Maybe - Brent Runyon

Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Maybe everything will be different here. Maybe I should drive away and never come back. Maybe my brother didn't mean to. Maybe my brother was right. Maybe I can get someone to have sex with me. Maybe no one will ever love me. Maybe I should be an actor. Maybe I shouldn't pretend to be deaf.

Maybe if I mouth the words no one will know I'm not singing. But maybe someone, somehow, will hear me anyway.  

This one is very moving and I enjoyed watching the journey that Brian goes on through his adolescence. It is a very easy read, only 100something pages. I finished it in about one and a half days. Brian is a good character, he doesn't like showing his feelings so it was nice to see is resolve weaken and him become more accepting of other people. There was also a lot of humor in it, since he's constantly thinking about broke up the seriousness of the novel. I liked this one a lot!


Torn to Pieces - Margot McDonnell

Seventeen year old Anne thought her mother was kind of quirky. In fact, her mom’s taste in 70s-esque furniture and mysterious frequent business trips were just the tip of the quirky iceberg. When her mom doesn’t come home on time from one of her long jaunts, Anne isn’t too surprised. But when a day late turns into a few days late, Anne knows something is very wrong.

She tries the hotel number that her mother left her, but it has been disconnected. Then a strange man keeps leaving messages on their answering machine, looking for a woman who doesn’t even live there. However, when Anne discovers a lengthy letter from her mother explaining why she has disappeared, the fabric of Anne’s relatively normal life is torn to pieces.

I really enjoyed this one! There was just enough suspense at a time so there's constantly something going on. I liked the writing a lot and the concept of the novel. It is divided between Anne's POV and letters her mother has written her, helping guide her through her life. There were so many twists I wasn't expecting that I had to keep reading. My heart went out to Anne and I was always going back and forth between trusting different people. It seems to change constantly! I really enjoyed this one!


Shock Point - April Henry

Cassie discovers that her stepfather, Rick, a teen psychiatrist, has been illegally prescribing a new behavioral drug to his patients-and three teens have died. Before she can report him, Rick commits Cassie to Peaceful Cove, a boot camp for troubled teens in Mexico. Cassie knows she has to get out now, before more teens die. But no one has ever escaped from Peaceful Cove alive-and even if Cassie gets over the walls and survives the Mexican desert, will anyone believe her story?

Wow...what an interesting concept for a YA novel! It was an amazing read and was executed pretty well in my opinion. The book starts off with her kidnapping right away and it doesn't stop. The novel goes back and forth between Cassie figuring out what's going on with her stepfather and after she's been taken to the center. I found myself completely engrossed with Cassie's struggles that my mind couldn't think of anything else!

While reading I couldn't fathom what Cassie had to go through in the home, it was a gripping read and I found myself having a hard time putting it down. Definitely read this one if you're feeling down about your home life - you'll thank your lucky stars after you're done!


My Soul to Take - Rachel Vincent

She doesn't see dead people, but…

She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who'll be next…

This series was an unexpected gem for me. I wasn't sure how I was going to like it but I didn't want it to end by the time it did. I wasn't a huge fan of Kaylee but she grew on me. I did find this one to be a huge page turner, I didn't want to stop reading. There were some things I didn't like about the book, such as Rachel Vincent's preachy sort of attitude towards alcohol and how the female characters were kind of weak and the men were pretty influential.

I really like Nash, but I think I'm definitely team Tod so far ;) I need to read the next one!


Cracked Up to Be - Courtney Summers

Saturday, January 23, 2010
When "Perfect" Parker Fadley starts drinking at school and failing her classes, all of St. Peter's High goes on alert. How has the cheerleading captain, girlfriend of the most popular guy in school, consummate teacher's pet, and future valedictorian fallen so far from grace?

Parker doesn't want to talk about it. She'd just like to be left alone, to disappear, to be ignored. But her parents have placed her on suicide watch and her counselors are demanding the truth. Worse, there's a nice guy falling in love with her and he's making her feel things again when she'd really rather not be feeling anything at all.

Nobody would have guessed she'd turn out like this. But nobody knows the truth.

Something horrible has happened, and it just might be her fault.

I have to admit that when I saw the cover for this book I thought it was going to be another one of those teeny love stories. Not that I don't like those, but I'm not a fan of them since I prefer less than PG-13 love stories ;) But i was pleasantly surprised when I decided to give it a try.

I loved the plot line and all the characters except for Parker. I understand she had a rough time and everything, but I am one of those people who believe a situation can be hard only if you choose it to be so. She didn't seek help from anyone and they stepped out of their way to help her and it annoyed the crud out of me.

The other characters definitely had heart, and I appreciated that in the novel. I couldn't stand how Parker swore up and down that Chris (ex-boyfriend) still wanted her even when she was messed up and things like that - I don't do well with stuck up people! All and all though I did enjoy it and my heart went to Parker despite her obnoxiousness. I definitely like Courtney Summers style of writing so I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of Some Girls Are.


Ballads of Suburbia - Stephanie Kuehnert

Friday, January 22, 2010
Ballads are the kind of songs that Kara McNaughton likes best. Not the cliched ones where a diva hits her highest note or a rock band tones it down a couple of notches for the ladies, but the true ballads: the punk rocker or the country crooner telling the story of their life in three minutes, the chorus reminding their listeners of the numerous ways to screw things up. In high school, Kara helped maintain the "Stories of Suburbia" notebook, which contained newspaper articles about bizarre and often tragic events from suburbs all over and personal vignettes that Kara dubbed "ballads" written by her friends in Oak Park, a suburb of Chicago. Those "ballads" were heartbreakingly honest tales of the moments when life changes and a kid is forced to grow up too soon. But Kara never wrote her own ballad. Before she could figure out what her song was about, she was leaving town after a series of disastrous events at the end of her junior year. Four years later, Kara returns to face the music, and tells the tale of her first three years of high school with her friends' "ballads" interspersed throughout.

I just finished this book about twenty minutes ago and absolutely needed to write a review before I went to bed! After I finished this one, I just sat there staring off into space and just digesting what went on through the novel. It was truly wonderful and heartbreaking at the same time, I felt for everyone. Stephanie Kuehnert has such a distinct writing style that makes each of her characters, no matter how minuscule their parts may seem, have such a personality.

I recommend this book to anyone, whether you're struggling with an addiction yourself or you know of someone who is, this is the read for you. It took me back to the many times I had to deal with my sister and her various issues and it makes my heart a little softer. Some of the things these poor kids went through is just mind boggling. Please read this one - I know you'll be amazed and saddened at the same time - I know I was. I love the cover too, even though there's a picture of a happy duck on it there's still such loneliness and solitude in it and I felt like the cover could depict Kara's feelings through the book.


Bad Girls Don't Die - Katie Alender

High-school junior Alexis seems to be the class bad girl, complete with snide remarks, rebellious attitude, and listless motivation. At home, her overachieving mom has alienated her more laid-back dad, while her obsessed, 13-year-old sister, Kasey, periodically morphs from a blue-eyed, ordinary girl to a green-eyed, evil child plotting against others in their small town. What has possessed Kasey and their family’s beautiful Victorian home?

From the start I thought this book would be more than a ghost story and I was right. I absolutely loved it - all of the characters had such depth and substance, which was something I enjoyed about it. I could really relate to Alexis, trying to find her own and her love of photography made me feel even closer to her. How cool is it that she has pink hair and a bathroom turned dark room?! ;)

This book was great for a debut novel, I thought it was very creepy and sinister. I've always found the types of dolls that Kasey collected to be completey eerie, and this just confirms my thoughts! I also really did find myself being torn between blaming Kasey or being on Alexis' side and wondering if it really was her sister or just a misunderstanding or a coincidence. I did find myself looking over my shoulder a time or two.

The ending was a bit bland for me compared to the beginning and middle, but I don't think it brought the book down. Loved it, and how awesome is the cover? It's beautiful!


The Soulstice - Simon Holt

Saturday, January 16, 2010
It's been six months since Reggie first discovered and fought against the Vours, malicious and demonic beings that inhabit human bodies on the eve of the Winter Solstice. The Vours still haunt Reggie, but only in her dreams-until one night, when an unexpected visitor turns her nightmares into reality.

I just adore this series! It's one of my favorites and have told everyone I can that they need to read it. I think this one could even surpass it's original (gasp). Simon Holt is a tremendous author and sucks you into his world of the Vours. I love his clever way of playing with a very lethal subject - fear and bringing to to absolute life. He takes the fears we all experienced as children and blows them up to this huge level that's so clever. His writing just flows and I found myself saying 'just one more page' over and over! The Soulstice is more about the Vours and the 'method to their maddness' and there's also many secrets I wasn't expecting. I can't wait for the next book to come out in Fall of 2010!


The Season by Sarah MacLean

Thursday, January 14, 2010
 Seventeen year old Lady Alexandra is strong-willed and sharp-tongued -- in a house full of older brothers and their friends, she had to learn to hold her own. Not the best makings for an aristocratic lady in Regency London. Yet her mother still dreams of marrying Alex off to someone safe, respectable, and wealthy. But between ball gown fittings, dances, and dinner parties, Alex, along with her two best friends, Ella and Vivi, manages to get herself into what may be her biggest scrape yet.

When the Earl of Blackmoor is mysteriously killed, Alex decides to help his son, the brooding and devilishly handsome Gavin, uncover the truth. But will Alex's heart be stolen in the process? In an adventure brimming with espionage, murder, and other clandestine affairs, who could possibly have time to worry about finding a husband? Romance abounds as this year's season begins!
This book was really good and I enjoyed it immensely. The writing was very classic and I felt the characters stayed true to the era. Gavin was absolutely adorable and I found myself wanting to go back in that time and be swept off my feet by someone as charming as him (or Stanhope, I'm not picky hehe). There was elements of mystery and darkness despite the elegance and fashion that the parties entailed.

I loved the characters, all of them were very lovable and I felt a deep connection with them even if they weren't the main ones in the story. Lady Eleanor reminded me so much of myself, always having a notepad to write down ideas for her stories with! I have to admit that the end was a little bit of a let down for me - I was expecting more than what MacLean delivered, but overall it was still a really gripping read!

If you're looking for a good historical fiction novel then I highly suggest this one! The language was a bit hard to understand at times, since it is a completely different world, but I still really enjoyed it and urge anyone to run out to their bookstore and pick up a copy.


Love, Aubrey - Suzanne LaFleur

Sunday, January 10, 2010
A tragic accident has turned eleven-year-old Aubrey’s world upside down. Starting a new life all alone, Aubrey has everything she thinks she needs: SpaghettiOs and Sammy, her new pet fish. She cannot talk about what happened to her. Writing letters is the only thing that feels right to Aubrey, even if no one ever reads them.
I thought this was a beautifully written novel! Suzanne LeFluer truly has the eleven year old girl persona down. Anyone no matter what your age, can relate with Aubrey when it comes to have a tragic loss in the family. The book is sectioned into places where Aubrey is living at the time: Virginia, Vermont, and Home. If you read the book you will know where the last part is!

While living with her grandmother Aubrey becomes friends with a girl named Bridget who is just as lovable as Aubrey as well as her little sister Mabel and brother Danny. I felt connected with all of the characters and really enjoyed this one! There are also letters from Aubrey in the book and they're nice to read as well. I highly recommend this one, it was a quick read for me because I couldn't put it down.

Liar - Justine Larbalestier

Sunday, January 3, 2010
 Micah freely admits that she's a compulsive liar. And that may be the one honest thing she'll ever tell you. Over the years she's duped her classmates, her teachers, and even her parents. But when her boyfriend, Zach, dies under brutal circumstances, the shock might be enough to set her straight. Or maybe not. Especially when lying comes as naturally to her as breathing. Was Micah dating Zach? Or was Sarah his real girlfriend? And are the stories Micah tells about inheriting a "family gene" real or are they something that only exists in her mind?

I really enjoyed this one and I have to admit, I wasn't sure if I was going to. The writing was really gritty and honest, and the plot was great. The end really threw me for a loop even though I knew it was coming (I read the end on accident). Micah is an interesting character with a lot of depth and substance to her, what I love in characters. Even after finishing the 370 pages of the book I wanted to know more about her. I felt that the author did that with all of the characters in this novel, even the ones that weren't necessarily a big part of the book, you still wanted to know more and tried to always justify their actions.

Overall I enjoyed this book, I also really liked how it was divided into separate sections as you read, such as before, after, the history of herself, family, and other things gave it a nice hint of realism that I don't think could've been accomplished if Larbalestier started from the very beginning without breaks. That would also really damaged the plot in my opinion. Liar is a gripping read that will make you want to strangle Micah and yearn to listen to her voice at the same time.


Wake - Lisa McMann

Friday, January 1, 2010
Ever since she was eight years old, high school student Janie Hannagan has been uncontrollably drawn into other people's dreams, but it is not until she befriends an elderly nursing home patient and becomes involved with an enigmatic fellow-student that she discovers her true power. 

I really wanted to like this book because the concept was awesome, but I just couldn't like it. I know books are supposed to take you into a different world and the like, but this one was way too out there. A woman is just going to put a teenager in as a narc with no training? Sure. I couldn't stand this book really and the writing drove me insane.


The Devouring by Simon Holt

When Reggie finds an old journal and reads about the Vours, supernatural creatures who feast on fear and attack on the eve of the winter solstice, she assumes they are just the musings of some lunatic author. But soon, they become a terrifying reality when she begins to suspect that her timid younger brother might be one of their victims.

Risking her life and her sanity, Reggie enters a living nightmare to save the people she loves. Can she devour own her fears before they devour her?

Bone-chilling, terrifying, thrilling...what are you waiting for?

I thought this books was very incredibly written and suspenseful. Simon Holt's way of gripping the reader and forcing them to think of their greatest fears really sets this novel apart from anything I've ever read before. I found the characters extremely likable and in depth. You could just tell by reading that Holt knows everything about this world he has created and I find comfort in that.

The writing was exceptional, I was thrust into my own 'fearscape' and jumped at every little sound while I was reading. Book that grip you like that deserve to be recognized! I love Holt's way of writing and look forward to Soulstice, the next book in the series. The ending was such a cliffhanger that I wanted to pull my hair out, but in the most loving and exciting way possible. :)