Saturday, June 30, 2012

July releases I can't wait to read

July 1st    Team Human - Justine Larbalestier
July 3rd   Cornered: 15 Stories of Bullying and Defiance
July 5th   The Best Night Of Your (Pathetic) Life - Tara Altebrando
                 Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone - Kat Rosenfeld
July 10th Seraphina - Rachel Hartman
                 Forsaken - Lisa M. Stasse
July 16th Aldo's Fantastical Movie Palace - Jonathan Friesen
July 17th The Unquiet - Jeannine Garsee
July 19th Small Damages - Beth Kephart
July 24th Endlessly - Kiersten White

Ones I already have, but haven't gotten to yet.
July 1st     Monstrous Beauty - Elizabeth Fama
July 3rd    52 Reasons to Hate My Father - Jessica Brody
July 10th  Perfect Escape - Jennifer Brown
July 17th The Wishing Spell - Chris Colfer

Friday, June 29, 2012

Cover L♥ve

So I just wanted to share some fab covers that I've seen around lately.
 Let me know in the comments if there are any you are super in love with!
Click on titles to go to Goodreads page.

Shatter Me - Tahereh Mafi (my review)
Paper Valentine - Brenna Yovanoff
Teeth - Hannah Moskowitz
The Archived - Victoria Schwab

Unspoken - Sarah Rees Brennan
The Infects - Sean Beaudoin
Out of the Easy - Ruta Sepetys
Etiquette & Espionage - Gail Carriger

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Review: Miracle - Elizabeth Scott

Where I got it: Library
Rating: 3 stars  
Cover Rating: 4 stars (It's a bit strange, not exactly what I would have picked for the cover of this novel. I would have had a lot of red in it.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Page Count: 224 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon
Add it: Goodreads

Megan survived a plane crash, so now everyone says she's a miracle. Megan doesn't feel like a miracle at all; she doesn't feel anything. She just wants things to go back to normal like everyone else is trying to do. It's hard though when visions from the crash start flooding back to her. She knows she's not the Megan who got on that plane, but she has to figure out how to cope with who she has become.

This was an interesting read. I always like Elizabeth Scott's more psychological books. I liked what was in this book, but I felt like there was a lot left out. I realize that Megan is kind of losing it, but it seems like there still could have just been more. The story line with her and her neighbor could have developed more, we could have seen her change and start dealing with what happened with her. I also wouldn't have minded more background on her brother's condition. What's wrong with him? Scott never really get's into the details of what is actually wrong with him, so it's a little odd. Also, why was Megan on such a tiny plane? Her family didn't seem that wealthy, maybe they were though since her brother was always sick apparently and was in the hospital a lot. This felt like a very brief glimpse into the victim of a plane crash who walks away virtually unscathed on the outside, but torn apart in her mind.

Like I said before though, I did enjoy what there was in the story. I liked how it was told with small flashbacks as she starts to remember. I loved her conversations with Margaret. Her and Joe seem to be the only characters who aren't praising Megan for something she made no decision to do. Megan didn't decide to survive the plane crash, she simply did. Margaret was in Vietnam, so she very much understands what Megan is going through. People who see horrible things have a bond that other people couldn't even begin to fathom. Joe's nearly in the same boat as them. Terrible things have definitely happened to him and are still kind of happening. I wish there were a lot more about these to characters.

I sort of hated Megan's parents. They were the ones who thought that if they pretend everything was fine then it would be. They also started completely neglecting Megan's brother as soon as they brought her home from the crash. If he's such a sick kid then they should definitely have been better parents. It was selfish of them to not get Megan any help. They seemed quick to dismiss any offer that made it seem like something was amiss. I really just did not care for her parents one bit.

This was definitely an interesting story worth the read. If you have any interest in shock or plane crashes or any kind of trauma check this one out.

First Line:
“When I woke up the sky was burning.”

Favorite Line:
“I knew that past the blue was smoke and flames and the burning sky; the hidden one, real one, would crackle red and wrap itself around me.”

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Review: The Secret Tree - Natalie Standiford

Where I got it: Library
Rating: 4 stars  
Cover Rating: 4 stars (Fun. I like the texture of the tree.)
Genre: Middle Grade
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Page Count: 256 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon
Add it: Goodreads

Minty loves the roller derby and so does her best friend Paz. Or, at least she used to love it too. Now Paz has started hanging out with some of the older more popular girls and Minty isn't sure what to do. Strange things start happening though, like Paz getting weird ailments and someone snooping through people's things. When Minty catches the snooper she chases him through the words, here she stumbles upon a The Secret Tree. People place their secrets in the tree and the ghost inside eats them and then the secrets disappear, but not if someone takes them first. Minty wants to figure out what is going on in this town, because too many things are strange. She wants her best friend back, but maybe she can make some other friends while she tries.

This was a sweet story about friendship. Minty was an interesting young girl. I've never known anyone to be so obsessed with roller derby, but it was a fun aspect to this novel. This novel takes place the summer between fifth and sixth grade, a time of big changes for kids. Paz seems to be trying out a different personality and Minty just wants everything to stay the same. Unfortunately people change though. Minty's town reminds me a lot of my own. Both towns are on the smaller side, we have a man who sells vegetables around town in a horse drawn cart and anyone can be in the parades. I wasn't positive what age-range this book would fall into before reading it, but it's definitely middle grade possibly into young YA. It's a great story for all ages though. I really enjoyed how things transpired and the little bits of mystery that were within the pages. This is definitely a book to check out if you want a nice read that leaves you satisfied.

First Line:
"A ghost can live anywhere."

Favorite Lines:
“It had a long, black braid down its back, four tiny barrettes in its hairs, and Paz's wallet-sized school picture glued to its face. The doll was stuck full of pins."

Monday, June 25, 2012

Review: Waiting - Carol Lynch Williams

Where I got it: Library
Rating: 4.5 stars  
Cover Rating: 4 stars (I don't like the weird light on the back of his head, I'm also a bit disappointed in the jacket as a whole, it is just this image over and over.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Page Count: 352 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon
Add it: Goodreads

London has lost her brother, her best friend, Zach died. Her mother refuses to acknowledge her and her father has immersed himself in his work. London feels alone. She has a hard time talking to people who know, because she doesn't want to hear them say they are sorry for her loss. She misses Zach so much and it's hard for her to cope without him. She tries to find comfort in two other pairs of arms though. She holds on to her old boyfriend Taylor and  new guy Jesse. Though London will soon realize that a few stolen kisses can't even begin to make her whole again, she may realize that she isn't as alone as she thought and can take the first step towards moving on.

This book was pretty devastating. At first it seemed like a typical novel about grief and a family flung apart by it. As you dig deeper into the novel and find all the events that transpired, it just gets hard to read. London has suffered a terrible loss, but it was so much worse than that too. She lost her mother when she lost her brother, because her mother blames her completely. I understand why London sought comfort with other boys. Taylor helped her remember all the great things about her brother, while Jesse let her forget any of it ever happened.

I'm a bit torn about the religious aspects of this novel. I felt like they didn't run deep enough; there wasn't enough of London and Zach's background. On the other hand though, faith is a funny thing and sometimes no amount of background goes to explaining how deep it can run in a person. I thought the faith we did see gave a glimmer of hope to London and it was nice to see her with that hope.

Again, this is a novel written in verse, and it fit the novel nicely. Novels about very tough subjects just really work well in verse, especially the feeling of being alone. A mostly blank page with the words "She has four brothers. Count them. One, two, three, four. And my one is none." really hits hard. When there are less words, you can focus on the meat of the story.

If you like stories that will make you sad, but hopeful check this one out. It was a great read and I can't wait for what Carol Lynch Williams has next in store for us.

First Line:
"After it happened, no one in school would talk to me."

Favorite Lines:
"Somehow, I open the van door and stumble out onto the green, green grass of our lawn. I am the stupidest girl at Smyrna High. I am."

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Stuff I got this week

For Review: thanks Deb Shapiro
The year is 2032, sixteen years after a deadly virus—and the vaccine intended to protect against it—wiped out most of the earth’s population. The night before eighteen-year-old Eve’s graduation from her all-girls school she discovers what really happens to new graduates, and the horrifying fate that awaits her. Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust...and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life. 

Once - Anna Carey

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

Friday, June 22, 2012

Let's Talk: ebooks vs. real books

Let's Talk is a weekly feature at i swim for oceans.

Question: Do you prefer real books or those on your e-reader, and why?

There are so many pros to ereaders, which makes it crazy that I don't like using mine right? Well, I guess it's not that I don't like it, but that I don't end up reading on it. I will devour all the print books I can get my hands on while my ereader watches sadly from it's case. Even when there are super exciting Netgalley books, I put them on my ereader and there they sit.
Ereaders do have a lot of upsides though; they tend to be lighter than most books, if the main character dies you don't know if they'll come back, because you don't know how many pages are left, things like that. Honestly though. despite all the perks an ereader has to offer, I just can't seem to prefer it. I really like the feel of a solid book in my hands. I like turning real pages(and not having to turn them as often) and that's all there is to it. Real books all the way :)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Review: Partners in Crime - Kim Harrington

Where I got it: Library
Rating: 4 stars  
Cover Rating: 3.5 stars (I don't love having animated characters on book covers, but this one isn't too bad. Makes it seem really creepy though and the book wasn't.)
Genre: Middle Grade
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Page Count: 192 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon
Add it: Goodreads

Norah and Darcy have to create a fake business for a school project. Darcy is obsessed with detective mysteries so she decides they should make their own detective agency. Norah goes along, because it's the best idea they've had. Darcy is a computer whiz, so they decide to make their presentation the best and have a website for they're company. Then they get an e-mail. Someone has found their website and wants them to help locate their twin. The girls aren't sure what to do, but decide to at least find out more information. Just because their 7th graders doesn't mean they can't help.

This was a really fun little mystery. I really like Norah and Darcy. It was a fun age that Kim Harrington put them at. A little bit about crushes, but still young enough to have some good clean fun. Both girls were very passionate about their hobbies too which made this book awesome. I can't wait to see Norah's love for astronomy come in to play more. The mystery was a little bit obvious for me to figure out, but it might be a bit trickier for younger kids (not adults like me). The length and adventure in this novel makes me quick to recommend to reluctant readers; it should keep them interested throughout it's brief story. If you like fun characters and a quick mystery read, make sure you check out this first Sleuth or Dare book.

First Line:
"The killer held his breath and huddled in the back of the darkened closet, hoping not to be found."

Favorite Lines:
"You know you're going to pee on the hydrant. I know you're going to pee on the hydrant. You pee on that thing every day. Stop acting like you're trying to make a decision."

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #53

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Victoria hates nonsense. There is no need for it when your life is perfect. The only smudge on her pristine life is her best friend Lawrence. He is a disaster—lazy and dreamy, shirt always untucked, obsessed with his silly piano. Victoria often wonders why she ever bothered being his friend. (Lawrence does, too.)

But then Lawrence goes missing. And he’s not the only one. Victoria soon discovers that Mrs. Cavendish’s children’s home is not what it appears to be. Kids go in but come out . . . different, or they don’t come out at all.

If anyone can sort this out, it’s Victoria, even if it means getting a little messy.

I adore quirky fun books, and this one sounds so perfect. The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls comes out August 28th 2012, so make sure you add it to your Goodreads wishlist ;)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Blog-o-versary Giveaway!

So wow, it's been three years since I started Reading Nook. It does and doesn't feel like it's been that long. Lots has happened and my views on many things has changed through discussions with fellow book lovers. I've been quoted in a book and on some author websites, which is amazing! I've gotten to see trends in the book world and lots of drama ;) So now I am going to hold another contest, because I love giving away books!
Enter to win these and more!
To the right you will see a lovely stack of ARCs. That isn't even the half of it! Three lucky winners will win a box of books of my choosing. Some ARCs and some finished copies. All a mystery to the winner.

  • Fill out this form to enter
  • No extra entries, but I hope you'll tell all your friends
  • Must be 13 or older to enter
  • Three winners
  • Contest will end July 8th (my birthday)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Review: This is Not a Test - Courtney Summers

Where I got it: Library
Rating: 5 stars  
Cover Rating: 5 stars (Just the right amount of creep and wonderful colors.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: June 19, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Page Count: 322 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon
Add it: Goodreads

Sloane already feels dead on the inside, ever since her sister abandoned her. So why is she fighting to survive? A zombie invasion seems like the perfect cover for her to just give up completely. Unfortunately, there are five other people that are part of her group now. They care whether she lives or dies, so she is supposed to care too. As the days pass and no help comes for them though, just surviving might not be enough. If help doesn't come for them, they may have to seek help. Sloane doesn't see the point to go on, but she can't bring herself to give up just yet.

There was no doubt in my mind that this book would be anything short of amazing. I was correct. Courtney Summers takes a subject we've read so much about and puts it in a completely different mood. This is a much more somber zombie apocalypse novel. Sloane Price's narration sets a tone that is beautifully depressing. She had already given up on life the very morning that the outbreak happened, so it was interesting seeing someone who doesn't want to live surviving. It is a hard thing to let people go, when everyone around you is dying. This is what Sloane realizes, when the others she meets up with won't let her leave on her own. The relationships between the characters that find their way to shelter is tense. There is a lot of blame going on between Trace and Cary and that creates so much tension it is nearly unbearable to read. I really loved how well Summers got into the dynamics between the characters locked up trying to survive. The atmosphere within the school was perfect and a bit scary, everyone is on edge and everyone is settling in waiting for help.

Now on to the zombies. They were not the main event in this novel, and I loved that. Don't get me wrong, I love a good zombie apocalypse as much as the next person, but this novel was about a lot more than just getting your flesh eaten and trying to survive. There were zombies, and they certainly had their role. They were an important part to this novel and the way everything comes to be. It definitely had to be zombies, no other disaster would do because this one worked out perfectly.

Sloane was an interesting character to be in the mind of. Most people are completely set on survival. Their instincts set in and they know they want to live. Sloane didn't, but she was. Sloane gets caught in a tricky situation. If it's the end of the world, can you be selfish and kill yourself? Sloane was really working on figuring things out. She was so calm and just taking in all the drama that unfolded around her. She sort of checked out of her body for awhile, until she started to feel like maybe she should go on. It was a little disappointing that is took her so long to figure herself out, but it's how things go.

This is a novel you don't want to miss, but don't expect a lot of action. This was a beautifully written account of a more realistic zombie apocalypse. There will be a lot of waiting around once you make it to safety. There won't be a be-heading every minute. There will be a lot of contemplation and issues between survivors. Pick this up and read it now!

First Lines: 
"Lily, I woke up and the last piece of my heart disappeared. I opened my eyes and I felt it go."

 Favorite Lines: 
"I dig my hands into the grit. I like how it feels."

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Stuff I Got This Week

From the Library (because I didn't have enough to read already) ;p

This is Not a Test - Courtney Summers (perks of being the YA librarian)

Title links go to Goodreads and author links go to author's website.
That's what I got this week. What did you all get?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Review: The King's Rose - Alisa M. Libby

Where I got it: Inter-library Loan
Rating: 3.5 stars  
Cover Rating: 3.5 stars (Fitting but a bit boring.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: March 29, 2011
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Page Count: 297 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon
Add it: Goodreads

Catherine never asked to be Queen, but greatness was thrust upon her by the Howard family. At first Catherine thought it might not be so bad and it wouldn't have been if she could produce an heir. That's all King Henry wants, an heir. Catherine's family decides that desperate times call for desperate measures and they have to do anything they can to get her pregnant before it's too late.

So last month I read and reviewed Gilt by Katherine Longshore which is also about the 5th wife of King Henry VII. These books were completely different. Unfortunately this one I found a tad dry and boring. In this story, Catherine is a good girl and a puppet for her family. She does whatever she is told and pushes down her feelings whenever she can. She doesn't really have any close friends but her family controls her every movement. It's not very entertaining reading about someone who puts up no resistance and doesn't seem to care enough to challenge herself. In this story it's the family's idea that she go to Culpepper to try and get pregnant. She already harbors feelings for Culpepper so she has no objections to this coupling. Catherine's attitude in this novel made me feel a tad bit more sympathetic to her in the end. Her married life was devoted to trying to hide her past and please her King. She bent over backwards trying to be exactly what he wanted, but all he wanted was a healthy son. This was an interesting read. It was nice seeing Catherine's life from her perspective and seeing her much more subdued than in Gilt.

First Line:
"The Thames is a messenger of fortune, rippling smoothly beneath the prow of this barge."

Favorite Lines:
"She releases my arm and sinks back into the shadows, muttering to herself. I stand here numbly, dumbly. I think that my whole world has changed: the witch wasn't a witch, after all."

Friday, June 15, 2012

Review: Kiss Crush Collide - Christina Meredith

Where I got it: ARC from AmazonVine
Rating: 2.5 stars  
Cover Rating: 3 stars (What's with the crappy photoshopped tattoo?)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: December 27, 2011
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Page Count: 313 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon
Add it: Goodreads

When Leah starts roaming around outside of the country club, she meets Porter. They take a fast ride which leads to making out in the grass. Now Leah can't get him off her mind. They never call each other and they never make plans. Porter just shows up on the road with a car to whisk her away. Soon Leah's going to have to make some decision though, because she can't have everything. Leah is going to have to decide whether to follow the easy path for her, laid out by her sisters and mother or the path that she wants to take.

I feel lukewarm about this novel. There was nothing particular that I disliked, but I didn't really like it all that much. The one thing I did like was the feeling that Leah got with Porter. It's understandable because he's pretty mysterious. He just shows up and that's that. Leah was very self-absorbed though. She also felt liked she deserved everything that she got. Really things just fell to her, because it was family tradition. Leah never had to make hard decisions, but was always complaining about her life. I would have liked it a lot more if she was more of a rebel. She did what she was told and fit in perfectly. She barely even changed throughout the whole novel. Most of this book is Leah complaining about and observing her family. I want more heat. I mean, "kiss" is in the title! All we get is scrapes of a sort-of relationship. None of the characters even stick out. Everyone fits in their confusing roles, without any personality beyond what Leah seems fit to stick them with. Her mother is psychotic and Valerie is confusing. I don't even get how she went from annoying leech to best friends with Leah. It didn't really make sense to me. I don't regret reading this book, but it wasn't really for me at all I guess.

First Line:
"'Leah!' My mother rolls her eyes, sounding completely exasperated as she steps down the three thick stone slabs at our front door, her heels clacking."

Favorite Line:
"It seemed he preferred to communicate nonverbally through erratic gearshifting and sudden, violent breaking."

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #52

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Once upon a time, there was a strung-out match girl who sold CDs to stoners. Twelve impetuous sisters escaped King Daddy's clutches to jiggle and cavort and wear out their shoes. A fickle Thumbelina searched for a tiny husband, leaving bodies in her wake. And Little Red Riding Hood confessed that she kind of wanted to know what it's like to be swallowed whole. From bloodied and blinded stepsisters (they were duped) to a chopped-off finger flying into a heroine's cleavage, this is fairy tale world turned upside down. Ron Koertge knows what really happened to all those wolves and maidens, ogres and orphans, kings and piglets, and he knows about the Ever After. So come closer - he wants to whisper in your ear.

I love fairytale re-tellings so this is on my radar for that reason, and I love Ron Koertge! The only thing is, this book is a hardcover with only 96 pages! We'll see how amazing those illustrations are ;) This will be released by Candlewick Press on July 10th, so make sure you add it to your Goodreads.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Beach Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week is "Top Ten Books I'd Recommend as Good Beach Reads". Each week they will post a new top ten list that one of our bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All they ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post and add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists. If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

I wish I had more time to read at the beach, but it's a little bit of a drive. Here are some of my favorite summer reads though :)

1. Life as a Poser - Beth Killian
When she is invited to visit her super-cool aunt in Los Angeles, a young girl searches for fame--and her long lost mom--in the glamorous world of Hollywood.
2. A Midsummer's Nightmare - Kody Keplinger
 (my review)
3. The Statistical Probability of Love at First - Jennifer E. Smith
 (my review)
4. Still Waters - Emma Carlson Berne
 (my review)

5. Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging - Louise Rennison
 (my review)
6. Beauty Queens - Libba Bray
 (my review)
7. Invincible Summer - Hannah Moskowitz
 (my review)
8. Amy & Roger's Epic Detour - Morgan Matson
 (my review)
9. The Beach - Alex Garland 
After discovering a seemingly Edenic paradise on an island in a Thai national park, Richard soon finds that since civilized behavior tends to dissolve without external restraints, the utopia is hard to maintain. 
10. Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins
 (my review)

What are some of your suggestions for beach reads?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Review: A Midsummer's Nightmare - Kody Keplinger

Where I got it: ARC for review from publisher
Rating: 5 stars  
Cover Rating: 3 stars (Meh.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Poppy
Page Count: 291 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon
Add it: Goodreads

Whitley Johnson has finally graduated high school. Though she is glad to be rid of that place she can't help but attend the big bash at some guy's house. She graduated with at least a thousand kids so it's not like she knows everyone. She ends the night in a boy's bed, the host apparently. He wants them to keep in touch, but Whitley wants to be rid of this one night stand and get on with her new life. This summer was supposed to be like all the other ones with her father. They were supposed to chill buy the condo's pool and talk about college, since Whitley is attending her father's alma mater. Unfortunately, Whitley's dad has other plans. In the car her dad tells her that he doesn't have the condo anymore but a house. He doesn't have some flimsy girlfriend, but a fiancée and she has two kids. Whitley doesn't think this summer could get any worse, and then she meets her soon-to-be stepbrother. She's trying to make the best out of the situation at hand, but she ends up getting out of hand. Whitley just wanted things to be like they always were, but maybe it's time things change.

Awesome. This is Kody Keplinger's third book and she has not lost any steam. This book was just so fantastic. A few weeks ago I reviewed Jackson Pearce's Purity and mentioned that I had a hard time relating to that father/daughter relationship; I had no problem relating to this one. Whitley's father is more of a buddy than a father, and has a hard time making time for her. Whitley is drunk so often that she doesn't even seem to realize how much this is true. She puts him up on a pedestal which puts a strain on her relationship with her mother. It was a bit depressing watching her father ignore her and then her finding out some unfavorable things about him. He sort of is a giant jerk though at least his wife-to-be is a good person.

It was interesting reading about a character with zero friends. Whitley didn't seem to even have casual acquaintances, though she went to all the parties. It was good to see Whitley's character change throughout the course of this novel, while still remaining the same girl at the core. She grew a lot having a real family around and that means something. There was a cameo in here of a couple of other Kody characters you might recognize. It was a nice surprise.Whitley does end up finding a friend in Harrison, though she fights it every bit of the way. She also has a friend in Nathan, whether she likes it or not. I loved both of these characters. Harrison was just completely fabulous, forcing Whitley to befriend him despite her desire for friendship. Then Nathan was just great because he kept calling her Whit, even though she despised it.

If you have not read a Kody Keplinger book it is because either a.) you don't like good books or b.) you're crazy (can't be that you don't like realistic fiction). Check this book out this summer, it is a definite hit!

First Line:
"Hangovers are a bitch."

Favorite Lines:
"I spent the next several days avoiding Nathan as much as was humanly possible. This involved lots of the silent treatment and cold-shouldering, mixed with a little bit of immature 'Did you hear something? Must have been the wind,' whenever he tried to get my attention in the presence of others."

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Review: Sparks - S.J. Adams

Where I got it: Inter-library loan
Rating: 4.5 stars  
Cover Rating: 3.5 stars (Fun and relevant, but a bit odd.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: November 8, 2011
Publisher: Flux
Page Count: 257 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon
Add it: Goodreads

Debbie is in love with her best friend, Lisa. Lisa is really into church though and her new boyfriend. Lisa is so into her new boyfriend, that Debbie feels lost and alone. Enter Emma, Tim and the Church of Blue. Debbie isn't sure she really wants to try this new religion of Blue, but she does want someone to hang out with. Emma and Time seem to understand her and are ready and willing to help her take the leap and admit what her heart wants. But, with all the chaos of the actual quest to get there, will Debbie work up the courage, or even get an opportunity? Will Blue provide?

This novel was fantastic. I loved Emma and Tim. Even if Emma was completely in denial about what was right in front of her. I loved that they had a list of tasks that they would check off as they went about their quests. Like mooning people and getting an autograph of someone named after a president. They were strange, but a good way to have fun. I really love it when people start their own religion in novels as a way to try to understand the world and themselves. I don't know what it is about it that makes me love it so much, but I do.  Moira was FANTASTIC too. I really loved that she was a bit different than everyone else and on purpose. She was a time traveler, but one who just pretends she's in a different time period. It sounds fun. There were a lot of great characters in this novel, like the bowling alley skanks and their skank network. Debbie was an okay person I guess. I didn't love her Full House obsession. I know some teens who get hooked on old shows like that though, so it's not unrealistic. It was hard to understand fully her crush on Lisa, because she's not really in the novel too much. It seems like the point of the novel was not so much about Lisa at all, but Debbie realizing and excepting who she is by herself. Definitely check this out if you love funny novels that have a lot of driving and a lot of misfit characters.

First Line:
"My dad's a regular guy, and my mom's a total kook, so I guess I had a fifty percent chance of coming out normal. Leave it to me to screw it up."

Favorite Line:
"Broken hearts are fucking gross."

Friday, June 8, 2012

Let's Talk: Favorite Authors

Let's Talk is a weekly feature at i swim for oceans.

Question: Who are your favourite authors of all time?

This is a tricky one to narrow down to just a few. It's hard if an author only has one novel to say that they are a favorite author.
In middle school and high school it was 100% Francesca Lia Block. I devoured her books over and again. He style snuck it's way into many of the things I wrote. I still hold a special place in my heart for her and all of her wonderful novels. She's just wonderful. I have expanded a bit now though.
I really love Etgar Keret, who writes these profound short stories. They are so perfect for being so short.
David Leviathan is definitely up there in the tops list. I mean, he's brilliant. Everything he writes is perfect.
Brian Selznick. Not only is he an incredible author but his illustrations are so powerful. I mean he tells some incredible stories with only pictures, and they are so moving.
Also, Hannah Moskowitz and Kody Keplinger. Both of these lovely ladies are younger than I am, and every time I finish one of their novels, I can not believe it. They are both fantastic and thoughtful authors. They provoke so much emotion and have totally relatable characters.
Then on the other end of things we have Louise Rennison, who I also loved in middle and high school. I loved Gerorgia Nicolson. I think that is the book series I have reread the most times. They are just fantabulous and funny. So, I guess those are my tried and true favorites.
There are other authors that I imagine I will be able to add to this list once they write more books. There's Tahereh Mafi, Arlaina Tibensky, Jandy Nelson and probably many more that I can't think of right now.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Fated by Alyson Noël sneak peek

In the world of The Soul Seekers, everyone is guided by a spirit animal (whether they know it or not!). These animal are mystical beings that guide us from their home in the Lowerworld. And in the first installment, Fated, Daire Santos must embark upon a magickal journey to discover who’s guiding her. Our spirit animals speak not only to who we are, but where we are headed. Which spirit animal do you think is guiding you? 

Raven: Raven represents mystery, magick, and a change in consciousness. Raven teaches us how to take the unformed and give it any shape we desire. By helping us to confront our failures and shortcomings, Raven reminds us that we have the power to transform anything we have the courage to face. Raven helps us to work the magick of spiritual laws to manifest that which we need and to bring forth light from darkness.

Coyote: Coyote represents humor, wiliness, and a reversal of fortune. Coyote teaches us how to strike a balance between wisdom and folly. As a cunning adversary, Coyote reminds us to understand circumstances surrounding a situation fully before developing a plan to achieve our goals and objectives, but as a survivor, Coyote will take extreme measures to insure the well-being of its off-spring and lineage.

Horse: Horse represents freedom, power, and enlightenment. Horse teaches us the benefits of patience, sensitivity and kindness, and that positive relationships are cooperative ones. Possessing great stamina and speed, Horse encourages us to awaken our own power to endure and reach the full potential of our abilities. A strong and powerful animal, the spirit of the Horse reminds us of our inner strength and gives us the courage to move forward and to head in new directions.

Wolf: Wolf represents protection, loyalty, and spirit. Wolf teaches us to balance our own needs and that of family and community, reminding us of the importance of ritual to establish order and harmony, while informing us that true freedom requires discipline. An extremely intelligent animal with keen senses, Wolf encourages us to go out of our way to avoid trouble and danger and fight only when necessary. A great teacher and pathfinder, the spirit of the Wolf urges us to listen to our own internal thoughts and words to help us find the deepest levels of self, inner knowledge and intuition. 

Eagle: Eagle represents illumination, healing power, and creation. Eagle teaches us that while we are free to choose our own paths, we must respect the freedom of others and the path they have chosen, while its strong sharp beak informs us to mind our words and their impact on others. With its ability to soar to great heights and survey all directions, Eagle reminds us to see life from a higher perspective, for if we look with limited vision we may be blinded to what lies in front of us. As a symbol of great power, the spirit of the Eagle means taking on responsibility and power greater than yourself, using the gift of vision and clarity to help others through dark times.

Feel free to check out my review of Fated here. On sale now! 


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