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Goddess Boot Camp – Tera Lynn Childs

WARNING: This review is FILLED with spoilers, so if you haven’t read Oh. My. Gods. yet, I suggest you look away now!

Summary:

Phoebe recently discovered she’s a descendent of Nike (the goddess, not the shoe), and now she’s finding out that supernatural powers come with a crazy learning curve. Her new stepfather, headmaster of the Academy for descendants of Greek gods, has enrolled her in Dynamotheos Development Camp—aka Goddess Boot Camp—with a bunch of ten-year-olds for the summer. Embarrassing as that is, hopefully it’ll help her get control of her powers in time to pass the test of the gods, continue training hard enough to qualify for the Pythian Games (the only sporting event bigger than the Olympics), and enjoy her godly boyfriend, Griffin, all while avoiding getting smoted for accidental misuse of powers!

It’s another fast-paced myth-inspired heroine’s quest that’s sure to bring out the goddess in anyone.

Review:

Move over Princess Mia, there’s a new misfit in town. And she prefers running shoes over tiaras.

Yes, it’s time for another edition of the wonderful world of Phoebe Kitanidis Castro (Thanks for catching that! Clearly, someone needs to proofread her reviews more closely), and her exciting life on the Greek island of Perfopolis. When we last saw Phoebe and the gang, she’d just decided to take another year in school and train for the Pythian Games, and also acclimatize herself as a newly-discovered descendant of Nike. Not to mention, to spend some extra time with her new, ultra-hot boyfriend Griffin, and try to get in some bonding time with her new buds Nicole and Troy. Phew!

It certainly isn’t going to be a piece of cake, though. For one, Phoebe’s home alone with wicked stepsister Stella. Who also happens to be one of her trainers at boot camp. Which happens to be filled with lots of overeager tween girls. And, on top of all of that, Griffin’s up to something secret with his ex Adara. And you know that never bodes well…

What I love most about Tera Lynn Childs’ writing is that it carries all that fun feel of teenage within, without losing or skimming over any of the authenticity of Greek history and the Greek lifestyle. You can taste, smell, feel, and see everything as if you’re right there on the Mediterranean coastline, with the white sand under your feet. Lovely!

It’s a good light read with lots of laugh-out-loud moments and even a few heartbreaking ones. Phoebe’s finally found her footing, and it’s now time to figure out how to deal with her new life, instead of floundering about. Her relationships develop, both at home and away, and the results aren’t always pretty.

The only issue I had here was the addition of some new characters and storylines without any real resolution to them all. I couldn’t quite digest the significance of Xander, in all brooding, dark glory… and there were things about Phoebe’s dad that just never made any sense in the end.

But I told myself there was going to be another book, of course, and I’d just have to wait and see… so, I went to go check when the next book was going to be out, and OMGs there isn’t one planned yet!

But… but… but I have so many questions! There’s so many loose ends to tie! I can’t be left hanging like this!

There’s still a lot of riddles to Nicole and Griffin’s past. And, man, I’m still staunchly on Team Troy, so I need that boy to get his happy ending. Is my love affair with this series over? Most certainly not.

So please, pretty please, go out and buy this and the prequel… and help me beg TLC to write another part to the series! =D

Rating: 3-crowns

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BBAW: Feeding My Addictions

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So I’m going to be honest here: I never fall for a book with one review or mention alone. This is, of course, not counting the times when Alea praises Lovestruck Summer, Going Too Far, The Season and Willow so much that she begins to sound like a broken record. You point and laugh, until you realize, “Oh, snap. She has a point,” and then vow never to question her taste.

But aside from extreme cases like that, I’m a hard nut to crack (emphasis on nut). I need a wave of overwhelming positive reviews all over the internetz before I can say to myself, “Hmm, okay Mya, time to stop thinking and rethinking this, and import those darned books.”

Which, usually, leaves a heavy dent in my already meagre wallet. Unless some awesome bloggers go above and beyond and help a poor, flagging international book-junkie out.

So I’m going to take this moment and thank ALL OF YOU – every single one – who reviewed the following two wonderful, fantastical books and made me opt for them. Because I wouldn’t have heard of them otherwise, and I’m so glad I did.

Perfect Chemistry – Simone Elkeles

Good girl, bad boy. White girl, latino boy. Rich girl, poor boy. Has there ever been such a perfect romance written especially for young adults? I can’t remember. A solid favorite all around, and with good reason!

If I Stay – Gayle Forman

This one still makes me feel philosophical enough to sit down and write pages and pages of thoughts and questions in my journal. Heck, it actually makes me write in the journal, period. Was there anyone who didn’t like this book?

Here’s a different question for the comments, though. I’m curious: has there ever been a book that was so hyped that you went out and got it, but then felt let down? Why?

Waiting on Wednesday: Week 13

This week I’m excited to feature two awesome books that I’ve been holding out on WoW-ing because I knew their covers would be awesome. And they are. Plus one awesome new cover for a book I’ve already WoW-ed, simply because that new cover is really and truly WOW! So without further ado:

Some Girls Are – Courtney Summers

Climbing to the top of the social ladder is hard–falling from it is even harder. Regina Afton used to be a member of the Fearsome Fivesome. And just like the other members of this all girl clique, she was both feared and revered by the students of Hallowell High… that is until vicious rumors about her and her best friend’s boyfriend start going around. Now she’s been “frozen out” and her ex-friends are out for revenge. If Regina was guilty, it would be one thing, but the rumors are far from the terrifying truth, and the bullying is getting more intense by the day.
Out of desperation, she takes solace in the companionship of Michael Hayden, a misfit with a tragic past who she herself used to bully. Friendship–and eventually romance–doesn’t come easily for these onetime enemies, and as Regina makes amends for her past, a bond begins to form, while threats from the Fearsome Foursome are poised to break them both.

——

Harmonic Feedback – Tara Kelly

Doctors have pinned 16-year-old Drea Horvath with everything from ADHD to Asperger’s Syndrome. She has an obsession with sound design, a tendency to blurt out whatever she’s thinking, and a problem making friends, but likes to think of this as following her own rhythm in a confusing world.

Drea is hesitant to befriend purple-haired Naomi Quinn, her teenage neighbor with a kamikaze personality. But Naomi is the first person to treat her like she isn’t a world class dork. Then there’s Justin Rocca, the sexy and persistent boy in her film class. If she’s learned anything from her mom, it’s that boys are trouble.

When Drea discovers Naomi’s love for drums and Justin’s piano prodigy status, the three form a trip-hop band and a friendship that will challenge everything Drea thought she knew about herself and the world around her.

——

The Mark – Jen Nadol

I WoW-ed this a while ago, but the cover has changed from good to BRILLIANT after a lookalike problem. Back then, I said that this was going to be a huge hit when it came out (which isn’t until next year – boo!), and I’m definitely reiterating that with this cover!

——–

So that’s that. I’m lusting after all of these covers, and the words inside them even more! Publishers, authors, book-fairies… anyone want to hook a nice old reviewer up? =D

What are YOU waiting for?

BBAW: Blogger Meme

Oh I love these things. And this one has a twist!

Reading Meme
We encourage you to be creative with this!  Please choose one or two questions to answer or try to answer all the questions in five words or less.  Or choose a picture to answer a question!  Brevity is the goal of today!

Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack?
Swedish Fish or Cookies. Yum.

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of
writing in books horrify you?

Mya = Madam Pince

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book flat open?
BOOKMARK, YOU DEFILERS!

Fiction, Non-fiction, or both?

Fiction… but cookbooks rock, too.

Hard copy or audiobooks?
Hard copy to snuggle with.

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of chapters, or are you
able to put a book down at any point?

Must… stop… zzzz…

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop to look it up right away?

No. Psh.

What are you currently reading?

Nothing. Staring at Rampant, though.

What is the last book you bought?

RAMPANT! CAN I READ YET?

Are you the type of person that only reads one book at a time or can
you read more than one at a time?

Picking up 6 next week

Do you have a favorite time of day and/or place to read?

Nighttime, family asleep, bliss.

Do you prefer series books or stand alone books?

NO PATIENCE! STANDALONE!

Is there a specific book or author that you find yourself recommending over and over?

Diana Peterfreund & Lisa McMann.

How do you organize your books? (By genre, title, author’s last name, etc.?)

Size. Then level of love.

How’d I do??? Want more info? Want to point and laugh? Um. Okay. COMMENT!

BBAW: Interview With Dreadlock Girl Reads

As part of the BBAW celebration this week, here’s an excellent interview with the lovely Bethany of Dreadlock Girl Reads. I personally loved her responses, and even got a couple of laughs out of them (I might forgive her for not knowing Imogen Heap someday! =D) but tell me what you think:
1. Tell us a little bit about you as a person – who are you and what
do you like to do/hear/read/eat?

As for “do” I really enjoy rock climbing -bouldering to be more exact. Before I had kids I’d do it for hours, it is intense. I like to hike, garden, hang with my family…all that fun stuff.
Music, I love music Feist, Morcheba, Brandi Carlile, Cindy Lauper, Ceu,Johnny Cash,  Enter the Worship Circle, Natalie Merchant….and so many more.
I enjoy many different types of books, I think I like a good story- one I can curl up with and laugh or cry about (both emotions in the same book are best!!). I like reading international literature the best though, but some times that gets too dark and heavy for me.
I love to eat my way around the world, Middle East to Asia, Asia to Europe, Europe to Africa and maybe back to my own continent. Quality is key, besides that I love most everything.

2. I just visited your site, Dreadlock Girl Reads, and I absolutely
love it. How did you start blogging? Where did the name/design come
from? [PS I totally heart your little browser icon!]

Thanks for visiting!!! I love new peeps 🙂 For the name, I wanted something that I could carry over into other aspects of my life, so I toyed with “the dreaded reader” and I loved it, but I wanted to have my websites more linked and united, so I opted for  Dreadlock Girl .com for the merging of Dreadlock Girl Reads and Dreadlock Girl Lives….it has worked well so far.
The design, well it is a tweaked version of ‘this just in’ template from wordpress. I designed the headers and all the images on my page…..it is just something I like to drive myself crazy doing!! 🙂 I love images.
So stinkin’ excited you liked my icon!!!! I wanted a chicken…and it is hard to tell it is a chicken, but it is still cute. thanks for noticing.

3. Name the three most fantastic books you’ve read so far this year.

This year. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Kitchen God’s Wife by Amy Tan, The Boy in Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne all were awarded my funky award: Stellar Five Chicken Award. I give that to books that I just love and I would recommend to a friend. Great reads for sure!

4. And three books to stay far far away from?
I didn’t like Miles from Nowhere by Nami Mun, Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult and Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.

5. If you could read books by just one author, see just one movie,
and hear just one band/artist for the rest of your life, which would
each be?

Author, C.S Lewis. Movie, (cheating here) Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Artist, Johnny Cash (fo sho!)

Okay, here’s a little bit of word association for you. No cheating!
Put down the first thing that comes to mind when I say:

Crush: Superman!
Monkey: Funky
Twilight: poo
Pudding: chocolate
Family: happy
Zac Efron: who?
Imogen Heap: what?
Maths: hate
Shampoo: natural
Bohemia: pretty
Love: bug
Life: game
Music: guitar
Books: read

Thank you, Bethany! =D Make sure to follow her blog at Dreadlock Girl Reads, and pay special attention to her browser icon 😉

ETA: Find my interview at her website here. Am I the only one who finds herself sounding ridiculous out of context? =P Anyone else ever feel that way with interviews?

BBAW: Standing Ovation!

Well, then… it’s here. The week we’ve all been waiting for – especially those of us who didn’t think we did anything that deserved appreciation. Yes, darlings, it’s…

*\o/* Book Blogger Appreciation Week ’09! *\o/*

Now it hasn’t really been a long time since I started blogging, but ask me any time and I’ll tell you honestly – the people, the community, and all the wonderful blogs I’ve found in this short time are pretty much the reason why I get up in the mornings. So without further ado, I give you a small sprinkling of my personal favorite blogs, and I hope you applaud them and appreciate them as much as I do. Please note, these are in no specific order, and this list is far from conclusive. There’s way too many awesome ones to count for real.

Pop Culture Junkie by Alea

Yes, yes, all right. I know this blog has been nominated already. But it is IMPERATIVE that I started with Alea’s blog, simply because that’s pretty much where it all began. When I finally got serious about book-blogging, this is where I landed. And this is who I tried (quite unsuccessfully) to emulate. It boasts a clean layout, interesting features, well-written reviews, and an all-round nice person to boot. Bow down to Queen Alea, everyone!

Frenetic Reader by Khyrinthia

Oh, Khy. Now when I was a newcomer here in this big ol’ cyberworld – scared, lost and alone – I didn’t know who to turn to. Where to go. What to do. Ya know? And then I stumbled into a random little chatzy where Khy welcomed me and all my craziness with open arms. Life hasn’t been the same since. So if you’re looking for someone with a big heart, a fantastic sense of humor and a friendly face in the mean (snort!) world of book blogging, you know where to go. Just try not to insult anything remotely David Levithan, okay?

A Maze of Books by Senfaye

There’s not much I can say about Senfaye, except for the fact that this is one of the sweetest, most talented, and genuinely honest people on the internet today. And she’s adorable. And she’s a great resource on fantasy. And she’s a helpful critic/cheerleader. And I totally heart her. I mean, seriously, I wrote this girl a 56k word story the other day, and she didn’t even laugh at me. So check out A Maze of Books and go give this cutie a cyberhug!

Sharon Loves Books and Cats by Sharon

If it ever bothers you how sickly sweet and charming we are, and how much we seem like a bunch of rainbows and sparkles and kittens, go check out Sharon’s blog. Hard-hitting honest reviews, scary/strong criticism, and general kickass-ness… you do not want to get on the wrong side of this one. Oh, and there’s kittens anyway.

Ten Cent Notes by Jordyn

Probably the most precise, to-the-point, and smartest reviews in town, you can’t possibly go wrong with a Jordyn review. Plus, she’s one of the few of us whose words are in publication, and she’s a bonafide writer to boot, with what seems like a bazillion YA novels already done, and a bazillion more in progress. Where does she get the time?! No frills here, just straight-up analyses for your next pick.

Steph Su Reads by Steph Su

Yes, she’s been voted too. And rightfully so, for Best Writing. Because that is what she does best. Her reviews are an absolute delight to read, her features and interviews are fun and informative, and her special posts are insanely well thought out. I especially loved her posts on reading about characters of color. Go check it out, and tell her I said hi!

Books by Their Cover by Yan

The interviews. Oh, my God, the interviews. *laughs hysterically* This. Blog. Is. Hilarious. *falls off chair* Warn. Everyone. *hack* *hack* Can’t. Breathe. *dies*

The Epic Rat by Cecilia

Here’s another one I’ve been following from the early days. I have a certain weakness for black backgrounds, even though I think it takes an insane amount of effort to maintain a blog with one. Plus, officially THE most generous giveaways on the internet. Seriously, this woman practically THROWS books at you. Now that’s what I call a real YA-pusher. For books, silly.

Persnickety Snark by Adele

I am unashamed to admit that I have actual Adele posts printed out and pinned up above my writing desk, her resources are that useful. This wonderful blogger from down under is an absolute wonder, and she manages to bring together the entire community on any and all topics ever. Also known as the Sarah Dessen Diarist, in her alternate blog, she’s a fantastic source for all things Sarah Dessen (which are always awesome). Plus she’ll make you want to start a revolution against all publishers who try to ignore publishing books in Australia. Note to publishers: don’t even try it.

So that’s it for my edition of blogs that are amazing in every way. Obviously this is just a sampler, but for all of you out there who blog about one of the greatest pastimes on earth, help publicize the wonderful books we read, and make it all seem worthwhile, I thank you. You make my world, at least, a better place! =)

Waiting on Wednesday: Week 12

HAPPY 09/09/09, FOLKS!

And for those of you who’ve been waiting for Kaleb Nation’s Bran Hambric (much like I have), happy release day! =)

And now, on to the books we’ll have to wait just a little longer for…

—-

Forgive My Fins – Tera Lynn Childs (May 2010)

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.

—–

Guardian of the Dead – Karen Healey (April 2010)

New Zealander Ellie Spencer just wants to spend her last year of high school in peace, even if she does have to spend it at boarding school and not in her hometown. But the moment her secret crush enchants her – literally – Ellie is drawn into a supernatural crisis that threatens everything she loves.

The creatures of Māori mythology aren’t so mythological – and some of them are murderous. Once her eyes are open, there’s no peace for Ellie; only a magical war the right side must win. Ellie must do what she can with her rusty tae kwon do skills and her newfound magical abilities to save her friends, her country, and millions of lives.

—–


A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend – Emily Horner (June 2010)

For months, Cass Meyer has heard her best friend Julia, a wannabe Broadway composer, whispering about a top-secret project. Then Julia is killed in a sudden car accident, and while Cass is still reeling from her death, Julia’s boyfriend and her other drama friends make it their mission to bring to fruition the nearly-completed secret project: a musical about an orphaned ninja princess entitled Totally Sweet Ninja Death Squad.

Cass isn’t one of the drama people. She doesn’t feel at home with Julia’s drama friends, and she doesn’t see a place for her in the play. Things only get worse when she finds out that Heather Galloway, the girl who made her miserable all through middle school, has been cast as the ninja princess.

Cass can’t take a summer of swallowing her pride and painting sets, so she decides to follow her original plan for a cross-country road trip with Julia. Even if she has a touring bicycle instead of a driver’s license, and even if Julia’s ashes are coming along in Tupperware.

A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend is a story about friendship. About love. About traveling a thousand miles just to find yourself. About making peace with the past, and making sense of it. And it’s a story about the bloodiest high school musical one quiet suburb has ever seen.

Note from Mya: I’ve been excited about this one since it was still titled Totally Sweet Ninja Death Squad… I mean, please, who wouldn’t be with that title?!

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How much do you adore those covers? How badly do you want them on your bookshelves? Possibly as much as I do!

And because I am lying sick in bed and can’t actually see what I’m typing, I’m going to hand it over to you – what are YOU waiting for?