Entice by Carrie Jones

Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Hey everyone! I hope you had a wonderful Holiday season and can't wait to see you in the new year. Hopefully it'll be amazing for all of you!

*Summary not added to save from spoiling others!*

First off, the cover is absolutely stunning on this book and I love how the set look on the shelf! With that said, I have to admit that I wasn't too impressed with this book. I adored (truly) the first two books in this series, but Entice fell flat for me on many levels.

I felt like the author glazed over some important conversations I would've liked to know about and the writing felt a bit rushed to me. As I was reading, I felt as if she was rushing everything else to get to the ending which turned out being pretty bland and mediocre in my opinion.

I am still 1100% team Astley. I don't know why I'm such a sucker for the martyrs, but I am! It made me so sad when he risked so much to help Zara and she doesn't give him a bone or anything. As many other series I've read, the so-called 'love triangle' is pretty one sided and weak.

Overall I wasn't too impressed with this book in the series, but I'm still looking forward to the next book coming in 2011 and this book didn't pause my enjoyment of the series.

3/5 :(

Crank by Ellen Hopkins

Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Kristina Georgia Snow is the perfect daughter: gifted high school junior, quiet, never any trouble. But on a trip to visit her absentee father, Kristina disappears and Bree takes her place. Bree is the exact opposite of Kristina -- she's fearless. Through a boy, Bree meets the monster: crank. And what begins as a wild, ecstatic ride turns into a struggle through hell for her mind, her soul -- her life.

This was a beautifully written book that was infuriating and heart-wrenching at the same time. I loved Kristina and her alter-ego Bree, and I understood why she did it. this book really touches on the human emotion and our psyche in general and makes it a fascinating read.

I found that reading in verse was a little difficult at times, but I adjusted quickly and ended up finding it fascinating. I've always said that it takes a very talented author to write in verse. Because of the lack of wordage, each second needs to be meaningful. Ellen Hopkins succeeded with flying colors for me.

Definitely read this book if you're one of the late bloomers (like I was) about Ellen, it's worth it times a dozen!

5/5

Book haul!

Thursday, December 16, 2010
Whee! I love books!

Lessons from a Dead Girl - Jo Knowles

Thursday, December 9, 2010
Leah Greene is dead. For Laine, knowing what really happened and the awful feeling that she is, in some way, responsible set her on a journey of painful self-discovery. Yes, she wished for this. She hated Leah that much. Hated her for all the times in the closet, when Leah made her do those things. They were just practicing, Leah said. But why did Leah choose her? Was she special, or just easy to control? And why didn’t Laine make it stop sooner? In the aftermath of the tragedy, Laine is left to explore the devastating lessons Leah taught her, find some meaning in them, and decide whether she can forgive Leah and, ultimately, herself.

Wow. One of my favorite reads of the year, for sure. I found myself sobbing at so many parts. Maybe because I relate so much to the girls that I felt it personally on my heart, or that Jo is just an amazing writer. I think it's a little bit of both =).

This novel had the perfect amount of eerieness and also suspense and drama. I thought Leah was perfectly evil and sad at the same time. She channeled her pain through something else and it made my heart hurt for her at the same time I wanted to pummel her.

Please read this novel if you haven't. I think it's a must read for all teen girls.

5/5

The View from the Top - Hillary Frank

Eighteen-year-old Anabelle’s last few months in her coastal hometown are bittersweet. Instead of the quiet precollege summer she expects, Anabelle makes some surprising discoveries about herself as she navigates romantic entanglements and changing friendships. Through shifting points of view in seven interconnected stories, we glimpse the limits of how well her friends really know Anabelle . . . and how little she grasps about the way they see her.

This book was my reality check to never trust reviews! The word of mouth I was getting on this novel was pretty negative but once I picked up this book, I really enjoyed it!

I did think that Anabelle was a little pretentious and annoying, as well as very self pitying and depressing but there was still something I liked about her. Another thing that I wasn't too much a fan of, was how everything wanted to be with her or liked her - come on. Is she that amazing? I don't think so. I would've given this book a 5/5 if the stories were about the characters like someone different instead of Anabelle.

Still worth the read and I seriously adore the cover!

4/5

Beautiful - Amy Reed

When Cassie moves from the tiny town where she has always lived to a suburb of Seattle, she is determined to leave her boring, good-girl existence behind. This is Cassie's chance to stop being invisible and become the kind of girl who's worth noticing.  
 
I really wanted to like this novel, I thought I would take away something from it, but I was left feeling a bit empty and unmoved. I felt as though the writing was nothing but a bunch of run-on sentences along with excessive use of the word 'and'.

I understand where Cassie is coming from, truly. I've been in her position (though I was older than thirteen) and it's horrible. Though I felt she was too out of control and was so ignorant of what she had. I wish it didn't have to take what happened for her to finally see the light.

The writing wasn't the greatest, I didn't feel the urge to read more at all. I could put the book down easily and wanted to finish it more out of obligation than actual interest. I thought the scenes were a bit graphic for a YA novel, I think the author was attempting to get gritty and raw emotions from the reader, but instead it came out sleazy.

2/5

Fall for Anything - Courney Summers

Thursday, December 2, 2010
When Eddie Reeves’s father commits suicide her life is consumed by the nagging question of why? Why when he was a legendary photographer and a brilliant teacher? Why when he seemed to find inspiration in everything he saw? And, most important, why when he had a daughter who loved him more than anyone else in the world? When she meets Culler Evans, a former student of her father’s and a photographer himself, an instant and dangerous attraction begins. Culler seems to know more about her father than she does and could possibly hold the key to the mystery surrounding his death. But Eddie’s vulnerability has weakened her and Culler Evans is getting too close. Her need for the truth keeps her hanging on...but are some questions better left unanswered?
I really enjoyed Cracked Up to Be and Some Girls Are by Courtney but for some reason, I couldn't get into this one much. It was still good and emotionally there, but I found myself having a hard time relating and liking Eddie and the other characters.

Beth absolutely drove me up the wall and I wanted to strangle her to death. It made the story a little less likeable in that reason, but the story was still the same. I think it is a nice story about love and forgiveness, but I just wasn't a big fan on the execution. Please give this book a chance though, I know it will change your outlook on family and keeping what you have close!

3.5/5!

The Iron Daughter - Julie Kagawa


I've come to find that Julie Kagawa cannot disappoint me! This was a great sequel to the Iron King and the Iron Fey series in general. I've always enjoyed Julie as a writer, and think her creativity goes above anything else. I found myself on the edge of my seat in anticipation about what was next.

I loved the constant action in this book - it can be so hard to write one without it lagging and I wasn't bored in any part. I loved all the battles and introduction to new characters and of course Grim. Love him.

The love portion of the story didn't interest me much, just because I'm not a fan of the coupling. I can bypass that though, because the action and plot line otherwise is just good.

4/5!

Recipe: Christmas Crack! ;)

Sunday, November 28, 2010
I made this last night and it is so good! More than half the pan was gone in a few hours. Since the Holidays are here, I thought to post it in case any of you need an inexpensive gift or treat to give! It's very easy to make so the kiddos can help too.

Ingredients
1 sleeve of saltines
3/4 cup of light brown sugar
1 cup butter (2 sticks, salted)
Bag of milk chocolate chips (I used 3/4 a bag)
Crushed pecans/nuts (optional)

Directions
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a raised edge baking sheet in tin foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Line saltines in a single layer side by side.
- Combine brown sugar and butter in a pan for three minutes, bringing it to a boil.
- Once the the boiled mixture is finished, pour it over the saltines. Make sure you coat them as evenly as possible.
- Put in the oven for five minutes and take out when the mixture is bubbly.
- Once out of the oven, the saltines might have shifted. Move them back together with a knife or fork. Wait for 3 minutes for mixture to cool and the crackers are visible.
- Pour chocolate chips over crackers and let them sit to melt. Spread them over the crackers evenly. If you have a hard time melting them, throw the pan back in the oven for a minute or two.
- If you want to add the nuts, sprinkle them over the chocolate and gently press.
- Put the baking sheet in the fridge to harden and set.
- Once hardened, break into little pieces and enjoy!

Store in fridge or in a cool, dry place in an airtight container to avoid getting soggy.















Yummo! Next time though, I think I'm going to double the brown sugar and butter mixture, and use a thinner layer of chocolate. It is still delightful though...they call it Christmas Crack because it's so addictive!

In My Mailbox (11/27/10)

Saturday, November 27, 2010
 In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren!

How can November almost be over already? Didn't it just begin? Christmas is now a month away and I can't believe it. My 'mailbox' is completely stuffed full of awesome reads that I can't wait to share with you. My sister is here visiting from California so I haven't had much time to read, but I hope to get back on track soon! Hope everyone has a wonderful week! :]

Library:
13 Little Blue Envelopes - Maureen Johnson
Guardian of the Dead - Karen Healey
The View From The Top - Hillary Frank
Wish - Alexandra Bullen
Lessons From a Dead Girl - Jo Knowels
Beautiful - Any Reed
Wondrous Strange - Lesley Livingston
Black Mirror - Nancy Werlin


Bought:
 Jane - April Lindner
Crescendo - Becca Fitzpatrick
Nightshade - Andrea Cremer
Beautiful Darkness - Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Glimmerglass - Jenna Black
Ink Exchange - Melissa Marr (realized this is the second one, crap!)
The Glass House DVD
Hunted & Gossip Girl on audiobook (clearance)

What did you get in your box this week?

Twenty Boy Summer - Sarah Ockler

Tuesday, November 23, 2010
According to her best friend Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy every day, there's a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there's something she hasn't told Frankie---she's already had that kind of romance, and it was with Frankie's older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.  
 
I wasn't sure what to expect when I first opened this novel, as I sometimes do. At first I thought it was going to be one of those chick lit books but as the novel went on, I found it was much deeper than that.

I really liked Anna as a main character, I thought she was strong and had her own mind. She didn't think how she could change herself into something the guy wanted, more about 'take it or leave it'. As a matter of fact, the only character I didn't like was Frankie. I didn't like how she was written at all, she was portrayed as an airhead who couldn't pronounce words and didn't care about anyone but herself. It was okay at the end, but for some reason it still irked me.

The writing was beautiful and there were many one-liners and I wish I could remember them all. I think she has a great talent for writing and this book was really good. I highly recommend it and would love more from her in the future!

4/5

Book reviews

Sunday, November 21, 2010
I'm so sorry I haven't been around lately - work has been really busy and I've been working overtime on top of some personal problems and illness, but I think things are going to calm down so I'll be able to get back with the reviews, Memes, and etc. Anyway, I have a few book reviews for you via YouTube to catch myself up!

Two Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt 2/5
End of Days - Max Turner 3/5
Return to Paradise - Simone Elkeles 4/5
Jekel Loves Hyde - Beth Fantaskey 4/5

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

Sunday, October 10, 2010
Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris-- the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.

Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts fiercely alongside her. Now Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves and finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax-- but loving him means betraying her sister and has the potential to destroy all they've worked for.

Wow. What is there to say about this one but the obvious - I finished it in a half day. For some reason I was hesitant to start this novel, probably because As You Wish ranks so high on my favorite reads list that I didn't want Sisters Red to tarnish my love. I'll be the first to say that I was totally wrong!

I'm rediculously in love with this author, and now I'm proud to say that she is easily one of my top five favorites. She just knows how to weave a beautiful story and the creativity just blows my mind. Who can take the idea of Little Red Riding Hood and turn it into Sisters Red?! Only Jackson, I'm sure.

The writing was superb, and also in present tense which I find really difficult to do. The plot was fantastic and I totally kept reading because I had to know what happened next between Rosie, Silas, and Scarlett. Complete page turner and I adored every minute. Thank you Jackson!

*****

In My Mailbox (10/10/10)

Hey guys! It's been a while since I've done one of these, but I went to Barnes and Noble this weekend so I thought to share what I got. Hope you guys had a safe weekend and a good week ahead! We're going to the Texas State Fair on Friday and I'll try to bring my camera along. I can't wait to get a big corn dog! ;)


(Links go to GoodReads)
End of Days - Max Turner
The Devouring - Simon Holt
The Host Audiobook - Stephenie Meyer
Return to Paradise - Simone Elkeles
As You Wish - Jackson Pearce
The Iron Daughter - Julie Kagawa
I've read As You Wish and The Devouring, I just wanted them for my shelf because they're so good!

Lock and Key - Sarah Dessen

Saturday, October 9, 2010
"Ruby, where is your mother?" Ruby knows that the game is up. For the past few months, she's been on her own in the yellow house, managing somehow, knowing that her mother will probably never return. That's how she comes to live with Cora, the sister she hasn't seen in ten years, and Cora's husband Jamie, whose down-to-earth demeanor makes it hard for Ruby to believe he founded the most popular networking Web site around. A luxurious house, fancy private school, a new wardrobe, the promise of college and a future—it's a dream come true. So why is Ruby such a reluctant Cinderella, wary and defensive? And why is Nate, the genial boy next door with some secrets of his own, unable to accept the help that Ruby is just learning to give?

I have always been a huge Sarah Dessen fan, since middle school and beyond. She knows how to touch on very teen prevalent issues and make them easier to approach. There are so many of her novels that I love and adore, but this wasn't one of them.

I felt like there were too many loose ends that weren't tied up with this novel, and I felt like the ending was a bit rushed. I thought Ruby was an okay character, though her personality seemed to be a bit overdone in this genre. Jaded, cynical, self sufficient, and completely turned off of love. It is a little redundant, but I was willing to give it a go regardless.

The novel never did really catch my interest, and I feel like it wasn't a huge problem for me to put it down. I'm sorry to say that because I love Sarah's work, but this book didn't do anything for me. I much prefer some of her older titles, Just Listen, This Lullaby, The Truth about Forever, and Dreamland come to mind!

3/5!

The Iron King - Julie Kagawa

Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Meghan Chase has never fit in at her small-town high school, and now, on the eve of her 16th birthday, she discovers why. When her half brother is kidnapped, Meghan is drawn into a fantastical world she never imagined--the world of Faery, where anything you see may try to eat you, and Meghan is the daughter of the summer faery king. Now she will journey into the depths of Faery to face an unknown enemy...and beg the help of a winter prince who might as soon kill her as let her touch his icy heart.

I finally picked this one up! I'd started it once but put it down (can't remember why) and never got it again. I did now and I'm glad I did so. It was a nice combination of romance/love triangle, action, and suspense. I was holding my breath in a few places.

Meaghan did annoy me at times. It seemed like she had the innate ability to get herself into trouble and needed someone to rescue her (ahem, Bella...ahem) but she stepped up in the end (sort of) even though she did have some help once again. I also found the ending to be a little bit anti-clamatic. I know there was some action, but they spent all this time trying to get to place A and when they get there, nothing REALLY good happens. Maybe my hopes were too high.

The plot was good and still can't decide what team I'm on in regards to the love interest, but I do have to say I'm a proud team Grimalkin and team Pack Rats! ;)

****.5!

Possessions - Nancy Holder

Lindsay is hoping for a fresh start, to get out of San Diego, where everyone remembers when she had her breakdown, and get away to boarding school, even if it is a boarding school as creepy as Marlwood Academy. But Lindsay is happier, and even manages to make a great new friend, Julie. Then, the school's most popular girl, Mandy starts acting super creepy. Rumors abound, but it's becoming more and more clear to Lindsay that something else is at work...something darker and more dangerous than just a houseful of mean girls.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked this book out, since I didn't like the Wicked series that Nancy Holder co-authored. I'm really happy that I decided to go ahead with it because it was a great book! Lindsay was very real and I actually liked her character, as a reformed bitchy teen. She has spunk and tenacity. There were actually some parts that had me looking over my shoulder and regretting reading it so late at night! Nancy Holder left us on such a cliffhanger and I can't wait to get my hands on the second book!

****

PS - I love the new cover so much better than this one! Grr, now I need to repurchase!

The Maze Runner - James Dashner

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. He has no recollection of his parents, his home, or how he got where he is. His memory is black. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade, a large expanse enclosed by stone walls.

Anyone who likes and enjoys The Hunger Games will really enjoy this novel! I love how it's written in Thomas' point of view, it's a nice change from the constant girl opinions. I thought the idea was very interesting and well-executed by the author which I was really happy with. There's just enough action and adventure that it doesn't seem overdone. Thomas is a really interesting character, as are the other boys and I found myself wanting to know more about it.

****

My Soul to Save - Rachel Vincent

The last thing Kaylee needs right now is to be skipping school, breaking her dad’s ironclad curfew and putting her boyfriend’s loyalty to the test. But starry-eyed teens are trading their souls for a flickering lifetime of fame and fortune in exchange for eternity in the Netherworld — a consequence they can’t possibly understand. Kaylee can’t let that happen, even if trying to save their souls means putting her own at risk...

I really loved the first book, I was really excited to read this one. I have to say that the second book in this series left some to be desired. I thought the characters were just okay, they didn't make me love or hate them any more or any less. I still feel Nash is a bit blah, and I'm still a hundred percent team Tod.

Overall, the story and plot was good, but for some reason I just couldn't get into it. Kaylee was kind of obnoxious and I feel like she's a bit too sacrificial to others. It was okay, but I'm not dying to get the third book in the series, My Soul to Keep.

***

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Marrying a vampire definitely doesn’t fit into Jessica Packwood’s senior year “get-a-life” plan. But then a bizarre (and incredibly hot) new exchange student named Lucius Vladescu shows up, claiming that Jessica is a Romanian vampire princess by birth—and he’s her long-lost fianc√©. Armed with newfound confidence and a copy of Growing Up Undead: A Teen Vampire’s Guide to Dating, Health, and Emotions, Jessica makes a dramatic transition from average American teenager to glam European vampire princess. But when a devious cheerleader sets her sights on Lucius, Jess finds herself fighting to win back her wayward prince, stop a global vampire war—and save Lucius’s soul from eternal destruction. 

Wow...I absolutely loved this book! I couldn't put it down and found myself thinking about it when my nose wasn't in it. I loved the slow build Jessica and Lucius had, and it wasn't what I was expecting at all. I liked that it didn't happen right away and they had more turmoil than I thought.

The writing was amazing, and Lucius is such an INTERESTING character. I never could figure him out and found myself laughing out loud and agreeing with him as he talked about our 'stupid American traditions'. I really liked Jessica's character as well, though she was annoying and stubborn in the beginning, but I got over it and really loved her.

Now I'm even more excited to read Jekel Loves Hyde! Oh, and don't look this book up on Goodreads if you plan on reading it, there are uncovered spoilers all around the author's main GR page. Just thought to warn y'all!

5/5!

Her and Me and You - Lauren Strasnick

Saturday, September 18, 2010
First love, broken friendships, and heartache all play a part in this evocative, voice-driven novel about Alex, a girl whose world is ripped apart when her father’s affair splits her family in two.

Alex moves with her mess of a mother to a new town, where she is befriended by hot, enigmatic Fred—and alternately flirted with and cold-shouldered by Fred’s twin sister, Adina. Others warn Alex to steer clear of the twins, whose sibling relationship is considered abnormal at best, but there’s just something about Fred—and something about Adina—that draws Alex to them and makes her want to be part of their crazy world…no matter the consequences. 

This book is absolutely beautiful and I can't wait to get my hands on a finished copy! I always have been a Lauren fan with her Nothing Like You novel, and this one didn't disappoint at all. I laughed and cried right along with Alex and could really relate to her. It's so easy for characters (especially heroines) to become whiny and obnoxious but I find with Lauren, she makes her characters strong and likable.

I highly recommend this book to anyone, it's a great novel with a beautiful message and it's rather easy to read. It's short and most of it is just dialog and not description which I liked. I read it in just a few hours because it was so short and it's that good!

4/5

Prophecy of the Sisters - Michelle Zink

Sixteen-year-old Lia Milthorpe and her twin sister Alice have just become orphans, and, as Lia discovers, they have also become enemies. The twins are part of an ancient prophecy that has turned generations of sisters against each other. To escape from a dark fate and to remain in the arms of her beloved boyfriend James, Lia must end the prophecy before her sister does. Only then will she understand the mysterious circumstances of her parents' deaths, the true meaning of the strange mark branded on her wrist, and the lengths to which her sister will go to defeat her.

I can officially say that I am a Michelle Zink fan! After all the bummer reads I've been having, this book was a great breath of fresh air. The writing in this novel is amazing and the feel of this book is dark and Gothic, set in the late 1800's. It reminds me of the Gemma Doyle trilogy for some reason and I love that!

Michelle did a great job crafting the characters, as I felt for both Lia and Alice in different ways. It was a great ride and I found myself dying to know what would happen next. The ending was a little disappointing in the lack of action and something that happens, but I didn't let that get in the way of the rating. Can't wait to read the next one, Guardian of the Gate!

5/5

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Friday, September 17, 2010
In Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past…and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabel, who already lost her brother to the wolves…and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.

What is up with me and the no werewolf love? I don't know what it is about this series, but I just don't love it like I thought. I wanted to give Linger the ole one two try, but I couldn't get into it. Sam is still creepily obsessed with Grace and it's bothersome to me. The fact that Sam roams the house when Grace is gone is scary, not sweet in my opinion.

The two biggest problems I had with this one was the ending and the parents. Why did they suddenly not want Sam and Grace together? In Shiver, their relationship in the parent's eyes was all sunshine and rainbows! I think that wasn't a contribution to Grace's character and merely an angsty plot device. It didn't make any sense at all. I don't want to spoil the ending for anyone so I'll sum it up - 'lame' and 'WTF?!'

3/5

Willow by Julia Hoban

Seven months ago, on a rainy March night, sixteen year- old Willow’s parents died in a horrible car accident. Willow was driving. Now her older brother barely speaks to her, her new classmates know her as the killer orphan girl, and Willow is blocking the pain by secretly cutting herself. But when one boy—one sensitive, soulful boy—discovers Willow’s secret, it sparks an intense relationship that turns the “safe” world Willow has created for herself upside down. 

I'm not sure why I even had this book on my shelf, seeing as I'm not a fan of self-mutilation and don't like depressing books. Some of you on my YouTube channel suggested it though, so I read it. Regretfully, I wasn't all that impressed just as I thought I would. Basically another story in which the girl is sad and in comes the too perfect 'Guy' (literally in this one) who should make all readers swoon and rescues her for the pits of her own self-loathing hell.

I'd like to begin by saying I was very sorry about her parents dying and couldn't imagine going through something like that. With that said, I thought she was a complete wench to everyone that was trying to help her. She didn't think of anyone hurting but herself. I didn't find her relate-able and wanted to skip parts.

The ending kind of annoyed me, because I wanted something to happen that didn't, and it only irritated me about Willow more. The writing was excellent but I just didn't care for the plot or the characters.

3/5

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

the cold.
Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—watches back. He feels deeply familiar to her, but she doesn't know why.

the heat.
Sam has lived two lives. As a wolf, he keeps the silent company of the girl he loves. And then, for a short time each year, he is human, never daring to talk to Grace...until now. 
 
This was the novel I was stoked about reading when it first came out. I am a huge werewolf/wolf fan and was dying to get my hands on this one. I'm sad to say I wasn't as thrilled about it as I thought I'd be.

The plot is an excellent idea, and the writing was too bad, I think though that Sam was a little too perfect for me and he wasn't as flawed as I wish he was. I know he has his issues, but they don't really get into them as much as I'd hoped. Sam was sweet, but I was a little creeped out with how obsessed he was with Grace and the constantly thinking of lyrics for a song for her and he just so happens to play the guitar and he likes to read and is very well-spoken and intellectual...he's only a kid.

I thought a lot of the characters fell flat, especially Grace's parents. They were never there and only used when it suited the scene. The ending was a little flat for me as well, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to read Linger. I still love Maggie and her writing!

4/5!

In My Mailbox (9/4/2010)

Saturday, September 4, 2010
Laura has an IMM this week?! Holy moly, it's a miracle!


Movies
Just Like Heaven
Birth
Beauty Shop
Matrix
Grey's Anatomy: Season One
The Grudge 2
Dreamer

Books
My Soul to Save - Rachel Vincent
Linger - Maggie Steifvater

Hope you guys have an amazing Labor Day weekend! Three days off, woo!

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Friday, August 27, 2010
Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding. 

I thought it was a good read, but definitely didn't live up to the expectations I had from the first and second books (the first especially). The plot was good and the writing was awesome as it always is, but I felt there wasn't such a traumatic triangle between Gale, Peeta, and Katniss as there was in the first two. I wanted to see more of that and not just all of the bomb sequences, missiles, and things like that. I did feel like sometimes the author wanted to hurry on to the next part so some missions ans training were glossed over. One page she's nervous about it and the next she's finished with it and we didn't hear what happened.

I still enjoyed it though I was disappointed in the ending. As I said, it was pretty apparent who she was going to pick from the beginning. I wish I could've been more surprised with that aspect and the ending was really gruesome and made my stomach churn. I know it was necessary, but it just made me wince.

4/5

Teaser Tuesday (8/24/10)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should be Reading.

* Grab your current read.
* Let the book fall open to a random page.
* Share with us 2 teaser sentences from somewhere on that page.
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
I stare down at my shoes, watching as a fine layer of ash settles on the worn leather. This is where the bed I shared with my sister, Prim, stood. - page 3

(I haven't started reading it yet so I didn't want to spoil it for myself and others, since today is the first day of release so I just put the first two lines of the novel. :D)

Before I Fall - Lauren Oliver

What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all—looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12th should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it’s her last. The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. In fact, she re-lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she had ever imagined.

What a beautiful novel Lauren Oliver has crafted! I've always been a sucker for the feel good about yourself and self evaluation type of books, and this one is no different. I felt like I was going through the story right next to Sam, figuring it out alongside her.

The writing was beautiful and almost whimsical. I have to admit that Sam did irritate me at first, because she was so naive and didn't realize what she was doing. As the book progressed, I started to like her more and more until she turned into a really good character. I adored Kent and Izzy, they were so real and loveable. My favorite line in the book is said by Izzy who's Sam's eight year old sister who has a lisp.

"So why don't you do something about it?" I say. "You could learn to talk differently, you know."

"But this is my voice." She says it quietly but with insistence. "How would you be able to tell when I was talking?"

A beautiful novel with an unexpected twist at the end and worth the read, one hundred percent. Please go read it, it'll change your thoughts about the people you hang out with and the way you live your life.

*****

Graceling - Kristin Cashore

Sunday, August 22, 2010
Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight — she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme, and in her case horrifying, skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug. When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.

She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace — or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away... a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

At first, I found this book pretty hard to get into because there was a lot of information to take in and the bloodlines to get straight. However, once that was finished, I found this book to be highly enjoyable! There was a bunch of action and suspense, and of course the perfect amount of romance to make you say 'awww', but not get a toothache. ;]

I did find Katsa's character to be a bit obnoxious, more in the Mary Sue type of way but I think that's because her Grace makes it so (her true Grace, for those who have read it). Po was my favorite character, Bitterblue coming in at a close second. They were so sweet and had very strong personalities that I really liked.

The writing was wonderful, I really enjoyed it and the way she writes make a page go by in seconds. She knows how to write a page turner, for sure. I can't wait for the third book, tentatively named Bitterblue, to be released on April 1st, 2011. Obviously the main character is that of the title, so I'm super stoked about it.

****

Waiting on Wednesday (8/18/10)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.
Chain Reaction (Perfect Chemistry #3) 
by Simone Elkeles
The third novel in the Perfect Chemistry series will be about Luis Fuentes, the youngest Fuentes brother. He’s such a good guy who doesn’t live with the angst that his big brothers have always lived with. Luis is smart, funny, and has big dreams. When he falls for the wrong girl, Luis enters a dark world he’s never known to try and save her from herself. Just when he thinks he’s got life all figured out, Luis learns some disturbing news about his family that destroys his positive outlook on life. Will that Fuentes bad boy streak come out with a vengeance and lure Luis to live on the edge like his new girlfriend and his own father?

Since I just finished Rules of Attraction, I've had the Fuentes brothers on my mind! I've always been intrigued by Luis, as he's the most easygoing character and the plot sounds really good. I can't wait! Chain Reaction is due to come out sometime in 2011.

Teaser Tuesday (8-17-10)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should be Reading.

* Grab your current read.
* Let the book fall open to a random page.
* Share with us 2 teaser sentences from somewhere on that page.
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
 
"To have beautiful eyes. Does it lighten the burden of your Grace, to know you have beautiful eyes?"
She laughed. "No Lord Prince. I'd happily do without both." - page 22

Rules of Attraction - Simone Elkeles

Monday, August 16, 2010
When Carlos Fuentes returns to America after living in Mexico for a year, he doesn’t want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him at a high school in Colorado . Carlos likes living his life on the edge and wants to carve his own path—just like Alex did. Then he meets Kiara Westford. She doesn’t talk much and is completely intimidated by Carlos’ wild ways. As they get to know one another, Carlos assumes Kiara thinks she’s too good for him, and refuses to admit that she might be getting to him. But he soon realizes that being himself is exactly what Kiara needs right now.

As always, I'm not disappointed with this Simone Elkeles novel!

She has a way of really getting in there and making you fall in love with the characters and plot/world she creates. It's Simone's world and I'm just living in it! She has a gift for writing and the way she integrates these two very different sides of society is brilliant.

I think I liked Perfect Chemistry better, because the odds were really against them, but this book was still excellent and such a treat to read. I devoured it in about a day, but I do that with all of her books. Carlos didn't wow me as much as Alex did but I found him just as wonderfully egotistical and cocky as his brother! Kiara was a good character for me, she was very quirky and her stuttering made me just want to give her a great big hug. The writing and development of the plot and characters was great as well. I loved the significance of the book cover too. Sighh! <3

I can't wait to find out what happens to Luis when he meets the wrong girl in Chain Reaction (3rd book in the series) coming out in 2011.

*****

If I Stay - Gayle Forman

Saturday, August 14, 2010
What? Laura actually has a book review for you? It's a regular four-months-away-from-Christmas miracle!

In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...

A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

This book was intense, powerful, and beautiful. I enjoyed it so much and after my lack of reading for the past couple weeks, I'm so happy to be back in the swing of things. The way this author puts words is so elequent and real...I found myself feeling everything Mia felt. My heart broke for her family and for her friends, I could understand how torn she is in this decision, I would be too. I love novels that make me step back and think what I would do in that situation. I adored every single one of the characters. Seriously. Loved. Them. All.

One thing I am pissed about is people are comparing this to Twilight. What?! This book isn't even in the same league as Twilight. It's so, so, so much better. Not to mention the plot isn't even remotely like Twilight. It just made me giggle on the inside a bit.

Overall this book is beautiful, it made me cry, and it will make you think about your life and what you have done to affect others in your life. It shows how important family and friends are, and how the power of love can conquer pretty much anything. Absolutely gorgeous.

*****

Immortal: Love Stories with Bite - Edited by PC Cast

Monday, August 2, 2010
Sorry I've been a bit MIA for the last couple days guys! I got pink eye and it was like daggers to look at any light so I had to sit in complete darkness for about three days. Without being said, that means no computer time and no reading! I have a book review for you though! Yay!


Anthology of stories about teenagers aka vampires striving to maintain a sense of self and find lasting love.

I thought this one was good, some of the stories were better than others. The main problem I had with this book is the stories were around 28-30 pages. I know what you're thinking. Well, duh Laura - it's a compilation of short stories. Yes, I know that, but I felt some of the characters and plotlines felt rushed. I also thought that some of the endings were a little abrupt. I decided to rate the stories instead of the book as a whole since I had such strong feelings towards each.

Haunted Love by Cynthia Leitich Smith - 4/5. This was one of the better ones in my opinion. It's a love triangle (sort of) with a vampire, a ghost, and a human girl. She didn't really touch on the love story, as they didn't mention feelings, but the idea was still good. I wish she'd write a full novel on this so she could really get into the story.

Amber Smoke by Kristin Cast - 2/5. I'm not really a fan of Kristin Cast's writing. I thought the girl accepted everything a bit too willingly and it wasn't realistic. The ending was abrupt like the author suddenly lost steam and just wanted to end it.

Dead Man Stalking by Rachel Caine - 3/5. I liked the humor in this story and it made me more excited to read The Morganville Vampires. The main character was funny and likeable, but once again I thought the ending was pretty bad.

Table Manners by Tanith Lee - 3/5. I think I would like Tanith as an author, it just didn't work for me in this story. The characters were kind of flat and the plot was a little lame. I do want to get her book about the girl pirate though, because I think there's a good author there!

Changed by Nancy Holder - 1/5. Couldn't finish.

Blue Moon by Richelle Mead - 3/5. I liked this story a lot more than the first book in the Vampire Academy series. Lucy and Nathan were cute together and she was a good heroine for the story.

Free by Claudia Gray -4/5. My other favorite from the book. It was kind of based in the Evernight series, about Patrice and her life before she became a vampire. Amos was very intriguing and I liked them together. It was very dark and I enjoyed it. I wish Claudia would make a novella about each Evernight student. *ahem* Balthazaar *ahem*

Teaser Tuesday (7/27/10)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should be Reading.

* Grab your current read.
* Let the book fall open to a random page.
* Share with us 2 teaser sentences from somewhere on that page.
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
 
I watch her walk up the aisle, fuming, and disappear out the door. Then a disembodied voice - soft, musical, and furious - whispers in my ear, "Murderer, murderer, murderer." - page 17

Hex Hall - Rachel Hawkins

Thursday, July 22, 2010
Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters. 

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.


As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

I found this novel to be very charming, witty, and dark. I really enjoyed the characters and it was fun getting to know them. I especially loved the relationship between Sophie and Jenna. I have a funny feeling that there's more to Archer than what he's let on and I can't wait to read more about him.

The writing was excellent, and there was something so endearing about Sophie's sarcastic comebacks against her enemies and others that made me love her so. All of the characters had the same pull for me, and I found myself even liking the resident mean girl Elodie.

Above all, the plot was good and kept me wanting to finish the book, and the twist at the end satisfied me enough and had the right amount of closure. I still want to know what happens, but I felt it wasn't a huge and dramatic cliffhanger. A really great novel and I highly recommend it.

The second book, Demonglass, is set to release March 1st, 2011.

*****

Waiting on Wednesday (7-21-10)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.
 His love captivated her... his secrets might kill her.

Since her sister’s mysterious death, Persephone “Phe” Archer has been plagued by a series of disturbing dreams. Determined to find out what happened to her sister, Phe enrolls at Devenish Prep in Shadow Hills, Massachusetts—the subject of her sister’s final diary entry.

After stepping on campus, Phe immediately realizes that there’s something different about this place—an unexplained epidemic that decimated the town in the 1700s, an ancient and creepy cemetery, and gorgeous boy Zach—and somehow she’s connected to it all.

But the more questions she asks and the deeper she digs, the more entangled Phe becomes in the haunting past of Shadow Hills. Finding what links her to this town…might cost her her life.

This looks so intriguing and a good read. Granted, I'm not a fan of the cover at all, it still is on my to read list. Shadow Hills is available in bookstores now!

Teaser Tuesday (7-19-10)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should be Reading.

* Grab your current read.
* Let the book fall open to a random page.
* Share with us 2 teaser sentences from somewhere on that page.
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
"Good luck explaining to God that you used to spank one of his Heavenly beings."

Mom gave a startled laugh. "Sophie!" - page 25

I found this line hilarious! Then again, there's something to lugh about on each page of this novel. I should preface this teaser with the story so it makes more sense (and is a lot funnier) - "After the Great War between God and Lucifer, those angels who refused to take sides were cast out of heaven. One group chose to hide itself away under hills and deep in forests. They became faeries. Another group chose to live among animals and became shapeshifers. And the last chose to intermingle with humans and became witches."
Love it!

Wicked - Sara Shepard

Monday, July 19, 2010



In idyllic Rosewood, Pennsylvania, four very pretty girls just can't help but be bad. . . .
Hanna will do anything to be Rosewood's queen bee. Spencer's digging up her family's secrets. Emily can't stop thinking about her new boyfriend. And Aria approves a little too strongly of her mom's taste in men.
Now that Ali's killer is finally behind bars, the girls think they're safe. But those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it. And they should know by now that I'm always watching.

Wicked is the fifth book in the Pretty Little Liars series and it didn't disappoint. The girls think they're safe and it's all over, now that a has been revealed and is dead. However they receive text messages from A all over again and are thrown right back into the game.

The writing was excellent, I think my reviews are the same when it comes to this series. Again, I found Hanna to be pretentious and annoying it didn't spoil the novel much for me.

****

Unbelievable - Sara Shepard

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Four pretty little liars' charmed lives have turned into living nightmares.
Emily's been shipped off to Iowa to live with her √ľberconservative cousins. Aria's boyfriend is behind bars—because of her. Spencer's afraid she was involved in Ali's murder. But Hanna's fate is far worse: She's clinging to life in the hospital because she knew too much.
If these girls don't start listening to me, Hanna's going to look like the lucky one. 

The last book in my box set! I seemed to have flown through this last one, before I knew it I was finishing up the last pages. I liked this one, and the ending was really good but I didn't get the same reaction out of it as I did with the first three books.

There were two things that annoyed me about this one. The first was Hanna and what a wench she was some of the time. Lucas is about the sweetest guy ever (I mean what guy would read you Vogue?!) but she is so caught up in appearances that she's totally cold.

The other thing I was a little annoyed with was Sara Shepard's intense need to describe the smell of every person and every room at every moment. I know it sets a scene, but after a while I just found it to be obnoxious. Other than that, great book and I really enjoyed it!

****.5

Perfect - Sara Shepard

Friday, July 16, 2010
 In a town where gossip thrives like the ivy that clings to its mansions, where mysteries lie behind manicured hedges and skeletons hide in every walk-in closet, four perfect-looking girls aren't nearly as perfect as they seem. Three years ago, Spencer, Aria, Emily, Hanna, and their best friend Alison were the girls at Rosewood Day School. They clicked through the halls in their Miu Miu flats, tanned in their matching Pucci bikinis, and laughed behind their freshly manicured fingernails. They were the girls everyone loved but secretly hated—especially Alison.
So when Alison mysteriously vanished one night, Spencer, Aria, Emily, and Hanna's grief was tinged with . . . relief. And when Alison's body was later discovered in her own backyard, the girls were forced to unearth some ugly memories of their old friend, too. Could there be more to Alison's death than anyone realizes?
Now someone named A, someone who seems to know everything, is pointing the finger at one of them for Ali's murder. As their secrets get darker and their scandals turn deadly, A is poised to ruin their perfect little lives forever.

Once again, I am absolutely stunned by this series! I should be learning my lesson by now, eh? ;) These books are just awesome, and addicting. I just adore them and could read these over and over.

The girls' problems in Perfect are coming to the surface and they are getting exposed...things aren't what they seem. The writing, as always, is on spot and addicting. I couldn't put this book down - I finished it in about seven hours.

Above all - WHAT an ENDING! Oh my gosh I never saw that one coming. If the rest of the book is like that I'm going to be in for one shock after another. I haven't read a book series in a long time that the story gets better with each book.

I'm on my last one from the series, Unbelievable, and I'm SO upset I don't have the others. I'll have to nab them soon before I just explode.

*****

Flawless - Sara Shepard

Thursday, July 15, 2010
Spencer stole her sister's boyfriend. Aria is brokenhearted over her English teacher. Emily likes her new friend Maya . . . as much more than a friend. Hanna's obsession with looking flawless is making her sick. And their most horrible secret yet is so scandalous that the truth would ruin them forever.
And why shouldn't I tell? They deserve to lose it all. With every crumpled note, wicked IM, and vindictive text message I send, I'll be taking these pretty little liars down. Trust me, I've got enough dirt to bury them alive.

Flawless definitely lived up to its name - flawless!

Sara Shepard has such a way of speaking to the reader and making it seem like they are right in the action. I found myself not wanting to read at night because I got so paranoid! That's the kind of book I crave.

In Flawless, the girls are still struggling with their problems and they are becoming more advanced and more people are beginning to suspect something is wrong with them. A is becoming more vengeful and more into blackmailing them, their worlds are crumbling beneath them.

I think if I could only read one series for the rest of my life, this would be one of the top contenders. It takes you on a ride that has so many twists and turns that you start to think crazy thoughts about who A might be. I am both annoyed and happy I haven't figured it out yet!

This series is absolutely wonderful!

*****

Pretty Little Liars - Sara Shepard

Monday, July 12, 2010
Everyone has something to hide—especially high school juniors Spencer, Aria, Emily, and Hanna.
Spencer covets her sister's boyfriend. Aria's fantasizing about her English teacher. Emily's crushing on the new girl at school. Hanna uses some ugly tricks to stay beautiful.
But they've all kept an even bigger secret since their friend Alison vanished.
How do I know? Because I know everything about the bad girls they were, the naughty girls they are, and all the dirty secrets they've kept. And guess what? I'm telling.

There's only one appropriate thing to say - holy @#$^ wow!

I can't tell you how much I adored this book and pretty much devoured it in one day. The stories were amazing and were so typical teen but not at the same time. I found myself scowling and laughing right along with these fab four (or five ;)) girls.

Sara has such a gift for entertaining the reader from the beginning and I have to say that I'm SO glad and relieved I got the box set of the first four books or I would be in agony wanting to know what happened next - what a cliffhanger she left us on! The writing and plot is intense and wonderful...and so far I think my favorite girls are Aria and Spencer but we'll see if that continues!

Off to read Flawless! ;D

*****