Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Review: Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill

Meant to BeMeant to Be
Lauren Morrill
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: November 13, 2012
Meant to be or not meant to be...that is the question.
It's one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffe, and quite another to fall for the--gasp--wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julian may be accident prone, but she's queen of following rules and being prepared. That's why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that's also why she's chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush. as her MTB (Meant to Be).
But this spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. after one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts...from an unkown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Juilia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love.
Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.
I was really looking forward to reading Meant to Be. It looked like a fun and romantic read. Meant to Be turned out to be a very cute read.

Julie was a neurotic mess. This wasn't necessarily a bad thing. She was very entertaining and I could relate to her (to a certain extent). What I didn't like about her was the way she treated people. She was an overall good person, but she did act very high and mighty sometimes. This was something that she had to grow out of, but I still didn't like it.

Meant to Be was a very quick and fun read. It wasn't exactly original. We have seen this concept before, several times. However, this novel did bring something new to the table, mostly in its setting. Meant to be is set in London and I loved experiencing it throughout the novel!

Overall, Meant to be is fun and cute. It wasn't anything spectacular, but I still enjoyed it and it was a quick read.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated 2013 Books

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

This week's topic is books of 2013 I'm most anticipating. It was so hard to keep it just to ten because there are so many great books coming out next year!

Sadly, though, two of my favorite series are ending. So while I am dying of anticipation of these books, I just can't let these characters go.

1. Shadows in the Silence by Courtney Allison Moulton- This is my number one book I can't wait for next year. I am so excited for this book, you don't even know.
2. With All My Soul- No! I can't let Kaylee and Todd and Nash and Sabine and Emma go. I've been with these characters for six books and I will be with them one last times...
3. The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shephard- This one looks really good!
4. Just One Day by Gayle Forman- Gayle Forman is awesome. I can't wait to read another one of her books.
5. Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovenoff- This one looks really unique and good. Plus, I really enjoy Yovenoff's novels.
6. The Orginals by Cat Patrick- I've yet to read a Cat Patrick book (all two of them) that I didn't really enjoy.
7. Under the Light by Laura Whitcomb- I loved A Certain Slant of Light. I can't wait to read the sequel!.
8. The Dollhouse Asylum by Maray Gray- This one looks amazing and I love the cover!
9. Boundless by Cynthia Hand- Another good series ending.
10. Dare You To by Katie McGarry- Companion to Pushing the Limits, anyone?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Review: Burning Blue by Paul Griffin

Burning BlueBurning Blue
Paul Griffin
Publisher: Dial
Release Date: October 25, 2012

How far would you go for love, beauty, and jealousy?
When Nicole Castro, the most beautiful girl in her wealthy New Jersey high school, is splashed with acid on the left side of her perfect face, the whole world takes notice. But quiet loner Jay Nazarro does more than that--he decides to find out who did it. Jay understands how it feels to be treated like a freak, and he also has a secret: He's a brilliant hacker. But the deeper he digs, the more danger he's in--and the more he falls for Nicole. Too bad everyone is turning into a suspect, including Nicole herself.
Award-winning author Paul Griffin has written a high-stakes, soulful mystery about the meaning--and dangers--of love and beauty.

This is my first novel by Paul Griffin, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Burning blue looked like a really intense mystery and I was excited to dive into it. 

Jay is a very stand-offish person, and for good reasons. I actually ended up really liking Jay once I got to know him. One thing I loved about Jay (and this novel) was that he was a super-smart hacker. This aspect was really unique and I enjoyed it. I just wish that the novel focused more on this aspect than it did. 

And Nicole. I wasn't sure how I would feel about her upon starting this novel. I didn't want to like her. But, as Jay got closer to her and as I got to know her more, I did end up liking her. 

As far as the mystery goes, I really enjoyed it. Burning Blue was a very addictive read. Even though it wasn't filled with edge of your seat action, it was still a very quick read. And even though I thought I had everything figured out, Burning Blue still brought twists and surprises. 

Overall, I ended up really enjoying Burning Blue. Paul Griffin is an excellent story-teller and her's an author to watch. 


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Review: Through to You by Emily Hainsworth

Through To YouThrough to You
Emily Hainsworth
Publisher: Balzar + Bray
Release Date: October 2, 2012

Camden Pike has been grief-stricken since his girlfirend, Viv, died. He'd give anything to have just one more glimpse of her. but when cam visits the site of Viv's deadly car accident, he sees an apparition. Her name is Nina, and she's a girl from a prallel world. When Cam follows here there and makes an unbelievable discover, it's  as if all his wildest dreams have come true. But things are very different in this other world. Nina is hiding a secret, and the window is shrinking every day. As cam comes to terms with the truth, he's forced to make a choice that will change his life forever. 

I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up Through to You. I hadn't heard much about it. As it turns out, Through to You wasn't what I was expecting and I really enjoyed it, although I didn't love it.

I will admit, Cam was kind of a douche throughout the novel. I understand that he's grieving and going through a hard time, but still. And there were several times throughout the novel that I just wanted to shake some sense into him. He could be a little dense at times. However, I know that he was an overall good guy and I was still hoping for things to work out for him in the end.

And Viv. In the beginning, I wanted to like her. I thought that if Cam, who was an overall good guy, loved her that much, she must be a good person. But the more we learned about Viv, the more I knew there was something off about her. I know that Cam's Viv was probably different, but I just could not understand why Cam centered so much of his life around her.

I loved the concept of this book. It was really unique, not what I expected at all, and it hooked me on the novel. Although I just about had everything that was going to happen figured out, I was still trying to figure out exactly how everything was happening.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, though not as much as I would have liked. It was the world and concept of this novel that kept me hooked, but not necessarily the characters.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Because It Is My Blood Audio Book Excerpt

I am here today because I have the pleasure of sharing an excerpt from the audio book of Because it is My Blood by Gabrielle Zevin. 

Because It Is My Blood (Birthright, #2)
Because It Is My Blood 
Gabrielle Zevin 
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Release Date: September 18, 2012

“Every time I think I’m out, they pull me back in.”- Michael Corleone,The Godfather

Since her release from Liberty Children's Facility, Anya Balanchine is determined to follow the straight and narrow. Unfortunately, her criminal record is making it hard for her to do that. No high school wants her with a gun possession charge on her rap sheet. Plus, all the people in her life have moved on: Natty has skipped two grades at Holy Trinity, Scarlet and Gable seem closer than ever, and even Win is in a new relationship.

But when old friends return demanding that certain debts be paid, Anya is thrown right back into the criminal world that she had been determined to escape. It’s a journey that will take her across the ocean and straight into the heart of the birthplace of chocolate where her resolve--and her heart--will be tested as never before.


Friday, November 16, 2012

In Which I Discuss a Personal Dilemma: 5 Star Ratings

Dear self,

I know that you have been struggling for quite some time over a certain decision: Do you give a book a five-star rating? I am here to tell you that it is okay to give a book 5 stars.

In your mind, to give a book five stars means that the book is absolutely perfect in every single way, and there is no such thing as an absolutely perfect book. I am telling you that a book doesn't have to be perfect in order for you to give it five stars. All a five star rating does is indicate that you loved the book. That you will probably want to reread it in the future. That you will recommend it to your friends. A five star rating does not indicate that the book is perfect. It's just a perfect fit for you.

So, self, don't be stingy with the five stars. I know that, in a way, giving five stars is scary. How do you know that even if you love it now, you will still feel the same way in a few months? In a few years? Maybe if you go back and reread it, you won't like it as much. Or maybe you won't want to reread it at all. But listen, self, don't let that scare you away. If you love a book, don't insult it by giving it four stars when you really wanted to give it five stars.

Plus, look at how many four star books you have on your Goodreads shelf. More than any other stars. You can mix it up a little.

And while I'm at it, it's okay to give a book three stars. Just because you give a book three stars, it doesn't mean you don't like the book. It just means that the book wasn't as good as it could have been.

So, self, here we are. Try your best to give books five stars when you really love the book. Don't cheat out awesome books because you are afraid to give it five stars.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Review: Because it is My Blood by Gabrielle Zevin

Because It Is My Blood (Birthright, #2)Because it is My Blood (Birthright #2)
Gabrielle Zevin
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Release Date: September 18, 2012

“Every time I think I’m out, they pull me back in.”- Michael Corleone, The Godfather
Since her release from Liberty Children's Facility, Anya Balanchine is determined to follow the straight and narrow. Unfortunately, her criminal record is making it hard for her to do that. No high school wants her with a gun possession charge on her rap sheet. Plus, all the people in her life have moved on: Natty has skipped two grades at Holy Trinity, Scarlet and Gable seem closer than ever, and even Win is in a new relationship.But when old friends return demanding that certain debts be paid, Anya is thrown right back into the criminal world that she had been determined to escape. It’s a journey that will take her across the ocean and straight into the heart of the birthplace of chocolate where her resolve--and her heart--will be tested as never before.
I was a really big fan of All These Things I've Done; I thought it was a really mature and unique dystopian, something that I hadn't seen in a while. I was expecting great things out of Because it is My Blood. Although I didn't love nearly as much as All These Things, it was still a solid sequel in a great series. 

Anya has been through a lot in the past several months. She is always caring, protecting, and looking out for others. We didn't get to see as much of this in this book, which I really missed. Anya did, however, have to grow and make big decisions in this book. 

One thing I loved to see in this book (and series) is the politics. In this little world that Zevin has created and built, politics play an important role. It's something that we don't get to see a lot of in young adult. 

I didn't feel that this book was as addicting as All These Things. It just didn't hold my interest as well. And while there were some twists, I did see some of them coming. And the ending. In All These Things, the ending killed me. I couldn't wait for the next book. With the way Because it is my Blood ended, I'm still intrigued enough to read the next book, but I'm not hopelessly awaiting it. 

Overall, I enjoyed this book, but was a little disappointed. I was hoping for more from Zevin, whose books never fail to take my breathe away. But I am still anticipating the next book, where I can return to these characters and this world. 
3.5 stars


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Charming Covers [47]: The Moon and More

Charming Covers is a feature here at Book Fanatics where I show off some covers that have recently been revealed/that I've recently found. 
The Moon and More
The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen 
June 4, 2013

Set in the fictional beach town of Colby, where several of Dessen's novels take place, it features 18-year-old Emmeline, who is spending her last summer before college working for her family's vacation rental business and enjoying a summer romance with a young aspiring filmmaker.

First of all, I love the  new Sarah Dessen covers. They are really cute and capture her books well. And this one is cute as well. I'm not sure if it's my favorite of the covers, but I still like it. 
And I'm excited to return to Sarah Dessen and Colby!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Review: The Lost Prince

The Lost Prince (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten, #1)The Lost Prince (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten #1)
Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: October 23, 2012

Don't look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.That is Ethan Chase's unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he'd dare to fall for.
Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister's world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myth and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.
I've never been a huge fan of The Iron Fey series; while I enjoyed it, I wasn't really obsessed with it like some people are. I was expecting a similar reaction when I read The Lost Prince. Now I understand why everyone fell in love with these books. I absolutely loved The Lost Prince. 

I think a big part of why I loved this book so much was because of Ethan. I loved him from the beginning of the book. He is certainly different from little boy we met in The Iron King. He has grown up always having to watch his back for fey and heartbroken because he misses his sister. He definitely puts on a hard exterior and doesn't get close to anyone. Every once in a while we'll see a different side of Ethan. He was overall a really good and sweet guy and I really liked him. 

It was nice returning to this world again. We see appearances from characters from past books. We also meet some great, new characters, too.

This book was very addicting; I read it very quickly. There were several twists and turns in this book. Although, I totally saw the Kenzie's big secret coming. And by the end of the book... I need the next book in the series as soon as possible.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by how The Lost Prince turned out. It had everything I wanted: action, romance, magic, and Ethan, who is his own category. I'm not sure how those who love the original series will react to this book, but for someone who isn't the biggest fan, I loved it. 
4.5 stars 

Friday, November 9, 2012

YouTube has Taken Over my Life

So, in the past couple of weeks (although it's been building for a few months) I've gotten super addicted to (obsessed with) YouTube. To an unhealthy point. I find that instead of reading, doing blog-gy things, and just in general being productive, I'm spending hours watching videos on YouTube. And I do mean hours. I'll go on and tell myself "I'm just going to watch the videos my subscriptions has uploaded." Two hours later...

It all started over the summer when I started watching web series. I've gotten super addicted to The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and I also love Job Hunters (although that doesn't come back on until next year). Then for the next few months I watched quite a few tutorials. For a lot of things but mostly for hair. 
And then, this past week, I went a little overboard. I started watching people's channels and now I spend so much more time on YouTube than I should. 

So, I'm here to share with you a few of my subscriptions. 

As I said above, I subscribe to The Lizzie Bennet Diaries  and Job Hunters. Both are amazing web series and you should watch them!

This guy is and Australian, and actor, and singer. He is super hilarious in his videos which is why I love them. 

To be honest, it's not what she talks about in her videos that makes me like them so much. I just think she is really funny and entertaining. 
This video kind of shows you how fun and eccentric she can be. 

Remember when I said I like to watch tutorials? Yeah, this shows nail designs and art and is the only "tutorials" channel that I subscribe to. 

So, this is basically just about this British guy and sometimes his twin brother just being goofy. They are really funny and entertaining.

And last be certainly not least, we've got the only book-ish channel on this list. This channel features some bloggers who talk about books, blogging, and such. 

So, there you have it. If it seems that I'm not posting/reading/around as much, it's because I'm on Youtube, probably watching some of these peeps. I'm trying to pull myself back a little but its difficult. 

Not that I need a reason to be on YouTube more, but do you have any subscription suggestions? As you can see, I mostly like funny channels, but I'm open to other (especially bookish) suggestions as well. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Review: Enshadowed by Kelly Creagh

EnshadowedEnshadowed (Nevermore #2)
Kelly Creagh
Publisher: Atheneum Books
Release Date: August 28, 2012

True love takes a twisted turn in the second book of this modern gothic romance trilogy channeling the dark brilliance of Edgar Allan Poe.While Varen remains a prisoner in a perilous dream world where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life, Isobel travels to Baltimore to confront the dark figure known throughout the world as the Poe Toaster. This man, the same man who once appeared to Isobel in her dreams and abandoned her in Varen’s nightmare world, holds the key to saving Varen.
     But when Isobel discovers a way to return to this dream world, she finds herself swept up in a realm that not only holds remnants of Edgar Allan Poe’s presence, but has also now taken on the characteristics of Varen’s innermost self. It is a dark world of fear, terror, and anger.
     When Isobel once more encounters Varen, she finds him changed. And now Isobel must face a new adversary—one who also happens to be her greatest love.

I've got to say, this is shaping up to be an awesome series. I loved the first book, and I'm getting obsessed with the second.

One thing I love about these books is how creepy they are. Not only because of the content, but because of the writing. Creagh's writing is hauntingly sophisticated, which really adds to books.

I'm not going to lie, I missed Varen in this book. However, that doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy it. I loved getting to know Isobel better and watching her grow while trying to figure everything out. I loved how determined she was. I also loved getting to know other characters.

Creagh sure knows how to kill her readers with her endings. I'm still shocked by what happened. It's such an intense, insane cliff-hanger, and I need to read the next book!

Overall, a great sequel! This is a great, creepy series and I can't wait for the next book. I'll most likely read the first two again and again until I get my hands on the next book!


Thursday, November 1, 2012

October Wrap Up

October was a much better reading month than September was. I went from reading 6 books last month to reading 13--over twice as much. I think I finally got into a routine and have gotten back into reading (I realize I think I was in a slump), so I was pretty pleased. 
Books read:
  1. Timepiece by Myra McEntire
  2. Diva by Jillian Larkin
  3. The Diviners by Libba Bray
  4. Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter (review coming soon)
  5. What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton
  6. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan (review coming soon)
  7. In Honor by Jessi Kirby
  8. Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride
  9. Enshadowed by Kelley Creagh (review coming this week)
  10. The Blood Keeper by Tessa Gratton (review coming this week)
  11. The Ruins by Scott Smith
  12. Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally (review coming soon)
  13. Live Through This by Mindi Scott (review coming soon)
Other Reviews:
  1. Speechless by Hannah Harrington 
  2. A Want so Wicked by Suzanne Young
  3. Perception by Kim Harrison 
Other Posts of Interest:
Want to know something I like besides reading? Check out my Favorite Scary Movies post that I did for Halloween. 
I also participated in Dewey's 24-Hour-Readathon. Check out how it went here!