What People are Tweeting about Banned Books Week

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Banned Book Review: Scars by Cheryl Rainfield

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Scars by Cheryl Rainfield
Publisher: Westside Books
Published:   March 24th 2010
Hardcover, 250 pages
Challenges: 100 Books in 2011


Kendra, fifteen, hasn’t felt safe since she began to recall devastating memories of childhood sexual abuse, especially because she still can’t remember the most important detail– her abuser’s identity. Frightened, Kendra believes someone is always watching and following her, leaving menacing messages only she understands. If she lets her guard down even for a minute, it could cost Kendra her life. To relieve the pressure, Kendra cuts; aside from her brilliantly expressive artwork, it’s her only way of coping. Since her own mother is too self-absorbed to hear her cries for help, Kendra finds support in others instead: from her therapist and her art teacher, from Sandy, the close family friend who encourages her artwork, and from Meghan, the classmate who’s becoming a friend and maybe more. But the truth about Kendra’s abuse is just waiting to explode, with startling unforeseen consequences. Scars is the unforgettable story of one girl’s frightening path to the truth. 
Wow!  I am stunned at how amazing this book is.  It actually took me a while to read, not because it was boring or horrible, but because how great and heavy it was.   
Scars opens up new emotional levels you did not know you had!
Kendra is one of the strongest characters I have had the pleasure to read, and I am taking into account her own struggle with cutting.  As a survivor of sexual abuse, Kendra is haunted by memories and fears that she is only able to deal with by cutting and painting.  Not only is adding art a beautiful way of coping, Cheryl Rainfield perfectly describes Kendra’s emotions through her descriptions of her art.  You can literally imagine yourself standing in front of her work and looking up on it.  
Kendra’s life is like walking on glass, in which she finds solace through a therapist, a friend, and through a knife.  It is no wonder that this book is banned, as it does beat around the bush of real issues.  At the same time Cheryl Rainfield doesn’t shove these issues in your face but gradually makes you aware of their truths as Kendra becomes aware.  In doing so you feel closer to Kendra, feeling everything she feels as she feels it.  
You will be left speechless after reading Scars as well as a new found understanding on the affects of sexual abuse.  Scars is a book you will never forget, let alone want to.  

~ Your Official Invitation to the 1st Particular Halloween Bash ~


At the stroking hour of midnight on October 1st, the first Particular Halloween Bash will begin! 
Beware of frightful reviews on scary and spooky books that go bump in the night.
We will also be visited by some unnatural friends….
For those who are brave enough to venture, tricks and treats can be had with a few giveaways.
So I invite you to partake in all the fun to be had!
Keep a weary eye out and beware for Sunday when the Halloween Bash begins.
❤ Happy Scary Dreams!

Giveaway: Scars by Cheryl Rainfield


In celebrating Banned Books Week, and in preparation for my review of SCARS that will be posting tomorrow, I am giving away a Brand New Paperback copy of Scars by Cheryl Rainfield.

Good Luck!

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Banned Book Review: One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies by Sonya Sones

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One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies by Sonya Sones
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Published:   October 25th 2005
Paperback, 272 pages
Challenges: 100 Books in 2011

Fifteen-year-old Ruby Milliken leaves her best friend, her boyfriend, her aunt, and her mother’s grave in Boston and reluctantly flies to Los Angeles to live with her father, a famous movie star who divorced her mother before Ruby was born.

Ruby is torn away from the only home she has ever known when her mother dies and she is forced to go live with her father, a father she has never met before, a father that is famous, a father she doesn’t want to have anything to do with.  Now Ruby is a world that is completely opposite from her home, surrounded by sun and palm trees and all that is Hollywood – everything Ruby is not. 

Through verse, Sonya Sones has created a beautiful story of girl finding her own way to deal with her mother’s death and the life she no longer has, only to find something different and unexpected.  Ruby’s character and emotions are very real; you can literally feel sadness and even anger:

“…But I don’t cry.
I never do anymore.
Not since Mom.
I guess I must have used up
my entire lifetime supply of tears
on the night she died.”
Ruby uses coping mechanisms, that we all use, to help, including anger and my favorite, comedy.  She is confronted smack dab in the face that her mother is gone forever, and the she is not with a father she doesn’t know.  Adding that he is famous doesn’t help her much.  

While exploring Ruby’s growth and emotions, Sonya Sones brilliantly brings up social issues without throwing them in your face:  sex and sexuality.  While she brings them up she does so in a way as making them normal, something that we all encounter and accept every day.  Despite what the tone of the title of this book might be telling you, One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies is a gem and a must read.

My Rating:

You can find Sonya Sones at her WebPage

Author Chat with Michelle Madow

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Michelle Madow is a wonderful 2011 Debut Author of Remembrance which is already creating a wild buzz around the Book Blogging World.  I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to chat with her to find out more about her book and her writing!  
So without further ado I welcome the amazing Michelle Madow!

I know Taylor Swift’s music was a huge inspiration for your book, but you also include Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” in your novel quite a bit.  Can you tell us how you drew inspiration from “Pride and Prejudice”? 

In the Taylor Swift music video there’s a flashback to the Regency Era, and I love Pride and Prejudice, so the parallels fell into the story very naturally.  The main inspiration from Pride and Prejudice appears in the characters – – Lizzie and Drew have similarities to Lizzy and Mr. Darcy, but they’re individuals as well.  There are also small, fun things thrown in there, like the town they live in being called Pembrooke, and how Jane Austen is from Hampshire, England, and Remembrance takes place in New Hampshire.

Remembrance is about reincarnation and love.  Do you believe we have been reincarnated, and if so what were you in your past life, or will be in your next one?

It would be so cool if we were reincarnated, but as cool as I think it would be, I’m not a believer of reincarnation myself.  If I were reincarnated…. I could see myself being from Ancient Rome around the time of the Golden Age, because I’ve always had a fascination with the art and architecture of that time.  Or a time period with lots of pretty dresses and magnificent parties!

I read in another interview that you actually designed your book cover (amazing by the way!!).  Are you the girl on the cover??

Thank you! You have no idea how many people ask me that; I didn’t even realize we looked similar until people started pointing it out to me.  But the answer is no – – the girl on the cover is a model from a stock-image website.  The second I discovered the image I was like, “OMG, it’s Lizzie in her gold mask at the dance!” and was instantly inspired to design it into a book cover.  I’ve been so happy with the reception the cover has received! 

While you are an author, you are also a Book Blogger.  Did sharing your love for books help in any way while you were writing Remembrance? 

I actually wrote Remembrance a few years before I discovered book blogs, but I was SO HAPPY when I found an online community of people who love reading as much as I do! I’m just as much a reader and lover of young adult books as I am a writer, so I was really excited to create a book blog of my own.  It’s been great sharing the books I enjoyed and learning about new books to read, and I’m so grateful for the love and support that the book blogging community has shown towards Remembrance <3. 

 Can you share a weird and unknown fact about yourself (just for fun!)?   
I’m a huge fan of the Star Wars movies, and have a foot long Millennium Falcon displayed on my bookshelves! Nest to it is an action figure of Luke Skywalker holding a lightsaber, because I collected Star Wars action figures in elementary school.  I was cool like that 😉 
That’s okay, I won’t tell anyone – and if it makes you feel any better, I’m a huge huge Doctor Who and Stargate fan – – we all have or ‘dork-dom’ qualities!

 Now that Remembrance has been a fantastic hit, what are you going to do now? Do you have anything in the works? 

Since Remembrance I’ve written two other novels, both in the YA genre.  Once is a fusion of Greek mythology and witchcraft and the other is “Gossip Girl meets Las Vegas.”  I’ve also got a surprise in the works right now and I plan on announcing what that is in the begining of October! 
Well I for one cannot wait!  Only a few more days until October… I will be stalking, I mean keeping an eye out, on your site.

Thank you so much Michelle for chatting a bit!

For those that have not read Remembrance, get off your bums and read it!! 
Thank you so much for interviewing me on your blog, and I’m so glad you enjoyed Remembrance!

You can find Michelle on your Site / Blog / Twitter / Facebook / YouTube / Goodreads / Amazon

New Hampshire high school junior Lizzie Davenport has been reincarnated from Regency Era, England … but she doesn’t know it yet.

Then Drew Carmichael transfers into Lizzie’s school at the beginning of the year, and she feels a connection to him, almost like she knows him. She can’t stop thinking about him, but whenever she tries talking with him about the mysteries behind her feelings, he makes it clear that he wants nothing to do with her. Reaching him is even more difficult because she has a boyfriend, Jeremy, who has started to become full of himself after being elected co-captain of the varsity soccer team, and her flirtatious best friend Chelsea starts dating Drew soon after his arrival. So why can’t she seem to get him out of her mind?

Even though Lizzie knows she should let go of her fascination with Drew, the pair of them soon find that fighting fate isn’t going to be easy.

Banned Book Review: Forever… by Judy Blume

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Forever…. by Judy Blume
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Published:  April 24th 2007
Paperback, 192 pages
Challenges: 100 Books in 2011


There’s a first for everything.

When you build up something in your mind — really imagine it, wish for it — sometimes, when it actually happens, it doesn’t live up to your expectations.

True love is nothing like that.

Especially not for Katherine and Michael, who can’t get enough of each other. Their relationship is unique: sincere, intense, and fun all at the same time. Although they haven’t been together all that long, they know it’s serious. A whole world opens up as young passion and sexuality bloom.

But it’s senior year of high school, and there are big changes ahead. Michael and Katherine are destined for another big “first”: a decision. Is this the love of a lifetime, or the very beginning of a lifetime of love?

Forever is the perfect young adult novel to bring together many topics that are still just as prevalent today as they were when it first was published in 1975.  Katherine is a normal teenage, waiting for her Senior year in High School to be over with. Most importantly, Katherine has found love, but is unaware of all the things that come with that.  

“In the old days girls were divided into two groups – those who did and those who didn’t.”

As with many teenagers, sex is always a topic of discussion.  For Katherine this is not an exception.  Katherine is in love with Michael, and wants to explore everything that entails.  While Katherine is every bit a teenager she is also very grown up in many ways.  As a reader, it is refreshing that an authors has allowed her characters to grown into themselves without pushing them into the final version of themselves (after all the drama and events they are meant to go through).  Katherine responsibly handles the pressure about sex while at the same time being completely aware about her own desires and reservations.

While the topic of “first love” and “sex” is in the forefront of this book, Judy Blume has ingeniously managed to bring attention to many other taboo topics. Just to name a few:  sexuality (GLBT), drugs, STDs, and birth control.  While these topics were not explored as fully as Katherine’s self exploration into becoming a woman and an adult, they were relevant to the overall plot line and characters. 

I found Judy Blume’s book to be a fantastic read, discussing the major issues that surround everyone today, of any age group or gender.  Judy Blume’s book is timeless look into the complicated transition from being a teenager to an adult. 

My Rating:


You can find Judy Blume on her 

Judy Blume is a popular American author. She has written many novels for children and young adults. Blume received a B.S. degree in Education in 1961 from New York University.

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