Monday, October 31, 2011

Review: Don't Stop Now

Don't Stop NowDon't Stop Now
Julie Halpern
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: June 7, 2011
Pages: 224

On the first day of Lillian’s summer-before-college, she gets a message on her cell from her sort-of friend, Penny. Not only has Penny faked her own kidnapping, but Lil is the only one who figures it out. She knows that Penny’s home life has been rough, and that her boyfriend may be abusive. Soon, Penny’s family, the local police, and even the FBI are grilling Lil, and she decides to head out to Oregon, where Penny has mentioned an acquaintance. And who better to road-trip across the country with than Lil’s BFF, Josh. But here’s the thing: Lil loves Josh. And Josh doesn’t want to “ruin” their amazing friendship.
Josh has a car and his dad’s credit card. Lil has her cellphone and a hunch about where Penny is hiding. There’s something else she needs to find: Are she and Josh meant to be together?

Let me start by saying, I love books about road trips. It makes me want to go on one so much! Of course when I heard about Don't Stop Now, I was instantly intrigued. Road trip, cute boy, a little bit of mystery, sounds right up my alley.

Now, I didn't enjoy this book as much as I wanted to. It was enjoyable but nothing quite... remarkable. It was a fun, quick novel. But I wouldn't put it up on my favorites shelf. 

Let my start by saying that I found the premise a bit...out there. I mean, a girl who fakes a kidnapping? And then Lillian just jumps right up to go find her, and they aren't even that good of friends. Her parents were okay with it. She didn't get in trouble. There was someone there to pay for it all without any problems. Really? But, although I couldn't really take it seriously, it just added to the quirkiness of the novel. It was certainly fun and light.

I liked the character okay. Lillian, the main character, was overall not quite selfless, but a good person. I liked watching her on her journey. And Penny. At first I was uncertain about her. There was an overall creepiness about her. But once her story unraveled more, I was more sympathetic to her. I wouldn't go as far as saying I liked her, but it was easier to empathize with her. I'm not going to lie, I didn't love Josh. He was a realistic teenage guy who doesn't know that he's going to do with his life, but he came off kind of jerkish. He was rude and selfish. I just wanted to fall in love with him, but I didn't. 

Although Don't Stop Now is an overall light novel, there were a few serious moments. I think that if we looked more into what happened with Penny, and got more of her story, it would have been better. And it goes into the whole post high school grad, what do I do now question, which I liked. 

Like I said, Don't Stop Now is a quick read. As long as you take it as face value, and don't take it seriously, this is a great novel. Road trips novels are awesome, and I'm glad to see that more are coming. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

In My Mailbox (76)

We have Kristi at The Story Siren to thank for hosting IMM every week. 

For Review:
Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Soul Thief by Jana Oliver
Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep
Beautiful Days by Anna Godbersen
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvator

(Note: Even though it's pictured, I did not get Silence this week. I just had an incredibly dumb moment.)

What did you get this week?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Charming Covers [20] {The Lucky Ones}

Charming Covers is a feature where I show some covers for upcoming books that have recently been revealed/ I've recently found.

The Lucky Ones (Bright Young Things, #3)
(Sorry it's so blurry; the only one I could find was tiny)

The Lucky Ones by Anna Godberson

Third book in the Bright Young Things series.

I'm not going to lie: I don't like this series nearly as much as I did The Luxe. But, I will continue reading it and maybe it will get better. I haven't read the second one yet, so who knows. Maybe it's amazing.
Anyway, I like this cover. I can't really see it very well (again, sorry it's blurry) but from what I can see, i like it better than the first, and maybe the second. It's hard to tell. 
I can't wait to see where this series will lead us to.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Review: If I Die

If I Die
If I Die (Soul Screamers, #5)Rachel Vincent
Publisher: Harlequin
Release Date: September 27, 2011

The entire school's talking about the gorgeous new math teacher, Mr. Beck. Everyone except Kaylee Cavanaugh. After all, Kaylee's no ordinary high-school junior. She's a banshee—she screams when someone dies.

But the next scream might be for Kaylee.

Yeah—it's a shock to her, too. So to distract herself, Kaylee's going to save every girl in school. Because that hot new teacher is really an incubus who feeds on the desire of unsuspecting students. The only girls immune to his lure are Kaylee and Sabine, her boyfriend's needy ex-girlfriend. Now the unlikely allies have to get rid of Mr. Beck…before he discovers they aren't quite human, either.

But Kaylee's borrowed lifeline is nearing its end. And those who care about her will do anything to save her life.

I was  a little worried about reading this book. Thanks to my own stupid curiosity, I pretty much knew everything that happens in this book from looking at reviews and such. So I knew that depending on how everything played out, I would either love it or hate it.

As it turns out, I loved it. A lot. I think it's my favorite book in the series. Which isn't surprising because this is a series where every book gets better. 

The first half of the book was kind of eh. I think I was just so anxious to get to certain parts and see how everything played out that I just raced through the first half. So that was my fault. If I would have taken my time and quit worrying about what was going to happen I would have enjoyed it more. 

Let me tell you, Kaylee makes me feel like a total bitch. She is so selfless. Even when she is dying she is only mostly worrying about what is going to happen to other people afterwards. A part of my wanted to scream at her "you're dying! It's okay to be a little selfish now!" But then that wouldn't have been Kaylee. And that's part of what I love about her.

Other than that, I think she really grew into herself in this book. 

And what we've all been waiting for. The love triangle. I've been team Tod every since he punched Nash out in book 3. But I've never really had a problem with Nash either. Until now. Man, in this book, he really screwed up. I know he was upset but should not have done what he did. Which is, by they way, the only part that I didn't see coming. (Sorry about being cryptic, but I'm trying not to give anything away.)

And I love Tod. that's all I need to say.

If I Die is definitely a game changer for the series. It's my favorite and I cannot wait to read the next. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

In My Mailbox (75)

We have Kristi at The Story Siren to thank for hosting IMM every week.

Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon
Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

And this isn't really book related, but I got this cool steampunk type necklace at a craft fair this weekend. Well, I thought it was pretty cool anyway.

What did you get this week?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Review: Bunheads

Sophie Flack
Publisher: Poppy
Release Date: October 10, 2011

As a dancer with the ultra-prestigious Manhattan Ballet Company, nineteen-year-old Hannah Ward juggles intense rehearsals, dazzling performances and complicated backstage relationships. Up until now, Hannah has happily devoted her entire life to ballet.

But when she meets a handsome musician named Jacob, Hannah's universe begins to change, and she must decide if she wants to compete against the other "bunheads" in the company for a star soloist spot or strike out on her own in the real world. Does she dare give up the gilded confines of the ballet for the freedoms of everyday life?

I've always been interested in the ballet--the dancers in particular. Bunheads gave a look inside this world and what it means to be a ballet dancer.

To be honest, I was expecting a little more out of the book itself. I didn't enjoy it as much as I would have liked to.

There's nothing specifically wrong with the characters. No one really bother me specifically. But they were just ultimitaley.... forgettable. I found that I wasn't truly invested in them or really cared what happened to them.

Believe me, I'm the last person to think would ever say this... but I almost wish there was no romance. It just felt so... forced. It would have been better if it was more focused on the romance or not at all. I would have liked to be more focused on the ballet aspect of it. 

The dancing part of the book, though, is one part that I really enjoyed. I could see the author's own experiences and background on the subject. Like I said, I've always been interested in the ballet and dancer's life. I have no doubt that this is what really does on in the world of ballet.

I definitely would have liked to enjoy this book more. I was glad I could get a look into this world, because there really hasn't been much of an opportunity before in YA. But the execution could have been better. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Charming Covers [19] {The Savage Grace}

Charming Covers is a feature where I show some covers for upcoming books that have recently been revealed/ I've recently found.

The Savage Grace  (The Dark Divine, #3)
The Savage Grace by Bree Despain
March 13, 2012

A troubled soul. An impossible choice. A final battle.

Wrestling with the werewolf curse pulsing deep inside of her, Grace Divine was finally able to find her brother, but it nearly cost her everything.

With her boyfriend, Daniel, stuck in wolf form and Sirhan's death approaching, time is running out for Grace to stop Caleb Kalbi and his gang of demons. If she fails, her family and hometown will perish. Everything rests on Grace's shoulders.

The final installment in The Dark Divine trilogy brings Daniel and Grace's love story to a breathtaking conclusion.

Ahhh.... Let me just say that I love this series so much... It's one of my favorites out there. And when I found out that they were pushing this one back, I was raged in despair (okay, that's a tad dramatic). And now that I've seen the cover and read the description, I'm even more excited for it. 
I love these covers. And while I don't like this one as much as the others, i like how it's different. I like that you can see her back and arms. 
Oh, Savage Grace, how I covet thee. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday (6): Covers and Titles that Made Me Buy It

To find out more about Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, go here.

This week is top ten Covers and Titles that made me buy the book. I'd like to say that I haven't bought a book solely based on the cover or title, but I would be lying.

  1. Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1)
  2. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick- all I have to say is Yum-my!
  3. My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent- I thought this cover was gorgeous, so I got it. And can I say I am glad I did! Love these books!
  4. The Demon's Covenant by Sarah Rees Brennan- I really liked the cover, and it was 3 bucks at Borders when they went out of business, so I got it. 
  5. Blameless by Gail Carriger- Ditto.
  6. John Belushi is Dead- Same. But I especially loved the pink hair on the cover and the title alone make me want to read it. 
  7. Swoon by Nina Malkin- I was very drawn to this cover. I didn't like the book as much as I would have liked, though.
  8. The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong- I was very intrigued by the cover and title. I'm glad I got it, though because I love this series. 
  9. Fallen by Lauren Kate- Again, such a pretty cover. But, like Swoon, I didn't like it as much.
  10. A Great and Terrible Beauty- I was very drawn to this title in particular. The cover just added to it. 
  11. North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley- Between the title and cover, I had to have it. 
So there you are. Have you ever bought a book because of the cover or title? Tell me about it!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Review: Exile

Exile (Aurelia, #2)Exile
Anne Osterlund
Pushlisher: Speak
Release Date: April 28, 2011

Crown princess Aurelia is a survivor. She survived attempted assassination. She survived the king's rejection. She survived her mother's abandonment. And now, in exile, she must survive her kingdom-from hostile crowds to raw frontier to desert sands. But even as unknown assailants track Aurelia and expedition guide Robert, she knows her greatest risk is falling in love...

It's been quite a long time since I've read Exile's predesor, but I remember really enjoying it. As it turns out, I really liked Exile, too.

Like I said, it's been a long time since I read Aurelia, but I was able to get into Exile withough difficulty. The book is very fast paced, so it was very easy to get into.

This isn't like most historical fiction. It was a fun adventure, and one that I really enjoyed. I really liked experiencing the journey with Aurelia and Robert.

I liked the romance in Exile. There was always some tension between Aurlia and Robert, but their romance wasn't quick; they didn't just jump into it When they finally did get together, I was jumping for joy (figuratively). I thought they were very good together. 

And, I love Aurelia's character herself. She was very strong and loyal, which I liked. She was also independent, which I don't think we see enough of.

Overall, I really enjoyed Exile. It was fun and very enjoyable. I, for one, never found it slow or boring. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

In My Mailbox (74)

We have Kristi at The Story Siren to thank for hosting IMM every weekend. 

For Review:
Everything We Ever Wanted by Sara Shepard

If I Die by Rachel Vincent
Faithful by Janet Fox
You Against Me by Jenny Downham

So, that's all that I got this week. 
I must apologize for being absent this past week. I've just been really busy since last weekend. Between PSATs, Homecoming, work, my AP class, and I have to perform a cello duet in front of the OPT (to show that orchestra is worth keeping at my pressure) and just in general hanging with friends, my blog life has been non existent. But, I should be back in action this week. 
Again, I apologize for being absentee.

Anyway, what did you get in your mailbox? 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Charming Covers [18] (Bitterblue)

Charming Covers is a feature where I show some covers for upcoming books that have recently been revealed/ I've recently found.

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
May 1, 2012

3rd to the Seven Kingdoms (trilogy?)

This book has been pushed back so much. I remember it was supposed to come out about a year after Fire, which came out in Fall 2009. Yeah, I'd say it's about time this came out. Hopefully with the cover, that means that the release date is a tad more permanent. 
I loved the first two, so to say that this book has been long awaited is an understatement.
I don't like this cover as much as the other two, but it's still pretty cool. I'm wondering how the keys will fit into the story, like the sword and the bow and arrows on the first two. 
Is anyone else excited for this book?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Review: Small Town Sinners

Small Town Sinners
Melissa Walker
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: July 19, 2011
Small Town SinnersThe story of Lacey Anne Byers, a small town girl who is excited to star in Hell House, her church's annual haunted house of sin, until a childhood friend reappears and makes her question her faith.

Small Town Sinners is one of the more real books that I've read in a while. And I really enjoyed it. I loved the real characters and problems it had. How it made me think. The questions it brought up.

I really liked the characters in this book. Lacey's friends, Starla Joy and Dean. They were fun, but they had their own problems, which I liked. I loved Ty. And I liked Lacey Ann. As the book goes on, she learns how to question and make up her own mind about things.

I was intrigued the whole time I was reading this book. There was drama, but it was real issues, not just like a soap opera. 

This is not a book for closed-minded people, in either direction. But I liked it. Like I said, I liked how it made me think. This book is not one sided. It allows you to draw your own opinion.

I found this to be a fantastic contemporary. I would recommend this to anyone who is willing to listen with and open mind.  

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Spread the Word (3)

Spread the Word is a feature that I came up with where I share some quotes that I like. 
I went ahead and put these quotes onto some pictures as well. 
How often do I do it? Not often. Every few weeks when I feel like I need to share or I need something else to post. 
Where do the quotes come from? I'll try to mix it up sometimes, but the quotes today are some of my favorite song quotes.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Born Wicked

Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #1)
Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
February 7, 2012

A Great and Terrible Beauty meets Cassandra Clare in this spellbinding fantasy

Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they're witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word . . . especially after she finds her mother's diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family's destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren't safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.

This one sounds really good and interesting. Great and Terrible Beauty meets Cassandra Clare? Totally love both of those, so this is right up my alley. 

What are you waiting for this lovely Wednesday?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

The Unbecoming of Mara DyerThe Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Michelle Hodkin
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Release Date: September 27, 2011

Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
There is.
She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.
She's wrong.

So, I think it's safe to say that this book has created quite a buzz. for at least since BEA, but probably before then. And I've been wanting to read it ever since.

And it was really good. One of the better books this year.

I must say that I didn't absolutely love it like I thought I would. Don't get me wrong, it was really, really good. But I won't be putting it on my 'favorite' shelf. Yet. I think I need to reread it to really get my full enjoyment out of it. 

This book was not what I expected. In a good way. I wasn't quite sure what it would be about. But the mystery was very intriguing. There was something very addicting about this book. It's 450 pages, but it didn't seem like it. 

I really liked Mara. I mean, there were times that she bothered me a tad, but I could really feel her pain and confusion.

And Noah. He goes on my list of hottest guys with accents, right up there with Bones and St. Clair. 

I must say, I am so tired of cliffhangers. They don't even affect me anymore like they used to. They just mostly piss me off that I didn't have enough resolution. But, I still want to read the next one. 

Did I love this? No. Did I really, really enjoy it? Yes. I think I need to read it again to fully appreciate it. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

September Wrap Up

October is drawing in as September comes to a close. I can't help but think about how fast September went by. I mean, it just flew by! Does anyone else feel like this?

Anyway, here's the books I read this month:
  1. One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
  2. Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
  3. The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegan
  4. At Grave's End by Jeaniene Frost
  5. Destined for an Early Grave by Jeaniene Frost
  6. Guardian of the Gate by Michelle Zink
  7. Eve by Anna Carey
  8. Dark Lover by J.R. Ward
  9. There You'll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones
  10. Call Me Irresistable by Susan Elizabeth Philips
  11. Siren by Tricia Rayburn
  12. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
  13. Beyond the Highland Mist by Karen Marie Moning
  14. This Side of the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
  15. Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker
Not bad. Now, my goal for each month is actually 17, but 15 isn't bad either. I probably should catch up.

Other Reviews:
  1. Always a Witch 
  2. Fateful by Claudia Gray
Now, review-wise, I'm a little behind. I usually do at least two book reviews a week, but I think for September I only did one a week. I need to get back to doing my normal two  a week. 

So, overall, September was a pretty good month.
What about you?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

In My Mailbox (73)

We have Kristi at The Story Siren to thank for hosting IMM every week. 

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Bright Young Things by Anna Godberson
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
(Thank you Paper Cuts for sending me this!)
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
(Yes, i've already read this one, but I wanted to reread it. Again. So I got it from the library. Again. I know what you're thinking. You don't you just buy a copy. Well, I need to. I want to. I just need to bite the nail and do it.)
Exile by Anne Osterlund

What did you get this week?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Favorites of 2011

For a mini-challenge over at Princess Bookie's Contest Craze, it says to list my favorites of 2011. 

So far, honestly, the books that have come out haven't been fantastic. Don't get me wrong, there are some really good ones. But overall, there haven't been that many that I've wanted to put on my 'favorite' shelf on my bookshelf. (Yes, I have a shelf specifically for my favorites.)
But, here are some of the better ones. (Honestly these probably aren't my favorite favorites of the year, but I'm drawing a blank here. These are some darn good ones, though)
Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton- Really, really good. This one is actually on my favorites shelf.
Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles
Not my favorite in the series, but still pretty good. Extremely sad that this series is over, though.
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Again, really, really enjoyed this one. I know some people didn't like it as much, but I really did. 
Wither by Lauren DeStefano
You know this book is amazing just by looking at the cover. What's inside is pretty darn good, too. 
Vanish by Sophie Jordan
Becoming one of my favorite series. Love these books. 

What books have been your favorite in 2011?