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A Written Rhapsody: May 2012

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Review: Scars by Cheryl Rainfield

"Kendra, fifteen, hasn't felt safe since she began to recall devastating memories of childhood sexual abuse, especially because she still can't remember the most important detail-- her abuser's identity. Frightened, Kendra believes someone is always watching and following her, leaving menacing messages only she understands. If she lets her guard down even for a minute, it could cost Kendra her life. To relieve the pressure, Kendra cuts; aside from her brilliantly expressive artwork, it's her only way of coping. Since her own mother is too self-absorbed to hear her cries for help, Kendra finds support in others instead: from her therapist and her art teacher, from Sandy, the close family friend who encourages her artwork, and from Meghan, the classmate who's becoming a friend and maybe more. But the truth about Kendra's abuse is just waiting to explode, with startling unforeseen consequences. Scars is the unforgettable story of one girl's frightening path to the truth."

Holy wow. This is one of the rawest books I've ever read. I can't say how realistic this book was really since I've never dealt with harming myself like Kendra, but her emotions were so realistically written that her pain was my pain. I literally felt painful when reading about things she'd do to herself. I've personally never felt that in a book I've read to the extent that this book took it to. 

This book has a suspense element to it that definitely kept ome reading to the very end. However, I probably would've read to the end regardless because that's how much emotion Cheryl Rainfield puts into every page. I loved how little bits of memory came out slowly because it's as if I was just as paranoid as Kendra trying to figure out who it was.

Kendra had a lot to deal with at such a young age.  Her family is trying their best to understand her while still trying to save face. I hated how much her mother cared about what society thought. I understood her challenges, but I wanted to cry every time Kendra's mom turned things to herself instead.  I realized as I read, I started  feeling really protective of Kendra while reading. I know that sounds kind of ridiculous since I obviously can't control anything, but as I read I just had this urge to scream things like, "HURT HER AND DIE JERKFACE!"

I liked that this book had a few different messages in it. It didn't just deal with harming oneself, but also had themes of dealing with sexuality and other forms of abuse. I will say that the relationship in this book wasn't as developed as I would've liked, but it really wasn't the message of the book, so it didn't really hurt it.

I definitely think this is one of those books everyone should read at least once just to experience it. Be warned, it may highly likely put you in a down mood for a bit! However, it's one those books that's really just...Real. I don't know if it's life-changing, but this book definitely put a lot of things in perspective for me. I can't see anyone regretting getting and reading this story. Get it. Shout out to NetGalley and WestSide Books for providing me a copy for review.

Sidenote: I know I usually imbed things like random references into posts at times, but I came across this coincidentally on Tumblr while reading Scars. Anyways, it was just one of those perfect images at the time that I just kind of wanted to bawl my eyes out and really wanted to share it here. I'd  post it below, but it's slightly image heavy. So check it out here. 


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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Review: Colors Like Memories by Meradeth Houston

"Julia has a secret: she killed the guy she loved. It was an accident—sort of.
Julia is a Sary, the soul of a child who died before taking her first breath. Without this 'breath of life' she and others like her must help those on the verge of suicide. It's a job Julia used to enjoy, until the accident that claimed her boyfriend’s life—an accident she knows was her fault. If living with the guilt weren't enough, she's now assigned to help a girl dealing with the loss of her mother, something Julia's not exactly the best role model for. If she can't figure out a way to help her, Julia's going to lose her position in the Sary, something she swore to her boyfriend would never happen."
This is one of those books that's sort of hard to review without giving things away. The story bounces between present life and the past as we learn more and more about the characters. While I enjoyed Julia's present life, it was her past that had me the most engaged in the book. By no means was her present life not interesting, but the relationship between Derek, Julia's first life companion, was so flawlessly written that any other relationships with Julia just didn't compete with it. What's interesting about this is that Derek's part of the story wasn't even a big chunk of the book, but it's truly what made the most impact. His relationship with Julia is what carries the book without him really being present. 

I appreciated that all the characters were working towards a common goal without the other truly knowing what they were going through. I really felt for Marcy and her struggle. Meradeth Houston wrote her character in a way that made me want her to get through her issues because she deserved better. My only true qualm about the story was her connection to Edison. Though they were sweet together and understood one another on a different level, I just didn't really care for them together. I'm not saying their relationship was bad by any means, but being introduced to Derek first kind of made me want his love more. It's as if Houston gave me this huge delicious piece of cake(Derek), took it away and then gave me a piece of chocolate(Edison). The chocolate is satisfying, but it just isn't as amazing as cake. 

Julia's story through all of her struggle was really sweet and hopeful. My only wish was that I could've had a bit more information on the Sary. The world Houston created for them was really interesting and I kept wanting to know more about them. If more stories do release with the Sary, I'd definitely be interested in seeing where this story goes. 



Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays #26 - Scars

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


 I've been kind of debating this read for this week because of the dark subject matter, but I'm so eager to read it now just through skimming it. 

"I make a light mark against the paper, then another, giving in to the longing. A girl's face appears, her mouth sewn shut with zigzags of black thread. In one hand is the needle, and in the other is a stitch ripper, its point jagged and sharp." ~ Scars by Cheryl Rainfield


Monday, May 28, 2012

Review: Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen

"I don't do dangerous.  Smart, über-careful, ordinary Samantha-that's me. But I just couldn't pass up a surprise kiss from my number-one unattainable crush. A kiss that did something to me...something strange. Now I feel hungry all the time, but not for food. It's like part of me is missing-and I don't know if I can get it back. Then there's Bishop. At first I thought he was just a street kid, but the secrets he's keeping are as intense as his unearthly blue eyes. If he's what I think he is, he may be the only one who can help me. But something terrifying is closing in, and the one chance Bishop and I have to stop it means losing everything I ever wanted and embracing the darkness inside me.... NIGHTWATCHERS When angels and demons must work together, something beyond evil is rising..."
Oh, hello there hot cover model! How do you do? You want me to read you? Well okay, if I must stare at you longer, I will somehow find a way to get through this. Yes, the cover is what initially caught my attention. It's not even the pretty guy though. It was actually the wings that caught my attention because they're kind of frayed. Plus the whole cover is kind of mysterious.

I'm not the biggest fan of angel books because I haven't had great experiences with the few that I've read thus far. However, this book definitely changed my opinion on them. I was pulled into the story immediately and loved the world Michelle Rowen created. I enjoyed how the realm of angels and demons was given a twist. Though angels are said to be good and demons bad, I found the characters in this book to be kind of questionable on where they stood. I felt like they could have a mix of both characteristics, and luck is what really came down to what hand they were dealt.

Samantha is a likable enough character, but I felt her inner angst took up a bit too much of the book. The things she said would feel a bit repetitive at times. However, I did like that she was more of a take charge character even if it wasn't the best idea sometimes.

The demons and angels in the book were all enjoyable because they all had their own personalities. Bishop and Kraven had a great introducing storyline that I really want to read more about.  My only wish was to find out a bit more about the side characters. I'm hoping they'll have more of a role in later books because there wasn't enough said about them. However, Rowen's writing makes for a very easy read even if I would've liked more information at times.

The one thing I continuously thought with this book was that I could totally see this book as a television show. There's something about it that reads very much like a show. There are plenty of side stories and characters I'd love to watch as the story unfolds. Dark Kiss is a great start for a new take on an angels and demons story. I'm definitely looking forward to reading the following books in this series. Thanks to Harlequin Teen and NetGalley for providing me a copy.

Book Soundtrack: 


Friday, May 25, 2012

Follower Friday #19

Q: Activity! Dream cast your current read.

It's hard to say who I'd want exactly for this book right now because I haven't been given a lot of detail on the look of each characters, but these are actors I picture currently. 

Steven Strait as Derek- Mostly because of his eyes and hair. He'd make a cool Sary.

Ellen Page as Julia: Her look fits the character for me. She's somewhat protective and caring, but gives off a rebel and standoff-ish vibe.

Chloe Mortez as Marcy: She seems more innocent and is going through some issues currently. Plus, I just love Chloe Mortez.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Music Review: Not My Kind of People by Garbage

Track List:
1.Automatic Systematic Habit
2.Big Bright World
3.Blood for Poppies
5.Not Your Kind of People
7.I Hate Love
9.Battle In Me
10.Man on a Wire
11.Beloved Freak

Garbage finally releases another album after seven whole years! I'll admit that I wasn't a big rock(if you can even put them in this genre) fan back in the day, but this album has a definite 90's feel while mixing a bit of genres that are heard now.

All the songs on this album were written and produced by members of the band, giving this album a more personal feel. Picking up music trends of the past, Not Your Kind of People does what Garbage does best; gives you a bit of everything.

Opening with "Automatic System Habit" Garbage gives something that can easily be a song played in clubs today for a party atmosphere when mixing electro-charged beats with Shirley Manson's synthesized voice. Later tracks like "Control" and "Sugar", settles into a more familiar Garbage sound. With its dark lyrics, it seems as though no time has really passed for the band between albums.

Though Not Your Kind of People is reminiscent of older albums, Garbage's influence on bands today feels pretty evident. However, this album shows that no matter what has or will come out in the past, present and future, Garbage has a way of mixing different genres that no one else can do.

This album is great for any fan looking for that old Garbage sound, or new fans looking for something a bit different than music of today. With fast and melancholy songs back-to-back, this is an album people should have for those off days when you're looking for a change.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home. As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near - misses end with the French kiss Anna - and readers - have long awaited?
Bop me on the head for not reading this sooner. Seriously, I don't know what's wrong with me. I totally had separation anxiety *stares longingly at iPad* when I had to do something else that didn't involve finishing this book. I feel like there isn't a lot I could say that you haven't already heard about this book, so I'm going to touch on the things that made me have a cheesy little grin the whole time I read it.

First off, what made me initially fall for this book was the the fact I finally got to somewhat experience my dream of going to school abroad! Sure, I've always wanted to go to Europe, but I've always wanted to have a year of education somewhere foreign. I've sadly never had the opportunity to do so, but oh man I'm so jelly of Anna for this and other things.

Oh, Etienne! Let's just discuss you for a moment so I can concentrate. Yes, I'm another girl who totally wants your bod even if you're too young for me. I'm choosing to ignore this fact for now because if you truly were some student nearby, I'd likely consider going there for grad school just to stare at you. Yeah. Well that or to befriend Anna because she's awesome and I want to go see random movies with her. I seriously adored both of them because of their banter. Any person who can have a great discussion (no matter how ridiculous) will totally win cool points with me. Anna and Etienne had that friendship I'd love to have with a guy friend. They were just full a lot of moments I'd totally fangirl over at any age. One important aspect is that their relationship had development! I loved that their friendship grew. It made me want them together instead of expecting it.

This brings me to the other friends. I really liked how each person had their own personality and little side stories. It brought so much more to the story because it wasn't focused on two people. Everyone had flaws, and I liked that no one was given that "perfect" personality. I'd love to have books continuing some characters like Josh because I think there's more to him than what we got. Overall, they were all people I'd love to get to know.

Food. I'm a total foodie, and this book was like written food porn. I wanted to eat everything they mentioned! Someone give me some panini and crack coffee! I seriously just wanted to gorge myself with cake when I was reading. It wasn't fair.

I definitely think it's one of those books you need to be in the mood for. I don't know if that makes sense, but I know if I read this while I was wanting something really deep then I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much as I did. However, since I was in the mood for something enjoyable and light, it was the perfect book. If you're like me and haven't had a chance to read this yet, I'd say get on it because you truly won't regret it.

(As I don't understand a lot of French, a few of these songs are lyric appropriate, while others just fit the mood of the book for me.)


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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays #25- Colors Like Memories

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


I greeted his tombstone the way I always did—with a swift kick. The release of frustration was more than worth the sharp pain in my toes. The polished marble tilted to the left because of all my visits; a crooked tooth in the rows of pearly white graves. ~ Colors Like Memories by Meradeth Houston


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Cover Reveal: Protecting Truth(The Seraphina Parrish Trilogy #2) by Michelle Warren

I am seriously excited to start this series soon! The first book in this series, Wander Dust, has been out for a while now. I love how magical and carefree the covers to the series are. If you're interested in finding out more about Wander Dust, check  out the links and trailer below!

Don't forget to check out this awesome limited time offer to read the first book for only 99 cents! There's only a few more days left!


Friday, May 18, 2012

Follower Fridays #18

Q: Summer Break is upon us! What would be the perfect vacation spot for you to catch up on your reading & relax?

-A:I love sun, so I'd say anywhere sunny enough to stay warm but shady enough for my face so it doesn't get extremely hot. Oh, and it needs an outlet to keep my iPod charged because I love having music play in the background as I read.Also it'd be an added bonus if this place had yummy foods. Seriously, yummy food is important for my happiness.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Review: Undeniably Yours by Shannon Stacey

Bar owner Kevin Kowalski is used to women throwing their phone numbers at him, but lately he’s more interested in finding a woman to settle down with. A woman like Beth Hansen. If only their first meeting hadn’t gone so badly...

Beth’s tending bar at a wedding when she comes face-to-face with a tuxedo-clad man she never thought she’d see again. She tries to keep her distance from Kevin but, by last call, she can’t say no to his too-blue eyes or the invitation back to his room. Then she slips out before breakfast without leaving a note and, despite their precautions, pregnant.

Kevin quickly warms to the idea of being a dad and to seeing where things go with Beth. After all, he’s not the player she thinks he is. But she’s not ready for a relationship and, given his reputation, it’s going to take a lot to convince her to go on a second date with the father of her child...

I only read this because I read the first and it really bothers me to not continue a series once I've started it. I had a really hard time finishing this one compared to the first book. I'm glad they made a story for Kevin because I enjoyed his character in the first book, but he didn't really have much development then.

I was still entertained by the whole Kowalski clan throughout the book. It made me wish I lived around a huge family! I loved their interactions and you could always see how everyone cared for each other. Kevin had a lot to do with my enjoyment of the book because he was always so sweet. Without giving up too much, Kevin was always a guy with a great heart who really didn't deserve to have a lot of things happen to him. However, I don't believe he deserved Beth because she bugged the begeezers out of me.

Sure, we all have our baggage, but she really overdid it. I could understand her hesitations for a while, but she was just so whiny throughout the book for me. Most of her complaints seemed really unwarranted and I really just wanted her to get over herself. I also wished there was a bit more development between Kevin and her in the beginning. I just didn't see why Kevin was so into her. Honestly, I felt bad for Kevin for the longest time because it always seemed like he was the lost puppy waiting to be loved.

I'd say if you read the first installment Undeniably Yours is a cute read for the family interaction and secondary characters. However, if you're looking for something as good as the first then I'd say hold off. Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin for providing me a copy for review!


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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Character Interview + Playlist & Giveaway: Casey Barnes Eponymous by E.A Rigg

Last week AWR only gave you guys a small sample of what Casey Barnes is all about. This week she's taking over the blog with her music obsessive hobby of sneaking playlists. I happened to find this stuffed in my mail recently, so I guess she wanted me to share musical treasure! Check out the interview with Casey and enter to win your very own copy of Casey Barnes Eponymous! Contest ends May 20! 

*edit* Moth's Wings by Passion Pit
-If you could only listen to 5 albums the rest of your life, what would they be? 
-That is quite the hardball question, my friend, made all the more tricky because thanks to Internet I rarely buy full-length albums.  I pay for music, but I tend to download singles from iTunes.  Here are 5 songs I could not live without for the next 6 months:

"Civilian" by Wye Oak.  Woodsy rock and roll cool enough to be featured on "Walking Dead" (TV show).   Plus this band is from the great state of Maryland!
"Wolves At The Door" by David Bazan.  Sizzling pop rock.  Good for standing up to nemesii.
"The Cave" by Mumford & Sons.  Tres romantique.
"Carolyn's Fingers" by Cocteau Twins.  Ethereal, good for a pick-me-up any old time 'o day.
"Mushaboom" by Feist.  Cheery with a bit of irreverence.  Feisty, if you will.

-If you could be in someone's music video, which artists would you pick?  
Riz Ahmed.  He's a British Pakistani Actor/Hip Hop singer.  I just saw a film he is in.  So cute.  Such a crush.  

-Boy Bands or Hair Bands? Why?  Hair bands!  
-No question.  There's something noble about refusing to back down from a 20-year-old look.  

-What are future plans for Pop Wire? 
- We plan to take over the world.

-Seriously, what was it about Alex that had you so fascinated?  
-Alex who?  Just kidding.  Ok so he has really beautiful eyes.  And there's something mysterious about him.  He just got me in the solar plexus the way some guys do.  I think all girls can relate.

-Hook-up, marry, kill...Harry Styles, Gavin Rossdale, Deadmau5?  
-Gavin Rossdale has always seemed a bit too pretty for me.  Anyway he's already married.  I had to google Harry Styles.  Is he bigger in Oz than in the states, perhaps?  That leaves Deadmau5.  But he's more my type than the other sure I'll walk down the aisle with that dude.  Do I have to wear some long frilly white thing though?

Thanks to Casey for stopping by! Enter below to win one of two eBook copies of Casey Barnes Eponymous by E.A. Rigg!

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays #24- Dark Kiss

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


"Everyone in a two-block radius would have heard my scream if we hadn't been shielded. But no one could hear me. No one could see this."~ Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen


Monday, May 14, 2012

Review: Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein

"Amy is fine living in the shadows of beautiful Lila and uber-cool Cassie, because at least she’s somewhat beautiful and uber-cool by association. But when their dates stand them up for prom, and the girls take matters into their own hands—earning them a night in jail outfitted in satin, stilettos, and Spanx—Amy discovers even a prom spent in handcuffs might be better than the humiliating “rehabilitation techniques” now filling up her summer. Worse, with Lila and Cassie parentally banned, Amy feels like she has nothing—like she is nothing.

Navigating unlikely alliances with her new coworker, two very different boys, and possibly even her parents, Amy struggles to decide if it’s worth being a best friend when it makes you a public enemy. Bringing readers along on an often hilarious and heartwarming journey, Amy finds that maybe getting a life only happens once you think your life is over."
 This book was definitely different from what I was expecting. I thought it'd be a light fun read about some prom night shenanigans and consequences, but was surprised to read about something much deeper.

Amy is one lost girl trying to find her way through life and high school. She struggles with a lot of teen issues and goes through a journey of self-discovery throughout the book. Lisa Burstein puts readers in Amy's shoes in a way that is entertaining and heartbreaking all at once.

 Burstein definitely has the whole teenage angst voice down throughout this book. Though the book deals with a few serious topics, I really loved Amy's snarky attitude in the beginning of the book. My only wish is that it continued throughout the book.

I wasn't one to relate to Amy's character, but I did definitely feel for her. I think everyone can relate to the feeling of being lost, but I had a hard time relating to Amy's rather low self-esteem. I understood how she was able to get to that point, but I personally felt it was a bit overboard. I truly did want to root for Amy, but I just couldn't. Sure, I felt for her problems but she was so "woe is me" all through the book that it was sort of tiring. This is vastly due to the Amy's friends. I just couldn't understand why Amy would stay around friends like Lila and Cassie. As a person wanting to be noticed, I just didn't see how her friends solved that problem.

Amy's parents were a major highlight for me because they were crazy! Wait, I take that back; her mother was crazy. However, I liked that I really did feel for her parents because I could tell they did truly care even if they didn't show it in the best of ways. Though some scenes were a bit extreme at times, they were also fairly believable for someone's life that has taken a wrong turn.

Though I liked Amy as a character, the one thing that kept bugging me as I read was her slight touch of superiority towards others.  I kind of felt like she looked down upon people around her and that just didn't fit well with her character for me. I get that people judge others, but for a girl who has very little going for her in life, I didn't feel like she should have a lot of room to talk or think about others the way she was.

Overall, Pretty Amy is a pretty engaging read for people in and out of their high school years. Discovering life through Amy's actions is  a fun read many will enjoy.  Burstein shows exactly what it feels like to be a teenager when they need to decide to grow and face the world around them. If you like seeing true inner struggle in a character, then this book is for you. Thanks to Entangled Publishing and NetGalley for providing me a copy!



Saturday, May 12, 2012

Review: Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley Coriell

Big-hearted Chloe Camden is the queen of her universe until her best friend shreds her reputation and her school counselor axes her junior independent study project. Chloe is forced to take on a meaningful project in order to pass, and so she joins her school’s struggling radio station, where the other students don’t find her too queenly. Ostracized by her former BFs and struggling with her beloved Grams’s mental deterioration, lonely Chloe ends up hosting a call-in show that gets the station much-needed publicity and, in the end, trouble. She also befriends radio techie and loner Duncan Moore, a quiet soul with a romantic heart. On and off the air, Chloe faces her loneliness and helps others find the fun and joy in everyday life. Readers will fall in love with Chloe as she falls in love with the radio station and the misfits who call it home.
I'm all for quirky lovable characters usually, but Chloe just didn't do it for me. It was one of those books I really wanted to like but couldn't. Most of this is due to the character of Chloe. It almost felt as if she tried really hard to be eccentric. I'm all for keeping a positive outlook on life and being carefree, but I just couldn't for the life of me get into her. I continuously felt her quirks being pushed on me to give off that impression of how amazing she was. Yes, I got it! You have a fun way of talking and have totally rocking vintage shoes. Please just tone it down some.

What I did like about this book was the fact that it tried tackling some serious issues. They weren't really discussed as in depth as I would've liked, but it did definitely add something of substance to the overall fluffy subject matter. Another aspect I would've liked to see more of were the people around the station. I always wanted to know more about them.

I will say Chloe's character did get better by the end for me, but by the time I got to the end it didn't help me much. Overall, it's an enjoyable fluff read. It's worth checking out if you're looking to pass the time. The main thing I'd recommend is to give time for Chloe's quirks to calm a bit throughout the story. Once I got through a few chapters, it was a much more enjoyable read. Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a copy.



Thursday, May 10, 2012

Review: The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg

"Dying of a broken heart is just the beginning.... Welcome to forever. 

BRIE'S LIFE ENDS AT SIXTEEN: Her boyfriend tells her he doesn't love her, and the news breaks her heart—literally. 

But now that she's D&G (dead and gone), Brie is about to discover that love is way more complicated than she ever imagined. Back in Half Moon Bay, her family has begun to unravel. Her best friend has been keeping a secret about Jacob, the boy she loved and lost—and the truth behind his shattering betrayal. And then there's Patrick, Brie's mysterious new guide and resident Lost Soul . . . who just might hold the key to her forever after. 

With Patrick's help, Brie will have to pass through the five stages of grief before she's ready to move on. But how do you begin again, when your heart is still in pieces?"

Even after reading YA for years, you'd think I'd be used to different types of somewhat far-fetched stories. Maybe I'm a romantic pessimist or something, but I'll admit a girl dying of a broken heart made me kind of roll my eyes at first. I went in thinking I wouldn't love this book, but was pleasantly surprised.

This story is much deeper than I thought it'd be. It's one of those books that doesn't really make its impact until you've finished it. I'll be honest, I wasn't sure if I liked it after I finished it. Then, I had this really long discussion with a few friends who were also reading it and realized how many ways this book could be interpreted. After we went through all the layers of this story, I realized that I actually enjoyed this a lot more than I thought because of the questions it brought up for me.

I will say that I was somewhat annoyed at Brie at times, but once I once I really thought about who she was, I understood her actions a bit more. Patrick was my favorite character in the book because he was so sweet and understanding. I also loved how I totally got that 80's feel with him. There were a lot of surrounding characters that I really wished I knew more about. I felt like they'd have something more to do with the story and was disappointed when there wasn't more included.

Another aspect that I MUST mention is the awesome playlist included in the book. Each chapter uses a different song/lyric to start with. I loved that it helped set a somewhat theme for the book as I read since the songs were all pretty known.

As I said, this book is much deeper than I expected. If you're looking for a story that will give you questions and surprise you with different events then give the book a try. Don't let the pretty cover fool you, this book will keep you reading even if you think you know what's going to happen.


And because Jess Rothenberg's playlist will probably put mine to shame, I'm going to share. 

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Review: 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad

"Three teenagers are going on the trip of a lifetime. Only one is coming back.

It’s been more than forty years since NASA sent the first men to the moon, and to grab some much-needed funding and attention, they decide to launch an historic international lottery in which three lucky teenagers can win a week-long trip to moon base DARLAH 2—a place that no one but top government officials even knew existed until now. The three winners, Antoine, Midori, and Mia, come from all over the world.

But just before the scheduled launch, the teenagers each experience strange, inexplicable events. Little do they know that there was a reason NASA never sent anyone back there until now—a sinister reason. But the countdown has already begun. . ."

This is one of those books that really gave me mixed emotions. I finished it a while ago,and I know I didn't enjoy it as much as I had hoped. However,  I really don't know why I didn't enjoy it. The story was interesting enough, it just kind of fell flat for me. I think it had everything to make a creepy science fiction novel, but it definitely wasn't developed enough.

The author did a great job of implementing a lot of history throughout the book, so props to that because it did feel very "official". Though this story really didn't start until about halfway through the book and dragged, there were a lot of little events thrown in that kept me reading to know more.

The story has a lot of characters, and they all get their own chapters. I think this was a big issue with the book because it's hard to develop five characters in a little less than four hundred pages. For someone with limited knowledge about NASA, I continuously wanted more information about the places and people to really get into the story. Character wise, there are people I really liked and really hated throughout the book. A lot of my negative feelings had to do with the author developing side stories that really added nothing to the actual plot. I wish these things and some of the actual characters, namely the man living in the care facility, were left out or changed all together.

Though I know this book is a standalone, I kind of wished there was another book following because it felt more like a setup for more to come. By the end I was finally getting into the creepy plot and wanted to know more about what was truly happening.

Overall, this was a decent story with a great idea! Though some things were answered, it left me with a lot more questions I'll always wonder about. I think people who enjoy science fiction would like it. However, if you're anything like me and want things answered so you can have a bit of closure at the end of the story, I wouldn't recommend it. High fives to Little Brown for providing me a copy for review!


?? - Cynthia Lin - This song is very fitting, but could also be a spoiler, so don't look if you don't want to know.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays #23- Alibi: The Complete Series

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


I'm actually only just starting the first book(Charles) in the series, but everyone on the cover is just so pretty! Also, since I'm going to read them all this week I figured the series cover was the better choice. *Stares at the cover*

"He felt like he was going to be sick. The surface of the coffee rippled, and he thought of the water lapping at the edge of the pool where he found Abby. Floating. That sickening thread of blood spooling out into the water." ~ Alibi Volume I: Charles


Monday, May 7, 2012

Review & Giveaway: Casey Barnes Eponymous by E.A. Rigg

It's three weeks into the school year when music junkie Casey Barnes gets a second chance with her mysterious, heartbreaking ex-boyfriend. She comes up with a plan to win him back, but it soon spins out of control as rivalries, revelations about him, and music itself all start to collide. For Casey the newfound attention means learning the difference between wanting center stage and actually being on it.
Okay, I'll admit I'm a person who will think you're just a tad bit more cooler if you have awesome musical taste or if you introduce me to something new musically. Having said this, I adore Casey Barnes for this very reason. She was able to do a bit of both! She isn't your usual teenage character. She's definitely reckless and a bit naive at times, but I also think she has a lot of characteristics that are really admirable for someone her age. Without giving too much away, she has her mind set on things that are more important. Her future in music being one of them.

I don't even know how I'd really explain this book to someone, but if I had to come up with a description I want to say it's like if Gilmore Girls and Juno decided to come together and somehow have a baby with Glee, this book would be it.

One of the many things I loved about this book was the writing style. It completely fits with the way that Casey Barnes acts. I truly felt like I was in her head at all times. Even though this book was fairly short, E.A. Rigg was able to give almost every character that was introduced their own personality and storyline without it feeling underdeveloped. The book is full of fun characters you'll love and hate, all while you're bopping your head to really obscure music you're likely to not be familiar with.

If you're looking for a musical treasure trove wrapped up in a witty package, Casey Barnes is definitely the girl for you. High five to the author for providing me a copy for review. Even MORE epic high fives for having two eBook copies to giveaway to you guys! All you gotta do is fill out the form below! This contest will end on Sunday, May 20 at 11:59 p.m. Keep a look out for the Casey Barnes character interview and playlist next week!


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Review: Bonds of Fenris by S.J. Bell

Talia Thornwood's life ended one year ago, when she became a werewolf. She survived the attack, and the horrifying transformation a month later, but the life she has now is barely worth living. She lurks about in a filthy, run-down house, with too many werewolves crammed into too small a space. Every day is a struggle against the stress of human contact, the romantic prodding of her obnoxious packmate Pierce, and the gnawing hunger for flesh in her soul. 

She's all but resigned herself to a dreary existence on the margins of society when she meets Corwin. Corwin is a werewolf like none other. He walks among humans as if it was nothing, and can keep his wolf under control even when the moon is full. Talia's mind is suddenly opened to the possibilities before her, and the realization of how little she really knows about lycanthropy.

Corwin claims that he can teach her how to cope as he does, even how to transcend her affliction. But it will not be easy. It is a hard education that requires her to question everything her pack taught her, and confront exactly what she has become. And, more amazingly, what she never stopped being.
I'll come out and say I'm not the biggest werewolf fan, but I was a fan of this book. When I first started this book, I expected some sort of action filled story since that's what I've come to expect from these types of books. However, this story was totally different! S.J. Bell not only goes deeper into the world of a pack, but also breaks down the walls of a werewolf's psyche. I liked that it took a different approach by speaking about the struggle of being a werewolf. I also enjoyed the positive messages of self-acceptance in the book.

Characterization in this book was also really different. Since the book is short and there are a lot of characters in this book, there wasn't a lot of character development. However, as a reader I was still able to get a great feel for each characters personality very quickly because they were all different while bringing something to the story. I was very back and forth with liking and hating the characters. I realize how horrible that sounds,but the characters were very real in that sense. They weren't perfect and all had their faults even when you loved them. My only real quip about the characters is that I felt some of the relationships between characters seemed all over the place at times. The two relationships that tended to bother me the most were Talia with Corwin and Marlene. I always felt a disconnect because one moment Marlene and Talia hated each other then were totally buddies a few scenes later. I get they're a pack and are there for each other, but it just seemed odd. I don't want to say too much on Corwin because I liked them together, but I just couldn't root for them since I never really felt their relationship much.

This is definitely one of those stories that makes you think. I had a lot of moments where I'd just reread a passage to truly understand the deeper meaning of it. I feel like Bell put a lot of thought into the precise words he used at times. It's one of those stories that's deep without having a heavy storyline. I will say the story drags a little bit at times because of things happening in the book, but this was still an enjoyable read. I only hope there will be more so I can have a tad more closure to questions I wanted more information on. If you're okay with some mild language and looking for a quick read with  interesting characters, I'd give Bonds of Fenris a try. Thanks to the author for providing me a review copy


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Friday, May 4, 2012

Follower Friday #17

Q: What is one thing you wish you could tell your favorite author?

-I don't think there is one author I could choose to talk to. There are so many great writers out there that I'd want to say different things to. If I had the opportunity to meet and have a proper conversation with someone, I'd actually probably ask about characterization. I'm always fascinated how characters come to be and what the process is really like with different authors. Who did you all choose?


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Review: Tessa Masterson Will Go To Prom by Brendan Halpin and Emily Franklin

"Lucas and Tessa’s friendship is the stuff of legend in their small Midwestern town. So it’s no surprise when Lucas finally realizes his feelings for Tessa are more than friendship and he asks her to prom. What no one expected, especially Lucas, was for Tessa to come out as a lesbian instead of accepting his heartfelt invitation.

Humiliated and confused, Lucas also feels betrayed that his best friend kept such an important secret from him.
 What’s worse is Tessa’s decision to wear a tastefully tailored tuxedo to escort her female crush, sparking a firestorm of controversy. Lucas must decide if he should stand on the sidelines or if he should stand by his friend to make sure that Tessa Masterson will go to prom.

Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin tackle both sides of a ripped-from-the headlines story to show that true friendship will triumph after all."
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Sure, the subject matter is somewhat "controversial",but that isn't why I enjoyed it.

I liked how both authors took an event that's been happening in present times and first gave us an inside look into the subject matter and made it humorous to read. I can't say how on point the story was as I haven't been through anything similar, but I felt this story was very real. This is mostly due to the characterization.

I loved Tessa's character because she wasn't a girl who really had any issues about who she was. She knew who she was and was comfortable with that fact. What she was really dealing with was what was happening around her when she decided to take a stand about who she truly was. Lucas, on the other hand, showed the other side of not really being accepting of someone. Though I understood his hesitation, seeing a friend not accept a person was pretty heart-breaking! 

What I found to be an important aspect of this story was the fact that the authors respected different views. There was never a right and wrong side when it came to religious objections. Which, when it comes to these type of stories, is a pretty large detail when dealing with this type of subject matter. This isn't to say that this book wasn't political, but it was insightful while being respectful. 

The pacing was a little slow for me, but the enjoyable characters and light humor in the story still made this a really easy read. I'd recommend it because the topics of friendship, community and acceptance are real and bring a humorous insight to the subject of equality in our current school system. Read it, learn, enjoy. 


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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Teaser Tuesday #22- Pretty Amy

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


“This is just like some sort of fucked-up fairy tale,” Cassie said. I could see her smiling to herself in the rearview mirror. “Like Cinderella, except all twisted up and without Cinderella.” ~ Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein