Sunday, May 15, 2011

Great Giveaway by Evie-Bookish!

Hey everyone! There is a GREAT giveaway going on by Evie-Bookish! You should go check it out and congratulate her on having 500 followers! Thanks for much for doing this giveaway! :)

IMM (In My Mailbox) Number 2!



Hey everyone! I had a pretty good week--I actually slowed down on the book buying! That's good, right? :) Hopefully I can start reading them soon! :)


In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren to showcase all of the awesome books you've gotten in the last week! So go on over there and see how you can become part of this great meme! :) Also, I would LOVE to know what you got this week, so leave your link to your IMM and I'll check it out and follow your blog! I follow back, by the way. :) Here we go!
(Just click the pictures to enlarge them!)

This week I got...
Pirates! by Celia Rees
Reincarnation by Suzanne Weyn

Crash Into Me by Albert Borris
Fearscape by Simon Holt (I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this series! I cannot wait to get to this one!)
Scrambled Eggs at Midnight by Brad Barkley & Heather Hepler
Along The River A Chinese Cinderella Novel by Adeline Yen Mah
Falling Under by Gwen Hayes
Sorta Like A Rock Star by Matthew Quick

I can't wait to get to those! But I also got...


The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks (I already read this one, but I'm trying to get ALL of his books in hard back, so I saw this one for sale online--that's SINGED, by the way--and I just had to have it! I know! I am SO excited about that!)
Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler (I love her. She is super funny and I can't wait to read this!)

And the best for last...


Where She Went by Gayle Forman (I LOVED If I Stay so much! It KILLED me to have to wait this long to get it! I will be reading this by Monday! Maybe tonight! AHH! Can't wait! Sorry about that...)
Wither by Lauren DeStefano (I feel like the LAST person to get this book! :( But I saw it while I was at the bookstore last night and broke down and got it! The cover is BEAUTIFUL! I can't wait to read it!)
Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton (This one looks awesome, and it has my name in it, so why not?!)

Paranormalcy by Kirsten White (I really like the cover for some reason, haha.)


Well, that was my IMM for this week! How was yours? I hope you all had a great week/weekend, and don't forget to leave your links! I wanna see what you all got! Take care and check out my latest review on Take Me There by Carolee Dean! Thanks!
-Angel

Book Review: Take Me There by Carolee Dean


Author: Carolee Dean
Author Online: Twitter Website
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: Original edition (July 20, 2010)
Format: Paperback, 336 pages
My Rating: 3/5
Buy It: Amazon Barns & Noble Book Depository
Summary: (Taken from Goodreads) Dylan has a bad-boy past and a criminal record. He knows that rich, beautiful Jess is way too good for him—but she has always been the one person who sees through his tough exterior and straight to his heart, and he has been hopelessly in love with her from the first time they met. He would change his life for a chance with her.
But trouble follows Dylan wherever he goes, and a deadly mistake soon forces him to hit the road and leave his dreams behind. He’s on the run and in search of answers—answers to questions he wishes he’d never asked.
My Review:

Take Me There was a fast, light read. But I do not mean light in the same sense as insignificance.
There were parts in this book where I felt the same grief as some of the characters, mainly Dylan. So many bad things just keep happening to him—it makes you wonder when he will catch a break. You could feel Dylan’s need to do better—be better—a better person—but every time something is going half right for him, it all just falls apart, and Dylan is left trying once again to hopelessly pick up the pieces.

I liked Dylan as a character. I didn’t love him, but I liked him, and I truly felt bad for him whenever something went wrong (which is pretty much the whole book) and even when something happened that made him happy, because it was always the littlest things that made him happy, the things any one person would shrug off and think little of. It was heartbreaking.
Dylan’s one friend, Wage, was much the same. I didn’t like Wage much, I mean, how can you when he just keeps messing things up for Dylan and is so big a coward he either runs and hides, or breaks out the crazy and grabs a knife whenever he feels threaten? And the thing is: He doesn’t even know it. He doesn’t seem to think of any one but himself most of the time, and I really didn’t like him when it got to the end of the book. It’s almost like he had no sense of right from wrong, good from bad, and Dylan spent most of his time making sure he didn’t get into any trouble, but knowing it was already a lost case.

The romance in this novel seemed over exaggerated and I really didn’t feel the love between Jess (heroine) and Dylan. Carolee Dean wrote all of Dylan’s feelings of Jess beautifully, but I just didn’t buy it. I don’t know why, because it had the perfect set-up: The good rich girl with the rich boyfriend starts to have feelings for the bad-boy grease monkey. Bad-boy grease monkey reconnects with the girl he has pretty much loved a good part of his life. But I just didn’t feel it. I didn’t feel it when they kissed, didn’t feel it when they held hands, and didn’t feel it when something awful happens and Dylan is thinking the worst could happen to Jess.

Take Me There was exciting and very easy reading with added mystery and a bit of adventure. Not to mention the beautiful poetry that made up half of the book! I loved the little poems every other chapter, and most of the writing flowed more like poetry than just words. Dylan’s thoughts were more poetic than anything, and I really enjoyed them. But I was not so crazy about Dean’s writing style. I don’t know if the writing in Take Me There is the same as her other works—this being the first and only Carolee Dean book I’ve read—but I found some of her sentences weird and at times, confusing. It is never good to confuse your readers when not trying!
Over all, this book was an okay read, and I would love to read more of Dean’s books in the future!

“That was the day I knew I was never getting out.” –Take Me There.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Follow Friday/Book Blogger Hop Number 1!

It's Friday! Follow Friday, that is! This is my first Follow Friday, so I'm sure you guys know way more about it than me, but just in case you don't...
Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee to showcase cool blogs that you should be following. So head over there and get your follow on! I follow back, by the way... :)




Q. The Blogger Apocalypse made me a little emotional. What is the most emotional scene in a book that you have read lately?

 A. Umm... that's a tough one! I haven't read too many emotional books lately, but the last book I read that made me feel very sad and wish I could jump into the book and beat the crap out of someone was when Rue was killed in The Hunger Games. So sad. :(

Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Crazy-for-Books stop by and check it out!

Q. Are you going to Book Expo America (BEA) and/or the Book Blogger Convention (BBC) this year?
A. Sadly, I will not be. :( But maybe next year, huh? I can only dream...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Teaser Tuesday Number 1!





Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


My Teasers: I finished copying the subdivision names and returned my notebook to my backpack. Call me selfish, but if I found her, I wanted it to be alone. -Page 208, Paper Towns by John Green

Book Review: Girl, Stolen by April Henry


Author: April Henry
Author Online: Twitter Website
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Release Date: First Edition edition (September 28, 2010)
Format: Hardback, 224 pages
My Rating: 4.5/5
Buy It: Amazon Barns & Noble Book Depository
Summary: (Taken from Goodreads)
Sixteen year-old Cheyenne Wilder is sleeping in the back of a car while her mom fills her prescription at the pharmacy. Before Cheyenne realizes what's happening, their car is being stolen—with her inside! Griffin hadn’t meant to kidnap Cheyenne, all he needed to do was steal a car for the others. But once Griffin's dad finds out that Cheyenne’s father is the president of a powerful corporation, everything changes—now there’s a reason to keep her. What Griffin doesn’t know is that Cheyenne is not only sick with pneumonia, she is blind. How will Cheyenne survive this nightmare, and if she does, at what price?
My Review:
This novel is about sixteen year old Cheyenne Wilder, a girl who is kidnapped—accidentally—by Griffin, a young man who had no intention of taking her against her will in the first place—he just wanted the car!—too bad Cheyenne was asleep in the backseat, hidden safely under a blanket. By the time both he and Cheyenne realize what has happened, it’s too late to turn around, drop her off somewhere, and send her on her way with the promise of hunting her down if she opens her mouth. But Cheyenne tells Griffin something that will either save her, or be her end: She’s blind.


Cheyenne was a strong character despite all her disadvantages, and though at times she seemed whiny, I always understood why, and was able to connect with her and root for her every step of the way. I felt for Griffin as well, even with knowing very little about him. I cared for him as a character and wished and hoped for the best for him, because he, in a sense, was in a situation much the same as Cheyenne.
Girl, Stolen was the first of its kind that I have ever read. I’ve never read a book based purely on abduction, or where the protagonist is blind. I have always felt a little iffy toward books of that subject, just on the fact that I’ve never read anything like it. But when I saw Girl, Stolen while I was browsing Amazon, I just felt I had to have it. I’m so glad I clicked ‘Buy’.
Wow. That was all I can remember thinking as I got through each chapter. Some were better than others, but most had me on edge, not wanting to miss anything that was happening, but not being able to make my eyes stop reading so quickly! But that’s just the kind of book this is. It’s very fast-pace, with something happening in almost every scene that has you thinking you can’t get to the next page fast enough. I think that is why I finished this book in just one sitting! But at the same time, the author knows when to slow it down, explain what is going on so you’re not confused, and then pick everything back up and have you once again dying to know what happens next.

As I said before, I had never read any book where any of the characters were blind, nonetheless being held captive. So I didn’t know what to expect, and I found myself thinking before I picked this up, “How is the author going to explain what is going on, and have the protagonist describe things when she can’t even see? How is she going to try to escape?” I feel almost silly now, having thought like that. The way April Henry has Cheyenne describe things through sound, smell, touch and feel… it was beautifully crafted and enduring.

The only thing that I wasn’t so crazy for was all of the explanations. I’ll be the first one to say I love when authors take the time to slow things down and tell us readers some back story, or something important to the storyline, but during some scenes, I felt April went a little too far in, telling us things that didn’t add to the story; it just filled up the word count. I mean, I love now knowing how to steal a car and get away with it—I’m just kidding—no, not really—but did we really need a step-by-step instruction guide on that? I really hope not…
But like I said, April has a way of storytelling, and I adore her writing style.
This was my first April Henry book, and I’m sure it won’t be my last!


"Please let me go, I won't tell!" -Girl, Stolen

Monday, May 9, 2011

Book Review: 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

 Author: Maureen Johnson
Author Online:
Twitter Website
Series: Little Blue Envelope Series
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: August 23, 2005
Format: Hardback, 336 pages
My Rating: 3.5/5
Buy It:
Amazon Barns & Noble Book Depository
Summary: (Taken from Goodreads) When Ginny receives thirteen little blue envelopes and instructions to buy a plane ticket to London, she knows something exciting is going to happen. What Ginny doesn't know is that she will have the adventure of her life and it will change her in more ways than one. Life and love are waiting for her across the Atlantic, and the thirteen little blue envelopes are the key to finding them in this funny, romantic, heartbreaking novel.
My Review:
13 Little Blue Envelopes was a fast, exciting read.
Ginny’s beloved aunt Peg has just died, and following her death, has left 13 blue envelopes, a fair amount of money, and instructions on what should be done with the money, all to her seventeen year old niece, Ginny. It is up to Ginny to follow her aunt’s last wishes, and at the same time, discover who her crazy, fun loving live-in-the-moment runaway aunt really was, and how she spent those last few months of her life.

While the set up for this novel made for great adventures and unexpected outcomes, I felt Maureen Johnson just didn’t take it. She never pushed the bar—never made something great come out of it. The main character, Virginia—Ginny, as she likes to be called—was never in one place for long, but while she was there, it felt like she never did much. Sure she did everything her aunt instructed her to do, but after that was taken care of, I felt like Ginny was lost. But I almost liked that feeling. If you were in a country so foreign to your own, wouldn’t you feel lost? I think Maureen Johnson captured that feeling very well, along with the setting of the place Ginny was in at any given moment.

I liked the way the author took you on this crazy adventure with Ginny, and almost made you feel like you could see and feel what Ginny was, and the way she described everything was beautiful, and made it seem that much more real and exciting.
I had a love/hate relationship with Ginny; not being overly fond of her, but not being able to dislike her. To me, Ginny was just there. We never really learn anything about her. We learn what her aunt likes, what her aunt did most of her life, what Ginny’s mother thought of her sister’s crazy life. But we never really learn what Ginny likes, what she enjoys doing, what she thought about what her aunt was making her do. We simply learn about every character except Ginny, who I would have liked to know most of all. It was almost like she didn’t have a personally of her own.
Also, her relationship with strange, sarcastic, troublesome Keith felt forced. It happened very fast, and while I can see the appeal, I can’t be bothered to believe that Ginny would fall for the first strange guy she sees in London, and to confess her undying love shortly after. Well, maybe not her undying love, but still. That makes for an interesting story.
I also really enjoyed reading the letters from Peg to Ginny, and the format in which they were written made it very easy to read, and I feel it added that much more to the story.
Overall, the characters we meet in this novel are charming, witty, imaginative and original.

I didn’t love this novel, but I did like it more than a little, and I will be reading the sequel, The Last Little Blue Envelope, very soon!
I would recommend this book to fans of John Green, David Levithan, Rachel Cohn, or just any fan of fun, light reading with a mix of adventure.

“Dear Ginger, I have never been a follower of rules. You know that.” -13 Little Blue Envelopes

Sunday, May 8, 2011

IMM Number 1! (In My Mailbox)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. 
The idea is to showcase all of the great books you've gotten in the last week! More info on IMM can be found at The Story Siren
Happy reading! 

Hey everyone! I had a great week! My order that I did off of MKZBooks.com a few weeks ago finally came in! Very good prices/sales going on!
Sorry some of the pictures are flipped weird! :( This week I got...

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld 
Five Flavors of Dumb by John Antony (SO excited for this one!)
Wildthorn by Jane Eagland (Also really excited for this one!)
Jane by April Lindner
The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg
Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson
Hannah (Daughters of the Sea) by Kathryn Lasky
The Fortune of Carmen Navarro by Jen Bryant


City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare 
Lies by Michael Grant (My God, I LOVE these books!)
Poser by Sue Wyshynski
Roadside Assistance by Amy Clipston (Can't wait to get to this one! Amy is great, and we both belong to the same writers group!)
The Vampire Diaries: Stefan's Diaries #1: Origins by L. J. Smith, Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec
Banished by Sophie Littlefield
Crank by Ellen Hopkins
Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale by Holly Black
And for last...
Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott
Grace by Elizabeth Scott
Invisible Things by Jenny Davidson 
Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood by Eileen Cook
The Daughters by Joanna Philbin
The Vinyl Princess by Yvonne Prinz
Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin


Wow! What a week! I hope everyone had a GREAT weekend, and a good Mothers Day! Talk to you guys soon!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Book Review: Need by Carrie Jones


Author: Carrie Jones
Author Online: Twitter Website
Series: Need Series
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Release Date: December 23, 2008
Format: Hardback, 320 pages
My Rating: 2.5/5
Buy It: Amazon Barns & Noble Book Depository
Summary: Zara collects phobias the way other high school girls collect lipsticks. Little wonder, since life’s been pretty rough so far. Her father left, her stepfather just died, and her mother’s pretty much checked out. Now Zara’s living with her grandmother in sleepy, cold Maine so that she stays “safe.” Zara doesn’t think she’s in danger; she thinks her mother can’t deal. Wrong.
Turns out that guy she sees everywhere, the one leaving trails of gold glitter, isn’t a figment of her imagination. He’s a pixie—and not the cute, lovable kind with wings. He’s the kind who has dreadful, uncontrollable needs. And he’s trailing Zara. With suspense, romance, and paranormal themes, this exciting breakout novel has all the elements to keep teens rapidly turning the pages.
 

My Review:
Zara White is making a big move from Charleston to cold and lonely Maine. Ever since the death of her beloved stepfather, Matthew, she hasn’t been the same. Her mother fears she may be in danger of herself, thus, sending her to live with her grandmother. But things in Maine are far less boring than she ever imagined. And she is caught in the middle of it all.
On her first day at her new school, she meets Nick Colt. Tall, dark and cocky, he has a hero-complex and feels as if he should protect almost everyone and everything. That is explained later on in the story.

To me, all of the characters in Need never really grew as characters. They just sort of moved on. It is an easy read, and on some chapters more than others, it will keep you saying, “Just one more chapter! Then I’m done!”
But that doesn’t always make a book. And it doesn’t always make it memorable.
My first thoughts while reading this book was that it seemed and started off like every other YA book I have ever read.
While the opening line did pull you in, and made you want to know more, what I got wasn’t more. It was just filler.


This book is told in first-person, Zara being the narrative, and I have to say, I didn’t really like her voice. She seemed like your everyday Mary-Sue to me. Maybe I am being too hard on this book, or maybe it is just the writing I did not like, but this book just didn’t do it for me.
Zara didn’t seem real to me. She didn’t speak like a real person. She didn’t act like a real person. She just wasn’t real. So in the end, she didn’t feel real to me. And if by the end of a story, the catheters didn’t feel real to me, I’m very let down and disappointed.
I can think of a list of reasons why this book was not my cup of tea, and I suppose I should list some of them.

Zara herself, I just didn’t find her likeable. Maybe that is just me, but she seemed pretty annoying most of the time, and she didn’t really have a personally.
Her friend, Issie, didn’t really have a part. She was just there to, well, be there..

It was like after two or three days of knowing Zara, her ‘friends’ wanted to tell her all of these secrets that people in the real world would never tell someone they had just met.
And while this book is about pixies, and I suppose does need an unrealistic feel and atmosphere to work, I felt that the author could have gone about this better, and maybe could have given some reason as to why they trusted Zara so much in such a short amount of time, other than the fact that she was new and they liked her before she’s nice to them.

Issie’s favorite word was ‘cool’. She pretty much only said that word the whole book. And that is another reason why I thought Zara didn’t have a personally. She was always taking lines and words from all of the people around her. Issie started saying “Not cool” a lot, so Zara started saying it.
I’m not even going to say that that is not cool. Man. I said it anyway…

Zara didn’t know when to react, and when she was over reacting. There is a scene (kind of a spoiler, but not really) when she tells Nick that what ever he is hiding—what ever his secret is—he can tell her. She will be there for him. So he tells her his big secret. What does she do? She freaks out, of course. She starts yelling at him, trying to get away from him, all of these things which, I’m sure, is a normal way to act if someone were to tell you what Nick just told Zara, but she did say that it was okay for him to tell her anything.
And then, (another spoiler, sorry!) she is kidnapped, and when she finds out who has taken her, she is calm as can be. She doesn’t put up a fight. She talks to them! She almost enjoys herself there. At least, it seemed that way to me. If that’s not messed up, I don’t know what is.
 

Nick. The hero in this story was, well… a jerk. But I did like the fact that he didn’t take any crap from Zara. I like it when the hero can be soft and caring; willing to do anything for the heroine and also know when enough is enough. And to have a backbone, that’s always good.

To me, this book had a lot of clich├ęs. It wasn’t that original. But that doesn’t mean it is a bad book. It is a book about fairies—pixies, whatever you want to call them. It’s about supernatural things, and it’s just that—nothing more, nothing less. I thought that Carrie Jones had a lot of things to cover with this story, and it was just pushed far too long. The things I did not want to read about seemed to go on and on, and the things that I did want to read about ended before I could say it was there.


While you may catch yourself thinking of other things while reading this book, or sometimes skipping a line or two, you will still find yourself wondering just what is going on, and hanging in there until the end of the book.


I recommend this book for ages 12 and up, since it is a pretty clean-cut book, with very little—if any, now that I think about it—profanity.
With so many YA books almost going overboard on such taboo and sexual situations you find on the shelf nowadays, this book was a breath of fresh air, and I applause Carrie Jones for putting together a YA book without buying in on all those meaningless topics.
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