Sunday, September 5, 2010

Review: Stolen by Lucy Christopher

I had been hearing a lot of buzz about this book and was so excited to read it. I only knew a little bit about the book—that it is about a teenage girl who is kidnapped and that there is something unusual and interesting about her captor—but people were so excited about it, I knew I had to read it. It took FOREVER (or it seemed like it, perhaps I was overexcited and impatient) for it to come in for me at the library, and when I finally got it, I dove right in and didn't stop until I was done.

I've read a few books about kidnappings, but never one like this. The story is written as a letter from Gemma to Ty, which is really helpful in understanding Gemma and her complicated relationship to Ty. I never expected to end up with Gemma and Ty in the Australian outback, but like many other aspects of this novel, its location is probably one of the most vivid and memorable I have read.

Ty is one of the most interesting characters I think I have ever read. You hate him, but don't; he's crazy, but he's not; he's aggressive, but gentle. Like Gemma, my feelings for Ty were so complex that I didn't even feel like I completely understood them.

More than just a story about a kidnapping, Lucy Christopher's novel is a complete eye-opener. Through Gemma's story, she is able to take what we all know as the truth and flip it so we, as well as Gemma, are not sure what is actually right and what is wrong.

Definitely 5 stars for this book!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I still exist!

Hey everyone! Now that I've fallen off the planet for a while, I'm happy to say I'm back! The end of this summer has been so crazy at work (I also got away to Vermont for a family reunion!) that I haven't had a chance to really read, let alone post about reading!

I'm looking forward to the school year starting and things settling down a bit so I can get back to reading and blogging! :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

In My Mailbox 8/1

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.
Can you believe it's August already? Where are you going summer? Anyway, here are all the books that fell onto my TBR pile this week:

For review (on my nook):

The Absolute Value of -1 by Steven Brezenoff (ARC)
Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton

From my aunt (one of my best book suppliers)
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Little Bee by Chris Cleave
From the library:

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

I think that's it! Can't wait to see what everyone else got this week :)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Book Trailer: The Absolute Value of -1 by Steve Brezenoff

So I've been talking quite a bit about this book lately, but here is the book trailer for The Absolute Value of -1 by Steve Brezenoff featuring Brezenoff's own drawings. My review of the book will be up on Monday!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Blog Hopping!

Book Blogger Hop

My favorite new-to-me author this year is John Green. I read both Looking for Alaska and Will Grayson Will Grayson this year and absolutely fell in love!

Fragment Friday 7/30

This week's fragment is from The Absolute Value of -1 by Steve Brezenoff.

Fragment Friday is a weekly meme hosted by James of Book Chic Club.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Review: Wildthorn by Jane Eagland

Wildthorn by Jane Eagland
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, September 2010
352 pages
Rating: 4 out of 5

From Goodreads:
Seventeen-year-old Louisa Cosgrove longs to break free from her respectable life as a Victorian doctor's daughter. But her dreams become a nightmare when Louisa is sent to Wildthorn Hall: labeled a lunatic, deprived of her liberty and even her real name. As she unravels the betrayals that led to her incarceration, she realizes there are many kinds of prison. She must be honest with herself - and others - in order to be set free. And love may be the key...
I didn't really know what to expect from Wildthorn.  I don't usually read historical YA fiction, so it was a very different read for me. I also found the book to be incredibly refreshing because of this—a young character with all of the troubles we're used to seeing in teens (family problems, identity issues, the struggle to fit in, the discovery of love) but set in a world we've all read about in classics.

Most of the characters were extremely frustrating and one-sided, though that only brought me closer to Louisa. Though I normally would want a bit more out of the secondary characters, in this case I think I was able to relate more to Louisa because they were so impossible to like.

The story is exciting and fast-moving, for the most part. Once I got into it, I had a hard time putting it down. I do think sometimes the relationships between characters suffer because the book moves so quickly—I found the relationships developing almost out of nowhere as the story moved. Other than that, I really appreciated how exciting the story was.

Wildthorn is structured between the present story and flashbacks to Louisa's childhood and near past. At the beginning of the story before the action at Wildthorn really starts, these flashback chapters are frequent and serve to lead up to the present action. However, once Louisa is at Wildthorn, the flashback chapters sort of disappear. They return later, almost surprisingly, and I felt that I had been missing an important aspect of the book without them.

Overall, I really enjoyed Wildthorn. It was a very different read from what I'm used to and had a very exciting and often thrilling story.

Iron Daughter Twitter Release Party!

This sounds like it's going to be awesome! Click the picture above for more info.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday 7/28

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine

This week I'm waiting on Butterfly by Sonya Hartnett. From B&
Plum Coyle is on the edge of adolescence. Her fourteenth birthday is approaching, when her old life and her old body will fall away, and she will become graceful, powerful, and at ease. The strength of the objects she stores in a briefcase under her bed —a crystal lamb, a yoyo, an antique watch, a coin —will make sure of it. Over the next couple of weeks, Plum’s life will change. Her beautiful neighbor Maureen will begin to show Plum how she might fly. The older brothers she adores will court catastrophe in worlds that she barely knows exist. And her friends, her worst enemies, will tease and test, smelling weakness. They will try to lead her on and take her down. BUTTERFLY is a gripping, disquieting, beautifully observed coming-of-age novel by an acclaimed author at the top of her form.
I love coming-of-age stories, and though I don't know much about this one and the description is a bit mysterious, the concept is fascinating to me. Butterfly was originally published in Australia in 2009 and will be published by Candlewick Press in August of 2010. 

Teaser Tuesday 7/27

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. This week's teaser comes from Wildthorn (ARC) by Jane Eagland:
What roots me to the spot is the realisation that to her, I'm no different from the others. I'm one of these lost, abandoned souls.
I've entered the lowest circle of hell and there is no escape.
 Wildthorn will be published in September 2010.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 7/26

It's Monday! What Are You Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey.
Monday again? Where did this week even go? Anyway, here's what I'm reading this week:

Wildthorn by Jane Eagland. I'm really getting into this one now!
Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom. My friend's mom gave this to me forever ago—I need to read it!
The Awakening by L.J. Smith, for fun—can't believe I haven't read these books yet!

That's all for now! I look forward to seeing what everyone else is reading :)

If Stargirl were a movie...

The entire time I read Stargirl I was picturing her as the actress Evanna Lynch, who plays Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter films.
I can totally picture her twirling around in the desert wearing a long skirt and holding her pet rat or playing the ukulele in the school cafeteria, can't you?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Fragment Friday 7/23

This week's Fragment Friday is of Jerry Spinelli's Stargirl. 
Fragment Friday is a weekly meme hosted by James of Book Chic Club.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Video: Matched by Ally Condie

Check out this video from Ally Condie, author of Matched, which comes out November 30, 2010. I totally want to read this now!

Etsy Find: Hunger Games swag!

Look how absolutely awesome this Hunger Games keychain/bag ring is!
This keychain was made by Etsy seller ang549. Each charm on the key ring represents a different aspect of the Hunger Games trilogy. How cool is that?

They also have this awesome bracelet, very cool bookmark (which I'd be afraid to use it's so pretty!), and lots more!

(If anyone wants to buy me one of these, feel free ;-)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Book Trailer: Everlasting by Angie Frazier

Check out Angie's blog HERE.

Review: It Started with a Dare by Lindsay Faith Rech

It Started with a Dare by Lindsay Faith Rech
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
September 2010
My Rating: 3 Stars
I thought this was a cute cover: the girl is cute, looks happy, but also looks like she has some sort of secret. Knowing nothing else about the book or the author, I decided to give it a shot.

CG Silverman has always considered herself a bit of an outsider, so when she moves to a new town and the three most popular girls in the school actually speak to her, she can't help herself. She starts with small innocent lies to impress them, but finds herself spinning a life for herself that she could have never imagined. As the newly crowned rebel of the popular crowd, she agrees to a dare from her new BFFs Alona, Grace, and Sammie that has major problem potential. When Alona's super hot older brother gets in the picture, CG's new life seems almost too good to be true.

It Started with a Dare is a story about identity and friendship. Though CG's lies can sometimes be frustrating, they speak pretty honestly to the insecurities of a teenage girl who just wants to fit in somewhere.  The speaker's crazy comparisons and potty humor can sometimes be over the top, but CG has a funny voice that you just have to love. Lindsay Faith Rech's strength in this book is her ability to go beneath the surface with each character and explore what every one is hiding beneath their constructed high school exterior.

It Started with a Dare is fun, funny, a little crazy, but always honest about the importance of being yourself.

Thanks NetGalley for the ARC!

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Ok, pretty obvious, but it's only a month away!

Pub Date: August 24, 2010

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins’s groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading

My teaser:

Archie studies me through the smoke. I thought I saw approval, but when he spoke, he merely said, 'Work it out, men.'
-page 35 of Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli  

Friday, July 9, 2010

e-book covers

So, I love my nook cover. I wasn't satisfied with anything I saw in B&N—either they didn't seem to offer enough protection, weren't attractive, or were really pricey. So I went to my friend Amazon and got the cutest—it's really padded, has a pocket inside, and snaps shut with a magnet.

And look at the adorable print!

What do you carry your e-reader in?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Review: A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story by Linda Sue Park
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, November 2010
Ages 12 & up
128 pages
Rating: 4 stars

"One step at a time . . . one day at a time. Just today—just this day to get through . . ."

That's the mentality that Salva Dut takes on on his journey from a war-torn Sudan to—he's not sure where. When Salva is forced to leave school due to nearby gunfire, he is separated from his family and friends and sent on a walk that seems to have no end in sight. Along the way, he makes friends with a boy named Mariel and is reunited with a family member, but the hardships of war prove troubling in even the lighter moments.

Newbery Award winner Linda Sue Park's A Long Walk to Water is a story of hope—and how that hope can overcome even the greatest struggles. Adding fictionalized details to Salva Dut's fascinating life story, Park creates a story that is at times heartbreaking but always educational and inspirational.

*Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC!

Review: Greek: Double Date by Marsha Warner

Greek: Double Date by Marsha Warner
Harlequin Teen, May 2010
Young Adult
192 pages

Casey Cartwright, Zeta Beta Zeta sorority sister at Cyprus-Rhodes College, gets herself into a bit of a bind when she agrees to go to an engineering event with her brother’s nerdy, love-struck roommate Dale—the event just happens to be the same night as the All-Greek Formal, where she already has a date with the cute new transfer student Rob.

As if two guys aren’t enough for one night, there’s also Cappie, her slacker ex-boyfriend who always seems to show up in Casey’s life—and who she may or may not still be in love with.

So what’s a nice, ambitious sorority girl to do? Try to balance all three of course, with the help of her sweet but slightly nerdy younger brother Rusty and her best friend Ashleigh, president of ZBZ.

Greek: Double Date is a fun book that tackles both the crazy lives of college students and the difficulty of working through relationships. These relationships are interesting, but the book does often get weighed down by the need to catch the reader up on the characters’ history. In that way, it’s sometimes difficult to think of the book as its own story. This book would probably be most loved by fans of ABC Family’s Greek, but it does do a good job of tackling three seasons’ worth of history for readers unfamiliar with the show.

(This review was written for my internship with

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Review: The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell

The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell

HarperCollins, April 2010
Young Adult
389 pages

(So I'm a little late, but I finally got around to reading The Carrie Diaries and figured I'd share my thoughts.)

Though the cover of The Carrie Diaries is eye catching, something about the super sweetness of it didn't make me want to read it immediately. After seeing it available for loan on my library network's e-book site, though, I decided to give it a shot (I'm always looking for quality reads for my new nook).

I have to say, I'm surprised by how much I ended up enjoying this book. The plot, though over the top at times, is still extremely relatable, in true Sex and the City form. The book's heroine, the future icon Carrie Bradshaw, fumbles through high school while still maintaining her cool. Even when her relationship with new hot guy Sebastian Kydd turns her small-town world upside down and threatens to ruin some of her best friendships, she remains the crazy but lovable character that Candance Bushnell created and Sarah Jessica Parker made so famous in the HBO series.

The Carrie Diaries has characters to love, characters to hate, moments to make you laugh, and moments that speak to the more troubling aspects of teenage life. Despite the often absurd take on high school life (these kids order fancy drinks in bars like they're grabbing milks at the cafeteria) The Carrie Diaries is a great read that goes beyond the frivolity and truly captures the spirit of a small-town high school.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Review: Tagged by Mara Purnhagen

Here's the review I wrote of Tagged for my internship with

Kate Morgan lives a pretty boring, average life—that is, until graffiti murals of gorillas start showing up all over town, and no one can figure out who the culprit is.
The students of Cleary High School are immediately intrigued by these murals—who put them up? Are they art? What do they mean? No one seems more intent on uncovering the mystery than Kate, the police chief’s daughter, especially when her cute co-worker crush Eli seems so interested in the murals, and her quiet, normal life just keeps getting weirder and weirder.
Tagged is a quick, fun read, but it is not all graffiti and mystery. Kate and her Vietnamese-American best friend Lan go through very real high school experiences, from forming crushes and new relationships to not being invited to the biggest party the town has ever seen. More than that, Tagged is a story about confidence and self-discovery as Kate learns to stand up for herself and her friends and discovers she can be more than just the quiet girl at the coffee shop.
If you are looking for something that is both relatable and different, Tagged is a great book to read. It offers an entertaining story about high school friendships, relationships, and identities while examining a question that has been debated for centuries: what is art?

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