Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Review: The Thing About the Truth

The Thing About the TruthThe Thing About the Truth
Lauren Barnholdt
Publisher: Simone Pulse
Release Date: Junly 10, 2012

In this humorous love story from the author of Two-Way Street, an unlikely romance is the best sort of surprise—but the wrong secret can ruin everything. Kelsey’s not going to let one mistake ruin her life. Sure, she got kicked out of prep school and all her old friends are shutting her out. But Kelsey’s focused on her future, and she’s determined to get back on track at Concordia High.
Isaac’s been kicked out of more schools than he can count. Since his father’s a state senator, Isaac’s life is under constant scrutiny—but Concordia High’s his last stop before boarding school, so Isaac’s hoping to fly under the radar and try to stay put for a change.
When Kelsey and Isaac meet, it’s anything but love at first sight. She thinks he’s an entitled brat, and he thinks she’s a stuck-up snob. So it surprises them both when they start to fall for each other. Kelsey’s happy for the first time in months, and Isaac’s never felt this way about anyone before...But nothing’s ever completely perfect. Everyone has secrets, and Isaac and Kelsey are no exceptions. These two may have fallen hard, but there’s one thing that can ruin it all: the truth.
Prior to Reading: I love Lauren Barnholdt and I was really excited to read this one. 

Review: After being kicked out of her last school, Kelsey is determined to not let her one mistake ruin her life. Overall, I liked Kelsey. She's relatable in the sense that she just wants to get into a good college with good scholarships and is willing to work hard for it and not let anything get in her way. She was very closed off to everyone at first but learned to let up. Like I said, I liked her but she is not exactly a memorable character. And Isaac. He was funny and sweet, but I think he really over-reacted. 

I just found the book very anti-climatic. We spend the book knowing that something major went down and only getting clues as to what exactly happened. We know that Kelsey lied, but not about what. I was expecting something a lot more more dramatic and big. It seemed that everything was blown way out of proportion. And as far as the lie... Isaac had a right to be mad but like I said, he over-reacted. 

After everything was revealed and we found out what went down on Face It Down Day, everything was resolved rather quickly. Too quickly. It just that everyone made such a big deal out of everything, and then it was fine. I would have liked a little more struggle in the aftermath before the end of the book. 

Overall: I am a little disappointed by this edition the the Lauren Barnholdt collection. It's just that I love some of her other books and I wanted to love this one. It was still and enjoyable read; I just wanted more. 
Bronze Medal

Monday, July 30, 2012

New Rating System!

You guys! I've been watching the Olympics this year and I was totally inspired to do a new rating system. I wasn't exactly looking or wanting to do a new system, but I had an idea that I really liked and I wanted to try it out. So, without further ado, here we go!

My New Rating System:

Yes, like I said, this idea was inspired by the Olympics. 
So from now on, every book will get a medal instead of a star rating. I like this because it is a lot more relative. There's no number to, it's solely just how I feel about a book. 

Let Me Break it down:
Gold-This book was really awesome. I absolutely loved it!
On terms of old system: (this isn't exact; I won't be choosing a medal based on old rating, just how about a book). Gold: This would be about a 4.5 on the old rating.

Silver Medal: I enjoyed this book quite a bit. There may be a fault or two, but that didn't take much away from my enjoyment of the book. 
In Terms of Old System: About a 3.5 or a 4

Bronze Medal-I had a few issues with this book, but there are parts that I enjoyed. Overall, an okay book. 
In Terms of Old System: about a 2.5 or a 3.

And, of course, books that I do not feel even gets a bronze will receive this:
Did Not Medal
On Terms of Old System: lower than a 2.5
This means that I pretty much did not like the book at all. I'm not expecting to get too many of these because if I don't like a book that much, I probably won't finish it. But just in case, here it is. 

If you noticed, the gold is only about a 4.5. I have hardly ever given out a 5, which is above and beyond every one of my expectations and it was absolutely perfect in every way. I'm not expecting to get many of these, because I don't even think I have in the past. But, just in case, there is this special reward:
The Platinum Medallion- Not only did I love this book, but it was absolutely perfect. 
Trust me, I will not be giving this one out on a whim. Hopefully I will give it out one day, but it may be a while.

So, I"m pretty excited about this!
Tell me, what do you think?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Book Haul + Week in Review (98)

This post is dedicated not only to sharing all the books I've received this week but also to share this week's happenings on my blog. This is inspired by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer's The Sunday Post. Also, the title Book Haul is provided by Katie's Book Blog. 

Books Received:

For Review:
UnWholly (Unwind, #2)
UnWholly by Neal Shusterman
Thanks to Simon and Schuster for the copy!

Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1)
Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Insignia (Insignia, #1)When the Sea is Rising RedThirteen (Women of the Otherworld, #13)
Insignia by S.J. Kincaid
Thirteen by Kelley Armstrong

Happenings on Book Fanatics

Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson (3 star review)
Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer (4.5 star review)

Other Posts of Interest:

What did you get this week?
Any posts this week you want me to see? Leave a link!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Favorites of 2012 So Far

We are just past half way through the year and I decided that it was time to share some of my favorite books this year. It seems like last year that there were no books that were absolutely amazing, but this year has changed that!

Not of all the books are released this year, but I've read them all in 2012. 

Pushing the Limits
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
I read this book a few months ago. This is a book that I stayed up until the wee hours of the night to finish, despite the length. 

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larson
You guys! This book is amazing, this movie is amazing. I just love it! 

Smart Girls Get What They Want
Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer
I was so surprised by this book! It is super fun and super cute. It's the funniest book that I've read in a while. Maybe ever!

Girl at Sea
Girl at Sea by Maureen Johnson
I'm not a huge Maureen Johnson fan, but this book is amazing! Adventure, treasure hunt, romance, Italy. What more can you ask for?

Now, I've read quite a few other great books this year, but those are the ones that blew my mind! 

What are you favorite books of this year so far?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

What's Next (3)

What is What's Next? It's a meme hosted by Icey Books where we share a few books in our TBR pile and let our viewers pick which on we read next. For more information or to participate visit here

What's Next? Hosted by IceyBooks

Last week, it was actually a tie between Masque of the Red Death and Dearly Departed. I just chose Masque of the Red Death to read. It was pretty good and my review should be up her in the next couple of weeks. 

This week I chose some contemporaries. Summer is ending soon. These all look like great summer reads, and I want to get in as many as I can while I can!

Second Chance Summer
Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson 

From the Flying Start author of Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, a powerful novel about hope in the face of heartbreak. 
Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love.

Being Friends with Boys
Being Friends with Boys by Terra Elan McVoy

Charlotte and Oliver have been friends forever. She knows that he, Abe, and Trip consider her to be one of the guys, and she likes it that way. She likes being the friend who keeps them all together. Likes offering a girl's perspective on their love lives. Likes being the behind-the-scenes wordsmith who writes all the lyrics for the boys' band. Char has a house full of stepsisters and a past full of backstabbing (female) ex-best friends, so for her, being friends with boys is refreshingly drama-free...until it isn't any more.
When a new boy enters the scene and makes Char feel like, well, a total girl...and two of her other friends have a falling out that may or may not be related to one of them deciding he possibly wants to be more than friends with Char...being friends with all these boys suddenly becomes a lot more complicated.

First Comes Love
First Comes Love by Katie Macvinsky

Like his name, Gray is dark and stormy. Dylan, a girl always searching for what’s next, seemingly unable to settle down, is the exact opposite: full of light and life. On the outside, they seem like an unlikely couple. But looks can be deceiving and besides, opposites attract.
What starts as friendship, turns into admiration, respect and caring, until finally these two lone souls find they are truly in love with each other.
But staying in love is not as easy as falling in love. If Dylan and Gray want their love to last, they’re going to have to work at it. And learn that sometimes love means having to say you’re sorry.

One Moment
One Moment by Kristina McBride

This was supposed to be the best summer of Maggie's life. Now it's the one she'd do anything to forget.
Maggie remembers hanging out at the gorge with her closest friends after a blowout party. She remembers climbing the trail with her perfect boyfriend, Joey. She remembers that last kiss, soft, lingering, and meant to reassure her. So why can't she remember what happened in the moment before they were supposed to dive? Why was she left cowering at the top of the cliff, while Joey floated in the water below-dead? As Maggie's memories return in snatches, nothing seems to make sense. Why was Joey acting so strangely at the party? Where did he go after taking her home? And if Joey was keeping these secrets, what else was he hiding? The latest novel from the author of "The Tension of Opposites," "One Moment" is a mysterious, searing look at how an instant can change everything you believe about the world around you.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Review: Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson

Flirting in Italian (Flirting in Italian #1)
Lauren Henderson
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date; June 12, 2012

Four girls. One magical, and possibly dangerous Italian summer. Family mysteries, ancient castles, long hot nights of dancing under the stars . . . and, of course, plenty of gorgeous Italian boys!
Flirting in Italian is a real cute and fun read. It wasn't exactly what I was looking for, but I did and enjoy it and it was a quick read. 

Despite the fun and chick-lit looking cover, this book is about a mystery. For the most part. I knew it was a mystery from the beginning, it took a while to actually start. Besides a short intro in the beginning, we weren't really introduced to the mystery until over a hundred pages through. And, even though it's a mystery, it is very chick-lit-y. 

Violet. She could be very melodramatic at times. And naive. But, overall, I liked her. She seemed to have been sheltered her whole life and is now thrown into a foreign country by herself. She really has to grow up. 

The setting. THE top place that I want to visit in the world. Unfortunately, I didn't fall in love with it in this book. While I should feel like I was there, I did not. This part really disappointed me because this is what I was most looking forward to when wanting to read this book. 

As the cover suggests, this book does contain some romance. I was not a huge fan of Luca. He could be kind of a jerk sometimes. For the most part, he was okay. I just didn't fall in love with him like I should have. 

Despite everything, I did enjoy this book. I just had higher expectations. Had I taken it at face value, I would have enjoyed it more. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Vivid Worlds and Settings

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and Bookish. For more information or to participate, visit here.

It's been a while since I've done a Top Ten Tuesday, but what a perfect topic to come back to!

  1. Wanderlove by Kristin Hubbard-I loved watching this setting come to life. Hubbard did such a good job, I felt that I was actually in Central America right with the characters. 
  2. Divergent by Veronica Roth-Roth really brought this world to life! It was kind of scary but I loved it. 
  3. Girl at Sea by Maureen Johnson-This is another setting that I felt that I was there with the characters. It really added to the adventure. 
  4. Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent- Whenever the book turns to the Netherworld, it's uber-creepy. But Rachel did an excellent job with it!
  5. Graceling by Kristin Cashore-I had no problem imagining this world. Cashore is an amazing writer!
  6. Thou Shalt Not Road Trip by Antony John-I loved seeing all of these sights. I felt like I was on a road trip, too1
  7. Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts- This really creepy world. Kind of scared me, actually. 
  8. Across the Universe by Beth Revis-I loved getting to know this ship. 
  9. The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong- I never really knew a lot about Amsterdam or what it looked like until I read this book. Armstrong did a good job describing it!
  10. Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine- I love learning about this creepy little town of Morganville.  

Monday, July 23, 2012

Review: Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer

Smart Girls Get What They WantSmart Girls Get What They Want
Sarah  Strohmeyer
Publisher: Balzar + Bray
Release Date: June 26, 2012
Pages: 352

Gigi, Bea, and Neerja are best friends and total overachievers. Even if they aren't the most popular girls in school, they aren't too worried. They know their "real" lives will begin once they get to their Ivy League colleges. There will be ivy, and there will be cute guys in the libraries (hopefully with English accents) But when an unexpected event shows them they're missing out on the full high school experience, it's time to come out of the honors lounge and into the spotlight. They make a pact: They will each take on their greatest challenge--and they will totally "rock" it.
Gigi decides to run for student rep, but she'll have to get over her fear of public speaking--and go head-to-head with gorgeous California Will. Bea used to be one of the best skiers around, until she was derailed. It could be time for her to take the plunge again. And Neerja loves the drama club but has always stayed behind the scenes--until now.
These friends are determined to show the world that smart girls really can get what they want--but that could mean getting way more attention than they ever bargained for. . . 
I've seen this book around, but I hadn't really heard much about it. It was actually just kind of a whim that I picked it up. But I am so glad that I did! Smart Girls Get What They Want is such a cute and funny read. It is one of the best books of the year and has earned a spot on my favorites shelf.

Gigi's trusty sidekick Petunia
Gigi is a girl after my own heart. She's a nerd, loves her dog as much as I do mine, and we have the same taste in books (she read Anna and the French Kiss! Seriously--it's there). I loved watching Gigi get herself into some sticky situations. She was so awkward and so funny and so sweet. I also loved watch Gigi grow and figure out life a little bit more. At first she had a nasty habit of judging people before giving them a chance, but after being proven wrong many a time, she was able to learn not to do this. 

I also loved Gigi's friends, Neerja and Bea. They were both unique and funny, and kind of award themselves. I loved getting to know each of them individually and seeing them grown into themselves. 

I have to take a moment to point out how funny this book was. It was hilarious! There were several moments in this book were I found my self actually laughing out loud, which I never do when I read. Like I said, there are many a time when Gigi gets herself into a situation or makes her full of herself. 

I hadn't expected much from Smart Girls Get What They Want, but this is one of the best books that I've read this year. I was so funny and cute and filled with characters you're sure to relate to.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Book Haul and Week in Review (97)

This post is dedicated not only to sharing all the books I've received this week but also to share this week's happenings on my blog. This is inspired by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer's The Sunday Post. Also, the title Book Haul is provided by Katie's Book Blog. 

Books Received:
Smart Girls Get What They WantA Need So Beautiful (A Need So Beautiful, #1)A Want So Wicked (A Need So Beautiful, #2)The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2)Being Friends with BoysViolins of AutumnSecond Chance SummerSuch a Rush
Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer
A Need so Beautiful by Suzanne Young
A Want so Wicked by Suzanne Young
The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead 
Being Friends with Boys by Terra Elan McVoy
Violins of Autumn by Amy CaAuley
Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols

Yup, I got myself in trouble again. I got a ton of books, books that I did not need to get. But, I can't wait to read all of them!

What did you get this week?

Happenings on Book Fanatics:
Reviewed this week:
Before I Wake by Rachel Vincent
Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Other Posts of Interests:
Charming Covers: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Friday, July 20, 2012

Hit or Miss Authors

Over the course of the past few years, I've discovered a few authors that I either really like one of their books, or really don't. Fortunately, the ones that I like are absolutely amazing. But I just can't always count on them to provide me with an amazing story. 

Now, quite a few of these authors, I'm afraid, most of you will probably disagree with me on. But, It's how I feel and I can't exactly change that. 

Here we go.

Sarah Dessen. Okay, to be fair, the only ones of hers I don't like are her early ones. There were some that I just couldn't get into or finish. But, with her more recent novels, she has yet to fail me. 
The Hits
Just ListenThe Truth About ForeverAlong for the Ride

The Misses
Dreamland That Summer

Susane Calasanti. She has provided some really cute and fun stories. But she has also had a couple that I just did not like
The Hits
Waiting For YouSomething Like Fate

The Misses
When It Happens
This is really the only book that I had real beef with. While I had issues with Keep Holding On, it was still entertaining

Elizabeth Scott. Man, when she writes a hit, it's amazing. One of my favorite books of all time is bloom. But she can also write some novels that I just cannot get into.
The Hits
BloomPerfect YouSomething, Maybe

The Misses
The Unwritten RuleBetween Here and ForeverGrace

Deb Caletti. This is an author that has given me one of my favorite books ever. One that I absolutely love and cherish. But there are several of her books that just aren't my usual read, that I just don't have an interest in. Of course, that doesn't mean they aren't good. Just not my thing
The Hits
The Nature of JadeThe Secret Life of Prince CharmingStay

The Misses
(these are ones that I have read and just did not like)
Honey, Baby, SweetheartWild Roses

So, there you have it. 
Are there any authors that you feel are hit-or-miss?