Friday, September 30, 2011

Review: Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

Title:  Rules of Attraction
Author: Simone Elkeles
Publisher:  Walker & Company
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary/ Romance
Release date: April 27th, 2010
Pages:  324 (Paperback)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Gift

Goodreads Summary:
When Carlos Fuentes returns to America after living in Mexico for a year, he doesn’t want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him at a high school in Colorado . Carlos likes living his life on the edge and wants to carve his own path—just like Alex did. Then he meets Kiara Westford. She doesn’t talk much and is completely intimidated by Carlos’ wild ways. As they get to know one another, Carlos assumes Kiara thinks she’s too good for him, and refuses to admit that she might be getting to him. But he soon realizes that being himself is exactly what Kiara needs right now.

My Thoughts:
As you should already know if you've read my review of Perfect Chemistry, I love the Fuentes brothers and the stories Elkeles tells about their lives.  Unfortunately, my expectations were too high for Rules of Attraction.  Unlike the two days it took me to finish the first in the series, this one took me more than ten.  While this book has many similarities to Perfect Chemistry, there are quite some differences.  I didn't feel as though I was reading the same story over and over again, which is always a plus.  To be honest, I really didn't like Carlos at the beginning.  Sure, he and Alex had the same mentality when they were teenagers, but for some reason, Alex was just more appealing. 

Almost as soon as he moves to Colorado, Carlos finds himself in trouble with the law.  Alex's professor takes him in as if he were his own in order to get him on the right track.  He doesn't want to follow the rules and he'd definitely much rather be shipped back to Mexico, but his life takes an unexpected turn.  The professor's daughter, Kiara, stood up to Carlos when most people would shy away.  They pulled pranks on one another and tried to get under each other's skin.  She made a name for herself and eventually, she's all Carlos could think about.  When a popular girl shows unwanted interest in Carlos, Kiara agrees to having a fake relationship with him at school.  In return, she wanted him to take her to Homecoming, because she'd never gone to a high school dance.  

 Somehow, the fake relationship turned into real feelings.  Kiara saw something genuine in Carlos at certain times, like when he was around her 6 year old brother.  It was like he was lowering the shield he kept up 24/7.  Carlos, although he hated Kiara at first, felt like he needed to protect her.  For me, the pacing was a little too fast when it came to the romance.  Perfect Chemistry gave me butterflies.  The romance between Carlos and Kiara felt nothing like it did between Alex and Brittany.

I did love seeing the development of the characters.  In the beginning, Kiara was trying to find herself. Carlos thought he knew who he was and what he wanted, but all of that changed in just a few short months.  The ending was very predictable but nice, nonetheless.  I could have done without the epilogue, though.  I think I would have preferred if the author just told us about their lives at the end of the series.

Thanks for stopping by!  I'm going to try to read a lot of spooky books in October, so come back for more reviews.  My boyfriend will also be writing a review for Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld this weekend, so make sure to check that out as well.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Unabridged Andra's 500 Follower Giveaway!

Yes, the title says it all!  Unabridged Andra is giving away a box of books for reaching over 500 followers.  Most of the books will be a surprise, but there are two amazing titles that will certainly be in there.  Go over to her blog to find out which ones!

Good luck to everyone that enters!

Monday, September 19, 2011

In My Mailbox #16

It really has been a while, hasn't it?  Over a month since I've posted an IMM and I've got quite a bit to share with you guys.  I've missed blogging!  I still won't be around much until November or so but I'm definitely going to make a point to come around more often.


-Die for Me by Amy Plum
-Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
-The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
-Never Have I Ever by Sara Shepard
-Zombies vs. Unicorns by Holly Black and various authors
-Want to go Private? by Sarah Darer Littman
-Wither by Lauren DeStefano
-I Am Number Four by Pitticus Lore

I won these lovelies from Genna Sarnak.
I loved that I got to choose 8 books that I really wanted.  You may have seen my review of one of these books already.  If not, take a look.  The link to it is here.

-The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong
-Summer and the City by Candace Bushnell
-Plague by Michael Grant
-Roadside Assistance by Amy Clipston
-Insight by Diana Greenwood
-Afterlife by Claudia Gray
-Enclave by Ann Aguirre

I won these in April or May and by September I didn't think they'd actually get here, but there they were in a giant box along with a bag.  Thanks TeenReads!

-The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger
(For RAK from Capillya)
-In The Woods by Tana French
(Won from Kirby Reed)

I also won Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld from Jessica at The Tales Compendium, but I was unable to take a photo because my boyfriend stole it as soon as I got it in the mail...

Speaking of my boyfriend, he bought me Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles


-Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson
-Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev
-Perchance to Dream by Lisa Mantchev
-Cardcaptor Sakura Omnibus Vol. 1
-How They Met and Other Stories by David Levithan
-The Full Spectrum by David Levithan

-The Vampires Assistant and Other Tales by Darren Shan
-Morganville Vampires Vol. 2 by Rachel Caine
-Peeps by Scott Westerfeld
-Love is Hell by Melissa Marr and various authors
-Kisses from Hell by Kristin Cast and various authors

and finally, we bought a vegetarian cookbook because we were running out of ideas of what to make my boyfriend to eat for dinner.  Plus it was on everything looked super yummy in it.

Thanks for stopping by!
If you want, you can leave the links to your IMMs from this past week and I'll check them out!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

How do you keep your journals?

Journals have so many incredible uses.  Some use them to express their art, some make lists in them, and most popular- to write thoughts.

I recently received a gorgeous leather bound journal and although I've always wanted one, a part of me is a little afraid to start using it because I'm not sure what I want to use it for.  I've done the whole journal-writing thing, especially in high school.  Looking back on them now, they're just embarrassing.

I also don't know if I want to draw/paint in it because I'm very prone to screwing up and I definitely don't want to ruin it.

I just wanted to ask, do you keep a journal?

Do you write thoughts, dreams, quotes, and lists in it?
or are you more on the artsy side and keep one for that?

What else should I consider using my journal for?
Finally, have you ever been afraid to use your journals, notebooks, or sketchbooks?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Review: Want To Go Private? by Sarah Darer Littman

Title:  Want To Go Private?
Author: Sarah Darer Littman
Publisher:  Scholastic Press
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary
Release date: August 1st, 2011
Pages:  330 (ARC)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Won

Goodreads Summary:

Abby and Luke chat online. They've never met. But they are going to. Soon.
Abby is starting high school—it should be exciting, so why doesn't she care? Everyone tells her to "make an effort," but why can't she just be herself? Abby quickly feels like she's losing a grip on her once-happy life. The only thing she cares about anymore is talking to Luke, a guy she met online, who understands. It feels dangerous and yet good to chat with Luke—he is her secret, and she's his. Then Luke asks her to meet him, and she does. But Luke isn't who he says he is. When Abby goes missing, everyone is left to put together the pieces. If they don't, they'll never see Abby again.

My Thoughts:
It's safe to say that this book turned out almost exactly as I expected. I'm not saying that I didn't enjoy it. Want To Go Private? seemed eerily familiar as I can relate to Abby to an extent. In the story, she's scared to start high school and it seems that when she does, her best friend is slipping away from her. In a vulnerable state, it's easy to trust those who will listen to you, especially if no one else will. As the story went on, it turns into this nightmare that many- but not enough- teenagers have. When you hear about internet predators, you automatically think "that could never happen to me". Though it may not be likely, it can happen to anyone, no matter how intelligent they are. The main character, for example, gets straight A's. Her grades only begin to slip once she begins being manipulated by this stranger over the internet.

As a teenager, it's easy to become overwhelmed. Abby obeyed her parents, got good grades, and never had to worry about losing friends until she began high school; this new, crucial stage of her life. Her mother seems to nag her constantly and her father is so busy at work, he barely makes it home in time for dinner. Just in time, she meets this boy online who seems to be the only one she can turn to when things get rough. He and she are so alike, it's unbelievable. The more they talk to each other, the more he seems to understand and even care about her. That's when he makes her believe that she has to cut herself off from her best friend, her family, and even the boy sits next to in science. Finally, Abby finds herself doing things that could damage relationships between her and her friends and family. She may even damage her life.

Overall, this was a great read. I've been using the internet ever since I was ten years old, and I can say that I've talked to my fair share of creeps in that time. Most of all, this book reminded me of a man I conversed with for a few months when I was 17 and made many similar mistakes as Abby, which may be why I was so intrigued while reading this book. It definitely makes me wonder, "what if that happened to me?" This isn't a subject that should be taken lightly and I hope that many people of all ages will pick this book up and read it, for their own sake or even their children's sake. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

No more IMMs for Chey?

I just wanted to share why I won't be doing any more IMMs for a while.  

This morning I woke up to the news that my mom lost her well-paying job.  She and I have been alone since my dad passed away a few years back, so we only have each other to depend on.  This means that we're going to have to be more careful with our money, using it for only necessities.

As much as I want to believe that books are a necessity, I just can't go and spend the money we need on them.  Maybe this is a good thing.  Now I can catch up on reading all of the books I've been putting to the side.

Hopefully we'll bounce back quickly and this won't be much of a problem.
*fingers crossed*