Thursday, December 31, 2009

Review: The Year of Secret Assignments - Jaclyn Moriarty

Where I got it:Library
Rating: 3.5 stars
Cover Rating: 3 stars (It's cute, I keep thinking its a mailbox at first though. *shrugs*)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: February 1, 2004
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Page Count: 340 p.

Ashbury private school students Emily, Lydia and Cassie, are less than thrilled about having to write to the rival Brookfield high school. Despite this fact, all three of them accept their English assignment and write. Two of them get back normal letters, but Cassie gets a violent pen pal. She keeps writing to him and eventually it seems that he has lightened up. Meanwhile Lydia and Cass end up getting quite a bit closer with their pen pals, even breaking some rules to help them out.

This story written through letters and diary entries is a fun little read. I really enjoy it when novels are written in a different format from usual. This book was funny at some points and others made you roll your eyes. It was annoying yet realistic all of Emily misspellings and miswords (it's catching) in her letters. After reading A Secret Year I saw this book about a year of secret assignments and thought "neat". I'm glad I read this and I will be reading her other novels as soon as I can. It was a really fun read, that kept you guessing. It does have strong language but that's about as bad as it gets, although at some points I thought things were going to get graphic. I really enjoyed how clever and fun all of the characters were and how much energy they seemed to have. This is one of those oldies but goodies, I recommend picking it up for a semi-exciting laugh.

First Line:
"Quick! Before you read another word, write your FULL name in every box on this page!"

Favorite Line:
"4) It is clear that you are a person who likes Christina, and (in my professional opinion) you are ready to steal any girl from anybody."

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday #15

There is no cover for this one yet, since there are still 288 days until it's release so here's an author picture instead. I love debut authors and am quite looking forward to this one.
While other teenage girls daydream about boys, Calla Tor imagines ripping out her enemies’ throats. And she wouldn’t have it any other way. Calla was born a warrior and on her eighteenth-birthday she’ll become the alpha female of the next generation of Guardian wolves. But Calla’s predestined path veers off course the moment she saves the life of a wayward hiker, a boy her own age. This human boy’s secret will turn the young pack's world upside down and forever alter the outcome of the centuries-old Witches' War that surrounds them all.
BOOK I: NIGHTSHADE (October 14, 2010, Philomel)
Summary and preorder info copy and pasted from

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Teaser Tuesday #15

This week's Teaser Tuesday is from The Dark Divine - Bree Despain

(I cheated and did three lines, two didn't make it as gripping)
Teaser (page: 189)

"Then people in that part of the city went missing. Mostly shelter guest, prostitutes and kids who were wasted, so no one seemed all that concerned. That is until mangled bodies started turning up on Markham about once a month."

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, December 28, 2009

Review: The Secret Year - Jennifer R. Hubbard

Where I got it: ARC from the publisher
Rating: 3.5 stars
Cover Rating: 4 stars (It's sexy)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: January 7, 2010
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Page Count: 192 p.

Everyone has their secrets, but can two people keep each other a secret. She's from Black Mountain he's from the flats. Almost your classic Romeo and Juliet except no one is trying to keep them apart because no one knows about them. But after Julia dies Colten is forced to deal with the grief by himself because he can't tell their secret now, even if she was going to break up with Austin, her boyfriend. When Julia's brother gives him her notebook, which is filled with letters to C.M., Julia's brother guesses about the relationship that was. Will her notebook hold the answers to Colten's letting go? or will it make it even worse for him to move on? Colten has to find out what happened that night, because he thinks it's all his fault.

This was an interesting and enjoyable story, though I wish it ended on a more intense, revealing note. The ending was just so-so, it made sense but I wanted something more shocking. The setting screamed typical rich kid/poor kid situation but Hubbard managed to pull a few fun tricks out of her hat. I wish we had gotten to hear more from Julia's diary/notebook. All the relationship dynamics were authentic and intense. They truly made you feel the tension between the characters. It was a quick read about moving on when "the one" isn't necessarily "the one". It was refreshing to read about how hard it was to get over Julia. I never really got to like her, but if you spend enough time with someone it will affect you when they die. I recommend picking this one up. Good realistic fiction that has just the right amount of, violence, romance, sex and laughter.

First Line:
"Julia was killed on Labor Day on her way home from a party."

Favorite Line:
"At the end, we'd both been pushing at the walls of our secret world, pushing at each other."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Review: Suite Scarlett - Maureen Johnson

Where I got it:My collection
Rating: 5 stars
Cover Rating: 4 stars (I appreciate the "H" for Hopewell in the key and that it's shaped like NY and I love the background.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: May 1, 2009
Publisher: Point
Page Count: 353 p.

Scarlett's family owns the Hopewell hotel in New York. This hotel was once the place to be, however over the years it has dwindled down and now it is only Scarlett and her family taking care of it. When they get a guest who's more than over-the-top and she requests the Empire Suite (which is the room Scarlett takes care of) things start to get more interesting. Scarlett ends up as the over-the-top ex-starlet's personal assistant, which isn't always a good thing despite the cash flow. When Scarlett's older brother's theater production is on the verge of being shut down, the ex-starlet, Mrs. Amberson, offers to take over funding. Through wacky revenge themes and ridiculous theater antics, love and loss, Scarlett manages to keep her chin up and comes out even better than before.

I love this book! Maureen Johnson, you are a genius. This was everything you could want realistic fiction to be. Witty and well-written. I had so much fun reading this and I don't know why I did not pick it up sooner. The only problem I had is when Scarlett's brother is getting ready to get going with the play she says "Good Luck." Since her brother has been a theater geek his whole life Scarlett would have to have known that it is bad luck to say good luck to an actor before they go on stage. She should have said "Break a leg." That is all. I really recommend this to readers of humorous realistic fiction. It is the book you are looking for, it's so well written and just awesome! So buy it for you, buy it for your friends and buy it for your neighbors. It's excellent.

First Line:
"The Hopewell has been a family-run institution on the Upper East Side for over seventy-five years."
Favorite Line:"'Every time you flirt with her,' Scarlett said, 'a puppy dies.'"

Just So You Know Holiday Gift to All

Maureen Johnson has a special Holiday gift for everyone which is... a free e-copy of her book Suite Scarlett see details here. I already have a paperback copy *see review tomorrow BUT if you don't already have a copy check it out. It's a fantastic read! I loved it.

Waiting On Wednesday #14

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine!

The Shifter is an immortal creature bound by an ancient spell to protect the kings of Samorna. When the realm is peaceful, she retreats to the Mistwod.

But when she is needed she always comes.

Isabel remembers nothing. Nothing before the prince rode into her forest to take her back to the castle. Nothing about who she is supposed to be, or the powers she is supposed to have.

Prince Rokan needs Isabel to be his Shifter. He needs her ability to shift to animal form, to wind, to mist. He needs her lethal speed and superhuman strength. And he needs her loyalty--because without it, she may be his greatest threat.

Isabel knows that her prince is lying to her, but she can't help wanting to protect him from the dangers and intrigues of the court . . . until a deadly truth shatters the bond between them.

Now Isabel faces a choice that threatens her loyalty, her heart . . . and everything she thought she knew.

I always enjoyed Amelia Atwater-Rhodes and I feel like this is definitely along those lines. It should be a great read plus I love the cover.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Teaser Tuesday #14

This week's Teaser Tuesday is from How to Say Goodbye in Robot

Teaser (page: 54)

"We went through a ton of fake blood. Our fake blood purchases alone probably kept Motorbike Mike's costume shop in business."

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, December 21, 2009

Review: Paper Towns - John Green

Where I got it:Library
Rating: 4.5 stars
Cover Rating: 4 stars (I like how the "o" is from the other version of the cover. The cover is very bright and in your face and she definitely could be Margo.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: October 16, 2008
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Page Count: 305 p.

Quentin loved Margo Roth Spiegelman. Nobody ever really knew Margo and Quentin was no exception. They were friends as kids but as they grew up they managed to grow apart despite still being neighbors. One night Margo climbs in through his bedroom window and reenters his life. They pull an all-nighter filled with payback and cross town adventures. But too soon the morning comes and they go back to their respective homes. Quentin manages to drag himself to school and is only a little surprised Margo is not there. As the days keep coming however and there is still no sign of Margo, Quentin wonders if maybe there is some way he can find her. He thinks that for some reason she wants him to find her. With the help of his friends Quentin embarks on a discovery mission of Margo Roth Spiegelman.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. John Green knows Laugh Out Loud funny. This book kept me on edge almost throughout. I could never really predict how one clue could lead us to the next and maybe eventually to Margo. John Green pegs teen geek voices perfectly and how in a small boring town you really have to make the most out of any situation you can. It seemed weird to me how much Quentin worshiped Margo, even after years of not knowing her. I can see how that is possible though, because that person would still be the same in your mind as how you last remember them being. Paper Towns also includes the Best Insult EVER!
"She may be hot, but she is also 1. aggressively vapid, and 2. an absolute, unadulterated, raging bitch." See what I mean, classic.
This is a must read for all who enjoy this genre. It's funny, suspenseful and realistic; all things a great novel should be (unless it's fantasy). John Green has a new fan on his hands and I look forward to reading some of his older books and waiting for his newer ones to come find me. I do have one question, can you use the word accompli without anything before it, like fait?

First Line:
"The way I figure it, everyone gets a miracle."

Favorite Line:
"I didn't want to leave Margo alone with the dead guy who might be an attack zombie, but I also didn't care to stand around and chat about the circumstances of his demise."

Sunday, December 20, 2009

In My Mailbox #21

In My Mailbox brought to you by The Story Siren

Sovay - Celia Rees
Soulless - Gail Carriger
Bad Girls Don't Die - Katie Alender
How to Say Goodbye in Robot (ARC) - Natalie Standiford

That's what I pick up in the mail this week. What did you all get?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Review: The Waters & the Wild - Francesca Lia Block

Where I got it: Inter-library Loan
Rating: 4 stars
Cover Rating: 4 stars (I like it all except for how pixelated her face is.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: June 2, 2009
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 113 p.

"thirteen ways to know you are a changeling

1. you have never felt as if you quite belong
2. when you love someone it is like immolation or drowning
3. you yearn for the earth, even fantasize about eating it in handfuls
4. your skin is not your own ..."
Bee is a Gemini and has seen her doppelganger, which usually means death. She befriends a couple of other odd companions and they have some good times. Until they discover a secret about her. They try to help her but it is all too late, as Bee excepts who she is and where she must be.

This was another quick little read from Francesca, but unlike Pretty Dead this one didn't seem to have left such big parts out. This was also much more magical then Pretty Dead. I can't say much without giving things away since the book is so short, (the pages are tiny boasting 19 lines) but inside you can expect double selves, a boy who thinks he's an alien, a girl who is a beautiful singer and thinks she's a slave reincarnated, an astrologist and a garden. She really captures the magic of being on the cusp of childhood and teen years. I would recommend this one to Block's fans. This book wasn't quite the same as her early ones but it was beautiful nonetheless.

First Line:
"thirteen ways to know you are a changeling"

Favorite Line:
"the strange illness that poured
itself between bodies
through the elixir of the blood"

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Review: Secrets of Truth and Beauty - Megan Frazer

Where I got it: Inter-library Loan
Rating: 3.5 stars
Cover Rating: 3 stars (I really like the cover but I'm not sure who these people are supposed to be.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: July 7, 2009
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Page Count: 347 p.

Dara was a cute little 7-year-old. Cute enough to win the title of Little Miss Maine(even though it was a talent contest. Dara's talent was and is singing. She just doesn't think she's quite so cute anymore, and definitely not little. After winning Dara started to gain a lot of weight and is now quite large. After she makes an autobiography project out of clips and voice overs of her pageant, things start to go downhill. Nobody got that the project wasn't meant to be just about her and it was more a comment on culture. When her guidance counselor and family pull her out of school and tell her she needs to go to counseling, she decides it's time to meet her sister. The sister she only found out about because one day she stumbled upon her birth certificate. Her sister lives on a goat farm and makes cheese. She lives in a house filled with many different people, who might just be who she needs to feel more like herself again.

This book wasn't bad at all. It just wasn't something I was really into. It was definitely a great book for other teens though, who may be struggling with identity issues. There were a few places in the book that didn't sound quite right; either a sentence was funny or the voices didn't seem authentic, but all in all this was an enjoyable read. If you do decide to read this you may want to brush up on your music however, as there are many older musical references such as The Mamas and the Papas, that some of you younger folk might not get. *laughs* I really liked how strange the family dynamics were with Dara, her sister and their parents. It gave you a different family setting then one you would normally read about. There were many things I wanted resolved or at least some sort of further development on, but I guess you can only really find out so much from one book and one person's point of view. The ending was your typical happy ending. Moral infused conclusion brought to you by the main character. But it ended the book well enough. It was a good empowering book that I would recommend you pick up at some point and read.

First Line:
"It started with Mr. Fitz."

Favorite Line:
"'Nein!' he yelled at the goats. 'Sprechen sie Deutsch!'"

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday #13

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine!

One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.

Hilarious, poignant, and deeply insightful, John Green and David Levithan’s collaborative novel is brimming with a double helping of the heart and humor that have won both them legions of faithful fans.

Two amazing author's combined! This is better than Captain Planet. HOW COULD YOU NOT BE WAITING FOR THIS BOOK TO COME OUT?!?!?!?! ANYWAYS April 6th pre-order it now.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Teaser Tuesday #13

This week's Teaser Tuesday is from The Peculiar Superpowers of Eleanor Armstrong: a Zombie Love Story - K.A. Schloegel

Teaser (page: 63)

"Dad left work today at quarter to three to pick me up for my driver's test. For the most part, FBI agents can do that."

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, December 13, 2009

In My Mailbox #20

In My Mailbox brought to you by The Story Siren

Fallen -Lauren Kate
Leviathan - Scott Westerfield

A Beautiful Creatures Prize Pack from Saundra Mitchell's blog
this included a hardbound copy of BEAUTIFUL CREATURES with a signed bookplate from Kami & Margie, a stone-carved magnolia candle, Gummi Gatlin peaches, moon tattoos, a brass moon and bell wind-chime, and a vial of Amethyst Shimmer Lip Venom from DuWop a Beautiful Creatures wristband and dog tag, a sticker, and a GORGEOUS silver metal bookmark!
(copied and pasted from the contest page)
^I was so excited I won this I love those wind chimes!

So how did you all do?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday #12

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine!

Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared--the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in his own blood--but she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night held.

The memories her family has tried to bury resurface when Daniel returns, three years later, and enrolls in Grace and Jude's high school. Despite promising Jude she'll stay away, Grace cannot deny her attraction to Daniel's shocking artistic abilities, his way of getting her to look at the world from new angles, and the strange, hungry glint in his eyes.

The closer Grace gets to Daniel, the more she jeopardizes her life, as her actions stir resentment in Jude and drive him to embrace the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind the boy's dark secret...and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it--her soul.

I have already pre-ordered this can't wait for it to come in.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Teaser Tuesday #12

This week's Teaser Tuesday is from The Secrets of Truth and Beauty - Megan Frazer

Teaser (page: 125)

"Still, I imagine certain fathers and mothers telling their girls to stay away from the farm, for fear it might be catching. And teenage boys still come round hoping to see something illicit."

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, December 7, 2009

Kimberly Derting is having her first contest!

Grab the countdown widget and enter this contest. This is probably the contest you have been waiting for.

And there are prizes…look at all the pretty prizes…


That’s right, you too can have your very own signed copy of The Body Finder, along with this lovely limited edition tote bag, and an assortment of bookmarks and stickers. All that, and…a $25 gift certificate to the online bookseller of your choice! But it doesn’t end there, check out this sweet Body Finder poster (because you get that too!):

Second and third place winners will get all the swag (minus the ARC and the gift certificate)!!!

I kid you not!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

In My Mailbox #19

In My Mailbox brought to you by The Story Siren

Just one book this week which I got through Good Reads Swap.

Gemma, 16, has had an unconventional upbringing in India, until the day she foresees her mother’s death in a black, swirling vision that turns out to be true. Sent back to England, she is enrolled at Spence, a girls’ academy with a mysterious burned-out East Wing. There Gemma is snubbed by powerful Felicity, beautiful Pippa, and even her own dumpy roommate Ann, until she blackmails herself and Ann into the treacherous clique. Gemma is distressed to find that she has been followed from India by Kartik, a beautiful young man who warns her to fight off the visions. Nevertheless, they continue, and one night she is led by a child-spirit to find a diary that reveals the secrets of a mystical Order. The clique soon finds a way to accompany Gemma to the other-world realms of her visions "for a bit of fun" and to taste the power they will never have as Victorian wives, but they discover that the delights of the realms are overwhelmed by a menace they cannot control. Gemma is left with the knowledge that her role as the link between worlds leaves her with a mission to seek out the "others" and rebuild the Order. A Great and Terrible Beauty is an impressive first book in what should prove to be a fascinating trilogy.

I have already loved it but wanted my own copy, and so I got it.
What did you all get?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Teaser Tuesday Book Release Style

That's right, Today is the official release day for Beautiful Creatures by: Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia also release today is What I Wore to Save the World by: MaryRose Wood. So, in honor of their release I will "Teaser Tuesday" you with a teaser from each.

From Beutiful Creatures:

"I was watching two lions circle each other, and I was standing in the middle. Ridley had played me, and I had gone along with it, like a sucker, like the red sucker she was sucking on right now."

From What I Wore to Save the World:

“Woah! I see yer point; that’s bloody hideous!”

And look at those covers, mouthwatering. So if you don't already have them go and pick them up. Make sure you read Maryrose's other two books that precede this one; Why I Let My Hair Grow Out & How I Found The Perfect Dress.
Look here for my review of Beautiful Creatures
Look here for my review of Why I Let My Hair Grow Out


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