Win Cleopatra's Daughter or The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran!

Enter to win one of these great historical novels! The contest ends on September 25th. Click Here to Enter!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

My Computer Has a Virus :(

Sorry for the lack of posts, but I haven't been able to use my computer for almost a week. It has a nasty virus that I've discovered is likely a polymorphic virus (Wikipedia for definition) that cannot be completely purged unless I delete all my .exe files, which would render my computer useless. It also has infected a lot of my personal files. The only thing for me to do is to back up my personal files, and completely reformat my computer and reinstall Windows. Then I'll have to do rigorous scans on my backups that could take days, and then re-install all my programs and re-download old updates, so I may not be back to normal for a while.

I have a lot of reviews that I should be posting, but I get so little time on library computers that I don't have time. When my computer works again (or if I can find time over the weekend), I'll be posting reviews for such books as Camileon by Shykia Bell and Faery Rebels: Spellhunter by R. J. Anderson, which were both awesome!


P.S. - Unfortunately, this may delay my announcement of the contest winner. I'll try to post the winner tomorrow, but I may not be able to. You still have the rest of today to enter!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Operation Teen Book Drop!


Here's the press release for TBD:

Operation Teen Book Drop, TBD '09

For more information contact:
Sara Easterly, Publicist for readergirlz
Sara Easterly & Friends


Despite economic downturn, generous publishers have donated thousands of young-adult books for readergirlz, Guys Lit Wire, and YALSA to deliver to teens in America’s top pediatric hospitals
March 17, 2009 (Seattle, Wash.) – Teen patients in pediatric hospitals across the United States will receive 8,000 young-adult novels, audiobooks, and graphic novels next week as readergirlz, Guys Lit Wire, and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) celebrate the third annual Support Teen Lit Day on April 16.

In its second year, “Operation TBD” (short for Teen Book Drop), puts free books donated by 18 book publishers into the hands of many teens most in need of escape, inspiration and a sense of personal accomplishment. Books with exceptional characters and fabulous stories can provide just that for teens and their families dealing with difficult, long-term hospital stays.

At a time when philanthropic giving is down, readergirlz co-founders have been inspired by overwhelming industry support for Operation TBD. “readergirlz is always looking for innovative ways to connect teens with literature, “ said Dia Calhoun, co-founder of readergirlz and acclaimed young-adult author. “We’re honored that publishers have supported this goal by giving so liberally this year.”

Operation TBD also aims to encourage all teens to choose reading for pleasure as a leisure activity, over other entertainment options. Inciting the broader teen community to participate in Operation TBD in its drive to spur reading on a national scale, readergirlz has launched a trailer on YouTube ( inviting teens and YA authors to leave a book in a public place on April 16. When visiting, participants can download bookplates to insert into the books they’ll leave behind, which explain the surprise to the recipient and tell them to read and enjoy.

“This event is such a special one because it not only raises awareness about teen literature, but it also truly helps those teens most in need. Teens facing illnesses will be able to find an age- appropriate new book to read while in the hospital — teen books matter and not just any old book will do,” said Sarah Cornish Debraski, YALSA president. “Our thanks to the publishers, readergirlz, and Guys Lit Wire. It’s wonderful to unite with these organizations to forward this cause.”

Participating book publishers who have donated books or audiobooks include Abrams Books, Bloomsbury/Walker Books, Candlewick Press, Full Cast Audio, Hachette Book Group, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hyperion, Milkweed, Mirrorstone Books, Orca Book Publishers, Peachtree Books, Perseus Book Group/Running Press, Random House, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, Soft Skull Press & Red Rattle Books, TOKYOPOP and Tor/Forge/Starscape/Tor Teen.

“Putting the right book into the hands of a teen can turn that teen into a reader for life, “ said Suzanne Murphy, VP and Group Publisher, Scholastic Trade Book Publishing. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to help Operation TBD show teens firsthand just how much fun reading can be.”

Pediatric hospitals that have signed up to receive books include Phoenix Children's Hospital (Phoenix, Ariz.), Rady's Children's Hospital (San Diego, Calif.), Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Children's Hospital and Research Center (Oakland, Calif.), All Children's Hospital (St. Petersburg, FL), Children's Memorial Hospital (Chicago, Ill.), UM C.S. Mott Children's Hospital (Ann Arbor, Mich.), Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics (Kansas City, MO), The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Children's Medical Center in Dallas, Mary Bridge Children's Hospital & Health Center (Tacoma, Wash.) and Seattle Children's Hospital.

“Our teen patients here at Seattle Children’s loved the books donated through the Operation Teen Book Drop last year,” said Kim Korte, Child Life Manager, Seattle Children’s Hospital. “Books are a wonderful avenue for our patients to be distracted from the pain and stress of hospitalization. We are always in need of books and greatly appreciate the generosity of the publishers who donated.”

Everyone who participates in Operation TBD is invited to celebrate at the TBD Post-Op Party on April 16 at 6 p.m. Pacific Time on the readergirlz blog:

About Support Teen Literature Day

For the third consecutive year, Support Teen Literature Day will be celebrated April 16, 2009 in conjunction with ALA’s National Library Week. Librarians all across the country are encouraged to participate in Support Teen Literature Day by hosting events in their library. The purpose of this new celebration is to raise awareness among the general public that young adult literature is a vibrant, growing genre with much to offer today’s teens. Support Teen Literature Day also seeks to showcase award-winning authors and books in the genre as well as highlight librarians’ expertise in connecting teens with books and other reading materials.

About the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)

For more than 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, videos, and audiobooks for teens. For more information about YALSA or for lists of recommended reading, viewing and listening, visit or contact the YALSA office by phone, 800-545-2433, ext. 4390, or email,

About readergirlz

readergirlz is the foremost online book community for teen girls, led by five critically acclaimed YA authors—Dia Calhoun (Avielle of Rhia), Holly Cupala (A Light That Never Goes Out) Lorie Ann Grover (Hold Me Tight), Justina Chen Headley (North of Beautiful), and Melissa Walker (the Violet series). readergirlz is the recipient of a 2007 James Patterson PageTurner Award.
To promote teen literacy and leadership in girls, readergirlz features a different YA novel and corresponding community service project every month. For more information about readergirlz, please visit and, or contact

About Guys Lit Wire

Guys Lit Wire brings literary news and reviews to the attention of teenage boys and the people who care about them. Working to combat the perception that teen boys aren’t as well read as teen girls, the organization seeks out literature uniquely targeted toward teen male readers in hopes of bringing attention of good books to guys who might have missed them.

(C)2009 readergirlz



Sunday, April 12, 2009

Win a Copy of Hottie by Jonathan Bernstein!

Wooo! My first contest! I wasn't expecting it, but I got two copies of Hottie in the mail (must have been an accident.) So I'm going to give the extra copy to one of my readers (if there are any left... I have been neglecting my blog.) Anyone there?

To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment answering this question, along with an e-mail address (see rules):

If you could have any superpower, what would you choose?

To get extra entries:

- Become a follower. (+1)
- If you are already a follower... (+2)
- Mention my contest (with a link) on your blog or Twitter. (+3)
- Comment on my review of Hottie. (+1)
- Comment on my (to be posted) Hottie cover comparison (+1)


1. Before getting extra entries, you first have to answer the question here.
2. Please mention everything you did in one comment. If you do more later, delete the old comment and leave a new one.

3. I'm sorry, but this contest is US only.
4. If you decide to enter by commenting here, you must leave your e-mail or blog address.
5. If you don't want to comment, you can e-mail me your entries at paradoxicalblog (at) gmail (dot) com.

I'm leaving the contest open until 11:59 PM on April 30th. The winner will be chosen in the next few days after that and contacted.


Hottie by Jonathan Bernstein

I know this is a bit overdue, but I've been having some computer trouble (it's slow, and if I open too many windows it crashes.)

I accidentally got two copies of Hottie, so I will be running a contest for the second (details to be posted soon.) Comment on this review to get an extra entry.

Review of: Hottie
Author - Jonathan Bernstein
Genre(s) - Realistic, Superhero (is that a genre?)
Pages - 320
Publisher - Razorbill
Publication Date - April 2, 2009

Rating -

Plot - 23/30
Writing - 16/20
Characters - 15/20
Creativity - 15/20
The *Wow* Factor - 8/10
Grand Total - 77/100

Grade - C+

Summary (From Amazon) -

Alison Cole’s got it all: She’s gorgeous, dating a steamy surfer boy, and has just been crowned Beverly Hills High Freshman Class President. Then during a special “symmetry” surgery, a lightning bolt zaps her, and Alison instantly transforms into Hottie—that is, a totally sizzling superhero with the power to shoot fire from her fingers!

Shunned as a Pyro-Freak, Alison must adopt dorky David Eels as her crime-fighting sidekick. Worse, she’s falling for the one guy who wants to “extinguish” her forever, Junior Class President of Cuteness— and wannabe firefighter—T. Hull. But she doesn’t realize that a supervillain’s lurking. . . .

Has Hottie met her match?

Review -

I have a weakness for superhero stories. Hottie wasn’t my favorite of the genre, but I still had a lot of fun reading it. Don’t take the C+ as a bad thing, because the points off were not for lack of fun, but more for a few problems I had with the characters and the tendency to follow the superhero stereotype (less creativity and plot points), which was the author’s intention. Oh, and I have to comment about the cover. I don’t like the new cover. Its colors clash and the photo of the girl doesn’t go well with the graphics. I preferred the cover that was completely graphical and had colors that actually went together. (I will post a comparison later.) Unfortunately, neither of them actually show the costume described in the book, so don’t use the cover to judge the book. Overall, this book was fun, so remember that as you read this review.

Hottie was set in LA, mostly Beverly Hills. I’ve never been there, but the book’s version of LA seemed very cartoonish, which I think was the point. It was used well as a backdrop for the story. But I wish the school had been described in a bit more detail. Some of my favorite scenes were when Alison was fighting crime as Hottie, which is where the book really shines.

The characters were where I found most of my problems with the book. They were all a bit too stereotypical for my liking (dumb blonde, mean popular girls, clueless loser nerd, evil stepmother, etc.) None of the characters seemed to have much life or originality, though I did see a bit with Alison. Alison was the dumb blonde of the story. I personally don’t like reading about main characters that aren’t very intelligent, but she made up for it with cuteness/fun/kindness. David was a pretty stereotypical nerd, though he had his moments. T. was pretty lifeless, but there were some funny scenes with him. It was all a bit too much like a cartoon or sitcom (stupid clueless adults, kids that are still sort-of stupid… but smarter than the adults, who are completely oblivious of the danger.) But that doesn't stop most of us from watching sitcoms, because that's what makes them funny.

I won’t give too much of the plot away, but if you read Hottie, expect a plot that follows the traditional superhero story, with a few amusing differences. Also expect a love triangle. If that sounds good to you, this will be one fun read. But I will warn you, it can get a bit cheesy at times, especially the superhero/supervillain showdown.

Hottie is not the sort of book to read if you want something serious or intellectual, but if you want something unchallenging and fun, or if you just like superhero stories, Hottie is the book for you!

Book From (Review Group, Bought, Library, Publisher, Author, Contest, Etc.) - Publisher

Don’t forget to comment on this review to get an extra entry in the contest!


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

This. Is. Epic.

I know I should have waited for an In My Mailbox post, but I haven't done one for over 2 months (oops?... I have the pictures... do you think I should post them? that's about 10 weeks of books...) Plus, this is just too epic to keep to myself.

I was completely shocked this afternoon when a Fed-Ex truck pulled up to my house and dropped off a package from Random House that I had no idea was coming. I immediately opened it and found FIVE ARCS! But that's not the best thing... One of them was:


That's about when I freaked out. It's not coming out until September 22nd, and I haven't heard of any bloggers that have gotten it yet. Please comment here if you get it, or any of the books on this list. I'd like to know so I have someone else to celebrate with.

Here are the other books I got:

- The Treasure Map of Boys by E. Lockhart (July 28th) I have to read the others in this series first.
- (Re) Cycler by Lauren McLaughlin (August 25th) - I need to read Cycler first.
- Castration Celebration by Jake Wizner (May 26th) ... No, it's not what you think.
- Fat Cat by Robin Brande (October 13th) - Never heard of it, but it looks good.

I'll try to post pictures later, but my computer can be infuriating (partly why I never got to posting those In My Mailbox posts), so don't count on it.

I'll be posting a review today or tomorrow for a book that I just read and enjoyed. It's being released tomorrow, if that's a clue. It also has a hot pink cover.

And I'll also be having my first contest!!! So keep watching for it!

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