Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Review: The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

(summary from goodreads)


My name is Meaghan Chase. 

I thought it was over.That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stay by my side. Drag me into the core of a conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it. 

This time, there will be no turning back.


Review: I may not have cried in this book, but I was definitely close to tears in the end. In The Iron Queen Kagawa manages to pick up right where the last book left off and create yet another amazing book. This book, however, seemed both faster and slower to me.


A lot happened in the book, and a lot of questions were answered, but it managed to have what seemed like a slow pace. This allowed the reader to understand the revelations that were being made. But somehow the book seemed faster in the sense of the coming war. There was a lot more fighting in this book than in the others and it gave the book a lot of good action-y scenes. 


These characters are amazing. I love each and every one of them and, I may be a bit biased, but, I can't find a flaw in them. 


Spoiler alert. Highlight to read. Although the ending was unexpected I actually liked it. It seemed very realistic. It showed that there's not always a happy ending.


Overall, this book was simply amazing. I don't know how, but Kagawa has once again managed to create a world and characters that you can't help but fall in love with. I am now eagerly awaiting The Iron Knight, the fourth in the series, and suggest that if you haven't read the first two books in the Iron Fey series, you should do so now.


Note: received this e-ARC from Harlequin through NetGalley.    

Monday, November 29, 2010

Review: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

(summary from goodreads)

BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break. 

PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape. 

Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present. 

Jennifer Donnelly, author of the award-winning novel A Northern Light, artfully weaves two girls’ stories into one unforgettable account of life, loss, and enduring love. Revolution spans centuries and vividly depicts the eternal struggles of the human heart.


Review: Wow. This book was amazing. Amazing and beautiful, those are the only words to properly describe Revolution


What blew me away with this book was the writing and the characters. The writing was beautiful and the characters were amazing. As soon as a character was introduced I felt immediately connected to them, like I knew them. I can not even imagine the amount of research that went into this book. The details of the accounts of the French Revolution were great.


Obviously this is going to be a short review. All you need to know is that everything about the book was wonderful: the characters, the writing, everything. Donnelly has managed to write to write a novel that brings both her characters and history to life. I have yet to read her first YA novel, A Northern Light, but I plan on doing so ASAP. 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

In My Mailbox (12)

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi at The Story Siren and inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie. Summary from goodreads!

For Review:


The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa (e-ARC via NetGalley)

My name is Meaghan Chase. 

I thought it was over.That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stay by my side. Drag me into the core of a conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it. 

This time, there will be no turning back.


--Thank you to Harlequin and NetGalley for the e-ARC. This book was amazing! My review should be up sometime in the next week. 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Review: Aces Up by Lauren Barnholdt

(summary from goodreads)


Seventeen-year-old high school senior Shannon Card needs money. And lots of it. She's been admitted to Wellesley, but her dad just lost his job, and somehow she has to come up with a year of tuition herself. But Shannon's dream of making big bucks waitressing at the local casino, the Collosio, disappears faster than a gambler's lucky streak. Her boss is a tyrant, her coworker is nuts, and her chances of balancing a tray full of drinks while wearing high-heeled shoes are slim to none. Worse, time is running out, and Shannon hasn't made even half the money she'd hoped.
 
When Shannon receives a mysterious invitation to join Aces Up, a secret network of highly talented college poker players, at first she thinks No way. She has enough to worry about: keeping her job, winning the coveted math scholarship at school, and tutoring her secret crush, Max. But when Shannon musters up the nerve to kiss Max and he doesn't react at all, the allure of Aces Up and its sexy eighteen-year-old leader, Cole, is suddenly too powerful to ignore.
 
Soon Shannon's caught up in a web of lies and deceit that makes worrying about tuition money or a high school crush seem like kid stuff. Still, when the money's this good, is the fear of getting caught reason enough to fold?


Review: Two things drew my interest to this book. (1) I loved Barnholdt's previous book, Two-Way Street, and (2) I liked the idea of a secret poker playing society. Secret Societies always make for intriguing books.


I like that this book was centered around poker and gambling. You don't see that a lot in the YA world so it provided a very original concept. You could tell that Barnholdt really did her homework on poker, too. The characters knew the lingo and knew the game.


Shannon irritated me for most of the book. She knew from the beginning that what she was doing was was wrong, but she continued to lie and dig herself into an even deeper hole. But then, at the end of the, Shannon finally saw the light! She realized that she would indeed have to give something up in order to make things right. But then again her irritating ways could just be her character developing throughout the book. 


Other than that though, I didn't have any problems with the characters. Robyn and Mackenzie were hilarious! They were by far my favorite. And just so you know, I always thought Cole was a little sketchy. 


Overall, this was a really fun book that had a good plot and fun characters, and it left me really wanting to learn how to play poker.





Lauren Barnholdt has written many other books for teens. These consist of: 




Friday, November 26, 2010

Book Blogger Hop (2) + Follow Friday (2)

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy For Books and takes place every Friday through Monday. It's a great way to become aware of different blogs and answer fun questions. This week's question is:

"What is your favorite book cover?"

My answer: This is a very hard one because as we all know there are a million pretty covers out there. But I would have to say that at the moment my favorite cover is Sweetly by Jackson Pearce. It's not out yet, but come on, how can you not love that cover?









Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View and, unlike the Blog Hop, only takes place on Friday. There's no Featured Blogger this week or question to be answered. Therefore, have a happy Follow Friday! 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!


For all of those here in the US I would like to wish you a happy Turkey Day. May it be filled with delicious food and family. But for those of you not in the US I have a question. What holidays do they have where you live that we don't have in the states? 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (12)

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Summary from goodreads!

Moonglass by Jessi Kirby
May 3, 2011

A contemporary YA novel about a girl who, years after her mother's death, gets a fresh start in a new seaside town. She seems to be outrunning the past, but discovers that the sea glass she wears around her neck is not just a token of her mother's memory but a connection to the very stretch of water she now calls home.

Why I'm waiting on it: Sounds like a good family secrets/mystery book. Plus, the cover! Something about it's just so pretty. Moonglass is also a 2011 debut and will hopefully be one of the books I read for the challenge. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Review: How to Ruin a Summer Vacation by Simone Elkeles

(summary from goodreads)




Moshav? What’s a moshav? Is it “shopping mall” in Hebrew? I mean, from what Jessica was telling me, Israeli stores have the latest fashions from Europe. That black dress Jessica has is really awesome. I know I’d be selling out if I go with the Sperm Donor to a mall, but I keep thinking about all the great stuff I could bring back home. 
Unfortunately for 16-year-old Amy Nelson, “moshav” is not Hebrew for “shopping mall.” Not even close. Think goats, not Gucci. 
Going to Israel with her estranged Israeli father is the last thing Amy wants to do this summer. She’s got a serious grudge against her dad, a.k.a. “Sperm Donor,” for showing up so rarely in her life. Now he’s dragging her to a war zone to meet a family she’s never known, where she’ll probably be drafted into the army. At the very least, she’ll be stuck in a house with no AC and only one bathroom for seven people all summer—no best friend, no boyfriend, no shopping, no cell phone… 
Goodbye pride—hello Israel.

Review: This book seemed very different from Elkeles's other books. This one seemed much more light-hearted and fun, but it did manage to have some serious undertones. 

Amy was such a funny person. She had me laughing out loud more than once. It's interesting to see to see how she handles the situations sh puts herself in, and it's usually pretty funny. Besides Amy the only characters I really remember are Avi and Osnat, who were also both great, is a bit serious. 

I love how the author managed to show the evolution of Amy's relationships as well as with herself. She may not have been spoiled, but she definitely saw another way of life and learned a lot from it.

On the surface of this book is a very fun plot, but I think there is something much deeper in this book. It focuses a lot on family, and, although it's not a religious book, the history of the Jewish culture and the importance of tradition. Simone really did her research on that.

Overall, this was a really fun book to read and had a good lesson as far as family and tradition. It'll be interesting to see where the sequel goes. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

In My Mailbox (10)

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi at The Story Siren  and was inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie. All summaries are from goodreads.


Bought:


Branded by Keary Taylor (ebook)


Jessica’s had the nightmares for as long as she can remember. Nightmares of being judged for people who have died, of being branded by the angels. Her friends and family think she’s a crazy because of it all. Yet she carries the mark of the condemned, seared into the back of her neck, and hides it and herself away from the world. 

But when two men she can’t ignore enter her life everything changes, including the nightmares. The two of them couldn’t be more different. She will do anything to be with one of them. Even tell him the truth about angels, why she never sleeps, and the scar on the back of her neck. But one of the two has set events into motion what will puller her toward her own judgment and turn her into the object of her greatest fear.


--I saw this one on its recent blog tour and it looked quite intriguing. 


From the Library: 


Goddess Boot Camp by Tera Lynn Childs 


Seventeen-year-old Phoebe has recently learned that she's a descendant of Nike (the goddess, not the shoe). Now, in order to learn to control her newfound—and very strong—powers, she's being forced to attend Goddess Boot Camp. The only problem is, none of the other campers is over the age of ten! It's not going to be easy to survive camp, train for the Pythian Games, and keep her romance with Griffin going strong, but goddess help her, Phoebe is determined to make it work!


--I enjoyed reading the first in the series so I thought I'd check out its sequel.



How to Ruin a Summer Vacation by Simone Elkeles 



Moshav? What’s a moshav? Is it “shopping mall” in Hebrew? I mean, from what Jessica was telling me, Israeli stores have the latest fashions from Europe. That black dress Jessica has is really awesome. I know I’d be selling out if I go with the Sperm Donor to a mall, but I keep thinking about all the great stuff I could bring back home. 
Unfortunately for 16-year-old Amy Nelson, “moshav” is not Hebrew for “shopping mall.” Not even close. Think goats, not Gucci. 
Going to Israel with her estranged Israeli father is the last thing Amy wants to do this summer. She’s got a serious grudge against her dad, a.k.a. “Sperm Donor,” for showing up so rarely in her life. Now he’s dragging her to a war zone to meet a family she’s never known, where she’ll probably be drafted into the army. At the very least, she’ll be stuck in a house with no AC and only one bathroom for seven people all summer—no best friend, no boyfriend, no shopping, no cell phone… 
Goodbye pride—hello Israel.

--I've read a few other of Simone's books and really enjoyed them so I wanted to check out some more of her work.

Won: 

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly (ARC)

BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.

PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape.

Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present.

Jennifer Donnelly, author of the award-winning novel A Northern Light, artfully weaves two girls’ stories into one unforgettable account of life, loss, and enduring love. Revolution spans centuries and vividly depicts the eternal struggles of the human heart. 

--This book is awesome so far! Thank you to Random Buzzers for the awesome contest. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Review: Zombie Queen of Newbury High by Amanda Ashby

(summary from goodreads)


Quiet, unpopular,non-cheerleading Mia is blissfully happy. She is dating super hot football god Rob, and he actually likes her and asked her to prom! Enter Samantha--cheerleading goddess and miss popularity--who starts making a move for Rob. With prom in a few days, Mia needs to act fast. So she turns to her best friend, Candice, and decides to do a love spell on Rob. Unfortunately, she ends up inflicting a zombie virus onto her whole class, making herself their leader! At first she is flattered that everyone is treating her like a queen. But then zombie hunter hottie Chase explains they are actually fattening her up, because in a few days, Mia will be the first course in their new diet. She's sure she and Chase can figure something out, but she suggests that no one wear white to prom, because things could get very messy.


Review: Going into this book I really didn't think I would like it. The title made it sound a little cheesy, and it came out around the time that zombies were the new vampires. Suffice to say, I didn't think I would like it. 


I read this in one sitting (it's less than 200 pages) and found that I actually liked it quite a bit. The plot was a little predictable, as was the romance, but it was a pretty fun book. It sounds weird to say about a zombie book but it was almost...cute.


Mia and Chase were good characters, but that's all I really remember about them. Some of the dialogue between them and others sounded a bit unnatural, but it wasn't a big problem.


Overall, this was a fun book. It was predictable but still had a good plot. For such a short book it didn't go too fast, but it also didn't drag along. So pretty much, it's a good book to read if you're looking for something light and fun. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Book Blogger Hop (1) + Follow Friday (1)

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy For Books. The Hop takes place every week Friday through Monday, and is pretty much a way to see different blogs and answer bookish questions. This weeks question is: 

"Since Thanksgiving is coming up next week, let's use this week's Hop to share what we are most thankful for and what our holiday traditions are!"

My answer: I am most thankful for my family who is always there to support me and my friends. And of course all the awesome people at my local library who put up with me. My Thanksgiving tradition is pretty much just having family over for lunch/dinner. 







Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View and works much the same way as the Book Blogger Hop as far as there being a weekly question, except Follow Friday is just on Fridays. This weeks question (brought to us by Ginger at GReads) is:

How long have you been book blogging??


To which my answer is: Not long. I started blogging in September of 2010. So only a couple of months. 


Review: Psych Major Syndrome by Alicia Thompson

(summary from goodreads)


Patient Name: Leigh Nolan

Age: 18 years

Presenting Concerns:

Leigh Nolan has just started her first year at Stiles College.  She has decided to major in psychology (even though her parents would rather she study Tarot cards than Rorschach blots), despite reporting that she thinks, "Psychology is a load of crap." 

Patient has always been very good at helping her friends with their problems, but when it comes to solving her own...not so much.  

Patient has a tendency to overanalyze things, particularly when the opposite sex is involved.  Like why doesn't Andrew, her boyfriend of over a year, ever invite her to spend the night?  Or why can't she commit to taking the next step in their relationship?  And why does his roommate Nathan dislike her so much?  More importantly, why did Nathan have a starring role in a much-more-than-friendly dream?  

Aggravating factors include hyper-competitive fellow psych majors, a professor who's badly in need of her own psychoanalysis, and mentoring a middle-school-aged girl who thinks Patient is, in a word, nave.

Preliminary treatment will include Introduction to Psychology, but may require more if she's going to answer these questions and make it through her freshman year.

Diagnosis:

Psych Major Syndrome


Review: This is the first YA book I've ever read where the main character was in college. Leigh wasn't on a road trip to college or thinking about college, she was actually there, and that gave this book many extra points in my eyes.


I thought that even though she kind of went along with what Andrew wanted, Leigh was still a strong and independent person. She put her foot down and when she said no she meant no. I could tell from the beginning that Andrew was going to be a jerk, and I must say, Thompson did a wonderful job with him. I loved Leigh's roommate Ami. She was always there when comedic relief or support was needed. 


I loved the scene's with Rebekah. She was possibly the wisest 15 year old I've ever read about. And not just Rebekah but Leigh's interaction with the whole mentor group was interesting to read. 


By far my favorite part of the book is when Nathan goes to Leigh's for Thanksgiving. We get to learn a lot about Nathan and we get to meet Leigh's funny parents. 


All in all, I loved this book. It was funny, it was serious, it was at college. The characters were great and I wouldn't be surprised if we saw more amazing work from Miss Alicia Thompson. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Review: Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan

(summary from goodreads)


Click.
Telephoto lens. Zoom. In a shutter release millisecond, Blake’s world turns upside down. The nameless woman with the snake tattoo is not just another assignment. “That’s my mom!” gasps Marissa.
Click.
Saturated self-portrait: Blake, nice guy, class clown, always trying to get a laugh, not sure where to focus.
Click.
Contrast. Shannon, Blake’s GF. Total. Babe. Marissa, just a friend and fellow photographer. Shannon loves him; Marissa needs him. How is he supposed to frame them both in one shot?
Click.
Chiaroscuro. Lightdark. Marissa again, overexposed. Crash and burn.
Talk about negative space.
Click.

Review: After reading a bunch of paranormal books, it was nice to read a good contemporary novel, Flash Burnout. Not many female YA authors write in first person from a male's point of view, but Madigan accomplished this with flying colors. Blake sounded and acted like a normal teenage boy.

Although Blake's character had a strong voice and was well written I didn't like him much. I just didn't relate to him very well, but his brother, Garrett, however I enjoyed quite a bit. Garrett was a good combination of funny and serious. I didn't feel like I could connect or relate with shannon or Marissa, but I still understood what each was going through, if that makes sense. 

This is not an action book. It's about Blake trying to balance the two parts of his life, Shannon and Marissa, while doing the right thing by both of them. The first half of the book was really just learning about the characters and building up some mystery around Marissa's mom.


I was a bit disappointed with the ending. As far as I know this is a stand alone novel, but the ending left me wanting more. I still had questions about Marissa and her family, which were only briefly explained. 

Even though I found flaws in this book I still highly recommend it. It told a great story through both words and Blak'es photography, even though we never see the pictures.  

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (11)

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Summary from goodreads! 

Steel by Carrie Vaughn 
March 15, 2011

When Jill finds a rusty sword tip on a Caribbean beach, she is instantly intrigued—and little expects it will transport her through time to the deck of a pirate ship. Will a dark enchantment, salty kisses, and a duel with an evil pirate captain leave her stranded in the eighteenth century forever?

Drawing on piratical lore and historical fact, Carrie Vaughn creates a vivid world of swaying masts and swelling seas, where blood magic overrules the laws of nature, romance is in the air, and death can come at the single slip of a sword.

--

Why I'm waiting on it: I read Carrie's adult book Discord's Apple and really liked it. Plus, this one sounds ver ver interesting. And, as alway, a pretty cover is involved. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Review: The Diamond Secret by Suzanne Weyn

(summary from goodreads) 


Nadya is a mischievous kitchen girl in a Russian tavern. Having nearly drowned in the Iset River during the turmoil of the Revolution, she has no memory of her past and longs for the life she cannot remember. 

Then two young men arrive at the tavern and announce that Nadya's long-lost grandmother has sent them to find her. Yearning for family and friendship, she agrees to accompany them to Paris for the joyful reunion. Nadya eagerly embarks on her journey, never dreaming it will be one of laughter, love—and betrayal


Review: There are two kinds of books that I will read no matter what. (1) Any kind of retelling of a fairy tale/classic story (like Mulan or Sleeping Beauty) and (2) Anything with Anastasia. I don't know why but I've always loved retellings and I just really like the story of Anastasia and all the different ways it's told.


That being said, this book was perfect for me. I loved Nadya and Ivan. Their adventures and travels were great to read and were, at times, funny. The historical-ness of it was also something that I loved. It made the story feel that much more real. 


Since it's a retelling it didn't deviate much from the story of Anastasia as far as who she is and her past. The book was well paced and there seemed to alway be something going on. It did have the overused "I only wanted the money, but then things changed" plot thread, but I still loved it. 


So overall, this was a great retelling as well as a great novel in general.   

Monday, November 15, 2010

Review: The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

(summary from goodreads)


After years of frequent moves following her mother’s death, Chloe Saunders’s life is finally settling down. She is attending art school, pursuing her dreams of becoming a director, making friends, meeting boys. Her biggest concern is that she’s not developing as fast as her friends are. But when puberty does hit, it brings more than hormone surges. Chloe starts seeing ghosts–everywhere, demanding her attention. After she suffers a breakdown, her devoted aunt Lauren gets her into a highly recommended group home. 

At first, Lyle House seems a pretty okay place, except for Chloe’s small problem of fearing she might be facing a lifetime of mental illness. But as she gradually gets to know the other kids at the home–charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek, obnoxious Tori, and Rae, who has a “thing” for fire–Chloe begins to realize that there is something that binds them all together, and it isn’t your usual “problem kid” behaviour. And together they discover that Lyle House is not your usual group home either…


Review: Some authors of adult books who cross over into YA don't have much success. Kelley Armstrong, however, has made a wonderful YA book that has great appeal to many ages spanning YA.


I read this book a long time ago so I may be a bit fuzzy on the details. I do remember, though, that The Summoning had a very well-written, gripping plot. The mystery of Chloe's powers had me flying through the book.


I really like books that have multiple paranormal aspects to it. For instance, in this book you had sorcerers, werewolves, and necromancers. Reading about necromancy was also a plus for the book because you don't really see a lot of YA paranormal books that have to do with it. Well, at the time this book was published you didn't. 


I enjoyed all the characters and loved to watch them interact with one another. Unfortunately I haven't read the last two in the series, but I really want to. 


So if you like paranormal with some action thrown in I would definitely recommend this book.  

Sunday, November 14, 2010

In My Mailbox (9)

In My Mailbox was started by The Story Siren and inspired by Pop Culture Junkie. Summaries from goodreads. 


Bought:


Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl



Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen. 

Sometimes life-ending. 

Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.



--I read and loved the first, Beautiful Creatures, so I was very excited to finally get this.


Dash & Lily's Book of Dares  by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan 

“I’ve left some clues for you. 
If you want them, turn the page. 
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.” 

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the New York Times bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions? 

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.

--I've never read a Rachel Cohn or David Levithan book and this looked like a cute Christmas-y book. 

From the Library:

Madapple by Christina Meldrum 

A girl who has been brought up in near isolation is thrown into a twisted web of family secrets and religious fundamentalism when her mother dies and she goes to live with relatives she never knew she had.

--This has been on my TBR list for quite some time so I decided to finally look for it at the library.


Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan

Click.
Telephoto lens. Zoom. In a shutter release millisecond, Blake’s world turns upside down. The nameless woman with the snake tattoo is not just another assignment. “That’s my mom!” gasps Marissa.
Click.
Saturated self-portrait: Blake, nice guy, class clown, always trying to get a laugh, not sure where to focus.
Click.
Contrast. Shannon, Blake’s GF. Total. Babe. Marissa, just a friend and fellow photographer. Shannon loves him; Marissa needs him. How is he supposed to frame them both in one shot?
Click.
Chiaroscuro. Lightdark. Marissa again, overexposed. Crash and burn.
Talk about negative space.
Click.

--I've heard great thing about this one and have wanted to read it since it came out. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Review: The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade

(summary from goodreads)


After a close encounter with the front end of a school bus, Alona Dare goes from Homecoming Queen to Queen of the Dead. Now she’s stuck here in spirit form with no sign of the big, bright light coming to take her away. To make matters worse, the only person who might be able to help her is Will Killian, a total loser/outcast type who hates the social elite. He alone can see and hear her, but he wants nothing to do with the former mean girl of Groundsboro High. 

Can they get over their mutual distrust—and this weird attraction between them—to work together before Alona vanishes for good and Will is locked up for seeing things that don’t exist? 


Review: When trying to explain this book to people I always say, "Think of and alternate ending to Mean Girls." That being said, Alona Dare was the perfect mean girl. She may have been the stereotypical mean girl, popular but her friends don't really like her, but this made it very fun to watch her grow throughout the novel. It was also good to see that although she did grow and develop, she kept her Alona Dare attitude and spunk.


It was interesting to read about Will's experiences with the dead (and the living), and, like Alona, he was a strong, well written character who had nice development as the book progressed. I love that the chapters alternated between Alona and Will's point of view. It made it much easier to read and understand the characters.


Although the title and cover suggest a light, fun read, this book has much more. It goes deeper than mindless fluff and has a strong, intriguing plot. And although I'm not quite sure what exactly Alona and Will's relationship is, I look forward to learning more in the sequel, Queen of the Dead

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