Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Great Book Club Picks

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

This week's top ten is... Top Ten Books I Think Would Make Great Book Club Picks. In no particular order...

1. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
3. Centuries of June by Keith Donohue
4. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
5. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
6. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
7. Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld
8. My Sister's Keeper- Jodi Picoult
9. Cleopatra's Daughter- Michelle Moran
10. Freaks and Revelations- Davida Wills Hurwin

Monday, January 30, 2012

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Title: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Director: Stephen Daldry
Writer:  Eric Roth (screenplay), Jonathan Safran Foer (novel)
Starring: Thomas Horn, Tom Hanks, and Sandra Bullock
Grade: 92% or A-


My Thoughts::
I read this book for my AP class during the summer and had some pretty intense conversations about it at the beginning of the school year. Once we learned that there was going to be a movie made out of it, we made plans to see it once it came out. So that's what we did yesterday. I wanted the movie with my AP English class and our fantastic teacher.

I can now do this review in one of two ways. How the movie was on its own, or how the movie compared with the book. I'm gonna go with a sort of mix but going stronger on the first option. Just let me get a few things off of my chest first. The book had soooo many level of story to tell, but the movie kept it to Oskar, his journey, and the worst day. They totally left out the grandparents story which was crazy emotions for me when I read it! And no "things that happened to me" book? Nooooo. I'm done.

Oskar was so cute and was the perfect casting choice for the character. His look of wonder is just amazing. I think they did a great job casting all of the actors. Sure, Oskar was a little rusty at times, but he was true to the character. Their emotions seemed real instead of pretend and I cried plenty of times along with them.

The journey that Oskar goes on was sad and amazing. You get so in touch and invested in his character, it's crazy. Your heart will cry for him. The entire theater was filled with sobbing and sniffling. But oddly enough, there was also a lot of laughter and humor. Oskar is a clever kid who said some clever stuff!

Overall I think that Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close was extremely emotionally, fantastic, and meaningful even if it wasn't incredibly close to what was in the book.

Sunday, January 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.

For Review:: Thanks to Netgalley, HarlequinTEEN, and Adams Media!!

I Hate You, Kelly Donahue by Mark Svartz

As a little kid, a boy would pinch the girl he liked. As a grown-up, Mark Svartz plans her ultimate demise through a number of twisted murder plots that involve lead pipes, escape routes, and David Hasselhoff. Some guys never grow up.

This book chronicles the eight months, sixteen days, and some-odd hours since Mark first laid eyes on the despicable, wretched wench he's destined to fight to the death. Every note, thought, IM, email, Post-It, and craigslist ad looking for a crime-scene clean-up is meticulously catalogued in Mark's journal.

Is it a diary of a mad man? Or a man madly in love? Who cares? It's seriously messed up. And seriously funny.

Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter

Becoming immortal wasn’t supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she’s as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he’s becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate’s coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans.


As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person who is the greatest threat to her future.

Henry’s first wife, Persephone.

Bought::

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

Saturday, January 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 Eden HERE. Ends 1/29

Win a copy of Beyond HERE. Ends 1/30

Win a copy of In Darkness HERE. Ends 1/30

Win a copy of Under the Never Sky HERE. Ends 1/31

Win a copy of The Way We Fall HERE. Ends 1/31

Win a copy of Bite Me HERE. Ends 2/1

Win a copy of The Miseducation of Cameron Post HERE. Ends 2/1

Win a copy of The Way We Fall HERE. Ends 2/2

Win a copy of Glimmer HERE. Ends 2/10

Win a copy of The Edumacation of Jay Baker HERE. Ends 2/10

Win a copy of the Education of Hailey Kendrick HERE. Ends 2/15

Win a copy of Don't Breathe a Word HERE. Ends 2/20

Win any book from the Mystyx Series HERE. Ends 2/20

Win a copy of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight HERE. Ends 2/21

Win a 2012 book sequel HERE. Ends 3/1

Friday, January 27, 2012

Darkness Falls by Cate Tiernan

Title: Darkness Falls (Immortal Beloved Series #2)
Author: Cate Tiernan
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 84% or B
Buy It: Amazon
Nastasya has lived for hundreds of years, but for some reason, life never seems to get any better. She left her spoiled, rich girl life to find peace at River's Edge, a safe haven for wayward immortals. There, she learned to embrace River's Edge, despite som drama involving the sexy Reyn, who she wants but won't allow herself to have. But just as she's getting comfortable, her family's ties to dark magick force her to leave.

She falls back into her old, hard partying ways, but will her decision lead her into the hands of a dark immortal? Or will it be her first step to embracing the darkness within her?
My Thoughts::
After reading Immortal Beloved I was very curious as to what would happen to Nasty, and everyone else. Especially I was curious if Incy would find her/what would happen if he does. I like Nasty, so I was so happy that I was able to continue reading her story.

The plot this time around is a bit slower and more tedious. It wasn't until halfway through the book that things started to pick up and become interesting again. This second half was amazing and left me changing my guesses left and right at what the outcome would be. I was definitely at the edge of my seat here. The first half didn't do much for me. Nasty was just closing herself off and being totally depressing. It was annoying how she ceased listening to and believing what River was saying. Even with proof Nasty thought she was just the wooooorst person ever born. Way to be self centered.

Even though Nasty kind of annoyed me for the first half, this allowed me to better view her development as a character. By the end I was really able to see how much she changed and became a better person. Plus those exciting parts were REALLY GOOD! My emotions were soaring.

Overall I think that Darkness Falls was a decent sequel that lagged a little. Nevertheless, I can't wait to read the third and final book.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Title: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Acquired: Bought
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 98% or A+
Buy It: Amazon
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.
My Thoughts::
I'd like to start off by saying that this review will HAVE NO SPOILERS. I won't even tell you if I liked/hated/got depressed about/cried when or WHATEVER. This review will be purely about the writing itself and my opinions about non spoilery things. I want you to be able to read this book without knowing anything that could ruin your experience.

The beginning of the book sucked me in right away. Both Hazel and Augustus are amazing and clever*. Their conversations are just so witty and the entire time I was reading it I kept thinking "I wish I talked to people like this!!" I've been seeing this as the only "bad" thing about the book. That Green's characters are TOO clever to be real or super relateable. But the truth is, in most of my favorite books, things happen or characters do things that I'll never do, but this doesn't make them unrelateable. It's the thoughts and ideas and feelings behind what characters do that makes them relateable. Besides, I'm not reading books for reality.

*Side note: Just about all the characters are amazing! Even though this is totally Hazel and Augustus's story, we still feel what an important part the other characters play.

Like most other readers, this book made me feel ALL OF THE EMOTIONS. I was never overwhelmed, but is was quite the emotional roller coaster. You know a book is truly amazing when it makes you want to read a book, talk to an author, and listen to a band that don't exist. This is because John Green is a great writer and knows how to immerse a reader completely in his stories. I really had to read huge chunks of this book at a time because I couldn't STOP reading and I didn't want to.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Limitless

Title: Limitless
Director: Neil Burger
Writer: Leslie Dixon (screenplay), Alan Glynn (novel) 
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Anna Friel, and Abbie Cornish
Grade: 87% or B+



My Thoughts::
This was one of those movies, that as soon as I saw the trailer I said "I am definitely going to see that in theaters!" but then I didn't. And even when it was put on netflix, I was too busy or wasn't in the mood to watch it. I kept putting it on the back burner until earlier this week when I found myself with some spare time.

I love going into movies like this. Right away my mind is off and running thinking about all of the possibilities of this drug and what the main character is going to do with them. The intro was also really nice. Taking us to near the end of the movie first, and then bringing us back to the beginning to see how he got to this point. It sucked me in right away and made me curious as to what happens before that. This is a brilliant plot tool that often gets overused, but worked very well in this instance. Though, at some points certain things seemed REALLY important, but were never addressed again.

The storyline twisted skillfully, and I really expected a totally different outcome. The actors did a great job at not giving everything away about their character. It was enjoyable to get to know them slowly, with clues of sorts, throughout the movie.  I could feel their fear, their will to live, and their wantingness for MORE.

Overall I think that Limitless was right up my alley. Bringing something new to the table without adding a cluster of confusion about the concept. The characters were pretty good and all seemed important to the story, even in their small ways.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Ways to Mark Your Place in a Book

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

This week we get to make our own Bookish Top Ten!! So mine is Top Ten (7) Ways to Mark Your Place in a Book!

1. Buy a bookmark! Most bookstores and even some libraries have bookmarks for free or that you can purchase. OR you can check etsy which has some really cool and creative bookmarks.
Image from and can be bought: HERE

2. Make your own! Just find some thicker paper and go to town! Use stickers, markers, sequins, ANYTHING. Personalize it to fit your reading style.

3. Use a sticky note! Sticky notes come in a lot of sizes, colors, and designs. Get yourself a pad of them to set where you usually read, and you'll be good!

4. Paperclip! Find your favorite paperclip and start it on the page your on, and end it about 10-20 pages later. Then just open up to the first gap!
Image from and can be bought: HERE

5. Scrap of paper! This couple be something you have laying around, or something ripped off the corner of another sheet of paper. Something that was once useless is now serving a purpose.

6. Your finger! This only works for a short period of time to hold your place in a book while you're talking to someone.

7. Remember the page number you're on! Let your brain be the bookmark!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Masquerade by Melissa de la Cruz

Title: Masquerade (Blue Bloods Series #2)
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
Acquired: Bought
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 80% or B-
Buy It: Amazon
Schuyler Van Alen wants an explanation for the mysterious deaths of young vampires. With her best friend, Oliver, Schuyler travels to Italy in the hope of finding the one man who can help—her grandfather. Meanwhile, back in New York, preparations are feverishly underway for the Four Hundred Ball, an exclusive gala hosted by the city's wealthy, powerful, and unhuman—a true Blue Blood affair.

But it's at the after-party, a masquerade ball thrown by the cunning Mimi Force, that the real danger lurks. Hidden behind the masks is a revelation that will forever change the course of a young vampire's destiny.
My Thoughts::
Like I mentioned before, I own all of the Blue Bloods books that are out so far, so I'm going to be reading them occasionally after every couple of review, or other books that I have. I've been doing my best to avoid spoilers or reading reviews for these books, even though I am very curious. The temptation is there, which is one of the downfalls of waiting so long to read such a popular series.

I was really happy with how much was put into the first book, so this one kind of disappointed me. Will this be the beginning of trying to stretch the plot out for as many books as possible? Or maybe this book was just trying to focus on character development and didn't want to rush things? Because I can see how both might be true. While not a lot happened, I feel like the things that did were kind of big and put everyone on the path of something big happening in the next book. I was almost freaking out at some points, but it was a bit dulled because I know how many books I still have to read, and a main character can't be dead already, right? There were a couple of twists in this book, some that I expected, and some that I never could have imagined.

Bliss didn't pop for me like she did before, because I think her story was sort of put on the back burner and was worked around Mimi's and Schuyler's. Both of whom went through some crazy stuff. When Schuyler talks to her grandfather I am so amazed at how shocked he is about things that were supposedly "normal" for vampires. This is leading me to believe that more is going on besides the whole silver blood thing.

Overall I think this was a decent second book. The plot went on but at a slower pace to develop the characters and to let some small plot points play through. I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed the first one, and I recommend the series to those who are interested in the House of Night Series.

Sunday, January 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.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

Saturday, January 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 Under the Never Sky HERE. Ends TODAY

Win a copy of My Very Unfairy Tale Life HERE. Ends 1/23

Win a copy of The Boy Project HERE. Ends 1/24

Win a copy of Fracture HERE. Ends 1/25

Win a copy of Eden HERE. Ends 1/29

Win a copy of Beyond HERE. Ends 1/30

Win a copy of Bite Me HERE. Ends 2/1

Win a copy of The Way We Fall HERE. Ends 2/2

Win a copy of the Education of Hailey Kendrick HERE. Ends 2/15

Win a copy of Don't Breathe a Word HERE. Ends 2/20

Win a 2012 book sequel HERE. Ends 3/1

Friday, January 20, 2012

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

Title: Why We Broke Up
Author: Daniel Handler
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 78% or C+
Buy It: Amazon
Min Green and Ed Slaterton are breaking up, so Min is writing Ed a letter and giving him a box. Inside the box is why they broke up. Two bottle caps, a movie ticket, a folded note, a box of matches, a protractor, books, a toy truck, a pair of ugly earrings, a comb from a motel room, and every other item collected over the course of a giddy, intimate, heartbreaking relationship. Item after item is illustrated and accounted for, and then the box, like a girlfriend, will be dumped.
My Thoughts::
This book's premise was a surprising jolt to Young Adult Literature. I can't tell you how many books I've read essentially being about why or how a couple got together, but knowing what we all do about relationships (They aren't usually going to last forever when you're my age), but we rarely get to see why and how they end. Now we do.

I really love that this actually reads like a novel. I didn't expect is to tell the story of their relationship, and why it failed, through these items. I just thought each item would be brought up separately and different stories would be told about them. Instead we can actually see the timeline of the relationship with the objects placed where they happened in the relationship.

I'd like to say now how much I loved Min and of course her best friend as well. Min was just about as average or "different" as me and my friends are, as most girls are who like to spend their time reading and whatnot. And of course most of us have been in bad relationships, and she handles everything SO WELL!! Like, she's my hero. Sure, at times she did that annoying thing that some girls do, when they have a boyfriend and start avoiding all of their friends. But still! I had to hand it all back to her when she handled the end of their relationship. Wooah!

The ending of the novel was really nice and I'm glad that as a reader I get some closure about Min, since you know, I liked her and all. The pictures didn't make or break the novel for me, but I am liking how books with pictures are popping up more and more in YA lit. It's making the reading experience even better.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

 Title: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 86% or B
Buy It: Amazon
Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A.

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.
My Thoughts::
If you're a frequent reader of my reviews, you'll find this book choice a bit out of the ordinary. I don't mind books that include romance in them because I enjoy swoon worthy guys, but I barely ever lean towards novels whose main focus IS the romance. And sure, other things happen, but the relationship is always in the forefront. But after seeing really good reviews, I decided to give it a shot.

So this novel definitely made me rethink my stance on romance centric books. There was just so much GOOD and AWESOME and SWEET! Even though they only knew each other for 24 hours, their relationship was built up in such a way that their strong feelings for each other felt very real and genuine. I love love love Oliver, and his name, and his accent. It was interesting to see both of the characters develop, change, and discover so many things about themselves and each other in such a short span of time.

Though the book kept the romance running the entire time, it didn't become boring or slow. Actually, the romance was so good, that when other things were going on I kept thinking just get back to Oliver already! The surrounding conflicts of their families give their characters room to grow and change.

Overall I think that this was a cute book that I can see myself recommending for its great characters and adorable premise.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan

Title: Immortal Beloved (Immortal Beloved Series #1)
Author: Cate Tiernan
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
Nastasya has spent the last century living as a spoiled, drugged-out party girl. She feels nothing and cares for no one. But when she witnesses her best friend, a Dark Immortal, torture a human, she realizes something's got to change. She seeks refuge at a rehab for wayward immortals, where she meets the gorgeous, undeniably sexy Reyn, who seems inexplicably linked to her past.

Nastasya finally begins to deal with life, and even feels safe--until the night she learns that someone wants her dead.
My Thoughts::
After reading several disastrous takes on the whole immortality part of the fantasy genre, I pretty much gave up on reading it. They just became frustrating and could never fully explain themselves to my liking. But something about this book instantly interested me, so I decided to give it a try.

The plot really impressed me. It didn't rely on the fact that Nasty is an immortal to keep me interested. Nor did it rely on a love interest. Though of course there was one. But this one was actually to my liking and developed to an extent that proved that it wasn't just done out of convenience or just to appeal to readers. I've grown to appreciate books that aren't afraid of some sub plots, and we got a couple here. This made the book more interesting and gave me plenty to think about so my mind wasn't lingering on tedious things or growing bored, waiting for something to happen.

Like I mentioned before, the romantic relationship presented in this book was developed slowly, and in an interesting way. They weren't just thrown together and automatically in looooove. Nasty is a stubborn and somewhat frustrating main character. She took too long to realize the obvious, just to stretch things out farther. Though I like books that take the plot slow sometimes and doesn't jump into every situation.

I liked how Tiernan presented her version of immortals. No frills or complicated backstory that barely makes sense. She kept things simple and straightforward, hopefully revealing more later on. Speaking of revealing more, I'm really liking where this story is going and I can't wait to see what happens next!

Overall I think that Immortal Beloved was a fresh take on immortality without it becoming the sole focus of the book.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I'd Recommend to Someone Who Doesn't Read Dystopian

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

This week's top ten is....

Top Ten Books I'd Recommend To Someone Who Doesn't Read X (for example, if you are a YA blogger you might pick 10 YA books for people who don't read YA or if you read classics maybe 10 classics that those who don't typically read classics might read! Or you could get more specific)

1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Need I say more? 

2. Divergent by Veronica Roth. I'm counting on these books to fill my Hunger Games hole, and so far it's doing a good job. Bad ass heroine? CHECK.


3. 1984 by George Orwell. This is like...the first building block to the dystopian genre, and it's a bit mindblowing when you finish it.


4. Dark Parties by Sara Grant. By the end of this book I was relieved but also exploding with questions. Fantastic world building with this one.


5. All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin. This book gives you a good first taste of this awfully corrupt world. I hope the next book gives me a bigger bite.

6. Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi. Tons of suspense and action here. It made me really curious about their world and I want more!

7. Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan. Oh wow. This one had me at the edge of my seat and it's a good place to start if you're into Battlestar Galactica or the like.


8. Legend by Marie Lu. This is another one with a lot of corrupt government. This makes the world seem so much more unsteady.

9. Blood Red Road by Moira Young. This author packed a lot of awesome into a first book in a series, which is amazing. There are plenty of original concepts and character building.

10. The Maze Runner by James Dashner. This trilogy had me guessing and then second guessing what to believe and who to trust. Packed with excitement, these are a must read.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Pieces of Us by Margie Gelbwasser

Title: Pieces of Us
Author: Margie Gelbwasser
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 85% or B
Buy It: Amazon
Two sets of deeply damaged siblings fall apart when their once-compartmentalized worlds of school and summer connect and crash. Alex and Kyle are brothers; Katie and Julie are sisters. Alex despises his mother, whom he holds responsible for his father's suicide and failing to protect him from a string of brutal boyfriends. He takes out his contempt for women on his loose-girl sex partners, frequently offering them to his intimidated younger brother Kyle, whom he abuses even though he thinks of himself as his brother's protector. The only girl Alex doesn't see as a slut is Katie. But Katie, who, when the book opens, is a queen-bee cheerleader with a star-athlete boyfriend, has too much to drink at a party and, semiconscious, has nonconsensual sex with her boyfriend and his teammate, an ugly secret the boys then use to torment and control her. Meanwhile, Katie's younger, less-pretty and pudgier sister, Julie, plagued by a mother who belittles her, believes that her sister stole the one boy who liked her.
My Thoughts::
As with several books that I've read recently, this book wasn't something that I wouldn't normally pick up. But the summary of this book seemed very very interesting and I was compelled to read it to discover these weird family dynamics and to get to know these broken characters.

The plot was a bit slow, but it made up for this with fantastic character development. Instead of an action sequence, we get to become really involved with the characters and get inside their heads. But while no one is running from danger, there is excitement of a different sort. The emotional roller coaster of this novel for one. Not knowing how each character was going to react to each other was keeping me at the edge of my seat.

The characters, though I didn't like them all, were crafted wonderfully. I changed my feelings about some several times, but I was supposed to. As readers we are supposed to watch them change because of what they are going through. Even the character that I hated the most, I felt sorry for. And I knew that the author wanted me to feel these things. There is a difference between hating how a character is written, and hating a character. The author did a wonderful job of making me hate characters, but still understand them and like to read about them.

Overall I think that this book relied heavily on character development and put us on an emotional journey instead of a physical one. The character were fully developed and nothing seemed rushed. Not everything was resolved, but I liked the open ending. I'd recommend this book to fans of Sarah Dessen, or someone who is interested in reading about inner struggles.

Sunday, January 15, 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.

Won- Thanks to The Book Monsters!

The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler

Fifteen-year-old Virginia Shreves has a larger-than-average body and a plus-size inferiority complex. She lives on the Web, snarfs junk food, and follows the "Fat Girl Code of Conduct." Her stuttering best friend has just moved to Walla Walla (of all places). Her new companion, Froggy Welsh the Fourth (real name), has just succeeded in getting his hand up her shirt, and she lives in fear that he’ll look underneath. Then there are the other Shreves: Mom, the successful psychologist and exercise fiend; Dad, a top executive who ogles thin women on TV; and older siblings Ana├»s and rugby god Byron, both of them slim and brilliant. Delete Virginia, and the Shreves would be a picture-perfect family. Or so she’s convinced. And then a shocking phone call changes everything.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he thought he was destined to live.

From Netgalley-

At Season's End by Eric Hendershot

 Hit hard by the Great Depression, Sal’s family loads up an old Buick and heads out to find work wherever they can. Driving from place to place, living off the little they can make, they soon realize they’ll never be able to afford to settle down again.

Then, when tragedy strikes, Sal and her brother must learn to fend for themselves. In a world of harsh realities, there’s no room left for romance. But that can’t stop Sal from dreaming of a life with Ben—a boy from another migrant family—even though she knows she may never see him again.

Saturday, January 14, 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 Fever HERE. Ends TODAY

Win a copy of Fractured Light HERE. Ends 1/15

Win a copy of Cinder HERE. Ends 1/15

Win a copy of Dragonswood HERE. Ends 1/16

Win a genre themed prize pack in this 200 follower giveaway HERE. Ends 1/17

Win a copy of Cinder HERE. Ends 1/18

Win a copy of The Book of Wonders HERE. Ends 1/20

Win a copy of Under the Never Sky HERE. Ends 1/21 

Win a copy of My Very Unfairy Tale Life HERE. Ends 1/23

Win a copy of Eden HERE. Ends 1/29

Win a copy of Beyond HERE. Ends 1/30

Win a copy of Bite Me HERE. Ends 2/1

Win a 2012 book sequel HERE. Ends 3/1

Friday, January 13, 2012

Notes to Self by Avery Sawyer

Title: Notes to Self
Author: Avery Sawyer
Publisher: Avery Sawyer, via Smashwords
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 73% or C-
Buy It: Amazon
Robin Saunders is a high school sophomore with an awesome best friend, a hard-working single mom, and a complicated relationship with a sweet guy named Reno. She's coasting along, trying to get through yet another tedious year of high school, when Em suggests something daring. They live in Florida-- tourist central--and Emily wants to sneak into a theme park after midnight and see what they're made of.

When things get out of control, Robin wakes up in a hospital bed and Emily doesn't wake up at all. Just getting dressed becomes an ordeal as Robin tries to heal and piece together the details of that terrible night. Racing to remember everything in the hopes of saving Emily, Robin writes a series of notes to herself to discover the truth.
My Thoughts::
Unsurprisingly, I accepted the request to read and review this book. The concept seemed pretty simple, but the main character looked like I'd want to get to know her, and I wanted to see how her journey would end up.

I thought the notes that Robin was supposed to be leaving to herself would play a much larger part to the story, but it actually was just like the end of a flashback. The flashbacks were probably my favorite parts of the book. Since Robin doesn't really know herself anymore, this is our way of getting to know her and for her to get to know herself. But let me be honest here, I really did like post accident Robin, but not the Robin from before. Most of the times that she flashed back, I didn't like the person that she was and was extremely glad that she was changing.

The book was interesting for sure, but it wasn't very exciting. I kept waiting for something to happen, and I can only think of a couple of times where we get any kind of action at all. The second half of the book stepped up its game, and woaah, I was about to go crazy on that almost HUGE twist. Just woaaah. My head would have exploded.

I wish we could have gotten to know some of the other characters more and get some resolution with her father. There were so many little story and relationship strings flying everywhere and I feel like they were left hanging and weren't tied up.

Overall I think that Notes to Self was a book good for exploring personal growth, but if you're into something with more excitement, you might want to pass.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

To the Cinema! #10

This post is similar to a Books to Come 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 Divide

Chronicle

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Friends with Benefits

Title: Friends with Benefits
Director: Will Gluck
Writer: Keith Merryman, David A. Newman, and Will Gluck
Starring: Mila Kunis, Justin Timberlake and Patricia Clarkson
Grade: 80% or B-


My Thoughts::
I usually review movies that are a bit more family friendly, but since my blog is directed to at least mid teens, I think this movie will fly here okay. Besides, I haven't been watching that many movies due to the fact that I'm catching up on True Blood and I have shows that come on weekly that I must watch.

I'm barely an adult, so I can't say that I can identify with these characters too much. But I did get the concept. The last thing I want to hear after being broken up with is that we should stay friends. And that the hurt isn't worth it if you just want sex. This is one of those movies that you'll find yourself saying "SO TRUE" over and over again because you've been in that situation or have had those thoughts or problems.

Though it had all of that going for it. Here we go...we've all seen this movie before. Haven't we? I mean, it was just done practically. Hello? No Strings Attached? And has been done before that as well. So we all knew exactly what was going to happen. There were no surprises or shocking moments. This movie played it safe and relied on its star cast to rake in the money.

They did such a good job though. They were hot, which you need with that many sex and so close to nudity scenes. Their characters were so darn funny, which is great because those particular actors do great in comedies. They had us like putty in their hands. They wanted us to laugh and some pretty lame jokes, and guess what? We did, and we loved it.

Overall I think that this was a funny movie with great acting. Its only faults were repeating a storyline done over and over again, bringing barely anything new to the table. If you like romantic comedies, you'll love this. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I Wish Would Write Another Book

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

This week's top ten is....

Top Ten Authors I Wish Would Write Another Book (debut authors, authors who seem to have taken a hiatus, OR for those who read classics authors you wish would have written another book before they passed).

I'm going to lower this to 4, because I like being honest.

1. Robin Benway- I loooooved Audrey, Wait! But have yet to read her second book because the plot wasn't really for me. She has such a funny and lighthearted voice, and I need to hear more of it!

2. Suzanne Collins- Who else can't wait to see what she'll write after her Hunger Games fame?!?

3. Simon Holt- I enjoyed his Devouring Trilogy and I want to know what he's up to now! The books were so new and interesting, what else it up in his noggin?

4. E. Lockhart- She is one of my favorites, and I don't think of her enough. Her last book was published in 2010. And since she was the one who got me into reading YA, I always want more.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: Linger (Wolves of Mercy Falls #2)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Acquired: Bought
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 81% or B-
Buy It: Amazon
In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future.


Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.
My Thoughts::
It's been more than a year since I've read Shiver, and I wasn't really planning on reading its sequel or the third book in the trilogy when they came out. But during the summer I won a copy of Forever, the third book, and decide to just buy a copy of Linger and read them. I didn't hate or even dislike Shiver. Actually, I'm not even sure why I didn't automatically buy Linger.

Unfortunately I started out this book almost unbearably confused. I read the first book so long ago and read so many book after, that I forgot a lot of the major plot happenings. I had to do a bit of research to get everything straightened out in my mind, though this wasn't the book's fault of course. What was the book's fault was that NOTHING happened until the end. It was all just a whole bunch of build up for something that we all knew was going to happen anyway. So, I was often bored because books need plot right?

I understand that a lot of the book focused on character development and suspense building and all that jazz. But the suspense was ruined because readers are smart. The character development was okay, but it accounted for too much of the book. The only thing that it did was make my emotions a bit higher when very bad or very good things happened to them. Adding a new character to the mix was a great idea, because without his and Isabelle's side plot, I don't know if I could have made it. Every chapter about Sam and Grace felt the same as the one before it. Cole's and Isabelle's brought continuing excitement.

The ending was nice and makes me really want to read Forever, which I guess is good for a book that isn't a standalone to do. Because when things WERE happening? I really liked this book. I was caught off guard by the boring-ness of the second book in a trilogy. Unless Forever is jam packed with action, I don't know why there need to be three books.

Overall I liked the book but wasn't excited about the lack of action. The first book was so mysterious and sweet, but Linger just laid it all out. Maybe if I would have read it closer to reading Shiver, I would have cared more about the characters.

Sunday, January 8, 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.

Nothing this week!

Saturday, January 7, 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 Scarlet HERE. Ends TODAY

Win a copy of Switched HERE. Ends 1/9

Win a copy of Everneath HERE. Ends 1/9

Win a copy of Fever HERE. Ends 1/14

Win a copy of Fractured Light HERE. Ends 1/15

Win a copy of Cinder HERE. Ends 1/15

Win a genre themed prize pack in this 200 follower giveaway HERE. Ends 1/17

Win a copy of Under the Never Sky HERE. Ends 1/21 

Win a copy of My Very Unfairy Tale Life HERE. Ends 1/23

Win a copy of Beyond HERE. Ends 1/30

Win a copy of Bite Me HERE. Ends 2/1

Win a 2012 book sequel HERE. Ends 3/1

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz

Title: Blue Bloods (Blue Bloods Series #1)
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
Acquired: Bought
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 83% or B-
Buy It: Amazon
Schuyler Van Alen is confused about what is happening to her. Her veins are starting to turn blue, and she’s starting to crave raw meat. Soon, her world is thrust into an intricate maze of secret societies and bitter intrigue. Schuyler has never been a part of the trendy crowd at her prestigious New York private school. Now, all of a sudden, Jack Force, the most popular guy in school, is showing an interest in her. And when one of the popular girls is found dead, Schuyler and Jack are determined to get to the bottom of it. 

Schuyler wants to find out the secrets of the mysterious Blue Bloods. But is she putting herself in danger?
My Thoughts::
Yeah, okay. I know that I'm a few years late to the game with this series. My friend has been telling me to read them for awhile and I finally gave in. I invested in/received/stole the entire series so far. So I'm on the right track to catching up. One the bright side, by the time I finish the books out so far, the next and last one will be out. No waiting for me!

I have no clue why I waited this long to read this series! I mean, I'm reading the House of Night Series, and this is way better already! Unless of course it spirals out of control like that series did..but so far so good! This was only book one, so it focused a lot on character and world building and less on plot. Which is probably why nothing much happened until the end when the pieces are finally falling together. In my opinion it took way too long for the vampire stuff to be revealed. Everyone knows that it's coming, but we still have to wait for every single character to figure it out, which is the majority of the novel.

Besides that, the plot was great. It's always interesting to see what an author will do with vampires to make their book unique and different from others. I'm excited to learn more about the history, rules, and other things that belong to being a vampire in this world. By the end of the book my mind was swirling with theories and I was trying to figure out who is lying, and who to trust.

Our three main characters, Schuyler, Bliss, and Mimi were introduced. I'm calling these the main characters because they actually narrate and have their own chapters. Besides this we also get to know other characters. Weirdly, I only liked Schuyler when it was her chapter, but when anyone else was talking about her, I didn't. She just seemed different. Some characters, especially Jack, were really flip floppy and I couldn't pinpoint their personality. Hopefully everything levels out in the next book.

Overall Blue Bloods has officially captured my interest and I'm excited to read the next book. I'm hoping this series doesn't drag and we get some more action.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

December in Review/2011 Wrap Up/2012 Goals

I read 9 books this month (you can check them all out in the Books Read page)
I reviewed 11:

My Life Undecided by Jessica Brody
Red Heart Tattoo by Lurlene McDaniel
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Legend by Marie Lu
What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
Don't You Wish by Roxanne St. Claire
Destined by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls by Julie Schumacher
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
Blood Red Road by Moira Young
Replication By Jill Williamson

I reviewed 0 movies this month:

Challenges so far:
I listened to 5/6 audio books for the 2011 audio book challenge. Which means that I fell short by one. On the bright side I listened to 5 great books and did better than I thought I would at times.

I read 88/100 books towards my personal goal. I fell short. So sue me. The first half of the year was lacking, so even though I've been doing really good the past 6 months, I couldn't make it up.

Blog Changes:

A LOT! You've already read the post explaining why, so here are the changes.

-New Blog Name
-New blog design
-New blog layout
-Some new tabs
-The removal and addition of some buttons
-The format of reviews (The book pic is larger, the description in italicized and has a background color)
-I felt the blog had too much filler posts, so instead of doing a Waiting On Wednesday each week, I would post a Books to Come once a month. 

Overall:

I'm really proud of myself this year. I've had more success than I ever had. I started the year with less than 200 followers and now have over 450. I read and listened to so many books! Netgalley and Little Brown have been so amazing to me this year! Thanks for sticking with me, making comments, entering the giveaways, and reading what I have to say.

Looking to the Future


I have some goals for the blog and my booksish self for 2012..Here we go!

-Read 100 books
-Blog everyday (Not too much pressure, mistakes and other things happen)
-Comment on more blogs!
-Continue to be part of giveaway hops
-Post more reviews on Amazon and Goodreads
-Participate in more readathons/other events
-Cohost something!
-Try to post 2 movie reviews each month

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I'm Excited to Read in 2012

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

This week's top ten is....

Top Ten Books I'm Excited To Read in 2012. In no particular order...and with links to their goodreads page...

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I've preordered this book months ago and I can't wait for it to come in January. I love all books John Green and I know this will live up to my expectations.

2. Fear by Michael Grant. After reading Gone I became addicted to this series. I always buy the newest one as soon as I can. Michael Grant never disappoints me and I know that this will be a great continuation.

3. The Calling by Kelley Armstrong. I absolutely love the world that Armstrong created in her Darkest Powers trilogy, and I can't wait to get more of it in the 2nd book in her Darkness Rising trilogy. That first one sure ended on a cliffhanger..

4. Insurgent by Veronica Roth. I don't know one single person who has read Divergent and isn't dying to read the next book. There is so much happening at the end of Divergent, I can barely stand waiting to see what Tris will do.

5. Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne. The first time that I read the synopsis of this book, I knew I had to read it. The premise is so intriguing and I'm already thinking up theories about what's going to happen.

6. Article 5 by Kristen Simmons. It isn't a surprise that I love dystopian books, and this one looks great. We might even get more background infor and history about what happened than we usually get.

7. The List by Siobhan Vivian. I don't usually go for books like this, but I am attracted to it nonetheless. Something about it is grabbing my attention and I can't wait to delve into it and read about these girls.

8. After the Snow by S.D. Crockett. Even thought the description is making me feel cold, this book sounds great. This looks part dystopian and part my second favorite genre, natural end of the world type disaster.

9. The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe. YES! Finally, I've been waiting for a plague like book to come out. I bet there are tons out there, but this was just looks amazing!

10. Everything You Need to Survive the Apocalypse by Lucas Klauss. This book looks like a great mixture of clever, funny, and heartwarming. Plus the title is amazing.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Replication by Jill Williamson

Title: Replication: The Jason Experiment
Author: Jill Williamson
Publisher: Zonderkidz
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 76% or C
Buy It: Amazon
Martyr---otherwise known as Jason 3:3---is one of hundreds of clones kept in a remote facility called Jason Farms. Told that he has been created to save humanity, Martyr has just one wish before he is scheduled to 'expire' in less than a month. To see the sky.

Abby Goyer may have just moved to Alaska, but she has a feeling something strange is going on at the farm where her father works. But even this smart, confident girl could never have imagined what lies beneath a simple barn. Or what would happen when a mysterious boy shows up at her door, asking about the stars.

As the reality of the Jason Experiment comes to light, Martyr is caught between two futures---the one for which he was produced and the one Abby believes God created him to have. Time is running out, and Martyr must decide if a life with Abby is worth leaving everything he's ever known.
My Thoughts:: 
It's getting to the point that any book that's strange or different than the "normal" world, I have to read. Once I read the description for this book, I requested it right away. I can't resist book like this and I was excited to get into it.

I only have one really size-able complaint about this book, and it's the same as some other people have had. This would be the religion pushing. I really understand how it would come into play in the book, because the ethics part always goes with religion when it comes to cloning and testing on people. But this book took it pretty darn far. It added to the book and made me think to a certain point, but then it just got annoying and a bit bible thumpy. Especially when Abby brings her belief into Martyr. I don't know..it was just a bit much.

Besides that, I found the book very interesting. From one moment to the next there were a million things that could go wrong or happen that would ruin everything, so I was at the edge of my seat waiting and hoping for everything to turn out all right. This book was definitely a page turner. There were points when I wanted to scream because they were in such a horrible situation, and it seemed very unlikely that anyone would believe them or help them.

Martyr was adorable. He reminded me of Kyle from that show Kyle XY. He was just so sweet but had no clue about most things. So much innocence. I really liked his character, which was a bit strange for me. I usually lean towards the witty tough guys. But Martyr was irresistible. Abby was okay as well, but I couldn't connect to her like I could with Martyr.

Overall I think that Replication was a creative read even if it pushed to hard with the religion. I'd recommend this book to someone who is interested in cloning or just those who want a book featuring an adorable boy.