Monday, April 30, 2012

Currently Reading

So, my next review will be on the wonderful Eon. I am only about 1/4th of my way through it, but it is promising to be a very exciting novel.

Then, next on my list of to-read is One Moment. A very heart-twisting novel from Kristina McBride. This book is set to be published on June 26th of this year.

Lots of exciting things to read, and only so much time in the day. Man, if only I didn't have to go to work in the morning or afternoons then I would be able read all day. But duty off to reading while no one is looking!

Happy Reading!

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

The undead can really screw up your senior year ... 

Marrying a vampire definitely doesn’t fit into Jessica Packwood’s senior year “get-a-life” plan. But then a bizarre (and incredibly hot) new exchange student named Lucius Vladescu shows up, claiming that Jessica is a Romanian vampire princess by birth—and he’s her long-lost fiancĂ©. Armed with newfound confidence and a copy of Growing Up Undead: A Teen Vampire’s Guide to Dating, Health, and Emotions, Jessica makes a dramatic transition from average American teenager to glam European vampire princess. But when a devious cheerleader sets her sights on Lucius, Jess finds herself fighting to win back her wayward prince, stop a global vampire war—and save Lucius’s soul from eternal destruction.

Title: Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side
Author: Beth Fantaskey
Published: February 1st 2009
Publisher: Harcourt
Where to Buy: Barnes and Noble, Amazon


This was an interesting story. I liked the culture that we experience in this novel, getting a taste of Romanian vampire-lore. Jessica is an ordinary teenager, or so we think, she was adopted at a very young age, by her hippie-vegan parents. She tries all she can to fit in, but when the new exchange student comes into her life, she learns she is anything but normal.

Jessica comes from a long line of vampire royalty and she is the last pure strand of her family left. Since her birth she has been betrothed to the handsome Lucious, who is oh so luscious. At first she runs away from the idea of being vampire royalty, from even being a vampire. But slowly she comes to terms with her destiny, and in the end even embraces it.

The story jumps off right away and for the first 2/3rds of the book I found myself thoroughly enjoying myself. Then, in the last third of the book we hit sort of a dead zone. There is a lot of nothing happening in this portion. A lot of us sitting around waiting for something to take action. The beginning, where we are immediately thrust in the story, dies slowly and kind of trugs along. My major qualm with this is the fact that when it jumps out of the lull, everything after happens to quickly and unrealistically.

We speed through the motions and learn some unnecessary information. Overall, this novel is good, but not great. I will put the sequel on my to-read list, though. The story was good enough quality that I do want to find out what happens next.


Recommended for people that enjoyed:
Blue Bloods or Vampire Academy

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Today is my Birthday!

Happy Happy BirthdayHappy Happy Birthday

Yes, I know, so very, very exciting! I am blowing out the birthday candles as I type. As per my own birthday tradition, I purchase myself a present. And this year I purchased myself, four little beauties. They look even more beautiful in person than a computer screen could ever give them justice. I know you are just dying to know what it could possibly be, so....Drum Roll....

Like you couldn't already see those beautiful books posted on the sides of this post. If you are anything like me, your eyes were drawn directly to them to the very start! It is a wonder you are even reading this at all!

Well, as I said, Happy Birthday to me. And these lovely books are on the top of my to-read shelf! You better believe that there will be reviews of these gems to come very soon!

Happy reading, Everyone! I hope you all enjoy my birthday as much as I will.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What Happened to Goodbye

Since her parents' bitter divorce, McLean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move-four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mother's new family, McLean has followed her dad in leaving the unhappy past behind. And each new place gives her a chance to try out a new persona: from cheerleader to drama diva. But now, for the first time, McLean discovers a desire to stay in one place and just be herself, whoever that is. Perhaps Dave, the guy next door, can help her find out. 

Combining Sarah Dessen's trademark graceful writing, great characters, and compelling storytelling, What Happened to Goodbye is irresistible reading.
Title: What Happened to Goodbye
Author: Sarah Dessen
Published: May 10th 2011
Where to buy: Barnes and Noble, Amazon


This is a wonderful heartwarming novel. The ending allows you to make your own interpretation. Positive or negative the decision is up to you, and not in a way that makes you feel cheated, a skill that Dessen so beautifully has mastered. 

Immediately after finishing What happened to Goodbye, I went online and downloaded Along for the ride. It is just confidence thing with Dessen that you just knowingly accept the fact that you are going to like any of her books.

The meaning of What happened to Goodbye can more obviously be translated into the fact that her and her father move around a lot, and our main character, Mclean Sweet, has come to deal with this by not dealing with it at all. When it is time to move she notices the signs, then packs it all up and leaves it all behind without so much as a goodbye. 

Also, in every new place she changes her identity or name and becomes the kind of person she believes she will be because of the place she lives in. She was Eliza, Lizbet, and Beth before she moved to Jackson, where she was about to become Liz when she somehow kept getting stuck with her given name, Mclean. 

Our lover boy of the novel is Dave. He is a super genius with a soft hippie style. He is her neighbor and has the uber strict parents that teenagers have nightmares about. Even though he is so smart he is very down to earth and fun to read about. 

Other fun characters to add to the mix is Deb, Riley, Opal, her father Gus, mother Katharine or Katie, Ellis, and Heather. 

Deb is the best of all the secondary characters. She is that nerdy girl that really just wants someone to hang out with. She is full of hidden talents and is so sweet and innocent yet surprisingly well rounded in her interests that you cannot help but love her.

Riley is Dave's best friend she has known him since they were little and she kind of helps push Dave and Mclean together. 

Opal is an emotionally charged woman who manages the restaurant that McLean’s dad Gus has come to take over. 

Gus is a fun loving easy going kind of guy but it is very apparent that Mclean is more of the guardian that he is to her. 

Katie is overbearing, and very annoying. She begs and pushes for Mclean to visit or live with her even going through lawyers to get what she wants.

Ellis and Heather are fun and entertaining when they are around. They mostly are there for us to see different sides of Dave.

A great fun, fluff read that is perfect for those nights where you just feel like staying in and curling up with a book.


Recommended for people who enjoyed:
Lola and the Boy Next Door or Between Here and Forever


A gifted and accomplished storyteller returns with a powerful and timely novel of a troubled foster teenager. Simultaneously wrenching and deeply humorous, wholly contemporary yet steeped in American history, "Flight" is irrepressible, fearless, and groundbreaking.
Title: Flight
Author: Sherman Alexie
Published: April 17th 2007
Where to buy: Barnes and Noble, Amazon


This book was unlike any other book I have read before. Forget teen romance, forget crazy supernatural vampires and werewolves, but pick up a cynical attitude, a taste for defiance and a little time-travel and you found yourself smack dab in the middle of Flight. 

The main character is Zits, at least that’s his nickname. He is an orphan and has been through numerous foster homes, usually never lasting more than a few weeks at any home. He is 15 years old and defines himself more by his features than who he is inside. He considers himself ugly and worthless. He holds onto the fact that his father was a drunk and never stayed around to claim him as his son, so even though he is half American Indian he doesn't have any official American Indian claims. 

This story really kicks off after he was in jail for causing fights with his new foster father. While he is in jail he meets a kid nick-named Justice. Justice sees a weakness in Zits, he sees that he really just wants someone to understand him and takes advantage of that. He brainwashes Zits to do something really bad, and Zits does it and gets shot. When he wakes up, instead of being in a hospital, he is inside the body of an FBI agent named Hank from the 1970's. 

Zits goes in and out of other peoples bodies throughout his journey and each time he learns something more about himself, like he has had all the puzzle pieces all along but he is finally starting to put them together. It is a short book and a very fast read. If you get bothered by cussing and genital size checks then I do not recommend this book for you, but if you can see the humor intended behind it than this is perfect!

I rate this book 4 stars because it is a great read and really is heartwarming, but it was a little short and I would have liked to know more about what happens next.


Recommended for people who enjoyed:
The Antelope Wife or We Were Here

Hex Hall

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father-an elusive European warlock-only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters. By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect. As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

Title: Hex Hall
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Published: April 27th 2010
Where to buy: Barnes and Noble, Amazon


This was a good book. I admit to that most surely, only, it do I put this...put downable. What I mean is that, while the book was interesting and the story progressed steadily, it was never like okay let me flip through these pages I can't put it down. Something would come up and I just set the book down and did what I had to do. No problems. I mean I definitely picked the book up afterwards and continued to read it, but it lacked that gripping quality. 

To me it feels like this story reads more like 1/3rd of the book. Now I say this having already read the second book as well. 

I will tell you why I feel this way, the story is entertaining, I really enjoy Sophie's personality, but everything is getting a little easy. We spend the whole story building up to the climax, waiting for that big moment, and then it just happens, right away, in the blink of an eye, in like one whole page. All that build up...for what? A flop? I personally felt a little robbed of the story. I wanted their to be more because I do really like Sophie's personality and Jenna's. 

So here let me give you The Rundown

We are introduced to Sophie, she is a witch, at her normal high school senior prom. She tries a love spell for a girl who is crying in the bathroom, so the girl can have a good night. The spell goes horribly wrong and the guy goes crazy driving his car through the wall of the building trying to get her. So, in turn she gets sentenced to go to Hectate, nicknamed Hex Hall because it is the school where Prodigium who use their magic poorly are sent so they do not get discovered by humans and all the other villainous organizations out there set to destroy all evil monsters.

At this school she befriends a Vampire who is the social outcast because at this school being a vampire doesn't mean you are worshiped for your ungodly charms. People start getting killed, well attempted killings, and Sophie's friend, Jenna the vamp, is the one everyone points their finger at. 

Sophie stands up for her against the cool, goddess like, witch who thinks she is the shit. But after the second attempt, (Second attempt since Sophie has attended the school, the third real attempt because the first one happened before she got there), they take Jenna away because they believe her to be at fault. So in the midst of this, Sophie is sneaking out at night to learn magic from a great grandmother of hers and she also finds herself in a compromising position with the enemy. *I know, vague, but I don't want their to be any spoilers*

So while all that plot builds up, there is a big dump off just after. Where everything is easily fixed. Sophie finds some confidence and BAM story over.

It was a good read, I did enjoy the story and Sophie is an awesome character. I feel the story might have been a little young for my taste, but it was still a good story overall. I just feel it is very unfinished and ends to abruptly for all that build up.


Recommended for people who enjoyed:
Generation Dead or The Ghost and the Goth


It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.
Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

Title: Angelfall
Author: Susan Ee
Published: May 21st 2011
Where to buy: Barnes and Noble, Amazon


On my nook case there is a quote by Sir Christopher Wren. It says, "Choose an author as you choose a friend."

If that in fact is the case, Susan Ee is my very best friend of all. Her writing is magic. She had the undoubtable ability to wrap me in her web of graphic gore and hopeless odds against life and love. 

Rather than being the all bearing and depressing post-apocalyptic world, like The Road, we find ourselves in the midst of an apocalypse of the angels. Six weeks after they have started their attack. All hope is lost to Penryn, her schizophrenic mother and paralyzed from the waste down sister, Paige. 

Penryn is the one that is keeping her family safe, her unique set of survival skills and unparalleled confidence have her moving through the night, during the time even the gangs are afraid to come out. 

One night, while Penryn and her family are on the move, a single beautiful feather falls from the sky. This feather does not leave Penryn feeling so positive, in fact, it exults pure terror in her bones. It is an angel feather, and where there are angels, there is sure to be death. 

Penryn witnesses five angels beat up an angel, Raffe, with beautiful snowy-white wings. She tries to assist in anyway she can, while her mother and sister make a run for it. Raffe's wings are cut from his back, and the sinister angel who cut them turns his rage on Penryn and kidnaps her little sister. 

Seeing the dying angel, she decides to bargain with him. She will act as a guide on earth, helping him survive on his feet, rather than with his wings, and he will lead her to where the angel may have taken her little sister. 

Two opposing sides, one epic story. 

I am so eagerly awaiting the next one, that I am practically in fangirl giddiness for it to be released. I am on the edge of my seat for what will happen next in this apocalyptic world, where angels are the thing of nightmares, and hell has encompassed the earth.

The only weird thing about this novel was the fact that I bought it in ebook format and it said it had 1457 pages, and whenever I turned one page it would say I flipped around twenty or so pages. This was all well and good until the very end when I thought I had fifty or so pages to go and I tried to flip the page and the story was over. 

This book is well worth the buy. It was only $1.99 on my nook and I would have paid much more for it. Riveting, calculating, and unafraid to dive right into the depth of my soul and rip out some organs. This story will leave you wide awake contemplating what will be in store for you next.

Penryn is one of the most amazing characters to be inside the mind of. She is so bad ass, that she makes other bad ass heroines look not bad ass. *Sorry for my Adam Sandler humor*. Penryn has raised the bar, from now on she is the girl to beat. 

Susan Ee, if you ever read this, please oh please get the new book out soon, and keep them coming! I am addicted to Penryn & The End of Days!


Recommended for people who enjoyed:
Partials or Hunting Lila


Grace and Sam share a kinship so close they could be lovers or siblings. But they also share a problem. When the temperature slips towards freezing, Sam reverts to his wolf identity and must retreat into the woods to protect his pack. He worries that eventually his human side will fade away and he will be left howling alone at the lonely moon. A stirring supernatural teen romance.

Title: Shiver
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Published: August 1st 2009
Where to buy: Barnes and Noble, Amazon


So first things first, I was hesitant to read this novel. Why you ask? Well the answer is simple enough. I did not want this book to suck. I enjoy the concept. I grew up in Minnesota and I always felt that MN has not always been shown in the best of light. So, I really hoped that this book was going to be great and not just mediocre which sadly is where it fell for me.
I chose two stars to rate this novel because two stars tends to mean that this novel was okay. I cannot commit and say that I didn't like this book, because there were some parts that I liked, but I also cannot go so far as to say that I liked the book. So two stars is where it lands.

To the review...

The beginning was not pleasent. It starts out and I quote 
"I remember lying in the snow, a small red spot of warm going cold, surrounded by wolves. They were licking me, biting me, worrying at my body, pressing in." 
Now those two lines to start off this novel made me go "Oh come on! This is what you are giving me?" She remembers lying in the snow, where is this spot of red? The imagery here is nonexistent. To me it feels as if she is trying to hard to be symbolic and poetic. Then she says she is surrounded by wolves that are licking her and biting her, and that they are worrying at her body? I mean she makes it sound like the wolves actually cared for her, and wanted her as more than just a meal in the freezing cold winter. Next, one whole sentence later Stiefvater writes, 
"The musky smell of their coats made me think of wet dog and burning leaves, pleasant and terrifying."
Hmm...Last time I checked the smell of wet dog was definitely not pleasant, neither is the smell of burning leaves. I also wanted to know why in the world we are smelling burning leaves at this moment, is there some huge Minnesota forest fire happening around them that even the wolves, so ravenous in their hunger, are able to ignore. I have been in plenty of Minnesota's acres of forest and not once have I smelt burning leaves unless there was a fire. Just saying. Then to top off the beginning of the book, can someone please explain to me how and why this girl is able to enjoy the smell of wet dog and burning leaves when these wolves are eating her? No, I don't think anyone can explain this to me unfortunately.

Another comment I have a few more pages in was when Stiefvater wrote 
"Reactions to my eye color ranged from furtive glances to out-and-outstaring." 
She mentions this another time later in the book but seriously out-and-out, what language is that? I have never heard it before, granted I have only lived for 21 years but still, when did it not become okay to just say outright staring? 

Anyways enough of my nitpicking, let me get to the actually meat of the story. Grace and Sam are the two main characters that we get to see from alternating perspective. Now there are times when I actually liked both of these characters. Then there were times that I felt *ohhhhkaaay you deserved it for being such a lazy ignoramus*. Grace is the girl in the beginning with the ability to stay calm while wolves take bites of her flesh... 

Moving on, she has grown up from that now and it has been 6 years since her wolf attack. Grace is a good student, she attends all her classes and gets good grades, her parents are nonexistent in her life, being her mother is an artist always at her studio or with her father out their friends, and her father is a business man that is always working. So basically she is boring. Oh yeah, do not let me forget to mention that, surprise, surprise she has an obsession with the wolves that live behind her house. Not only that but her and her friend take picture of them and she even recognizes "her" wolf, the only one that actually has the color of wolfs natural eyes, yellow. She can even hear and recognize his howl to the "moon" at night. Point of fact for Stiefvater, wolves do not actually howl at the moon. Yes, in fact wolves howl as a way of showing togetherness and pack unity. They also use it as a way of communication, not by sending pictures to each other like you would through a cell phone. The only reason why you might hear more howling on a night of a full moon, is because it is much lighter out than other nights. So the wolves can see more and be more active in their hunting. 

So, Grace continues to be happy, living in bliss, watching her wolf from afar. Until one day a classmate is murdered by wolves. Later that same day her wolf comes to her and she is able to grab his "ruff" and they share a moment together. Then an evil she-wolf that is jealous of Grace threatens her and her wolf leads Grace back into the house, to safety. Oh, did I mention that she talked to the wolf and actually asked him if the blood, yes BLOOD, under his mouth was from her classmate that was killed. She is a smart little darling. Anyways fast forward, because the boy was killed, the men in town get all macho and decide that it is time to kill some wild wolves. On this mission Sam who, you guessed it, is "Grace's" wolf, gets shot. Miraculously he ends up as a human, naked, on Graces porch. She takes him to the hospital blah blah blah, romance ensues. 

Now this is where it gets interesting right, more like "oh, I get it," but we don't get much more than that. I started to feel like here is Edward and Bella coddled together again, only this time Bella is a little more bearable. I've read form other's reviews of this book that people wonder why I can compare Edward and Bella to Sam and Grace, well this is a quote that pretty much sums up why I feel this way. 
Grace: "You haven't seen me naked, have you?"
Sam: "No!" My answer came out distinctly rushed.
Grace: ..."Well unless you want to see me naked now, you'd better turn around." 
Sam: "I didn't mean to."
Grace: "Are you always so apologetic?" 
Sam: "I'm trying to make you think I'm a decent person. Telling you I saw you naked while I was another species does not help my case." (And here is comes the winner of it all) 
Grace: "I'll grant you leniency, since I should've pulled the blinds." 
If Grace would have come in and said that I'll grant you leniency because you were a wolf at the time, or if she was just downright honest with herself and said because I really like you and now I simply just don't care. Then I would have thrown the Bella and Edward comparisons out the window. But, unfortunately, I cannot do that. She said that she should have pulled the blinds, that it was her fault that she didn't do something about it. My concept here is that, sure if you don't want someone to accidentally see you changing then you should be sure to close the blinds, but it is not your fault for said person to stare. If it had been anyone else but Sam staring at her through the window then you best believe she would be throwing peeping tom charges around like nobodies business. Just be honest with yourself and tell the truth, and problems like this would not come up.

I have to say, pushing all the negative aspects about this book aside, sometimes the romance between Sam and Grace was really sweet. I enjoyed some of their moments together. It really was fun to read those parts. The biggest downfall between these two though, is the fact that they always had an expiration date stamped on their relationship. There was never a moment where they were actually trying to prevent him from changing permanently. They were only in the now, suffering from ignorance is bliss. That all great and fun but it only works till shit gets real, and it eventually does. Their love cannot be held onto for much longer and then finally it is over. You cannot run away from a Minnesota winter, believe me, it always finds you. They think they may have found a cure, but it kills someone. So they lose hope and Grace mopes around. She sits outside in the snow wanting and waiting to change, hoping the cold will take her to her love. Then the ending all unravels way to quickly, I know that this book is part of a series, so it was most likely lead up for Linger. But that doesn't make this book any better for me. 

So for a recap, this book was okay. There is not much to be said upon the romance for me because I myself am a fighter and will fight to PREVENT something bad from happening rather than waiting for the something bad to happen and then trying to FIX it. So I felt they deserved what came to them. If you don't try and stop the bad from happening then when the bad comes you have to take it for all it is worth. On a more positive note Sam and Grace are much more bearable than Edward and Bella, but I cannot ignore some of their rather similar characteristics. If you are choosing to read this, then Good Luck and I hope you enjoy this novel much more than I did. 


Recommended for people who enjoyed:

Water for Elephants

An atmospheric, gritty, and compelling novel of star-crossed lovers, set in the circus world circa 1932, by the bestselling author of "Riding Lessons." "Gritty, sensual and charged with dark secrets involving love, murder and a majestic, mute heroine (Rosie the Elephant)."Q"Parade."

Title: Water for Elephants
Author: Sara Gruen
Published: May 1st 2007
Where to buy: Barnes and Noble, Amazon


Water for Elephants is an interesting read. I would not say it is mind blowing or that it changes your life, but it is a good filler for your time and you will enjoy it while you read it. I felt that the end left me hanging, I would have liked to have gotten more finality about everyone and everything and exactly what happened to everyone in the end. 

This book revolves around a Circus in the 1930's. Our main character, Jacob (he is not a werewolf by the way) is a stand up kind of guy that comes from a good modest family. When he loses everything important to him, he runs away and ends up as a veterinarian for a traveling circus. 

He falls in love with his bosses wife and slowly but surely she returns his feelings. Their romance is odd, you never really know what to expect and you really do not think things are going to happen the way they do. There are no pauses where the character is thinking in his head oh I want to kiss her so bad, I am staring at her lips...and they are kissing. Sara Gruen really cuts straight to the point. 

My favorite character by all means is Rosie. She is the most intelligent and funny character that really doesn't need to speak to make her remarkable. She had me in love with her from the moment she joined the Benzi Brothers Circus act. 

The beginning, started off with a scene that is to come very near the end of the book. I liked how Gruen did this because it really gripped me into the story. It had my eyes bursting out of their sockets unable to read the words fast enough.

The story goes back and forth from the 93 year old Jacob's mind to the 23 year old Jacob. The 93 year old Jacob never mentions Marlena which I thought was weird and confused me some. I was sure it was because they did not want to give anything away but even after the surprises are revealed there really is not a lot of her being mentioned. This was really the only thing that disappointed me, I was given an open ending, which I am more than happy to fill for myself, but it just feels like I finished a 1000 pieces puzzle and there is one piece missing.

Overall, this is a great book to add to your shelf. It is one of those novels that can take you back in time, and have you marveling at the differences.


Recommended for people who enjoyed:
Memoirs of a Geisha or Million Dollar Baby


The first book in Richelle Mead's brand-new teen fiction series - set in the same world as Vampire Academy.
When alchemist Sydney is ordered into hiding to protect the life of Moroi princess Jill Dragomir, the last place she expects to be sent is a human private school in Palm Springs, California. But at their new school, the drama is only just beginning.
Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Bloodlines explores all the friendship, romance, battles and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive - this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone's out for blood.
Title: Bloodlines
Author: Richelle Mead
Published: August 23rd 2011
Where to buy: Barnes and Noble, Amazon


This new spin-off series of my very beloved Vampire Academy series was told through the perspective of Sydney. While there are many more interesting perspectives I would have liked to read this book in, *cough Adrian cough* Sydney was not... horrible. She is smart and a complete nerd which I suppose hits a little close to home for me, so basically, I can relate to her. She was not the kick-ass, Strigoi stabbing, heart-breaking women Rose was, but then again no one could have filed her shoes. Sydney mainly kicked ass with her intelligence which could have been more impressive, but in this novel she was just starting to break out of her shell so I feel we will see way more BA stuff from this girl in the upcoming novels in this series. 

Now onto my lovely, broken Adrian. He is still heartsick over Rose, and who would expect him to be otherwise. There were times when he was confessing his emotions to Sydney or Jill was speaking about them and I could not help but just want to grab him and make an Adrian and Kelley sandwich. He is what I would call the imperfect guy. No one expects anything from him, so he expects nothing from himself. The only person to ever push him and get through to him was Rose. Sydney is able to show her faith in him in a different way and that sparks something inside of him. He starts painting and man he just gets hotter and hotter. I read the first eight pages that Mead posted of the original Bloodlines that was going to be told from alternating perspectives, and I know I would have liked that version better but Mead did not agree so here we are. I only get to see my beloved Adrian through Sydney's nerdy eyes. 

The romance...

Well there really was none. There was some tension and unexpressed feelings being held up inside our lovely bodyguard Eddie. But none of it was let out. I wish there had been I mean come on, as much as it hurts me to let Adrian go, I would not mind him being with Sydney, anyone really except for Jill. I mean what the hell was wrong with EVERYONE. Why are they so obsessed with her, holy crap she is 15 years old and stick skinny. Last I checked the voluptuous babes get the men, not the babies. But I guess everyone was just a cradle robbing pervert, anyways moving on remember you liked this book Kelley

So furthermore we get a crazy old man, his suspicious son, a dangerously lovely, smooth talking moroi, the stud, the best friend, the jailbait (that one shouldn't be too hard to guess), the two-faced idiot, and the brainy chick all wrapped up into one pretty novel. Oh yeah and I guess I should also add the MR. goodie goodie. 

Last thoughts...

This book was just a chance for everyone to get used to each other. For past to be put behind everyone, and for Sydney to start being the leading lady instead of a follower. One bad thing about this novel was how predictable it was, Mead made it painfully obvious that sketchy stuff was going down and that could have been done much more subtly. I suspect The Golden Lily to be 100 times what this book was and more.


Recommended for people the enjoyed:
Vampire Academy (Especially Adrian Fans) or Blue Bloods

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Along for the Ride

It's been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents' divorce-or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live. A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she's been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend. In her signature pitch-perfect style, Sarah Dessen explores the hearts of two lonely people learning to connect.

Title: Along for the Ride
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publication: June 16th 2009
Where to buy: Barnes and Noble, Amazon


Sara Dessen has a way of touching home with her writing. She can type her fingers away on her keyboard and it reminds me of the Fugees Killing Me Softly. She writes my pain as if she is copying it from my own life. 

Perfect grades, and no social life equal Auden. Both her parents are English professors and authors. Both so egotistical and self-absorbed that Auden has pretty much raised herself. Emotionally that is. Deciding to take a break from her mother's house, and her infamous cocktail parties with her grad students, Auden goes to stay with her dad, his newlywed and their baby, who suffers from colic. In the same location that Keeping the Moon took place, Colby, North Carolina. We are brought back to Last Chance Cafe and the fun, free life Colby has to offer. 

Only...Auden's a loner and always has been. She struggles with sleep, since her parents started fighting about their divorce. So the nightlife is where it's at for our confused and lonely main character. As the story progresses she begins to come closer to a few girls, and also a boy, Eli. He has a tragic story of his own, one where he was driving the car during a car crash that killed his best friend. Ever since he has never been the same. 

Auden and Eli explore the night together and even start checking off stuff for Auden list of things she never experienced because she was too busy studying. 

Everything gets to real for Auden, especially when she feels herself, the loner, not so alone anymore. She pulls back, away from the world and her new friends, afraid that she is going to get hurt. Only to realize, maybe all things don't have to come to an end. And maybe if you're not afraid to say what you want, and fight for it, things just might turn out to how they were meant to be. 

Another fun and refreshing story from Sarah Dessen. She has a way with words and so easily she finds a way into our hearts. Auden is no exception to that, she'll become your best friend, and maybe you might find yourself right along with her. 


Recommended for people who enjoyed:
Something, Maybe or When it Happens

Between The Lines

When Hollywood It Boy, Reid Alexander, arrives on location to shoot his next movie, his goals are the same as always—film another blockbuster hit and enjoy his celebrity status to the fullest while doing so. His costar is a virtual unknown with whom he had blazing hot chemistry during her auditions. The universe is lining up nicely to grant whatever he wants, as usual, until he’s confronted with unexpected obstacles on location like a bitter ex-girlfriend and a rival for the first girl to spark his genuine interest in years.
Emma Pierce just got her big break after more than a decade of filming commercials for grape juice, department stores and tampons, and more recently, bit parts in made-for-TV movies. Nailing the lead role in a wide-release film sent her agent, father and stepmother into raptures, and should have done the same for her. The Problem? Emma is experiencing a building desire to be normal, and starring in a silly, modernized adaptation of one of her favorite novels—opposite the very hot Reid Alexander—isn’t going to advance that aspiration.
Graham Douglas doesn’t fear playing the part of a nerdy dimwit; when it comes to choosing film roles, if it pays, he’ll do it. Besides, his friend Brooke Cameron snatched up the role of the bitchy hot girl and could use his help as a buffer, because her ex is the star. Graham has no problem keeping a handle on the situation, until he finds himself attracted to Reid’s costar, Emma, the girl Reid is pursuing full-throttle with his standard arsenal of charm, good looks and arrogance.
Author recommendation: Mature teens+ (language/drinking/sexual situations)

Title: Between the Lines
Author: Tammara Webber
Publication: April 29th 2011
Where to buy: Barnes and Noble, Amazon


Between the Lines. How to start...This story was very entertaining. I read the story at a very quick speed. The novel alternates between the views of Ried and Emma. Now, after reading the description of the story it makes you feel like it is going to also be read through the eyes of Graham as well, but sadly that never happens. 

So Emma, she is the girl next door type. Sweet and innocent, she lands the part of a lifetime with one of the worlds hottest upcoming actors. Pretty much, he is the equivalent of a slightly more manly Bieber of the acting world to these people. She gets to play Elizabeth (Lizbeth) to his Mr. Darcy (Will). 

Ried is the hot and big-headed movie star, we all expect people like him to act like. He is in full belief that all women love him and no one could ever turn him down. Early on he sets his sights on Emma, he wants a little costar action on the side, something he has become so good at that he has it down to a science. He plays games with her and still has some rendezvous on the side while trying to keep Emma as his main goal. Ried gets threatened when he feel competition waging from an indie-actor Graham, who always seemed to be accompanied by Ried's ex Brooke (the star of a show that is supposed to be something like Miley Cyrus and Hannah Monatana or something without the singing *the impression I was given*) This makes him get suspicious of Emma and his "relationship." 

Graham is a good guy, who from what it seems has some pretty deep feelings for Emma, but he never pushes forward. Never makes that move so we are left wondering. 

This story is another one of those rare gems that go further than I expect them to. The climax is followed by a long length of resolution time where we can see where everything is headed. It gives us plenty of time to come to a perfect happy ending. 

Then ending was so satisfying, in fact, that I thought that was it, the story was officially over. But then I come to discover that there are two more stories that follow it. I will be sure to put those books on my to-read list!

This story is perfect for a light and fluffy read.


Recommended for people who enjoyed:
The Boyfriend Thief or Sophie & Carter

Playing Hurt

Star basketball player Chelsea "Nitro" Keyes had the promise of a full ride to college—and everyone's admiration in her hometown. But everything changed senior year, when she took a horrible fall during a game. Now a metal plate holds her together and she feels like a stranger in her own family.
As a graduation present, Chelsea's dad springs for a three-week summer "boot camp" program at a northern Minnesota lake resort. There, she's immediately drawn to her trainer, Clint, a nineteen-year-old ex-hockey player who's haunted by his own traumatic past. As they grow close, Chelsea is torn between her feelings for Clint and her loyalty to her devoted boyfriend back home. Will an unexpected romance just end up causing Chelsea and Clint more pain—or finally heal their heartbreak?
Title: Playing Hurt
Author: Holly Schindler
Published: June 1st 2011
Where to buy: Barnes and NobleAmazon


I am from MN, and have always wanted to see a book that could portray MN accurately and not completely stink. I did not get anywhere near that when reading Shiver or My Blood Approves

This novel however, did not disappoint. The story is sweet and enduring. Perfect for that summer beach read. I love the alternating perspectives from Chelsea and Clint. 

I give a lot of props to this story for going beyond what is typically done in this kind of girl has boy, girl goes on vacation, girl meets new guy, girl falls in love with new guy, girl is confused, girl goes home, story over and she is perfectly in love with whoever she chooses. Well Schindler goes beyond that and shows us the dirty details of how exactly one explains such behavior to the guy that came first. I loved that Schindler didn't just say, "Awh, he loved me so much he just forgave me and wanted me to be happy." No we get to see it all, and the aftermath of what happens next. 

This is a great story and I look forward to reading more from Schindler in the future. 

On a side note, the story can get pretty graphic, sexually. It is more descriptive than any young-adult books I have ever read before. I would suggest if you don't care or mind the details then just read it as you would any other book, but if you are going to go and write that it was unnecessary and nasty then don't bother to read it at all. It will upset you.


Recommended if you enjoyed:
Babe in Boyland or Catching Jordan

Kissed by an Angel (1-3)

An angelic romantic suspense trilogy in one volume! 
"Kissed by an Angel": Ivy and Tristan have the love of a lifetime--until Tristan dies in a car accident. Now Tristan returns as an angel, but Ivy is unable to feel his presence. 
"The Power of Love": Tristan has learned that the person responsible for the car crash is after Ivy. Can he cross the boundaries of life and death to warn Ivy that she is in trouble? 
"Soulmates": Tristan must rescue Ivy, but if he does so his mission will be finished and he will have to leave his true love forever.

Title: Kissed by an Angel
Author: Elizabeth Chandler
Published: August 1st 1995
Where to buy: Barnes and NobleAmazon


I love this novel. It takes you through so many twists and turns, one minute you are feeling pain, and misery and do not know how it could get any worse, and the next you are elated and shouting for joy. This collection of 3 novels was written in 1995. The author Elizabeth Chandler wrote a 4th book in the series in 2010. I found this out recently and knew it would be great and worth a 15 year wait. I just re-read this book and am just as in Love with Tristan and Will as I ever have been. 

Our main character, Ivy, starts out at a new school in the middle of her junior year of high school. Her mother is about to marry the wealthy president from a local college. This has brought her to this new school and also getting her a new stepbrother. Ivy is the kind of character you refuse to hate. She is loyal to her friends and family, willing to protect them at all costs. She is stubborn, brave and strong and tries with all her strength even when she is terrified out of her mind. Throughout the novel some really sketchy things start to happen; her stepbrother's mom commits suicide, Ivy is in a car accident with Tristan, there is another suicide attempt, someone dies from a "drug overdose" and Ivy's poor kitten is showing up with mysterious cut marks on her paws and many more. 

Other than Ivy this novel includes some great characters.
Tristan: He is the strong and loving male lead that falls deep for Ivy, and refuses to stop loving her even after death.
Gregory: Ivy's popular stepbrother. He is a hard one to figure out, is he on Ivy's side or does he have darker ideas brewing behind the scenes.
Will: One of Gregory's friends that has also fallen for Ivy, but he is the "cool" guy so he takes a step back and admirers her from afar.
Beth: One of Ivy's good friends that has a special talent hidden up her sleeve.
Suzanne: One of Ivy's closest friends since they were 5 years old. However there is only one thing on her mind and that’s Gregory and not even Ivy can stop her from getting what she wants.
Lacy: A comedic relief to the story, she is also an Angel who likes to cause a little more mess than happiness. She helps Tristan adjust to his new found way of life or death.
Philip: Ivy's younger brother who is just as stubborn as she is, and won’t give up on the idea of Angels even after Ivy has.

Kissed by an Angel does not involve your average Love-triangle. Tristan is in love with Ivy and has even forgone his player card just trying to get Ivy's attention. At first Ivy doesn't respond to him, even tries to avoid him because she thinks he is all brawn and no brain. Finally they connect, Ivy realizes how great of a guy Tristan really is and they begin dating. Their relationship takes off and is going great until, there is an accident...or was it an accident...that takes Tristan away from us, only to have him return as an Angel. We spend a good majority of the novel waiting for Tristan to finally break through to Ivy all over again. Tristan tries this in many ways communicating through Ivy's best friend Beth and secret admirer Will. Only whenever they bring him up she gets mad, like they are ripping open the wound that she is trying desperately to hold together. Tristan also spends a lot of his time trying to ignore how much he and Will have in common and jealous of how Will can be there for her in more ways than he can himself. Although Tristan has nothing to worry about because Ivy has closed herself off to love and she tries to keep her distance from Will for fear of what could happen between them.

This story is great! Better now than the last time I read it. I am very excited that there is even more to the story to read now. It is truly a classic of our generation.


Recommended for you if you enjoyed: 
Angel Burn or Deadly Little Secrets

The Boyfriend Thief

Avery James has her life planned out: this summer she'll work with a humanitarian program in Costa Rica, next year she'll graduate at the top of her class, and after that, college and medical school. Perfect, planned, total order.
The only problem: getting the rest of the money she needs for the trip before the deadline. Hannah Cohen, her biggest competition for the valedictorian title, makes an unexpected offer: If Avery can win over Zac Greeley and make him break up with Hannah before the end of the school year, a check for five hundred dollars is all hers. Faced with the prospect of spending yet another summer working as a giant hot dog, it's an offer Avery can't refuse.
Zac is nothing like Avery expected. Within his chaotic world of midnight slushie runs and spontaneous dance parties, her total order is quickly falling apart while Hannah seems poised to get everything she wants. But just how much is Avery willing to give up for the perfect, planned life?

Title: The Boyfriend Thief
Author: Shana Norris
Published: April 30th 2011
Where to buy: Barnes and NobleAmazon


I read the description for this book numerous times, and from the blurbs about it I thought it wasn't for me. I mean the boyfriend thief? Not my cup of tea. How did I end up reading it then? Well in a desperate search for cheap books on my nook, I came across this for $2.99. Now, I figured I could deal with the consequences for the price. So I bought it and I am so very glad I did. 

The book in no way revolved around the semi-gross concept of stealing someone else's boyfriend. Instead is was a refreshing story about Avery James. Who for starters, is a complete nerd. She is so focused on her goals that she has shut herself off from anyone getting close to her. Mostly, this is all connected to the fact that her mother has abandoned their family leaving Avery to fill the motherly role in the house.

So, here's how the boyfriend stealing became a reality. In her econ class she is assigned the partner Zac Greenly, who appears to be the slacker of a lifetime. His girlfriend is Hannah Cohen, most popular It girl, class president, and currently number two just behind Avery for highest school ranking. Well, Hannah proposes a plan to Avery, who is a little strapped on cash at the moment. For $500 bucks, Hannah wants Avery to steal her boyfriend Zac away. She can't dump him herself because that could cause a poor image to the girl who is trying to be voted class queen. Avery accepts the deal, expecting nothing but keeping it strictly professional. Only, she didn't expect that Zac could have such an effect on her. Throwing her out of her comfort zone and making her do things she never could have possibly imagined in her life. 

Along the way of The Boyfriend Thief, Avery has other problems as well, like her best friend dating an alleged total creep, her father bringing home yet another new girlfriend, and her brother treating her like she could be his new mom. None of those problems though are bigger than the one Avery is dealing with underneath it all, herself. She is her own worst enemy and gets herself caught up in some really terrible situations. Luckily for her, she has a great friend and her family by her side. Teaching her some perspective she never knew she needed. And hey, maybe she could even fall in love along the way.

Overall the novel read really fast. I was flipping page after page, metaphorically of course because I read it on my nook. There are only four things that did bother me slightly. The first was that everything unraveled rather quickly. Almost immediately. One page everything is going well, then the next everything is out there in the open and we have one major cry fest on our hands. The second is that there are some things that I would have liked answers too before the book ended. They were not crucial to the story line, so I know I can live without knowing. The third thing that bothered me was that there were a few weird errors in the novel, like a time where there was a lowercase 'I' that was just sitting there with no purpose to the sentence in any way, just a typo. Things like that make my eyebrows bunch together and blink a few times to make sure I am not hallucinating. I was happy that this didn't happen often enough that I noticed it as a major problem just a few noteworthy times. Lastly, I was bothered by the fact that a few of the characters were not described well early on. It was to the point where I had a well developed opinion of what the character looked like, then we got a tiny detail and it changed everything. Kind of like when you read the book that later turns into a movie. The character just never looks right to you. 

The Boyfriend Thief was an entertaining story that surprised me in more ways than one. I was happy that the author, Shana Norris, didn't get caught up in some things that I feel a typical author might have decided to expand more on, and I liked the strong willed personality of Avery. The story could be closely compared to Along for the Ride by Sara Dessen, in the personalities and actions of our main characters and their love interests, but not too closely that I feel it is the same book. My lesson learned through reading The Boyfriend Thief is that it might have just inspired me to not always judge a book by its blurb.


Recommended for those who enjoyed:
Along for the Ride