Because who can afford books in this economy?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (24)

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

This week:
Rosebush by Michelle Jaffe
Release Date: December 14th, 2010
Synopsis from Goodreads:
See Jane run. See Jane die.

Instead of celebrating Memorial Day weekend on the Jersey shore, Jane is in the hospital surrounded by teddy bears, trying to piece together what happened last night. One minute she was at a party, wearing fairy wings and cuddling with her boyfriend. The next, she was lying near-dead in a rosebush after a hit and run.

Everyone thinks it was an accident, despite the phone threats Jane swears were real. But the truth is a thorny thing. As Jane's boyfriend, friends, and admirers come to visit, more memories surface--not just from the party, but from deeper in her past...including the night her best friend Bonnie died.

With nearly everyone in her life a suspect now, Jane must unravel the mystery before her killer attacks again. Along the way, she is forced to examine the consequences of her life choices in this compulsively readable thriller.

I love Jaffe's Bad Kitty books, and though this looks completely different, it looks great! I love mysteries and I love thrillers, so I think that this fits the bill! Plus, the cover is gorgeous!

What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

Title: The Dark Divine
Author: Bree Despain
Published: December 2009
Source: Bought
Synopsis from Goodreads:
A Prodigal Son

A Dangerous Love

A Deadly Secret

Grace Divine—daughter of the local pastor—always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappearedand her brother Jude came home covered in his own blood.

Now that Daniel's returned, Grace mus choose between her growing attraction to him and her loyalty to her brother.

As Grace gets closer to Daniel, she learns the truth about that mysterious night and how to save the ones she loves, but it might cost her the one thing she cherishes most: her soul.

I'm not sure what I was expecting from this, but it sure wasn't what it was! This book exceeded my expectations in a big way, and I definitely want more! The paranormal aspect of this book is very original, though there are familiar things threaded through.

I have to give props to Bree Despain for writing about a pastors daughter without being preachy at all, even though their faith was interwoven with the story line. There's a fine line, and it was walked with ease. Grace is a typical teenager in most ways, except everyone looks at her to be the good example. She's a typical good girl, though she longs to do something more dangerous. Enter Daniel, very dangerous. He was once a practical part of Grace's family, but after a terrible incident that no one beside him and Grace's brother seems to know the details of, he disappeared. He's back, and with him mysterious, gruesome things.

From the first page of this book I didn't want to put it down. I was compelled to read it, and to know Daniel's secret. Like I mentioned earlier, the paranormal aspect is so completely original that it blew me away. I'm not going to tell you what it is, because I wish that I hadn't know when I read it. The romance could seem like it came too fast, but considering their history it really didn't.

I loved the way that Grace's family played a big role in things. I really got to know and understand her parents and brother, and they were very multi dimensional, not just there for show. You don't see that every day.

Basically I loved this book!

Characters: 10/10
Writing: 9/10
Originality: 10/10
Plot: 9/10
Ending: 10/10
Overall: 48/50 A
Title/Cover Comments: The cover is gorgeous! And actually more relevant then you might think. The title fits.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Indiana by N.C. Weyl

Title: Indiana
Author: N.C. Weyl
Published: February 2010
Source: Received from author for review
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Indiana, by N.C. Weyl, is an intimate and often unsettling view into the heart of middle America in the 1930s. In a community where poverty and racism are a sub-theme of existence, readers are introduced to Samantha (Sam), a child who witnesses a terrible crime and must decide between revealing the shooter—the kindly, slow-witted Mr. Purdy who acted out of a need to protect—or letting an innocent man—the brutal and racist father of the woman attacked—go to prison for a crime he did not commit. Thrown into the mix of this drama-based-on-reality is the role of the Ku Klux Klan, the attitudes toward intermarriage and mixed-race children, and one community’s ability to change with the times…or remain inert and provincial. This is a compelling story, told from the viewpoints of multiple characters—primarily innocent children forced to make courageous decisions—and how injustice and intolerance can affect a family…and an entire community.

If I hadn't received this book for review, I probably wouldn't have finished it. The first half of the book is very slow, despite the alternating view points. I would have missed out, because I tore through the second half of the book in half the time it took me to get through the first.

I think that a problem that I had with this book is that not much really happened until a certain point. I suppose that I was supposed to get to know the characters, but I wish that it had been a little more interesting. The main viewpoints are of Sam, a teenage girl, her father the pastor, and her little brother Tyler. I really liked it when Tyler was narrating, he was a very smart kid.

This book doesn't flinch away from graphic things, but there's nothing too out of hand. I thought that the author portrayed racism in the 1930's well, and made it just as sickening as I have no doubt it was. There's little bit of romance, but not much. I could have gone for more, especially in the first half. The ending had me staring at the page in almost shock because that is definitely not how I expected it to end.

Basically, there's a slow start, but once you get about halfway it picks up and is hard to put down. I enjoyed a lot of it.

Characters: 8/10
Writing: 7/10
Originality: 8/10
Plot: 6/10
Ending: 7/10
Overall: 36/50 C-
Cover/Title: I like them both. The cover fits well with the story and sets the mood, and the title fits also.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

In My Mailbox (22) Vlog!

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

Another VLOG! Still crappy quality, but I like to think that I'm getting a little better at it...

Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony (Thanks Kelsey!)

From Around the World Tours:
Perchance to Dream by Lisa Mantchev

For Review:
Nevermore by Kelly Creagh
Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel

Peaple Mentioned:
Kelsey at The Book Scout

Thank you Simon and Schuster and MacMillan!

So, let me know what you got this week in the comments and I'll check it out!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Scarlett Fever by Maureen Johnson

Title: Scarlett Fever
Author: Maureen Johnson
Published: February 2010
Source: Bought
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Ever since Mrs. Amberson, the former-aspiring-actress-turned-agent, entered Scarlett Martin's life, nothing has been the same.

She's still in charge of the Empire Suite in her family's hotel, but she's now also Mrs. Amberson's assistant, running around town for her star client, Chelsea - a Broadway star Scarlett's age with a knack for making her feel insignificant.

Scarlett's also trying to juggle sophomore year classes, her lab partner who is being just a little TOO nice, and getting over the boy who broke her heart.

In the midst of all this, her parents drop a bombshell that threatens to change her New York life forever...

Let me start off this review by saying that the above synopsis is completely inaccurate. Reason 1) Scarlett being in charge of the Empire Suite is maybe mentioned once. It has nothing to do with the book at all, so why put it in the synopsis? 2) Scarlett does not run around for Chelsea, she runs around for Mrs. Amberson. They make Chelsea seem like a bitch, but she's not. 3) Scarlett's lab partner is not being too nice, in fact, he's rather rude. 4) Scarlett's parents are not the bombshell droppers, Scarlett's sister Lola is, and it has nothing to do with them living in New York. I really don't understand why they lie, I mean it's a SEQUEL, it's not like they have to convince people to read it.

Anyway, this book will not disappoint you if you liked Suite Scarlett. It's fun and hilarious, and will have you shaking your head at the crazy Martin family. Spencer is still my favorite character, despite his being pretty down in the dumps for a lot of the book. Mrs. Amberson is, if it's possible, even crazier, and the new characters are full of personality.

I love that this book is set in New York City. It's such a perfect backdrop for all of the crazy things that happen, and has so much possibility. There really isn't an exact plot to this book, more like a sliver of Scarlett's life, which is interesting and different. Something that I found interesting was that Scarlett is funny, but what's more funny are the descriptions and observations that are made by the outside narrator.

The romance in this book takes a bit of a backseat. It's there, but it's not a main point. I found this a bit frustrating at times when I wanted to read an interaction between Scarlett and a certain male character that I was certain were bound to get together. The thing about Maureen Johnson is that she can't do things the usual way, she has to be different. Which is awesome, except when you're looking for two characters to get together and then it's not what you're expecting, and then she leaves you with that ending!  Maureen, can you please write faster?

Basically this was a perfect sequel to Suite Scarlett that I enjoyed immensely. I'm only upset with the synopsis writer.

Characters: 9/10
Writing: 10/10
Originality: 10/10
Plot: 9/10
Ending: 8/10
Overall: 46/50 A-
Cover/Title Comments: I love the Scarlett theme, but the Fever isn't relevant. This cover is cute, but I prefer the old theme.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink

Title: Prophecy of the Sisters
Author: Michelle Zink
Published: August 2009
Source: Bought
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Sixteen-year-old Lia Milthorpe and her twin sister Alice have just become orphans, and, as Lia discovers, they have also become enemies. The twins are part of an ancient prophecy that has turned generations of sisters against each other. To escape from a dark fate and to remain in the arms of her beloved boyfriend James, Lia must end the prophecy before her sister does. Only then will she understand the mysterious circumstances of her parents' deaths, the true meaning of the strange mark branded on her wrist, and the lengths to which her sister will go to defeat her. Debut novelist Michelle Zink takes readers on an unforgettable journey where one sister's fateful decision could have an impact of Biblical proportions. Prophecy of the Sisters is the first of three books.

This book was a slight disappointment for me. It moved a lot slower than I thought it would, and for some reason I was expecting it to be alternating POV between the two sisters. I think that I probably would have liked it more if it had been, just because it would shake things up a bit. One thing that I loved was how well the historical elements were used. Zink really did her research, and I loved how detailed everything was without her describing every little thing.

The writing style that Zink used was engrossing, and I found myself thinking like Lia when I put the book down. There is a sense of mystery throughout the entire book, which kept me reading. As the narrator I liked Lia, she wasn't a push over but knew when to back off.I felt a connection to all of the characters, and when tragedy strikes towards the end of the book I found myself staring at the pages in disbelief, shocked and sad.

I thought that this book was pretty obviously the set up for the next two. We spend a lot of time learning things, not very much actual doing something about them. I think that the next book, Guardian of the Gate will have more doing. If you want a neatly tied up ending, don't come looking here, it leaves you with more questions asked than answered.

Basically this book moved a lot slower than I thought it would, but the rich historical setting and overwhelming sense of mystery kept me reading.

Characters: 9/10
Plot: 7/10
Originality: 9/10
Writing: 9/10
Ending: 8/10
Overall: 42/50 B
Cover/Title: I LOVE this cover, and the title is perfect. I'm not a big fan of the new paperback cover.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols

Title: Endless Summer
Author: Jennifer Echols
Published: May 2010
Source: Bought
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Two irresistible boys. One unforgettable summer.

Lori can't wait for her summer at the lake. She loves wake boarding and hanging with her friends--including the two hotties next door. With the Vader brothers, she's always been just one of the guys. Now that she's turning sixteen, she wants to be seen as one of the girls, especially in the eyes of Sean, the older brother. But that's not going to happen--not if the younger brother, Adam, can help it.

Lori plans to make Sean jealous by spending time with Adam. Adam has plans of his own for Lori. As the air heats up, so does this love triangle. Will Lori's romantic summer melt into one hot mess?

Endless Summer is the sequel to The Boys Next Door. This edition includes The Boys Next Door & Endless Summer.

What an absolutely perfect book for summer. It was light, fun, compelling, and chock full of sizzling romance. I hadn't read The Boys Next Door previously, so it was all new to me, and I loved it! Endless Summer was basically just a continuation of The Boys Next Door, with an added element of every other chapter being from Adam's pov. I loved that, Adam is on the top of my literary crushes list now, and I don't know how anyone will ever top him.

I thought that Lori was kind of annoying and a lot clueless, but I definitely overlooked that in times of her awesome wit. I don't think that I've ever laughed so much while reading a book, and a lot of that was because of Lori. The other characters were funny too, and everyone played off of each other perfectly. It makes me want to find the lake in Alabama where the story is set just so that I could be around these awesome people. Too bad they're not real.

The story moved along at a good pace, though at times I felt like it was dragging a bit. That's okay though, just having the characters interact was awesome. The make out scenes were so hot, and I wish that there had been more of them. I was kinda disappointed that there were less in Enless Summer than in The Boys Next Door, because I figured that the only way to go was up, but then I guess that Jennifer Echols didn't think that anyone would read a book composed soley of kissing.

Basically this book cements Jennifer Echols as one of my favorite authors. I loved it and I'll definitely be rereading next summer!

Characters: 9/10
Writing: 10/10
Originality: 8/10
Plot: 8/10
Ending: 9/10
Overall: 44/50 B+
Cover/Title Comments: I love love love this cover, it sets the mood perfectly! And the titles fit well also.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (23)

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

This week:

 The Twin's Daughter by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Release Date: August 31st, 2010
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Lucy Sexton is stunned when a disheveled woman appears at the door one day…a woman who bears an uncanny resemblance to Lucy's own beautiful mother. It turns out the two women are identical twins, separated at birth, and raised in dramatically different circumstances. Lucy's mother quickly resolves to give her less fortunate sister the kind of life she has never known. And the transformation in Aunt Helen is indeed remarkable. But when Helen begins to imitate her sister in every way, even Lucy isn't sure at times which twin is which. Can Helen really be trusted, or does her sweet face mask a chilling agenda?

Filled with shocking twists and turns, THE TWIN'S DAUGHTER is an engrossing Gothic novel of betrayal, jealousy, and treacherous secrets that will keep you guessing to the very end.

I was looking through the Bloomsbury catalog and this book caught my eye. The cover in the catalog was different, but I think that I like this one more. The way that their silhouettes make a knife is genius. It sounds very suspenseful, and I love suspenseful!

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton

Title: Tyger Tyger
Author: Kersten Hamilton
Release Date: November 15th, 2010
Source: Book It Forward Tours
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Teagan Wylltson's best friend, Abby, dreams that horrifying creatures--goblins, shape-shifters, and beings of unearthly beauty but terrible cruelty--are hunting Teagan. Abby is always coming up with crazy stuff, though, so Teagan isn't worried. Her life isn't in danger. In fact, it's perfect. She's on track for a college scholarship. She has a great job. She's focused on school, work, and her future. No boys, no heartaches, no problems.

Until Finn Mac Cumhaill arrives. Finn's a bit on the unearthly beautiful side himself. He has a killer accent and a knee-weakening smile. And either he's crazy or he's been haunting Abby's dreams, because he's talking about goblins, too . . . and about being The Mac Cumhaill, born to fight all goblin-kind. Finn knows a thing or two about fighting. Which is a very good thing, because this time, Abby's right. The goblins are coming.

I'm really having trouble putting into words how much I loved this book. The only other goblin books that I've read are The Hollow Kingdom Trilogy by Clare B. Dunkle, which are very good, but very, very different. This book centers around Irish mythology, which is something that I wasn't familiar with before this book. This was a bit of a drawback, because most of the stories are told using a lot of Celtic words, and a lot of times I would stumble over pronunciation and kind of forget to pay attention to the story being told.

Teagan was a great narrator, she was easy to be in the head of and explained things well. Her friend Abby was hilarious, and I'm a bit disappointed that she wasn't in the book very much, as it was kind of set up for that then fell a bit flat. I have a new literary crush in Finn, the Mac Cumhaill (you'll get it when you read the book). He is such a great guy, but he's dangerous and fearless and looks like a young Brad Pitt for crying out loud! I was not expecting Teagan's little brother to be such a central part of the story, but I think that it's just one more reason why this book is so much different than others.

Hamilton did a pretty good job at introducing the reader to a whole world of new creatures, or familiar creatures that act differently than you've previously seen. Mag Mell, the goblin world, was described beautifully and was easy to picture. The pacing of the book was pretty good, though there was one part where a couple months were glossed over. I would have liked a better recap of those months, as something pretty dramatic happens and we don't see the fallout.

Basically, I loved this book but there were a few minor things that I wish were a bit different. A pronunciation guide would have been very helpful, but the words weren't too distracting.

Characters: 9/10
Writing: 10/10
Plot: 8/10
Originality: 10/10
Ending: 10/10
Overall: 47/50 A
Cover/Title Comments: Aside from being beautiful, the cover is completely relevant in more ways than one. The title is also relevant, though it's not immediately obvious.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Mini Reviews: Betrayals and Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover

Title: Betrayals
Author: Lili St. Crow
Published: November 2009
Source: The Library
Synopsis from Goodreads (Contains Spoilers if you haven't read Strange Angels)
She’s no angel . . .

Poor Dru Anderson. Her parents are long gone, her best friend is a werewolf, and she’s just learned that the blood flowing through her veins isn’t entirely human. (So what else is new?)

Now Dru is stuck at a secret New England School for other teens like her, and there’s a big problem— she’s the only girl in the place. A school full of cute boys wouldn’t be so bad, but Dru’s killer instinct says that one of them wants her dead. And with all eyes on her, discovering a traitor within the Order could mean a lot more than social suicide. . .

Can Dru survive long enough to find out who has betrayed her trust—and maybe even her heart?

This series reminds me of Vampire Academy in only the best ways. It has a kick butt heroine, is action packed, has just enough romance, and is extremely addictive. Dru is definitely one of my favorite heroines EVER. She can take care of herself, but she's so normal. She cries a lot, which who can blame her? Basically the only thing that I didn't like was how repetitive it was when she thought about her father or grandmother. I understand that she's going to think about them a lot, but it's basically the same thing every time. It was only a minor annoyance, and other than that I loved it! 4.5 Stars!

Title: Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover
Author: Ally Carter
Published: June 2009
Source: The Library
Synopsis from Goodreads:
When Cammie "The Chameleon" Morgan visits her roommate Macey in Boston, she thinks she's in for an exciting end to her summer break. After all, she's there to watch Macey's father accept the nomination for vice president of the United States. But when you go to the world's best school (for spies), "exciting" and "deadly" are never far apart. Cammie and Macey soon find themselves trapped in a kidnappers' plot, with only their espionage skills to save them.

As her junior year begins, Cammie can't shake the memory of what happened in Boston, and even the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women doesn't feel like the safe haven it once did. Shocking secrets and old flames seem to lurk around every one of the mansion's corners as Cammie and her friends struggle to answer the questions, Who is after Macey? And how can the Gallagher Girls keep her safe?

Soon Cammie is joining Bex and Liz as Macey's private security team on the campaign trail. The girls must use their spy training at every turn as the stakes are raised, and Cammie gets closer and closer to the shocking truth.
Oh Gallagher Girls, how I love you so. This series is made of awesome. Cammie is really smart, really kick butt, and really fun to be in the head of. The supporting characters are almost as good: everyone is original, and they all work together so well. I loved the almost romance part of this book, but the spy in training part is by far my favorite. If this series got turned into a movie I would probably die of happiness no matter how much they changed the script, the whole concept is just awesome. The only thing that I didn't like about this book was how the main conflict really wasn't resolved at the end. Basically it was fast and fun and great for summer reading! 4.5 Stars!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

In My Mailbox (21) Vlog!

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

I have another vlog this week, but don't worry, it's much shorter than last weeks! Once again, sorry for the crappy audio, and this time I have to apologize for the crappy lighting near the end as well. Oh well...

Invisible Touch by Kelly Parra from Kelsey at The Book Scout.
The Exile of Gigi Lane by Adrienne Maria Vrettos from
Sea by Heidi R. Kling from Eleni of La Femme Readers.
Thank you everyone!

For review:
Indiana by N.C. Weyl

From Book It Forward Tours:
Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton

So, what did you get? Feel free to link in the comments!

Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey

Title: Guardian of the Dead
Author: Karen Healey
Published: April 2010
Source: The Library
Synopsis from Goodreads:
In less than a day I had been harassed, enchanted, shouted at, cried on, and clawed. I’d been cold, scared, dirty, exhausted, hungry, and miserable. And up until now, I’d been mildly impressed with my ability to cope.

At her boarding school in New Zealand, Ellie Spencer is like any ordinary teen: she hangs out with her best friend, Kevin; obsesses over her crush on a mysterious boy; and her biggest worry is her paper deadline. Then everything changes: In the foggy woods near the school, something ancient and deadly is waiting.

Karen Healey introduces a savvy and spirited heroine with a strong, fresh voice. Full of deliciously creepy details, this adventure is a deftly crafted story of Māori mythology, romance, betrayal, and war.

Well, I certainly enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. Going into this I knew next to nothing about Maori culture or mythology, so I was learning throughout the entire book. I really enjoyed that, everything was fresh and new and I didn't feel like I was reading the same plot line that I've read five times before.

I thought that Ellie was a very different narrator. I'm not really sure why, she just stands out to me. I loved the other characters, they all had their own personalities and I could relate to all of them. I even shed a tear or two near the end where something rather upsetting happened to one of my favorite characters.

I thought that this book moved along at a steady pace, and I didn't feel like it dragged too much. There were a few parts where I was very confused as to what exactly was happening, especially at the end, but I understood enough that it wasn't much of a problem. The fantastical elements of the book are pretty straightforward, but they are very different and I had to get used to a few things during it.

I thought that this novel was very original, and I enjoyed learning about a new culture while being swept along in a fast paced story full of twists and turns.

Characters: 8/10
Writing: 8/10
Originality: 10/10
Plot: 8/10
Ending: 9/10
Overall: 43/50 B
Title/Cover: I love the cover, it's absolutely perfect. The title...not so much. Though the Guardian of the Dead does have a large role at the end, it's in no way central to the story and is actually rather misleading.

Friday, June 18, 2010

My First Blog Hop

Say what? You're FIRST Blog Hop? Where have you been?

Well, truth is I've never really had time to do the Blog Hop, but now I do! Here's a bit of what it's about:

In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and find new book-related blogs that we may be missing out on! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs that they may not know existed!

Interested? Head on over to Crazy for Books and sign yourself up!

My Thoughts on Size in YA

Warning: I'm expressing some pretty strong opinions here, so if that's not your thing you might want to skip this post.

Also, sorry if this makes no sense whatsoever, I tried!

Okay, how many of you can think of a book that you've read with a main character who's considered plus sized? I'm sure that you can think of more than one. Now tell me this, how many of those books had a main theme that had to do with the MC being plus sized? Probably most of them.

How many books have you read with an MC who's somewhere between 5'3" and 5'6" with a slight build who's been told that she's pretty but doesn't see it? Most likely most of them. I've read so many that unless I'm told otherwise that's how I picture a character. And that's sad. Not that there's anything wrong with people who look like that, just that there are so many in YA.

Let me tell you about me. I'm 5'9, a size 12, have a butt that can only be described as bootylicious, and I love my body. I'm not trying to lose weight, I work out and try to eat right to be healthy, but I don't go on fad diets, my life doesn't revolve around my weight, and it's not any different than my size two friends life.

Now tell me this, why aren't there more girls like me in YA? Why are they all cookie cutter? Or trying to lose weight? Or hate their bodies? I know for a fact that not all YA authors fit the usual description, and I hope that most of them don't hate their bodies, so why do their characters? I'm definitely not saying that anyone with a slight build is any less normal than anyone larger or vice versa, I'm just saying that I wish that there were more shapes and sizes in YA than there are. 

It would be nice to read about a MC who's taller than most of the boys in her class, or maybe one who's really short. Someone with normal body issues, who has curves, or has some tummy flab that they can't get rid of, or wears a large in shirt sizes for pete's sake.

Basically I wish that I could read a book with someone that I could relate to more, who may be a size 14 but that has next to nothing to do with the story line. Is it really too much to ask?

Now I know that you have opinions, so let me know! Whether you agree, disagree, want to prove me wrong, want to prove me right, whatever, I just want to know your thoughts!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Angel Star by Jennifer Murgia

Title: Angel Star
Author: Jennifer Murgia
Published: May 2010
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Seventeen-year-old Teagan McNeel falls for captivating Garreth Adams and soon discovers that her crush has an eight-point star etched into the palm of his right hand-the mark of an angel.

But where there is light, dark follows, and she and Garreth suddenly find themselves vulnerable to a dark angel's malicious plan that could threaten not only her life, but the lives of everyone she knows, and now, she is torn between one angel's sacrifice and another angel's vicious ambition.

Divinely woven together, Angel Star takes readers on a reflective journey when one angel's sacrifice collides with another angel's vicious ambition in a way that is sure to have readers searching for their own willpower.
Angel Star just didn't click for me. I certainly didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either. I didn't feel very connected to Teagan, and I guess that I just didn't understand why she did some things. It's weird feeling this way about a book that everyone else seems to love, but I didn't like The Forest of Hands and Teeth either, so I'm used to it.

I really liked the world that Jennifer Murgia created. It was really interesting learning about guardian angels and how they are connected to humans, as well as how Heaven works in the book. The connection between Teagan and Hadrian, the evil force in the book, was also interesting. I want to know more about Teagan's father and his involvement, which was left kind of open ended. Maybe in the sequel?

Teagan and Garreth have feelings for each other very quickly, which would normally bother me, but the circumstances caused me to overlook it. They were also very sweet together, which helped, and Garreth wasn't stalking her, which also helped. The imagery in the book was fantastic, and I could clearly see a lot of the scenes happening. I just wish that I had connected to Teagan and her actions more. I'm not really sure why I didn't.

This book wasn't for me, but I'm sure that there are a lot of people who love it. I'll definitely be on the lookout for the sequel, Lemniscate, and I'm looking forward to reading it!

Characters: 6/10
Writing: 7/10
Plot: 8/10
Originality: 9/10
Ending: 9/10
Overall: 39/50 C+
Cover/Title Comments: I like them, they are both very relevent to the story. The darkness of the cover makes it seem like there is a lot of danger, which is also very relevent.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (22)

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

This weeks doesn't come out until 2011 but I'm really excited about it!

Warped by Maurissa Guibord
Release Date: January 11th, 2011
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Things get weird after Tessa Brody's father buys a dusty old unicorn tapestry at an auction. The wild, handsome creature woven within it draws Tessa, and frightens her too. One day she pulls a silver thread from the tapestry and releases the unicorn. Only he isn’t one at all. He’s William de Chaucy, a young sixteenth century English nobleman with gorgeous eyes, a weird accent and haughty attitude to spare. Will was trapped in the tapestry by Gray Lily, a sorceress who stole the thread of his life and relies on its energy for her eternal youth. Now Gray Lily wants her unicorn back and she’ll do anything to get him.

If that isn’t bad enough “his lordship” de Chaucy seems to think Tessa is someone she’s not: the girl who trapped him so long ago in the forest. Despite the sparky chemistry between them he seems to have the strange idea that she’ll be his undoing once more. Maybe she will. Because there’s a connection, an attraction to Will that Tessa can’t deny. She’s even beginning to dream about events in a forest of long ago. Or is she reliving them? But Tessa knows one thing for sure. She could never be some heartless twit of a virgin who would trap a unicorn. 

Um hello? Unicorns! I'm definitely Team Unicorn after reading Rampant, and since this is another Unicorn book I'm super excited! It sounds worlds different from Rampant, but definitely just as unique and interesting! Can't wait!

What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My Summer Readathon

So, I considered participating in the Huge TBR Readathon hosted by Kristen at Bookworming in the 21st Century, but I decided not to. I think that it's a great idea, but I realized something: the entire summer is a readathon to me! A three month readathon is a lot longer than one that lasts a week, and I think that I'm up to the challenge! I thought that I would share a list of books that I have on my TBR for this summer, there are A LOT!

13 to Life by Shannon Delany
The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale
The Bad Queen by Carolyn Meyer
Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Book of Love (Knight Angels #1) by Abra Ebner
Break by Hannah Moscowitz
Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken
Burned by P.C. and Kristen Cast
A Company of Swans by Eva Ibbotson
Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers
The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
Darklight by Lesley Livingston
Deadly Little Secrets by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble
Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols
Epitaph Road by David Patneaude
The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder
Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey
Little Miss Red by Robin Palmer
Manifest by Artist Arthur
Matched by Ally Condie
Mistwood by Leah Cypess
Morpheus Road: The Light by D.J. Machale
My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison
My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent
My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith
Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink
The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
Scarlett Fever by Maureen Johnson
Sea by Heidi R. Kling
Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
Sleepaway Girls by Jen Calonita
Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
Sticky Fingers by Niki Burnham
Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder
We Hear the Dead by Dianne Salerni
Wish by Alexandra Bullen

I made a page with this list that I'll be updating with reviews as I go, so feel free to check it out every once in a while! It's up at the top, My Summer Readathon.

What about you? Not much to do this summer? Make it a readathon! Let me know and I'll definitely cheer you on!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Firelight by Sophie Jordan

Title: Firelight

Author: Sophie Jordan
Release Date: September 7th 2010
Source: Traveling ARC Tours
Synopsis from Goodreads:
With her rare ability to breathe fire, Jacinda is special even among the draki—the descendants of dragons who can shift between human and dragon forms. But when Jacinda’s rebelliousness leads her family to flee into the human world, she struggles to adapt, even as her draki spirit fades. The one thing that revives it is Will, whose family hunts her kind. Jacinda can’t resist getting closer to him, even though she knows she’s risking not only her life but the draki’s most closely guarded secret.

I started this book immediately after getting it in the mail because I'd heard so many great things about it, most recently from Alex of Tales of a Teenage Booklover, who was before me on the tour. I really was not disappointed. It was everything that I'd hoped it would be, and more.

First off, I absolutely adore that it's about dragons. Well, not really dragons, decendants of dragons, the draki. Draki can change between their human for and their dragon form so that they can hide from hunters. Jacinda is a fire breather which is something that her pride, or community of draki, haven't seen in generations. The pride considers her property and want to use her for breeding. This is why her mother decides that they are going to run away, despite Jacinda's protests.

At her new, normal school Jacinda feels completely out of her element, but then meets a boy who makes her draki react. She doesn't know why, she just knows that away from her pride her draki is dying, and if Will makes it react then she has to be around him. There's just one problem: his family hunts dragons. Despite the danger Jacinda can't stay away from him, and soon finds that he feels the same about her.

The romance in this book is hot, and the sense of danger that Jacinda has during a lot of it makes the book very hard to put down. I felt a connection to Jacinda. I really liked her and was behind most of her decisions. I kind of wish that we had spent more time with the pride in the beginning, there was almost no interaction with the other draki. I did get a feel for how the pride worked through Jacinda's thoughts about it throughout the book.

All of the characters in this book are complex and believable, and I really wanted to spend more time in Jacinda's world. The ending left me really really wanting more, and I can't believe that I have to wait for this book to actually come out first!

Characters: 10/10
Writing: 9/10
Plot: 10/10
Originality: 10/10
Ending: 9/10
Overall: 48/50 A
Cover/Title Comments: I think that the cover is absolutely gorgeous, but I'm not really sure what to make of the title. It kind of fits, but doesn't really have much to do with the book besides the word fire.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Bloggiesta Wrap Up

I didn't do any posts during Bloggiesta this weekend because I was just too busy doing Bloggiesta stuff and real life stuff. I got a lot accomplished, and I'm proud of what I did! Let's see, I:

  • Made a favicon
  • Wrote a review policy
  • Rearranged my sidebar
  • Created pages (About Me/Review Policy, Review Archives, Contact Me)
  • Archived all of my current reviews
  • Did a couple WoW posts in advance
  • Did an IMM vlog for this week
  • Set up review posts for about half of my TBR
  • Got caught up on my reader and commented on many IMM posts
  • Had fun!

I'm not sure exactly how many hours that I spent, but it was quite a few! I'm really happy that I participated, and I hope that I can do it again in sixth months!

In My Mailbox (20) VLOG!

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

I have a vlog this week! Sorry for the crappy quality, my digital camara doesn't have the best video.

So I'm sure that you guessed that my favorite words are "So" "Super" and "Excited" right? I don't think that I usually act like I did in this video, doing if five times was really taking its toll!
Feast of Fools by Rachel Caine
Wicked by Sara Shepard
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Night by Elie Weisel (This links to because it wasn't on Goodreads)
Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler

From the Library
Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead (Review here)
Don't Judge a Girl By Her Cover by Ally Carter
Betrayals by Lili St. Crow

For Review:
Manifest by Artist Arthur
Angel Star by Jennifer Murgia (Book it Forward Tours)
Firelight by Sophie Jordan (Traveling ARC Tours)

The Simple Gift by Steven Herrick (Thanks Alex!)
The Midnight Curse by L.M. Falcone*
Outside Beauty by Cynthia Kadohata*
Token of Darkness by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes*
The Bad Queen by Carolyn Meyer*
Infinity by Sherrolyn Kenyon*
13 to Life by Susan Delaney*
*From Young Adult Books Central
The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale (Goodreads)
Forgive My Fins (Signed!) by Tera Lynn Childs (Thanks Tera!)
Matched (Signed!) by Ally Condie (Thanks Ally!)

Blogs Mentioned:
Tales of a Teenage Book Lover

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Mini Review of Spirit Bound and A few UTF's

Title: Spirit Bound
Author: Richelle Mead
Published: May 18th 2010
Source: The Library
Synopsis from Goodreads:
*Spoilers if you haven't read the rest of the series!*
Dimitri gave Rose the ultimate choice. But she chose wrong…

After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri’s birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir’s—and to her best friend, Lissa. It is nearly graduation, and the girls can’t wait for their real lives beyond the Academy’s iron gates to begin. But Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri, and he's out there, somewhere.

She failed to kill him when she had the chance. And now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and she knows in her heart that he is hunting her. And if Rose won't join him, he won't rest until he's silenced her...forever.
Wow. Wow, wow, wow. Every book I just love this series even more, and that's hard to do! Basically I was enraptured with this book. I read it in as close to one sitting as you can get for an almost 500 page book. It was just great. I'm a devoted Team Dimitri member, but I was definitely questioning things throughout this book. Ugh, I really, really need it to be December so I can read the next (and last!) book!
Now on the UTF's (Unable-To-Finish). It's a sad, sad thing when you start a book and can't finish it, so I'm going to try and give these their due on the blog:
Title: Numbers
Author: Rachel Ward
Published: February 2010
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Whenever Jem meets someone new, no matter who, as soon as she looks into their eyes, a number pops into her head. That number is a date: the date they will die.
Burdened with such an awful awareness, Jem avoids relationships. Until she meets Spider, another outsider, and takes a chance. But while they’re waiting to ride the Eye Ferris wheel, Jem notices that all the other tourists in line flash the same number. Today’s number. Today’s date. Terrorists are going to attack London. Jem’s world is about to explode!

I got about half way through this book before I realized that I really wasn't very interested in it, and was only thinking about finishing it so that I could get on to the other books that I wanted to read. That's definitely NOT why I want to be reading a book, so I stopped and moved on.

Title: Fever Crumb
Author: Philip Reeve
Published: April 2010
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Fever Crumb is a girl who has been adopted and raised by Dr. Crumb, a member of the order of Engineers, where she serves as apprentice. In a time and place where women are not seen as reasonable creatures, Fever is an anomaly, the only female to serve in the order. Soon though, she must say goodbye to Dr. Crumb-nearly the only person she's ever known-to assist archeologist Kit Solent on a top-secret project. As her work begins, Fever is plagued by memories that are not her own and Kit seems to have a particular interest in finding out what they are. Fever has also been singled out by city-dwellers who declare her part Scriven. The Scriveners, not human, ruled the city some years ago but were hunted down and killed in a victorious uprising by the people. If there are any remaining Scriven, they are to be eliminated. All Fever knows is what she's been told: that she is an orphan. Is Fever a Scriven? Whose memories does she hold? Is the mystery of Fever, adopted daughter of Dr. Crumb, the key to the secret that lies at the heart of London? Haunting, arresting, and astonishingly original, Fever Crumb will delight and surprise readers at every fast-paced, breathless turn.

I was about 130 pages in and I really just wasn't interested. I couldn't get into it at all, which is a shame because it seems like a really good book.

Title: For the Win
Author: Cory Doctorow
Published: May 2010
Synopsis from Goodreads:
In the virtual future, you've got to organize to survive.

At any hour of the day or night, millions of people around the globe are engrossed in multiplayer online games, questing and battling to win virtual gold, jewels, and precious artifacts. Meanwhile, others seek to exploit this vast shadow economy, Running electronic sweatshops in the world’s poorest countries, where countless “gold farmers,” bound to their work by abusive contracts and physical threats, harvest virtual treasure for their employers to sell to First World gamers who are willing to spend real money to skip straight to higher-level gameplay.

Mala is a brilliant 15-year-old from rural India whose leadership skills in virtual combat have earned her the title of “General Robotwalla. In Shenzen, heart of China’s industrial boom, Matthew is defying his former bosses to build his own successful gold-farming team. Leonard, who calls himself Wei-Dong, lives in Southern California, but spends his nights fighting virtual battles alongside his buddies in Asia, a world away. All of these young people, and more, will become entangled with the mysterious young woman called Big Sister Nor, who will use her experience, her knowledge of history, and her connections with real-world organizers to build them into a movement that can challenge the status quo. The ruthless forces arrayed against them are willing to use any means to protect their power—including blackmail, extortion, infiltration, violence, and even murder. To survive, Big Sister’s people must out-think the system. This will lead them to devise a plan to crash the economy of every virtual world at once—a Ponzi scheme combined with a brilliant hack that ends up being the biggest, funnest game of all.

This book is big. It's almost 500 pages, and has really small font. It's quite a lot to get through, and I just wasn't up to the task. Maybe if it was less explanation heavy and more stuff actually happened I would have liked it more. Or maybe if it wasn't in third person and I felt more connected to the characters. Basically I got 100+ pages in and wasn't feeling it.

Bloggiesta June 11th-13th

So, I made the last minute decision to join Bloggiesta, an event hosted by Maw Books Blog.

What is Bloggiesta?
In short, it’s a blogging marathon. A opportunity to cross those nagging items off of your to-do list and improve your blog while in the good company of other awesome bloggers doing the same thing. Break out the nachos, enchiladas, drinks, mariachi music and whack a pinata or two!

What can you do during Bloggiesta?
•Write reviews.
•Write backup posts for a rainy day.
•Write that great post idea from three months back.
•Work on series posts.
•Write guest posts.
•Put out invitations for guest posts.
•Conduct and edit author interviews.
•Create template posts for your future reads (ie: title, images, linking, tags, etc,) so you can open up, write review and post without being bogged down with technicalities
•Clean up your tags, archives, books reviewed list, etc.
•Create a text file (or Google Doc) of cheat sheets (html codes, post url’s, etc)
•Improve your blog template, clean up sidebars, add a favicon, install those plugins that you’ve been meaning to do.
•Add or edit your about me page, review policy, disclosure policy, privacy policy, create landing pages (for example – an about me for Twitter readers page) or any other pages you might have.
•Any bloggy type housekeeping that you’ve been neglecting.
•Clean up and update your challenge lists. Link up your posts with hosts.
•Make sure all of your social network profiles are up to date. Brand yourself through those profiles with color scheme, images, etc.
•Go get a gravatar.
•Visit the Blogging Tips group on the Book Blogs Ning and find ways to improve your blog.
•Work on any specialized projects that you may have going.
•Clean out and organize your feed reader and blog subscriptions.
•Create an elevator pitch.
•Make business cards.
•Find a blogging buddy.
•The sky’s the limit!

What I plan to do during Bloggiesta:

•Write backup posts for a rainy day.
•Write that great post idea from three months back.
•Create template posts for your future reads (ie: title, images, linking, tags, etc,) so you can open up, write review and post without being bogged down with technicalities
•Clean up your tags, archives, books reviewed list, etc.

•Add or edit your about me page, review policy, disclosure policy, privacy policy, create landing pages (for example – an about me for Twitter readers page) or any other pages you might have.
•Visit the Blogging Tips group on the Book Blogs Ning and find ways to improve your blog.

Most of this will be on Friday night/early Saturday morning, Saturday, and Saturday night. Maybe some on Sunday. I'm really excited to do it though, I really need to organize some things!

To sign up and read more go to this post.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han

Title: It's Not Summer Without You
Author: Jenny Han
Published: April 27th, 2010
Source: Around the World Tours
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Last year, all of Belly's dreams came true and the thought of missing a summer in Cousins Beach was inconceivable. But like the rise and fall of the ocean tide, things can change--just like that. Suddenly the time she's always looked forward to most is something she dreads. And when Jeremiah calls to say Conrad has disappeared, Belly must decide how she will spend this summer: chasing after the boy she loves, or finally letting him go.

I have really mixed feelings about this book. I loved The Summer I Turned Pretty, so I was really excited to read this book, but I feel that it was a rather large let down. I didn't connect with Belly nearly as much in this one as in the previous, and I felt like nothing really happened in this book. I think that I must have changed between reading the first book and this one, because I'm sure that The Summer I Turned Pretty was very similar, but the things that bother me now didn't then.

I really didn't like the way Belly pined after Conrad. He was a jerk to her, but she still acted like he was the best guy in the world. I felt like she was being really whiny throughout the book, and that she couldn't see what was right in front of her. She blamed a lot of her problems on other things, and was very immature.

I also thought that so much more could have happened in this book. It covers less than a week, and it wasn't the most exciting week either. After finishing it I felt like it was just half of the book. A lot of it was explaining what happened in the year before, and flashbacks to previous summers. I really liked the snippets of Jeremiahs thoughts, they made me like him so much and gave a different perspective on what was happening.

I thought that Jenny Han did a lot of telling, not showing. She told that Belly was in love with Conrad. She told that deep down Conrad really was in love with Belly. She told that Belly was broken up over Susannah's death. It really just isn't that believable when you're told, not shown. It made everything very superficial.  

Even though I was disappointed I was compelled to read, and once I got into I couldn't stop. There was a lot of interesting drama, and I didn't always hate Belly. The imagery was also fantastic, and some of the passages were just plain beautiful.

Overall, I liked it, I just think that it could have been so much more than it was. Hopefully the next one makes up for it.

Characters: 7/10
Writing: 8/10
Plot: 7/10
Originality: 9/10
Ending: 8/10
Overall: 39/50 C+
Title/Cover Comments: I really like the title, it's perfect. The cover is also really good. It fits with the first one and shows the love triangle well.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (21)

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

This week:

Life, After by Sarah Dareer Littman
Release Date: July 1st, 2010
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Everything changes for Dani and her family when a truck loaded with explosives detonates outside the AMIA building in Buenos Aires, Argentina, killing her beloved aunt and unborn cousin. Because of the ensuing political upheaval, economic hardship, and emotional toll, Dani's family moves to the U.S. It is a terrifying place--new school, new language, new hardships--and Dani's angry father is turning into a stranger, more so everyday. Just when Dani thinks she is about to lose it, she befriends Jessica, one of the girls who has been cruelly teasing her since she arrived.

It is the most unlikely of friendships. Jessica is wealthy, groomed, spoiled. But Jessica has a past that only Dani can understand. She lost her father in 9/11. It is a friendship that allows them both to heal in unexpected and surprising ways, and changes them and their families forever.

I think that this book sounds heartbreaking and amazing. A lot different from most of the other books that are being eagerly anticipated. I love the cover too, it's beautiful in an understated kind of way.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

Title: Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Author: David Green and David Levithan
Published: April 2010
Source: The Library
Synopsis from Goodreads:
One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.

Hilarious, poignant, and deeply insightful, John Green and David Levithan’s collaborative novel is brimming with a double helping of the heart and humor that have won both them legions of faithful fans.

I'm a huge fan of John Green, but I've never read anything by David Levithan before this. I will definitely be finding something of his to read in the near future. John Green and David Levithan are both hilarious, and they work together really really well. It was easy to figure out which Will Grayson was which, and not just because one was gay and the other wasn't.

The synopsis definitely leaves something to be desired. Going into it I really had no idea what it was going to be about. It turns out that it's about two guys, both named Will Grayson. One of them has a best friend named Tiny Cooper, doesn't date, and has some girl issues. The other is gay, in like with a guy he knows online named Isaac, and has a frenemy named Maura. They meet each other and it's sets off a rather large chain of events that changes both of their lives.

I really, really liked Tiny Cooper. He's huge, he's gay, and he's fabulous. He is the writer/director/producer/star of his very own musical about his life and brings some sunshine into this sometimes rather bleak book. Especially when it comes to David Levithan's Will Grayson, who could be pretty dark at times. Speaking of, I felt that DL's WG was the hardest to get into the head of. The writing style took me a bit of getting used to, as there are no capital letters used and no quotations are used when speaking.

Even after reading this book I'm still not really sure exactly what to say about it. It's just really unique, really heartfelt, really funny, and really awesome. The wit of all the characters is hilarious, and I wish that I knew them. I really wish that I could go see Tiny's musical. It seems like it would be hilarious and awesome.

Basically, I loved this book and it was even better than I was expecting.

Characters: 9/10
Writing: 8/10
Plot: 8/10
Originality: 10/10
Ending: 9/10
Overall: 44/50 B+
Title/Cover Comments: I love both. The cover is kind of crazy and nothing is really in focus, which is awesome. The tile fits the book, since it's about two Will Graysons.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

In My Mailbox (19)

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

I had a pretty good week!

Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols

Received from Around the World Tours:

From the library:
Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson (Review here)

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough

Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey
For the Win by Cory Doctorow

So, needless to say I love my library :) I've only just stared It's Not Summer Without You, but I loved The Summer I Turned Pretty, so I'm sure that I'll love it! What did you get this week?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Title: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour
Author: Morgan Matson
Published: May 2010
Source: The Library
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn't seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she's coming to terms with her father's death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road--diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards--this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself.

So, I'm going to tell you straight up that this review is gush. Total, complete, unadulterated gush. It's books like these that make me want to add a whole new rating called "Best Books Ever," which I'm now considering. I don't even know what it is about this book that makes it so good, I just know that I couldn't put it down. When I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about it. When I was reading it, I couldn't focus on anything else.

The whole plot of the book is awesome. Amy and Roger, practically strangers, have to go from California to Conneticut together by car, following Amy's mothers four day plan. When they get started they decide to take a few detours, what could it hurt if they get there on time, right? Well, once they start they can't stop, and soon they're going all kinds of places that they didn't imagine.

Along the journey they learn so much about each other. Roger is still hung up on his ex-girlfriend and Amy is still grieving the loss of her father a few months back. Amy starts to realize that she can read Roger better as they go on, and sees that Roger can do the same for her. They get to know each other up close and personal, and it's so much fun to watch.

It's funny because though there are other characters in the book, none of them stick around very long. This doesn't mean that they're not memorable though, because they are. There are a few that especially stick out, and I wish that I could meet them. I really liked the little things like reciepts, drawings, and playlists thrown in too. It made the book more real, and so much fun. 

This book made me laugh, cry, and feel just plain good. I would definitely recommend it to anyone, anywhere, anytime.  If you're looking for a feel good, laugh out loud, yet heartfelt and touching book, this is definitely it.

Characters: 10/10
Writing: 10/10
Plot: 10/10
Originality: 10/10
Ending: 10/10
Overall: 50/50 A+/One of the Best Books Ever
Cover/Title: Love, absolute love. Everything is perfect. The way they're holding hands, the road, the font, the title, everything.
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