Monday, October 31, 2011

Review: Sisterhood Everlasting (TSotTP #5) by Ann Brashares

Title: Sisterhood Everlasting
Series: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants #5
Author: Ann Brashares
Release Date: June 14, 2011
Publisher: Random House
Source: Library

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Ann Brashares comes the welcome return of the characters whose friendship became a touchstone for a generation. Now Tibby, Lena, Carmen, and Bridget have grown up, starting their lives on their own. And though the jeans they shared are long gone, the sisterhood is everlasting.

Despite having jobs and men that they love, each knows that something is missing: the closeness that once sustained them. Carmen is a successful actress in New York, engaged to be married, but misses her friends. Lena finds solace in her art, teaching in Rhode Island, but still thinks of Kostos and the road she didn’t take. Bridget lives with her longtime boyfriend, Eric, in San Francisco, and though a part of her wants to settle down, a bigger part can’t seem to shed her old restlessness.

Then Tibby reaches out to bridge the distance, sending the others plane tickets for a reunion that they all breathlessly await. And indeed, it will change their lives forever—but in ways that none of them could ever have expected.

As moving and life-changing as an encounter with long-lost best friends, Sisterhood Everlasting is a powerful story about growing up, losing your way, and finding the courage to create a new one.
Review: I was worried a lot about this book. While I’ve enjoyed The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books, I wasn’t sure how Ms. Brashares was going to tackle a 5th book. But she did.

I didn’t hate this book but I didn’t love it completely either. I liked seeing how Lena, Carmen, Bridget, and Tibby had grown up and what they were up to now. I instantly knew something was going to change in Tibby’s story because she wasn’t in the book as much as the other girls. The plot line, honestly, was well thought out. Like always, I got a feeling that Ann Brashers knew what she wanted to happen to all of her characters.

We meet some new characters and see some of our old favorites! Got once, Lena actually annoyed me. She was way too mopey and over thinking everything. Sometimes she acted like a teenager. But the ending for Lena was just perfect. Bridget’s life changes and she has a hard time handling it. To me, Bridget grew a lot as a character because in the beginning, she was constantly moving from one place to another. In the end, she finally isn’t scared to settles down. I also like who she ends up with! Carmen, poor girl, though successful, didn’t really know if it was what she wanted. She constantly felt that she had to be someone else, someone besides her real self. She did grow out of it but I think Carmen represented so many people who have that little thing in them, questioning what they want. Overall I think a certain incident in the beginning changed their lives in a way none of them expected. It made the strong, true to themselves and I think the girls began to see who they really were. In the end, I think all the girls ended up where they wanted to.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. I loved being back with all the girls and the characters I love and seeing how things changed for them! There was an incident (basically the turning point) that I didn’t care for and thought it was unnecessary!



Overall: 4/5
Cover Comments: 2/5—Meh. There is just something about this cover that I don’t like at all. I don’t think this represents this book really well.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Review: Torment (Fallen #2) by Lauren Kate

Title: Torment
Series: Fallen #2
Author: Lauren Kate
Release Date: September 28, 2010
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Source: Library
Hell on earth.

That’s what it’s like for Luce to be apart from her fallen angel boyfriend, Daniel.It took them an eternity to find one another, but now he has told her he must go away. Just long enough to hunt down the Outcasts—immortals who want to kill Luce. Daniel hides Luce at Shoreline, a school on the rocky California coast with unusually gifted students: Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans.

At Shoreline, Luce learns what the Shadows are, and how she can use them as windows to her previous lives. Yet the more Luce learns, the more she suspects that Daniel hasn’t told her everything. He’s hiding something—something dangerous.What if Daniel’s version of the past isn’t actually true? What if Luce is really meant to be with someone else?

The second novel in the addictive FALLEN series . . . where love never dies.
Review:I wasn’t really impressed with Lauren Kate’s Fallen, the first book in this series and I waited A LONG time to read Torment. I was just so worried that I wouldn’t like Torment like I didn’t like Fallen. Sadly, this turned out to be the case.

Maybe it’s me but these plots seem so reparative. I understand that in a series, some things are obviously going to be similar but I couldn’t shake it! I will admit that the new revelations and the new things Luce can do DID stand out from Fallen and it was really the only reason I read on with this book. Finally something new and interesting!

Luce continues to annoy me with her damsel in distress way of acting BUT I was happy to see that she wasn’t that way throughout the entire book. She actually changes and becomes much stronger and independent and THAT was the Luce that I wanted to see more of! THAT Luce was who I could connect with. The introduction of Miles and Shelby DID interest me and I was happy to see such different characters in this book. They made reading it a lot of fun! Daniel and Cam are back in this book and I was happy to see that they were rather in the background throughout the middle of the book and let Luce stand on her own. Daniel and Cam’s interactions with Luce still seemed a little forced but they weren’t as bad as they were in Fallen.

Overall, I didn’t absolutely love this book. I didn’t hate it either. I enjoyed reading it and I really want to read Passion. These books sound so steller and I keep telling myself that they will get better. Let’s hope they do!


Overall: 3/5
Cover Comments: 5/5—I love these covers! The dress, the background, everything goes so well with the book.

In My Mailbox (46) + Update

From the Library: 
 
Angel by James Patterson
Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

For Review:
 
Kiss Crush Collide by Christina Meredith
**Thanks Harper Collins**
Jessica Rules the Dark Side (Jessica’s Guide #2) by Beth Fantaskey
** Thanks  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Books**

 
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton
** Thanks  Tor Teen**

My Life Undecided by Jessica Brody
** Thanks  Farrar Straus Giroux and Zeitghost Media* 

Purchased:
None

Won: 
Fins Are Forever (Fins #2) by Tera Lynn Childs **SIGNED**
**Thanks Tera!**

SO MANY BOOKS THIS WEEK!My school's library is getting A LOT of good, new books so I'm really excited! AND THEN all of these other pretties came in the mail and I'm so super excited to read them all.

I'm so sorry for not posting more on the blog! School and life are really taking over my life. It's really school, homework, SAT/ACT studying, homework, dinner, shower, school, clubs, homework, SAT/ACT studying, dinner and all over again!

Soon I might even be doing an internship at my public library and then I won't have that much time to read too!

ALSO, I'VE GOT TO READ LESS THAN 20 BOOKS TO READ 100 BOOKS THIS YEAR. I personally hoped to get higher than 100 books and I'm hoping too, but we'll see how it'll go!

SOOOO how was everyone else's week???

Hosted by The Story Siren

WHAT DID YOU GET IN YOUR MAILBOX?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"Waiting On" Wednesday (62)

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

Title: Revived 
Author: Cat Patrick 
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May, 2012

As a little girl, Daisy Appleby was killed in a school bus crash. Moments after the accident, she was brought back to life.


A secret government agency has developed a drug called Revive that can bring people back from the dead, and Daisy Appleby, a test subject, has been Revived five times in fifteen years. Daisy takes extraordinary risks, knowing that she can beat death, but each new death also means a new name, a new city, and a new life. When she meets Matt McKean, Daisy begins to question the moral implications of Revive, and as she discovers the agency’s true goals, she realizes she’s at the center of something much larger — and more sinister — than she ever imagined.
I haven't read anything but her but I love the creep, intriguing cover and the summary is awesome too!

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Title:Never Enough 

Author: Denise Jaden 
Publisher: Simon Pulse 
Release Date: July 2012 
Loann’s always wanted to be popular and pretty like her sister, Claire. So when Claire’s ex-boyfriend starts flirting with her, Loann is willing to do whatever it takes to feel special…even if that means betraying her sister.

But as Loann slips inside Claire’s world, she discovers that everything is not as it seems. Claire’s quest for perfection is all-consuming, and comes at a dangerous price. As Claire increasingly withdraws from friends and family, Loann struggles to understand her and make amends. Can she heal their relationship—and her sister—before it’s too late?
I have Denise's first book but I haven't read it yet. When I heard about this one, I once again became interested in it! 
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Title:The Treachery of Beautiful Things 
Author: Ruth Frances Long 
Publisher:  Penguin Group USA, Inc 
Release Date: August 16, 2012 
The trees swallowed her brother whole. And Jenny was there to see it. Years later, when she returns to the woods where Tom was taken to say good-bye at last, she finds herself lured into a world where stunning beauty masks the most treacherous of evils, and strange and dangerous creatures await—creatures who seem to consider her the threat. Among them is Jack, mercurial and magnetic, with allegiances that shift as much as his moods. Determined to find her brother, with or without Jack’s help, Jenny struggles to navigate a faerie world where nothing is what it seems, no one is who they say, and she’s faced with a choice between salvation or sacrifice—and not just her own.
Oh, the cover! When I first saw it, I knew I had to check it out. AND it sounds really good!
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Title:The Princesses of Iowa 
Author: M. Molly Backes  
Publisher: Candlewick Press 
Release Date: May 8, 2012 
This is supposed to be Paige's year at Willow Grove High, when the perfect clothes, perfect friends, and perfect boyfriend pay off in a coveted spot on the homecoming court. But that was before last spring's drunken crash, the one that got Paige exiled to Paris for the summer and sent fissures through the bedrock of her friendships. Now Paige is back in Iowa, but nothing seems the same, not even her two BFFs. Nikki, the one behind the wheel that night, is scary thin, being eaten away at by guilt. Lacey now walks with a limp — and a major chip on her shoulder. Even Paige's boyfriend, Jake, seems distant, more concerned with being there for poor, crippled Lacey than for Paige herself. The only bright spot is Paige's creative writing class, taught by an inspiring new teacher who encourages them to be true to themselves.But whoisPaige, exactly, away from her growing-apart friends, her small-town beau, and her goal to be homecoming royalty? In an arresting debut, M. Molly Backes takes a hard look at high school's rituals and revelations, probing surprising depths as she hits all the beats.
I'm a sucker for these kinds of books. It sounds so cliche until...it said that she's been exiled to Paris (sounds horrible *exiled* but not all that bad *Paris) and you want to know what happened! 




WHAT ARE YOU WAITING ON?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday {16}

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

Top Ten Books Perfect For Reading Around Halloween:

1. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs: Just that cover gives me the creeps. I still haven't read this book yet (it's on my TBR pile) but it sounds sooo creepy, even from all the reviews I've read.

2. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan: Another cover that is super awesome. AND it's about Zombies. Like those legit, creepy zombies!

3. Enclave by Ann Aguirre: LOVED this book and I would have no idea how I would live in this world. Seriously, it scared me!

4. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson: I've heard that this book is super creepy and awesome and...awesome. And the cover...!

5. Any Stephen King book: Um, yeah. Read any of his book and get creeped out. I have watched movies based on his books but I have never had the guts to actually read the book.

6. Nevermore by Kelley Creagh: Edgar Allan Poe. That is all. And the fact that this book is super good and well written and I loved it all.

7. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White: It's not all about vampires and it's not all about creepy books. During all the creepy books, I love reading a fun book that makes me laugh.

8. Anything by R.L. Stine: Another author who creeps me. I read his books when I was younger and it worked out

9. The Replacement by Brenna Yavonoff: I didn't finish this book (not because I didn't like; it was due at the library) but it was creppy! And perfect for Halloween.

10. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling: For some reason, when I think of Halloween, I always read these books (except Deathly Hallow; still haven't been able to read it) and I love them.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Review: Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country by Allan Richard Shickman

Title: Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country
Series: Zan-Gah # 2
Author: Allan Richard Shickman
Release Date: September 26, 2009
Publisher: Earthshaker Books
Source: Publisher
The prehistoric saga continues in Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country, the sequel to the award winning Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure. In this story, Zan s troubled twin brother, Dael, having suffered greatly during his earlier captivity, receives a ruinous new shock when his wife suddenly dies. Disturbed and traumatized, all of his manic energies explode into acts of hostility and bloodshed. His obsession is the destruction of the wasp men, his first captors, who dwell in the Beautiful Country. When he, Zan-Gah, and a band of adventurers trek to their bountiful home, they find that all of the wasp people have died in war or of disease. The Beautiful Country is empty for the taking, and Zan s people, the Ba-Coro, decide to migrate and resettle there. But the Noi, Dael s cruelest enemies and former tormentors, make the same migration from their desert home, and the possibility develops of contention and war over this rich and lovely new land.
Review:I really liked the first book in this series and I was eager to read the second book! Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country was even better than the first book. The writing, the characters, heck, the world was just so amazing!

This book follows Zan-Gah and Dael, his twin brother. They are moving to the Beautiful Country (which I thought was interesting since they escaped from it) and get closer and closer as brothers. Zan-Gah is an even better character in this book and I loved once again, getting to know him better. I didn’t like Dael all that much in the first book but he is really a troubled guy. He is trying to deal with his new found life and to adjust.

Allan Richard Shickman once again brings him wonderful writing out! I could see the world and the characters and their voice. Dael and Zan-Gah are their own characters and Mr. Shickman does a very good job of showing their differences. He also did a great job of making each character count and have a part in the plot.

Overall, I once again enjoyed this journey with Zan-Gah and his brother. Wonderful writing, characters, setting and a lot of other things make this book a very enjoyable read.


Overall: 4/5
Cover Comments: 4/5—I think this cover goes even better with this story than the first book's cover!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

In My Mailbox (45)

From the Library:
None

For Review:
 
How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr
**Thanks Publisher!**

Cold Cereal by Adam Alex 
**Thanks Publisher!**



The Familiar by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson 
**Thanks Publisher!**


Purchased:
None

Won: 
None

I always make my post on Saturdays and I realized right now that I would be on the road tomorrow and I wouldn't have time left on Saturday to make this post!

Hosted by The Story Siren

WHAT DID YOU GET IN YOUR MAILBOX?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Review: Zan-Gah (Zan-Gah # 1) by Allan Richard Shickman

Title: Zan-Gah
Series: Zan-Gah #1
Author: Allan Richard Shickman
Release Date: July 15, 2007
Publisher: Earthshaker Books
Source: Publisher
Zan-Gah, seeking his lost twin brother in a savage prehistoric world, encounters adventure, suffering, conflict, captivity, and final victory. In three years hero passes from an uncertain boyhood to a tried and proven manhood and a position of leadership among his people. Themes include survival, brotherhood, cultures, gender roles, psychological trauma, and nature's wonders and terrors. This is the electronic version of Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure, which has been awarded Mom's Choice Gold Medal for Series, the Eric Hoffer Notable Book Award, and was a finalist for ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year.
Review:I haven’t ever read any books based in the pre-historic times so I was very excited to read this book. Zan Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure was a great read!

This book follows the adventure of Zan-Gah who is searching for his missing twin brother. Dael has been missing for a few years but begins to ask Zan-Gah for help in his dreams. Zan-Gah was a great character and I loved seeing the world from his point of view. He faces many, many dangers along his way but somehow, he makes it!

He eventually finds his brother with another, very savage tribe of people and is shocked to see that Dael isn’t the brother Zan-Gah remembered. As they are making their way home again, more trouble seems to follow them. The Wasp, a very savage tribe of people are getting ready for war. Zan-Gah realizes that everything he’s learned from his journey will help him and the other teams defeat the Wasps.

Allan Shickman wrote very well, detailed setting and descriptions. His world building was awesome! I enjoyed this book quiet a lot but there was a lot of violence so I’m not sure if it’s very suitable for young tweens (if that makes any sense).


Overall: 3.5/5
Cover Comments: 4/5—I think this cover goes very well with this story!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Book Tuber Thursday {3}


I've got a Book Tuber for you all:
elizziebooks
Name: Liz 
Channel: elizziebooks
Blog: Elizziebooksbooksbooks
Why You Should Watch this Book Tuber: LOVE this book review. She's made some of the most awesome book review vidoes ever! She doesn't spoil the plot for the story but really goes into why or why not she liked or disliked the book. ALSO she writes up her reviews on her blog and sometimes I don't have my earphones and it's awesome that I can just read her reviews! She's got a new feature called BookTube News where she talks about things happening around YouTube. SO check out her blog and her videos! You won't be disappointed!

Reviews:

Review: Uncommon Criminals (Hesit Society #2) by Ally Carter

Title: Uncommon Criminals
Series: Hesit Society #2
Author: Ally Carter
Release Date: June 21, 2011
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH
Source: Library
Katarina Bishop has worn a lot of labels in her short life life. Friend. Niece. Daughter. Thief. But for the last two months she’s simply been known as the girl who ran the crew that robbed the greatest museum in the world. That’s why Kat isn’t surprised when she’s asked to steal the infamous Cleopatra Emerald so it can be returned to its rightful owners.

There are only three problems. First, the gem hasn’t been seen in public in thirty years. Second, since the fall of the Egyptian empire and the suicide of Cleopatra, no one who holds the emerald keeps it for long, and in Kat’s world, history almost always repeats itself. But it’s the third problem that makes Kat’s crew the most nervous and that is simply… the emerald is cursed.

Kat might be in way over her head, but she’s not going down without a fight. After all she has her best friend—the gorgeous Hale—and the rest of her crew with her as they chase the Cleopatra around the globe, dodging curses, realizing that the same tricks and cons her family has used for centuries are useless this time.

Which means, this time, Katarina Bishop is making up her own rules.
Review: I’d been a fan of Ally Carter’s work ever since I read The Gallagher Girls books. When I read Heist Society, I was blow away by her ability to tell an action story with a girl hero. When I heard about Uncommon Criminals, I was ever more excited to read it! Would it be as good as Heist Society? It was better. Uncommon Criminals was full of action, danger, history, and even some romance. It’s a fun, wild roller coaster ride that once again takes you all over the world in an unforgettable adventure!

The one thing I can always count on Ally Carter to do is to tell a new, refreshing story but stay with the characters and the plot. Like Heist Society, Kat and the gang were going to steal something, we knew this. But what and how were they going to steal this item? This was the question and with all honesty, I wanted something new! This is exactly what I got! Kat and the gang went after a very rare gem this time and the stakes are ever higher. Especially when a plot twist of epic (or more than one plot twist) comes into play. The plot takes many detours and interesting turns until the gem is stolen, stolen by someone else (not part of the plan) and the re-stolen.

Kat and the gang are back in their full glory. This book went into more of Kat’s background and we actually see a softer, more vulnerable side of her that we didn’t see in the first book. She was still very kick ass and I loved seeing her in action. Hale, Gabrielle and Simon are back in this book and I liked their involvement.

So if I loved this book so much, why did I give it 4.5 stars? Well, I felt that Hale and Kat’s interactions, while frequent, seemed very forced and awkward (and not in the way it was supposed to be, reading wise) and that didn’t sit with me very well. With that in mind, I have no idea what really happened in the ending and not knowing how this story ends bugged me to no end!

Overall, Uncommon Criminals is a fun filled, action packed, adventure novel that I hope everyone will read!


Overall: 4.5/5
Cover Comments: 5/5—I LOVE it! The model, the smirk on her face, the glasses, the item they are stealing is all back!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"Waiting On" Wednesday (61)

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


Title: Flirting in Italian 
Author: Lauren Henderson 
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: June 12,2012

Four girls. One magical, and possibly dangerous Italian summer. Family mysteries, ancient castles, long hot nights of dancing under the stars . . . and, of course, plenty of gorgeous Italian boys!
I like the cover alright but I love the idea of this story!
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Title:Don't Expect Magic 
Author: Kathy McCullough  
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers 
Release Date: November 8,2011    

Delaney Collins doesn't believe in fairy tales. And why should she? Her mom is dead, her best friend is across the country, and she's stuck in California with "Dr. Hank," her famous life-coach father—a man she barely knows. Happily ever after? Yeah, right.

Then Dr. Hank tells her an outrageous secret: he's a fairy godmother—an f.g.—and he can prove it. And by the way? The f.g. gene is hereditary. Meaning there's a good chance that New Jersey tough girl Delaney is someone's fairy godmother.

But what happens when a fairy godmother needs a wish of her own?
Love the cover and the summary!

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Title:The Fine Art of Truth or Dare 
Author:  Melissa Jensen  
Publisher: Speak 
Release Date:  February 16, 2012   
Pretty in Pink meets Anna and the French Kiss in this charming romantic comedy

Ella is nearly invisible at the Willing School, and that's just fine by her. She's got her friends - the fabulous Frankie and their sweet cohort Sadie. She's got her art - and her idol, the unappreciated 19th-century painter Edward Willing. Still, it's hard being a nobody and having a crush on the biggest somebody in the school: Alex Bainbridge. Especially when he is your French tutor, and lessons have started becoming, well, certainly more interesting than French ever has been before. But can the invisible girl actually end up with a happily ever after with the golden boy, when no one even knows they're dating? And is Ella going to dare to be that girl?
Compared to Pretty in Pink and Anna and the French Kiss??? Yes, please!



WHAT ARE YOU WAITING ON?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday {15}

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

Top Ten Books Whose Titles Or Covers Made Me Buy It Because:

1) Halo by Alexandra: LOVE this cover! It's so pretty! Didn't enjoy the book as much.
2) Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa: Look at these be-u-ti-ful covers!! So swirly and pretty! 
3) Nightshade by Andrea Cremer: I have this cover and it is SOOO pretty! AND sparkly! 
4) Ice by Sarah Beth Durst: SO perfect for this book. Looking at it gives me the chills really. And you know, the bear is cute!
5) Hush, Hush series by Becca Fitzpatrick: I love these covers! They're so mysterious and dark and really eye catching!
6) I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter: Love, love, love this title! 
7) Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have) by Sarah Mlynowski: What happened? What did they do that they shouldn’t have done? 
8) A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young : LOVE this title and the cover isn’t so bad either! 
9) Paranormalcy by Kiersten White: I love both the title and the cover! I want that dress! 
10) The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher: Such a stunning cover guys! It looks even better in person!

SPECIAL MENTION: Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling. DUH!
 
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