Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Review: Altered by Jennifer Rush

Altered (Altered, #1)Altered (Altered #1)
Jennifer Rush
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: January 1, 2013

They were made to forget. But they'll never forgive.
Everything about Anna's life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch, at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There's Nick, solemn and brooding; Cas, light-hearted and playful; Trev, smart and caring; and Sam . . . who's stolen Anna's heart.
When the Branch decides it's time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape. Anna's father pushes her to go with them, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs.
On the run, with her father's warning in her head, Anna begins to doubt everything she thought she knew about herself. She soon discovers that she and Sam are connected in more ways than either of them expected. And if they're both going to survive, they must piece together the clues of their past before the Branch catches up to them and steals it all away.
From the cover of Altered, I was expecting a very dark read. Although this novel had it's dark moments, it was a very fast read that was action-packed with it's share of mystery. 

One thing I loved about this novel was The Boys. They were very entertaining and I loved their relationship with each other and Anna. They all had their quirks and they were over all a very fun group. I wasn't expecting humor play a role in this book but these guys provided the readers with a laugh here and there.

Anna has spent most of her life at the Branch, and one thing that really bothered me was she seemed a little too passive most of the time. I don't know about you, but when I read about someone whose lives with genetically altered boys in a secret branch, I want her to be a little more questioning. About a hundred pages in Anna finally changes, helping the boys to escape. Along the way she finds a lot of secrets about her life. Again, I just felt that, most of the time, Anna was a little too passive for my taste.

This book is certainly a fast-paced read and intriguing read. It's not one of my favorites, but if you like surprises, action, and a fun crew, I would recommend you pick up Altered.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Review: I'll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan

I'll Be ThereI'll Be There
Holly Holdberg Sloan
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 17, 2011

Emily Bell believes in destiny. To her, being forced to sing a solo in the church choir--despite her average voice--is fate: because it's while she's singing that she first sees Sam. At first sight, they are connected.
Sam Border wishes he could escape, but there's nowhere for him to run. He and his little brother, Riddle, have spent their entire lives constantly uprooted by their unstable father. That is, until Sam sees Emily. That's when everything changes.
As Sam and Riddle are welcomed into the Bells' lives, they witness the warmth and protection of a family for the first time. But when tragedy strikes, they're left fighting for survival in the desolate wilderness, and wondering if they'll ever find a place where they can belong. Beautifully written and emotionally profound, I'll Be There is a gripping story that explores the complexities of teenage passions, friendships, and loyalties.

If I had to sum up this book in one word it would be beautiful. Although I was expecting a cute, sweet read, I got something a whole lot more.

One of the best things about this book was Sloan's writing style. It was so sophisticated and lovely. I would have to say that this is what makes the book.

I also loved Sam's relationship with Riddle. I wouldn't have liked Sam as much if he didn't have such a great relationship with his brother. Sam stands as Riddle's protector and care-giver, and he was so sweet and patient with him.

What I was not expecting in this novel was those moments of high tension. Even though this is a contemporary, there were a few scenes (toward the second half) that had me so anxious.

I'll Be There is certainly an emotional roller-coaster that can pull at your heart strings. However, even though I was very impressed by this novel, I'm not sure it's going to be one to stay with me. For this book being more emotional than I though, it was still a beautiful and sweet story.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Review: Stork by Wendy Delsol

Stork (Stork, #1)Stork (Stork #1)
Wendy Delsol
Publisher: Candlewick
Release Date: October 12, 2010

Family secrets. Lost memories. And the arrival of an ancient magical ability that will reveal everything.

Sixteen-year-old Katla LeBlanc has just moved from Los Angeles to Minnesota. As if it weren’t enough that her trendy fashion sense draws stares, Katla soon finds out that she’s a Stork, a member of a mysterious order of women tasked with a very unique duty. But Katla’s biggest challenge may be finding her flock at a new school. Between being ignored by Wade, the arrogant jock she stupidly fooled around with, and constantly arguing with gorgeous farm boy and editor-in-chief Jack, Katla is relieved when her assignment as the school paper’s fashion columnist brings with it some much-needed friendship. But as Homecoming approaches, Katla uncovers a shocking secret about her past — a secret that binds her fate to Jack’s in a way neither could have ever anticipated. With a nod to Hans Christian Andersen and inspired by Norse lore, Wendy Delsol’s debut novel introduces a hip and witty heroine who finds herself tail-feathers deep in small-town life.

Stork is one of those books that has been sitting on my shelf for a while, and I just now picked up. I haven't heard much about it or the series, so I didn't know what to expect. Turns out I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would.

I don't know if I'm alone here, but this book started very abruptly and I found that very confusing. I thought this would be a reflection on the rest of the book, so I wasn't so sure I was going to like it in the beginning. Thankfully, I got more into it once it explained things and I got to know the characters.

I ended up really liking Kat as a character. She was quirky and fun. There were a few times (toward the end) when she could be a little slow on the up-take, but there were also moments where her strength shone threw.

When I read that this book was about Storks, I wasn't sure what to expect. But it was very interesting and original. Like it says in the description, this novel features Norse mythology with Hans Christian Anderson references. Again, very unique and original and I enjoyed that aspect of the story.

I really enjoyed Stork, more than I expected I would. I though it was very original and I liked the characters. However, with the way it ended, even more excited to see where the next books will take us.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Review: Hooked by Liz Fichera

Hooked (Hooked, #1)Hooked (Hooked #1)
Liz Fichera
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: January 29, 2013

Get hooked on a girl named Fred…HE said: Fred Oday is a girl? Puh-leeze. Why is a girl taking my best friend's spot on the boys' varsity golf team?
SHE said: Can I seriously do this? Can I join the boys' team? Everyone will hate me—especially Ryan Berenger.
HE said: Coach expects me to partner with Fred on the green? That is crazy bad. Fred's got to go—especially now that I can't get her out of my head. So not happening.
SHE said: Ryan can be nice, when he's not being a jerk. Like the time he carried my golf bag. But the girl from the rez and the spoiled rich boy from the suburbs? So not happening.
But there's no denying that things are happening as the girl with the killer swing takes on the boy with the killer smile…

If there's one thing that I liked about this novel was that it brought two new aspects to the classic YA romance. One, that this novel brings in Native American culture. Two, that this novel centers around gold, which wasn't the most interesting aspect of the book, but Fichera still managed to keep my attention.

I liked the two main characters fine, but they didn't exactly wow. They both had their quirks. Liz is very quiet and keeps to herself while Ryan seemed to be your typical rich guy. Both of them lacked communication skills which frustrated me so much.

One of my biggest issues with this book was how back and forth Ryan and Fred went. As I said before, if they just communicated a little more a lot of pain could have been avoided. Also, although there were points of high tension, there were also a few slow parts, and the novel ended rather abruptly.

Overall, I did enjoy this story. It was entertaining and there was something unique about it. But was it anything memorable? No. I was expecting something a lot more from this book.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Memories

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

This week's topic is favorite bookish memories! I have so many good ones to choose from...

  1. The first ARC I received. I didn't actually get it for review but won it from the author. It was The  Body Finder by Kimberly Derting. I also got a bunch of swag along with it (also my first book swag).
  2. The first book I actually received for review. It was O, Juliet by Robin Maxwell. 
  3. My first author signing. I went to the Melissa Marr signing when Radiant Shadows came out. 
  4. Meeting one of my favorite authors. Not long after the Melissa Marr signing, I went to see Kelley Armstrong. I love her so much and was so excited to see her. 
  5. Getting Breaking Dawn at midnight--and staying up all night reading it. At the time I was sooo obsessed with this series. It's the first and only book that I went to get at midnight and it was pretty fun.
  6. Going to all of the midnight premiers of The Twilight Saga. Even though I don't feel the same way about the series anymore, it became tradition to see the movies at midnight. 
  7. Going to the midnight premier of The Hunger Games movie. I just love midnight premiers and I love this series.
  8. When Sarah Strohemeyer commented on my review. Smart Girls Get What They Want is one of my favorite books and the author commented and tweeted about my review--and liked the picture that I drew for her book! My review is here
  9. Going to Colorado Teen Literature conference. It was a lot of fun going to this and I met a lot of awesome people here.
  10. Obsessing over a series (for years). There are very few books that I've had crazy obsessions on. Even though it's a bit, well, obsessive, it's still fun. To read more about my obsessions you can visit this post. 


Monday, February 4, 2013

Janurary Wrap Up

So, we are already in month two of 2013. And you know what that means... January wrap up!

January was a very slow month for me, in both reading and blogging. I apologize but it was a pretty busy month for me so I'm not beating myself up too much. 

Books read:
  1. Rock the Heart by Michelle A. Valentine
  2. Poison Princess by Kresley Cole
  3. Foretold by Jana Oliver
  4. Eve and Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate
  5. Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt
  6. Last Kiss Goodbye by Gena Showalter
  7. Crash by Lisa McMann
  8. Rock the Band by Michelle A. Valentine
So, yeah. I only read eight books, or seven books and one novella. I'm behind on my goal but I'm hoping to get caught up in February, even though it's a short month. 

Other posts of interest: