Saturday, March 30, 2013

Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

Going VintageWhen Mallory’s boyfriend, Jeremy, cheats on her with an online girlfriend, Mallory decides the best way to de-Jeremy her life is to de-modernize things too. Inspired by a list of goals her grandmother made in1962, Mallory swears off technology and returns to a simpler time (when boyfriends couldn’t cheat with computer avatars). The List:
1. Run for pep club secretary
2. Host a fancy dinner party/soiree
3. Sew a dress for Homecoming
4. Find a steady
5. Do something dangerous
But simple proves to be crazy-complicated, and the details of the past begin to change Mallory’s present. Add in a too-busy grandmother, a sassy sister, and the cute pep-club president–who just happens to be her ex’s cousin–and soon Mallory begins to wonder if going vintage is going too far.

I love Lindsey Leavitt. Going Vintage is the second book I’ve read from her (the other being Sean Griswold’s Head) and it was magnificent. The characters were well written, the story was interesting, and I couldn’t stop reading.

Mallory was awesome. I loved her personality and attitude. Mallory was spunky and different, and I really liked that. It was refreshing having a YA character that was so unique. My favorite thing about her was how independent she was. Mallory isn’t afraid to take a stand for what she believes in, which is one of the things that makes Going Vintage stand out.

Leavitt takes Going Vintage above and beyond with all the other characters in it. Instead of parents and siblings taking a back seat to the story like they do in a lot of books, Mallory’s family was present in Going Vintage. They were almost as well rounded as she was- and it was awesome.

I loved Going Vintage. It was honest, witty, and sweet. Lindsey Leavitt is a fantastic writer. I couldn’t stop reading Going Vintage. I can’t wait to see what Leavitt has coming out next!

FTC- Publisher.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Miles from Ordinary by Carol Lynch Williams

Miles from OrdinaryThirteen-year-old Lacey wakes to a beautiful summer morning excited to begin her new job at the library, just as her mother is supposed to start work at the grocery store. Lacey hopes that her mother's ghosts have finally been laid to rest; after all, she seems so much better these days, and they really do need the money. But as the hours tick by and memories come flooding back, a day full of hope spins terrifyingly out of control...

I had no idea what to expect when I picked up Miles from Ordinary. I was first drawn to it because of the cover (which I absolutely love). Miles from Ordinary is also a super small book, which was appealing to me at the time. Though it is small, Williams is able to pack a huge punch with her writing. This book was hectic and addicting and beautiful.

I felt so much sympathy towards Lacey. She’s young, and living with just her mother. However, the icing on the sympathy-cake is that her mom is dealing with a mental illness. This is where the already serious book takes an even more serious turn. Lacey’s mom believes that her dead father (Lacey’s grandfather) is living with them. After we learn this, the backstory of the characters slowly starts to unfold. Readers then learn about Lacey’s family history, and why her mom is the way she is.

Miles from Ordinary took me by surprise. I didn’t love it, but it was definitely way different than I thought it was going to be. Carol Lynch Williams wrote a haunting story that you won’t be able to get out of your head.

FTC- Bought.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill

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

This book is adorable. Before buying it, I had heard a lot of good things about it. Because of this, I had super high expectations. All of these expectations were met, and then some. I was immediately drawn to Meant to Be. Especially when I learned that it takes place in London (gosh, I love London). Meant to Be is a small book, but it’s still extremely well paced. There wasn’t a dull moment, and I couldn’t stop reading.

Julia’s whole MTB rule is really interesting. I don’t necessarily agree with it, but it is indeed interesting. It provided a different kind of romantic YA story. Julia’s search for the person in charge of the mysterious texts can come off as obsessive at times, but I liked her persistence. Jason was great. I admit, at first I didn’t like him. He annoyed me. However, like many guys in YA literature, I quickly fell in love with him.

Lauren Morrill is a fantastic writer. Meant to Be was really cute, but it was also intense and funny. I highly recommend Meant to Be. It’s a fast read, and you won’t be able to put it down!

FTC- Bought.

Waiting on Wednesday (66)

Waiting-on-Wednesday_thumb1Waiting on Wednesday is an amazing weekly topic that is brought to you by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

Dirty Little SecretDirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols

July 16, 2013

Bailey wasn’t always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away.
Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles, #1)She could save the world—or destroy it.
Sixteen year old Evangeline “Evie” Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future—and they’re still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux.
But she can’t do either alone.
With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can’t totally depend on Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him?
Who can Evie trust?
As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of twenty-two teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it’s not always clear who is on which side….

I hadn’t heard of Poison Princess, until Sarah Ockler (author of Twenty Boy Summer, Fixing Delilah, Bittersweet, and the upcoming The Book of Broken Hearts) recommended it to me. I admit, I sometimes judge books by their cover. Because of this, I had no idea what to expect with Poison Princess. What I discovered was an awesome book, with killer plot twists.

It started out a bit weird, and for the first few pages I had no idea what was going on. However, as I got more into the story, Poison Princess got way easier to understand. Evie was great. I loved her transformation throughout the novel, and how she was able to transcend the popular stereotypes that were forced upon her. Jack was so mysterious! I loved reading scenes with him, and finding out more about him. All of the other characters in Poison Princess were amazing as well. They were all interesting and helped tell the story smoothly.

Kresley Cole is a really great writer. My only complaint about Poison Princess was the beginning, when I got confused. However, the book ended up morphing into a really addicting, amazing book. I can’t wait to read the second book in the series.

FTC- Bought.

Monday, March 18, 2013

In Honor by Jessi Kirby

In HonorHonor receives her brother’s last letter from Iraq three days after learning that he died, and opens it the day his fellow Marines lay the flag over his casket. Its contents are a complete shock: concert tickets to see Kyra Kelly, her favorite pop star and Finn’s celebrity crush. In his letter, he jokingly charged Honor with the task of telling Kyra Kelly that he was in love with her.
Grief-stricken and determined to grant Finn’s last request, she rushes to leave immediately. But she only gets as far as the driveway before running into Rusty, Finn’s best friend since third grade and his polar opposite. She hasn’t seen him in ages, thanks to a falling out between the two guys, but Rusty is much the same as Honor remembers him: arrogant, stubborn . . . and ruggedly good-looking. Neither one is what the other would ever look for in a road trip partner, but the two of them set off together, on a voyage that makes sense only because it doesn’t. Along the way, they find small and sometimes surprising ways to ease their shared loss and honor Finn--but when shocking truths are revealed at the end of the road, will either of them be able to cope with the consequences?

In Honor is fantastic. I was really excited to read it, since In Honor is a roadtrip book (and who doesn’t love a good roadtrip book?). The characters were so well written, and there wasn’t a single dull moment. In Honor may even be better than Moonglass, Kirby’s first novel-which was fantastic.

The characters in In Honor were superb. Honor had amazing character development throughout the story, and it was easy to see how much she grew while on her travels. Honor had a lot to deal with, but she dealt with her problems in an organic and believable way. Honor’s partner during her roadtrip is her brother’s ex-best-friend Rusty. Rusty was adorable. I honestly wasn’t expecting to like him as much as I did. However, I fell hopelessly in love with him. Though they bickered a lot, Honor and Rusty were an unstoppable duo.

In Honor is an awesome roadtrip book. Jessi Kirby has written an unforgettable novel about dealing with grief and forgiveness. It was a quick and engaging read. I highly recommend that you go out and pick up a copy of In Honor. It was lovely.

FTC- Bought.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The White Glove War by Katie Crouch

The White Glove War (Magnolia League, #2)Every society has its secrets.
The members of Savannah's Magnolia League have it all: money, beauty, power, and love. Some may call them lucky, but we know better. Spells, potions, and conjures are a girl's best friends, and thanks to the Buzzards -- a legendary hoodoo family -- the Magnolias never run out of friends.
Golden girl Hayes Anderson would never dream of leaving the League or Savannah, where there's no problem that can't be fixed with a cup of Swamp Brew tea -- served in a bone china cup, of course -- and no boy who can't be won over with a Conjure Up a New Love spell.
But when danger lurks and family secrets are unearthed, Hayes discovers that her life may not be charmed after all.

I really enjoyed the first book in this series, The Magnolia League. Because of this, I had high hopes for The White Glove War. Though my hopes weren’t met, I still liked The White Glove War. However, I do feel like The White Glove War suffered from 2nd in a series syndrome. I don’t think it lived up to The Magnolia League.

The main reason I liked The White Glove War was because it allowed readers to learn more and delve deeper into the world of The Magnolia League. We learn new things about the society and its inter-workings. This book is written through dual perspective, which felt kind of weird while reading it. Though dual narrative helped tell the story well, I sometimes found myself wanting to skip some of the chapters.

While I didn’t dislike The White Glove War, I definitely won’t be rereading it anytime soon. If you’re interested in this series, I recommend reading The Magnolia League. However, I wouldn’t make you read The White Glove War.

FTC- Received as an eGalley from Netgalley.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Moonglass by Jessi Kirby

MoonglassI read once that water is a symbol for emotions. And for a while now, I’ve thought maybe my mother drowned in both.
     Anna’s life is upended when her father accepts a job transfer the summer before her junior year. It’s bad enough that she has to leave her friends behind, but her dad is moving them to the beach where her parents first met and fell in love—a place awash in memories that Anna would just as soon leave under the surface.
     While life on the beach is pretty great, with ocean views and one adorable lifeguard in particular, there are also family secrets that were buried years ago. And the ebb and flow of the ocean’s tide means that nothing—not the sea glass that collects along the shore, and not the truths behind Anna’s mother’s death—stays buried forever.

This book is so cute! It’s the perfect summer read. Moonglass is perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Sarah Ockler. Kirby is a fantastic writer. The setting of this book was great. It was almost like a whole separate character. The beach and everything else- was pure magic.

Anna is an awesome main character. What she had to go through was really sad- but I think she dealt with it well. Having to move to an old beach house where your parents used to live can be hard. It was full of old memories for her and her father, which provided some added tension to their relationship. However, the father daughter dynamic was one of the best subplots of this book. It made it so the story wasn’t just about romance.

Jessi Kirby is amazing. I loved this novel, as well as Jessi’s sophomore novel- In Honor. I absolutely recommend Moonglass. It’sa superb summer read.

FTC- Bought.

The Summer I Learned to Fly by Dana Reinhardt

The Summer I Learned to FlyDrew's a bit of a loner. She has a pet rat, her dead dad's Book of Lists, an encyclopedic knowledge of cheese from working at her mom's cheese shop, and a crush on Nick, the surf bum who works behind the counter. It's the summer before eighth grade and Drew's days seem like business as usual, until one night after closing time, when she meets a strange boy in the alley named Emmett Crane. Who he is, why he's there, where the cut on his cheek came from, and his bottomless knowledge of rats are all mysteries Drew will untangle as they are drawn closer together, and Drew enters into the first true friendship, and adventure, of her life.

This novel took my breath away. Prior to reading it, I had only read one book by Reinhardt, so I didn’t really know what to expect. What I discovered was a fantastic trove of great characters, heartfelt stories, and beautiful prose. Dana Reinhardt is a fantastic writer. I immediately felt connected to Drew and her story.

I loved that The Summer I Learned to Fly takes place in a small town. Though the town I live in isn’t particularly small, it’s easy to relate to Drew when she talks about feeling trapped in her small town. I especially enjoyed this towns little quirks- like the cheese shop that Drew’s mom owns. The Summer I Learned to Fly is full of many other quirky things- whether it be Emmett and his knowledge of rats or the book of lists that used to be Drew’s fathers. The quirks aren’t just what make those characters special- they are what make the book special. Having those cute, odd things made this novel seem like it was more than just the average small town book.

Drew was awesome. Like I said earlier, I found it really easy to relate to her- especially her need to escape her town. Drew is a younger YA protagonist, but her character is written in a way that makes it so her age doesn’t hinder the story. She’s still independent, and doesn’t act completely like a child.

The Summer I Learned to Fly was awesome. After I had finished reading it, I couldn’t get the characters out of my head. I loved Drew’s story, and I hope you do too.

FTC- Bought.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Confessions of an Angry Girl by Louise Rozett

Confessions of an Angry Girl (Confessions, #1)Rose Zarelli, self-proclaimed word geek and angry girl, has some confessions to make…
1. I'm livid all the time. Why? My dad died. My mom barely talks. My brother abandoned us. I think I'm allowed to be irate, don't you?
2. I make people furious regularly. Want an example? I kissed Jamie Forta, a badass guy who might be dating a cheerleader. She is now enraged and out for blood. Mine.
3. High school might as well be Mars. My best friend has been replaced by an alien, and I see red all the time. (Mars is red and "seeing red" means being angry—get it?)
Here are some other vocab words that describe my life: Inadequate. Insufferable. Intolerable.
(Don't know what they mean? Look them up yourself.)
(Sorry. That was rude.)

First off, let’s talk about this book cover. I love it. I have no idea why I like it so much, but I do. (I think it may be because the cover has a lot of white on it which makes it look… clean. I read Confessions of an Angry Girl awhile ago, but for some reason never reviewed it. However, I recently found myself rereading it- so I thought I should post a review. When I first picked up this book, I was weary of it since the main character is pretty young for a YA character (she’s 14, instead of the usual 15-18).

However, I loved Confessions of an Angry Girl. Rose was spunky, and I ended up liking her way more than I thought I would. At times, her snarky narrative added some comedic relief to the story. The comedic relief was definitely needed, since Rose’s narrative also got quite dark at times. I admit, I cried a few times while reading this.

Confessions of an Angry Girl is fantastic. It has spots of snark paired with patches of serious bits. Louise Rozett is an amazing writer. I can’t wait to read the second book in this series! Rose Zarelli captured my heart and mind, and I loved reading her story.

FTC- eGalley from Netgalley.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Touched by Corrine Jackson

Touched (Sense Thieves, #1)

Remy O’Malley heals people with touch—but every injury she cures becomes her own. Living in a household with an abusive stepfather, she has healed untold numbers of broken bones, burns,and bruises. And then one night her stepfather goes too far.
Being sent to live with her estranged father offers a clean start and she is eager to take it. Enter Asher Blackwell. Once a Protector of Healers, Asher sacrificed his senses to become immortal. Only by killing a Healer can a Protector recover their human senses. Falling in love is against the rules between these two enemies. Because Remy has the power to make Protectors human again, and when they find out, they’ll be coming for her—if Asher doesn’t kill her first.

This book was so magnificent. I loved Corrine’s debut novel, If I Lie, so I was excited to start Touched. I loved Touched, however, both books are wildly different. If I Lie was an emotional contemporary novel. Where as Touched is the first in an emotional (in different ways) paranormal series. I devoured Touched. I read most of it before meeting Corrine at a book signing, and then read the rest on the way home from the signing. This book is seriously addicting, so if you start reading it (which you should), you should make sure to carve out a few hours because you’ll most likely want to read it straight through.

Remy was awesome. I loved how kickass she was- and how she wasn’t afraid to stand up to people. The power that she had, being able to heal people was really interesting. I especially like that her power isn’t just one sided. Using it has its consequences, and even though it hurts Remy to heal people, she still makes the choice to help. Asher is gorgeous. It’s really apparent that he’s a YA boy, though. Some parts about him were stereotypical. Asher was dark, brooding, and mysterious. That being said, I still loved him.

Touched was a great book. The characters were well written and the story was overall really interesting. Corrine Jackson is am amazing writer, and I can’t wait to read the second book in the Touched series!

FTC- Bought.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (65)

Waiting-on-Wednesday_thumb1Waiting on Wednesday is an amazing weekly topic that is brought to you by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

The Distance Between UsThe Distance Between Us by Kasie West

July 2, 2013

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.
So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company.
She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kristin Cronn-Mills

13221769"This is Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, on community radio 90.3, KZUK. I'm Gabe. Welcome to my show."
My birth name is Elizabeth, but I'm a guy. Gabe. My parents think I've gone crazy and the rest of the world is happy to agree with them, but I know I'm right. I've been a boy my whole life.
When you think about it, I'm like a record. Elizabeth is my A side, the song everybody knows, and Gabe is my B side--not heard as often, but just as good.
It's time to let my B side play.

This book was so good! It was the first book I had read after a long reading drought. Beautiful Music for Ugly Children was refreshing. It wasn’t a light book to read, but it was easy in the sense that getting into the story didn’t take much effort. I was immediately drawn to Gabe, and his heartfelt story. I was a little apprehensive about starting Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, but once I started it, I couldn’t put it down.

Kristin Cronn-Mills is a fantastic writer. She stunned me with her writing and characters. Gabe was amazing. He was an interesting, fearless, badass character who people should aspire to be like. I honestly wasn’t expecting to care for Gabe, along with all the other characters in this book, as much as I did.

Beautiful Music for Ugly Children is a must-read for everyone. There aren’t many books out there that are able to accomplish what this book accomplished. I have endless praise for Kristin Cronn-Mills. Her writing is beautiful, and this story is stunning.

FTC- Received at Summer ALA.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (64)

Waiting-on-Wednesday_thumb1Waiting on Wednesday is an amazing weekly topic that is brought to you by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

Leap of FaithLeap of Faith by Jaime Blair

September 3, 2013

Now that Leah Kurtz has a place to call home, there’s no way she can tell the truth.
That her name is Faith, not Leah.
That she’s seventeen, not nineteen.
That the baby isn’t hers—she kidnapped her.
She had to kidnap Addy though. She couldn’t let her newborn sister grow up like she did, with parties where the drugs flow all night and an empty refrigerator in the kitchen holding nothing but pickle juice and ketchup packets inside.
She can’t risk losing Chris—the only guy she’s ever given herself to completely—by telling him she’s been lying. He’s the most generous person she’s ever known, and he’s already suffered the tragic deaths of his mom and infant sister.
But being on the run with a newborn catches up with her when a cop starts asking questions, and Chris’s aunt finds a newspaper article about Faith and a missing baby. Faith knows it’s time to run again—from Chris and the only place that’s ever felt like home.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Also Known As by Robin Benway

Also Known AsBeing a 16-year-old safecracker and active-duty daughter of international spies has its moments, good and bad. Pros: Seeing the world one crime-solving adventure at a time. Having parents with super cool jobs. Cons: Never staying in one place long enough to have friends or a boyfriend. But for Maggie Silver, the biggest perk of all has been avoiding high school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations.
Then Maggie and her parents are sent to New York for her first solo assignment, and all of that changes. She'll need to attend a private school, avoid the temptation to hack the school's security system, and befriend one aggravatingly cute Jesse Oliver to gain the essential information she needs to crack the case . . . all while trying not to blow her cover.

I am, and always have been a huge fan of Robin Benway’s novels. Because of this, I had huge expectations for Also Known As. Luckily, all of my expectations were more than met. Benway is an amazing writer. She’s able to craft a well-written, humorous story that holds your attention until the very end. It also had spies! I love spies.

Maggie was fabulous. She was smart, witty, and totally kick-butt. I liked that she was still a realistic teen character, even though she is a freaking spy! I loved her. Maggie’s parents were great too. One of the things I love most about Benway’s writing is her ability to make all the characters real, even the parents. Instead of being divorced/dead/other, Benway made Maggie’s parents like most parents. They’re dysfunctional, but they still have their own personalities.

Also Known As was fabulous. I loved every minute that I was reading it. Benway’s writing is fast-paced (I read the book in one sitting) and unmistakably hilarious. Fans of The Gallagher Girl books will love this. But, I recommend it to everybody who’s looking for a good spy novel, or just a book that will make them laugh.

FTC- Received from publisher.