Thursday, September 29, 2011

Frost by Marianna Baer

Publisher: Blazer and Bray
Age Group: YA
Rating: 3/5
Source: Publisher

Leena Thomas’s senior year at boarding school begins with a shock: Frost House, her cozy dorm of close friends, has been assigned an unexpected roommate: confrontational, eccentric Celeste Lazar. But while Leena’s anxiety about a threat to her sanctuary proves valid, it becomes less and less clear whether the threat lies with her new roommate, within Leena’s own mind, or within the very nature of Frost House itself. Mysterious happenings in the dorm, an intense triangle between Leena, Celeste, and Celeste’s brother, and the reawakening of childhood fears, all push Leena to take increasingly desperate measures to feel safe. Frost is the story of a haunting. As to whether the demons are supernatural or psychological . . . well, which answer would let you sleep at night?

A story about a creepy boarding house and a hot guy, you can count me in. What first captured me was the eerie cover of the book. I mean, that cover brought chills through me and the synopsis gave me even more. I was hooked.

Frost is the house Leena and her friends have always wanted and because they are seniors now and Leena is close friends with the dean, she got in with her friends even though boys have been living there for decades. They're so excited for this, but something ruins everything. Celeste is going to be living with them as well. Celeste has "mental problems" and the girls don't want her there, but there's not much they can do, but Leena is falling for Celeste's brother, David.

But then the creepy stuff begins. It's obvious Frost House doesn't want them there and it wants them to leave. Especially when there's strange smells coming from the closet. Baer took a simple idea like boarding houses and turned it into a horror story to which it would be good if you kept the lights on if you're reading at night.

I really enjoyed Baer's first book and can't wait to see what she has in store for us next.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Flawless by Lara Chapman

Publisher: Bloomsbury
Age Group: YA
Rating: 4/5
Source: Publisher

Sarah Burke is just about perfect. She's got killer blue eyes, gorgeous blond hair, and impeccable grades. There's just one tiny-all right, enormous-flaw: her nose. But even that's not so bad. Sarah's got the best best friend and big goals for print journalism fame.

On the first day of senior year, Rock Conway walks into her journalism class and, well, rocks her world. Problem is, her best friend, Kristen, falls for him too. And when Rock and Kristen stand together, it's like Barbie and Ken come to life. So when Kristen begs Sarah to help her nab Rock, Sarah does the only thing a best friend can do-she agrees. For someone so smart, what was she thinking?

This hip retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac is filled with hilariously misguided matchmaking, sweet romance, and a gentle reminder that we should all embrace our flaws.

FLAWLESS was a fun and quick read. I immedaitly liked Sarah and didn't actually realize what was up with her nose until I read the summary in the copyrights page. Lara Chapman doesn't really tell the reader what the problem with her nose was, execpt saying that there just was a big flaw.

Sarah's friend Kristen, well I didn't like her much. She kept on making Sarah do all these things for her just to show Rock how amazing she was which seemed completly unfair to me. Even though Sarah and Kristen had been best friends since ever, at times Kristen was taking advantage of Sarah and I wished Sarah would just stand up already and tell her flat out.

But as the book progressed, things became really interesting. Jen, well let's just say I thought there was something weird about her and how nice she was being towards Sarah and her mom and I wanted her to get out of the picture and Chapman does a great job with showing what happens with these characters and I also began liking Kristen as well.

FLAWLESS was a great read and I enjoyed Lara Chapman's writing and story telling. If you're looking for a break from paranormal books, I would say to give this one a shot. It doesn't disappoint.

Monday, September 19, 2011

College Rules! How to Study, Survive, and Succeed in College

Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Age Group: High School/College Students
Rating: 5/5
Source: Publisher

In high school, students have lots of safety nets. In college, they sink or swim. This completely revised guide to college success educates students in the basic college survival skills that professors don't teach, such as how to study, take tests, balance school and social life, and more. Filled with advice on how to hit the campus running, this fun-spirited crash course in the rules of college provides tools to equip students for a lifetime of learning. A thorough revision of the popular guide to all things college, with three completely new chapters on research papers, theories of learning, and Q&As. Includes helpful sidebars, such as sad-but-true student stories, study tips, and info for nontraditional students, as well as special coaching for struggling students.

Having seven months left of high school, I'm really freaking out about college. I'm already nervous about the whole college apps thing. I tell myself that once I know I'm into the college I want to go to, everything's going to be okay. Until the guidance department hit my entire senior class by letting us know that college is even harder than high school.

But COLLEGE RULES! helps with all the stress. I know that when I go to college, this is going to be another college book I'm going to be carrying around. If you're a senior in high school or freshman in college, this book will help. It's filled with great tips that aren't hard to read at all and fun stories that I enjoyed reading so much.

Since I'm planning on majoring in Computer Science, I'm worried how hard the major's going to be and how will I survive college itself. But COLLEGE RULES! walks you step by step, making you feel as though you can do it and everything will be okay as long as you keep yourself organized and ontop of everything.

I'm so glad this book arrived to me during my "freaking out college moments". It's been helping me a whole lot and I'm sure it will do the same for you.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bitter End by Jennifer Brown

Publisher: Little, Brown and Co.
Age Group: YA
Rating: 4/5
Source: Publisher

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.

When I began reading the book, I thought it was okay. Alex seemed like a normal girl with great friends and Cole like an okay guy. But as the book progressed, I felt myself unable to stop reading. I wanted to know more about Cole and who is was. After the first couple of pages, there was this sort of evil aura that I felt was following Cole throughout the book. I didn't like him much and I couldn't understand why Alex fell for him.

When the first abuse came to Alex from Cole and she didn't leave him immedaitly, I thought there was something with her. If that had happened to me, I would have left, but it wasn't easy for Alex. She was in shock and didn't know if what had happened was acutally real. She felt as though it was a dream and when Cole ask for forgiveness, she forgave him. She knew there she was just dreaming. It was never real, only it was.

Then Alex meets Cole's parents. It was obvious Cole got his abusive nature from his father who only sat down and bossed his mom around and when he wasn't around, she was a different person - not a zombie.

Alex's friends always stayed true to her and without them, she probably wouldn't have been able to get out of this abuse. The way Jennifer Brown created her plot and characters made everything real. The way the abuse came was real. The book didn't start out with Alex meeting Cole and then jumping to several months later and we see Cole hitting Alex. She took her time with it.

BITTER END shows the dangers of domestic violence and if anyone is in this sort of situation, they should get help immediatly. You're not doing anything wrong by telling. You're saving yourself.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

What Would You Do?

What Would You Do? is where I ask a question of a senario and you get to respond on what you would do if that happened to you.

What would you do if all the bookstores in the world including Amazon were closed?

I would just start writing books on my own because living without them would be torture. Since books take me to different worlds, I would create them myself.

What would you do if this happened to you?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

Publisher: Poppy
Age Group: YA
Rating: 5/5
Source: Publisher

Most high school sports teams have rivalries with other schools. At Hamilton High, it's a civil war: the football team versus the soccer team. And for her part, Lissa is sick of it. Her quarterback boyfriend, Randy, is always ditching her to go pick a fight with the soccer team or to prank their locker room. And on three separate occasions Randy's car has been egged while he and Lissa were inside, making out. She is done competing with a bunch of sweaty boys for her own boyfriend's attention.

Lissa decides to end the rivalry once and for all: she and the other players' girlfriends go on a hookup strike. The boys won't get any action from them until the football and soccer teams make peace. What they don't count on is a new sort of rivalry: an impossible girls-against-boys showdown that hinges on who will cave to their libidos first. And Lissa never sees her own sexual tension with the leader of the boys, Cash Sterling, coming.

Inspired by Aristophanes' play Lysistrata, critically acclaimed author of The Duff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) Kody Keplinger adds her own trademark humor in this fresh take on modern teenage romance, rivalry and sexuality.

I LOVE Kody Keplinger! When I first read THE DUFF, I fell in  love with her writing. The book instantly became one of my favorite books. When I found out another book by Kody was coming out, I couldn't wait to read it.

The moment the book arrived to me, I read it and finished it that day. There's something about Kody's writing that just sweeps you away. I never had heard of Lysistrata before, so when I heard that this book was going to be inspired by it, I was a little nervous. Usually, books that I've read that were inspired by classics, have turned out to be very bad, but this one was amazing. Kody knows how to take an idea and turn it into something so unique.

Lissa had a lot of peer pressure at school for being the quarterback's girlfriend. I thought Randy was plainly a jerk. As sweet and caring as Lissa was, she did not deserve a boyfriend like Randy who literally was hurting her feelings. When I first met Cash, I didn't like him either, but as the book progressed and Cash's character developed, I liked him a lot and how at the end of the story he stands up to Randy to leave Lissa alone.

Kody Keplinger has taken a subject that's very controversial in YA literature and made a story that makes you forget that you're even reading about it. This book is not just about hookups. It's seeing Lissa's character grow and see that Randy only wanted her for one thing. He never loved her for being herself.

I cannot wait to read more of Kody's future books because I know they're going to be just as good!

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Age Group: YA
Rating: 4/5
Source: Publisher
Publication Date: November 15, 2011

Words are the most dangerous weapon of all.

In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she’s spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It's there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she's never heard before . . . and her secret is almost exposed.

Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can’t be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country’s only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime.

I was so excited when I found out Kimberly Derting was writing another novel. I loved THE BODY FINDER and  couldn't wait to read Derting taking on a dystopian. Lately, I've been craving dystopians. I can't get enough of them and this one didn't disappoint.

Charlie lives in Ludania and no one can come in and no one can get out. The Queen is strict and anything wrong and get someone killed. Each society is divided. The poor have thier own laguage and so one. No class speaks the same language. But Charlie can speak and understand them all. Anyone who is able to do that will die and there were quite a few times where Charlie almost got herself killed.

I thought the idea of Charlie understanding languages was amazing because that was never used in YA literature. But what really got me was all the twists and turns throughout the novel. Especially the ending. Oh, the ending....

Charlie's qualities were great. She really fought for herself and was her own person. She didn't depend on anyone and I loved the whole love triangle between Charlie, Max, and Xander. My favorite of the two boys was Max. For some reason, there was something about him that made me fall in love with him and add him to me list of literary crushes.

Overall, Kimberly Derting hasn't disappointed with her new novel and I'm always excited to see what she comes up with next. THE PLEDGE is a must read if you loved Kimberly's THE BODY FINDER or just love dystopians.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I didn't post anything up today due to it being 9/11, the ten year anniversary. I can't believe it's been so long. I remember that day very well. I was in second grade and remember seeing teachers running around and they turned on the T.V. Some kids were getting picked up in my class and I remember this girl, she was crying.

At first I didn't realize why. Then, I found out. Her dad died inside the Twin Towers. Everything was scary that day and I still have the image of the T.V screen showing the Twin Towers burning and falling and people screaming and running away.

I still can't believe time went by so fast. Ten years ago, I was in second grade when tragedy struck our nation and now I'll be graduating high school.

Let's all have a day of silence and remember all the ones who lost their lives and honor the heroes who risked their lives.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

What Would You Do?

What Would You Do? is where I ask a question of a senario and you get to respond on what you would do if that happened to you.

What would you do if you woke up one day and realized all your books were gone?

If that happened to me, I would immediatly try to retrace my steps. And if I don't remember doing anything wrong or probabaly being half asleep and throwing them all away, then I just would freak out.

What would you do if this happened to you?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Crossing Lines by Paul Volponi

Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Age Group: YA
Rating: 4/5
Source: Publisher

Adonis is a jock. He's on the football team and he's dating one of the prettiest girls in school. Alan is the new kid. He wears lipstick and joins the Fashion Club. Soon enough the football team is out to get him. Adonis is glad to go along with his teammates . . . until they come up with a dangerous plan to humiliate Alan. Now Adonis must decide whether he wants to be a guy who follows the herd or a man who does what's right.


CROSSING LINES was a book I’ve never read before. The whole concept about it was different and not something that is always written in YA. I’ve had this book sitting on my TBR pile for a while, but never picked it up, until now.

Adonis is a football athlete. He wants to be up there because football players have it all. Enter Alan, football team calls him Alana, and he’s completely different from every guy in the school. He’s gay. He’s also in the Fashion Club and sadly for him, his dad is a Colonel. Later on, Alan wears red lipstick and the football team hates him for that, until Alan comes in wearing a dress and then the football team explodes.
Adonis is different from the members. He sees the bullying that happens to Alan by his team members, but he does nothing to stop it. He’s a bystander. His sister, who also is in the Fashion Club and friends with Alan, protects Alan and expects him to so the same as does his girlfriend Melody.
But the ending shocked me the most. The trick the football players were going to do on Alan during the Fashion show. I hated them after that. They hurt Alan, they destroyed him, and they landed him in the hospital. But in the end, they got what they deserved. The two players, who attacked Alan, were arrested. Adonis in the end realized what he was doing by not standing up was wrong. Alan could have died.
This book shows how dangerous hate and bullying can go. Alan still forgave them in the end, but the attack should have never happened to him. No matter who you are, what you do, remember that’s you. Don’t change because you may be getting hurt now, but in the end, it’s the bullies who suffer the tough consequences.  Whether people accept you or not, you were born this way and you’re perfect.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Leverage by Joshua C. Cohen

Publisher: Dutton
Age Group: YA
Rating: 5/5
Source: Publisher

The football field is a battlefield

There's an extraordinary price for victory at Oregrove High. It is paid on - and off - the football field. And it claims its victims without mercy - including the most innocent bystanders.

When a violent, steroid-infused, ever-escalating prank war has devastating consequences, an unlikely friendship between a talented but emotionally damaged fullback and a promising gymnast might hold the key to a school's salvation.

Told in alternating voices and with unapologetic truth, Leverage illuminates the fierce loyalty, flawed justice, and hard-won optimism of two young athletes.

I’m not a big fan of books about sports and LEVERAGE was my first one that I read and since this one was on my TBR pile for a really long time, I decided to give it a shot. This book had the most beautiful and lyrical writing I’ve ever read. You can spot a talented author and Joshua C. Cohen is one.

The book centers around the bullying that three football team captains always give to the gymnastics team. I hated Mike, Scott, and Tom. They were simply mean and couldn’t believe this was happening and they were just getting away with it. Now I don’t know much about high school football teams since I go to an all girls private school, so there’s no football and being that my school is small, there’s not much bullying going around and if there is, the guidance department fixes it. You’re never alone, but for Danny and his teammates, they were.

But my heart broke apart when Ronnie committed suicide. Ronnie was just a freshman and to me he wasn’t weak. He was young. So three huge, steroid infused football players beating and destroying the life of a small gymnastic freshman, you bet he’s going to be weak. The football players were huge and evil.

Kurt was one of my favorite characters. I felt bad for what he had gone through and how he felt it was his fault for Lamar’s death. And the three football captains didn’t help at all. At times, especially Scott, they would be so nice they made you feel important and as though they cared for you, and the next thing you know is they are punching you.

The ending was perfect. All three of them got what they deserved and even though no one was going to believe them, Tina had made the perfect plan. No one deserves to be bullying and their evilness made Ronnie kill himself. No one protected him and they kept on telling him to forget it ever happened. You can’t forget something like that. It stays with you forever.

Overall, I loved this book and I can’t wait for Joshua C. Cohen to write more books because I’ll definitely will be reading them.

Possess by Gretchen McNeil

Publisher: Blazer + Bray
Age Group: YA
Rating: 4/5
Source: Publisher

Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her mom, by the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, it turns out the voices are demons – and Bridget has the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from.

Terrified to tell people about her new power, Bridget confides in a local priest who enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession. But just as she is starting to come to terms with her new power, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons. Now Bridget must unlock the secret to the demons' plan before someone close to her winds up dead – or worse, the human vessel of a demon king.

When I first began reading POSSESS, it was at night and I had just finished another book and my insomnia was kicking in so I decided to read more. I was terrified reading this at night! I thought I was hearing noises coming from my kitchen and I was too scared to even go in there to see. Then, I thought the lights were going to turn off and I was going to be left in the dark.
I didn’t exactly know POSSESS was going to be about exorcism. The only exorcism movie I ever watched was THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE and I couldn’t sleep for a week. I’ve heard of THE EXORCIST, but I don’t dare watch that one. The whole book revolves around Bridget Liu who has this cool ability to banish demons, otherwise known as exorcism. She’s not very fond of her gift, I wouldn’t be either, but it’s who she is and after school she goes with Father Santos and Monsignor Renalt to perform exorcisms.

The scary parts of the book are when the humans are possessed by the demons and the description McNeil uses to describe what’s happening is flawless. I felt as though I was watching a movie and an exorcism was being performed and the demons were talking.

Overall, this book is great and it would be a whole lot of fun reading this one on Halloween night! But just make sure you read it during the day.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day!

I hope you all have an amazing Labor Day today and wish you all luck on your new school year ahead!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

What Would You Do?

What Would You Do? is where I ask a question of a senario and you get to respond on what you would do if that happened to you.

What would you do if you loaned a book to a friend and when they returned it, some of the pages were missing, plus the book was bent in every way possible?

If that happened to me, I would probably die. I love my books so much and keep them in pristine shape. Having someone attcking my books like that would actually make me go out and buy another copy because I just wouldn't be able to look at the book in such horrible conditions. And with the bented up/destroyed copy, I would tell the friend she could keep it.

What would you do if this happened to you?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz

Publisher: Hyperion
Age Group: YA
Rating: 2.5/5
Source: Bought

When the Mayflower set sail in 1620, it carried on board the men and women who would shape America: Miles Standish; John Alden; Constance Hopkins. But some among the Pilgrims were not pure of heart; they were not escaping religious persecution. Indeed, they were not even human. They were vampires.The vampires assimilated quickly into the New World. Rising to levels of enormous power, wealth, and influence, they were the celebrated blue bloods of American society.

The Blue Bloods vowed that their immortal status would remain a closely guarded secret. And they kept that secret for centuries. But now, in New York City, the secret is seeping out. Schuyler Van Alen is a sophomore at a prestigious private school. She prefers baggy, vintage clothes instead of the Prada and pearls worn by her classmates, and she lives with her reclusive grandmother in a dilapated mansion. Schuyler is a loner...and happy that way. Suddenly, when she turns fifteen, there is a visible mosaic of blue veins on her arm. She starts to crave raw food and she is having flashbacks to ancient times. Then a popular girl from her school is found dead... drained of all her blood. Schuyler doesn't know what to think, but she wants to find out the secrets the Blue Bloods are keeping. But is she herself in danger?

Could those vampire legends really be true? Steeped in vampire lore and set against the glittery backdrop of New York City, Blue Bloods will be devoured by Melissa de la Cruz's legion fans.

For some reason, when I started BLUE BLOODS, I wasn't as captivated as I thought I was. The cover is beautiful, the synopsis grabs you right away, so what not to love? I guess I'm not being bored with vampires. Having read so many books about vampires, they seem to be getting a little dull for me. So when I begin reading a book about vampires, I hope that it will grab my attention right away.

BLUE BLOODS began a bit slow for me. The book didn't even feel like a paranormal book because there were so many "chick-lit" moments. If this book didn't have vampires in it, it would be a chick lit.

I know there are more books in the series, but I don't think I'll be reading them because I just wasn't captured by the first one.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fury by Elizabeth Miles

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Age Group: YA
Rating: 3/5
Source: Publisher

Sometimes sorry isn't enough....
It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems...
Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better--the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend.
On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel...something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed.
In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay.
Em and Chase have been chosen.

When I first read the synopsis of this book, I acutally thought it was a paranormal book. Also, the blurb gave me that feel as well. But when I began reading it, it was more like a contemporary novel. I did, however, find out later in the book it's actually a paranormal novel.

First and foremost, the cover of FURY is an attention grabber. The girl with the firery red hair connects with the title and most likely people will pick the book up to see what it's about. The book did start out a bit slow for me, but once the Furies came in, then the book picked up speed. I was just so interested in them that I realy wished they were in the book a whole lot sooner.

The Furies were the most interesting part in the book because I just found it hard to connect with Em and Chase. Now by all means, I'm not saying I didn't enjoy the book. It was very good, but I wish the pace was faster and more interesting things happened. But overall, I am going to read the other two books in the series.

Elizabeth Miles has created an unique world that hasn't been used before in YA. I think something different from the regular vampires and werewolves will appeal to many readers. Miles's writing will sure entice readers and this book will make you not want to put it down because you're going to want to know what's going to happen next.