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. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Blog Tour: Author Interview with Jaime Reed (Living Violet)

As part of the blog tour hosted by The Teen Book Scene Jaime Reed, author of Living Violet has stopped by for a short interview

What was the inspiration for Living Violet?

Life, friends, family, movies, and everything else in between. It’s like a salad of everything I know and love about the supernatural, but I wanted to make it relatable and apply characters  with common sense.

Where is your favorite place to read/write?

In my bed. That way when I pass out from exhaustion, I have a soft landing.

Did you draw from people in real life to create your characters?

Sure did! I have a lot of friends and family in my characters. They have a fun time to guess who is who. It’s a good combination with a lot of creative input. They laugh whenever a character does something they would do though. 

What's your favorite genre to write and why?

Paranormal. At least it’s my favorite right now. I love writing about the unknown. The normal every day thing is so boring and uneventful. I should know. I live there.

If you could be any supernatural/paranormal creature/being what would it be and why? 

A shape- shifter. I think it would be cool to turn into other animals or even other people. The only bad part is I would have to carry a change of clothes with me wherever I went. 

Thanks for stopping by Jaime! And if you guys haven't checked out her novel Living Violet yet you should.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Title: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Published: January 2, 2012 by Poppy
Pages: 236/Hardcover
Challenge: 2012 Completely Contemp Challenge, 2012 Standalone Challenge
Source: bought

Summary: Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A. 

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.

Review: This was such a cute and fun book! I've tried to read both of Jennifer E. Smith's previous books and could never get into them enough to finish. But the title on this book alone had me hooked!

Although the title did have me hooked I was still worried that the story would have too much "insta-love." But fear not! I was really quite surprised by how much development was in both the relationship and the characters. Especially since the story takes place over a 24-hour period.

Hadley was such an awesome girl! She was full of sarcasm and humor and overall greatness. Oliver was also just as funny and wonderful. It was nice to see that each of them also had issues that went deeper than just missing a flight or going somewhere they didn't want to be.

The ending was left open but I like to imagine my own happy ending for the characters. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book, and I was even more surprised by how much development was put into the characters and relationship. The characters felt real and the relationship wasn't forced or insta-love-ish. 

This was a great book that everyone who like a quick and fun book should read!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (53)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme started and hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. WoW is a way for bloggers to post about a book or books they're excited or "waiting" for. This week my WoW is:

Wicked Sweet by Mar'ce Merrell
June 5, 2011

When small town high school student Chantal is the victim of Will's date-and-dump scheme, she seeks her sweet revenge through cake. 

Butter, sugar, vanilla, and flour become her covert allies as she leaves secret admirer cakes (all addressed to Will) at the doorsteps of her fellow classmates. Guys and girls not only love delivering the cakes to Will and sharing in the tasting, they fall in love with The Cake Princess, who no one would suspect is the straight A, nerdy Chantal. 

In a surprise ending that not even Jillian, Chantal's best friend would suspect (Jillian is dating Will's best friend Parker!), Chantal claims her crown. With insight in the four points of view of Chantal, Will, Parker and Jillian, this novel explores identity through our connection with ourselves and one another.


This looks really cute in that "quiet girl gets revenge in an evil genius way" kind of way, and I think it'll be interesting to see things from four different perspectives. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Top Ten Books I'm Excited To Read in 2012

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. For more info go here

Top Ten Books I'm Excited To Read in 2012

All of these books happen to be 2012 debuts, but I promise I'm excited about more than just these!

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf
Everneath by Brodi Ashton
Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig
The Selection by Kiera Cass
Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
Something Like Normal by Trish Doller
Slide by Jill Hathaway

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Read in 2011

I wanted to read at least 100 books this year. Unfortunately, school had other plans. I didn't reach my 100 book goal, but I got close. The following are the books I read this year. (Linked titles go to my reviews.)

  1. Taken By Storm by Angela Morrison
  2. Forget You by Jennifer Echols
  3. Remedial Magic by Jenna Black
  4. My Soul to Steal by Rachel Vincent
  5. Prisoners in the Palace by Michaela MacColl
  6. Shadowspell by Jenna Black
  7. My Blood Approves by Amanda Hocking
  8. XVI by Julia Karr
  9. Immortal by Lauren Burd
  10. Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta
  11. The Matchmakers by Jennifer Colgan
  12. The Outside Boy by Jeanine Cummins
  13. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
  14. Warped by Maurissa Guibord
  15. Turned by Morgan Rice
  16. Hold Still by Nina LaCour
  17. The Darlings Are Forever by Melissa Kantor
  18. Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
  19. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
  20. Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright
  21. Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers
  22. A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan
  23. The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks
  24. Lipstick Apology by Jennifer Jabaley
  25. Jenna & Jonah's Fauxmance by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin
  26. Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly
  27. Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston 
  28. Clarity by Kim Harrington
  29. Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt
  30. The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
  31. Betrayal by Lee Nichols
  32. Die For Me by Amy Plum
  33. Chime by Franny Billingsley
  34. Overprotected by Jennifer Laurens
  35. The Liar Society by Lisa & Laura Roecker
  36. It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han
  37. (re-read) Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols
  38. Those That Wake by Jesse Karp
  39. The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell
  40. The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
  41. Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
  42. Where She Went by Gayle Forman
  43. Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott
  44. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
  45. (re-read) Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken
  46. 13 Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson
  47. Stay by Deb Caletti
  48. We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han
  49. (re-read) Moonlight by Rachel Hawthorne
  50. Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
  51. City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
  52. Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler
  53. Girl Wonder by Alexa Martin
  54. Blood Red Road by Moira Young
  55. The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder
  56. Split by Swati Avasthi
  57. Moonglass by Jessi Kirby
  58. Then I Met My Sister by Christine Hurley Deriso
  59. Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz
  60. Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez
  61. What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
  62. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  63. Mercy by Rebecca Lim
  64. The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong
  65. Forgotten by Cat Patrick
  66. Hourglass by Myra McEnire
  67. The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle
  68. Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt
  69. Enclave by Ann Aguirre
  70. Love Story by Jennifer Echols
  71. To Catch a Pirate by Jade Parker
  72. Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker
  73. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
  74. The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen
  75. Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari
  76. Shut Out by Kody Keplinger
  77. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
  78. A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies
  79. The Fallen Star by Jessica Sorenson
  80. The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
  81. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
  82. Sweetly by Jackson Pearce
  83. The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton
  84. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  85. Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
  86. Antigone by Sophocles
  87. Saving June by Hannah Harrington
  88. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
  89. The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder
  90. Living Violet by Jaime Reed
I hope everyone had an amazing year and that everyone was able to read the books the wanted!

Completed Challenges: 2011

This year I took on three different reading challenges. Of these three I only completed one. Sad but true.

2011 Debut Author Challenge

The goal of this challenge is to read at least 12 novels from 2011 debut authors. I made it a personal goal to read at least 20. This is a goal that I surpassed by 14 books. Below are the books I read in 2011 for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge. (Linked titles go to reviews.)
  1. XVI by Julia Karr
  2. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
  3. Warped by Maurissa Guibord 
  4. Turned by Morgan Rice
  5. Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright
  6. A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan
  7. Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly
  8. Clarity by Kim Harrington
  9. The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
  10. Die For Me by Amy Plum
  11. The Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker
  12. Those That Wake by Jesse Karp
  13. The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
  14. Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
  15. Girl Wonder by Alexa Martin
  16. Blood Red Road by Moira Young
  17. Moonglass by Jessi Kirby
  18. Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez
  19. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  20. Mercy by Rebecca Lim
  21. Forgotten by Cat Patrick
  22. Hourglass by Myra McEntire
  23. The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle
  24. Enclave by Ann Aguirre
  25. The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen 
  26. Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari
  27. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
  28. A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies
  29. The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton
  30. Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
  31. Saving June by Hannah Harrington
  32. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
  33. The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder
  34. Living Violet by Jaime Reed
I hope all of you had a wonderful year! If you finished all of your challenges for this year, congratulations! If you're like me and didn't, better luck with next year's challenges!


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