July 31, 2011

In My Mailbox {5}

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It features books acquired over the past week no matter the source (bookstore, publisher, friend, library, etc.)

This was another library week. I've been putting loads of books on hold in preparation for my trip to Indiana (I'm from WA so the heat shall be unbearable) and no, they won't all fit in my bags, but I'd rather be overly prepared.

(I know it's a bad pic, but it was my phone and it was pretty dark.)

The Maze Runner by James Dashner (I've been wanting to read this for a while and figured now was a great time with the last book coming out.)
Wither by Lauren DeStefano (Everyone's saying this is fantastic and hello, it's dystopian!)
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson (I actually heard about the second book first and thought it was rather intriguing so I picked this one up to start.)

See that cute panda bookmark? It's a WWF bookmard which cost me nothing since I got 50 cents for trading in a sackful of books (yes, I kind of thought that was lame) at Half Price Books. He's adorable and will do my darndest not to lose him!

So that's mine, what's in your mailbox this week?

July 30, 2011

Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender

Alexis thought she led a typically dysfunctional high school existence: dysfunctional like her parents' marriage; her doll-crazy, thirteen-year-old sister, Kasey; and even her own antisocial, anti-cheerleader attitude. 
When a family argument results in tearful sisterly bonding, Alexis realizes that her life is creeping from dysfunctional to dangerous. Kasey is acting stranger than ever: her blue eyes go green; she uses odd, old-fashioned language - and she even loses track of times, claiming to know nothing about her weird behavior. Their old house is changing, too. Doors open and close by themselves, water boils on the unlit stove, and an unplugged air conditioner turns the house cold enough for the girls to see their breath. 
Alexis wants to believe it's all in her head, until these seemingly harmless occurrences become life-threatening - to her, to her family, and to her budding relationship with the student council vice president. Alexis knows she's the only person who can stop Kasey; but what if that green-eyed girl isn't even Kasey anymore?

I rather liked this book, but not that much. It was a quick read and really sucked me in. Now, I know a lot of book bloggers out there read at lightning speed, but I'm not like that. I'm really okay with getting books done at a moderate pace, but this time I discovered my library wanted me to take this back to them - soon. In short, I ended up finishing this in about a day and a half. It wasn't all because of my deadline though. Bad Girls Don't Die was written in such a way that it pulled me in almost immediately.

I don't usually jump at ghost books, but the story here made it feel like it could happen to anyone. Alexis was your typical outcast teen with your typical dysfunctional family. Only, not quite. The family aspects played in pretty well with the story which I enjoyed. What I didn't enjoy was Alexis's attitude.I understand the whole grumpy-teenager thing, but it seemed like Alexis was taking it a little too far sometimes. She complains about The Doom Squad because they "try to hard," but that's exactly what Alexis does in her efforts to continue being an outcast.

It also felt a bit like the poor love interest only made about three appearances in the story. It felt as if the story could have moved along perfectly fine without him and he was just thrown in to appease the swoony teenagers out there. Normally I'm all for a little romance (who isn't?) but I felt as if Bad Girls Don't Die almost could have done without it.

One more downside, I predicted the outcome LONG before Alexis. I kept wanting to scream at her because she was being so dense.

My griping aside, this was still a great story. I loved all the back stories and history. It was nice to read about normal people going through something paranormal. Many times the main character or their families aren't quite normal which works just fine, but normal characters created a nice change of pace for once.

Final thoughts: I know, I didn't have absolutely positive things to say about this, but it's still worth the read. If you're in the mood for a quick spooky, ghost story pick this up and give it a go.

Publisher: Disney*Hyperion
Publish Date: April 21, 2009
Pages: 346
Series: Bad Girls Don't Die #1
Rating: 3.5 stars

July 28, 2011

Cover Lover {5}

(I know cover memes are all over, but I really love this name. If anyone feels I haven't given credit where credit is due, please contact me.)

Of course we all know you should never judge a book by its cover, but do we ever really listen to that?
Cover Lover showcases eye catching, intriguing, and beautiful covers

This week's Cover Love goes to Dark Souls by Paula Morris
Publish Date: August 1, 2011

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

When Nora and Patch are forced together as lab partners, Nora would rather fall to her death than put up with his elusive answers to her questions, his teasing, and his infuriatingly handsome face and hypnotizing eyes. It seems Patch was put on earth just to drive her crazy. 
But before long, Nora's defenses start to break down as her curiosity about Patch heats up. Why does he always seem to be wherever she is and know exactly what she's thinking? How does he know what to say to both attract and  repulse her? And what is up with those VG-shaped scars on his chiseled back? 
As their connection grows stronger, Nora's own life becomes increasingly fragile. Nora needs to decide: Is Patch the one who wants to do her harm or the one who will keep her safe? Has she fallen for one of the fallen?

This book started out really slow for me and I was finding it difficult to get into it. I've heard all the hype so I was expecting something fantastic and I felt like I was being let down. And then I made it to the middle. It was about that time when it really hooked me and pulled me in.

Everything seemed...forced in the beginning. It felt like Patch and Nora were just two random people that got thrown together simply so they could make a story. Obviously, that's kind of what a book is about, but the reader isn't supposed to be able to feel it. Finally, I got to the good stuff and things were explained a little better which made the story flow A LOT better.

The heat between Nora and Patch was crazy. Normally, I'm pretty good with the cutesy relationship stuff, but Hush, Hush got me hungry for something more. I want the next book right now just so I can see how Nora and Patch get, ahem, closer.

I also really enjoyed the take on angels here. It was quite a bit darker than your typical angel book, but it also had a few new things thrown in to spice up the mix.

Final thoughts: If for some reason you haven't read this yet, go out and pick it up. Though the beginning may be slow, confusing, and seem like things are just thrown in to create a story, you MUST stick with it.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publish Date: October 2009
Pages: 391
Series: 1/3*
Rating: 4 stars

* = Not a final count

July 27, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday {4}

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights eagerly anticipated upcoming books.

Crossed (Matched #2) by Ally Condie

In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake. 
Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander - who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart - change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.

Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Publish Date: November 1, 2011
Series: Matched #2

I absolutely loved Matched. I was so excited for the next book I kept constantly checking my library catalog not knowing it wasn't out yet. I finally figured out it wasn't out until November and it eased my frustration, but not my excitement. I can't wait to read more about the Society. I hope Crossed has more history about the downfall of earth and the construction of the Society though.

July 25, 2011

Forgotten by Cat Patrick

Every night, while sixteen-year-old London Lane is asleep, her memory of that day is erased. In the morning, all she can "remember" are events from her future. London is used to relying on reminder notes and a trusted friend to get through the day, but things get complicated when a new boy at school enters the picture. Luke Henry is not someone you'd easily forget, yet try as she might, London can't find him in her memories of things to come. 
When London starts experiencing disturbing flashbacks, or flash-forwards, as the case may be, she realizes it's time to learn about the past she keeps forgetting - before it destroys her future. 

I absolutely loved the premise for this book, it's such an original concept. The synopsis had me a bit confused, but surprisingly, the book actually cleared up the confusion quite well. I've heard that Forgotten can be confusing, but I honestly didn't see it. The book puts you inside London's head where this is an absolutely normal thing, so it felt normal to me as well.

Speaking of London, she wasn't what I was expecting. This was a good thing, though. Often, girls in these types of books (reality with a twist, if you will) like to pretend they're normal (other than whatever makes reality abnormal) while truly there's something that makes them different than you and me. This wasn't the case with London, though. I found her to be just as normal as normal as any old girl in high school if maybe a bit more mature. I enjoyed reading about her and trying to figure out what she may do next.

Sadly, Forgotten wasn't quite as fantastic as I'd hoped. The love interest kind of seemed to pop out of nowhere to me (page 10 is a little early for me) and though this was sort of explained, I still didn't feel it was a good enough explanation. I also found the ending to be a bit lackluster. I felt like I was left with questions unanswered and quite big questions at that. Overall, the writing was only okay as well. It wasn't bad and it got me through the story just fine, but that's all it did for me.

Final thoughts: Though the writing wasn't what it could have been, the original story makes up for that. It's definitely worth picking up.

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publish Date: June 2011
Pages: 288
Series: No
Rating: 3.5

July 24, 2011

In My Mailbox {4}

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It features books acquired over the past week no matter the source (bookstore, publisher, friend, library, etc.)

This week I grabbed a couple books from the library since I simply can't keep myself from scanning the shelves, but I also but a couple books from Half Price Book. Seriously, that place is awesome.

Firelight by Sophie Jordan (I've read it and it was great, but I feel I need to skim it again before the sequel.)
Sweet Deceit by Kate Brian (Just another one of my guilty pleasure books.)

Pretties by Scott Westerfeld (I absolutely loved the Uglies series, and felt I needed to own them. This was on sale for $3.99 so I needed it.)
Specials by Scott Westerfeld ($2)
Death by Bikini by Linda Gerber (Honestly, I barely scanned the synopsis. The cover was eye-catching as was the name and it was only $1. Who can resist such a cheap book?)

What's in your mailbox?

July 23, 2011

Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves

Kit and Fancy Cordelle are sisters of the best kind, best friends, best confidantes, and best accomplices. The daughters of the infamous Bonesaw Killer, Kit and Fancy are used to feeling like outsiders, and that's just the way they like it. But in Portero, where the weird and wild run rampant, the Cordelle sisters are hardly the oddest or most dangerous creatures around. 
It's no surprise when Kit and Fancy start to give in to their deepest desire - the desire to kill. What starts as a fascination with slicing open and stitching up quickly spirals into a gratifying murder spree. Of course, the sisters aren't killing just anyone, only the people who truly deserve it. But the girls have learned from their father's mistakes and know that a shred of evidence could get them caught. So when Fancy stumbles upon a mysterious world, she opens a door to endless possibilities...

This book was...weird. Incredibly weird. And quite creepy as well. Now, I suppose I should have known what I was getting myself into with the synopsis, but I was hoping there was more to the story (not to mention the cover which really drew me in), especially with all the talk of doors and other worlds. Sadly, it wasn't what I was hoping for.

This book was so full of blood and gore, I might as well have only spent 2 hours watching a slasher movie and gotten the same effect. Sure, there was a little bit about the sisters' relationship with each other and their relationships by other people, but that was a little hard to get into amidst all the blood. Did I mention there was a LOT of blood?

Besides all the gore, the writing didn't impress me all that much. I found myself feeling lost a few times simply because things were introduced but not explained. Sometimes it felt like I was just expected to know what someone's expression looked like or what something specific to that world meant automatically. It also felt like some situations just popped up out of nowhere. The transitions were greatly lacking, in my opinion.

Final thoughts: This book was definitely not my taste. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone either. I finished expecting something different to happen, but nothing ever did. The moral here would likely be "don't expect something different from a synopsis that tells you something directly."

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publish Date: January 2011
Pages: 505
Series: No
Rating: 2 stars

July 22, 2011

Cover Lover {4}

(I know cover memes are all over, but I really love this name. If anyone feels I haven't given credit where credit is due, please contact me.)

Of course we all know you should never judge a book by its cover, but do we ever really listen to that?
Cover Lover showcases eye catching, intriguing, and beautiful covers

This weeks Cover Love goes to Betrayal by Mayandree Michel
Release Date: April 2011

July 21, 2011

Rosebush by Michele Jaffe

Jane Freeman opens her eyes on the morning after Jocelyn Gunter's epic Memorial Day party and finds herself tangled in a rosebush, pierced by hundreds of tiny thorns, paralyzed, and unable to remember a single detail from the night before.Her mother and the doctors say the hit and run was an accident. ut Jane knows the truth. Someone tried to kill her. Someone from the party. The clues add up - the drink, the slammed door, the kiss, the car, the ring - but with no memory, it's impossible for Jane to tell the difference between what really happened and what everyone wants her to believe.Unable to leave the hospital until she's fully recovered, Jane lets long-buried memories begin to resurface, making her question everything she thought she knew about love, friendship, and loyalty. Her friends come and go, each with a different version of what happened that night. And Jane has to figure out who's really on her side - before the killer strikes again.

I don't even know where to start with this book. Usually when reading a book, I manage to fill up a whole notebook page with notes or more, but that wasn't the case with Rosebush. I found myself so engrossed that I barely managed to take any notes at all.

I'm not sure why I put off reading this. Maybe I was just thinking it would be like so many young-adult mysteries that just didn't do it for me. However, this was definitely not the case. The story was beautifully crafted in a way that had me feeling exactly like Jane - lost and utterly confused. In a fantastic way, of course. Every time I thought I had something pieced together, I was thrown for another loop and nothing looked the same.

The writing was beautiful and though Jane grated on my nerves sometimes with her need for love and approval, it was still understandable. My only major complaint is that there was a character or two who just seemed to be there only to throw us off. I suppose that is a purpose in itself, especially for this type of book, but it just seemed kind of, for lack of a better word, lame.

Final thoughts: Don't put off reading this book. It kept me guessing and I didn't want to put it down. I haven't a feeling you won't either.

Publisher: Razorbill
Date Published: December 2010
Pages: 326
Series: No
Rating: 4

July 20, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday {3}

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights eagerly anticipated upcoming books.

Vengeance: A Private Novel by Kate Brian

After the devastating events at Reed's birthday party, Noelle is determined to put the past to rest, but Reed is adament about rebuilding Billings. Coming up against endless roadblocks from the headmaster, not to mention Billings alumni, Reed will not let her legacy end with a pile of rubble.
As if that weren't enough, old ghosts come back to haunt to the Billings Girls. Reed has been through the ringer in her time at Easton and she starts to wonder if maybe she can even make it out of this place alive.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Series: Private novels 14/14
Release September 9, 2011

I know, I know. It's kind of a guilty pleasure of mine. I've read every single one so it's nice to finally see it to its end.

July 18, 2011

Princess for Hire by Lindsey Leavitt

When a flawlessly dressed woman steps out of an iridescent bubble and wants to know, like , now if you'd like to become a substitute princess, do you:  a) run b) faint c) say yes!
For Desi Bascomb, who's been longing for a bit of glamour in her Idaho life, the choice is a definite c) - that is, once she can stop pinching herself. As her new agent, Meredith, explains, Desi has a rare magical ability: when she applies the ancient Egyptian formula "Royal Rouge," she can transform temporarily into the exact look-alike off any princess who needs her subbing services.Dream come true, right? 
Well, Desi soon discovers that subbing involves a lot more than wearing a tiara and waving at cameras. Like, what do you do when a bullying older sister puts you on a heinous crash diet? Or when the tribal villagers gather to watch you perform a ceremonial dance you don't know? Or when a princess's conflicted sweetheart shows up to break things off - and your sure she would want you to change his mind?

First of all, I'm not quite sure how this is a YA book and not an MG book. I got it out of the YA section in my library and until I was reading it, I didn't realize that the main character was going to be 13. Normally I don't read real-life-esque MG books because I just find it a bit odd. This one wasn't too bad, though.

There were quite a few funny and hart-warming moments, but overall, I wasn't that impressed. For much of the book, I found Desi to be overly-dramatic and self-centered. She was absolutely obsessive about her crush but not at all in an understandable way. The absurdness of her crush had me wanting to punch her in the face a few times. I know a crush isn't really enough to go off of for a review, though.

I enjoyed the new spin on princesses. The lives weren't too glamorous (though I'm hoping for some glamour in the next!) and you got to see the nitty-gritty of the real princess's lives instead silly little surface problems we normal see when it comes to royalty.

In all, though, while this book wasn't bad, it wasn't remarkable either. The fist-pumping "You go, girl!" moments didn't outshine Desi's annoying obsession and inability to look past herself (even when helping others), but it was good enough to pick up the next one and continue in the story.

Publisher: Disney Hyperion Books
Publish Date: March 2010
Pages: 239
Series: 1/3*
Rating: 3

* = Not a final count

July 17, 2011

In My Mailbox {3}

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It features books acquired over the past week no matter the source (bookstore, publisher, friend, library, etc.)

More library books and (drumroll please...) for the first time ever I actually got a book in my mailbox. Well, my doorstep, but same thing.

The Game of Sunken Places by M.T. Anderson (It kind of sounds like Jumanji which I find rather intriguing.)
The Prophet of Yonwood by Jeanne Duprau (I remember reading The City of Ember and The People of Sparks when I was younger and loving them, so I thought I'd try this out too.)
You Wish by Mandy Hubbard (Such an interesting concept and it makes me wonder what would show up on my doorstep if this happened to me.)
XVI by Julia Karr (Dystopian. Need I say more?)

Contest win:
May by Kathryn Lasky (Not sure if I'll actually read this, but it's rather pretty.)

July 16, 2011

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood runb through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means that she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy. 
Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place - and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side. 
As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make - between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

Let me just start by saying that I got so much more from this book than I expected. I've been starting to lose faith in angel books lately (pun unintended). It's always about how they're fallen but they want to be good and a war between good and evil and yadda yadda yadda. While there was a little of that in Unearthly, it didn't dominate the story line. And I love the bit about the wings, but I shan't spoil that for you.

And by golly, the descriptions! I, for one, hate the country and will proudly proclaim myself a city girl. The descriptions of Jackson Hole had me wanting to pack up and go enjoy the beauty of it all on the spot though. I have a feeling the next time I find myself in somewhere like Montana or the like I'll take a second look at my surroundings instead of moaning and groaning for a city.

To sum up, this book was fantastic. I was flipping pages like no other hungry for what was to come. It also kept me guessing a bit, surprising me with thing I didn't see coming. My one negative thing was synopsis made it seem as if Clara was somewhat of a bad-girl which I didn't get from her. That wasn't part of the actual book though, so it doesn't factor in much.

Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 436
Series: 1/3?
Rating: 4.5

July 15, 2011

Cover Lover {3}

(I know cover memes are all over, but I really love this name. If anyone feelsI've stolen without getting credit please contact me so I can give you due credit.)

Of course we all know you should never judge a book by its cover, but do we ever really listen to that?
Cover Lover showcases eye catching, intriguing, and beautiful covers

This weeks Cover Love goes to Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst
Release Date: September 13, 2011

July 14, 2011

Reckless by Cornelia Funke

Beyond the mirror, the darkest fairy tales come alive.
For years, Jacob Reckless has enjoyed the Mirrorworld’s secrets and treasures. Not anymore. 
His younger brother has followed him.
Now dark magic will turn the boy to beast, break the heart of the girl he loves, and destroy everything Jacob holds most dear… 
Unless he can find a way to stop it. If you’re looking for happily ever after, you’ve come to the wrong place. 

Funke is a fantastic world creator. I enjoyed Inkheart (but sadly never made it to the rest) and the description of the fantastical world. This book did not disappoint in the department of fantastical worlds. I loved the little sprinklings of fairy tales throughout the story.

The beginning started out quickly pulling me into the story anxiously awaiting the next twist. Sadly, it got a little slow after that though. While there was action, it fell a little short of the beginning for me. It picked up again at the end and I was flipping pages to find out what outcome awaited Jacob and his companions.

Now, page-turning aside, I found myself rather confused at times. It became a bit jumpy at times just throwing things at me out of the blue. I would find myself flipping back to previous pages to see if I missed something. These random happenings felt like they were simply thrown into the story to invent conflict instead of letting it invent itself.

In short, I found this to be a fairly quick read, but it won’t be making it into my favorites list anytime soon. I’ll definitely look into the next one when it comes out though. (Also, I was rather surprised by the ending, but in a good way.)

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Pages: 394
Series: 1/5
Rating: 3.5

July 13, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday {2}

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights eagerly anticipated upcoming books.

Supernaturally by Kiersten White

Evie finally has the normal life she’s always longed for. But she’s shocked to discover that being ordinary can be . . . kind of boring. Just when Evie starts to long for her days at the International Paranormal Containment Agency, she’s given a chance to work for them again. Desperate for a break from all the normalcy, she agrees. 
But as one disastrous mission leads to another, Evie starts to wonder if she made the right choice. And when Evie’s faerie ex-boyfriend Reth appears with devastating revelations about her past, she discovers that there’s a battle brewing between the faerie courts that could throw the whole supernatural world into chaos. The prize in question? Evie herself. 
So much for normal.

Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: Paranormalcy 2/3
Release Date: July 26, 2011

I absolutely loved the first book. Evie's girly personality added a fantastic dimension to the paranormal world which it was previously lacking. You don't see girls who love angels caring about their sparkly pink boots, but Evie most certainly does.

July 11, 2011

Pegsus by Robin McKinley

Princess Sylviianel has always known that on her twelfth birthday she too would be bound to her Pegasus. All members of the royal family have been thus bound since the Alliance was made almost a thousand years ago; the binding system was created to strengthen the Alliance, because humans and pegasi can only communicate formally, through specially trained Speaker magicians. Sylvi is accustomed to seeing pegasi every day at the palace, but she still finds the idea of her binding very daunting. The official phrase is that your Pegasus is your “Excellent Friend.” But how can you be friends with someone you can’t talk to?But everything is different for Sylvi and Ebon from the moment they meet at her binding – when they discover they can talk to each other. They form so close a bond that it becomes a threat to the status quo – and possibly to the future safety of their two nations. For some of the magicians believe there is a reason humans and pegasi should not fully understand each other.

 I was really not a fan of this book. I’m unsure if it is because I’m not a fan of fantasy as I once thought or if it really was the book.

This book moved terribly slowly. So slow, in fact, I found myself skimming at times instead of immersing myself in the story which I absolutely never do. I found myself waiting and waiting for something to happen but nothing ever really seemed to. If something did happen, I was only aware of it because the characters said it was a big deal I did not, myself, feel like it was a problem as I normally would were the story to have captured my attention and grabbed hold of my emotions.

It wasn’t as if the terrible flow of the story was due to great description either. I was constantly wondering what this or that looked like or why a certain action was done or existed. It was as if this fantasy world was created, but I wasn't alerted to its details.

I stuck with the book because I always felt as if something was going to happen. Something did finally happen at the end, but it occurred in the last 5-10 pages and didn’t wrap anything up at all. I’m terribly disappointed in the ending because I would not pick up the second book to go through all the waiting once again just to discover the outcome. I normally do not leave a series unfinished, but I this is one that will have to stay open-ended for me.

Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Release Date: November 2010
Pages: 404
Series: 1/? (A sequel to come unsure if more)
Rating: 2 stars

July 10, 2011

In My Mailbox {2}

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It features books acquired over the past week no matter the source (bookstore, publisher, friend, library, etc.)

More library books this week. These all came in on hold for me so it was almost like mail.

Bad Girls Don't Die - Katie Alender (This book actually didn't make it onto my TBR list until I read the synopsis for the second one. It was rather intriguing so I had to go back to the beginning.)
Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins (I've been hearing rave reviews about this one for quite some time so I figured it was my turn to check it out.)
Forgotten - Cat Patrick (The premise for this is absolutely fantastic.)
Cryer's Cross - Lisa McMann (For some unknown reason, this book reminded me of The Village movie that came out some time ago.)
Department Nineteen - Will Hill (Hopefully it won't be to action-movie-boy stuffy because the supernatural "department" sounded rather interesting.)

July 8, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday {1}

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights eagerly anticipated upcoming books.

(Okay, okay. I know it's not Wednesday, but I mixed up my memes this week. Back on track next week!)

 Vanish by Sophie Jordan
To save the life of the boy she loves, Jacinda did the unthinkable: She betrayed the most closely-guarded secret of her kind. Now she must return to the protection of her pride knowing she might never see Will again—and worse, that because his mind has been shaded, Will’s memories of that fateful night and why she had to flee are gone. 
Back home, Jacinda is greeted with hostility and must work to prove her loyalty for both her sake and her family’s. Among the few who will even talk to her are Cassian, the pride’s heir apparent who has always wanted her, and her sister, Tamra, who has been forever changed by a twist of fate. Jacinda knows that she should forget Will and move on—that if he managed to remember and keep his promise to find her, it would only endanger them both. Yet she clings to the hope that someday they will be together again. When the chance arrives to follow her heart, will she risk everything for love? 

Publisher: HarperCollins
Series: Firelight (#2)
Release Date: September 6, 2011

I loved the first in the series much more than I thought I would. I can't wait to jump back into the world of the draki. I'm hoping for more village description this time. Fingers crossed.

July 7, 2011

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

book cover of Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Amy Curry is having a terrible year. Her mother has decided to move across the country and needs Amy to get their car from California to Connecticut. There’s just one small problem: Since her dad died this past spring, Amy hasn’t been able to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger, the nineteen-year-old son of an old family friend, who turns out to be unexpectedly cute…and dealing with some baggage of his own.
Meeting new people and coming to terms with her father’s death were not what Amy had planned on this trip. And traveling the Loneliest Road in America, seeing the Colorado mountains, crossing the Kansas plains, and visiting diners, dingy motels, and Graceland were definitely not on the itinerary. But as they drive, Amy finds that the people you least expected are the ones you may need the most – and that sometimes you have to get lost in order to find your way home.

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour was absolutely amazing. I loved every minute of it. I’m glad everyone was still buzzing about it this year so I heard about it and got a chance to read it. I feel like I need to go on a road trip now. That’s just how good it was.

Also, I don’t think I’ve ever actually wanted to own a book as badly as I do this one. I feel as if it would be my best friend on a road trip. All those playlists? Absolutely amazing. I mean Owl City alongside Guns ‘n Roses: where else are you going to see that? I was also happily surprised with the format. I wasn’t expecting all the extra little things, but they really made it fantastic.

I’ve read good books lately, but I haven’t read one in quite some time that actually made me laugh out loud. This one had me laughing in the middle of a bunch of people and alone in my bed late at night.

I went on a road trip across the country with my family a couple years ago and needless to say, I did not see all the things Amy did. Since I seemed to miss so much, I feel like I need to go back now and see everything with new (non-disgruntled at my family) eyes.

And of course, the characters. They were all amazing. I loved every last one we met along the way, but Roger was definitely my favorite. It felt like Matson had simply turned my personality into a guy most of the time. I’m terrible with directions and take the same philosophy as him, neither of us can whistle, and we have similar taste in music.

To summarize, I will definitely be trying to get a hold of Amy & Roger's Epic Detour to keep. I loved it and want it to have a permanent spot on my bookshelf. Definitely check this out as a summer read. And then maybe take a little road trip ;)

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: May 2010
Pages: 344
Rating: 5 stars

July 6, 2011

Cover Lover {2}

(I know cover cover memes are all over, but I really love this name. If anyone feels I've stolen without getting credit please contact me so I can give you due credit.)

Of course we all know you should never judge a book by its cover, but do we ever really listen to that?
Cover Lover showcases eye catching, intriguing, and beautiful covers

This weeks Cover Love goes to Perfect by Ellen Hopkins
Release Date: September 2011

July 4, 2011

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met a mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen. Sometimes life-ending.Together Ethan and Lena can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan't eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.

I am pretty unimpressed by this book. I finished because it wasn't bad and I prefer to finish whatever I start unless it's completely unbearable. The problem with this one was the character changes. I know they're important when it comes to a series, especially the second book. I also take issue with the fact that every second book seems to always be about problems in a relationship. I know that can be a big help in making the story go somewhere, but man, it's getting pretty old.

I really didn't like Lena much throughout the book. In fact, I enjoyed the parts she wasn't in quite a bit more. She was pulling the same ol' tricks as last time and her attitude was quite annoying. I liked Ethan pretty well, but I just wanted to scream at him "Hello! Can you please stop letting Lena treat you like garbage?!" I can say that I really liked Link's character and we got to see quite a bit more of him this time. I was also quite interested in the new twist in his story.

There were a few surprising and interesting parts that will help me want to read the next book, but overall I wasn't that impressed. Somehow, it managed to be predictable and confusing at the same time. I found myself  just wading through to the end. An end which I wasn't that impressed with, but was just intriguing enough to make me go pick up the next book.

Overall, I wasn't too impressed but it really wasn't bad either. Just slow. Most of the good parts are so intertwined with the story that I can't really mention them.

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Release Date: October 2010
Pages: 503
Series: 2/4
Rating: 3 stars

July 3, 2011

In My Mailbox {1}

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It features books acquired over the past week no matter the source (bookstore, publisher, friend, library, etc.)

For now, my books are coming from the library. Still, I managed to clear the shelves out and make quite the formidable stack. It's likely that I won't get to all these books, but I always try my darndest. I guess I'll just have to stay away from the shelves for a while.

- The Agency: A Spy in the House by Y. S. Lee (Victorian-era lady spies. It sounded pretty kickass.)
- Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson (The raving reviews meant I simply had to pick this book up. Plus, how can anyone resist a road trip?)
- Princess for Hire by Lindsey Leavitt (I was in need of some girly fluff.)
- Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (I've been meaning to read this for so long I've forgotten what it's about.)
- Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves (Honestly, the cover drew me in on this one.)
- Rosebush by Michele Jaffe (Intriguing enough to pull off the shelf.)
- Unearthly by Cynthia Hand (Love me some paranormal romance.)
- Pegasus by Robin McKinley (How can a story with pegasi not be awesome?)
- Shine by Lauren Myracle (I seemed to recall hearing good things about it.)
- Reckless by Cornelia Funke (I simply adore things based off of/with and element of fairytales.)

And thus concludes my current stack of books. We'll see how many of these I can manage.