Sunday, July 31, 2011

In My Mailbox (33)

From the Library:

Dear America: My Secret War The World War II Diary of Madeline Beck by Mary Pope Osborne
Hereafter by Tara Hudson

For Review:

Crush Control by Jennifer Jabaley 



Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
**My sister got this one!** 
**I LOVED this book when I first read it! I've read it numerous times!**

Hosted by The Story Siren

Friday, July 29, 2011

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop
Hosted by Crazy-for-books!

This weeks question is:
Highlight one book you have received this week (for review, from the library, purchased at the store, etc.) that you can’t wait to dig into!
I got Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough from the library and I can't wait to read it!


Review: What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

Title: What Happened to Goodbye
Author: Sarah Dessen
Release Date: May 10, 2011
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Source: Library
Since her parents' bitter divorce, McLean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move-four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mother's new family, McLean has followed her dad in leaving the unhappy past behind. And each new place gives her a chance to try out a new persona: from cheerleader to drama diva. But now, for the first time, McLean discovers a desire to stay in one place and just be herself, whoever that is. Perhaps Dave, the guy next door, can help her find out.

Combing Sarah Dessen's trademark graceful writing, great characters, and compelling storytelling, What Happened to Goodbye is irresistible reading.
Review: I love Sarah Dessen’s work. She’s my absolute favorite contemporary author. I really wish I could live in her books. They’re so realistic and awesome and sweet and sad and everything else that life is. Sure, some of her characters have really weird names but that’s just a simple fact. I’ve read all nine of her books and even though I didn’t love all of them, I couldn’t wait to read What Happened to Goodbye when I first heard about it. I didn’t even know the title or what it was about at first. The fact that it was another Dessen novel got me.

This novel wasn’t the most typical Dessen. There is family, friends, the protagonist, a love interest and a central focus for the protagonist (such as biking was in Along for the Ride) in every Dessen novel. This book had all of that but unlike most of her books, this book was focused a lot on Mclean’s family. Mclean’s issues with her mom and her relationship with her dad. Most of all though, this book was about Mclean trying to finally figure who she is. The plot for this book focused on Mclean as she made friends and tried to figure out what went wrong in her life. Why was it exactly that she went by different names and different personalities in any new town? The reader and Mclean realize near the middle of this book that there’s more to the answer to that question than meets the eye.

As always, I loved the characters. I’ve noticed that Dessen’s novels have really awesome secondary characters. Opal, Deb, Heahter, Riley, and Ellis were awesome.They had their own personalities and usually have more to them then we realize. They are also a key reason in why I love reading Dessen’s book. They’re people I’d see in my high school or people I’d like to be friends with. I think the only person I didn’t really like was Mclean’s mother, at first. She was all “But can’t we be a family?” and my reply was always “Ah, no. Don’t you know what you did?” But eventually, at the end, she finally sees the light but that was at the end of the book. Dave, the (some what) love interest in this novel was such an interesting guy. I just wished we got to know him better. I couldn’t really connect with his as well as I would have hoped. He was kind of a flat character in some places. Another thing I love about Dessen is that we meet some old characters. Some make bigger appearances than others but it’s always nice to see them!

Overall: 5/5
Cover Comments: 3.5/5 I’m not always a big fan of Dessen’s cover. They’re just covers that don’t do the book justice and that is the case with this cover. I like the girl standing on the suitcase BUT I just wish they’d done something different.

Review: Scribbler of Dreams by Mary E. Pearson

Title: Scribbler of Dreams
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Release Date: October 1, 2002
Publisher: Harcourt Paperbacks / Graphia Books
Source: Library
Romeo and Juliet had the right idea. About dating the enemy that is. They were true to their hearts.

Kaitlin Malone know what it's like to date the enemy. She was raised to hate the Crutchfields, and absolutley does - until she meets Bram Crutchfield. It turns out he's a great guy - one she could talk to, share things with...even love. But when Kaitlin gives her heart to Bram, her world spins out of control. Soon the Crutchfields are here friends and she's a traitor to her own family.

To make things worse ,Bram was raised to hate the Malones,especially Kaitlin's father - who murdered Bram's dad. Bram doesn't know Kaitlin is a Malone. If he did he would hate her, too.

What's a star-crossed lover to do?
Review: I love the story of Romeo & Juliet. It is a rather depressing story but it’s seriously a classic. I also love re-telling of this story. The fact that two people, who aren’t supposed to fall in love, fall in love. I might be weird but I think that it shows how strong love really is. So, I love Mary E. Pearson’s work and I loved Romeo & Juliet. So it was only right that I read a book by Ms. Pearson that re-tells the story of Romeo & Juliet, don’t you think?

I loved this book. It was, once again, so wonderfully written. I seriously can’t get over Ms. Pearson’s amazing diction (her choice of words) and how well they fit together. Sure, some of the characters bugged me a little but the writing was just so good!

Kate and Bram aren’t supposed to talk to each other. They are enemies and should not corss paths. This gets thrown out the window when they meet and have a connection. It’s love-at-first-sight BUT it’s more about understanding each other. They are both artistic, Bram was sketching and Kate with writing, and that is really the thing that brings them together. They eventually fall in love but Kate doesn’t know how to tell Bram the truth. She loves him and she doesn’t want to lose him. It’s not until she learns some interesting history about the Malones and Crutchfields that she realizes that this whole feud is one thing: unnecessary.

I think everyone hates how the families of Romeo & Juliet act and I didn’t like Kate and Bram’s family all that much.

Overall: 4.5/5
Cover Comments: 4/5 I like this cover a lot. I think that the two people divided by the line (which is the title basically) represents the division of their family!

Review: Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth

Title: Divergent
Series: Divergent #1
Author: Veronica Roth
Release Date: May 3, 2011
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Source: Library
In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.
Review:The earlier review I did of this book bugged me. It bugged me a lot. I myself couldn’t figure out the review. So, I did the only thing that made sense to me: I re-read the book. Yes, the entire book with a fresh mind. Now, I can’t see what the heck was wrong with me when I wrote that other review. Seriously, people, I was out of my mind. And now I have to say that I loved this book. It was such an amazing debut that I can’t believe I thought otherwise.

I’ve never seen a character like Tris before. She’s so tough and kick ass. She REALLY knows what she believes in and I found that to be amazing. She was struggling with her identity as an Abnegation so it was hard to connect with her then. When she joined Dauntless, oh my goodness, she was awesome. She belonged there. She was smart, quick, and she didn’t let anything bother her.

I love a good plot. I love a good romance. I don’t like it when a book is mainly focused on the romance when it should be focused on the character’s goal or something else. Thankfully, Divergent had a great plot AND a great romance. More so, the romance didn’t take over the plot. There was just the right amount of (super cute) romance that helped the plot progress. The plot, was SO AWESOME. It was like non stop action. The idea for the factions was interesting based on the virtues people like most but I had to keep flipping to the jacket flap to see what Amity believed in or who Candor believed in.

The writing was amazing. No seriously, I might have had some problems with the plot but the writing was a whole different thing. Ms. Roth was able to convey danger, fear, angst, happiness, hurt, and a lot of other things, very well. This was one of the reasons I connected with Tris. Also, it was great writing for a debut.

People, all I can say is that I loved this book. I think next time, I should read it book fresh of mind. I’m not sure (still) why I didn’t like this book the first time around. It was my fault and I shall never name that mistake again.

Overall: 5/5
Cover Comments: 4/5 It's really nice. I never did understand what the symbol was for (Dauntless, Abnegation, or Divergent)?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Love with Peeta....and Gale

 Can I just say that I LOVE Josh Hutcherson as Peeta. Look at his hair. Look at his build. It's so perfect for him. Liam Hemsworth, I'm still trying to get used to him. I can't wait to see him in the movie but I'm still a little hesitant. But Peeta? Um, he's hot, people. Really hot.


Peeta at his bakery with bread...and he looks mad!

Look at Jennifer as Katniss. I really like her as Katniss and I can't wait for this movie!

What say you people? Do you like? Hate? Could care less?


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

"Waiting On" Wednesday (50)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: Destined 
Author: Jessie Harrell
Publisher: Mae Day Publishing  
Release Date: November 17, 2011 

When Psyche receives a prophecy gone horribly wrong, she learns that even the most beautiful girl in Greece can have a hideous future. Her fate? Fall in love with the one creature even the gods fear.

As she feels herself slipping closer into the arms of the prophecy, Psyche must choose between the terrifyingly tender touch she feels almost powerless to resist and the one constant she's come to expect out of life: you cannot escape what is destined.

Destined is a fresh and heartachingly romantic retelling of the Cupid & Psyche myth from debut novelist, Jessie Harrell.
I like this cover a lot. I think there could have been more done to enhance this cover but it's really the synopsis that pulled me in.

Title: Mercy Lily  
Author: Lisa Albert  
Publisher: Flux
Release Date: October 8, 2011 
A poetic, moving story about a teen who must make an unimaginable choice

I take the bees outside, unscrew the lid of the bee jar, and listen to their angry buzzing.
“I hate you,” I whisper.

Lily’s mother has slowly been losing herself to multiple sclerosis. After traditional treatment fails, she uses bee sting therapy, administered by Lily, to alleviate her pain. Lily is trained as a veterinary assistant, so she can easily handle the treatments. What she can’t handle is what happens when the bee sting therapy fails and it becomes clear that her mom wants to die.

One beautiful spring day, Lily’s mother asks her for the most impossible thing of all—mercy. While navigating first love, friendship, and other normal worries faced by high school sophomores, Lily also has to choose: help her mom go, or cling to her fading life for all it’s worth.
The cover is rather interesting in this one. I like the girl's pose and how the lily is front and center. It's got meaning in this book! AND Kristi of The Story Siren says: “A beautifully written and heart-wrenching story about friendship, love, and finding the courage to let go. Lily’s strength and soul make her a character that you won’t soon forget.” Come one people, this is Kristi we're talking about. If she says it's good, it's gotta be good!
Title: Hunting Lila 
Author: Sarah Anderson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books
Release Date: August 4, 2011 
17-year-old Lila has two secrets she's prepared to take to the grave. The first is that she can move things just by looking at them. The second is that she's been in love with her brother's best friend, Alex, since forever. Or thereabouts.After a mugging on the streets of South London goes horribly wrong and exposes her unique ability, Lila decides to run to the only people she can trust - her brother and Alex. They live in Southern California where they work for a secret organisation called The Unit, and Lila discovers that the two of them are hunting down the men who murdered her mother five years before. And that they've found them. Trying to uncover the truth of why her mother was killed, and the real remit of The Unit, Lila becomes a pawn in a dangerous game. Struggling to keep her secrets in a world where nothing and no one is quite as they seem, Lila quickly realises that she is not alone - there are others out there just like her - people with special powers -and her mother's killer is one of them...
I really like the cover (and the shoes!) and it sounds really good too, doesn't it???
Title: Dark Souls 
Author: Paula Morris 
Publisher: Point
Release Date: August 1, 2011 
Welcome to York, England.

Mist lingers in the streets.

Narrow buildings cast long shadows.

This is the most haunted city in the world. . . .

Miranda Tennant arrives in York with a terrible, tragic secret. She is eager to lose herself amid the quaint cobblestones, hoping she won’t run into the countless ghosts who supposedly roam the city. . . .

Then she meets Nick, an intense, dark-eyed boy who knows all of York’s hidden places and histories. Miranda wonders if Nick is falling for her, but she is distracted by another boy — one even more handsome and mysterious than Nick. He lives in the house across from Miranda and seems desperate to send her some sort of message. Could this boy be one of York’s haunted souls?

Soon, Miranda realizes that something dangerous — and deadly — is being planned. And she may have to face the darkest part of herself in order to unravel the mystery — and find redemption.
The cover. The synopsis. England. Ghosts. A mysterious, hot boy. I'm in love. Though I think the girl could have a better hair style. 


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday {3}

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish!
This week:

Top Ten Books That Tackle Tough Issues 

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher: Suicide. It's so beautifully written. Why did she commit suicide? Why didn't anyone notice? Jay Asher putrescent this very tough topic wonderfully.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson: Rape. Another book that really opened my eyes to topic that I knew existed but didn't know too much about it. It's sad, scary, and amazingly written.

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson: Eating disorders. Laurie Halse Anderson

Sarah Dessen’s: Teen Pregnancy; Obesity; Abusive Boyfriends; Teen Rape; Not Fitting in; and Acceptance.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: Racism and prejudice. Though I read it for school, I loved this book a lot. I think it's one of the very first books that tackles racism.

Living Dead Girls by Elizabeth Scott: Kidnapping and rape. Though this book is short, it's scary. All the things that can happen with someone is kidnapped.

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler: Loss and grief. I loved everything about this book. After Anna's best friend's brother (and her first love) dies, she must come to terms with her loss and love.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver: Bullying. Though there is more to this book than just that but bullying is a key point in this story. It really shows what bullying is really like in High school.

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma: Incest. I haven't read this book yet but from what I've read in reviews, it's actually a really good book.

Night by Elie Wiesel: Holocaust. Another book I haven't read but I've heard that it's a great book about the Holocaust. It really shows what the Holocaust is like.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

In My Mailbox (32)

**I'm sorry for this weird looking format. I really don't like this new blogger look and it's not working for me very well**
From the Library:

Nightspell by Leah Cypress
Moonlight by Jessi Kirby

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

For Review:


The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers **SIGNED**
**Thanks Nicole**
Dead Rules by Randy Russell

The Dead Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
**Thanks Angela**
The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June by Robin Benway
**Thanks Morgan**


Friday, July 22, 2011

Review: We’ll Always Have Summer (Summer #3) by Jenny Han

Title: We'll Always Have Summer
Series: Summer #3
Author: Jenny Han
Release Date: April 26, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Source: Library
It's been two years since Conrad told Belly to go with Jeremiah. She and Jeremiah have been inseparable ever since, even attending the same college-- only, their relationship hasn't exactly been the happily ever after Belly had hoped it would be. And when Jeremiah makes the worst mistake a boy can make, Belly is forced to question what she thought was true love. Does she really have a future with Jeremiah? Has she ever gotten over Conrad? It's time for Belly to decide, once and for all, who has her heart forever.
Review:I’ve loved this series since I read the first one, The Summer I Turned Pretty. It’s one of my favorite contemporary series out there today so I was eagerly anticipating We’ll Always Have Summer. I read this book in one day, it was that good. Personally, I think this one is my favorite out of the three.

The plot begins two years after the last book and Jeremiah and Belly have been dating. Conrad is doing his own thing, leaving Belly and Jeremiah alone. The death of Susannah still hurts them and they think about her often but they also try to move on with their lives. The plot get more complex as we learn that Jeremiah did something to Belly. I can’t believe he cheated. I liked Jeremiah a lot. I even thought he was good for her BUT I didn’t like this. This event was, in my opinion, necessary for the plot to move forward. It had to be done so that Belly could deiced once in for all, what she wanted. Once again, Han brings past and present together to give us an insight to what happened in the last two years and what Belly and Jeremiah’s relationship has been like.

She also gave (a lot) of Conrad’s feelings in the form of chapters told in his POV. I was super excited about this because I LOVE Conrad. I for one, have always been a Team Conrad (though I don’t like the name Conrad all that much.)I was surprised that most of this book focused on one even in Belly’s life but it was important. And it was going to happen.

The writing was just as good as the others. In this book, with the certain event, Han captured the feelings of loss, pain, hurt, anger, and betrayal (well, I dunno if you’d call it betrayal) so well. I could tell that Belly was hurt and that she wanted to do something about what happened.

The characters were wonderful and horrible at the same time. Jeremiah did what he did and he expected to be forgiven for what he did. I didn’t like him very much because of what he did EVEN THOUGH he told Belly he’d never hurt her. And Belly FORGAVE HIM. I wouldn’t be that easy on a guy who did that to me but in a way, I can see what was happening with Belly. Conrad was perfect and in this book, he showed his nature in the most perfect way. He’s a great guy with a big heart. He loved Belly and he’ll always be there for her, no matter what. And that is why I was SUPER happy about the ending. I knew it was going to happen. And it happened!

All I can say is, I loved this book so much! It was a perfect way to end this amazing series and I will be buying this book soon!

Overall: 5/5
Cover Comments: 4/5 I like this cover but I miss the boys. One the other two, Conrad and Jeremiah were on the covers and I think they should have been on here too. But I like that she's in a wedding dress and that it's on the beach!

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop
I haven't done this is IN SO LONG! I'm not sure why! Hosted by Crazy-for-books!

This weeks question is:
What’s the ONE GENRE that you wish you could get into, but just can’t?
Autobiographies or memoirs. I only read them if I have to do research but I usually don't like them all together.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cover Reveal and Cover Love: Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins

Hailed as “impossible to put down,” the Hex Hall series has both critics and teens cheering. With a winning combination of romance, action, magic and humor, this third volume will leave readers enchanted.

Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident.

Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late?
I actually like this cover a lot. I'm not sure about the title BUT the covers stay consistent to the two girls looking in like a lake thing. I can't wait to see what happens in this one. I sincerely hope that these books stay a part of the trilogy. So many books that are supposed to be trilogies turn out to have more books.