Thursday 31 December 2009

Blue Moon by Alyson Noel

Publisher: MacMillan Australia
Pub.Date: July 7th 2009
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 400
Format: Paperback
Source Of Copy: from the publisher - MacMillan Aus

Things have changed for Ever since she met her beloved Damen - not least because she's got a whole new set of powers, courtesy of her new Immortal status. Just as she's getting stronger, though, Damen seems to be weakening. Panicked at the thought of losing him, Ever finds a path to the in-between world known as Summerland, where she learns the secrets of Damen's tortured past. But in searching for a cure for him, Ever accidentally discovers a way to twist time so she can save her family from the accident that killed them. It's all she's ever wanted - but so is Damen. And Ever must choose between them...

Second book of The Immortals series, Blue Moon is, in my opinion, a better and more exciting read than Evermore. The journey continues with more suspense, action and an ultimate choice to make that might change everything.

A lot of things that happen in this book, at least much more than the first one. Drama? Check. Romance? Check. Action? Check. There are new characters, some twists and stuff in the past that all readers will love to learn.

I like the fact that Ever has become stronger and can deal with stuff on her own rather than depending on Damen all the time. Actually, it is her own fight during this book. Although she makes the wrong choices, trust ones she shouldn't trust, something does show her heroic side here in Blue Moon. I also fine the villain quite fun. Oh and did I mention that I like the legend about the blue moon? It comes in quite smooth and marches perfectly with the title.

Among a few things I don't dig in this book is that Ever is still so meek sometimes, specifically the moments she's jealous that Damen is into someone else. I think I've read enough of that in Evermore. There are not much development in other characters either, especially Ever's best friends.

The ending, though, is very nice. I didn't see that coming. It turns everything around and sets great base for the next books.

Love Evermore? You may love it even more.

Rating: 3.5/5

Wednesday 30 December 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (46)

Idea taken from Breaking The Spine

Spirit Bound (VA #5) by Richelle Mead.

Dimitri gave Rose the ultimate choice. But she chose wrong…

After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri’s birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir’s—and to her best friend, Lissa. It is nearly graduation, and the girls can’t wait for their real lives beyond the Academy’s iron gates to begin. But Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri, and she knows he’s out there, somewhere.

She failed to kill him when she had the chance. And now her worst fears are about to come true— Dimitri has tasted her blood, and now he is hunting her. Only this time, he won’t rest until Rose joins him…forever.

I cannot gush enough about this series. It totally changed my view about vampires and the characters (especially female ones) are significantly awesome. I've only finished book 1 but I'm already looking forward to Spirit Bound. Hopefully I will have finished everything else once this one comes out so I can get to it immediately. Oh and the cover is freaking hot. Dimitri & Rose = <3

You know when to hunt for a finished copy - May 18th 2010

Tuesday 29 December 2009

Mega 2010 Box Contest

Another contest to end 2009 and kick off 2010 with some of the most awaited books. Are you excited? I am too.

Here are the books that may become yours if you're any lucky:

  • Firespell by Chloe Neill (HC)
  • The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson (ARC)
  • The Mark by Jen Nadol (ARC)- Cover is different
  • The Naughty List by Suzanne Young (ARC)
  • The Good Girl's Guide To Getting Kidnapped by Yxta Maya Murray (ARC)
  • Anastasia's Secret by Susanne Dunlap (ARC)
  • The Line by Terri Hall (ARC)
  • A Match Made In High School by Kristin Walker (ARC)
  • Boys, Girls, and Other Hazardous Materials (ARC)

How to win? Simply go to The Bookologist and fill the entry form. Best luck with it okay? May your new year full of awesome books like these.

Sunday 27 December 2009

Mini Reviews: Gossip Girl Prequel & The IT Girl byCecily von Ziegesar

Publisher: Headline UK
Pub. Date: January 10th 2008
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Source Of Copy: from the publisher - Headline UK

Taking place over their sophomore year, It Had to Be You unveils the secrets behind the hot and sultry summer that Blair, Serena, and Nate's love triangle begins--and there's a lot more to this story than anyone realizes. Find out how Blair first snagged Nate, why Serena really left for boarding school, and how the legendary Gossip Girl column began. This beautifully jacketed hardcover addition to the #1 bestselling series will thrill author Cecily von Ziegesar's fans and will undo some of the myths created in the 11 previous novels, so don't believe everything you've read so far. After all, this is Gossip Girl.

This book takes you back to where everything began - how Nate and Bliar became a couple, why Serena left, how these three used to be so tight. The writing is nice and I like the triangle plot but I feel much annoyed by the main characters (except forSerena). Blair is very spoiled and selfish and even though sometimes I feel bad for her, I cannot stand the girl at all. Nate is the most confusing one ever. He keeps saying that he likes both girls but seems like it's just what he thinks - he's easily shaken and never says no to any girls at all. The rest of the characters are blurry to me because their lives aren't connected, thus some parts of the book makes me just want to skip. It's best for you to get to know everyone in other books of the series before getting to this prequel.

Rating: 3/5

Publisher: Headline UK
Pub. Date: September 6th 2007
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 288
Format: Paperback
Source Of Copy: from the publisher - Headline UK

Popular Gossip Girl character Jenny Humphrey is leaving Constance Billard to attend Waverly Academy, an elite boarding school in New York horse country where glamorous rich kids dont let the rules get in the way of an excellent time. Jennys determined to leave her crazy Manhattan past behind and become a sophisticated goddess on campus. But first shell have to contend with her self-absorbed roommates, Callie Vernon and Brett Messerschmidt. Hot guys, new intrigue, and more delicious gossip all add up to more trouble than ever for Jenny. But if getting caught with boys and going up against the Disciplinary Committee is what it takes, Jennys ready. Shell do all that and more to be The It Girl.

The IT girl is just like another softer and less mean version of Gossip Girl. I have to say that I don't have a good impression of Jenny in GG so I don't like her character much. The plot of this is kinda similar to GG too - two girls fight over one nice confusing guy and all the drama. There are some parts that are fun to read, especially about Jenny's past and those rumors they are spreading at the boarding school. Aside from that, the story is just okay. Something to read just to kill time in my opinion.

Rating: 2.5/5

Friday 25 December 2009

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Have an awesome holidays my lovely authors, bloggers and readers ^^

*hugs and kisses*

Thursday 24 December 2009

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Publisher: Penguin Aus
Pub. Date: July 5th 2007
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 400
Format: paperback
Source of copy: from publisher

Last year, Annabel was "the girl who has everything"—at least that's the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf 's Department Store.This year, she's the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong. Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling.With Owen's help,maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.

If you ask me for recommendations of Sarah Dessen book, I'll say get the whole package of The Truth About Forever, This Lullaby and Just Listen, for these are the best works of Dessen I've read so far. Say goodbye to the organized girl who's deep in sorrow and the cynical one who doesn't believe in love, let's discover the beauty of the story of the girl who used to have it all.

I've said all the times how I love the calm and collected style of writing of Sarah Dessen in my previous reviews, so I'm going to pass it this time. Just Listen makes me realize one new thing about the author: she can pull out any seemingly small family or personal frustration and bring it to the next level, creating a whole new story that you will either sympathy with the characters or feel related to it one way or another. With Just Listen it's the matter of dealing with the ugly truth you have to hide so it doesn't disappoint anyone you care about.

Romance has very little space in this book. Instead, the majority of 400 pages is for Annabel to look at herself and find a way out of the depression that one night (along with her family problems) has caused her. I love the quote "Don't think or judge. Just listen" really much because it means so many things. Listen to yourself, listen to the world, to all the small but important things you have ignored for such a long time. The passion for music in this book is portrayed in a different and bizarre way, thus it attracts readers.

Annabel is a complex character. She's not as shy as she appears to be, in fact, the thing that happens with Will Cash makes her that way. I like how she slowly opens up and be strong again. Having said that, I don't think Annabel is the most exciting character in this book. Owen is. He's blunt, bold, angry (in a kind of hot way), he knows how to drag you out of your shell, he makes you uncomfortable if you're not real. Owen is the guy that will impress you in any kind of way, so that makes him as great as my all time favorite male character from Sarah Dessen books - Dexter.

So what are you waiting for? Get this book right away. It can be a perfect choice to start a new year - a year full of excellent reads.

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday 23 December 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (45)

Idea taken from Breaking The Spine

My Invisible Boyfriend by Susie Day.

Heidi has the perfect solution to her popularity problems - a fake boyfriend. She's even made him an Internet profile that makes him look like a motorcycle-riding, poetry reading bad boy. *swoon* Heidi's friends are so impressed they start emailing Heidi's fake boyfriend with their problems . . . including their problems with Heidi.

As if that weren't bad enough, a delicious and possibly single person called "A Real Boy" emails Heidi to say he knows the truth. Can Heidi escape from her world wide web of lies? Or will her chance at romance disappear faster than you can type gtg?

This book is so freaking cute!!! It was first published in UK and now I can totally see the reason why it's coming to US next year. The idea is just so fun and I can tell that Heidi is a very hilarious and adorable character? I wonder what the emails are exactly about and how the real boy finds out. Added to that is the super fun cover. I love you, don't you?

Will the invisible boyfriend ever become visible. The answer will be revealed on April 1st 2010.

Tuesday 22 December 2009

Win A Bunch Of Awesome Books This Christmas

Want to know how to? Simply, just head over to Princess Bookie and enter her contest. Curious of the prize packs? Have a look.

You can win this....

or this...

The contest is international so don't hesitate. All you need to do is become a follower of the blog to be legible to enter. You can also find info on the other contest of 12 Days Of Christmas giveaway. Great right?

What are you waiting for? GO NOW! Oh and wait, remember if you see this post and decide to enter the contest, please let Cindy of Princess Bookie know that I recruited you okay? Thanks and GOOD LUCK<3

Monday 21 December 2009

In My Mailbox (46)

Idea taken from The Story Siren

My mailbox looks pretty empty these weeks : *(

The Astonishing Adventures Of Fanboy and Goth Girl by Barry Lyga.

Fanboy has never had it good, but lately his sophomore year is turning out to be its own special hell. The bullies have made him their favorite target, his best (and only) friend seems headed for the dark side (sports and popularity), and his pregnant mother and the step-fascist are eagerly awaiting the birth of the alien life form known as Fanboy’s new little brother or sister. Fanboy, though, has a secret: a graphic novel he’s been working on without telling anyone, a graphic novel that he is convinced will lead to publication, fame, and—most important of all—a way out of the crappy little town he lives in and all the people that make it hell for him. When Fanboy meets Kyra, a.k.a. Goth Girl, he finds an outrageous, cynical girl who shares his love of comics as well as his hatred for jocks and bullies. Fanboy can’t resist someone who actually seems to understand him, and soon he finds himself willing to heed her advice—to ignore or crush anyone who stands in his way.

Blue Moon by Alyson Noel.

Things have changed for Ever since she met her beloved Damen - not least because she's got a whole new set of powers, courtesy of her new Immortal status. Just as she's getting stronger, though, Damen seems to be weakening. Panicked at the thought of losing him, Ever finds a path to the in-between world known as Summerland, where she learns the secrets of Damen's tortured past. But in searching for a cure for him, Ever accidentally discovers a way to twist time so she can save her family from the accident that killed them. It's all she's ever wanted - but so is Damen. And Ever must choose between them...

I've read Goth Girl Rising and it's so fantastic I kept wondering how the prequel was, so I filled a requested and got a shiny hardcover. I also got the sequel of Evermore, which I just read and liked more than the first book. I'm expecting some few more books in the next weeks so hopefully there will be more in the mailbox next time ^^

Thanks Jennifer from Houghton Mifflin and Sue from PanMacMillan for these two books :-)

So how was your book week?

Sunday 20 December 2009

Sunday Special (33) More On Covers

Some more before-after covers for you authors and readers ^^

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First Kiss, Then Tell by various authors

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In A Heartbeat by Loretta Ellsworth

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Before, After and Somebody In between by Jeannine Garsee
(I don't think I found the exact original picture but those belong to the same batch I guess)

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Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

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What Would Emma Do? by Eileen Cook.

Cool aren't they? My favorite of the batch is Thirteen Reasons Why because the color of the finished cover is nicer than the original and it has a feel of depression the raw photo doesn't. I don't like the coloring of In A Heartbeat though, it looks weird to me.

How about you? What do you think? Spot any original photos? Please tell me so I can put them up too : )

Friday 18 December 2009

Get Well Soon by Julie Halpern

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pub. Date: Oct 2nd 2007
Age Range: Age 12 and up
Pages: 208
Format: ARC
Source of copy: from the author - Julie Halpern

Anna Bloom is depressed -- so depressed that her parents have committed her to a mental hospital with a bunch of other messed-up teens. Here she meets a roommate with a secret (and a plastic baby), a doctor who focuses way too much on her weight, and a cute, shy boy who just might like her. But wait! Being trapped in a loony bin isn't supposed to be about making friends, losing weight, and having a crush, is it?

For a debut book, Get Well Soon is too cute for words. A very strange story about a bunch of teens thrown together in a "loony bin" and find themselves in the most craziest situations, this book will surely leave you with big smiles and a heart full of hope.

Julie Halpern never fails to make feel goofy and entertained when reading her stories. Her writing is neat and close to heart, a kind that you think can be written by anyone your age but still, you know it takes skills to do such a thing. The plot itself is fun enough, and the way she chooses to carry it out is just fantastic - everything is told through Anna's crazy letters to her friend at home, although she for sure won't send any of it.

What I love about Get Well Soon is that it doesn't have many dialogues but it still manages to capture my complete attention. Why? Because Anna's voice is too hilarious you cannot ignore any of her monologues. Even though she's said to be depressed, she appears whiny and upset in such a funny way. Her descriptions about the "loony bin", the things that happen there will also draw the readers in.

Not just Anna, but every characters, everyone in the mental hospital is adorable. I love hearing their stories - how they get to this point, why they stay and when they'll leave. Surprisingly they're almost like normal teenagers (except the one who worship Satan) and they get along really well. All their hardships are portrayed nicely, all sound very light-hearted. Sometimes I even forget that Anna has a problem, like she's just there observing and reporting everything. Her life in the "loony bin" is so interesting that I once or twice want to visit that hospital right away. She becomes healthy, she makes friends, she even falls in love. Isn't that fantastic?

The story ends with satisfaction a bit of nostalgia so that makes Get Well Soon not only a cute read but a touching one as well. I really really do hope that Anna will meet up with the others in real life once again because they are so cool together. All together.

I love this book. You will love it too, I'm sure.

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday 16 December 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (40)

Idea taken from Breaking The Spine

Rules Of Attraction by Simone Elkeles.

New sparks will fly in the sequel to Simone Elkeles’s breakout book Perfect Chemistry

When Carlos Fuentes returns to America after living in Mexico for a year, he doesn’t want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him at a high school in Colorado. Carlos likes living his life on the edge and wants to carve his own path—just like Alex did. Then he meets Kiara Westford. She doesn’t talk much and is completely intimidated by Carlos’ wild ways. As they get to know one another, Carlos assumes Kiara thinks she’s too good for him, and refuses to admit that she might be getting to him. But he soon realizes that being himself is exactly what Kiara needs right now.

With new characters to fall in love with and the same hot romance found in Perfect Chemistry, Simone Elkeles has crafted another sure-fire hit for teens.

I loveeeeeee Perfect Chemistry way too much I could never ignore this book. First, the title sounds so lovely. Second, I heart the cover(seriously, who doesn't?) I'm also very curious about Carlos's relationship with Kiara because, according to my memories, he already had a girlfriend named Destiny back then. I hope their story is just as cool as Alex and Brit, but I will expect a stronger and more unique character of Kiara than Brittany.

Try not to break the rules of attractions on April 27th 2010

Tuesday 15 December 2009

Prada & Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard

Publisher: Penguin US - Razorbill
Pub. Date: June 11th 2009
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 270
Format: ARC
Source of copy: from the publisher - Penguin US

To impress the popular girls on a high school trip to London, klutzy Callie buys real Prada heels. But trying them on, she trips…conks her head…and wakes up in the year 1815!

There Callie meets Emily, who takes her in, mistaking her for a long-lost friend. As she spends time with Emily’s family, Callie warms to them—particularly to Emily’s cousin Alex, a hottie and a duke, if a tad arrogant.

But can Callie save Emily from a dire engagement, and win Alex’s heart, before her time in the past is up?

More Cabot than Ibbotson, Prada and Prejudice is a high-concept romantic comedy about finding friendship and love in the past in order to have happiness in the present.

A totally cute book about self-appreciation and time-traveling. With humour and a touch of fashion sense, Prada and Prejudice makes a lovely read for teen girls.

Prada and Prejudice has such a refreshing plot. Putting on a shoe and being sent back to the past where you are mistaken for someone else and got involved in a lot of issues? It is definitely fun and new, bringing the readers excitement of a different experience.

What I enjoy the most from the book is how Callie manages to adapt the life of the year of 1815 and still stays true to herself. Sure she wreaks some havoc, but she helps the people there realize a lot of meaningful things too. That being said, I still feel that the book lacks something to excel other stories. There are quite a few unreasonable things and the problem sort of just works itself out. The storyline is a little simple and not eventful enough to keep the thrill I feel at first.

Callie is fun to be with. She's a little stubborn and insecure girl but in certain circumstances she is surely a strong lady. I don't like the idea of her buying a pair of Prada shoes just to impress people who don't actually care about her, still that silliness of her makes Callie a cute character.

The ending is a little too happy and predictable, but I guess it fits the mood of the story - fun and loving. If you like stories about time-traveling in a cute teenage way, be sure to add this to your list of book.

Rating: 3/5

Saturday 12 December 2009

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Publisher: Penguin Aus
Pub. Date: 31 January 2008
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 322
Format: paperback
Source of copy: from the publisher - Penguin Aus

Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth's magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires – the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa's best friend, makes her a Dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.

After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir's Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden deep in the forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger . . . and the Strigoi are always close by.

Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa on of them forever . . .

I just finished reading this book and I have to jump to the computer to gush about it right away. Why? Because it's so awesome. With a strong voice of narration, remarkable characters and lots of twists, Vampire Academy (VA) is not only a perfect choice for fans of vampires but also ones that might not be that interested in fangs and the likes.

If you're a bit tired of vampire-human romance and want to explore something more fun about vampires, I suggest you turn to VA. Its plot focuses mostly on vampires and how they struggle to live among so many kinds of themselves - the royal Dragomir, the evil Strigoi, the brave Dhampir. It's a very interesting and refreshing turn on stories of these creatures, thus it excites the readers.

The best thing about this book is that you don't have a feeling that you're reading about non-human beings at all, even though the characters are different and mysterious. There are not much parts about fangs, biting and blood, instead what you'll find is legends, magic, secrets of the past. Everything winds together and makes VA a captivating read. Teenagers' life in this book is portrayed perfectly too, with all the dramas, the hookups and gossip, it's almost as if you're reading a reality book, not the paranormal kind.

I bet that whoever picks up VA will either fall in love with or want to be Rose. She's such a brilliant protagonist. Even at first page, she appears utterly courageous and unbeatable. She's fun, she's fearless and she knows what she is and is not. She's not one those girls who's beautiful but thinks they're not nor too clueless to realize that her friend is head over heels with her. Rose is so real because of that, and because she has flaws just like everyone does - recklessness, stubbornness, craziness, she has it all.

Since the author has such a good way to connect Rose and Lissa, it seems that we have two female leads not one, even though their stories don't necessary involve each other every second and every minute. As a princess, Lissa isn't meek or too dependent. She has a strong side of herself and sacrifices a lot for Rose too. Their bond is envious, for real.

Oh and did I say I love Dimitri and Rose's relationship? It's another different thing that VA has. Their love is forbidden, but in a very beautiful way, not sappy one. Their age gap makes us more curious to learn about how the two will get together. And their feelings are built through various ways, mostly by fighting and learning to deal with hardships side by side so it feels very natural.

The ending is lovely. It doesn't leave us with any cliffhanger but we know that we're already looking forward to reading book 2. I consider it a success because VA will be great as a single book as much as it is as the beginning of a series.

Bottom line: this a MUST-HAVE. I don't care if you like vampires or not, get this book NOW!

Rating: 4.5/5

Thursday 10 December 2009

Mini Reviews: Young, Loaded & Fabulous (Book 1&2) by Kate Kingsley

I admit that I don't have much to say about these two books. They are for quick read, you know, just to relax your mind for a while and I don't think readers take them very seriously either. If you love to read about rich (and spoilt) kids who are involved in fighting, backstabbing, bitching each other and of course falling in love then you may like Young, Loaded and Fabulous.

Publisher: Headline
Pub. Date: November 13th 2008
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: paperback
Source of copy: from the publisher - Headline

London socialites Alice Rochester and Natalya Abbot are glamorous, sexy, spoilt and only sixteen. When they're not at their prestigious private school, St. Cecilias, just outside London (where they rub shoulders with the children of Europe's elite), they can be found partying in London's private members clubs or jetting off to the most sophisticated European cities. Alice and Tally have ruled, undisputed, at the top of St. Cecilias' social hierarchy since their arrival at the school three years ago. But now trouble is brewing; friendships with boys are getting complicated and sparking jealousies between the girls, and, to make matters worse, a thoroughly unwelcome American girl has just arrived.

Book 1 is pretty much about how Tristan comes back and builds his relationship with Alice and then suddenly everything goes downhill. There aren't many happenings in this book and I find the characters quite weird. Alice can be nice and goofy one moment, then the next she's so annoying and mean. And Tristan, I don't really know how he really feels for his best friend either. The character I can tolerate with is Dylan. She seems okay and doesn't want to hurt anyone at all. I feel quite bad for her at some point because Alice is trying too hard to make her life miserable.

The thing I remember most about this book is how lonely and not cared for these kids are by their own parents. Guess it happens to rich children all the time.

Rating: 2/5

Publisher: Headline
Pub. Date: July 23rd 2008
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: paperback
Source of copy: from the publisher - Headline

Love is in the air at St Cecilia's: Alice Rochester has a new man in her life, much to her ex Tristan's dismay, Tally Abbott and hot new teacher Mr Logan's secret tutorials are getting cosier and new girl Dylan Taylor is being well and truly romanced by Jasper. But when the crew all head over to Rome for Alice's cousin's lavish engagement party hosted by Italian Vogue tensions are high. Will it all end happily ever after?

Book 2 is a little more interesting than book 1. Now Tristan wants Alice back but she's hanging out with her new boyfriend. For Tally, she seems to be head over heals with her teacher. I see more connections between the characters in this book and it's more eventful too. It's fun seeing Alice and Tristan playing their game of love and get together (sort of) at at the end. There's less meanness towards Dylan to so I guess it's a good thing.

Rating: 2.5/5

Wednesday 9 December 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (39)

Idea taken from Breaking The Spine

Thief Eyes by Janni Lee Simmer.

After her mother mysteriously disappears, sixteen-year-old Haley convinces her father to take her to Iceland, where her mother was last seen. There, amidst the ancient fissures and crevices of that volcanic island, Haley meets gorgeous Ari, a boy with a dangerous side who appoints himself her protector.

When Haley picks up a silver coin that entangles her in a spell cast by her ancestor Hallgerd, she discovers that Hallgerd's spell and her mother's disappearance are connected to a chain of events that could unleash terrifying powers and consume the world. Haley must find a way to contain the growing fires of the spell—and her growing attraction to Ari.

A bit of romance, a bit of magic, a bit of mystery, this book has what it takes to attract the readers (not to mention the very nice cover). Janni Lee Simmer's first book was loved a by a lot of teenagers so I hope this one is just as great. What do you think about this one? Can it excel Bones Of Faerie?

Catch Theif Eyes on April 27th 2010

Monday 7 December 2009

In My Mailbox (38)

Idea taken from The Story Siren

Such A Pretty Girl by Laura Wiess.

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.

How It Ends by Lauran Wiess.

All Hanna's wanted since sophomore year is Seth. She's gone out with other guys, even gained a rep for being a flirt, all the while hoping cool, guitar-playing Seth will choose her. Then she gets him -- but their relationship is hurtful, stormy and critical, not at all what Hanna thinks a perfect love should be. Bewildered by Seth's treatment of her and in need of understanding, Hanna decides to fulfill her school's community service requirement by spending time with Helen, her terminally ill neighbor, who she's turned to for comfort and wisdom throughout her life. But illness has changed Helen into someone Hanna hardly knows, and her home is not the refuge it once was. Feeling more alone than ever, Hanna gets drawn into an audiobook the older woman is listening to, a fierce, unsettling love story of passion, sacrifice, and devotion. Hanna's fascinated by the idea that such all-encompassing love can truly exist, and without her even realizing it, the story begins to change her. Until the day when the story becomes all too real...and Hanna's world is spun off its axis by its shattering, irrevocable conclusion.

Mixed Messages by Jahnna N. Malcolm.

Jade has had it for Zephyr forever. But you can only crush on a guy for so long. And with graduation just around the corner, it's now or never. Jade writes Zephyr a love letter. Only Zephyr never gets the letter. Adam gets the letter. It's a huge disaster and total embarrassment....

Then again, maybe not.

This week I got three books from Simon & Schuster UK. One rather disturbingly haunting, one very thought-provoking and one simply cute and light-hearted. They complete my feats of books don't they? I've been hunting for Laura Wiess books forever so it's awesome to get my hands on these copies. And Mixed Messages? It sounded so cute I just had to request ;)

Thanks Kathryn from S&S UK for these three books<3

So how's your book feast? Any nice 'dishes?

Friday 4 December 2009

Friday Flavor (5) Chatting With Sarah Ockler + Contest

Hi there people!!!

Friday Flavor is back this week with more book recommendations and of course, as you can see from the title, a contest! :) Is that enough to keep you reading on? Well, this week is a little more special than others because our guest will talk about her favorite recently read book through a video she recorded in Philadelphia. So what are you waiting for? Click play and see which books Sarah loves and the one she is giving away for one luckiest commentor.

Such a lovely video isn't it? I was already interested in Once Was Lost but hearing Sarah talk about it make me want to read it even more. Jumping Off Swings seem good to and I'm really glad I'll be able to read it soon. I've not heard about Sorta Like A Rock Star til Sarah mentioned it here. It sounds great, you guys should check more info on it.

Now, onto the giveaway part, Sarah has agreed to give away an ARC of Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr to one of the readers of Friday Flavor. (I'm so jealous of the winner already ^^) Simply leave a comment on this video and you'll be entered.

For extra entries:

+1 New follower
+2 Old follower
+2 If you comment on my review of Twenty Boy Summer
+2 If you follow @sarahockler on Twitter
+4 If you link/tweet about the contest

Open to whoever has USA/Canadian mailing address(es). The contest runs to Dec 18th so you have plenty of time to get extra entries. Good luck to everyone, and thanks Sarah for such a wonderful video as well as the awesome giveaway.


Wednesday 2 December 2009

THE BOOK REVIEW CLUB NOV - Bloom by Elizabeth Scott

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pub. Date: April 24th 2007
Age Range: Age 12 and up
Pages: 231
Format: paperback
Source of copy: from the publisher - Simon Pulse Aus

There's a difference between falling and letting go.

Lauren has a good life: decent grades, great friends, and a boyfriend every girl lusts after. So why is she so unhappy?

It takes the arrival of Evan Kirkland for Lauren to figure out the answer: She's been holding back. She's been denying herself a bunch of things (like sex) because staying with her loyal and gorgeous boyfriend, Dave, is the "right" thing to do. After all, who would give up the perfect boyfriend?

But as Dave starts talking more and more about their life together, planning a future Lauren simply can't see herself in -- and as Lauren's craving for Evan, and moreover, who she is with Evan becomes all the more fierce -- Lauren realizes she needs to make a choice...before one is made for her.

An awesome debut by Elizabeth Scott, a heartfelt message about true love and how to live your life the way you want it to be. Honestly, I was a fan of Elizabeth even before I read her books and after reading Bloom I know why such a strange thing occured.

I know this sounds pretty bizarre, but if you asked me to describe how I feel about Bloom, I'd say reading the book is like wrapping a baby chicken in your palm. Everything about Bloom is gentle, sweet and extremely neat - something you want to learn more about, to realize the meaning of it and to cherish it even more.

I really like the way Elizabeth writes. She uses unfussy words, she describes things in a very simple way but there's still a feel of elegance to the book. It's brilliant I guess, cause that way Bloom will reach out to readers of all kinds. The story itself is very believable, even though the plot is totally predictable, the situations planned out for the characters are flawless. Reading Bloom is like listening to a friend's story that happened in the past. Bloom isn't actually fast-paced either, but funny enough I feel this urge inside to read faster and faster because I know it's getting better page after page.

I feel like I can make friends with the main girl - Lauren. Her character development is beautiful to begin with - from being all passive and hiding herself in her comfort zone to breaking her shell and coming out strong and determined to do things she should, even though it may hurt people at first. She's a passionate reader too and you can feel it clearly. Her connection with Even is another thing I admire. It's super strong and it doesn't happen too fast. I also like the rest of the characters except Dave. He's just way too good to be true. If I ever meet this guy in real life I think I'll just run away because the perfection is almost scary.

Overally, this is an unforgettable read for all the teen girls out there. Let Bloom tell you more about the choice between safety and wild happiness and then you'll be more confident to pick the right one yourself

Rating: 4/5

Tuesday 1 December 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (38)

Idea taken from Breaking The Spine

Whisper by Phoebe Kitanidis

I’d love a cup of coffee. I wish she knew how pretty she was. I wish I could drop this kid in the dryer sometimes. I just want her to be happy. I hope she didn’t find out what Ben said about her. I wish I knew how many calories were in a bite of muffin…

Joy is used to hearing Whispers. She’s used to walking down the street and instantly knowing people’s deepest, darkest desires. She uses this talent for good, to make people happy and give them what they want. But for her older sister, Jessica, the family gift is a curse, and she uses it to make people’s lives—especially Joy’s—miserable. Still, when Joy Hears Jessica whisper: I want to kill my Hearing dead, and kill me too if that’s what it takes, she knows she has to save her sister, even if it means deserting her friends, stealing a car and running away with a boy she barely knows—a boy who may have a dark secret of his own.

This one seems so great doesn't it? I love that it has a touch of paranormal but not too much. It's like reading mind, but Hearing Whispers sounds much more mysterious and less typical. I read about people having problems with their special abilities but killing herself? Woah, very intense. One more point for pretty cover.

Be prepared for all the whispers you'll hear on April 27th 2010

Monday 30 November 2009

If I Have A Wicked Stepmother, Where's My Prince? by Melissa Kantor

Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Pub. Date: April 1st 2007
Age Rang: Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: paperback
Source of copy: from the publisher - Disney Hyperion

Wicked stepmother? Check.
Evil stepsisters? Check.
Miserable life? Check.

Lucy Norton's life has all the makings of a Cinderella story. Her dad's always away on business, leaving Lucy with her cruel stepmother and bratty stepsisters. She's burdened with chores, and has a hard time fitting in at her new school. So when she sees Connor Pearson, the star player on the varsity basketball team, Lucy hopes her destiny has finally changed. With everything else going on in her life, doesn't she at least deserve to get the handsome prince?

A retelling of Cinderella with a more light-hearted plot and some twist, If I Have A Wicked Stepmother, Where Is My Prince? is a heartwarming story for those who truly believe that fairy tales can happen in real life. The story has its flaws; however, that doesn't stop lots of readers to enjoy it.

If I Have A Wicked Stepmother, Where Is My Prince? has all the qualities of a fairy tale: it has the bad ones, the good ones and miracles. It also stays really true to the classic version of Cinderella. Even though it's set in modern times, it resembles the original one in the background really much. The subordinate characters and how they first appear, are exactly the same as those we once read about when we were younger. That makes me feel happy, like I'm going through the emotions I had for Cinderella when I was introduced to it the first time, but also I'm looking forward for a change.

The new details and twist are nice. I don't say that they're mind-blowing or brilliant but for a quick and cute read they contribute quite a lot to the story. Lucy has a guy all smitten for her in the middle of the story but he's not necessary her real prince. And there's a lot of tension between the Lucy and her step-mother at first, but then their relationship gets much better. Lucy too, is a new refreshing version of Cinderella. Although she's in such a bad situation, she sounds calm and never too meek. I love the fact that she has a slight humor and that she's passionate for art.

Ironic as it might sound, what I find kinda confusing is the twist. I mean Connor seems very nice to Lucy and their relationship has potential to develop into real love if they spend more time with each other and stop talking just about sports. That's way more persuasive than Lucy falling in love with Sam with light speed. And it still seems weird as well how the mother and the daughter make up so smoothly, almost without much effort.

To sum up, this book is a lovely retelling of Cinderella even when it lacks the wow factor. Suitable for a read in the garden on a sunshineful Sunday.

Rating: 3/5

Sunday 29 November 2009

Sunday Special (34) Before & After

As promised here are the luckiest stock pictures which have been chosen to present YA books. Some are old, some new but all look very interesting. Check out the input and output of the process of cover-creating alright?

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I Know It's Over by C.K Kelly Martin

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before after
Stranded by J.T Dutton

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before after
Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott

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Flash Burnout by L.K Madigan

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before after
Wild Roses by Deb Caletti

What do you think? Fun isn't it? I think all the designers did a great job on bringing a fresh look for the pictures. Which one is your favorite? Want more posts like this? Just let me know!!!

Thursday 26 November 2009

Wake by Lisa McMann

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pub.Date: March 4th 2008
Age Range: 12 and up
Pages: 210
Series: Dream Catcher
Format: paperback
Source of copy: from the publisher - Simon Pulse Aus

Ever since she was eight years old, high school student Janie Hannagan has been uncontrollably drawn into other people's dreams, but it is not until she befriends an elderly nursing home patient and becomes involved with an enigmatic fellow-student that she discovers her true power.

An intoxicating read, a promising beginning for a series about dream catching. With very intriguing concept and twell-planned details, Wake is a perfect book for fans of paranormal and romance as well.

Needless to say, the premise of the book is the richest feature of Wake, also the next two books in the series. The narrator doesn't dream of people's secrets, she doesn't sneak into their dreams either. She is, against her will, forced to witness others' deepest darkest desires and fears of all time. Also, she has no control over the power at all.

Lisa McMann's style of writing is, in my opinion, calm but very mysterious. The descriptions of the dreams, especially the sex-crazed ones, are very well-written and elegant. It gives the exact feeling of being in dreams - vague, clueless and almost powerless. The story is not action-packed nor magic-packed. It digs the land of emotions, self-exploration more. I like the situation that the author puts Janie through, specifically how she finds out about her special ability. It's natural and convincing.

Janie is a...balanced female lead. She isn't the meek tight but I have yet to see her strong side. She's a hardworking, kind girl who just wants to live a normal life. I have so much sympathy for her because her family doesn't seem to care about her at all and with her secret she's so lonely. The only problem about her is that I don't understand why Janie falls for Cabel so fast. (How come this seems to happen all the time in like...almost every book?) I believe that she and Cabel have crushes on each other, but love? No way. Although I have to say that Cabel has a very unique way to confess to Janie.

Overall, this is a very nice first book of the series. If it's a single book I don't think I might be that impressed. But everything just begins and Wake's success is that it makes the readers want more and more. What do you say? Want to give it a try? Bet you'll like it.

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday 25 November 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (37)

Idea taken from Breaking The Spine

One Night That Changes Everything by Lauren Barnholdt.

A hilarious and sweet teen novel by Lauren Barnholdt, the author of two-way street.

UPDATE UPDATE: full synopsis (thanks to Lauren<3)

Four dares
Two secrets
One night

Eliza is in a full-blown panic. Her notebook has been stolen—the one that lists everything she wants but is afraid to go after. And the absolute worst person in the world has it: her ex-boyfriend, Cooper.

Like it’s not enough Cooper was lying to Eliza for their entire relationship, now he and his friends are blackmailing her. They’re giving her just one night to complete the most humiliating tasks on her list or they’ll post her secrets online—including the ones that aren’t just about her.

Eliza’s sure of only one thing: she isn’t going down without a fight. Cooper may have what’s left of her dignity, but she’s not the only one with something to hide....

This sucks because we don't have a real synopsis yet. I have real high expectation for this book. Why? Because I love Two Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt really really much and One Night That Changes Everything seems to resemble that one in a few ways. I like the fact that even though the cover looks serious, the story, like Goodreads says, is going to be hilarious and sweet. Bottom line: I WANT THIS BOOK. (now that we have the synopsis here, I want it ever more. I'm done haha)

Let's read this one on the night of July 20th 2010 and see if it changes anything :-)

Tuesday 24 November 2009

I Can't Keep My Own Secrets: Six-Word Memoirs by Teens Famous & Obscure by Larry Smith, Rachel Fershleiser

Publisher: Harper Teen
Pub. Date: September 1st 2009
Age Range: 12 and up
Pages: 240
Format: paperback
Source of copy: from the publisher - Harper Teen

True tales of love, loss, good friends, and bad hair days filled Not Quite What I Was Planning, the New York Times bestselling first book in the Six-Word Memoir series—an international phenomenon. Some of the very best were by teens, so the editors decided to create a book written entirely by those bold, brash truth-tellers. From cancer to creativity, prom dates to promiscuity, and breaking hearts to breaking laws, the memoirs in this collection reveal that often the youngest writers have the most fascinating stories to tell.

This book of memoirs is absolutely admire-worthy. A kind of book that every teen, even adult, should have in their bags, on their shelves just to read it every day and love it even more.

The great thing about the memoirs is the limited amount of words. Without much space to tell long stories about themselves, the talented teens still manage to convey the most important or influential happenings in their lives to the readers. Six words, no more or less. Six words with so much meaning. Six words that leave you with imagination of the rest of the stories. Six words that inspire you so much. You feel like you've been confided by people that you don't even know, you feel their joy, their sorrow, and then in an amazing away, everything inspires you, making you think of a special moments in your own years of being an earthling as well

The book covers a lot of fields: family, love, friendship, dream, life-changing decisions, some are just about how beautiful their lives are at this moment. It's emotion-packed with various kinds, from the heavenly feelings to the very sad ones, sad but not too depressed. It included memoirs of the normal teenagers mostly, but there are a few pages for memoirs of the real famous ones.

Here are a few memoirs - a sneak peak of the book:

Met online, love before first sight.

Seventeen, pregnant. He's off to Iraq.

You made me stronger. Thanks, rapist

We're the family you gossip about.

Her touch made me scars beautiful.

Impressed and excited about this book already? Why don't you go out and grab a copy right now? I assure you, you'll never regret picking up this one. Never ever.

Rating: 4.5/5

Monday 23 November 2009

In My Mailbox (37)

Idea taken from The Story Siren

I got only one book this week, but it's fabulous one!!!

"I had no illusions about love... It came, it went, it left casualties or it didn't. People weren't meant to be together forever, regardless of what the songs say." Remy doesn't believe in love. And why should she? Her romance novelist mother is working on her fifth marriage, and her father, a '70s hippie singer, left her with only a one-hit wonder song to remember him by. Every time Remy hears "This Lullaby," it feels like "a bruise that never quite healed right." "Wherever you may go / I will let you down / But this lullaby plays on..." Never without a boyfriend, Remy is a compulsive dater, but before a guy can go all "Ken" on her (as in "ultra boyfriend behavior") she cuts him off, without ever getting close or getting hurt. That's why she's stunned when klutzy, quirky, alterna-band boy Dexter inserts himself into her life and refuses to leave. Remy's been accepted to Stanford, and she plans on having her usual summer fling before tying up the loose ends of her pre-college life and heading for the coast. Except Dexter's not following Remy's tried-and-true rules of break-up protocol. And for the first time, Remy's questioning whether or not she wants him to.

I just read and review this book on my blog (look at the post below) but my copy is the UK version. I love the cover of the US version too much I just have to get this one. And it's rare to see a Sarah Deseen book in bookstores here so I bought it without second thought. Pretty book hey?

What about you? What have you got last week? Spill!