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. :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Review: Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood by Eileen Cook (Also, an update/apology type thing)

 This review is kind of scattered and I'm sorry about that. I've been very busy because swim has started again (♥♥♥), so I need to find a new balance between everything. I expect to get it all together in the next week or so. Meanwhile, just try to bear with me.

Title: Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood
Author: Elieen Cook
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pub. Date: December 26, 2009
Length: 272 Pages
Summary (from goodreads):
Popularity is the best revenge.
In the final weeks of eighth grade, Lauren Wood made a choice. She betrayed her best friend, Helen, in a manner so publicly humiliating that Helen had to move to a new town just to save face. Ditching Helen was worth it, though, because Lauren started high school as one of the It Girls--and now, at the start of her senior year, she's the cheerleading captain, the quarterback's girlfriend, and the undisputed queen bee. Lauren has everything she's ever wanted, and she has forgotten all about her ex-best friend.
But Helen could never forget Lauren. After three years of obsessing, she's moving back to her old town. She has a new name and a new look, but she hasn’t dropped her old grudges. She has a detailed plan to bring down her former BFF by taking away everything that's ever been important to Lauren—starting with her boyfriend.
Watch out, Lauren Wood. Things are about to get bitchy.
My Thoughts: Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood is the classic tale of getting revenge in high school. It's full of the key points to any modern high school revenge story: popularity, backstabbing, and, of course, revenge; but with its own unique twist. It's an engaging read  topped off with great writing, an addictive plot, and lots of humor-there were several times I laughed out loud while reading, something that rarely happens for me.
The first thing that drew me in was the cover. I fell in love with it the moment I saw it because 1.) it fits the story perfectly on so many levels and 2.) I found it incredibly amusing and hilarious. That and the summary (loved it!) had me hooked. I wanted this book so much, and was so happy to have finally gotten it.
I loved the story Eileen Cook created. It was fast paced and never boring, exactly how I thought it would be. Other than being a tad predictable, the plot was wonderful. Helen (or Claire, as she is known by her classmates) wants to make sure Lauren gets what she deserves for what she did to her in eighth grade. When she moves back to her old town and high school, Helen decides to get her revenge; And, as she gets closer to Lauren's inner circle, she realizes she's not the only person who thinks Lauren need to be knocked off her pedestal.
Helen was a good character. I loved watching her grow and change as a person. She was smart, funny, realist, and managed to get it together after the horrible incident in eighth grade (which I admire her for).
**Edit. I forgot to mention how much I loved Helen's revenge plans. They were HILARIOUS.

4 Moons

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Unwholly by Neal Schusterman

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

Unwholly (Unwind #2 ♥♥♥)
by Neal Schusterman
Release: 2012
It's not very often that a do a WoW for books that don't have a cover or description. I try to wait until the books has them, but if  I am VERY excited and impatient I'll do a post (like this one). So why am I so excited for this one? Because I love love loved Schusterman's Unwind, the prequel to Unwholly. I can't even describe the feeling I got when I heard there was going to be a sequel. I was like OH. MY. GOODNESS. If you haven't read Unwind yet, go look it up and buy it right now. The summary of Unwind is below.
Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.
The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

April is Netgalley Month

Emily from Red House Reviews is naming April NetGalley month. If you don't know already, NetGalley is a site where you can request and read eARCs, or galleys, for review. The kindle button has just become available for most publishers so I am eager to try it out, because reading on the computer screen hurt my eyes.
Are you participating? Let me know if you are!

Some of the details below, but to read the rest of them and to enter, click HERE.

During the entire month of April I plan to read as many NetGalley books as I can. 
Depending on publisher requests, and release dates, not all reviews will be posted in April but I'll be reading them!

Are you a member of NetGalley and want to join me in April?
As promised on Twitter, THERE ARE PRIZES!!

Rules to enter:
*Make your own post declaring April NetGalley month linking back to this post


*Tweet the following:
@NetGalley April as been declared! I'm joining @WilowRedHouse for a chance to win some awesome prizes-will you join us? http://bit.ly/fzxPRE

*If you don't have a blog or Twitter - post it to Facebook with a link

*If you don't blog, tweet or FB but still want to join in - send me an email  at Wilow[at]yahoo[dot]com

Books Read So Far: 
The Goddess Test by Amiee Carter REVIEW
This Girl is Different by JJ Johnson REVIEW
Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby REVIEW

Saturday, March 26, 2011

In My Mailbox #7

In My Mailbox is hosted by the story siren.

Off Netgalley I got these two books:: The Goddess Test and Lost in the River of Grass:: both of which I am very excited to read. Beautiful covers and Greek Mythology? I love. ♥♥♥♥
 What's in your mailbox? Leave a link and I'll take a look at it :)

Cover Recreation of XVI by Julia Karr

Amber over at Down the Rabbit Hole is holding a cover recreation contest of XVI.  So I decided to have some fun and participate.

Here's the original cover:

And here's my recreation:
This was the first cover I've recreated and I'm pretty happy with the out come of it. If you want to enter, click here for the details (the first round of voting starts April 8), and good luck!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Review: Bumped by Megan McCafferty

Title: Bumped
Author: Megan McCafferty
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pub. Date: April 26, 2011
Source: Netgalley
Length: 336 Pages
Series: Bumped #1
Summary (from goodreads):
When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents are forced to pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society.
Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and had never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Until now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend Zen, who is way too short for the job.
Harmony has spent her whole life in religious Goodside, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to bring Melody back to Goodside and convince her that “pregging” for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.
When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.
My Thoughts: I think I'm in love with this. So excuse me for writing this awful review, it just means I loved Bumped so much that I'm at a loss of words.
As you know, Bumped takes place in the future, during a time where the human race is threatened because any one over the age of eighteen is infertile and cannot have babies. It is told in chapters alternating between Harmony and Melody, identical twins separated at birth. Despite never knowing about one another, they have simliar names because their biological mother named them, rather than their adopted parents (and yes, I got confused between the two and still have trouble remember who is who. This also left a small gap in the story, because the society didn't allow birth parents to name their children).
This was a lighter book than I have expected it would be. There was no one going "oh my goodness, us humans may become extinct because of this virus," so I guess there wasn't a real threat of that happening.  When I think of dystopian, I usually don't think of books such as Bumped, which is like a very mild type of dystopian. It usually bothers me when books claim to be dystopian when they aren't really, but surprisingly, I am really liking this lighter and less serious take on the genre.
The Lingo was very interesting and a good addition to the story, but I wish the author could have come up with more unique names for some of the places, like Goodside (I mean, really? It makes me mad that their wasn't a better name for the place. grrr). 
I really enjoyed McCafferty's writing and I am kind of disappointing with myself that this is the first novel I have read by her, especially because of how good her Jessica Darling series is (supposedly, since I obviously haven't read it yet...) Unfortunately, she gave no explanation as to why this future was the way it is. I do have my ideas, and I hope the cause of the virus will be revealed in the sequel. Her characters were all very well written, from the minor characters like Zen (I really loved that guy!) to the major ones. I loved Bumped, I really did. But, I'm not giving it a five like I usually give to books I loved, because there were quite a few minor flaws, that all together are too much it simply ignore. This was a great book though, and I highly recommend it!

4 Moons

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday: Clean 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 Pulse 320 Pages
Release: August 9, 2011
You’re probably wondering how I ended up here. I’m still wondering the same thing. Olivia, Kelly, Christopher, Jason, and Eva have one thing in common: They're addicts. Addicts who have hit rock bottom and been stuck together in rehab to face their problems, face sobriety, and face themselves. None of them wants to be there. None of them wants to confront the truths about their pasts. And they certainly don’t want to share their darkest secrets and most desperate fears with a room of strangers. But they'll all have to deal with themselves and one another if they want to learn how to live. Because when you get that high, there's nowhere to go but down, down, down.
Why: I absolutely loved Amy's debut Beautiful and Clean looks just as good.

Review: Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Title: Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist
Author: Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Publisher: Knopf Books
Pub. Date: May 23, 2006
Length: 183 Pages
Summary (from goodreads):
It all starts when Nick asks Norah to be his girlfriend for five minutes. He only needs five minutes to avoid his ex-girlfriend, who’s just walked in to his band’s show. With a new guy. And then, with one kiss, Nick and Norah are off on an adventure set against the backdrop of New York City—and smack in the middle of all the joy, anxiety, confusion, and excitement of a first date.
This he said/she said romance told by YA stars Rachel Cohn and David Levithan is a sexy, funny roller coaster of a story about one date over one very long night, with two teenagers, both recovering from broken hearts, who are just trying to figure out who they want to be—and where the next great band is playing.
Told in alternating chapters, teeming with music references, humor, angst, and endearing side characters, this is a love story you’ll wish were your very own. Working together for the first time, Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have combined forces to create a book that is sure to grab readers of all ages and never let them go.
My Thoughts: I thought this book would be completely different. That being said, I probably would not have read it if I knew what the content of the book really was. I thought it would be a sweet book, but if I had seen the movie or even read a review (!), I might not have even read Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. As for the rating, I had a hard time deciding what to give it. I considered giving it a rating somewhere between a one and three. In the end, I decided to give it a two point five, because I did like it, just not very much.
So. The characters. I figured I would get this out of the way first. Nick's POV was much easier to read and understand than Norah's. There where times when I loved the characters, but more often than not, I got tired of both, because between Nick mourning over his ex and Norah coming out of no where complaining for pages at a time, I found it hard to get through the book. That's not saying I didn't enjoyed their journey, I did (it even lingered in my mind days after I had read it), but that wasn't enough  to pull the book out of the hole it was in.
Finally, what was a real set back was the language. I have no problem with people cussing as exclamations or when they're angry, but I don't like it when the word is over used. In this case it was the f-bomb, used by both Nick and Norah many, many, many, many times. And there comes a point when the word loses it's kick and becomes annoying, as well as distracting from the book. In the long run, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist had potential to be really great (I have to mention again that the story idea was fantastic!), but it just didn't do it for me. 
2.5 Moons

Sunday, March 20, 2011

In My Mailbox #6 and Updates

 In My Mailbox is hosted by the story siren.

I decided to take advantage of the closing sale at my local Borders. The good news is that I got five books I've been wanting to read for forever at a really good price. The bad new is that I spent all my money, every last penny. :\ So, don't expect a IMM for the next few weeks.
What's in your mailbox? Leave a link and I'll check it out :)
Updates: I'm thinking of dropping my rating system and just writing reviews. What do you guys think?

Review: Nothing Like You by Lauren Strasnick

Title: Nothing Like You
Author: Lauren Strasnick
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pub. Date: October 20, 2009
Length: 224 Pages
Summary (from goodreads):
When Holly loses her virginity to Paul, a guy she barely knows, she assumes their encounter is a one-night stand. After all, Paul is too popular to even be speaking to Holly...and he happens to have a long-term girlfriend, Saskia. But ever since Holly's mom died six months ago, Holly has been numb to the world, and she's getting desperate to feel something, anything—so when Paul keeps pursuing her, Holly relents. Paul's kisses are a welcome diversion...and it's nice to feel like the kind of girl that a guy like Paul would choose.
But things aren't so simple with Saskia around. Paul's real girlfriend is willowy and perfect... and nothing like Holly. To make matters worse, she and Holly are becoming friends. Suddenly the consequences of Holly's choices are all too real, and Holly stands to lose more than she ever realized she had.
My Thoughts: Nothing Like You was much different than I thought it would be, not in a bad way, just a different way. I had high hopes for Lauren Strasnick's debut, and though I did enjoy it, it didn't get five moons like I hoped it would. I first found Lauren through her bloggish website, and let me just say that she is one of the funniest people I have never met. If you haven't already, go check out her website.
Nothing Like You is told with humor as well as depth. Strasnick has grafted an addictive, fast pasted story that teens will love. I believe any girl could relate to Holly in someway whether its because they lost a parent as well or betrayed their best friend. I for one, loved her humor but found her too judgmental of the people around her. You know, she just seemed inconsiderate of some people's feelings because she thought they were "sluts" or "mean" without having really known them at all.
I love how Strasnick kept some things subtle such as the death of Holly's mother and sex, instead of making them a huge deal like a lot of  YA does (thank you Naomi for bringing this to my attention in her review). Her writing is wonderful; and it kept me turning the pages even when I told myself after this chapter I'm done. It was addicting, even though the plot was slightly predictable.
Unfortunately, the ending just didn't do it for me. It left too many loose ends and didn't feel like an ending. I half expected to turn the page and find another chapter. Overall, Nothing Like You was a good read but there were a few faults I couldn't ignore. But, I am still looking forward to reading Lauren's next book, Her and Me and You (out now), and any other books she publishes.

4 Moons

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Book Tunes #1

Book tunes is a weekly meme hosted by Down the Rabbit Hole. Now, I probably won't do this one every week, just when I'm reading a book that I think has a lovely song that would represent it. It's held on Fridays (I know, I'm late) but I was reading Paper Towns and it made me think of a song.

From Goodreads:
Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge— he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues— and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew.

Ocean and Atlantic by Mayday Parade

Why? You really have to pay attention to the lyrics in this one. It seems almost like it was written for Paper Towns, other than her father coming home and the different names. But the running, the paper people... well, maybe you have to have read this one to really get it. But anyways, this seemed like something I had to share, so I did.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Delirium 
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pub. Date: February 1, 2011
Length: 441 Pages
Series: Delirium #1
Summary (from goodreads):
 Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.
But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.
My Thoughts: There are some books that are just absolutely beautiful. They crawl into your heart and stay there, captivate you past the last page. Lauren Oliver's  debut, Before I Fall did this for me. I read the whole 470 page book in less than a day. So naturally, I expected the same thing from Delirium. Unfortunately, it wasn't like that for me. It started with a bang and ended with a bang, but the rest was kind of blah.
In Delirium, love is a disease. Known as amor deliria nervosa, everyone is cured from it at the time they turn eighteen. This treatment takes away practically all emotions. After the procedure, you may not like doing your favorite things anymore, you'll no longer like your friends, have no empathy for your children, and basically lose your individuality. Lena is a seventeen year old, ninety-five days away from her cure. She's excited for it, because she'll be the only one in her direct family who wasn't affected by the disease. But soon, she too falls in love.
The characters. Oh, the characters. The minor characters (her aunt, etc.), and really all the cured people, were excellent. They were spot on portrayals of how cured and "disease free" citizens would act in this civilization. The main character Lena was likable (other than being a little annoying at times), but I wasn't able to connect with her. I actually liked her best friend Hana more than I liked her. There where times when I wanted to slap Lena for being so stupid, and her change from a supporter of the procedure to, well not, felt way too smooth and simple. It was like she had no problem accepting that the only world she had ever known was wrong.
Lauren Oliver is a writing genius.  She was born to write. Her writing is beautiful. Need I say more? Her writing still shined in Delirium, but it didn't seem as strong or emotional as it was in Before I Fall. It seemed to me that she wasn't writing from her heart, just writing for the sake of finishing the book.  Delirium was a good read,  but wasn't really what I would call dystopian, and doesn't rank among those like Unwind.  There were certain futuristic parts I loved, like the epigraphs (is that the right word?) at the beginning of each chapter. I think (and hope) that because Delirium is the first book in a trilogy, that the next books will be a step up, and all around better than this one.
And then, of course, there's that little part of the copyright that is bugging me. For those of you who have a copy of Delirium, have you noticed that the copy right for it says "Delirium Copyright (copyright sign) 2011 by Laura Schechter" !?! I am a little confused, because Before I fall says "Before I Fall Copyright (copyright sign) 2010 by Lauren Oliver, not Laura Schechter. Does anyone you know why this is?

3.5 Moons

Sunday, March 13, 2011

In My Mailbox #5

 In My Mailbox is hosted by the story siren.


I bought Dear John from Target.
Off net galley I got:  Bumped, The Lipstick Laws (you can see my review here), Shine, This Girl is Different, and Lost Voices.
What's in your mailbox? Leave a link and I'll check it out!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Review: The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder

Title: The Lipstick Laws
Author: Amy Holder
Publisher: Graphia
Pub. Date: April 4, 2011
Length: 240 Pages
Source: Netgalley 
Summary (from goodreads):
At Penford High School, Britney Taylor is the queen bee. She dates whomever she likes, rules over her inner circle of friends like Genghis Khan, and can ruin anyone's life with a snap of perfectly manicured fingers. Just ask the unfortunate few who have crossed her.   For April Bowers, Britney is also the answer to her prayers. April is so unpopular, kids don't even know she exists. But one lunch spent at Britney's table, and April is basking in the glow of popularity.   But Britney's friendship comes with a high price tag. How much is April willing to pay?
My Thoughts: I'm glad I didn't judge The Lipstick Laws by its cover, because it doesn't really appeal to me. I don't like how the lips take up the whole cover and the awkward way the candy heart sits inside them. I do, however, understand why this is the cover and the symbolism to it. 
The Lipstick Laws is one of those books that is laugh out loud funny but still full of meaning and with a good moral. April moved to Penford High School a year ago. She made only one friend, Haley Lucas, but Haley moved away and April was once again alone. At the start of sophomore year, April was partnered up with Britney Taylor in gym. Britney decided to take her "under her wing" when April told  her it was her first at the school, and soon she had all the popularity, friends, and  admiration from boys she had always wanted. But Britney isn't what April thought she was, and she has to decide how far she's willing to go to stay her friend.
This was a quick read, and in some part I wish it was longer, but there was never a dull or boring moment which I'm thankful of. Sometimes when I'm reading, I'm so bored that I skip ahead to the more interesting parts; and that was not the case with The Lipstick Laws. And although I don't think this almost-exact story  (okay, that doesn't make sense, but i don't know how else to explain it) could really happen in real life, I do think almost any girl can relate to this story: from  the girls who have wished to be accepted and feel popular to the mean girls who torture others. 
I loved April's personality, her humor, and watching her grow and change as a person. The Lipstick Laws was written as if April were telling you the story, which made it that much funner to read. In the beginning, I thought it would be written with way too much detail, but I quickly realized that was not the case. The Lipstick Laws was a fantastic debut from Amy Holder, and I can't wait for her next novel; which, who knows, may even be a sequel to this one, since the end wasn't a complete wrap up. 

5 Moons

Sunday, March 6, 2011

In My Mailbox #4

 First off, I apologize for being so absent this week. I've been very busy with school and haven't been able to read very much, therefore I haven't written any reviews.
In My Mailbox is hosted by the story siren.

So, you guys may have noticed that I shop at Bookmans a lot. I just love that store. I got six books from there this week: Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, Cracked Up to Be, Wasteland, Unbelievable (PPL #4), Wicked (PPL #5), and Killer (PPL #6).
Thankyou Books Like Stars for this copy of Warped.
I don't usually order from Ebay, but I found this new hard cover for less than 5 dollars with free shipping, and I just had to buy it.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Review: Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves

Title: Slice of Cherry
Author: Dia Reeves
Publisher: Simone Pulse
Pub. Date: January 4, 2011
Length: 512 Pages
Summary (from goodreads):
Kit and Fancy Cordelle are sisters of the best kind: best friends, best confidantes, and best accomplices. The daughters of the infamous Bonesaw Killer, Kit and Fancy are used to feeling like outsiders, and that’s just the way they like it. But in Portero, where the weird and wild run rampant, the Cordelle sisters are hardly the oddest or most dangerous creatures around.
It’s no surprise when Kit and Fancy start to give in to their deepest desire—the desire to kill. What starts as a fascination with slicing open and stitching up quickly spirals into a gratifying murder spree. Of course, the sisters aren’t killing just anyone, only the people who truly deserve it. But the girls have learned from the mistakes of their father, and know that a shred of evidence could get them caught. So when Fancy stumbles upon a mysterious and invisible doorway to another world, she opens a door to endless possibilities….
 Immediate Thoughts Upon Finishing: the first half was kind of slow, but the second half was amazing ♥ I would have liked more explanation as to why the town was the way it was. Highly recommended if you can get past that.
My Thoughts (Offical Review): As some of you may know, I'm a huge fan of horror movies, but unfortunately I can never find books in that genre that  really capture my interest.  And well, I wanted a gruesome and creepy novel and that's exactly what I got. I admit that I was secretly hoping for such a creepy novel that I would have to put the book down because of it, but I wasn't really expecting that because I have a high "tolerance" for this type of stuff. And yes, for a lot of people, Slice of Cherry will be that gruesome; And it almost was for me.
 Kit and Fancy are the daughters of the Bonesaw Killer. Madda, their mother, is working twelve hour shifts and is hardly ever home. They are rejected by the town members, so instead of hanging out around town, they stay at home where they have the freedom to do whatever they want. This is where they find that they have quite a lot of their father in them, and their desire to kill. At first its just dissecting small animals, like a school science experiment. But their fascination with blood turns into one of violence and killing; and they need to find someway, or somewhere, to hide the evidence.
On goodreads, Slice of Cherry is labeled as the sequel to Bleeding Violet, it isn't really,  but they both  take place in Portero, which is why it is labeled that. Portero is a fictional town full of monsters and other strange things. I didn't figure this out for a while though, because it isn't explained very well in the book. Dia's writing was great, and although it was in third person, I felt like I really knew the girls; and loved how badass they were.
I don't think words can express how happy I am to have found this book. Its gruesome, its scary, its creepy, its twisted, and I loved it. Slice of Cherry isn't for everyone, but if your looking for a crazy book, go out and buy it right now!

4 Moons