Sunday, December 1, 2013

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

This review may contain spoilers of previous books in the series.
Summary:(from goodreads) The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories. But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Review: This is the third and final book in the Divergent trilogy and I really enjoyed it. I wasn't sure what direction the story would go in after how the last book ended. It was different than what I expected. I liked that there was a lot happening. The plot was well paced but there was also a lot of character development going on. I think that Tris and Tobias both changed a lot over the course of the book. I thought the new plot line introduced in this book was an interesting one but also slightly annoying at times. I am honestly having mixed feelings about how this series ended. There were certain parts I liked. I was happy with the way most of the characters ended up, but there were a few things that should have ended differently. Overall, this is a really great series and I strongly recommend it to anyone who hasn't read it yet.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Fire by Kristin Cashore

Summary:(from goodreads) It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. The young King Nash clings to his throne while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. The mountains and forests are filled with spies and thieves and lawless men.This is where Fire lives. With a wild, irresistible appearance and hair the color of flame, Fire is the last remaining human monster. Equally hated and adored, she had the unique ability to control minds, but she guards her power, unwilling to steal the secrets of innocent people. Especially when she has so many of her own. Then Prince Brigan comes to bring her to King City, The royal family needs her help to uncover the plot against the king. Far away from home, Fire begins to realize there's more to her power than she ever dreamed. Her power could save the kingdom. If only she weren't afraid of becoming the monster her father was.
Review: I was interested to see what would happen in this book after reading Graceling and I was surprised to see how different the setting really was. The events in this book happen before Graceling and it was different from what I expected. The plot was interesting and well paced and there were a few unexpected twists to keep things interesting. There was one part of the story that was unexpected and seemed like it didn't really need to be there. Another thing that bothered me was the way it ended. There were a few questions left unanswered and I wish it tied more into the story line of Graceling.  I liked the characters in this books even if some of them were kind of annoying. I instantly loved Brigan and Hanna. Even though Fire was a bit whiny at times I liked her character overall, and she changed a lot over the course of the book. This book was good and I think it made a good addition to the series but I think I liked Graceling a bit more. Certain aspects of this world were a little bit annoying after a while and wished more had been explained about the connections between the two worlds.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Light by Michael Grant

This review may contain spoilers of previous books in the series.

Summary:(from goodreads) It's been over a year since all the adults disappeared. Gone. In the time since every person over the age of fourteen disappeared from the town of Perdido Beach, California, countless battles have been fought: battles against hunger and lies and plague, and epic battles of good against evil. And now, the gaiaphage has been reborn as Diana's malicious mutant daughter, Gaia. Gaia is endlessly hungry for destruction. She yearns to conquer her Nemesis, Little Pete, and then bend the entire world to her warped will. As long-standing enemies become allies, secrets are revealed and unexpected sacrifices are made. Will their attempts to save themselves and one another matter in the end, or will the kids of Perdido Beach perish in this final power struggle?  Review: This is the sixth and final book in the Gone series and I am disappointed to see it end. This book was just as action packed and exciting as the rest of the series. The stakes were pretty high and I liked the dynamic had changed a little bit. We also get to see quite a bit of what is going on outside the dome which added an extra layer to the story. I was satisfied with the way the series ended. I liked knowing what happened to the characters. I wish certain parts of the story had been drawn out a little bit more but other than that I was satisfied with where things ended. I don't really have much else to add except to say that I am going to miss this series and will definitely be reading more of Michael Grant's books in the future.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Unbreakable by Kami Garcia

Summary:(from goodreads) When Kennedy Waters finds her mother dead, her world begins to unravel. She doesn’t know that paranormal forces in a much darker world are the ones pulling the strings. Not until identical twins Jared and Lukas Lockhart break into Kennedy’s room and destroy a dangerous spirit sent to kill her. The brothers reveal that her mother was part of an ancient secret society responsible for protecting the world from a vengeful demon — a society whose five members were all murdered on the same night.Now Kennedy has to take her mother’s place in the Legion if she wants to uncover the truth and stay alive. Along with new Legion members Priest and Alara, the teens race to find the only weapon that might be able to destroy the demon — battling the deadly spirits he controls every step of the way.
Review: I haven't read that many YA ghost stories. I don't know if that's because they aren't being written or I just don't read them but either way I can count on one hand the number of genuinely creepy ghost stories I have read. This one was really well done. I am a fan of the Beautiful Creatures series and I have been curious to see what these authors could do on their own. There was a lot of new information about this world being thrown out but it didn't bog down the story at all. The plot was well paced with a lot of creepy scenes. My favorite was probably Hearts of Mercy. I was on the edge of my seat during that part of the book. I liked Kennedy as a main character although she wasn't the type of character that stands out, That's what made her seem like a realistic character. Lukas, Jared, Alara and Priest were all awesome characters. Priest was probably my favorite though. His passion about building weapons makes him awesome. I can't believe the way this book ended. It was an intense ending and I need the next book to come out now. The only thing that slightly annoyed me was the uncertainty about Kennedy's family history. I wished we had been given some definite answers. Overall, though I really liked this book.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

SYLO by D.J. MacHale

Summary:(from goodreads) Fourteen-year-old Tucker Pierce prefers to fly under the radar. He’s used to navigating around summer tourists in his hometown on idyllic Pemberwick Island, Maine. He’s content to sit on the sidelines as a backup player on the high school football team. And though his best friend Quinn tells him to “go for it,” he’s too chicken to ask Tori Sleeper on a date. There’s always tomorrow, he figures. Then Pemberwick Island is invaded by a mysterious branch of the U.S. military called SYLO. And sitting on the sidelines is no longer an option for Tucker, because tomorrow may never come. It’s up to Tucker, Quinn, and Tori to uncover the truth about the singing aircraft that appears only at night—and the stranger named Feit who’s pushing a red crystal he calls the Ruby that brings unique powers to all who take it. Tucker and his friends must rescue not just Pemberwick Island, but the fate of the world—and all before tomorrow is too late.
Review: I have been a fan of D.J. MacHale's books for a long time so I was excited when I discovered that he was releasing a new series. This one did not disappoint. There was a lot of mystery and action that had me hooked. I liked the main characters, especially Tucker and Quinn. They were different but their determination to uncover the truth made them strong characters.  The way the book ended made me very interested to see where the next book is going to lead, which isn't going to be released until next year.  There were a few things that happened that I wasn't happy about but I am hoping there will be a better explanation in the next book. This was one of those books where just when you think things can't possibly get any worse for the characters it does. It kept me on the edge of my seat and I am really excited to read the sequel.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Wrecked by Elle Casey


Summary:(from goodreads) An ill-fated Caribbean cruise and four teenagers: a nerd, a jock, a mouse, and a beauty queen…an island, a treehouse, some nefarious interlopers…life and death…fear and loathing…love and laughter. Follow Jonathan, Kevin, Candi and Sarah as they find their typical high school lives and their worlds totally WRECKED.
Review: This was just an ok book for me. The plot was pretty typical and I found myself a little bit bored at times. The characters also seemed pretty typical but they did change over the course of the book. My favorite characters were probably Jonathan and Sarah. They were both really interesting and Jonathan's facts were entertaining. I loved how much Sarah developed over the course of the book. She started out as a pretty typical character but I actually really liked where things ended for her.  Candi and Kevin were just a little bit annoying. Especially Kevin, he was probably the one who changed the least. I liked Candi but she wasted to much time worrying about getting in with the cool crowd that it got annoying after a while.  The things that happened on the island towards the end were a little bit ridiculous. I guess it sort of needed to happen but I felt like it could have been a little bit more developed.  I was interested to see that there is a sequel to this book and based on the way this book ended I will be interested to see where it leads.  Overall, this was a fun book and I will be reading the sequel eventually.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Summary:(from goodreads) Cath is a Simon Snow fan.Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere. Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone .For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind.
Review: I absolutely loved this book. The plot was simple I was hooked from the beginning. I could relate to so much of what Cath was thinking and feeling. This book was so real and relevant to so much of my life. The characters are a huge part of what make this book so special. Cath and Levi are some of the best characters I have read in such a long time. I loved them both so much. I didn't really like Wren or Reagan very much at first but as the story went on I liked them both a little bit more. I thought the book ended so perfectly as well, as much as I didn't want it to end at all. I love the snippets of Simon's story that we got to read. It added a lot to the story and helped me imagine the world that Cath was such a big part of. It's honestly really hard for me to put my thoughts about this book into words. I loved it. I am very excited about reading some of Rainbow's other books.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Best Night of your (Pathetic) Life by Tara Altebrando

Summary: (from goodreads) An all-day scavenger hunt in the name of eternal small-town glory. With only a week until graduation, there's one last thing Mary and her friends must do together: participate in the Oyster Point High Official Unofficial Senior Week Scavenger Hunt. And Mary is determined to win.Mary lost her spot at Georgetown to self-professed "it" bully Jake Barbone, and she's not about to lose again. But everyone is racing for the finish line with complicated motives, and the team's all-night adventure becomes all-night drama as shifting alliances, flared tempers, and crushing crushes take over. As the items and points pile up, Mary and her team must reinvent their strategy--and themselves--in order to win.
Review: This was a really fun book. The premise seemed fun and exciting and the book lived up to that promise. It was well paced and at 240 pages is a pretty quick read. I had mixed feelings about the characters. At the beginning of the book I didn't really like Mary that much. She was whiny and kind of annoying at times. However, during the second half of the book she changed quite a bit and was a lot more mature about some of the things that were going on. My favorite character in the book was definitely Dez. He was the character I connected with the most. Some of the issues that he was dealing with are more difficult then the petty relationship games that everyone else seemed to be playing, which honestly started to get annoying after a while. Overall, though this was a fun bunch of characters that were fun to spend some time with. The ending was pretty predictable but I didn't really mind because it was such a fitting ending. Although, I did have some issues with the book it was a fun and crazy adventure that I enjoyed reading.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang

Summary:(from goodreads) I should not exist. But I do.Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else—two souls woven together in one body, taking turns controlling their movements as they learned how to walk, how to sing, how to dance. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why aren’t they settling? Why isn’t one of them fading? The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away, and their parents begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn’t . . .
For the past three years, Eva has clung to the remnants of her life. Only Addie knows she’s still there, trapped inside their body. Then one day, they discover there may be a way for Eva to move again. The risks are unimaginable-hybrids are considered a threat to society, so if they are caught, Addie and Eva will be locked away with the others. And yet . . . for a chance to smile, to twirl, to speak, Eva will do anything.

Review: The premise of this book was a really interesting and unique one. I didn't expect the plot to be as dystopian as it was. At the beginning it seemed like the book was going to be different than it was. I really liked that the book was told from Eva's perspective but I wish we had gotten some of Addie's pov as well. I liked both of them  a lot, even though there were times throughout the book when they were both being annoying. The history behind this world was interesting and I hope that we get a little bit more of it in the next book. The one thing I didn't like about this book was the ending. The events that unfolded in the last few chapters was kind of unsatisfying. There were a few things that really wanted to see happen at the end and they didn't. Based on where this one left off I am excited to see where the next book leads but there was so much more that could have happened it seemed like it was a little bit rushed. I did enjoy this book and will definitely be picking up the sequel eventually.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Sever by Lauren Destefano

This review may contain spoilers of previous books in the series.

Summary: (from goodreads) With the clock ticking until the virus takes its toll, Rhine is desperate for answers. After enduring Vaughn’s worst, Rhine finds an unlikely ally in his brother, an eccentric inventor named Reed. She takes refuge in his dilapidated house, though the people she left behind refuse to stay in the past. While Gabriel haunts Rhine’s memories, Cecily is determined to be at Rhine’s side, even if Linden’s feelings are still caught between them.Meanwhile, Rowan’s growing involvement in an underground resistance compels Rhine to reach him before he does something that cannot be undone. But what she discovers along the way has alarming implications for her future—and about the past her parents never had the chance to explain.
Review: This is the third and final book in this trilogy and it was by far my favorite. I liked all of the characters a lot more in this book than I did in the previous two. Linden was the one that especially grew on me. I didn't really like him earlier on in the series but I understood him so much more as his character grew. Reed was another character that I liked a lot. There were certain points where I wanted to slap him but overall, he was a good addition to the story. There were a few really surprising plot twists that kept the story interesting. My only problem with this book is that I feel like the world was not explored enough. A lot of information about how things were and what was being done to fix it was kind of skimmed over.  I liked the way the book ended but I wanted to know about what was being done to try and find a cure. I wish the ending hadn't felt so rushed. This is a good dystopian series and i am excited to see what Destefano has in store for us next.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Xbestia by Melissa Conway

Summary:(from goodreads) Twenty years into the future, bioengineered animals provide organs for human transplantation. Grafts of animal skin have replaced tattoos in popularity, which gives rise to a unique new demographic: xenofreaks. Bryn Vega’s father is head of the Pure Human Society and when she’s kidnapped by the Bestia Butcher, the most notorious of the criminal xenosurgeons, she assumes it's payback for her father’s anti-xeno activities. Scott Harding is her taciturn jailer-called Cougar because of the claws replacing his fingers-but Scott is not who he seems. Deep under cover for the Xenofreak Intelligence Agency, he’s been given unprecedented immunity to find the Bestia Butcher’s lair and do whatever it takes to bring him to justice. When Bryn is forced to undergo a radical xenoalteration, she discovers a terrible secret: her father is using The Pure Human Society as a front for his own purposes. His willingness to sacrifice his daughter to accomplish them sends her running to Scott for protection, and into the hard-core underground subculture of the very xenofreak society she once despised.
Review:  I thought this book was just OK. The premise is unique, but I thought there were some things that were a little bit confusing. There were a lot of characters and roles that were a little bit hard to keep straight. I also had a hard time connecting with any of the characters. Both Bryn and Scott were well written characters but they both annoyed me at times. The plot was entertaining and well paced but overall I thought the whole thing was a little bit drawn out. It seemed as if everyone was overreacting to everything. The actions of a lot of the characters didn't seem justified. The second half of the book was better than the first half and based on how things ended I am curious to see what happens next in the series. This book wasn't one of my favorites but it was enjoyable and I will be continuing with the next book. I hope that things start to make a little bit more sense.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz

Summary:(from goodreads) Be careful what you believe in.Rudy’s life is flipped upside-down when his family moves to a remote island in a last attempt to save his sick younger brother. With nothing to do but worry, Rudy sinks deeper and deeper into loneliness and lies awake at night listening to the screams of the ocean beneath his family’s rickety house.Then he meets Diana, who makes him wonder what he even knows about love, and Teeth, who makes him question what he knows about anything. Rudy can’t remember the last time he felt so connected to someone, but being friends with Teeth is more than a little bit complicated. He soon learns that Teeth has terrible secrets. Violent secrets. Secrets that will force Rudy to choose between his own happiness and his brother’s life.
Review: I have been a fan of Hannah Moskowitz for a while now so I excited to get my hands on a copy of this book. It's different than her other books. This one has a magic element which I liked a lot more than I thought I would. It's hard for me to write this review because I can't pinpoint exactly what it is about this book that I liked so much. Rudy and Teeth were both really great characters and despite the circumstances they were relate able. i think the two of them is really what made this book for me. It wasn't really a book about magical fish but about the friendship these two develop. I was drawn into the story pretty easily. Despite the magic involved everything about this book just felt so real. Not sure how much sense that makes but it's true. The only thing that I didn't like about this book is the way it ended. I wish it could have had a more satisfying ending. I will definitely be reading more of this author's books in the future.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Summary:( from goodreads) After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.
Review: I had mixed feelings about this book while I was reading it. I didn't really know what to expect going into it and was surprised by what I found. i haven't read that many books about aliens so I don't really have much to compare it to, but I thought the world building was done well. The alternating pov's really added a lot to the story. Ben was probably my favorite character. I found his pov to be the most interesting. There were a few things that were somewhat predictable. Because of the multiple pov's the reader knows more about what's going on than any of the characters which took away the element of surprise. The second half of the book was much more exciting than the first half. The characters were all so well written and believable. The way they react  to certian situations is understandable and that made me really like them. I was sceptical when I first started this book but i am glad i read it. Even if there were a few things that bothered me it was still a pretty enjoyable read.  Overall, I enjoyed it and am excited to continue with this series. I am curious about where the story will lead.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Nobody by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Summary:(from goodreads) There are people in this world who are Nobody. No one sees them. No one notices them. They live their lives under the radar, forgotten as soon as you turn away. That’s why they make the perfect assassins.The Institute finds these people when they’re young and takes them away for training. But an untrained Nobody is a threat to their organization. And threats must be eliminated. Sixteen-year-old Claire has been invisible her whole life, missed by the Institute’s monitoring. But now they’ve ID’ed her and send seventeen-year-old Nix to remove her. Yet the moment he lays eyes on her, he can’t make the hit. It’s as if Claire and Nix are the only people in the world for each other. And they are—because no one else ever notices them.
Review: There were two things about this book that caught my attention when it was released. First, it was by an author that i was familiar with and have enjoyed books from before. The other thing was the premise. For the most part, I thought this world was developed really well. I would like to know the history behind this world and how it came to be. The book was well paced. There was enough action to keep things interesting without becoming to predictable. The characters were interesting although the dynamic between them was kind of strange. As the book went on I liked them more and more and was rooting for them to succeed by the end. I also liked the fact that this book is a stand alone. The story could have continued but it doesn't really need to and I like the way things were left. This book is not over the top as far as scifi goes. There was just enough to keep it entertaining along with a dystopian element which i wasn't expecting. This is probably my favorite book that i have read by this author so far and I will be reading more in the future.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King

Summary:(from goodreads) 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 dysfunctional family is fine. And he didn't ask to be the target of Nader McMillan's relentless bullying, which has finally gone too far.
But Lucky has a secret--one that helps him wade through the daily mundane torture of his life. In his dreams, Lucky escapes to the war-ridden jungles of Laos--the prison his grandfather couldn't escape--where Lucky can be a real man, an adventurer, and a hero. It's dangerous and wild, and it's a place where his life just might be worth living. But how long can Lucky keep hiding in his dreams before reality forces its way inside?

review:  This was one of those books that I picked up simply because everything I heard about was really good. However, after reading it I hate to say it didn't live up to the hype. I thought it was an OK book. The second half of the book was stronger. The first half lacked in plot a little bit and there was nothing special to make it stand out. I didn't really connect with the characters. I liked Lucky and was rooting for him to overcome his issues. I liked the message this book had about overcoming obstacles in our lives and felling trapped by our circumstances. The way the title played into it was really great as well. I appreciated the deeper meaning this story had and I thought that was the best thing about it. However, on a simpler level I just didn't connect with the characters and story. I will probably try more of this author's books in the future because this one did have promise and I know lots of people love them. I am curious to try more.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

This review may contain spoilers of previous books in the series.

Summary:(from goodreads) The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth...Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.
Review: This is the second book in the Lunar chronicles and I loved it as much as the first one. The plot was engaging and although there weren't as many plot twists as there were in the first book, there was still a lot happening. All the characters from the first book make an appearance in this one as well as a few new faces. I liked Scarlet a lot. She was a brave and determined character. The plot line involving her character really added a lot to the story. The connection between the two books was really interesting. I hope that it continues for the rest of the series. I did find a few things to be somewhat predictable but I loved the rest of the story enough that it didn't really affect my enjoyment of it. I can't wait for the next book to be released. anyone is a fan of fairytale retelling should check out this series. It's quickly becoming one of my favorite series.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

10 things to do Before I Die by Daniel Ehrenhaft

Summary:(from back of book) Looking for a way to kill time in a New York City diner, sixteen year old Ted Burger and his friends write down ten things that Ted's got to accomplish before he. one faraway day,kicks the bucket. but when Ted discovers he actually is dying, the list turns into a beat the clock carpe diem mission. Now ted is about to embark on the wildest ride of his life... where the last thing he'll ever do is rest in peace.
Review: I have really mixed feelings about this book. When I started reading I expected the book to have a much more serious tone than it did. This book takes a much more lighthearted and fun approach to life and death. That wouldn't have really bothered me that much if it hadn't been for how ridiculous the characters reacted to the situation at hand. I honestly hope that no one would really behave that way in those circumstances. However, I think the book did have a good message about living life. I have to admit that as much as the characters annoyed me at times there was a lot of development that happened towards the end of the book. If you want a serious and emotional book about life and death than I suggest that you look elsewhere. But this is a good pick if you want a funny, quick and entertaining read about living life to the fullest that you might enjoy this one.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Are We There Yet? by David Levithan

Summary:(from amazon) Sixteen-year-old Elijah is completely mellow and his 23-year-old brother Danny is completely not, so it’s no wonder they can barely tolerate one another. So what better way to repair their broken relationship than to trick them into taking a trip to Italy together? Soon, though, their parents’ perfect solution has become Danny and Elijah’s nightmare as they’re forced to spend countless hours together. But then Elijah meets Julia, and soon the brothers aren’t together nearly as much. And then Julia meets Danny and soon all three of them are in a mixed-up, turned-around, never-what-you-expect world of brothers, Italy, and love.
Review: David Levithan has become one of those hit or miss authors for me. I thought this book was just OK. There was something about the way it was written that left it a little lacking. However, I did enjoy the traveling in the book. pretty much the entire book takes place in Italy which I liked reading about. Elijah and Danny both annoyed me throughout the book. I couldn't understand why they didn't like each other. I couldn't help but laugh at how wrong they were about each other. It seemed like their issues with each other could have been so much more developed which would have added a lot to this book. The plot line was pretty predictable and I wish there had been more to the story. Even the plot line involving Julia could have been so much more drawn out and dramatic. I just thought the whole thing was a bit rushed.  This book was an OK read. There were some things I liked and others I didn't. I will probably read more of Levithan's books in the future. I still have high hopes for his books.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Forgotten by Cat Patrick

Summary:(from goodreads) Each night at precisely 4:33 am, while sixteen-year-old London Lane is asleep, her memory of that day is erased. In the morning, all she can "remember" are events from her future. London is used to relying on reminder notes and a trusted friend to get through the day, but things get complicated when a new boy at school enters the picture. Luke Henry is not someone you'd easily forget, yet try as she might, London can't find him in her memories of things to come. When London starts experiencing disturbing flashbacks, or flash-forwards, as the case may be, she realizes it's time to learn about the past she keeps forgetting-before it destroys her future.
Review: This is one of the books that i was drawn to because the premise was something unique that I haven't heard of before. It was an enjoyable read. The plot was well paced and I was immediately drawn into London's story. When I first started reading I was worried that it was going to be confusing. However, it was done in a way that was easy to follow and stay engaged. There wasn't a whole lot of action happening. This is a very character driven story. I liked London and Luke a lot. They were both well written and awesome characters. There was one thing that annoyed me about the plot line involving Luke but I was able to overlook it. The main thing I didn't like was the way things ended. I felt like the ending was a little bit rushed. I wish a few of the plot points had been wrapped up better. An extra few chapters would have gone a long way in giving this story a stringer ending. Overall, though this was a good book that I would definitely recommend.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Summary:(from goodreads) In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power—brutally transforming their subjects' lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined:Cleo: A princess raised in luxury must embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long thought extinct.Jonas: Enraged at injustice, a rebel lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people's revolution centuries in the making.Lucia: A girl adopted at birth into a royal family discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.Magnus: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, a firstborn son begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword. . . .The only outcome that's certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?
Review: I wasn't really sure what to expect when I started reading this book. The plot was interesting although, I was surprised at how much of it was the more political aspect. The fantasy element is definitely what kept things exciting. The characters were all well developed. The books switches perspective between Cleo, Jonas, Magnus and Lucia. I liked the two boys better than the girls. I didn't really mind them, but Cleo and Lucia both did things that annoyed me. I thought Magnus and Jonas had a lot more development. One thing that surprised me about the book was how much death and violence there was. I guess I should have expected it because of the war and conflict that happens between the kingdoms. One thing I liked was at the beginning of the book there was a map and a list of all the important characters and their roles. This made it a lot easier for me to keep track of who everyone was especially at the beginning before I got to know the characters.Overall, This was an enjoyable book. I think fans of fantasy should give this one a try.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle

Summary:(from goodreads) Anyone who’s had something truly crappy happen to them will tell you: It’s all about Before and After. What I’m talking about here is the ka-pow, shake-you-to-your-core-and-turn-your-bones-to-plastic kind of crappy.Sixteen-year-old Laurel’s world changes instantly when her parents and brother are killed in a terrible car accident. Behind the wheel is the father of her bad-boy neighbor, David Kaufman, whose mother is also killed. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Laurel navigates a new reality in which she and her best friend grow apart, boys may or may not be approaching her out of pity, overpowering memories lurk everywhere, and Mr. Kaufman is comatose but still very much alive. Through it all there is David, who swoops in and out of Laurel’s life and to whom she finds herself attracted against her better judgment. She will forever be connected to him by their mutual loss—a connection that will change them both in unexpected ways.  
Review:  I really liked this book. This is a character driven book and I really connected with Laurel. Even though I have never dealt with anything even close to what she is going through. I liked the buildup of her relationship with David. It was very slow and subtle which isn't something that is seen very often. This book is not really focused on the romance it's just there as a little side note. The way the characters develop is really great. Laurel changes a lot of the course of the book but at the same time she is still so much the same.  It's kind of hard to explain but I think the reason I fell in love with this book is because it felt so real. There was nothing overly dramatic or unrealistic. I am really excited to read this author's other books. My only complaint about it is that the immediate aftermath of the accident was not emotional enough. This isn't a huge deal because the whole book is emotions and dealing with how to move on, but I still noticed it. Really, I loved this book.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Unwholly by Neal Shusterman

This review may contain spoilers of previous books in the series.
Summary:(from goodreads) Thanks to Connor, Lev, and Risa—and their high-profile revolt at Happy Jack Harvest Camp—people can no longer turn a blind eye to unwinding. Ridding society of troublesome teens while simultaneously providing much-needed tissues for transplant might be convenient, but its morality has finally been brought into question. However, unwinding has become big business, and there are powerful political and corporate interests that want to see it not only continue, but also expand to the unwinding of prisoners and the impoverished.Cam is a product of unwinding; made entirely out of the parts of other unwinds, he is a teen who does not technically exist. A futuristic Frankenstein, Cam struggles with a search for identity and meaning and wonders if a rewound being can have a soul. And when the actions of a sadistic bounty hunter cause Cam’s fate to become inextricably bound with the fates of Connor, Risa, and Lev, he’ll have to question humanity itself. 
Review: This is the second book in the unwind series. I read the first book in this series years ago and so it was difficult for me to remember some of the details as i jumped back into this world. However, this didn't affect my enjoyment of the story all that much. This book deals with a lot of the problems surrounding unwinding and there is even a small amount of history about how this society came to be. I really liked all of the characters in  this book but my favorites were Lev and Cam. Both of them have some interesting things going on and I think they will both play a big part in the next book. The plot of this book was pretty well paced and I liked the alternating perspectives. I don't think the story would have been as good if we were limited to one character. I am excited for the next book even though there is a small part of me that this series is going to get a little bit repetitive. Lets' hope that things will stay new and exciting for the rest of the series.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Dying to Know you by Aidan Chambers

Summary:(from goodreads) Karl, aged seventeen, is hopelessly in love. But the object of his affections, Firella, demands proof, and poses him a series of questions regarding his attitude to the many sides of love. But Karl is dyslexic, and convinced that if Firella finds out, she will think he is stupid, and unworthy of her, and leave him.So Karl asks a local writer to help him construct his replies - and an unlikely, but extremely touching, friendship develops between the two men. They both come to learn a great deal about about life from a very different perspective, and when an act of violence shatters their calm, they find their respective appraisal of life shifting in profound ways.Review: I wasn't really sure what to think about this book when I picked it up. The premise is an interesting one, but I was worried that it was going to be lacking in action. It was a definitely a more character driven story. I was surprised to find that the story is narrated by the author that Karl visits who is never named. I thought this book was just OK. I liked the depth that developed over the course of the novel. However, I feel like there was never any character development. Things weren't really much different by the end and the original premise of the story is forgotten pretty early on. Another thing is I didn't really have a connection with any of the characters. I enjoyed them but didn't love them. I feel like I maybe would have enjoyed it more if it was told form Karl's perspective. It seems like it would have been more relatable that way.  Despite those things I did get drawn into the story and enjoyed it quite a bit while i was reading it. I enjoyed it but it wasn't one of my favorites.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Bewitching by Alex Flinn

Summary:(from goodreads) Bewitching can be a beast. . . .
Once, I put a curse on a beastly and arrogant high school boy. That one turned out all right. Others didn't.I go to a new school now--one where no one knows that I should have graduated long ago. I'm not still here because I'm stupid; I just don't age.You see, I'm immortal. And I pretty much know everything after hundreds of years--except for when to take my powers and butt out.I want to help, but things just go awry in ways I could never predict. Like when I tried to free some children from a gingerbread house and ended up being hanged. After I came back from the dead (immortal, remember?), I tried to play matchmaker for a French prince and ended up banished from France forever. And that little mermaid I found in the Titanic lifeboat? I don't even want to think about it.Now a girl named Emma needs me. I probably shouldn't get involved, but her gorgeous stepsister is conniving to the core. I think I have just the thing to fix that girl--and it isn't an enchanted pumpkin. Although you never know what will happen when I start . . . bewitching

Review: This is another one of Alex Flinn's fairy tale retellings and this one was just as good as the others. I liked that this book had retellings of a few different fairy tales thrown in. Although, the main focus of the story was the story of Emma and Lisette. Emma was a really great main character in a lot of ways. She was quiet and liked to read, and didn't really have to many friends. She was easy to relate to. Kendra was also a really awesome character. Hearing her stories of some of the places she has been throughout history added a lot to the story. My only problem was that I wish she had been in the story more. Hopefully we get more of Kendra's story some day. You don't necessarily have to read Beastly first but I think this book will be way more enjoyable if you do.   If you are a fan of Alex Flinn's other fairy tale retelling I think you will enjoy this one as well.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan

Summary:(from goodreads) Fifteen-year-old Blake has a girlfriend and a friend who’s a girl. One of them loves him; the other one needs him.
 When he snapped a picture of a street person for his photography homework, Blake never dreamed that the woman in the photo was his friend Marissa’s long-lost meth addicted mom. Blake’s participation in the ensuing drama opens up a world of trouble, both for him and for Marissa. He spends the next few months trying to reconcile the conflicting roles of Boyfriend and Friend. His experiences range from the comic (surviving his dad’s birth control talk) to the tragic (a harrowing after-hours visit to the morgue).In a tangle of life and death, love and loyalty, Blake will emerge with a more sharply defined snapshot of himself.

Review: This is a book I have been wanting to read for a really long time and I was happy to finally get my hands on a copy. There wasn't to much going on as far as plot, this book was all about the characters. The best thing about this book is Blake. He is such a realistic character and his struggles are something that I think a lot of teens can relate to. The photography element was interesting as well. Not only was it Blake's hobby but a lot of the time the photos he took added another dimension to the story. I don't know if that makes sense but it feels more thought out then just giving a random hobby to a character.  I liked Marissa a lot as well. There was quite a bit of dram going on in this book and it kept things from getting boring. My only problem with this book was the way thing ended, especially regarding Marissa. I wish their had been a little bit more closure. This book more than met my expectations that I had for it.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Seth Baumgartner's Love Manifesto by Eric Luper

Summary:(from goodreads) Seth Baumgartner just had the worst day of his life.His girlfriend dumped him (at Applebee's), he spied his father on a date with a woman who is not his mother (also at Applebee's!), and he lost his fourth job of the year. It's like every relationship he cares about is imploding, and he can't figure out what's going on.To find answers, Seth decides to start an anonymous podcast called The Love Manifesto, exploring "what love is, why love is, and why we're stupid enough to keep going back for more." Things start looking up when Seth gets a job at a golf club with his hilarious and smut-minded best friend, Dimitri, and Dimitri's sister, Audrey. With their help, Seth tracks down his father's mystery date, hits the most infamous bogey in the history of golf, and discovers that sometimes love means eating the worst chicken-salad sandwich you can ever imagine. 
Review: This book was a lighthearted and fun book that takes a look at the meaning of love. Seth was an easy character to relate to.The way things ended up was a little bit surprising but it added a lot to the story. I thought the love manifesto wasn't a big enough part of the story. Although, we do get some brief segments from it, apart from that Seth doesn't really talk about it. Seth does learn a lot about love over the course of the book and I think that was my favorite part of it. The plot was pretty  character driven, which is to be expected. Seth was really the only character that I liked, everyone else was kind of annoying. overall, this was a fun and cute story.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Kill Order by James Dashner

Summary:(from goodreads) The prequel to the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series.Before WICKED was formed, before the Glade was built, before Thomas entered the Maze, sun flares hit the earth and mankind fell to disease.Mark and Trina were there when it happened, and they survived. But surviving the sun flares was easy compared to what came next. Now a disease of rage and lunacy races across the eastern United States, and there’s something suspicious about its origin. Worse yet, it’s mutating, and all evidence suggests that it will bring humanity to its knees.Mark and Trina are convinced there’s a way to save those left living from descending into madness. And they’re determined to find it—if they can stay alive. Because in this new, devastated world, every life has a price. And to some, you’re worth more dead than alive.
Review: This is the prequel to the Maze Runner series and I thought it was a pretty good read. It was fast paced and there was a lot of action. This book is set during the time of the flares and goes into a lot more detail of how things happened than the original trilogy does. Just when you think things can't get any worse for the characters it does. My only problem with this book was that I didn't like the way the book ended. I wish there had been a little bit more closure on this story, even though I sort of know where these characters are going to end up. Also, Mark wasn't my favorite character. I liked him but I thought Alec and Trina were more interesting. I would recommend reading the Maze Runner trilogy before you read this because I think it is more enjoyable that way. I am excited to read more books by this author.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal

Summary:(from goodreads) Ari Mitchell feels invisible at her Brooklyn high school. Her hair is too flat, her style too preppy, and her personality too quiet. And outside school, Ari feels outshined by her beautiful, confident best friend, Summer. Their friendship is as complex and confusing as Ari’s relationship with her troubled older sister, Evelyn, a former teenage mom whose handsome firefighter husband fills Ari’s head with guilty fantasies.When an unexpected inheritance enables Ari to transfer to an elite Manhattan prep school, she makes a wealthy new friend, Leigh. Leigh introduces Ari to the glamorous side of New York—and to her gorgeous cousin, Blake. Ari doesn't think she stands a chance, but amazingly, Blake asks her out. As their romance heats up, they find themselves involved in an intense, consuming relationship. Ari's family worries that she is losing touch with the important things in life, like family, hard work, and planning for the future. When misfortune befalls Blake's family, he pulls away, and Ari's world drains of color. As she struggles to get over the breakup, Ari must finally ask herself: were their feelings true love . . . or something else?
Review: I didn't really know that much about this book when I started it. However, I was pleasantly surprised by it. It did take me a little while to really get into it but once I did I really liked it. This book takes place in the 80's which was awesome, even though I kept forgetting about it especially in the first half. My favorite part of this book was all the characters. Ari was a character that I think a lot of people can relate to as she falls in love for the first time and deals with insecurities. Leigh, Blake, Del, Evelyn and Patrick were all great as well. The only ones who annoyed me were Ari's parents, especially her mom. She was serious and cirtical all the time and this is something that is starting to annoy me more than absent parents.  This book deals with love and relationships, but not only romantically. Ari learns how to be a good friend, daughter and lover. I will definitely read more by this author.

The Queen of Everything by Deb Caletti

ummary:(from goodreads) People ask me all the time what having Vince MacKenzie for a father was like. What they mean is, was he always crazy? High school junior Jordan MacKenzie's life was pretty typical: fractured family, new boyfriend, dead-end job. She'd been living with her father (the predictable optometrist) since her mother (the hippie holdover) had been too embarrassing to be around. Jordan felt like she finally had as normal a life as she could. But then came Gayle D'Angelo.Jordan knew her father was dating Gayle, and that Gayle was married. Jordan knew it was wrong, and that her father was becoming someone she didn't recognize anymore, but what could she do about it? And how could she -- how could anyone -- have possibly guessed that this illicit love affair would implode in such a violent and disturbing way?
Review: I am a fan of Deb Caletti's books and this one was next in my quest to read all her books. I really liked it. This book had a lot of family drama that kept things moving along. Even though I had figured out the direction things were headed, it didn't affect how much I enjoyed it that much.  I think what was different about this book was that the drama is centered around the adults rather than the main character. Although, Jordan was affected by everything that happened she was not the main participator. Jordan was a really great main character. The book is written as is she is telling the story after everything has happened.You get to see her insights into how she would have done things differently. My favorite characters apart from Jordan were her grandparents. They added a lot of humor to the story. overall, I  liked this book. Fans of Caletti's other books should definitely read this one as well.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Who Done it?- Multiple authors

Summary:(from goodreads) A star-studded anthology with a devilish hook, whose proceeds benefit 826nyc: the fabulous literacy non-profit founded by Dave Eggers.Can you imagine the most cantankerous book editor alive? Part Voldemort, part Cruella de Vil (if she were a dude), and worse in appearance and odor than a gluttonous farm pig? A man who makes no secret of his love of cheese or his disdain of unworthy authors? That man is Herman Mildew.The anthology opens with an invitation to a party, care of this insufferable monster, where more than 80 of the most talented, bestselling and recognizable names in YA and children’s fiction learn that they are suspects in his murder. All must provide alibis in brief first-person entries. The problem is that all of them are liars, all of them are fabulists, and all have something to hide.

Review: I generally find it somewhat hard to review anthologies but I think in this case there is enough to warrant a discussion. I had high hopes for this book. The premise was really intriguing and the proceeds went to a good cause. I have to say that it didn't live up to my expectations. I just feel like it could have been done so much better. I wish the stories had been more interconnected. Although there was some overlap in the stories, it started to get repetitive after a while. If it had been done more in the style of a murder mystery dinner it could have been a lot more mysterious. My other problem with it was the ending. Again, thing just could have ended so much better.  That's not to say I didn't enjoy it at all. I thought it was pretty entertaining and a lot of the stories were funny. This anthology was a fun read and I did enjoy it but if you are expecting a dark murder mystery you are going to be disappointed.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kristen Cronn-Mills

Summary:(from goodreads) This is Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, on community radio 90.3, KZUK. I'm Gabe. Welcome to my show."My birth name is Elizabeth, but I'm a guy. Gabe. My parents think I've gone crazy and the rest of the world is happy to agree with them, but I know I'm right. I've been a boy my whole life.When you think about it, I'm like a record. Elizabeth is my A side, the song everybody knows, and Gabe is my B side--not heard as often, but just as good.It's time to let my B side play. 

Review: I"m honestly sure how I feel about his book. I really liked the story line. Honestly the title is what caught my attention, when I read the summary I decided to give this one a try. I thought the story was good but there wasn't a whole lot as far as plot. This book definitely focuses more on the characters than an action packed plot but it still had a nice balance. My main problem with the book was that I felt like it should have been longer. It seemed to end a little bit suddenly. I wanted more from these characters. Gabe is a really awesome character. He has passion and drive and despite dealing with a difficult issue he is able to overcome the obstacles. John and Paige were also great secondary characters. Especially John, I can't even really explain the relationship that he and Gabe have but I loved it. This book handles the issues well. Gabe has such an honest voice and that is what really open peoples eyes to these issues and what can be done to prevent the type of bullying that happens here. Overall, i enjoyed this book quite a lot and will be interested to read other works by this author.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Rapture by Lauren Kate

This review may contain spoilers of previous books in the series.
Summary:(from goodreads) The sky is dark with wings . . . .
Like sand in an hourglass, time is running out for Luce and Daniel. To stop Lucifer from erasing the past they must find the place where the angels fell to earth. Dark forces are after them, and Daniel doesn’t know if he can do this—live only to lose Luce again and again.Yet together they will face an epic battle that will end with lifeless bodies . . . and angel dust. Great sacrifices are made. Hearts are destroyed. And suddenly Luce knows what must happen.
For she was meant to be with someone other than Daniel. The curse they’ve borne has always and only been about her—and the love she cast aside. The choice she makes now will be the only one that truly matters.In the fight for Luce, who will win?
Review: This is the fourth and final book in the Fallen series. I thought the book went really slow and was bored during some parts. It just seemed like a lot of it was unnecessary. The entire portion of the book where they are trying to track down the relics just started to seem annoying and repetitive after a while. Things got more interesting towards the end and I have mixed feelings about the way things ended. I think it was a fitting ending for the series but a part of me just feels like it was just a little bit anti climatic after everything they went through. I liked the characters more in this book then I did in the last one. Luce and Daniel both turned out to be stronger characters than I anticipated, they are willing to do anything it takes to be together. I also like Cam a lot more in this book. He was a character I never really knew what to think of but he was awesome in this book. Overall, I just thought this book was OK but people who are fans of this series should definitely read this one.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shephard

Summary:(from goodreads) In the darkest places, even love is deadly.
Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father's gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.Accompanied by her father's handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father's madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island's inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father's dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it's too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father's genius—and madness—in her own blood.Inspired by H. G. Wells's classic The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Madman's Daughter is a dark and breathless Gothic thriller about the secrets we'll do anything to know and the truths we'll go to any lengths to protect.

Review: I wasn't entirely sure what to expect when I started this book but I ended up really enjoying it. The story has a lot of dark and creepy elements which is what really made this book stand out. The plot was well paced and there were so many surprising plot twists that had me on the edge of my seat. The way this book ended made me really excited to see how this story continues. I liked all the characters as well. Juliet made a really great narrator. Her conflicting emotions about what was going on added a different dimension to the story. Montgomery and Edward were both great characters as well, i was very surprised at how things were left with both of them at the end of this book. I can't wait to see where things lead. . M

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Try Not to Breathe by Jennifer R. Hubbard

Summary:(from goodreads) Learning to live is more than just choosing not to die, as sixteen-year-old Ryan discovers in the year following his suicide attempt. Despite his mother’s anxious hovering and the rumors at school, he’s trying to forget the darkness from which he has escaped. But it doesn’t help that he’s still hiding guilty secrets, or that he longs for a girl who may not return his feelings. Then he befriends Nicki, who is using psychics to seek contact with her dead father. This unlikely friendship thaws Ryan to the point where he can face the worst in himself. He and Nicki confide in one another the things they never thought they’d tell anyone—but their confessions are trickier than they seem, and the fallout tests the bounds of friendship and forgiveness. 
Review: After enjoying Hubbard's previous book The Secret Year I was excited to give this one a try. I was a little bit surprised by how subtle the issues that Ryan was dealing with really were. He wasn't a character who had a big neon sign labeling him as crazy, even if he felt that way sometimes. This book was a more of an honest look at a guy who made some bad choices and did stupid things but in the end is able to overcome it. At some points in the story, I almost forgot what his issues at all.  I think Ryan is a character that a lot of people can relate to because I think everyone has those moments where they feel overwhelmed by life. I think the slow plot development is part of what made this book stand out for me and I really liked it.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Butter by Erin Jade Lange

Summary:(from goodreads) A lonely obese boy everyone calls "Butter" is about to make history. He is going to eat himself to death-live on the Internet-and everyone is invited to watch. When he first makes the announcement online to his classmates, Butter expects pity, insults, and possibly sheer indifference. What he gets are morbid cheerleaders rallying around his deadly plan. Yet as their dark encouragement grows, it begins to feel a lot like popularity. And that feels good. But what happens when Butter reaches his suicide deadline? Can he live with the fallout if he doesn't go through with his plans? With a deft hand, E.J. Lange allows readers to identify with both the bullies and the bullied in this all-consuming look at one teen's battle with himself.
Review: I really liked this book. The premise is what originally caught my attention when I first heard about it and i knew I wanted to read this one. The author handled the subject matter really well. Although, the scenario is a little on the extreme end of the spectrum, it  still takes a  serious look at suicide and bullying and how these two pieces fit together. What really made this story for me is Butter. He has such and honest voice that it is hard not to root for him and hope he finds a way out of the situation he has found himself in. I honestly felt so bad for him during certain parts of the book. He is really in a bad place mentally and physically and I loved watching his journey to finding a little bit of self worth. Also, the story behind how he got the nickname butter was somewhat disturbing and I think that is what really set things in motion for him. I think everyone who wants and honest and heartbreaking look at the relationship between bully and victim should pick this one up.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Speechless by Hannah Harrington

Summary:(from goodreads) Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can't keep a secretUntil now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she's ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.But there's strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she's done. If only she can forgive herself.
Review: The female character that everyone loves to hate is pretty common in young adult books. She is snarky, bitchy and loves to gossip without sparing anyone else's feelings. Chelsea Knot is that girl. At least she was at the beginning of the book. Once she comes to realize that she is hurting other people she has a change of heart. I really liked the level of character development in this book. Even though her vow of silence maybe wasn't the best way to handle the situation. She was able to reflect on her mistakes and learn how to move on. The friends that she makes during her journey of self discovery are really great. Sam and Asha were both well developed and fun characters. I also really liked Noah and Andy even though they were more minor characters. The only thing I didn't like was I felt like her vow of silence really served very little purpose in the grand scheme of things. Which I guess, it what she comes to realize but I still felt like it could have been a bigger deal in the end. Overall, I thought this was a really great read.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

This review may contain spoilers of previous books in the series.

Summary:(from goodreads)  It's been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can't move on. His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live—not walk around half dead. He knows they're right, but in Cas's eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.Now he's seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he's asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong...these aren't just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.Cas doesn't know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn't deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it's time for him to return the favor. 
Review: This is the sequel to Anna Dressed in Blood and much like its predecessor, I really enjoyed it. I was excited to finally get back into this story and become reaquainted with the characters. The plot was exciting and intense especially the last few chapters. Although, I think this book ended on a good note and the story seemed complete I wish there was going to be more books in this series. I love all these characters so much and I want to know what happenes next. Cas is such an awesome main character. I can't help but love him even if he doesn't always see things clearly. Thomas and Carmel are also great. I liked them even better in this book. I just feel like this series was to short. I can't wait to read more from this author though.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

13 to Life by Shannon Delany

Summary:(from goodreads) Everything about Jessie Gillmansen’s life changed when her mother died. Now even her hometown of Junction is changing. Mysterious dark things are happening. All Jessie wants is to avoid more change. But showing a hot new guy around Junction High, she’s about to discover a whole new type of change. Pietr Rusakova is more than good looks and a fascinating accent—he’s a guy with a dangerous secret. And his very existence is sure to bring big trouble to Jessie’s small town.
It seems change is the one thing Jessie can’t avoid.

Review: This is the first book in the 13 to Life series and I enjoyed it. It was pretty typical for a paranormal romance but was still able to stay fresh and new. It took a very long time for the paranormal twist to be revealed which I had mixed feelings about. First of all, I just thought it was annoying because as a reader I figured out what this big secret was a long time before the characters did, so I just wanted to get the big reveal over with and move through the various stages of shock. On the other hand, part of me liked the slower pace that this book took. Although there were some suspicious things going on it wasn't entirely focused on the paranormal. Now the rest of the series can delve more in to that aspect of the storyline. I had mixed feelings about the characters as well. I liked Jessie and Pietr, there were a few things that bothered me about them though. First of all, I thought their romance was kind of sudden and the chemistry was not all that believable, especially in the first half of the book, it did get better. Another thing that annoyed me was that Jessie did not seemed near surprised or shocked enough upon finding out the truth. Also, I don't find her forgiveness to be all that realistic. overall, this book was a good read and I will be continuing with this series.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky

Summary:(from goodreads) Before this all happened, the closest I'd ever come to getting physical with a guy was playing the board game Operation. Okay, so maybe that sounds pathetic, but it's not like there were any guys at my high school who I cared to share more than three words with, let alone my body.
Then I met Wes, a track star senior from across town. Maybe it was his soulful blue eyes, or maybe my hormones just started raging. Either way, I was hooked. And after a while, he was too. I couldn't believe how intense my feelings became, or the fact that I was seeing—and touching—parts of the body I'd only read about in my Gray's Anatomy textbook. You could say Wes and I experienced a lot of firsts together that spring. It was scary. It was fun. It was love. And then came the fall.

Review: I thought this was a pretty cute story. I didn't really have much expectation going into it but overall, I enjoyed it. The plot was well paced even though it was simple and fairly predictable. I thought Dominique and Wes were both really cool characters. Dominique was somewhat typical,but somehow she still had a unique voice and i liked getting to know her better. I also appreciated the fact that Wes was not a typical super hot bad boy/sports star. he seemed like just a regular guy. It made the story so much easier to relate to.  I wish they were a little bit more well rounded instead of constantly being focused on sexual things but it didn't really bother me that much. The one thing I didn't like is how graphic some of the scenes were. I understand what the author was trying to do but for me it was hard to read at some points.  Overall, this was a cute story and I recently discovered that there is a sequel to this book so I am interested to see how that plays out.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

Summary:(from goodreads) As a child, Gretchen's twin sister was taken by a witch in the woods. Ever since, Gretchen and her brother, Ansel, have felt the long branches of the witch's forest threatening to make them disappear, too.
Years later, when their stepmother casts Gretchen and Ansel out, they find themselves in sleepy Live Oak, South Carolina. They're invited to stay with Sophia Kelly, a beautiful candy maker who molds sugary magic: coveted treats that create confidence, bravery, and passion.Life seems idyllic and Gretchen and Ansel gradually forget their haunted past -- until Gretchen meets handsome local outcast Samuel. He tells her the witch isn't gone -- it's lurking in the forest, preying on girls every year after Live Oak's infamous chocolate festival, and looking to make Gretchen its next victim. Gretchen is determined to stop running and start fighting back. Yet the further she investigates the mystery of what the witch is and how it chooses its victims, the more she wonders who the real monster is.Gretchen is certain of only one thing: a monster is coming, and it will never go away hungry.

Review: This is the second of Jackson Pearce's fairy tale retellings  and I really enjoyed it. This is a retelling of Hansel and Gretel. This story was taken to an entirely different level. The were a few surprising plot twists that kept things very interesting. There was a lot of mystery and intrigue in the plot as Gretchen is trying to discover the truth behind the witch.  I really liked Gretchen. She really changed a lot over the course of the book. She started out scared and timid and then was able to overcome her fear and uncover the truth. I also really liked Samuel. He was super awesome added a lot to the story. Sophia was an interesting character. I don't really undertsand some of the things she did and why she couldn't just move on.   I think anyone who is a fan of fairy tale retelling should give this series a try. I can't wait to continue with the next book.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Miss Me Not by Tiffany King

Summary:(from goodreads) Madison Hanson's past demons have given her a shadow of an existence with little hope. With the sudden tragic death of a fellow student, Madison questions her own life choices, and is now forced to evaluate everything she thought she believed in. When fate intervenes and partners her with Dean Jackson, a popular "all around good guy" from school, Madison gets a glimpse of a life that is filled with sunshine that has the power to break through the darkness she has cloaked herself in.
With Dean's help, Madison discovers a desire to finally step out of the shadows, and embrace life and all its gifts.
Review: I didn't really have to much of an expectation for this book when I started but I actually enjoyed it. I thought the plot was well paced and interesting. As far dealing with the subject of suicide I thought this book was ok. Most of the book was focused on the aftermath and how it affected Madison's life. I thought Madison and Dean were both really great characters. Although, I did get fed up with Madison's attitude after a while. For a large part of the book she was so unwilling to let anyone in. This might sound bad based on the way she acted i found her story to be slightly anti climatic. The way her parents acted was really annoying as well. Her mom especially had no reason to act the way she did. Overall, i thought this book was just ok.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Summary:(from goodreads)  When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.Just One Day is the first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon. 

Review: I have been a fan of Gayle Forman's writing for a while so I was excited to get my hands on a copy of this one. I thought it definitely lived up to the hype, although it was different than I expected. This book was more focused on the journey of self discovery that takes place over the course of the year. The romance even though it plays a very important role, is definitely not the focus.
Allyson was such an awesome character. I loved the way she had changed by the end of the book. The message in this book about discovering yourself and living life to the fullest was one of the things that made it really special. Willem was alsoe a really great character and I am looking forward to getting to know him better in the nest book, which is told from his perpective. All of the people Allyson meets on her journey play a part in helping her overcome her fears and follow her dreams. I really enjoyed this book and anyone who wants a sweet, exciting and awesome contemporary book should pick this one up.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Something Like Normal by Trish Doller

Summary:(from goodreads) When Travis returns home from a stint in Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother’s stolen his girlfriend and his car, and he’s haunted by nightmares of his best friend’s death. It’s not until Travis runs into Harper, a girl he’s had a rocky relationship with since middle school, that life actually starts looking up. And as he and Harper see more of each other, he begins to pick his way through the minefield of family problems and post-traumatic stress to the possibility of a life that might resemble normal again. Travis’s dry sense of humor, and incredible sense of honor, make him an irresistible and eminently lovable hero.
Review: I really liked this book. One of the things that surprised me about it was how short it was. But after reading it, I can say it didn't need to be any longer. This is a very character driven story and plot moves along at a comfortable pace even though it is not particularly action packed. The subject matter is not something I haven't read very much about, but I feel like it was realistic and well written. Travis and Harper were both such awesome characters. I think they were both easy to relate to in certain ways. Although, this was a short book i still fell like there was a good amount of character development. The one thing I didn't like was the plot line involving Paige. I just thought she was annoying and it could have been done better. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and am interested to read other books by this author.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors

Summary:(from goodreads) When Katrina spots a homeless guy sleeping in the alley behind her grandmother’s coffee shop, she decides to leave him a cup of coffee, a bag of chocolate-covered coffee beans, and some pastries to tide him over. Little does she know that this random act of kindness is about to turn her life upside down. Because this adorable vagrant, Malcolm, is really a guardian angel on a break between missions. And he won’t leave until he can reward Katrina’s selflessness by fulfilling her deepest desire. Now if only she could decide what that might be. 
Review: I thought this book was a cute, lighthearted read. The plot was pretty predictable but I did think it still made for an enjoyable story. I liked Katrina as a main character. Even though she did some things that kind of annoyed me, I thought the way she handled the situation was realistic and turned out to be a strong character. I was annoyed about the way she acted about Vincent. At first I understood where she was coming from, but after a while it just got annoying. Malcolm was a really fun character as well. I liked getting to know him throughout the book. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a fun and lighthearted book with a bit of romance thrown in.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Prodigy by Marie Lu

This review may contain spoilers of previous books in the series

Summary:(from goodreads) June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long. But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?
Review: This is the second book in the Legend trilogy and I really liked it. The plot was pretty fast paced and there was a good amount of action taking place. There were a few parts where I was on the edge of my seat in anticipation and suspense. I also appreciated that there was a more background information given about the past and how and why this society was formed.  There were also a few plot twists that surprised me. Although, the way things ended wasn't really a cliffhanger, it was shocking and I already can't wait for the third and final book in this trilogy. I absolutely love Day and June in this book. I think they both go through a lot of development in this book as they come to realize the truth of their situation. Overall, this was a great continuation of this series.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

This review may contain spoilers of prevoius books in the series. 

Summary:(from goodreads) One choice can transform you--or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves--and herself--while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable--and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.New York Times" bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian "Divergent" series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.
Review: This is the second book in the Divergent trilogy and although I didn't love it quite as much as the first book, I still really enjoyed it. This book is over 500 pages but i never thought it was boring or slow. I liked that there is a little bit more information about how people in the other factions live. This book really started to expose the many problems with this society. Based on the way this book ended, I am very curious as to how ths series is going to wrap up. I can't wait to get my handson the next book. Tris did some things in this book that I thought were kind of annoying. Allthough Overall, I do really like her and Tobias. I love that all of the characters are so complicated. No one is wah they seem at first. This is one of my favorite dystopian series that I am reading right now.