Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"Waiting On" Wednesday (22)

Envy by Gregg Olson

New York Times bestselling adult true crime author Gregg Olsen makes his YA debut with EMPTY COFFIN, a gripping new fiction series for teens based on ripped-from-the-headlines stories . . . with a paranormal touch.

Crime lives--and dies--in the deceptively picture-perfect town of Port Gamble (aka “Empty Coffin”), Washington. Evil lurks and strange things happen--and 15-year-olds Hayley and Taylor Ryan secretly use their wits and their telepathic “twin-sense” to uncover the truth about the town's victims and culprits.

Envy, the series debut, involves the mysterious death of the twins' old friend, Katelyn. Was it murder? Suicide? An accident? Hayley and Taylor are determined to find out--and as they investigate, they stumble upon a dark truth that is far more disturbing than they ever could have imagined.

Based on the shocking true crime about cyber-bullying, Envy will take you to the edge--and push you right over.

Release Date: September 6, 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


You may have noticed my lack of reviews recently. I've still been reading, but I haven't had as much time to, and I especially don't have time to write reviews as of right now. (School is coming to an end, and I have finals, traveling softball, etc...)

Therefore, I will be taking a short break until June 4 (the day after I get out of school). I need to spend this time focusing on school, and finishing the year strong.

Thanks sooo much for understanding, and I'll see you guys with lots of great reviews starting on June 4th! I have a lot of fun stuff planned for the blog for summer, so stay tuned!

Sorry for inconvenience.

(I'll still be doing my regularly scheduled IMM's and WoW posts on Wednesdays and Thursdays).

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"Waiting On" Wednesday (21)

Stealing Bases by Keri Mikulski

Reformed mean girl Kylie Collins desperately wants to put the craziness of basketball season behind her. (And with it, her cheater ex, Zachary Murphy.) Maybe she’ll finally be able to silence her snarky streak and concentrate on her lifelong dream - being recruited for Division One softball.

But when Kylie arrives at her first softball practice of the season, she comes face-to-face with her worst nightmare: Amber McDonald, the best pitcher in the state.

Now, Kylie's forced to warm the bench as Amber wows crowds again and again. With all the drama happening out on the softball diamond, Kylie finds herself drawn back to bad habits–sabotaging people and hanging out with a certain Zachary Murphy. . .

Release Date: July 7, 2011

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

Pages: 304
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Age Group: Young Adult
Challenges: Debut Author Challenge
Release Date: April 19, 2011

It's always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he's crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.

Stars: 4/5
Cover: A
I'd heard a lot of hype about this book previous to me reading it on my Nook, and I was super excited to read it. It started out really strong, and jumped right into Kate's story. I liked the different emotions Kate was feeling that tied in really nicely to the story and how it made it all the more realistic. I thought, overall, The Goddess Test had really nice pacing. There was never too much or too little action.
I admit, at first I really didn't like Kate. I thought she was kind of annoying at the beginning of the book, and made some really stupid unrealistic decisions.
For example, when Ava (who, on top of everything, was completely cruel to Kate) died, in order to bring Ava back to life Kate sacrified some of the last days she had with her mom. I just don't know anyone who would make that decision in order to save someone who'd never been nice to them.

The relationship between Kate and Henry was a little weird to me. He seemed way too old for her (I imagined him as being, like, fifty).

While reading this, I couldn't believe that The Goddess Test is Aimee Carter's debut novel! It's so well written, and she's really great at dragging you into the story. I like the scenery she provides, and how I can imagine how pretty Eden is.

Throughout the last fifty or so pages of the book, I was really shocked. I liked that the author didn't make the ending what I had expected, and that it completely caught me off guard.

Lovely Line:
"Maybe you'll win when hell freezes over."

He raised an eyebrow.

"That could be easily arranged."

The Final Verdict:
The Goddess Test was enthralling, humorous, and all-around a good read. It will capture your attention and draw you in. I think this book is extremely memorable.

FTC: NetGalley.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Stars: 4.5/5
Cover: B

Overall, The Hunger Games was amazing. It started out a little slow, but really picked up. There was a lot of character development, and the characters were easy to relate to and realistic.

I definitely recommend this book to everyone twelve and up.

FTC: Bought.

****This was my FIRST video review!!! Did you like it? Do you want to see more video reviews in the near future? Tell me below! :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"Waiting On" Wednesday (20)

As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott

What if you woke up and didn't know where you were? 

What if you didn't know who you were? 

And what if, when your memories started to come back--what if they didn't match the you that you're supposed to be? 

Ava is welcomed home from the hospital by a doting mother, lively friends, and a crush finally beginning to show interest. There's only one problem: Ava can't remember any of them--and can't shake the eerie feeling that she's not who they say she is. 

Ava struggles to break through her amnesiac haze as she goes through the motions of high-school life, but the memories that surface take place in a very different world, where Ava and familiar-faced friends are under constant scrutiny and no one can be trusted. Ava doesn't know what to make of these visions, or of the boy who is at the center of them all, until he reappears in her life and offers answers . . . but only in exchange for her trust.

Release Date: September 15, 2011

The only book I've read by Elizabeth Scott is Living Dead Girl, but I loved it, so I can't wait to read this one. 

Lies by Michael Grant

Pages: 447
Publisher: Harper Collins
Age Group: Young Adult
Challenges: 350 Page Challenge
Release Date: May 4, 2011

It's been seven months since all the adults disappeared. Gone.

It happens in one night. A girl who died now walks among the living; Zil and the Human Crew set fire to Perdido Beach; and amid the flames and smoke, Sam sees the figure of the boy he fears the most: Drake. But Drake is dead. Sam and Caine defeated him along with the Darkness—or so they thought.
As Perdido Beach burns, battles rage: Astrid against the Town Council; the Human Crew versus the mutants; and Sam against Drake, who is back from the dead and ready to finish where he and Sam left off. And all the while deadly rumors are raging like the fire itself, spread by the prophetess Orsay and her companion, Nerezza. They say that death is a way to escape the FAYZ. Conditions are worse than ever and kids are desperate to get out. But are they desperate enough to believe that death will set them free?

Stars: 4.5/5
Cover: A

I am absolutely in love with this entire series, and have been since my first time reading Gone, the first book in the series, a couple of years ago. Even though every book in the series has been massive so far, the story is worth every page.

Lies is the third book in the series, and is one of the most fast-paced books in the Gone series so far. For the last half of the book, there's constant action, but Michael Grant does it in a way that readers are able to absorb it enough, and experience the feelings that the characters do, before moving on to the next action scene.

This whole series is full of moments that you're sitting on the edge of your chair, holding your breath, and unable to tear your eyes away from the page. Michael Grant is the master of suspense and twisted plot lines.

This book is written in third person, but in a bunch of different perspectives. I love how when Michael Grant is in the view of Drake, the sadistic boy with the whip hand, he writes from Drake's point of view, showing his thoughts the way he would think them. Another example of this is when he writes in Little Pete's, Astrid's autistic little brother, point of view, the sentences are short and repetitive.

I love the covers to all of the books in the series, especially since they have the models representing and looking vry similar to the way they are described in the books. The one thing I would change about this cover is how old Astrid looks, because she's supposed to be a fourteen year old girl. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the girl on the cover does not look fourteen.

Lovely Line:
Brianna dropped the skateboard in front of Sam. "Don't worry: I won't let you fall off."

"Yeah? Then why'd you bring the helmet?"

Brianna tossed it to him. "In case you fall off."

The Final Verdict:
Lies was a big step up from the second book in the series, Hunger, which was still amazing. I love everything about this series, and I definitely recommend you read this series.

Other Books In This Series:
Gone by Michael Grant
Hunger by Michael Grant

FTC: Bought.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

QUICK! Top 10 Summer Reads!

I'm doing a little sidebar in my school newspaper for the top 10 reads (10 for girls, 10 for boys).

I have some ideas, but I haven't read all of the books in the world, so it would mean a lot if you would comment below with some fantastic summer reads!

Thanks for your help!

The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher

Pages: 240
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Age Group: Young Adult
Challenges: Debut Author Challenge
Release Date: January 1, 2011

Welcome to a future where water is more precious than oil or gold . . .

Hundreds of millions of people have already died, and millions more will soon fall -- victims of disease, hunger, and dehydration. It is a time of drought and war. The rivers have dried up, the polar caps have melted, and drinkable water is now in the hands of the powerful few. There are fines for wasting it and prison sentences for exceeding the quotas.
But Kai didn't seem to care about any of this. He stood in the open road drinking water from a plastic cup, then spilled the remaining drops into the dirt. He didn't go to school, and he traveled with armed guards. Kai claimed he knew a secret--something the government was keeping from us . . .

And then he was gone. Vanished in the middle of the night. Was he kidnapped? Did he flee? Is he alive or dead? There are no clues, only questions. And no one can guess the lengths to which they will go to keep him silent. We have to find him -- and the truth -- before it's too late for all of us.

Stars: 4/5
Cover: A+

I've been wanting to read The Water Wars ever since I heard about it in 2010. I'd heard awaesome things about it, and that it was a good dystopian read. It's a fairly short book, but there are a lot of words on each page, so it does take a lot of time to read.

It started out a little slow, and I wasn't able to dive into Vera's futuristic society as soon in the book as I had hoped. When the story did start picking up, it felt too fast, and a little rushed. It seemed Vera had just met Kai when all of a sudden he is taken away, and she's going on this crazy manhunt for him, risking her life.

Also, when she meets Ulysseus, she goes from being terrified of him to trying to save him way too fast. It was hard for me as a reader to understand or empathize with her fast transition of feelings.

I really, really liked the whole enviornmental theme going on in this book. I thin Stracher provides a good message --- to stop treating our resources like they'll never run out. Vera talks about how her parents can remember things that all of us do today that we take absolute advantage of without a second thought --- things like running under the sprinklers, taking wet showers (Vera has to take something called "dry" showers), and being able to drink water freely, whenever we want.

The cover to this book is absolutely gorgeous! I love the water coming off the eye (almost like eyelashes) and also the way the jacket feels.

Lovely Line:

The Final Verdict:
I would definitely recommend this book to people of all ages. This is one of those books that are scary because it's very possible that Vera's world could be the future Earth. If you're going to read this book, I would suggest keeping a bottle of water around, because you'll need to take some sips of it when you read Stracher's descriptions of the dry world.

FTC: Zoe.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy by Sonya Sones

Pages: 149
Publisher: Harper Temptest
Age Group: Young Adult
Challenges: N/A
Release Date: October 31, 1999

It happens just like that, in the blink of an eye. An older sister has a mental breakdown and has to be hospitalized. A younger sister is left behind to cope with a family torn apart by grief and friends who turn their backs on her. But worst of all is the loss of her big sister, her confidante, her best friend, who has gone someplace no one can reach.
 Stars: 3.5/5
Cover: B-

I picked this book up from my school library because of its small size. I had just finished one of my own books, and I just wanted a book that would take me an hour to read so that I could start my other books at home. I honestly didn't expect to enjoy this book, and surprisingly, I really did. It was written in verse, so it was fast paced, and very poetic.

Quite often when I read books in verse, I don't really feel a connection to the protagonist or any other characters. Surprisingly, though, I could really empathize with the protagonist (not because I have any siblings with mental illnesses) but because Sones made the characters come alive.

I've always thought that it'd be harder to write a book in verse than a regular book because you have to essentially write a bunch of poems, and also since you have so many less words, each one has to count. I feel like Sones really did make each word count, and she wrote beautifully.

The ending (actually, the last two pages) were amazing. Sones really ended the book on a good note. I love how for most of the book, it showed how much of a negative impact the protagonist's sister had on her, and then at the end of the book, it showed things looking up. It leaves some to the reader's imagination.

I don't necessarily hate the cover, but it's definitely not my favorite. I think the colored stripes kind of kill the prettiness of the cover.

The Final Verdict:
I recommend this book to anyone who wants a really quick read with substance. It's not that memorable, but it's a great time killer.

FTC: Library.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Just One Wish by Jannette Rallison

Pages: 272
Publisher: Putnam
Age Group: Young Adult
Challenges: N/A
Release Date: May 5, 2009

Seventeen-year-old Annika Truman knows about the power of positive thinking. With a little brother who has cancer, it's all she ever hears about. And in order to help Jeremy, she will go to the ends of the earth (or at least as far as Hollywood) to help him believe he can survive his upcoming surgery.

But Annika's plan to convince Jeremy that a magic genie will grant him any wish throws her a curveball when he unexpectedly wishes that his television idol would visit him. Annika suddenly fi nds herself in the desperate predicament of getting access to a hunky star actor and convincing him to come home with her. Piece of cake, right?

Janette Rallison's proven talent for laugh-out-loud humor, teen romance, and deep-hearted storytelling shines in a novel that will have readers laughing and crying at the same time.

Stars: 4/5
Cover: B+

I admit, I didn't have high expectations for this book, because I did the unthinkable and judged a book by its cover. The cover is cute and all, but I didn't expect the book to have much substance because of the cover. Well, I was wrong. If I Stay was an extremely enjoyable, fun read that wasn't just fluff.

I was constantly intrigued and wanting to read on. The pace in this book was spot on --- there was never too much going on, or too little.

Annika was a fun protagonist. She was sweet, but witty, and she was so driven. I loved the fact that she would do anything for her little brother, even if it was unrealistic.

I would have to say that was my main problem with this book --- that it was so unrealistic. I mean, I understand that Annika wanted to make her brother happy, but I really don't know any seventeen year olds that would do all the crazy stunts she did in the book. I will admit, though, that without all of that, there wouldn't have been a story.

The ending was cute, though, again, unrealistic. Putting that aside, it was one of those endings that gave you butterflies and made you think, "awwww!" Yet, it still leaves a little to the imagination of the reader, which is good. I was wondering how Rallison was going to end the book, and I think the way she did end it was perfect.

Lovely Line:
"Jeremy might not make it through surgery; he's six years old, and he might be gone forever after Friday morning. The thing he wanted most in the whole world was for you to come and visit him. I'm sorry I barged in your life this way, but I thought if I could talk to you, if you understood . . ." I kept my gaze on his, searching for a sign that he might relent. "I need you to grant him just one wish."

This is the first Janette Rallison, but judging by how much I enjoyed this book, it definitely don't be the last.

FTC: Bought.

Friday, May 6, 2011

New Blog Layout!

Hey, guys! It's Laura.


I had the old theme for almost six months, so I figured it was time to change up the wintery background for a more cheerful, summery one.

I'm trying out a couple of different things, and this is what I'm at now.

I'm also looking to get a new header that matches this theme, so if you know of anyone that makes them, or of any blank ones that I can decorate myself that match this theme, let me know!

If you design blog themes and want to help me out with mine, I would love your help!

If in anyway you know someone, or you yourself do blog designs or have a header, email me at:

thecoverreviews AT hotmail DOT com.

Give me your feedback on the current design!
Like it, love it, hate it, indifferent?
Let me know in the comments below. ;)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

COVER REVEAL! ("Waiting On" Wednesday 19.5)

Twisted by Sara Shepard

It’s been a year since the torturous notes from A stopped and the mystery of Alison DiLaurentis’s disappearance was finally put to rest. Now seniors in high school, Aria, Spencer, Hanna and Emily are older, but they’re not any wiser. The Pretty Little Liars have more secrets than ever - twisted secrets that could destroy the perfect lives they’ve worked so hard to rebuild. 

Aria’s jealous of her boyfriend’s new exchange student. Spencer’s getting a little too cozy with her soon-to-be-stepbrother. Hanna’s one scandalous photo away from ruining her dad’s Senate campaign. And Emily will do anything to get a swim scholarship. 

Worst of all: Last spring break in Jamaica, they did something unforgivable. The girls are desperate to forget that fateful night, but they should know better than anyone that all secrets wash ashore … eventually.

Release Date: July 5, 2011


I'm with everyone else when I say, "but she ended the series so nicely at the end of book eight. How can the story go on from there?"

But, this is the first time I've seen the cover or read the synopsis, and I just couldn't help but share it with you guys (hence, the WoW .5 post). I am incredibly excited to read this (um, hello, it's SARA SHEPARD) and reading the synopsis has gotten me even more excited.

My only concern is that it won't live up to the first eight books, but with Shepard's writing talent, I doubt that will happen.

I've already pre-ordered it off of Amazon (you can do so also here.) and I will be counting down the days until July. 

I'd better start re-reading the series!

Happy reading!

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Pages: 272
Publisher: Penguin
Age Group: Young Adult
Challenges: N/A
Release Date: January 1, 2009

In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck... A sophisticated, layered, and heart-achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

Stars: 5/5
Cover: A

Wow. I was blown away by If I Stay. I've heard people talking about how amazing this book was, but I didn't expect to love it as much as I did --- "love" being an understatement.

By the first page, I was hooked. Forman showed us Mia's family life before the accident --- they were all so happy, and got along so well. It was obvious to readers that they loved each other very much.

That's why, when the accident happened, readers were able to feel the pain of what Mia had lost, which really developed the plot, and helped us have more empathy and compassion for what Mia was going through. In other words: it wasn't like Mia was telling us how she felt, it was like we were feeling it with her.

If you know me, you know I rarely ever cry during books (sure, I'll get sad and all, but it's rare that I come across a story that makes tears spring to my eyes). If I Stay was one of those books. While reading it, and went and climbed into bed with my parents because I didn't want to be alone while reading it.

Mia is perhaps one of my all time favorite protagonists. She was really easy to relate to, and I didn't feel like she was making stupid decisions that no one would realistically make. She is one of those characters that wedges their way into readers hearts, and doesn't leave.

The way Gayle Forman writes is beautiful. She captures your attention with exquisite descriptions of characters, settings, and feelings, and when I read If I Stay it was like watching a movie in my head.

I also loved how we were able to get a lot of background story of Mia, her friends, and her family, from the flashbacks and memories she has after the accident.

By the end of the book, I was in shock from the amazing story I had just devoured. I'm really anxious to see where Mia's story goes in the sequel because I thought the story ended perfectly at the end of If I Stay.

I absolutely adore the cover to this book. I obviously wasn't the only one, because when I was reading it at school, a couple of my friends commented on how much they liked the cover. I think it's really edgy, and fits in perfectly with the story.

Lovely Line:
Sleep would be so welcome. A warm blanket of black to erase everything else. Sleep without dreams. I've heard people talk about the sleep of the dead. Is that what death would feel like? The nicest, warmest, heaviest never-ending nap? If that's what it's like, I wouldn't mind. If that's what dying is like, I wouldn't mind that at all.

The Final Verdict:
If I Stay was heart-wrenching, emotional, and extremely memorable --- a book that should be on the mandatory reads list for everyone of all ages.

FTC: Bought.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

"Waiting On" Wednesday (19)

Ripple by Mandy Hubbard

Lexi is cursed with a dark secret. Each day she goes to school like a normal teenager, and each night she must swim, or the pain will be unbearable. She is a siren - a deadly mermaid destined to lure men to their watery deaths. After a terrible tragedy, Lexi shut herself off from the world, vowing to protect the ones she loves. But she soon finds herself caught between a new boy at school who may have the power to melt her icy exterior, and a handsome water spirit who says he can break Lexi's curse if she gives up everything else. Lexi is faced with the hardest decision she’s ever had to make: the life she's always longed for - or the love she can't live without?

Release Date: July 21, 2o11

So, I've had my eye on this book since November of 2010. I absolutely love Mandy Hubbard, and this book seems like an amazing book. The synopsis is extremely entrancing, and I can't wait to dive into Mandy Hubbard's third novel. :)

P.S.: Sorry for the lack of posts these last few days. I've been pretty sick :/