Monday, April 30, 2012

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Title: I Hunt Killers
Author: Barry Lyga
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 95% or A
Buy It: Amazon
What if the world's worst serial killer...was your dad?

Jasper (Jazz) Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.

But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could--from the criminal's point of view.

And now bodies are piling up in Lobo's Nod.

In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret--could he be more like his father than anyone knows?
My Thoughts::
I love creepy. I really do. I like books that make me think about things in a different way and just bring up ideas that aren't commonly touched upon. When I read the description for this book I knew I wanted to read it because I never saw anything like it before. Besides, I love Criminal Minds, so this was kind of similar. You get to look through the eyes and go through the mind of a killer.

The plot was more exciting than I thought it would be. I just thought it would be gruesome or violent. Instead it was investigative and thought provoking. It really did feel like I was watching a crime show. The entire time you're just as in the dark as the other characters are and you're trying to put all of the clues together. I love it when a book makes my mind work. There were plenty of twists and surprises to keep the book even more intense.

Jasper had a dynamic personality. There were several sides to him that are all trying to coincide which adds another dimension to the book. I felt so bad for Jasper and all he is struggling with. The little flashbacks that we get were both super creepy and a way to get to know Jasper's dad.

There was so much about this book that I liked. The characters were amazing, though not all were very much fleshed out besides Jasper and his dad, but I can hope for a sequel right? I want more of Howie!!! Awesome best friend is awesome! Lyga did a great job of giving us just enough information about outside characters to make us suspicious and add to the mystery.

Overall I think I Hunt Killers was a clever book and a mind sharpening read.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

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.

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

St. Vladimir's Academy isn't just any boarding school–it's a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They've been on the run, but now they're being dragged back to St. Vladimir's–the very place where they're most in danger. Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy's ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi–the world's fiercest and most dangerous vampires–make Lissa one of them forever.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Contest Saturday

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

 Win a copy of Glass Houses HERE. Ends TODAY

Win a copy of Dear Dylan HERE. Ends 4/30

Win a copy of Elemental HERE. Ends 4/30

Win a copy of Preloved HERE. Ends 4/30

Win a copy of ReVamped HERE. Ends 5/2

Win the first two books in the Paranormals Series HERE. Ends 5/2

Win a copy of The Selection HERE. Ends 5/5

Win a copy of The Sweetest Spell HERE. Ends 5/5

Win a copy of The Selection HERE. Ends 5/7

Win a copy of Mostly Good Girls HERE. Ends 5/10

Win a copy of Dark Inside HERE. Ends 5/11

Win a copy of The Immortal Rules HERE. Ends 5/11

Win a copy of Girl Unmoored HERE. Ends 5/15

Friday, April 27, 2012

Belles by Jen Calonita

Title: Belles
Author: Jen Calonita
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 83% or B-
Buy It: Amazon
Fifteen-year-old Isabelle Scott loves her life by the boardwalk on the supposed wrong side of the tracks in North Carolina. But when tragedy strikes, a social worker sends her to live with a long-lost uncle and his preppy privileged family. Isabelle is taken away from everything she's ever known, and, unfortunately, inserting her into the glamorous lifestyle of Emerald Cove doesn't go so well. Her cousin Mirabelle Monroe isn't thrilled to share her life with an outsider, and, in addition to dealing with all the rumors and backstabbing that lurk beneath their classmates' Southern charm, a secret is unfolding that will change both girls' lives forever.
My Thoughts::
I was a bit reluctant to accept this book for review because it's been a while since I've read a book from this author and I wasn't sure how I felt about her books, and the concept of the book seemed a bit too girly for my taste.

Thankfully the description was a bit misleading. For some reason I thought that debutante southern belles type stuff would be going on. Thankfully there was none of this. I mean, sure the plot WAS a bit typical. How many times have we read a "someone who is my opposite is now suddenly in my immediate area/home" book?  But Calonita was able to make it her own and add a new freshness to the concept.

I liked both characters when usually in cases like this I only like one. Up to a point they were pretty darn stereotypical, but just like the plot, they were shined up and made me look at them in a new way. They were much more dynamic than I expected. I would try to predict what they would do or say, and while sometimes I was right, there were also times that I was wrong. They weren't extremely predictable because they had original characteristics.

At times the book was slow, but there was always an undercurrent of duress from the characters. You were always wondering when this would hit the fan, or when so and so would confront that other person. It might seem that this book is just about the drama and conflict, but it's not. You really get a sense of relying on your friends, people lying to get what they want, and people who use their friends. I like that I learned something at the end without it being obvious at all. I saw what harm was done and knew it was bad. I didn't have to be told.

Overall I think this book has more in store for you than you might expect.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tomorrow Land by Mari Mancusi

Title: Tomorrow Land
Author: Mari Mancusi
Publisher: NLA Digital Liaison Platform LLC
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 76% or C
Buy It: Amazon
Imagine finding your first love, only to be ripped apart by the apocalypse. Peyton Anderson will never forget the day she was forced to make a choice--between her family--and Chris Parker, the boy she'd given her heart. Now, four years later, as she steps from the fallout shelter and into a dead and broken world, he's the only thing on her mind.

All Chris "Chase" Parker wanted was to take Peyton away and keep her safe from harm. But he waited for hours in the rain on judgment day and she never showed--breaking his heart without ever telling him why.

Now the two of them have been thrown together once again, reluctant chaperones to a group of orphan children in a post-apocalyptic world where the dead still walk...and feed. As they begin their pilgrimage to the last human outpost on Earth, can they find a way to let go of old hurts and find the love they lost--all while attempting to save what's left of the human race?
My Thoughts::
This book caught my interest right away because I rarely see apocalypses that are obviously set in the future. I love both of those things so much, so mashing them together seemed like perfection. The cover is less than desirable, but I didn't let that stop me, as covers usually don't.

It was really interesting to read about the character's past from four years ago. The world was so much different. I loved reading about the crazy awesome technology, but I also liked reading and thinking about the consequences that the technology had on society and how it even played a part in the whole apocalypse thing.

I usually enjoy it when books switch character point of views, and I also enjoy when books go back and forth from past to present. But mixing the two together? There was some confusion, but you can easily get used to the pattern. You are wondering the majority of the book why she left him in the rain, and slowly with the flashbacks you find out why. This might sound tedious and slow going, but to me it felt much more like an anticipated reveal.

The characters weren't very steady. Whenever I thought I had them figured out, they would do something that seemed out of character. But I suppose this made them more interesting and unpredictable. They were both so frustrating at times though. I hate all of the "self sacrifice without informing the person who I love" stuff. Ugh! When they weren't annoying me, I really liked them. Especially Chase. The flashback nerdiness was awesome!

Overall I think this was exciting story with pretty good world building and decent characters.

Winner: Showers of Books Giveaway Hop

And the winner of The Showers of Books Giveaway Hop (a copy of Save the Pearls Part One: Revealing Eden) is.....

Tressa S

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

Thanks to everyone who entered!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Characters

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

This week's top ten is...

Top Ten All Time Favorite Characters In Books

This is going to be way too hard! no particular order and the first that come to mind are...

1. Augustus Waters from The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.
2. Dexter from This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen.
3. Derek from The Darkest Powers Series by Kelley Armstrong.
4. Ruby Oliver from The Ruby Oliver Quartet by E. Lockhart.
5. Virginia Shreves from The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler.
6. Miranda from Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer.
7. Four from Divergent by Veronica Roth.
8. Sam Temple from The Gone Series by Michael Grant.
9. Bert Baker from The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen.
10. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

Monday, April 23, 2012


Title: Bridesmaids
Director:  Paul Feig
Writer:  Kristen Wiig, and Annie Mumolo
Starring: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph and Rose Byrne 
Grade: 83% or B-

My Thoughts::
I had no real interest in seeing this movie in theaters when it was out. It just seemed like one of those adult comedies that only those with children or just older in general would laugh at and relate to. But even months and months after it left theaters, I kept hearing about how funny it was. I saw short clips that captured my interest and decided to finally check it out.

Now, first I want to say that I was wrong. The movie was extremely funny and I am a pretty young person. I was able to understand the jokes even though they all weren't always relevant to me. But believe me, most of the jokes would be funny to anyone. There were several scenes where I just cracked up laughing and couldn't stop. I had to do a long wind down laugh.

Comedies usually have trouble keeping a good storyline and plot while still staying funny. This movie did not have that problem. It was pretty predictable, but that didn't matter much. There were a couple of unexpected things though, which was nice.

I really liked the different types of characters and how they are all close friends to the same girl but not with each other. It was interesting seeing how someone is friends with such different people. It also made the movie more funny because they had variating quarks and hilarious personalities. Seeing them interact and clash was even better.

Overall I think the move was pretty freaking funny for anybody, except for probably young children...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

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.

It's Our Prom (So Deal With It) by Julie Anne Peters

When Azure's principal gives her the chance to turn the school's traditional (and boring) senior prom into an event that will appeal to everyone, not just the jocks and cheerleaders, she jumps at the opportunity. Soon Azure manages to convince her best friends, Luke and Radhika, to join the prom committee as well.

Facing heavy opposition and admittedly clueless about prom logistics, the three friends are nonetheless determined to succeed — if Luke's and Azure's secret crushes on Radhika don't push the committee members, and their friendships, to the breaking point first.

Told in two voices and filled with comical missed connections, It's Our Prom (So Deal With It) explores the ups and downs of planning an alternative prom — while dealing with an unrequited crush on your best friend — and shines with National Book Award finalist Julie Anne Peters's unmistakable wit and insight.

Purity by Jackson Pearce
A novel about love, loss, and sex — but not necessarily in that order.

Before her mother died, Shelby promised three things: to listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restraint. Those Promises become harder to keep when Shelby's father joins the planning committee for the Princess Ball, an annual dance that ends with a ceremonial vow to live pure lives — in other words, no "bad behavior," no breaking the rules, and definitely no sex.

Torn between Promises One and Three, Shelby makes a decision — to exploit a loophole and lose her virginity before taking the vow. But somewhere between failed hookup attempts and helping her dad plan the ball, Shelby starts to understand what her mother really meant, what her father really needs, and who really has the right to her purity.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Contest Saturday

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

Win a copy of Breaking Beautiful HERE. Ends 4/22

Win a copy of Holiday Affair HERE. Ends 4/23

Win a copy of The Truth of All Things HERE. Ends 4/23

Win a copy of The Immortal Rules HERE. Ends 4/24

Win a copy of The Last Echo HERE. Ends 4/24

Win a copy of The Summer of Firsts and Lasts HERE. Ends 4/25

Win a copy of Tangled Tides HERE. Ends 4/25

Win a copy of Insurgent HERE. Ends 4/25

Win a copy of Under the Never Sky HERE. Ends 4/26

Win a copy of Glass Houses HERE. Ends 4/28

Win a copy of Dear Dylan HERE. Ends 4/30

Win a copy of Elemental HERE. Ends 4/30

Win a copy of Preloved HERE. Ends 4/30

Win a copy of ReVamped HERE. Ends 5/2

Win a copy of The Selection HERE. Ends 5/5

Win a copy of Mostly Good Girls HERE. Ends 5/10

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Stone Girl by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

Title: The Stone Girl
Author: Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 90% or A-
Buy It: Amazon
She feels like a creature out of a fairy tale; a girl who discovers that her bones are really made out of stone, that her skin is really as thin as glass, that her hair is brittle as straw, that her tears have dried up so that she cries only salt. Maybe that's why it doesn't hurt when she presses hard enough to begin bleeding: it doesn't hurt, because she's not real anymore.

High school senior Sarah Beth (Sethie) Weiss is disciplined. She has never cut a class in her life, has never had a grade below a B+, and has always been a favorite among her teachers. Her college applications are finished and she only ate six Ritz crackers today. But even on days when Sethie needs to eat more, there's always the toilet to make up for her mistakes. Sethie manages to get down to 104, and maybe if she works just a little bit harder, becomes a little more disciplined, she can get below 100. Truth be told, Sethie has more to worry about than her relationship with her body; but the deeper she descends into her disorder, the smaller her world gets and the harder it is to see her way out.
My Thoughts::
Books that dealt with serious issues like this used to be my favorite kind of thing to read. I couldn't really relate to the problems, but I liked being aware of what some people my age are going through. So even now when these books take a back seat to end of the world stories, I still have an interest in them. When I saw this book on netgalley I clicked request right away and was very happy when I was approved.

Stories like this always impress me. Not the fact that the author was brave enough to talk about these issues, even though that IS impressive. But I just love when books can hold my interest just by having interesting characters. Sure, I am the first to admit how much I love action, suspense, and crazy dystopian worlds, I just also love books that can capture your mind just as strongly by having a fleshed out main character that you want to be on this journey with. Who you root for and feel for.

And there WAS action. Just not...running from the corrupt government sort of action. It was emotional action. Sethie felt like she could have been my best friend. We often thought the same way and I could identify with her a lot. The whole book the eating disorder was there, but we were able to almost forget about it during the first half. This gave us time to feel like we were in her shoes, so when things started to spiral, well...they spiraled for us too.

My favorite part of the book would have to be the ending. When Sethie is finally talking to her mom and finally realizes that she hasn't been eating nearly as much as she thought. It was strange to learn this because I thought Sethie was a reliable narrator so when we find out that we were also kind of living in her mind (feeling like she ate a lot, when she barely ate anything) was fascinating and surprising.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Showers of Books Giveaway Hop

 See the rest of the Giveaways HERE.

My Giveaway: I am able to giveaway a copy of Save the Pearls Part One: Revealing Eden by Victoria Foyt. My review is HERE and the summary is below!

Eden Newman must mate before her 18th birthday in six months or she'll be left outside to die in a burning world. But who will pick up her mate-option when she's cursed with white skin and a tragically low mate-rate of 15%? In a post-apocalyptic, totalitarian, underground world where class and beauty are defined by resistance to an overheated environment, Eden's coloring brands her as a member of the lowest class, a weak and ugly Pearl. If only she can mate with a dark-skinned Coal from the ruling class, she'll be safe. Just maybe one Coal sees the Real Eden and will be her salvation her co-worker Jamal has begun secretly dating her. But when Eden unwittingly compromises her father's secret biological experiment, she finds herself in the eye of a storm and thrown into the last area of rainforest, a strange and dangerous land. Eden must fight to save her father, who may be humanity's last hope, while standing up to a powerful beast-man she believes is her enemy, despite her overwhelming attraction. Eden must change to survive but only if she can redefine her ideas of beauty and of love, along with a little help from her "adopted aunt" Emily Dickinson.

To Enter: Fill out THIS FORM by 4/25
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