June 28, 2013

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar (Steampunk Chronicles, #2)The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross
Series: Steampunk Chronicles, #2
Source: Bought
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: May 22, 2012
In New York City, 1897, life has never been more thrilling-or dangerous Finley Jayne and her "straynge band of mysfits" have journeyed from London to America to rescue their friend Jasper from the clutches of a devious criminal demanding a trade-the dangerous device Jasper stole from him...for the life of the girl Jasper loves. One false move from Jasper, and the strange clockwork collar around Mei's neck tightens and tightens. From the rough streets of lower Manhattan to elegant Fifth Avenue, the motley crew of teens follows Jasper's elusive trail. And they're about to discover how far they'll go for friendship. More than ever, Finley must rely on powerful English duke Griffin King to balance her dark magic with her good side. Yet Griffin is at war with himself over his secret attraction to Finley...and will risk his life and reputation to save her. Now, to help those she's come to care for so deeply, Finley must infiltrate the criminal gang. Only problem is, she might like the dark side a little too much....
I really enjoy this series. Like really, love-to-death-those-steampunk-elements love this series. So much that I started the next book in the series before I came to write this review. Weird, right? But anyway, since I basically denied your knowing what I thought immediately, I might as well start.

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar picked up pretty much immediately where the last book left off-- we're thrown right back into Finley's world, which I absolutely loved! I hate it when things happen in between books, it doesn't work out for me, you know?

And sense nothing happened in between, I was blissfully happy. I really liked the new element of Jasper in New York, and the girl he loves being choked slowly by that terrible collar. It added new adventure to the series, and it kept me guessing, though I will admit that I knew something about Mei that I shouldn't have pretty quickly. Some of the plot points could have been better, but I overlook that.

On another note, Finley still kicks butt. I seriously love this girl, she's an amazing character! Now that the two sides of her have merged, I love her even more. She's so snarky, and does things that I can imagine doing too. They may be stupid things, and tempestuous a bit, but I can still imagine doing them. I also really love that the characters were the same as the last book-- they're still the ones that we know and love.

But most of all, I really like that the characters have this sort of sense of family about them. They take care of their own, you know? That (of course) is what makes them truly rock.

All in all, The Girl in the Clockwork Collar is a great continuation of The Steampunk Chronicles.

June 26, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #26

All the Truth That's In Me
All the Truth that's in Me by Julie Berry
Series: N/A
Publisher: Viking
Publication Date: September 26, 2013
Four years ago, Judith and her best friend disappeared from their small town of Roswell Station. Two years ago, only Judith returned, permanently mutilated, reviled and ignored by those who were once her friends and family. Unable to speak, Judith lives like a ghost in her own home, silently pouring out her thoughts to the boy who’s owned her heart as long as she can remember—even if he doesn’t know it—her childhood friend, Lucas. But when Roswell Station is attacked, long-buried secrets come to light, and Judith is forced to choose: continue to live in silence, or recover her voice, even if it means changing her world, and the lives around her, forever. This startlingly original novel will shock and disturb you; it will fill you with Judith’s passion and longing; and its mysteries will keep you feverishly turning the pages until the very last.
I think that I'm waiting on this one because it sounds so intense and sad. I can't imagine what these girls have gone through, but in some sick way I'd like to know. I want to know why Judith won't talk. (I'm assuming it's a won't.) And I really want to know why Lucas deserves her love-- and if he deserves mine too. This one will be amazing, I think.

June 25, 2013

Follow the White Rabbit by Kellie Sheridan

Follow the White Rabbit (Beautiful Madness, #1)
Follow the White Rabbit by Kellie Sheridan
Series: Beautiful Madness, #1
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Patchwork Press
Publication Date: May 21, 2013
For centuries, Wonderland thrived as the domain of beautiful bedlam and unapologetic madness. It was a place like no other. All it took was one girl slipping in through the cracks of the universe to start chaos spiraling toward order. In the 150 years since Alice’s visit, the realm has become tainted—almost normal. Rabbits in waistcoats and playing card minions are little more than creatures of myth, and Wonderland is literally falling to pieces.

For Gwen, Rose, and Lucky, Wonderland is home, and yet they know little of its former glory. When the Alice prophecy resurfaces, they’ll have one chance to use Wonderland’s own legends to bring a little mayhem back into their reality. For she who controls Alice controls the fate of Wonderland.

(Novella, 21k words)

Headlights illuminated the road ahead, flickering with each bump and crack in the pavement as I drove across the countryside.

I don't really know why I started this one-- I think it was because of the "Alice in Wonderland" re-telling point, but I can't be sure. Turns out that I really enjoyed it! My only issue? Way too short. I feel like the story had really only just started by the end of the book.

I was just starting to understand everything that was going on and to piece it together. I want to read more. I want to look more into the similarities between the original Wonderland characters and the new ones. I love the idea that "Wonderland" exists in cycles, and that it wants to repeat them over and over again.

I just loved the idea of this one. I loved the atmosphere, and the creepy vibes that I kept feeling were absolutely amazing. In the beginning, I wasn't sure how I would like it, because I knew that it was a novella-- but I actually enjoyed it! My only issue was the length, and that at first the changing POV's was confusing. I got used to it, though, and Gwen and Lucky were my favorite characters.

Two guesses as to who they are! All in all, I liked this re-telling of "Wonderland", but I wanted it to be longer.
Three girls hold cards; each plays her game.
As Wonderland's wind whispers a name.
Black is white and white is red.
All unravels as you tug the thread.
The stakes are high, don't interfere.
No turning back - Alice is near. ~Pg. 9, E-ARC

June 24, 2013

PODs by Michelle Pickett

PODs by Michelle Pickett
Series: PODs, #1
Source: Publisher for review
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Seventeen-year-old Eva is a chosen one. Chosen to live, while others meet a swift and painful death from an incurable virus so lethal, a person is dead within days of symptoms emerging. In the POD system, a series of underground habitats built by the government, she waits with the other chosen for the deadly virus to claim those above. Separated from family and friends, it's in the PODs she meets David. And while true love might not conquer all, it's a balm for the broken soul.

After a year, scientists believe the population has died, and without living hosts, so has the virus. That's the theory, anyway. But when the PODs are opened, survivors find the surface holds a vicious secret. The virus mutated, infecting those left top-side and creating... monsters.

Eva and David hide from the infected in the abandoned PODs. Together they try to build a life--a new beginning. But the infected follow and are relentless in their attacks. Leaving Eva and David to fight for survival, and pray for a cure.
I walked in the front door just minutes before dinner to find my parents huddled in front of the television set.

PODs was an intense read from the very first chapter. And I'm really not sure what I have to say about it other than that. Reviewer's block, thine name is Megan.

So I guess I'll just go off my notes...usually it just flows? o.O

I loved the plague element of the story. It was well-thought out and believable. I can totally imagine the world getting wiped out by a virus like this. I can also imagine the USA government having a similar solution-- kind of like the Holocaust holdings. PODs under the earth, air-tight with a raffle determining all who get to live.

The only thing that I don't understand about this theory is the continued survival of the military and a dictatorship...I don't remember any mention of them in the PODs. Another thing? What if everyone from the outside had died, and no one was left to let them out of the PODs? What would have happened then? So clearly, this isn't a plot without holes, but it totally kept me entertained/happy.

I loved the interaction between all of the characters. Sometimes banter happened, and other times it was depressing, but they were all there for each other and that just means everything, right? I really liked that.

I also liked Eva. She was sweet and open, but she also had a hint of rebellion and sass in her character. I loved her with David, and I hope that they get to stay together in the next book, because they work well together. My only issue with David was that he can be a tad too sexist at times-- but don't worry, Eva calls him on it every time.

Last but not least, I liked it when they finally got out of the PODs-- it catapulted immediately to serious dystopian, which I seriously liked.

All in all, PODs is a good dystopian read, but my review is a tad stilted for some reason?

June 21, 2013

The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

The Girl in the Steel Corset (Steampunk Chronicles, #1)
The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
Series: Steampunk Chronicles, #1
Source: Bought
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: May 24, 2011

In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one...except the "thing" inside her.When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no "normal" Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch....

Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of "them." The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.

Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help--and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.

But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on--even if it seems no one believes her.

I think that my feelings for The Girl in the Steel Corset could pretty accurately be described as STEAMPUNK=AWESOME. I'm a huge fan of steampunk, but it's just one of those genres that never quite made onto the YA group for whatever reason.

But there should be more, because they've found a fan in me. I liked Kady's rich descriptions of society, and the steampowered carriages, as well as the automatons and the lovely steampunk garb.

I liked that when the points of view switched; I was never confused. Each of the characters has their own unique personality. You'd think that there would be confusion, but no, I always knew exactly who was speaking, and I loved that.

I also loved the Jekyll and Hyde element, as well as the mystery of the machinist and the various other things that were going on.

Finley was my favourite character, but I also really liked Emily, Sam, Jasper, and Griffin. I love that none of the characters personalities were skimped on in favor of action. There was plenty of that too, but all of the characters were very fleshed out in spite of that.

Now, because I have to, I'll say something about the quasi-love triangle. I like both sides, but Griffin totally comes out on top for me. He's so much sweeter, and I like the way that he thinks about Finley. They're both swoony, though, so there is that.

All in all, my only problem with The Girl in the Steel Corset was that it was a tad predictable. Everything else about it was amazing.

June 20, 2013

Crush. Candy. Corpse by Sylvia McNicoll

Crush. Candy. Corpse.
Crush. Candy. Corpse. by Sylvia McNicoll
Series: N/A
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: James Lorimer & Company
Publication Date: February 17, 2013
Paradise Manor is depressing - the smells are bad and the residents are old. Sunny would much rather be doing her volunteer hours at Salon Teo, but her teacher won't let her. Who says volunteering at a hair salon doesn't benefit the community?

But working with the Alzheimer's patients has a surprising effect on Sunny. Along with Cole, the grandson of one of the residents, she begins to see that the residents don't have much more choice about their lives than she does: what they eat, how they are treated by staff, even what they watch on television. So Sunny does what she can to make the residents happy - even if she has to sometimes break the rules to do it.

But when tragedy strikes at Paradise, Sunny's left to make the decision about whether or not to honor a promise that Cole made to his grandmother about her life and her death.
"Sonja Anna Ehret, you stand accused of manslaughter. How do you plead?"

From the cover, I thought that this was going to be some kind of paranormal. Even the title, Crush. Candy. Corpse. hints that there's going to be some made up creatures. I'm not sure what my final classification will be, but without a doubt, there was no paranormal activity in this one.

It was actually kind of a mystery-- did Sunny or didn't she kill Helen? It wasn't what I was expecting at all.

I actually liked Sunny-- I feel like she made a lot of bad decisions, and that she definitely could have done better for herself than Donny, but she's a teenager. We're prone to screwing up. I loved her interactions with the old folks-- she was very patient with them, and she did her absolute best to please them all.

I liked Cole too, but I felt like he could have had some more development. For half of the book I was trying to figure out where he went and all, so I was really surprised by the ending, to say the least. I wish that we had gotten to see more of him, and more development on his part.

My favorite part of this story was definitely the flashbacks, though. I love it when books have a present/past kind of thing going on. It gives me better insight into the characters, then and now.

All in all, I enjoyed Crush. Candy. Corpse., but I feel like the characters could have had more development. It's a quick read that's definitely worth a look, though.
One second of enjoyment didn't seem enough for a lifetime. Same as those last few minutes of Helen Demers shouldn't have destroyed my life either. ~Pg. 42, E-ARC

June 19, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #25

The Infinite Moment of Us
The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle
Series: N/A
Publisher: Amulet
Publication Date: August 20, 2013
For as long as she can remember, Wren Gray’s goal has been to please her parents. But as high school graduation nears, so does an uncomfortable realization: Pleasing her parents once overlapped with pleasing herself, but now . . . not so much. Wren needs to honor her own desires, but how can she if she doesn’t even know what they are?

Charlie Parker, on the other hand, is painfully aware of his heart’s desire. A gentle boy with a troubled past, Charlie has loved Wren since the day he first saw her. But a girl like Wren would never fall for a guy like Charlie—at least not the sort of guy Charlie believes himself to be.

And yet certain things are written in the stars. And in the summer after high school, Wren and Charlie’s souls will collide. But souls are complicated, as are the bodies that house them . . .

Sexy, romantic, and oh-so-true to life, this is an unforgettable look at first love from one of young adult fiction’s greatest writers.

Doesn't this sound adorable? I love the idea of a girl breaking out from under her parents, and a boy who wants the girl...and...the cover is GORG. I love it. It sounds so sweet, don't you think?

June 18, 2013

Triangles by Kimberly Ann Miller

Triangles by Kimberly Ann Miller
Series: N/A
Source: Publisher for review
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Publication Date: June 18, 2013
A cruise ship. A beautiful island. Two sexy guys. What could possibly go wrong?

In the Bermuda Triangle--a lot.

Hoping to leave behind the reminders of her crappy life--her father's death years ago, her mother's medical problems, and the loser who’s practically stalking her--seventeen-year-old Autumn Taylor hops on a ship with her sister for a little distraction. When she wakes up in the Bermuda Triangle, she fears she's gone nuts for more than one reason: that loser’s suddenly claiming they're a happy couple... a hot guy is wrapping his arms around her and saying "Happy Anniversary"... and suddenly, she’s full of bruises, losing her hair, and getting IV medication. Autumn visits the ship's doctor, hoping for a pill or a shot to make the craziness go away. Instead, she's warned that these "alternate realities" could become permanent.

She just has to ask herself one question--how the hell is she going to get out of this mess?
T minus one day to departure for my cruise to Bermuda, I almost died on my way to work.

Triangles is a hard read for me to rate-- I didn't hate it, but I really didn't love it either. It read more like a NA then a YA at first, which confused me because I'm really not used to characters swearing a lot. It's a fact of my life, but it doesn't usually cross over into books. They seemed extra mature, but as I read on I realized that they're really not.

I found Autumn to be really self-centered. To the point of being overly rude and selfish, as well as thinking that every accident centers around her. It's "her" fault that her Dad died. I understand blaming yourself to a point, but making everything about you just kind of turns me off. (Says the book reviewer, who reviews all books with "her" opinions.) I don't really feel that she really grew up throughout the book, but I do think that she gained a new perspective towards the end, which made me like her a bit more.

Unfortunately, Autumn wasn't my only issue. I'm willing to suspend belief for the situations, as it is fantasy and I understand that. I just don't think that I was invested in the story. I wanted to see it through to the end, though, which really counts for something.

Another issue that I had was with the boys. As the synopsis says, two sexy guys. Here's where you're probably asking, "What's your problem with that?" My problem was that I didn't see two sexy guys. I saw one boy who couldn't keep it in his pants at all, and that drove me crazy with his spoiled rich kid attitude, and another boy who in most cultures could be called a stalker. I don't think that he is, I just think that he doesn't know how to deal with his crush at all. He freaked me out with all the over-attentive stuff, though.

The best thing about Triangles was the ending. Not because it ended, but because it answered all of my questions and tied up the loose ends that had been dangling. All in all, Triangles wasn't exactly the book for me, but if you love the Bermuda triangle you might give it a shot. Who knows, I hope you love it more than me!

June 17, 2013

Girl Stays in the Picture by Melissa De La Cruz

Girl Stays in the Picture (Girl, #1)
Girl Stays in the Picture by Melissa De La Cruz
Series: Girl, #1
Source: Bought
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: June 2, 2009
Devon (one name only) is the most famous singer/actress in the country, and she is on location filming her newest blockbuster in the South of France. While there, she forms a bond with the director’s daughter—the hottest thing in Hollywood since she has recently lost two hundred pounds—who is learning to enjoy being young, rich, and famous. Devon also befriends Casey, a small-town girl who is an assistant to Devon’s biggest rival. Together, the three of them hit the best clubs, the beach, the Cannes film festival, and anyplace else where there is fun to be had.
As far as Devon was concerned, there was only one way to arrive in Saint-Tropez: on board a magnificent seventy-five-foot yacht.

Girl Stays in the Picture was a fun and fluffy read. Now that's not really true-- it was fun and fluffy, but it was also a tad bit serious at times. I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would-- I was worried that this would be a meh read.

I was wrong. It may have been light and fluffy, but on a rainy day this was exactly what I needed to cheer me up. My only real issue with this book is that it's part of a series, and ends on a cliffhanger. Normally, this wouldn't be such a big deal, except this book was released in 2009 and freaking goodreads doesn't show a sequel in the works. o.O

I'm actually having problems writing this review-- I don't really know what to say!

I liked Casey, Livia and Devon. I can't really pick a favorite, but I definitely relate to Casey more, because I'm a small town southern girl too. The difference between me and her is that I can't stand it when people talk down to me. Everyone puts their britches on one leg at a time, and you? Well, you're not better than me, just like I'm no better than you.

As a result, I hate it when anyone talks down to anything. And poor Casey just got the brunt of all of that, and I just...wanted to beat her boss to death. I'm not normally a violent person. But I wanted to. I have to move on, because I feel a rant bubbling up inside.

I loved the inside look at fame. It doesn't seem to be near as glam as everyone makes it out to be, and it was interesting to see what Devon, Casey and Livia all thought about it, and how they handled it. I also loved the sweet romances that were intermingled into the book. They were just too cute.

All in all, I enjoyed Girl Stays in the Picture and I'd love to see a sequel.

June 14, 2013

Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Blood Red Road (Dust Lands, #1)
Blood Red Road by Moira Young
Series: Dustlands, #1
Source: Won
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: January 3, 2012
Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when four cloaked horsemen capture Lugh, Saba's world is shattered, and she embarks on a quest to get him back.

Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the outside world, Saba discovers she is a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba’s unrelenting search for Lugh stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

 Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetic writing style, and an epic love story—making Moira Young is one of the most exciting new voices in teen fiction.
Lugh got born first. On Midwinter day when the sun hangs low in the sky.

I’ve been putting off Blood Red Road forever. I put it off because I had heard about the numerous spelling errors and grammatical mistakes, and I was positive that it would drive me crazy. Turns out I was wrong. I thought that they were actual mistakes, but turns out that it was an atmosphere-type decision. It definitely worked out, in my mind.

At first it was a little bit distractin, as a lot of constants were dropped, and been was spelled bin, etc. But once I got used to it, it was really no deal at all. I thought that it added an authentic touch to the story, which it definitely needed, being set in a post-apocalyptic world. Dystopian at it’s best!

Saba was a great, strong, kick-ass main character. In the beginning, it felt like her loyalty was a tad lacking, but as we get farther into the book and she grows as a character, I feel like it’s not an issue anymore. She’s made peace with herself, and she finally grew to love Emmi like she should have in the beginning. She also made some great new friends, and I don’t think that I could have loved her more.

Speaking of the L-word, I feel like I should say a few things about our main guy character, Jack. Jack himself is fabulous. He’s cocky and a bit too arrogant for his own good, but deep inside he’s a great guy. He’s sweet and I’m positive that he’s brave.

They go well together, actually.

On another note, I’m a huge fan of the storyline. It never had a dull moment from the beginning, and it was the perfect distraction for me. From kidnappings to cage fights to strange creatures, this book just has it all. It even has good secondary characters! Everyone of them has a purpose, and most of the time they made good friends to Saba and Jack.

All in all, I really enjoyed Blood Red Road. It wasn’t what I was expecting, but I liked it more than I ever would have if it had followed my ideas.
Don’t say that, he says. Don’t ever say that. You are somethin, Saba. Somethin good and strong and true. With him or without him. ~Pg. 267

June 13, 2013

When is Promotion *TOO* much?

This is a subject that Lizzy from Read-a-HolicZ brought up. Hence, she's totally joining me for this topic! YAY FOR LIZZY! You'll find her take below mine. (:

First off, if it wasn't for her I wouldn't know about this case; but it turns out that the Divergent tumblr fan pages have been using the same campaign for everything from their cover reveal to the faction symbols. They're making people like the tumblr pages. o.O You'd think that by now, everyone would be tired of doing it (and believe me, they are), but they keep using the same strategy.

To make matters worse, the faction symbols are exactly the same as before, only in a new color. How lame is that? Lame enough that I just said lame. But her bringing this up made me think of another instance of promotion gone wrong. (Dun dun dah...)

The Marcus Finch campaign.

I'm sure we all remember when that was happening. The endless mob of posts about it, and to this day I still have no idea who Marcus Finch even is! I don't have a clue, because as I was being mobbed by those posts, I avoided every one of them. Nothing against any blogger who participated, but I didn't care who Marcus Finch was.

If I had only seen one or two posts about it, I might of cared. But after the barrage, I had no interest.

Which begs the question...how much is too much? Marcus Finch was too much. The DIVERGENT thing is too much. But I've also seen plenty of campaigns with way too little. Plenty of books that get passed by because no one ever hears about them. So there's too little campaign and then there's too much. The line between them isn't too fine.

But are blog tours too much? Sometimes I see the same blog tour/promo blast on a bazillion blogs in the same day. And I don't want to look at them either, unless I know for sure that it's a review and not just a regurgitated guest post. I'll read it if I'm interested in the book and love the blogger, but if I'm not I will not click it.

So, when has promoting gone too far in your opinion? Do you remember the Marcus Finch campaign? Let me know in the comments below! (:

Hey Everyone! As Megan has already stated there is such a thing as TOO much promotion. I get that you have to promote books to a certain level or no ones going to know about them or read them. Believe me I was okay with the Insurgent campaign but there was just SO much that went on, I didn't know what was happening. Then I saw they were doing the "new" faction symbols and went to twitter.

I really don't know why the BIG fuss. Yes, it's nice to include fans into aspects of promotion but at times I feel it's too much for just one book (no matter how awesome it is). I remember the Marcus Finch campaign too and I hadn't even read the 2nd or third book in the series and was thoroughly confused. It was so much hype for someone I hadn't read about.

I feel like when one book is getting promoted too much I'm less likely to be interested in it. It's like they take up so much of the cyberspace that when a small book campaign comes up, you tend to miss it because the bigger campaign takes all the attention.

I know that promoting a book can be fun and all but when a book is already pretty big and well known, you can't promote it too much. It starts to feel smothering. Right now theres the whole #AllegiantTour promotion thing to bring the tour to your state. Nice but isn't a tour going to go to most places already? And it's not going to your city , it's your state.

I don't know. Maybe I'm just weird but it feels like you're trying too hard to put a book into a readers hand when you do too much promoting. It might even do the opposite and push readers away. Which is definitely not good O_O

So that's my two cents. Thanks Megan for letting me stick my head in here :) And I really wanna hear what YOU GUYS think of too much promotion. How many of you are in on the #AllegianTour campaign right now? (I am, I know it's too much promo but I can't help it! >.< I am die-hard fan too :P)

June 12, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #24

OCD Love StoryOCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu
Series: N/A
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: July 23, 2013
When Bea meets Beck, she knows instantly that he's her kind of crazy. Sweet, strong, kinda-messed-up Beck understands her like no one else can. He makes her feel almost normal. He makes her feel like she could fall in love again.

But despite her feelings for Beck, Bea can't stop thinking about someone else: a guy who is gorgeous and magnetic... and has no idea Bea even exists. But Bea knows a ton about him. She spends a lot of time watching him. She has a journal full of notes. Some might even say she's obsessed.
Bea tells herself she's got it all under control, but this isn't a choice, it's a compulsion. The truth is, she's breaking down... and she might end up breaking her own heart.
Personally, I love that cover. And it just sounds so cute, don't you think? Bea seems obsessed, but all of the best books start that way, right? ;p

June 11, 2013

Burning by Elana K. Arnold

Burning by Elana K. Arnold
Series: N/A
Source: Publisher for review
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: June 11, 2013
Ben: Having just graduated from high school, Ben is set to leave Gypsum, Nevada. It's good timing since the gypsum mine that is the lifeblood of the area is closing, shutting the whole town down with it. Ben is lucky: he's headed to San Diego, where he's got a track scholarship at the University of California. But his best friends, Pete and Hog Boy, don't have college to look forward to, so to make them happy, Ben goes with them to check out the hot chick parked on the side of Highway 447.

Lala: She and her Gypsy family earn money by telling fortunes. Some customers choose Tarot cards; others have their palms read. The thousands of people attending the nearby Burning Man festival spend lots of cash--especially as Lala gives uncanny readings. But lately Lala's been questioning whether there might be more to life than her upcoming arranged marriage. And the day she reads Ben's cards is the day that everything changes for her. . . and for him.
Pete, Hog Boy, and I were spending Monday afternoon screwing around on our skateboards on the shipping dock at the deserted drywall plant.

For me, Burning was a must-read book from the very moment that I heard about it. I couldn't wait to read about a gypsy girl and a regular guy falling in love, which I was sure would happen. But Burning is so much more than a love story-- it's actually more about self-discovery.

Lala had a very authentic voice. I loved hearing about her people's customs, and reading the words that she speaks in her own language-- it's a lot of fun to see a different voice once in a while. I liked hearing the old Romani stories that she told, and I enjoyed seeing things through her eyes, but I find that I don't really connect with her.

I connected much more with Ben, who's lived in a small town his entire life. The things that he says and thinks about small town life are absolutely true-- people generally tolerate you because they've known you forever. It's a fact of life. Anywho, I enjoyed Ben's character. He was so sweet and caring, but I also detected fierce protectiveness from him.

I'm proud to say that Lala and Ben's voices were easily distinguished from each other-- I never found myself rushing back to a chapter marker to see who was speaking. So that was well done. I also enjoyed the ending-- it was completely different than what I expected, but it was perfect.

All in all, Burning was more about self-discovery than love, but it's worth a read for a break from all the relationship drama. (: