Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bad Apple by Laura Ruby

Pages: 256
Publisher: Harper Teen
Age Group: Young Adult
Challenges: N/A
Release Date: October 1, 2009

The Final Verdict:
I really enjoyed this book. It was fast paced, interesting, and a different look on a situation not really talked about in YA literature. Add this to your TBR stacks now!!

FTC: Zoe

Thursday, June 23, 2011

In My Mailbox (24)

Hey, everyone! I didn't get any physical books this week -- just a couple of e-books. Hence, the non-video.

High in their mountain covens, red witches pray to the Goddess, protecting the Witchlands by throwing the bones and foretelling the future.

It’s all a fake.

At least, that’s what Ryder thinks. He doubts the witches really deserve their tithes—one quarter of all the crops his village can produce. And even if they can predict the future, what danger is there to foretell, now that his people’s old enemy, the Baen, has been defeated?

But when a terrifying new magic threatens both his village and the coven, Ryder must confront the beautiful and silent witch who holds all the secrets. Everything he’s ever believed about witches, the Baen, magic and about himself will change, when he discovers that the prophecies he’s always scorned—

Are about him.

Release Date: August 30, 2011

Clean by Amy Reed

Olivia, Kelly, Christopher, Jason, and Eva have one thing in common: They’re addicts. Addicts who have hit rock bottom and been stuck together in rehab to face their problems, face sobriety, and face themselves. None of them wants to be there. None of them wants to confront the truths about their pasts. But they’ll all have to deal with themselves and one another if they want to learn how to live. Because when you get that high, there’s nowhere to go but down, down, down. 

Release Date:  July 19, 2011

Goal Line by Tiki & Ronde Barber

Tiki and Ronde have grown a lot during the spring and summer. At the start of ninth grade, they’re not only wiser and more mature, but they’re also taller and stronger—with bigger muscles and bigger hands to grab and hold the ball. Factor in the return of their beloved Coach Wheeler, and the boys couldn’t be more ready for football season. But when Tiki wins a school-wide essay contest and gives an inspirational speech in front of the whole school, he becomes sought after for guidance and advice. The school paper even wants him to do a Dear Tiki column! However, Tiki would prefer make his mark on the field—and with the Eagles starting 4-0 and a perfect season in sight, he’ll have to put a lid on his advice column and concentrate on football.

Release Date: August 30, 2011

Nine hundred years ago, under the complete cover of darkness, the Grigorian army rose silently from their underground lair and attacked the Bulguardian Royal Palace. The bloody and violent battle between the two most legendary houses raged on. All but destroying the majestic Royal City of Altair.

It was not the first war that Juliette had endured between good and evil. And it most certainly would not be her last.

Today, a little girl's world is turned upside down by a visitor,the Angel of Death. She finds herself trapped in a nightmare, consumed by her paralyzing loss and overwhelming grief. The haunting visions and untimely deaths of others are a constant reminder that life and death are only a heartbeat away.

She eventually befriends the unusual little girl who moves in next door with captivating violet eyes and a profound knowledge of things that far exceeds her tender years.

A saga crossing over two worlds. Two souls being drawn precariously together over the centuries.

When your destiny has been written in blood, and you are left with one burning question. Is your Guardian Angel from Heaven or Hell?

Those are the wonderful books I received this week (except for the Paradox book -- I received that a little while ago from the author but spaced on putting it in an IMM post). What did you guys get this week? Feel free to post your links below! :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"Waiting On" Wednesday (24)

Where It Began by Ann Redish Stampler

Gabby Gardiner wakes up in a hospital bed looking like a cautionary ad for drunk driving and lacking a single memory of the accident that landed her there. What she can remember, in frank and sardonic detail, is the year leading up to the accident.

As she takes us through her transformation from invisible girl to on-trend Girl Who Dates Billy Nash (aka Most Desirable Boy Ever), she is left wondering: Why is Billy suddenly distancing himself from her? What do her classmates know that Gabby herself does not? Who exactly was in the car that night? And why is Gabby left alone to take the fall?

Putting the pieces together will take every ounce of Gabby's strength. As she peels back the layers of her life, she begins to realize that her climb up the status ladder has been as intoxicating as it has been morally complex . . . and that nothing about her life is what she has imagined it to be.

Release Date: March 6, 2012

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Hi, everyone who reads my blog.

I just wanted to let you know that I love you. Yes, YOU.

I've been a slacker. I haven't been writing my reviews. Don't think that I've forgotten about you, because BELIEVE ME -- I haven't!

I just wanted to say that I really, really appreciate you guys following me (not literally), reading my rambling reviews, and commenting on what I have to say.

I am getting ahead on my reviews tonight (I have a ton piled up that I need to write) so I will (hopefully) go back to having a new post for you guys everyday. I feel bad for posting sporadically. :P

Anyways, have a great night. "See" you tomorrow. :)

The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder

Pages: 328
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Age Group: Young Adult
Challenges: N/A
Release Date: June 28, 2011

Amber’s life is spinning out of control. All she wants is to turn up the volume on her iPod until all of the demands of family and friends fade away. So she sneaks off to the beach to spend a day by herself.

Then Amber meets Cade. Their attraction is instant, and Amber can tell he’s also looking for an escape. Together they decide to share a perfect day: no pasts, no fears, no regrets.

The more time that Amber spends with Cade, the more she’s drawn to him. And the more she’s troubled by his darkness. Because Cade’s not just living in the now—he’s living each moment like it’s his last.

Stars: 5/5
Cover: A

I didn't really know what this book was about, but I still had pretty high expectations of it because I've heard wonderful things about Lisa Schroeder.

This is the first book I've read by Lisa, and I absolutely fell in love. We didn't really know who Amber was in the beginning of  the story, but through letters from two years ago up until when this story takes place, we are able to untangle Amber's past, and why she needs the day to herself so badly.

I've never read a book like this before, and it was incredible.

I usually don't feel that much of a connection to characters in verse books, but Amber was 100% relateable. She was an extremely admirable character, and her relationship with Cade was one of the best things about this book.

That brings us to Cade. He was one of those boys that are mysterious, and that you don't really know the background to, but it totally worked for him.

When the veil is thrown off, and everything in the book reaches the climax, I really like how Cade and Amber use each other to get through the hard times.

Lisa makes it easy to feel what the characters are going though with the way she writes. Schroeder really captured the emotions in the story perfectly. I was always wanting to read on, and I finished this book in record time.

The ending was one of my favorite things about this book. I got the fuzzie in my stomach, and I was sad when the book ended. I think Lisa ended the book in a perfect place, though, and made it so readers could imagine for themselves what was in store for Amber and Cade in the future.

'Nuff said.

The Final Verdict:
If I could choose one word to describe this book, I would choose "beautiful." Becuase, in all honestly, everything about it was: the story line, the writing, the relationship between the characters. A definite must-read.

FTC: Simon & Schuster Galley Grab

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Island Girls (And Boys) by Rachel Hawthorne

Pages: 336
Publisher: Avon
Age Group: Young Adult
Challenges: N/A
Release Date: June 1, 2005

Date: July 4
Rental type: 2-person sailboat
Rented by: Jen Taylor and Dylan Nelson
Rental time: 8:15 p.m.
Destination: Out to sea!
Life jackets: 2 
Time back: ??? Don't wait up!

Stars: 4.5/5
Cover: B+

I bought this book while in San Diego so that I would have a nice, summery, fluff read. I honestly didn't expect the book to be anything special, and let me tell you, I was extremely surprised. The story started off strong, and right away, I was swept up into the pages. 

It was an easy read, and only took me a day, but it was very eventful. I especially liked the plot in this book because it wasn't just about one thing --- Jen had to deal with her extremely annoying best friend, Chelsea (more on that later), keeping her grandparents' house in one piece, while also falling for a boy camping on the island. 

All-in-all, the book was very fast-paced and a very enjoyable read. :)

Jen was a fun MC. She was easy to relate to, and overall, I thought she made rational decisions and wasn't overly annoying.

Speaking of overly annoying, let's talk about Jen's friend, Chelsea. I absolutely HATED her. She was irritating, bossy, childish, she put her loser of a boyfriend before her friends, and she just rubbed me the wrong way. Now, that's not to say I didn't completely admire Jen and their other friend/roommate, Amy, for putting up with her. 

As I mentioned before, Island Girls (And Boys) was extremely fast paced. It didn't have any dull spots in the plot, and I was constantly wanting to read on to find out what would happen next in the book. 

The ending is cute! I thought I knew what was going to happen, and then I went back on my prediction, and then I changed my prediction . . . I like that about this book. I thought it would be completely cliche, but it kept me guessing a little bit.

I think the cover is what stopped me from having any good expectations for it in the first place! It's not really enticing, and kind of seems a little childish. on a brighter note, it's cute, and it attracts people looking for a summer read (Exhibit A: me).

The Final Verdict:
I've never read any of Rachel Hawthorne's books before, but after reading Island Girls (And Boys) I will definitely be checking them out!

I recommend this book for anyone who wants a taste of summer and a quick, romantic read.

FTC: Bought

Thursday, June 9, 2011

(NOT) In My Mailbox (23)

Sadly, no new books this week. :(

Which MIGHT be a good thing since my TBR stack is GINORMOUS. 


I hope you guys have a good reading week.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

'Waiting On" Wednesday (23)

Vicious Little Darlings by Kathering Easer

Sarah Weaver wasn't looking forward to starting at an all-girls school. But that was before she met Maddy. Maddy and her best friend, Agnes, are fun and rich and interesting—and for some reason, they seem to really like Sarah. Before long, Maddy and Agnes have moved Sarah into a big house off campus, where they cook together, buy each other presents, and share each other's secrets. So why does Sarah feel like something's bizarrely wrong? As more and more cracks start to show in Maddy's and Agnes's perfect veneers, Sarah notices some strange and disturbing things: Maddy's compulsive lying, Agnes's obsession with Maddy, and the deterioration of their friendship. And just when Sarah begins to question her own sanity, things turns deadly. Fans of
 Pretty Little Liars will devour this juicy debut novel.

Release Date: June 21, 2011

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Die For Me by Amy Plum

Pages: 344
Publisher: Harper Teen
Age Group: Young Adult
Challenges: Debut Author Challenge

Release Date: May 10, 2011

My life had always been blissfully, wonderfully normal. But it only took one moment to change everything.
Suddenly, my sister, Georgia, and I were orphans. We put our lives into storage and moved to Paris to live with my grandparents. And I knew my shattered heart, my shattered life, would never feel normal again. Then I met Vincent.

Mysterious, sexy, and unnervingly charming, Vincent Delacroix appeared out of nowhere and swept me off my feet. Just like that, I was in danger of losing my heart all over again. But I was ready to let it happen.

Of course, nothing is ever that easy. Because Vincent is no normal human. He has a terrifying destiny, one that puts his life at risk every day. He also has enemies . . . immortal, murderous enemies who are determined to destroy him and all of his kind.

While I'm fighting to piece together the remnants of my life, can I risk putting my heart—as well as my life and my family's—in jeopardy for a chance at love?

Stars: 4.5/5
Cover: A

I hadn't heard anything about Die For Me before reading it on my Nook, so when I did read it, I was blown away by how much I liked it!

It was a really easy read, and a book that you couldn't put down. I thought the whole premise behind it was really unique (I've never read a book about revenants before), and I liked the spin Amy Plum put on the subject.

Die For Me had a lot of similarities to Twilight, which was the only thing that bothered me about this book. Don't get me wrong, I'm definitely not against Twilight, but I think a lot of YA Paranormal books are too similar to Twilight, and I like to see authors mix it up a little bit.

As a protagonist, I absolutely adored Kate. She was really easy to relate to, and I felt what she felt. Her relationship with Vincent was extremely desireable (though very Twilight-esque).

In a lot of books I read, I only feel connected to the main character(s), and the secondary ones feel really 2-D. I definitely liked that the secondary characters in Die For Me were very realistic, and didn't feel like cardboard cut-outs.

Amy Plum's writing is extremely addicting. She seems so experienced, it's hard to believe this is her debut novel. I couldn't put Die For Me down, and I can't wait to read the sequel.

I realllly can't wait for the second book in the Revenants series. The ending to Die For Me was sweet, and left enough of a cliffhanger for me to want to read on to the next book to find out what will happen next!

The cover is gorgeous! I love the colors, and the beautiful dress the girl is wearing. I also think the cover gives off a feeling of mystery.

The Final Verdict:
Die For Me is a book I definitely recommend! Go ahead and pick this one up at your bookstore. :)

FTC: NetGalley

Monday, June 6, 2011

Fairy Bad Day by Amanda Ashby

Pages: 336
Publisher: Speak
Age Group: Young Adult
Challenges: N/A
Release Date: June 9, 2011

Stars: 4.5/5
Cover: B+

The Final Verdict:
Fairy Bad Day put a fun twist on paranormal creatures, and was a cute, fast read. I recommend this book for anyone who wants a fluff read.

FTC: Zoe.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Plague by Michael Grant

Pages: 497
Publisher: Harper Teen
Age Group: Young Adult
Challenges: 350 Page Challenge
Release Date: April 5, 2011

It's been eight months since all the adults disappeared. GONE. 

They've survived hunger. They've survived lies. But the stakes keep rising, and the dystopian horror keeps building. Yet despite the simmering unrest left behind by so many battles, power struggles, and angry divides, there is a momentary calm in Perdido Beach. 

But enemies in the FAYZ don't just fade away, and in the quiet, deadly things are stirring, mutating, and finding their way free. The Darkness has found its way into the mind of its Nemesis at last and is controlling it through a haze of delirium and confusion. A highly contagious, fatal illness spreads at an alarming rate. Sinister, predatory insects terrorize Perdido Beach. And Sam, Astrid, Diana, and Caine are plagued by a growing doubt that they'll escape - or even survive - life in the FAYZ. With so much turmoil surrounding them, what desperate choices will they make when it comes to saving themselves and those they love? 

Plague, Michale Grant's fourth book in the bestselling Gone series, will satisfy dystopian fans of all ages.

Stars: 5/5
Cover: A

Michael Grant blew me away with the fourth installment of the Gone series. Gone, the first book in the series, is my favorite, but Plague is right up there with it.

There was so much going on in this book. There was a deadly sickness going around, killing off a lot of characters. They were runnin out of water. And to make matters worse, there are giant killer bugs walking around.

Plague was definitely the most gory book in the series. I couldn't read it while weating, because I would get sick to my stomach. 

This book was very fast-moving and action-packed. There were never any dull moments, and man, oh, man, I was sitting on the edge of my seat practically the entire time I was reading this book.

I've loved the characters in this series. And at one point or another, I've hated them. Not because they were badly written or annoying, but because Michael Grant wanted readers to hate them. He is a master at making it so we started to really feel a connection to characters (they all feel like real people) and then either killing them off or making it so we're turned against them. 

There were a lot of internal conflicts for the main characters. Thy had to make decisions that would effect not only themselves, but the FAYZ at large. It really made me wonder if I were in the situations the characters were in, if I would be able to make the correct decisions, or crumble under the pressure.

The dynamic and realistic characters are definitely one of the strongest points in this series.

The entire Gone series is addicting, but Plague may be the most addicting one. I was always wanting to read on and find out what the characters were going to do, or what was going to go wrong in the FAYZ next.

This is one of those books where you're ripping out your hair because you can't wait to see what happens next. The ending of Plague is an intense cliffhanger, and it's going to be a long wait until I read the next, and second to last, book in this series.

I love how all of the covers are corresponding, and how they actually have models that look like the characters.

Lovely Line:
"You know, Sam, you're nice. And so very, very hot," Taylor said. "But you're not really much fun."

"Let's get out of here while we can," Dekka said. "I brought a gun, by the way."

"Are we going to be in danger?" Taylor cried.

"The gun's in case you get on my nerves, Taylor," Dekka warned.

"Oh, so funny," Taylor said.

Sam grinned. For the first time in a while her was actually looking forward to something. A mission. And at least a temporary escape from Perdido Beach.
(Page 95)

The Final Verdict:
If you haven't read this series, I definitely recommend you do so. It's one of my all-time favorites. I love this series because it's not like a lot of other series, where it starts out strong, and then dwindles off. In the Gone series, the books get better as they go on. Plague really sets the bar high for the next book in the series.

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

FTC: Zoe

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Castration Celebration by Jake Wizner

Pages: 291
Publisher: Random House
Age Group: Young Adult
Challenges: N/A
Release Date: May 26, 2009

It’s High School Musicalrated R

When the girl who’s foresworn men meets the boy who’s devoted himself to picking up women, there’s bound to be drama—perfect for a sixweek summer program devoted to the arts. Olivia’s summer goal: to write a musical that censures men with wandering eyes. Max’s summer goal: to hone his acting skills, along with his talent for attracting the ladies. Before camp is over, they’ll perform Olivia’s musical onstage and in real life—though the ending may turn out differently than either expects.

Jake Wizner’s story within a story takes the battle of the sexes to a whole new level in a bawdy, uproarious romp that’s laugh-out-loud fun.

Stars: 5/5
Cover: A-

Castration Celebration was one of those books that are absolutely addicting, and you can't put down. I had really high expectations for how funny this book would be because of the things I'd heard about it, and it completely surpassed them. I was literally laughing-out-loud while reading this book; I don't think I've ever read anything nearly this entertaining.

It was fast-paced, and a really quick read. The end of chapters left me wanting to read the next chapter because I just couldn't put it down, and I really wanted to find out what would happen next. This is definitely one of those books you want to read when you have some time to actually sit down and read it, because once you start it, you won't want to stop.

The characters definitely made this book! They were really well-developed and the little things they did always had me cracking up. I love how they spontaneously busted out into a song (speaking of songs, the songs in this book were probably the funniest part).

I liked the way the friends interacted with each other because it was very realistic --- it didn't feel like an adult trying to sound like a teenager, but like my friends and I talking back and forth and joking with each other.

Like I mentioned before, this book was extremely addicting, and I couldn't put it down. Jake Wizner created a fantastic plotline and setting that really draws readers in.

The ending was more serious than all of the book combined, but it didn't feel out of place. It was a nice way to finish off the book.

I really like the cover, and how it makes fun of HSM (I have nothing against High School Musical). I also like how the cover really suits the book --- I couldn't imagine another cover for Castration Celebration.

Lovely Line:
"There are gay monkeys? That's so cool."

"Of course there are gay monkeys. There are gay monkeys, gay gorillas, gay giraffes, gay penguins, gay aardvarks. You think only people can be gay?"

"Wow! I never thought about that before. Do you think there are gay dinosaurs?"

"Have you seen Barney?"
(Page 159)

The Final Verdict:
This book definitely doesn't get as much praise as it deserves. It is absolutely hilarious, and a must-read for anyone looking for a book to make them crack up.

FTC: Bought.