Sunday, July 31, 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.

Josefina's Sin by Claudia H. Long

When Josefina accepts an invitation from the Marquessa to come stay and socialize with the intellectual and cultural elite in her royal court, she is overwhelmed by the Court’s complicated world. She finds herself having to fight off aggressive advances from the Marquessa’s husband, but is ultimately unable to stay true to her marriage vows when she becomes involved in a secret affair with the local bishop that leaves her pregnant.

Amidst this drama, Josefina finds herself unexpectedly drawn to the intellectual nuns who study and write poetry at the risk of persecution by the Spanish Inquisition that is overtaking Mexico. One nun in particular, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, teaches Josefina about poetry, writing, critical thinking, the nature and consequences of love, and the threats of the Holy Office. She is Josefina’s mentor and lynchpin for her tumultuous passage from grounded wife and mother to woman of this treacherous, confusing, and ultimately physically and intellectually fulfilling world.

Sins of the Mother by Tara Hyland

A SWEEPING FAMILY DRAMA ABOUT MOTHERS, DAUGHTERS, AND THE TENUOUS BONDS THAT HOLD THEM TOGETHER.

Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey

This is an intriguing YA urban fantasy in the tradition of Holly Black and Wicked Lovely. Set in New Zealand, Ellie's main concerns at her boarding school are hanging out with her best friend Kevin, her crush on the mysterious Mark, and her paper deadline. That is, until a mysterious older woman seems to set her sights on Kevin, who is Maori, and has more than just romantic plans for him. In an effort to save him, Ellie is thrown into the world of Maori lore, and eventually finds herself in an all-out war with mist dwelling Maori fairy people called the patupaiarehe who need human lives to gain immortality.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Contest Saturday

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

Win four books HERE. Ends 7/31

Win a book from a choice of 8 HERE. Ends 7/31

Win a $1o Amazon gift card HERE. Ends 7/31

Win a copy of Settling HERE. Ends 8/1

Win a copy of Inside Out and Outside In HERE. Ends 8/1

Win movie tickets for two and possibly a book HERE. Ends 8/1

Win a One Day prize pack HERE. Ends 8/1

Win a copy of Wildfire HERE. Ends 8/1

Win a copy of Stargazer HERE. Ends 8/5

Win a copy of The DUFF HERE. Ends 8/5

Win a copy of Love Story HERE. Ends 8/5

Win a copy of Incognito HERE. Ends 8/7

Win your up to four books HERE. Ends 8/11

Friday, July 29, 2011

Giveaway: The Shamra Chronicles (3 books!) + A writing journal!

I am hosting a giveaway for the three books in the Shamra Chronicles by Barry Hoffman, as well as a writing journal. Here is the description of the first book, Curse of the Shamra:

When the peaceful and isolated land of the Shamra is invaded and its people enslaved, a young Shamra girl named Dara must lead a ragtag resistance to defeat the enemy. But even as she fights the invaders, Dara grapples with self-doubt and is criticized by her own people for being outspoken and different.

Venturing into uncharted territory to seek allies, Dara encounters unusual creatures and dangerous lands. But is her rebellious spirit enough to help her overcome the patriarchal and oppressive rules of her own people and convince them that she is the only hope the Shamra have to regain their freedom?


The Rules::
  • You must be 13 or older.
  • Please allow about 3 weeks to receive your prize.
  • US only.
  • I will e-mail the winners and also post the winners on the blog. If the winner does not reply within 48 hours a new winner will be chosen.
  • Ends 8/21
For Extra Entries special for this contest:: Bold
Follow Barry Hoffman's blog at http://shamrachronicles.com/blog/

Sign up to receive the bi-monthly Shamra Chronicles newsletter: http://shamrachronicles.com/join-our-mailing-list/

ENTER HERE

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Look Inside

A Look Inside is a post where I give you a couple of quotes from a book that I've read and enjoyed!

This week's book is The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

"She will not be simple and sweet.
She will not be what people tell her she should be."

"Secrets are more powerful when people know you've got them."

"There will be all these fifty-year-old women wearing hot pants and squeezing themselves into pretzel shapes and then there will be me. Just reaching for my toes like they're China. 'Hello there! You're so far away, I can't get to you! Can you even hear me?"

"These guys, they were so sure of their places in life--so deeply confident of their merit and their future--they didn't need any kind of front at all."

"Frankie appreciated both the accolades and the rejections equally, because both meant she'd had an impact. She wasn't a person who needed to be liked so much as she was a person who liked to be notorious."

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

Possess by Gretchen McNeil-- August 23rd

Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her over-protective mom, by Matt Quinn, the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, the voices are demons—and Bridget possesses the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from. Literally.

Terrified to tell her friends or family about this new power, Bridget confides in San Francisco’s senior exorcist, Monsignor Renault. The monsignor enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession, but just as she is starting to come to terms with her freakish new role, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons. And when one of her oldest friends is killed, Bridget realizes she’s in deeper than she ever thought possible. Now she must unlock the secret to the demons’ plan before someone else close to her winds up dead—or worse, the human vessel for a demon king.

Nocturne by Christine Johnson--August 23rd

After the tragic events of the summer, Claire wants to worry about nothing but finding the perfect dress for the Autumn Ball, but her worst nightmares come true when someone learns that she is a werewolf, placing everyone she knows at risk.Claire couldn’t be happier that her life has finally settled down. She’s been fully initiated into her family’s pack of female werewolves, her best friend Emily is back in town, and she’s finally allowed to be with Matthew, the human love of her life. But when a new girl arrives, everything starts to unravel. Not only is the intruder getting close to Claire’s best friend and boyfriend, but she may also know more about Claire than she’s letting on. If Claire’s secret gets out it breaks all the rules of the pack, and the consequences may be more than Claire can handle....

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Skyline

Title: Skyline
Director: Colin Strause, Greg Strause
Writer: Joshua Cordes, Liam O'Donnell
Starring: Eric Balfour, Donald Faison, Scottie Thompson
Grade: 80% or B-



Everytime I see a trailer for a movie that is about some sort of alien invasion/attack I have to see it. So when it came out on DVD I added it to my netflix queue.

Like I stated before, I love alien invasion movies. The only thing that I dislike is the repetitiveness. The aliens are always bad, attacking the people, survivors of initial attack are trying to escape/get away from the aliens, and a lot of people die, usually only leaving one or two of the initial survivors. This routine was the same with this movie. Though, to be fair, the way that the aliens abducted and controlled people was pretty cool and added an original element. Usually one of the things that bothers me with this type of movie is that it is rarely explained why the aliens are there/what they want. It was the same with this movie, but it DOES show what looks like the aliens eating or harvesting human brains, which is my only guess as to why they are there.

The characters were decent but pretty stereotypical and irrational at times. All of the characters were characters that are in all movies of this kind; screamy girl, stupid annoying girl, guy with the ideas, and guy who keeps freaking out. It was no surprise who died. The ending was really interesting and left me thinking about what happens next. I would definitely watch a sequel if they made one. Unfortunately, I don't think this movie did very well as is common with alien movies.

Overall the characters were predictable and unoriginal as was some of the plot, though the few original points were very interesting and the ending was great. I'd recommend this movie to alien lovers, or to someone who just likes an action flick.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Thirteen Days to Midnight by Patrick Carman

Title: Thirteen Days to Midnight
Author: Patrick Carman
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 87% or B+
Buy It: Amazon

Y
ou are indestructible. These are the words that transfer an astonishing power to Jacob Fielding... and it changes everything. After all, there's something addictive about testing the limits of fear, experiencing the thrill of walking through fire, or saving your friend from a beating in front of the whole school.

Then Ophelia James, the beautiful and daring new girl in town, suggests that they use the power to do good, to save others at risk of death. But with every heroic act, the power grows into the specter of a curse. How to decide who lives and who dies? And why does darkness seem to be chasing them? Jacob only has thirteen days to figure out how to harness this terrifying power... and the answer is chilling: What if he has to kill the one he loves to save her?

My Thoughts::
I put off reading this book for so long. Whenever I would organize my to read pile, it was always in the front. But for some reason I kept skipping around it. I think I forgot what the plot was and just decided to avoid it altogether. I finally tackled it during the readathon, and I am so glad that I did!

I felt like the plot was always evolving in this book. It was fun to see the character's motives and ideas changed as the situation grew more strange and dangerous. Sometimes I felt like they figured out the answers to their problems too easily. Like the solution fell in their lap. Fortunately there were a lot of problems to work through so this happening a few times just sped the book along in most cases without annoying me.

I really liked all of the main characters as well as the others that we were introduced to. The only time when I began to dislike a character it was completely intentional on the author's part and fully explained later. I wasn't able to connect with the characters, but that was okay. The relationships between the characters seemed pretty natural and grew nicely. Though I was a but uneasy with how fast Ophelia and Jacob got together.

I'm not really into superhero books so this was the first one I read in over a year. I think that it took an original take on a tired out idea. I really liked that the origin and complete history was never explained. It only took us as far back as it reasonably could without it getting too far out and unbelievable. I also liked how the power also came with consequences, that were not only interesting, but made sense as well.

Sunday, July 24, 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.

For Birthday

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

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.

Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle

The weather outside is frightful, but these stories are delightful! When a huge blizzard (that doesn't show signs of stopping) hits, Gracetown is completely snowed in. But even though it's cold outside, things are heating up inside, proving that the holiday season is magical when it comes to love. In three wonderfully (and hilariously!) interconnected tales, YA stars John Green, Lauren Myracle, and Maureen Johnson create a must-have collection that captures all the spirit of the holiday season.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Contest Saturday

Here are some contests that are currently going on right now. Click the links to enter them. I will hold my own contest each month. My next contest is planned to be on July 29th!

Win a copy of The Immortality Virus HERE. Ends 7/25

Win a copy of Wildfire HERE. Ends 7/25

Win two of six summer reads HERE. Ends 7/28

Win a copy of Dark Parties HERE. Ends 7/29

Win four books HERE. Ends 7/31

Win a book from a choice of 8 HERE. Ends 7/31

Win a $1o Amazon gift card HERE. Ends 7/31

Win a copy of Settling HERE. Ends 8/1

Win a copy of Inside Out and Outside In HERE. Ends 8/1

Win movie tickets for two and possibly a book HERE. Ends 8/1

Win a copy of Stargazer HERE. Ends 8/5

Win a copy of The DUFF HERE. Ends 8/5

Win your up to four books HERE. Ends 8/11

Friday, July 22, 2011

Huntress by Malinda Lo

Title: Huntress
Author: Malinda Lo
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 90% or A-
Buy It: Amazon

Nature is out of balance in the human world. The sun hasn't shone in years, and crops are failing. Worse yet, strange and hostile creatures have begun to appear. The people's survival hangs in the balance.

To solve the crisis, the oracle stones are cast, and Kaede and Taisin, two seventeen-year-old girls, are picked to go on a dangerous and unheard-of journey to Tanlili, the city of the Fairy Queen. Taisin is a sage, thrumming with magic, and Kaede is of the earth, without a speck of the otherworldly. And yet the two girls' destinies are drawn together during the mission. As members of their party succumb to unearthly attacks and fairy tricks, the two come to rely on each other and even begin to fall in love. But the Kingdom needs only one huntress to save it, and what it takes could tear Kaede and Taisin apart forever.

My Thoughts::
It's been over a year since I've read Ash, and I remembered liking it, but not many of the details. That is probably why it took me so long to decide to read Huntress. I really wish I would have read it sooner so I could have shared it with you earlier this summer. For some reason I expected something different than what I got..Which is my fault for not reading the summary for over 3 months.

In my opinion, every fantasy book should take place in the far past. It makes it so much more interesting and..just..more magical. There are so many fantasy novels popping up everywhere, but ones like Huntress are of a better breed. Another thing that I really liked about this book, is that even though they are in a world where magic exists, not every single part of the plot was about the magic. Even better, there was romance but it took shape throughout the entire novel. So it was actually developed and cute and not rushed, fake, and annoying.

The setting was beautiful. I could imagine that I was also on this journey with Kaede and Taisin. At times Kaede would annoy me. I understood why she felt bad for killing, but that was all she thought about even though she would have died if she hadn't killed. And then randomly she would act all normal again.

Lately I've been having trouble connecting to characters. For once this wasn't a problem in this book. I loved most every character but especially Kaede and Taisin. My heart was pumping at every moment knowing what would eventually happen and trying to figure out why. I was almost sure that something horrible would happen. And I was right. It's rare to find a book where you can see yourself in every characters, but I could here. It was amazing.

Huntress was an absolute page turner and a great explanation as to why a Huntress exists in Ash. I could not put this book down and I would love it if another book could be written about the same world. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed Ash, wants to read about a romance between two girls, or just enjoys books with that fantasy frosting.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Look Inside

A Look Inside is a post where I give you a couple of quotes from a book that I've read and enjoyed!

This week's book is Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

"You love me. Real or not real?"
I tell him, "Real."

"Well, don't expect us to be too impressed. We just saw Finnick Odair in his underwear."

"It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart."

"Fire is catching! And if we burn, you burn with us!"

"I roll my eyes. "So when did I become so special? When they carted me off to the Capitol?"
"No, about six months before that. Right after New Year's. We were in the Hob, eating some slop of Greasy Sae's. And Darius was teasing you about trading a rabbit for one of his kisses. And I realized...I minded."

"But collective thinking is usually short-lived. We're fickle, stupid beings with poor memories and a great gift for self-destruction."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan-- August 9th

Rosalinda Fitzroy has been asleep for sixty-two years when she is woken by a kiss. Locked away in the chemically induced slumber of a stasis tube in a forgotten subbasement, sixteen-year-old Rose slept straight through the Dark Times that killed millions and utterly changed the world she knew. Now, her parents and her first love are long gone, and Rose— hailed upon her awakening as the long-lost heir to an interplanetary empire— is thrust alone into a future in which she is viewed as either a freak or a threat. Desperate to put the past behind her and adapt to her new world, Rose finds herself drawn to the boy who kissed her awake, hoping that he can help her to start fresh. But when a deadly danger jeopardizes her fragile new existence, Rose must face the ghosts of her past with open eyes— or be left without any future at all.

Between by Jessica Warman-- August 2nd

Elizabeth Valchar-pretty, popular, and perfect-wakes up the morning after her eighteenth birthday party on her family's yacht, where she'd been celebrating with her six closest friends. A persistent thumping noise has roused her. When she goes to investigate, what she finds will change everything she thought she knew about her life, her friends, and everything in between. As Liz begins to unravel the circumstances surrounding her birthday night, she will find that no one around her, least of all Liz herself, was perfect-or innocent. Critically acclaimed author Jessica Warman brings readers along on a roller-coaster ride of a mystery, one that is also a heartbreaking character study, a touching romance, and ultimately a hopeful tale of redemption, love, and letting go.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

To the Cinema!! #4

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.

Contagion



Apollo 18



Straw Dogs


Monday, July 18, 2011

Life on Hold by Karen McQuestion

Title: Life on Hold
Author: Karen McQuestion
Publisher: AmazonEncore
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 84% or B
Buy It: Amazon


Gina and Rae Maddox are more like best friends than mother and daughter. Of course, free-spirited Gina’s rambling ways leave her daughter with little opportunity to make any other friends, as they constantly crisscross the country in search of “a fresh start.” But when Gina brings them home to her native Wisconsin, she promises Rae that this time, they’ll stay put...at least until Rae finishes high school. And when Rae begins to make friends at Whitman High, she dares to hope her mother is telling the truth. But then Rae is paired with another new girl, Allison Daly, whose bad attitude and unsettled family life put her at odds with Rae — yet draws her to Gina. When ugly rumors begin to fly about Allison’s past, Rae must choose between distancing herself from the troubled girl or using her own experience as an outcast to help her. The path she takes will not only change Allison’s life, it will affect Rae’s relationship with her mother and her understanding of her place in the world.

My Thoughts::
I procrastinated in reading this book because it just looked like it would be short and not fulfilling, but eventually I decided to read it because it looked quick and I wanted to cram in another book. But I gradually got sucked into the story and ended up enjoying it.

I really liked Rae's story. When I was younger we moved around a lot and I went to a lot of different schools and wasn't able to make friends knowing that I would probably have to leave them behind soon. I felt for Rae because I knew what she was going through. There were several points in the novel that I easily could have become annoyed with Rae, but I didn't because the author kept her away from that path. Her feelings felt genuine. So when she was upset she had a logical reason to be, and showed it in a way that didn't make me want to strangle her. Even though the book was short, I was able to see how she grew as a person without it being rushed or fake feeling. I felt the same way with her mother. At the beginning, I really liked her, like most kids like their friend's moms, but I soon realized that she was a selfish person, but she grew and changed as the book went on.

The idea of the book is really nice and genuine. The surprises with Allison were very unexpected, but looking back, they all also made a lot of sense. It's as if when you find these things out, they fill a hole that once existed in the story. The author did a good job in showing real emotions and actually teaching me a sort of lesson in compassion.

Overall I felt I grew when I read this novel. I would recommend this book to those who like the simplicity of a story without the added themes of sci-fi, dystopias, or fantasy.

Sunday, July 17, 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.

From Giveaway
Thanks BAM Book Reviews!

Over the Moon by Diane Daniels

When seventeen-year-old Tiana moves to Hurricane, Utah, her comfortable world is turned upside down as she traverses the rough waters of adjusting to a small town and new school. Her father insists they were supposed to move here for some unknown, important purpose, and the voice in her head tells her not to argue. After resigning herself to being a miserable outcast, Tiana finds that she is not only accepted by most of the students at her new high school but is also the recipient of unwelcome attention from the opposite sex. But then she meets the mysterious Andrew Martin and is soon Over the Moon crazy about him. Andrew seems to be the perfect boyfriend: protective, tender, good with her parents, and a fabulous kisser. But he also has a few unusual qualities: an intuitiveness that borders on mind reading, a touch that seems to heal, and almost superhuman strength. Tiana marvels at his talents but doesn't seriously consider the implications until she can no longer ignore the clues: Andrew does not belong on Earth. When Andrew admits his true identity, Tiana enters a world previously unknown to her and is plunged into mortal danger as it is Andrew's sworn duty to combat evil, extraterrestrial villains who wish to invade Earth and enslave mankind.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Contest Saturday

Here are some contests that are currently going on right now. Click the links to enter them. I will hold my own contest each month. My next contest is planned to be on July 29th!

Win $15 to the book depository HERE. Ends 7/17

Win two $10 amazon gift certificates HERE. Ends 7/17

Win a $10 for amazon or the book depository HERE. Ends 7/17

Win a copy of Paradise Rules HERE. Ends 7/18

Win a copy of The Forgotten Locket HERE. Ends 7/20

Win a copy of Dark Parties HERE. Ends 7/20

Win $25 to one of three book sources HERE. Ends 7/22

Win a copy of The Immortality Virus HERE. Ends 7/25

Win a copy of Inside Out and Outside In HERE. Ends 8/1

Win two of six summer reads HERE. Ends 7/28

Win a copy of Dark Parties HERE. Ends 7/29

Win four books HERE. Ends 7/31

Win a copy of Settling HERE. Ends 8/1

Win movie tickets for two and possible a book HERE. Ends 8/1

Friday, July 15, 2011

Buried

Title: Buried
Director: Rodrigo Cort├ęs
Writer: Chris Sparling
Starring: Ryan Reynolds
Grade: 92% or A-



The first time that I saw the trailer for this movie, I knew that I would eventually see it. It took a while, but eventually it made it to the top of my netflix queue. The idea of the movie and the simplicity is what reeled me in. It all takes place in a coffin, underground, with one character. It is all story telling and no crazy special effects.

Ryan Reynolds did an amazing job. I've only ever seen him in comedies before, so I had no idea that his acting abilities went so far. He was able to completely capture my emotions and do with them as he wanted. I could feel everything that he was feeling and was left breathless. I was stunned. It might be thought as boring to just watch one person on screen for over an hour, but not in this case. He is caught in such a horrible predicament and you understand his frustrations.

The setting is pretty scary. Most people don't like being in closed spaces, let alone for a long period of time, especially not BURIED UNDERGROUND. I watched this movie with my family and every single one of us felt very claustrophobic. We initially thought that we would almost have to imagine parts of his circumstances, but that didn't happen. We could barely see what was happening because neither could he. He was in a tight space, so that was all we saw. For me that just made it all seem more real. Like it was actually happening to someone that I care about.

The story was incredible. They didn't force things, or make it unbelievable. It seemed pretty plausible, and almost reasonable. I won't give away the ending, but I had no idea what would happen until the very end. Throughout the entire movie our emotions are played with. Our hopes would sky rocket just to be brought back down. I can honestly say that my emotions were on a roller coaster. So many times I was sure he was going to die, and at other times I was equally sure he was going to be saved.

In the end, I just stared at the screen. It was a really great movie in all honesty. But It's hard to recommend when you know what it did to your brain. The acting was superb. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this film.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon Wrap Up

So I'm a little disappointed in myself. I only read 3 out of the 5 that I wanted to finish. So I didn't reach my goal, BUT I did read twice as much as I usually would have, AND I finally finished one of my books for AP. Here are my completed books--

The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
Thirteen Days to Midnight by Patrick Carman

I had 2 posts concerning the Read-a-Thon HERE and HERE (in which I also participated in a day two challenge)

What I hate the most is that I KNOW I could have read more...

I had a lot of fun participating in the read-a-thon. It gave me an incentive to read more faster, and I did. I will definitely participate next year. Actually, I hope someone is doing another read-a-thon this summer..I need to redeem myself!

A Look Inside

A Look Inside is a post where I give you a couple of quotes from a book that I've read and enjoyed!

This week's book is North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley


"Getting lost is just another way of saying 'going exploring."

"That's when it struck me: how gorgeous we all were, even with cellulite (saw a lot of that) and stretch marks, scars and tattoos. Let me just say this, not single body was perfect, not even the fittest of women there."

"My confidence was of the hothouse variety, carefully cultivated under highly regulated conditions. One wrong look, one mean comment, and my facade would wither."

"There is real comfort in being quiet."

"Safe, I decided, didn't leave much room for fun."

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler-- November 21st

It's 1996, and less than half of all American high school students have ever used the Internet.

Emma just got her first computer and an America Online CD-ROM. Josh is her best friend.

They power up and log on and discover themselves on Facebook, fifteen years in the future.

Everybody wonders what their destiny will be. Josh and Emma are about to find out

Want to Go Private? by Sarah Darer Littman-- August 1st

Abby and Luke chat online. They've never met. But they are going to. Soon.

Abby is starting high school--it should be exciting, so why doesn't she care? Everyone tells her to "make an effort," but why can't she just be herself? Abby quickly feels like she's losing a grip on her once-happy life. The only thing she cares about anymore is talking to Luke, a guy she met online, who understands. It feels dangerous and yet good to chat with Luke--he is her secret, and she's his. Then Luke asks her to meet him, and she does. But Luke isn't who he says he is. When Abby goes missing, everyone is left to put together the pieces. If they don't, they'll never see Abby again.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon (#2)

So far I've finished A Separate Peace and Thirteen Days to Midnight. I expected more from A Separate Peace and was surprisingly pleased with Thirteen Days to Midnight.

I plan to read The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson today, and read my last two books tomorrow. Mayyybe I'll start one tonight. It depends if anything comes up.

I decided to do a day two mini-challenge hosted by The Bookish Type. In this challenge I have to write a fake synopsis based solely on the cover of a book in my readathon book pile. I decided to do this for...The Last Little Blue Envelope!


Elizabeth has been decorating cakes for years, but when she gets a complaint about missing a little blue envelope decorative topping, she loses her job. Elizabeth packs her bags and sets off on a world wide protest of all things blue and envelopey. She's fed up with all of this nonsense and isn't coming home until cake decorators get a bit more wiggle room in the topping department.

That was so fun! I probably won't be updating until my last post telling you my final book tally, unless I see a cool challenge tomorrow that I really want to participate in.

Wiches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz

Title: Witches of East End
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Publisher: Hyperion
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 88% or B+

The three Beauchamp women--Joanna and her daughters Freya and Ingrid--live in North Hampton, out on the tip of Long Island. Their beautiful, mist-shrouded town seems almost stuck in time, and all three women lead seemingly quiet, uneventful existences. But they are harboring a mighty secret--they are powerful witches banned from using their magic. Joanna can resurrect people from the dead and heal the most serious of injuries. Ingrid, her bookish daughter, has the ability to predict the future and weave knots that can solve anything from infertility to infidelity. And finally, there's Freya, the wild child, who has a charm or a potion that can cure most any heartache.

For centuries, all three women have been forced to suppress their abilities. But then Freya, who is about to get married to the wealthy and mysterious Bran Gardiner, finds that her increasingly complicated romantic life makes it more difficult than ever to hide her secret. Soon Ingrid and Joanna confront similar dilemmas, and the Beauchamp women realize they can no longer conceal their true selves. They unearth their wands from the attic, dust off their broomsticks, and begin casting spells on the townspeople. It all seems like a bit of good-natured, innocent magic, but then mysterious, violent attacks begin to plague the town. When a young girl disappears over the Fourth of July weekend, they realize it's time to uncover who and what dark forces are working against them.

My Thoughts::
I've never read a book by this author before. Of course I've heard of them, and they sounded interesting, but not enough for me to go out and buy them right away. So I went into this book with a clear head and few expectations.

This book obviously took place in the same world in which the Blue Bloods books take place. Which, actually makes me want to read them. The town sounded to beautiful, and everything was described to nicely, without it being overwhelming.

The characters were pretty amazing. Usually when a book tries to focus on more than two narrators things feel rushed and transparent, but not here. Three narrators worked perfectly. At first I was worried about the mom being one of the narrators, thinking that she would be the most boring, or that I wouldn't be able to identify with her as easily, but I was so wrong. All three of our main characters were fantastic. They were all so different, but were also struggling with the same things. I always find it interesting to read books that focus on different members of a family, and see what their dynamic is. Each one of these women were so interesting and compelling. I can not wait to read the next book.

The plot was very good. It didn't put us right in the middle of something big. It just stuck us randomly in this family's life as they are trying to live it. Things definitely happen, so don't think it's boring. But it happens in a way that seems natural, not coincidental or convenient. The story is fleshed out wonderfully and went by way too fast. Once again, I want to read the next book as soon as possible!

The ending was truly amazing. It's a perfect lead up to the next book and keeps your brain thinking about the book. Overall I thought Witches of East End was a fascinating read with great characters. I would recommend this book to anyone with any interest in books with witches.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer of Fear by Lois Duncan

Title: Summer of Fear
Author: Lois Duncan
Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 82% or B-

From the moment Rachel's family takes in her orphaned cousin Julia, strange things start to happen. Rachel grows suspicious but soon finds herself alienated from her own life. Julia seems to have enchanted everyone to turn against her, leaving Rachel on her own to try and prove that Julia is a witch. One thing about Julia is certain-she is not who she says she is, and Rachel's family is in grave danger.

My Thoughts::
When I read the description to a book like this I always get apprehensive. There is no way for a mystery book to include a description without giving a little away. So right when I picked it up I knew what I was basically in for. Unfortunately this made is hard to read. I hate stories where one character gets turned on for no reason and it is someone else's fault why it is happening.

I enjoyed the book but I also had a few problems with it. I couldn't really follow Rachel's train of thought. There wasn't much proof that Julia is a witch until she admits it. Also, a lot of the proof that Rachel did had was way too coincidental and convenient. The truth is though, even though we knew Julia was bad, she wasn't targeting Rachel as much as the description led me to believe. Sure, she did some things to her, but she wasn't actively trying to turn everyone against her.

Julia was a really bad person! Thankfully, she was supposed to be. We're supposed to be hating her along with Rachel and figuring out the whole mystery. The mystery, by the way, is pretty freaking good. I did not expect the outcome of it all, but looking back all of the clues were there. I'm not sure why I didn't figure it out sooner, but I'm glad that I didn't.

The novel flowed pretty well, and dull moments were few and far between. The characters were decent but maybe a little flat. I really liked the epilogue at the end of the book, like I usually do. I'm, not a reader that likes everything left up to my imagination, sometimes I just like to know hat happens next.

Overall I thought that this book was a true mystery that has you rooting for the main character throughout the entire book. I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a short summer mystery that will keep you guessing.

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon (#1)

I'm FINALLY participating in a readathon! I've been lazy lately with my reading, so I really need to catch up. Except me to update at least once more before the end, and participate in some mini-challenges. Here are the books that I would like to read by the end of the 13th!




~A Separate Peace by John Knowles (+the journals I have to write for AP..)
~Thirteen Days to Midnight by Patrick Carman
~The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson
~Happyface by Stephen Emond
~The Plague by Albert Camus (+the journals I have to write for AP..)

My plan is to sleep now, wake up, read a book, shower, and then read more! I'm really excited about reading these books, but I'm not too excited about the journals that I have to write. I love to read, but required reading with assignments? Not so much.

Don't fret if you're not interesting in reading about all of this. I have my regular posts still scheduled to appear. So much stress will melt off of me if I can read these.

Sunday, July 10, 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 still want to know what was in your mailbox!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Contest Saturday

Here are some contests that are currently going on right now. Click the links to enter them. I will hold my own contest on the last day of each month. That means my next contest will be on July 30th (maybe).

Win a copy of Crush Control HERE. Ends 7/12

Win a copy of Hourglass HERE. Ends 7/12

Win a copy of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children HERE. Ends 7/12

Win a copy of Paradise HERE. Ends 7/13

Win a copy of Dead Rules HERE. Ends 7/14

Win a copy of The Day Before HERE. Ends 7/14

Win a copy of Beauty Queens and Luminous HERE. Ends 7/15

Win a copy of Imaginary Girls HERE. Ends 7/15

Win a copy of Paradise Rules HERE. Ends 7/18

Win a copy of The Forgotten Locket HERE. Ends 7/20

Win a copy of Dark Parties HERE. Ends 7/20

Win a copy of The Immortality Virus HERE. Ends 7/25

Win two of six summer reads HERE. Ends 7/28

Friday, July 8, 2011

Bumped by Megan McCafferty

Title: Bumped
Author: Megan McCafferty
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Acquired: Netgalley
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 93% or A-

When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society. Girls sport fake baby bumps and the school cafeteria stocks folic-acid-infused food.

Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and have never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Up to now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend, Zen, who is way too short for the job.

Harmony has spent her whole life in Goodside, a religious community, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to convince Melody that pregging for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.

When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.

My Thoughts::
I requested this book from netgalley sometime near the end of the school year. I thought it looked interesting. About a week or so later my request was accepted, yet I have the same problem as many book bloggers do: it takes so much longer to read an ebook. Mostly because we forget about them, they seem less important, or for some people (like me) we can only read them on our computer. So when I finally got around to reading Bumped I was a little worried and ashamed that I didn't remember it sooner.

But wow was that book amazing. I was able to read the entire book in one sitting because even youtube couldn't distract me long enough. The concept was so original and really thought provoking considering the issues it talks about and how it can relate to how the world is now. Mostly...glorifying teen pregnancies. But with this book it made the world without a choice. There was an ultimatum: teens have babies, or the population will shrink until there is none. McCafferty brought so many ideas, not only with the main concept, but the technology and pro bumping, to the table.

Usually when I read a book with two main characters and alternating chapters, I choose a favorite pretty fast, and that one is Melody. At the beginning it was flip floppy, because they both seemed set in their ways, and both of their ways were wrong to me, but in the end it was Melody who I could most agree with. Melody and Harmony were both strong characters that changed throughout the story and grew in different ways.

Maybe this would be unexpected, but Bumped was also kind of..funny. Could you imagine advertisements promoting teens to get pregnant? About how cool and fertilicious they would become? I cracked up at all of the slogans.

Overall I very much enjoyed the originality of this novel. It shows how far people will go when given the opportunity or excuse. I would recommend this book to teens who are interested in teen pregnancy.

Winner: Freedom Giveaway Hop

And the winner of the Freedom Giveaway Hop (All-American Girl+Ready or Not by Meg Cabot) is...

Jules@OneBookShy

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

If you haven't already, make sure to enter my 200 follower giveaway.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Look Inside: Sloppy Firsts

A Look Inside is a post where I give you a couple of quotes from a book that I've read and enjoyed!

Today's book is Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty

"You can only be in a bad mood for so long before you have to face up to the fact that it isn't a bad mood at all; it's just your sucky personality."

"The minute our correspondence becomes obligatory, there's no point in keeping touch at all."

"The higher my GPA gets the more I realize high school is useless"

"She mailed me a Merry Christmas-I'm-Breaking-Up-with-You card. I'll read it to you," he said. He cleared his throat. "Dear Marcus. Merry Christmas. I'm breaking up with you. Mia."

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

Perfect by Ellen Hopkins-- September 13th

Everyone has something, someone, somewhere else that they’d rather be. For four high-school seniors, their goals of perfection are just as different as the paths they take to get there.

Cara’s parents’ unrealistic expectations have already sent her twin brother Conner spiraling toward suicide. For her, perfect means rejecting their ideals to take a chance on a new kind of love. Kendra covets the perfect face and body—no matter what surgeries and drugs she needs to get there. To score his perfect home run—on the field and off—Sean will sacrifice more than he can ever win back. And Andre realizes to follow his heart and achieve his perfect performance, he’ll be living a life his ancestors would never understand.

Everyone wants to be perfect, but when perfection loses its meaning, how far will you go? What would you give up to be perfect?

Every You, Every Me by David Levithan-- September 13th

In this high school-set psychological tale, a tormented teen named Evan starts to discover a series of unnerving photographs—some of which feature him. Someone is stalking him . . . messing with him . . . threatening him. Worse, ever since his best friend Ariel has been gone, he's been unable to sleep, spending night after night torturing himself for his role in her absence. And as crazy as it sounds, Evan's starting to believe it's Ariel that's behind all of this, punishing him. But the more Evan starts to unravel the mystery, the more his paranoia and insomnia amplify, and the more he starts to unravel himself. Creatively told with black-and-white photos interspersed between the text so the reader can see the photos that are so unnerving to Evan, Every You, Every Me is a one-of-a-kind departure from a one-of-a-kind author.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran

Title: Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution
Author: Michelle Moran
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 88% or B+

The world knows Madame Tussaud as a wax artist extraordinaire . . . but who was this woman who became one of the most famous sculptresses of all time? In these pages, her tumultuous and amazing story comes to life as only Michelle Moran can tell it. The year is 1788, and a revolution is about to begin.

Smart and ambitious, Marie Tussaud has learned the secrets of wax sculpting by working alongside her uncle in their celebrated wax museum, the Salon de Cire. From her popular model of the American ambassador, Thomas Jefferson, to her tableau of the royal family at dinner, Marie’s museum provides Parisians with the very latest news on fashion, gossip, and even politics.

Spanning five years, from the budding revolution to the Reign of Terror, Madame Tussaud brings us into the world of an incredible heroine whose talent for wax modeling saved her life and preserved the faces of a vanished kingdom.

My Thoughts::
It always takes me a little while to get into any historical read. I have to read at least 20 pages before I start to feel like I'm part of this old society. This is the second book by Michelle Moran that I read, and I'm glad that I did. I think what she does is magical. It's like getting a history lesson masked as a novel. I came out of this knowing so much more about the French Revolution. I had to go and rewatch Marie Antoinette because I was feeling nostalgic for these times that I didn't exist it.

I really enjoy how Moran wasn't afraid to show it like it was. She didn't skip around on the strong emotions or gory details. Which I appreciate and think it made the novel so much better. Since I live in the U.S and I'm not a big "map" person, it got a little confusing as too where she was talking about. Some of the dialect that was used I didn't understand either, thankfully there was a glossary. These small confusions were masked by the beauty of the novel. I always talk about how much I love dystopian reads, and while this is not dystopian, it gave me the same feeling. It transported me to a world that was nothing like the one I know, that was dealing was many big issues.

When most people write about the French Revolution, it mostly revolves around the royal family. It was fun to see an outsiders take of what was going on. Madame Tussaud had to think about every single choice wisely because she had to please both the revolutionaries, and the royalists so that her family could stay safe. When she wasn't focusing on the big issues at hand, we got to understand her complete love and devotion for making the wax models and the importance that she thought they had. She seemed like a really interesting person, and I'm glad that I got to experience her in some way.

Even though many conversations and details were made up so the story would flow well, the main events and focus points really happened. I find that amazing and it makes me love history so much more.

Overall I think that Madame Tussaud was an unsurprisingly shocking read. I would recommend it to anyone interested in history, or just a past that they never got to experience.

Monday, July 4, 2011

June in Review

I read 11 books this month (you can check them all out in read in 2011 page)

I reviewed 12:
The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru Tanigawa
Plague by Michael Grant
Shine by Lauren Myracle
Hate List by Jennifer Brown
The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong
Favorite by Karen McQuestion
Forgotten by Cat Patrick
Awakened by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
I Am J by Cris Beam
Divergent by Veronica Roth
The Bent Sword by Stephen Gashler

I reviewed 2 movies this month:
The Island
127 Hours

Challenges so far:

I listened to 3/6 audio books for the 2011 audio book challenge

I read 33/100 books towards my personal goal

Blog Changes:

As you see, I redid the blog design AGAIN. I know I said I wouldn't, but I just wasn't completely happy with the old one. I added a few things to the sidebars concerning challenges and giveaway hops.

Sunday, July 3, 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 created by Alea and turned into a meme by Kristi.

E-books

Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

An electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device, wiping out every computerized system, and killing billions.
Alex hiked into the woods to say good-bye to her dead parents and her personal demons. Now desperate to find out what happened after the pulse crushes her to the ground, Alex meets up with Tom—a young soldier—and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP.

For this improvised family and the others who are spared, it’s now a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human.

Author Ilsa J. Bick crafts a terrifying and thrilling novel about a world that could be ours at any moment, where those left standing must learn what it means not just to survive, but to live amidst the devastation.

What did you get?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Contest Saturday

Here are some contests that are currently going on right now. Click the links to enter them. I will hold my own contest on the last day of each month. That means my next contest will be on July 30th.

Win a copy of The Sweetheart of Prosper County HERE. Ends 7/4

Win a copy of Personal Demons and Original Sin HERE. Ends 7/4

Win a copy of The Goddess Test HERE. Ends 7/5

Win a copy of Clarity HERE. Ends 7/5

Win a $20 book from the book depository HERE. Ends 7/5

Win a copy of Ordinary Beauty HERE. Ends 7/5

Win a copy of Hourglass HERE. Ends 7/5

Win a copy of Revolution HERE. Ends 7/5

Win a copy of Haunting Violet HERE. Ends 7/5

Win a copy of Ashes Ashes HERE. Ends 7/5

Win 3 books from your wishlist HERE. Ends 7/5

Win a copy of A Need So Beautiful HERE. Ends 7/7

Win a birthday prize pack HERE. Ends 7/8

Win a I'm Not Her Prize Basket HERE. Ends 7/8

Win a copy of Crush Control HERE. Ends 7/12

Win a copy of Hourglass HERE. Ends 7/12

Win a copy of Paradise HERE. Ends 7/13

Win a copy of Dead Rules HERE. Ends 7/14

Win a copy of The Day Before HERE. Ends 7/14

Win a copy of Beauty Queens and Luminous HERE. Ends 7/15

Win a copy of Imaginary Girls HERE. Ends 7/15

Win a copy of The Forgotten Locket HERE. Ends 7/20

Win a copy of The Immortality Virus HERE. Ends 7/25

Friday, July 1, 2011

200 Follower Giveaway

First things first, I want to say a big thank you to all of my followers, those who comment, and readers. Without you guys I wouldn't get the opportunities to read such amazing books. Every time that I see I get a new follower, I squeal. It means sooo much to me that people like what I write and are interested in what I have to say.

My three year blogoversary giveaway is also coming up this summer as well, so I won't be able to make this as big as I would like it to be. However, I will give it the opportunity to grow.

The Giveaway::

I have a big pile of books in my room that I set aside just for giveaways. I'm very exciting to let you guys choose the books that you want from my pile!

Two winners will each get two books of their choice from my giveaway pile. When you fill out the form you'll make your choices.

So TWO winners will receive TWO books of their choice from the form, PLUS some bookish swag.

The Rules::
  • This giveaway is to honor my followers. SO old or new, you MUST be a follower to enter.
  • You must be 13 or older.
  • Please allow about 3 weeks to receive your prize.
  • US only (Sorry international followers, I'll be doing a lot of babysitting to pay for this already).
  • I will e-mail the winners and also post the winners on the blog. If the winner does not reply within 48 hours a new winner will be chosen.
  • Ends 7/30
To enter click HERE!!!

ALSO, if I make it to 300 followers, I'll add a surprise book for each winner!