February 29, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday (6)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Title: Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe
Author: Shelley Coriell
Pub date: 5.1.12

From goodreads.com:  Big-hearted Chloe Camden is the queen of her universe until her best friend shreds her reputation and her school counselor axes her junior independent study project. Chloe is forced to take on a meaningful project in order to pass, and so she joins her school's struggling radio station, where the other students don't find her too queenly. Ostracized by her former BFs and struggling with her beloved Grams's mental deterioration, lonely Chloe ends up hosting a call-in show that gets the station much-needed publicity and, in the end, trouble. She also befriends radio techie and loner Duncan Moore, a quiet soul with a romantic heart. On and off the air, Chloe faces her loneliness and helps others find the fun and joy in everyday life. Readers will fall in love with Chloe as she falls in love with the radio station and the misfits who call it home.

February 28, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (7)

This week's topic is:
 Top Ten Books I'd Give A Theme Song To
Oh man, you would think this would be easy - my two favorite things, books and music.  I've been thinking about it all week and haven't been able to come up with anything that speaks to me.  Ack!  Oh, well.  Here goes nothing...
 Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony & Rodrigo Corral
The Sweetness of Salt by Cecilia Galante

Stay by Deb Caletti
The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
White Cat by Holly Black

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
Entwined by Heather Dixon

It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han

The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June

Some of these were just certain parts of the songs that related, others were the feel of the music, and others were the lyrics entirely.  Woo!  This took me literally all day to finish.  Hope you guys like the songs and I can't wait to see what everyone else has picked!

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Pandemonium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Pages: 384
Publisher: HarperCollins

From bn.com:
I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.

Lauren Oliver delivers an electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Delirium. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.

This book, you guys.  THIS BOOK.  It's one of those 'there aren't words to express these feelings that I'm feeeeeeling' books.  I had gotten an ARC of Delirium before it came out and flew through it.  It was my favorite dystopian of the three that came out right around each other (Delirium, Matched, and Bumped), and I've been dying for the sequel ever since.  Let me tell you - it does not disappoint.  I was a little spoiled (on a major plot point, boo) because I stumbled on a spoilery review for it before I read it, but it didn't matter.  Pandemonium had me from the first page and never let me go.  I had so many things that I was planning on doing the day that I read it, but I didn't wind up moving from my couch before I was finished with it.  If you haven't read Delirium, get to it.  I don't know what you're waiting for.  I am now waiting impatiently for Requiem (and will be waiting until February 2013 according to Good Reads).  Happy release day to Lauren Oliver and Pandemonium!

February 27, 2012

In My Mailbox (6)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren.


I actually won this one from smartpopbooks.com and it's autographed.  Thanks, SmartPop!

February 23, 2012

The Fortunes of Indigo Skye by Deb Caletti

Title: The Fortunes of Indigo Skye
Author: Deb Caletti
Pages: 320
Publisher: Simon Pulse

From bn.com:
I suddenly see where I'm standing, and that's at the edge of change - really, really big change.

Eighteen-year-old Indigo Skye feels like she has it all - a waitress job she loves, an adorable refrigerator-delivery-guy boyfriend, and a home life that's slightly crazed but rich in love. Until a mysterious man at the restaurant leaves her a 2.5 million-dollar tip, and her life as she knew it is transformed.

At first it's amazing: a hot new car, enormous flat-screen TV, and presents for everyone she cares about. She laughs off the warnings that money changes people, that they come to rely on what they have instead of who they are. Because it won't happen...not to her. Or will it? What do you do when you can buy anything your heart desires -- but what your heart desires can't be bought?

This is the story of a girl who gets rich, gets lost, and ultimately finds her way back -- if not to where she started, then to where she can start again.

I have to start this review saying that I am a huge Deb Caletti fan.  I haven't been reading her books for that long, but I love her voice.  She is, to steal a line from a character in The Sweetness of Salt (by Cecilia Galante), one of the scary truth tellers.  I just think Deb Caletti totally gets it and she writes really smart teen contemporaries.

That being said, this wasn't my favorite.  I loved the concept.  Kind of quirky high school waitress makes an impact on a customer and he leaves her a giant tip.  She does a little crazy spending, but who wouldn't?  She makes some terrible decisions, which were tough to watch, but that's because I genuinely liked Indigo.

The thing is, I think it took too long to get Indigo the money.  It says she's getting it in the description, so I knew it was coming before I started reading it.  It took almost half the book for the Vespa Guy to leave her the envelope with 2.5 million dollars in it.  After that, the rest of the book felt a little smushed together.

My other big problem with this book was her boyfriend, Trevor.  He was a jerk about the money.  It wasn't their money, it was her money and he should not have been spending it without talking to her about it first.  It also bothered me how fast she got over it.  I wanted to be like, "No girlfriend, he's in the wrong here, don't forgive him so easily."   

Other than those two issues I did like it.  I loved her family.  Her dad was my favorite.  He was super wise.  And I love that he lived in Hawaii.  Ugh, that's the dream right there.   I loved her work family too.  Quirky characters are my favorite, but it's hard to have quirky characters without being too quirky.  Fortunes managed it.  This book was also very quotable.  It felt like every 25 pages I threw a post it in to mark something to write down.  I'm going to leave you with my favorite:

"I didn't know what I wanted to Be.  The not-knowing of that was giving me the restless pissed-offness that questions without answers give.  A sense that I had permanently botched things already, embarked on the trip without the map."

February 22, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (5)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Title: Thumped
Author: Megan McCafferty
Pub Date: 4.24.12

From goodreads.com : It’s been thirty-five weeks since twin sisters Harmony and Melody went their separate ways. And now their story has become irresistible: twins separated at birth, each due to deliver twins…on the same day!

Married to Ram and living in Goodside, Harmony spends her time trying to fit back into the community she once believed in. But she can’t forget about Jondoe, the guy she fell for under the strangest of circumstances.

To her adoring fans, Melody has achieved everything: a major contract and a coupling with the hottest bump prospect around. But this image is costing her the one guy she really wants.

The girls’ every move is analyzed by millions of fans eagerly counting down to “Double Double Due Date.” They’re two of the most powerful teen girls on the planet, and they could do only one thing to make them even more famous:

Tell the truth.

February 21, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (6)

This week's topic is
Top Ten Books I'd Quickly Save If My House Was Going To Be Abducted By Aliens (or any other natural disaster...)
This is a toughie.  My first instinct is to go for a lot of my signed books (1-6), then the books I can't live without (7-10).

1. Presenting Tallulah - Tori Spelling
2. The Keeping Quilt - Patricia Polacco
3. Wherever Nina Lies - Lynn Weingarten
4. The Real Real - Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus
5. The Last Summer (of You and Me) - Ann Brashares
6. Between a Heart and a Rock Place - Pat Benatar
7. Ten Items or Less and a multitude of other books from my childhood (If I do it in one armload and/or grab the box and run it counts as one, okay?)
8.  The Hunger Games trilogy - Suzanne Collins
9. The Harry Potter series - J.K. Rowling
10. My nook (Totally cheating, I know, but I don't care)

So it seems that I'm going to have to make several trips into my house while it is being abducted, running the risk of having to go live with the aliens, but it's totally worth it for these books.  Also, all aliens look like Brendan Fehr and Jason Behr, right?  It can't be too bad.

February 20, 2012

In My Mailbox (5)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren.


From publishers:

(Psst - If you go to www.startersbooks.com right now anyone can request an ARC until they run out.  Just a heads up.)

February 14, 2012

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Title: Wonder
Author: R.J. Palacio
Pages: 320
Publisher: Random House Children's Books

From bn.com:
I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?

R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels.

I totally get why everyone is raving about this book.  It really is that great.  The message in this book is so simple, but so important.  Be kind.

It's told from a bunch of different viewpoints, which I wasn't sure if I was going to like at first, but I think it really worked for this story.  I liked that each character got to back up a little bit so the stories overlapped and I liked hearing all the different sides of what was happening.

One of my favorite parts of this book was that all of Mr. Browne's precepts were included at the end.  Even the summer postcard ones that were sent back from the kids.  These were "any saying or ground rule that can motivate you (p.46)" that Auggie's teacher put on the board in the classroom each month.  I'm a big quote person - I am constantly writing things down from books and music and tv, so I loved the addition of these at the end of the book.

Top Ten Tuesday (5)


This week's topic (in honor of Valentine's Day) is 
Top Ten Books that Broke My Heart a Little
which, to me, means ten books that made me sob openly, no matter where I was and who was around.

1. Before I Die - Jenny Downham
2. Tuck Everlasting - Natalie Babbitt
3. Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins
4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling
5. If I Stay/Where She Went - Gayle Forman
6.  A Walk to Remember - Nicholas Sparks
7. Sweethearts - Sara Zarr
8.  Pack Up the Moon - Anna McPartlin
9. Sisterhood Everlasting - Ann Brashares
10. We'll Always Have Summer - Jenny Han

Before I Die is one of the saddest books I've ever read.  I went away the morning after the midnight release of Deathly Hallows and wound up crying on the beach.  Sweethearts I stayed up half the night to read.  A Walk to Remember had the tears flowing in the locker room before gym class my senior year of high school.  Four of my ten are lasts in their series.  I think this just proves that I can't handle endings.  

I can't wait to see what everyone else has picked.  Happy Valentine's Day!

February 13, 2012

In My Mailbox (4)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren.

 On my nook:

I got some good nook deals this week.  White Cat was only $2.99!  Hearts at Stake was the free Friday book!  I pre-ordered Hana because of how freakin good Pandemonium was (and it was only $2.99)!  So many exclamation points!!!


Yup, I went out and bought all three EW covers this week.  Look at how pretty!  I love me some Vampire Diaries.  And this is a recent development for me.  For the longest time I thought it was just another stupid vampire thing.  Then I watched it on Netflix over Christmas and fell hard for it, so if anyone is apprehensive about it, I will vouch for it.  It is AMAZING.  It's very well done teen drama - great characters, awesome storylines, and it has a sense of humor about itself (which I think is so important).  And again I say, look at all the pretty!

February 8, 2012

After by Amy Efaw

Title: After
Author: Amy Efaw
Pages: 350
Publisher: Viking Juvenile

From the flap:  
Who would leave her own baby in the trash to die?  Certainly not someone like Devon - straight-A student, soccer player with Olympic dreams, more mature than her own mother.  But desperation and panic drove her to do what most people can't even imagine.  Now Devon's in a juvenile detention center, charged with attempted murder.  If she's tried as an adult, she faces life in prison. 

Does Devon deserve that punishment?  Your answer depends on whether you believe her story-that she didn't even know she was pregnant.  Was she buried in a denial so deep that she was unable to register the seemingly obvious signs of pregnancy?  Or were her actions the result of a more devious, premeditated plan?

With the utmost empathy and precision, author Amy Efaw carefully peels back the layers of Devon's past as she faces a possible future behind bars.  The result is a gripping page-turner that will challenge your beliefs about conscience and consciousness.

This book opens on Devon staying home from school because she's not feeling well.  What we come to find out is that she has just had a baby and put it out with the trash behind her apartment.  When the police come to ask questions about the baby, they discover it is Devon's and we then follow her to the hospital and onto a juvenile detention center where she spends the time leading up to her trial.  Throughout the book we take on the task, along with Devon's lawyer, of figuring out what happened, how Devon got to where she is now.

This was another book that wasn't exactly a pleasant read.  It's been on my to-read list forever, and I'm glad I finally got to it, but it's definitely not lighthearted.  I would have loved to see the before Devon that was talked about all through the book.  I take this to mean Efaw did a great job constructing the character.  I would have read all about her straight-A, soccer playing, high school non-adventures.  Meeting the boy and changing the way she sees things.  Not instead of the events of After, but in addition to them. 

All along, I was trying to figure out how After would end.  I really wasn't sure how it was going to.  I will say I was a fan of how Efaw chose to end it.  In fact, it was the only way I could have seen it ending while staying true to who Devon was before.  I'm glad I finally read this one.  It's been on my to-read list forever.

Waiting on Wednesday (4)

 Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Title: Supergirl Mixtapes
Author: Meagan Brothers
Pub. Date: 4.24.12

From amazon.com: After years of boredom in her rural South Carolina town, Maria is thrilled when her father finally allows her to visit her estranged artist mother in New York City. She’s ready for adventure, and she soon finds herself immersed in a world of rock music and busy streets, where new people and ideas lie around every concrete corner. This is the freedom she’s always longed for—and she pushes for as much as she can get, skipping school to roam the streets, visit fancy museums, and flirt with the cute clerk at a downtown record store.

But just like her beloved New York City, Maria’s life has a darker side. Behind her mother’s carefree existence are shadowy secrets, and Maria must decide just where—and with whom—her loyalty lies.

Top Ten Tuesday (4)

This week's topic is ten books I'd hand to someone who says they don't like to read.  I am almost out of time on this busy busy Tuesday and I'm currently watching the Princess Diaries (Michael Moscovitz, woo!) so this week you get my list without commentary.  Just know that these are all quick reads and awesome books.  Yes, even the Baby-Sitters Club.  

Stop judging.

February 6, 2012

In My Mailbox (3)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren.

On my nook:

A very light week for me.  I'm playing catch-up on things that I own so I'm trying not to go to the library.  This one was only 99 cents when I bought it though, so how could I resist?

February 2, 2012

The Sweetness of Salt by Cecilia Galante

Title: The Sweetness of Salt
Author: Cecilia Galante
Pages: 320
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

From bn.com:  Julia just graduated as her high school valedictorian, has a full ride to college in the fall and a coveted summer internship clerking for a federal judge. But when her older sister, Sophie, shows up at the graduation determined to reveal some long buried secrets, Julia's carefully constructed plans come to a halt. Instead of the summer she had painstakingly laid out, Julia follows Sophie back to Vermont, where Sophie is opening a bakery—and struggling with some secrets of her own. What follows is a summer of revelations—some heartwarming, some heartbreaking, and all slowly pointing Julia toward a new understanding of both herself and of the sister she never really knew.

What do you do when you realize you've been blindly following a path laid out for you by someone else?  Spurred on by a long buried family secret coming to light, Julia takes her estranged sister up on an offer to go visit her in Vermont, where she's renovating an old house into a bakery.  Once there, the sisters explore the pieces of the past that no one else will speak of and start making new roads for themselves.  I don't want to give anything else away because the anticipation of finding out the family secret was part of what made this book so great. 

Another big part of what I loved about this book was how genuinely likeable all the characters were- Julia, Sophie, Milo, Aiden, the Table of Knowledge...

Speaking of the Table of Knowledge, all I could think of when reading about them was the "Birds of a Feather Flock to Taylor" episode of Home Improvement.

This is totally who I imagined in my mind when I thought of the Table of Knowledge.

I couldn't find the exact scene that they made me think of but this at 2:57 is close enough.  I love small town stories with small town characters.  They always have the best personalities and are the most fun to watch the main characters interact with.

The scenes where Sophie was baking, especially when she makes the biscuits (mmm buttery biscuits!) had my mouth watering had me wanting to leave work immediately to start baking.

This story has a little bit of everything: family, friendship, romance, suspense, sorrow, and self-exploration.  It is a whole lot of story packed into 320 pages.  You would think this book would be overstuffed with everything in it, but I thought it was just perfect.

New cover alert! 
The paperback is coming out on May 22nd with a brand new cover!

February 1, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (3)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Title: Out of Sight, Out of Time
Author: Ally Carter
Pub. Date: 3.13.12

From bn.com:  The last thing Cammie Morgan remembers is leaving the Gallagher Academy to protect her friends and family from the Circle of Cavan—an ancient terrorist organization that has been hunting her for over a year. But when Cammie wakes up in an alpine convent and discovers months have passed, she must face the fact that her memory is now a black hole. The only traces left of Cammie’s summer vacation are the bruises on her body and the dirt under her nails, and all she wants is to go home.
Once she returns to school, however, Cammie realizes that even the Gallagher Academy now holds more questions than answers. Cammie, her friends, and mysterious spy-guy Zach must face their most difficult challenge yet as they travel to the other side of the world, hoping to piece together the clues that Cammie left behind. It’s a race against time. The Circle is hot on their trail and willing stop at nothing to prevent Cammie from remembering what she did last summer.

I love this series so much and have been waiting for the next book for what feels like forever.   Only one more month and I can finally read it!