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I've dropped the ball, and I'm sorry!

I apologize to all of my LJ followers. I've dropped the ball on mirroring all of my blogspot entries here for you to see.

I started scheduling all of my posts because I was doing a lot of events, and then I'd forget to go back and post them here. A Week of Cinderella kept me crazzzzzzzy. Then, to make things worse, the week ended...and my laptop blue-screened. That took a couple of weeks to fix.

I'm back online now and have recently started posting (scheduling) again.


How would you like to handle this? Just move on and post new entries from here? Back-date all of the entries and tell you they're up? (Maybe back-date and add a post with a link list...?)


Let me know what you want me to do! I truly, truly am sorry!!


Welcome to A Week of Cinderella!  I'm so excited to kick things off!!

I hope you're as excited about this week's celebrations as I am!

I grew up with fairy tales.  Who hasn't?  Disney was a childhood staple, as was a battered book of child-friendly retellings.  As with most children, I outgrew most of my whimsical fairy tale daydreams by mid-middle school (Since how can you outgrow Disney when they're creating gems such as THE LION KING and ALADDIN for you to love?).  Fairy tales became a cherished memory, but nothing more.

Until the day everything changed.

I belonged to some by-mail book club.  I ordered a book called ELLA ENCHANTED by Gail Carson Levine.  This book was my first introduction to what I lovingly call "fractured fairy tales."  Who knew that there could be more than one version of the story I grew up with?  I certainly didn't!  I was swept away in the knowledge that Ella was about my age and knew the prince BEFOREHAND.  Wow, what a shocker!  I also loved the way she came into her own destiny and didn't rely on the prince for help.  Heck, she got HIM out of some tough situations!  I adored the book on so many levels.  It made a HUGE impression on me and changed the way I  looked at fairy tales.  In fact, ELLA ENCHANTED remains the only book on my All-Time Top Five Books List that's a MG/YA novel (Granted, most of that is probably nostalgia, alas...!).


And then...THEN!!  The movie EVER AFTER with Drew Barrymore came out.  It was in all the teen magazines I read. There were even these awesome movie postcard tearouts (example, left) that you could collect if you got each of the ten magazines with a unique card.  I went nuts!  EVER AFTER was the first movie I ever saw twice in the theater, and the first I saw opening day.  It was the first time I got to experience a showing full of people seeing a movie for the first time together and laughing and cheering when Cinderella slugs her stepsister, etc.  It was magical, and I had to see it again!  I preordered it on VHS (Yessss, VHS) from Blockbuster or some-such because they were giving out a giftcard with an image of Drew Barrymore in her beautiful gown.  I coveted that giftcard (I still use giftcards for bookmarks, too!).  I watched the VHS tape so many times that I literally wore it out.  It was one of the first movies I purchased on DVD when I went to college and had a DVD player in my computer.  It was my favorite movie for years until MOULIN ROUGE came around and knocked it down to Number Two (Where it still remains).  I even have the movie novelization somewhere around here!  This movie enveloped me completely, from the magic and enchantment to the costumes and makeup to the breathless romance and the relationship that built between Cinderella and her Prince over the course of a couple of hours.  This movie is perfection.

These two brushes with Cinderella changed me completely.  After being introduced to them, I found myself discovering more fractured fairytales, from Donna Jo Napoli's ZEL to Gregory Maguire's WICKED.  Now, I have a couple of shelves in my bookcase dedicated solely to fairy tales.  Heck, I'm even writing a fairy tale right now!  Without ELLA ENCHANTED and EVER AFTER, without discovering these vastly altered forms of Cinderella during the time I was most impressionable to new ideas, I don't know where--or who--I'd be today!


How has the story of Cinderella impacted your life?

Week in Review & IMM

IN MY MAILBOX: 12.18.11

In My Mailbox was created by Kristi at The Story Siren because:

"I get books to read and then ultimately share my thoughts about with my readers. As much as I want to, I can’t possibly read every book I receive. Yet, I still wanted a way to feature those books on the blog, even though it might not be in the form of a review. Problem solved! Every week I'd share the books I received that week... ones I'd bought, or gotten at the library, and ones that I'd receive to review on the blog. That way I could mention titles that might not otherwise get some face-time on The Story Siren..."

I find the same thing happening at A Backwards Story. I'm so backed up on reviews atm... That's why I like these videos!

CURRENT GIVEAWAY:

*THE INTERNATIONAL KISSING CLUB Swag (Ends 1/10)

*Check back this week during A Week of Cinderella for more chances to win fun stuff!!

READING NOW:

*SHADOWS ON THE MOON by Zoë Marriott
*PANDEMONIUM by Lauren Oliver
*CANDLEWAX by C. Bailey Sims [out April 3, 2012] (Again, I've been chipping away at this one very slowly.  Gotta love the holidays...)

[link to my GoodReads account so you can see my blurb feed as I read]

READ THIS WEEK:

*FORTUNE'S FOLLY by Deva Fagan
*DARK OF THE MOON by Tracy Barrett
*THE SECRET SISTERHOOD OF HEARTBREAKERS by Lynn Weingarten
*DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver (Re-read)
*ASPHODEL by Lauren Hammond

REVIEWED THIS WEEK (TWO WEEKS):

*THE INTERNATIONAL KISSING CLUB by Ivy Adams (Blog Tour Stop)

FEATURES THIS WEEK (TWO WEEKS):

*Blog Tour StopTHE INTERNATIONAL KISSING CLUB (Review & Giveaway)
*Happy Book Day (Seven titles featured)
*WAITING ON WEDNESDAY: THE ROOK by Daniel O'Malley
*A Week of Cinder(ella) event introduction and blog grab buttons

RECEIVED THIS WEEK:




Loot:

The Cinder(ella) edition!!! 

Have you heard about the week-long event A Week of Cinderella that starts today? 

All the info is HERE and you can also snatch up some awesome event grab buttons!

A Backwards Story

BORROWED:

*THE NAME OF THE WIND by Patrick Rothfuss
*WINTERLING by Sarah Prineas

PURCHASED:

*CINDER by Marissa Meyer (It's finally here!! *throws confetti everywhere and celebrates*)

ALSO FEATURED:

*Various owned books featuring cover design by Jason Chan
*A SNEAK PEEK at some of the Cinderella re-tellings that will be featured during A Week of Cinderella
*Information on this week's event: A Week of Cinderella!!


What did you get in your mailbox this week?


Bookworms, I'm so excited to announce that in honor of the release of Marissa Meyer's debut novel CINDER, next week is A Week of Cinderella!


The week will feature guest posts, author visits (because, after all, Marissa isn't the ONLY author with a kick-ass Cinderella to celebrate!), giveaways, reviews, and culminate with a blog tour stop for CINDER!

Are you excited?  I know I am!!  Feel free to email abackwardsstory (at) gmail (dot) com if you'd like to participate and I'll add you into the festivities! :)

I'd love your help spreading the word to all your fairy tale loving followers!  Please tweet this entry, post it on your Facebook account, blog, etc.  Feel free to snag one of the following buttons to post on your blog as well! [And if you do, you'll get extra giveaway entry points, oooh!]



[half-button]
A Backwards Story
<div align="center"><a href="http://abackwardsstory.blogspot.com/2012/01/week-of-cinderella-january-08-14-2012.html" title="A Backwards Story"><img src="http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj80/abackwardsstory/weekofcinder_half.png" alt="A Backwards Story" style="border:none;" /></a></div>


[small]
A Backwards Story
<div align="center"><a href="http://abackwardsstory.blogspot.com/2012/01/week-of-cinderella-january-08-14-2012.html" title="A Backwards Story"><img src="http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj80/abackwardsstory/weekofcinder_200.png" alt="A Backwards Story" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

[large]
A Backwards Story
<div align="center"><a href="http://abackwardsstory.blogspot.com/2012/01/week-of-cinderella-january-08-14-2012.html" title="A Backwards Story" target="_blank"><img src="http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj80/abackwardsstory/weekofcinder400.png" alt="A Backwards Story" style="border:none;" /></a></div>






NOTE: Some of the images I  used when creating the banner are stock images.  I was allowed free use so long as I linked back to the photographer.


Thank you so much to the following people for the use of these images for A Week of Cinderella!


GothicSelene [Model]
Azreheal [Dress]
MJ84-StockPhotos [Background]



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine. This event highlights our most-wanted upcoming releases!


Title: THE ROOK
Author: Daniel O'Malley
Release Date: Jan. 11, 2012
Publisher: Little Brown & Co.

Add it: Goodreads

WHY?

Have you seen the opening line of the novel being thrown around in the summary for this awesome-sounding book?

"The body you are wearing used to be mine." 

Hello, I'm already intrigued.  I want to know more right this very second!!

I've been waiting on this one for a while now and it's finally coming out next week.  I know what I'll be picking up!!!

(Although I WILL warn you that this is labeled as Adult Fantasy and not YA Fantasy!!!)




SUMMARY: "The body you are wearing used to be mine." So begins the letter Myfanwy Thomas is holding when she awakes in a London park surrounded by bodies all wearing latex gloves. With no recollection of who she is, Myfanwy must follow the instructions her former self left behind to discover her identity and track down the agents who want to destroy her.

She soon learns that she is a Rook, a high-ranking member of a secret organization called the Chequy that battles the many supernatural forces at work in Britain. She also discovers that she possesses a rare, potentially deadly supernatural ability of her own.

In her quest to uncover which member of the Chequy betrayed her and why, Myfanwy encounters a person with four bodies, an aristocratic woman who can enter her dreams, a secret training facility where children are transformed into deadly fighters, and a conspiracy more vast than she ever could have imagined.

Filled with characters both fascinating and fantastical, THE ROOK is a richly inventive, suspenseful, and often wry thriller that marks an ambitious debut from a promising young writer.


What are you anxiously waiting for this Wednesday?

Happy Book Day to SEVEN awesome books!


What new releases are you most excited about this week? For me...



Happy Book Birthday to so many amazing books this week:



CINDER by Marissa Meyer

Finally, you can see what all the hype is about!  I admit that I'm biased when it comes to this novel, but I'll still be doing my best when I bring you my review!

Look for it later this month when I feature a very special blog tour stop at A Backwards Story!



WINTERLING by Sarah Prineas
I've wanted to read this ever since I saw Jason Chan's (once again) amazing book jacket AND read the blurb by Kristin Cashore. Plus, there's a HORSE on the cover!  Must read, must read, must read!!

As soon as I'm done THE SECRET SISTERHOOD OF HEARTBREAKERS, I plan to read this one.  I'm hoping to pick it up tomorrow!! 


UNRAVELING ISOBEL by Eileen Cook

I started featuring this one on ABS when the cover first dropped.  I was lucky enough to snag and read an ARC, which I planned to review during Just Contemporary, but...it never happened.

I wasn't sure if it really fit in with Just Contemporary because there are a few paranormal occurences, so... *shrug*  

Look for my review this month!  



UNDER THE NEVER SKY by Veronica Rossi

I've really wanted to read this one.  I hear it's AMAZING.  I feel ashamed that I've had an ARC for a while now and haven't gotten to it.  Maybe I should just read the finished copy at this point, lol!

I love the way the book jacket feels on this one.  It reminds me of THE NIGHT CIRCUS, both smooth and rough at the same time!






DON'T BREATHE A WORD by Holly Cupala

This book was originally supposed to come out last year, but was delayed until today.  I read this book months ago for The {Teen} Book Scene's blog tour, so the review can finally come to you soon!

It deals with tough issues and teen homelessness.  I will admit, however, that every time I look at the cover, it reminds me of a character out of the Final Fantasy games, lol!





BITTERSWEET by Sarah Ockler

I have yet to read Sarah Ockler, but I hear she's amazing!  Her new book sounds really interesting and I like the artwork a lot!  I like how the heart reminds me of the heart on her previous novel, while still being unique and one of a kind!

It's full of opportunities, sacrifices, and second chances.  I'm intrigued and definitely want to know more!



CRACKED by K.M. Walton

I actually hadn't heard much about this one until this week.  Apparently, K.M. Walton is a local author, so I've made it my goal to support her and help promote her work!
This is definitely an issues book, and I like that it's from a male's perspective.  There aren't enough books like this in YA!



Annnnnnd...I  know I'm forgetting a bunch more, but featuring SEVEN is already plenty, yes? YES!!





THE INTERNATIONAL KISSING CLUB is scheduled to come out today, Tuesday, January 3rd!  The {Teen} Book Scene's tour will continue through February!  Check out the tour schedule to see the list of events. A Backwards Story will be back with a guest post from one of the character's perspective during the final week of the tour on February 13th!

NOTE: This post should have gone up this weekend. I thought I was missing a piece from the tour I needed and only found out I wasn't yesterday.  So....this is pretty late.  Sorry!

Butttttttttttt~!

I can make it up to you with a GIVEAWAY at the end of this entry, yes?  YES!!!



Title: THE INTERNATIONAL KISSING CLUB
Author: Ivy Adams (Pseudonym for authors Emily McKay, Shellee Roberts, and Tracy Deebs)
Release Date: Out Today! (Jan. 03, 2012)
Publisher: Bloomsbury/Walker & Co.
Received: Received from The {Teen} Book Scene for review


SUMMARY:

Piper, Cassidy, Mei, and Izzy have been best friends their whole lives. And they've always agreed on one goal: to get out of tiny Paris, Texas, and see the world. The school's foreign exchange program seems like the perfect escape: Piper will go to the original Paris; Mei will go to China; Cassidy will go to Australia; and Izzy, unable to afford the program, will stay at home. 

To add spice to their semester away, and to stay connected to their best friends, the girls start The International Kissing Club, a Facebook page where they can anonymously update one another and brag about all the amazing guys they're meeting. After all, these girls are traveling abroad: amazing guys abound at every turn!

But sometimes fun, flirty vacation flings turn into more serious romances, and sometimes you don't return from abroad the same person you were. Will the girls' relationships-and their friendships-be able to survive?

While the title of THE INTERNATIONAL KISSING CLUB sounds light and carefree (and, okay, yes, it's that, too), the book digs a bit deeper than the title might otherwise suggest.  This book isn't really about a club full of people who only care about kissing.  I wasn't sure what to expect at first, but I wasn't anticipating the extra dimensions that grew as I read.  When I first started reading, I compared the book a little to THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS series by Ann Brashares (and it made me laugh when the girls referred to the series in the novel).  It started off slowly, but as I grew invested in each of the characters, I came to care more about what happened to them and was sad when the book came to an end.

The International Kissing Club isn't just the book's title, but an online Facebook page put together by four best friends (Piper, Cassidy, Izzy, and Mei) after getting opportunities to study abroad for ten weeks.  Piper wants to go to Paris, France after one of the school's most popular girls, Germaine, torments her in the most humiliating way possible--and posts the results online, making Piper a viral sensation.  Over three million people witnessed her humiliation on YouTube and everyone at school still makes fun of her.  She can't wait to get away from Paris, Texas, and go to the real Paris to study art...and boys.  Cassidy also longs to get away from Paris.  She's had people talking about her and her mother, who was an unwed teenager when she gave birth, her entire life.  She can't wait to go down under to Australia, even if it means sucking it up and talking to her estranged father for the first time in years.  Mei is adopted and longs to go to her Chinese homeland in order to discover more about herself and learn a little Mandarin.  Izzy is all about saving the environment and would love to visit the rainforests of Costa Rica, but she's the middle-child, wedged between a football-playing older brother who recently broke his hand and ruined his chances at a scholarship and a younger brother who is a piano-playing prodigy and always traveling to compete in various competitions.  There's no money left for her, "Invisabel Isabel."  Instead, she finds herself working on a classmate's farm...and feeling more for him than she ever thought possible.  While all four girls relish their single status and start The International Kissing Club with the best of fun intentions, they quickly realize that kisses are meaningless if you're not sharing them with that special someone.

My favorite part about this novel was all the character growth.  All four girls grew a lot; no one returned home the same as when they left.  Piper started out as my least-favorite character because she was so self-absorbed, but in the end, I found myself rooting for her the most.  The novel also ends in a natural fashion that remains true-to-life.  No story arc is tied up with a pretty bow.  Readers get hints of what might come--and those hints could potentially lead to stand-alone sequels focusing on each girl in the future--but no one story is too easily concluded, which I really appreciated (as much as I wanted to know more about certain things!).  I like the way the girls evolved abroad, too.  Piper had the time of her life--and grew up a lot before returning home, Mei didn't have the experience she hoped to and went through a lot of culture shock, and Cassidy experienced a lot of home sickness.  All of these reactions are natural when living abroad for any length of time and I was pleased to see them focused on in the novel.  I also loved the four guys that the girls found themselves falling for and fell right alongside them.  The characters were truly well-developed in this novel and I would read any sort of continuation that might come out.
COVER DESIGN:

Fun and flirty is the name of the game when it comes to this cover!  The interior is as cute as the exterior, though I won't take pictures since the design may have changed in the final copy (I have an ARC).  

I like the way the cover is vibrant with many eye-popping colors that all work together.  The same four images of the main characters are used at the start of each chapter, representing a Facebook avatar, to signify which girl's POV is about to unfold.  I also like the snippets between chapters where we can peer at the Facebook fanpage and see what everyone is chatting about. 

The bottom of each page has a little instant message person icon (reminds me of the MSN messaging logo, actually) next to the page number. 

I also like the way there are lip prints on the cover, all tied together by an airplane that links the four girls.

This is one cute design!

And now, it's GIVEAWAY TIME!!!

Here's some cute swag you could win:



I've been using mine as a bookmark.  First I used it for THE INTERNATIONAL KISSING CLUB, of course.  Then I decided to be ironic and have been using it for PANDEMONIUM.  Would it be wrong to use it for THE SECRET SISTERHOOD OF HEARTBREAKERS? *innocent whistle*

How will you use YOURS?

Enter to win and find out!

THE INTERNATIONAL KISSING CLUB (Review)

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THE INTERNATIONAL KISSING CLUB is scheduled to come out this Tuesday, January 3rd!&nbsp;&nbsp;The {Teen} Book Scene's tour will continue through February! &nbsp;Check out the <a href="http://theteenbookscene.weebly.com/international-kissing-club-tour-details.html"><b>tour schedule</b></a> to see the list of events. A Backwards Story will be back with a guest post from one of the character's perspective during the final week of the tour on February 13th!<br />
<br />
<i><b>NOTE:</b>&nbsp;This post should have gone up yesterday. &nbsp;With how busy I've been for the holidays and only finished reading last week.&nbsp; More proof in point? &nbsp;I usually read 3-5 books a week. &nbsp;In the past TWO weeks, I have read three books...one was 100-odd pages, the other 200-odd pages, and the third (this one) just over 300 pages. &nbsp;Yeah....], I didn't have time to write a review until today. &nbsp;I'm sorry for the slight delay!!!</i>

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<b>Title:&nbsp;</b>THE INTERNATIONAL KISSING CLUB<br />
<b>Author:</b>&nbsp;Ivy Adams (Pseudonym for authors Emily McKay, Shellee Roberts, and Tracy Deebs)</div>
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<b>Release Date:</b> Out&nbsp;Tuesday! (Jan. 03, 2012)</div>
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<b>Publisher:</b> Bloomsbury/Walker &amp; Co.</div>
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<b>Received:</b> Received from The {Teen} Book Scene for review</div>
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<b><a href="http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11964221-the-international-kissing-club">Goodreads</a></b></div>
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<strong><u>SUMMARY:</u></strong></div>
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<b>Piper, Cassidy, Mei, and Izzy have been best friends their whole lives. And they've always agreed on one goal: to get out of tiny Paris, Texas, and see the world. The school's foreign exchange program seems like the perfect escape: Piper will go to the original Paris; Mei will go to China; Cassidy will go to Australia; and Izzy, unable to afford the program, will stay at home. </b><br />
<br />
<b>To add spice to their semester away, and to stay connected to their best friends, the girls start The International Kissing Club, a Facebook page where they can anonymously update one another and brag about all the amazing guys they're meeting. After all, these girls are traveling abroad: amazing guys abound at every turn! </b><br />
<br />
<b>But sometimes fun, flirty vacation flings turn into more serious romances, and sometimes you don't return from abroad the same person you were. Will the girls' relationships-and their friendships-be able to survive?</b><br />
<b></b></div>
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<br />While the title of THE INTERNATIONAL KISSING CLUB sounds light and carefree (and, okay, yes, it's that, too), the book digs a bit deeper than the title might otherwise suggest.&nbsp; This book isn't really about a club full of people who only care about kissing.&nbsp; I wasn't sure what to expect at first, but I wasn't anticipating the extra dimensions that grew as I read.&nbsp; When I first started reading, I compared the book a little to THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS series by Ann Brashares (and it made me laugh when the girls referred to the series in the novel).&nbsp; It started off slowly, but as I grew invested in each of the characters, I came to care more about what happened to them and was sad when the book came to an end.<br />
<br />
The International Kissing Club isn't just the book's title, but an online Facebook page put together by four best friends (Piper, Cassidy, Izzy, and Mei) after getting opportunities to study abroad for ten weeks.&nbsp; Piper wants to go to Paris, France&nbsp;after one of the school's most popular girls, Germaine, torments her in the most humiliating way possible--and posts the results online, making Piper a viral sensation.&nbsp; Over three million people witnessed her humiliation on YouTube and everyone at school still makes fun of her.&nbsp; She can't wait to get away from Paris, Texas, and go to the <em>real</em> Paris to study art...and boys.&nbsp; Cassidy also longs to get away from Paris.&nbsp; She's had people talking about her and her mother, who was an unwed teenager when she gave birth, her entire life.&nbsp; She can't wait to go down under to Australia, even if it means sucking it up and talking to her estranged father for the first time in years.&nbsp; Mei is adopted and longs to go to her Chinese homeland in order to discover more about herself and learn a little Mandarin.&nbsp; Izzy is all about saving the environment and would love to visit the rainforests of Costa Rica, but she's the middle-child, wedged between a football-playing older brother who recently broke his hand and ruined his chances at a scholarship and a younger brother who is a piano-playing prodigy and always traveling to compete in various competitions.&nbsp; There's no&nbsp;money left for her, "Invisabel Isabel."&nbsp; Instead, she finds herself working on a classmate's farm...and feeling more for him than she ever thought possible.&nbsp; While all four girls relish their single status and start The International Kissing Club with the best of fun intentions, they quickly realize that kisses are meaningless if you're not sharing them with that special someone.<br />
<br />
My favorite part about this novel was all the character growth.&nbsp; All four girls grew a lot; no one returned home the same as when they left.&nbsp; Piper started out as my least-favorite character because she was so self-absorbed, but in the end, I found myself rooting for her the most.&nbsp; The novel also ends in a natural fashion that remains true-to-life.&nbsp; No story arc is tied up with a pretty bow.&nbsp; Readers get hints of what might come--and those hints could potentially lead to stand-alone sequels focusing on each girl in the future--but no one story is too easily concluded, which I really appreciated (as much as I wanted to know more about certain things!).&nbsp; I like the way the girls evolved abroad, too.&nbsp; Piper had the time of her life--and grew up a lot before returning home, Mei didn't have the experience she hoped to and went through a lot of culture shock, and Cassidy experienced a lot of home sickness.&nbsp; All of these reactions are natural when living abroad for any length of time and I was pleased to see them focused on in the novel.&nbsp; I also loved the four guys that the girls found themselves falling for and fell right alongside them.&nbsp; The characters were truly well-developed in this novel and I would read any sort of continuation that might come out.<br />
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<b><span style="color: #330033;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><b><span style="color: purple;"><span style="font-size: x-large;"><u>COVER DESIGN:</u></span></span></b></span></span></b></div>
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<span style="font-weight: 800;">Fun and flirty is the name of the game when it comes to this cover!&nbsp; The interior is as cute as the exterior, though I won't take pictures since the design may have changed in the final copy (I have an ARC).&nbsp; </span><br />
<br />
<span style="font-weight: 800;">I like the way the cover is vibrant with many eye-popping colors that all work together.&nbsp; The same four images of the main characters are used at the start of each chapter, representing a Facebook avatar,&nbsp;to signify which girl's POV is about to unfold.&nbsp; I also like the snippets between chapters where we can peer at the Facebook fanpage and see what everyone is chatting about.&nbsp; </span><br />
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<span style="font-weight: 800;">The bottom of each page has a little instant message person icon (reminds me of the MSN messaging logo, actually) next to the page number.&nbsp; </span><br />
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<strong>I also like the way their are lip prints on the cover, all tied together by an airplane that links the four girls.</strong><br />
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<strong>This is one cute design!</strong></div>
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Week in Review & IMM

IN MY MAILBOX: 12.18.11

In My Mailbox was created by Kristi at The Story Siren because:

"I get books to read and then ultimately share my thoughts about with my readers. As much as I want to, I can’t possibly read every book I receive. Yet, I still wanted a way to feature those books on the blog, even though it might not be in the form of a review. Problem solved! Every week I'd share the books I received that week... ones I'd bought, or gotten at the library, and ones that I'd receive to review on the blog. That way I could mention titles that might not otherwise get some face-time on The Story Siren..."

I find the same thing happening at A Backwards Story. I'm so backed up on reviews atm... That's why I like these videos!

CURRENT GIVEAWAY:

Check back later today when I post a review that should have gone up, er...yesterday.  But I had to finish reading first... ^^;;

READING NOW:

*DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver (Re-read), followed by PANDEMONIUM
*ASPHODEL by Lauren Hammond (This book is less than 170 pages.  I have been reading it for over a week.  That's how busy I've been...!)
*CANDLEWAX by C. Bailey Sims [out April 3, 2012] (Again, I've been chipping away at this one very slowly.  Gotta love the holidays...)


[link to my GoodReads account so you can see my blurb feed as I read]


READ THIS WEEK:

This is actually for the last TWO weeks.  And, um, I didn't read much of anything last week...I just chipped away at ASPHODEL (see above), which I'm finally nearing the end of!  I normally read 3-5 books in a week.  I've chipped away at two and finished three (one was under two hundred pages, the other under three hundred, and the third just over three hundred, so they were all relatively short, too!).

*THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT by Jennifer E. Smith

*FLYAWAY by Helen Landalf (Again, I hoped to get this review to you this past week, alas...)

*THE INTERNATIONAL KISSING CLUB by Ivy Adams (Mmm, should have reviewed this on tour yesterday but, um...had to finish reading it first!)

REVIEWED THIS WEEK (TWO WEEKS):

*ASHA IN TIME by Mandy Nachampassack-Maloney (Blog Tour Stop)

(So sorry for so few reviews in December, bookworms.  I'll make it up to you in January!  This month has been so busy for me!!)


FEATURES THIS WEEK (TWO WEEKS):

*Cover Crazy: CINDER by Marissa Meyer (Spanish Edition)
*Author Interview/Blog Tour Stop with Mandy Nachampassack-Maloney (Author of ASHA IN TIME)
*WAITING ON WEDNESDAY: HEAVEN by Christoph Marzi
*Author This or That/Blog Tour Stop with author Helen Landalf (FLYAWAY)

(Again, soooooooo sorry for the lack of updates!!!)

RECEIVED THIS WEEK:



Loot:

The holiday edition!  Happy New Year, everyone!!

What's your resolution?  How'd you do last year? 

In 2010, I blogged about 38 entries in an entire YEAR.  In 2011, I vowed to blog more frequently.  Now, I often have almost that many entries in ONE MONTH.  Crazy!!

This year, my resolution is to finally finish writing Super Secret Project FizzyPop, revise it, and start the querying process.  Wish me luck...and kick my butt if I get lazy again!  I haven't written since the summer...

WON:

(All links go to Goodreads!)

*THE CHOSEN by Sheenah Freitas and fun swag   [out now; thanks to Sheenah Freitas!] 

ARCs:

*PANDEMONIUM by Lauren Oliver [Apr. 03, 2012; from work for review!]


CHRISTMAS PRESENTS:

*TANGLED TIDES by Karen Amanda Hooper

*LEGEND by Marie Lu

*SWEETLY by Jackson Pearce

*THE ART OF THE DISNEY PRINCESS edited by Glen Keane

EBOOKS:

*EXILED by RaShelle Workman (Only 99¢!)

BORROWED:


What did you get in your mailbox this week?

ASHA IN TIME (review)




A Backwards Story is happy to help conclude The {Teen} Book Scene's tour for ASHA IN TIME!  Check out the tour schedule to see the list of events. A Backwards Story previously interviewed author Mandy Nachampassack-Maloney to kick off the tour!

NOTE: This post should have gone up yesterday.  With how busy I've been for the holidays [I haven't even posted on here in a week or so and had NO reviews the week before that...!  More proof in point?  I usually read 3-5 books a week.  In the past TWO weeks, I have read two books...one was 100-odd pages, the other 200-odd pages.  Yeah....], I didn't have time to write a review until tonight.  I'm sorry for the slight delay!!!

NOTE: I wouldn't personally classify this as a teen book despite the main character's age.  I could see this being a book listed as adult fiction alongside historical Egyptian authors such as Michelle Moran.




Title: ASHA IN TIME
Author: Mandy Nachampassack-Maloney
Release Date: Out now (May 31, 2011)
Publisher: Self-Pub
Received: Received from The {Teen} Book Scene for review
SUMMARY:
She was special. Her parents knew that; though it was not her sable hair, her wide amber eyes, but the fact that she had memories of things she could not possibly know. She remembered the palace of ancient Thebes, the palace pharaohs and queens had walked in. Finally, on her thirteenth birthday, she would find out where her memories were born. She would return to ancient Egypt to get her answers, but she had no idea that he was waiting for her.

She'll have to use all her wits and wiles to find her way in Egypt and into his heart without destroying herself.


I don't know as much about Egyptian culture as I'd like to.  That's one of the greatest things, to me, about historical fiction.  It doesn't matter how little I know (or retained in my grade-school days); by reading, I can still suck up all that knowledge--albeit in a fun way!  Author Mandy Nachampassack-Maloney spent months researching Egypt in order to create her world and it shows.  Ancient Egypt sprung off the pages of ASHA IN TIME, allowing me to envision the people, the culture, the buildings, the objects.  When I finished reading the book, I wanted to know more about the characters I'd spent so much time with, especially the fate of real-life Queens Isetnofret and Nefertari.
ASHA IN TIME starts off slowly, in our own contemporary world.  We find out how little Svana comes to be in our modern age and witness the way she grows from a newborn into a thirteen-year-old.  On her birthday, the amulet she always wears begins to glow and she is pulled backwards through time into Ancient Egypt, the land in which she was initially born.  She is given back her old name, Isetnofret, and must learn a whole new life away from the technologically-enhanced creature comforts she grew up with.  The reason for this shift in time period is quite sad, but I'll leave you to discover this element of the book on your own.  As Isetnofret grows up, she falls in love with Prince Ramses and the two become intrinsically entwined.  The novel occasionally shares a passage in the point of view from a secondary character, giving insight that Isetnofret would never otherwise be able to divulge to the reader.  While this could be distracting since not all of the characters were major or often mentioned, some of these moments were still worth reading, such as the segment from Asarsit's perspective that added an extra layer of richness or the passage at the end that had me fully on Nefertari's side despite the impossible predicament she found herself in with Isetnofret and Ramses.  I do wish Isetnofret's mother Solanda came back into the picture toward the end because she faded into the background after propelling much information along, but other than that, I liked that most of the story was from Isetnofret's point of view.

I will admit that, at first, I thought this might turn into a DNF book for me, which I haven't had yet on a blog tour.  The book begins slowly, from Solanda (Isetnofret's mother)'s POV and takes a while to unfurl.  I at least wanted to get to Egypt.  Once there, the book still had its slow moments, but had enough richness to keep me, and eventually, all of the political intrigue and full characters kept me hooked until the end.  I like the way Nachampassack-Maloney fleshed out historical Egyptian rulers.  She humanized Ramses and showed the softer side of a nation's ruler.  She brought out an innovative history for Isetnofret, a queen with very little information lining Egypt's history books.  She focused on a minor character such as Nefertari and slowly developed her into a major character and made readers truly care about the queen's plight.  She even managed to tug on the heartstrings while exploring true heartbreak and the limitless bounds of true love.  Another thing that made me falter when I began reading was the odd structure of the e-book.  I don't know if it was just my copy (I checked it on both my nook and my computer via Adobe Digital Editions), but for some reason, each page goes from a sentence or two in bold text to a few normal ones, then back to bold again.  I'm used to seeing a line of bold at the beginning of a chapter and that's it.  I also have a bad habit of skimming ahead when I'm involved in a book to see what's at the bottom of the page or the next page and then going back and reading from where I left off (yes, I'm impatient...), and my eyes kept getting attracted to all the bold bits, making it hard to stay where I was and not jump ahead and back again.  (But that's probably just a weird me thing.)  While ASHA IN TIME does have its flaws, it does a beautiful job of bringing Ancient Egypt to life and at only 99¢ on Kindle and $1.99 on nook, it's worth a chance if you love Egypt and/or history.



COVER DESIGN:

This cover really intrigued me and made me want to read ASHA IN TIME.  I love the coloring and the Egyptian symbols.  At the time, I didn't know much about the book.  Now, I think the cover could be of Isetnofret as she moves from our century to her native one.  It also represents the sensuous nature of the Egyptian culture.  

I really like the way all the elements come together on this cover.  It made me pick it up and give it a chance.  How about you?

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