Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

33It's always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he's crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.


This is the first book in a long while that made me stay up way past the time I usually go to bed. I could not stop reading The Goddess Test. I stayed up until 5:20 am reading this book because I couldn’t help but want to know what was going to happen next.

Aimee Carter wrote a book that will keep you interested until the very last page and even then it makes you want the next book. Everybody in this novel is so well written and alluring. Henry, Kate, Kate’s mom- everyone. One of my favorite things about The Goddess Test was that it took something that a lot of people aren’t really interested in* (Greek mythology) and twisted it into a dark, romantic, addicting tale that I couldn’t help but fall completely in love with.

I recommend this book to anybody who loved good books because The Goddess Test is definitely one of the best YA novels I’ve read in a great while. The Goddess Test is addicting, mysterious, and written impeccably. You won’t be able to resist it!

*I love Greek mythology, I always have.

FTC- Publisher.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

31Frankie Landau-Banks at age 14:
Debate Club.
Her father’s “bunny rabbit.”
A mildly geeky girl attending a highly competitive boarding school.
Frankie Landau-Banks at age 15:
A knockout figure.
A sharp tongue.
A chip on her shoulder.
And a gorgeous new senior boyfriend: the supremely goofy, word-obsessed Matthew Livingston.
Frankie Laundau-Banks.
No longer the kind of girl to take “no” for an answer.
Especially when “no” means she’s excluded from her boyfriend’s all-male secret society.
Not when her ex boyfriend shows up in the strangest of places.
Not when she knows she’s smarter than any of them.
When she knows Matthew’s lying to her.
And when there are so many, many pranks to be done.
Frankie Landau-Banks, at age 16:
Possibly a criminal mastermind.
This is the story of how she got that way.


Once again, E. Lockhart took my breath away with her amazing way of writing and her realistic characters. Frankie Landau-Banks was a quick-witted mastermind of a character who kept me on my feet throughout the whole story. I couldn’t guess what she was going to do next.

All of the characters in this novel were lovely, realistic, and incredibly relatable. The whole story was hilarious beyond belief and incredibly addicting. I felt like every sentence was a new brain-treat. Frankie is the sort of main character that you can relate to, yet you want to be her. She is near-fearless and heroine if there ever was one.

It took me awhile to read this book. I had tried reading it multiple times and failed. But then I was emailing an author* and she told me that I should read it, so I thought I would give it another go. It’s a good thing I did because I ended up loving it. I honestly think that E. Lockhart can do no wrong when writing YA books.

I recommend this novel to anyone and everyone in search of a fun, challenging, and surprising novel to read. E. Lockhart nailed it!


*The author in question was the fabulous and awesome-haired Hannah Moskowitz. Her newest book came out ten days ago. You should buy it.

FTC- Library.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Carmen by Walter Dean Myers


A retelling of the Bizet opera set in Spanish Harlem in which a teen with a fiery temper wants the one boy she can't have, with deadly consequences.

I don’t have much to say in this review because I didn’t really like Carmen. I first want to say that I’m not surprised I didn’t like this because I’m generally not a fan of reading plays. They confuse me and I just overall prefer seeing the play.

If I were to rate this book, I would get it one out of five stars, but that’s mostly because of my personal preference. I think that a lot of people will really enjoy Carmen, and I really hope people who read it do enjoy it.

Do I recommend you buy this? No, because I wouldn’t buy it. But I do suggest you read it if you enjoy plays and are looking for a snappy retelling.

The writing is really good in Carmen and I think that the story is truly interesting. I would be really happy if this book gets children and teens interested in theater and reading because that’s what this blog is all about. I’m not telling you not to read it, because if it sounds interesting to you- I think you should give it a chance. It just wasn’t a good book for me.

FTC- Publisher

Back When You Were Easier to Love by Emily Wing Smith

What's worse than getting dumped? Not even knowing if you've been dumped. Joy got no goodbye, and certainly no explanation when Zan—the love of her life and the only good thing about stifling, backward Haven, Utah—unceremoniously and unexpectedly left for college a year early. Joy needs closure almost as much as she needs Zan, so she heads for California, and Zan, riding shotgun beside Zan's former-best-friend Noah.

I have to be honest, I first wanted to read this book because of the cover. I mean, look at it! It looks so adorable and bookish, how could I not want to read it?

This story is sweet, addicting, and absolutely heartbreaking. In some ways, I wanted to totally jump into the story to give Joy a wake up call. Reading parts of this story broke my heart because I just felt so bad for Joy when it came to how blind she was toward Zan. This story has layers. It has the outside layer, which the summary tells us about- Joy is upset because Zan, the love of her life, left without saying goodbye. Then we have the second layer- the various friendships involved in the “friendship-circle”. The third layer- which I’m not going to reveal to you because it would contain spoilers. And last, the fourth layer- this is the deepest layer and I think it comes down to the various ways we perceive people. I can completely understand why Joy would think that Zan loves her because frankly, that is what a lot of teen girls do. But as the reader, we can see that Joy is obviously lying to herself about how Zan is. She looks at him like he is the perfect guy, which he isn’t.

I loved how much each character changes throughout the course of Back When You Were Easier to Love. They all make an amazing transformation and I loved being able to watch that happen. Though the main character was kind of whiny, I overall really liked this book.

It conveys a special message and it was a really really fun story to read. I recommend it to people who want a fast, sweet novel that is more than meets the eye.

FTC- Publisher.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

Seventeen-year-old Ginny Blackstone precipitously travels from her home in New Jersey to London when she receives a message from an unknown man telling her he has the letters that were stolen just before she completed a series of mysterious tasks assigned by her now dead aunt, an artist.

Maureen Johnson, please take me away into your amazing novels! Maureen Johnson was one of the first Young Adult authors that I’ve read and she still amazes me with her writing. When I got this book in the mail, I screamed and ran around in my garage (just ask my mom, she was there). Needless to say, I am a big Maureen Johnson. When I heard that she was going to write a sequel to 13 Little Blue Envelops, I was a bit concerned. Would Maureen totally nail the 2nd book? Would it live up the first? How can she build upon a story that was pretty much finished with? Well let me tell you now dear blog readers, in no way did Maureen Johnson disappoint with The Last Little Blue Envelope.
I did not speak to anyone when I got this. I went straight up to my room and read for hours without anybody bothering me. I couldn’t stop reading this book. You couldn’t have stopped me from reading this book. Maureen takes her readers on yet another adventure full of new boys, old boys, traveling, and so much more. I know by this point, you are probably annoyed with my droning on about how in love with Maureen Johnson’s writing I am. I swear I’m going to actually review the book once I’m done typing this sentence.
The Last Little Blue Envelope is a humorous novel that readers will enjoy. Being back in Ginny’s world is as thrilling as when you first read 13 Little Blue Envelopes. Maureen Johnson knows how to transport her readers to places across the country, in one swift turn of a page. Reading this book was electric. I couldn’t take my eyes away from the pages. I was really pleased at how Maureen executed the sequel to the much-loved 13 Little Blue Envelopes.

FTC- Publisher.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Wildefire Winner!

Hey everyone!

Today I bring you the winner of an ARC of Wildefire by Karsten Knight. The winner is….


Congrats Alicia! I’ll send your address off to the publisher so they can send you Wildefire.


* For those who still want a chance to read Wildefire, I’ll have more giveaways for it coming up soon*

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Jumpstart the World by Catherine Ryan Hyde

30Elle is a loner. She doesn’t need people. Which is a good thing, because she’s on her own: she had to move into her own apartment so her mother’s boyfriend won’t have to deal with her.

Then she meets Frank, the guy who lives next door. He’s older and has a girlfriend, but Elle can’t stop thinking about him. Frank isn’t like anyone Elle has ever met. He listens to her. He’s gentle. And Elle is falling for him, hard.
But Frank is different in a way that Elle was never prepared for: he’s transgender. And when Elle learns the truth, her world is turned upside down.  Now she’ll have to search inside herself to find not only the true meaning of friendship but her own role in jumpstarting the world.


This is the first Transgender book that I’ve read and it was magnificent. Elle is an amazing character and I loved reading about her. This is the first book I’ve read by Catherine Ryan Hyde and now I really want to read more of what she’s written. Her writing is truly enchanting and I got completely lost in the story.

Frank was so amazing. He was really real and an amazingly memorable character.  I really wish that Jumpstart the World was longer because I want to spend more time with these amazing characters.

I completely recommend Jumpstart the World to everyone. It’s a heartfelt story that you can’t help but love.

FTC- Library.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Shadow Walkers by Brent Hartinger Tens List

Today, as part of the Teen Book Scene tour- I have a guest post from the author of Shadow Walkers (my review will be posted on May 5th). Brent Hartinger put together a lovely list telling me (and all of you) his top ten islands! Find out more about his top ten islands now-


1. Vashon Island. This is an island in Puget Sound, the one I modeled Hinder Island after in my book Shadow Walkers. It’s not quite as remote as Hinder, but it’s just as beautiful. And downtown Vashon is absolutely the town of Hinder in the book.

2. Grenada. This Caribbean country is incredibly beautiful and beyond charming. Hire a guide and check out the nutmeg farms – and the jungle waterfalls!

3. Kauai, Hawaii. What can I say? All the amenities of the bigger Hawaiian islands, but none of the congestion and much less of the tacky tourist-y stuff..

4. Dursey Island. This little island at the tip of the Beara Peninsula in Ireland. It has a population of eight, has no cars or roads, and can only be reached for one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon by this old, creaky cable car across a channel. You can reach the opposite end by bike, and it feels like you’re at the edge of the world!

5. Mackinac Island, Lake Huron. I haven’t actually been to this car-less resort island yet, but it’s also way up on my list!

6. The Gulf Islands. The ferries to these islands in British Columbia, Canada, are too expensive, and they don’t run often enough. But these islands are still incredibly beautiful.

7. Tom Sawyer’s Island, Disneyland. It’s now called Pirate’s Lair and it had a major upgrade in 2007. But I like it because of the fond memories from my childhood.

8. Lopez Island. My favorite of the San Juan Islands in Washington State. This is where you’ll find me every August.

9. Catalina Island, California. No cars, funky shops, and flying fish!

10. St. John Virgin Island. Most of the island is a national park, which mean this is the Virgin Island to visit – at least if, like me, you want to avoid other people!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Illusions by Aprilynne Pike

Laurel hasn't seen Tamani since she begged him to let her go last year. Though her heart still aches, Laurel is confident that David was the right choice. But just as life is returning to normal, Laurel discovers that a hidden enemy lies in wait. Once again, Laurel must turn to Tamani to protect and guide her, for the danger that now threatens Avalon is one that no faerie thought would ever be possible. And for the first time, Laurel cannot be sure that her side will prevail.

I have a confession to make. I haven’t read the first two books in this series. I know I should have, and I regret not reading them first- but lets get on with this review.

So I’ve heard extremely mixed reviews about this series, I know people who worship it and I know people who hate it- I’m stuck in the middle with Illusions. I think that if I would have read the other two books first, Illusions would have made much more sense. Overall, I think that the writing was good with a touch of being lyrical (which I’m always a fan of). A big problem I had with Illusions was that it didn’t completely suck me in like I wanted it to. It also was a pretty slow read, which I don’t think is good when dealing with anything other than contemporary books.
It’s really hard for me to come up with my opinion of Illusions because I feel like it was lost on me. Even though I knew the characters and I knew what was going on, something seemed off about it. If I were to have a rating system on here, I would probably have given it a 3/5. It was good writing and I’m sure a bunch of people will love it, it just wasn’t really my cup of tea.


Stolen by Lucy Christopher


Gemma, 16, is on layover at Bangkok Airport, en route with her parents to a vacation in Vietnam. She steps away for just a second, to get a cup of coffee. Ty - rugged, tan, too old, oddly familiar - pays for Gemma's drink. And drugs it. They talk. Their hands touch. And before Gemma knows what's happening, Ty takes her. Steals her away. The unknowing object of a long obsession, Gemma has been kidnapped by her stalker and brought to the desolate Australian Outback.


I had never understood why everybody thought this book was so amazing. Then I read it. Lucy Christopher wrote an impeccable novel that makes you end up questioning the state of your mind.


I couldn’t put this book down because I was completely enthralled in everything involving Gemma, Ty, and the Outback. I loved how the setting of the novel was a character too, it’s something new and fresh that I haven’t seen in a YA novel before.

Once I was done reading Stolen, I just kind of sat there like “what do I do now?” Needless to say, this is the sort of book that you can’t get out of your head. I can’t wait to see what Lucy Christopher has up her sleeve next.

I recommend Stolen to anyone who can deal with reading something that will force you to use your brain and question every word you read. It was hectic, raw, and left me breathless.

FTC- Library.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Real Live Boyfriends by E. Lockhart

28Ruby Oliver, the neurotic, hyperverbal heroine of the The Boyfriend List, The Boy Book, and The Treasure Map of Boys, is back!
Ruby Oliver is in love. Or it would be love, if Noel, her real live boyfriend, would call her back. But Noel seems to have turned into a pod-robot lobotomy patient, and Ruby can’t figure out why.
Not only is her romantic life a shambles:
Her dad is eating nothing but Cheetos,
Her mother’s got a piglet head in the refrigerator,
Hutch has gone to Paris to play baguette air guitar,
Gideon shows up shirtless,
And the pygmy goat Robespierre is no help whatsoever.
Will Ruby ever control her panic attacks?
Will she ever understand boys?
Will she ever stop making lists?
(No to that last one.)
Roo has lost most of her friends. She’s lost her true love, more than once. She’s lost her grandmother, her job, her reputation, and possibly her mind. But she’s never lost her sense of humor. The Ruby Oliver books are the record of her survival.


I’m not even joking- I love this book with every fiber of my being. Ruby Oliver is my literary soul mate. She is so freaking amazing and I love her so much. If I recall correctly, this is the last in the Ruby Oliver series. I put off reading Real Live Boyfriends for the precise reason. E. Lockhart has a way of writing that you can’t help but fall in love with. Her heroines are real and relatable and you really want to know them.

Roo’s story gets even more interesting with every page. I read it in one sitting and was even a little disrespectful and reading it in public, just because I couldn’t stop reading. I literally have no complaints about this book.

I recommend the entire Ruby Oliver series to any teen girl, Roo is such a relatable character and you can’t help but love her.


FTC- Library.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Through Her Eyes by Jennifer Archer Excerpt



Today, as part of the Teen Book Scene tour I have an excerpt from the first chapter of Through Her Eyes by Jennifer Archer.

THROUGH HER EYES by Jennifer Archer : Excerpt from Chapter 1

We turn onto a dirt road and hit a pothole. The van rattles. Papa Dan whistles louder. From the corner of my eye, I glimpse Mom’s smile. “Look!” She steps on the brake, slinging me toward the dash before my seat belt jerks me back. “There it is!” Mom sticks her sunglasses onto the top of her head. “It’s perfect,” she says.

I glance through the windshield at three stories of pure creepiness as Papa Dan ends the oat-and-ivy tune and starts whistling The Twilight Zone’s theme music. He couldn’t have chosen a more perfect song. Mom’s beloved turret tops the right side of the roof where it points like a finger at the gray cloud above. A little more centered and I would think it was flipping us off. The paint on the house, which might have once been a pretty shade of blue, is faded. A shutter dangles across a second-floor window, as if it’s unsure which would be worse—hanging on to the monster or the long drop to the ground. Weeds cover the yard, and the branches on the only tree in sight, a twisted giant on the house’s right side, start low on the trunk and reach wide.

“Oh, look at that wonderful old mulberry!” Mom exclaims. She pulls the van into the rocky driveway and we climb out. As I’m helping Papa Dan from the backseat, Mom says, “Someone’s supposed to come by to talk about painting and repairs and cleaning up the yard. Eloise said the house is nice on the inside, though. She already sent over a cleaning service, and the owners left some furniture behind.”

“That’s good. We’d never come close to filling up a house this big with our stuff.”

A warm gust of rain-scented air flutters my hair. Without traffic noise, it’s spooky quiet outside. The only sounds I hear are a low rumble of thunder, the hiss of the wind, the twitter of a bird or two, and the constant chirp of insects—crickets or maybe cicadas.

Beads of sweat break out on my forehead. Papa Dan grasps my hand tighter, as if he senses my tension . . . or shares it. A quiet, strangled noise escapes his throat. I follow his gaze to the house’s dark windows. A covered porch wraps around the front of the house. On its left side, a wooden bench swing hangs crooked from rusted chains that are attached to the ceiling. “It doesn’t look like anyone has lived here in a long time,” I say, squeezing my grandfather’s fingers like he does mine. “At least nobody with flesh on their bones.”

As if on cue, another blast of wind blows the porch swing back and forth and the rusty hinges creak. “Come on,” I say to Papa Dan, tugging his arm gently. He tugs back, and I feel a shudder pass through his body. Behind his round glasses, his eyes are pale green, confused . . . and scared. “You sure Papa Dan didn’t live here?” I ask Mom.

“He lived somewhere in town.”

“Why would he have a picture of this house?”

“Maybe he knew someone who lived here. Or maybe he just liked the architecture. It’s fairly unusual for this part of the country.”

I finally coax Papa Dan to follow Mom and me up the steps. “This is our new home,” I say to him, though I doubt he can hear me, since he’s not wearing his hearing aids. He always misplaces them, along with just about everything else. We step onto the porch, and I notice it’s made of warped gray boards. A few of them look as if they might cave in beneath our weight. “I hope you got a good deal on the rent,” I mumble to Mom.

She slips the key into the lock and turns it. “We’re practically living here free.”

I feel impatient as she jiggles the doorknob. I’d never admit it, but part of me can’t wait to explore this weird place. Something about the house, that creaking porch swing, even Mom’s precious turret, intrigues me. My grandfather’s sigh gives me the impression he doesn’t share my curiosity, though. He starts whistling so quietly, I can’t make out the tune. “Papa Dan doesn’t seem very happy to be here,” I say.

“Oh, I think he is.” Mom swings open the door and steps across the threshold. “Before he got sick, he told me he wanted to come back to Cedar Canyon for a visit.”

“Maybe he changed his mind.”

A flock of birds takes flight inside my chest. The house may be interesting, but I’ve lived in too many rentals, and I dread facing more rooms full of memories that aren’t mine. I wish Papa Dan would have a clear moment and say, Don’t worry, Tansy girl, it’s just another house in another town. No big deal. I’ll show you around my old stomping grounds. Instead he squints at the swing and keeps whistling.

An Interview with Hannah Moskowitz

Hannah Moskowitz is the author of BREAK and her new novel, INVINCIBLE SUMMER. Today, I'm lucky enough to have her on for an interview. Enjoy!

1. Albert Camus is mentioned a lot in Invincible Summer. How has
Albert Camus influenced your life?

I started reading Camus the winter of my junior in high school, when I
was in a very shaky place. I loved that there was something so summery
about him, and I clung to that. Probably for the same reasons Chase

The idea for all of Invincible Summer came to me in a span of five or
six seconds. All the siblings, the entire plot, Camus, the beach,
Melinda, the title. I needed to write a book about summer, I think.

2. Which character in Invincible Summer can you relate to the most?

Noah, absolutely. He's so pissed off about everything.

3. You wrote Invincible Summer in 8 days, which is pretty fast
compared to a lot of writers. When you write, do you have any specific
things you need (music, lucky slippers, etc.)?

Music is great (I always make playlists) but they're usually to get me
thinking about the book when I'm not writing, though I listen to them
when I'm writing as well.

No rituals, really. I set word count goals before I'm allowed to do
anything, though. I can't eat for a thousand more words. I can't go to
the bathroom for 500 more words. It's a good motivator. Especially
when you have to pee.

4. Quick! Describe Invincible Summer in five words.

Haha, I just did this for Kari! Can I use the same words I did then?
Gritty, funny, raw, vaguely incestual.

5. Can you tell us about your upcoming books now that Invincible
is out "in the wild"?

Of course! So INVINCIBLE SUMMER comes out April 19th. My first MG
book, ZOMBIE TAG, about a boy who starts the zombie apocalypse in an
attempt to wake up his dead brother...only the zombies aren't exactly
what he was expecting, is out in December 2011. Then next spring, I
have GONE, GONE, GONE, a YA that is very near and dear to me. It's a
boy/boy romance set on top of the 2002 D.C. sniper shootings. And I
have another MG coming in 2012, too, and that's what I'm working on
right now!

Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz


Across four sun-kissed drama-drenched summers at his family's beach house, Chase tries to come to grips with his family's slow dissolution while also finding himself in a chaotic love triangle, pitted against his own brother in pursuit of the girl next door.

Invincible Summer is one of those books that makes you feel hopeful and get that fuzzy feeling in the pit of your stomach. There are some really cry-worthy parts in this book. Even during those parts (when I was crying so so much) I felt so much love for her characters. Hannah Moskowitz knows how to craft the absolute best characters for her books. They are all so incredibly real. One of the things I like best about Moskowitz’ writing is that she isn’t afraid to hold back. If she wants her character to curse a lot (which is completely accurate because many teens curse a lot), well you better not be surprised when they’re cursing. I LOVE that her characters are like that. When I read Invincible Summer, I felt like I was hanging out with my friends.

I really liked that Invincible Summer was set on a beach because of how fresh it made the book feel. Looking back on it, the beach and the sand and the Camus quotes are so significant in the book and are such a big deal to the story it's like they are each characters.

I couldn’t stop reading this book. I read it in one sitting and I think that’s how it should be read.
It was a laid back read that was still intense and very serious. Invincible Summer is one of my favorite books. I am in love with it. I’m more than in love with it, actually! I just don’t know how to put that into words. After I finished this book I walked out into the room where the rest of my family was and didn’t know what to say. I was still trying to process what I’d just read. Even now as I’m writing this, a month or two after I’ve finished the book- I still don’t know what to say.
I will basically buy anything Hannah Moskowitz ever writes. Even if it’s something polar opposite of what I like to read. Hannah crafted a beautifully written book that will amaze you with it’s lovely character’s and their amazing antics. I’m sure I will always love this book, and will keep re-reading it for the years to come.

FTC- Received for review from publisher.

*Albert Camus is amazing. People who have read Invincible Summer will understand how this relates to the book

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Things a Brother Knows by Dana Reinhardt

27The story of a young marine’s return from war in the Middle East and the psychological effects it has on his family.

Finally, Levi Katznelson’s older brother, Boaz, has returned. Boaz was a high school star who had it all and gave it up to serve in a war Levi can’t understand. Things have been on hold since Boaz left. With the help of his two best friends Levi has fumbled his way through high school, weary of his role as little brother to the hero.
But when Boaz walks through the front door after his tour of duty is over, Levi knows there’s something wrong. Boaz is home, safe. But Levi knows that his brother is not the same.
Maybe things will never return to normal. Then Boaz leaves again, and this time Levi follows him, determined to understand who his brother was, who he has become, and how to bring him home again.


Oh this book! I laughed, I cried, I was completely enthralled. Levi and Boaz’s story was an addicting and heartfelt one that I couldn’t help but love. It’s an original story that a lot of people can relate to. Even if you don’t have a sibling, or don’t have a sibling who was surviving your country I think you will be able to relate to this book.

I’m having a hard time summarizing all of my feelings towards The Things a Brother Knows because they’re all so varied. I loved this book, I don’t have anything bad to say about it. The writing, characters, and plot were all amazing. I’m really looking forward to reading Dana’s other books because if they’re even half as good as this one, I’m sure I’ll love it.


FTC- Library.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Inexcusable by Chris Lynch

I am a good guy.26

Keir Sarafian may not know much, but he knows himself. And the one thing he knows about himself is that he is a good guy. A guy who's a devoted son and brother, a loyal friend, and a reliable teammate. And maybe most important of all, a guy who understands that when a girl says no, she means it. But that is not what Gigi Boudakian, childhood friend and Keir's lifelong love, says he is. What Gigi says he is seems impossible to Keir....It is something inexcusable — the worst thing he can imagine, the very opposite of everything he wants to be.

As Keir recalls the events leading up to his fateful night with Gigi, he realizes that the way things look are definitely not the way they really are — and that it may be all too easy for a good guy to do something terribly wrong.


I finished reading this book at least a month ago and I am still confused because of the unreliable narrator. Inexcusable was really something else. I loved it, I really did- I read it in one sitting and it has pushed Chris Lynch up on my list of favorite authors.

I think the unreliable narrator adds a lot to the story because for awhile, I honestly believed that Keir was a good guy who hadn’t done what he was accused of. Little by little as we learn more about his past and his family, the story unfolds. Keir isn’t what he seems to be.

I’ve read plenty of YA books dealing with the topic of rape and each one of them was even more memorable than the last. Inexcusable took YA books about rape to a whole new level. Instead of hearing the story from the point of view of the victim, we hear it from the point of view of the person who committed the crime. One of the most important things about this book (in my opinion) is that it teaches us that everything is not what it seems.

I think my only complaint about it was that Keir kept calling Gigi by her full name. So instead of just saying GiGi, he said Gigi Boudakian every single time. If he said her name a few times a chapter, I wouldn’t mind. But this was multiple times on every page.

Besides that, I really liked reading Inexcusable. I’m not going to say it was refreshing because it really wasn’t- it was jaw-dropping, raw, and tricky as can be.

FTC- Library.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti


I am not my illness. "Girl with Anxiety," "Trauma of the Week" -- no. I hate stuff like that. Everyone, everyone has their issue. But the one thing my illness did make me realize is how necessary it is to ignore the dangers of living in order to live. And how much trouble you can get into if you can't. Jade DeLuna is too young to die. She knows this, and yet she can't quite believe it, especially when the terrifying thoughts, loss of breath, and dizzy feelings come. Since being diagnosed with Panic Disorder, she's trying her best to stay calm, and visiting the elephants at the nearby zoo seems to help. That's why Jade keeps the live zoo webcam on in her room, and that's where she first sees the boy in the red jacket. A boy who stops to watch the elephants. A boy carrying a baby. His name is Sebastian, and he is raising his son alone. Jade is drawn into Sebastian's cozy life with his son and his activist grandmother on their Seattle houseboat, and before she knows it, she's in love. With this boy who has lived through harder times than anyone she knows. This boy with a past. Jade knows the situation is beyond complicated, but she hasn't felt this safe in a long time. She owes it all to Sebastian, her boy with the great heart. Her boy who is hiding a terrible secret. A secret that will force Jade to decide between what is right, and what feels right.

I was first drawn to this book because I had read Stay and loved it, and I had heard amazing things about Nature of Jade. When I looked closer and saw that it was a book about a girl with anxiety, I became even more interested in it (for personal reasons). This is probably my favorite of Deb Caletti’s books because of how perfect she got it. Jade is an amazing character who I could really relate to. Her emotions were written so well and I loved the way she interacted with Sebastian.

This story was incredibly sweet and well-written. It’s hard for me to even articulate what I liked about it. I read The Nature of Jade in one sitting and once it was over, I was incredibly sad because I honestly didn’t know what to do with myself. I loved how many different real-life aspects were included in the story. Christian was such an amazing male-lead. I loved the fact that he had a son, it added a lot to the story and let us see multiple sides of his personality.

I completely recommend this book. It enchanted me from the very first page and as soon as I can, I’m going to try and buy myself a copy so I can reread it. Deb Caletti wrote an addicting, sweet, realistic novel that you can’t help but fall in love with.


FTC- Library.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Time-Traveling Fashionista by Bianca Turetsky


23When Louise Lambert receives a mysterious invitation to a traveling vintage fashion sale in the mail, her normal life in suburban Connecticut is magically transformed into a time traveling adventure.

After a brief encounter with two witchy salesladies and donning an evening gown that once belonged to a beautiful silent film star, Louise suddenly finds herself onboard a luxurious cruise ship in 1912. As Alice Baxter, the silent film star, Louise enjoys her access to an extensive closet of gorgeous vintage gowns and begins to get a feel for the challenges and the glamour of life during this decadent era. Until she realizes that she's not just on any ship-- she's on the Titanic!

Will Louise be able to save herself and change the course of history, or are she and her film star alter ego, destined to go down with a sinking ship in the most infamous sea disaster of the 20th century?

I wasn’t expecting to like The Time-Traveling Fashionista as much as I ended up liking it. It was written differently than most book I’m used to read. It had pictures, color, but was still mature enough that it made me feel like I was reading an upper middle grade or young adult book.

Towards the middle the plot seemed to slow down, which made it harder to get through at times. I also kept mixing up the main characters age. Louise is twelve (She may be eleven? I forget.) but when I was reading, I felt like she was older than that- possibly in her mid-teens. This could be because I’m used to reading characters that age, but she did seem to be quite mature for being twelve.

Other than that, I really enjoyed reading The Time-Traveling Fashionista. Bianca Turetsky wrote a sweet, addicting, and original novel that girls everywhere should read!


FTC- Publisher.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Wildefire by Karsten Knight- Giveaway!

Hey everyone!

Today I have the awesome opportunity to give away and ARC (Advance Readers Copy) of Wildefire by Karsten Knight. Here is a summary of the book-21

Every flame begins with a spark.
Ashline Wilde is having a rough sophomore year. She’s struggling to find her place as the only Polynesian girl in school, her boyfriend just cheated on her, and now her runaway sister, Eve, has decided to barge back into her life. When Eve’s violent behavior escalates and she does the unthinkable, Ash transfers to a remote private school nestled in California’s redwoods, hoping to put the tragedy behind her. But her fresh start at Blackwood Academy doesn’t go as planned. Just as Ash is beginning to enjoy the perks of her new school—being captain of the tennis team, a steamy romance with a hot, local park ranger—Ash discovers that a group of gods and goddesses have mysteriously enrolled at Blackwood…and she’s one of them. To make matters worse, Eve has resurfaced to haunt Ash, and she’s got some strange abilities of her own. With a war between the gods looming over campus, Ash must master the new fire smoldering within before she clashes with her sister one more time… And when warm and cold fronts collide, there’s guaranteed to be a storm.


To enter, you must have a U.S. mailing address. There is no way to get extra entries but I would appreciate it if you linked this giveaway and followed my blog. In order to win a copy of Wildefire, you must fill out the form below. Giveaway ends April 23rd.

*Also- Don’t worry if you don’t win this time! I’ll be hosting more Wildefire giveaways as it gets closer to the release date.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Where She Went by Gayle Forman

It's been three years since the devastating accident ... three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Julliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future - and each other.

Where She Went is one of the most highly anticipated books of 2011 in the Young Adult literature world. I personally thought that Gayle Forman nailed this book. I read it nonstop and loved it immensely. Reading Where She Went was like floating on a cloud while someone is trying to pull you off. I love love love that these characters have flaws.
Forman does a wonderful job making sure that Adam and Mia are not perfect. Adam has flaws- he is annoying, moody, and arrogant. Mia isn’t perfect either.
Where She Went is heartbreaking, emotional, amazing, and a must-read. If I Stay and Where She Went are books that you need to read. They will impact your life so much and I really hope that you enjoy them.

FTC- Received from publisher.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Stay by Deb Caletti



Clara’s relationship with Christian is intense from the start, and like nothing she’s ever experienced before. But what starts as devotion quickly becomes obsession, and it’s almost too late before Clara realizes how far gone Christian is—and what he’s willing to do to make her stay.

Now Clara has left the city—and Christian—behind. No one back home has any idea where she is, but she still struggles to shake off her fear. She knows Christian won’t let her go that easily, and that no matter how far she runs, it may not be far enough....

This was the very first Deb Caletti book I picked up, and it was simply stunning. Stay was one of the most intense books I’ve read so far this year.

Clara was a strong main character who at times I really admired and at times I wanted to slap. Christian is one of the most creepy characters that I have ever read about, I wanted to run away from him. I am so thankful that Deb Caletti didn’t try and cover up or romanticize the creepiness of the relationship. A lot of YA books that have creepy men in it somehow make them seem nice and passionate. This wasn’t the case in Stay.

Since reading Stay, I’ve read other books by Caletti but this one remains one of my favorite books by her. The voice is written incredibly well. Clara’s feelings about the entire Christian ordeal were amazingly realistic and tugged at my heartstrings.

The one problem I had with this book was that it didn’t immediately grab me. I had to read for awhile before I was completely hooked. But once I got hooked, I couldn’t stop.

Deb Caletti wrote a breathtaking and hauntingly realistic novel that everybody should read.

FTC- Publisher.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Clarity by Kim Harrington


13Clarity "Clare" Fern sees things. Things no one else can see. Things like stolen kisses and long-buried secrets. All she has to do is touch a certain object, and the visions come to her. It's a gift.
And a curse.
When a teenage girl is found murdered, Clare's ex-boyfriend wants her to help solve the case--but Clare is still furious at the cheating jerk. Then Clare's brother--who has supernatural gifts of his own--becomes the prime suspect, and Clare can no longer look away. Teaming up with Gabriel, the smoldering son of the new detective, Clare must venture into the depths of fear, revenge, and lust in order to track the killer. But will her sight fail her just when she needs it most?


Why didn’t I read this book as soon as I got a copy? Kim Harrington wrote a non-stop thriller that is unbearably addicting. I could never guess what was going to happen next and what all the secrets were. Clare was a feisty character that was fun to read about. She had guts and was so sassy!

Though this is a short book, it packs a lot of punch. The way Kim Harrington wrote the story is mysterious and leaves you waiting on the edge of your seat. I felt like I was reading a longer book than I actually was because of how lovely and intricate the story was.

I can’t really sum up my feelings about Clarity into words because I was just so amazed by it. I recommend this book to anyone and everyone.

FTC- ALA Midwinter.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Falling in Love with English Boys by Melissa Jensen


12Sixteen-year-old Catherine Vernon has been stranded in London for the summer—no friends, no ex-boyfriend Adam the Scum (good riddance!), and absolutely nothing to do but blog about her misery to her friends back home. Desperate for something—anything—to .do in London while her (s)mother’s off researching boring historical things, Cat starts reading the 1815 diary of Katherine Percival her mom gives her—and finds the similarities between their lives to be oddly close. But where Katherine has the whirls of the society, the parties and the gossip over who is engaged to who, Cat’s only got some really excellent English chocolate. Then she meets William Percival—the uber-hot descendant of Katherine—and things start looking up . . .


The first thing that drew me towards this cover was the title, and then the cover, and then the summary. I think that readers tend to overlook a book sometimes because of its title and cover, and I think I may have fallen victim to that.

Because I love the title and cover so much, I wasn’t expecting the storyline to live up to them, but it did. Falling in Love with English Boys had both a killer contemporary plot and an interesting historical one, so I was anxious to dive into reading it. Once I read it (in one sitting) I couldn’t get it out of my head.

Melissa Jensen is a spectacular writer who captured me at the opening sentence. The characters were all really well developed and it felt like I was talking to a group of my friends. My main complain is that the historical part of Falling in Love with English Boys went slower than the contemporary part.

This book made me cry like a baby. It also made me send frantic texts to friends really really late at night. I felt personally connected to the characters and everything that happened was like an emotional jerk.

I recommend Falling in Love with English Boys to reluctant historical fiction readers, and anybody who loves a little YA romance.

FTC- Bought.