November 30, 2012

Radiate by Marley Gibson


Hayley Matthews is determined to be the best cheerleader she can. She works hard and pushes herself 110% all the time.

Then Hayley finds a lump on her leg. The diagnosis is cancer. The prognosis is unclear. She could lose her leg. Or maybe her life.

At first Haley is scared, terrified. In an instant, everything she’s worked for seems out of reach. But Haley is strong. She’s going to fight this disease. She will not let it take her life or her dreams.

My Thoughts/Review:

This book shows two different sides of one story: the darker side, and the lighter side. On one hand, the darker side really didn't last that long. It was less capitalized on than the lighter side. The lighter side is really what this book is all about. It's a super cute and sweet contemporary, with a strangely dark twist: the protagonist has cancer.

That's actually what most of the first half of this book was about: her cancer. And most of the dark time didn't occur then, it occurred  afterwards. It really didn't hit her until it was over, it seems. Hayley was a very upbeat character, and I was honestly rooting for her throughout the book--she makes you want to.

She makes you want to wish her well, to wish her better, and to just let her be who she wants to be. And how cool is it that she's a cheerleader? I mean, really. THAT IS AWESOME. She's a cheerleader, and she get's cancer, and SHE STAYS HAPPY. I honestly don't know how she did it, or even how she could honestly stay so positive, but I liked it.

I do wish that the cancer had hit her a little harder though, maybe caused a bit more emotional development, and a bit more drama. I do know that this is based off of the author's own experience, so I really can't comment on that. Maybe the author was extremely upbeat--the note from her mother in the back of the book makes me think that she was.

Because I'm a complete girly girl at heart, I also wish that there had been more romance. I mean, I loved it as is, but the romance was mostly of the cute variety. Which I like, but I craved a bit more on Hayley and her boy's relationship.

I did think that a few things were over the top, but I won't state the here. Okay, I will. In between those brackets. {TWO people in this story get cancer. TWO. Within months of each other. I mean, both of my grandparents had cancer, but it seemed kind of unlikely in this storyline. But I don't know if this was one of the severely fictionalized parts, or one of the loosely based parts. O_O}

All in all, Radiate is a read that I would definitely recommend to lovers of contemporary, and to people who like a sweet teenage read.

*This book was provided by the author for review.

Favorite Quote:
The lighter side's quote:
As I watch him saunter--and yeah, he does--back to his house, I can't help but note how he's grown up and changed from the kid I knew. I guess we all grow up eventually.

The darker side's quote:
It's hard to accept the bitter pill that sometimes cancer wins out, no matter how hard we struggle to battle it with all our might.

November 28, 2012

The Circle of Tivedon (The Circle of Tivedon #1) by Ryan Shorten

The Circle of Tivedon

Attending Tivedon should have been the most exciting time in Jayl's young life. However, when inexplicable things begin to darken the hallowed halls of of the school and he's accused of murder, Jayl finds himself thrust into a quest to save himself, his home, and ultimately all of Tiertyn itself.

~Taken from the back of the book.

My Thoughts/Review:

The Circle of Tivedon was an imaginative novel, brimming with journeys and danger, as any good fantasy should be. A fantasy just isn't complete without a journey, don't you think? Anywho, back on subject. This book progressed nicely, and it was a quick read, but I did have a few problems with it.

For one, it was to my understanding that this was a YA novel, not a MG novel, but it certainly reads more like middle-grade. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, I just think that it would make a bigger impact as MG. Why, you ask? Because most of the characters came off as juvenile. I had myself convinced through most of the book that all the main characters were 12-13 at most, but we find out later on that they're all late teens! (I'm assuming--Jayl has BEARD STUBBLE.)

Also, towards the end of the book, it seems like all the characters start to mature, and then it becomes oh-so-obvious that they're a bit older than they appear at first glance. And that none of them trust each other. High fantasy at it's best.

The atmosphere was remarkably well done! I really felt like I was being fully immersed into the fantasy world that Mr. Shorten had created, but I kind of thought that this book was a more modern, less long version of Lord of the Rings, with more school and less mythical creatures. Which is good, but it made it a tad bit confusing at times, because I JUST CAN'T HELP IT. I'm going to compare it LotR.

On another note, I often found myself speed-reading to figure out what happened next, and then I would find that I didn't know how I'd gotten from one place to another--so yeah. All in all, I enjoyed The Circle of Tivedon, but I would've loved to have seen more character development and less skip-from-one-point-of-view-to-the-other syndrome. At one point, I had even forgotten that one of the characters existed! But I will be reading the next book in this series--I have to know what happens!

*This book was provided by the author for review.

November 26, 2012

Novel Thoughts #2

Welcome to the second Novel Thoughts! Novel Thoughts is a bi-weekly event, where we discuss what needs to be discussed, and what needs to be said will be said. Join in if you'd like! (:

This week's question is:
If you could live in the world of any book, which would it be? And which fictional world would scare you the most if you woke up there tomorrow?

My Answer:

Hmm, this is definitely a hard question. I think that a lot of fictional worlds would scare me to pieces. Literally. And there's a lot of worlds that I would just love to live in, so this will be hard. I think that I would love, and I mean LOVE to live in the world of Divergent by Veronica Roth. I think that it's my first choice because...well, I love that book so very much--it's totally worth reading. So, I would live there, because I would love to see how their society really functions, and just to be a Dauntless--I'm cray like that. I mean, seriously though. Who wouldn't? Even if the book is dystopian, it's also totally cool. I honest to goodness, would probably never get bored there. One thing I'd miss, though? Internet. I need you peoples! (:

The fictional world that would scare me the I think I'm gonna go with This is Not a Test's crazy freaking zombiefied world. Zombies are scary--or maybe The Book of Lost Things's twisted fairytale world. It's definitely a tie between those two.

So, my lovely peoples. What would YOU choose?

Check out the other answers! (:

Wanna guest post?

November 24, 2012

In My Mailbox #28

In my Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kirsti, over at the Story Siren.
This week's haul was huge! Unfortunately, as I'm probably on my way to Memphis right now, Saturday's books will not be included. IF there were any Saturday books....*evil laughter*

Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury (Swapped for)
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (Payment for hosting blog tour)
The Boy Recession by Flynn Meaney (Payment for hosting blog tour)
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (Payment for hosting blog tour)
The Awakening by Marley Gibson (Accepted Review pitch)
Traitor by Christina Leigh Pritchard (Accepted review pitch, as part of blog tour)
Radiate by Marley Gibson (Accepted review pitch)
Heartbreak River by Tricia Mills (Swapped for)
Glitch by Heather Anastasiu (Swapped for)
Beta by Rachel Cohn (Swapped for)

So, what did YOU get this week? Link me up, or give me a play-by-play through the comments! :)

November 23, 2012

The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #2) by Michelle Hodkin

The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2)

Mara Dyer once believed she could run from her past.

She can’t.

She used to think her problems were all in her head.

They aren’t.

She couldn’t imagine that after everything she’s been through, the boy she loves would still be keeping secrets.

She’s wrong.

In this gripping sequel to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, the truth evolves and choices prove deadly. What will become of Mara Dyer next?

My Thoughts/Review:

Excuse me while I die. Ohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh. Aah! Why?? Okay, I think I might be done now--nope, I was wrong. Ohmygoshohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh. NOOO! *dies* Not only did this book have one of the biggest (and best!) cliffhanger endings imaginable, it also made me realize this: We're all more than a little insane, even if we don't want to admit it.

Honestly. What is normal? Why should we be reduced to being normal? Why can't we all be abnormal? Excuse my favorite pasttime--philosophy. ;)

There are only two words to describe this book, and if I want to keep my PG rating, I won't be using them--but just imagine that I said something like mind-freak of a novel. Because that's what I was thinking. For like fifteen minutes, that was my only thought about this book. Mind freak. The scary freaking DOLL.

Predictably, Mara was crazy sounding, prone to stuff that sounds very delusional and schizophrenic--but when you're reading it through her point of view, I can promise you that you'll believe every word of it, and that it's going to freak you out, in a creepy, psycho-killerish way. That's one of the longest run-on sentences ever, but I believe it was necessary.

What else was necessary? Noah. He makes quite a bit of the story better--sometimes Mara can be a little intense, so it's nice that he and Jamie mix it up once in a while, even if they do hate each other's guts. Seriously, how could this book series ever be anything without Noah Shaw? Even his last name is sexy! (Even though he can be pretty mean, we'll forgive him unless he does something unforgivable. Like wearing a yellow cardigan.)

All in all, I enjoyed this second installment of Mara Dyer, but I wish that I had re-read The Unbecoming, because I was constantly being surprised by events that I should have remembered.
Favorite Quote:
"Don't tell me, because I might not remember. Write it down, and then maybe someday, if I ever get better, let me read it. Otherwise I'll change a little bit everyday and never know who I was until I'm gone."

November 21, 2012

Lucky Fools by Coert Voorhes

Lucky Fools
David Ellison dreams of acting at Juilliard, but he's expected to attend nearby Stanford University, just like all of his classmates at hard-driving Oak Fields Prep. As if wasting his private school education weren't enough, David is also on track to destroy his relationship with his girlfriend, Ellen, when he finds himself falling for his new co-star, Vanessa. 

With David's Juilliard audition approaching, and his relationship teetering on the brink of disaster, Oak Fields is thrown into chaos as a mysterious prankster begins attacking the school's highest achievers, determined to sabotage their college aspirations. Anyone who excels is a potential target, and David, the star of every play, could be next.

From the author of the highly praised The Brothers Torres comes a dangerously insightful book about enduring the pressures of high school, surviving the ins and outs of love, and fighting for your dreams, no matter what.

My Thoughts/Review:

Well, this book was certainly a surprise. It's not near five stars, it's not extremely realistic, nor is it something we can all relate to, but it's definitely surprising. It's surprising that I enjoyed it as much as I did, but I also think that it had some flaws, and I will try to constructively point them out.

For one, like I said before, we can't all relate. My family doesn't have the money to even consider sending us to Stanford or Juilliard, and I don't know anyone at all who has that kind of money. They didn't expect a scholarship--they were going to pay full admission fees. I just can't understand that.

I also can't understand David's near impulsive need to lie all the time. It doesn't make very much sense to me. I mean sure, it's easy at the time, but he seems to get bit back so often that I'm seriously shocked that he even bothers to lie! I wouldn't, but I'm not him, so no big deal.

I can however understand his need to prove himself--he simply thinks that he needs to get into Juilliard to prove himself, but his parent really want him to go to Stanford, so he's trying to appease his parents, while being himself. I understand the need to do what your parents want you to, but I'm also a big fan of the this thought train, "Your parents will love you even if you fail."

Moving on from that thought train, because honestly, I've got other things to say about this book.

I thought that David was a fairly good character--he had many flaws, but not in the in-your-face way that writers do in an effort to make the characters sound more real. I didn't think that the love triangle (Ellen/Vanessa) was necessary, but it may have been a key plot element. I'm honestly really tired of that plot element though.

All in all, Lucky Fools was a pretty good book from the author The Brothers Torres, with surprising depth, but it's simply not a favorite of mine. Like is different than love, and all that jazz.

Favorite Quote:
"My point is that the second--the second--you start basing your definition of success on what other people think, you've lost. If you know what you want, and you're doing everything you can control, then it doesn't matter who tells you that you suck or how privileged you are or how normal your childhood was; your self-worth is safe no matter what happens."

November 20, 2012

The Diviners (The Diviners #1) by Libba Bray

The Diviners (The Diviners, #1)
Evie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City--and she is pos-i-tute-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult--also known as "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies."

When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer--if he doesn't catch her first.

My Thoughts/Review:

I just now finished this book. What I'm thinking? Wow. That was amazing and weird.

Black cats cross my path frequently. I've walked under ladders and broke mirrors. I'm just not a superstitious person, and I'd like to think that I'll never change--but this book. Ooh, this book makes me feel plenty superstitious.

"Naughty John, Naughty John, does his work with his apron on..."

Gah. That little verse right there will definitely be haunting my dreams for a long time. The atmosphere is really the best part of this book--it's a smooth blend of 1920's history complete with speak-easies and a real live flapper girl, all jumbled together with ghost stories and paranormal elements. I don't know how the author pulled it off, but she did it.

She also managed to write one of the best villains ever. Oh, I don't even know if I can do him justice! He was so scary, and...ooh you'll just have to read it! He definitely made me rethink going outside in the dark--ever again. Yes, this villain was perfect. He had me alternately dreading and hoping for his next appearance. However gruesome and gory, I just...three dimensional does not even begin to describe him.

It does begin to describe many of the other characters, though. I loved how the villain was done, and I also loved how the other characters were done. Weirdly, the villain is my favorite, which is why he's four-dimensional. Evie, Jericho, Memphis and Mabel--they were my other favorites.

Personally, because Evie is the main character, I think I like her the most. She seems very flapper like, very free-spirited, and I just really loved her spunk. Jericho is my second favorite, because of his seriousness and his bookishness. And the one scene we got to see from his point of view--you sir, are HAWT.

The word building was very good, and the descriptions made me see the scenes perfectly. But I did have a problem or two with this book. Because as much as I loved the word building and descriptions, this book is really long. I still loved it, but if you like short books, this probably won't be for you. I didn't particularly care for the ten different points of view either, but I forgive that. It's just not a style that's for everybody.

All in all, The Diviners is a book that deals heavily with the occult, ghosts, and history--and I loved every bit of it. Recently, I've been a really happy camper with books! Yay!

Favorite Quote:
They'd sold their children a pack of lies: God and country. Love your parents. All is fair. And then they'd sent those boys, her brother, off to fight a great monster of a war that maimed and killed and destroyed whatever was inside of them.

This book was provided by Andrea@The Bookish Babe, for a guest review! She's amazing, and I hope you all hop over and follow her!
The Bookish Babes

November 19, 2012

Thankful For... + Giveaway

Hi guys! I'm participating in Book Brats 's Epic Giving Thanks Scavenger Hunt! Yay! So, here are the most bookishly bookish couples that I'm thankful for. In no particular order, of course. :)
  1. Tris and Four from Divergent
  2. Bianca and Wesley from The DUFF
  3. Evie and Jericho from The Diviners
  4. Doug Fox and Zoey from Forget You
  5. John After and Meg from Going Too Far
  6. Belly and Conrad from The Summer Series
  7. Mirabelle and Blue from Kill Me Softly
  8. Sam and Jordan from Catching Jordan
  9. Samantha and Jase from My Life Next Door
  10. Luke and Ricki Jo from Queen of Kentucky
That's it, y'all! These here are the best characters to have ever made a place in our lives. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Guys! Since this is a daily event, you can't forget to stop by the other blogs! 

Nov 12 - Book Brats
Nov 13 – Making The Grade
Nov 14 – Writing My Own Fairytale
Nov 15 – Book Addicts Guide
Nov 16 – Bumbles and Fairy-Tales
Nov 17 – Beauty and the Bookshelf AND JC Emery
Nov 18 – Dizneeee’s World of Books 
Nov 19 – The Book Babe AND Gypsy Book Reviews
Nov 20 – Starting the Next Chapter
Nov 21 – I Love Books Club
Nov 22 – WRAP UP!
Nov 25 – Contest Ends, Twitter Party

November 17, 2012

In My Mailbox #27

In my Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kirsti, over at the Story Siren.

Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly (Swapped for)
Brianna on the Brink by Nicole McInnes (Requested) <--OMG, I'm dying. It's my first requested ARC!
Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf (Swapped for)
Keep Holding On by Susanne Colasanti (Swapped for)

So, what did you get this week? Link me up! :)

November 16, 2012

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, #1)
“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

My Thoughts/Review:

When I started this book, I was already basing my opinions on the cover and the blurb: I thought that it would be amazing, based on those two elements. Just those two things. Shallow? Yes. Yes it was--but it was true. I can honestly say that this book can mess with your mind something fierce, and that it was completely different than what I expected.

I expected a dark paranormal romance, probably set around the sixteen hundreds, and maybe including a witch hunt or some other thing like that. I was wrong, and I honestly don't know where I got that picture--the blurb says nothing like that. I can only imagine weird things, I guess. I will admit that I'm a little dissapointed, though.

In my weird imaginings, I also imagined the "Raven Boys" being literal. Like them being part raven, which would've been crazy cool, but alas, was not true. I don't know where I got this weird storyline though! It's crazy. It's probably something that I've made up in my head and totally forgotten about.

In the beginning, I can honestly say that I had no idea where this story was going. Things that became key plot elements in the book later were just being thrown out there for no apparent reason, and I wasn't that sure about my confusion level--it was high, and it didn't go down until I'd gotten about halfway through, and suddenly all the plot elements just kind of clicked. It all made perfect sense. Click.

Gansey and Blue--I'm really not sure that I can explain them enough to make them the way I saw them--real. Each of the characters had their own quirks, their own little thing that they did, that made them who they were. Gansey's was that crazy notebook, and the fact that he was so fully obsessed with a dead Celtic king. Blue's was her "energy". She could take anyone and make them stronger, faster, louder. Adam, Ronan, and Noah need less explaining, but only because they're secondary characters.

The secondary characters could've been better--I'll freely admit that. But I enjoyed reading about them. I never saw Noah coming, nor did I ever really understand Adam's whole "I'm poor, everyone hates me and I'm white trash" brigade. I do have one of the biggest crushes ever on Ronan, though, so there is that. Oh, and this book is the proud winner of the most epic last sentence ever award. ^.^

Favorite Quote:
The way Gansey saw it was this: If you had a special knack for finding things, it meant you owed it to the world to look.

November 14, 2012

Blog Button Swap!

Hey guys! You see that title, right up there? Well, it's what I'd love to do. If you've been stalking my sidebar recently, you know that there's been some changes lately. One of those changes resulted in the loss of my Pile Denial (God rest it's soul), and one of those changes resulted in me now having a blog roll--(scroll down...a little more...stop! Right there). So, what do you think? Do you want to be on it? Well, that's easy! Just put me in your blog roll, or on your blog link list, and I'll grab your button. (Don't forget to link me up in the comments!) Thataway, we can all get some link up love. :D

November 13, 2012

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

Audrey, Wait!
California high school student Audrey Cuttler dumps self-involved Evan, the lead singer of a little band called The Do-Gooders. Evan writes, “Audrey, Wait!” a break-up song that’s so good it rockets up the billboard charts. And Audrey is suddenly famous!

Now rabid fans are invading her school. People is running articles about her arm-warmers. The lead singer of the Lolitas wants her as his muse. (And the Internet is documenting her every move!) Audrey can?t hang out with her best friend or get with her new crush without being mobbed by fans and paparazzi.

Take a wild ride with Audrey as she makes headlines, has outrageous amounts of fun, confronts her ex on MTV, and gets the chance to show the world who she really is.

My Thoughts/Review:

This is another book that's been on my to-read list for a while. I didn't have high hopes for it after all the bummer books that've been on my TBR, but I already had it, and I was going to read it. So I did. You should know that I really liked this one--it was quite a bit better than I was expecting.

I'm caught somewhere between declaring it complete fluff, or meaningful literature that shall become a great teen classic. I think that I'll put it in the former category for now though, because who knows how I'll feel about it by the end of this review? I so rarely know what I truly think until I write about it. Quite a curse I've got.

Speaking of curses, there's quite a few cuss words dropped in this book. It didn't put me off any though, because I'm actually quite used to it, and it has no effect on me after a life-time of hearing some vulgar words. I am a little surprised at the sheer number used though, especially by Audrey. It wasn't something that I was expecting, so I'll warn you all about it.

Audrey was a very surprising character. I was really starting to wonder about her towards the end, when I wasn't sure what she was going to do, or how it was all going to go down. Was Audrey going to stay true to herself, or become the very thing that she hated? A person who whines senselessly, and only talks about themselves? I didn't see it, but I wasn't sure. And you'll need to find out for yourself.

I can honestly say that I wish that Audrey and Evan's relationship had a bit more back story, so that I could've understood it better, instead of just coming into the story on a breakup. It did have the desired effect, though--I was instantly intrigued, and I needed to know more.

I enjoyed the little snippets of Audrey's life that were thrown in to the story, and I definitely think that they upped my understanding, but I wish there had been bigger snippets shared. Like why Audrey and James love music so much--and a bit more development for James would've been nice too. But beggars can't be choosers!

All in all, Audrey, Wait! was an intriguing contemporary, with a strong female protagonist, and an unforgettable way of looking at fame.

November 12, 2012

Novel Thoughts #1

Hi guys! Welcome to our first Novel Thoughts! Yay! So, this is going to be a bi-weekly event, and for all you bookish folks out there, it's going to be fantastic! So, once you've finished reading each of our posts, we all wanna know what you think--so comment, comment, comment! :)

Here's today's topic:

Chey, Inky and I all have favorite genres. So, what are our favorite books from each?

Yep, hun, that's what we asked. So now I shall tell!

Chey likes Sci-Fi! My favorite books from Science Fiction are:
Divergent (Divergent, #1)Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1)Raven Rise (Pendragon, #9)

I don't believe that my love of Divergent needs to be explained--it's just awesome!

Across the Universe is very cool--if you haven't read it, you totally should!

The Pendragon Series was just--it was one of the most original sci-fi series I've read in a long time, and it's worth the ten books. :)

Inky likes Historical! My favorite books from historical are:
To Catch a PirateSaving JulietSomething Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly, #1)
To Catch a Pirate--I'm not sure how to best describe my love of this one, but it definitely has something to do with the swoon-worthy rogue...

Saving Juliet can't be explained as easily, because it's a cool mix of classic literature, classic times, and time travel through a very strange object!

Something Strange and Deadly just makes my day. It's a terrific blend of zombies, steampunk, and the 1800's.

And my favorite--Contemporary!
The Duff: Designated Ugly Fat FriendCatching Jordan (Hundred Oaks, #1)Forget You

The DUFF is one of my favorite books of all time--I find myself coming back to it over and over. It's the ultimate feel good book.

Catching Jordan is the same way--if I've had a bad day, I can count on this book to cheer me up with it's terrific humor, and wonderful characters.

Forget You is really one of the best books if you're a girly girl, or just a girl who likes some romance. I love Jennifer Echols!

So guys, are any of these your favorites? What are your favorites? Tell us in the comments! (And visit Chey and Inky!)