Monday, October 31, 2011

Win 19 Signed Books by Giving Thanks

I sat here pondering what book I'm most thankful for.  There are so many that came to my mind, but they were mainly my favorites and books that mean a lot because I read them when I was a child, but nothing stood out until I remembered the author that really started my love of literature with her beautiful writing.

Violet & Claire is not my favorite book of hers by far, but this is the book that opened the door to the world of Francesca Lia Block.  She remains my favorite author and she inspires me more than anyone else.

October RAK wrap-up

This month I received...

-Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
(From Krista @ Cubicle Blindness)
-City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
(From Tena @ Crazy Book Slut)

Unfortunately I haven't been able to send anything out due to the lack of income.
Hopefully I'll be able to soon.  Thank you to those who send me books!  I really appreciate it!

Review: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Title: Warm Bodies
Author: Isaac Marion
Publisher: Atria
Age Group: Adult
Category: Paranormal
Release date: April 26, 2011
Pages: 246 (ARC)
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Won

A zombie who yearns for a better life ends up falling in love—with a human—in this astonishingly original debut novel.

R is a zombie. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams. He doesn’t enjoy killing people; he enjoys riding escalators and listening to Frank Sinatra. He is a little different from his fellow Dead.

Not just another zombie novel, Warm Bodies is funny, scary, and deeply moving.

Warm Bodies is definitely one of the best books I've read this year.  The author shows a completely different side of the zombie- an emotional one.  The story follows a zombie called "R".  Like every other zombie, he can't remember the name he was called by when he was alive, other than the first letter.  Before Julie, he was like most of his kind.  He hunted and ate the living, but when he eats his last brain, that person's memories come to life in his own head.  This is where the feelings are really beginning to show.  When R meets a girl named Julie, his entire world is turned upside down.  This isn't your typical paranormal romance.

Julie, as it turns out, is the girlfriend of the boy R killed.  While consuming his brain, he realizes that he feels the need to protect her from his other zombie friends.  Terrified, she obeys him and follows him to his home- the airport, where many other zombies live as well.  The more time R spends with her, the more he learns how to communicate.  Finally, the others catch on and find this girl, so she tells R that she has to leave or else the humans will eventually find her and won't think twice about killing every zombie in sight.  R accompanies her on her journey back home and realizes that he has more feelings for her than he's felt in his entire undead life.

R is an incredible character.  He's sensitive and understanding and everything a zombie shouldn't be.  But it works.  His thoughts are so genuine and heartfelt and he's shown wanting to live a life more than anything.  Can a zombie ever fully "live" a life like the rest of us?

The story was very different from most I've read.  I was so intrigued with the plot that I could do nothing but focus on it.  I caught myself laughing and smiling a lot.  Why are zombies so funny to me?  There's a part that describes the zombie "sex" that really got me. There wasn't much romance, but that's good, because it didn't overshadow the most important part of the book.   Overall, the story takes a turn that I don't think anyone would expect from a novel about zombies.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Halloween Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

This week is all about Halloween!  This is the first year I'd started reading creepy/ paranormal books for Halloween and I loved it so much, I think I'll do the same for next year!  Half of my list will be books I read this October for Halloween and the other half will be books that I wish I could have read.

Books I've Read

1. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins- I love when a book can keep me interested and lead me through twists and turns.

2. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion- This isn't your typical zombie.  That being said, I absolutely love it.

3. Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender- This is by far the creepiest book I've read in a while.  I wasn't even expecting half the things that happened.

4. Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris- This was my first zombie book and Halloween read.  It was hilarious, interesting, and just about perfect.

5. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan- At first I really wasn't liking this book, but I pushed through the first chapters and I'm thankful that I did.  Can't wait to read the next books in the series!

             Books I wish I could read

1. Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey- Yes, another zombie book.  I think I'm obsessed.  This one is mixed with a bit of romance (really, when you think about it, most books are) but it's not your typical romance, Wren's boyfriend died and when he's suddenly back, she intends to keep him a secret, hiding him away.

                                 2. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake- Ghosts creep me out more than anything and the fact that the main character is hunting a ghost called "Anna Dressed in Blood" is even creepier.

3. Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce- I've been wanting to read this one forever.  It's a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, but it's about two sisters that seriously kick some werewolf ass. 

4. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin- This book has been on my wishlist a while and I'm still dying to read it.  I don't know how much it fits in to this list, but all your friends end up dead and you have no memory of it?  Creepy.

5. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs- Just look at that cover.  I was actually hoping to get to it this October, since I have the book, but I chose the books I showed above.

Thanks for stopping by!  What spooky books are on your Top Ten?

Teaser Tuesdays: Warm Bodies

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

I'm currently reading Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion, which I LOVE.  It's not your typical zombie book.  That being said, this main character has human emotions, which makes everything even more interesting.  I find myself giggling at just about every chapter I read.

Teaser one comes from page 47
What is wrong with me?  I stare at my hand, at its pale gray flesh, cool and stiff, and I dream it pink, warm and supple, able to guide and build and caress.  I dream my neurotic cells shrugging off their lethargy, inflating, lighting up like Christmas deep in my dark core.

Teaser two comes from page 203
They stand in the grassy field next to the freeway ramps.  Hundreds of them.  They mill around in the grass, staring at the sky or at nothing, their gray, sunken faces oddly serene.  But when the front line sees us they freeze, they pivot in our direction.  

Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to leave your teaser in the comments!  

Friday, October 21, 2011

Follow Friday and Book Blogger Hop

Follow Friday is hosted by Rachel of Parajunkee and Alison of Alison Can Read.

Question: What superhero is your alter-ego?
Does Buffy the Vampire Slayer count?  I mean, she saves the world.  And kicking evil's ass should be counted as a superpower.  If you want an actual superhero, I'll say Sailor Mars.  Just because I used to roleplay as her when my friends and I would pretend to be Sailor Scouts when were were about 7 years old.

The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jen at Crazy For Books.

Question: What is your favorite type of candy?I don't normally care for anything that isn't chocolate. That being said, my favorite type of chocolate is Dove. My favorite kind of candy bar is a Kit Kat.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Review: Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender

Title: Bad Girls Don't Die
Author: Katie Alender
Publisher:  Hyperion
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Paranormal
Release date: April 21st, 2009
Pages:  346 (Paperback)
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Source: Bought

When Alexis's little sister Kasey becomes obsessed with an antique doll, Alexis thinks nothing of it. Kasey is a weird kid. Period. Alexis is considered weird, too, by the kids in her high school, by her parents, even by her own Goth friends. Things get weirder, though, when the old house they live in starts changing. 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. Kasey is changing, too. Her blue eyes go green and she speaks in old-fashioned language, then forgets chunks of time.

Most disturbing of all is the dangerous new chip on Kasey's shoulder. The formerly gentle, doll-loving child is gone, and the new Kasey is angry. Alexis is the only one who can stop her sister — but what if that green-eyed girl isn't even Kasey anymore?

Alexis is a pink-haired outcast.  She may not have many friends, but she spends most of her time immersed in her photography.  At night, both Alexis and Kasey notice a faint glow that can't be explained.  It seemed to have been in the house, but through the viewfinder of her camera, Alexis realized that the light wasn't getting larger- it was getting closer.  The next night, it seems as though her neurotic, oversensitive little sister, Kasey, changed.  She's more put together and begins to speak differently.

Alexis can feel something different about the old house they've lived in since they were children, as if there was another presence.  When strange things begin to happen, she pushes them aside, figuring that her sister had just gone off the deep end.  Eventually, she realizes that there's more at stake than she realized.  Lives are being threatened and she has to get as much information as she can muster up in order to save the people she never thought she'd get involved with.

I was torn whether to give this book a 4 or a 5 for rating.  I enjoyed it a lot.  It was a fast-paced read and the author kept the story interesting, with entertaining characters, dialogue, and unexpected twists and turns in the plot.  Around the time I picked this book up, I didn't hear much about it and looking at the summary, I thought it was just about a creepy doll.  Call me slow, but it didn't occur to me that it was about possession until someone mentioned it.  There were even parts in the book where I had to stop reading just to gather what had just happened.

This was the perfect read for Halloween (especially since it took place in October, as well).  I wouldn't call it a scary book, but it definitely had its creepy moments.  You know, the ones where you check over your shoulder or snuggle a little closer to your cat.  Or maybe that's just me.

I will definitely be looking into the sequel, From Bad to Cursed.

Top Ten Tuesday: Titles and Covers

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

This week we list the books we bought purely because of their awesome titles and/or covers.  Ever since I was a child, I judged my books by their covers and I've always found that I end up liking the ones with nice covers and disliking the ones with covers I don't care for.  Since then, I've learned that sometimes even the books with pretty covers aren't always as good as you expect.  

1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Purely because the title is amazing.

2. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
I love the girl's face behind the
text and the fact that she's on the
actual hardcover when you take
the jacket off.

3. The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
I just love the puzzle pieces.  In person, the blue parts of the cover are shiny, as well.

4. Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev
The title caught my attention, 
but it was the cover that made me
fall in love.

5. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
The title caught my attention here, 
as well as the girl's bright green eyes.

6. Meridian by Amber Kizer
There's just something about 
covers with girls on them.  
The roses are a great touch.

7. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
Again, the cover sparkles in person.
Enough said.  :)

8. Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs
Oh, did I mention that I'm also a sucker for pretty colors?

9. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpartrick
Come on, even my mom saw this and exclaimed "That looks like a good book!" when she didn't even know what it's about.

10. XVI by Julia Karr
Again, girl behind the text.
Unfortunately, this one was the 
one that didn't live up to my expectations.

Thanks for stopping by!  What books are on your top ten?

Teaser Tuesdays: Bad Girls Don't Die

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

I love reading these paranormal books for Halloween.  This particular book caught my interest, but not because of the summary.  Purely because of the title and the cover.  It's eerie and little did I know that it was about demonic possession.  I'm just getting to the really interesting parts, so I stayed up as late as I could last night.  I have a feeling that I'll finish it today and if I do, that means my review will be up soon after that.

Without further ado, here are my teasers.

Teaser one comes from page 224
"'In this house,' Megan said.  'Something happened in this house.'
She collapsed.
Down the hall, Kasey's door slammed shut all by itself."

Teaser two comes from page 308
"Kasey, her hair mussed and her eyes glazed over (but blue), stood at dazed attention, like a zombie prison guard."

Thanks for stopping by!  Please leave the link to your Teaser Tuesday so I can check out what you're currently reading.  

Monday, October 17, 2011

Review: Youth in Revolt by C.D. Payne

Title: Youth in Revolt
Author: C.D. Payne
Publisher:  Main Street Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary
Release date: March 15th, 1996
Pages:  499 (Paperback)
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Bought

Youth in Revolt is the journals of Nick Twisp, California's most precocious diarist, whose ongoing struggles to make sense out of high school, deal with his divorced parents, and lose his virginity result in his transformation from an unassuming fourteen-year-old to a modern youth in open revolt. As his family splinters, worlds collide, and the police block all routes out of town, Nick must cope with economic deprivation, homelessness, the gulag of the public schools, a competitive type-A father, murderous canines, and an inconvenient hair trigger on his erectile response–all while vying ardently for the affections of the beauteous Sheeni Saunders, teenage goddess and ultimate intellectual goad.

After asking my boyfriend to review Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld (found here), I decided to ask him to review another one of the books he's read recently.  Thankfully, he agreed, so here's Santi's review of Youth in Revolt.

This book deals with the intricate, uncut, unrated, donut-filled, sex-focused life of the intelligent and Jean-Paul Belmondo-like rebellious teenager, Nick Twisp. A man (you’ll judge if he deserves such title) who unlike many kids his age enjoys Frank Sinatra, who stops at nothing for the love of his life and that, in my opinion, keeps the best damn diary ever written.

The story occurs mostly in California –with an off-site stop in India– and goes from mid-July to January in what has to be the most eventful six months in any teenager’s life. The main characters in the story apart from Nick are Sheeni, the most educated and French-loving girl that’s ever lived, also Nick’s One And Only Love; Leroy, a.k.a. Lefty (for genitalia orientation reasons), Nick’s parents, George and Estelle and many others that enter, leave and accompany –or torment– Nick’s chaotic existence while he tries to cope with love, poverty, virginity, California’s public schools, police prosecution, self-centered progenitors and their relationships and most importantly: extremely malevolent canines.

I found this book to be incredible from start to finish. It’s definitely brilliant! It’s written in a way that’s easy to read, just makes you want to keep going and going, while at the same time contains a lot of big words so you can expand your vocabulary (maybe that’s only for me, since I’m Colombian and my lexis is quite limited). The book is guaranteed to make you laugh, feel sad and anguished for a couple minutes and then laugh again even louder. It’s a complete tear jerker, except they won’t be sad tears.

I recommend this book to everyone that really wants to have a great laugh, enjoy an amazing story and take some notes on how to become an official badass. From me it gets a solid 5 out of 5 (I wanted 6 out of 5 but I don’t know if book reviewing standards allow that). So if you don’t have it, go get it now and read it!

What do you guys think?  Should I make him a regular on the blog?  ;)  Thanks for stopping by. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Another amazing giveaway on another blog!

Sparkling Reviews is having a Barnes and Noble Nook Touch giveaway in honor of Halloween!  She's generously throwing in a green case and a skin of your choice, as well.  This is the perfect present for any book lover that has yet to get an e-reader.  Click here to go to the blog and enter to win!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Title: The Forest of Hands and Teeth
Author: Carrie Ryan
Publisher:  Delacorte Press
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Paranormal, Dystopian
Release date: March 10th, 2009
Pages:  310 (Hardcover)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Won

In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?

The Forest of Hands and Teeth isn't a lighthearted story.  It's a lot more emotional than I originally expected it to be.  As soon as I read the first chapter, I realized that the writing was- although very beautiful- quite depressing.  The author explains the Unconsecrated were consuming everyone's neighbors, families, and friends and how it takes a toll on the people they stole from.  The Unconsecrated were zombies and at first, I was getting the feeling that the book was going to be similar to M. Night Shyamalan's movie, The Village.  That the Sisterhood created these zombies in order to keep those who lived in the village from straying into the rest of the world.  Of course, that wasn't the case.

I felt for Mary.  She lost family members to the Forest.  She didn't have the same choices that everyone else seemed to have.  The women are to be spoken for by a man, and if they don't marry, their other options are to live with their family or join the Sisterhood.  Mary was being pushed away by everyone she thought she could rely on, and when there's no where else to turn, she joins the Sisterhood and even they don't seem to want her.  The relationships in this book are very complicated.  They're very emotional and it ends up being a very hard decision for Mary, especially when she's battling more than her feelings.

When an outsider comes to the village, Mary realizes that they weren't the only village left, as most of them were lead to believe.  This gives her hopes that there may be some truth to the stories her mother used to tell her of the skyscrapers in New York and the ocean.  The outsider was kept a secret for a reason, and one day, when the fence finally gives out and the Unconsecrated begin to walk among them, Mary, her three friends, her brother and his wife, and a child they saved have no where to go but the path that leads them to the place the outsider came from.

When I first began reading the book, it was really losing my interest.  It was a different type of story that I'm used to, which threw me off although I've been wanting to read this book for a long time.  I kept pressing on, though, and I'm very satisfied with the outcome.  The characters had been very strong and it makes me wonder if there was a difference that the people of the village grew up with exposure and some knowledge of the Unconsecrated.  The story left me with a feeling of hope for Mary and definitely an interest to read the other books in the series.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Great giveaway fun on another blog!

A-Book-Lovers Review is having a spooktacular event in which you can enter to win up to 13 books.  It starts today on the 13th and continues through the rest of the month.  There will be a handful of amazing signed books and swag given away, so make sure to check it out by clicking on the picture above!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Review: Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Title: Hex Hall
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Publisher:  Hyperion Book CH
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Paranormal
Release date: March 2nd, 2010
Pages:  323 (Hardcover)
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Bought

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

Sophie Mercer is just like any other teenage girl.  The only difference is that she's a teen witch and she's exposed herself to humans too many times to count.  Having to move all across the United States, Sophie's made a handful of mistakes because she's still not exactly sure how to use her powers well.  Being raised by a human has got to be tough and although Sophie's mother has done enough research in order to keep her daughter safe, Sophie lands herself in Hecate- or better known as Hex- Hall, a school that serves to protect and teach young witches, shapeshifters, and faeries.

On her first day of school, Sophie comes to realize that she's very out of place here.  The other students had at least some sort of idea what they were doing.  Sophie couldn't even produce a spell that protected her from a pouncing werewolf.  As if she wasn't enough of an outcast, she was roomed with the only awesome pink-haired, manga-reading vampire on campus.  At least Jenna the vampire became Sophie's friend.  In fact, she was the only real friend she had at Hecate.  After three dark witches called The Trinity tried to get Sophie to join their coven and she denies, the popular girls have it out for her.

With a little help, Sophie enhances her skills with spells, begins crushing on one of her foe's boyfriends, and digs deeper to find out the secrets of her family's past.  I absolutely loved how unpredictable the story was for me.  I just kept getting shocked and even more excited as I read.  It's not every day that I say this, but I really enjoyed how the book ended, even if it had a cliffhanger and left you with unanswered questions.  Sophie was  a really great main character for me.  She was likable and even humorous.

When I first bought this book, I bought it with the idea that I'd get to it one day.  I'm so glad that I chose to read this one when I did.  The reason was because I was a little skeptical.  I haven't read many witch books, therefore I wasn't sure what to expect.  I definitely loved what I got.  Though the book didn't have much romance (what can I say?  I'm a sucker for the stuff), it turns out that I didn't need it.  Not in a book so mysterious and gripping as this.

Thanks for stopping by!  I'm sure you've read this book or at least heard of it.  Tell me your thoughts or leave a link to your review in the comments!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Review: Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris

Title: Bad Taste in Boys
Author: Carrie Harris
Publisher:  Delacorte Press
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Paranormal
Release date: July 12th, 2011
Pages:  201 (Hardcover)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Won

Someone's been a very bad zombie.

Kate Grable is horrified to find out that the football coach has given the team steroids. Worse yet, the steroids are having an unexpected effect, turning hot gridiron hunks into mindless flesh-eating zombies. No one is safe--not her cute crush Aaron, not her dorky brother, Jonah . . . not even Kate!

She's got to find an antidote--before her entire high school ends up eating each other. So Kate, her best girlfriend, Rocky, and Aaron stage a frantic battle to save their town. . . and stay hormonally human.

Bad Taste in Boys is laugh-out-loud funny.  Kate Grable isn't necessarily the most popular girl in school, and she's definitely not what you'd picture to be the bad-ass zombie fighting heroine.  She helps assist the school's football team with their injuries- and believe me, there are a lot of them since all the players get pummeled.  Let's just say they're not the best varsity football team.  When she finds unmarked vials in the medical cabinet, her suspicions begin to rise.  Kate only figured that the coach injected the team with steroids, nothing out of the norm such as a zombie virus.  Boy, was she wrong.

Kate is the type of main character that everyone will learn to love.  She's incredibly talented, witty, and though she's quite clumsy, she saves the day.  Kate's all around admirable.  That being said, I don't know how she does it.  I always knew that if there was such a thing as the zombie apocalypse, I'd be dead right away.  I'm not a fighter and I definitely can't rely on my wits in a situation like that.  She deserves a medal.

My favorite line was "Randy Ho- Gynecology and Acupuncture.  The thought of combining those particular services made me want to permanently staple my knees together."  There are various lines in the book that deserve a good chuckle.  I know I found myself giggling quite a few times.  There's just something hilarious about these mindless zombies.  Especially the ones with missing limbs.

I chose this book to be my first Halloween read because it was fairly short and I was looking for a good laugh (and I found more than one).  The next one I choose may be a little more on the creepy side, but I did enjoy this one a lot.  That being said, I'll be looking forward to the next book in the series, just to see what shenanigans Kate gets herself into next time.

If you've read this book, tell me what you thought or leave the link to your review in the comments!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Book Buying Ban 10/10/11 to ???

Hey guys!  As you should have figured by now, from the lack of IMM posts, I haven't been buying books.  We just can't afford them at the moment and I have so many on my TBR list, I figured that I should read, read, read. 

Book buying bans are depressing, especially when more and more amazing books are being released, so today I made a list of 70 books that I've been wanting to read for the past 7 months or so.  I don't know how long this ban will last, but I'm planning on reading a majority of the books I've listed among others that I may get from winning/ RAK.  I know a lot of people have been buying one book for every 10 that they read, but I have a feeling that the only time I'll be buying any is with the money I get from family at Christmas.  

To be honest, I'm quite excited. It's always better to take care of your TBR list before it becomes overwhelming.  My TBR list is only at 206 (which is good compared to some).  Hopefully after this, it will be easier to choose books to read.

If you want to see the list of books I'll be reading throughout the ban, there's a tab underneath the header of my blog.  If you're too lazy to scroll up, just click here.  :)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Review: The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Title: The DUFF
Author: Kody Keplinger
Publisher:  Little Brown/ Poppy
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary
Release date: September 7th, 2010
Pages:  280 (Hardcover)
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: RAK

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face. 

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.
Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

It seems as though I knew I would connect with this book from the moment I turned the first page.  From the first time Bianca gets called "The Duff", I knew that over the years, I felt the same.  I was the Duff of my friends.  Designated.  Ugly.  Fat.  Friend.

Bianca doesn't have a life to complain of.  She's got two of the best friends she could ask for and above average grades.  Although her friends have very different personalities and interests, she spends many weekends at the club with them, being the responsible one.  One night, one of the most popular boys (with the ladies, if you know what I mean) takes a seat next to her, striking up a conversation.  It turns out that he was doing so in order for her friends to notice and become attracted to him for taking pity on their "ugly fat friend".  Here is where The Duff comes in.  Wesley, the playboy, calls her "The Duff" and explains why, leaving Bianca even more irritated.  The thing is that over the next few days- months, even- she can't get the term out of her head.

I love Bianca.  She's sarcastic and witty and although she's got an attitude and she's quite pessimistic, it's refreshing not to read about someone who's whiny and unable to take care of themselves.  The friendship in this story sounds very familiar to my friendship with my best friend.  We've been there for each other since we were in kindergarten and we're very honest with each other, like Bianca and Casey.

Wesley was definitely not my favorite character at first.  I kept thinking, "What a dick!  Please, Bianca, stay away."  But now I realize that Wesley and Bianca really were perfect for each other.  They both seemed stubborn, lost, and intelligent.  After all, they helped each other through tough times.  The chemistry between these characters was very realistic, so kudos to Kody for that!

The book is everything I hoped it would be.  It was sexy, perfectly paced, and real.   
Have you read it?  Reviewed it?  Leave a comment/ link to a review so I can find out what you thought!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Every year in October I pull out my favorite Halloween related movies.  Elvira, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, A Nightmare on Elm Street, the ever so popular Halloween, and even some cheesy but much loved kid movies, such as Hocus Pocus and Halloweentown.  This year I'm changing it up a bit, because I'll be adding books into the mix.  I've chosen a random list of (mostly) paranormal themed books and as soon as I finish and review my current read, The DUFF by Kody Keplinger, I'll dive right in.  

-The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
-The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
-Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow
-Possessions by Nancy Holder
-The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
-Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
-The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
-Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
-Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alexander
-Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris
-Meridian by Amber Kizer
-Zombies vs. Unicorns by Holly Black and various authors

I already know that I won't read half of these books, but this is the list I'll be choosing from.  If you want, you can help me decide which ones to read first.  I can't wait!  I know that 16 books wouldn't be much of a challenge for some of you bloggers, but for the girl that reads 4 books a month, it sure will be for me.  Plus this is the last month I get to spend with my boyfriend before he goes back to Colombia...hmm...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Review: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Title: Leviathan
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Publisher:  Simon Pulse
Age Group: Middle-grade
Category: Steampunk
Release date: October 6th, 2009
Pages:  440 (Hardcover)
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Source: Won

Goodreads Summary:

Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men.

Deryn Sharp is a commoner, disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She's a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.

With World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.

Santiago's Thoughts:
First I wanna say, HI! For those who follow Chey, you probably know she has a Colombian boyfriend who is currently visiting her. Surprise! It is I who is writing this review instead of her. Fortunately for her, I’m a bookworm as well and ever since she got Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld in the mail, I had a desire for reading it. Also, I must say this is my first review and I’m not nearly as good a writer as Chey but bear with me.

The story has two main characters, Aleksandar Ferdinand (A real cheesy name in my opinion but pretty suited for the lad), son of the Archduke of Austria-Hungary and prince of the empire and Deryn Sharp, a girl whose ultimate passion is to fly. I really love when a book changes perspectives between two characters and Westerfeld did an amazing job with this aspect. You can go from the excitement of little prince Alek trying to escape his home with the help of Klopp, his piloting teacher and chief mechaniks of the family, and Wildcount Volger, his fencing master and loyal friend of his father, to the busy city life in London as seen from the eyes of Deryn or soon to be known as “Dylan”.

This book is situated in an alternative steampunk version of our Earth and combines a lot of real life situations, such as the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand (in this case Alek’s father) as an attempt from the Germans to start what would be called World War I, and other not so real characteristics like the existence of incredible technology in the form of Darwinist Frabrications or Clanker machines.
Before I started to read the book, Chey told me it was a Middle Grade book but even so I found it to be fascinating, with a great, action filled story, the characters are very complete and well thought, the two main ones both have a lot of grief bottled up inside but still carry a great impulse to keep going forward and helping others in their own ways. The secondary characters also play a major role in the story and tend to take the spotlight for themselves.

The book is not perfect but I liked it a lot and I seriously can’t wait to read Behemoth (If you have a copy you don’t want anymore be sure to send it my way ;D). This story gets a 4.5 from me and I recommend that you start with the series in case you haven’t already.
That’s it from me folks, take good care and be sure to check out and follow my beautiful girl, Chey (which you should by now, if not, click follow already!) and spread the word about this blog so we get 100+ followers and have an awesome giveaway!