Monday, November 29, 2010

Classic Movie Challenge

Hey everyone!
So I've decided to start a classic movie challenge. It will span over the course of a year so it will end November 29, 2011.
If you join, you're challenged to watch classic movies! Though some people may not think so, classic movies are very awesome. I'm watching one right now.

Since this challenge lasts a year, let's say that if you sign up, you'll try to watch 12 classic movies.
For those who have it, TCM is a great channel for watching classic movies.
If you'd like to join, sign up in the comments. If you'd like to make a button for this challenge, email me at zaser_jam AT yahoo DOT com.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Since the beginning of the school year, high school freshman Melinda has found that it's been getting harder and harder for her to speak out loud: "My throat is always sore, my lips raw.... Every time I try to talk to my parents or a teacher, I sputter or freeze.... It's like I have some kind of spastic laryngitis." What could have caused Melinda to suddenly fall mute? Could it be due to the fact that no one at school is speaking to her because she called the cops and got everyone busted at the seniors' big end-of-summer party? Or maybe it's because her parents' only form of communication is Post-It notes written on their way out the door to their nine-to-whenever jobs. While Melinda is bothered by these things, deep down she knows the real reason why she's been struck mute...

I honestly don’t know why it took me so long to read this book. I had tried reading it in the past but just couldn’t get into it. This time around, once I started reading I was hooked. Anderson wrote an unforgettable story that will change lives. I honestly don’t know what to say about this book. It should be a book that goes down in History. Melinda is a really strong character for what she faced.
Laurie Halse Anderson has incredible talent when it comes to writing characters. She fills her books with their emotions perfectly, and Speak was no exception. I think everybody should read this book. Anderson wrote an unforgettable novel. Speak is the type of book that involves a lot of waiting. After every few pages I just had to stop reading and process everything that I had just read. This was a hard book to read and it has definitely impacted my life. Laurie Halse Anderson is an amazing writer.

FTC- Bought.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

As You Wish by Jackson Pearce

Ever since Viola's boyfriend broke up with her, she has spent her days silently wishing—to have someone love her again and, more importantly, to belong again—until one day she inadvertently summons a young genie out of his world and into her own. He will remain until she makes three wishes.

Jinn is anxious to return home, but Viola is terrified of wishing, afraid she will not wish for the right thing, the thing that will make her truly happy. As the two spend time together, the lines between master and servant begin to blur, and soon Jinn can't deny that he's falling for Viola. But it's only after Viola makes her first wish that she realizes she's in love with Jinn as well . . . and that if she wishes twice more, he will disappear from her life—and her world—forever.

I read Sisters Red before As You Wish so I didn’t really know what to expect since As You Wish was Pearce’s first book published. I actually ended up liking it more than I liked Sisters Red (which was pretty darn good). I found As You Wish addicting and irresistible. I stayed up to the early hours of the morning reading this book, and I never for one minute regretted it. Pearce’s writing is lyrical and snappy in a way that most writing isn’t. The witty humor and tremendous dialogue were some of the things I loved best about this novel.
This book was undeniably adorable while still having a touch of sadness. Jinn made me swoon, I think at one point I was actually yelling at the book because of Jinn. Lawrence was a lovely character despite the breakup that made Viola feel invisible. Their relationship broke the stereotype in YA books where when you break up with someone, you don’t remain friends with them. In As You Wish, Viola still maintained a friendship with her ex-boyfriend, which I found really refreshing.
I liked this book more than I thought I would and I totally think that you should pick it up. Jackson Pearce did a wonderful job writing this novel! She is definitely an author to follow.

FTC- Publisher

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Rage: A Love Story by Julie Anne Peters

Johanna is steadfast, patient, reliable; the go-to girl, the one everyone can count on. But always being there for others can’t give Johanna everything she needs—it can’t give her Reeve Hartt. Reeve is fierce, beautiful, wounded, elusive; a flame that draws Johanna’s fluttering moth. Johanna is determined to get her, against all advice, and to help her, against all reason. But love isn’t always reasonable, right? In the precarious place where attraction and need collide, a teenager experiences the dark side of a first love, and struggles to find her way into a new light.

This book was just… woa. It discusses two topics that aren’t discussed a whole lot in books. The characters were written well, and were real. They had flaws and acted like real people. I read Rage in one sitting because I couldn’t stop reading. I wanted to know what was going on. Rage talks about both homosexuality and abuse. Abuse can be a hard thing to read about, and it definitely was hard to read about in this book. We have this strong female character who’s friend is abusive and get’s abused.
The constant changing moods of the characters was a bit confusing but it displays how a lot of people actually act. Julie Anne Peters tore my heart out and stomped on it, with this book.
There are some scenes that some people may find are too sexual to read, so depending on the amount of sexual content you find acceptable to read in books will affect your opinion on Rage.
That being said, when you get passed the sex aspect of Rage it leaves a very serious book that will leave you both hopeful and heartbroken.

FTC- Random Buzzers.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Remember Me by Christopher Pike

She won’t let them forget…

Shari Cooper wakes up dead. The last thing she can remember is falling from a balcony during her friend’s party. Her death has been ruled a suicide, but Shari knows she was murdered. All of her closest friends are now suspects. As she tries to find her killer from the other side, she discovers her friends may not have been so loyal to her after all. Now, Shari is not just out for justice, she’s out for revenge….

This is a mash-up of the books in the Remember Me series by Christopher Pike. When I started the first book, it was pretty slow. I have a reading rule that many other bloggers also have. If I get to page 50 and I still don’t like it, then I stop reading. I got to page 50. I didn’t like it. Since the book is so large, I told myself that I would try to get to page 150, and if I didn’t like it by then I was going to put it down for sure. I got to page 150 and right as I did so, the book started getting better. Book 1 was slow, stereotypical, and a bit predictable. Half-way through it started getting addicting though, and the characters emotions were written well.
In Book 2 in my opinion was the best out of the three books in this mash-up. All of the characters blended together nicely, it was addicting, and original. What I didn’t like was that there were parts that seemed scattered which caused me to be confused and the plot was kind of complicating. Book 3 was the worst in my opinion. I know it’s hard to close up a series but book 3 just seemed to drone on and on. It was a crazy emotional rollercoaster (and not the good kind). There were parts that I skipped because I didn’t see how they related to the story and they felt like filler.
Overall, these books aren’t something that I would re-read. While I was reading them, it was definitely interesting. The idea is original but the writing just wasn’t very good.

FTC- Bought

Saturday, November 20, 2010

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi of The Story Siren, and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. Let's get started! This also includes a few of the books I got from last weekend. If you click on the book title, you should be led to the books goodreads page.
For Review-

From HarperTeen-

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Origins (The Vampire Diaries: Stefan's Diaries, #1) by L.J. Smith, Kevin Williamson, and Julie Plec
The Trust by Tom Dolby
Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
The Lying Game by Sara Shepard *2 copies*
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand *2 copies*

From Candlewick and Dial-

Blessed by Cynthia Leitich Smith
Beat the Band by Don Calame
Stork by Wendy Delsol
Butterfly by Sonya Hartnett
Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

Books Read This Week-
Actually.... it's books read in the past two weeks. No links here since there are so many books.

The Deathday Letter by Shaun David Hutchinson
Vesper by Jeff Sampson
Emily the Strange:Dark Times by Rober Reger and Jessica Gruner
The Samantha Granger Experiment by Kari Lee Townsend
Babe in Boylanbd by Jody Gerhman
Where She Went by Gayle Forman
Once in a Full Moon by Ellen Schreiber
Origins (The Vampire Diaries: Stefan's Diaries, #1) by L.J. Smith, Kevin Williamson, and Julie Plec
Fallen Angel by Heather Terrell
The Lying Game by Sara Shepard
The Odyssey by Homer
The Sweetness of Salt by Cecilia Galante
Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

Friday, November 19, 2010

ARC Giveaway

I have a couple ARC-doubles that I'd like to get off my hands so it's giveaway time! One person will win-

1 ARC of Ascendant by Diana Peterfreund
1 ARC of Blue Fire by Janice Hardy
A Bunch of Bookmarks and Book Post-Cards

You get 1 extra entry if you follow my blog.
Open to US residents only, sorry!

To enter, fill out the form below-

I'm Part of a Group!

Every Friday I'll be posting on the YA Lit Six, which is a blog abut writing. It's really awesome and you should check it out. There's six of us and we post Monday-Saturday. Before I joined the YA Lit Six I loved reading it, and if you don't read it I totally think you should go and check it out.
Just wanted to let you all know where I'll be blogging about writing every Friday!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Destroy All Cars by Blake Nelson

James Hoff likes to rant against America's consumerist culture. He also likes to rant against his ex-girlfriend, Sadie, who he feels isn't doing enough to change the world. But just like he can't avoid buying things, he also can't avoid Sadie for long. This is a fantastic, funny, sexy, cool masterpiece from one of the best YA writers at work today, an anti-consumerist love story that's all about idealism, in both James's relationship with the world and his relationships with the people around him.

Destroy All Cars is an enthralling book about James Hoff, who wants nothing more than to destroy all cars and get his girlfriend back. I went into this book, not expecting a lot. I hadn’t heard much about it* and I only had a rough idea of what the book was about.
I started reading Destroy All Cars while I was in the middle of my reading slump. This book is what got me out of the slump. All I wanted to do was read it. It challenges our way of thinking about the environment and how we plan to “save” it. I loved that the story switched off being told from James’ point of view, James’ AP English essays, and dialogue written like a screenplay.
Blake Nelson wrote an A-plus book that captures the emotions of teens perfectly. His characters were real, as were their actions.
I couldn’t stop reading this and I hope you read it. This book gets into your head and it never let’s go.

*Last December the editor of the book and my favorite author, David Levithan mentioned it at a book signing he was doing.

FTC- Library.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Matched by Ally Condie

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

You know a book is good when you stay up until 3am reading it. That was exactly the case while I was reading Matched. It kept me on the very edge of my seat with every page. The writing was beautiful and pristine. Ally Condie conveys a world that is gorgeous, horrible, fresh, and full of wonder. The dystopian world that Condie created was original and gradually introduced step by step. I liked that this book wasn’t totally action-packed and focused more on what was going on.
There’s also a love triangle! I have a love/hate relationship with love triangles because of how hard it is to write them. This makes it so that very few people can successfully write a love triangle. Ally Condie is one of the few people that can write a good love triangle. It doesn’t intrude on the story, but you still care a great deal about the two male characters competing for the protagonist.
This book is getting tons of hype, which means that a lot of people have really high expectations. Matched almost lived up to my expectations. The beginning was slow, but besides that I really liked this book.

A quick note on the cover- I love this cover so much. The green and the dress and the formatting of the cover! I love it! The ARC is also sparkly. I love sparkly books.

FTC- From another blogger who got it at BEA.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron Fey, iron-bound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her. Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's alone in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.

Let’s discuss how much I love Julie Kagawa, which is a lot. The Iron Fey series are one of the only fantasy books that I’ve read and enjoyed. They are also the only books about Fey that I’ve read (I promise to fix this, really). Julie’s writing makes you dive head first into Meghan’s world. Kagawa left me on the edge of my seat for the whole book, and I enjoyed every minute of being there.
In The Iron Daughter you still get to experience the awesome that is Julie Kagawa’s love triangle. Puck and Ash. Who would you choose? (I am keeping my opinion to myself because I don’t want to get attacked) Meghan’s scenes with Ash were so intense and lovely to read, but Puck is the cute devoted one. This series will stick in my head. It is written beautifully and is genuinely fun to read. Julie Kagawa nailed it!

FTC- Bought

Friday, November 12, 2010

You by Charles Benoit

This wasn't the way it was supposed to go.

You're just a typical fifteen-year-old sophomore, an average guy named Kyle Chase. This can't be happening to you. But then, how do you explain all the blood? How do you explain how you got here in the first place?

There had to have been signs, had to have been some clues it was coming. Did you miss them, or ignore them?

Maybe if you can figure out where it all went wrong, you can still make it right. Or is it already too late?

Think fast, Kyle. Time's running out. How did this happen?

YOU is a book that will leave you breathless. While I was reading it, I wanted to stop reading but at the same time I couldn't stop reading because I was so interested. The first sentences of YOU are-

“You’re surprised at all the blood. He looks over at you, eyes wide, mouth dropping open, his face almost as white as his shirt. He’s surprised, too.”

How can you not be captured after those lines? You are a 15 year-old boy. Just an average 15 year-old boy. I have to admit, when I was first reading this, the average was kind of boring. But then I realized just how real it made the book. Kyle is just a normal teen. He is an awkward, self-conscious kid that I think a lot of people can relate to.

This book is told as if it were your life, which can be really scary. A lot of people read books to escape, and YOU doesn't allow you to.

Everyone should read this book. Teen girls, teen boys, adult girls, and adult boys. Basically, if you are old enough to where you can read a descent sized book, you should read YOU.

FTC- Received for review.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday

The Lovers Dictionary by David Levithan
January 4, 2011
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

There has to be a moment at the beginning when you wonder whether you’re in love with the person or in love with the feeling of love itself.

If the moment doesn’t pass, that’s it—you’re done. And if the moment
does pass, it never goes that far. It stands in the distance, ready for whenever you want it back. Sometimes it’s even there when you thought you were searching for something else, like an escape route, or your lover’s face.

How does one talk about love? Do we even have the right words to describe something that can be both utterly mundane and completely transcendent, pulling us out of our everyday lives and making us feel a part of something greater than ourselves? Taking a unique approach to this problem, the nameless narrator of David Levithan’s The Lover’s Dictionary has constructed the story of his relationship as a dictionary. Through these short entries, he provides an intimate window into the great events and quotidian trifles of being within a couple, giving us an indelible and deeply moving portrait of love in our time.

David. Levithan. Need I say more? This is his first book that's been written for adults, which makes me really interested in (1) the feedback it will get (2)how it differs from his young adult books. I'm also in love with this cover. It's so simple and artsy and just plain gorgeous. I would seriously do anything to get a copy of this book before it is released (anything within reason). January 4th can't come soon enough!

Monday, November 8, 2010


So, I'm hoping that I'll get some sort of eReader for Christmas/Hanukkah this year. So, before I ask for anything I was wondering what you all thought of them?

If you have one- which do you prefer (Kindle, Sony eReader, Nook, etc.).

And those of you who do have one- when you use it, do you feel as if you're reading on a computer? Or like a book? Or something besides those two things?


Sunday, November 7, 2010

7 Souls by Barnabas Miller and Jordan Orlando

Mary expected her seventeenth birthday to be a blowout to remember, courtesy of her best friends, fellow New York City prepsters Amy and Joon, and her doting boyfriend, Trick. Instead, the day starts badly and gets worse. After waking up in a mortifying place with a massive, unexplainable hangover, Mary soon discovers that nobody at school is even aware that it's her birthday. As evening approaches, paranoia sets in. Mary just can't shake the feeling that someone is out to get her—and, as it turns out, she's right. Before the night is over, she's been killed in cold blood.
But murder is just the beginning of Mary's ordeal. Her soul gets trapped in a strange limbo, and she must relive the day of her death through the eyes of seven people—each of whom, she finds, had plenty of reasons to hate her. As Mary explores the mysteries of her world, discovering secrets that were hidden in plain sight while she was alive, she clings desperately to the hope that she can solve her own murder, change the past, and—just maybe—save her own life.

I picked up this book because someone asked me to read it. I hadn’t heard of it before seeing it in the bookshop, and even if I had seen it in the bookshop before someone pointed it out to me, I probably wouldn’t have bought it.
When I got home I went straight to my room to read this book. After about fifty pages I felt as if my brain was going to explode. I didn’t know what was going on and was completely confused. Little did I know, that me being confused is actually kind of the point of the book. 7 Souls is one of those books that is pretty repetitive and not very interesting for about half of the book, and then towards the end it starts picking up.
I personally didn’t like the book being from the perspective of 7 different people, but having it from that many point of views definitely helps the plot a great amount.
Once I had gotten past the first half and everything started to fall into place. I really liked this book. It leaves you hanging on every chapter and makes you want to scream at the book. There were times when I had every intention of putting down this book because it wasn’t interesting enough. But there were also time where I couldn’t stop reading.

FTC- Bought.

Friday, November 5, 2010

NaNoWriMo Ate My Brain

... and I'm not even writing a zombie book!

I've only posted one thing this week. It's horrible, I know. On the bright side-

I'm 10k into my novel.

The honeymoon stage of writing is over. It was over on day 2. Which basically means for 4 out of the 5 days I've been writing, I've disliked what I was writing. ~Let's hear it for angst!... *crickets*~ I still have to figure all the basics out about my story, because I am a horrible procrastinator and even though I'm writing, I have no idea where what I'm writing is going to lead.

I told you all that I would be doing Teaser Tuesday for this NaNo, but I have yet to find something in it that I like and that I think is worthy to be posted on here. But once I do, you will be the first to know.

Because I've been spending all of my free time on NaNo (and Twitter... ) I haven't been doing tons of reading. With the exception of reading Albert Camus. Camus is amazing. (YA Author Extraordinaire, Hannah Moskowitz has gotten me addicted to reading Camus. Seriously, if you haven't read him you should go out and buy/check-out what he's written).

So, besides reviews- what would you like to read about here on Zoe's Book Reviews?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney

Some schools have honor codes.
Others have handbooks.
Themis Academy has the Mockingbirds.

Themis Academy is a quiet boarding school with an exceptional student body that the administration trusts to always behave the honorable way--the Themis Way. So when Alex is date raped during her junior year, she has two options: stay silent and hope someone helps her, or enlist the Mockingbirds--a secret society of students dedicated to righting the wrongs of their fellow peers.

In this honest, page-turning account of a teen girl's struggle to stand up for herself, debut author Daisy Whitney reminds readers that if you love something or someone--especially yourself--you fight for it.

Wow. I am speechless. Daisy Whitney is a debut author who will make a fantastic name for herself with this book. The Mockingbirds is something to watch, this book is making my Top 10 2010 books. Throughout reading, I’ve noticed that books that discuss the topic of rape either take it too lightly (Fade by Lisa McMann) or are so intense that I couldn't read it in one sitting (Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott). The Mockingbirds is the perfect balance between the two. The topic is taken seriously but you want to keep reading. It took me about two days to read, and all the while I was emailing back and forth with Daisy telling her how much I loved it.
I was fortunate enough to be the first teen to read the book. Right away, I knew it was something special. I can practically recite the beginning of chapter 2 because I love it so much. The wording that Daisy used illustrated what the main character was going through really well.
Looking back at the email I wrote Daisy immediately after I finished reading The Mockingbirds, I would like to share with you some of what I wrote to her. “Let me start off by saying it is the first book where I have actually read it when my teachers aren't looking. All through the school day I was sitting there staring at it in my backpack wanting to read it.” This is completely true, when I wasn't reading The Mockingbirds, I was thinking about reading The Mockingbirds. I would wake up in the morning looking like death because I had been up all night reading it.
The characters in this book were strongly written and had gumption. There were a few characters that made me want to drop into the book and slap them (hard, in the face). There was also some very interesting people that I couldn't have been more excited to read about. The Mockingbirds is a book you won’t want to miss. The emotions that the main character has are ones that you know are true. I couldn’t help but sympathize with her. Daisy Whitney wrote an original, truthful, engaging novel that readers are sure to love. This will easily be one of my favorites, if not the favorite book of mine that I've read this year. I can't give this book an amount of praise that will do it justice. I think that everyone should read it. Really, it will change your life.

FTC- Received from the author.