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. :)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Review: Kiss It by Erin Downing

Title: Kiss It
Author: Erin Downing
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pub. Date:June 15, 2010
Length: 273 Pages
Summary (from goodreads):
A girl’s gotta do who a girl’s gotta do.
Chastity Bryan has never been shy about going after what she wants. And when sexy, mysterious, so-not-from-this-town Sebastian walks into Chaz’s life, she knows in an instant that what she wants next is him. Chaz has no intention of playing for keeps—but she most definitely has intentions. Who needs true love when you’ve got true lust?
Sebastian has no idea what he’s in for—but maybe neither does Chaz….
My Thoughts: Kiss It is one of the funniest books I've read in a while. Chaz was hilarious and her story  addicting. I simply couldn't put this one down. It's funny, well written, and the characters well developed.  Basically, it's more than what the summary leads you to believe. 
Okay, so, I have to rant about how much the summary bothered me. It was mostly just the one sentence "Sebastian has no idea what he’s in for—but maybe neither does Chaz…." that ruined it for me, but it also made Chaz seem kind of... Slutty. Not like really, really slutty, but enough that I noticed it when I read it. She's not really like that, and the writing isn't that bad. But this is only the summary, so let's get on with the book. 
 The story begins with Chaz and Sadie, her best friend, watching a show about bunnies "getting it on." So you know from the start this isn't a book for younger teens. However, most of the innuendos do go away after the first few chapters. Some scenes are still pretty detailed, but they are the scenes that were necessary to the story line. It just wouldn't have been the same without them.
Chasity, or Chaz, is entertaining (laugh out loud hilarious) and "drawn to all things sexual." She's funny and sarcastic, but is still smart and strong. I really love her thoughts about the bedroom scene where she checks her email... if you've already read it you know what I'm talking about. It was hilarious! I liked all of the characters in their own way, except for Sebastian. I know what you must be thinking: Why? And, honestly, I'm not quite sure.  I had a (hot) image of him in my mind, but everything else was just kind of blah. And the reason why he is acting so weird to Chaz? It just didn't seem like that big of a deal. 
I think part of the reason a lot of people decided not to read Kiss It is because Chaz seemed like one of those girls who gives it away like it's nothing; but once you're past the first few chapters in you know this is not the case.  I don't want to give anything away; I'll let you find it all out  for yourself, but Chaz has a kind heart and is very helpful, especially when Sadie needs her.

4.5 Moons

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Review: Identical by Ellen Hopkins

 Title: Identical 
Author: Ellen Hopkins
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
 Pub. Date: August 2008
Length: 592 pages
Summary (from goodreads):
Do twins begin in the womb?
Or in a better place?
Kaeleigh and Raeanne are identical down to the dimple. As daughters of a district-court judge father and a politician mother, they are an all-American family- on the surface. Behind the facade each sister has her own dark secret, and that''s where their differences begin.
For Kaeleigh, she's the misplaced focus of Daddy's love, intended for a mother whose presence on the campaign trail means absence at home. All that Raeanne sees is Daddy playing a game of favorites -- and she is losing. If she has to lose, she will do it on her own terms, so she chooses drugs, alcohol, and sex.
Secrets like the ones the twins are harboring are not meant to be kept- from each other or anyone else. Pretty soon it's obvious that neither sister can handle it alone, and one sister must step up to save the other, but the question is- who?
I was first introduced to verse writing when I read Glimpse by Carol Lynch Williams. This stuff is powerful. Its raw and full of emotion and leaves nothing that needs to be said out. I've never read anything by Ellen Hopkins before, not even Crank. It's not that I don't want to read it, its just that I've been running low on money lately and my library doesn't have it, so I haven't been able to read it. So, when the opportunity came for me to read Identical, I grabbed it.
"When I look into a mirror, it is her face I see. Her right is my left, double moles, dimple and all. My right is her left, unblemished." And so begins the story of two sisters, Kaeleigh and Raeanne. Their parents are married, but only by name. And their father loves Kaeleigh, but not in the way he should.
This is the type of story where the less you know before you read, the better. Although I was a little suspicious through the entire thing, the ending surprised me. It isn't the type that leaves you feeling amazing at the end. Its grimy, its disgusting, its powerful, its amazing, and I loved it.
I have read a lot of books; a lot that haven't left a definite impression. The ones that have are rare. Do you want to know exactly how many? Four. Just four books out of all the ones I've read. Identical got to me in a way most books never do. It's one of those books that will stay on my mind and continue to for a long, long time.
5 Moons

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Falling for Hamlet by Michelle Ray

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

Falling For Hamlet
by Michelle Ray
Published by Poppy
352 pages
 Release: July 5, 2011
Sometimes love can make you crazy.
Meet Ophelia, high school senior, daughter of the Danish king’s most trusted adviser, and longtime girlfriend of Prince Hamlet. She lives a glamorous life, has a royal social circle, and her beautiful face is splashed across magazines and TV. But it comes with a price -- her life is dominated not only by Hamlet’s fame and his overbearing royal family but also by the paparazzi who hound them wherever they go.
After the sudden and suspicious death of his father, the king, Hamlet spirals dangerously toward madness, and  Ophelia finds herself torn between loyalty to her boyfriend, her father, her country, and her true self.
This is a contemporary retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet from Ophelia’s point of view filled with drama, romance, tragedy, and humor. And this time, Ophelia doesn’t die. 
I don't know why I want to read this, but I really, really do.

Review: Zombies Vs. Unicorns

Title: Zombies Vs. Unicorns
Authors: Kathleen Duey, Meg Cabot, Garth Nix, Margo Lanagan, Naomi Novik, Diana Peterfreund, Libba Bray, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, Scott Westerfeld, Carrie Ryan
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Pub. Date: September 2010
Length: 415 pages
Summary (from goodreads):
It's a question as old as time itself: which is better, the zombie or the unicorn? In this anthology, edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier (unicorn and zombie, respectively), strong arguments are made for both sides in the form of short stories. Half of the stories portray the strengths—for good and evil—of unicorns and half show the good (and really, really bad-ass) side of zombies. Contributors include many bestselling teen authors, including Cassandra Clare, Libba Bray, Maureen Johnson, Meg Cabot, Scott Westerfeld, and Margo Lanagan. This anthology will have everyone asking: Team Zombie or Team Unicorn?
My Thoughts: I didn't know what to expect  from Zombies Vs. Unicorns. It was going to be the first anthology I'd ever read and was a little unsure about how would turn out. Fortunately, the stories were all pretty good. I discovered new authors I had never heard of, like Maureen Johnson and Diana Peterfreund. I really like the cover illustrations of all the zombies and unicorns attacking each other.
Zombies Vs. Unicorns features many different types of stories (romance and funny, scary and thrilling), so any reader will find one they like. My favorite stories were the ones by Cassandra Clare and Diana Peterfreund, so I guess I'm pretty neutral  on the whole Zombies Vs. Unicorns debate. 

This review is so short because I've already expressed all I wanted to and, well, I read this book a while ago so my mind isn't very fresh on the details.  Just read it. Believe me, its good.

4 Moons

Monday, January 24, 2011

Review: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Title: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour
Author: Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pub. Date: May 2010
Length: 352 pages
Summary (from goodreads):
Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew—just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn’t seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she’s coming to terms with her father’s death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road—diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards—this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself.
My Thoughts:  Almost all of the books I read have at least a hint of romance in them. Its like the frosting on the cake. So, if there's a road trip involved, you can bet I'll be reading it; especially if its about someone like Amy. 
Amy. Who is she? Amy is a girl who closed herself off from the world after a car accident that took her father's life. To make matters worse, she's been living on her own while her mother is setting up their new house in Connecticut, convinced the family needs a "fresh start." Its been three months since the accident and Amy hasn't recovered at all; she doesn't remember how to connect with or act around people. Her guilt is causing her hair to fall out and she can't sleep.  The worst thing is that no one was there to comfort her after the accident. Her mother isn't offering, Charlie, her twin brother isn't home, and her best friend moved to Florida.
And then her mother calls and tells her she has to drive across the country with a complete stranger, someone named Roger....
Oh my goodness, how I loved this book! Amy and Roger's Epic Detour was a fun, light read; but it also went deeper than that. I loved how each person they met added something to the story. There were the obvious contributors, like Amy, Mrs. Curry, and Roger, and the less obvious ones who we met throughout the story.  This is absolutely a  must read book and an amazing debut. 
5 Moons

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Miles From Ordinary by Carol Lynch Williams

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

Miles From Ordinary
by Carol Lynch Williams
Published by St. Martin's Griffin
Length: 208 pages
Release:March 15, 2011
Thirteen-year-old Lacey wakes to a beautiful summer morning excited to begin her new job at the library, just as her mother is supposed to start work at the grocery store. Lacey hopes that her mother's ghosts have finally been laid to rest; after all, she seems so much better these days, and they really do need the money. But as the hours tick by and memories come flooding back, a day full of hope spins terrifyingly out of control....
“No one can get inside the head and heart of a 13-year-old girl better than Carol Lynch Williams, and I mean no one," said James S. Jacobs, Professor of Children's Literature at Brigham Young University, of her breakout novel, The Chosen One. Now this award-winning YA author brings us an equally gripping story of a girl who loves her mother, but must face the truth of what life with that mother means for both of them.
When I read Glimpse, I feel in love with it. Now Williams has written a new book with an awe-some, amazing, gorgeous, beautiful cover named Miles From Ordinary! I can't wait

Monday, January 17, 2011

Review: Matched by Ally Condie

 Title: Matched
Author: Ally Condie
Publisher: Dutton
Pub. Date: November 30, 2010
Length: 366 pages
Series: Matched #1
Summary (from goodreads):
Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.
The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.
My thoughts: When I first heard of Matched, I thought it would be too much like another book, The Giver by Lois Lowry. Unfortunately, I was right. The book was just too much like The Giver for me to enjoy completely. I am, however, completely in love with the cover of Matched and its relation with story.
Cassia lives in a world completely controlled by people known as The Society. They do everything, including chose what you eat and who you 'love'. Cassia has just turned seventeen and has been matched with one of her best friends, Xander. She is happy with the match, until the screen flashes the face of Ky and fades to black. Although she has been taught The Society is always right, Cassia can't help but wonder if The Society is really as perfect as everyone thinks.
I liked Cassia's voice; and although I could understand where she was coming from, I found her annoying at times. Usually in romances like this one I want the girl to end up with the best friend, but in this one I preferred Ky. Xander was just too kind and seemed over protective ( he had an Edward Cullen feel to him), which I didn't like. However, I did feel bad for Xander when he found out about Cassia and Ky because you could tell he really cared for her.
Matched is very well written, but nothing amazing (the last quarter was really good- the best part of the story). After hearing so many people rave about the book, I couldn't help but be disappoint with the overall outcome of the story. I expected more. More action, more romance... you get the idea. I'm looking forward to reading Crossed, the next book in the series scheduled for release sometime this year.
3.5 Moons

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Waiting On Wendeday: Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, that features upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
Between Here and Forever
by Elizabeth Scott
Published by Simon Pulse
Length: 256 pages
Release: May 24, 2011
Abby accepted that she can’t measure up to her beautiful, magnetic sister Tess a long time ago, and knows exactly what she is: Second best. Invisible.
Until the accident.
Now Tess is in a coma, and Abby’s life is on hold. It may have been hard living with Tess, but it's nothing compared to living without her.
She's got a plan to bring Tess back though, involving the gorgeous and mysterious Eli, but then Abby learns something about Tess, something that was always there, but that she’d never seen.
Abby is about to find out that truth isn't always what you think it is, and that life holds more than she ever thought it could...
I've been reading books by Elizabeth Scott for a long, long time; but I haven't read any recently. She always writes a good story, and I'm really excited for the release of this one. Plus, I just love the cover.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Review: Fall For Anything by Courtney Summers

Title: Fall For Anything
Author: Courtney Summers
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pub. Date: December 21, 2010
Length: 230 pages
Summary (from goodreads):
When Eddie Reeves’s father commits suicide her life is consumed by the nagging question of why? Why when he was a legendary photographer and a brilliant teacher? Why when he seemed to find inspiration in everything he saw? And, most important, why when he had a daughter who loved him more than anyone else in the world? When she meets Culler Evans, a former student of her father’s and a photographer himself, an instant and dangerous attraction begins. Culler seems to know more about her father than she does and could possibly hold the key to the mystery surrounding his death. But Eddie’s vulnerability has weakened her and Culler Evans is getting too close. Her need for the truth keeps her hanging on...but are some questions better left unanswered?
My Thoughts:  I had pretty high expectations for Fall For Anything...and I was not disappointed at all! It is easily one of my favorite books; I could read it over and over again without getting bored. I love the cover. It is just striking.
Courtney Summers is probably my favorite author out there. She's been known as the 'Queen of Mean' for writing up compelling mean girls, but that's not what made me love Fall For Anything. No, in this story Eddie is not popular, she hasn't dated the most popular guy in school, and has never bullied. She is vulnerable and broken. 
"My hands are dying." The first sentence of the novel, the four words that stay with me through the whole book. Eddie has not felt alive since her father's suicide. She's a mess, and she wants answers. They even seem close enough to touch when she meets her father's student, Culler Evans. He understands Eddie and her obsession; but is he everything Eddie thinks he is?
 I love all the relationships in Fall for Anything. For example, Eddie's complicated friendship with Milo (and the confusion with Missy) had me completely curious with what would happen next. I also loved the relationships between Eddie and her mother, and Eddie with her father. I even found myself interested in the hate relationship between her and Beth. The characters and their actions felt so real, it made me love the novel even more.
Furthermore, I have to mention how beautiful Summers' writing is. With Fall for Anything, and all her other books, just the way the story is written makes me want to devour it. They are written in such a way that takes fictional feelings and makes them pulse through me. Fall for Anything is a book that takes a master to create. Courtney Summers is that master.
5 Moons