Monday, December 31, 2012

The Top 13 Books that I Want that are Releasing in 2013

Fault Line by Christa Desir - This is probably the 2013 book that I want the most.  There's just something in the synopsis that sounds amazing to me.  It sounds like the type of book I would like.  It's male POV, which I've been trying to read more of lately, and it's darker, and I don't mind reading darker books.  I think I'm going to love this one, but unfortunately, I have to wait until November to read it.  Also, I really love this cover.

Pivot Point by Kasie West - The premise of this book sounds extremely fascinating.  I like the idea that Addie has to choose between two futures - one in the paranormal world and one in the normal world.  From reviews, it sounds like the type of book that reads like a contemporary but also has a bit of paranormal mixed into it.  I look forward to seeing how this plays out.

Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller - The author is Trish Doller, and, in my opinion, that alone is a good reason to want to read this book.  Something Like Normal make me a huge fan of her books.  Also, the premise of this book sounds really good as well.

The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston - The premise of this book sounds very interesting.  Also, I love the cover.

Insomnia by JR Johansson - This book sounds really good, and probably a little bit creepy too.  The cover is definitely creepy.  I look forward to meeting Parker, and I wonder whether or not he really is stalking Mia.

Canary by Rachele Alpine - I love the cover of this book.  It has such a great color scheme and a really cool look to it.  Plus, the premise sounds great.  I look forward to seeing what happens to Kate and how she deals with it all.

Brianna on the Brink by Nicole McInnes - This sounds like a really good teen pregnancy book.  Also, the cover is really cool.

The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher - This one sounds like a bit of a mystery, and it sounds sad as well.  I look forward to meeting the characters and reading this story.

How I Lost You by Janet Gurtler - I've read and enjoyed two of Janet Gurtler's books so far.  I still have to read Who I Kissed.  I think I will love this book too.  It sounds like a good story of friendship.

Charm and Strange by Stephanie Kuehn - This sounds like an interesting story.  It sounds like an interesting take on shapeshifting and werewolves.  Winston sounds like a fascinating character too.

Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook - This sounds like an interesting dual POV story.  I've seen mixed reviews, but I still am going to read it.  I think it sounds like something that I would like.  It sounds very emotional.

Bruised by Sarah Skilton - This sounds like a really emotional story.  I look forward to meeting Imogen's character and seeing how this event impacts her life.

A Point So Delicate by Brandy Colbert - I have never read a book that combine ballet and abduction.  I look forward to seeing how this is done.  I also am wondering what role the main character played in her friend's abduction.


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Best of 2012: Best Friends

This list is for the best best friends of a protagonist of a book published in 2012.  Some of these friendships may become more than a friendship later in the book.

Lucy from Second Chance Summer - Lucy and Taylor got into a big fight when they were twelve, and Lucy still holds a grudge against Taylor at the beginning of this book.  Eventually, she is able to get past what happened back then, and she becomes a great friend to Taylor.

Dani from Bittersweet - There are some problems between Dani and Hudson in this book, but that doesn't mean Dani isn't still a good best friend character.  She really does care about Hudson.

Kaylee from Never Eighteen - Kaylee is the best friend that Austin has had a crush on for a while.  She supports him by going on his trip with him.  Eventually, he learns that she may return his feelings too.

Harrison from A Midsummer's Nightmare - Harrison is Wesley's friend from the DUFF, and he becomes Whitley's best friend in A Midsummer's Nightmare.  He's a good guy who is there for her.  He also can give her advice on things like fashion.

Blake from Breaking Beautiful - Blake is Allie's friend in Breaking Beautiful, but it is pretty clear from the beginning that he has other feelings for her.  Despite these feelings, he can be a good friend to her as well.

Kirsten and Paige from What Happens Next - Though Kirsten and Paige get mad at Sid after she sneaks out of their room during the ski trip, they are still good friends.  They stay mad at her for a bit, but then they make up and are there for her again.

Cassie and Matt from Smashed - Both Cassie and Matt are there for Katie in Smashed.  Matt is only friends with Katie, and neither him nor Katie have feelings for each other.  He cares about her, though he sometimes gets mad at her.  Cassie is Katie's teammate and her other best friend.  She also wants to help Katie get through her problems.

Alejandra and Ming and Noah from Live Through This - These are Coley's friends in Live Through This.  Though she has plenty of problems with Alejandra, they make up by the end.  Noah's a good guy who can be funny as well.  Ming is also a good friend to Coley.  After the fight between Coley and Alejandra, Ming has been becoming Coley's best female friend.


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Best of 2012: Male Characters

Some of these male characters are the protagonists, and others are the love interests.  They are all great guy characters.

Travis from Something Like Normal - Travis is the protagonist of this book, and he is an amazing one.  He is dealing with PTSD after his best friend's death in war.  While he was in Afghanistan, his brother took both his car and his girlfriend.  Harper is able to help him get better, but in the end, he has to really help himself to get past what has happened to him.  He is a strong main character, and one I loved.

Victor from Cracked - Victor is a great character.  At the beginning of Cracked, he just wants to give up and end his life.  His parents don't love him, and Bull always bullies him at school.  His parents decide to go on vacation without him since his SAT scores on the reading and writing sections aren't so great.  When they are gone, his dog dies, so he takes a bunch of pills.  He wakes up in the psych ward.  While he is there, he is able to meet some new people, including a girl, and he summons his will to live.  When he leaves the psych ward, he is happier with his life.

Bull from Cracked - Bull has a rotten home life, but that doesn't mean he is excused for bullying Victor.  His grandpa is abusive, and both his grandpa and mom drink.  He takes out his anger at his abuse on Victor.  When he tries to kill his grandpa, he accidentally shoots his own leg and ends up in the psych ward.  While he's in there, he finds a father figure named Frank, and he finds love in a girl named Kell.

Jay from Burning Blue - Jay suffers from epilepsy, and he was homeschooled for a few years after having a seizure in front of the entire school.  In the book, he is back at school again for the first year since the seizure.  When he finds out about what happened to Nicole, he decides to find out who did it.  He meets her and the two become friends, and possibly more.

Henry from Second Chance Summer - Henry is a really sweet guy who Taylor dated when she was twelve.  Back then, she said some stuff about him that she didn't mean, and he became mad at her then.  Once he gets over the problems they've had in the past, he is able to start a new relationship with Taylor.

Jase from My Life Next Door - Jase is a great character.  He comes from a large family and has many younger siblings that he has to help take care of.  He's a really sweet guy, and there is a great romance between him and Sam in this.

Noah from Pushing the Limits - Noah doesn't have the greatest reputation, but he is actually a good guy.  He is a great older brother, and he is determined to get custody of his two little brothers.  Eventually, he realizes what is best for them.  When Echo gets assigned to tutoring him, he meets her.  The romance in the book is great.

Butter from Butter - Butter is a great main character.  He makes this plan that he isn't sure he wants to go through with.  He never expects the reactions that he gets.  When people become friends with him because of what he's going to do, he mistakes it for real friendship.  He is a great guy who just wants people to see beyond his appearance.


Friday, December 28, 2012

Best of 2012: Female Characters

These female characters that I'm focusing on may either be the protagonist, or a love interest from a male POV book.  All of these characters are from books releasing in 2012.

Whitley from A Midsummer's Nightmare - Whitley is a great character who is struggling from her father's sudden engagement that he didn't tell her that.  She is clearly a broken character, but she is one that readers will root for.  I wanted her to be able to get better and reconcile with her family and become happy again.

Coley from Live Through This - Coley is a strong and amazing character.  She is dealing with some tough stuff in her life, yet she is still able to put on a brave face.  Her romance with Reece is very sweet and cute as well.

Quinn from If I Lie - Quinn is a great character.  She endures many tough things in the book.  She is bullied for being a cheater, and she made a promise to Carey, so she can't even tell anyone that she didn't really cheat.  She is very strong and it is a great experience to read about her.

Emme from Take a Bow - Emme is a great musician and a great friend to both Sophie and Ethan, and later, Carter as well.  It is amazing to watch her become more confident and learn how to sing in front of people along with writing the songs.

Sid from What Happens Next - It is clear in the book that what happened to Sid has had a large effect on her, but she doesn't let it ruin her life.  She also has a slowly progressing and sweet relationship with Corey.  She struggles with whether or not she should tell her secret, and she finally does in an emotional scene.

Jess from 34 Pieces of You - Jess is one of the three protagonists in 34 Pieces of You, and I loved her character.  Of the three, she was definitely my favorite.  When Ellie died, it was a huge loss to her, but since no one knew what Ellie had meant to her, much of her grieving had to be done in secret.  She had clearly been affected by what had happened to Ellie.  Jess was just an all-around amazing character.

Harper from Something Like Normal - Harper is a great character, and even though she isn't the protagonist, she is still well-developed.  Harper has her reasons to be mad at Travis after what he did to her at the beginning of high school.  A lie told by him led to rumors that completely ruined Harper's reputation.  Despite this, she is able to forgive him, and the romance between the two is so sweet and amazing.

Taylor from Second Chance Summer - Since Taylor's dad is ill with a very serious form of cancer, she is obviously dealing with a lot.  She's a strong character, though she has had a habit of sometimes running from her problems in the past.   During this summer, she has to face all her problems again since she had some major issues with her best friend and first boyfriend last time she went to her summer house.  She manages to be strong through her dad's illness too, despite knowing how it will end.

Allie from Breaking Beautiful - When her boyfriend Trip dies in a car accident, Allie has so many feelings, and one of them is relief.  Trip had been abusing her, and she hadn't told anyone this.  Throughout the book, she struggles to get past the abuse.  Everyone thinks that Trip was perfect, so if she told them the truth, they would be shocked.  The other people in her small town treat her like a grieving widow.  There is another boy that she becomes interested in, but she is worried about what others would think.  Eventually, she ends up dating this boy anyway.

Bria from Wanderlove - In a way, Bria is really trying to escape her problems.  She had recently broken up with her boyfriend after she made it into an art program and he didn't.  It was clear from his reaction that he thought his art was better than hers.  She wants to go to Central America, and she wants to make sure that she's only with guys she doesn't care about in the future.  She decides to ditch her tour group and go off backpacking.  This is one of her first impulsive decisions.  Throughout the book, she tries to leave the old Bria behind so there can be a new Bria.

Echo from Pushing the Limits - Echo has many problems since her mother gave her horrible scars not too long before.  She is traumatized by this, so she has to see a therapist.  She is trying to get over what happened with her through the whole book.  It is great to watch her growing stronger. 

Katie from Smashed - Katie has a lot of problems in her life.  She has a dad who left her, and a mom who is basically never home.  Also, she has a drinking problem, too.  During the summer, she gets to know Alec, a guy who ends up causing some problems for her.  She realizes that she is in a bad situation with him, but at that point, it is too late.  Her drinking continues to spiral out of control, until she is finally forced to get help.  She really is a great character, despite all her issues.


Review: Losing Faith by Denise Jaden

Losing Faith A terrible secret. A terrible fate.

When Brie’s sister, Faith, dies suddenly, Brie’s world falls apart. As she goes through the bizarre and devastating process of mourning the sister she never understood and barely even liked, everything in her life seems to spiral farther and farther off course. Her parents are a mess, her friends don’t know how to treat her, and her perfect boyfriend suddenly seems anything but.

As Brie settles into her new normal, she encounters more questions than closure: Certain facts about the way Faith died just don’t line up. Brie soon uncovers a dark and twisted secret about Faith’s final night... a secret that puts her own life in danger.

My Review:

Losing Faith was a gripping book with amazing characters that I sped through quickly.  I loved the mystery and I needed to know what had really happened the night Faith died.


Brie is a great main character.  She is clearly very upset at the death of her sister, and she finds herself lost and alone when everyone at school basically stops talking to her after Faith's death. Her parents don't want to talk about Faith at all, and they also begin to ignore Brie.  Brie realizes she wants to know what really happened when Faith died.  Many think the death was a suicide, but Brie is sure that Faith would never kill herself.  As the story unfolds, Brie realizes there were many things about Faith that she did not know. 

Two of the great secondary characters in this were Alis and Tessa.  Alis is the brother of Faith's friend, Reena.  He is homeschooled, and Brie sees him at Faith's funeral, and then at her school one day to take a test.  She decides she wants to meet this boy to see if he knows more about Faith.  The relationship between Alis and Brie progresses well and seems natural.  Tessa is a Goth girl who seems very tough and has been given the nickname Terrible Tessa.  Brie's locker is next to Tessa's locker, and soon after Faith's death, Tessa is the only person who will really talk to her.  Tessa and Brie become friends, and Tessa helps Brie to find out information about her sister.

The religious aspects of this book are well done as well.  From the beginning of the book, it is clear that Faith was very religious.  She and her friend Celeste were always going to youth groups.  After Faith's death, Brie discovers that her sister had not gone to youth group for a while.  She discovers that Faith and Celeste had joined a dangerous, cult-like religious group led by Reena and Nathan.  This group was quite interesting to read about.

If you like YA contemporary, read this book.  


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #40: Hysteria


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

My pick for this week is:


Mallory killed her boyfriend, Brian. She can't remember the details of that night but everyone knows it was self-defense, so she isn't charged. But Mallory still feels Brian's presence in her life. Is it all in her head? Or is it something more? In desperate need of a fresh start, Mallory is sent to Monroe, a fancy prep school where no one knows her . . . or anything about her past.But the feeling follows her, as do her secrets. Then, one of her new classmates turns up dead. As suspicion falls on Mallory, she must find a way to remember the details of both deadly nights so she can prove her innocence-to herself and others. In another riveting tale of life and death, Megan Miranda's masterful storytelling brings readers along for a ride to the edge of sanity and back again.

This sounds like it could be very creepy read.  I enjoyed Megan Miranda's Fracture, so I am looking forward to reading her second book.  I'll be reading this once it releases on February 5th.

What are you Waiting On this Wednesday?


Monday, December 24, 2012

Review: Smashed by Lisa Luedeke

Smashed A field hockey star grapples with addiction in this riveting debut that will appeal to fans of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak.

Stay out of trouble for one more year, and Katie Martin can leave her small town loneliness behind forever. She is a field hockey star on the fast track to a college scholarship, but her relationship with alcohol has always been a little questionable. Then trouble finds her. Alec is the most popular guy in school, and also the biggest bully—with his sights set firmly on Katie. When Alec turns on the charm, Katie thinks she must have been wrong about him.

Except that she wasn’t. On a rain-soaked, alcohol-drenched night, one impulsive decision leaves Katie indebted to Alec in the worst possible way. This debut novel is a fast-paced and compelling story of addiction, heartbreak, and redemption.

My Review:

Smashed is an amazing book that I was unable to put down.  I constantly had to know what would happen next to Katie.  This book is extremely emotional, and the writing makes it impossible to not feel bad for Katie.  I rooted for things to get better for her.


Katie is a great main character.  She has many issues, but it is still easy for the readers to want her to get better.  Many of her problems stem from the fact that she drinks and parties too much.  Her dad left when she was eleven or twelve, and her mom is always working and spending time with her boyfriends, so Katie hardly ever sees her.  Katie's younger brother Will practically lives at his best friend's house.  He sleeps over there so much.  Sometimes, when she has a bad day, she decides to drink alcohol.  When she starts seeing Alec during the summer, she thinks that maybe he isn't as bad as his reputation says he is.  He seems like a nice guy to her, but then there is a drunk driving accident.  Katie was the driver, but Alec tells everyone that he was the driver.  Katie knows that he could easily use this against her.

The relationships portrayed between Katie and her two best friends are well done.  Some issues arise near the beginning between Katie and Matt when she starts becoming friendly with Alec.  In the past, one of Alec's friends had bullied Matt, so he doesn't understand why Katie would suddenly change her opinion of him.  Still, despite this, he is a great friend.  In many books, the girl ends up with her guy best friend, but that doesn't happen here.  Katie's other best friend, Cassie, is also a great friend.  She plays field hockey with Katie.  Near the end of the book, they have some problems since Katie tells Cassie she would have never gotten into the situations that Katie got into.  There is a great scene with the two of them when they reconcile.

The emotions in this book are so well written, and that was one of my favorite things about this book.  There is a scene when Alec does something horrible to Katie, and the aftermath of this scene is amazingly written.  Katie feels so sick that she lies in bed for days, thinking about what he did to her.  She sometimes half blames herself, but she also knows that it wasn't her fault.

If you like emotional contemporary YA, read this book.

Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #39: Brianna on the Brink


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

My pick for this week is:

Brianna on the Brink

A one-night stand has life-altering consequences for popular, sixteen-year-old Brianna, who must then accept help from the one person closest to her mistake.

I think the story of this book sounds really interesting.  I have read a few teen pregnancy books, and I have usually liked them.  I can't wait to read this once it is released on January 7th.

What are you Waiting On this Wednesday?


Monday, December 17, 2012

Review: Bunheads by Sophie Flack

Bunheads As a dancer with the ultra-prestigious Manhattan Ballet Company, nineteen-year-old Hannah Ward juggles intense rehearsals, dazzling performances and complicated backstage relationships. Up until now, Hannah has happily devoted her entire life to ballet.

But when she meets a handsome musician named Jacob, Hannah's universe begins to change, and she must decide if she wants to compete against the other "bunheads" in the company for a star soloist spot or strike out on her own in the real world. Does she dare give up the gilded confines of the ballet for the freedoms of everyday life?

My Review:

Bunheads is a fascinating novel that explores the world of ballet.  I do take dance, but I am not in a company, so I still found the view of a company shown in the book very insightful and interesting.


Hannah Ward is a great main character.  She is a nineteen year old in the Manhattan Ballet Company, but she's not a principal dancer or soloist.  She is in the corps de ballet.  She wants to get promoted to higher rules in her company, but the competition is cutthroat, and you have to really prove yourself to Otto, the director, to get better roles.  When she goes out one night and meets a young musician, she begins questioning whether she really wants to solely focus her life on ballet.

The other girls in the company were interesting characters.  Zoe's friendship with Hannah seemed realistic.  She wasn't the best friend, since Hannah and she were rivals for parts.  They tended to get placed together in the same roles.  Things become especially strained between them when Hannah gets put in to dance the part of a soloist when she gets injured.  Both Zoe and Hannah were understudying that part, but Hannah, and not Zoe, happened to be in the wings when the dancer got injured.  Zoe knows that if she had been in the wings and Hannah hadn't, she would have been put in to play the role.  The other girls in Hannah's dressing room, Bea and Daisy, are also interesting characters.

The two boys in this book are good characters as well, though maybe not as developed as the ballerinas.  Jacob is the young musician who meets Hannah at a bar.  He is the first one to make her realize that there is a world outside of the Manhattan Ballet Company.  He shows her some sights in New York.  Their relationship is difficult since Hannah is hardly ever able to take time out of her busy schedule to see him.  The other boy is a balletomane, or ballet fan, named Matt.  He understands her schedule since he is such a fan of ballet.  He is always coming and watching her shows.  If you want to know which boy she chooses, read the book.

If you like YA contemporary and ballet, read this book.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #38: Taken


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

My pick for this week is:

Taken (Taken, #1)

There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone.

They call it the Heist.

Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive.

Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?

This sounds like a really fascinating premise for a story.  Also, I like male POV books, and it sounds like this is a good male POV.  I can't wait to read this once it releases on April 16th.

What are you Waiting On this Wednesday?


Monday, December 10, 2012

Review: Butter by Erin Jade Lange

Butter A lonely obese boy everyone calls "Butter" is about to make history. He is going to eat himself to death-live on the Internet-and everyone is invited to watch. When he first makes the announcement online to his classmates, Butter expects pity, insults, and possibly sheer indifference. What he gets are morbid cheerleaders rallying around his deadly plan. Yet as their dark encouragement grows, it begins to feel a lot like popularity. And that feels good. But what happens when Butter reaches his suicide deadline? Can he live with the fallout if he doesn't go through with his plans? With a deft hand, E.J. Lange allows readers to identify with both the bullies and the bullied in this all-consuming look at one teen's battle with himself.

My Review:

Butter is a great book that tells a story that keeps you flipping the pages.  It is an emotional read with great messages about bullying.  The characters are interesting, and the narration is well done.


Butter is a great character.  He's clearly been through a lot in his life since he is morbidly obese with diabetes.  The kids at school basically ignore him, but he has experienced some bullying in the past.  An incident with a stick of butter caused the kids at school to give him the nickname Butter.  Butter wants the girl he likes to notice him, since he speaks to her online, but she doesn't know that Butter is her online "boyfriend."  He also is a talented sax player, but he doesn't want to play for people because it will draw attention to him.

The girl that Butter likes is named Anna.  She wasn't too bad of a person, and there were some good moments between her and Butter.  When she was talking to "Sax Man" online, she said she didn't care what he looked like; she would still like him, even if he was ugly.  I feel like she was lying because she became upset when she found out that her online "boyfriend" was Butter.  Even though she seemed to begin to forgive Butter near the end, I don't think that the two of them could have a relationship.  

I was not a fan of the kids in Butter's school.  Jeremy was an awful bully.  He was blatantly mean, and he started the bullying that caused Butter's nickname.   Trent and Parker, Butter's new "friends" were pretty awful too.  They were taking bets on whether or not he would kill himself, yet Butter thought they were his friends.

If you like emotional YA contemporary, read this book.


Friday, December 7, 2012

Cover: Fault Line by Christa Desir


I love the cover for this book, and the synopsis sounds amazing.  Unfortunately, it isn't being published until November 12, 2013, and that is almost a whole year away.

Here's the summary:

Ben could date anyone he wants, but he only has eyes for the new girl — sarcastic free-spirit, Ani. Luckily for Ben, Ani wants him too. She’s everything Ben could ever imagine. Everything he could ever want.

But that all changes after the party. The one Ben misses. The one Ani goes to alone.

Now Ani isn’t the girl she used to be, and Ben can’t sort out the truth from the lies. What really happened, and who is to blame?

Ben wants to help her, but she refuses to be helped. The more she pushes Ben away, the more he wonders if there’s anything he can do to save the girl he loves.



Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #37: Pivot Point


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

My pick for this week is:

Pivot Point (Pivot Point, #1)

Knowing the outcome doesn’t always make a choice easier . . .

Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.

In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through . . . and who she can’t live without.


This sounds like a really unique story.  I like the premise of Addie being able to see multiple futures.  I look forward to seeing what choices she makes once this is released on February 12th.

What are you Waiting On this Wednesday?


Monday, December 3, 2012

Review: This is Not a Drill by Beck McDowell

This Is Not a Drill When high school seniors—and former couple—Emery and Jake find themselves held hostage in a first grade classroom, they must do all they can to protect the kids. Brian Stutts, a U.S. soldier suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after serving in Iraq, pulls out his gun to convince the teacher to hand over the son he’s not allowed to check out because of a custody battle. The situation turns deadly when a security guard appears at the door and Stutts impulsively opens fire. When the teacher is carried from the room, the children's fate is in the hands of Emery and Jake. While Jake searches for a way to communicate with the policemen surrounding the building, Emery, fighting her shyness, fear, and POTS symptoms, tries to reach out to the soldier. She gains a new understanding of what he faced in Iraq, and discovers remarkable strength in his small son.

My Review:
This is Not a Drill was a great book.  It is suspenseful and kept me engaged in the story the entire time.  I couldn't put it down because I constantly wanted to know what would happen next to the characters.  I didn't want anything bad to happen to them, and I was worried about them.


This story is told in the alternating POVs of Emery and Jake, people who used to date and now teach French together to 1st graders.  Both of their characters were well-developed.  Emery has symptoms of a syndrome known as POTS.  Her symptoms include having panic attacks.  There are some moments during the book when she feels like she could have a panic attack, but she doesn't.  She tries to connect with Brian Stutts by asking him about his experience in Iraq.  Jake is the mayor's son.  He's gotten into some trouble in the past because he was friends with a guy who used drugs.  The friend got busted by the police for having drugs, and Jake was there, so he got into trouble too.

The first graders in the story are great characters.  Since they are so young, it is clear that having a man with a gun in their classroom could really scare them.  Some of them definitely do have moments when they get scared and cry, but they also stay strong through the situation.  The kids in the book can vary from sweet to dramatic to scared.  They each have distinct personalities.  Reading about these kids made the book even more heart-wrenching because I worried that something would happen to them.

Brian Stutts was an interesting character.  He was hard to like since he was wielding a loaded gun in a classroom of first graders, yet, when he started talking about his experiences in Iraq, I could feel sympathy towards him.  I don't think his actions are excused in any way by what happened to him, but I think somebody needs to help him with his PTSD.  He saw some horrible things over in Iraq, and I can see why he would be traumatized by them.

If you like YA contemporary, read this book.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

December Releases I'm Most Excited For

December 4th:
Never Let You Go by Emma Carlson Berne - This sounds like a very interesting story.  I look forward to reading it and meeting Megan and Anna.

 Never Let You Go

December 11th:
All the Broken Pieces by Cindi Madsen - This sounds like a really interesting story.  I look forward to seeing what happened to Liv.

All the Broken Pieces


Friday, November 30, 2012

Cover: Charm and Strange by Stephanie Kuehn

Charm & Strange 
 Sixteen-year-old Winston Winters is awaiting the inevitable.

Stuck at a remote Vermont boarding school in the wake of unimaginable tragedy, Win knows it’s only a matter of time until he transforms into something dark, something wolfish, just like his father. Until he hurts people too. So in order to do the least amount of harm to those around him, he masters the art of shutting others out.

But meeting fellow cross-country runner Jordan Herrera thwarts Win's plans for emotional isolation. A scholarship student with secrets of her own, Jordan’s boldness and wit draw him in. And when she asks Win to accompany her to an all-night party in the deep New England woods, he’s torn. Because he’s not sure they should get any closer. He’s not sure Jordan will be safe with him. But she insists. And he goes.

Win wants to believe he’s not dangerous. That he would never hurt someone he cares for. But as he leads Jordan into the wilderness with his father’s blood running through his veins and wild wolves running through his fragile mind, Win knows this is simply not true….

I think this book sounds really good.  I like the cover too, and I'm looking forward to reading it.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #36: How I Lost You


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

My pick for this week is:

How I Lost You

Grace and Kya always do everything together, and nothing can get in the way of their friendship. They have a pact: Sisters Before Misters. Buds Before Studs.

Only Grace knows what Kya's been through, or how much she needs someone to stick by her. No Matter What. Besides, Kya keeps life exciting-pulling Grace into things she'd never dare do on her own.

But inch by inch, daring is starting to turn dangerous. And Grace will have to decide how far she can go to save her friendship with Kya...before she ends up losing everything else.


This sounds like a really good book.  It sounds like it will explore themes of friendship.  I have enjoyed the other books by Janet Gurtler that I have read.  This book is releasing on May 1st.

What are you Waiting On this Wednesday?


Monday, November 26, 2012

Review: Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles

Chain Reaction (Perfect Chemistry, #3) Like his brothers, Luis Fuentes is a risk taker; whether he's scaling the Rocky Mountains or dreaming of a future as an astronaut, Luis is always looking for the next thrill. Nikki Cruz lives her life by certain rules -, don't trust a boy who says "I love you", boys lie to get their own way and never date a boy from the south side of Fairfield. Then she meets Luis at his brother Alex's wedding and suddenly she's tempted to break all her rules. Getting Nikki to give him a chance is Luis's biggest challenge, until he finds himself targeted by the head of the gang that nearly destroyed his brothers' lives. Will Luis's feelings for Nikki be enough to stop him from entering a dark and violent world that could prove to be the ultimate risk?

My Review:

I enjoyed Chain Reaction just as much as Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction.  The narrators were great characters, and I enjoyed the cameos from Brittany, Alex, Carlos, and Kiara.  The story kept me reading the entire time, and I couldn't put the book down.


Luis and Nikki are great narrators.  Nikki has trust issues after her last boyfriend broke up with her, and joined the Latino Bloods.  The boyfriend didn't know it, but Nikki was pregnant at the time.  She ended having a miscarriage and losing the baby.  Luis is originally portrayed as a more of a good guy Fuentes, but he is also cocky.  Like his brothers, he ends up getting involved in the Latino Bloods as well.  He finds out some secrets about his family, including who his father really is.  

The romance is this book is really well done.  Luis likes Nikki from the start, but she ends up kicking him.  This is back at Alex's wedding when Luis and Nikki were both fifteen.  Her boyfriend had just broken up with her, and she was dealing with many issues at the time.  Then, the story fast forwards to three years later, and Nikki and Luis are in school together.  They are also in chemistry together with Alex's and Brittany's teacher.  Nikki still doesn't want to trust a guy again, even though it's been years since her relationship ended.  Despite this, she finds herself falling for Luis, just as he finds himself falling for her.  They go through a few rough patches in their relationship, but they smooth it all out by the end.

The two other Fuentes couples make appearances in this book, and I enjoyed seeing them again.  Alex and Brittany get married at the beginning of the book.  Alex was keeping some secrets from Brittany before the wedding.  Luis does something he probably shouldn't have done.  He stops the wedding to make Alex tell Brittany the things he's been keeping from her.  Carlos and Kiara make an appearance later in the book.  Kiara's there when Carlos tells his ex-girlfriend he's still a bachelor.  Then he ends up proposing to Kiara before he has the ring, so he can prove he loves her.

If you like YA contemporary, read this book.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Review: Out of Reach by Carrie Arcos

Out of Reach How do you find someone who doesn’t want to be found? A girl searches for her missing addict brother while confronting her own secrets in this darkly lyrical novel.Rachel has always idolized her older brother Micah. He struggles with addiction, but she tells herself that he’s in control. And she almost believes it. Until the night that Micah doesn’t come home.

Rachel’s terrified—and she can’t help but feel responsible. She should have listened when Micah tried to confide in her. And she only feels more guilt when she receives an anonymous note telling her that Micah is nearby and in danger.

With nothing more to go on than hope and a slim lead, Rachel and Micah’s best friend, Tyler, begin the search. Along the way, Rachel will be forced to confront her own dark secrets, her growing attraction to Tyler…and the possibility that Micah may never come home.

My Review:
Out of Reach is a great emotional read.  The characters are well-developed.  The story gives flashbacks so the reader can get a sense of what Micah was like in the past.  


Rachel is a great character.  It is clear that she really cares about her older brother Micah.  She's not sure at first if she should go look for him or not, but she makes the decision to go and find him.  She deals with a lot of difficult situations in this book.  Her brother is suffering from addiction, and she meets some interesting people when trying to find him.  She has to deal with situations like her car being stolen, and she has to meet drug dealers, and she even sees one get into a fight.

Micah is an interesting character.  It is clear that he has become caught in a downward spiral.  He started using meth, and he became addicted to it.  He has been in and out of rehab, but Rachel knows that he was still using drugs before he left home.  I think the Micah shown in the flashbacks before the drugs seemed more likeable than the guy he became after he started using.

Tyler is a great character.  He's Micah's friend, a guy who was in a band with Micah.  He cares about Micah, and he knows some things about Micah that Rachel doesn't know.  He knows that Micah not only uses the drugs; he also started dealing the drugs.  As Tyler and Rachel's journey continues, it becomes clear that he has feelings for Rachel, though there isn't really any romance shown between them during the book.

If you like emotional contemporary YA, read this book.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #35: The Rules for Disappearing


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

My pick for this week is:

The Rules for Disappearing

She’s been six different people in six different places: Madeline in Ohio, Isabelle in Missouri, Olivia in Kentucky . . . But now that she’s been transplanted to rural Louisiana, she has decided that this fake identity will be her last.

Witness Protection has taken nearly everything from her. But for now, they’ve given her a new name, Megan Rose Jones, and a horrible hair color. For the past eight months, Meg has begged her father to answer one question: What on earth did he do – or see – that landed them in this god-awful mess? Meg has just about had it with all the Suits’ rules — and her dad’s silence. If he won’t help, it’s time she got some answers for herself.

But Meg isn’t counting on Ethan Landry, an adorable Louisiana farm boy who’s too smart for his own good. He knows Meg is hiding something big. And it just might get both of them killed. As they embark on a perilous journey to free her family once and for all, Meg discovers that there’s only one rule that really matters — survival.


This sounds like an interesting story.  I don't really know anything about Witness Protection, so I look forward to finding out about it in this book.  This book is releasing on May 14th.

What are you Waiting On this Wednesday?


Monday, November 19, 2012

Review: Burning Blue by Paul Griffin

Burning Blue How far would you go for love, beauty, and jealousy?

When Nicole Castro, the most beautiful girl in her wealthy New Jersey high school, is splashed with acid on the left side of her perfect face, the whole world takes notice. But quiet loner Jay Nazarro does more than that--he decides to find out who did it. Jay understands how it feels to be treated like a freak, and he also has a secret: He's a brilliant hacker. But the deeper he digs, the more danger he's in--and the more he falls for Nicole. Too bad everyone is turning into a suspect, including Nicole herself.

Award-winning author Paul Griffin has written a high-stakes, soulful mystery about the meaning--and dangers--of love and beauty.

My Review:

Burning Blue is a great mystery that keeps readers turning the pages to find out what happens next.  The characters are well-developed, and the plot is good with many unexpected twists.


Jay is a great character who is caring and also has many problems of his own.   He has epilepsy, and when he was in ninth grade, he had a seizure at a pep rally in front of the entire school.  After his pep rally seizure, he was homeschooled for two years before deciding to go back to his school.  At school, he is basically a loner.  He's a good guy who is caring and kind.  When he meets Nicole Castro after finding out about her acid attack, he becomes determined to find out who her attacker is.  He uses his hacking abilities to try to find him or her.

Nicole is a great character.  She is clearly quite a bit traumatized by the acid attack on her.  She used to be known for her beauty, and now her face's beauty has been taken from her.  Nicole is a good person, though, on the inside too.  When she meets Jay outside the office of the school therapist, she starts talking to him, and she soon becomes friends with them.  It soon becomes clear that there is more to this friendship on both sides.  Both Nicole and Jay fall for each other.  The romance between the two is sweet and slowly developed.

The mystery aspect was really well done.  I had no idea who had attacked Nicole until it was revealed.  The hacking part of solving the mystery was well done, though I didn't understand so of it.  I'm not as good with computers as Jay, so I didn't understand how he actually did some of the stuff he did.  Despite this, I still enjoyed the book.

If you like YA contemporary mystery, read this book.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Review: What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton

What Happens Next How can you talk about something you can’t remember?

Before the ski trip, sixteen-year-old Cassidy “Sid” Murphy was a cheerleader (at the bottom of the pyramid, but still...), a straight-A student, and a member of a solid trio of best friends. When she ends up on a ski lift next to handsome local college boy, Dax Windsor, she’s thrilled; but Dax takes everything from Sid—including a lock of her perfect red curls—and she can’t remember any of it.

Back home and unable to relate to her old friends, Sid drops her college prep classes and takes up residence in the A/V room with only Corey “The Living Stoner” Livingston for company. But as she gets to know Corey (slacker, baker, total dreamboat), Sid finds someone who truly makes her happy. Now, if she can just shake the nightmares and those few extra pounds, everything will be perfect... or so she thinks.

Witty and poignant, Colleen Clayton’s stunning debut is a story about moving on after the unthinkable happens.

My Review:

What Happens Next is a great story of friendship, family, and love.  It touches on many important issues, including rape and eating disorders.  The characters in this book are well-developed and fun to read about.  I completely loved this book.


Sid Murphy is a great character.  She's fun and has a great personality, but she also has some issues.  She clearly isn't completely comfortable with her body.  After she is raped at the beginning of the book, she decides she needs to lose some weight.  She becomes bulimic by running excessively, not eating too much, and throwing up after she does eat too much.  At first, she thinks this isn't a problem.  She thinks that losing a bit of weight is healthy, but as the book progresses she learns she is wrong.  She also hasn't told anyone about the rape, and she sometimes has trouble holding that secret.  By the end of the book, she realizes she needs to tell people.

Corey Livingston is a great character.  At the beginning of the book, Sid only knows him as Corey "the living stoner."  She has many misconceptions about him, since he isn't even actually a stoner.  She meets him when she drops her computer class to work in the A/V room.  He is the only other student there, so she gets to know him.  As she gets him, she discovers that he is a really sweet guy who bakes.  Corey and Sid become friends first, but it is clear that there could be something more.  Their relationship develops slowly and realistically.  He is very sweet on their first date.  He even asks if he can kiss her before he does.  It is clear that he really cares about Sid.  Once he tells her that she needs to gain more weight because he is scared of how much she is losing.

Sid's family and friends are also great characters.  Her mom is mad at the beginning of the book when Sid ran off with a guy on her school ski trip, but she forgives her quickly.  She is very caring.  Sid could have told her mom her secret, and her mom would have helped her through it.  Sid's little brother, Liam, is a sweet six-year-old boy.  He is funny in the scene before Sid's first date with Corey.  Her friends, Kirsten and Paige, are not really there for her after the ski trip incident, but they make up with her before the end.  They end up being the first people that she tells her secret to.  The scene where she tells the secret is very emotional.

If you like YA contemporary, read this book.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #34: The Reece Malcolm List


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

My pick for this week is:

The Reece Malcolm List

Things I know about Reece Malcolm:

1. She graduated from New York University.
2. She lives in or near Los Angeles.
3. Since her first novel was released, she’s been on the New York Times bestseller list every week.
4. She likes strong coffee and bourbon.
5. She’s my mother.

Devan knows very little about Reece Malcolm, until the day her father dies and she’s shipped off to live with the mother she’s never met. All she has is a list of notebook entries that doesn’t add up to much.

L.A. offers a whole new world to Devan—a performing arts school allows her to pursue her passion for show choir and musicals, a new circle of friends helps to draw her out of her shell, and an intriguing boy opens up possibilities for her first love.

But then the Reece Malcolm list gets a surprising new entry. Now that Devan is so close to having it all, can she handle the possibility of losing everything?


This sounds like a cute and fun story, and I really like the cover.  I'm curious about the surprising new entry to the Reece Malcolm list.  I can't wait to read this once it's released on February 5th.

What are you Waiting On this Wednesday?


Monday, November 12, 2012

Cover: Brianna on the Brink by Nicole McInnes


I really like this cover, and the book sounds great too.  What do you think of the cover?  Brianna on the Brink is releasing in early 2013, so I only have to wait a couple more months.

Here's the Goodreads summary:
 Sixteen-year-old Brianna Taylor finds herself lost, alone and with a major surprise in store after a one-night-stand. Just when she’s got nowhere left to turn, help arrives from the one person who is closest to her big mistake, but accepting that help will leave Brianna forced to choose between clinging to the ledge of fear and abandonment – or jumping into the unknown where a second chance at hope might just be waiting. 


Friday, November 9, 2012

Review: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

My Life Next Door A gorgeous debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another

“One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A dreamy summer read, full of characters who stay with you long after the story is over.

My Review:

My Life Next Door is a book I've wanted to read for months, but my library hadn't had it yet.  I finally got my copy this weekend and read through the whole book in  two days or so.  The topics of family, romance, and friendship dealt with in this book are amazing.


Samantha is a great character.  Her mom has taught her to stay away from the family next door, but she has always been envious of them.  She wishes she could have a loving family like that.  Instead, she has her older sister, who is away for the summer with her boyfriend and some friends, and her mom, Grace Reed, the state senator.  Grace is only worried about winning the next election.  She starts dating a man named Clay Tucker, who becomes her campaign manager.  It becomes clear to Samantha that he isn't just managing the campaign, he's managing Grace as well.

I loved Jase's family.  They were all such great characters.  From oldest to youngest, his siblings are Joel, Alice, Jase, Andy, Duff, Harry, George, and Patsy.  They all have their own personalities and play into the story in their own way.  Andy experiences her first relationship as a fourteen-year-old.  George watches a lot of Discovery Channel and learns many facts.  Patsy has two words - boob and poop.  Alice is in nursing school.  The parents are loving and care about all of their kids.

The romance that develops between Jase and Samantha is very sweet.  He happens to climb up her trellis one night and meet her.  One day, he asks her over to his house to help babysit the kids.  Soon, the kids love her, and she becomes like part of the family.  At the same time, she begins to fall for Jase.  The two fall in love fairly quickly, yet it also seems sweet and realistic.  They are a great book couple.

If you like contemporary YA, read this book.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #33: OCD Love Story


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

My pick for this week is:

OCD Love Story

When Bea meets Beck, she knows instantly that he's her kind of crazy. Sweet, strong, kinda-messed-up Beck understands her like no one else can. He makes her feel almost normal. He makes her feel like she could fall in love again.
But despite her feelings for Beck, Bea can't stop thinking about someone else: a guy who is gorgeous and magnetic... and has no idea Bea even exists. But Bea knows a ton about him. She spends a lot of time watching him. She has a journal full of notes. Some might even say she's obsessed.
Bea tells herself she's got it all under control, but this isn't a choice, it's a compulsion. The truth is, she's breaking down... and she might end up breaking her own heart.


This sounds like an interesting story.  I can't wait to read it and meet the characters once it's released on July 23rd.  I also like the color scheme of the cover.

What are you Waiting On this Wednesday?


Monday, November 5, 2012

Review: If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch


A broken-down camper hidden deep in a national forest is the only home fifteen-year-old Carey can remember. The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey's younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and the girls are found by their father, a stranger, and taken to re-enter the "normal" life of school, clothes and boys.

Now, Carey must come to terms with the truth of why their mother spirited them away ten years ago, while haunted by a past that won't let her go ... a dark past that hides many a secret, including the reason Jenessa hasn't spoken a word in over a year. Carey knows she must keep her sister close, and her secrets even closer, or risk watching her new life come crashing down.

IF YOU FIND ME is a riveting mix of psychological tension and page-turning mystery that asks profound questions about family, truth and love.

My Review:

I won an ARC of If You Find Me in a contest back in July, and I've been eagerly waiting to read it since then.  I received my signed ARC and immediately made it the next book I would read as soon as I finished the one I was reading.  I had high expectations for this book, and it definitely did not disappoint.  I finished it within a day, loving the story, the characters, and the writing.  


Carey is a great, strong character.  She had to deal with many difficult things while living in the woods, so she matured early.  She grew up having to pretty much raise her younger sister, Jenessa.  Some things that happened in the woods are things she can't forget, and she can't erase them.  She tries to fit into her new life in modern society, but there are many things she doesn't understand.  After so long in the woods, everything is unfamiliar to her.

The family relationships in this book are very well-written.  It is clear from the start that Carey's father really cares about her and Jenessa.  Carey's mom has told her some lies about her father, and she thinks they are true so she has to get past them.  Carey's father cares equally for Carey and Jenessa, despite the fact that only Carey is his daughter by blood.  Jenessa is Carey's half-sister, the daughter of her mom and some man who isn't in the book.  Carey's stepmom, Melissa, is a great parent.  She becomes like a mother to the girls when they move in.  She seems to care about them as much as she cares about her own daughter, Delaney.  The only person who isn't welcoming to Carey and Jenessa is Delaney, Melissa's fifteen-year-old daughter.  She resents them taking attention away from her.

There is also a well-done friendship with hints of romance in the book.  Carey meets Ryan on her first day of school, and he helps her find her way to homeroom.  He comes out to her when she is playing her violin at lunch in the courtyard.  She begins to open up with him, and they become friends, and possibly more.  Later, he tells her that they actually knew each other as kids.  Their relationship is developed slowly, without becoming a romance right away.

If you like emotional contemporary YA, read this book.  It is going to be released in March 2013.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Cover: Severed Heads, Broken Hearts by Robyn Schneider

Severed Heads, Broken Hearts 

The cover for this book was revealed last week.  The book sounds awesome, and I like the cover too.  This book is releasing on June 4th, 2013, and I look forward to reading it then.  

Here's the description:

 Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them—a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: in one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra’s knee, his athletic career, and his social life.

No longer a front-runner for Homecoming King, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra’s ever met, achingly effortless, fiercely intelligent, and determined to bring Ezra along on her endless adventures.

But as Ezra dives into his new studies, new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: if one’s singular tragedy has already hit and everything after it has mattered quite a bit, what happens when more misfortune strikes?

Robyn Schneider’s Severed Heads, Broken Hearts is a lyrical, witty, and heart-wrenching novel about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

November Releases I'm Most Excited For

November 13th:
Miss Fortune Cookie by Lauren Bjorkman - This book sounds like it will be an interesting.  Also, I enjoyed My Invented Life by the same author, so I hope this one is just as good.
Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill  - This looks like a cute read.  I'm hoping it will have good characters and a good romance.

Miss Fortune CookieMeant to Be


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #32: Things I Can't Forget


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

My pick for this week is:

Things I Can't Forget (Catching Jordan, #3)

Companion to Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker.

Kate has always been the good girl. Too good, according to some people at school—although they have no idea the guilty secret she carries. But this summer, everything is different…

This summer she’s a counselor at Cumberland Creek summer camp, and she wants to put the past behind her. This summer Matt is back as a counselor too. He’s the first guy she ever kissed, and he’s gone from a geeky songwriter who loved The Hardy Boys to a buff lifeguard who loves to flirt…with her.

Kate used to think the world was black and white, right and wrong. Turns out, life isn’t that easy…


This sounds like a great book.  I loved Catching Jordan, and I haven't read Stealing Parker yet, but I'm planning on reading it.  I love how this cover complements the other two covers.  I look forward to reading this once it is released on March 1st.

What are you Waiting On this Wednesday?


Monday, October 29, 2012

Review: The Serpent's Shadow by Rick Riordan

The Serpent's Shadow (Kane Chronicles, #3) He's b-a-a-ack! Despite their best efforts, Carter and Sadie Kane can't seem to keep Apophis, the chaos snake, down. Now Apophis is threatening to plunge the world into eternal darkness, and the Kanes are faced with the impossible task of having to destroy him once and for all. Unfortunately, the magicians of the House of Life are on the brink of civil war, the gods are divided, and the young initiates of Brooklyn House stand almost alone against the forces of chaos. The Kanes' only hope is an ancient spell that might turn the serpent's own shadow into a weapon, but the magic has been lost for a millennia. To find the answer they need, the Kanes must rely on the murderous ghost of a powerful magician who might be able to lead them to the serpent's shadow . . . or might lead them to their deaths in the depths of the underworld. Nothing less than the mortal world is at stake when the Kane family fulfills its destiny in this thrilling conclusion to the Kane Chronicles.

My Review:

Over the past week, I read The Serpent's Shadow, the conclusion to the Kane Chronicles trilogy.  This book did a great job wrapping up the plot - defeating the bad guy, and tying up the romantic threads of the story.


The characters in this book are all well-written.  Carter and Sadie occasionally tease each other like they always do, but it is clear that they care about each other.  Neither of them would be okay if they lost their sibling.  They both are brave characters who face many hard things in the both.  They want to keep Apophis from causing the end of the world.  They also want to save their mom's soul.  They encounter many characters in this book, including an interesting ghost named Setne, who was an evil magician when he was alive.

The romantic elements of this book are tied up well.  Carter likes Zia, since he had fallen for her shabti in the first book.  As this book continues, it becomes clear that she returns his feelings.  There are some great moments between the two while they are in some pretty dangerous situations.  Sadie has feelings for both Walt and Anubis, and she doesn't know what to do about that.  On top of that, Walt is dying, and Anubis is off-limits since he is a god.  I'm not going to give this away, but there is a very interesting resolution to this love triangle.

The mythological elements are handled well.  The book does a good job of explaining how destroying the shadow of Apophis will destroy Apophis.  Many Egyptian gods are included in this book, some of them being Horus, Isis, Osiris, Anubis, Ra, Bes, Bast, Tawaret, and more.  All these gods are great characters.  Usually what they're the god of is played with to make things funnier.  Bast is the goddess of cats, and she is very catlike.  All the gods and goddesses are quite interesting.

If you like mythology, read this book.  Make sure you read the first two in the series first, though.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Review: If I Tell by Janet Gurtler

If I Tell
IF ONLY ...If only I hadn't gone to that party. I never would have seen what I did. Jackson wouldn't have driven me home. I wouldn't have started to fall for a guy just out of reform school. I could go back to pretending everything was normal. I wouldn't be keeping a secret from my mom that could blow our family apart ... 

My Review: 

I reread this book last week so I could write a review, and also so I could just read it again.  I enjoyed the second time just as much as the first, even though I knew what was going to happen.  There were parts of it that I had forgotten since I hadn't read it in awhile, so it was like I was experiencing those parts for the first time.  Anyway, this book has a great story and characters.


Jaz is a great protagonist.  She has some self-esteem issues, and she struggles with being the only biracial person in her town.  She has felt a connection with her mom's boyfriend before, since they are the same race, and she becomes angry when she sees him kissing her friend, Lacey.  Throughout the book, she knows this secret, and she doesn't know if she should tell anyone.  When she finds out her mom is pregnant with Simon's (the boyfriend) baby, she decides she can't tell her mom then.  Later in the book, she doesn't know if she should tell her, and she can never find the right time to bring it up.

Jaz's family are good characters.  Her grandma is the one who raised her, along with her grandpa, but he has died before the book starts.  Despite the fact that Jaz's mom had her own parents raise Jaz, it is clear that she cares about her daughter.  She was too young to raise Jaz when she was born.  Jaz has never met her father or anyone on that side of her family.

Her friends are also great characters.  Lacey is the girl who kissed Simon, the mom's boyfriend.  She realizes that she made a mistake by doing that, and she feels bad about it.  She has a lot of issues of her, including a drinking problem.  She was drunk when she kissed Simon.  Jaz's friend, Ashley, is a great character as well.  She wants to help Jaz get over her fear of swimming since she is a swimmer.  This is a difficult task for Ashley since Jaz is still scarred by an incident in the pool in elementary school.  Jackson is a great character too.  He has a delinquent past that involved drug dealing, but he seems like a sweet.  They start off as friends and become more.

If you like YA contemporary, read this book.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #31: Bruised


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

My pick for this week is:


16-year-old Imogen Malley has spent most of her life in the shadow of her popular older brother, but there is one area in which she excels: martial arts.

As the youngest black belt at her dojang, Imogen loves assistant teaching more than anything in the world, and she plans to open her own martial arts studio one day. Per the Tae Kwon Do student creed, she's come to think of herself as a potential hero, a defender of the weak, and a champion of justice.

Her confidence disappears when she freezes up at an armed robbery that leaves someone dead. Guilt-stricken and numb, Imogen is left to wonder if martial arts failed her, or she failed it. Estranged from her family and friends, who don't understand why she's still beating herself up for failing to act, she struggles to get by on her own, and decides to prove herself by teaching another student how to fight –- no holds barred, no protective gear, no rules.

When the image you have of yourself is shattered, how do you make it whole again?


This sounds like a great and emotional read.  I like the cover, and it looks like it will match the story well.  I can't wait to read this once it is released in March.

What are you Waiting On this Wednesday?


Monday, October 22, 2012

Review: The Space Between Us by Jessica Martinez

The Space Between Us From the author of Virtuosity, a novel about two sisters and the secrets they tell, the secrets they keep—and the secret that could tear them apart.Amelia is used to being upstaged by her charismatic younger sister, Charly. She doesn’t mind, mostly, that it always falls to her to cover for Charly’s crazy, impulsive antics. But one night, Charly’s thoughtlessness goes way too far, and she lands both sisters in serious trouble.

Amelia’s not sure she can forgive Charly this time, and not sure she wants to . . . but forgiveness is beside the point. Because Charly is also hiding a terrible secret, and the truth just might tear them apart forever.

My Review:

The Space Between Us is an amazing book that I read quickly because I couldn't put it down.  I became invested in the story from the first page, falling in the love with both the story and the characters.  This book is also so emotional, and I loved that about it.  So, my advice to you is read this book!


Amelia is a great main character, though she has her flaws.  She clearly cares about Charly, despite being mad at her for a good portion of the book.  Her main flaw is that she is judgmental.  When she finds out Charly is pregnant, she immediately makes assumptions.  She says many mean and horrible things to Charly throughout the book.  Despite what I'm saying, I still did like her as a main character.  I could see why she was mad at Charly, even if I did sometimes want her to be more supportive.

Charly is a great character.  She's sweet and loveable, but she's also hiding a huge secret.  One of the most emotional scenes in the book is when Charly finally tells Amelia her secret.  The relationship between the sisters is showcased so well in that scene.  It's obvious that Amelia really cares about her sister then, and feels guilty for the bad things she's said.  Charly's and Amelia's characters both grow throughout the course of the book. 

Ezra is also a great character.  The relationship between Amelia and him doesn't start off too great.  He comes to pick up Amelia and Charly from the airport in Canada, and Amelia is pretty mean to himAs the story progresses, Amelia and Ezra become friends, and she feels like they could maybe be more than friends.  Their relationship is so sweet and develops slowly and realistically.  He has his secrets about his family, but he's a great guy.  He helps Amelia to grow as a character.

If you like emotional contemporary YA, read this book.