Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Social Experiment

I honesty hope that it's not a surprise that I love TV. I watch all sorts of shows: the good, the bad, the ugly. I like to see the newest shows to see what all the hype is all about. Lately, a lot of shows have been about the younger demographic. Much like Sex and the City, these shows show the younger Americans going through daily ups and downs and trying to live their lives in this crazy world. 

So I decided that I would watch these new shows and share my thoughts on them. They won't be episode recaps but rather a brief synopsis with lots of spoilers (there had to be a way for me to talk about what happens in the show.) Here are the four shows I have so far: 
underemployed mtv
This is an MTV scripted show and after the amazingness that is Awkward, I decided I'd give it a go. They are a group of college graduates who realize that the world isn't as amazing as it seems and being a grown up can be hard. 
girls hbo
I've seen a few episodes and I didn't like it. (4 *white* girls in New York City and no diversity what so ever. Also, if she's supposed to have been cut off by her parents, why did she still get money from them?) But it seems to be very, very popular so I think I will watch all of season 1 to see if it gets any better. 
carrie diaries CW Annasophia Rob
A CW show and I'm not so sure about this one. Hopefully it will be better than the book (that I never finished). I LOVE Sex and the City and Carrie so I'm looking forward to seeing how this story progresses. 
So I watched Awkward in about two days since all of the episodes for season 1 and 2 are on MTV's site. It's actually a very funny, quirky show that deals with teen life. Obviously, there are issues with it but it's not all that bad. 

My main goal to is to see what kind of shows are out there for this-and I can't think of a better word-demographic. It is a social experiment: these are the types of shows my friends watch (no, I will NOT watch Jersey Shore or Dance Mom or Teen Mom) and I want to see why they are so popular! 

And so far, that is it! But I'm really excited about this "experiment" and I can't wait to see how 2013 turns out! 

What do you think about this idea? 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Monday, December 24, 2012

2012 in Review

Jamie of The Perpetual Page Turner came up with this end of year book survey!

Best in Books in 2012 

1. Best Book You Read In 2012? (You can break it down by genre if you want)
Contemporary YA: The Fault in our Stars, The Mockingbirds, Jellicoe Road
Fantasy: Seraphina
Historical Fiction: Code Name Verity
Middle Grade: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Easy by Tammara Webber: Did not see what any of the hype was about
For Darkness Shows the Stars: A Jane Austen re-telling yo.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012?
Jellicoe Road: Wow was I not expecting this book but it blew me away!

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?
Jellicoe Road, Seraphina, Code Name Verity

5. Best series you discovered in 2012?
Obsidian: I honestly think this is the only new series I began this year!

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?
Melina Marchetta, Rachel Hartman

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
Er. None that I liked.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?
Jellicoe Road and Code Name Verity

9. Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:
Jellicoe Road
Code Name Verity

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?
Tell me that it is not gorgeous. And it's a character of color and it wasn't white washed. 

11. Most memorable character in 2012?
Taylor from Jellicoe Road

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?
I feel like a broke record but Jellicoe Road. I stayed up for an entire night reading this amazing book! But I will admit: it's tied with The Fault in Our Stars

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012?
Code Name Verity: There was a lot about this book about life and living and how we take life for granted. There was a part in this book where I cried and I just...yeah.
The Mockingbirds and What Happens Next: These two are about rape and two of the best books from this year. I've never personally been affect by rape nor do I hope to be but I couldn't help but feel for the protagonists of these two books.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read?

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012?
“My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.”- The Fault in Our Stars
“I am no longer afraid of getting old. Indeed I can’t believe I ever said anything so stupid. So childish. So offensive and arrogant. But mainly, so very, very stupid. I desperately want to grow old.” - Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012?
Shortest: Losing It by Cora Carmack (204)
Longest: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead (421)

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!
1) Pandemonium’s ending: like WTFHAMFJDIJHRWGRFHR
2) THE LINE in Code Name Verity

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).
Maddie and Verity: their friendship. Just wow.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously
Vessel hands down!

20. Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:
Jellicoe Road: by like every blogger out there!

Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2012 (optional) 

 1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2012?
Novel Sounds: This lady is extremely creative! Her posts are thoughtful and fun!
Ivy Book Bindings: I LOVE her writing and we tend to have a lot of things in common when it comes to books!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2012?
Jellivoe Road

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?
The Evolution of GoodReads and the Blogosphere in Last 4 Years: It didn't get a lot of love but I was very proud of it! 

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?
ANYTHING by Nicole at WORD for Teens and Harmony of Radiant Reads

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2012?

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)? 
My movie review for Dolphin Tale had the most views.....

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

What’s True in a REAL Teen’s Life: Cliques and BFFs: I was really honest with this post and I addressed a lot of what I'd seen in YA. 

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)? 
All the bookish jewelry on Etsy! I can't list all of the places but man, scour Etsy and you'll find tons!

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year? 
Did not read 100 books this year and I was very sad about it. I will admit: senior year turned out to be more hectic than expected and personal issues kept my mind occupied.

 Looking Ahead… 

 1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2013?
See I loved The Gemma Doyle books by Libba Bray but I never finished Going Bovine or Beauty Queens. I really wanted to read this one but didn't get the chance. 
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013? 
AH. Yeah WAY too many to list. But I did a Top Ten Tuesday post!

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2013?
Make my personality shine on this blog. I'm the people pleaser and this past year, I've realized that I need to be me. I'm not always fun; sometimes I'm very serious and other times, I'm the biggest clown in the room. I focused so much of 2012 on being who others--colleges, teachers, friends, family, readers, publishers--wanted me to be that I just got really fed up.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Review: Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers

Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers
Release Date: December 23, 2008
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin 
Source: Won 
When "Perfect" Parker Fadley starts drinking at school and failing her classes, all of St. Peter's High goes on alert. How has the cheerleading captain, girlfriend of the most popular guy in school, consummate teacher's pet, and future valedictorian fallen so far from grace?

Parker doesn't want to talk about it. She'd just like to be left alone, to disappear, to be ignored. But her parents have placed her on suicide watch and her conselors are demanding the truth. Worse, there's a nice guy falling in love with her and he's making her feel things again when she'd really rather not be feeling anything at all.

Nobody would have guessed she'd turn out like this. But nobody knows the truth.

Something horrible has happened, and it just might be her fault.
After hearing so much hype surrounding Courtney Summer’s books, I decided to take the plunge with her debut novel Cracked Up to Be. It’s a rather short novel but it packs quiet a punch. I didn’t realize that the main character would be so hard to like or that the novel really would be gritty and honest. Cracked Up to Be was a hard novel to finish but one that I enjoyed immensely. Courtney Summer’s writing is realistic and even a little sad.

Parker Fadley was an incredibly hard girl to like. While I understood, and you will too, that she had gone through something bad, it doesn’t change much. She’s loud and rude and mean. She pushes everyone-friends, family, teachers-away. Parker Fadley is a broken girl and one you want to desperately help even if you can’t stand her. Her behavior stems from keeping a dark secret and even if you find out this secret, she’s not very likable. But there are those moments that seep through and you see this girl who wants to just forgive and move on. It’s hard and not easy but she is human and doesn’t deserve to hurt herself so much.

The writing is one of the strongest points of this novel and now I see why Courtney Summer’s is so popular. She doesn’t hold back at all and I was surprised at how realistic her dialogue was. I have never met a girl like Parker before but teens do talk like they do in this book. It was very realistic and her characterization was brilliant. As I said, Parker is not a girl people would love but in the end, I felt for her and that surprised me. I expected to hate Parker till the very end but I didn’t and I know that takes amazing characterization.

I will admit, the last few chapters were choppy and went by way to fast. It took me a few minutes to completely understand what happened. I do think that it was one of my complaints about this novel. Another would be the romance. I simply wanted more. More of the young man Parker was falling for without meaning to. Their relationship was sweet and harsh and Parker wasn’t nice but the guy realized that she went through an event she wasn’t ready to open up about.

Overall, Cracked Up to Be has to be one of the quickest books I’ve ever read. It was frustrating and annoying and Parker made me angry yet I felt for her and I couldn’t get to the end fast enough. Cracked Up to Be turned out to be extremely heart-wrenching, sad, wonderful, and just all the emotions.
Cover Comments: 
Eh. I don't really care for it but I don't have defining issues about it. It's very misleading though so I hope the author's reputation is enough to get people to read this book. What's inside is so much better. 
Reviews Around Blogosphere: 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Review: Half Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Half Blood (Covenant #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release Date: October 18, 2011
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press 
Source: My sister won it a long time ago
The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi-pure-bloods-have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals-well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures. Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.
It’s not often that you read a book where you opinions about it are utterly torn. For me, Half Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout is that book. On one hand, I enjoyed the book well enough but on the other, I couldn’t stand it. I want to say that the similarities this book had with one of my favorite series didn’t bother me but that would be a lie. It bothered me enough to make to stop reading this book and take a break. I spent an entire day away from this book before I resumed reading. And weeks sense, I still don’t’ know how I feel.

From the beginning, I knew to be cautious. Various reviews had warned me that there would be similarities but I was not expecting what I got. So much of Half Blood reminded me of Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. Having read VA, I didn’t even need my book to compare the two: (Martha on GoodReads had a great list I liked):
Rose leaves the school with someone
Alex leaves the school with someone
Rose has Dimitri (who is a legend in the Dhamphir world) stand up for her
Alex has Aiden (who is a legend in the Pure blood world) stand up for her
Rose has Dimitri training her
Alex has Aiden training her
Rose has someone she cares about very much turn evil
Alex has someone she cares about very much turn evil
Rose has Dimitri find her and bring her back to the school
Alex has Aiden find her and bring her back to the school

And as Martha said, I could go on and on. But really, there is no need.

I also want to mention that I was bored throughout this entire book. Had it not been so similar to VA, maybe I wouldn’t have guessed everything from a mile away. I have this big thing about finishing books I start which was really why I read it. I wanted to know why people loved this book. Now I laugh any time someone says, “if you liked Vampire Academy, this is for you” or something similar beacasue really, people, call this book for what it really is.

Overall, I probably won’t be continuing this series further and am very disappointed. I really like Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Lux Series but this book? No. People have said it gets better and more original and I have half a mind to read it just to see how similar it is to Vampire Academy.
Cover Comments: 
Oh, this cover. I think I remember reading something about a hibiscus flower in the book but again, I can't remember correctly. But honestly, pretty bad. I don't like it. 
Reviews Around Blogosphere: 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Winter TBR Pile

I have never been this behind on my 100 books a year challenge but I have 21 books to read before the year is over. I have chosen 20 books from my TBR pile to read this winter. I can read them in any order and I'll cross them off my list as I read THEM ALL. I need one more book and once I finish these, I'll add one book to my pile as well. Let's hope I can do this. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Review: Losing It by Cora Carmack

Losing It by Cora Carmack
Release Date: October 15, 2012 
Publisher: ?
Source: Friend 

Bliss Edwards is about to graduate from college and still has hers. Sick of being the only virgin among her friends, she decides the best way to deal with the problem is to lose it as quickly and simply as possible-- a one-night stand. But her plan turns out to be anything but simple when she freaks out and leaves a gorgeous guy alone and naked in her bed with an excuse that no one with half-a-brain would ever believe. And as if if that weren't embarrassing enough, when she arrives for her first class of her last college semester, she recognizes her new theatre professor. She'd left him naked in her bed about 8 hours earlier.
This is going to be a short-to-the-point-review. Honestly, I was so excited for Losing It. Read the summary again and tell me that that doesn’t interest you. Think of how awkward that would be! And in all honestly, Losing It has to be one of the only books I regret reading.

There isn’t much I can say about Bliss Edwards but that simple fact that I hated her. She was annoying and naive and I often wondered if she was a teenager or an adult. She’s supposed to be 22 but often spoke like she was younger than 16. Or maybe I just don’t know enough people? I don’t know but her lack of maturity really bugged me. For example, she didn’t say “vagina” very much like the girl in Fifty Shades of Gray (no, I don’t remember her name and no, I don’t feel like looking it up) and this girl is 22. She also didn’t have much of a character. I didn’t know her and frankly, I didn’t want to know her. Garrick was just the same. Was he supposed to be an adult? I understand that he was supposed to be very sexy, very British but he came off as a college-frat-boy type of guy and not what so ever.

The plot was non-existent and I’m not sure what happened I was bored so much. I love good characters and I can overlook a plot but since I hated Bliss and Garrick, I wasn’t even worried about the plot line. It had something to do with a play and love and lust and oh, a friend zoned guy of course.

Overall, just a bad book. I have no idea how the publishers picked it up or if they’re going to change anything about it but I really don’t care.
Cover Comments: 
Wait. How old is Garrick supposed to be? I mean, the guy in the cover looks like he's a teenager. And the girl too. It's just a bad, bad cover. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Top Ten New-To-Me Authors

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

Top Ten Favorite New-To-Me Authors I Read in 2012  

I haven't read that many books this year and I'm sure some others I'll be reading will be added to this list. Also, there was no distinction if it meant previous published authors or debut authors.  
What authors are on your list? 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Review: The Boy Recession by Flynn Meany

The Boy Recession by Flynn Meany
Release Date: August 7, 2012 
Publisher: Poppy 
Source: Publisher 
Kendra has always felt overshadowed by her older brother, Grayson, whose OCD forces him to live a life of carefully coordinated routines. The only way Kendra can stand out next to Grayson is to be perfect, and she has perfection down to an art -- until a cheating scandal threatens her flawless reputation.

Behind the wheel of her car, with Grayson asleep beside her, Kendra decides to drive away from it all -- with enough distance, maybe she'll be able to figure everything out. But eventually, Kendra must stop running and come to terms with herself, her brother, and her past.

With undeniable grace and humor, acclaimed author Jennifer Brown explores OCD, the pressure for perfection, and the emotional highs and lows of a complex sibling relationship.
There comes a time during your week when you're incredibly tired or bored and you just want something fun to read. This was how I was feeling when I began reading this book. I'll be honest; I wasn't expecting anything deep or overly sentimental from this book. I was hoping to be entertained and boy was I! The Boy Recession is a quick, funny, and adorable read that will make you smile and get you out of any reading funk.

The plot is self-explanatory and my only complaint was that this book was too short. I would have liked this book a lot more had the plot been expanded. Time flew by really fast and it didn't always work in this books favor. The chapter titles were a lot of fun to read and even seemed like little foreshadowers.

Characters are very important to me and in most cases, I don't like alternating perspectives. They make it harder for the reader to connect with the characters and it can be hard to distinguish the voices. While I didn't absolutely love both characters, I didn't dislike them either. Kelly was the girl-next-door and Hunter was surprisingly the laid back, cool guy. He was the one guy that people could be friends with and someone a girl might not automatically think as boyfriend material simply because…they were friends.

But overall, The Boy Recession was a speedy read that I read one a lazy day. It made me laugh and smile and while I predicted some things and thought others were cheesy, it didn’t dissolve my enjoyment of the novel. I think people should read this book for sure, especially when they are looking for a get-me-out-of-my-reading-funk kind of book.
Cover Comments: 
It's actually pretty. While it's not the best cover, it fits the book perfectly! And there is something about the simplicity that just makes me very happy. I think these kinds of covers (where the title takes over the entire front) is going to be big in 2013. 
Reviews Around Blogosphere: