29 September 2009

Waiting on Wednesday: IN A HEARTBEAT

I know it's not quite Wednesday yet, but I've decided to post this now since I probably won't have time tomorrow .... So, another book I'm reeeeally looking forward to is IN A HEARTBEAT by Loretta Ellsworth, which comes out in February 2010. It sounds like a fantastic read and the cover is absolutely gorgeous too - possibly one of my all time favourite covers! I haven't been been able to find an official summary yet, but the author discussed the plot in an interview here:
Q: What’s next for you as a writer?
A: I just finished a YA novel about a heart transplant told in alternating viewpoints between two girls: one who is the heart transplant recipient, and the other girl who is the heart transplant donor. It’s called, IN A HEARTBEAT. In that book, the girl who dies is a very competitive figure skater with Olympic dreams. The girl who gets her heart comes to feel that she’s gotten more than just a heart – she feels that her personality has changed in ways she can’t understand, and she intuitively knows things about her donor that she hasn’t been told. It’s being released in Feb. 2010 – just in time for the winter Olympics:).

For the record: I REALLY, REALLY WANT THIS BOOK! Some super lucky people have already received ARCs of this and I guess the rest of us will just have to wait, boo. :(

28 September 2009

The Book Lovers' Appreciation Society

I've mentioned this book aka a collection of short stories when it was announced and now it's finally out (time flies, huh)! I've already bought a copy and I suggest you do the same because:
a) the cover is too pretty for words;
b) some of the most popular contemporary authors have contributed their short stories;
c) and most importantly, 1 GBP of each sold copy will be donated to Breast Cancer Care!

The latter was also the main reason why I've purchased my copy - sure, the previous two were important as well, but the last one sealed the deal!

Quite frankly, I'm not planning to read the whole book because I'm not a fan of short stories myself, I prefer novels. But how could I resist when there are stories by Sophie Kinsella, Cecelia Ahern, Adele Parks, Katie Fforde, Kate Mosse and many other fantastic authors! I've read a few of those already and they're alright, especially if you're into that sort of thing. Click the cover for more info!

I've taken a few pictures of the back cover and the contents pages for those of you who'd like to know more about the book (ignore the bad quality please, I was in a bit of a hurry):

All in all, I think this book would make a lovely addition to every book lover's book collection! :)

26 September 2009

In My Mailbox #10

This great meme is hosted by The Story Siren. I'm pleased to report that I've had a fantastic book week and here's what I've acquired:

Click on the covers below for more info on the books.

25 September 2009

Review: THE BRIDE's FAREWELL by Meg Rosoff ***

"On the morning of her wedding, Pell Ridley creeps out of bed in the dark, kisses her sisters goodbye and flees - determined to escape a future that offers nothing but hard work and sorrow. She takes the only thing that truly belongs to her: Jack, a white horse. The road ahead is rich with longing, silence and secrets, and each encounter leads her closer to the untold story of her past. Then Pell meets a hunter, infuriating, mysterious and cold. Will he help her to find what she seeks? With all the hallmarks of Meg Rosoff's extraordinary writing, The Bride's Farewell also breaks new ground for this author, in a nineteenth century, Hardyesque setting. This is a moving story of love and lost things, with a core of deep, beautiful romance."

This is the second Rosoff book I've read; the first one was How I Live Now, which unexpectly blew me away. Oh yes, it was disturbing, but still quite powerful and definitely a book that will haunt me forever. I was excited to learn that this author had a new book coming out and since the story sounded fantastic, I had really high hopes for it, but alas I was a bit disappointed.

The story takes place in the 19th century and for me it had a very dark feel to it, which is not a bad thing as such, but I didn't enjoy it in this novel, there was just too much misery. I know life back then was different, but this story really was more grim than I'd expected (I can assure you I wasn't hoping for a fairy tale). As for the writing, I found it very fitting to the time period it was used in, but sadly that made the book a bit more difficult to read for me, especially at the beginning, but luckily things improved after the story picked up.

To quickly recap: Pell runs away before her wedding because she wants to escape the kind of life her mother leads. She's not in love with her groom so she takes her horse and sets off to leave when she is joined by her adopted brother Bean. She tries to find work at some fair and when she does, she gets ripped off and loses everything. In order to find her brother and her horse, she travels around the country and eventually moves in with a hunter she's met before. But she's determined to find what she's lost and on her quest she finds out some tragic news about her family, which changes her life, but eventually she finds her place in the world.

I did admire the main character Pell for running away on her own and being a truly independent woman in the 19th century; I thought she was a nice role model for young girls since she was a strong character who always provided for herself and never gave up on her quests, however hopeless they may be. On the other hand, it seemed to me that the she was being punished since the tragic family news and all the troubles that occurred were actually her fault in a way. So I'm not too sure what the author was trying to say here, but I still think Pell is an inspiring character.

I wouldn't describe the love story in the book as "deep, beautiful romance" - personally, I could hardly feel there was anything going on. Maybe it was the third person narration, but at times I felt that this book lacked the emotion I would expect in certain situations.

All in all, it's not a bad novel, it definitely has its advantages when it comes to the main character and writing and so on, but it just didn't strike a chord with me like her debut novel, even though I can't quite pinpoint why. Most of the reviews so far have been glowing though so it's probably just silly ol' me again. :)

overall rating: 3/5
plot: 3/5 | writing: 4/5 | characters: 3/5 | cover: 2/5

24 September 2009

The new UK Sarah Dessen cover!

Sarah Dessen's last book Along for the Ride (read my review here) comes out in the UK in February 2010 and the cover has already been revealed - it's absolutely gorgeous (on the left)!

The UK cover vs. the US cover - which one gets your vote? :)

I must admit I've been sort of unsure about the previous UK Dessen covers - not saying they're bad, I think they're quite clever and lovely, but somehow the US covers seem to fit the books better methinks. However, I'd have quite a hard time deciding in this case as both covers are absolutely gorgeous, buuuut I think (not completely sure) that I'd still have to go with the US cover (fell in love with it months ago). What I like about the UK covers though is that the drawings on the cover consist of little things and words that are meaningful to the story - click the left picture above to enlarge and see for yourself!

Win the ARC of Magic under Glass!

Jackie Dolamore, the author of Magic under Glass, is holding an amazing contest on her Livejournal and she's giving her future fans a chance to win an ARC of her book as well as some other fantastic prizes - read more about the contest here! If you choose to enter, then please please please please PLEASE mention that you were referred by Bookalicious - as Ms Dolamore says on her site, it'll benefit both you & me! :)

I've featured the book in my Waiting on Wednesday post a while ago, but here's the summary again for those of you who missed it:
Nimira is a music-hall performer forced to dance for pennies to an audience of leering drunks. When wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to do a special act - singing accompaniment to an exquisite piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it is the start of a new life. In Parry's world, however, buried secrets stir. Unsettling below-stairs rumours abound about ghosts, a mad woman roaming the halls, and of Parry's involvement in a gang of ruthless sorcerers who torture fairies for sport. When Nimira discovers the spirit of a dashing young fairy gentleman is trapped inside the automaton's stiff limbs, waiting for someone to break the curse and set him free, the two fall in love. But it is a love set against a dreadful race against time to save the entire fairy realm, which is in mortal peril.
Sounds great and I'm so in love with the cover (the US one especially) it hurts! I think I'll print it out and hang it above my desk so I can admire it, hehe! :)

ps: According to her Twitter, the author is already working on a new book about a mermaid and a winged dude - how cool does that sound, lol!

23 September 2009

Waiting On Wednesday: THE MARK

Now here's a book I've been very excited about - the plot sounds fantastic and I really like the cover! Some lucky people have already received their ARCs (super jealous!), but I'm hoping to win a copy since the author herself is giving one away - please, keep your fingers crossed for me!!! In order to try to win the ARC yourself, visit the author's website and read the rules! Good luck to all of us! :)
"Sixteen-year-old Cassandra Renfield has always seen the mark—a light glow reminiscent of candlelight. The only time she pointed it out taught her she shouldn’t do it again. For years, the mark has followed Cassie, its rare appearances odd, but insignificant. Until the day she watches a man die. As she revisits each occurrence of the mark, Cassie realizes she can see a person’s imminent death. Not how or where, only when: today.
Now armed with a slight understanding of the mark, Cassie begins to search for it. Even as she hides her secret, Cassie mines her philosophy class, her memories, and even her new boyfriend for answers about the faint glowing mark. But many questions remain. How does it work? Why her? And finally, the most important of all: If you know today is someone’s last, should you tell them?"

22 September 2009

Review: THE NANNY by Melissa Nathan *****

"When Jo Green takes a nannying job in London to escape her small-town routine, complicated family, and perfect-on-paper boyfriend Shaun, culture shock doesn't even begin to describe it. Dick and Vanessa Fitzgerald are the most incompatible pair since Tom and Jerry, and their children - glittery warrior pixie Cassandra, bloodthirsty Zak and shy little Tallulah - are downright mystifying. Suddenly, village life seems terribly appealing.
Then, just as Jo's getting the hang of their designer lifestyle, the Fitzgeralds acquire a new lodger and suddenly she's sharing her nanny flat with the distractingly good-looking but inexplicably moody Josh. So when Shaun turns up, things get even trickier ..."

I've heard many great things about Melissa Nathan and this book in particular so I bought a copy last year in London, but put off reading it till now, no idea why - if I knew how fantastic the book is, I would've read it on the flight back, hehe! Despite all the praise, I was still sort of surprised by how fantastic this book really was!

The best part about it was the brilliant humour - I really appreciate it when an author can make me laugh out loud and Ms Nathan's book definitely accomplished that many times! There weren't really all that many comedy scenes as such, but the dialogue was almost always sharp and oh so funny, I loved that! I was going to list all the characters that I thought were hilarious, but then I realized that would be pretty much all of them so it's no surprise that I adored them all.

The dialogue between Dick and Vanessa was hilarious (especially at the beginning of the book) and I liked how their relationship defied the stereotypical gender roles, which was quite the opposite of Jo's parents - no wonder Jo was shocked by the Fitzgerald family. The children were all adorable too and on the whole I really warmed up to the Fitzgeralds! As for Josh, who could resist falling for his quick wit and charm,? He cracked me up so many times that I just couldn't help developing a tiny little crush on him, hehe. Pippa was a great character too and pretty much the only two ones I didn't like were Shaun and Sheila, obviously.

The characters not only made the book a positive delight to read, but I also found them very well developed. The book was quite long (over 500 pages), but Nathan made sure that we got to know the many different sides of characters and I thought they were incredibly well brought to life. I liked how the novel also featured some more serious themes (infidelity, money problems, health problems, betrayal etc.) because I think they balanced out the story, which included both lots of laughter and some serious moments too - that's really my perfect combination plot wise, and I'm also pleased that this story even comes with a twist or two, which is another plus in my book, hehe.

All in all, this book was a fantastic read and it definitely won't be my last by Nathan as I've already ordered almost all of her other books - she wrote five of them, but sadly there won't be any news ones because the author passed away in 2006. :( In her memory, a literary award been named after her - The Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance, which is quite fitting seeing how The Nanny was one of the best rom coms I've ever read!

I strongly recommend this book and I think it's a perfect choice for the fans of Sophie Kinsella and Jenny Colgan or just for anyone in need of some cheering up!

overall rating: 5/5
plot: 5/5 | writing: 5/5 | characters: 5/5 | cover: 4/5

20 September 2009

In My Mailbox #9

This meme is hosted by The Story Siren and it has won the BBAW Best Meme/Carnival/Event Award, yaaay! I'm also pleased to report that I got some wonderful books this week - well, they better be since I spent my hard earned cash on them! ;)

DOR FALLS by Rosemary Clement-Moore
Sylvie Davies is a ballerina who can't dance. A broken leg ended her career, but what broke her heart was her father's death, and what's breaking her spirit is her mother's remarriage. Still reeling Sylvie is shipped off to stay with relatives in the back of beyond. Or so she thinks, in fact she ends up in a town rich with her family's history ...and as it turns out her family has a lot more history than Sylvie ever knew. More unnerving, though, are the two guys she can't stop thinking about. Shawn Maddox, the resident golden boy, is the expected choice. But handsome and mysterious Rhys has a hold on her that she doesn't quite understand. Then Sylvie starts seeing things - a girl by the lake and a man with dark unseeing eyes peering in through the window ...Sylvie's lost nearly everything - is she starting to lose her mind as well?

by Jennifer Brown

Five months ago, Valerie Leftman's boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Shot trying to stop him, Valerie inadvertently saved the life of a classmate, but was implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create. A list of people and things she and Nick hated. The list he used to pick his targets.
Now, after a summer of seclusion, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year. Haunted by the memory of the boyfriend she still loves and navigating rocky relationships with her family, former friends and the girl whose life she saved, Val must come to grips with the tragedy that took place and her role in it, in order to make amends and move on with her life.

LIBYRINTH by Pearl North
In her debut novel, Pearl North takes readers centuries into the future, to a forgotten colony of Earth where technology masquerades as magic and wars are fought over books.
Haly is a Libyrarian, one of a group of people dedicated to preserving and protecting the knowledge passed down from the Ancients and stored in the endless maze of books known as the Libyrinth. But Haly has a secret: The books speak to her.
When the threat of the rival Eradicants drives her from her home, Haly learns that things are not all she thinks they are. Taken prisoner by the Eradicants, who believe the written word to be evil, she sees the world through thei
r eyes and comes to understand that they are not the book-burning monsters that she has known her entire life. The words of a young girl hiding in an attic—written hundreds of years before Haly’s birth—will spark the interest of her captors and begin the change necessary to end the conflict between the Eradicants and Libyrarians. With the help of her loyal companion Nod, a creature of the Libyrinth, Haly must mend the rift between the two groups before their war for knowledge destroys them all. Haly’s life—and the lives of everyone she knows—will never be the same.

So what did everyone else get? :)

18 September 2009


"It’s January, 1946, and writer Juliet Ashton sits at her desk, vainly seeking a subject for her next book.
Out of the blue, she receives a letter from one Dawsey Adams of Guernsey — by chance, he’s acquired a secondhand book that once belonged to Juliet — and, spurred on by their mutual love of Charles Lamb, they begin a correspondence. When Dawsey reveals that he is a member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Juliet’s curiosity is piqued, and it’s not long before she begins to hear from the other members. As the letters fly back and forth with stories of life in Guernsey under the German occupation, Juliet soon realises that the society is every bit as extraordinary as its name. There’s gawky Isola, who makes love potions to sell along with her vegetables; Eben, a fisherman with a passion for Shakespeare; Will, erstwhile ironmonger and the creator of the famous potato peel pie; and Dawsey himself, a farmer with a shy manner and a tender heart.
Most poignant of all are the memories of Elizabeth, the founding member of the society, who fell in love with a German officer, saved a starving prisoner, and was sent away to a concentration camp, leaving her child behind.
Sustained by books and one another, the islanders have battled the bitter hardships of World War Two. Juliet, entranced by their stories and their spirit, decides to visit Guernsey to meet her new friends properly.
A moving tale of the power of friendship, books and love, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society will beguile the heart and mind."

The description above was taken from the publisher's site and I think it sums up the book quite well. However, just the summary doesn't do the book justice as this really is one of those books that you need to experience yourself to appreciate it properly. And how cute is the title?! Sadly the whole of it doesn't fit in my subject line, but isn't THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY just the kind of title that grabs your attention? Especially with the cover; I think it definitely stands out.

I've had a copy of this book for over a year and I don't know why it took me so long to start reading it (I could blame the massive TBR pile, heh). Anyway, as soon as I started reading the book, I fell in love with it, mostly with the wonderful writing and the delightful characters!

The novel consists of letters between several characters, e.g. the writer Juliet, her friend Sophie, her editor Sidney and several people from Guernsey. Thus, the whole story, which takes place in 1946, is revealed through the letters, which is a lovely concept in itself, but the problem I have with it is that the readers only get to see fragments of the actual events and consequently the characters are less developed too, which is a bit of a downpoint, even if the characters as such are incredibly lovely. The concept of the novel was interesting, but I think the plot itself slowly became a bit boring if I dare say so myself. There were things going on, but I personally wasn't entirely gripped by them so perhaps that was just me.

Other than that, I whoreheartedly enjoyed this wonderful gem of a novel! As I said, the writing is rich and fantastic, and I couldn't help but fall in love with all the lovely and quirky characters. I really enjoyed reading all the letters just to enjoy the brilliant writing, which really captivated me and kept me entertained! Thus I'd love to read more by Mary Ann Shaffer, but sadly this great author sadly passed away last year.

The novel was generally quite witty - it had me laughing out loud several times and I was grinning nearly all the time because I had such a lovely time reading it, but the novel features also some powerful and tragic descriptions of things that took place there during World War II; obviously, this couldn't be avoided since the novel takes place right after the War ended. I personally thought those description were fitting (can't vouch for accuracy) and added a more serious (but not depressing) note to the novel, which, on the whole, was delightfully funny and such an enjoyable treat to read.

overall rating: 4/5
plot: 3/5 | writing: 5/5 | characters: 4/5 | cover: 5/5

ps: Watch the video below to listen to some lovely extracts from the books!

17 September 2009

New release: THE POPULARITY RULES by Abby McDonald

Some of you may remember that back in June I got all excited about a book called Life Swap by Abby McDonald? Well, as it turns out, Abby has another book coming out soon, chicklit this time titled The Popularity Rules. (By the way, how stunning is the cover?!)
Kat Elliot is no social butterfly: she’s spent her life rebelling against phony schmoozing – and it’s led her precisely nowhere. She’s about ready to admit defeat when she receives an unexpected offer from Lauren Anderville. One-time allies against their boarding school bullies, Lauren and Kat had been inseparable. That is until one year Lauren returned from summer camp a different girl, blonde, bubbly and suddenly popular, and Kat was left to face the world alone.
But Lauren finally wants to make amends. She has a secret to share that explains her betrayal all those years ago. That fateful summer, Lauren discovered The Popularity Rules: a decades-old secret rulebook that can transform anyone into the girl everyone wants to be.
Tempted by glitzy parties, hot contacts, and the job she’s always dreamed of, Kat reluctantly submits to a total make over – only to find that life in the in-crowd might have something going for it after all. But while Lauren has sacrificed everything to get ahead, maybe Kat isn’t quite ready to accept that popularity is the only prize that counts…

Yeah, you're right, this is hardly news since it's been announced ages ago, but the other day, Abby posted a video on her Twitter, featuring random women's thoughts on popularity (see below).

I love the video, the girls in it are adorable and they also come up with some good answers, which sort of got me thinking ... I understand the concept of popularity and all, but really what causes it? I can think of some supposedly popular people, but would have a hard time explaining what makes them popular or admired. It's not always looks or material things, there has to be more, this crucial secret ingredient, hehe. Anyway, you can join the discussion on popularity at the official book website or provide your thoughts in the comments. :) Either way, I'm really looking forward to reading how Abby will tackle the subject. If you want to know more, then be sure to check out Chloe's review - glad to hear she really liked the book! . My review will be up as soon as I get a chance to read the book. :)

ps: While we're on the subject, I'd also like to take this opportunity to post an AWESOME music video Popular by Nada Surf. I looooove the song (recommended by a cool person ages ago) and since it takes the piss out of popularity I thought it was quite fitting, hehe. The song features The Teenage Guide to Popularity and Abby's book contains secrets from a book called The Popularity Rules - I wonder if there will be any similarities? :) Anyway, just watch this fantastic video! :)

16 September 2009

Waiting on Wednesday #2

SING ME TO SLEEP by Angela Morrison
[pub date: 18 March 2010]

THE TRANSFORMATION - Beth has always been “The Beast”—that’s what everyone at school calls her because of her awkward height, facial scars, and thick glasses. Beth’s only friend is geeky, golden-haired Scott. That is, until she’s selected to be her choir’s soprano soloist, and receives the makeover that will change her life forever.
THE LOVE AFFAIR - When Beth’s choir travels to Switzerland, she meets Derek: pale, brooding, totally dreamy. Derek’s untethered passion—for music, and for Beth—leaves her breathless. Because in Derek’s eyes? She’s not The Beast, she’s The Beauty.
THE IMPOSSIBLE CHOICE - When Beth comes home, Scott, her best friend in the world, makes a confession that leaves her completely torn. Should she stand by sweet, steady Scott or follow the dangerous, intense new feelings she has for Derek?
THE HEARTBREAK - The closer Beth gets to Derek, the further away he seems. Then Beth discovers that Derek’s been hiding a dark secret from her … one that could shatter everything.

15 September 2009

Teaser Tuesday #1

This is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading and the rules are:
- grab your current read;
- open to a random page;
- share two teaser sentences from somewhere on the page (don't include spoilers).

I'm currently reading The Nanny by Melissa Nathan and this book is absolutely wonderful and hilarious and I truly madly deeply love it with all my heart and soul, it's such a fantastic read! Wish I could read just the whole day, but sadly I'm a wee bit busy these days (thus no proper reviews, sorry, but they shall return very soon) and I just have enough time for this lovely meme. Right, here it goes, from p. 71:
"It's Josh. He doesn't have a strategy for conversation, but is willing to live dangerously if you are."
I have about 200 pages to go (out of 536) and I plan to devour them asap, yet I don't want it to end because it's just so damn hilarious, I can't get enough of this stuff! :)

13 September 2009

In My Mailbox #8

IMM is hosted by TSS.

I got only one book this week:

THE GOOD LUCK GIRL by Kerry Reichs

Maeve Connolly is tired of being labelled as irresponsible. Yes, she may spend unhealthy amounts of time on Facebook and watch marathon sessions of America's Next Top Model, but Maeve isn't a typical post-college slacker. Determined to change her life and make her own luck, Maeve impulsively decides on a grand adventure - driving cross country to LA. But en route, Maeve's car breaks down and she is stranded in Unknown, Arizona. It is here, alone and in the middle of nowhere, that Maeve finally faces up to the reality of her past. What Maeve has denied acknowledging, even to herself, is that she isn't running from bad luck, but from something much more complicated - something that made her feel as though the world would never turn again, and her heart would always remain closed. What begins as a hilarious and quirky coming-of-age tale soon deepens into a complex portrayal of survivorship and one woman's journey to a new beginning. Funny, irreverent, and moving in equal measure, The Good Luck Girl will leave you smiling through tears.

I was planning to wait for the paperback of this one, but then three things happened that made me order the book immdediately:
a) I got 10 % off at Book Depository;
b) great Amazon reviews that made the book sound even better;
c) different paperback cover (it's alright, but I prefer the one I got).

This HB/TPB cover appears all cute and wonderful at first sight, but there's one thing that's sort of bothering me now: the gorgeous girl on the cover has hairy arms, lol. I know that sounds ridiculous and I might get flamed for this, but I can't help noticing it everytime I look at the cover, heh. I personally don't find that very attractive, but to each their own and the rest of the cover is still pretty, kind of reminiscent of The Truth about Forever.

Hope everyone else had a great week for books and everything else! :)

11 September 2009

Review: JUST LISTEN by Sarah Dessen ****

"Last year, Annabel was "the girl who had everything" — at least that’s the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf ’s Department Store. This year, she’s the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong. Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen’s help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.
In this multi-layered, impossible-to-put-down book, Sarah Dessen tells the story of a year in the life of a family coming to terms with the imperfections beneath its perfect facade."

This is my second Sarah Dessen book and I won't do the whole summary thing for this one because the description above sums it up really nicely and there are no particular plot twists or anything.

I was really excited to read this one - there was just something about the story that seemed really appealing and even though I wasn't completely blown away in the end, I still really enjoyed reading this book!

My favourite thing about Just Listen was probably the writing itself. Ms Dessen just writes so beautifully and fittingly that you just can't stop reading, even when there's little going on, the writing just won't let you go out of its grip! I'm also very keen on her use of symbolism, which is everywhere really and sometimes it's perhaps a bit clicé, but overall I think her symbolism is quite beautiful.

I can't fault the author's characterization either! I found the characters in both of her books I've read really well developed. In this book, pretty much everyone was transformed in one way or another by the end and I like how this process is usually quite subtle and believable for everyone.
I didn't really have a favourite character in this novel, I quite liked everyone actually (except Sophie). The Greene family has a fair share of flaws and problems, but I still thought they were a lovely, warm family and far less dysfunctional than I would've expected. I liked how the parents were so caring and I enjoyed reading about the relationship between the three sisters - the final reading scene may have even provoked a smile and a tear from me, heh. All in all, this family was possibly one of my favourite fictional families ever.
I also enjoyed reading about the relationship between Annabel and Owen - I especially liked the whole "no lies" policy that Annabel adopted from Owen. Speaking of whom, even though Owen comes across as slightly irritating at times with all his music snobbery (pot kettle black - I was so there a few years ago), but I couldn't not like him. I admired his honesty and his passion for music and despite all his flaws, he just seemed like such a great guy. All in all, I though the relationship between Annabel and Owen was great and I really liked how it ended.

Even though there are plenty of lovely and happy scenes in this novel, it also tackles some more serious and dark issues, such as friendship betrayal, loss of innocence, family issues, growing up, abuse, anorexia, anger etc., but I thought they were dealt with well - all these subplots really worked within the story and weren't used just for sensationalism but actually thought out properly.

Overall, it's a great book and I can definitely see why Sarah Dessen is so popular - her books are simply wonderful and enjoyable; I'll definitely be reading more by her!

overall rating: 4/5
plot: 4/5 | writing: 5/5 | characters: 5/5 | cover: 3/5

10 September 2009

A Q&A session with Sophie Kinsella on Facebook!

A while ago I posted an announcement about a sort of a chat session (hosted by Barnes & Noble) with Sophie Kinsella on Facebook, which happened yesterday and lasted for hours! WERE YOU THERE? I sure was and so was Rebekka and Sophie actually answered her questions, woohoo!!! :) I posted a question similar to Rebekka's (because I thought she wouldn't be there) and some about the new book etc., but alas she ignored me - can't blame her as there were like shazillion people posting questions every second!!!

The Q&A session took place here and in the end there were nearly a thousand posts! Basically people posted questions and Sophie tried her best to answer them, but as I sad, it was a pretty maddening situation, I couldn't even refresh fast enough to keep up with everything, hehe.

For those of you who missed or are not on Facebook (shame on you all), I've copies all of Sophie's replies and posted them here, on my sub blog that I usually use just for plot summaries. So if you don't want to go through all those posts, then just click here to read her replies only.

I'm afraid her answers weren't as informative as I would've hoped, but that could be just me expecting too much, hehehe. She did confirm that she's working on another Shopaholic book, which is supposed to come out sometime next autumn, which means we'll have to wait for at least a year, boo. :( She remained tight-lipped about the title and the plot, but she promised to reveal more as the months go by.
She did have an interesting request though: "I'm sure some of you have great ideas for what Becky could do but can I ask you very nicely not to post them?! I am right in the middle of working on the next plot and I think it might do my head in!!! Hope you understand and I appreciate your interest in Becky! :)" Can't blame people for getting overexcited though, I'm in the same boat myself, lol!

♥ Other than that she said that Can You Keep a Secret? is in development with a production company and also said that she's not planning any sequels to her standalone novels.
♥ Her favourite authors include "Jane Austen, PG Wodehouse, my sister Gemma Townley (of course!) Ian McEwan, Lewis Caroll... too many!"
♥ Someone suggested she should launch a clothing & accessories line (hello, the dragonfly necklace) and I think that's a really good idea actually, I'd probably buy everything, hehe.
♥ Someone asked how she chose her nom de plume and her answer was: "Sophie is my middle name, Kinsella is my mother's maiden name." Interesting, I don't think I've heard that before?!
♥ Her views on comeday: "Comedy is so hard to define. I find cringeworthy, embarrassment moments very funny, and I like ridiculous, childlike comedy. I write and rewrite my scenes till they make me laugh."
♥ On chick lit: "I can understand the chick lit term as a shorthand term. If people say 'Oh you write chick lit', I reply 'Yes, I write intelligent modern humorous fiction featuring a femail heroine dealing with contemporary issues... why, thank you very much!'"
♥ Her latest favourite purchase: "I think my favourite thing most recently was my beautiful fairy Prada bag. I saw it in the Prada shop in Miami when we were filming there. It was so perfect I had to have it, but there was a waiting list! Just like the Angel bag!! Luckily the lovely people at Prada called me up when there was a cancellation and so I could buy it. I still love it and use it all the time." It really is a gorgeous bag, isn't it?
♥ On her favourite Becky moment: "I can't choose. Too many. The zebra jeans, the Finnish, the running machine in New York, helping Suze in labour, running over the hot coals, sonographing her bladder..." Do YOU have one???
♥ Sophie confessed that she's very bad at cooking and that The Undomestic Goddess was a tad autobiographical, hahaha.
♥ She said the dragonfly necklace was all made up, but her friend designed some while she was writing Twenties Girl, you can check them out here.
♥ The UK paperback of TG comes out in January and she has some publicity events scheduled for that time, details will be posted on her website and on FB.

Those were just a few highlights for me, but if you want to read the Queen's words by yourself, then you may do so either here or here. Reading her answers just made me want to re-read her books, hehe!

9 September 2009

Waiting on Wednesday #2

WISH by Alexandra Bullen
[published December 2009/January 2010?]

For broken-hearted Olivia Larsen, nothing can change the fact that her twin sister, Violet, is gone... until a mysterious, beautiful gown arrives on her doorstep. The dress doesn't just look magical; it is magical. It has the power to grant her one wish, and the only thing Olivia wants is her sister back.
With Violet again by her side, both girls get a second chance at life. And as the sisters soon discover, they have two more dresses-and two more wishes left. But magic can't solve everything, and Olivia is forced to confront her ghosts to learn how to laugh, love, and live again.
In a breathtaking debut from Alexandra Bullen, WISH asks the question: If you could have anything, what would you wish for?

How incredibly gorgeous is this cover?!?! I love it and the story sounds great so I really can't wait to read this one! The credit for the cover photo goes to Tales of a Ravenous Reader, the lucky girl who has already received a copy of the ARC! Jealous, me? Naaah. ;)

8 September 2009

Review: HENS REUNITED by Lucy Diamond ***

"Katie, Georgia and Alice were at each other’s hen nights but now the chickens have come home to roost: their marriages have fallen apart and their friendships have been tested to the limits.
Control-freak Katie has become a commitment-phobe – there’s no way she wants to get married again. Is there?
Ambitious Georgia always puts her career first. If anyone gets hurt, it’s their look-out – right?
And faithful Alice wants to make a fresh start, but can’t get over her cheating ex – and Georgia’s betrayal.
Hearts have been broken, and feathers ruffled … can the hens ever be reunited?"

I was kindly sent this book to review after I said somewhere that the story seems interesting, but I don't like the cover - and I still don't. The whole concept is nice and simple, but I'm afraid I just cannot get past *those horrible clothes and shoes* the women on the cover are wearing! No offence to the designer, but I shudder every time I look at them and I'm afraid those outfits for me ruin what could've been a really nice cover.

But let's not dwell on that, shall we? The books are (mostly) not about the covers, it's the plot that matters! Speaking of which, I'm afraid I wasn't completely blown away by the story in this case either; I thought there was not much going on and the plot was quite simple, at times even a bit predictable. There's this thing that I've noticed in far too many chick lit novels and it sort of bugs me - I mean, the first guy who shows up (in this case in the hospital or on the doorstep) on the scene is bound to be The One by the end of the novel and real life just isn't like that - plus that would really take all the fun out of life, hehe.

The hens were all lovely women, but I'm afraid I just couldn't relate to any of them, possibly because I'm about 10 years younger than them and haven't been terribly wronged by men *touch wood*. Nonetheless, I can't deny that the characters were nicely developed and I found it interesting to read how they've changed since their hen nights and how they progressed throughout the story. My favourite character was probably Georgia - goodness knows I wouldn't really dream of being her friend, but her sassyness was fun to read about and I enjoyed reading about her soft side too. In the end, you could see that she was still a caring person deep down, despite her ruthless attitude at the beginning. I didn't particularly like Katie personally, but I could really feel for Alice, I thought her situation was by far the worst and actually worth moaning about.

What I really liked about the novel though was the writing itself, minus the third person narrative, which I'm generally not a fan of. As I said, I may not have been amazed by the plot and the characters, but I still enjoyed reading the book because it was nicely written and witty and fun to read. I can tell the author can write and I attribute the lack of enthusiasm about the story and the characters mainly due to my youth and thus the inability to relate to them enough to appreciate them properly. Personally, I also like my books a bit more complex, but I'd definitely recommend this one if you're looking for a nice, easy read.

overall rating: 3/5
plot: 3/5 | writing: 4/5 | characters: 3/5 | cover: 2/5

ps: If you'd like to read more about this novel, then you can also read two other great reviews over at Chick Lit Reviews and Book Chick City. If you'd like to learn more about the lovely author, then head over to Novelicious and Book Chick City to read the fantastic interviews they've done with her. The author has written two other books under this nom de plume and I'd definitely like to read Over You sometime in the future - the plot sounds like something I could relate to more, hehe.

6 September 2009

In My Mailbox #7

Another "bad" week, I'm afraid - only two books were found in my mailbox (idea by The Story Siren), but that's mostly because I'm trying really, really hard to hold back and not buy more books since I've already got about 130 to read, hehe. So this week I got:

I admit I struggled to buy the left one because I really don't like the cover, but the story seems interesting plus it was quite cheap so I'll try to overlook the cover, eurgh. The right one is about the suffragettes (similar to this and this book) and since I'm very fascinated by them, I just couldn't resist this book and I really look forward to reading it, even if I'm not exactly in the target readers group, heh.

Hope everyone had a more successful week! :)

4 September 2009

Interview: ZOË FOSTER, the author of AIR KISSES

If you been reading this blog for a while, then you surely remember that I really enjoyed a book called Air Kisses - no? In that case, you can read my review of it here. A summary for the tl;dr crowd: I absolutely loooved it!
Well, a while after I posted my silly little review, I received a really wonderful thank you email from the author of the book and me being the smart woman that I am, I took the opportunity and asked her for an interview (right after I recovered from the shock of receiving such an awesome email from such a great writer, hehe) and Zoë kindly agreed to it so without further ado I present to you my first author interview starring the fabulous Zoë Foster, the author of Air Kisses!

1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your debut novel Air Kisses?
I've been writing beauty for around 6 years, first as the beauty director at Cosmo, then at Harper's BAZAAR, and now at www.primped.com.au. I wrote Air Kisses while at Cosmo, which is probably why it's based on a novice beauty editor at a glossy magazine. All fiction, of course.

2. Where does your passion for beauty come from? Has it developed after you've started your first job as a beauty editor, or is it something that has always fascinated you?
I always loved fooling round with makeup and hair, but I wasn't aware there was a whole job that existed where you were paid to do this. I didn't even know what a beauty editor was. I was just a journalist on a teen music mag who was lucky enough to be poached for the job at Cosmo, partly, I think because I wasn’t “of the beauty world”, and thus not too deep in to be able to relate to my readers from their perspective. Even now, as someone is as absolutely entrenched in the beauty arena, I try to maintain a voice and interest and writing style that mimics The General Public. As in, ‘What do I need that for? But it’s so expensive! How do I use it? Do I REALLY need it? Will it make me look like Angelina Jolie? Why not? Are there any chips left?’

3. Judging by the book (which is apparently based on your own experiences), the job of a beauty editor is far more fun(ky) and glamorous than most people would probably expect. What are some of your craziest and most extravagant experiences as a beauty editor?
Oh man. It’s one loco little ride, let me tell you. Last week, for example, Nivea took a gloss of beauty editors to learn how to do trapeze. In a couple of weeks Clinique is flying us all up to Queensland for a two nights. One time Biotherm flew us up to Byron bay for lunch. And another time, Elizabeth Arden took us in choppers to a day spa for breakfast and a massage, before choofing us off home. It is safe to say being a beauty editor is one of the wildest, most privileged, most obscenely spoiled professions in existence. I plan to never retire. EVER. (You can trapeze at 87, right?)

4. After working for a couple of important glossies, you've set up your own beauty site Primped. Care to tell us more about that?
I started a blog, fruitybeauty, while at Cosmo, back in 2006. This was because I had waaay too much product information and too many tips/tricks in my head and needed more than three dot points in the magazine to explain it all. This was a prescient move as it turned out, because when Independent Digital Media decided to launch a web 2.0 beauty website last year, (PRIMPED) they approached me to edit it, in lieu of my masthead magazine experience and my TTLY GR8 blogging/online skillzzz LOL!!!!! :)

5. How did your publishing deal come about? How long did it take you to get published?
I gave some chapters to a literary agent at Curtis Brown, who kindly informed me they had legs. (Waxed and tanned, of course.) Which was nice. From that moment til signing with Penguin it was a few months, I think, but the novel didn't hit the shelves for another year after that. It takes aaaaages from signing contracts to on-the-shelfyness.

6. Are your characters inspired by real people? And most importantly, how did you come up with such amazing male characters???
I’d be one filthy little liar if I said my characters weren't each a cocktail of Real Life friends/workmates/acquaintances. Most of the boys were also amalgamations, but with Dec there was a big element of fantasy. So many girls have asked me who the Real Dec is, (and may they have his number) but he's probably one of the only purely fictional characters. (Annoying.)

7. If Air Kisses was turned into a film, which actors would you like to see starring in it? What song would fit the film theme perfectly?
Actress... I adore Natalie Portman. Would love her to play Hannah. Song? Probably something by Fiest or Robyn.

8. What books are you working on now?
I've just finished my third book, another lady fiction number about the life of a footballer's girlfriend, which goes on sale here Feb 2010. My second book, Textbook Romance, is out next month and is a non-fiction dating book.
I have as much, or possibly more passion for writing about dating and relationships as beauty. I've been the dating columnist at Cosmo for a while now, and seem to be the bird all my friends - male/female/gay/straight/married/single - come to for advice/tough love when they need it. "What should I write back." That's the question I get the most. And I REVEL in answering it. I'm actually quite a pain in the ass when it comes to male-female dynamics, I love to dish my opinion even when it's entirely unsolicited. (Bus drivers, baristas, workmates...)

9. You're obviously a very busy woman, so how do you even find the time to write? What's your writing strategy like and how long does it usually take you to finish a book?
Oh man, it's all about discipline. Be screwed without it. Since signing my three-book deal (at 26) I've pretty much spent every Saturday, 6am til 2pm writing my books. Wasn’t always fun knowing every one else was splashing around frivolously in the waves or eating hamburgers in American style diners and chatting about the prom and if the football team would win that weekend or being hungover from a huge night on the turps while I was cooped up, blinds down, smashing keys. Laptop came on every holiday, too. Because I've worked full time the entire time, each book has taken around six months to actually write, but then the editing back and forth usually takes another six. If I was purely writing books, no full time work, and had an IV feeding me espresso, I reckon I could smash out a book in 2-3 months.

10. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Read a lot. Write a lot. And never, ever use the excuse 'I have no time.' No one has the time, you gotta make the time. It's one of my pet hates hearing people say, 'I'm gonna write a book, you know.' And then hearing them say it again and again for years. Do it already! Start! See what happens! You'll never know if you really want to - or can - do it, until you start. And don't think you have to start at the beginning. I started my first novel by getting down anecdotes I knew I wanted in, then creating the story and characters around them. Kind of felt like cheating. Awesome.

11. What are some of your favourite novels and which authors do you generally look up to?
I'm a bit of an oddball: I oscillate between self-help mind expanders like Eckhart Tolle or male humorists like David Sedaris.

Thanks so much, Zoë!

So far the novel has been published with three different covers, which you can see below (original hardback, Australian paperback and the UK paperback respectively). Which one's your favourite?

And if you still don't know what the novel is about, then let the author introduce it to you herself! (Isn't her accent fantastic? :D)

Lastly, two more important things you can do: a) you can follow the fabulous Ms Foster on Twitter @zotheysay and b) you can vote for her for the Cosmopolitan Fun Fearless Female Award in the Author section. Oh and you could also pick up a copy of Air Kisses (yay for free worldwide delivery) and have some fun reading it. :)

2 September 2009

Review: BEFORE I FALL by Lauren Oliver *****

US: "What if you only had one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?
Samantha Kingston has it all: the world’s most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life.
Instead, it turns out to be her last. Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing."

UK: "Sam Kingston is dead. Except she isn’t.
On a rainy February night, Sam is killed in a horrific car crash. But instead of seeing a tunnel of light, she wakes up in her own bed, on the morning of the same day. Forced to live through the same events – the drive to school, skipping class, the fateful party – she struggles to alter the outcome, but wakes up again on the day of the crash.
What follows is the story of a girl who comes of age in a matter of days. Who discovers, through heartbreaking insights, the consequences of her every action. Of a girl who dies young, but in the process learns how to live. And who falls in love . . . a little too late."

This extraordinary book doesn't come out till March 2010, but I got a chance to read the ARC thanks to the wonderful Kate (thank you!!!)! The plot description sounded intriguing, but I never really expected the book to be *so* incredibly amazing! I was kindly advised to postpone my review for a few months, but I'm afraid I just can't because I really feel the need to talk about this book. That's why this review will be a bit different - no regular plot summary with spoilers and perhaps a bit more vague because I don't want to give too much away - you just have to read this book and experience it for yourself, hehe.

Firstly, a quick spoiler-free summary: Sam is a high school senior and her life seems just perfect; she and her three friends (Lindsay, Ally and Elody) are the most popular girls at school and she's dating Rob, her long time crush and a dream come true. The story takes place on February 12, Cupid Day, and after receiving the most roses at school, the girls attend a party at Sam's old friend's house. When they're driving home from the party, the girls have an accident, which will change their lives forever ... Sam is convinced she's dead, but when she opens her eyes, she's stunned to realize that it's February 12 morning all over again. Soon she learns that the previous night wasn't just a dream and that she's given a chance to make things right and say goodbye properly, but before being able to do so, she learns a lot about herself and those closest to her ...

I don't even know where to begin with my review, there's so much that I want to say!
Well, I'll admit that I wasn't entirely blown away by the opening chapter - I thought it would be just another high school story and the characters seemed quite stereotypical and one dimensional, buuuuut little did I know that they were going to be subjected to massive transformations and development before the day is over - a few days later, haha. I didn't really like any of the characters at first, but whoa boy did I grow to love them by the end of the novel!

The story itself is really complex (but still easy to understand) and it really progresses, even though the date on the calender stays the same throughout the novel, but each of those days is completely different and packed with action. The main events are mostly the same, but each "day" there are various more or less important changes from the previous day that enable Sam to understand everything better and I suppose it's safe to say that she has a clear picture by the end of the novel when she finally gets her priorities straight just in time.

I thought the novel was really well written; the narration itself is fitting for a teenager but far from boring or plain, it's really quite beautiful. The novel is also incredibly well structured and I really liked how subtly layers hidden underneath the surface of people and events were revealed. I found it really fascinating how basically the same day was repeating itself, but all these slight changes and little things shed a completely different light on everything. I struggle to explain this properly, I was just amazed by how subtly and yet obviously the changes happened in this novel, but that's because of the structure and the writing. Trust me, the book is truly unputdownable - it's easy to read, but it will not let you out of its grip until you find out how the day ends and then you just want more, hehe!

Another strong point (out of shazillion) of this novel is that the emotions that Sam feels are also really well presented - her feelings of confusion, sadness, anger, determination, happiness, love and finally acceptance were almost tangible. As a reader, you're invited on this wild emotional rollercoaster ride and it's crazy right until the amazing bittersweet ending, which is beautiful but still sad, even though it shouldn't be really.

Ahem, right. Please accept my humble apologies for such a strange and vague review, but it's really hard to discuss it properly without revealing too much. I know reviewing it so much in advance is really quite pointless, but as I said, I just needed to get it out of my system somehow. I'm still amazed by how powerful this novel really is - I've finished it days ago and it still haunts me, I just can't get it off my mind ...

The novel is essentially YA, but it definitely has a crossover appeal as the themes it tackles are universal and so well presented that it will appear to everyone, regardless of age. The lessons Sam learns about her family, friends, foes, love and life are quite important both in the novel as well as in real life so the novel really makes you think ...

Whoa, this was longer than I intended, but still just a small bit of what I actually wanted to say. I suppose most people won't bother reading the review so here's a quick recap for the tl;dr crowd: NICELY COMPLEX PLOT, WELL STRUCTURED, WONDERFUL CHARACTERS, BEAUTIFUL WRITING, THOUGHT PROVOKING, EMOTIONAL - ALL IN ALL, AN OUTSTANDING DEBUT! Add this to your TBR list and grab a copy when it comes out, you won't regret it.

I just can't praise this book enough, I was honestly blown away and rendered speechless after reading it. Novelicious has read it over the past weekend as well and she described it as the best book she's read in ages and she stayed up whole night reading it - I know so because we discussed it briefly on Twitter and we were both amazed.

Finally, a couple of shocking facts about the author: this is her debut novel aaaand she's only 26!!! Trust me, you'll be amazed by that too once you read the novel, hehe! For more information about the author and her book visit Lauren's website. There are a couple of brilliant quotes there that I thought sum up the book really well (far more eloquently than I ever could) so I thought I'd share bits that I wholeheartedly agree with:

"Before I Fall is smart, complex, and heartbreakingly beautiful. Lauren Oliver has written an extraordinary debut novel about what it means to live—and die." & "This story races forward, twisting in a new direction every few pages, its characters spinning my emotions from affection to frustration, anger to compassion. You’ll have no choice but to tear through this book!"

Since finishing the novel, I've also spoken to the author over email and she really is the most wonderful person ever, honestly, just as amazing as her debut! She has kindly agreed to do an interview with me, but I'm afraid you'll have to wait for that until February 2010 or so! Sorry to keep you in suspense, but I just needed share my love for this book, even if a few months too soon, but at least my impression of it is still fresh and strong, hehe.

overall rating: 5/5
plot: 5/5 | writing: 5/5 | characters: 5/5 | cover: 4/5

ps: Another person who adored the novel is Sharon, who's kindly giving away her advanced copy. For a chance to win it, click here and good luck!

Waiting on Wednesday #1

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted here, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I have several listed, but I'll only post two this week ...

MAGIC UNDER GLASS by Jaclyn Dolamore [published: December 2009 (US) / February 2010 (UK)]
Nimira is a music-hall performer forced to dance for pennies to an audience of leering drunks. When wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to do a special act - singing accompaniment to an exquisite piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it is the start of a new life. In Parry's world, however, buried secrets stir. Unsettling below-stairs rumours abound about ghosts, a mad woman roaming the halls, and of Parry's involvement in a gang of ruthless sorcerers who torture fairies for sport. When Nimira discovers the spirit of a dashing young fairy gentleman is trapped inside the automaton's stiff limbs, waiting for someone to break the curse and set him free, the two fall in love. But it is a love set against a dreadful race against time to save the entire fairy realm, which is in mortal peril.

ANASTASIA'S SECRET by Susanne Dunlap [published: March 2010]
The youngest grand duchess in the Russian imperial family comes of age during the revolution. Her family is imprisoned, conditions become worse and worse. But Anastasia has a secret that she keeps from her family, a love that endures through the horrors of war and the privation of imprisonment and deprivation. Will her love save her from the fate her family seems destined for? Or is she a creation of a rarefied atmosphere, unable to survive without her loved ones?

Aren't these covers STUNNING?! Especially the US cover for Magic Under Glass (left) - that has got to be one of the most amazing covers ever! But the other two are incredibly gorgeous and the stories sound great so I cannot wait for these books to come out, even though it's going to be a loooong wait ...

1 September 2009

PSA: Chat to the Queen of Chick Lit & Wit Lit!

Sophie Kinsella's Facebook fan page was updated yesterday, which you probably already know, unless you haven't joined her FB fan page yet (what are you waiting for?) or you're not on FB at all (you freak!). ;)
Guess what, in about a week her fans will be able to ask her questions and she'll answer them all on Facebook, yay! See below for more details and start thinking about what you're going to ask her!
Hi everyone!

I'm pleased to announce that on Wednesday, September 9th, I will join Barnes & Noble to take part in a one-day Q&A event on Facebook, and I am inviting all of you!

Starting at 11:00am EST, which is 4:00pm my time, I will respond to your questions about my books, and pretty much anything you've been wanting to know. You can RSVP for the event here —and don't forget to invite your friends!

Please note: The event will take place in a separate discussion board on September 9th. You must click through to this link to participate in the discussion on that day: http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?topic=10479&uid=9122810019


I'm working on my questions, but here's what I've got so far:
Those questions are super obvious and everyone & their monkey will hopefully ask this so she simply has to answer, no way out, hehe! Other than that, I'd like to know if her male characters are based on real men and if so, where can I meet them, hehe? ;)

What will *you* ask? :)

And while we're on the subject, you can also tell me which of Sophie Kinsella's books was your favourite???
I'd have a hard time deciding because I adored them ALL, but perhaps I'd have to go with Remember Me? or The Undomestic Goddess - but it's really hard to say because they were all brilliant!