Thursday, December 31, 2009

Top 10 Read in 2009

I have read a lot of amazing books in 2009. This is my list of the top 10 books that I read. The books might not be published in 2009 but that's when I read them.

My top 10 in order.

10. Soulstice by Simon Holt
9. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
8. Paper Towns by John Green
7. After by Amy Efaw
6. Looking For Alaska by John Green
5. The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong
4. Hunger by Michael Grant
3. Killer by Sara Shepard
2. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
1. Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran

I've read a total of 105 books in 2009. I made my goal of 100! My goal for 2010 will be 120.

-Amanda

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Books Read in 2009

January
1. The Tommyknockers- Stephen King
2. Shelter Me- Alex McAulay
3. The A-List: Hollywood Royalty- Zoey Dean
4. The Summoning- Kelley Armstrong
5. Evermore- Alyson Noël
6. Red Handed- Gena Showalter
7. Because I am Furniture- Thalia Chaltas
8. Ghostgirl- Tonya Hurley
9. Old Magic- Marianne Curley
10. Invisible Touch- Kelly Parra
11. When It Happens- Susane Colasanti
12. Undone- Brooke Taylor


February
13. Wake- Lisa McMann
14. Saving Zoe- Alyson Noël
15. Once Bitten- Kalayna Price
16. Betrayed- P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
17. Chosen- P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
18. Untamed- P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
19. Peace, Love, and Baby Ducks- Lauren Myracle
20. Everything Is Fine- Ann Dee Ellis

March
21. North of Beautiful- Justina Chen Headley
22. Hottie- Jonathon Bernstein
23. Purge: Rehab Diaries- Nicole Johns
24. Pieces of Me- Charlotte Gingras
25. Audrey, Wait!- Robin Benway
26. Freeze Frame- Heidi Ayarbe
27. Glass- Ellen Hopkins


April
28. Hunted- P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast
29. Fade- Lisa McMann
30. The Center of the Universe: Yep, That Would Be Me- Anita Liberty
31. The Hunger Games- Suzanne Collins
32. Milestones- Samira Armin Hodges
33. The Debs- Susan McBride
34. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya- Nagaru Tanigawa
35. Sleepaway Girls- Jen Calonita
36. Elsewhere- Gabrielle Zevin
37. Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life- Rachel R Russell
38. Tithe- Holly Black
39. Ordinary Me- June Sproat
40. Thwonk- Joan Bauer

May
41. Ironside- Holly Black
42. Kissed by an Angel Trilogy- Elizabeth Chandler
43. The Devouring- Simon Holt
44. After- Amy Efaw
45. Something, Maybe- Elizabeth Scott
46. Looking For Alaska- John Green
47. Slept Away- Julie Kraut
48. Access Denied (And Other Eighth Grade Error Messages)- Denise Vega
49. Twenty Boy Summer- Sarah Ockler
50. The Catcher in the Rye- JD Salinger
51. Ghostgirl: Homecoming- Tonya Hurley

June
52. Posh and Prejudice- Grace Dent
53. The Awakening- Kelley Armstrong
54. Love, Lies, and Texas Dips- Susan McBride
55. My Sister's Keeper- Jodi Picoult
56. So Not the Drama- Paula Chase
57. Don't Get It Twisted- Paula Chase
58. Castration Celebration- Jake Wizner

July
59. That's What's Up!- Paula Chase
60. Who You Wit'?- Paula Chase
61. Flipping the Script- Paula Chase
62. Gone- Michael Grant
63. Tricks- Ellen Hopkins
64. Killer (Pretty Little Liars #6)- Sara Shepard
65. Stargazer- Claudia Gray
66. The Treasure Map of Boys- E. Lockhart
67. Along for the Ride- Sarah Dessen
68. Paper Towns- John Green
69. Hunger- Michael Grant

August
70. The Sky Inside- Clare B. Dunkle
71. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone- J. K. Rowling
72. City of Bones- Cassandra Clare
73. Blue Moon- Alyson Noel
74. Gorgeous- Rachel Vail
75. The Body Finder- Kimberly Derting
76. Wondrous Strange- Lesley Livingston
77. Darklight- Lesley Livingston
78. Diary of a Witness- Catherine Ryan Hyde

September
79. Soulstice- Simon Holt
80. Fade to Blue- Sean Beaudoin
81. Catching Fire- Suzanne Collins
82. Geektastic- Various Authors
83. Ash- Malinda Lo
84. Alphas- Lisi Harrison
85. Prophecy of the Sisters- Michelle Zink

October
86. Cleopatra's Daughter- Michelle Moran
87. Hush, Hush- Becca Fitzpatrick
88. Murder at the Lake- Bren Gaudet
89. Living Dead Girl- Elizabeth Scott
90. Must Love Black- Kelly McClymer
91. Going Bovine- Libba Bray
92. Nineteen Minutes- Jodi Picoult

November
93. City of Ashes- Cassandra Clare
94. The Vampire Diaries #1-2: The Awakening and The Struggle- L.J. Smith
95. Such a Pretty Fat- Jen Lancaster
96. City of Glass- Cassandra Clare
97. Secret Society- Tom Dolby
98. Leftovers- Laura Wiess
99. Salem Falls- Jodi Picoult

December
100. Forget-Her-Nots- Amy Brecount White
101. Candor- Pam Bachorz
102. Explorer X - Alpha- L. M. Preston
103. Perfect Match- Jodi Picoult
104. Freaks and Revelations- Davida Wills Hurwin
105. The Glass Cafe- Gary Paulsen

Waiting On Wednesday

The book that I'm waiting on this week is...

Brilliant by Rachel Vail
Release Date: May 25, 2010

In Brilliant, the conclusion to the Avery sisters trilogy, Rachel Vail delivers the ultimate summer story. Sixteen-year-old Quinn is in love, but it’s not that simple. Quinn is just about perfect: She doesn’t make a fuss—even when her family is facing the loss of their home and a financial meltdown; she doesn’t get angry—even when her younger sister screams her head off straight in Quinn’s direction; and she certainly does not fall head-over-heels for a guy totally out of her league and then mistakenly go off and kiss her sister’s boyfriend…till now.

Rachel Vail concludes her compelling sisterhood trilogy with her most dramatic story yet. Timely, poignant, witty, and heartwarming, Brilliant is the perfect conclusion to Vail’s interconnected and inspiring sister stories.

-Amanda

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Freaks and Revelations by Davida Wills Hurwin

****Freaks and Revelations by Davida Wills Hurwin****

Originality- 19/20
Characters- 19/20
Remembrance- 8/10
Quote-ability- 8/10
Entertainment- 18/20
Ending- 10/10
Recommend to read- 8/10
TOTAL- 90/100
Grade- A

This raw, moving novel follows two teenagers-one, a Mohawk-wearing 17-year-old violent misfit; the other, a gay 13-year-old cast out by his family, hustling on the streets and trying to survive. Acclaimed author Davida Wills Hurwin creates a riveting narrative told in alternating perspectives of their lives before and after the violent hate crime that changed both their futures. This tragic but ultimately inspirational journey of two polarized teens, their violent first meeting, and their peaceful reunion years later is an unforgettable story of survival and forgiveness.

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I just finished this book last night and I am still realing. I usally am kept up thinking about books that are really creative, books that shine a whole new light on an idea. This book kept me up for other reasons.

First, the characters. Both of the main characters are based on two real people! How can you not feel every one of their emotions when these people really had to go through this? I couldn't stay mad about anything that either one of them did, or be angry about the choices they made because I saw their past. I couldn't help but fall in love with both of the boys. What they went through was very sad, and I felt that just reading their story brought them close to me.

The story itself had me turning away at times because I had to take a minute to gather my thoughts and push through what just happened. In the beginning of the book we get to look at the past experiences of the boys from when they were younger. In the younger years lay the ground work of the reasons they made some of those bad choices later on. I couldn't help but identify with some of the family relationships, and my heart break with some of the others.

I can't think of one fault with this book. It kept me hooked the whole way through. The ending gave me closure. The whole book is filled with so much hate it was nice to know that some people can learn to get past the hate and try to forgive and love.

This book was hands down one of the best real life stories that I've read. If you want a book that will make you reach deep into yourself and realize what hate can do, then you need to check out this book.

-Amanda
Book received free from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Sunday, December 27, 2009

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a post where I tell you the books that I received this week either by buying them from the bookstore, going to the library or from my mailbox. Check out The Story Siren to learn more!

Freaks and Revelations by Davida Wills Hurwin

This raw, moving novel follows two teenagers-one, a Mohawk-wearing 17-year-old violent misfit; the other, a gay 13-year-old cast out by his family, hustling on the streets and trying to survive. Acclaimed author Davida Wills Hurwin creates a riveting narrative told in alternating perspectives of their lives before and after the violent hate crime that changed both their futures. This tragic but ultimately inspirational journey of two polarized teens, their violent first meeting, and their peaceful reunion years later is an unforgettable story of survival and forgiveness.

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him — something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn't she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd's gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

When we first meet 14-year-old Susie Salmon, she is already in heaven. This was before milk carton photos and public service announcements, she tells us; back in 1973, when Susie mysteriously disappeared, people still believed these things didn't happen.

In the sweet, untroubled voice of a precocious teenage girl, Susie relates the awful events of her death, and her own adjustment to the strange new place she finds herself. (It looks a lot like her school playground, with the good kind of swingset.)

With love, longing, and a growing understanding, Susie watches her family as they cope with their grief--her father embarks on a search for the killer, her sister undertakes a feat of amazing daring, her little brother builds a fort in her honor--and begin the difficult process of healing.

The Vampire Diaries: The Fury and Dark Reunion by L. J. Smith

Elena: transformed, the golden girl has become what she once feared and desired.

Stefan: tormented by losing Elena, he's determined to end his feud with Damon once and for all—whatever the cost. But slowly he begins to realize that his brother is not his only enemy.

Damon: at last, he possesses Elena. But will his thirst for revenge against Stefan poison his triumph? Or can they come together to face one final battle?

Shadowland by Alyson Noel

Ever and Damen have traveled through countless past lives—and fought off the world’s darkest enemies—so they could be together forever. But just when their long-awaited destiny is finally within reach, a powerful curse falls upon Damen…one that could destroy everything. Now a single touch of their hands or a soft brush of their lips could mean sudden death—plunging Damen into the Shadowland. Desperate to break the curse and save Damen, Ever immerses herself in magick—and gets help from an unexpected source…a surfer named Jude.

Although she and Jude have only just met, he feels startlingly familiar. Despite her fierce loyalty to Damen, Ever is drawn to Jude, a green-eyed golden boy with magical talents and a mysterious past. She’s always believed Damen to be her soulmate and one true love—and she still believes it to be true. But as Damen pulls away to save them, Ever’s connection with Jude grows stronger—and tests her love for Damen like never before…


Tempted by P. C. Cast, Kristin Cast
So…you’d think after banishing an immortal being and a fallen High Priestess, saving Stark’s life, biting Heath, getting a headache from Erik, and almost dying, Zoey Redbird would catch a break. Sadly, a break is not in the House of Night school forecast for the High Priestess in training and her gang. Juggling three guys is anything but a stress reliever, especially when one of them is a sexy Warrior who is so into protecting Zoey that he can sense her emotions. Speaking of stress, the dark force lurking in the tunnels under the Tulsa Depot is spreading, and Zoey is beginning to believe Stevie Rae could be responsible for a lot more than a group of misfit red fledglings. Aphrodite’s visions warn Zoey to stay away from Kalona and his dark allure, but they also show that it is Zoey who has the power to stop the evil immortal. Soon it becomes obvious that Zoey has no choice: if she doesn’t go to Kalona he will exact a fiery vengeance on those closest to her. Will Zoey have the courage to chance losing her life, her heart, and her soul?
-Amanda

Friday, December 25, 2009

L.M Preston Guest Post: Can a Teenager Fall in Love?

CAN A TEENAGER FALL IN LOVE?

I was hunting around on my favorite writer’s hang out on AW (Absolute Write Forums) and the topic of teen love came up. The question alluded to, ‘Does a teenager really fall in love?’ My honest opinion, why couldn’t they? In my book EXPLORER X – Alpha I tease on some of the facets of pre-teen love as I remembered it.

QUALITIES OF TEEN LOVE

I remember being in love as a teenager only about three times. Yep, three times. Each love was so fascinating, intense, exciting, all consuming, obsessive and hurt so badly when it ended. I would write the boys name in my notebook over and over again. I would think about them every free moment of the day. When I kissed that boy, it felt as though he was the sun and the moon of my very life at that time.
If I could bottle that up and sell it, it would be called LOVE POTION #9.

QUALITIES OF ADULT LOVE

For me, love as an adult, was a lot slower to burn than teenaged love. As an adult, I only allowed myself to fall in love with one person. The difference between my teen love and my adult love was drastic. As an adult, I was cautious, skeptical, held back a lot of myself until the guy proved that he was trustworthy, worth my time, interesting enough to hold my interest, and sexy enough to keep me attracted.

Did it have the intensity of teen love? No, not because I didn’t feel the things I felt for my love as a teenager. I didn't have the hormone high that I did as a teenager, or the time to obsess on the boy I was in love with. Also, as an adult I was just too jaded, mistrustful, and too smart to let anyone consume me that didn’t show that they were truly interested. Not to mention, the end of those teenaged love affairs were just too darned painful.

MY ANSWER TO THE QUESTION

Yes, teenagers can fall in love. All love starts out as an infatuation.. It starts with attraction, hunger, excitement, the chase, and hopefully ends in true love. True love, which consists of trust, passion, comfort, attraction, bonding, and most of all friendship, is worth the ride whether it ends badly or last forever.

In my case, a teen love became my adult love. As teenagers we broke up, but stayed friends. As adults we found that were a good match, and laughed at our antics in our relationship as teenagers. Whatever happened to the boy I fell madly in love with at fifteen, broke up with, and stayed friends with? He is now my husband of seventeen years. Yes, at times I do allow myself to feel all those things for him I did as a teenager, but my adult ways still makes me cautious to let it totally consume me.

REFLECTIONS ABOUT LOVE

My motto is and will always be, live your life and enjoy the adventure of it all.. That means whenever love is lost or you stumble along the way. Get up, dust off, plaster a smile on your face and focus on the exhilaration of the experience of love, of life, of failures, of pain, of recovery, and the adventure and experience of being able to live, learn, and to have loved.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Contest: Explorer X- Alpha

Win a copy of Explorer X - Alpha by L. M. Preston!!

For most kids, a trip to space camp is the trip of a lifetime—for Aadi it was life altering. After receiving a camp immunization needed for travel to Mars, Aadi finds that the immunization is the catalyst of an insidious experiment. He realizes what is happening too late for a change of fate. The full experiment is set in motion when he and his co-pilot, Eirena, crash in a distant galaxy called Shrenas, where they change and realize the full extent of their power. This turn of events forces him to grow up quickly, accept his change, and to decide to save a world, or to do what he was trained to do—dominate it. His power is coveted by the warring leaders of Shrenas, and he is forced to choose sides—a decision that may prove just how much humanity he has left.

I have one (1) copy to give away along with a poster to go with it. That means one very lucky person can win! U.S addresses only.

To enter: Just leave a comment below!

For extra entries...

+4 for becoming a follower or if you're already following me.
+3 for posting about the contest, make sure to leave a link. Sidebar is fine.
+1 for commenting on my Explorer X- Alpha review, which was posted yesterday.
+1 for commenting on my guest post by L.M. Preston, which will be posted tomorrow.

Contest ends January 10th. I'll announce the winners on Jan 11th.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Explorer X - Alpha by L. M. Preston

****Explorer X - Alpha by L. M. Preston****

Originality- 19/20
Characters- 17/20
Remembrance- 7/10
Quote-ability- 7/10
Entertainment- 17/20
Ending- 8/10
Recommend to read- 7/10
TOTAL- 82/100
Grade- B

For most kids, a trip to space camp is the trip of a lifetime—for Aadi it was life altering. After receiving a camp immunization needed for travel to Mars, Aadi finds that the immunization is the catalyst of an insidious experiment. He realizes what is happening too late for a change of fate. The full experiment is set in motion when he and his co-pilot, Eirena, crash in a distant galaxy called Shrenas, where they change and realize the full extent of their power. This turn of events forces him to grow up quickly, accept his change, and to decide to save a world, or to do what he was trained to do—dominate it. His power is coveted by the warring leaders of Shrenas, and he is forced to choose sides—a decision that may prove just how much humanity he has left.

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This book was a lot better than I thought it would be. I wasn't crazy about the cover art but the summary really got my attention. Everyone knows I love a good book with a lot of new concepts and ideas in it.

I was very impressed with this novel. My only complaint would be that almost all dialogue sounded very stiff. This might be due to the fact that the events are taking place in 2080, so maybe things are different. Everything thing else was really interesting. There was no way I could really predeict what would happen next since everthing was so creative, that way everything was a surprise. The characters were pretty well developed as well. We get a backstory for the main ones, which I was very pleased with.

I'm not a very big sci-fi reader, so to say that I liked this book is a very big deal. If you want to read something new and exciting you really need to check this book out. It will leave you wanting more.

-Amanda

Sunday, December 20, 2009

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a post where I tell you the books that I received this week either by buying them from the bookstore, going to the library or from my mailbox. Check out The Story Siren to learn more!

Perfect Match by Jodi Picoult

What happens when you do all the right things for all the wrong reasons? As an assistant district attorney in York County, Maine, Nina Frost prosecutes the sort of crimes that tear families apart. She helps clients navigate their way through a nightmare – even though the legal system is not always the faultless compass they want and need it to be. She learns that the easiest way to cross this devastating minefield time and time again is to offer compassion, battle fiercely for justice, and keep her emotional distance.

But when Nina and her husband Caleb discover that their five-year-old son Nathaniel has been sexually abused, that distance is impossible to maintain. The world Nina inhabits now seems different from the one she lived in yesterday; the lines between family and professional life are erased; and answers to questions she thought she knew are no longer easy to find. Overcome by anger and desperate for vengeance, Nina ignites a battle that may cause her to lose the very thing she's fighting for.

-Amanda

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Candor by Pam Bachorz

****Candor by Pam Bachorz****

Originality- 20/20
Characters- 18/20
Remembrance- 8/10
Quote-ability- 8/10
Entertainment- 18/20
Ending- 9/10
Recommend to read- 9/10
TOTAL- 90/100
Grade- A

In the model community of Candor, Florida, every teen wants to be like Oscar Banks. The son of the town's founder, Oscar earns straight As, is student-body president, and is in demand for every club and cause.

But Oscar has a secret. He knows that parents bring their teens to Candor to make them respectful, compliant–perfect–through subliminal Messages that carefully correct and control their behavior. And Oscar' s built a business sabotaging his father's scheme with Messages of his own, getting his clients out before they're turned. After all, who would ever suspect the perfect Oscar Banks?Then he meets Nia, the girl he can't stand to see changed. Saving Nia means losing her forever. Keeping her in Candor, Oscar risks exposure . . . and more.

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Candor was amazing. Bachorz did a fantastic job of creating an impossibly distinct town. I didn't expect to get so wrapped up in the story. First of all I need to say that I love books that bring this high of a level of creativity.

Right from the start I couldn't help but love Oscar. He knew about the horrible place his father created and has to put on an act everyday so his dad doesn't find out. I could feel the stress and sadness that Oscar did. Nia was also pretty amazing. She was the only thing that kept Oscar going near the end.

It's easy to see that I loved this book. Not only was the concept amazingly brought out throughout the entire novel but the wonderful characters were like icing on the cake. I would definitely recommend this book to teens that feel like reading something they've never read anything like before.

-Amanda

Friday, December 18, 2009

Beastly by Alex Flinn

****Beastly by Alex Flinn****

Originality- 12/20
Characters- 14/20
Remembrance- 6/10
Quote-ability- 5/10
Entertainment- 18/20
Ending- 7/10
Recommend to read- 8/10
TOTAL- 70/100
Grade- C

beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright—a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster.

You think I'm talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It's no deformity, no disease. And I'll stay this way forever—ruined—unless I can break the spell.

Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I'll tell you. I'll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I'll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly.

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I'm fascinated by fairy-tales, and while I don't normally enjoy modern versions, I figured that I should take what I get. The book isn't the best - the main character does a complete personality flip: from rich snob, to emo poet-dude. The girl wasn't very original, either. A more tolerable version of the classic slightly-resisting swooning maiden. And of course, she loves books. Go figure.

This book is fun to read, because you can compare it easily to Beauty And The Beast. The cover may be a downer, and you may assume that the main character is some beast who comes out at night and rips people's heads off, but the story is actually rather light-hearted. I really liked it, despite it's minor faults that brought it's grade down. I recommend it.

-Taylor

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Look Inside: City of Bones

"A Look Inside" Is a post where I'll have a featured author, and I'll choose a book that they wrote. I always come out after finishing a book with a favorite character, so I'll also have a featured character, and one of my favorite quotes from them.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Character(s): Jace and Clary
Quote:

"...Have you fallen in love with the wrong person yet?' Jace said, "Unfortunately, Lady of the Haven, my one true love remains myself." ..."At least," she said, "you don't have to worry about rejection, Jace Wayland." "Not necessarily. I turn myself down occasionally, just to keep it interesting."

If you have a favorite YA author, book or quote e-mail me it at txmandaxt@yahoo.com I'll link back to your blog!

-Amanda

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday: Heartless

The book that I'm waiting on this week is....

Heartless by Sara Shepard
Release Date: January 19, 2010

In picturesque Rosewood, Pennsylvania, neighbors gossip over picket fences, and gleaming SUVs sit in every crushed-granite driveway. But recently, friendly smiles have been replaced with suspicious glares and accusatory whispers-and it's all because Hanna, Aria, Emily, and Spencer just can't keep their mouths shut. . . .First they claimed they found a dead body in the woods behind Spencer's house, only to have it vanish without a trace. Then when the same woods went up in flames, they swore they saw someone who's supposed to be dead rise from the ashes. And even after all that, the pretty little liars are still playing with fire.Hanna's trading in her Dior trench for a straitjacket. Aria's trying to contact the dead. Emily's dumped her boyfriend and is skipping town . . . again. And Spencer thinks someone in her family has gotten away with murder.The friends insist they're telling the truth about what they saw, but all of Rosewood thinks they're simply out for attention-and nobody likes a girl who cries wolf. So when the big bad killer comes after the girls, will anyone believe them . . . or will they be the next to disappear?

-Amanda

Monday, December 14, 2009

Secret Society by Tom Dolby

****Secret Society by Tom Dolby****

Originality- 19/20
Characters- 17/20
Remembrance- 6/10
Quote-ability- 6/10
Entertainment- 16/20
Ending- 8/10
Recommend to read- 7/10
TOTAL- 79/100
Grade- C

An eccentric new girl. A brooding socialite. The scion of one of New York's wealthiest families. A promising filmmaker. As students at the exclusive Chadwick School, Phoebe, Lauren, Nick, and Patch already live in a world most teenagers only dream about.

They didn't ask to be Society members. But when three of them receive a mysterious text message promising success and fame beyond belief, they say yes to everything—even to the harrowing initiation ceremony in a gritty warehouse downtown and to the ankh-shaped tattoo they're forced to get on the nape of their necks. Once they're part of the Society, things begin falling into place for them. Week after week, their ambitions are fulfilled. It's all perfect—until a body is found in Central Park with no distinguishing marks except for an ankh-shaped tattoo.

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Secret Society was very intriguing. It made me feel like there was a whole conpiracy theory to success.

The book did have a lot of unexplained things. I'm guessing there will be a continuation, so let's hope they get filled in then.

All of the characters held a certain appeal. I questioned several of their decisions, but they didn't make me feel crazy. At first I expected the majority of them to be mean and stuck up but that wasn't the case. Mostly they are confused about what was going on.

Being able to read from all of their points of view also gives you the upper hand. I was able to connect different things that were happening before the characters were.

I was completely fullfilled by this novel but it did keep me interested. If you like a good scandal then this book is for you.
-Amanda

Sunday, December 13, 2009

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a post where I tell you the books that I received this week either by buying them from the bookstore, going to the library or from my mailbox. Check out The Story Siren to learn more!

Candor by Pam Bachorz

In the model community of Candor, Florida, every teen wants to be like Oscar Banks. The son of the town's founder, Oscar earns straight As, is student-body president, and is in demand for every club and cause.

But Oscar has a secret. He knows that parents bring their teens to Candor to make them respectful, compliant–perfect–through subliminal Messages that carefully correct and control their behavior. And Oscar' s built a business sabotaging his father's scheme with Messages of his own, getting his clients out before they're turned. After all, who would ever suspect the perfect Oscar Banks?Then he meets Nia, the girl he can't stand to see changed. Saving Nia means losing her forever. Keeping her in Candor, Oscar risks exposure . . . and more.

Explorer X - Alpha by L. M. Preston

For most kids, a trip to space camp is the trip of a lifetime—for Aadi it was life altering. After receiving a camp immunization needed for travel to Mars, Aadi finds that the immunization is the catalyst of an insidious experiment. He realizes what is happening too late for a change of fate. The full experiment is set in motion when he and his co-pilot, Eirena, crash in a distant galaxy called Shrenas, where they change and realize the full extent of their power. This turn of events forces him to grow up quickly, accept his change, and to decide to save a world, or to do what he was trained to do—dominate it. His power is coveted by the warring leaders of Shrenas, and he is forced to choose sides—a decision that may prove just how much humanity he has left.


-Amanda

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Look Inside: Gone

"A Look Inside" Is a post where I'll have a featured author, and I'll choose a book that they wrote. I always come out after finishing a book with a favorite character, so I'll also have a featured character, and one of my favorite quotes from them.

Author: Michael Grant
Book: Gone
Character: Sam
Quote:

One minute the teacher was talking about the Civil War. And the next minute he was gone.

There.

Gone.

No "poof." No flash of light. No explosion.


If you have a favorite YA author, book or quote e-mail me it at txmandaxt@yahoo.com I'll make sure to give you credit!


-Amanda

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

The book that I am waiting on this week is...

Heist Society by Ally Carter
Release Date: February 09, 2010

Since she can remember, Katarina's relatives have been grooming her for the family business--thieving. But when Kat tries to go straight and leave the Life for a normal life, she's promptly kicked out of her new school for stealing the headmaster's car and mounting it on the school fountain. Although she could have done it without breaking a sweat, ironically, this time, she's innocent.

In fact she was framed--by another highly-skilled thief. Her friend and brother-in-trade Hale, with his mischievous smile and limitless bank account, has appeared out of nowhere to bring her back to the Life, back to the family Kat tried so hard to escape. Hale has a good reason: A powerful mobster has just been robbed of his priceless art collection and he wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have cracked this vault, and Kat's father isn't just on the suspect list, he IS the list.

Now, caught between Interpol and a far more deadly predator, Kat's dad needs her help.

For Kat, a consummate thief in her own right, the solution is simple: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it's a spectacularly impossible job? She's got two weeks, a teenage crew, and maybe just enough misguided pride to pull off the biggest heist in history - or at least in her family's (very crooked) history.

-Amanda

Monday, December 7, 2009

Leftovers by Laura Wiess

****Leftovers by Laura Wiess****

Originality- 18/20
Characters- 17/20
Remembrance- 8/10
Quote-ability- 7/10
Entertainment- 17/20
Ending- 9/10
Recommend to read- 8/10
TOTAL- 84/100
Grade- B

Blair and Ardith are best friends who have committed an unforgivable act in the name of love and justice. But in order to understand what could drive two young women to such extreme measures, first you'll have to understand why. You'll have to listen as they describe parents who are alternately absent and smothering, classmates who mock and shun anyone different, and young men who are allowed to hurt and dominate without consequence. You will have to learn what it's like to be a teenage girl who locks her bedroom door at night, who has been written off by the adults around her as damaged goods. A girl who has no one to trust except the one person she's forbidden to see. You'll have to understand what it's really like to be forgotten and abandoned in America today.

Are you ready?

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Leftovers was a truly gripping read. I was a little sketchy about what was happening until I realized that the two girls were telling their story to someone.

Each character had their own personal problems and only had each other to help them. I loved how close the two girls are, even when they are forced to be apart they find ways to be together. When they started to grow apart I felt so bad.

By the end of the book when the girls do something horrible I'm not sure how to feel about them. I want to continue to feel bad for them, but they still had no right to do what they did. There were other things that could have been done. Instead of telling the truth to fix things and sacrificing a little of themselves they destroy someone's life.

My final feelings for Leftovers is split. There were several things that grated on my nerves but I really want to like it. Still I think I will check out Wiess's other novels. The idea was great so go to the library and read it at least.

-Amanda

Sunday, December 6, 2009

In My Mailbox

Nothing agin this week guys but I have high hopes for next week. Besides Christmas is coming up!

How did you guys do?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Blog Update!

As you can see I've given the blog quite the makeover. Leave a message below with your thoughts and suggestions!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult

****Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult****

Originality- 19/20
Characters- 19/20
Remembrance- 10/10
Quote-ability- 8/10
Entertainment- 19/20
Ending- 10/10
Recommend to read- 9/10
TOTAL- 94/100
Grade- A

Jack St. Bride was once a beloved teacher and soccer coach at a girls' prep school - until a student's crush sparked a powder keg of accusation and robbed him of his career and reputation. Now, after a devastatingly public ordeal that left him with an eight-month jail sentence and no job, Jack resolves to pick up the pieces of his life. He takes a job washing dishes at Addie Peabody's diner and slowly starts to form a relationship with her in the quiet New England village of Salem Falls. But just when Jack thinks he has outrun his past, a quartet of teenage girls with a secret turn his world upside down once again, triggering a modern-day witch hunt in a town haunted by its own history…

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I am really starting to love Jodi Picoult. This is the 3rd book of hers that I've read and it was just as amazing as the others.

It always takes me a little bit of time to get into her books but when I do I read the majority of it in one sitting. There's something about them that doesn't let me put it down.

Her characters are always so real. Throughout the entire novel I felt a deep pain for Jack and anger towards the girl who got him put in jail. But by the time I was finished my opinions began to shift and I was no longer angry at her. Picoult writes in a way that makes you question your thoughts. I would start to think one thing but a couple of chapters later I would recreate my opinion. It is very awesome to get to hear from many of the characters and get inside their heads.

Overall I would say that Salem Falls was amazing all around and if you like a controversial read go for it or any Jodi Picoult novel. I know I will!

-Amanda

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Name Game


Sometimes while reading a book I notice that the characters have names that I've read before. I thought it would be fun to point some out!

Today we have Damens. Which Dam(o,e,a)ns? Well...

First, Damen from Evermore. Cute and mysterious. Sometimes he seems as if he's hiding things but overall he's pretty awesome

Next, Damen from Vampire Diaries! He is the ultimate bad boy. Sometimes annoying and snarky but his feelings are deeper.

These Damens are kind of hot and bad, can you think of anymore?
-Amanda

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday

The book that I am waiting on this week is...

Very LeFreak by Rachel Cohn
Release Date: January 12, 2010

Very LeFreak has a problem: she’s a crazed technology addict. Very can’t get enough of her iPhone, laptop, IMs, text messages, whatever. If there’s any chance the incoming message, call, text, or photo might be from her supersecret online crush, she’s going to answer, no matter what. Nothing is too important: sleep, friends in mid-conversation, class, a meeting with the dean about academic probation. Soon enough, though, this obsession costs Very everything and everyone. Can she learn to block out the noise so she can finally hear her heart?

-Amanda


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Blue Moon by Alyson Noel

****Blue Moon by Alyson Noel****

Originality- 14/20
Characters- 12/20
Remembrance- 6/10
Quote-ability- 5/10
Entertainment- 15/20
Ending- 8/10
Recommend to read- 7/10
TOTAL- 67/100
Grade- D

Just as Ever is learning everything she can about her new abilities as an immortal, initiated into the dark, seductive world by her beloved Damen, something terrible is happening to him. As Ever’s powers are increasing, Damen’s are fading—stricken by a mysterious illness that threatens his memory, his identity, his life.

Desperate to save him, Ever travels to the mystical dimension of Summerland, uncovering not only the secrets of Damen’s past—the brutal, tortured history he hoped to keep hidden—but also an ancient text revealing the workings of time. With the approaching blue moon heralding her only window for travel, Ever is forced to decide between turning back the clock and saving her family from the accident that claimed them—or staying in the present and saving Damen, who grows weaker each day...

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I can't say I hate Blue Moon, or the Immortal series, but I can't say that I like it either. I feel guilty for saying so, but I still hold true to my opinion on this being a book sold just to be sold. I mean, with all the vampire obsession going around, I see this as a vampire novel with a twist and with some elements that read very much like a poorly combined version of Twilight and the CW's Vampire Diaries.

You may think, "What is she talking about?" But I see it like this: Ever and Damen are still annoying as ever. It is fairly impossible to shy away from the vampire references and say you didn't mean it that way when you got some forever-living-creatures drinking some red juice, having powers, you get the picture. The two main characters are a parody on love, and I can't take this seriously. All of the other characters seem as whiny and translucent as the characters on the CW's take of the Vampire Diaries. I really can't stand it.

And while there are some new details added to the book, it isn't enough to impress me. I'm really at a loss as to whether I should just quit the series or continue reading it just to torture myself and see what happens next. The books may be annoying themselves, but I have to admit that they're intriguing. That's not saying much, though.

What I can say, however, is thank god for Roman.

-Taylor

Monday, November 30, 2009

My New Moon Adventure

I went to see New Moon Friday the 20th at 8:00 PM. I was amazed. The theatre definately knew what was coming. It took us more than half an hour to get there when it usually takes less than 10 minutes because of the busy traffic.

New Moon outshined Twilight by a long shot. The movie kept much better with the book. I loved the entire thing. Ah-maz-ing.

Here are some pictures of what I wore to see New Moon.

This is my Twilight bracelet that I made by hand.

This is the amazing shirt that I custom made online and had sent to me. As you can see I'm Team Jacob.
-Amanda

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

The book that I'm waiting on this week is.....

Title: The Carrie Diaries
Author: Candace Bushnell
Release Date: April 27, 2010

The Carrie Diaries opens up in Carrie's senior year of high school. She and her best friends -- Walt, Lali, Maggie, and the Mouse -- are inseparable, amid the sea of Jens, Jocks and Jets. And then Sebastian Kydd comes into the picture. Sebastian is a bad boy-older, intriguing, and unpredictable. Carrie falls into the relationship that she was always supposed to have in high school-until a friend's betrayal makes her question everything. With her high school days coming to a close, Carrie will realize it's finally time to go after everything she ever wanted.

-Amanda

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Van Alen Legacy by Melissa De La Cruz

****The Van Alen Legacy by Melissa De La Cruz****

Originality- 19/20
Characters- 18/20
Remembrance- 8/10
Quote-ability- 5/10
Entertainment- 17/20
Ending- 8/10
Recommend to read- 9/10
TOTAL- 84/100
Grade- B

With the stunning revelation surrounding Bliss's true identity comes the growing threat of the sinister Silver Bloods. Once left to live the glamorous life in New York City, the Blue Bloods now find themselves in an epic battle for survival. Not to worry, love is still in the air for the young vampires of the Upper East Side. Or is it? Jack and Schuyler are over. Oliver's brokenhearted. And only the cunning Mimi seems to be happily engaged.

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The Van Alen Legacy is the fourth book in the Blue Bloods series and it was fantastic. While it was kind of hard to get in to at first, you get so much information out of it that I felt less as lost in this one. The continuation takes place a year after the last one, since Schuyler has gone into hiding and she looks for guidance in France.

Nothing is really as it seems in this book, and when you go from three different perspectives it's hard to know what to really believe and if this is really going on. More than ever, I felt sorry for Bliss and her predicament. The ending wasn't the best, but it makes for a great plot twist to start out with in the next book.

Now just to wait for the next one...

-Taylor

Monday, November 23, 2009

Such a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster

****Such a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster****

Originality- 18/20
Characters- 20/20
Remembrance- 8/10
Quote-ability- 9/10
Entertainment- 18/20
Ending- 9/10
Recommend to read- 9/10
TOTAL- 91/100
Grade- A

To whom the fat rolls...I'm tired of books where a self-loathing heroine is teased to the point where she starves herself skinny in hopes of a fabulous new life. And I hate the message that women can't possibly be happy until we all fit into our skinny jeans. I don't find these stories uplifting; they make me want to hug these women and take them out for fizzy champagne drinks and cheesecake and explain to them that until they figure out their insides, their outsides don't matter. Unfortunately, being overweight isn't simply a societal issue that can be fixed with a dose healthy of positive self-esteem. It's a health matter, and here on the eve of my fortieth year, I've learned I have to make changes so I don't, you know, die. Because what good if finally being able to afford a pedicure if I lose a foot to adult onset diabetes?

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This book was absolutely hilarious. We were able to read a weight loss story that was not filled with drama and eating disorders.

Jen was pretty much the perfect narrator. She was hilarious and very strongwilled in her journey to lose weight. Her various relationships with her husband, friends and parents show us her personality, support system, and maybe even a little bit of a backstory to her weight gain.

This is a truly inspring story that will definitely bring you to tears....from laughing so much. I can't wait to read Jen's other memoirs that she has written about various parts of her life.

-Amanda

Sunday, November 22, 2009

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a post where I tell you the books that I received this week either by buying them from the bookstore, going to the library or from my mailbox. Check out The Story Siren to learn more!

Leftovers by Laura Wiess

Blair and Ardith are best friends who have committed an unforgivable act in the name of love and justice. But in order to understand what could drive two young women to such extreme measures, first you'll have to understand why. You'll have to listen as they describe parents who are alternately absent and smothering, classmates who mock and shun anyone different, and young men who are allowed to hurt and dominate without consequence. You will have to learn what it's like to be a teenage girl who locks her bedroom door at night, who has been written off by the adults around her as damaged goods. A girl who has no one to trust except the one person she's forbidden to see. You'll have to understand what it's really like to be forgotten and abandoned in America today.

Are you ready?
-Amanda

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

The book that I am waiting on this week is....

Title: Captivate
Author: Carrie Jones
Release Date: January 5th, 2010

Zara and her friends knew they hadn't solved the pixie problem for good. Far from it. The king's needs grow deeper every day he's stuck in captivity, while his control over his people gets weaker. It's made him vulnerable. And now there's a new king in town.

A turf war is imminent, since the new pixie king, Astley, is moving in quickly. Nick nearly killed him in the woods on day one, but Zara came to his rescue. Astley swears that he and Zara are destined to be together, that he's one of the good guys. Nick isn't buying it, though Zara isn't as sure -- despite herself, she wants to trust the new king. But it's a lot more than her relationship with Nick that is at stake. It's her life -- and his.

-Amanda

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder

**** Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder****

As a glassmaker and a magician-in-training, Opal Cowen understands trial by fire. Now it's time to test her mettle. Someone has sabotaged the Stormdancer clan's glass orbs, killing their most powerful magicians. The Stormdancers--particularly the mysterious and mercurial Kade--require Opal's unique talents to prevent it happening again. But when the mission goes awry, Opal must tap in to a new kind of magic as stunningly potent as it is frightening. And the further she delves into the intrigue behind the glass and magic, the more distorted things appear. With lives hanging in the balance--including her own--Opal must control powers she hadn't known she possessed...powers that might lead to disaster beyond anything she's ever known.

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Okay, so I've read Poison Study and Magic Study. I wasn't really expecting much but when I first read Poison Study I did a double-take. And it wasn't only the books, Snyder's writing is fantastic. She can take you into another world, without acting like she was doing it in the first place because everything felt so natural. Sort of like how I felt when I read the Harry Potter series, but that's another time and place.

Storm Glass is a continuation of the Study trilogy (and I wish I would have known that, because I haven't read Fire Study yet, and it kind of spoils things) only focusing on Opal Cowen, who I vaguely remembered from Magic Study. I love how different the two stories can be while being in the same place. Things are still difficult in Sitia, and it's kind of obvious that Opal doesn't think she can handle it, but in this book you can see her grow.

I just really love this book. Even if I hadn't read most of the Study trilogy, I still would have been drawn to it just from the cover. I've been searching around my local Borders for Sea Glass, but I've yet to find it. Can't wait till I do!

-Taylor

Sunday, November 15, 2009

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a post where I tell you the books that I received this week either by buying them from the bookstore, going to the library or from my mailbox. Check out The Story Siren to learn more!

Such a Pretty Fat: One Narcissist's Quest To Discover if Her Life Makes Her Ass Look Big, Or Why Pie is Not The Answer by Jen Lancaster

To whom the fat rolls...I'm tired of books where a self-loathing heroine is teased to the point where she starves herself skinny in hopes of a fabulous new life. And I hate the message that women can't possibly be happy until we all fit into our skinny jeans. I don't find these stories uplifting; they make me want to hug these women and take them out for fizzy champagne drinks and cheesecake and explain to them that until they figure out their insides, their outsides don't matter. Unfortunately, being overweight isn't simply a societal issue that can be fixed with a dose healthy of positive self-esteem. It's a health matter, and here on the eve of my fortieth year, I've learned I have to make changes so I don't, you know, die. Because what good if finally being able to afford a pedicure if I lose a foot to adult onset diabetes?
Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult

Jack St. Bride was once a beloved teacher and soccer coach at a girls' prep school - until a student's crush sparked a powder keg of accusation and robbed him of his career and reputation. Now, after a devastatingly public ordeal that left him with an eight-month jail sentence and no job, Jack resolves to pick up the pieces of his life. He takes a job washing dishes at Addie Peabody's diner and slowly starts to form a relationship with her in the quiet New England village of Salem Falls. But just when Jack thinks he has outrun his past, a quartet of teenage girls with a secret turn his world upside down once again, triggering a modern-day witch hunt in a town haunted by its own history…
-Amanda

Saturday, November 14, 2009

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

****City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare****

Originality- 18/20
Characters- 18/20
Remembrance- 8/10
Quote-ability- 8/10
Entertainment- 18/20
Ending- 9/10
Recommend to read- 8/10
TOTAL- 87/100
Grade- B

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

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I just can't get over how awesome these books are. They are unlike anything I have ever read before. I usually think this about most fantasy books for a while until I read something similar. I have a feeling that I'll never read about Shadow Hunters anywhere else.

City of Ashes develops the story quite a bit. I can't give you too many details because I don't want to spoil it for you, but it's amazing. The book ends with Clary finding out there might be a way to cure her mother. Which pretty much caused me to steal my friend's copy of City of Glass, the next book.

Not only is City of Ashes filled with action but also romance, comedy, and plot twists. You won't be able to put this one down.

-Amanda

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Updates

As you saw Tuesday I did not update. My lovely friend Taylor from Taylor's Rambles did. She plans to guest review every Tuesday due to our busy schedules. So here is my weekly outline. Hopefully I'll throw in some random contests and interest/debate worthy posts.

Sunday- In My Mailbox
Monday- Review
Tuesday- Review by Taylor
Wednesday- Waiting on Wednesday
Thursday- Review
Friday- A Look Inside/The Name Game
Saturday- Review (Hoping to make interesting posts too)

Also, I plan to do a new design very soon to accomadate taking on a new blogger.

-Amanda

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

****Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld****

Originality- 18/20
Characters- 18/20
Remembrance- 9/10
Quote-ability- 7/10
Entertainment- 19/20
Ending- 10/10
Recommend to read- 10/10
TOTAL- 91/100
Grade- A

It is the cusp of World War I, and all the European powers are arming up. The Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their Clankers, steam-driven iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition. The British Darwinists employ fabricated animals as their weaponry. The Leviathan is a living airship, the most formidable airbeast in the skies of Europe.

Aleksandar Ferdinand, prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battle-torn Stormwalker and a loyal crew of men.

Deryn Sharp is a commoner, a girl disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She's a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.

With the Great War brewing, Alek's and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way - taking them both aboard the Leviathan on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure. One that will change both their lives forever.

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Leviathan is the second book I've ever read written by Scott Westerfeld. I had attempted Uglies, but it didn't really do anything for me. Peeps did, though, and Leviathan definitely did.

I absolutely love the world that he takes us into -- I've always had a small interest in history, and the route he takes with this - the Clankers and the Darwinists - combines two of my favorite things: history and fantasy. The thing is, though, is that I've never really had much tolerance for the World Wars. Westerfeld kind of makes you interested when you learn the stories of Alek and Deryn and you just want to know more. The whole way through, I just kept thinking how cool it would be if the war had truly been like that.

I seriously cannot wait for the sequel, Behemoth, to come out.

Taylor

Sunday, November 8, 2009

In My Mailbox

Nothing this week..
What did you get?

-Amanda

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Look Inside: Undone

"A Look Inside" Is a post where I'll have a featured author, and I'll choose a book that they wrote. I always come out after finishing a book with a favorite character, so I'll also have a featured character, and one of my favorite quotes from them.

Author: Brooke Taylor
Book: Undone
Character: Serena
Quote: "Girlfriend, huh? Think I can still get that frosty too? A good boyfriend would make it a Biggie."

If you have a favorite YA author, book or quote e-mail me it at txmandaxt@yahoo.com I'll make sure to give you credit!
-Amanda

Monday, November 2, 2009

Book Meme

Use the titles of books you've read this year to answer these questions.

Describe Yourself: Geektastic
How do you feel: Gorgeous
Describe where you currently live: North of Beautiful
If you could go anywhere, where would you go: City of Ashes
Your favorite form of transportation: Milestones
Your best friend is: Wondrous Strange
You and your friends are: Catching Fire
What's the weather like: The Sky Inside
Favorite time of day: Darklight
What is life to you: Killer
Your fear: Betrayed
What is the best advice you have to give: Shelter Me
Thought for the Day: Must Love Black
How I would like to die: Murder at the Lake
My soul's present condition: Untamed

-Amanda

Sunday, November 1, 2009

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a post where I tell you the books that I received this week either by buying them from the bookstore, going to the library or from my mailbox. Check out The Story Siren to learn more!

Secret Society by Tom Dolby

An eccentric new girl. A brooding socialite. The scion of one of New York's wealthiest families. A promising filmmaker. As students at the exclusive Chadwick School, Phoebe, Lauren, Nick, and Patch already live in a world most teenagers only dream about.

They didn't ask to be Society members. But when three of them receive a mysterious text message promising success and fame beyond belief, they say yes to everything—even to the harrowing initiation ceremony in a gritty warehouse downtown and to the ankh-shaped tattoo they're forced to get on the nape of their necks. Once they're part of the Society, things begin falling into place for them. Week after week, their ambitions are fulfilled. It's all perfect—until a body is found in Central Park with no distinguishing marks except for an ankh-shaped tattoo.

-Amanda

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

I hope you all get lots of treats tonight! My sister was going to go trick or treating and then share her candy but it's rainy and cold where I live, so no trick or treating for her.

On another note, who is ready for NaNoWriMo? This is the first year I'm going to participate! Good luck to everyone.

-Amanda

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

The book that I'm waiting on this week is...

Title: Bleeding Violet
Author: Dia Reeves
Publication Date: January 05, 2010

Love can be a dangerous thing....

Hanna simply wants to be loved. With a head plagued by hallucinations, a medicine cabinet full of pills, and a closet stuffed with frilly, violet dresses, Hanna's tired of being the outcast, the weird girl, the freak. So she runs away to Portero, Texas in search of a new home.

But Portero is a stranger town than Hanna expects. As she tries to make a place for herself, she discovers dark secrets that would terrify any normal soul. Good thing for Hanna, she's far from normal. As this crazy girl meets an even crazier town, only two things are certain: Anything can happen and no one is safe.

-Amanda

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

****Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult****

Originality- 18/20
Characters- 19/20
Remembrance- 9/10
Quote-ability- 8/10
Entertainment- 18/20
Ending- 10/10
Recommend to read- 9/10
TOTAL- 91/100
Grade- A

Sterling is a small, ordinary New Hampshire town where nothing ever happens -- until the day its complacency is shattered by a shocking act of violence. In the aftermath, the town's residents must not only seek justice in order to begin healing but also come to terms with the role they played in the tragedy. For them, the lines between truth and fiction, right and wrong, insider and outsider have been obscured forever. Josie Cormier, the teenage daughter of the judge sitting on the case, could be the state's best witness, but she can't remember what happened in front of her own eyes. And as the trial progresses, fault lines between the high school and the adult community begin to show, destroying the closest of friendships and families.

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This book was absolutely phenomenal. I've read My Sister's Keeper by this author as well. Picoult is able to bring so much depth and thought provoking ideas and situations to the table.

Each character was believable and realistic. They interact with each other in such a true way. I felt for everyone, and I couldn't stand firmly on one side of the situation or the other. I felt so overwhelmed with emotions. You want to hug each and every character.

The surprise ending was a huge twist. I didn't expect a lot of what happened throughout the entire book but the ending brought the awesome to a whole new level. The whole novel is a lesson in respect. Be nice because you don't know how you affect others.

-Amanda

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Name Game


Sometimes while reading a book I notice that the characters have names that I've read before. I thought it would be fun to point some out!

Today we have Noras. Which Noras? Well....


You know one of Ruby's friends from the Boyfriend List? That Nora. She was the only one that wasn't cruel to Ruby and later on became her friend again. Nora was one of my favorite characters from that series and I would love to have her as a friend.


Nora from Hush, Hush. For me Nora was a little too uptight. She was just very conservative. She does seem very nice though. Still, she's not one of the best Noras.

Norah from Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. Okay, this would have to be my favorite Norah. She was the friend to depend on but still knew how to have fun. She was just so funny and full of awesome.

These Noras have it going on. Can you think of any more?

-Amanda

Sunday, October 25, 2009

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a post where I tell you the books that I received this week either by buying them from the bookstore, going to the library or from my mailbox. Check out The Story Siren to learn more!

Ninteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

In Sterling, New Hampshire, 17-year-old high school student Peter Houghton has endured years of verbal and physical abuse at the hands of classmates. His best friend, Josie Cormier, succumbed to peer pressure and now hangs out with the popular crowd that often instigates the harassment. One final incident of bullying sends Peter over the edge and leads him to commit an act of violence that forever changes the lives of Sterling’s residents.

-Amanda

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Going Bovine by Libba Bray

****Going Bovine by Libba Bray****

Originality- 19/20
Characters- 18/20
Remembrance- 8/10
Quote-ability- 8/10
Entertainment- 19/20
Ending- 8/10
Recommend to read- 8/10
TOTAL- 88/100
Grade- B

Cameron and his twin are totally different. She is popular and pretty much the perfect teen. Cameron on the other hand gets bad grades, isn't a good student, and oh yeah, he's dying. The hallucinations he's been having are side affects of mad cow disease. Now Cameron is on a mission to save the himself and the world. Cameron, the angel Dulcie, his friend Gonzo, and a yard gnome he sets out on a journey to find the universe traveling doctor that holds the solution. With a lot of detours on the side, Cameron has a whole lot of problems.
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Going Bovine was hilarious. Cameron was pretty much the perfect main character. He was hilarious, and outspoken. This book got me hooked.

The whole crazy plot was amazingly crafted. I have to give props to Libba Bray for coming up with such an original piece of work. Even though the character were so obviously fake they felt so real! The situations that they are brought into were so funny. Sometimes I had to wonder if the characters were being serious or not.

Overall I would say that Going Bovine is unlike anything you've read before. In it you'll find the most outrageous road trip in the world.

-Amanda

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday on Thursday

The book that I am waiting on this week is...

Title: The Lonely Hearts Club
Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
Publication Date: January 01, 2010

Penny is sick of boys and sick of dating. So she vows: no more. It's a personal choice. . .and, of course, soon everyone wants to know about it. And a few other girls are inspired. A movement is born: The Lonely Hearts Club (named after the band from Sgt. Pepper). Penny is suddenly known for her nondating ways . . . which is too bad, because there's this certain boy she can't help but like. . . .
-Amanda

Monday, October 19, 2009

Must Love Black by Kelly McClymer

****Must Love Black by Kelly McClymer****

Originality- 16/20
Characters- 17/20
Remembrance- 7/10
Quote-ability- 8/10
Entertainment- 17/20
Ending- 6/10
Recommend to read- 7/10
TOTAL- 78/100
Grade- C

NANNY FOR 10-YR-OLD TWINS. MAINE COAST. OWN ROOM & GENEROUS SALARY. MUST LOVE BLACK. “Must love black?” Sounds like a coffee-loving, seclusion-seeking goth girl's dream job. Philippa isn’t fazed by the fog-enshrouded mansion on a cliff, the weirdest twins on the planet, or even the rumors about ghosts, ‘cause when she meets the estate’s hot gardener, Philippa’s pretty sure she’s found her dream boy, too. Too bad Geoff’s already taken…by a girl whose wardrobe is head-to-toe pink. Still, Philippa can’t get Geoff out of her head. What will it take to lure him to the dark side?

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This book was a slight disapointment. It seemed like the boy thing was a huge deal, but it only took up a small portion of the book.

Philippa was a very good character. She didn't hold anything back and did what had to be done. Whenever something in the book annoyed me, it annoyed Philippa too. She didn't just sit back and roll in the annoying, she got off her booty and did something about it.

Though the book itself was okay, the ending was rushed. We didn't get any closure or assurance.

-Amanda

Sunday, October 18, 2009

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox was meme-afied by Kristi of The Story Siren.

Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

****Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott****

Originality- 19/20
Characters- 19/20
Remembrance- 9/10
Quote-ability- 8/10
Entertainment- 19/20
Ending- 10/10
Recommend to read- 10/10
TOTAL- 94/100
Grade- A

When Alice was ten, Ray took her away from her family, her friends — her life. She learned to give up all power, to endure all pain. She waited for the nightmare to be over.

Now Alice is fifteen and Ray still has her, but he speaks more and more of her death. He does not know it is what she longs for. She does not know he has something more terrifying than death in mind for her.

This is Alice's story. It is one you have never heard, and one you will never, ever forget.

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Living Dead Girl was a truly gripping read. Your heart will ache as you read Alice's horrible story.

I really loved this book. It got down to the hardcore weirdos out there. Alice had the mind set of a young girl but her goals, dreams, and wishes were mostly of the suicidal. I literally had to hold back tears when she wished for her death.

And the ending? Amazing. One of the best last sentences I've read in a while. My only complaint would be the length. I just wanted more! I wanted to know what happens next.

I would definately recommend this book to everyone. I think that everyone needs to read at least one book in their lifetime that will rip their heart apart and get them angry.

-Amanda

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

The book that I'm waiting on this week is...

Title: Shadowland (The Immortals Series #3)
Author: Alyson Noel
Release Date: November 17, 2009

At the start of this breathtaking novel, Damen and Ever travel to Summerland in search of an antidote to reverse a powerful poison. But instead of the cure they seek, they find something far more sinister: the truth about their existence and the fate lying in wait of an immortal’s soul.

Now, with Damen fighting to save them from the Shadowland, Ever turns to magick, hoping to break Damen’s curse. Along the way Ever encounters the mysterious Jude, finding herself drawn to him in a way that will test her love for Damen like never before . . .

-Amanda

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Murder at the Lake by Bren Gaudet

****Murder at the Lake by Bren Gaudet****

Originality- 17/20
Characters- 17/20
Remembrance- 7/10
Quote-ability- 7/10
Entertainment- 17/20
Ending- 8/10
Recommend to read- 7/10
TOTAL- 80/100
Grade- B

When 17-year-old Amanda Christie is invited to a cousins-only weekend retreat at her aunt's Austin, Texas, estate, she doesn't know what to expect. She soon finds though, that the weekend will be anything but boring. One of the guests is responsible for the death of Amanda's uncle and when a dangerous storm traps the teens inside the secluded mansion, Amanda becomes determined to uncover the killer. But when their cell phones go missing and guests begin to disappear, Amanda realizes that the killer isn't finished. With time running out and no way of knowing who to trust, she must either uncover the murderer or risk being the next victim.

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This was a thrilling read. I can honestly say I had no clue as to who the killer was until it was revealed. Gauget wrote the story like any other mysery author would. She threw me off track and I didn't even know it.

The setting was described amazingly. I felt creeped out just reading about it. It didn't help that I was reading at night though.

Each of the character brought different clues and suspicions to the table. I was completely wrapped up in the story.
-Amanda