Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Let it Snow: Three Holiday Romances

I know I'm a little late on the Holiday front, but here it comes!

I was really excited about Let it Snow. I absolutely adore John Green (who doesn't?) and Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle have been on my to-read list for a while!

Sparkling white snowdrifts, beautiful presents wrapped in ribbons, and multicolored lights glittering in the night through the falling snow. A Christmas Eve snowstorm transforms one small town into a romantic haven, the kind you see only in movies. Well, kinda. After all, a cold and wet hike from a stranded train through the middle of nowhere would not normally end with a delicious kiss from a charming stranger. And no one would think that a trip to the Waffle House through four feet of snow would lead to love with an old friend. Or that the way back to true love begins with a painfully early morning shift at Starbucks. Thanks to three of today's bestselling teen authors John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle the magic of the holidays shines on these hilarious and charming interconnected tales of love, romance, and breathtaking kisses. (Goodreads)

This book really put me in the holiday spirit. I loved how everything felt so magical and jubilant.
I also really liked how by having three different authors, each voice was very distinct.

And the whole thing really had a very He's Just Not that into You or Valentine's Day movie vibes. Everything connects so well like that, and it made me so giddy!

I'd have to say that my favorite story of the three was the one by Maureen Johnson. Something about it felt so real. That being said, there was nothing deep to any one of these pieces. The thing as a whole was very frothy and fun. Something to lighten the mood.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Review: I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone

I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone by Stephanie Kuehnert is a marvelous coming of age story full of pop culture references and raw, real emotions.

The Clash. Social Distortion. Dead Kennedys. Patti Smith. The Ramones.

Punk rock is in Emily Black's blood. Her mother, Louisa, hit the road to follow the incendiary music scene when Emily was four months old and never came back. Now Emily's all grown up with a punk band of her own, determined to find the tune that will bring her mother home. Because if Louisa really is following the music, shouldn't it lead her right back to Emily?


This is definitely a book that I will recommend to some of my more angsty friends.

This book is a fresh read, something unlike anything I've come across in a while. I loved how much music was just infused in the prose. The characters thrived on music and sound. And there are so many unpredictable twists and turns. It's a pretty long book, as it follows an ambitious rock star through many phases of her life. But there was never a point while reading when I found myself saying, 'Well, I know exactly what's going to happen next.' That being said, I never got bored. It's a fantastic first novel from an author that I can't wait to continue reading.

I also loved that the novel was set neat Chicago. I grew up in the area, and I loved all of the little things that the author snuck in, little instances or references that I could directly relate to.

If you want something real, something unpredictable, something that will leave you thirsty to hear this music, read this.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Book Review: The Geography of Girlhood

The Geography of Girlhood is definitely one of the most refreshing novels written in verse in a long time.

Dances are a dream come true

or a nightmare,

depending on who you are

or how you talk

or what you choose to wear that day.

I made the mistake of polka dots.

The Geography of Girlhood is a raw and powerful novel about a girl navigating the unknown - the difficult limbo between youth and adulthood. Written in verse, the novel follows a girl form ages fourteen to eighteen, exploring first crushes, first dances, first kisses, and the many other dangers of growing up. Kirsten Smith's writing bursts with painfully accurate and sharply witty observations, evoking supercharged emotions with just a simple phrase or two.


To me, this novel is necessary for anyone who's ever felt somewhat oppressed by growing up. It caught me right away. I had to pull myself away to finish my homework. There wasn't anything that left me on the edge of my seat, the writing was just that good. And so relatable! Everyone has felt this way at one point or another in their life. It was so great to read a YA novel that wasn't filled with so much fluff and shallow-ness.

It was one of those books that I realized would become a favorite as I was reading. I also found out that the author, Kirsten Smith, is a screenwriter. She wrote some of my favorite movies, like She's the Man and 10 Things I Hate About You! No wonder I enjoyed it so much!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Bermudez Triangle

The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson.Okay, the description on the back of the book did not do justice. It was only a small part of the plot, hardly even the main conflict.

The Bermudez Triangle, consisting of three best friends, has always been solid, sturdy. And then the group's staple, Nina Bermudez goes off to a pre-college camp all summer. When she returns home, she finds that her two best friends, Avery and Mel have grown a lot closer than she would have thought. And when things between Mel and Avery start to tumble, where does that leave Nina?

So this isn't the first piece of LGBT lit that I've read, but it's different than the other books. Like in Will Grayson, Will Grayson (John Green & David Levithan), there was more of a struggle. It was very personal and thoughtful. And this really wasn't. This is however, the first piece of work I've read by Maureen Johnson, and it didn't really sell me. I've heard that she's a phenomenal author, I just really hope the other books are better.

I really don't think this is a book I'd read again. It didn't really catch me right away. The back cover gave away things that didn't seem to be touched on until way later in the novel.

But Maureen is still a great author. She's really good at making dialogs interesting, and inserting different little things that makes it fun.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Things I Know About Love

Livia's experience of love has been disappointing to say the least. But all that is about to change. After years of illness, she's off to spend the summer with her brother in America. She's making up for lost time, and she's writing it all down in her private blog. America is everything she ever dreamed of - and then she meets Adam. Can Livia put the past behind her and risk falling in love again?

Oh gosh, where to start. I picked up this book thinking it was just some light hearted chick-lit. The description sounded nice and I thought that the blog thing would be interesting to read about, considering I run one or two...

And this novel is relatively short. I mean, it's definitely the thinnest book I've read in a long time. But there is so much substance and depth to it!

Kat Le Vann has a beautiful was of describing things, almost Dessen-like. The plot was well rounded, but still had room for plenty of surprises.

I love the British-ness of this book! There were so many things that Livia was shocked or surprised about that just seemed normal to me. So it was really cool to be able to feel how being in America seemed to someone else. I also really enjoyed her blog posts and her list that just kept going!

I won't go too far as to spoil the ending, but it really is a shocker. If I wasn't in a public place reading, I would have been crying.

But it was really phenomenal, unlike anything I've gotten my hands on in a LONG time!

Friday, September 24, 2010

In a rage...

I am completely against book banning.
No one is forcing your child to pick up a book that might be a bit too mature. It's not the author's fault if you want to keep your child living such a sheltered life as well.

Do they ban TV shows? Movies? No. There is a limit on censorship there, but twenty years ago, the things we see on primetime networks were unheard of. So what happend there?

And what about the INTERNET?? There is so much in this crazy place that your child is smart enough to find. And locking certain sites just isn't going to do it. There's no escaping the fact that people will write, publish, post, create whatever they want! The more people it reaches by its tender contents, the better.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Indie anyone?

Okay, so I am alll about little publishing companies and indie bookstores.


I don't live anywhere near indie bookstores, or even used bookstores, so unless I go to the city, which is pretty far... the local chain bookstore it is for me. Which is okay.

Sadly, I hardly ever hear of any indie books, unless I read about them on other blogs (which I LOVE to see!).
So when I heard about INJANE by Douglas K. Pearson, I was pretty pumped. Especially when I heard what it was about. At first, it reminded me of Wake by Lisa Mcmann. Until I read the first chapter and realized that this was something different from anything I'd read before. That kind of stuff just doesn't appear too much in the kind of literature that goes around popularly. And sometimes, it's a nice change.

To read the first chapter of INJANE, click here. And if you have any great indie book recommendations, let me know in the comments!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The hunt!

Awesome news! Okay, so there's this new book coming out by Gena Showalter, Unraveled. I haven't read any of her stuff yet, but I do have copies of Oh My Goth and Blacklisted.
But there is an amazing contest that I want to tell you guys about.

Gena Showalter’s YA series, Intertwined, about sixteen-year-old Aden Stone, a paranormal magnet who has, well had, four souls trapped in his head, continues this fall with the release of UNRAVELED (Harlequin, September 2010). Now, Aden is down to three souls bossing him around, but along the way he’s picked up the title of Vampire King to add to his ever-growing list of worries (which includes a prophecy that says he’ll bite the dust after a knife through the heart). To celebrate UNRAVELED’s release, Gena and her YA buds are hosting a scavenger hunt on their blogs.

The all-star lineup of hunt participants includes authors Rachel Caine, PC Cast, Marley Gibson, Rosemary Clement-Moore and Tina Ferraro, as well as Gena, natch, and The Knight Agency blog. Three grand prize winners will each win a $100 Visa gift card, plus Gena's giving away signed copies of UNRAVELED to five lucky runner-ups. All you have to do is find all eight letters, unscramble them and email the word to Contests(AT) To find out where the letters are hiding in the great internet universe, click here for a contest road map and rules.

This contest runs from Monday, August 30th to Thursday, September 2nd. All entries must be received by Monday, September 6th at midnight ET.

P.S. Sorry I'm telling you guys about this so late! I really meant to put it up earlier in the week, but school and life and... you know. ;)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Review: Lock and Key - Sarah Dessen

So. Lock and Key. Where do I even begin?
I mean, it's Sarah Dessen, and in my opinion, you can NEVER go wrong with her novels. I've even gotten my older sister to read a few, and she tends to stick to Adult Contemporary.

Ruby is sure that she can live on her own. She looks out for no one but herself, needs to depend on nobody. And she has things - as well as school and a job - all figured out. But her world comes crashing down when she's turned in my child services, after they find her living alone in an ill-equipped house. She's sent to live with her older sister, whom she hasn't seen in years, having abandoned her and her mother years earlier. How does one go from having nothing to being treated well and given a great house to live in? Anyone else would be ecstatic, but Ruby has more pride than that. But adjusting to a real family might just be what she needs...

I've been trying to read Sarah's books in the order that they were written. I'm not sure why, but I think it's because it feels truer that I can almost go on the journey as she writes, understanding what she was going through by the stories she made up. Anyway, I'm very glad that I've been doing pretty much that (with the exception of That Summer and a few others) because there are a few little references to her other novels. Just quick little nonchalant coincidences that really just made me go, "Ahh! It's that person! From that book!"

The writing and description was fantastic, as always. I absolutely loved the theme. I think it's one that's not touched on much, but when it is, is a hard once-over about someone feeling like an outcast. Here though, we aren't ever left with much suffocated emotion, and we sure don't get a protagonist who is completely comfortable with being this loner. It's usually complaining and depressing and blah, blah, blah.

This book was just one girl's journey through so many changes in atmosphere, company, and way of thought. Dessen never fails to write thought provoking literature that's meaningful and poignant. She's never the mediocre YA lit, filled with frothy scenes of normal high school life. And sometimes those stories are okay. Other times, you just need something with a more powerful meaning.

Some of my favorite quotes:
"It's never something huge that changes everything, but instead the tiniest of details, irrevocably tweaking the balance of the universe while you're busy focusing on the big picture."
"My only thought was to go back to the dream I'd been having, which I couldn't remember, other than it had been good, in that distant, hopeful way unreal things can be."
"You couldn't make any one person your world. The trick was to take what each could give you and build a world from it."

Also, I just adored the characters. At first you think you have Nate all figured out, and then BAM! And Ruby is so relatable. Jamie is just the type of person you see as your brother.
Little weird thing about me: I tend to picture people I know or people I've seen around at school as the characters in books. Does anyone else ever do that? Well, in the beginning of the book, I pictured Nate as someone I knew, but my perception of him changed so much that I just couldn't picture these people being one in the same.

I know I included a lot of covers for this one, but I love them all! I'm such a nerd, I actually have two copies of this book: the hardcover I bought when it first came out and a paperback copy I found in the bargain section of the Local bookstore.
The first picture is the hardcover with the dust jacket, and the second is without the dust jacket. Isn't it beautiful? The third photo is the paperback. It's pretty as well, but the key doesn't really look like the one on the opening pages. I guess I'm just picky like that. My favorite though, is the last picture. This one is the UK cover, and it's so great! Every little thing that builds the key is so significant to the story! I've seen some of the other Dessen UK covers, and it seems to me that they are all awesome! But ours are pretty wonderful too...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Camp... I miss it!

So I pretty much had the best two weeks of my life about a month ago, when I traveled over state lines to stay at a summer camp.
But when you think of camp, your picture is NOT going to match mine. It's the high school program. That means it's 12 days instead of 5, we spend almost all of our time co-ed, and the activities are lessened and replaced by chores.

Okay, now you're probably stuck on the last one. Chores? At summer camp? Don't you pay so that you can kind of get away from that stuff? Well, like I said, it's the high school program. All (or at least most) attended the camp when we were younger. And it's an amazing camp. So it and the experiences it has to offer mean a lot to us. We are willing and want to serve by cleaning bathrooms, the dining hall, and taking out the trash. Okay, we aren't thrilled to do this stuff, but it's the relationships we build with one another while doing these things that make the memories last. And it's not all work. It's maybe one-third. All those other moments spent just hanging around the cabin's main room, playing card games and laughing when we have a few free moments.

And it's days like these, when I'm not preoccupied with friends or books or TV that I really start to miss all that. A chunk of my friends started school already, me being one of the few not to. So I've been thinking a lot of those camp days, where there wasn't homework or internet or relationships to get in the way of friends. It's just us, for two weeks, sharing a room and a bathroom, the great opportunity to get to know people who you wouldn't have otherwise.

I really wanted to post a picture of all of us on the last day. Twenty-five people sitting on the roof to the cabin, smiling and making a funny pose, realizing that these are the last few moments we'd ever spend with these exact people.

But I really wanted to post a picture, so I'm posting one of my working group on our last day of trash duty. It was the best day. We walked around with the bags on our heads as well as using the bags for capes. Maybe you had to be there. I'm the one on the far right.
If you are at all interested in more information about this camp, email me at
I'd love to tell you more, I just didn't want to put the info up for all to see. =)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Top 100 YA titles... have you read them?

First of all, I just want to say that Persnickety Snark is a genius for composing a list of all the top YA books.
But it really put it into perspective. I've read... waay less than half. But then when I think about what I most enjoy reading it is 100% young adult. So I definitely need to work on reading these other great books...
The ones I've read are bolded.

1.The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins

2.Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone J.K. Rowling

3.To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee

4.Speak Laurie Halse Anderson

5.Northern Lights Philip Pullman

6.The Truth About Forever Sarah Dessen

7.The Book Thief Markus Zusak

8.The Outsiders S.E. Hinton

9.Twilight Stephenie Meyer

10.This Lullaby Sarah Dessen

11.Looking for Alaska John Green

12.Just Listen Sarah Dessen

13.Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows J.K. Rowling

14.Little Women Louisa May Alcott

15.City of Bones Cassandra Clare

16.On the Jellicoe Road Melina Marchetta

17.The Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger

18.Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban J.K. Rowling

19.The Perks of Being a Wallflower Stephen Chbosky

20.Along for the Ride Sarah Dessen

21.Shiver Maggie Stiefvater

22.Vampire Academy Richelle Mead

23.Graceling Kristin Cashore

24.Thirteen Reasons Why Jay Asher

25.Sloppy Firsts Megan McCafferty

26.The Lord of the Rings J.R.R. Tolkien

27.Alanna: The First Adventure Tamora Pierce

28.Ender's Game Orson Scott Card

29.Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince J.K. Rowling

30.Uglies Scott Westerfeld

31.A Great and Terrible Beauty Libba Bray

32.Tomorrow, When the War Began John Marsden

33.The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks E. Lockhart

34.Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen

35.The Westing Game Ellen Raskin

36.Paper Towns John Green

37.Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire J.K. Rowling

38.Catching Fire Suzanne Collins

39.A Tree Grows In Brooklyn Betty Smith

40.The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Sherman Alexie

41.Lock and Key Sarah Dessen

42.The Amber Spyglass Philip Pullman

43.Evernight Claudia Gray

44.Sabriel Garth Nix

45.Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix J.K. Rowling

46.Beautiful Creatures Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl

47.Forever Judy Blume

48.I Capture the Castle Dodie Smith

49.Ella Enchanted Gail Carson Levine

50.The Princess Diaries Meg Cabot

51.Stargirl Jerry Spinelli

52.Howl's Moving Castle Diana Wynne Jones

53.The Dark is Rising Susan Cooper

54.Hush, Hush Becca Fitzpatrick

55.Saving Francesca Melina Marchetta

56.Second Helpings Megan McCafferty

57.Dreamland Sarah Dessen

58.Eclipse Stephenie Meyer

59.Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist Rachel Cohn, David Levithan

60.Fire Kristin Cashore

61.The Chocolate War Robert Cormier

62.Weetzie Bat Francesca Lia Block

63.The Diary of a Young Girl Anne Frank

64.Looking for Alibrandi Melina Marchetta

65.How I Live Now Meg Rosoff

66.City of Glass Cassandra Clare

67.Keeping the Moon Sarah Dessen

68.Breaking Dawn Stephenie Meyer

69.Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging Louise Rennison

70.If I Stay Gayle Forman

71.The King of Attolia Megan Whalen Turner

72.Wintergirls Laurie Halse Anderson

73.Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast Robin McKinley

74.The Blue Sword Robin McKinley

75.Feed M.T. Anderson

76.The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants Ann Brashares

77.Go Ask Alice Anonymous

78.Wicked Lovely Melissa Marr

79.Lord of the Flies William Golding

80.Someone Like You Sarah Dessen

81.The Forest of Hands and Teeth Carrie Ryan

82.Jacob Have I Loved Katherine Paterson

83.The Knife of Never Letting Go Patrick Ness

84.Poison Study Maria V. Snyder

85.Shadow Kiss Richelle Mead

86.The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle Avi

87.An Abundance of Katherines John Green

88.The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time Mark Haddon

89.A Ring of Endless Light Madeleine L'Engle

90.Glass Houses Rachel Caine

91.The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party M.T. Anderson

92.Walk Two Moons Sharon Creech

93.Whale Talk Chris Crutcher

94.Perfect Chemistry Simone Elkeles

95.Going Too Far Jennifer Echols

96.The Last Song Nicholas Sparks

97.Before I Fall Lauren Oliver

98.Hatchet Gary Paulsen

99.The Pigman Paul Zindel

100.The Hero and the Crown Robin McKinley

Not so good...
How does your list look?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I'm Baaaaaack! Plus a review!

Hello all!
First I must say that my much needed time off was wonderful. Camp was life-changing and my brother's wedding was marvelous! Talk about a fun time!
Anywho, I never really got much time to read, but I did finish one book in three weeks. Yikes! Plus, I got some good read time in on the airplane. =)

So I finished Honey, Baby, Sweetheart by Deb Caletti.
And I don't even know where to begin.

Ruby has always been the quiet one. The shy bookish one, whose habits are only enforced by her mother in more ways than one. So when Ruby falls for the rich and spoiled bad boy down the street, Travis, Ruby falls hard. She faces things with a lot of regret and remorse. And she has to choose to hold some things and let others go. She knows she can't be the same way her mother is-- stumbling at the feet of a man. Ruby has to set her own path. To do this, she goes off on a road trip with her mother, brother, and a few people from her mother's book club, The Casserole Queens, bent on reuniting a member of the club with her long lost love. It's on this journey that heart break and heart ache can heal as well as learn.

This novel was full of so much depth and vivid description. It's the first I've read of Caletti's works, but it left me wanting more so I know I'll be back for some!

The language is woven beautifully and intricately. I learned so much about myself just from reading the fictional experience of others! That's saying a lot. When an author can do that, you know they've got the right stuff.

The style reminded me of Sarah Dessen's work. Very good, with the same way of making awesome descriptions sound natural. The way everything flows. Nothing is forced.

The characters were wonderful! I loved the Casserole Queens. Their haughty attitudes added a bit of spice to the story. I would have liked to see them enter the story a bit sooner, though.
Aside from Ruby, I adored Chip Jr., her little brother. He seemed so wise for his age, always knowing and being so aware of feelings.

It kept me reading, too. It wasn't necessarily suspenseful, but there were some parts where I just needed to know what happened!

Plus, so many great quotes. Here's one of my favorites:
" 'Everyone's central problem is longing.' Harold shouted...'There's nothing intrinsically wrong with longing.' Anna Bee said. 'Longing has led to great things. Every great discovery and accomplishment has its base in longing. It's only when you look to others to fill that longing that there are problems.' "

And because we can all relate....
"We were book readers, trained to step around raw feelings in the name of politeness and love, and yet I was furious."

So if you get the chance to pick this one up, do it! And then let me know what you thought.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A little break...

Hello all!
I just wanted to let you know that I will be on vacation for the next few weeks.

For the first bit, I'm not allowed to use any electronic devices. (Camp)

I will be back after that though, even if it's briefly, before I go halfway across the country to see my brother get married. This time, there is no one restricting me from using my cell phone and the internet it may or may not contain.

I've been gaining so much momentum on my blog lately, I'm sad to be away from it!

I'll see you all in a few weeks!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Blog Hop

Hello new friends!
And welcome to my blog.
As you know, the book blogger hop is hosted by Jen over at Crazy-For-Books. I've found so many really great blogs through this meme, and it's really given me a great chance to know those who read my blog!

So, if you are here for the hop, drop a word and let me know so that I may return the favor!

There are two books that I'm dying to get my hands on, even though one of them has been published for a bit and the other is not close to be released. However. I would really like to read Forgive my Fins by Tera Lynn Childs and What Happend to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen.
I'v heard many wonderful things about Forgive my Fins. It's plain and simple.
But Sarah Dessen has been such an inspiration to me. She opened my eyes to reading and the world of YA literature. Her beautifully crafted language never ceases to inspire me. Therefore, anything by her is a sure win!

So, what are you dying to read?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Jennifer Echols: Endless Summer Review

I honestly had high expectations for this book, especially considering all the wonderful things I’ve hear around the blogosphere about Jennifer Echols. However, it took me a while to get interested in The Boys Next Door. It just seemed a lot like The Summer I Turned Pretty (by Jenny Han). The plot was similar, as were the characters. But TSITP was deeper. This one, not so much.

Girl grows up around boys. Boys see girl as one of the guys. Girl acts like a girl and falls for boy. Boy sees girl as girl. Love is hard. See what I mean?

I did really enjoy the music references, as well as the humor interspersed. Jennifer Echols definitely has a strong voice. And I loved the setting. I could relate really well to the lake and everything that happened there. The whole story was very relatable. It also really picked up pace towards the end, something very much needed.

Even though I took a lot of harassment from my brothers about the cover if this book, I kept on pushing through.

I wasn’t even sure I was going to start reading Endless Summer. But I am sure glad that I did. Jennifer Echols’ writing vastly improved in the second installment. It no longer felt like a somewhat cheesy chick-flick that I had tuned in to. It felt real. And the alternating points of view definitely helped. Even so, there were some points that had me confused about who was narrating. That could be because the main character’s voices and personalities were all that similar.

And although there was still some dialogue that felt a little forced and pushed as before, everything picked up and amounted to lots of good.

This was the first book that I read by this author, but sometimes I wish it wasn’t. I have heard so many wonderful, positive things about Jennifer Echols. Her depth that really makes you think. This doesn’t really hold the same effect, but if you are looking for a beach read, this one is it!

Monday, July 12, 2010

In My Mailbox Part III

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren. It's a great chance to show what you've received this week in books and other bookish things, and what others have gotton.

For me, it was another week of great books!


-Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

-Just Listen by Sarah Dessen


-The Mosts by Melissa Senate (ARC from Random Buzzers)

-The Starlet by Mary McNamara (from DelGal's Book Reviews)

-Damaged by Alex Cava (from Knitting and Sundries)

-101 Things I Learned in Film School by Neil Landeau and Matthew Frederick (from Shooting Stars Mag)

-Forgive My Fins fan art, bookmark, and tattoo (Alex @ Tales of a Teenage Book Lover)

So, what did you guys all get in your mailbox?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Review: Tangled by Carolyn Mackler

Tangled by Carolyn Mackler isn't your everyday read. And it definitely wasn't what I was expecting.
Tangled deals with four distincly different teenagers, all trying to make their way to a suitable life. We meet Jena, the self-conscious girl with a good head on her shoulders and a self-depricating sense of humor. We get to know Dakota, someone who at first seems like a total jerk, but because of circumstance and realtionships formed, we get to see a complete evolution of character. We see Skye, an aspiring actress who seems to have everything on a silver platter. Finding out later though, that she struggles with a lot of issues, herself. And lastly, there is Owen. The boy not sure of who he is or who he could be. It takes one week in Paradise to change them all.
This book focuses a lot on finding yourself and being comfortable with who you are. But nothing about it was pushy. It was a slow, subtle movement to get the point across, as it should be.
It really seemed like all the characters were developed. Minor flaws here and there. But that happens.
I really loved the four different point of views and how they all didn't depict the same incidents. It was told as a series of events over a few months. And how even though all the characters didn't have all that much to do with each other besides briefly being at the same resort as each other, they really connecting on a deeper level outside of that. I just love stories that somewhat blow your mind.
The writing stlye was catchy and had me hooked from the first few chapters. Perfect read for anytime, any mood. Well, unless you have a hankering for vampires.
I also adore the cover. It just makes me think that as humans, we are all connected on such a deeper level.
I have not read anything else of Carolyn Mackler, but I will definitely be on the lookout for other title!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hoppity, Hop, Hop...

The Book Blogger Hop!

As you probably know, the Book Blogger Hop is to help show your blog and spread the love of books! Hosted over by Jen at Crazy for Books, this week's starter is:

Tell us about some of your favorite authors and why they are your favorites!

Sarah Dessen has been one of my favorite authors since I can remember. I fell completely in love with her in Someone Like You and I've been gobbling her stuff up ever since. Her books are the perfect balance of chick-lit and raw emotion. Light hearted, but still leaves you thinking and with a better sense of who you are.
I also really enjoy Lisa McMann's writing. Her style is very different from what I'm used to, but it's refreshing.
Other favorites: Jenny Han, Susane Colasanti, Elizabeth Scott.

Soooo, if you are popping through on the hop, leave a comment and let me know so that I may visit you! ;)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Gone, but back again.

Hey guys! I've been on vacation for a while, but I'm back now, with a review for a book I finished a few weeks ago. A lot has been going on with me, so unfortunately, this blog has been on my back burners. I'm going to try really hard not to let that happen again. However, I am going on vacation again in two weeks, and then once more shortly after that. Sometimes it feels like I need a vacation from my vacation! Anyone else get the same way?

And no In My Mailbox post from me this week. I didn't get any new books, but I guess the great haul from last week should cover that one!

Monday, June 28, 2010

How to Say Goodbye in Robot: My thoughts

After much prodding to read this book by a close friend, I thought I'd give it a try. And I'd say it was worth it.

For the life of me, I could not think of how to sum this book up in my own words. It was too different, much too like something I have never encountered before. Therefore, I cannot put into words what it is all about, so I'll let Goodreads handle that this time around.

"New to town, Beatrice is expecting her new best friend to be one of the girls she meets on the first day. But instead, the alphabet conspires to seat her next to Jonah, aka Ghost Boy, a quiet loner who hasn't made a new friend since third grade. Something about him, though, gets to Bea, and soon they form an unexpected friendship. It's not romance, exactly - but it's definitely love. Still, Bea can't quite dispel Jonah's gloom and doom - and as she finds out his family history, she understands why. Can Bea help Jonah? Or is he destined to vanish?"

In the first few chapters, my immediate reaction was that the dialogue seemed a little fishy. Especially between Bea and her mom, I was just left wondering if people actually spoke this way. Her mom seemed childish and annoying, sometimes odd; something very uncommon. Unrealistic. Questionable. Irrational.

Some of the characters, again parents, didn't seem fully developed, which made me wonder what kind of relationship the author had with her own.

But once I actually got into this, I was swept away and living in my own little world with Bea and Jonah. Definitely not the conventional love story, this novel with make your heart ache until the very last word. In fact, the ending gave me a feeling that was both unsettling and satisfied. That doesn't happen often.

I loved Jonah. He seemed pretty rounded, especially towards the middle of the book (not so much in the beginning). The descriptions of this boy made me feel as though I could go to school this fall and see him sitting next to me. His family issues and inability to wholly get over some things made him seem even more so.

Although there did seem to be some missing pieces, I got over that quickly. It's hard for me to even wrap my mind around the relationship between Jonah and Bea. I was left questioning why these people did what they did and said what they said.

It's new and fresh, something that doesn't come along all too often.

The plot itself is new. It's not so much one big event as it is a story of life in general. And I think that's what I liked most about it, and why I couldn't sum it up in my own words. It's life for one person in one time, and a significant even that changed her from then on.

Although I'm still not 100% sure how you actually say goodbye in robot, pick this one up for yourself and let me know your thoughts on how to say goodbye.

In My Mailbox, the Second Edition

Hello, All. I've been gone for a little bit, but am happily back now!

In My Mailbox is hosted over at The Story Siren. It's a great way to see what everyone got this week!
I can't remember the last time I got as many goodies as I received this week! It's been good! Most of these I bought at discounted prices or used, but I did win two, How Not to Be Popular and Ring of Five from!

-California Holiday By Kate Cann

-Webster's Thesaurus (But in a nice purple and green striped pattern)

-The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

-Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

-Dreamland by Sarah Dessen

-The Ring of Five(ARC) by Eoin McNamee

-How Not to be Popular by Jennifer Ziegler

-Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart

-Beijing Doll by Chun Sue

-Best Foot Forward by Joan Bauer

-Borrowed Light by Anna Fienberg

-Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky

-Boy Girl Boy by Ron Koertge

-A Necromancer (by Michael Scott) water bottle

It was a very good week, and I can't wait to delve into my ever-growing piles of books!


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Yesterday on Today

So yesterday was Jason Mraz's birthday. He's the guy who wrote that "happy little hippie song," I'm Yours. His other music is great, if not better. I'm a huge fan of him, what he's doing, and his music of course. But what does this all have to do with his birthday and this blog?

One of my favorite songs of his inspired this blog. Shocker, the song is called 'Wordplay' and it comes off of his "Mr. A-Z" album. The lyrics themselves speak more to me than the actual music, but the song still makes me want to dance.

As an artist and as a person, Jason has shaped my life in many ways. So happy belated birthday to him.

If you're interested in more, here's the Wordplay video:

P.S. A friend also told me that yesterday was Joss Whedon's Birthday. Two great guys, one day.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Flowers on Book Covers?

I don't know why I like flowers. But I think every girl does.

They have no actual purpose other than to look pretty. Trees give off oxygen and some even provide fruit. Other plants grow vegetables and other things to eat. Flowers hold the sole responsibility to look nice and cheer people up. It just blows my mind that the same thing a man gives a woman to woo her is the thing you give to someone who's sick, and the same thing you give to a funeral home.

I guess that's why I just love flowers on book covers. They are so versatile; they can practically mean something different for every person. One may see them as a symbol of romance, while another thinks of death.

What do the flower petals on the cover of Just Like That by Marsha Qualey make you feel?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Beginning

Things everyone has/is/does:

-An album on Facebook entitled "random"
-A pizza lover
-A dog
-A cell phone (or so it seems!)
-An item of clothing they won't admit to buying
-Stupid things around their closest friends
-An In My Mailbox post in honor of The Story Siren
So, here it is, my first In My Mailbox post!

Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols
How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford
Getting the Pretty Back: Friendships, Family, and Finding the Perfect Lipstick by Molly Ringwald
The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells

Friday, June 18, 2010

To the hop!

Time to do the book blogger hop! Hosted by Jennifer over at Crazy for Books, this is a great chance to experience some new and interesting blogs. Hop on over!

And if you're here from the hop, leave a comment, letting me know! (Special thanks to Liz at Cleverly Inked for pointing out an issue with my comments!)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

WAKE movie news!

Good news! Well, not even good news, great news! The great book series, starting with WAKE, (by Lisa McMann) are being turned into a movie! It's official, Paramount Pictures and MTV films picked up the rights. Sounds like it could be great, considering the director!

The thing I'm not 100% sold on though, is that Miley Cyrus is up for the lead role of Janie. Nothing against her, she's an alright actress, but that's just not how I saw the role. And I thought Janie was supposed to be blonde. But hey, surprises happen. Because I can see how the casting directors and everyone else would pick Miley; she has a huge fan base and publicity covering her. However, I think that even without her this movie will be successful. It's a great story that would take a lot to mess up on their part. And there are some people that would stray from seeing this because Miley is in it. In fact, if I wasn't such a huge fan of this series, I probably wouldn't see it. Regardless of who plays Janie, I can't wait to see how this one turns out!

For any of you who haven't yet checked out this series, I highly recommend it!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sarah Dessen Review, Keeping the Moon

I've been a huge Sarah Dessen fan ever since I read Someone Like You, way back when. But all my feelings towards her as an author were confirmed as I read this great book.

Colie has never fit in. She was fat, but even after her mom becomes the world renowned Kiki Sparks and they both shed the weight, Colie is still an outcast with a reputation she doesn't deserve. So when her mom decides to ship her out to Colby, North Carolina for the summer, Colie's mindset is no different than the one she holds for her hometown. She has no high expectations as she arrives in Colby, meets hippie Norman at the train station and comes in the the crazy world of Mira, the aunt with whom she's staying. And then she somehow finds herself with a job at the Last Chance, a small restaurant where Morgan, and even Isabel seem to take Colie in, to show her true self and potential.

I mean, this book has exactly what you need a summer novel. A model friendship, an eccentric aunt, and a nice, artistic hippie. Ms. Dessen has this great thing she always does, she pushes you directly into the book, so much that you actually start to believe that you are there with all those incredible people. I really didn't want it to end. I would have been completely content living in the little world of Colby forever. But that does bring up one thing that Sarah Dessen always seems to do: she ends her stories in a somewhat abrupt manner. I was left thinking, that's it? A nice epilogue would have been sufficient. The sudden ending aside, I loved this book. It really focuses on friendship and self image, a refreshing read that just really goes over being a girl and feeling comfortable in your own skin. Confidence starts with you.

And it was really refreshing that it didn't solely focus on boys and romance. Don't get me wrong, I love romance. It was just a nice change from the normal I-think-he-loves-me-but-maybe-not-summer-novel.

Something that every girl must read, no matter your age.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Why do you build me up, Buttercup?

Not really sure what made me decide to do this, but this post will consist of quotes. Most of which are anonymous.

"Artists of any kind are the hostage of their own minds, and most of the time what makes their works so great is because their minds are traps for the victim. Too much thinking and imagination, and not enough acting and realization."

"Doing what you like is freedom; doing what you love is happiness."

"If love is not the answer, then I must have misunderstood the question."

"Their words, like the music, had the potential to be endless." -Sarah Dessen, Keeping the Moon

"Happiness is a slurpee with a pink straw." -Jenny Han, It's Not Summer Without You

And my favorite:
"In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through you-- how many you can make your own." -Mortimer J. Adler

Monday, June 14, 2010

Review: It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han

Caution! May contain some spoilers if you haven't already checked out The Summer I Turned Pretty, out last summer!
Seriously, if you haven't read the first, don't keep reading this! (Wow, never thought I'd be discouraging people from reading my blog!)

Summary: Belly lives for summers. She spends part of the year yearning for the season, and the other part living it up in Cousins, at the loved Susannah's beach house with the boys, Conrad and Jeremiah, as well as Belly's mother and brother. Belly pretty much always knew she'd have to end up with one of the boys, and Conrad had always been the one she loved. But after Susannah's death, Conrad seems to be on another planet, causing Belly to say some things she wishes she could take back. To everyone, there is a deep hole left that Susannah can no longer fulfill. And then Conrad leaves, runs away, something very unlike anything he'd actually do. So when Jeremiah calls up Belly after not having talked to her since his mother's death, Belly jumps at the chance to help at all. All of this leads to long car rides, beach parties, and much needed confessions, especially between Belly and Conrad. But where does that leave Jeremiah?

Okay, I must say that I was a little bit disappointed in the second installment of this trilogy. In the first novel, Jenny Han blew me away. I could relate so much to Belly. In fact, there were times in my life when I was her, maybe even still. But it seemed to me that this was just a distraction for the final book, which I have high hopes for.
There was a lot more of Jeremiah in this book, something I appreciated. However, Conrad had less of a presence. And when he did show up, he was not much like I remembered, too different. I didn't really like him much here. But under the circumstance, I guess I understand. Steven was also missing, but it didn't seem to matter much. Memories were constantly being dredged up, and every single of of the summer boys, just as I had remembered from the first book, showed up there.
Jenny Han did a great job of encompassing the hurt that comes with death and loss, while also touching on the other ways people deal with grief-- Conrad, pushing everyone away, Jeremiah, trying to be the same as before, and Laurel, organizing and keeping busy to keep the hurt away.

Overall, I enjoyed this read, as well as the beautiful imagery, just not as much as before. Still, there were times where I could feel exactly what was meant.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Gimme a Call by Sarah Mlynowski

Gimme a Call by Sarah Mlynowski summary: (in my own words)
Lonely and remorseful, Devi goes to the mall by herself on senior skip day, in an attempt to feel less sorry for herself. But she finds herself wishing for a chance to change the past, to get it all right-- stay away from Bryan, the boy who shattered her heart; keep in touch with friends instead of spending every waking moment with Bryan; and getting better grades to get accepted to a better school by not ditching oppurtunities to study for a moment to be with Bryan. So it all goes back to him. Until she drops her cell phone into the fountain and gets the chance to talk to her younger self and convince the younger Devi (called 'Frosh') to stay away from Bryan. But then what happens when other things change?

I actually enjoyed this book. It was a fresh concept. The plot reminded me a bit of Back to the Future, but in a good way (I'm a huge fan of those movies!). While at times things seemed to be a little redundant, I was still amused. But by the end of the book, I was thoroughly annoyed with Ivy (the older Devi) and her selfish bossiness. I felt like I could relate more to the younger her, even though I'm not quite sure why she did all the things she did. Overall, Sarah Mlynowski went about writing this in a good manner, keeping things interesting by switching point of views and changing how Ivy's life played out all the time. On a scale from one to ten, I'd give this a 5.8.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Time to do the hop! (Not the bunny hop, the blogger hop.)

Was going to post this last night, but blogger was making things...difficult. Anyone else have trouble posting last night?

Anywho, back to the purpose of this post. It's time for the Book Blogger Hop hosted by Crazy Jennifer over at crazy-for-books. It's a way to get your book blog known to others and to learn about some other great blogs along the way.

So go on over to the site and start hopping!


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Will Grayson, Will Grayson

In the past, I've written my own summaries of the books I've reviewed. However, I don't even know where to start for this one, so I've taken a summary from

One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens--both named Will Grayson--are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history's most fabulous high school musical.

(This is also the summary from the inside flap of the book.)

This was the first thing I've ever read by John Green or David Levithan, so I wasn't 100% sure what to expect, even though I've been following John and his brother, Hank, on their vlog for some time now.
This book definitely made me want to go out and buy every other thing John Green had ever written. Same for David Levithan. I loved the clear distinction between the different voices. And sometimes that gets lost when authors co-write, but for once there was a fine line.
I particularly enjoyed the character, Tiny Cooper. I just never knew what to expect from him
While cleverness and wit clearly abound, there isn't lack of actual story as well. The not-so-complicated plot line was just what was needed.
I could feel my pulse pick up when the characters were in a tense situation, and that's just what good fiction is supposed to do.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Check this out!

So there's this awesome contest to win an ARC of Matched by Ally Condie over at Only Sexy Books Allowed.
Check it out here!

I hear this books a good one, so this is really exciting! Enjoy!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

To Kill A Mockingbird Review

To Kill A Mickingbird is pretty much required reading for everyone I know. However, neither of my parents had read it. So in case you wern't forced to read this one in school, then this one goes out to you.

During the Great Depression, siblings Jem and Scout have to make their way through all the frightening changes that come with growing up, standing up for truth, and getting to know the people of small town Maycomb. Scout lives for summer, when she can hang around the neigborhood with Dill (whom she will marry) and her bigger brother who's more like a friend. But a summer day comes when things seem to turn upside down, the right thing is smothered, and they have to cope with the reality of the times. And this brings on some things they would have never expected.

I didn't expect much out of this novel. From past experiences, I never enjoyed much of the things teachers forced upon me. This was an exception.
Quite an outburst in her day, Harper Lee addresses some topics that I really appreciated. Her themes set the way for other modern day writers, and left the rest of us pondering about life's values themselves.
Great writing with and interesting story line. And the whole "small town" thing didn't get old like I thought it would.

This is definitely a book you need to read before you die.
The awesome cover.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I feel like I needed that more than I originally thought...

So I realized that long posts really put me off, so I'm gonna try to keep mine a bit shorter.

I mean, sometimes I go to a blog I frequently read and decide not to read certain posts just because they seem too long. But then I end up spending the same amount of time reading short posts, so...

It's all about mind games.

It really is.
I have to set my alarm twenty-three minutes ahead to trick myself into thinking that it's earlier than it actually is. Otherwise, I end up late.

And I know that this is primarily a book blog, but it's life, too.

Monday, May 24, 2010


A little excerpt from my current read, Will Grayson, Will Grayson By John Green and David Levithan. I know I've been on it for a while, but I plan to wrap things up as soon as school calms down and halts.

"and then there are nights like tonight, when the truth is what comes out, because it's what we need the most. or maybe just one of us needs it the most, but the other knows the right time to give it."

And some more:

"Every day, Tiny miraculously manages to wedge himself into the chair-desk beside mine in precalc, and ever day, I am amazed he can do it."

(Notice the difference in voice? I love that!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I know.

I've had no time to read, let alone review.

Curse you end of school (not really) and all the tests, quizzes, and exams (yes, really) that follow.

But I did pick up some new books: TTYL and TTFN. They don't seem like my usual type of book-- these are full of text/computer lingo and I consider myself somewhat of a grammar-enforcer. But hey, I thought I'd try something new.

Also, I'm currently reading something great that I can't wait to write a review for.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Top Books... have you read them?

So this is a list compiled by someone with fantastic taste in Children's/Young Adult Literature. I found it on this new blog I came across, and decided to repost it, highlighting the ones that I, myself had enjoyed reading. Pretty interesting...

100. The Egypt Game - Snyder (1967)
99. The Indian in the Cupboard - Banks (1980)
98. Children of Green Knowe - Boston (1954)
97. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane - DiCamillo (2006)
96. The Witches - Dahl (1983)
95. Pippi Longstocking - Lindgren (1950)
94. Swallows and Amazons - Ransome (1930)
93. Caddie Woodlawn - Brink (1935)
92. Ella Enchanted - Levine (1997)
91. Sideways Stories from Wayside School - Sachar (1978)

90. Sarah, Plain and Tall - MacLachlan (1985)
89. Ramona and Her Father - Cleary (1977)
88. The High King - Alexander (1968)
87. The View from Saturday - Konigsburg (1996)
86. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Rowling (1999)
85. On the Banks of Plum Creek - Wilder (1937)
84. The Little White Horse - Goudge (1946)
83. The Thief - Turner (1997)
82. The Book of Three - Alexander (1964)
81. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon - Lin (2009)

80. The Graveyard Book - Gaiman (2008)
79. All-of-a-Kind-Family - Taylor (1951)
78. Johnny Tremain - Forbes (1943)
77. The City of Ember - DuPrau (2003)
76. Out of the Dust - Hesse (1997)
75. Love That Dog - Creech (2001)
74. The Borrowers - Norton (1953)
73. My Side of the Mountain - George (1959)
72. My Father's Dragon - Gannett (1948)
71. The Bad Beginning - Snicket (1999)

70. Betsy-Tacy - Lovelae (1940)
69. The Mysterious Benedict Society - Stewart ( 2007)
68. Walk Two Moons - Creech (1994)
67. Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher - Coville (1991)
66. Henry Huggins - Cleary (1950)
65. Ballet Shoes - Stratfeild (1936)
64. A Long Way from Chicago - Peck (1998)
63. Gone-Away Lake - Enright (1957)
62. The Secret of the Old Clock - Keene (1959)
61. Stargirl - Spinelli (2000)

60. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle - Avi (1990)
59. Inkheart - Funke (2003)
58. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase - Aiken (1962)
57. Ramona Quimby, Age 8 - Cleary (1981)
56. Number the Stars - Lowry (1989)
55. The Great Gilly Hopkins - Paterson (1978)
54. The BFG - Dahl (1982)
53. Wind in the Willows - Grahame (1908)
52. The Invention of Hugo Cabret (2007)
51. The Saturdays - Enright (1941)

50. Island of the Blue Dolphins - O'Dell (1960)
49. Frindle - Clements (1996)
48. The Penderwicks - Birdsall (2005)
47. Bud, Not Buddy - Curtis (1999)
46. Where the Red Fern Grows - Rawls (1961)
45. The Golden Compass - Pullman (1995)
44. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing - Blume (1972)
43. Ramona the Pest - Cleary (1968)
42. Little House on the Prairie - Wilder (1935)
41. The Witch of Blackbird Pond - Speare (1958)

40. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - Baum (1900)
39. When You Reach Me - Stead (2009)
38. HP and the Order of the Phoenix - Rowling (2003)
37. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry - Taylor (1976)
36. Are You there, God? It's Me, Margaret - Blume (1970)
35. HP and the Goblet of Fire - Rowling (2000)
34. The Watson's Go to Birmingham - Curtis (1995)
33. James and the Giant Peach - Dahl (1961)
32. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH - O'Brian (1971)
31. Half Magic - Eager (1954)

30. Winnie-the-Pooh - Milne (1926)
29. The Dark Is Rising - Cooper (1973)
28. A Little Princess - Burnett (1905)
27. Alice I and II - Carroll (1865/72)
26. Hatchet - Paulsen (1989)
25. Little Women - Alcott (1868/9)
24. HP and the Deathly Hallows - Rowling (2007)
23. Little House in the Big Woods - Wilder (1932)
22. The Tale of Despereaux - DiCamillo (2003)
21. The Lightening Thief - Riordan (2005)

20. Tuck Everlasting - Babbitt (1975)
19. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Dahl (1964)
18. Matilda - Dahl (1988)
17. Maniac Magee - Spinelli (1990)
16. Harriet the Spy - Fitzhugh (1964)
15. Because of Winn-Dixie - DiCamillo (2000)
14. HP and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Rowling (1999)
13. Bridge to Terabithia - Paterson (1977)
12. The Hobbit - Tolkien (1938)
11. The Westing Game - Raskin (1978)

10. The Phantom Tollbooth - Juster (1961)
9. Anne of Green Gables - Montgomery (1908)
8. The Secret Garden - Burnett (1911)
7. The Giver -Lowry (1993)
6. Holes - Sachar (1998)
5. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler - Koningsburg (1967)
4. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe - Lewis (1950)
3. Harry Potter #1 - Rowling (1997)
2. A Wrinkle in Time - L'Engle (1962)
1. Charlotte's Web - White (1952)

30%...not too terrible, considering I really wasn't the hugest reader when these books would have appealed to me most.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Book time! But oh, the title is a mouthful!

Oooohohkay, haven't been posting on here. I know! I'm a terrible blogging person!


Plus, I've been out of it with all kinds of things. Overwhelmed at school; one month before exams, and in every class we've been "wrapping things up."

I don't know if I'm even making any sense...

So I recently finished The first book in the Gallagher Girls series. I guess I'll write a review...

I'd Tell You I Love You, but then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter.

Wow, what a mouthful. I got this book from a friend, only because she started to read it, but decided a few chapters in that it wasn't quite for her. But I had heard from a few different people that this book was so good, so I'd thought I'd give it a try.

Summary (my own words):

Cammie has been raised knowing all the secrets of the trade, everything that her parents could teach her at a young age, Cammie knew, and some things she could figure out by herself. But these weren't just any trade techniques; these were top secrets government things of high importance. And so from seventh grade on, Cammie definitely knew her fate and the way her life was headed. It was something that was always known, but Cammie finally starts to realize exactly what she's giving up when, on a mission, she meets Josh. Average town boy, an encounter like this shouldn't have the affect on Cammie that it does. Cammie starts living a double life, torn between her cover and who she really is, until everything comes crashing down on her in one swift motion. What's a spy to do?

This book for me, was actually pretty good. It would have been a great beach read. The writing was okay, (not terrible like another hard core, unrealistic chick-lit series) and the plot was good. The characters were a little cliche, but that didn't stop me from enjoying them. Humor was abundant, which made for a very light hearted read. It was a great read for just sitting around the house. I never really had to concentrate on what I was reading; there was nothing I had to go back and reread because of a confusing situation. It was very straight forward. Almost a nice change in pace. But if you don't like chick-lit, then there really isn't anything in this book for you.

I started the second, having gotten it super cheap at the LB. I'm about fifty pages in, but so far it's not grabbing my attention. We'll have to wait and see.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A day of crazy? Indeed!

And why again did I need more YA books??

Who knows.

But I just got three today. Bought one from the LB, and ordered two online at awesomely decent prices for new releases.

What I bought:

  • Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott

  • Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green (DFTBA!) and David Levithan

  • It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han (Finally! I've practically been stalking the LB and all the employees, checking to see when it would come in... but the impatient me decided to order it online...)

Oh, on a completely different note, I went to a WWII reenactment. Very interesting. So many people in authentic uniforms, both allies and Germans. A kid from my lunch table was actually participating. But the noise! Loud, constant shots being fired so rapidly it's hard to tell from which direction they've come! Imagine what it would have been like....

Bummer man, I didn't get any pictures...

Also, I went to a parade that my school's band was marching in. Most of the floats were throwing candy, mostly tootsie pops or rolls. Got to see everyone in identical uniforms that are oh-so-lovely. And then got (sarcastically) yelled at by the band director for distracting one of the marchers who just happens to be a friend. Then a bit later, started to get a weird feeling as I was spazzing out...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Service, missed books, and weeds!

So today was Christian service day at my school. I figured something like that would trigger an excellent blog entry on my part. Hmph, guess not.

Anyway, my whole class of '13 went to a local camp, the same one I've attended the past six summers, to clean up and do some general volunteer work. From there, we split up by homeroom and into smaller groups as each task needed. There really aren't that many people in my homeroom I'm fond of; maybe one, I'd refer to as 'Friend'. I was grouped with five other people and we were given the opportunity to rake leaves and pull weeds out of planters and pick of sticks under some trees. So we got to work, but it got hot and the sun was shining....and the boys weren't working (What a shock!)...and some of the girls were doing what girls do when stupid boys were around (Flirt. Yes, that's all! You people nowadays...) so it was basically me and one other doing most the work. But that was okay because we did it all for Him.

It was a long day of work and sweat and grime. But it was beautiful out. I just wish I woulda lathered on that sunblock.

Also, the second The Summer I Turned Pretty came out yesterday. I friend and I were going to head on over to the Local Bookstore, but alas, we forgot. Yesterday was the Fine Arts Recital!

Hoping to get over to the LB to get It's Not Summer Without You...
As Always.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Just last night, one of my friends commented on how awkward I was. And sitting in church today, I started thinking, and this is what I came up with:

I am 100% comfortable in my awkwardness. I am comfortable being awkward.

I'm not all that confident in being sure of myself, but I am confident in being an awkward person. Does that make any sense?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott -- one of my new favorites.

I go to the local bookstore all the time with my friends. We can sit there for hours on end just reading books that we wouldn't normally buy. Well, for the last couple of times, I've been nursing on the book The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott. (This is the first book I've read by her, and it definitely encouraged me to read more.) And although at times, it can be extremely difficult to concentrate with certain people running mad in the background, picking up goth magazines or weird self help books you never even knew people had problems about, I tried my best to read this book. And I never bought it because it was a hardcover. Hardcover copies are expensive. Anyway, back to the book.
It's about this girl, Sarah, who has been best friends with Brianna since kindergarten, when Brianna stood up for Sarah. So Sarah has always been there for and with Brianna, even when her parents seem to not care about her or who she is.But on the outside, Brianna has always been the pretty one, the outgoing one, and the boy crazy one ever since she stood up for Sarah. But now enters Ryan: the boy Sarah has longed for over years, even got asked to go to a school dance with back in grade school-- the one boy who Brianna can't seem to hold on to. Sarah's feelings for Ryan are the one thing in her life that she keeps to herself, and she likes it that way. But one single night at a back to school party changes the way Sarah begins to view her life. Everything is full of what-ifs and Sarah doesn't know what to do when she finally begins to understand that she wasn't imagining things, and that someone actually might choose her, the mousy one always lagging behind the center of attention. But now, Sarah has choices to make--friendship or love?

At the beginning of this book, I was able to picture the characters vividly. Maybe it was because I could relate a little bit. But as the book progressed, I was able to see these people as real, as real to me as they would have been to someone living on a secluded island half their life, only vague memories of human contact. They would be able to see these characters in their mind; it was that good. I liked how Sarah steadily progressed in confidence and understanding of herself as a person. She was such a captivating and dynamic person to read about, with real life issues that could happen to anyone of us.

Random side note: I got third place in the Literature short fiction story Fine Arts competition for my work "Because of the Cat"!!! =)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hot lunch day is usually a good day...

So today I was going to review the book I've been mulling over at the local bookstore and finally finished. But life came along and dragged that away from me.
You know when you wake up crabby and someone says "Well look who woke up on ethe wrong side of them bed this morning." Today wasn't like that. I woke up knowing that I was in a bad mood-- I didn't need anyone to tell me!
The Fine Arts Literature critique was today. And that actually went okay(ish). I submitted two pieces: a personal essay and a piece of fiction. But he critiqued my essay as though it were fiction and I didn't say anything...
And then luch rolled around and it's Wednesday, so it's hot lunch. Usually, that's all awesome becuase I brown bag it every other day of the week as my school does not have a those hired luch ladies the teen movies make fun of. But I get there and start wainting in a long line only to get extremely close to the front for them to tell me that they ran out of tacos, the best lunch. So I had to go wait in another long line to get my food. I made my way back to the table where all of my friends were already happily enjoying their meal to look at the clock and see that I had seven minutes left to eat my lunch. Great. Just great.
I also had a drive. Parallel parking. Boo. I missed the mark three out of the five times I attempted to park. Maybe I need practice? Hahaha.
And now, American Idol is on and Time Urban just got voted off. The one person I was rooting for after Alex Lambert got voted off before they went to the big stage. Tim, I wish you the best.

And even though my day was pretty much pure suck for no hugley particular reason, I know that it was completley terrible for some of my relatives a few states away. My great uncle passed away today. He had been pretty sick for a while now, having been battling cancer since I started growing up. And it sucks. Cancer sucks. But I am so incredibly glad that I went on that little roadtrip last summer to visit that family I never get to see. Because it was the last time I saw him. And it was nice. Here's to you, uncle Lee. We'll all miss you.

Monday, April 19, 2010

My very first review, among other things.

I am a reader. It's just who I am. I'm not very fast, but I get the job done comprehensively. I like to take every beautifully woven phrase the author pain-stakingly hand picked and savor them like they were meant to, not gobble it all up in one bite, thank-you-very-much. I guess that's why my reviews won't come as often as someone who can take in a book in one sitting. But I do have a whole shelf of books I read and vividly remember to work on from here on out. I'm relatively new to this, so bear with me.

The book in question: Breathe My Name by R.A. Nelson.
Frances has a past like no other. Born first out of four girls, at age seventeen, she's the only one still alive. She doesn't live with the people she called Mama and Daddy for the first six years of her life. In fact, she doesn't even keep in contact with them. And for good reason. At a very young age, Frances had been in the house when her three innocent, younger sisters were smothered to death with a pillow by one of the only people a child can fully rely on: her mother. Eighteen years later, Frances has tried to repress those memories. She's got a good home, a great family, and a wonderful best friend. It's not until she receives a letter delivered by her birth mother's attorney that Frances begins to questions everything she knows. She has to see her mother. Even though she could never forgive her.

Frances is a great, fully developed character, especially after going through what she did. There were times in this book where I didn't always agree with her choices, but I did enjoy the outcome that followed. Nix is original, more original than anyone I think I actually know. He never ceased to amaze me. There were times where I wanted to start sobbing because I felt what they felt. In fact, I was reading in the room with my mom, but actually had to leave because I knew something was about to happen, and I'd have some sort of crazy reaction that I didn't want to be questioned on. I'm still not quite sure where the title fit into the contents of this book however, and that just leaves me questioning and thinking. And in my opinion, I think that's the point.

I haven't read a novel like this before. It's chick-lit that makes you question everything good, really makes you wonder about the life you live. After finishing this book, I began to think about why things happen. But then the answer is almost clear: to shape who you are.

With so many aspect of chick-lit, it's almost undeniably places in that category. The title and cover, sparks of romance throughout the book. But think again. This book isn't just for the hopeless romantic. It's for the justice seeker, the one who's stuck inside simple monotony and looking for a way out, anyone who read and who can feel and who has a heart.

This book gives so many clear, descriptive sensory images, the last few pages might want you leaving more.