Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine
**

First, I KNOW I am an absolutely sucky person, I've been horrible at returning comments this past week (since last WoW!). But I promise I haven't forgotten and I will go through every single one of those posts and visit the lovely people back!

Secondly, this week's pick I have a strong feeling will be EVERYWHERE today, well, maybe because this author is just so pure awesome she has landed herself a plus-one on the Holy Trinity of Authors. I'm not kidding when I say her writing is amaze-balls.


This Is Not A Test
by Courtney Summers

Summary

It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up.

As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, everyone’s motivations to survive begin to change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life–and death–inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

This Is Not A Test is released June 2012 from St. Martin's Press
**

Uhm... ZOMBIES!!!!!
that is all.









source
author website / twitter

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

BR: Nevermore

by Kelly Creagh
Nevermore series; book I

So many bloggers have said it’s definitely not the run-of-the-mill YA paranormal, something I avoid to an unreasonable degree* . And I know it’s unnecessary to build up my expectations but I jumped at the chance to read it (on a Kindle too!)

Summary (goodreads)

Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.

 Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.

As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.

**
My Expectations: extremely high, I've actually only seemed to hear great things about it.
Delivery: I enjoyed it more than I usually do with paranormals, but I was slightly disappointed I didn't like it more.
Put-down-ability: 3/10 (yay!)
**

My Thoughts

Nevermore was solid. It has some really great parts and some forgettable parts, I thought overall it’s a book I enjoyed but won’t necessarily be eagerly recommending. The writing style is fantastic; it took me a chapter to realize that it was actually written in 3rd person (a pet peeve of mine) because I instantly connected with the main character Isobel and everything flowed so well. I thought despite some wildly clich├ęd plot devices (being partnered together for a project, for example) Creagh stayed away from cringe-territory and the story worked.

Isobel was a character I really grew to cheer for; I loved how she’s a strong character but not in the super-obvious way. She stood up for what she believed in and liked (such as saying she enjoyed cheerleading, but that didn’t make her vapid) and her romance with Varen became more believable and fun to read as the book went along. Declarations of love did lead to eye-rolling, but not excessively**. I'm just not huge on dramatics, I guess.

Now on to the paranormal aspect. It’s definitely unique and I loved the usage of Poe throughout the novel because it brought the eerie factor in, which was appreciated. I don't want to completely spoil what paranormal-ness it includes, but I really liked how it didn’t overwhelm the book, which is a big bonus. I liked the idea of the realms though I did feel sometimes descriptions of it was overdone and weighed down the scene. I felt like I had to trudge through parts to get to the focus of what was happening, and especially during action scenes. I liked it, but didn’t love it.

The pacing was something I think was based more on preference, but I thought the first half was a lot easier to get through than the action-packed ending. I’ll admit the 500+ pages is quite daunting and it did feel too long at times, but ultimately it’s not too terrible and it was enjoyable.

Nevermore spins a unique tale of blond cheerleader and goth boy, yet it defies stereotypes with strong characters and an interesting paranormal aspect.

Rating in HP Terms: Acceptable
Recommended for: eager and reluctant paranormal fans unafraid of long books! :)
Acknowledgements: lovely, 3.5/5

7.9/10 - because... I'll fill in this part later :P I'm dead tired and wanted to get a post up... Just read my review!









*oh hello, review pile, long time no see
**I’m cynical, deal with it.

source: bought
author website

Monday, August 29, 2011

BR: Anna Dressed in Blood

by Kendare Blake
Anna Dressed in Blood series; book I

I don’t really read many ghost stories. Actually, let me reiterate, I don’t read ghost stories. I’ve never really had the urge to, they just never appealed to me, but I think when I came across this book, I felt that NEED to read it (doesn’t happen often, and it’s not a feeling I ignore) so I was so happy to receive an ARC! This book is released tomorrow (Aug 30).

Summary (goodreads)

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas's life.

**
My Expectations: High. Not terribly high because I wasn’t really sure what to expect, I just really wanted to like it.
Delivery: Ohh, it was just awesome. That ending! :)
Put-down-ability: It wasn’t extremely engaging for the first half but the second half was killer.. 4.5/10
**


My Thoughts

I feel like just sticking a sticker to every copy of this book saying “I am Awesome” because dude, this book rocked.

Cas is a ghost-hunter with a few issues and a heart of gold, so naturally… Hi. *creepy stares*. The POV narration started out slightly shaky for me; I wasn’t as convinced with Cas but I thought he grew into his narration (if that makes sense) and quickly became a lovable character. Plus he has this knife. Knives are sexy*.

I liked the secondary characters of this one; I thought that Blake kept us guessing with the relationship dynamics, especially with Carmel, Thomas and Will. First impressions are never what they seem, and this is true with pretty much every character—something I loved. They weren't the absolutely most fleshed out characters ever, but they were respectable and added their little oomph to the story. And I think I need to mention Anna. ANNA. Anna Dressed in Blood because I surprised myself to falling so in love with her character. I wish I could accurately pinpoint why, but just reading about her (especially the second half) just made me ridiculously happy. Now she’s a girl with issues, starting with the fact that she kills people and isn’t even alive. But still.

Which now brings me to the plot… love! I love the whole ghost-hunting plot, but I think I loved the Anna-Cas thing even more. Things are explosive, brutal and bloody as Blake doesn’t hesitate to tease with imagery. People die. And I feel bad saying this but I was kind of going “eff yeah, that’s how ghost story is supposed to go.**” The plot was intricate without being overwhelming and was filled with some amazing twists. The ending scenes? Omg. I need a KB fangirl t-shirt.

Rating in HP Terms: Exceeds Expectations
Recommended for: fans of paranormal/supernatural YA, readers looking for a unique ghost story, male pov
Acknowledgements: 3/5

8.8/10 – because I mean… *sputters*.. it’s so good! I was head over heels about the plot— it started off with a bang, slowed down a bit as pieces are being put together, then it accelerates and doesn’t seem to stop. Cas and Anna stole my heart, but I wasn’t in love with secondary characters though. The narration was solid and engaging, and the only thing I’m thinking now is… I want a sequel (yes, there is a sequel! It's called Girl of Nightmares***)!!









*just ask Nick Ryves ;)
**aka, there’s no chicken-shitting.
***source: twitter

source: publisher
author twitter / livejournal / website

Sunday, August 28, 2011

In My Mailbox (11) - VLOG! + rambles

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren, inspired by Alea!
**

The title says it all, folks. If you're just interested in what I got, you just have to watch the first minute and a half :p After that, I just talk about things I felt like talking about this week, don't feel pressured to watch the vlog!




In my mailbox: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Septys (library), The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch (for review), and Prized by Caragh M. O'brien (for review)

Other stuff mentioned (links to IMDb)
TV Shows: Sherlock, 24, Suits, White Collar
Inside Job (documentary)
Jane Eyre (2011 movie, I said 2010, my bad)
Edward Scissorhands (movie)



Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday's Finest (43)

hosted by the awesome Justine at A Bookful of Thoughts
**

Sorry for not posting yesterday (and most of today), I really have just run out of post ideas and reviews. Anyways, I just finished this book and it was so beautiful and sad and definitely up there on the must-read lists.

Between Shades of Gray
by Ruta Septys

Quote:

He threw his burning cigarette onto our clean living room floor and ground it into the wood with his boot.

We were about to become cigarettes..

I hated them, the NKVD and the Soviets. I planted a seed of hatred in my heart. I swore it would grow to be a massive tree whose roots would strangle them all.

I would seriously judge you if you read this and wasn't emotionally affected. Hmm, I wish this post wasn't such a downer :(

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine
**

This week's pick has been all over those lovely Aussie blogs that I adore and I've been just clawing desperately at to read. It's released in North America soon and it's on Netgalley! I may have started exclaiming about shitsticks when I found out on twitter, and I'm biting my nails, waiting (more like muttering murderously) for my request to hopefully be approved.

Saving June
by Hannah Harrington

Summary

‘If she’d waited less than two weeks, she’d be June who died in June. But I guess my sister didn’t consider that.’ 

Harper Scott’s older sister has always been the perfect one so when June takes her own life a week before her high school graduation, sixteen-year-old Harper is devastated. Everyone’s sorry, but no one can explain why.

When her divorcing parents decide to split her sister’s ashes into his-and-her urns, Harper takes matters into her own hands. She’ll steal the ashes and drive cross-country with her best friend, Laney, to the one place June always dreamed of going California.

Enter Jake Tolan. He’s a boy with a bad attitude, a classic-rock obsession and nothing in common with Harper’s sister. But Jake had a connection with June, and when he insists on joining them, Harper’s just desperate enough to let him. With his alternately charming and infuriating demeanour and his belief that music can see you through anything, he might be exactly what she needs.

Except June wasn’t the only one hiding something. Jake’s keeping a secret that has the power to turn Harper’s life upside down again.

Saving June is released November 29, 2011 from Harlequin (already available in Australia)
*add to goodreads

**

Road trip, grief, music, and secrets. Plus, upper YA.

And just read these reviews and try not to want it.
Nomes @ Inkcrush
Nic @ Irresistible Reads
Skye @ In the Good Books
Cinnamon @ A Thousand Little Pages
Allison @ The Allure of Books

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

BR: Red Glove

by Holly Black
Curse Workers series; book II

I really liked White Cat, but I don’t know why I was so hesitant about reading the second book. But after this review, I knew I was missing out.

Summary (goodreads)

Curses and cons. Magic and the mob. In Cassel Sharpe's world, they go together. Cassel always thought he was an ordinary guy, until he realized his memories were being manipulated by his brothers. Now he knows the truth—he’s the most powerful curse worker around. A touch of his hand can transform anything—or anyone—into something else.

That was how Lila, the girl he loved, became a white cat. Cassel was tricked into thinking he killed her, when actually he tried to save her. Now that she's human again, he should be overjoyed. Trouble is, Lila's been cursed to love him, a little gift from his emotion worker mom. And if Lila's love is as phony as Cassel's made-up memories, then he can't believe anything she says or does.

When Cassel's oldest brother is murdered, the Feds recruit Cassel to help make sense of the only clue—crime-scene images of a woman in red gloves. But the mob is after Cassel too—they know how valuable he could be to them. Cassel is going to have to stay one step ahead of both sides just to survive. But where can he turn when he can't trust anyone—least of all, himself?

Love is a curse and the con is the only answer in a game too dangerous to lose.


**
My Expectations: Not that high to be honest, I don’t really know what to expect and how I’d react.
Delivery: Definitely surprised me by how good it was. SO GOOD.
Put-down-ability: 4/10
**

My Thoughts

It’s like Holly Black is running an inside joke on me or something, because it felt like as I was reading this and as curveballs were thrown at my face, she was looking over me with a smirk and an aura of cleverness. Because this book is smart. Smart in the way that I don’t appreciate enough, in the way that when I look back at the dropped clues that I couldn’t figure out (I’m usually good at stuff like that) and admiring Cassel, the way the plot moved, and the characters involved… to say I’m impressed is an understatement.

The characters of the novel are incredibly well done. I loved Cassel’s persona of the worker trying to do the right thing when the choices handed him form a Morton’s Fork, and when the girl he loves has been worked to love him back and that just sets off all sorts of moral alarms. I loved the way Black portrayed our protagonist and the authentic and delightfully complex relationships he had with his friends and family. Cassle Sharpe does make it to my most memorable characters list, and he can be joined by the equally awesome Lila, Sam and Daneca.

To continue with things that was unsuspectingly awesome… the plot! It’s exciting, twisted and clever, and it tricks the reader into thinking the opposite of what was happening. Supported by some shady yet brilliant characters, the mysteries and murders of the curse workers were shaped to form a precise and complex plot. The world-building by Black is also phenomenal because it feels so utterly convincing yet effortless, if that makes sense. The author doesn’t spend time explaining the way her world works, yet it just works.

Cassel’s voice is captured extremely well by Black’s writing; he makes one of the most authentic male characters in YA. I loved how he doesn’t fit into any stereotype because he’s so far from perfect, but there’s this charm to him that made me root for him and become invested in what happens.

Red Glove is an exhilarating sequel that taught me not to underestimate this series, I’ll be itching to find out how Cassel’s story continues in Black Heart.

Rating in HP Terms: Exceeds Expectations
Recommended for: Everyone! This series has great appeal because it's just so... awesome.
Acknowledgements: I recognized so many names! :P 3.5/5

8.8/10 – because it’s fast-paced, smart and exciting in the best possible sense. The plot rolled along easily as Cassel navigated the tricky position he was in with everybody trying to get a piece of his skills. The world created with the workers and the ethics surrounding them was done in a manner that entices thought and discussion as well as being entertaining. Cassel is a truly fantastic character and the diverse supporting cast made up of friends, the Feds, mob bosses, shady families and so many secrets makes the book just shine.









my review of White Cat (book 1)


source: library
author twitter / website / livejournal

Monday, August 22, 2011

Comfort Movies!


It’s pouring outside today much to my dismay so I thought I’d write this list to make me feel better.

Comfort Movies

Definition: movies that I’ll watch over and over again and can either give me a fuzzy happy feeling or bring on the sad pandas. I’ve seen these multiple times and still love them, and they aren’t the best movies (sometimes far from it) but they're the ones that I’ll turn to when I’m feeling particularly emotional.


**


The Notebook

  • As pretty much any girl out there, this is perhaps, THE must-watch romance of my generation. Love, lost, heartbreak, tears, smiles, happy endings… it’s all there.


27 Dresses

  • I just watched this yesterday and a few times before that. It just popped into my mind that I had to watch it and it’s just as fun and romantic and lovely as I remembered. I remember rewinding that scene outside the bar after the engagement-party-meltdown.. I love you James Marsden!


A Walk to Remember

  • Call me crazy but I’ve always liked Mandy Moore! And while Nicholas Sparks isn’t high on my authors-I-admire list, I really love the story and… *sigh* and it’s sad and happy and sad and so lovely.


10 Things I Hate About You

  • I just watched this a few weeks ago and since then I’ve already rewatched it! I can’t believe it took me so long but trust me, don’t underestimate this hilarious beast of a movie featuring a young Heath Ledger and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. So funny, and I have watched this video more times than I care to admit.


The Devil Wears Prada

  • Meryl Streep!! I love her! And this movie, because it reminds me of how unfashionable I am. I don’t even know why I like this so much :p


Confessions of a Shopaholic

  • Hugh Dancy, why are you so adorable? And this whole movie is adorable, I saw it on TV the other night and watched the entire thing with this big sappy smile on my face. It’s funny and charming and totally cheesy but awesome. 





Two Weeks Notice

  • Awh Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock! My mum loved this and I think it influenced me because it’s just so rewatchable. 




Titanic

  • Ahhh I watched this movie, I swear, 10 years ago and I still get choked up. Just epic, and it’s not really my favourite or anything but it’s a must-watch.


Pride & Prejudice (2005)

  • Hate on Kiera Knightly all you want, but I seriously adore this movie. ADORE. I do prefer the 1995 Colin Firth version, but this one is the ideal movie if you need that 2 hours of escapism into Elizabeth Bennett’s world. And a nice dose of the Mr. Darcy that doesn't exist in real life.




She’s the Man

  • I can’t even express how awesome this movie is in the predictable, cheesy, silly, and HILARIOUS way but I’ve watched it at least 3 times and it never gets old. I mean, this?? *dies*




Mean Girls

  • I swear I can quote the entire thing. LOVE this movie.



Iron Man 2

  • Now for the action movie comfort movies, I regularly watch this because it’s so flipping awesome. I love the whole snarkiness of it (which my brother hates, but to each your own) and the one-line humour. 


Star Trek

  • This movie is sooooo good! I haven’t watched any of the original Star Trek series before but I just love the movie. Great acting, special effects, and a storyline I can understand… deffs high up there on my ‘movies to watch when I’m bored/sad/upset’. 



**
note: All images are from Tumblr!


So, what do you think? I have a few Honourable Mentions (movies I do think about rewatching and definitely fit the bill, but I haven't watched it again yet) that include: PS I Love You, Never Let Me Go, Bridget Jones Diary, Clueless, Chasing Liberty, Life As We Know It...

...I claim to not like chick flicks but I've seriously watched a ton of them :p 

What movies would be on YOUR list?


Sunday, August 21, 2011

In My Mailbox (10) + movies and traitor-ish feelings

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren!
**

Oh guess what. OH GUESS WHAT. So.. I wanted to do a vlog so I could tell you guys this (non-exciting) story but ah well. My mom kept telling me my aunt wanted to get me a grad present (lucky me :D) and I was never really sure what I wanted. And I did tell my mom over and over again that I did NOT want an ereader. I did NOT want to let go of my physical books and my dream would to bring my entire YA collection with me to university.

Well, she didn't really listen and using her mother-common-senses (and telling me over and over again that "books are heavy"... pahh) she told my aunt to get me an ereader. Yes. A Kindle to be exact.

So now... yeah. And it has this really nice case (the book is Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard!).





I have read a book on it (plus I can put Netgalley ARCs on it, yes!) and yeah. I don't really have words because I feel like SUCH A TRAITOR *SOBS* *clings to physical books* *apologizes profusely*

I do like it. It pains me to say, but I do!

I'm leaning towards calling him Reid, after Spencer Reid from Criminal Minds (and honestly, what a clever punny thing, eh?) but I'm also considering Sheldon. Since Leonard is my laptop. Big Bang Theory anyone? (though to be honest, Leonard didn't inspire Leonard, I just thought the name was perfect)

haha, and no books this week!
**

other stuff

I decided in my IMM I'll also include random tidbits from the week. Such as movies I watched (since apparently I've stopped doing "Movie Thoughts").

X-Men: First Class

-loved it (and yes, I've watched all the X-Men movies, I'm surprised by how many people haven't)! James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender were awesome, I thought Jennifer Lawrence was great as well (and I love the Hunger Games casting, contrary to public opinion). The setting during the Cuban Missile Crisis/Cold War was really well done (and I felt smart because I took History in last year so I knew what was going on, hahaha). I loved to see this whole 'prequel' thing and the mutants and how Magneto and Professor X had their differing opinions. Acting was great, though thanks to Twitter, all I can imagine is James McAvoy touching his temple in his uber-concentrated gesture :P I thought the action was exciting and the evil guy definitely fit the evil bill! Overall, great film, definitely recommended. 8.5/10


Something Borrowed

-I'll admit, I have been wanting to watch this movie for a while now despite grand reservations. It surprised me! I couldn't get through the book (cue headdesking at the very thought) and yes, a lot of the annoyingness carried over (the super bitchy, self-centered best friend gahhhh and the annoying, chicken-shit Dex) but hey, whatever. John Krasinski (Ethan) was probably the gem of it all as he was both hilarious and down to earth (I LOVE HIM). And Colin Egglesfield (Dex) is so fine. But anyways, story itself was ehh but it was kind of nice at parts. Good, not great, very predictable, but if you're in the mood I think this movie will do. 7/10

**

I JUST MADE THIS. Because I have nothing else to do at 1 in the morning.

(click to enlarge)

Follow me on Twitter!


And sheesh, I always forgot to mention this, Linds at Bibliophile Brouhaha and Nic at Irresistible Reads are hosting KIRSTY EAGAR WEEK! YAY! As you might know, Linds let me take part in a tour for Raw Blue and I totally loved it (understatement) so I'm excited for this feature. You ladies rock!

**

And that's it! Leave a comment and I'll be sure to drop by. Let me know if you want me to write a post about the Kindle, but ehh, it's ultimately up to you guys. I finished Nevermore by Kelly Creagh this week (my reading has been in the dumps, despite the list of great books I'm looking forward to reading) so expect a review of that soon :) And I've got an awesome list idea coming up too! Happy reading lovelies!









ps~ dear parentheses, why are you EVERYWHERE.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

BR: Amy & Roger's Epic Detour

by Morgan Matson

Jenn from Books at Midnight chose this as her pick for the Summer Reading List, and her blurb could not be more right. Plus, it's definitely been on my wishlist since it was first released and it seems like everyone loved it!

Summary (goodreads)

Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew—just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn’t seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she’s coming to terms with her father’s death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road—diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards—this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself.

**
My Expectations: high! When I say it seemed like everyone loved it, I mean it. I expected the same.
Delivery: I definitely liked it, perfect for my mood, I think.
Put-down-ability: 4/10
**

My Thoughts

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour is the perfect book for summer, for beaches, for road trips, for sunny weather and for anyone looking for an emotional feel-good read. True story.

It feels like the grief novels I love to read are usually emotional and heavy and sob-inducing every other page, but this one kept a smile on my face and yet managed to make me slightly choke up a bit. The one issue I had with this novel is its two main characters. Okay, that’s a hefty chunk of the book but hear me out. I liked them. I liked the way they were crafted and how Matson fleshed them out, gave them backstories and motivations and a twisting road but I never got them. I never felt like I was in Amy’s shoes or that I was swooning for Roger (who is in his own right, a very swoony boy). Their personalities were there but also weren’t… I don’t know how to say it.

But that aside, I really loved the rest of the novel. It makes me crave a road trip despite a historic yet scarring family one (a good thing!... I think). I thought the epic detour was epic indeed with the places they visited being described in detail so it felt like the place comes alive. The emotional journey of both characters were well written but maybe stale in the originality department. That doesn’t mean I didn’t like it because I totally did.

Thinking about it, I liked the fact that the story was focused on two characters and their own journeys on the metaphorical and physical road trip because it made things more intense. I relished the appearance of all the secondary characters, I thought they were just scarce enough and with enough personality to really shine for their part of the story.

Lastly, something I absolutely adored was all the scrapbook notes, receipts and playlists (playlists! lots of them!!) in the book, they’re original and tons of fun to read. The postcard had me choking up and actually one of my favourite parts of the book.

Rating in HP Terms: Exceeds Expectations
Recommended for: those of ya’ll clinging on to summer :p
Acknowledgements: great! 3.5/5

8.6/10 – because it was a lovely read. I think it has that overall stamp of approval from me, I loved the plot and the writing style and I thought everything just felt fresh. I really liked the relationships Amy had with her mother and brother, no matter how strained, and the road trip was entertaining and definitely fitting, I can’t see you not liking this.








source: library
author twitter / website (her site's layout rocks!!)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Giveaway! All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin (audiobook)

Guess what! A giveaway, that's what. I'm so excited to have the opportunity to host this giveaway for a book I'm dying to read. While audiobooks aren't for me, but I'm sure some of you guys will definitely appreciate it. Look at that cover! That summary! Dude, it looks so good :)

Prize: Audiobook of All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin


All These Things I've Done
Birthright #1


Summary (goodreads)
In 2083, chocolate and coffee are illegal, paper is hard to find, water is carefully rationed, and New York City is rife with crime and poverty. And yet, for Anya Balanchine, the sixteen-year-old daughter of the city's most notorious (and dead) crime boss, life is fairly routine. It consists of going to school, taking care of her siblings and her dying grandmother, trying to avoid falling in love with the new assistant D.A.'s son, and avoiding her loser ex-boyfriend. That is until her ex is accidentally poisoned by the chocolate her family manufactures and the police think she's to blame. Suddenly, Anya finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight--at school, in the news, and most importantly, within her mafia family.


Rules:
-US mailing addresses only (sorry international guys)
-ends September 2
-fill out the form below




Thanks for entering! All These Things I've Done is released Sept. 6, 2011 from Farrar, Straus and Giroux :)









a huge thanks to Macmillan for providing the audiobook

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine
**

I just finished this author's debut, Amy & Roger's Epic Detour, and I really enjoyed it... then I found out about her second book and wow... it definitely seems like my type of book.

Second Chance Summer
by Morgan Matson

Summary (goodreads)

Taylor's family might not be the closest-knit – everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled – but for the most part, they get along fine. Then they get news that changes everything: Her father has pancreatic cancer, and it's stage four – meaning that there is basically nothing to be done. Her parents decide that the family will spend his last months together at their old summerhouse in the Pocono Mountains.

 Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven't actually gone anywhere. Her former summer best friend is suddenly around, as is her first boyfriend. . . and he's much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.

 As the summer progresses, the Edwards become more of a family, and closer than they've ever been before. But all of them very aware that they're battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance – with family, with friends, and with love.


Second Chance Summer is released May 8, 2012 from Simon & Schuster
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Will you check out that cover?! I think it's rocking the perfect vibe. And I can't stop staring at it. And I absolutely adore the title as well. And the summary. Boy, this is a book that simply sells itself!!








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Monday, August 15, 2011

Ultimate-est Summer Reading List!

My lovelies! Surprise!

On my feedback survey, someone suggested I post a summer reading list and an idea sparked in my little brain (as in, I thought it was a great idea). It feels like I've seen a few lists floating around already, plus, if I made a list, it'd be quite Audrey-centric, yes?

And since the blogging world and reading tastes are crazy diverse, I thought it would be a cool idea to ask other bloggers for their ultimate summer read. And then combine all these ultimate summer reads into the Ultimate-est Summer Reading List.

Oh, but a summer read is not necessarily a beach read. These recommended books can be emotional and intense, exciting and dramatic, sweet and fluffy, hilarious and smart... the cream of the crop.

So here it is. Twelve bloggers chipped in with which book or series they would most recommend (as in absolute favourites here!) for summer, and why they chose it-- perhaps it'll convince you to pick the book up :)

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Aly @ FANTASY4EVA

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

No one captures those glorious days of summer when you're young, in love and bound to make a mistake or two. There's that first kiss, those butterflies in the pit of your stomach and the two boys you have known your whole life. It's engrossing and such a lovely read. I'm not much of a summer book reader but The Summer I Turned Pretty completely won me over.




The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder

Written in verse, this book reads very quickly and it takes place on the beach. But the story is far from simple and the characters will pull you into their story and make you love them. It's full of emotion and this story will steal your heart. I've recommended this one to many, many people looking to try a verse novel for the first time and everyone so far has loved it. So go. Read it. Now.




Audrey @ HOLES IN MY BRAIN

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

It’s a feel-good contemporary story that has everything I want: summer vacation, swoony romance, character growth, bikes, a baby, beaches, and impromptu hot-dog parties. It manages to blend emotional themes with a bright setting and an unpredictable group of loveable characters to create the perfect summer read.




Cialina @ MUGGLE-BORN.NET

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

If you haven't read it already, now is the time to pick this up. This book is perfect for the summer. Why? Because you can put everything else on hold. Once you start this series, you will not be able to stop. Get ready for an unforgettable journey with Katniss full of action, love triangles, and pretty insane cliffhangers.




Danya @ A TAPESTRY OF WORDS

Feeling Sorry for Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty

This is one of my guaranteed pick-me-up reads. It's quirky, upbeat, and very funny. Elizabeth Clarry is a heroine you can relate to and root for, as she deals with all the curveballs life throws her way — changing friendships, growing crushes, parents, teachers, and many, many letters. You'll breeze through it in no time and close the book with a smile, wishing it didn't have to end...kind of like summer.



Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

The title Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour already tells of its own awesomeness: an epic tale of a road trip filled with self-discovery, reconciliation, ex-girlfriends, White Castle burgers, and that crazy feeling we just can’t live without. With emotions as bumpy as the roads they travel, Amy and Roger define what a summer road trip should be in this feel-good novel, and together they prove that sometimes you do find the best things in life – you just need to be willing to take that detour.




Impossible by Nancy Werlin

An amazing stand-alone fantasy novel inspired by the haunting ballad Scarborough Fair, Nancy Werlin grabs the reader's attention with beautiful prose. As Lucy tries to break the curse threatening to turn her mad she leans on her childhood friend Zach which eventually turns into one of the most heartbreaking and chilling romances I've ever read.



Swim The Fly by Don Calame

It'd be easy to write off Swim The Fly as a story about the misadventures a girl-crazy teenage boy and his horny friends, which it is, but it's also so much more(ish). In a thoroughly effortless and enjoyable reading style, Calame personifies the shift from "just your typical 15 year old on a mission to see a naked girl" to "a kid who could actually turn out to become a pretty decent guy" in Matt. The only thing funnier that Matt's musings as he endures the relentless torture of drooling over the girl of his dreams but not actually being able to talk to her, are the situations he finds himself in.  Believe me when I say that dressing in drag and poopy pants are only small nuggets of the hilarity that ensues in Swim The Fly, making it a most excellent choice for a kill yourself laughing summer read.





A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley.

Why?  This is the perfect summer read because it is an exceptional coming of age story about friendships, first love (that is definitely swoon worthy), family, music that is set over a gorgeous Aussie summer!  It also has beautiful prose, outstanding characters and a sweet yet realistic plot.




Nomes @ INKCRUSH

Beatle Meets Destiny by Gabrielle Williams 

Beatle Meets Destiny is an Aussie YA cult classic. It's completely charming with its off-beat feel, whimsical yet sexy romance and huge belly-aching moments. This book is ridiculously good, refreshing, original and completely addictive. To me, it's perfect summer reading: just a whole heap of grinning fun, gorgeous, gorgeous (sexy-smile-swoon) romance, alternating male/female POV and lots of funky little omniscient asides (for something quirky and different). It's a brilliant book to curl up with for ultimate feel-good times. Oh my gosh, I love it so <3





Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz

Invincible Summer is the perfect summer read because it combines the typical beach setting and the typical lazy summer feeling with an atypically intense and dramatic story. Where most summer novels have fluff, Invincible Summer has heart-wrenchingly real characters and emotions.




Yahong @ YAHONG CHI

I Want To Go Home by Gordon Korman

Meet Rudy Miller and Mike Webster, two boys determined to get off Camp Algonkian Island and back to civilization, no matter how many camp counsellors they'll have to dump in the lake. Gordon Korman's trademark laugh-out-loud humour fills this summer camp novel with wild antics, imaginative escapades and characters you won't be able to stop guffawing with -- or at. I Want To Go Home is a hilarious and riotous read.



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There you have it! The Ultimate-est Summer Reading List chosen by some amazing bloggers. I'd love to thank the ladies who participated and blurbed these books and to you readers: these should be the best of the best!


Lastly, what would be on your ultimate summer reading list?