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Posts Tagged ‘paranormal’

Blogger Book Review: Afterlife by Claudia Gray

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on June 12, 2011

Good morning, inkpoppers! A lazy Sunday is never complete without a good book in hand; thus, today we bring you a review of Evernight – the concluding book in the Evernight series by Claudia Gray – from Precious of Fragments of Life.

Stop by Fragments of Life to read more reviews from Precious; at this very moment, savor the romance and suspense of Afterlife!

“In the fourth book, the starcrossed lovers Bianca and Lucas encounter another reason that set them apart from each other. After his transformation, Lucas awoke as a bloodthirsty vampire – craving more blood than the usual newborns. He hated himself for feeling what his enemies feel. Without her body, Bianca could only help him minimally. She faced her own struggles with being as wraith. When she was in Evernight Academy, wraiths have attacked her but now that she was one of them, she struggles to understand their intentions. With the help of Maxie, Bianca goes to Christopher in the world of lost things to search for answers and explanations.

“As always, I loved the pace and the unpredictability of Gray’s last installment. I have grown to like Bianca’s narrative. It was familiar and soothing despite the obstacles and problems that she and Lucas encountered. They seek the protection and guidance for Lucas in Evernight Academy, the territory of Mrs. Bethany – the headmistress who wants nothing more than revenge against the wraiths for the havoc they wrecked.

“I love that the characters have grown. They have learned to conquer their fears and to deal with the challenges of life or afterlife in some cases. The twists and turns made everything better. I was constantly surprised with the turn of events. I got to know the other side of some of the characters that I normally would not pay attention to.

“This was a great end to the ‘Evernight’ series. Gray sustained the drama, suspense and action. She never failed in delivering the best to her readers. ‘Afterlife’ is the shocking, heart pounding, tragic and romantic conclusion to Lucas and Bianca’s struggle with their love and lives.”

Thanks to Precious of Fragments of Life for stopping by to discuss Afterlife with us.

Over to you…have you read Afterlife? If so, what did you think of it? If not, will you be picking this book up during your next trip to the bookstore and/or library?

Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Erika (aka inkpoperika)

Posted in Blogger Book Review, inkpop 2.0, inkpop News, Teen Trends | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Blogger Book Review: Hereafter by Tara Hudson

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on June 11, 2011

Rise and shine, inkpoppers! Today we bring you a review of author Tara Hudson’s hauntingly beautiful debut Hereafter from Tina of Fantastic Book Review.

Stop by Fantastic Book Review to read more of Tina’s reviews. For now, prepare to be swept up in Hereafter!

“Breathtaking and eerie in its telling, ‘Hereafter’ sheds beauty on the entangled existence of life and death. The story is unique and enthralling; I was immersed into its pages completely. A world beyond the living, the Hereafter dug its claws into me and never let up.

“From the first thoughts of Amelia’s nightmarish retellings, I was immediately captivated. Her voice is eerie but mesmerizing at the same time, I felt compelled to follow along as she told her story. ‘Hereafter’ ended up being a ghostly page turner. There was not one thing in this book that I did not like. It felt effortless as I read the pages while lively images sprouted into my head. Hudson’s writing flowed beautifully and captured the light and dark elements of the Hereafter.

“With a cast of unforgettable characters, I can only imagine what’s in store for Amelia and Joshua next. With all the secrets surrounding High Bridge Road, nothing is as it seems. This paranormal debut will ensnare you into its world with its eerie beauty.”

Thank you to Tina of Fantastic Book Review for chatting with us about Hereafter.

Over to you…have you read Hereafter? If so, what did you think of it? If not, will you be picking this book up during your next trip to the bookstore and/or library?

Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Erika (aka inkpoperika)

Posted in Blogger Book Review, inkpop 2.0, inkpop News, Teen Trends | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

inkpopper of the Week: Jennii

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on June 6, 2011

“Hmm… about me… well, I have a thing for grammar. It’s the only reason I’m passing English because, quite frankly, I don’t like freshman English; perhaps it’s the only thing I’m capable of despising besides laws that aren’t constitutional and breaches of freedom of speech (I heart the First Amendment).

“I’m a bit of a headbanger. Corey Taylor of Slipknot and Stone Sour fame and Otep Shamaya of… well, of Otep, are my musical idols. Concerts are my weekend activities when I have the cash to buy tickets and there’s a good band playing locally. But don’t let that fool you. I’m on the youth leader council for my youth group and have been going to church for somewhere around a decade. I have a love/hate relationship with my DSLR.

“As for the trivial things, I am a southern California resident. I live in a boring suburb that doesn’t even qualify as a small town because every inch of space has a house crammed in there. I hope to go to college at Trinity in Dublin, Ireland because I like European history, Trinity has a good English department, and Ireland is gorgeous. I have a three-legged dog who is made of awesome. I am a nerdfighter (DFTBA). I read a lot and it disrupts my sleep habits, but it’s not as if I don’t write until I’m hunched over the keyboard with my eyes half-open on a regular basis. Speaking of which, I like writing. Just thought I’d throw that in there.”

It’s a good thing that Jenni (aka Jennii) likes writing, because the people of inkpop? Well, to put it bluntly, they love her work – as evident by the Gold Star her project Stake My Heart earned in February 2011, and the rapid pace at which her new project, Things Unseen, is climbing the charts.

Your project Stake My Heart is incredibly popular on inkpop, and received a gold star in the February 2011 Top Picks. How did it feel to see it garner so much success; and receive such a fantastic review? Is Stake My Heart a project that you are still working on, or have you shelved it for the time being to devote time to something new?

Jennii: It felt a little bit… odd? I’d written a few novels already, but I never let anyone see those. Then, I sign up to this site, write this novel that I only wrote because I wanted to write about a metal band, and suddenly I have people telling me they love Michael and that the band reminds them of this one band I used to be into, Black Veil Brides (that was certainly an ironic comment, as I’d just interviewed the guitarist). The review was nice.

In relation to the next question, it kind of made me annoyed with the fact that Stake My Heart has been discontinued. Especially since starting Things Unseen and having people respond to it even better, I just don’t have any interest in SMH. Not to mention, I read over the last ten or so chapters that I crammed in just to finish. It’s weird to see my own improvement that’s happened in just the past year—and I thank God that I improved.

Your most recent project, Things Unseen, has only been on the site since March 31, 2011, yet it is already ranked as # 138 on the charts, and climbs higher with each passing day. How does it feel to know that you are quickly on your way to making it into the Top 5? What is currently going through your mind? Since you have already made it into the Top 5 in the past, do you feel differently about it this time?

Jennii: Well, this is the first time I’ve seen the rank in a few weeks, so I’m not sure how to feel. I’ve actually paid no attention to where it’s been. I don’t scroll down my page to see it, and I cover the part of the screen when I’m updating. It’s nice to know that it’s still climbing, though (thanks, Zoey and whoever else has been promoting).

As for what’s going through my mind… I need to work on chapter twenty-one, I need to edit sixteen, seventeen, and maybe another one before Zoey spams me, and I need to go back and fix up some little things that I keep forgetting to fix up. If it gets into the top five, it will come as a surprise to me the day I log in, seeing as I’m not looking at the rank. I’d be honored, but it starts to feel anti-climactic, in all honesty. I forgot about SMH’s review for a couple weeks after February ended, then one of the other February top fivers messaged me, asking if I was anxious. It felt odd. All I want is the input; numbers really aren’t my thing.

Both of your projects fall into the Horror / Paranormal / Romance genre. Would you say that this is your favorite genre to write? Would you ever consider writing something completely different from these genres? If so, which one and why?

Jennii: I’d say that it’s what I’m most familiar with. I’ve been reading it for years now. Romance is generally a mainstay in whatever I read; I’m a terrible romantic, despite not liking to date. Paranormal and horror are nice, but that’s just where most of my ideas fall in most instances. I’ve got two ideas that I’ve been playing with that are both different. One is a general fiction idea that I’ll probably never write simply because it’s straight-up romance (think mass-market paperbacks by one of those middle-age women who can pump out nine books every five years). The other is in the outlining stages until I finish Things Unseen and will be a dystopian romance, although it may tip-toe the line of horror as some of my other projects have done.

Obviously, what with Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight and other vampires in pop culture, people are incredibly opinionated when it comes to them. Seeing as how vampires are a focal point in Stake My Heart, what are your thoughts on them, and how they are represented in the entertainment industry (books/movies/TV)? How do you feel your vampires compare?

Jennii: I feel that they’re fictional beings with roots in ancient superstition. Every culture has its vampires. I’ve done research into it for my last three books, and it’s really made me aware of the fact that they differ so much. It’s ridiculous how people bicker over them. There really is no “real” vampire. The one we know best is the one that’s due to uneducated, superstitious people digging up bodies and seeing the natural states of composition (bloating, skin pulling back from fingers and toes to make nails appear to be still growing, etc.) and assuming their dead Great Uncle Bernard has been chomping on the villagers. Other cultures believe in demons that feed on the psyches of their victims. There’s a whole culture today where people call themselves “psy-vamps” and “feed” on the emotions of others.

I think that it’s great that writers are creating their own idea of the vampire, but some variety is nice. That’s what I like about my vampires; they stick to tradition. I love writing the hero that’s just plain Michael/Aidan/Keir/etc. or just plain Aria/Haven/Belle/etc. They have their weaknesses, and there’s just about nothing they can do to be more than human. When the monster’s got the best cards in the deck, the hero and heroine have more room to grow stronger; they have to work hard to win, and that lets them develop more.

What do you feel influences your writing and why?

Jennii: Random little things. Like I said, Stake My Heart came about because I wanted to write about a metal band. I fronted a metal band, so I guess that’s where the idea first stemmed from. The watch on the cover of Things Unseen actually belongs to me. It’s a 108-year-old Ingersol Junior from my great-grandfather. I was holding it one day and just thinking about all the history that’s in it. The thing is so damaged inside, it’s got to have seen a lot. It felt almost magical because I adore history, and that watch has been through almost the entire twentieth century. Things Unseen spawned from that and a bunch of little notes about the idea.

I also tend to get ideas from little things I see, but that’s usually for little bits and pieces of scenes. It’s fun to imagine the stories behind certain people, and that sometimes creates a new story or scene in my head.

Who was your favorite childhood author and why?

Jennii: I have no idea who wrote the Magic Treehouse series, but those were my first chapter books. I stayed up reading them until one, much to my parents’ chagrin. I also loved my books on Greek mythology, bugs, and dinosaurs, but I’ve got the same plight there. R.L. Stine held my attention fairly well. I only read some of the Goosebumps books, but they were enough to feed my little mind.

Pop, Pop, Pop! Rapid Fire Questions:

Favorite song? Palace in Flames or Fetish for the Finite by Fearless Vampire Killers (Look them up; they’re amazing and need a bigger American fan base.)
What’s on your iPod? Fearless Vampire Killers, Slipknot, Casting Crowns, Otep, HorrorPops, Rise Against.
Hidden talent? I can lick my elbow, but people are more surprised that I can sing.
Twilight or Harry Potter? Harry Potter.
Book you could read over and over again? None. My mind retains things for two years, at the least. If it’s gone sooner, it’s not worth rereading.

Over to you…who do you think should be the next inkpopper of the Week?

Erika (aka inkpoperika)

Posted in inkpop Interviews, inkpopper of the Week, Teen Talent | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

May 2011 Top Picks!

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on June 1, 2011

The official start of summer is almost upon us, inkpoppers! But before we can usher in a new season, we must usher out a handful of new projects – selected by YOU – which are already on their way to the desk of the HarperCollins Editorial Board for review!

So what five (5) projects were voted most popular for May 2011? Find out below!

inkpop May 2011 Top Picks:

Mercury Books by Ms.Marauder (Book – General Fiction / Humor / Romance)

Plastic Rings by Colleen Dorothy Marie O’Reilly (Book – General Fiction / Romance)

Silence by Hannah H (Book – Adventure / Science Fiction / Fantasy / Romance / Paranormal)

Windswept by wildgreenskittle (Book – Science Fiction / Fantasy / Romance)

The Wishing Well by MariellaHunt (Book – General Fiction / Romance / Paranormal / Mystery)

Congratulations to the May 2011 Top Pick authors! Once the Editorial Board has had the chance to review your project, you will receive a critique and feedback from a HarperCollins Editor.

In the meantime…five slots now stand empty. Does your project have what it takes to be a June 2011 Top Pick?

Speaking of Top Picks…what was your favorite May 2011 Top Pick? Did you fall under Cameron Quillen’s charming spell in Mercury Books? Were you inundated with dreams from your childhood after delving into the pages of Plastic Rings? Did Sage’s harrowing plight found within the pages of Silence leave you spellbound? Were you swept up in the beautiful prose found within Windswept? Did the mystery of The Wishing Well make you rethink your last wish?

Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Erika (aka inkpoperika)

Posted in It Happened To Me on inkpop, Teen Talent, Teen Trends, Top Picks | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Blogger Book Review: Illusions by Aprilynne Pike

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on May 29, 2011

Good morning, inkpoppers! Just a few weeks ago many of you chatted with author Aprilynne Pike during our inpop Live Chat; and now we bring you a review of the New York Times Bestselling author’s latest book Illusions straight from Mel of the blog He Followed Me Home…Can I Keep Him?.

Read more book reviews from Mel by visiting He Followed Me Home…Can I Keep Him? For now, prepare yourself to be entranced by Illusions.

“The third book in the ‘Wings’ series, ‘Illusions’ starts of with Laurel back at high school in the human world and surprise, surprise, Tamani shows up as a foreign exchange student! Spells made me Team Tamani, so I was so curious how this was was going to play out. Although I enjoyed this book, I have to admit that partway I was getting tired of the David/Tam love triangle…both boys pining over Laurel but her being ignorant to David’s jealousy issues. With what was happening, it is fair to say that David had reasons to feel this way so Laurel annoyed me. I can justify Tamani’s undying love as part of his nature but come on David! A majority of this book deals with Laurels conflict over David/Tamani.

“Ms. Pike rounds out this storyline with the possibility of danger from the other foreign exchange student, Yuki, the mysterious Klea and disappearing Trolls. Not much is finalized here but hints at what is to come next. The ending is a major cliffhanger and I think we will get back to more action next year in what is supposed to be the last book in the series. Seeing the fae world in ‘Spells’ captivated me, I am crossing my fingers we get to see more of that too!”

Thank you to Mel of He Followed Me Home…Can I Keep Him? for discussing Aprilynne Pike’s Illusions with us.

Over to you…have you read Illusions? If so, what did you think of it? If not, will you be picking this book up during your next trip to the bookstore and/or library?

Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Erika (aka inkpoperika)

Posted in Blogger Book Review, inkpop 2.0, inkpop News, Teen Trends | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

inkpopper of the Week: A.K.A101

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on May 23, 2011

“Hi, everyone! My name is Rebecca, though most of you know me by my pen name Alexia or just good old A.K.A (or akajar). As you can tell by my screen name, I have a large amount of nicknames which range from ‘Moose’ to ‘Canada.’ I’m a sixteen year old high school student who lives nearby the city of Chicago.

“I’ve been writing on a regular basis since I was twelve, but I really have been doing it long before that. I just started posting on the web around half a year ago, and how far I’ve come never ceases to stun me. I still get ideas all the time which gives me another nickname ‘The girl of a thousand stories.’ I have a habit of spacing off during the most random of times in my own little world which drives my friend’s nuts.

“I’m a dabbler in all of the arts besides writing. Not great at any of them, but I love playing around with each. I’m a cartoonist, sketcher, singer, and most strangely of all a bassoon player (Which is like a combo of a tuba and an oboe. Look it up). I live and breathe off music; it’s a little unearthly.”

Another thing that’s a little unearthly? Rebecca’s (aka A.K.A101) imagination and ability to create plots, settings, and characters that are unique, quirky, and purely her own, as seen in her popular inkpop project When the Dead Walk, We Run.

Though your project When the Dead Walk, We Run is labeled as being a blend of adventure, horror, and humor, it comes with a warning from you stating *Not for the Faint of Heart*. Can you explain this warning to us – why was it put in place? Do you feel that this warning has served to draw more readers in – why or why not?

A.K.A101: Ah, the warning. I think the main reason I put it in place is because I just don’t want someone picking it up before bed and getting scared out of their wits. It’s not exactly a scary novel, but there are parts of intense gore and just like how some other inkies have warnings for intense content, I thought I should do the same. I don’t want to give anyone a panic attack. That being said, it really hasn’t affected much. Mostly, I think it draws in hard core horror fans who think it’s going to be too light and fluffy, and captures humor fans who want some spice.

When the Dead Walk, We Run is such an original, fun project in that it is full of zombies, quirky characters, and an irresistible MC. Do you feel that these qualities are responsible for When the Dead Walk, We Run’s popularity on inkpop?

A.K.A101: I think it really is. When the Dead Walk, We Run, is such an odd duck. It’s really a mix of lots of genres reaching out to anything you want. Even if that’s a love of gore, or just wanting to laugh. I really think the main thing that hooks people, though, is the characters. I always get comments on how people say if they ran into Morgan on the street she already seems so real that they wouldn’t be shocked. That kind of realism I think helps pull a reader in, and gives me some solid ground in a zombie novel.

In your profile you state “Next book up is ‘Brightening Darkness’ which is coming out this summer. Your clues are monsters, shadows and paranormal romance.” Aside from the clues already mentioned, is there anything else you can tell us about this project?

A.K.A101: Brightening Darkness is a bit strange itself. There’s a long winded story behind it, so I’ll try to just go short. I have a very large series called There Dark Days. It’s a fantasy novel, rather complex, but in around the third book there’s a side character introduced that’s just very complex. I tried writing a story for her before during the same time TDD takes place, but I found it was rather redundant. So then I considered what if her real story is years later, what if her story is in modern times. Brianna is that character. The novel is about shape shifting monsters called shadow demons that have problems with human emotions. Brianna’s closest friend Nathaniel taught her how to embrace her human side, and when he goes missing she does to anything to get him back. It’s a little odd for me, since it’s a beautiful, twisted, paranormal, romance with lots of back-story, but I pray I can pull it off.

Can you tell us a bit about the creative process for When the Dead Walk, We Run? Where did the ideas for this particular project stem from?

A.K.A101: This is going to sound really cheesy and tacky, but from a dream, really. I had been reading a zombie novel before I went to bed (in hindsight was not one of my greater ideas) and had a dream where I got eaten by zombies. That dream thrust me into the whole ‘how about I write a zombie novel’ idea. The humor was a given, since I was working on Chasing Jake at the time and wanted to do something light hearted. It really came together as a whole when I was doing character building and wondering why Morgan and Isaac didn’t get together at the end. I had a moment where I realized she was gay, then I just sat there for a moment thinking ‘I’m writing a humorous zombie adventure novel, staring a closeted lesbian sharpshooter, a nerd, and a dog named Fred. What have I gotten myself into?’ Still haven’t answered that question yet.

What makes your writing unique? What sets it apart from other inkpop projects and books that have already been published?

A.K.A101: I think it’s a combo of two things: characters and just quirkiness. My characters tend to be each their own person; each has their own back story and life which makes them seem almost real. As with the quirkiness, I like to do things that have never been done before, or do things that have been done before in a totally twisted way. I don’t like writing about normal things; there’s no such thing. Everywhere you look you have something odd; that oddness really can bring a story to life.

What do you feel influences your writing and why?

A.K.A101: Music. A single song can give me an idea sometimes and it’s amazing how it works. I find myself being swept away by something not real. That and life in general gives me a lot of ideas. I find that doing ‘what ifs’ on normal life can give you some of the most brilliant ideas. Like, what if my brother went missing? What would I do? I thought go after him and that’s what really inspired Chasing Jake.

What made you fall in love with writing?

A.K.A101: When I was a little girl I was shy and very anxious. I all so had an imagination the size of Russia. So whenever I got overly stressed I would escape into my own little world, making up the most complex stories to go with it. I’ve always loved making things, but nothing compares to the feeling of making a whole world under the palm of your hand. It was a lot of fun and as I got older unlike other kids my imagination never vanished. So I decided why not use my escape as a job. Thus here I am now. 🙂

In your opinion, are zombies the next big thing – why or why not?

A.K.A101: Truthfully, not at all. The thing today is that YA is centered on romance, lots of hot guys saving pretty girls. The thing about zombies is while they leave open so many options to create and explore it is very, very, difficult to make a zombie hot. When your male lead is a guy who wants to eat you who smells like rotting flesh, it isn’t very romantic. 😛

Pop, Pop, Pop! Rapid Fire Questions:

Favorite quote? “If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country.” ~ E. M. Forster
What’s on your iPod? Missing Persons 1 and 2 – One Republic; Vampire Money – My Chemical Romance; Born this Way – Lady Gaga.
Hidden talent? Bassoon playing.
Chocolate chip cookies or cupcakes? Cookies!
Best place to curl up with a good book? There’s this chair in my house that is great to read in. Best chair ever.

Over to you…who do you think should be the next inkpopper of the Week?

Erika (aka inkpoperika)

Posted in inkpop Interviews, inkpopper of the Week, Teen Talent | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments »

Blogger Book Review: The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on May 22, 2011

Happy, Happy Sunday, inkpoppers! On this sunny morning we bring you a review of Kimberly Derting’s The Body Finder straight from Cait of Escape Through the Pages. Read more reviews from Cait at Escape Through the Pages; at this very moment, however, lose yourself in The Body Finder.

“‘The Body Finder’ is absolutely amazing, I was so happy with it.

“Violet has always been able to feel the echoes that a dead animal/person leaves behind – not only on the murdered itself, but on the killer. Those who have been violently murdered leave behind such strong echoes that it almost draws her in when she comes across them. Her gift has never really been anything but a small annoyance until she uncovers the body of a girl who has been murdered – the start of a run of serial killings in the area. Violet is determined to use her gift to help solve the killings before more girls she knows go missing and end up dead. To do this, she enlists the help of her best friend Jay – a best friend she’s been feeling more than best friend feelings for.

“‘The Body Finder’ has a great mix of mystery/suspense and romance. Interspersed throughout the main story are chapters from the perspective of the killer; his sections are eerie, and gave me chills. They were written to be creepy and Kimberly Derting delivered. The reader is able to see briefly into the killer’s mind, but never really find out too much…and that’s good. The book is about Violet and her journey discovering that her gift can be used in a practicale manner – and her relationship with her best friend Jay.

“I was pleasently surprised with the romance in this book. For a moment in the beginning I was worried there was going to be yet another romance triangle in a YA book. The romance progression in ‘The Body Finder’ was great. Violet and Jay have been friends practically forever. Recently, she’s noticed that she feels more than just friendship for him but doesn’t want to say anything. As the book goes on, her friendship with Jay is tested and the reader wonders if the romance is actually a romance at all (I don’t want to spoil it either way)!

“I was impressed with Violet and Jay. Violet is comfortable in her family and her friendships, and she knows her ability can help people. She understands the need her family has to keep her protected, but Violet has the strength and will to help, and she’s going to. Jay is a great friend to Violet, and their relationship is believable – they argue, they make up, they hang out and go to school. Jay is incredibly protective of Violet and is a genuinely good guy. It’s quite refreshing, actually!

“Between good writing, plot, characters and ability to entertain, ‘The Body Finder’ is a great debut novel. I’m confident in recommending it to anyone age 12 and over (or even younger depending on the pre-teen).”

Thank you to Cait of Escape Through the Pages for chatting with us about The Body Finder.

Over to you…have you read The Body Finder? If so, what did you think of it? If not, will you be picking this book up during your next trip to the bookstore and/or library?

Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Erika (aka inkpoperika)

Posted in Blogger Book Review, inkpop 2.0, inkpop News, Teen Trends | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Blogger Book Review: Die for Me by Amy Plum

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on May 21, 2011

Welcome to the weekend, inkpoppers! This morning we bring you a special treat from Rebecca of the blog Everything To Do With Books – a review of Amy Plum’s debut novel Die for Me. Amy visited us here on inkpop this past week for a Live Chat, which you can read here; for now, settle in with a book that is sure to make it to the top of your must-read list…Die for Me!

“I was really nervous about reading ‘Die for Me’ by Amy Plum. Mostly because I thought it might’ve been a really clichéd story line with a cliché love interest etc. It actually wasn’t.

“Amy Plum’s writing is fantastic, the flow of the book was nice and smooth and I really enjoyed reading through ‘Die for Me’.

“I have to say that when I started I thought ‘Die for Me’ was quite a dramatic title. Now that I’ve read the book I know a bit more about what it means and can say that it is actually quite a fitting title.

“Katie is a fantastic main character, she has her head screwed on and she can definitely think for herself. I found myself really able to relate to her which was great. She was in no way perfect and that made her all the more interesting and believable. Not to mention, the fantastic supporting cast. Both Katie and Vincent’s families were great and I just loved all of them as they all had their different characteristics and their own unique place in the book. I can’t wait to find out more about them.

“The book captured me and I just had to finish reading it as soon as I could. I remember there was one moment where something happened that upset the main character, Kate, I have to say that as I was reading it I could feel my own stomach twisting up in knots too. There were also parts that had me grinning like a fool. I just really felt like I could get into this book and I actually enjoyed it too.

“The paranormal part of the book was both similar but also different. This isn’t really a spoiler but if you’re a bit iffy about spoilers you might want to skip this paragraph but the fact that Vincent was an immortal made me roll my eyes a little, however, the way his immortality works is completely different to any other book I have ever read and I actually really enjoyed that part and I am curious to read more about it.

“Now, I am not a huge fan of romance in books however, the romance element in this book was quite sweet. It was there and it was nice. It wasn’t that whole, hot guy meets plain girl and they fall instantly in love. It was hot guy thinks girl is cute, hot guy talks to girl, girl talks to boy, they get to know each other and don’t make insanely large promises to be together forever. In other words, the romance element had me smiling and enjoying it rather than cringing and being angry with how lame it was.

“Set in Paris, was a hugely refreshing thing. I felt like it was a great change of scenery from a lot of the other books I read. I just really loved that the book was set in Paris. It kind of added to the romantic flavour of some parts of the book.

“Overall, would I say that ‘Die for Me’ is a good read? Well if you hadn’t already noticed from my extremely long and adoring review; yep, I sure would say it’s a good read. It wasn’t perfect, but the romance is really cute, the paranormal element is similar but also different in certain aspects, the writing is crisp and lovely and the cover is really pretty. If you’re a fan of paranormal romance then by all means add this one to your list. I know that I cannot wait for the next book.”

Thank you to Rebecca of Everything To Do With Books for stopping by to discuss Die for Me with us.

Over to you…have you read Die for Me? If so, what did you think of it? If not, will you be picking this book up during your next trip to the bookstore and/or library?

Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Erika (aka inkpoperika)

Posted in Blogger Book Review, inkpop 2.0, inkpop News, Teen Trends | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

inkpopper of the Week: YEN

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on May 16, 2011

“I am a born and raised Californian, having lived in this state for nearly fifteen years now. I’ve visited nearly all of the popular and well-known cities, except for San Francisco (which I may be going to over the summer). I currently live in a not-so-well-known city that has even inspired a story (along with My Chemical Romance’s album, Danger Days).

“My house is what I love to call a zoo. There are three birds, three cats, two dogs, and three people living here. Ever heard that dogs chase cats? My dogs and cats can prove that wrong. My 80+lb dog can’t run fast enough from the tiny 10lb cat. It is very funny to watch the little cat make a grown dog run. XD
“I am a band geek who is close to finishing her first year of high school. And that does mean I’m in the marching band, too—which is what prevents me from participating in NaNoWriMo.

“I’ve been writing for about a year and a half (started writing around October-December of 2009), and have been playing the clarinet since the fifth grade. Music is a great thing—it inspires me so much and I absolutely love playing and listening to instrumental songs. Both types of music—really all forms of media—inspire me to write and come up with ideas.

“And I’m horrible at answering questions. Just ask Nella (aka Nella-Rosmarino) or any other inkpopper on the Insomniacs threads.”

Perhaps answering questions is not Kelly’s (aka YEN) forte; but what she lacks in that department, she more than makes up for in creativity – as seen in her inkpop project Nightland.

Your project Nightland is currently ranked as # 300, and you are hoping to make it into the June 2011 Top Five (or, at the latest, the August 2011 Top Five, as per your profile). Do you think you can do it? Aside from getting a critique from an Editor, are there any other factors motivating you to making it to the Top Five? If so, what?

YEN: I really hope I can make it to the June Top 5, but that is probably the inkies’ opinion. One major reason why I’d love to see Nightland in the June Top 5 is that Nella and I both want to see our projects in our birthday month. A review from a HC editor is also something I’d love to see since I really would like to know what else needs to be improved upon, besides the things that lovely inkies have said and comments the editors have written about other projects. I really want Nightland to grow since I hope to one day have it published. It would be better if Nightland could reach the top 5 sooner since I’d like to start querying soon. (Don’t we all with our projects?)

Nightland is such a fun project in that it has elements of Peter Pan (daydreaming) and Nightmare on Elm Street (entering another world when dreaming) all rolled into one. Do you feel that this originality on your part is one of the things that has made Nightland such a popular project on inkpop?

YEN: It seems like it. I haven’t read a story that deals with daydreaming—though I have watched Peter Pan—or anything else of the sorts that involve dreams. I know for a fact, though, that without my dear friends’ help—Zoey (aka Seattelover7), Lexie (Lex Born), and Dae (Starts With One)—Nightland wouldn’t have gotten this popular. I’m a horrible promoter, so it’s these dear friends who’ve helped.

Nightland’s originality also must’ve helped since most readers strive for something that is different than the usual published books on the shelves of the YA section of the local bookstore. (Gosh do I keep cocky now. O_o) The setting is probably the most original thing in the story, which isn’t surprising because it is the land that I’ve come up with. Though the fact that Berlin—the main character—has often ‘dreamt’ of this place—dreamt really isn’t the right term, but you’d have to read to figure out the truth ;).

In your profile you mention that you are participating in InkieNoWriSummer which begins on June 14, 2011. What exactly is InkieNoWriSummer, and how can others participate? Do you know what you’ll be working on for InkieNoWriSummer? If so, can you tell us about it?

YEN: InkieNoWriSummer is an inkpopper’s summer version of NaNoWriMo. Inkie Novel Writing Summer. There is a thread started by ♥ Amaya ♥ where inkies can pledge to participate within this. Because I’m unable to participate during NaNoWriMo, I gladly decided on this so I can get writing done over the summer.

The project I will most likely work on is Dusty Skies—a dystopia/sci-fi centered around a fifteen-year-old with her friends trying to get back at what would be considered ‘the police’. These ‘police’ are the ones who wreak havoc on the city so the main character Dusty and her group of friends will do onto the police what was done onto them. (That bit sound confusing enough?)

I may or may not work on this. I’ve two other projects that I’d love to work on: Shadowed or Hidden Halos. Both are similar in genre, or at least the fact they’ve a bit of romance and the supernatural creatures. It is more likely, though, that I’ll work on Dusty Skies just because I’ve so much inspiration around me for it.

Can you tell us a bit about the creative process for Nightland?

YEN: The 2009 version of Alice in Wonderland was the first thing that prompted me towards Nightland. I’ve watched that move over five times within the last five months, I believe. I really wanted to write a story similar to Alice in Wonderland, and this shows in a few different ways, though the characters’ roles from Alice in Wonderland and Nightland don’t fit their appearances or titles when compared. This was accidental, though. What I did mean with the story was to have the classic supernatural elements (i.e. witches, demons, werewolves) combined with this other world (i.e. Nightland). When I planned out the characters, I really just randomly chose what creature I’d like them to be.

Most of the scenes came to me while I was either sitting in front of my laptop to plot, or daydreaming. That, along with music or watching different movies. It took me about two weeks to outline everything (i.e. plotting, character bios) and about four months to write. A lot of times, I was hit with either writer’s block or rough spots within the story. During those times, I forced myself to write and visited the Word War thread (or the Procrastinator’s thread) to get through these spots. It might’ve turned out bad, but at least I’d get through those scenes.

How do you combat writer’s block? Do you have any tips for beating out writer’s block that you’d like to share with us?

YEN: Word wars! They make you write as much as you can in 5 (sometimes 10) minutes. This is what I’ve used quite a few times to get me through rough spots. I know most say that forcing yourself to write makes the writing ‘poor’ but whatever spot you’re stuck on may never come to you. Which is why there is editing and rewriting to make this horrible spot much better later on. It doesn’t help when you can’t wait to work on something in chapter 3, yet you’re stuck on this little scene in chapter 2. I force myself through writer’s block and work on at least something so that the creative juices flow.

What made you fall in love with writing?

YEN: Probably The Vampire Diaries (anything by L. J. Smith really) and Twilight. Around the time that I started writing, I was reading one of the books by either Smith or Meyer. These stories, along with the short stories I had to write for seventh and eighth grade, were things that made me want to write out my of my dreams. My seventh grade English teacher is the one who told the whole class that my short story was better, and believed that I wrote at a higher level than the class I was in. She even wrote in my yearbook that I need to keep writing. It took me less than a year to really decide that I love writing stories (mostly novels now).

Pop, Pop, Pop! Rapid Fire Questions:

Favorite fictional character? Either Damon from The Vampire Diaries (the books) or Dru from Strange Angels.
What’s on your iPod? Just a few would be my top 5 favorite bands: Green Day, Cute Is What We Aim For, My Chemical Romance, Linkin Park, and Paramore.
Favorite quote? “You are seriously too stupid to insult.” -The Hangover
Pancakes or waffles? Waffles! Pancakes always taste funny to me, unlike waffles.
If you were granted three wishes from a genie, what would you wish for and why? Wish #1: have enough money so that my mom doesn’t have to work anymore so we can move to Santa Cruz, CA (I love that city). Wish #2: the stories that come into my mind were real. Wish #3: have my mom be able to use the last wish.

Over to you…who do you think should be the next inkpopper of the Week?

Erika (aka inkpoperika)

Posted in inkpop Interviews, inkpopper of the Week, Teen Talent | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Blogger Book Review: Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on May 15, 2011

Good morning, inkpoppers! Today we treat you to a review of Lesley Livingston’s Wondrous Strange, the first book in her bestselling urban Faeries trilogy, courtesy of Lena from Addicted 2 Novels. Stop by Addicted 2 Novels to read more of Lena’s reviews; right now, get swept away by Wondrous Strange.

“I actually read this a while back, recently picked it up and reread it. I forgot how beautifully well-crafted this story is. Lesley Livingston created this world that’s not only enchanting, but also filled with love, danger and, of course, faerie games.

“The book is centered around Kelley and Sonny. Through alternating points of view, each character shows you what it’s like to be ‘something special.’ Kelley is a teenage girl who moved to New York to become an actress. She gets her first big break when she’s casts as Titania in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. Then, she meets Sonny, who is anything but normal.

“Sonny is a warrior for King Auberon, the Winter Faerie King. Every year, around Halloween, the gates between the Faerie world and the human world opens. The fey will try to sneak into the human world, and Sonny must make sure this doesn’t happen. Being a warrior for King Auberon has it’s perks. Sonny can sense every living thing around him, and that’s how he first meets Kelley. She’s a firecracker among sparks.

“Slowly, both Sonny and Kelley not only begin sharing their worlds with one another, but also begin to discover the truth behind some, for lack of a better phrase, faerie tales. They both will find out who the other really is, and who they themselves are meant to be. And boy howdy, is it a glorious ride!

“One thing I love about this book are the interactions between Sonny and Kelley. It isn’t insta-love. You actually get to watch their relationship build, and I can’t tell you how much I loved it. Though you can tell they’re physically attracted to each other in the beginning, you still get the bits of drama, hatred, fear, and sizzling heat that comes along with passion.

“Another thing I love about this book is how the author weaves in bits and pieces of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. The references aren’t overwhelming, nor lacking. It’s just the right amount.

“Last, but certainly not least, my favorite (and hopefully your favorite) category: swoon-worthy male. You know if I love a book, there has to be a swoon-worthy boy, and, in this case, his name is Sonny. He’s sweet, fearless, loyal, and just all around amazing. I’m so grateful half the story is told through him. He has a great voice, and it needed to be heard.

“‘Wondrous Strange’ does end on a bit of a cliffhanger, and while it’s annoying (because cliffhangers always are), the story still wraps up quite nicely. After reading ‘Wondrous Strange’, I couldn’t wait to read ‘Darklight’. I recommend ‘Wondrous Strange’ to anyone who is a fan of ‘Wicked Lovely’ or ‘Eyes Like Stars’.”

Thank you to Lena of Addicted 2 Novels for chatting with us about Wondrous Strange.

Over to you…have you read Wondrous Strange? If so, what did you think of it? If not, will you be picking this book up during your next trip to the bookstore and/or library?

Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Erika (aka inkpoperika)

Posted in Blogger Book Review, inkpop 2.0, inkpop News, Teen Trends | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »