Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Review: Matched - Ally Condie

WherI got it: ARC from publisher
Rating: 4.5 stars 
Cover Rating: 5 stars (Absolutely gorgeous!)
Genre: Young Adult  
Publication Date: November 30, 2010
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Page Count: 366 p.

The Society always has their citizens' best interests in mind. That's why they do the Matching in the first place. By choosing people who are most compatible together the Society can ensure longevity of life and a life that is entirely worth living. When Cassia learns that she is Matched with one of her childhood friends she is very excited. She doesn't know how much more she could learn about him, buts plugs in his datapod anyways. She stares at his face for awhile, until someone else's face pops up on the screen. She recognizes this face too. Her Official tells Cassia that it was just a glitch, but this glitch has piqued Cassia's interest and now she wants to learn more about the face on the screen. She doesn't want to hurt anybody, she just wants to be able to make some of her own choices that aren't controlled by the Society. But can Cassia make any choices that they haven't already taken into consideration?

Can we just have a moment and gush over the cover some more? I think this has to be one of, if not my favorite cover of the year. I love the stark contrast of the green on the white background and the fonts are fantastic too. Ally Condie created a futuristic but not unrealistic society in which the government looks out for it's prized possessions, it's citizens. I really loved the idea of everyone carrying around these three pills, blue to help sustain your life if there is an emergency, green to calm you down and red is only to be taken when the Officials tell you to. The idea that everyone carries these around ready to take them without knowing what they really are is amazing. The idea that these kids have never been hiking was always very interesting, because they have so little nature that isn't strictly controlled or off limits. The relationship developed nicely and seemed very clean, in the sense that everyone followed the rules that they have. It was interesting to have a rule where no one enters other people's houses and all the kids have three hangout options available to them besides their extra activities and school. I loved the idea that the Society seemed all knowing, but that they were a fairly kind and just Society to a point. Often time you have societies like Big Brother in 1984, which watches you all the time and doesn't necessarily want to help you so much as completely control you. I like that this Society seemed more helpful if not still quite controlling. I am very curious to see how this all plays out and what Cassia's next move is. If you like futuristic/dystopian fiction certainly check this one out. This is a book that I think everyone can enjoy, there is just so much in it that is awesome. I applaud Ally's first novel and eagerly await the next.

First Line:
"Now that I've found the way to fly, which direction should I go into the night?"

Favorite Lines:
 "Ky is more relaxed than I have ever seen him, leaning back on his elbows with his face tipped toward the sun and his eyes closed. He looks different and unguarded. Looking at him, I realize that his eyes are where I notice most the distance her keeps. Because when he hears me, he opens them and looks at me, and it almost happens. I almost catch a glimpse of something real before I see again what he wants me to see."  

Monday, November 29, 2010

Review: When the Stars Go Blue - Caridad Ferrer

WherI got it: Finished copy from the publisher
Rating: 5 stars 

Cover Rating: 5 stars Very beautiful and I love the spine.)
Genre: Young Adult  
Publication Date: November 23, 2010
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin 
Page Count: 324 p.

Soledad's life is dance. There is nothing she doesn't love about it and nothing she wouldn't do for it. That is until she meets Jonathan. He starts off as just another classmate and he tells her about his bugle and drum corps group that is preforming all summer a program called Carmen Revealed. He asks Soledad to be her Carmen, not only does she have the body, she has the fierceness in her dance that would make her an unstoppable force on their team. Soledad isn't sure if this is what she wants to do for her summer, instead of teaching ballet. But, as she falls for Jonathan she falls for the idea of her being Carmen, the star of the show. So the further they get from home the further Soledad and Jonathan's relationship grows, even though Jonathan's dad is none to happy about it. Jonathan and his dad have a very rocky relationship that only gets rockier as the tour continues. With Jonathan so angry and distant, Soledad finds comfort in a traveling soccer player named Taz, who though he is from Spain not Miami, easily remind Soledad of home. Is Jonathan strong enough to stay with Soledad despite his dad's protests? Is Soledad even sure that Jonathan is the only think she will every need?

This was a very moving and emotional read. I loved the passion with which Soledad danced and Jonathan played. It's always fantastic when you can read about someone with that much fire and heart for what they do. It wraps you up in it and makes you yearn for the thing you are passionate about, or makes you yearn to feel that passion for something. I really loved Soledad and how easy it was for her to love even when all her other decisions were hard to decide on. I was so team Jonathan, but about three quarters of the way through I had to move my loyalties on over to Team Taz. Taz was such a gentlemen and barely expected anything from Soledad in return. I loved the little bits and bobs of Spanish throughout the novel, it helped remind you of why Soledad and Taz are so connected. I wish things could have been everything that Soledad wanted. I think her life will still be fantastic, and maybe even more so than she could ever believe. This would be a great novel for anyone whose life didn't turn out the way they planned and expected it to turn out. Soledad is a great role model for a life that was unplanned but is the only choice. Make sure you pick up this fantastic read soon, so you can feel your heart lift up and dance.

First Line:
"Turning, soaring, feeling the hum of the strings like the caress along my skin, the notes from the brass and woodwinds swirling around my body like a cape."

Favorite Line:
"However, right now, with sweat running down his bare torso, every muscle in his shoulders and arms bunched and tense and that light turning his eyes dark and fierce?"  

Sunday, November 28, 2010

In My Mailbox #65

In My Mailbox brought to you by The Story Siren
For Review: 
When the Stars Go Blue - Caridad Ferrer (Thanks St. Martin's Griffin!)
Dance is Soledad Reyes’s life. About to graduate from Miami’s Biscayne High School for the Performing Arts, she plans on spending her last summer at home teaching in a dance studio, saving money, and eventually auditioning for dance companies. That is, until fate intervenes in the form of fellow student Jonathan Crandall who has what sounds like an outrageous proposition: Forget teaching. Why not spend the summer performing in the intense environment of the competitive drum and bugle corps? The corps is going to be performing Carmen, and the opportunity to portray the character of the sultry gypsy proves too tempting for Soledad to pass up, as well as the opportunity to spend more time with Jonathan, who intrigues her in a way no boy ever has before.        
But in an uncanny echo of the story they perform every evening, an unexpected competitor for Soledad's affections appears: Taz, a member of an all-star Spanish soccer team. One explosive encounter later Soledad finds not only her relationship with Jonathan threatened, but her entire future as a professional dancer.
(I already finished this one and loved it. Should have my review up this week.)

Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life vol.1 - Bryan Lee O'Malley
Scott Pilgrim's life is totally sweet. He's 23 years old, he's in a rock band, he's "between jobs," and he's dating a cute high school girl. Nothing could possibly go wrong, unless a seriously mind-blowing, dangerously fashionable, rollerblading delivery girl named Ramona Flowers starts cruising through his dreams and sailing by him at parties. Will Scott's awesome life get turned upside-down? Will he have to face Ramona's seven evil ex-boyfriends in battle? The short answer is yes. The long answer is Scott Pilgrim, Volume 1: Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life. 
(I already read this one too, I really need to get my hands on the rest of this series)

Elixir - Hilary Duff
As the daughter of a renowned surgeon and a prominent Washington D.C. politician, Clea Raymond has felt the glare of the spotlight her entire life. And though she dreads the paparazzi who track her every move, she herself is a talented photojournalist who takes refuge in a career that allows her to travel to the most exotic parts of the world.
But after Clea’s father disappears while on a humanitarian mission, eerie, shadowy images of a strange and beautiful young man begin to appear in Clea’s photos—a man she has never seen in her life.
When Clea suddenly encounters this man in person she is stunned—and feels an immediate and powerful connection. As they grow closer, they are drawn deep into the mystery behind her father’s disappearance and discover the centuries-old truth behind their intense bond.
Torn by a dangerous love triangle and haunted by a powerful secret that holds their fate, together they race against time to unravel their past in order to save their future—and their lives. 

Glee: the music Vol.1 and Vol.2

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

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Review: Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters - Natalie Standiford

WherI got it: Library
Rating: 5 stars 

Cover Rating: 4 stars (Fitting and nice looking, but not necessarily a wow cover.)
Genre: Young Adult  
Publication Date: September 1, 2010
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Page Count:  313 p.

Almighty Lou is the grounding force in the Sullivan family. Almighty Lou has been offended by a member of her own family, and expects a written confession from the culprit by New Year's, otherwise the whole family is cut from the will. This story takes place as the Sullivan sisters three confessions, which they hope are good enough for their grandmother. 

I really liked how different the three sisters were, but also how you could tell they were from the same family. You had the older sister, Norrie who was torn between her first (and true) love and her obligation to her family name. The middle sister Jane who enjoyed being a misfit and airing all her family's dirty secrets on her blog; myevilfamily.com. Lastly there was Sassy, who thought she was invincible, completely impervious to harm but maybe she was just really lucky. This was a great story that followed the same timeline through each of the sisters confessions. It was interesting to have something vaguely mentioned in one story and then explained in detail in someone else's confession. I really loved Natalie's first book, How to Say Goodbye in Robot and this was a great sophomore novel that makes me hunger and crave for her next work. If you like books about confessions and secrets, family obligation and true love than make sure you check out this novel. I loved whose confession it turned out to be. I loved the girls' younger brother Takey and his fish Bubble who could do tricks. The sisters' older brothers were great and brotherly too and I loved their parents Ginger and Daddy-o. This was a fun and hilarious novel about family.

First Line:
"The Sullivan family's Christmas began in the traditional way that year."

Favorite Line:
"I love swimming next to the cemetery -- it helps remind me not to drown."   

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Review: Far From You - Lisa Schroeder

WherI got it: Library
Rating: 3.5 stars 

Cover Rating: 4.5 stars (I really like the imagery of it. Also it's really pretty.)
Genre: Young Adult  
Publication Date: January 5, 2010
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Page Count: 355 p. 

Alice's mum died of cancer. It was very sad, and ripped Alice apart. Alice's dad remarried and now they are having a new baby which Alice feels will only prove to separate her even further from her father.  When The four of them go to visit the new wife's family across country Alice doesn't see why she has to go. Her dad gets called away for business so Alice is stuck driving home with the step-mom and baby. When Her step-mom takes a detour on back roads and the weather gets bad, the three of them are stuck. Alice will have to learn how to grow up and how to except the new things in her life.

I liked that Alice was named after Alice in Wonderland and that there were a lot of reference to it throughout. I also appreciated that Alice was religious, but not preachy. She had her beliefs and she was sad her boyfriend couldn't share them, but she hoped he might come around. I did have a problem with her boyfriend, Blaze, though. He came of as being very psychologically abusive. Maybe it's just me but there seemed to be something off about him. He came on kind of hard and unfeeling at times. Alice always mentioned how sweet Blaze was, but he just seemed sort of callous. Other than that this was a good story about survival and how you can come to love people that you thought you never would. It was touching how Alice cared for her really young stepsister, even though in the beginning she wanted nothing to do with her.  I can't imagine what it must feel like to be trapped in a car on a back road in a terrible snowstorm, just waiting for someone to come. This was a great novel in verse and I would recommend it to fans of verse novels and realistic fiction.

First Line:
"We're alone
with only
the cold
and dark
to keep us 

Favorite Line:
"He is
better than warm fall colors, 
better than beautiful music,
better than doughnuts and coffee."   

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Debut Author Challenge 2011

So I will most certainly be participating in The Story Siren's 2011 Debut Author Challenge. So here's my list currently. Changes may be made as I see fit. I am hoping to read at least 30 books. Count so far: 31!

  1. Across The Universe - Beth Revis*
  2. And Then Things Fall Apart - Arlaina Tibensky*
  3. Angelfire - Courtney Allison Moulton
  4. Audition - Stasia Ward Kehoe
  5. Awaken - Katie Kacvinsky
  6. Bad Taste in Boys - Carrie Harris
  7. Between Shades of Gray - Ruta Sepetys*
  8. Bird in a Box - Andrea Davis Pinkney*
  9. Blood Magic - Tessa Gratton
  10. Bumped - Megan McCafferty
  11. Carrier of the Mark - Leigh Fallon
  12. Choker - Elizabeth Wood*
  13. Clarity - Kim Harrington
  14. Darkness Becomes Her - Kelly Keaton*
  15. Die for Me - Amy Plum*
  16. Divergent - Veronica Roth*
  17. Entangled - Cat Clarke
  18. Entwined - Heather Dixon*
  19. Eyes in the Mirror - Julia Mayer
  20. Falling Under - Gwen Hayes
  21. Flawless - Lara Chapman
  22. Forgotten - Cat Patrick*
  23. Future Imperfect - K. Ryer Breese*
  24. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making - Catherynne M. Valente
  25. Haven - Kristi Cook
  26. Here Lies Bridget - Paige Harbison*
  27. Hereafter - Tara Hudson*
  28. Hourglass - Myra McEntire*
  29. I'll Be There - Holly Goldberg Sloan*
  30. Illegal - Bettina Restrpo
  31. The Iron Witch - Karen Mahoney*
  32. Juniper Berry - M.P. Kozlowsky
  33. Kat, Incorrigble - Stephanie Burgis*
  34. Like Mandarin - Kirsten Hubbard*
  35. The Lipstick Laws - Amy Holder
  36. Luminous - Dawn Metcalf*
  37. Memento Nora - Angie Smibert
  38. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs*
  39. The Near Witch - Victoria Schwab
  40. Other Words for Love - Lorraine Zago Rosenthal
  41. Paper Covers Rock - Jenny Hubbard
  42. Possession - Elana Johnson*
  43. Ravenwood - Andrew Peters*
  44. Rival - Sara Bennett Wealer*
  45. Ruby Red - Kerstin Gier
  46. Shatter Me - Tahereh Mafi*
  47. So Shelly - Ty Roth
  48. Starcrossed - Josephine Angelini*
  49. The Time Traveling Fashionista - Bianca Turetsky*
  50. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer - Michelle Hodkin*
  51. Unearthly - Cynthia Hand
  52. Vesper - Jeff Sampson*
  53. The Water Wars - Cameron Stracher
  54. What Can't Wait - Ashley Hope Perez
  55. Wildefire - Karsten Knight*
  56. Wither - Lauren DeStefano*
  57. XVI - Julia Kerr

*books I own
linked to review

Teaser Tuesday #47

This week's Teaser Tuesday is from When the Stars Go Blue - Caridad Ferrer

(page 113)

"'Hey, at least he didn't leave me in a Dumpster.' I tried to go bright side, lighten the moment, but my voice was shaking."

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!

Happy Release Day to Caridad Ferrer! 
Make sure you pick up your copy today!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Review: Wicked Girls - Stephanie Hemphill

WherI got it: My Collection
Rating: 5 stars 

Cover Rating: 5 stars (Very pretty)
Genre: Young Adult  
Publication Date: June 29, 2010
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Page Count:  402 p.

We've all heard about the witches in Salem's Witch Trials. We've all heard the names of the girls' who accused. Now we get a fictional insight into the young girls' minds. Told in verse alternating between the voices of three of the girls, this is a great story about what was going on in their lives and what or who made them act the way they did.

I really enjoyed this book. I am very fascinated by the Salem Witch Trials, as well as other accounts of witches being wrongfully(or rightfully) accused and persecuted. It was a nice change of pace to hear the story of the Trials from the perspective of the girls who were doing the accusing. Margaret, is mostly thinking about the boy she desperately wants to be with, while also trying to stay in Ann's mind. Ann is only 12 and obsessed with trailing her maid Mercy around. Though Mercy says to give Ann power, Ann always looks to Mercy for their next move. Each girl seems to have a different motive in acting afflicted, and the parents are of no help. Some of the girls are rueful, while other don't realize that anything is truly wrong until it's too late. I loved the voices of the girls and how you could see the age and class difference between them and the way that these girls think. If  you have any interest in the Salem Witch Trials, make sure you check this out.

First Line:
"Silent, not even the twitter of insects."

Favorite Line:
"A terrible screech sounds,
like a thousand birds crying
all at once."

Sunday, November 21, 2010

In My Mailbox #64

In My Mailbox brought to you by The Story Siren
First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear—of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.

From the moment Hannah Sanders arrived in town, she felt there was something wrong.
A lot of houses were for sale, and the town seemed infected by an unearthly quiet. And then, on Hannah’s first day of classes, she ran into a group of cheerleaders—the most popular girls in school.
The odd thing was that they were nearly identical in appearance: blonde, beautiful, and deathly pale.
But Hannah wants desperately to fit in—regardless of what her friend Lukas is telling her: If she doesn’t watch her back, she’s going to be blonde and popular and dead—just like all the other zombies in this town.

NAOMI AND ELY ARE BEST FRIENDS. Naomi loves and is in love with Ely, and Ely loves Naomi, but prefers to be in love with boys. So they create their "No Kiss List" of people neither of them is allowed to kiss. And this works fine - until Bruce. Bruce is Naomi's boyfriend, so there's no reason to put him on the List. But Ely kissed Bruce even though he is boring. The result: a rift of universal proportions and the potential end of "Naomi and Ely: the institution." Can these best friends come back together again?

Jenna Boller is too tall for a sophomore and she's not much good in school. Her sister Faith got all the looks in the family, but boy, can Jenna sell shoes! She's supremely happy at her after-school job at Gladstone's, where the big white sign over the door says "We're Not Just Selling Shoes, We're Selling Quality." When elderly Mrs. Madeline Gladstone, the crusty president of the company, chooses Jenna as her driver on a business trip to visit other Gladstone's stores, Jenna goes reluctantly--with trepidation at driving the huge Cadillac, and at the prospect of leaving her alcoholic father behind. But on the road, Jenna learns "great road truths" such as "Never eat at a place called Mom's, because it's a safe bet Mom's been dead for years." She also proves to be indispensable (possessing an eagle eye for shoddy quality and sloppy service), and soon learns to admire and love the irascible Mrs. Gladstone as well as her old friend, "World's Best Shoe Salesman" Harry Bender. When Harry dies suddenly, Jenna realizes that she wishes he had been her father. Trouble looms in the form of a company takeover by Mrs. Gladstone's sleazy son, Elden, "Shoe Rodent," but Jenna summons courage from Harry's memory and saves the day for quality shoes.

And that's exactly what Hannah Friedman set out to do in an ambitious attempt to bust out of a life of obscurity and absurdity and into an alternate world of glamour, wealth, and popularity.
Being dubbed 'That Monkey Girl' by middle school bullies and being pulled out of sixth grade to live on a tour bus with her agoraphobic mother, her smelly little brother, and her father's hippie band mates convinces Hannah that she is destined for a life of freakdom.
But when she enters one of the country's most prestigious boarding schools on scholarship, Hannah transforms herself into everything she is not: cool. By senior year, she has a perfect millionaire boyfriend, a perfect GPA, a perfect designer wardrobe, and is part of the most popular clique in school, but somehow everything begins to suck far worse than when she first started. Her newfound costly drug habit, eating disorder, identity crisis, and Queen-Bee attitude lead to the unraveling of Hannah's very unusual life.
Putting her life back together will take more than a few clicks of her heels, or the perfect fit of a glass slipper, in this not-so-fairy tale of going from rock bottom to head of the class and back again.
They prefer to call themselves RAD (Regular Attribute Disorder), but some call them monsters. So far, the "monster" community has kept a low profile in Salem, but this year two new girls enroll at Master High School, and the town will never be the same.
Created just fifteen days ago, Frankie Stein is psyched to trade her father's formaldehyde-smelling basement lab for parties and cheerleading. But with a student body totally freaked out by rumors of monsters who might be stalking the halls, Frankie finds that life in the "normi" world can be rough for a chic freak like her.
She thinks she finds a friend in fellow new student Melody Carver--but can a normi be trusted with her big secret?

So what did you all get this past week?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Shadow Hills Paperback Cover Revealed

So Thanks to everyone who participated in any way for the big week of contests that lead up to the cover reveal of Shadow Hills. If you haven't been already, make sure you head over to Anastasia's blog to check out the wicked sweet new cover and the answers to all the trivia questions. The winner for my contest had been e-mailed.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Review: Winter's Passage - Julie Kagawa

WherI got it: Free Download from here
Rating: 5 stars 

Cover Rating: 4.5 stars (Pretty)
Genre: Young Adult  
Publication Date: June 1, 2010
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Page Count: 51 p. 

This is a novella that takes place between The Iron King and The Iron Daughter. It's the account of Ash and Meghan's trip from her home to the Winter Fey Court.

This was a nice little novella to read in between books one and two. I also appreciated that it didn't include so much information that people who had no way of reading it would be lost when they start The Iron Daughter. This novella detailed Meghan and Ash's journey to the Winter Fey Court and the people and creatures they met on the way. This novella proves to score a point for those who are Team Ash, but Team Puck will probably shake their heads a little as Meghan interacts solely with Ash while Puck is still recovering. If you have a chance to read this before Iron Daughter, definitely do.

First Line:
"In the shadows of the cave, I watched the Hunter approach."

Favorite Lines:
"I stood atop a great iron tower, a hot wind stinging my face, smelling of ozone and chemicals. Before me, a huge metal throne rose into the mottled yellow sky, black iron spikes raking the clouds."   

Secrets Cover Revealed!

So the Sequel to Rina Onur and Lauren Kunze's book The Ivy, Secrets is set to come out in May 2011. A few days ago Rina showed off the very pretty cover to Secrets on her blog, so I thought I'd share it with you all here. So...What do you think?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Review: Plain Kate - Erin Bow

WherI got it: Library
Rating: 5 stars 

Cover Rating: 5 stars (I really love how well this cover fits with the story, and I love the title font)
Genre: Young Adult  
Publication Date: September 1, 2010
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Page Count: 311 p. 

Plain Kate Carver lived with her father 
carving all night and all day, 
but along came an illness that caused him some stillness until he did pass away. 
Now all on her own without any home 
Plain Kate must make some dough, 
but one day a witch caused a switch 
in the townfolk that should know. 
She was no charmer only a carver 
she could not kill these men, 
but no one would hear her except a Roamer 
who bid her come with them then. 
*This is how Plain Kate's tale begins, loss and loss and more loss. It's a tragic beginning and so no one can blame poor old Plain Kate when she decides to bargain away her shadow for a few staples for her journey. Quite a journey she will have with her cat, tagging along with the Roamers and trying to figure out who is causing this sleeping death, so that she may clear her name.

I loved Plain Kate. Erin Bow created a perfectly delicious world, with some characters that you love and some you can't stand. This novel takes witch accusations, tag-along-cats, magic, ghosts, Gypsies and life and rolls it into one delightful read. I really can't express how much I love this book. The writing was just as whimsical as the tale itself. Plenty of good stuff for every reader. I love the cat Taggle, he's so spunky and loyal and a great companion for Kate to adventure through the country with. I also loved the Roamers (Gypsies) that Kate ends up following to a new town. They had their own customs that Kate had to learn so she didn't make too many missteps and ruin her standing with them. This was a fun, though at times heartbreaking, tale of a girl who needs to find someplace for herself in a world she no longer belongs in. I wish I could have seen some of the carvings that Kate does in the book, they sound absolutely splendid and some, frightening. Plain Kate is an easily lovable character. The witch Linay seems dreadful, but I really enjoyed the story of him. Why he is the way he is and does the things he does. This novel has such a carnival-ride feel to it, jaunty and whimsical all at once. I recommend that everyone read this at least once. 

First Line:
"A long time ago, in a market town by a looping river, there lived an orphan girl called Plain Kate." 

Favorite Lines:
"Oh bats, of bats, oh snack with wings--
Come and hear how Taggle sings!
Oh squirm, oh squeak, my wriggly bats--
You'll make a gift for lady cats!"

"When Kate couldn't sleep, she hunched up, shivering as if fevered, and freed Lenore's face from the burl wood."

*this book is not written in verse, I simply felt that this suited the tone of the novel quite well

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Review: Black Box - Julie Schumacher

WherI got it: Library
Rating: 3.5 stars 

Cover Rating: 3 stars (It's interesting but not eye-catching.)
Genre: Young Adult  
Publication Date: March 9, 2010
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Page Count:  164 p.

Elena and her sister Dora have always been close. Lately however, it seems like Dora isn't as open to her sister as she once was. When Dora sinks into a depression, Elena has no one to turn to. All of the people she knows at school are Dora's friends and they aren't really close. Then one day Jimmy
Zenk, who failed a grade, starts talking to Elena about her sisters depression. He really seems to want to be there for her, but Elena is not sure how she feels about his presence. Elena wants her sister  to get better, but maybe she can't save Dora, especially if Dora can't open up to her.

This was an interesting novel from the perspective of the sister of someone suffering a mental depression. It was nice to read from the perspective of someone outside the illness trying to help that person. It was also sad that Elena was not able to really do that much, because there wasn't much that she could do. Dora needed help and Elena couldn't provide the help that Dora needed. This was a touching read that spoke of the people we connect with even if at first they seem like the least likely candidate. Jimmy wasn't Elena's ideal person, but he ended up being able to help her through the emotions that her parents and her therapists were unable to touch upon. I recommend this book to anyone who is struggling through a similar situation to Elena, it might give some hope to a sad circumstance.

First Line:
"We can hear someone screaming as soon as we get off the elevator."

Favorite Line
"'A drowning person doesn't rescue herself,' I said, because whenever I thought about the game Dora and I had played when we were little, I pictured Dora struggling and drowning."

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Teaser Tuesday #46

This week's Teaser Tuesday is from Wicked Girls - Stephanie Hemphill

(page 113)

"Lizzie tugs down her sleeve.
'Or perhaps Margaret did see a specter,'
Elizabeth says and lowers her eyes."

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!


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