Friday, September 30, 2011


So April of Good Books and Good Wine is hosting an Impromptu Read-a-Thon this weekend.

I am so doing it.

Those of you who follow me on twitter know that I’ve been in a huge reading slump for the past 2 months. Luckily, I’m no longer in the slump.

So I’m using the Impromptu Read-a-Thon as a chance to catch up on the books I could have been reading these past 2 months.

I don’t know how much time I’m going to have to read (that depends on how much school work I have), but if I don’t have a lot of things to do over the weekend- I’m hoping to read books into the double digits (Maybe 10? Maybe 15? I don’t know.) I average about 100 pages an hour, so I’ll probably only be able to finish 4-6 books. Here’s to hoping I read more!

I probably won’t update my blog on my progress because, let’s face it, I’m lazy. At the end of the Read-a-Thon however, I might give a final tally of how many books I’ve read.

Are any of you doing the Read-a-Thon?

Falling Under by Gwen Hayes

imageTheia Alderson has always led a sheltered life in the small California town of Serendipity Falls. But when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in the halls of her school, Theia knows she's seen Haden before- not around town, but in her dreams.

As the Haden of both the night and the day beckons her closer one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels towards him is stronger than her fear.

And when she discovers what Haden truly is, Theia's not sure if she wants to resist him, even if the cost is her soul.

I have really mixed feelings about this book. It was an interesting story and the writing was pretty good. However, I was constantly getting confused. I kept having to go back and reread parts.

The characters were all really cool people who were fun to read about, but they didn’t really click for me at all. I hate to say it, but this novel was like Twilight in a way (except better written). It was full of clichés and the literary part of me hated it. I didn’t find Haden very attractive (he was so horrible throughout so much of the book) and Theia was constantly annoying me.

However, I also really loved Falling Under.The book is a total guilty pleasure book. I read it to get lost in the world that Gwen Hayes so expertly crafted. Chances are, I’ll probably reread it in the future. It’s just one of those books that you go to when you’re feeling kind of crappy and want to read something sappy and paranormal. It appealed to the angsty teenager part of me, which is a really good thing.

I honestly don’t know if I recommend Falling Under. Part of me says yes and the other part says no. I think the characters need some work, but overall they're all really interesting. Falling Under is a spooky paranormal. I think if you liked Twilight, or if you’re looking for a guilty pleasure read- this is the book for you.

FTC- Bought

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

imageBudding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit -- more sparkly, more fun, more wild -- the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket -- a gifted inventor -- steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

Lola and the Boy Next Door took my breath away. Stephanie Perkins has a way of writing that makes you so engaged in the story that you are happy when something good happens and sad when something bad happens and you really feel all of the emotions going on in the book. Lola and Cricket had electric chemistry and are really adorable together.

With this novel, Perkins has solidified herself as one of my all time favorite authors. Her first novel Anna and the French Kiss was tied as my favorite book of 2010 and it looks like Lola and the Boy Next Door will either be tied again, or will take 1st place as my favorite book of 2011. Reading a Stephanie Perkins books is effortless. It’s as easy as breathing because of how natural her books are written.

Lola was adorably eccentric. I loved her interest in costume and could really understand how she felt at home in her crazy clothes. Cricket was way more than a boy-genius. Even though he is described as being this perfect inventor, he had real imperfections and it was nice seeing that.

Stephanie Perkins has written yet another book that I will reread countless times. She’s gotten everything right. I cannot wait to read her next novel!

FTC- Publisher.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (7)

imageWaiting on Wednesday is an amazing weekly topic that is brought to you by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

January 3, 2012

Exiled from her comfortable home, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland – called the Death Shop – are slim. Violent energy storms can strike suddenly, and even the very air she breathes might kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He’s wild, dangerous – a savage. He’s also her only hope.
Because Aria alone holds the key to his redemption, Perry needs her, too. Their unlikely alliance will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.

This book has received tons of buzz, which automatically makes me want to read it. Also, that cover! That cover is gorgeous, I could look at it all day.

The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June by Robin Benway

imageI hugged my sisters and they fit against my sides like two jigsaw pieces that would never fit anywhere else. I couldn’t imagine ever letting them go again, like releasing them would be to surrender the best parts of myself.

Three sisters share a magical, unshakeable bond in this witty high-concept novel from the critically acclaimed author of Audrey, Wait! Around the time of their parents’ divorce, sisters April, May, and June recover special powers from childhood--—powers that come in handy navigating the hell that is high school. Powers that help them cope with the hardest year of their lives. But could they have a greater purpose?

April, the oldest and a bit of a worrier, can see the future. Middle-child May can literally disappear. And baby June reads minds--—everyone’s but her own. When April gets a vision of disaster, the girls come together to save the day and reconcile their strained family. They realize that no matter what happens, powers or no powers, they’ll always have each other.

Because there’s one thing stronger than magic: sisterhood.

This book is adorable. It’s so… light, but not in the fluffy way. It was breezy, like summer mixed with magic and wonder. Robin Benway has captured the teen voice perfectly. I felt like I was listening to my friends telling me a story. The characters were all really humorous, which is always awesome in a YA novel.

One of the best things about The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June was that all three sisters had such unique voices. I rarely got the narrator mixed up- and when I did, I would just go back a few pages and reread. After awhile, it felt like I was connecting to the characters. I eventually found myself waiting on the edge of my seat, wanting to know more about their lives.

Robin Benway is an extremely talented writer who doesn’t disappoint. Her first novel Audrey, Wait remains one of my favorite books- and now so does The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June.

FTC- Bought.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon

imageTheir love was meant to be.

When Megan Rosenberg moves to Ireland, everything in her life seems to fall into place. After growing up in America, she's surprised to find herself feeling at home in her new school. She connects with a group of friends, and she is instantly drawn to darkly handsome Adam DeRís.

But Megan is about to discover that her feelings for Adam are tied to a fate that was sealed long ago—and that the passion and power that brought them together could be their ultimate destruction.

This book was amazing. I read it in the midst of a reading slump, and for the three and a half hours it took me to read it, a reading slump didn’t exist. Carrier of the Mark captured me completely.

Leigh Fallon is a fantastic writer. Her characters were all so interesting! I felt like jumping into the book just so I could meet them. I honestly have nothing but praise for Fallon. There were so many twists and turns throughout this novel, and the setting of Ireland was just magical. I love books set in foreign places, especially if they’re set in Ireland/Scotland/Britain/etc.

I know this review is jumbled up, but that’s because even a month after reading Carrier of the Mark, I’m still in awe of it. With all of the dreamy and breathless parts, there were also parts in Carrier of the Mark where I was freaked out! This book is surprisingly dark and mysterious. I kept guessing on what was going to happen next!

I really recommend Carrier of the Mark. It is so addicting! It’s good if you like paranormal-type books that have a little spice to them.

FTC- Received as a galley from Copperfields Books.

Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik

imageWill Elise’s love life be an epic win or an epic fail?

At Coral Tree Prep in Los Angeles, who your parents are can make or break you. Case in point:

As the son of Hollywood royalty, Derek Edwards is pretty much prince of the school—not that he deigns to acknowledge many of his loyal subjects.

As the daughter of the new principal, Elise Benton isn’t exactly on everyone’s must-sit-next-to-at-lunch list.

When Elise’s beautiful sister catches the eye of the prince’s best friend, Elise gets to spend a lot of time with Derek, making her the envy of every girl on campus. Except she refuses to fall for any of his rare smiles and instead warms up to his enemy, the surprisingly charming social outcast Webster Grant.

This book is adorable. It’s the perfect light and fluffy read. Before Epic Fail as released, I had my eyes on it- so when I was offered a chance to review it, I was more than happy. Epic Fail didn’t disappoint me at all. Claire LaZebnik is a fantastic author who brought an amazing story line (and an amazing re-make of Pride and Prejudice) to the literary-table.

This book is honestly too adorable for words. While I was reading it, I just remained on cloud-nine because of just how sweet it is. But don’t let it’s sweet and fluffy plotline fool you, Epic Fail is also a serious and touching read. As you get farther into it, the back story starts getting revealed and it becomes more than just a cutesy novel.

I highly recommend Epic Fail. It’s a quick read and a fantastic novel.

FTC- Publisher.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Possess by Gretchen McNeil

imageFifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her mom, by the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, it turns out the voices are demons – and Bridget has the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from.
Terrified to tell people about her new power, Bridget confides in a local priest who enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession. But just as she is starting to come to terms with her new power, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons. Now Bridget must unlock the secret to the demons' plan before someone close to her winds up dead – or worse, the human vessel of a demon king.

First, let me say how much I love this cover. It’s beyond fabulous.

I read this book a few weeks ago and just realized that I hadn’t reviewed it yet. Possess was badass. Gretchen McNeil is such an amazing writer, and she completely nailed her debut novel. Possess was also pretty scary at times. I was clutching my blanket while reading it in the middle of the night, scared that my house was possessed.

Bridget was so… real. Yes, she’s like the Buffy of demon banishing but she’s also really down to earth. She was also an independent character, which I always admire. For once, there was kind of the type of relationship going on where the male lead was a little more needy and protective (which is refreshing because normally, I’ve noticed, the girls are the more needy and protective ones in novels).

McNeil wrote a creepy and interesting novel that you’ll want to pick up*. Though, if I were you, I would keep the lights on while reading. The characters were all really well written, and the story is one that you won’t forget. Gretchen McNeil is an author that you’ll want to watch- her upcoming novels are sure to be amazing.

FTC- Publisher.

*My mom is reading my copy right now, which is saying a lot. My mom normally doesn’t read much.

Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay

image"These violent delights have violent ends And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss consume."
—Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

The most tragic love story in history . . .

Juliet Capulet didn't take her own life. She was murdered by the person she trusted most, her new husband, Romeo Montague, a sacrifice made to ensure his own immortality. But what Romeo didn't anticipate was that Juliet would be granted eternity, as well, and would become an agent for the Ambassadors of Light. For 700 years, she's fought Romeo for the souls of true lovers, struggling to preserve romantic love and the lives of the innocent. Until the day she meets someone she's forbidden to love, and Romeo, oh Romeo, will do everything in his power to destroy that love.

So. Amazing.

That was my first impression after finishing Juliet Immortal. This is a quick novel, one of the ones you can’t put down- no matter how much you need to go to bed. I’ve read most of Stacey Jay’s other novels and have loved them all, but I think Juliet Immortal may be my favorite.

Juliet was a strong, realistic character. She was fierce, angry, intense, and at times vulnerable- especially when face to face with Romeo. Romeo was so frustrating. He’s one of those characters that I wanted to give a chance because I’ve heard that people like him in Juliet Immortal. Sadly, no matter how hard I tried, I didn’t like him. It wasn’t because he wasn’t written well (he was written very well) but because his personality (as portrayed in this book) is incredibly frustrating. Like Juliet, I didn’t know when to believe him. Both characters were fun to read about- their whole journey was a nonstop thrill ride of anticipation.

My only complaint is that at times, I got a little confused as to what was going on. But when that happened, I just reread the last few pages and carried on with the story. Juliet Immortal had great pacing and remained addicting throughout the whole book. I admit that I haven’t read Romeo and Juliet yet (I own it, does that count?). Though I only have a rough understanding of the story, I was still able to read Juliet Immortal without getting confused with the references and occasional dialogue from the play.

Stacey Jay wrote an amazing book that I highly recommend to anybody. It’s well written and has some amazing characters. I can’t wait to read the follow-up to Juliet Immortal, Romeo Redeemed, which is coming out Fall of next year (it can’t come soon enough!).

FTC- Bought.

Banned Books Week

This week (from September 24th to October 1st) is Banned Books Week. Every year more people try and ban books from schools, libraries, and many other places. As a book lover and an aspiring writer, banned books are something I’m passionate about. So this week (and every week, but this week especially) I want you all to speak out against banning books. You can do this by speaking out against it, reading books that have been banned and books that have been challenged, and writing about Banned Books Week (on your facebook, twitter, tumblr, blog, anywhere).

Banned Books are some of the best. Authors that have had books banned or challenged include-

Ellen Hopkins, John Green, Laurie Halse Anderson, Suzanne Collins, Judy Blume, J.K. Rowling, Lauren Myracle, Ann Brasheres, and so many more amazing authors.


* * * * * * * * * *

Also, I think I’m officially back to blogging now. So, yay! Expect some reviews, I’ve read some fabulous books recently.

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Next week is by three-year blog-o-versary so expect a few giveaways to be going up next week!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Name of The Star by Maureen Johnson


The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.
Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.

Maureen Johnson’s writing never fails to amaze me. The Name of The Star is something new for Maureen and I was really excited to read it. Though I don’t think it’s my favorite book by her, I still loved it.

I love Rory(and her name). She was a kick-butt character and all of her emotions seemed real. All of the characters were developed well and improved with every page. I loved the whole Jack-the-Ripper-thing. I didn’t really know anything about Jack the Ripper, so The Name of The Star educated me about that.

This book scared me. I get scared really easily, but I read it at night so I had this constant fear that Jack the Ripper was going to come after me or something of that sort.

The Name of The Star is scary, addicting, and amazingly written. I recommend it to anyone who likes Maureen Johnson’s other books and anyone who enjoys reading good, original stories.

FTC- Publisher.

Monday, September 5, 2011

An Update.

Hey everyone,

As you might have guessed from the continuous lack of posts- I’m in a reading/blogging slump. I can’t apologize enough for not posting. However, if you still want to know what I’m up to. You can follow me on twitter, here. I also have a tumblr that you can find here. You can submit questions to the tumblr if you want to. I just want to say that the tumblr is (kind of) more personal than this blog and there is the occasional curse word or angsty rant. Though, it’s mostly pictures that I find inspiring or I like. There’s also a lot of Doctor Who/Harry Potter/Gilmore Girls/etc. fangirling.

I hope you all are doing well.

Best Wishes,


PS- If you have any books (either adult or YA) that you think I should read, or that you think might get me out of my reading slump- feel free to email me or comment with the titles.