Monday, December 31, 2012

Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo

Love and Other Perishable ItemsLove is awkward, Amelia should know.
From the moment she sets eyes on Chris, she is a goner. Lost. Sunk. Head over heels infatuated with him. It's problematic, since Chris, 21, is a sophisticated university student, while Amelia, is 15.
Amelia isn't stupid. She knows it's not gonna happen. So she plays it cool around Chris—at least, as cool as she can. Working checkout together at the local supermarket, they strike up a friendship: swapping life stories, bantering about everything from classic books to B movies, and cataloging the many injustices of growing up. As time goes on, Amelia's crush doesn't seem so one-sided anymore. But if Chris likes her back, what then? Can two people in such different places in life really be together?
Through a year of befuddling firsts—first love, first job, first party, and first hangover—debut author Laura Buzo shows how the things that break your heart can still crack you up.

Love and Other Perishable Items was originally published in Australia, which is what originally drew me to it. I picked this up not knowing at all what to expect. However, once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. This novel is told through dual narration, which I’m always apprehensive about reading because it’s difficult to get both narratives spot on. Laura Buzo got the narrative spot on.

Both Chris and Amelia were lovely characters. Amelia, though mature for her age- was also na├»ve because of her experiencing love for the first time. The way she idolized Chris got creepy at times, but it’s understandable. Chris didn’t make much of an impact on me, and I didn’t always see the appeal he had to Amelia. However, I still liked him.

Love and Other Perishable Items was good. While I was reading it, I loved it a lot. I’m writing this review quite awhile after finishing the book, and it doesn’t stand out to me as much as it did after I finished reading it. That being said, I think Love and Other Perishable Items was a really well written book. It tugged on my emotions, and I enjoyed reading it.

FTC- Picked up at ALA.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

In My Mailbox (4)

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi of The Story Siren.

denise's party, etc 096

My IMM this week includes all the books that I’ve gotten in the past month (because of Christmas/Hanukah, etc.)

denise's party, etc 091

Gifts-

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

denise's party, etc 093

Other-

Absent by Katie Williams

Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

denise's party, etc 098

DVD’s-

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

The Avengers (aaaah I love this movie so much)

not pictured- Sherlock Seasons 1 and 2 (I bought this for myself in november but I love it SO MUCH, so I had to mention it in this post.)

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Waiting Sky by Lara Zielin

You can read an interview with Lara and enter to win a signed copy of the book here. (giveaway is open until January 7th)

The Waiting SkyOne summer chasing tornadoes could finally change Jane's life for the better
Seventeen-year-old Jane McAllister can't quite admit her mother's alcoholism is spiraling dangerously out of control until she drives drunk, nearly killing them and Jane's best friend.
Jane has only one place to turn: her older brother Ethan, who left the problems at home years ago for college. A summer with him and his tornado-chasing buddies may just provide the time and space Jane needs to figure out her life and whether it still includes her mother. But she struggles with her anger at Ethan for leaving home and feels guilty--is she also abandoning her mom just when she needs Jane most? The carefree trip turned journey of self-discovery quickly becomes more than Jane bargained for, especially when the devilishly handsome Max steps into the picture.

I picked up The Waiting Sky not really knowing what to expect. I had heard about the novel on somebody’s blog and thought it looked interesting, but I wasn’t sure if I would like it or not. Ironically, I ended up reading it cover to cover in a matter of hours. The Waiting Sky is a fairly small book, but despite it’s size, there is wonderful character development and multiple well-developed subplots.

One of my favorite parts of this novel was Zielin’s ability to incorporate serious issues such as alcoholism and something as dangerous and exciting like tornado chasing together seamlessly in one novel. Jane has a lot to deal with and is put under a lot of pressure, but I really liked her. Though she freaked out sometimes, she still remained a sense of being grounded- which was heartening. Though it isn’t what the book is about, there is some romance in The Waiting Sky. Despite not playing a huge role in the story, what romance there is in the novel- is amazing. The chemistry between Jane and Max is the type that makes you smile, and I loved reading about it.

The storm chasing aspect of The Waiting Sky was so awesome! It lightened the book, so it wasn’t only about Jane trying to deal with what’s going on her mom. But it was also just really well presented. I hate storms, but reading The Waiting Sky made me want to be out there with the Torbros.

The Waiting Sky was spectacular. I loved the book from the moment I started reading it. This is the first of Lara Zielin’s books that I’ve read, and I can’t wait to pick up some more.

FTC- Received for review.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

An Interview and Giveaway with Lara Zielin

Hey everyone! I’m here to post an interview with the lovely Lara Zielin, author of Donut Days, The Implosion of Aggie Winchester, and her newest novel- The Waiting Sky. After the interview, there will be a Rafflecopter form to fill out to enter to win a signed copy of The Waiting Sky. You can read a bit about The Waiting Sky by clicking this. I should have my review of the novel posted soon. So without further to do, here is my interview with Lara.

The Waiting Sky1. You don't really see many books about tornadoes in the YA world. What gave you the idea to make The Waiting Sky about someone who's going tornado chasing?
In 2004, I went on a tornado chase all across tornado alley. It was like those tours where you pay to go see whales in the ocean, only we were paying to get up close to crazy weather! I didn't see any tornadoes, but I saw some funnel clouds and some seriously bad storms. After the whole experience I thought, "Oh my god, I HAVE to write a book with tornadoes in it!"


2. If you were to be a part of the "TorBros", which job would you like to have (photographer, scientist, etc.)?
I would definitely want to be a scientist! During Tornado Awareness Month (which occurs every April, I'm not making that up) I talked with a university meteorological professor who says there is a real lack of women who are in his meteorology classes. But it's not just his classes -- it's other science classes, too, all across the country. That's super sad to me because when I talk with young girls, so many of them are like, "I love science! I want to chase and study storms
when I grow up!" The question of why these girls are then dropping out of science programs by college is a tough one that a lot of people are looking at. It was important to me to have at least one female character in the book who was a chaser (Hallie) and show how her gender is an issue in the field. If I personally could stand alongside Hallie as a female member of the Torbros, I totally would!


3. What do you want readers to take away from reading The Waiting Sky?
One of the most surprising things about the tornado chase I was on in 2004  was that there was also lots of time on the road to just think. Here we were, expecting constant adrenaline rushes, and instead what we got was hours and hours trapped in a van with strangers, driving miles and miles. My main character, Jane, has a similar situation in the book. She leaves a chaotic situation at her home in Minnesota, and expects to find more chaos in Tornado Alley, but instead she just has
tons and tons of time to think about how she might be able to change her life. I guess I would hope that readers would find those all-important quiet moments in their lives too -- where they put down the phone, turn off the TV, stop looking at Facebook, turn off the Kindle, etc. – and just think consciously about their lives and what they want.


4. Which character in the novel can you relate to the most?
I love Ethan, Jane’s brother. First, I pictured him being waaaaay
cute! And secondly, he wants so badly to do the right thing for
himself and his sister, but he really struggles. Sometimes doing the right thing is really hard. I totally get that.


5. Can you tell us anything about your next novel? Is there anything you'd like to add?
My next book is called 'The Sum of Small Things' and it's about a girl, Penny, who suffers from panic attacks. At it's heart it's a
romance, which is new for me -- mostly the love story in my books takes a little bit of a back seat to whatever else is going on. Tornadoes, proms, donuts, etc. But in this case, the romance is right up in front. And there may be kissing. Okay, there is tons of kissing.

_________

Thank you so much for agreeing to do an interview, Lara! So now, if you’d like to enter to win a copy of The Waiting Sky (which you should totally want to win, because it’s awesome) just fill out the Rafflecopter form below! You don’t get any extra entries for being a follower of Zoe’s Book Reviews, but I appreciate it if you are.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (58)

Waiting-on-Wednesday_thumb2_thumb_thWaiting on Wednesday is an amazing weekly topic that is brought to you by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

Icons (Icons #1)Icons by Margaret Stohl

May 7, 2013

Your heart beats only with their permission.
Everything changed on The Day. The day the windows shattered. The day the power stopped. The day Dol's family dropped dead. The day Earth lost a war it didn't know it was fighting.
Since then, Dol has lived a simple life in the countryside -- safe from the shadow of the Icon and its terrifying power. Hiding from the one truth she can't avoid.
She's different. She survived. Why?
When Dol and her best friend, Ro, are captured and taken to the Embassy, off the coast of the sprawling metropolis once known as the City of Angels, they find only more questions. While Ro and fellow hostage Tima rage against their captors, Dol finds herself drawn to Lucas, the Ambassador's privileged son. But the four teens are more alike than they might think, and the timing of their meeting isn't a coincidence. It's a conspiracy.
Within the Icon's reach, Dol, Ro, Tima, and Lucas discover that their uncontrollable emotions -- which they've always thought to be their greatest weaknesses -- may actually be their greatest strengths.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (57)

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TransparentTransparent by Natalie Whipple

May 21, 2013

X-Men meets The Godfather; in which an invisible girl has to stop her dad—an infamous crime lord—from ruining her life.
On the run from her mind-controlling father, the infamously invisible Fiona McClean hides in a small town, hoping to finally rid herself of the crime world she has always known. But playing at “normal life” with a mother she hates, a brother she can’t trust, and a boy she can’t stand proves more difficult than she ever imagined. Soon her father is hot on her heels, and it’s up to Fiona to protect not only her family, but the friends who’ve taught her that life doesn’t have to be as lonely and cruel as she thought.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (56)

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When You Were HereWhen You Were Here by Daisy Whitney

June 2013

When You Were Here, Lost in Translation meets Where She Went, is about an American teenager who travels from California to Tokyo to uncover the secrets surrounding the death of his mother, all while trying to both hold onto and let go of the girl he’s been in love with his whole life.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (55)

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The Moon and MoreThe Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

June 4, 2013

Set in the fictional beach town of Colby, where several of Dessen's novels take place, it features 18-year-old Emmeline, who is spending her last summer before college working for her family's vacation rental business and enjoying a summer romance with a young aspiring filmmaker.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Fingerprints of You by Kristen-Paige Madonia

Fingerprints of You

Lemon grew up with Stella, a single mom who wasn’t exactly maternal. Stella always had a drink in her hand and a new boyfriend every few months, and when things got out of hand, she would whisk Lemon off to a new town for a fresh beginning. Now, just as they are moving yet again, Lemon discovers that she is pregnant from a reckless encounter—with a guy Stella had been flirting with.
On the verge of revisiting her mother’s mistakes, Lemon struggles to cope with the idea of herself as a young unmarried mother, as well as the fact that she’s never met her own father. Determined to have at least one big adventure before she has the baby, Lemon sets off on a cross-country road trip, intending not only to meet her father, but to figure out who she wants to be.

I received Fingerprints of You in the mail without knowing anything about it. So going into the book, I didn’t know what to expect. Fingerprints of You ended up being a really really good novel. I devoured it in one sitting.

Lemon is a strong character who, though she didn’t make the smartest decision, owns up to her mistakes and eventually conquers her challenges. Though at times I was a little annoyed with her decisions, I loved her. Stella made me so angry in the beginning of the novel, but I’m pretty sure that’s how she’s supposed to be perceived. However, as the novel progressed she came to grow on me.

Being a Californian (who lives kind of near San Francisco), I loved that Fingerprints of You took place in San Francisco. The story made me feel like I was there. Kristen-Paige Madonia beautifully captures something that many teens around the world ache to do- leave to explore the world on their own.

Fingerprints of You is a heartwrenching novel that I couldn’t put down. Lemon is a strong character who drives the story along nicely. I highly recommend Fingerprints of You. Kristen-Paige Madonia is an author to watch.

FTC- Received from publisher.

Waiting on Wednesday (54)

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Also Known AsAlso Known As by Robin Benway

February 26, 2013

ALSO KNOWN AS is the story of Maggie, a gifted teenage safecracker, who works alongside her parents as a spy for the mysterious entity known as the Collective. When she's assigned to infiltrate a private Manhattan high school, she's forced to make friends, investigate the mysterious Jesse, and solve the case, all without blowing her cover. (From Robin's blog.)

Monday, November 19, 2012

34 Pieces of You by Carmen Rodrigues

34 Pieces of YouA dark and moving novel—reminiscent of Thirteen Reasons Why—about the mystery surrounding a teenage girl’s fatal overdose.
There was something about Ellie... Something dangerous. Charismatic. Broken. Jake looked out for her. Sarah followed her lead. And Jess kept her distance, and kept watch.
Now Ellie’s dead, and Jake, Sarah, and Jess are left to pick up the pieces. All they have are 34 clues she left behind. 34 strips of paper hidden in a box beneath her bed. 34 secrets of a brief and painful life.
Jake, Sarah, and Jess all feel responsible for what happened to Ellie, and all three have secrets of their own. As they begin to confront the darkest truths about themselves, they will also find out what Ellie herself had been hiding all along....

This book blew me away. It sat on my bookshelf for a long time before I decided to pick it up because I thought it would be too heavy of a read. While it is filled with deep, emotional topics, Carmen Rodrigues also added lighter aspects to her novel that made it easier to read. I couldn’t put 34 Pieces of You down.

This novel is beautiful. It’s told from three different perspectives, which adds depth to the story and helps develop a fuller view of who Ellie was. Each different perspective was heartbreaking and enlightening. This is one of the only books where I didn’t have a favorite perspective.  34 Pieces of You involves a lot of real-life issues such as alcohol, drugs, sex, severe depression, and sexuality. However, none of this seemed to crowd the story, and just naturally flowed.

34 Pieces of You is a fantastic novel. It’s heartwrenching, emotional, and completely amazing. I couldn’t stop reading it. Even now, a week after I’ve finished it, I can’t get it out of my head. Carmen Rodrigues is a fantastic writer, and I can’t wait to read her next novel.

FTC- Received from publisher.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Black City by Elizabeth Richards

Black City (Black City, #1)A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war.
In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash’s long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong.
When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.

I admit, I was hesitant to start Black City. It’s been sitting on my bookshelf for months and I’ve been putting off reading it for who knows why. This book was spectacular. I honestly couldn’t stop reading. Black City kept me up reading well passed the time I usually go to sleep. Even after I had finish reading, Black City was still stuck in my mind. Even now, two days later, I can’t even form eloquent words to explain how much I enjoyed reading Black City.

The dystopian novel trend has been really big, so I’m always apprehensive when starting a new dystopian novel. Elizabeth Richards took this novel above and beyond my expectations. Her world-building was amazing and you can’t help but get lost in what Richard’s has created.

The characters in Black City were so well written. Ash made me swoon on every page. Natalie, though sometimes slightly annoying, was well written and believable. These characters were relatable despite being in a different world. I loved reading about them and am looking forward to hearing more about their lives in the next novel.

Black City was a fantastic novel that I really liked reading. It was well-written, addicting, and just plain beautiful. Richards is a mastermind of dystopian young adult literature. I can’t wait to read the sequel to Black City!

FTC- Received from publisher.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Ten SHHHH!
Don't spread the word!
Three-day weekend. House party.
White Rock House on Henry Island.
You do NOT want to miss it.

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.
But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.
Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

This book was magnificent. I read Ten late at night in one sitting, and was completely engrossed in it the whole way through. Ten is like a horror movie if you made it into a book. Some parts are a bit cheesy and melodramatic, but it’s still scary and you love it.
In the beginning of the novel, I kept getting the characters messed up- which was a big problem. However, after awhile it got easier to tell them all apart. I found myself empathizing with the characters as more and more of them started dying, even though we don’t get to spend much time with some of them. After awhile, it even became a sort of game for me to see how the next one would go (that sentence sounds totally morbid, oops). That being said, Ten still scared me.
I get frightened easily, so I had some inhibitions going into Ten. I wanted to read it, but was afraid to- however I was moderating a book festival panel with Gretchen on it, so I had to read the novel. I’m glad I read it, but boy oh boy it scared me. I kept having to stop every few chapters and remind myself that it’s a book.
Though I lost a good amount of sleep to Ten, I’m really glad I read it. Ten is a well written novel that you won’t be able to put down.
FTC- Received from publisher/author.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (53)

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The Book of Broken HeartsThe Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler

May 21, 2013

Jude has learned a lot from her older sisters, but the most important thing is this: The Vargas brothers are notorious heartbreakers. She’s seen the tears and disasters that dating a Vargas boy can cause, and she swore an oath — with candles and a contract and everything — to never have anything to do with one.
Now Jude is the only sister still living at home, and she’s spending the summer helping her ailing father restore his vintage motorcycle. No one wants to end up with a toaster on wheels, so they hire a mechanic to help out. Is it Jude’s fault he happens to be cute? And surprisingly sweet? And a Vargas?
Jude tells herself it’s strictly bike business with Emilio. Her sisters will never find out, and Jude can spot those flirty little Vargas tricks a mile away — no way would she fall for them. But old warnings fade fast, because Emilio turns out to be the first guy in forever she likes. Really likes. Jude’s defenses are crumbling, and if history is destined to repeat itself, she’s speeding toward some serious heartbreak…
But what if her sisters were wrong?
Jude may have taken an oath, but she’s beginning to think that when it comes to love, some promises might be worth breaking.

Erasing Time by C.J. Hill

Erasing Time (Erasing Time, #1)When twins Sheridan and Taylor wake up 400 years in the future, they find a changed world: domed cities, no animals, and a language that's so different, it barely sounds like English. And the worst news: They can't go back home.

The twenty-fifth-century government transported the girls to their city hoping to find a famous scientist to help perfect a devastating new weapon. The same government has implanted tracking devices in the citizens, limiting and examining everything they do. Taylor and Sheridan have to find a way out of the city before the government discovers their secrets. To complicate matters, the moblike Dakine has interest in getting hold of them too. The only way for the girls to elude their pursuers is to put their trust in Echo, a guy with secrets of his own. The trio must put their faith in the unknown to make a harrowing escape into the wilds beyond the city.

Full of adrenaline-injected chases and heartbreaking confessions, Erasing Time explores the strength of the bonds between twins, the risks and rewards of trust, and the hard road to finding the courage to fight for what you believe in.

Erasing Time was the first book I read after being in a long reading rut. It’s new, different, and really original. I was given this at summer ALA, and at the time I didn’t know much about it (besides the fact that I really liked the cover and it had to do with time travel). That being said, I think going into Erasing Time that way added to my reading experience. Getting to know the story as it unfolds was a bit confusing in the beginning, but ended up adding a whole new dimension to the way I perceived the characters.

C.J. Hill has a lot of characters in Erasing Time. She did a great job writing each storyline and developing each character so they each have their own distinct personality. I didn’t completely believe the romance in the story, but there were other parts of the novel that made up for the lack of believable romance.

I really liked Erasing Time. My biggest complaint about it is the romance, but there are so many other great aspects of the book that I still enjoyed reading it. I recommend this to people who like sci-fi novels and time travel. Erasing Time is a quick and addicting read, and I can’t wait until the next book in the series.

FTC- Received from publisher at ALA.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Lucid by Adrienne Stolz and Ron Bass

LucidWhat if you could dream your way into a different life? What if you could choose to live that life forever?
Sloane and Maggie have never met. Sloane is a straight-A student with a big and loving family. Maggie lives a glamorously independent life as an up-and-coming actress in New York. The two girls couldn't be more different--except for one thing. They share a secret that they can't tell a soul. At night, they dream that they're each other.
The deeper they're pulled into the promise of their own lives, the more their worlds begin to blur dangerously together. Before long, Sloane and Maggie can no longer tell which life is real and which is just a dream. They realize that eventually they will have to choose one life to wake up to, or risk spiraling into insanity. But that means giving up one world, one love, and one self, forever.

This book was really good, and not at all what I was expecting. Going into Lucid, I didn’t know much about the plot but as the book developed I loved it more and more. Lucid is an original idea that was executed very well.

However, I did dislike some parts of the novel. It’s difficult to write two person perspective books, and I think these authors did a good job of it. That being said, I didn’t like Maggie as much as I liked Sloane. Though Maggie definitely took more control of the book, Sloane was more relatable and her life interested me more. Because of this, it was difficult for me to get through the novel. That being said, I loved every other part of Lucid. Both characters are wildly different from each other, so it’s not difficult to tell them apart.

The story is incredibly fast-paced and easy to read. I found myself constantly getting lost in the story, and not wanting to put it down. I highly recommend Lucid. You won’t be able to stop reading!

FTC- Received from publisher.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Best Night of Your Pathetic Life by Tara Altebrando

The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) LifeAn 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.

The Best Night of Your Pathetic Life first caught by eye because it has a scavenger hunt (I love scavenger hunts). I read one of Tara Altebrando’s other books, Dreamland Social Club last year and really liked it. Because of that, I had high hopes for The Best Night of Your Pathetic Life. It ended up being a really fun book that is perfect to read on a summer afternoon.

All the characters were really well written, and even though there were many different people, it was easy for me to keep them all straight. I loved the whole idea of this novel. The fact that there’s this monumental all-encompassing scavenger hunt is really awesome. Though this book comes off as a light read, it does have some deep moments in it, which help balance out all the madness of the scavenger hunt.

Overall, I really liked The Best Night of Your Pathetic Life. It had some aspects I wasn’t expecting to find, and that really added to the story. Though this isn’t one of my favorite reads, it’s definitely worth reading.

FTC- Received from a friend.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (52)

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InvisibilityInvisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan

May 7, 2013

Stephen has been invisible for practically his whole life — because of a curse his grandfather, a powerful cursecaster, bestowed on Stephen’s mother before Stephen was born. So when Elizabeth moves to Stephen’s NYC apartment building from Minnesota, no one is more surprised than he is that she can see him. A budding romance ensues, and when Stephen confides in Elizabeth about his predicament, the two of them decide to dive headfirst into the secret world of cursecasters and spellseekers to figure out a way to break the curse. But things don’t go as planned, especially when Stephen’s grandfather arrives in town, taking his anger out on everyone he sees. In the end, Elizabeth and Stephen must decide how big of a sacrifice they’re willing to make for Stephen to become visible — because the answer could mean the difference between life and death. At least for Elizabeth.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (51)

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Thousand WordsThousand Words by Jennifer Brown

May 21, 2013

Ashleigh's boyfriend, Kaleb, is about to leave for college, and Ashleigh is worried that he'll forget about her while he's away. So at a legendary end-of-summer pool party, Ashleigh's friends suggest she text him a picture of herself -- sans swimsuit -- to take with him. Before she can talk herself out of it, Ashleigh strides off to the bathroom, snaps a photo in the full-length mirror, and hits "send."
But when Kaleb and Ashleigh go through a bad breakup, Kaleb takes revenge by forwarding the text to his baseball team. Soon the photo has gone viral, attracting the attention of the school board, the local police, and the media. As her friends and family try to distance themselves from the scandal, Ashleigh feels completely alone -- until she meets Mack while serving her court-ordered community service. Not only does Mack offer a fresh chance at friendship, but he's the one person in town who received the text of Ashleigh's photo -- and didn't look.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (50)

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This Is What Happy Looks LikeThis is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

April 2, 2013

If fate sent you an email, would you answer?
In This is What Happy Looks Like, Jennifer E. Smith's new YA novel, perfect strangers Graham Larkin and Ellie O'Neill meet—albeit virtually—when Graham accidentally sends Ellie an email about his pet pig, Wilbur. In the tradition of romantic movies like "You've Got Mail" and "Sleepless in Seattle," the two 17-year-olds strike up an email relationship, even though they live on opposite sides of the country and don't even know each other's first names.
Through a series of funny and poignant messages, Graham and Ellie make a true connection, sharing intimate details about their lives, hopes and fears. But they don't tell each other everything; Graham doesn't know the major secret hidden in Ellie's family tree, and Ellie is innocently unaware that Graham is actually a world-famous teen actor living in Los Angeles.
When the location for the shoot of Graham's new film falls through, he sees an opportunity to take their relationship from online to in-person, managing to get the production relocated to picturesque Henley, Maine, where Ellie lives. But can a star as famous as Graham have a real relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie's mom want her to avoid the media's spotlight at all costs?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (49)

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GoldenGolden by Jessi Kirby

May 14, 2013

Seventeen-year-old Parker Frost may be a distant relative of Robert Frost, but she has never taken the road less traveled. Valedictorian and quintessential good girl, she’s about to graduate high school without ever having kissed her crush or broken the rules. So when fate drops a mystery in her lap—one that might be the key to uncovering the truth behind a town tragedy, she decides to take a chance.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (48)

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Just One Day (Just One Day, #1)Just One Day by Gayle Forman

January 8, 2013

A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay

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.

Monday, October 1, 2012

League of Strays by L.B. Schulman

League of StraysWhen Charlotte Brody, a lonely 17-year-old student at a new school, receives an invitation to join The League of Strays, she's intrigued by the group's promise of "instant friendship." The League does provide companionship--and even a love interest--but Charlotte grows increasingly uncomfortable with its sinister mission to seek revenge against the bullies of Kennedy High. When escalating acts of vengeance threaten to hurl her down a path of remorse, Charlotte must choose between her new friends and the direction of a future she's never fully considered.

Much like one of the main characters in this book, League of Strays was addicting. I loved the mere idea of the League of Strays. I think it's super original and enables a lot of readers to relate to the book, and it's characters. The different personalities represented in the League made it so readers will able to relate to the characters on a more intimate level. Whether you're the recluse, the band geek, or any other stereotypical outsider- you'll be able to relate to this novel. However, I did have some problems with it.

I said that the book was addicting like one of the characters. While the book is a good kind of addicting, the character isn't. As you can tell from the book cover, Kade is a bit creepy. It really upset me how completely oblivious Charlotte was to who Kade actually was. When he first showed up in the book, I could already make a correct prediction of what would happen at the end of the novel. Charlotte's guillableness really bothered me. This brings me to Kade. I couldn't stand him at all. I understand how he enchants other people and I get why he is the way he is- but I just wasn't his number one fan. The characters also didn't really act the age that they were supposed to be, but that didn't bother me as much as the other things.

After I read League of Strays, I went on goodreads and browsed some of the reviews there- both the positive and negative ones. One of the most common problems that people have with league of Strays is one particular scene. There's a scene that involves the members of the group setting up one of their bullies into a situation that makes him look gay infront of his teammates. The bully ends up getting into a fight with one of the teammates because of what the teammate saw. People have a problem with this because they believe that the author is saying that the harsh behavior of lgbt people is ok. While I completely understand where the people on Goodreads are coming from, and part of me really hates that this scene is in the book, I don't think that that is what the author is trying to convey in the scene. I think this scene, along with others in the book, display things that go on in many high schools today. I liked that about League of Strays- what happened to the members of the group were real problems that teens face.

My problems with the book aside, I really do think that this is a good story. It's a book that should be out in the YA market. The characters are in no way the characters that teens should look up to- their revenge schemes are horrible. But the book is refreshingly real and the characters do what so many people want to do to their old bullies. L.B. Schulman is definently an author I'm looking forward to reading again.

FTC- ALA/Amulet books

Sunday, September 23, 2012

If I Lie by Corrine Jackson

If I Lie

A powerful debut novel about the gray space between truth and perception.
Quinn’s done the unthinkable: she kissed a guy who is not Carey, her boyfriend. And she got caught. Being branded a cheater would be bad enough, but Quinn is deemed a traitor, and shunned by all of her friends. Because Carey’s not just any guy—he’s serving in Afghanistan and revered by everyone in their small, military town.
Quinn could clear her name, but that would mean revealing secrets that she’s vowed to keep—secrets that aren’t hers to share. And when Carey goes MIA, Quinn must decide how far she’ll go to protect her boyfriend…and her promise.

If I Lie was the first non-school book I read in nearly two months. In some ways, now that it’s been a few days since I’ve read it, If I Lie broke my reading rut. Overall, I really liked If I Lie. I read it at the perfect time and I loved it. Corrine Jackson takes you on an emotional rollercoaster. This novel will make you laugh and cry, in the best possible ways.

Quinn was awesome. I loved what she was doing for the army veterans, and even though her father initially made her do it, she was fully dedicated to every part of the project. While working with George on the Veterans History Project, the story felt so nice and full (that’s the only way I can think to describe it). George was amazing. His relationship with Quinn is my favorite relationship in the whole book. Never in my life have I felt so much for an adult character in a young adult novel. Carey’s story was heartbreaking- at times the way he acted got me upset, but nonetheless, I felt sympathy towards him and what he had to go through.

After reading If I Lie, I couldn't help but be in love with the writing. Corrine Jackson knows how to write an amazing story. The book tugs at your heartstrings and captures you until the very last page. After finishing it, my mind was numb from everything I had just read. The writing is beautiful, and the novel as a whole is amazing.

I highly recommend If I Lie. It’s one of the best debut contemporary novels I’ve read in a long time. Corrine Jackson is a superb writer, and I can’t wait to read her next novel (she has a paranormal novel, Touched, coming out November 27 of this year). You all need to read If I Lie.

 

FTC- Received a copy from the author

I haven’t written a review in awhile, so sorry if this was a little choppy.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (47)

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League of StraysLeague of Strays by L.B. Schulman

October 1, 2012

When Charlotte Brody, a lonely 17-year-old student at a new school, receives an invitation to join The League of Strays, she's intrigued by the group's promise of "instant friendship." The League does provide companionship--and even a love interest--but Charlotte grows increasingly uncomfortable with its sinister mission to seek revenge against the bullies of Kennedy High. When escalating acts of vengeance threaten to hurl her down a path of remorse, Charlotte must choose between her new friends and the direction of a future she's never fully considered.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Freaks Like Us by Susan Vaught

When Jason Milwaukee’s best friend, Sunshine, disappears from the face of the earth, the whole town, including Jason, starts searching for her. But the insistent voices in Jason’s head won’t let him get to the heart of the mystery—he’s schizophrenic, and the voices make it hard to know what is real and what is not. As the chase becomes more panicked, Jason’s meds start wearing off, and he is looking more and more guilty. But of what, exactly? Both brilliantly witty and intensely honest, this poignant novel draws upon the author’s many years as an adolescent psychologist, but it’s Vaught’s powerful voice and expertly crafted mystery that will keep the pages turning.

This book put me on one hell of an emotional rollercoaster. Freaks Like Us was one of the books I read on the car ride home from ALA (an 8-hour drive). When I heard that the main character in Freaks Like Us was schizophrenic, it made me want to read the book even more. There aren’t many YA titles with main characters that have a mental illness, so I was interested in seeing how Susan Vaught pulled off the storyline. I couldn’t get my eyes of the page! It captured me completely, and each sentence left me wanting more.

Jason’s voice was breathtaking. I fell in love with his thought process, and the way Susan Vaught wrote it. Jason made me want to jump into the story and hug him. Throughout the story, Jason introduces readers to his two best friends- Drip and Sunshine. Shortly thereafter, Sunshine goes missing. Jason then tries to solve Sunshine’s missing persons case. His relentless effort to find one of his best friends is amazing, and so well written.

Freaks Like Us isn’t an easy book to read. It isn’t about cheerful topics, it doesn’t have a ‘traditional’ way of writing, and I don’t think it really fits into a category. Freaks Like Us is an amazing novel. The writing is perfect for the story, the characters are amazing, and the plot couldn’t be any better. I highly recommend Freaks Like Us.

FTC- Received from publisher

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (46)

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Eve and AdamEve and Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate

October 2, 2012

Sixteen-year-old Evening Spiker lives an affluent life in San Francisco with her mother, EmmaRose, a successful geneticist and owner of Spiker Biotech. Sure, Evening misses her father who died mysteriously, but she’s never really questioned it. Much like how she’s never stopped to think how off it is that she’s never been sick. That is, until she’s struck by a car and is exposed to extensive injuries. Injuries that seem to be healing faster than physically possible.
While recuperating in Spiker Biotech’s lush facilities, she meets Solo Plissken, a very attractive, if off-putting boy her age who spent his life at Spiker Biotech. Like Evening, he’s never questioned anything... until now. Solo drops hints to Evening that something isn’t right, and Emma-Rose may be behind it. Evening puts this out of her mind and begins her summer internship project: To simulate the creation of the perfect boy. With the help of Solo, Evening uncovers secrets so big they could change the world completely.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Every Day by David Levithan

Every DayEvery day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.
Every morning, A wakes in a different person’s body, a different person’s life. There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.
It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

David Levithan has done it again. Every time I read one of his books, I have extremely high expectations- and every time, the books surpass my highest expectations. Every Day was no different. This idea is so original. As soon as I read the summary, I was hooked. Levithan has such inventive ideas that I can’t help but read his books as soon as humanly possible.

Every Day is such a bittersweet book. I couldn’t help but feel bad for A and all they’ve been through, but also all they’ve missed out on. Because of the nature of the book, it’s difficult for me to talk about the things I usually talk about in a review. There aren’t many secondary characters, and the situation that A has been put into is so different that I have nothing to compare it to.

As a character, A is written really well. I like that they aren’t afraid to bend the rules a little bit, and that they are so nice in how they treat the body it’s staying in for that one day. I also really liked Rhiannon. She was really level headed throughout most of what was going on with A. I spent a lot of the book feeling bad for both characters. A because of how their lifestyle doesn’t allow them to really connect with anyone. And Rhiannon because of something that inevitably happens at the end of the book (no, spoilers!).

I am in love with this book. I can’t say that this is my favorite Levithan book, since I don’t have a favorite of his books. However, it’s one of the most original. The writing is absolutely phenomenal. The characters are amazing. The story is beyond good. I have nothing but praise for Every Day.

 

FTC- Netgalley.

Friday, August 24, 2012

An Apology

Hey everyone!

I just wanted to apologize for the lack of reviews that have been posting lately. School started this week, so I'm trying to find the balance between everything! I’ll try and start posting more often, but I’m not making any promises right now.

For now, I’m just trying to focus on starting back at normal school (This will be my first year back from being homeschooled for the past two school years). I’m also trying to balance a job and various internships. But I promise that I think about writing reviews every day. I have a few in the works, so hopefully they will be able to go up soon.

I hope you all had an amazing summer! What good books have you read recently?

 

xo

Zoe

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (45)

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Breathe (Breathe, #1)Breathe by Sarah Crossan

October 2, 2012

Inhale. Exhale. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe . . .
The world is dead.
The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen-rich air.
ALINA
has been stealing for a long time. She’s a little jittery, but not terrified. All she knows is that she’s never been caught before. If she’s careful, it’ll be easy. If she’s careful.
QUINN
should be worried about Alina and a bit afraid for himself, too, but even though this is dangerous, it’s also the most interesting thing to happen to him in ages. It isn’t every day that the girl of your dreams asks you to rescue her.
BEA
wants to tell him that none of this is fair; they’d planned a trip together, the two of them, and she’d hoped he’d discover her out here, not another girl.
And as they walk into the Outlands with two days’ worth of oxygen in their tanks, everything they believe will be shattered. Will they be able to make it back? Will they want to?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (44)

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Beta (Beta, #1)Beta by Rachel Cohn

October 16, 2012

In a world constructed to absolute perfection, imperfection is difficult to understand—and impossible to hide.
Elysia is a clone, created in a laboratory, born as a sixteen year old girl, an empty vessel with no life experience to draw from. She is a Beta, an experimental model of teenaged clone. She was replicated from another teenage girl, who had to die in order for Elysia to be created.
Elysia's purpose is to serve the inhabitants of Demesne, an island paradise for the wealthiest people on earth. Everything about Demesne is bioengineered for perfection. Even the air there induces a strange, euphoric high that only the island's workers—soulless clones like Elysia—are immune to.
At first, Elysia's new life on this island paradise is idyllic and pampered. But she soon sees that Demesne's human residents, the most privileged people in the world who should want for nothing, yearn. And, she comes to realize that beneath its flawless exterior, there is an undercurrent of discontent amongst Demesne's worker clones. She knows she is soulless and cannot feel and should not care—so why are overpowering sensations clouding Elysia's mind?
If anyone discovers that Elysia isn't the unfeeling clone she must pretend to be, she will suffer a fate too terrible to imagine. When Elysia's one chance at happiness is ripped away from her with breathtaking cruelty, emotions she's always had but never understood are unleashed. As rage, terror, and desire threaten to overwhelm her, Elysia must find the will to survive.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (43)

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Burn for BurnBurn for Burn by Siobhan Vivian and Jenny Han

September 18, 2012

BIG GIRLS DON'T CRY...
THEY GET EVEN.
Lillia has never had any problems dealing with boys who like her. Not until this summer, when one went too far. No way will she let the same thing happen to her little sister.
Kat is tired of the rumours, the insults, the cruel jokes. It all goes back to one person– her ex-best friend– and she's ready to make her pay.
Four years ago, Mary left Jar Island because of a boy. But she's not the same girl anymore. And she's ready to prove it to him.
Three very different girls who want the same thing: sweet, sweet revenge. And they won't stop until they each had a taste.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (42)

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Meant to BeMeant to Be by Lauren Morrill

November 13, 2012

Meant to be or not meant to be . . . that is the question.
It's one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the—gasp—wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she's queen of following rules and being prepared. That's why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that's also why she's chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB ("meant to be").
But this spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts . . . from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love.
Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham

Reunited1 Concert
2000 Miles
3 Ex-Best Friends
Alice, Summer, and Tiernan are ex-best friends.
Back in middle school, the three girls were inseparable. They were also the number one fans of the rock band Level3.
But when the band broke up, so did their friendship. Summer ran with the popular crowd, Tiernan was a rebellious wild-child, and Alice spent high school with her nose buried in books.
Now, just as the girls are about to graduate, Level3 announces a one-time-only reunion show.
Even though the concert’s 2000 miles away, Alice buys three tickets on impulse. And as it turns out, Summer and Tiernan have their own reasons for wanting to get out of town. Good thing Alice’s graduation gift (a pea-green 1976 VW camper van known as the Pea Pod) is just the vehicle to get them there.
But on the long drive cross-country, the girls hit more than a few bumps in the road. Will their friendship get an encore or is the show really over?

When I got this book, I hadn’t heard much about it. However, I recently starting hearing a bunch of praise. Naturally, I wanted to start reading Reunited, so I could see what all the hype was about. Reunited was so good! It had roadtrips and brief romances and a boy band. What more could a girl ask for?

Reunited is a story about three (ex)friends who go on a road trip to see the reunion show of their favorite boy band. Along the way they meet boys and run into numerous problems. The friendship bonding in here was so refreshing! I loved reading about a group of girls that set out to just have fun. All three girls were fun to read about, and their interactions with each other and the people they met were hilarious.

I seriously wanted to be right there with them in the VW Bus. When I finished reading Reunited, first I was enamored with how awesome the story was, then I was sad that I wasn’t one of the characters in the book. And the ending. It was predictable, but I loved it.

Reunited was really good. It was a hilarious, fun, and addicting novel. You should read it.

 

FTC- Received from publisher.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols

Such a Rush

A sexy and poignant romantic tale of a young daredevil pilot caught between two brothers.
High school senior Leah Jones loves nothing more than flying. While she’s in the air, it’s easy to forget life with her absentee mother at the low-rent end of a South Carolina beach town. When her flight instructor, Mr. Hall, hires her to fly for his banner advertising business, she sees it as her ticket out of the trailer park. And when he dies suddenly, she’s afraid her flying career is gone forever.    
But Mr. Hall’s teenage sons, golden boy Alec and adrenaline junkie Grayson, are determined to keep the banner planes flying. Though Leah has crushed on Grayson for years, she’s leery of getting involved in what now seems like a doomed business — until Grayson betrays her by digging up her most damning secret. Holding it over her head, he forces her to fly for secret reasons of his own, reasons involving Alec. Now Leah finds herself drawn into a battle between brothers — and the consequences could be deadly.

Jennifer Echols has done it again. Such a Rush blew me away. I read it last night (so I’m still kind of mesmerized by it), and it’s been hard to think about anything else. Anytime I read a book by Echols, I have high expectations, especially with her dramatic romances (instead of her romantic comedies).

From the very first page, Such a Rush caught my attention. The story demands that you listen to it, and the characters draw you in. Leah was such a strong character, that I couldn’t help but love her. She comes from a difficult background, but is able to break free of what’s holding her back and start doing what she wants to do. Leah, though sometimes clueless, is a really admirable character. And then there’s Alec and Grayson. Alec is the more adorable character ever. He’s understanding, comforting, and a great guy. Grayson however, is the mysterious, smooth, adrenaline-junkie. The chemistry between all the character is electric, but specifically between Grayson and Leah. I loved how their relationship didn’t feel like insta-love. It felt real.

The writing in Such a Rush is so poetic, and I really loved it. The characters were amazing, as always. Such a Rush is my new favorite Jennifer Echols book. It is so good. You should read this book as soon as possible.

FTC- Bought.