Thursday, June 28, 2012

Review: Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Obsidian 
Series: Lux #1 
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout 
Release Date: May 8, 2012 
Publisher: Entangled Teen  
Source: Borrowed 
Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don't kill him first, that is.
After reading numerous glowing reviews of this book and the author, I knew I had to get my hands on a copy of this book! Obsidian turned out to be just as funny, sexy, and intriguing as everyone said it was going to be. It wasn’t perfect but it was an entertaining read none the less and I am now a fan of Jennifer L. Armentrout

Due to the reviews I had read, I knew the big “secret” that was revealed later on in the book that took away some of the surprise but getting to know the back-story made it worthwhile. The inclusion of Daemon and Dee’s background and origin saved Obsidian from being a clichéd book but rather it made it different. Obsidian wasn’t overly saturated with background information so it didn’t make me cringe or get overly confused at anything the author introduced nor was it all too predictable, something I had feared. There was a good balance of sexiness, funny times, and danger and excitement to make Obsidian’s plot a fast paced ride!

But I did have an issue with it all: I'd seen it all before. The new-town, new-girl scenario. Then add in the hot bad boy and something mysterious happening. There is of course a parent who is dead and the other is too busy working to really be in her (or his) child's life. Basically, besides the whole "mystery" with Daemon, everything was just...not original.

Katy was snarky and gunny and completely infatuated with Daemon, no matter how infuriating he was. She quickly realized that there was more to the jerk. She was relatable in the aspect that she wasn’t the typical “gorgeous but doesn’t know it” girl or the damsel in distress. Katy had a firm belief in who she was and she was comfortable in her skin. BUT, of course, she has to be put down by Daemon and ever though he treats her like crap (really, he does), she still think's he's totally hot. I Obviously, Jennifer L. Armentrout didn't make Katy a Mary Sue and she did stand up for herself occasionally, I wish Katy had more self...respect might be the word. Plus, she was a book blogger so obviously, that was awesome!

Daemon himself won me over. He wasn’t the clichéd jerk-who-acts-horrible-but-is-nice-underneath-his-jerkiness but rather a nice bad boy. While he didn’t always treat Katy nicely, there was a good reasoning behind it. Katy and Daemon’s stubborn personalities and strong headedness created great chemistry that was based more on their respect for each other and while there was a spark in the first time they met, they didn’t fall in love at first sight. And the sexual tension was so thick you could slice it with a knife and I loved it!

Jennifer L. Armentrout’s writing was fast paced and easy to read and enjoyable. While it wasn’t as developed per say, it fit Katy’s voice and made her more likable. I did feel that some of it was repetitive and maybe a use of a thesaurus would have been helpful, though too much would be bad of course.

Overall, Obsidian was a great read with plenty of sexual tension between Katy and Daemon that made you smile and even laugh. The dialogue with biting and funny and snarky and I loved it. Jennifer L. Armentrout has made me a fan of hers with this book and I hope to get book two, Onyx as soon as possible!
Cover Comments: 
Well, Pepe is pretty hot in real life and I do like him on the cover but it all looks too generic. I like the whole green coloring going on but maybe something more? 
Reviews Around Blogosphere: 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Old is Gold {7}: Wintergirls by Laure Halse Anderson

“Dead girl walking,” the boys say in the halls.
“Tell us your secret,” the girls whisper, one toilet to another.
I am that girl.
I am the space between my thighs, daylight shining through.
I am the bones they want, wired on a porcelain frame.

Lia and Cassie were best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies. But now Cassie is dead. Lia's mother is busy saving other people's lives. Her father is away on business. Her step-mother is clueless. And the voice inside Lia's head keeps telling her to remain in control, stay strong, lose more, weigh less. If she keeps on going this way—thin, thinner, thinnest—maybe she'll disappear altogether.

In her most emotionally wrenching, lyrically written book since the National Book Award finalist Speak, best-selling author Laurie Halse Anderson explores one girl's chilling descent into the all-consuming vortex of anorexia.
Title: Wintergirls 
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson  
Release Date/Publisher: March 19,2009 by Viking Juvenile
Why You Should Read It: I have no words for this book guys. Like, none what so ever that can accurately describe how much I loved and hated this book. I loved it because it's so realistic and written so well and it really, really showed how anorexia can affect a person's life. I hated this book because it was so...horrifying. When I was reading this book, I didn't wan to believe that this sort of stuff really did happen to people all over the world. I want to convince myself that the world was as happy and wonderful as I had hoped it was. Laure Halse Anderson delivers a gut wrenching story about a girl's "descent into the all-sonsuiming vortex of anorexia." 

Friday, June 22, 2012

What’s True in a REAL Teen’s Life: Cliques and BFFs

DISCLAMIER: This is not the reality for ALL teens. There are just MY observations and MY opinions.

Lately, I’ve been a bit…tired of reading. Not tired of a certain genre, like paranormal or dystopian, but of YA in general. After thinking about it for some time, I decided to try and figure out why this was. Why was I tired of reading the books I loved reading a few weeks ago? With my most recent book (a paranormal—actually, the last few of my read books have been paranormals), I found that my main complaint was that the book was full of clichés. Like, roll-my-eyes, o-m-g-I-can’t-belive-this-author-put-so-many-cliches-in-one-book. SO, I decided to write a list of clichés that authors wrote.

And here are the realities (for ME anyways) when it comes to these clichés:

Of course I just had to put them here! 
Cliques: I can see you guys rolling you eyes. It’s okay. I get it. It was actually one of the most surprising clichés on my list that are actually, to some point, true. Yeah, you read that right. Cliques DO exist. Maybe not the in the “mean girl rules the whole school with the equally popular jock” but there are cliques. At my school, most of the kids have gone to school together literally since pre-school, so they know each other. And among them, there are the smart kids. They’re the ones who are the valedictorians and A-plus students. At my school, I can see a group of guys and girls all wearing designer clothes who are rich. But some of them are smart too. Many of them are top of their class. Does that make any sense? For another example (and this is TRUE), there are these kids who always hang out who do drugs. I know some of them in the group and many have told me that they do drugs. Maybe not in your school, but in my school, there are kids who hang out together and we say that they’re like a “clique.”

Honestly, there are those girls who are always taking about guys and dating and yes, they do make fun of other kids and then there are the kids who wear all black and can be called “emo”(funny thing is, they themselves make fun of that). Cliques have a very, very bad rep in YA books and as I’ve thought about it, I’m saddened by it. I think that people don’t realize that cliques (as I mentioned) can be a close group of friends. What many would associate as “cliques” is actually a bad definition. Like at my school, many of them have gone to school together since kindergarten so yes, they would be part of a group. They aren’t mean (well, most of them) but can you really, honestly get mad at them? Look in the blogosphere itself and you’ll see it. Many bloggers have close friends and many could call them a “clique” but is it really bad that you have a group of friends you’re really good friends with or really close to? In conclusion, “cliques” have gotten a bed rep in YA books and I wish this would change. Some people are part of a “clique” simply because they’ve been friends with each other for a long time and they hang out a lot together.

Best friends: from my own personal experience, NOT ALL BFFs are bad. BEALIVE ME. No matter what you read about it books, they aren’t always that bad. My bestie is someone who has seen me laugh like a crazy person but she’s also seen me loose my cool. But the thing is, she’s there for me and I’m there for her. We’re open with each other. For example, there was a guy she liked and I’d been around him and I was worried about it. So I told her my opinion of the guy AND SHE DID NOT LOSSE HER COOL. She accepted it. She’s got a mind of her own and that’s why she was oaky with it. I’m her best friend and I’m supposed to tell her these things, right? Because, I mean, that’s what friends do! Harmony of Harmony’s Radiant Reads actually wrote a great post about the good/bad best friends. My point is: not all bffs are crappy. Sure some cause problems or use people, but there are true bffs out there. I just wish we saw more of them in YA.

They exist guys! Good friends are hard to find but once you find the keepers, there's no turning back. We can also associate this with "cliques." In a group of girls, some would call them a "clique" and say that they're mean and rude and flaunt their money for all to see. Sure, they might do this. But if one of them got into some drama with someone else? All of the girls would stand behind their friend. They would protect each other from anything. And who's to say that they themselves don't have issues? Everyone has issues but as good friends, they are able to see past it.

Best friends accept you no matter what.In a plutonic way, best friends can be the "opposites attract" sort of thing. So we need more good bffs, with their good times and their bad times!

Turns out, I had a LOT to say so I've broken these down to like 2 or 3 cliches per post!

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TGIF(3): Authors Are Our Celebrities

TGIF is hosted by Ginger at GReads! and every Friday, she posts a question that we answer and link up with others!
This week's question: 
Authors Are Our Celebrities: Have you ever contacted an author you admired? How did that experience go? If not, which author would you love to have a chat with?
J.K. Rowling is a given really so I'm going to go with: Laurie Halse Anderson.

I've never actually contacted her before but I remember when the Speak Loudly and #YASaves (my post here) was going on all over the web, I wrote this post about why YA saves and she tweeted me and OMG, I had such a fan girl moment. I actually sat dumbfounded that LAURIE FREAKIN HALSE ANDERSON TWEETED ME. Yeah. It was awesome.

Why: Her books are terrifyingly realistic. I'm sure all of you *unless you live under a rock* have heard of Speak or Wintergirls or Twisted so you know what I'm talking about! Her books are a must read, in my opinion, and though they can be graphic, they are really, really well written.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Review: The Duff by Kody Keplinger

Title: The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend 
Author: Kody Keplinger 
Release Date: September 7, 2010
Publisher: Poppy (Little Brown) 
Source: Library  
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.
After reading A Midsummer's Nightmare, I had to get my hands on The Duff, Kody Keplinger's (she wrote this in high school!) debut novel and I already owned Shut Out. I was a little worried about reading The Duff because it's such a touchy topic, body image and sex. The Duff is one of the most realistic contemporary novels I've read in a long time. It's quirky and funny and sexy but it's also gut wrenching and there's more going on to Bianca than meets the eye.

I have good self esteem but like Kody Keplinger said in the book, everyone feels like the Duff at some point in their life and I know I sure did (do). I really, really liked Bianca because she's so like me! She's cynical without meaning to be and she speaks her mind about anything and she's got that touch girl exterior. It's after Wesley appoints her the name the Duff that the reader sees that Bianca isn't as strong as she seems to be. Her family life is far from perfect and you feel a lot for Bianca when more is revealed about her situation.

I did like how Kody Keplinger put sex into this book and I think she actually did it well. The relationship with Bianca and Wesley was realistic (but then again, it's the whole: girl doesn't look good and she gets the good looking guy) and I actually thought it was funny. Both seemed to bring out the best (and worst) in each other and their interactions were hilarious!

Overall, The Duff was an excellent contemporary novel. The writing, plot, and the characters came together to make this an enjoyable read! I only wish that the characters gone through more development throughout the book though. I really do wish more people will read this book because I think they'll be surprised by what they find and how much they enjoy it! Another win for Kody Keplinger!
Cover Comments: 
It's an okay cover I guess. It does go with Kody's other cover with have a face on the cover and I do like the defiance in the model's (Bianca?) face. I also like how it shows with DUFF stands for. 
Reviews Around Blogosphere: 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Breaking Dawn Part 2 Trailer & Reaction

 I'll be honest, part 1 didn't work for me really and I was disappointed by it. After that, I wasn't sure about part 2 but honestly, after this trailer, I'm actually excited for this movie. For the fist time, it looks EPIC. Hopefully, it's not as boring as part 2 but HOLY COW, it looks good!

Kristen looks pretty guys!!!! I like her make up for the FIRST TIME EVER. And she looks like she's going to kick butt but how's she going to pull of the mother thing?

Also: THAT GUY IS A WATERBENDER (as Cassidy said!)

I guess we'll just have to wait and see!

What did you guys think? 

Monday, June 18, 2012

The word Exotic and Race in YA and in General

**BEFORE YOU READ THIS POST, PLEASE KNOW THAT THESE ARE MY OPINIONS. I mean no disrespect to anyone what so ever!**

I was looking at a post on a fellow blogger’s blog and I came across the word “exotic” to describe an actress who was Asian…and it bugged me. It bugged me a lot actually and I began thinking why that was so. After some thinking, I realized that it had a lot to do with how people describe others who clearly look different from them in terms of race. No, I’m not calling anyone a racist or anything. I’m just pointing out a fact.

For one, let’s begin with the fact that I myself am short. I have long, brown hair and tan skin. Most people who don’t know me personally, automatically (and I mean, automatically) assume that I am either Mexican or Hispanic. I'm not just saying this for no reason. This has happened very, very often and sometimes, people have assumed I'm Mexican and started speaking Spanish to me. In other instances, people who I have told in the past that I am Indian continue to think that I am Mexican.

I am Indian.
Many instances, people will be taken aback when I tell them this and will comment on how they were sure I was Mexican. This is something that has been happening to me for a very long time and it’s come to the point where I get so agitated about being called Mexican that I tell people I’m not Mexican right away. But why? Why is that they were sure I was Mexican? What is it about me that says I am Mexican?

Lets just be clear before I continue: there is nothing wrong with being Mexican but it’s the fact that I am not Mexican that gets me. I politely say I am not Mexican and I move on. Heck, I’ve been pointing out to people I meet that I’m not a Mexican because I don’t want them to ask me.

One of my friends asked me why this was. Why did I get bugged when someone assumed I was Mexican or Hispanic. She said something along the line of “I mean, they don’t know you so how can they know you’re not Mexican or Hispanic?”

And that is where the reason lies: they don’t know me. If I’ve just met you, neither of us know each other. You won’t know that I’m Indian. But they assume I am a certain race BECAUSE I have tan skin and dark hair. I look non-American and therefore, I have to be a certain race. If you don’t know me and you wonder about my race, ASK ME about it. I'll be more than happy to tell you about my nationality and race. Just DON’T assume that I’m a certain race.

The answer to that question is simple: I get bugged about being called a certain race because people aren’t open minded enough. Why do you assume someone is a certain race by the way they look? I just want to know why no one guesses that I am Indian or some other race? Sure, some people have guessed it but still. WHY is having tanned skin and dark hair automatically make (in my experience Hispanic or Mexican? Now, I only use this because quiet honestly, it’s what I have ALWAYS been assumed to be. If we live in a “true” melting pot nation, should people not have an open mind to maybe realize that I’m from another country, other than what they’re so accustomed to?

But I am asked people why think assume that I am Mexican. This is one of the responses I’ve gotten (and it’s actually a very common reasoning): “Well, most Indians I’ve seen have darker skin and black hair (I have brown hair) and most Mexicans have your skin tone and hair color.”

I find this reasoning to be very sad. Though it's true (my sister and I are both have lighter skin tones than our family and she's got reddish brown hair which isn't very common among Indians...that's I'm aware of), I just wish it didn't make it a contributing factor to our race. It's kinda of like saying if you're Caucasian, you can't have tan skin. We all know that this is false. I let them know that I am Indian and *cue the surprise.* AND then, going off on that same subject, I’ve heard many of my friends and adults describe other Indians (and Asians) as “exotic” and I am baffled! The word “exotic” used to describe someone in American in the 21st century? Which is why being called “exotic” gets me. If we really are a “melting pot” nation, why do we still describe people as “exotic”? Exotic is defined as: of foreign origin or character; not native; introduced from abroad, but not fully naturalized or acclimatized.

What I want to know is what makes a person “exotic”! I sure don’t call the next Japanese person I meet “exotic.” I actually haven’t called anything that in a LONG time. Are there not Japanese Americans here? There are plenty of Indian Americans and Chinese Americans and many more people form other parts of the world. They are American and have been living here for YEARS. Why are people not accustomed to seeing people of different races in America?

As I thought about these things, I realized that this ties into books (in my opinion). I have NO PROBLEM what so ever if a white author writes about a character that is not white. I’m all for it, really. The one thing I want is for them to try their hardest to get the culture and life style right. I know, it sounds like I want perfection but that’s not true. I’ve written about Indian characters and I’ve messed some things up but I try to get the closest to reality that I can. But again, more POC protagonist are needed! People should learn about other countries and cultures! Looking back on America itself, you know that people came from other countries.

I don’t want to read a book where a character of a different race is defined as “exotic.” Because in my opinion, nothing is really “exotic” anymore in terms of people (there are so very weird animals out there though!). I can tell you that when Indians in India think of Americans, “exotic” is NOT a word many use to define you all; obviously, I only speak for my family and friends. I want to read a book where the characters are real and the plot is good and the writing is well developed. I want the race to play a part of the characters life and not define them completely.

Since so many people being reading when they’re young, maybe if authors incorporate more races form all over the world, people might be more educated. And they might not assume that a person who clearly looks different is of a certain race. I mean, there are plenty of Americans who have tan skin and dark hair like me but no one seems to think they’re of another race or even from a different country.

Maybe if there was more diversity in YA, many teens (and adults too) wouldn’t make assumptions like that. More diversity would lead to being more educated and awareness of other cultures. Maybe then people wouldn't make assumptions about a persons race based on what they see. They might think it over and just ask out loud if they're so curious.

I am proud to be an Indian American. I'm proud of my country and my culture and I have no problem in telling you that. I just don't want you to assume something like this about me. Human nature or not, I wish people were more open minded.

What do you all think? Have you ever been called a certain race based on what people see?

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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Book Haul (63)

THIS IS A FEW WEEKS WORTH OF BOOKS! Turns out, the last time I posted one of these, it was in May! I'm not sure HOW that happened but here are the books I've gotten since then.
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
City of Fallen Angles by Cassandra Clare
For Review: 
A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger
Messy by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
**Thank you Little, Brown and Poppy*
Between the Sea and the Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore 
The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell
Getting Over Garrett Delaney by Abby McDonald
 Little Women and Me by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Week In Review: 
**This is just for the current week!**
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries 
Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Beach Reads 
Review: A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger 
Should I or Shouldn't I: L.M. Montgomery Edition 
TGIF: Most Valuable Book 
Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer 
What books did you get this week?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Title:  The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Series: Mara Dyer #1
Author: Michelle Hodkin 
Release Date: September 27, 2011 
PublisherSimon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Source: Gift 

Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.

There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.

She’s wrong.
I whole-heartedly wish this book had been published earlier than 2011. I can assure you, it’s not because of what you think. The thing is, when I was a younger teen, I wasn’t as critical of books as I am now. The thing with The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (first of all, I love all parts of that novel except for the name Mara; I don’t know why but I’m not a fan of the name) was that it was TOTALLY HYPED UP. Almost every review I read, it talked about how good it was and OMG HOW HOT NOAH WAS. I was expecting a lot but when I began reading it last year, I couldn’t get 1/3 through. When I decided to read this book today, I was fresh of mind and ready to be blown away.

I was, to say the least, not blown away. There was so much going on all at once and it was all fast at time but then slow again and it was all…crazy. I’m going to admit it: most of the reviews I read were spoiler free BUT I could still guess what was going to happen next. Not always, to be sure, but I did get some assumptions right so a lot of the mystery was lost for me. The book had a really jumbled pace. If it was a strategy to make the book have more mystery and intrigue, the jumbled pace of the novel lost that for me.

Something in the plot that really, really, really got me: the plot has some sort of paranormal element that needs to be explored but all is forgotten when we get to the love interest. I loved the first chapter! It got me interested and I couldn’t wait to read more. BUT when Mara meets the oh so hot, oh so swoon worthy Noah Shaw (more on him later), I felt like the paranormal element took a back seat and that was not okay.

Clichéd. That is how I would describe the characters in this book. Mara actually wasn’t all that bad but she wasn’t all the great either. As mentioned above, I wish Mara hadn’t made Noah her entire life. While they did explore the paranormal aspect, Mara constantly talked about Noah. If she was talking about the accident or something, she would for some time and then it was all about Noah. To Mara, I wanted to tell her to please make Noah a PART of her life, not her ENTIRE life. The thing was, I’ve seen Mara before. Sure they didn’t have her issues and all that and I’m not calling her a Mary Sue. I’m just saying that I wasn’t surprised by her.

And oh Noah Shaw. What can I say about you? Noah’s the hottest guy at the prep school (of course) and all the girls are in love with him (of course) and he’s also been with all the girls (of course). Did I mention that he’s bored with all the girls at the school UNTIL Mara comes along? AND then he’s not bored because Mara is different and not like all the other girls he’s known? For all of you people who love Noah Shaw, please enlighten me on what is so amazing about him? Is it his accent and his wealth and his broodiness? Normally, I would find that extremely hot but then I look at the character and Noah Shaw was not one I liked. He was arrogant and mean and wouldn’t leave Mara alone. Supposedly his behavior should be explained after some background on his life was revealed but honestly, I wasn’t happy with it. His crappy way of treating Mara in the beginning was supposed to be hot? And I get that people have sucky lives and the act out but does that honestly justify his actions? No, it doesn’t. Seriously, do people really think teen girls fall for that? Well, turns out, yes they do, be honestly, Noah would have been the guy that all the girl’s would stay away from at my school. And he’d be the guy girls would tell their friends to stay away from because:
"Noah doesn't date. He'll screw you--literally and figuratively. Everyone knows it--his conquests know it--but they pretend not to care until he moves on to the next one. And then they're alone and their reputations are shot to hell. Anna's a prime example, but she's only one of many. I head that a senior from Walden tried to commit suicide after he--well. After he got what he came for, pun intended, and didn't call again." Page 115, hardcover copy
That's totally hot right? I mean, what teen girl WOULN'T want to be with a guy like that?! I can promise you all this: most teen girls don't find this kind of guy attractive. Sure, some do, but not many and I just found Noah to be rather repulsive. Having something crappy happen to you DOES NOT give you the right to be this way and be considered hot.

Overall though, I wasn’t impressed with The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. I was actually disappointed by the characters (ESPECIALLY Noah; I really, really wanted to love him guys.) and much of the plot but Michelle Hodkin’s writing brought me out. I think people should still give this story a try. After all, there are plenty of people who loved this book. Will I be reading the second book? I’m not sure yet. I might but I’ll not be pining away for it.
Cover Comments: 
I LOVE THIS COVER SO MUCH! It's sooo pretty and mysterious and intriguing. The cover, in my opinion, didn't really do this book any justice: the cover was just better! I love it so much! Plus, it's a nice leathery feel (the hardback) and the font is nice too! And it makes you wonder if the guy is helping the girl or bringing her down? And yet another question: what exactly does water have to do with this book?
Reviews Around Blogosphere: 

Friday, June 15, 2012

TGIF(2): Most Valuable Book

TGIF is hosted by Ginger at GReads! and every Friday, she posts a question that we answer and link up with others!
This week's question: 
Most Valuable Book: From your personal collection of books, which ones hold the most value to you - is it signed by the author? or maybe it's your favorite story of all time? Share it with us.
Without a doubt, my HP collection. Yes, I'm cheating a little but seriously, without all of these books, I don't where I'd be. I love the HP series no matter what people say about them. Do they have flaws? Yeah, they do, but what book doesn't? The thing with these books is that they were my childhood.

At the young age of 6, I discovered the story of a big wizard and his best friends and their adventures in the magical world. Though about magic, the books didn't refrain from having serious issues: deaths, distraction, etc. It was also a coming of age story with various characters that I came to love and respect.

I grew up reading and watching Harry, Ron, and Hermione grow older and change, for better or for worse. I saw some of my favorite characters die and I cried for them. For the first time, I felt utter respect for an author who did something not many did: J.K. Rowling wasn't afraid to kill of major characters. No one was safe from dying.

What about you? Leave links and I'll be sure to visit!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Should I or Shouldn't I: L. M. Montgomery Edition

This is a new feature that I'll post periodically where I feature books that others have read and loved that I haven't read! You, my dear reads will be in charge of telling me if I should or should not read these books!
Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery is HUGLY popular. People say Anne is a great charter and there's sweet romance and the writing is good. But I've never actually read these books.


Well, I'm scared.

Plain and simple, I'm scared that I won't love these books. I'm scared that I'll be disappointed. I'll tell you: Anne of Green Gables sounds like my type of books! They're the type of books I love reading but I don't want to be disappointed.

Anna of Anna Reads posted about a new TV show based on these books and she's clearly in love. Which made me wonder if I should read the books before the show starts?

I'm not too certain so this is where you all come in! Should I or Shouldn't I read Anne of Green Gables series by L.M . Montgomery?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Review: A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger

Title: A Midsummer's Nightmare 
Author: Kody Keplinger 
Release Date: June 5, 2012 
Publisher: Poppy 
Source: Publisher 
Whitley Johnson's dream summer with her divorcé dad has turned into a nightmare. She's just met his new fiancée and her kids. The fiancée's son? Whitley's one-night stand from graduation night. Just freakin' great.

Worse, she totally doesn't fit in with her dad's perfect new country-club family. So Whitley acts out. She parties. Hard. So hard she doesn't even notice the good things right under her nose: a sweet little future stepsister who is just about the only person she's ever liked, a best friend (even though Whitley swears she doesn't "do" friends), and a smoking-hot guy who isn't her least, not yet. It will take all three of them to help Whitley get through her anger and begin to put the pieces of her family together.

Filled with authenticity and raw emotion, Whitley is Kody Keplinger's most compelling character to date: a cynical Holden Caulfield-esque girl you will wholly care about.
I've never read a book by Kody Keplinger but I'd heard that she was a good author. When I got the chance to read A Midsummer's Nightmare, her third book, I took my chance. I'm glad I read A Midsummer's Nightmare because it was a great, realistic and funny story.

Whitley is a messed up girl, there's not doubt about it. She is dealing with her breaking family and the feeling of abandonment and I loved every minute of it. Whitley was a great character and I loved reading about her. Did she make mistakes? Yes. Did I think she was completely and totally ruining her life? Yes. But the thing was, she's seventeen. She's a teen and she's young and she's going through a lot. My parents aren't divorced and I don't drink but I'm seventeen too and I could relate to her. Did I feel that maybe she was a little over the top? Yeah, but I got over it.

I did think that Nathan was a little too...good? Maybe it was because he'd be really honest about what he thought about Whitely and then he'd take it all back...a little quickly. Did I think he was a good love interest and a little quirky and NERDY (nerds will take over the world!) and funny too? Yeah, I did and for the most part, I really loved him.

I guess the reason I didn't love it all the way was because the ending was just a little too...perfect. I didn't think all the mess could be solved that quickly but I guess it'll take a while for everything to work out. Anyhoo, Kody Keplinger can write teens in all of their perfectly screwed up angstly ways and I LOVED IT. Whitley could be a girl at my high school and I want to meet a guy like Nathan. Her way of portraying teens was REAL. Many time, adults think all teens care about is all their issues and angst and I think Kody Keplinger showed that there's more to teens that that. I really appreciated that. And Bailey, the soon to be step sister is THE MOST ADORABLE LITTLE SISTER EVER. She might even match Olive from Unbreak my Heart. She's like the Energizer Bunny, full of life and always moving but there's more to her. She's able to see through Whitley's facade and is really able to help her out of it. She was totally great!

Overall, Kody Keplinger's A Midsummer's Nightmare is a funny, cute, and heartwarming story and I LOVED IT. Does Whitley make you want to slap her and tell her she's got such great people in her life and not to screw it up? Yes. But in the same way, you root for her. I could see a little me in her (I don't drink or do half the things she did but I know PLENTY of teens who do). Whitley is quickly and real and sometimes brash but she's REAL. You have to read this book!

Cover Comments: 
I like this cover but I have an issue with it: what is up with the model's face? Maybe it's because it's Whitley and she realizes that the guy she slept with is going to be her step brother? I'm not sure BUT I do like the colors and the hat and it all works well together but the expression still gets me! 
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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday {32}

 is a weekly feature hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish!

Top Ten Beach Reads:
When I think of each reads, I tend to think contemporary. I dunno why. But making this list was actually harder than it should be. I needed to pick on 10 BOOKS! But after some consideration, here are 10 books I'd read at the beach in no particular order: 
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins: I just had to mention this one! Though it doesn't take place in the summer, it's super cute and funny and charming and who does't want to read about Eitenne?
Unbreak My Heart by Melissa Walker: A recent favorite! I loved this book so much! It takes places over the summer AND IT'S ON A BOAT! Plus, there's a cute artist boy and there's drama and growth.
The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han (+the other 2 books): They take place in the summer! They're fun to read but they also have more going on that meets the eye. Plus, it's very much a coming of age...trilogy.

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matsen: There is ALWAYS a need to have a road trip book when it comes to beach reads! They're so much fun to read and there's always that summer romance. While this book does deal with grief and moving on, you'll have a smile on your face as you read this story, see the pictures and even the playlists! 
The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg: The Beatles! And a cute story. A girl who vows off boys and creates a club about it? Why not! It's a funny story about getting over break ups and hearty breaks and realizing that maybe all hope it's lost!

Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn’t Have) by Sarah Mlynowski: Such a cute story! While there is an undertone of seriousness, it'll make you smile and laugh and it's just a great time!

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen: Any Sarah Dessen would be good but I love this one! Not only does it take place on a beach town, it's a great story about self discovery and well, going through the rights of passage that any kid should go through. Plus, there's no beach reads without ONE Sarah Dessen book, ya know?

I Now Pronounce You Someone Else by Erin McCahan: I'll admit it! I completely forgot about this book until I cleaned up my shelf and found my copy of this book! It's such a heartwarming and cute story that really made me smile when I read it.
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot: You know, if someone was to come and tell me I was a princess, I'd be beyond happy. And this book is so good! Mia is funny and awkward and sweet and nerdy and I just love her.

Secrets of My Hollywood Life by Jen Calonita: Sometimes, you just need some good ol drama for the beach! How about an actress in Hollywood who tells you what it's really like to be an actress. Kaitlin is funny and quirky and actually more normal that most would expect. Her way of navigating through life in the most humble way  possible is....hilarious!

And there you have it! My list of books I'd read at the beach. If you haven't read any of these books WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?! GO and read them NOW! Also, I'm sure I said "funny" or "hilarious" at least once for every book on this list so I do like me so funny books. Obviously.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

I think it's obvious that I love Jane Austen. More so, I love Pride and Prejudice and Lizzie Bennet. I'm also a big fan of Vlogbrothers, John and Hank Green. So, when I first heard about The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, I wasn't so sure about it. But after watching the first episode, I couldn't get enough! I watch the new episodes every Monday and Thursday! I think you all should check it out!
Not only that, but they have twitters and pintrest and a website! Check it all out at their website

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Review: 127 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad

Title: 172 Hours on the Moon 
Author: Johan Harstad and Tara F. Chase 
Release Date: April 5, 2012 
Source: Publisher 

Three teenagers are going on the trip of a lifetime. Only one is coming back.

It’s been more than forty years since NASA sent the first men to the moon, and to grab some much-needed funding and attention, they decide to launch an historic international lottery in which three lucky teenagers can win a week-long trip to moon base DARLAH 2—a place that no one but top government officials even knew existed until now. The three winners, Antoine, Midori, and Mia, come from all over the world.

But just before the scheduled launch, the teenagers each experience strange, inexplicable events. Little do they know that there was a reason NASA never sent anyone back there until now—a sinister reason. But the countdown has already begun. . .
That cover intrigued me and freaked me out at the same time. No joke. So right off the bat, I knew that there was going to be something scary and creepy going on in this book. Though it stars off slow, 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad is an intense book that really builds up to that epic climax.

First, the plot: Can I just say that NO MATTER how cool it would be if NASA actually decided to send teens into space, I would never put my name in. Maybe because the parts of this novel that take place in space are…scary, to say the least. Mind you, the book begins off slow, introducing the characters and going into some details about the contest itself and the motives that the character had for accepting the contest. But once they’re in space, y’all, it’s so fast paced and something or another is happening. Anther part I loved is how the author was able to make this little known pieces of actual history into something really intriguing.

Next, the characters: it was nice to see characters from around the world that weren’t American. The reader is able to see that Mia from Norway, Midori from Japan, and Antoine from France are very much like American teens, no matter where they come from. They have their own reason (as said above) for accepting and we get to see how it affects them. I liked Mia the best but I was also able to connect with Midori’s need to change up things from her tradition. They were good characters and while not as developed as I would have liked them to be, I did feel for them once they got into space.

Johan Harstad has a great way of writing the characters and the other characters. He was able to bring a little different voice and personality to each of the characters and that was really nice. Overall, 172 Hours on the Moon by John Harstad was a great read. The characters were pretty awesome and the plot was just crazy and weird and awesome all at once. There were a lot of characters and sometimes I had to remember who was who but that was okay. I don’t recommend you read 172 Hours on the Moon at night because you will be looking behind you quiet often!
Cover Comments: 
Creepy. Scary. Creepy. I like how this cover convey's the feel of the novel and all, but man is it a creepy one! It makes me shudder, every time I look at it! 
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