Palm, meet forehead

Gah! I'm such a loser! I was just cleaning out my books today, and I found all the books I meant to ship out months ago for my contest! Gah! Well, I'll be shipping them this week, promise. Unfortunately, I've lost all information on my winners! Here's the people I have:

Taiger—The book Thief

Q—Go Figure


Holly—Secrets of My suburban Life

Summermoon—Derby Girl

Gretchen-- Chill

Alysa—River Secrets

I only have addresses for Taiger, Alysa, and Q. I would ask that the other four send me your addresses. If I don't hear from you by Wednesday, I'll contact you myself.

I'm sorry I'm such a loser, guys. My subconcious totally forgot about this.

If you won, and you aren't on my list, let me know.

~Enna Isilee


Congratulations to The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, which won the Newbery Award! As soon as I saw this book had one I ran to the library and checked it out before anyone else could. It sounds fascinating. I'm also really excited that Savvy won honor, I've been dying to read it.

:) Yay for Newbery-day!

~Enna Isilee


Hey, dudes (I call everyone dude, even if they're a girl. I hope you don't mind),

I haven't been posting much because I've been preparing a portfolio for a scholarship that I really, really want. Today I take it to be professionally bound, and then next month I get to be interviewed for the scholarship. Eeps!

After today my schedule should be clearer (though that's not saying much since I have a job, school, a play, and a life. ;) ) and I have reviews waiting to be posted of Maria V. Snyder's Magic Study, Kristin Cashore's Graceling, and Cinda Williams Chima's Warrior Heir.

See ya later, peeps (oh yeah, I also call everyone "peeps")!

~Enna Isilee

Sing Fright

So, here’s the situation I’m in currently: I don’t get stage fright, but I also never perform in musicals because, while I love singing, I’m terrified to do it in front of people. The play I’m currently in, though not a musical, has me signing THREE TIMES. Two of those times I’m singing a solo! AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

I had my first rehearsal a week ago where I have to sing “Rock of Ages.” I don’t even have to sing it well, I just have to sing it. The director told me to start, and I completely froze up. I just stood on the stage with my mouth open, and nothing came out. AHHHHHHHH! It was so awkward. This is one of those fears that freezes your blood, and you just can’t seem to fight through it. Though I have to fight through it, I don’t have any other choice.


~Enna Isilee

English Equestrians

For those of you who aren't familiar with the word Equestrian it means, simply: a person affiliated with horses.

Today I had the opportunity to go visit an English ranch. What is an English ranch? Well, you've seen rodeos, right? Where they wear cowboy hats and boots? Well, an English rider is quite different. They are the riders that wear top hats and suits when they ride. Their riding is a bit more... dignified and classy (though some western riders may call it stuffy).

I got to ride for a while and it was SO FUN. I was a little nervous at first, but my "instructor" told me that I had a good seat, and was actually pretty relaxed for my first ride. As the time went on, I found myself getting more and more relaxed, and actually trotted a bit (though it jangled my brains).

So, in conclusion: most little girls wish for a pony for their birthdays, but here I am (no longer a little girl) and I'm dying for a horse. This was just a tour, but the lady who showed me around gives lessons that are really cheap. I'm toying with the idea.

Hm... to ride, or not to ride, that is the question...

~Enna Isilee

The Dead and the Gone-- Susan Beth Pfeffer

I loved the prequel to this story, Life as We Knew It,


The Dead and the Gone is no where near as good. Everyone dies, or everyone is gone. I thought the book began with no hope, and it ended with no hope. I didn’t like it at all, the only thing that kept me reading was the thought that surely this must get better. But, no. The. End.

~Enna Isilee

*Unwind-- Neal Shusterman

In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways fight the system that would "unwind" them. Connor's parents want to be rid of him because he's a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev's unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family's strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance. If they can survive until their eighteenth birthday, they can't be harmed -- but when every piece of them, from their hands to their hearts, are wanted by a world gone mad, eighteen seems far, far away.

This was another fascinating Schusterman. It reminded me a lot of Haddix’s Shadow Children series. And while this book was sometimes slightly disturbing and very sad, it really provoked some interesting thought. What the summary doesn’t mention, is that the reason people decided to make the “unwind” law, is because it was a compromise between the people who believed in pro-life, and the people who believed in pro-choice. I know that sounds really strange, but give it a try, it’s good.

~Enna Isilee

*Everlost-- Neal Shusterman

Nick and Allie don't survive the car accident...but their souls don't exactly get where they're supposed to get either. Instead, they're caught halfway between life and death, in a sort of limbo known as Everlost: a shadow of the living world, filled with all the things and places that no longer exist. It's a magical yet dangerous place where bands of lost children run wild and anyone who stands in the same place too long sinks to the center of the Earth. When they find Mary, the self-proclaimed queen of lost kids, Nick feels like he he's found a home. But Allie isn't satisfied spending eternity between worlds. Against all warnings, Allie begins learning the "Criminal Art" of haunting and ventures into dangerous territory, where a monster called the McGill threatens all the souls of Everlost.

I love Neal Schusterman’s Sci-fi. It’s my cuppa tea. I found myself pulled along by this story. I wanted to know what would happen, and boy, did stuff happen. It was enchanting to see this perspective on limbo, and it was comforting not to have Schusterman try and push religion into this story. I hope there will be a sequel, the ending made it seem like it could go either way. Everything was wrapped up just fine, but if he felt like it, he could keep going.

So, I have named this book a semi-Squeaky Book.

~Enna Isilee

**Poison Study-- Maria V. Snyder

Choose: A quick death…Or slow poison…
About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can't control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren't so clear…

I really liked this book (though I thought it had slightly too much unnecessary swearing, but it very minimal), I found Yelena to be a very interesting character, and I liked the love story. I’m planning on buying the next two.

~Enna Isilee

**The Hunger Games-- Suzanne Collins

Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games." The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When Kat's sister is chosen by lottery, Kat steps up to go in her place.

This book will hold you in its grasp and will NOT let you go. HOLY COW! I loved this book. I think that this kind of sci-fi is amazing, and this one is at the top of its class. I loved Katniss, I loved the people she was around. More than once I broke down and cried while reading this book. Pure literary magic.

This book kept getting shorter and shorter and I kept thinking, “No way they can wrap it up in this many pages,” and they didn’t! TOTAL CLIFFHANGER ENDING! The kind of ending that makes you want to squeeze the author until a sequel pops out! As it is, I don’t think the sequel, Catching Fire, comes out until Fall 2009.


~Enna Isilee

Crown (and Court) Duel--Sherwood Smith

Okay, this book came with a lot of recommendations and praise. Though, I didn’t go in expecting much. It seemed to me that it was just kind of another one of those “give a girl a sword” books, which I have absolutely nothing against (I LOVE Tamora Peirce for her “give a girl a sword” books.), and it was.

I didn’t find anything special about Meliara’s story. I predicted the ending from the beginning. I felt like I had read the story before. But I liked it. Similar to what I thought of Pillage: it was a good story, but it was nothing new.

Now, for the second book/part two, I was less pleased. It was certainly not as cliché as the first book/part, but it was less…driven. It didn’t really seem to have a plot until the last 50 pages. I liked the story in the preceding pages, but it didn’t really carry me along. Because I already was pretty sure I knew the answers to all the “mystery” presented in that part of the book.

In my version, there is included an unpublished short story that continues the story of Meliara. I really liked this story, it was probably my favorite part of the whole book. I thought it showed the personality of the characters very well, and I finally felt the love between Meliara and her love-interest, which I hadn’t felt in the book.

Boy, this is hard to write without giving away spoilers. Time for a sum up:

It wasn’t unique, but I liked it. It brought me back into my reading swing (again), and for that, I’m grateful.

~Enna Isilee

P.S. This is really sad, but I was half-way through the book before I realized Sherwood Smith was a woman. The whole time I was reading that half I was thinking, “How could a man write this? I could never get inside a dude’s head like this.” Turns out, he didn’t. She did. *sheepish*

Pillage--Obert Skye

Have you read the Leven Thumps series by Obert Skye? Then you’ve probably read Pillage even if you’ve never picked it up. Does that make sense? Let me explain.

Leven Thumps: boy finds out he’s special, finds a magical world, goes on an adventure.

Pillage: boy finds out he’s special, hatches dragons, goes on an adventure.

Very similar.

NOT that this is a bad thing. I really liked Pillage. I thought it was a short, breezy, fantasy read. Nothing too special about it, but good anyway.

If you like dragons, you should definitely give this book a try.

~Enna Isilee

Happy New Year!

Welcome 2009! May you be a banner year!

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