*Outside In-- Maria V. Snyder

Release Date: SUPPOSED to be March 1st, 2011 (but it released early most places)
Genre:  Sci-fi, Romance, Dystopia, Mystery
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 326
Amazon Link*: Click here
Goodreads Page: Click here
Summary: (Spoilers. Highlight to view)
Me? A Leader? Okay, I did prove that there's more to Inside than we knew. That a whole world exists beyond this cube we live in. And finding that led to a major rebellion - between worker scrubs like me and the snobby uppers who rule our world. Make that ruled. Because of me, we're free. I thought that meant I was off the hook, and could go off on my own again - while still touching base with Riley, of course. He's the one upper I think I can trust. But then we learned that there's outside and then there is Outside. And something from Outside wants In
Review: As most of you know the first book in this series, Inside Out, was my favorite book of 2010. And that's mainly because of The Twist (those of you who have read it know what I'm talking about). Because of this, I was both really excited, and really nervous to read this book. After all, I don't know what Maria could have done to top The Twist.

And to be honest, she didn't top it, but that's okay.

Even without a twist, Outside In still proved a very gripping read. There's sabotage, internal conflict, some steamy romance (maybe too steamy for younger readers? Definitely steamier than Inside Out), and an all around good story. If you liked Inside Out then I bet you will like Outside In. However, if you were on the fence with Inside Out you might not like this one.

MY only issue was the ending. It took a long time to get to the climax, and when we did get there everything happened really fast. Bodies flying, people dying, CRAZINESS. And then done. Everything wrapped up in a nice neat little bow. But there were some things that were still left unexplained. Nothing HUGE (you can live without knowing it), but I still would have liked to find out.

I think there EASILY could have been an Upside Down and maybe even a Downside Up (I just made those up. They aren't real). This series has a lot more story to tell, and I hope Maria decides to tell it. But, if she doesn't, Outside In does end in such a way that I won't die without a sequel. I'll just suffer a little.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

*I am an amazon affiliate. If you purchase this book using my link, I will get a tiny fraction of the purchase, which goes toward contests.

In My Mailbox: Lucky Likes

A World Without Heroes, Brandon Mull (Goodreads | Amazon)
Posession, Elana Johnson (Goodreads | Amazon)
Eyes Like Mine, Julie Wright (Goodreads | Amazon)
The Lost Saint, Bree Despain (Goodreads | Amazon)
Outside In, Maria V. Snyder (Goodreads | Amazon)
Divergent, Veronica Roth (Goodreads | Amazon)
Wolfsbane, Andrea Cremer (Goodreads | Amazon)

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

What should I read next?

Being sick TOTALLY put me in a reading slump. I just have no drive to read. And so, I need your help. I've created a poll where YOU can decide what I read next. I'm not sure if it's too early to read some of these (like Divergent & Wolfsbane) but if you guys want to see a review now, then I'll read them now. Please vote! I honestly don't think I can choose without you. Here's the poll: (p.s. Those of you in feed readers can SEE the poll, but not vote. I just discovered this. Sorry.)

What should I read next?

Thank you!

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

How do you get your books? Or, How I feel about the Borders Bankruptcy

As I'm sure you know, the major-chain Borders recently filed for Chapter 11. Bankruptcy. AHH!!!!!

I was uber-sad when I heard this, and then uber-happy when I found out my Borders wasn't going to close. Usually, when a store goes out of business, I often ask myself: Well... how often did you actually go there? But with Borders the answer is: a lot. It's the only physical bookstore where I buy books because they have coupons, and I'm a starving college student.

However, even though I do go to Borders, the books I order there are FAR outnumbered by the books I order online. I'm an Amazon-addict. They're prices are always great, I get free two day shipping, and it makes it easy to pre-order! And so I have been feeling a little guilty (which will become blatantly obvious if you read this entire post).

Up above I posted the results of the survey I did a few weeks ago, where 27% of you say that you get the majority of your books from a major-chain bookstore. Compared to the 18% who buy them online. This gives me hope. Maybe so long as there are more of you than there are of me, bookstores will still survive. I really hope so. Because even though this whole crisis did inspire me to run to my local Borders and buy a book, I still will buy the majority of my books online.

It was actually Shannon Hale's post on the whole issue that made me want to run out to a store. I totally agree with her. I really don't want bookstores to go out of business. I LOVE the bookstore atmosphere. And it's bookstores that host all the fabulous author-events I go to. However, I do prefer online ordering. It's the sad truth. If faced with the choice between keeping Amazon in business and keeping Borders in business, I'd choose Amazon.

Does that make me a horrible person?

I'm a patron of both, and I certainly won't ever stop going to bookstores, but when it comes to price they just can't compete. Maybe someday when I'm a millionaire high-school teacher (ha!) then I'll be able to afford paying full price for a book, then I'll have a road trip where I visit all the bookstores (indy and chain) all around my area. Until then, though, I'm going to go for cheapness and ease.

All right. Now I don't blame you for giving an indignant scoff and unfollowing my blog. I know the blogging community is full of bookstore-only purists lately. Hopefully you understand my viewpoint, though. I know that bookstores bring jobs to a community. I know that they are a wonderful resource to the community. And I love all those things. However, brick-and-mortar isn't cheap! And myself, and nearly everyone I interact with, can't afford to pay for those bonuses, we just want books.

I totally began this post in support of bookstores. But the more I think about it... the more I'm afraid that bookstores may just be out of luck. I would feel so, so, so, devastated if Borders of B&N ever went completely under. But would my life be completely altered? No. Not so long as I have Amazon.

And so, I open myself up to your comments. This post didn't go the way I thought it would, but at least I'm still honest.

Oh. And just to add one more nail, I'd like to end by saying I really dislike eBooks (which Borders has kinda said is what drove them under). But that's a story for a different time.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

**Nevermore-- Kelly Creagh

Release Date: August 31st, 2010
Genre:  Romance, Paranormal, Supernatural, Literary
Publisher: Atheneum
Pages: 543
Amazon Link*: Click here
Goodreads Page: Click here
Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game.

Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.

Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.

As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind.

Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.

His life depends on it.
Review: I remember that when I first saw this book I immediately filed it away into the "books I'll never, ever read" portion of my brain. The cover completely turned me off. Both of the characters depicted on the cover seemed to epitomize what I don't like about YA literature. But I found a copy to borrow, and so I decided to give it a go.

I adored this book.

Just goes to show you that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. This book is so... literary! And yet it has a great story. It took me a long time to finish (it's a big book!) but I enjoyed every moment of it. I love how things that seemed little and insignificant all had some kind of meaning. But if you missed that meaning you still had a great story.

Granted, the ending was a little confusing. And very sad. But beautiful! It made me SO excited for the next book.

I think my only complaint would be that the book moved a little slowly. And then when we finally reached the climax things went CRAZY fast and weren't fully explained. You had to piece things together. Which wasn't bad, I guess, but kind of annoying.

Anyway, this book is pretty clean (only a few nasty/crude high-schooler remarks, but very little profanity) and really good. If you have the brain power to read a 550 page book, read this one!

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

*I am an amazon affiliate. If you purchase this book using my link, I will get a tiny fraction of the purchase, which goes toward contests.

Supernaturally cover!

I'm finally better! It's taken more than a week, but my brain FINALLY feels clear. Now I'm here to try and scrape the dust off of Squeaky Books. I'm thinking of posting an IMM vlog later today, but for now I wanted to post the cover of Supernaturally! Y'all have probably seen it already, but it's gorgeousness deserves a second, third, or even BAJILLIONTH look. There's even a contest for sharing the cover. I'm not entering, but y'all should!

Now, here's the cover!

And here's the full jacket. SOOOO pretty.

Not gonna lie: I like this cover a lot better than Paranormalcy, and I liked Paranormalcy! I just think the red, and the flowers, and the lightning is SO powerful! I do, however, wish that the model had just a little bit of emotion in her face.

Which do you prefer? Supernaturally or Paranormalcy?

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

Courtney Allison Moulton on Fight Scenes

Today I have the AWESOME author of Angelfire here on Squeaky Books talking about her favorite kind of scenes: the fight scenes! Watch yourself, though. I got a little woozy just reading this post! *wink* Enjoy!

My favorite scenes to write are action scenes and fight sequences, because they are so exciting and fun. I love action movies and I long to see more bigscreen-worthy fight scenes in books, especially young adult. I’ve had a lot of praise for my fight scenes, and even when I turn a manuscript in to my editor, there’s very little she fixes up. Publishers Weekly even described them as having “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon clarity” and are “unimpeachable.” How do I pull them off? I don’t write how I’m told and I break all the rules. I do it my way, Frank Sinatra style. Mafia ties included.

I get a lot of questions on how to write fight scenes as cinematic as mine and here’s all I can say about that.

1. Break the rules. A couple of years ago, I came across an article on writing fight scenes and as I read down the list of “don’ts” all I could think was, “Hmm. I do all of that.” And you know what? It works. That’s the great thing about fiction. Language is your playground. Play with it, mess it up. This isn’t your high school rhetoric class. “They” say don’t describe every action or movement, or just avoid fight scenes altogether because they work well on the bigscreen but not on the page. Screw that. You can definitely make bigscreen-worthy fight scenes work in a book, and I’ll show you how.

2. Less is more. If you’ve ever been in a real fight, or an accident of any kind, or performing your favorite sport—basically some kind of intense, high-action situation, you understand that your brain literally shuts off and adrenaline makes your body work on auto-pilot. It’s like tunnel vision where all you can perceive is whatever is happening to you in that moment. I’ve read fight scenes where in the middle of taking hits, the character is thinking about her next move, how much it sucks to have her shirt ripped, who’s watching the fight... No. That sucks. Just make the hit, rip the clothes and quit whining about it, stop staring at everyone who isn’t kicking your butt and kick butt back.

I see a lot of fights that use words, especially verbs, which are a mouthful to say. It’s not that you shouldn’t expect your reader to understand these words, it’s that you don’t want your reader tripping over them and being taken out of the moment. I adore onomatopoeias in fight scenes, words that sound the way they’re said, and words that feel like the action they’re describing. These words are blunt and evoke feeling in your reader. Slap, crack, whip, whirl, spin, slam, crash… When someone slams his fist into someone else, you as the reader feel that slam, feel the weight of it, the caving of soft flesh to hard knuckles. It’s so much more effective than hitting someone. Keep it simple, keep it brutal, and make your reader taste the sharp tang of blood on a split lip.

3. Stop thinking so much. Fight scenes that are especially painful to read have sentences which are 40-something words long and have one actual action in them. Why so much blathering? It takes you completely out of the moment, and that is the last thing you want for your reader to do. For example,

“I stared at her angrily, grinding my teeth. I swung my fist with all my strength, wanting to wipe that smile off her face—”

No. Just stop right there. That sucks.

“I ground my teeth bitterly, reeled my arm back, and pounded my fist into her jaw as hard as I could. Instead of just breaking again, her jaw flung free from her skull and skidded across the pavement in a spray of blood.”

The above gets you straight to the point. No need to whine about wanting to smack your opponent’s smile off her face. Just do it. Punch her jaw off and tada! No more smiling. Combine the sentences; use more compound sentences than simple ones to make the writing flow and not feel so choppy. When Ellie performs the latter example in Angelfire, she gets it DONE. Yeah, she’s mad, yeah she’s done screwing around and she’s ready to end this fight. No whining, no mulling anything over, no wah wah wah. Just DO IT. Describe every action, exactly what “they” tell you not to do. What happens after Ellie pounds her fist into the reaper’s jaw? It goes flying, but it doesn’t just disappear. There’s blood, likely a lot of it, and the jaw bone will probably hit the ground and bounce, or something. If that’s what would happen, write it.

4. Use your environment and your senses. Just because your character doesn’t care about the wall on the other side of the room doesn’t mean someone’s body can’t blast through it. Your characters are fighting in a world, not just a stage. There are trees you can throw someone against, cars you can get thrown on top of—and hey, lots of glass to shatter and metal to dent. And windows. Everyone loves a good window-tossing-through. There’s one scene in Angelfire which takes place in a mansion garden filled with lots of cool statues and topiaries. No, Ellie and Will didn’t sit and admire the pretty. Will punched through a statue and impaled a demonic reaper on another. That’s using your environment creatively. This way your fight scenes, if you have multiples, won’t be repetitive because you have more things to smash up and bleed on. Like the wise Fred Durst once said: Break stuff.

Thanks, Courtney!

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011


I've been really sick since Sunday, that's why I haven't been posting. I've spent almost the entire last 4 days in bed, but have been too feverish/runny to read. Major lameness. I have a post scheduled for Friday, but until I'm better, don't expect posts. I have nothing to say except that I feel like a bruised noodle. It especially stinks because I just got Wolfsbane (Andrea Cremer), Divergent (Veronica Roth), and Outside In (Maria V. Snyder), and I haven't been able to read anything!

Sorry peeps. Hope you have a good week.

I'll be deleting this post once I'm better so as not to boost my post-count.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

This or That-- Pam Bachorz

Whoops! I had the opportunity to participate in Teen Book Scene's tour of Drought by Pam Bachorz, and I just realized that my scheduled post didn't post (bad blogger!). So here it is! I got to do a "this or that" session with Pam, and here's what she chose:

Sunrise or sunset? Sunrise

Mac or PC? Mac, after many years of resisting

Laptop or desktop? Laptop, need to be ultra-portable

Coat or wool sweater? Wool sweater, easier to MOVE

High school or college? College, a big one, with a million electives

Black or pink? Black

Ice Cream or Pie? Ice cream... I do not understand people's love for pie!

Milk (chocolate or white) or water? Water, ice cold

TV or Movie? Movie if I can get away from my crazy life long enough to enjoy

Performer or viewer? Performer, since I was born if you believe my mom

Scuba diving or bungee jumping? Bungee, takes far less prep to try it!

Massage or mani-pedi? Massage but shoot I'd take either in a heartbeat

Silk or flannel? Flannel for sheets, silk for PJs...

Great answers! Thanks, Pam!

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

Final Layout Poll

All right, y'all. It's been a week. What have we thought of the new layout? Should it stay or go? I've created a poll so that your answers will be obvious. You won't be able to see the poll in a feed reader (you can't see the layout either, for that matter) so please visit the site to vote. And feel free to leave a comment with details.

Your options:

Go back to the old layout
Which had the two sidebars on one side and is often described as being "cluttered" but "original."


Keep the current/new layout
Which y'all can see for yourself.


All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

Breathless Reads Tour-- SLC

The Breathless Reads event today was AWESOME I got to meet all five of the fabulous authors (Brenna had a TON of butterfly stuff. Made me happy).

I also met a ton of bloggers. Emily from Emily's Reading Room, Debbie from Cranberry Fries, Resugo from Resugo's Bookish Paradise, Heather from Fire and Ice, Natalie Whipple from Between Fact and Fiction (and her lovely mother), and a ton of other coolio peeps.

I didn't get any good pictures, but I did get some good video. (good meaning, the authors are discussing good things. The sound is actually really bad.) The authors adressed everything from where they get their ideas, to how they combat loneliness, to their feelings on book bloggers. Check it out! My feelings about the authors are at the bottom of this post.


Part 1-- ideas, current projects, and titles

Part 2-- Names, NYT bestsellers, and balance

Part 3-- Favorite authors, loneliness, and book bloggers

My feelings:
Wow. This event was FANTABULOUS. I got to meet freaking AWESOME bloggers and the authors were even more AMAZING than I expected. Ally was her usually amazingly-cute and friendly self. Beth Revis has a great accent and was full of really funny one-liners. Andrea Cremer had a ton of really cool insights and had a vivid enthusiasm for everything she said. Kirsten Miller was splendid! She was very well spoken and had such great ideas and always responded positively to questions. When I got to her in the signing line we talked and laughed. She’s definitely a new in-person favorite. (p.s. She's also nearly done with Kiki Strike 3. YAY!!!)

The biggest surprise of the evening was certainly Brenna. Y’all know that I wasn’t the biggest fan of her book. In fact, I really didn’t like it. It was too gritty for me. However, I was very clear that I didn’t think this reflected on Brenna at all. And this was BEFORE I met her. Now that I have met her, I stand by this even more. First of all, she was COVERED IN BUTTERFLIES. No, not live ones. That would have been too awesome-sauce for me to handle. But she had a butterfly bag, a BEAUTIFUL butterfly hairclip, and more! I love anyone who loves butterflies. Also, she has this fascinating way of talking. I love her voice and the way she carries herself. She would make a fabulous character.

All right. So that’s it. I wish you ALL could have been there because it was AMAZING and AWESOME.

Did I mention that it was awesome? No? Oh. Well, it was.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

I'll Be Seeing You

I'm still in midterm-recovery mode. So I apologize for another fluff/non-post. And this is for people attending the event tomorrow:

I'm SO FREAKING EXCITED for the Breathless Reads event tomorrow. YEE-HAW!!! It's gonna be epic-sauce. I know that a TON of you are also planning to attend, and I would LOVE to meet you. In order to allow myself to be located, I decided to wear very noticeable clothes, and have taken pictures of them.

Here's my jacket:
Isn't it fun? This is just a cell-phone picture, so it looks kind of pale-green, but I promise you this jacket is BRIGHT pea-green. I'll be wearing those necklaces too. I think they're cool.

But if that's not enough to help you out, you can also look for this:
Oooh. Shiiiiiiiiny. Yup. That sparkly thing will be in my hair.

And if THAT'S not enough, y'all know that I have UBER long hair, which I am planning on curling, but it'll still be pretty long.

So come say HI to me! And leave a comment if you're going to be at the event, that way I can be prepared.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

Because I am insanely forgetful...

Sorry for the lack of substantial postage today. I've been totally swamped with midterms (I'm currently procrastinating studying for my abstract algebra midterm by writing this post). Today should be my last one for a while, though, so I'll be back.

But the point of this post is to see if there's things I've forgotten (and I KNOW there are). Do I owe you a prize? A guest post? If I do PLEASE e-mail me to remind me. If you haven't gotten it, then I've forgotten. Here's my e-mail:


The exceptions to this are Q (your copy of Delirium just arrived), Melissa (see you Saturday!), and Alison (Your books should arrive any day). But other than that I don't remember, and don't currently have the brain power to go searching.

Again, PLEASE remind me. I know there are a TON of guest posts that I've forgotten, and I can't find them in my mess of an inbox.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

Foundling-- DM Cornish

Release Date: September 6th, 2007
Genre:  Romance, Paranormal
Publisher: Puffin
Pages: 434 (312 pages of story)
Amazon Link*: Click here
Goodreads Page: Click here
Set in the world of the Half-Continent-a land of tri-corner hats and flintlock pistols-the Monster Blood Tattoo trilogy is a world of predatory monsters, chemical potions and surgically altered people. Foundling begins the journey of Rossamund, a boy with a girl's name, who is just about to begin a dangerous life in the service of the Emperor. What starts as a simple journey is threatened by encounters with monsters-and people, who may be worse. Learning who to trust and who to fear is neither easy nor without its perils, and Rossamund must choose his path carefully.
Review: This book was a refreshing read. It's certainly very interesting. The world that Cornish has created is very similar to the one Westerfeld created in Leviathan. I really enjoyed how detailed his world was. The book is described as being 434 pages long, but only 312 pages of that is the actual story. The other 122 pages are GLOSSARY. That tells you how crazy detailed it was.

I did feel like this book was a warm-up to future stories. There was actually very little interaction with monsters. Instead of focusing on one main storyline or idea, this book touched on every single aspect in this world while following a loose plot. This tells me that the next book should start getting more deep into the flash-boom-pow of the series. At least, I hope so.

If you liked Westerfeld's Leviathan then you'll probably really like Foundling. However, be prepared that this book is only a jump off point for the rest of the series. If you're not looking to invest in the whole series, I wouldn't read this book.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

*I am an amazon affiliate. If you purchase this book using my link, I will get a tiny fraction of the purchase, which goes toward contests.

Haven--Kristi Cook

Release Date: February 22nd, 2011
Genre:  Romance, Paranormal
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 416
Amazon Link*: Click here
Goodreads Page: Click here
One month into her junior year, sixteen-year-old Violet McKenna transfers to the Winterhaven School in New York’s Hudson Valley, inexplicably drawn to the boarding school with high hopes. Leaving Atlanta behind, she’s looking forward to a fresh start--a new school, and new classmates who will not know her deepest, darkest secret, the one she’s tried to hide all her life: strange, foreboding visions of the future.

But Winterhaven has secrets of its own, secrets that run far deeper than Violet’s. Everyone there--every student, every teacher--has psychic abilities, 'gifts and talents,' they like to call them. Once the initial shock of discovery wears off, Violet realizes that the school is a safe haven for people like her. Soon, Violet has a new circle of friends, a new life, and maybe even a boyfriend--Aidan Gray, perhaps the smartest, hottest guy at Winterhaven.

Only there’s more to Aidan than meets the eye--much, much more. And once she learns the horrible truth, there’s no turning back from her destiny. Their destiny. Together, Violet and Aidan must face a common enemy--if only they can do so without destroying each other first
Review: *sigh* Another paranormal romance. From the summary I was expecting this book to be different. After all, there aren't a whole lot of books that can pull off the "super power" idea. And this book wasn't bad. My Internet went out Friday night, so I read the whole thing in one sitting. The writing was good, the story was interesting, the characters were fun.

It didn't move particularly fast. Someone on GoodReads (I forget who) commented that after the "big reveal" things were boring. I wouldn't say that it was boring but it did get a little mundane until the climax.

But the biggest problem?

It just wasn't very original. You could easily see half-a-dozen already published books and in Haven. I don't mean to be mean. I just mean that this book fits perfectly into the "paranormal romance" mold. In fact, it's extremely similar to a certain book. But I can't tell you what book it is for fear of giving it away.

Therefore, if you're the kind of person who LOVES all of the paranormal releases out so far and you just CAN'T GET ENOUGH, then Haven is a great book for you. Some people have said that this book "stands above" other PRs, but I thought it was just one in the crowd. So if you've had your fill of paranormal romance, I'd say skip it.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

*I am an amazon affiliate. If you purchase this book using my link, I will get a tiny fraction of the purchase, which goes toward contests.
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