Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (31)

"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".

My Life Undecided By Jessica Brody
Release date: June 7th, 2011



Okay, maybe that was a bit melodramatic, but I’m sorry, I’m feeling a bit melodramatic at the moment.

Here’s the deal. My name is Brooklyn Pierce, I’m fifteen years old, and I am decisionally challenged. Seriously, I can’t remember the last good decision I made. I can remember plenty of crappy ones though. Including that party I threw when my parents were out of town that accidentally burned down a model home. Yeah, not my finest moment, for sure.

But see, that’s why I started a blog. To enlist readers to make my decisions for me. That’s right. I’m gave up. Threw in the towel. I let someone else be the one to decide which book I read for English. Or whether or not I accepted an invitation to join the debate team from that cute-in-a-dorky-sort-of-way guy who gave me the Heimlich Maneuver in the cafeteria. (Note to self: Chew the melon before swallowing it.) I even let them decide who I dated!

Well, it turns out there are some things in life you simply can’t choose or have chosen for you—like who you fall in love with. And now everything’s more screwed up than ever.

But don’t take my word for it, read the book and decide for yourself. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll scream in frustration. Or maybe that’s just me. After all, it’s my life.

I loved The Karma Club by Jessica Brody and this sounds just as good! I can definitely relate to the summary; I can't wait to see how this one turns out.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Daily Dose Monday (30)

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, March 20, 2011

In My Mailbox (37)

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.

Received/for review:

Where She Went by Gayle Forman

It's been three years since the devastating accident ... three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Julliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future - and each other.
Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

I just got this yesterday from Around the World Tours and I'm beyond excited to start it. If I Stay  was one of my favorite books, so I have high hopes for this one. 

From library/for review:

Love Drugged by James Klise

Fifteen-year-old Jamie Bates has a simple strategy for surviving high school: fit in, keep a low profile, and above all, protect his biggest secret--he's gay. But when a classmate discovers the truth, a terrified Jamie does all he can to change who he is. At first, it's easy. Everyone notices when he starts hanging out with Celia Gamez, the richest and most beautiful girl in school. And when he steals an experimental new drug that's supposed to "cure" his attraction to guys, Jamie thinks he's finally going to have a "normal" life.

But as the drug's side effects worsen and his relationship with Celia heats up, Jamie begins to realize that lying and using could shatter the fragile world of deception that he's created-and hurt the people closest to him.

This was my WoW a few months back, so I'm excited to finally get a hold of it. And I just adore the cover. 

Jumpstart the World by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Elle is a loner. She doesn’t need people. Which is a good thing, because she’s on her own: she had to move into her own apartment so her mother’s boyfriend won’t have to deal with her.

Then she meets Frank, the guy who lives next door. He’s older and has a girlfriend, but Elle can’t stop thinking about him. Frank isn’t like anyone Elle has ever met. He listens to her. He’s gentle. And Elle is falling for him, hard.

But Frank is different in a way that Elle was never prepared for: he’s transgender. And when Elle learns the truth, her world is turned upside down.  Now she’ll have to search inside herself to find not only the true meaning of friendship but her own role in jumpstarting the world.

Doesn't this just sound amazing? 

What's in your mailbox?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Lying Game by Sarah Shepard

Book review #65
The Lying Game by Sarah Shepard
Rating: Four stars


I had a life anyone would kill for.

Then someone did.

The worst part of being dead is that there’s nothing left to live for. No more kisses. No more secrets. No more gossip. It’s enough to kill a girl all over again. But I’m about to get something no one else does—an encore performance, thanks to Emma, the long-lost twin sister I never even got to meet.

Now Emma’s desperate to know what happened to me. And the only way to figure it out is to be me—to slip into my old life and piece it all together. But can she laugh at inside jokes with my best friends? Convince my boyfriend she’s the girl he fell in love with? Pretend to be a happy, carefree daughter when she hugs my parents good night? And can she keep up the charade, even after she realizes my murderer is watching her every move?

The Lying Game is down right creepy, entertaining, and will have you on edge at all times. As most Pretty Little Liars fans, I was extremely excited that Sarah Shepard was coming out with another series. I'm happy to say it was just as good. The plot was so innovative, that it  provokes  lingering thoughts long after finishing the last few pages.

The story unfolds with Emma's "normal" life, living with her foster family, trying to get by. Quickly, Emma stumbles across her long lost twin, Sutton. She decides to pack up and meet up with her, hoping for a heart-warming reunion. Emma never gets to actually meet Sutton, she gets something way more personal. Sutton is dead and it's Emma's job to live her in shoes, hopefully unraveling the mystery of her murder. 

I really liked how readers were told that Sutton was dead right off the bat; even though that was one of the few things you were sure of. I actually enjoyed  how I was kept guessing the whole way through. What did help quite a bit, was the intertwining of thoughts between Emma and Sutton.  Shepard did a wonderful job and creating a distinction between the two, although it did take time to get used to. They are complete opposites of each other, which allows readers to see the twos perspective of the other's life. 

Drama, lies, and mystery fill each and every page. At times, it became dangerous, which definitely helped kept me intrigued. One thing is for sure, no one does a mystery quite like Sarah Shepard. I have a feeling each book is going to get better and better. Regardless, Pretty Little Liars fans will fall in love with this book.  The Lying Game was a great start to one dangerous, suspenseful series. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Daily Dose Monday (28)

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, March 13, 2011

Help, tips & opinions please!

Hey everyone! :)

On Tuesday, I'm very honored to be hosting a workshop about blogging at a center downtown. This is my first time doing something like this and I'm not exactly a blogging "expert", so I would love your help!

The tagline is, "Do you dream of creating a blog about something you adore? Learn from a fellow teen, Sara Shalash, who has created a wonderful and successful blog ( She’ll teach you how to get started and how to keep it going!"

Based on that, I'm thinking of sharing my own personal story of how and why I started my blog. I also had the idea of making a handout beforehand of tips and steps on keeping up/starting a blog. Any ideas on what to include?

Also, I'm thinking about discussing, layout/theme, content, advertising, and communication. Is there anything else I should add? Or any feedback or comments would help out a ton!

Thank you! 

In My Mailbox (36)

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.

For review:

Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him. 

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

Not that Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian

Natalie Sterling wants to be in control. She wants her friends to be loyal. She wants her classmates to elect her student council president. She wants to find the right guy, not the usual jerk her school has to offer. She wants a good reputation, because she believes that will lead to good things.

But life is messy, and it's very hard to be in control of it. Not when there are freshman girls running around in a pack, trying to get senior guys to sleep with them. Not when your friends have secrets they're no longer comfortable sharing. Not when the boy you once dismissed ends up being the boy you wants to sleep with yourself - but only in secret, with nobody ever finding out.

Slut or saint? Winner or loser? Natalie is getting tired of these forced choices - and is now going to find a way to live life in the sometimes messy, sometimes wonderful in-between.

I Will Save You by Matt De La Pena

Kidd is running from his past and his future. No mom, no dad, and there’s nothing for him at the group home but therapy. He doesn’t belong at the beach where he works either, unless he finds a reason to stay.

Olivia is blond hair, blue eyes, rich dad. The prettiest girl in Cardiff. She’s hiding something from Kidd—but could they ever be together anyway?

Devon is mean, mysterious, and driven by a death wish. A best friend and worst enemy. He followed Kidd all the way to the beach and he’s not leaving until he teaches him a few lessons about life. And Olivia.

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

Vera’s spent her whole life secretly in love with her best friend, Charlie Kahn. And over the years she’s kept a lot of his secrets. Even after he betrayed her. Even after he ruined everything.

So when Charlie dies in dark circumstances, Vera knows a lot more than anyone—the kids at school, his family, even the police. But will she emerge to clear his name? Does she even want to?

Blood on My Hands by Todd Strasser

Callie is at an October keg party in the woods, when she notices that her friend Katherine has gone missing. The kids spread out to look for her and Callie finds her, lying on a path, with a big, bloody fake knife in her. She reaches for the knife and raises it, only to discover, to her horror, that it is real. At that moment, another of the search party stumbles on them, and takes a photo of Callie holding the bloody knife. Now she is the suspect in a grisly murder. How can she prove her innocence - and find the true murderer?

What's in your mailbox?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Book review #64
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Rating: Five stars

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets Étienne St. Claire: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

I've heard so many amazing things about this book, but I never fully understood. Reading the summary, it sounds interesting, but nothing special. I finally understand what all the hype is about. 

My love for Anna and the French Kiss is going to make it very difficult to review. I want to marry this book. I want to live in this book. Most of us are familiar with the moment when you're reading a book and suddenly the whole world around you does not exist anymore; this is the case for Anna and French Kiss. It has an element of some sort that makes it extremely addicting, allowing me to devour it in close to one sitting. Near the end, I found myself rationing out the last pages to savor every last minute of it. 

The story began with Anna being sent to boarding school in Paris for her senior year of high school. At first, she's reluctant to leave her friends and job at the movie theater, terrified of being away from home. But almost immediately, Anna and the readers are transported to Paris- a new world, a new life of endless possibilities. 

I can't pinpoint exactly what made this book so amazing; it's a tie between the romance and the characters. The romance was one of the most flawless amazing things I've ever read about it. The romance is very gradual and starts out as a friendship based level. Friends or more, they always had a bond, they were there for each other through thick and thin. St.Clair or Entienne was so swoon-worthy, I'll admit if I fell for him too. I don't think I've ever read about a male in fiction, so perfect in my eyes, flaws and all. Their relationship was more than real, it was the closest thing I've read that compares to a real life romance. 

The characters are so realistic, you start to feel as if they are your own real life friends. They are flawed actual people, that will leave your heart aching. Anna is quirky and authentic. I love the fact that she loves old movies and is always herself no matter what. She was very easy to relate to and at times reminded me of myself. It was refreshing to finally read about someone who didn't let boys control her, who had interests other than the opposite sex. Not to mention she is hilarious; Anna's commentary will leave you laughing out loud and most likely having a huge grin on your face throughout the book. The minor characters- Josh, Rashmi, and Meredith- were just as well developed and fantastic as the main characters. Together they formed their own little family.

This book will have you wanting to drop everything and fly to Paris as soon as possible. The descriptions of the food had my mouth watering. The scenery, the beauty, and the architecture had me yearning to experience it for myself. Paris is such a beautiful setting for a book, it makes things appear magical. 

You honestly won't be able to understand the amazement of this book without reading it for yourself. Not only is Anna and the French Kiss a love story, but it deals with more serious issues like family and illnesses, which made it even more lovable. Anyone who enjoys charming, well written books, set in one of the most romantic/amazing cities in the world will fall in love with this book. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (30)

"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".

Bitter End by Jennifer Brown
Release date: May 10th, 2011

When Alex falls for the charming new boy at school, Cole, a handsome, funny, sports star who adores her, she can't believe she's finally found her soul mate-someone who truly understands her and loves her for who she really is.

At first, Alex is blissfully happy. Sure, Cole seems a little jealous of her relationship with her best friends, Zack and Bethany, but what guy would want his girlfriend spending all of her time with another boy? But as the months pass, Alex can no longer ignore Cole's small put-downs, pinches, or increasingly violent threats. As Alex struggles to come to terms with the sweet boyfriend she fell in love with and the boyfriend whose "love" she no longer recognizes, she is forced to choose - between her "true love" and herself.
I was so excited when I discovered Jennifer Brown was coming out with another book. The Hate List by her was amazing, so I'm sure this will be just the same. It sounds like a very relatable story that many teenagers go through. I can't wait to try it out. :)