Sunday, July 29, 2012

Reading Road Trip: Alaska

Welcome to one of the last stops on the Reading Road Trip! I'm stoked to represent Alaska on this fantastic tour full of fantastic prizes. The Reading Road Trip tour is hosted by the awesome Hafsah and Britta. Go check out their blogs!
ALASKA! (photo copyrighted to me)
Today I'll have two books to giveaway, but only ONE winner will be able to choose from ONE of the books. Sorry! But don't worry--this is international, as long as The Book Depository ships to your country. Yay!

Here are the books (both in paperback):
This book talks about the Iditarod, which takes place in Alaska
Wendy Higgins was born in Alaska!
You can click on the book covers to go to their Goodreads pages and read the synopses.

Just fill out the form below to enter! There are extra entries if you want them, but they are not mandatory. Click here to check out the rest of the tour! (and if the form doesn't work, just leave a comment below.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The Reviews News

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

New #TeamFinnick Buttons & Incentives!

Alright y'all. 'Tis time we pulled out the big guns (no pun intended--think Victory Tour in District 11 at beginning of Catching Fire if you're confused).

Finnick is going against Jem this Friday.

In case you didn't know, my good friends at the YA-Sisterhood host an annual online tournament competing different fictional guys, called the YA Crush Tournament. You may have seen its hashtag #YACrushTourney on Twitter. In any case, I was lucky enough to land the role of Finnick's advocate, and since y'all so awesome and we pulled a victory last time, Finnick is advancing into the next round.

July 27th, 2012. Vote. For. Finnick.

Now last round, the amazing amazing Jeri Smith-Ready gave away her ARC of The Hunger Games. I had no idea how  I could POSSIBLY top that, since it's pretty much one of the most awesome things ever, but then.

See, the thing is, an ARC of The Hunger Games is practically impossible to top--unless you also have an ARC of Catching Fire. And I don't have one and they're selling it on ebay for a thousand bucks, which I don't have considering my pretty much broke status, so I figured something equally as awesome should do.


Yes, you read that right! Chris Colfer, starring as Kurt in the hit TV show Glee (which earned him a Golden Globe Award). Chris Colfer's signature. And his book.

But how does this relate to The Hunger Games?
Just watch this.


BUT! That's not all! 

-For every 2,000 votes Finnick gets, I will be giving away one Etsy Hunger Games-related swag, $10 or less (not including shipping and taxes). INTERNATIONAL.
     You can get some really cool stuff, like this awesome pocketwatch:
The Hunger Games Inspired Arrow with Mockingjay and Peeta Pearl heart spider web pocket watch locket necklace

-For every 1,000 votes Finnick receives, I will give away ONE ARC from this list. They're super awesome. Trust me. US ONLY.
      Note: I have not read all of the books on that list yet, so mailing might take longer than what you may expect.

*Edited to add: I AM NOW ADDING UNRAVEL ME by Tahereh Mafi to the list!*

-For every 500 votes Finnick gets, I will give away an envelope of awesome swag. There's signed stuff, maybe even posters if we've reached past 5,000 votes. US ONLY. 

And lastly,
-For every 100 votes Finnick receives, I will add a random #TeamFinnick/#TeamFishboy/#FinnickForFirst/#FightForFinnick/#FinnickFanatics hashtag-user on twitter into a box of names. The tweet must include a link to the YA-Sisterhood tournament post.
   At the end of the round, I will pick one name out of that box of names. I have another box of possible things the winner might win. Those items include: a) $20 Barnes&Noble gift card; b) 3 ARCs of your choice from the list I mentioned above; c) an Earn that Dream design package; d) a 10,000-word critique from me; or e) your choice of a Hunger Games tote bag worth $25 or less.

Yeah. This is the freaking prize-a-palooza. I saved up money for the ENTIRE MONTH to pay for all of these stuff, you guys. So please please please VOTE FOR FINNICK! <3

As Peeta says in my advocate post that will be posted on the YA-Sisterhood blog when the round goes up this Friday:

"Team Jem or Team Will?
Team Finnick will prevail!"

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Here are the old #TeamFinnick buttons with new dates on them! (Feel free to grab them and showcase them as your twitter avatars, facebook profile pictures, tumblr posts, pinterest covers, facebook covers, etc.)

Facebook cover:
(click to enlarge. Art by

Vote for Finnick!

Vote for Finnick!

Vote for Finnick!

Vote for Finnick!

Vote for Finnick!


So spread the word. Save the date.
The Reviews News

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Join TeamKilt and Rule the World!

There's this phenomenon called #TeamKilt. It's the ultimate fan group for the incredible Jeri Smith-Ready, the gift of support and friendship unrivaled anywhere else, step after step of stepping stone helping you no matter where you want to go.

#TeamKilt is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. If you know me in real life (even though this totally is real life), you might think that I'm sad all the time. Just ask anyone who knows me. But #TeamKilt? #TeamKilt is the reason why I keep going, man. Here's a small secret: I spiraled into a really bad depression earlier this year and almost completely lost it. And then #TeamKilt, along with books, finally dragged me out. In truth, I owe #TeamKilt so much, but not the monetary or obligatory kind--the kind of owing that comes with so much love it sometimes hurts.

But this--this is not the time to be sentimental. Today I am here with a mission: to get you to vote for #TeamKilt. So please, head off to YA-Sisterhood right now and vote for Zachary Moore. 

Now you might be thinking: why should I vote for Zach when someone as amazing as Will is his opponent? That's a legitimately good question,and luckily, my amazingly eloquent friends Amy and Jen from Fictitious Delicious have solved that problem. Just read their advocate post and prepare to be wowed. Besides, Zach is from the Shade trilogy, and so compared to The Infernal Devices, well, underdogs gotta unite, yeah? :)

But. I, too, provide you with incentives. You can check out my good bud Karen (from For What It's Worth)'s #TeamKilt giveaway hop right now to enter even more jaw-droppingly fabulous prizes (if Zach gets 10,000 votes, Jeri is giving away a full manuscript critique! Even if you're not a writer, as a reader you can fully appreciate just how much Jeri loves her fans). I don't have much to offer since I just spent all the money I have for this month, but here it is:

-Prize #1: For every 300 votes Zachary receives, I will photoshop you, your spouse, or anybody you can find a full body shot of (gotta be sure that it's not against copyright for Creative Commons Use, though. If you're unsure, just ask me) into a kilt. 

So I know it's not that amazing, but alas. It's a kilt. Thus.... #TeamKilt. *sighs at self's terrible pun-ness*

-Prize #2: For every 1,000 votes Zachary gets, I will personally chat with you about WHATEVER it is you want to chat about (gotta be PG13 or under though, haha) for 15-30 minutes on Gmail. The chat can be set to private if you want and I promise I will never speak a word about its content unless you wish so otherwise.

You might think, why would I need to chat with you?!?! But see, I interned for a psychologist just a few years ago and I've been through the weirdest things (like, um, getting stuck in traffic with giant hippos and camels punching your door. Literally & seriously.) so I can probably help you on some level, whether it is letting you vent or brainstorm or whatever. :)

-Prize #3: If Zachary makes it to 10,000 votes, you get the option of receiving a) an original composition by moi, b) a full design--Keep that Dreamor c) your choice of something artistic (writing, paintings, etc.) that you want. As long as I don't have to spend money on it, I will happily comply. Critiques (even though you KNOW you want Jeri's, but yanno, a fresh set of eyes is a fresh set of eyes, and Jeri's probably sighing that I am sneaking in the light of her awesomeness again), custom avatars, whatever.

If you're wondering about my credentials, feel free to click on some of the links I've linked to above.

SO! GO VOTE FOR ZACHARY, leave a comment stating that you did--please do not cheat--and any tweets with links to them will be +1 entry! Please leave your twitter handle or email address so I can contact you if you win. NOW SPREAD THE WORD AND VOTE! :D
The Reviews News

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Why You Should Vote for Finnick: INCENTIVES & ARC of HUNGER GAMES!

Vote for Finnick!

If you are one of the millions of people who've read The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, you know that Finnick Odair is undoubtedly one of the most crush-worthy fictional males out there. He's freaking beautiful in every way, inside and out, and I know that's super cheesy to say, but I like cheese and Finnick does too and he also likes sugar cubes and whatnot so clearly you should vote for him. Also, you should vote for Gale and Peeta (July 23rd) too 'cause us HG fans gotta stick together, yeah?

Ah, but you are eager to know what you will get if you vote? That sounds just about right because I've got...wait for it...


(stay tuned, because this post includes an ARC of the grandest and most shocking order and you will NOT believe it.)

Round 1:*

-Prize #1: If Finnick wins this round, I will give away an INTERNATIONAL order of ANY Etsy Hunger Games-related piece of swag, with a value of $20 or less. T-shirts, jewelry, whatever.

Example:  hunger games jewelry pocket watch necklace mocking bird pendant hb135

-Prize #2: Win or lose, I will give away a copy of Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins. Kaidan is the boy Finnick's up against and I have to admit that he's pretty great. Just not as great as Finnick, for this round's sake. ;) This prize is US/Canada only.

-Prize #3 (THIS IS THE REAL DEAL!): Jeri Smith-Ready, beloved and brilliant author of the Shade trilogy (Shade, Shift, and Shine), is giving away her ARC of The Hunger Games IF FINNICK WINS THIS ROUND. In case you didn't know, an ARC is an Advanced Reader's Copy, one of a book's earliest bounded stages and read early typically by only publishing professionals and reviewers. So this prize? This rare, precious prize that only has two available on EBay, both clocking in (haha, get it? Catching Fire reference?) at about $300? Yeah. It's freaking amazing as heck and you all need to go waterbend or something a freaking monument to Jeri. *NOTE: you can ONLY enter for this prize if you LEAVE A COMMENT on Jeri's blog post here. If you enter the giveaway on THIS blog  post, your entry will not count toward this prize.*  

-Prize #4: Jeri is also, on the same blog post I linked to in the paragraph before, giving away a copy of Sweet Evil! I know, she's so amazing. T.T So go enter!

Round 2:*

-Sekrit prizes to be announced.

*These prizes do not require any extra action besides filling in the form below. HOWEVER! The whole point of this post is to spread word about supporting Finnick. So I also ask you to please vote for him. Since I cannot track whether or not you actually voted for him, I am basing this on an honor system. Please be thoughtful and wary of abusing the system. Thanks! :D

a Rafflecopter giveaway


And if all of that wasn't incentive enough, there is one last thing I can give you. My defense post:

“Want a sugar cube? […] They’re supposed to be for the horses, but who cares? They’ve got years to eat sugar, whereas you and I … well, if we see something sweet, we better grab it quick.”
-Catching Fire

Welcome, welcome, to the 2nd annual YA Crush Tourney! The time has come to select one courageous young man out of many for the honor of representing District Fictional in the eyes of the YA literary world.

Our tributes contestants: Finnick Odair and Kaidan Rowe!

Now now, eager ones, it is my pleasure to advocate the ever-so-handsome and ever-so, ah, disastrously charming Finnick Odair of District 4, Victor of the 65th annual Hunger Games. So let us begin, shall we?

I've been told that though my golden wig looks fantastic (thank you, thank you!), Finnick's real (ah! I despise admitting that mine is not naturally so beautiful!) golden hair, bronze skin (from days spent by the ocean), and sea-green eyes have been known to cause large crowds to faint. I hear that it isn't just large crowds of women, either. Now now, I know you all want to see Finnick, and while he personally is sadly occupied at this moment, I've got a portrait of him straight from Capitol Couture!

Finnick Odair, Victor of the 65th Hunger Games
Art by mseregon

I suppose I'm a little old for him, but- *gasps*

That is mahogany! Don't touch the frame! No, don't touch the picture either, it's-

*glares* I suppose I should have seen this coming. Shall we move on?

Even though the Capitol food is delicious, people still don't mind their manners. It's quite a tragedy, isn't it? It's the same way with our Victors. They might be delicious *blushes*, but without a charismatic attitude, there's no way they could ever be so popular. It's not just his looks that Finnick has the crowd fawning over--it's his very personality itself. Sturdier than mahogany, cool and sweet as a sugar cube, fierce as his trident, and he even has real manners! That boy can fish you a dinner almost as luscious as himself, and all that trident-wielding (he can throw a trident--how absolutely delightful!) as well as his ability to weave knots of the most complicated matter edge him with a patience simply unrivaled. I've heard rumors too, that he can make even Katniss Everdeen blush. Now there's a man irresistable in both looks and personality! Katniss, dear?

“'Finnick?' I say. 'Maybe some pants?'
He looks down at his legs as if noticing them for the first time. Then he whips off his hospital gown, leaving him in just his underwear. 'Why? Do you find this'-he strikes a ridiculously provocative pose-'distracting?'

I can’t help laughing because it’s funny, and it’s extra funny because Boggs looks so uncomfortable, and I’m happy because Finnick actually sounds like the guy I met at the Quarter Quell.

'I’m only human, Odair.' I get in before the elevator doors close.

[...] "'Well, don't expect us to be too impressed. We just saw Finnick Odair in his underwear.'”

Citizens of Panem- what? This isn't Panem? Why didn't you tell me, Effie? You did? I was listening! Peeta? What does he have to do with- *sighs*

Citizens of the world, hello. I am Katniss Everdeen. Effie has graciously asked me to praise Finnick.

It's the one thing I won't have to lie about. Finnick is brave, but he's also very reserved. I don't think most people realize this. They look at Finnick once and it's his beauty that's baited and reeled them in, not his ferocity.


He has survived one Hunger Games and a Quarter Quell, which I suppose I could say I did too, but I think on a bigger scale his life has always been much more destructive than mine. Back in District 13, I'd walk around and there's Finnick, always with a rope in his hands and knotting and twisting it all day. I asked him if he was okay. I don't think he ever answered me truthfully. Even though Finnick could have anyone he wanted, he loved the mad girl back at home. That's always stilled me, but of course he never had the chance to live a even half-happy life with her.

“'Did you love Annie right away, Finnick?' I ask.
'No.' A long time passes before he adds, 'She crept up on me.'”
-Catching Fire

“Plutarch rushes to reassure me. 'Oh, no, Katniss. Not your wedding. Finnick and Annie's. All you need to do is show up and pretend to be happy for them.'
'That's one of the few things I won't have to pretend, Plutarch,' I tell him.”

Annie Cresta and Finnick Odair
Art by mseregon
I may be the Mockingjay, but Finnick has helped me in more ways than I can possibly repay. He saved Peeta when he told Panem what President Snow did to him. and when they rescued Annie, it's like someone planted the sun inside of him. I don't think he ever let go of her hand, except when Squad 451 left and he died before he could see their son. Besides Prim... besides her and what the Capitol did to Peeta, that is the one thing I hate the most. He sacrificed himself and died and lost everything. His wife, his child. If there is one thing people need to know about Finnick, it is not his beauty. It's that he risked the little he had left to save us.


*smiles sadly* Thank you, Katniss. Now, I would despise ending on such a--what is that phrase you use?--sour note, so I do certainly hope that this scene from the Quarter Quell would cheer you up, if only for the slightest bit.

“Really, the combination of the scabs and the ointment looks hideous. I can't help enjoying his distress.
'Poor Finnick. Is this the first time in your life you haven't looked pretty?' I say.
'It must be. The sensation's completely new. How have you managed it all these years?' he asks.
'Just avoid mirrors. You'll forget about it,' I say.
'Not if I keep looking at you,' he says.”
-Catching Fire

Oh, there comes the train! It's my time to go. I guess there all comes a day when we must forge our own stories, yes?

Thank you, thank you! May the odds be ever in your favor.

P.S. Hey everyone! Juli here. Big thanks to Effie and Katniss for helping me out! I just wanted to let you all know that if you're interested in how else you could support Finnick, don't hesitate to visit my blog for all the details! It also happens to be my 1st blogoversary today, so I'd love it if you stopped by! :D Thanks! #FinnickFTW!

P.P.S. Why is it that I can never seem to find a picture of Finnick with a shirt on? (Not that I'm complaining!)


So I hope I've convinced you now. :) VOTE FOR FINNICK HERE! NOW! :D THANKS!
The Reviews News

Thursday, July 5, 2012


I have approximately two minutes before my mother will discover my terribly uncivilized motives and drag me off to sleep, so bear with me as this post will be incredibly incoherent and insufficient and vague and boring and full of crab and basically


Like I mean I have incentives and stuff but I'm on this little thing called "vacation" and I don't even know.

So yeah go vote for Zach because even though I love Alex, I admit I love Zach just a wee bit more.

Oh, who am I kidding. Okay, fine. Perhaps quite a drastic distance from a "wee bit," aye?


*falls asleep*

P.S. Isn't Jen & Amy just amazing?

The Reviews News

Theme Song Thursday {1}

The amazing Jena from Shortie Says has this new meme up called Theme Song Thursday, and basically she picks a book and a song that goes along with the book, and explain why those two items correspond. I will be joining on this awesome meme. :) The book I chose for this week is...

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday {29}

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It's been forever since I participated in this meme, which totally means I suck, but anyway, I'm happy to get back to it this week! Just click on the jump to see what book I'm waiting on this week.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Monotones of Life

My Life in Black & White
By: Natasha Friend
Reported by: Julianna Helms
Source: ARC via Tour
Release date: June 28th, 2012 from Viking/Penguin

What if you lost the thing that made you who you are?

Lexi has always been stunning. Her butter-colored hair and perfect features have helped her attract friends, a boyfriend, and the attention of a modeling scout. But everything changes the night Lexi's face goes through a windshield. Now she's not sure what's worse: the scars she'll have to live with forever, or what she saw going on between her best friend and her boyfriend right before the accident. With the help of her trombone-playing, defiantly uncool older sister and a guy at school recovering from his own recent trauma, Lexi learns she's much more than just a pretty face.

-Summary from Goodreads
Purchase: Mrs. Nelson's||Amazon||Barnes&Noble||Book Depository

My Life in Black and White is like a vulture, circling over the question of "what if you lost the one thing that defined you?", and as it dived down you could see suddenly not just the question as the prey but the question as a predator.

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