Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday - Forget You by Jennifer Echols

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that you're eagerly anticipating.

 Released July 20, 2010

I'm really looking forward to this book. I'm on an ARC tour for it and I cannot wait until it's my turn because before I even finished reading the description, I knew it was something that could be really good.

From Goodreads:
There’s a lot Zoey would like to forget. Like how her father has knocked up his twenty-four-year old girlfriend. Like Zoey’s fear that the whole town will find out about her mom’s nervous breakdown. Like darkly handsome bad boy Doug taunting her at school. With her life about to become a complete mess, Zoey fights back the only way she knows how, using her famous attention to detail to make sure she’s the perfect daughter, the perfect student, and the perfect girlfriend to ultra-popular football player Brandon.

But then Zoey is in a car crash, and the next day there’s one thing she can’t remember at all—the entire night before. Did she go parking with Brandon, like she planned? And if so, why does it seem like Brandon is avoiding her? And why is Doug—of all people—suddenly acting as if something significant happened between the two of them? Zoey dimly remembers Doug pulling her from the wreck, but he keeps referring to what happened that night as if it was more, and it terrifies Zoey to admit how much is a blank to her. Controlled, meticulous Zoey is quickly losing her grip on the all-important details of her life—a life that seems strangely empty of Brandon, and strangely full of Doug.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Virgin Territory - James Lecesne

Dylan is living in his own personal hell. His mom died when he was little, his dad moved him from Manhattan to Jupiter, Florida, his grandmother has Alzheimer's and is constantly leaving the Assisted Living Facility she lives in, and to top it all off his dad has taken away his internet access and forces him to get a job.

Dylan finds work at a local golf course and when a woman claims to see the Virgin Mary's image in the bark of a tree on the course, people start coming out hoping for miracles. Soon Dylan befriends Angela, Des, and Crispy, all members of the Virgin Club (dubbed that because they travel around with their mom's to see the Blessed Virgin Mary) and eventually the course closes down due to the sheer number of people flocking to the tree. Dylan falls for Angela despite Crispy's warning and he thinks things are going well with her, but soon finds out he's just her flavor of the week.

I didn't really care for this book. It was a little slow and I didn't really connect with any of the characters and I didn't really care what happened to Dylan. I liked Des and Dylan's grandmother enough but that was about it. I did feel bad for Dylan when he found out that his dad lied to him about what happened to all their pictures of his mother, but that was it.

I really did not like Angela at all and I hated that she took advantage of Dylan's grandmother. The writing itself wasn't bad but I just don't think the content was for me.

Monday, June 28, 2010

If I Stay - Gayle Forman

 Mia has a good life. Cool and caring parents, a little brother she loves, a sweet boyfriend who shares her love of music, the best friend a girl could ask for, and a promising future at Julliard. Mia's only problem is she always feels on the outside of everything. Her parents, little brother, and her boyfriend, Adam, are all rock musicians while she is an amazing cellist. Not only does her choice in music seem to separate her from her family, but she's also the dark haired one in a sea of blonde.

Then one day a surprise day off from work and school leads Mia and her family to spend the day together, but one moment changes it all when there is a terrible accident. Mia is soon on the outside of things once again when she finds herself in a type of limbo while staring down at her seriously injured body.

With her parents dead and her little brother unaccounted for, Mia stays with her body and ends up in the Intensive Care Unit and is eventually surrounded by family and friends. After hearing a nurse's comment to her grandparents, Mia realizes she must make the ultimate decision; to let death win or fight to stay alive. Should she stop fighting for her life and just give in so she can be with her parents and now her brother again, or is there still a life worth living with Adam and the rest of her family?

I'm really glad I didn't know too much about If I Stay before I started reading it. Why? I'm known to want to read sad books but put them off because I know they'll make me cry. Good thing I didn't do that with this book because there were three specific parts that had the tears flowing.

This was a fantastic book and beautifully written. The subject matter is pretty depressing, as death usually is, but beyond that there's Mia reminiscence of her parents and brother. You get to see how happy they were as a family and how involved they were with each others lives. I also couldn't help but wonder how many people who are broken, just like Mia, are waiting for that one person to tell them that it's okay for them to let go. Sometimes people can be so selfish when it comes to their loved ones that, unlike her gramps, just refuse to give the person the option of letting go. I don't know what it's like to be in a coma or at death's door, but I would imagine that just knowing that it's okay to stop fighting is a relief to the person, like it was for Mia.

I will definitely be recommending this book to others. I just hope that they will appreciate it as much as I did. I also hope that when the movie for If I Stay is made, that the book is done justice. I want to see how it's translated to film because it could be a beautiful, heart-wrenching, movie but I know no matter what, the movie will never compare to the original work.

Thank you Robin for getting this book for me!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

In My Mailbox (16)

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi over at The Story Siren and all you have to do is post about what books you received that week by mail, library, or store.

I was feeling kind of crappy earlier this week so for a little pick me up, I took a trip to the bookstore. I ended up buying three books that were part of the buy two, get one free deal and I'm kind of excited about them. I might go back tomorrow when their big sale is to get another three books that I have since decided I need in my life. Look for those next week.

When I saw 13 Little Blue Envelopes on that shelf, I knew it was fate that I had to buy it. Why you ask? On the way to the store I told myself that the first book I saw that I have been wanting to get for a while was going to be the book I bought. I have been wanting to read this book from Maureen Johnson for some time and the world told me it was time.

Next up was Wake by Lisa McMann. I saw this on someone's blog and it sounded like something I might like, plus this is another one where I like the cover.

I also got Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott. I was contemplating getting The Unwritten Rule but when I picked this one instead since it went along with the deal.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? What did you get this past week?

Happy Reading!

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Dark Divine - Bree Despain

So I read Bree Despain's The Dark Divine back in May and for some reason it totally escaped being blogged about. Shame on me because I LOVED this book.

Grace Divine is a pastor's daughter and lives her life following the rules and making sure she does things portray her and her family in a good light. When an old friend, Daniel, returns to town Grace is warned by her brother, Jude, to stay away from him. Grace struggles with the request because not only does Daniel seem to need help, but she wants to find out what happened that night Daniel left and Jude came home all bloody. Will Grace find the answers she's looking for? Will her brother forgive her for doing the right thing when she helps someone that is in desperate need of it?

I have had this book sitting on my bookshelf almost since it was released. I have no idea why it took my so long to read it, but I wish it hadn't because I loved this book. Grace was a very determined character and I liked being in her head. She wasn't whiney and she was always trying to do the right thing, but a lot of the time it did seem as if the right thing for her went against what everyone else was telling her.

Daniel was kind of a jerk at first but the more you got to know him, the more you realized it was more of a defense mechanism. As for Jude, I kind of disliked him from the get-go. I don't know what it was, but the whole prodigal son thing didn't work for me and I felt justified in my dislike of him by the end. I think it was just because he seemed too good at the beginning.

I also loved this cover. I know you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover but that is the initial reason I bought this book. It jumped out to me in the bookstore and the shade of purple is just pretty. Kudos to the person who picked this as the cover.

If you haven't read The Dark Divine yet, I urge you to add this book to your TBR pile.

This was book #6 in the 2010 Debut Author's Challenge.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday - Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that you're eagerly anticipating.

 Released October 18, 2010

I've seen Hunger mentioned quite a bit around the blogosphere and finally decided to read what it was about and wow. I really want to read this now. I think it's a really cool concept and I like the idea of an anorexic girl being the horseman for famine.

From Goodreads:
“Thou art the Black Rider. Go thee out unto the world.”

Lisabeth Lewis has a black steed, a set of scales, and a new job: she’s been appointed Famine. How will an anorexic seventeen-year-old girl from the suburbs fare as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?

Traveling the world on her steed gives Lisa freedom from her troubles at home: her constant battle with hunger, and her struggle to hide it from the people who care about her. But being Famine forces her to go places where hunger is a painful part of everyday life, and to face the horrifying effects of her phenomenal power. Can Lisa find a way to harness that power — and the courage to battle her own inner demons?

What do you think of Hunger? 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

In My Mailbox (15)

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi over at The Story Siren and all you have to do is post about what books you received that week by mail, library, or store.

Thanks to Robin, I got a copy of Gayle Forman's If I Stay. I have been wanting to read this for a while, and as part of my exchange gift she got me this and I can't wait to start reading it.

For review, I got Virgin Territory by James Lecesne. I thought this might be slightly different from what I've been reading lately so we'll see how it goes.I haven't heard anything about this at all so I hope it won't disappoint.

Happy reading!

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Tension of Opposites - Kristina McBride

Confession time. I read The Tension of Opposites over 2 weeks ago and I had written out my review on paper while I was killing time at work (shh) and I completely forgot that putting something on paper doesn't mean that it will magically appear on my blog. My bad. So although later than I planned, here we go..

Tessa has distanced herself from everybody after her best friend Noelle was kidnapped two years earlier. Then the unimaginable happens and Cooper, Noelle's brother, tells Tessa that Noelle is safe and she's coming home. Tessa can't wait to have her best friend back but Noelle's family forbids Tessa to see her. Cooper then tells Tessa that Noelle, now Elle, is different and their family doesn't want to upset her. In the meantime, Tessa meets the new photography student, Max, and he has taken an interest in her. At first, she tries to fight it because Elle needs her but she finds her thoughts drifting to Max. Will Tessa and Elle be best friends again like they used to be? Can Tessa stop focusing so much on Elle or will she risk losing Max?

A few weeks ago I mentioned all the issues I had finding this book. Was it worth it? Yes and no.

I liked that this book was about the aftermath of something so horrible such as a kidnapping. Most of time, something like this gets pushed aside and forgotten with the details glossed over and you never really know what goes on once the person comes home. The Tension of Opposites gives you a little insight to why the victim might do or feel the things they do. I liked that it had a happy ending with Noelle coming home alive but I also liked getting to see a bit of her inner conflict. How could someone not change after having something so terrible happen to them?

This leads me to what I didn't like. Tessa just seemed so bent on getting her best friend back and getting back what ;life was like before the kidnapping that it felt like she wasn't very concerned with what Elle was dealing with mentally and emotionally.

I do wish that this book would have been from Elle's perspective because I think that would have made it so much better. Elle just seemed to have more of a presence of character than Tessa did and I found myself getting annoyed with Tessa.

I do recommend reading it at least once though, if not for any other reason than this: Kristina seems like such a sweetheart that I really struggled with wanting to like this book more than not. I will be reading more stuff from her in the future for the simple fact that, even though I've just shared a few tweets with her, I like her as a person.

Also, if you read this book you can join in on Jessica's first ever blog book discussion on Monday, June 28th and Tuesday, June 29th where participants can talk about The Tension of Opposites with the possibility of Kristina herself showing up for the discussion.

This was book #5 in the 2010 Debut Author's Challenge

Sunday, June 13, 2010

In My Mailbox (14)

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi over at The Story Siren and all you have to do is post about what books you received that week by mail, library, or store.

 Last week was pretty hectic and it was late Monday night when I realized that I never posted my IMM entry and since it was just two books I figured I would just wait and post them this week. Starting there, I joined an ARC tour Julie was hosting of Juliet by Anne Fortier and when I met her in Atlanta for the Backstreet Boys concert (yes, you heard me and it was SO much fun) she brought it to me and I started reading it the next day. So far I am REALLY liking it..much more than I thought I would.

I also got Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway. After hearing how awesome Robin is (yes, it was from Jessica) I had to get this book when I saw it on sale. Plus, I've heard good things about this book from various people so it was just a matter of time before I got it. I have been itching to read Teri Hall's The Line for quite some time, so I finally had a chance to run out and get it and I plan on it being the next book I read after I finish Juliet. It has been a while since I've read a dystopian book and I'm really excited about this. Plus, I LOVE the cover.

When I bought The Line, I had a Books-A-Million $5 off $25 and for some reason I really wanted to use it, so when I went looking around the store for what else I could buy, I found Meg Cabot's Party Princess in the bargain section. I've been wanting to read The Princess Diaries books for a while so I decided a few weeks ago that I would buy them as I saw them in hardback since it's A.)Meg Cabot and B.) I've heard so much good things about these books. I liked the movies enough but the books are always so much better that I can't wait until I find the first book in the series.

What did you get this week? Have you read any of the books that I got? Also, not IMM-related but how do you like the new look to my blog? I just changed it last night using blogger's new design stuff so I'm really excited that I finally have something book-ish.

Happy Reading!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Tangled - Carolyn Mackler

Tangled is about four teenagers, Jena, Skye, Dakota, and Owen, who are whisked away to Paradise for a vacation with their parents. Jena and Skye's mothers are best friends which means that Jena and Skye are always thrown together. Skye is an aspiring actress and is very intimidating to Jena, which causes Jena to feel insecure and babble a lot. On the other hand, Dakota and Owen are brothers and their mom decided that a vacation was a good idea to get Dakota's mind off things back home. Jena and Dakota meet one night and from then on, all four teens have a major impact on each other resulting in life changing events.

When Tangled first came out, I wasn't sure what it was going to be about but I knew I had read Mackler's The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Thing and really enjoyed it so I thought I would give this a try. Then when I saw the cover for this book, I just fell in love with it so I went out and bought it. I've had this book sitting on my bookshelf for months now and finally got around to picking it up and I read it pretty quickly.

I liked and disliked this book for one main reason so I guess I'll start with my likes. I really enjoyed how it gave each character a voice and showed the impact each person had on another. I felt like I was able to get to know all four characters better than I might normally have if it had been written from just one person's point of view. I thought it was nice to see what each character was going through and I really thought that each of their voices were unique and really made you remember who you were reading about. I loved that they were all intertwined with each other and each had their own problems and you got to see what got them to that point.

That said, even though I loved being able to get to know each character first hand, I wish that I would have been able to get more one on one time with each of them. I think my favorite character was Owen and I really would have liked to get an expansion of how his character grew. I saw a lot of possibility with him but his ending seemed kind of abrupt. Everyone else got a mention in Owen's ending about where they were, what and how they were doing but Owen's story just ended. I also kind of wish we would have gotten another section with them all having come back together in the same place to see just what kind of impact they had on each other..especially with Jena and Dakota.

I also felt that Skye's story fell a bit flat. I wasn't as invested in her as a character as I was with everyone else and couldn't wait to get through her portion of the book. I do think it's a shame though because her pain could have really wrenched your heart and make you feel for her.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Will Grayson, Will Grayson - John Green & David Levithan

Will Grayson, Will Grayson was co-written by two fabulous authors, John Green and David Levithan. The book is about two boys named Will Grayson who randomly meet each other in Chicago. Honestly, any description I give beyond this just doesn't seem like it would do the book justice.

I had never read a book that was co-authored before so I was pretty excited to do so. After seeing a bunch of talk about this from some of my online book girls, I added it to my TBR list and months later I got my hands on it.

I feel as if something is wrong with me though. As much as I liked this book and yes, I would read it again, I didn't love it as much as everyone else seems to. Maybe it was a classic case of too much hype and anticipation that built it up far beyond what it should have been. I'm not sure. There were certainly things that I did love about this book though, I loved the one liners and the sentiment behind what drove each Will Grayson. I also really liked that this book was nothing like I thought it was going to be.

I did like how each Will Grayson was different than the other but that they were also pretty similar in that they thought they wanted to be alone or didn't feel like it would be wise for them to open up to anyone and then each one finding a person that challenges them and shows them that it's ok to be open.

My favorite character in this book had to have been Tiny Cooper. He was one of the most realistic best friends that I have read about. He's there to back you up, call you on stuff, but also gets so wrapped up in himself that it seems like you've been forgotten. I really do appreciate you Tiny Cooper.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Guest Blogger for Hex Hall

Any giveaway I do, I ask the winner if they would be interested in doing a guest blog about the book they won because I want to know what that person thought about it. My first ever guest blogger is Ashley who was the winner of a signed copy of Hex Hall and here's what she had to say:

I will admit that I didn’t have a great deal of interest in Hex Hall when I first heard about it and didn’t give it much thought.  But then the girls in my online book club started raving about how great it was and how we all just had to read it, so I finally added it to my TBR list. I was then lucky enough to win the signed copy Crystal was giving away and I’m so glad I did. 

What a fun read!  You know those books that just seem to grab you and take you right along on the adventure with the characters?  Like… Harry Potter or even Hunger Games?  Hex Hall is right up there with them, yet lighter and infused with a little more humor which makes it really enjoyable. 

Every character felt real to me.  Beyond the magical powers part, I could see each of them, from Sophie, to Jenna, to Elodie, being students in my high school.  I admire an author that can do that because likable and/or real characters are hard to write; especially an entire novel worth of them.   Archer was the perfect mystery, I loved to hate Elodie, Jenna was a fantastic best friend (which is saying a lot because I normally hate the best friend) and Sophie… well she just seemed so normal.  I really liked her and could easily identify with her. 

The setting and writing were perfect on their own as well.  I’d love to meet Rachel Hawkins in person because I’m sure she’s absolutely hilarious.  The book is full of witty dialogue that had me hooked. Here’s one of my favorite examples (that doesn’t give anything away): 
    "Good luck explaining to God that you used to spank one of his heavenly beings."   Mom gave a startled laugh. "Sophie!" "What? You did. I hope you like hot weather, Mom, that's all I'm saying." 
I think the best elements to this story were the major twists the plot took.  So many recent books are so predictable that by half way through you’ve pretty much figured out what’s going to happen.  This story had a conclusion that I never imagined and the unexpected twists and turns were great. It was a fresh story that in no way felt like the same old thing. 

Here are my only two complaints:
-it was over far too soon
-I have to wait much too long for the sequel. 

I’m very much looking forward to the next installment and I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun adventure read.  A great debut for Hawkins! 

Thanks again Crystal!

Thanks Ashley! I'm so glad you enjoyed it and reading this just made me want to re-read Hex Hall already!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday - Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that you're eagerly anticipating.

 Released August 31, 2010

I really have nothing to say about why I want to read this book. The description provided by Goodreads is grabbing and makes me hate that I have to wait until the end of August to read this book. 

From Goodreads:

Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: Jem, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

 What was your WoW pick?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Princess for Hire Giveaway

The giveaway for a signed copy of Princess for Hire has officially ended and a winner has been picked.

Thanks to everyone who entered and I truly wish I had enough books to give to all of you, alas, there could only be one winner and with the help of, the winner is

Emily Joy

Congratulations Emily! I hope you enjoy the book and I will be mailing it in the next day or so.


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