Because who can afford books in this economy?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

In My Mailbox (38)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

From Book It Forward ARC Tours:
I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
I've been pretty intrigued by this for a while, so I'm excited to read it!

What did you get this week?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (38)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Title: Vixen
Author: Jillian Larken
Release Date: December 14th, 2010
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Jazz . . . Booze . . . Boys . . . It’s a dangerous combination. 

Every girl wants what she can’t have. Seventeen-year-old Gloria Carmody wants the flapper lifestyle—and the bobbed hair, cigarettes, and music-filled nights that go with it. Now that she’s engaged to Sebastian Grey, scion of one of Chicago’s most powerful families, Gloria’s party days are over before they’ve even begun . . . or are they?
Clara Knowles, Gloria’s goody-two-shoes cousin, has arrived to make sure the high-society wedding comes off without a hitch—but Clara isn’t as lily-white as she appears. Seems she has some dirty little secrets of her own that she’ll do anything to keep hidden. . . .
Lorraine Dyer, Gloria’s social-climbing best friend, is tired of living in Gloria’s shadow. When Lorraine’s envy spills over into desperate spite, no one is safe. And someone’s going to be very sorry. . . .
From debut author Jillian Larkin, VIXEN is the first novel in the sexy, dangerous, and ridiculously romantic new series set in the Roaring Twenties . . . when anything goes.

Flappers! 1920s! Drama! Romance! Debut author! Series! A Gorgeous cover! What's not to love?

What are you waiting on?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Virals by Kathy Reichs

Title: Virals
Author: Kathy Reichs
Release Date: November 2nd 2010
Source: Traveling ARC Tours
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Tory Brennan, niece of acclaimed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan (of the Bones novels and hit TV show), is the leader of a ragtag band of teenage "sci-philes" who live on a secluded island off the coast of South Carolina. When the group rescues a dog caged for medical testing on a nearby island, they are exposed to an experimental strain of canine parvovirus that changes their lives forever.

As the friends discover their heightened senses and animal-quick reflexes, they must combine their scientific curiosity with their newfound physical gifts to solve a cold-case murder that has suddenly become very hot if they can stay alive long enough to catch the killer's scent.

Fortunately, they are now more than friends they're a pack. They are Virals.

In some ways Virals was what I expected, in others it wasn't. For instance, I expected there to be mystery, I didn't expect it to take place on two practically deserted islands. I was expecting Tory to have friends, just not the friends that she has (who I absolutely love!). I also expected the Virals part of the book to be bigger than it was. They didn't even have a clue about it until about halfway through the book, and only started to understand it by the end. I'm sure that it will be focused on more in the coming books.

Tory was a really, really awesome MC. She's smart, headstrong, and compassionate. She recently moved in with her dad, who didn't even know of her existance, after her mothers death. They live on a small island off the coast of South Carolina, and she quickly became friends with the three boys who live in her area. Ben, the strong silent type, Hi, the pudgy, awkward, enigma, and Shelton, the tech genius. I love them all! They're so quirky and intelligent. They all care about each other and are true friends. There was only romance in this book if you look for it, and then I would hardly call it romance. More like what could be romance.

I thought that the pacing of this book was a bit slow at parts. Reichs likes to explain things in detail, and though it helps when trying to picture the setting, it tends to slow things down. Towards the end the pacing really picks up, as the entire mystery unfolds. It's quite a mystery indeed. There are so many factors that I had no idea how they all fit together until the end. And I was really shocked at a few parts of the puzzle!

I wish that there had been more of Kit, Tory's dad. He was barely in the book, and I feel like I don't know him at all. For most of the book Tory and her friends run free, and easily escape there parents watchful eyes. I got the sense that they could really do whatever they wanted. It was kind of strange, actually. They had school, but after school they were completely free, and could be out until after dark. I guess that I think it's a bit unrealistic.

Basically, I really enjoyed this book, but I wish that it had been paced a bit faster and that Tory's dad was in it more.

Characters: 9/10
Plot: 8/10
Originality: 9/10
Writing: 8/10
Ending: 9/10
Overall: 43/50 B
Title/Cover Comments: The title fits well for the series, but not this particular book. The cover is good, I like that the girl is running, and the dogs in the letters.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Blog Tour: Interview with Catherine Ryan Hyde and Giveaway!

Today on the blog I have an amazing author who I really admire, Catherine Ryan Hyde, here to promote her newest book Jumpstart the World (My review here). Other works include Pay It Forward, which was turned into a movie, and Diary of a Witness, Becoming Chloe, and quite a few more! Thanks to Teen {Book} Scene Blog Tours for this oppurtunity! Oh, there's a giveaway at the end, so be sure to stick around!

1. Hi Catherine, thanks for being here! Could you tell us a bit about your forthcoming novel Jumpstart the World?
Absolutely. Thanks. Jumpstart the World is a Young Adult novel (though I think it’ll very easily cross over to adult readers) on the subject of transgender. My protagonist, Elle, is barely 16. Her mother is in the process of dumping her into her own apartment. In Manhattan. Because Mom has a new boyfriend and New Boyfriend doesn’t want Elle around. Elle cuts off almost all her hair as an act of rage against her mother, which only makes people in her new school think she’s gay. So she ends up hanging out with gay friends, because nobody else invites her in. And she falls in love with her next door neighbor, Frank, even though he’s much older and in a live-in relationship. Her friends think Frank is transgender. She’s sure he’s not. But they turn out to be right. It’s a tough adjustment for Elle. Not because she’s closed-minded, but because she has a shred of doubt about her sexuality and she’s (needlessly) worried about what this might be trying to tell her. The hardest part is that she doesn’t fall back out of love with Frank when she finds out. But, as is so often the case in life, the hardest part turns out to be the best part. In the long run.

2. Did you have to do a lot of research for Jumpstart the World?
Fortunately, no. For many books I do. But I grew up with a transgender sibling. And one of my best friends is a trans man (I dedicated the book to him). Plus I lived in New York City when I was younger. So I had enough of this in my own experience.

3. You currently have fourteen published or soon to be published novels. How long does it take you to write your books?
Actually, 16. But who’s counting? Jumpstart is number 14. Then I have another UK title, Don’t Let Me Go, coming out in the Fall of ’11. And I’m currently writing another book for that market that’s already under contract. So that’s 16 published or sold for publication. I have another YA novel on my editor’s desk as well, but I won’t count it until it’s under contract.

I tend to write very fast. On average I can write even one of my longer novels in 5 or 6 months of very intensive work.

4.  Wow, that is fast! You write books for both Adult and Young Adult audiences, do you read more of one or the other?
I definitely read more YA. The last half a dozen books I’ve read are Rage: A Love Story, What They Always Tell Us, By the Time You Read This I’ll Be Dead, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Tricks, and I Thought You Were Dead. Only that last one is an adult title.

5. What is your favorite part of being a published author?
Hearing from my readers. When someone writes to me and tells me one of my books helped them through a hard time, or made them see the world or their own life in a different way. That’s as good as it gets.

6. Your books deal with a lot of sensitive topics, such as the transgender issue in Jumpstart the World and alcoholism and down syndrome in The Year of My Miraculous Reappearance, what do you hope that readers will get out of your books?
I’d like to see them come out just a little more tolerant, more accepting, more understanding. We’re afraid of things we don’t know. So I hope I can help people break down some of that fear through my characters.

7. You started the Pay It Forward Foundation (, are there any other charities that you ardently support?
Yes. I’m the president of LandWatch San Luis Obispo County (, whose mission is protecting the natural world and its resources through grassroots activism, education, enforcement of existing laws, and promotion of sound environmental and land use legislation. I feel very passionate about protecting the environment. I disagree with those who seem to feel it’s ours to destroy.

8. I agree with you Catherine! Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what?
I don’t. I only listen to music while I’m driving. I’m too easily distracted. I can’t even walk and chew gum at the same time. I’m not a multi-tasker.

9. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Just that I have a lot of respect for book bloggers because they read. And because they’re filling the gaping hole left by the slow death of print reviews. I’m not sure what I’d do without you guys.

Thanks so much for answering my questions!

Now for the giveaway! I have one (1) finished copy of Jumpstart the World to giveaway!

About the Book:
Elle is a loner. She doesn’t need people. Which is a good thing, because she’s on her own: she had to move into her own apartment so her mother’s boyfriend won’t have to deal with her.

Then she meets Frank, the guy who lives next door. He’s older and has a girlfriend, but Elle can’t stop thinking about him. Frank isn’t like anyone Elle has ever met. He listens to her. He’s gentle. And Elle is falling for him, hard.
But Frank is different in a way that Elle was never prepared for: he’s transgender. And when Elle learns the truth, her world is turned upside down.  Now she’ll have to search inside herself to find not only the true meaning of friendship but her own role in jumpstarting the world.

Tender, honest, and compassionate, Jumpstart the World is a stunning story to make you laugh, cry, and honor the power of love.

Sounds good, right? It is! Here are the rules for the contest:
  • Ends November 7th
  • US Only! Sorry!
  • Must be at least 13 years old to enter.
  • You DO NOT have to be a follower to enter.
  • MUST fill out the form below, comments will not count as entries.

Good Luck!

Review: Jumpstart the World by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Title; Jumpstart the World
Author: Catherine Ryan Hyde
Published: October 12th, 2010
Source: Received for review from publisher
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Elle is a loner. She doesn’t need people. Which is a good thing, because she’s on her own: she had to move into her own apartment so her mother’s boyfriend won’t have to deal with her.

Then she meets Frank, the guy who lives next door. He’s older and has a girlfriend, but Elle can’t stop thinking about him. Frank isn’t like anyone Elle has ever met. He listens to her. He’s gentle. And Elle is falling for him, hard.
But Frank is different in a way that Elle was never prepared for: he’s transgender. And when Elle learns the truth, her world is turned upside down.  Now she’ll have to search inside herself to find not only the true meaning of friendship but her own role in jumpstarting the world.

Tender, honest, and compassionate, Jumpstart the World is a stunning story to make you laugh, cry, and honor the power of love.

Though it's short, this is a powerful book. It raises some issues that I've not seen in YA literature before, and really made me think: about what makes a gender, about how intolerant the world is, about how we can all do something to jumpstart it just a little bit, to get people moving toward tolerance. 

Elle was a strong character. Very tell it like it is. And yet, she really doesn't know herself. She puts on a strong front, but inside she's hurt and confused about her entire situation. Enter Frank, who actually listens to her for a change. He's so kind and gentle, how could she not love him? Her world is rocked when she finds out that he's trans-gender. What does that say about her? She doesn't know and she has to find out.

Something that I wish there was more of in this book would be Elle's relationship with her mother. We start the book at the end of their traditional relationship, where her mother is leaving her on her own. There's some back-story given, and an explanation of her mother's character, but I think that I would have liked to know about their relationship before that point.

I loved how real this book was. Everything wasn't perfect. There were awkward moments, mistakes were made, people were hurt, but nothing completely catastrophic happened as a result. Nothing perfect happened to fix everything either. It was all about the decisions Elle made and how she chose to view and handle things. 

I do feel that in trying to make a statement the book got a little less personal than it could have been. I saw Elle's struggle with her feelings, but I really didn't see the feelings. I didn't feel her love for Frank. I think that it was expressed more through other emotions like jealousy and anger than the actual love, which I would have liked more of.
Basically I really enjoyed this book, and would recommend it to just about anyone, young adult or adult.

Characters: 9/10
Writing: 8/10
Originality: 9/10
Plot: 8/10
Ending: 9/10
Overall: 43/50 B
Cover Comments: The cat plays a pretty big part in the book, and I like the title font and the red. It doesn't really jump out at me though.

In My Mailbox (37)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn
Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George
Forest Born by Shannon Hale
A Golden Web by Barbara Quick
Blue Fire by Janice Hardy
Demon Princess: Reign Check by Michelle Rowen
Secondhand Charm by Julie Berry
Hawksmaid by Kathryn Lasky
Anastasia's Secret by Suzanne Dunlap

Thank you SOOOO MUCH! All of these look so, so good!

That's it for me, be sure to leave a link to your mailbox in the comments!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (38)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Drought by Pam Bachorz
Release Date: January 11th, 2011
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Ruby Prosser dreams of escaping the Congregation and the early-nineteenth century lifestyle that’s been practiced since the community was first enslaved.

She plots to escape the vicious Darwin West, his cruel Overseers, and the daily struggle to gather the life-prolonging Water that keeps the Congregants alive and gives Darwin his wealth and power. But if Ruby leaves, the Congregation will die without the secret ingredient that makes the Water special: her blood.
So she stays.

But when Ruby meets Ford, the new Overseer who seems barely older than herself, her desire for freedom is too strong. He’s sympathetic, irresistible, forbidden—and her only access to the modern world. Escape with Ford would be so simple, but can Ruby risk the terrible price, dooming the only world she’s
ever known?

This book sounds twisted in all the best ways. I really enjoyed her other book, Candor, and this one sounds like it's similar in a way. The cover is really awesome too!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Blog Tour/Charity Event and Review: Split by Swati Avasthi

Hi everyone! So, today my review is a little bit more than a review. And not just because it's part of a blog tour set up by The Teen{Book}Scene, but because for every comment left on this post Swati will donate $1 to the Family Violence Prevention Fund, a charity that is against domestic abuse. So please make sure you comment, it's for a good cause!

Title: Split
Author: Swati Avasthi
Published: March 2010
Source: Received for Review from publisher
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Sixteen-Year-Old Jace Witherspoon arrives at the doorstep of his estranged brother Christian with a re-landscaped face (courtesy of his father’s fist), $3.84, and a secret.

He tries to move on, going for new friends, a new school, and a new job, but all his changes can’t make him forget what he left behind—his mother, who is still trapped with his dad, and his ex-girlfriend, who is keeping his secret.

At least so far.

Worst of all, Jace realizes that if he really wants to move forward, he may first have to do what scares him most: He may have to go back. First-time novelist Swati Avasthi has created a riveting and remarkably nuanced portrait of what happens after. After you’ve said enough, after you’ve run, after you’ve made the split—how do you begin to live again? Readers won’t be able to put this intense page-turner down.

I loved, loved, loved this book. From page one I connected with Jace, could hear his voice, and felt his pain. I tore through the book because I wanted to know more. More about his past, more about what was happening then, more about what was going to happen. It's been awhile since I've felt like that about about a book.

Like I stated before, Jace was a real character from the beginning. I was compelled to read more about him because his voice was so strong. I felt his struggle to not be like his father, despite how similar they are. I felt the pain in his memories. The rest of the characters were very real as well, just not to the extent that Jace was. I loved the family dynamic between Jace and his brother.

The domestic abuse in this book is absolutely terrible to read about. There were quite a few times where I looked away from the page disgusted by what had happened. Not because it was too graphic, but because it was just too terrible to think about. The really sad thing about it is that the things described in the this book are probably reality for many kids and adults out there.

There's not really anything that I feel I can complain about. I loved it, and will definitely be keeping it for rereading sometime in the future.

Characters: 10/10
Writing: 10/10
Originality: 10/10
Plot: 9/10
Ending: 10/10
Overall: 49/50 A+
Cover Comments: Striking cover, I like the keys.

There is also an auction for a ton of really cool stuff to benefit the charity, like signed books and critiques from authors. Sound like something you'd be interested in? Then go here!

If you'd like to help raise money by commenting on the other stops on the tour, please go here.

And last but definitely not least, if you would like to buy the book (which I recommend, it's amazing) please go to:
Indie Bound
Barnes and Noble
The Book Depository

I leave you with buttons:
Button for going to the blog tour schedule:
Blog Tour
Button for going to the charity auction site for the event :

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mini Review: Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness

Title: Monsters of Men
Author: Patrick Ness
Published: September 2010
Source: Library
Synopsis from Goodreads:
"War," says the Mayor. "At last." Three armies march on New Prentisstown, each one intent on destroying the others. Todd and Viola are caught in the middle, with no chance of escape. As the battles commence, how can they hope to stop the fighting? How can there ever be peace when they're so hopelessly outnumbered? And if war makes monsters of men, what terrible choices await? But then a third voice breaks into the battle, one bent on revenge - the electrifying finale to the award-winning "Chaos Walking" trilogy, Monsters of Men is a heart-stopping novel about power, survival, and the devastating realities of war. 

Patrick Ness is a genius. This book is genius. I was a little weary at first, because it's been a year since I read the first two and I had forgotten a few things, but I was brought up to speed pretty fast. The first half of the book was a slow build. And I do mean slow. There was some action, yes, but it wasn't as fast paced and "Oh my god what just happened, did that really just happen?" as the second half. I'm telling you, there's a certain point that you get to when you're reading when you realize that you cannot put this book down. Then it's full speed ahead.

I liked the addition of the POV of 1017. It gave a lot of insight into how the Spackle work. The other characters were brilliant as always. The mind tricks in this I didn't know what to believe for a lot of it. I think that The Mayor is one of the most brilliantly written characters of all time. He's so complex, and you love to hate him. But is he redeemable? You won't know until you read the book. 

Basically I loved this book, and I thought it was a perfect end to this trilogy. The only thing that I didn't like is that there wasn't more at the end. If you haven't read this trilogy I highly recommend it. It's unlike anything I've ever even heard of before. 5 stars!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

In My Mailbox (36)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.

From the library:
 Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness

The Duff by Kody Keplinger

Wired by Robin Wasserman

For Review:
Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

Some good books this week, huh? Be sure to let me know what you got!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Review: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Title: Nightshade
Author: Andrea Cremer
Release Date: October 19th 2010
Source: Won from contest/For review
Synopsis from Goodreads:
While other teenage girls daydream about boys, Calla Tor imagines ripping out her enemies’ throats. And she wouldn’t have it any other way. Calla was born a warrior and on her eighteenth-birthday she’ll become the alpha female of the next generation of Guardian wolves. But Calla’s predestined path veers off course the moment she saves the life of a wayward hiker, a boy her own age. This human boy’s secret will turn the young pack's world upside down and forever alter the outcome of the centuries-old Witches' War that surrounds them all.

With all of the hype around this book I thought that I might be disappointed. I thought, how much different can another werewolf book be? I thought that I was burned out on paranormal. I was so wrong. I loved this book. It's the most original werewolf book that I have ever read, and it's compulsively readable. I started it at night, went to bed about halfway through, woke up thinking about it. I had to stop about 100 pages from the end to go to a birthday party and that just about killed me. Go read this book!

Calla is a strong character. She is the alpha of her pack, the Nightshades. Her destiny is to mate the alpha of the other pack and create a new pack. She knows this. But when she sees a human boy dying she can't help but save him. Then he shows up at her school the next day and things go way wrong from there. Calla's sense of duty was warring against the rest of her the entire book. She knows what she's supposed to do, what she has to do, but does she want to?

The love triangle in this book was fantastic! I really was never sure who she liked more, who she was going to pick. I still don't. It's actually very frustrating. Both boys are so different, but they both care for Calla. And she cares for both of them. I'm team Shay! But Ren does have his merits...

The supporting characters in the book were great too. The pack members were all so dynamic and individual. I got confused near the beginning because there were so many, but by the end there wasn't a problem. I loved the whole mystery of the Keepers true intentions, and how Calla never knew what to believe.

Basically: I ADORED this book. It's one of my favorites so far this year, and if you enjoy paranormal even a little bit, you'll love this book. Heck, even if you don't like paranormal you'll probably love this book!

Characters: 10/10
Writing: 10/10
Originality: 10/10
Plot: 10/10
Ending: 9/10
Overall: 49/50 A+
Cover/Title Comment: I want to marry this cover. It's so amazing. I love the lilies with the blood on them, and the purple color, and the girls makeup, and everything! The title is great too!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (37)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week:
Where She Went by Gayle Foreman
Release Date: April 19th, 2011
Synopsis from Goodreads:
My first impulse is not to grab her or kiss her or yell at her. I simply want to touch her cheek, still flushed from the night’s performance. I want to cut through the space that separates us, measured in feet—not miles, not continents, not years—and to take a callused finger to her face. I want to touch her to make sure it’s really her, not one of those dreams I had so often after she left when I’d see her so clear as day, be ready to kiss her or take her to me only to wake up with Mia just beyond reach.

But I can’t touch her. This is a privilege that’s been revoked.

It’s been three years since Adam’s love saved Mia after the accident that annihilated life as she knew it . . . and three years since Mia walked out of Adam’s life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Julliard’s rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia’s home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future—and each other.

Told from Adam’s point of view in the spare, powerful prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

My Thoughts: I loved If I Stay, and though I was apprehensive about this sequel at first I think that it's going to do the first one justice. Even if it doesn't I still can't wait for it to come out! I love the cover, it fits perfectly with the paperback of the first one, and if the synopsis is any indication, fits this story well.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Review: Aces Up by Lauren Barnholdt

Title: Aces Up
Author: Lauren Barholdt
Published: August 2010
Source: Won
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Seventeen-year-old high school senior Shannon Card needs money. And lots of it. She's been admitted to Wellesley, but her dad just lost his job, and somehow she has to come up with a year of tuition herself. But Shannon's dream of making big bucks waitressing at the local casino, the Collosio, disappears faster than a gambler's lucky streak. Her boss is a tyrant, her coworker is nuts, and her chances of balancing a tray full of drinks while wearing high-heeled shoes are slim to none. Worse, time is running out, and Shannon hasn't made even half the money she'd hoped.

When Shannon receives a mysterious invitation to join Aces Up, a secret network of highly talented college poker players, at first she thinks No way. She has enough to worry about: keeping her job, winning the coveted math scholarship at school, and tutoring her secret crush, Max. But when Shannon musters up the nerve to kiss Max and he doesn't react at all, the allure of Aces Up and its sexy eighteen-year-old leader, Cole, is suddenly too powerful to ignore.

Soon Shannon's caught up in a web of lies and deceit that makes worrying about tuition money or a high school crush seem like kid stuff. Still, when the money's this good, is the fear of getting caught reason enough to fold?

This fun, sexy, recession-proof story is a bubbly summer read with surprising depth—great for fans of Sarah Mlynowski.

After thoroughly enjoying Barnholdt's Two-Way Street I had high expectations for this book. Sadly, it didn't live up to them. Shannon was a character that I couldn't seem to connect to, and the situation was just too out of this world for me to believe. It did have its moments though, and is good if you're looking for a book that's not too serious.

All of the characters fell a bit flat for me, especially Shannon. I definitely understood her motives for working illegally at the Collosio, and even for gambling there. What I don't understand is how such a smart girl could put herself in the dangerous situations that she did. Being alone in a hotel room with a complete stranger is not smart, it's downright idiotic. The fact that nothing terrible comes of it really doesn't set a good example.

Another thing that I didn't like about the book was how completely unlikely everything was. Shannon was out until the early hours of the morning almost every night without her parents noticing. She was out until long after midnight frequently on school nights, and yet managed to get through her days at school and go to work that night. The only negative thing that happened was that her grade in math slipped to a C. Show me someone who can do that and not completely fail out of school and I'll bow to them.

It definitely wasn't all bad. If you can suspend reality for a while you'll probably enjoy it. It has some cute scenes and a few suspenseful parts. The scenes between Shannon and her sister are cute, and her friend MacKenzie is really funny. I think that I chose the wrong time to read this, because I might have enjoyed more in the summer.

Basically, it wasn't my cup of tea, but it has its moments and if you can suspend reality while you read it you'll probably enjoy it.

Characters: 7/10
Writing: 8/10
Originality: 8/10
Plot: 7/10
Ending: 8/10
Overall: 39/50 C+
Cover Comments: Really cute cover! The title is also cute, and relevant.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

In My Mailbox (35)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristy at The Story Siren.

For Review:
Jumpstart the World by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Two copies: One for review and one to giveaway!
Thanks to Knopf and Teen Book Scene Blog Tours!

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han
I'm assuming these are for review since they came directly from the publisher, but I didn't know they were coming...Thanks anyway Simon and Schuster!

Aces Up by Lauren Barnholdt
from Brooke at Brooke's Box of Books! Thanks Brooke!

That's it for me this week! What did you get?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Blog Tour: Freefall Deleted Scene and Contest!

Hey all! I have a treat for you today! Mindi Scott, author of the fabulous debut Freefall, decided to share a deleted scene from the book with us! It's definitely a scene that I'm sorry didn't make it in and I'm glad that I get a chance to read it! This all thanks to the amazing Teen Book Scene blog tours, so be sure to check them out! If you want to visit the rest of the stops on the tour they are listed here.

From Mindi:

It took a long time for me to settle on a first chapter for the book that would eventually be called Freefall.  Months and months and months.  But when I finally came up with an opening that I loved, I intended to stick with it forever.

As it turned out, my agent had another idea.  He thought that maybe the very first scene in the manuscript wasn’t the best introduction to the narrator, Seth, and that it felt a little “extra first chaptery.”  I decided that he was right and ended up cutting it.

And now I’m sharing it with you!  Everything below still takes place in the book. The difference is that these events are told in a paragraph of narrative several pages into it instead of being shown as a scene.

I hope you enjoy it!

Please remember that this scene is copyrighted by Mindi Scott and it would be a crime to claim it as yours!


September 1st

1:17 p.m.

      Scratchy sheets were twisted around my legs, a lumpy pillow was tucked under my head, and some damned annoying mattress spring was poking into my side.  Yeah, I was very definitely at home in the bed where I wake up every day.  The screwed up part is I had no clue how I’d gotten there.

      All I could remember of the night before was this:  Drinking.  Playing with the band.  Drinking.  Falling off the stage.  Mikey glaring.  Daniel swiping my keys.  Jared yelling at me to get my shit together.  Drinking.

      And then… what?

      I’d made it home somehow.  My shoes, socks, jeans, shirt had come off.  I’d crashed in my boxers.

      Yet another night erased from my memory.  No big loss there.  Forgetting sucked when I happened to miss something good, but I could count on one hand the number of times that had been rumored to have happened.

      I yawned, ran my tongue over my teeth.

      Mouth: stale from beer, sour from puke.

      Head:  dizzy, pounding, cloudy.

      It could be worse, right?  Things could always be worse.

      I rolled over.  Wavy hair as red as a stop sign was spread across the other pillow.  The hair belonged to a long-legged girl wearing black panties and a striped T-shirt.  My striped T-shirt.

      Jerking straight up, I hit my head on the metal bedrail. “What the hell?”

      As she turned to stare back at me, the pain in my head increased.  Of all the chicks in this town, in this country, on this planet, it was my miserable luck that this one would be the first to wind up in my bed.

      She smirked.  “Hi, Lover.”

      Things had just gotten worse.

About Freefall:
Title: Freefall
Author: Mindi Scott
Synopsis from Goodreads:
How do you come back from the point of no return?

Seth McCoy was the last person to see his best friend Isaac alive, and the first to find him dead. It was just another night, just another party, just another time where Isaac drank too much and passed out on the lawn. Only this time, Isaac didn’t wake up.

Convinced that his own actions led to his friend’s death, Seth is torn between turning his life around . . . or losing himself completely.

Then he meets Rosetta: so beautiful and so different from everything and everyone he's ever known. But Rosetta has secrets of her own, and Seth will soon realize he isn’t the only one who needs saving . . .

My review should be right below this post if you want to check it out!

Now it's contest time! Do you want a signed finished copy of Freefall all to yourself? You know you do! All you have to do is fill out the form below.

Contest Ends October 27th 
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Review: Freefall by Mindi Scott

Title: Freefall
Author: Mindi Scott
Published: October 5th, 2010
Source: Received for review from S&S(Thank you!)
Synopsis from Goodreads:
How do you come back from the point of no return?

Seth McCoy was the last person to see his best friend Isaac alive, and the first to find him dead. It was just another night, just another party, just another time where Isaac drank too much and passed out on the lawn. Only this time, Isaac didn’t wake up.

Convinced that his own actions led to his friend’s death, Seth is torn between turning his life around . . . or losing himself completely.

Then he meets Rosetta: so beautiful and so different from everything and everyone he's ever known. But Rosetta has secrets of her own, and Seth will soon realize he isn’t the only one who needs saving . . .

Have I ever mentioned how much I love books that are from a guys POV? Because I really, really like them. When it feels like all that I'm reading are variations of the same girl it's a welcome change to see things from a guys perspective. Plus, if it's accurate I might gain a little bit of insight while I'm at it!

I think that Mindi Scott did a fantastic job with Freefall. I thought that Seth seemed like a very real character, and as far as I could tell like a real guy. It was pretty easy to be in his head. I'm not saying that his head was a good place to be, just that I didn't feel like a complete outsider while I was in it.

The plot as a whole wasn't really what I was expecting. I think that I was expecting Seth to be more messed up than he was, not that he wasn't messed up. I was also expecting his dead friend Isaac to be an actual character in the book, if only for a chapter or so, but we only knew him through flashbacks. Though it wasn't what I was expecting I really enjoyed the plot and the direction that it went. I also really liked how it was divided by days and times. 

My only complaint is that even though I thought that it was pretty easy to be in Seth's head, I never completely connected with him. I mostly connected with him but that extra little push to practically become him while I was reading never happened. Which definitely isn't a huge deal.

Basically I really, really liked this book. If you like contemporary books and guys POV's then you'll love this.

Characters: 8/10
Writing: 9/10
Originality: 9/10
Plot: 9/10
Ending: 10/10
Overall: 45/50 A-
Cover Comments: I love, love, love this cover. I'm not really all that sure why, just that I do. Something about the broken glass and black backround just really catches my eye.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Review: I Now Pronounce You Someone Else by Erin McCahan

Title: I Now Pronounce You Someone Else
Author: Erin McCahan
Source: Received for review from Publisher
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Seventeen-year-old Bronwen Oliver doesn't just want a family. She has one of those, and there's nothing terribly wrong with them apart from bickering grandparents, an image-obsessed mother and a brother she describes simply as Jesus. But there's no natural sense of connection between Bronwen and her family, leaving her with the belief -- and the hope -- that she was switched at birth, that she was never supposed to be Bronwen Oliver but someone else entirely.

When she begins dating college senior Jared Sondervan, she finds herself thoroughly embraced by the loving family she has always wanted and does not hesitate to say yes when Jared proposes on her 18th birhday. Plans for the Perfect Beach Wedding before her junior year of college become plans for the Perfect Beach Wedding before her freshman year of college. And a wedding so soon isn't exactly what Bronwen wants. But Jared is. And his family is. Or so she thinks.

Before Bronwen can determine what she truly wants, she must first determine who she truly is, and the answer, she discovers, is only partially what she thought it was. She wasn't switched at birth, but she's also not Bronwen Oliver and hasn't been for a very long time.

Though it may seem like it, this book isn't about marriage, or getting married young, or how relationships change with marriage. It's about a girl trying to figure out what's right for her. I really, really liked this book. I liked it a lot more than I thought I would, actually. It was a very pleasant surprse.

From the beginning I was drawn in by Bronwen's voice. It was such a distinct voice. She' honest, but doesn't give too much information, she's funny, but also sincere. I loved being in her head. Jared is, well...if he's not your dream guy then there's something wrong with you. In fact, I think that he was almost too perfect to be realistic. 

The relationship between Bronwen and Jared was very sincere. I loved reading about them together. I also loved the big role that Bronwen's family played in this book. There wasn't anything obviously wrong with her family, but like any family they had issues. Some issues went pretty far back. Seeing them work through them was kind of uplifting.

Teen marriage is a large part of this book, but as I said before it's not everything. It was interesting to read about though, both because it's not common in YA and because it's not something that I would do. I thought that what Bronwen chose to do and the end were perfect for her. Not for anyone else. And that's really the point, isn't it? You have to do what's right for you.

Basically this book took me by surprise and I loved it! Read it if you're looking for chick-lit with a lot of heart!

Characters: 9/10
Plot: 9/10
Originality: 10/10
Writing: 10/10
Ending: 10/10
Overall: 48/50 A
Cover Comments: I love it! I think that it's really cute and very fitting. The title is so great, it makes a ton of sense once you read the book.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Review: Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers

Title: Some Girls Are
Author: Courtney Summers
Published: January 2010
Source: Bought
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Climbing to the top of the social ladder is hard--falling from it is even harder.  Regina Afton used to be a member of the Fearsome Fivesome, an all-girl clique both feared and revered by the students at Hallowell High... until vicious rumors about her and her best friend's boyfriend start going around.  Now Regina's been "frozen out" and her ex-best friends are out for revenge.  If Regina was guilty, it would be one thing, but the rumors are far from the terrifying truth and the bullying is getting more intense by the day.  She takes solace in the company of Michael Hayden, a misfit with a tragic past who she herself used to bully.  Friendship doesn't come easily for these onetime enemies, and as Regina works hard to make amends for her past, she realizes Michael could be more than just a friend... if threats from the Fearsome Foursome don't break them both first.

Tensions grow and the abuse worsens as the final days of senior year march toward an explosive conclusion in this dark new tale from the author of Cracked Up To Be

Wow. That's my immediate reaction to this book. The writing is wow, the characters are wow, the horribly realistic things that girls do to each other in this book is wow. From page one I was sucked in and I had to finish it as fast as I could, had to know what happened next, had to know more of what Regina's life was like before. It was compulsive.

Regina Afton is a major bitch. She's not that girl, but her right hand, the one who would do anything for her. That makes her almost as bad. Until she isn't her right hand anymore. In fact, she's Public Enemy #1. Then she starts to feel remorse for the things that she's done to people. How twisted is that? She's basically saying: I did horrible things to you, but I'm not going to feel bad about it until I'm not at the top of the food chain anymore. And yet, the entire time I was on her side. Yeah, I knew that she'd done bad things, things that I definitely don't agree with, but for some reason I didn't care. I wanted things to go well for her. That is the genius of Courtney Summers.

Regina was wonderfully developed, as were all of the other characters. I really got a sense of their personalities, and how unique they were. I really, really hated Anna and Hana. And I really loved Michael. Honestly? That I remember their names without looking them up is a really good sign. It doesn't happen all that often.

I'm not really sure what to say about the plot, because this book is so character driven. The writing though, is superb. There were times when I wanted to put down the book because I just got this terrible feeling about what was happening to Regina even though it's just fiction. Some of it really got to me. 

Basically, I absolutely loved this book. If you are a fan of contemporary fiction, this is definitely one that you need to pick up. Excellent.

Characters: 10/10
Writing: 10/10

Originality: 9/10
Plot: 9/10
Ending: 10/10
Overall: 48/50 A
Cover Comments: It's just kind of "eh" for me. I don't love it but I don't hate it.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

In My Mailbox (34)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

Only one book this week, and it's for a blog tour:

Split by Swati Avasthi

What I've read so far is really good! 
What did you get this week?

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