"Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labelled 'This could change your life'."
-Helen Exley

"A novel is the chance to try on a different life for size."
-Marion C. Garretty

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Notes to Self

Notes to Self by Avery Sawyer

Cover for 'Notes to Self'E-book
Published: November 20
Two climbed up. Two fell down. 
One woke up.
In the aftermath of a traumatic brain injury, Robin Saunders has to relearn who she is and find out what happened the night everything changed.
"I don’t know if the lightning was actually there or if my brain added it afterward, when I searched it over and over for what Emily had said that night. 
It was cold and dark—darker than we thought it would be. I remember wishing I was younger so I could admit I was too scared to climb. Or older, so I could say, “Not my thing, no thanks, let’s get out of here,” and not care if Em thought I was lame. She said we were supposed to go a little crazy once in a while; it was practically our duty. Pretty soon it would be too late. 
But I knew it was already too late."

Ramblings: This as a quick read with a touching story.

Characters: Robin and Emily are the two main characters, only Emily isn't awake. Robin is definitely upset by this event, and she doesn't know how to handle it. She is a great character when it comes to her emotions and how she handles everyday situations.

Plot: The plot is what bothered me about this book. I mean, the story line was great and I loved the last few lines! But I felt the beginning was abrupt and the story didn't start to come together until halfway through the book. There were some scenes in the story that I wish had been carried out longer or explained better. (Like the whole story with her father & her relationship with her mother).

Overall: I enjoyed this book and recommend it if you are looking for a touching story. I don't know if I'd ever re-read this, but the ending was spectacular and I love the resolution!

Overall Rating: 2 Stars
Cover Love: 1 Heart

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Teaser Tuesday 10

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Should Be Reading. This week my teaser from the book The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.

"A smile walks over one side of his face but not the other. It almost looks like he's actually happy, if you've never seen one of his real ones. The sad this is--I've gotten used to the fake one. I've become willing to wait for the real one to reappear, without realizing I should've been working hard to find it again."

-Page 12 of The Scorpio Races

What is your Teaser this Tuesday?? Have a great week!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Author Interview: Kevin Turner

Kevin Turner is the author of The Magi. You can read my review or this fantastic book here!  Also, I'm giving away TWO copies of The Magi in that post! Don't forget to sign up to win! Kevin is also nice enough for this fantastic interview.

What was your inspiration for writing The Magi?

The first thing you should know about me is that I’m a middle school English teacher.  About a year ago, I became frustrated with the lack of participation I was getting in regards to student reading.  Part of my job is to take students to the library and help them find a good book to read.  For many, that’s like telling someone with a sweet tooth to go into a candy store and find the perfect candy.  They’d be in there all day!  However, for many students, it was like pulling teeth to find a book. 
To help me with this quest, I created a survey and asked the kids to tell me what it was they wanted to read.  I figured by asking them to describe the perfect book, I could use that to narrow down a list of possible books that would entertain them.  Instead of the diverse answers I expected to get, I ended up getting quite similar responses from my students.  So, I decided to write a book that met the demands they listed.  And The Magi was the result.
In The Magi, the Magi people can control the four elements. Which element would you control and why?
In the book, each element is unique in its ability to be controlled.  In other words, how one element is controlled is different than how another element is controlled.  Without giving anything away from the story, each person’s personality makes them more or less likely to access each element.  I would say that based on my personality, I would be a healthy mix between earth and water.  I think there are fire tendencies here and there, but I think earth and water share my biggest attributes. 
I actually have a created quiz that you can take which would help you identify which element you would control.  It think it’s kind of fun.  You can view it at http://leafbladegames.com/elementquiz/home.aspx

Did you ever attend a boarding school like Elijah? Would you want to?

No.  I went through the American public school system.
I definitely would not want Elijah’s boarding school experience, but I think that boarding school in many ways is similar to college, which I enjoyed very much.  Living with others of the same age and having a little more independence is very enticing to many young people, especially during the teenage years.  However, I think I would have also found boarding school very lonely.  One of the themes of The Magi is family, and there’s a different kind of love that your family gives that your friends cannot, and I think boarding school would have been very painful for me in that regard.

Elijah looks up to Master Roddick the most in this story. Who do you look up to the most?

I have probably the most incredible mother that I look up to very much.  When I was around Elijah’s age, I lost my father suddenly.  At the time, my mom was staying home and taking care of the family.  As soon as my father died, she had to find work, become not just an incredible mother but an incredible father, and put us both through school while keeping all the responsibilities she had before he died.  I can’t imagine having to do that and also deal with the emotional pounding of dealing with the death of a spouse at the same time.   

Can you give us a sneak peak of the next novel in The Magi series? I'm dying to read the next one!

I’ll try to give as much as I can without ruining the experience of The Magi.  The second book is titled The Sphere.  If you’ve read The Magi, you know the importance of this sphere as it is a sort of weapon for the Maliphists, who are the group of people hunting Elijah.  The problem is, this sphere is hidden and is actively being pursued by both the Magi and the Maliphists.
The Sphere is a treasure hunt of sorts, except instead of finding treasure, Elijah is trying to find this sphere to keep the Maliphists from using it on the common people.  The book will take us to other parts of the world, other Magi communities, and will have lots of research and code deciphering as they dive into ancient secrets that have never been uncovered by the Magi.  Along with the search for the sphere, there are some relationships (romantic and unromantic) that are tested and we will continue to learn a little more about Elijah’s past.  We will also continue learn more about the Magi world and of course Elijah’s training with the elements.  I’m also very excited to say that some very ordinary scenes in The Magi will be revealed as being very extraordinary in The Sphere (and the rest of the series).  But these clues are in The Magi; they’re just easily overlooked.     
I have to say that when I sat down to plan out The Magi Series, The Sphere was the book that I looked forward to writing the most.  

Thanks for the interview Kevin! 
Don't pass up The Magi. You can buy an ebook of The Magi at Amazon or enter to win!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Magi & Giveaway!

The Magi by Kevin Turner

The Magi
Thirteen-year-old Elijah Hawk has never heard of the Magi. He doesn't know about the secret power they have. He has never been to Savenridge, the Magi city hidden deep inside the northern forests. Most of all, Elijah is unaware of the dangers hunting him, in search for something he has. After one terrifying night, however, all of that changes! 

On a quest to solve the murder of his parents, Elijah stumbles upon the land of the Magi. Learning their secrets and training with their power is the least of his problems. In order to find out why his parents were killed, Elijah learns that he must confront the dangers that are hunting him. What's more terrifying is learning that stumbling upon this new world of the Magi may not have been an accident after all.

Ramblings: Mystery, adventure, suspense, magic, AMAZING! This is the first book in a 5 book series to be that I am going to read furiously! The Magi left me craving for more and I'm just dying for more!

Characters: Elijah is the main character in this book and I was excited to read a book with a boy as the protagonist. Elijah was so easy to connect with from the very beginning of the book. Sometimes when characters are in the climax, they seem to run on never-ending energy and they never feel any pain or weakness. Elijah experienced fear, fatigue, hunger and normal emotions that a young boy should be feeling!

Plot: This was a pretty unique plot and I was easily wrapped up in it. Like I said before it is full of suspense and adventure that left me rapidly turning the pages. Mystery was also entwined in every page, even the end! There are many unanswered questions that I hope will become answered in the next book!

Overall: I seriously loved this book. It's a great read for any YA/Middle reader. Don't pass this one up!

Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Cover Love: 3 Hearts

Now for the Giveaway! --->

Good Reads Choice Awards

2011 Goodreads Choice AwardsThe Good Reads Choice Awards are happening--RIGHT NOW! 
There are tons of categories to vote for: Best Young Adult Fiction, Favorite Book of 2011, etc! And there are some great YA nominees competing for the winner! 

In Best Young Adult Fiction there is :

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah DessenBeauty Queens by Libba BrayTwisted by Sara ShepardBetween Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Shine by Lauren MyracleUncommon Criminals by Ally CarterWhere She Went by Gayle FormanThe Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie PerkinsChain Reaction by Simone Elkeles

There are soooo many good choices in this category, it was tough to choose!!

In Young Adult Science Fiction & Fantasy:

Forever by Maggie StiefvaterCity of Fallen Angels by Cassandra ClareThe Iron Knight by Julie KagawaAwakened by P.C. CastMiss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom RiggsDelirium by Lauren OliverBloodlines by Richelle MeadAcross the Universe by Beth Revis
Silence by Becca FitzpatrickDivergent by Veronica Roth

There were soo many fantastic YA fantasy books this year, it's going to be tough to choose!

And, for Favorite Book of 2011, there are a few YA titles!:

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra ClareDelirium by Lauren OliverMiss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom RiggsDivergent by Veronica Roth

The YA selection had some great books in 2011, and I think 2012 will be just as promising. 

Which will you vote for?? Head on over to vote now at:
Happy Reading!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

In My Mailbox 21

In My Mailbox is hosted by the Story Siren to showcase the books we received/bought/borrowed during the week. This week I bought:


Matched by Allie Condie
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

For Review:

 Cover for 'Notes to Self'

Untraceable by S.R. Johannes
Note to Self  by Avery Sawyer

What did you get in your mailbox this week??
:) It's the last week of November, enjoy it!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

"I've left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don't, put the book back on the shelf, please."

So begins the lates whirlwind romance from the New York Times bestselling authors of Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locatiions across New York? Could their in-person selves possible connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Ramblings: This book just looked absolutely adorable--and I was right! I couldn't put this book down. I've been heading downhill with my reading lately ): but this book has brought me back on top! I was so gripped by this story that I read it in one day!

Characters: Lily and Dash were pretty compatible characters, although at one point in the story I was so mad at both of them! Lily for being dumb, and Dash for judging Lily! (Even though she didn't give off the best first impression. Once I got over that though, I was pretty pleased with how the story progressed. The characters didn't seem fully developed to me, maybe the story just needed more to it so I could get a better feel of the characters.

Plot: This plot moved rapidly and kept me turning the pages. There were a few key points to the story, but the rest of the time there didn't seem to have much going on. Even though there wasn't too much to the story (I felt it wasn't very deep) I still really enjoyed this book and the plot was new and refreshing!

Overall: A sweet romance, good for a stressed day and if you aren't looking for anything too deep. Don't pass up this sweet Christmas read!

Overall Rating: 3 Stars
Cover Love: 4 Hearts 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Musing Monday 13

Musing Monday is hosted by Should Be Reading. This week's Musing asks:

How do you decide to read a book by an author you haven’t read before? What sort of recommendations count most highly in making that decision?

For me, whether or not the author is a debut or not doesn't affect my reading selections too often. There are some authors where I love one book by them so I go buy their next book and I don't like it. So, who the author is is not a huge factor in my book selection. I am always writing down and adding books into my TBR pile, based off of reviews written by other bloggers. Most of the time though, I'll walk in a bookstore or my public library, with no book in particular in mind, and I'll just browse the shelves reading the summary on the jacket flap until I find a book with a story that really grabs me. It's the story that I like! 

What about you?
Follow & Comment with a blog address & I'll see you soon!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

In My Mailbox 20

Welcome to my In My Mailbox! IMM is hosted by The Story Siren so that every week you can showcase the books you receive or borrow or buy.

For Review:

India Was One by an Indian
The Magi by Kevin Turner
The Jinx by D.F. Lamont


The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
You Against Me by Jenny Downham

What did you get in your mailbox?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Hello everybody and thanks for stopping by Magic is in Words! I love having you; your comments warm my heart. I hope that you are having a wonderful fall, and that you can read some great books this season!