Monday, November 30, 2009

Review: The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman

Where I got it: Library
Rating: 4 stars
Cover Rating: 2 stars (Interesting but wouldn't make me want to pick it up.)
Genre: Middle Grade Fiction
Publication Date: September 30, 2008
Publisher: HarperCollins
Page Count: 309 (including last illustration)

Bod, short for Nobody Owens, escaped his own death when he was just an infant. Though his attacker had not given up Bod has remained safe in the graveyard, whose inhabitants have taken him in. Bod learns what he can through the years from the different ghosts and other folk who reside in the graveyard. Now and then he ventures out into the real world but nothing good usually comes from those escapades. This is the story of him coming into his own, after being under the watchful eye of his Guardian.

This was an enjoyable book. I loved the illustrations, even though some of them looked unfinished I think they went with the text very nicely. This wasn't a flowing novel really, each chapter was like a different clip from Bod's life. The chapters progressed in order and Bod was a little older in each one until the end. It was interesting to read about Bod in the real world and how he reacted and how people reacted to him, because he was a little different than they were. The relationships that Bod made were interesting, some of them good, some of them bad, most of them weird. The writing was spot on for being a book about a graveyard filled with dead people from decades ago in England. I don't have any bad things to say about this book. It's Neil Gaiman, it was a good story and that is pretty much all. I liked it. Read it. You have the time, what are you reading right now? LAME, read this instead.

First Line:
"There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife."

Favorite Line:
"A voice by his ear said, ' Say you'll miss me, you lumpkin.'"

Sunday, November 29, 2009

In My Mailbox #18

In My Mailbox brought to you by The Story Siren

From my Secret Santa through Book Blogger Holiday Swap I got Chocolates from Daffin's , City of Bones - Cassandra Clare, a postcard from Daffin's and A Mary Engelbreit card

I got an ARC of Fade to Blue - Sean Beaudoin from Goodreads swap.

and that's all this week. What did everyone else get?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

2010 Author Challenge

What is the 2010 Debut Author Challenge?
  • The objective is to read a set number of YA (Young Adult) or MG (Middle Grade) novels from debut authors published this year.* I'm going to challenge everyone to read at least 12 debut novels! I’m hoping to read at least 30! You don’t have to list your choices right away, but if you do feel free to change them throughout the year. I will also be focusing on mostly Young Adult novels.
  • Anyone can join, you don’t need a blog to participate. If you don’t have a blog you can always share your views by posting a review on, or any other bookish site.
  • The challenge will run from January 1, 2010- December 31, 2010. You can join at anytime!
* I would like to limit the novels to those released in 2010.

You’ll have to do all the research to make sure a novel meets the criteria for the challenge. I do have a few sites that can help with your search;
2010: A Book Odyssey, AuthorsNow & The Class of 2k10 (website to be launched).
There is more
information here and you can sign up by visiting this post.

So I will most certainly be participating in The Story Siren's 2010 Debut Author Challenge. So here's my list currently. Changes may be made as I see fit. I am hoping to read at least 20 books. Current status 27 read.

1. The Mark - Jen Nadol
2. Shadow Hills -Anastasia Hopcus
3. The Line - Teri Hall*
4. Dirty Little Secrets - C.J. Omulolu
5. The Secret Year - Jennifer Hubbard*
6. The Body Finder - Kimberly Derting
7. Before I Fall - Lauren Oliver
8. Bleeding Violet - Dia Reeves
9. The Naughty List - Suzanne Young
10. Sea - Heidi R. Kling
11. The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin - Josh Berk
12. Plain Kate - Erin Bow
13.  Nightshade - Andrea Cremer*
14. The Good Girl's Guide to Getting Kidnapped - Yxta Maya Murray*
15. All Unquiet Things - Anna Jarzab*
16. Nevermore - Kelly Creagh
17. The Mockingbirds - Daisy Whitney*
18. Numbers - Rachel Ward*
19. Magic Under the Glass - Jaclyn Dolamore
20. Hex Hall - Rachel Hawkins*
21. Brightly Woven - Alexandra Bracken*
22. The Iron King - Julie Kagawa
23. Other - Karen Kincy
24. Mistwood - Leah Cypress
25. Guardian of the Dead - Karen Healey*
The Rise of Renegade X - Chelsea Campbell
 The Replacement - Brenna Yovanoff*
28. Whisper - Phoebe Kitanidis
29. Party - Tom Leveen
30. Thirteen Teasures - Michelle Harrison *
31. The Agency : A Spy in the House - Y.S. Lee
32. Paranormalcy - Kiersten White
33. Ship Breakers - Paolo Bacigalupi*
34. Girl Parts - John M. Cusick
35. No and Me - Delphine De Vigan
36. Prince of Mist - Carlos Ruiz Zafón*
37. Faithful - Janet Fox*
38. Wolves, Boys and Other Things That Might Kill Me - Kristen Chandler*
39. Wish - Alexandra Bullen*
40. The DUFF - Kody Keplinger
41. Glimmerglass - Jenna Black
42. Ninth Ward - Jewell Parker Rhodes*
43. The Thirteenth Chime - Emma Michaels
44.  Infinite Days - Rebecca Maizel*
45. The Best and Hardest Thing - Pat Brisson*
46. Girl Saves Boy - Steph Bowe
47. The Ivy - Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur*
48. The Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball - Risa Green

*books I own
linked to review

Review: Almost Perfect- Brian Katcher

Where I got it: Bought it.
Rating: 3.5 stars
Cover Rating: 4 stars (It's provocative.)
Genre: Young adult
Publication Date: October 13, 2009
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 357

Logan's girlfriend of three years has cheated on him. He could barely even get on base with her and she went off and did it with some guy. Logan thought she was "the one" though, so he has been moping around. But when a new student (which never happens in Boyer's small high school) breezes into biology Logan gets a new optimistic feeling. The more Logan starts to talk to the new student, Sage, he realizes that there are many things that she is keeping from him. She won't tell him why she was home schooled or why she's not allowed to date. When Sage does unload her big secret, Logan gets angry and almost hits her. Can Logan overcome something this big? Is he up to the challenge of being Sage's boyfriend or even just her friend?

At first I was really annoyed at how quickly Logan cycled through emotions, how completely unstable he seemed. Then, I realized that he's a teenage boy, he has no idea how to handle the situation he's been thrust into and all he is is raw emotion. After that I started to enjoy the book much more, thinking "Hey, he's just reacting the way he knows how.". This was the first book I have read that dealt so immediately with gender issues, and in such a real unflinching voice. Sage was who she was and Logan wanted to understand. I loved the passion that was printed on every page. Be it anger or love or lust everything was heightened emotions as I imagine it must feel to be in a situation similar to theirs. There was also a great joke in this book, let me share.

"'Well, my church is doing some major renovations. Painting the whole building.'
'Since when do you go to church?" I asked. He ignored me.
'We didn't think we were going to have enough money, so we bought some cheap paint and watered it down. Didn't look the greatest, but it got the job done.'
'What the hell are you talking about?' Jack never got up before three p.m. on Sundays.
'Well, we spent all last Saturday painting the outside. Unfortunately, right when we were finished, this rain started. Washed everything away.'
'Oh, no,' said Sage, sounding genuinely concerned.
'The funny thing is, right when we were all running inside, I could swear I heard a voice from the clouds.'
I sighed 'Saying what, Jack?'
'Repaint! Repaint and thin no more!'"

Well, I enjoyed it at least, quite clever.This was a great book about being yourself and knowing that it's okay if you are confused about how you feel in certain situations. A book about how we don't always make the right decisions, but they are our decisions and they all come with consequences.

First Line:
"Everyone has that one line they swear they'll never cross, the one thing they say they'll never do."

Favorite Line:
"Well, more like gouging a piece of shrapnel out of my stomach, pouring a bottle of gin into the wound, lighting it on fire, and sewing my guts up with a dirty bootlace."

Friday, November 27, 2009

Review: My Invented Life - Lauren Bjorkman

Where I got it: From Henry Holt and Company after accepting author's offer
Rating: 4 stars
Cover Rating: 5 stars (It's sexy, I love the glamour pose. However I don't like the back cover it doesn't go with the front really. It's good on its own but they don't work together.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: September 29, 2009
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Page Count: 229 (ARC) Including the Lexicon of Shakespearean Insults

Roz and Eva are sister and were friends. They were friends BD (before deletion), Before Eva complete cut Roz out of her life. Roz drools after Eva's boyfriend (not for the first time) and wishes she had her sisters acting talent so she could get the lead in the school play. Roz starts to suspect that there is something going on with Eva that she doesn't want to admit to, so she comes up with a plan to get Eva to spill the beans. Unfortunately the plan backfires, well sort of. It didn't go quite the way Roz had planned but maybe it helped her and her sister realize things about themselves that they weren't able to see before.

This book was hilarious, engrossing, ludicrous. So many times while doing my laundry I was laughing out loud and people were staring. It is indeed that funny, not to mention that most Shakespearean words sound funny even if they aren't meant to be. It was really nice to read a light-hearted book about sexual identity issues. It seems like they are all so serious. Not that it's not a serious issue, it's just they all seem to be so heavy where as this one was fun.I loved the dynamics between the characters and it was great having a story from a theater geek's perspective. So often the main character in the book doesn't really have a passion for one thing in particular. Characters will often be passionate but not necessarily about just one thing. It was nice to read about the geekiness and the rivalry that goes on behind stage. Lauren is a welcome fresh voice in young adult fiction. I definitely recommend you put this on your TBR list, it will make you laugh, possibly until you pee your pants. Thou spleeny prick-eared slug!

First Line:
"I raise my mini club and try to focus on the clown's chomping mouth."

Favorite Line:
"My father was no prostitute."

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Contest

Not that this book has anything to do with Thanksgiving whatsoever. In honor of this Thankful holiday I am Thanking my readers by giving one of them a copy of The Van Alen Legacy by: Melissa de la Cruz. This is a simple contest, all you have to do is comment below with a way for me to contact you. This contest will close on December 10th. Good Luck!
Contest is international!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday #11

Daelyn Rice is broken beyond repair, and after a string of botched suicide attempts, she's determined to get her death right. She starts visiting a website for "completers"- www.through-the-light .com.

While she's on the site, Daelyn blogs about her life, uncovering a history of bullying that goes back to kindergarten. When she's not on the Web, Daelyn's at her private school, where she's known as the freak who doesn't talk.

Then, a boy named Santana begins to sit with her after school while she's waiting to for her parents to pick her up. Even though she's made it clear that she wants to be left alone, Santana won't give up. And it's too late for Daelyn to be letting people into her life.isn't it?

National Book Award finalist Julie Anne Peters shines a light on how bullying can push young people to the very edge.

summary from Fantastic Fiction

I love Julie Anne Peters books, so this is of course a must read on my list. Plus that cover is striking.

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Teaser Tuesday #11

This week's Teaser Tuesday is from Paper Towns - John Green

Teaser (page: 140)

"I can hear her saying to me, 'I don't want some kids to find me swarmed with flies on Saturday morning in Jefferson Park.' Not wanting to be found by some kids in Jefferson Park isn't the same thing as not wanting to die."

Teaser Tuesday is brought to us by Should be Reading.
1) Grab your current read
2) Open to a random page
3) Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
4) BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
5) Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, November 23, 2009


and the winner is.....

miss cindy :) of simple life and reading...

For those of you who didn't win have no fear a Thanksgiving contest is soon to come.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

In My Mailbox #17

How to Buy a Love of Reading postcard from Tanya Egan Gibson
Eyelash postcard from Jess Scott
both were won over at Electrical Book Cafe's Blogoversary contest

Shadowland by: Alyson Noel

For Review:
The Secret Year - Jennifer Hubbard
The Line - Teri Hall

Also I got some buttons and bookmark swag from Anastasia Hopcus for her upcoming book Shadow Hills which I featured for Waiting on Wednesday here. Thanks Anastasia!

And of course, as always In My Mailbox brought to you by The Story Siren

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Great link I just found!

Hey guys, I just found out that for a limited time you can read The Amanda Project online for free right here so if you have been wanting to read this, make sure you check it out. Also don't forget that my contest to win a hardcover copy of Beautiful Creatures ends tomorrow at midnight.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Teaser Tuesday #10

This week's Teaser Tuesday is from The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman

Teaser (page: 97)

"Those that men call Werewolves or Lycanthropes call themselves the Hounds of God, as they claim their transformation is a gift from their creator, and they repay the gift with their tenacity, for they will pursue an evildoer to the very gates of Hell.
Bod nodded."

Teaser Tuesday is brought to us by Should be Reading.
1) Grab your current read
2) Open to a random page
3) Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
4) BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
5) Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Winner of the Hold Still contest

and the winner of a finished copy of Hold, Still is..... Jenny N. I have sent you an e-mail you have 48 hours to send me your address and I will forward to her publisher.

Don't forget my contest for Beautiful Creatures is open until November 22 here. I've also decided if I hit 150 followers by then(wishful thinking) I will give away two copies. So tell all your friends.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

In My Mailbox #16


Drama, Drama and Ana Ruiz - Belinda Acosta
Amigoland - Oscar Casares
Tell Me Something True - Leila Cobo
Evenings at the Argentine Club - Julia Amante
Zumba - Beto Perez
from Libby's Library News

The Maze Runner - James Dashner

For Review:

The Complete History of Why I Hate Her - Jennifer Richard Jacobson
my review here
received through Around the World Tours

As always In My Mailbox brought to you by The Story Siren

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Beautiful Creatures website

If you haven't already click here to check out the new Little, Brown Beautiful Creatures Live website. It's pretty awesome and includes neat things like a 3d map of Gatlin.
Also I'm going to post Vania's beautiful BC trailer, because I really think she did a wonderful job on it.

Review: The Complete History of Why I Hate Her - Jennifer Richard Jacobson

Where I got it: Princess Bookie's Around the World Tours
Rating: 1.5 stars
Cover Rating: 4 stars (It's fitting)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: April 27, 2010
Publisher: Atheneum Books For Young Readers
Page Count: 181 (ARC)

Nola just wants to be on her own. She doesn't want to be defined by her sister's cancer. Nola doesn't want to stay in Boston so she heads to Maine to waitress for the summer. On the way she meets Carly, then Carly infects her life. Is Carly a true friend or something else?

I really wanted to like this book, but I didn't. The characters were flat, hardly any emotion and no development beyond what was happening right then. I could not relate or empathize with any of them because they were names on paper, not characters. Another thing I did not like was the way the story just jumped from chapter to chapter without much explanation of where people were now. They would be in the middle of something, and then all of a sudden cut scene. In chapter 3 Carly and Nola meet Nola's boss and he invites them to dinner and they all have a good time. This didn't seem realistic at all to me. Who actually acts that relaxed and easy going with people you have never met? Even if you're outgoing I think this had too much of a comfortable feel to it to actually be realistic. Another unrealistic thing is what teenage girl travels across two states to waitress for the summer? That doesn't make any sense, especially her parents letting her go when they have a sick daughter to begin with. I did like the Haiku and I liked chapters 30 (the Slam haiku session) and 31 but then the ending killed me. Many reasons for this, including the "sum up the story in a moral" part. So unfortunately I really could not appreciate this book at all. I do not recommend reading it, but if you do I hope you like it much better than I did. At least it was a fast read.

First Line:
"Song is hanging off my arm, afraid I'm going to slip onto the bus and out of her life as quickly as I made the decision to go."

Favorite Line:
"Do not define me
By anything other than
What I choose to be"

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Review: Journey of Dreams by: Marge Pellegrino

Where I got it: Frances Lincoln Children's Books through The Picnic Basket
Rating: 4 stars
Cover Rating: 4 stars (I appreciate the beautiful artwork and it fits the story well. I'm glad this was not just a glamour photo. Also the jacket matches the actual book itself, which is marvelous.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: August 1, 2009
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Books

This is Tomasa's story and how she and what's left of her family must try to escape from the Guatemalan army. They must journey far, sometimes retracing their steps, when things go awry. They must hide who they are and be careful who they trust. Their father tells them stories to help them get to sleep after hard days of many miles. All they want is the quiet refuge of the United states and a reunion with the others of their family.

I really appreciated this book and am very glad I signed up to receive it. I wouldn't normally pick up a book like this because I can't really relate to it. Most of us have never had to endure genocide or border crossings, that fear mixed with the glint of hope. This was a beautiful story with rich storytelling and heartfelt moments. Everything seemed so real and the images were vivid in my mind, much like Tomasa's woven huipil blouses. I think this would be a great novel to read along with a Central American unit in school, or if you are interested in Guatemalan culture and their hardships. This is a great book about refugees and how much different people's lives are in other parts of the world. This is a novel of bravery and dreams and a passion for freedom that drives them through. If you get a chance definitely pick up this book. If you are a teacher this is a must read for you. Marge Pellegrino wove a beautiful story in this novel.

First Line:
"Thwap, thwap, thwap. The high green branches of the pine trees shiver in the wind from the dark green machine whirring above us."

Favorite Line:
"'Where did the green go?' Maria asks."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Review: The Willoughbys by: Lois Lowry

Where I got it: Library
Rating: 5 stars
Cover Rating: 3.5 stars (I appreciate how the red door is a cut out, and the general style of the cover pleases me.)
Genre: Middle Grade Fiction
Publication Date: March 31, 2008
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children

Four children dream of being proper orphans. Like the good orphans in old-fashioned stories. They don't like their parents too terribly much (their parents don't like them either), so they decide to send them on a dangerous vacation hoping that they will meet an ill fate. They receive a nanny but are disheartened when they get good news from their parents. They meet a hermit that they gave a baby to and they all become good friends and who knows maybe even more.

This book was laugh out loud funny. I love how this was written, so proper sounding, yet ridiculously fun. I definitely recommend you pick this up and read it. It will only take you a very short time and you will be giggling about it until the end. I can't say too much about it without giving it all away. I love the glossary in the back and the Bibliography of all the "old-fashioned" books the kids wanted to style themselves after. The writing was very thorough and correct as we have come to expect from this writer. Definitely not the Lois we know from The Giver or Number the Stars, I quite like how outrageously delicious this novel is. READ IT READ IT READ IT READ IT! Thank you and good day.

P.S. this book may put you in a silly mood for quite some time.

First Line:
"Once upon a time there was a family named Willoughby: an old-fashioned type of family, with four children. "

Favorite Line"
"They forgot you , dear. I was actually quite surprised after they left and I settled in and found four children. They had told me they had three."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Teaser Tuesday #9

This week's Teaser Tuesday is from Almost Perfect - Brian Katcher

Teaser (page: 31)

"He stared at Sage like she was a captive yeti.
Christ, you're tall. Can I borrow a buck?'"

Teaser Tuesday is brought to us by Should be Reading.
1) Grab your current read
2) Open to a random page
3) Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
4) BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
5) Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

In My Mailbox #15

For Review:

Last Night I Sang to the Monster - Benjamin Alire Sáenz
from Cinco Puntos Press theough The Picnic Basket

Zach is eighteen. He is bright and articulate. He's also an alcoholic and in rehab instead of high school, but he doesn't remember how he got there. He's not sure he wants to remember. Something bad must have happened. Something really, really bad. Remembering sucks and being alive—well, what's up with that?

I have it in my head that when we're born, God writes things down on our hearts. See, on some people's hearts he writes Happy and on some people's hearts he writes Sad and on some people's hearts he writes Crazy on some people's hearts he writes Genius and on some people's hearts he writes Angry and on some people's hearts he writes Winner and on some people's hearts he writes Loser.

It's all like a game to him. Him. God. And it's all pretty much random. He takes out his pen and starts writing on our blank hearts. When it came to my turn, he wrote. I don't like God very much. Apparently he doesn't like me very much either. Sad

My Invented Life - Lauren Bjorkman
From Henry Holt and Company after accepting author's offer

With Roz and Eva everything becomes a contest—who can snag the best role in the school play, have the cutest boyfriend, pull off the craziest prank. Still, they’re as close as sisters can be. Until Eva deletes Roz from her life like so much junk e-mail for no reason that Roz understands. Now Eva hangs out with the annoyingly petite cheerleaders, and Roz fantasizes about slipping bovine growth hormone into their Gatorade. Roz has a suspicion about Eva. In turn, Eva taunts Roz with a dare, which leads to an act of total insanity. Drama geeks clamor for attention, Shakespearean insults fly, and Roz steals the show in Lauren Bjorkman’s hilarious debut novel.

As always In My Mailbox brought to you by The Story Siren

Friday, November 6, 2009

My first award!

I feel all happy teary inside since Enna Isilee from Squeaky Books has bestowed upon me my very first award. Which one? you might ask well here it be

The rules: post ten truth things about you and pass the award. (Include links to the person who gave it to you and to the people you are giving the award to.) All right. You want honesty? You got honesty:

1. I currently have 5 cats, 1 boyfriend and 1 apartment.
2. I have a pretty bad anxiety problem, and it sucks.
3. I skipped half my Senior year and still passed with good grades.
4. I have six bookcases of books I still have to read.
5. I'm a really crappy friend in real life.
6. Twitter mostly confuses me.
7. I wish I was much shorter.
8. I am an aspiring author who doesn't have a novel in her.
9. Most adult books bore me.
10. I really love being a blogger and wish I could only read and review books for the rest of my life and never have to work again.

Now for my nominees, I'm not sure how many I'm supposed to pick so...
Sara from The Hiding Spot
Sharon from Sharon Loves Books and Cats
Cindy from Simple Life and Reading
Justine from A Bookful of Thoughts

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday #10

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill over at Breaking The Spine!

There's something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price's attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He's the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce--and goes out of his way to make that very clear--she can't let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, Fallen is a page turning thriller and the ultimate love story.

That cover is just gorgeous... and dark romances seem to really suit my fancy as of late. Here's to December 2009, although apparently Beautiful Creatures is "in stock" at Amazon has anyone actually gotten one yet?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Teaser Tuesday #8

This week's Teaser Tuesday is from My Invented Life by: Lauren Bjorkman
I'm cheating again, because sometimes you have to...

Teaser (page: 45)

"Desist your banal chatter.

I scribble a response.

My father was no prostitute."

Teaser Tuesday is brought to us by Should be Reading.
1) Grab your current read
2) Open to a random page
3) Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
4) BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
5) Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Review: Rage: a Love Story by: Julie Anne Peters

Where I got it: Library
Rating: 4 stars
Cover Rating: 4 stars (I love all the hot pink it's very eye-catching, the back cover isn't very good though.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: September 8, 2009
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Johanna is a good girl, who wants a bad thing. That bad thing is Reeve. Johanna's dad died in an accident and soon after her mom slowly fades away. Her sister isn't really there for her emotionally, especially after having a miscarriage. Johanna volunteers at a hospice and holds peoples hands to comfort them as they pass on. This is the one thing Johanna wants for herself, the one thing she craves. Everyday she seems to venture off into "Joyland", the place where her and Reeve are together, even if it's only in her head. Everyone, including Reeve herself tells Johanna she's trouble. Johanna thinks Reeve is just misunderstood. When Johanna ends up tutoring Robbie, Reeve's brother, she ends up getting further involved in Reeve's life then Reeve would like. Can a love push through all the obstacles they both must face? Can Johanna be the one to save Reeve?

This was a good story about abuse relationships, where everyone is a victim and an abuser. Johanna abuses her friend Novak, Novak's boyfriend abuses her, Reeve abuses people, people abuse Robbie... it's on and on. This isn't just a book about physical violence though; it is emotional and mental violence too. This book doesn't put glamour on abuse it simply paints it how it really is. I think this is an important novel for teens to read, it could help them see things in a different light. Maybe, make them realize that they are being abused in someone if they are in a bad relationship like those in the book. I liked the scenes of "Joyland" and how they progressed as Johanna did throughout the book. It seemed a little bit unrealistic how much confidence Johanna got after talking to Reeve for awhile, but I guess it can happen if you really want something bad enough. Some scene will make you wince, or shake your head and think "it's so obvious what she's doing to her" but this is all the price of love. I recommend that if you read LGBT lit you take the time to read this. I am sure I will never forget this novel. All in all this was a good LGBT novel, by one of the top names in the genre.

First Line:
"I'm wearing ultra-lowrider camo pants that barely cover my crack and if she looks she'll see the strap of my thong."

Favorite Line:
"Reeve goes in my ear, "Tell her he has herpes."

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Review: Beautiful Creatures by: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl + Contest

It is officially one month before Beautiful Creatures goes on sale. If you're not excited, start getting excited this is a book you can't afford to miss. So to pump you up, here is my review.
You can read the first 58 pages of Beautiful Creatures here.
Where I got it: ARC from the publisher
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Cover Rating:
5 stars (It's beautiful)
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: December 1, 2009
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Ethan is haunted by dreams of a girl he has never met. He wakes up and the dream seems to linger. Lena Duchannes isn't like everyone else in the small town of Gatlin. Ethan Wate doesn't feel like he fits in anymore either, especially after he sees Lena. Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and her secrets. There is so much he doesn't know about her, how much is he willing to sacrifice to find out and what about the things she doesn't even know about herself? What is the connection that draws them together?

Let me start by saying that this book was wonderful. It had its faults but altogether I really enjoyed it. The one thing that did bother me is the names, particularly the teachers' names. Maybe they will be changed in the final product though, but an English teacher named Mrs. English? Yeah, no. I am also confused why people in the south give girls boy names and boys girls names. Like a girl named Ryan or a boy named Kelly. It's a little silly. The other thing that bothered me was the line "Talk about a hot lunch." This may be different in the final copy but if it is not it will bother me forever for it's lameness. That said the characters were very believable and there were little bits of their past thrown in to make them seem even more real. I really liked all the twists and turns and in general how this book was written. I feel that if I go into too much detail I'll ruin the book and I don't want to do that. I was hoping this was going to be scary, but since it was so good that made up for it. Beautiful Creatures is a bold take on Southern Gothic, opening a new genre of YA that combines supernatural and the south, things that aren't often put together. (At least not something I have read.) I have to say I did love the Jessica Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit reference, that line pretty much made my day. If you haven't seen that movie go watch it right now and on December 1st buy this book. You won't regret it. Inside you'll find, magic, romance, teenage angst, weird families, creepy houses, Southern flavor, good vs. evil and a curse that needs to be broken. This is a truly incredible book, that deserves praise and could possibly be read for many years to come.

First line:
"There were only two kinds of people in our town."
Favorite line:

Contest Rules:

Okay so this is you chance to win a hardcover cop of Beautiful Creatures. This is for followers only. So if you don't already follow me, click to start. Okay so leave a comment about my review below with you e-mail address. That's it, and you will be entered to win.
Open Internationally!

+2 for becoming a follower
+3 if you already are a follower
+2 for each time you link to this post (please leave a link if it's not on your blog)
+2 for every comment you leave or any post after this one before the contest ends.
+3 if you leave a comment on one of my upcoming posts that revolves around BC

Alright. Good Luck Contest ends November 22nd.


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