Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Teaser Tuesday!

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given
  • Please avoid spoilers!
I am currently reading Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Here is my teaser. Enjoy!

“But I always stop short of the fantasy of her apologizing for leaving. Because even though she might not know it, she just did what I told her she could do.”

Monday, March 28, 2011

Ravenwild looks pretty awesome!

This fantasy genre novel came to my attention when I was asked to review it on my site and I have to say, it looks really interesting! I haven’t received it yet, but I wanted to just get the word out there about it. I’m really excited to start reading it and I hope it sparks your interest too! As someone who used to play World of Warcraft, I think this book is perfect for anyone who thinks that world is genius!

Here is a short synopsis from Goodreads:
Returning home from another grueling shift of E.R. work, Dr. Blake Lee Strong comes across a downed motorcyclist and stops to help, but little does he know that his world and that of his family will soon be turned upside down. Duped into being transported to another planet called Inam'Ra, Dr. Strong and his family are thrust into a medieval world populated by Trolls, Gnomes, Elves, Dwarves, Humans and other alien beings. An epic odyssey begins as the Strong family fights for not only their own survival, but also for the continued existence of the citizens of Ravenwild.

You can read the first two chapters on the books website here. Also, while you’re there notice the map and table of contents. I think the artwork is beautiful!

For now, you can buy the book in paperback and hardcover through the website, or on amazon for the kindle. Eventually, once the distribution contract goes through it will be more readily available, so watch out for that!

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Summary Provided by Goodreads:
What if you knew exactly when you would die?

Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.

My Thoughts:
This book was amazingly awesome! I thought it was engaging, original, and interesting. I loved the plot. I loved the characters. I loved everything about this novel from debut author, Lauren DeStefano.

Wither is a dystopian novel set in a future where males die at the age of 25 and females die at age 20. It’s crazy to think that in this world I would have been dead five years ago. How would your life be different if you knew exactly when you were going to die, or that you wouldn’t be able to watch your children grow up? This aspect of the novel scared the crap out of me. Science advances more and more every year, and this future could very well be a possibility for us.

The narrator is a 16 year old girl named Rhine. She is kidnapped from her home and sent to Florida to be married (along with two other girls) to a 21 year old wealthy man named, Linden.

I loved the chemistry between Rhine and her sister-wives, the older girl, Jenna and the younger one, Cecily. Facing the impossible, they became as close as real sisters. Linden, on the other hand took me almost half the book to start to feel for him. Of course I thought of him as an asshole, taking three wives and keeping them prisoners in his home, but we learn he is as much a prisoner in his own home, as his wives. His father, Housemaster Vaughn controls and lies to Linden about everything. Linden has no idea that his wives were kidnapped and all he wants is the best for them! My favorite character though was Gabriel, a servant in the mansion for the past nine years. We didn’t get to see much of him, but I think there is a lot more to Gabriel. I would like to learn more about his life at the orphanage as well as his life in the mansion. I can’t wait to see more of him in the next book!

Rhine talks a lot about her life before she was married. All she wants to do is escape and go back home to her twin brother, Rowan. I felt her pain and her longing for her brother and I liked that even though she had servants, was well fed, and wasn’t forced to have sex with Linden (Linden really was a gentleman!) she still longed for the uncertainty that her life was before. On the outside she had her brother, but there was also the possibility of being kidnapped again, and being sent to a much worse place then Linden’s mansion. Many young girls are kidnapped and are either murdered or sent to brothels. I thought this was very brave of her.

I think one of the reasons people have such a problem with this novel is because of topics such as polygamy and pedophilia. I think we need to understand that this is completely different time and a 13 year old is basically an adult. She will only have seven more years to live. That’s how I got through those scenes, not by thinking in today’s views, but by realizing that this is a completely different future.  

Adding to the awesomeness of this novel, I thought the cover was absolutely gorgeous!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Goddess Test by Aimée Carter

Summary Provided by Goodreads:
Every girl who has taken the test has died.

Now it's Kate's turn.

It's always been just Kate and her mom--and now her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld--and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he's crazy--until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.

If she fails...

My Thoughts:
When I received the e-galley of The Goddess Test through NetGalley I was super excited because I have heard nothing but great things about this book and I could not wait to read it and see what all the hype was about. I had it read within a day because I was not able to put it down! I am such a huge fan of Greek Mythology and I really enjoyed Aimée Carter’s unique take on it.

I loved how the Greek gods were portrayed in this novel. Usually in books and movies, Hades is seen as dark, nasty, and evil. He’s the ruler of the dead so of course that is how he will be stereotyped. In The Goddess Test, Hades is Henry, a gorgeous, lonely, and sensitive God of the Underworld. I absolutely loved this new version of Hades! Henry was a breath of a fresh air because unlike some other male protagonists in YA literature today, Henry actually has good reasons to be emo and brooding. Not only does Carter put her own spin on the Greek Gods (you won’t find out until the end who the Greek Gods actually are-but I really did enjoy all of them) but she also has her own version about the legendary Persephone. Henry isn’t the only lovable character in The Goddess Test. The main protagonist, Kate Winters was so real. She was ready and willing to do whatever it takes to save the people she cared about. She was so selfless, and this is what drew me, and Henry to her.  

At times, I felt that the plot was a little slow then some other books that I am used to, but then all of a sudden I wasn’t able to put it down and the novel was going to fast for me! I wanted there to be more. I wanted more Henry. I wanted more Ali, and Calliope, and James. I wanted more of The Goddess Test!

This is a fantastic novel, especially for a debut author. I can not wait to see what else Aimée Carter has in store for us in this series. I am pleased and honored that NetGalley and Harlequin Teen gave me the opportunity to read this novel before it hit bookstores. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

In My Mailbox (6)

In My Mailbox (IMM) is a weekly meme created by The Story Siren to share with everyone the books they bought, borrowed, or received for review.

For Review

Where She Went by Gayle Forman
Red Glove by Holly Black
Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers
Hush by Eishes Chayil
Wither by Lauren DeStefano

I hope everyone had a great week too!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Summary Provided by Goodreads:
 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.

My Thoughts:
This beautifully written story begins with Mia, her parents, and her younger brother eating breakfast and deciding how they should spend their snow day. The next thing Mia knows, she is looking at her parents dead bodies and watching her own body be put into an ambulance. The next 24 hours Mia spends in the ICU as an invisible observer deciding if she should stay and live her life without the love and support of her Mom, Dad and brother, or give up and face the unknown. Mia has to make the ultimate choice and she doesn’t take this decision lightly.

I knew going into this book that it was probably going to be one of the saddest books I’ve ever read and I wasn’t wrong. Within the first few pages I was already crying. At the same time, If I Stay was so beautiful and hopeful that it made me want to read more. I can’t explain why, but this story is so powerful. Adding to the story are the flashbacks Mia tells the reader about her awesome and supportive parents, her best friend, and her adoring and loving boyfriend, Adam. Forman gives every character in this book a voice and personality, even the ones who died in the first few pages.

Reading Mia decide what she should do was unbelievably sad and heartbreaking.  The ending had me hysterical and I loved every minute of it. Despite the sadness, this book really is something. It’s thoughtful, sweet and wonderful. I highly recommend reading it.

The second book, Where She Went takes place three years later and is told in the P.O.V. of Adam, Mia’s boyfriend. I can not wait for this one! It comes out April 5, 2011.

Waiting on Wednesday (2)

Betrayal by Mayandree Michel 
April 1, 2011

At seventeen, Cordelia is an ordinary teen with an extraordinary and frightening secret. A secret that induces vivid dreams which she not only experiences true love, but crippling fear while barely escaping with her life each night.

After a life altering event, Cordelia has an unexpected encounter with Evan, the mysterious boy from her dreams, who reveals who and what she is – a descendant of the Greek gods. At that moment everything she knows of her world is a lie, and she must leave the present and go into the past to assume the role she was put on this earth for – safeguarding her ancient empire amidst evil forces that toil hastily to destroy it.

In a race against time, Cordelia must decide if she is truly a part of this dangerous world, or risk defying the gods, and ultimately lose the boy who has put a claim on her heart.

Red Glove by Holly Black 
April 5, 2011

Curses and cons. Magic and the mob. In Cassel Sharpe's world, they go together. Cassel always thought he was an ordinary guy, until he realized his memories were being manipulated by his brothers. Now he knows the truth—he’s the most powerful curse worker around. A touch of his hand can transform anything—or anyone—into something else.

That was how Lila, the girl he loved, became a white cat. Cassel was tricked into thinking he killed her, when actually he tried to save her. Now that she's human again, he should be overjoyed. Trouble is, Lila's been cursed to love him, a little gift from his emotion worker mom. And if Lila's love is as phony as Cassel's made-up memories, then he can't believe anything she says or does.

When Cassel's oldest brother is murdered, the Feds recruit Cassel to help make sense of the only clue—crime-scene images of a woman in red gloves. But the mob is after Cassel too—they know how valuable he could be to them. Cassel is going to have to stay one step ahead of both sides just to survive. But where can he turn when he can't trust anyone—least of all, himself?

Love is a curse and the con is the only answer in a game too dangerous to lose.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt

Summary Provided by Goodreads:
According to her guidance counselor, fifteen-year-old Payton Gritas needs a focus object—an item to concentrate her emotions on. It's supposed to be something inanimate, but Payton decides to use the thing she stares at during class: Sean Griswold's head. They've been linked since third grade (Griswold-Gritas—it's an alphabetical order thing), but she's never really known him.

The focus object is intended to help Payton deal with her father's newly diagnosed multiple sclerosis. And it's working. With the help of her boy-crazy best friend Jac, Payton starts stalking—er, focusing on—Sean Griswold . . . all of him! He's cute, he shares her Seinfeld obsession (nobody else gets it!) and he may have a secret or two of his own.

In this sweet story of first love, Lindsey Leavitt seamlessly balances heartfelt family moments, spot-on sarcastic humor, and a budding young romance.

My Thoughts:
As soon as I read the synopsis for this novel, I knew I was going to love it! It seemed like such an adorable and fun read and I could not wait to start it. I finished it within a day and I’m now telling everyone I know that they need to read it!

Payton had me cracking up. I loved her and her KWL charts, her outlines dedicated to Sean’s head, and her color-coded highlighting system for her new planner (which BTW, I too, have a color-coded highlighting system for my planner!). Then there’s Sean Griswold, who I’m not going to lie, I was falling in love with him along with Payton. He’s smart, funny, caring, and really, really sweet. He doesn’t judge people based on how they look or act and his best friend since childhood is a vampire (yeah, I know, huh?). I only wish we could have learned more about Sean’s home life.

Within the first chapter, Payton learns that her father has MS and her entire family has been keeping this secret from her for months. She is only 15, and unable to deal with it. She stops talking to her parents, starts to act out a little, and is basically in denial about the whole situation. Payton was going through a lot and I think Leavitt did a wonderful job capturing Payton’s pain and vulnerability, while at the same time keeping the writing light and funny.

I loved Sean and Payton! I enjoyed watching their friendship grow into a mutual attraction. Their relationship seemed so real, especially compared to many other teenage relationships portrayed in novels these days.

Sean Griswold’s Head is a wonderful, funny, sweet novel and I think everyone should give it a shot. You will not be disappointed! 

Teaser Tuesday!

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given
  • Please avoid spoilers!
I am currently reading The Goddess Test by Aimée Carter.

 Here are my two teasers! Enjoy!

“With that barrier gone, it was almost as if I could see who he was underneath, someone kind and lonely and scared, who wanted nothing more than to be loved.”

“I don’t know how long it was before I forced myself to pull away. While I caught my breath, I watched Henry warily, afraid he would bolt.”

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Queen of the Dead by Stacey Kade

Summary Provided by Goodreads:
After being sent back from the light, Alona Dare - former homecoming queen, current Queen of the Dead - finds herself doing something she never expected: working. Instead of spending days perfecting her tan by the pool (her typical summer routine when she was, you know, alive), Alona must now cater to the needs of other lost spirits. By her side for all of this - ugh - “helping of others” is Will Killian: social outcast, seer of the dead, and someone Alona cares about more than she’d like.

Before Alona can make a final ruling on Will’s “friend” or “more” status, though, she discovers trouble at home. Her mom is tossing out Alona’s most valuable possessions, and her dad is expecting a new daughter with his wicked wife. Is it possible her family is already moving on? Hello! She’s only been dead for two months! Thankfully, Alona knows just the guy who can put a stop to this mess.
Unfortunately for Alona, Will has other stuff on his mind, and Mina, a young (and beautiful) seer, is at the top of the list. She’s the first ghost-talker Will’s ever met—aside from his father—and she may hold answers to Will’s troubled past. But can she be trusted? Alona immediately puts a check mark in the “clearly not” column. But Will is - ahem - willing to find out, even if it means leaving a hurt and angry Alona to her own devices, which is never a good idea.

Packed with romance, lovable characters, and a killer cliffhanger, Queen of the Dead is the out-of-this-world sequel to The Ghost and the Goth.

My Thoughts:
I was lucky enough to get an egalley of Queen of the Dead through netgalley and I was so excited when I found out I was able to read it early! I didn’t think I would be able to wait until June for the sequel to The Ghost and the Goth, which I also loved (read my review of The Ghost and the Goth here). What started out as a cute, fun read, is turning into an awesome and exciting series!

Will and Alona (love them!) are working together to help ghosts move on into the light. One night, the two of them, are at an abandon house helping an angry and vengeful ghost move on, Will is attacked by the ghost and almost killed. What saves him is Mina, a fellow ghost talker. Will is instantly curious and wants to learn more about her, and the devices she uses on the ghosts. Alona is suspicious of Mina and angry at Will for trusting her, but Will just wants to learn more about his abilities. Alona feels Will is not going to need or want her around anymore and that, with the fact she thinks her parents are forgetting about her (her mom is throwing away some of her stuff and her dads wife is pregnant) will cause Alona to go to the extreme to get what she wants. Holy crap-I did not see what was going to happen next AT ALL! 

The book is told in the POV of Will and Alona, just like in the previous book. I like Alona’s POV a lot because we get to see an actual person with feelings instead of the superficial bitch she appears to be. And Will, I just love Will. He is so sweet and funny! Will is dealing with a lot of different things in this book-his feelings for Alona, his abilities, and the secrets his father had kept from him. Apparently, there is a whole organization filled with “ghost hunters” and Will’s father was not only a member, but one of the head people in charge! Leaving Will wondering why his father kept so much from him and never helping Will come to terms with his abilities.

I really loved the ending and I am looking forward to seeing what will happen next! In a genre that is filled with supernatural aspects that can be very dark, this series is still fun and uplifting!

Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting

Summary Provided by Goodreads:
The missing dead call to Violet. They want to be found.
Violet can sense the echoes of those who've been murdered—and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.

As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally she'd turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike's tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger.

My Thoughts:
Desires of the Dead is a wonderful follow-up to The Body Finder, (you can read my review of The Body Finder here). This series is so original and it is one of the many reasons I am in love with it!

Desires of the Dead takes place a few months after the events in The Body Finder. Jay and Violent are officially a couple and they are absolutely adorable together! Jay really is the perfect boyfriend. Violet had a few annoying moments, but I understand why she acted the way she did. I felt that Derting developed the characters, especially Jay and Violet, a lot more in this book, and I was happy for that.

Desires of the Dead is very different from the first one, it had a different feel to it and it was not as creepy, but it was still fantastic in its own right. It took me a little bit to figure out where the story was going, but once I figured it out I was hooked! Kimberly Derting is a wonderful author, and I can not wait to read more books from her!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

In My Mailbox 5!!

In My Mailbox (IMM) is a weekly meme created by The Story Siren to share with everyone the books they bought, borrowed, or received for review. I had an awesome week!

For Review

The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson (Read my review here)
Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
Queen of the Dead by Stacey Kade
The Goddess Test by Aimée Carter


Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell

Borrowed from the Library

If I Stay by Gayle Forman
The Disappeared by Kim Echlin

Borrowed from a Friend

Beastly by Alex Flinn

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday # 1 (even though it's Thursday)

I am so excited for the upcoming fourth book in The Mortal Instruments series, City of Fallen Angels!!

Summary Provided by Goodreads:  City of Fallen Angels takes place two months after the events of City of Glass. In it, a mysterious someone’s killing the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s Circle and displaying their bodies around New York City in a manner designed to provoke hostility between Downworlders and Shadowhunters, leaving tensions running high in the city and disrupting Clary’s plan to lead as normal a life as she can — training to be a Shadowhunter, and pursuing her relationship with Jace. As Jace and Clary delve into the issue of the murdered Shadowhunters, they discover a mystery that has deeply personal consequences for them — consequences that may strengthen their relationship, or rip it apart forever. Meanwhile, internecine warfare among vampires is tearing the Downworld community apart, and only Simon — the Daylighter who everyone wants on their side — can decide the outcome; too bad he wants nothing to do with Downworld politics. Love, blood, betrayal and revenge: the stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.

Here is the first trailer for the City of Fallen Angels book!!

The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

Summary Provided by HarperTeen:
Ginny Blackstone thought that the biggest adventure of her life was behind her. She spent last summer traveling around Europe, following the tasks her Aunt Peg laid out in a series of letters before she died. When someone stole Ginny's backpack—and the last little blue envelope inside—she resigned herself to never knowing how it was supposed to end.

Months later, a mysterious boy contacts Ginny from London, saying he's found her bag. Finally, Ginny can finish what she started. But instead of ending her journey, the last letter starts a new adventure—one filled with old friends, new loves, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Ginny finds she must hold on to her wits . . . and her heart. This time, there are no instructions.

My Thoughts:
First off, I would like to thank the kind folks over at NetGalley and HarperTeen for allowing me to read an advanced e-galley copy of The Last Little Blue Envelope!!

I read 13 Little Blue Envelopes in January and instantly fell in love with the story. When I got to the end and realized that Ginny (and therefore myself) will never know what the last letter said, I was devastated. I’m not even being dramatic; I was really upset and threw the book on my floor. I know, mature.  I think I was more pissed about not being able to read the 13th letter then Ginny was! A few days had passed when I learned that Maureen Johnson wrote a sequel!! A sequel that would be containing the last letter! **Cue confetti**

The Last Little Blue Envelope did not disappoint. It was so much more then what I hoped it would be. I read it in a few hours, smiling the entire time that I was reading it. The book starts with Ginny thinking about her college admission essays and recalling the summer she spent traveling Europe with only her deceased aunt’s letters to guide her, letters that she no longer because someone stole her backpack in Greece. One day, a young man named Oliver emails her and says he has her letters, including the never opened 13th letter, but she must go to London to retrieve them. Next thing she knows, Ginny is on her way on another wonderful adventure.

While in Europe we meet up again with Uncle Richard (who I love btw, wish we could have seen more of him), and Keith (I liked him a lot more in this book-he was so funny and sarcastic!) and we are introduced to Ellis (Keith’s new girlfriend who really is perfect for him) and Oliver. Let’s discuss Oliver. The last letter brings Ginny across Europe to retrieve Aunt Peg’s last piece of art. When Ginny sells it, she will make a lot of money. Oliver won’t give Ginny her aunt’s letter’s unless he goes with her and is given half of the money after it’s sold. Even though Oliver was doing this very sleazy thing, I still enjoyed his character, and I think you will too!

The Last Little Blue Envelope is the perfect sequel. It was exactly what I needed. The writing was good, the plot kept me interested and the characters were awesome! I promise that if you loved 13 Little Blue Envelopes as much as I did, the sequel will not disappoint you!

The Last Little Blue Envelope comes out April 26, 2011

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman

Summary Provided by Goodreads:
When high school junior Natalie--or Dr. Aphrodite, as she calls herself when writing the relationship column for her school paper--is accused of knowing nothing about guys and giving girls bad relationship advice, she decides to investigate what guys really think and want. But the guys in her class won't give her straight or serious answers. The only solution? Disguising herself as a guy and spending a week at Underwood Academy, the private all-boy boarding school in town. There she learns a lot about guys and girls in ways she never expected--especially when she falls for her dreamy roommate, Emilio. How can she show him she likes him without blowing her cover?

My Thoughts:
Babe in Boyland was a cute, light read. I read it in a day. It was also hilarious! This book had some of the greatest one liners I’ve read!

For her school newspaper, Natalie decides to become a boy for a week to find out the answers to the questions girls have been asking for years. She enrolls at Underwood Academy as Nat, meets a group of nerdy/sweet boys, and falls in love with her roommate, Emilio.

The story was predictable-think She’s The Man with Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum, but replace Channing with Emilio and replace the “I just want to play soccer” storyline, with “I want to learn about the inner thoughts of guys”. Even with this predictability I still loved it! It’s a feel good book and Natalie’s questions are answered in a surprising way.

Her article is called “A Girl’s Guide to Guys: Their Top Seven Secrets Revealed”. The questions are:
  1. When you say you are going to call and don’t, what happened?
  2. Why are you so different when your friends are around? Which one is the real you?
  3. What do you really look for in a girl?
  4. Is it true that guys think about sex every eight seconds, or is that just a myth?
  5. What’s the surest way to tell the difference between a guy who’s being sincere and one who’s just looking to score?
  6. What can make you lose interest in a girl overnight?
  7. If you won’t talk about your feelings, how are we supposed to know what they are?
As a girl, I can safely say we have asked ourselves at least one of these questions when we are with a guy. I enjoyed reading Natalie’s answers and watching her grow throughout the story.

My only complaint concerns Emilio and “Nat”. Their relationship didn’t flow right to me. One minute they are strangers, the next Emilio considers Nat a great friend who he reveals his deepest secrets to, the next they are in love. We see so little of Emilio that it just didn’t feel right. I wish we could have seem them interact more.

Overall, a great story that I would highly recommend.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

In My Mailbox 4!!

In My Mailbox (IMM) is a weekly meme created by The Story Siren to share with everyone the books they bought, borrowed, or received for review.

I was not able to post last week, so this is two weeks worth of books!


Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting
Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

Borrowed From the Library:

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen (Read my review)
Deadly by Julie Chibbaro (Read my review)
Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman

Rumpus Book Club March Selection

I am a member of The Rumpus Book Club. We read books a month before they come out to the public, and when we are finished they host a live, online chat with the author! This months selection is The Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch. I just got it in the mail about 5 minutes ago! I am so excited to start reading it! The book comes out April 12, 2011.

Deadly by Julie Chibbaro

Summary Provided by Goodreads:
A mysterious outbreak of typhoid fever is sweeping New York.

Could the city’s future rest with its most unlikely scientist?

If Prudence Galewski is ever going to get out of Mrs. Browning’s esteemed School for Girls, she must demonstrate her refinement and charm by securing a job appropriate for a young lady. But Prudence isn’t like the other girls. She is fascinated by how the human body works and why it fails.

With a stroke of luck, she lands a position in a laboratory, where she is swept into an investigation of the fever bound to change medical history. Prudence quickly learns that an inquiry of this proportion is not confined to the lab. From ritzy mansions to shady bars and rundown tenements, she explores every potential cause of the disease. But there’s no answer in sight—until the volatile Mary Mallon emerges. Dubbed “Typhoid Mary” by the press, Mary is an Irish immigrant who has worked as a cook in every home the fever has ravaged. Strangely, though, she hasn’t been sick a day in her life. Is the accusation against her an act of discrimination? Or is she the first clue in a new scientific discovery?

Prudence is determined to find out. In a time when science is for men, she’ll have to prove to the city, and to herself, that she can help solve one of the greatest medical mysteries of the twentieth century.

My Thoughts:
What an interesting book! The narration is told in diary entries written by Prudence Galewski, a young Jewish girl living in NYC. Prudence has always been fascinated by how the body works and what causes people to get sick, while others are able to stay healthy. She takes a job at the Department of Health and Sanitation and learns about germs and bacteria and how it spreads from person to person. To us, this might not seem so interesting, but in 1906, this was still a new concept that many people were not able to understand. At her job, Prudence and her employer, Mr. Soper traces the origins of the fever to a woman named Mary Mallon, which the press nicknames, “Typhoid Mary”. She carries the disease, and infects the people that she cooks for, but she herself has never been sick. Up until Mr. Soper and Prudence find her, no one, including Mary, is even aware that she carries the disease. It is up to the Department to find out how this is possible.  

Deadly is a great work of historical fiction, and Chibbaro does a wonderful job capturing the world as it was in the early 1900’s. I kept forgetting that I wasn’t actually reading a real diary from the time period! I also enjoyed the authors note at the end of the book. Chibbaro explains what parts of this book is true, and how characters like Mary and Mr. Soper were real. I would recommend this book to young people interested in history and/or science. It’s almost like this book was written especially for them!

Nicholas Dane by Melvin Burgess

Summary Provided by Goodreads:
When Nick's mother dies suddenly, the 14 year old is sent straight into a boys' home, where he finds institutional intimidation and violence keep order. After a number of fights and brutal punishments, Nick thinks life can't get any worse…until he realizes that the home’s respected deputy head, Mr. Creal, who has been grooming him with sweets and solace, has something much more sinister in mind.

My Thoughts:
Nicholas Dane is a modern retelling of Oliver Twist. Fourteen year old, Nick, after his mother dies of a heroin overdoes (a problem Nick wasn’t even aware she had) is sent to Meadow Hill, the worst place a young boy could be sent to. While there, Nick is beaten, whipped and tortured. Tony Creal, head of Meadow Hill promises to help Nick get out there (Unbeknownst to Nick, him mom’s best friend as well as a long lost great Uncle are willing to help him), while secretly making sure that no one can help this “troubled and disturbed boy” as he calls him to Nick’s family. One night, Mr. Creal gives Nick a hand job. Nick is so surprised that he doesn’t do anything about it until it is over, and anger overpowers him. As punishment, Creal, as well as two other men brutally rape him, forever changing Nick.

Nicholas Dane, is a heartbreaking story. I stopped counting how many times I had to put the book down to compose myself. This book is so sad and tragic. It wasn’t just Nick either, all of the boys in this story deeply affected me, especially Oliver. Oliver is a few years younger then Nick and has been at Meadow Hill for a number of years already. He has been raped over and over again, first by his mothers boyfriend at age three, then by wardens and janitors in other group homes he was in, and finally by Creal and Creal’s friends. Oliver knows nothing but pain and links pain with affection. His story broke my heart even more then Nick’s.

This book was good, but some of the story dragged on for me. I would only recommend it if you understand what you are getting yourself into. This book will make you cry, over and over again.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade

Summary Provided by Goodreads:
Alona Dare–Senior in high school, co-captain of the cheerleading squad, Homecoming Queen three years in a row, voted most likely to marry a movie star… and newly dead.

I’m the girl you hated in high school. Is it my fault I was born with it all-good looks, silky blond hair, a hot bod, and a keen sense of what everyone else should not be wearing? But my life isn’t perfect, especially since I died. Run over by a bus of band geeks—is there anything more humiliating? As it turns out, yes—watching your boyfriend and friends move on with life, only days after your funeral. And you wouldn’t believe what they’re saying about me now that they think I can’t hear them. To top it off, I’m starting to disappear, flickering in and out of existence. I don’t know where I go when I’m gone, but it’s not good. Where is that freaking white light already?

Will Killian–Senior in high school, outcast, dubbed “Will Kill” by the popular crowd for the unearthly aura around him, voted most likely to rob a bank…and a ghost-talker.

I can see, hear, and touch the dead. Unfortunately, they can also see, hear and touch me. Yeah, because surviving high school isn’t hard enough already. I’ve done my best to hide my “gift.” After all, my dad, who shared my ability, killed himself because of it when I was fifteen. But lately, pretending to be normal has gotten a lot harder. A new ghost—an anonymous, seething cloud of negative energy with the capacity to throw me around—is pursuing me with a vengeance. My mom, who knows nothing about what I can do, is worrying about the increase in odd incidents, my shrink is tossing around terms like “temporary confinement for psychiatric evaluation,” and my principal, who thinks I’m a disruption and a faker, is searching for every way possible to get rid of me. How many weeks until graduation?

My Thoughts:
The Ghost and the Goth was a pleasant surprise! It was cute, funny, and a quick read. The story is told in dual view points by Alona Dare, formerly the most popular girl in the school until she was hit by a bus and died and Will Killian, social outcast who can see and talk to the dead. Neither of them likes each other, but they soon realize they are going to need each other’s help. The book seemed interesting enough for me to read, but as I read the first few chapters I was afraid I was wasting my time. Boy was I wrong! The story kept getting better and better.

I loved Alona. I assumed she was a self-centered bitch, and she totally was, but she was also thoughtful and smart. There was more to her life then she ever let on. Will was my favorite out of the two. Everyone considers him a crazy freak. One of my favorites lines in the book is when Alona is telling him he is goth because “your hair is black, you have piercings, you wear black all the time and act all freaky”. Will responds with, “I’m not goth. My hair is naturally this color. I have three piercings in one ear, that’s it. This shirt is navy blue, and if I act weird all the time, it’s because of ghosts like you.” I thought this exchange was perfect. Many people do not look at what is beyond a person’s exterior, or how they look. People are always so quick to judge, especially teenagers. Will has a pretty hard time, and no one ever gives him the benefit of the doubt, but he really is a sweet guy who doesn’t want to hurt anyone. He cares about people, and helps Alona do the same. Throughout the book, Alona and Will become friends and I thought they had great chemistry especially since their total opposites. 

On top of the original plot and the characters that made this book great, I also really loved the cover. Will and Alona's facial expressions are perfect! I can imagine this scene taking place! Alona is annoying the crap out of Will and doesn't care at all and Will obviously wishes he was dead! I love it!

I enjoyed this book a lot and the second book in the series, Queen of the Dead comes out June 7, 2011! I can't wait!

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Summary Provided by Penguin:
Ever since her parents began fighting, Auden has been unable to sleep at night. Now, spending a summer at a charming beach town with her father and his new family, she has to find new places to pass the time she spends awake. And so she meets Eli, a fellow insomniac who becomes her nighttime guide. Together, they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she has missed; for Eli, to come to terms with the death of a friend. In her trademark blockbuster-style, Sarah Dessen creates a powerful and irresistible story of two people learning how to connect.

My Thoughts:
I’ve never been that big of fan of Sarah Dessen. I’ve read Lock and Key and Just Listen and while they were enjoyable at the moment, they didn’t leave any lasting impressions and I decided I wasn’t going to read any more of her books. That was a few years ago and I decided to get over it and read Along for the Ride. I am so glad I read it! I really enjoyed it!

The main themes in Along for the Ride include being able to open up, not take everything at face value and not judge everything and everyone. It’s also about being able to pick yourself up and “getting back on the bike”. I loved the messages in Along for the Ride.

I loved all of the characters in the book, especially Auden and Eli. I loved watching their friendship blossom and loved how they were both helping to heal each other. Every single character was deeper then the way they first appear. They weren’t one dimensional and Dessen did a wonderful job bringing relatable characters to life.

I absolutely and positively loved the ending! It was perfect!

Overall a great read, I borrowed Along for the Ride from the library, but I will definitely be getting a copy of my own! Dessen’s next novel, What Happened to Goodbye looks equally amazing and comes out May 10, 2011!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Summary Provided by Goodreads:
Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her "power" to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world . . . and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat left for her. But now that a serial killer is terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he's claimed haunt her daily, Violet realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved by her hope that Jay's intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she's falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his prey herself.

My Thoughts:
I bought this book on my nook for $1.99! I don’t know how long this deal is going to last, but I recommend everyone who has a nook to buy it ASAP. Purchase The Body Finder for your nook here! . With that being said, what a pleasant surprise! When I first read that it was about a girl who could find dead bodies, I immediately thought of the Harper Connelly series by Charlaine Harris (a series which I LOVE, btw!). I thought it was going to basically be the same thing. It wasn’t. Derting’s story is completely her own, and I loved it!

The story is about Violent, a senior in high school who can see echos and imprints to find dead bodies (animals and humans) and their killers. Only a handful of people know her secret, including her family and her best friend, Jay. One night while hanging out with Jay, she comes across a dead girl in the lake, and immediately her life changes. Violent soon realizes that she is the only person who will be able to find the serial killer, and the other poor girls he has murdered.

I loved Voilet. She is a normal teenager (well, except for that whole “I can find the dead” thing). She’s not a super hero and she knows it, but she is brave and will put herself in harms way so another girl does not tragically die. Jay was another well-written character. The two have been friends since forever and it is so obvious that they have romantic feelings for each other, and it’s adorable. I was rooting for them the entire time!

The Body Finder kept me interested the entire time. I was hooked from the first sentence. Derting also gives us glimpses of the murderer’s point of view, which was haunting and thrilling and kept me wanting more!!

The second book in the series, Desires of the Dead was released a few weeks ago and I can not wait to read it!!

Here is the book trailer for The Body Finder! Lately, I've been all about the book trailers!

Forget You by Jennifer Echols

Summary Provided by Goodreads:
WHY CAN’T YOU CHOOSE WHAT YOU FORGET . . . AND WHAT YOU REMEMBER? There’s a lot Zoey would like to forget. Like how her father has knocked up his twenty-four- year old girlfriend. Like Zoey’s fear that the whole town will find out about her mom’s nervous breakdown. Like darkly handsome bad boy Doug taunting her at school. Feeling like her life is about to become a complete mess, Zoey fights back the only way she knows how, using her famous attention to detail to make sure she’s the perfect daughter, the perfect student, and the perfect girlfriend to ultra-popular football player Brandon.

But then Zoey is in a car crash, and the next day there’s one thing she can’t remember at all—the entire night before. Did she go parking with Brandon, like she planned? And if so, why does it seem like Brandon is avoiding her? And why is Doug—of all people— suddenly acting as if something significant happened between the two of them? Zoey dimly remembers Doug pulling her from the wreck, but he keeps referring to what happened that night as if it was more, and it terrifies Zoey to admit how much is a blank to her. Controlled, meticulous Zoey is quickly losing her grip on the all-important details of her life—a life that seems strangely empty of Brandon, and strangely full of Doug.

My Thoughts:
I absolutely loved this book! This book was amazing. When I first heard about it, I didn’t even think I would enjoy it. I was so wrong! I love when I’m wrong!

Forget You is about Zoey, whose father’s is an asshole and whose mother tried to kill herself and is now being treated in a mental hospital. One night, Zoey gets into a car accident and she can’t remember what happened the night before. She becomes even more confused when Doug, who has hated her for many years, becomes a constant presence in her life. I don’t think the official summary or my review can give this book justice. You just need to read it to realize how truly awesome this book is!

I loved how Zoey and Doug were portrayed. They are a lot more similar then I think either of them realized and I thought they had great chemistry. What I didn’t like about Zoey was this: she was kind of idiot. Here’s why: 1) She has sex for the first time with Brandon (who apparently is her best friend) in the back of a car. Apparently having sex with your friend in the backseat of a car automatically makes you boyfriend and girlfriend, even though you have spoken to him a total of two times since the sex. 2) She couldn’t remember anything about the accident and instead of just asking Doug about it, she proceeds to use measurements (don’t ask) and rumors to figure out what happened. OMG, just friggen ask someone. Thank you. Other then that, I liked Zoey.

I also thought the cover was gorgeous. I loved the soft colors and the beach in the background. I also enjoyed having a perfect visual of what Zoey and Doug looked liked.

This is the first book I have read by Echols. Going Too Far is on my reading list and I’m excited to read it. Echols is a great writer and she does a good job at portraying teenagers. I wish there were books like this when I was a teenager. The only teenage books I remember was Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul.

I gave Forget You four stars on goodreads. Mainly because I wish we could have seen more of Doug and his point of view. He was a really interesting character and I think he had a lot more layers then what we got to see. I loved Doug! I definitely have a book crush on him. He’s so dreamy!

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