Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Murmurings by Carly Anne West

Book:  The Murmurings
Author:  Carly Anne West
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Date:  Now available
Source:  Publisher via Edelweiss
My grade:  B+

Everyone thinks Sophie’s sister, Nell, went crazy. After all, she heard strange voices that drove her to commit suicide. But Sophie doesn’t believe that Nell would take her own life, and she’s convinced that Nell’s doctor knows more than he’s letting on.

As Sophie starts to piece together Nell’s last days, every lead ends in a web of lies. And the deeper Sophie digs, the more danger she’s in—because now she’s hearing the same haunting whispers. Sophie’s starting to think she’s going crazy too. Or worse, that maybe she’s not….

Initial reaction
Holy creeptastic story, Batman!!

Cover story
Hmmmmmm…..I think that the face is sufficiently creepy, but why is it sideways?  That’s sort of freaking me out.  I like the title though.

What’s the Story?
So, Sophie hears voices in her head.  Not schizophrenia voices, but actual voices.  Her sister Nell heard them too, but she ended up dead, hanging by one toe from a tree.  It was a bizarre death and Sophie is haunted by it.  She is also haunted by the fact that she didn’t believe her sister and Nell spent the last months of her life in a mental hospital.

Sophie’s mom is drowning all her sorrow in alcohol, so Sophie has no one really to turn to.  The kids at school all think she is weird and she now has the stigma of being the sister of the crazy girl who committed suicide.  So enter cute new guy, right?

I have to say that at first, I was skeptical.  The relationship with Evan was weak.  But I like the way the plot played out with Evan’s revelations to Sophie about his cousin.  I also think that as the novel progressed, I felt myself being drawn into the mystery of the story.  I couldn’t wait to get to the end and see how it all solved itself and worked out.  It was non-stop, heart pounding action for quite some time and that was awesome!  Sometimes, the romance felt like it had been thrown in as an afterthought, so I just let it become an afterthought.  In fact, the romance subplot is what kept this novel from being an A for me.  It either needed to be more developed or just totally ditched.

Still, this book left me breathless to the end and I think it would be fun to read some more about the Seers and Takers in this world. 

The Soundtrack

Into the Void by Nine Inch Nails

Dead Souls by Joy Division

Haunted by Evanescence

Death Come Near Me by Draconian

Papercut by Linkin Park

The Final Grade
My final grade for this one is a B+.  The creepy parts of the story were fantastic, so even though there was a pretty bad case of insta-love, I must admit that I wouldn’t mind seeing some more of the Takers and the Seers in another book.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

Book:  Going Vintage
Author:  Lindsay Leavitt
Date:  now available
Source:  Publisher via Netgalley
My grade:  A

When Mallory’s boyfriend, Jeremy, cheats on her with an online girlfriend, Mallory decides the best way to de-Jeremy her life is to de-modernize things too. Inspired by a list of goals her grandmother made in1962, Mallory swears off technology and returns to a simpler time (when boyfriends couldn’t cheat with computer avatars). 
The List:
1. Run for pep club secretary
2. Host a fancy dinner party/soiree
3. Sew a dress for Homecoming
4. Find a steady
5. Do something dangerous
But simple proves to be crazy-complicated, and the details of the past begin to change Mallory’s present. Add in a too-busy grandmother, a sassy sister, and the cute pep-club president–who just happens to be her ex’s cousin–and soon Mallory begins to wonder if going vintage is going too far.

Initial reaction
Oh my gosh!  I just knew I was going to love this book!  And I did!!!

Cover story
The cover on this one is perfect and I think the title is catchy.  Just look at that font!  And all the vintage stuff!  And the carpet!!!  This one is a winner for me.

What’s the Story?
Just as the cover and description suggest, this is a lighthearted contemporary about a teenage girl who swears off of all technology after her boyfriend cheats on her with a cyberspace girl.  She discovers her grandmother’s 1962 yearbook and decides that she wants a time when life was simpler.  Funny and lighthearted, right?

Right, but my gosh, this book is so much more than that!  There are all sorts of plot additions where the characters learn so much about other people and about themselves!  There’s a huge surprise dropped near the end of the book that left my mouth hanging open and that totally secured in my mind that Lindsey Leavitt is a genius when it comes to making a compellingly readable contemporary that is both fun and weighty.  Exhibit A:  Sean Griswold’s Head.  Then Going Vintage offers even more proof.  I’m pretty sure this book just made Lindsey Leavitt a member of my Have-to-Read author’s list.

I really liked Mallory.  She was just a regular girl who was having a hard time trying to figure out what to do next.  It was so easy to identify with her, because every teenage girl, and grown-up girl, for that matter, has faced this sort of situation.  Her sister, Ginny, was so, so funny!  Honestly, I didn’t really see what Mallory liked about Jeremy, but Oliver was a totally different story!  He was perfect!  He was sort of geeky, but a real hipster and it was nice to see the smart guy be the hero for a change instead of the athlete.  It was obvious to me that he had liked Mallory for quite some time, and he was so cute!  Oliver is now one of my favorite book boyfriends!

I love the way that Lindsey Leavitt can address heavier issues without making the book feel like it’s about a heavy issue.  She makes the story feel real life.  Because real life has fun, messy and ordinary all mixed up together all the time and that’s what this book does.  It has characters trying to clumsily figure life out and making mistakes sometimes, but getting it totally right at other times.  It’s perfect simply because it’s not.

This book is definitely going to become a book that I recommend to lots of kids in my library.

The Soundtrack

A book called Going Vintage has to have a vintage soundtrack, right?

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do by Neil Sedaka

Big Girls Don’t Cry by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

All Alone Am I by Brenda Lee

Can’t Help Falling in Love with You by Elvis Presley

Sweet Little Sixteen by Chuck Berry

Unforgettable by Nat King Cole

From Me to You by The Beatles

The Final Grade
My final grade for this one is an A.  It’s a sweet read that manages to hold a lot of substance on the inside.  This book made me smile and finish the last page with a satisfied sigh.

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Nightmare Affair by Mindy Arnette

Book:  The Nightmare Affair
Author:  Mindy Arnette
Publisher:  Tor Teen
Date:  Now available
Source:  Publisher via Netgalley
My grade:  A-

Sixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a Nightmare.


Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for magickind, and living in the shadow of her mother’s infamy, is hard enough. But when Dusty sneaks into Eli Booker’s house, things get a whole lot more complicated. He’s hot, which means sitting on his chest and invading his dreams couldn’t get much more embarrassing. But it does. Eli is dreaming of a murder.

Then Eli’s dream comes true.

Now Dusty has to follow the clues—both within Eli’s dreams and out of them—to stop the killer before more people turn up dead. And before the killer learns what she’s up to and marks her as the next target.

Initial reaction
 It was a lot like Harry Potter……until it wasn’t.

Cover story
 I really like this cover and I really like the title.  The title is catchy and the cover is pretty while remaining appropriate to the story.  Plus, I love purple.  I think this one is a winner.

What’s the Story
 When I first started reading this novel, it felt like I was having Harry Potter flashbacks.  Teen girl discovers she is magic and she has to go to a special boarding school for magical teens.  There are prejudices against magical kids who are not pure blooded.  In fact, those who are half-bloods (one magical parent and one non-magical parent) are called “mules”.  Sounding familiar?

I almost closed the book at the beginning because it just felt too much like HP.  I’m really glad I didn’t, because as I was reading, I suddenly realized that the book wasn’t so much like HP after all.  The beginning is for sure, and there are similar elements, but I found enough that was totally different and that made the book ok for me. 

Honestly, the creature aspect is very original.  Dusty (dumb nickname though) is a Nightmare.  Meaning, at night, she gets into people’s dreams and turns them into nightmares and she feeds off that energy.  She is a dark magic being, along with all sorts of demon creatures.  There are also witches and wizards and then a huge collection of other magical beings.  But all of them can perform magic.

As I got into the book, I found that I was intrigued by the relationship between Dusty and Eli, I was pulled into the mystery story line and I loved the references to classical mythology and Arthurian legend.  There were some really cool twists with those things that made this story very unique.  And even though the storyline sort of wrapped up, I was glad to see that there is another novel planned.  By the end of this one, I really liked the 3 main characters as well as Dusty’s mom and I was ready for another mystery!

So why the A-?  That beginning was really just a little too much Wizarding World for my comfort.  But in the end, the book delivered a really fun story that kept me entranced and entertained until the end.

The Soundtrack

Welcome to My Nightmare by Alice Cooper (Did you really think I wouldn't use this one??)

Lullaby by The Cure

Welcome to My Life by Simple Plan

Below My Feet by Mumford and Sons

Leave My Body by Florence + The Machine

Hello by Evanescence

All Around Me by Flyleaf

The Final Grade
My final grade for this one is A-.  There’s a minus because of the first part, but overall this novel was a dream, not a nightmare!!!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Review of Things I Can't Forget and a special guest post from Miranda Kenneally!!!

Today is my lucky day....and yours too!  I not only have a review of Miranda Kenneally's new book, Things I Can't Forget, but she also stopped by to give me a list of her favorite guys from her own books!  So without further ado, lets get on to the good stuff!

Book:  Things I Can’t Forget
Author:  Miranda Kenneally
Publisher:  Sourcebooks
Date:  now available
Source:  Publisher
My grade:  A

Companion to Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker. 

Kate has always been the good girl. Too good, according to some people at school—although they have no idea the guilty secret she carries. But this summer, everything is different…

This summer she’s a counselor at Cumberland Creek summer camp, and she wants to put the past behind her. This summer Matt is back as a counselor too. He’s the first guy she ever kissed, and he’s gone from a geeky songwriter who loved The Hardy Boys to a buff lifeguard who loves to flirt--with her.

Kate used to think the world was black and white, right and wrong. Turns out, life isn’t that easy…

Initial reaction
I thought all the Jesus stuff would make this book weird for me, but it totally didn’t!

Cover story
I love the covers of these books.  It’s nice the way they all work together.  Even with all the headless people.  And the titles are great as well.

What’s the Story?
So, this book has a lot of religion talk in it.  Now, normally, I’m just not into that sort of thing, but honestly?  It didn’t bother me in this book.  And I think it’s the way Miranda handles it.  It’s not preachy, it just is.  Not to say that Kate isn’t sometimes preachy and judgmental, but it doesn’t branch out into the tone of the book.  The book stays neutral, even if the characters don’t.  That’s a hard thing to pull off, but Miranda rocks it!

This story was really compelling.  I loved being able to see Kate grow and change and examine herself, her beliefs and her actions.  I think that’s one reason why the religious aspects of the book worked.  Kate’s self-reflection led her to look at her actions and how she came across to those around her and seeing her growth as a person was amazing.

Of course, the setting is epic!  Summer camp, people!  Remember going to summer camp?  Sitting around the fire at night, singing silly songs, doing crafts, swimming in the lake, catching glimpses of cute new boys?  Yeah, it’s all here!  Only now I got to see the grownup side of it, and you know what?  It wasn’t much different!

I really loved Matt.  He was just swoony.  He was so nice and so thoughtful, but he wasn’t anywhere near perfect.  Which is what made him perfect.  He struggles with his own religious beliefs and it was nice to see him respect Kate’s beliefs.

Which leads me to one thing that I loved about this book.  I loved seeing Kate stand up for herself and what she believed in and seeing the boy respect her for that.  I think that’s a good message to send out to teenage girls, because too many of them are giving in to pressure and engaging in activities they really don’t feel comfortable about, but they don’t want to lose face.  It was nice to Kate come to a compromise about some things, but then stand firm on the things that really meant something.  Go Kate!!

One last thing that I really enjoyed about this book was seeing the characters from the first 2 books show up in various ways throughout the story.  It was nice to re-visit those characters, like seeing old summer camp buddies year after year.

The Soundtrack

Of course, no summer soundtrack would be complete without the original summer love song:

Summer Lovin’ by Olivia Newton John and John Travolta

Summer of Love by The B-52s

Stand Up by Fireflight

Trying by Lifehouse

Wait for Me by Rebecca St. James

All In by Lifehouse

The Final Grade

My final grade for this one is an A.  I wasn’t sure going in, but I ended up loving this one as much as I loved the first 2 books.  Miranda Kenneally has become an author that I will automatically read when she publishes a new book.

Miranda Kenneally's favorite guy characters from her books

They say you shouldn’t play favorites, but we all do! So here are my favorite guy characters from my books, counting down from 10.

10. Ty Green: He is a love interest from Catching Jordan, and he works hard to take care of his family. He sure is pretty to look at. He even makes leaning against a school desk sexy.
9. Jeremiah Brown: He’s the younger brother of the main guy character from Things I Can’t Forget. Jeremiah only appears in one scene, but he made an impression on me. I’m planning on making him the love interest in a future book! Jeremiah is addicted to texting.
8. Drew Bates: Drew is in Stealing Parker. He stayed loyal to Parker even after her other friends ditched her. Drew is obsessed with Harry Potter and likes having Harry Potter marathons. He wants to be a sports reporter for ESPN one day.
7. Mike Woods: Mike is Jordan Woods’ older brother. He teases Jordan, but also looks out for her and isn’t afraid to tell her the hard truths. I would love to write an adult book about Mike and his college escapades one day!
6. Will “Corndog” Whitfield: I love Corndog because he has a great sense of humor but isn’t afraid to speak his mind. I didn’t intend for him to become the love interest of Stealing Parker, but he kept showing up and wouldn’t take no for an answer, so I went with it! (Also, author Trish Doller kept wanting to read more about Corndog, so it’s partially her fault he exists).
5. Jack Goodwin: You’ll get to meet him in Racing Savannah (December 2013). He is the owner of the farm where the main character works. Jack has three hound dogs that follow him around everywhere: Thor, Athena, and Jasper (he let his little sister name his dog after a Twilight character).
4. JJ: JJ is Jordan’s friend in Catching Jordan. Yeah, he’s kind of a man slut and he gets kicked out of all-you-can-eat buffets for eating too much, but he has a good heart.
3. Sam Henry: When I set out to write Catching Jordan, Henry wasn’t even a character! He just showed up one day and started taking over every single scene. At first I started to fight him, but then I realized there was no use in fighting Sam Henry.
2. Jake Reynolds: He is Jordan Woods’ brother’s perverted best friend who loves cheesy pick-up lines. “I may not be Fred Flinstone but I sure can make your bed rock.” He was in Catching Jordan and he might be making a cameo in another book of mine very soon…
1. Matt Brown: The love interest in Things I Can’t Forget. I love him because he’s broken, but still finds the fun in life. The little boys at camp call him “The King.” Also, he’s a lifeguard and who doesn’t like lifeguards?!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg

Book:  Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality
Author:  Elizabeth Eulberg
Publisher:  Scholastic Point
Date:  Available now
Source:  Publisher via Netgalley
My grade:  A

A hilarious new novel from Elizabeth Eulberg about taking the wall out of the wallflower so she can bloom.

Don't mess with a girl with a great personality!

Everybody loves Lexi. She's popular, smart, funny...but she's never been one of those girls, the pretty ones who get all the attention from guys. And on top of that, her seven-year-old sister, Mackenzie, is a terror in a tiara, and part of a pageant scene where she gets praised for her beauty (with the help of fake hair and tons of makeup).

Lexi's sick of it. She's sick of being the girl who hears about kisses instead of getting them. She's sick of being ignored by her longtime crush, Logan. She's sick of being taken for granted by her pageant-obsessed mom. And she's sick of having all her family's money wasted on a phony pursuit of perfection.

The time has come for Lexi to step out from the sidelines. Girls without great personalities aren't going to know what hit them. Because Lexi's going to play the beauty game - and she's in it to win it.

Initial reaction
Oh my God!!!!  HONEY BOO BOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cover story
I have some serious love for this cover.  And the title.  And the two of them together.  I think this is one of the best covers ever.  It’s funny and snarky and it captures the feel of this novel perfectly.  I want to marry this cover.

What’s the Story?

Why is this book make of awesome?  Because of this line:

"I can take off the makeup, but I'm still a good person...but there's no such thing as a bitch remover" (242).

Any time that the mean girls get told what’s what, it is made of win!  And that’s what this book is.

I knew this would be a funny novel.  I mean, just the description had me laughing.  And then add in the whole Toddlers and Tiaras twist, and this one just had to be a winner.  And it was! 

I loved the whole storyline.  It was great to see Lexi find a happy medium between her bumming around look and her totally made up look.  It was great to see her have such wonderful friends.  Cam and Benny were so fabulous as friends.  I seriously wanted to have a sleepover with all 3 of them so we could sit around and braid each other’s hair.

Lexi’s mom, however, is a different story.  Now, Mackenzie, the beauty child, doesn’t start out really nice, but she’s 7.  It’s forgivable.  Lexi’s mother is old enough to know better.  I got so angry at her so many times for the way she treated Lexi.  She was the worst mom in the world.  Of course, her dad wasn’t much better.  He pretended to be supportive, but when she really needed him, he totally bailed.

I did get a little aggravated with Lexi and the way she treated Travis.  I didn’t think he liked her just for her new look because of a couple things that happened, but you can see for yourself what you think when you read it.  I really liked Travis and out of all the characters, he’s the one that really got the shaft.  Travis, I feel your pain. 

The reason that this book is only an A and not an A+ is because of the ending.  Or lack thereof.  This is the 2nd or 3rd book I’ve read in the last while that has this sort on noncommittal ending.  It drives me crazy.  I realize that I don’t need her to get married and ride off into the sunset, but a little more closure would be a nice thing.  Authors, are you listening?????

Non-ending aside, this is one of the best books I’ve read all year.  I loved the main characters, I hated the parents and I laughed out loud at the ridiculousness of the pageant circuit.  And with a great title and cover to boot, you can’t go wrong with this one!

The Soundtrack

Don’t Hold Me Down by Colbie Caillat

Waiting for My Real Life to Begin by Colin Hay

Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield

Beautiful by Christina Aguilera

Somethin’ Special by Colbie Caillat

The Final Grade
My final grade for this one is an A.  Except for the non-ending ending, this book was pretty much perfect.

Friday, April 5, 2013

My Ex From Hell Giveaway!!!

I am sure you have all figured out my great love of Sam Cruz and the book Sam Cruz's Infallible Guide to Getting Girls by Tellulah Darling.  So I was totally excited when I saw that she had a new book coming out!  And there's a giveaway for a copy of it!  It's next on my TBR list, so look for my review soon, but in the meantime, read about it and enter the giveaway!

And if you missed my love of Sam, then run over to my review to see how great he is!!!

Sixteen-year-old Sophie Bloom wishes she’d been taught the following:

a) Bad boy’s presence (TrOuBlE) + teen girl’s brain (DraMa) = TrAuMa (Highly unstable and very volatile.)
b) The Genus Greekulum Godissimus is notable for three traits: 1) awesome abilities, 2) grudges, and 3) hook-ups, break-ups, and in-fighting that puts cable to shame.

Prior to the Halloween dance, Sophie figures her worst problems involve adolescent theatrics, bitchy yoga girls, and being on probation at her boarding school for mouthy behaviour. Then she meets bad boy Kai and gets the kiss that rocks her world.


This breath stealing lip lock reawakens Sophie’s true identity: Persephone, Goddess of Spring. She’s key to saving humanity in the war between the Underworld and Olympus, target numero uno of Hades and Zeus, and totally screwed.

Plus there’s also the little issue that Sophie’s last memory as Persephone was just before someone tried to murder her.

Big picture: master her powers, get her memories back, defeat Persephone’s would be assassin, and save the world. Also, sneak into the Underworld to retrieve stolen property, battle the minions of Hades and Zeus, outwit psycho nymphs, slay a dragon, rescue a classmate, keep from getting her butt expelled from the one place designed to keep her safe …

… and stop kissing Kai, Prince of the Underworld.

My Ex From Hell is a romantic comedy/Greek mythology smackdown. Romeo and Juliet had it easy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Spellbinding by Maya Gold

Book:   Spellbinding
Author:  Maya Gold
Publisher:  Scholastic Point
Date:  Available now
Source:  Publisher via Netgalley
My grade:  B

There's more than one way to be powerful . . .

It is during a routine school project that Abby Silva--sixteen and nearly friendless--makes a startling discovery: She is descended from women who were accused of witchcraft back in 1600s Salem. And when Abby visits nearby Salem, strange, inexplicable events start to unfold. Objects move when she wills them to. Candles burst into sudden flame. And an ancient spellbook somehow winds up in her possession.

Trying to harness her newfound power, Abby concocts a love potion to win over her longtime crush--and exact revenge upon his cruel, bullying girlfriend. But old magic is not to be trifled with. Soon, Abby is thrust headlong into a world of hexes, secrets, and danger. And then there's Rem Anders, the beautiful, mysterious Salem boy who seems to know more about Abby than he first lets on.

A reckoning is coming, and Abby will have to make sense of her history--and her heart--before she can face the powerful truth.

Initial reaction

Cover Story
I like the cover. In fact, it is one of the things that attracted me to this book.  I like the title too.  However, I think the cover is a little misleading because it makes the main character seem a lot more mature than she actually is in the book.

What’s the Story?
So, the truth is, I’ve been obsessed with the Salem witch trials since I was a little girl.  I can remember reading about them in elementary school and checking out tons of books about it.  Witches in general have always fascinated me.  Actually, I was a little upset when I read the blurb for this book, because I’ve had my own idea for a Salem witch book brewing in my brain for a couple of years.  I thought that maybe someone had beaten me to it!

Not so.  This book has a very interesting premise, but I really think this is more of tween book rather than a teen book.  I liked the story in general, but there wasn’t enough of something in it.  Depth, maybe?  I don’t know.  I just know that when I reached the end, I felt a little disappointed.  I think that I needed more background and more build up to the final scene.  If this book had been twice its size, I think I would have felt satisfied that I got all the details of the story.

I liked the characters alright, but the main character, Abby, definitely did not seem to be 16.  She seemed more like 13 or 14?  I don’t know.  And Ren definitely did not seem like a high school graduate.  I thought the setting was great and I loved all the witchy stuff, but I felt like I needed more substance.  Maybe building the characters a little more and lengthening out the events that took place before the climax of the novel. 

To me, this felt like a skeleton story that had no flesh.  Which is great for younger readers who don’t need to be overwhelmed with details or perhaps for struggling readers.  But I would hesitate to hand this to a 17 year old in my library who is an avid reader.  I think this would be great for teen readers who are not so proficient, because the witchcraft element would be a high interest with low reading level.  So this book has a place on a high school shelf, but it would probably be more at home on a middle school shelf.

So, I’ve given the book a B.  It wasn’t a bad book, it just was a little younger than what I like to read.  If you have a 12 or 13 year old who likes witches, recommend this one!


I decided to just make a fun, spooky themed soundtrack for this one.

Witch by The Cult

Burn the Witch by Queens of the Stone Age

Silent Scream by TSOL

Season of the Witch by Julie Driscoll and Brian Auger

Hunting for Witches by Bloc Party

Witch Hunt by The Church

The Final Grade
My final grade for this one is a B.  It wasn’t a bad book, it just needs to be aimed at a younger audience.  Buy this one for the youngest end of the YA spectrum.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Book:  Eleanor and Park
Author:  Rainbow Rowell
Publisher:  St. Martin’s Griffin
Date:  February, 2013
Source:  Publisher via Netgalley
My grade:  A++

Bono met his wife in high school, Park says.
So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be, she says, we’re 16.
What about Romeo and Juliet?
Shallow, confused, then dead.

I love you, Park says.
Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be.

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love—and just how hard it pulled you under.

Initial reaction
You know all the hype about this book?  BELIEVE IT ALL!!!!

Cover Story
I love this cover.  It’s simple and honest, sort of like the book.  And it fits the book perfectly, so I loved it even more when I finished the book.  The title works for me too.  Two thumbs up on this one!

What’s the Story?
Thank goodness I listened to Tara B. and went ahead and read this one.  I had a review copy of it, but I wasn’t sure if I would get to it.  No matter what, MAKE SURE THAT YOU GET TO THIS ONE ON YOUR TBR PILE!!!

This book was like a John Hughes movie in a book, complete with an 80s setting and some messed up kids!  I kept waiting for Judd Nelson to jump out from behind a bush or something.  And I mean that in a fabulous way here, people!  I mean, I saw The Breakfast Club in the movie theatre.  I thought this might just be a fluffy little novel about a couple of kids in the 80s, but just like The Breakfast Club, things below the surface are much deeper than they seem.

I loved Park.  He was a fabulous character.  But I may have loved his family even more!  This book had both the world’s best parents and the world’s worst parents, all within a couple of blocks from one another!  I liked Eleanor as well, but the tough issues she was dealing with made her a little abrasive and not as easy to love as Park.  But it was completely understandable, so I didn’t hold it against her.

I love the way the author moved back and forth between the 2 POVs.  It was fun to see what each character was thinking at each point in time and it worked really well.  It never felt chopped up or confusing at all.  Although reading from Eleanor’s POV was sometimes difficult and heartbreaking because of the horrible situation she was living in.

The only thing that bothered me is the ending.  I know that she sort of had to end it the way that she did, but I wish I could have gotten at least one more sentence.  When you read the book, you will know what that sentence is.  I don’t want to spoil the whole book for you by revealing it, but gosh, Ms. Rowell!  Really???  You could even just send me an email with the mystery sentence and I’d be happy, ok?
This is a book that will stay with me for a long time, but like those beloved John Hughes movies.  I already find myself thinking back to various parts of the book and pondering them.  I love it when books stick around in my brain, and I’m pretty sure that this is going to be one of those books.

The Soundtrack

You and Me by Lifehouse

With Me by Sum 41

The rest of the soundtrack has to be from the 80s, right?

If You Were Here by The Thompson Twins

In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel

Left of Center by Suzanne Vega

If You Leave by Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark

Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division

How Soon Is Now by The Smiths

The Final Grade
My final grade for this one is A++.  This novel totally lived up to the hype for me.  It was a sad and beautiful story that pulled at my heart strings in so many ways.  It also took me back to my own high school days in the 80s and, like Park, made me realize just how great I had it then.  It was such a simple book, yet so profound.  And it makes me want to pop some popcorn and have an 80s teen movie marathon in my living room!  Anyone want to come?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Goddess Inheritance by Aimee Carter

Book:  The Goddess Inheritance
Author:  Aimee Carter
Publisher:  Harlequin Teen
Date:  Now available
Source:  Publisher via Netgalley
My grade:  A

Love or life.
Henry or their child.
The end of her family or the end of the world.
Kate must choose.

During nine months of captivity, Kate Winters has survived a jealous goddess, a vengeful Titan and a pregnancy she never asked for. Now the Queen of the Gods wants her unborn child, and Kate can't stop her--until Cronus offers a deal.

In exchange for her loyalty and devotion, the King of the Titans will spare humanity and let Kate keep her child. Yet even if Kate agrees, he'll destroy Henry, her mother and the rest of the council. And if she refuses, Cronus will tear the world apart until every last god and mortal is dead.

With the fate of everyone she loves resting on her shoulders, Kate must do the impossible: find a way to defeat the most powerful being in existence, even if it costs her everything.

Even if it costs her eternity.

Initial Reaction
Oh my God!  She went there!  I can’t believe she went there!!!

Cover Story
Harlequin Teen seems to be struggling some in their cover department.  While this one wasn’t as bad as the second one in this series, neither of them are as good as that first cover.  They just look……cheesy.  The title is good though.

What’s the Story?
So, this book picks up almost in the middle of the sentence where book 2 left off.  I’ve been dying to get this book since I finished Goddess Interrupted and it did not disappoint.  This novel probably had the most action of all the novels and it was non-stop war and intrigue until the very satisfying conclusion.

This is probably a bit of spoiler, so beware if you don’t like them!  I just want to say that Aimee Carter, you have some giant cojones!  You killed one of your well-loved characters and left that person dead and I really respect you for that!  Yes, I shed many tears for this character, but that made it more real to me than an ending where no one dies or sacrifices anything.  It was way better than that book-that-shall-not-be-named where there’s an anti-climactic fight scene and strange babies with werewolf pedophilia….just saying.  It may be wrong, but I now judge books by whether or not they can step up to the plate and do what must be done to end the book realistically.  And this one passed with flying colors!

It was nice to discover some unknown things about Kate in this novel and to see the gods in action, so to speak.  I am still completely in love with Henry and I am hoping that James finds a nice girl too.  There’s only one thing that sort of bothered me in this novel and that is Kate with her hero complex.  In fact, some of the other characters bash her for it a little bit, and I totally agree with them.  But I guess every character must have some sort of flaw.  I just wish hers wasn’t so grating on my nerves.

I don't want to give anything away and I feel like writing too much will do that, so I will just let it suffice to say that this book was great and I feel completely happy with the way the series ended.  You can't ask for more than that, right?

The Soundtrack

Love Song by 311

Bittersweet by Within Temptation

Are You the One? By Within Temptation

This Is War by 30 Seconds to Mars

Running Up That Hill by Kate Bush

The final grade
My final grade is an A.  Despite Kate’s irritating behavior, I was still in love with this book (read Henry) when I closed the last page.  This series left me feeling completely satisfied with the story and the ending.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. 

This week's topic is:

Top Ten Characters I Would Crush On If I Were Also a Fictional Character

Jace Wayland from The Mortal Instruments

Oh Jace!  You may be the best tortured bad boy in the history of tortured bad boys!  And you make my heart speed up every time I think of you! 

Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice

Oh Mr. Darcy!  Can you ever deliver a line to make a girl swoon!  Ok, maybe not at first, but eventually, you know exactly what to say.  You've been making it hard on other men for more than a century and you still make girls love you!

The Vampire Lestat

Lestat- you were my first vampire love, but not my last!  You can rock the old school style, but I love you best as a rock star in black leather.  You can give me The Dark Gift any time you want!

Edward Cullen

Edward, how I love you still!  You deliver better lines than Mr. Darcy and you have mastered the brooding, tortured bad boy look that hides a heart of gold.  Even after years, you still make me go le sigh.......

Ron Weasley

Ron, you found my soft spot for gingers and worked your way into my heart.  You were not as steady as Harry or as popular as Cedric or Oliver, but you were brave and a good friend who didn't mind being the sidekick.  But you will never be just a sidekick to me!

Jason Lippencort from Meant To Be

Jason, you are another in a long line of gingers who has stolen my heart.  You are just a regular guy, but you're funny and you're fun to be with.  Who wouldn't crush on you?

Sam, I love you in spite of your man-ho ways.  You might be a big player, but underneath it all, you are really just looking for the right girl.  You're really just a sweetheart underneath all your philandering and I love you for that!  You don't get nearly the book attention that you deserve!

Peeta Mellark

Peeta, I have been rooting for you almost from the moment you showed up in the book.  I knew you were the type of guy who was solid and trustworthy.  You are not the flashy popular guy, but you are the one that the lucky girls end up with.

Tucker Avery from Unearthly 

Tucker, you made me love and appreciate country boys, something that I have never done even though I live in rural North Carolina.  I love all the man things you can do and I love your honesty and straight-forwardness.  You may not be an actual angel, but you are certainly a gift from heaven!

Jase Garrett from My Life Next Door

Jase Garrett, you are a wonder to behold!  It's no wonder that Samantha spent so much time watching you from her window!  You can take care of a baby and fix a motorcycle at the same time.  You probably do laundry too!  Whatever girl ends up with you had better snatch you up quickly and never let you go!!!