Saturday, October 31, 2009

Shout Out...Another Contest (NOT MINE though)

Do you want to win an ARC of Fallen by Lauren Kate??? You know you click on the cover and enter. By the is open to everyone...gogogogogo!!! (Ends November 25)


And the Winner is...

The winner of my Rachel Cohn giveaway contest is...Ashley!!!

***I already sent out an email to Ashley***

Thank you all for participating and HAPPY readings!!!

Review: The Sweet Far Thing

Title: The Sweet Far Thing
Author: Libba Bray
ISBN/Publisher: 978-0-440-23777-8/Delacorte Press (Part of Random House)
Age Group/Genre: Young Adult

***WARNING...This may contain spoilers because it is part of a series (and it is kind of hard to discuss this book without referring to the previous novels in the series)***

The Sweet Far Thing
starts off where Rebel Angels ended with Gemma Doyle binding all the magic to herself. As TSFT goes on, Gemma is terrified that she has lost the ability of the magic and can no longer go back to the Realms. However, Gemma and her two friends, Ann and Felicity, find a door in the East Wing that enters into the Realms.

It seems that everyone wants a part of the magic that she holds, but Gemma is still learning how to control it. She has no idea who to trust and turns to a mute girl in her visions for help.

Who will be there to help Gemma???

Okay, let me be honest...this book was just a tad bit too long for me and I already struggled with the series. The first half was too slow because we had to see Gemma struggle with her powers and her inability to make decisions. She had no idea who to trust and continued to doubt herself even though she holds the power.

I know she has two best friends at the school, but I got really annoyed with Ann and Felicity. But, I did start to enjoy the novel more towards the end because this is where Gemma starts to deal with her problems in the Realms. I wasn't too happy with the ending, but I guess you'll need to read it and find out why.

Favorite lines from the book...

Peace is not happenstance. It is a living fire that must be fed constantly. It must be tended with vigilance, else it dies out. Gorgon page 301

But change needn't happen all at once. It can be small gestures. Moments. Kartik page 465

He said to tell you to remember your heart in all things, that it is where your honor and your destiny will be found. Gemma page 467

My Rating

Now go and grab your cup of tea (or whatever beverage you prefer)
and HAPPY readings!!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Firday Finds (10/30/09)

Friday Finds at the Store is a meme hosted by Jennay at My Tea Time is Book Time. It is totally easy and everyone can join. Basically just post the books you found at the bookstore or library. Now others can see the great finds you had and maybe they will pick it up on their next bookstore/library run. HAPPY readings!!!

From the back cover of How to Ruin a Summer Vacation by Simone Elkeles

Unfortunately for 16-year-old Amy Nelson, "moshav" is not Hebrew for "shopping mall." Not even close. Think goats, not Gucci.

Going to Israel with her estranged Israeli father is the last thing Amy wants to do this summer. She's got a serious grudge against the "Sperm Donor" for showing up so rarely in her life. Now he's dragging her to a war zone to meet a family she's never known, where she'll probably be drafted into the army. At the very least, she'll be stuck in a house with no AC and only one bathroom for seven people all summer---no best friend, no boyfriend, no shopping, no cell phone...

Goodbye pride===hello Israel.
What did you find???

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Shout Out...Another Contest

You know you totally wanna win The Awakening by Kelley click on the image above to enter the contest at Robolobolyn's Books!!! (& it is international...gogogogogo!!!) It ends November 17th.

And while you're at it...go ahead and click on this other image to win Fallen from The Neverending Shelf (also international & ends November 18th)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Review: The Truth About Forever

Title: The Truth About Forever
Author: Sarah Dessen
ISBN/Publisher: 978-0-14-240625-0/Speak (part of Penguin)
Age Group/Genre: Young Adult

Macy was a runner, but after watching her dad die things changed. Macy needed order and control in her she got the perfect, smart boyfriend and started to get good grades, a library job, lived to a strict schedule which even had time in it to iron her clothes.

Then, her life changed again when she gets a job at Wish Catering, ran by pregnant Delia. The staff includes Delia's nephews, Wes and Bert, outgoing Kristy, and quiet Monica. Macy starts to hang out with the staff and learns how to let go and have a little fun...something that she definitely did not plan. Wes and Macy end up becoming good friends through a game called Truth. Macy shares so much info with Wes (realizing she never shares this info with her current BF or even her mom).

Will Macy go back to her old ways or will she finally learn that its okay to have a little fun even after you lose someone???

Out of all five Dessen books that I have read this month, The Truth About Forever is my absolute favorite. All the characters are written and captured so well in this story. I noticed that the dialogue was so everyday conversation, which makes it more believable.

I think the best books are the books that I can really relate to. And I knew from the very beginning this one had a part of me in it. I know what it is like to lose a dad and not know how to mourn. Just like Macy, you want to be strong for your mom and not let her know your pain, but it just makes life more complicated. This novel really depicts the pain a teenage girl feels and goes through after the loss of a parent. I truly wish I had this book when I was in high school (even though it was published the year I graduated).

I totally recommend this book to everyone!!! This one really got me in the heart and I will be reading this one again and again!

Favorite parts...
For any one of us our forever could end in an hour, or a hundred years from now. You can never know for sure, so you'd better make every second count. Kristy page 136

Listen. The truth is, nothing is guaranteed. You know that more than anybody. So don't be afraid. Be ALIVE. Kristy page 136

You never got used to it, the idea of someone being gone. Just when you think it's reconciled, accepted, someone points it out to you and it just hits you all over again, that shocking. Macy page 140

My Rating

Now go and grab your cup of tea or hazelnut coffee (or whatever beverage you prefer) along with a Sarah Dessen book and HAPPY readings!!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon!!!

It's time to begin Dewey's 24 hour read-a-thon. I'm just going to edit this post as I go through the books. Wish me luck!!!

The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray 819 pages
Starting time-8:00 pm (I'm taking breaks every other hour so I can do homework)
8:00 pm-Starting page 532
2:00 am-Finished The Sweet Far Thing

I'm probably going to sleep for a few hours now, since it is 2 in the morning and I did play golf today in the hot hot sun...but I promise to be back soon!!!

The Queen of Everything by Deb Caletti
5:30 am-Starting time (I'm going to do the whole read every other hour again so I can get other things done today)
***I took a nap in the morning...well I guess more like I slept. I guess I was pretty tired after yesterday's golf, but I did finish book two!***
2:30 pm-Finished The Queen of Everything

Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
3:15 pm-Starting time
6:15 pm-Finished Fever 1793

Honey, Baby, Sweetheart by Deb Caletti
7:00 pm-Starting time
7:15 pm-I can't keep my eyes open...I'm exhausted!!! but it's a good exhausted...this was tons of fun!!!

I finished a book that I started earlier this month (finally), 2 whole books, and started a new one...I read 910 pages and I participated in a little bit more than 9 hours of the whole 24 hour read-a-thon.

I will be sure to participate in future read-a-thons...this was tons of fun & I also won a set of books : )

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Finds at the Store (10/23/09)

Friday Finds at the Store is a meme hosted by Jennay at My Tea Time is Book Time. It is totally easy and everyone can join. Basically just post the books you found at the bookstore or library. Now others can see the great finds you had and maybe they will pick it up on their next bookstore/library run. HAPPY readings!!!

Here are my finds & some wins...
***I won...The BFG and Gem Squash Tokoloshe from FullyBooked (the bookstore I go to here) because I entered my blog in their contest
***Her Fearful Symmetry was won through facebook

From the back cover of The BFG by Roald Dahl
The BFG uses some extraordinary words, but then he's no ordinary giant. He's the kindest giant you could hope to meet and he turns out to be Sophie's best friend. The trouble is, not all giants are quite as friendly and Sophie and The BFG set out to rid the world of the Bloodbottler, the Fleshlumpeater, the Bonecrusher and other nasty giants, for ever.

From the back cover of Paper Towns by John Greendd

Quintin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life---dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge---he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues---and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew...

From the inside flap of Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
Audrey Niffenegger's spectacularly compelling second novel opens with a letter that alters the fate of every character. Julia and Valentina Poole are semi-normal American twenty-year-olds with seemingly little interest in college or finding jobs. Their attachment to one another is intense. One morning the mailman delivers a thick envelope to their house in the suburbs of Chicago. From a London solicitor, the enclosed letter informs Valentina and Julia that their English aunt Elepeth Noblin, whom they never knew, has died of cancer and left them her London apartment. There are two conditions to this inheritance: that they live in it for a year before they sell it and that their parents not enter it. Julia and Valentina are twins. So were the estranged Elspeth and Edie, their mother.

The girls move to Elspeth's flat, which borders the vast and ornate Highgate Cemetery, where Christina Rossetti, George Eliot, Radclyffe Hall, Stella Gibbons and Karl Marx are buried. Julia and Valentina come to know the living residents of their buildings. There is Martin, a brilliant and charming crossword-puzzle setter suffering from crippling obsessive compulsive disorder; Marijke, Martin's devoted but trapped wife; and Robert, Elspeth's elusive lover, a scholar of the cemetery. As the girls become embroiled in the fraying lives of their aunt's neighbors, they also discover that much is still alive in Highgate, including---perhaps---their aunt.

What did you find...or win???

Review: This Lullaby

Title: This Lullaby
Author: Sarah Dessen
ISBN/Publisher: 978-0-14-250155-9/Speak (part of Penguin)
Age Group/Genre: Young Adult

Remy Starr just graduated high school and is finishing up all the preparations for her mom's fifth wedding. She only has one last summer at home before she heads off to Stanford University on the opposite coast.

Remy is totally organized, tidy, and is always on time (she's basically OCD). The thing she will discover this summer is that her rules on boys aren't set in stone. She's boy-smart, guards her heart, and is only looking for superficial relationships because she has watched her mom's relationships and knows that commitment is too much of a risk to take.

This summer is going to be all about being with her friends and prepping for the new life she'll soon have in college. But, she meets Dexter...the total opposite of her type. He's really clumsy, messy, and really really persistent and did I mention he's a musician. And being a musician is a BIG no no. She doesn't date musicians because her dad was one. And he wrote a song called This Lullaby that basically told her that he let her down. So why should Remy trust musicians and love?

Will Dexter change her whole perspective on love and also on her dating rules???

Sarah Dessen does it again. How does this wonderful author do it? She writes about unforgettable characters that people can relate to. I could not put this down...I wanted to know the ending for Remy and Dexter. These two characters are wonderful to read about. And also that sometimes the boy you're looking for isn't the "perfect" looking guy at all.

I love how Dessen does an amazing job with the different type of relationships in her stories. You get the mother/daughter, boyfriend/girlfriend, friendships, members of a band, but my favorite were the brother/sister relationship, and the step-father/step-daughter one. Although this wasn't a major part of the story...Remy had to deal with five step-dad's throughout her life, but the one with number five touched base on the awkwardness of the relationship.

This is a great read and I totally recommend it!!!

Favorite quotes...
You know, when it works, love is pretty amazing. It's not overrated. There's a reason for all those songs. Dexter, page 225

Holding people from you, and denying yourself love, that doesn't make you strong. If anything, it makes you weaker. Because you're doing it out of fear...Of taking that chance. Of letting go and giving into it, and that's what makes us what we are. Barbara, page 265

Maybe a marriage, like a life, isn't only about the Big Moments, whether they be bad or good. Maybe it's all the small things---like being guided slowly forward, surely, day after day---that stretch out to strengthen even the most tenuous bond. Remy, page 267

My Rating
Now go and grab your cup of tea or hazelnut coffee (or whatever beverage you prefer) along with a Sarah Dessen book and HAPPY readings!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Shout Out...A Contest

My book friends over at Teens Read and Write are having a freaking amazing giveaway. And you should definitely click on the image (that I took from their site...there were way too many amazing books to add individually) above to get to it. It is open to everyone and you know you wanna enter. So gogogogoggogo!!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Review: Keeping the Moon

Title: Keeping the Moon
Author: Sarah Dessen
ISBN/Publisher: 978-0-14-240176-7/Speak (part of Penguin)
Age Group/Genre: Young Adult

Fifteen year old Colie is sent to Colby, North Carolina to spend her summer vacation while her mom promotes her famous weight loss program in Europe. She used to be the fat girl, but lost the weight (thanks to her mom) and then horrible rumors were spread around the school about her and a boy. Now, she has the chance to start new, but is still having a hard time with her self-esteem. Aunt Mira's reputation in Colby doesn't help either. The town loves to gossip about odd Mira and how overweight she is.

Colie struggles in the new town with friends, but things change when she accepts a job at Aunt Mira's favorite restaurant. The two waitresses that welcome Colie are a little bit older, but share their wisdom on how high school goes, beauty secrets, and boys.

Will this summer vacation change Colie and allow her to see herself positively???

A major part of the book was friendship. Colie has a hard time with other people and is really a lonely teenager. What she really needs are friends to help pull her out of the darkness and we get to witness Colie's exploration of finding true friends. The people she meets are not her peers from school, but age and race and gender don't matter in friendships. Colie learns to gain confidence and becomes a better person because she opens up to friends.

A major lesson in this Dessen novel, was the element of self-acceptance
. It isn't just Colie that learns this, but the other characters as well. This book shows that all people, different personality types...have issues with accepting who they are and most of the time find that others will not accept them as well.

This book has great messages for teenagers and I totally recommend it to them. But since I'm in my twenty's and I feel more confident with myself, this book probably would have served me better in high school. I'll definitely lend this to my thirteen year old niece. I will admit though, the constant reminders to sit up straight have stayed with me. I'll be walking around and realize that I'm thank you Sarah Dessen for reminding me about fixing my posture : )

***My favorite quotes...they reminded me of my mom & what she would tell me***
Sit up straight. Slouching is the first dead give-away of low self-esteem. Isabel p.146

Believe in yourself up here and it will make you stronger than you could ever imagine. Isabel, p. 160 (she's pointing to her temples as she says this)

My Rating
Now go and grab your cup of tea or hazelnut coffee (or whatever beverage you prefer) along with a Sarah Dessen book and HAPPY readings!!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Finds (10/16/09)

Friday Finds at the Store is a meme hosted by Jennay at My Tea Time is Book Time. It is totally easy and everyone can join. Basically just post the books you found at the bookstore or library. Now others can see the great finds you had and maybe they will pick it up on their next bookstore/library run. HAPPY readings!!!

Here are my finds...
From the back cover of Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

Ruby can take care of herself. She's used to counting on no one and answering to nobody. But all of that changes when her mother vanishes and Ruby is sent to live with her older sister, Cora. Now Ruby's got her own room in a fabulous new house, she's going to private school, and---for the first time---feeling as if she has a future. Plus, there's the adorable and sweet boy next door, Nate. Everything should be perfect. So why is Ruby so wary? And why is Nate keeping her at a distance? Ruby soon comes to realize that sometimes, in order to save yourself, you've got to reach out to someone else.

From the back cover of Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult

The discovery of a dead infant in an Amish barn shakes Lancaster County to its core. But the police investigation leads to a more shocking disclosure: circumstantial evidence suggests that eighteen-year-old Katie Fisher, an unmarried Amish woman believed to be the newborn's mother, took the child's life. When Ellie Hathaway, a disillusioned big-city attorney, comes to Paradise, Pennsylvania, to defend Katie, two cultures collide---and for the first time in her high-profile career, Ellie faces a system of justice very different from her own. Delving deep inside the world of those who live "plain," Ellie must find a way to reach Katie on her terms. And as she unravels a tangled murder case, Ellie also looks deep within---to confront her own fears and desires when a man from her past reenters her life.

From the back cover of Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult
June Nealon was looking forward to years full of laughter and adventure with her family, but now she is staring into a future as empty as her heart---waiting for time to heal her wounds, for justice, for a miracle.

Shay Bourne's life holds no surprises, until he gets one last chance for salvation that lies with June's young daughter, Claire. But between Shay and Claire are bitter regrets and the rage of a mother who has lost her child.

Father Michael devoted his life to God, but Shay makes him question everything he's been taught to believe about religion, about good and evil, about forgiveness. About himself.
What did you find???

Review: Graceling

Title: Graceling
Author: Kristin Cashore
ISBN/Publisher: 978-0-575-08530-5/Gollancz (Part of Orion Books)
Age Group/Genre: Young Adult

There's a place with seven kingdoms and some people there are graced with special talents. Those graced are the Gracelings and are identified by their two different eye colors. Katsa is from the Middluns and has one green eye and one blue eye. Her grace for killing was discovered after she knocked out a guy at a very young age. Katsa's uncle, King Randa, took her in and had her train so she can kill those that disobey him.

By the time she is eighteen, Katsa realizes she hates the job she does for her kingdom. So she works with the secret council and goes on missions to save others and tries to make things right. The one mission that changes her life is rescuing a kidnapped royal. She meets another Graceling, Po. The two of them start to train together and set off for their own mission. They become friends and let each other know that they don't want a husband or wife. They like being the single, fighting type.

Will they complete their secret mission and will they become more than friends???

I absolutely loved this book and could not put it down. I actually stayed up until 3 in the morning reading was that good. Katsa is such a kick butt type of girl...the type of girl that I haven't really read about in quite a long time. So that was refreshing. I pretty much imagined Jennifer Garner's character from Alias as I read the book.

Graceling is filled with tons of action...lots of fighting scenes. I think boys would enjoy this book as well. The plot had me gasping in shock and there were a few times I yelled at my book because I was so scared to find out what happened next. But of course, I HAD to turn the page.

This is a nice story about a person trying to find who she is, even though it is a fantasy type of book. Katsa is an amazing heroine, who enjoys showing her physical strengths and tries to stay true to herself. She's supposed to be all girly, but knows where her true strengths are.

I highly recommend this book to every one. I'm even going to buy this book and send it out to my niece. (I don't want to give up my copy so she'll get h
er own)

My RatingNow go and grab your cup of tea (or whatever beverage you prefer) and HAPPY readings!!!

Here's the book trailer, but I don't think it does the book any justice.

Shout Out...A Contest

You know you want to win a signed copy of Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow. So click on the image above and leave a comment for Ashley at Books Obsession. Gogogogogogo!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Shout Out...A Contest

The Austin Teen Book Festival is on October 24th. And Crystal Reviews is going to it and giving away a book of your choice from a list on her blog. Click on the image above for more info and to enter. It is gogogogogo!!!

Review: Someone Like You

Title: Someone Like You
Author: Sarah Dessen
ISBN/Publisher: 978-0-14-240177-4/Speak (part of Penguin)
Age Group/Genre: Young Adult

Someone Like You is about Halley's life and the people in it. It starts off in the summer before her junior year when she needs to become the strength for her BFF, Scarlett. Scarlett's boyfriend is killed in a motorcycle accident and later finds out she is pregnant with his baby.

Halley, pre-junior year was mommy's girl, but now she wants her independence. So she starts to pull away from her parents, specifically her mother. She finds that she cannot stand involving her mom in her life and is sick and tired of her knowing everything. This just so happens to be around the time that Halley begins to date a "bad boy." She is loving the attention that she gets from Macon and wants to learn more about him, but her mom definitely does not approve this relationship.

Will Halley distance herself further from her parents and how will she be there for Scarlett?

I love how this book deals with the teenager/parent relationship. Especially a sixteen year old girl that wants her own identity away from being mommy's little girl. Then, there is the whole teen pregnancy issue.

When I first read the title of this book, I totally thought it was going to be all about a boyfriend/girlfriend issue...Someone Like You. But, it really isn't. It's about a friendship and a mother/daughter relationship and how these relationships are important.

As I read about the teen pregnancy, it reminded me of my sister and me. Although, I am younger than her, I remember going to the doctors appointments with her while she was pregnant and how she dealt with her teenage pregnancy. Also, she was pregnant when this book was published...hehehehe. Then, the mother/daughter relationship. Oh boy do I relate to that because I am a momma's girl. I totally know what it is like to want to get away from the mom, but in the end I can't escape wanting her and knowing she'll always be there.

This is a well written book that captures the importance of relationships. Dessen is an amazing author and I am enjoying my monthly spotlight. Towards the end of the novel, I thought that this would make a good movie...and then I remembered it is a movie with Mandy Moore...How to Deal. I think I need to go check it out : )

My Rating:

Now go and grab your cup of tea or hazelnut coffee (or whatever beverage you prefer) along with a Sarah Dessen book and HAPPY readings!!!

Here's the movie trailer for How to Deal. It is based on That Summer and Someone Like You.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Shout Out...Another Contest

The MarkThe Den of Shadows QuartetSoulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1)Never Cry Werewolf
Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1)Lament: The Faerie Queen's DeceptionHush, HushGive Up the Ghost
The HollowGeneration Dead (Generation Dead, #1)Never Slow Dance with a ZombieYou Are So Undead to Me
IntertwinedDevouredProphecy of the SistersReign or Shine (Demon Princess, #1)

You can pick 4 books from the above and win. Just head over to Ramblings of a Teenage Bookworm and enter!!!