Wednesday, November 30, 2011

If I Tell by Janet Gurtler

Title: If I Tell
Author: Janet Gurtler
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 72% C-
Buy It: Amazon

Jasmine Evans knows one thing for sure... people make mistakes. After all, she is one. Jaz is the result of a onenight stand between a black football player and a blonde princess. Having a young mother who didn't raise her, a father who wants nothing to do with her and living in a small-minded town where she's never fit in hasn't been easy. But she's been surviving. Until she sees her mom's new boyfriend making out with her own best friend. When do you forgive people for being human or give up on them forever?

My Thoughts:: 
I'm not sure what made me decide to request this book for review after I reread the summary and then again after reading the book. Once again I misinterpreted the summary and thought that the kissing/secret was going to be with someone much more scandalous, like a teacher and an underage girl. Not sure why. By now I should really start to read summaries more carefully.

This book not only dealt with the topic of secrets, betrayal, and relationships but also of race. I've noticed that authors rarely breach this topic anymore, maybe assuming that it's old news and overdone. However, I didn't feel that way while reading it. It was obvious that race is still an issue and not everyone is as accepting as the people are where I live. Just because we don't see an issue doesn't mean that it's not there. The other topics also played a role in this book to a degree, but the obvious center was race.

Gurtler was trying to display some real issues in real life situations but I couldn't help but feel annoyed. Jasmine was a ridiculous main character. I love characters with personality flaws because I know that they will most likely grow and change or they will be overshadowed with something positive. But Jasmine just had a horrible attitude. I could not handle her excuses or reasoning behind her freaking out about things all of the time. It was so frustrating for her to act so erratically and back away from every possible solution. The only redeeming thing about her was how she acted after her brother was born.

Overall I think that If I Tell addressed many issues that I feel aren't touched upon enough in YA lit, too bad not much positive feedback can be given to the main character. I would recommend this book to those who are interested in the topic of race or just into keeping...or telling..secrets.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My TBR List for Winter

Top Ten Tuesdays is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's top ten is....

Top Ten Books On My TBR List For Winter. In no particular order...

1. Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle
2. Over the Moon by Diane Daniels
3. Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey
4. Shelter by Harlan Coben
5. Blood Red Road by Moira Young
6. The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness
7. Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz
8. Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
9.  Don't You Wish by Roxanne St.Claire
10. The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls by Julie Schumacher

Monday, November 28, 2011

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Title: An Abundance of Katherines
Author: John Green
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Acquired: Bought
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 90% or A-
Buy It: Amazon
When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton’s type is girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.

On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun – but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl.

My Thoughts::
After reading Looking for Alaska, I've been doing my best to read every single John Green book that I could get my hand on. But like most people, I forgot about An Abundance of Katherines and didn't read it until I was finished with the rest of them. Let me tell you, after reading it I really don't know why it isn't as popular as his other books.

While many good books have the ability to suck you into a story, very few great books have the ability to suck you into a character, which is John Green's specialty. They always have the most interesting and huggable personalities. Seriously, when I was reading this book I wanted to be everyone's best friend. Colin was just amazing. So clever and smart and...innocent. Hassan was almost better than Colin, as best friends in books often are. I could identify so much with their friendship, especially with their code word that let the other know that they are pressing an issue to far. When you get so involved with these characters it's as if you're invested in them. You aren't hoping for an interesting story or a dramatic twist to come along, you just want them happy and getting what they want. Which is kind of weird.

These amazing characters and their journey and development are probably the reasons why we get a bit shortchanged on a story. Sure, the characters grow and change and we can talk about their emotional growth for days...but not much happened. And when I do think about the things that happened, I'm not that interested. I'm more interested in the things that Colin thought, the things Lindsey confessed, and the things Hassan joked about. But this book did have a road trip, and boy do I love a good road trip in a book.

Overall I think that An Abundance of Katherines was a great book to read if you want to get into the mind of a character but probably isn't your thing if you're looking for action, which this book was lacking.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Contest Saturday

Here are some contests that are currently going on right now in the blogosphere that book related. Click the links to enter them. I will try to hold my own contest each month.

Win a copy of The Deepest Cut HERE. Ends 11/28

Win a copy of The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers HERE. Ends 11/30

Win a copy of The Breakup Artist HERE. Ends 11/30

Win a copy of Shatter Me HERE. Ends 11/30

Win 3 books HERE. Ends 12/2

Win a copy of Swoon and Swear HERE. Ends 12/2

Win a copy of All Wounds HERE. Ends 12/10

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Title: Glow
Author: Amy Kathleen Ryan
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 94% or A
Buy It: Amazon

The Empyrean is the only home 15-year-old Waverly has ever known. Part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space, she and her boyfriend Kieran will be pioneers of New Earth. Waverly knows she must marry young in order to have children who can carry on the mission, and Kieran, the handsome captain-to-be, has everything Waverly could want in a husband. Everyone is sure he’s the best choice. Still, there’s a part of Waverly that wants more from life than marriage, and she is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.

Suddenly, Waverly’s dreams are interrupted by the inconceivable – a violent betrayal by the Empyrean's sister ship, the New Horizon. The New Horizon’s leaders are desperate to populate the new planet first, and will do anything to get what they need: young girls. In one pivotal moment, Waverly and Kieran are separated, and find themselves at the helm of dangerous missions, where every move has potentially devastating consequences, and decisions of the heart may lead to disaster.

My Thoughts:: 
I was given the great opportunity to review the audio book of Glow. This is the first review that I'm writing that is completely on an audiobook. I won't suspect that it will be much different, but I want to try to hone in on what made it a different experience for me.

With an audio book I have to just jump right into it. I can't sit down and read a couple pages and then go do something else. I have to listen to a good hour before I can bring myself to move on. The spoken word just has a way of pulling me into a story. There were so many important characters in this novel with big personalities which the two narrators were able to capture perfectly and diversify so as not to confuse listeners.

This is the first book that I read set in space, and it adds a new urgency to all problems. The solutions are no longer simple and the stakes are higher. Getting to know a new world or place is always exciting, but when the place is MOVING and on a journey to a place that they've never been before, the setting is so much more....interesting. I was never bored because there was always something to be thinking about.

Not that I could have been bored in the first place. The plot was so enriching and never failed to twist and turn my mind. The situations that both of the ships were put in was horrible, and I felt sympathy for everyone. But to make things more complicated...I also found almost everyone to be to blame. Even after finishing I'm not sure who the bad guys are or who to blame for the things that happened.

Overall Glow was the most original and satisfying book that I've read in a while and I can not wait until the next book is ready for me to read or hopefully listen to. I'd recommend this book to someone who likes a book filled with secrets to be discovered or just enjoys a future in space.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

The books that I am waiting on this week are...

Elemental by Emily White-- May 1st

 Just because Ella can burn someone to the ground with her mind doesn't mean she should.

But she wants to.

For ten years—ever since she was a small child—Ella has been held prisoner. Now that she has escaped, she needs answers.

Who is she? Why was she taken? And who is the boy with the beautiful green eyes who haunts her memories?

Is Ella the prophesied Destructor… or will she be the one who's destroyed? 

Fear by Michael Grant-- April 3rd

This is a blood-pumping, white-knuckle sci-fi thriller of epic proportions. 

Night is falling in the FAYZ. Even though it's been nearly a year since everyone over the age of fifteen disappeared, the sun has continued to shine on the kids of Perdido Beach. Now, though, the gaiaphage has blotted out the sun and plunged the FAYZ into perpetual gloom. Divided and dispirited, the survivors face their greatest enemy yet - the darkness of their own minds...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I Want At My Thanksgiving Feast

Top Ten Tuesdays is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's top ten is....

Top Ten Authors I'd Love To Have At My Thanksgiving Feast. In no particular order and no promise of 10.

1.  Sarah Dessen. She's so darn compassionate and I love reading her thoughts in her blog and tweets. It would be great to meet her talk about family and what makes her keep writing these beautiful love stories.

2. Michael Grant. He has such a great sense of humor which I can see from his tweets. I think it'd be fun to have a one on one discussion with him about the Gone series and maybe even learn a few secrets about my favorite characters..

3. John Green. He probably has one of the best personalities that I've ever seen. I watch his vlogs every week and love every single one of his books. Just talking to him would make my life, let alone discussing anything from something as simple as my favorite thanksgiving food to what I think makes my life worth living.

4. Kelley Armstrong. I've shied away from supernatural books until I read The Summoning and the rest of the Darkest Powers trilogy. I don't know much about her, but I already love where her mind can go.

5. Maureen Johnson. Though I haven't read as much from her as I'd like to, she is my favorite person to follow on twitter. She always has something funny or witty to say but also isn't afraid to delve into some serious current events or issues no matter how touchy the subject. Plus she's so....flamboyant. She would be the life of the party.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

Title: Ship Breaker
Author: Paolo Bacigalupi
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 81% or B-
Buy It: Amazon

In America's Gulf Coast region, where grounded oil tankers are being broken down for parts, Nailer, a teenage boy, works the light crew, scavenging for copper wiring just to make quota--and hopefully live to see another day. But when, by luck or chance, he discovers an exquisite clipper ship beached during a recent hurricane, Nailer faces the most important decision of his life: Strip the ship for all it's worth or rescue its lone survivor, a beautiful and wealthy girl who could lead him to a better life.…

My Thoughts::
When I had the chance to review this book when it was first coming out, I didn't take it. I wasn't as into dystopian books back then, and this one didn't even start to appeal to me. But when I was given the offer to review it again for it's paperback publication, I read the synopsis again and was strangely excited and curious about it. I accepted it right after that.

The book painted a vividly different world that I wish we learned more about. Sure, we knew plenty about what life was life for several different kinds of people and even the social hierarchy, but what about the past? I'd love to know what lead to the world becoming that way. I know Bacigalupi is writing more about this new world, and I hope it reveals the answers that I'm seeking. Because the only thing better than a dystopian read, is knowing the events that caused it.

Nailer was great, and amazingly I wasn't in love with him. For some reason we get to know this amazing guy who is so so so good, but I'm not swooning in the least. Maybe since he was the narrator and we don't get to hear about how gorgeous he is, I'm not interested. In books I always have to read about characters taking the wrong path when we're all screaming at the not to, Nailer wasn't like that. He always took the right path even when it was harder for him. Thankfully he didn't come off as the perfect person, just someone who could see right from wrong and make decisions that seem impossible. 

The book contained almost impossible situations to get out of. I know that it's important to keep a book exciting, but it just never ended with this one. It didn't go completely overboard, but a break would have been appreciated. Another thing that bugged me was the lack of explanations. Things just kept happening but I didn't know why or how things got figured out.

Overall I think Bacigalupi crafted an original story that serves as one of the many ways that we can envision our future. I'd recommend this book to someone who enjoys books about seaside life with the ships, or just fans of the dystopian genre.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

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. In My Mailbox was inspired by Alea and turned into a meme by Kristi.

Nothing this week once again. Hoping for some things this week though!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Contest Saturday

Win a copy of Graffiti Moon HERE. Ends 11/20

Win a copy of Melody Burning HERE. Ends 11/22

Win a copy of The Pledge HERE. Ends 11/22

Win a copy of Going Too Far HERE. Ends 11/24

Win a copy of Eve HERE. Ends 11/25

Win up to 11 books HERE. Ends 11/25

Win a copy of The Deepest Cut HERE. Ends 11/28

Win a copy of The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers HERE. Ends 11/30

Friday, November 18, 2011

TV Week (11th-17th)

I'm going to try this new feature out for the rest of this month and the beginning of December. I want to get a feel for it and if I like it and you guys seem to enjoy it, then I'll include it in the blog redesign/revamp. Buuuuut...I already feel like I don't post enough actual CONTENT like book and movie reviews, and rely too much on weekly memes like Top Ten Tuesday, Waiting on Wednesday, In My Mailbox, and Contest Saturday. If this works out, I will most likely eliminate Waiting on Wednesday posts and just do a month post of books I'm excited about. Anyway, here we go!

Glee (Tuesday, Mash Off)

This episode was the best one in a while. I absolutely loved the song choices, and the performances were impressive. Though, the characters don't seem to be getting anywhere. How is it that after all of this time and experiences, no one has changed much at all? How is Santana still SO mean? I'm not saying she deserved to get called out like that, and Finn was totally out of line for pulling the gay card....but didn't she expect people to hit her where it would hurt the most? Hey, at least we're seeing SOME sort of storyline for her. I've had enough of Rachel for a while so I'm glad she didn't play much of a part in this episode. Puck...Puck Puck Puck. He's still incredibly hot, but also crazy. Does he really think that he's gonna get Shelby and play daddy for Beth? It's time that these characters get a reality check and start thinking straight.

Terra Nova (Monday, Proof)

This show is so great. It has everything that I look for in a dystopian novel, but TV form. Except, of course, the tyrannical and conspiratorial government. Though I do sense that the Sixers aren't completely evil and Terra Nova is about more than building new lives, something has to be up. This episode was alright, but I predicted just about every outcome. Unfortunately, I don't think that this show will last long. There are only so many problems that could arise before the writers start to look crazy. What I like about the show is that the main background mystery of Terra Nova is shielded by each episodes dilemmas. We are slowly learning about Taylor's son, and what he has to do with all the conspiracy. In this episode we learn that he has attained the ability to communicate with 2149 without the portal being open.

The Walking Dead (Sunday, Chupacabra)

This episode was amazing, just like all of the others. I used to love Shane SO much, but after the last couple of episodes....well...not so much. His core is fine..He wants to take care of Carl and Lori, but his rational and genuine good personness is gone. He is now about doing whatever he has to to survive. It's hard to fault him for this, but if he's not in immediate danger, there is no reason to hurt other people. How could he want to abandon the search for Sophia when he would HATE anyone who suggested they would do that to Carl? Some people are thinking that the CDC told Rick about Lori's pregnancy, since he took blood and THAT is what he whispered to Rick. But man, I sure hope not. I wanted it to be a big government conspiracy thing. It doesn't look like Hershel is going to be letting the gang stay much longer, which is doubled by all of the friggin' walkers Glenn saw in the barn! Wonder what that was about?

I also watch New Girl and Suburgatory. These are fun comedies with not much of a continuous plot. Should I discuss them? Do you have any shows that I just HAVE to watch? What do you think of this feature?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr

Title: How to Save a Life
Author: Sara Zarr
Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 88% or B+
Buy It: Amazon

Jill MacSweeny just wishes everything could go back to normal. But ever since her dad died, she's been isolating herself from her boyfriend, her best friends—everyone who wants to support her. And when her mom decides to adopt a baby, it feels like she's somehow trying to replace a lost family member with a new one.

Mandy Kalinowski understands what it's like to grow up unwanted—to be raised by a mother who never intended to have a child. So when Mandy becomes pregnant, one thing she's sure of is that she wants a better life for her baby. It's harder to be sure of herself. Will she ever find someone to care for her, too?

As their worlds change around them, Jill and Mandy must learn to both let go and hold on, and that nothing is as easy—or as difficult—as it seems.

My Thoughts::
I don't normally read books like this. I mostly aim for the unbelievable and extraordinary circumstances of dystopians, disasters, and the paranormal. But a couple of years ago, this kind of book was my favorite, so I decided to delve into one again to see how it is.

Throughout the book I greatly preferred one character, and point of view, greater. The girls viewed each other so differently than who they really were, it was surprising. I easily got annoyed at Jill for how she judged Mandy and how relentless and stubborn she was even when it was obvious that she was wrong. I also got annoyed at Mandy because she sounded very preachy at times, as if she knew the answers to everything. Mandy's character bothered me the most, but she also influenced and impacted me the most.

The reason why I don't read this kind of book a lot anymore, is because I enjoy a lot of action, suspense, and mystery while reading. Surprisingly, I had some of this with this novel. But instead of it all being outward, the suspense and mystery were about the characters and their feelings. Because of this I wasn't bored. I had to work and pay attention to really get to know the characters, they weren't shallow and transparent like I've encountered before. Several characters in this novel developed and changed by the time I finished and by then I liked them all.

This book made me think about how I judge people when I first meet them. Just like Jill judged Mandy without knowing anything about her background or the things that she went through. You can't pass judgements on people before you know them. I also thought about how hard it would be to become a teen mother, or have a parent pass away.

Overall I think that How to Save a Life was an interesting read that wasn't afraid to address some serious issues such as death and teen pregnancy. I'd recommend this book to Sarah Dessen fans or just those who like novels that have some twists and turn which we often see in life.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

This week the books that I'm waiting on are...

ExtraNormal by Suze Reese-- January

Mira Johns is pretty much like any other teenage girl. Except that she knows how to harness electro-magnetic energy to communicate without words. And she's really, really far from home. Her assignment as an emissary to Earth sounds fairly simple: blend in, observe, and stay away from the planet’s primitive males. But after she finds one mysterious boy too irresistible for stupid rules, she realizes the real reason she's supposed to keep her distance: mates from her world can die if separated. But a series of serious accidents make it clear that someone wants to force her return. Mira decides her only hope is to uncover the truth to why she, the most mediocre of candidates, was actually chosen for this assignment—before the agency discovers her secret and sends her back home.

The Lost Code by Kevin Emerson-- May 22nd

The ozone is ravaged, ocean levels have risen, and the sun is a daily enemy. But global climate change is not something new in the Earth’s history.

No one will know this better than less-than-ordinary Owen Parker, who is about to discover that he is the descendant of a highly advanced ancient race—a race that took their technology too far and almost destroyed the Earth in the process.

Now it is Owen’s turn to make right in his world what went wrong thousands of years ago. If Owen can unlock the lost code in his very genes, he may rediscover the forgotten knowledge of his ancestry…and that less-than-ordinary can evolve into extraordinary.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: On My Shelf Longest and Have Yet To Be Read

Top Ten Tuesdays is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's top ten is....

Top Ten Books That Have Been On My Shelf For The Longest But I've Never Read. In no particular order....

1. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
2. Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken
3. Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver
4. Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
5. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
6. Legend by Marie Lu
7. Shelter by Harlan Coben
8. Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey
9. Over the Moon by Diane Daniels
10. Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle

Monday, November 14, 2011

To the Cinema! #8

This post is similar to a Waiting on Wednesday post, but will only feature MOVIES that I am excited about releasing. I will include trailers for your viewing pleasure. I'll probably only do this monthly so it doesn't push out reviews that I need to post.


The Darkest Hour

Underworld Awakening 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

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. In My Mailbox was inspired by Alea and turned into a meme by Kristi.

Nothing this week...but I'll be looking extra hard at your mailboxes in envy!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Contest Saturday

Here are some contests that are currently going on right now in the blogosphere that book related. Click the links to enter them. I will hold my own contest each month.

Win a copy of Graffiti Moon HERE. Ends 11/20 

Win a copy of Eve HERE. Ends 11/25

Win a copy of The Deepest Cut HERE. Ends 11/28

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Death Cure by James Dashner

Title: The Death Cure (Book #3, The Maze Runner trilogy)
Author: James Dashner
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Acquired: Bought
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 96% or A
Buy It: Amazon

Thomas knows that Wicked can't be trusted, but they say the time for lies is over, that they've collected all they can from the Trials and now must rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission. It's up to the Gladers to complete the blueprint for the cure to the Flare with a final voluntary test.

What Wicked doesn't know is that something's happened that no Trial or Variable could have foreseen. Thomas has remembered far more than they think. And he knows that he can't believe a word of what Wicked says.

The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine.

Will anyone survive the Death Cure?

My Thoughts::
When I read a book, it travels with me. Not physically, but in my thoughts afterward. I'll catch myself thinking about the characters, or what's going to happen next if there is going to be another book. Several of my favorite books have concluded, so I was glad that I still had the Maze Runner trilogy to think about. But now it's over.

The trilogy contained so many twists and turns, and such amazing moments! I feel as if Dashner did his best to ensure that readers felt like they were one of the Gladers. I found myself feeling massive amounts of mistrust towards people that I've never met! This mistrust was built up over time, but their arguments were still so convincing and...necessary...that I too wanted to give in and believe them. Even after I finished, I felt a lingering feeling of doubt. This book really makes you paranoid and skeptical about everything you're told in it. This, let me tell you, makes for a very wild read.

By this point we've been with these characters for a while. Though there are only 2 main characters, I felt as if there were more. I was affected greatly while reading this book when some certain characters died. While one is expected, the other is a huge surprise. I became attached to most of the characters along the way, and after seeing so many die, I found myself grasping on harder.

Overall I think that this trilogy was simply amazing. They never lacked in action, mysteries, surprises, or conspiracies. The ending might have been a bit too perfect, but they deserved it after all that they have been through. I would recommend this book along with the two preceding it to anyone who loves dystopian novels or just someone in the mood for a literary adventure.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 95% or A
Buy It: Amazon

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

My Thoughts:: 
I will admit, when I accepted this book for review I thought that I wouldn't like it. I read the synopsis and was only slightly interested. Lately things with a mystical nature bore and annoy me, but I was willing to take the chance and hope that this book would prove me wrong.

Once I started reading and learned more about the story, I got very interested, extremely fast. The reality of wishes in the book made me never want to put it down. The plot was very complex and never left me bored. My mind was constantly thinking and trying to work out the mysteries that were put before me. To me that makes a book so much better, when you actually have to and WANT to spend a generous amount of time pondering the complexities and mysteries of a novel. It must be hard for authors to continue to try and bring something new to the table, but Taylor accomplished this.

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I'm a stickler when it comes to characters, and that's where a lot of the books that I review lose points. I get annoyed by characters easily which can quickly ruin a book for me. Fortunately, these characters were pretty tolerable. Taylor did a great job of developing the characters naturally, so even though some romance was involved, I wouldn't say that anything seemed rushed or fake.

The only thing that I really wanted to do after finishing this book was to read the next one! There is no way that there can't be a sequel. This novel was a great opening to more books. A lot of times authors tend to drag out a story so it turns into a trilogy, but you won't have to worry with this one.

Overall I had a great time reading this book especially about its original ideas and thought provoking storyline. I'd recommend it to believers in magic, or just those who appreciate a book that brings something new to the table.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

The books that I am waiting on this week are...

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins-- May 1st

What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences? This is life for sons and daughters of fallen angels in Sweet Evil.

Anna, a tender-hearted southern girl, was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger,but it isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage, and her will-power is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

A cross-country trip forces Anna and Kai to face the realitythat hope and love are not options for their kind. When it's time for Anna to confront her demons, will she choose to embrace her halo or her horns?

Shadows Cast by Stars by Catherine Knutsson-- June 5th

Two hundred years from now, the great cities of the west coast of the United Americas are under water. Blood has become the most valuable commodity on the planet – especially the blood of aboriginal peoples, for it contains antigens that protect them from the plagues that ravage the rest of the world.

Sixteen year old Cassandra Mecredi might be aboriginal by blood, but without a totem animal, she cannot make sense of her visions or walk the paths of the spirit world. When her family is forced to leave their reservation, they flee east to the Island: a mysterious and idyllic territory free from the depredations of industry and sickness and under the control of the Band, a group of guerrilla warriors. There, Cassandra will become the apprentice to a wise woman, fall in love, and find her destiny when the creatures of spirit claim her as their own. For the spirit world is angry... and they have chosen Cassandra to be their voice and instrument

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Read That Were Out of My Comfort Zone

Top Ten Tuesdays is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's top ten is....

Ten Books That I Read That Were Outside Of My Comfort Zone (whether I liked them or not). In no particular order...

1. The Plague by Albert Camus
2. Centuries of June by Keith Donohue
3. Such a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster
4. Wicked by Gregory Maguire
5. The Debs by Susan McBride
6. A Scattered Life by Karen McQuestion
7. Perfect on Paper by Maria Murnane
8. Fade to Blue by Sean Beaudoin
9. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru Tanigawa
10. I Am J by Cris Beam

Monday, November 7, 2011


Title: Cyberbully
Director: Charles Binamé
Writer: Teena Booth
Starring: Emily Osment, Kay Panabaker and Meaghan Rath
Grade: 78% or C+

My Thoughts::
When I first saw the previews for this movie on abc family, I was interested but our cable situation at the time was sketchy, and I didn't care enough to concoct a scheme to be able to watch it. Instead, I totally forget about it until I'm flipping threw the new arrivals on netflix.I was tired of trying to choose a movie, so I picked this one.

I wasn't expecting the movie to be that good because of the fact that it's a made for tv movie, but I often enjoy lifetime movies, so I wasn't too down on it. After about 30 minutes in, I was hooked. There were no more bathroom breaks for me. Taylor was such a real and average character that I think any teenage girl, or even boy, could relate to in some way. She was nice, funny, and funny, but also insecure and found herself lingering on what other people thought of her. If you didn't identify with Taylor, then you most likely identified with one of her friends...or even the bullies. The writers of this movie obviously wanted the viewers to see all kinds of people in this situation.

We all know that cyber-bullying occurs, but it's easy to ignore it and pretend that it doesn't. This movie was a real eye opener. Sure, at times it got a little to lecture and lesson intense. It was obviously trying to give teens ways to solve the problem, and the mom was running around talking about the law. That stuff got a bit annoying, but it was probably helpful to those who needed to hear it. Even though I really liked the characters and who they were, the actors did a less than stellar job. The emotions felt pretty false and the "mean girls" were laughable. Only Taylor and her mom seemed to pull it together.

Overall I liked the movie for what it was trying to do, even if they rubbed it in too hard and the acting could have been better. I would recommend this movie to people who think bullying is a thing of the past.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Winner: Destined

And the winner of Destined is....

Erin @ Let's Evaluate

Congrats Erin! I have already e-mailed you. If you don't reply within 48 hours a new winner will be chosen.

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. In My Mailbox was inspired by Alea and turned into a meme by Kristi.

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Lennie plays second clarinet in the school orchestra and has always happily been second fiddle to her charismatic older sister, Bailey. Then Bailey dies suddenly, and Lennie is left at sea without her anchor. Overcome by emotion, Lennie soon finds herself torn between two boys: Bailey's boyfriend, Toby, and Joe, the charming and musically gifted new boy in town. While Toby can't see her without seeing Bailey and Joe sees her only for herself, each offers Lennie something she desperately needs. But ultimately, it's up to Lennie to find her own way toward what she really needs-without Bailey. A remarkable debut novel perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Francesca Lia Block.

My Life Undecided by Jessica Brody


Okay, maybe that was a bit melodramatic, but I’m sorry, I’m feeling a bit melodramatic at the moment. 

Here’s the deal. My name is Brooklyn Pierce, I’m fifteen years old, and I am decisionally challenged. Seriously, I can’t remember the last good decision I made. I can remember plenty of crappy ones though. Including that party I threw when my parents were out of town that accidentally burned down a model home. Yeah, not my finest moment, for sure. 

But see, that’s why I started a blog. To enlist readers to make my decisions for me. That’s right. I gave up. Threw in the towel. I let someone else decide which book I read for English. And whether or not I accepted an invitation to join the debate team from that cute-in-a-dorky-sort-of-way guy who gave me the Heimlich maneuver in the cafeteria. (Note to self: chew the melon before swallowing it.) I even let them decide who I dated! 

Well, it turns out there are some things in life you simply can’t choose or have chosen for you—like who you fall in love with. And now everything’s more screwed up than ever. 

Red Heart Tattoo by Lurlene McDaniel
The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls by Julie Schumacher
 Don't You Wish by Roxanne St.Claire

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Contest Saturday

Here are some contests that are currently going on right now in the blogosphere that book related. Click the links to enter them. I will hold my own contest each month.

Win a copy of Anna Dressed in Blood HERE. Ends TODAY

Win a copy of Next Door Boys HERE. Ends 11/7

Win a copy of Damage HERE. Ends 11/8

Win a copy of Dark Inside HERE. Ends 11/8

Win a copy of Frost HERE. Ends 11/8

Win a copy of The Silence of Murder HERE. Ends 11/8

Win a copy of Everything We Ever Wanted HERE. Ends 11/9

Win a copy of Graffiti Moon HERE. Ends 11/20

Friday, November 4, 2011

Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

Title: Shut Out
Author: Kody Keplinger
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 88% or B+
Buy It: Amazon

Most high school sports teams have rivalries with other schools. At Hamilton High, it's a civil war: the football team versus the soccer team. And for her part,Lissa is sick of it. Her quarterback boyfriend, Randy, is always ditching her to go pick a fight with the soccer team or to prank their locker room. And on three separate occasions Randy's car has been egged while he and Lissa were inside, making out. She is done competing with a bunch of sweaty boys for her own boyfriend's attention.

Lissa decides to end the rivalry once and for all: She and the other players' girlfriends go on a hookup strike. The boys won't get any action from them until the football and soccer teams make peace. What they don't count on is a new sort of rivalry: an impossible girls-against-boys showdown that hinges on who will cave to their libidos first. And Lissa never sees her own sexual tension with the leader of the boys, Cash Sterling, coming.

My Thoughts::
After reading The DUFF by Keplinger, I didn't hesitate to accept this book for review and see what else she had in store. The summary seemed interesting, but it turned out to be so much more than that.

What I find to be liking most about Keplinger's writing is her subject choice. People always say that writing about abuse and eating disorders is impressive because the subject is controversial. I think this is true, but I never cared all that much. It's hard to identify and share feelings with a character that is going through something that you can't even imagine going through. That's what makes Keplinger's work so interesting. She keeps controversial subjects that other authors try not to go near (with this book, sex), which opens the viewing circle to so many other girls having the same doubts and feelings.

Every single character in this book pissed me off at one point or another. Though, it wasn't entirely because of what they were saying, doing, or thinking. It was because I could see myself doing those things as well. Keplinger made sure to create a group of characters that showcase all of our insecurities and problems..and sometimes? It's hard to look. Even after all of that, I grew to really feel for the characters, especially Lissa who was so entirely witty.

The plot was pretty original and interesting, though it became predictable. Any regular reader would be able to tell when something was about to happen, good or bad, and even identify what that bad thing would be.

Overall I gained a lot of insight and confidence after reading Shut Out, even though the plot got a bit predictable. I'd recommend this book to anyone who's brave enough to read about teen sex or just wants a boy vs. girl read.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

October in Review

I read 10 books this month (you can check them all out in read in 2011 page)
I reviewed 8:
Circle of Fire by Michelle Zink
Girl Parts by John M. Cusick
Night World No. 2 by L.J. Smith
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Winter Town by Stephen Emond
The Shattering by Karen Healey
Sweetly by Jackson Pearce
All These Things I've Done

I reviewed 0 movies this month:

Challenges so far:
I listened to 4/6 audio books for the 2011 audio book challenge

I read 70/100 books towards my personal goal

Blog Changes:

I added a few buttons from blogs that I frequently read, and started thinking about and planning my 2012 blog revamp.

Overall: I'm doing consistently well with the blog! I am so happy that I'm keeping this up. For November I plan on listening to another audio book and getting to 85/100 books read.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

The books that I am waiting on this week are...

The Edumacation of Jay Baker-- January 31st

Meet Jay Baker . . . or, as he is not-so-affectionately called by his opponent in the freshman class presidential election (and by members of the high school football team): Gay Baker.

A few important things to know about Jay:
1. He is in love with his best friend, cheerleading dynamo Cameo “Appearance” Parnell. 
2. He is rocking an unfortunate case of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
3. He has the largest storehouse of pop culture references, jokes, and puns in the history of fifteen-year-olds.
4. He is about to uncover a horrifying family secret that will turn his world upside down.

Root for Jay as he faces off against his mortal enemy, gets awkward around his dream girl, loses himself in a Bermudan love triangle, watches his parents’ relationship implode in a series of Maury Povich-inspired events, and, finally, learns to get real and be himself.

When the Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellisen-- February 28th

In sixteen-year-old Felicita’s world, magic is strictly controlled—or so those in power like to believe. After her dearest friend, Ilven, kills herself to escape an arranged marriage, Felicita chooses freedom over privilege. She fakes her own death and leaves her sheltered life as one of Pelimburg’s magical elite behind. Living in the slums, scrubbing dishes for a living, she falls for charismatic Dash while also becoming fascinated with vampire Jannik. Then something shocking washes up on the beach: Ilven’s death has called out of the sea a dangerous, wild magic. Felicita must decide whether her loyalties lie with the family she abandoned . . . or with those who would twist this dark power to destroy Pelimburg’s caste system, and the whole city along with it.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Winner: Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

And the winner of The Spooktacular Giveaway Hop (Lily Dale: Awakening) is....

Devyn Dawson

Congrats Devyn! I have already e-mailed you. If you don't reply within 48 hours a new winner will be chosen.

Make sure to enter my Destined giveaway HERE.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Felt Strongly About

Top Ten Tuesdays is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's top ten is....
Top Ten Books I Had VERY Strong Emotions About (cry, laugh, hurl across the room, etc.) In no particular order...

1. Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran
2. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
3. Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
4. This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer
5. Burned by Ellen Hopkins
6. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
7. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
8. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
9. Me & Emma by Elizabeth Flock
10. After by Amy Efaw