Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tag Meme

I was tagged in a book meme by the lovely Kris from A Book from Snowy River! The idea of this meme is to answer the tagger’s ten questions and then pass on ten of your own to ten more bloggers. It’s a fun way to keep in touch with your friends in the blogging realm. So here are the ten questions I was asked by Kris.

How did you choose the name for your blog?

Simple. I love writing, and I have a fascination with clever names. I also love the name ‘Liberty Bell,’ so I switched that around and went with “Writing Belle,’ which is French for beauty, of course. *wink*

If you could be any character in a book, who would you be and why?

I’ve often thought about this, and it occurred to me that I have a Hermione addiction. She’s one of my favorite book characters of all time, and she’s resourceful, brilliant, and courageous. And she has magical powers. The complete package, right? 

Ever since you started writing, have you met any authors of your favorite books?

Yes! I have “virtually” met P.T. Michelle, the author of The Brightest Kind of Darkness and Jennifer L. Armentrout, the author of the Lux Series and the Covenant Series. I’ve also met lots of nice new authors like Bridget Bowers and Summer Day.

What is your favorite cover art that you have seen?

 I love the cover for Tiger’s Curse, by Colleen Houck. I have an obsession with tigers.

Do you have a strict blogging schedule, or are you more relaxed?

I make it a point to post every other day, at least. It gives me time to get my books read and reviewed.

Is there a book you would love to have a sequel?

Absolutely. I’d like to see a sequel to Hourglass, by Myra McEntire, or The Eleventh Plague, by Jeff Hirsch. I actually think there are sequels in the works, so my wish might be granted.

What is your favorite book to TV show adaptation?

Definitely The Vampire Diaries. There are a few things I would personally change about the show, and although it doesn’t follow the books at all, it’s still very
entertaining and contains all the core characters.

Everyone likes to shop for books differently, do you buy online or spend hours in a bookstore or library?

I browse for books online, then either go into the store and buy them or order them online. Or I get an e-book. But I get a ton of my books from the library, because mine carries new releases.

Do you prefer reading paperbacks or ebooks?

Both. I have an open mind, but I still like the smell of paper.

If you had to write a novel featuring yourself, what kind of character would you play?

Well, anything featuring me would be pretty boring, so it would have to be me somehow getting thrown into an insane situation. I’d probably play the slightly crazy book addict. Yeah. Slightly.

Now that you know all the deepest secrets of my soul we can move on. 
I am tagging the following blogs in this meme. If you’re tagged, feel free to keep the meme going by answering the following questions on your own blog and passing your original questions on to ten blogs!
Here are the blogs I tagged: 

Here are the ten questions! 

  1.  What is your favorite book to movie adaptation? 
  2. Who is your top book boyfriend/girlfriend?
  3. What actor or actress do you think most resembles that character? 
  4. If you could jump into any genre, what would it be and why? 
  5. Do you prefer to read fiction or non-fiction?
  6. Pertaining to your sex, would you rather read a book with a male or a female protagonist?
  7. Why do you love to blog?
  8. Do you love books with a sense of humor, or do you prefer something more dramatic?
  9. Have you ever met a famous author?
  10. Where is your favorite place to read - and when? 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Desert Angel

Angel escapes from her mom's abusive boyfriend, Scotty, after he murders her mother and burns their trailer to the ground. But Scotty will track Angel from here to the ends of the earth for the mere thrill of the hunt: he wants her dead. Can she escape? 

I thought this book was going to be a survivalist thriller - the description kind of made it sound like Angel was going to brave a giant desert and survive in the wilderness while on the run from Scotty. But in actuality she runs from house to house, trying to anticipate where Scotty will strike next in his attempt to kill her. I liked a lot of the book, but I felt like I spent the entire story waiting for something to happen. The body of the book is one long lull in the action - with a couple of pages in the back to wrap it up. There are some thematic elements in the book that will fly right over most kids' heads - but I wouldn't recommend it to anybody under 15, unless they're already familiar with themes like graphic abuse and murder. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Through My Eyes

Every once in a while I read a really fun biography, and I have to share it with you guys. Tim Tebow is a pretty famous figure in the media right now, and I decided to read his book because he seemed like such a good role model for kids everywhere, boys and girls alike.

To be honest, some of the technical football terms went over my head - just how many football secret play words are there? 'Oh look! It's another 'Thomas Edison Lightbulb Touchdown Pass!"' I don't know how he remembers all that terminology, but he does. It's actually extremely impressive when it comes to all the tortuous (yes, tortuous!) training he goes through to be a good football player. I got tired just reading about it. 

In case you haven't noticed by now, I'm not prime NFL material. 
It's a shock, I know. 
But football aside, Tim Tebow has such a wonderful story, and I'm glad he shared it through this book. He was originally going to be aborted as a baby, since the doctors told his mother that she would die if she carried him to term. Obviously, he wasn't aborted and he's gone on to have a brilliant career - both on and off the football field. His talent, but most importantly, his charitable efforts and great attitude are what set him apart from other celebrities in the spotlight right now. His story was actually very inspiring for me, at a point in life where you wonder if you have to "reinvent yourself' when you're going through college and break away from the beliefs that you were raised with. You don't. And it's nice to know that somebody still stands up for what's right, in addition to being unashamed of the gospel of Christ, which is ultimately the most important thing. +

Thursday, February 23, 2012


I love time travel. I think it's such an exciting concept as to how we could go back and time and change our pasts while tweaking the present and possibly destroying the future of the entire universe - all before breakfast. But seriously, this book was all about a girl named Emerson Cole (awesome name!), who has the ability to time travel. She decides to help a really, really handsome guy named Michael go back in time and save his adoptive father from being murdered. But there are way too many things that can - and do - go wrong.

I liked the time travel concept. I actually went into this thinking that it was going to be a corny book about a girl who has regular chit-chats with ghosts. But no! It was all about traveling through time. Plus, the romance between Emerson and Michael is pretty awesome. After I got done with the book I saw that this was a 2011 debut novel - with a sequel on the way (I hope!). This makes me think that some of the supporting characters will have a bigger role in the next book. Particularly Kaleb. (I could live with that) Overall, an awesome, fun and entertaining read!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Always War

Short books are pretty fun to read, and I settled down with this one on a Saturday afternoon. It is the story of an ex-military pilot named Gideon, a girl named Tessa, and a kid named Dek who get stranded in the enemy's territory - and discover that the war might not be exactly what they think it is. 

This book drew me in (I saw it in the library and the premise sounded awesome) and while the writing itself was great, there was a lot of confusion going on. I had the mystery figured out 1/4 of the way into the book. And I have to be honest: I didn't like Gideon. He ran around the whole time yelling "I surrender, I surrender!" and choking on sobs. Not the most stalwart soldier. At any rate, the brightest spot in this book was Dek, the snarky, brilliant street kid who stows away on their adventure. Even then, however, I felt like there were a few holes that weren't filled. I easily would have liked this book more if the other main characters - Tessa and Gideon - were more enigmatic. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Eleventh Plague

The Eleventh Plague has basically wiped out the earth's nations. The people who are left fight for survival in a barren wilderness - no electricity, no cars, no Wal-Mart. Things suck. For Stephan, his life is extra hard. His Grandfather and Mother are dead, and he's left with his dad. Until his dad slips into a coma and suddenly he is all alone. Luckily for him, he falls into the company of some friendly people who have created their own gated society called 'Settler's Landing.' Everything is going great...but can Stephan really fit into the so-called 'society?' Is there a greater danger lurking in the abandoned frontiers of North America?

I really liked this book. It took me a couple of hours to read - it's short and to the point, which is exactly what I love - and it details the post-apocolyptic settings in Stephan's world as realistically as if you were reading about shopping at a grocery store. Stephan is a pretty basic protagonist - but it's a pretty basic survive-or-die story. My favorite character was Jenny, the spunky, witty Chinese girl Stephan falls for. I've read a lot of post-apocolyptic novels in the YA genre, and this one has the same foundational storyline as all of them, but with a great narration. Jeff Hirsch is really an awesome writer

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Beautiful Dark

Skye's parents died when she was only six years old. Since then, her life has been pretty normal. Until two mysterious guys show up at her school: Asher and Devin. And everything falls apart. As it turns out, Skye has powers and a celestial heritage she never knew about. So much for getting into a university. She'll be lucky if she survives the coming supernatural war.

The writing and style in this book is very pretty, but to be completely honest, I felt that the story itself was slightly cliche and....a little flat. The whole book was spent sorting out Skye's feelings for two handsome boys - but I didn't feel like there was any real "reason" for her to be attracted to them. Call it lack of chemistry. I honestly felt like there was more chemistry between Skye and her wayward friend, Ian, than with Asher or Devin. 
The brightest spot in the book, I felt, was Skye's best friend, Cassie, who has a bubbly, pick-me-up personality. The book spends a really long time getting to the goods - and by goods I mean excitement and plot progression, crisis, etc. - and by the time we do, the book leaves off at a wild cliffhanger. And I mean wild.
All in all, it's an entertaining read - short, sweet, simple. Just not my absolute favorite.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Vampire Diaries: Shadow Souls

Elena, Bonnie, Meredith and the cooly handsome and deadly vampire Damon Salvatore are willing to go to great lengths to rescue Elena's love, Stefan. They'll go through hell for him - literally. And that's exactly where they end up, in the Underworld, an alternate dimension where they must scramble to track down two keys: keys that will free Stefan and outsmart the horrible, downright twisted Kitsune twins. And while they are busy trying to survive the evils of the underworld, Fell's Church is running rampant with the influences of the Kitsune. They must hurry. Stefan's life is on the line. And so are theirs. 

My favorite book in the whole series is still the second installment - and this is technically the third, although it's divided into two "parts." I love Damon's character - and personally I think Elena has much more "chemistry" with him. They simply understand each other well in the books. 
The demons that are let loose in Fell's Church are simply quite grotesque. The entire Kitsune Twins influence is pretty extreme - I really wish they'd been left out of the book altogether. But L.J. Smith has an almost mesmerizing way of writing. Her descriptions are gorgeous - stunning! Damon is probably one of the best male protagonists and, in some cases, anti-heroes, I've ever read.  I sometimes get a little bit confused and lost in all the allusions that L.J. Smith weaves into her writing, but for the most part, Vampire Diaries is a lot of fantastical fun.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Across the Universe

Frozen in a cryo-sleep, Amy has been stuck in a never-ending nightmare for over three hundred years. She's on her way to a new planet. One that's full of hope and clean air and life. But something happens. She awakes early - way too early. And now she's stuck on a ship known as the Godspeed, a gigantic spacecraft that holds together the remains of the ship's society. What's worse, somebody is trying to kill all of the people slumbering in cryo-sleep - and the entire voyage to a new planet may be nothing but a terrible lie.

I liked this book. It's a pretty easy read - I did it in a little under 5 hours. The story makes you claustrophobic - being frozen in a glass coffin, stuck in a spaceship for hundreds of years, for example - but it's a fun premise, and there's a pretty good mystery going on. Certain aspects of the story were just plain gross, however - the Season, especially. It was totally and completely unnecessary. At least that's what I thought. 

Other than that, it was a really awesome science-fiction book. I would have liked to have seen a slightly deeper romance between the main characters, Amy and Elder. I’m guessing that will be coming in the just released sequel to the book, A Million Suns. At any rate, Beth Revis is a very gifted writer. I would recommend Across the Universe to anybody who loves Science Fiction – I don’t ever read science fiction, and I found it enjoyable. So yeah, it’s definitely worth a peek! 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Obsidian, A Lux Novel

Poor Katy.  Moving to West Virginia from sunny Florida was the last thing she wanted to do. But her dad has just died of cancer and both Katy and her mom are looking for a fresh start in life – one that Katy is positive will be fresher once their backwoods house gets internet connection so she can get back to book blogging.
Life sucks.
And then she meets Daemon, her gorgeous, perfect next-door neighbor. He’s almost too perfect to be real. But wait. He’s also the biggest jerk in the world. Between insulting Katy every five seconds and pointing out her flaws, he seems to want to keep Katy from becoming friends with his sister, Dee.
Again, life sucks.
Too bad she can’t help but fall head over heels in love with Daemon. If only he felt the same way about her. Or does he? Or is there more to Daemon and Dee’s mysterious lives than Katy could ever imagine? Say…something unnatural?
Jennifer L. Armentrout’s novel, Obsidian, is a really witty, really fast-paced YA read. The prequel, Shadows, is being released in a matter of days, and in a few months Onyx is being released – the sequel. Have you guys read the Lux novels? What are your thoughts on the series?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Brightest Kind of Darkness

Inara has a gift: since she was seven years old, she has dreamt the events of the next day. It's a useful talent. She can navigate friendships, win soccer games, and avoid sticky situations because she knows exactly when and where they're going to happen beforehand. Life for Inara is working out pretty well.
Until Ethan.
Ethan, the mysterious and hot new guy who arrives at school turns her world upside down. Because when Ethan comes, her dreams disappear. Now life is really tough. How do people function in the real world without knowing what's coming their way? Plus, there's a bunch of random guys trying to kill her. And she 's falling in love with Ethan. And her dad, who walked out on her years ago, is trying to contact her again. Is there a reason for all this? Or is it really...the brightest kind of darkness?

I seriously enjoyed this book. It was on the shorter side, easy to read and had a refreshingly unique plot. Ethan is a pretty awesome male protagonist - brooding, handsome, and he spends his free time saving animals at the local shelter. Go ahead and swoon. Like Inara said, “Who knew knights wore flannel shirts and Led Zeppelin tees?” 

P.T. Michelle's Brightest Kind of Darkness is fun to read - and it's only 99 cents on Amazon!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Ultimate YA Sidekick Tournament

Today is the day I announce the name of the new blog meme, The Ultimate YA Sidekick Tournament. That’s right! If you’re eager to circulate your blog into the blogosphere and love to read YA fiction, then this is an event meant just for you. I’ll be asking fellow bloggers to sign up as an advocate for the fictional YA Sidekicks that will be running in the tournament.

Being an advocate is easy, quick and a great way to participate in the blogosphere. During the Tournament there will also be a fun YA Sidekick Book Giveaway!

Want to sign up to be an advocate? Awesome! This is how you do it:

1.     Send me an email at writingbelle18@gmail.com
2.     Give me your blog name and express your desire to be an advocate.
3.     There is a total of 12 slots open at the moment – I will email you back the simple guidelines for writing your guest post. 
4.     If you have any ideas for great YA sidekicks to use, let me know!
5.     In return for your participation, you’ll get your blog name out there. Plus it’s just good fun.

That’s all there is to it! I hope to hear from all of you soon, so we can get the tournament started as soon as possible!