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.)

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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

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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

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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)

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

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)

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

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.