Because who can afford books in this economy?

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Some Random Things and a Mini Review of Rules of Attraction

Okay, so first off I was spotlighted by Kristen at Bookworming in the 21st Century today as her Sunday Spotlight post! Go check it out here. Thanks Kristen!

Okay, so for me it is now officially summer (WHOOOO!), which means that I'm probably going to be reading a LOT more than usual, and they're going to be mostly books that I bought. See, I'm weird in that when I buy a book I don't just read it right after, I save it. Summer is when I read all of the books that I've been saving since January. And let me tell you, there are a LOT. So basically you'll be seeing a lot more newer books being reviewed, and a lot more of Source: Bought.

Also, there is no IMM for me this week because I didn't get any books! For the first time since I started blogging. So, hopefully next week is better!

Now for the mini review:

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

Let me start with professing my undying love to Perfect Chemistry. It's one of my all time favorites and nothing could ever replace it in my heart. But man does Rules of Attraction come close. It's very similar to Perfect Chemistry but it's so different. Carlos and Alex are definitely not the same, as well as Brittany and Kiara, but I love them all. And the sexual tension! There were some things that I felt were a bit too unexpected in that there really wasn't any buildup, and the transition from "I don't really like you" to "I think I love you" was a bit strange as well but those things are minor. Basically, I read it in one sitting and loved it! 4.5 Stars!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Good Cause (And maybe a free Tshirt)

Hey everyone! I know, it's been a little slow here this week, I've just been extremely busy! Anyway, this post is to inform you about a campaign to improve something that we all believe in: literacy in children. Little Tiger Press, and UK publisher, has set up a program called the Young Writer and Illustrator Awards to promote literacy and creative thinking in children. They want our help, as book bloggers, to spread the word. And get this, just for putting their button on your sidebar they'll send you a free T-shirt no matter what country you live in. Interested yet? For all of the details, go here. I hope to see a lot of these buttons in the near future!

A Children's Books Award by Little Tiger Press, supported by a cool t-shirt label.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (19)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine where we showcase the books that we can't wait to come out.

This week:

 Ascendant by Diana Peterfreund
Release Date: September 28th 2010
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Now a fully trained unicorn hunter, Astrid Llewelyn is learning that she can’t solve all her problems with a bow and arrow. Her boyfriend has left Rome, the Cloisters is in dire financial straits, her best friend’s powers are mysteriously disintegrating, and her hope of becoming a scientist seems to be nothing but an impossible dream.

So when she’s given the opportunity to leave the Cloisters and use her skills as part of a scientific quest to discover the Remedy, Astrid leaps at the chance. Finally, she can have exactly what she wants—or can she? At Gordian headquarters deep in France, Astrid begins to question everything she had believed: her love for Giovanni, her loyalty to the Cloisters, and—most of all—her duty as a hunter. Should Astrid be saving the world from killer unicorns or saving unicorns from the world?

I loved, loved, loved Rampant, and I cannot wait for this to come out! I thought that it was fitting to do it now since the final cover was just released. Isn't it a great cover? I love it! I can't wait to see the lightened paperback version of Rampant! Eek, I'm so excited!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen

Title: The Gardener
Author: S.A. Bodeen
Release Date: May 25th, 2010 (Today!)
Source: Review copy provided by publisher
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Mason has never known his father, but longs to. All he has of him is a DVD of a man whose face is never seen, reading a children’s book. One day, on a whim, he plays the DVD for a group of comatose teens at the nursing home where his mother works. One of them, a beautiful girl, responds. Mason learns she is part of a horrible experiment intended to render teenagers into autotrophs—genetically engineered, self-sustaining life-forms who don’t need food or water to survive. And before he knows it, Mason is on the run with the girl, and wanted, dead or alive, by the mysterious mastermind of this gruesome plan, who is simply called the Gardener.

Will Mason be forced to destroy the thing he’s longed for most? 

The Gardener is a book that starts strong and finishes strong. I never wanted to put it down. The concept is highly original, and the story moves fast. Both great things in my opinion.

Mason was very easy to relate to, and very easy to be in the head of. He was smart, observant, and had a strong sense of morals. The other characters weren't quite so developed, but they were still enjoyable. The entire book spans only about two days, which is a bit different from most books, but so much happens that you forget. Something that I found was a bit rushed in terms of real life was how fast Mason had feelings for Laila. I just didn't get it. Their relationship was sweet nonetheless.

Most of how Mason reacts to things in this book is very believable, which is important. I don't like it when I read something and my reaction is "No one would ever do that." It kind of ruins the point. A lot of this book is centered on science, which is not my best subject, but I never felt like it was too advanced or like I was being left behind by it. That could have very easily been the other way around.

Overall I really enjoyed this book, and I'm very grateful that I had a chance to read it before its release date. It surpassed my expectations, and if you're looking for a fast, thriller type of book pick this up!

Characters: 8/10
Writing: 9/10
Plot: 9/10
Originality: 9/10
Ending: 10/10
Overall: 45/50 A-
Title/Cover comments: The cover is very appropriate, as is the title. I feel like it gives a lot away though.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern

Title: Into the Wild Nerd Yonder
Author: Julie Halpern
Published: September 2009
Source: The Library
Synopsis from Goodreads:
It’s Jessie’s sophomore year of high school. A self-professed “mathelete,” she isn’t sure where she belongs. Her two best friends have transformed themselves into punks and one of them is going after her longtime crush. Her beloved older brother will soon leave for college (and in the meantime has shaved his mohawk and started dating . . . the prom princess!) . . .

Things are changing fast. Jessie needs new friends. And her quest is a hilarious tour through high-school clique-dom, with a surprising stop along the way—the Dungeons and Dragons crowd, who out-nerd everyone. Will hanging out with them make her a nerd, too? And could she really be crushing on a guy with too-short pants and too-white gym shoes? If you go into the wild nerd yonder, can you ever come back?

Into the Wild Nerd Yonder was a fun, lighthearted read with a lot of elements that you don't see in YA everyday. A strong sibling relationship, parents that *gasp* actually care, and references to actual YA books from this century. Yeah, it's not your typical YA, and I loved it for that.

In the beginning of the book Jessie is a bit of a pushover, but by the end definitely not. Her character development was great. Her voice was perfect too. She was such a typical teenager, in a good way: worried about what people thought of her, second guessing herself, afraid of criticism, everything that makes a character relateable. The other characters were all pretty well developed as well, though some of them probably could have had a bit more of a part.

I love how this whole book is about true friends, and what it really means to be popular, with out being preachy. Jessie debates whether hanging out with the "nerds" will make her a nerd, and if she is, then what? Will she be different? Will people not like her? What if she actually likes them? What will her cool brother think of her? They're such typical, natural questions and made Jessie a lot more real to me than a lot of other heroines YA.

I really liked this book, and if you're looking for a fun read, then this is it!

Characters: 8/10
Writing: 8/10
Plot: 9/10
Originality: 9/10
Ending: 9/10
Overall: 43/50 B
Cover/Title Comments: Love! The cover is relevant and cute, and the title is perfect!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

In my Mailbox (18) And a Winner!

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren, where we share the books that we received the past week.

Pretty good week!

From the library:

Fallen by Lauren Kate (Review here)
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson (Review here)
Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve
Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson
Token of Darkness by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Played by Dana Davidson
Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern
The Heart is Not a Size by Beth Kephart
Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer


The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting from Mari of Escape in a Book!
Morpheus Road: The Light by D.J. Machale from Lisa of A Life Bound By Books!
Thank you Mari and Lisa!

Also, the winner of my 75 Follower Giveaway is: 
Angie D!

Congrats! Thanks for replying so fast!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Fallen by Lauren Kate

Title: Fallen
Author: Lauren Kate
Published: December 2009
Source: The Library
Synopsis from Goodreads:
There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her. 

I certainly enjoyed Fallen much more than I thought I would. With all of the mixed reviews I thought that I would be one of the people who didn't like it very much, but to my surprise I did like it. The setting of a reform school really through me off, but in a good way. I don't think that I've read a reform school book before, so it was new and exciting. The hot and cold behavior of Daniel was also intriguing, as was Cam, the other guy vying for Luce's attention.

I'm pretty new to this fallen angel stuff, so I enjoyed that I was learning about something. The thing that I didn't enjoy was that I didn't really learn about them. There was next to no backstory about the angels in this book, and I'm pretty confused as to the who what why and how, but I'm hoping that it might be explained better in the sequel.

I really liked how even though Luce fell for Daniel way faster than what's normal, there was a reason for that. It wasn't just Bam, I'm in love with you for no good reason, something that annoys me. I also liked how Luce had good friends, not just a couple supporting characters who popped in every fifty pages or so. The character twists were also unexpected, well, to me at least.

The imagery in this book was fantastic, but I think that some of it could have been cut out. There were a lot of times where I didn't really want to read an entire paragraph describing a statue, or a building. That's just me though, and I'm impatient. I did think that the overall setting was superb. It was such an obviously Gothic setting, and I could practically feel the mystery through the book.

I was pleasantly surprised with this book, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a dark, mysterious story.

Characters: 8/10
Writing: 8/10
Plot: 8/10
Originality: 9/10
Ending: 8/10
Overall: 41/50 B
Cover/Title comments: The cover and the title are both perfect, and the cover is so gorgeous. Love it!

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Title: The Sky Is Everywhere
Author: Jandy Nelson
Published: March 2010
Source: The Library
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey
dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life—and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey’s boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie’s own. Joe is the new boy in
town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they’re the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can’t collide without the whole wide world exploding.

This remarkable debut is perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Francesca Lia Block. Just as much a celebration of love as it is a portrait of loss, Lennie’s struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often hilarious, and ultimately unforgettable. 
Death seems to pop up a lot in YA lit lately. In my experience those books are some of the best, because it seems that grief takes the reader to a whole new level of emotional connection. The Sky Is Everywhere is a perfect example. I'm an only child. I don't have a sister who's also a best friend. Yet throughout this book I could clearly feel and understand Lennie's grief, something that was very heartbreaking.

I don't even know where to begin about the characters. They were all so unique and all of them had such personality. They just jumped off of the page. Being in Lennie's head wasn't always easy, but it wouldn't have been right any other way. Even though she made mistakes, I always rooted for her, and I always hoped that she would redeem herself.

The plot isn't something that jumps out at you, and it's not meant to be. It's the journey of a mourning girl who comes to accept what happened to her sister and also to discover who she is. The pacing is great, the breakthroughs come at the right times, and the heartbreak is so perfectly placed. Can you tell that I'm gushing yet?

The romance is so perfect. Lennie is torn between two guys. The one that she knows that she should stay away from but is drawn to, and the one who makes her smile again. She's drawn to her sister's boyfriend, who understands her grief, feels the same pain. But the other one makes her forget, helps her heal. Which to choose? You'll have to read to know how it all plays out.
I loved this book. It was so perfect that I can't think of one thing that I would change about it. Go read it!

Characters: 10/10
Writing: 10/10
Plot: 10/10
Originality: 10/10
Ending: 10/10
Overall: 50/50 A+
Cover/Title Comments: The cover and the title are both perfect. This is definitely one of my favorite covers this year. 

****Don't forget to enter my 75 Follower Giveaway! I'm giving away Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers!****

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (18)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine where we showcase the books that we just can't wait to be released.

This week:
Wired by Robin Wasserman
Release Date: September 14th, 2010
Synopsis from
One year ago, Lia Kahn died. 

A few days later, she woke up. 

She had a new body: Mechanical, unfeeling, inhuman. She had a new family: Mechs like her, who didn't judge her for what she could no longer be. She had a new life, one that would last forever.

At least, it was supposed to. 

But now everything Lia thought she knew has turned out to be a lie; everyone she thought she loved has been stolen away. And someone is trying to get rid of the mechs, once and for all. Lia will risk everything to save herself and the people she can't live without. But not before facing one final truth: She can't save everyone.

When I read the first book in the trilogy, Skinned, I was blown away. It was so original, unlike anything I'd read before, and I loved it. Not to mention that Scott Westerfeld loved it too, and he's one of my favorite authors. Then Crashed came out, and it didn't disappoint. Now all that's left is to wait for Wired, which is the hardest part.

What are you waiting on?

Don't forget to enter my giveaway of Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers here! Ends May 22nd!

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Emerald Talisman by Brenda Pandos

Title: The Emerald Talisman
Author: Brenda Pandos
Published: March 2010
Source: Won from author
Synopsis from Goodreads:
To be normal, sixteen-year-old Julia Parker would shed her empathic gift in a second. Life has been difficult since her mother's mysterious disappearance ten years earlier - an event she witnessed, but can't remember. Julia's situation becomes more complicated after a near death experience from a blood thirsty stalker. As high school students go missing it is clear there is a connection to her own experience--past and present. Someone has to stop the madness and a chance encounter with a creepy psychic foretells that only Julia is the key to stopping the madness, but it may require the life of the one she loves. 

The Emerald Talisman was an interesting take on vampires, though not completely original. There were quite a few things that I thought were quite parallel to Twilight, though I suppose that's a hard comparison to avoid in vampire books nowadays. I guess that it helps that I liked Twilight too.

Julia was a very interesting main character. She had the gift of empathy, which means that she can sense the feelings of those around her. I've never read a book where the main character had that ability, so it was very interesting learning about it. Nicholas was the main love interest, and made things interesting. He showed up, saved her life, then was rude and cold toward her. His secret isn't what you're thinking, but it's interesting.

The vampires in the story are there, but they aren't the main attraction. They have some stereotypical features, and then some not so stereotypical features, which kept the book fresh. The imagery in this book is gorgeous. I always knew what things and people looked like, and I could easily see most of it in my mind.

I felt that Julia's friends weren't very well developed, and could have had a larger role. We are introduced to about five friends in the first scenes, but then they are barely in the rest. This made for confusion when they had a reappearance. Another thing that annoyed me was how fast Julia had feelings for Nicholas. I did like how she realized that she was being ridiculous though.

Overall I thought that this book was very enjoyable, and I'm looking forward to the next in the series!

Characters: 7/10
Writing: 8/10
Plot: 9/10
Originality: 8/10
Ending: 10/10
Overall: 42/50 B (4 stars)
Title/Cover Comments: The emerald talisman is relevant to the story, and the cover is appropriately creepy. The colors work well together.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

In My Mailbox (17)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren where we share the books that we bought, received, etc. the previous week.

This week was great! I got a lot of cool things!

The Won:
Signed! Copy of Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey from Susan of Wastepaper Prose!
Signed! Copy of The Emerald Talisman by Brenda Pandos and swag from the author!

For Review:
An ARC of Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James from the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.

We Hear the Dead by Dianne Salerni
Sticky Fingers by Niki Burnham
The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum
I really haven't heard much about any of these which is always exciting! 

Don't forget to enter my giveaway of Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers!

So, what did you get this week?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Book Review: House of Dance by Beth Kephart

Title: House of Dance
Author: Beth Kephart
Published: May 2008
Source: The Library
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Rosie and her mother coexist in the same house as near strangers. Since Rosie's father abandoned them years ago, her mother has accomplished her own disappearing act, spending more time with her boss than with Rosie. Now faced with losing her grandfather too, Rosie begins to visit him every day, traveling across town to his house, where she helps him place the things that matter most to him "In Trust." As Rosie learns her grandfather's story, she discovers the role music and motion have played in it. But like colors, memories fade. When Rosie stumbles into the House of Dance, she finally finds a way to restore the source of her grandfather's greatest joy. 

Eloquently told, National Book Award finalist Beth Kephart's House of Dance is a powerful celebration of life and the people we love who make it worthwhile. 

House of Dance was a quick read with a lot of heart. Rosie's grandfather is dying, and it's up to her to take care of him, since her mother is practically out of the picture. Rosie learns a lot about her grandfather, and about herself as she takes care of him. I really liked Rosie's relationship with her grandfather, as well as the scenes set at his house. I felt that Rosie and her grandfather both grew a lot and that it was very sweet. 

Outside of Rosie and her grandfather, there really wasn't much character development at all. Actually, there really weren't any other main characters. I felt a bit disconnected from the actual story because of this, but I was very connected to Rosie. It was odd, and I would have liked to know a bit more about some of the characters.

I had been hoping that the House of Dance was going to have a bigger part in the story than it did, so I was a bit disappointed. I felt that the people there could have been explored a lot more, because even though they were physically different, I never really connected their personalities.

Overall, I thought that this book was very touching and sweet. I'll be checking out more by Beth Kephart!

Characters: 7/10
Writing: 9/10
Plot: 8/10
Originality: 9/10
Ending: 10/10
Overall: 43/50 B

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (17)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we showcase books that we can't wait to come out!

This weeks doesn't come out until October, but I'm already counting down the days!

Freefall by Mindi Scott
Release Date: October 5th, 2010
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 . . .
So in case you haven't figured it out, I LOVE books like this (Um, Willow anyone?). It's a debut too! Even though I'm not part of the challenge I still love reading new authors! Ugh...Why is October so far away? 
P.S. Is it just me or is that cover insanely awesome? What can I say, I like simplicity! 
What are you waiting on? 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hold Still by Nina LaCour

Title: Hold Still
Author: Nina LaCour
Published: October 2009
Source: The Library
Synopsis from Goodreads:
An arresting story about starting over after a friend’s suicide, from a breakthrough new voice in YA fiction.

dear caitlin, there are so many things that i want so badly to tell you but i just can’t.

Devastating, hopeful, hopeless, playful . . . in words and illustrations, Ingrid left behind a painful farewell in her journal for Caitlin. Now Caitlin is left alone, by loss and by choice, struggling to find renewed hope in the wake of her best friend’s suicide. With the help of family and newfound friends, Caitlin will encounter first love, broaden her horizons, and start to realize that true friendship didn’t die with Ingrid. And the journal which once seemed only to chronicle Ingrid’s descent into depression, becomes the tool by which Caitlin once again reaches out to all those who loved Ingrid—and Caitlin herself.

Going into this book I wasn't really sure what to expect. I mean, yeah, I'd seen some good things about it here and there, but I hadn't seen anything that made me think that I was starting such a spectacular novel! Hold Still is one of the best books I've read this year. The heart break of the beginning, the hopefulness of the's just beautiful.

Caitlin is pretty messed up after her best friend Ingrid commits suicide. She blames herself, she grieves the loss of Ingrid's phenomenal talent, and, most of all, grieves the loss of her best friend. Her other half. The girl that she shared everything with. It really is heartbreaking.

Then, little by little she starts to heal. What helps is Ingrid's journal, which she finds under her bed. We get to read it right along with Caitlin, see the drawings and Ingrid's handwriting. It's really cool to be able to see a picture that's referenced in the book.

I really liked that Caitlin's new friend Dylan is a lesbian, but who cares? No big deal. There were a lot of things like that in here that made this book just so awesome.

The whole book I was rooting for Caitlin, cheering her on as she overcame obstacles and built new relationships. It got to a point where I physically couldn't put it down. I really liked it, and I'm sure that you will too.

Characters: 10/10
Writing: 10/10
Plot: 10/10
Originality: 9/10
Ending: 9/10
Overall: 48/50 A

Monday, May 10, 2010

75 Follower Giveaway!

Hey everyone! So, I now have 75 76 followers! I can't believe it, I mean, I've only been blogging since January! Anyway, somehow I acquired two copies of Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers, which means...


That's right! One lucky person is going to end up with their own practically new copy of:

So, even though I haven't gotten around to reading it yet, I haven't heard one bad thing about it!

Here are the details:
  • Contest will end on May 22nd at 12:00 AM EST
  • As this is a celebration of my followers, you MUST be a follower to enter
  • You can get extra entries by tweeting, sidebar, Facebook, and blog post.
  • This open to U.S. and Canada only! Sorry International followers, I'm just a high school student without a job.
  • Comments, though appreciated, do not count toward entry, please use the form!
  • As the host of this giveaway I have the right to end it at any time I wish.

    Sunday, May 9, 2010

    In My Mailbox (16)

    In My Mailbox is a weekly meme, hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren, where we let people know what books we bought, borrowed, received, etc. the past week.

    Runaway by Meg Cabot

    I'm so excited about The Red Pyramid! I LOVED the Percy Jackson series! And Knight Angels has been getting 5 star reviews everywhere! I've already read Runaway and I'm debating whether to review it or not. It feels weird since I haven't reviewed the other two...hmm...

    Oh! And I won:
    TONS of swag from Rebecca at Everything To Do With Books! A lot of it is signed (Bree Despain, Jeri Smith-Ready, Amber Kizer...) Yeah, I was happy! Thanks so much Rebecca!

    So, what did you get this week?

    Friday, May 7, 2010

    Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

    Title: Jellicoe Road
    Author: Melina Marchetta
    Published: September 2008
    Source: The Library
    Synopsis from Goodreads:
    Abandoned by her mother on Jellicoe Road when she was eleven, Taylor Markham, now seventeen, is finally being confronted with her past. But as the reluctant leader of her boarding school dorm, there isn't a lot of time for introspection. And while Hannah, the closest adult Taylor has to family, has disappeared, Jonah Griggs is back in town, moody stares and all.

    In this absorbing story by Melina Marchetta, nothing is as it seems and every clue leads to more questions as Taylor tries to work out the connection between her mother dumping her, Hannah finding her then and her sudden departure now, a mysterious stranger who once whispered something in her ear, a boy in her dreams, five kids who lived on Jellicoe Road eighteen years ago, and the maddening and magnetic Jonah Griggs, who knows her better than she thinks he does. If Taylor can put together the pieces of her past, she might just be able to change her future. 

    Jellicoe Road is probably the most original book that I've ever read. I've never read a book where I had no clue what was going on but still had to read it. I've never read a book that makes me care so much about five characters who are barely in the book. I've never read a book that makes me think so much trying to piece things together. I've never read a book like this one, and I loved every minute of it.

    Don't be discouraged if you're a hundred pages into it and you still have no idea what's going on. It'll come. One thing that confused me was that the narrator in the prologue, is not the same person as the narrator of chapter one. Also, the prologue is important, so pay attention. Go back and read it once you have more of a handle on things.

    Taylor (Hey, that's me!) was a really complex character. She had so many emotions and she knew what they were, most of the time. She had trouble knowing how she felt about people. She's good at making connections too. Her relationship with Jonah Griggs is odd, but works so well.

    The territory wars are hard to understand, but really fun to read about once you do. They're kinda like a life size version of monopoly, with certain people owning certain places.

    This book is really beautiful, and heartbreaking, and wonderful. And the ending. Oh the ending... If everyone reads this, I will be happy.
    Here's a passage that really stuck out to me:

    ...And I figure that somewhere down the track we'll work out the right way of doing this but I don't want to let go, because tonight I'm not looking for anything more than being a part of him. Because being a part of him isn't just anything. It's kind of everything.  

     So basically: Everyone read this, right now.

    Characters: 10/10
    Writing: 10/10
    Plot: 9/10
    Originality: 10/10
    Ending: 10/10
    Overall: 49/50

    Thursday, May 6, 2010

    Heist Society by Ally Carter

    Title: Heist Society
    Author: Ally Carter
    Published: February 2010
    Source: The Library
    Synopsis from Goodreads:
    When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own--scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving "the life" for a normal life proves harder than she'd expected.

    Soon, Kat's friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring her back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat's father isn't just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat's dad needs her help.

    For Kat there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it's a spectacularly impossible job? She's got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in history-or at least her family's (very crooked) history. 

    Heist Society is a fast, fun read that transports you into the world of professional thieves: who are teenagers. I really enjoyed the concept, but some things just didn't really seem to click for me.

    I thought that Carter could have gone deeper into the back-story. We know that Kat's father is a thief, we know that her uncle is too, but that's about all that we know about them. As well as Kat's mother. Some things I just didn't feel were fully explained, and I wanted to know more.

    I really liked Kat, she's a no nonsense type of girl who can really kick butt and hold her own against the bad guys. Hale was an intriguing character, but I don't think that I ever really got to know him. I didn't have much of a connection with the other supporting characters either, which is one of the things I like best about the Gallagher Girls series.

    The plot was nicely paced and played out, and the whole book was very interesting, I guess I was just looking for more meat. Maybe I'll get those connections in the sequel(s), which I am looking forward to.

    Characters: 7/10
    Writing: 8/10
    Plot: 9/10
    Originality: 8/10
    Ending: 10/10
    Overall: 42/50 B
    Cover Comments: Love it! I love the expression and the glasses with the reflection, everything!

    Wednesday, May 5, 2010

    Waiting on Wednesday (16)

    Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine, where we showcase the books that we can't wait to be released.

    This week:

    Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs
    Release Date: June 1st 2010
    Synopsis from Goodreads:
    Lily Sanderson has a secret, and it’s not that she has a huge crush on gorgeous swimming god Brody Bennett, who makes her heart beat flipper-fast. Unrequited love is hard enough when you’re a normal teenage girl, but when you’re half human, half mermaid like Lily, there’s no such thing as a simple crush.

    Lily’s mermaid identity is a secret that can’t get out, since she’s not just any mermaid – she’s a Thalassinian princess. When Lily found out three years ago that her mother was actually a human, she finally realized why she didn’t feel quite at home in Thalassinia, and she’s been living on land and going to Seaview high school ever since, hoping to find where she truly belongs. Sure, land has its problems – like her obnoxious, biker boy neighbor Quince Fletcher – but it has that one major perk – Brody. The problem is, mermaids aren’t really the casual dating type – when they “bond,” it’s for life.

    When Lily’s attempt to win Brody’s love leads to a tsunami-sized case of mistaken identity, she is in for a tidal wave of relationship drama, and she finds out, quick as a tailfin flick, that happily-ever-after never sails quite as smoothly as you planned.

    I think that this book sounds like the perfect summer read! I mean, mermaids! What's not to love? And that cover is so cute! I wish that I could wear her makeup on a daily basis =P

    Monday, May 3, 2010

    The Morganville Vampires: 1, 2, and 3 by Rachel Caine

    Titles: Glass Houses, Dead Girls' Dance, Midnight Alley
    Author: Rachel Caine
    Published: 2006, 2007
    Source: The library
    Synopsis from Glass Houses (Goodreads)
    From the author of the popular Weather Warden series comes the debut of an exciting new series set in Morganville, Texas, where you would be well advised to avoid being out after dark.

    College freshman Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation. When Claire heads off-campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Her new roommates don't show many signs of life, but they'll have Claire's back when the town's deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood. 

    I have one word for this series: addicting. Once I got started, I was tearing through them like nobody's business. I even made an unplanned trip to the library just for the third one. Which, sadly, is the last one that my library has. Oh, but I'm definitely going to read the rest. There's no way that I could not read the rest.

    It astounds me how fast I had feelings about these characters. Each of them are so unique and engaging. Their relationships are so complex and genuine. It's awesome. And the make-out scenes are amazingly hot :)

    At first, a lot of things are unbelievable: why would a girl try to kill another one just because she was insulted? Well, it all falls into place pretty fast. And then your heart is racing right along with the characters, and you're practically seeing vampires around every corner.

    I do have to admit that things move fast. Sometimes too fast to be believable. And sometimes things are a bit confusing.  But you know what? That is such a minor drawback. The books are awesome, I would recommend them to even the most reluctant vampire reader. Read: Love interest? NOT a vampire.

    If I'm willing to buy five books just to read the rest, then you know that they're good.

    Characters: 10/10
    Plot: 9/10
    Writing: 8/10
    Originality: 10/10
    Endings: 10/10 (The books usually end pretty well: main conflict resolved but with a slight cliffy at the end)
    Overall: 47/50 A
    Cover comments: I'm not a big fan of these. I prefer the newer bindup of the first two:

    Sunday, May 2, 2010

    In My Mailbox (15)

    In My Mailbox is a weekly meme, hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren, where we share the books that we received, bought, or checked out this week.

    Um, I got a TON from the library this week. Be prepared. First, the bought:
    Mistwood by Leah Cypess
    Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken
    Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
    Burned by P.C. and Kristen Cast (Not pictured)

    Witch and Wizard by James Patterson
    Midnight Alley by Rachel Caine
    First Test by Tamora Pierce
    Page by Tamora Pierce
    House of Dance by Beth Kephart
    Heist Society by Ally Carter
    Hold Still by Nina Lacour
    Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
    Marvelous World by Troy CLE
    Sucks to be Me by Kimberly Pauly
    Blue is for Nightmares by Laurie Faria Stolarz
    White is for Magic by Laurie Faria Stolarz
    These Boots are Made for Stalking by Lisi Harrison
    Vamped by Lucienne Diver

    See? I told you that I got a lot! I'm soo excited about the books that I bought! And all of the books from the library of course! If you've read any of them let me know! I'd also love to know what you got this week!
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