Friday, July 18, 2014

Future Favorites (2)

Future Favorites is a weekly feature hosted by Alex of Electrifying Reviews. Its purpose is to highlight books that look great, and will hopefully be favorites of mine when I get the chance to read them.

The Pre-Sloane Emily didn't go to parties, she barely talked to guys, she didn't do anything crazy. Enter Sloane, social tornado and the best kind of best friend—the one who yanks you out of your shell.But right before what should have been an epic summer, Sloane just... disappears. No note. No calls. No texts. No Sloane. There’s just a random to-do list. On it, thirteen Sloane-selected-definitely-bizarre-tasks that Emily would never try... unless they could lead back to her best friend. Apple Picking at Night? Ok, easy enough.Dance until Dawn? Sure. Why not? Kiss a Stranger? Wait... what?

Getting through Sloane’s list would mean a lot of firsts. But Emily has this whole unexpected summer ahead of her, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected) to check things off. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go Skinny Dipping? Um...

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: May 6, 2014

I am so so so excited to read this! It's totally the type of book I'd enjoy. It looks cute, with a little bit of mystery and adventure. I can't wait to get my hands on this!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not—you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner.Only, if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you’d stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus.But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong. 

In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.

Pages: 352
Publisher: Square Fish
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Stars: 3/5

When I first read the synopsis for this novel, it reminded me of the Gone series by Michael Grant (one of my all time favorites!!). While reading it, though, I discovered that it was much more different than I thought!

Sure, there were young children trapped in a place together during some disasters having to take control, create order, and ration supplies - but it was definitely more of a "surface" novel. It kind of touched on some harder subjects, but it seemed to be written for possibly more of a younger audience and didn't go into much detail.

For example, there were some deaths in the beginning of the book, and I don't think they cared nearly as much as people in their situation actually would. In addition, they didn't really talk about their families much or seem to care about them until about halfway through. I know that if it was me in that situation, I would have immediately been wondering where my family was!

I didn't get as immersed in this novel as I expected to, and I felt like the middle kind of dragged on a little, and was mostly just dialogue. Don't get me wrong, this was still an enjoyable read! It just wasn't exactly what I was hoping for.

I liked that the characters were pretty easy to follow along with. Though there were a lot of them, they each had unique personalities and played their own role in the storyline, and I could tell them all apart. 

I think some of the choices the protagonist made were a little infurating. For example: HIGHLIGHT FOR SPOILER >> (When he chose to stay with Astrid, the girl he liked, over going to find safety?? She hadn't given him the time of day before, and then she wanted him to stay with her and he oh-so-happily obliged. NO.) 
Regardless, Monument 14 was an entertaining read with a lot of suspense and action in the beginning and the end of the novel. Though I probably won't find myself picking up the sequel, I think it was a nice read!

FTC: Bought.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Raft by S.A. Bodeen

Robie is an experienced traveler. She’s taken the flight from Honolulu to the Midway Atoll, a group of Pacific islands where her parents live, many times. When she has to get to Midway in a hurry after a visit with her aunt in Hawaii, she gets on the next cargo flight at the last minute. She knows the pilot, but on this flight, there’s a new co-pilot named Max. All systems are go until a storm hits during the flight. The only passenger, Robie doesn’t panic until the engine suddenly cuts out and Max shouts at her to put on a life jacket. They are over miles of Pacific Ocean. She sees Max struggle with a raft. 

And then . . . she’s in the water. Fighting for her life. Max pulls her onto the raft, and that’s when the real terror begins. They have no water. Their only food is a bag of Skittles. There are sharks. There is an island. But there’s no sign of help on the way.

Pages: 231
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: August 21, 2012
Stars: 3/5

I picked this book up on a whim at the bookstore, and it made for a fast little read. Robie goes down on a plane and crashes into the ocean, stranding her and one other character on a raft in the ocean.

I used to watch the show I Shouldn't Be Alive, which documented the stories of people who had been in situations like Robie's before, and I was super excited to read a book about it.

I read The Raft in nearly one sitting, and it just flew by for me. It was suspenseful and scary in some parts, and sad in others, but definitely attention grabbing the whole time. There were little mini-climaxes throughout the novel that kept you hooked, wanting to know what was going to happen next to Robie, and if she would ever be rescued.

The novel jumps right into the action, though I wish it had spent some time before letting me get to know Robie and her family a little better. Throughout the book, though, I got to get a sense of who Robie was. She ended up being a little infuriatingly selfish when making some decisions, but other than that she wasn't too bad.

Bodeen threw a twist in the novel that I wasn't really expecting, but made the first half of the book make better sense.

I would recommend The Raft for anyone that wants a quick, suspenseful read!

FTC: Bought.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

How I Got Skinny, Famous, and Fell Madly in Love by Ken Baker

"Thick. Heavy. Big boned. Plump. Full figured. Chunky. Womanly. Large. Curvy. Plus-size. Hefty." 

To sixteen-year-old Emery Jackson, these are all just euphemisms for the big "F" word—"fat." Living on a Southern California beach with her workout fiend dad, underwear model sister, and former model mother, it is impossible for Emery not to be aware of her weight.

Emery is okay with how things are. That is, until her "momager" signs her up for Fifty Pounds to Freedom, a reality show in which Emery will have to lose fifty pounds in fifty days in order to win the million dollars that will solve her family's financial woes. Emery is skeptical of the process, but when the pounds start to come off and the ratings skyrocket, she finds it hard to resist the adoration of her new figure and the world of fame. Emery knows that things have changed. But is it for the better?

Pages: 272
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Release Date: April 22, 2014
Stars: 3.5/5

I had super high expectations for this book, and though it didn't completely disappoint, I wasn't exactly blown away, either. It was a fast read with a sassy main character (Emery) and her interesting family.

I expected the book to have a little more depth to it, though it wasn't a TOTAL fluff read. I thought the story line was cute and Emery was entertaining with her snarky comments and fiery personality. It was also interesting to read a book from an "obese" character's point of view, seeing as most novels don't really focus on that too much.

I thought Emery was fairly realistic, though I didn't get too much of the same vibe from her supporting characters. Where they lacked in realness, they soared in entertainment and humor.

I loved Emery's heart-to-hearts she had with herself. I could relate to a lot of the things she said, and it was really realistic! Honestly, I forgot the novel was written by a guy because Emery's feelings were spot. on.

Near the end of the book, I feel like there was an attempted plot twist, but it just didn't do it for me. It was too weird and irrelevant for it to flow and really take me by surprise. Additionally, I didn't feel like the ending tied up any of t
he loose strings! I'm frustrated because I really wanted to know Emery's final result and what would happen with her family but I feel like Baker avoided that entire area.

Don't get me wrong, this definitely was an enjoyable read! It was definitely strongest in the beginning and middle, but near the end started to fade off.

Regardless, if you're looking for a fun little feel-good read with a sassy protagonist, this is for you!

PS: don't try what she does in the book . . . that's called anorexia athletica!! underrating & over exercising -- not good!

FTC: Bought.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

"If you ain't scared, you ain't human." 

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He's surrounded by strangers--boys whose memories are also gone.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It's the only way out--and no one's ever made it through alive.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

Pages: 374
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: October 6, 2009
Stars: 4.5/5

Holy freaking crap. I can't even believe I've been seeing this book around for so long and that it took me this long to read it. I started reading the book with no idea what to expect with the plot -- all I knew was that it was super popular.

It took me about forty pages to get into it as I was trying to picture the new world being described to me and learn the characters. One I was sucked in, though, I was done for! I read this book ALL. DAY.

I've never read a book super similar to this before and I loved its uniqueness. There was suspense and mystery from the first page, and even the ending left a lot up in the air, demanding the second book to be read. This book was thrilling and a true page-turner.

I loved the main character and the optimism he brought to the story. The supporting characters were great and sparked anger, compassion, and pride in the reader where it was needed. 

I thought the detail provided was great. More than enough for you to get a sense of the world, the characters, and the way it worked, but not too much so that it took you out of the book. It actually got so suspenseful at some points in the book that I literally think I missed half of the detail during those parts because I was reading so fast!

I am so excited this book will be made into a movie because I can't wait to see the difference between the way I pictured this strange series of events in this book as opposed to the "Hollywood" way. 

I think this book could literally be great for anyone! If you're younger, you'll relate to the characters that range from 13 years old to 18. If you're older, you'll be hooked with the plot and suspense, and have to keep reading to the ends to solve the mystery.

GO GET YOU SOME MAZE RUNNER RIGHT NOW!! Read it before you go see the movie. :)

FTC: Bought.


Friday, July 11, 2014

Future Favorites (1)

Future Favorites is a weekly feature hosted by Alex of Electrifying Reviews. Its purpose is to highlight books that look great, and will hopefully be favorites of mine when I get the chance to read them.

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: June 17, 2014

Lucy’s learned some important lessons from tabloid darling Jayla Heart’s all-too-public blunders: Avoid the spotlight, don’t feed the Internet trolls, and keep your secrets secret. The policy has served Lucy well all through high school, so when her best friend Ellie gets sick before prom and begs her to step in as Cole’s date, she accepts with a smile, silencing about ten different reservations. Like the one where she’d rather stay home shredding online zombies. And the one where she hates playing dress-up. And especially the one where she’s been secretly in love with Cole since the dawn of time.

When Cole surprises her at the after party with a kiss under the stars, it’s everything Lucy has ever dreamed of… and the biggest BFF deal-breaker ever. Despite Cole’s lingering sweetness, Lucy knows they’ll have to ’fess up to Ellie. But before they get the chance, Lucy’s own Facebook profile mysteriously explodes with compromising pics of her and Cole, along with tons of other students’ party indiscretions. Tagged. Liked. And furiously viral.

By Monday morning, Lucy’s been branded a slut, a backstabber, and a narc, mired in a tabloid-worthy scandal just weeks before graduation. 

Lucy’s been battling undead masses online long enough to know there’s only one way to survive a disaster of this magnitude: Stand up and fight. Game plan? Uncover and expose the Facebook hacker, win back her best friend’s trust, and graduate with a clean slate.

There’s just one snag—Cole. Turns out Lucy’s not the only one who’s been harboring unrequited love...


I saw this book at Barnes & Noble and I made my friend talk me out of buying it because it was $20 and I could just wait to buy it online . . . now I'm stalking it and wishing I had it in my hands LOL.

I can't wait to read this one! I've read some of Sarah Ockler's books before and I remember enjoying them. :)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Crushed by Sara Shepherd

In the thirteenth Pretty Little Liars novel, the secrets are more crushing than ever...
It's springtime in Rosewood, but while everyone else is searching for the perfect prom dress, Hanna, Spencer, Emily, and Aria are on a different kind of hunt: They're looking for A...

Hanna puts her campaign for prom queen on the back burner to volunteer at a burn clinic, where one of A's victims is recovering. Emily digs into Ali's past at the mental hospital with some very crazy consequences. Spencer contacts an amateur private eye to help her stalk her stalker. But when their sessions get a little too private, they may forget to keep their eyes on A. And Aria's worried that A is even closer than she thought. When her dark secret from Iceland comes to light, she discovers that maybe, just maybe, the one person she's been trying to hide the truth from has known all along.

The liars are finally taking the fight to A. But no matter what they do, A's always one step ahead, ready to crush the girls completely.

Pages: 355
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: June 4, 2013
Number in Series: 13
Stars: 4.5/5

When I first opened this book (like less than 24 hrs ago tbh because I literally couldn't get enough of it) I initially wasn't really looking forward to reading it. It's the thirteenth book in the series, and I was beginning to feel like it was becoming a little repetitive. 

Leave it to Sara Shepard, though, to pull me in with a thrilling plot and suspenseful writing. There were so many twists I COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN. I just finished it like five seconds ago and I'm going to go buy book number fourteen on Amazon right now.

I can't really say much about the book without ruining it for someone who isn't as far into the series as me, but just know that if you're a fan of Sara Shepard and the Pretty Little Liars, this book will draw you in and not let you go.

By the end of the book, I was yelling out loud because I was so into it. Thrilling and trippy and suspenseful and all of the above - this book was amazing. 

It's a quick read, but it leaves you wanting more. I can't even articulate my words about this book but just know that I freaking loved it, and I'm hooked yet again.

I really don't know what else to say other than you should definitely be getting far enough in the series to read this book. I can't wait to find out what happens next in the lives of the Liars - stay tuned for a review on the next book shortly. :)

FTC: Bought.