Aug 22, 2011

Epic Book Contest out in the Blogosphere

Missy's Reads & Reviews

Missy's Reads and Reviews is having a awesome 1000 follower giveaway.  There is 5 themed prize packages plus a bonus package.  Awesome, right?

If you are interest, and why wouldn't you be, click on the link.


Aug 21, 2011

Book Review: Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

Shut Out
Author:  Kody Keplinger
Publisher:  Poppy
Date Published:  September 5th 2011

I am huge fan of Kody Keplinger's debut novel The Duff, so obviously I was dying to read Shut Out.  Shut Out is not as great as The Duff but it is still a good read.

Just like her debut, Shut Out is a young adult read that is cutting edge with all the sex talk and language.  Beware of that if you are not a fan of edgy ya books.       It doesn't bother me a bit, but I know for some it does.  

In Shut Out the girls shut out the boys from sexual acts and everything in between until they can resolve their feud.  The feud is between the soccer players and football players.  I guess the girls are getting them where it hurts.  Main protagonist Lissa is fed up with her boyfriend, quarterback Randy putting the feud before her, and decides enough is enough.  She gathers all the girlfriends of the football players and soccer players and proposes the sex shut out.  What she didn't plan on was Cash (soccer player) leading the boys in this shut out, or that she would find herself attractive to him.  

I liked Cash and Lissa.  Cash was a little mysterious to me, and I enjoyed finding out more about him.  At times Lissa did grate on my nerves, but I will chalk it up to our age!  It was predictable, but still enjoyable.

Aug 17, 2011

Mini Reviews: Dead Beautiful & Troy High

Things have been pretty hectic around here lately with all the getting back to school list of things that need to be done.  My youngest is in Kindergarten now and so I have all three going all day, which means empty house.  I will be resuming my substituting gig, and if it's anything like last school year I should be busy quite a bit.

This summer has been a really lazy time for me with practically everything.  I slacked off on blogging some and now have a pile of reviews needed, on top of that I stopped the working out and gained 15 pds this summer...BLAH!  But I dropped the nasty habits and now down 11 pds of those 15 and decided why not go for 20 pds.  

Mini reviews are my way of solving my slacking off.

Dead Beautiful (Dead Beautiful, #1)

Dead Beautiful
Author: Yvonne Woon
Series: Book 1 of Dead Beautiful series
Publisher: Hyperion Book
Date Published:  September 21st 2010

Renee finds her parents in the woods dead, then gets sent to Gottfried Academy by her grandfather.  The weirdness at the academy is rampant, and slowly Renee comes to realize there is more to Gottfried than meets the eye.  

Dead Beautiful has the handsome cute but elusive guy who of course Renee is attractive to, Dante.  After a while some of these YA books start overlapping in my memory because the formula is basically the same, but I did enjoy Dead Beautiful.  In the beginning I wasn't so sure about it, but it grew on me.  I will continue this series to see where it goes, and because I loved the ending of this book I need to read the next.  

My goodreads rating: 3

Troy High

Troy High
Author: Shana Norris
Publisher:  Amulet Books
Date released:  August 1st 2009

I've seen the movie Troy, so basically know how the story goes ( I have tried to read Illiad, but you know how that goes).  My small town I grew up in has a huge rivalry with the town next to us, and it's been around for decades.  I know all about pranks and riding to the next town to taunt before the big football game and I enjoyed Troy High more because of my experience in High School with it.  

Troy High is a good book with a lot of pranks and arguing.  Cassie is a Trojan and her best friend/crush is a Spartan and that starts to cause problems when Cassie's older football  player brothers and her crush's (can't remember his name) older brother go at each other when the beautiful Elena (i.e. Helen) goes from the Spartan (crush's brother) to the Cassie's brother the Trojan. 

Very quick cute read.

Goodreads rating:  3

Aug 15, 2011

Book Review: The Raising by Laura Kasischke

The Raising
Author:  Laura Kasischke
Publisher:  Harper Perennial
Date Published: March 15th 2011 (PB)

From Goodreads:

Last year Godwin Honors Hall was draped in black. The university was mourning the loss of one of its own: Nicole Werner, a blond, beautiful, straight-A sorority sister tragically killed in a car accident that left her boyfriend, who was driving, remarkably—some say suspiciously—unscathed. 

Although a year has passed, as winter begins and the nights darken, obsession with Nicole and her death reignites: She was so pretty. So sweet-tempered. So innocent. Too young to die. Unless she didn’t. Because rumor has it that she’s back.


We all go into books expecting the best or we wouldn't pick them up, but darn it really sucks when all those high hopes disappear on the last 50 pages of a 496 page book.  The Raising dragged here and there but overall I was enjoying it, until the story went nowhere.  

The Raising is a dark book about peoples ugly manipulative side told in a weird gothic way.  The story takes place at a college with quite a bit of players.  Some characters I wondered why they had so much dedicated to them since to me they did nothing for the movement of the plot, hence the dragging I mentioned.  

The whole of the book is really about Nicole Werner, and still after almost 500 pages of people talking about her and so on I still don't have any idea who she really was.  There were a lot of faces to her, but which one was truly her I have no idea.  In the end I was just frustrated with The Raising.  

The one bright spot was the history lesson I learned about the cultural differences and rituals done for the dead.  Really cool to know why we do certain things when people die and how these things started and why.

Basically to sum it up I did not like The Raising, nor can I recommend it.  

Aug 7, 2011

Book Review: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Unbroken:  A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
Author:  Laura Hillenbrand
Publisher:  Random House Publishing Group
Date Published:  November 16th 2010

From Goodreads:

On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War. 
The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown. Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will. 


Unbroken is a very hard book to review because I feel like I cannot give it it's proper praise.  Before I write my review I need to make clear that Unbroken is brilliantly done, and touched me.  With that being said, Unbroken is my favorite book of 2011 so far, and I really can't see another outdoing it.  I feel that strongly about it. 

Laura Hillenbrand is a wonderful writer.  Seriously, she's freaking awesome!  She is a must buy author for me now because I trust that she will hit it out of the ballpark.  You can tell how much research and interviewing went into writing Unbroken.  The details help picture everything, and by details I mean everything has a purpose.  So she did her research now she has to put it all together to tell the story, and WOW did she.  It all fits perfectly together.  I can't really say enough about her writing and research.  

By now I am sure you realize Unbroken is a true story, but did you know that it is riveting?  It invokes so many emotions as you turn pages.  I cried, laughed, smiled and felt elation while reading this great true story.  The goose bumps were galore.  The POW's during World War II went through so much, it's heartbreaking.  It was horrible to read about, and the fact that some of these men made it through says a lot about the human spirit, and how much we can endure with just the will to survive. It's a powerful read.

Unbroken is a must read, you will not be disappointed.  It's more than a story, it's history.  These men went through so much, their courage and heart is inspiring.  Who doesn't want to be inspired?

Aug 6, 2011

Book Review: Dark Parties by Sara Grant

Dark Parties
Author:  Sara Grant
Publisher:  Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Date Published:  August 3rd 2011

Sixteen-year-old Neva has been trapped since birth. She was born and raised under the Protectosphere, in an isolated nation ruled by fear, lies, and xenophobia. A shield "protects" them from the outside world, but also locks the citizens inside. But there's nothing left on the outside, ever since the world collapsed from violent warfare. Or so the government says...
Neva and her best friend Sanna believe the government is lying and stage a "dark party" to recruit members for their underground rebellion. But as Neva begins to uncover the truth, she realizes she must question everything she's ever known, including the people she loves the most.


Dark Parties is a dystopian fiction about living in a world that is "protected" by the government and sealed in a dome.  The government is protecting this dome from the evilness lurking outside the dome.  

I liked the whole dome idea.  I thought it was a great concept, kind of reminded me of that Simpson's movie where Springfield gets sealed in a dome, except here there ain't no happy faces and laughs.  Like most dystopian books there is a group of rebels, and the main protagonist Neva is smack dab middle of a group of teenagers that rage against the powers that be.  Neva has a journal containing all the stories her grandmother would tell her of the world before the dome, it also contains a list of "the missing".  When rebels get caught they disappear never to be seen again.  Neva's grandma is on the missing list which incites her to rebel even more.

Some things I really liked about Dark Parties, like learning more about the government and how it rules the people, but I could not stand Neva.  Yeah, I hated the main character, and that sucks.  It totally ruined the story for me when I couldn't muster up any good qualities in Neva.  Let's see if I can come up with some good attributes.  Neva is brave....hmm that's it, she is also selfish, cold, not at all too bright, did I mention selfish.  Why Neva Why?  Why screw your best friend over, yeah you come through at the end for her, but seriously you are an awful best friend.  

Dark Parties has just interesting enough to continue on reading even when you want to throw it across the room.  It's not the plot that sucks it's the main character, that being said I did read it in one day.  

If you read it what did you think about Neva?

Aug 5, 2011

Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss
Author:  Stephanie Perkins
Publisher:  Dutton
Date Published:  December 2nd 2010

From Goodreads:

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.


Well, Anna and the French Kiss deserves all the praise it has been getting from bloggers/readers.  Believe the hype.

Everything about Anna and the French Kiss is awesome.  Never have I read a perfect YA contemporary.  The characters were great, the setting was fabulous, and the romance was perfect.

Anna and her knew french friends are a group I totally would want to hang out in back when I was younger.  They are a close knit fun group plus they are so realistic.  Kudos to Ms. Perkins for making them real.  Anna wasn't the perfect protagonist, but that is what makes her special.  She's normal, and approachable, and Etienne is a perfect crush worthy romantic lead.  

I really loved Anna and the French Kiss.  Can't wait to read Lola and the Boy Next Door.

Aug 2, 2011

Mini Book Review: A Catered Affair by Sue Margolis

A Catered Affair
Author:  Sue Margolis
Publisher:  NAL Trade
Publication Date:  August 2nd 2011

From Goodreads:

When Tallulah gets jilted at the altar, she gets very drunk and starts making passes at the male wedding guests. She even propositions the caterer. But in the next few weeks, reality comes crashing down around her. Her difficult mother becomes more impossible than ever. Her lesbian sister starts trying to have a baby. Nana Ida gets busy matchmaking. What Tallulah is about to discover is that happiness doesn't always come in the form of the perfect doctor- and that sometimes real love doesn't require a catered affair.


A Catered Affair is more character driven then plot driven, and that's great when you like the characters, which I did.  We get to know Tallulah in the beginning while she is planning her wedding to her fiance. When she gets jilted she takes the time to evaluate her life, and herself.  Tallulah changes as the book progress for the better.

I just fell into the life of Tallulah, her renewed independence and new relationships.   A Catered Affair put a smile on my face.