April 30, 2012

Starters by Lissa Price {Review}

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: March 13, 2012
Source: ARC from contest on Random Buzzers

Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie's only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.
He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders -- seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie's head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator's grandson. It feels like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party -- and that Prime Destinations' plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined...

Starters was both what I expected and a complete surprise.

I’m having some issues coming up with words today, so instead of paragraph form, we’re going to go with a list!

1. The ending. I’m not a hater of cliffhangers, but I still really appreciate a book that very nearly wraps everything up, but leaves you with just enough questions that you’re left wanting the next book.

2. Callie. She was strong and usually knew exactly what she wanted which I can really respect. She never made any decisions that made me want to shake her which is a definite plus. She loved her brother and was willing to do anything for him. Heck, she even admitted when her love life was messed up. I really respected that.

3. The Old Man. Now, I know you think he shouldn’t be in the like category, but let me explain. He was perfectly creepy and a fantastic villain and that’s why he gets to be in the Like category. I don’t actually like him, of course :P

4. Renting. This idea reminded me somewhat of the show Dollhouse, but it was still unique. I actually thought it was interesting that people thought it was such a big no-no since they weren’t supposed to do anything damaging to the bodies. Not the I condone this type of thing.

5. The world. I really liked the fact that the world had futuristic things like airscreens, but still didn’t seem too far off.

1. Blake and Callie. Upon finishing the book I can give it a little more credit, but it just felt kind of weird while I was still reading.

2. The past. I’m starting to feel like I’m never satisfied when it comes to backstory.

The Nutshell: Overall, Starters is a great dystopian with action, mystery, and just a little bit of romance. Callie is a respectable character with her love for her brother and her will to fight for what’s right. The world isn’t too heavy for those who’re wary of dystopian, but is still futuristic enough to satisfy us dystopian fanatics.

Pages: 336
Series: Starters #1
Rating: Hit

April 29, 2012

In My Mailbox {41} Boarding schools, dead bodies, and killers

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.)

Looking for Alaska by John Green (from @Luvdaylilies)

Sarah @ The Book Life:

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

The Last Echo (signed :]) by Kimberly Derting 

April 28, 2012

New Girl by Paige Harbison {Review}

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publish Date: January 31, 2012
Source: Library
A contemporary young-adult retelling inspired by the classic 1938 romantic suspense bestseller Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.
They call me "New Girl"...
Ever since I arrived at exclusive, prestigious Manderly Academy, that's who I am. New Girl. Unknown. But not unnoticed -- because of her.
Becca Normandy -- that's the name on everyone's lips. Thee girl whose picture I see everywhere. The girl I can't compare to. I mean, her going missing is the only reason a spot opened up for me at the academy. And everyone stares at me like it's my fault.
Except for Max Holloway -- the boy whose name shouldn't be spoken. At least, not by me. Everyone thinks of him as Becca's boyfriend...but she's gone, and here I am, replacing her. I wish it were that easy. Sometimes, when I think of Max, I can imagine how Becca's life was so much better than mine could ever be.
And maybe she's still out there, waiting to take it back.

New Girl was good, but it didn’t quite live up to my expectations. For one, I thought it had a little something more going on behind the scenes than a regular contemporary, like a dash of paranormal or something. I’m not quite sure where I got that idea, but I had it and the book, in fact, did not. That’s not what really made it fall flat for me, though, just wanted to clear up anyone else’s expectations in case they had them.

For some reason I didn’t really connect with anyone in the story. I could feel for the main character, but still didn’t really connect with her. I realize Becca was literally sick, but I still hated her. She was just so horrible that it was impossible to like or connect with her. Honestly, I hated Max. He didn’t grow on me at all and I really disliked that the main character wanted to be with him so badly. He wasn’t horrid or anything, but I couldn’t get past the fact that he basically thought it was okay to mess around with Becca and not actually commit to anything. Even if she was a tad crazy.

At times I got kind of a sinister vibe, but overall New Girl didn’t deliver on the creep factor I was hoping for. Basically it was just a double mean girl story. One from the victim’s point of view and one side from the bully’s point of view.

The Nutshell: New Girl was really just an okay read. I think part of what left me so disappointed was my expectations and those are, of course, all my fault. New Girl is a good book if you like boarding schools and mean girl stories, but don’t go to it looking for paranormal or creepy mystery.

Pages: 320
Series: No
Rating: Near Miss

April 27, 2012

TGIF {24} Reading Slump

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
Reading Blues: We all get them from time to time. What helps you overcome those reading slumps when nothing seems to grab your attention?

If I'm in a serious slump then sometimes I'll just cold-turkey it and not read anything for a little while. Instead I'll spend hours upon hours playing video games :P It works for me. Sometimes I just spend 3 days or so straight on whatever game is my current obsession.

Sometimes I'll just go ahead and read a book, but I likely won't spend a lot of times on it because when I'm in a slump just about everything distracts me. I like to keep reading when I'm in a slump, but I'm also afraid of not giving a book a fair chance. Sometimes when I'm slumpy nothing is good enough.

April 26, 2012

The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder {Review}

Publisher: Razorbill
Publish Date: December 8, 2011
Source: Library
Dry, sarcastic, sixteen-year-old Cam Cooper has spent the last seven years in and out hospitals. The last thing she wants to do in the short life she has left is move 1,500 miles away to Promise, Maine -- a place known for the miraculous events that occur there. But it's undeniable that strange things happen in Promise: everlasting sunsets; purple dandelions; flamingoes in the frigid Atlantic; an elusive boy named Asher; and finally, a mysterious envelope containing a list of things for Cam to do before she dies. As Cam checks each item off the list, she finally learns to believe in love, in herself, and even in miracles.

Yeah, I cried. I won’t go into the sad bits any more than because I really don’t want to ruin this beautiful novel for anyone.

I’d heard amazing reviews for this one back when it came out and that’s really what pushed it to the top of my list. That, and the pretty cover. Well, the setting had a bit to do with it too, but you can’t tell me that cover isn’t eye-catching. Normally for such an amazing book I’d say I wish I’d read it sooner, but the timing was actually good since I’m dealing with something in my personal life.

I’ve never been really close to anyone has dealt with cancer, especially at a young age, but I imagine people generally deal with it in one of two ways either trying to live what’s left of their life to the fullest doing everything they ever wished to do or always thinking about the death that lies ahead and never allowing themselves hope. Cam is definitely the second. I find this to be completely understandable, but there were still times I wanted to shake her a little and tell her to embrace the joys of life around her. But at the same time, I couldn’t help but imagine myself in her situation and I’d probably feel pretty hopeless and cynical most of the time too.

But the thing is, Cam is able to change and it’s a subtle yet completely beautiful transformation. And one of the big helpers of Cam’s change? Promise, Maine. I loved the town and all the crazy things that happened. It was almost like its own character and it was simply glorious.
Of course, Asher helps Cam change too. Their relationship is spectacular and Wunder does a wonderful job of making it deep and beautiful, but very tasteful.

The Nutshell: I could probably write page upon page of praise for this book, but you’d never read it, so I’ll try to stick to the really important stuff. The Probability of Miracles is a truly beautiful book and I believe everyone should read it. Wunder manages to bring sarcasm, beauty, laughter, and life into a book based around a girl who’s dying of cancer and it works. I mean it really works. There’s laughter, growth, sorrow, and more that I can’t put into words contained in the pages of this book and it deserves to be read. If you’re a fan of contemporary this is a definite must read.

Pages: 360
Series: No
Rating: Direct Hit

April 25, 2012

Cover Lover {42}

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 Humming Room by Ellen Potter
Publish Date: February 28, 2012
I love all the bright colors and the way Roo (the girl) almost looks surprised. I also really like that the boy is kind of hazy in the background and so are other background features, but if you really look you can notice little details.

April 24, 2012

Tune in Tuesday {19} Noah and the Whale

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

Five Years Time - Noah and the Whale

Husband is actually the one who introduced me to these guys. I really love their music. It's good for both sad and happy days which is a definite plus :] This particular song has been stuck in my head all day too.

April 23, 2012

Super Zombie Juice Mega Bomb by MJA Ware {Review}

Publisher: self-published
Publish Date: September 5, 2011
Source: Author for honest review
When life gives you lemons, kill zombies -- turns out lemon juice neutralizes the undead.
After a failed attempt at running away, best friends Nathan and Misty return home expecting to face angry parents. Instead, they discover the military has destroyed the bridges out of their rural town and everyone has fled -- except a small horde of the living dead. The stress of flesh-eating zombies may be more than their already strained relationship can handle.
Even with the help of the town geek and lemonade powered Super-Soakers, there's not enough time to squeeze their way out of this sticky mess. Unless the trio eradicates the zombie infestation, while avoiding the deadly zombie snot, the military will blow the town, and them, to a pulp.
Their only shot is something with a little more punch. Something like the Super Zombie Juice Mega Bomb. But even if their friendship survives, there's another problem: someone has to lure the undead into the trap.

This is terrible, I’m well aware, but I didn’t really expect to like Super Zombie Juice Mega Bomb. I’m just kind of scared of self-published/little known works. I’ve admitted it, though, so I’d appreciate if you keep from lobbing tomatoes at me. I really am trying to get better about that and this book was a step in the right direction.

I’m not entirely sure what genre this book is being marketed as, but I’d assume it’s middle grade and due to character ages and the feel of the book. I think Super Zombie Mega Juice Bomb is a great zombie book middle grade readers. It’s not too violent while still getting across the horrors of an undead world.

Honestly, the two main characters got on my nerves a little, but not enough to make me want to stop reading or anything like that. They were both in that transition period of growing up from kids to teens and trying to discover who they are so I could understand what they were going through, but it was still annoying. I did really like Kali, though. He was smart, a little unsociable, but rather endearing.

The Nutshell: Though I found the characters to be a bit annoying and the plot predictable at times, I enjoyed the overall story. I liked the fact that this is a zombie story that can be enjoyed by younger readers without scaring their pants off too badly, while still giving the reader a taste of what a flesh-eating infested world would be like. I’m an advocate of reading middle grade, but I feel this is one MG that is actually probably better left to the ages it’s aimed at for full enjoyment.

Pages: 204
Series: No
Rating: Hit

April 22, 2012

Random Questions

I only got one book this week (I've yet to get my holds from the library) so instead of doing a one book IMM I decided to post a few random questions and answers instead. If you have any questions or random surveys you found feel free to put them in the comments :]

1. Favorite childhood book?
 I know it's bad, but I don't really remember a lot of childhood books, so let's instead go with my first memory of one. It was Kindergarten and I'd just started the Accelerated Reading Program (the only one in my class to do so before 1st grade). The first book that captured my attention in my "level" was Little Red Riding Hood :]

2. What are you reading right now?
The Humming Room by Ellen Potter.
Though, if all goes as planned for the readathon I'll be reading something else by the time this posts!

3. What books do you have on request at the library?
Umm. You really want me to name them all? How about a sampling?
Fear by Michael Grant; The Selection by Kiera Cass; Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross; Glimmer by Phoebe Kitanidis; Thumped by Megan McCafferty
There are a lot more than that, but it’d be kind of overwhelming to see them all :P

4. Bad book habit?
Checking out so many from the library I could never possibly read them all. Also, buying/winning books and then taking forever to get around to reading them.

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?
Instead of listing them all which would take forever, I’ll just show you a picture…

April 21, 2012

Girl Meets Boy anthology {Review}

Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publish Date: December 28, 2011
Source: Library
What do guys and girls really think? Twelve of the most dynamic and eganging YA authors writing today team up for this one-of-a-kind collection of "he said/she said" stories -- he tells it from the guy's point of view, she tells it from the girl's. These are stories of love and heartbreak. There's the good-looking jock who falls for a dangerous girl, and the flipside, the toxic girl who never learned to be loved. The basketball star and the artistic (and shorter) boy she never knew she wanted; the gay boy looking for love online and the girl who could help make it happen.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect going into Girl Meets Boy. I found the concept really intriguing, but was very surprised when I discovered how small it was. I’m very skeptical about short stories, I’ll admit it, but overall I’d say I enjoyed Girl Meets Boy and it’s actually encouraged me to give short stories and anthologies more of a chance.

I won’t do this story by story or anything since that would take forever, but I will say that some stories were very surfacey while others were so deep I was kind of astounded. If I had to play favorites, I’d probably say the first set and the last story. I really enjoyed them both and was surprised by each in very different ways.

Some stories (especially the first set along with the chat-room set) were very intricate and I was amazed by how much detail was captured in such few pages. Other stories had me flipping forward to figure out when they ended, though.

I was also kind of astounded by the amount of sex contained in this small book. I do understand, I mean, half the stories are written in the mind of teenage boys, but goodness gracious did it still surprise me.

The Nutshell: Overall, I’d say it’s definitely worth your time to pick up Girl Meets Boy. Even if you just read a few stories here and there it provides a very interesting look into both sides of a relationship. And the relationships range from lovers to strangers to friends who’ve grown apart.

Pages: 204
Series: No
Rating: Near Miss 

April 20, 2012

TGIF {23} TBR Influencers

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
Book Blogger Influences: Has there been a particular book blogger who's influenced what you read? Share with us a review/book blog that convinced you to pick up a certain book.

Usually it takes a combination of people to convince me I should really read a book I'd already decided against, but lately Lauren from 365 Days of Reading has been making me add lots of books to my list. She recently started doing "Pick of the Week" vlogs where she actually reads an excerpt out of a book. And let me tell you, that's probably the best way to get a person to pick up a book. I've put a book on my TBR nearly every week she's put up a new video :P I've put her most recent video below, so if you like it, you should definitely drop by her blog and let her know!

April 19, 2012

Harbinger by Sara Wilson Etienne {Review}

Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons BYR
Publish Date: February 2, 2012
Source: Library
When sixteen-year-old Faye arrives at Hollbrook Academy, she doesn't expect to find herself exactly where she needs to be. After years of strange waking visions and nightmares, her only comfort the bones of dead animals, Faye is afraid she's going crazy. Fast.
But her first night at Holbrook, she feels strangely connected to the school and the island it sits on, like she's come home. She's even made her first real friends, but odd things keep happening to them. Every morning they wake on the floors of their dorm rooms with their hands stained red.
Faye knows she's the reason, bu what does it all mean? The handsome Kel tries to help her unravel the mystery, but Faye is certain she can't trust him; in fact, he may be trying to kill her -- and the rest of the world, too.

Harbinger was…strange. That’s honestly the best word I can think of to describe it. I’d say it’s a strange that falls onto the side of good-strange, though.

It took a while for me to really get into the story because I knew there was something more than just a regular ol’ boarding school story there. The only indication of that was the red hands, though and the synopsis had already told me about that. I wanted something more and I just wasn’t getting it. Ask and you shall receive, right? Harbinger definitely delivered on the “different” front by the end.

Sadly, though it was definitely different, it still didn’t quite work for me. It felt a bit like the ending was just kind of thrown at me. Like there wasn’t really much easing into it and then BAM crazy ending. I did appreciate the ending to some degree, though. Before reading I’d heard a lot of people wanting to know whether this was a standalone (it is) which usually means some sort of cliffhanger-like ending and I like my standalone endings to be tied up nicely. I needn’t worry, though, because I ended up being rather satisfied with the ending.

The Nutshell: Harbinger is strange. A sort-of good strange, in my opinion, but incredibly strange nonetheless. If you like strange, dying worlds, and/or reform/boarding schools, you’ll find at least something in Harbinger for you.

Pages: 309
Series: No
Rating: Near Miss (this is the first review with the new rating system and the explanation can be found to you right.)

April 18, 2012

Cover Lover {41}

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 Gravity by Melissa West
Publish Date:
When I saw this cover revealed on The Story Siren I might have gasped. It's just so beautiful and pretty far from the norm of the cover formula these days. I love all the pretty blues and how the earth is kind of shiny. And all those swirly things around the title are gorgeous!

April 17, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday {16} Tips for new bloggers

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 Tips For New Book Bloggers

1. Be Yourself
Everyone's going to tell you this, and it's probably going to be hard at first, but it's really important. If you want people to notice you and follow you then you need to stand out to them and the best way to do that isn't to try to be all crazy or anything, but just be yourself. People like to read about genuine people :]

2. Good Design
I seriously cannot stress this one enough. I'm all about the looks, I'm not going to lie. So if your blog looks really jumbly or has a very poor design, I'm probably not going to follow. It's important to draw the reader in with your content, yes, but the first thing they'll really pay attention to is your design.

I'm not a robot, but I still have
trouble reading this.
If you're on Blogger (I'm not sure if Wordpress has the option) please please please turn off your captcha. It's terribly annoying and it really makes people not want to comment on your blog.

4. Comment
While we're on the subject of comments I'm going to go ahead and point out the importance of commenting. It may not seem like all the blog exploring and commenting is really getting you anywhere at first, but I promise it will. I've foun quite a few blogs I really enjoy from them commenting on mine. Just please, please don't say "I like you blog -- check out mine and follow me back!" or anything like that ANYWHERE in the comment. It's just kind of rude.

5. Twitter
You really really need a Twitter for your blog. I'm not sure I can stress this enough. It's such an easy and useful way to reach out to other bloggers and even authors. 

6. Memes
Memes are good for finding new blogs and participating in something bigger than yourself. On the other hand, make sure there's more to your blog than memes. You need original content. Some of my favorite memes are In My Mailbox, Tune in Tuesday, Top Ten Tuesday, and TGIF.

7. Personalize.
I personally like learning a little bit more about the person behind the blog. I really like to at the very least see a picture of the person behind the blog so I can connect it to something.

Don't get caught up in all the ARC hype and whatnot. Yeah, you'll probably get a little jealous every now and then -- I still do -- but older books deserve attention too. Don't be afraid to read whatever you want. It's not all about the new and shiny stuff.

9. Pace Yourself
A lot of people post every day and you can aspire to do that as well, but it'll probably be a little while before you get to that point. It'll probably take a little while before you get ahead in your reviewing unless you're a super fast reader. And schedule your posts or else you'll be all frantic the night before trying to figure something out :P

10. Keep it fun.
Don't let blogging start to feel like a job. It's supposed to be fun!

April 16, 2012

Still Waters by Emma Carlson Berne {Review}

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publish Date: December 20, 2011
Source: Library
Hannah can't wait to sneak off for a romantic weekend with her boyfriend, Colin. He's leaving for college soon, and Hannah wants their trip to the lake house to be one they'll never forget.
But once Hannah and Colin get there, things start to seem a bit...off. They can't find the town on any map. The house they are staying in looks as if someone's been living there, even though it's been deserted for years. And Colin doesn't seem quite himself. As he grows more unstable, Hannah worries about Colin's dark side, and her own safety.
Nothing is as perfect as it seems, and what lies beneath may haunt her forever.

Still Waters is quite the ride, let me tell you.

1. Hannah: When I first started reading I was annoyed with basically everyone. Hannah was acting completely absurd about a few things. For one, she kept acting as if “breaking into” her boyfriend’s house was going to damn her to hell and the police were going to jump out and arrest her. It was a little too dramatic for me. Second, I don’t think the story delves enough into the relationship between Hannah and her younger brother for her to feel so guilty about leaving him. For two days. But the thing that was annoying me the most was probably that her boyfriend kept acting like a creepy weirdo and she just shrugged it off for a long time. I do understand that to a degree, but at some point it started to become absurd.
2. Colin: I never really like Colin through the course of the book. Except for maybe the ending, but I’m still not his biggest fan.

3. Plot-holes: There were some small little plot-holes at the end that just made it seem like they got kind of lazy at the end of the book. Not to mention the town not being on the map and the house looking lived in are never really explained.

4. Dialogue: This is something I rarely notice, but I found it to be a little odd at times in Still Waters.

Anyway, that’s enough griping because I did actually enjoy this book.

Before this book I read a zombie book and I can honestly say that Still Waters creeped me out way more. I think part of that has to do with the fact that this story was much more realistic. It’s easier to place yourself in a situation such as Hannah was in.

It also seriously got my pulse pounding. Sometimes I felt like I was watching a horror/thriller in my head and I kept wanting to yell “No! Don’t do that! Can’t you see you’re going to get killed or something?!?” Still Waters had me absolutely pinned to the edge of my seat in anticipation. So much so that I accidentally stayed up until 4am finishing it.

The Nutshell: Though there were quite a few things in Still Waters keeping it from being completely fantastic, it was still rater enjoyable. It was a quick read, especially after hitting all the scary parts. If you love a good thriller (sort of) mystery then this one is definitely worth your time.

Pages: 212
Series: No
Rating: 3.5 stars

April 14, 2012

In My Mailbox {40} Robin Hood, Prom, & Girl Bands

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.)

1) I just want to say that I'm terribly sorry for the bad video. Today I discovered that I couldn't figure out how to cut parts from my video. I'll start working on that :P
2) Sorry for the bad lighting, I'll work on that next time too.
3) Erica, there is Pugsy at the end ;]

Nevermore signed bookmorks
Nevermore tattoos.

Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig
Partials by Dan Wells
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom by Emily Franklin & Brendan Halpin
The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour
Fever by Lauren DeStefano
Illuminate by Aimee Agresti
Where it Began by Anne Redisch Stampler
Inside Out/Outside In bindup by Maria V. Snyder

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion {Review}

Publisher: Atria
Publish Date: January 1, 2010
Source: Library

R is a young man with an existential crisis -- he is a zombie. He shuffles through an America destroyed by war, social collapse, and the mindless hunger of his undead comrades, but he craves something more than blood and brains. He can speak just a few grunted syllables, but his inner life is deep, full of wonder and longing. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams.
After experiencing a teenage boy's memories while consuming his brain, R makes an unexpected choice that begins a tense, awkward, and strangely sweet relationship with the victim's human girlfriend. Julie is a blast of color in the otherwise dreary and gray landscape that surrounds R. His decision to protect her will transform not only R, but his fellow Dead, and perhaps their whole lifeless world.


What’s that you say? That’s not a good review? You can’t even tell whether I loved it or hated it from that sentence? Oh fine.

I really don’t know where to start, so I guess I’ll just go with the zombies. Marion’s zombies are (okay, it’s one in the morning as I write this and for the life of me all I can think of is “the shizz, man” but I really don’t want to say that so bare with me) really interesting. I appreciated that he didn’t try to tackle the unique factor by making his zombies move at lightning speed or fly or something similar. They shuffled, they grunted, and they ate brains. These are what zombies are (not that other zombies aren’t acceptable). But. (Of course there’s a but, how could there not be?!) These zombies treat brains almost as a drug. It allows them to see memories of the person’s [who belonged to the brain] life and feel just a little less Dead. Plus, Marion’s zombies can kind of talk and think which was really cool.

The story and the writing. Honestly, this is the only book I can think of that has ever hooked me from the front page. Though the writing isn’t always beautiful per say, it is still wonderful. R has a very unique voice that I couldn’t really get enough of. His thoughts were somewhere between simple and profound and, honestly, made me feel a bit silly about the things I make important in my life. I mean, here R is being a zombie and he’s thinking about the meaning of life while I sit on the couch for twenty minutes pondering whether taking my dog out or letting her pee on the rug is the better idea (I don’t actually let her pee on the rug, just so we’re clear).

I know I’m always going around saying “this isn’t your average zombie book” and “even zombie haters will like this” but I think that’s pretty much due to the fact that everyone has a stereotype stuck in their head when it comes to zombie books and well-written ones very rarely live up to that stereotype. I’m not going to lie, there’s gore and death and brain eating, but I still believe zombie haters will like Warm Bodies. It has a much, much deeper meaning and story than just “eat brains; kill zombies.”

The Nutshell: Marion is a genius. Seriously. This book hooked me from page one and didn’t let me go until the end, though, there was some breathing time. Don’t write this book off because you think you hate zombies. It’s about so much more than zombies and the fight between the remaining humans and them. My words could never possibly fully convey my love for this book, but I promise I’ll make you read it somehow to make up for that fact ;]

Pages: 241
Series: No
Rating: 5 stars

April 13, 2012

My Current Obsession: Roswell

This has absolutely nothing to do with books, so if you aren't interested, you've now been warned.

I'm obsessed with television. There, I said it. I'm not even ashamed either. If I'm not reading or blogging, I'm likely watching tv. Sometimes I even do all three at once! Usually, though, all three are constantly warring for my attention. I just can't help it :P

Anyhow, since I have such an intense love for all things tv I figured, hey, why not share it here? For now, this will be a sporadic feature spotlighting whatever my newest obsession of the week is.

This week's obsession:
IMDB description: Living among the citizens of the infamous New Mexico city of Roswell are some who are not there by choice. They are there to follow a destiny given to them by the members of their dying race, a race that they are someday destined to save.

I put this show in my Netflix queue ages ago, but only started watching it at the beginning of this year when I didn't have cable anymore and needed something to watch while Husband was at work. Boy, am I glad I finally got around to watching this show. It is absolutely fantastic.

You'd probably think a show about aliens would be incredibly cheesy and possibly gory, right? Well, you'd be totally and completely wrong with that mindset. Roswell is like an amazing teenage show with all the angst and kissing and relationships mixed in with a little bit of the "unexplained" though, luckily, most of it is explained in the end.

The plot is insane and throughout all three seasons I continued to be interested. Usually when you watch a series the second or third or whatever season just isn't that good, but I can honestly say that this entire series is fantastic. And when I finished watching the last episode I started crying because I was devastated it was over.

One thing I really loved was that the characters weren't hopping around from one love interest to another. I don't want to give to much away, but it was refreshing to see teens actually be interested in one person instead of just jumping at whoever came along next.

If you have Netflix, you should definitely give this show a chance. Just watch a couple episodes and try to tell me you're not hooked.

April 12, 2012

Scored by Lauren McLaughlin {Review}

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: October 25, 2011
Source: Library

Set in the future when teenagers are monitored via camera and their recorded actions and confessions plugged into a computer program that determines their ability to succeed. All kids given a "score" that determines their future potential. This score has the ability to get kids into colleges, grant scholarships, or destroy all hope for the above. Scored's reluctant heroine is Imani, a girl whose high score is brought down when her best friend's score plummets. Where do you draw the line between doing what feels morally right and what can mean your future? 

I feel Scored never got the recognition it deserves. This is one solid dystopian.

The idea that the world is run on a scoring system doesn’t really take a lot of imagination. We already base a person’s worth off whether they got a certain amount of schooling and how well they did at it to a certain degree. The setting also doesn’t require too much thought in that the current time period doesn’t seem to be too far in the future. I mean, at some point Imani even mentions Kmart. This isn’t a bad thing, though. It really works to have the focus be on the score rather than the setting for this one.

I liked Imani a lot. She made some regrettable decisions a few times, but that’s part of being a teenager, especially with something like the score hanging over your head. She had good intentions, but just didn’t know what to do with them for a while. She was determined and (sort of) knew what she wanted which is a lot more than most protagonists in dystopians know.

The romance between Diego and Imani was slightly abrupt, but I’d say it still worked.

The Nutshell: This is an incredibly fantastic dystopian which doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. The scoring system is something that’s not too hard to imagine in our current society. Imani is a strong character who is determined to get what she wants, but not by stabbing those close to her in the back. Scored is a quick read that you should definitely devote a few hours to if you’re a fan of dystopians. If you’re unsure whether you like dystopians or not you should still give this one a try as it’s fairly light.

Pages: 240
Series: No
Rating: 4 stars

April 11, 2012

Cover Lover {40}

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 For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
Publish Date: June 12, 2012
Okay, I know this is another Girl-In-A-Pretty-Dress, but come on, you have to admit this is gorgeous. 1) The girl looks more like a painting than a real photograph which I really like. 2) The stars are absolutely gorgeous and I love the way the dress blends into them. 3) I love the swirly script used for the title and the colors mixed in with them contrast well with the dark background.

April 10, 2012

Tune in Tuesday {18} JJ Heller

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

What Love Really Means - JJ Heller

Your Hands - JJ Heller

This woman has an amazing voice and her songs are so powerful. Every time I listen to her I end up crying. But in a good way :P I usually try to keep my blog pretty neutral on the religion front, but I just had to share these songs since they're beautiful. I hope you'll listen to them and see what I see in them :] (I promise I'm not trying to shove anything down your throat or anything.)

April 9, 2012

Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley {Review}

Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: August 1, 2008
Source: Library
Now I lay me down to sleep,I pray the Lord my soul to keep.And if I should die before I awake,I pray the popular attend my wake.Charlotte Usher feels practically invisible at school, and then one day she really is invisible. Even worse: she's dead. And all because she choked on a gummy bear. But being dead doesn't stop Charlotte from wanting to be popular; it just makes her more creative about achieving her goal.
If you thought high school was a matter of life or death, wait till you see just how true that is.  

Upon finishing Ghostgirl I’m not really sure how I feel. On the one hand, it could be darkly funny while still managing cute romance at times and on the  other, it could be very shallow and just kind of missed the mark other times.

So let’s break this thing down list style!

1. The cutesy ending. What can I say? I’m a sucker for a super cute ending despite the fact that it doesn’t always make sense or fit very well.

2. Charlotte’s growth. Boy howdy did it take FOR-EV-ER, but it did happen and I can totally appreciate that.

3. Scarlet’s character. I just liked her dark, sarcastic funny personality. It was really enjoyable to read about.

1. Charlotte. I know her character flaw was her selfishness, but man did it really get on my nerves.

2. Damen. He started becoming a better guy towards the end of the book, but it was almost like he was two different people: beginning of book Damen and end of book Damen. The first one was kind of a big fat jerk.

3. The “what just happened” factor. Sometimes I felt like I had just missed something major because one thing was happening and then BAM the very next sentence everything was resolved or something else entirely was happening. I’m fairly certain that wasn’t all me :P

4. The “something’s missing” factor. Throughout the entire reading save for, maybe, the last 30 pages the story wasn’t really grabbing me. It just seemed like it had that IT factor missing or something. I really don’t know how to explain it, but you avid book readers problem know what I mean.

The Nutshell: In all, not my favorite book. It was a quick read and I was intrigued by the ending, so I may pick up the next book in the series, but it’s not likely. Ghostgirl is darkly quirky and at times humorous read, but overall seemed to be missing that oomph that really draws me into a story. In short, this wasn’t for me, but someone else might still find it enjoyable.

Pages: 328
Series: Ghostgirl #1
Rating: 2.5 stars

April 8, 2012

In My Mailbox {39} Unexpected Books!

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.)

Blogs mentioned:
Erica @ The Book Cellar
Ms. Martin Teaches Media

Sarah Watts & Claire Legrand:
Cavendish Home print + extra

Ms. Martin Teaches Media Spring Cleaning Contest:
Morganville Vampires books 1-7 by Rachel Caine
Dark Eyes ARC by William Richter
Traitor's Son ARC by Hilari Bell 
Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett
The Wright 3 by Blue Balliett

HarperTeen & Pitch Dark Days:
Cloaked by Alex Flinn

The Catastrophic History of You and Me ARC by Jess Rothenberg

Struck by Jennifer Bosworth (thank you Farrar, Straus and Giroux and Macmillan!

The Humming Room by Ellen Potter

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

April 7, 2012

Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris {Review}

Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publish Date: July 12, 2011
Source: Library
Someone's been a very bad zombie.
Kate Grable is horrified to find out that the football coach has given the team steroids. Worse yet, the steroids are having an unexpected effect, turning hot gridiron hunks into mindless flesh-eating zombies. No one is safe -- not her cute crush Aaron, not her dorky brother, Jonah...not even Kate! She's got to find an antidote -- before her entire high school ends up eating each other. So Kate, her best girlfriend, Rocky, and Aaron stage a frantic battle to save their town...and stay hormonally human. 

Bad Taste in Boys was so fun!

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect going into this. I’d heard good things back when it was published, but it didn’t make its way onto my TBR for quite a while. I don’t quite remember what exactly pushed me over the edge, but I’m extremely thankful for whatever it was!

This was a really quick read. I would have finished it all in one night were it not for my pesky bedtime. It is only 201 pages, but that’s not the only reason it’s such a quick read. It really pulls you in and doesn’t let you go. I’m surprised I was even able to put it down last night!

I suppose you want to know why it was so unputdownable now, don’t you? First, I completely fell in love with Kate. She was geeky and proud, but she also had a feminine side she was proud of. She wasn’t totally extreme one way or the other either trying to hide her love of science or hide herself behind medical books. I really enjoyed that she was a strong, well-rounded character. Surprisingly, I found the side characters to be well-written as well. I say “surprisingly” because you would almost think the book was too short for that, but Harris handles it well.

The Nutshell: This is a zombie book even zombie haters can appreciate. There are a few flesh-eating scenes, yes, but it’s really not all that bad. I actually found myself laughing out loud quite a few times. Bad Taste in Boys is a short, quick read that’ll both have you laughing and hanging off the edge of your seat. The characters and story are all executed fantastically and I highly recommend this book. I can’t wait to see what Harris has in store next!

Pages: 201
Series: Kate Grable #1
Rating: 5 stars

April 6, 2012

TGIF {22} Series Finales

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: Book Series Finales: Which book, from any series has been your favorite ending? What about your least favorite ending?


Percy Jackson
This was an absolutely fantastic end to an epic journey. There were some sad bits, yes, but I think it all ended it a rather satisfying way.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth
This one is a little different than others since none of the books were really a continuation of the others. I was a little sad there was no worldly resolution, but thinking about it now, I'm not even sure it could have ended any other way. This entire series is heart-wrenching and beautiful and the final book was no different.

The Hunger Games
Okay, I'm not actually sure I'd say this is my favorite ever or anything, but it fit and left me satisfied.

Maze Runner
Oh man. I know some people weren't satisfied because it didn't answer all their questions, but it answered enough to satisfy me. It also made me cry and as we all learned from HP it's almost necessary to cry during the last book in a series.

Least Favorite
I spent YEARS reading these books! Then the final just left me feeling decidedly unsatisfied. It just felt so...anticlimactic. I mean, there are about 14 books or something like that in the series and then the last one was just kind of a dud, in my opinion.

Wolves of Mercy Falls
I wanted so badly to love this. I adored Shiver and Linger. They made me feel ALL the feelings, but Forever just...didn't. I didn't connect to Forever in the same why I did to the first two and is just made me so sad :[