Book Reviews by Today, I Read…

A Continuous Book Review and Vocabulary Assignment

July 1

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Giveaway Winner: Giving Up the V

by Ann-Katrina

Giving Up the V First, thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway for a chance to win Serena Robar’s upcoming YA title, Giving Up the V.

I combed through each of the comments, tallied them up and, with the help of random.org, selected a winner:

Congratulations dsmitty1012

An email has been sent out, but if I don’t hear back within 48 hours, I’ll select another entrant.

Now, if you didn’t win this time around, please don’t fret. I’m planning to hold a number of giveaways in the future (infinitely-wise higher power willing).

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June 15

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[CLOSED] YA Novel Giveaway: Giving Up the V by Serena Robar

by Ann-Katrina

Giving Up the V by Serena Robar When Giving Up the V by Serena Robar entered my radar, I immediately thought it looked like a fun read.

What’s So Wrong With Waiting?

Spencer Davis just turned sixteen. But unlike most hormonal teenagers who seem obsessed with sex — like her entire crew of friends — Spencer just doesn’t get it. She’d rather wait for the right guy and the right moment. But that moment may be arriving sooner than she’d thought.

Enter Benjamin Hopkins, a new transfer student who seems to have his eyes on our V-card-carrying heroine. He’s gorgeous, funny, suave, athletic, and capable of making Spencer’s knees wobble with a single glance. Spencer has never felt this way about anyone before, but is Ben truly V-worthy?

It tackles a subject that’s not always the easiest to deal with and one I haven’t seen too many recent YA titles dealing with, so it may wind up being an emotional read. But I’m getting ahead of myself…

From now until the end of the month, I’ll be holding a giveaway for one copy of Giving Up the V.

Entering is simple: Leave a comment on this post.

Want some extra entries? No problem. +1 if you’re subscribed to the RSS feed. +1 if you’re subscribed to the TIR newsletter (the sign up form is in the right hand column). +1 for each blog or tweet you make about the giveaway.

Just make sure you mention each of your +1’s. For instance, if you’re subscribed to the newsletter and you write a tweet about the giveaway, make sure to mention them in your entry comment or comment twice. (That way it will be easier for me to keep track of all the entries.)

The fine print: This contest is only open to people in the US and Canada. The winner will be chosen at random. The contest will run from now until 9AM EST June 30th, 2009.

Since the winner will be contacted via email, please make sure to leave a valid email address when entering.

That’s all.

Good luck!

This contest is now closed. Thank you so much to everyone who participated. The winner will be announced on Tuesday July 1.

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June 7

Comments: 3

Sunday Salon: YA Books Galore, Dark Thrills, and The Great Perhaps

by Ann-Katrina

The Sunday Salong Welcome to another edition of the Sunday Salon…

I’ve been slacking in my Sunday Salon blogging duties, but that’s because my life has been hectic. It’s no excuse, I know. That’s why I’ve resolved to do my Sunday Salon each week unless I have a better excuse. :)

And to make up for my slacking ways, this week, I’ll start you off with a little contest news.

Every day this month a new YA title will be given away to mark the release of Giving Up the V by Serena Robar.

Giving Up the V by Serena Robar What’s So Wrong With Waiting?

Spencer Davis just turned sixteen. But unlike most hormonal teenagers who seem obsessed with sex — like her entire crew of friends — Spencer just doesn’t get it. She’d rather wait for the right guy and the right moment. But that moment may be arriving sooner than she’d thought.

Enter Benjamin Hopkins, a new transfer student who seems to have his eyes on our V-card-carrying heroine. He’s gorgeous, funny, suave, athletic, and capable of making Spencer’s knees wobble with a single glance. Spencer has never felt this way about anyone before, but is Ben truly V-worthy?

Those who like to be winners or just want a chance to nab some darn fine YA literature should head over to Serena’s website and sign up for the newsletter to enter.

Dark Thrills

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn I’ve finished reading Dark Places by Gillian Flynn and let me just say what a ride. On one hand, I absolutely adored her prose and evocative descriptions. You could feel and taste the words coming right off the page. On the other hand, I absolutely disliked every one of the characters. I had sympathy for some, yes, but little more than that.

None of them had any redeeming qualities, which was surprising as there were plenty of characters in that book. It needed at least one person who wasn’t utterly broken on some level to help balance it. Lyle came close, but still missed the mark.

For that reason alone, this book wasn’t on my favorites list. In fact, it was enough to bump this book from “loved it” status to just plain “liked it.” The full review will be online next week. I’m letting it marinate in draft right now.

The Great Perhaps

I’ve read the first two chapters of three books: Swoon by Nina Malkin, Bad Things by Michael Marshall, and The Great Perhaps by Joe Meno.

Swoon has potential and it was planned as my next big read, until I saw that not everyone was pleased with its execution. (After reading Karissa’s review, I went to Amazon and saw that it was a general consensus.) It put a slight damper on my excitement to read it. Mind you, I’m still excited to read it, but I’m afraid it won’t live up to all the hype I’ve built in my own mind. Best solution? Set it aside and read a couple books, then come back to it when I’ve let that hype dwindle a bit.

After reading the first page of Bad Things, I thought the writing was a bit too dry for my liking, but I’m so intrigued by the storyline that I know I’ll finish it. Thank goodness the writing picked up around the tenth page. But I set it aside so I could finish Dark Places, which had a writing style that gripped me from page one.

The Great Perhaps Finally, The Great Perhaps beckoned and surprisingly, it was quite easy to answer its call. The writing style is fluid and easy. The characters, from page one, are so quirky that it’s almost impossible not to connect in some way. They’re all flawed, mind you, but they almost seem normal. (Odd when you consider the father has a seizure each time he sees a cloud or thinks he sees a cloud and one of their daughters wants to build a bomb for her science project.)

And that’s where I am. Next on my reading list has been decided: The Great Perhaps by Joe Meno. Chances are it will be finished within the next couple of days, the writing’s that smooth.

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