Thursday, November 15, 2012

Book Review: Rockoholic

Title: Rockoholic
Author: C.J. Skuse
Publisher: Scholastic
Rating: 5

Synopsis (via Goodreads): She's got it bad, and he ain't good -- he's in her garage? "I'm your biggest fan, I'll follow you until you love me..." Gonna have to face it: Jody's addicted to Jackson Gatlin, frontman of The Regulators, and after her best bud Mac scores tickets, she's front and center at his sold-out concert. But when she gets mashed in the moshpit and bodysurfs backstage, she's got more than a mild concussion to deal with. By the next morning, the strung-out rock star is coming down in her garage. Jody -- oops -- kind of kidnapped him. By accident. With a Curly Wurly candy bar. And now he doesn't want to leave. It's a rock-star abduction worthy of an MTV reality series...but who got punk'd?!

Review: Not only did the synopsis of Rockoholic excite me, but also the fact that it was my first ARC to read and review from Scholastic. Back in 2009, my big music addiction was the Jonas Brothers. Just like Belibers and Directioners, I was a Jonas Brothers major fan. I had all their cd's, watched their tv show, Jonas, with my best friend every Sunday night, and somehow convinced my mom to take to me one of their last concerts before their three year break. In a way, I could relate to Jody in this story being obsessed with a band and wanting to meet the lead singer in hopes of falling in love. Except, I didn't take as drastic measures that Jody did. 

Jody read and believed all the tabloids about The Regulators lead singer, Jackson Gatlin. For her mission of him falling love with her to work properly, she decided to lose weight because Jackson supposedly liked skinny girls. I found this hard to deal with. You shouldn't change who you are to impress someone in hopes of falling in love. There is someone out there who will love you for who you are.

As for Jackson, I often envisioned him as Joe Jonas. I couldn't help it. Last I checked though, Joe didn't and doesn't have a drinking and drug problem that Jackson did have. Even though he acted like a jerk to Jody while in relapse, I couldn't help but feel for him. Jackson had been through so much from being famous that he turned to drugs and alcohol in hopes to escape it all. If it hadn't been for Jody, he realizes he might not have lived much longer.

Mac and Cree were my favorite duo throughout this book. I always love seeing boys care for their younger siblings like Mac did. At first, I couldn't tell if Mac liked being best friends with Jody or cared about her in a different way, but I like how it turns out in the end. 

Overall, Rockoholic is an emotional, comical story of a rockstar who turns his life around for the better. Even though he was kidnapped first. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (6)

Waiting on Wednesday is a daily meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It highlights what newly released books us bloggers are most excited to read.
Title: Scarlet
Author: Marissa Meyer
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive. Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother and the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own. As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner.

My Thoughts: I am currently reading Cinder by Marissa Meyer and at the moment, I am in love with it. I wouldn't be surprised if I finished the book with the same feeling and, of course, wanting more. What are you waiting on?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

In My Mailbox (12)

In My Mailbox is a daily meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It features the books we got this week to read and review. 

This is what I got this week: 

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Revived by Cat Patrick

Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday

My dad was in an awesome mood yesterday since he drove me to Madison so I could purchase new drum heads for my drum set (wonder who broke them...) and go book shopping at my favorite bookstore Frugal Muse Books. I think today is going to be a reading day for me since it's so nice outside, and of course my to-read pile is growing. =)

What did you get this week?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (5)

Waiting on Wednesday is a daily meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It highlights what newly released books us bloggers are most excited to read.
Title: Reached
Author: Ally Condie
Synopsis (via Goodreads): After leaving Society and desperately searching for the Rising—and each other—Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again: Cassia has been assigned to work for the Rising from within Society, while Ky has been stationed outside its borders. But nothing is as predicted, and all too soon the veil lifts and things shift once again. In this gripping conclusion to the #1 New York Times-bestselling Matched Trilogy, Cassia will reconcile the difficulties of challenging a life too confining, seeking a freedom she never dreamed possible, and honoring a love she cannot live without.

My Thoughts: I have read both Matched and Crossed. I loved them. Now I want a copy of Reached. Like, as soon as possible. Although I've seen mixed reviews of this series, I want to finish Cassia and Ky's story because I'm obviously a fan. =)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

In My Mailbox (11)

In My Mailbox is a daily meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It features the books we got this week to read and review.

This is what I got this week: 

From the Library: 
Ana's Story: A Journey of Hope by Jenna Bush

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline Preston

What did you get this week?

Book Review: Touch of Frost

Title: Touch of Frost
Author: Jennifer Estep
Publisher: K-Teen
Rating: 5

Synopsis (via Goodreads): My name is Gwen Frost, and I go to Mythos Academy; a school of myths, magic and warrior whiz kids, where even the lowliest geek knows how to chop off somebody's head with a sword and Logan Quinn, the hottest Spartan guy in school, also happens to be the deadliest. But lately, things have been weird, even for Mythos. First, mean girl Jasmine Ashton was murdered in the Library of Antiquities. Then, someone stole the Bowl of Tears, a magical artifact that can be used to bring about the second Chaos War. You know, death, destruction and lots of other bad, bad things. Freaky stuff like this goes on all the time at Mythos, but I'm determined to find out who killed Jasmine and why; especially since I should have been the one who died...

Review: This review should've been posted a long time ago. I think I finished reading this book maybe two months ago now, but I've been so busy with high school swim team that I haven't had time to blog much. Well, guess what? I'm back! =D

Anyway, I'm pretty sure I heard about this book from Katie's Book Blog a while back and decided I wanted to read it. It sounded interesting, I like reading murder mysteries, and I trusted Katie's 4 shoe review. After reading the prequel, I was kind of nervous about what the first book would be like in general because I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would, but I'm still glad that I gave this one a spin.

Let's just say, I love Jennifer Estep's writing. There's enough detail that you can visualize what's going on, but there's not so much that you feel overwhelmed. It's the perfect amount. Mythos Academy reminded me of Hogwarts from J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series (which I have yet to read all seven...). The school itself is hidden from the general public and assures students that spells have been cast around campus to exclude evil spirits from coming in. Well, we all know what happened to Hogwarts...

Gwen is an amazing idol in my opinion. She's not too sure how to fit in at school with her gift and eventually decides to be herself. This is how she meets new friends and winds up taking control over finding the murderer on campus. Throughout the book, I cheered her on. Now, I can't wait to see what happens to this strong, independent girl (who better not rely on Logan because I'm still investigating what kind of person he is)  in the next installment of the series. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Birthday Celebration Giveaway

Oh man. It's already the last few days of October... Anywho, since it's my birthday today, the lovely Jennifer Banash (author of White Lines) agreed to do a giveaway as a celebration! Good luck to all the entrants! =) a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, October 21, 2012

In My Mailbox (10)

In My Mailbox is a daily meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It features the books we got this week to read and review.

This is what I got this week:

Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton

Big thanks to Erica from The Book Cellar for the chance to win. Can't wait to read this! =)
What did you get this week?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Cover Reveal: The Paparazzi Project

Thanks to the Bookish Brunette, I am able to reveal The Paparazzi Project book cover (written by Kristina Springer) to you all today! =)

My Thoughts: I've always liked pictures where you mainly see the camera and a slight outline of the photographer's face, kinda like the cover image. I'm really interested in what this book is about not only because I'm a photographer, but the way the cover presents itself. It makes it look intriguing.

So... What do you think about The Paparazzi Project cover?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Book Review: Five Flavors of Dumb

Title: Five Flavors of Dumb
Author: Antony John
Publisher: Dial
Rating: 4

Synopsis (via Goodreads): The Challenge: Piper has one month to get the rock band Dumb a paying gig. The Deal: If she does it, Piper will become the band's manager and get her share of the profits. The Catch: How can Piper possibly manage one egomaniacal pretty boy, one talentless piece of eye candy, one crush, one silent rocker, and one angry girl? And how can she do it when she's deaf? Piper can't hear Dumb's music, but with growing self-confidence, a budding romance, and a new understanding of the decision her family made to buy a cochlear implant for her deaf baby sister, she discovers her own inner rock star and what it truly means to be a flavor of Dumb.

Review: It took me a while to catch on to Piper's way of communication mainly because she can sign and talk. This threw me off a few times, but I got the hang of it eventually. Just because deaf people can't hear, doesn't mean that they don't have other ways that they can "hear." I kept telling myself that Piper could "hear" Dumb perform by feeling the vibrations. Reading Five Flavors of Dumb, you have to keep your mind open to this and other different things that Piper experiences because most young adult books don't have the main character deaf or blind, instead they are, in a way, "perfect."

That's one of the main reasons I enjoyed reading this book. Five Flavors of Dumb is unique compared to other young adult novels simply because Piper is deaf. Parts of Piper's story I could relate to. When her younger, also deaf, sister Grace recieves ear implants and starts to hear again, Piper feels left out. In a way, most older siblings feel that the younger child is more important. I feel like that sometimes. Later on in the story, I was happy to see a different side of Piper's father who I wasn't the biggest fan of in the beginning but was encouraging towards the end.

The band members in Dumb, Finn, Ed, Josh, Kallie, Tash and Will all help Piper find a sense of belonging. After becoming the band's manager, she has something to claim as her own even if nobody really had faith in her. She had faith in herself. She never gave up. She stood up for what she believed in. Piper is the perfect role model for anyone with or without disabilities. In a world full of "perfects" this book helped me escape into a world full of "uniques" which is why I'm sure most teens would enjoy reading it.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Trailer Reveal: Timeless

There has been a lot of buzz about Michelle Madow's Transcend Time Saga, but I have yet to read it. Crazy, right? Either way, this trailer for Timeless makes me want to read it and I just had to share it. =)

What did you think about it? Have you read the books? Although I like the third cover, I wish it would've stayed consistent with the other two (just a girl's face in a masquerade ball mask) but that's just me.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Blog Tour: At What Cost

Title: At What Cost
Author: J. Andersen

Synopsis (via Goodreads): During her junior year, sixteen-year-old Maggie Reynolds expected to shop for prom dresses not maternity clothes. Now, instead of studying for the SATs, she’s reading, What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Maggie’s ‘Mother Dearest’ lives in fear that Maggie will somehow taint the family name, so Maggie can’t turn to her for help. Meanwhile, her father is oblivious to anything but his 9-9 job. And her boyfriend, Justin? She’s pretty sure he’ll stay by her side. While Maggie wrestles with her options, Justin offers a solution: abortion. It would solve all her problems quickly, easily, and effectively. And her parents would never know, which means they won’t throw her out and cut her off like they’d always threatened if she got herself knocked up. Now Maggie must decide which choice she can live with: abortion or teenage motherhood. Either way, it’ll be a tough road to travel.

Author Bio: Jesse Andersen lives in a small town in Western New York with her husband and three kids. A former English teacher, she know spends her time writing while the kids are at school and the baby is sleeping. She volunteers at the local library and sings in the church band.

Author Links: Author Website; Goodreads; Twitter; Facebook; Personal Blog; Book Blog  

Review: Books about teenage pregnancy interest me just because I like to see what decision the main character makes and what hardships she and the rest of the people effected by her pregnancy have to go through. At What Cost was a perfect example of teenage pregnancy and is one of the few young adult books about it that doesn't sugarcoat the subject whatsoever.

Maggie was an annoying character, let's just get that over with now. Sure, she had pregnancy hormones and felt like nobody cared about her at home because of her dad's job and her mom taking advantage of the money he brought in, but that doesn't mean all she had to do was complain. It seemed like that was what she was doing a majority of the time: complaining. There were other solutions she could've done, *cough, cough* TELL PEOPLE WHAT WAS GOING ON, but she never did. I guess when teenagers do realize they are pregnant, of course they are scared, but if you don't want to be alone I would tell somebody.

Either way, Maggie's story brought out the truth of teenage pregnancy without applying a bunch of coverup to hide its true identity.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (4)

Waiting on Wednesday is a daily meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It highlights what newly released books us bloggers are most excited to read.

Title: That Time I Joined the Circus
Author: J.J. Howard
Synopsis (via Goodreads): A music-obsessed, slightly snarky New York City girl, Lexi is on her own. After making a huge mistake—and facing a terrible tragedy— Lexi has no choice but to track down her long-absent mother. Rumor has it that Lexi’s mom is somewhere in Florida with a traveling circus. When Lexi arrives at her new, three-ring reality, her mom isn’t there…but her destiny might be. Surrounded by tigers, elephants, and trapeze artists, Lexi finds some surprising friends and an even more surprising chance at true love. She even lucks into a spot as the circus’s fortune teller, reading tarot cards and making predictions. But then Lexi’s ex-best friend from home shows up, and suddenly it’s Lexi’s own future that’s thrown into question… With humor, wisdom, and a dazzlingly fresh voice, this debut reminds us of the magic of circus tents, city lights, first kisses, last heartaches, and the importance of an excellent playlist.

My Thoughts: It's about a circus. How many twists do you think this book will have? Can't wait to get my hands on a copy, but first I have to read the books on my pile because I keep ordering more and I'm already behind thanks to school... *sigh*

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Blog Tour: Guardian of the Moon Pendant

Title: Guardian of the Moon Pendant
Author: Laura J. Williams

The MacAlpin women are of a fierce clan, born from a rare bloodline that harbors a dark and powerful secret – a mystical heirloom called the Moon Pendant. It is the key to controlling the MääGord standing stones, a magical Portal into the Otherworld, the realm of the Fae.
Anabel and Izzy’s MacAlpin are two sisters, polar opposites, living separate lives. Anabel’s life is going precisely according to her plan, a ring on her finger from her steady beau, Edgar, and medical school in the fall. Izzy’s life is filled with scars and wounds from her past. Dubbed the “spare child” by her family and treated poorly, she rebelled, and now lives life by her own rules. These two sisters’s worlds are about to explode when one of them must go to Scotland and fulfill her duty as the Guardian of the Moon Pendant, by recharging this magical heirloom with four elementals, air, earth, water, and fire, and then finally close the Portal. There’s only one problem… The Baobhan Sith – a vampiric faery who lures men in with her hypnotic voice, feeding on their blood or transforming them into Màrmann, her zombie-like warriors who do her bidding – desires the Moon Pendant to take control over the Portal, opening a gateway into the realm of man, helping her to seek revenge on the MacAlpin clan, and to quench her eternal thirst for human blood. Anabel finds herself torn between a sinfully handsome Scottish warrior, Blane and her fiancée, Edgar. Izzy finds herself, angered by her sister’s lack of faith in her. Both sisters are forced to help one another, but may end up killing each other in the end. Will these two sisters put aside their differences before the final task to charge the Moon Pendant or will the Baobhan Sith, the vampiric faery, be successful and open the Portal into the Otherworld?

Author Bio: Laura J. Williams is a hopeless and lost cause, tucked away in her dark sleeping chamber, in her gloomy abyss of a writing cave, separated from the realm of man, chomping on chicken legs and quenching her thirst with large glasses of red wine. She is consoled daily by her rescued cat, baby-kitty, who only gives her love when she wants to. Aye, it is a sad life she lives…But, God danced the day Laura was born, the angels rejoiced, and the demons trembled. She’s just another day-dreamer with a story to tell, doing her best to kick arse. She hides behind a shroud of anonymity, creating a world of lost mythical creatures, breathing life into them, and praying that someone will take pleasure in her work. She is the warrior of the heroine, the sorceress of words, yielder of magic, teller of dark secrets, and the jester of tantalizing tales.


“Did that last burst of energy, drain you?” she said mockingly.
The light green veins underneath the Moon Pendant slowly seeped into a putrid forest green, its decaying color flowing through my body, extending out to my fingertips, a highway of throbbing vascular tubing stinging through my pale skin, robbing me of my energy.
“Did you not know, until it is fully charged, it will parch you dry, helpless, useless. That is why the Sentinel warned you,” Lainahwyn smiled impishly. “So sad, it only gets worse each time you charge it.”
My body began to spasm, crippling me with a searing pain. I crumpled down to the moist earth below, my eyes meeting Blane’s terrified gaze.
Buy This Book: Amazon

Thanks to the Bookish Brunette for letting me be a part of this tour. Hope you enjoyed the excerpt! What do you think about it?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Cover Reveal: The Unnaturals

Thanks to the Bookish Brunette, I am able to reveal The Unnaturals book cover (written by Jessica Meigs) to you all today! =)

My Thoughts: From the cover, this book looks like it's going to be an epic, action filled, spy-like young adult novel.

So... What do you think about The Unnaturals cover?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Writing Corner: The Meadow

Writing Corner is a daily post where I highlight aspiring authors' writing. This week's piece is The Meadow written by Irene.

Jewel hilted, blood stained swords abandoned, warriors lay fallen, the air once quiet again; only the pretty birdsong and bubbling creek broke the silence. Silken crisp wings brushed my face as I lay sidelong in the cool spring grass; a wet ruby drop kissed my cheek as I held him to me. He would die soon, too soon for my liking as it left an empty ragged void in my chest that could not be filled. His sea green eyes stared back as I gazed into them, only blinking on occasion.

"Why Adrian, why? Is it because you are such a gentleman to shove yourself in front of me?" I murmured painfully.

The bloody fight replayed over and over in my head like a bad movie, each scene broken and torn. My clear tear drops fell, soaking his green tunic as his strong hand stroked my cheek,

"Apparently it is destiny my dear, I was supposed to be your eternal mate as of the bond but I am dying. Don't shed tears for me, pity the living not the dead. Take care of Samier; he will eventually turn back wild.” brushing my tears away; his warmth pleasantly stinging my skin.

Adrian's animal kin, Samier, lay beside him, whimpering ever so softly from time to time as they shared the awful searing pain. He would slowly drown in his own blood as it crept up his lungs. I felt something inside me break as he kissed me softly and passionately for the last time, exhaling. Samier threw himself across Adrian’s still chest, a lone cry escaping his soft muzzle. Piercing the air like a knife through rock, shattering the serenity of nature it brought sorrow to all who hear.

My own kin, a sleek snow cat cowered beside me; all the sorrow touched her too. She reassuringly nuzzled my side, taking a small piece of my sorrow away. The link only broken by death connected you with a single animal kin and a single one of your own. You shared life, when spilt you were no longer whole. Racking sobs engulfed me as a sharp dagger of pain twisted my heart. Genevieve lay beside me, mewing she felt my pain; her rough tongue licked the tears away. I buried my face in her thick fur, trying to find solace as I gasped for breath.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Book Review: The Goddess Test

Title: The Goddess Test
Author: Aimee Carter
Publisher: Harlequin
Rating: 5

Synopsis (via Goodreads): EVERY GIRL WHO HAS TAKEN THE TEST HAS DIED. NOW IT'S KATE'S TURN. It's always been just Kate and her mom--and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear that her mother won't live past the fall. Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld--and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests. Kate is sure he's crazy--until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she suceeds, she'll become Henry's future bride and a goddess. IF SHE FAILS...

Review: I. Loved. This. Book. I was sorta hesitant about buying it during my last shopping spree when I stopped by Barnes and Noble, but since I had heard good things about it and it was a signed copy, I bought it anyway. I didn't get to this one during the Back to School Read-a-Thon, although it did stay at the top of my to-read pile. Now, I need to go back to Barnes and Noble to get the next enstallment of this series.

The Goddess Test is obviously about Greek mythology, except Aimee oh-so-cleverly changed the names of her characters so they wouldn't be the same as the gods (even if they are the gods, which is confusing and weird at the same time and- oh, just read the book yourself!) Let's just say, I'm glad that at the end of the book there was a Guide of the Gods I could refer back to when I wanted to see which character was what god. It came in handy. A lot.

Romance in young adult books has recently become my weak spot. I get excited when a character I love finds the guy of her dreams (even if deep down I wished that guy was real because then he would be MINE) and I tend to spot that boy pretty fast. I couldn't in this book. My first thought was James. Had to be James. Except, it wasn't. In a way, The Goddess Test is sorta like Beauty and the Beast. Pretty girl gets kidnapped to help save handsome boy. Okay, so Belle had no idea what Beast really looked like, but she fell in love with him and they lived happily ever after anyway. As for Kate, you aren't so sure about the whole 'happily ever after' part. You have to get the next book.

That's just what I'm going to do.

In My Mailbox (9)

In My Mailbox is a daily meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It features the books we got this week to read and review.

This is what I got this week:

The Rock Star's Daughter by Caitlyn Duffy

Hidden Gem by India Lee

Swim by Jennifer Weiner

The Girl in the Converse Shoes by Yanitza Garcia

I found all of these for FREE on iBooks yesterday and thought I would give them a try. (= I do recognize the first one from Wattpad, so who knows? Maybe I will publish a book someday... (; And about the last book, I LOVE Converse. :P

What did you get this week?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Book Review: First Frost

Title: First Frost
Author: Jennifer Estep
Publisher: Kensington
Rating: 2

Synopsis (via Goodreads): I am Gwen Frost, and I have a Gypsy gift.  It's called psychometry - that's a fancy way of saying that I see images in my head and get flashes of other people's memories off almost everything I touch, even guys. 
My gift makes me kind of nosy. Okay, okay, maybe a lot nosy--to the point of obsession sometimes. I want to know everything about everyone around me. But even I don't want to know the secrets my friend Paige is hiding or the terrible loss that will send me to a new school - Mythos Academy, where the teachers aren't preparing us for the SATs, but to battle Reapers of Chaos. Now I have no friends and no idea how my gift fits in with all these warrior whiz kids. The only thing I do know is that my life is never, ever going to be the same...

Review: I have heard a lot of good things about Jennifer Estep's Mythos Academy series so I thought I would give it a try. Since my OCD always kicks in when book series are involved, I tend to read the series in order. That's the way it's supposed to be right? First Frost isn't the official first book of the Mythos Academy series, but because it was on sale and #0.5 of the series, I thought: what the heck?

This book was not what I was expecting at all. Maybe it's because I kept forgetting that it wasn't the first book of the series but more of a short introduction. Either way, I felt a little disappointed. First Frost was basically a short story introducing readers to Gwen Frost and her gypsy gift that makes her life a little bit more complicated than everyone elses. It helped me understand a little bit of her power and her family life, so in a way I'm glad I read this first before giving the rest of the series a go, but I'm really hoping for more detail and such in the next enstallment of Gwen's series.

If you've read First Frost, what did you think about it?

Friday, August 31, 2012

Book Review: That Boy

Title: That Boy
Author: Jillian Dodd
Rating: 5

Synopsis (via Goodreads): You know, being friends with two cute boys does have its benefits. There's Danny. Danny is a golden boy in every way. He has dreamy blue eyes and blonde hair that always looks perfect, even when it’s windblown or been stuck under a football helmet. He’s the boy every girl crushes on. The boy I get into trouble with, the boy I fight with, the hot quarterback no girl can resist, not even me. Being with Danny is like being on an adventure. He has a bright, contagious smile and abs to die for. He’s pretty much irresistible. Equally crush worthy is Phillip. Adorable, sweet Phillip, who I have known since birth. Phillip has dark hair, a perfect smile, brown eyes, and the sexiest voice I have ever heard. He’s the boy I talk to every night before I go to sleep. The boy who rescues me, the boy who can read my mind, the boy who is always there for me, the boy who tries to keep me out of trouble, the boy who irritatingly keeps getting hotter, and whose strong arms always seem to find their way around me.  And when he gives me that grin, I can never say no. One boy will give me my very first kiss. One boy will teach me to make out. One boy will take me to prom. And finally, one boy will ask me to marry him. They will both be my best friends. But only one of them will be the boy I fall in love with.
Only one of them is That Boy.

Review: After reading the first few pages of this book, I wasn't sure if I would like it in the end. Once I start a book, I like to finish it even if I don't like it in the beginning. I'm really happy that I read this book cover to cover.

It's been a while since I read a book in a diary format. At least, that's what I thought Jadyn Reynolds' story was told in. At first, I didn't really like how it was told like a diary, (I never liked reading diary formats,) and all the exclamation points were kinda annoying (then again it was written by Jadyn Reynolds starting in fourth grade). Eventually, it grew on me and so did Jadyn's story. Oh, and those adorable pictures that were in every chapter separated Jillian Dodd's writing apart from every other young adult author, in a good way of course. =)

The speed of all the events surprised me in the beginning but I had to remind myself that since the book was basically Jadyn's diary, all she would write about is the most exciting/most life changing moments- not dwell on the drama that happened at school that day which some young adult books tend to do. In my opinion, that gets kind of annoying and sadly I was expecting that in this book and I was glad to find out I was wrong.

Jadyn's story was anything but normal compared to other teenage girls. I mean, who has two best guy friends that live right next door? After getting wrapped up in her adventures with Danny and Phillip, I couldn't put down this book. I loved reading That Boy even if it wasn't what I expected and I can't wait to read That Wedding. Maybe even some more of Jadyn Reynolds stories ahead. One thing is for sure, Jillian Dodd is an up-and-coming young adult author all thanks to That Boy.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Writing Corner: A Horse Named Solitare

This week's writing is A Horse Named Solitare written by Becca.

It was a beautiful, spring morning in Calgary, Alberta and Brittney and her mother were just getting ready to leave their house.
"Come on, Mom," Brittney called impatiently to her mother as she walked briskly out their large, wooden front door. She stopped and turned around to face her mother as soon as she reached the end of the porch, tapping her foot anxiously. "Hold your horses," her mother said calmly, grabbing her old, weathered paddock boots from the mat that was just inside the front door.
"I would, but I don’t have any to hold," Brittney replied smartly. She smiled mischievously as her mother glared at her. They both laughed after a moment as Brittney’s mother knelt down to tie her boots.
Brittney Morrison, a 15-year-old teen, had always wanted her own horse. She and her mom lived on a 10 acre farm, and they had owned horses since Brittney was little, but she had never had one to call her own. Today, though, that was going to change. Her mother, Julia Morrison, was taking her to McGregor’s livestock market to buy her a horse.
"Mom, please hurry. I want to get there before too many people arrive," Brittney said anxiously, practically dancing back and forth across the porch, "I want
first pick of all the horses."
"Just give me a moment and then we can leave," Julia replied with a sigh and a shake of her head as she tied her boots.
When they arrived at the market, Brittney paced swiftly up and down the aisles of the horse barn, looking at all the horses that were for sale. A few of the dozens of mares, geldings, and foals stood out to her at a first glance. There was a chestnut with socks, a smoky grey with a star, a young black colt, and an old palomino mare. Brittney thought they all had good temperaments but she didn’t really want to buy any of them after she and her mom took a closer look. The chestnut looked as though she cribbed, the grey was older than he was said to be, the colt needed too much training, and the old mare had really bad feet. Brittney began to feel a little anxious. She and her mom had been at the market for hours and they still hadn’t found a horse that Brittney really liked.
She had almost given up hope of finding a horse that day when she reached the second to last stall. The nameplate read "Solitaire". As soon as Brittney saw him, she knew he was the one. He was a dark bay gelding with a blaze down his face, and to Brittney he looked like an Arabian/Thoroughbred cross. He stood in the back of his stall, wearily looking at her. His ears were back and Brittney could see the whites of his eyes. She knew this meant he was nervous or uncomfortable.
She approached him slowly. "Hello boy. You’re a good looking guy, aren’t you?” Brittney murmured softly, holding out her hand to him. Solitaire only slightly pricked his ears before nervously taking a mouthful of feed from his bucket, never letting his wary gaze stray away from Brittney. And even though Solitaire didn’t seem very sociable, Brittney still knew that this was the horse for her.

Want to read more? Check out the rest of Solitare and Brittney's story here:

Book Review: All These Things I've Done

Title: All These Things I've Done
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Rating: 5

Synopsis (via Goodreads): In 2083, chocolate and coffee are illegal, paper is hard to find, water is carefully rationed, and New York City is rife with crime and poverty. And yet, for Anya Balanchine, the sixteen-year-old daughter of the city's most notorious (and dead) crime boss, life is fairly routine. It consists of going to school, taking care of her siblings and her dying grandmother, trying to avoid falling in love with the new assistant D.A.'s son, and avoiding her loser ex-boyfriend. That is until her ex is accidently poisoned by the chocolate her family manufactures and the police think she's to blame. Suddenly, Anya finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight--at school, in the news, and most importantly, within her mafia family. Engrossing and suspenseful, All These Things I've Done is an utterly unique, unputdownable read that blends both the familiar and the fantastic.

Review: I asked for All These Things I've Done for Christmas after participating in a live chat with the author, Gabrielle Zevin. I obviously got it as a gift and it had been on my shelf ever since. Let's just say, I'm glad I chose this one to read in the Back to School Read-a-Thon.

I didn't really know what to expect or what would happen in this book when I first started to read it. All I basically knew about it was that chocolate was illegal and paper was scarce. These two things seemed crazy to me and I really wanted to know how the main character, Anya, survived with her world being different from the world we live in today. Lately, I've been reading a lot of books whose characters live in completely different circumstances than we do. For example, The Hunger Games, Matched, Shatter Me and now All These Things I've Done.

Anya Balanchine has a lot of things on her plate. Being only a teenager, she has to care for her older brother with medical issues, her younger sister, and dying Nana. Things get more complicated for the daughter of a now deceased crime boss when her ex- boyfriend is poisoned and the blame is put on her.

Throughout this book, there were a lot of twists and turns which meant that I couldn't put it down. In the end, I can't wait for the sequel. I mean, who can wait for sequels? Crazy people in my opinion. =)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Book Review: The List

Title: The List
Author: Siobhan Vivian
Publisher: Push
Rating: 5

Synopsis (via Goodreads): An intense look at the rules of high school attraction -- and the price that's paid for them. It happens every year. A list is posted, and one girl from each grade is chosen as the prettiest, and another is chosen as the ugliest. Nobody knows who makes the list. It almost doesn't matter. The damage is done the minute it goes up. This is the story of eight girls, freshman to senior, "pretty" and "ugly." And it's also the story of how we see ourselves, and how other people see us, and the tangled connection of the two.

Review: Everyone has an opinion about other people. We judge our peers before getting to know them. It sounds wrong, but it's true. That's just the way society is. While I read The List, it made me realize how cruel and unfair stereotypes are.

Girls can be very mean. This is a fact. When I first read about the list being posted around Mount Washington High my thinking was along the lines of: "Who could be so mean to post something around the school saying who was prettiest and who was ugliest? Who cares?" Honestly, some girls do. I, thankfully, am not one of them. I tend to avoid drama as much as I can. This list Siobhan Vivian's characters experience causes a whole bunch of drama which ruins several relationships within a week.

Danielle Demarco and Abby Warner are two completely different freshman girls who both had no idea about the list. The only thing in common with them is they both wind up getting hurt. Candace Kincaid thinks her life is perfect until Lauren Finn shows up and the list is posted. Sarah Singer has an edgier side to her and doesn't care what people think of her where Bridget Honeycutt changed her whole lifestyle to fit in. Finally, Jennifer Briggis and Margo Gable. Childhood friends at one point, but complete opposites since high school. One of the eight girls on the list want revenge. One of the eight girls will stop at nothing to get it.

All of Siobhan Vivian's characters were so realistic that it felt like there really is a high school that posts a prettiest/ugliest list every year. I really liked how she wrote in all eight different girls' point of view and they all had completely different stories to tell. The one thing that all related them to each other was the list. I thought this was a great read and would recommend it to all other teens because of the message it comes with. In the end, that saying, "sticks and stones may break my bones and words will never hurt me" is wrong: Words do hurt.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

In My Mailbox (8)

In My Mailbox is a daily meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It features the books we have gotten this week to read and review.

This is what I got this week:

From the Library:
 Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep

From Netgalley:
Eve and Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applebee

The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski

The You Know Who Girls: Freshman Year by Annameekee Hesik

What did you guys get this week?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Back To School Read-a-Thon Closing Post

After failing my first Read-a-Thon, I was kinda nervous about this one. I am proud to say I feel VERY accomplished the second time around. My goal was to read five books in five days; my final result ended with four books in five days.

Books Read:
The List by Siobhan Vivian
All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin
First Frost by Jennifer Estep
That Boy by Jillian Dodd

I enjoyed the books that I was determined to finish and will post reviews within a couple days. This week has been crazy for me with dance pictures, dance rehearsal, dance recitals (TOMORROW!) and two swim meets. Crazy, crazy. I promise they will get done though... Eventually. =) If you participated in Katie's Back to School Read-a-Thon, how did you do? 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

New Blog Design

So just tonight I decided to change my blog design. Crazy, right? Well, thanks to The Cutest Blog on the Block it was easy. What do you guys think? I think the new design really brings out the whole "hideaway" theme. Plus, giraffes are amazing. =) Sorry about the pictures from the old blog, (the ones for IMM and WOW) I'm too lazy to take them down and they will eventually automatically archive themselves...

In My Mailbox (7)

This is what I got this week:

From Scholastic:
Rockoholic by C.J. Skuse

Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford

From Netgalley:
Andy Squared by Jennifer Lavoie

Confessions of an Angry Girl by Louise Rozett

What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor

What did you guys get this week?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Writing Corner: Willing to Forgive a Broken Heart

This week's writing is Willing to Forgive a Broken Heart written by Emily.

She looked around at a regretful ground,
Littered with hearts that were waiting to be found.
They all looked so desperately broken
By words that should have been left unspoken.

She asked, “Why are people left with hearts so hollow?”
She said, “Take a bite of your pride, and then swallow.
Now, stand up straight
And shove aside your fear and your hate.”

She glanced around at a painful ground,
And heard nothing, not even a sound.
No one had even heard her soulful words,
Then she gasped at a heart, shattered in thirds,

And she thought that it had belonged to her
But she decided against it, and her eyes started to blur.
She sighed, “We all have a life to live
And we’re always willing to forgive.”

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Back To School Read-a-Thon Kick Off Post

Honestly, I am kinda excited to start my freshman year of high school. Doesn't mean I wish summer would slow down, but I'm not complaining about getting prepared for the new school year. As a mini celebration, I decided I would participate in Katie's (from Katie's Book Blog) Back to School Read-a-Thon just to get a few more books off my to-read pile. My list has changed a little from my planning post so this is what I have to read this week:

Title: The List
Author: Siobhan Vivian
Progress: COMPLETE

Title: All These Things I've Done
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Progress: COMPLETE

Title: First Frost
Author: Jennifer Estep
Progress: COMPLETE

Title: That Boy
Author: Jillian Dodd
Progress: COMPLETE

Title: The Goddess Test
Author: Aimee Carter
Progress: Page 1

There's the five books I hope to read and review in five days. Wish me luck!

Waiting on Wednesday (3)

Title: What I Didn't Say
Author: Keary Taylor
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Getting drunk homecoming night your senior year is never a good idea, but Jake Hayes never expected it all to end with a car crash and a t-post embedded in his throat. His biggest regret about it all? What he never said to Samantha Shay. He's been in love with her for years and never had the guts to tell her. Now it's too late. Because after that night, Jake will never be able to talk again. When Jake returns to his small island home, population 5,000, he'll have to learn how to deal with being mute. He also finds that his family isn't limited to his six brothers and sisters, that sometimes an entire island is watching out for you. And when he gets the chance to spend more time with Samantha, she'll help him learn that not being able to talk isn’t the worst thing that could ever happen to you. Maybe, if she'll let him, Jake will finally tell her what he didn't say before, even if he can't actually say it.

My Thoughts: I can't wait to see how cute Jake's story will be. Teenage drunk driving is a hard message to write about in young adult but I think that Keary Taylor can handle it perfectly and show teens what the possible outcome could be. In Jake's case, that's losing his voice which he realizes he needs most of all.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Book Review: Absolutely Maybe

Title: Absolutely Maybe
Author: Lisa Yee
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Rating: 4

Synopsis (via Goodreads): Meet Maybelline Mary Katherine Mary Ann Chestnut, named for two Miss Americas and her mother Chessy's favorite brand of mascara. Chessy teaches the students in her charm school her Seven Select Rules for Young Ladies, but she won't tell Maybe who her real father is -- or protect her from her latest scuzzball boyfriend. So Maybe hitches a ride to California with her friends Hollywood and Thammasat Tantipinichwong Schneider (aka Ted) -- and what she finds there is funny, sad, true, and inspiring . . .

Review: Having both a mom and dad, I never really understood kids my age who had divorced parents or only lived with one parent and didn't get to see the other one. Reading Absolutely Maybe made me realize that I'm lucky to have supportive parents who love me no matter what I do and help me become a better person each day. Maybe isn't as lucky.

Her mom, Chessy, is more absorbed in her famous charm school than her own daughter. Day in and day out, a regular group of girls from the charm school harrass Maybe in front of her mom. Instead of defending her own daughter, Chessy ignores the arrogant girls and later tells Maybe something along the lines of you don't need to wear baggy clothes to hide your fat. Sick of her mom treating her the way she has been and the latest incident with Chessy's latest boyfriend, Maybe decides she wants to find her real dad, the only guy Chessy didn't marry. Finding him could be everything Maybe ever hoped for or it could be another big disappointment.

I found myself not being able to put down Absolutely Maybe and finishing it within two days. I really enjoyed Maybe's story of going to California to find her real dad, but instead finding a real friend, real job, and a real home. Meeting Jess at the taco truck was just the beginning of Maybe's newly found luck. After spending nights at Hollywood's college dorm and finding Ted a new job, working at the taco truck becomes Maybe's new passion. Spending it with Jess is just another bonus. The thing is, Jess' uncle doesn't know about the new employee and the girls intend to keep it that way for a while. But when business starts improving, her uncle figures it out on his own and gives Maybe another challenge she has to accept.

You would think after a long day at work, Maybe and Jess would get sick of tacos. Well, you're wrong. Tacos are on the dinner menu. Every. Night. I would personally want something new, although I do love tacos. Absolutely Maybe was a cute book filled with friendship, tacos, family, and love. A great teen novel by Miss Lisa Yee.