Thursday, December 31, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (19)

The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June by Robin Benway
Publisher: Razorbill
Pub. Date: August 3, 2010
Three sisters, three extraordinary, life-changing powers!

I hugged my sisters and they fit against my sides like two jigsaw pieces that would never fit anywhere else. I couldn’t imagine ever letting them go again, like releasing them would be to surrender the best parts of myself.

Three sisters share a magical, unshakable bond in this witty high-concept novel from the critically acclaimed author of Audrey, Wait! Around the time of their parents’ divorce, sisters April, May, and June recover special powers from childhood—powers that come in handy navigating the hell that is high school. Powers that help them cope with the hardest year of their lives. But could they have a greater purpose?

April, the oldest and a bit of a worrier, can see the future. Middle-child May can literally disappear. And baby June reads minds—everyone’s but her own. When April gets a vision of disaster, the girls come together to save the day and reconcile their strained family. They realize that no matter what happens, powers or no powers, they’ll always have each other.

Because there’s one thing stronger than magic: sisterhood.
Having recently read Audrey, Wait! and LOVED it, I'm so excited to read Robin Benway's latest. The synopsis looks super-interesting anyway. Bring it on!

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I was interviewed!

Check out my interview at Sarah Ockler's blog's Flip It Friday Feature here!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Completed Challenge: 100+ Reading Challenge

Last night I finished reading my 100th book of 2009! I have to admit, I'm pretty proud of myself. I never thought I could have read this many books.

Check out the list! It's in opposite order; # 100 I read in January and #1 I read in December.

    * 1. Violet in Private by Melissa Walker
    * 2. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
    * 3. The Christopher Killer by Alane Ferguson
    * 4. This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
    * 5. Chosen by P.C. and Kristin Cast
    * 6. Violet by Design by Melissa Walker
    * 7. Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
    * 8. The Final Warning (Maximum Ride, Book 4) by James Patterson
    * 9. Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports (Maximum Ride, Book 3) by James Patterson
    * 10. Sophomore Undercover by Ben Esch
    * 11. Beige by Cecil Castellucci
    * 12. Duplikate by Cherry Cheva
    * 13. Beautiful World by Anastasia Hollings
    * 14. The River by Mary Jane Beaufrand
    * 15. An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness by Kay Redfield Jamison
    * 16. Glass by Ellen Hopkins
    * 17. Miss Match by Wendy Toliver
    * 18. Derby Girl by Shauna Cross
    * 19. Little Black Lies by Tish Cohen
    * 20. I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder
    * 21. Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen
    * 22. Witch & Wizard by James Patterson
    * 23. Demon Princess: Reign or Shine by Michelle Rowen
    * 24. Ash by Malinda Lo
    * 25. The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing by M.T Anderson
    * 26. Up All Night by Various Authors
    * 27. Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender
    * 28. Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
    * 29. Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations by Alex & Brett Harris
    * 30. Breaking Up Is Hard to Do by Lynda Sandoval, Niki Burnham, Ellen Hopkins, and Terri Clark
    * 31. The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl by Barry Lyga
    * 32. Adored by Cecily von Ziegesar
    * 33. My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent
    * 34. Meridian by Amber Kizer
    * 35. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
    * 36. Crank by Ellen Hopkins
    * 37. Never Cry Werewolf by Heather Davis
    * 38. Willow by Julia Hoban
    * 39. Troy High by Shana Norris
    * 40. How It Ends by Laura Wiess
    * 41. Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
    * 42. Far From You by Lisa Shroeder
    * 43. Donut Days by Lara Zielin
    * 44. I Know It's Over by C.K Kelly Martin
    * 45. Secrets of Truth & Beauty by Megan Frazer
    * 46. Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd edited by Holly Black & Cecil Castellucci
    * 47. Being Nikki by Meg Cabot
    * 48. And Then Everything Unraveled by Jennifer Sturman
    * 49. School's Out - Forever (Maximum Ride, Book 2) by James Patterson
    * 50. The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride, Book 1) by James Patterson
    * 51. The Uninvited by Tim Wynne-Jones
    * 52. Switch by Carol Snow
    * 53. Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
    * 54. Hidden Voices by Pat Lowery Collins
    * 55. The Elite by Jennifer Banash
    * 56. This Is What I Want to Tell You by Heather Duffy Stone
    * 57. I'd Tell You I Love You, but Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
    * 58. Lovestruck Summer by Melissa Walker
    * 59. Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers
    * 60. Cold Hands, Warm Heart by Jill Wolfson
    * 61. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
    * 62. One Lonely Degree by C.K. Kelly Martin
    * 63. The Devouring #2: Soulstice by Simon Holt
    * 64. The Devouring by Simon Holt
    * 65. Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs
    * 66. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
    * 67. Band Geek Love by Josie Bloss
    * 68. A Kiss In Time by Alex Flinn
    * 69. Violet on the Runway by Melissa Walker
    * 70. Shrinking Violet by Danielle Joseph
    * 71. A Map of the Known World by Lisa Ann Sandell
    * 72. Airhead by Meg Cabot
    * 73. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
    * 74. True Believer by Nicholas Sparks
    * 75. Mackenzie, Lost and Found by Deborah Kerbel
    * 76. The Shape of Water by Anne Spollen
    * 77. Breaking Up Is Hard To Do by Anne Dayton & May Vanderbilt
    * 78. The Miracle Girls by Anne Dayton & May Vanderbilt
    * 79. Fairest of Them All by Jan Blazanin
    * 80. Bras & Broomsticks by Sarah Mlynowski
    * 81. TMI by Sarah Quigley
    * 82. The Fall of Candy Corn by Debbie Viguié
    * 83. Absolutely Maybe by Lisa Yee
    * 84. Wherever Nina Lies by Lynn Weingarten
    * 85. The ABC's of Kissing Boys by Tina Ferraro
    * 86. Sophomore Switch by Abby McDonald
    * 87. Daugter of the Flames by Zoë Marriott
    * 88. Nights In Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks
    * 89. Zombie Queen of Newbury High by Amanda Ashby
    * 90. Kisses and Lies by Lauren Henderson
    * 91. Kiss Me Kill Me by Lauren Henderson
    * 92. Boy Minus Girl by Richard Uhlig
    * 93. The Summer of Cotton Candy by Debbie Viguié
    * 94. It's All About Us by Shelley Adina
    * 95. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
    * 96. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
    * 97. Go Long! by Ronde Barber & Tiki Barber with Paul Mantell
    * 98. Handcuffs by Bethany Griffin
    * 99. Betrayed by P.C. & Kristin Cast
    * 100. How To Ditch Your Fairy by Justin Larbalestier

One Year Anniversary!

I just realized that Friday was my blog's one year anniversary! I just wanted to thank everyone who reads my blog and keeps me going. I may decide to run a contest in the next week to celebrate. Check back and see!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

My Top 10 Most Rereadable List

I love a good book more than anything, as you can tell from this blog. But when I look back at all the books I read this year, the ones that stand out most are the ones I'd like to reread again. Now, if you read books very often you know that some books are just more satisfying than others. For me, the mark of a superior novel is how much I can see myself rereading the book in the future. After finishing some books my thought process sounds like "hmm..that was good. But not amazing. It didn't knock my socks off. On to the next one." However, in contrast, when finishing up others my thoughts are more like "Holy crap! That was amazing. This author is a rock star!" You know, lots of capital letters and exclamation points.

So now I will share my top 10 most rereadable list. This list consists of the most memorable books I've read in 2009. They might not have been released this year, although many of them are debuts. I'm on my 99th book of this year so I feel that I have a fairly large frame of reference and can speak with some authority on this. Some I've reviewed and others I haven't gotten to yet. Check it out:

1. Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
2. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
3. Meridian by Amber Kizer
4. Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender
5. Derby Girl (Whip It) by Shauna Cross
6. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
7. Violet by Design by Melissa Walker
8. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
9. Beige by Cecil Castellucci
10. Willow by Julia Hoban

I hope that this list was helpful to you! Please be aware that this list is purely my personal opinion so please don't be offended if your favorite book is not listed.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

2010 Reading Challenges

I've already announced that I'll be taking part in the 2010 YA debut author challenge but since then I've decided to do a few more.

YA Reading Challenge hosted by J. Kaye's Book Blog:
I'll be doing the "stepping it up" section that requires 50 YA novels be read. I usually average more than 50 but with the other challenges I didn't want to be too ambitious.

Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge also hosted by J. Kaye's Book Blog:
I'm at the library all the time so why not join a challenge for it?

100+ Reading Challenge, again, hosted by J. Kaye's Book Blog:
I participated in this one in 2009 and it was so much fun I wanted to continue it in 2010!

There are probably official ones but I'm doing these just for myself even though I didn't sign up anywhere:
-Nonfiction challenge (at least 5)
-Classics challenge (at least 5)

What challenges are you participating in?

Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

In an explosion of his own making, Lucius blew his arms off. Now he has hooks. He chose hooks because they were cheaper. He chose hooks because he wouldn’t outgrow them so quickly. He chose hooks so that everyone would know he was different, so he would scare even himself.
Then he meets Aurora. The hooks don’t scare her. They don’t keep her away. In fact, they don’t make any difference at all to her. But to Lucius, they mean everything. They remind him of the beast he is inside. Perhaps Aurora is his Beauty, destined to set his soul free from its suffering. Or maybe she’s just a girl who needs love just like he does. 
Crazy Beautiful was a more serious read. The synopsis had me very intrigued from the start and I was very excited to find out more.

I just had to keep reading because I wanted to know so badly just what it was that made Aurora and Lucius gravitate towards each other. Their relationship was of the "against all odds" variety.

The whole hooks for hands aspect makes for an interesting story in itself. The characters, however, seemed very real. I could relate to all of them in some way. His hooks were also a sobering thing to think about. We do take out ahnds for granted every day - I am right now as I type this!

It was refreshing to see a character like Aurora that was so genuinely nice. She was a character that I wish I could bring to life and be friends with.

The ending was great and very satisfying.

Overall, Crazy Beautiful was poignant, well-written, and a read well worth your time. And on top of everything else, the cover was adorable.

4 stars!

Waiting On Wednesday (18)

The Lighter Side of Life and Death by C.K. Kelly Martin
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Pub. Date: May 25, 2010

Sixteen-year-old Mason Rice is having the night of his life. He's just delivered an incredible performance in the school play, basked in celebratory afterglow vibes at the party of the year, and lost his virginity to one of his best friends—the gorgeous but previously unobtainable Kat Medina. His dreams are coming true, and the future looks golden.

Unfortunately, Kat sees things very differently. Crossing the friendship line was a big mistake, and all she wants is to forget it and move on, even if that means forgetting Mason altogether. What's a guy to do? Well, if you're Mason, you hang your hopes on the first attractive twenty-three-year-old you cross paths with. At first Mason wonders if he's imagining the chemistry . . . until Colette invites him over to her apartment. Suddenly Mason's living in a whole new world.

I was initially attracted to this book because I've loved all the author's previous novels. The cover is gorgeous as well. Then I read the synopsis and immediately thought "I HAVE TO HAVE THIS!" I can't wait for its' release!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender

 Alexis thought she led a typically dysfunctional high school existence. Dysfunctional like her parents' marriage; her doll-crazy twelve-year-old sister, Kasey; and even her own anti-social, anti-cheerleader attitude. 

When a family fight results in some tearful sisterly bonding, Alexis realizes that her life is creeping from dysfunction into danger.  Kasey is acting stranger than ever: her blue eyes go green sometimes; she uses old-fashioned language; and she even loses track of chunks of time, claiming to know nothing about her strange behavior. Their old house is changing, too. Doors open and close by themselves; water boils on the unlit stove; and an unplugged air conditioner turns the house cold enough to see their breath in.

Alexis wants to think that it's all in her head, but soon, what she liked to think of as silly parlor tricks are becoming life-threatening—to her, her family, and to her budding relationship with the class president.  Alexis knows she's the only person who can stop Kasey — but what if that green-eyed girl isn't even Kasey anymore? 

Bad Girls Don't Die was a delightfully creepy read. I liked that the spook-factor happens gradually instead of jumping in right from the beginning. I think that made the story more believable and real to me.

Fans of scary stories will love BGDD. There's lots of unexpected plot twists to keep things interesting. You're always guessing what's going to happen next. Help comes from places that I never could have predicted. And, of course, there's an unlikely romance developing to balance out the creepiness.

I adored Alender's writing style. The ending was satisfying and tied things up well.

Overall, I was very satisfied with Bad Girls Don't Die. I can't wait to read more from Katie Alender!

5 stars!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

CSN Bookshelf Review

Awhile back I received a bookshelf from CSN to review. I've been so busy with school that I haven't had time lately to write down my thoughts. Now finals are over and I have a free minute. Unfortunately, my camera isn't working right now so I can't show you what the shelf looks like in my house but you can see the stock photo from the website here.

I was really impressed with how fast the shelf was shipped to my house. It only took a few days from the time I accepted the offer for it to arrive at my door. So if you're in a hurry and need your order fast, CSN has got you covered. This would come in handy especially around the winter holidays.

Setting it up was fairly simple as well. It came with detailed, easy-to-understand instructions. It took me less than an hour to get it put together. Although I'm sure someone who is more inclined to that sort of thing could do it much faster than I did.

It was quite sturdy and fit lots of books. It went with the furniture in my room well.

Overall, I was very satisfied with my bookshelf. Anything from CSN would be well worth the money. I would love to order more products from CSN in the future.

5 stars!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Prize Pack Contest Winner

The winner of my Darlene Ryan Prize Pack has been emailed.
Thanks to everyone who entered! Check back for more contests soon!