Saturday, March 31, 2012

In My Mailbox #3

In My Mailbox is a weekly event hosted by the Story Siren. It showcases all the books you have recieved, purchased, or come in any form of contact within this week!

This week, I'm going to show you the books I got at the library. I'm not going to be buying any books (well, I'll attempt to not) in the month of April. Not that there is anything wrong with library books, and I happened to check out some new books when I went today! Here they are, and forgive my inability to frame a picture. . .

Jessica Rules the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey
Cordially UNInvited by Jennifer Roy
A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee

Feel free to comment about which you would like me to review here! (:

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Review: Vintage Veronica by Erica S. Perl

Vintage VeronicaThis book followed Veronica, a teenage girl working at a consignment store. She loves any vintage clothes, and is keen on wearing prom dresses to work. This book is about her summer, and her realization that it's not just about the clothes.

As you can see, I gave this a two star rating. I thought the synposis looked really interesting, but I just wasn't impressed at all with the story line. In my opinion, Veronica was a lousy protagonist. She constantly describes herself as fat and doesn't understand why anyone would want her. Even to the last few chapters she was doing this, and I really just wanted her to buck up and be happy with herself. I don't see her as a good role-model type protagonist.

I think I dislike nearly every character in this book too, which is a big issue. Len was okay, but uhhhm he seemed horny to me. . Bill was the only character I fully liked. And Violet, but does she even count as a character—or pet?

Also, on the horny note, this is book definitely has some racy scenes, which include anything but. I was not expecting that going in, so fair warning to anyone else.
I guess I'd recommend this to some people, but not everyone.

Minimum age: 11 or 12ish
Publishing house: Random House
Publish date: October 11th, 2011

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Cleaning Giveaway!

Welcome to my Spring Cleaning giveaway! This hop is being hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer.

This is an opportunity to give away some old books that you've read and are just gathering dust on your shelves!

I'll be giving away Want To Go Private? By Sarah Darer Littman. It's a book I read this past year and enjoyed. Watch my review here. This copy will also be hardcover. This book is about the reality of online predators. Here's the summary!
(I am shipping to USA only.)

Want to Go Private?Abby and Luke chat online. They've never met. But they are going to. Soon. Abby is starting high school--it should be exciting, so why doesn't she care? Everyone tells her to "make an effort," but why can't she just be herself? Abby quickly feels like she's losing a grip on her once-happy life. The only thing she cares about anymore is talking to Luke, a guy she met online, who understands. It feels dangerous and yet good to chat with Luke--he is her secret, and she's his. Then Luke asks her to meet him, and she does. But Luke isn't who he says he is. When Abby goes missing, everyone is left to put together the pieces. If they don't, they'll never see Abby again.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Follow Friday (#2)

This weekly event is hosted by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read, so click here for all the specifics of this week's event! (:

This week's question:
What is the best and worst book you've read this month?

The best was Ten Things We Did (and probably shouldn't have) ~
Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have)

And the most disappointed (I still enjoyed this book, don't get me wrong!) was The Juliet Spell ~
The Juliet Spell

Read my review for the first and the second!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Review: Torn by Stephanie Guerra

TornThis book followed Stella, a normal girl who lived in Illinois. She befriends the new girl, Ruby, who is wild and a complete polar opposite of Stella who is a good-girl with good grades. She quickly finds herself in a tough situation when Ruby begins dating a older guy. Stella is unsure what to do (you may say she's torn, haha..) and finds herself struggling about whether to ignore it or try to take action.

This book was very real. It had great description and very developed characters. I could get into Stella's head, and see the realistic reasons for every  action she took. I may have not totally seen understood why she skipped school so often, but that was the only thing I puzzled over. Stella was a perfect protagonist for the role she played in this book. Ruby was so wild and out-of-control, her presence flowed nicely in contrast to Stella. And it coincided with the drama of the guy she was dating, Kenneth. Don't even get me started on Kenneth! He's so creepy, and sketchy, and the writing portrayed that so perfectly it was really easy to get into the storyline with him there.

The only con about this book was probably that it lacked a climax. There are more dramatic scenes than others, but there was no real turning-point. I do love how the book ended though, solving everything nicely but still leaving a few question marks in my head.
I recommend this for book fans of realistic-fiction ya, friendship, and finding yourself in a bad relationship.

Hardcover (263 pages) published April 1st, 2012 by Marshall Cavendish.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Review: Gift by Andrea J. Buchanan

Andrea Buchanan was a
classical pianist before
becoming a writer.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Review: Bumped by Megan McCafferty

Bumped by Megan McCaffertyBumped by Megan McCafferty
This book was set in a dystopian future, where adults are not able to conceive children. So instead, they pay teenagers to 'pregg' for them and then give them the child. This book follows Melody and Harmony, two identical twins as they are taken on a journey that teaches them right from wrong.

I was really excited for this book, and I very much had high expectations. While those expectations were met, they were not exceeded. This book was very average if you take away the very creative and different world they lived in.

My main issue with this whole book was Harmony. Harmony was so naive, and I guess I just hate naivety. But it wasn't just that. It was the fact that I had to listen to her. The chapters alternated POV between the twins, and when it got to Harmony's chapters, I could barely stand it. Before you even get to know Harmony she's getting in trouble that greatly betrays other characters, and that set me off on a sour note with her. I was also not aware going in that it would be so religious. Let me just warn anyone going in now, it is very, very religious. Harmony is a strong Church-girl, and that's all she ever talks about. I am not against religion at ALL, but I don't read YA books to hear about it. I guess I just really wasn't expecting it and it hit me in the face hard.

Although, on the other hand, I loved Melody. I thought she was a great protagonist and one that could be admired. Although in the beginning she is slightly naive as well, she really discovers herself by the end and develops a whole lot. I also loved Zen! Him and Melody make a great duo.

As for the writing, it wasn't amazing. The plot had good intentions, but the ending wasn't very strong and left me slightly unsatisfied. There is a sequel that I will read, just for the sake of Melody and Zen. It's funny how much you can't stand a character but how much you can love some other ones! I recommend this book to fans of dystopian, (you won't be disappointed) romance and coming-of-realization.

3/5 Stars

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Review: Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3)
This was the final book in the Shiver trilogy, which followed Sam and Grace as they battled what kept their love apart: wolf transformations.

I have to say, I was extremely close to dropping this book. For the majority of probably 200 pages out of 390, I was unsatisfied and bored. It's the same thing over and over again, except now Grace is the wolf and not Sam. That's an original plot for you.

But the end really saved the book, in my case. I loved how everything wrapped up neatly. The only thing that left me unsatisfied in the end was Cole & Isabel's relationship. I loved this couple, but I wasn't even sure where they stood in their final chapter. It definitely left me with some questions.

Sam and Grace are still my primary couple that came out of this book. I am still not a Grace fan, she comes off as unapproachable and robotic to me, but I can't help loving Sam. Even if he is very sappy.

All in all, try the series. You won't be disappointed with the end.

3/5 Stars

See my review of the first and the second book.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

In My Mailbox #2

In My Mailbox is a weekly event hosted by the Story Siren. It showcases all the books you have recieved, purchased, or come in any way contact with this week!

I've been in school this past week, so it has been mainly ordering books online for me. Here are the ones I got!

The 2nd and 3rd books in the 310 series;

Everything She Wants (The 310, #2)Boy Trouble (The 310, #3)

and the 3rd (and final??) book in the Dark Elite series:

Charmfall (Dark Elite, #3)

What have you gotten recently? Make your own post! (:

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Review: A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

A Victorian boarding school story, a Gothic mansion mystery, a gossipy romp about a clique of girlfriends, and a dark other-worldly fantasy--jumble them all together and you have this complicated and unusual first novel.

Sixteen-year-old Gemma has had an unconventional upbringing in India, until the day she foresees her mother's death in a black, swirling vision that turns out to be true. Sent back to England, she is enrolled at Spence, a girls' academy with a mysterious burned-out East Wing. There Gemma is snubbed by powerful Felicity, beautiful Pippa, and even her own dumpy roommate Ann, until she blackmails herself and Ann into the treacherous clique. Gemma is distressed to find that she has been followed from India by Kartik, a beautiful young man who warns her to fight off the visions. Nevertheless, they continue, and one night she is led by a child-spirit to find a diary that reveals the secrets of a mystical Order. The clique soon finds a way to accompany Gemma to the other-world realms of her visions "for a bit of fun" and to taste the power they will never have as Victorian wives, but they discover that the delights of the realms are overwhelmed by a menace they cannot control. Gemma is left with the knowledge that her role as the link between worlds leaves her with a mission to seek out the "others" and rebuild the Order.

A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, #1)This is quite the mysterious read, to put it as easily as I can. The whole story is a mystery, little secrets were revealed as you read a long. Although the biggest and most dire ones were kept until the very end.

The story followed the protagonist, Gemma, on your journey to a London finishing school after her mother's unexpected death. Within the first chapter Gemma has a vision that reveals her mother didn't die because of cholera, but something entirely different. Gemma is suspicious of everything from then on, especially shadows. I thought Gemma was a really good character to base the story around. Her decisions are ones that I (for the most part) backed. Although, there were a few times when I was mentally screaming at her to not do this, or that. I loved every character, except Ann. Felicity seemed a little trait-confused as well, since there were many different sides to her. None of which I could figure out. Kartrik was a nice addition, and I really would love to see more development with him and Gemma in the following books.

I am a sucker for this time period. I love the Victorian-era, with the dresses and mannerisms, etc. But the thing I most noticed in this book that Libba Bray really showed a light on, was the sexism of it all. Fiction really glorifies these time periods that were so sexist to the women who couldn't even speak their own minds if they wanted to be considered marriage-material. You don't have to be a femenist to agree with this.

Above all, this was such a fun read. I loved the mystery aspect of it, and how the ending was. Everything major was tied up with an explanation, leaving a few stray side-plots that easily paved the way for the series to be based off of. I recommend this to fans of Victorian-era, magic, strong protagonists, and mystery.

4/5 stars