Sunday, February 28, 2010

In My Mailbox (8)

In My Mailbox is a meme originally hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren (click for more information) that shares all the new books you've bought, borrowed, received, or traded for the week.

I had a good week, but not as good as last week! I can't believe how many good books I have to read, my TBR pile is literally about to reach the ceiling :)

Library/for review:

Tangled by Caroyln Mackler 

Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

Jena, Dakota, Skye, and Owen are all at Paradise—the resort in the Caribbean, that is—for different reasons, but in Paradise their lives become tangled together in ways none of them can predict. Over the course of four months, through four voices and four stories, what happened in Paradise will change them all.

In this extraordinary novel, the Printz Honor–winning author brings us her most accomplished work yet. Tangled is a story of the secrets we keep, the risks we take, and the things we do for love.

Ooh finally my library had some newish releases out! I can't wait to read this, it looks so cute :)

Naomi and Ely's No Kiss by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Summary:(taken from Goodreads)

NAOMI AND ELY ARE BEST FRIENDS. Naomi loves and is in love with Ely, and Ely loves Naomi, but prefers to be in love with boys. So they create their "No Kiss List" of people neither of them is allowed to kiss. And this works fine - until Bruce. Bruce is Naomi's boyfriend, so there's no reason to put him on the List. But Ely kissed Bruce even though he is boring. The result: a rift of universal proportions and the potential end of "Naomi and Ely: the institution." Can these best friends come back together again?

This sounds really interesting. I really like Rachel Cohn, so I have some pretty high expectations for this one.

The Dark Days of Hamburger Helpin by Josh Berk

Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

Being a hefty, deaf newcomer almost makes Will Halpin the least popular guy at Coaler High. But when he befriends the only guy less popular than him, the dork-namic duo has the smarts and guts to figure out who knocked off the star quarterback. Will can’t hear what’s going on, but he’s a great observer. So, who did it? And why does that guy talk to his fingers? And will the beautiful girl ever notice him? (Okay, so Will’s interested in more than just murder . . .)

Those who prefer their heroes to be not-so-usual and with a side of wiseguy will gobble up this witty, geeks-rule debut.  

Hmm this isn't my typical read, but I decided to try something out for once.

Getting the Girl :A Guide to Private Investigation, Surveillance, and Cookery by Susan Juby 

Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

Sunglasses. Check.
Binoculars. Check.
Notepad. Check.
Mom's pink bike. Check. Check?

Meet Sherman Mack. Short. Nerdy. Amateur P.I. and prepared to do anything for Dini Trioli. 

Nobody knows who began it or when it became a tradition, but every girl at Harewood Tech fears being D-listed, a ritual that wipes her off the social map forever. When Sherman believes Dini is in danger of being D-listed, he snatches up his surveillance gear and launches a full-scale investigation to uncover who is res

I love the cover of this one! Comedy and mystery are two of my favorites, so  I hope I like it :)

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

When Ginny receives thirteen little blue envelopes and instructions to buy a plane ticket to London, she knows something exciting is going to happen. What Ginny doesn't know is that she will have the adventure of her life and it will change her in more ways than one. Life and love are waiting for her across the Atlantic, and the thirteen little blue envelopes are the key to finding them in this funny, romantic, heartbreaking novel.

Thanks everyone who suggested this book on my Girl At Sea review! It looks really good and I have to say I'm really liking Maureen Johnson.

What's in your mailbox?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Girl At Sea by Maureen Johnson

Book Review #21
Girl At Sea by Maureen Johnson
Rating: Four stars (refer to rating system on the right) 

Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

Sometimes you have to get lost. 

The Girl: Clio, seventeen, wants to spend the summer smooching her art-store crush, not stuck on a boat in the Mediterranean. At least she'll get a killer tan. 

The Mission: Survive her father's annoying antics. Oh, also find some underwater treasure that could be the missing link to a long-lost civilization. 

The Crew: Dad's absentminded best friend Martin, his scary girlfriend Julia, her voluptuous daughter Elsa . . . and then there's Aidan, Julia's incredibly attractive, incredibly arrogant research assistant. 

What's going on behind Aidan's intellectual, intensely green eyes, anyway? 

As Clio sails into uncharted territory she unveils secrets that have the power to change history. But her most surprising discovery is that there's something deeper and more mysterious than the sea—her own heart. 

I'm almost exhausted from the crazy choppy journey I took along with Clio filled with mystery, adventure, humor, and of course romance. It took me some time to finally get into Girl At Sea, but once I did I sure wasn't disappointed. Aside from the usual teenage drama, there is an actual mystery throughout the book.The boat and crew actually have a mission, that you don't find out about just yet. Every few chapters, there are random peeks of the history of the mission. The need and desire to discover what this mission actually is will keep you on edge. Girl At Sea is a one of kind book that definitely left me wanting more.

Clio's parents are divorced, and she lives with her mother. Girl At Sea starts with Clio being forced to spend her vacation with her dad sailing on a yacht in Italy. She has a dream summer vacation all planned out. She got a job at the art store with her handsome co-worker Ollie, who is mentioned a bit too much throughout the book. Clio definitely not looking forward to spending time with her dad stuck on some boat especially since her dad is known to be unpredictable and frankly irresponsible.To her surprise she won't be spending her summer with just her father, but a crew made up of four other people. Julia- her dad's new girlfriend , Elsa- her daughter, Martin-her dad's best friend, and Aidan-Julie's assistant (who is kind of cute) become shipmates for the summer and maybe even more. 

I loved all the characters in this book. They were all very well developed and definitely realistic. I loved the crew who set aboard the Sea Butterfly. At first, no one really got along. Clio obviously didn't like Julia, the girlfriend she had never meant. She didn't really no what to think of Elsa either. Then there's Aidan who comes across as arrogant and annoying. The only person she didn't have a problem with was Martin, who was an almost better "father" to her than her dad was. In the end, Clio never expects to make a lifetime best friend and maybe possibly a boyfriend? Aside from the crew members, Clio was a very likable main character. I liked that she actually had talent and didn't let the little fact that she's seventeen and never been kissed overtake her life. One could easily relate to her motivates, desires, and weaknesses. 

The setting of Girl At Sea is what made it so different. Most of the books takes place on a big beautiful yacht that is sailing across the Mediterranean Sea. You would be surprised at how much action and drama can take place on a yacht. Some of the scenes were so powerful and vibrant that I can still picture them in my mind right now. I loved all the wacky things that happened along the ride. Without giving anything away, I have to say there were painful jellyfish involved, diving, and even attacks involved.  

There were a few tiny things that I didn't love so much about this book. First off, the beginning of the book was sort of slow. I feel like all of the major events happened near the end of the book. I wish the mystery of why they were actually on the yacht was revealed sooner. Then there was Ollie, who was constantly mentioned- Clio was kind of obsessed with him when she barely even knew him. Thank goodness Clio eventually realized that it was crazy to obsesses about someone who she wasn't even in a relationship with. The last thing, that I just wasn't used was the fact that the book was in third person. By the end, I did get used to it, but it took some time.  

Despite the minor negative sides of the book, it was definitely worth the read. I loved the ending, it was full of twists and turns. Overall, it was really nice to escape the winter blues to take a trip along with Clio and her crazy shipmates. If your looking for a book filled with just about everything, pick this one up. I'll be looking out for more of Maureen Johnson's books.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones

Book Review #20
What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones
Rating: Four stars (refer to the rating system on the right)

Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

My name is Sophie.
This book is about me.
It tells
the heart-stoppingly riveting story
of my first love.
And also of my second.
And, okay, my third love too.
It's not that I'm boy crazy.
It's just that even though
I'm almost fifteen
it's like
my mind
and my body
and my heart
just don't seem to be able to agree
on anything.

Over the course of about forty-five minutes I have laughed, smiled, and ached along with Sophie. What My Mother Doesn't Know contained a lot of firsts for me. It was the first book I read in verse and who knew reading in verse was so awesome. I became so engaged in the book after I point I forgot I was reading. I literally couldn't put the book down. What My Mother Doesn't Know was also the first time I have laughed that hard while reading book. It was written beautifully through poems, deep inner thoughts, journal entries, and short stories.

Sophie is an almost 15-year old girl that is officially boy crazy, as in one of the most boy crazy characters I've ever read about. Sophie has great friends, is funny, artistic, and pretty likable. The novel takes us along her love life and relationships. Sophie finally gets asked out by Dylan, the boy of her dreams, and totally knows it's true love. At first everything's perfect, she couldn't be happier, but then then she starts noticing weirdness. Sophie doesn't feel right about Dylan, but she isn't sure what to do. On the side, Sophie begins an online romance, and you'll just have to see how that turns out. Sophie is finally ready to move on. She meets Murph, the class dork, unattractive to say the least, and just not cool. She finds herself falling for Murph and having feelings unlike any she's ever had. But how is she going tell her friends that she likes the biggest loser in school? On top of that her parents aren't getting along and her relationship with her mother is getting more complicated everyday.

Sophie and most of the characters in the book were so realistic, it was almost scary. Sophie had those crazy, almost stalkerish moments and thoughts that most teenagers have. Her dreams and fantasies were hilarious, at times a bit too much, but don't we all experience some of those? To say the least the book was very honest. The author doesn't hold back on describing real teenage life, even if weird at times. She was extremely infatuated, to the point where she once said- "I wish I could drink a magic potion and shrink way down until I was small enough to fit into his shirt pocket and live there tucked near to his heart listening to it beating in rhythm with mine every minute of every day."

Along with her love life, Sophie has a complicated relationship with her mother. Her mom doesn't know her daughter as much as she thinks she does. Sophie does the kind of things that her mother would never expect her to do. She is a different person at school and at home. A lot of the situations Sophie experienced with her family were so realistic, you could probably picture yourself going through the same things. Sophie always compares her mom and family to her two best friends' family, longing for what they have. Even though Sophie and her mom get into plenty of fights, Sophie comes to realize that even though she hates her mother at the time, she hates hating her even more.

Most importantly, together with Sophie we learn that there us a huge difference between love and lust and that real love can hide itself behind the most unexpected things. Sophie realized loving someone, really loving someone not just their looks, brings out their beauty and amazing features even more. Sones really captures the feelings you get when falling in love with a guy, trusting yourself,and finding the strength to put your heart above everything else. What My Mother Doesn't Know is a quirky, fun, touching, and fast read that everyone should pick up. Oh and I just found out there is a sequel (What My Girlfriend Doesn't Know), which is already waiting for me on the hold shelf. :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Waiting On Wendsday (2)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we "can't-wait-to-read". 

You Wish by Mandy Hubbard
Release date: August 5th,2010
Summary: (taken  from Amazon)

Kayla McHenry’s sweet sixteen sucks! Her dad left, her grades dropped, and her BFF is dating the boy Kayla’s secretly loved for years. Blowing out her candles, Kayla thinks: I wish my birthday wishes actually came true. Because they never freakin’ do.

Kayla wakes the next day to a life-sized, bright pink My Little Pony outside her window. Then a year’s supply of gumballs arrives. A boy named Ken with a disturbing resemblance to the doll of the same name stalks her. As the ghosts of Kayla’s wishes-past appear, they take her on a wild ride . . . but they MUST STOP. Because when she was fifteen? She wished Ben Mackenzie would kiss her. And Ben is her best friend’s boyfriend. 

This looks like a really interesting read. I think it's going to be really fun! I can't imagine what would happen if all my past birthday wishes came true, it would be crazy. I love the cover too.  I can't wait to read this one :) 

What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (2)

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along. Just do the following:

-Grab your current read.
- Open to a random page.
- Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.
 -BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!
-Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


"Panic set in. Her head started to spin. She backed herself up against the door, whacking her head into the towel hook. That felt good. It was solid, reassuring. She banged it again."
-pg.289, Girl At Sea by Maureen Johnson

Hmm, I don't know how I feel about Girl At Sea yet, one thing is for sure through, it is definitely one of a kind. I'm almost finished with this one, so keep your eye out for a review :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Daily Dose Monday (2)

Daily Dose Monday is hosted by Holly over at Good Golly Miss Holly and features inspiring/magical images that you would like to share with your readers :)








Saturday, February 20, 2010

In My Mailbox (7)

In My Mailbox is a meme originally hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren (click for more information) that shares all the new books you've bought, borrowed, received, or traded for the week. 

Hey guys! I'm so excited, I had such a good week! I finally caved and bought all (almost) the books on my wishlist. I got jealous from all the great books everyone was getting to read :)

Bought/For review:

Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu
Summary: (taken from Goodreads) 

Everyone has secrets. Some are just bigger and dirtier than others.

For sixteen years, Lucy has kept her mother's hoarding a secret. She's had to -- nobody would understand the stacks of newspapers and mounds of garbage so high they touch the ceiling and the rotting smell that she's always worried would follow her out the house. After years of keeping people at a distance, she finally has a best friend and maybe even a boyfriend if she can play it right. As long as she can make them think she's normal.

When Lucy arrives home from a sleepover to find her mother dead under a stack of National Geographics, she starts to dial 911 in a panic, but pauses before she can connect. She barely notices the filth and trash anymore, but she knows the paramedics will. First the fire trucks, and then news cameras that will surely follow. No longer will they be remembered as the nice oncology nurse with the lovely children -- they'll turn into that garbage-hoarding freak family on Collier Avenue.

With a normal life finally within reach, Lucy has only minutes to make a critical decision. How far will she go to keep the family secrets safe?

I'm so excited to read this one, I've seen some amazing reviews about this one! It looks so different and interesting.

Heartless by Sara Shepard
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

The newest installment in Sara Shepard’s bestselling Pretty Little Liars series is packed with juicy drama and delicious surprises that will keep readers guessing to the very end.

Hanna, Aria, Emily, and Spencer have been telling some outrageous tales; only, the proof always seems to go missing. The friends insist they’re telling the truth, but all of Rosewood thinks they’re just out for attention—and nobody likes a girl who cries wolf. So when the big bad killer comes after them, will anyone believe the girls. . . or will they be the next to disappear?

Yes, I finally got my hands on this one! have absolutely fallen in love with the Pretty Little Liars series! All of the books in the series are awesome and I heard this one was even better. I can't wait to see what happens next!

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
Summary: (taken from Goodreads) 

Climbing to the top of the social ladder is hard--falling from it is even harder. Regina Afton used to be a member of the Fearsome Fivesome, an all-girl clique both feared and revered by the students at Hallowell High... until vicious rumors about her and her best friend's boyfriend start going around.

Now Regina's been "frozen out" and her ex-best friends are out for revenge. If Regina was guilty, it would be one thing, but the rumors are far from the terrifying truth and the bullying is getting more intense by the day. She takes solace in the company of Michael Hayden, a misfit with a tragic past who she herself used to bully. Friendship doesn't come easily for these onetime enemies, and as Regina works hard to make amends for her past, she realizes Michael could be more than just a friend... if threats from the Fearsome Foursome don't break them both first. 

This definitely sounds like my kind of book! I've only heard good things about this one :) 

The Naughty List by Suzanne Young

Summary: (taken from Goodreads) 

As if being a purrfect cheerleader isn’t enough responsibility!

Tessa Crimson’s the sweet and spunky leader of the SOS (Society of Smitten Kittens), a cheer squad–turned–spy society dedicated to bringing dastardly boyfriends to justice, one cheater at a time. Boyfriend-busting wouldn’t be so bad . . . except that so far, every suspect on the Naughty List has been proven 100% guilty!

When Tessa’s own boyfriend shows up on the List, she turns her sleuthing skills on him. Is Aiden just as naughty as all the rest, or will Tessa’s sneaky ways end in catastrophe?

The Naughty List. Is your boyfriend on it? 

This looks like such a fun, light read! Lucky me it is even a series :) 

Devious by Cecily von Ziegesar
Summary:(taken from Goodreads)  

The ninth engrossing novel in the #1 bestselling It Girl series. Popular Gossip Girl

It's January, and a new semester at Waverly Academy means one thing: new students. Make that hot new students. A gorgeous brother-sister pair is taking Waverly by storm, and the campus is abuzz with fresh gossip and even fresher crushes. But while all the girls are busy drooling over the new it-guy, they'd better watch their backs-because his sister is going to give them all a run for their money. After all, there can only be one It Girl... 
character Jenny Humphrey never goes looking for trouble; but trouble always seems to find her. What Waverly Academy mischief will Jenny, Tinsley, and Callie stir up now?  

I love love the It Girl series! It never gets old, I can't wait to read this one! 

Library/For review:

Wake by Lisa McMann
Summary: (taken from Goodreads) 

Ever since she was eight years old, high school student Janie Hannagan has been uncontrollably drawn into other people's dreams, but it is not until she befriends an elderly nursing home patient and becomes involved with an enigmatic fellow-student that she discovers her true power. 

Since everyone in the bloggoshpere has been so excited about the third book coming out, I decided had to try out this series. It looks really intriguing!

Hate List by Jennifer Brown
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

Five months ago, Valerie Leftman's boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Shot trying to stop him, Valerie inadvertently saved the life of a classmate, but was implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create. A list of people and things she and Nick hated. The list he used to pick his targets.

Now, after a summer of seclusion, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year. Haunted by the memory of the boyfriend she still loves and navigating rocky relationships with her family, former friends and the girl whose life she saved, Val must come to grips with the tragedy that took place and her role in it, in order to make amends and move on with her life.

I've read reviews claiming that this was one of their favorites. It look so good, I can't wait :)

The September Sisters by Jillian Cantor
Summary: (taken from Goodreads) 

Abigail Reed and her younger sister, Becky, are always at each other's throats. Their mother calls them the September Sisters, because their birthdays are only a day apart, and pretends that they're best friends. But really, they delight in making each other miserable. Then Becky disappears in the middle of the night, and a torn gold chain with a sapphire heart charm is the only clue to the mystery of her kidnapping. Abby struggles to cope with her own feelings of guilt and loss as she tries to keep her family together. When her world is at its bleakest, Abby meets a new neighbor, Tommy, who is dealing with his own loss, and the two of them discover that love can bloom, even when it's surrounded by thorns.

I love books about relationships with sisters, this looks really intense.  

Received/For review:

Sofi Mendoza's Guide to Getting Lost in Mexico by Malin Alegria
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

Do you guys have Internet?"..."How about TiVo?"..."You do get American TV?" The house was dark. Wait a minute -- do they even have electricity?Even though Sofi Mendoza was born in Mexico, she's spent most of her life in California -- the closest she gets to a south-of-the-border experience is eating at Taco Bell. But when Sofi and her friends sneak off for a weekend in Tijuana, she gets in real trouble. To Sofi's shock, the border patrol says that her green card is counterfeit. Until her parents can sort out the paperwork and legal issues, Sofi is stuck in Mexico.

In the meantime, Sofi's parents arrange for her to stay with long-lost relatives in rural Baja. It's bad enough that Sofi has to miss senior prom and even graduation, but her aunt, uncle, and cousins live on a ranch with no indoor plumbing! As the weeks pass, though, she finds herself adapting to her surroundings. Sofi starts helping out on the ranch, getting along with her bratty cousins, and she even meets a guy with more potential than anyone from school. Through the unexpected crash course in her heritage, Sofi comes to appreciate that she has a home on both sides of the border. 

This looks really interesting. Much thanks go to Courtney ( honorary sister #18) for giving me this book to read and review- it was even signed by the author :)

Whoa, so many good books to choose from! Now how in the world am I going to pick one to read first, any suggestions? 

What's in your mailbox?

Friday, February 19, 2010

How To Say Goodbye In Robot by Natalie Standiford

Book Review #19
How To Say Goodbye In Robot by Natalie Standiford
Rating: Four stars (refer to the rating system on the right)

Summary: (taken from inside flap- I thought it was more fitting than the Goodreads description)

New to town, Bea is expecting her new best friend to be one of the girls she meets on the first day. You know the type: very cheery, very friendly, very average. But instead, the alphabet conspires to seat her next to Jonah, aka Ghost Bot, a quiet observer who hasn't made a new friends since third grade. He's not a big fan of people in general...but he's willing to make an exception for her. Maybe.

Bea and Jonah are not going to have a friendship like other people have a friendship, where it's all based on gossip and parties and what everybody else thinks. Instead, their friendship comes from truth-bound conversations, shared secrets, daring stunts, and late-night calls to the same old-timer radio show. They help each other and hurt each other, push away and hold close. It's not a romance, exactly-but it's definitely love. And it means more to them than either once can ever really know....

Whoa, a few words to describe How To Say Goodbye In Robot would be strange, weird, wacky, and definitely not normal, but that's why I liked it so much. There may be few things that were normal in this book. I'm used to books with similar plots and storylines, so this was like taking a taste of a new exotic dish. Along with be different it was sweet, funny, brutally honest, and warm. I wasn't really sure what to expect, I thought it was going to be a romancish love story, but I don't think I could classify this one as a romance novel. It definitely has love, but a different kind of love.

Bea's constants moves and parents' troubled relationship left her struggling to show her emotions, afraid to grow attached to people and places, and left believing she is actually  the cold, emotionless person everyone thinks she's become (Robot Girl). Luckily it is senior year and it's Bea and her family make one last stop in Baltimore. The private school she goes to is small, with everyone having known everyone else forever. Bea meets Jonah aka Ghost Boy. Jonah, is the school outsider, he has few friends, and no one really knows why. If only they knew that he lost his twin brother Matthew and his mother in a car accident, leaving him changed forever.  Beatrice sets her mind on becoming friends, she sees something in him. 

I've never read about a friendship quite like Robot Girl's and Ghost Boy's. The two form a memorable friendship, based on Night Life, a quirky nighttime radio show, and family secrets. They form an powerful friendship, complicated by Jonah's obsession with his mentally disabled twin brother, who his father had told him died along with Bea's own problems dealing with her wacky parents. There relationship is definitely tested, but for some reason Bea can't stay away from Jonah. Jonah and Bea are never a couple - they are so much more. It's complicated they are more than friends, not lovers, but they certainly each fill a hole in the others' lives, the question is whether Jonah's hole is to deep to fill.

I loved a lot of the characters in this book, they all were different, and you learned a little bit about each of them. You even get to meet the characters on the Night Life show, all of the people start to get to know each other by their on-air personalities and they even meet in person on occasion. I loved the radio show, it was hilarious and fun to "listen in" to. Then there's Bea's mother-she's kind of crazy. First off she's obsessed with chickens, gets "sick" all the time, and in her spare time her and Bea would dress up and reenact crazy scenes.Of course, I fell in love with Bea and Jonah too, who both significantly change. 

I"m not really sure how I feel about the ending. I can't describe how I'm feeling without giving it away, but in a way I'm feeling a bit heartbroken, but definitely touched. It was kind of nice how everything came together, I had no idea, but everything Jonah did everything for a reason (It leaves you going "Oh that's why he did that!"). Although I didn't love the ending, it doesn't make or break the book.

Overall, wow what a memorable book. How To Say Goodbye In Robot is not like anything you've read before. True honest friendship (maybe even more), painfully realistic characters- that weren't normal, but were OK with it, laugh out loud moments, and so much more, what more could you ask for. I almost forgot, I loved the setup of the book- separated by months which was a great way to tell time, and a pink and black interior which I loved. I'm so happy I finally read this one, if this is in your TBR pile, move it up to the top :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Awards Time!

Whoa, I can't believe it's been over a month since I started blogging! I really do love it :) Thank you so so much for all my followers (90!) and all the comments, I really appreciate it! I got a couple of lovely awards this past week or so that  I would love to share with you guys.

I received the Bliss (Happy 101) Award from Amelia over at Imagination in Focus, thanks Amelia :)


The rules for this Bliss (Happy 101) Award are that I must list 10 things that make me happy, then pass it along to 10 other bloggers.

1. Spending time with my wonderfully crazy huge family (six sisters and two brothers)
2. Blogging of course!
3. Watching UK college basketball with the people I love (#2 in the country woot-woot)
4. Reading, reading, and more reading :)
5. Monday night TV shows (I have six of them eeek) complete with treats and pina-coladas.
6. Snuggling up under the covers listening to the rain at night.
7. Playing in the snow and then warming up by the fireplace after.
8. Laying on the roof with a blanket and a good book in the middle of the night.
9. Having long crazy chats about everything and nothing with the best friends a girl could have.
10. Jumping on the trampoline at night with wonderful people.

I would like to send this award on over to ten awesome bloggers!

Britt at Reading Nook
Runa at One Reader's Trash is Another Reader's Treasure
Mari and Keysha at Smart Girls Read
Emidy at Une Parole
Jessica at Forever Young
Stephanie at Laughing Stars
Michelle at Michelle's Bookshelf
Bere at Sueños En La Luna
Morgan at Smitten With Books
The Compulsive Reader

I also got the Blogger Buddie Award over from The Serpentine Library, thanks so much!

I would love to pass this along to some more great bloggers.

Amelia  at Imagination In Focus
Christina T at Reading Extensively
Faye at Ramblings of a Teenage Bookworm
Tales of Wimsy

The last award I got is from Christina over at Reading Extensively, thanks!


I would like to pass on this award to:
Jami at YA Addict
Melissa at I Swim For Ocean

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (1)

I decided to try out another weekly meme called Teaser Tuesday. Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along. Just do the following:

-Grab your current read.
- Open to a random page.
- Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.
 -BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!
-Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


"All this time I've had this weird feeling, like a phantom limb," he said. "You know how, when they cut off your leg or something, they say you can still feel it even after it's gone? Your foot itches, you go to scratch it... but there's nothing to scratch. That's how I felt for ten years. Like something-or someone-is connected to me by an invisible cord, and it's always tugging, tugging, tugging...but when I try to reel it in, there's nothing on the other end." 
-pg.70, How To Say Goodbye In Robot by Natalie Standiford

OK, that was more than two sentence, but I couldn't help it :) I'm almost finished with this one and so far it is really...different. Look out for a review coming soon!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Daily Dose Monday (1)

I was blog searching again and I found the coolest meme! Daily Dose Monday is hosted by Holly over at Good Golly Miss Holly and features inspiring/magical images that you would like to share with your readers :)


Sunday, February 14, 2010

In My Mailbox (6)

In My Mailbox is a meme originally hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren (click for more information) that shares all the new books you've bought, borrowed, received, or traded for the week.  

Hey there! I read some great books this week, thank goodness my book slump is officially over. I really need to finish up my growing TBR pile, but I couldn't help it and got a couple of random books.

Oh and how could I forget- Happy Valentine's Day <3!

Library/For review:

The Isabel Factor by Gayle Friesen
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

When the fearless Zoe breaks her arm in a fall, Anna must brave summer camp -- and her debut as a Counselor In Training -- without her best friend. Going it alone is not something Anna is ready for. Cruising along in Zoe's shadow had been comfortable, but now Anna is out in the full glare of the sun. There's no hiding from harsh truths and plenty of people to point them out. Take Karim, the swim instructor, who has suddenly turned gorgeous but obviously hates Anna. And Anna's new friend and cabinmate Isabel -- rainbow hair, sharp tongue and no boundaries. Sooner or later Anna will have to face another hard truth: things have changed between her and Zoe and there's no going back into the shadows. But where can Anna hide when just being herself isn't nearly enough?

Hmm, I'm not really sure about this one. I thought that it looked like a good light read.

What My Mother Doesn't Know By Sonya Sones
 Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

My name is Sophie.
This book is about me.
It tells
the heart-stoppingly riveting story
of my first love.
And also of my second.
And, okay, my third love too.
It's not that I'm boy crazy.
It's just that even though
I'm almost fifteen
it's like
my mind
and my body
and my heart
just don't seem to be able to agree
on anything.

I've never read a book in lyrical verse, so I'm excited to try it out! It looks really interesting and I've heard good things about it :)

Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

Tells, from four points of view, the ramifications of a pregnancy resulting from a "one-time thing" between Ellie, who feels loved when boys touch her, and Josh, an eager virgin with a troubled home life.

I really like the cover of this one. It looks like it could be a good read. 

Bought/For review:

Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

Lee Fiora is an intelligent, observant fourteen-year-old when her father drops her off in front of her dorm at the prestigious Ault School in Massachusetts. She leaves her animated, affectionate family in South Bend, Indiana, at least in part because of the boarding school’s glossy brochure, in which boys in sweaters chat in front of old brick buildings, girls in kilts hold lacrosse sticks on pristinely mown athletic fields, and everyone sings hymns in chapel.

As Lee soon learns, Ault is a cloistered world of jaded, attractive teenagers who spend summers on Nantucket and speak in their own clever shorthand. Both intimidated and fascinated by her classmates, Lee becomes a shrewd observer of–and, ultimately, a participant in–their rituals and mores. As a scholarship student, she constantly feels like an outsider and is both drawn to and repelled by other loners. By the time she’s a senior, Lee has created a hard-won place for herself at Ault. But when her behavior takes a self-destructive and highly public turn, her carefully crafted identity within the community is shattered.

Ultimately, Lee’s experiences–complicated relationships with teachers; intense friendships with other girls; an all-consuming preoccupation with a classmate who is less than a boyfriend and more than a crush; conflicts with her parents, from whom Lee feels increasingly distant, coalesce into a singular portrait of the painful and thrilling adolescence universal to us all.

I actually didn't hear the best things about this book, but I really like books set in a boarding schools. I thought I might give it a shot. 

That's about it for this week, not the best week in the world, but I have some awesome books from last week that I can't wait to read :)

What's in your mailbox?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Book Review #18
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
Rating: Five stars (refer to the rating system on the right)

Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

"Don't worry, Anna. I'll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it."
"Promise me? Promise you won't say anything?"
"Don't worry." I laughed. "It's our secret, right?"

According to her best friend Frankie, twenty days in is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy ever day, there's a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there's something she hasn't told Frankie---she's already had that kind of romance, and it was with Frankie's older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

Beautifully written and emotionally honest, this is a debut novel that explores what it truly means to love someone and what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every single moment this world has to offer.

I've only heard great things about this book, but I never expected it to become one of my favorite books. Twenty Boy Summer basically took all the things I love and wrapped it up in this one book: a summer read, amazing characters, romance, the true meaning of friendship, loss, and learning how to let go. A perfect quote to describe Twenty Boy Summer would be "Breaks your heart and puts it back together again (Jo Knowles)." I have to admit, I teared up twice, sad tears in the beginning and happy tears at the end. I don't think I can really describe how I feel about this book, heart-warming, amazing, isn't even the beginning.

Anna, Frankie, and older brother Matt, have been best friends and neighbors since as long as Anna can remember. Anna tells almost everything to Frankie, except the little fact that she is in love with her older brother and best friend Matt. On Anna's fifteen birthday Matt returns the feelings with a magical kiss. The two share a secret relationship, stealing away every free moment alone. Matt agrees to tell Frankie the truth when they went on vacation, making Anna promise to keep this secret. During a tragic accident, Matt dies leaving a hole in Anna’s heart, as well as a huge secret to keep. For a year now Anna has been keeping their secret.  As the months pass, Anna hides her true feelings and is always there to help Frankie. Anna is invited to go along with the Frankie and her family to California for the summer. Frankie comes up with the twenty boy summer thinking Anna kind find her first love, Anna can't do anything but go along.

Anna and Frankie were great main characters, they were realistic 16 year old lifetime best friends. Ockler created a friendship with ups and downs but always strong during the struggling hardships and arguments. I could really relate to the almost sister friendship Anna and Frankie shared. I felt all of the emotions Anna went through, from crying, laughing, and even feeling that giddiness and excitement she gets when she meets someone that makes her think she can actually let go. From Anna's experiences you learn so many useful life lessons, such as finding out that new memories can't erase the old ones.  

Although Matt was not alive for most of the book, he is still a huge part of the story. I clung onto each part of  every memory and bits of information describing Matt. Matt seemed like a really great person. At times I found myself wishing he would just come back. Ockler created the perfect way of showing the constant struggle to pretend to be OK, wishing to remember the past but still letting go what needs to be done. You receive enough information about Matt that leads you to really understand  the pain and grief the characters go through.

The setting of the book, made it just that much better. The girls spend their summer vacation in California for the "Absolutely Best Summer Ever" or ABSE for short. The summer isn't picture perfect, it reminded me of my actual experiences I had when I went to the beach. The descriptions and writing really makes you appreciate the beauty of the ocean and beach. Unlike other books, the descriptions literally make you feel. I could almost hear the sound of the ocean, the breeze in the wind, and the warmth on my feet as I walked around the sand.

There are so many more great things I loved about this book, but it would seriously take me forever. There are so many memorable quotes-even passages- that I won't forget. At times they were even lyrical such as,"I just swallow hard. Nod and smile. One foot in front of the other. I'm fine, thanks for not asking" (Ockler 273) and "I really don't even know you and yet in my life you are forever entangled to my history inextricably bound" (Ockler 266).Whew, that was one of the longest reviews I have ever written, which just shows how strongly I feel about this book. There aren't any complaints I can think about this one, just a warning that there are some more mature concepts in the book for younger readers to look out for. Just thinking about Twenty Boy Summer makes me smile. If you haven't read this one yet, I strongly recommend that you do. Don't let the title fool you, this book is definitely not just a beach read.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Author Interview: Tina Ferraro

I'm very excited to host my very first author interview. Thanks to Tina Ferraro, author of The ABC's of Kissing Boys, Top Ten Uses For An Unworn Prom Dress, and How To Hook a Hottie, for donating her time!

What are some of your favorite books?

I love a variety of genres and authors, but favorite young adult books include A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly, When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.

How did you come up with the idea for The ABC's of Kissing Boys?

Well, I'd had an idea about how horrible it would be to have your whole JV team promoted to varsity without you...and the title struck me while I was watching a local my problem was mostly how to connect the two.  Then I got the idea for a kissing booth, and then a sports fair...and the book was off and running.
If you could choose any theme song for The ABC's of Kissing Boys what would it be and why?

My daughter just told me that Kanye West has a song called "Heartless," and of course, that's what Parker calls her coach, so while I have not heard it, I'm going to say that.

If you could speak to any writer, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

Stephen King.  Not for his horror element, but his ability to create such realistic characters who make the reader feel.  Plus, I hear he's a humble guy, and in this day and age of big celebrity egos, I find that refreshing.

Describe your typical day work day as an author.

No two days are the same, but often my days starts and ends with e-mail and Facebook, and the writing is sandwiched in the quieter moments in between.

What can your readers look forward to next?

My agent is currently shopping a book called Half-Life, and while it is set in contemporary times and is humorous like my other three books, this one's got some paranormal and deeply emotional elements, too.  I am hopeful that editors and readers will feel as strongly about it as I do!

Would you like to add anything?
I love hearing from readers!  Please find me on Facebook or write to me at And check me out at my blogs at and, where we do lots of book giveaways!

Thanks, Sara!

P.S. Have you heard about the mudslides in California?  I live in that area and keep getting evacuated from my fact...I am on alert right now.  So if I suddenly don't respond, that's why, okay?  I don't always have internet access.

Thanks again to Tina Ferraro for a wonderful interview! I can't wait to read more of her work :)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

In My Mailbox (5)

In My Mailbox is a meme originally hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren (click for more information) that shares all the new books you've bought, borrowed, received, or traded for the week.  

Hey everyone! I'm still working on last weeks haul of books. I'm currently reading Twenty Boy Summer and am absolutely loving it so far! Look out for a review very soon! It's kind of funny, before I started my own blog, I didn't have much of a TBR pile, but now its growing every week! I didn't get too much this week.

Received/For Review:

Top Ten Uses For an Unworn Prom Dress by Tina Ferraro
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

Sophomore year, Nicolette Antonovich was dumped two days before prom by the hottest guy at school. As a result, she became the proud owner of one unworn, perfectly magical pink vintage dress. But Nic is determined to put that night behind her for good. She's a junior now— older, wiser, and completely overwhelmed by a new set of problems: (1) The bank's ready to foreclose on her childhood home. (2) Her father's too busy with his "replacement" daughter to care. (3) Her best friend's brother is an eternal thorn in her side. (4) Her best friend isn't exactly the rose attached to that thorn. (5) Rumors are flying around school that could get her kicked off the volleyball team, which would (6) ruin all chances of a college scholarship. (7) She still likes the boy who dumped her in the first place. (8) And what in the world do you do with an unworn prom dress, anyway? Strangely, it's getting to the bottom of this last dilemma that just might hold the answer to all Nic's problems.

Much thanks goes to Tine Ferraro for sending this one in! I can't wait to read it, I love the cover! It sounds like a really cute read :)

Library/For review: 

Razzle by Ellen Wittlinger
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

Quiet Kenyon Baker is a little disgruntled. Always a good kid, Ken has never given his elderly parents much trouble. But now they have retired to Cape Cod and bought an old set of beachfront rental cabins, and suddenly, they're paying more attention to Ken than ever before--especially when it comes to cleaning, painting, and repairing. He just wants to be left alone to work on his one passion--photography. Then he meets Razzle Penney, the teen caretaker of the town dump. Razzle challenges and inspires him with her blunt manner and junkyard art. But his blossoming friendship with her is put on hold when Ken catches the eye of beautiful, dangerous Harley, Razzle's sworn enemy. Ken photographs both of them, but it's Razzle's, not Harley's pictures that stun and amaze those that see them. Ken is caught between his head and his heart when Harley pushes him to display her pictures instead of Razzle's in a local art show. To make matters worse, Razzle has just discovered a terrible secret about her past that threatens to ruin her future. Will Ken turn his back on his friend and muse during this awful time just to stay on good terms with the best-looking girl in town?

I found this one randomly, lately I've been really enjoying those random reads. I love love summer/beach reads, especially with all the snow outside! 

Are These My Basoomas I See Before Me? by Louise Rennison
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

A bit early to get swoony knickers but I have got them on.

For Georgia, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Just when she thought she was the official one-and-only girlfriend of Masimo, he's walked off into the night with the full hump, leaving Georgia all aloney on her owney—again. All because Dave the Laugh tried to do fisticuffs at dawn with him! 

Two boys fighting over Georgia? It's almost as romantic as Romeo and Juliet . . . though perhaps a touch less tragic.

It's time for Georgia to get to the bottom (oo-er) of this Dave the Laugh spontaneous puckering business once and for all. It's like they always say: If you snog a mate in the forest of red bottomosity and no one is around to see it, is he still a mate? Or is he something more?

Yay, I finally got a hold of this one! I love the Georgia Nicolson series, they are so funny! I didn't even know there was another installment of the series, but I'm really glad there is!

Privilege by Kate Brian
Summary:(taken from Goodreads)

Most girls would die for a life of privilege...
Some would even kill for it.

Ariana Osgood ruled exclusive Easton Academy -- until she was arrested for murdering Thomas Pearson. She's spent the past two years at the Brenda T. Trumbull Correctional Facility for Women plotting her escape and is determined to get a second chance at the glamorous life she left behind. And Ariana will do anything to get her way....

From the author of the bestselling Private novels comes a new series about the dark world of wealth, secrets, and Privilege.

I really fell in love with The Private series and I heard that Privilege was just as good! It's about time I tried this series out :) 

What's in your mailbox?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sharing Sam by Katherine Applegate

Book Review #17
Sharing Sam by Katherine Applegate
Rating: Four stars (review to the rating system on the right)

Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

How can you take the guy your best friend loves . . . when your best friend’s going to die?

Alison Chapman has always believed she’d fall in love hard. And she does—with Sam Cody, a new guy with a gorgeous face and brooding eyes, a guy who’s impossible to resist. When Sam asks her to the Valentine’s Day dance, Alison is elated . . . until she finds out that her best friend, Isabella Cates-Lopez, has fallen for Sam,too . . . until she finds out that Isabella is dying. Now Alison wants Isabella’s last days to be her happiest ever—even if she and Sam have to hide their love. Even if, by sharing Sam, Alison risks losing him forever.

I just finished reading Sharing Sam a few minutes ago, I can literally say I devoured it in one sitting. I feel a bunch of different things all at one, emotional/touched, and even sad that the book ended so quickly. I almost wished a read it slower, so it would last longer. Sharing Sam is a unique story that covers just about everything from love, loss, humor, and the sacrifices made for true friendship. Risk-taking high school student Alison Chapman hears rumors about the "gorgeous" new kid Sam Cody. Alison gets to make her own judgments about Sam while practically saving his life. From then on, Alison knew she had deep feelings for Sam, those butterfly sickening stomach feelings. On the other hand, her best friend, Isabella Cates-Lopez, finds out out that she is diagnosed with cancer, dying, but also falling in love with Sam. Alison doesn't know what to do, she doesn't have the heart to tell her about her feelings/relationship with Sam. She becomes torn between telling the truth or lying to protect someone you care about. Allison comes up with a plan, to share Sam. 

I really couldn't decide whether Allison was doing the right thing or not. I loved her character, she was honestly a good person, who wants to help others. This might just be me, but I really liked how the main characters acted their age, in other books I feel like the characters act way older than they actually are. Along with liking Allison and Izzy, I loved Sam. He was mysterious at first, but once you find out the truth to the "rumors", you can't help but fall in love with Sam. He's sweet and just different than other boys. The book was written a couple of years ago, so it was a bit outdated, but it wasn't a problem. The story had a bit of a twist at the end, which was a surprise. 

Overall, I glad I picked this book up last second. I did have some tears, not all sad ones, near the end, so make sure to be prepared with a box of tissues nearby. My only wish was that the book was longer, but other than that if your looking for a deeper romantic, emotional read, that will leave you thinking at the end, pick this one up!