December 30, 2013

End of the Year Book Survey

Thank you to the wonderful Jamie over at The Perpetual Page-Turner for this survey.

I tried to do this last year because I think it's awesome, but I didn't ever finish it.  This year I was better!  At least at answering these questions.

1. Best Book You Read In 2013? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist)
I’m just gonna go with my gut and say Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson.  It was one of the first books I read this year and it hasn’t really left my mind since.  I’m constantly recommending it to people and I can’t wait to reread it myself.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle.  It sounded like a good story, had an awesome cover, but I thought it was just too reminiscent of Judy Blume’s Forever.  And I know, most people consider Forever a classic, but I read it too late in life and didn't really connect with it like you're supposed to, so those feelings kind of carried over to this one.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013? 
The Bloodlines series.  I read both Vampire Academy and Bloodlines for the first time this year (in a very short amount of time).  Love them both, but by the end of VA I was kind of fed up with Rose.  Bloodlines, though, turned out to be one of the best series I’ve read.  The main characters are some of the most well written that I’ve ever encountered and I can’t wait to see what comes next in Sydney and Adrian’s story.

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?
Probably Tiger Lily.  Or more recently This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales.

 5. Best series you discovered in 2013?
Bloodlines.  I’m sorry if this survey becomes a love letter to Richelle Mead, but I just love these books so effing much. 

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?
Bennett Madison.  I read September Girls and adored it.  I really enjoyed what he had to say about pop culture and society’s norms through the story’s (capital G) Girls.  I will definitely be looking out for more of his books in the future.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
I don’t really like reading too much Middle Grade, but I did read a bunch of it this year that turned out to be great: Doll Bones, Fortunately, the Milk, Timmy Failure, and Love That Dog.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?
The most thrilling stand alone goes to If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch.  Series is (once again, I’m sorry) Bloodlines, especially The Fiery Heart.    

9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
The Bloodlines series hands down.  I have wanted to reread them since I first put them down.  I can’t wait until we’re closer to Silver Shadows and I have an excuse to pick them up again.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?
I’m going to say Doll Bones by Holly Black.  The colors and the style of the art on that cover is gorgeous.  I would get it tattooed on me, I just love it so much.

11. Most memorable character in 2013? 
It’s going to be either Adrian Ivashkov or Sydney Sage from Vampire Academy/Bloodlines.  I can’t decide which one of them is more memorable to me.  I could write essays about both of them and their perfect imperfectness.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?
Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara.  I didn’t know that she was a poet until after I read this book, but it definitely shows in her writing.  Lovely, Dark and Deep was a beautiful read.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013? 
Doll Bones really got me thinking about when it becomes the norm to stop playing pretend and telling ourselves stories and that aspect of growing up.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read? 
Vampire Academy.  It took A LOT of pressure from my sister for me to pick up these books, but it was well worth it.  And now I can't wait for the movie!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?
 From Eleanor & Park:

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?
Shortest: The Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl, 32, Longest: Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy #6) by Richelle Mead, 594

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!
Indigo Spell, the frat house scene obv.  Please come talk to me about Sydney and Adrian.  PLEASE.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).
Sydney and Adrian from Bloodlines.  So good for each other, such strong characters, such a realistic relationship in an unrealistic world. 

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Just One Day by Gayle Forman (or Just One Year!), Going Rogue by Robin Benway,

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke. I didn’t really think gothic was my thing, but I picked this one up on a recommendation from my sister (who is very rarely wrong) and it was great.  Totally creepy and very awesome.

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?
From a quick survey of what I’ve read, it looks like Contemporary was the clear winner this year.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?
ADRIAN IVASHKOV.  No question.

23. Best 2013 debut you read?
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell.

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?
Neverland in Tiger Lily.  She totally rips down what we’ve all known about Neverland from when we were little and reinvents it for this story. 

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?
Timmy Failure by Stephan Pastis.  It was hysterical.  I think I read every other line out loud to my sister because it was killing me.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?
Tiger Lily made me SOB.  Like, I didn’t think I was going to be okay ever again kind of sobbing.  So good, but so so sad.

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?
I don’t know, I didn’t really hear much about Cherry Money Baby by John M. Cusick, but I thought that was really good.  I fell off the blogging train a bit this year, so I didn’t really hear a lot of the hype.

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black.  It just always feels good to have a Holly Black book I haven’t read waiting in the wings for me. 

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?
Silver Shadows (Bloodlines #5) by Richelle Mead.  I have to KNOW.

3. 2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy and Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano

4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014?
The Everneath series.  (Okay, I already read Evertrue, but it technically doesn’t come out until 2014 so I still feel good about this choice.)

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?

Be better.  I fell off the blogging train towards the end of the year, but I really hope to pick myself up and get back on here.  I really enjoy it and it helps me better remember what I’ve read. 

November 5, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (58)

This week's topic is

1. The Fiery Heart
2. Silver Shadows
- Richelle Mead
August 2014
I can't even really describe how much I love the Bloodlines series.  I only read it two weeks ago, but every day since has been a struggle to not reread them.  It is definitely made its way onto my list of favorite series of all time.  Sydney and Adrian are forever.  They're just so well written, separately and together, and I need to know what's going on with them.

3. Isla and the Happily Ever After - Stephanie Perkins
I have been waiting for Isla for ages.  I've wanted to reread Anna ever since the first time I read it, but made a promise to myself that I wouldn't do it until I could read all three books together and we're slowly inching closer to that being a reality.

4. Evertrue - Brodi Ashton
I haven't even read Everbound yet, but I loved Everneath so much that I want them all!

5. The Infinite Sea - Rick Yancey
I was really glad The 5th Wave lived up to all it's hype.  I can't wait to see where the story goes, though I'm not a huge fan of this title.  I never remember that the two books are connected.

6. The Retribution of Mara Dyer - Michelle Hodkin
I was really sad to hear that this release was getting pushed back.  I can't wait to read the conclusion of this series.

7. Hollow City - Ransom Riggs
Miss Peregrine was so different than anything I've read before and I can't wait to jump back into this world.

8. Enders - Lissa Price
I loved Starters and was super excited to continue on with this series, but I think it was another one that got pushed back?  Anyway, I really want to find out what is in store for Callie and the others.

9. Vengeance - Megan Miranda
Fracture is one of my favorite books that I've read since I started blogging and I was so excited to hear that there was going to be a sequel to it.  I love Delaney and Decker and can't wait to spend more time with them.

10. Going Rogue - Robin Benway
I LOVED Also Known As.  A teenage safecracker with an awesome family and an even more awesome best friend (Roux was the best!), what's not to love?  And it's Robin Benway, so you know it's gonna be great.  I can't wait for this one!

Are there any sequels you guys are especially excited for?  I'm always looking for books to add to my insanely long TBR list! 

October 29, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (57)

This week's topic is

I love love love scary books.  I wish I had time this year to read some before Halloween, but sadly I got sucked in to the amazingness that is Vampire Academy and Bloodlines last week and have not looked back since.  Here are some of my favorite scary looking covers to get you in a spooky mood.

This is an awesome cover for an equally as awesome book.  A totally different spin on the 'girl in a dress' covers.

The cover for Between the Devil really reflects how atmospheric and creepy the book is. 

The image of the island sells you on how isolated the kids are on this weekend of terror.

I don't know whether to laugh at this cover or what.  The Face on the Milk Carton is not scary.  At all.  Why is there a girl trapped inside the carton?  Great book, not so great repackage.  People expecting a horror series will be disappointed.

I've never read The Replacement, but this cover creeps me out and makes me want to know more.

I was actually concerned that this was going to be too scary to read because of the pictures.  I'm glad I tried it though, because I really enjoyed it.

All I think about when I see this cover is The Girl with the Green Ribbon and I get freaked out.  I loved scaring myself when I was little with all these stories.

Something about this cover always freaked me out when I was younger, but I bought it anyway.  I'm sure this book is still in my basement somewhere and I would still be terrified if I came across it.

Simple and scary.  Perfect for an R.L. Stine book.

I took these out of my elementary school library so many times, but I would never look directly at the covers.  I am a chicken at heart.

What about you guys?  Got any scary reads made scarier by a great cover?  Let me know in the comments!

October 8, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (56)

This week's topic is

I despise when my favorite series come to an end.  I get very attached to the characters and the worlds and everything about the series that I'm reading.  I have a difficult time letting go of things and will usually find myself crying at some point in the middle of a last book (even if it's not sad!  What is wrong with me?)  Here are some of my favorite last books.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - JK Rowling
Is this even a question?  I used it in the banner for a reason.  Harry Potter is a part of so many of our childhoods (okay, my actual teen years, whatever).  When the seventh book came out I worked the midnight release at my bookstore.  I remember exactly where I was when I was reading it (down the shore, sitting on my towel on the beach, crying because Hedwig died while all my friends were in the water).  It was a great send off for characters that will never leave us.

Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins
I don't think there's a final book more hotly debated among my friends than this one.  Some (read: me) love everything about it, find the losses in it to be important examples of how tragic and random war can be, and think that it's amazing that Katniss holds her shit together AT ALL.  Others, however, think that Katniss is whiny, the deaths are random, and that the book is pretty much not worth reading.  If you can't tell, any time Mockingjay gets brought up in conversation we get into screaming fights about it.

Black Heart - Holly Black
I just love The Curseworkers series.  I'm so glad to have a little bit of closure for poor Cassel.  I spent the whole book pretty much going out of my mind about how he was going to get out of the impossible situation that he was in.  OUT OF MY MIND.  Holly Black is a master.

Forever Princess - Meg Cabot
The Princess Diaries will forever be one of my favorite series, Mia one of my favorite protagonists, and Michael one of the most swoon-worthy boys in all of YA.  He MADE IT SNOW FOR HER among other things, oh god.  This is just the perfect wrap up for this series.

Tap and Gown - Diana Peterfreund
Every time I talk about this series I beg you all to go out and read it, so please GO OUT AND READ IT.  It's so good.  I love finding good books that take place in college and this is a whole wonderful series that takes place in college.  Tap and Gown doesn't disappoint at all as the finale of this series.  Every time I read it I just want to go back and reread the whole thing all over again.

Perfect Fifths - Megan McCafferty
Simply put, Perfect Fifths is perfect.  End of story.

Requiem - Lauren Oliver
This is another one where people's problems with it are actually my favorite parts.  I found a lot of complaints with the ending while I was reading reviews of Requiem, but I love the open ended-ness of it.  Where Oliver leaves off in the story really is just another beginning for these people and there really is no way to tie that up neatly.

Honorable Mentions (aka these are not series, they're duologies, but the second books were awesome and deserve some recognition)

Where She Went - Gayle Forman
Team Where She Went.  All the way.  I like it better than the first.

Just One Year - Gayle Forman
Willem's story is just so interesting and he's a fascinating character.  I was glad to get the chance to see where he was after the Day.

Girl of Nightmares - Kendare Blake
I loved Anna Dressed in Blood and was so glad to see the story continued.  If you want a great Halloween read definitely check these two out.

September 17, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (55)

This week's topic is

My Fall TBR list this year consists of things that I've been meaning to read for a while with a smattering of vampires, serial killers, and witches.  So, in my eyes, this might be the perfect TBR list.  I love Fall so much.

Just One Year - Gayle Forman
After spending an amazing day and night together in Paris, Just One Year is Willem’s story, picking up where Just One Day ended. His story of their year of quiet longing and near misses is a perfect counterpoint to Allyson’s own as Willem undergoes a transformative journey, questioning his path, finding love, and ultimately, redefining himself.

Unspoken - Sarah Rees Brennan
Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.
The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?

This Song Will Save Your Life - Leila Sales

Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.

Coldest Girl in Coldtown - Holly Black
Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

Boy Toy - Barry Lyga
Josh Mendel has a secret. Unfortunately, everyone knows what it is.
Five years ago, Josh’s life changed. Drastically. And everyone in his school, his town—seems like the world—thinks they understand. But they don’t—they can’t. And now, about to graduate from high school, Josh is still trying to sort through the pieces. First there’s Rachel, the girl he thought he’d lost years ago. She’s back, and she’s determined to be part of his life, whether he wants her there or not.Then there are college decisions to make, and the toughest baseball game of his life coming up, and a coach who won’t stop pushing Josh all the way to the brink. And then there’s Eve. Her return brings with it all the memories of Josh’s past. It’s time for Josh to face the truth about what happened.If only he knew what the truth was . . .

Jellicoe Road - Melina Marchetta
Abandoned by her mother on Jellicoe Road when she was eleven, Taylor Markham 17, finally confronts her past. Hannah, the closest adult she has to family, disappears. Jonah Griggs, moody stares and all, is back in town. If Taylor can put together the pieces of her past, she might just be able to change her future.

Vampire Academy - Rochelle Mead
St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger...

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer - Katie Alender
Colette Iselin is excited to go to Paris on a class trip. She’ll get to soak up the beauty and culture, and maybe even learn something about her family’s French roots.

But a series of gruesome murders are taking place across the city, putting everyone on edge. And as she tours museums and palaces, Colette keeps seeing a strange vision: a pale woman in a ball gown and powdered wig, who looks suspiciously like Marie Antoinette.
Colette knows her popular, status-obsessed friends won’t believe her, so she seeks out the help of a charming French boy. Together, they uncover a shocking secret involving a dark, hidden history. When Colette realizes she herself may hold the key to the mystery, her own life is suddenly in danger . 

3:59 - Gretchen McNeil
Josie Byrne's life is spiraling out of control. Her parents are divorcing, her boyfriend Nick has grown distant, and her physics teacher has it in for her. When she's betrayed by the two people she trusts most, Josie thinks things can't get worse.

Until she starts having dreams about a girl named Jo. Every night at the same time—3:59 a.m.
Jo's life is everything Josie wants: she's popular, her parents are happily married, and Nick adores her. It all seems real, but they're just dreams, right? Josie thinks so, until she wakes one night to a shadowy image of herself in the bedroom mirror – Jo. 
Josie and Jo realize that they are doppelgängers living in parallel universes that overlap every twelve hours at exactly 3:59. Fascinated by Jo's perfect world, Josie jumps at the chance to jump through the portal and switch places for a day.
But Jo’s world is far from perfect. Not only is Nick not Jo's boyfriend, he hates her. Jo's mom is missing, possibly insane. And at night, shadowy creatures feed on human flesh.
By the end of the day, Josie is desperate to return to her own life. But there’s a problem: Jo has sealed the portal, trapping Josie in this dangerous world. Can she figure out a way home before it’s too late?

Born Wicked - Jessica Spotswood

Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word... especially after she finds her mother’s diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family’s destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.
If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren’t safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.

I can't wait to see what you all are excited for!

August 14, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (54)

This week's topic is

I know I'm a little late on this, but I wanted to post it anyway.  For this week's TTT I chose to do books set in the New York/New Jersey area.  It's where I live and I absolutely love when books are set here and I can picture what the author is describing.

So, for New Jersey we have:

The Curseworkers series - Holly Black
The Jessica Darling series - Megan McCafferty
The Stephanie Plum series - Janet Evanovich
The He's So/She's So series - Kieran Scott

And New York:
The Princess Diaries series - Meg Cabot
Dash and Lily's Book of Dares - Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Where She Went - Gayle Forman
The Heist Society series - Ally Carter
The Heather Wells series - Meg Cabot
The Suite Scarlet series - Maureen Johnson

As you can see this list contains some of my most favorite books ever and I think the setting has a lot to do with that.  Have you guys read anything good that's set in NY/NJ that I've missed?  Leave them in the comments please!

August 7, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (51)

Hosted by Breaking the Spine

Author: April Genevieve Tucholke
Pub Date: 8.15.13
From You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand…

Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town…until River West comes along. River rents the guesthouse behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard. Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more? Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery...who makes you want to kiss back. Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.

August 6, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (53)

This week's topic is

This week's topic was harder for me than I thought it would be.  Apparently I read a lot of series/companion books.  Also, a lot of the stand alones I do read I am very content keeping it to one book.  Eleanor and Park?  Perfect the way it is.  Tiger Lily?  I don't think I could handle another one.  Chopsticks?  I want answers, but I know that this one's amazingness lies in the interpretation.   Here are some books that I want to spend more time with in the form of a sequel.

Jynx - Meg Cabot
Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys - Kate Brian
A Midsummer's Nightmare - Kody Keplinger
Sweethearts - Sara Zarr
Decked With Holly - Marni Bates
Falling in Love With English Boys - Melissa Jensen
The Piper's Son - Melina Marchetta

I highly recommend all of these and I would love to be able to explore the characters and stories more in a sequel.  They don't need them, per se, but I enjoyed them so much that I just want more.  I can't wait to see what you guys picked!

(Hey!  If you have a free minute, head on over to The Literacy Site and click everyday to give kids free books!  Thanks.)

July 31, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (50)

Hosted by Breaking the Spine

Author: Leila Sales
Pub Date: 9.17.13
From Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.

July 30, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (52)

This week's topic is
Okay, so it was beginnings/endings, but I'm going to stick with beginnings this time.  Also I love quotes, so you're just getting the opening lines.

1. Tiger Lily - Jodi Lynn Anderson
"Let me tell you something straight off.  This is a love story, but not like any you've heard.  The boy and girl are far from innocent.  Dear lives are lost.  And good doesn't win.  In some places, there is something ultimately good about endings.  In Neverland, that is not the case."

2. Amy and Roger's Epic Detour - Morgan Matson
"But I think it fair to warn you, all those songs about California lied."

3. If I Stay - Gayle Forman
"Everyone thinks it was because of the snow."

4. The Disenchantments - Nina LaCour
"Bev says when she's on stage she feels the world holding it's breath for her."

5. I Hunt Killers - Barry Lyga
"It was a beautiful day.  It was a beautiful field.  Except for the body."

6. Delirium - Lauren Oliver
"The most dangerous sicknesses are those that make us believe we're well. - Proverb 42, The Book of Shhh"

7. Insurgent - Veronica Roth
"I wake with his name in my mouth."

8. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight - Jennifer E. Smith
"There are so many ways it coud have turned out differently."

9. Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins
"Here is everything I know about France: Madeline and Amélie and Moulin Rouge."

10. The Evolution of Mara Dyer - Michelle Hodkin
"You will love him to ruins."

July 11, 2013

Ten - Gretchen McNeil

Title: Ten
Author: Gretchen McNeil
Pages: 304
Publisher: Balzer + Bray

From It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.

But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.
Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

Okay, here's the thing about Ten: I loved the concept.  I felt like it was one of those books that was made with me in mind.  I love teen slasher flicks.  I still remember the first slumber party that we watched Scream at.  We only got through the first ten minutes before we decided it was too scary to watch at night, so we put it back on in the morning.  I remember going to the movies to see I Know What You Did Last Summer and squishing my Reese's Pieces between my hand and my best friends during a particularly scary bit.  The plotting of this book was really good.  The characters were another story entirely.

Right away I didn't connect with Meg.  I didn't know why she put up with so much of Minnie's crap.  Yes, she's her best friend, but she was mommy-ing her to death.  I think I would have been more understanding of it if they were sisters, then the uberprotective vibe would make sense.  I also didn't like how everyone else treated Meg.  Ooh, Meg the writer, Meg, you're so witty, if only you would speak out loud more.  It wasn't just her though.  I found very few redeeming qualities in anyone on that island and - I hate to say it - I didn't feel that badly when they bit it.

Moving away from the negativity, I really liked the plot.  Ten teens on an island for an all weekend rager when they start being picked off one by one.  The deaths were inventive and I love that they were being killed in ways that someone had fantasized about in their journal.  Without spoiling anything, I didn't see the killer coming and I liked the reveal a lot.

Unfortunately my dislike of the characters led to this book's ultimate downfall.  Without caring if anyone lived or died it was difficult having anyone to root for.  The best parts of Ten were when people  were dying and sadly that wasn't enough for me.  Has anyone read Ten?  What did you think?

July 10, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (49)

Hosted by Breaking the Spine

Author: Jennifer Echols
Pub Date: 7.16.13
From Bailey wasn’t always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away.

Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…