Thursday, June 30, 2011

Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

imageChloe's older sister, Ruby, is the girl everyone looks to and longs for, who can't be captured or caged. When a night with Ruby's friends goes horribly wrong and Chloe discovers the dead body of her classmate London Hayes left floating in the reservoir, Chloe is sent away from town and away from Ruby.
But Ruby will do anything to get her sister back, and when Chloe returns to town two years later, deadly surprises await. As Chloe flirts with the truth that Ruby has hidden deeply away, the fragile line between life and death is redrawn by the complex bonds of sisterhood.

Imaginary Girls is an enthralling novel that nobody will forget. Nova Ren Suma has written an interesting and mysterious novel that will keep you wanting to turn the page. While reading Imaginary Girls, I didn’t know what to expect. At every corner there is a new surprise and more secrets.

Chloe’s admiration of her sister got really annoying in the beginning. Later on, it was still annoying but after awhile I got used to it. Ruby was so creepy. The way she could control people and how everybody looked up to her really scared me. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I wanted to go hide under my covers in an attempt to not be put under her spell.

In my eyes, this story is mainly character driven. The whole book kind of revolves around Ruby and how everybody admires and listens to her in a way that is unnatural. Though I really liked this book, I found that Chloe was a really flat character. Besides her fascination with Ruby, I didn’t get to know her personality. She did grow throughout the novel, I just wish she had grown more. I know I just mentioned this, but oh my gosh Ruby was creepy. She is one of the most interesting characters that I’ve read about. I liked that her personality was new and different from other characters in young adult books.

I liked how new this book was. It is something that hasn’t been written about before, and that is really hard to find. I went into Imaginary Girls thinking that it was a contemporary novel. I went out of it not knowing what to think. This novel will leave you speechless in the best possible way. It stuck in my mind and I cannot stop thinking about it.

It is hard to describe Imaginary Girls because everything about it is just so… weird. It will honestly keep you guessing. Imaginary Girls is intriguing, addicting, and creepy! With this novel, Nova Ren Suma has set herself a part from author writers. Imaginary Girls is truly original.

FTC- Publisher.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I just wanted to let you all know that from this afternoon until next Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday (we haven’t decided how long yet) I will be out camping with my family. Though I may be occasionally tweeting, I won’t have much internet. The only internet I’ll have is if I want to go on my dad’s phone, and I really don’t like doing that. So if you email or tweet to me, I most likely won’t see it until when I come back home next week.

However, there will still be reviews and interviews going up while I’m gone. I hope you all have an amazing week!



Waiting on Wednesday (2)

Waiting on Wednesday

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

imageEvery You, Every Me by David Levithan

September 13, 2011

Knopf Books for Young Readers

In this high school-set psychological tale, a tormented teen named Evan starts to discover a series of unnerving photographs—some of which feature him. Someone is stalking him . . . messing with him . . . threatening him. Worse, ever since his best friend Ariel has been gone, he's been unable to sleep, spending night after night torturing himself for his role in her absence. And as crazy as it sounds, Evan's starting to believe it's Ariel that's behind all of this, punishing him. But the more Evan starts to unravel the mystery, the more his paranoia and insomnia amplify, and the more he starts to unravel himself. Creatively told with black-and-white photos interspersed between the text so the reader can see the photos that are so unnerving to Evan, Every You, Every Me is a one-of-a-kind departure from a one-of-a-kind author.

I don’t even think I should have to put why I’m looking forward to this book. It is David. Freaking. Levithan. Everybody should be looking forward to his books. Despite my dislike of the cover (it just isn’t my style, I much prefer his other book covers) I can’t wait to read Every You, Every Me. If the summary is true, David is trying something new in this novel and I’m excited to see what he has up his sleeve. I admit, the summary kind of freaks me out- it’s mysterious and creepy. Bottom line is, I cannot wait to read Every You, Every Me and you can be sure that I will be getting it the day it comes out.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder

imageAmber’s life is spinning out of control. All she wants is to turn up the volume on her iPod until all of the demands of family and friends fade away. So she sneaks off to the beach to spend a day by herself.

Then Amber meets Cade. Their attraction is instant, and Amber can tell he’s also looking for an escape. Together they decide to share a perfect day: no pasts, no fears, no regrets.

The more time that Amber spends with Cade, the more she’s drawn to him. And the more she’s troubled by his darkness. Because Cade’s not just living in the now—he’s living each moment like it’s his last

The Day Before gave me chills! I had never read anything by Lisa Schroeder before reading this. Now that I’ve read it- I can’t wait to read her other novels! The Day Before was a perfectly paced novel in verse that always kept me guessing. I didn’t know where it was going to go, and when it finally got to the climax of the story- I couldn’t have been more surprised. Lisa Schroeder’s build up to the main events were all executed really well.

Amber was a really strong main character and she held her ground well. Cade was weird, mysterious, and devilishly attractive. I love how their paths intersected. The way their day-long journey went was so fun to read. It felt like the main part of the novel took place over the course of a few months, rather than a day.

Lisa Schroeder definitely nailed this novel. I absolutely loved it, and will probably be rereading it really soon. I highly recommend The Day Before!

Spotlight on Simon and Schuster: Part 2

simonspotlightThis is a series of posts (over the course of weeks, months, etc.) in which I spotlight books coming out that I can’t wait for. These posts will go by publisher. If you click on the book title, you will get linked to the books page on Goodreads. This series of posts are inspired by Absconditas weekly meme “Spotlight On”.

imageEverything You Need to Survive the Apocalypse by Lucas Klauss

January 3, 2012

Phillip's sophomore year is off to a rough start. One of his best friends ditches him for a group of douchebags. His track coach singles him out for personalized, torturous training sessions. And his dad decides to clean out all of the emergency supplies from the basement, even though the world could end in disaster at any moment...and even though those supplies are all Phillip has left of his dead mom. Not that he wants to talk about that.

But then Phillip meets Rebekah. Not only is she unconventionally hot and smart, but she has seriously great boobs. And she might like him back.

As Phillip gets closer to Rebekah, he tries harder and harder to turn himself into the kind of person he thinks she wants him to be. But the question is, can he become that person? And does he really want to?

* * * * *

imageDead to You by Lisa McMann

February 7, 2012

Ethan was abducted from his front yard when he was just seven years old. Now, at sixteen, he has returned to his family. It's a miracle... at first. Then the tensions start to build. His reintroduction to his old life isn't going smoothly, and his family is tearing apart all over again. If only Ethan could remember something, anything, about his life before, he'd be able to put the pieces back together. But there's something that's keeping his memory blocked. Something unspeakable...



* * * * *

imageCracked by K.M. Walton

March 6, 2012

Victor hates his life. He's relentlessly bullied at school and his parents ridicule him for not being perfect. He's tired of being weak, so he takes a bottle of his mother's sleeping pills -- only to wake up in the hospital.
Bull is angry, and takes all of his rage out on Victor. He's the opposite of weak. And he's tired of his grandfather's drunken beatings, so he tries to defend himself with a loaded gun.
When Victor and Bull end up as roommates in the same psych ward, things go from bad to worse. Until they discover they just might have something in common: a reason to live.


* * * * *

imageGone, Gone, Gone by Hannah Moskowitz

April 17, 2012

It's a year after 9/11. Sniper shootings throughout the D.C. area have everyone on edge, trying to make sense of the random acts of violence. Meanwhile, Craig and Lio are just trying to make sense of their lives.
Craig's crushing on quiet, distant Lio, and preoccupied with what it meant when Lio kissed him...and if he'll do it again...and if kissing Lio will help him finally get over his ex-boyfriend, Cody.
Lio feels most alive when he's with Craig. He forgets about his broken family, his dead brother, and the messed up world. But being with Craig means being vulnerable, and Lio will have to decide whether love is worth the risk.

---- Yes, I got this as an ebook and I’ve already read it. But I had to include it because Hannah Moskowitz is amazing and so is Gone, Gone, Gone. I would kill for an actual copy of this- I’m sure my ereader is tired of rereading it over and over again.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Blood Red Road by Moira Young

imageSaba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.

Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

Blood Red Road has received so much praise that I was afraid to read it. Sadly, Blood Red Road didn’t live up to my high expectations.I also didn’t emotionally connect with Saba as much as I wanted to. I also found it hard to get used to the narrative. Though, I do think that Moira Young did an awesome job with the writing of the novel. I liked that the sentences were short and clipped.

I also liked that Blood Red Road was different. It isn’t just a love story or a dystopian or a fantasy or another archetypal genre in YA. It was about family, loss, growing up, and had tons of engaging adventures and action.

Despite the slow beginning and unusual narrative, I liked Blood Red Road. It is something unique and individual compared to books in the YA market right now. I don’t recommend that you go out and buy it, just in case you can’t get through the way of writing. I do however, recommend you go straight out to your local library and borrow Blood Red Road to read.

FTC- Received as an ARC from my local indie bookshop, Copperfields.

Spotlight on Simon and Schuster: Part 1

simonspotlightI’m going to start doing a series of posts (over the course of weeks, months, etc.) in which I spotlight books coming out that I can’t wait for. These posts will go by publisher. If you click on the book title, you will get linked to the books page on Goodreads. This series of posts are inspired by Absconditas weekly meme “Spotlight On”.


imageFury by Elizabeth Miles

Released August 30, 2011

The first book in a paranormal teen trilogy featuring three beautiful, mysterious girls wreaking havoc on a small New England town.
Sometimes sorry isn't enough....
It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems...
Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better--the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend.
On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel...something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed.
In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay.
Em and Chase have been chosen.

* * * * *

imageWhere It Began by Ann Redisch Stampler

March 6, 2012

Gabby Gardiner wakes up in a hospital bed looking like a cautionary ad for drunk driving and lacking a single memory of the accident that landed her there. What she can remember, in frank and sardonic detail, is the year leading up to the accident.

As she takes us through her transformation from invisible girl to on-trend Girl Who Dates Billy Nash (aka Most Desirable Boy Ever), she is left wondering: Why is Billy suddenly distancing himself from her? What do her classmates know that Gabby herself does not? Who exactly was in the car that night? And why is Gabby left alone to take the fall?

Putting the pieces together will take every ounce of Gabby's strength. As she peels back the layers of her life, she begins to realize that her climb up the status ladder has been as intoxicating as it has been morally complex...and that nothing about her life is what she has imagined it to be.

* * * * *

imagePast Perfect by Leila Sales

October 4, 2011

All Chelsea wants to do this summer is hang out with her best friend, hone her talents as an ice cream connoisseur, and finally get over Ezra, the boy who broke her heart. But when Chelsea shows up for her summer job at Essex Historical Colonial Village (yes, really), it turns out Ezra’s working there too. Which makes moving on and forgetting Ezra a lot more complicated…even when Chelsea starts falling for someone new.

Maybe Chelsea should have known better than to think that a historical reenactment village could help her escape her past. But with Ezra all too present, and her new crush seeming all too off limits, all Chelsea knows is that she’s got a lot to figure out about love. Because those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it….

* * * * *

imageVirtuosity by Jessica Martinez

October 18, 2011

Now is not the time for Carmen to fall in love. And Jeremy is hands-down the wrong guy for her to fall for. He is infuriating, arrogant, and the only person who can stand in the way of Carmen getting the one thing she wants most: to win the prestigious Guarneri competition. Carmen's whole life is violin, and until she met Jeremy, her whole focus was winning. But what if Jeremy isn't just hot...what if Jeremy is better?
Carmen knows that kissing Jeremy can't end well, but she just can't stay away. Nobody else understands her--and riles her up--like he does. Still, she can't trust him with her biggest secret: She is so desperate to win she takes anti-anxiety drugs to perform, and what started as an easy fix has become a hungry addiction. Carmen is sick of not feeling anything on stage and even more sick of always doing what she’s told, doing what's expected.
Sometimes, being on top just means you have a long way to fall....

* * * * *

imagePerfect by Ellen Hopkins

September 13, 2011

Everyone has something, someone, somewhere else that they’d rather be. For four high-school seniors, their goals of perfection are just as different as the paths they take to get there.

Cara’s parents’ unrealistic expectations have already sent her twin brother Conner spiraling toward suicide. For her, perfect means rejecting their ideals to take a chance on a new kind of love. Kendra covets the perfect face and body—no matter what surgeries and drugs she needs to get there. To score his perfect home run—on the field and off—Sean will sacrifice more than he can ever win back. And Andre realizes to follow his heart and achieve his perfect performance, he’ll be living a life his ancestors would never understand.

Everyone wants to be perfect, but when perfection loses its meaning, how far will you go? What would you give up to be perfect?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Toast Says It All (1)

Toast Says It AllThis isn’t actually the first Toast Says It All post, but it is the first in a few months about a year- so I’m calling it number 1. In Toast Says It All, I spotlight some of my favorite reviews, interviews, twitter accounts, and other various things from the past week. The name Toast is a nickname that some people call me.

Current Favorite Books-

But I Love Him by Amanda Grace- I read it a few weeks ago, but it refuses to leave my head.

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins- This doesn’t come out until the end of September, but I was lucky enough to snag a copy. I read it at the beginning of this month but it also won’t leave my head. Neither will Stephanie’s first novel Anna and the French Kiss, and I read that a year ago.

Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz & Gone, Gone, Gone by Hannah Moskowitz- I read IS in October of last year and I reread it at least twice a month. I’m going camping on Thursday for a week to a beach, so I am feeling especially in the Invincible Summer mood. I read Gone, Gone, Gone in May but since it doesn’t come out until next year, I’ve been thinking about polishing my review of it and possibly rereading it because of how amazing it is.


I am totally digging the interview that Erica of The Book Cellar did with Gary Ghislain who is the author of How I Stole Johnny Depp's Alien Girlfriend. You can find the rockin’ interview here.

Kristi of The Story Siren interviewed Amy Plum who is the author of the amazing paranormal book Die for Me. You can find that interview here.


Nicole at WORD for Teens wrote an awesome review of Miles from Ordinary by Carol Lynch Williams. Now, I can’t wait to read the book! Find the review here.

Laura from The Cover wrote a review of The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder. You can find the lovely review here.

Blogger Spotlight-

I recently found this blog and I am loving it! The Geeky Beach Babe is a kick-butt blog with awesome reviews! The girl who runs the blog, Lindsay is incredibly nice and has amazing book taste.

Current Addicting Song-

I have had Rolling in the Deep by Adele on repeat for the past week! If you haven’t heard it, you can listen to it here-


If you want to contact me about Toast Says It All, please send me an email at zaser_jam AT yahoo DOT com with “Toast Says It All” as the email subject.

I hope you all had a lovely week!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Today is one of my very best friends (ever) birthday! So, you should go over to Sarah's blog and wish her a Happy Birthday. You should also follow her blog, because it is amazing and one of my favorite book blogs.

Happy Birthday, Sarahbear!
I hope it is filled with David Tennant, Doctor Who, Harry Potter, and anything else you wish it to be filled with.

Giveaway- The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin

Today, I have for you lovely blog followers- I giveaway of the paperback copy of Josh Berk’s novel The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin. Because the paperback copy of The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin just just came out in paperback, one winner will be getting a copy! In case you don’t know what Hamburger Halpin is about, here is the summary-

imageBeing a hefty, deaf newcomer almost makes Will Halpin the least popular guy at Coaler High. But when he befriends the only guy less popular than him, the dork-namic duo has the smarts and guts to figure out who knocked off the star quarterback. Will can’t hear what’s going on, but he’s a great observer. So, who did it? And why does that guy talk to his fingers? And will the beautiful girl ever notice him? (Okay, so Will’s interested in more than just murder . . .)

The author of the novel, Josh Berk made a video for you all to see. In this video, you get to witness the dark and mysterious paperback cover fighting the light and comedic hardcover cover.   (You can see the paperback over here  --->)

To enter you just fill out the form at the end of this post! But first, please enjoy the crazy/funny/awesome video that Josh Berk made.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Displacement by Thalia Chaltas

imageHome is supposed to be a place you belong. It's supposed to be parents who are there and siblings who bug you and a life that feels comfortable. It's not supposed to be an absentee mother or a drowned sister. But that's Vera's reality, and she can't stand it anymore. So she runs. She ends up in an old mining town in the middle of the California desert. It's hot, it's dusty, and it's as isolated as Vera feels. As she goes about setting up her life, she also unwittingly starts the process of healing and-eventually- figuring out what home might really mean for her

Displacement was a pleasantly surprising novel. It caught me off guard with its fluidity and amazing poetry. This is the first book I’ve read by Thalia Chaltas and it definitely made me want to check out her other novel. Displacement was a really quick read, I read it in a night.

I found parts of Displacement confusing and hard to follow. I also had a problem connecting with the characters. Besides those two things, I think that Displacement was a fairly good novel. It was thought provoking and emotional, and was written really well. I think that people who like reading books told in verse will like Displacement.

Thalia Chaltas is one of the few authors who can get away with writing novels in verse and having them be pretty understandable and interesting. If you enjoy books by Lisa Schroeder and Ellen Hopkins, I think that you will like Thalia Chaltas’ newest novel.

FTC- Publisher.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bookshelf Tour!

In 2008 or 2009, I did a tour of my bookshelves and my room. Since it has been that long, I thought I would so another post like that. Since my last bookshelf tour, I’ve completely re-done my room. I’m talking, I removed built in cabinetry and painted and installed a huge bookshelf. So lets get on with the tour! (I am pretty organized with my books, so there will be explanations of each bookshelf on how it is organized.) Also, there are TONS of pictures in this post, just a warning. If you click on the pictures, they should get bigger.

Bookshelf Tour 001


Bookshelf Tour 002

So, these two pictures are of the same bookshelf. The one on the left is a full picture, and the one on the right is to show that the books are doubled up. This bookshelf is books that I’ve read. Some of them I absolutely love, but couldn’t fit on my “favorites” shelf, and some are books that I don’t really care much about.


Bookshelf Tour 014This bookshelf is the newest one out of all of my bookshelves. It isn’t full because I just got rid of 9 boxes of books, most of which were on this shelf. It spans from floor to ceiling and the shelves are 6 or 7 feet long. This bookshelf holds ARCs that I’ve already read.


Bookshelf Tour 005

These shelves are what I refer to as my “favorite” shelves. Both levels are my favorite books/books by my favorite authors. It is essentially the headboard of my bed. The books on the bottom shelf extend down a few more inches behind my mattress.



Bookshelf Tour 015

This bookshelf is full of all the books I still need to read. The first two shelves are books that I’ve bought and still need to read, and the two bottom shelves are review books that I have yet to read.






Bookshelf Tour 017Bookshelf Tour 018

Bookshelf Tour 020





These are pictures of my room! The picture on the far right has a glimpse of the wall beside my bed, and the picture in the middle has more of that wall. A little-known fact about me is that I hate blank walls. There needs to be posters or quotes or something on my walls, or else I can’t focus.Bookshelf Tour 013

This is in one of my cabinets, and it is where I keep a lot of my blog-related stuff. Those are the books I need to write reviews of (by the time this post goes up, most of those reviews will have already been written). Then there is the planner I use to keep track of posts, my ereader (it’s in the red case), and the book where I write down all the books I’ve read (the book has been in use since 2008).

Ok! So there is an updated post of my room and my bookshelves. I hope you enjoyed it!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (1)

Waiting on Wednesday

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

imageThe Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

September 27, 2011

Simon and Schuster

Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.

There is.

She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.

She's wrong.

Words cannot even begin to describe how much I want this novel. I’ve heard nothing but praise for it, and I mean come on, the cover is FABULOUS. I love how the summary is really mysterious- and it makes me want to read the novel even more.

An Interview with Tara Kelly

imageTara Kelly is the author of Harmonic Feedback and the upcoming novel Amplified.

1. What was the hardest part of writing Harmonic Feedback and your upcoming novel Amplified?

Drea's POV in Harmonic Feedback  was tough for me just because she's almost my opposite in some ways. I'm all melody and emotion, while she's very literal and logical. It was definitely a learning experience trying to understand what it must be like to see the world from such a naive, yet extremely honest point of view. 

Amplified just didn't know what kind of book it wanted to be. It was originally a paranormal with ghosts! But I found I loved the band subplot a lot more than the ghost story. I think turning it into a band story was the best decision I could've made. 

2. What is the biggest influence that music has had on your life?

Music inspires me to write. It inspires me to dance. To be more patient in traffic. To dream big. To keep going. Really, music inspires me to live and live well.

3. What is the one thing you want readers to get out of reading your novels?

You know, I don't really set out to 'send a message' through my books--or I don't usually have a specific message I'm trying to send. However, I do love to write about characters who feel imagelike 'outsiders'. I guess I want readers to feel like they're not alone, and I want them to feel inspired to pursue their dreams and passions.

4. Who are your top 5 favorite bands/singers?

It depends on the day, honestly. Right now? Catherine Wheel, Skinny Puppy, Iris, Bat for Lashes, and The Cure (in no particular order)

5. Is there anything you would like to add?

Thank you so much for interviewing me and for giving Harmonic Feedback such an awesome review!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Guest Post by Jill S. Alexander and a Giveaway!

Today I have Jill S. Alexander here for a guest post, and at the end of this post you can find a giveaway for Jill’s first book- The Sweetheart of Prosper County! In the guest post, Jill will be talking about books and which are her favorites!

What kinds of books are in your library?

Goodness!  I have books of all sorts in every room of my house.  Children’s books.  Novels.  Poetry Collections.  Cookbooks.  Literary anthologies.  Travel guides.  You name it, and I enjoy them all!  So I guess I’d have to say I have great books in my personal library.

As a kid, I lived in a home filled with music and a wonderful family of storytellers – but very few books.  By the time I went to high school, I had read an entire set of encyclopedias, church hymnals, and an assortment of cookbooks.  We had no public library in our rural community, so the only fiction I read was what was assigned or available at school. I developed a passion for novels in high school through the classics:  The Great Gatsby, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Scarlet Letter.  Certainly, my late love of reading fiction spurred me to major in English, to teach literature, and write novels.  (My love of storytelling, however, comes from the oral tradition.)

Being surrounded by books comforts me.  The books are like friends who have “been there and done that.” I believe when you identify with and can find yourself in a story; you know you’re not alone in the world.  The stories my shelves can tell!

What are some of your favorite books?

It’s so hard for me to narrow down my favorites, but I’m going to share with you the books I have on a small shelf in my office.  I have other books around the house including tons of contemporary YA like Twilight and The Hunger Games and books by Sarah Dessen.  However, the books I have in my office probably mean the most to me personally.  So here they are!

Story of A Girl, Sara Zarr

To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Big Red Barn, Margaret Wise Brown

Walden, Henry David Thoreau

Born Standing Up, Steve Martin


Now, to enter to win a paperback copy of Jill’s first novel, The Sweetheart of Prosper County, please fill out the form below-


Monday, June 20, 2011

Paradise by Jill S. Alexander

34Paisley Tillery is the drummer for a country rock band. If they can make it to the stage at the Texapalooza music fest, then Paisley will be closer to her dream of a career in music and a ticket out of her small Texas town.

Drumming and music are what Paisley has always wanted. Until the band gets a new lead singer, the boy from Paradise, Texas. With Paradise in her life, what Paisley wants, and what she needs, complicate her dreams coming true.

Paradise is the first book I had read by Jill S. Alexander but I had heard a lot about her other book, The Sweetheart of Prosper County*. This novel surprised me in so many good ways! I have to admit, the cover can be off-putting because I don’t really want to walk around town reading a book with two kissing faces on the cover. Once I got over that fear, Paradise grabbed me right into it’s tight hold and I couldn’t put it down. Jill Alexander wrote a sugary-sweet novel that I hope many people enjoy as much as I did.

My one problem with this book, I can’t really reveal because of spoilers. Let me just tell you that an important event in the story towards the ending seemed really fake and abrupt to me. Though, that didn’t stop me from crying like a baby in public.

Paradise will tug at your heartstrings, make you laugh, and charm you with its adorable touch of Texas. Jill S. Alexander has definitely been put on my reading-map with this book. I completely recommend it, you won’t regret it!

FTC- From author for Teen Book Scene book tours.

*I’m writing this review on April 19th. So by the time this has posted, I’ve already read The Sweetheart of Prosper County.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young

imageWe all want to be remembered. Charlotte's destiny is to be Forgotten...
Charlotte’s best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she’s cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what’s really wrong: She is one of the Forgotten, a kind of angel on earth, who feels the Need—a powerful, uncontrollable draw to help someone, usually a stranger.
But Charlotte never wanted this responsibility. What she wants is to help her best friend, whose life is spiraling out of control. She wants to lie in her boyfriend's arms forever. But as the Need grows stronger, it begins to take a dangerous toll on Charlotte. And who she was, is, and will become--her mark on this earth, her very existence--is in jeopardy of disappearing completely.
Charlotte will be forced to choose: Should she embrace her fate as a Forgotten, a fate that promises to rip her from the lives of those she loves forever? Or is she willing to fight against her destiny--no matter how dark the consequences.

Suzanne Young is one of the best young adult authors out there.

This book is paranormal but it so so isn’t. It has the paranormal aspect (angels) but it doesn’t read like one. The writing is incredibly relatable and well developed. Young wrote a genuinely addicting story that I couldn’t put down. This story was just so… beautiful. It made me think and cry and be joyful and just be overall proud to be a person and to be alive.

Suzanne Young captured me from the very first chapter and even days after reading it, I am still under the grasp of A Need So Beautiful. This novel makes you think about your life and just how short everybody has to live. It makes you realize that yes, we are all going to be forgotten at some point- but that doesn’t matter. What matters is the lives you change and the things you do, while you’re still alive.

It is hard for me to put my love of this book into words, so I’m not going to try and force a bunch of adjectives into this review. I just want to say that I think everybody should read this novel. Now only is it well written with amazing characters who really move you, but it also really makes you think. Suzanne Young has written a novel that I certainly won’t forget. I truly hope you take the time to read it. I promise that it will be worth it.

FTC- Received for review.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

An Interview with Suzanne Young

I recently had the opportunity to interview Suzanne Young, who is the incredibly nice author of The Naughty List, So Many Boys, and the upcoming A Need So Beautiful (out June 21st. My review will be posted tomorrow.) I hope you enjoy!


image1. Your first series (The Naughty List) was contemporary where as A Need So Beautiful isn't. Was it hard for you to switch genre's? If so, why?

I definitely consider myself a contemporary author. aNsB is my only supernatural book—but I think it has a lot of great realistic elements. And yes, it was a little harder for me because I had change up my style to add more description, which was definitely needed for this book.

2. How long does it usually take you to finish the first draft of a novel?

It really depends on the book. I draft very quickly, and then begin countless revisions. All in all, I usually have a complete book in a few months.

3. What gave you the idea to write a fresh new take on angels?

I’d been thinking about the idea that people around us, strangers, could help us through things and then disappear from our lives. I didn’t really set out to do something different, I wanted to write a book about love—unflinching and pure—and the mythology developed from there.

4. Can you tell us anything about A Want So Wicked, the sequel to A Need So Beautiful?

A Want so Wicked will be creepier than the first book. There is a much bigger Shadow element.

image5. Is there anything you would like to add?

I have a new series coming out Spring 2013 with Simon Pulse called The Program, and I’m pretty excited about it. It’s about a suicide epidemic and the cure that erases memories, leaving the main character to fight for her past and for the boyfriend who has already forgotten her.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Birthday Giveaway!

Today is my 15th Birthday! (Only 6 more months until I can drive! Yay!)

Because it is my Birthday, I am having a giveaway for you! One of you lovely people will be able to win two of my favorite novels and some swag.

One Person Will Win

A paperback copy of Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

An Advanced Readers Copy of The Duff by Kody Keplinger

Swag! (bookmarks, nail polish, postcards, buttons, etc.)


There are no extra entries, though I would love it if you followed my blog!

To enter, fill out the form below.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Possession by Elana Johnson

imageVi knows the Rule: Girls don't walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn...and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi's future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.
But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they're set on convincing Vi to become one of them...starting by brainwashing Zenn. Vi can't leave Zenn in the Thinkers' hands, but she's wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous--everything Zenn's not. Vi can't quite trust Jag and can't quite resist him, but she also can't give up on Zenn.
This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.

Going into Possession, I had really low expectations. I had heard so many good things about it, that I wasn’t incredibly excited to read it. I got 50 pages in, and put it down. Once I picked it up a few weeks later, I got hooked. I finished Possession within a few hours.

The only problem I had with Possession was that I didn’t connect with Vi as much as I wanted to. She is a kick-ass character and I would have loved to be more in touch with her character. Other than that, I loved Possession. It lives completely up to all the hype it has received. This book presents yet another love-triangle. This time it’s Jag vs. Zenn. The various things surrounding these two men were all so surprising and it was fun watching the stories about them unfold.

Elana Johnson wrote an amazing debut novel that has put her name out there as one of the authors to watch! Her writing is really addicting and her characters were well written. With all of the dystopian novels that are coming out recently, it’s hard to write one that sets itself apart from the other novels. It is save to say that Possession definitely set itself apart.

Possession was a thrilling debut novel that I’m sure readers will enjoy. Though it isn’t my favorite dystopian book, it is still one of the best and most original that I’ve read. Elana Johnson is an author that you will want to watch. I can’t wait for the next book in the Possession series!

Also, can I say that I love this cover? It is so creepy and sleek and interesting. I salute the cover designer(s)!

FTC- Publisher

Character Interview- Consuela from Luminous by Dawn Metcalf

Today, I have the opportunity to share with you all an interview that I did with the main character of Dawn Metcalf’s lovely novel Luminous. So, I hope you enjoy the answers that Consuela has to offer!

image1. If you could undo everything that has happened to you, would you?

No. Even if I didn't know what I know now, I'd still say no. I'd like to pretend that it's because I want to dedicate myself to others or take a stand for all that's good in the world, but the truth is that the moment I crossed over, I felt complete. And I didn't need anyone else to tell me that. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

2. How do you feel about your story being out there in the world?

It's a little scary, honestly. Sort of like Peter Parker coming out as Spiderman on the big screen, LOL! I don't want people to look at me differently or act differently around me, but I like the idea that people know there's something special about them and that there's someone out there looking after all of us when we really need it most.

3. What is your favorite skin?

That'd be spoilery! But I do have a special place in my heart for the very first one that I made: my skin of air. It's less like flying and more like riding around the sky. You can see air moving and feel it, like the wind doesn't stop on your face, but blows right through you. It sounds like you're nothing, but it's more like you're everything. It's hard to describe, but that was when I first felt part of something bigger than me.

4. Which member of the Flow is your favorite?

Giovanni Russo. Call him "V". Besides the fact that he can walk through mirrors (how cool is that?), he's really all about helping people. Even when he doesn't feel like he deserves it, when he knows that he is the one that has to do it, he does one hundred percent. I admire that. He's selfless and strong and sweet. I just wish he'd let other people help him sometimes.
And did I mention he's hot? Tall, dark, handsome, speaks Italian, and cut... Yeah. He's hot.

5. Is there anything you would like to add?

You know the phrase, "Don't judge a book by it's cover"? Well, one thing I really got was that no one is what you think they are just by looking at them. Underneath, there's a whole other person, a whole other story, and until you get to know it, you're just making up stuff about them based on nothing at all. The people who share their true selves with you are the ones you'll never, ever forget.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

But I Love Him by Amanda Grace

imageTonight was so much worse than anything before it. Tonight he didn't stop after the first slap.

At the beginning of senior year, Ann was a smiling, straight-A student and track star with friends and a future. Then she met a haunted young man named Connor. Only she can heal his emotional scars; only he could make her feel so loved — and needed. Ann can't recall the pivotal moment it all changed, when she surrendered everything to be with him, but by graduation, her life has become a dangerous high wire act. Just one mistake could trigger Connor's rage, a senseless storm of cruel words and violence damaging everything — and everyone — in its path.

This evocative slideshow of flashbacks reveals a heartbreaking story of love gone terribly wrong.


Woah. Amanda Grace is the pseudonym of Mandy Hubbard. I read Mandy/Amanda’s first novel and it was ok. It was really girly, which isn’t normally my thing. So of course I was expecting a girly story when I picked up But I Love Him. I was way way wrong. But I Love Him was this addicting, raw, amazing novel that I couldn’t put down.

I am in love with the fact that this story is written in reverse-chronological order. It makes the story just that more interesting and mysterious. Though at times it confused me, I think that the was Ann’s story was told improved it a great deal. Even at the start of the first page, I understood Ann. A lot of the times it’s hard to understand people in abusive relationships and why they stay in those relationships- but here, I got it. I also liked that Connor was well rounded. We know why he does the things he does and we know what influenced him to be that way. By no means does that give him an excuse to abuse Ann, but it helps readers to understand the character. Every character in here was incredibly well developed. They were all clear and well-rounded, as well as written well.

But I Love Him is not an easy book to read. If you have a hard time reading novels that deal with hard subjects, this isn’t the book for you. However, if you are ok with reading those sort of novels- you need to rush out to your local indie bookshop and buy a copy. Amanda Grace did a phenomenal job writing this novel and I honestly can’t get enough of it. But I Love Him is an amazing edition to the young adult literature world. I cannot recommend it enough!

FTC- Library.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Character Interview: Brielle from A Season of Eden by Jennifer Laurens

32As a part of the Teen Scene Book Tours, I had the opportunity to interview one of the characters in A Season of Eden by Jennifer Laurens.

1. Now that you've read Eden's story, what do you think of Mr. Christian and Eden's relationship with each other? Read it? I knew about it a lot earlier than this. But, seriously, I sensed something HUGE was happening because Eden and I have been friends FOREVER. She finally told me after graduation. After she and James and connected again and things were starting to warm up again. I guess she wanted to be sure before she told me and I don't blame her. She's always had enviable control about guys.

2. If you could change anything about your high school experience, what would you change? OMG I wouldn't have been so whiney and needy. Like, what was I thinking???

3. Do you wish Eden would have told you about her "thing" with Mr. Christian? Why or why not?

I would like to have known all along,sure, but she wanted to protect them and she has respect for him, you know? It's cool she kept it secret. I never could have.

4. How do you feel about being a character in a book? What are you talking about?

5. Is there anything you would like to add?

If anyone needs their hair done, I'm AWESOME. Just graduated from beauty school so CALL ME!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Absolute Value of Mike by Kathryn Erskine

imageMike tries so hard to please his father, but the only language his dad seems to speak is calculus. And for a boy with a math learning disability, nothing could be more difficult. When his dad sends him to live with distant relatives in rural Pennsylvania for the summer to work on an engineering project, Mike figures this is his big chance to buckle down and prove himself. But when he gets there, nothing is what he thought it would be. The project has nothing at all to do with engineering, and he finds himself working alongside his wacky eighty-something- year-old aunt, a homeless man, and a punk rock girl as part of a town-wide project to adopt a boy from Romania. Mike may not learn anything about engineering, but what he does learn is far more valuable.

When I first received The Absolute Value of Mike I admit, I wasn’t planning on reading it. The cover made the book seem childish and uninteresting to me. You can imagine my surprise that when I did read it, I couldn’t put it down- I read it in one day. I haven’t read Kathryn Erskine’s first book, Mockingbird,  but if I recall correctly, it was talked about a lot.

The Absolute Value of Mike was a surprise to me because it featured a younger main character (I believe he was 14) and it is hilarious, but it is still really deep. I felt horrible for Mike, his father is always distracted and his mother isn’t around anymore. He was a really strong character and had to basically raise himself, and I admire that. His “distant relatives” were amazing as well. The crazy town mixed in with all of those things made The Absolute Value of Nothing a slam dunk on my list of books.

Kathryn Erskine has a way of writing that sounds a little bit like middle grade novels, but descends past that into being more influential and deep. This novel was really addicting and really amazing, and I can’t wait to read more of Kathryn Erskine’s books! I highly recommend The Absolute Value of Mike.

FTC- Publisher.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Wildefire Giveaway

imageSo I am back again with the third and final giveaway for Karsten Knights amazing novel, Wildefire. This time though, instead of winning an ARC- one winner will get a final copy! Here is the summary of Wildefire-

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.

Once again, to enter all you have to do is fill out the form below. The giveaway will end on June 21st. There are no ways to get extra entries, but I would appreciate it if you facebooked, blogged, or tweeted about this giveaway. I also appreciate if you follow Zoe’s Book Reviews, but you don’t have to.

Without further to do, here is the giveaway form-

Monday, June 6, 2011

My Life, The Theater, and Other Tragedies by Allen Zadoff

imageHigh school sophomore Adam Zeigler, who lost his father to a sudden accident two years ago, thinks the best way to live life is behind the spotlight. As a member of the theater crew, he believes he's achieved it all when he wins the coveted job of spotlight operator. But that was before a young actress, Summer, appeared in his view. Instantly smitten, Adam is determined to win her over. But to do so, he'll have to defy his best friend and break the golden rule of his school: techies and actors don't mix.

Set against the backdrop of a high school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Zadoff's latest is a bromance, a love story, and theater story in one. The politics of love and high school collide as Adam struggles to find the courage to step out of the shadows and into the light.

This novel was adorable, hilarious, and addicting. This is the first novel I’ve read by Allen Zadoff, though I’ve heard marvelous things about his first YA book Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can’t Have. I was both nervous and excited to start this novel. I was nervous because it seemed a little dorky and generally not my kind of thing. I was excited to read it because while the plot seems dorky, it also has potential to be written really well. Suffice to say, I shouldn’t have been nervous because Allen Zadoff did an amazing job with this story.

The main character, Adam was layered! And I don’t been layered like clothes. Not only is he a painfully shy member of the theater crew, but he is also this nice, caring, great guy. Summer was written really well, also. Though there was awhile where I thought that she was going to be portrayed as a manic-pixie-dream-girl-type**. She slowly moved past that towards the end, which redeemed her character for me.

I like that this book has to do with theater because I love theater. I don’t love acting and I don’t love working on stage sets, but I like seeing theater and talking about theater- so the fact that most of the novel takes place in a theater, was really alluring to me. There are a lot of ways to make or break books where theater is a strong influence. You can over do the theater and make the novel to happy and too Glee-esque. Don’t get me wrong, I love Glee, but I don’t think it can be translated into a novel well. Allen Zadoff didn’t over do the theater, though. He balanced it with Adam’s familial, personal, and stage guy problems.

My Life, The Theater, and Other Tragedies was an addicting and heartfelt novel that I couldn’t put down. I highly recommend reading it!

FTC- Publisher.

** (For those who don’t know, a manic-pixie-dream-girl is a term that is used to describe (definition taken off of wikipedia)- MPDGs are usually static characters who have eccentric personality quirks and are unabashedly girlish. They invariably serve as the romantic interest for a (often brooding or depressed) leading male protagonist.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Summer and Blog Posts

So I am officially on summer vacation from school, now (yay). That means that I will have time to read and sleep and sleep and sleep and blog! I’ve been out of school since Wednesday and I feel horrible about not posting anything. I do have my reasons, though.

First of all, I didn’t really start summer until Friday (I had other schoolish things to do on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday). I hadn’t really read anything until Saturday, because Friday I spent most of the day sleeping and planning blog things (interviews and giveaways!).

I’m not posting a review right now and I haven’t been posting them because I’ve been trying to build up a bulk of reviews to write. To explain that, I kind of have to tell you a little bit about how my review writing and post scheduling process works.

1. I have a planner that is specifically for Zoe’s Book Reviews and book events and such. To my knowledge, little to no bloggers besides myself have a blog planner. I do it because I can be really unorganized and I like being organized, so it helps me with that. It also helps me when I’m looking for days where I need to schedule blog posts.

2. Truthfully, nearly everything I post on here I’ve pre-scheduled. So for instance, I just wrote a review that will be going up on here June 19th. I do this because I know there will be days or weeks when I just don’t feel like posting- and I don’t want the blog to suffer because of my moodiness.

3. I like to build up a bulk of already-read books that I still need to write reviews of. I have all of the books on a pile on my desk and let it build up until I feel the need to write more reviews. Like right now, I need to write and post reviews but there aren’t that many books in the pile- so I will probably wait until Monday or early Tuesday morning to write reviews. I do this because even if I don’t read or work on blog stuff every day, I have at least one day a week where I only read/schedule posts. So come Monday or Tuesday, I will be a frantic organized mess of a person who will be scheduling reviews for approximately the next week and a half to two weeks.

4. I’ve mentioned this in nearly every other number, but I love pre-scheduling posts. It is my savior. In my review pile right now, I have a book that I’ve read that comes out in August- but I don’t have to wait until August to type up the post and post it on the release day. I can go through blogger and write the review now and schedule it to post at midnight on the release day or whenever I want. For instance, I believe I have a review schedule to post at midnight on April 17th of next year. I wrote the review last month.


All of these tie together to the reason I haven’t posted a review in the past few days. It is simply because of the way I write reviews. As much as some people may disagree with how I don’t review a book right after I read it- that is what I do. I like writing reviews after books build up because it gives me time to really think about each individual book, and it lets my opinion ferment more. It also allows me more time to set up interviews with authors and such.

So, even though I haven’t been posting tons of reviews the past week- I haven’t forgotten about you lovely and amazing people. I’ve been reading like mad and I promise that I will be posting more review in the near future.



Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday


imageThis was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine

Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay
Coming August 9th from Delacorte Books for Young Readers

The most tragic love story in history . . .
Juliet Capulet didn't take her own life. She was murdered by the person she trusted most, her new husband, Romeo Montague, a sacrifice made to ensure his own immortality. But Romeo didn't anticipate that Juliet would be granted eternital life, as well, and would become an agent for the Ambassadors of Light.
For 700 years, Juliet has struggled to preserve romantic love and the lives of the innocent, while Romeo has fought for the dark side, seeking to destroy the human heart. Until now.

Have I mentioned how much I love Stacey Jay? You guys, Stacey Jay is an amazing author and I’ve loved all of her books. So, I really cannot wait for Juliet Immortal to come out!

What are you waiting on, this week?