indefinite hiatus; i may not come back to the blog, but I'll leave it up anyway if anyone wants to take a look at any old posts etc. :)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Review: Beautiful by Amy Reed

Title: Beautiful
Author: Amy Reed
Publisher: Simon & Shuster 
Pub. Date: October 2009
Length: 232 pages
Summary (from back of book):
When Cassie moves from the tiny town where she has always lived to a suburb of Seattle, she is determined to leave her boring, good-girl existence behind. This is Cassie's chance to stop being invisible and become the kind of girl who's worth noticing.
Stepping into her new identity turns out to be easier than Cassie could have ever imagined...one moment, one choice, will change everything.
Cassie is trapped in a swift downward spiral tinged with violence and abuse, and no one—not even the one person she thought she could trust—can help her now.
Cassie moves from Bainbridge Island to Seattle. There, her life was boring and lonely, but here, nothing is going to be the same. Cassie befriends tough girl Alex and begins turning into someone else. She is immersed into a world of drugs, violence, and sex. Cassie loves the thrill of her new life, but is also terrified of what could happen. She embraces the numbness of drugs and loses her virginity to an older boy. Now she is being called beautiful. But Cassie never realizes the danger she’s really in, and now, the only person who can save her is herself.
Before I finished this book, I’d already decided that Amy Reed is a master. Normally, authors turn away from writing books like these, or do it all wrong. Amy Reed wrote it perfectly. It’s one of those books that are good from the start. The cover and the summary draw you in, and after the first chapter you are hooked.
I can’t directly relate to Beautiful, but I’ve had poisonous friendships and know what it’s like to be isolated and wanting to fit in. Someone who was becoming close to me got caught up in the world of drugs a few years ago and still hasn’t returned. Beautiful got me considering things and reasons that I’d never thought about before. I never thought that someone would start using because they were scared or wanted to fit in. Beautiful is mind opening, and in some cases, life changing.
*This book is recommended to older teens and adults because of the content. Although Cassie is in seventh grade, this book is definitely not for children of that age.
5 Moons

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's Thanksgiving today in the United States, a day where we give thanks for everything we are grateful for. A lot has been on my mind this year, and I've decided I'm thankful for the life I have. Seriously. I have a roof over my head, friends and family, and barely any problems at home. That's a lot more than many people can say. 
Books changed my life, I don't know what I'd do without them. So my question is... What books or authors are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Review: Cruel Summer by Alyson Noel

Title: Cruel Summer
Author: Alyson Noel 
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin 
Pub. Date: May 2008
Length: 240
Summary (from author's website):
Having recently discarded her dorky image—and the best friend that went with it—Colby Cavendish is looking forward to a long hot season of parties, beach BBQ's, and hopefully, more hook-ups with Levi Bonham, the hottest guy in school. But her world comes crashing down when her parents send her away to spend the summer in Greece with her "crazy" aunt Tally. Stranded on a boring island with no malls, no cell phone reception, and an aunt who talks to her plants, Colby finds herself worrying that her new friends have forgotten all about her. But when she meets Yannis, a cute Greek local, everything changes. She experiences something deeper and more intense than a summer fling, and it forces her to see herself, and the life she left behind, in a whole new way... 
When I first started reading Cruel Summer, I almost put it down. It wasn't horrible, but it was definitely not for me. Colby seemed annoying and spoiled, but around the middle of the novel, she got likable enough that I could continue reading. Thats not very good. I grabbed this book because it takes place in Greece, which is one of my favorite places in the world, but was disappointed when all Colby did was complain about it. 
I decided to give Alyson Noel another chance after reading Saving Zoe, so because I was short on money, I got this book from the library. I'm glad I did. Cruel Summer was written only through blog entries, letters, diary entries, and texts, which was confusing because it didn't show anyone's messages but Colby's and left the minor characters undeveloped. I also felt that everything that happened was predictable. The plot was very unoriginal, and even the "twists" in the story were not unexpected or surprising. Overall, I would not recommend this book to anyone :/
2 Moons

Waiting On Wednesday: Beautiful by Amy Reed

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

by Amy Reed
Published by Simon & Schuster
Length: 232 Pages
Release: October 06, 2009
When Cassie moves from the tiny town where she has always lived to a suburb of Seattle, she is determined to leave her boring, good-girl existence behind. This is Cassie's chance to stop being invisible and become the kind of girl who's worth noticing.
Stepping into her new identity turns out to be easier than Cassie could have ever imagined...one moment, one choice, will change everything.
Cassie is trapped in a swift downward spiral tinged with violence and abuse, and no one—not even the one person she thought she could trust—can help her now.
I’m kind of obsessed with the cover of Beautiful. It’s simple, but the lettering makes it look edgy and the girl’s expression is, well, hard. It seems to fit the description of the novel perfectly. When I saw this book in the store I knew I had to buy it, and haven’t been able to it off my mind since. I’ll definitely be reviewing it soon.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


 Today, November 11th, is Veteran's Day in the United States.
It's a day where we reflect, remember and honor those who have lost their lives fighting for our country and for those still fighting for us.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Review: The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

Title: The Dead-Tossed Waves
Author: Carrie Ryan
Publisher: Delacorte Books 
Pub. Date: March 2010
Length: 416 pages
Series: The Forest of Hands and Teeth #2
Summary (from bn.com):
Gabry lives a quiet life. As safe a life as is possible in a town trapped between a forest and the ocean, in a world teeming with the dead, who constantly hunger for those still living. She's content on her side of the Barrier, happy to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. But there are threats the Barrier cannot hold back. Threats like the secrets Gabry's mother thought she left behind when she escaped from the Sisterhood and the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Like the cult of religious zealots who worship the dead. Like the stranger from the forest who seems to know Gabry. And suddenly, everything is changing. One reckless moment, and half of Gabry's generation is dead, the other half imprisoned. Now Gabry only knows one thing: she must face the forest of her mother's past in order to save herself and the one she loves.
Life behind the Barrier is the only life Gabry has ever know. She follows the rules, and everything goes fine. But when her best friend, Cira and the other kids their age decide to go past the Barrier and into the Ruins, Gabry can't help but follow. After all, Cira's brother, Catcher, whom she's liked forever, is going and finally showing an interest in her. But when the innocent trip turns deadly,  life as she knows it is all about to change.
The Dead-Tossed Waves is a companion novel, however, it is not necessary to read The Forest Of Hands And Teeth before this one. I do recommend it though, because I found it better than This one. The previous novel contained fascinating mythology, which I expected to find in The Dead Tossed Waves. Instead, the story begins right before Gabry's life really starts to erupt. 
Certain parts of the novel lacked the emotion that should have been there. The romance in it was OK, but weak. You don't know much about either of the men, which makes it hard to like them. I couldn't get attached to Catcher or Elias. When Gabry does make her decision, it comes out of nowhere. She's kissing one guy one minute, then declaring her love for another the next. This book is nothing special, but I'll still be looking out for the next book in the series, The Dark and Hollow Places, out in 2011.
This trailer seriously freaked me out, you have to watch it!

3 Moons

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Before I Fall: The Movie!!

I'm excited for the release of Lauren Oliver's next book, Delirium, but I just found out Before I Fall is going to be made into a movie! Yay! We don't know when it will be released, 2011, 2012, 2013... but Lauren Oliver is an amazing author and I CAN"T WAIT!!
To learn more about the movie, click here.

Return To Paradise by Simone Elkeles

Title: Return To Paradise
Author: Simone Elkeles
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
Pub. Date: September 2010
Pages: 302
Series: Leaving Paradise #2
Summary (from goodreads.com):
Maggie and Caleb just went through the worst year of their lives. Hit by a car and starting life over with a limp, Maggie never thought she would forgive Caleb. But she did-and fell in love. What they shared was real. But Caleb wanted to be free from the past-a terrible secret: he wasn't the one who hit Maggie. So he left Paradise-and Maggie-forever.
When Maggie and Caleb run into each other in a different town, they can't deny their true feelings. Will Maggie leg Caleb get away again? Or will Caleb face the truth and return to Paradise?
 Caleb got in trouble. Again. It been eight months since he left Paradise, the small town he grew up in, and isn't planning on returning. So when its his turn to call, he waives it. But the cop insists he call Damon, his guidance counselor from the year before. He agrees to bail him out, if he'll join Re-Start, a program for teens affected by drunk and reckless driving. When Caleb arrives for the trip, he sees someone he never thought he'd see again. Maggie.
 Return To Paradise is the sequel to Leaving Paradise, and for those of you who have read it, you were probably mad at the huge cliff hanger ending. It's told alternating between the two characters' perspectives, Caleb and Maggie, like the previous novel. Which, I have to say, disappointed me. While some parts of Caleb's view seemed real, most did not. A lot of female authors just can't write from male perspectives, and Simone Elkeles is one of them. 
The drama felt a little forced; And the way Maggie and Caleb's romance was off again on again, where one moment Maggie hated him, then next she was kissing him, seemed unreal and made Maggie look stupid. In Leaving Paradise, I understood Maggie, but in Return To Paradise, she was kind of boring. Return to Paradise is a good sequel, not as good as the first book, but still worth reading.
3 Moons

Monday, November 8, 2010

Glimpse by Carol Lynch Williams

Title: Glimpse
Author: Carol Lynch Williams
Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
Pub. Date: June 2010
Pages: 496
Summary (from bn.com):
In one moment 
it is over.
In one moment
it is gone.
The morning grows
thin, grey
and our lives-
how they were-
have vanished.
Our lives have
when I walk in
on Lizzie
my sister
holding a shotgun.
Twelve year old girl Hope's life is turned upside down when her older sister Lizzie becomes an elective mute and is institutionalized after trying to kill herself. 
Hope and Lizzie are as close as sisters can be. So when Hope walks in on her sister holding a shotgun, her life is altered in a permanent way. Their mother sends Lizzie to a mental hospital, where she becomes a selective mute. Meanwhile, Hope is left wondering why her perfect sister would try to kill herself and what made her think death was the only way out. 
The cover of Glimpse is absolutely amazing, matching the story perfectly. The subject is so real, nude, raw, and awful that it makes you want to cry, scream, and hug it at the same time. I was drawn into Glimpse so much that it felt like I was there with Hope the entire way. 
My favorite part was in the beginning when Hope found Lizzie:
"What are you doing, 
Lizzie Girl?" 
"Just thinking, 
just thinking about
It is written with so much emotion and description in a way that drew me in and kept me that way until the last word; when I finished the book, I closed it and stared at the front cover for a long while, just thinking about

5 Moons

You Wish by Mandy Hubbard

Title: You Wish
Author: Mandy Hubbard
Publisher: Razor Bill
Pub. Date: August 2010
Pages: 304
Summary (from bn.com):
Kayla McHenry's sweet sixteen sucks! Her dad left, her grades dropped, and her BFF is dating the boy Kayla's secretly loved for years. Blowing out her candles, Kayla thinks: I wish my birthday wishes actually came true. Because they never freakin' do.
Kayla wakes the next day to a life-sized, bright pink My Little Pony outside her window. Then a year's supply of gumballs arrives. A boy named Ken with a disturbing resemblance to the doll of the same name stalks her. As the ghosts of Kayla's wishes-past appear, they take her on a wild ride . . . but they MUST STOP. Because when she was fifteen? She wished Ben Mackenzie would kiss her. And Ben is her best friend's boyfriend.
You Wish was just the kind of book I needed. Its a fun, light read, and I laughed throughout the whole thing. Kayla isn't a very likable character and only had me laughing once or twice. However, the others are much more likable and entertaining. The settings confused me at times, Kayla lives in a small town yet it has two malls and the high school has hundreds of students.Other than that, You Wish surprised me by how strongly it was written, and I will definitely be looking for more by Many Hubbard.
Would I recomend this book? Yes, everyone needs a light read like this one.
4 Moons

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Willow by Julia Hoban

 Title: Willow
Author: Julia Hoban
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Pub. Date: February 2010
Pages: 336
Summary (from bn.com):
Seven months ago, on a rainy March night, sixteen-year- old Willow's parents drank too much wine and asked her to drive them home. They never made it—Willow lost control of the car and her parents died in the accident. Now she has left behind her old home, friends, and school, and blocks the pain by secretly cutting herself. But when Willow meets Guy, a boy as sensitive and complicated as she is, she begins an intense, life-changing relationship that turns her world upside down.
Seven months after the accident that took Willow’s parents lives, Willow is no longer suffering emotional pain but physical pain by secretly cutting herself. She is living with her older brother and has left behind everything that was part of her old life to survive her new one. But when she meets Guy, she has to ask herself how. How she could possibly give up her razors when they're the only thing holding her together.
I think I related to Willow so well not because I cut, but because I have a friend who used to, and I know how it can affect you; I understood how Guy felt.  I know a lot of people say they don’t believe someone could really be that good, be that nice to a complete stranger, but I like to believe that just meeting the right person can help you out of whatever you are in.
Would I Recommend this Book? Yes.
4 Moons

Hold Still by Nina LaCour

Title: Hold Still
Author: Nina LaCour
Publisher: Penguin Group
Pub. Date: October 2009
Pages: 304
Summary (from back of book):
I am a girl ready to explode into nothing.
That night Ingrid told Caitlin, I'll go wherever you go. But by dawn, Ingrid was dead and Caitlin was alone. Suddenly Caitlin has to deal with a completely unfamiliar life-a life without art, the laughter, the music, and they joy she shared with her best friend. When She finds the journal Ingrid left behind, Caitlin gets a chance to learn about another side of her friend; and the journal becomes her guide as she deals with forging new friendships, finding a first love, and learning to live without the one person who knew her best.
 "Dear Caitlin, there are so many things I want so badly to tell you but I just can't." Hold Still is about the journey of a girl recovering the loss of her best friend in the wake of her suicide.
Hold Still is written true, and in such a way that the characters lived both on the pages and off. Unlike most novels, Ingrid's journal entries seemed real and full of the emotion she had while writing.
I loved the way descriptions were used-"I just stood there with my eyes closed, feeling the movement of all the people around me, the vibration of the bass rise through the floor to my throat, while something inside me broke and came back together,”- it felt like I was standing right next to Caitlin and sharing her pain. 
Would I recommend this book? Yes, my review does no justice for Hold Still, just believe me that you have to read it!
5 Moons