Monday, March 30, 2009
For the Lauren Henderson contest (Kiss Me Kill Me and Kisses and Lies): MssJos
For the Maria V. Snyder contest (Storm Glass): scottsgal
And for the Lisa Ann Sandell contest (The Song of the Sparrow and A Map of the Known World ARC): Amelia
All congratulations emails have been sent.
I wish there were more books to give away, especially for the more dedicated entrants. I'll try to have some more contests in the future.
Thanks to all who participated and contributed! I'm actually planning on sending thank you emails to our guest bloggers and writers once I catch up on everything, so if you'd like to leave a personal thank you comment or something along those lines, I'll add it to the email.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
The results are in for our little polls. What did I learn? Hmmm. We've got a lot of teen readers, but also a decent amount of 20 up, I think. And we're nearly all female. Hopefully our Geek Boy Maybe will add a bit more of a male following. I'm pretty content with the ages, though.
I was brainstorming last night, trying to come up with some new ideas for the blog. What do a lot of teens have in common? I came up with: college. Older teens, in particular, are hit with the college frenzy that sweeps America (and perhaps other countries, as well).
It is time to give a little info up about me. I am a teen. I've never stated that outright on the blog to avoid stereotyping/bias, but if most of you guys are teens, too, I don't mind owning up. I am immersed in the college craze right now. Which schools to visit? Which classes to take next year? How to buff up my resume? So many questions. Though I can't answer most of them for my readers, there is one question I can answer: Which college-related books to read?
I've decided to include college-related books in my reviews. This way, readers will know which ones to read and which to avoid.
If there is something else college-related that you guys would like me to write about, I'm open to new ideas. Comment away! Let me know what you think. If its a bad idea, I can always pull the plug on it.
Friday, March 27, 2009
John made a choice to stay. To enforce the rules. To serve and protect. He has nothing but contempt for what he sees as childish rebellion, and he wants to teach Meg a lesson she won't soon forget. But Meg pushes him to the limit by questioning everything he learned at the police academy. And when he pushes back, demanding to know why she won't be tied down, they will drive each other to the edge -- and over....
More importantly, Meg and John truly have an effect on each other. This is far rarer in books than many would expect. How many fictional couples really change each other? Like some chemicals when thrown together, Meg and John (especially Meg) really create a reaction. And speaking of reactions- they have plenty of a physical sort of chemistry reaction, too. What adds an air of suspense to this novel, though, is the question of whether this reaction they create will produce a positive or negative effect on their personas.
Both Meg and John need something. And neither really knows what it is though they both try to find substitutions for what’s missing through various activities. John dedicates himself to the police force, and Meg dedicates herself to living wild. But what will really bring them the peace they seek?
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
I'd love to hear what you guys think of this, so comment away!
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
If you didn't win this contest, there are plenty more! The Geek Fest contest list is on the right side of our website. Getting those extra entries (like The Book Girl) will really tip the odds in your favor...
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
The following meme is from Chelsea of The Page Flipper.
The following list of books teens love, books teens should read, and books adults who serve teens should know about was compiled IN ABSOLUTELY NO SCIENTIFIC MANNER and should be taken with a very large grain of salt.
Put an “X” next to the books you’ve read
Put a “+” next to the books you LOVE
Put a “#” next to the books you plan on reading
Tally your “X”s at the bottom
Share with your friends!
1. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy / Douglas Adams #
2. Kit’s Wilderness / David Almond
3. Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian / Sherman Alexie
4. Speak / Laurie Halse Anderson X+
5. Feed / M.T. Anderson
6. Flowers in the Attic / V.C. Andrews #
7. 13 Reasons Why / Jay Asher#
8. Am I Blue? / Marion Dane Bauer (editor)
9. Audrey Wait! / Robin Benway #
10. Weetzie Bat / Francesca Lia Block X
11. Tangerine / Edward Bloor X
12. Forever / Judy Blume X
13. What I Saw and How I Lied / Judy Blundell #
14. Tyrell / Coe Booth
15. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants / Ann Brashares X
16. A Great and Terrible Beauty / Libba Bray X+
17. The Princess Diaries / Meg Cabot X+
18. The Stranger / Albert Camus
19. Ender’s Game / Orson Scott Card #
20. Postcards from No Man’s Land / Aidan Chambers
21. Perks of Being a Wallflower / Stephen Chbosky #
22. And Then There Were None / Agatha Christie
23. Gingerbread / Rachel Cohn #
24. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist / Rachel Cohn and David Levithan X+
25. Artemis Fowl (series) / Eoin Colfer X
26. The Hunger Games / Suzanne Collins X+
27. The Midwife’s Apprentice / Karen Cushman
28. The Truth About Forever / Sarah Dessen X+
29. Little Brother / Cory Doctorow
30. A Northern Light / Jennifer Donnelly X
31. Tears of a Tiger / Sharon Draper #
32. The House of the Scorpion / Nancy Farmer X
33. Breathing Underwater / Alex Flinn #
34. Stardust / Neil Gaiman X
35. Annie on My Mind / Nancy Garden
36. What Happened to Cass McBride / Gail Giles
37. Fat Kid Rules the World / K.L. Going #
38. Lord of the Flies / William Golding X
39. Looking for Alaska / John Green X+
40. Bronx Masquerade / Nikki Grimes X
41. Out of the Dust / Karen Hesse X
42. Hoot / Carl Hiaasen
43. The Outsiders / S.E. Hinton
44. Crank / Ellen Hopkins #
45 The First Part Last / Angela Johnson
46. Blood and Chocolate / Annette Curtis Klause X+
47. Arrow’s Flight / Mercedes Lackey
48. Hattie Big Sky / Kirby Larson
49. To Kill a Mockingbird / Harper Lee X+
50. Boy Meets Boy / David Levithan
51. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks / E. Lockhart X+
52. The Giver / Lois Lowry X
53. Number the Stars / Lois Lowry X
54. Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie / David Lubar
55. Inexcusable / Chris Lynch
56. The Earth, My Butt and Other Big, Round Things / Carolyn Mackler #
57. Dragonsong / Anne McCaffrey X
58. White Darkness / Geraldine McCaughrean
59. Sold / Patricia McCormick #
60. Jellicoe Road / Melina Marchetta #
61. Wicked Lovely / Melissa Marr X+
62. Twilight / Stephenie Meyer X+
63. Dairy Queen / Catherine Murdock X
64. Fallen Angels / Walter Dean Myers
65. Monster / Walter Dean Myers
66. Step From Heaven / An Na
67. Mama Day / Gloria Naylor
68. The Keys to the Kingdom (series) / Garth Nix X
69. Sabriel / Garth Nix X
70. Airborn / Kenneth Oppel
71. Eragon / Christopher Paolini X
72. Hatchet / Gary Paulsen X
73. Life As We Knew It / Susan Beth Pfeffer #
74. The Golden Compass / Phillip Pullman X+
75. Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging / Louise Rennison X
76. The Lightning Thief / Rick Riordan
77. Always Running: La Vida Loca / Luis Rodriguez
78. how i live now / Meg Rosoff #
79. Harry Potter (series) / J.K. Rowling X+
80. Holes / Louis Sachar X+
81. Catcher in the Rye / J. D. Salinger X+
82. Push / Sapphire #
83. Persepolis / Marjane Satrapi X
84. Unwind / Neil Shusterman #
85. Coldest Winter Ever / Sister Souljah
86. Stargirl / Jerry Spinelli X+
87. Chanda’s Secrets / Allan Stratton
88. Tale of One Bad Rat / Brian Talbot
89. Rats Saw God / Rob Thomas
90. Lord of the Rings / J.R.R. Tolkien X+
91. Stuck in Neutral / Terry Trueman
92. Gossip Girl / Cecily Von Ziegesar X
93. Uglies / Scott Westerfeld X
94. Every Time a Rainbow Dies / Rita Williams-Garcia
95. Pedro and Me / Judd Winick
96. Hard Love / Ellen Wittlinger #
97. American Born Chinese / Gene Luen Yang #
98. Elsewhere / Gabrielle Zevin X
99. I am the Messenger / Markus Zusak #
100. The Book Thief / Markus Zusak X
So that's a little under half, I think. Very interesting. Lots of good books...
There are still a few ongoing contests (listed on the right side of our blog) for those who didn't win (or even for those who did), so make sure to try those out before they close.
Here is one for Tina Ferraro's How to Hook a Hottie that is ending tonight!
Monday, March 16, 2009
I'll openly admit that I love the idea of this contest- so adorable!
Good luck, everyone!
And for the Lisa Mantchev contest (Eyes Like Stars): Sara
"Congratulations" emails have been sent.
I know that there were a lot of hopeful entrants for these contest, but there are plenty of other contests left if you didn't win this one. The Geek Fest contest list is on the right side of our website. Again, getting those extra entries (like all of our winners so far) will really tip the odds in your favor...
Sunday, March 15, 2009
The Book Girl won both Daughter of the Flames and The Swan Kingdom from our first Geek Fest contest. There are plenty of other contests left, though, if you didn't win this one. The Geek Fest contest list is on the right side of our website. Getting those extra entries (like The Book Girl) will really tip the odds in your favor...
Saturday, March 14, 2009
They say no land remains to be discovered, no continent is left unexplored. But the whole world is out there, waiting, just waiting for me. I want to do things-I want to walk the rain-soaked streets of London, and drink mint tea in Casablanca. I want to wander the wastelands of the Gobi desert and see a yak. I think my life's ambition is to see a yak. I want to bargain for trinkets in an Arab market in some distant, dusty land. There's so much. But, most of all, I want to do things that will mean something.
Enter by leaving a comment below including your email address. The winner will receive a both The Song of the Sparrow and an ARC of A Map of the Known World! If you are uncomfortable leaving your email address below, feel free to shoot me an email at not_so_cg[at]yahoo[dot]com instead with the subject "Lisa Ann Sandell Contest".
+1 Leave a comment on Lisa's guest blog
+1 Visit Lisa's website and tell me about one thing you learned there about Lisa or her books in your comment
+1 If you become a NSCG follower
+1 If you become a NSCG reader by subscribing to our myspace blog (www.myspace.com/not_so_cg)
+2 If you were a follower before Geek Fest
+2 If you were a myspace subscribed reader before Geek Fest
+4 If you link to this contest in a post, sidebar, etc (a link to this must be left in your comment)
Make sure to leave all extra entries specifics in your comment/email.
This contest closes this next Saturday (March 21th). The winner will be announced and contacted sometime during the week following.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Well, as soon as my parents presented this magical box to me and I tore off the dreidel-covered wrapping paper, I began picking through the bits of gray, slightly smelly pieces of gravel, or litter box filler, excitedly unearthing piece after piece of prehistoric treasure. I flipped through the book; identified each piece I found, carefully dusting off the microscopic specks of dust; and stuck a small square sticker on whatever flat surface I could find. I painstakingly labeled those stickers with neatly drawn numbers, then pulled out a black and white freckled composition notebook and wrote the corresponding number alongside the name of the artifact. 1. Dinosaur bone (late Triassic – late Cretaceous?). 2. Trilobite (early Cambrian – lower Paleozoic), etc. Finally, I lovingly stored each fossil in a long, rectangular red velvet case, which I stored in the drawer of my night table, at my bedside, so I could examine and caress my precious finds whenever I wanted.
Oh my goodness, I was in geek heaven. A special corner of geek heaven—DINOSAUR geek heaven. And I couldn’t have been happier. Of course, I couldn’t let on to anyone I knew outside my immediate family that this was the best gift I’d ever gotten. In fact, I’m not sure anybody outside my immediate family even knew about my affinity for dinosaurs, aside from one or two bffs. And I didn’t get any less geeky as I grew older and moved into high school.
There, I was a full-fledged geek: top in my class in calculus, a chemistry lover, and…in the marching band (yes, I went to band camp). But I did everything I could to mask my geekiness. I didn’t necessarily succeed at camouflaging myself as one of the non-geeky, but not for lack of trying. I tried to dress trendily (fail), I tried to cover up my good grades, and I tried to convince myself that marching band was cool. Uh huh. Because to admit to geekiness was to admit to weakness, to loserdom, and I certainly wasn’t prepared to do that. At least not willingly.
Once I got to college, however, everything changed. There, I found that to be smart, to have “geeky” interests was actually cool. It was like four years of opposite day. And gradually I began to embrace my closeted geeky side. I learned how to recite the prologue of the Canterbury Tales in Middle English from memory; this bumped me up the geek-o-meter by about fourteen thousand points. Suddenly, I was kind of cool. I majored in medieval English literature and focused on Arthurian legend. Girls who love the mythology of King Arthur are not often considered cool, but in my college English department, it wasn’t even a question. The research that went into my senior thesis led to my second book, Song of the Sparrow. Snap!
And when I left college, suddenly, I realized, the geekier one was, the better. The more I read, the more I knew; the more Star Trek I watched, the more I had to talk about with my friends. Now, as a tried and true geek—still a space and dinosaur lover—and a fan of Battlestar Galactica, when people ask me if I watched the original Battlestar Galactica series (which I didn’t), I feel a pang of anxiety because maybe…maybe I’m not geeky enough. Ah, how things change. For the better!
So, I say: Geeks, stand strong. Wear your fossil-loving, dinosaur-hearting sci-fi nerdiness like the badge of honor that it is! And, geeks, unite!
1. I enjoy, I may even thrive on, my title as geek.
2. I tell myself (and naturally believe), that people who consider the label “geek” to be license for them to mock us are merely jealous of our undeniable coolness.
3. I am, and probably always be, a member of both band and orchestra. Not only do I get the endearing title of Band Geek, but also the exceedingly awesome title Orch Dork.
4. Despite my uncontrollable love for listening and playing music, I have yet to be able to conquer and string instruments. Believe you me, I have tried. I have also failed miserably. I am what you may call string challenged.
5. I listen to classical music. I enjoy classical music. And I have also been known to “break-it-down” to said classical music.
6. I often use the word “said” when commenting on things that I had previously mentioned.
7. I also use lovely words/word combinations such as dapper, come hither, go thither, and (my personal favorite) FMaj7. The latter I used a replacement for the word face. Get it??? (an F major seventh chord is spelled F-A-C-E)
8. I am the master of all jokes, cheesy. For example: What do you call cheese that isn’t yours??? NACHO CHEESE!!! (No pun was intended when the cheesy joke I used for an example happened to be pertaining to cheese.)
9. I like to consider myself a cheese connoisseur. In other words, I am one of those rare cheese geeks. If ever I were to move to a different state, my number one choice would be Wisconsin.
10. I have a funky hat collection. I have an oh-so-lovely lobster hat, a hat covered in sequins, a smiley-face hat, a pharaoh hat, an Elmo beanie, and a knitted hat with tassels and a yarn puff on top. All I really need now is a cheese wedge hat…
11. I enjoy school just as much, if not more than, I love not being in school.
12. In school I particularly enjoy the math and sciences, therefore dubbing me a science/math geek.
13. I practically go nuts every time I learn to do something new and cool on my calculator. (I’m not even talking about the games on the calculator!)
14. I currently possess (and plan to acquire more) two science humor shirts. One says “Carol never wore her safety goggles…………now she doesn’t need them” and the other has a wonderful stick figure holding an Erlenmeyer flask and a calculator and says “STAND BACK. I’m going to try SCIENCE!”
15. I love math so much that I took two math classes last year. Both were taught by the same teacher. That teacher is now very nearly my favorite person EVER. My fellow geeks and I bought her a TI N-spire last year for her birthday. (For those of you who do not know, a TI N-spire is like the calculator of all calculators.)
16. Despite my lack of multi-cultural-ness I am a devout member of the multi-cultural diversity club at school. There’s just something about watching foreign films with all my closest geek friends.
17. I am trying to struggle my way through as many of the essential classics as possible. Too bad these darn young-adult books keep distracting me!
18. I have a very strong obsession for music. Not really rap or hip hop or R&B, but I’m a sucker for oldies, classic rock, alternative, and for weird stuff that people other than me rarely listen to. (such as screamo, hard-core techno) This obsession is so strong that, upon hearing merely the first tidbits of a bass line or the sound of the guitar or the singer, I can pretty much identify most songs by either: artist, album, title, or sometimes even year.
19. I actually have an album by the Carpenters on my ipod.
20. I enjoy musical theater, opera, and movies. I love it even more when movies become musicals or vice versa (for example: Sweeny Todd became a movie, and the lovely 80s movie 9 to 5 starring Dolly Pardon, is on its way to becoming a musical)
21. I have a great, great love and appreciation for the wonderful music of Mr. Andrew Bird. I have all of his albums (including the instrumental ones, and the Bowl of Fire albums) and my number one goal as of now is to one day see him in concert. (My love for his music isn’t necessarily geeky, but it does assert my former statement about liking music most of which most people have never heard.
22. I have a thing for leather-bound books. I don’t necessarily like to read them; rather I prefer to bask in their beauty.
23. I prefer to root for the under-dog. Maybe that could be because I’m always the under-dog...
24. I don’t actually need glasses (oh the joys of having 20-20 vision), but I would love to get a pair without actual lenses because I think they would make me look smarter.
25. It sincerely bothers me when people speak or write incorrect grammar. However, I often times make the very mistakes I criticize others for making.
26. Just in case you haven't noticed from my first review and from the rest of this post, I have been known to use and create some spectacular hyphenated-modifiers.
While I have many other geeky quirks, listing 26 is enough for Geekfest. So, to all you fellow Geeks out there, don’t ever let anyone make you feel like being a geek is a bad thing, and continue to flaunt your glorious geeky ways!
Karilee (a well-rounded geek)
+1 Visit Maria's website and tell me about one thing you learned there about Maria or her books in your comment
+1 If you become a NSCG follower
Now time to confess….looks over shoulder….I’m a book geek! I’ll blame my older sister Karen for starting me down this path a long time ago. And no, I’m not telling you how long – a lady never tells her age J My mother probably shares the blame as she had the audacity to read to me every night, but when my sister learned to read (she’s four years older than me….sorry three and a half years older than me – funny how she lorded the four years over me all during childhood, but now she corrects me all the time!) – when my sister learned to read—I was annoyed and jealous and mad that she could read and I couldn’t.
Competition and peer pressure can be a good thing at times. Determined to learn to read, I quickly picked it up and was always a year ahead in reading at school. We didn’t own many books when I was growing up (although we made frequent trips to the library). In fact, I can remember (and I still have) the books in my modest childhood collection (my sister may claim some of these books were her’s first – tough – you snooze, you lose J )
My book geekiness started with Never Tease a Weasel, by Jean Conder Soule and grew to three with the addition of Swimmy and Frederick, both by Leo Lionni. Then an unexpected fountain of goodness came in the mail for a while. My mother signed me up for a beginner book club and I received books like The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss, The Big Honey Hunt by Stanley and Janice Berenstain, Are You My Mother? and Go Dog Go (my favorite!) both by P.D. Eastman, and A Fly Went By, by Mike McClintock. I had to look up the author names, but I could probably recite the stories by heart. “So…The fly ran away in fear of the frog, who ran from the cat, who ran from the dog.” from, A Fly Went By.
Unfortunately the books stopped coming, but my love of books and reading continued. The Northeast Branch of the Philadelphia Library became my second home – good thing is was only four blocks away. The children’s section was in the ground floor – and you would think it would be dark, but high windows let in plenty of sunlight and it was fun to watch people from the knee down walking along the sidewalk.
My collection did increase in bits and pieces. A few Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy books and some mysteries. My mother read mysteries so when I “graduated” from the children’s section, I automatically started reading Agatha Christie, Ed McBain, Robert B. Parker, Dick Francis, etc…
My future brother-in-law introduced me to the science fiction and fantasy genres when I was in college. (another point in my blame-my-sister defense – she married a fellow book geek J) I really started collecting books when I graduated college and was working. Basically, when I had money. I enjoy collecting every single Dick Francis book, and then I started trying to get signed books. And being a geek, I decided to try and have only first editions signed (which for Dick Francis some are nearly impossible to find – nearly – good thing the Internet came along and my husband—who is rather adept at ferreting out elusive editions J).
The need to collect books is addicting. I can’t pass a bookstore without stopping and my TBR pile is quite large. My husband crafted built-in bookshelves for my office, but it still wasn’t enough room (I had to perform a book triage and weed them out – I donated boxes and boxes to my local library for their annual book sale – I kept all my signed ones and favorites of course J ).
I don’t think I’ll ever convert to a digital reader – having a book in hand is, for me, all part of the reading experience. The smell of the print and the feel of the paper can’t be replicated.
And I wonder at this need to own a book, to see it on my shelf (and seeing my own books on the shelf is still an amazing thrill). My mother and sister, both big readers are quite content to borrow them from the library – they have no desire to fill up their houses with books (shocking!). And I have no problems in sharing my books – I think I’m a closet librarian. When a friend or family member’s looking for…something to read, I delight in picking out books for them to try (as long as they promise to return them J).
And I wonder at my son, who I read to every single night for over 10 years and who views reading as a….I can’t…so hard to type…..as a CHORE! Gasp! The Horror! Yet my daughter has picked up the addiction and already has shelves full of books (can you say no when your child wants you to buy a book?? Really? Well, I can’t J).
What makes a book lover versus a non-reader? Why do some feel the need to possess the pile of pages glued together versus borrowing from the library? I haven’t been able to figure it out. It’s a mystery! Speaking of mysteries….I hear Harlan Coben’s coming out with a new book….I’ll just check……………………
Am I geek?
Geek is just a slang term, for someone that is "a peculiar or otherwise odd person, especially one who is perceived to be overly obsessed with one or more things including those of intellectuality, electronics, etc." according to Wikipedia. I am definitely Geek. I can’t just love something; it becomes an utter part of me, like with most tweens with cellphones.
I first found that I was different in 5th grade. My friends hated homework and while I would rather be reading. I still found homework rather awesome (I was a strange kid.). I would read ahead in my history and science books. I also did math for fun. When I was allowed to pick my classes, I took the hardest ones possible and while the homework was time consuming, I still had fun with it and did well. Even when I got sick in Tenth grade, I learned all the medical terms on the table and then some. My obsession went to books, in the following year. On the way, I found Doctor Who- a show in which a whole another guest blog is needed to describe how much I love it. I also discovered Youtube and Brother 2.0. Found awesomeness of being a Nerdfighter. Then, I started my book blog (Sarah’s Random Musings) in last September. I finished 365 books in one year and surprised myself on how much someone can read in one year. I am now doing a vlog project with some fellow bloggers, and I am overly excited. It actually starts this week.
Being a Geek isn’t a bad thing. Or even being a nerd, dork, or insert any label. When the label is gone, you are still amazing. So, embrace your inner geekiness and admit it. The worst thing that could happen is having more interests. I AM A GEEK AND I AM PROUD OF IT!
Thank you, NSCG for letting me do a guest blog for Geek Fest. It was a lot fun.
Take Care, Sarah.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
So I covered my inner geek with inoffensive, earth-toned carpets and posters of Scott Baio. I kept the big words to a minimum and hid my books. I stopped spending every spare minute wandering about in swamps with a jar and a large net because I wanted to be Gerald Durrell when I grew up.
In other words, I shamed my geek. She kept trying to come out. She made me fall in love with bands no one else could stand and caused me to glom onto the worst possible aspects of the latest fashions, including but not limited to granny boots worn with striped and lacy bloomers and puffy sleeved white shirts.
After high school, I should have let her free. But she was so explosive in her needs, that I was a little afraid. Instead I hung out with other people who let their geek flags fly. I hoped proximity would calm her. It worked for a while, but by the time university was over, she would no longer be denied.
I knew she was loose in all her orange plaid glory, complete with green shag carpet and buck teeth, when she dragged me off to join an aquarium hobbyist club. In the years since, she’s kept me busy with trips to look at show chickens and yearly readings of Lord of the Rings. She sometimes makes me wear a wet suit, goggles and flippers to the lake across from our house. In June. Teen girls will be sprawled around in tiny yellow bikinis, surrounded by flexing and imposing young men. And then there will be me and my inner rec room geek standing on the beach like the creature from the black lagoon.
The tanned people snicker as my geek and I walk gingerly into the water. (We wear a wetsuit because she hates being cold and doesn’t care who knows it). When I’m tempted to be embarrassed, I shrug and think, ah, well, she’s earned it. You have no idea what she went through as a kid.
I created a completely different contest with all the correct info, but it appears to have posted wrong. All people who have already entered will be counted, but I will be working on correcting it ASAP.
Sorry for the mix up!
UPDATE: Okay...I think it is fixed. That was exceedingly strange. Let me know if something is still up.
Meet Sherman Mack. Short. Nerdy. An Amateur P.I. who’s prepared to do anything for Dini Trioli.
Nobody knows who began it, but every girl at Harewood Tech fears being D-listed, a ritual that would wipe her off the social map forever. When Sherman believes Dini is in danger of being D-listed, he launches a full-scale investigation to uncover who is responsible. One thing is for sure: Sherman Mack is on the case. And he’s not giving up.
Part comedy, part mystery, and with all of Juby’s trademark tongue-in-cheek humor, Getting the Girl takes on one of the cruelest aspects of high school – how easy it is for an entire school to turn on someone, and how hard it is being the only one to fight back.
Getting the Girl, first and foremost, has a fantastic central character. He’s a chivalrous, wannabe lady’s man who will stop at nothing to defend a girl’s honor. (Did I mention he’s an aspiring chef?) However, despite his valiant efforts, he often finds himself in need of being rescued by the very females he tries to defend. As if the nerdy (and completely lovable) protagonist isn’t enough to keep the reader’s attention, the book is, at some points, laugh-out-loud funny, while it easily becomes serious, addressing the stupidity and effect of the social atmosphere of high school on girls and guys both. While it lacks the certain “edge-of-your-seat-excitement” many mystery novels have, it easily kept my attention and had me trying to figure out exactly who was responsible for the “defiling.”
Although I thoroughly enjoyed Getting the Girl I was slightly disappointed with the solving of the mystery. By the time the novel comes to a close, the reader still doesn’t have sufficient evidence to even begin to guess who is guilty. Instead, the main suspects have been ruled out.
While the eventual uncovering of the defiler is interesting and in no way compromised the overall attitude I have towards the book, I felt as though the book wasn’t really a “mystery.” Rather it was just a comedy of errors and feeble attempts at private investigation. (As a fair statement, I must nearly always find something I don’t like in a book. Therefore, the fact that the only thing that stuck out was that it didn’t really stay in keeping with the genre means something.)
All in all I had a great time reading Getting the Girl and I especially enjoyed Juby's witty humor. I would definitely recommend reading Getting the Girl and I can't wait to read more of Juby's work!
P.S. – Seeing as I have an odd obsession with music, for every book I read I usually find a song that either reminds me of the book or that I just listened to frequently while I was reading it. I’d like to share them with you by putting them in my reviews. For Getting the Girl, the song was “The Great Beyond” by R.E.M. From now on I’ll just put them right before my signature, listing title then artist.
Enter by leaving a comment below including your email address. The winner will receive both Kiss Me Kill Me and Kisses and Lies. If you are uncomfortable leaving your email address below, feel free to shoot me an email at not_so_cg[at]yahoo[dot]com instead with the subject "Lauren Henderson Contest".
+1 Leave a comment on Lauren's guest blog
+1 Visit Lauren's myspace and tell me about one thing you learned there about Lauren or her books in your comment
+1 If you leave a relevant comment on the NSCG review of Kiss Me Kill Me
+1 If you become a NSCG follower
+1 If you become a NSCG reader by subscribing to our myspace blog (www.myspace.com/not_so_cg)
+2 If you were a follower before Geek Fest
+2 If you were a myspace subscribed reader before Geek Fest
+4 If you link to this contest in a post, sidebar, etc (a link to this must be left in your comment)
Make sure to leave all extra entries specifics in your comment/email.
This contest closes this coming Thursday (March 19th). The winner will be announced and contacted sometime during the week following.
I was a Star Wars girl from the moment I watched the original trilogy back to back to back. I wasn’t into the robots, the intergalactic battles or even the wicked cool creatures. I was into Leia –get your mind out of the gutter – she was this amazingly forceful, independent, resilient female and I wanted to be her (without the hair issues). I can’t recall watching a female character like her before. So I guess you can say that my need for a strong female protagonist pushed me into geek world. Actually there was one more thing too....Han Solo. Two words – Harrison Ford. Be still my fluttering nine year old heart.
I read a lot as a teenager, preferring my literary crew (aka Mr Darcy) to hanging out down the main drag. To most of you this might sound pathetic but to me, it was heaven. I think that my voracious reading kept the geekiness in check for most of the teen years until Buffy: The Vampire Slayer debuted on Australian screens when I was sixteen. Finally! A strong, decisive, funny and confident girl with extraordinary powers who was suffering through high school with the same issues I was experiencing (unfortunately at no point was my problem, vampire with a soul, Angel). The metaphors used in Joss Whedon’s show resonated with me on a personal level and I have adored of that show since its inception.
I still didn’t consider myself a geek at the Buffy stage...although many others would. What tipped me into the world was Kevin Smith. Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Clerks – all movies that referenced geeky subject matter that I was deeply familiar with. There is a highly inappropriate discussion about Lois Lane and Superman in Mallrats that I just adore because I always wondered how they were intimate without causing her harm. It was then that I realised that I was indeed a geek and I embraced it. I labelled myself, owning it with glee, cuddling it to my chest and choosing to use it as a positive moniker.
I bought an iPod two years ago and very quickly discovered the beauty of the podcast. I loved hearing likeminded, usually American fans discussing the latest episode of Smallville, a screenwriter’s explanation of the script writing process or creators revealing secrets of their shows. I was sucked in immediately.
Within a year I decided I would podcast. I got myself some free and legal audio recording software, a mic and started mucking around. Within a week I was invited to guest host on a podcast I listened to and from there I started a podcast with two other girls called Three Chicks and a Mic. We had bonded over Twilight and decided to start a podcast about geekdom from a chick perspective. I had found my geek home in the podcast section of iTunes. I also started a weekly podcast on FOX’s Fringe, Fringe Dwellers which has opened my up to science geekdom – a whole new branch of geekiness.
I have since branched out and used podcasting in association with my blogs. The Sarah Dessen Diarist podcast is decidedly low-tech and infrequent but listeners seem to respond to my reactions. I tend to think it’s due to my Aussie accent, more than my opinions but I guess they wouldn’t listen either way if they weren’t enjoying it. I have just started The Read Carpet to spread the world of YA literature brilliance. Through this project I am teaching others about the joy of podcasting (and maybe being a geek too.)
It is the last frontier of geekdom and I am crossing the threshold at a snail’s pace. From all the friends I have made in podcasting I heard more and more about comics. The recent explosion of comics-based film also raised the interest. At this point I have read a lot of Jeph Loeb’s Catwoman, Kingdom Come, Red Son, Justice, Supernatural: The Rising Son, Bufffy Season 8, Runaways, etc. I find I put more emphasis in the words than the art but I am developing an appreciation for the medium. You won’t find me at a convention but I do know my way around a comic book store, and I will be first in line at the Wolverine movie.
In a nutshell, geeks are my people. I am a geek. Hear me roar!
On Being A Geek by Lauren Henderson (Author of the Kiss Me Kill Me/Kisses and Lies Scarlett Wakefield series)
Lauren Henderson is the fun author of the Scarlett Wakefield series and much more. Her writing is full of tension- both the mystery kind and the romance type! Make sure to stop by later to win the first two Scarlett Wakefield novels: Kiss Me Kill Me and Kisses and Lies.
I am a total geek when it comes to reading. I am so utterly and completely addicted to books, magazines, anything in print that grabs me, that sometimes I need to go to the toilet really badly but hold it in desperately as I rush round the house, flailing madly for something to read for those five minutes that I’ll spend sitting down, doing my business. And it can get even worse than that; sometimes I’ll hold out even longer, to the point of near-imminent disaster, because I’m looking for the exactly-right thing to grab - a magazine with an article I’m dying to read, or one of the many books I’m halfway through.
Because I always have multiple books on the go. And stacks of newspapers. And magazines, and of course, websites to navigate around endlessly. The internet has meant that there’s an infinitely-wider pool of reading material than there used to be; you could spend twenty-four hours a day on it and never read everything that piques your curiosity.
And, of course, there are the books that I want to re-read. My groaning bookshelves contain comparatively few new books: ninety per-cent of their contents are books I have loved so much that I want to keep forever and keep re-reading, to experience their pleasures again and again.
But despite these extremely high levels of utter and complete geekness, no-one has ever called me a geek in my life. That’s partly because I grew up in England, where no-one uses the word. But I never got called ‘speccy’ (someone who wears glasses) or ‘swotty’ (someone who studies hard) or any of the insults we have in this country for geeky, speccy, swotty girls, because I had the good fortune to be sent to a school very much like Wakefield Hall when I was small (the one Scarlett’s grandmother runs in the Kiss Me books). I wasn’t a boarder – my school wasn’t a boarding school, unlike Wakefield Hall – but the school was isolated in the London countryside, just like Wakefield, and it was specifically for swotty, speccy, brainy, reading-addicted girls, which suited me down to the ground.
We weren’t trendy. We weren’t hip. We wore brown pleated skirts that came below our knees, brown blazers with yellow and blue trim, and sensible shoes (brown of course). I still remember with a mixture of fondness and horror the big stretchy brown knickers we wore for gym, name tags sewn in. When, at sixteen, I was sent instead to a school in the centre of London, on which I modelled St Tabby’s, it was a terrifying culture shock. The induction lecture basically consisted of the headmistress, dressed like Miss Moneypenny from the James Bond books in a snug-fitting suit with a short skirt and knee-high boots, sitting on a desk, swinging her booted legs sexily, and telling us firmly that there were already two girls signed to model agencies in our year and that nobody else was to sign with an agency without checking with her first.
But this school, hip and trendy as it was, also specialised in taking brainy, speccy, swotty girls and sending them to the best universities in the country. In both places, I was surrounded by girls who, like me, were addicted to reading and whose parents’ houses were full of books. My friends were the arty, brainy crowd, not the sexy girls in stretch Lycra who had multiple boyfriends and multiple drug habits by the age of sixteen. But even the sexy girls at my second school completely understood the value of studying. Otherwise, they would have been at one of the multiple schools in London for party girls to whom an education wasn’t half as important as dating boys with the right surnames and the right backgrounds, and knowing how to get in and out of Porsches elegantly.
So, in a nutshell, I was the luckiest geek in the world growing up, because practically everyone I knew was like me. Everyone studied hard and wanted to get the best grades they could. Everyone revised and was polite to teachers and was scared of getting called into the headmistress and told they weren’t working hard enough (apart from a frighteningly skinny girl called Camilla, who flirted so madly with the lesbian French teacher that she never seemed to have to do any work whatsoever. Still, she’s now a famous fashion editor, so whatever strategy she pursued seems to have worked for her.) And from school, I went onto a university where everyone read madly, studied hard, spent tons of time in the library – where, in fact, we had a copyright library, which means that technically it has a copy of every book published in the world, ever.
I spent a great deal of time in that library, tracing down the most obscure books I could think of that I wanted to read. And once you’ve been a student at that university, you have a lifetime’s membership to the library. I can go back any time I want to and look up any book I can think of. I don’t do it very often, but it’s bliss to know that the possibility is always there for me.
So I think I’ve established my reading-geek credentials. I just looked up ‘geek’ in the dictionary, and it says it means an ‘unfashionable or socially inept person’, and of course, that’s who everyone is in their teens, isn’t it? Even if everyone else thinks you’re fashionable and socially, er, ept, you don’t feel it inside. So I was a geek in my teens, and into my twenties. Now? Well, I’m a lot more confident and socially ept. But if I can write YA novels, and create characters who readers care about, I’m managing to tap into that sixteen year-old girl inside me who remembers what it was like to feel all those insecurities and raging hormones, mad passionate crushes and moments of absolute joy.
Ooh! And I just found a secondary definition of geek! ‘A person with an eccentric devotion to a particular interest’! That’s definitely me. I mean, running round frantically trying to hold your wee till you can find that copy of whatever book you’re in the middle of… well, that’s nothing if not eccentric…
When Scarlett Wakefield transfers from St. Tabby’s, a posh private school outside London, to Wakefield Hall Collegiate, the world-renowned prep school that her grandmother runs in the English countryside, she is relieved that no one knows her dark, haunting secret. A few months ago, Plum Saybourne, the queen of St. Tabby’s “Smart Set”, surprisingly invited Scarlett to an elite party with a guest list full of the hottest names in British society, including Dan McAndrew, Scarlett’s secret crush. Before the party, Scarlett had only imagined what it would be like to have her first kiss with Dan, but on the penthouse terrace, Dan leaned in close and she no longer had to wonder. Their kiss was beautiful and perfect and magical, and then…
Dan McAndrew suffocated in her arms.
No one knows how or why Dan died, and everyone at St. Tabby’s believes Scarlett had something to do with it. After all, she was the last person to see Dan alive. But now that she’s safely hidden away at Wakefield Hall, Scarlett would rather forget that it ever happened. Only she can’t. Especially when she receives an anonymous note that will set her on the path to clearing her name and finding out what really happened to the first and last boy she kissed.
This mystery/romance novel by Lauren Henderson was very intriguing. The basic premise is pretty original: having someone die while you are kissing them. The heroine, Scarlett, is spunky and intelligent as she devotes herself to finding out the real cause of Dan’s death and often uses her gymnastic skills to help her in her investigation (such as stuffing herself in a dumbwaiter). Scarlett’s sidekick, Taylor (an American tomboy) is good as comic relief, and Jase (the gardener boy) keeps the novel from being totally romance-free after Dan’s death. Plum and her clique are suitably evil and entertaining, especially when they try to corner Scarlett at her locker. The plot gets a little slow in the middle of the book when Scarlett is stuck at Wakefield Hall, but it picks back up just in time for the cliffhanger of an ending. This light mystery novel is a very fun read, and I suggest you also pick up its sequel Kisses and Lies so you don’t agonize yourself over the ending for too long.
Buy Kiss Me Kill Me here.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
This began as a regular interview to accompany my review of The Secret Life of Prince Charming, so it isn't really geek-related. But I realized that the day I had planned on posting this interview was smack dab in the middle of Geek Fest! So I decided to include it. It's my first interview, so let me know what you think.
Quinn’s life is filled with women who have been hurt by men. None has been hurt more, though, than Quinn’s mother. Her father left when Quinn and her younger sister, Sprout, were still young. Years pass before Quinn gets back in touch with her father. Instead of being a monster, he proves to be quite charming. His larger-than-life personality is magnetic. But as Quinn looks deeper into his story, she realizes he has left a string of women with broken hearts. When Quinn and Sprout contact their half sister, Francis Lee, who they barely know, the three daughters set of on a journey to return what their father stole from the women in his life.
Deb Caletti’s latest novel is a true masterpiece. It flows with a lyricism hard to find in many modern Young Adult novels. The depth is incredible. This is so much more than a girl power novel, though the women protagonists are delightfully strong. It shows how these strong, beautiful, amazing women could all be hurt by a man. Though the novel is led by Quinn in first person, small excerpts from the lives of the other women are included, too. The women all tell their own stories as they offer up advice and warnings to the coming and future generations of women. Girls and women should follow the guidance given in The Secret Life of Prince Charming.
I wish I had had this book about two years ago. It might have inspired me to make a change, and it could’ve saved me from a lot of pain. Love shouldn’t be about hurting. As the novel clearly asserts, love is about goodness and feeling right in the self. The message is stunning in its simplicity and, at the same time, breathtaking.
The Secret Life of Prince Charming receives my highest praises. I recommend it to every girl and woman whether in or out of a relationship. There is so much to learn from this novel, and it’s not the sort of book you borrow or rent; it’s the sort of book you keep for future reference in times of need.
Now for our first blogger guest blog! This one is from Hope from Hope's Bookshelf. Hope is a book blogger who has great reviews (of course) and contests. I especially love checking out her amazing interviews. Plus, Hope is incredibly nice and openly admits to being a geek. What else can you ask for in a book blogger?
Hey, everyone. This is Hope from Hope’s Bookshelf. Before I even start my guest blog, I would like to thank Bella Aire for asking me to participate. :)
So, this whole week is all about geeks, right? Well, I’m pretty sure by now you’ve realized that I’m a geek. A big one. While I’m more of a book-ish, English geek, I have lots of friends who are geeks. Like, major, number-one-in-the-class geeks… and well, this guest blog is going to be all about our fun little adventures in Geek Land.
First, let me tell you about a lunch hour we had the other day. I eat lunch with four of my friends. Let’s call them M, A, K, and N. M, A, and K are girls, and N is the guy. The three girls and I have all read Twilight, right? And, well, N is very anti-Twilight. So, we’re all sitting there, eating our food, when all of the sudden, A says, “Who would we all be if we were the Cullen’s in the lunchroom scene in the Twilight movie?”
Immediately, A says she’d be Jasper, because that’s her favorite, and K says she’d be Alice. A makes M Edward. N looked totally confused when A turned to him and said, “And here’s Rosalie with her long, golden locks.” And let’s just say that that was one of the most entertaining lunches I’ve had in a really long time.
And, just because I can’t resist, we’ll have another Twilight related funny story. In my Honors Biology class, we have lots of spare time at the end of class. So, M, K, and I were sitting there talking about Twilight one day, because K had just finished reading them. N is just sitting next to us, shooting us the weirdest looks because we’re so book obsessed. And because he’s very anti-Twilight.
And then enters F. F is number one in our class and is very geek-ish. And, what makes this even funnier – F is a guy. So, F turns around and N thinks he’s going to talk to him, and that they can be very anti-Twilight together. Then, F surprises us all by saying, “Are you talking about Twilight? I’ve read all those books over the summer. I thought they were very unoriginal.
Now, let’s skip to my sixth hour. I have an online class my sixth hour. I had a scheduling conflict, so in order to keep all my honors class and my two electives – choir and Spanish II – I had to take online English, so that’s what I have sixth hour. K and M are in this hour, as well as two of my geeky guy friends that are in my grade.
K has a book reviewing blog, also, so we’re always talking about books and all things book related. So, the other day we logged onto the computers under the newspaper account, because when you do that you can access anything and everything – MySpace, Facebook, e-mail, and you can watch YouTube videos.
So, one day I was sitting at my computer away from K and M, actually working on my English class in class for once, when I hear K say, “Hope! Hope, come here!” Wondering what the heck she wanted, I got up and walked over to her computer.
I get over there and K says, “Hope! Did you know that they’re talking about making City of Bones a movie?!”
And I didn’t know at the time, so I was really excited. We then continue to spend the rest of the hour on YouTube watching videos of all the people who they think they want to be the actors in the movie and critiquing them. And deciding which ones we like. And just being overall geeks because one of our favorite book series’ is becoming a movie.
So, yeah, there’s a few stories about my geek-ish friends and I. Yes, we’re geeks. And, yes, we’re proud of it. :)