Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Review: Ditched: A Love Story by Robin Mellom

Title: Ditched: A Love Story
Author: Robin Mellom
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Age Group: Young Adult
Category:  Contemporary Romance
Release date: January 10th, 2012
Pages: 288 (Hardcover)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Won

High school senior Justina Griffith was never the girl who dreamed of going to prom. Designer dresses and strappy heels? Not her thing. So she never expected her best friend, Ian Clark, to ask her. 

Now, as the sun rises over her small town, and with only the help of some opinionated ladies at the 7-Eleven, Justina must piece together – stain by stain on her thrift-store dress – exactly how she ended up dateless. A three-legged Chihuahua was involved. Along with a demolition derby-ready Cadillac. And there was that incident at the tattoo parlor. Plus the flying leap from Brian Sontag’s moving car…

But to get the whole story, Justina will have to face the boy who ditched her. And discover if losing out at prom can ultimately lead to true love..

Ditched is one of those hilariously truthful stories that highlights what it's like for the girl who doesn't have the perfect prom night.  Thankfully, both of the proms I went to were better than Justina's experiences, but I think Justina has a much more exciting story to tell, as I spent my first prom sulking because I didn't have a date.

When Justina's reputation is ruined thanks to a kissing game and one unlucky night at a party, she vows to stay away from boys until she befriends Ian.  Now she finds herself in a ditch on the side of the road with little recollection of what happened until she looks at the stains that cover her dress, the mud caked on her shoes, and her new tattoo.

The author's writing style is just enough to make you want to read the book multiple times.  Almost every chapter made me laugh out loud, and for that, I loved Justina's character.  She's a little naive and neurotic, but she tries her best when it comes to friends and especially her crush, Ian.  I can even say that she reminds me a lot of myself.  Throughout the book, it's only obvious that Ian cares for her but Justina keeps brushing it off because in her mind, it's only possible for him to want to be her friend.

A series of very, very unfortunate events occur, starting with the splatter of curry at the hem of her blue iridescent thrift-store dress, to the zipper completely breaking off, exposing almost everything to her classmates.  All of that humiliation in one night can certainly break a person, and at first, she thought it had.  Thankfully, this story turns out to have a happy ending.  If you're looking for a particularly light read to brighten your mood, Ditched is just for you.

Just for kicks, I've decided to share my own prom picture with you.  (My senior prom, not my junior prom where my hair was some funky mixture of black, brown, purple and pink.  Yikes!  :P)

Waiting on Wednesday #14

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by, Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on!

Title: Hanging by a Thread
Author: Sophie Littlefield
Release Date: September 11th, 2012
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Summer is the best part of the year in Winston, California, and the Fourth of July is the highlight of the season. But the perfect town Clare remembers has changed, and everyone is praying that this summer will be different from the last two—that this year's Fourth of July festival won't see one of their own vanish without a trace, leaving no leads and no suspects. The media are in a frenzy predicting a third disappearance, but the town depends on tourist dollars, so the residents of Winston are trying desperately to pretend nothing's wrong.

And they're not the only ones hiding something.

Clare, a seamstress who redesigns vintage clothing, has been blessed—or perhaps cursed—with a gift: she can see people's pasts when she touches their clothes. When she stumbles across a denim jacket that once belonged to Amanda Stavros, last year's Fourth of July victim, Clare sees her perfect town begin to come apart at the seams.

In a town where appearance means everything, how deep beneath the surface will Clare dig to uncover a murderer?

I'm so excited to watch the mystery unravel in this story, I almost don't want to have to wait until September to read it!

What awesome title are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Review: Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks

Title: Friends With Boys
Author: Faith Erin Hicks
Publisher: First Second 
Age Group: Young Adult
Category:  Graphic Novel
Release date: February 28th, 2012
Pages: 224 (Paperback)
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: For review

A coming-of-age tale with a spooky twist!

Maggie McKay hardly knows what to do with herself. After an idyllic childhood of homeschooling with her mother and rough-housing with her older brothers, it’s time for Maggie to face the outside world, all on her own. But that means facing high school first. And it also means solving the mystery of the melancholy ghost who has silently followed Maggie throughout her entire life. Maybe it even means making a new friend—one who isn’t one of her brothers.

Before I even knew what this book was about, I wanted it purely because of the title and cover.  As it turns out, it was a great decision.  The illustrations were quite appealing to me, as they reminded me a bit of some of the manga I used to read in middle school.  As for the story, the plot and characters ended up being sweet, fun, and very relatable.

Maggie is starting high school, but not the way she thought she would.  Unlike her brothers, she'd never really dealt with having to make friends because she'd been home-schooled up until now.  Maggie's 3 older brothers are great characters from the start.  The oldest serves as her mentor whenever she's about to have a nervous breakdown and the other two are hilarious twins trying to make sure that other people don't perceive them as the same person.

Of course, anyone who has dealt with being "the new kid" has sympathy for Maggie.  Starting at a new school is tough, especially when it's your first time, but I think kids in high school are much more judgmental than they are in elementary or middle school.  Soon enough, she befriends a brother and sister who prove to act very genuine towards her when she needs someone other than her own brothers.

The paranormal twist wasn't very large, but it was interesting, leading the three of them on a small adventure.  I did feel that the story ended a little too abruptly and I would like to see more from it.  Nonetheless, I enjoyed everything about the novel.  Although I've read it two months ago, everything is still fresh in my mind.  This will be one of those books I'll pick up again and reread when I'm having a rough day.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Review: Don't Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala

Title: Don't Breathe a Word
Author: Holly Cupala
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Category:  Contemporary Romance
Release date: January 3rd, 2012
Pages: 301 (ARC)
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Won

Joy Delamere is suffocating...

From asthma, which has nearly claimed her life. From her parents, who will do anything to keep that from happening. From delectably dangerous Asher, who is smothering her from the inside out.

Joy can take his words - tender words, cruel words - until the night they go too far.

Now, Joy will leave everything behind to find the one who has offered his help, a homeless boy called Creed. She will become someone else. She will learn to survive. She will breathe... if only she can get to Creed before it’s too late.

Set against the gritty backdrop of Seattle’s streets and a cast of characters with secrets of their own, Holly Cupala’s powerful new novel explores the subtleties of abuse, the meaning of love, and how far a girl will go to discover her own strength.

Holly Cupala creates an incredibly heart-wrenching story about a girl trying to live her life the way she wants to, without feeling trapped or limited because of her severe asthma.  She's always under constant watch.  Her parents walk on eggshells when it comes to her health and her boyfriend seems to care, but as we learn throughout the book, not everything is what it seems.

While first starting this book, you're left out on so many large factors that lead up to Joy's decision to run away from home.  You may say, "Well, her parents are just doing what's best for her," but sometimes it's not enough.  Secrets begin to unravel when Joy is out in the world, living on the streets with 3 other homeless teenagers.  They take pity on her, because most of them are certain she won't survive.  After all, she comes from a wealthy gated community and the only sense of survival she's dealt with comes from surviving asthma when it came close to killing her--twice.

The characters are very believable and each of them have a raw, emotional story to tell.  There's Creed, May, and Santos, and as you may have guessed it, Creed is the brooding musician that first steps up to help Joy (or Triste, as she chooses to call herself).  He's the protector of his street family, May is the only girl until Joy comes along, and Santos helps Joy out by getting her asthma medication when she's left with none.  No matter what, this family they've grown into have each other's backs, right?  But when Joy does something to save one of their lives, will her decision be the right one?  Could it ultimately help one of them or will it destroy all of them?

The author's writing style is edgy, compelling, and absolutely wonderful.  I've always loved stories that deal with the hardships that break a character, and it's not hard to see that Joy was broken and desperately trying to get away from her controlling, abusive boyfriend.  One simple look into both Joy's and Triste's lives and I instantly know that I'd never want to be put in her shoes.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Review: Past Perfect by Leila Sales

Title: Past Perfect
Author: Leila Sales
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Age Group: Young Adult
Category:  Contemporary Romance
Release date: October 4th, 2011
Pages: 306 (ebook)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Pulse It

All Chelsea wants to do this summer is hang out with her best friend, hone her talents as an ice cream connoisseur, and finally get over Ezra, the boy who broke her heart. But when Chelsea shows up for her summer job at Essex Historical Colonial Village (yes, really), it turns out Ezra’s working there too. Which makes moving on and forgetting Ezra a lot more complicated...even when Chelsea starts falling for someone new.

Maybe Chelsea should have known better than to think that a historical reenactment village could help her escape her past. But with Ezra all too present, and her new crush seeming all too off limits, all Chelsea knows is that she’s got a lot to figure out about love. Because those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it….

Past Perfect isn't what I was expecting it to be, but it was refreshing.  I enjoyed that it was about more than a girl and a boy; it was about friendship, loyalty, and trying to choose the right path when you come to a fork in the road.  Since Chelsea was raised by two parents who focus on history, it seems as though she can't stop focusing on her past in order to take advantage of the present.  Through her mistakes, you learn that looking at life through rose colored glasses doesn't always turn out for the best.

Though Chelsea has worked at the Essex Colonial Village with her parents every summer since she was a child, she wants to change it up and work in the mall with her best friend, Fiona.  Instead, she gives in and agrees to work at Essex, yet again, only because her parents want her to, Fiona wants her to, and Chelsea's never been much good when it comes to change.

When war begins between Essex and the Civil War Reenactmentland across the street, Chelsea finds herself between a rock and a hard place when she begins to fall for one of the civil warriors.  On one hand, this could be her chance to be happy again, to help forget about Ezra, but on the other hand, it would mean betraying her friends and family at Essex.  Though they begin to see each other secretly, this doesn't stop the pranks from coming until the fight between the two historical villages gets a little rough.

The characters were easy to relate to, especially Chelsea.  She was intelligent with quick wit and snarky comments, which made her a fun person to read about.  Her friends were equally as interesting, but the characters weren't what made the story stand out.  The hidden messages are what made an impact, and some definitely made me think about what life was like when I was her age.  Chelsea always looked at her ex as though they had the best times together, but when she really dug deep into the memories and thought about it, what they had wasn't all that special.  The odd thing was that I could relate to her 100% as I thought about my old high school boyfriend.

Overall, the romance is sweet and the summer Chelsea spent at Essex was a blast to imagine.  Watching the characters grow over the span of a few months was comforting, knowing that they made some mistakes and fixed them, learning not to regret a thing.  Though the ending was a bit of a miss for me after all of the excitement that took place, I still recommend this book to anyone who enjoys contemporary romance, a bit of history, and a quick read.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #13

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by, Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on!

Title: One Moment
Author: Kristina McBride
Release Date: June 26th, 2012
Publisher: EgmontUSA

This was supposed to be the best summer of Maggie’s life. Now it's the one she'd do anything to forget.

Maggie Reynolds remembers hanging out at the gorge with her closest friends after a blowout party the night before. She remembers climbing the trail hand in hand with her perfect boyfriend, Joey. She remembers that last kiss, soft, lingering, and meant to reassure her. So why can’t she remember what happened in the moment before they were supposed to dive? Why was she left cowering at the top of the cliff, while Joey floated in the water below – dead?

As Maggie’s memories return in snatches, nothing seems to make sense. Why was Joey acting so strangely at the party? Where did he go after taking her home? And if Joey was keeping these secrets, what else was he hiding?

This story sounds so intense and dramatic.  I love watching a mystery unravel through forgotten memories.

What awesome title are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Review: Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

Title: Bittersweet
Author: Sarah Ockler
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Age Group: Young Adult
Category:  Contemporary romance
Release date: January 3rd, 2012
Pages: 378 (ebook)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Pulse It

Once upon a time, Hudson knew exactly what her future looked like. Then a betrayal changed her life, and knocked her dreams to the ground. Now she’s a girl who doesn’t believe in second chances... a girl who stays under the radar by baking cupcakes at her mom’s diner and obsessing over what might have been.

So when things start looking up and she has another shot at her dreams, Hudson is equal parts hopeful and terrified. Of course, this is also the moment a cute, sweet guy walks into her life... and starts serving up some seriously mixed signals. She’s got a lot on her plate, and for a girl who’s been burned before, risking it all is easier said than done.

It’s time for Hudson to ask herself what she really wants, and how much she’s willing to sacrifice to get it. Because in a place where opportunities are fleeting, she knows this chance may very well be her last...

If I'm completely honest here, the entire reason I started reading this book was because of the cupcakes.  I don't even like cupcakes that much, really, but I always thought it would be fun to be a pastry chef, and now here's a girl that bakes cupcakes as a hobby and sells them at her mom's diner to rake in a few extra bucks.  Of course, that's not all Hudson is.  When she receives a letter in the mail about a skating competition after she quit over 3 years ago, she starts to train herself behind her mother's back.  After all, the winner will get a $50,000 scholarship, and Hudson would do anything to get out of this small town.  Unlike her mom, owning the diner isn't her dream and she doesn't want to feel trapped there like her dad felt before the divorce.

I loved that Sarah Ockler included a small description of each cupcake under the titles of the chapters.  Each one sounded delicious and made me want to bake, although I know mine would never come out tasting the way they sound.  The characters were so realistic and relatable to me, especially Hudson.  She's just trying to make everything in her life work, although sometimes she tends to pile a little too much on.  Even after being abandoned by her father and best friend, she still holds her head up and she has a great sense of humor that makes you laugh out loud.

While training for her own competition, she runs into (literally) one hunky hockey co-captain who begs her to help his technique in order to save the worst hockey team ever.  Of course, she agrees to because she feels some sort of connection with Josh, but ends up getting pulled into training the entire team who, as you may have guessed, don't take her seriously.  Ockler's descriptions of the boys' personalities were hilarious, but there were certain times where I felt it was a little much.  Granted, I've never hung out with jocks- I befriended the artists and musicians- but do they really all act that way?

Like many others, I do have this author's previous book, but unfortunately I put it down because it wasn't doing much for me.  After reading Bittersweet, I've decided to give Twenty Boy Summer another chance.  I definitely enjoy her writing style, which feels smooth and laid-back to me.  Anyone who enjoys a nice story about finding yourself would benefit from reading this book.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Review: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Iron King
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Age Group: Young Adult
Category:  Fantasy
Release date: February 1st, 2010
Pages: 363 (Paperback)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Won
Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

From the time Meghan Chase steps foot into the world of Faery, it's not hard to tell that fantasy is Julie Kagawa's strong suit.  I'd been wanting to start this series for over a year, and as it turns out, I'm glad I did.  She wastes no time jumping into the action and adventure, leaving no way for you to guess what will happen next.

When the story first begins, Meghan seems like a naive young girl.  She's turning sixteen and she feels like her family had forgotten about her, bringing you back to the familiar story of Molly Ringwald's character in Sixteen Candles.  There were points where I got annoyed with this character easily.  She's clumsy and a little ignorant; even I knew exactly what was happening around her when it came to both faeries and the real world.

On the day of her birthday, her little brother is switched with a Changeling and with the help of her best friend- who turns out to be a very old, well-known faerie himself- she decides to travel to the land of Faery and rescue Ethan.  Puck, as her friend Robbie now calls himself, begins leading her to the Seelie court to his King, but they get separated along the way and now Meghan is leading the adventure on her own.  Lost and alone, she gets mixed up with evil little creatures, a Grimalkin who aids her along the way, and the Prince of the Unseelie court.  Prince Ash is the enemy, but when she makes a deal with him, he promises to help her find her brother with a large price to pay.

I thought that the author did an incredible job portraying the realm and courts, the physical features of each creature and the different personalities.  Since I'd gone into the book knowing some things about the creatures that Julie Kagawa mentioned, it was refreshing to be thrown back into the world after years of drifting away from it.  Though it's not the best book I've read including fey, the ending left me wanting more.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

In My Mailbox #26

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren

Hey guys, I've been going through this reading/blogging slump.  I thought maybe reading a few awesome books would take me out of that, and it did for a few days, but now it's taking me about 8 days just to read the book I'm currently reading.  Hopefully I'll be back real soon, because I miss when blogging was the highlight of my day.  In the meantime, I'm here to share which books arrived in the mail this week.

-Zero by Tom Leveen
(For promotion from Random Buzzers)

-New Girl by Paige Harbison
(Won from Lesley @ My Keeper Shelf)

-Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck
(Won from Shana @ Sizzling Reads)

-Everneath by Brodi Ashton
(Won from Ashlie @ Bookish Novelties)

Also, for Valentine's Day, my boyfriend got me tea and a beautiful infuser mug!

I've tried each of the teas (Lemon Youkou Herbal, Blueberry Bliss Rooibos, and Youthberry/ Wild Orange Blossom) and they're simply amazing.  Not quite your usual Valentine's Day gift, but he remembered that I wanted to start drinking tea, so I thought it was very sweet of him.  ^_^

Thank you so much for stopping by!  What have you received in your mailbox lately?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Pandemonium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Category:  Dystopian/Romance
Release date: February 28th, 2012
Pages: 375 (ARC)
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Won

I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.

Although I thought Delirium was an entertaining read, I never would have thought that Pandemonium would leave me thinking about the story for hours and hours after finishing.  Lauren Oliver packs this book with more action, more romance, and more surprising twists.

After leaving her old life--and Alex--behind, Lena is found and rescued by a group of Invalids nearly 60 miles away from Portland.  After her savior, Raven, takes her in and nurses her back to health, she's taught how to survive in the Wilds.  She meets the others that live at the Homestead and learn what it's like to be in a real family, where each person helps in taking care of each other.  Though her life is beginning to look up from what it used to be, Lena still can't stop herself from thinking about Alex, about how it would be if he was still alive and by her side as planned.

She promises Raven that she will do whatever she needs to for her new family, which also means eventually making their way to the closest city in New York and living in disguise among the cured.  When Scavengers kidnap her and a well-known teenage boy named Julian, she has to team up with him in order to make it out alive, possibly spilling some secrets about the past along the way.

While I quite enjoyed Julian's character and story, I couldn't help myself from looking back to Alex and wishing he'd appear although it seems nearly impossible.  Lena finds out what it's like to survive on very little, to depend on herself, and to let go of what's gone.  By the end of Pandemonium, I was left aching for more; to find out what happens next.  The unbelievable cliffhanger confirmed what I was hoping throughout the entire book, yet I couldn't help but want more.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #12

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by, Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on!

Title: My Life in Black and White
Author: Natasha Friend
Release Date: June 28th, 2012
Publisher: Viking Juvenile

Lexi has always been beautiful, but her beauty is taken from her when she goes face-first through a car windshield. Now Lexi has to dig deep to figure out how to define herself. Help on her journey of self-discovery comes from unexpected sources: Ruth, Lexi’s sister, “the smart one” to Lexi’s “the pretty one,” with whom Lexi has never been close; and Theo, a classmate who is still recovering from his sister’s recent death from anorexia.

I love beautiful, emotional stories, so I'm hoping I'll love this one!

What awesome title are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Free for Kindle- The Darkening Dream by Andy Gavin

The Darkening Dream is a new dark fantasy novel written by Andy Gavin, creator of Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter.  The ebook will be free on Amazon Kindle for two days only, February 7th and 8th.

Even as the modern world pushes the supernatural aside in favor of science and steel, the old ways remain. God, demon, monster, and sorcerer alike plot to regain what was theirs.

1913, Salem, Massachusetts – Sarah Engelmann’s life is full of friends, books, and avoiding the pressure to choose a husband, until an ominous vision and the haunting call of an otherworldly trumpet shake her. When she stumbles across a gruesome corpse, she fears that her vision was more of a premonition. And when she sees the murdered boy moving through the crowd at an amusement park, Sarah is thrust into a dark battle she does not understand.

With the help of Alex, an attractive Greek immigrant who knows a startling amount about the undead, Sarah sets out to uncover the truth. Their quest takes them to the factory mills of Salem, on a midnight boat ride to spy on an eerie coastal lair, and back, unexpectedly, to their own homes. What can Alex’s elderly, vampire-hunting grandfather and Sarah’s own rabbi father tell them? And what do Sarah’s continuing visions reveal?

No less than Gabriel’s Trumpet, the tool that will announce the End of Days, is at stake, and the forces that have banded to recover it include a 900 year-old vampire, a trio of disgruntled Egyptian gods, and a demon-loving Puritan minister. At the center of this swirling cast is Sarah, who must fight a millennia-old battle against unspeakable forces, knowing the ultimate prize might be her very soul.

If you're interested in getting a taste of the story, feel free to read two sample chapters.
To learn more about the author himself, visit his website.

To get your free copy, go to this Amazon page and click "Buy Now"- but hurry, this offer is only good for today and tomorrow!  If you don't have a Kindle, there's no need to miss out, because you can download free readers for your computer or phone here.  Enjoy!  :)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Follower Love Giveaway Hop!

Hello, lovelies, welcome!  This is the first hop I've ever participated in, and if all goes well, I'll be delighted to participate in more.  Thanks to I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Rachel Renee Anderson for hosting!

Since it's almost Valentines Day, I decided that I wanted to spread the love of one of my favorite contemporary romances!  Lets face it, who wouldn't want either Cricket Bell or Alex Fuentes for their V-Day dates?

If you have both of these books already (yay!) or they're simply not your thing (boo!) then I am pleased to let you know that I am offering $10 for any book of your choice.

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Category:  Dystopian/Romance
Release date: February 1st, 2011
Pages: 441 (Hardcover)
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Bought

Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

When I first opened this book, the only things I knew about Delirium were that many people think it's incredible and that it has a killer cliffhanger.  For the most part it was a great story and I can see why people would be dying to see where the next book picks up, but for some reason, it wasn't completely what I was expecting.  That's not a bad thing in the least.

Lena lives in a gated community.  For years, the government has been shielding its people from a disease called Amor Deleria Nervosa, or what we commonly refer to as love.  Children are taught the consequences of being infected and naturally, they fear it.  When you turn eighteen, you undergo surgery where they essentially remove all feelings of love and admiration.  You are paired with a person of the opposite sex, who has also had the surgery, and make a life with them with no danger of ever feeling out of control.  After all, Lena knows the kind of damage that this disease can do.  Her mother died because of it, so she's determined to get the surgery over.  She counts the days until its scheduled date.

This is, of course, until she meets a boy named Alex.  By the looks of his scar, he's cured, which means that he's safe.  Only when she begins to feel the effects of Amor Deliria Nervosa does she realize that she's in for a lot more than she bargained for.  Could it be that everyone she thought cared for her, protected her, lied for nearly ten years?  That the government was protecting them from something they didn't need protection from?  That the symptoms and consequences they've been warned about since they were children have been made into something it's not?

Lauren Oliver has created a world where it's not safe to show your true feelings.  I really love the thought and deep meaning put into the story.  It is true that love is sort of this disease we all tend to suffer from, but it's the most wonderful disease I've ever known.  The change in appetite, increased heart rate, inability to think straight- they could all definitely be classified as symptoms to something threatening.  I loved wandering down the path with Lena while she traded ignorance for courage.  Everything about her mindset changed completely by the end of the story.  One thing I can say for sure is that I'm very thankful to have a copy of Pandemonium at hand, because I just have to find out what happens between her and Alex, since Delirium has such a bittersweet ending.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

In My Mailbox #25

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren

This week I didn't get anything in my mailbox, but I forgot to share the books I got last week, so here they are!


-Fateful by Claudia Gray
-Vixen by Jillian Larkin
-Divergent by Veronica Roth
(ARCs from Erin @ Bookish in a Box)

-Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
(From Emma @ Lost in a YA Book)

Thank you so much for stopping by!  What have you received in your mailbox lately?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Review: New Girl by Paige Harbison

Title: New Girl
Author: Paige Harbison
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Category:  Contemporary Romance/ Mystery
Release date: January 31st, 2012
Pages: 304 (eGalley)
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Source: NetGalley

They call me 'New Girl'...

Ever since I arrived at exclusive, prestigious Manderly Academy, that’s who I am. New girl. Unknown. But not unnoticed—because of her.

Becca Normandy—that’s the name on everyone’s lips. The girl whose picture I see everywhere. The girl I can’t compare to. I mean, her going missing is the only reason a spot opened up for me at the academy. And everyone stares at me like it’s my fault.

Except for Max Holloway—the boy whose name shouldn’t be spoken. At least, not by me. Everyone thinks of him as Becca’s boyfriend but she’s gone, and here I am, replacing her. I wish it were that easy. Sometimes, when I think of Max, I can imagine how Becca’s life was so much better than mine could ever be.

And maybe she’s still out there, waiting to take it back.

I found myself a bit disappointed that I only liked this book.  Don't get me wrong, the writing is nice and some of the characters are a little more relatable than others, but the story was just kind of bland.  I found myself bored with the fact that pretty much everyone gave the new girl (also nameless until the end of the book, but that didn't bother me, much) a hard time and that's what the entire book consisted of.  It wouldn't have been bad, but it felt like it was just repeating the same question over and over again, "why can't they see the new girl as an individual?"

The new girl replaces Rebecca Normandy after she went missing last school year, which stirs up a lot of drama within the halls of Manderly.  There's a part of me that felt bad for the new girl, but I don't understand why she just didn't tell her parents that she didn't want to go to Manderly in the first place.  Sure, maybe she did a few years back, but things change.  I suppose she didn't want to disappoint them, but I feel like they would be understanding.  Instead, she spent most of the year being tortured by her peers, wishing she could just go back home.

I enjoyed the two different point of views, as I always do.  Obviously Becca wasn't as perfect as she led everyone to believe, so I found that interesting to learn the more I read.  She was notorious for telling lies that everyone around her ate up, even after her disappearance.  When the new girl takes an interest in Becca's old boyfriend, they scorn her with narrowed eyes and tell her that Becca will be back, even if no one knows that for sure.  How could someone make such an impact on the entire school in the span of one year?

For me, the ending could have been much, much better.  Basically, it gave me something that I had a feeling would happen from the start.  I suppose I expected too much.  I didn't find myself reading because I was interested, but more because I just wanted to get it done with, which is never something I like to admit.  New Girl ended up being one of those books that are both a hit and miss.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February TBR

Last month I only got 6 books read and while that seems to be the average number for me, I'd like to add a few more for February in hopes of reading more.  There are just days lately where I don't feel like reading, blogging, or doing much of anything, but I'm trying my best to get out of that.

-Delirium by Lauren Oliver
-Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
-The Iron King by Julia Kagawa
-Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
-Across the Universe by Beth Revis
-Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig
-Fateful by Claudia Gray
-Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins
-The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle
-White Cat by Holly Black

It may be a bit silly to add 4 more books, but it is possible for me, even if this month has a few less days than last month (though this year is a leap year, so it gives me one extra day!)

I may also switch books depending if I get any books I'm absolutely lusting for.

Which books are on your TBR for this month?  Are they new titles or have they been sitting on your shelves for a while like some of mine?

Waiting on Wednesday #11

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by, Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on!

Title: My Life Next Door
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Release Date: June 14th, 2012
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers

"One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time."

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen year old Samantha wishes she was one of them… until the day Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything.

Jase can sense that his beautiful neighbor is missing something in her sterile home, and as the two fall fiercely in love, his family makes her one of their own.

But when the bottom drops out of Sam's world, which perfect family will save her–and will her perfect love survive?

Set among the haves and have-nots of a coastal New England town, My LIFE NEXT DOOR captures the angst, the heartache, and the raw-nerve emotions of first time love—and biting loss

I LOVE a good contemporary romance.  After all, it's my favorite genre.  Plus it comes out two days before my birthday! 

What awesome title are you waiting for this Wednesday?