Monday, February 27, 2012

Young Adult Recommendations

I will classify each recommendation by genre. All of the books listed below I have read and know for a fact most libraries carry these. YA might be a genre in itself but there are lots of sub genres in YA that appeal to different teens. So here is my take on those sub genres. :)

(a failed society in the future)
(my favorite)

(realistic fiction)

Science Fiction
(a lot like dystopian but with more science)

(stories that are written like poetry)

Historical Fiction
(stuff back in your grandparent's day)

Paranormal Romance
(sexy vampires, werewolves, faeries, angels, you name it)

(really funny stuff with teenagers)

(scary books that keep me awake at night but i love them anyway)

The Best of The Best
Bets Dystopian-

Best Contemporary-

Best Science Fiction-

Best Vampire Romance-

Best Mythology-

Best Wizard-

I could go on forever on the best books of everything. :) But I think I'll stop and let you decide what your favorite sub genre is. :) Comment if you want more ideas for certain categories. Happy reading!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

MIss World Book Tour! Guest Post and Giveaways!

Welcome to the last but certainly not least stop on the Miss World Blog Tour!

Today I have for you a guest post from Ms. Randi Black herself talking about sex health and education! We also have for you a signed copy giveaway and an ipod giveaway! I would take this advantage now and enter before its too late! Tomorrow I will also have my own review of Miss World. :) I already read it and I must say it is a captivating novel I will never forget. Everyone please thank Randi for this wonderful piece of literature and information towards something everyone secretly wants to know about. *wink wink* ;)

~Randi Black Guest Post~

When I got my period at eleven, my mom gave me "the talk." Basically, I was told that if I had sex before marriage, I would be a disgrace to my family and no good boy would ever want to marry me. Even if I denied it, our ancestors would see and tell them. To scare me even more, I was given the anecdote about that Chinese girl who lost her virginity to a suave, romantic Frenchman, only to open his letter on the airplane and find out he gave her AIDS. There was that story about the Chinese girl who snuck behind her parents' back to have sex with a boy, and she ended up naked in a ditch with her slashed from ear to ear, and cut in half at the waist (hey, mom, Elizabeth Short wasn't Chinese, but I get your point). But none of it was going to matter, because I was too fat and ugly, and no one wanted to have sex with me, anyway.

It was all I was told. If I even dared to ask about anything else, my mom would've jumped to conclusions, and/or talked down to me. So what did I do?

I went to the local library and checked Girls and Sex and A Young Woman's Guide to Sex behind my parents' backs. Every time we visited my Evil Aunt Tai in Simi Valley, I'd go to the second floor den and take furtive reads of Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask. (I also discovered Erica Jong in my Evil Aunt Tai's questionable selection of books, but we'll save that for another day). What I read about sex in books sounded drastically different than what my mom told me, and I began to wonder why she told me those things.

Now that I'm 34, I realize my mom was only trying to protect me, and she didn't want me to end up as one of those teen moms we always saw at the West Covina Mall. I'm grateful that she cared about me, but I'm also glad I had the sense to find more information elsewhere. 
It's perfectly natural to question what you're being told. It doesn't mean that you're a bad person ; it just means you're curious and want to be informed. No matter what you ultimately choose to do, you always have the right to accurate, unbiased information about sexual health and education. You deserve to know how things really work (or don't work). Here are some websites that can help:

Scarleteen's been around for about 14 years, and I think it's one of the best, most comprehensive online resources for sexual education. It's geared towards all genders and sexual orientations, and its forum is a safe, supportive space for you to discuss sexuality and relationships. There's also a search tool for your nearest health center that serves teens and young adults, and opportunities to submit pieces about your own personal experiences to be published on their website.
Center for Young Women's Health (
The Center for Young Womens' Health was founded by license professionals in 1988, and aims to provide teenage girls and young women with carefully researched health information. There's information on birth control and STDs, but also nutrition, fitness, and emotional health. There's also a link for guys. 
Sex Etc. is a fun, informative website that is well-designed and high on the usability factor, as you can do a search or browse by topic. There's also a forum, videos, comics, and quizzes. Best of all, there's a section on individual state laws, so you can know your rights.

The Birds & Bees Project (
What I like the most about the Birds & Bees Project is that they inform you of your options and rights. Yes, I'm talking about your rights to confidential STI testing, and your rights to access birth control. And yes, I am talking about your rights to a safe abortion or adoption. The Project is based in Minnesota, but they give links to other states' laws.

An informative site about birth control options, and how to obtain them. You can also sign up for daily, weekly, or monthly reminders by text or e-mail.

San Francisco Sex Information (SFSI) (
Run by a staff of trained volunteers, SFSI gives "free, confidential, accurate, non-judgmental information about sex." You can ask them sex-related questions by e-mail or phone, from Mondays to Fridays.

Planned Parenthood's website is a great online resource for sexual health and education. You can browse health topics from A-Z, and also find your nearest health center location.

It's Your Sex Life (
A collaboration between MTV and the Kaiser Family Foundation, It's Your Sex Life is a great resource for sexual health information. My personal favorite page is 'What Work/What Doesn't', where you can click on pictures of various birth control methods and learn more about them. You can also compare birth control options side by side. There's also a search option for your local STD testing center at the bottom of every page.
The Midwest Teen Sex Show (
Started Nikole Hasler, a Midwestern mom of three, The Midwest Teen Sex Show may not be for everyone (some say it's offensive, and I can see where they're coming from), but it's definitely informative and hilarious. Their website has 25 short films on different subjects, including Syphilis, Abstinence, and The Older Boyfriend.


Friday, February 24, 2012

The Annihilation of Foreverland By Tony Bertauski Review, Interview, and Giveaway

When kids awake on an island, they’re told there was an accident. Before they can go home, they will visit Foreverland, an alternate reality that will heal their minds. Reed dreams of a girl that tells him to resist Foreverland. He doesn’t remember her name, but knows he once loved her. He’ll have to endure great suffering and trust his dream. And trust he’s not insane. Danny Boy, the new arrival, meets Reed’s dream girl inside Foreverland. She’s stuck in the fantasy land that no kid can resist. Where every heart’s desire is satisfied. Why should anyone care how Foreverland works? Together, they discover what it’s really doing to them.

~Haunted Rose's Review~
The first chapter of this book was amazing. You could feel the raw suffering that Reed feels. I wanted to know more about the book and I couldn't put it down. Danny Boy, the main character, reminded me of Thomas in Mazerunner. He is confused and can't remember anything but he knows he can't stay here on this secluded island even if it does have the world's best video games. The worst part about this island is the Haystack. You go in and suffer through sticking a needle in your frontal lobe before you get to finally enjoy the awesomeness of Foreverland where every dream comes true. The only downside to reading this book is the confusingness. I had a hard time keeping up and putting two and two together but when it got to the end I was blown away. If you enjoyed Mazerunner then you will totally enjoy The annihilation of Foreverland!

My grandpa never graduated high school. He retired from a steel mill in the mid-70s. He was uneducated, but he was a voracious reader. I remember going through his bookshelves of paperback sci-fi novels, smelling musty old paper, pulling Piers Anthony and Isaac Asimov off shelf and promising to bring them back. I was fascinated by robots that could think and act like people. What happened when they died?
I've written textbooks on landscape design, but that was straightforward, informational writing; the kind of stuff that helps most people get to sleep. I've also been writing a gardening column with a humorous slant. That takes a little more finesse, but still informational for the most part.
I'm a cynical reader. I demand the writer sweep me into his/her story and carry me to the end. I'd rather sail a boat than climb a mountain. That's the sort of stuff I wanted to write, not the assigned reading we used to get in high school. I wanted to create stories that kept you up late.
Fiction, GOOD fiction, is hard to write. Having a story unfold inside your head is an experience different than reading. You connect with characters in a deeper, more meaningful way. You feel them, empathize with them, cheer for them and even mourn. The challenge is to get the reader to experience the same thing, even if it's only a fraction of what the writer feels. Not so easy.

Tony Bertauski's Links-


1. Tell us about yourself.
I'm a horticulturist. I know, I know. Plants and science fiction doesn't seem to mix. I started writing as a garden columnist and design textbooks. I've always read science fiction and at some point felt inspired to write it. It all started with a character, Socket Greeny. It was a three-book story that unfolded in my head (cliche, but true). It took years to finish, half that time was spent learning how to write fiction.

2. In one sentence only, why should we read your book?
What exactly does it mean to be real?

3. Are you working on any other books?
Right now, I'm working on Claus, Legend of the Fat Man. Yes, you read that right. It's a sci-fi take on Santa Claus, a semi-serious telling of how the man named Niclaus Santae became the mythical figure Santa Claus. It addresses all the Christmas characters (Rudolf, Frosty, Jack Frost, etc) and how they came to be, more from a scientific perspective and not so much magical.

4. What authors influenced you the most?
Early on, it was Frank Herbert and Stephen King. Later, it was Neil Shusterman, Laurie Anderson, and MT Anderson. I'm really moved by great voice and superb endings.

5. Zombies, vampires, werewolves, angels, demons, witches, or faeries and why?
Vampires. I wrote a series of novellas about a new age "vampire" named Drayton. It's not YA, it's definitely adult fiction. I considered the fact that, if a being were immortal, it would likely evolve from animalistic to wise and compassionate. But with kickass powers.

6. What is the wildest idea you had while being an author?
That I'd be famous.

7. What is your favorite part in your book?
This might surprise some, but it's the romance part. When Reed and Lucille finally see each other. I think that romance part is an important part in every story.

8. What is your favorite book?
Lately, it's been A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (I cried) and Feed by MT Anderson (impressed with the voice and plot).

9. If Harry potter and Edward Cullen had a fight what do you think the outcome would be?
Mmm... well, Potter can do magic. Why not just just blow Cullen up from 100 yards away? Point, Gryffindor.

  1. Must be 13 years of age or older
  2. Must be a GFC follower of this blog
  3. It is International and ends March 10
  4. Fill out the form below
  5. Includes 2 ebook copies!
  6. +1 for following me on twitter, +1 friend Tony Bertauski on goodreads, +1 for commenting on this post, +1 for tweeting about the giveaway, and +1 for following Tony's blog

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Top 10 Books to save in a Zombie Apocalypse

Every Tuesday The Broke and The Bookish hosts Top Ten Tuesday. Click the link below to visit it. The Broke and The Bookish

This weeks theme is...

Top 10- Books to save in a Zombie Apocalypse (or in an alien invasion or disaster)
10. My Kindle :)
Ok I know this is not a book but it holds most of my favorites and I don't think I could live without it.
9. Ellen Hopkins
These are the best poetry books in the history of the entire world. I could never leave them

8. Twilight
How else would I read a good ending? Paranormal Romance with vampires is my favorite!
7. House of Night
This is the best vampire series ever! I like them even better than Twilight so they must be saved!
6. The Mortal Instruments
Cassandra Clare is a genius! This book includes almost every supernatural element, shadow hunters, and romance! Couldn't get better!

5. Gone Novels
This series is all about 15 year old kids toughing out the impossible. When your facing zombies your doing the same. Facing the impossible.

4. Maze Runner
Maze Runner has a disease gong around in it too. So I can connect to the feelings.

3. Matched
Another awesome dystopian novel to help our society choose a perfect future. Well rule out this kind in the book.
2. Hunger Games
Dystopian novels would help if we needed to decide what future we need after the awesome zombie attack. Plus the hunger games is my favorite series ever.

1. Rot and Ruin
It's a series all about Zombies! I could learn the ins and outs of a zombie invasion!