Thursday, May 23, 2013


So as many of you know I haven't blogged/reviewed any books in about a year. My senior year of high school was beyond hectic, and there was no time to read anything other than school books. Thankfully exams are over and I have three months of endless reading time before going away to college!

If you've stuck around after a year of me being completely inactive on my blog then you are receiving the biggest virtual bug possible. Thank you to any- and everyone who still read and commented on my posts even though I was less than responsive.

I do plan on being more active with my blog and posting reviews more frequently, but be warned! Because I haven't been able to read recreationally for so long I'm going to be reading a lot of books that may have come out last year or further back. So although my reviews may not be on the most up to date books they'll still be there!

In other words, I'm back, but please be patient with me! There may not be as many reviews as I (or you) want there to be, but I'm getting back in the swing of things! I'm also terrified to see the quality of my reviews seeing as how I haven't written one in over a'll be a learning experience for everyone!

I'm also still not going to be accepting books for review. I want to read at my own pace, and I feel that I just wouldn't be able to do so with specific books and their publishing dates looming over me. So in review I'm back, but I'll be taking things slow. There may be only one or two reviews a week, but I'm also going to be working on their quality (quality over quantity!). 

Last but not least, I feel like I don't talk to you guys enough, and as my readers who have stayed with me even in my prolonged hiatus I feel like I should have more interaction with you all, so I'll be trying my hardest to respond to comments left on posts, but also on Twitter. So if you have a twitter be sure to follow me (@beastiebooks), and if you already do let me know so I can follow you back!

Thank you to everyone for being so patient with me!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Jersey Angel by Beth Ann Bauman

Title: Jersey Angel
Author: Beth Ann Bauman
Published: May 8, 2012 by Wendy Lamb Books
Pages: 208/Hardcover
Challenge: 2012 Sophomore Reading Challenge, 2012 Completely Contemp Challenge, 2012 Standalone Challenge
Source: NetGalley

Summary: It's the summer before senior year and the alluring Angel is ready to have fun. She's not like her best friend, Inggy, who has a steady boyfriend, good grades, and college plans. Angel isn't sure what she wants to do yet, but she has confidence and experience beyond her years. Still, her summer doesn't start out as planned. Her good friend Joey doesn't want to fool around anymore, he wants to be her boyfriend, while Angel doesn't want to be tied down. As Joey pulls away, and Inggy tours colleges, Angel finds herself  spending more time with Inggy's boyfriend, Cork. With its cast of vivid and memorable characters, this tale from the Jersey shore is sure to make some waves.

Review: I thought this was going to be a fun summer romance-y type book. It really wasn't at all what I expected, and I didn't really like what it ended up being.

I couldn't connect with any of the characters. They all seemed flat, and some of them I outright hated. Angel annoyed me to no end. She was lying and betraying her best friend in the worst way possible but then got upset with Inggy when she didn't tell her everything that was going on with her. 

Also, I found the plot very vague. I didn't know if it was suppose to be about Angel and Joey or Angel and Cork

I don't have much of anything good to say about the book. I'm sure there are a lot of people who will enjoy this book, it just wasn't the right one for me.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

Title: Wanderlove
Author: Kirsten Hubbard
Published: March 13, 2012 by Delacourte Books for Young Readers
Pages: 352/Hardcover
Challenge: 2012 Sophomore Challenge, 2012 Completely Contemp Challenge, 2012 Standalone Challenge
Source: NetGalley

Summary: It all begins with a stupid question: 

Are you a Global Vagabond? 

No, but 18-year-old Bria Sandoval wants to be. In a quest for independence, her neglected art, and no-strings-attached hookups, she signs up for a guided tour of Central America—the wrong one. Middle-aged tourists with fanny packs are hardly the key to self-rediscovery. When Bria meets Rowan, devoted backpacker and dive instructor, and his outspokenly humanitarian sister Starling, she seizes the chance to ditch her group and join them off the beaten path. 

Bria's a good girl trying to go bad. Rowan's a bad boy trying to stay good. As they travel across a panorama of Mayan villages, remote Belizean islands, and hostels plagued with jungle beasties, they discover what they've got in common: both seek to leave behind the old versions of themselves. And the secret to escaping the past, Rowan’s found, is to keep moving forward. 

But Bria comes to realize she can't run forever, no matter what Rowan says. If she ever wants the courage to fall for someone worthwhile, she has to start looking back. 

Review: I LOVE road trip books. This isn't a road trip book per se, but it involves lots of travel which I am always a fan of! Wanderlove was a fun book that had a wonderful mix of everything: romance, travel, teen angst, and so much more.

This is one of those books that can be classified as a girl finding herself and discovering how to move forward with life, but that just sounds too boring. It's not so simple as that. Bria does learn about herself and how to live life, but it's a gradual process. With each new place she visits she learns a little more about herself. The people she meets along the way also serve as her tools of learning.

The characters weren't that memorable for me. They weren't bad or flat, they just didn't leave a huge impression on me. They told the story beautifully and were perfect for it.

Wanderlove is a great book! It's fun and romantic, but also has a serious side about letting go of the bad and welcoming in the good. It's definitely a book to read!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Lifeguard by Deborah Blumenthal

Title: The Lifeguard
Author: Deborah Blumenthal
Published: March 1, 2012 by Whitman, Albert & Company
Pages: 268/Hardcover
Challenge: 2012 Sophomore Challenge, 2012 Standalone Challenge
Source: NetGalley

Summary: It's an unsettled summer for Sirena. Back in Texas, her family's splitting apart, but here in Rhode Island, at the cottage of her free-spirited aunt, it's a different world. There are long days at the beach and intriguing encounters with him. Pilot. He's the lifeguard with shamanic skills. He both saves her and makes her feel lost at sea. Sirena explores her obsession with Pilot and discovers his mysterious--almost magical--gifts.

Review: This book had a lot going for it, and although it was a fun, cute, and quick read, it had one too many plot threads to follow.

The Lifeguard had a good summer vibe going throughout the book, so it's a great start to the spring/summer time! It wasn't clear until a few chapters in that something supernatural was happening, and that's where a bunch of sub-plots developed and I lost track.

There were ghosts and supernatural healers and evil stingrays, and because this book was on the short side it didn't have enough time to develop and explain every sub-plot. There were brief explanation at the end when everything was tied up, but it makes me wonder if there's going to be a sequel.

The characters weren't all that interesting. I didn't make a connection with them and they seemed more like just names in the book than actual people or characters.

The Lifeguard is a quick summer read with a bit of a paranormal edge. It didn't have a lot of development, but it was still fun to read.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

Title: Graffiti Moon
Author: Cath Crowley
Published: February 14, 2012 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pages: 272/Hardcover
Challenge: 2012 Completely Contempt Challenge, 2012 Standalone Challenge
Source: NetGalley

Summary: Senior year is over, and Lucy has the perfect way to celebrate: tonight, she's going to find Shadow, the mysterious graffiti artist whose work appears all over the city. He's out there somewhere—spraying color, spraying birds and blue sky on the night—and Lucy knows a guy who paints like Shadow is someone she could fall for. Really fall for. Instead, Lucy's stuck at a party with Ed, the guy she's managed to avoid since the most awkward date of her life. But when Ed tells her he knows where to find Shadow, they're suddenly on an all-night search around the city. And what Lucy can't see is the one thing that's right before her eyes.

Review: I have yet to read Cath Crowley's US debut, A Little Wanting Song, but if it's anything like Graffiti Moon then I have no doubt that I'll love it. 

Graffiti Moon was a truly spectacular book. It takes place all in one night so I was spectacle as to whether or not the characters would have good development, but oh did they. Every character played a role whether small or large, and each served a purpose to the book which only made it more wonderful.

Reading about Lucy and Ed when they're together was sometimes funny and sometimes serious, but either way I could tell that something was there. The mystery of Shadow is found out, by the reader at least, very early in the book, but having him as an additional character only leads to more humor.

This is one of those books that I still think about even thought it's been weeks since I've read it. It sticks with you, and unfortunately that's the closest to describing this book's amazing-ness. I would suggest that everyone pick up a copy and read it!  

Friday, February 10, 2012

What to Expect This Year

As I'm sure you've noticed my posting this year has been minimal. Unfortunately I don't have the kind of time for blogging like I have in the past. School has decided that this year is the perfect year to give out tons and tons of never ending homework, so my reading and blogging time has been dramatically cut back.

I still love reading and blogging though so still be on the lookout for posts and reviews. But this year I'm mainly focusing on reading, so don't expect to see many memes (Waiting on Wednesday or In My Mailbox). I'll mostly be posting reviews, but only periodically.

I'm also not going to be accepting anything for review unless it comes from NetGalley. This just makes it easier to keep up with the books I really want to read.

I hope that I'll be able to keep my love of reading and blogging alive this year despite all the time being devoted to homework. I also hope that you guys will be patient with me while I work through everything!

Have a great year and may it be filled with wonderful reading adventures. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic

Title: Never Eighteen
Author: Megan Bostic
Published: January 17, 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Books
Pages: 204/Paperback
Challenge: 2012 Debut Author Challenge, 2012 Completely Contemp Challenge, 2012 Standalone Challenge
Source: NetGalley

Summary: Austin Parker is on a journey to bring truth, beauty, and meaning to his life.
Austin Parker is never going to see his eighteenth birthday. At the rate he’s going, he probably won’t even see the end of the year. The doctors say his chances of surviving are slim to none even with treatment, so he’s decided it’s time to let go.
But before he goes, Austin wants to mend the broken fences in his life. So with the help of his best friend, Kaylee, Austin visits every person in his life who touched him in a special way. He journeys to places he’s loved and those he’s never seen. And what starts as a way to say goodbye turns into a personal journey that brings love, acceptance, and meaning to Austin’s life.
Review: I really wanted to like this book, but unfortunately it just didn't do it for me.
Obviously from the title and summary I knew Austin was sick and dying, but there was nothing even mentioned about it until about half way through the book. It started right in the middle of the action. The very first page was Austin and Kaylee going somewhere to talk to someone about something that Austin wanted to take meaning from.
I liked that Austin was making the most of his final days. He was talking to people about things that were either bothering them or him and he was there to help them. But some of his friends problems seemed a bit unrealistic. I didn't like how some of his friends' problems were instantly resolved and everyone was happy again and others never had a resolution to them. I thought it left the story unfinished.
I could tell that Austin and Kaylee were great friends, but they just seemed like such flat characters to me. I couldn't connect to them even when they were at their most emotionally vulnerable. 
Never Eighteen was a great concept and I wish I had liked it more. Unfortunately some of the characters and events in the book didn't have enough life and reality in them for me. 


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