Thursday, November 29, 2012

Review: Where It Began by Ann Redisch Stampler

Where It Began by Ann Redisch Stampler
Release Date: March 6, 2012 
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Author for Review
A teen’s world comes crashing down in this compulsively readable YA debut that’s as literary as it is commercial.Gabby Gardiner wakes up in a hospital bed looking like a cautionary ad for drunk driving—and without a single memory of the accident that landed her there. But what she can recall, in frank and sardonic detail, is the year leading up to the crash.

As Gabby describes her transformation from Invisible Girl to Trendy Girl Who Dates Billy Nash (aka Most Desirable Boy Ever), she is left wondering: Why is Billy suddenly distancing himself from her? What do her classmates know that Gabby does not? Who exactly was in the car that night? And why has Gabby been left to take the fall?

As she peels back the layers of her life, Gabby begins to realize that her climb up the status ladder has been as intoxicating as it has been morally complex...and that nothing about her life is what she has imagined it to be.
I will have to say that this book took me forever to read. After dredging through this book, I may need to re-think my "no reviewing review books unless I finish the entire book" stance. A relatively large book, Where It Began has the vibes of Before I Fall yet that is where the similarities end. Where It Began has a drawn out plot, a boy obsessed main character, and too many cliches (and might I mention slut shaming?) to make me enjoy it.

I wanted to like Gabby. I really did. But Gabby was way to judgmental and boy obsessed for my taste. After the accident, Gabby honestly doesn't remember anything yet all she cares about is getting back with popular-good looking-fantastic Billy Nash. When she might be blamed for a serious crime, she still only cares about Billy. When someone tries to help her, she only cares for Billy and says horrible things about these people. She was also a very flat character and like the other characters in this book, I didn't care much for her. Her mother has to be one of the worst YA parents I have ever read about. Does she care that her daughter could have died? No. She cares about the scars and how Billy (who is popular and rich) will not want to be with an ugly girl. 

Another aspect of Gabby that I didn't like was her continuos use of the word "slutmuffin" to talk about girls who have money, wear nice clothes, have many relationships and might just wear their skirts a little too high for Gabby's liking. I will not say anything else but no. Just no!

The plot also didn't help. The majority of it had to do with Gabby and Billy talking about how they were going to get Gabby out of trouble and when they could see each other next. It dragged and like I said, it could not keep my interest! The last few chapters were actually redeeming but the "big" reveal just turned out...wrong. It made no sense and I couldn't help by think that the characters are very, very stupid. 

Overall, Where It Began was not a book for me. I didn't like the characters or the plot or the way anything was executed honestly. I'm not sure who I would recommend this book to but you all can check it out for yourselves! 
Cover Comments: 
Eh. I actually liked it at first and it reminded me of Before I Fall but I've realized that it's nothing special and rather bland. 
Reviews Around Blogosphere: 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

"Waiting On" Wednesday (73): Just One Day by Gayle Forman

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

I haven't done one of these since...JULY!

Just One Day by Gayle Forman 
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile 
Release Date: January 8, 2012 
A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay

When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.

Just One Day is the first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon!

A new Gayle Forman book HAD to be on my list of course! I mean, Shakespeare, England, traveling, Paris, and man, just EVERYTHING about this book!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Top Ten Most Anticipated Books For 2013

 is a weekly feature hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish
This weeks theme is: 

Top Ten Most Anticipated Books For 2013

Holy wow is this a hard topic! But here are the books I chose:
Just One Day by Gayle Forman: It's Gayle Forman guys! And it has travel in it. And a guy. And exploring a city the girl is new to. I just, really? Who wouldn't want to read this? 
The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen: The haters can hate but OMFGJAHSKHFHJE! A SARAH DESSEN novel guys! 
Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter: Hale is in the sun glasses. Which means Hale is what Kat needs to get. Which is...AWESOME! 
Requiem by Lauren Oliver: I NEED to know what happens after that 
This I What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith: I LOVED The Statistical Porbability of Love at First Sight and I can't wait to see what Jennifer E. Smith has in store for us in this book! 
Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt: Look at that cover and tell me you don't want to know what it's about! 
The Archived by Victoria Schwab: "Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books." 
The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler: A Sarah Ockler book. So you know. 
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins: I mean obviously, this HAS to be on my list. 

What are your top ten most anticipated books for the next year?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!


Sunday, November 18, 2012

YallFest aka Awesomeness Recap

So, on November 10, 2012, I was able to drive down to Charleston, South Carolina to attend YallFest! This was the second year it happened and I was unable to visit last year.  

I was super excited to be able to go. I arrived around 10:30 and I immediately made a list of authors I wanted to see. I had to leave at around 4 so I was unable to meet various authors. I was also unable to go to any panels but maybe next year! 

Now for the fun part: THE AUTHORS! I met so many delightful, wonderful, authors and I was very much in shock. This was my very first author event and the fact that I was able to meet the likes of Stephanie Perkins and David Levithan blows my mind!

Here are some pics which will tell a better story*:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Bookish Thoughts: Where It Began by Ann Redisch Stampler

First of all, SORRY for not posting more reviews this week! I completely forgot to schedule some but I will get it done this weekend! In the mean time, enjoy another bookish thoughts!

So. This book hurts my head honestly. The main character, the plot, everything just hurts my head! Now, the plot itself isn't half bad. Some of it is really interesting but as I've said before, the characters can either make or break a book for me.

Gabby. Oh, Gabby. I'm so not liking this girl. She's completely obsessed with her boyfriend and she might get sued for something major but does she worry about this? NO. NO, she worries about when she'll see her boyfriend and if they're still a thing and all of this bs.

It's a hard read because I don't like it but I don't like reviewing books without finishing them.

If any of you have finished this book, what did you think? Did you have the same issues I did?

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Review: Shadows (Lux #.5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Shadows (Lux #.5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release Date: February 21, 2012 
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Source: Borrowed  
The last thing Dawson Black expected was Bethany Williams. As a Luxen, an alien life form on Earth, human girls are…well, fun. But since the Luxen have to keep their true identities a secret, falling for one would be insane.

Dangerous. Tempting. Undeniable.

Bethany can’t deny the immediate connection between her and Dawson. And even though boys aren’t a complication she wants, she can’t stay away from him. Still, whenever they lock eyes, she’s drawn in.

Captivated. Lured. Loved.

Dawson is keeping a secret that will change her existence...and put her life in jeopardy. But even he can’t stop risking everything for one human girl. Or from a fate that is as unavoidable as love itself.
After having mixed feelings about both Obsidian and Onyx, my friend allowed me to read Shadows. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I actually didn’t want to read it. But this friend guarantied that I would love this book. And she was right. Shadows by Jennifer L. Armentrout was the book that I needed to read after the mellow Onyx.

I will admit I wished I had read this one before both Obsidian and Onyx. Maybe than I would have realized that Daemon wasn’t being a complete ass just to be an ass. He lost his twin brother and after meeting Dawson in this book, I can see how this would hurt someone a whole lot. Dawson, Dawson, Dawson, what can I say about you that hasn’t already been said? Dawson is the opposite of Daemon and while I like a good bad boy, a sweet boy like Dawson is ever better. It’s not just that he’s sweet and caring and loving, it’s the fact that he can be kick ass if he wants to be. Dawson loves his family but he loves Bethany also.

Bethany by the way surprised me. She isn’t kick ass like Katy but I liked a whole lot. Maybe it’s because she reminded me of me or maybe it’s because she’s an ordinary girl but I connected with her. Yet the best part for me was the light shone on Daemon, Dawson, and Dee’s relationship. Though each of their alternating perspectives, you can see how much they love each other and what they’re willing to do for one another. Their different personalities meshed together in perfect harmony and I couldn’t be happier. The events of Obsidian make so much more sense now and I’m glad I can love Daemon a little bit more.

Overall, Shadows was a fantastic prequel and after the ending in Onyx, I can’t wait to read more in the series now! I must warn readers: Shadows is much slower paced and a lot less action packed then the other two book. It’s fitting though since you’re trying to learn more about our favorite aliens as well as Bethany and Dawson’s relationship.
Cover Comments: 
My favorite book of this series has a hot guy on the cover AND IT IS BLUE. Clearly, this cover was made for me. I will admit: it's like all the covers and nothing new really. But I love it nonetheless. 
Reviews Around Blogosphere: 

Monday, November 05, 2012

Review: Onyx (Lux #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Onyx (Lux #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release Date: August 14, 2012 
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Source: Borrowed  
Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…

Thanks to his alien mojo, Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarro connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems.

Something worse than the Arum has come to town…

The Department of Defense are here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we're linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And there's this new boy in school who’s got a secret of his own. He knows what’s happened to me and he can help, but to do so, I have to lie to Daemon and stay away from him. Like that's possible. Against all common sense, I'm falling for Daemon. Hard.

But then everything changes…

I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’s never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?

No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies…
If you haven’t read Obsidian yet, I’m not sure what is wrong with you. While they’re not amazing books in my opinion, I like reading them. They’re fun and quick to read and very enjoyable. Onyx, book two in the Lux series, dealt more with Daemon and Katy’s relationship with the alien aspect taking backseat. Though I had issues with this book, I felt like it accomplished its goal: it entertained me. Again, I didn’t love this book and I didn’t feel like this book was better than Obsidian and I did feel that it fell to the second book syndrome.

Onyx had a lot going on with the relationship between Katy and Daemon and I have to say: I didn’t like Daemon in this book. He was much more of a jerk and I didn’t understand half of his reasoning’s. Why did he act like such a ass all of a sudden? Along those lines, I was disappointed to learn that a new love interest for Katy was introduced. While yes, he did play a larger role in the plot, it was obvious he was there to add more friction and in turn, tension, between Katy and Daemon.

What I really want to know is: what happened to the kick ass Katy from Obsidian? Katy made stupid decisions left and right and it drove me insane! At one point, I stopped reading this book. She was whiney and annoying and didn’t seem to have a sense of danger. The biggest aspect that made me upset was the fact that Katy forgot all of her friends. No matter what, friends will always be there for you and Katy seemed to have forgotten about all of them. This new Katy, I didn’t like.

The alien plot line in Onyx was one of my favorite aspects. I hadn't figured out everything there was to know about these alines and Jennifer L. Armentrout had this way of surprising. Did I guess a lot of things about Katy and Daemon and his family? Yes. Yet somehow, the author was able to put in that excellent amount of "I think I know what's going to happen" with "I was not expecting that" to make me enjoy this book.

Overall, not as good as Obsidian but not completely horrible. I didn't like the Super Jackass Daemon in this book and I didn't like Katy either. The plot was my favorite part of this book and saved me from hating it! I do recommend you to pick up Obsidian if you haven't done so already!
Cover Comments: 
It's purple! I think this cover is okay and I like that it fits with the other covers of the series but I can't help but feel that this is kind of like all these other YA book covers. Nothing really interesting on it and not one I would pick up off the shelves, sadly. 
Reviews Around Blogosphere: 

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Review: Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham

Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham
Release Date: June 12, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster 
Source: Library
1 Concert
2000 Miles
3 Ex-Best Friends

Alice, Summer, and Tiernan are ex-best friends.

Back in middle school, the three girls were inseparable. They were also the number one fans of the rock band Level3.

But when the band broke up, so did their friendship. Summer ran with the popular crowd, Tiernan was a rebellious wild-child, and Alice spent high school with her nose buried in books.

Now, just as the girls are about to graduate, Level3 announces a one-time-only reunion show.

Even though the concert’s 2000 miles away, Alice buys three tickets on impulse. And as it turns out, Summer and Tiernan have their own reasons for wanting to get out of town. Good thing Alice’s graduation gift (a pea-green 1976 VW camper van known as the Pea Pod) is just the vehicle to get them there.

But on the long drive cross-country, the girls hit more than a few bumps in the road. Will their friendship get an encore or is the show really over?
I love reading books about road trips so when I saw this book at my library I snatched it up. From the very beginning, I knew I was going to enjoy this book. It had everything a good road trip book needs: interesting companions, an actual road trip, and well, random occurrences that made for a very enjoyable read. I actually finished this book in one day and afterwards, I really wanted to go on a road trip with my best friends.

One of the best aspects about this book has to do with the three girls friendship. Even if they didn't talk for a long time due to an issue freshman year, during the road trip, the three girls realize that they've always been friends. They had a friendship that was very strong and deep and unforgettable, even after all the years that had passed. As cliché as it sounds, they’re a perfect examples of how different personalities can mesh together so well. It’s actually a very realistic aspect of life: look at your own friends: are they all their own people even if they have common traits or likes? Their friendship was one of the reasons the plot itself worked so well: they each brought something different to the mix.

Speaking of plot, I think it would be amazing if my parents would let me drive down the coast to see my favorite band with my friends. For me, it’s not likely but all three girls have different reasons to go and it’s all explored in the book. While there aren’t too many details to make it seem tedious, there is enough information to satisfy any questions a reader might have. I loved all the different places they went and their complete random occasions. While the girls did have a planned rout, changes along the way made for a fun adventure. A few times, I even worried for them (being the mother hen like person I am) but overall, I enjoyed this book and the road trip involved.

Alice, Summer, and Tiernan had been friends years ago until an issue during freshman year tore them apart. It was an issue that was blown out of proportion and seemed pretty but it can happen to anyone. Reunited was written in alternating perspectives which is not my preferred format. In most cases, characterization and character development can truly be hard go achieve when alternation perspectives and I honestly felt that not much development happened. While yes, their issues were resolved in the end, I didn't feel much for it. Alice, Summer, and Tiernan actually turned out to be very stereotypical: one is the super smart, the other the popular girl, and one is the troublemaker. I had a hard time connecting with any of the three characters because I was not given much into their backgrounds to begin with.

Overall, Reunited was a good book. I loved the traveling aspect of this novel and now I want to go on a road trip with my friends but this book was not without faults. The ending became rushed and didn't feel right in the context of the book, which in turn made me dislike it a little. While I didn't hate the characters, I didn't feel much for them either. Reunited is a fun book to read, one that will make you want to go on a road trip but unfortunately, the characters didn’t work too well for me.
Cover Comments: 
Eh. I like the bright yellow actually pretty nice and different. And the I like the map and the three different people but this cover is just bland. I wanted something more. I actually like it when road trip books have photos and post cards on the cover. I want a new, fresh cover. 
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