Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bracket Graphic Updated

For those of you who are more visual people, here's the updated brackets for Round 2 as posted earlier. Now you can easily see which books have moved on, and which ones haven't. Clicking on the graphic below will make it bigger.

You can also save the graphic to your own computer and fill it in yourself as we go. Or just wait for me to do it. Whatever floats your boat. :)

Anyway, without any more rambling, here it is (click to make it bigger and will open in a new window):

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Brackets for Round 2

As we come to the end of the reading period for Round 2 (the judges are busy deliberating and all that) here's a reminder of what books are up against each other for this next round.

Bracket 13:
Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey VS. Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Bracket 14:
Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey VS. Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard

Bracket 15:
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl VS. The Season by Sarah MacLean

Bracket 16:
Eighth-Grade Superzero by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich VS. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Bracket 17:
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting VS. Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken

Bracket 18:
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver VS. Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev

Excited? Stay tuned for results from Round 2 coming soon!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Book Battle: Round 1 Winners (Part 4)

Yes, this post is long overdue, but better late than never (stupid work schedule...). Anyway, here's the results from the last few brackets of Round 1. And just in time for Round 2 to get off the ground too.

Bracket 3:
Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey VS. You Are So Undead to Me by Stacey Jay
Judged by Kassandra from Eternal Night and Faye from Ramblings of A Teenage Bookworm

This bracket two paranormal reads went head to head for an all out battle. Our Goodreads group polls predicted Hearts At Stake to come out on top, with a majority vote of 64%. So was the poll right?

Judge Faye had this to say about the results:
"However, [the loser] didn't match up to [the winner], which is more complex, has a lot of great characters and action going on. "
Judge Kassandra added this:
"Hearts At Stake and You are so Undead to Me were both fun to read. It was very hard to choose between those two books because they are both very similar. Both the main characters in both books do not want to accept their fate and do what they were destined to do."
Sounds like it was a hard decision! So which book was named the winner? The victor for this round is... Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey!

Hearts at Stake will now move on to Bracket 14 of Round 2 to go head to head with the winner of:

Bracket 4:
Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves VS. Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard
Judged by Crystal from My Reading Room and Erica from The Book Cellar

Two very different books went up in this round, and our Goodreads polls predicted that Bleeding Violet would come out on top according to the 70% of the vote it had. Was the poll right?

Judge Erica had this to say:
"While I enjoyed both reads, [one of them] was the sure winner for me! I simply just fell in love with the world it was set in. I loved the characters as well. It was just a novel that simply sucked me in."
So which book is she talking about? The winner of this bracket is... Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard!

Ooh, it's an upset! We seem to have a few of those going around this time. So the predicted underdog moves on, while Bleeding Violet makes it on to the distinguished list of runner ups.

Judge Crystal didn't have a chance to post on her blog, but this is what she had to say about the winner:

I chose Prada and Prejudice because it was a fun and quick read. Callie just wants to fit in and when she finds herself in England in the early 1800s she thinks she can remake herself into who she wants to be as Rebecca. And she does, but along the way she learns valuable lessons about life and lessons that are as good in 19th century England as they are in 21st century America. Callie's growth is amazing and inspiring and I think this book delivers a message that is great for teenage girls today. And on top of that it is highly entertaining and kept me turning the pages throughout. I'm glad I participated in this battle because otherwise I think I might have missed this truly wonderful book.
Sounds like a great read! So Prada and Prejudice goes on to meet Hearts At Stake in Bracket 14 of Round 2. Meanwhile, Bleeding Violet joins the list of hopefuls for that coveted spot in Round 4.

Bracket 5:
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl VS. The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
Judged by Stormi from Books, Movies, Reviews, Oh My! and Cate from Sparrow Review

The purple covers went head to head in this paranormal themed bracket. And although both books have been very popular, our Goodreads poll showed readers thought Beautiful Creatures would definitely pull ahead with almost twice as many votes and 64% of the vote. Now let's hear what the judges thought.

Judge Stormi had this to say:

"...Since they both are decent reads I am going to have to go with the one who drew me in the most. I was sucked into the world of dark magic in [the winning book]. The storyline was great, the writing was much better and over all I just had a lot more fun reading about it than I did [the other book]"
And Judge Cate added this:

"For me, this was an easy decision, based on mostly on one factor: the quality of the writing. Both of these stories have incredible plot lines; they're actually similar in their paranormal aspects...Truly, both were fun reads, but I found [the winner] to be much more enjoyable to read"
So with those words, let's find out if the predictions were right in this group. And the winner of this bracket is... Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl!

It's good to know that not every poll is always wrong. :) So Beautiful Creatures will once again battle it out against The Season in Bracket 15 of Round 2. And moving on...

Bracket 8:
A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee VS. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
Judged by Margaret from Margaret's Book Blog and Haley from The life (and lies) of an Inanimate Flying Object

This was another bracket with an interesting match up, this time a paranormal school story and a historical Victorian mystery. Our Goodreads polls showed readers favored the paranormal story as the winner, with Hex Hall gaining 68% of the votes.

Judge Margaret had this to say:
"...The cover is beautiful, the writing is also lyrical and the story captivated us. I read it in ONE night!!! Couldn't put it down...I was actually in a toss up, but my partner helped me decide!"
And Judge Haley added this:
"They were both fantastic books and I loved them, but sometimes the smallest things matter most in choosing the better of two things."
So which book are they talking about? Well, the winner of this bracket is... Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Personally I was really rooting for The Agency since I just finished that and loved it. But I haven't read Hex Hall yet, so I guess it's time for me to do so! So Hex Hall moves on to face 8th Grade Superzero is Bracket 16 of the next round.

Bracket 9:
Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick VS. The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
Judged by Michelle from Michelle and Leslie's Book Picks

This bracket once again saw two popular paranormals going head to head. Hush Hush has an almost Twilight-like loyal following, but would it stand up to the brand new (and highly praised) The Body Finder? The Goodreads poll was really close, with Body Finder edging out just barely at 58% of the vote.

Judge Michelle had this to say:
"In the end, it all came down to the romance between the two main characters, which was a big theme in both books. [One couple] made me go "awww" many times and these two characters were a joy to read about. I was disturbed in all the right places in [the winning book]--the villain really creeped me out."
Sounds like an exciting book! So which one is she talking about? The winner of this bracket is... The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting!

So it appears once again that our Goodreads polls were correct, but you can bet there's a few disappointed Hush Hush fans out there. Meanwhile, The Body Finder movies on to Bracket 17 in the next round, where it will compete against the winner from:

Bracket 10:
Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken VS. Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore
Judged by Christie from The Fiction Enthusiast

Two fantastical romances battled it out in this round, each vying for the last spot that would get each book into Round 2. Our Goodreads polls showed that there was a predicted winner, although Brightly Woven only came out ahead by 10%.

And here's what Judge Christie had to say about the contenders:
"This was truly a difficult decision to make. Both books have so much to offer and I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent reading them. Unfortunately, only one book can progress to the next round. Both excelled in character quality and making the reader connect with the story, but one just blew me away with how amazing it is. It contained an epic journey that had me anxiously turning each page to see what happened next. I knew without a doubt that one was my winner."
So here it is, the moment you've been waiting for. The final winner of our last bracket in Round 2 is (drum roll please)... Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken!

And that's it folks! It's all over for Round 1. Don't forget to check out the full list of results here if you missed any of them. Also look for a listing of each Round 2 Bracket in the next few days as well. Meanwhile, Brightly Woven will go on to battle The Body Finder in Bracket 17 of the next round. And since our judges are almost finished with the reading, you won't have to wait too long for results!

As a reminder, don't forget to check out each judge's blogs for all the details (they are linked throughout each bracket's results). You'll find lots more information on each choice there, and there are some great blogs out there to explore!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Date Change for Round 2

Ugh, I'm still so far behind after my move. As a result, I am extending the length of Round 2 another week. So our Round 2 judges now have a few more days to complete their reading, and I hopefully will be able to get into gear and announce the rest of our winners from Round 1. For those of you who haven't just read the judges blogs already, anyway.

Back soon with results (hopefully).

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Back... Sort Of

Okay, I'm offically moved into my new Florida home and ready to blog again. Unfortunately my internet's being a little grumpy, so I'm going to have to work on the posts I've been planning in stages. But I will blog when I can! I know I'm really behind on posting results from Round 1 (for those of you who haven't seen the judges own posts yet) and I will try to get those up ASAP, as well as getting to know a few more of our judges again before Round 2 ends.

More later when I can!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Stay Calm, Stay Calm... On Second Thought, PANIC!

All right, I know I'm behind on the Battle winner roundup. But I leave for Florida on Sunday (What? That's it? That's all the time I have?!?!) and things are taking a little longer to get straightened out than I originally thought. I'm busy packing, doing last minute preparations (and panicking), but if I have a spare moment before I leave I will try to get them up.

Otherwise I will see you sometime next week, hopefully Monday if I can get my internet access up right away. *cross fingers*

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

This is the Sweetest Thing EVER!

I can't believe this. This is so nice, I'm practically in tears.

Okay, let me back up a bit. Back in April when I posted my battle trailer, my brother got kind of sulky for a bit and kept saying I "stole his idea". I didn't really find out what he meant until today.

As longtime readers are aware, this summer I am moving to Orlando, FL to once again participate in the Disney College Program. I first went back in 2008 and had enough fun that I decided to do it again when I was offered the opportunity. As a going away present (I leave Sunday) my little brother made me this:

He edited it together from all the videos I took for him when I was there in 2008. Isn't it so cool? I love, love, LOVE it!

And you may notice the music is familiar. :) That's why he said I stole his idea with my trailer. Apparently great minds think alike, as he had already planned a movie with the same music before I made my trailer.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I need to go shower him with sisterly affection.

*This post has also been posted (with a little bit different information) on my Disney blog*

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Book Battle: Round 1 Winners (Part 3)

Time to announce more Round 1 winners. And there are three (that's right, three!) to announce today. So let's get started, shall we?

Bracket 6:
Ash by Malinda Lo VS. The Season by Sarah MacLean
Judged by Rachel from Jacob's Beloved and The Book Vixen.

This was an interesting match up with a unique retold fairytale in one corner, and a light historical romance in the other. While Ash showed a really strong lead in the beginning of our Goodreads group poll, at the close it was ahead by a much smaller margin, with 60% of the vote. So what did the judges have to say?

Judge Rachel made this comment:

While it's not likely I would have picked this particular book off the shelf if it were not for this competition, I have read similar works...for adults, and I have plans to read more of this genre in the future. I did enjoy this book...
And Judge Book Vixen adds:

"I have to admit, before reading either of these two books I seriously thought I would have picked [the other] as the winner. In fact, I wouldn't have picked up [the winner] to read had it not been for the Book Battle. That just goes to show you that you can't judge a book by its cover or its blurb!"

So who eventually won out? The winner is... The Season by Sarah MacLean!

Ooh, we have a bit of an upset. Just goes to show you can't always trust those poll numbers. :) Make sure you check out both judging posts (Rachel tackles the discussion of Ash, while The Book Vixen tackles The Season) to see the breakdown of for each book. And so the slight underdog moves on to Round 2, where it will battle for it's next position as part of Bracket 15.

Bracket 7:
Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas VS. Eighth-Grade Superzero by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
Judged by Katie from Read What You Know

If I had to pick a pair of underdogs in this battle, it would be these two. They were highly nominated enough to make the final cut, and yet hardly any of our judges had heard/read of them before. So we all went into this one a little blind. Still our Goodreads poll voters seemed to think it was an easy choice, with Because I Am Furniture coming out ahead with a whopping 73% of the vote. So were they right?

Judge Katie had this to say:

"I promise to talk more about each book when I review it later on the blog, but when it came time to decide between the two, I was struck at just how similar the books were to one another. Without spoiling either ending, I can safely say that these two books were about teens struggling to find their voices — to speak up for people around them who cannot or do speak up for themselves, for whatever reason."

So with that high recommendation, alas, only one can move on. And the winner of this bracket is... Eighth-Grade Superzero by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich!

Wow! Another poll prediction upset. Hmmm... what will our third result today bring? Make sure you check out Katie's full post for all the details. Meanwhile, Eighth-Grade Superzero will be moving on to compete in Bracket 16 of Round 2, while Because I Am Furniture gets added to the pile of hopeful books competing for the revived spot later in the competition.

But there's still one more announcement to make...

Bracket 12:
Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev VS. The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan
Judged by Diana Dang from Stop, Drop and Read and Andrea from The Little Bookworm

I must admit I looked at this bracket with much anticipation. I try not to play favorites, I really do, but Eyes Like Stars was easily one of my favorite reads from last year. But Demon's Lexicon also has had a lot of good press. Is there a clear winner between the two? Our Goodreads voters certainly thought so, with Eyes Like Stars pulling ahead with 67% of the vote.

Judge Andrea had this to say:

"While I loved the plot and the writing of The Demon's Lexicon and thought it was a great book...Eyes Like Stars [had] a very original concept and such distinct characters. It is a slower reading book then Lexicon, but it is a very absorbing book."
Judge Diana adds:

"I've read [one book] months ago and I loved it. The [other book] however wasn't really up to par in my standard. "

Sounds like this one was an easy choice. Well, the results are in, and the winner is...Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev!

As always, make sure you check out both Andrea's and Diana's blog posts to see the whole result. Eyes Like Stars meanwhile moves on to battle it out with Before I Fall in Bracket 18 of Round 2. This is going to get intense...

So, just to recap. Today's winners are The Season by Sarah MacLean, Eighth-Grade Superzero by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, and Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev. Meanwhile, Ash by Malinda Lo, Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas, and The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan will drop back to compete for that revival spot coming later in the competition. Who will join the ranks of the books moving on next? Come back to find out!