Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Steam Punk Dress-Up: Do You Dare?

Do we ever really grow out of playing with paper dolls? Better yet, do we ever grow out of dressing up virtual paper dolls in Steampunk themes? NO WE DON'T!

Next time you have writer's block, or just a little time on your hands head on over to play dress-up. It's free and it's fun.

First, we have the Victorian Dress-Up Doll ala Gail Carriger, author of Soulless. Don't forget the round Steampunk style glasses!

Next we have Clockwork Couture from artist Annie Stegg, complete with moving illustrations and cool music:

While there you can also play with the Polka Dot Pirate. She has some awesome clothing and eye patches!

Come on, you KNOW you want to play!

Review: Intertwined

Author: Gena Showalter
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Harlequin

Summary: Like most teens, Aden Stone has friends. They just happen to be the four human souls living inside him.One can time travel. One can raise the dead. One can tell the future. One can possess another human. And they’re causing him all kinds of trouble. All he wants is peace.Then he meets a girl who quiets the voices, whenever he's near her. Why?

Initially, I was suppose to review Intertwined for Blog With Bite, but it took almost 2 weeks to get it from the library. Apparently, the center that bags the books for delivery to our libraries flooded! I missed the group review, but enjoyed this Young Adult book so much I had to review it.

Intertwined is a fitting title because it describes the plot perfectly in one word. The four people we are introduced to in the book are somehow connected. Why are they drawn to each other? Is it love? Physical attraction? Could there be metaphysical elements involved? That's what we find out as the plot unwinds.

Gena Showalter did a wonderful job portraying the feelings of the characters for each other without giving in to cliches or sexually explicit scenes. When I read a young adult book I always keep in the back of my mind that my 15 and 16 year old could be reading it too. I'm always hearing from older Twilight fans who are frustrated there wasn't more sex in the books. If I want sex there are oodles of adult romance books out there that will do the trick. Young adult books are just that: YOUNG adult. (I will get off my soapbox now and back on track.) Intertwined has romance, but it also has lessons for teens about the consequences of betrayal and casual sex mixed in with adventure and mystery.

The four main characters, Aden, Mary Ann, Victoria and Riley, are all struggling with who they are, and what is expected of them. They are thrown together through unexpected and difficult circumstances. Mary Ann has a 15 year plan. She thinks she knows exactly what she wants and how to get it. Anything outside her plan, even her boyfriend, is a distraction. Aden has no plans because each day is a challenge for him; to survive in a world where no one understands him. They are really at opposite ends of the spectrum, yet they are drawn together.

Intertwined has unique characters, mystery, adventure and romance. It's not just another teen romance where the author threw in a few paranormal elements within a typical young adult plot. I also loved that it's not a Twilight or Vampire Diaries copycat. While reading it I was touched by the characters and wanted them to figure out their place in life, and with each other.

I would recommend Intertwined to teens 14 and older. It does have subject matter concerning teen pregnancy and drugs. I think teens that enjoyed Twilight or any of the other paranormal teen romances would love the book. I also thought it would be equally interesting to boys or girls since most of the book is from Aden's viewpoint.

Unraveled will be the title of the next book in the series. I'm really looking forward to reading it, though I imagine it will be awhile before it's released. This is going to be a fantastic series, keeping us all on the edge of our seats.

There is a sweepstakes going on until November 16th, 2009. Go here if you haven't entered yet: There is also an instant matching game you can play daily.