Monday, December 22, 2014

Book Review: The Living

Title: The Living
Author: Matt de la Pena
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Rating: 5

Synopsis (via Goodreads): Shy took the summer job to make some money. In a few months on a luxury cruise liner, he'll rake in the tips and be able to help his mom and sister out with the bills. And how bad can it be? Bikinis, free food, maybe even a girl or two—every cruise has different passengers, after all. But everything changes when the Big One hits. Shy's only weeks out at sea when an earthquake more massive than ever before recorded hits California, and his life is forever changed. The earthquake is only the first disaster. Suddenly it's a fight to survive for those left living.

Review: I have just a few quick updates before I rant about how amazingly awesome The Living was... (= 

1) I have a poor reason for my lack of blogging -- Life got in the way. You have no idea how upset it makes me when I don't have time to read a book, or do anything I like to do in my free time because I don't have any free time. 2) I am back! (For an undetermined amount of time. You know, until Life comes around and kicks me off my feet like usual). 3) Any fellow NaNoWriMo's out there?! This year was my first time participating! #YayMe 4) MERRY CHRISTMAS! That's just around the corner (which is just about as crazy as Wisconsin not having any snow. In fact, it's currently raining. In December. It's whatever). 

Now, for what you've all been waiting for... The Living by Matt de la Pena was such a rollercoaster -- which I'm a huge fan of btw -- that once I got reading, it was hard for me to stop. I'm participating in my school's Battle of the Books once again and this was on the list. After reading it, there's no surprise as to why it made it on the list... IT WAS SO AWESOME. There was action, there was mystery, there was survival -- what more could a reader need?! 

Shy is a teenage boy who works on a cruise ship during the summer to help his family get by. Unfortunately, he was the worker who dealt with a suicidal jumper on the first trip of the season. But wait, there's more! The second trip of the season brings in an earthquake, resulting in a sinking ship, which leads to being abandoned at sea, which leads to an und- have I said too much or just enough to spark your interest? 
Well... Never mind then. Who am I kidding? I could leave you with a "if you don't read this, than you are missing out blah, blah, blah" but instead I'll leave you with this: 
Your loss...

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Book Review: Waiting on the Sidelines

Title: Waiting on the Sidelines
Author: Ginger Scott
Publisher: Self-Published
Rating: 4

Synopsis (via Goodreads): Nolan Lennox had things figured out. Named after a baseball legend, she enjoyed being the Tomboy, her closet filled with her brother’s hand-me-downs, cut-off jeans and soccer shorts. But when her first trip to high school results in a broken heart from the first boy to ever make her heart flutter and cruel words from an older girl she once thought a family friend, Nolan starts to question the very person she thought she was and wonders if her humble upbringing can compete with the afforded luxuries of her privileged peers. Throughout the next four years, Nolan struggles to maintain herself throughout her path of discovery, learning just how cruel teenagers can be through the pressures of underage drinking, sexuality and class. And despite how life seems to continue to work against her, she still manages to listen to her heart, falling deeper and deeper for the guy the entire town adores, even if he only sees her as a friend. Can Nolan strike a compromise between her own integrity and the boy she loves? And can she make him notice her before it’s too late? Reed Johnson came to Coolidge High School with a lot of fanfare. The son of a hometown football legend and the brother of a local football hero, Reed wore all the pressures of carrying a town without hope into the spotlight. Thankfully, he had the talent to back it up. But when he meets a girl who makes him think twice about exactly what being a hero means, he starts to wonder if following in his brother’s footsteps might be all wrong. Nolan Lennox was everything that was opposite of expected. She didn’t flirt, she didn’t drink and she didn’t sleep around. Nothing about her was easy, but something about her made Reed want to try harder. Though she didn’t look the part, she seemed to be spending a lot of time in Reed’s thoughts, and he wondered if she could be the one who made it all worthwhile. But could Reed handle letting her down? And would breaking her heart break him beyond repair? Waiting on the Sidelines explores young love to its fullest, exposing how real young heartbreak and passion is and how important it is to discover yourself and hold onto your own identity. The story follows two young characters as they deal with mature situations, including the prevalence of bullying and promiscuity in today’s high school setting. Ultimately, Waiting on the Sidelines is a story of hope, honesty and those powerful, first true loves—the ones worth holding onto at any cost.

Review: I have no clue why I fall in love with stories involving high school football so much when my school's football team is nothing to brag about (we lose... a lot). Maybe it's because those Friday nights with my friends, family, and community help me get through those first few months of school since they are packed with fun; maybe it's because I'm a marching band geek. Who knows? Either way, the football background is what attracted me to Waiting on the Sidelines. 

Nolan and Reed's story reminded me of Macallan and Levi's from Elizabeth Eulberg's Better Off Friends. It was a cute, fun teenager relationship that experienced typical highs and lows minus all the sugar coating. Ginger Scott really got into writing controversial topics such as underage drinking, bullying, and partying almost every other chapter. This writing pattern quickly got old, but also sped up the reading pace. I seriously could not put this book down. 

It was cool watching Nolan and Reed grow up (since the book scans all four years of high school), but I found it hard to remember that tiny detail. I think if there was a page break between chapters that read FRESHMEN, SOPHOMORE and so on, I wouldn't have been so easily confused. Minor changes like so could make the average rating go from a 4.15 to a potential 4.89 or whatever. 

Becky was my favorite out of Nolan's friends, hands-down. When Nolan calls her to pick her up from some party out of the city, Becky doesn't ask questions. She just does what's asked of her. She's the kind of friend every girl would want. Nolan was... a perfect representation of an average teenage girl. She feared judgement, she experienced being bullied by the school queen bees, she second-guessed herself frequently. Like I said, the perfect representation of an average teenage girl. As for Reed, boy did he make me love him one chapter and hate him the next. 

One minute I was like this: 
And the next: 
You get the point... 

Despite not being able to remember what year in high school Nolan and Reed were in, and the dragged out story, Waiting on the Sidelines was a fast read and one I easily enjoyed. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Book Review: The Notebook

Title: The Notebook
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Publisher: Bantam
Rating: 3

Synopsis (via Goodreads): Set amid the austere beauty of the North Carolina coast, The Notebook begins with the story of Noah Calhoun, a rural Southerner recently returned form the Second World War. Noah is restoring a plantation home to its former glory, and he is haunted by images of the beautiful girl he met fourteen years earlier, a girl he loved like no other. Unable to find her, yet unwilling to forget the summer they spent together, Noah is content to live with only memories...until she unexpectedly returns to his town to see him once again. Like a puzzle within a puzzle, the story of Noah and Allie is just the beginning. As it unfolds, their tale miraculously becomes something different, with much higher stakes. The result is a deeply moving portrait of love itself, the tender moments and the fundamental changes that affect us all. It is a story of miracles and emotions that will stay with you forever.

Review: I've never been much of a romantic person, but I thought I would try reading something new. Nicholas Sparks was something new, and it was ok but not wow worthy either. 

I'd seen parts of the movie with Rachel McAdams in that cute little Rosie the Riveter get-up and Ryan Gosling (*swoon*) looking like a hot mechanic. You know, the whole "if you're a bird, I'm a bird" scene. While I was reading, I kept waiting for that scene to happen. And waiting. And waiting. That's the problem with book to movie translations. There's a 20% chance that the movie will follow the book perfectly, like TFiOS. The other 80% barely does the author justice because the script is totally rewritten. This is the #1 reason I read the book before seeing the movie. Oh, and I also knew how Noah and Allie's story ended. That tends to be a mood-killer. 

Perhaps this is the reason I didn't enjoy the book as much. I already knew what was going to happen. It could've also been Sparks' writing style. Like I said before, I wanted to read something new and every author has their own technique on how they bring the story to life. In Nicholas Sparks' case, he was very descriptive. Very, very descriptive. I'm pretty sure there was more explanation of what the characters were doing then dialog itself. It threw me off guard and I didn't really enjoy it. 

I blame authors for my unrealistic expectations in boyfriends. Who wouldn't want their own Noah? The love story of Allie and Noah was kinda cute. It was the typical summer teenager relationship with one of them moving away and the next time they see each other, one of them happens to be engaged. *cue love triangle* Throw a workaholic lawyer in the mix and you want to defend Noah and Allie by hitting someone in the face with a guitar.
I have another Nicholas Sparks' novel on my shelf, but after reading The Notebook, I think I'm going to take a break from romance and get back to the action. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Book Review: Looking for Alaska

Title: Looking for Alaska
Author: John Green
Publisher: Speak
Rating: 2

Synopsis (via Goodreads):
Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter's whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" (Fran├žois Rabelais, poet) even more. He heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. After. Nothing is ever the same.

Review: This book should really be titled Sex & Booze because a majority of what I read revolved around those two subjects. I'd rather not read about some teenage kid watching porn and experiencing his first blowjob, thank you very much. 

After reading TFiOS I had such high expectations with John Green, but he really can't write a book without killing a main character, can he? I never had the chance to connect with any of the characters in Looking for Alaska; just one of the major disappointments in this novel for me. Miles was a scrawny teenage boy who was addicted to famous last words (the one thing I thought was quite cool in this story), but didn't have many friends, if any, before attending boarding school. His roommate, Colonel, basically introduces him to the world whether it involved smoking, drinking, or pulling pranks. Okay, the pranks in the story were pretty awesome too since they were done spy-style. But Alaska? She had problems (which I suppose is the whole premise of the book). Instead of coming off as a girl with a troubled past, to me she was a spaz. Happy one minute, sad the next. Flirting with her actual boyfriend, making out with Miles. She was the definition of a hot mess, and an annoying one at that. 

I'm at a loss for words and if you can't tell, Looking for Alaska wasn't my cup of tea.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Book Review: Revived

Title: Revived
Author: Cat Patrick
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Rating: 5

Synopsis (via Goodreads): It started with a bus crash. Daisy Appleby was a little girl when it happened, and she barely remembers the accident or being brought back to life. At that moment, though, she became one of the first subjects in a covert government program that tests a drug called Revive. Now fifteen, Daisy has died and been Revived five times. Each death means a new name, a new city, a new identity. The only constant in Daisy's life is constant change. Then Daisy meets Matt and Audrey McKean, charismatic siblings who quickly become her first real friends. But if she's ever to have a normal life, Daisy must escape from an experiment that's much larger--and more sinister--than she ever imagined. From its striking first chapter to its emotionally charged ending, Cat Patrick's Revived is a riveting story about what happens when life and death collide.

Review: OHMYGOODNESS. Revived was probably the hardest book to put down that I've read this summer - it's that good! I just, I don't know, I can't. UGH! Can we just all take a minute to applaud Cat Patrick and her beautiful writing?! 

I bought my own copy of Revived at my favorite bookstore simply because the plot sounded so intriguing. What's better than an undercover program that involves a drug that can bring people back to life? Not only that, but the cover is so mysterious. I'll admit - I tend to judge books by their covers. *sigh* Sorry, not sorry. 

Daisy was a perfectly balanced character. During one chapter, she would be strong and outgoing and the next, she would be second guessing herself. She fit the mold of a typical teenage girl. The only difference with Daisy is that she has died five times. Every time she dies in an accident, she is relocated to a different city with a different last name and her life starts over again. The one thing that keeps her alive is a secret government drug called Revive. She, along with 19 of her peers, have been admitted in the top secret program ever since a school bus accident. Daisy follows her guardians' orders (who are also a part of the program) without question, until she moves to Omaha and meets Matt and Audrey McKean. 

I loved the McKean siblings. On the outside, the dynamic duo looked like they had it all. Matt could've easily been the hottest guy in school while Audrey was Miss Popular, but Daisy quickly finds out it's not like that at all. I loved reading the scenes with Audrey and Daisy. They had such a strong friendship from the get-go that Audrey's fate was a punch to the gut (think Augustus Waters). I only wish she was in the book for a longer amount of time. 

The idea of a drug that could bring people back to life was really compelling. Not once did Cat Patrick's writing bore me or annoy me. I feel like a broken record for saying that Daisy's story was unique and kept me on the edge of my seat, but it's the truth. I couldn't get enough of it and can't think of anything else to say how amazing Revived was/is. Because of that, I will leave those of you who've read Revived with one final thought of mine:

Mason = Jensen Ackles 
(Wouldn't you agree?) (=

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Book Review: Deadly Cool

Title: Deadly Cool
Author: Gemma Halliday
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: 5

Synopsis (via Goodreads): Hartley Grace Featherstone is having a very bad day. First she finds out that her boyfriend is cheating on her with the president of the Herbert Hoover High School Chastity Club. Then he’s pegged as the #1 suspect in a murder. And if that weren’t enough, now he’s depending on Hartley to clear his name. But as much as Hartley wouldn’t mind seeing him squirm, she knows he’s innocent, and she’s the only one who can help him. Along with her best friend, Sam, and the school’s resident Bad Boy, Chase, Hartley starts investigating on her own. But as the dead bodies begin to pile up, the mystery deepens, the suspects multiply, and Hartley begins to fear that she may be the killer’s next victim.

Review: I guess July of 2014 has been dubbed my 'murder-mystery' month. Wound up reading The Killing Woods first, and now Deadly Cool. (2 for 2!) What next?!

I'm a sucker for unique names and Hartley officially made it on my list. Being her age, I could easily slip into her shoes and launch into the investigation of the murder(s) myself. But let me tell you, she was one stubborn girl. Even when the police tried to convince her that 1) her ex-boyfriend was the killer and 2) let it go, she didn't. She stuck with her gut throughout the book and, by doing so, grew stronger. 

Sam reminded me of my roommate from leadership school (and not because her name was Sam too). Despite how dangerous it was for Hartley to launch her own investigation, Sam stuck by her side and supported her without getting too involved. Sam was the comedic relief. While most of the story was focused on the murder investigation, Sam's typical teenage girl actions made me smile (along with Hartley's thoughts every once in a while). For example, her bird calls to warn Hartley that she was going to get caught were priceless. Hands down, my favorite scene involving the two best friends. (= 

When I'm reading, I picture the characters as certain people, be it actors/actresses or my friends/family. Sometimes, I can never come up with a clear picture. Chase was one of those characters whose face just happened to be a blur. One moment I thought he could be like Ansel Elgort and the other I had no idea. Without having a clear image, I found it hard connecting with Chase. But have no fear! His character was the yin to Hartley's yang - in other words, they were the perfect team. Hartley wanted to prove that her cheating ex-boyfriend was not guilty and he wanted a lavish murder story to print in the school newspaper. It was a win-win situation! Maybe...

At this point, you might be wondering what the 2 for 2 thing was about in the beginning. It's simple really. Deadly Cool hit the mother lode! The feeling of not knowing who exactly the killer was (maybe Josh, maybe Chase, maybe someone else) until the end of the book gave me a rush that wouldn't let me put the book down. Although I think that Hartley's story would be the perfect standalone, I'm very interested in picking up a copy of Social Suicide - an act that other readers who enjoy Deadly Cool will wind up doing as well...

Monday, July 7, 2014

Book Review: The Killing Woods

Title: The Killing Woods
Author: Lucy Christopher
Publisher: Chicken House Ltd
Rating: 5

Synopsis (via Goodreads): Emily’s dad is accused of murdering a teenage girl. Emily is sure he is innocent, but what happened that night in the woods behind their house where she used to play as a child? Determined to find out, she seeks out Damon Hillary, the enigmatic boyfriend of the murdered girl. He also knows these woods. Maybe they could help each other. But he’s got secrets of his own about games that are played in the dark. A new psychological thriller from the award-winning and bestselling author of STOLEN and FLYAWAY. 

Review: Is it bad that I love murder mysteries so much? It's hard to find such an intriguing one that leaves me guessing who the killer is with various plot twists, but The Killing Woods didn't disappoint. 

I won The Killing Woods via a Rafflecopter giveaway who knows when - that's how long the book has been on the shelf - and found the concept interesting. A soldier with PTSD accused of murder, a dangerous version of Ghost In the Graveyard played by a group of teenagers, a girl determined to get to the bottom of it - Lucy Christopher hit a home run in the mystery department. Sure, the reader had their own individual list of suspects, (Damon Hillary, Mack, Ed, Charlie, Mr. Shepherd) but they never really were able to figure out who the real killer was until the end of the book.

The Killing Woods was told in two different character's points of view. The first character being Emily Shepherd, the daughter of the soldier with PTSD who finds the body of Ashlee Parker in the woods. Being the one who left the woods with the body in his hands, Mr. Shepherd is accused of the murder, but Emily knows it can't be the case. Just because the war affected him and his memory doesn't mean he would kill somebody. The second character telling his side of the story was Damon Hillary, Ashlee's boyfriend who had been in the woods with her and a group of friends the night she died. Not being able to remember the events of that night scares Damon and while Emily launches her own investigation, Damon attempts to straighten his side of things out. 

With some stories having been told in multiple points of view, it's easy to get confused and mix up the characters and their thoughts, but Lucy wrote Emily's story in one font and Damon's in another. I like this style of writing because then I know whose mindset I'm in and can see the story through their eyes instead of scrambling to get my thoughts together. The Killing Woods encourages me to pick up a copy of Lucy Christopher's other novel, Stolen. Hopefully, I will enjoy that book as much as I did this one. 

If you are looking for a murder mystery to read this summer, I highly encourage you check out The Killing Woods. But be warned: "Fatal attraction and primal fear, at play in the forest." 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Book Review: Soul Fire

Title: Soul Fire
Author: Aprille Legacy
Publisher: Createspace
Rating: 5

Synopsis (via Goodreads): Rose Evermore has lived in Ar Cena her entire life. Despite this, she still feels like an outsider, like a shoe that doesn’t quite fit. Halfway through her eighteenth year, she begins to notice changes around her, such as the fact that she has a stalker who can hold fire in his bare hands, or the dreams that she can turn into reality. After a series of mishaps, Rose finds herself in an alternate realm, brought there to hone the magical power she was born with. Even here, though, Rose feels set apart. The Academy Masters treat her differently than the others. Her assigned soul mate avoids her when he should be working with her. Despite all this, Rose begins to grow into something no one could’ve seen coming; a hero. With her, nothing is as it should be, and she decides to find out why. Soon she discovers that not everything about this new world is what it seems. Least of all her.

Review: I remember meeting Aprille on Goodreads back when she posted her story on the website. She had been wanting to publish and wishing to have a hard copy of her own book in her hands. After lots of hard-work and determination, her wish was fulfilled and I am so proud of her. She is an inspiration for aspiring authors and her debut novel, Soul Fire, won't disappoint. 

The first thought that came to my mind when I was reading Soul Fire was Harry Potter. I imagined the Academy Rose attended to be similar to Hogwarts (minus the whole Quidditch/broomstick lessons). Fantasy has always been one of my top young adult genres and the magic in Soul Fire was a spark like no other. 

For a while, I seemed to be just as confused as Rose was when the Academy Masters treated her differently. They were more strict with her, had her on a tighter leash than most of the other students, and was more than likely lectured when she thought she did something positive. Aprille's writing style allows readers to feel the same emotions Rose does in particular scenes - something I enjoyed while reading her story. 

Back to the Harry Potter references: I saw Rose as a more rebellious Hermonie. She was intelligent and strong, but not as willing to back down from a fight. Instead of thinking about the potential consequences, Rose stood up for what she thought was right; ready to knock down any obstacle head-on. Her soulmate, Phoenix, was dark and mysterious - intriguing traits that drew in my attention. While reading, I had also been confused about the whole "soulmate" situation. The number one rule is they can't fall in love... what? That almost seems like second nature to fall in love with your soulmate! This unique plot line added more power behind Soul Fire simply because it's something you don't see often. 

Endings of books always kill me. This statement applies to Soul Fire 100%. Thank you very much Aprille. Now I HAVE to read the second installment of the series... But I don't think I'll mind. (=

Monday, June 9, 2014

Book Review: Divergent

Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Rating: 5

Synopsis (via Goodreads): In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself. During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Review: Divergent was another book that I had on my reading list that Kayleigh told me I had to read. I was planning on reading it before The Fault in Our Stars, but she told me that was I wrong and I needed to follow up on a sad novel with an action packed one. (In other words, I had to read The Fault in Our Stars then Divergent.) This brings me to the fact that other readers were saying Divergent was "like The Hunger Games." I happen to disagree. The Hunger Games and Divergent had completely different plot lines - they were no where near "like" the other. Sure, they both had kick-ass heroines who could fight like no other, but they were two completely different books. I see that comparing is necessary when giving book recommendations, such as "if you liked The Hunger Games, then you're sure to enjoy Divergent." Am I the only one who thinks this way? 

Anyways, once I got wrapped up into the book, I couldn't put it down. I had to know what was going to happen next! (Talk about plot twists!) Veronica Roth's writing kept the reader engaged with Tris' story. You know that excited feeling you get when you can't put a book down? I experienced this feeling with Divergent - a feeling that I'm finding hard to come by nowadays. That's probably mostly because all the crazy stunts the Dauntless pull off. (Jumping off a train when it's moving? No way, Jose!) 

Tris was awesome. She was a complete badass who was motivated to prove others wrong. At the beginning, she was the smallest initiate. In the end, she was #1. Characters like Tris are my favorite - they don't back down, and they fight for what they believe in; they are strong, determined leaders throughout their stories - inspiration to actual people. As for Four... readers have a list of fictional boyfriends when it comes to the opposite gender. I blame reading for having such high standards. (=

I didn't like the ending. It was as if Roth was tired of writing and just wanted to get the story over with. Granted there are two other parts to the series, but after hearing what Kayleigh said about them, I don't think I'm going to read them. (If you couldn't tell, I trust her with my life when it comes to book recommendations.) If you've read the Divergent series: what did you think about Insurgent and Allegiant? Let me know in the comments below! (=

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars

Title: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Publisher: Dutton Books
Rating: 5

Synopsis (via Goodreads): Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

Review: This book was shoved in my face by my dear friend Kayleigh, (who I've mentioned several times on this blog before). She had nothing but good things to say about TFiOS and any book that she highly recommends, I read. I trust her when it comes to books, and anything really. (:

One thing she told me before reading the book was that I was going to cry. She was disappointed when I didn't. Actually, she kind of yelled at me for it. If the movie is as good as the book, I'm sure I'll be a blubbering baby. But, the book is always better than the movie.

It's hard for me to describe The Fault in Our Stars. It was so beautifully written that I surprised myself by not crying. I loved Hazel, I loved Augustus, I loved the plot - I just loved the book. It's one of those that I would love to reread again and again. I just hope the movie doesn't screw it all up.

Because I can't review this book without giving the whole thing away (the ending was my favorite part!) I decided I might as well include the movie trailer. If you hadn't read the book yet, you better get yourself a copy before you see the movie. Without further ado, the TFiOS movie trailer.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Book Review: White Lines

Title: White Lines
Author: Jennifer Banash
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Rating: 4

Synopsis (via Goodreads): A gritty, atmospheric coming of age tale set in 1980s New York City. Seventeen-year-old Cat is living every teenager’s dream: she has her own apartment on the Lower East Side and at night she’s club kid royalty, guarding the velvet rope at some of the hottest clubs in the city. The night with its crazy, frenetic, high-inducing energy—the pulsing beat of the music, the radiant, joyful people and those seductive white lines that can ease all pain—is when Cat truly lives. But her daytime, when real life occurs, is more nightmare than dream. Having spent years suffering her mother’s emotional and physical abuse, and abandoned by her father, Cat is terrified and alone—unable to connect to anyone or anything. But when someone comes along who makes her want to truly live, she’ll need to summon the courage to confront her demons and take control of a life already spinning dangerously out of control. Both poignant and raw, White Lines is a gripping tale and the reader won’t want to look away.

Review: I won this ARC from Jennifer Banash herself before it was released last April, but it's been on my bookshelf ever since. (This has become a blogger problem for me; I will get a book to review, but I won't review it right away. This is something I hope to fix by the end of 2014). I decided I needed something to read during my long drive to and from Florida over spring break and White Lines was the lucky one of the bunch. 

To be honest, I had no idea that this story was set in the 1980s. It felt more futuristic than "historical," but I enjoyed the club setting nonetheless. I haven't read a book involving clubs and the night scene before White Lines, but Cat's story is fresh, raw, and unique. Jennifer Banash wrote about touchy topics that most young adult authors tend to avoid such as drugs and childhood abuse. 

I found the story to be dull up until page 92. Cat had been introduced, the reader got a look at the club she worked at, she took some random drugs a client gave her and wound up passing out in the club bathroom. Cool, right? All I could say was, "Really?" After her near-death experience, I found myself getting more comfortable in Cat's shoes. The story got really exciting once Alexa was introduced. 

Alexa was Cat's high school's princess. She was popular, she was spoiled, she had a group of minions that followed her wherever she went - but she was getting tired of it. Alexa decided that Cat would be her ticket out of the royalty lifestyle by showing her a glimpse of the nightlife. Like Cat, I was hesitant to warm up to Alexa because of her social status, but by the end of White Lines, she had become one of my favorite characters. She helped Cat see that it's possible to change your lifestyle under any circumstances if you're unhappy. 

Cat was a strong, main character who could take care of herself after all she had been through in her childhood. Along the way, she lost sight of who she was and who she could be, but that could also be a side effect from all the drugs. I admired her strength because she faced her fears and acknowledged she had an addiction and needed help. 

The ending was a nice closure for Cat's story. It's a perfect standalone with a new, spunky setting and raw material that will leave the reader wanting more after every page they turn. Once I got into it, I couldn't put it down. I highly recommend reading White Lines for a fresh story line that's on the other side of the young adult spectrum (especially if you need a break from reading the cookie-cutter high school romance young adult novels. I sure did). (:

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Book Review: Better Off Friends

Title: Better Off Friends
Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
Publisher: Point
Rating: 5

Synopsis (via Goodreads): For Macallan and Levi, it was friends at first sight. Everyone says guys and girls can’t be just friends, but these two are. They hang out after school, share tons of inside jokes, their families are super close, and Levi even starts dating one of Macallan’s friends. They are platonic and happy that way.
Eventually they realize they're best friends — which wouldn't be so bad if they didn't keep getting in each other’s way. Guys won't ask Macallan out because they think she’s with Levi, and Levi spends too much time joking around with Macallan, and maybe not enough time with his date. They can't help but wonder . . . are they more than friends or are they better off without making it even more complicated? From romantic comedy superstar Elizabeth Eulberg comes a fresh, fun examination of a question for the ages: Can guys and girls ever really be just friends? Or are they always one fight away from not speaking again — and one kiss away from true love?

Review: This book is automatically my new favorite from Elizabeth Eulberg. It causes me to squeal, it makes me happy, everybody who loves reading young adult and Elizabeth Eulberg needs to get their hands on a copy of Better Off Friends. Everybody. "Why did I fall in love with this book?" you might ask. The answer is simple: it is beyond relatable.

Macallan and Levi's story is not the typical cookie-cutter boy-next-door adventure. Instead, the two meet in 7th grade and become instant friends after discovering they are both addicted to the show, Buggy and Floyd, something Macallan's other friends could care less about. The friendship gets to the point where the two are inseparable, creating a few bumps along the road like any other relationship.

I loved Macallan, and boy, did I love Levi. Both characters were strong throughout the book and continued to grow chapter after chapter. Their personalities were never dull and the situations they got into made me smile. The best conversations were those between Macallan and Levi before every chapter. The added side dialog was fun, quirky, and something no writer has ever done before.

Personally, I really connected with this book because, like Macallan, I met my guy best friend in 7th grade. We were really close in middle school, but once freshman year started, things changed. We're still friends, but not as close as Macallan and Levi. I couldn't help but cheer on their friendship until the end of the book, kind of like how I won't stop buying the "real life Levi"  gummy bears for his birthday. Some things never change. (:

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Book Review: Shadows

Title: Shadows
Author: Ilsa J. Bick
Publisher: Egmont USA
Rating: 2

Synopsis (via Goodreads): The Apocalypse does not end. The Changed will grow in numbers. The Spared may not survive. Even before the EMPs brought down the world, Alex was on the run from the demons of her past and the monster living in her head. After the world was gone, she believed Rule could be a sanctuary for her and those she'd come to love. But she was wrong. Now Alex is in the fight of her life against the adults, who would use her, the survivors, who don't trust her, and the Changed, who would eat her alive. Welcome to Shadows, the second book in the haunting apocalyptic Ashes Trilogy: where no one is safe and humans may be the worst of the monsters.

Review: Just a heads up that this one contains, yet again, spoilers. Reader discretion is advised. 

I was determined to read Shadows after I finished Ashes, but now I don't know if I want to get a copy of Monsters to even finish the trilogy. That's how frustrated I am with Alex's story.

First off, we found Tom. BUT WHERE IS ELLIE? (I have no clue where she is. Best bet is that she's dead or Changed). Tom almost found Alex, but she got herself trapped in a hole. I don't remember how she ended up in that hole because at least five different stories were being told at once.

Don't get me wrong, I love reading from different points of view in a book, but FIVE?!? That's overkill. And it doesn't help when the character's name isn't the chapter title or the font is kept the same throughout the book. It would take me four or five paragraphs to find out who the narrator was and that got me distracted from the story as a whole.

Which reminds me, I don't think any of the characters grew at all. They stayed the same throughout the whole novel, making it a little dull for me. If anything, Alex's intelligence is going down the drain. Instead of being a kick-ass heroine, she's becoming a damsel in distress. She got herself stuck in a hole for crying out loud!

I was so excited for this book, but once I finished it, I was disappointed. I think I would've enjoyed it if it wasn't for the multiple character point of view and if it would've stuck to the main plot that started in Ashes. If only...

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Interview with Miss Aprille Legacy

I feel pretty special saying that I knew Aprille Legacy via Goodreads before she became published, but I feel even more honored to be able to feature her on my blog! I'm sure this won't be the last time, either. (: So, without further ado: Miss Aprille Legacy, author of Soul Fire and Soul Blaze (released on March 29th).

Why the change in cover images for Soul Fire and Soul Blaze?
I decided to change the covers to make them more eye-catching. Also, it was a lot of fun bringing the images together! I’m actually on the cover of Soul Fire and cringe everytime I remember, but the model for Soul Blaze is the beautiful Skye Foster. We had a lot of fun with that sword out in the Adelaide Hills!

Do you plan on publishing any other books besides those in the Soul Fire trilogy?
Absolutely! Ruthless, my Victorian Steampunk, will probably come out later this year, and then after that I have another series cooking away in my head.

Who is a character you would be in one of your books and why?
I’d love to be Dena, because I’ve always wanted the ability to heal, and whilst all the mages in my series can heal, Dena is the best at it.

What ignited your spark for writing?
I don’t remember, I’ve just always had to write. I get these ideas in my head and I feel compelled to write them down, to tell their story. Ainsley from Ruthless was so demanding I couldn’t have ignored her if I wanted to!

Five years ago, did you see yourself where you are now?
Haha no! I was in my final year of high school, when I was there. I’m from a coastal city, so we’d always skip class to go to the beach. Now I’ve moved to the capital, am dating a wonderful guy and about to publish my second book. I never saw this coming!

Mind telling us about your journey becoming an author?
After publishing the old version of Soul Fire on Goodreads and receiving the overwhelming response from people, I decided to rewrite the story and sent it to publishers. I wrote the new manuscript in about a month, and started sending it off. After a few rejections, I investigated self-publishing and liked what I saw. I liked the idea of being my own boss and there was no threat that Soul Fire would be changed to what an editor thought would sell. With some encouragement from my amazing mother, I made the decision to self-publish.

What is your favorite book? Why?
My favourite book… I don’t think I could pick a favourite! I do quite love A Series of Unfortunate Events however. I loved the unique style of Lemony Snicket. It taught me a lot as a young reader.

What inspires you the most? 
The encouragement of Goodreaders and my friends. Without them I don’t think I would’ve been brave enough to embark on this journey!

Who is your favorite author? Why?
My favourite author would have to be Tamora Pierce. Her incredible worlds awoke something in me as a kid that shaped me as an adult. My love of fantasy comes directly from her work.

Do you have any “book crushes?” If so, who?
Perry from Under the Never Sky *swoons*

Time for a game of this or that!

Coke or Pepsi?
Pepsi!

Cat or dog?
Dog!

Summer or winter?
Winter! (blankets and hot chocolate!)

The Hunger Games or Divergent?
The Hunger Games!

Reading or writing?
Um, um um… reading :D

Thank you Aprille for giving me the opportunity to interview you! Be sure to check out the second installation of the Soul Fire trilogy, Soul Blaze, available now!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Elizabeth Eulberg Book Signing 2014

Just last Tuesday, Elizabeth Eulberg's fifth novel, Better Off Friends, was released. Me, being a big fan of Elizabeth, had to get myself a copy. What do you know? She was coming back home for another book signing. After Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality was released last year, she had a book signing in Wisconsin. Know who missed it? Me. I don't remember the reason, but there was no way I was missing another signing. No way.
So, Kayleigh and I went to see her again together. We got another picture with Elizabeth. She was relieved to find out she would more than likely see us again at her next book signing since we'll still be in high school next year. (It's safe to say that we are the biggest Elizabeth Eulberg fans. What's not to love about her?) =) Last year, when I couldn't go to the signing, my mom went for me to get my copy of Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality signed and Elizabeth gave her extra bookmarks to be included in a giveaway.

You all are in for a treat.

This year, Elizabeth gave me an ARC of Better Off Friends to be included in a giveaway. As usual, the contest is open to U.S. only. (Sorry. I'm a high school student with no money tree in the backyard.) I'm 99.9% that readers will enjoy it just as much as I am now! Personally, I cannot wait to see what's next from Miss Elizabeth Eulberg. =)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Book Review: Ashes

Title: Ashes
Author: Ilsa J. Bick
Publisher: Egmont USA
Rating: 4

Synopsis (via Goodreads): It could happen tomorrow . . . An electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device, wiping out every computerized system, and killing billions. Alex hiked into the woods to say good-bye to her dead parents and her personal demons. Now desperate to find out what happened after the pulse crushes her to the ground, Alex meets up with Tom—a young soldier—and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP. For this improvised family and the others who are spared, it’s now a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human. Author Ilsa J. Bick crafts a terrifying and thrilling post-apocalyptic novel about a world that could become ours at any moment, where those left standing must learn what it means not just to survive, but to live amidst the devastation.

Review: Just a heads up that this one contains spoilers. Reader discretion is advised.

I don't think that I have read an apocalyptic YA book before Ashes. I have a handful on my to-read list, but just haven't gotten to them yet. Because of this, Ashes scared me. A lot.

I had no idea how disturbing Alex's story would be until her world went into chaos. During the zap, some people died, some got superhuman powers, and some transformed into monsters. Don't forget about the animals - they were affected to. Basically, you didn't know who was out to kill and who was trying to survive. Bick's way with words made me cringe and I had to take a break from the book a few times. I couldn't even read it when I was at school because, chances were, I would start gagging and slam the book down, resulting in a few puzzling looks from my classmates.

Loved Alex. Loved Tom. Hated Ellie - in the beginning anyway. She was a spoiled brat. But, because she comes to terms with this and decides to turn her attitude around, she eventually stole my heart. What can I say? Kids are extremely innocent. Especially when it comes to the end of the world.

I loved the first part of the book. It was brilliant. It was disturbing. It was full of gore. It was not what I expected. It was 5 star worthy. Then, part two started. I thought I started reading another book, which made me very frustrated.

Alex's strong personality that I adored, flushed down the drain. Both Tom and Ellie disappeared. (Where? I have no idea). The setting transformed into what I imagined was similar to a western town and a whole slew of new characters were introduced. I. Was. Not. Happy.

And yet, I have the sequel, Shadows, in my possession. Why? SO I FIND OUT WHERE THE HECK TOM AND ELLIE WENT.  

Friday, January 24, 2014

Book Review: Sia

Title: Sia
Author: Josh Grayson
Publisher: Self-Published
Rating: 4

Synopsis (via Goodreads): When seventeen-year-old Sia wakes up on a park bench, she has no idea who or where she is. Yet after a week of being homeless, she’s reunited with her family. At school, she’s powerful and popular. At home, she’s wealthy beyond her dreams. But she quickly realizes her perfect life is a lie. Her family is falling apart and her friends are snobby, cruel and plastic. Worse yet, she discovers she was the cruelest one. Mortified by her past, she embarks on a journey of redemption and falls for Kyle, the “geek” she once tormented. Yet all the time she wonders if, when her memories return, she’ll become the bully she was before…and if she’ll lose Kyle.

Review: The action in Sia started from the very first page and kept my attention until the end. Waking up on a park bench with no recollection of her memory, Sia has no idea where to go or what to do. The fact that a seventeen-year-old girl, who is both athletic and healthy, loses her memory out of no where surprised me. I was naive to think that teenagers only lose their memory as a result of a physical accident, not from stress overload. She quickly learns why she was so stressed in the first place after her parents identify her and bring her home to their mansion. Sia's family is beyond rich, she's beyond spoiled, and she's also beyond mean. Sia acknowledges the fact that her family maid and driver appear to be skittish around her, but doesn't understand why. The ugly truth slowly unburies itself from the depths of Sia's past life, and she's disgusted. She wants to be a different, better person and will stop at nothing to change her personality.

I couldn't help but cheer Sia on after she promises herself to change. She participates in activities that the old version of her never would've imagined doing including living on the streets with a sweet, homeless lady and helping run a fundraiser for the Red Cross. She breaks up with her old boyfriend, quits cheerleading, leaves her old clique and joins a new one. A clique she used to make fun of. A clique who slowly accepts her, but leaves one on the edge, nervous what will happen once Sia regains her memory.

Kyle was a mysterious character who was nervous about opening up to Sia. She had been mean to him in the past, as were her friends, but he couldn't help thinking that once she regained her memory, she wouldn't remain the better, changed person she wanted to be. He kept his walls high and didn't allow Sia in until the awards night, but he quickly regretted it, letting his conscious get the best of him. I understood why Kyle was so cautious around Sia after she had lost her memory and it made him appear to be a stronger character. He was a genuinely sweet, intelligent guy who quickly made me fall in love with him. He was like Kristoff from Frozen. (Oh, how I love Kristoff). (:

The awards night wins favorite book scene in Sia hands down. I applaud Josh Grayson for his magnificent imagery skills that made me feel as though I was at the Grammys. Or Oscars. In person. Let's face the facts: Sia was well written overall. It was the perfect popular girl/nerd guy story that every bookworm is sure to enjoy.

Thank you Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to review this book.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Cover Reveal: Orenda

Title: Orenda
Author: Ruth Silver
Expected Publication: Spring 2014
Publisher: Patchwork Press
Genre: Young Adult; Fantasy
Cover Design: Erica Crouch

Synopsis (via Goodreads): Lil has a gift, one she never thought possible as she finds herself awake after a strange dream with the tell-tale sign that what she dreamt was in fact real. The dreamscape, was more than just a premonition it happened. She’d been momentarily tossed into another dimension. Where most would consider her crazy, not her best friend Bray. In another reality, one similar and yet slightly different Willow has been kidnapped by the sorceress turned demon, Eilith. Rawlie, Willow’s friend and companion crosses to our universe for help and brings Lil into his world. Filled with frightening creatures and magical elements, Lil demands to go home, until she discovers Bray has been taken by Eilith as well. Unable to watch her best friend die, she joins forces with Rawlie, Jamie and the others to hunt down Eilith and rescue those they care about.

Extra Info: Add Orenda to your shelf on Goodreads.

Author Bio: Ruth Silver attended Northern Illinois University and graduated with a Bachelor's in Communication in the spring of 2005.  While in college, she spent much of her free time writing with friends she met online and penning her first novel, Deuces are Wild, which she self-published in 2004.  Her favorite class was Creative Writing senior year where she often handed in assignments longer than the professor required because she loved to write and always wanted to finish her stories.  Her love of writing led her on an adventure in 2007 to Melbourne, Australia.  Silver enjoys reading, photography, traveling and most of all writing.  She loves dystopian and fantasy young adult stories.  Her debut novel published by Lazy Day Publishing and Patchwork Press, ABERRANT, was released April 2013.  The second novel in the series, MOIRAI, continues the saga. ISAURA, is the final installment in the ABERRANT trilogy. Ruth has been actively writing since she was a teenager.  Her current writing projects include a YA science-fiction fantasy series, ORENDA, and a YA/NA paranormal series, DEAD GIRL WALKING. Both novels are due for release in 2014. She currently resides in Plainfield, Illinois.


My Thoughts: This cover is so beautiful. It screams PHOTO SHOOT at me. Which means I will have to get on that this summer. An Orenda inspired photo shoot. Sounds good to me. (:

Friday, January 17, 2014

Book Review: Double Crossed

Title: Double Crossed
Author: Ally Carter
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Rating: 4

Synopsis (via Goodreads): Macey McHenry—Glamorous society girl or spy-in-training? W.W. Hale V—Heir to an American dynasty or master thief? There are two sides to every coin. Whether these two can work together is a tossup. Born into privilege, Macey and Hale are experts at mingling with the upper class. But even if they’ve never raised an eyebrow at the glitz, neither teenager has ever felt at home with the glamour. When Macey and Hale meet at a society gala, the party takes a dangerous turn. Suddenly they’re at the center of a hostage situation, and it’s up to them to stop the thugs from becoming hostile. Will Macey’s spy skills and Hale’s con-man ways be enough to outsmart a ruthless gang? Or will they have to seek out the ultimate inside girl to help? The worlds of Heist Society and the Gallagher Girls collide in Ally Carter’s fast-paced, high-stakes and tantalizing new story. Get a behind the scenes glimpse as Ally delivers an irresistible thriller that is full of her signature style and savvy twists.

Review: Short stories aren't usually my cup of tea, but after reading Heist Society by Ally Carter, I was immediately drawn to reading Double Crossed. It was a fun, simple read packed to the punch with spy/thief action that Ally writes best. Now, not only am I intrigued to finish reading the Heist Society series, but I also want to start reading the Gallagher Girl series.

Thank you Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to review this book.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Book Review: Shine

Title: Shine
Author: Lauren Myracle
Publisher: Amulet Books
Rating: 5

Synopsis (via Goodreads): When her best guy friend falls victim to a vicious hate crime, sixteen-year-old Cat sets out to discover who in her small town did it. Richly atmospheric, this daring mystery mines the secrets of a tightly knit Southern community and examines the strength of will it takes to go against everyone you know in the name of justice. Against a backdrop of poverty, clannishness, drugs, and intolerance, Myracle has crafted a harrowing coming-of-age tale couched in a deeply intelligent mystery. Smart, fearless, and compassionate, this is an unforgettable work from a beloved author.

Review: This was yet another book on the Battle reading list. Another girl on my team read it before me and I read it, thinking nobody else had yet. Whatever. (: Anywho, her reading it too was a bonus because we could have book discussions about it. Trust me, you'll need to talk about this book with someone.

Like I said, I read this book because I didn't think anyone on my team had read it yet, so I picked it up without reading the synopsis. I had no idea what it was about. After reading the first chapter, it's safe to say I was more than surprised about the topic. An attempted murder on a gay teenager in a small town. In Shine, because Patrick is a gay teenager, it changes the way the investigation is handled. The sheriff department labels it from an attempted murder to a hate crime. And that's about as far as they get on the situation. That's what Cat thinks anyway.

Being sixteen-years-old myself, I could easily put myself in Cat's shoes. She took it upon herself to find the person who put Patrick in a coma, no matter how dangerous it was. She sent herself and those closest to her on an adventure that un-buries dark secrets that haven't been dug up in years, or secrets that nobody knew about in the first place. I fell in love with Cat quickly because she's a strong female character that learns how to take care of herself and not depend on others. After she was raped by her brother's best friend at thirteen, her world was turned upside down and she felt helpless and alone. She pushed all of her friends away and came to the conclusion that her older brother, Christian, never cared about her in the first place. After Patrick's attack, she decides to stop hiding from everything and everyone and face her fears to help her friend. It was hard not to applaud for her during her investigation of Patrick's case.

Another character I fell in love with was Christian. Whether Cat knew it or not, he always had her back. He cared about Cat so much that he risked his life for her. If I had an older brother, I imagine he would be like Christian. I don't usually get confused by characters, maybe their thoughts or actions, but never the character themselves. Jason was the first character that confused me. He was rude to Cat at the local library and called her a nickname, then all of a sudden he's willing to help her find Patrick's attacker. Anybody else confused by this sudden change of heart, or was it just me?

I'm a big fan of crime shows, (I watch Castle and Criminal Minds on a daily basis), but I've only read a few crime/mystery books. I enjoy plot twists and not knowing who the real "killer" is until the end, and Shine did not disappoint. I strongly urge readers to pick this book up and read it ASAP. The thrill aspect is great, but the way Lauren Myracle writes about modern issues (gay marriage and rape) is tastefully done. Because of that, Shine gets a 5.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Book Review: Steve Jobs - The Man Who Thought Different

Title: Steve Jobs - The Man Who Thought Different
Author: Karen Blumenthal
Publisher: Square Fish
Rating: 4

Synopsis (via Goodreads): "Your time is limited. . . . have the courage to follow your heart and intuition."--Steve Jobs. From the start, his path was never predictable. Steve Jobs was given up for adoption at birth, dropped out of college after one semester, and at the age of twenty, created Apple in his parents' garage with his friend Steve Wozniack. Then came the core and hallmark of his genius--his exacting moderation for perfection, his counterculture life approach, and his level of taste and style that pushed all boundaries. A devoted husband, father, and Buddhist, he battled cancer for over a decade, became the ultimate CEO, and made the world want every product he touched. Critically acclaimed author Karen Blumenthal takes us to the core of this complicated and legendary man while simultaneously exploring the evolution of computers. Framed by Jobs' inspirational Stanford commencement speech and illustrated throughout with black and white photos, this is the story of the man who changed our world.

Review: I am participating in another year of my school's "reading battle" called Battle of the Books. Not only do I enjoy this competition because I have the best team in the world, but I also get to read a handful of books I probably wouldn't have before. Biographies never really were my thing, (I'm more of a fiction girl), but this one kept my attention for the most part.

I've had my iPad for a couple of years now, and I never really thought about what exactly triggered the idea of the tablet in Steve Jobs' mind. This, along with many other facts about Steve Jobs and the Apple company, surprised me. I don't exactly know why I was stunned by some of Jobs' behavior or the development of Apple because I never was on the inside of the whole operation, but what would have offended others inspired me.

Steve Jobs strived for perfection. This makes sense due to the fact that most, if not all, Apple stores are spotless. Not only did Apple products need to be simple for all to use, but they also needed to look flawless. Jobs hated power buttons, therefore, the first models of iPods lacked them. Jobs didn't always like his employees' ideas right away, but would more than likely warm up to them on a later date. He built Apple from the ground up, the idea born in a garage. He was fired from his own business, started a new one (NeXT), became the largest shareholder of Disney-Pixar after Pixar's several movie successes including Toy Story and Cars, and, finally, made a deal with Apple scoring him his old job back. How can Jobs not be an inspiration?

I was pleasantly surprised after reading Steve Jobs - The Man Who Thought Different. Karen Blumenthal did a fabulous job mapping out Steve Jobs' journey from meeting Woz to presenting his last Apple product. Now, I just have to get myself a copy of the new movie, Jobs. The similarities between Jobs and Ashton Kutcher are ridiculous. Seriously though, Ashton Kutcher and Steve Jobs could be related. (Image from allthingsd.com)