Which non-fiction should I read?

A while ago I asked for adult fiction and non-fiction recs. There were far too many adult fiction recommendations for me to organize into any kind of list. But, I was able to take the non-fiction books and gather the top 14. Here they are:

A Beautiful Mind
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader
The Glass Castle
The Hiding Place
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
The Last Lecture
Loving Frank
Same Kind of Different as Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together
Seabiscuit: An American Legend
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption
A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

Any of these that you think are one of those "YOU HAVE TO READ THIS RIGHT NOW!" kind of books? Any I should avoid? For instance, I love Tina Fey (well... I love Liz Lemon) and I'm worried that Bossypants might be crass (by which I suppose I mean swearing for no reason or distasteful) or something and make me stop liking her... thoughts?

Anyway, to make it easy I made this poll. Vote for any and all books you think I should read. Yup. Thank you!

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

Covers of Awesome

There have been some GREAT cover releases in the world recently! In case you haven't seen some, here are my favorites.

Throne of Glass US & UK
 Now, to be totally honest I'm not a big fan of the US cover of this book. I certainly didn't know it was about an assassin looking at this. The model's hair is too perfect (the model is too perfect) and that dagger is oddly proportioned. But then the UK cover was released and OH MY GOSH I NEED THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW. Seriously people. That cover is AMAZING. One of the best I've seen. There's just so much greatness in it. The hair, the swords, the clothes, and she's barefoot! Gah! now there's an assassin. I want to be that for Halloween.

So... this is definitely better than the one I made. Yup. This is... beautiful. Just beautiful. Though... I will admit that the flowers looked less like wings, or they actually were wings. For some reason the wing-flowers are throwing me.

I love the warm colors in this. The first two books were very cool colors, which makes this book really stand out. I just got an ARC (thanks Wendy and Candlewick!) and I cannot wait to dive in! I love Katla!

I definitely prefer this cover to the first one. While the first one looked oddly sparse, this one is perfectly sparse. I love the added texture of the wall and the paint. Cannot wait to see where Day and June are taking me!

I saved the best for last. Holy. Freaking. Crap. Can I marry this cover? Please? PLEASE?! I love it. More than love it. I wasn't a huge fan of the cover of Smoke & Bone in fact, I was planning on buying the UK edition. Not anymore! I need a US set if they're going to be this pretty! HOLY CRAP.

Well? What do you think of these? Which is your favorite? Any you don't love? What would you change? What other covers are out there that you're ogling right now?

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

Want tickets to Fierce Reads?

So last week I reviewed the Fierce Reads books. If you missed them, here they are. Click the title to go to the review:

These are some AWESOME titles, folks. And I have some GREAT news for people in Utah! These lovely ladies are coming to our state, twice! If you would like a ticket to the Provo event, I will get one for you. You just have to fill out this form with your name! I can only get 8 tickets (including one for me) so act fast! This is NOT something you'll want to miss.

I hope you all are enjoying your day of remembrance!

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

More books for Trade/Sale!

Hello! Hope you're excited for the long memorial day weekend. I just wanted to let y'all know that I added more books to my list of books for trade/sale. I've also created a wishlist of books I definitely would be willing to trade for, though that's not to say they're the only books I'd be willing to trade for.

Have a great Saturday!

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

*Of Poseidon-- Anna Banks

Release Date: May 22nd, 2012
Genre: Romance, Fantasy
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 336
Amazon Link*: Click here
Goodreads Page: Click here
Galen, a Syrena prince, searches land for a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. It’s while Emma is on vacation at the beach that she meets Galen. Although their connection is immediate and powerful, Galen's not fully convinced that Emma's the one he's been looking for. That is, until a deadly encounter with a shark proves that Emma and her Gift may be the only thing that can save his kingdom. He needs her help--no matter what the risk
Blurb: Not your typical insta-love!

Review: There was one line of this summary that made me nervous. Can you guess which one it is? You probably can, but I'll tell you anyway. "their connection is immediate and powerful." Uh-oh. Insta-love warning! And you know what, there was insta-love, but what made this book so unique was that the characters fought it, and I don't mean like they ran away from each other (thought that happened a little at first). I mean they tried not to be stupid and fall in love without knowing each other. They allowed themselves to be just friends and their relationship blossomed into something real. That was so refreshing! And it made a romance that I actually liked. Yes. You heard me. I actually liked the romance in this book.

Another awesome thing about this book, it begins with a BANG! Within the first few pages something EXTREMELY dramatic happens that sucked me in from the get-go. Granted, it doesn't keep up this racing pace for long. Most of the book is very calm and leisurely, and is more character driven than plot driven. But that doesn't make it bad, because the characters were great!

We had the sassy sister, the goofy friend, and a motley assortment of human-helpers. I loved every single one. Seriously. There wasn't a character I didn't like. That's so rare in a book!

HOWEVER, you may have noticed that I only gave it 4.5 stars. Again, that half-a star eludes me! Why? The "twist" was SO easy to guess. I guessed within the first 100 pages, was positive by 200, and it was confirmed by 300. It was still a good twist, and I'm really curious to see where it goes from here, but I like to feel a little more surprised by things while I'm reading.

But still, that's only a deficit of .5 stars. That's nothing. This book is still GREAT addition to the paranormal romance category because it stands out. It's not like all those others floating out there (and the two love interests are actually similar enough in terms of species to MAKE SENSE).

End of story? I thought it was fab.

Remember that I'm giving away a copy! Click here to enter!

Other Reviews:

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012
*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.

*Monument 14-- Emmy Laybourne

Release Date: June 5th, 2012
Genre: Apocalyptic
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 304
Amazon Link*: Click here
Goodreads Page: Click here
Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not—you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner.

Only, if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you’d stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus.

But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.

Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.

Six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.
Blurb: This book had me on the edge of my seat! ...and running to check my food storage every couple of minutes.

Review: I'll admit that when I first read the summary of this book... I wasn't wowed. And to be honest, I probably wouldn't have been in any hurry to read it if the author wasn't coming to my area next month.


For real, guys. This book grabs you by page one. Before you even know the name of the main character people are dying, things are exploding, and you're wow-ed out of your mind! And when they finally were safe inside the Greenway (Which is essentially a Wal-Mart) I thought to myself "Surely it must slow down now." Oh no. That same high-energy is maintained throughout the book, with just enough low-energy moments to stop you from pulling out all your hair from the stress.

The characters were also really interesting. Emmy created quite the hodge-podge of people in this book. No two characters are alike, although they might seem like it at first glance. Another interesting thing was that the narrator is male! There's nothing from the cover, summary, or anything that warns you of this. I read the first few pages thinking it was a female narrator, and it was very jarring to find out he was a guy. So... go in knowing that. But after I got over that shock, he was a very nice narrator. I love how he struggles with being himself, being "good," and being liked. Was a big fan of Dean by the end.

But, the reason why it's only a 4.5 stars instead of a perfect 5 is because there was quite a bit of sexual innuendo, as well as some substance abuse and swearing. Granted, some of the swearing was redacted (it looked like "f--------"), and some of the sexual content certainly added to the plot, but I can't absolutely adore a book with so much teen sex. It just makes me a little creepy crawly.

Along those same lines, though, this is a great crossover for those who only read contemporary or only read non-realistic fiction speculative fiction (like me). I think it's got enough contemporary elements to satisfy a contemporary reader, and enough apocalyptic elements to satisfy a non-realistic speculative reader (is there a word for that? Thank you, Q, for introducing me to the correct usage of "speculative")

All in all, an awesome debut. The book doesn't quite end in a "cliffhanger" per say, but it definitely leaves you begging for more. I literally begged Emmy for more. I HAVE to know what's going to happen next! Can't wait for Monument 15! (Just kidding. That's not actually what it's called)

Other Reviews:

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012
*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.

**Shadow and Bone-- Leigh Bardugo

Release Date: June 5th, 2012
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Pages: 368
Amazon Link*: Click here
Goodreads Page: Click here
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart
Blurb: How can so much awesome be packed into one book?

Review: This book was AMAZING. I was going to wait until closer to the release date to tell you exactly how amazing it was, but I just couldn't. I've never read anything quite like it. Let me tell you about all the awesomeness it contains:

It has a lot of high-fantasy flair, with great Russian roots. It doesn't take place in Russia, so you don't need to know anything about Russian culture to get it. Always a plus. But it allowed for some BEAUTIFUL imagery and language-building. Oh! I love the setting and language so much! Granted, the language was a little confusing at first, but there's a guide at the beginning that tells you the most important words you need to know. And after the first few chapters you start to get the hang of it.

The characters were engaging and easy to sympathize with. I loved Alina. Yes, she's quite a bit self-deprecating at times, but I can understand why she would be. In her world the people of power can magic themselves into looking beautiful, therefore there's this idea that if you aren't extremely beautiful you aren't powerful. Makes sense that she would have some self-esteem issues. And her issues were totally believable. Watching her resolve them and come into her own made me so happy!

Also, the villain was awesome. The whole time you're reading the book you think you know who the villain is, but then something happens that makes you doubt yourself, and by the time the villain is actually revealed you're on the edge of your seat! My head is STILL spinning from this!

The same thing goes for the love interests. Yes, I said love interestS, as in plural. But for all of you rolling your eyes and such, Bardugo manages to stick in two love interests WITHOUT creating a love triangle. GENIUS! And the romance was there, but subtle. I would definitely classify this book as a fantasy, and not a romance. Sure, it's got some romance in it, as most great stories do, but it didn't overpower the plot. It was subtle, and beautiful.

So there you go. I adored it. It was amazing. You all need to pre-order it right now and shower Leigh with love. That is all.

Oh, wait, one more thing: There's some summary floating around the internet that describes this book as "The most compelling romance since Twilight." I'm currently on a personal quest to hunt down all of these summaries. Please ignore them.

UPDATE: Leigh just posted today that books 2 & 3 have titles and you can win a personalized copy of Shadow & Bone! Go forth and do: CLICK HERE.

Other Reviews:

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012
*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.

Books with Maps

I have to admit that I have a weakspot when it comes to books with maps. I adore them. I love being able to see the world right there on the page! While reading Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (which I am head-over-heels in love with, review soon!), I kept wishing that there was a map. The world was just so rich and intricate, I wanted to SEE it. I was about ready to draw my own map. Lo and behold! The final version DOES have a map! And it looks like this! Isn't it amazing?

click to embiggen

And then I decided that it needed color. And then I decided to make it my desktop background (which I haven't changed in THREE YEARS):

I've already got my finished copy of Shadow & Bone pre-ordered because I NEED one to go with my ARC. And don't worry, I'll definitely be giving away this book on the blog sometime. You can count on that.
What about y'all? How do you feel about books in maps? What are some great books that have maps?
Another favorite of mine is Book of a Thousand Days and all of the Bayern books (shocker!).

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

I need adult and non-fiction recommendations!

First of all, sorry for the lack of posting. Spring term is kicking my trash! I'm just managing to keep my feet under me. I hope to get some posts scheduled soon, though.

Now on to the REAL purpose of this post!

The Short Story: I need good adult fiction and non-fiction recommendations

The Long Story: A few weeks ago I applied for a "promotion" at the library I work at. I wanted to move from a page (someone who reshelves books) to an assistant librarian (someone who either helps people check out, or helps people with recommendations/research projects, etc.). Unfortunately, I didn't get the job. HOWEVER, my boss informed me that the reason I didn't get it is because I didn't quite have the broad spectrum of reading tastes as they were looking for. This totally makes sense. I only read YA fiction/fantasy. She encouraged me to expand my horizons, and then apply again when there was an opening. I intend to take the challenge!

That's where you come in.

I'm an expert in all things YA, but a total novice in things adult and non-fiction. Help! Do you know a great adult fiction or non-fiction book I should read? Please fill out the form! I'm open to any and all suggestions so long as they fit my content standards (no unnecessary profanity or vivid sexual scenes).

Thank you! I'm really looking forward to reading the books you guys recommend! (After I have time to read again, that is! Yeesh. At least Spring term is only 6 weeks long.)

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

Do I owe you a prize?

Did you win a contest on Squeaky Books and haven't yet received your prize? I've recently been informed that some of my publisher sponsored and international giveaway winners never got their books. And I'm sure that I've forgotten some in the craziness that is college life.

If you still haven't gotten a prize you won from me, please email me ASAP! Enna@SqueakyBooks.com. If I don't reply within 24 hours email me again!

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

It's Official!

Veronica Roth is coming to Utah!
Along with 3 other awesome authors!

Are YOU going to go? What about you MO and CA residents? Excited?!

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

Utah Book Month Sign-ups!

It's almost time for Utah Book Month! What is UBM, you ask? Well, it's a celebration of all things Bookish and Utah of course! We celebrate Utah's authors, aspiring writers, and book bloggers! And YOU can participate! There are so many different things you can do. If you're an author you can be interviewed or do a guest post, bloggers can host minichallenges and giveaways, interview another blogger, design a new cover, and that's just the first few things I thought of! There's SO much you can do. Anything you can think of! But in order to participate, you have to sign up! That's where this post comes into play.

Some things you should know:

  • If you are a blogger you do NOT have to live in Utah to participate, however, preference will be given to Utah bloggers.
  • If you are an author, you MUST live in Utah to participate (or have a purty darn good argument for why you're a Utah author)
  • The faster you sign up, the more likely you'll get your first choice of activity to host
  • The hosts of the event will be coordinating author contact. So if you select "author interview" don't go running off and e-mailing authors. We've got that covered and we'll get you in touch with them.
  • You have until 11:59pm on the 21st to sign up! That's only two weeks!
  • THIS IS THE SAME FORM ON ALL THE HOST BLOGS! There are five of us hosting the event this year, and you only need to fill out this form ONCE.
  • You can ask me questions directly, or e-mail UtahBookBloggers@gmail.com 
  • If you want the latest updates, be sure to follow @UtahBooks on Twitter!

Now go forth and sign up! You'll be contacted with more details after the 21st!

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

Enna Answers Everything! (2)

I got some great questions, guys! Thanks! I broke them up into four categories: "Blogging," "Reading," "Personal," and "Random." Feel free to peruse my answers at your leisure. Is there a question you'd like me to answer? Click here to submit it, or you can submit questions at the bottom of this post!

Enjoy! Thanks for asking!


Why did you decide to start a blog?
  • Well, I wanted to get free books (bad motive!) at first, but pretty quickly it just became a place for me to put down my thoughts. I love being able to go back and remember how I felt about a book years after I finished. Before the blog everything would just float away in my brain.
Is it hard to keep the blog updated?
  • Sometimes, especially if I don’t have time to read. I don’t want to fill the blog with random crap, but I also don’t want to just leave it blank while I’m waiting to finish a book. That’s why I always try to have some kind of interesting discussion post in my pocket.
What's the most challenging when it comes to blogging?
  • Probably finding time to read, and then writing my reviews right after I finish a book. Sometimes I wait too long and I forget the specifics of what I wanted to say/how I felt.
Do you read other blogs, if so, what kind of blogs?
  • I read a ton of other blogs! All of them are book blogs, and almost all are specifically YA fantasy/non-realistic fiction like me.
What do you think attracts people to start a blog or read blogs?
  • There are too many things to list! I think people start a blog when they have something to say, and maybe because they want someone to hear it. I think people read blogs if they are interested in other people’s opinions or finding people like them. For me, I read blogs so that I can figure out what great books are coming out!
What's the best thing about blogging? What is your favorite thing about blogging?
  • The best/my favorite thing would definitely be the people I meet. Some of my blogging buddies have become real life buddies! Probably half of my real life friends I met through blogging. And meeting authors is SO FREAKING COOL! Seriously. Those are my rock stars.
Why does blogging often feel like I am talking into a black hole? How do I make blogging more of an interactive experience and less of a me talking to myself experience?
  • Twitter. Seriously. If it weren’t for Twitter I would feel like I was talking into a black hole, too. I love my twitter peeps.
Do you review every book you read?
  • Almost. If I finish a book and don’t review it it’s usually because I feel like I wouldn’t be able to provide a review that wasn’t EXTREMELY biased.
Why does it seem like writing the review sometimes spoils the reading experience?
  • If it feels like that to you, don’t write the review! Reviewing isn’t supposed to spoil reading, it’s supposed to enhance it. If you finish a book and don’t want to review it… don’t!
What would you say are key points to hit in a review?
  • Hm… I don’t know. I think it’s important to say whether your liked it or not, of course. But other than that… just be as clear as you can about why you liked it or didn’t like it. I’ve never really thought about hitting “key points” in a review.
Do you ever take breaks from your blog or reading?
  • Yes. I just took a 10 day break for finals in April. And I don’t ever intentionally take a break from reading, but sometimes life gets so crazy that I just don’t have time. I usually don’t take a break from either blogging or reading just for the sake of taking a break. I love both too much!
What is one thing you wish you could change or improve about your blogging experience but haven't or aren't able to?
  • I wish I was better at communicating with publishers. I don’t ever send my reviews to publishers, or send review requests because most publishers I don’t feel comfortable talking to. I wish I could work on my rapport with the big six.
How come you're starting to call yourself Enna, instead of the full Enna Isilee?
  • I used to be REALLY picky about people calling me Enna Isilee, but as I met more and more people in real life I realized that Enna is just easier. And I still love it just as much.
Do you plan to continue Squeaky Books after college?
  • Certainly! I’ve always said that Squeaky Books will always exist as long as I’m reading books. Which I hope to always do!
Have you ever considered making a back up blog somewhere like Tumblr or word press to back up your reviews? And if so would you backup only your favorite reviews or every single review you have ever done?
  • I have never even thought about this… Sometimes I think about doing one of those blog-to-book things. That would be cool! But I’ve never thought of backing up my reviews… except maybe on GoodReads. I keep meaning to transfer my reviews over there. I would transfer every single one, for sure.
How do you prepare for your reviews?
  • I read the book… and that’s it. Oh. And I turn on my computer. But that’s all I do to “prepare.” I’ve tried taking metacognitive notes while I read, but it never works out.
Are you ever going to show your face on the blog?
  • I’ve thought a lot about this. My thought is that if I ever go to BEA I will show my face on my blog before I go so people can find me. Until then, I’m cool with the headless thing.
I have started my own book blog and was wondering for you how long it took to get a "big" following?
  • For one thing, I don’t know if you EVER feel like you have a “big” following. You always end up comparing yourselves to people “bigger” than you. BUT to answer your question, I started blogging almost exactly FIVE YEARS ago. But I’m also a very passive blogger. If you are active on twitter and commenting on other people’s blogs and hosting giveaways, your following will probably grow much quicker. However, generally the people who get A LOT of followers REALLY fast don’t have “good” followers (meaning followers who actually care and comment).

Favorite superhero and do you read comic books?
  • My answer to that question has always been Spiderman, and I haven’t put a lot of thought into it recently… so I guess I’m gonna stick with him. I don’t read comic books generally. I really WISH I could read manga, but for some reason I just can’t read backwards. It gets all jumbled up in my brain.
Why do I feel compelled to finish books that aren't holding my interest? How can I stop myself or reach an understanding so that I can put the book down?
  • I went to a conference a few years ago where the speaker said something along the lines of “If you don’t like the book, stop reading it!” And that’s how I feel. If it’s not holding my interest, I’ll just stop. You might feel compelled because you’ve already put in so much effort, or you feel like you need to support the author (even if you don’t know them). But just think about this: how many MORE books could you put effort into in the time it takes you to finish this one, and then you’ll be supporting even more authors! And it’ll just be more fun.
Do you like to take time out and re-read your favorite books?
  • Certainly! I re-read Shannon Hale’s books all the time. Generally, though, I don’t re-read so much as re-listen. Whenever a sequel to a book I love comes out (INSURGENT, REBEL HEART, DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT) I will listen to the audio of the first one.
Do you attend a book club?
  • Nope! I’d like to, but at the same time I’ve never liked being forced to read books I don’t want to read… and there are no pure YA book clubs in my area.
Ever read a book you expected to dislike but instead absolutely adored, if so what book?
  • Oh. I’m sure this has happened to me a ton! But the only one I can remember currently is Between Shades of Gray. I read it just because a friend really wanted me to go to the signing with her, and I didn’t think I’d like it, but I loved it!
Do you like to meet the authors of books you have read? Does meeting an author enhance the reading experience or dampen it for you?
  • YES. I love to meet authors. But sometimes it does dampen the experience. I read a book a few years ago that I thought was okay, but not great. I met the author and he/she was a total jerk to me. Treated me like I was bothering him/her even though I just made a comment about something I liked in his/her book. I didn’t read any more of the books in the series. But there are other authors I’ve met who I LOVE and it makes me love their books even more (I’m looking at you, Utah friends!)
Ever read a book and wish you could live in it?
  • Usually not. Books (especially YA books) are usually interesting because there is something twisted about the world. I suppose if I really had to choose I would cop-out and say post-Voldemort Harry Potter-world. Only if I was a witch, of course.
Any characters you wish could be your real life friends?
  • Oh yes. Too many to list! I adore them all!
Which Shannon Hale characters (besides Enna) are you most like?
  • Hm… I’ve got quite a bit of Razo in me. I also have a lot of the same self-doubt feelings that Rin does. Dashti is who I WANT to be most like, but I’m not nearly selfless enough.
What is the worst book you've ever read?
  • Worst book EVER? Phht. That’s hard to say. I usually try to forget worst books, and there are so many things that make a book “worst.” Usually any book I really dislike I will just stop reading, so I’m going to say Beloved by Toni Morrison because I had to read it for class last semester and so I couldn’t stop reading. That book was just plain weird.
Generally, do you like to multi-task when you read?
  • I don’t LIKE to, but I almost always do. Usually I will refresh my twitter page, or see if anyone fun is on IM, etc.

Why do you feel the need to have a secret identity? Do you find it hard to connect with bloggers/readers who are honest about who they are and what they do? Do you feel like you're missing part of the blogging community?
  • I actually don’t feel a “need” anymore. The secret identity came about when I was a minor and was afraid of internet prowlers. I’m still afraid of prowlers, but mostly I think having a secret identity is just fun! And I don’t find it hard to connect because I am completely honest about who I am and what I do. The only thing I leave out is my name. I’m a college student studying to be a math teacher. I work at a library and I’m a snake handler (no joke). If you follow me on twitter then you probably know exactly where I live and go to school. I do sometimes wish I could do a vlog where I actually TALK to you guys, but at the same time I like having a type of IMM that no one else does. :) So I don’t really feel like I’m missing out on anything. In fact, I think my secret identity gets me more attention than if I didn’t have one!
Which celebrity do you look the most like?
  • Um… maybe a young Tina Fey? I’d be okay with that. But I really don't know.
Are you still in high school or in college?
  • College. I’m a senior, but my major and minor are so big that I’ve got a couple years left.
What do you hope to pursue after college?
  • I want to be a high school mathematics teacher, hopefully AP. Fingers crossed!
I heard that you were a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (or you're Mormon). Is that true? How do you think that has influenced you in your choice of media?
  • Yup. That's true. I actually answered that in my last round of Q&A. You can click here to see the long answer (it's the last question in the "personal" section). But the short answer is that my church influences me, and that influences what I read. But I have NEVER said “I’m not going to read this book because my religion says I can’t.” I think that’s silly. I don’t believe in “blind faith.” I think that you should always find the truth for yourself. And luckily for me, I’ve found a truth I believe in.
Are you dating anyone? If not, is there anyone you'd LIKE to date? Or even any cute, non-fictional boys?
  • No. No. And no. Who are you? Is that you SC? I have no problem talking to boys, but I’ve never gotten past the friends stage. And I’ve never even gotten to just the “hanging out” stage, let alone the dating seriously stage. My problem is that I am almost never attracted to someone physically, it’s all about the brains for me. And getting to know someone’s brain is a lot harder than getting to know their body. Oh dear… that doesn’t sound right.
Best bit of dating advice you've ever received?
  • "Don’t sweat about it. Just be friendly and things will work out." I'm hoping that's true.


Why is everyone obsessed with Formspring?
  • Probably because people by nature want to think that someone cares about their opinions? I don’t know. I just think it’s fun!
Why does rafflecopter hate me?
  • Because Pluto was your lucky planet, and after it was removed from the planets all your lucky went down the drain.
If you were a plant, what type of plant would you be?
  • A pansy. They’re actually really hardy flowers. I don’t know why it means someone is weak when they’re called a “pansy.”
Over the past week or so, what have you watched on Youtube?

Thanks for the great questions, guys! Is there anything that wasn't answered here that you'd like me to answer? Got a burning question? Feel free to ask me here:

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

Blogger Panel (1): Introductions

Late in March a number of bloggers in my area, including me, were asked to be on a panel for a publishing class. The class asked us a bunch of questions, and we answered them to the best of our ability. I recorded and transcribed the event. It's a lot to put into one post, so I've decided to break it into a series of posts with 2-3 questions in each one. For this first one I thought I'd just include the part where we introduce our blogs. The four bloggers participating were me, Suey, Penelope, and Emily.

MODERATOR: We would like to welcome today, we have four fabulous bloggers with us. Suey, Penelope, Enna, and Emily. They are here courtesy of Diana who is also a blogger. We’re so excited to have them. They have a few things to say and then we’ll open it up to questions.

SUEY: I’m Suey, the name of my blog is “It’s All About Books” and I’ve been blogging for five years. I named it “All about books” because I thought it was going to be all about books, but it’s morphed into lots of other things too. But mostly about books. And… what else?

MODERATOR: Why did you start blogging?

SUEY: I started because I was part of an online book group on Yahoo and they all started talking about their blogs and so I thought it would be really fun. They all started doing book challenges and keeping track of them on their blogs, and so I decided I had better have one too. I had one that was a personal one on Yahoo, but people weren’t looking at that one. So I started what I call my “real” blog.

PENELOPE: I’m Penelope, my blog is “The Reading Fever.com.” I called it The Reading Fever because when I read a good book it’s kind of like an illness that I catch. I can’t get enough. I started blogging because I needed something. I have a son who was going through cancer treatments last year and I needed something to get my mind off of it, so reading and blogging was it. It was the perfect thing.

ENNA: I’m Enna Isilee, my blog is “Squeaky Books.” The name came from that quote that’s below the title. That comes at the very end of The Goose Girl audiobook, if you’re familiar with the books of Bayern; if you’re not, you should be! I just says “I couldn’t remember the last time I stayed up into the squeaky hours of the night” and I thought, “that’s an odd adjective to describe something,”  And I was like “I like books, I like that quote—Squeaky Books.” And that’s how it worked.

 I started blogging for the worst reason: I wanted to get free books. That is a terrible reason because it doesn’t happen like you want it to, ever. So it was really discouraging for the first few years. And that’s not to say that I now get free books, I just got over it. Enna is technically not my name, legally. But it’s what I use for everything blogging and bookish because when I started blogging I was a minor and I had been explicitly told by my parents “You cannot have a blog.” And so I said “I’m going to do it anyway and prove to them I can do it safely.” So I did it under a false name, I never showed my face or voice and as I grew up that kind of became my shtick.

EMILY: I’m Emily, my book-blog is “Emily’s Reading Room.com.” I started blogging about books because I couldn’t keep track of the books I’d read. It’s like water through sand for me. I have a hard time remembering character names, I have a hard time remembering plots. I’ll remember general feelings of how I felt about a book, and I’ll remember that I read it, but the specifics were getting lost. People were asking me for book recommendations and I’d say “Oh, you know, I read some really good books, but I don’t remember what they are.” So it started as a catalogue of what I’d read and then pretty quickly—I started in June 2009 and I thought I was the only person on the planet with this idea, to blog about books; and then I realized there was this whole other group of people that were doing it and so I started networking with other people and it just really caught fire. People were going to book conferences, meeting authors, all sorts of cool stuff. And so I’ve done that. I also freelance write for a local newspaper. Every once and a while an article for a YA book will pop up with my name on it. But [blogging] has kind of become my part time job.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

Kill Me Softly-- Sarah Cross

Release Date: April 10th, 2012
Genre:  Romance, Fairy Tale, Teen Angst
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Pages: 331
Amazon Link*: Click here
Goodreads Page: Click here
Mirabelle's past is shrouded in secrecy, from her parents' tragic deaths to her guardians' half-truths about why she can't return to her birthplace, Beau Rivage. Desperate to see the town, Mira runs away a week before her sixteenth birthday—and discovers a world she never could have imagined.

In Beau Rivage, nothing is what it seems—the strangely pale girl with a morbid interest in apples, the obnoxious playboy who's a beast to everyone he meets, and the chivalrous guy who has a thing for damsels in distress. Here, fairy tales come to life, curses are awakened, and ancient stories are played out again and again.

But fairy tales aren't pretty things, and they don't always end in happily ever after. Mira has a role to play, a fairy tale destiny to embrace or resist. As she struggles to take control of her fate, Mira is drawn into the lives of two brothers with fairy tale curses of their own... brothers who share a dark secret. And she'll find that love, just like fairy tales, can have sharp edges and hidden thorns
Blurb: A GREAT concept. A not great book.

Review:  Perhaps I should break this up into the things I liked and didn't like about this book, eh?

Things I liked about this book:

The idea of modern teenagers being cursed to live our fairy tales.

That's it. That's what got it those two stars. All I liked about this book was the concept. So now let's talk about the other side:

Things I didn't like about this book:

The modern teenagers talked like modern teenagers. The profanity wasn't severe, but too frequent for my tastes. They also were drunk/drinking ALL THE TIME! Where are the adults here?! Some of these kids are 15!

Mira. Ugh. I don't know if I've ever had a main character annoy me so much! Here's how her though processes went "You're attractive, mysterious, and nice. I want to sleep with you. What?! You're all cursed to relive fairy tales?! Okay. No big deal. Oh... but your brother is attractive, mysterious, and a total jerk. I hate him. But give me some time and I think I'll make out with him too."

NONE of her thought processes seemed real. She fell in love with the two guys who seemed super-creepy, while ignoring the guy who actually was sweet to her because she didn't want to feel "forced" into that relationship. It took her all of two seconds to come to terms with the fairy-tale land, despite having never even read fairy tales as a child.

I should also mention that the guy she contemplates sleeping with is TWENTY ONE YEARS OLD. And she's not even sixteen. Now, don't correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that illegal? And CREEPY?!

And here's some pretty major spoiler-y comments. If you don't plan on reading this book, or don't care about spoilers, highlight to view.

WHY did no one want to kill the SERIAL KILLER?! He's literally killed DOZENS of girls and yet no one is putting a stop to it! In fact, they are actively PROTECTING him! What is wrong with you people?!

I also don't understand WHY Mira's Godmothers took her away from Beau Rivage in the first place. So we find out that Mira is cursed to live out the tale of Sleeping Beauty, and only the kiss of a prince will wake her up. But here's the thing: THEY KNOW WHO THE PRINCE IS! And he lives in Beau Rivage! So why take her away from him?! What you should have done is pricked her finger with the razor WHILE HE WAS IN THE ROOM, have him kiss her, and voila! There was absolutely no need to take her away from her parents and raise her in seclusion you crazy people!

Overall the story just fell flat. I felt like there was a lot going on, and not a lot to tie it together. The characters felt like hormones incarnate, and I couldn't relate to any of them. There were characters that I almost began to like, and then they would do something totally creepy or wrong. I ended up not liking anyone.

I feel bad because I had such high hopes for this book, but... it was a no go for me. *sigh*

Other Reviews:
All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

*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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