Monday, June 30, 2008

Enchanting Review: How I Found The Perfect Dress

Magical Fantasy YA
Berkley Jam Trade
ISBN 978-0-425-21939-3
231 Pages
Trade – Available Now

Rating: 5 Enchantments

HOW I FOUND THE PERFECT DRESS is one of my absolute favorite books of the year. I'm anxious to track down the first book, WHY I LET MY HAIR GROW OUT to see how everything started for Morgan/Morganne and the adorable Colin.

In HOW I FOUND THE PERFECT DRESS, Morgan's crush from Ireland is coming to visit for two weeks, while taking part in a program at UCONN. But from the moment he arrives, Morgan knows there's something wrong with the hottie, Colin. He's absolutely exhausted and he confides in her about these weird little notes he finds in his pockets when he wakes up every morning. Morgan makes it her mission to find out what's going on and does everything in her power, including playing matchmaker to a leprechaun to put a stop to it.

Ms. Wood creates a wonderful world, populated with truly great characters. From Morgan and Colin, to Morgan's younger sister, the gnomes, the leprechaun and everyone in between, I really enjoyed them all. They were all so unique, so lifelike, I found myself believing they could all actually exist.

One of my favorite scenes takes place after Morgan finds out she needs to find a leprechaun a date in order to help break the curse on poor Colin. Outside in the dark in the middle of the night, she finds herself wondering if there's more to the plastic and ceramic gardening gnomes her father's collecting than meets the eye.

If you're looking for a fun, hilarious fantasy read I can't recommend this book highly enough.

Ms. Wood's first novel for young adults, SEX KITTENS AND HORN DAWGS FALL IN LOVE, was published in 2006 and hailed as "an uproariously funny debut" (Booklist), "irresistible" (Cleveland Plain Dealer), and "an effervescent delight" (Common Sense Media). You can visit her online at

Enchanting Reviews
June 2008

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Enchanting Review: High Dive

Contemporary Young Adult
ISBN# 978-0-375-83024-2
201 Pages
Hardcover – Available now

Rating: 4.5 Enchantments

When her deployed mother decides to sell the family vacation property in Sardinia, it’s up to Arden to travel from New York back to the house she hasn’t seen since her father died to close it up and get it ready for sale. Along the way however, she meets four girls from Texas on their way to France for vacation. In a move quite unlike her, Arden abandons her plans and makes a detour to Paris for a few days she’ll never forget.

Ms. Stein creates a wonderful story in HIGH DIVE. Arden is truly a great character. Dealing with life on her own, she finds herself wishing she stuck with her original travel plans when things in Paris start to go wrong. First the hostel the other girls are staying at has no more rooms and she ends up spending the night in an unseemly room across town, the only thing available in her budget. But as HIGH DIVE moves along Arden discovers more about herself and begins to come to grips with her past and her loss.

I really enjoyed HIGH DIVE. Ms. Stein paints a wonderful picture of Paris through Arden’s eyes and I loved the scenes when Arden realizes she should have went along with her gut, and not her new friends ideas when she had the urge to book a room at the same hostel as them when they first arrived in the city. This is one great book that will stay on my keeper shelf!

Tammar Stein has lived in Israel, Europe and the United States. She is also the author of Light Years which was named a Best Book for Young Adults by the American Library Association. She currently lives in Florida with her husband and their son.

Enchanting Reviews
June 2008

Enchanting Review: Fake Boyfriend

Contemporary Young Adult
Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
ISBN# 978-1416913672
272 Pages
Hardcover - Available now

Rating: 4 Enchantments

Deciding that their best friend Isabelle needs someone better than Shawn Littig aka “Sluttig”, Vivi and Lane concoct a plan to keep Isabelle from rebounding back into Shawn’s arms just in time for prom. But where to find a guy great enough to distract her? Look no further then a fake boyfriend. After scheming up a myspace page for ‘Brandon’, Vivi quickly recruits her younger and extremely annoying brother Marshall to fill in on IM while the girls go out in search of someone to play ‘Brandon’ for real.

I thought FAKE BOYFRIEND was a fairly entertaining read. There were some parts of the book I figured would just never happen, like Isabelle falling for a perfect stranger so fast after being so hung up on Shawn. I have to admit Isabelle seemed more of a background character at times, even though the plot evolved around Vivi and Lane securing their best friend a brand new boyfriend, all to keep her from falling back into the arms of her cheating on-again, off-again ex. Things picked up once Vivi and Lane really got into the search for the perfect real life ‘Brandon’ and Marshall’s evolution from a preppy geek to possible hottie.

My favorite scene from the book is when Vivi, Lane and Curtis head to the local prep school which is supposed to be hottie central to find a real-life ‘Brandon’ to take Isabelle to prom. The scene is truly laugh out loud and had one of the best lines in the book.

Kate Brian is the author of the popular The Princess & the Pauper, The V Club (available in paperback as The Virginity Club), Lucky T, and Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys. She will always be sweet sixteen at heart.

Enchanting Reviews
June 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Enchanting Review: Glass Houses (Morganville Vampire Series Book 1)

Paranormal YA
ISBN# 0457219945
239 pages
Paperback - Available Now

Rating: 4 Enchantments

Claire Danvers is a brilliant 16 ½ (or so she says...) year old. When she gets to go to college early, she jumps at the opportunity, like any normal genius would. With her being so young, her parents would not let her go far away to college, instead, they choose for her to go to Texas Prairie University. Smart and cute, Claire sets off to college with big dreams of going to an Ivy college one day, when she’s allowed to transfer out of TPU.

Claire starts college with a bang. She infuriates Monica, the popular and meanest girl at college. Now, not only do Monica and her followers beat her up, but they also destroy her room and clothes. A gloomy Claire sets out to find somewhere off campus to live. When she sees an add in the paper for a “Gone With The Wind meets The Munster’s” type house, she is intrigued. When she arrives, she meets Eve, an 18 year old cool Goth chick who does things her own way. The other two roommates are Shane, also 18, a slacker and protector, and Michael, once again 18, who is never around during the day, but always comes to the rescue at night. Claire learns the deep, dark secrets that are hidden in Morganville. The town is run by vampires and humans are just about slaves. Not even the police can do anything. When everything starts falling apart, can the four roommates help out and save their own lives, or will they perish in a vampire related way?

GLASS HOUSES is such a great book. When you read it, it feels like it should be a T.V. mini series. Claire, even though she is brilliant, she never rubs it in or anything. She’s such a down to earth kid, who just loves school and wants to just enjoy it. The way that Eve is described, she’s like a cool best friend who will stick up for you anytime and she’s not afraid to speak her mind. Michael and Shane are such believable guy characters and they are always up to something or defending someone. This book hooked me from the beginning, when Monica and her evil crew started harassing Claire. I could vividly see the vampires and all the events happening, which is due to the brilliant writing style of Rachel Caine. I found it hard to put down the book, especially when I got closer to the end, because I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. And, if you read this, be sure to have the next one handy, due to a huge cliff hanger of an ending. I’m glad I had the second one to fall back on!

Rachel Caine is the author of another series called The Weather Warden series and also some other stand alone books. She continues to write books for the Morganville Vampire series, also. Her website,, has loads of information on her and the books that she’s written. Also, it includes some special things, like wallpapers from the books. There’s also a mailing list you can sign up for all the latest information on Rachel.

Holly Kinsey
Enchanting Reviews
June 2008

Enchanting Review: Cindy Ella

Contemporary Young Adult
ISBN 978-0-14-240392-1
264 Pages
Trade – Available Now

Rating: 4.5 Enchantments

When fifteen year old sophomore Cindy Ella Gold sends a letter to her school newspaper about the way the upcoming prom is setting a bad example and only serving to widen the gap between the popular and unpopular kids, she could never imagine the fall out. Suddenly, the practically invisible Cindy turns way too visible.

Everyone seems to have prom fever, except for Cindy Ella. Her two older step-sisters are battling for designer dresses, her step-mother thinks she's acting out with all of her anti-prom behavior and now it seems even her two best friends are joining in the frenzy by going. But Cindy still isn't interested in going. And apparently, neither is one of her crushes, hottie senior Adam Silver, since no one knows if he's even asked someone to go to the prom with him. Could he be the one senior her letter swayed not to go to the prom?

CINDY ELLA is a very humorous, very entertaining read. Quite the page-turner! I loved the part where Cindy Ella is working at the yoga studio's front desk with Phoolendu (a hilarious character on his own) and Cindy's big crush Adam Silver walks in. The scene had me literally laughing out loud at poor Cindy's situation. And her reaction of just trying to hide was plain hilarious. Anyone who's ever crushed on someone and run into them will totally relate to this awkward moment.

Robin Palmer considers the day she found out that CINDY ELLA had sold to a publisher as the happiest day of her life so far. "As far as I'm concerned, it's the perfect fairy tale ending!" Ms. Palmer currently resides in New York City. You can visit her online at and

Enchanting Reviews
June 2008

Monday, June 9, 2008

Enchanting Review: Back Talk

Contemporary Young Adult
ISBN 978-0-7387-117-4
257 Pages
Trade - Available Now

Rating 3.5 Enchantments

Gemma Winters is spending the summer in New York City, interning at the hottest TV talk show around, BACK TALK. But things aren't exactly turning out the way she'd wanted them too. Sure, she's rooming with celebutante Dana Cox and millionheiress America Vanderbilt, but they aren't around as often as she'd like and things aren't exactly as great as she'd hoped they'd be at work. It seems someone, or more likely, someones plural, is sabotaging her, from turning on her cell in a big staff meeting and making her look like an absolute idiot.

BACK TALK was an interesting read, going behind the scenes with Gemma at one of the hottest talk shows around and watching her deal with the sabotage of two of her co-workers. You couldn't help but feel bad for Gemma when her cell phone went off in the middle of the meeting and she was on the receiving end of the rather cold stares of her boss and other higher-ups.

I really liked the friendship between the three girls, Dana and America do their best to help Gemma fit in to her new NYC life, which sometimes isn't quite enough.

You can visit Ms. Richards online at and her myspace at

YA Director
Enchanting Reviews
May 2008

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Enchanting Review: Likely Story

Contemporary Young Adult
ISBN 978-0-375-84676-2
240 Pages
Hardcover - Available May 13, 2008

Rating: 5 Enchantments

Mallory's life is about to hit the fast lane. When she rants on her blog about the lack of reality on soap operas (especially her mother's) and how she could create a better one of her own, it doesn't take long for her cell phone to ring. Her mother's agent has seen the blog, likes the idea and wants her to send over the bible in the morning. The only hitch? Mallory hasn't gotten that far with the idea, heck, it wasn't even an idea till she wrote the blog. So Mallory pulls a situation from her real life and begins an all-night writing session to get the story bible down. Then suddenly, the same network that does her mother's show is interested in Mallory's story and all of a sudden, things in Mallory's life go from calm to chaotic.

LIKELY STORY is a great, entertaining read. Mallory is a really likeable character. Dealing with her soap opera diva mother is one thing, but now she's dealing with the cutthroat world of producers, network exec's-including one of her mother's ex husbands-and trying to secure a starring role for her best friend, Amelia. Not to mention, her love life is something out of a soap opera - she's been seeing K, who's also dating another girl and Mallory might just be developing a small crush on Dallas, the Julliard student who's the perfect casting choice for Ryan.

I really enjoyed this story. LIKELY STORY makes a great beach read as it's a faced paced page turner. I look forward to reading the next in the series, due out this fall.

David Van Etten is the pen name of three authors - David Levithan, David Ozanich and Chris Van Etten. Chris Van Etten is currently a fulltime writer for ABC's One Life to Live; David Ozanich is a freelance writer and playwright; and David Levithan is the author of Boy Meets Boy, and many other young adult novels for Knopf.

Enchanting Reviews
May 2008