September 29, 2012

In my Mailbox #20

In my Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kirsti, over at the Story Siren.
Aah! My 20th Mailbox post. :D
This week I got:
Doing ItAltered
Doing It was provided by ARCycling, which you can find the button for on my sidebar. :)
Altered and The Onyx Bridge were provided by the authors for review.

A Giomungus box of books, courtesy of Enna Islee at Squeaky Books, via her Books for sale page. :D
Struck (Struck, #1)Legacy (Legacy, #1)DroughtThe Day BeforeThe Queen's DaughterInfinite Days (Vampire Queen, #1)Haunting VioletThe Musician's Daughter
Aah! What did ya'll get?

September 28, 2012

The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder

The Day Before

One moment can change everything.Amber’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.

My Thoughts/Review:

My first thought while reading this was: It's in verse. Yes, I just read a novel in verse, and I'm actually pretty proud of myself, even though I had no idea whatsoever that this was in verse until I opened it, because then I was hit with a sudden, crushing realization. I'm not going to like this one. I wasted an entire $5 on this book. Those were my first thoughts.

But, for some reason, I read it anyway. And it absolutely blew me away! I never knew that novels in verse were this addicting! Consequently, I also never knew that character's that think in verse could be very developed. There was that one part in Bruiser, but it was only a chapter or so.

The only word I can think of to describe this book is "lyrical". And, no lie, it might just be because the jacket says that. Otherwise, I'm sure that I would be in too much awe right now to even think of a word. It was that good. On another note, it really didn't become 'that good' until the last 1/3 of the book. Before that, I was still a bit stuck on the "It's in verse" train of thought. Plus, I was a teeny bit confused about what was going on. Novels in verse can be a tad bit hard to get into.

Amber and Cade's character's were amazingly developed, considering the 'novel in verse' status. I absolutely had to figure out what happened to them, and I literally couldn't put this book down! Oh, how I wish I could stand to read stuff like this all the time! But it's seriously not my general style. And, honestly, I don't think I could stand to read the 'deep stuff' all the time. It's just not me.

All in all, I seriously enjoyed The Day Before, which you should realize by reading my 'extreme non-review'.
Favorite Quote:
For each page,
I cut and paste
pieces of my heart.

In the coming months,
I will hold onto
those pieces,
even when it feels like
there's no part
of my heart


Struck (Struck #1) by Jennifer Bosworth

Struck (Struck, #1)

Mia Price is a lightning addict. She’s survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.

Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.

Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn’t who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.

My Thoughts/Review:

Wow. Struck's characters and storyline were extremely magnetic, and definitely powerful. It kind of reminded me of X-men. :D

I found Struck to be a fast-paced book, full of genius plot-twists, and several unforgettable characters. At first, I was a little hesitant about Mia, because I was afraid (based on Goodreads reviews) that her character wouldn't live up to potential. A lightning addict, one that has the power to save the world, or even to break it. But I was pleasantly surprised, because not only did Mia live up to her potential, she did it in a way that was befitting of a YA character. She felt fear, anxiety, and even a tad bit of horror at times, and that's one of the many things that make her a good character. She wasn't fearless. Because fearless characters are the worst. No one can identify with a fearless character, so why would an author even bother to write one?

Jeremy is my second favorite character, because you just can't, can't dislike the crush, can you? (You can. But that's a story for another time.) I found Jeremy's actions to be a tad bit predictable, because of a few...well, let's just say, "awkward betrayal moments", ones that I had figured out before they happened. Other than that, I was very proud of Jeremy's character.

I do have a few questions, though.

1. If food shipments aren't getting into the city, and Mia is going to school to receive her rations, why isn't the subject of starvation handled more?

2. If shipments aren't making into the city, where are Mia and Jeremy (and everyone else) getting the gas to run their vehicles? You may not know this, but gas comes on a truck.

3.  Mia is a lighting addict. How come we never get to experience how she feels when she gets struck? That would have been really cool!

Moving on from my questioning mind. I really enjoyed this book's way of dealing with the end of the world. Enough, that on the day of the storm, I was actually wondering how this was all going to turn out. Was the world really going to end by natural disaster? Is this book going to end up being an 'apocalypsie'? It was an interesting train of thought, I can assure you. All in all, I definitely enjoyed Struck, and I'm looking forward to reading more by this author in the future. :)

Favorite Quote:
And I finally understood.
The storm I've been waiting was not beyond the horizon.
The Storm was in me.

September 27, 2012

There Comes a Prophet by David Litwack

There Comes a Prophet

Who among us will cast aside a comfortable existence and risk death to follow a dream?

A world kept peaceful for a thousand years by the magic of the ruling vicars. But a threat lurks from a violent past. Wizards from the darkness have hidden their sorcery in a place called the keep and left a trail of clues that have never been solved.

Nathaniel has grown up longing for more but unwilling to challenge the vicars. Until his friend Thomas is taken for a teaching, the mysterious coming-of-age ritual. Thomas returns but with his dreams ripped away. When Orah is taken next, Nathaniel tries to rescue her and ends up in the prisons of Temple City. There he meets the first keeper of the ancient clues. But when he seeks the keep, what he finds is not magic at all.

If he reveals the truth, the words of the book of light might come to pass:

“If there comes among you a prophet saying ‘Let us return to the darkness,’ you shall stone him, because he has sought to thrust you away from the light.”

My Thought's/Review:

Wow. When I first started this book, the premise was just a little bit too boring, the characters were a little too meh, and the story-line was dragging. Yes, it was. I was supremely bored, and more than a little unhappy that I'd accepted this book's pitch. Then, when I was about 50 pages in, it suddenly just all came together.

The character's became more developed, the story-line sky-rocketed to terrific, and best of all, the premise suddenly became amazing. Because of one simple reason: It suddenly became an epic fantasy. Dystopian was just not working for this book. When I was sent the review request, that's what I chalked it up to. A simple dystopian, just like the hundreds of others that have been released recently. Was I ever wrong.

The book was clearly fantasy, and I can't believe that I missed it before. Honestly, I am so blind. But I'm glad I am, because after a certain dragon book, (I'm sure you can guess which one) I completely backed off fantasy. It just wasn't my thing, after that one book ruined it for me.

And that was that. So, in retrospect, I never would have picked this book up if I thought it was fantasy. On one hand, I can see the dystopian elements, but it reads so much like a fantasy!

Moving on, because I've spent a little too much time rambling about fantasy.

While the characters weren't exactly phenomenal, they were more than enough to keep me entertained, and I really wanted to know what happened to them.

Nathaniel, our lead character, was extremely brave, honest, and he just wanted to be a hero. Nathaniel was a dreamer, and I love that. We very rarely get to see dreamers anymore, because of the contemporary craze. Orah and Thomas were every bit as good as Nathaniel, but they lacked the leadership that Nathaniel ignites. The rebellion, and other spoilerish content, would not have began without Nathaniel. He's a born leader. And he deserves every bit of praise he gets.

All in all, There Comes a Prophet was a fantasy of epic proportions, that kept me reading until the very end.

Favorite Quote:
"Ideas combined with Courage can change the world."

September 25, 2012

Doing It by Melvin Burgess

Doing It

The award-winning author Melvin Burgess’s ribald and insightful account of contemporary teenage life chronicles the ups and downs of doing it.

The controversial book on which the cult favorite ABC television series Life As We Know It (now available on DVD) was based, Doing It introduces us to Dino, Jon, and Ben, three teenage best friends who can’t stop thinking about, and talking about (and hoping to experience) sex.

Buy from The Book Depository<--and support future giveaways on this blog!

My Thoughts/Review:

Well. That was surprising. I had absolutely no idea what to expect when I started this book, but it sure wasn't this. I even toyed with not reviewing this one, simply because of the content. There should be a warning label on this book: Warning. Boys think very dirty thoughts.

I mean seriously, who thinks of this stuff? Errgh, I'm horrified! Yes, horrified! Previously, that was very hard to do, but now it seems kind of easy. I'm sure the look on my face while reading this book was absolutely priceless!

To be honest with you, I'm at a loss about what to say. That it was absolutely full of sex? That I want smack the author stupid for telling me all the inside thoughts of a guy? Man, I wish I was clueless again. Boys are disgusting. Yes, disgusting. But for some weird reason, I found myself actually enjoying this book. At least all the characters were as honest as they come. I often found myself wondering where the author got his inspiration from. Was he like this when he was a teen? Oh, that's a little too much for now. Moving on.

One of the most enjoyable things about this book was the humor. The way the subject of sex was handled, while still being very entertaining was absolutely freaking priceless. That doesn't make the book though. What made the book was this: Character development. You guys know what a sucker I am for a good character. And Mr. Burgess introduces three of them. Dino, Ben, and Jonathan.

To be honest, because of risk of spoilers, I can't really tell you what I liked about Ben. Just know this: his character was one that I will never, ever forget.

Jonathan's character is quite a bit more forgettable, but only because he makes himself that way. Jon fades a bit into the background, and because the chapters switch point of view so often, he doesn't get as much development as Ben and Dino, or even some of the lesser used characters, like Jackie and Zoe.

Dino's character though, watch out. Because he could fill a room with all that baggage he's carrying around.

All in all, I enjoyed Doing It, even with all of it's vastly inappropriate moments.

Favorite Quote:
See? None of that stuff matters when it comes down to who your friends are. They're my mates--they showed that. And the rest of 'em are just so much crud.

Ever (The Ever Trilogy #1) by Jessa Russo

Seventeen-year-old Ever’s love life has been on hold for the past two years. She’s secretly in love with her best friend Frankie, and he’s completely oblivious.

Of course, it doesn't help that he’s dead, and waking up to his ghost every day has made moving on nearly impossible.

Frustrated and desperate for something real, Ever finds herself falling for her hot new neighbor Toby. His relaxed confidence is irresistible, and not just Ever knows it. But falling for Toby comes with a price that throws Ever’s life into a whirlwind of chaos and drama. More than hearts are on the line, and more than Ever will suffer.

Some girls lose their hearts to love. Some girls lose their minds. Ever Van Ruysdael could lose her soul.

My Thoughts/Review:

Why do authors insist on leaving us all with cliff-hanger endings? This must be why I enjoy standalone so much...

Ever's character was good enough I suppose, but my favorite was definitely Frankie. Our lead ghostie, and favorite paranormal being here. To be honest, I liked Ever, but sometimes I wondered if all paranormal books have to have a Bella from Twilight kind of character. It's not becoming. Having a character like Bella will almost always cement my dislike of a book. "Oh, I love them both, and they both love me! Who do I choose?" Eeergh. Ever was a bit different than Bella though, because she wasn't such a whiner. She didn't just sit around in self-pity all the time like Bella did. And, she had a better sense of style.

Frankie's character was terrific though! I absolutely loved Frankie, and probably would've liked the book quite a bit better if it's primary focus had been him. Instead, we had Ever as a primary focus.

Just like every other paranormal I've read recently, this book was highly predictable. I found myself anticipating every little thing before it happened, and it left me with a feeling of annoyance. Yes, I was annoyed at the predictability of this book. It was upsetting, but not near as much as this: I still enjoyed the book. Every little bit of plot was spoiled by my mind, but I still enjoyed hearing about Ever's relationship troubles with Toby and Frankie, and I really wished that she hadn't been so mean to Frankie.

All in all, I enjoyed Ever, but thought it was a tad too predictable, with a slightly whiny lead character. I'll probably read the series, for the simple fact that I've started it, but that'll be all.

*I received this book via Netgalley.

 Favorite Quote: 
A thousand Epic quotes were within this novel, but it won't be released until.......
October 1, 2012

September 24, 2012

Feedburner Dies...

Because of the recent controversy (and the deleting of all of my subscribers! Jerks!), I will be discontinuing the use of Feedburner. I know of several bloggers that feel the same way, and I do not regret my decision. I posted a review at 10:00 AM and did not receive an e-mail until 10:00 that night. I'm an extremely disgruntled blogger, and this post is really only for you GFC followers. My email followers all already know. But from this point on, posts will be received via Blogtrottr.

Thanks for reading!

Burn for Burn (Burn for Burn #1) by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Burn for Burn

Lillia has never had any problems dealing with boys who like her. Not until this summer, when one went too far. No way will she let the same thing happen to her little sister.

Kat is tired of the rumours, the insults, the cruel jokes. It all goes back to one person– her ex-best friend– and she's ready to make her pay.

Four years ago, Mary left Jar Island because of a boy. But she's not the same girl anymore. And she's ready to prove it to him.

Three very different girls who want the same thing: sweet, sweet revenge. And they won't stop until they each had a taste.

Buy from The Book Depository<--and support future giveaways on this blog!

My Thoughts/Review:

Burn for Burn was so good. I absolutely loved it! The characters and the plot blended together seamlessly to create a simply amazing book. Alone, they would have only made a three, possibly four star rating. Together, they make this book a five star rating. You know how hard that is to come by on my blog. But I can't help it! This is by far one of the bast contemporaries I've read all year!

For one, I understood the motivation behind Lillia, Kat, and Mary needing revenge. They had all been betrayed, and they wanted to get back at the people who were responsible for it. But these girls are learning that it isn't just an eye for any eye. You need to see each side of the story before you start with your revenge. In the end, it's not all going to turn out as planned. In this novel, reminiscent of The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove, revenge is within reach.

To be honest, I knew when I started this book that I was probably going to like it. I love Jenny and Siobhan, but together they make a simply fantastic duo! I never expected this, nor did I know what I was getting myself into when I first began reading. But I'm so glad that I bought this book!

Lillia, Kat, and Mary were all terrific characters.

Lillia is popular, but she has actually experienced some terrible things. But she still endured. I absolutely loved her from the very beginning! She was super sweet without being a goody two-shoes, and I can honestly tell you that I've never read another character like Lillia.

I loved Kat for an entirely different reason, and it was because she was such a bad-ass. She is everything that Lillia is not. She's not popular, or sweet, and she sure as heck wasn't a cheerleader. I respect her. She knew who she was, and it didn't stop her from being herself.

To be honest, Mary was my absolute least favorite character. I don't know what it was, I just couldn't dig her personality. She was super-weird, and I guess it put me off her. Oh well, there's always the other characters. :)

I loved how the story was told in all of their alternating views, and how little bits of the past just popped up and explained bits and pieces of what made them really them. All in all, Burn for Burn was a simply fantastic book, with a perfect setup for a series. And believe me, I'll be eagerly awaiting the sequel.

  stars-desi-glitters-10stars-desi-glitters-10 stars-desi-glitters-10stars-desi-glitters-10stars-desi-glitters-10
Favorite Quote:
I fish my lighter out of my purse and light up. Inhaling deeply, I say, "It was all of us." I take another drag. I let the smoke seep through my body. "I just hope we can get away with it."

September 23, 2012

Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft (Audrey's Guides #1) by Jody Gehrman & Author Guest Post: Dreaming of Disney

Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft (Audrey's Guides, #1)
Falling in Love, baking a magical cake, fighting an evil necromancer—it’s all in a day’s work for Audrey Oliver, seventeen-year-old witch-in-training. When her mother goes missing and her twenty-one-year-old witchy cousin shows up out of the blue, Audrey knows something’s gone horribly, dangerously wrong. Now it’s up to her to get her own magical powers up to speed before everyone she loves is destroyed by the sorcerer intricately connected to her mother’s secret past.

My Thoughts/Review:

Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft do I put this? It was...interesting. For one, this is the first book I've read that only involved witches. Usually there's some werewolves, or some vampires thrown in to make the book more interesting. Some people spend their time reading paranormal books. I usually don't, so this is a bit out of the norm for me.

Yes, I enjoyed it, but I found a few things to be...well, annoying. For one, nothing about Julian and Audrey's relationship was really explained. It seemed like they had a few serious problems (which I can't reveal because of spoilers), and they never really talked about their problems or anything. They just kind of faded into the wallpaper the next time they saw each other. I hate that. I wish there would have been more problem solving involved, because it would have helped us to really see some serious character development with Julian and Audrey.

The plot progressed fairly well, and it kept me interested, but after a fair amount of reading, my head kind of hurts. Yep, a lot of it may have went over my head. With all the spells involved, and names, and...oh, I'm losing it.

Julian and Audrey, well, let's just say I would swoon over Julian any day. But Audrey's character, she's the real fireball. She is entirely obsessed with helping her mom out. "When's my mom gonna be home?" or "I know I can help, why won't you let me?" To one point, she was actually a good character, because she absolutely wasn't afraid to roll with the punches, but she was also a teeny bit full of herself, with her witchy ways. Normally she's not, but get her on the witch train, and her ego's pretty darn big.

All in all, I enjoyed Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft, but it's not my favorite.

*Book provided by author for review.
Favorite Quote:
She shook her head. "It's not like that. There's such a wide range of talents, and everyone's gifts are unique. I can't tell you how because I don't know how it works for you."
Jody Gehrman
*Guest Post*
Jody Gehrman is the author of seven novels and numerous plays. Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft is her most recent Young Adult novel. Her other Young Adult novels include Babe in Boyland, Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty, and Triple Shot Bettys in Love, (Penguin's Dial Books). Babe in Boyland won the International Reading Association Teen Choice Award and has recently been optioned by the Disney Channel.
Dreaming of Disney
How Wishing and Hoping Landed Me a Book-to-Film Option
by Jody Gehrman
You're a reader, so you've no doubt heard it before: Get your head out of the clouds! Stop daydreaming! Go get a real job!
People who have vivid imaginations get berated all the time. We lock our keys in the car. We forget birthdays. We occasionally leave the oven on. All week. I consider myself the consummate dreamer. In fact, I locked my keys in the car so many times in one month, AAA threatened to revoke my membership. It's a dubious distinction; I see that.
For many years now, I've harbored an outlandish fantasy: I wanted to see one of my novels become a movie. (Okay, sure, many of them. All of them! Why not?) It's the fantasy I clutch close to my heart as I drift off to sleep, hoping to ward off nightmares with a little fairy dust. Last year, I even issued a tentative deadline to the universe: If I could get a movie deal by the time I turned forty, I'd never be wicked again.
Disney expressed interest in optioning my Young Adult novel Babe in Boyland three days before my fortieth birthday. Now, of course, I have the impossible task of living up to my end of the bargain: swearing off wickedness. So far I'm not doing so great.
For those who (like me) aren't fluent in Hollywood-speak, let me clarify: an option doesn't mean it will be made into a movie, only that Disney wants it enough to put up a little cash. Hence the term "option," meaning they can exercise the option to begin filming until the agreed window of opportunity expires. At least, I think that's what it means. I know, for a girl who lived in West Hollywood once upon a time, I'm pretty clueless.
Whatever. I'll take it. The idea that my little book is on Disney's radar even remotely thrills me right down to my toes.
I hate it when people gloat, so let me just clarify: I'm not trying to flaunt my good fortune. My intent is to encourage people who, like me, often get put down because we live at least half our lives in fantasyland. I don't know how magic works, only that awesome little miracles do occur. And I do know that we dreamers have our place in this universe, even if the people who are ticked off about our spacieness can't always see that.
If you're a dreamer like me, don't give in. Never resign yourself to the "real" world--at least not entirely. The ones we make up are so much more enticing.

September 22, 2012

In my Mailbox #19

In my Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kirsti, over at the Story Siren.
These are a little bit late, but:
When I Was JoeAlmost TrueAnother Life (When I Was Joe #3)
I was only supposed to get the last of the trilogy, but the publisher sent me all three! Eeek! Love you guys. I won these on Librarything.
City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2)Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)Burn for Burn
As you can see, I had me a little shopping spree at Walmart. ;)
Life is cruel though, because I was $1.75 short of getting Mockingjay. :(
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Now, last, but not least, I won this book from a giveaway over at Connie's Corner Shelf.