offers up a mesmerizing, fast-paced narrative full of wit and insight.

I saw this on one of the Teaser Tuesdays this week, and the title got me curious immediately. Plus isn’t that just the cutest cover? I read the sample this week, and I think it’s very interesting. I’m curious at how they’ll discuss the religion aspect here, especially with the female minister. I hope they tackled religion well here. Aaaand I think I’ll stay away from Krispy Kreme when I get to read this. :P Too tempting.

After the Kiss by Terra Elan McAvoy

This moment changes everything.Becca has been head-over-heels for Alec from the instant they met. He’s a brainy jock with a poet’s heart—in other words, perfect for her.

Camille is careful with her words and protective of her heart, especially since Chicago. Then a new boy in her new town catches her off guard with a surprise kiss.

Too bad that new boy is Becca’s boyfriend, Alec.

Camille and Becca have never met, but their lives will unravel and intertwine in surprising ways as they deal with what happens after the kiss.

Ah, good old contemporary YA. This sounds like those friends falling for their best friend’s boyfriend and stuff, but only, the two parties don’t know each other. Very, very interesting, and I hope the sample doesn’t disappoint.

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris– the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She’s determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.

Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts fiercely alongside her. Now Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves and finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax– but loving him means betraying her sister and has the potential to destroy all they’ve worked for.

Thanks to my friend Grace for telling me about Jackson Pearce (who is only two years older than I am, wow). I think this is also a retelling? I remember reading a story about Snow White and Rose Red…or is that a different one? Anyway, I’m curious about this, and I have a feeling that there’s a werewolf in this store. I’m reading Jackson’s As You Wish right now, and it’s been very enjoyable so far, and I think this will be a good one as well. Plus the cover’s really pretty. :)

So that’s it for this week’s samples. Have you read any of the books above? What do you think about them? Do you have any books you’d like to recommend for me to sample (and drool for? Haha).

Happy weekend, everyone!