Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Brief Word From The Gang

Hey Guys!

Here's a brief update....Most of The Lateiner Gang has been ill in one way or the other the past few days.  From flu's, to fevers to Dave throwing out his back and not being able to walk!  Please forgive the fact that we have been MIA for the last few days.  As of tonight, we are going to be catching up on the site.  There is a bunch of things going on that we want to share.  First and foremost, there a a handful of reviews that need to be posted.  Don't be overwhelmed, but if all goes according to plan, we will have 3-5 new reviews posted tonight or tomorrow.  Again, we wanted to let you know what has been going on as a few of you have emailed us in concern as to where the heck we have been (we appreciate that so much and thank you for caring!) and we felt it would be a good idea to give a brief update and then go on with business as usual.

Also, we were working on updating the look of the site before our house became a temporary mini hospital and it is almost done!  We have agreed (we hope!) on a new design and are putting the finishing touches on it.  That reminds us, if you happen to click on the site and see some weird patterns or things out of place, bear with us for a few days as we are just finalizing our new look.  Even though we try to avoid it, sometimes the best way to see if something is a good fit is to see it run live.  Besides the new look, we are going to be adding a few new colums to the site as well as updating some of the old ones.  We are really excited about this and hope you will be too once it is done!
Support the First Amendment, Read a Banned Book
With that, we quickly want to show our support for "Banned Books Week" which runs Sept 26th, 2009 through Oct 3rd, 2009. If you click on the "read a BANNED book" graphic to the right, it will take you to a site that Random House has created called "The First Ammendment First Aid Kit."  Baically, the site is in support of "Banned Books Week", the national celebration of First Amendment Rights.  the site will give you links to the banned book list as well as other resources that you can read to educate yourselves on this whole mess. 

Thanks again for your concern, and we look forward to returning to you ASAP!

Dave, Mara, Lauryn, and Sami
The Lateiner Gang

Saturday, September 26, 2009

**READ BELOW** Info on Upcoming Contests, Interviews, and Other Stuff!

Hello everyone!  Thank you so much to those of you who have entered our contests and to those of you who have left us kind messages about our  site! We appreciate it so much and want you to know that the happier you guys are, the happier we are! Read on for  a bunch of different things we have been wanting to share.

Ok, so we are super excited to be able to give away a copy of "Catching Fire"!  It was an awesome book (Dave thinks even better than "The Hunger Games"!) and we can't wait for one of you to read it.  Also don't forget that we have a contest currently running for another cool book we recently read, "Bran Hambric" which ends at the stroke of midnight on October 8th, which is a special day in the Gang's house-----**HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARA!**-----
Click HERE to enter the contest.

We have a few good ideas up our sleeves for some exciting contests that we plan to launch sometime soon.  We sometimes hint to them around the site, so keep your eyes open.  AHEM, AHEM------>>
Anyway, there are some things we wanted to share with you.  First off, be on the lookout for a bunch of new reviews coming your way.  We also have a few awesome interviews that we plan to post soon (in no particular order):

1. James Dashner, author of "The Maze Runner", which hits shelves Oct. 6th, 2009. We posted a review a while back, so if you want to check it out, click HERE.

2. J. Scott Savage, author of the "FarWorld" series, who has the second book in the series, "Land Keep" coming out soon also.  We reviewed book 1, "Water Keep".  To check out that review, click HERE.

3. Illustrator Brandon Dorman, who has designed the covers to many of the books that all of us read.  His work is awesome.  Check out his site HERE and see if you recognize any of the cover art.  We bet you will!

4.  A very special interview, we will be speaking to fellow book blogger, Sheila, who has been such a HUGE help to The Gang since we started.  You can check out Sheila's blog site "One Person's Journey Through a World of Books" HERE. Sheila is very dedicated to the cause and spends a whole bunch of her time for all of us.  This interview will be great for all of you who run your own site.  We guarantee that Sheila will inspire you to make your site the best you can!

SPEAKING OF making your site the best that you can, we have been toying with changing our site's appearance for a while now.  Well, since none of The Gang are computer programmers, it took us a little while.  Keep your eyes open, as we are hoping (fingers crossed) to have a new look sometime early on this coming week.

Lastly, we have seen many site's have a weekly "themed" post.  We are planning on having our own and  have a bunch of ideas that we are twirling around.  If anyone has any ORIGINAL ideas for weekly "THEME" posts, feel free to share them here.  We do have a few original ideas that we like a lot, but we know there are a lot of creative people out there, so if have any cool ideas, and we choose to use it, there could always be a little something we might give away for it!

That about covers it for now.  We hope that this info was helpful and gave you yet another reason to stop by from time to time.  Hope to see you all soon!

Dave, Mara, Lauryn, and Sami

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

**CONTEST** "Catching Fire" by Suzanne Collins ARC or HARD COPY!

We are giving away EITHER an ARC or a HARD COPY of "Catching Fire" by Suzanne Collins. We have one of each and want to give one of them away. The winner will be able to choose which 1 of the 2 they would like.

For those of you who think "Catching Fire" is something that happens when you are wearing a wool sweater while playing with a book of matches, this may not be the contest for you to enter. For the rest of on.

"Catching Fire" has been the most highly anticipated book of 2009. It is the second book in the Suzanne Collins "Hunger Games" Series. For more information on the "Hunger Games" Series click HERE to take you to the official website.

The contest will end on Saturday, October 17 2009
 11:59 pm EST

Here are the ways you can get entries:


+2 for Existing Follower (Membership has its privileges!)

+1 for becoming a New Follower

+1 for linking to this Contest (please provide link)

+1 for each of our book reviews you read and comment on STARTING with "Ring of Fire" and newer.

**we use to select the winner so as we post new reviews, if you read and comment on them, you have a better chance of randomly being chosen as the winner**


+1 for going to our good friend and author Laura Bingham's site and entering for a chance to win a copy of her awesome book "Alvor".  To enter her contest, click HERE.  To read our review of "Alvor" click HERE.

**Please include your email address so we can contact the winner**

**We are allowed a maximum of 200 comments per post, so if we exceed 200 comments before the contest has ended, we will simply post a continuation**

That about covers it all, but if you have any further questions, please email us at 

Thanks and Good Luck!

The Lateiner Gang

Book Review: Ring of Fire by P.D. Baccalario


humankind is put to the test. Every hundred years, four young people must take on an enormous challenge. Another century has passed, and the children have been chosen.

Rome, December 29
A mix-up with their reservations forces Harvey from New York, Mistral from Paris, and Sheng from Shanghai to share a room with the hotel owner's daughter, Elettra. Soon the four kids discover an amazing coincidence- they all have birthdays on February 29, Leap Day. That night, a strange man gives them a briefcase and asks them to take care of it until he returns. Soon afterward, the man is murdered.

The kids open the briefcase. In it they find a series of clues that takes them all over Rome, through dusty libraries and dark catacombs, in search of the elusive Ring of Fire, an ancient object so powerful that legend says even a Roman emperor couldn't control it.

In the first book of the Century Quartet, Italian author Pierdomenico Baccalario begins a mystery that will take four cities and four extraordinary kids to solve.


Ok, so let me start by saying that I really did like the book (don't I always say that??? That's why we only post about books we really like here!) BUT...slow start, really good middle, and weird, confusing ending. I suppose for now I will chalk the weird ending off as it being the first book in a "quartet".

Elettra lives in her family's small bed and breakfast in Rome with her Dad and 2 aunts.  For some strange reason, they over book the few rooms that they have for New Years and Elettra ends up sharing her room with 3 other kids from around the globe..Harvey, Sheng, and Mistral.  After a bunch of chapters where the author has the guests over the shock of being stuck together and gets the children acquainted with one another, the action begins.

After a mysterious blackout in the city, the kids sneak out for a stroll around the neighborhood for fun.  On a bridge, a man approaches them screaming "It has begun" and "They're coming!".  Well, as to not spoil anything, he gives the kids a briefcase and tells them to hold it for him until he comes to get it.  Sure enough, they do, and the next morning the papers show a picture of that very man, murdered the night before.

Now they have this briefcase that they know no one is coming back for. The kids discover that they all share the same birthday, Feb 29th,  leap year and realize it was no mistake that they were all over booked in the hotel and that it was meant for them to be together.  From here on, the book picks up the pace.  They search high and low around the city utilizing the contents of the briefcase (this is the part where I DON'T SPOIL IT FOR YOU and tell you what is in the briefcase) for clues that they are not even sure what will lead them to.  All the time being trailed by a Jacob Mahler, only an EXTREMELY dangerous assasis (can you guess who killed the guy on the bridge???), but for the most part, being one step ahead of him for most of the book.

The kids have some weird things happen to them like Elletra getting "feelings of extreme warmth" and Sheng's eyes turning golden yellow from time to time.  Even Jacob seems to possess some sort of ability to play a certain tune on his violin that is so captivating that it literally draws you in and puts many to sleep upon hearing it played.  The entire time they are searching for clues, they are picking up new ones, but still do not know what it is they are looking for.

Eventually, you learn about who the "man with the briefcase" was and meet a few people that are linked to him that help the kids out.  They do end up locating the "Ring of Fire" which supposedly possesses such amazing powers that it was not even able to be controlled by such historical figures like Socrates, Plato, and Nero.  Apparently, every hundred years, children are supposed to take possession of the ring of fire.  What they are supposed to be doing with it, well, I either missed that or that is what we find out in future installments.  WIth the help of a gypsy (very strange little old lady) and another associate of the "briefcase man", the kids finally outsmart Jacob and take possession of the "Ring of Fire".  Once again, I believe we will see in book 2 what happens next.

So I'm not telling you to hop in the car and hit up Barnes and Noble before you even finish reading this review, but if you happen to be there and feel like getting into a fun series, go for it.  I liked it enough to definitely be excited for book 2.  I am hoping that many unanswered questions do get answered.  If not, book 3 will be tough to get and read, but if so, I'm definitely in.

I can definitely see where the author is setting you up for what could be a really intense adventure.  The rest of the  books in the series take place in Paris, New York, and China.  In case you didn't guess, these are the cities that the other children live in.  They end the book by promising that they will not do anything with the "Ring of Fire" further unless all 4 are together again, which is obviously going to happen.

As you all know, and I'll remind those of you that are new to our "style" of reviews, if you don't see a book reviewed here, it doesn't necessarily mean we didn't like it, we could have possibly not read it.  What you DO know, is that if a book is reviewed here, it got 2 thumbs up.  So, with that said, this book was a toughie, borderline to making it on to the site.....Here's the deal....if book 2 continues and we learn more about "the Ring of Fire" and the adventures continue, 2 thumbs up.  If I don't get some needed answers in book 2, (fingers crossed) although the adventures are good, there's no sense in reading on.  If we do....strap yourself in for a good one.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009


We want to thank Everyone for entering!

Just a little heads up...We currently still have an active contest for Kaleb Nation's "Bran Hambric" for those of you who have not entered.


We are going to be hosting a bunch of CONTESTS coming up very soon. The first will be posted within the next few nights, and it will be for...... Either an ARC or Hard Copy of Suzanne Collins "CATCHING FIRE", the awesome sequel to "THE HUNGER GAMES"!!!

Our Second Contest that we will mention, and we do not have a set date yet, other than soon is for a $200 APPLE STORE GIFT CARD!!! We realize it's not for a "book", but we are nearing 100 followers and thought we would celebrate with a little something special and different. No date is set for the Apple Card, but it will be sooner than later! Please check back as we also have a bunch of reviews to post as well as even MORE CONTESTS we have lined up that we didn't mention here!

Thanks to all of you for entering. The winner was picked using We hope you will stop by again soon!

The Lateiner Gang

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Blog Tour: "Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse" by Kaleb Nation

The Bran Hambric Tour is Here!

Bran Hambric was found alone in a locked bank vault when he was six years old. He doesn't have a clue how he got there, or any memory of his past. There's only one explanation: MAGIC. But magic is outlawed in the great and glorious City of Dunce.

Eight years later, a twisted, hissing creature confronts Bran and his foster father, Sewey, on their rooftop. Sewey believes its a gnome, but not Bran. (Sewey isn't the brightest Duncelander to begin with.) Bran soon discovers that whatever leapt onto his roof is connected to the mother he never knew... and that Bran himself is the missing link in a plot so secret and evil that those behind it will stop at nothing to hunt him down.

Armed with wands and weapons, Bran's enemies are about to attack-- with all the power of a horrible curse and a terrible crime. Magic won't be the only law broken in the City of Dunce...

Hanging outside the city of Dunce was a sign that read:


SInce there are already many reviews of Bran out there describing the story in detail, we thought we would change the format a bit and explain what it was about "Bran" that enticed the 4 of us to read it. What was so special about it? Very simply put...Fun!

Kaleb Nation has done an amazing job with Bran Hambric. At first we thought this was going to be a boiler plate story about a boy who has magical powers and saves the world, whichever world it was he lived in. Not the case! Bran is different. Much.

Filled with raw humor, powerful magic, and and a cast of characters so unique, some of them worthy of their own story, "Bran Hambric" is sure to reel you in and keep you hooked from cover to cover.

Bran discovers that he has magical powers. Unlike anyone else with powers, his are special. In fact, he might just possess more magic than anyone else alive! While learning to deal with his new found powers, he must also confront many issues. There is an evil spirit trapped with Bran that wants nothing more than to be released, paired up with its old physical body, to complete and old curse that was left undone, a dark curse that could blanket the world with evil. Bran has to find within himself whether he wants to use his powers for the benefit of good or evil.

"Bran Hambric" contains comedy, magic, love, hate, new friendships and most enjoyable, mystery. As he enters rooms filled with books explaining the different types of mages, or people who are capable of magical powers, you will find yourself choosing which type you wish you were.

A fun book to read, you will definitely become an instant fan and mark your calendars for the release of the next installment. We did! Great Job Kaleb! We loved the book so much, we went out and bought a second copy so we were able to give one away. Definitely a book that we can see ourselves re reading right before book 2 comes out. That is the great news, Kaleb plans to write Bran into a series. We can not wait to see what adventure he will go on next, what new powers he will discover he has, what evil he will face, and quite honestly, we want to see what the original cast of characters are up to as well as who Kaleb will introduce to us next!

Thanks to Kaleb for putting this book in our hands. To sum it up, we loved it. Being so young, Kaleb will be an author that we all read for quite some time to come. What will he come up with next? Not sure, but we can't wait to find out!

If you are interested in reading "Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse", look below as we are giving away a copy of the book as well as a special necklace that is worn by Bran in the book and very significant in the story. Please feel free to enter as we would love to share the wealth with you!


The Lateiner Gang

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

An Interview With James "DASH" Dashner, Author of "The Maze Runner"

You all know that I'm a HUGE Fan of James and all of his books. Speaking of, I will be posting my reviews of the 2 books out in his "13th Reality" series soon. Also, "The Maze Runner" is due out in stores on October 6th, 2009 and I am planning on asking James a few questions about the release myself. You can get more info on "Dash", his tour dates for "Maze", and his other books if you visit his site, The Dashner Dude.

Book Review: Prism by Faye and Aliza Kellerman

Kaida Hutchenson isn't exactly psyched for the class trip to Carlsbad Caverns. Fourteen hours in a van with preppy jock Zeke Anderson and a high-school loner Joy Tallon? No, thank you.

But when a tragic and explosive accident turns the journey into a nightmare, Kaida would give anything to be back on the road. Stumbling at midnight through the unforgiving desert, Kaida, Zeke, and Joy take a refuge in an abandoned cave... until the world goes from pitch-black to blinding. The next thing Kaida knows, she's back home in California and everything is just as it was before the Carlsbad trip ever took place.


Increasingly unnerved by the distorted world around her, Kaida starts receiving unexpected help from mysterious people. Soon she must band together with Zeke and Joy to try to make it back to the reality she remembers... and to survive the one she's fallen into.


Prism was a pretty cool book. Not too long, it was just the right size and flowed smoothly as well. Basically, there's this class trip. When Kaida, Zeke, and Joy end up in one van driven by a teacher, there is some sort of accident and the next thing they realize, the van is flipped and on fire. The kids make it out, but not so lucky for the teacher. Stranded and alone, they try to look for any hope of well, basically any type of help.

To shelter themselves from a huge storm, they take coverage in a nearby cave. (they are in the middle of a desert with no one around, not much food, and little water, and a flashlight or 2). Eventually, they all fall backwards into this pit within the dark cave, while trying to find a way out. It knocks them all out cold. When they wake, they are back home in their own beds. Heres where the fun starts! Most of the story takes place through the eyes of Kaida, which I felt was great. It was great to see things from her perspective, but also to be able to see and feel how she makes the decisions along the way with her was a great way to pen the book.

Ok, so everything seems pretty normal as the kids all wake up believing they had a nightmare. Soon, the 3 kids realize that this was no nightmare, and wherever they are, something is VERY weird. There is no such thing as "medicine" in this reality. If someone is sick, they either get better or die (when they do die, men in all white pull up and cart them away in an ambulance type vehicle. This was weird). Besides no medicine, there are no doctors or hospitals and having a cold is like having a plague.

Now that the 3 of them know they are not in their "reality", they decide to work together to try and find a way home. Kaida meets a guy named "Ozzy", who is affiliated with "spills dealers". These "spills dealers" are really "pills dealers", but in this work, getting pills is highly illegal and can get you thrown in jail. As a matter of fact, even discussing the matter of "spills" and the whole concept of medicine and getting better from a sickness can get you some time in the can.

Getting back to Ozzy, for the most part, he is getting "spills" for his very sick mother. He is a big believer in medication, "spills", and the fact that his world should not be the way it is. He does not believe that people can not be treated from sickness and injury and that going "natural" is the not the right way. He talks of people who have come from another place where medicines, hospitals, and even doctors exist. There are other people who talk of coming from that place too, besides our 3 teens (exactly where do you think these "spills" come from?".

Naturally, Kaida and Ozzy hit it off. Together, with Zeke and Joy, they go to the dealer neighborhood to get some "spills" for Joy, who hurt her arm in the initial fall and it is getting infected. When there, they get busted by the police. In jail, they meet a man named Maurice. Maurice seems to not treat the 3 as harsh as everyone else. Can you guess why??? Well, if not, it is because Maurice is actually from the "other world" himself. He knows the truth, however he has worked in the jails ever since he found himself in this new place. Unable to find a way home, Maurice lives his life in this other reality without revealing his little secret. Coincidentally, all of the stories of people who have apparently come from this other place where medicines exist, doctors are there to treat you, and hospitals are where you go when you are sick to this awkward place all have done so through some form of an accident.

Now, here is where even though exciting, it became a bit predictable. The short of it is, Maurice tries to help the 3 escape. They actually appeared in the "new world" a few weeks before their initial school trip in the van, so it would naturally make sense that they attempt to re-trace their steps, and hope that falling back through the same cave will take them home (if they didn't end up a few weeks back in time, how else would they be able to coincidentally go back to the same exact cave and hope that it will work??). So, they go on the trip and make it back. This time though, they are able to save their teacher. Maurice does not make it back with them, and unfortunately Ozzy does not either. Good news for Kaida, there is the chance that she can find Ozzy in her reality.

Overall, a good book. As you know I do not post books that I do not like. I did think that at times, even though I was able to guess what was coming next, I was anxious to read on. At just over 250 pages, it was the perfect size. I do think that the authors could have added another 100 pages to the book and intensified the plot, introduced some more characters, and added some twists and turns here and there.

Like I said, really good read, not too long, and something I would recommend if you had to take a 2-3 hour car trip and wanted a good read to pass the time. Just make sure it is not a 2-3 hour car ride in the desert in the middle of the night!


Monday, September 14, 2009

Book Review: Ruby's Diary Reflections On All I've Lost and Gained by Ruby Gettinger

Ruby Gettinger, the endearing and beloved star of The Style Network's hit reality show Ruby, reveals the most private aspects of her life-altering journey to conquer morbid obesity and to attain health and happiness in this inspirational book based on her personal diary

From the debut of The Style Network's number one reality show Ruby, viewers fell in love with its sweet and spirited Southern star, and remain mesmerized by her public mission to overcome her inner conflicts and win her ongoing battle with weight.

At her heaviest, Ruby weighed more than 700 pounds. Although she wasn't quite sure how she got to this point—or why—one thing was clear: it was killing her. Her doctor warned that her diabetes was raging out of control and that she could die at any moment. Vowing to change her life to save it, Ruby made a genuine commitment to uncover all of the underlying physical and psychological causes of her food addiction—an act of courage that has helped her lose nearly 400 pounds so far! To support her on this difficult path, Ruby has kept a journal of her experiences, including intimate reflections, surprising discoveries, and current fears, hopes, and dreams, many of which she shares here.

Filled with honesty, optimism, and classic "Rubyisms" as well as revealing insights from her friends, family, and team of experts, Ruby's Diary is a remarkable record of one determined woman's complex challenges and her many laudable achievements. Ruby's perseverance is not only an example to all those battling their own weight and addiction issues, it is an example to all those grappling with personal obstacles of any kind. Anyone not in love with Ruby just hasn't met her yet!

My Review:

I was so "hacky" (No it's not a misprint! After reading the book you will understand!) when this book came to my doorstep. I am so fond of Ruby and her heart, that I could not wait to tear right into the pages of her diary and hear Ruby's heartfelt true inner feelings. Let me just say, Ruby did not disappoint! She is honest and real, all you want to do while reading through the pages is jumping jacks every time she accomplishes a goal. Everyone that enters Ruby's world is touched by her- and they see far beyond her weight. Her journey is not just shedding the excess pounds, it is to discover what led her to put the weight on, and possibly fill in the missing pieces of her childhood that she amazingly has no recollection of. Ruby does not hesitate to disclose her dark moments and is brutally honest when sharing her feelings. Her journey is teaching Ruby to become a healthier individual who is now in control of her own life. She is learning to make the right choices, no matter how difficult they may be. Ruby is relatable, she discusses that she also encounters set backs too.

I particularly enjoyed all of the personal notes and stories shared to us by Ruby's family and friends. It seems as though Ruby has impacted each and every one of their lives in her own unique way. She even introduced her friend Greg to the woman he would later marry. Greg spotted a sales girl at The Gap, and wanted Ruby's opinion. Fearless, she marched right into the store and Ruby manufactured a conversation using her southern charm. Seventeen years later and seven children, Greg and his wife are still happily married! Ruby is also changing the lives of the ones closest to her. They have formed a bond, and agreed to join Ruby on her journey. As a result, they have become more active and healthier too. Her friends are so devoted to Ruby, and you can really tell that they are such wonderful positive people just like her. Ruby is so fortunate to be surrounded around amazing family and friends.

After reading the book cover to cover, I was left wanting more. I can't wait to learn the next chapter of Ruby's future accomplishments. Not only does Ruby believe that there are great things to come, I know it too! She is such an inspirational person who is strong and committed to conquering this beast. I can't wait to see her achieve it!

Thanks for reading!


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Book Review: The Gollywhopper Games by Jody Feldman


Gil Goodson's future happiness depends on winning the Golly Toy & Game Company's ultimate competition. If Gil wins, his dad has promised that the family can move away from all the gossip, false friends, and bad press that have plagued them ever since "The Incident". Inside the toy company's fantastic headquarters, Gill will have to master trivia, solve puzzles, and complete physical stunts--and he'll have to do it better than all of the other kids competing.

Oh, and did we mention that Gil's every step--and every mistake-- will be broadcast on national television? Hold on tight, because the ride of his life is about to begin!


I really enjoyed reading this book. It reminded me a lot about "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory". Gil's dad was accused of stealing money from the company that he worked for, the Golly Game & Toy Company. Gil just knows that his dad did not do it but doesn't know how to prove it. He competes in the Gollywhopper Games against 25,000 other kids from around the world. What is very good for Gil is that a lot of the contest competitions have to do with how much they knew about the company. The book became really exciting when Gil made it to the final rounds with some friends that he met there: Rocky (his dad had worked for the company too), Lavinia, Bianca and Thorn. Also, there was a woman named Carol who was in charge of the contestants who was really funny.

What helped Gil a lot was that since his dad worked for the company, he had kept a scrap book of all of the news articles and things about the Golly Toy Company since they first opened. Even though this was very helpful, he still had to beat his new friends who were very smart and also knew a lot about the Toy Company. The contest made the kids solve a lot of puzzles and made them find things all over the inside of The Toy Company's headquarters. In the finals, every round ended with one of the kids leaving.

Gil lost a round and was kicked out of the competition. Then one of the boys that was competing against Gil and the other few remaining contestants was disqualified for cheating. It was a good thing that the whole competition was on T.V. everywhere. This gave Gil another chance to win.

I will not tell you whether or not Gil wins because I don't want to spoil the book for you, but I will tell you that by the end of the book, the Golly Toy & Game Company find out that Gil's dad did not steal the money from them. He is offered back his old job because he was honest.

The book was really funny and the characters were very different from each other. I found Thorn the funniest. He was a very rich boy, who got into the competition because his dad bought $100,000 worth of toys to finally find an entrance ticket to the games. He was very funny because he did not know how to do many things. For example, climb a tree. He was so used to people doing things for him. He even had a very expensive hidden speaker in his ear to help him cheat to win. Gil found it and made him not use it and play fairly.

I think you should read this book if you are around my age, 9. It was about 300 pages, but not too hard to read at all. It was fun and I hope that they make a Gollywhopper Games part 2 book.

Thank you!


Friday, September 11, 2009


Ok, so we were fortunate enough to get invited to participate in the "Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse" blog tour. We are going to tell you about the book, the author, the tour and the CONTEST to win your very own copy of Bran Hambric.


Bran Hambric was found alone in a locked bank vault when he was six years old. He doesn't have a clue how he got there, or any memory of his past. There's only one explanation: MAGIC. But magic is outlawed in the great and glorious City of Dunce.

Eight years later, a twisted, hissing creature confronts Bran and his foster father, Sewey, on their rooftop. Sewey believes its a gnome, but not Bran. (Sewey isn't the brightest Duncelander to begin with.) Bran soon discovers that whatever leapt onto his roof is connected to the mother he never knew... and that Bran himself is the missing link in a plot so secret and evil that those behind it will stop at nothing to hunt him down.

Armed with wands and weapons, Bran's enemies are about to attack-- with all the power of a horrible curse and a terrible crime. Magic won't be the only law broken in the City of Dunce...


On the third night of the third month in 2003, fourteen-year-old Kaleb Nation suddenly imagined a boy and a banker on a roof, waiting for a burglar to come. From that original idea was born the story of Bran Hambric, a novel that would take most of Kaleb's teenage years to write.

Aside from writing, Kaleb is a very famous blogger and former radio host. He turned 20 in 2008. As a blogger, Kaleb has created and runs the ever so popular site TWILIGHT GUY as well as KALEB NATION and the official BRAN HAMBRIC site.


The official Bran Hambric online tour began Sunday, August 30th and runs through Saturday, September 19th. Saving the best for last, the tours final stop is right here at The Lateiner Gang Book Review Spot, where both David and Mara will be contributing their reviews! You can see a list of Kaleb's upcoming national book tour, which begins Wednesday, September 16th and the online tour HERE.


If you are reading this, it means you are really psyched to enter to win a copy of Kaleb Nation's "Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse." David and Mara have completed the book and although we will not discuss it yet, we will tell you that this is definitely one contest you do not want to miss! So, here are the many different ways to enter:

Since October 8th is a very special day in our house (Mara will be 34!) we will end this one at the stroke of midnight (12:00 am) on October 8th

You MUST follow our site, so if you do not already, click HERE.

+1 for new followers

+2 for existing followers (membership has it's privileges!)

+1 (each) for posting a link to this contest on your site or any other site (provide link in post)

+1 for each review of ours you read and comment on from "The Tomorrow Code" and newer until the contest ends, so check back every few days to see what we have reviewed lately.

Thats all folks! As always, we appreciate you taking the time to stop by and if you have any questions, you can always reach any of us at


Thursday, September 10, 2009

They Saved The Best For Last! The Lateiner Gang Participates in Kaleb Nation's Blog Tour Of His New Novel " Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse "

Hey All! Check back tomorrow night or over the weekend for more information on Kaleb Nation's amazing new novel "Bran Hambric". The Lateiner Gang's Book Review Spot will be the last stop on Kaleb's Blog Tour! Details on the tour and info on how to win your very own copy of "Bran Hambric" will be available right here tomorrow tonight! Do check back later as this is one book that you DO NOT WANT TO MISS!

The Lateiner Gang

Monday, September 7, 2009


We are giving away a crispy new ARC copy of Kristin Cashore's "FIRE',
the prequel to her smash hit "GRACELING"

The Contest Will end Monday, Sept. 21st, 2009 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

The Rules for this one are easy:

1. You MUST either already be following us or sign up to follow our blog! This is a requirement.

2. Once a follower, you can simply post about a current or recently read book that you absolutely loved. We always feel that sharing your favorites gives others the chance to read some great book they might not otherwise have.

3. You can gain additional entries in 2 ways, The FIRST: read our reviews and post under them starting with "The Tomorrow Code" and newer. For each review you post under, stop back and let us know and you will get 1 extra entry. The SECOND: link our contest either on your sidebar, or somewhere on a different site and post the link here. (CONTEST ONLY OPEN TO RESIDENTS OF THE GOOD OL' USA)

We will be posting reviews throughout the next few weeks. Keep checking back, as everytime we post another review, it is a chance for you to get an extra entry. This book comes out in a bit over a month and we will have the ARC in your hands with plenty of time before that. REMEMBER....YOU MUST either already Follow or site, or become a new Follower. Anyone who enters and is not following, the entry will not count. Check back in a day or so for another contest we will be hosting.




THE TIME HAS COME, after a month long wait our first 2 contests ever have come to a close and the 2 winners are about to be announced! HOWEVER, we want to mention a couple of things that are very important and now that we have your attention, this is probably a good time to do it...SO, short and sweet...

1. PLEASE come back tomorrow as we are going to hold 2 more contests!! One will be for a brand new ARC of "FIRE", Kristin Cashore's prequel to her huge hit "GRACELING". If you have read "Graceling", you are counting the days with us to "FIRE'S" release. This contest will end in 2 weeks, probably on the 20th or 21st of Sept. The book is out the first or second week of October. We did mention another contest did we not??? Well, if you would like to know what awesome book that will be, we guess you will just have to check back tomorrow and find out. (Come on, don't make that face at us...We told you about "Fire", didn't we??)

2. The Lateiner Gang will be posting a small handful of new reviews tomorrow. 2 were posted tonight and more to come in the morning. These reviews, starting with "The Tomorrow Code", reviewed by Dave will be a very important part of our contests. (HUH??? what are they talking about??) You will find out tomorrow.

OK, we guess you are interested in seeing who the winner of our contests are. Well, maybe one more thing first....If you were not chosen as a winner this time, we have a ton of awesome books AND other things that we plan to give away, so it would be a smart idea to bookmark us, or follow us, or do whatever it is you need to, but make sure you check back here,

Alright, I guess we have made you suffer enough....We will send out emails to the 2 winners provided you included one. If we do, send us your contact info to We shortened it from the name of our site to the abbreviation.


A. GREY!!!!!