Friday, 30 April 2010

Girlfriend Material by Melissa Kantor

Publiher: Disney Hyperion
Pub. Date: May 5th 2009
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 272
Format: hardcover
Source Of Copy: from the publisher - Hyperion

If Kate were Lady Brett Ashley, the devastating heroine of Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, she'd spend her summers careering around the Riviera in her coupe, breaking hearts by the dozen--because why not? In reality, Kate's never even had a boyfriend, and she'll be spending the summer abetting her mom's lame ploy to make her dad jealous: running off to Cape Cod and crashing at the seaside home of her wealthy friends, the Cooper-Melnicks. To add to the shame, the Cooper-Melnicks' gorgeous daughter Sarah is a bit like Lady Brett, and she seems less than thrilled to hang out with her new houseguest. Any dreams Kate once had of a perfect summer are ruined.

That is, until Sarah's cute, witty friend Adam starts drawing Kate into the fold--and seems intrigued. With Adam around, Kate feels like she just might have a bit of heartbreaker potential after all. But when a breezy summer romance quickly grows more complicated can Kate keep pretending her relationship with Adam is just a carefree fling? Or will she take the risk and tell him her real feelings? Suddenly Kate is asking herself a question she never thought she'd stoop to: Is she girlfriend material?

If you want a lovely, quick read, do consider picking up Girlfriend Material. It's a story of a girl with a ruined summer who later finds out how to fix the relationship with her mom and gains herself a real boyfriend.

The mood of the book is really light and fun so if you're tired from all the stories on big and heavy issue, this should be the one for you. The plot is pretty typical but with the nice flowing writing, especially descriptions of the beautiful scenes in the bay, it's still a very pleasant read. Its appeal, to me, is the way things go very naturally and in decent pace.

The characters are quite lovely to me. Though some appear very unfriendly at first or some might look like a bad one at some point, everyone turns out to be nice and cool. Kate seems selfish during the first half of the book and very self conscious as well but gradually becomes sweet and understanding. My favorite character besides the main couple is Sarah and Natasha, who both look harsh but cool at heart.

My only problem with the book is that things are solved too neatly at the end. Like BAM, every knot is untied and things fall into the right place at once. It seems forced, making the book end in a weak way.

Anyway, this is a cute and light book. As I said, suitable for a quick and relaxing read.

Rating: 3/5

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (58)

Idea taken from Breaking The Spine

Love Drugged by James Klise.

Fifteen-year old Jamie Bates has a fail-safe strategy for surviving high school: fit in. Keep a low profile. And, above all, protect his biggest secret—he’s gay. So when a classmate discovers the truth, a terrified Jamie decides it’s time to change. After accepting flirtatious advances from Celia, the richest and most beautiful girl in school, Jamie steals an experimental new drug that’s supposed to “cure” his attraction to guys. At first, Jamie thinks he’s finally on track to living a “normal” life. But at what cost? As the drug’s side effects worsen and his relationship with Celia heats up, Jamie begins to realize that lying and using could shatter the fragile world of deception that he’s created—and hurt the people closest to him.

A star-crossed romance with humor and heart, Love Drugged explores the consequences of a life constructed almost entirely of lies . . . especially the lies we tell ourselves.

I don't usually read GLBT books but this one sounds ultimately appealing. A drug to cure Jamie's attraction to guys is enough to keep me wondering how this book is going to be like. The story sounds very promising with a lovely message too. I have to read this one, for sure.

Cover: I sort of love/hate it. The heartshape is nice but not the pills : (

How the drug is going to take effect on Jamie? Check the book out on Sept 1st 2010 to see.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Wherever Nina Lies by Lynn Weingarten

Publisher: Scholastic, Point
Pub.Date: February 1st 2009
Age Range: 12 and up
Pages: 288
Format: ARC
Source Of Copy: contest prize

Have you seen Nina?

Nina was beautiful, artistic, wild . . . and adored by her younger sister, Ellie. But one day, without any warning, Nina disappeared.

Two years later, Ellie can't stop thinking about her sister. Although everyone else has given up hope that Nina will return, Ellie just knows her sister is out there, somewhere. If only Ellie had a clue where to look.

And then she gets one, in the form of a mysterious drawing tucked into the pages of a book. Determined to find her sister, Ellie takes off on a crazy, sexy, cross-country road trip with the only person who believes she's got a chance -- her hot, adventurous new crush.

Along the way, Ellie finds a few things she wasn't planning on. Like love. Mysteries. Lies. And something far more shocking...the truth.

If you want to read a story that can surprise you, I suggest you pick this one up. Wherever Nina Lies will never be what you expect. Written with an exciting plot and well balanced peace, the book is truly a page tuner.

I admit I didn't really like this book at first. The first few chapters feels kinda depressing and vague and the flashbacks didn't lead to anywhere. But starting from the point when the roadtrip begins, things are more and more exciting. I especially love how the author leads us from place to place where Nina has been, it's smooth, creating a thicker atmosphere of mystery. That, of course, appeals a lot to readers.

One more interesting thing about Wherever Nina Lies is that things don't seem to make much sense in most of the books. I kept wondering why this or that happened or how they occured so fast sometimes it was so confusing. But as the end nears, everything is perfectly explained, accompanied by chains of untold events that would surprise or shock you.

Same with the happenings, the characters didn't impress me especially Ellie. She seems very meak and lost. And her relationship with Sean works out in rocket speed. They fell in love like in 2 days? Sean himself is too nice it's quite blank too. And once again, I was taken aback of how they changed at the end. The book climax was also when the characters had a chance to express themselves the best way. My only complain is that I wish to know more of Nina. She's an interesting person as much as a great sister.

Overall, this book proves that sometimes it's best to read a book until the end even though it doesn't impress you much in the beginning because you will never know how awesome it may turn out later.

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (57)

Idea taken from Breaking The Spine

Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel.

When Lenah Beaudonte, a 500-year-old vampire queen, wakes up a human teenager at an ultra-cliquey prep school, she must choose between embracing the humanity she’s always craved and saving her new friends from her vicious coven. The first in a sizzling new YA series.

Lenah Beaudonte is, in many ways, your average teen: the new girl at Wickham Boarding School, she struggles to fit in enough to survive and stand out enough to catch the eye of the golden-boy lacrosse captain. But Lenah also just happens to be a recovering five-hundred-year-old vampire queen. After centuries of terrorizing Europe, Lenah is able to realize the dream all vampires have -- to be human again. After performing a dangerous ritual to restore her humanity, Lenah entered a century-long hibernation, leaving behind the wicked coven she ruled over and the eternal love who has helped grant her deep-seated wish.

Until, that is, Lenah draws her first natural breath in centuries at Wickham and rediscovers a human life that bears little resemblance to the one she had known. As if suddenly becoming a teenager weren’t stressful enough, each passing hour brings Lenah closer to the moment when her abandoned coven will open the crypt where she should be sleeping and find her gone. As her borrowed days slip by, Lenah resolves to live her newfound life as fully as she can. But, to do so, she must answer ominous questions: Can an ex-vampire survive in an alien time and place? What can Lenah do to protect her new friends from the bloodthirsty menace about to descend upon them? And how is she ever going to pass her biology midterm?

Another giveaway too much synopsis but anyway, this book looks interesting. I start to like stories on Vampire after reading and loving Vampire Academy and Infinite Days seem different from others so why not giving it a try? Hope the queen survives as a normal teen.

Cover: creepy but attractive.

Check out the book on Aug 3rd 2010

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Such A Pretty Girl by Laura Wiess

Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Pub.Date: January 2nd 2007
Age Range: 12 and up
Pages: 212
Format: paperback
Source Of Copy: from publisher - S&S UK.

They promised Meredith nine years of safety, but only gave her three.

Her father was supposed to be locked up until Meredith turned eighteen. She thought she had time to grow up, get out, and start a new life. But Meredith is only fifteen, and today her father is coming home from prison.

Today her time has run out.

Laura Wiess's debut book, one that gave you chills for its raw reality. Choosing a sensitive and difficult subject, the author surely did a great job of portraying the situation as well as unfolding the story.

Laura Wiess's books always carry an atmosphere of mystery and darkness. The story was carefully written yet it doesn't feel too polished or the likes. I also love the fact that the emotions of the characters are really heartfelt. To sum up, Such A Pretty Girl is a very balanced book, not too depressing but never loses the real feel of such a kind of story either.

I love the plot really much. It suits perfectly with the fast pace of the story. The story itself is short, which I wish it was the opposite, but it helps bringing the whole thing to its climax in a faster and more impressive way. The problems of each character are tangled together, making it more excited as you go near the end of the book.

The greatest of the books must be the characters. They're so memorable in their own way. Mederith was weak and scared but that wasn't much in her appearance. Ryan was a special friend who had a painful past. Medirith's mother, so lost and selfish in her own dream. Then her father, the source of the nightmares. Everyone joined together to make Such A Pretty Girl such an amazing book.

The end feels a little bit rushed but I guess it has to go with the flow of the rest of the story. It's not what I expected but at least everything is solved after all.

Recommended for everyone.

Rating: 4/5

Friday, 16 April 2010

Swoon At Your Own Risk by Sydney Salter

Publisher: Graphia
Pub.Date: April 5th 2010
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: paperback
Source Of Copy: from the publisher - Houghton Mifflin/Graphia

It’s the summer before senior year and Polly Martin has sworn off boys. Who needs the hurt and confusion? Five recent breakups have left her with an unnatural knowledge of NASCAR, the ultimate hiker’s outfit, a student council position, the sixth highest score on the Donkey Kong machine at the mall, and a summer job at Wild Waves with ex #2 Sawyer Holmes.

Success seems a sure thing when Polly’s grandmother, the syndicated advice columnist, Miss Swoon, moves in for the summer. Polly almost doesn’t mind sharing a room with her little sister, Grace. Think of all the great advice she’ll get!
Everything is going according to plan except... Miss Swoon turns out to be a man-crazy septuagenarian! And then there’s Xander Cooper. If only he wouldn’t keep showing up at Wild Waves with his adorable cousins every afternoon — and what is he writing in that little notebook?

No advice column in the world can prepare Polly for the lessons she learns when she goes on a group camping trip (with three too many ex-boyfriends). Polly is forced to see people for who they are — a blend of good and bad qualities that can’t be reduced to a list or a snappy answer in a Miss Swoon column. '

If you love My Big Nose and Other Natural Disasters, you may want top pick up this book. It might not be as bright as Sydney Salter's debut book, but the wit, the fun and unique characters are still there to grab a hold of the readers.

Swoon At Your Own Risk reminds me a lot of My Big Nose & Other Natural Disasters. An interesting summer job, troubles with boys, a best friend that doesn't seem to understand, a crazy and self-conscious protagonist. The only outstanding difference is that this story focuses more on love life instead of body issue. Still with her delighted and humorous voice, Sydney Salter tells the story of the girl who seems to have lost her excitement in love because of past unsuccessful relationships.

The book manages to keep the fun atmosphere throughout the pages even though there are serious moments/conversations happening here and there. Some parts are extremely sweet and cute I swoon a bit. I love the excerpts from Miss Swoon column that appear at the end of every chapter, accompanied by poems written by X.C. The story gives a nice message about finding one's self and learning to fall in love decently again.

Much as I enjoyed the book, I can't help but feel a bit disappointed. I skim through a lot at the beginning because it feels that the plot isn't going anywhere. Some scenes are repeated and the part which is supposed to be the highlight of the book - the camp, is very short and not much impressive. In my opinion, it's nice but can get better.

For the characters, I adore them all, especially Polly and Miss Swoon. They're fun to be with but I wish Polly would be less confused or inactive sometimes. I think Xander is a sweet guy. He's very serious with the poems and how can you not love the guy who sends you messages n a crane?

To sum up, a fun story but don't expect it to be as great as Sydney Salter's debut book.

Rating: 3/5

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (56)

Idea taken from Breaking The Spine.

Now I Pronounce You Someone Else by Erin McCahan.

Seventeen-year-old Bronwen Oliver doesn't just want a family. She has one of those, and there's nothing terribly wrong with them apart from bickering grandparents, an image-obsessed mother and a brother she describes simply as Jesus. But there's no natural sense of connection between Bronwen and her family, leaving her with the belief -- and the hope -- that she was switched at birth, that she was never supposed to be Bronwen Oliver but someone else entirely.

When she begins dating college senior Jared Sondervan, she finds herself thoroughly embraced by the loving family she has always wanted and does not hesitate to say yes when Jared proposes on her 18th birhday. Plans for the Perfect Beach Wedding before her junior year of college become plans for the Perfect Beach Wedding before her freshman year of college. And a wedding so soon isn't exactly what Bronwen wants. But Jared is. And his family is. Or so she thinks.

Before Bronwen can determine what she truly wants, she must first determine who she truly is, and the answer, she discovers, is only partially what she thought it was. She wasn't switched at birth, but she's also not Bronwen Oliver and hasn't been for a very long time.

I love how this novel sounds, both meaningful and fun at the same time. The characters are a little older so I'm expecting refreshment in thoughts, emotions and actions of them. And we don't usually have wedding scenes of the main leads in YA books so this is a plus.

Join the wedding on June 1st, 2010

Monday, 12 April 2010

Sing Me To Sleep winner is finally found

My bad, I should have announced the winner like weeks ago. Can't believe I totally forgot about the contest T.T (don't hate me okay?)

Anyway, the signed copy of Sing Me To Sleep by Angela Morrison has finally found its owner. Is it you? Well, I won't make you wait anymore. The luckiest one among those who have entered this contest is



Please drop me an email at something_maybeAtliveDOTcom. We'll get the book to you soon. Also, thanks to all of you who entered this contest. I hope to host more soon in the future. Good luck next times ~~~

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Rules by Cynthia Lord

Publisher: Scholastic
Pub. Date: September 1st 2008
Age Range: MG
Pages: 224
Format: paperback
Source Of Copy: from author - Cynthia Lord

Twelve-year-old Catherine just wants a normal life. Which is near impossible when you have a brother with autism and a family that revolves around his disability. She's spent years trying to teach David the rules from "a peach is not a funny-looking apple" to "keep your pants on in public"---in order to head off David's embarrassing behaviors. But the summer Catherine meets Jason, a surprising, new sort-of friend, and Kristi, the next-door friend she's always wished for, it's her own shocking behavior that turns everything upside down and forces her to ask: What is normal?

Middle grade books never interest me that much because I think they're too young sometimes. I only read those to kill time. However, Rules proved that I may have taken those stories for granted all this time. This is an excellent middle grade book, one that impresses you with is simplicity & meaningfulness.

The most interesting thing about Rules is that the book doesn't necessarily have a specific plot, like one matter pops out and you have to figure out how to solve it. It's the kind of book the describes the daily life, one that makes you feel so close as if you're living inside the story. It's simple but not flat. That's why I find Rules very special.

Rules revolves around an innocent girl who has a brother with autism but the atmosphere doesn't feel sad or depressed at all. It's either because the narrator is young and cheerful or that the author's experience helps me write everything in a very light voice. I also love how little things and happenings mentioned throughout the book give us something to think about, especially Catherine's rules to her brother.

Catherine is such an adorable girl. You can't help but love her. She's innocent but sometimes she has deep thoughts about life too. Her love for her brother is really great even though she may act selfish here and there. I also love her friendship with Jason. It's so peaceful it soothes my mind. Each and every character in this book is so dear and honest.

Overall, this is the book that can both give you some time to relax your mind as well as teaching you little things about life.

Rating: 4/5

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (55)

Idea taken from Breaking The Spine

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto.

Nothing much happens in Tallow Beach. But when three mysterious teens enroll in the local high school, everything changes. Nobody knows the truth: that they are angels on a mission to save a world on the brink of destruction. When Beth, the youngest, falls for her classmate Xavier, she faces a frightening decision: will she defy the laws of Heaven by loving him? Things come to a head when the angels realize that they are not they only supernatural power in Tallow Beach. The unscrupulous Jack Thorn sees Beth as the easiest target to further his own dark ambitions. The angels and Xavier must use their powers to overcome darkness - but will Beth survive the battle?

Forbidden romance? I like I like. Typical plot but there are sure to be some twists I'm sure. I hope the two will get together at the end though. And Beth had better be a strong female character even though she's an angel. What do you think of this book? I'm already in love with the cover right now.

Get a view of the halo on Sept 14th 2010

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

THE BOOK REVIEW CLUB APRIL 10 - Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead

Publisher: Penguin Aus
Pub.Date: November 13th 2008
Age Range: 12 and up
Pages: 433
Format: paperback
Source Of Copy: from the publisher - Penguin Aus

Is Rose's fate to kill the person she loves most? It's springtime at St. Vladimir's Academy, and Rose Hathaway is this close to graduation. Since Mason's death, Rose hasn't been feeling quite right. She has dark flashbacks in the middle of practice, can't concentrate in class, and has terrifying dreams about Lissa. But Rose has an even bigger secret .... She's in love with Dimitri. And this time, it-s way more than a crush. Then Strigoi target the academy in the deadliest attack in Moroi history, and Dimitri is taken. Rose must protect Lissa at all costs, but keeping her best friend safe could mean losing Dimitri forever...

Another awesome book from the bestselling series - Vampire Academy. More thrilling, more intense, more romantic, this, by far, has been the most compelling installment of the series to me. If you don't pick it up, it's really your big loss.

I don't think I need to gush about Richelle Mead's writing anymore because I've said it all in the first two reviews. To sum up, it's strong, sensible and very captivating. For those who are trying hard to find some book that can help you regain your reading interest, don't hesitate to pick a book by this author.

There're lots of ups and downs in the plot and more mysteries and theories are introduced in this book, setting a tangled mess of relationship and hardships. Ghosts, new group of royal vampires, auras, unwanted plans and predictions, all combine to create a new and exciting story. I love the dark mood of this book. It reminds me really much of Harry Potter series which I cannot put down for anytime longer than a minute. The book is just so well written you have to admire the authors.

As I've said before, the characters are the highlights of not only this book of the whole series. I've come to love more and more characters in this third installment. Adrian starts to play a bigger part in the story and he's totally not what he seemed in the second book. Christian too, is getting nicer. The center of it all is still Rose & Lissa's bond. I've always seen it a light and beautiful way but the bond, this time, is seriously dangerous and at the same time more interesting than ever. I also love how Rose and Dimitri are getting closer and more comfortable this time. Just that..well, I won't spoil anything. Go read yourself. All I have to say is that the way this ends (especially the last sentence) is epic.

This is the series that vampire-lovers have to read to satisfy their needs. And non vampire lovers to join the clan. Seriously, get it now.

Rating: 4.5/5

Monday, 5 April 2010

In My Mailbox (53)

Idea taken by The Story Siren

New books ^^ Not necessarily new but these have just landed on my hands.

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater.

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human ... until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human--or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

One Lonely Degree by C.K Kelly Martin.

Anything is possible....

Finn has always felt out of place, but suddenly her world is unraveling. It started with The Party. And Adam Porter. And the night in September that changed everything. The only person who knows about that night is Audrey—Finn’s best friend, her witness to everything, and the one person Finn trusts implicitly. So when Finn’s childhood friend Jersy moves back to town—reckless, beautiful Jersy, all lips and eyes and hair so soft you’d want to dip your fingers into it if you weren’t careful—Finn gives her blessing for Audrey to date him. How could she possibly say no to Audrey? With Audrey gone for the summer, though, Finn finds herself spending more and more time with Jersy, and for the first time in her life, something feels right. But Finn can’t be the girl who does this to her best friend...can she?

Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles.

Ellie has sex with boys who make her feel wanted and beautiful and then never call again. Even seemingly decent Josh, a virgin, leaves right after their tryst and never speaks to her again. It turns out the condom "slipped off" (?) and she gets pregnant. The next nine months are narrated by four charaters—Ellie, Josh, and their best friends, Corinne and Caleb. Ellie's and Josh's families are filled with stock dysfunction—from Ellie's shrill, uptight mother and perfect-on-the-outside home to Josh's washed-up, hard-drinking father and hapless mother. The plot of this novel is tired, but Corinne and Caleb, at least, are mercifully convincing and thoughtful. Each, of course, comes from a stable family. Caleb's single mother is the novel's moral center. The blaring contrast between stable kids from loving families versus lost kids from dysfunctional families oversimplifies a complex subject. Knowles writes fluidly, and though Caleb's and Corinne's scenes shine, Ellie and Josh never engage enough to set Jumping Off Swings apart in the genre .

My friend over the states have kept these books for me for almost half a year but fortunately these babies came last week. Look good don't they? They sound great too. I'm having a hard time picking what to read first. Care to recommend?

Thanks Scholastic & Randomhouse publicists for these lovely books~

Saturday, 3 April 2010

The Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy

Publisher: EgmontUSA
Pub. Date: April 13th 2010
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source Of Copy: Contest prize.

When the Prom Queen becomes your fairy godmother…

Sixteen year old outsider, Jess Parker, gets the chance of a lifetime: an invitation to join a secret society of popular girls dedicated to defeating the mean girls of the world. The Cinderella Society guides all new recruits through its top secret ultimate life makeover. It’s all part of preparing them to face down the Wickeds and win. Determined not to let the Cindys down, Jess dives in with a passion. Finally, a chance to belong and show the world what she’s made of.

… be careful what you wish for.

Jess’s transformation wins her the heart of her dream crush and a shot at uber-popularity. Until the Wickeds–led by Jess’s arch enemy–begin targeting innocent girls in their war against the Cindys, and Jess discovers the real force behind her exclusive society. It’s a high stakes battle of good vs. evil, and the Cindys in power need Jess on special assignment. When the mission threatens to destroy her dream life come true, Jess is forced to choose between living a fairy tale and honoring the Sisterhood… and herself.

What’s a girl to do when the glass slipper fits, but she doesn’t want to wear it anymore?

Nicely written The Cinderella Society is a book I would recommend to all girls, especially ones who don't feel belonged anywhere. It's not just a story about a transformation of a girl to someone more confident but also to be a better person to the society.

To be honest the book didn't capture my attention at first. Seems like the first few chapters were very dragging even though I understand that they are to set up the background and explain everything about the Cindys and their society. All the makeover: clothes, hair ect don't interest me at all. I kept wondering when the good part would come and thankfully it did.

The nice thing about this book is even if the plot is somewhat typical, there's still something new to it. The society is huge and solid with history and stuff, making things more excited when you start finding out about the inside. Also, its goal is great. Cindys aren't there just to feel good about themselves but to go out there and help fight against the bad side as well. I love how the author sort the girls into two groups: Cindys, Wickeds, and Reggies. Very relatable and fun.

What I like the best about the book is the character development. Jess is changed for good but at times I think she headed the wrong way too which caused lots of emotions and provokes lots of thoughts too. Her relationship with Ryan is fun to read. It's sweet at first as if it was a fairy tale then everything gets complicated, which makes the story more realistic than ever.

The end of the book is good, opening a whole new chapter of life for the character and promising a good start for the next installment of the series.

Rating: 3.5/5