Splash Into Summer Giveaway Hop!

Summer is ALMOST HERE! There are no words that can describe how excited I am! I live in sunny Los Angeles, California, so the weather is absolutely beautiful! The beaches are starting to fill up :) Can't wait for vacation! Anyways, let me express my joy and excitement for summer by posting another giveaway!

To celebrate, I'm giving away Jenny Han's Summer trilogy! I've read all three books, and LOVED them! They're filled with characters I've grown to love, and the romantic twists and heartbreak had me hooked from start to finish! Jenny Han's stories are perfect for reading on the beach while working on your tan :) Please visit the amazing I am a Reader not a Writer for the complete list of giveaways!

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MAY 25-31

Lef to Right: The Summer I turned Pretty || It's Not Summer Without You || We'll Always Have Summer


Alex Pettyfer appears on the cover of VMAN

I think Alex is the hottest man alive. Hands down. So far, he's been offered the role of Jace Wayland from the Mortal Instruments series, but he has not accepted yet. HURRY UP ALEX!! WHAT'S TAKING YOU SO LONG!??! While we wait, feel free to gaze at his sexiness in the picture below.

Image Source: http://www.vman.com/articles/from-darkness-to-white-2/?page=8

The Power of Punctuation

So I found this post a few days ago on Tumblr, and I thought it was completely ingenious! When I'm proofreading essays my friends have written or reading short stories online, I find that many of peoople are careless with their grammar, especially punctuation. I love how the picture below clearly expresses how powerful punctuation is in conveying the intended message. 



HOORAY :) My favorite dystopian trilogy is kicking into full gear! I've got some great info on the star, Jennifer Lawrence, casting, and filming to share with you guys! Check it out!


What a great interview with Letterman! I had my doubts with Jennifer in the beginning, but she's really blossomed into a capable and poised actress :) Can you believe she's only 20? Check out some of the latest interviews with Lawrence from E! And Access Hollywood below!

Jennifer Lawrence poses for photos @ Letterman
Lionsgate has today announced two more cast members for The Hunger Games movie – the stylists for Katniss and Peeta.
Latarsha Rose will play Portia, the stylist assigned to Peeta, while Brooke Bundy will play Octavia, a member of the prep team that helps style Katniss. We still don’t know who will play Cinna, the stylist assigned to District 12, and one of the most-anticipated cast decisions still to be revealed.


Russ Bowen, a reporter for TV station MY40, has been tweeting updates and photos from the Hunger Games filming location in Hildebran, NC. He’s been covering news about the film for MY40, and reported on Thursday that filming did not begin as originally thought, and would instead likely begin on Monday.



Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen PHOTOS!

In this week’s cover story, EW was granted an exclusive interview with a newly brunette Lawrence, and spent hours watching her train on a Los Angeles archery range and track, just days before she was due on the North Carolina set.
When Lawrence was offered the role, she describes her response as a mixture of elation-and desperate anxiety. “I knew that as soon as I said yes, my life would change,” she says. “And I walked around an entire day thinking ‘It’s not too late, I could still go back and do indies, I haven’t said yes yet, it’s not too late.’”

And yet, who can turn their back on Katniss? “I love this story,” she says, “and if I had said no, I would regret it every day.”
Source: Mockingjay.net

So what do you think of Jennifer Lawrence and her brunette hair? I think she looks great :) With the new hair, makeup, and convincing HG gear, she's looking a little bit more like Katniss Everday! I can't wait to see the movie on March 23, 2012!


Books you've never finished?

This is basically what my TBR shelf looks like @_@

Alright so, before I started reading so many books, I used to have a pet peeve about not finishing them. Once I started a book, I just had to finish it! It's not that the book was particularly phenomenal,  I just like to know how everything ends. The same goes for movies. However, now that I'm speeding through five books a week, I simply don't have the time and patience to finish every single book I start, especially if it fails to capture my interest halfway through. I'm not sure if that's necessarily a good or bad thing. Should I take the time to finish books I don't entirely enjoy? Buying a book you never finish reading is like buying a shirt you're never going to wear.  I don't exactly think that my taste in literature is becoming more selective, but it's weird because I've never really had this problem before! What do you make of this situation? Yes I know it's trivial, but I just can't help finding the little queer habits in my reading routine. :)

-Carina L. Tai


7 Ways to Shop SMART...in the book world.

If you're like me, you spend hours browsing Amazon, The Book Depository, and other online book stores. I've spent over $600 on books this year alone! It's all about great bargains! I can never resist a good deal on books :) So from my years of book buying experience, here are a few tips for smarter and cheaper book buying!
Image Credit: Auroille

1. VISIT YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY! I can't stress this enough! I understand that many readers (like me) want to own the books they read. But if you're looking for a book that's been released a few years ago, why buy it? Besides, I always discover great new books by just browsing through the YA section at the library!

2. USE COUPONS! It pains me to walk through Borders and find that nobody uses coupons! A couple dollars won't make a difference if you buy 5 books a year. But when it's around 5 books a week, you had better shop smarter! As much as I love both Borders and B&N, it's cheaper to buy books at Borders because they ALWAYS have coupons you can print out online. Discounts can range from at least 30% off to even 40% off! Coupons aren't just for the old paperbacks nobody wants, you can use coupons on just about anything; even books that have just been released! All you have to do is Google "Borders printable coupon" and a large list will pop right up! Print a couple out, present them to the cashier, and you're good to go!

3. BUY ONLINE! Walking through a bookstore is my equivalent of a weekend in Hawaii (sort of). But not all of us have time to peruse through the stores looking for a copy without bent covers or pages. If you can settle without instant gratification, then online book shopping is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Websites like Amazon and The Book Depository are always whipping out great deals! You just have to keep your eye out!

4. MAKE SURE IT'S NOT PUBLIC DOMAIN! For my English Lit class, we happen to read many classics, plays, sonnets, etc. I see a lot of the students going out to buy new copies of Hamlet or Romeo and Juliet! Public domain means that nobody owns the rights to the books because they've expired. So the next time you want to buy a digital copy of Shakespeare's work on your iPhone, look it up on Google books instead, because it's FREE!

5. PRE-ORDER IT! I'm sure every diligent reader has a list of upcoming releases (but that just might be me 'cause I'm crazy). If you're waiting for the newest Meg Cabot or Cassandra Clare book, never hesitate to pre-order it online! Most people think that pre-ordering just means you're securing yourself a copy (which is still true) but usually, you can get around 40% off just for buying it early! The B&N online store often has great deals for pre-ordered books, so check their website often!

6. COMPARE PRICES! Looking for great prices is a lot of work, but with the internet, a few clicks can make a huge difference. All online book stores sell the exact same book, but for a different price! Sometimes the difference is a few cents, and other times it can be a few dollars. There is no single website that offers the best deals, you just have to know when to switch back and forth between websites to find the better price. So before adding that book to your cart the next time you're on Amazon, check the Book Depository first, and vice versa!

7. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF FREE SHIPPING! Almost every website has this feature. Sometimes you can find a great deal, but the shipping can cost more than the book! If that's the case, DON'T BUY IT! In the end, you'll be paying more for shipping than the actual book. For example, buying Amazon-sold books vs. independent sellers qualifies you for free shipping after $25. Although the independent seller may sell the book for $10 whereas it's $12 from Amazon, the $3.99 shipping charged by the independent seller will add up and nearly double your bill! Always take advantage of the free shipping feature, even if it means adding another book to your cart.

If you follow these 7 tips, you can read books without feeling guilty for spending so much on that new hardback! If a book is not available at your public library, you still shouldn't have to pay full price for it! Take advantage of coupons and online discounts :) Have fun shopping!

Happy Reading!
-Carina L. Tai


Conclusion of the Maze Runner Trilogy || The Death Cure

While browsing on Goodreads, I realized that an official summary and cover have been posted for the conclusion of James Dashner's concluding book in the Maze Runner Trilogy, The Death Cure! It's an amazing dystopian series that I highly recommend, especially for the guys! I have to say, The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials were books that kept me on edge until the very last page! It was both thrilling and horrifying! Loved it!

Official Summary:
Thomas knows that Wicked can't be trusted, but they say the time for lies is over, that they've collected all they can from the Trials and now must rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission. It's up to the Gladers to complete the blueprint for the cure to the Flare with a final voluntary test.
What Wicked doesn't know is that something's happened that no Trial or Variable could have foreseen. Thomas has remembered far more than they think. And he knows that he can't believe a word of what Wicked says.
The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine.
Will anyone survive the Death Cure?

I can't wait for its October, 2011 release!!!

Entwined || Cover Recreation

 Book Summary:
Azalea is trapped. Just when she should feel that everything is before her . . . beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing . . . it's taken away. All of it.
The Keeper understands. He's trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. And so he extends an invitation.
Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest.
But there is a cost.
The Keeper likes to keep things.
Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late. 

Original Cover

My Cover Redesign #1

I was inspired to use this photograph because it reminded me of the secret passageway Azalea and her sister's used. With a little bit of color re-touching and special effects, I enhanced certain colors and blotted out some of the green from the foliage and made it silver, to match the descriptions in the book. I wanted it to look as magical, yet natural as possible. What do you think?

My Cover Redesign #2

I really went all out with redesigning Entwined's cover! I rarely have the chance to whip out my photoshop skills, and using them to design a book cover is soo funnn!!! Anyways, with this second cover (even though a majority of the effects are the same) I tried to imagine Azalea herself instead of the scenic descriptions mentioned in the book. Blue is my favorite color, so I incorporated many shades of it in this new cover :) I think it suits Azalea though.


Easter Eggstravangaza Blog Hop WINNER!

My apologies for posting this up so much later than everyone else, but high school zaps away every minute of free time I have. Regardless of my academic "predicaments," HERE IS THE WINNER!!

CONGRATULATIONS: K.M. (geassrevolution@gmail.com) You won a signed copy of CoFA + Postcards + CoFA SWaG!

*Please respond within 48 hours to claim your prize!

Thanks to everyone for participating and supporting my blog, as always :) <33 you guys! Keep updated for more giveaways to come!


AWESOME Hunger Games FanArt

*__* It's absolutely stunning. I'm going to let the picture do the rest of the talking.

The Hunger Games is a popular science fiction novel, written by Suzanne Collins, currently being adapted to film. It takes place in a dystopian world featuring pristine futuristic cities, destroyed futuristic cities,  poverty stricken districts and perilous battle zones. While no official images from the film have been released, there is a bountiful source of science fiction matte paintings and digital art that many talented artists have produced on the web over the years. This post contains a compilation of images that fit the descriptions of each cool zone in the novel.

Source: http://ononyeui.wordpress.com/2011/05/03/the-world-of-the-hunger-games/



As much as I love Dystopian-related literature, there's nothing that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside like a gorgeous new YA cover!!! DAMN I'M SUCH A NERD!!! ( I bet my blog stalker friends *cough* Alexxa, Sophie, and Isaak are chuckling amongst themselves as I type away furiously on my keyboard!!) Excuse me while I have a fangirl moment!

THE COVER IS SO EPIC!! It's disorienting @_@ I think I may need help. Anyways, don't let me further interrupt you as you bask in the beauty of this cover!!!! PATTCHH!!! I <33 YOU!! I can't believe I have to wait until October 4th for this....life has never ticked by so slowly...not even in math class....

Official Summary:
The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They've overcome the secrets riddled in Patch's dark past...bridged two irreconcilable worlds...faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust...and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for—and their love—forever.


Los Angeles Festival of Books! Ally Condie & Gayle Forman!

WOW! What an amazing experience! The weather could not have been more perfect, and despite the thousands of visitors, all the events were expertly organized! This is definitely one of the best book fairs on the west coast, and I'm ecstatic to have been there! This year, the annual event was hosted at the campus of USC (University of Southern California) instead of UCLA; the change of scenery was warmly welcomed! It's much easier to navigate, and the campus is cleaner and has a nice contemporary, yet comfortable atmosphere. Besides hundreds of author booths, panels, and signings, there was this HUGE Ben & Jerry's ice cream truck that handed out mini cartons of free ice-cream (that ABSOLUTELY made my day!). I attended two stages, which were essentially outdoor panels designed to interview a series of four authors and allow questions from the fans. Here are the ones I visited:
11:00 AM
  • Brave NewWorlds: Writing the Unreal Panelists: Andrew Smith, Allyson Condie, Laura McNeal, Tom McNeal Moderator: Aaron Hartzler
2:00 PM
  • The Practical & the Powerful: Writing Fantasy or Keeping it Real Panelists: Robin Benway, Gayle Forman, Gennifer Choldenko, Allen Zadoff Moderator: Cecil Castellucci

They were absolutely phenomenal!!! I mainly went to see Allyson Condie (Author of Matched) and Gayle Forman (Author of If I stay/Where She Went). I don't exaggerate in the slightest when I say that Ally Condie is a beautiful speaker! Matched wasn't the best book I've ever read in my life, but listening to Condie's views, perspectives, and inspirations for her story made me love the beginning of her dystopian trilogy so much more! She has such a warm personality, and took the time to personalize each autographed book, take pictures with fans, and even had a short chat with each of us! The visit with her was the highlight of the event! It was enlightening to listen as a variety of authors explained the creative process in constructing their unreal worlds!

I attended the second panel to get a sneak peak on the insights of Gayle Forman's work. Although her story blew me away more than Condie's, in person, she was a very vague and elusive character! She explained how the characters in her story manifested themselves, and sneaked in bits and pieces of her upcoming work (we can look forward to a guitar player in her next story!) She seemed to enjoy exploring the emotional ups and downs of her characters just as much as we did! It was so nice to meet her!