The Here. The Now. And the Books!: March 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Rise of Awesome

I know, I know. Why can’t I just name this post Rise of Renegade X and be done with it? I just can’t is why. I rather like that title…xD

Ok…so if you haven’t heard of The Rise of Renegade X, go shoot yourself in the fo–er…I mean, now you can! Hehe…
The marvelous author of Renegade X, Chelsea Campbell, allowed me to ask her a few

(awesome?) questions and she even answered them!!! Eeek! She’s wonderful.
But first, so you know a little about Renegade X, here’s my review:

Damien Locke knows his destiny-attending the university for supervillains and becoming Golden City’s next professional evil genius. But when Damien discovers he’s the product of his supervillain mother’s one-night stand with-of all people-a superhero, his best-laid plans are ruined as he’s forced to live with his superhero family.

Going to extreme lengths (and heights), The Rise of Renegade X chronicles one boy’s struggles with the villainous and heroic pitfalls of growing up.- From Chelsea’s website!

I was able to get an Advance Copy while attending Austin Teen Book Festival last October. At first glance, this doesn’t seem like the type of book I would read but, as soon as I read the back…I was hooked. After a couple of chapters, I was in love.
Damien is so…amazing. He has this bad kid vibe, but you know he really is good at heart.
While reading this book, I had to get used to all the weird looks I was receiving from my classmates. I got a lot of: Are you okay?, What’s wrong?, etc.
Damien, like his mother, is an evil genius. Okay…maybe not totally evil…but still. This boy did things that made my mouth drop or made me laugh hysterically or both. Things I certainly never would have thought. Things only a half villain could do. I love Damien.
The other characters are still in my mind too!!!
Such as his mom…and his dad…and his ‘sidekick’ and his ‘girl who is a friend but I might love her’.
Chelsea has created a world were villains and heroes exist…!!! And she was able to show you the life of the average superhero and the life of the average villain! It was so cool. It had me wanting to live there.
The story line was well developed too. We got to watch Damien find his true self and all the while, world domination was going on.
This book is packed with heartfelt moments, jaw dropping humor, and marvelous (dare I say kick ass?) superheroes/villains.
Had me rooting for the villains at most points might I add! Loved it. Must read.

Trailer (Love!):


If you could have one co-author, who would it be and why?
This is a hard question! It’s hard to think of people I wouldn’t just want to work with so I could drool at them and be like, “Wow, you sure do write good!” If I could pick anyone in the world, though, I might pick Tina Fey, because not only is she funny, but then I could study her to find out how to be her when I grow up.
Have you always enjoyed writing?
Yes! Even before Kindergarten, before I could read, I wanted to write stories so badly, I would make my mom tell me how to spell each word I wanted to put down. I used to make her join fake book clubs where I would write/illustrate all of the books.
So…are you a supervillan or a superhero?
In real life, I’m more of a superhero. I try to do the right thing and not cause trouble. But when I’m writing, I get to be more of a villain! I pick situations to play out that will upset the characters the most. I get to be just awful to them, taking away everything that makes them happy and pretending I’m never going to give it back. It’s great.
What power would you have?
Ironically enough, for a looong time, I wished I could fly really badly. This seemed like the awesomest power in the world to me, like being able to fly would be the ultimate freedom and lead to all sorts of wonderful adventures. I’ve gotten over it now, though, and if I got to pick a superpower, I think it would be really cool to be able to teleport. Then I could go wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I could visit other countries or go to conventions in faraway places, and I wouldn’t have to pay for airfare or hotels, since I could just pop back home again at the end of the day. And I could easily go hang out with friends who live nowhere near me. It would be awesome and save lots of money.
Why did you make Damien to have a fear of heights?
I gave him a fear of heights to make having the ability to fly that much more awful for him. When I was first hashing out my ideas for this book, I gave him super speed, but I didn’t feel like it fit his character or presented any challenges for him. Plus, I thought it would be annoying to write about, and I wanted him to have a power that reflected his hero side more strongly and embarrassed him. So once I decided that meant he was going to inherit flying power, giving him a fear of heights just made sense. 😉

Where did the Rise of Renegade X idea come from?
Originally, I wanted to write a book about a bad guy who had to save people. I wanted to write about someone who understood that everyone needs saving, in some way or another, and I wanted him to at the same time be kind of a villain. A lot of my ideas start out vague like that, but quickly change as I start actually working on them. This one morphed into a supervillain kid who was going to have to do something good, despite being a villain, and then I figured out that the worst thing to possibly happen to him was to find out that he was half superhero and that he had a superhero father. (I have no idea where the Hs and Vs on their thumbs came from, except that I have a hand obsession that works its way into my writing.) The end product was a lot different than that original idea, but I think in some ways it’s still reflected in it.

Will there be a sequel to Renegade X? Companion?
The RIse of Renegade X is, at least for now, a stand alone. But there might be a sequel someday in the future.

Favorite color?
I’m embarrassed to admit my favorite color is YELLOW. I don’t know why, but I used to not think very much of yellow. I liked green, or blue, but yellow was yuck. Or maybe I never gave yellow a fair chance. Whatever the case, I was averse to it, but then slowly it crept up on me. I kept getting more and more yellow things. I have several large, yellow stuffed animals that make me happy just to look at them. I love paintings that are mostly yellow, like some of Van Gogh’s stuff. I ADORE sunflowers and dandelions. So eventually it all piled up, and I had to admit I liked yellow. That it was maybe even my favorite color in the universe.

Some favorite books?
I really love the Vampire Academy series–I can’t wait to find out what happens next! And of course Harry Potter. If I had to move to a desert island and could only bring one book series, I think I would bring the HP books, because they’re really fun and familiar and rereadable. And I LOVE the Percy Jackson books. I haven’t made myself watch the movie yet, because I suspect I will hate it, but the books are serious win. (Can you tell I like series?) I’m also really into Skin Hunger and its sequel, Sacred Scars. (When does the third one come out?!?! Why can’t I find this information anywhere?) For stand alones, I really enjoyed Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall and Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker. Boneshaker was kind of one of those books I wanted to live in, except that their world was awful so, um, I’ll just stay here.

Favorite bands?

Counting Crows, My Chemical Romance, Pillow Army, The Vincent Black Shadow, and I’m quickly getting hooked on Lady Gaga.

Do you have a playlist for Renegade X or do you write in silence?

I can only write in silence, but I usually have songs I listen to obsessively while taking breaks. I wrote Renegade X a couple years ago, so it’s hard to remember, but I know I listened to My Chemical Romance’s The Black Parade a lot during that time.

Thank you so so so much for letting me interview you, Chelsea! *Waves*

Check out her website:

“The Black Parade” by My Chemical Romance (Because they’re possibly my favorite band!): The Black Parade!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I’m doing a blog makeover of sorts, so except to see some stuff sorta wacky for next few days!

EDIT: Done!
So how ya like it? What do you like to see on blogs? Interviews, reviews, contests, etc?
What do you like on the sidebars? Taking suggestions! 🙂

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Dead-Tossed Waves

If you follow me on Twitter, you know how much I’ve been wanting to read the companion novel to the Forest and Hands and Teeth, The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan.

Gabry lives a quiet life, secure in her town next to the sea and behind the Barrier. She’s content to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. Home is all she’s ever known, and all she needs for happiness.

But life after the Return is never safe, and there are threats even the Barrier can’t hold back.

Gabry’s mother thought she left her secrets behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, but like the dead in their world, secrets don’t stay buried. And now, Gabry’s world is crumbling.

One night beyond the Barrier…

One boy Gabry’s known forever and one veiled in mystery…

One reckless moment, and half of Gabry’s generation is dead, the other half imprisoned. – From Carrie Ryan’s Website HERE

I had high expectations for this book…and was left very content.
Even though I hate comparing two awesome books, I do think Forest of Hands and Teeth is a better read…but just by a LITTLE bit!!!
Gabry is…a very full character. I, at times, did not like her, but who says you have to enjoy every choice and thought the main character has? She’s just different from me. And that right there should tell you that Carrie’s characters are so developed that they can be compared in such a way.
I love how Carrie’s writing can shape the beginning of a book to be something totally different with the other half…we begin somewhere and end up in another place, but it’s still somehow connected.
Of course there was romance…very good romance at that. I was always tense…what was going to happen? Were they going to kiss now or maybe now even? Was she going to kiss him or him?!
Yes, there was a bit of a love triangle but I will say it was resolved in the end…and I’m happy with the ending.
I also was thrilled to have Mary’s (Forest and Hands and Teeth) story continued and mostly resolved.
Dead-Tossed Waves also gave more in-depth info about the zombies (Mudo or Breakers as they call them). We were able to glimpse into the world, what was actually going on, and how it affected everybody.
This book had some ramble-y parts but all together was a great read. It had a good ending that left loose strings that could possibly use a sequel, which I would love to have!
I recommend this for anyone!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Spells by Aprilynne Pike!

I was very lucky to have received an ARC of Spells!

Six months have passed since Laurel saved the gateway to the faerie realm of Avalon. Now she must spend her summer there, honing her skills as a Fall faerie. But her human family and friends are still in mortal danger–and the gateway to Avalon is more compromised than ever.

When it comes time to protect those she loves, will she depend on David, her human boyfriend, for help? Or will she turn to Tamani, the electrifying faerie with whom her connection is undeniable? Available from HarperTeen on May 4, 2010.

– From Aprilynne’s Website: Here!

I’ll be honest and say that Wings (1st book) was not the best read for me but left me just enough interested to be wanting to read the sequel, Spells.
Boy was I surprised with Spells! It totally changed my view for this series.
First off, Aprilynne has a unique type of writing where a LOT happens in a short amount of time. She could fit in an adventure in 100 pages where another author would have used 300. But that doesn’t mean anything was rushed because it wasn’t. Her writing, I think, has noticeably improved. There wasn’t a dull moment.
The characters! They have strong personalities that seep through pages wonderfully. I still remember every character even after having read it about a month ago.
Yes, there’s a love triangle.
Yes, I screamed at Laurel.
I won’t say who but I will say that even though love triangles can be annoying, Aprilynne some how made it interesting and even intriguing.
Plus, of course, there were the faerie! I did think she had trouble describing the fairies’ land to the reader but there was just enough to get by. I can tell she has a huge imagination that fits in perfectly with the old, traditional, lore of faerie. New ideas melting with the old. Even the bad guys (trolls…) seem evil…even though trolls seem kinda childish…she makes it work.
I am definitely interested in the next book in this series!
If you didn’t like Wings to well: Read Spells before you give up.

I got this ARC from Harper Teen! (Thank you!)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Scary Soulstice by Simon Holt

It has taken me forever to get to this book. And, of course, I wish that I would have read it WEEKS sooner.

The terrifying, nail-biting, and grossly intriguing sequel to The Devouring.

It’s been six months since Reggie first discovered and fought against the Vours, malicious and demonic beings that inhabit human bodies on the eve of the Winter Solstice.

The Vours still haunt Reggie, but only in her dreams-until one night, when an unexpected visitor turns her nightmares into reality.

The battle against evil continues in Soulstice, the second book in the thrilling The Devouring series, which School Library Journal called, “Comparable to books by R. L. Stine and Stephen King….A must-have for horror fans.” – Amazon

I was in the mood for a creepy, makes you stay up an extra five minutes and have the night light on, kinda book and, thankfully, Soulstice was able to bring that to me!
I was worried that this book would not be as good as the first one…it was better! Things were more explained, details were vivid, and characters were formed.
I was even rooting for a bad guy by the end of the book…
Soulstice was able to do what I don’t have a lot of faith other books can do: Creep me out. It got me thinking: What is my greatest fear?
Simon’s details describe things quickly with just enough “ugh!” and “eeew!” and *shudders*.
I can’t wait for the 3rd book in the Devouring Trilogy and I’m very interested were the series will head.
And I must warn you: HUGEST. CLIFFHANGER. EVER. (I’ve read a lot of books. This has to be up there on the List of Cliffhangers That Want to Kill Us.)

Shiver Winner!!!

Ok. I was able to randomly choose a number (1-63) and it came out as…59.
Which means….
Send me your addy here:

Thanks to everyone who participated and watched the Linger Trailer. Y’all are all made of awesome.

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