Thursday, June 30, 2011

Review: Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt

July 12, 2011
Simon Pulse

From Goodreads:
On the last day of her junior year, Hannah's boyfriend Sebastian dumped her. Facing a summer of loneliness, Hannah turns to her best friend Ava for comfort. Ava does what BFFs do: she stays by Hannah's side...until it's time for Ava to head up to Maine for the summer. Also left behind is Ava's boyfriend, Noah, who's such a great guy he gets Hannah a job at the diner he waits tables at. Slowly, Hannah comes out of her funk thanks to Noah's good conversation and their fun times at the diner. But things get complicated when their friendship turns into attraction--and one night, into a passionate kiss.

The novel opens on the first day of senior year; the day Hannah is going to see Ava, Sebastian, and Noah all in one place. Over the course of the day secrets and betrayals are revealed, and alliances are broken and reformed. In the end, everyone is paired up once again, but not the way you might think...

My Review:
I have to say, I have a weakness for books that deal with the scandalous topic of falling in love with your best friends boyfriend. I don't know why I like these stories so much, but I can't help it! I love seeing how an author can deal with the topic in such a way where I sympathize with the friend who falls in love with the unattainable boyfriend. It is soo bad but it makes for such an enthralling and dramatic read! Sometimes It Happens far exceeded my expectations. I felt for Hannah, and I couldn't help but fall for Noah right alongside her.

Hannah doesn't realize what she is in for when she catches her boyfriend Sebastian cheating on her on her last day of junior year, and her best friend Ava tells her she is leaving for the whole summer the next day.  Hannah doesn't know how she is going to be able to cope with the blow her boyfriend dealt her without her best friend! Well, that all changes when Ava enlists her own boyfriend Noah to make sure Hannah survives without her! It all starts out seemingly innocent in a Laundromat, and ends with a whole lot of hurt feelings and broken hearts.

Even though Hannah does the unthinkable with Noah, she didn't mean for anything to happen at all. I really felt for both of them. I enjoyed watching as their feelings grew for each other, but I also cringed when thinking about the consequences. I love how Barnholdt goes back and forth between what happened during the summer, and what comes out of that summer on the first day of senior year. I got to experience what Hannah was feeling during both times, and I felt horrible for her. It was never supposed to happen, but the title says it all--sometimes it happens.

Noah is such a sweet guy. I fell in love with him just as Hannah did. I can't hate them for what they did to Ava, especially because I was not a fan of Ava at all. She is rude, manipulative, selfish, and doesn't really care about anyone else. Maybe if she would have been a better person I would have had more sympathy for her, but it would have been hard. Cheating is awful and I am not in any way okay with it, but I could see why it did happen.

I have to say, my favorite character in it all is Lacey. She is so hilarious! She is a hypochondriac and really added much needed humor to situations. It doesn't hurt that she is a wonderful friend to Hannah, and is there for her in tough situations.

Sometimes It Happens is a remarkable story of forbidden love that I couldn't put down! You must pick this one up as soon as it releases!

My Rating:

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (33)

September 27, 2011
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

From Goodreads:
In 2083, chocolate and coffee are illegal, paper is hard to find, water is carefully rationed, and New York City is rife with crime and poverty. And yet, for Anya Balanchine, the sixteen-year-old daughter of the city's most notorious (and dead) crime boss, life is fairly routine. It consists of going to school, taking care of her siblings and her dying grandmother, trying to avoid falling in love with the new assistant D.A.'s son, and avoiding her loser ex-boyfriend. That is until her ex is accidently poisoned by the chocolate her family manufactures and the police think she's to blame. Suddenly, Anya finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight--at school, in the news, and most importantly, within her mafia family.

Why I'm Excited:
No coffee and chocolate?? And paper is hard to find which probably means no books! And then Anya is in a mafia family. This sounds so awful but I can't wait to see what happens!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

New YA Book Releases: June 28, 2011

Fins Are Forever by Tera Lynn Childs

On Lily Sanderson’s eighteenth birthday she’ll become just a girl—still a mergirl, true, but signing the renunciation will ink Princess Waterlily of Thalassinia out of existence. That leaves plain old Lily living on land, dating the boy she loves, and trying to master this being-human thing once and for all.
Now that Lily and Quince are together, mer bond or not, she’s almost content to give up her place in the royal succession of Thalassinia. But just when she thinks she has everything figured out, the waves start to get rough. Lily’s father sends a certain whirlpool-stirring cousin to stay with her on land. What did Doe do to get herself exiled from Thalassinia and stuck in terraped form when everyone knows how much she hates humans? And why why why is she batting her eyelashes at Lily’s former crush, Brody?
The seafoam on the raging surf comes when a merboy from Lily’s past shows up—Tellin asks Lily for something that clouds her view of the horizon. There’s a future with Quince on land, her loyalty to the kingdom in the sea, and Lily tossing on the waves in the middle. Will she find a way to reconcile her love, her duty, and her own dreams?
Tera Lynn Childs’s sequel to Forgive My Fins offers another tail-flicking romance with plenty of fun, sun, and underwater adventure.

Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz

Life hasn't been easy on sixteen-year-old Emma Conner, so a new start in New York may be just the change she needs. But the posh Upper East Side prep school she has to attend? Not so much. Friendly faces are few and far between, except for one that she's irresistibly drawn to—Brendan Salinger, the guy with the rock-star good looks and the richest kid in school, who might just be her very own white knight.
But even when Brendan inexplicably turns cold, Emma can't stop staring. Ever since she laid eyes on him, strange things have been happening. Streetlamps go out wherever she walks, and Emma's been having the oddest dreams: visions of herself in past lives—visions that warn her to stay away from Brendan. Or else.

The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder

Amber’s life is spinning out of control. All she wants is to turn up the volume on her iPod until all of the demands of family and friends fade away. So she sneaks off to the beach to spend a day by herself. Then Amber meets Cade. Their attraction is instant, and Amber can tell he’s also looking for an escape. Together they decide to share a perfect day: no pasts, no fears, no regrets.
The more time that Amber spends with Cade, the more she’s drawn to him. And the more she’s troubled by his darkness. Because Cade’s not just living in the now—he’s living each moment like it’s his last.

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives--and the way they understand each other so completely--has also also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Review: Fairy Bad Day by Amanda Ashby

June 9, 2011

From Goodreads:
While most students at Burtonwood Academy get to kill demons and goblins, fifteen-year-old Emma gets to rid the world of little annoying fairies with glittery wings and a hipster fashion sense. She was destined to be a dragon slayer, but cute and charming Curtis stole her spot. Then she sees a giant killer fairy - and it's invisible to everyone but her! If Emma has any chance of stopping this evil fairy, she's going to need help. Unfortunately, the only person who can help is Curtis. And now, not only has he stolen her dragon-slayer spot, but maybe her heart as well! Why does she think it's going to be a fairy bad day?

My Review:
Fairy Bad Day is a cute, light-hearted read that enchanted me! I have been reading some pretty heavy books lately, so I was relieved to read something cute and sweet. I will definitely pick up Ashby's future novels.

Emma is a spunky, ambitious, and determined girl who is so not happy with her slayer designation. Fairies are a joke! They are small, annoying, and enjoy pestering Emma. She wanted so badly to be a dragon slayer so she could follow in her foot steps. She has helped her mother slay and knows she is capable enough to do it! Why does Curtis have to get dragons? Emma is determined to show that she deserves to slay dragons. And then the situation gets worse when Emma starts to see something that no one else can see. Emma has to find out what this thing is, what it wants, and how to convince those above her that there is something weird going on.

And then there is Curtis. He is so sweet, adorable, and lovable! Emma has a bit of an attitude towards Curtis at first, for obvious reasons, and he deals with it wonderfully. He doesn't lash out at her, and understands why she feels the way she does. Emma's friends are just as entertaining. Loni is hilarious. She is obsessed with star signs and revolves her life around them. Tyler is a very interesting guy. He and Loni are always bickering with each other, but in a good way... Loni, Tyler, and Curtis all aid Emma in her investigating, where they all make crazy and unbelievable discoveries (not really unbelievable to readers but to them it was ;)).

While I really loved Fairy Bad Day, it wasn't the best book I have ever read. It was nice to read something not so heavy, though. Give this one a try if you want something light and fun!

My Rating:

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Auction to aid those affected by Arizona wildfires

 The wonderful ladies over at Late Bloomer Online have organized an auction to be held July 10-16, in order to help those affected by the many Arizona wildfires over the past month that have left many people homeless. There have already been several authors who have agreed to donate auction items, which is awesome! All the proceeds collected from the auction will be sent to the American Red Cross to support the victims of the wildfires in Arizona.

This is a great opportunity to get cool books and swag that you may have had your eye on for awhile, or are just discovering! The best part is that the money you spend on these items will greatly help those whose lives have been dramatically affected by the wildfires.

So if you want to help out, spread the word to as many people as you can, and join us for a fantastic week of auctions!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

In My Mailbox (25)

A Need So Beautiful by Suzanna Young---LOVED
Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have) by Sarah Mlynowski

Fury by Elizabeth Miles
Perfect by Ellen Hopkins
The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann
Heidi Heckelbeck Has a Secret & Captain Awesome to the Rescue (2 in 1 children's book)--Will probably be going to one of my nieces or nephew

Thanks to:
Simon & Schuster
Armchair BEA

Friday, June 24, 2011

Mini Review: Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout

September 15, 2011
Spencer Hill Press

My Review:
Half-Blood is a riveting mythological read full of action, romance, and smokin' hot guys! I had such a fantastic time reading about Alex and her adventures in the world of halves and pures. This isn't your average mythology novel; no, it is much more than that. Armentrout officially has me hooked on this series, and I may go crazy waiting for the next installment in this series.

You cannot miss out on this one!! Aiden became one of my favorite guys in YA. He is very swoon-worthy!! And then there is Seth who is mysterious and so bad but oh so good. Alex is a pretty awesome, kick butt heroine and I enjoyed reading from her perspective!

And now I leave you with a doodle of the Half-Blood cast that Jennifer sent me. I LOVE it!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Review: Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

May 31, 2011

From Goodreads:
How do you defy destiny?
Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it's getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she's haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they're destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.
As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.

My Review:
I have seen the praise surrounding Starcrossed all over the blogosphere so I was eager to find out what everyone was talking about. I went in hopeful and I came out.....disappointed. No, the story didn't suck and the writing wasn't horrible; in fact, the writing was flawless. The problem I had was with Helen, the main character. She infuriated me with her line of thinking, and I got so frustrated that I wasn't sure that I could finish the story. Luckily, I was able to get past that and finish the novel.

Helen is a whiny and annoying teen who I could never quite connect with. She feels like she is a freak because of some of the crazy things that she can do, and even when she learns that there are others like her, she still feels miserable about her powers. She doesn't want to embrace them and learn how to use them even though there are people after her who want to KILL her. That doesn't stop her from running away from the Delos family every time they want to train her and crying about how she doesn't want to learn to use them to hurt someone.

Lucas.....I just didn't see what Helen saw in him or what he saw in Helen. He is one of those hero's who has to stay away from the heroine because their romance is forbidden, but of course he cannot explain why to Helen. He is supposed to be a dreamboat to all the other girls, but he was just a sulky, broody guy to me. I saw a whole lot more in his cousin, Hector, and I would have enjoyed a romance between him and Helen much better.

I did find the Delos family to be enchanting and I loved everyone but Lucas, the love interest. They are all fun and have their own unique personalities. I enjoyed learning more about their mysterious past, and why they left their House. My favorite characters in the family were definitely Pandora, Noel, and Hector. Pandora is Lucas' fun and lively aunt who is one quirky woman! Noel is Lucas' mortal mother who can somehow handle all the demigods around her, and get them to listen. It also doesn't hurt that she is a fantastic cook. Hector is the sulky, bad boy cousin of Lucas' who has a problem with Helen. I would have liked him just for that, but he is also very important in getting the stick out of Helen's butt.

The mythology is my absolute favorite part of the story. Angelini has such a unique take on demigods (Scions). Their powers were brilliant! There are also some Scions that have very interesting, rare powers that only one or two Scions have. Even though I didn't like Helen, I enjoyed unraveling the mystery surrounding her and her mother who disappeared when she was a baby.

Even though Starcrossed just didn't do it for me the way it did for others, you may still love it. Like I said, I am in the minority about the negatives in the book. Give it a shot if you are a fan of Greek mythology!

My Rating:

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (32)

December 6, 2011
NAL Trade

Zoë Sorensson yearns to come into her powers as the only female dragon shifter. But being part of two worlds is more complicated than she expected. It’s bad enough that she’s the target of the Mages’ plan to eliminate all shifters—she also has to hide her true nature from her best friend Megan, a human. For her sixteenth birthday, all Zoë wants is one normal day, including a tattoo and a chance to see hot rocker Jared.

Instead, the Pyr throw her a birthday party but ban Megan from attendance, putting Zoë in a tight spot. Things get even worse when Zoe is invited to the popular kids’ Halloween party and Megan’s left out. Zoë knows the party is a trap laid by the host, an apprentice Mage. When Megan gets a last-minute invite, Zoë must save the day—and her best friend—without revealing her fire-breathing secrets . . .

Why I'm Excited:

I just finished reading Flying Blind and I absolutely fell in love with the series! I cannot wait for more of Jared!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New YA Book Releases: June 21, 2011

A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young
We all want to be remembered. Charlotte's destiny is to be forgotten.
Charlotte's best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she's cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what's really wrong: She is one of the Forgotten, a kind of angel on earth who feels the Need—a powerful, uncontrollable draw to help someone, usually a stranger.
But Charlotte never wanted this responsibility. What she wants is to help her best friend, whose life is spiraling out of control. She wants to lie in her boyfriend's arms forever. But as the Need grows stronger, it begins to take a dangerous toll on Charlotte. And who she was, is, and will become—her mark on this earth, her very existence—is in jeopardy of disappearing completely.
Charlotte will be forced to choose: Should she embrace her fate as a Forgotten, a fate that promises to rip her from the lives of those she loves forever? Or is she willing to fight against her destiny—no matter how dark the consequences?

Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter

Katarina Bishop has worn a lot of labels in her short life: Friend. Niece. Daughter. Thief. But for the last two months she’s simply been known as the girl who ran the crew that robbed the greatest museum in the world. That’s why Kat isn’t surprised when she’s asked to steal the infamous Cleopatra Emerald so it can be returned to its rightful owners.
There are only three problems. First, the gem hasn’t been seen in public in thirty years. Second, since the fall of the Egyptian empire and the suicide of Cleopatra, no one who holds the emerald keeps it for long — and in Kat’s world, history almost always repeats itself. But it’s the third problem that makes Kat’s crew the most nervous, and that is . . . the emerald is cursed.
Kat might be in way over her head, but she’s not going down without a fight. After all, she has her best friend — the gorgeous Hale — and the rest of her crew with her as they chase the Cleopatra around the globe, dodging curses and realizing that the same tricks and cons her family has used for centuries are useless this time.
Which means, this time, Katarina Bishop is making up her own rules.

Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey

Violet Willoughby doesn't believe in ghosts. But they believe in her. After spending years participating in her mother's elaborate ruse as a fraudulent medium, Violet is about as skeptical as they come in all matters supernatural. Now that she is being visited by a very persistent ghost, one who suffered a violent death, Violet can no longer ignore her unique ability. She must figure out what this ghost is trying to communicate, and quickly because the killer is still on the loose.

Afraid of ruining her chance to escape her mother's scheming through an advantageous marriage, Violet must keep her ability secret. The only person who can help her is Colin, a friend she's known since childhood, and whom she has grown to love. He understands the true Violet, but helping her on this path means they might never be together. Can Violet find a way to help this ghost without ruining her own chance at a future free of lies?

Dead Rules by Randy Russell

Till death
Jana Webster and Michael Haynes were in love. They were destined to be together forever.
But Jana's destiny was fatally flawed. And now she's in Dead School, where Mars Dreamcote lurks in the back of the classroom, with his beguiling blue eyes, mysterious smile, and irresistibly warm touch.
Michael and Jana were incomplete without each other. There was no room for Mars in Jana's life—or death—story. Jana was sure Michael would rush to her side soon.
But things aren't going according to Jana's plan. So Jana decides to do whatever it takes to make her dreams come true—no matter what rules she has to break.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Cliffhangers vs Happy Endings

So as I was falling asleep the other night, I starting thinking about books, about what I like and what I don't like specifically about endings. I have to say, I probably stayed up for an hour just thinking about this subject, and I knew I had to write up a post about it.


Cliffhangers absolutely suck. They leave me up for hours just thinking about what could happen, why it happened, and why the author wants to torture readers like that! And the books with the worst cliffhangers are in a series that the author only releases once a year. I understand that it takes the writing process is LONG for authors, and that it is so hard to come out with more than one book a year, but I am left thinking about the ending for a whole year with no closure. That is pure torture!!

But you know what, the books with HUGE cliffhangers are the ones that keep me coming back for more. If the story is that good that the ending leaves you thinking about the story for hours and freaking out on twitter, facebook, or another social network, the author has done a great job. It is these books that end up as best-sellers and get people involved with the story. Even though I may hate the author for a few hours, days, or months, in the end I still go back for the next book and end up enjoying the next installment.

And this is the point where I start listing off the series that leave me hanging at the end, yet will keep me coming back for more with each release.

Firelight by Sophie Jordan

HOLY. WOW. The ending to this one is sooooooooooooo bad, yet I love Sophie for that ending. I am even more excited to read Vanish because I just have to know what happens next. Now, if she would have had a nicer ending with just a few loose ends, even though I LOVE the storyline, I wouldn't be as eager to get the next book as soon as possible.

Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Ummm.....geez that ending threw me off! All I could think of was "Wait. You are just going to end it like that??? But I NEED to know what happens next. They just got here and this just happened, and you are just ending it now?? NOOOOOOO."

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Why, why, why do I have to wait a whole year for the next installment? Couldn't you have put a few more chapters in there to make it easier to wait for Insurgent? Really though, Roth ended it on a perfect note, even if it really sucks where she ended it.

"Happy" Endings

You know what I am talking about. Those books that leave just a few loose ends but wrap it up just nicely enough that there doesn't have to be a sequel. But in reality, there does, because the author left those loose ends, and even though the characters are okay for the moment, you need those questions answered.

In my opinion, this type of series would be the hardest to write. You have to have a freaking fantastic storyline and loveable characters to get readers to come back with only just a few loose ends hanging. I appreciate these books when I don't feel like being an emotional wreck afterwards.

Here are a few of my favorite series with "happy" endings in each installment (so far):

Hourglass by Myra McEntire

This is a phenomenal book and because of that, I will be the first one in line for the next book in the series. The ending is sweet, yet there are a few questions left to be answered that make it necessary for another book. Also, the characters are AMAZING, and I need more of them (especially Kaleb).

Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs

There didn't have to be another book in this series, but because it was so awesome, I bought Goddess Boot Camp the very day it came out. I love the mythology and of course the characters, so it was a no brainer to buy the next installment, even if there wasn't a cliffhanger in the previous novel.

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

The story doesn't really end on a "happy" note, yet I have to include it in this category. The ending wasn't really a cliffhanger, and it left many of my questions unanswered. I will definitely be getting the next installment as soon as it comes out!

In the end, I have to say that even though I love the books above, I prefer books that have cliffhangers. They bring out such strong reactions in me and any book that can do that has done its job. Even though it is pure torture waiting for the next installment, I still love 'em!

What do you prefer? And what are some of your favorite books that fit into both catagories?

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