Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Review: Once - Anna Carey

Where I got it: ARC from publisher 
Rating: 4 stars  

Cover Rating: 3.5 stars (It's okay. It's nice that Eve looks the same.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: July 3, 2012
Publisher: Harper
Page Count: 354 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon
Add it: Goodreads
Sequel to Eve

Eve's made it to Califia, but at a great cost to her. She's lost everyone she cares about, but has escaped the King for now. When Arden shows up at  Califia, Eve is relieved to have a friend there. Talk of Caleb being spotted makes it's way into the camp though and the other women seem weary of the girls. Arden and Eve decide they need to escape before they won't be able to. Eve is also desperate to find Caleb. You can't always believe what you hear from strays though, and Eve once again lures Arden into a trap that sets the girls back by getting them captured yet again. This time though, Eve is sent to The Sand City, where she will learn the true purpose of why the King wanted her.

So this novel may have been even better than Eve. I loved that we finally got to see the City of Sand and the King. This is a tricky novel to talk about though, because I don't want to ruin anything. This one didn't end quite as nicely as Eve, but that's alright, because I was already going to be dying to read the sequel. Eve still did a lot of really stupid things in this novel. She's just very naive and trusting and it doesn't work out well in survival situations. I wished we had got to hear more about Califia. She was there for awhile, but it's only a few pages before she's off again. I guess it was just boring there. The King...I'm still not sure how I feel about him. On one hand it seems like he's not trying to be a terrible person there are just things expected of him, but on the other hand he seems like a terrible person. I'm torn. There were a couple characters that had big parts in the story but not in the novel, so it would have been nice to get to know them. The characters we do get to know all seem to have ulterior motives, so it's hard to like any of them. This novel salso had quite a few surprises in it, though by now you can never trust what you think is going to happen. This was another excellent novel by Anna Carey and I can not wait to read Rise.

First Line:
"I started over the rocks, clutching a knife in one hand."

Favorite Lines:
"Curtis held up his hands in surrender. He joined us shuffling awkwardly around the cramped room."

Monday, July 30, 2012

Review: Eve - Anna Carey

Where I got it: Finished copy from publisher 
Rating: 4 stars  

Cover Rating: 3.5 stars (It's okay.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: October 4, 2011
Publisher: Harper
Page Count: 318 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon
Add it: Goodreads

A plague has ripped through Earth and few people remain. Orphans are picked up and taken to schools so that they can be educated and learn trades. Meanwhile, in the City of Sand the King is busy restoring America to it's former glory. Eve and the other girls can't wait until after they've learned their trades and can move into the big city. The night before graduation from school though, Eve learns something about her future that she can hardly believe. The girls won't be learning a trade like they were always told. Now Eve nows she has to flee, even if it means leaving behind the only people she knows. Luckily, Eve doesn't find herself alone for too long. She ends up running into one of the girls that had escaped right before her. Unfortunately, you can't just run away from the government. They want Eve, and they won't stop looking until they find her. 

Eve was sort of an unlikeable character. She wasn't very street smart, and ended up making a lot of huge mistakes. She never seemed to have to pay for those mistakes though, which made it worse. I know that she was brainwashed, and never really had the opportunity of will to learn common sense but that doesn't make it easier to like her. Arden is more of a character I could get along with. She's fairly quick thinking and does well for herself. 

This book had a lot of surprises and I really appreciated that. I was never sure what would happen on the next page. Even the ending was a bit of a surprise. They weren't unrealistic things either, they were simply not happy-ending type of things. I always love it when a book doesn't try to make things nice and appease the reader. I feel like sometimes a book has to just be real, and in real life shit happens and then more shit happens. Things don't always work out for good people. Granted some people don't want to read about reality since they face it everyday, but I certainly appreciated it now and then.

Late in the book the girls talk about some coordinates that their school was referred to by. I was glad to find that these were real coordinates for cities on the west coast. They also made sense as to the travel of the girls. They were going a certain way and the schools would have matched up with their trajectory. I can see this being more pleasing perhaps to people who live on the west coast who know I-80 and the places it passes. I like that that's the road she used too, because it also stretches across the whole country. It's a beacon road. :) 

There are a lot of terrible things that happen in this book, so be prepared to not always feel warm and fuzzy and powerful. At parts in this book I nearly gave up hope on Eve and her crew. It was an excellent story though, and even though they hit rough spots they kept powering on. I really enjoyed this and have eagerly started Once. Now, I just have to wait until Rise comes out. If you haven't stated this series make sure you do soon. Eve finished up nicely, and didn't leave you needing to read the sequel. You will want to though. 

First Line:
"My sweet Eve,

As I drove back from the market today, you humming in your car sear and our trunk filled with powdered milk and rice, I saw the San Gabriel Mountains—really saw them for the first time."

Favorite Line:
"They fell to the cement floor, their corners dented."

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Stuff I Got This Week

For Review: thanks to Atria and Little, Brown
Jane Austen meets the Bachelorette in this twenty-first-century comedy of manners about a suburban family, their four eligible daughters, and what happens when reality TV comes to town.

No parents. No rules. No way home. Fourteen-year-old Bonnie MacDonald couldn't be more excited for a camping trip on an island off the coast of Thailand with her fellow Amelia Earhart Cadets-the daughters of the men and women stationed there during the Vietnam War. But when a strong current deposits the girls on what their boatman calls the "forbidden island," things take a turn for the worse: A powerful storm comes to destroy their campsite, the smallest of the junior cadets is found dead, and their boatman never returns. What once seemed like a vacation in paradise has become a battle against the elements.

Reese and David don’t remember what happened to them after a bird flew into their headlights on the Extraterrestrial Highway--not the resulting car accident and certainly not a bit of the 21 days of care at the military hospital in Nevada. It’s a good thing, the doctors and colonels tell them, that they crashed on a military base, but they won’t tell Reese and David what the extent of their injuries were, or how they were healed. They do tell them they’re not going home, though, until they sign a confidentiality agreement. When they get home, Reese can’t help but find everything a little weird. Worldwide bird strikes resulting in plane crashes have grounded air travel, David won’t talk to her, and she could swear she’s seen her military doctors around the neighborhood. It’s only when she meets Amber Grey that things in her life begin to really fall apart, and the mysteries of the bird strikes, the military, and her own treatment come together. Reese realizes that she must find out what they did to her in that hospital, but her search for the truth threatens to expose a vast global conspiracy that the government has worked for decades to keep secret. What if we aren’t alone in the universe? What if the alien is inside us?

Evie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City--and she is pos-i-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult--also known as "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies." When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer--if he doesn't catch her first.

Celia Reynolds is the youngest in a set of triplets and the one with the least valuable power. Anne can see the future, and Jane can see the present, but all Celia can see is the past. And the past seems so insignificant -- until Celia meets Lo. Lo doesn't know who she is. Or who she was. Once a human, she is now almost entirely a creature of the sea -- a nymph, an ocean girl, a mermaid -- all terms too pretty for the soulless monster she knows she's becoming. Lo clings to shreds of her former self, fighting to remember her past, even as she's tempted to embrace her dark immortality. When a handsome boy named Jude falls off a pier and into the ocean, Celia and Lo work together to rescue him from the waves. The two form a friendship, but soon they find themselves competing for Jude's affection. Lo wants more than that, though. According to the ocean girls, there's only one way for Lo to earn back her humanity. She must persuade a mortal to love her . . . and steal his soul.

Perk from 2nd Street Creamery 
Ice Cream koozie and some coupons :)

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

Friday, July 27, 2012

Review: Paper Covers Rock - Jenny Hubbard

Where I got it: Library
Rating: 5 stars  
Cover Rating: 4 stars (Quite nice, I like how serious he looks. The title is pretty awesome and relevant too.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: June 12, 2012
Publisher: Ember
Page Count: 181 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon
Add it: Goodreads

Is Male, Alex, starts writing in the journal his father gave him at the beginning of the school year. He's started after one of his best friends dies. Is Male is not the most direct narrator however, and tells you many stories around his friend's death. Slowly in brief passages the truth of what happened at the rock comes out. Is Male didn't know the whole story, he still isn't sure what is true. His journal helps him through his journey though, helps him be okay.

So, I have never read Moby Dick. Like most people though, I have a general understanding of the story and I know the famous opening line. I really appreciated the comparisons between Alex's life and Ishamel's throughout this novel. Alex was a very likeable character. I felt for him, even if at times he was a little off. He's a teen boy and he fantasizes about his teacher and him being a couple. Not a strange thing, but something that some people might be uncomfortable with. This was set a few decades ago, but it's story is timeless. The only thing that makes you aware of the time period is the absence of technology. The kids actually talk to each other, fish, and hangout. They don't just play video games and text. It was nice to have a story written with a more personal and intimate feeling.

Not too often are journal-style novels written from a male perspective. I always have enjoyed this format, and it worked perfectly for this story. It allowed us to see everything unfolding from Alex's point of view. It makes the narrative the slightest bit unreliable though, because we only see what Alex chooses to tell. Alex does like direct quotes though, so what he does write has a feeling of truthfulness and accuracy.

Paper Covers Rock was an intensely interesting read. As I found out more of the situation surrounding the death, I was at first bored with how plain it seemed, but the more I read the more I found out. The death was more complicated then I could have imagined. There is a lot of behind the scenes stuff happening at the boarding school, as I always imagine there is. If you have the chance to read this one, I highly suggest you do. It's a quick read you won't regret.

First Lines:
"Call me Is Male.
When my dad gave me this journal two years ago and said 'Fill it with your impressions,' I imagine he had a more idyllic portrait of boarding school life in mind."

Favorite Lines:
"Read to your heart's content. Though if you are a reader, the heart is never content."

"No ocean in sight, no wind or wing to carry me into the sky, far, far away."

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Teaser Tuesday #68

This week's Teaser Tuesday is from Eve by Anna Carey. The sequel, Once, just came out July 3rd. I'm eager to catch up :)

(page 111)
"I was five again, my steps light on the stairs. She'd stopped waiting for the doctors, had heard reports that they would only help the rich."

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, July 23, 2012

Review: Monument 14 - Emmy Laybourne

Where I got it: ARC from publisher
Rating: 3.5 stars  
Cover Rating: 3.5 stars (The characters look really computer animated, but besides that it's not bad.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Page Count: 294 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon
Add it: Goodreads

Dean said goodbye to his mother and brother and rushed to get on his bus, just like every other day. Then it started to hail. His bus driver lost control of the bus in this sudden storm and crashed into a pole. Meanwhile, through the bus window, Dean sees his brothers bus crash into the front of a Greenway store. Little does Dean know that this store will serve as a sanctuary for the survivors between the two buses for the next few weeks. Things are happening in the world, and there is no stopping them; there is only survival.

I seem to keep reading books I didn't know were the beginnings of series. So I finish this with some pretty big feelings of disappointment, but then Goodreads is like "Bitch please this is book one" and then I sigh, because of course it is. Not that I have anything against series, there just seems to be an abundance of them. Now that I've ranted about something that has little to do with the actual content of this book, let's get to it.

So first I'm just going to point out something that nearly discouraged me from continuing to read this book. There were a couple of lines that made me go "What!? Who talks like that?". For example: "Jake bent down and got up in her grill." and "And he sure did grab himself a table leg."Those lines both made me cringe a little, luckily they were in the beginning of the book and I decided to persist. I don't think there were any more horrific lines like these, but if there were the story was so good I didn't notice.

It was interesting to have this novel written like a sort of journal of the events as they unfold. Dean was a pretty like-able character, even if at times he was quite strange or dark. It seems tricky to pen a character that people can like but also be a bit weary of. There are plenty of those types in this novel. I don't want to talk about too many of those characters, because it's a bit spoilery. However, I did really appreciate the characters in this novel, they all made the novel unfold in an excellent sensical way.

Another thing I really loved was the disasters. You had some typical ones, but then there were some I never even think about. There are so many things that can go wrong if even one thing crashes. This novel was set in 2024 I believe, so not too distant future. Really, it could have been set tomorrow and things would have been about the same. I see why the author set it ahead and it worked. It's terrifying to think of how bad off we would be if something of this magnitude happened globally. I mean, terrible things have hit certain areas, but we haven't (knock on wood) had anything with such a global devastation.

I ended up really enjoying this book, but hated the ending. Now that I know it's the first book in a series, the ending isn't quite as bad though. If you like survival/dystopian type stories, make sure you check this one out. I can't wait to see what happens with everyone next!

First Line:
"Your mother hollers that you're going to miss the bus."

Favorite Lines:
"One more lady was dead. Add her to the millions dead outside and she figured pretty small. But to us, she was big."

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Stuff I Got This Week

For Review: thanks William Morrow and Penguin
Why yes those are sitting on my snazzy new desk chair I got from Staples for $40 ;)

The Book of Tomorrow - Cecelia Ahern
The magical new novel from number one bestseller Cecelia Ahern. Tamara Goodwin has always got everything she's ever wanted. Born into a family of wealth, she grew up in a mansion with its own private beach, a wardrobe full of designer clothes and all that a girl could ever wish for. She's always lived in the here and now, never giving a second thought to tomorrow. But then suddenly her dad is gone and life for Tamara and her mother changes forever. Left with a mountain of debt, they have no choice but to sell everything they own and move to the country. Nestled next to Kilsaney Castle, their gatehouse is a world away from Tamara's childhood. With her mother shut away with grief, and her aunt busy tending to her, Tamara is lonely and bored and longs to return to Dublin. When a travelling library passes through Kilsaney Demesne, Tamara is intrigued. Her eyes rest on a mysterious large leather bound tome locked with a gold clasp and padlock. What she discovers within the pages takes her breath away and shakes her world to its' core.

Debut novelist Michael Boccacino invites readers into the world beyond the realm of the living in Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling, a Victorian gothic tale of the strange and supernatural. But all who enter this house must beware--for there is a price to pay for visitors who wish to save those they love. The story of a British governess and her young charges seduced by the otherworldly enticements of a mysterious mansion in the forest following the inexplicable death of the former nanny, this Tim Burton-like tale of dark fantasy is a bewitching treat for fans of horror and paranormal fiction, as well as readers who love creepy gothic tales and mysterious shadowy English manor houses. Not since Suzanna Clarke introduced Jonathan Strange to Mr. Norrell, and Neil Gaiman's Coraline crawled through a secret door into a twisted and sinister mirror world, has there been a journey as wondrously fantastic and terrifying as Charlotte Markham's adventures in the House of Darkling.

What I Did - Christopher Wakling
"This is a story about a terrible thing which happens to me. I have to warn you that nobody is bad or good here, or rather everyone is a bit bad and a bit good and the bad and the good moluscules get mixed up against each other and produce terrible chemical reactions. Did you know cheetahs cannot retract their claws?" Six-year-old Billy loves animals, David Attenborough documentaries, and sneakers that flash when he runs. He does not love sitting still, the blood-soaked sky in "Watership Down," or his father's cell phone. When Billy runs into a busy street, ignoring his father's commands, he sets in motion a series of unexpected, family-altering events. "What I Did" is a heart-wrenching reminder of how best intentions can lead to disastrous consequences, and how one rash decision can take on a life of its own.

The Innocents - Lili Peloquin
Nothing ever came between sisters Alice and Charlie. Friends didn't. Boys couldn't. Their family falling apart never would. Until they got to Serenity Point. "The Innocents" is the first in a new series of young adult novels that weave a saga of nail-biting drama, breathless romance, and gothic mystery.

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

Saturday, July 21, 2012

News on a Saturday

Hello my lovelies. Once again I wanted to share with you some great things I've been reading about lately. Also I recently read and reviewed Transcendence and Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone, and these are two books you must read. They were fab.

So this week, my boss forward me this article about Google becoming an extension of your brain. On one hand it's a little creepy, on the other hand it sounds totally awesome. I think the fact that it may lead to people becoming even more dependent on electronics like that. This sort of goes along with this article about whether or not the internet is causing mental health issues, like insanity, memory loss and just plain stupidity. I think that this could be a relevant issue, but I'm not 100% convinced that it's not limited to only people who have addictive personalities to begin with. I mean if crack was as readily available and socially acceptable as the internet, would these people be drug users instead. You can also watch this video from Jenna Marbles about how apps are ruining her life. What do you guys think about these articles? Would you get a pair of Google glasses?

I also wanted to mention a couple of fellow YA bloggers who have been talking about some issues they have with book content. Nicole at WORD for Teens posted about Slut Shaming and how there's too much of it in YA. I have to agree with Nicole that it doesn't add anything to the story. I guess if it's just one character being a prick that's one thing, but when the whole book has preachy overtones it can be a bit much. I liked Purity for this reason, in the beginning there was a lot of worry and pressure about losing your virginity but the characters sort of evolved past that.

Then we have Donna from Bites who posted about YA Boys That Make Shitty Toys. Her post talks about the abusive relationships that crop up in YA a lot, but aren't construed as such. Like Patch from Hush, Hush or the dread Edward Cullen ;) I agree that it's strange that authors give a normal feel to these relationships in their books but I loved these characters too. Now, I was in an abusive relationship for a long time, so I wonder if maybe this has skewed my views of things. I in no way support abusive relationships, but I wonder if I don't realize that these characters, like Patch and Ash, are abusive, because it seems normal to me? Or at least it is something I'm familiar with, it's not so shocking. I wonder if the people who pick up on these things right away have never been in an abusive relationship. Maybe Team Ash is filled with people who have been with a dickhead before. Just my thoughts. What's your take on abusive relationships and slut shaming? Do you notice the more subtle abuse in YA or only the ones like Bitter End and But I Love Him?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Review: Transcendence - C.J. Omololu

Where I got it: Library
Rating: 4.5 stars  
Cover Rating: 4 stars (The characters look pretty perfect. I like the title font, it sort of gives you the effect of her having the visions.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Walker & Copmany
Page Count: 336 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon
Add it: Goodreads

Cole has started having these weird daydreams. All of a sudden she'll sink into one. They are all of other people though, in other times. This started while she was visting the Tower of London. There she met a guy named Griffon. The questions he asks her when making she is okay, hint that he knows something more about what is happening to her. The closer they get, the more she learns. Cole finds out that those visions are her past, and someone from before is out to get her now. There are others who can remember the lives they once led, people who have known for years. If Cole can't figure out why someone is after her, she might not have much time left in this life.

So good. This book was simply amazing. I was so excited to hear that there was a sequel—firstly, because there was a loose end in this novel that I am dying to know the answer to, and secondly I want more with these characters. I really love reincarnation novels, especially when the characters can remember their past.

Cole and Griffon made a pretty interesting team. Cole was a bit intense and childish at times, but that just showed the mind-age difference between Griffon and her. She doesn't have lifetimes of memories and experience behind her yet, whereas Griffon does. I really liked trying to figure out how all of her fragments of memories fit together. Trying to solve the mystery of the who the people in her past might be now was half the fun of reading the novel.

I loved Griffon's mother, she was pretty awesome. She was a very cool lady, and I would love to see her house. Cole's mother was way too pushy. She's the mother of a prodigy though, and that's how I always expect them to be. Cole's sister is the typical "living in someone else's shadow"sibling. Her sister did work at a pretty neat sounding shop, not just a ditzy fashion frenzy type of place. I would love to visit the shop, just to see the things they create.

I don't want to give too much away about this novel, but I highly recommend you read it as soon as possible. Especially if you dig reincarnation novels. This was a truly fantastic read, and I can't wait to devour the next one.

First Line:
"It's happening again."

Favorite Line:
"The effort of speaking is too much, and relief overwhelms me as I let myself sink into a dark stream of unconsciousness."

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Review: 52 Reasons to Hate My Father - Jessica Brody

Where I got it: Arc from publisher
Rating: 2.5 stars  
Cover Rating: 3 stars (The girls perfect, this cover is perfect but oh how I loathe her.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: July 3, 2012
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Page Count: 352 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon
Add it: Goodreads

Lexington Larrabee has everything she wants. She doesn't even have to lift a finger to get it. New cars, huge house and tons of money for shopping. If she totals a car, she can just get a new one. When she drunk drives her brand new car into a connivence store right before her eighteenth birthday though, her father decides he has had enough. It's time for Lexington to learn what it means to grow up and earn money, and she's not going to like it. When she turns eighteen and heads to see Bruce for her trust fund check she is informed that before she can have her money, she has to complete the task her father has decided on. She must work 52 jobs over the next year. Each week she will have a new low-paying job to suffer through. Lexington can't even believe it. She's never had to do anything for herself, let alone other people. She has a choice though, she can do the work and get the money or figure out how to live on her own without her father's billions.

This was a tricky book to rate. On one hand it was a light fast read and I enjoyed reading it. On the other hand though, there were a some major flaws that really bugged me. The top thing that annoyed me was how unrealistic Lexington was. In the beginning of the book she's all bling-bling, spoiled-brat, heiress and then by the end she's supposed to be super smart and not such a sucky person? I didn't see anything that would call for this change. She could have been a bit better of a person, but the whole 360 turnaround kind of threw me off. Of course, I've never known anyone that rich and spoiled, so...

Her father and all her brothers aren't complete idiots, so maybe she was just playing her part. It seems weird that she would keep the same friends though if she's a completely new person. They must be very loving and adapting friends. Then there's the very obvious love interest. I saw that coming as soon as he was mentioned. Then there's Rolando. Lexi and him are supposed to be BFFs, but he's only mentioned a few times. What!?

The other thing that bugged me was that "could care less". Lexi used it a couple of times in thought and  dialogue. It's "couldn't care less"!!!! I mean, it fits the person I'm picturing well, but I don't think that person could solve a big mystery.

I wish there were any other characters to really talk about, but everyone was just a brief mention really. Once again proving that everything is all about Lexington Larrabee.  I did like that there was mention of other Jessica Brody characters in this novel. It was brief, but if you are paying attention, you'll catch it. This was a quick fun read with a lot of funny parts. If you like reading about rich snobs who end up turning their lives around, this is exactly the book for you. I just find it all a bit unrealistic. Maybe someday, someone will prove me wrong.

First Line:
"My father is going to kill me."

Favorite Line:
"Come Monday morning I'm a frazzled mess."

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week is "Top Ten Books for People Who Like X Book". 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.

Instead of doing a specific book I think I'll do Top Ten Books for people who like ghost stories.

So there are many types of ghost stories these ones are not scary ones. The ghost are either friendly or at least I didn't find them too scary.
1. Liesl & Po - Lauren Oliver (my review)
A sweet story about a ghost who befriends a girl to help her life get better.

2. Radiance - Alyson Noël (my review)
In this case, the ghost is the main character. In the series she has to help other ghosts cross over. The boy in Radiance could be creepy if you get scared easily I suppose, but he seems harmless enough.

3. The Hollow - Jessica Verday (my review)
A nice tale about haunts around Sleepy Hollow.

4. Beautiful Creatures - Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (my review)
A nice southern gothic novel without much scary stuff happening. A very good read.

5. The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman (my review)
This one has friendly ghosts but a frightening killer.

Another type of ghost story are the ones that give you chills. Goosebumps. Things that just creep you out. 
6. Hex Hall - Rachel Hawkins (my review)
This one sort of has a scary ghost type in it. Would make you not want to go here. Possibly.

7. The Prince of Mist - Carlos Ruiz Zafón (my review)
Not only is there the creepy Prince of Mist, but there are some creepy clown statues too. I suppose if clowns don't creep you out all you have is the ghost, and no sense. ;)

8. Anna Dressed in Blood- Kendare Blake (my review)
So Anna not necessarily super scary, but super tough and will rip you to pieces...seriously.

9. The Name of the Star - Maureen Johnson (my review)
London haunts, Jack the Ripper lots of mysterious murders. Seriously this book was amazing, and may make you weary of talking to stranger.

10. Cryer's Cross - Lisa McMann (my review)
Holy crap. This one has some freaky shit going on.  If this one doesn't make it hard for you to look at a school desk the same way...I don't know what will creep you out.

So this is just a small section of ghost novel that I would recommend if that's a subject you enjoy reading about. You can check out my Goodreads shelf here which has more recommendations and books I found disappointing. If there are any great novels you recommend, let me know in the comments :) Happy Reading!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Stuff I Got This Week

For Review from HarperCollins (Thanks)

Sex, Death, and Boarding School.
When seventeen-year-old Andrew Taylor is transplanted from his American high school to a British boarding school--the English, hypertraditional, all-boys Harrow School--he finds his past mistakes following him, with an added element of horror: visions of a pale, white-haired boy from Harrow's past. Either Andrew is losing his mind, or the house legend about his dormitory being haunted is true. 

When one of his schoolmates dies mysteriously of a severe pulmonary illness, Andrew is blamed and spurned by nearly all his peers. In his loneliness and isolation, Andrew becomes obsessed with Lord Byron's story and the poet's status not only as a literary genius and infamous seducer but also as a student at the very different Harrow of two centuries ago--a place rife with violence, squalor, incurable diseases, and tormented love affairs. 

When frightening and tragic events from that long-ago past start to recur in Harrow's present, and Andrew's haunting begins to seem all too real, he is forced to solve a two-hundred-year-old mystery that threatens the lives of his friends and his teachers--and, most terrifyingly, his own.

A wife, comfortably married and with several children, is contemplating middle age along with all the constraints of motherhood. Finding herself numb and locked down in an unending cycle of school runs, laundry and meal times, she cannot at first see a way to live with honesty. Even her husband, whom she loves, has never reached the core of her. Despairing of ever finding a way through her family to her own identity, she returns to the memory of an old love affair - the consequences of which she has never resolved.

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

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Review: Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone - Kat Rosenfield

Where I got it: Library
Rating: 5 stars  
Cover Rating: 5 stars (O_O perfect!)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: July 5, 2012
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Page Count: 277 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon
Add it: Goodreads

On a night where everything started to change for Becca, a dead body changed her town. The unknown corpse of a girl on the side of the road, left her small town fumbling. The cops weren't sure what to do with a murder case, and no one knew how this could have happened in this town. Everyone knew one thing though: the person who did this couldn't have been from around here. Becca wants to escape this town at the end of the summer, but the murder has left her rattled. Her plans seem less sure and she finds herself curiously drawn in to the gossip surrounding the mysterious girl. Amelia Anne Richardson was on her way to her big new life, until something happened that left her stuck in a small town she never knew.

Amazing. Can that be the end of my review? I mean, what else is there to say. This book was just as good as I had hoped it would be and that cover is still FANTASTIC. Kat Rosenfield crafted a novel that kept you guessing as you floated through the beautiful writing. I loved the format of this novel too. You have Becca's perspective in Bridgeton after the murder and then Amelia's perspective in the time leading up to her demise. It was very interesting having Becca's side of the story, since she didn't have any real connection to Amelia. Usually in murder mysteries the people telling the story have some sort of tie to the victim, or at the very least are the ones in charge of investigating. It was refreshing to get a new take on murder aftermath.

The writing was completely beautiful and gripping. I never wanted to stop reading. Each chapter makes you a bit more feverish;  you creep to the edge of your seat inch by inch. This made it so that there was never a great place to stop, because it felt like the next page would tell you all the book's secrets.

Becca had other things going on and since she didn't know the murder victim, so those other things took up a lot of her brain space. She was curious about the murder, but also nervous that, like the corpse, she may never actually escape Bridgeton. It was interesting to see Becca going about her life fairly normally, but with the nagging of wanting to know who murdered Amelia. The other characters weren't quite as developed, but we knew as much about them as Becca did. I liked that the story went into the hard times that James had gone through. It made me more sympathetic towards him, it made him into a guy with feelings instead of just some jerk. Every emotion that the characters had in this novel made sense and I really liked that. At first you might think, well, why to the summer people not care much for the locals, but then you read a few more chapters and you find out. It was really great.

Definitely, definitely pick this book up soon. There is no way you will regret it. This will certainly be on my Top Books of 2012 list. So go read it now.

First Line:
"The night before Amelia Anne Richardson bled her life away on a parched dirt road outside of town, I bled out my dignity in the back of a pickup truck under a star-pricked sky."

Favorite Line:
"The perfect circle of dark, still water; the overhanging trees rising gracefully around it; the cool, gray boulders worn smooth by time and weather—Brendan saw all of this and gasped at its beauty."

Friday, July 13, 2012

Lizzie Bennet - Pride and Prejudice - Other News

If you haven't already heard of/become obsessed with the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, you can watch the first episode below. You should set aside at least 30 minutes to make an ample dent in the series, because you won't want to stop watching once you start. 

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is based on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.
 It was created and executive produced by Hank Green and Bernie Su. 
More info at http://lizziebennet.com

What that means is that this web series is bloody brilliant! I have not read Pride and Prejudice in years (if I ever did...did I?) but I can tell you just as Sherlock played by Benedict Cumberbatch made me want to pick up and read/reread Arthur Conan Doyle this series makes me desperate to squeeze in a read of this classic, and maybe other Austen works as well. So check it out...now.

In other news, Forever by Judy Blume is now available in ebook form! YAY! So if you haven't read it yet, now you have no excuse.

Beth Revis' Across the Universe series got a new makeover recently and if you haven't seen them yet...
now you have. I'm not sure if I love them or not. I'm pretty sure I do, except I really loved the first Across the Universe cover. These ones do look very nice, and I'm sure I will be rebuying the ones I have so that it looks all nicey-nice on my shelf. What you do guys think of the new covers?

Neil Gaiman just signed a multi-book deal with Harpercollins, so YAY!
I guess that's all the news I have to share with you guys for now, so if there are other exciting things happening, leave them in the comments :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #54

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

I read and loved Fated the first book in the Soul Seekers series, and can not wait to get my hands on this one. The summary is below, so beware of spoilers. I'm glad I only have to wait until November for this one! Make sure you add Fated and Echo to your Goodreads list :)

Daire Santos just saved her grandmother's life—and her soul. But at a cost. The Richters, a dark family of sorcerers, have been let loose in the Lowerworld, and Daire and her boyfriend, Dace, must once again work together to find them before they upset the balance between good and evil, and destroy not only their small town in New Mexico, but the entire world. 

As Daire and Dace's relationship deepens, Dace’s evil brother Cade grows stronger than ever, building his power and forcing Daire to confront the horrifying prophecy that has brought them all together. One that will leave Daire no choice but to claim her true destiny as Seeker, but only by making an unthinkable sacrifice for the greater good of all.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Review: Perfect Escape - Jennifer Brown

Where I got it: Arc from publisher
Rating: 4.5 stars  
Cover Rating: 5 stars (Totally love it. The characters look great.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: July 10, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 368 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon
Add it: Goodreads

Kendra has always lived in the shadow of her older brother Grayson. His OCD and other anxieties cause him to always be the main concern while Kendra is pushed to the side. Kendra knows she has to be perfect, to make up for all the ways that Grayson isn't. Being perfect is a lot of work though, and Kendra can't do it all. When she can't quite cut it in Calculus, she does something risky, to make sure that everything still looks perfect. When Kendra's world starts to crumble though, she seeks comfort in the rock quarry where her brother always goes. When she finds him there she comes up with some semblance of a plan and takes him on a road trip he won't soon forget. Kendra decides that a road trip is all they need, it will make her problems disappear and cure Grayson. Things aren't always that simple though but this may still be just the thing they need.

I really enjoyed the relationship between Kendra and Grayson. It wasn't perfect, but they did seem close like siblings. Grayson has OCD and it drives everyone a little crazy, including Grayson himself. It's not something he wants to do, but he can't seem to kick some of his habits. He's been in and out of treatment centers, but nothing seems to fix him. Kendra is the other child, not sick so not a concern. She tries not to stir the water that way her parents have the time and energy to deal with Grayson's problems. She usually never does anything to disturb the peace. Then she kidnaps her brother.

He falls asleep when she is supposed to be driving them home from the rocky quarry, and Kendra decides she doesn't want to face the music so soon. She knows things are going to get bad quick, and she just isn't ready. She figures she can bring Grayson along too and maybe it will help him, maybe it's just the exposure therapy he needs. They meet someone interesting along the way at one of the places they stop to rest at. She's a quirky character with a hard life. I really liked when her and Grayson were telling riddles. Riddles are always fun :)

This was a great novel about finding who you are and knowing that not being perfect is okay. Nobody is perfect and there are varying degrees of imperfection. Grayson has a lot of problems, but he's still a good person. He's still smart and friendly, he just counts a lot and goes a little crazy sometimes. Kendra made a big mistake in her quest for perfection, that made her a bit imperfect, but she's also not a bad person. This book also shows the relationships between brother and sister, when both sides feel like the other side gets way more attention. It was good to see them love each other and get all the ugly off their chest. This was another fantastic read from Jennifer Brown, if you haven't checked her out yet you should.

First Line:
"I was six the first time we found Grayson at the quarry."

Favorite Lines:
"When the cops had rolled into the parking lot, we knew we were in deep trouble."

"We landed on the other side, my brother's legs still shaking, but a brightness to his face that I hadn't seen in a very long time."

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mini Review: Brain Camp - Susan Kim, Laurence Klavan and Faith Erin Hicks

Where I got it: My collection
Rating: 4 stars  
Cover Rating: 4.5 stars (It's fun. I love the creeper eyes.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: August 3, 2011
Publisher: First Second
Page Count: 160 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon
Add it: Goodreads

Jenna and Luca's parents have had it. They want their children to start being more productive. They want geniuses. So when someone from Camp Fielding offers to take them and turn them into smart kids, each of their parents are eager to ship them off. Jenna and Lucas meet at Camp and immediately feel as though something isn't quite right. The sudden smartness and that strange building in the words make them think they need to find a way out and quick.

This was an interesting and odd graphic novel. I really liked the concept of the whole thing. I can't talk about too much without giving things away, but this is definitely worth the read. One thing I didn't care for was the minuscule love story in Brain Camp. Either add in some romance or leave it out, none of this brief intense stuff; it just seemed out of place. I could have handled if it was built up a little more (even though they only seemed to be at camp a short while). Lucas and Jenna were interesting characters and I wouldn't mind reading another story with them. Maybe they can solve other mysteries too at their next camp.

First Line:
"Elevation, 18 degrees...angle, 38 degrees...going north by north-west, it should be right over..."

Favorite Line:


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