Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (19)

"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".

The Lying Game by Sara Shepard
Release date:  January 18th 2011 
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

Foster kid Emma Paxton has only just discovered Sutton Mercer, the wealthy twin sister she never knew she had, when Sutton drops off the face of the earth, asking Emma to cover for her at home, school, and with her friends—just for a few days. At first Emma enjoys trying on her sister’s fabulous life: her fiercely loyal friends, her adoring boyfriend, her close-knit family. But as Emma is drawn deeper into Sutton’s world she finds the friends are not so fabulous, the boyfriend is not who she wants to be with, and the family is clinging to long-buried secrets and a veneer of functionality. And worst of all, Sutton may not be coming back. In fact, someone may have made sure she never could…and that someone knows Emma is not who she claims to be. Emma will need all her wits to survive The Lying Game. 

New York Times bestselling author Sara Shepard’s new series weaves a mystery of long-lost twins, mistaken identities, a duplicitous circle of friends, and cold-blooded murder. Combining juicy plot lines, to-die-for lifestyles, a tangled web of friendship and romance, magnetic characters, and sharp-witted narration from the afterlife, The Lying Game is an alluring cross between Pretty Little Liars and The Lovely Bones. 

This sounds super good! I love Sara Shepard. I'm one of the Pretty Little Liars series biggest fans, so I'm sure this will be amazing! Can't wait :)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (14)

 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!


"And even though Roger couldn't see me and I him, I was suddenly glad for the darkness in the car.  It made it easier to pretend that he couldn't see that I was trying hard not to cry, that my chin had apparently taken on a life of its own, and I no longer had any control over it."

-pg. 187, Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Oh goodness, I'm loving this book SO much. I'm trying to space it out, to make it last longer. Review to come soon :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Daily Dose Monday (18)

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 :)

Winners of Sea Change!

And the winners of a paperback copy of Sea Change are:

Medeia from Medeia Sharif
Kassandra from Eternal Night

Congrats to both of you! I'll be e-mailing you shortly. Thank you SO much for everyone who entered and to those who spread the word! I had over 200 entries! And for those of you who didn't win Sea Change is now in paperback, so make sure to get a copy. Overall my first contest was great. Who knew hosting contests were so much fun?! I'll be have plenty more coming up :D

*Winners were chosen from

Saturday, June 26, 2010

In My Mailbox (23)

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 not too bad week. I didn't get too many books, but I'm really excited about the ones I got! And I have some books from book tours coming in really soon, yay :D

Received in mail/won:

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn't seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she's coming to terms with her father's death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road--diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards--this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself. 

I've heard soooo many good things about this one. I caved in and put it in my Border's shopping cart, but a day later I somehow won it from Cindy over at Princess Bookie! Thanks again Cindy. Yay I'm so excited. I'll be starting on this one bright and early tomorrow morning on a very long car ride :) 

Library/for review:

The Awakening (Darkest Powers #2) by Kelley Armstrong
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

If you had met me a few weeks ago, you probably would have described me as an average teenage girl—someone normal. Now my life has changed forever and I'm as far away from normal as it gets. A living science experiment—not only can I see ghosts, but I was genetically altered by a sinister organization called the Edison Group. What does that mean? For starters, I'm a teenage necromancer whose powers are out of control; I raise the dead without even trying. Trust me, that is not a power you want to have. Ever. 

Now I'm running for my life with three of my supernatural friends—a charming sorcerer, a cynical werewolf, and a disgruntled witch—and we have to find someone who can help us before the Edison Group finds us first. Or die trying. 

So...I just finished reading the first book in this series. And it just happened like that, I fell in LOVE. I got my hands on this one as soon as I could. I can't wait to read it! Unforgettably I'm going to have to wait a little bit for the third book because of the long hold list. 

Breathless by Jessica Warman
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

When Katie Kitrell is shipped off to boarding school by her distant father and overbearing mother, it doesn’t take her long to become part of the It Crowd. She’s smart, she’s cute, and she’s an Olympic-bound swimmer who has a first class ticket to any Ivy League school of her choice. But what her new friends, roommate, and boyfriend don’t know is that Katie is swimming away from her past, and from her schizophrenic older brother, Will, who won’t let her go. And when he does the unthinkable, it’s all Katie can do to keep her head above water. 

 I decided to give this one a go. It sounds pretty interesting and I'm a fan of the cover.  

OK so that's it for this week. Oh and I also put Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins on hold at the library. Guess how many people are in front of me? 101! Isn't that crazy? I went ahead and pre-ordered it instead :)

And last thing I promise! Today (Sunday) is the last day to win a copy Sea Change by Aimee Friedman, so make sure to enter if you haven't already! Click HERE.

What's in your mailbox?

The Worst of Me by Kate Le Van

Book review #50
The Worst of Me by Kate Le Van
Rating: Four stars

Summary: (taken from back of the book)
Cassidy has been feeling unsettled and adrift, but things look up when she meets an older boy called Jonah. She loves spending time with him and his friends, flattered to be included in their discussions. Jonah is sweet and sensitive and she’s never felt so happy.

But then Cassidy hears disturbing news about Jonah which shakes her trust in him and makes her question her own judgment. If you love someone, how far should you go to overlook their faults?A sharply insightful story about the sometimes painful process of growing up and thinking for yourself.

All I knew about The Worst of Me was that it was a story about love, but I was surprised to find that it was SO much more than that.  It really made on impact on me, it was actually meaningful and deep. With romance, life, religion, and coming of age, The Worst of Me really stood out amongst the rest.

Cassidy isn't all that happy right now. Her dad left her and her mom for someone else, and now she's stuck with her mom's new boyfriend instead. Her ex dumped her for someone better than her and on top of all that she's confused about who she is. But when she meets Jonah, the older boy,  and everything changes. She loves being in love and is sure about something for once.  Jonah and his friends quickly move into Cassidy's life. When Cassidy discovers some disturbing things about her new friends, she has to decide how far she's willing to go for love...

Gosh there was so many things I loved about this book. It was set in England, which really added a lot to the book. It was nice to visit someplace else other than the U.S. The way the characters talked and did things was really interesting. The writing was a little bit different, but you definitely got used to it.

The characters were very well developed. Cassidy was a really relatable main character. Her thoughts and insecurities were real. Cassidy was intellectual, although she might not have known it. As for Jonah, I didn't love him so much. I could tell he was confused about who he was as in individual as opposed to his group of friends. Sam, Cassidy's gay friend, was one of my favorites! I just loved him, he was so sweet and funny. He always knew what to say. I would to have him as a friend :)

Aside from the romance and coming of age aspects, religion was sprinkled into the mix.  Kate did a beautiful job in not disrespecting anyone and showing all the different perspectives. Islam was one of the main conflicts, and it was really interesting to see how it was viewed in another country other than America. 

Overall I really enjoyed this novel...a lot. I'm glad I got a chance to read it. A huge thanks goes to Kate herself for sending me this one (she even signed it too). The card she sent along with it was so nice! I definitely recommend giving this one a try :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

More Awards!

I got The Versatile Blogger award from quite a few awesome people! Thank you SO much Rae from In the Forest, Danielle from With a Book, Megan from Read It, See It,

Here are the rules:
1. List 7 random things about yourself
2. Share the award with up to 15 other bloggers
3. Link to each of the recipients and let them know they've won via comments on their blogs
4. Thank and bring the love back to the person you won the award from by linking back to them.

7 things about me:
1. I mainly speak English, but I also speak Arabic.
2. Whenever I start something I become completely and insanely obsessed with it (twitter for example, my new thing haha).
3.I don't like the sound of silence, I almost always have music playing in the background.
4. I'm a foodie! And so is the rest of my family. I love trying new delicious things (even though I'm super picky). Thankfully we all got blessed with fast metabolism.
5. In October of this year, I started homeschooling. It taught me a lot about myself. Although in the end I don't think it is right for me. I probably won't be continuing with it. Although one thing is for sure, without homeschooling I would have never had this blog! 
6. I talk...a lot. I could go on for hours and hours about everything and nothing. I even make up some new words or abbreviations sometime, which surprisingly catches one!
7. I don't like the taste of water. Isn't that crazy? I mean water doesn't really have a taste, I guess I don't prefer it in general. The only times I'll drink it is after the gym.

I would love to pass this on to: these new lovely blogs I found:
The Ninja Librarian
Niki's Book Reviews
Collegiate Bookworm
Bite Me
Book Lovers Review
Swords For Fighting
The Book Eater 

I got the Stylish Blogger Award from the lovely Super at Super Librarian. Thank you so much! To accept the award, I must list five random things about myself and then pass it on to five other bloggers.

Five of my favorite things (since I already listed 7 random things about me):
1. Candy! I love love candy. I always have some hanging around my room. Sour patch kids are my favorite.
2. Getting a new book in the mail, espeically the surprises.
3. Reading before bed, snuggling up under the covers-it's even better when it's raining outside.
4. Pictures. I love everything about them. Taking them, editing them, and making scrapbooks with them.
5. Cooking and baking. I love to whip up new concoctions, like my "magic sandwich" that's pretty famous around town if I say so myself haha ;)

I'm going to pass this award on to some of my favorites (I couldn't help it and added three more):
Suenos En La Luna
I Have a Dream
YA Addict
Une Parole
Forever Young
21 Pages
Books at Midnight

I also received the Bodacious Blogger Book Reviewers Award from Swimmer over Books, Writing, and More. Thank you! I've already gotten this one so I won't be passing it on again.

Lastly a big thanks goes to Katie over at Book Love for passing on the Sunshine Award. Thanks Katie!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Two Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt

Book review #49
Two Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt
Rating: Four and a half stars 

Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

There are two sides to every breakup. This is Jordan and Courtney, totally in love. Sure, they were an unlikely high school couple. But they clicked; it worked. They're even going to the same college, and driving cross-country together for orientation. Then Jordan dumps Courtney -- for a girl he met on the Internet. It's too late to change plans, so the road trip is on. Courtney's heartbroken, but figures she can tough it out for a few days. La la la -- this is Courtney pretending not to care. But in a strange twist, Jordan cares. A lot. Turns out, he's got a secret or two that he's not telling Courtney. And it has everything to do with why they broke up, why they can't get back together, and how, in spite of it all, this couple is destined for each other. 

Two Way Street is one sweet entertaining read. It's one of those books that have just the right ingredients that make it pretty close to perfect. Emotion, laughter, and plain cuteness filled each and every page. I was really surprised at how laugh out loud funny this book was! Almost every character, even the minor ones were hilarious. I had a wonderful time on Jordan and Courtney's crazy road trip adventure.

Jordan and Courtney are two people that normally wouldn't be together. To both their surprise together that had something special with each other. Everything was going great, until Courtney finds herself dumped for some girl Jordan met online. Courtney is completely broken and horrified that she is being forced on the pre-planned road trip she has to go on. It's going to be every bit as painful to go through with the trip, but for completely other reasons. Together you discover the truth behind the breakup...

It love the setup of this book. I got to see both sides of the breakup/couple-alternating between Courtney and Jordan's point of view. You also got to see flashbacks of the past, including how they met. They were just too cure. It was funny how much they thought alike. Courtney and Jordan are one those couples who are just meant to be, no matter what happens. Jordan was a great representation of a male teenager, Lauren Barnholdt really got it spot on. And once you find out his side of the story, you start to love him even more. Even the minor characters were well developed. Both of their best friends went out with each other as well. Joyce and B.J. were so crazy together, but so fun to read about.

I literally flew through this book. I was sad when it was over, I could have read a lot more without ever getting board. Delicious would be a great word to describe this one. Two Way Street is light, lovable, and hilarious! I can't wait to read Lauren Barnholdt's upcoming releases. It's hard to think how somehow wouldn't enjoy Two Way Street. I most definitely recommend you to check this one out :D

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (18)

"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".

Aces Up by Lauren Barnholdt
Release date: August 10th 2010
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

Seventeen-year-old high school senior Shannon Card needs money. And lots of it. She's been admitted to Wellesley, but her dad just lost his job, and somehow she has to come up with a year of tuition herself. But Shannon's dream of making big bucks waitressing at the local casino, the Collosio, disappears faster than a gambler's lucky streak. Her boss is a tyrant, her coworker is nuts, and her chances of balancing a tray full of drinks while wearing high-heeled shoes are slim to none. Worse, time is running out, and Shannon hasn't made even half the money she'd hoped.

When Shannon receives a mysterious invitation to join Aces Up, a secret network of highly talented college poker players, at first she thinks No way. She has enough to worry about: keeping her job, winning the coveted math scholarship at school, and tutoring her secret crush, Max. But when Shannon musters up the nerve to kiss Max and he doesn't react at all, the allure of Aces Up and its sexy eighteen-year-old leader, Cole, is suddenly too powerful to ignore.

Soon Shannon's caught up in a web of lies and deceit that makes worrying about tuition money or a high school crush seem like kid stuff. Still, when the money's this good, is the fear of getting caught reason enough to fold?

This fun, sexy, recession-proof story is a bubbly summer read with surprising depth—great for fans of Sarah Mlynowski.

That last line really sold me! I recently read Two Way Street by her and loved it, so I'm sure this will be just as good! I think this is a newer cover, I'm not sure which one is going to be the final one. Anyways I can't wait! (:

Guess who finally made a Twitter?

It's about time I finally joined in on all the fun! I'm definitely a newbie, so I hope I figure how to use it. Anyways I would love it if you followed me. I also want to follow you too! Leave your username or link in the comments and I'll happily follow you! (:

Oh yeah my username is Sarabara174, sadly Along For the Ride was taken.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (13)

 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!


"I reached for my gag but I couldn't get a grip on the tape, so I gave up and fumbled for the rope around my feet again, fingertips whizzing along it so fast it cut into my skin. At every knot, I felt for loose ends and, finding none, kept going until-"

-pg.235, The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong 

Goodness! I'm really loving this book so far. I have a feeling it's going to be a great series. There were so many great lines it was hard to just pick two (:

Monday, June 21, 2010

Daily Dose Monday (17)

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, June 20, 2010

In My Mailbox (22)

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 really wonderful book week! I'm excited about all of them :D

Library/for review:

Cycler by Lauren McLaughlin
Summary: (taken from Goodreads) 

As far as anyone at her high school knows, Jill McTeague is an average smart girl trying to get her dream date to ask her to the prom. But what no one knows, except for Jill’s mom and dad, is that for the four days Jill is out of school each month, she is not Jill at all. She is Jack, a genuine boy—complete with all the parts—who lives his four days of the cycle in the solitude of Jill’s room. But Jack’s personality has been building over the years since the cycling began. He is growing less and less content with his confinement and his cycles are more frequent. Now Jill’s question about prom isn’t about who she will go with, but who will she be when the big night arrives? 

Well doesn't this sounds crazy?! I actually bought the sequel first, so I knew I had to read this one. It sounds very interesting to say the least. And the cover hmmm haha ;)

Received/for review:

Are These My Basoomas I See Before Me? (Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, #10) by Louise Rennison
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

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?

I won this from Brittany over at Reading Nook. Yay! Thanks Brittany :D I absolutely adore this series and luckily this is the only one I haven't read yet. Hehe the titles of these books crack me up. 

I also received some swag! 

Sorry for the blurry picture, my webcam isn't the best. I won some Forgive My Fin swag from Morgan from Smitten With Books, thanks Morgan! And I received signed bookmarks and a magnet from Suzanne Young, thank you SO much Suzanne! I love them :D

Bought/for review: 

So I made a little trip to the best store in the world- Half Price Books! I couldn't believe my luck. I got all of these books for about ten dollars, they were each a dollar except for the first one which was $2.50 (hardback). I have a brother-in-law who works there so guess who got half half off? Thanks again Nabeel! :D

Boys, Girls, and Other Hazardous Materials by Rosalind Wiseman
Summary: (taken from Goodreads) 

Looking for a new beginning after a terrible mean girl past, Charlie Healey realizes there’s no escaping high school drama

Charlie Healey thinks Harmony Falls is the beginning of a whole new life. Middle school was brutal. But high school is Charlie’s big chance to start over and stay out of drama, except that on her first day she runs into Will, her ex–best friend, who had moved away. Now a varsity athlete and hotter than Charlie
remembered, Will hangs with the crowd running the school. But Charlie doesn’t understand their power until an innocent delivery guy falls victim to a near-deadly hazing prank.

Torn between doing what’s right and her secret feelings for Will, Charlie must decide whether to turn in her very best friend or live with the guilt of knowing what he did.

I've been wanting to read this one for awhile now, so I was ecstatic when I spotted it on the shelf. It sounds great!

Pretty Little Liars by Sarah Shepard
Summary: (Taken from Goodreads) 

Everyone has something to hide—especially high school juniors Spencer, Aria, Emily, and Hanna. 

Spencer covets her sister's boyfriend. Aria's fantasizing about her English teacher. Emily's crushing on the new girl at school. Hanna uses some ugly tricks to stay beautiful. 

But they've all kept an even bigger secret since their friend Alison vanished.
How do I know? Because I know everything about the bad girls they were, the naughty girls they are, and all the dirty secrets they've kept. And guess what? I'm telling. 

I'm already in love with this series, I just wanted to own a copy of the first book in the series. So this one will not be for review, unless I decide to reread it, which I just might.

Laguna Cove by Alyson Noel
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

Moving to sunny Southern Cal feels like punishment to 17-year-old Anne.  the hippie-ish school is different from her old one on the East Coast, and the social scene is all about hanging out at the beach and surfing.  And then there's Ellie: beautiful, competitive queen of the social scene who takes an instant disliking to Anne.  So when Chris--one of Ellie's oldest friends and, oh yeah, the most gorgeous guy in school--reaches out to Anne and offers to teach her how to surf, sparks more ways than one.

You can never have too many summer reads. I really like Alyson Noel so I'm sure this one will be really fun.

Recycler by Lauren McLaughin
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

Jill McTeague is not your average high school graduate, she’s a scientific anomaly. Every month for four days she turns into Jack, a guy—complete with all the parts. Now everyone in her hometown knows that something very weird is up with her. So what’s a girl (and a guy) to do? Get the heck out of town, that’s what! With her kooky best friend, Ramie, Jill sets out for New York City. There both she and Jack will have to figure out everything from the usual (relationships) to the not so usual (career options for a “cycler,” anyone?). 

I picked this one up randomly and thought it sounded super interesting. I had no idea it was a sequel. I can't wait to try these books out.

South Beach by Aimee Friedman
Summary: (taken from Goodreads) 

SPRING BREAK. SOUTH BEACH. 'NUFF SAID.On a trip to a place where anything can happen -- and does -- two ex-best friends discover that a chance encounter can lead to the chance of a lifetime.HOLLY: Dream date or bad fate? She wants true love--and a break from her strict parents. Perhaps a spring fling will do? ALEXA: Flirting with destiny or flirting with disaster? The guy of her dreams turns out to be her friend's first love. How far is she willing to go? This year, Spring Break is going to be scandalous!

I really liked Sea Change by Aimee Friedman so I decided to try out another book of hers. This sounds pretty good.

I'd Tell You I Love You but then I'd Have to Kill You by Aly Carter
Summary: (taken from Goodreads) 

The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women is a fairly typical all-girls school—that is, if every school teaches advanced martial arts in PE, chemistry always consists of the latest in chemical warfare, and everyone breaks CIA codes for extra credit in computer class. So in truth, while the Gallagher Academy might say it's a school for geniuses what they really mean is spies. But what happens when a Gallagher Girl falls for a boy who doesn't have a code name?

Cammie Morgan may be fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways (three of which involve a piece of uncooked spaghetti), but the Gallagher Academy hasn't prepared her for what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she's an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, and track him through a mall without him ever being the wiser, but can she have a regular relationship with a regular boy who can never know the truth about her? Cammie may be an elite spy in training, but in her sophomore year, she's doing something riskier than ever—she's falling in love. 

I've checked this one out from the library before, but I've never gotten to it. Now that I have my own copy, I'll definitely be reading it soon. I've heard great things about this series. 

Alphas by Lisi Harrison
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

At OCD the losers are tormented.

At Alpha Academy, they're sent home.

Skye Hamilton has scored an invitation to the ultra-exclusive Alphas-only boarding school where beta is spelled LBR . What happens when the country's best, brightest, and hawtest begin clawing and scratching their way to the top? 

This is another book I've gotten before, but never got the chance to read. I love Lisi Harrison and I heard this was even better than The Clique series. 

What's in your mailbox?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Book Blogger (8) + Opinions Please!

Hey! It's Friday and you know what  that means-it's time for the book blogger hop! I absolutely love this, I've found so many great blogs over the process. Hop on over to Crazy for Books and join in!

Have a lovely weekend everyone! :D

Oh and if you're visiting make sure to let me know, so I can return the favor! 

Ok now for the other part:

I just put in my order at Borders, but I'm stuck on deciding whether to buy The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelsen or The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride. I've heard amazing things about both of them, but I just can't choose. I would love to just get both, but unfortunately I would be going way above the budget. What do you guys think? (:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Karma Club by Jessica Brody

Book review #48
The Karma Club by Jessica Brody
Rating: Four stars (refer to the rating system on the right)

Summary: (taken from Goodreads)
Madison Kasparkova always thought she understood how Karma works. It’s that mysterious, powerful force that brings harmony to the universe. You know—do good things and you will be rewarded, do something bad and Karma will make sure you get what’s coming to you. A sort of cosmic balancing act.

But when Mason Brooks, Maddy’s boyfriend of two years, gets caught tongue-wrestling with Miss Perfect Body Heather Campbell, and absolutely nothing happens to either of them—except that they wind up the hot new couple of Colonial High School, it seems like Karma has officially left Maddy in the lurch. That’s why Maddy and her best friends, Angie and Jade, decide to start the Karma Club—a secret, members-only organization whose sole purpose is to clean up the messes that the universe has been leaving behind. Whether they’re modifying Heather Campbell’s acne cream as part of “Operation Butterface,” or righting a few wrongs when it comes to Angie and Jade’s own slimy exes, they know they’re just doing what Karma should have done in the first place. They’re taking care of one another.

Sometimes, though, it isn’t wise to meddle with the universe. Because it turns out, when you mess with Karma, Karma messes back. Now Maddy must find a way to balance her life for good, even as everything around her seems to be toppling to the ground. 

Boy was that a fun read! I've been dying to read this one after seeing the amazing trailer. I'm thrilled to say that it was even better than I though it would be. Realistic characters combined with a fun fresh plot  made this one enjoyable book. I learned a lot of great lessons and I have to say that I had a wonderful time learning them.

Madison and her boyfriend have a great relationship, it's safe to say things are going really well for them. Things even get better when Mason gets an article published in a popular magazine thanks to Madison. They both climb the social ladder which leads to a lot more attention to both of them, especially Mason though. With the blink of an eye Mason and the most popular girl in the school are found exchanging saliva. Poor Madison doesn't even get an explanation. After she goes to a spiritual center and learns about karma she decides to take matters into her hands...

Madison-Maddy- I LOVED her. She was hilarious, witty, and a lot like us average teens-well aside from her early on obsession with the most popular girl in school (kind of annoying if I say so myself). But overall I really connected with her. She was really fun to read about. Jade and Angie were great best friends. They were always there for each other no matter what. Oh and there was some romance involved. Maddy's love interest was really surprising, but wonderful. I simply adored it.

It was very entertaining to read about all the pranks the girls pulled. They were all clever. It kind of reminded me of the movie Mean Girls, which I loved. What was even better was how much each of the characters learned and developed from the Karma Club. You really learned that sometimes you have to let life do what it wants on its own. It's hard to not get a little inspired yourself.

The only thing I didn't really like about The Karma Club, which was mentioned by others was that you never found out the reason Mason cheated/dumped Maddy. You don't even get a little clue. They never even get a chance to talk it out. This irked me big time. 

Aside from that minor aspect, The Karma Club is made of pure awesomeness. The Karma Club is made up of plenty of humor, entertainment, a strong heroine, and of course the rules of Karma. I'm so grateful that I actually own a signed copy! As you can probably tell I definitely recommend reading The Karma Club.

*I received this copy from Goodreads first reads (:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (17)

"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".

Empty by Suzanne Weyn
Release date: October 1st 2010
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

It's the near future - the very near future - and the fossil fuels are running out. No gas. No oil. Which means no driving. No heat. Supermarkets are empty. Malls have shut down. Life has just become more local than we ever knew it could be.

Nobody expected the end to come this fast. And in the small town of Spring Valley, decisions that once seemed easy are quickly becoming matters of life and death. There is hope - there has to be hope - just there are also sacrifices that need to be made, and a whole society that needs to be rethought.

Teens like Nicki, Tom, and Leila may find what they need to survive. But their lives are never going to be the same again. 

The summary really intrigues me! Lately I've been loving dystopian novels and this one sounds super interesting. I can't wait (:

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han

Book review #47
It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han
Rating: Five stars (refer to the rating system on the right)

Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

Last year, all of Belly's dreams came true and the thought of missing a summer in Cousins Beach was inconceivable. But like the rise and fall of the ocean tide, things can change--just like that. Suddenly the time she's always looked forward to most is something she dreads. And when Jeremiah calls to say Conrad has disappeared, Belly must decide how she will spend this summer: chasing after the boy she loves, or finally letting him go. 

I'm officially in love with this series.  To say this book was amazing is an understatement. I think I even liked it better than the first book (The Summer I Turned Pretty) which I fell in love with. It's Not Summer Without You is simply delicious. I clawed my way through it, setting it down at times, to savor every last moment. I was really sad when it came to the end. It has everything I look for in a book- a realistic lovable main character, a summer/beach setting, and not one, but two amazing boys. The added emotional roller coaster was just icing on the cake.

Belly was the same old Belly, but yet totally different. It's summer time again, which usually means spending times in Cousins with Susan and the boys, but not this time. Susannah is getting sicker by the second and she doesn't have much time left. Everyone is taking it really hard. The amazing summers Belly dreamed of all year long have come to an end. To top it off her relationship/fling with Conrad is on the rocks. When Jeremiah calls Belly claiming Conrad is missing, Belly decides it's time to make it right again...

The characters are amazing. They are practically family to me- I felt extremely attached to them. Each of them sparked so many emotions from me- I smiled, laughed, screamed, and definitely cried. Belly is definitely my favorite. She's the same age as me, and at a similar stage in life, so can I really relate to her. I understood her confusion and heart ache. She's so lucky to have Jeremiah and Conrad. Jeremiah is such a sweetie, I would love to have him around! And Conrad is so smart and complex. I understand how it would be difficult to choose between them. Susannah. Don't even get me started on her. I probably missed her as much as Belly and the boys, she's just a wonderful person.

Cousins is where I want to live. In my eyes it's almost perfect. It's Not Summer Without You is the type of book where the descriptions are so good that you can practically feel what's going on around you. I could imagine everything exactly in my head-the smell of the beach in the morning, the cozy beach house, even the feelings of love drifting in the air.

There wasn't anything I didn't love about this book. I can't wait for the next book to come out, I really can't. It's Not Summer Without You is one of those perfect summer reads that are actually deep and wonderful. If you haven't started this series, I highly suggest you do (:

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sea Change Giveaway!

Enter to win a paperback copy of Sea Change by Aimee Friedman!

Sixteen-year-old Miranda Merchant is great at science...and not so great with boys. After major drama with her (now ex) boyfriend, she's happy to be spending the summer on small, mysterious Selkie Island, helping her mother sort out her late grandmother's estate.

On the lush, beautiful island, Miranda finds new friends and a community with a mystical history, presenting her with facts her logical, scientific mind can't make sense of. She also meets Leo, who challenges everything she thought she knew about boys, romance...and reality.

Is Leo hiding something? Or is he something that she never could have imagined? 
About the author:  
Aimee Friedman is the New York Times bestselling author of several books for young adults, including South Beach, French Kiss, Hollywood Hills, A Novel Idea, and, most recently, The Year My Sister Got Lucky.  Born and raised in Queens, New York, Aimee attended the Bronx High School of Science, but she always wanted to be a writer, never a scientist. Though she does not know how to swim, she loves living on the island of Manhattan, where she also works as a book editor. 

You can visit HERE and HERE for more information about the book.
Contest details:
-Two winners will receive a paperback copy of Sea Change.
- You must live in the U.S.
-You have until June 27th to enter.
-All you have to do is fill out the form (:
Click here to enter!
Good luck everyone! Sea Change was released today in paperback. Oh and make sure to check out my review HERE. 

*Thanks again to Chelsey Hall and Big Honcho Media for providing me with the giveaway copies!

Sea Change by Aimee Friedman

Book review #46
Sea Change by Aimee Friedman
Rating: Four stars (refer to the rating system on the right)

Summary: (taken from Goodreads)
16-year-old Miranda Merchant is great at science...and not so great with boys. After major drama with her boyfriend and (now ex) best friend, she's happy to spend the summer on small, mysterious Selkie Island, helping her mother sort out her late grandmother's estate.

There, Miranda finds new friends and an island with a mysterious, mystical history, presenting her with facts her logical, scientific mind can't make sense of. She also meets Leo, who challenges everything she thought she knew about boys, friendship...and reality.

Is Leo hiding something? Or is he something that she never could have imagined? .

Sea Change is a refreshing change from the typical summer read. I was immediately drawn in from the introduction of the smart mysterious main character. Sea Change is one of those books you get so lost in that you block everything else out and just escape. It was really fun spending a couple of weeks at the magnificent Selkie Island...a place a lot different than most of us are used to.

16 year old Miranda planned on spending her summer interning at the glorious Museum of Natural History in New York. But everything changes when her grandmother passes away. Before she knows it, she finds herself living at the enormous mansion her grandmother left behind on Selkie Island. Miranda is exposed to a whole other world. She's captured by the southern hospitality, mystical roots, and array of people she meets. Miranda is left discovering the many secrets the island holds...

Miranda was a lovely main character. She was smart, intriguing, and very easy to relate to. She learned more about herself as the book went along and I really loved that. She was just different and that was expressed by her struggle to fit in with everyone else. Her romance with Leo was so sweet. Their connection was memorable. Leo is one of those guys that makes your heart melt. Although it was obvious he had his secrets ( which made me like him even more). T.J., the other guy battling for Miranda's attention, was not my favorite. He was a great example of someone close to perfect, but not appealing at all.

Sea Change was a beautiful coming of age story. The enchanting setting, amazing romance, and mystery really set this book apart. The suspense really kept you on edge. It was wonderful solving the mysterious of the past and learning more about Miranda's family history. Although others my not love the ending, I enjoyed the fact that it was left so open, leaving an endless amount of possibilities. 

Overall Sea Change was a unique summer read that really is magical. I'm so happy I got a chance to read this one. It's perfect for a day at the beach or even a cozy day at home. I'll definitely be looking out for Friedman's other books. I definitely recommend this one, so make sure to pick up a copy! Oh and isn't the cover just stunning? (:

Saturday, June 12, 2010

In My Mailbox (21)

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 another good week! This week has really been my week, I won so many unexpected contests! But they haven't came in yet, so they will be featured on next week's IMM (:

Received/for review:

Manifest by Artist Arthur (ARC)
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

Krystal Bentley is an outsider at her new high school, having just moved to a small Connecticut town. Lately she's been hearing the voice of a teenage boy in her head, and he has become her friend and confidant. The only problem is, he's dead...

Ricky Watson was killed a year ago in the alley behind Krystal's new school. The rumor mill is filled with stories of Ricky and his untimely death. Unfortunately, as a ghost, Ricky is unable to investigate his own murder, so Ricky needs Krystal to find the truth and she needs someone to listen. When Krystal befriends Sasha and Jake, both outcasts at her high school, the threesome soon discover that they have more in common than their outsider status. Each has a unique paranormal ability and an unusual birthmark in the shape of an "M." Jake announces that the M must stand for misfits, and so the three form an unusual clique. They soon realize that solving Ricky's murder can help them understand the mystery behind their powers and may reveal whether there are others like them. 

This sounds really good! It's the first book in the Mystyx series. A big thanks goes to Lisa Roe online publicist for sending me this one :D

Burned (House of Night #7) by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

Zoey Redbird is the youngest High Priestess in House of Night history and is the only person – vamp or fledgling – that can stop the evil Neferet from raising all kinds of immortal trouble. And she might just have a chance if she wasn’t so busy being dead.

Well, dead is too strong a word. Stevie Rae knows she can bring her BFF back from her unscheduled va-cay in the Otherworld. But it’s going to take a lot more than hoping to bring Zoey back. Stevie Rae will have to give up a few secrets of her own . . .  

I haven't caught up with this series yet, but I'll definitely be getting to this one when I do. Thanks to zeitghostmedia for mailing this one in! 

Library/for review:

The Summoning (Darkest Powers #1) by Kelley Armstrong
Summary: (taken from Goodreads) 

After years of frequent moves following her mother’s death, Chloe Saunders’s life is finally settling down. She is attending art school, pursuing her dreams of becoming a director, making friends, meeting boys. Her biggest concern is that she’s not developing as fast as her friends are. But when puberty does hit, it brings more than hormone surges. Chloe starts seeing ghosts–everywhere, demanding her attention. After she suffers a breakdown, her devoted aunt Lauren gets her into a highly recommended group home.

At first, Lyle House seems a pretty okay place, except for Chloe’s small problem of fearing she might be facing a lifetime of mental illness. But as she gradually gets to know the other kids at the home–charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek, obnoxious Tori, and Rae, who has a “thing” for fire–Chloe begins to realize that there is something that binds them all together, and it isn’t your usual “problem kid” behaviour. And together they discover that Lyle House is not your usual group home either…

This isn't my typical read, but it sounds sooo good. And I read two amazing reviews by Jami from YA Addict and Michelle from Michelle's Bookshelf that gave me the final push to finally start this series. I have a feeling I should of checked out the other two books as well...

So that's it for this week. I'm going to review and have a giveaway for Sea Change on Monday( aka my very first giveaway), so be sure to tune in then :D 

What's in your mailbox?