Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Online Lit Magazine!

"Variance Magazine is a FREE online publication that delivers interactive articles, in-depth features, quality reviews, and insights on modern culture and entertainment. Covering the best new music, books, and films, Variance is an edgy, experimental, voice-of-the-people project where 60-70 percent of the content is created BY our readers."
(from the site)

ESTEVAN VEGA, author of Arson, is featured in next month's issue talking about his recent blog tour
Subscribe here!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


We're a bit conflicted about our new layout, so if you have a minute and want to check it out and answer the simple poll question to the right, it would be much appreciated.

The poll closes Monday, July 5th.

--Elise and Shakespeare's Muse

PS - Based on our feedback from our lovely readers, I think we're going to keep the layout, but we went ahead and changed the banner color, so...opinions? Do you wonderful people have any other suggestions?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Get YOUR question answered by Alyx Harvey!

To get the word out about Alyx Harvey, author of Hearts at Stake and the upcoming Blood Feud (Book 2 - June 22nd) and Out for Blood (Book 3 - December 2010), Bloomsbury is creating a “Get to Know Alyx Harvey” video. In the video, Alyx will give a tour of her haunted farmhouse and maybe answer a question from YOU!

What you need to do:
Submit a question for Alyx Harvey along with your name and hometown to by Monday, July 5th, 2010.

: If your question is chosen, it will be answered by Alyx in the video and your name and hometown will appear as well! Look for the video after September 1st on to see if you are a winner! PLUS everyone who submits a question will receive an exclusive sneak peak of Out of Blood.

Alyx Harvey Live Journal

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Under Construction

Reading Rocks is currently exploring new template designs for the blog. Exciting, right? Please excuse the mess over the next couple of days. Thanks for your patience.

Sea by Heidi R. Kling

Grade: Low A

Haunted by recurring nightmares since her mother's accidental disappearance over the Indian ocean three years before, fifteen year old California girl Sienna "Sea" Jones reluctantly travels with her father's volunteer team to six months post-tsunami Indonesia. During her stay at the orphanage, she meets scarred and soulful Deni who is more like Sea than anyone she has ever met.

She knows they can't be together, so why can't she stay away from him? And what about her old-best-friend-turned-suddenly-hot Spider who may or may not be waiting for her back home? And why is her psychiatrist father so secretive about her mother's plane crash? The farther she gets from home, the closer she comes to the truth. And Sea's real adventure begins.

Character Development: 6/10
Originality: 7/10
Overall Enjoyment: 8/10
Ending: 8/10
Voice: 7/10
Plot: 7/10
Setting: 10/10
Total Score: 53/ 70

Obtained: Borrowed from Jill.

Age Appropriate? PG-13
Cussing: Barely any

Drugs, Alcohol, etc.: Smoking

Sexual Content: None

Disturbing Images/ Violence: Grief, tsunami


Sea was a wonderful summer read. Sienna's story was a flow of ups and downs meshing together to create something beautiful (though a little cliched).

Initially, Sienna's character was somewhat annoying, but throughout the course of the novel she changed. Yes... Sea is one of those "coming of age" stories everyone seems to love. I found Sienna's change one of the most compelling parts of the book.

Another fantastic aspect was the setting, which played such a huge role in the story. Sienna's Californian home was a part of her, just as Indonesia became after her visit. The imagery, culture, and emotion that the tragedy-stricken country held made it a living, breathing thing, and such a powerful factor of the book.

Unfortunately, the relationships Sienna formed in Indonesia put the relationships she held in California in the backseat, which was ultimately a downfall for the story. The reader learned so much about Deni, but so little about Spider. This unequal balance made the overall effect of the ending less impactful... especially because it was a bit predictable.

However, if you're looking to devour a summer read, and Sea seems something you'd be interested in, I would definitely give it a chance.

Heidi R. Kling

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Willow by Julia Hoban

Grade: A+ Synopsis:

Seven months ago on a rainy March night, Willow's parents drank too much at dinner and asked her to drive them home. But they never made it--Willow lost control of the car, and both of her parents were killed. Now the only way she knows how to survive and control the pain is by secretly cutting herself. but when Willow meets Guy, a boy as sensitive and complicated as she is, she finds it hard to keep the secret that's written all over her body.


Character Development: 10/10
Originality: 10/10
Overall Enjoyment: 9/10
Ending: 9/10
Voice: 9/10
Plot: 9/10
Setting: 9/10
Total Score: 65/70

Obtained: Gift.

Age Appropriate? R

Cussing: It is there, and not altogether mild, but it did not detract from the novel at all.
Drugs, Alcohol, etc: There is some talk of teen drinking (If I remember correctly...)
Sexual Content: One semi-detailed scene, a brief discussion of prostitution
Disturbing Images/Violence: The book is fraught with disturbing images. Bloody car crash memories, anorexia, psychological unbalance, and, of course, much cutting and self-mutilation.


Willow was a tough book to read. The subject matter is heavy, painful, and intense. There were times, particularly at the beginning, when I was hesitant to continue reading because it was so depressing. But I assure you, Willow is written with such delicacy, insight, and sensitivity that it would be even more difficult to stop.

Hoban created a fascinating character in Willow, a girl who cuts herself to deal with her immense pain and guilt. Her suffering was poignant and trapped the reader right alongside her as she tried to fight her way to a better place. It was very real, this suffering, these things that many of us deal with on some scale, and that made her escape, while exponentially disturbing, all the more understandable. Frighteningly so.

I recommend this book to all of you. Julia Hoban's poetic tale of loss, guilt, and ultimately, love will be sure to touch your heart.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Book Showcase: And Another Thing

Out June 29, 2010 in Trade Paperback!

AND ANOTHER THING... features a pantheon of unemployed gods, everyone's favorite renegade Galactic President, a lovestruck green alien, an irritating computer, and at least one very large slab of cheese. Will Arthur ever get a decent cup of tea? Will Random overcome her teenage angst? Will the group survive a cocktail hour at Club Beta? All of your answers will finally be questioned in AND ANOTHER THING...
(Synopsis from ARC)
Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series has sold over 16 million copies, and has been adapted for stage, television, and movie screen, as well as being created into a comic book and video game. Therefore, it is very popular, meaning... if you like satire and science fiction, you should read it.

Eoin Colfer is the author of the internationally best selling Artemis Foul Series. Please watch the video below for some more info about his inspiration for And Another Thing (and for some good entertainment!).

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Reading Rocks will be taking a temporary break for 1 to 2 weeks.
But don't worry; we'll be back even better than before!