Jun 30, 2011

Throwback Thursday: Heaven by V.C. Andrews

Throwback Thursday is weekly meme hosted by Jenny from Take Me Away.

Heaven (Casteel, #1)

Author:  V.C. Andrews
Publisher:  Pocket
Publish Date:  November 1st 1990

From Goodreads:

Heaven Leigh Casteel was the prettiest, smartest girl in the backwoods, despite her ragged clothes and dirty face...despite a father meaner than ten vipers...despite her weary stepmother, who worked her like a mule. For her brother Tom and the little ones, Heaven clung to her pride and her hopes. Someday they'd get away and show the world that they were decent, fine and talented — worthy of love and respect.

Then Heaven's stepmother ran off, and her wicked, greedy father had a scheme — a vicious scheme that threatened to destroy the precious dream of Heaven and the children forever!


I read Heaven and the whole Casteel series when I was still in High School.  V.C. Andrew books were my stay up all night to read books back then.  I loved the turns, twists, and straight up craziness of the world she created.  

Jun 29, 2011

"Waiting On" Wednesday: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine.

The Name of the Star (Shades of London, #1)

The Name of the Star
Author:  Maureen Johnson
Publisher:  Putnam Juvenile
Expected Publication:  September 29th 2011

From Goodreads:

The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.

Soon "Rippermania" takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.


Does that not seem awesome!  I'm loving the cover too.   I want to read this with something fierce.  

Jun 27, 2011

Book Review: Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt

Sometimes It Happens

Sometimes It Happens
Author:  Lauren Barnholdt
Publisher:  Simon Pulse
Expected Publication:  July 12th 2011

From Goodreads:

On the last day of her junior year, Hannah's boyfriend Sebastian dumped her. Facing a summer of loneliness, Hannah turns to her best friend Ava for comfort. Ava does what BFFs do: she stays by Hannah's side...until it's time for Ava to head up to Maine for the summer. Also left behind is Ava's boyfriend, Noah, who's such a great guy he gets Hannah a job at the diner he waits tables at. Slowly, Hannah comes out of her funk thanks to Noah's good conversation and their fun times at the diner. But things get complicated when their friendship turns into attraction--and one night, into a passionate kiss. 

The novel opens on the first day of senior year; the day Hannah is going to see Ava, Sebastian, and Noah all in one place. Over the course of the day secrets and betrayals are revealed, and alliances are broken and reformed. In the end, everyone is paired up once again, but not the way you might think... 


I know me, and I would swear that I hate books about betrayal and infidelity.  Cheating is so not cool!  So why o'why do I love Sometimes It Happens

I really liked  Hannah despite the fact that she did a messed up thing.  Hannah is just a regular girl not a b*tch so why the hell did she do what she did? This is one of the reasons why I loved this book, I think she showed what being real really is.  Sometimes good people do shitty things.  Sometimes you can't help who you fall for.  Sometimes the consequences aren't enough for you to do the right thing especially when it comes to the heart.  Ava, Hannah's best friend is what I would call a High School friend.  A friend you will have in high school that won't carry on into adult life.  I say that because she comes off very fake and "me,me".  Noah, what do I say about him..maybe that I really liked him.  He cheated, but I still like him that says a lot about Ms. Barnholdt's writing. He is a very likable character.  I was loving Hannah and Noah.

Back to Lauren Barnholdt's writing, I love how she writes.  It's so authentic, and hits at the real crap that happens when you are a teen.  All the angst..I miss teenage angst.  I loved the pacing, characters, and story.  

Can you tell that I really liked Sometimes It Happens?  If you have a ARC read it, if you don't, pre-order.  

Jun 24, 2011

Mini Reviews and a DNF

Mini Reviews

The Girl Who Would Speak for the Dead

The Girl Who Would Speak for the Dead by Paul Elwork

The Girl Who Would Speak for the Dead is about lies, and deceiving.  Characters were good, but the pacing was slow.  It took me awhile to finish because I was constantly putting it down.  There were far more slow parts than engrossing.

Going Too Far

Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols

Going Too Far was almost a DNF for me but I kept on.  What really didn't work for me were the characters.    I can't stand goody two shoes characters, or I-make-stupid-decision-because-I'm-a-rebel characters.  I really could not stand the main protagonist.  I spent most of my time rolling my eyes.  I'm in the minority here because it has a really high rating on Goodreads.

The Lonely Hearts Club

The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg

What happens when your fed up with the opposite sex, in The Lonely Hearts Club you swear off boys and start a club.  I enjoyed  this book, predictable but cute.  I found myself smiling while reading it, but I did think find it hard to believe a bit.  I can't see a club like this getting as much attention as it did in high school.  Easy fluffy read.

Summer in the City

Summer in the City by Elizabeth Chandler

Summer in the City is another predictable cute story.  I liked the characters especially Jamie. She was athletic, and tired of being just one of the guys.  I liked the relationships.  Nothing spectacular, but a good book.

and a DNF

Crusade (Crusade, #1)

Crusade by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie

Story wise I have no idea if Crusade is a great or even good book.  I couldn't get that far.  So what was it about Crusade that made it a DNF?  The characters.  I immediately disliked them all.  I found  Antonio cheesy and Jenn annoying. As for the others they also grated on my nerves.  I might be missing something spectacular but I just don't care.

Jun 22, 2011

"Waiting On" Wednesday: As I Wake

As I Wake

As I Wake By Elizabeth Scott
Expected Publication Date:  September 15th 2011

From Goodreads:  

Ava is welcomed home from the hospital by a doting mother, lively friends, and a crush finally beginning to show interest. There's only one problem: Ava can't remember any of them - and can't shake the eerie feeling that she's not who they say she is.

Ava struggles to break through her amnesiac haze as she goes through the motions of high-school life, but the memories that surface take place in a very different world, where Ava and familiar-faced friends are under constant scrutiny and no one can be trusted. Ava doesn't know what to make of these visions, or of the boy who is at the center of them all, until he reappears in her life and offers answers . . . but only in exchange for her trust.


Jun 21, 2011

Book Review: The Things We Cherished by Pam Jenoff

The Things We Cherished: A Novel

The Things We Cherished
Author:  Pam Jenoff
Publisher:  DoubleDay
Expected Publication:  July 12th 2011

From Goodreads:

An ambitious novel that spans decades and continents, The Things We Cherished tells the story of Charlotte Gold and Jack Harrington, two fiercely independent attor­neys who find themselves slowly falling for one another while working to defend the brother of a Holocaust hero against allegations of World War II–era war crimes.

The defendant, wealthy financier Roger Dykmans, mysteri­ously refuses to help in his own defense, revealing only that proof of his innocence lies within an intricate timepiece last seen in Nazi Germany. As the narrative moves from Philadelphia to Germany, Poland, and Italy, we are given glimpses of the lives that the anniversary clock has touched over the past century, and learn about the love affair that turned a brother into a traitor.

Rich in historical detail, Jenoff’s astonishing new work is a testament to true love under the worst of circumstances.


The Things We Cherished is a book that should have touched me more than it did, but somehow it fell flat.  Anything about the Holocaust is poignant, it was the main characters in The Things We Cherished that didn't work so well for me.

There are really two stories going on in The Things We Cherished.  One is the main story of Roger Dykmans, the man currently in jail accused of a war crime.  He is accused of ratting out  his brother who was at the time saving hundreds of Jews escape.  There is a clock involved in this story that is suppose to symbol something, but I just didn't get it.  Maybe, it is what it is..a clock.  Who knows.  I was interested in what happen with Roger back during World War II.  I kept reading on to find answers, but was disappointed.  As I mentioned earlier it fell flat, still the ride was somewhat enjoyable even if the destination wasn't all that great in the end.  

The other story going on involves Charlotte and Jack.  I really didn't like either of them, so it was hard to be interested in them.  I didn't feel any chemistry between them, and everything happened so quickly for  me to appreciate.  

It wasn't all a bust though.  It's really hard to explain my love for historical fiction circa World War II because it's such horrible subject, but the stories of triumph  and survival are so touching.  Pam Jenoff has a way with words, as well.  I think she is a fabulous writer, The Things We Cherished just happen to be my least favorite.

If you enjoy reading novels that take place during the Holocaust then you might want to give this a try, but I would check it out from the library.

Jun 20, 2011

Book Review: The Magnolia League by Katie Crouch

The Magnolia League (Magnolia League, #1)

The Magnolia League
Author: Katie Crouch
Publisher: Poppy 
Date Published: May 3rd 2011

After the death of her free-spirited mother, sixteen-year-old Alex Lee must leave her home in northern California to live with her wealthy grandmother in Savannah, Georgia. By birth, Alex is a rightful, if unwilling, member of the Magnolia League, Savannah's long-standing debutante society. She quickly discovers that the Magnolias have made a pact with a legendary hoodoo family, the Buzzards. The Magnolias enjoy youth, beauty and power. But at what price?

As in her popular adult novels, Crouch's poignant and humorous voice shines in this seductively atmospheric story about girls growing up in a magical Southern city.


The Magnolia League had an interesting beginning, quickly caught my attention, and made me want to read on. As I read more into the book secrets started to unravel, and you think those secrets would make the book more interesting, right? No, not at all. For me the secrets made me not like the book as much as I had in the beginning. But then again, i'm not the type of person that particularly like fantasy and magic books. It also got really confusing about midway into the book. The story line got jumbled and I didn't really understand where it was going. But things were all cleared and everything was explained by the end of the book, of  course. 

If  your into the fantasy and magic genre then you will for sure love The Magnolia League more than I did.

Review by Jaci

Jun 19, 2011

Book Review: The Midwife's Confession by Diane Chamberlain

The Midwife's Confession

The Midwife's Confession
Author:  Diane Chamberlain
Publisher:  Mira
Date Published:  April 26th 2011

From Goodreads:  

Dear Anna,
What I have to tell you is difficult to write, but I know it will be far more difficult for you to hear, and I'm so sorry…

The unfinished letter is the only clue Tara and Emerson have to the reason behind their close friend Noelle's suicide. Everything they knew about Noelle—her calling as a midwife, her passion for causes, her love for her friends and family—described a woman who embraced life.
Yet there was so much they didn't know.

With the discovery of the letter and its heartbreaking secret, Noelle's friends begin to uncover the truth about this complex woman who touched each of their lives—and the life of a desperate stranger—with love and betrayal, compassion and deceit.


Diane Chamberlain does not get the recognition she deserves.  She is a brilliant storyteller, one of the best out there.  

I knew The Midwife's Confession was going to take me on a ride, and I was prepared to stay up late like I always do when reading one of her books.   The story is about friendships, secrets, and love..aren't all her books.  After Noelle's death her close friends Tara and Emerson begin the unravel Noelle's secret life.  They begin to wonder if they even knew Noelle.  I'm very patient reading a Diane Chamberlain book because I know that in the ending when all is explained and out I will be satisfied. It's like going through a maze.  There are so many dead ends in her story, but it is so well written I shake my head at her brilliant storytelling.  There is something comforting about her writing.  It flows with just the right amount of pacing, descriptives, and insights into characters.  

I well always seek out Diane Chamberlain's book.  The Midwife's Confession is a great read, but be prepared to stay up late. 

Jun 18, 2011

Book Review: But I Love Him by Amanda Grace

But I Love Him
Author:  Amanda Grace
Publisher:  Flux
Date Published:  May 8th 2011

From Goodreads:

Tonight was so much worse than anything before it. Tonight he didn't stop after the first slap.

At the beginning of senior year, Ann was a smiling, straight-A student and track star with friends and a future. Then she met a haunted young man named Connor. Only she can heal his emotional scars; only he could make her feel so loved — and needed. Ann can't recall the pivotal moment it all changed, when she surrendered everything to be with him, but by graduation, her life has become a dangerous high wire act. Just one mistake could trigger Connor's rage, a senseless storm of cruel words and violence damaging everything — and everyone — in its path.

This evocative slideshow of flashbacks reveals a heartbreaking story of love gone terribly wrong.


Ann and Connor forever, that's what Ann believes with all her heart even as she sees Connor changing and becoming more and more like his father.  She can't will him better, but she keeps on going forth with him hoping that her love is enough.  

Amanda Grace aka Mandy Hubbard for some reason decided the best way to write Ann's story is by starting with the ending first and going backwards all ending with the beginning of Ann's and Connor's relationship.    At first it wasn't working for me, there really wasn't any reason it wasn't working other than that I'm not use to it.  It only takes a couple of chapters to get adjusted to how the story is being told to us. At the ending of But I Love Him I thought it was genius and somehow made the story even more powerful.     But I Love Him is a serious topic.  I think Ms. Grace did a fabulous job hitting her points and making it as real as possible.  When tackling such a hard topic I think authors are aware that there words could in someway impact someone who can being going through the same thing.  

Ann is such a heartbreaking character because you know what she's thinking just isn't what happens with guys like Connor.  You can't fix them.  They have to fix themselves.  Just wishing something better doesn't mean it's gonna happen.  Her thought process seemed so real.  Sometimes you want to shake her and tell her to snap out of it. I also loved how we are given a glimpse into Connor's world.  We learn a lot about how he's become the way he is.  It really is a sad book looking back at it.

But I Love Him is a realistic look into love gone bad, and dangerous.  Love does not fix all.

Jun 17, 2011

Book Review: The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

The Peach Keeper

The Peach Keeper
Author:  Sarah Addison Allen
Publisher:  Bantam
Date Published:  March 22nd 2011

From Goodreads:

It’s the dubious distinction of thirty-year-old Willa Jackson to hail from a fine old Southern family of means that met with financial ruin generations ago. The Blue Ridge Madam—built by Willa’s great-great-grandfather during Walls of Water’s heyday, and once the town’s grandest home—has stood for years as a lonely monument to misfortune and scandal. And Willa herself has long strived to build a life beyond the brooding Jackson family shadow. No easy task in a town shaped by years of tradition and the well-marked boundaries of the haves and have-nots.

But Willa has lately learned that an old classmate—socialite do-gooder Paxton Osgood—of the very prominent Osgood family, has restored the Blue Ridge Madam to her former glory, with plans to open a top-flight inn. Maybe, at last, the troubled past can be laid to rest while something new and wonderful rises from its ashes. But what rises instead is a skeleton, found buried beneath the property’s lone peach tree, and certain to drag up dire consequences along with it.

For the bones—those of charismatic traveling salesman Tucker Devlin, who worked his dark charms on Walls of Water seventy-five years ago—are not all that lay hidden out of sight and mind. Long-kept secrets surrounding the troubling remains have also come to light, seemingly heralded by a spate of sudden strange occurrences throughout the town.

Now, thrust together in an unlikely friendship, united by a full-blooded mystery, Willa and Paxton must confront the dangerous passions and tragic betrayals that once bound their families—and uncover truths of the long-dead that have transcended time and defied the grave to touch the hearts and souls of the living


I truly, truly like Sarah Addison Allen's books..truly.  Something about the way she writes really pulls you into her stories.  I love that her books all have a touch of magic.

The Peach Keeper to me is the least of my favorites, but that is what is so great about her, even with The Peach Keeper being the least of my favorites it still is good.   It lacks a little something that The Sugar Queen and  Garden Spells has, though.   I was quite drawn in by the secret between Willa and Paxton's grandmothers.  I wanted to know what happen in their past and how it is connected to the mansion, Blue Ridge Madam.  For some reason it felt that The Peach Keeper was missing a climax, or at least a very exciting one.  The ending fell flat.  

One of the best things about Ms. Allen's books are her characters.  There is at least one character that somehow touches your heart, but I closed The Peach Keeper not feeling any real attachment to any of the characters. It took me awhile to even like her characters this time around, but it was there by the end of the book.  

The best part of The Peach Keeper is the writing.  Sarah Addison Allen knows how to write. Her descriptions are just right and I love the southern charm she brings to her books.  Being from the South I relax right in to her settings.  

I don't recommend The Peach Keeper for your first Sarah Addison Allen adventure, but I do think it's worth a read.  Check your local library.    


Jun 16, 2011

Throwback Thursday: Rumble Fish

Rumble Fish
Author:  S.E. Hinton

From Goodreads:

Rusty-James isn't book-smart--he relies on his fists instead of his brains. So far whenever he gets into trouble, his older brother, the Motorcycle Boy, has bailed him out. Then one day Rusty-James's world comes apart in an explosive chain of events--and this time the Motorcycle Boy isn't around to pick up the pieces.


I remember reading this for English in school, and loving it.  I can't remember everything about it, but I remember thinking it was to short.  I wanted it to last longer.   It think it's time for a reread.  

Jun 15, 2011

"Waiting On" Wednesday: The Beginning of After

The Beginning of After

From Goodreads:

Sixteen-year-old Laurel's world changes instantly when her parents and brother are killed in a terrible car accident. Behind the wheel is the father of her bad-boy neighbor, David Kaufman, whose mother is also killed. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Laurel navigates a new reality in which she and her best friend grow apart, boys may or may not be approaching her out of pity, overpowering memories lurk everywhere, and Mr. Kaufman is comatose but still very much alive. Through it all, there is David, who swoops in and out of Laurel's life and to whom she finds herself attracted against her better judgment. She will forever be connected to him by their mutual loss, a connection that will change them both in unexpected ways. 

Publication Date:  September 6th 2011
Publisher:  HarperTeen

Book Review: Sharks & Boys by Kristen Tracy

Sharks & Boys

Sharks & Boys
Author:  Kristen Tracy
Publisher:  Hyperion Book
Expected Publication:  June 28th 2011

From Goodreads:  

When 15-year-old Enid Calhoun follows her boyfriend Wick to Maryland for a party, fearful that he might be intending to cheat on her, she finds herself sneaking on board a houseboat where Wick and his friends plan to have a wild night. But before the boys discover their stowaway, a hurricane strikes, and the teenagers are carried miles from the shore and shipwrecked. What follows is a harrowing, yet heartwarming, story of survival, as the teens battle hypothermia, dehydration, man-eating sharks--and along the way, confront their own deepest secrets, including their catalytic roles in the disaster.


I decided to give this one a try even if the reviews have been less than stellar. Hoping to be pleasantly surprised I picked my ereader Sunday morning and began.  By Sunday night I was done, and though it had some flaws I quite liked it.  

What I liked about it:

1.  Love the title, and hey it had both Sharks and Boys, so it was not misleading.

2.  Surprising the main female protagonist wasn't whiny nor annoying.  She did occasionally have a brain fart moment, but who doesn't.  I also liked the other characters.  

3.  Sharks and Boys was a unique story and I have not read anything like it.

4.  I liked the discussions they had.  I thought they were real, except for that one conversation (i'll get back to that).

5.  The many references to Jaws and Titanic.  I too would be thinking about those movies if I was in a similar situation.  Is that weird?

5.  The ending was good, and honestly I never got bored.  I thought it was intense and interesting, Like MTV's the Real Word but on a raft in the middle of a shark infested ocean. 

Now what didn't make a perfect book and Sunday:

1.  The fact that Enid wondered about the situation between her and Wick. Are they together or not?  She actually got happy he called her his girlfriend.  Who freakin cares if he's your boyfriend!  You are in a raft with sharks all around you with no water or food.  You are in a shitty situation whether he's your boyfriend or not. 

2.  The conversation (pertains to #4 above) about Wick maybe possibly cheating on Enid with some girl name Simone.  Didn't happen, but it could have happen had they not been instead in a raft with sharks swimming nearby snapping their jaws at them.  In the situation as such do you honestly care whether you have been cheated on.  Actually I think it would be the perfect time for your significant other to admit such transgressions due to the dire dilemma you are in who cares, and if you make it you would be so glad to be alive that you will be so busy smelling the roses, kissing the ground and traumatized that you will probably forget the confession.

If the book description sounds even remotely interesting I think get it a try.  I wasn't disappointed maybe you won't be either. 

Jun 13, 2011

Book Review: Best Intentions: A Novel by Emily Listfield

Best Intentions: A Novel
Author:  Emily Listfield
Publisher:  Atria
Date Published:  May 5th 2009

From Goodreads:

After tossing and turning all night, thirty-nine-year-old Lisa Barkley wakes up well before her alarm sounds. With two daughters about to start another year at their elite Upper East Side private school and her own career hitting a wall, the effort of trying to stay afloat in that privileged world of six-story town houses and European jaunts has become increasingly difficult, especially as Manhattan descends into an economic freefall.

As Lisa looks over at her sleeping husband, Sam, she can't help but feel that their fifteen-year marriage is in a funk that she isn't able to place. She tries to shake it off and tells herself that the strain must be due to their mounting financial pressures. But later that morning, as her family eats breakfast in the next room, Lisa finds herself checking Sam's voicemail and hears a whispered phone call from a woman he is to meet that night. Is he having an affair?

When Lisa shares her suspicions with her best friend, Deirdre, at their weekly breakfast, Deirdre claims it can't be true. But how can Lisa fully trust her opinion when Deirdre is still single and mired in an obsessive affair with a glamorous photographer even as it hovers on the edge of danger?

When Deirdre's former college flame, Jack, comes to town and the two couples meet to cele-brate his fortieth birthday, the stage is set for an explosiveT series of discoveries with devastating consequences.

Filled with suspense and provocative ques-tions about the relationships we value most, Best Intentions is a tightly woven drama of love, friendship and betrayal.


Best Intentions showed promise in the first two pages with the prologue.  In the first couple of pages there is a murder, then it backtracks into "the beginning" of the story.  At first I found myself interested in what was going on these characters life, but around a fourth of the way in I realize I started caring less and less.  I never fully committed myself to any of the characters because I just didn't really care for them.  They seemed flat and I kept thinking I wasn't hearing or feeling the truth of them for some reason.  As for the plot line of Best Intentions it just didn't come together for me in a way I could appreciate and love.

Jun 8, 2011

Book Review: Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma


Author:  Tabitha Suzuma
Publisher:  Simon Pulse
Date Published:   June 28th 2011

From Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.


How do I even begin to gush over a book that is about incest?  Incest without a doubt is not a typical YA topic, but for some reason Ms. Suzuma thought it made for a good story, and it did.  I'm surprised how much I liked Forbidden because of the ickiness factor.  

I did feel uncomfortable reading some parts of Forbidden.  The gross factor was too much at times, but I continued on because of all the talk about Forbidden being such an intense read.  Forbidden is like a symphony, it starts off pensive and melancholy then soars into madness.   You close the book feeling depleted of all your energy and just shaking your head.  What a ride the author takes you on. 

If you can stand to read a story about brother and sister in love than I really recommend you read it, if not just stay away.  

I'm curious to hear what others think.  Have you read Forbidden, or do you plan to?  

Jun 7, 2011

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier: Trailer and Giveaway

Ruby Red

From Goodreads:

Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era! Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon, the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.



Giveaway Rules:

Must be 13 yrs. or older
US/Canada only
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Ends: June 12th
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Jun 6, 2011

Book Review: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Author:  Jennifer Donnelly
Publisher:  Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Date Published:  October 12th 2010

From Goodreads:  

BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.

PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape.

Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present. 


When Revolution came out last year I wanted it...wanted it bad.  Everything about the book description interested me.  Then the reviews started invading my google reader and I wanted it 
even more. 

Ms. Donnelly had me through most of the book up until about 3/4 of the way.  All of sudden it got all WTF!  It was going so well..then bam we have time travelling (spoilerish highlight if you want to know)g.  At first I went along with it pretending all was well.  Hey, you never know maybe this had to be done for the storyline.  Sadly, no it didn't need to go there.

I guess I started with the one bad thing in all of the book, now on to the great things.  I love historical fiction, and contemporary fiction so this was the best of both world.  We are reading two stories, Andi's and Alexandrine's.  Andi's is being told present and we get Alexandrine's through a journal/diary that Andi discovers in a hidden compartment of a old guitar case.  I really enjoyed how both characters grow as their stories are being told.  At first I found it hard to connect or even like Andi.  I'm not down with that self loathing bullsh*t, and that's all she did in the beginning, but things got better between her and I not to far into Revolution.   

I gave this a 4 rating on Goodreads because though it had some flaws I really enjoyed it.  It is kind of a depressing read though.   

Jun 2, 2011

The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder

The Lipstick Laws
Author:  Amy Holder
Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Date Published:  April 4th 2011

From Goodreads:  

At Penford High School, Britney Taylor is the queen bee. She dates whomever she likes, rules over her inner circle of friends like Genghis Khan, and can ruin anyone's life with a snap of perfectly manicured fingers. Just ask the unfortunate few who have crossed her.   For April Bowers, Britney is also the answer to her prayers. April is so unpopular, kids don't even know she exists. But one lunch spent at Britney's table, and April is basking in the glow of popularity.   But Britney's friendship comes with a high price tag. How much is April willing to pay?


I'm going to assume that The Lipstick Laws has been compared to the movie The Mean Girls.  I thought there were so many similarities, the biggest being the mean girl clique that rule the school, out of fear mostly.  

I did enjoy The Lipstick Laws but the whole time I was reading I kept thinking this has been done before plenty of times.  I kept looking for a unique spin, and just couldn't find one.    Even with the lack of originality, and the predictability I was still antsy to see how Britney was going down.  There's something about seeing karma being played out.  Really," karma is a Bitch", and The Lipstick Laws shows how kick ass karma is. 

Debut author, Amy Holder did a great job writing.  I loved the simplicity of the novel, as well as the authenticity of the main protagonist's voice.  I understood her want to fit in, especially with her best friend gone, and I understood her want for revenge.  

The Lipstick Laws is a smack dab in the middle book for me.  I didn't love it, nor did I hate, but I do know I will definitely be reading more from the Amy Holder.