Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Duff by Kody Keplinger

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn't think she's the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her "Duffy," she throws her Coke in his face.
But things aren't so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley.
Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

It. Was. Amazing. I honestly have nothing bad to say about this book, except that I wish it could have gone on forever.

I loved the characters, Bianca, Wesley, Casey. They were all amazing. Well rounded with real teen problems, everything you want in your characters. The plot? Well that was amazing too. I loved the idea of a girl using a guy she absolutely hates to escape her problems, sure it's shallow but it's totally fun, with some real emotions brought up through-out
I found this book really enjoyable, some people might not like the way Bianca was so negative or how Wesley was just a player. But i thought that made them more real, neither of them was perfect like some authors like to make their characters out to be.

Plot: 5/5
Ending: 5/5
Character: 5/5
Cover: 4/5

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

the Oracle of Dating by Allison Van Diepen

For five bucks, the Oracle of Dating will tell you:
* How to flirt
* If that cute guy you're crushing on likes you, too
* Whether your new romance will last through lunch period
* And much more
What she won't tell you? Who she is.
No one at Kayla's school knows she's the famous Oracle of Dating— the anonymous queen of dating advice. She doesn't even have a boyfriend. Two relationship disasters were enough to make Kayla focus on everyone else's love life.
But then her advice backfires on her own best friend. And Kayla starts to seriously obsess about Jared Stewart—the very cute, very mysterious new guy in school. Suddenly, the teen queen of advice needs her own oracle of dating—and she knows just where to find one….

Oh how I enjoyed this book. I was sad, happy, laughing, even waving my hands in the air at one point. What can I say? I'm a sucker for teen romance novels.

Kayla and Jared. I loved them. Their relationship was totally one you would find in high school. I liked that their relationship didn't just come together, they both had to actually work a little bit, it made for a fun read.
I loved Kayla's friends. I wish we could have seen more of them, they were very fun. The kind of friends that every girl would want to have. Just like Kayla's sister, who wouldn't want a sister/ best friend just like that? I know I would.

Let's just say I can't wait to read the next book!

Plot: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Cover: 4/5
Ending: 4/5

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme where you share a couple of sentences from the book your reading. My teaser this week is from The Duff by Kody Keplinger.

" He was wearing a tight black T-shirt that, while not really appropriate for the frigid temperatures of early February, showed off his perfect muscular arms. Arms that had twined around me... arms that had helped erase my stress..."

Hope you enjoyed it! Have a great Tuesday :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Belle: a retelling of Beauty and the Beast by Cameron Dokey

Belle is convinced she has the wrong name, as she lacks her sisters' awe-inspiring beauty. So she withdraws from society, devoting her time to wood carving. Secretly, Belle longs to find the fabled Heartwood Tree. If carved by the right hands, the Heartwood will reveal the face of one's true love.
During a fierce storm, Belle's father stumbles upon the mysterious Heartwood -- and encounters a terrifying and lonely Beast. Now Belle must carve the Heartwood to save her father, and learn to see not with the eyes of her mind, but with the eyes of her heart.

This book is part of the Once Upon a Time series, which consists of retellings of different fairy tales. I have to say, I'm a fan.

I loved this book. I loved it. Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney movie, so I was very excited to read this book. I wasn't disappointed.

Belle was a great character. She was both smart and self-deprecating. The way she accepted that she wasn't as beautiful as her sisters was heart-breaking and refreshing at the same time. You always read about the girls who hate themselves because they're to plain, but Belle wasn't like that.

I loved all of the other characters too. April and Celeste were the perfect mix of slightly snobby and kind, and the beast, oh how I loved him! Although the actual section of the book that contained the beast was rather short it was still fantastic. The only complaint that I would have would be to make that part longer, so we can really see Belle and the Beast fall in love.

Definitely a book you'll want to read if you like fantasy's, strong heroines, or just want a new take on an old tale.

Plot: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Cover: 3/5
Ending: 3/5

Sunday, December 26, 2010

How to Hook a Hottie by Tina Ferraro

At 17, Kate Delvecchio has one goal in life: to become a millionaire before the age of 20. And as far as she’s concerned, college will only slow her down. Unfortunately for Kate, the one thing her parents do agree on is that they totally disagree with her strategy. And so the deal is born. If Kate can raise five thousand big ones by graduation day, her parents will hand over the balance of her college account to invest as she pleases. No college, no degree, and no way she’ll ever be able to pull it off. But when Kate accidentally agrees to go to the sports banquet with the hottest guy at school, she stumbles upon a possible cash cow. The rest of the junior class is amazed that no-nonsense Kate could hook such a hottie, and one by one they approach her for help hooking their own. She doesn’t know anything about getting guys, but for $100 a pop, she’s more than willing to invent a six-step plan for How to Hook a Hottie. And how could that possibly backfire?

I liked this book, but i didn't love it. It had a good main character and a decent plot but I just didn't really get into it.

I really liked Kate as a main character. She was sassy and fun but seemed really driven, and I never found myself getting annoyed with her, as I sometimes do with other characters. However I sometimes found her drive two-dimensional. I wish we could have gotten more of a history behind her mother leaving and her friendship with Dal, that would have really added a lot to the story for me.

I also felt like the business was just far - fetched. It seemed like one minute she was helping a friend and the next everyone wanted help. I wish there would have been a more steady lead up to Kate getting customers.

An easy read, with a decent romance and some good lessons about family and self.

Plot: 3/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 2/5
Ending: 3/5

Friday, December 24, 2010

Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon

Ai Ling can see into other people's minds and reach into their spirits. But she doesn't know why this power has awakened inside her. She only knows that it is growing. It leads her on an epic journey—one that brings her to the edge of the deepest evil.
Chen Yong has a quest of his own, but then his path crosses Ai Ling's. And there's a connection so strong that neither can ignore it.
Now they must face terrifying demons determined to kill them, and battle through treacherous lands. It is their destiny. But can destiny keep them together?

I have mixed feelings about this book. I liked the characters and the plot, but I'm not sure if I liked the pacing of it.

Ai Ling was a great character to read about, she was really easy to relate to, at least for me, and I loved her "I can do anything a man can do" girl power attitude. I just wish there had been more chemistry between her and Chen Yong, at times I felt like they were only meant to be friends, so I hope that we get more romantic feelings between them in the next book.

The thing that really bothered me about this book was how fast it seemed to go. It was like one minute Ai Ling and Chen Yong met and then the next they had been friends forever, and I felt like we never really got time to see Ai Lings point of view on things because she was already in the next situation. Needless to say this book had plenty of action.

But even though it had its flaws I really enjoyed this book. I loved how the Asian culture was incorporated into the novel. Not necessarily a historical fiction novel but more of a fantasy with a historical fiction twist added in.

Plot: 5/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 4/5
Ending: 3/5

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Vanished by Kate Brian

Lost and found...
Against all odds, Reed Brennan re-established Billings as an underground literary society. She and the new initiates created a glamorous secret headquarters and were ready to show Easton Academy that even though Billings House is gone, the Billings Girls are stronger than ever. But before Reed had a chance to revel in her success, something horrible happened:
Noelle disappeared.
Now Reed has no idea who wants to hurt Noelle or why, but it's up to Reed to save her. As the clues build up, the clock ticks down, and Reed fears that unless she finds Noelle soon, she'll lose her friend forever....

Vanished is book number 12 in the private series, and i have to say that i haven't lost interest since the first book, which is surprising since sometimes books like this tend to get old after awhile.

One thing I love about these books is the constant twists. However I'm not sure if I really liked the twist at the end of this book, it seems....... kind of out there, especially since I always thought that this was more of a contemporary fiction series, not a fantasy. But I have to say that I am really looking forward to the private prequel and the next private book that's coming out, I think it's going to be one of the last ones. Then I'll have to find another boarding school series to read *sob*.

Ending: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 3/5
Plot: 3/5

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (sort of)

It's teaser Tuesday, well not really since its technically Wednesday but i was VERY busy yesterday and i couldn't get to the computer, so I'm going to improvise :). Teaser Tuesday is a weekly MeMe where you open the book your currently reading to a random page, pick a sentence, and share it. This week my teaser is from Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon

" She cast her spirit toward his, a week wobbling cord. It dissipated without reaching its target. She drew a deep breath and tried again. Her navel tightened as her spirit entered Fei Mings."

Sunday, December 19, 2010

2011 Debut Author Challenge

So for 2011 I'm going to be participating in the 2011 Debut Author Challenge! This challenge is hosted by The Story Siren and it basically means that I'm planning on reading at least 12 YA author debuts from 2011. While this might be a challenge because it will require looking up authors that i have never read before ( I'll admit, I'm mostly a repeat reader) but that's also really exciting to! New reading opportunity's! If you want to participate just click on the 2011 Debut Author Challenge link and read the requirements before signing up.

In My Mailbox

So In My Mailbox is a weekly MeME hosted by The Story Siren, it's basically bloggers telling what they bought, got from the library, or received in the mail this week.

The Candidates by Inara Scott

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Agency: The Body at the Tower by Y.S. Lee

Mary’s second adventure as an undercover agent forces her to relive some harrowing childhood experiences as she seeks the identity of a murderer.
Mary Quinn is back, now a trusted member of the Agency, the all-female detective unit operating out of Miss Scrimshaw’s Academy for Girls. Her new assignment sends her into the grimy underbelly of Victorian London dressed as a poor boy, evoking her own childhood memories of fear, hunger, and constant want. As she insinuates herself into the confidence of several persons of interest, she encounters others in desperate situations and struggles to make a difference without exposing —or losing —her identity. Mary’s adventure, which takes place on the building site of the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament, offers a fictional window into a fascinating historical time and place.

This is the second book in the Mary Quinn series, which I believe is a trilogy. The first book is called The Agency: A Spy in the House.

The thing that I love about this series isn't the mystery's, I find those kind of bland, but the characters. Mary and James just have the best chemistry! I'm so glad that Lee brought James back in this book, I just dont think that I would have liked the book very much if he hadn't been in it.

I also really enjoy how Y.S. Lee brings out Mary's hesitance about revealing her race. I really enjoyed learning about the racism that happened against Asian people in London in the 1800's.

These books are historical fiction pieces with some-what forgettable mystery's but AMAZING characters, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, with a little not to mush romance.

Characters: 5/5
Cover: 5/5
Ending: 3/5
Plot: 4/5

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen

The year is 1929. New York is ruled by the Bright Young Things: flappers and socialites seeking thrills and chasing dreams in the anything-goes era of the Roaring Twenties.
Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey escaped their small Midwestern town for New York's glittering metropolis. All Letty wants is to see her name in lights, but she quickly discovers Manhattan is filled with pretty girls who will do anything to be a star. . . .
Cordelia is searching for the father she's never known, a man as infamous for his wild parties as he is for his shadowy schemes. Overnight, she enters a world more thrilling and glamorous than she ever could have imagined and more dangerous. It's a life anyone would kill for . . . and someone will.
The only person Cordelia can trust is Astrid Donal, a flapper who seems to have it all: money, looks, and the love of Cordelia's brother, Charlie. But Astrid's perfect veneer hides a score of family secrets.
Across the vast lawns of Long Island, in the illicit speakeasies of Manhattan, and on the blindingly lit stages of Broadway, the three girls' fortunes will rise and fall together and apart. From the New York Times-bestselling author of The Luxe comes an epic new series set in the dizzying last summer of the Jazz Age.

Once again Anna Godbersen has blown me away. It's amazing how she can make you feel like your IN the era she's writing about, I've never been so intrigued by the Jazz Age but this book has definitely made me want to read more about it.

I loved all three of the main characters in this book, but i would have to say my favorite was Cordelia. She was sassy, fun, and slightly annoying at times. The only thing that i didn't like was how quickly she seemed to brush off her husband (don't worry that's not a spoiler it happens right in the beginning of the book!).

This book is one of those that really sucks you in. Anna Godbersen is a truly fantastic writer, this series, like her Luxe series, is sure to be fabulous, steeped in romance, lies, intrigue, and emotion. I won't be surprised if i shed a few tears.

Before i finish up this review can i just say that PROLOGUE! It was AMAZING! I mean talk about a cliff hanger, and three pages in no less.

Characters: 5/5
Cover: 5/5
Ending: 4/5

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Waiting for You by Susan Colasanti

It's sophomore year, and Marisa is ready for a fresh start and, hopefully, her first real boyfriend. But after popular Derek asks her out, things get complicated. Not only do her parents unexpectedly separate, but Marisa has a fight with her best friend, and Derek—the love of her life—delivers a shocking disappointment. The only things keeping Marisa together are the podcasts from the anonymous DJ, who seems to totally understand Marisa. But she doesn't know who he is . . . or maybe she does.

I'm a big fan of Susan Colasanti, I think she's an excellent writer, and she really makes her novels relatable, fun and emotional all at the same time.

That said, this wasn't my favorite book of Susan's. While it did make me feel emotional (I may or may not have shed a few tears) I found it a little predictable at times. I really enjoyed the insights we had into Marisa's anxiety, but I wish there had been more of them, it would have really rounded her as a character for me.

One thing I did love about this book was how she depicted Marisa's yearning for a boyfriend. I feel like that really reflected today's society well in that it makes teen girls think they need a boyfriend to fell whole.

All together a good book that's definitely worth reading but not my favorite from the author, although better than a lot of YA books that I've read.

Plot: 4/5
Ending: 4/5
Cover: 5/5

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a MeMe hosted by Should be Reading my teaser this week is from Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen.

"All of those white faces floating above white-clad bodies, under the awning or out on the green, moved so as to get a better view of her. By the time she had returned to the luncheon room, the Marsh table had already become the most talked-about table of the afternoon - and she began to sense they weren't just interested in the color of her dress."

:) I hope you are all thoroughly intrigued!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Unraveled by Gena Showalter

Unraveled is the sequel to Intertwined, while I didn't think book two was as good as book one I still enjoyed it.

This series follows Aden Stone, a boy who has four souls living in his head, all of whom have different powers. Aden is a very likable character with a bad boy edge (and who doesn't like a bad boy?). This book is in alternating chapters, mainly between Aden and his friend Mary Ann.

I loved how this book really incorporated the magical world, we really got to see how the witches, faeries and vampires societies worked. We also got to see the different complexities of the romantic relationships in the story, how they're not perfect and every relationship (even a supernatural one) will have problems, and although i do love Mary Ann i felt just a little annoyed with her at times. In the end I did feel she made the right decision, I thought she was a little......... childish when it came to Riley. However this book did make me like Victoria even more, we really got to see her motivations for the things she does and the way she is.

Can I just say OH MY GOSH to that ending? I mean really! Talk about a cliff-hanger, I can't wait to get by hands on book three Twisted.

Plot: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 3/5
Ending: 5/5

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Where are the witches?

Today on my way home i was thinking about things i could post on the blog, and then it came to me, my top ten favorite witches! It was perfect! As a big fantasy fan of course witches are right up my alley. However when it came down to picking i realized........ I haven' even read ten amazing books about witches. I've read books with magic sure, tons of them. Books where characters find a magical land or obtain some object of magical power, but a book about real witches? One's who use spells, make potions, etc.? Only a few came to my mind. So my new challenge for myself is to start looking for books starring witches, have a good one you think i should read? Please post it in a comment below!

Now i'm off to find the witches...... the wonderful witches of oz! :)