January 31, 2012

Tune In Tuesday {14}

Tune in Tuesday is hosted by the awesome Ginger at Greads.

Ghosts - Laura Marling

My husband introduced me to Laura Marling when we first started dating. At first it wasn't my thing, but eventually I grew to really like it. This is probably my favorite song off the Alas I Cannot Swim album. The slow, melodic feel of it is perfect for days when I'm feeling kind of blah. Yeah, I'm one of those people who prefers sad music on sad days :P

January 30, 2012

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway {Review}

Publisher: Razorbill
Publish Date: April 10, 2008
Source: Bought/Own

When her ex writes a break-up song about her that rockets up the charts, Audrey is suddenly famous--she can't go out without being mobbed by fans and paparazzi. Readers can take a wild ride with Audrey as she makes headlines, confronts her ex on MTV, and shows the world who she really is. It's the song everyone's singing. And it's about her! But for Audrey, becoming famous overnight equals total, life-changing disaster.

You wouldn’t think the hype monster would be a problem for an older book, but that’s precisely what happened here. Sadly, Audrey, Wait! didn’t blow me away like it seems to have done for so many people. Don’t get me wrong, it was funny, but I wasn’t rolling on the floor laughing or anything of the sort.

One thing I really did enjoy was Audrey’s best friend, Victoria. I loved that she basically wasn’t afraid of anything and didn’t mind giving anyone and everyone a piece of her mind. Plus, you almost never see characters in serious relationships in YA, especially when it comes to the best friend, but Victoria and Jonah were pretty cute.

For some reason, Audrey herself just wasn’t a hit with me. I understand the crazy situation she was put in, but man, did she have to be so whiny all the time? It seemed like she was just complaining for a good ¾ of the book.

The Nutshell: Overall, I did enjoy Audrey, Wait! but I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as all the hype would lead me to think. If you’re looking for a quick, fun read though, this will definitely fit the bill.

Pages: 320
Series: No
Review: 3 stars 

January 29, 2012

In My Mailbox {30}

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.)

I didn't have a very exciting book week, but I got some so that still makes it good :] This week was basically more holds coming in from that time I thought I might run out of books to read. Silly me.

Nevermore by Kelly Creagh
Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver
The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Don't forget about my Tempest audiobook giveaway :]

January 28, 2012

Tempest Audiobook Giveaway

The awesome people over at St. Martin's Griffin have provided me with an audiobook copy of Tempest! Since audiobooks aren't exactly my cup of tea, I figured you guys should get a chance to experience this fantastic read (or listen). All you have to do is fill out the form below and you're good to go :]

You can find my review for Tempest here

January 27, 2012

TGIF {14}

TGIF is a weekly meme hosted by Ginger at GReads. Each week she poses a question and everyone is invited to join in and share their answers :]

This week's question:
Friday, Jan. 27th - Buy or Borrow: Where do your books that you read come from? The bookstore? The library? Do you prefer to own a book, or have it on loan?

January 26, 2012

Tempest by Julie Cross {Review}

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publish Date: January 17, 2012
Source: Publisher for honest review
The year is 2009. Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy -- he's in college, has a girlfriend...and he can travel back through time. But it's not like the movies -- nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there's no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors -- it's just harmless fun.
That is, until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson accidentally jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he's stuck in 2007 and can't get back to the future.
Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007, learns what he can about his abilities, and meets Holly for the first time...again. Soon he discovers that nothing about his life is what is appears to be, including his own father.
But it's not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these "Enemies of Time" will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time traveler. Recruit...or kill him.
Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he's willing to go to save Holly...and possibly the entire world.

I've heard quite the mixed bag of opinions and ratings when it comes to Tempest, but as for me, I quite enjoyed it. Something about it is holding it back from being a full 5 star from me, but I can’t quite put my finger on it, and it certainly doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth the read.

First, you know those books that move so fast you’re left sitting there going “what in the world…”? Well, Tempest was like that, but for some reason it totally and completely worked! Normally it drives me insane when a plot moves so quickly it’s almost a blur, but either I was just in the mood for it or Cross totally makes that work for her. It certainly makes sure there’s never a dull moment. That being said, Cross still managed to sneak some seriously heartfelt and touching moments in there. Yes, I cried.

Second, did you watch Jumper (if not, you’re totally missing out)? Anyhow, Tempest has a feel similar to Jumper while still managing to be its own thing. I liked how we get to learn basically everything right along with Jackson even if it had me trying to shake the book down for answers a few times. It made everything feel a little more real since Jackson was just as in the dark as I was at any given moment.
Adam was possibly my favorite character, though that’s probably just because he’s a super smart hacker/science nerd :P

The Nutshell: Tempest will keep you on the edge of your seat with the action as well as the mystery. The time traveling here is a totally new (and might I say AWESOME) compared to anything else you’ve ever heard about the subject. I love that among all the action and intrigue Cross still slipped in sweet moments here and there that even had me crying at one point. This book has everything from conspiracies to romance to a touch of scifi, so I’d say there’s a little bit of something in there for everyone.

Pages: 352
Series: Tempest #1
Rating: 4 stars 

P.S. I'll be doing a giveaway for an audio of Tempest on Saturday, so come back for you chance to win :]

January 25, 2012

Cover Lover {30}

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 Lover goes to The Selection by Kiera Cass
Publish Date:
Does this one really even need any explanation? I know it's another pretty-girl-in-a-dress cover, but I'm SO attracted to this thing. Like seriously, I want to marry it. Part of it is the beautiful icy blue color. I adore the fluffy dress and all the girls in the background.

January 24, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday {10}

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Every week there's a category and everyone participating lists their "Top Ten" in that category.

This week's topic is: ..Freebie! So, I went with an old one...Top Ten Favorite Reading Spots

My cozy corner of the bed with my
friend,  Jefferson
1. My bed
I actually only read in bed at night. I'm not sure why, but it feels weird to me to sit in bed at any time of the day other than nighttime so this one is reserved specifically for bed time. Although, if the book is good enough, actually bed time ends up being hours after I get in bed :P 

She's quite the ham.
2. The couch
For some reason it's never just reading when I'm on the couch. Maybe because it's slightly uncomfortable. No matter the reason, when I read on the couch the tv is usually on or my computer is in my lap. No, it's not really productive, but I enjoy multitasking.

Don't judge the pattern, it was cheap.
3. The papasan
This chair is the bomb for reading, especially if you're in for a good nap too (as my dog always seems to be).

Top: reading room.
Bottom: whole library, all glass 
4. The library
There's just something about being surrounded by all those books and bookish people that makes it a perfectly lovely reading spot. Plus, my library has everything from cozy nooks to this super-cool glass atrium.

Coffee shop of choice.
It's literally a 60 second walk away
5. Coffee Shops
Most have that cozy feeling and they stay nice and hushed without feeling like staying quiet is a rule. Plus, the smell of coffee doesn't hurt.

Gas Works Park. Plenty of grass & sun

6. Outside on a sunny day
I don't care if it's sitting on a park bench or lying on a blanket in the grass anywhere will do just fine as long as the sun is beating down on me. I'm kind of like a lizard when it comes to soaking up the rays :P

Tea + Book = Perfect
7. Curled up with cocoa or tea on a cold day
Not to be outdone by sunny days, nice rainy or snowy days are good for curling up somewhere with a blanket, a warm fuzzy friend, and a nice warm beverage.

The makings of a good road trip
8. In the car
Not while I'm driving, of course (most of the time), but if anyone else happens to be in the driver's seat I tend to get plenty of reading done. I think it helps to not own any sort of 3G device so the car makes for a nice distraction-free zone.

I know, that's not a full top ten list, but I honestly can't think of anywhere else. Some people like the bath, but I'm deathly afraid of ruining the book (I'm a klutz so it's likely).

January 23, 2012

Getting Over Garrett Delaney by Abby McDonald {Review}

Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publish Date: January 24, 2012
Source: Publisher for honest review
Seventeen-year-old Sadie is in love: epic, heartfelt, and utterly one-sided. The object of her obsession -- ahem, affection -- is her best friend, Garrett Delaney. For two long, painful years, Sadie has been Garrett's constant companion, sharing his taste in everything from tragic Russian literature to '80s indie rock -- all to no avail. But when Garrett leaves for a summer literary retreat, Sadie is sure that the absence will make his heart grow fonder -- until he calls to say he's fallen in love. With some other girl! A heartbroken Sadie realizes that she's finally had enough. It's time for a total Garrett detox!
Aided by a barista job, an eclectic crew of new friends (including hunky chef, Josh), and a customized self-help guide, Sadie embarks on a summer of personal reinvention full of laughter, martifying meltdowns, and a double shot of love.

This book was absolutely adorable and I loved it!

First, Sadie was a fantastic main character. She drove me nuts with her attitude and pining at the beginning, but we really get to see her grow into herself throughout the story. You think it’ll be really hard to relate to her at first since she’s all “black is the only coffee (according to Garrett) and I only read big, stuffy books” but you slowly start to realize there’s a lot more than that under the surface. I don’t know about you, but I can completely relate to wasting years of my life pining after guys when the relationship simply wasn’t happening or was most certainly doomed which made Sadie even more real to me.

I loved the coffee shop setting because, well, who doesn’t? There’s just something awesome about coffee shops. It was my dream to work at one as a teen. I doubt all of them are as fun as Totally Wired was, but I definitely would’ve loved Sadie’s job. The staff (also making up most of the side characters) were all pretty awesome.

I really enjoyed reading about Sadie trying to get over the guy rather than trying to get him. It was such a refreshing change of pace. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some romance, but this time it was way more fun reading about a girl discovering who she really was, making new friends, and becoming independent.

My one complaint would be the descriptions. It touched very little on what many of the characters looked like past hair color or state of dress which saddened me since my imagination isn’t always the best. The other thing was the description of the summer. That sounds weird, and maybe it’s just me, but I actually kept forgetting it was summer since it was constantly talking about the chill in the air or something. It was just odd.

Final Thoughts: Tired of the same old girl-meets-boy-gush, gush gush-happily ever after? Then this is definitely the book for you. Getting Over Garrett Delaney is a fun, cute contemporary definitely worth the read.

Pages: 336
Series: No
Rating: 4 stars

January 22, 2012

In My Mailbox {29}

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.)

I was feeling like I wasn't getting any reading done for any of my 2012 challenges this week, so I decided to put a bunch of books on hold. As you can see, it didn't go exactly as planned seeing as none of these are 2012 releases. What can I say? You all know about my library addiction. Anyway, the holds will probably be rolling in for a few weeks :P

Cloaked by Alex Flinn (Watched Beastly and loved it, read A Kiss in Time and loved it, so I definitely need some more Flinn books in my life)
Dark Eden by Patrick Carman (I've been absolutely dying to read this one despite some negative reviews)
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins (This was buried in my TBR so I decided to unearth it)
Lost Voices by Sarah Porter (Mermaids!)
Abandon by Meg Cabot (I really need to read more mythology books since I adore Percy Jackson)
The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens (I've been on a middle grade kick lately)

January 20, 2012

TGIF {13}

TGIF is a weekly meme hosted by Ginger at GReads. Each week she poses a question and everyone is invited to join in and share their answers :]

This week's question:

Recommend It: Which book from the last 10 you've read would you recommend to a friend?

January 19, 2012

Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst {Review}

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Publish Date: September 13, 2011
Source: Library
Pearl is a sixteen-year-old vampire...fond of blood, allergic to sunlight, and mostly evil...until the night a sparkly unicorn stabs her through the heart with his horn. Oops.
Her family thinks she was attacked by a vampire hunter (because, obviously, unicorns don't exist), and they're shocked she survived. They're even more shocked when Pearl discovers she can now withstand the sun. But they quickly find a way to make use of her new talent. The Vampire King of New England has chosen Pearl's family to host his feast. If Pearl enrolls in high school, she can make lots of human friends and lure them to the King's feast -- as the entrees.
The only problem? Pearl's starting to feel the twinges of a conscience. How can she serve up her new friends--especially the cute guy that makes her fangs ache--to be slaughtered? Then again, she's definitely dead if she lets down her family. What's a sunlight-loving vamp to do?

I am under no circumstances a vampire fan. After the Twilight craze, vampires held absolute no interest for me whatsoever. It all seemed like the same story: darkness, sorrow, brooding, killing. You know, that sort of thing. Well, Drink, Slay, Love was nothing like that. I absolutely adored this vampire tale.

First, there’s Pearl. She was all bad-a**, and continued to be even after she started growing real-life mushy feelings. She also has the whole sarcastic, witty humor thing going for her too, which is basically the whole package in an awesome female lead. Evan and his family were rather entertaining and they were a fantastic addition. I also loved how my feelings for Pearl’s Family kind of changed with Pearl’s own feelings. It made it all the more believable.

I really enjoyed the lore here. It was all traditional vampire stuff – don’t go out in daylight, hate religious things, holy water burns --  which it seems I don’t really see a lot of these days. I actually like a good traditional set of rules every once in a while. Especially when it means put the unique touches somewhere else. And let me tell you, unicorns definitely make for a unique touch.

My one problem? How is it that vampires can be born and yet still grow older while they are supposedly eternal and ageless? That bit was a little confusing.

Final Thoughts: If you, like me, have grown tired of the whole vampire thing, or think you’re just not really into it, you should certainly check this book out. I’m not saying it’ll convert you into a vampire lover or anything, but it’s worth the read simply on its own awesome merits. If you enjoy unique fantasy touches and kick-a** heroines, this book is definitely worth your time.

Pages: 385
Series: No
Rating: 5 stars

January 18, 2012

Cover Lover {29}

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 Lover goes to Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf
Publish Date: April 24, 2012
I absolutely adore the colors on this cover. The pink of the shoes stands out against all the muted greens and grays, but the best part is definitely the saturation. I don't really know anything about photography, but this is definitely a great picture. I'm not too sure about the font though. Opinions?

January 17, 2012

TBR Pile 2012 Challenge

(I know I'm a little late on this, but better late than never, right?)
Basically, this is a super awesome challenge which celebrates all the older books you have on your TBR. Any book published in 2011 or before (YA or MG, I'm assuming) counts towards the challenge. You can get the complete details here: http://evie-bookish.blogspot.com/p/2012-tbr-pile-reading-challenge.html

If you take a look at my goodreads To-Reads you'll see that I have plenty of qualifying books to easily complete this challenge. I'm not entirely sure how many I can do though, so I'm going to go with A Sweet Kiss a.k.a. 21-30. I think I might be able to do more, but I can always move up later and there's simply no moving down.

There's 10 different hosts and you can find there blogs here:
Evie from Bookish - http://www.evie-bookish.blogspot.com @SeoEvie
Nicole from All I Ever Read - http://www.nicoleabouttown.com/ @Nicoleabouttown
Bonnie from Hands and Home - http://www.handsandhome.ca/ @HandsHomeBlog
Donna from Book Passion For Life http://bookpassionforlife.blogspot.com/ @BookPforLife
Caitlin from WatchYA Reading http://whatchyareading.net @caitlingss
Rie from Mission To Read http://missiontoread.com/ @missiontoread
Vicky from Books, Biscuits & Tea -http://booksbiscuitsandtea.blogspot.com/ @alouetteuette 
Christa from Hooked On Books http://christashookedonbooks.blogspot.com @ChristasBooks
Jenna from Fans Of Fiction http://fansoffiction.blogspot.com/ @fansoffiction
Angel from Mermaids Vision http://mermaidvision.wordpress.com @mermaidvisions

January 16, 2012

Frost by Wendy Delsol {Review}

Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publish Date: October 2011
Source: Library
After the drama of finding out that she's a Stork, a member of an ancient and mystical order of women, and that her boyfriend, Jack, is a descendent of the Winter People able to control the weather, Katla LeBlanc is delighted when all signs point to a busy and peaceful Christmas. That is, until the snowstorm Jack summons as a gift to Katla turns into the storm of the century, attracting Brigid, a gorgeous scientist who, in turn, attracts Jack. Between the school play, a bedridden pregnant mother's to-do lists, and keeping an eye on her aging grandfather, Katla doesn't have time to question Brigid's motives or deal with Jack's increasingly cold behavior. But Katla's suspicions mont when Jack joins Brigid on a research expedition to Greenland, and when the two of them go missing, it becomes clear that Katla is the only one who can save her beloved Jack from the Snow Queen who holds him prisoner.

I’m not quite sure how I feel about Frost. On the one hand, I enjoyed Katla’s growth as a character and the epic journey that occurred, but on the other hand, the story moved much too fast. At times, I felt as if some pages were missing or I somehow missed them because we’d seemingly jumped from one thing to another completely.

So first, the characters. Kat seemed to grow quite a bit since Stork. That’s not to say she didn’t show growth before, but this time it was just a little different. I can’t put my finger on exactly what the difference was, but this time I actually liked her. Her fashion sense wasn’t so much an obsession this time as it was just part of her personality.
Jack, I was not such a fan of this time. I know it was crucial to the plot (pardon the vagueness, but I’m trying not to spoil anything), but Jack was kind of a lameo with barely any personality.
Brigid was basically the perfect villain. Gotta love when an author can make you love to hate someone.

I super loved the journey in this one. It was epic and awesome. Lots of different landscapes and crazy new bits to the world’s mythology. What I didn’t love was how it seemed to be all over the place. Sometimes I honestly thought I’d skipped some pages or something because I was so lost. There could have definitely been a little more description at times and better transitions  to keep things on track.

Final Thoughts: Though Frost wasn’t a favorite read, I still really enjoyed it and will be awaiting the next book in the series. If you like your romance with a good dose of mythology and epic journeys then you should definitely give this series a chance.

Pages: 384
Series: Stork #2
Rating: 3 stars

January 15, 2012

In My Mailbox {28}

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 a rather good book week for me :] (Sorry about the poor picture quality. I'm a very bad picture taker :P)

For Review:
I have the awesome St. Martin's Press to thank for these. Anyone interested in an audiobook giveaway later?
Tempest by Julie Cross (Hardcover and audiobook)
[I've been super excited to read this so I'm ecstatic to have my own copy. There'll definitely be a review for this one soon.]

Christmas present from Katie at Katie's Book Blog:
Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
[Ah! I absolutely adore this book. I'm sooo glad to finally own a copy :D]
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting 
[You may have noticed this in my mailbox a while ago and that would be because I'm a big giant lameo who bought this without knowing my awesome big sib knew precisely what to get me.]

Psych Major Syndrome by Alicia Thompson
[Humorous contemp with a college-age lead? Need I say more?]
Gossip Girl seasons 2&3
[Not exactly books, but I think it sorta counts. I'm currently enjoying season 1. I love me some scandalous high school drama.]

January 14, 2012

Book Trailers {1}

I decided to do a book trailer post randomly. I know some people really hate book trailers and are super picky about them, but I actually like most of them. Here are some good ones I've noticed lately :] (All titles link to their goodreads page)

Pardon me while I fangirl: OMG AHHH SO COOL!!!! Now, you may be wondering what this is about, so I'll explain. See, I discovered while watching this video the other day that part of it was SHOT IN MY LIBRARY! All the scientist shots? Yeah, that would be from central library in Seattle. Pretty cool, right? The video itself is awesome too.

Every time I watch this I can't helping thinking it would make an awesome tv show. This is one spot on book trailer.

Completely switching genres here and moving into contemporary. I love all the cupcakes in the video. Who wouldn't love a video full of delicious looking treats? The whole thing made me want to read the book even more.

January 13, 2012

TGIF {12}

TGIF is a weekly meme hosted by Ginger atGReads. Each week she poses a question and everyone is invited to join in and share their answers :]

This week's question:

2012 Must Reads: Which books are at the top of your list to be read this year (new or old releases)?

January 12, 2012

Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl {Review}

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: October 2011
Source: Library
Ethan Wate thought he was getting used to the strange, impossible events happening in Gatlin, his small Southern town. But now Ethan and Lena have returned home, strange and impossible have taken on new meanings. Swarms of locusts, record-breaking heat, and devastating storms ravage Gatlin as Ethan and Lena struggle to understand the impact of Lena's Claiming. Even Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals is affected--and their abilities begin to dangerously misfire. As time passes, one question becomes clear: What--or who--will need to be sacrificed to save Gatlin?
For Ethan, the chaos is a frightening but welcome distraction. He's being haunted in his dreams again, nbut this time it isn't Lena--and whatever is haunting him is following him out of his dreams and into his everyday life. Even worse, Ethan is gradually losing pieces of himself--forgetting names, phone numbers, even memories. He doesn't know why, and most days he's too afraid to ask.
Sometimes there isn't just one answer or one choice. Sometimes there's no going back. And this time there won't be a happy ending.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect out of Beautiful Chaos after I didn’t enjoy Beautiful Darkness as much as I’d hoped, but boy howdy did Stohl and Garcia step up their game for this one.

In the past books it was the setting that did it for me, but this time, it was all about the characters. Let’s start with Ethan. I loved that a lot of the focus was on Ethan this time instead of Lena. You’d think the focus was always on him since he’s the main character, but it almost seemed as if Lena was the main character in the past. Speaking of Lena, I liked that she was back to normal. It was way more enjoyable to read about than crazy, mopey Lena.
“Linkubus” was basically super awesome. We got to see quite the character growth with him which was nice since he’s one of my favorite characters :]
I really like the relationship developments with Liv, Lena, and Ethan.
I never would have expected to find out any more about Sarafine, but it was a rather nice surprise.

I liked that for once, the main focus wasn’t on the town and the happenings within it. Like I said, I liked the setting and the town in the previous books, but having the focus be more character-driven for Beautiful Chaos totally worked.

Final Thoughts: Beautiful Chaos was absolutely fantastic. It’s practically killing me not to have the next book since the ending was so cruel. If you’ve read the rest of The Caster Chronicles, then you definitely need Beautiful Chaos, and if you haven’t read them, you should definitely start. If you’re a fan of character-driven books with intense endings and awesome sidekicks this is definitely something you should get your hands on.

Pages: 518
Series: Caster Chronicles #2
Rating: 5 stars

January 11, 2012

Cover Lover {28}

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 Lover goes to The Lucky Kind by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Publish Date: May 2011
I love the wet ground and how it leaves all the reflections distorted, especially the couple. I also really like the text of the title. Normally I'd think something like that was just too girly, but it really works with the rest of the cover.

January 10, 2012

Tune in Tuesday {13}

Tune in Tuesday is hosted by the awesome Ginger at Greads.

I Will Follow You Into the Dark - Death Cab For Cutie

I have undying love for this band. This song, especially, has been stuck in my head lately. I was actually this close to using it as the song I walked down the aisle to, but a bunch of last minute changes were made and it just didn't happen. It's still one of "our" songs though. Yes, I know it's kind of a morbid song, but I adore it and it makes me tear up every time.

January 9, 2012

My Life Undecided by Jessica Brody {Review}

Publisher: Farrar, Straus, Giroux
Publish Date: June 2011
Source: Library
PLEASE READ THIS! MY LIFE DEPENDS ON IT! Okay, maybe that was a bit melodramatic, but I’m sorry, I’m feeling a bit melodramatic at the moment. Here’s the deal. My name is Brooklyn Pierce, I’m fifteen years old, and I am decisionally challenged. Seriously, I can’t remember the last good decision I made. I can remember plenty of crappy ones though. Including that party I threw when my parents were out of town that accidentally burned down a model home. Yeah, not my finest moment, for sure. But see, that’s why I started a blog. To enlist readers to make my decisions for me. That’s right. I gave up. Threw in the towel. I let someone else be the one to decide which book I read for English. Or whether or not I accepted an invitation to join the debate team from that cute-in-a-dorky-sort-of-way guy who gave me the Heimlich Maneuver in the cafeteria. (Note to self: Chew the melon before swallowing it.) I even let them decide who I dated! Well, it turns out there are some things in life you simply can’t choose or have chosen for you—like who you fall in love with. And now everything’s more screwed up than ever. But don’t take my word for it, read the book and decide for yourself. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll scream in frustration. Or maybe that’s just me. After all, it’s my life.

My Life Undecided was like a teen movie you might see on ABC Family or Disney Channel, but that’s not a diss since I’m a total sucker for those kinds of movies.

I love the whole idea of having other people vote on what decisions get made in your life. Generally, I wouldn’t let strangers (or people I know even) dictate my life for me like that, but sometimes it’d be nice if someone else would just take the wheel for a while. Although, after seeing how that worked out for Brooklyn, it’s not looking quite so appealing…

Brooklyn drove me a little insane. I liked being able to see her character grow throughout the story, but darnit, did she have to be so blind sometimes? I almost pumped my fist in the air when she decided she wasn’t going to be obsessed with her looks anymore, but a few chapters after that, she was right back at it.
It seemed like some characters (her sister) were in the story simply to get it from point A to point B which was pretty lame.

Final Thoughts: Overall, My Life Undecided was really cute. I laughed out loud a few times and even almost teared up at one point. If you’re looking for a quick, lighthearted read, this is definitely a good choice.

Pages: 320
Series: No
Rating: 3 stars

January 8, 2012

In My (new) Mailbox {27}

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.)

If you're a regular here or you follow my Twitter, you probably know that I recently got married and have been settling into our new apartment in the big city. Since I only got one book this week, I decided to do a little something new and show you guys my new home :]

This is the living room, and yes, it's rather messy. That's because we live in here :P That is my husband, in case you were wondering, but his looks shall remain a mystery. As a random FYI, basically the entire wall behind the tv is made of closets. Our apartment has LOADS of closets.

I know you are likely very uninterested in my bathroom, but I just wanted to point how tiny it is. There's a little more room on either side of the door, but basically, what you see is what you get.

The kitchen is also rather tiny. Luckily, there's tons of cupboard space (even more on the right side which you can't see), not so luckily, my husband and I love cooking so even with the extra cupboard space, we already ran out of room for all our gadgets :P

This is the bedroom complete with my dog who believes bed time happens before 10. Yeah, the bedroom's even messier than the living room. What can I say, I'm a slob. (Yes, I'm the slob, not him.)

And finally, the most awesome room in the house...

The library! Also a mess, but hey, I'm working on it.
We had this random little room that certainly wasn't big enough for a bedroom but was a little too big for a closet so, thanks to my husbands suggestion, it became a library :]

January 5, 2012

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin {Review}

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Publish Date: September 2011
Source: Bought/Own
Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
There is.
She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.
She's wrong.

Holy. Wow. I want to know why someone didn’t force me to read this sooner, because I was most certainly, without question, missing out. This book has it all: mystery, romance, thrill (I’m not sure if that works, but I’m using it), just a dash of paranormal, and, of course, Noah Shaw.

First, I’m a sucker for mystery and psychological thrillers and The Unbecoming had plenty to offer me in those departments. Even though I thought I knew what was real most of the time, I was never completely sure. When dealing with psychological thrillers, one can often get confused and that’s definitely the case here, but I was never annoyed by my confusion. It totally worked for my enjoyment of the story.

If you’re a reader of this blog, you’ve probably noticed that I don’t really read a lot of paranormal. As I mentioned before, The Unbecoming has just a dash of paranormal and it’s totally perfect. So if you’re afraid of paranormal, you should definitely still give this one a chance.

I suppose you want to hear about Shaw now. Well, let’s just say he’s pretty freaking amazing. He’s sexy and, well, he has an accent. Who can resist a boy with an accent? He’s also just the slightest bit jerk-like, but it gets balanced out by his sweetness most of the time. If nothing else, you definitely want to read this for him.

Ever since The Unbecoming came out, I’ve been hearing about its WTF quality. I had no idea what people could possibly mean by that until I read it, and let me tell you, it’s most certainly a good thing.

Final Thoughts: This book seriously has it all. I was never bored and for the last 50-100 pages or so, I was basically glued to the pages. Oh, and the ending. Seriously, what the crap?!? When I reached the last page, I was actually talking to the book going “No. No way. It can’t be over. I can’t believe that just happened.” Basically, there’s no possible way to be eloquent about this book which should make you want to read it all the more.

Pages: 452
Series: Mara Dyer #1
Rating: 5 stars

January 4, 2012

Cover Lover {27}

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 Lover goes to Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel
Publish Date: August 2010
I love how it focuses on her eyes so you don't get all mixed up in her expression or anything, you simply get sucked in by those colorful, deep eyes.

January 3, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday {9}

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Every week there's a category and everyone participating lists their "Top Ten" in that category.

This week's topic is: Top Ten Books I'm Excited to Read in 2012

I decided to half and half on new books and parts of a series because I didn't want my list to be completely dominated by books that everyone and their mother already knows about.

1. The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan [The Heroes of Olympus]
I love all the Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus books and I'm anxiously awaiting this next one especially since it seems Annabeth may get a chance at the spotlight for once...

2. Insurgent by Veronica Roth [Divergent]
If you haven't read Divergent yet, then go out and read it right now and then you'll understand why this one makes it onto my top ten.

3. Fear by Michael Grant [Gone] 
This series is crazy and insane and I love it to death. Some people are a little disgruntled the series is so long, but I actually enjoy them all, so I say, the more the merrier!

4. Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver [Delirium]
Oh my gosh, that ending! I would've given my right arm (so long as they returned it once I was finished) to read Pandemonium when I turned the last page of Delirium. That was one serious cliffhanger of an ending and had me dying for more.

5. Fever by Lauren DeStefano [The Chemical Garden]
Though Wither didn't end in a cliffhanger, I'm still excited to jump back into a world that's written about so beautifully. Plus, I'm still looking forward to finding out what happens next :P

6. This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
Hello, guys! Zombies! I'm all over that one, of course. Plus, it's not often I come across a zombie story where the MC doesn't want to survive. Yeah, my interest has definitely been piqued. 

7. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
I've heard so many fantastic things about this one already, plus it has that added bonus of the whole book happening within a 24-hour window. There's just something enticing about 24 hours.

8. Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous by Kathryn Williams
I love books with food since that's my second biggest passion in life. So there's that, but the thing that puts this one over the top is the fact that it's about a teen reality cooking show. That is so beyond awesome.

9. 52 Reasons to Hate My Father by Jessica Brody
The concept of this one is just perfect. Stuffy rich girl who's forced into working jobs the average teenager has to endure? That's definitely a recipe for hilarity and awesomeness. 

10. The Selection by Kiera Cass
I'm not going to lie. The synopsis is pretty intriguing, but the thing that makes me keep coming back to this one? The cover, plain and simple.

January 2, 2012

Vanish by Sophie Jordan {Review}

Publisher: HarperTeen
Publish Date: September 2011
Source: Library
An impossible romance.Bitter rivalries.Deadly choices.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?

When Vanish came out a few months back, all I heard was how awesome it was and how this was a love triangle done right and all that good stuff. Sadly, I’m going to have to say it just didn’t do it for me.

I didn’t feel connected to the characters at all like I did reading Firelight. Neither Cassian nor Will were the tender, loving guys I remember. Instead, they were like angry hyenas defending their territory throughout the story and the territory just so happens to be Jacinda. They acted in this annoying cycle throughout the story that went a little something like this: “Oh, Jacinda, I love you so much and we’re meant to be together.” “How could you do that, Jacinda? I’m so angry I could punch a tree!”
Jacinda really wasn’t much better either. I can understand being torn between two guys to a degree, but to go around making lovey googly eyes at both of them is just wrong. Plus, I got pretty tired of hearing about her inner turmoil in trying to decide between the two. I’m not generally a hater of love triangles, but this one certainly didn’t do it for me.

One thing I did really enjoy about Vanish was the development of Jacinda and Tamra’s relationship. I liked seeing the dynamic change since there’s just something special about sisterly love. It was also really fun to learn a little more about Tamra and watch her grow.

I was hoping to learn a little more about the drake powers, but sadly, that was barely touched on. Maybe there’ll be some more about them in the next book.

Final Thoughts: I’m still looking forward to the next book, but I ended up not enjoying Vanish as much as I’d hoped. I was never hanging off the edge of my seat in the action scenes, but they did hold my interest enough to keep flipping the pages. The characters annoyed the crap out of me, but there were certainly some redeeming qualities in the story.

Pages: 294
Series: Firelight #2
Rating: 3 stars