Monday, June 27, 2011

The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder

Title: The Day Before
Author: Lisa Schroeder
Published: June 28, 2011 by Simon Pulse
Pages: 320/Hardcover
Challenge: The Contemps
Source: Simon & Schuster Galley Grab

Summary: Amber’s life is spinning out of control. All she wants is to turn up the volume on her iPod until all of the demands of family and friends fade away. So she sneaks off to the beach to spend a day by herself. Then Amber meets Cade. Their attraction is instant, and Amber can tell he’s also looking for an escape. Together they decide to share a perfect day: no pasts, no fears, no regrets. The more time that Amber spends with Cade, the more she’s drawn to him. And the more she’s troubled by his darkness. Because Cade’s not just living in the now—he’s living each moment like it’s his last.

Review: This was the first book I've ever read that was written in verse. I didn't really see how writing in verse would affect the story, but I was quite surprised to see that it did. I felt a lot more of the emotions that Amber was feeling and I think that's in part to the story being written in verse.

One of the things that I really liked about The Day Before was that it takes place in one day. I don't think I've ever read a book that only spans one day, and I was happy to see that it wasn't depicted in an unrealistic way, and by that I mean everything that Amber and Cade did was possible to do in a day. 

Because the book was written in verse it went by really quickly despite its 320 pages, so I was a little concerned that I wouldn't have time to connect with the characters, but that wasn't a problem at all. Again I think it was because of the writing style, but even though I've never gone through anything like what Amber or Cade went through I felt like I could relate to them.

I thought that Amber and Cade had a very interesting relationship. Since the story does only span one day I thought it was strange how they went from strangers to being friends to being a couple, but then again they were both in tough situations and I think they related to each other in that way.

I thought the ending was perfect for the story, although it may have been a bit too optimistic for my liking, but overall it was a good ending to the story. This was my first time reading a book by Lisa Schroeder, but I quite enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone who's looking for a quick contemporary read. 

More Books by Lisa Schroeder 
I Heart You, You Haunt Me
Chasing Brooklyn
Far From You
Dear Bully

Monday, June 20, 2011

My Vacation/Blogging Break

Today I leave for an eleven day trip to Europe. I'm really excited about it and although I'll probably have access to a computer while across the pond I'm using this vacation as a break from blogging. 

If you haven't noticed lately I'm very behind in posting reviews and whatnot. I've been in a reading slump since school got out, and I just haven't been very motivated to do anything book or blog related.

I still love my blog and everything about blogging, but I think I need a break to continue loving it. Thank you to the followers who read my blog and all the other people who drop by to comment and subscribe, or who just read my blog.

As part of my break I'm not even looking at email or comments. I have one or two posts that are scheduled to go up in the next couple of weeks, but I won't be looking at comments or updating my "Reviews by..." pages.

I hope that by enjoying my vacation and not worrying about the blog I'll be able to get back into blogging and reading. And fear not, my blogging break is only about two weeks, not very long at all if you think about it.

Thank you again to all my wonderful readers and I'll be back! Also, I hope everyone's having a good summer vacation. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

In My Mailbox (39)

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi at The Story Siren and inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie

Summer's Crossing by Julie Kagawa
Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Friday, June 17, 2011

Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Title: Hourglass
Author: Myra McEntire
Published: June 14, 2011 by Egmont USA
Pages: 397/Hardcover
Series: Hourglass #1
Challenge: 2011 Debut Author Challenge
Source: bought

Summary: One hour to rewrite the past . . . 

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.
So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.
Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?

Full of atmosphere, mystery, and romance, Hourglass merges the very best of the paranormal and science-fiction genres in a seductive, remarkable young adult debut.

Review: There was a lot of hype about Hourglass because of both the cover and the summary. Usually a book with that much build up doesn't deliver, but boy did Hourglass deliver. This was one of the rare books that I stay up until three in the morning to finish because if I don't I might just die. It left me with that open mouthed I-can't-believe-someone-wrote-something-that-good expression on my face.

Hourglass hits the ground running. There's not action in the first chapter, but Emerson's voice is immediately captivating and easy to connect with. I tend to get easily bored by back story in books, but in Hourglass the back story was not only important but interesting. McEntire's writing made every aspect of this book interesting, from the background information to the present plot.

Speaking of the plot, how incredibly awesome was is?! I loved that there were scientific reasons behind the time travel and time ripples instead of it all just being a giant paranormal mystery. Everything about the plot was original. I can honestly say I've never read anything like Hourglass. There were also a lot of plot twists that I didn't see coming and left me guessing through the whole thing. 

All the characters were captivating and easy to read. They were believable and held my interest. I liked that although Emerson and Michael had an immediate connection it wasn't the "love at first sight" kind of connection. They kept things professional (since Michael was working for Emerson's brother) and they took the time to actually get to know each other. 

The only thing I didn't really get in the book was Kaleb. I didn't understand why he wanted a relationship with Emerson after talking to her for ten minutes when the entire book had been building up to a relationship between Emerson and Michael. I guess it was just a little random in my eyes, and I'm hoping that there's not a love triangle in future installments because, for some reason, it just doesn't seem like a love triangle kind of book. That might sound strange but after reading it that's just the way it feels. 

I loved the ending! I was so much more informed as to what all is going on and what exactly the Hourglass is, but there're still questions and mystery about Jack and all the other "bad guys". Hourglass was such an amazing book! It was original and captivating (that has to be the fifth time I've used "captivating" in this review) and just all around awesome! If you haven't read it yet I strongly (STRONGLY!) suggest you do.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cover War: Forgotten

Cover War is something I decided to start doing after seeing different covers for the same book. I realized that I liked some covers better than others. For example one book might have a different cover for its US and UK copies. I thought making this "Cover War" feature would be a fun way of showing the different covers and why I like one more than the other.

I probably won't have a Cover War for each book that has a different cover. This will most likely only be a sporadic post for "special" covers or books.

Today's Cover War is between the Australian cover and the UK cover of Forgotten by Cat Patrick. The Australian cover is to the left and the UK cover is to the right.

I don't think either of these covers captures the story except in little ways, but you probably won't get them unless you've read the book. I don't understand why the girl in the Australian cover is sleeping in a field, but I think the swirly colors and her sleeping show the memory loss aspect of the book. In the UK cover I think the faded girl to the left represents London's past that she can't remember, and the more colorful right girl represents the future that she sees.

I started out really liking the Australian cover, but after seeing both side-by-side I think the winner of this Cover War is the UK cover. I like that a lot of the cover is faded except for the spot of color on the girl to the right. Both are eye catching, but the UK cover is much more appealing in my eyes.

Forgotten by Cat Patrick

Title: Forgotten
Author: Cat Patrick
Published: June 7, 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 288/Hardcover
Challenge: 2011 Debut Author Challenge
Source: bought

Summary: Each night when 16 year-old London Lane goes to sleep, her whole world disappears. In the morning, all that's left is a note telling her about a day she can't remember. The whole scenario doesn't exactly make high school or dating that hot guy whose name she can't seem to recall any easier. But when London starts experiencing disturbing visions she can't make sense of, she realizes it's time to learn a little more about the past she keeps forgetting-before it destroys her future. 

Part psychological drama, part romance, and part mystery, this thought-provoking novel will inspire readers to consider the what-if's in their own lives and recognize the power they have to control their destinies.

Review: For some reason I'm always interested in books that involve memory loss. I liked that London's memory loss was actually caused by something instead of just being some supernatural thing she was born with. I also liked that by the end she had found a way to work through her memory loss by confronting her past. 

This book was very original and most of the above is what made it so original. Another thing is that London had to write down what she did that day in order to remember what happened the next day. I thought this showed that London really did have a lot of control over her memories. She could choose to forget bad things that happened or twist situations to remember them a different way. The memory loss is explained in the end, but I never understood how London was able to get glimpses of the future. That's the one thing I wish had been explained a little more.

I liked reading the relationship between Luke and London mainly because London relied solely on her notes to remember him. Although I liked their relationship it seemed a little off t me. I don't see how their relationship could build the way it did if London is basically meeting Luke for the first time every day. Also, when everything happened with Luke he seemed too accepting with it. Sure there was the thing that happened at camp, but I still think he shouldn't have been that okay with everything. That leads me to the point that the relationship between Luke and London just seemed too easy. They didn't face very many challenges and that made it less realistic.

I thought the ending was good for the book, if not a bit Disney-esque. 

Forgotten is a surprisingly original novel by a debut author who won me over with a good plot and a sweet romance. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (40)

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

Article 5 by Kristen Simmons 
February 14, 2012 

New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC have been abandoned.

The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.

There are no more police — instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior — instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested don’t usually come back.

17-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren’t always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it’s hard to forget that people weren’t always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. That life in the United States used to be different.

In the three years since the war ended, Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the Federal Bureau of Reformation. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow. That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And what’s worse, one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings…the only boy Ember has ever loved.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Cover Talk (9)

Cover Talk was inspired by Kristi's Books to Pine For and Steph Su's Cover Lust. I started Cover Talk as a way to show and talk about the cool/pretty/new covers I find while looking for new books (mostly on Goodreads).

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton
Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Deadly Little Voices by Laurie Faria Stolarz

The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa 
The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle

Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

In My Mailbox (38)

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi at The Story Siren and inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie. I haven't done an IMM in a few weeks so I'm using this one to catch up on everything I've gotten since my last IMM post. 

Misfit by Jon Skovron
Legacy by Kayla Cluver 
Wisdom's Kiss by Catherine Gilbert Murdock 
Flyaway by Helen Landalf

Forgotten by Cat Patrick
The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong
Exile by Anne Osterlund

From the Library:
Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon 

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

Title: The Gathering
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Published: April 12, 2011 by HarperCollins
Pages: 359/Hardcover
Series: Darkness Rising #1
Source: bought

Summary: Sixteen-year-old Maya is just an ordinary teen in an ordinary town. Sure, she doesn't know much about her background - the only thing she really has to cling to is an odd paw-print birthmark on her hip - but she never really put much thought into who her parents were or how she ended up with her adopted parents in this tiny medical-research community on Vancouver Island. 

Until now. 

Strange things have been happening in this claustrophobic town - from the mountain lions that have been approaching Maya to her best friend's hidden talent for "feeling" out people and situations, to the sexy new bad boy who makes Maya feel . . . . different. Combine that with a few unexplained deaths and a mystery involving Maya's biological parents and it's easy to suspect that this town might have more than its share of skeletons in its closet. 

Review: Even though I still haven't finished Armstrong's first young adult series, Darkest Powers, I could tell I was going to like The Gathering. 

The first half of The Gathering didn't have a lot going on. It was mainly building the town. I got to see just what it's like to live in Salmon Creek where everyone knows everyone else. The first half of the book was also used to set up some mystery. You meet some different characters and learn their back-stories but there's an air of mystery to everything, so I knew something was up, I just didn't know what.

I liked that the shape-shifters didn't really come in until the second half of the book. It was a lot better for the plot (I think) if the book didn't start out with certain characters finding out they're some mythical creature. 

One thing that I thought was different and was really happy about was the use of Native Indians and their different tribes and customs. It was cool to see Maya learning about herself, and I think she should give herself more credit.

I thought the characters were predictable, but that's the only real problem I had with The Gathering. I could tell pretty early on who the shape-shifters were. Rafe is your typical bad boy with hidden depths and sensitivity, but he actually is a sweet guy. I think a love triangle may be brewing, but for once I really hope that doesn't come to be. I loved seeing Maya and Daniel's relationship. They are such good friends! I love seeing friends in books. I don't know why but when there are two people who are genuine best friends it makes me really happy!

I did have one other problem with the plot, and that was that there seemed to be one too many things going on. Some times Maya would be trying to focus on Selena's death (which didn't seem to have any relevance to the rest of the story but maybe it will in future books?), and the next she was worrying about shifters, and then she'd be focused on the animals she was taking care of. The shifters thing and the taking-care-of-animals thing kind of came together in the end, but I still don't see how Selena's death relates.

Kelley Armstrong has created another fun and exciting young adult book! The Gathering takes romance, mystery, and a bit of paranormal and gives it a twist. The characters were real and the ending leaves you with a lot of questions. Questions that will hopefully be answered in future installments. 

More Books by Kelley Armstrong
The Summoning
The Awakening
The Reckoning

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (39)

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

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
September 20, 2011

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness. 

Elisa is the chosen one. 

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will. 

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess. 

And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake. 

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young. 

Most of the chosen do. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Title: Blood Red Road
Author: Moira Young
Published: June 7, 2011
Pages: 512/Hardcover
Series: Dustlands #1
Challenge: 2011 Debut Author Challenge
Source: Simon & Schuster Galley Grab

Summary: Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.

Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal writing style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction.

Review: Wow. Wow wow wow wow. This was such an amazing book! It was really hard for me to get into this book at first because the grammar and wording was so strange, but that was just part of the story.

As I just mentioned the grammar and wording was a bit of a problem in the beginning. For example, If someone was talking there wouldn't be quotation marks or a "he said" or "she said" to tell who was talking, but after the first bit of the book I got used to it. That's when I realized that the grammar "mistakes" were really just a way to show where these characters are coming from. They're living in a time when learning how to spell and talk aren't the most important things, survival is. 

Once Lugh was taken Saba has to make her journey to find him with her little sister who she really doesn't like (I think the word hate really would apply here). I was so amazing to see Saba's relationships evolve throughout the book. She didn't just go from hating her sister to loving her. It was a gradual thing that was very realistic and at time quite touching to see. Her relationship with Jack and the Free Hawks was also something that progressed slowly but realistically. 

I love books that have to do with travelling because usually there are a lot of mini stories inside one big story. While trying to find Lugh Saba meets a lot of different people who enter and leave her life within a few pages. She also gets put into situations or places and she's there for a few chapters, but then something else happens. These two things are what made me love this book. I loved seeing Saba change her views of people and life through her different encounters that made up her whole story.

The overall plot of the book was quite lovely and original. I wouldn't really categorize this as a dystopian book, but that's the closest thing I can think it would relate to. I noticed that Blood Red Road is actually the first in a series. I thought the ending left all of the characters in a very nice place and I don't really see where the sequel will take them, but after reading this I can't wait to see what Young has coming up!

Friday, June 3, 2011

I'm done!

School is officially over! Let's all do a super happy dance now. *super happy dance ensues* Now that school and all the nastiness that comes with it (homework, exams, etc.) are done with I have sooo much more time to do fun book related things like reading and writing reviews.

Unfortunately, some things are still a little hectic in my life so you may not be seeing me around for a few more days. But, once again, fear not! For I WILL be back!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (38)

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

The Fox Inheritance by Mary E. Pearson 
August 30, 2011

Once there were three. Three friends who loved each other—Jenna, Locke, and Kara. And after a terrible accident destroyed their bodies, their three minds were kept alive, spinning in a digital netherworld. Even in that disembodied nightmare, they were still together. At least at first. When Jenna disappeared, Locke and Kara had to go on without her. Decades passed, and then centuries.

Two-hundred-and-sixty years later, they have been released at last. Given new, perfect bodies, Locke and Kara awaken to a world they know nothing about, where everyone they once knew and loved is long dead.

Everyone except Jenna Fox.


Aaaahhhhh! I loved The Adoration of Jenna Fox and although I think it ended perfectly I always wondered if there would be a sequel. I love that this book will be about Locke and Kara because they were in Jenna Fox, but they weren't a huge part of it. 

Coming Up in June 2011

This post was inspired by Tara's "Excited For..." posts over at Hobbitsies. I decided to do something a little like Tara does and show off some of the books that are coming out this month that I hope get the chance to read and review. Obviously not all YA books coming out in June are going to be here, but the ones I can't wait to read will be.

June 01: Summer's Crossing by Julie Kagawa (Harlequin Teen)
This series is AMAZING! As is Julie Kagawa. I love the Iron Fey series and can't wait to see what happens after The Iron Queen. So this sounds like a great novella for me!

June 01: Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari (Scholastic) 
This sounds like a really cool dystopian novel with adventure galore!

June 01: Forgotten by Cat Patrick (Hardie Grant Books)
I have a strange liking for books that involve memory loss.

June07: Possession by Elana Johnson (Simon & Schuster)
I didn't realize that this was a dystopian type book, but it sounds really interesting, and it's a debut!

June 07: Ten Things We Did by Sarah Mlynowski (HarperTeen)
I sense a fun summer read!

June 07: Don't Stop Now by Julie Halpern (Feiwel & Friends) 

June 07: Hereafter by Tara Hudson (HarperCollins)
It's another debut! I'm a little burnt out on paranormal books, but this one looks like it has a new spin on it.

June 07: Queen of the Dead by Stacey Kade (Hyperion)

I loved The Ghost and the Goth. It was so funny yet had a strong plot to it, so I can't wait to see what happens next in the series.

June 09: Displacement by Thalia Chaltas (Viking Childrens Books) 
This sounds like it could be a very emotional contemporary novel which is just what I'm looking for. 

June 09: Displacement by Jennifer Jabaley (Razorbill)
I really liked Jennifer's first book, Lipstick Apology, and this one sounds fun and cute.

June 09: Brother/Sister by Sean Olin (Razorbill) 
This sounds very intense, but also very intriguing. 

June 14: Hourglass by Myra McEntire (Egmont USA)
Yet another debut. This one sounds spectacular and it has an awesome cover!

June 14: The Glass Demon by Helen Grant (Random House) 
Paranormal-ish mystery set in Germany? Sounds like plenty to keep me interested.

June 14: Passion by Lauren Kate (Delacorte Books for Young Readers)
I haven't read the second in the series yet, but I enjoyed the first one and all the covers are just gorgeous.

June 14: The Revenant by Sonia Gensler (Knopf Books for Young Readers) 
After reading Die For Me by Amy Plum I've been intrigued about these "revenants" so I can't wait to read some more about them.

June 14: Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma (Dutton Juvenile)
Ooooooh!Yay contemporary fiction! This sounds mysterious and filled with intrigue.

June 21: A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young (Balzer & Bray)
I've only ever heard good things about Suzanne Young and since I've never read anything by her this seemed like a good place to start.

June 21: Dead Rules by Randy Russell (HarperTeen) 
This sounds like a really funny book. The fact that the main characters dies in a bowling accident is enough to interest me.

June 21: Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey (Walker Books for Young Readers)
Ghosts! I've heard great things about Alyxandra Harvey and add in that this is a ghost story and I want it!

June 28: Sharks & Boys by Kristen Tracy (Hyperion)
This sounds fun and different and seems like it'll be really cute!

June 30: Songbird by Angela Fristoe (Little Prince Publishing)
This definitely doesn't sound like a happy book, but it still seems interesting and emotional.


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