Monday, November 29, 2010

Author Interview: H. A. Goodman

Hi everyone! H. A. Goodman is joining us today for an interview and I'd also like to ask you readers to look for my upcoming review of this author's book titled Logic of Demons.

1. How much time did it take you to research demons (if you did any research)?

When writing Logic of Demons, I wanted to give readers the opportunity to think about broad themes pertaining to good, evil, and how actions speak louder than words. Time travel always intrigued me, so I decided to have Devin, Natalia, Nadine, and other characters in my novel learn valuable lessons from historical events first hand.

In Logic of Demons, characters travel through time and space and are transported into the Rwandan Genocide, the Iran-Iraq War, and other dark chapters of human history. In addition, issues like human trafficking and even teen bullying are also talked about. Overall, I spent many months researching these issues. Much of the novel is also based on my prior knowledge of these events from my studies at USC, personal experience (being bullied by older kids when I was young, for example) and just reading magazines like the Economist, Time, and Foreign Policy.

2. What gave you the idea to write about demons?

I used to know people who actually believed that demons and angels fly around us, and that these mystical creatures actually have the ability to affect our decisions. When I observed how some of these brainwashed people behaved, I realized very quickly that “demons” and “angels” are sometimes just excuses for human beings to act a certain way. To some people, a “demon” will be the cause of negative behavior like violence, gossip, or hurting someone you love. But, in reality, it’s the person you see when looking into a mirror who decides what actions you take. Every human being has the capacity to do tremendous good and help others, or untold evil. It’s difficult sometimes, but the choice is always our own, not some made up “ghost,” “goblin,” or “demon.”

I wanted to write a novel that gives people the ability to see the consequences of their actions on a global scale, which is why Logic of Demons references several historical events.

3. Team Unicorn? Or Team Zombie? (I myself am rooting for unicorns)

This is an interesting and thought provoking debate. Unicorns are undoubtedly beautiful, ethereal, and storied creatures. But, I never understood what kind of powers they possess, aside from being the embodiment of goodness. What do they do that’s cool? I’m must admit, I’m ignorant as to the magical abilities of unicorns.

This is why I’d have to say Team Zombie. I’m not entirely into Zombies, but I would probably root more for them than unicorns. Although I would rather be standing closer to a unicorn than a zombie, for some reason I must lean towards Team Zombie. Maybe it’s the 80’s horror movies I grew up.

4. What is your favorite fruit (or veggie if you don't like fruit)?


5. What do you wish you'd get asked more often in an interview?

Well, this is technically my third interview. So, first off, I’m honored that you’d ask me anything at all. I guess I don’t have a question in mind, I’m just happy that readers seem to like Logic of Demons and I have the privilege to speak about the novel.

~Thanks for sharing and all of you have a wonderful day~

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Song: Bbiribbom Bberobbom

Artist: Co-Ed

About: This is a new group consisting of four female members and six males. I absolutely LOVE this song. The song is super catchy, the video is very colorful and a couple of the dance moves are addicting. Its super happy-making and while the winter gray is bringing me down, I know that this song will pick me back up! I know, I'm gushing, lol :)

MV: Credits go to ywertsdfgh for subbing the music video.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Review: The Invisible Order: Book One: Rise of the Darklings

Author: Paul Crilley

Summary: (inside flap) Some things, once glimpsed, can never be unseen...

It was a morning like any other, frigid and gray, when Emily Snow took to the streets of Victorian London to earn the pennies that would keep her and her little brother alive for another day. But a chance turning took her through a dark alley, where she witnessed an extraordinary battle between fierce creatures no taller than her knee.

Emily can see into another world. And once she sees it, she cannot turn away; once engaged, she must join in the latest battle in a war that has been waged for centuries. Doing nothing is not an option, for the Invisible Order--a secret army dedicated to preserving our world against the creatures of Faerie--knows about Emily, and its members will do anything to control her. For Emily, her brother William, and their friend, the street thief Spring-Heeled Jack, this winter morning is a turning point, and hereafter their lives will be entwined with the Invisible Order, and with a battle to save our world from the forces that are out to destroy it.

Review: Although this book is geared toward younger readers (Ages 10+), I found it extremely enjoyable. I think that this could be a series that all age groups enjoy.

Never had a fairy tale had me so hooked as this one did. I loved and hated and then loved Emily Snow throughout her journey. Even though her parents' mysterious disappearance forced her to shed her childhood, she still retains her child-like qualities in the story. There is even more growth as she matures mentally. There were some moments where I felt she was too strong of a character considering her age and the responsibility she has to take care of her younger brother William. Emily is only twelve after all.

There were definately some really funny moments in this one courtesy of Corrigan who is probably my favorite character. It's a close tie between him and Jack.

The ones who were supposed to be scary were villainous and the "good" ones were mostly good. There were some parts where the lines of allegiance blur and tough decisions are to be made by Emily who holds more information than she even knows.

Did I mention there is time travel? And it's in London? And that I loved this book? Well I said it. And I have a feeling that Emily's next adventure is going to be just as amazing as this one. Let's join her for the ride, shall we?

Rating: 1 2 3 4 4.5 5

Monday, November 15, 2010

Author Interview: Christine E. Schulze

Hello readers! I'm very happy to bring you an interview today with author Christine E. Schulze who has written many middle grade and YA books. We have a lot to talk about so lets get to it! :)

Mixturesbooks: How many books have you written?

Christine: Oh, goodness; I stopped counting past thirty, to be honest! Used to have an exact number, but I’ll have to recount sometime. Originally, I meant to twenty-seven books comprise The Amielian Legacy, which is basically a collection of series and individual books which all connect in some way or other, though all definitely do not have to be read to understand them. If you decide to read them all, there are rewards, sort of like finding “Easter Eggs” in video games, but again, this isn’t necessary. It would be quite a compliment for someone to read all my works, but some are quite different than others and might not be enjoyed by all. But, yes, going back to the question, I think I’m at around thirty-three, still counting, and still writing!

MB: Out of those ones, which one would you say has been your favorite to write or read?

Christine: This is a TERRIBLE question. Lol, only because, as you see, I have so many. The Gailean Quartet is certainly a favorite series of mine. Comprising four books, it combines music, magic, and epic adventures to create a unique fantasy world. It was inspired by a favorite teacher of mine, Dr. Gail H. Fleming, who teaches at Southwestern Illinois College. I’ve taken Music Appreciation, World Music, and Choir with her; all classes were fascinating and you learn loads. Of course, I love classical music, but she makes the classes enjoyable for everyone, even those who don’t like classical music so much. Being in her classes really helped me out when I was going through some hard times at home, and the choir especially provided much inspiration.

MB: What are you currently reading (if you are reading)?

Christine: Ugh, so, I know I am supposed to be reading something as a writer; but I really write too much to read that much anymore, because I am so inspired! However, one of the last books I read was Quest for Celestia. As a Christian, I love Christian fantasy like The Chronicles of Narnia. Celestia was also Christian fantasy, a retelling of The Pilgrim’s Progress, to be exact. It was beautiful, especially at the end. Its message was that truth is the greatest thing, because you can love or put faith in the wrong things. But if you know the truth, the rest will follow. Of course, the book said it much more beautifully, but you’ll just have to read for yourself! Lots of great fantasy elements, adventure, and two great main characters as well.

MB: What is your favorite YA book or series to date? (I'm currently in love with Cassandra Clare's Infernal Devices Series)

Christine: Again, I don’t read nearly as much as I should! So I am going to be a little clich├ę and name series like Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, and Twilight. Okay, so maybe the first two at least are more classic than cliche. I also love books by Diana Wynne Jones, particularly Howl’s Moving Castle and its companion, Castle in the Air. Jones’ writing is so fresh, with such quirky worlds and characters, and you’re never quite sure where the story will go. I have read some manga that Aaron, a friend of mine—who appears in an uncanny number of my books as various characters—let me borrow. I really am enjoying Bizenghast; it has a dark fantasy feel like Nightmare Before Christmas or Pan’s Labyrinth, the latter of which is one of my favorite movies, if I may (though I also did have a crush on Jack from Nightmare as a kid and still think he sings exceptionally well for a skeleton). Chobits was another series I adored. For anyone looking for a bittersweet, gripping romance tale with such a pure, innocent girl and a crazy but good-hearted guy, Chobits is your pick.

MB: Can you write anywhere or is there a particular spot that seems to be more inspiring than others?

Christine: Well, to answer the first question, I can’t really “write” anymore like I did as a kid. Now that I’m prolific at using the computer, I must type since my ideas come so fast; I simply can’t stand to hand-write them anymore, save to jot down ideas to type into scenes later on.

My inspirations, however, can come from anywhere, from art to nature to other books to video games, to people—that last one is my biggest. Here’s some examples of some of my books and where I drew my inspiration for them from:

The Legends of Surprisers series was actually inspired from a series I wrote as a kid, Jonny to the Rescue. I came up with Surprisers when I was actually about five years old. I had these toys called “Surprise, Surprise, Puppy Surprise!”, little dogs and cats that came with a surprise outfit. I thought if they could wear clothes, they could do everything like people. Thus, my first definition of Surprisers was “dogs and cats that do everything like people”. Being older now, I took the concept, expanded it, made it a little more deep and complex, and now I have a brand new Christian fantasy series for middle grade readers.

Bloodmaiden and Black Lace are actually two of my books inspired by photography. I admit I have a small streak of vanity, and every now and then, I’ll come up with a cool idea for a photo shoot. Sometimes, the pictures turn out so awesomely that I must conjure an accompanying book! Bloodmaiden, my most recently published novel with Old Line Publishing, is such a book. I also have a series of anthologies. The first is Bloodmaiden: a fantasy anthology, published by Victory Tales Press. The second is Broken: A Horrifically Romantic Anthology, which I also hope to publish with them. The third will be Black Lace: A Darkly Epic Anthology. I haven’t even done the photo-shoot yet, but I can envision me and lots of black lace and maybe a piano—and I know it will inspire many an interesting tale!

The Last Star is a book I have not yet published because I’ve decided on it being the book I submit to agents, to try and get into a big publishing house. Its a middle-grade fantasy adventure, and it was inspired by many things. First off, Diana Wynne Jones’ Dogsbody. Now, I love Jones’ work for its rich, unique worlds and quirky but lovable characters. I haven’t gotten to read Dogsbody though I still desperately want to get my hands on a copy. But after reading only the blurb and first couple of paragraphs in a bookstore, I was hooked and knew I had to write a book with stars. Also inspired by Paper Mario, as well as my earth science class—we were learning about astronomy at the time—I incorporated many scientific terms like “blue stars”, “falling stars”, “white dwarfs”, and “supernovas”, while adding magical meanings and twists to these terms. It is quite the fun and unique read with a whimsical story and characters, as well as some educational value, though hidden beneath the magic.

Silent Hero is my first fan-based work, inspired by Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda. The Zelda games have actually inspired many of my books. When I created the world of Loz, for example, which appears in many of my books, I named the world thus as a tribute to Legend of Zelda; Loz is an acronym. I got this idea from Swiss Family Robinson and Robinson Crusoe, one being named similarly to the other because of one author drawing inspiration from another. Silent Hero, on the other hand, is a fan fiction, but I of course tried to write it as professionally as anything else I write. The only difference is, of course, it is not edited; however, it is available for free download on Smashwords, and quite a few of my readers have expressed enjoying the story and quality of writing. For this I’m quite grateful; especially when you get into a fan-based work, it can be easier to offend readers than please them.

MB: On average, how long does it take you to write a novel? Do you write frantically as ideas come to you or do you tend to map out your stories more?

Christine: To answer the first question, it’s hard to say, though I tend to write pretty fast when inspired. The Gailean Quartet contains four books, three of which are over four hundred pages each, and that took only about a year and a half to write. I just pumped out over fifty thousand words for Silent Hero in a matter of weeks.

The answer to the second question is: kind of both. Usually, I don’t sit down and try to make myself write in a structured manner. If inspiration strikes, I’ll start writing. That means I don’t write in order; if I’m inspired to write Chapter 3 and Chapter 1 isn’t even started yet, I’ll do it. However, before I really sit down to write a new book, I usually have to have the main plot planned out in my head or have a sense of where the book is going—unless I just think of a really awesome, random scene and then decide to write a book around it later. As a Christian, I believe my inspiration and gift of writing come from God, so when God gives me good ideas, I just go with it and usually end up with a great story pretty fast. I’m pretty good at thinking of interesting twists, ways to connect different books, intricate plots, and deep characters to add in once I have a main sense of where the book is headed.

MB: Are you currently working on another book? If it's a secret then can you tell us a bit about the last book you released?

Christine: Well, I actually have a finished book that I’m editing, one I’ve chosen as the book I will start sending out to agents when ready. It’s a middle grade fantasy called The Last Star. I was inspired to write this book by playing Paper Mario, reading the blurb and first few paragraphs of Diana Wynne Jones’ Dogsbody (still need to get my hands on that book), and by my love of astronomy; we were learning all about stars in Earth Science at the time. Here’s a blurb for the book:

There were no Stars that fateful night; they had all been extinguished, all save one:

the work of the Shadows had begun.

Thankfully, that work goes unfinished, for if all the Stars should ever go out in Novalight, that world and all within would come to an end. Hope remains solely in Olette, the last Star. As a Backwards Star, her Starfire, or life source, cannot be snuffed in like all the other Starfires. Can she, being the smallest and youngest of the Stars, take up the position of Blue Star and unravel the mysteries of Star Appointment? Can she help her new friends discover the truth behind their parents’ disappearances? Together, can they overthrow the Shadows before it is too late?

Combining astronomy with magic to create a unique mythology, The Last Star is also a tale of friendship and forgiveness, a classic story of light against darkness, and one which shows that even the smallest person can make the greatest impact.

Also, here’s a blurb for Bloodmaiden, my most recent publication with Old Line Publishing:

Zale. Gauthier. Varden. These three dynasties...

They all sound like something out of an ancient, oriental myth or fairy tale. The concept of humans and dragons helping and living in harmony with one another, without fear. To me, that's exactly what they are. A distant dream only read of, whispered secretly, quietly yearned for.

For, you see, I am the new Quelda of Tynan.

These words echo the mystery, horror, and romance found within Schulze's fantasy novel.

Along with her new husband, Chalom, Crislin must choose to embrace cruel tradition, run from it, or stand against it. The young couple's only hope is to rally the help of the three peaceful dragon dynasties of Sulaimon-but tradition is not on their side, even outside the realm of Tynan. The dragons outside Tynan's borders have been rumored as too stubborn and proud to believe their Tynanian brothers would commit such horrors as inflicted upon the Quelda. Gaining their aid is not a likely hope. Yet, any hope at all is valued in Tynan...

If they are to stand a chance of bringing cruel tradition to a permanent end, Crisilin and Chalom must brave the constant, consuming blizzards of the Ever-white. They must brave the three dynasties and the challenges awaiting there. Together, they must convince the dragon emperors to allow them access to the shrines which house the sacred Aria - protective strands of music which may be able to disperse the evil from Tynan and unite the four dynasties of Sulaimon as a whole once again. Their only aid stems from a sprite whose moods are as unstable as her magic, a young minstrel, and a mysterious fox. Despite the odds, such plans are daring, dangerous, unprecedented, but fully possible - if they can escape the Wall first.

MB: Is there anything else that you would like to add, Christine?

Christine: Yes; please consider reading some of my work, and if you like what you see, spread the news! Also, please stop by Goodreads to visit me sometime! Most of my works are available as both paperback and ebooks, though some aren’t. Still, for most, ebooks are a cheaper way of finding out if you like my writing. Just remember some of my works are for middle grade, others for young adult, and while one book might float your boat, another won’t, as I’ve experienced already from reviewers.

At any rate, you can find me at this link:

On Goodreads, you can read about each of my books, including reader reviews. You can also keep on the look-out for new releases and book give-aways.

That said, thanks very much to Isa for having me. To her and all her readers, God bless, happy reading, and thanks so much for reading!

Thank you for being here with us Christine! I'm really considering reading Chobits now since you found it nice. I haven't read stories like that in a while. I must say that BLOODMAIDEN has a pretty cool sounding storyline. Have a wonderful day and good luck with The Last Star, Christine! It was a pleasure :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

In My Mailbox 2?

Hi everyone! In My Mailbox is a meme created by The Story Siren in which you can share what books you got for review, borrowed from the library or bought this week.

I usually don't participate in this meme, but this week I actually have something in my mailbox to share with you! :)

For Review:

The Drake Chronicles by Alexandra Harvey: Haven't started the books yet, but I'm looking forward to it!
- Hearts At Stake
- Blood Feud
- Out For Blood

The Invisible Order by Paul Crilley
Book 1 :Rise of the Darklings: I'm halfway through this one and absolutely love it!


- Torment by Lauren Kate: I'd recently bought Fallen, and after finishing it I borrowed this one from my school's library. I just finished this one yesterday.

- Two Flowers for the Dragon by Nari Kusakawa: This is a manga and I've already finished it, but I don't think that my library has the following volumes :(

~So what did you guys get?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Review: Star Crossed

Author: Elizabeth C. Bunce

Summary: (inside flap) High in the snow-covered mountains of Llyvyraneth, in a castle full of the country's elite, Celyn Contrare serves as a lady-in-waiting to shy young Merista Nemair. Her days are spent dressing in velvet and brocade, attending Lady Merista, navigating court gossip, and charming noblemen over lavish feasts.

And at night, she picks locks, steals jewels, forges documents and collects secrets. Because Celyn isn't really a lady-in-waiting; she's not even really Celyn Contrare. She's Digger, a sneak-thief on the run from the King's Inquisition, desperate to escape its cruel instruments and hatred of magic. If she's discovered, it will mean her certain death...

...But life as a lady-in-waiting isn't safe either. The devious Lord Daul knows her secret, and he's blackmailing her to serve as his personal spy in the castle. What she discovers - about Daul, about the Nemair, even about her own Lady Merista - could signal civil war in Llyvyraneth. And for a thief trained never to get involved, taking sides could be the most dangerous job yet.

Review: A valiant heroine, Celyn is an amazing character. Thieves, dark alleys, magic, political drama all play a part in making this book come alive.

I read Elizabeth C. Bunce's previous book, A Curse As Dark As Gold, and in liking the writing style, I decided to try this one out as well. I wasn't disappointed by this adventurous tale

The story started out kind of patchy. I felt that it would have been good if the author had defined "Sarist" earlier in the book because I was confused for bit.

All the characters were defined clearly. The storyline was really interesting. I didn't feel bored throughout any of it because of the action-packed writing, althouh the author used lots of descriptions. The good thing was that they were interesting to read and fun to conjure up.

Although the setting seems to be in olden tmes, the dialogue is modern for the most part which was beneficial in creating Celyn's independent character. The language was also successful in creating an alternate reality or world.

The entire story was consistent, mended together and wrapped up nicely in the end. I'm super excited for the sequel! It is going to be called Liar's Moon.

Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday 13

Hello everyone! Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at BreakingtheSpine so you can share what books you're looking forward to.

Title: Bitter Melon

Author: Cara Chow

Release Date: December 28th, 2010

Publisher: EgmontUSA

Summary: (goodreads) Frances, a Chinese-American student at an academically competitive school in San Francisco, has always had it drilled into her to be obedient to her mother and to be a straight-A student so that she can go to Med school. But is being a doctor what she wants?It has never even occurred to Frances to question her own feelings and desires until she accidentally winds up in speech class and finds herself with a hidden talent. Does she dare to challenge the mother who has sacrificed everything for her? Set in the 1980s.

My Thoughts: I feel like there aren't as many Asian books out there, so hopefully this one will be a good one. The cover is beautiful in my opinion. I've been fascinated lately by the Chinese-American experiences and the standards or stereotypes they are expected to live up to not just by other races, but also by their own parents.

I've read a couple other books like this one, which I loved and I'm thinking that even though this is a debut novel, it will be good also.

Other Books You Might Like: (I've actually read the below titles and can recommend them)

1. Ties That Bind, Ties That Break by Lensey Namioka
2. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
3. Step From Heaven by An Na

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Princess Trap

Author: Kirsten Boie


Life as a princess = a dream come true, right? Girl, please! Between palace rules, a mean queen-bee roomie at her posh boarding school, the ever-present paparazzi--and BTW, her unrequited crushing on Jonas--Jenna feels superstressed, and finds herself wishing she were a plain old nobody again. Which is why she tries to run away...only to get trapped in a scheme to overthrow her uncle, the king!

Major drama.

Suddenly--seriously?--Jenna must stop a civil war. When all she really wants is her first kiss!

Review: I think I liked this one better than the first one. Why? Jenna is maturing and this book delves a little deeper into seperation and bullying. I would definately recommend it to kids Age 10+ because they would be the most likely to relate to Jenna and her Princess status as well as understand some of the bad things Jenna is going through. Even though I'm a senior in highschool (yay me!), I still liked it, but I have to say that it isn't for everyone.

THe book is geared toward younger readers, but the political drama makes this one something new. I like reading not just about princesses, but the actual story and danger behind it. The Princess Trap portrays it's political side while still keeping the book about the main character. This installment is more believable and relatable than the first one and it also combines mystery and firs-love romance to round it out.

Having trouble finding a good book for an elementary or middle-school aged girl? If she's into princesses and murder plots, then I would suggest getting her this one for Christmas.

My sister is 14 already and she REALLY like this book too. :)

Rating: 1 2 3 3.5 4 5

Other Books in the Series:

1. The Princess Plot (the first one)

*Gosh, I seriously love these covers for some reason*

Friday, November 5, 2010

Product Review Continued :)

I wanted to add to the review I submitted at the CSN website because it doesn't express just how excited I was on receiving this product. This is my first product review (aside from books) so I'm justified. :)

Here is when I got the package. It was huge and very heavy, thankfully the UPS person was very nice, because (trust me on this) I wouldn't have been able to get that inside the apartment...well maybe if I pushed it. Anywaaays...can you tell I'm excited? Ignore the pink thing please, it's my sister foot ruining everything. Lol.

Here is when I took off that top cardboard stuff. I was basking in all those styrofoam thingies. They are SO much fun to play with.
Ok, so the actual plates are coming, but would I really recommend this to my fellow bloggers and readers? I did get it in exchange for a review, but I would honestly recommend CSN STORES to most of you out there. They really do have some great products and loads of options especially for the upcoming Holiday season. There were a few things that I would like sold there too like make-up because I would buy that more and of course, books! But just in case someone on your gift-list isn't into those things, (like most of my people) then this online store is going to be really helpful. Thank you for reading and I hope I've been sucessful in my first product review! :)

P.S - I really wanted to take a picture of them with food, but I can't cook, so you would have been too distracted by the gross food to even look at the set. At least my gross food looks nice on the plates if you don't stare at it too long :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My Review of Kon-Tiki 16 Piece Dinnerware Set in Cream

Originally submitted at CSN Stores

Edgy and exotic designs emphasize your unique style and set the tone for vivacious living. Naturally eye-catching with its highly reflective glaze and matte exterior finish, the vibrant square shapes of The Kon Tiki Collection are sure to captivate.

16 Piece Dinnerware Set Includes:


Looks Cute and Easy to Maintain

By Isa from Hillsboro, OR on 11/4/2010


4out of 5

Pros: Complete, Dishwasher Safe, Attractive Design, Good Food Capacity

Cons: Too Heavy

Best Uses: Daily Use, Decorative, Casual

Describe Yourself: Practical, Bargain Hunter

The set has texture, but even so it is still really easy to clean since you can just stick it in the dishwasher. I really love the faded design as it goes from dark wood to cream. The mugs are probably my favorite item with the appetizer plates a close second. They are a bit heavy, so that could be a possible flaw. I personally take it for sturdiness and feel like the set won't chip as easily as others I've had. I chose this product from the clearance center for review and I was surprised that it came with all the pieces and in perfect condition because usually clearance products are returned items which may be damaged or are flawed in someway. It was priced very cheap which is also why I was expecting some sort of defect in it, but that the product didn't have. The dinnerware has a wonderful design, texture, overall feel and (although I haven't tested to see how resistant) it hasn't chipped even though my family uses the set every single day.


Tags: Picture of Product


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Princess Plot

Author: Kirsten Boie


Jenna just won the starring role in a movie about a princess--sweet! In the wink of an eye, she's whisked off to the remte, romantic kingdom where the story takes place. But something's amiss: Instead of being on a shoot, suddenly she's being shot at!

The legit princess--to whom Jenna bears a suspiciously striking resemblance--has gone AWOL on her whole real-life royal gig, and soon Jenna's swept up in a treacherous rebel plot. Deal is, this is no dress rehearsal: The girl has got to act to save her life!

Review: It was sweet and cute, but also had actual politics in it. It touched lightly on racism and class status. It took on a country's conflict while still managing to tell Jenna's individual story. I wouldn't be inclined to say that it has major underlying themes, but it is a good story on tolerance for readers looking for something somewhat substantial, but very fun.

There were some serious parts and other parts weren't all too believable, but I think that the fantasticalness (is that a word?), of it all played well into the writing and storyline. I would recommend it more to middle grade readers, but YA lovers might still find this enjoyable if they are looking for a well-rounded read.

The end was a lot more engaging and exciting than the beginning, but overall it had a reasonable pace and good storytelling.

Rating: 1 2 3 3.5 4 5