Friday, August 31, 2012

Obsessions Started by Books

So, every once in a while I will read a book and immediately go "I want to do that" or "I want to do there." Prior to reading I had no desire to go to said place or do said thing. But once I read the book I just know that at sometime in my life I want to do that thing or go to that place. 

Here are a few:

Girl at SeaGo Scuba Diving- Here's a confession: I have a fear of the ocean. I just don't like it. Not one bit. But every since reading Girl at Sea by Maureen Johnson, I want to go scuba diving. I think it would be an amazing experience. Plus, I'd have to face my fear, right?

WanderloveVisit Central/South America- If you would have asked me a year ago, the only places around the world I would want to visit was Europe and maybe Australia. But ever since reading Wanderlove by Kristin Hubbard, I've had this desire to visit Central/South America. Waderlove has such great imagery and (almost) anywhere down there would be such an amazing place to visit and explore. 

Amy and Roger's Epic DetourGo on a Road Trip- There have been several books that has inspired and fed this idea, the main one being Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. I just want to get some friends together, pack up, hit the road, and have an adventure. 

So, I ask you this: Are there any things you want to try/ places you want to visit that was inspired from reading a book?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Charming Covers [42]: The Rules by Stacey Kade

Charming Covers is a feature here at Book Fanatics where I show off covers that have recently been revealed/ that I've recently found. 

The Rules (Project Paper Doll, #1)
The Rules by Stacey Kade
April 2013

1. Never trust anyone.

2. Remember they are always searching.

3. Don’t get involved.

4. Keep your head down.

5. Don’t fall in love.

Five simple rules. Ariane Tucker has followed them since the night she escaped from the genetics lab where she was created, the result of combining human and extraterrestrial DNA. Ariane’s survival—and that of her adoptive father—depends on her ability to blend in among the full-blooded humans, to hide in plain sight from those who seek to recover their lost (and expensive) “project.”

But when a cruel prank at school goes awry, it puts her in the path of Zane Bradshaw, the police chief’s son and someone who sees too much. Someone who really sees her. After years of trying to be invisible, Ariane finds the attention frightening—and utterly intoxicating. Suddenly, nothing is simple anymore, especially not the rules…

I'm really excited for this book! I really enjoyed Kade's The Ghost and the Goth series and I can't wait to see where this book goes. I like how it looks different from her light-hearted debut series. And I like the cover. It's eye-catching and different enough. I can't wait to read this one!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Review: Body & Soul by Stacey Kade

Body & Soul (The Ghost and the Goth, #3)Body and Soul (The Ghost and the Goth #3)
Stacey Kade
Publisher: Hyperion
Release Date: May 1, 2012

The final book in The Ghost and the Goth Trilogy!
The GhostI’ve been trapped in the body of Lily “Ally” Turner for a month now. Talk about a fashion crisis on an epic scale. What worries me more, though, is sometimes I catch Will looking at me like he thinks I’m Lily...or that he wishes I were. Without the good looks of my former self, I don’t know who I am, or if who that is is good enough. I need out of this mess. Now.
Will and I have been looking for a solution, one that would separate me from Lily without killing her. But it’s not going well. Then, when it seems like things couldn’t get any worse, we run into Misty, my former best friend and boyfriend-stealer extraordinaire, who claims she’s being me. Seriously?
I’m determined to get to the bottom of who’s pretending to be the spirit of Alona Dare (while I’m pretending to be someone else) and then get the heck out of this body. Or die trying...
The GothI’ll admit it. It’s really weird to look at Alona but see Lily. I do know the difference, though, contrary to what Alona might be saying. And Alona is more than a pretty face to me, not that she would believe that.
Our one lead for some help in this messed up situation might be a page torn from the yellow pages-—the “Psychics” section-—I found in my dad’s stuff. One of the “fakes” seems a bit more real-—and odd-—than the others. Before I can investigate further, though, Alona is off and chasing a ghost that’s probably nothing more than a figment of Misty’s guilty imagination. Now Lily’s family is freaking out because she didn’t come home, my mom is ordering me to stay out of it, and something is definitely wrong with the person formerly known as Lily “Ally” Turner...

Prior to Reading: I was expecting another fun ride like the others in the series.

Review: Alona, one of the two narrators in this book, has come a long way from the first book, and yet she hasn't. She has definitely grown and has learned to think of others more, yet is still just as arrogant and self-centered. She can be annoying at times, but I still have grown to like her over these books. I just find her really funny. 

And Will. I just love Will. That much has not changed over the series. He's just a really sweet and loyal guy. A little dense at times but, hey, what can I say?

This book was definitely a fun ride. This isn't the type of book that you expect some great epic plot or exceptional prose. It was definitely predictable. But if you forget all of that and just take this book at face value, then it's just a fun read and you will enjoy it. That's not to say that there aren't more serious moments in this book as well; it's just not an emotional read.

Overall: A great end to the series. I will miss these characters. They are definitely what makes this series. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Confessions

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

This week's topic (in case you couldn't see in the title) is Top Ten Book Confessions. I think this is a really fun topic!

  1. I go to my local library a minimum of twice a week. But I can go up to four times a week. My library is my home away from home. It really doesn't help that it's so close to both my school and my house. 
  2. On the same vein, I currently have about 25 books checked out from the library. That is not including library e-books, either.I am a nutcase and need to be contained.
  3. Sometimes I'll read a book without actually reading it. I'll finish a book and realize I have no idea what the book was about and then have to go back and pretty much reread it.
  4. It's been nearly two months since I've bought a book (see Confession #1) and that was only for a special occasion. I very rarely buy books.
  5. I will dog-ear pages when I read a quote/part that I like and want to go back to or if the book mentions a song that I want to check out.
  6. I never eat when reading. Never. 
  7. I will simultaneously watch tv or a movie and read a book. What can I say? I'm a multitasker.
  8.  During school, I have to determine the number of pages I'm going to read of a book in day beforehand. I know this is super-lame or whatever but having a schedule like this is the only way I get any reading done during the school week.
  9. There are a few books that I received for review and have not read and/or reviewed yet. I'm a terrible person.
  10. Depending on the book, it takes me about 50-55 minutes to read 100 pages. I will time this out when reading. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Review: Nevermore by James Patterson

Nevermore (Maximum Ride, #8)Nevermore (Maximum Ride #8)
James Patterson
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Release Date: August 6, 2012

One last chance...For Max, Fang, Angel, Iggy, Nudge, and Gazzy.Before it all ends.
Are you ready for the final chapter? Are you ready for the ultimate flight? Because THIS IS IT. One last incredible, explosive adventure with an astonishing ending that no one could have seen coming.

Prior to Reading: I was excited to return to the world of Maximum Ride yet sad to see it end. I've been reading this series for years now (this is one of the first series that I got into when I began reading a lot) so I knew I would be a bit nostalgic while reading it. 

Review: I loved returning to these quirky characters one last times. I love this little family of mutant kids. They are all so different and funny. They all make me laugh. Plus, I love how close and loyal they all are to each other. 

And Max. In the beginning she is a very strong, independent girl who had no clue how to deal with her (and other's) emotions. She still isn't in tune with emotions but in Nevermore she has to deal with that among other things. 

So. The conclusion to an epic series. Does it hold up to the other books? Is it a satisfying ending? Well, I for one was satisfied. This book wasn't as action-packed as the other books (although it still had it's share of fight scenes). It was more focused on the characters. I still liked it just the same if not more.

Overall: I thought it was a great ending to this series. From the first page I was transported back into this world one last time and it didn't let up until the very last page. 
Gold Medal

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Book Haul and 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)Nevermore (Maximum Ride, #8)
UnWholly by Neal Shusterman
Nevermore by James Patterson

Cold Kiss (Cold Kiss, #1)
Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey

This is from a few weeks so don't freak out when you see how many I got. But then again, have I read many of these yet? Absolutely not.
Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly, #1)From What I Remember...Thirteen (Women of the Otherworld, #13)Glitch (Glitch, #1)Bewitching Season (Leland Sisters, #1)Ashes (Ashes Trilogy, #1)Dead ReckoningTimepiece (Hourglass, #2)GlimmerThe Forsaken (The Forsaken, #1)This is Not a TestThe Waiting Sky
From What I Remember by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas
Thirteen by Kelley Armstrong
Glitch by Heather Anastasiu
Bewitching Season by Marissa Doyle
Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick 
Dead Reckoning by Mercedes Lackey, Rosemary Edghill, and Jane Hodson
Timepiece and Myra McEntier
Glimmer by Phoebe Kitandis 
The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse
This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
The Waiting Sky by Lara Zielin

Happenings on Book Fanatics

Absolutely nothing has happened this past week on the blog. Sorry guys! This is my first couple weeks back to school and I haven't had time to read ANYTHING (seriously--nothing) in the past couple weeks let alone blog. But fear not, my friends! I actually had time to read a couple of books this weekend (I was very excited about this fact) and I have posts scheduled this week. So, in a couple weeks I should have some time freed up (I've been super busy studying for ACT and I'm retaking that on the 8th) so it should get back to normal around here.Plus, as you can see, not having the time to read hasn't slowed my any from getting new books. 

What did you get this week?
And what books should I read first?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Free E-Book Alert!

Hey peeps! After a week-long hiatus I'm back to let you know about a free e-book!

For the next couple of days you are able to get an e-book of Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey for free!
Get it here:

Cold Kiss (Cold Kiss, #1)

Here are some reviews for Cold Kiss:

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Charming Covers [41]

Charming Covers is a feature here at Book Fanatics where I show off covers that have recently been revealed/ that I've recently found. 

Whew! It's been a while since I've done one of these so I figured that it was time. 

This Is What Happy Looks Like
This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

If fate sent you an email, would you answer?

In This is What Happy Looks Like, Jennifer E. Smith's new YA novel, perfect strangers Graham Larkin and Ellie O'Neill meet—albeit virtually—when Graham accidentally sends Ellie an email about his pet pig, Wilbur. In the tradition of romantic movies like "You've Got Mail" and "Sleepless in Seattle," the two 17-year-olds strike up an email relationship, even though they live on opposite sides of the country and don't even know each other's first names.

Through a series of funny and poignant messages, Graham and Ellie make a true connection, sharing intimate details about their lives, hopes and fears. But they don't tell each other everything; Graham doesn't know the major secret hidden in Ellie's family tree, and Ellie is innocently unaware that Graham is actually a world-famous teen actor living in Los Angeles.

When the location for the shoot of Graham's new film falls through, he sees an opportunity to take their relationship from online to in-person, managing to get the production relocated to picturesque Henley, Maine, where Ellie lives. But can a star as famous as Graham have a real relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie's mom want her to avoid the media's spotlight at all costs?

Just as they did in The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, the hands of fate intervene in wondrous ways in this YA novel that delivers on high concept romance in lush and thoughtful prose.
I like how this cover keeps the same theme and feel as The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. It's cute. I have no idea what the boat has to do with anything but I guess I'll just have to read it and find out. 

Even though that this concept has been done before (the description even says this is along the lines of You've Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle), I haven't seen this in young adult. It looks really cute, and I'm excited to see more of this author. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Review: Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Masque of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death, #1)Masque of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death #1)
Bethany Griffin
Publisher: Green Willow
Release Date: April 24, 2012

Everything is in ruins.
A devastating plague has decimated the population. And those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles to pieces around them.
So what does Araby Worth have to live for?
Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery make-up . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.
But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club. And Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither boy is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.
And Araby may find something not just to live for, but to fight for—no matter what it costs her.
Prior to Reading: I've heard some really good things about this book, but I still wasn't sure about. It's had to tell what it was going to be like. 

Review: Bethany Griffin did an excellent job creating this very eerie world. Prior to reading this, I wasn't sure how it would be done, but I was drawn in into this world. 

Araby is ridden with guilt because she has always been privileged. She has a mask and other people to protect her. She is also filled with guilt because she is the one who lived while her brother got sicked and died. In the beginning Araby could be, at times, very naive. But the more she learned about the world outside her privileged world, the better I liked her. When it comes down to it, Araby was very loyal and had a lot of fight in her. 

It didn't take me long to get into this book. It is a very addictive and very quick read. It's definitely one that can be read in one sitting. 

Overall: I was actually surprised by this one. It is a very good and addictive read. It's not one of my favorites, but I'm still looking forward to the next book. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Review: One Moment by Kristina McBride

One MomentOne Moment 
Kristina McBride
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Release Date: June 26, 2012

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.
Prior to Reading: Even though it wasn't one of my favorites, I really enjoyed McBride's debut novel, The Tension of Opposites. I was excited to see how this one would turn out. 

Review: One Moment is, beyond all else, a mystery. Not in a traditional sense, but in so many ways. One Moment is a very quick read. Not only because it is short, but because it is one of those novels where the reader cannot stop reading until the conclusion brings answers. I can't say that the book was totally unpredictable, but I enjoyed watching the story unfold. 

Despite the subject matter, this is not a book about grieving. Like I said before, One Moment focuses on figuring out what exactly happened to Joey. Grief was touched upon (how can it not be) but if you are looking for a tear-jerker or anything like that. That's not to say that this was a lighter book. It was very serious, as one can probably imagine. 
The characters were not a main focus in this book. I am a character girl myself so I would have liked to see a little more developmental. I liked Maggie fine, but she's not exactly a memorable character.  

This is looking over the cliff
Overall: One Moment is definitely a book for those who like mystery. It is fast-paced and can be suspenseful at times. Although it's not my favorite, I enjoyed reading it. 

Bronze Medal

Monday, August 13, 2012

Back to School for Me

Yup. It's that time of the year again. Most likely that as you are reading this, I will be in school. 

This will be my last first day as a high school-er. I have to say, I do not think that this year could go by fast enough. I am so ready to just be done. But I'm not ready for school to start. I'm very conflicted. 

What does this mean for the blog? Well, at least for the next month, I have a pretty heavy load this year and I won't have as much time to read and probably not as much time to blog, so bare with me while I get settled in. But I promise, I will still be here, posting and visiting everyone else as much as I can. 

And to all of you who will also be starting school soon, as well, hope you have a great year!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Another Type of Heroines

A few weeks ago I did a Kick-Ass heroine post. I think it's pretty unanimous to us readers that we love a good female character who can kick some butt. Then I got to thinking. There are other types of characters and heroines who are equally as awesome but are not the typical kick-ass type. The type of heroines I'm referring to, my friends, are the smart girls. 

These aren't as abundant as the BA girls and in my opinion not appreciated enough. I've come across a few girls who can kick some butt, not physically, but sure can solve some problems using other parts of the body (get your mind out of the gutter!). While I do love and appreciate a girl who is really BA, I enjoy my smart heroines, too. 

Here are a few:
Bloodlines (Bloodlines, #1)
Sydney from Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
If there is one thing Sydney is, it's smart. Not only book smart (which she is) but can problem-solve, too. (Although socially, not so much.)

Bitterblue (Graceling Realm, #3)
Bitterblue in Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
There are quite a few mysteries and unknowns in this book, and Bitterblue has to use her wits in order solve them. She is great at solving puzzles and codes and all of that. 

Now, my question is: do we have to choose? The perfect heroine for me would be someone who is really smart, uses her wits, but can kick some butt, too. I mean, there are some smart and strong characters out there, but I'm talking about the absolutely brilliant ones who are strong physically as well. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mini Reviews: Something Like Normal & First Comes Love

Something Like NormalSomething Like Normal
Trish Doller
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Release Date: June 19, 2012

Click here for Goodreads description.

This is my first venture into a book where the main character has PTSD. Although heart-breaking at some parts, I really enjoyed it. Travis has been through a lot (as you would expect). He's working to get over his guilt. Something Like Normal is about Travis figuring out how to deal with everything and trying to heal. I really enjoyed Travis's character. I feel that Doller really captured the voice of this young man (I also liked that the MC is a male--a seemingly rarity in YA these days). He could be really funny one minute and really sweet and serious the next. Don't get me wrong, he did make mistakes and made some decisions that I didn't agree with, but I like to think that he learned from them and grew. I really liked this book, but it didn't wow me. It was just lacking that extra something to make me love. Maybe if it were a bit longer I think I would have loved it.

First Comes Love
First Comes LoveKatie Kacvinsky
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: May 8, 2012

Click here for full Goodreads description. 

I, unfortunately, did not enjoy this one as much as I would have liked to. I am finding out that young adult books solely about romance are either eh or absolutely amazing. Anyway. I think that this book was supposed to be character driven (it definitely wasn't a plot-driven book) but I just didn't fall in love with the characters. They were definitely different, which I should have loved. Dylan was really quirky and Gray was seemingly dark and broody but had a lot of depth on the inside (okay, maybe he's not so different). I just found it hard to relate to these characters. Actually, Dylan's quirks kind of bothered me sometimes. And, this book could be predictable and cliche. Now, there were some parts that I enjoyed. All in all, First Comes Love is a cute and sweet love story, but for me it was a bit lacking.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Review: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

My Life Next DoorMy Life Next Door
Huntley Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Release Date: June 14, 2012

A gorgeous debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another
“One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”
The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?
A dreamy summer read, full of characters who stay with you long after the story is over.
To sum it up, I'd say that My Life Next Door is a great summer read. It was really and light (though it had its moments filled with drama). Although it was lacking that extra something to make me love it, I still really enjoyed it. 
Sam is the quiet one in her family. Her mom is an extreme perfectionist and busy-body while her sister has spent most of her teenage years rebelling. In the beginning, Sam is reserved in a way that lets people walk over her at times. By the end, though, she definitely takes charge of her own life. I really enjoyed watching her grow into herself. 
And all of the other characters. There were a lot. I felt that each and every one of them were very realistic, flaws and all. They all had their own stories and I really liked that. 
About the first half of this book was pretty light-hearted. About halfway through it turned really serious and dramatic. There was a lot of emotion in this book but I really enjoyed the roller-coaster. 
This isn't my favorite book, but I sill enjoyed it. Both heart-warming and heart-wrenching, this is a great summer read!
Silver Medal

I just wanted to capture the essence of summer in this beach scene

Friday, August 3, 2012

Review: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Second Chance SummerSecond Chance Summer
Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon and Schuster's Children's Publishing
Release Date: May 8, 2012

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.
Prior to reading: I absolutely loved Amy and Roger's Epic Detour, so I was excited but wary to read Matson's sophomore novel. I wanted it to be great like Amy and Roger and didn't want to be disappointed. 

Review: With the cover, title, and description, this looks like a light summer read. Second Chance Summer actually deals with a lot tougher things. There are definitely a few tear-inducing moments in this book. But that doesn't mean this book isn't a great summer read. In between those tears there are laugh out loud moments as well. 

Taylor has been going through a lot. She has a habit of running away when things get uncomfortable or awkward. And now she can't run away anymore; she must face the past and the future. I loved watching Taylor grow up during this book. And she does. 

One of my favorite things about Taylor, and Matson's writing, is her voice. This is what makes the book so funny at times. She is just so sarcastic; it's great! I just loved hearing her humor. 

This book is over four hundred pages but it does not seem like it is that long at all. It goes by really fast and by the end I was wishing there was more. 

Overall: I was very happy with Second Chance Summer. Filled with heartache and heart-warming moments, I was not disappointed in the least. The great characters and a fantastic setting completes a great summer read. At this rate, Matson will quickly become one of my favorite authors. 
Gold Medal