February 28, 2013

Being Henry David by Cal Armistead + Author Guest Post + Giveaway

Being Henry David
Title: Being Henry David
Author: Cal Armistead
Series: N/A
Source: Publisher for blog tour
Publisher: Albert Whitman & CO
Publication Date: March 1, 2013
Goodreads||The Book Depository
Seventeen-year-old "Hank" has found himself at Penn Station in New York City with no memory of anything --who he is, where he came from, why he's running away. His only possession is a worn copy of Walden, by Henry David Thoreau. And so he becomes Henry David-or "Hank" and takes first to the streets, and then to the only destination he can think of--Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. Cal Armistead's remarkable debut novel is about a teen in search of himself. Hank begins to piece together recollections from his past. The only way Hank can discover his present is to face up to the realities of his grievous memories. He must come to terms with the tragedy of his past, to stop running, and to find his way home.
Being Henry David was everything I expected and more-- what I expected was a book about a boy with amnesia finding himself. I got that-- but I also got to read about some awesomely gritty teenagers with real problems and small solutions, which was like the epitome of cool.

Speaking of which, Hank was a great believable character. He completely made the book, because I didn't have any problems believing that he didn't know who he was or where he'd been. I did kind of have issues with the beginning, though, because we kind of just get thrust into Hank's life with the scene where he wakes up and doesn't remember who he is. Don't get me wrong, it was a great way to start things, but it was kind of abrupt.

But that didn't detract from my enjoyment of Being Henry David. I still enjoyed the mystery of Hank's identity, and I also really liked most of the secondary characters, like Jack, Nessa, and my favorite forever, Thomas. (Who's like thirty, but I don't care. He's awesomesauce.)

I'm having a really hard time writing out my thoughts for this, but I hope that I'm getting at least some of my point across. I loved Being Henry David!! But I can't help but wonder if Hank was a little bit crazy...I mean, the boy has conversations with Thoreau. Who is long dead, which makes their convos a tad freaky deaky, but I'll not dwell on that.

All in all, Being Henry David was a fabulous debut with an awesome premise, but I have reviewers block and am unable to get my point across today...sigh.
If I decide to live, all I have waiting for me is a broken family and no idea of what to do with the rest of my life. What do I do with that? ~ Pg. 297
Cal has been a writer since age 9, when she submitted her first book, The Poor Macaroni Named Joany to a publisher. Sadly, this literary gem did not make it to print. But Cal continued pursuing her lifelong passion, and wrote copiously for radio, newspapers and magazines (Cal has been published in The Chicago Tribune, Shape Magazine, Body & Soul Magazine, Christian Science Monitor, Chicken Soup for Every Mom’s Soul and others). Although it took years for Cal to try her hand again at fiction writing, her first young adult novel (Being Henry David) will be published by Albert Whitman & Co. on March 1, 2013.
Guest Post:

Writer as Rock Star, or Recluse?
by Cal Armistead

The Book Babe was kind enough to allow me to choose my own topic for this guest blog (thanks so much for hosting me!), so after some thought, I decided to write about something I’ve been mulling over lately: being in the public eye.  Let me say first: it is truly bizarre.  Not that I’m shy or anything—I mean, I was the lead singer in a blues/rock band for over six years and had an absolute blast being front-and-center and strutting my stuff.  But writing?  It’s that thing I do alone that occurs inside my own head, and nobody’s watching while I do it because—well, lets face it—the process would be incredibly boring to observe.

But now that I have published a book, people actually want to meet me, to have me do public appearances, to talk about my book and the writing process behind it. On one level I totally get it, because I’m always interested to learn about writers whose work I admire, but perhaps this is strange to me because I was a journalist for so many years.  In the realm of newspaper and magazine articles, the writer stays the hell out of the way and focuses on the subject of the story.  You’re supposed to be invisible. Sure, you get a byline, and that’s always a thrill, but it’s all you strive for, all you get.   This, I think, is why I’m a little weirded out by the idea of being in the public eye.  In fact, when my publishers told me they wanted an author photo of me for the book jacket, I said, “Really?  Do I have to?”  I have a perfectly good headshot that looks way better than I normally look when I’m writing, but the idea of having my photo on my book was strange to me.  I opted not to have one. 

I think it comes down to this: I view the relationship between a book and its reader to be absolutely sacred. It’s an intimate and personal experience, and the writer doesn’t matter.  Plus, how many times have you looked at the picture of an author you admire, and said to yourself, “Really? I never expected him/her to look like that!”  (And in my case, people might be surprised to see that I am of the female persuasion, in spite of my male-sounding name.)  I’d absolutely hate it if anyone looked at my photo and was disappointed.

To sum up, I’m not about to turn into a J.D. Salinger-type recluse because I’m way too social, way too much of an extrovert and, okay I won’t lie, some of this attention is really fun.  But what I want most of all is just for people to read the book and forge their own unique relationships with its characters, within its world.  That’s the most important thing of all.  

Thanks for allowing me to stop by today!

Check out the next tour stop:
Friday, March 1
Mimosa Stimulus Reviews
Interview and Giveaway

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February 27, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #9

The Shadow Girl
Title: The Shadow Girl
Author: Jennifer Archer
Series: N/A
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: April 9, 2013
Goodreads||The Book Depository
Sometimes I forget for an hour or two that she's with me. Sometimes I convince myself that she was only a dream. Or that I'm crazy.

For as long as Lily Winston can remember, she has never been alone. Iris, a shadowy figure who mimics Lily's movements and whispers in her ear, is with her always—but invisible to the rest of the world. Iris is Lily's secret.

But when Lily's father is killed in a tragic accident, his cryptic final words suggest that he and Lily's mother have been keeping secrets of their own. Suddenly, Iris begins pushing Lily more than ever, possessing her thoughts and urging her to put together the pieces of a strange puzzle her father left behind. As she searches for answers, Lily finds herself drawn to Ty Collier, a mysterious new boy in town. Together, Lily and Ty must untangle a web of deception to discover the truth about her family, Iris . . . and Lily's own identity.
This is random, but I totally had to say something. Has anyone else noticed that most of my WoW picks are written by authors named "Jennifer"? I just noticed that, and it was totally driving me crazy, LOL. Anywho, I'm waiting on this one partly because of that wicked awesome cover, and partly because the main character thinks she's crazy. I ADORE books where the main character might be crazy. ;)

February 25, 2013

Real Mermaids Don't Hold Their Breath by Helene Boudreau

Real Mermaids Don't Hold Their Breath
Title: Real Mermaids Don't Hold Their Breath
Author: Helene Boudreau
Series: Real Mermaids, #2
Source: Bought
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Goodreads||The Book Depository
Jade begins her summer confused. Yes, there's that whole "will this be a leg-day or a tail-day" kind of confusion, but Jade's got even bigger problems: it's been three weeks since Mom returned to the ocean with no news of her whereabouts. Plus, it's been twenty-one days since Jade first kissed her mer-boy Luke and now-nothing.

Will Mom find the enchanted tidal pool that will allow her to become human? And why is Luke acting so weird?

The SEAquel to Helene Boudreau's critically acclaimed Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings is as energetic and fresh as a salty sea breeze.
Real Mermaids Don't Hold Their Breath picked up right where Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings (what a mouthful of a name!) left off, which gave me a little bit of time to get back into the story, but it didn't really give me any time to get reacquainted with the characters. On the other hand, I don't have any confusion about what happened between books, (hint: nothing) because of the no-gaps-between-story-lines thing.

Jade was still an awesome and true to life kind of character, but I really feel like she grew in this one, maybe matured? I really liked reading through her point of view, because her sense of humor is absolutely to die for and her inner monologue is absolutely awesome. It's like reading a commentary to a real life event, which was cool.

I think that my only real problem with Real Mermaids Don't Hold Their Breath is that it's just a tad bit too action-packed. Don't get me wrong, I love action! But honestly, so many different things were happening in the plot at one time, and so many things that really shouldn't have happened kept happening...and AHH! I'd just better leave it at that. BUT the adding and adding to the plot was absolutely ridiculous! o_O

All in all, Real Mermaids Don't Hold Their Breath is a light and fluffy read that I would definitely recommend for younger teens, but I'm not so sure that every one will like it, considering my reaction to the plot. *sigh*

February 24, 2013

Blog Tour: Persistence of Vision by Liesel K. Hill

Persistence of Vision
Title: Persistence of Vision
Author: Liesel K. Hill
Series: Interchron, #1
Publisher: Tate Publishing
Publication Date: January 29, 2012
Goodreads||The Book Depository
In a world where collective hives are enslaving the population and individuals have been hunted to the verge of extinction, Maggie Harper, and independent 21st Century woman, must find the strength to preserve the freedom of the future, but without the aid of her memories.

After experiencing a traumatic time loss, Maggie is plagued by a barrage of images she can't explain. When she's attacked by a creep with a spider's web tattoo, she is saved by Marcus, a man she's never met, but somehow remembers. He tells her that both he and her creepy attacker are from a future in which individuals are being murdered by collectives, and Marcus is part of the rebellion. The collectives have acquired time travel and they plan to enslave the human race throughout all of history. The flashes Maggie has been seeing are echoes of lost memories, and the information buried deep within them is instrumental in defeating the collective hives.

In order to preserve the individuality of mankind, Maggie must try to re-discover stolen memories, re-kindle friendships she has no recollection of, and wade through her feelings for the mysterious Marcus, all while dodging the tattooed assassins the collectives keep sending her way.

If Maggie can't fill the holes in her memory and find the answers to stop the collectives, the world both in her time and in all ages past and future will be doomed to enslavement in the grey, mediocre collectives. As the danger swirls around her and the collectives close in, Maggie realizes she must make a choice: stand out or fade away...
Liesel K. HillWrites across three genres: scif/fantasy, historical fiction, and crime drama. Graduate of Weber State University and lover of all things fantastical! :D

Author Website||Author Blog||Interchron Series Facebook||Author Facebook||Twitter||Pinterest

Guest Post:
Why Individual Vs. Collective?
by Liesel K. Hill

I’ve had a lot of people ask me about the unique premise of my book. How did I come up with it? Why did I want to write this kind of story? For the most part, I’ve answered more along the lines of how I came up with the idea for the story, but I haven’t talked much about the idea of individual versus collective.

I started thinking about it because of the direction our society is headed today. There are so few people willing to live life on their own anymore. No one wants to work for what they have. Everyone wants something for free. 

Even I have caught myself thinking things like this from time to time, but I train myself not to. I want to live by the sweat of my brow (a.k.a. the stroke of my keyboard). There’s nothing more satisfying for me than creating art through my novels and being paid for it. But so few people in our society take pride, anymore, in a hard day’s work. They’d rather be taken care of.

Now, granted, I took this to an extreme in the book—all great drama deals with extremes—exploring what would eventually happen if this attitude was taken farther and farther, never resetting itself in society. One comment I keep getting from reviewers is how they can see this really happening. That’s because it stems from a real flaw in our society. 

I believe we’re destroying our society to such an extent today that, unless we can revolutionize the way we think, we’re headed for some kind of future destruction. But don’t take my word for it. Check out the plethora of dystopian literature on the market today. Obviously this is something people are worried about.  

Will that destruction come in the form of collectives? Factions? Arenas where kids fight one another to the death? Only time will tell. Meanwhile, it’s fun to imagine worlds that might be.

February 23, 2013

Book Haul #7

I got a new banner! Yay! Anywho, this is my last two weeks in books. And I got three. ;)

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones (Traded for)
Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones (Traded for)
Deviants by Maureen McGowan (Borrowed from my awesome BFF, Hannah)

So, what did y'all get this last week? PLUS. I have NEWS. Lisseth from Read-A-HolicZ has given me permission to use her idea for free blog designs, to free the blog world from genericness! Basically, I had a blast creating my header and background, and I'd love to do it for someone else too! So if anyone is interested, please email me at mv.misty@yahoo.com! (:

February 21, 2013

The 39 Deaths of Adam Strand by Gregory Galloway

The 39 Deaths of Adam Strand
Title: The 39 Deaths of Adam Strand
Author: Gregory Galloway
Series: N/A
Source: Won via Librarything
Publisher: Dutton
Publication Date: February 21, 2013
GoodReads||The Book Depository
A groundbreaking YA from the award-winning author of As Simple as Snow.

Adam Strand isn't depressed. He's just bored. Disaffected. So he kills himself—39 times. No matter the method, Adam can't seem to stay dead; he wakes after each suicide alive and physically unharmed, more determined to succeed and undeterred by others' concerns. But when his self-contained, self-absorbed path is diverted, Adam is struck by the reality that life is an ever-expanding web of impact and forged connections, and that nothing—not even death—can sever those bonds.

In stark, arresting prose, Gregory Galloway finds hope and understanding in the blackest humor.
I don't know what it is about books with suicide, but when they end, I'm always left with this huge profound sense of peace. Does anyone else get that feeling, or is it just me? Maybe it's that the content is so out there, yet SO FREAKING true and sad that it makes me feel peaceful, because it usually doesn't end badly.

Maybe it's like philosophy, you know? I LOVE philosophy, but in an "argues with the greats, paranoid what if" kind of way. It's interesting to think about. Maybe, if one thing in your day had been different, something else in someone else's day would have been different too. It's interesting, no? And the philosophy that's presented in this book is the best kind. The kind that makes you REALLY think and question, why?

Why did Adam Strand commit suicide 39 times? Because he was bored, and it gave him peace. That's an odd way of looking at it, but it's also really interesting.

Adam was very straightforward. He was telling it like it was, from the very beginning, and I loved that. To be honest, the way this story was told was AMAZING. I was pulled in from the very first page, and the story never let me go. It's like we retreated into Adam's mind, and I absolutely could not get enough of that feeling. He was really interesting, that's for sure. Also, as I've said before, the writing was fabulous. It had an almost lyrical quality, with just a hint of lucid. It was great.

I did find a couple things really freaky deaky, though. In a cool way, of course! The WHOLE town accepts that Adam just CAN'T die. He's tried 39 times, and failed, so when someone finds him, they just kind of accept it and take him to his parents. They don't stop at the hospital, but they take him right where he needs to be. Then he wakes up. o_O

All in all, The 39 Deaths of Adam Strand was a very interesting story, told through the mind of a seventeen year old boy-- and it is one wild and interesting ride that I just couldn't put down.
"I don't want my life to be over and still have to live it. It's better this way, better to do it now when I'm not afraid of any of that other stuff. That's it. That's the reason. That's it." ~ Pg. 262, ARC

February 20, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #8

White Lines
Title: White Lines
Author: Jennifer Banash
Series: N/A
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publication Date: April 4, 2013
Goodreads||The Book Depository
A gritty, atmospheric coming of age tale set in 1980s New York City.

Seventeen-year-old Cat is living every teenager’s dream: she has her own apartment on the Lower East Side and at night she’s club kid royalty, guarding the velvet rope at some of the hottest clubs in the city. The night with its crazy, frenetic, high-inducing energy—the pulsing beat of the music, the radiant, joyful people and those seductive white lines that can ease all pain—is when Cat truly lives. But her daytime, when real life occurs, is more nightmare than dream. Having spent years suffering her mother’s emotional and physical abuse, and abandoned by her father, Cat is terrified and alone—unable to connect to anyone or anything. But when someone comes along who makes her want to truly live, she’ll need to summon the courage to confront her demons and take control of a life already spinning dangerously out of control.

Both poignant and raw, White Lines is a gripping tale and the reader won’t want to look away.
First off, I really love that cover. It's definitely really eye-catching, and it does seem kind of vintage, don't you think? I would read it for the cover alone, but it seems like people usually want better reasons than that-- so I'll give you some. Most of the reviews that I've read for this make me think that it's very gritty and dark, and I seriously adore that in a book. Plus a teenage girl that makes her own decisions and doesn't rely on a guy to tell her who she is? I'm so there! (:

February 15, 2013

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1)
Title: First Grave on the Right
Author: Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson, #1
Source: Traded for
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: February 1, 2011
Goodreads||The Book Depository
A smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper

Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life...and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely.

I want to start off my review by saying that First Grave on the Right is not a book that I would normally pick up, but I was mistakenly led to believe that it was a YA paranormal novel. It isn't, but at this point I've already read it and there's nothing I can do about it. But in spite of the level of adult-ness included in this book (yes'm, there's sex), I still enjoyed it for the story quality.

Charley is the grim reaper. That's the first thing that we learn about her, so it's the thing that we retain the most. But what else is she? She's one awesome kick-butt character, who has a seriously awesome sense of humor. She doesn't take b.s. from anyone, and she's completely confident with who she is. I would kill to be like her. Now I've just got to give you a dose of the famous Charley humor:

But as I stepped toward the bathroom, I realized the worst part of my morning—the let there be light part—was fast approaching. I groaned and considered dillydallying despite the state of Uncle Bob’s arteries.

Just suck it up, I told myself. It had to be done. I placed a shaky hand on the wall, held my breath, and flipped the switch.

“I’m blind!” I yelled, shielding my eyes with my arms. I tried to focus on the floor, the sink, the Clorox ToiletWand. Nothing but a bright white blur.

I totally needed to lower my wattage. I stumbled back, caught myself, then forced one foot in front of the other, refusing to back down. I would not be stopped by a lightbulb. I had a job to do, dammit.

But moving on, before I feel the need to post even more snarky humor about dead people...and bathrooms. Seriously, if you're not busting a gut, you should totally go back and read that again. True story, folks, it happens. ;P

Moving on. I liked the whole mystery element, because it definitely kept me guessing...but I never ever saw that one coming. I didn't see any of that coming! *applauds for plot twists* Because Reyes is...and....ahh. I really don't know how to explain this, but I did not see it coming!

I think that I liked Reyes too, but I'm kind of hot cold about him. He's a very interesting love interest and all, but...he can be kind of...hardcore. To the point where you wonder about Charley's sanity in liking him, considering the first thing that he did to her...yeah, not one of his best moments.

All in all, I enjoyed First Grave on the Right, but I went into it expecting something different than I got. Can't say that I'm upset about it, though. ;)

February 14, 2013

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

Out of The Easy
Title: Out of the Easy
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Series: N/A
Source: Won
Publisher: Philomel
Publication Date: February 13, 2013
GoodReads||The Book Depository
It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street.

Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.

With characters as captivating as those in her internationally bestselling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny.
Out of the Easy was absolutely fantastic in every way. It had enough romance to keep a girl entertained, and a dash of danger, with a smidgen of humor. Morbid humor. But everyone knows that it's the best kind! There's no doubt about it, this book had me hooked from the very beginning. I'm struggling to put my thoughts into words.

Josie was absolutely amazing! Being named after a famous madam can't be all that horrifying (especially because it's Josie, which is like, the cutest name ever), but when you really think about it, it kind of is-- because she knows it. Maybe nobody else does, but she knows, and it weighs on her. One of the things that I liked the most about Josie was that she was gritty. Not that she was mean or dirty, but that she saw things as they were; and she wasn't afraid to call anyone out on it. She was AWESOME. I also love the idea that she lives (and works!) in a bookstore, because seriously. Is that not your dream?

The character interactions were superb. The way that Patrick, Willie, Jesse, Josie and Cokie all interacted was awesome. I didn't ever find myself doubting their exchanges, or doubting that they all really care for each other. It was as it is-- perfect. The pacing was good too-- I never found myself wishing that the story would move along, neither did I find myself wondering how I'd gotten from one point to another. It was the perfect blend of fast-paced and slower going. Fast enough to keep you interested, but slow enough as not to confuse you.

Because I'm a sucker for characters, I loved every bit of this book. You know what else I'm a sucker for? Good storylines. And this book has a totally amazing one: Josie's mother really is a prostitute. And a crook, but we won't go there. The coolest part is that Josie gets to interact with all the prostitutes-- she cleans house for Willie, so she talks to the girls. And they have their own little train of pretty awesome going on.

All in all, Out of the Easy was FANTASTIC. I loved the characters and the storyline, and I never wanted it to end. It was the epitome of amazing. I'm only stopping here because I'm absolutely sure that I could go on FOREVER about this epic book.

February 13, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #7

This Is What Happy Looks Like
Title: This is What Happy Looks Like
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Series: N/A
Publisher: Poppy
Publication Date: April 2, 2013
Goodreads||The Book Depository
If fate sent you an email, would you answer?

When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O'Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds.

Then Graham finds out that Ellie's Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media's spotlight at all costs? 

Oh, COME ON. It looks freaking adorable! I liked Jennifer's The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, so it's not a big stretch to think that I'll love them. Plus I have this huge love for sappy movie romances, like You've Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle, which the original blurb compared this book too, so I'm thinking that it'll be love! ;)

February 12, 2013

Follower Survey

So, I've been thinking about followers, and how they impact book blogs. Naturally, I have some questions for you guys-- about what you'd like to see more of, and what you'd like to see less of, and whether or not you like cheese...wait. I didn't ask that one, just checking to see if you were listening. ;) Anywho, please, if you read my posts, take the time to fill out the survey. It's really short, seriously. (:

February 11, 2013

Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings by Helene Boudreau

Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings (Real Mermaids, #1)
Title: Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings
Author: Helene Boudreau
Series: Real Mermaids, #1
Source: Bought
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Publication Date: December 10, 2010
Goodreads||The Book Depository
First zit. First crush. First…mermaid’s tail?

If she hadn’t been so clueless, she might have seen it coming. But really, who expects to get into a relaxing bathtub after a stressful day of shopping for tankinis and come out with scales and a tail?

Most. Embarassing. Moment. Ever.

Jade soon discovers she inherited her mermaid tendencies from her mom. But this revelation raises a serious question: if Mom was a mermaid, how did she drown?

Jade is determined to find out. But how does a plus-sized, aqua-phobic, mer-girl go about doing that, exactly? And how will Jade ever be able to explain her secret to her best friend Cori, and her crush, Luke?

This summer is about to get a lot more interesting…
The first book in the Real Mermaids trilogy surprised me. I was expecting a fluffy read about mermaids, which I got. But I didn't expect to actually be enchanted by it. You should know by now that I just adore any type of mythology-- any at all. So I was happy to read a little bit on mermaid lore (the webbed ones), but I was a tad disappointed with the actual mermaid content of the novel.

To me, it was too...I don't know, shallow? That's not really the word that I'm looking for, but it'll do for now. As I was saying, the underwater stuff, the mermaid change and stuff (and stuff, and stuff, ugh)? Well, I wish that it had been better done. In moments like those, I felt like I wasn't really a part of the book. And I can't help but wish that the lore part of the book had been more focused on.

Not only that, but the villians were super juvenile. But I can totally forgive that, because I realize that we're dealing with a younger age group here. But still, I like my villians bad. And I like my parent's realistic. The first time that Jade becomes a mermaid, her dad helps her out of the tub...but what self-respecting dad wouldn't screech when his daughter becomes a mermaid?? Especially when she changes back and she's naked...um. I may have missed something, but ick. I took that the wrong way-- maybe she has a blanket? I'll just assume that I missed something. (Oh, dear God in heaven please.)

Now that I've gotten that off my chest, this book was really cute. Jade was a terrific character, which lots of younger girls will definitely identify with, because she's experiencing every thing for the first time too-- girly things, growing a mermaid's tail (if you are, totally tell me, I'll be there for you!), and of course, her first crush. Which was adorable.

Jade's crush on Luke is very real and true to life, as is her lack of self confidence and her friend problems. All of that is something I'm sure that we've all experienced at one time, and I'm sure that you'll find something to love about Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings.

February 9, 2013

Book Haul #6: In which Megs missed Y'all!

Welcome back to my ridiculously neglected Book Haul feature! I've missed you guys...well, I've been posting reviews, so there is that, but I still missed you!! (: Three whole weeks worth of books are pictured below. Tell me which ones are your favorites!!

Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings by Helene Boudreau (Bought)
Real Mermaids Don't Hold Their Breath by Helene Boudreau (Bought)
Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler (Payment for hosting Blog Tour)
The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar (Won via Librarything)
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi (Traded for)
The Genius of Little Things by Larry Buhl (Accepted Review Pitch)
Being Henry David by Cal Armistead (Blog tour, via the publisher)
Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (Payment for hosting Blog Tour)
Across the Universe by Beth Revis (Payment for hosting Blog Tour)
Untimed by Andy Gavin (Accepted Review Pitch)
Through to You by Emily Hainsworth (Payment for hosting Blog Tour)
Smart Boys and Fast Girls by Stephie Davis (Traded for)
The Incredible Charlotte Sycamore by Kate Maddison (Requested)
My Beautiful Hippie by Janet Nichols Lynch (Requested)
The Temptation by Alisa Valdes (Traded for)

So guys, what did y'all get while I was gone? Anything that needs to be moved up on my To-read? I have all the time in the world! (:

February 8, 2013

Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans

Level 2 (The Memory Chronicles, #1)
Title: Level 2
Author: Lenore Appelhans
Series: The Memory Chronicles, #1
Source: Traded for
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: January 15, 2013
Goodreads||The Book Depository
Three levels. Two loves. One choice. Debut novelist, Lenore Appelhans has written a thrilling otherworldly young adult novel about a place that exists between our world (Level 1) and what comes after life (Level 2).

'I pause to look around the hive - all the podlike chambers are lit up as the drones shoot up on memories ... I've wanted to get out of here before, but now the tight quarters start to choke me. There has to be more to death than this.'

Felicia Ward is dead. Trapped in a stark white afterlife limbo, she spends endless days replaying memories, of her family, friends, boyfriend ... and of the guy who broke her heart. The guy who has just broken into Level 2 to find her.

Felicia learns that a rebellion is brewing, and it seems she is the key. Suspended between heaven and earth, she must make a choice. Between two worlds, two lives and two loves.

I kind of feel like I skimmed most of Level 2, because as unique as the concept was, it honestly wasn't very well executed. I loved the idea of a dystopian world after death, where you could relive your memories forever and ever, but it lacked the imagination and prose that I was expecting. The only thing that I did like about this book was the premise. And it failed me.

The memories just weren't vivid enough when Felicia is reliving them, and I honestly didn't care for Felicia in general, even without her memory flashbacks in the hive. She just didn't jump out at me as a character, because she seemed so...shallow. I don't mean to put her down or anything, but...ugh. There's this big huge dramatic mystery just surrounding her, and so many bad things have happened to her...and I just didn't find her believable as a character. Plus her taste in love interests sucks!

I really disliked both of the boys in the quasi-love triangle. Which is really weird for me, because in the case of a love triangle, I usually like to pick a side. (For those of you wondering, the guy I pick always loses.) Anywho, as I was saying, I like to pick a favorite boy. But I can't choose someone that I don't like, so no one wins.

Neil was simply way too goody-two-shoes. To the point that I started to wonder if the boy ever had any fun at all, and we only see him through Felicia's memories. But he was way to clean cut. In a "never-does-anything-wrong-and-is-perfect" kind of way. Which just doesn't work for me, because everyone has flaws. Except Neil.

On another note, where Neil is way too good, Julian is way too bad. He's a total creep, and I can't reevaluate my opinion of him, because he basically lies and cheats his cold and calculating way to the top, so that he can get what he wants. And I just get a really bad book boy vibe from him, so I'm not a fan, because...*siren noise* CREEPER!

Now that I'm mostly done ranting about love interests, I can move on to...less green pastures, I guess. I didn't think that the plot had any real direction. Picture this: I'm trying to explain this book to my sister, so I'm telling her what I've gotten from it. After a long rambling speech about the book, she and I both realize that I've said almost nothing to give her a clue about the book, but I was telling her the entire plot. This is not a good sign, people. It is a very bad sign. It means that I didn't understand where I got from one point to the other sometimes. It means that I spent countless minutes examining plot holes...like how can they remember stuff that happens after their deaths? It seems really...I don't know, strange? Considering that they're stuck watching their memories for eternity, it doesn't seem like they would retain memories that happened while they were watching memories. And how did they learn how  to watch their memories with the hives? Do you see where I'm going with this?

If you don't, it's alright. I'm done now, because I hate tearing books apart. All in all, Level 2 just wasn't for me, for the reasons outlined above. But I'd love to hear your opinion!
Because maybe I'm not dead. Maybe I'm dreaming all of this. Maybe I am living my nightmares. ~ Pg. 151, ARC