Sunday, October 23, 2011

Why I haven't been blogging....

I'm sure many of you have noticed my absence her on the blog and Twitter. I've been caught up in everything lately. School has taken over my life and I just sent out my college apps and even though I should feel relieved, I don't because I'm just so nervous!

Also, I haven't been able to read much because I've had the reading slumps. I just can't get into a book! But don't worry my lovelies, I will get back just as soon as I get my life back on track. I will however be writing posts this week and hopefully getting some reading done.

Thanks for staying here with me! ♥

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Everything We Ever Wanted by Sara Shepard

Publisher: Harper
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 5/5
Source: Publisher

How do you choose between your family and your history?

Emotional and compelling storytelling from Sara Shepard, author of All the Things We Didn't Say.

A late-night phone call on a Sunday evening rarely brings good news. So when Sylvie, a recently-widowed mother of two, receives a call from the head teacher of the school she's on the board of, she knows it won't be something she wants to hear. The school was founded by her grandfather, and she's inherited everything he strived to build up - a reputation, a heritage, the school and the grand old family house. And with this inheritance comes responsibility. So when her son Scott is whispered to be involved in a scandal that led to the death of one of the boys he coaches at the school, it throws the family into chaos: Sylvie has to decide between her loyalty to the school that has been part of her family legacy for years and her son who she feels wants nothing to do with her. She starts spying on the dead boy's father, making an unlikely connection.Sara Shepard's compelling new novel tells how hard it can be to really, truly connect to people, how making quick, easy judgments can come back to haunt you, and how the life you always planned for - and always dreamed of - often doesn't always turn out the way you imagined at all...

I didn't know what to expect when I began reading this book. Was it going to be a good mystery? Was the ending going to be obvious? And most importantly, was this a good book? This was more than a good book; it was fantastic!

I haven't really been a Sara Shepard fan, but after this book, I was hooked. There was never a dull moment and all the characters were real. Joanna had grown up with the idea that the Bates-McAllisters were the perfect model. Her mom was obsessed with Sylvie and that obsession reached Joanna. She would collect pictures from magazines of the Bates-McAllisters, but she never thought she was going to be one of them, until she met Charles, Sylvie's son, and they got married.

By knowing just that description, you would think Joanna had the perfect life. It was like a rags to riches story and Cinderella. But Joanna wasn't happy. I wasn't happy while reading the book. I didn't want to have Joanna's life. It wasn't filled with excitment and joy. She didn't work because she now had a boat load of money, but she did nothing with her days. She just stayed home and wondered what she was going to do next, and often, she had nothing to do. Her neighbors were simply cold and Joanna had no friends and she didn't even feel close to Charles.

But then there's the problem with Scott, Charles adoptive brother, in which he is being accused of a death of a boy. I liked Scott's character more than Charles's. Charles seemed rude to me, but Scott seemed warmer. I really enjoyed the parts where Joanna was with Scott because I saw a connection between the two that Joanna was never going to feel with Charles.

EVERYTHING WE EVER WANTED is my favorite book so far. I couldn't wait to come home everyday and continue reading and when I was done with the book, I wanted more. I enjoyed Sara Shepard's fluent writing so much that I now want to read all of her books. Sara Shepard truly is a talented writer and she showed it with this book by taking a simple idea and turning it into a story that stays with you after the last page.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Unforgettable by Loretta Ellsworth

Publisher: Walker Books
Age Group: YA
Source: Publisher

Baxter Green isn’t like everyone else. While most people would forget about the little details of everyday life, Baxter never forgets—not pain, not hurt, not embarrassment. In fact, Baxter never forgets anything—not even a string of account numbers, flashed before his eyes by his mother’s criminal boyfriend, Dink, for use in a credit card scam. Years after his testimony has locked Dink away, Baxter and his mother are in a new town, trying to forget the danger Dink brought into their lives. Baxter wants to hide his unique ability, but it becomes increasingly more difficult when he reconnects with Hallie, a girl from his childhood who has lived on in his memory long after she has forgotten him. Can Baxter win Hallie’s heart? Loretta Ellsworth’s newest novel is one readers will never forget.

Wouldn't it be great if we had photographic memory? Everything would be easier. We wouldn't forget where we put our keys, wallet, etc. Also, when it comes time for finals, everything we learned would be grounded in out brains and studying wouldn't be a hassle. Meet Baxter Green and his amazing gift.

At first I thought Baxter was lucky to have a gift like this, but he wasn't. He remembered everything that ever happened to him, especially Dink, the guy who bullied him. When bad things happen to us, we hope that with time we'll forget and we try our hardest to forget, but Baxter can't. I loved Loretta Ellsworth's writing. It was easy to read and UNFORGETTABLE was a fun new read that explored this phenomena.

The characters were well developed and Baxter was a real person. He didn't act different. You would think he would with his goft, but he was a regular teenage guy trying to win the heart of Hallie, the girl he loved, except everything that ever happens to him, he remembers forever. There were funny parts in the book when teachers would forget something and Baxter would remind them.

If you're looking for a quick fun read that will put you in a world that not many authors have explored, UNFORGETTABLE is your book.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Frail by Joan Frances Turner

Publisher: Ace
Age Group: Adult
Source: Publisher

Being human is a disadvantage in post-apocalyptic America...

Now that the Feeding Plague has swept through human and zombie societies, it seems like everyone is an "ex" these days. Ex-human. Ex- zombie. Except for Amy, that is. She's the only human survivor from her town-a frail. And if the feral dogs, the flesh-eating exes, and the elements don't get her, she just may discover how this all began. Because in this America, life is what you make it...

Since I haven't read the first book in this series, DUST, I was a worried that I was going to be all over the place and not know what was happening, but that wasn't the case. The book starts in a way that it doesn't matter if you read the first book or not.

The story starts off with the main character, Amy, who has survived this plague that killed off everyone she knew. Just once the book began, I was scared. Right in the first chapter, everything starts  and Joan Frances Turner does a nice job with the description. Zombie novels are becoming very popular and if you're into finding a new genre or new creatures to read, zombies seem to be taking over everything whether it be books or movies.

Now if you're not too into zombies, then this book might not be the best fit for you because the story revolves around what has happened after this plague hit and how now zombies are taking over and there are a lot of descriptive parts which may be grusome to some readers. But Turner's writing was amazing in this book. She described everything and didn't leave anything out or rush and parts of the story.

Overall, with Halloween just around the corner, this book would make for a great fright.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S King

Publisher: Little, Brown and Co.
Age Group: YA
Source: Publisher

Lucky Linderman didn't ask for his life. He didn't ask his grandfather not to come home from the Vietnam War. He didn't ask for a father who never got over it. He didn't ask for a mother who keeps pretending their family is fine. And he certainly didn't ask to be the recipient of Nadar McMillan's relentless bullying, which has finally gone too far.
Lucky has a secret—one that helps him wade through the daily dysfunction of his life. Grandad Harry, trapped in the jungles of Laos, has been visiting Lucky in his dreams—and the dreams just might be real: an alternate reality where he can be whoever he wants to be and his life might still be worth living. But how long can Lucky remain in hiding there before reality forces its way inside?
Printz Honor recipient A. S. King's distinctive, smart, and accessible writing shines in this powerful novel about learning to cope with the shrapnel life throws at you, and then taking a stand against it.

Lucky Linderman is anything by Lucky. He's afraid of Nadar McMillan who bullies him constantly and because Lucky is nowhere near as big as Nadar, there's not much he can do about it. Nadar also has a very powerful lawyer dad so no matter whom Lucky tells about his bullying problem, no one will do naything to Nadar. Then, there's Lucky's parents. I didn't like them at all. They didn't love their son and I felt horrible for Lucky because he now was all alone. He didn't have the comfort of his mother to make him feel better or the manly figure of his dad to show him to stand up. He had nobody.

The only place he escaped the real world was through his dreams where he was in the jungle with his grandfather in Vietnam. Lucky's character and his qualities were very realistic. Teenagers who are being bullied in school often do dream about their safe haven. We all have our safe haven. When we have a bad day whether it be at work or at school, we just want to come home, crawl under our sheets and escape realitly.

EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS showed how depression runs through someone and even though Lucky didn't have the support from his family to help him get over his problems, he found a way out himself - through his dreams. That shows a lot about how strong Lucky is. He overcame his parents' inadequacies and took a stand for himself. He didn't let himself fall. Even though this book does deal with bullying, it's not heavy in a sense that it'll make you cry. A.S. King did a great job with keeping the balance neutral.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and was glad I discovered a new author with such remarkable talent to take a subject that becoming such a big issue and creating a book that everyone should read, whether they are being bullied or not.

Friday, October 7, 2011

October - National Anti-Bullying Month

As you may know, October is National Anti-Bullying Monthand every year, people are wondering when there will be an end to bullying. To me, bullying is a silent killer. It works in a way that only the victim suffers and no one else knows about it because the victim never does anything because they're either scared or it doesn't feel right to them. This month, our voice has to be heard and help all the victims.

Many of you who read my blog, know that I've been a victim of bullying myself. I know the pain and that's why I created Show Love, Not Hate. I gathered authors together and Eleni from La Femme Readers and they each shared their stories. If you would like to read an author's story, click on their name below.

Kirsten Miller

Gwen Hayes

Melinda Metz

Eleni (La Femme Readers)

Laurie Faria Stolarz

Jennifer Murgia

Lisa Cach

My Story

No one deserves to feel unloved and you always have to remember that it gets better.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Secrets and Shadows by Shannon Delany

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Age Group: YA
Source: Publisher

Nothing’s simple when you run with werewolves. Jess Gillmansen thinks she’s seen it all but her eyes are about to be opened to even more danger and a reality far more paranormal than she’s suspected. With Jess’s realization that the Rusakovas’ mother is still alive and imprisoned, the group’s choices become harder and trust more important. Lines are drawn and relationships change as the broken Rusakova family struggles to reunite long enough to free their mother and people who Jess always just took to be normal people show themselves to be much, much more.

I loved 13 TO LIFE and have been dying to get my hands on SECRETS AND SHADOWS for a long time, but as I began reading, I found the book to be a bit slow. I found myself comparing the second book with the first one. I found that the idea fell short. Delany's writing was superb which was why I kept reading because her flawless writing kept on sucking me in.

I liked how Shannon didn't only write mythology in this book, but she incorporated real life events, the Russian Mafia. But once the action began forming, it fell very quickly and I wasn't kept on the edge of my seat as I was for 13 TO LIFE. Jess's life is out of control. She has everything thrown at her and at the beginning of the book where she sees her best friend Sarah kissing the guy she loves, Pietr, I was jealous, let alone Jess. She also has to be dealing with werewolves and the Russian Mafia.

When the high school drama began, I was a little hesitant. I didn't think that high school drama would go well into this book because of what it was dealing with, but it did mix well. I found Pietr and his family a bit awkward at times on the way they acted as though they were just perfect in everything, but Jess's character made up for it. She was developed much more in SECRETS AND SHADOWS and I began seeing that her life was only getting harder to understand as she stayed with werewolves. Her emotions were real and what she felt was written very vividly that I could feel it.

Now because there wasn't as much action as I wanted, it doesn't mean this book was bad. I enjoyed it and I would read anything Shannon Delany writes because her writing just sweeps me away. I will continue reading the rest of the series because I just want to know what happens.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

After Obsession by Carrie Jones and Steven Wedel

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

Aimee and Alan have secrets. Both teens have unusual pasts and abilities they prefer to keep hidden. But when they meet each other, in a cold Maine town, they can't stop their secrets from spilling out. Strange things have been happening lately, and they both feel that something-or someone- is haunting them. They're wrong. Despite their unusual history and powers, it's neither Aimee nor Alan who is truly haunted. It's Alan's cousin Courtney who, in a desperate plea to find her missing father, has invited a demon into her life-and into her body. Only together can Aimee and Alan exorcise the ghost. And they have to move quickly, before it devours not just Courtney but everything around her.

I had heard so many great reviews about AFTER OBSESSION that I couldn't wait to dive into it. Right from the beginning, the story captured me. The voice that Jones was writing for her character, Amiee, was captivating and I also loved Wedel's writing in Alan. At times, I couldn't even guess that this book was written by two different people, alternating chapters. Usually, when two authors co-write a book, I've had a heard time switching to another authors writing in a chapter, but not in this one.

I'm so glad that exorcism is becoming big. It's not that I enjoy exorcisms (I have nightmares after watching those movies). It's that the whole YA genre has been taken over by vampires, werewolves, and witches and even though I still enjoy reading about them, exorcisms have their own creep and excitement factor that keeps you at the edge of your seat.

I really liked both of the main characters. Even though Alan was this football guy, he cared for his cousin Courtney and I thought that was cute. I was never too fond of Blake in the story. He has this aura following him saying "I'm jealous of eveyone better than me." He didn't really deserve Aimee and I'm glad Aimee stood up for herself and told him flat out what she felt.

AFTER OBSESSION has become my obsession and I so hope that there will be a sequal following this book. I've never read a book by Carrie Jones or Steven Wedel and after this one, I'll be going to the bookstore and picking up a book from these too. They've created a world that real, yet takes you on a journey that you've never been before and you'll be asking for more.