Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

I meant to put it under my review earlier, but I forgot! Oops! Well, Happy Easter to those who celebrate it! I hope you all get fat on chocolate bunnies 'cause I know I am!
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And All the Stars by Andrea K. Host

And All the Stars

And All the Stars by Andrea K. Host

4 stars

The original synopsis is quite the entrapping one with opening lines like this:
Come for the apocalypse.
Stay for cupcakes.
Die for love.
How can you not become instantly curious? I know my already interested mind was ensnared. Madeline “Maddie” Cost is an aspiring artist. It is her dream to win the Archibald Prize, which would make her the youngest winner ever. Her famous cousin, Tyler, is the perfect subject for her portrait and all she needs is to get him to sit down for it. She never expected the Spires to come. The Spires are huge and they spray dust over the lands. No one knows where the Spires come from, but Maddie has to find a way out of St. James Station in Sydney first. When she does what she discovers is a new world and an ending one. This book is something incredibly different from what I would usually read and it is also incredibly unique. Everything about And All the Stars screams originality when it comes to the destruction of our world as we know it. One of my favorite things about this novel is the time line of the book. Instead of our usual YA book where it’s about rebuilding this was about fighting something while it is happening and I loved that. It was refreshing and a great sci-fi novel. I don’t read sci-fi and prefer it on the TV or in movies, but I enjoyed this book. One of my biggest qualms with this book was how much was just running and not fighting, but I can appreciate this because it was a part of the Musketeers journey. It also took me a whole month to read this book because I happen to be fairly busy in the month of March. I’m busier than I expected to be so I didn’t have time to just sit there and be immersed in the world filled with Spires and Blues and Greens. This book is very quick and happens in a period of less than a month, but it feels like weeks with all the plotting and discovering. This isn’t a bad thing at all. In fact I love that it wasn’t a long and drawn out takeover of the earth, but a much quicker one. It seemed more realistic, well about as realistic as aliens and invasions can get.


The main female character is Maddie. Maddie is a good heroine, but I lost interest in her and then I would regain it. One of my favorite things about Maddie is her passion for art. Even when the world is ending she finds beauty and paints or draws it. Maddie was a lot more relatable than I would expect a girl in her position to be. I know that if I was in her position I would’ve been just as scared as her and she was incredibly brave at times. I admire her for that because her bravery is more impulsive than to prove that she’s a hero. She wants to save her friends and that’s admirable considering that she’s only known them a few days.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 9

The main male character is Fisher. I’m not incredibly sure where I stand where Fisher is concerned. I’m as hopelessly confused as Maddie was, but I still haven’t come to a conclusion about my feelings for him. In my opinion, I liked him before the big reveal of big reveals (if you’ve read the book you’ll know what I’m talking about). I didn’t particularly think Fisher was a great love interest, but I liked the connection that he shared with Maddie. Guess what you guys? This book has sex. Not very descriptive adult romance kind of sex, but it isn’t that weird awkward sex that we sometimes get in YA. I was pleased by this and hats off to Ms. Host for doing it pretty well and not making it seem out of place. I’m still not sure about how I feel about Fisher. It shall forever remain a conflict within me I guess.

Swoon Worthy Scale: 7

The Villain- I loved the villains because they were well done in where they came from and what their purpose of invasion was. It was interesting, fresh, and new. I loved it. The En-Motts were captivatingly creepy and I loved what they brought to the table. It was so good and I don’t want to spoil if you haven’t read the book and want to or are thinking about it (which I urge you to do).


Villain Scale: 9.5

There was a very wide cast of characters, but I’m going to discuss the main ones, which are mainly the Musketeers. Our first Musketeer that Maddie met was Noi. I really liked Noi. She was funny and even though she was in pain at times from losses, she was cheerful in presence. Then there was Emily and I didn’t hate or particularly like Emily. I’m neutral towards her because I felt like she was just there. Even when she was making a presence I wasn’t moved by it except for when we first met her. Nash was incredibly insightful besides Fisher and their two heads together was better than none. Pan was probably my favorite of them all. He was so funny and upbeat and just full of energy. I loved his passion for theatre and how he would sprout lines from plays at any given moment. Min was like Emily for me, but he made more of an impact because of his sarcasm and smart logic when he did speak. I liked him and wished he was around more. Then we have someone who wasn’t a Musketeer, but was still crucial. Maddie’s cousin, Tyler, wasn’t around a whole lot in the novel but he had a big impact on Maddie so he had a presence. I did like him, but he wasn’t around a whole for me to make a huge decision about how much.

Character Scale: 8

The ending wrapped up perfectly and I’m satisfied with it. I definitely enjoyed And All the Stars and I recommend giving it a shot even if you don’t like sci-fi. I usually don’t, but I was intrigued and I’m so glad I gave this a shot. This is definitely a great novel and it shouldn’t be overlooked. I will definitely be reading more of Host’s works.


Cover Thoughts: I absolutely love the cover. It’s one of my all-time favorites. The stars are perfect on Maddie’s face and fit the story perfectly. It fits with the tale of the Blues without giving it away. 


Friday, March 29, 2013

Seduction of a Highland Warrior by Sue-Ellen Welfonder

Seduction of a Highland Warrior

Seduction of a Highland Warrior by Sue-Ellen Welfonder

Third in the Highland Warrior trilogy

4.5 stars

Alasdair MacDonald is sworn to preserve the peace in the Glen of Many Legends. It’s easier said than done. Kendrew Mackintosh and Alasdair can never let their feud die even though the King says that they must. It doesn’t help that his heart belongs to Kendrew’s sister, Marjory. Marjory will do anything to unite the clans. Her friends have already married men from warring clans and she wants to do the same even if it means seducing Alasdair. Marjory has always loved him, but there’s a threatening presence in the glen and it could be the end. I always seem to read historical romance series out of order. I don’t regret doing that this time though because I loved this book. I had wanted to read a Highland romance for a while and I finally got the chance. I absolutely adored the tale of these Highlanders. There was magic in little parts of the story and it was refreshing to read something besides YA or paranormal. The writing was very entrancing. I loved how much detail went into describing the Glen and the clans’ strongholds.


The main female character is Marjory. I liked Marjory and her quips with Alasdair were fun and amusing. I liked her spirit and it was refreshing to read about someone with so much willpower to win a man’s heart. I did get frustrated with her when Alasdair and Marjory were caught and a fought broke and some were said. It brought about one of the things I hate most in romances. When the heroine doubts the man she loves even though it is blatantly obvious that he is wrapped around her finger. It did make Marjory a more believable character, but it was still frustrating.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 8

The main male character is Alasdair.



I love Highlanders and Alasdair is perfection. I needed a swoon worthy Highlander and I got one. I wish they had more highlanders in YA it would prove interesting, but it’s probably best left in adult fiction. Alasdair was dashing and definitely a fun character. I could list a thousand reasons why I loved Alasdair, but I figured that might take the fun out of reading the book and finding out for one's self. I wish I had a Highlander.


Swoon Worthy Scale: 9.5

The Villain- I’m actually really disappointed with where it was going. Although the villains did manage to infuriate me and hope they didn’t mess anything up. I was still disappointed. There wasn’t a paranormal villain like there had been hinted at, but it was still interesting.


Villain Scale: 7

Isobel was probably my favorite character because of her scheming to make sure that Alasdair and Marjory. Kendrew infuriated me with trying to marry Marjory to any Norseman that walked by, but I did like him. I really liked all the clansmen and I enjoyed the POVs of Dragan and Seona. Each character was interesting and had a special distinction from one another.

Character Scale: 9
I loved the tale weaved and the romance. I am slightly letdown by the ending, but also pleased. I do plan on reading the previous books in the trilogy and hope to fall in love with more Highland warriors.


Cover Thoughts: I like how the cover is painted, but I didn’t picture Alasdair to look like that. It is beautiful though.


A copy was provided by Netgalley and Grand Central Publishing in exchange for an honest review.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Surrender by Rhiannon Paille

Surrender (The Ferryman and the Flame, #1)

Surrender by Rhiannon Paille

First in The Ferryman and the Flame series

1.5 stars (DNF)

Kaliel is always getting into trouble. She sneaks off to swim with mermpeople and one night meets Krishani. Krishani is meant to marry the land and leave Avristar to join the Lands of Men. Kaliel is apparently warned about her love according to the synopsis about her love for the Ferryman. She is also a Flame, one of nine apocalyptic weapons, sparking a warking. She awakens Avred, not knowing she may have to make the ultimate sacrifice. I don’t know what half of this means because apparently this is a synopsis of something else because this wasn’t what I was reading at all. It could’ve developed into what the synopsis hinted but I couldn’t bring myself to read past 35% of the book. I hate DNFing, but I couldn’t go on. This synopsis seems misleading to me because I was reading about a girl frolicking about causing mischief and thinking about Krishani’s beautiful mismatched eyes while also fearing her trip to the Great Oak.


The main female character is Kaliel. Kaliel is constantly being told that she is special. In my opinion the only special thing about Kaliel is the fact that flowers grow when she walks. Other than that Kaliel has no attributes that I can think of. She isn’t very bright and the only thing she seems useful for is making terrible decisions. I personally didn’t like her very much. I tried to, but I found myself disliking her more and more with every page I read. I felt very disconnected from her when I was reading her POV and I just didn’t care what was going to happen next.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 1

The main male character is Krishani. I actually really liked Krishani at first. His POV at the beginning was promising and then he went away and we got Kaliel’s POV, but when he came back his POV was nearly unbearable. I skimmed some parts and found myself rolling my eyes a lot. Kaliel thinks about Krishani’s eyes a lot and Krishani thinks about Kaliel’s a lot. This is really annoying for some reason. With every mention of someone’s eye color I wanted to scream.

Swoon Worthy Scale: 1.5

The Villain- I didn’t get far enough to encounter a villain or a problem.

Villain Scale: DNF

The other side characters all seemed fake and just there to be there and move the story along. I don’t even feel like talking about them, but I will mention one. I really liked Pux. He was interesting and cute in a bubbly way. Plus he has a wicked cool power.


Character Scale: 1

I feel terrible that I wasn’t able to finish this book, but I couldn’t bring myself to care. I told myself at the beginning of this year if I ran into a book that I didn’t enjoy I would DNF and I did that for the first time this year and pretty much my whole entire life. This book probably could’ve been good if I kept reading, but I didn’t want to. Maybe I’ll try to read this again one day, but not anytime soon. I really wanted to like this book, but just because I didn’t like this book, doesn’t mean someone else won’t. This book just didn’t work for me and maybe I wasn’t in the mood for it.

Cover Thoughts: I actually really like the cover. It’s stunning and also why I requested this book. The other covers for it are very pretty, too.

A copy was provided by Netgalley and Create Space for an honest review.





Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3)

The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

Third in the Bloodlines series

5 stars!

Spoilers of previous books ahead***
Sydney’s world has been shattered in just a few seconds her world and perfectly constructed barriers crack. Adrian Ivashkov has confessed to her his love and left her with an earth shattering kiss. Everything comes into question and she finally finds the alluring Marcus Finch- a former Alchemist who escaped and is on the run. Marcus wants Sydney to join the rebellion against the Alchemist, but Sydney is learning that breaking free is harder than she thought. Sydney is dragged into searching for a witch targeting younger witches and she must learn to accept that magic in her blood. 


This book was amazing and perfect. Mead has done it again and I’m still as enchanted as I was with The Golden Lily and even more in love with this series. I can say this hands down with absolutely certainty that Mead is one my favorite writers ever! This world just keeps getting better and better. I was a little scared going into The Indigo Spell. I kept thinking what I didn’t like it as much as the previous books? What if I feel let down? I have a fear of series and continuing them. I have started at least over 50 series and I’ve probably only finished five of them. With Mead I always seem to love her books though. I didn’t have the problem that a lot of people had with Bloodlines, but I must agree with them that these books do get better.


The main female character is Sydney. I feel like Sydney is one of the reasons this series keeps getting better. At least for me it is. I’ve noticed how a lot of people don’t like Sydney because she isn’t Rose. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I don’t want another Rose. I like the person that Sydney is becoming. She’s becoming stronger and she’s starting to make decisions about who she is and wants to be. I like that about Sydney. Rose knew who she was, but Sydney had to find it. She’s finding it and I love her journey. I actually liked Sydney a lot more in this book. She did get on my nerves because of her rejection of Adrian, but by the ending of the book I was cheering for. Mead knows how to create a good heroine.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 10

The main male character is Adrian.



You know what else Mead knows what to create? A hot, swoon worthy guy that isn’t an ass. Adrian is pure perfection. I am in love with him more than ever because of this book. I actually didn’t like Adrian very much in VA, but he grew on me. By the end of Bloodlines I liked him a lot and at the end of The Golden Lily, I was almost in love. I am now officially head over heels in love with Adrian and dating him mentally in my mind. Adrian has grown as a character, too. He still has that Adrian humor, but he also has grown into someone else. I love Adrian and I hope that nothing happens to him like with Dimitri because I would not be able to bear it.


Swoon Worthy Scale: 10

The Villain- The Alchemists aren’t a real problem yet, but I look forward to when they become the main fight that Sydney has to face. This time the villain was a witch. I won’t say who, but I did enjoy the battle scene.

Villain Scale: 8

Jill, Eddie, Angeline, Trey, and Ms. Terwilliger are back. Jill is almost nonexistent in the book. She’s there and has moments, but she had absolutely no effect on me until the last chapter. Jill has grown up and she’s actually a very smart girl. Eddie just always gets hurt. I hope he actually finds happiness for once and with that one person even if I didn’t always like her. Angeline… I saw this new drama coming a mile away. The minute Sydney posed the question I saw it coming. Trey is a character that I really like, but I don’t trust him. Ms. Terwilliger plays a huge part in this book and she is so cool. Dimitri, Rose, Lissa, Christian, Abe, and Sonya showed up in this novel.


Character Scale: 10

Also there is a dragon and it is the coolest and cutest thing Mead has created. I want one. This is becoming one of my favorite series and I can’t wait for The Fiery Heart. I am looking forward to Adrian’s POV along with Sydney’s.


Cover Thoughts: I love this cover. My only problem is Adrian’s beautiful face not being more on the cover. I want more Adrian. He is perfect. These covers are always so intricate and I love the tattoos.







OBXers!



Summary via Goodreads:

Nestled along the coastline of North Carolina, the Outer Banks Tennis Academy is the best elite tennis training facility in the world. Head Coach, Dominic Kingston has assembled some of the finest talent in the sport. From the game's biggest stars to athletes scraping and clawing to achieve their dreams, OBX is full of ego, drama and romance. Only the strong survive in this pressure cooker of competition, on and off the court.

Penny Harrison, the biggest rising star in tennis, is determined to win the French Open and beat her rival, the world’s number one player, Zina Lutrova. There’s just one problem, the only person who’s ever been able to shake her laser-like focus is her new training partner. Alex Russell, tennis’s resident bad boy, is at OBX recovering from a knee injury suffered after he crashed his motorcycle (with an Aussie supermodel on the back). He's hoping to regain his former place at the top of men’s tennis and Penny’s heart, while he’s at it.

Tennis is all Jasmine Randazzo has ever known. Her parents have seven Grand Slam championships between them and she’s desperate to live up to their legacy. Her best friend is Teddy Harrison, Penny’s twin brother, and that’s all they’ve ever been, friends. Then one stupid, alcohol-laced kiss makes everything super awkward just as she as she starts prepping for the biggest junior tournament of the year, the Outer Banks Classic.

The Classic is what draws Indiana Gaffney out of the hole she crawled into after her mom’s death. Even though she’s new to OBX, a win at the Classic is definitely possible. She has a big serve and killer forehand, but the rest of her game isn’t quite up to scratch and it doesn’t help that Jasmine Randazzo and her little minions are stuck-up bitches or that Jack Harrison, Penny’s agent and oldest brother, is too hot for words, not to mention way too old for her.

Who will rise? Who will fall?

Told from rotating points of view, GAME. SET. MATCH. is a 'new adult' novel about three girls with one goal: to be the best tennis player in the world.



Sounds interesting right? I'm apart of the OBXers street team and I want to get more members. Reasons why you should join:
If you join you are automatically entered for a NOOK or Kindle or if you already have that you can get $100 gift card to Amazon or BNN! How awesome is that!? You also get the chance to win some of these things:
GSM bookmarks and postcards 
OBX T-Shirts exactly like the ones worn in the novel 
OBX drawstring athletic bags 
OBXer Wristband 
The GAME. SET. MATCH. Playlist from either iTunes or Amazon 
Exclusive Content from the OUTER BANKS TENNIS ACADEMY trilogy!  

You can sign up on Jennifer's website here!

If you joined tell them that you learned about this street team from Vampire (and Other Paranormal Things) Queen! 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

CHICAGOOOOOO

So, if you seen the post about me coming back from Chicago, which was a week ago but I had makeup work galore and for some reason my teachers finally decided to give us work when I was away. I'll give a play by play of where we went and post a few pics. I won't post pictures of my friends though because I just think it's weird and I have a few friends that would get a big head if they found out they were on somewhere on the internet other the Facebook.

DAY 1:
I had to get up at around 1 in the morning on a Wednesday and be there by 2:30 to check in. We started boarding the bus at 3 A.M. I hate charter buses. I was on one for what seemed like months and I have severe motion sickness in charter buses. I was on so much medication it wasn't even funny. At 7 that morning we stopped at a McDonalds in Mississippi. Mississippi is really fancy at least the part we stopped in and the roads weren't bumpy. I never realized this but Louisiana has the bumpiest and the most uncomfortable roads. Then we passed through Tennessee. It was literally like 40 minutes and then were in Arkansas. We stopped and ate lunch. I had Wendy's because I refused to eat McDonalds twice in one day. McDonalds is disgusting and I can't stand the food. I only eat their breakfast foods. More bus ride into Illinois. We stopped somewhere in Illinois at Ryan's. Ryan's is like the Louisiana Golden Coral. We had a Ryan's in my city once it's closed down and I can see why. The food is so gross. We were all grossed out and it was cold and even the ice cream that was in the ice cream maker was frozen. More bus ride. We watched Pitch Perfect and pretty much all the people on color guard in the back of the bus were making commentary throughout the movie. Then we still had another two hours until we reached our hotel. It was 11 when we got to it and it was so fancy. The Embassy Hotel is so nice. I was afraid I would break something.

DAY 2:
We ate breakfast at the hotel at 8:30 and then started boarding the buses at 9:20. We got to the Field Museum an hour later. The Field Museum was actually fun and we got lost in almost every exhibit.
Then we went to Ed Debevic's. Ed Debevic's is my favorite restaurant ever. The waiters are the most amazing thing ever. If you ever been you know what it's like there. If not then you need to go and prepared to be taken aback and scared for your life. It's not letting me upload the pictures I took so I'll post pictures of the places that I find on google. Then we went on a Gangster Tour in our bus. It was pretty cool, but I was hoping for some Godfather like story. A few of them were close but not nearly as dramatic. Then we went to the Hard Rock Cafe. I love the atmosphere there, but my burger was so dry. I've been told that people up north don't put seasoning on their food. It is very true. Then we went to the Blue Man Group and it was absolutely amazing. The coolest show I've ever seen and it was amazing! That concludes Day 2!

DAY 3:
Breakfast at 7:30 and then boarded the bus at 8:30. We went to the Skydeck. A friend of mine and I stayed safely on the ground in the gift shops. It was fun we bought mustache glasses and people weren't taking us seriously even though we were being very serious. Then we went to Giordanos at 11:45. They put their sauce on top of the cheese and seasonings. It looks gross. I ate pasta because I was afraid to eat it. Then we went to the Magnificent Mile which is a mile of all kinds of stores. My friends and I were in the mall for a while and we went to all kinds of stores. I only bought from Claire's and Forever 21 or Forever XXI in Chicago. Then we went across the street to the Hershey's factory/place and it's the most beautiful thing in the world. I had a giant chocolate chip cookie with Hershey's on it and it was the best dessert of my life. Then we were walking around in the rain looking for the Disney store. We went to Macy's and asked someone for directions. One of my friends wanted to know what a Chicago Walgreens was like. It has food you can buy in it like at a gas station  and that's the only difference. We went to the Disney store and it was so cool. I hadn't been in one in forever. We used to have one, but it shut down before I was in the first grade. It's weird that I still remember it so well. This store was different, but it still had that Disney magic to it. We went back to the mall and ate at the food court. I hung out with my friends and then we went downstairs to wait for our buses and I hung out with someone special. ^_^After that we went to the Million Dollar Quartet and it was so cool. My best friend and I were fangirling over the fake Elvis. It was awesome and then more time was spent that person that I really like.

DAY 4:
I tossed and turned all night feeling like I was about to have the worst day ever. I had nausea and felt nervous for some weird reason. I took some Pepto and ate breakfast. We left at 9 for the parade. We stood outside for 2 1/2 hours before we went on in 20 degree weather. This was a bad idea. We had a few kids get the early stages of frostbite and hypothermia. I luckily didn't get that because I was warm and toasty in his arms. Finally we went on at noon and it only lasted 20 minutes. None of us were happy about this. We ate lunch on the bus and changed from our parade uniform to a dressy uniform for that night. We went to the Navy Pier. I hung out with a few friends and we went to all kind of little shops. I binge on candy from a little candy store where you can put the candy you want in bags. Chicago can definitely make some amazing sweets and candy. We decided to stop shopping and went upstairs to see if the little place at the top was open it wasn't. But like almost all the guys in band were sleeping up there along the walls. Funniest thing ever. So we decided to get sit on the other stairs. About two hours or maybe less later security guards came and told us we had to move 'cause they were having an event upstairs. So we went down. I hung out with two girls from the dance team that I became really good friends with and the guy I like and his friends. We eventually went outside and then it was time for our dinner cruise. I ate dinner with him, my friend, and his friend. I didn't even know he was going to eat with me so it was a complete surprise. We ate and then the party started. I told him that he had to dance with me for at least ten seconds before the end of the night he refused. One of the other girls on the guard forced him to dance with her and it was the most jealous I've ever felt. I had to walk away cause I wanted to deck her in the face. The thing that pissed me off was that he looked at me while he was dancing with her and that is such a jerk move to do. I was at our table drinking and he came out of nowhere and pulled me out of my chair and told me I had ten seconds and I better make it count. It was way more than ten seconds and the first time I danced with a guy that wasn't someone in my family. It was pretty much the best night of my life. I find it so I felt so nervous that morning because it turned out to be the best night of my life.

DAY 5:
Our bus had a flat tire at McDonalds. It pushed everything back so we didn't get home until 5. Everyone was ready to punch each other in the face and then past out from exhaustion afterwards.

So that was my trip to Chicago. It was pretty good and I'll always remember it. Here's some pictures from google because mine aren't uploading. I have some on instagram and the link is in my about me section if you want to check them out.
The hotel we stayed in:

 
Field Museum:

Ed Debevic's:
Gangster Tour:
that man was every where

Hard Rock Cafe:

Blue Man Group: This was how they opened!
Overview of the Mag Mile:

Hershey's Store!




Million Dollar Quarter Poster:

Navy Pier:




I wish my pictures were  working, but these will just have to do. I didn't take any of these I found them all on google images.

You Know What You Have to Do by Bonnie Shimko

You Know What You Have to Do

You Know What You Have to Do by Bonnie Shimko

3 stars

Mary-Magdalene Feigenbaum refuses to be known as anything else but Maggie. Maggie starts to hear a voice inside of her head telling her to kill people when she feels like someone is being cruel or unfair. The voice tells her, “You know what you have to do” and gives her ways to kill people. Maggie doesn’t want to kill people but the voice and the headaches are too much for her to fight. The books description is really misleading and I feel like my description sums up the whole entire book. The book was Maggie complains, kills, therapy session, and then repeats with a little bit of extra drama thrown in here and there. This novel is definitely quirky, but not in the good-you-dress-or-listen-to-different-music quirky. This is the I’ll-kill-you-because-you-pushed-someone-down quirky. This book isn’t enthralling but it is entertaining.


The main female character is Maggie. Maggie is said to funny and feisty in the summary. Maggie is just a really cruel person. She’s a straight-up bitch. I don’t like saying that about characters, but I had no sympathy for Maggie when it came to her situation. As the novel went on I found myself disliking her more and more. By the end of the novel I despised her and thought she was really cruel. I got tired of her complaining about her mother and even when she learned more about why she does the things she does, she was still cruel to her. Maggie has a whole lot more problems than voices in her head. She needed that insane asylum, but she didn’t need it for what they were putting her in for. Maggie’s point of view is one the best when it comes to being a pathological liar. Maggie lies about everything to everyone. She’s also really mean to her supposed friends and I don’t get why she treats people so badly. I would think she would want people around, but by the end of the novel she had hardly anybody left.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 2

The main male character is… I’m not really sure. There was a love interest, but I’ve forgotten his name. We’ll call him Jerk-Face. Jerk-Face is the epitome of jerkiness. He goes through girls like tissues and has great pick up lines and pretends to like people. I could care less about Jerk-Face. The real guy that I liked was Lester. I hated how cruel Maggie was to him. They had been close growing up and he was a nice kid. He was really creepy though, but I think that Maggie shouldn’t have been so cruel towards him because in all honesty he was probably her only real friend for a long time.

Swoon Worthy Scale: These boys are all irrelevant and weird. I don’t like any of them or the swoons coming. I feel like getting a rape whistle and running. Jerk-Face: 1 Lester: 1
 
 


The Villain- The voice in Maggie’s head is the villain, but I feel like the voice was never really justified. She briefly said what she thought the voice was coming from and then brushed it aside. This voice also went away while she was locked up and came back the minute she was about to go home. This made absolutely no sense to me because I’m pretty sure that Maggie’s case of schizophrenia doesn’t work like that.


Villain Scale: Insanely Flawed- 3

My favorite character out of the whole novel was Harry, Maggie’s step-father. Harry was probably the only character in the whole entire novel that I liked or sympathized when something bad happened to them. Harry was a pretty well-developed side character. He had depth and a story. Harry made a lot of the story enjoyable for me. Abigail, Maggie’s best friend, is probably one of the worst friends I’ve read about in YA. I’ve come across quite a few of them, but Abigail makes the list. She seemed like a genuine friend to Maggie and I liked her at first and then Jerk-Face enters and it’s all downhill from there. Abigail abandons Maggie and then goes back to her when she needs help and tries to go back to her again when she loses her knew friends and boyfriend. I kind of felt bad for Abigail though. She was a terrible friend, but I don’t feel like Maggie should’ve left things the way she did. I think she should’ve talked to Abigail faced to face, but then again she probably only would’ve stabbed her with some weird object. Maggie’s mom is not the best mom, but Maggie is cruel to her mom. She calls her a slut and doesn’t give her any credit. I was happy when Maggie went to see her father in prison and he told her the person that her mom really was. I thought it would change Maggie’s views, but she would prefer to deny the truth. I thought Maggie’s counselor… he was a good counselor, but Maggie made everything awkward. She’s crazy and obsesses over this guy and takes an elephant out of his office. Who does that?! It’s just so weird. I liked the guy, until Maggie started making it all weird with her awkward thoughts of them being together.

Character Scale: 5
This book isn’t bad, but it is flawed and could’ve been better. My expectations were some crazy Criminal Minds-esque episode about a teenage serial killer. In a way I got that, but I was also disappointed by it. Shimko has potential, but that isn’t always a good thing. My band director comes in to watch our rehearsals sometimes and he told our advanced team that he had potential. He said that potential is a terrible thing to have though because either you can be really good and embrace it, be OK, or be a failure at. Shimko had potential with this novel, but it just came out OK. I will give her a try though, because I did enjoy her writing, but the characters and plot holes lessened my enjoyment. I feel like I got absolutely no answers and that ending was just abrupt and a letdown.


Cover Thoughts: It’s creepy. She looks crazy and it fits, but why do her eyes look kind of red? The cover isn't bad, but I don't really like it.

ARC kindly provided by Netgalley and Amazon Children’s Publishing in exchange for an honest review.


 

I'm Back!

Sorry it's been so long it's I've posted. I went to Chicago and it was pretty fun. I got to experience all kinds of new things and see so many new places. I also made friends with a lot of kids I hadn't talked to before. I also experienced the best day of my life. I'll post a recap of my trip sometime this week or tonight! I'll be posting a review in the next few minutes so be sure to check it out! :D So good to be back and I can't wait to share my trip with you guys.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Mini Reviews

I'm leaving for Chicago tonight at 3:00 A.M. Well technically in the morning, but I consider it to be night. Since I won't be at my house this weekend to post reviews like I usually do I decided to post one big one of mini reviews of anything I randomly find on my Goodreads shelf. Most of these are short stories and books I've read forever ago, but I want to post them. :D

Straydog
Straydog by Kathe Koja
3 stars
I don't like dog books, never have even when I was little. That's more of my sister's area, but I liked this book, which is a surprise. We had to read this book as a group in class and when I first saw this book I thought "Great another Lassie story, I just can't wait to be bored to death." I know, I know it sounds mean. I know the saying don't judge a book by it's cover, but I judged it by its title, too. When I started reading this book I had no clue what it was about, because our teacher would fuss at us if we looked at the back of the book and I was surprised that this book was about a girl. Yes a girl and the girl, Rachel, was cool. She was a cynical, I-can-see-through-your-bs kinda girl and I liked that. She was funny in a dry and cynical kind of way and a talented writer. I recommend this book if your looking for a quick read with a little bit of heart.

Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You, Volume 1
Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You Volume 1 by Karuho Shiina



4 stars

So I found this awesome free app that gives me free shoujo manga and it's not bad to read on my phone and the quality is pretty good. Yay for Iphones!

Anyway, this isn't at all what I was expecting. It's very... fluffy. But in a good way. I really like Kazehaya so far. He's a cutie. I like Sadako. She's pretty alright. She does cry way too much. Sometimes it doesn't bother me, but I don't know with her she just makes me annoyed. I sense drama coming. I like drama and romance. So there better be romance.

Cover Thoughts: I absolutely adore this cover. It's so simple and cute. Just absolutely adorable.


Noah and Mara's first meeting from Noah's POV 
Noah and Mara's first meeting in Noah's POV by Michelle Hodkin
4.5
It's just as I would picture Noah's voice to sound like. Pretty good not many authors can do that. Now I need The Evolution of Mara Dyer even more.
All this awesomeness is too much and I need more. Why does Noah say fuck so much? I get it you use it a lot, but he doesn't need the word in every single thought are sentence. Now the wait begins.
 

Crying Llama GIF Pictures, Images and Photos 

 
A Dark-Hunter Christmas (Dark-Hunter, #3.6)

A Dark-Hunter Christmas by Sherrilyn Kenyon

3.6 in the Dark Hunter series

3 stars
A Dark-Hunter Christmas is about Jamie Gallagher a Dark-Hunter who has just lost the love of his life to old age and Simi (Acheron's demon) helps him.
I read this book in the back of Dance with the Devil and thought that it was sweet and lighthearted with a good point and good lesson. I thought it was too short and I was hoping that he would end with him and Simi getting together, but I'm not giving up hope and maybe eventually he will in another book.


 
The Broccoli Tapes by Jan Slepian

1 star probably not even a half of that
I don't know why this book suddenly popped into my head today, but I hated this book. I had to read this book for group reading in the fourth grade and I absolutely loathed this book. I hated every moment I had to pick this book up and it was one of those books that I skimmed the whole time and could care less about. I made it abundantly clear to my teacher that I hated the book and I thought reading it was torture.  


The Scarlet Ibis: The Collection of Wonder 
The Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst

3.5 stars
I'm trying to think of the right words to describe this story because not talking about it just doesn't seem right. Out of all the short stories we had to read in the short story unit this year this one effected me the most. I didn't cry but I wanted to. I wanted to weep for Doodle and the unfairness thrown at him. I just feel like anything I say will never give this story justice for how touching it was.


The Cask of Amontillado 
The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allen Poe

4.5 stars
I had to read this for school and I absolutely loved it. Maybe the reason I enjoyed it so much was because I read it for school and we talked about irony. Talking about the story made me think more into it and now I think it's brilliant. I had already been intrigued, but the story just proved to be amazing.


Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett and Ron Barrett

3 stars

I remember reading this story in the third grade. It was my favorite story we read that year. I just watched the movie on Cartoon Network and it brought back memories. I have to say though even though I really enjoyed this book I thought the movie was a lot better. 

No cover
The Lady or the Tiger? by Frank R. Stockton

2 stars

If I was in the princesses position I would've given him the door to the lady and then walked away from the city, town, or wherever the hell they are. But I'm not in her position so I want a bloodbath and a tragedy. Bring out the tiger!  

First Test (Protector of the Small, #1) 
First Test by Tamora Pierce

First in the Protector of the Small series

1 star
I read this book in the fifth grade. I'm not a big fan of fantasy and it takes a lot for me to enjoy reading about it, but my tastes have changed since then. I still think even now I probably enjoy this book. I trudged through this small book for a whole month. I could understand if this was a tome, but even in the fifth grade big wasn't the size of this book. It was Twilight and this is so small, but it was a workout to get through it. I also had a hard time connecting to the writing and I remember complaining about it even back then to my mom because it was my only book during a hurricane. I was not a happy reader.


Peony in Love


Peony in Love by Lisa See


3 stars
I recently saw this book on Goodreads and remembered reading it a long time ago, like one or two years ago. I cried and cried and cried. This book is such a tear jerker and it probably doesn't help I'm a softy, but the story is beautifully told and just overall beautiful. Peony is betrothed to a man she doesn't know. When she meets a handsome poet at a play her story becomes the play that touched her heart. The concept as I said was beautiful. That's the easiest word to describe Peony in Love, beautiful and touching some up the book for me. Just thinking about it brings back memories of reading this book. 


Ponies 

Ponies by Kij Johnson

4 stars

Odd, but thought-provoking.   

Shortest review ever just like this book. You can read it here on Tor. 

 Shiloh (Shiloh, #1) 
Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

2 stars

Shiloh isn't a bad story at all. Since it's been a while since I've read it and I was pretty neutral towards the books in the fifth grade, I'm giving it two stars. I liked the story, but it wasn't the most interesting of stories. It passed the time and we got to watch the movie, which is always the best way to get out of class.


Code Orange 

Code Orange by Caroline B. Cooney

3 stars

I actually really liked this, which surprised me. I had bought this book in the fifth grade and was in a horror kick. Someone said Cooney was a great horror and suspense writer. I read one of her other works, Drivers Ed, and hated it. This made me give the book away. I had to read it in the seventh grade for school and I was really into it. I liked the plot and where the story was going. Of course it started to get really far fetched at the end, but I still enjoyed it. 


The Face on the Milk Carton (Janie Johnson, #1)
The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney

1.5 stars

I'll just come flat out and say this. This book sucked. It's boring and lacks any suspense. Jamie (that is her name right? I should probably read the summary) is boring and her relationship was boring too. Her search for her family lacked any emotion and I honestly wasn't sure why I even bothered to finish this book, but even in the fifth grade I was determined.   


 
i think I'll post a part two of this because I did have fun doing it. Have you guys read any of these? If so what did you think of them?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Just One Day (Just One Day, #1)

Just One Day by Gayle awesomesause Forman

First in the Just One Day duet

5 stars

Allyson Healey has always been the good girl. She does whatever she can to win the approval of her parents. Even the European tour she’s on is because of them. When she meets a freelance Dutch actor, Willem de Ruiter, she is immediately entranced by him. He brands her with the nickname Lulu and offers to take her to Paris for just one day. With this trip brings a love Allyson doesn’t know if she can let go and the truth about her and who she is as a person. You know what I love about Gayle Forman? I love her writing and how easily I become immersed in it. One of the things I’ve noticed about Forman is that when I read her books I start to feel the same emotions the main character does. I felt like Mia and Adam in the If I Stay books and I felt just like Allyson in Just One Day. I went through her motions and looked at everything in a different perspective. I love when a book can make me notice things I normally wouldn’t pay attention to or when a book makes me feel. Oh boy did this book make me feel.


The main female character is Allyson. Allyson is not a remarkable character at all, but I connected with her. I understood her pain, questions, depression, thoughts, and sarcastic attitude. Allyson’s trip to Paris made me want to go to Paris. I’ll let you guys in on a little secret. I absolutely can’t stand French because I hated it in middle school (even though I only took it for three years), but this book and Allyson’s thoughts and feelings towards Paris made me fall in love with the city. It also probably helped that Williem was with her, but I’ll get to him later. Allyson’s journey taught me a lot about life in ways I wasn’t expecting. I knew this book would be about self-discovery but I didn’t think about how much this book would impact me. Even with Allyson’s thoughts on the first page I knew right away that I would love Just One Day. I saw her life unfold and choices being made. This book taught me a small lesson that in comparison isn’t as big as the others but it’s in my mind most often than not now days. People change quickly every day a person makes a decision or choice that shapes or changes them. This change isn’t bad or good, but necessary and with this change it affects the people around this one person. Even if it’s as simple as whether or not this person goes out to a party or stays home. I’m starting to ramble now and I could go on and on about life lessons all day. I loved how we saw Allyson start out as Allyson and become Lulu in France and then Allyson lost herself only to find who she was in the end. We saw friendships breakup and new ones form. I enjoyed all the Shakespeare in this book. It made me want to go to a play. Allyson drives this book for me and her journey is what made me love it so much.

Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 10

The main male character is Williem. Williem is swoon worthy in every aspect of the term and usually I would be gushing about him, but like Allyson I need to know the whole story. I want to know why he took Allyson to Paris and even though I have some closure it’s not enough. I need Just One Year because I need to know about Williem and why he does what he does. He’s a huge player and I’m not sure how his story will play. I know what I want to happen, but you never know what Forman will bring to the table. I don’t know what to think about Williem. At times I was as in love with him as others and mostly I just feel numb towards him. Just One Year I’m ready for you.



Swoon Worthy Scale: 8.5

The Villain- Guess what? There’s no villain and this book doesn’t need some person to screw things up for Allyson and Williem although I’m sure problems will arise in the sequel, but this book doesn’t need it.


Villain Scale: UNNEEDED

Melanie had always been there for Allyson and it was tough watching both of them drift apart, but it was also so real. Dee is my favorite character hands down in this novel. He made me laugh with his voices and I just really liked him. I didn’t like Allyson’s roommates at first, but as they became friends I started to like them. I liked Allyson’s mom, not always, but I didn’t hate her. I felt like she was necessary to the story and that her involvement and overbearingness towards Allyson was real. Allyson’s grandma doesn’t play a key role, but she was really funny and I enjoyed the moments she was there. There are a lot more characters, but of course I can’t go through all of them because like every true journey you meet thousands of people.

Character Scale: 10

Forman, I will read anything by you. If you write a how to guide on the most boring hobby in the world I would even read it. This book was perfection. I cried, laughed, and went through a journey. Just One Day was absolutely amazing and that ending was completely unfair because I really want Williem’s story now.


Cover Thoughts: I love this cover. It fits the story perfectly and it’s so glossy. Everything about the cover is perfect even the watch. A cover with a person on it done right. This calls for a happy dance!
 
Or a spazz attack. 


 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg

Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality

Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg

4.5 stars

Lexi is funny, popular, and smart… but she’s never been when of those girls. You know the beautiful ones? The ones that boys hold doors open for, whistle at, and flirt with. She’s always just been the girl with the great personality. She stopped caring about her appearance and sees no point in competing with her beautiful sister, Mackenzie. Mackenzie is what every girl strives to be and she’s only seven. When her and her best friend start to make deals about her changing her appearance she becomes the girl that she’s always wanted to be. But is it what she wanted? This book was amazing. I sped through it in one day. It’s been a while since I picked up a girly YA contemporary. I’m so glad I picked up this one though. It was worth it in so many ways. I came across this book on a blog and when reading the review I thought, “This sounds awesome and something I could relate to.” I think we’ve all felt like the girl that only had the great personality. Lexi’s discovery of herself is such an inspiration. It was easy to relate to and I sped through all of the drama that reminds me so much of myself.


The main female character is Lexi. Lexi is exactly as she’s described, but she’s also super sarcastic. I happen to love sarcastic heroines, especially when they are smart and have good quips and logic to back up what they are saying. Lexi is incredibly brave for all the stuff she had to put up with. I teared up a little bit at one part, but my reasons for being a huge softy are best kept secret.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 9

The main male characters are Taylor and Logan. A bit of a love triangle, but I enjoyed it and was satisfied with Lexi’s decision in the end. Out of the two boys Taylor was most definitely my favorite and I never swooned over Logan like Lexi did. Maybe it’s because I was like her friends and thought she needed to drop him like a hat.


Swoon Worthy Scale: Taylor-8 Logan- 3

The Villain- This really made me cry, because I knew it would happen. I had that sneaking suspicion the closer we got to the climax and I was sad that I was right. It was totally unfair to Lexi and Mackenzie as well.

 
Villain Scale: 8.5

Mackenzie comes off as such a spoiled brat, but towards the end of the book we see the real Mackenzie. Not the makeup and tiara-wearing Mackenzie, but the little seven-year-old that just wants to have fun. Benny and Cam are great friends and their whole dynamic felt like a real friendship. Benny was my favorite though because he never fell to make me laugh, but Cam was always there even when she wasn’t.


Character Scale: 9.5

This is a very strong character driven novel. It worked well for me because Eulberg has such a brilliant writing style. I was entranced from page one to the ending. I’m so glad I decided to read Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality. The ending though was slightly disappointing. While we did get a lot of closure for events, I also wonder what happened to their mom and their relationship afterward. Even though there wasn’t much revenge there was a very satisfying showdown. This book reminds me of The DUFF. I don’t want to make comparisons but it made me feel the same way. A book that was just like me and that I could relate to. Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality is a brilliant novel with great characters, drama, and a lesson.

Cover Thoughts: The cover is absolutely gorgeous. I love the simplicity and how easily it fits the story.

ARC kindly provided by Scholatic and Netgalley for an honest review.



Sunday, March 3, 2013

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

1.75 stars

Everyone knows the story of Romeo and Juliet or has at least heard a quote that they didn’t realize that came from this play. Long story short Romeo and Juliet come from feuding families and were starcrossed lovers. From the very start their love is destined to be a tragic one. Since this is a play there will be spoilers. I’m no literary genius. I’m only a freshman in high school, but even I can see the flaws in Romeo and Juliet. The characters broken down:

Juliet Capulet, a nearly fourteen year old girl who is in my opinion an idiot. I’ve never read about someone who is so suicidal over nothing. Her mind process was along the lines of, “Nothing goes my way. Woe me. Nurse, leave me before I plunge this dagger into me.” That’s Juliet for you. Aside from constantly swooning over Romeo, an obviously handsome young man (I still don’t know what he looks like), Juliet is a waste of space. She had absolutely no ambitions in life and until she met Romeo she was just a lump of human without a personality. In case you’re wondering she never gained one of those either. About halfway through the play, everyone in my class was just annoyed with Juliet and wished she would off herself already.  
 

Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: (The Original Mary Sue of Literature) 0

Romeo Montague is apparently supposed to charm my panties off. I’m sure that would happen if I could actually picture a Romeo. This play should be kept in play form. How did they even cast the characters without descriptions? Romeo isn’t all that bad, but Romeo starts off Act 1 with the same woe is me ploy that Juliet uses for almost the whole play. Romeo got out of the whole emo lover boy phase pretty quickly. Too quickly if you ask me. I asked my teacher a simple question that even stumped her, “What would’ve happened to Romeo and Juliet’s relationship if they hadn’t died?” They only knew each other for less than a day before they got married. Juliet was Romeo’s rebound from being rejected by Rosaline. I don’t think Romeo’s love was true. Shakespeare tries to make it seem that way, but in all honesty it wasn’t real for me. Romeo also makes a lot of stupid choices and is a coward.


Swoon Worthy Scale: 1

The Houses Broken Down:
The Capulets
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lord Capulet- He is overly protective of Juliet, but cherishes her. Until after Tybalt’s death, he seemed like a doting father and then he wanted to marry Juliet to Paris. When she refused, he was all “I will disown you. You will be dead to me.” His sudden change in demeanor was weird and just seemed to be thrown in to be another obstacle.
Lady Capulet- She was just there. Much like Juliet actually. She wasn’t the most opinionated woman, but she did offer her opinion every once and awhile.
Nurse- The nurse is quite the talker and has no qualms about offering her opinion no matter how crude they are. A lot of the stuff she said to Juliet was quite scandalous and shocking also offensive. The Nurse was good comic relief though. She was so overdramatic it was funny.
Tybalt- Tybalt the Troublemaker. He likes to start things and is an obvious instigator. If he wouldn’t have instigated and abided the Prince’s law he probably wouldn’t have died.
The Montagues
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lord Montague- He was hardly there. In fact he was only key to maybe one or two scenes throughout the whole play.
Lady Montague- She only had like three lines total. Romeo didn’t seem to care about his parents very much.
Benvolio- Benvolio is a peace maker and is always trying to stop fights. After Mercutio died, he dropped off the face of the earth and we never heard from him again. I find this shocking because he’s supposedly super close to Romeo, but yet he dropped him like a hat.
Others
~~~~~~~~~~~~


Friar Lawerence- I blame everything on him. After Tybalt and Mercutio’s deaths anything bad that happened pretty much always led back to him. He got off scotch free because he’s a priest. I didn’t find that fair at all. It’s similar to a congregation accepting a priest even though he molests children. It made absolutely no sense. The friar is human, but Prince made him seem almost like an angel and let him go without punishment.
Mercutio- What a player and a bad boy! He made me laugh at some of the idiotic things he said. He was also pretty rude to the nurse but he is a guy. I wished he wouldn’t have died because he was so funny.
Paris- Another unneeded obstacle in this tragic play. He’s obsessed with Juliet, for reasons I don’t understand. He was way too persistent about marrying her and just wouldn’t stop. Then his death wasn’t all that sad and it was kind of really cheesy.
Prince- He’s the prince and not a very good one. He’s also related to Mercutio. Surprise, surprise! More drama!

Character Scale: 2

The play isn’t all that bad and there are some very interesting parts, but then again after Tybalt and Mercutio died it stopped being interesting and didn’t pick back up until the poison situations. There were also way too many soliloquies for the friar. He was so boring and unless he was screwing things up I wasn’t interested. Shakespeare is interesting though and I can see why so many people love him. I hope his other plays are better. I’m sure they will be though.


Cover Thoughts: I didn’t have a cover since I was reading out of a big textbook. But there were pictures of this play with that chick from Sex and the City and this guy that looked creepy and not swoon worthy. I made fun of him especially when I saw him on an episode as a serial killer on Criminal Minds. It explained so much.