Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Teaser Tuesday #39

This week's Teaser Tuesday is from The Replacement - Brenna Yovanoff

(page: 106)

"A group of girls stood around one of the fireplaces, watching us. All of them had on long, grimy dresses and stiff vests that laced up the back. The smell coming off them was worse than the girl at the party. It made me think of a morgue."
So, I cheated and added a couple extra sentences. I'm on Chapter 20 right now and I will say this; it's Fan-freakin'-tastic! Seriously, Brenna Yovaoff has concocted a truly epic tale here in Gentry. I will not say anymore but my review should be up in the next week or so. Stay tuned...

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!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Just thought I'd share these with you.

So there are some pretty fan-freakin-tastic books coming out in the next few months, so I thought I'd share some of the book trailers with you.
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Friday, August 27, 2010

Review: The Grimm Legacy - Polly Shulman

Where I got it: Inter-Library Loan
Rating: 3.5 stars
Cover Rating: 4 stars (It's really pretty and swirly and the text is all shiny and such:))
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: July 8, 2010
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Page Count: 325 p.

When Elizabeth's social studies teacher recommends her for a job as a page at the New-York Circulating Materials Repository, Elizabeth agrees thinking that it is just a library. When she gets there they have her sort buttons as a kind of an assessment of her related skills. This is when Elizabeth first begins to realize that maybe this isn't an ordinary library. at NYCMP patrons check out object and as Elizabeth finds out some of them are quite powerful objects from the Grimm Collection. The Grimm Collection is stored in the Dungeon and you have to have special privileges to be able to access it, since it is home to many of the items featured in The Grimm fairytales. There happens to be a thief on the loose and the only way they can be getting some of the objects is to have someone on the inside working for them. So without knowing who to trust they pages at the Repository decide to rely on each other to get themselves out of sticky situations and find out who has been stealing these magical objects.

This was a fun read. I really love the Grimm fairytales so it was excellent seeing how they were incorporated in to the Repository and in the story itself. I wasn't in love with the writing style something about it just seemed sort of glitchy. The dynamics between the characters was interesting, young love and all it's twists and turns and secret crushes. I think my favorite character was Jaya. She was one of the pages younger sister and she was everything I imagine younger sister to be, incessantly annoying, overly helpful with that little kid glint of believing and therefore wielding magic. Some of the characters actions seemed off. At one point Aaron (one of the pages) tries to look up Elizabeth and another page, when they get out and are being chased he comes to their rescue and says he'll be nice now. It just didn't seem like he could be the same person. There were also a few scenes with a button that Elizabeth is given and it does weird things, but I'm never quite sure what it does and no one else seems to notice that it does anything. All in all this was a good book for YAs that are just begin to come of age to the genre. There are some embarrassing PDA moments and a magic carpet ride that's pretty sweet, but I think the younger teens will still be able to enjoy it. This novel probably leans more towards the girly side but I think boys could certainly enjoy it too. There is a decent amount of action and suspense an is a fast, easy, fun read. So if you like the Brothers Grimm I would suggest checking this out.

First Line:
"Snow fell hard: big, sticky flakes that got under my collar where the top button was missing. "

Favorite Line:
"The stars seemed to be falling around us, like glittery specks of dust."

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Review: Life on the Refrigerator Door - Alice Kuipers

Where I got it: My collection
Rating: 4.5 stars
Cover Rating: 3 stars (It's okay, the title is great but really the cover is just so-so.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: September 1, 2007
Publisher: Harper
Page Count: 240p.

Claire and her mom don't have a lot of time with each other. Claire's parents are divorced and her mom works a lot delivering babies. Claire is also quite busy socially, with her boyfriend, homework and babysitting. When her mom goes to the doctor's office, she doesn't not come back with very good news. As their time together ticks by Claire and her mom get into a few verbal fights. Claire's mom just wants to protect her from having to go through this too, but she might find she needs her daughter's love and support even more. 

This was a touching story told in brief notes left on a refrigerator in a house rarely occupied by it's two tenants simultaneously. Claire and her mom seem to constantly miss each other. Some things are easier to say on paper, but some things need to be said out loud. This novel discusses growing up and growing closer to those you love and care about. I do wish the notes looked more handwritten, instead of typed out paragraphs.  I think this is a great book that shows the dynamics of mother-daughter relationships. A must read for teen girls and their mums. It may bring you closer to your loved one than before. 

First Line:
"Hey Claire-bear,
carrots and rabbit food for Peter
ground beef
juice--you choose"

Favorite Line:
"I feel like all the colors in the room have got more intense."  

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The book you've been waiting for....

So I bet a lot of you are thinking this is going to be a Mockingjay post...think again! *laughs* Really, I haven't even started the series yet. I know, gasp and horrors. I've been waiting for Mockingjay to come out before I started them, so any day now. Anyways, this post is really about the fact that Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus (who's awesome) is out in e-book form now. You all know how I felt about the book and now more of you are able to read it even faster. So click here to get it for your Kindle or here for your Nook. You guys, I'm serious if you don't already own a copy of this book and you have an e-reader or love to stare at your computer for hours, order this book immediately. This is a must read debut for 2010, so check it out.

Teaser Tuesday #38

This week's Teaser Tuesday is from Girl Parts - John M. Cusick

(page: 68)

"Rebecca clinked her bottle with one lacquered fingernail. Rose noticed there was a donkey on the label in a bowler hat. A smartass?"

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, August 23, 2010

Charity Fundraiser and Contest!

Help kids around the world get access to books and automatically enter for a chance to win prizes in our *huge* international giveaway! All donations are going to very worthwhile causes, and every little bit helps.
Hosted by:
Jillian @ Random Ramblings
Linna @ 21 Pages
Raíla @ Books Out of the Bookshelves

Contact us:

The Goal
The main reason we came up with this event is because we genuinely want to help others in need. The three of us can not do this alone, and so that is why we decided to reach out to you. We figured the best way we could go about doing this is to ask this amazing book blog community to join and cooperate together for a great cause.

The Charities
First Book – provides new books to children in need addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy: access to books.
Save the Children – is the leading independent organization creating lasting change in the lives of children in need around the world. Recognized for our commitment to accountability, innovation and collaboration, our work takes us into the heart of communities, where we help children and families help themselves.

How to Enter:
1. Just click the ‘donate’ button above; your name and email will be noted so we can enter you in the giveaway. No Paypal account required! Winners:
As of today, there will be 6 winners. There is a huge chance that we will pick more winners along the way so there are plenty of chances of winning.
The Prizes:
Click here for the complete list.
VERY IMPORTANT: please, read!
1. Paypal offers 100% security and privacy. It will NOT show any of your bank/credit card account information to us or to anyone.
2. Any amount you are willing to give is accepted. You can give as little and as much as you would like.
3. There are no extra entries for this giveaway, so everyone has an equal chance of winning. However, we do ask you, if it’s at all possible, for you to spread the word (tweet,sidebar,etc) about it regardless.
A huge thanks to all of you for your support and generosity– We can only hope for this to be a success, and any contribution, no matter how small, is greatly appreciated. Even if you’re unable to donate, we’d be so grateful if you could spread the word!
Spread The Word!
Help a charity and enter a huge international giveaway! http://bit.ly/ctQXZn
Optionally, you can add “hosted by @ramblings2010 @railasoares @21pages,” So we can thank you for getting the word out.
You can also help out by posting up these banners in your sidebars; link them up to this post, Jillian’s, or Raila’s!

A peek at what’s up or grabs:
All you have to do is click the image below anytime from now until August 31st to enter. Even 1$ would help. :)

This post was re-posted from 21 Pages blog.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

In My Mailbox #52

In My Mailbox brought to you by The Story Siren

For Review:

Rebel Angels - Libba Bray These two I won over at Read Into This
Lost for Words - Alice Kuipers This one I won from Kelsey over at The Book Scout Thanks guys!

30 Days To Finding and Keeping Sassy Sidekicks and Bffs - Clea Hantman (Funny story I thought this was a sassy teen novel, turns out it's and actual guide to finding and keeping sassy Bffs. I will be bringing this straight to the library, so my younger teens can use it.)
Long Hot Summer - Eric Stephenson and Jamie McKelvie
How To Make a Bird - Martine Murray

soooooooo... That's what I got this week. What have all of you been up to. Anything positively fabulous in your mailboxes?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Review: Pretty Little Liars - Sara Shepard

Where I got it: Library
Rating: 4.5 stars
Cover Rating: 3.5 stars (Interesting, I like that there is a doll on the front and the real girl on the back. The bold color is nice too.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: September 1, 2007
Publisher: HarperCollins
Page Count: 286 p.

Everybody has secrets. Ali has everyone's secrets stored in her pretty little head. When Ali goes missing in the summer between seventh and eighth grade, her friends are devastated. They keep hoping that she'll just show up like nothing happened. While feeling worried, they can't help but feel a breath of relief. After all, she knew all their secrets and if she was dead, their secrets died with her. Three years later, just when they thought they could get past Ali, they start getting mysterious texts from "A". A seems to know all their dirty laundry and a whole lot more, and A seems itching to air it. These friends who long ago drifted apart, might have to reunite to solve this mystery.

Well, I can honestly say I was not expecting that at all. I was expecting snotty, shallow, catty girls being rude and nasty. These were normal girls with a big 'ole mystery to solve. I will be tearing through the rest of this series quite soon. It's addicting. The girls shared this friendship that breaks up soon after the novel begins, with the disappearance of their friend, Ali. Because of how close they were, they have all these inside stories that they reference, but do not reveal what they are about. It was a little confusing at first switching between the different girls' lives, but after you got to know each girls' niche it was much easier to tell them apart. Sometimes it seemed like the characters were a little too normal, a little too not popular. I mean Hannah is popular but she's not super popular, not "too good to talk to my old friends" popular. If you enjoy a good mystery of LOST proportions, that will probably end better, pick this up. This first book in the series introduces you to a ton of mysteries and does not give away a hint of what might be going on, or what is to come. I recommend this to avid and reluctant readers alike. If you haven't started this series, I suggest you do it soon. I will certainly be Netflixing the T.V. show as soon as it's available. I am interested to see how it will unfold on screen.

First Line:
"Imagine it's a couple of years ago, the summer between seventh and eighth grade."

Favorite Line:
"They'd watch TiVo'ed episodes of American Chopper, eat pizza delivered from Disilvio's and feel underneath her unsexy sports bra."  

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday #28

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine!

 This week I'm waiting on Intrinsical - Lani Woodland. Can I just say I love this cover.... it would be great if the letters were a little more defined but I'm a fan of the whimsical look of the whole thing.

Sixteen-year-old Yara Silva has always known that ghosts walk alongside the living. Her grandma, like the other females in her family, is a Waker, someone who can see and communicate with ghosts. Yara grew up watching her grandmother taunted and scorned for this unusual ability and doesn't want that to be her future. She has been dreading the day when she too would see ghosts, and is relieved that the usually dominant Waker gene seems to have skipped her, letting her live a normal teenage life. However, all that changes for Yara on her first day at her elite boarding school when she discovers the gene was only lying dormant. She witnesses a dark mist attack Brent, a handsome fellow student, and rushes to his rescue. Her act of heroism draws the mist's attention, and the dark spirit begins stalking her. Yara finds herself entrenched in a sixty-year-old curse that haunts the school, threatening not only her life, but the lives of her closest friends as well. Yara soon realizes that the past she was trying to put behind her isn't going to go quietly.

 Sounds like it could be very good or very cliché. We will just have to find out on August 20th. Here's the trailer... it's okay they should have had Vania do it... *shrugs*

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Teaser Tuesday #37

This week's Teaser Tuesday is from Break - Hannah Moskowitz

(page: 68)

"Naomi pulls up around seven. I'm crashed on the lawn, watching Jess take practice shots in the dark. I see the glint of a six-pack in her backseat."

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, August 16, 2010

Middle Grade Monday #3 (Review: The Girls - Amy Goldman Koss)

Where I got it: Library
Rating: 2.5 stars
Cover Rating: 3 stars (sssokay)
Genre: Middle Grade
Publication Date: March 18, 2002
Publisher:  Puffin
Page Count: 121 p.

Maya was part of the group that was headed by the popular Candace. At least she was part of the group until Candace got bored with her. The only reason Maya found out is that she called a friend and her friend's mother asked why she wasn't at Darcy's sleepover. The other girls in the group don't hate Maya though, and they aren't sure why they are supposed to. One by one the girls come to realize that maybe being Candace's friend is that good.

I liked this book a lot when I read it back in 6th or 7th grade. This time around I found it a bit unrealistic and the girls incredibly two dimensional. The head girl Candace is really mean on the outside but really deep on the inside? If she were really that deep on the inside she would have probably found some better friends, or just been an outcast. Maybe not though, maybe tormenting other people made her feel in control of her out of control thoughts.This was a fast read about girls finding out where their loyalties lie and that sometimes the most popular, doesn't mean the best. A lot of the time these girls would say things or make references to things that seemed way beyond them. I'm not saying young girls are idiots, but there are certain things you don't allude to at that age, because you haven't been exposed to it. Just because I, upon rereading this, did not enjoy it this time around, this does not mean that younger girls won't find it appealing. It's a quick read and most girls will probably be able to relate to at least on of the other girls. I do like how this book ends though...very leading.

First Line:
"Last Saturday, I stumbled half asleep into the kitchen, aiming for a bowl of granola, thinking it was just any old Saturday morning."

Favorite Line:
"My mom's cosmetics were a bottle of dandruff shampoo and a lipstick."


Friday, August 13, 2010

Review: The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May & June - Robin Benway

Where I got it: ARC from the publisher
Rating: 5 stars
Cover Rating: 4 stars (I really like the colors and how April is red. Very eye-catching!)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: August 3, 2010
Publisher: Razorbill
Page Count: 282 p.

April, May and June were three normal sisters, at least they thought they were until their parents divorce. Now they seem to have recovered special powers from when they were youngsters. April can now see the future, May can make herself invisible and June can read everyone's thoughts. These special powers have April and May freaked out, but June thinks she can use her powers to her advantage to gain friendships at a new school. When April starts seeing trouble in the form of red flashing lights and her sister's face she knows something needs to happen so she can save her sister. April's vision aren't always that clear though and she may need her sisters' help more than she could imagine.

I don't even know where do begin to describe how awesome this book is. I loved the three sisters and how different they were but what a great relationship they had. The dynamic between the sisters was just amazing, you could taste the sibling tension in the air. They fought, they loved and most importantly they (more or less) stuck together in all their glorious weird-ness. The fact that they had special powers was a nice twist to this otherwise "realistic fiction" novel. This book talked about a lot of things that kids have to go through; divorce, changing schools, having parents move really far away, and puberty-like superpowers. Robin Benway manages to make these teen girls very easy to relate to despite the fact that most of us do not have incredible mind powers. The girls still had to cope with ordinary things like school work and boys, parties and making friends. I loved how this story was told in alternating viewpoints from the three sisters and how they told it like they were telling you about it not writing it down. Near the end the alternating got a little less personal than in the beginning. When they first start switching who tells the story they say things like "April always makes the whole thing sound so dramatic in the beginning." which gives you the feeling that you are all hanging out and they are telling you about "this one time when we first moved here." This was just a really excellent book and I will certainly be buying a hardcover soon(it's very attractive). Each time the viewpoint switches, the page begins with the sister's name and a quote they will say in the up-coming part. I really enjoyed this and the quotes often led me to read the next chapter just to see it in context. The only thing I wish there was more of would be the girls' childhood. I feel like we got a quick glimpse at it and then abandoned it. I mean I don't feel like we missed out on anything, I just think it would be nice. If you weren't excited about this book, get excited because it's definitely not one to be missed. This book certainly goes in my top 5 of the year, it was just fantastic from start to finish. The alternating viewpoints kept the story fresh and exciting, the romantic tension made you uncomfortable and your head fuzzy, and the superpowers made you wish you could come down with a case of them. So go buy it now, because I declare this a must read.

First Lines:
"I hate being the oldest. I hate it because I'm the one who has to experience everything first. And even if I haven't my sisters still think I know everything. Which I sort of do, but that's not the point."

Favorite Lines:
"Of course his name was Chad. Of course it was. Nothing sounds douchier than Chad."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

CSN Review + Giveaway

Hello everybody,

So since they seem to be pretty popular in the blogging world lately, I'm pretty sure you have heard of CSN. If you haven't let me tell you they are pretty amazing. When I was looking for a new bedroom set I stumbled upon them for the first time. I was looking at getting a gorgeous bedroom vanity or perhaps  one the really nice desks they have for my bedroom. Then I saw this bed, and I knew I had to have it because then I could get read of my giant ugly bureaus. So I bought it. When it arrived I was quite surprised because it came in three humongous boxes, that stacked taller than me and were left in the back yard behind my apartment. I had to take the pieces out of the boxes in order to bring them upstairs. Luckily though, this made construction very simple.... except I had no hardware. I searched through all the wrapping and still came up with nothing. I got online and e-mailed CSN about my problem and they express mailed the hardware out right away. I was still able to use the bed though, because it came in three big sections, that I easily just smooshed together so I could sleep that night. All in all I'm loving the sturdy and convenient design of this bed.

So anyways, I get contact by Jessica from CSN asking if I'd like to do a review of one of their products or host a giveaway. I picked a giveaway since I just won a piece of cat furniture from their stores here. So I figured I would do a review/giveaway. So I waited.....and waited... Then when I finally thought "hmm this is taking far to long for that cat furniture to get here..." I contacted Jessica to see if she could look into it. Apparently my mailing address was never forwarded by the person who was hosting the contest :( But luckily Jessica got right on it and had them place the order and ship it out and it arrived the following Monday. So first let me review how awesome the people at CSN are. I have always experienced great online customer support with them. 

All the pieces came nicely packaged in this normal sized box.

In just a few twists of the included Allen wrench it was done. Very quick to put together.

I also would like to mention that it is Amarkat brand cat furniture which I already bought previously too, and I am very impressed by the sturdy design that accompanies the lightness of the products.

The box also makes a great cat bed apparently.

And ta-da Perfect piece of cat furniture for the kitties.
Now for the giveaway!!!!!!!!

This will be an easy one week giveaway. Just comment below with your e-mail address and you will be entered to win a $40 gift certificate to use at any of the 200+ CSN stores. Giveaway ends 8/20

Good luck!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Review: The Eternal Ones - Kirsten Miller

Where I got it: ARC from publisher
Rating: 5 stars
Cover Rating: 4 stars (I really like the simplicity of this cover and the boldness of the red. I look forward to seeing the complete design [inside and out] for the hardcover.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: August 10, 2010
Publisher: Razorbill
Page Count: 411 p.

This is not Haven's first life. She can feel it with every inch of her and with every vision she has. When a flicker of a face on t.v. sets her off into another vision, Haven realizes it might be high time for her to figure out what is going on. Her grandmother is dead set against Haven leaving her protective care and with the help of the preacher,  tries to convince Haven and everyone in the town that she is possessed by the devil. Haven doesn't think this is the case and knows she needs to get out of Snope City. She doesn't know what she is running to, but she knows she has to find him... before it's too late.

Wow, this book was remarkable. Kirsten Miller truly loves New York City and it shows in her beautiful descriptions that portray the city as a paradise. My only complaint about this novel is that most of the time characters act like they are in their twenties instead of still being teenagers. This is especially true of Haven and Beau; it seems unrealistic, since they are from such a small town. As events unfold their maturity begins to make more sense, but it still seems a bit odd. I don't even know where to begin further praise of this book. As some of you might know, I thoroughly enjoyed Kirsten's other series, Kiki Strike and this novel was not a disappointment. The Eternal Ones, like Kiki Strike, had that kind of adventurous fun that keeps the novel moving along at an edge of your seat pace. This novel had enough twist and turns to make sure you were never sure. I loved the characters and everyone played their parts quite well. I wish the romance was a little more romance-y, but it was pretty good all things considered. I feel like if I talk about anything but the beginning of this book it will be all spolier-y, so I will not. You have to read this book though, it was incredible. Make sure you start it at the beginning of your day since you will not be able to put it down and will be racing through the pages to see how everything turns out. Kirsten has mentioned that she is working on a sequel, can I just say
» Click to show Spoiler «
Really, honestly read this book though, it's got slight paranormal aspects to it, interesting religious conversations, reincarnation, a secret society, some action and loads of over things that make this book full of awesomeness. Buy it, read it, period.

First Lines:
"Haven was back. She glanced across the familiar room. Silver clouds hovered over the skylight high above a rumpled bed."

Favorite Line:
"It was the sort of sad , yearning kiss perfected long ago by sailors and soldiers and men who led dangerous lives. "

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Teaser Tuesday #36

This week's Teaser Tuesday is from The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May & June - Robin Benway
(page: 63)

"June kept babbling on about her skirt and Mariah and God knows what else, and then she'd look at me in the rearview mirror and giggle. Meanwhile, May was pissed that we wouldn't tell her anything, and when we got home, she stomped upstairs to her room."

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, August 9, 2010

Review: Her and Me and You - Lauren Strasnick

Where I got it: ARC from Good Golly Miss Molly's ARC Tour
Rating: 4 stars
Cover Rating: 4 stars (I really love the simple and sparse font. The picture is perfect for the feeling of this book and reminds me of the beginning.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: October 5, 2010
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Page Count: 171 p.

After Alex's dad has an affair her mom and her move to a new town. There she makes a new friend in Fred and is thereby forced into a friendship with his twin, Adina. Adina seems to flirt with her... and Fred. The other girls Alex meets at school tell her to stay away from the twins, because they are bad news. But, when things with her old best friend start to crumble she has no choice but to cling to Fred for life support. Adina however, could do without Alex hogging her brother and may try anything to stop them.

This was a really interesting book. I loved how well you got to know the characters in such a brief time frame. Alex is cool but broken from her parents split, Fred is a nice guy but is hindered by his sister Adina and Evie is the old best friend. The relationships between the characters were so chaotic and authentic which I appreciated thoroughly. Lauren Strasnick created a heartbreakingly realistic story about what it means to be a teen. Strasnick took a seemingly normal situation (crushing on a guy) and made it far more interesting and entertaining by throwing in a crazy twin. I will definitely be reading more Lauren Strasnick in the future. This was an excellent read that took something ordinary and made it a little more feisty.

First Line:
"I met Fred first."

Favorite Line:
"He looked down then back up, 'you don't like my shoes?'" 

Sunday, August 8, 2010

In My Mailbox #51

In My Mailbox brought to you by The Story Siren

For review from Random House:
Dogfight, A Love Story - Matt Burgess
Alfredo Batista has some worries. Okay, a lot of worries. His older brother, Jose—sorry, Tariq—is returning from a stretch in prison after an unsuccessful robbery, a burglary that Alfredo was supposed to be part of. So now everyone thinks Alfredo snitched on his brother, which may have something to do with the fact that Alfredo is now dating Tariq’s ex-girlfriend, Isabel, who is eight months pregnant. Tariq’s violent streak is probably #1 worry on Alfredo’s list. 
Also, he needs to steal a pit bull. For the homecoming dogfight.
This was a random book I received, it sounds kind of interesting. Not something I would normally pick for myself, but I'll give it a try.

Numbers - Rachel Ward
Whenever Jem meets someone new, no matter who, as soon as she looks into their eyes, a number pops into her head. That number is a date: the date they will die.

Burdened with such an awful awareness, Jem avoids relationships. Until she meets Spider, another outsider, and takes a chance. But while they’re waiting to ride the Eye Ferris
wheel, Jem notices that all the other tourists in line flash the same number. Today’s number. Today’s date. Terrorists are going to attack London. Jem’s world is about to explode!

Sea Change - Aimee Friedman
16-year-old Miranda Merchant is great at science...and not so great with boys. After major drama with her boyfriend and (now ex) best friend, she's happy to spend the summer on small, mysterious Selkie Island, helping her mother sort out her late grandmother's estate.

There, Miranda finds new friends and an island with a mysterious, mystical history, presenting her with facts her logical, scientific mind can't make sense of. She also meets Leo, who challenges everything she thought she knew about boys, friendship...and reality.

Is Leo hiding something? Or is he something that she never could have imagined?

Fallout - Ellen Hopkins
Hunter, Autumn, and Summer—three of Kristina Snow's five children—live in different homes, with different guardians and different last names. They share only a predisposition for addiction and a host of troubled feelings toward the mother who barely knows them, a mother who has been riding with the monster, crank, for twenty years. 

What Curiosity Kills - Helen Ellis

Mary Richards is a normal sixteen-year-old girl living in Manhattan. Well, almost normal. She goes to private school on the Upper East Side, having been saved from a life of squalor by an adoptive family. But she’s also slowly transforming into a cat.

Struggling to hide her physical metamorphosis, Mary discovers that she isn’t alone. A whole race of cat people prowls the streets of Manhattan at night, including Mary’s long-time crush, Nick.

Aside from heightened feline senses, hanging out with Nick is the best thing about discovering her inner kitty. But Mary’s transformation is special and could decide the outcome of a citywide turf war. She must decide whether to embrace her powerful feline side and become a pack leader or go back to being a normal teenage girl. Can she land on her feet or will curiosity be her downfall?

So what did you all get this week?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Review: Grace - Elizabeth Scott

Where I got it: ARC from Princess Bookie's Around the World Tours
Rating: 4 stars
Cover Rating: 4 stars (I love the colors, you don't see orange like this on covers. I am a little confused about what the textures represent *shrugs*)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: September 16, 2010
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Page Count: 200 p.

Grace was raised as an Angel. She always knew that her fate was to die for her People's cause. On the day that she is sent to suicide bomb, she decides she would much rather live. Cast out by her people she has no choice but to flee from Keran Berj's (the leader of the city that the Angel's fight against) land. She is set up with a traveling companion who also wants to escape over the border. Though someone is with her, she still fears being found out. Every moment she's on the train she risks discovery and the only reason she strives forward is to escape her past.

This was a wonderful and fast read. Grace's story sucks you in and doesn't let you go until her last few words. This was a dystopian novel but seemed not too distant from parts of our current world.  You truly started to understand our main characters, Grace and Kerr, and how tough it must be to flee everything you know. This was a truly remarkable read that has you wondering about their society long after you've finished the book. Their societies they thought were so different but they come to realizes are founded on a lot of the same principles. My only complaint is that the last six chapters all seemed like they were the last one. The story continues to slowly progress, but Grace just seems to simply reiterate the conclusions she has come to in each of these final chapters. This was an excellent novel of two people learning that they might not be alone after all and the train ride that tests their courage, strength and will to live.

First Line:
"I'm afraid my hair is showing."

Favorite Line:
"It sounded like the thunder from a hundred storms, and made the ground pulse, a strange, love throbbing that I couldn't hear, but could feel beneath my feet."

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Review: Ninth Ward - Jewell Parker Rhodes

Where I got it: ARC from the publisher
Rating: 3.5 stars
Cover Rating: 3 stars (It's a very nice picture, but I'm not sure it would really appeal to teens.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: August 16, 2010
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 217 p.

Lanesha lives in New Orleans' Ninth Ward. Her mama died giving birth to her, so she was raised by the midwife who delivered her, Mama Ya-ya. Now Lanesha is a twelve-year-old girl who loves math, school and her Mama Ya-ya. She doesn't have many friends because she has the sight (the ability to see ghosts) and they all think she's a witch. When Mama Ya-ya feels something bad is coming, besides the impending hurricane Katrina, Lanesha starts to worry about what she has to do.

This was an all-around very touching and enjoyable read. Lanesha was such a straight forward young girl. I loved the slight paranormal aspect woven in that made this a good Southern tale. The story focused more on the strength of getting through the storm, than on the storm's devastation, which I appreciated. I enjoyed all the different characters that were sprinkled throughout the neighborhood and Lanesha's life. I do wish some things were expanded on (like Lanesha's real family) but Lanesha is only twelve and as our narrator we may only know what she knows. If you enjoy Southern stories about a girl who must call on her strengths to survive, pick this one up. Ninth Ward would make a wonderful middle school book discussion pick.

First Line:
"They say I was born with a caul, a skin netting covering me face like a glove."

Favorite Line:
"I think the stars have all been swept away by the storm."

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Teaser Tuesday #35

This week's Teaser Tuesday is from The Eternal Ones - Kirsten Miller
(page: 75+76)

"Haven stopped to gaze in the window of the town pharmacy, but when she turned around, Leah was no more than a few steps ahead of her. It wasn't until Haven had reached the front door of the church that the strange redheaded girl turned down a side road and vanished from sight."

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, August 2, 2010

Middle Grade Monday #2

For this weeks Middle Grade Monday I thought I'd share some book trailers with you. The last one is for an interactive online book called Loser/Queen it is about High School students, but I think Middle Grade kids will enjoy it too.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

In My Mailbox #50

In My Mailbox brought to you by The Story Siren

Madapple - Christina Meldrum (my review)
A girl who has been brought up in near isolation is thrown into a twisted web of family secrets and religious fundamentalism when her mother dies and she goes to live with relatives she never knew she had.
Moonlight - Rachel Hawthorne
I see him and knows what this turmoil inside of me means: He's the one. My forever.
KAYLA is the nature lover, the all-American beauty who can't understand why she's so drawn to distant, brooding Lucas. Adopted as a young child, she has no way of knowing that she's inherited a terrifying-and thrilling-gene that will change her life forever.
LUCAS is dangerous, gorgeous ... and a werewolf. As leader of the Dark Guardians, shape-shifters who gather deep within the state park, he has sworn to protect his pack. But when Lucas finds his true soul mate, his love could put them all in harm's way.
As Lucas and Kayla struggle with their feelings for each other, a greater danger lurks: Humans have discovered the Dark Guardians and are planning their destruction. Kayla must choose between the life she knows and the love she feels certain is her destiny.

Full Moon - Rachel Hawthorne
Dark of the Moon - Rachel Hawthorne

Shadowed Summer - Saundra Mitchell
Iris is ready for another hot, routine summer in her small Louisiana town, hanging around the Red Stripe grocery with her best friend, Collette, and traipsing through the cemetery telling each other spooky stories and pretending to cast spells. Except this summer, Iris doesn’t have to make up a story. This summer, one falls right in her lap.

Years ago, before Iris was born, a local boy named Elijah Landry disappeared. All that remained of him were whispers and hushed gossip in the church pews. Until this summer. A ghost begins to haunt Iris, and she’s certain it’s the ghost of Elijah. What really happened to him? And why, of all people, has he chosen Iris to come back to?

The Life and Opinions of Amy Finawitz - Laura Toffler-Corrie
Amy Finawitz’s best friend Callie has moved away to the heartland, leaving Amy to cope with eighth grade all alone. So now, while Callie is going for hayrides with boys named Bucky, Amy is stuck eating Chinese food at a table for one, hanging out with geeky girls who knit, and crushing on hottie, John Leibler, all by herself. But then Amy finds a friend in Miss Sophia, the little old lady who lives down the hall. Miss Sophia introduces Amy to a Hasidic boy named Beryl. Beryl is no John Leibler, but perhaps he understands Amy and her problems better than she realizes?
Told in wry emails and brilliant little one-act plays, this laughout-loud debut novel offers quirky characters, a whimsical tour around New York City, and an appealing story about what it means to be a good friend.

For Review:
From Good Golly Miss Holly's ARC tours
Her and Me and You - Lauren Strasnick
First love, broken friendships, and heartache all play a part in this evocative, voice-driven novel about Alex, a girl whose world is ripped apart when her father’s affair splits her family in two.

Alex moves with her mess of a mother to a new town, where she is befriended by hot, enigmatic Fred—and alternately flirted with and cold-shouldered by Fred’s twin sister, Adina. Others warn Alex to steer clear of the twins, whose sibling relationship is considered abnormal at best, but there’s just something about Fred—and something about Adina—that draws Alex to them and makes her want to be part of their crazy world…no matter the consequences.

from Princess Bookie's Around the World Tours
Grace - Elizabeth Scott
Grace was raised to be an Angel, a herald of death by suicide bomb. But she refuses to die for the cause, and now Grace is on the run, daring to dream of freedom. In search of a border she may never reach, she travels among malevolent soldiers on a decrepit train crawling through the desert. Accompanied by the mysterious Kerr, Grace struggles to be invisible, but the fear of discovery looms large as she recalls the history and events that delivered her uncertain fate. 

So that's what I got this past week, what did you all get?


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