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Book Sniffer Reviews
Always sniffing out good books and reviewing them!
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And the winner is.....
Darby from Myspace!! She has been notified.
Yay for her. :)
I'll have a new contest up soon! Be sure to enter.
In Tattoo by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Bailey Morgan and her three best friends- Zo, Delia, and Annabelle get some seriously weird temporary tattoos at the mall. In a dressing room they all apply them, Delia on her stomach, Zo on her foot, Annabelle on her neck, and Bailey on her lower back.
Little do they know that the powers of the tattoos go beyond giving them the "power" to look cool for their Sophomore dance, they give the girls powers of the supernatural category. The girls must fight an evil power to save their lives, and the lives of the world.

This book is phenomenally good. I personally finished it in one day. It makes you long for more. Thankfully there is another book...Fate (no spoilers I promise):

In Fate, Jennifer Lynn Barnes does an fantastic job of continuing Tattoo. It's a little surprising when it's suddenly two years after Tattoo took place, but I like it. Fate is even better than Tattoo. To me Fate is like your favorite blanket. You know, all familiar, since you already know the characters. But I love how this book has some exciting/unexpected twists and turns.

Jennifer Lynn Barnes is by far one of my favorite authors.

So, you should all read Tattoo, Fate, and all her other books...they're amazing. :)

What would you do if you literally were not yourself anymore? If your former best friend and crush just thought you were a pretty face and didn't even know who you were?

When Em Watson has a life altering experience, things change for the better, and for the worse.

I have an extra copy of Airhead I won from a contest a few months back and so I'm holding a contest, now until March 30th. To enter leave a comment telling me who your favorite celebrity is and why here or on my Myspace (http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=402839355&blogId=473318417.) I'll randomly chose one winner and announce who it is March 31st.
~The Book Sniffer
P.S. Sorry for not posting in a while...School has been hard lately, but in the coming weeks I promise that this blog is going to get ten times better. :)

14th-Oct-2008 08:36 pm - Identical by Ellen Hopkins
Identical by Ellen Hopkins is a termendously interesting book. Like Ellen's other books it is in poetry verse, and is sad at times. Identical is about two twins...who are, you guessed it identical twins. The girls have different struggles and triumphs, strengths and abilities. But deep down they are alike, in more ways than you can possibly imagine. 

The other day a friend ask me why I read Ellen Hopkins' books. She asked "I think they're just for mess-up people." Trying hard not to laugh I replied, "I read them to get a look at different situations than my own. To see how other people live, thrive and survive." She seemed skeptical, but even though I can't convince her to read Ellen's books, and more specifically Identical, at least I may be able to persuade you, the reader of this blog!

This book might make you cry, it may make you laugh, and it will definitely open your eyes to a different way of life than what most endure.

On that note, have a nice night, and enjoy teen read week!

14th-Oct-2008 08:20 pm(no subject)
    Sleepless by Terri Clark (terriclark ) is a brilliant novel; it is one of those books that you just can't put down. It has everything- romance, action, a killer...you know just the normal stuff. :) If you read this book it will take over your mind. For days on end this will be what you're thinking of, day and night...but especially night.

25th-Aug-2008 09:02 pm - Jennifer Lynn Barnes article
Yet another interview I did a while back (like almost a year ago...)

Jennifer Lynn Barnes, an Oklahoman, has five books published-Golden, Platinum, Tattoo, The Squad: Perfect Cover and The Squad: Killer Spirit. Jen says in response to how long she’s wanted to be an author “I’ve wanted to be an author for pretty much as long as I can remember. I think there was a point in time in about Kindergarten when I wanted to be a veterinarian, but by first grade I’d pretty much settled on writer.”

Jen said that the way she comes up with book ideas is to take “one everyday thing and one really over the top thing” and write them into a story together. For the Squad series “the everyday thing, which is usually something that relates back to my life, was cheerleading, because I used to be a competitive cheerleader when I was in middle school. And then the over the top thing was the secrete agents.”

Jen said that the best of her books, for male readers, is Tattoo because comic books are one of her “major influences” when she writes “more fantastical books.” She also said that The Squad series is also one of her more appealing books, for male readers because guys think girls being strong is cool or so Jen’s been told.

When Jennifer wrote the first book in the Squad series she intended for it to be “just for fun” and only for her eyes. Then she liked the book too much not to share it with the world, so she submitted it to her agent. Needless to say it was liked and then the publishing company gave her a two book deal. Jen said, “…I was writing the first draft of Book 2 while still revising Book 1, which- in general- is not something that a person who was even marginally sane would ever agree to do.”

In respect to what messages Jennifer hopes readers will gain from her books she says, “It’s funny, because I never sit down to write a book with a message, but I do think that when I look at all of my books that one of the sort of constant themes that I tend to write about is what’s vaguely called girl power.” For the Squad series Jen says the intended message is that “a girl can be pretty or popular or snarky or unpopular or lots of different things and still be a smart, witted, powerful girl and there’s no one way to be a smart, in charge of your self female.”

Jen said that one reason that that is the theme of the Squad series is because “sometimes I feel like the world expects smart girls to act a certain way or look a certain way and they want you to make choices between you know liking pop culture and reading books; and guys can like whatever they want, but sometimes it seems like girls have to chose.”

Jen says that the best part of being an author is “the readers.” She also told me that “the second best thing is that they (the publishing company) give you a lot of free books.”

Jennifer’s favorite young adult authors (or authors who write for teens) are Meg Cabot, Scott Westerfeld, Sarah Dessen, and Madeline L’Engle. She also likes the writer Roald Dahl, though “he’s more middle grade than YA.” As for classics Jen likes Wuthering Heights. She said that it “is probably one of my favorite books I’ve ever been forced to read for school.”

Jen’s most resent books are The Squad: Perfect Cover and The Squad: Killer Spirit. Both of the books in the Squad series are amazing. They are the kind of books that you love so much that you hate it when they end. These books about cheerleading spies will make you laugh out loud; I’d recommend not reading them in a public place. Anyone –girl or boy- can find humor, lessons, and maybe even gain a newfound respect for cheerleaders from these books!

For more information on Jennifer Lynn Barnes you can go to her official website www.jenniferlynnbarnes.com.
18th-Aug-2008 09:03 pm - Ally Carter Article!
Another interview I did a while back...

Ally Carter, an best-selling author, has four books published. Two of those books are young adult books or books for teenagers. The YA book's titles are I'd Tell You I Love You but Then I'd Have to Kill You and Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy. The adult books titles are Cheating at Solitaire and Learning to Play Gin. On Ally's website she says "I can assure you that even my 'adult' books are rated PG."

Ally says in respect to how long she's wanted to be an author "I think it's something that I've always been kind of interested in…. I didn't actually start really writing…with the intent of actually writing seriously probably until I was in college." She also said that "The first things that I wrote were screen plays. And they were very very bad, but that's okay because everybody has to write bad stuff first."

When I asked Ally how she comes up with book ideas she said "Ideas for me come in a lot of different ways; Book ideas. I'd Tell You I Love You but Then I'd Have to Kill You occurred to me while I was watching (the television show) Alias one night. Cheating at Solitaire occurred to me while I was making spaghetti and meatballs…You just never know where the idea is going to pop into your head"

I asked Ally for give me a synopsis of her latest YA book Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy, her reply was "Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy begins oh just a few weeks after I'd Tell You I Love You but Then I'd Have to Kill You ends. And in it Cammie (the main character) is dealing with the consequences of having lied and rebelled against the authority of her school for a whole semester. And as a result of this she's going to have to deal with some new mysterious visitors that are coming to the school this time. And her mother is acting very very secretive and there's a lot of stuff Cammie doesn't know. And so for the first time in her life she's really, she's not spying on boys this time, she's really spying on her mother and on the school it's self. That's probably all I can tell you and I think this book has a lot of good surprises and I don't want to ruin any of the surprises for anyone."

Ally says that high school was a "pretty awful" time for her and that middle school was the only worse time. "I think High school and middle school is for many many people it's the low point of their life. That doesn't necessarily mean it's bad. It just means that those are really tough ages when your body is weird and everybody's changing and nobody knows you know who their suppose to be when they grow up and so they, their just trying to figure out who they are."

"That's why (high school and middle school being such tough years) YA literature, I think, is so important; it illustrates that to young people that the things that you're feeling the things that you're going through, you're not the first kid to ever have to live through that. And there is a light at the end of the tunnel." Ally says that she would not "in a million years" want to revisit the teenage years. Her reason: "I like being a grown-up better than I like being a teenager".

Ally's favorite authors are E. Lockhart, S.E. Hinton, John Green, and Megan Shoals. She also likes the Harry Potter series and To Kill a Mocking Bird. That being said I have to say that Ally Carter is one of my all time favorite authors. Her latest book Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy is an amazing book that will grab a hold of the reader's every thought and not let go until the book is finished being read.

The third book in Ally's YA series will come out in July of next year.
16th-Aug-2008 09:04 pm - The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Hunter Games comes out in the upcoming months, but I got an early copy and so I am reviewing it now...

In Panem, a nation that is where North America used to be, a girl named Katniss lives with her mother and younger sister. Katniss and her family are getting by until one day Katniss is chosen to participate in the Hunger Games.
The Hunger Games are  a violent and vicious fight to the death...On live TV.

This book is shocking, thrilling, and very hard to put down! The Hunger Games is futuristic, yet it reflects on our own society and our enjoyment of others pain.
Okay, so Jennifer Lynn Barnes has this contest going on where you make an alternate cover for one of her books, and then post it on your blog... so here's mine. (I also posted one on my regular LJ. ren_not_lauren)

I chose to make this cover the way I did because I think all the different colors of pink, purple, etc kind of represent how different the characters in the book are. Yet they can come together to accomplish things...
7th-Aug-2008 07:22 pm - Melissa Walker
I intervied Melissa Walker-author of the Violet in Private series- last March, and wrote an article on her. Here it is (a little edited, I admit)...Plus I added a review of her latest book (Violet in Private)! : )

            Melissa Walker has three books in stores currently- Violet on the Runway and Violet by Design, and Violet in Private. Melissa said in respect to how long she’s known wanted to be an author, “I guess I’ve known I wanted to be a writer from the time I was really little, but I didn’t know that I wanted to do a book, until I was like twenty something.” 

            Melissa also writes for magazines. She hasn’t always wanted to write books. She said, “I never thought that I could finish a whole book because they seemed really long, and I was used to writing you know a thousand words at most; which is just a couple pages.”  If Melissa wasn’t a novelist or a writer for magazines she would be an editor or do something in the public relations field, for other authors.

When Melissa has writer’s block she listens music, she said, “I have songs that I think Violet (the main character of the books) would listen to… if she was you know bored, or thinking about something, or worried about something. That would…help me get into the mind set of the character and help me keep writing.”

The part of the writing process Melissa finds the hardest is, “I think the hardest part is actually figuring out the plotting, because once I outline each book, you know just one sentence for each chapter… If I know exactly where the story’s going I find it easier to write, so.”

Melissa says in response to where she gets her characters, “The characters themselves…really are you know they have different qualities of people I know, that I grew up with and so they’re all kind of mixtures of real people that I know. I think every author does that, even if they say ‘oh, no it’s totally, totally made up.’ I think you’re always kind of looking at your own life and picking out people or characteristics that you want to put into your characters, so that’s kind of where it comes from.”

Melissa likes to “ground” her books by having the character start out in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, which is both Melissa and Violet’s hometown. She also starts her books this way “because it’s an important place to her (Violet), and she ends up going all over the place, but um, it’s like her, you know her home base. So I knew I always wanted to start the books with her at home, like either in her room or with Julie and Roger (Violet’s best friends); with just really like her home town around her.”

The biggest thing being a published author has changed about Melissa’s life is that she spends more time writing novels than she would otherwise. Being published has also enabled Melissa to get to talk to some of her favorite young adult authors (authors who write for teens). Melissa’s favorite young adult authors are Sarah Dessen, Carolyn Mackler, Sarah Mlynowshi, Rachel Cohn, David Levinston, Francesca Lia Block, Judy Bloom, and Ally Carter. Melissa also likes classics; she especially likes Jane Austen books, The Catcher and the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger, and Faulkner’s works.

Melissa hopes that readers will realize, from reading her books “even the most beautiful people, and the celebrities and the models that people kind of looking up to these days, they all have days when they cry themselves to sleep, and really critical inner dialogs and everyone has those insecure moments. We each have to find our own way out of it, it doesn’t matter whether you’re the perfect height and the perfect weight, and everyone feels very similar way about, you know, growing up and doing new stuff, and learning about them-selves.”

Melissa says, “I wish that everyone who likes books like that knew about it.” Her books are about “a girl who goes into the fashion world and becomes a model.” Melissa said that the typical teenage male wouldn’t like her book, but she has had some guy friends like them.

   All three of the Violet books are wonderful. Especially the latest one-Violet in Private, although the open-ended-ness is a bit annoying but it definitely makes you hope for another book!!

Have fun reading! More reviews later!
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