Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Top Ten Authors That I'd Put On My Auto-Buy List

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

This week's top ten is...


Top Ten Authors That I'd Put On My Auto-Buy List (basically an auto-buy list is no questions asked..you love this author so much that no matter what they wrote next you'd buy regardless of genre or subject matter)

1. Sarah Dessen
2. John Green
3. Kelley Armstrong
4. Jodi Picoult
5. Michael Grant
6. Suzanne Collins
7. Kody Keplinger
8. Maureen Johnson
9. E. Lockhart
10. Megan McCafferty

Monday, February 25, 2013

Hourglass by Claudia Gray

Title: Hourglass (Evernight Series #3)
Author: Claudia Gray
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Acquired: Bought
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 77% or C+
Buy It: Amazon

Bianca will risk everything to be with Lucas.

After escaping from Evernight, the vampire boarding school where they met, Bianca and Lucas seek refuge with Black Cross, an elite group of vampire hunters. Bianca must hide her supernatural heritage or risk certain death at its hands. But when Black Cross captures her friend—the vampire Balthazar—all her secrets threaten to come out.

Soon, Bianca and Lucas are on the run, pursued not only by Black Cross, but by the powerful vampires of Evernight. Yet no matter how far they run, Bianca can't escape her destiny. Bianca and Lucas have always believed their love could survive anything—but can it survive what's to come?
My Thoughts::
It was so so so long ago that I read Stargazer, the second book in the series. Even though Stargazer ended pretty intensely, and I was really excited for the next book, there were too many things that bothered me that I wasn't in a rush to read the next one. I waited so long to read this book that I had little idea what was going on. I had to read the wikipedia page for Stargazer to get things straight.

The first part of the book was pretty slow. I just kept waiting for something to happen and for them to make their move. I could understand why they were trying to save up money and stuff before they left, but Bianca was in so much danger while she was there. You would think that they would try to escape right away instead of sticking around.

Bianca seemed so slow to realize everything. Her situation was so tenuous that I thought she would pay more attention to what was going on. Her friends bothered me even more. The betrayal part was pretty intense and I couldn't blame Bianca for not seeing that coming. Though she was looking a bit brainwashed..

When it got to near the end I was surprised about what happened, but also a bit annoyed. I guess there are a few things from the books that hinted that this would happen, but it felt more like it was decided while writing this book that this is what would happen. So all developments for this occur super fast when it should have been built up so that it would make more sense.

Overall I think that this book didn't do much for me. It all just looked pushed together and made to work.

Winner: Random Acts of Kindness Giveaway Hop

And the winner of the Random Acts of Kindness Giveaway Hop (a copy of Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan) is.....

Ashley Van Buren

Congrats Ashley Van Buren!! 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!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

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.


This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O'Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds.

Then Graham finds out that Ellie's Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media's spotlight at all costs?

Game by Barry Lyga
  
I Hunt Killers introduced the world to Jazz, the son of history's most infamous serial killer, Billy Dent.

In an effort to prove murder didn't run in the family, Jazz teamed with the police in the small town of Lobo's Nod to solve a deadly case. And now, when a determined New York City detective comes knocking on Jazz's door asking for help, he can't say no. The Hat-Dog Killer has the Big Apple--and its police force--running scared. So Jazz and his girlfriend, Connie, hop on a plane to the big city and get swept up in a killer's murderous game.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

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.

Enter my part of the Random Acts of Kindness Giveaway Hop HERE. Ends TOMORROW

Win a copy of Fall For Me HERE. Ends 2/28 

Win copies of the books in The Maiden Lane Series HERE. Ends 2/28

Win a copy of Broken Wings HERE. Ends 3/1

Win a copy of Hopeless HERE. Ends 3/1

Win a copy of A Natural History of Dragons HERE. Ends 3/3

Friday, February 22, 2013

Breaking Dawn Part 2

Title: Breaking Dawn Part 2
Director: Bill Condon
Writer: Melissa Rosenberg and Stephenie Meyer
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner
Grade: 85% or B


My Thoughts::
I know the Twilight craze is all over, and it was over even before this movie came out. And even though I'm not really a fan of either the books or movies anymore, I couldn't help but to go and see this movie. I will admit, I was excited for the conclusion to finally be here.

Even though some people complained about this book because it was a lot of build up and not a lot was actually happening, it was more interesting in the movie. It was cool to meet all of the friends of the family. I wish they would have spent more time showing what everyone's abilities are and how hard it is for Bella to develop her power. Besides meeting characters, not much HAPPENS, except a few good Reneesme things and then the battle part at the end.

The most interesting part of the movie for sure was the tricky ending. I don't want to give anything away, but if you read the book you probably won't be tricked. And even though I wasn't tricked, I still cried and felt a lot of emotions. Even more emotions were felt at the end of the movie while the credits started to roll. I started feeling really nostalgic. I've been thinking about Twilight since before I started High School, and now I'm in my second semester of college. So much has changed and it brings me back to an earlier time.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts

Title: Dark Inside
Author: Jeyn Roberts
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Acquired: Bought
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 82% or B-
Buy It: Amazon 
Since mankind began, civilizations have always fallen: the Romans, the Greeks, the Aztecs…Now it’s our turn. Huge earthquakes rock the world. Cities are destroyed. But something even more awful is happening. An ancient evil has been unleashed, turning everday people into hunters, killers, crazies.
Mason's mother is dying after a terrible car accident. As he endures a last vigil at her hospital bed, his school is bombed and razed to the ground, and everyone he knows is killed. Aries survives an earthquake aftershock on a bus, and thinks the worst is over when a mysterious stranger pulls her out of the wreckage, but she’s about to discover a world changed forever. Clementine, the only survivor of an emergency town hall meeting that descends into murderous chaos, is on the run from savage strangers who used to be her friends and neighbors. And Michael witnesses a brutal road rage incident that is made much worse by the arrival of the police—who gun down the guilty party and then turn on the bystanding crowd.

Where do you go for justice when even the lawmakers have turned bad? These four teens are on the same road in a world gone mad. Struggling to survive, clinging on to love and meaning wherever it can be found, this is a journey into the heart of darkness – but also a journey to find each other and a place of safety.
My Thoughts::
This was another one of those books that looked soooo amazing when I first heard about it. Right when I read the synopsis for the first time I put it on my Amazon wishlist. Buuut...then it sat on my wishlist for months and months. The majority of the money that I spend on books goes to sequels that I've been waiting forever for, and it was a while before I bought it. Then I started it not really sure what it would be about because it has been so long.

I started the book with an open mind and a little bit of confusion. I did end up reading the jacket flap because I wanted to know what I was getting into. This definitely eased the confusion. This book had four point of views plus what I like to call the "darkness" POV. I think that this worked really well with this type of book. So many things happen in apocalypse like books but it is hard to say that it all happens to one person. The author was able to spread out different experiences to each character.

The story got pretty intense. In most apocalypse stories you have some sense of control. If it's a natural disaster, you know that it's over now and you just have to move on. If it's zombies or something like that, you just stay away from them or kill them. With this, even if you're not bitten or "exposed" to it, you can still become one of the crazy killer things. That is probably the scariest part, the fact that there is nothing you can do about it.

Several times while I was reading this book I almost gave up. I kept getting annoyed by the characters or it would hit a lull. But the last third of the book really kept me on my toes. I couldn't put the book down. The ending was just so amazing that I will definitely read the next book

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

To the Cinema #18

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 Call

Upside Down

Trance
 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Top Ten Favorite Characters In the Dystopian Genre

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

This week's top ten is...

Top Ten Favorite Characters In X Genre. Dystopian is my favorite genre, so I went with that one! In no particular order..

1. Sam from the Gone Series
2. Tris from the Divergent Trilogy
3. Day from Legend
4. Finnick from The Hunger Games Trilogy
5. Winston from 1984
6. Saba from Blood Red Road
7. Thomas from The Maze Runner
8. Anya from All These Things I've Done
9. Waverly from Glow
10. Neva from Dark Parties

Monday, February 18, 2013

Random Acts of Kindness Giveaway Hop

See the rest of the Giveaways HERE.
 
My Giveaway:: I am giving away a copy of Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan! Here's the summary:
Kit Gordy sees Blackwood Hall towering over black iron gates, and she can't help thinking, This place is evil. The imposing mansion sends a shiver of fear through her. But Kit settles into a routine, trying to ignore the rumors that the highly exclusive boarding school is haunted. 
 
Then her classmates begin to show extraordinary and unknown talents. The strange dreams, the voices, the lost letters to family and friends, all become overshadowed by the magic around them.
When Kit and her friends realize that Blackwood isn't what it claims to be, it might be too late.

Suspicious and uneasy about the atmosphere at her new boarding school, fourteen-year-old Kit slowly realizes why she and the other three students at the school were selected.
To Enter:: Fill out THIS FORM by 1/24 

**Winner will be announced on 1/25 and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

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.

Another week of nothing!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

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 The Lost Girl HERE. Ends TODAY

Win a copy of The Listless HERE. Ends 2/17

Win a copy of Beautiful Creatures HERE. Ends 2/18

Win a copy of Nobody and Every Other Day HERE. Ends 2/20

Win a copy of Fall For Me HERE. Ends 2/28 

Friday, February 15, 2013

House Rules by Jodi Picoult

Title: House Rules
Author: Jodi Picoult
Publisher: Atria Books
Acquired: Bought
Age Group: Adult
Grade: 87% or B+
Buy It: Amazon
Jacob Hunt is a teenage boy with Asperger's syndrome. He's hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, and like many kids with AS, Jacob has a special focus on one subject — in his case, forensic analysis. He's always showing up at crime scenes, thanks to the police scanner he keeps in his room, and telling the cops what they need to do...and he's usually right. But then his town is rocked by a terrible murder and, for a change, the police come to Jacob with questions. All of the hallmark behaviors of Asperger's — not looking someone in the eye, stimulatory tics and twitches, flat affect — can look a lot like guilt to law enforcement personnel. Suddenly, Jacob and his family, who only want to fit in, feel the spotlight shining directly on them. For his mother, Emma, it's a brutal reminder of the intolerance and misunderstanding that always threaten her family. For his brother, Theo, it's another indication of why nothing is normal because of Jacob. And over this small family the soul-searing question looms: Did Jacob commit murder?
My Thoughts::
After reading my first Jodi Picoult book, I find them very hard to resist.They always make me question myself and other morally and legally. I have to look at things from so many angles and see that the world isn't as black and white as we all want it to be. This book was no different.

Since we get chapters from Jacob's perspective, we actually know what is going on in his mind, his thoughts, and his motives. As readers we get frustrated with characters who don't reveal enough information to their friends and family, especially information that could change and help the situation entirely. I wanted to feel this way about Jacob because I wanted to believe that he wasn't guilty. If he just would have given the full story in the right way, he wouldn't be a suspect. But of course he couldn't do that and it wasn't his fault. It was the Aspberger's.

As for the plot, I was amazed. It is crazy how a lawyer can't ask if their client is guilty or not. This was even worse for Jacob, because if he was just asked to tell the whole story of what happened, there wouldn't have been such a huge disaster. I could really see the struggle of all of the characters. There was just so much evidence pinning Jacob as guilty, even though a lot of it was because of his Aspberger's. It shows just how little we concern ourselves with how we perceive each other and how we want everyone to fit the status quo, even those with disabilities.

Overall I enjoyed this book a lot. I found myself staring off to space thinking about it and how the whole situation worked out. The ending didn't really surprise me though which was a letdown. I guessed the ending right away and I spend the entire rest of the book hoping I was wrong so I could get a twist like the end of most Picoult books. Too bad it didn't happen.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Calling by Kelley Armstrong

Title: The Calling (Darkness Rising Trilogy #2)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Acquired: Bought
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 93% or A-
Buy It: Amazon 
A powerful secret. A desperate race for survival.
Maya and her friends are on the run. Having escaped a deliberately set forest fire and a fake rescue team with dark intentions, they were just beginning to feel safe again. Then their helicopter crashes near the Vancouver Island wilderness, and Maya and her friends realize they're about as far from safe as they can get.
But Maya has a secret. She can run faster, climb higher, and see better than nearly anyone else. It's part of who she really is—and it has something to do with her mysterious paw-print birthmark. Yet as Maya and her friends face unforeseen dangers, it becomes clear she's not the only one in their close-knit group who has something to hide. And if they're going to survive, they'll need all their extraordinary abilities to help them get back home.
My Thoughts:: 
I get more and more impressed with Armstrong the more I read from her. I enjoy her books so much. She knows exactly what to do to keep her readers interested, but also doesn't just give everything away too quickly. I can't believe I was able to wait as long as I did to read this book. I read so many books that it is easy to forget how much I want to read certain ones. 

For like half of this book I was so annoyed with Maya. It was frustrating how she wasn't putting the obvious pieces together faster. That she wasn't the only one with some sort of power. It was almost worse that she waited so long to tell the others about her powers. And of course, every time she tried to tell someone, something happening stopped her from doing it. Though, this did add a level of suspense to what would happen when it would be all out in the open.

The more and more referenced that we get to The Darkest Powers trilogy, the happier I get. I will have a super fan girl moment if the two groups ever interact with each other.  At least we get some confirmation that the first group isn't captured or something. I can not wait until we get even a glimpse of Chloe, Derek, and Simon.

It is going to be really interesting once the full extent of everyone's powers are revealed. I also want to know more of the back stories or whatever of how they all got into the program. I feel like we knew the events leading up to the first group being a part of the program, but we don't know much of the sciencey and history details of this group yet.

Overall I think that this was a pretty good continuation but I wish we learned more. I believe there is only going to be one more book, and I just know that I won't get as many details as I crave in it because there won't be enough time or a good reason for it.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ted

Title: Ted
Director: Seth MacFarlane
Writer: Seth MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin, and Wellesley Wild
Starring:  Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, and Seth MacFarlane
Grade: 84% or B
 
My Thoughts::
For my 19th birthday I didn't really have any big plans. My best friends were out of town so I was just going to have a quiet night with my family. But then one of my guy friends wanted to see a movie for my birthday, so we got a couple of friends together. It took a while to decide what movie to see, since at least one of us has seen one of the top choices. But the popular vote was to see Ted, since those who saw it wanted to see it again.

This movie was so funny! I know that they were all pretty cheap jokes and not clever or anything really, but I didn't care this time. I liked that this was pretty much a straight up comedy. There was some romance, but that wasn't the focus. Since it was just a comedy, it was important that we did a lot of laughing, no matter how they got us to laugh. By the end of the movie my stomach was hurting from how much laughing that I did.

Most straight up comedies don't bother with any sort of real plot. It's just jokes on jokes during random scenes just to get as many laughs as possible, But Ted actually has a storyline going on and a sequence of events that lead up to each other. There was actual plot and development! The characters also had more depth than usual comedies. They worked so well together too! Their characters played off of each other's jokes and made it that much more funny.

Overall I think that if you're in the mood for some laughs, especially if you're with friends, watch this movie. It's one of those movies that references from it will follow you around for a while, so you might as well understand what they're talking about.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Top Ten Favorite Romances

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

This week's top ten is...

Top Ten Favorite Romances. Sarah Dessen is dominating this list, so sorry in advance. In no particular order...

1. Macy and Wes from The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen.
2. Annabel and Owen from Just Listen by Sarah Dessen.
3. Remy and Dexter from This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen.
4. Mclean and Dave from What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen.
5. Tris and Four from the Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth.
6. Samantha and Jase from My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick.
7. Hazel and Augustus from The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.
8. Echo and Noah from Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
9. Chloe and Derek from The Darkest Powers Trilogy by Kelley Armstrong
10. Astrid and Sam from the Gone Series by Michael Grant

Monday, February 11, 2013

One Second After by William R. Forstchen

Title: One Second After
Author: William R. Forstchen
Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
Acquired: Bought
Age Group: Adult
Grade: 92% or A-
Buy It: Amazon 
New York Times best selling author William R. Forstchen now brings us a story which can be all too terrifyingly real...a story in which one man struggles to save his family and his small North Carolina town after America loses a war, in one second, a war that will send America back to the Dark Ages...A war based upon a weapon, an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP). A weapon that may already be in the hands of our enemies. Months before publication, One Second After has already been cited on the floor of Congress as a book all Americans should read, a book already being discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a truly realistic look at a weapon and its awesome power to destroy the entire United States, literally within one second. It is a weapon that the Wall Street Journal warns could shatter America. In the tradition of On the Beach, Fail Safe and Testament, this book, set in a typical American town, is a dire warning of what might be our future...and our end.
My Thoughts::
It isn't a surprise to know that my favorite genre of books beyond dystopian are books based in some kind of post apocalyptic world. Some of my favorite books from the most random authors are books that have that theme. There is just something so interesting, frightening, and surreal about how society would react to such a collapse. Just going into this book I was so excited to read it and find out how this specific situation would turn out.

The book takes place in a pretty small community, which is pretty common in books like this. I'm getting a bit tired of that, but this book added a bit of a spin on it by having this town next to another small town and not too far from much larger cities. So even though they started out secluded it didn't last long and they had to deal with all of the problems that come with more people trying to get into their town than they could possibly help or support.

The best thing about this book was how realistic and plausible it all seemed. An EMP is pretty darn serious and there were so many results that I didn't even think about before. Books like this never really address one of the biggest issues besides food, which is disease. Without electricity and medicine people get sick and die so easily. It was scary how little of the population made it through the year.

A lot of moral dilemmas were brought up as well. Is it okay to sacrifice a large amount of people to get supplies that only help a few? If you only have enough food to feed 100 people through the winter and if you feed more everyone will die, what do you do? It was so hard to read this book because the problems that come up are so hard to answer.

Overall this was a great eye opening read that shows that such a simple weapon can destroy most of what we take advantage of everyday. My only complaint is that the book would skip ahead of large chunks of time and then give only a summary of the events that occurred during that time.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

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, February 9, 2013

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 The Indigo Spell HERE. Ends 2/12

Win a copy of Jane HERE. Ends 2/14

Win a copy of The Lost Girl HERE. Ends 2/16

Win a copy of The Listless HERE. Ends 2/17 

Win a copy of Nobody and Every Other Day HERE. Ends 2/20

Win a copy of Fall For Me HERE. Ends 2/28

Friday, February 8, 2013

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Title: Insurgent (Divergent Series #2)
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Acquired: Bought
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 95% or A
Buy It: Amazon 
One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.
Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.
My Thoughts::
I loved Divergent so much that it took my a long time to finally read its sequel, Insurgent. Book in trilogies, sagas, and series seem to want to stretch the books out for as long as possible, and since this book would be in the middle, I was worried that it would be dull. However, that was definitely not the case.

Almost every faction in the book started to really get on my nerves, even the factionless. None of them were seeing the big picture and just wanted to preserve themselves, even though as readers we could see that they were doomed. I was happy though that we get to know all of the factions better in this book. We're able to see more differences and similarities between them. This added dimension to the choices that the factions made as a group, and even individually.

Tris is kind of caught up in herself in this book. She tries to see passed the bullshit of some characters and wants to get to the bottom of things, and she does this eventually. But first we had to deal with her too trusting or too wary attitude. She would get suspicious, but about the wrong people or for the wrong reasons. It made the book a bit frustrating to read but it also added tension. And to Tris's credit, even I wasn't sure who to trust. I was very surprised by some of the actions of characters that I thought I could trust

The plot thickened so much in this sequel. We finally get to learn the motives of Erudite and get the even bigger plot of why they are all there in factions in the first place and what is outside of the fence. The next book can NOT come soon enough! Seriously, there was so much racing through my mind. The last book better be really thick with details. I don't care if I like any of the characters in the last book, the plot is shaping up way too well for me to care!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Beautiful Lies by Jessica Warman

Title: Beautiful Lies
Author: Jessica Warman
Publisher: Walker & Company
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 81% or B-
Buy It: Amazon
Rachel and Alice are an extremely rare kind of identical twins—so identical that even their aunt and uncle, whom they’ve lived with since their parents passed away, can’t tell them apart. But the sisters are connected in a way that goes well beyond their surfaces: when one experiences pain, the other exhibits the exact same signs of distress. So when one twin mysteriously disappears, the other immediately knows something is wrong—especially when she starts experiencing serious physical traumas, despite the fact that nobody has touched her. As the search commences to find her sister, the twin left behind must rely on their intense bond to uncover the truth. But is there anyone around her she can trust, when everyone could be a suspect? And ultimately, can she even trust herself?
My Thoughts::
I've always had a decent interest in twins and I always liked to think that they could sense each other. Those were the immediate reasons why I wanted to read this book. The second reason was that I can't turn down a high stakes mystery. I knew the tension and suspense would be building so much in this book and I wanted in on it.

This book did something for me that is rarely done with books anymore: It surprised me. Sure, I was able to predict some tidbits, but I was unable to predict the outcome of the book. There were a couple of big twists that I could have never seen coming that totally made me do a double take. These twists switched around everything that you know so far and make you think about everything that happened so far in a completely different way. At times the plot got a little boring, but you still felt that urgency which made you not want to put down the book.

I liked that we get to know two characters very well just through the eyes of one. The bad thing is, is that this book is pretty much just about these two characters. The are a couple of characters off to the side, but not until the end do any of them matter very much. A couple of times while I was reading this book I had to really think and consider if the narrator was sane. She was unreliable at times and I wasn't sure if I could believe what she was saying. It had the feel of a psychological thriller many times throughout the book. My mind was being bent trying to understand and figure out what was going on.

Overall I think that this was a great suspenseful read that played into my interest with twins. I'm glad it kept me on the edge of my seat but I wish that there was some more character development going on.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Angel Experiment by James Patterson

Title: The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride Series #1)
Author: James Patterson
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
Fang, Iggy, Nudge, the Gasman, Angel, and Maximum: six kids who are 98% human and 2% bird. They grew up in cages, living like rats, but now they're free. When the bloodthirsty Erasers -- half men, half wolves genetically engineered by sick and sinister scientists -- kidnap little Angel, the Flock embarks on a rescue mission full of nonstop action, adventure, and soul-seeking -- not to mention a little bit of saving the world on the side.
After the mutant Erasers abduct the youngest member of their group, the "birdkids," who are the result of genetic experimentation, take off in pursuit and find themselves struggling to understand their own origins and purpose. 
My Thoughts::
This is one of those series that I've known about for so long but never imagined starting. There were just so many books and I was so behind. It's always a pretty big commitment to start a new series with a good amount before you would be caught up. But once I saw that the last book was coming out, I decided that it was time. I've read another book by James Patterson and enjoyed it, so I thought I would like these as well.

I wasn't really wrong either. As this is the first book, there is a lot of groundwork being laid out and getting to know the characters. But we also get our fair share of action. I was happy to see that things were really happening in this first book. I definitely got sucked into the story. There are so many unanswered questions that even though I didn't love this book, I still want to know what happens and get my questions answered,

The characters were all very uniquely different. It is rare that we get to know so many characters at once, but I think Patterson handled it well. Perspectives changed when necessary so we would know what was happening in each plot line. It kept the flow going very well and even made it more suspenseful because it always seemed to switch when I was desperate to know what happened next. This switch of perspectives allowed me to look into the mind of a few of the characters which made them much easier to get to know.

I honestly loved all of the characters. They all had completely different personalities that it was so easy to know who was who right from the start. I couldn't help but fall in love with the little one immediately, they were so precious. I seriously have no complaints about our main characters. The plot was of course thick with deceit scandal. I'm really excited to see what happens to all of them next.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Top Ten Best Bookish Memories

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

This week's top ten is...

Top Ten Best Bookish Memories (waiting in line for a new release, meeting an author, or some sort of great experience with a particular book that was unlike others)

1. Breaking Dawn release party at Borders. That was the first time I ever preordered and the only release party that I had been to. It was so fun to be around other fans and playing trivia games.

2. Preordering The Fault in Our Stars. I was so excited to get a signed copy because John Green is my favorite author.

3. I love the release of every new book in the Gone Series by Michael Grant. I feel like the fan base is small enough and excited enough that it's really personal.

4. Reading You Maybe and If We Kiss by Rachel Vail. They are what entered me into the YA world.

5. Reading the Pretty Little Liars Series since 7th grade with my best friend. Oh my goodness, those books were such a fantastic mystery and made great discussions!

Monday, February 4, 2013

February TBR List

Here are the books that I want to read this month, in this order::

1. Altered by Jennifer Rush
2. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
3. The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher
4. Me, Him, Them, and It by Caela Carter
5. Stung by Bethany Wiggins
6. At the End by John Hennessy
7. The Goddess Hunt by Aimée Carter
8. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
9. Bloody Valentine by Melissa de la Cruz
10. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Sunday, February 3, 2013

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.

Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz
*Thanks to Lisa @ Turning Pages!

Some secrets shouldn't be kept...

Until three months ago, everything in sixteen-year-old Camelia’s life had been fairly ordinary: decent grades, an okay relationship with her parents, and a pretty cool part-time job at the art studio downtown. But when a mysterious boy named Ben starts junior year at her high school, Camelia’s life becomes anything but ordinary.

Rumored to be somehow responsible for his ex-girlfriend’s accidental death, Ben is immediately ostracized by everyone on campus. Except for Camelia. She’s reluctant to believe he's trouble, even when her friends try to convince her otherwise. Instead, she’s inexplicably drawn to Ben…and to his touch. But soon, Camelia is receiving eerie phone calls and strange packages with threatening notes. Ben insists she is in danger, and that he can help—but can he be trusted? She knows he's hiding something... but he's not the only one with a secret.

When We Wake by Karen Healey

Sixteen-year-old Tegan is just like every other girl living in 2027--she's happiest when playing the guitar, she's falling in love for the first time, and she's joining her friends to protest the wrongs of the world: environmental collapse, social discrimination, and political injustice.

But on what should have been the best day of Tegan's life, she dies--and wakes up a hundred years in the future, locked in a government facility with no idea what happened.

Tegan is the first government guinea pig to be cryonically frozen and successfully revived, which makes her an instant celebrity--even though all she wants to do is try to rebuild some semblance of a normal life. But the future isn't all she hoped it would be, and when appalling secrets come to light, Tegan must make a choice: Does she keep her head down and survive, or fight for a better future?

Trinkets by Kirsten Smith

Sixteen-year-old Moe's Shoplifters Anonymous meetings are usually punctuated by the snores of an old man and the whining of the world's unhappiest housewife. Until the day that Tabitha Foster and Elodie Shaw walk in. Tabitha has just about everything she wants: money, friends, popularity, a hot boyfriend who worships her...and clearly a yen for stealing. So does Elodie, who, despite her goodie-two-shoes attitude pretty much has "klepto" written across her forehead in indelible marker. But both of them are nothing compared to Moe, a bad girl with an even worse reputation.

Tabitha, Elodie, and Moe: a beauty queen, a wallflower, and a burnout-a more unlikely trio high school has rarely seen. And yet, when Tabitha challenges them to a steal-off, so begins a strange alliance linked by the thrill of stealing and the reasons that spawn it.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

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 Prodigy HERE. Ends TODAY

Win a copy of The Forgotten Queen HERE. Ends 2/3

Win a YA book of your choice HERE. Ends 2/4

Win a January/February release HERE. Ends 2/4

Win a copy of Beautiful Creatures HERE. Ends 2/8

Win a copy of The Indigo Spell HERE. Ends 2/12

Win a copy of The Listless HERE. Ends 2/17 

Friday, February 1, 2013

January in Review

I read 10 books this month (you can check them all out in the Books Read page)
I reviewed 10:

Temptation by Karen Ann Hopkins
What Happened to My Sister by Elizabeth Flock
Revived by Cat Patrick
The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi
The Last Princess by Galaxy Craze
Vertigo by Kristina Dunker
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
The Goddess Legacy by Aimée Carter
A Midsummer’s Nightmare by Kody Keplinger
Anteater-Boy by Dean Ammerman

I reviewed 2 movie(s) this month:
Rock of Ages
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Challenges so far:

I read 10/100 books towards my personal goal.
0/5 books for the 2013 Book Blogger Recommendation Challenge
2/7 books for the 2013 Finishing the Series Challenge

Blog Changes:

Just some adding and removing of buttons. Hopefully there will be a new design soon-ish, but no promises.


Overall:

I'm very glad to be posting regularly. But I am almost even happier to be on track with my reading goals and getting a jump start on one of my challenges. This is shaping up to be a great year! I didn't get to one book on my TBR list for the month, but a read a book for one of my classes, so I still got to 10.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Anteater-Boy by Dean Ammerman

Title: Anteater-Boy
Author: Dean Ammerman
Publisher: Kabloona
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 80% or B-
Buy It: Amazon
The school year is coming to an end and high school freshman Zak Dale wants a summer job to earn some money. His fish-eyed science teacher, Dr. Cyrus B. Fletcher, has a job opening but wants Zak to clean the science classroom, improve his grades, and deliver an award-winning speech to get it.

As Zak tries to prove he’s the best person for the summer job, he helps his best friend Miles search for the holy grail of junk food, falls in love with the beautiful and mysterious Mia Holmes, locates his missing grandmother, neglects his bladder-challenged dachshund, and takes a journey through the American Revolution with Darius Brown, his substitute history teacher.
My Thoughts::
It isn't on purpose, but I rarely read books from small publishers. I'm not sure why, but the biggest possible reason is that whenever I get emails about them for review I am rarely interested in the book that they are offering. It just isn't for me. Also, most of the books I haven't heard of or read reviews for, so I would have to put myself way out there to read something that doesn't seem like what I like. But this book definitely captured my interest enough for me to step out of my comfort zone.

I was happy getting to know Zak, because I always feel like I don't read enough books with male main characters. He was a fun character that had a really good and innocent heart. I really wanted him to succeed. But this brings me to one of my few complaints. Maybe it's because I don't read enough books with male narrators, but Zak seemed really typical and bland. I liked him enough, but he didn't capture my interest and make me want to learn all about him.

Not a whole lot happens, but since this is contemporary YA, I didn't expect explosions. The book went in a few different directions, including the romance. I appreciated the romance, but lucky for Ammerman, the book didn't need it. Miles was funny, so his scenes were very enjoyable. My favorite parts though are the ones that include the substitute teacher Darius Brown. It made the novel more than just another run of the mill story about an awkward teenager. It really made me think about some current and past issues that this country has with not only racism, but with race in history and what is taught.

Overall I think that Anteater Boy was a pleasant reading experience that was on the verge of being pretty meh overall until we get into history class.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Top Ten Most Frustrating Characters Ever

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

This week's top ten is...

Top Ten Most Frustrating Characters Ever.

1. Nasty from the Immortal Beloved Series by Cate Tiernan.
2. Kate from the Goddess Test Series by Aimee Carter.
3. All the main characters from the Pretty Little Liars Series by Sara Shepard.
4. Jasmine from If I Tell by Janet Gurtler
5. Ever from the Immortals Series by Alyson Noel
6. Zoey from the House of Night Series by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

Monday, January 28, 2013

A Midsummer’s Nightmare by Kody Keplinger

Title: A Midsummer's Nightmare
Author: Kody Keplinger
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 91% or A-
Buy It: Amazon
Whitley Johnson's dream summer with her divorce dad has turned into a nightmare. She's just met his new fiancee and her kids. The fiancee's son? Whitley's one-night stand from graduation night. Just freakin' great.

Worse, she totally doesn't fit in with her dad's perfect new country-club family. So Whitley acts out. She parties. Hard. So hard she doesn't even notice the good things right under her nose: a sweet little future stepsister who is just about the only person she's ever liked, a best friend (even though Whitley swears she doesn't "do" friends), and a smoking-hot guy who isn't her stepbrother...at least, not yet. It will take all three of them to help Whitley get through her anger and begin to put the pieces of her family together.
My Thoughts::
I've read every Keplinger book as soon as she put them out and this one was no different. Her books always hold great interest for me because like most girls my age, I can strongly relate to them. Well, this book was a little different in that aspect, because the situation is more specific, but it was still a fantastic read. 

Whitley was a really hard character to like. She was frustrating and I just wanted to slap her sometimes for being so selfish and self centered. But I think the hardest part about trying to like Whitley was that we all have more Whitley in us than we care to admit, at least I know I do. It's hard to like someone that often displays the bad parts of themselves that you can see in yourself. But Whitley did have some great points, which is what won me over in the end.

The book was pretty predictable, which was disappointing, but the events that occurred really made me care about the characters and Whitley's story. Still, it was kind of just another classic story of a teenaged rebellion and wanting her parents to be there for her. The romance also bothered me a decent amount, and I'm not sure why, at the end, the ramifications of their choices weren't shown.

Still, with these complaints I couldn't help but be wrapped up in all aspects of the book. Keplinger pushes the envelope when it comes to writing YA, which I really appreciate. She's tackling topics that are difficult and definitely not written enough about. The book also felt incredibly real. Whitley might have annoyed me, but she felt very much like an actual person, as well as the other characters.

Overall I think that this book was a nice summer read that had a very sharp edge of seriousness that didn't take over the entire book. It was definitely a Keplinger novel with its risque content.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

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! Well, my mom said I got something, but I haven't been home yet to open it.

What did you guys get?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

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 two books from a list HERE. Ends 1/31

Win a copy of Salvation HERE. Ends 1/31

Win a mystery book HERE. Ends 1/31

Win a copy of Prodigy HERE. Ends 2/2

Win a copy of Beautiful Creatures HERE. Ends 2/8

Win a copy of The Listless HERE. Ends 2/17

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Goddess Legacy by Aimée Carter

Title: The Goddess Legacy
Author: Aimée Carter
Publisher: Harlequin
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 85% or B
Buy It: Amazon
For millennia we've caught only glimpses of the lives and loves of the gods and goddesses on Olympus. Now Aimée Carter pulls back the curtain on how they became the powerful, petty, loving and dangerous immortals that Kate Winters knows.

Calliope/Hera represented constancy and yet had a husband who never matched her faithfulness….

Ava/Aphrodite was the goddess of love and yet commitment was a totally different deal….

Persephone was urged to marry one man, yet longed for another….

James/Hermes loved to make trouble for others but never knew true loss before….

Henry/Hades's solitary existence had grown too wearisome to continue. But meeting Kate Winters gave him a new hope….
My Thoughts::
I love background stories. I really do. I love seeing how people became the way that they are now and I love seeing how certain events created the circumstances that we now know. This didn't feel necessary for Carter's books until I read it. And holy cow, you need to read this if you've read the Goddess Test books. 

We get two very different types of stories in this book. The first type is about characters that we have misunderstood. These are characters that we kind of hated or at least didn't agree with their actions. But of course we forgot that they have a LOT of history to make them behave that way. The second type is of characters that we don't know much about. They don't play the biggest parts in the main books, but this gives us a chance to learn more about them.

While reading the books to this series it was at times hard to remember that these are ancient beings, except for Kate. It was fantastic to see some important moments in their long lives that made them the characters that we see in the books. I can really say that I understand the characters and the decisions that they are making now. 

I had some serious problems with a few of the characters while reading the other books. They seemed selfish, irrational, and just plain cruel. They still weren't right, but some pretty crappy stuff happened to them so I can't help but sympathize with them know since I know where they're coming from.

Overall I think this was an eye opening read that fans of these books will definitely enjoy.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Title: Pushing the Limits
Author: Katie McGarry
Publisher: Harlequin
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 84% or B
Buy It: Amazon 

So wrong for each other...AND YET SO RIGHT.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth.


But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common.


Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can PUSH THE LIMITS and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her HOW TO LOVE AGAIN.
My Thoughts::
Frequent readers of my blog know that this is exactly the kind of book that I would have loved a few years ago. Now my favorite YA books involve a government conspiracy of some sort. But I still enjoy the kind of books that used to be my favorite when I first started reading YA lit. I love taking the journey back and this book definitely helped me remember why I loved these books so much.

The characters in this book were so enjoyable. Echo had her problems, and the book was centered around her solving them. I really liked her with Noah. Noah wasn't too shabby himself. The best thing about him was that he didn't try to fix her. He knew that she was trying to figure stuff out, and he was there for her, but he didn't try to control her life.

The pasts of both Echo and Noah kept me reading much later than I should have been. It was seriously heartbreaking learning what both of them have been through, Echo especially. Echo finally remembering what happened to her was a truly touching scene that brought some tears. I was glad that she had Noah to help her through it all. I was rooting for them the entire time.

I could feel Echo's frustration of not knowing what happened to her. While reading the book I had a couple of theories going but none of them were completely right. Having people around you that knew what happened but not telling you must have been terrible. 

McGarry tackles a lot of issues in this book and does it really well. The book is very serious without it being dark and depressing to read. At the end it was uplifting because you know they are going to move passed the past and they have each other to help them through it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Vertigo by Kristina Dunker

Title: Vertigo
Author: Kristina Dunker
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 74% or C
Buy It: Amazon
And this weekend promises to be special, as she and her boyfriend, Julian, will be spending time together at his parents’ house in the country. Nothing could be more romantic and perfect. Except that the journey there goes horribly awry, and Eva’s dream weekend turns into a total nightmare.
After bearing witness to a terrible crime and narrowly escaping the scene, Eva loses her diary, an incredibly personal book that holds all of her secrets — including details of her visits to a therapist. So when she meets a helpful stranger who seems to know a great deal about her, she has to wonder if he is a kindred spirit or something darker.

Vertigo spins a psychologically intense tale of when to walk away…and when to run. 
My Thoughts::
I'm not sure if it was because I knew what the basic plot of the book was, or if it was the writing from the very beginning, but throughout the entire book I felt this creepiness. Like something was off or that something bad was about to happen. It put me in the mood to not trust any of the characters and to be wary of every event.

Even though  I was suspicious for the reasons listed above, Eva had no good reason to be suspicious and paranoid, yet she spent a lot of the book being those things. Eventually those feelings are warranted, but I couldn't help but feel that the author was trying to push Eva into feelings that weren't justified to move the book along. Either that or she's just unnaturally suspicious which just makes me not like her.

The mindset that this book put me in made it much more interesting to read. It made it seem like a psychological thriller instead of just a mystery. But eventually this wore thin and I just wanted them to figure it out already. I mean, seriously. Maybe I just read and watch a lot of mysteries, but usually the first obvious suspect is the criminal in the end. I knew who it would be so it was frustrating that the characters took so long to get it right.

Of course I didn't get every single detail though, so once all was revealed there were a few surprises to be had. Overall I think this was a decent mystery for most, but not so good for me.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Top Ten Settings I'd Like To See More Of

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

This week's top ten is...

Top Ten Settings I'd Like To See More Of (Or At All).

1. In the past, like the 1800s. A guilty pleasure of mine is watching Little House on the Prairie and I love love love how people lived back then.

2. The future. I know this is becoming more and more common but I still can't get enough! It is so fun imagining how things will be.

3. The south. I'm not from the south, but it is really interesting to read about. I'm not a fan of stereotypes, but books like this always make me feel like it's summer and time for sweet tea.

4. The beginning of the school year. I don't see this too much and when I do, I like it. I like it even more if it is college!

5. The city! I'm not sure why, but just about every book that I read takes place in a small town or suburb. The city is fun and interesting and busy!

6. Space. I can count on one hand the books I read who take place in space. There is so much that can be said, so get on this writers!

7. College. As a college student, I'd really appreciate it. Believe me, even younger teenagers will enjoy it because they are thinking about what college will be like. Do it!

8. The Twilight Zone. Ehh? Ehhh?! How freaky would that be?

Monday, January 21, 2013

To the Cinema! #17

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.

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters
 

Movie 43

Identity Thief

Sunday, January 20, 2013

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.


Me, Him, Them, and It by Caela Carter
Left Behind: A Novel of the Earth's Last Days by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins
Gates of Paradise by Melissa de la Cruz
Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick -RAK, thank you so much Kathrin from Secret Dreamworld of a Bookaholic!
Stung by Bethany Wiggins