Wednesday, December 31, 2008

100+ Reading Challenge (Completed)

I've decided to take part in the 100+ Reading Challenge. I usually don't keep track of how many books I read so I guess we'll see if I can keep up!

Some books I have in my To Be Read pile right now are:
-How To Ditch Your Fairy by Justin Larbalestier
-In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner
-Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson
-Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
-My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
-What If...Everyone Knew Your Name by Liz Ruckdeschel & Sara James
-The Princess Diaries, Princess In The Spotlight, & Princess -In Love by Meg Cabot

So I'm looking forward to reading these in 2009 and posting reviews of them for you all to read!
Also, if you want to sign up for the challenge you can do so here.

The list of the 100 books I read for this challenge can be found here.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Read the first chapter!

For those of you who like the Private series, here's the first chapter of Paradise Lost, the 9th book in the Private series!

Description from Now that Cheyenne's murderer has been revealed and Reed knows the truth about who's been stalking her all semester, she's ready to leave the drama behind. What better way than going on a five-star Caribbean vacation with the Billings Girls?

It comes out February 24, 2009 and I cannot wait to read it!

I'm also looking forward to reading Kate Brian's new series, Privilege. You can read the first chapter here.

Description from MOST GIRLS WOULD DIE FOR A LIFE OF PRIVILEGE....SOME WOULD EVEN KILL FOR IT.Ariana Osgood ruled exclusive Easton Academy -- until she was arrested for murdering Thomas Pearson. She's spent the past two years at the Brenda T. Trumbull Correctional Facility for Women plotting her escape and is determined to get a second chance at the glamorous life she left behind. And Ariana will do anything to get her way....

It comes out December 30, 2008, which is in 2 days! Hmm...I may have to make a trip to Borders soon.. The second book, Beautiful Disaster, will be released on June 2, 2009.

The first chapter of Anna Godbersen's Envy (January 27, 2009) is also available here.

Description from Two months after Elizabeth Holland's dramatic homecoming, Manhattan eagerly awaits her return to the pinnacle of society. When Elizabeth refuses to rejoin her sister Diana's side, however, those watching New York's favorite family begin to suspect that all is not as it seems behind the stately doors of No. 17 Gramercy Park South.

Farther uptown, Henry and Penelope Schoonmaker are the city's most celebrated couple. But despite the glittering diamond ring on Penelope's finger, the newlyweds share little more than scorn for each other. And while the newspapers call Penelope's social-climbing best friend, Carolina Broad, an heiress, her fortune—and her fame—are anything but secure, especially now that one of society's darlings is slipping tales to the eager press.

In this next thrilling installment of Anna Godbersen's bestselling Luxe series, Manhattan's most envied residents appear to have everything they desire: Wealth. Beauty. Happiness. But sometimes the most practiced smiles hide the most scandalous secrets...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Marked by P.C. & Kristin Cast

Zoey is your normal, everyday high school student. That is, until one day she gets Marked. In her world, vampyres have always existed and been accepted in society. Getting Marked means she will become a fledgling vampire. However, just being Marked does not guarantee that she will live to become an adult vampyre. Not everyone who is Marked survives the Change.
She must leave her friends and family and move to the House of Night, a school where she will train to become an adult vampyre. Zoey also discovers that she has been chosen by the vampyre Goddess Nyx to receive unique powers. But with her speedy development as a vampyre comes bloodlust and the ability to Imprint.
Zoey is invited to join the Dark Daughters, an elite social group but soon finds out that the leader of the group, Aphrodite, is misusing her own Goddess-given abilities. Zoey must find the courage to stand up to her but fortunately she doesn't have to do it alone. Her new vampyre friends are with her every step of the way.

Wow. I'm officially in love with vampire books. The only other vampire book I've read is the Twilight series but Marked is as about as different from that as different can get. The whole concept of vampires is completely unlike those in the Twilight series.

So here are some contrasting points for you to ponder:

-vampires are real & accepted in society vs. myth

-no superpowers (fast moving, strength) vs. superpowers

-Marking process vs. biting

-vampyre vs. vampire spelling (why is that anyway?)

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I've already purchased the second book in the series, Betrayed, and am looking forward to reading it soon! I recommend this book, especially if you're a fan of vampires.

5 out of 5 stars

Confessions of a Serial Kisser by Wendelin Van Draanen

Evangeline is in search of the perfect kiss. She’ll stop at nothing to find a kiss like the one in A Crimson Kiss, the romance novel she found hidden under her mom’s bed. But finding that life-changing kiss proves to be more difficult than she had anticipated. Lots of boys seem to have potential but when tested are really “missers”, ear lickers, or fish-lipped kissers. She wonders if any of her kisses will ever rival Delilah and Grayson’s in A Crimson Kiss.

Evangeline gets a bad reputation for her kissing activities. Her name and phone number even end up on the urinals in the boys’ bathrooms. Her serial kissing gets out of control when she inadvertently kisses her best friend’s new crush. Eventually, she realizes that there is more to kissing than she originally thought.

I really enjoyed this book. It was interesting, funny, and honest. I could relate to a lot of Evangeline’s kissing experiences. Believe it or not, I was also the victim of an ear kisser. I found myself thinking “Oh, I hate it when that happens!” Everyone has had at least one of the experiences that Evangeline did. This book keeps you on your toes because you never know who Evangeline will go after next. I think I actually lost count of how many guys she kissed. The underlying story about her parent's relationship problems is deeply touching and explains a lot about their daughter. The music references also create a nice soundtrack. Confessions of a Serial Kisser was very entertaining. I absolutely recommend it, especially if you love chick lit as much as I do!

4 out of 5 stars

Anatomy Of A Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky

Dom doesn't really have time for boys. Between filling out her college applications, participating in her school's science quiz team, and hanging out with her parents, her schedule is mostly booked. But when she meets local track star, Wes, all that goes out the window. She falls fast for this cute senior. Before long, they're e-mailing, IMing, and talking on the phone 24/7. The two experience a lot of firsts together. They even go as far as losing their virginities together on prom night. Everything seemed perfect. That fall they go off to different colleges and they try to make due with a long-distance relationship. They have to figure out whether distance is enough to keep them apart.

I thought this book was okay. It wasn't all that original. Some parts were pretty graphic. I liked the fact that Dom dealt with sex in a responsible and safe way. If you have little to no experience in the boy department (not unlike myself) this book will be very informative for you. I was able to relate to Dom more than I expected. I enjoyed reading Anatomy Of A Boyfriend. It was surprisingly well-written. I look forward to reading more books by Daria Snadowsky in the future. This book was a fun read and I recommend it.

4 out of 5 stars

Monday, December 22, 2008

Skinned by Robin Wasserman

Lia Kahn had it all - popularity, beauty, & money. When her self-driving car malfunctioned, all that changed. Her body was so badly injured that there was only one thing that could be done to save her life. Her family opted to have her brain downloaded into an artificial body. She won't ever truly feel again. She can't really die. Lia resents being the newest recipient of the download process. The "skinners" are frowned upon in society and everyone, including her supposed best friends and boyfriend, rejects the new Lia. Even her family eventually regrets what they did to her.

Lia and the others like her are viewed as freaks. Religious groups protest against the "abomination" modern science has created. But Lia wants nothing more than to fit in. Every relationship she has, even with Auden the social outcast, ends badly. How can she accept her new reality when no one else around her will?

I absolutely loved this book. I originally picked this book up at Borders because the cover caught my attention and now I'm glad I did! It was so unique and interesting I could hardly stand to put it down. I thought that it was very well written and that the characters were nicely developed. I'll definitely be buying the rest of the books in the trilogy when they come out! I absolutely recommend this book, especially if you're into futuristic or sci-fi books.

There are definitely some similarities between this book and the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld. But besides being set in the future and having surgery to alter peoples bodies, their plots and characters are very different. For instance, Tally is looking forward to her surgery but Lia didn't have a choice and is less than thrilled about it afterward. The recipients of the surgery in Skinned did not have any abilities or senses that normal humans don't have, unlike those in the Uglies books. If you liked the Uglies series, you will fall in love with Skinned as well!

4 out of 5 stars

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Insiders by J. Minter

: wild & reckless daredevil

David: the world's most sensitive jock

Arno: womanizer

Patch: M.I.A

Jonathan: mediator, peacemaker, "social glue"

Jonathan, Mickey, David, Arno, and Patch are best friends living in Manhattan.
Jonathan seems to be the only one that cares whether they stay friends or not so he isn't exactly elated when his cousin Kelli from St. Louis tags along to his friends' party with him. As if he needs someone else to keep track of. She proves she doesn't need taking care of, though, when she becomes the center of attention on the social scene. Making sure Kelli doesn't destroy every relationship in town is a full time job. The guys just can't stay away from her and the girls hate her for it.

Arno isn't helping the situation when he breaks the guy "code" and hooks up with David AND Jonathan's girlfriends. Despite his involvement with them, he falls madly in love with Kelli, the one girl who doesn't melt at the sight of him. David is crushed when he finds out who his girlfriend cheated on him with and is even caught crying in public (on national television, no less.) Jonathan has a crush on someone else anyway so he isn't really concerned.
Throughout the whole story, Jonathan tries to get a search party together to find Patch, who has been missing in action for longer than usual. The ending leaves things open for a sequel.

I did not like this book at all. It reminded me of Gossip Girl, except from a guys point of view. For me, it was hard to relate to because all the characters were either too mindless, too sensitive, stereotypical (player, jock), or just plain flat. It seemed like all they did was hook up with girls, party, and get upset over girls. Not much of a plot. I was very disappointed. If you like books like Gossip Girl & It Girl, this might be the kind of book you would enjoy. Although, I've read the first books in those series and I thought they were better than The Insiders.

2 out of 5 stars

Friday, December 19, 2008

Drum roll, please!

I'm proud to present my brand new blog! I want the main topic of it to be books -reviewing, looking forward to new releases, etc. I spend so much time reading I thought it would be an excellent idea to write some reviews to give potential readers a heads up on whether a book would be worth reading or not.

Okay, so let's start off by getting to know me a little. My name is Katie and I'm 16. I guess you could say I'm a little obsessed with books. It would also be fairly accurate to say that any genre works for me. Reading is basically my favorite thing to do (except now it looks like writing in this blog might be a close second!)

I particularly enjoy chick lit -I'm a sucker for a good love story =P
Lately scifi has appealed to me more than usual, though.
Oh, and I'm definitely a fan of everything vampire.

I can't say I have just one favorite author so here's a few that are pretty high up on the list:
-Stephenie Meyer (Twilight series)
-Kate Brian (Private series)
-Meg Cabot (All-American Girl series, Princess Diaries series)
-Ann Brashares (Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series)
-Scott Westerfeld (Uglies series)

A few of my favorite books are:
-Just Listen - Sarah Dessen
-Oh Baby - Randi Reisfeld
-Harry Potter series - J.K Rowling
-Twilight - Stephenie Meyer

Thanks for reading,