Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

"At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting — he’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. 

The monster in his backyard is different. It’s ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth. 

From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd — whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself — Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined."

Title: A Monster Calls
Author: Patrick Ness (inspired by Siobhan Dowd)
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Pages: 215, Hardcover

I'm breathless.

This THING. This BOOK. No, not book. This perfect, perfect masterpiece. It left me breathless. Astounded.

No words.

Conor is having nightmares. And nearly every night at 12:07, a monster comes. Made of the yew tree that lives up the hill from his own house, where he lives with his ill mother. At school, everyday is miserable, as everyone treats him as nobody, feeling pitiful for his mother. The monster somehow becomes his friend, and not only does the monster visit him, he also tells Conor tales, three, specifically, that will lead to Conor's own truth.

Everything about this book was just so REAL and DREAMY. If that made any sense at all. I felt all of the feelings that Conor felt, even when they were abstract and cloudy. Yes, this whole book was like a dream, a nightmare. Is this all a hallucination? Is it reality? What's wrong with Conor? Yet, everything was so simple. The tales that the monster told Conor strangely reminded me of the Deathly Hallow's tale from Harry Potter. It definitely has the same, haunting, gothic taste.

The images that were represented in the story just. JUST. Wrapped it all together with a pretty bow. It tied it all congruously and it was just so scary how perfect it all was. It's actually agonizingly beautiful.

The characters personality all reminded me of someone in Patrick Ness's Chaos Walking Trilogy. I guess I loved Conor so much because he reminded me of Todd. The connection just worked so well for me, that I kind of fell in love with this book as well. And for readers out there who have read this masterpiece and The Chaos Walking Trilogy, does the yew monster in the story NOT remind you of the Spackle? Their voice was so similar, I loved it.

In conclusion, I'm terribly sorry for my review that absolutely doesn't do this book any justice. Everyone has to read this book, and just savor the illustrations for themselves. Patrick Ness, this is what you do to me. I will utterly read anything you write, may it be a math textbook, a cookbook, I'll read it.

Grade: A+

Source: Library

Monday, May 28, 2012

Review: The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

"Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan’s life. She’s stuck at JFK, late to her father’s second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley’s never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport’s cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he’s British, and he’s in seat 18C. Hadley’s in 18A.

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver’s story will make you believe that true love finds you when you’re least expecting it."

Title: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Release Date: January 2, 2012
Publisher: Poppy
Pages: 236, Hardcover

Well, I can safely say that I didn't get what I expected.

What I mean is, I thought that this one was going to be very, very similar to Anna and the French Kiss, which is one of my absolute favorite books of all time. However, I didn't get that same cute, developing love story for this novel. Instead, I was disappointed with where the plot went. In a completely different direction to what I expected coming into the story. Because of this, I couldn't enjoy it as much.

The story begins with Hadley at the airport, getting ready to fly to London to attend her father's wedding, in which she does not want to be present at. She misses the flight, and because of this, she catches the flight 3 hours later, meeting a charming British boy, Oliver. The plane ride turns out to be much better then she expected, and when she gets to London, her relationship with her father is mended and in the span of 24 hours, everything shifts from terrible to absolutely brilliant.

The plot definitely started out great. Especially the beginning, when Jennifer E. Smith talks about the what if s. It really set up the story quite well, and I could feel the anticipation building up. I was so happy to have met Oliver, finally. But quickly as soon as Oliver was introduced, he disappeared. That was halfway through the book. I was extremely confused, because prior to reading this book, I had thought that the entire book was about Hadley and Oliver's growing relationship, them falling love. But nope, the story fluctuates into a completely different story, becoming about Hadley and her father's relationship. I was so disappointed.

I mean, the second half of the story with Hadley and her father's amend was alright, mediocre. I didn't hate it. But I was so dissatisfied as to the path the story took. I was expecting a love story, not a father-daughter thing. Oliver only showed up again in the end, which, I admit, was pretty adorable, but the plot just failed for me. The twist just didn't work out for me.

As for the characters, Hadley was…decent. She was moderate, nothing too bad or good. I didn't connect with any of her emotions, and she was just, there. And Oliver, not as charming as I wanted him to be, either. Sure, he was funny and I loved what I read of him, but I think he could have been elaborated in so much more detail. By the end of the story, I wasn't even sure if he is a main character or not. I felt like Hadley's father played a more significant role in the story than Oliver did.

All-inclusive, The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight was a great letdown for me, as I had expected it to be mainly about romance. Through my perspective, I didn’t get enough of it. However, I do not that many people enjoyed it, and even though I didn't enjoy quite was much everyone else, I do hope that everyone still gives this book shot.

Grade: B-

Source: Library  

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Weekly Book Haul (18)

This week was INSANE. I recently figured out that I could check out audiobooks and listen to them in the car instead of staring out the window doing nothing. Now I'm audiobook crazy. Sorry for no images for some this week, there's just too many!

From my library (audiobooks):

Library Books:

From my Ebook Library (audiobooks):

My Reading Pile (May 27-June 2) hosted by Rachel @Fiktshun
This week is going to be extremely crazy, so I know I'll probably only have time
to listen to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone on audio, and even then I probably
won't finish it. Yes, it sucks. I do want to get started on A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, since it is a short read, and hopefully I can finish it before May ends. Final exams are coming up very, very soon though...

What books did YOU haul this week? What's in your reading pile? 
I'd love to know! As always, feel free to leave links in the comments and such. =)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Review: Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

"Most high school sports teams have rivalries with other schools. At Hamilton High, it's a civil war: the football team versus the soccer team. And for her part,Lissa is sick of it. Her quarterback boyfriend, Randy, is always ditching her to go pick a fight with the soccer team or to prank their locker room. And on three separate occasions Randy's car has been egged while he and Lissa were inside, making out. She is done competing with a bunch of sweaty boys for her own boyfriend's attention

Then Lissa decides to end the rivalry once and for all: She and the other players' girlfriends go on a hookup strike. The boys won't get any action from them until the football and soccer teams make peace. What they don't count on is a new sort of rivalry: an impossible girls-against-boys showdown that hinges on who will cave to their libidos first. But what Lissa never sees coming is her own sexual tension with the leader of the boys, Cash Sterling..."

Title: Shut Out
Author: Kody Keplinger
Release Date: September 5, 2011
Publisher: Poppy
Pages: 273, Hardcover (Read: Audiobook)

I've heard so many great things about Kody's novels, such as The Duff. When I saw that this one was available for audiobook, I immediately jumped at the chance, because, well, it was my first audiobook and it was Kody Keplinger. I have never read any of her books yet, and I decided to start out with this one. However, after finishing the book, I was definitely letdown a little. I wasn't expecting too much out of this one, as it IS a quick and easy fluffy read, but I think it could have been a lot better.

Lissa and her boyfriend, Randy, have been dating for quite awhile. But there relationship is hanging by a thread, all because of the school rivalry. Not with another school, but within the school sports teams, football and soccer. So Lissa gathers the girlfriends of these boys to start a sex strike until the rivalry is over. But when things don't go as planned, things unravel and the sex strike Lissa planned with the other girls goes in a completely different direction Lissa wasn't expecting.

First, the characters definitely bothered me. The main character especially. And if I can't like a main character in the novel, there is a high percentage that I won't enjoy the novel much, either. Lissa definitely had her flaws, and usually I like my character's flawed, but with Lissa, it seemed like she never really learned from them, even in the end. She was really indecisive and never seemed to know what to do. And when she DID decide something, it would always be the wrong choice. She wasn't the brightest, either. Why would she go out with a guy like Randy? To me, she just seemed to date him for popularity. I couldn't see past that fact. And Randy? Don't even get me started. I hated him with a fiery passion.

Suddenly, after about halfway through the book, Randy just disappears, and in pops Cash. Cash was awkward for me. He was supposed to be "perfect" according to Lissa, but all I could picture in my head was big chunky guy who talked in a too-deep voice. Not the best imagery there. The only character that I could enjoy was Chloe, even though she was a brat. She was hilarious and so out there that it was entertaining for me to read about her.

The next biggest problem was the plot. I thought the plot started out really strong in the beginning. A sex strike to end a school civil war? Sounds great. But the problem of the book just CHANGED dramatically when it soon became about Lissa's love life. I understand that the sex strike started out with Lissa and Randy's relationship, but the fact that there was an extreme change in plot & characters was just not for me.

The writing was really nothing special. There was a lot of profanity as well, which I definitely am not the biggest fan of. I did like the connection with the Lysistrada play. You could say that Shut Out is somewhat a retelling of that story.

All in all, Shut Out was quite the disappointment. There was hardly anything that I actually liked. However, I did not think once about putting it down or setting it aside. It is definitely readable. Although I didn't enjoy Kody's second novel as much as I had hoped, I am still looking forward to try her other novels.

Audio Performance: Since I "read" this book on audio, I would like to mention a few things. The reader was a little too perky, which suited Lissa's voice, but at times it just got on my nerves. Which, may just have contributed to my dislike of this book. Then again, I am glad that it wasn't some older lady who was ready a high school story…

Grade: C-

Source: Online library (audiobook)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Summer To-Read List

HEY EVERYONE. Who's excited for summer?! I know I CERTAINLY am. No school or stress, just fun in the sun and TONS of reading. Which is why I'm making a summer to-read list. I'd like to show you guys the books that I WILL get done over the summer of 2012!

The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Oh my GOD don't kill me. I have only read 1-5, and half of the sixth book,
and that was probably 5 years ago. Yep. Here we go. I'm GOING to do it. I will.

The Mortal Instruments/The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare
Again, I live under a rock.

The Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead.
Have I mentioned that I live under a rock?

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
Am I even allowed to be a book blogger? Doesn't seem like it...

Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series by Rick Riordan

Maze Runner Trilogy by James Dashner

John Green's Books:
-Looking For Alaska
-The Fault in Our Stars
-Paper Towns
-Will Grayson, Will Grayson
-An Abundance of Katherines

Perfect Chemistry Trilogy by Simone Elkeles

Summer Trilogy by Jenny Han

Aaaand of course some standalones that I'll read in between. What can you guys recommend to me? Obviously, this summer is catch-up summer for me. I'm just trying to catch-up on all of the books I need to read before I die. I think I'm going to have a VERY good summer. If you, like me, also live under a rock and haven't read some of these, feel free to let me know, and you can make me feel better. =P

What about you? =)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Review: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

"What do you want from me?" he asks. What I want from every person in my life, I want to tell him. More. 

Abandoned by her mother on Jellicoe Road when she was eleven, Taylor Markham, now seventeen, is finally being confronted with her past. But as the reluctant leader of her boarding school dorm, there isn't a lot of time for introspection. And while Hannah, the closest adult Taylor has to family, has disappeared, Jonah Griggs is back in town, moody stares and all. 

In this absorbing story by Melina Marchetta, nothing is as it seems and every clue leads to more questions as Taylor tries to work out the connection between her mother dumping her, Hannah finding her then and her sudden departure now, a mysterious stranger who once whispered something in her ear, a boy in her dreams, five kids who lived on Jellicoe Road eighteen years ago, and the maddening and magnetic Jonah Griggs, who knows her better than she thinks he does. If Taylor can put together the pieces of her past, she might just be able to change her future."

Title: Jellicoe Road
Author: Melina Marchetta
Release Date: August 26, 2008 (US)
Publisher: Harper Teen (US)
Pages: 419, Hardcover

"A home to come back to every day of their lives. Where they would all belong or long to be. A place on the Jellicoe Road."-pg. 419, Jellicoe Road

Poignant. Beautiful. Lyrical. Amazing. Gorgeous.

These are all things that I had heard prior to reading Jellicoe Road. I would ask myself, "How could a book be THIS fabulous?" It was unfathomable. This book was being tossed around the blogosphere so often that I decided that I finally had to give it a try (with some extra persuasion from Willa, along with some other bloggers). I told myself to not give too high of a standards for this one, JUST in case it disappointed me in the end. But in the end, there was no need. Because I was not disappointed. In fact, Jellicoe Road outshined my assumptions. By far.

But. It was the first half of the book that was so, so extremely difficult and frustrating to get through. Nothing was happening. Everything was so confusing and I was puzzled more than half of the time. The territory wars? What is THAT? What is this other story about five kids? Who are they? Why do they matter? Who is Taylor Markham? My questions were answered, however, right after the halfway point of the story. Everything just EXPLODES and UNRAVELS in your face and you can't help but realize, wow, this is an outstanding book.

For me, it was definitely more like a mystery. At first, I just thought Hannah and Taylor were the main characters, and all of the other people in the Cadets, Townies, and students in the Houses were all side characters. But, after completing the book, not only did I fall in love with every character, I realized that they all played a very significant role throughout the entire book. They were all main characters. It just kind of blew my mind thinking about it. The creativity of the two storylines in the beginning woven into one story in the end was just ingenious, and I honestly don't think Melina Marchetta could have done a better job.

There was a lot of meaning to this book. In some parts, I really had to go back a couple of pages, just to reread it and make sense of it. Even now I think I'm still a little curious about what happened, which is why this book is a must-reread. Some things were so symbolic and although it did confuse me at times, the meaning of some of the phrases do reveal itself, leaving me very satisfied. Melina Marchetta is a beautiful writer. Honestly, it's golden. Often times throughout the book, I felt like I was in a dream.

In a nutshell, Jellicoe Road  showers the reader with a powerful, sentimental story that leaves the reader with more to think about at night. Jellicoe Road is a must read for anyone and everyone. I know for myself that I will be reading this one countless more times.

Grade: A+

Source: Library

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Weekly Book Haul (17)

This week was awesome.

From Netgalley (and Galley Grab?):

Thank you Simon & Schuster!! SQUEE.

DOUBLE SQUEE. Thank you so much Harlequin Teen!

From the Kindle Store:

($0.99! With Bonus Material!)

From the library:

Yes, I checked this one out again. :)

My Reading Pile (May 20-May 26) hosted by Rachel @Fiktshun
This week I am DETERMINED to finish Jellicoe Road. And since I get a 4 day weekend, I want to
start & finish Saving June and The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight.

What did you get this week? Leave links, I'd love to know!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Review: Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness

""War," says the Mayor. "At last." Three armies march on New Prentisstown, each one intent on destroying the others. Todd and Viola are caught in the middle, with no chance of escape. As the battles commence, how can they hope to stop the fighting? How can there ever be peace when they're so hopelessly outnumbered? And if war makes monsters of men, what terrible choices await? But then a third voice breaks into the battle, one bent on revenge - the electrifying finale to the award-winning "Chaos Walking" trilogy, Monsters of Men is a heart-stopping novel about power, survival, and the devastating realities of war."

Title: Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking #3)
Author: Patrick Ness
Release Date: September 28, 2010
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Pages: 608, Hardcover (read: Library Hardcover)

I felt everything.

Like, you guys don't even understand. I know that I will be thinking about this one for a long, long time. This is like the one and only time a book has ever affected me this much. Emotionally.

I felt everything: fear, hope, faith, happiness, confusion, doubtfulness, and just EVERYTHING in between.
I know my review won't do this book justice, because I simply. Have. No. Words.

You will have to read it for yourself. It's so emotionally powerful and MIND blowing and ugh, Patrick Ness, who ARE you? What have you done to me? This THING that I don't think I've ever felt before.
Just, goodness. I can't even begin.

And can we talk about that ending? PERFECT.

I nearly died because it was so incredibly perfect. I couldn't have asked for a better ending.

This is a fairly short review, but these thoughts basically sum up all of my thoughts. Monsters of Men is simply, truly, breathtakingly-- sensational. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Review: The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness

"Part two of the literary sci-fi thriller follows a boy and a girl who are caught in a warring town where thoughts can be heard — and secrets are never safe.

Reaching the end of their tense and desperate flight in THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO, Todd and Viola did not find healing and hope in Haven. They found instead their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss, waiting to welcome them to New Prentisstown. There they are forced into separate lives: Todd to prison, and Viola to a house of healing where her wounds are treated. Soon Viola is swept into the ruthless activities of the Answer, aimed at overthrowing the tyrannical government. Todd, meanwhile, faces impossible choices when forced to join the mayor’s oppressive new regime. In alternating narratives — Todd’s gritty and volatile; Viola’s calmer but equally stubborn — the two struggle to reconcile their own dubious actions with their deepest beliefs. Torn by confusion and compromise, suspicion and betrayal, can their trust in each other possibly survive?"

Title: The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking #2)
Author: Patrick Ness
Release Date: September 8, 2009
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Pages: 519 ,Hardcover (Read: Library Hardcover)

Everyone needs to read this series.

I thought The Knife of Never Letting Go was good, but this one, this one. This one is AMAZING. Oh my goodness. The Chaos Walking trilogy has to be one of my new favorites of all time. So, so good.

Recently, Sash over at Sash and Em posted a post talking about why she loved The Chaos Walking trilogy more than The Hunger Games. Now, I haven't read The Hunger Games yet, but I did agree with Sash's ideas on why she loved the Chaos Walking trilogy.

It's extremely intense; as in nail-biting, hair pulling, I'm-about-to-fall-off-my-chair intense. It's so action-packed and even frustrating at times. Frustratingly good. Patrick Ness does a very good job with cliffhangers, too.

Let's talk about the characters. My opinion of the characters wavered a bit throughout the book, but in the end, I loved them just as much as when I finished The Knife of Never Letting Go. Todd Hewitt becomes very weak from YER NOTHING and I AM THE CIRCLE AND THE CIRCLE IS ME, from the Mayor. He becomes a living corpse, dead, with no feeling from being separated from Viola for so long. The Ask and the Answer left me shocked at some of the decisions that Todd had to make, but in the end, he proved loyal to Viola, which made me OH SO HAPPY. Now, Viola. I was also extremely shocked with her decisions. I really liked reading the book through her perspective as well, since there isn't so much Noise going on. And Mayor Prentiss. HE'S SO FREAKING EVIL and CUNNING and SLY, it's not even funny. I love his evil-ness, it makes the book somuchbetter because he's a crazy meany person.

Let's not forget about Davy, now.

Davy Prentiss is not mentioned a lot in The Knife of Never Letting Go. He is only known as the bratty, immature boy who is sent to chase Todd & Viola. However, in The Ask and the Answer, my opinion of him CHANGED SO MUCH. I'm actually in love with Davy. WHY. Ohmygoodness, I love this boy. Despite his many weaknesses and jealousies, you can't help but sympathize with him.

(I miss Manchee.)

Onto the plot! The plot was perfect. Spot on. Around every corner I was constantly thinking, "WOAH WHAT JUST HAPPENED." Yes, there's that many  plot twists in the story. I was left breathless and mind-blown throughout every chapter. Perfection.

In a way, the extreme situations that everyone in New Prentisstown went through strangely reminded me of the Holocaust. How men and women were separate, they get banded with numbers on their wrists… totally random, but I just had to put that thought out there.

Once again, Patrick Ness's writing is flawless. Every word captures the right moment and I just have no words to describe how amazing and fabulous it all was. If you thought The Knife of Never Letting Go was a disappointment, please, please, I beg of you, continue onto The Ask and the Answer, because it is just too marvelous to pass up.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Weekly Book Haul (16)

Hi everyone! I got some awesome books this week :) 

From Michelle Madow:

Thank you SO much Michelle! You guys, Michelle is awesome.
She's looking for reviewers to read TIMELESS! Here's the full post.

From Netgalley:

The Unquiet by Jeannine Garsee

Thank you Bloomsbury! =)

From the library:

The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder

My Reading Pile (May 13-May 19) hosted by Rachel @Fiktshun
This week was pretty busy, and the next coming weeks will be even busier
as school will soon draw to a close. But I am working hard to attempting finishing
a book a week. This week, I WILL start Jellicoe Road by Melina
Marchetta. Every blogger who's read the book has just been raving about it. So I shall
read and finish it this week!

What did you get in your haul this week?
What's in your reading pile? =)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Review: Kiss the Morning Star by Elissa Janine Hoole

"The summer after high-school graduation, a year after her mother’s tragic death, Anna has no plans – beyond her need to put a lot of miles between herself and the past. With forever friend Kat, a battered copy of Kerouac’s DHARMA BUMS, and a car with a dodgy oil filter, the girls set out on an epic road trip across the USA. Maybe somewhere along the way they’ll prove or disprove the existence of God. Maybe they’ll even get laid . . .

It’s a journey both outward and inward. Through the Badlands and encounters with predatory men and buffalo. A crazy bus ride to Mexico with a bunch of hymn-singing missionaries. Facing death, naked in the forest with an enraged grizzly bear . . . Gradually, Anna realizes that this is a voyage of discovery into her own self, her own silent pain – and into the tangled history that she and Kat share. What is love? What is sexual identity? And how do you find a way forward into a new future – a way to declare openly and without fear all that lies within you? "

Title: Kiss the Morning Star
Author: Elissa Janine Hoole
Release Date: May 15, 2012
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish
Pages: 240, Hardcover (Read: Netgalley ARC, Thank you!)

Also posted on Words Like Silver as a guest post.

Prior to reading Kiss the Morning Star, I found out that it was a road trip book. I was like, “HECK YES GIMME THAT BOOK”. I absolutely ADORED Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, which is also about a road trip. I just had to read this one. I read the synopsis and it sounded like a fun, self-realization type of read. It turned out to be kind of theopposite, in fact. It was, yes, a self-realization type of read, but it was also way-over-the-top religious (for the first half of the book), and a bit depressing. Kiss the Morning Star gave me something that I unexpected, which turned out to be something I didn’t enjoy, because of multiple reasons.

First, the plot. Anna’s mother recently died in a fire, and she is still getting over the fact that her mother has left theearth. Anna’s best friend Katy, (Kat,Katherine, whatever you want to call her) decides to go on a road trip with Anna to find God’s faith. Why? Because Anna lost faith in God after her mother’s death. So Katy uses DHARMA BUMS to decide where in America they’re traveling to next. The story kicks off from there. Throughout their journey, many unfortunate events occur and they meet good and bad people. Alright, the first half of the book made sense. They’re on a road trip to find answers from God. But then all of a sudden, the second half of the book was all about Anna & Katy’s relationship, how they start like-liking each other and all. The whole point of the road trip, the whole religious aspect, is pretty much forgotten. I was all, “What?”. The main point of the story sort of just wandered off into theunknown. For me, the plot was all over the place. The series of events that happened were random as well. It didn’t flow together, at all.

Another problem I had was with the characters. Anna was supposed to be recovering from the grief of her mother’s death throughout the story. She is weak, and keeps to herself. Three quarters into the book, she is still weak, and still keeps to herself. I felt like she never slowly progressed into recovery. It wasn’t until the VERY END that she is suddenly alright. LIKE BAM. Correct me if I’m wrong but.. aren’t people supposed to recover with gradual progression? Then there was Anna and Katy’s relationship. It was.. awkward. I mean I understand how they are transitioning from best friends to a couple, but…they never agreed on anything, and Anna was never honest with Katy. There were so many secrets that were hidden, that I felt like their relationship was never THERE. Goodness, I just didn’t feel it.

Also the DHARMA BUMS book–I got a little annoyed with it. It seemed super random that they would use that as a way to decide where in America to go next. I never really understand the reasoning behind it. 

The only thing that kept me reading was Elissa’s writing. I do have to say that I loved it. The descriptions and metaphors, I did adore those. 

All in all, Kiss the Morning Star was a big letdown for me. I expected so much more out of it, and just didn’t get what I wanted.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Novels, News, and Notes from your Northwest Neighbors

HI EVERYONE. So I am extremely excited to tell you guys about a new blog: Novels, News, and Notes from your Northwest Neighbors. I recently joined it and I would love it if you guys could go check it out! It's a blog that features Northwest bloggers and authors. It's fairly new, so if you'd like to help and get the word out, please do! =)

Other bloggers & authors who have joined  Novels, News, and Notes from your Northwest Neighbors:

Rainy Day Ramblings

Kimberly Derting

Candace's Book Blog

Novel Novice

Heather McCorkle


Hope, Love, and Happy Endings

Lisa Burstein

Vy's Blog

Stasia Ward Kehoe

Shot In the Arm

The Passionate Bookworm

Maureen McQuerry

Colleen Houck

Inara Scott

Please go check them out! =) Again, spreading the word about this new awesome blog would be great! Thank you for everyone's support!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cover Reveals: Asunder & Feedback

Hey everyone! I have two cover reveals for you today. Now, I have no idea when these two covers were actually released, but I found them recently, and haven't seen cover reveals for them. So here they are!

First up, Asunder (Newsoul #2) by Jodi Meadows

And the next one is Feedback (Variant #2) by Robison Wells

What do you guys think of these sequel covers? =)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Review: Solo by Sarah Schofield

"As a military brat, Eliana Davis is no stranger to moving from place to place. However, moving in the middle of her sophomore year to the small Oregon town where her parents grew up is something she never expected. Knowing she will only be there for a year, she is torn between making new friends or keeping to herself. Will she listen to her heart or keep flying solo?"

Title: Solo
Author: Sarah Schofield
Release Date: December 17, 2011
Publisher: CreateSpace
Pages: 272, Paperback (Read: Kindle eBook, thanks Sarah!)

I was beyond excited when Sarah sent this copy for me to review/read for pleasure. I had talked to Sarah a lot on Twitter. She's the one of the kindest authors I know, so receiving a copy of her debut novel was extremely fabulous. Not only was it a contemporary, but it's also about a girl who has a strong passion for dance. Sounded like my kind of read! I'm glad to say that not only did it not disappoint, but it is now one of my favorites of the year!

Solo starts off with a sophomore girl named Eliana Davis who is from California, but receives some not-so-happy news about her father, leading them to their move to Myrtle Creek, Oregon. Because she is only staying there for a year, she must decide if she's going to make close friends, or just stay distant from everyone, in order to keep her heart intact by the end of it all. Along the way, however, she makes new friends, enemies, and even a boyfriend.

Let me start off with my thoughts on the whole story in general. It was so, so sweet, like Sarah herself. Everything was so perfect and oh golly I just loved it. It gave me such a happy sensation. I couldn't help but feel all of the delighted emotions well up inside of me. This will leave you in a bright, cheerful mood. Best feeling ever.

The characters were certainly enjoyable. Eliana was so great. I definitely felt each and every emotion she felt--the worry, doubt, happiness, and wild side of her. Everything. I could connect with her so easily. And Lucas Andrews, I love you. Why can't there be more Lucas Andrews out there? Just all of the characters in general were perfectly molded. Eliana's mom, Casey (so sweet!), even Eliana's enemies, Sasha & Evan. And the romance between Eliana and Lucas? So precious.

Now, you'd think such a simple plot line would bore me, but for this story, it worked. I missed those days where I read stories about girls and their high school problems. This story took me back to those days, and the simplicity was just so pure and fantastic. It kept me reading and interested the entire time. Events like prom night, school talent show, you name it. I was intrigued.

All in all, if you are looking for a very light, fun, heartwarming read, Solo is perfect. It made my day from mediocre to merry & lighthearted. You won't be able to help but grin from ear to ear once you finish. I absolutely cannot wait for book two, Duo

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Weekly Book Haul (15)

Hi everyone! Quite a few books were hauled this week, so here's what I got!

From the library:

From the ebook library: 

Bought for Kindle:



My Reading Pile (May 6-May 12) hosted by Rachel @Fiktshun
This week, I just want to freaking FINISH the Chaos Walking trilogy!
I am quite determined, since they are so good. I also want to start Jellicoe Road by 
Melina Marchetta (this one's for you, Willa). I cannot wait. 

What books did you haul this week? What's in your reading pile?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

April Favorites 2012

Seriously? Really? April flew by like BAM. Where did April go? One moment I've decided to go back to blogging and the next moment it's already been a month?! Wow. Time is just passing me by.

Alright, enough about me complaining about time. Y'all are here to see my April favorites! 

In the month of April, I read: 

-Solo by Sarah Schofield

Favorite Read:
Solo by Sarah Schofield

Most Disappointing Read:
Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

That's it for me in April! It was a pretty good month, would you agree? I'm pretty happy with it :)
What are did you read in April? What are your favorites?