September 28, 2012

Oh, the pain!

Source: Chibird (love her work, you should check it out!)

This pretty much describes my first two months on my job. Since I stock books and magazines I ended up having hands completely covered in papercuts all the time. I guess I've gotten better at avoiding them over time, but they still hurt like crazy when I do end up getting them...

September 27, 2012

Of Poseidon by Anna Banks {Review}

Publisher: Feiwel &Friends
Publish Date: May 22, 2012
Source: Library
Galen is the prince of Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen -- literally, ouch! -- both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma's gifts. Now if he can only convince Emma that she holds the keys to his kingdom...

Of Poseidon was an interesting new take on the mermaid – excuse me, Syrena – myth. Although, I have to mention one thing that’s been bothering me: what do the women wear as tops in Syrena form? I’m fairly certain it’s never mentioned and it’s been driving me a little batty :P

Of Poseidon starts out in a majorly depressing way and yet, I felt like I wasn’t saddened enough by it. Grossed out, sure, but not sad. I appreciated that Emma had her own way of dealing with it and her own grieving process though. Some might think that she got over it too quickly, but I don’t really think that’s a judgment you can pass on anyone else since we all have different processes.

I loved all the Syrena lore and learning about their past and the way they run things now. I always love learning history about imaginary cultures.

I really liked Rayna and Toraf. They were fun side characters that I ended up caring for just as much as Galen and Emma in the end. Speaking of Galen and Emma…Emma was strong-willed, stubborn, clumsy, and completely hung up on Galen. I love a good “I don’t need a man” kick-a** female lead, but I also appreciate the ones who go all gooey over a guy since it reminds me of being that age. What I didn’t quite appreciate was the relationship itself. Galen was a nice guy and I liked him well enough, but it seems like the readers knew more about him than Emma did. It ended up making the relationship feel a little forced.

I’ve heard people complain about the Emma=First person/Galen=Third person thing, but it really didn’t bother me at all. I barely noticed it, actually. Maybe I’m just not quite as sensitive when it comes to those things, though :P 
The Nutshell: Of Poseidon is a fantastic start to the series. Sure, I had some problems with the relationship but it wasn’t enough to detract from the story itself. If you want a new mermaid story with a little scary and a lot of kissing (read: angst) then Of Poseidon is definitely for you.
 Pages: 336
Series: Of Posidon #1
Rating: Hit

September 26, 2012

Cover Lover {59}

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 Other Life by Susanne Winnacker (I promise that link is correct. The US version just has a different cover and title.)
Publish Date: May 15, 2012 (US)
I'll admit that this cover is mostly creepy what with the bloody butterfly and the arms inside of it, but I see beauty in it as well. I love the way the title and the barbed wire look sketched in pencil and the simple city scape in the background.

September 25, 2012

So, I'm feeling artsy...

So, um, I'm kind of crazy for crafting now. It was all kind of sudden, really. I was going through my old jewelry and getting rid of all the junk I never wear and found the best friend necklaces my husband and I wore when we were first dating (it's kind of a long story :P).

I didn't want to get rid of them since they mean a lot to me, but it's also not like either of us were ever going to wear them again either. Then I had kind of a brainstorm for them and decided "hey, I've got nothing to lose so I might as well try it" and it actually turned out really nice. Now you probably want to know what it actually looks like, yes? Well, here's a picture:

Sorry the picture quality sucks, but my phone is the easiest way to take pictures and get them on my computer but it's something like 3 years old :P All I had to do was cut off a length of each chain so it would fit in the frame and hot glue them and a piece of white cardstock to the back of the frame and viola! The simplicity of it all has made me crazy for crafting now.

I'm on Pinterest almost every day just looking at the DIY and Crafts board compiling a massive list of things I want to make eventually. If any of you were wondering, here's my board: Craftsfsfsfs

Basically I'm here to ask you guys if any of you are crafters. And if so, do you know any good blogs to follow?

September 24, 2012

Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel {Review}

Publisher: Del Ray
Publish Date: September 25, 2012
Source: Netgalley for honest review
Can the living coexist with the living dead?
That's the question that has New Victorian society fiercely divided ever since the mysterious plague known as "The Laz" hit the city of New London and turned thousands into walking corpses. But while some of these zombies are mindless monsters, hungry for human flesh, others can still think, speak, reason, and control their ravenous new appetites.
Just ask Nora Dearly, the young lady of means who was nearly kidnapped by a band of sinister zombies but valiantly rescued by a dashing young man...of the dead variety.
Nora and her savior, the young zombie soldier Bram Griswold, fell hopelessly in love. But others feel only fear and loathing for the reanimated dead. Now, as tensions grow between pro-and anti-zombie factions, battle lines are being drawn in the streets. And though Bram is no longer in the New Victorian army, he and his ex-commando zombie comrades are determined to help keep the peace. That means taking a dangerous stand between The Changed, a radical group of sentient zombies fighting for survival, ad The Murder, a masked squad of urban guerrillas hellbent on destroying the living dead. But zombies aren't the only ones in danger: Their living allies are also in The Murder's cross hairs, and for one vengeful zealot, Nora Dearly is the number one target.
As paranoia, prejudice, and terrorist attacks threaten to plunge the city into full-scale war, Nora's scientist father and his team continue their desperate race to unlock the secrets of "The Laz" and find a cure. But their efforts may be doomed when a mysterious zombie appears bearing an entirely new strain of the virus -- and the nation of New Victoria braces for a new wave of the apocalypse.

Dearly, Beloved started out a little slow for me, but that’s quite possibly because I was reading it on my Nook. Whatever it was, though, I ended up enjoying it in the end.

The unrest between the humans and the zombies didn’t quite get me the way it did in Dearly, Departed. The problem was still there and pretty much as bad as ever, but it didn’t have quite the same urgency as before. However, I did like all the characters and their individual stories. This time around we get more background on the ever jerktastic Michael and the oh so “lovely” Vespertine. Plus, there’s lots of relationship goings on and deep life thinking.

Plus, that ending? Totally swoontastic!

The Nutshell: Overall, Dearly, Beloved is a great sequel. It was a bit slow, story-wise for me, but I enjoyed all the characters and their growth. Well, I didn’t exactly enjoy Michael, but he was still an important character :P Definitely one to be read if you enjoyed the first in the series :]

Pages: 496? (Everything online says 496, but my e-galley only had 396.)
Series: Gone With the Respiration #2

September 22, 2012

Guys, guys, guys. Lookit!

The first trailer for Beautiful Creatures!

Also, the movie poster is absolutely gorgeous.

The Invitation by Diane Hoh {Review}

Publisher: Scholastic Children's
Publish Date: August 20, 1993
Source: Netgalley for honest review
Five not-so-popular teens are invited to an annual party given by snooty Cass. Ushered into the mansion, they are soon part of a human scavenger hunt in which they are tied, bound, and hidden. Further victimization includes being heated in a sauna, cooled in a freezer, and nearly asphyxiated by a car's running motor.

When I came across The Invitation on Netgalley I had no idea it was so old (1993) or that it was a part of a series sort of like Fear Street by R.L. Stine (anyone else remember those?). It just sounded like a good, scary story that might get my heart racing. I’m said to say it didn’t do that for me at all. Really, the only thing I got out of it was a feeling of nostalgia since I spent almost an entire year reading R.L. Stine and similar books/authors.

First of all, the characters were all pretty annoying. Most of them could only think about themselves and wonder why nobody was trying to save them. I couldn’t help thinking “I understand that there’s no way out, but do you really have to sit there and have a pity party?” I honestly wouldn’t have been so annoyed if they were just sitting there freaking out but instead it was mostly “why haven’t my friends come to save me yet? Doesn’t anybody love me?”

Then there was the story itself. It was built up and up and up and when I finally figured out the mystery I couldn’t help thinking “really? That’s it?”

The Nutshell: Needless to say, The Invitation wasn’t a favorite of mine. If you’re looking for a quick, simple mystery then this might please you, but if you want something deeper, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere.
 Pages: 169
Series: Point Horror
Rating: Miss

September 19, 2012

Cover Lover {58}

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 Glimpse by Claire Merlse
Publish Date: June 7, 2012 (In UK, that is. Anyone know if or when a US date is?)
I love this cover so hard! The script is swirly and pretty, the blue is lovely, and look at the metaphor! Okay, so I don't really know what the barbed wire-wrapped heart has to do with the story, but I have the distinct feeling that it actually means something to the story. (Sidenote, did I use the wrong word? Is it supposed to be imagery or something?) Plus, that heart is made out of wood! I have no idea if that has some deeper meaning, but I think it's really cool.
And, of course, I'm digging the simplicity.

September 17, 2012

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green {Review}

Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Publish Date: September 21, 2006
Source: Bought/Own
When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type happens to be girls names Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact. He's also a washed-up child prodigy with ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a passion for anagrams, and an overweight, Judge Judy-obsessed best friend. Colin's on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which will predict the future of all relationships, transform him from a fading prodigy into a true genius, and finally win him the girl.
I’m not even sure where to start when it comes the An Abundance of Katherines. I enjoyed it, but I didn’t connect with it in quite the same way that I did Looking for Alaska. But, I don’t like to compare an author’s works unless they’re part of a series and this book is not part of a series so onto the regular review!

I really didn’t think I’d like Hassan or Colin when I started reading, but the two definitely grew on me. Colin is one sad guy. He’s always getting dumped which doesn’t do much for his already low self-esteem and his child prodigy status is one the decline. How does one cure all these problems? Road trip!
Except, it’s not really a road trip. At least, not in the typical YA book kind of way, but that doesn’t make it bad.

It’s amazing the adventures Colin and Hassan manage to have while staying in one place. You’d think they need the open road to find the best adventures, but Gutshot, Tennessee certainly throws that idea right in the toilet. I loved watching both Colin and Hassan make their own emotional journey’s right alongside the actual real-life adventures.
The Nutshell: This is a pretty terrible review, I know, but the thing you should take away from it is that An Abundance of Katherines is a book worth reading. There’s heartbreak, healing, kissing, hog hunting (where the hog does the hunting), graphing, fighting, and even a little soul searching (come on, I had to get a little cheesy).
 Pages: 227
Series: No
Rating: Hit

September 16, 2012

This pretty much sums me up...

I really need a Tshirt that says this so people don't just think I'm a terrible person. 

September 15, 2012

Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts {Review}

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: November 1, 2011
Source: Library
Since the beginning or mankind, civilizations have fallen: the Romans, the Greeks, the Aztecs...and now us. Huge earthquakes rock the world. Cities are destroyed. But something eve more awful is happening: An ancient evil has been unleashed, and it's turned everyday people into hunters, killers, and crazies.
This is the world Mason, Aries, Clementine, and Michael are living in -- or rather, trying to survive. Each is fleeing unspeakable horror, from murderous chaos to brutal natural disasters, and each is traveling the same road in a world gone mad.
Amid the throes of the apocalypse and clinging to love and meaning wherever it can be found, these four teens are on a journey to the heart of darkness -- and to find each other and a place of safety.

(A little aside here: It talks about Mercer Hall which is amusing since it no longer exists. They tore it down a year or two ago. It’s also the dorm Husband stayed in when he was there.)

To be quite honest, I wasn’t expecting much out of Dark Inside. It seemed as if most of the reviews I read were just “okay” and it immediately dropped off under the radar after its release which typically isn’t a good sign, but it really shouldn’t have happened this time. This is a fantastic apocalyptic novel that needs to be read.

First off, Dark Inside has a little something for everyone. There are four narrators: two boys and two girls. See, we’re already pleasing both genders. Past that, there really isn’t any romance to speak of, but there’s definitely plenty of blood. Not trying to force gender stereotypes on anyone, but I will say that this is a book I’d recommend to my brother or Husband.

Now, you probably noticed that I said there were four narrators. Don’t let that freak you out. That’s actually the biggest reason I put off reading it for so long. I was afraid it would be hard to connect with any of the characters and keep all their stories straight, but it really wasn’t. It did get a little confusing with all the names, especially towards the end, but Roberts does a good job of establishing exactly who each character is in each new chapter. I thought it was pretty fascinating to find that I’d connected with each character in some way or another and really felt for everything they went through.

And I’ve got to ask, for those who’ve read the story, did you try to assign a character to Nothing from the beginning? Maybe it was just me, but as soon as I could, I was tacking everyone onto Nothing to see if they fit. I think I had it figured out by the end, but I’m not positive. If you want to discuss in the comments make sure to put some kind of spoilers notification up :]

The Nutshell: Dark Inside has flown under the radar for the most part, but it’s about time this book has its moment in the sun. It’s a fantastic read with everything from great characters to interesting settings to scary bad guys. This is definitely one that I could easily suggest to both guys and girls. Don’t yell at me about gender stereotypes either, because most guys I know look at me like I’m insane if I suggest a book to them with romance :P
 Pages: 329
Series: Dark Inside #1
Rating: Direct Hit

September 12, 2012

Cover Lover {57}

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 Aviary by Kathleen O'Dell
Publish Date: September 13, 2011
I first saw this book while I was scrolling through Amazon's cheap list and I fell in love. This is the kind of cover that immediately makes you want to know what the story inside is about. I love that everything is all silhouettey and the green mixed with black is both sinister and beautiful. Plus, (admittedly I didn't notice this until I was making the post) the little bird at the bottom? Doesn't his shadow look like a little boy? Intriguing... 

September 10, 2012

Ghost Flower by Michele Jaffe {Review}

Publisher: Razorbill
Publish Date: April 12, 2012
Source: Library
Eve, a runaway, finds a new job at a coffee shop on the outskirts of Tuscon. When she's approached by two wealthy teens who claim she bears an uncanny resemblance to their missing cousin Aurora, her life takes a turn for the dark and mysterious. Drawn into a scheme to win Aurora's inheritance, Eve finds herself impersonating the girl, who disappeared three years ago on the night her best friend Elizabeth died. But when Liza's ghost begins to haunt Eve, doing harm to the people close to her under the guise of "protecting" her, Eve finds herself in a nightmare maze of lies and deception that leads her to question even her own identity. She realizes her only chance is to uncover the truth about what happened the night Liza died, and to find Liza's killer - before she's next.

After reading Ghost Flower I can definitely say Michele Jaffe is a master at mysteries. I was constantly guessing at who the bad guy was and then telling myself that was crazy and then guessing again and the cycle just continued over and over until I was driving myself crazy. I ended up guessing part of it (though that was bound to happen since I’d made about every guess under the sun) but definitely not all of it.

Something about Ghost Flower did feel a little off, though. Maybe it was the characters, maybe it was the romance(s), or maybe it was something else entirely, but it just felt a little weird. Let’s start by talking about the characters. I think the biggest problem was that since it was a mystery I was suspecting everyone which made it a little hard to like and connect with them. Plus, most of them were just terrible people anyway :P

Then there was the romances. Yep, plural. And no, not with multiple characters. Just the one main character and tons of dudes. It got really confusing and none of them were really all that believable. Especially the romance in the end of the book. Let’s not even talk about that. Unless you’ve read the book, then I’d love to get your opinion on it!

Despite those issues, the mystery really was fantastic. Jaffe has a way of writing a mystery so that it’s actually believable, but it’s almost impossible to figure out who did It. I can almost guarantee you won’t be able to unravel the mystery before it’s spelled out for you.

The Nutshell: Though I had some issues with the characters and the romances the mystery, which is the main point of the story, was outstanding. I was constantly second-guessing myself and making up crazy scenarios in my head trying to figure it out which is exactly how I like my mysteries.

Pages: 358
Series: No
Rating: Hit

September 9, 2012

In My Mailbox {52}

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren.

First off we have my library books. I know you're gasping in surprise at how few books I've gotten from the library in the past two or three weeks, but if we're going for full disclosure then you should know my library was closed for an entire week :P

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin 
I've really been wanting to read this one since I finished Nevermore. I just felt like I needed some more Poe-based books in my life!

The Curse of the Wendigo by Rick Yancey
I really enjoyed The Monstrumologist and when the sequel was just sitting there on the shelf I figured "why not?"

I got these books from Sarah at The Book Life from a trade and her general awesomeness.

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Origin by Jessica Khoury
I seriously can't wait to read this one!

I really enjoyed the first Horten's and Sarah was kind enough to send me the second :]

I while back I won a $25-for-books giveaway and was sent a Visa gift card. Then I went to Half Price and got all these for around $20 :D

Various volumes of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga
All of these were on clearance, so I ended up getting seven of them for about $13!

Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty
I don't actually own the first one yet, but I read it and loved it and decided I really wanted the second on hand for next time I felt like a good contemp.

I've been wanting to read this series for ages so I'm glad to finally own a copy :D

And then we have all the books I got for free which basically means giveaways save for Dragon's Tooth which I purchased with Buzz Bucks (speaking of, if you're not signed up with Random Buzzers I have to codes that you use with sign up that'll give you a free book! Just let me know if you want one and I'll get it to you :])

I actually have no idea where I won these from since I never got an email and the package didn't say :P

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
I'm still a little unsure of this one since I don't read a lot of paranormal, but I did hear a lot of good things about it when it first came out.

The Little Woods by McCormick Templeman
I won this for part of the Standalone Challenge hosted by Icey Books and I Like These Books. I love a good creepy mystery and this one sounds perfect, so I'm pretty excited.

Dragon's Tooth by N.D. Wilson

September 8, 2012

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins {Review}

Publisher: Dutton Books
Publish Date: September 29, 2011
Source: Own/Contest
Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn't believe in fashion...she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit --  more sparkly, more fun, more wild -- the better. But even though Lola's style is outrageous, she's a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) util the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.
When Cricket -- a gifted inventor -- steps out of his twin sister's shadow and back into Lola's life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

Oh. My. Golly.
This book made me want to squee and laugh and jump up and down and hug myself. So I did. Mutiple times. One cannot contain the joy and happiness and emotions that Lola and the Boy Next Door holds.

If I’m not careful this will just be one long, gushy review, so let’s start with a list of things I loved:
1) Lola’s parents and her relationship with them. When I’d seen people saying how much they liked this I figured they would be the “best friend” type of parents, but they weren’t. Her dads are very protective of her, but you can tell how much they love her too. They yell at her and ground her and do normal parenty things which is awesome.
2) Max and Lola’s relationship. Going in, I figured I was going to hate Max since he sounded kind of douchey. I didn’t, though. No matter how much I wanted to hate him I just couldn’t. It was interesting to watch Max and Lola’s relationship deteriorate knowing that theirs wasn’t the most important relationship of the story.
3) Cricket Bell. I mean, really, do I even have to say it? He’s kind, funny, sweet and fantastic, but he’s more like a real boy than almost any other I’ve read. I love that he’s transparent about his feelings which means, yeah, he does yell at Lola (not in an abusive way, promise) once or twice because he’s so dig darn frustrated. In more ways than one. He gets angry and sad and we see it all. Plus, he’s super nice to his sister and little niece. Oh gosh, I’ve got to stop now before this turns into an all out “gush about Cricket” fest.
4) ANNA AND ST. CLAIR! They aren’t just a small part of the story, they’re Lola’s friends! How cool is that?
5) Lola. She’s so colorful and lively and real. She yells at her parents, storms out of the house, cries on her bed, agonizes over guys, makes impulsive decisions, gets gooey-eyed over her neighbor, and makes mistakes. I could go on and on, but what I’m trying to say is that Lola is someone most girls will be able to relate to. She’s always second guessing herself and wondering what she’s supposed to do which basically describes the being a teen.
6) All the clothes talk. You might think that it would get to be too show-and-telly, but it didn’t. It was fun reading about everyone’s clothes from Lola’s costumes to Cricket’s pin-striped pants.

And then the review was getting long and gushy so let’s wrap this up!

The Nutshell: Lola and the Boy Next Door will make you laugh, break your heart a little, and have you swooning all over the place. This is definitely not your typical girl-meets-girl-long-journey-to-love-happily-ever-after story. I mean, there is a happily ever after, but it’s not all about Lola getting the boy next door. In fact, she’s still with Max for over half the story which I thought was really interesting. This is one book you do not want to miss. Even if contemporary isn’t your thing, you should give this one a chance!
 Pages: 338
Series: Companion to Anna and the French Kiss
Rating: Direct Hit

September 7, 2012

What I've been listening to

Bread - Charlie McDonnell

She Walks Right Through Me - Alex Day

Duet With Myself - Charlie McDonnell

I have a ton more songs I've been obsessing about lately but I don't want to overwhelm you :P

September 6, 2012

Dark Parties by Sarah Grant {Review}

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: August 3, 2011
Source: Library
Sixteen-year-old Neva has been trapped since birth. She was born and raised under the Protectosphere, in an isolated nation ruled by dear, lies, and xenophobia. A shield "protects" them from the outside world, but also locks the citizens inside. But there's nothing left on the outside, ever since the world collapsed from violent warfare. Or so the government says...
Neva and her best friend Sanna believe the government is lying and stage a "dark party" to recruit members for their underground rebellion. But as Neva begins to uncover the truth, she realizes she must question everything she's ever known, including the people she loves the most.

Dark Parties was a little strange. I found the pacing to be a little odd along with the flow of the story. Things just felt a little jumbled which made the reading experience a bit uncomfortable, but not terrible.

Some other things that added to the strangeness:
-- The romantic relationship
-- All the sex/sex talk
-- Neva’s constant volley between trust and hate

Okay, let me just touch on those first two on the list. First, the relationship. WHAT IN THE WORLD WAS THAT?! I can tell you what it wasn’t. It certainly wasn’t a healthy relationship. It was lust, plain and simple. The only thing Neva actually knows about him as a person is that he likes to make masks as art. The only other things she knows is that she knows is that she likes the way he kisses and he’s her best friend’s boyfriend. I’m seriously not exaggerating about this. Long story short? The relationship did not work for me even the tiniest bit. In fact, I was literally scoffing at them at the end of the story.

Thing two: What is with all the sex?! I know being a teenager means your hormones are all out of whack, but seriously. The first couple pages are all sexy times. It actually made me a bit uncomfortable. I kind of understand where Grant was going with it for the story, but I feel like it could’ve been toned down or done differently.

Now for the good. I think Grant did a fantastic job of writing a standalone (you can correct me if I’m wrong about that) dystopian. She gave the entire story body from side character personality (save for Braydon) to the back story of the world. I appreciated that she actually gave a back story for why the world was a dystopian. That often just gets swept under the rug when it comes to standalones. The story itself was good as well. There was a conflict, the main character reached her end goal and there were losses along the way. I just simply couldn’t get past all the little weirdnesses. Yep, that’s going to be a word now.

The Nutshell: Dark Parties has a good dystopian story complete with a past that doesn’t get ignored. However, due to the weird romantic relationship along with some other minor things I ended up not really enjoying it. I can’t say this is a book I would recommend, but that doesn’t mean others won’t like it.
 Pages: 320
Series: No
Rating: Miss

September 5, 2012

Cover Lover {56}

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 Ten by Gretchen McNeil
Publish Date: September 18, 2012
I. Love. This. Cover. It's so simple and at the same time so BAM in-your-face. I mean, all we have is a simple stormy backdrop, an island, ocean, and some giant letters. And yet, it manages to catch my attention every single time I see it. Gotta appreciate the covers that aren't just a "pretty" face ;]

September 4, 2012

Top Ten books on my Fall TBR

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 On Your Fall TBR List
I simply couldn't keep it at ten this week!

1. Bad Hair Day (Kate Grable #2) by Carrie Harris
Bad Taste in Boys was so freaking awesome! I can't wait to see what Harris has in store for Kate next :]

2. Beautiful Redemption (Caster Chronicles #4) by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
I love this series and I can't believe this will be the LAST book. I'm excited to see how it's all going to end, but also sad that's ending :[

3. The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #2) by Michelle Hodkin
So I finished The Unbecoming in a theater before Husband's and my movie started and I was literally sitting there going "Whaaa...Huh? Buu? What?!" out loud. In public. That's how crazy the ending was and that gives you an idea of how badly I NEED the sequel.

4. The Fire Chronicle (The Books of Beginning #2) by John Stephens
I'm all for middle grade and The Emerald Atlas was a great one. I mean, we're talking everything from time traveling to monster fighting! I'm definitely looking forward to book two.

5. Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messanger
This is one of the few debuts on my list because it sounds like one seriously awesome middle grade. I can't wait to get my hands on it!

6. The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (Fairyland #2) by Catherynne M. Valente
What can I say? I'm middle grade obsessed. And this one? Seriously the tip tip top of my wishlist. I adored The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland and look forward to more adventuring with September :]

7. Feedback (Variant #2) by Robison Wells
Yeah, so Variant was a serious mind-boggler and the ending was absolutely killer. You can bet I'll be all over this one when it comes out!

8. Alice in Zombieland by Gena Sholwater
To be quite honest, I know nothing about this book besides the fact that it has something to do with Alice in Wonderland and zombies. I really don't need to know more than that to know I'm excited!

9. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
I think this one has something to do with ghosts, but that's about all I know. Since it's Stiefvater, though, I don't need to know anything in order to know I need to read it.

10. The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver
Not only is this one middle grade, but it's also Lauren freaking Oliver! I mean, does it need anything more for me to be over the moon excited about it?

11. Envy (The Fury Trilogy #2) by Elizabeth Miles
Fury totally took me by surprise. It could have been a standalone, sure, but I'm seriously looking forward to the next installment in the series :]

12. The Island of Silence (Unwanteds #2) by Lisa McMann
The Unwanteds was seriously one of my favorite reads this year (I know, I should have read it sooner) and I've been anxiously awaiting the sequel since I turned the last page.

September 3, 2012

Beauty by Lisa Daily {Review}

Publisher: Razorbill
Publish Date: May 10, 2012
Source: Library
What's it like to be the most beautiful girl in the world?
Molly desperately wants to be beautiful. And that's what she tells Dharma, the mysterious portrait artist who sketches her face at the town fair just minutes after she's humiliated in front of Hudson, the guy of her dreams. When Molly wakes up the following morning, she's the most beautiful girl in Miracle, Ohio. Babies coo in her arms, her house fills with flowers from dozens of drooling boys, and she's chosen to be a model for the hottest store in town. Best of all, Hudson finally falls for her.
But Molly soon discovers that beauty -- and her wish -- come with a price. She's faced with an impossible choice: Will reclaiming her true identity mean letting go of Hudson for good.

Beauty was a fun read, but our main character, Molly, was constantly driving me nuts. She becomes beautiful and magically transforms from quiet, kind invisible girl to world-class B in a matter of days. I was in a constant state of wanting to throw the book across the room for almost its entirety.

Of course, you can tell simply by reading the description that this is going to be a very moral-driven story, but in the end that’s all I got out of it. Here we have a girl with a good friend and a pretty decent life who thinks being pretty will make everything better. So, she gets her wish and becomes the person everyone is falling all over themselves to please – girls and guys alike. Except, all the people who cared about her in the first place. Those people? Molly just pushes them to the side like yesterday’s trash and I’m sitting here going “excuse me? How can one person be so terrible when they’ve been on the other side of it?” Needless to say, though Molly learned her lesson in the end, I wasn’t a fan at all of how she managed to get there. I couldn’t connect with her at all since I couldn’t justify any of her crappy actions.

Despite all my complaints about the main character and the storyline it’s still a pretty cute read. Predictable and infuriating at times, but still a cute, fun read.

The Nutshell: Beauty is exactly what you think it is: a story about a girl who had a decent life but thought good looks would solve all her problems, but they didn’t. You can easily guess how the story will go, but it’s still a cute, quick read if you want some moralistic fluff (is that a contradiction?).
Pages: 272
Series: No
Rating: Near Miss/Miss

September 1, 2012

Shooting Stars by Allison Rushby {Review}

Publisher: Walker Childrens
Publish Date: February 28, 2012
Source: Library
Meet Josephine Foster, or Zo Jo as she's called in the biz. The best pint-sized photographer of them all, Jo doesn't mind doing what it takes to get that perfect shot, until she's sent on an undercover assignment to shoot Ned Hartnett -- teen superstar and the only celebrity who's ever been kind to her -- at an exclusive rehabilitation retreat in Boston. The money will be enough to pay for Jo's dream: real photography classes, and maybe even quitting her paparazzi gig for good. Everyone wants to know what Ned's in for: falling in love with Ned was never supposed to be part of her assignment.

I don’t actually have a lot to say about Shooting Stars, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. On the contrary, it was a fun read, it just simply wasn’t one of those Stand Out Reads, you know?

Let’s start off with the story. At first I was just kind of moseying along with the flow, not really invested, but still interested enough that I wanted to keep reading. Then there was this twist that kind of came out of nowhere, but raised the stakes enough that I was plenty more interested and really wanted to know how it turned out.

Then there were the characters. Jo wasn’t exactly likeable, but I didn’t really dislike her either. I understood both her quandaries about being a paparazzo (did you know there was a singular?) and her rationalization for it, but man, the girl could get some serious inner debates going. Sometimes I just wanted to be like “I think now would be a good chance to tell the truth, he seems like a pretty understanding guy,” but no, she had to waffle on about it for longer. Her indecision seemed a bit drawn out to me, but hey, I’m a terrible decision-maker, so who am I to judge?
Ned was pretty likeable, but nobody I was all swoony for since he didn’t have much of a personality for a majority of the book.

The Nutshell: Shooting Stars is a cute, quick read. If you want a warm-fuzzy romance then this is definitely something worth checking out. If you’re more into the deep contemporaries, then you probably want to go elsewhere.
 Pages: 272
Series: No
Rating: Near Miss