Saturday, May 30, 2009

In My Mailbox (2)

Lovely meme started by Kristi over at The Story Siren, who was influenced by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie.

And I took a picture of all of them this time! Because I didn't feel like saving the uploading 12 different book covers... call me lazy. :P

So starting from top left:

The Center of the Universe: Yep, That Would Be Me by Anita Liberty

Welcome to the story of my life. Well, at least the story of my junior and senior years of high school. It''s a profound, touching, and hilarious (if I do say so myself) tale told through cunning poems, revelatory diary entries, perspicacious (look it up) word definitions, shrewd bits of advice, and off-the-cuff (but brilliant) insights.

You'll probably relate to a lot of it. Especially the parts about hating my parents, never feeling cool enough, failing my first attempt at the SATs, having an incredibly romantic (but one-sided) relationship with the coolest guy in school, and getting hexed by my ex-best friend who became a Wiccan.

And if you can't relate? Well, step to the back of that humongous line. You''ll probably be right behind my family. If you''re lucky, my mom''ll bring snacks.

How can I be who I am and who my family wants me to be when the person I am wouldn''t be caught dead with the person my family wants me to be?

I thought when I read the title of this book, it would be like The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things. I just thought the protagonist would be -ahem- plus size, and would be dealing with that issue. It sounds like the protagonist has different problems though, and actually, I find the synopsis quite witty and interesting. So I'll probably try this book out.

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
A dystopian thriller follows a boy and girl on the run from a town where all thoughts can be heard — and the passage to manhood embodies a horrible secret.

Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him — something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn't she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd''s gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.

I decided to get this book from my library after I read a brilliant review of it. I sadly can't remember who wrote it (sorry!)...

The Season by Sarah Maclean
Seventeen-year-old Lady Alexandra Stafford is strong-willed and sharp-tongued and not interested in marriage. Unfortunately, her mother is determined to marry her off to someone safe, respectable, wealthy, and almost certainly boring. But Alex is much more interested in adventure than romance. Somehow, between ball gown fittings, dances, and dinner parties, Alex, along with her two best friends, Ella and Vivi, manages to get entangled in her biggest scrape yet. It?s a mystery brimming with espionage, murder, suspicion, and true love. Romance and danger fill the air, as this year?s Season begins!

I'm kind of interested... but also not. The reviews I've read about it say that it's okay, but not amazing. And I'm not too sure how accurate it will be. I may try it though. Plus, the protagonist has the same first name as me. Although I'm not too sure if that's a turn on or turn off for me. XD

Taken By Storm by Angely Morisson
Leesie Hunt has many rules: No kissing. No sex. No dating outside the Mormon faith.

When Michael Waldenaa deep-sea diver who lost his parents in a violent hurricaneaarrives in town, Leesie sees someone who needs her. They fall for one another, even though his dreams are tied to the depths of the ocean and hers to salvation above.

Will their intense chemistry be too strong to resist? Leesie and Michael must make the hardest choice of their lives: whether to follow their beliefs or their hearts.

It sounds like a good romance novel. I'm not too into the religious part of it, since I'm not a huge fan of reading about religion, although I do find it interesting. If it's not too preachy, I'll read it I guess.

Somebody by Nancy Springer

At the age of fifteen, a girl who has spent most of her life moving around the country with her father and brother remembers her real name, Sherica, and is moved to search the Internet to learn the truth about her mother and her own past.

Interesting... and it's a thin book. I've never even heard of this book though.

Absolutely Maybe by Lisa Yee
Meet Maybelline Mary Katherine Mary Ann Chestnut, named for two Miss Americas and her mother Chessy's favorite brand of mascara. Chessy teaches the students in her charm school her Seven Select Rules for Young Ladies, but she won't tell Maybe who her real father is -- or protect her from her latest scuzzball boyfriend. So Maybe hitches a ride to California with her friends Hollywood and Thammasat Tantipinichwong Schneider (aka Ted) -- and what she finds there is funny, sad, true, and inspiring . . . vintage Lisa Yee.

Sounds cute. And... a maybe road trip? I'm not too sure if the book focuses on the road trip or on the life in California itself. I'll probably have to read to find out. ;)

Suicide Notes by Michael T Ford

I'm not crazy. I don't see what the big deal is about what happened. But apparently someone does think it's a big deal because here I am. I bet it was my mother. She always overreacts.

Fifteen-year-old Jeff wakes up on New Year's Day to find himself in the hospital. Make that the psychiatric ward. With the nutjobs. Clearly, this is all a huge mistake. Forget about the bandages on his wrists and the notes on his chart. Forget about his problems with his best friend, Allie, and her boyfriend, Burke. Jeff's perfectly fine, perfectly normal, not like the other kids in the hospital with him. Now they've got problems. But a funny thing happens as his forty-five-day sentence drags on—the crazies start to seem less crazy.

Compelling, witty, and refreshingly real, Suicide Notes is a darkly humorous novel from award-winning author Michael Thomas Ford that examines that fuzzy line between "normal" and the rest of us.

I like the synopsis of this book. There seems to be a lot of books about kids in institutions, hospitals, and whanot. Which I like.

Sleepaway Girls by Jen Colonita

When Sam's best friend gets her first boyfriend, she's not ready to spend the summer listening to the two of them call each other "pookie." Sick of being a third wheel, Sam applies to be a counselor-in-training at Whispering Pines camp in the New York Catskills. But what she doesn't realize is that it's not going to be all Kumbaya sing-alongs and gooeys'mores. If Ashley, the alpha queen of Whispering Pines, doesn't ruin Sam's summer, then her raging crush on the surfer-blond and flirtatious Hunter just might. At least she has playful Cole, who's always teasing her, but is oh-so-comfortable to hang out with, and the singular gang of girls that become fast friends with Sam-they call themselves the Sleepaway Girls.

This is by the same author as Secrets of My Hollywood life, which is cute. Sleepaway Girls sounds like a cute summer read.

How To Make a Wave by Lisa Hurst-Archer

Delia keeps people away - she thinks she''s ugly, she thinks her family is weird; her mom took off and went to India when Delia was a little girl. Delia keeps her distance from others though she has a good friend in Aunt Shirley who helps her to realize that all people have hurts and problems. Through her conversations with Shirley and her explorations in art class, Delia uncovers memories of a car accident, which lead her to discover a hurtful secret at the centre of her family.

Shirley is compassionate and honest, though she doesn''t allow Delia to wallow in self-pity and anger. She shares with Delia her own hurts and disappointments and so does the art teacher, Ms. Murti. Delia discovers that she''s been self-absorbed and has built walls to separate herself from others.

Gradually, she is able to accept truth, and to be honest about her pain. She is able to consider that life is full of terrible beautiful aching mystery and that sometimes a coincidence is more than coincidence, it may have to do with something greater, with the alignment of universal forces - with the making of a wave.

I'd never heard of this book either. Just another book I randomly requested from my library... but it sounds pretty good.

Same Difference by Siobhan Vivian
Emily needs a change of scenery. She's been pegged as the arty girl by the kids in her school, even her own friends. There's some truth to that, but there's also more to the way she sees the world than drawing or painting. Nobody seems to understand, and that's not going to change any time soon. So when Emily gets the chance to go to an art program in Philadelphia for the summer, she jumps at it. A new cast of characters enters her life, and suddenly she has to figure out who she wants to be. She's gone from the suburbs where everyone's trying to be the same to a school where everyone is trying to be unique. The rules may have changed, but a lot of the pressures remain the same. With wit and empathy, Siobhan Vivian goes straight to the heart of a teen girl's search for identity including the pain and heartache we have to go through to figure out who we are.

Seems like a great book about trying to understand yourself and discovering what you want. A coming of age novel, if you will.

Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before by David Yoo

If Albert Kim has learned one thing in his tragic adolescence, it's that God (probably a sadistic teenaged alien) does not want him to succeed at Bern High. By the end of sophomore year, Al is so tired of humiliation that he's chosen to just forget girls and high school society in general, and enjoy the Zen-like detachment that comes from being an intentional loser.

Then he meets Mia Stone, and all the repressed hormones come flooding back. Mia, his co-worker at the Bern Inn, is adorable, popular, and most intimidatingly, the ex- long-term girlfriend of Ivy-bound, muscle-bound king of BHS and world class jerk, Ryan Stackhouse. But -- chalk it up to the magic of Al's inner beauty -- by the end of a summer vacuuming hotel rooms and goofing off together, he and Mia are officially "something." Albert barely has time to ponder this miracle before the bomb drops: Ryan has been diagnosed with cancer, and he needs Mia's support, i.e. constant companionship. True, he''s lost weight and he's getting radiation, but that doesn't make him any less of a jerk. And to Albert, it couldn''t be more apparent that Ryan is using his cancer to steal Mia back. With the whole town rallying behind Ryan like he's a fallen hero, and Mia emotionally confused and worried for Ryan, Al''s bid for love is not a popular campaign. In fact, it''s exactly like driving the wrong way on a five-lane highway.

In this desperately funny novel, David Yoo tells an authentic story of first love, and therein captures the agony, the mania, the kicking and screaming that define teenage existence.

I actually got this book out from my library before but never had time to read it. The description sounds really good though, so I got it again. :)

Skunk Girl by Sheba Karim

If Nina Khan were to rate herself on the unofficial Pakistani prestige point system - the one she's sure all the aunties and uncles use to determine the most attractive marriage prospects for their children - her scoring might go something like this:

+2 points for getting excellent grades

-3 points for failing to live up to expectations set by genius older sister

+4 points for dutifully obeying parents and never, ever going to parties, no matter how antisocial that makes her seem to everyone at Deer Hook High

-1 point for harboring secret jealousy of her best friends, who are allowed to date like normal teenagers
+2 points for never drinking an alcoholic beverage
-10 points for obsessing about Asher Richelli, who talks to Nina like she's not a freak at all, even though he knows that she has a disturbing line of hair running down her back

In this wryly funny debut novel, the smart, sassy, and utterly lovable Nina Khan tackles friends, family, and love, and learns that it's possible to embrace two very different cultures - even if things can get a little bit, well, "hairy."

Lauren read this book and reviewed it. She really liked it, so I figured I should give it a try. She has good tastes. Although she doesn't like John Green, so I really have to question her opinions.

And that's all. XD I really need to get reading. But I've got so much homework... Oh the agony. What do I choose? Homework, books, homework, books? Really, I'm so torn. My brain tells me to be smart and just do my homework. My spirit tells me to relax and read and have fun. Gaah. What I'm doing now is trying to do both, and it's failing. It's pretty much, I'm not doing much of either...

Review by Alex: Eon: Dragoneye Reborn

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman

Twelve-year-old Eon has been in training for years. His intensive study of Dragon Magic, based on East Asian astrology, involves two kinds of skills: sword-work and magical aptitude. He and his master hope that he will be chosen as a Dragoneye a " an apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune.

But Eon has a dangerous secret. He is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been masquerading as a boy for the chance to become a Dragoneye. Females are forbidden to use Dragon Magic; if anyone discovers she has been hiding in plain sight, her death is assured. When Eona's secret threatens to come to light, she and her allies are plunged into grave danger and a deadly struggle for the Imperial throne.

Eon must find the strength and inner power to battle those who want to take her magic...and her life.

A good fantasy read. Based on the Chinese zodiac, and taking elements from China and Japan from waybackwhen, Eon's world is rich and fascinating. Actually... in some ways, it reminds me of Mulan. :D Just the strong heroine, disguised as a girl, fighting. And Eon has a lot to contend with. The book starts with Eon attempting to become Dragoneye, and at first it's a bit confusing. All the names at first were just like... WAAAH? to me. Luckily, there's a helpful little chart at the beginning of the book with all the Dragoneyes names and important info like that.

So basically, there are 12 Dragons, and 12 Dragoneyes, chosen humans who wield the power of the dragons to help the land and people. Each dragon is an animal from the Chinese zodiac, so there's like the Rat Dragon (the one currently in power- as most people should know, the chinese zodiac rotates, etc. etc) and the Ox Dragan, and the Dragon Dragon, otherwise known as the Mirror Dragon, thank god. Imagine the whole book, reading Dragon Dragon, instead of the Mirror Dragon. Mirror Dragon sounds so much better.

Anyways. After the dragoneye ceremony, where one young boy is picked to be the future Rat Dragoneye, and -ahem- other important events happen, Eon is forced into this world where he (really she) doesn't want to be. I won't tell you how exactly... since I don't want to spoil much. So this is a story of how Eon becomes powerful and key in politics. There is a sequel that follows and will deal more with fighting back, where no doubt there will be more action and excitement. And hopefully romance. Eon: Dragoneye Reborn was sadly lacking in the romance department. I was kind of hoping with the Prince, as there were tiny hints every now and then, but alack, no. Hopefully in the next one. ;)

I also found it quite unpredictable, which is a good thing. I also didn't always know what was going on, which is bad. The descriptions of the Dragoneye powers could have been better done in my opinion, since I found it mostly hazy and blah. So much so that I sometimes skimmed over the descriptions.

So while I do have complaints about this book, those being above and that the story drags at points, Eon is an interesting fantasy read. Interesting setting and the familiar plot of fighting against the government, or whatever, be it emperors or whatnot. Recommended for lovers of fantasy, girl power, and lugging around big books. Eon: Dragoneye Reborn is something like 570 pages, which is why I put off reading it for so long; I didn't want to have to lug it to and from school.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Booking Through Thursday (2)

Is there a book that you wish you could “unread”? One that you disliked so thoroughly you wish you could just forget that you ever read it?

I thought about this for a while, and my answer would have to be no. I read to learn and to experience, and I feel that I get something from every single book I read. Of course, some books are terrible, and I get very minimum knowledge from them, but I wouldn't unread them. They were a waste of my time, yes, but not so much so that I'd unread them. Honestly, I can't think of a book so terrible, it would be worthy of being "unread".

I suppose if I'd have read a book that's emotionally scarring, I might unread it. But I haven't. I tend to shy away from anything that seems to go to far for me. Which lately, isn't even that much. I'm trying to expand my horizons, so to speak, and try out different genres that I might not have read before.

On a side note, I haven't been posting reviews as much, because I haven't been reading much. Or it feels like that, anyway. Too much schoolwork, too little time. Siiigh. I'll be so glad when school's done and over with. First I need to get through summatives, then exams. Then home free! Which pretty much means summer job, but whatever. :P So I apoligize if I don't post as often. Just like Lauren, it seems school is monopolizing my life. A joint review on Stravaganza and reviews for Eon and Sisters in Sanity will hopefully be coming soon.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (2)

This brilliant idea was thought of by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

And this week's pick is... Blood Promise by Richelle Mead!

How far will Rose go to keep her promise?

The recent Strigoi attack at St. Vladimir’s Academy was the deadliest ever in the school’s history, claiming the lives of Moroi students, teachers, and guardians alike. Even worse, the Strigoi took some of their victims with them. . . including Dimitri.

He’d rather die than be one of them, and now Rose must abandon her best friend, Lissa—the one she has sworn to protect no matter what—and keep the promise Dimitri begged her to make long ago. But with everything at stake, how can she possibly destroy the person she loves most?

Is anyone else excited for this book, the fourth in the Vampire Academy series? The third installation, Shadow Kiss, leaves readers wanting more with that ending!

Yeah yeah, some say, oh, another vampire series. Really, I don't find so. I just find it really interesting to read how different all the vampires are. Like, seriously, which different series/books have the exact same type of vampires with the exact same power? I mean sure, you have the annoying vampires that sparkle and stuff, but there's tons of good vampire stuff. :D

Which makes me thankful.

Anyway, that's my pick for the week. :) Oh, and Blood Promise is released on August 25th.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

In My Mailbox (1)

First time doing In My Mailbox. Lovely idea started by Kristi over at The Story Siren, who was influenced by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie. All descriptions from

The Bought:
Swoon by Nina Malkin
Sin is coming...prepare to swoon.
Torn from her native New York City and dumped in the land of cookie-cutter preps, Candice is resigned to accept her posh, dull fate. Nothing ever happens in Swoon, Connecticut...until Dice''s perfect, privileged cousin Penelope nearly dies in a fall from an old tree and her spirit intertwines with that of a ghost. His name? Sinclair Youngblood Powers. His mission? Revenge. And while Pen is oblivious to the possession, Dice is all too aware of Sin. She''s intensely drawn to him -- but not at all crazy about the havoc he''s wreaking.
Determined to exorcise the demon, Dice accidentally sets Sin loose, gives him flesh, makes him formidable. Now she must destroy an even more potent -- and irresistible -- adversary before the whole town succumbs to Sin''s will. Only trouble is, she''s in love with him.
What do you do when the boy of your dreams is too bad to be true?

Yay! I've read mixed reviews about this book, but since it was on sale at Costco for cheap, I picked it up. :)

The Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen
Macy''s summer stretches before her, carefully planned and outlined. She will spend her days sitting at the library information desk. She will spend her evenings studying for the SATs. Spare time will be used to help her obsessive mother prepare for the big opening of the townhouse section of her luxury development. But Macy''s plans don''t anticipate a surprising and chaotic job with Wish Catering, a motley crew of new friends, or ... Wes. Tattooed, artistic, anything-but-expected Wes. He doesn''t fit Macy''s life at all--so why does she feel so comfortable with him? So ... happy? What is it about him that makes her let down her guard and finally talk about how much she misses her father, who died before he eyes the year before? Sarah Dessen delivers a page-turning novel that carries readers on a roller coaster of denial, grief, comfort, and love as we watch a broken but resilient girl pick up the pieces of her life and fit them back together.

I got this book at a garage sale I went to yesterday. For 1 buck. 1! Such a good deal. This is why I love garage sales- people sell things for cheap. :D Nothing I love better than cheap stuff. Except maybe cheap/free books.

The Borrowed:
Confessions of an Accidental Player by Antony John
I feel like I''m about to pass out, but that won''t do much for my new reputation as a non-dork, so I bury my head in the Book instead. There''s not much there, really—just the senior portrait of every girl in my class, and below each photo, space for me to record her measurements—once I get her measurements, that is.

From his flute-playing prowess to his nerdy reputation, Kevin Mopsely epitomizes uncool. When popular jock Brandon Trent appoints Kevin to compile the Book of Busts—a record of the bust, waist, and hip measurements of every senior girl—Kevin fears he''s out of his league. The Book, however, is the key to his popularity, so Kevin accepts the challenge—uncovering much more than he bargained for in the process.
Busted is a hilarious and provocative debut that tackles the intricate issues of first love, testosterone-laden peer pressure, feminism, and "GRRL power" with a fresh and unique voice that will appeal to both male and female teenage readers.

I've never heard of this book, but I guess I requested it from the library a while back, and it just came. It sounds pretty good though, no?

North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley
As he continued to stare, I wanted to point to my cheek and remind him, But you were the one who wanted this, remember?
You're the one who asked-and I repeat-Why not fix your face?

It''s hard not to notice Terra Cooper. She's tall, blond, and has an enviable body. But with one turn of her cheek, all people notice is her unmistakably "flawed" face. Terra secretly plans to leave her stifling small town in the Northwest and escape to an East Coast college, but gets pushed off-course by her controlling father.
When an unexpected collision puts Terra directly in Jacob''s path, the handsome but quirky Goth boy immediately challenges her assumptions about herself and her life, and she is forced in yet another direction. With her carefully laid plans disrupted, will Terra be able to find her true path?

Written in lively, artful prose, award-winning author Justina Chen Headley has woven together a powerful novel about a fractured family, falling in love, travel, and the meaning of true beauty.

Probably the book I'm most excited about. It sounds so good!

The Lab by Jack Heath
In a near-future world run by an evil corporation, the only justice comes from an organization called the Deck. Each agent in the deck belongs to a suit -- the Hearts and Diamonds are the operatives, the Clubs do the training, and the Spades monitor internal affairs. The hero is a 16-yr-old, Six of Hearts. (The highest ranking in each group is the King, and so forth, with the whole shebang led by the two Jokers). Six of Hearts is the best operative they have -- all the more impressive (and convenient for us) because he never kills anyone.

It seems kind of confusing to me, all the wierd names. But I may give it a try. And I really love the cover.

The Secret Life of Prince Charming by Deb Caletti
Maybe it was wrong, or maybe impossible, but I wanted the truth to be one thing. One solid thing.
Quinn is surrounded by women who have had their hearts broken. Between her mother, her aunt, and her grandmother, Quinn hears nothing but cautionary tales. She tries to be an optimist -- after all, she''s the dependable one, the girl who never makes foolish choices. But when she is abruptly and unceremoniously dumped, Quinn starts to think maybe there really are no good men.
It doesn''t help that she''s gingerly handling a renewed relationship with her formerly absent father. He''s a little bit of a lot of things: charming, selfish, eccentric, lazy...but he''s her dad, and Quinn''s just happy to have him around again. Until she realizes how horribly he''s treated the many women in his life, how he''s stolen more than just their hearts. Determined to, for once, take action in her life, Quinn joins forces with the half sister she''s never met and the little sister she''ll do anything to protect. Together, they set out to right her father''s wrongs...and in doing so, begin to uncover what they''re really looking for: the truth.
Once again, Deb Caletti has created a motley crew of lovably flawed characters who bond over the shared experiences of fear, love, pain, and joy -- in other words, real life.

Lauren already read and reviewed this book, but I just got it from the library, so I may give it a try.

Everything Is Fine by Ann Dee Ellis
Stuck at home caring for her severely depressed mother and abandoned by her father, Mazzy has only the day-to-day dramas of her neighborhood to keep her busy. But between flirting with the boy next door and worrying about the fact that she's flat-chested, Mazzy has to face the fact that her mom is emotionally paralyzed by a family tragedy. As readers delve into the story, they''ll eventually discover what it was that tore Mazzy's family apart, and they''ll see what it takes to put it back together. Despite its serious subject matter, Mazzy brings humor to the trying age of adolescence and gives readers just the kind of awkward, troubled, and endearing character they will gladly embrace.

Right, sounds good, doesn't it? Not a huge fan of the cover, but the description is interesting.

Speed Demon by Erin Lynn
Kenzie's on the fast track- to trouble.
Guys can be annoying, but the demonic kind are the worst...
That is how Kenzie Sutcliffe felt about Levi. He shot out of Kenzie's shower, a.k.a. the demon hole, not too long ago. It was hard for Kenzie to close the portal- it involved her driving the family's minivan into the kitchen. And what thanks does she get for that? She's grounded, not allowed to drive, and getting chauffeured around by a demon whose driver's license is dubious at best. Plus, the demon tells her, when one portal closes- another one opens...
Even though Levi can be a pain, Kenzie just can't let the other demons drag him back to hell. Guess that means it's up to her to save the day...again!

I haven't read the first one, Demon Envy, so I don't know if I'll read this, but we'll see. It sounds a bit... not like my type of book.

The Midnight Twins by Jacquelyn Mitchard
A beautiful and suspenseful tale by a master American novelist, "The Midnight Twins" tells the story of mirror twins born on either side of midnight. After a mysterious and nearly fatal fi re on their thirteenth birthday, Meredith and Mallory Brynn begin having visions: Mallory can see into the past, Meredith can see into the future. But it will take both of them to save their town from a great evil. That is, if their unique powers donat destroy them first.

I got the sequel to this book a couple weeks ago from the library, so figured I better request the first, this one, before reading the sequel. I just got it today.

So yeah. This was my week of books. My foot just fell asleep while typing this up. D: Oh well. Suppose it's worth it.

Review by Alex- Wicked

Wicked: A Pretty Little Liars novel, by Sara Shepard

From amazon: In idyllic Rosewood, Pennsylvania, where Burberry earmuffs keep diamond-studded ears warm, four very pretty girls have done some very wicked things. . . .

High school juniors Hanna, Spencer, Emily, and Aria have paid dearly for their sins. A stalker named "A" terrorized them for months and revealed their darkest secrets. But now that A's true identity has been revealed, the girls can finally go back to their pretty little lives.

Only, once a pretty little liar, always a pretty little liar—and these girls just can't help but be bad. Hanna will do anything to be Rosewood's queen bee. Spencer starts stealing . . . from her parents. Emily can't stop thinking about her new boyfriend. And Aria approves a little too strongly of her mom's taste in men.
As the secrets get darker and the scandals juicier, the consequences turn deadly. After all, girls who forget the past are condemned to repeat it. And in Rosewood, someone is always watching. . . .

This is the 5th book in the Pretty Little Liars series, and it starts a new plot ARC. The old A is dead and gone (literally), but a new one has appeared... Creepy huh?

It's the same four girls but with different problems and a new stalker. Ali's killer is in jail and soon to be on trial. But then he escapes. Each girl has new secrets and the whole novel is shrouded with suspense and worry.

I actually quite like the Pretty Little Liars series. It's interesting, and different. It's normal teen drama with a twist- a serious and creepy twist, but a twist nonetheless. And while all four girls, Hanna, Spencer, Emily, and Aria, are being stalked and still being sent creepy text messages, they have other problems, and those problems don't take a backseat.

And when you think about it, Pretty Little Liars deals with some interesting problems. Spencer is a Supergirl, a girl who needs to be perfect and the best at everything. I read about this in a magazine, and it's almost like an illness. Hanna has a need to be popular, the most popular. Even though she has a great and sweet boyfriend, she longs for girls to gossip and shop with. And she'll sacrifice her boyfriend for it. Emily is dealing with her sexuality- she thought she was a lesbian, but now that she has feelings for a boy, really, what is she? And then Aria just feels like the oddball. She's an artist, and has never fit in, even in elementary school. She feels insecure and lonely a lot, and her recently broken up family is pretty raw.

So yeah, the characters are quite relateable. I don't know if I believe in the plot 100%, because to me, it seems a bit farfetched. But I guess it can happen. Hopefully never to me though. Shudder.

4/6, an entertaining and a bit of an on the edge of your seat read, especially at the end. But I won't spoil that. ;)


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Review by Lauren - Skunk Girl

Alright firstoff, no reviews for a little bit. ONLY BECAUSE:

My English teacher is a huge pain and talked to us for two whole months this semester about Pro-Indo European, and creation. We did nothing, and I mean nothing. We sat in class while he talked about... I really don't even remember. School ends in three weeks, and so far we have read two poems. Now I have 2 books to read at home while we work on Richard III in class and I have to have my summative (20% of my mark) ready in three weeks. On a book we started yesterday.
So I really need to focus on reading those books instead of all these.

I'm really, really sorry (if it's any consolation, Alex is going to shoot me in the head for not reviewing enough already) and I WILL try to fit extra reading in when I think my head will explod, but other than that, I really need to do well in this course because my mark sucks. Seriously.



Skunk Girl by Sheba Karim

amazon summary

Skunk Girl is about a 16-year-old Pakistani girl named Nina who has no life thanks to her parents strict, religious (Muslim) views. She can't date (which extends to talking to boys), go to parties, have sleepovers etc, which has really taken a toll on her social life.

I found Skunk Girl very entertaining and funny. It was so interesting to watch as Nina struggled with trying to fit in in some way and dealing with this adorable Italian boy, Asher, who actually seemed to like her for who she was.

I have no complaints for Skunk Girl. I was entertained the entire time - dying in class to start reading it again. It's nice to have a protagonist that is such an underdog, one you can really relate to - and it's not in some heartbreaking way, like death (I'm not saying that those books aren't good either, this was just a change) and it's just all the little comical things that bring you closer to her.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Booking Through Thursday (2)

What book would you love to be able to read again for the first time?

Umm. I had to think about this one for a while, since I really didn't know how to respond. I can easily read book several times- I'm not one of those people who can only read a book one time and then after that, it's boring since I know what's going to happen. No, if anything, I think a book gets better after several reads.

But, I guess if I had to pick something... Maybe the Harry Potter series or The Mortal Instruments. Harry Potter, because, well, it's Harry Potter and my first time I fell in love. The Mortal Instruments because it would be nice to read again without knowing the ending. Although I still reread both too. Or maybe a mystery book with a surprise ending- I don't really have a book in mind here, but I guess that kind of book would be great to read again for the first time.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (1)

Right. First time doing this, so here it goes!

Front and Center by Catherine Murdock
publishing date: October 19, 2009

After five months of sheer absolute craziness I was going back to being plain old background D.J. In photographs of course I’m always in the background—it’s a family joke, actually, that us Schwenk kids could go to school naked on picture day, we’re all so crazy tall. But I mean I was returning to the background of life. Where no one would really notice me or talk about me or even talk to me much except to say things like “nice shot,” and I could just hang out without too many worries at all.

But, it turns out, other folks have big plans for D.J. Like her coach. College scouts. All the town hoops fans. A certain Red Bend High School junior who’s keen for romance and karaoke. Not to mention Brian Nelson, who she should not be thinking about! Who she is DONE WITH, thank you very much. But who keeps showing up anyway . . .

What’s going to happen if she lets these people down? What’s going to happen when she does? Because let’s face it: there’s no way, on court or off, that awkward, tongue-tied D.J. Schwenk can manage all this attention. No way at all. Not without a brain transplant. Not without breaking her heart.

Summary taken from Catherine Murdock's site.

I can't tell you how excited I am for this book. I LOVE DJ and all the characters. I recently reread Dairy Queen and am still amazed with it, and I now really want to reread The Off Season. So it's fitting that Front and Center is the first WoW here. :D

Oh, and one can read the first chapter of Front and Center at Catherine Murdock's site. :) So yay. October must come soon!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Cover Copies

I'm thinking of making this a semi-usual thing? Maybe? Depends on how often I can find similar covers I guess...

Anyway, the two covers today are...

Now I haven't read either of these, although I wouldn't mind doing so. They seem to both be fast light reads.
As far as I can tell, both characters are dealing with problems- In Shrinking Violets, Teresa is terrified of speaking while Cyrie in At Face Value has her huge nose. So I suppose they really are covering different things- but it looks very close. Both models have long purple turtlenecks pulled up high, although in Shrinking Violets the face of the model is visible while At Face Value's model's isn't.

I guess I prefer At Face Value's cover a bit better. I personally like the chopped off head look in general- more mysterious. But they're both cute looking. :)
There hasn't been much posting because there hasn't been much reading. :( Ah... homework and summatives. How I loathe thee. I did just finish City of Secrets though, so expect a review soon along with Lauren hopefully soon.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Booking Through Thursday

Book Gluttony! Are your eyes bigger than your book belly? Do you have a habit of buying up books far quicker than you could possibly read them? Have you had to curb your book buying habits until you can catch up with yourself? Or are you a controlled buyer, only purchasing books when you have run out of things to read?

XD Ahaha. I wouldn't say I buy too many books, because frankly, I don't have the money, being a teenager and all with no job and no source of income but allowance. I really wish I did though- and if I did have the money, I'd have waaay to many books. They would fill up all of my room, no doubt, with wall to wall shelves, if I could have it my way. But, I do, however, live off my public library, and tend to request way too many. I can never get through them all. >.<

I really only buy books if I can't get them from the library, really really want them, or I can convince my parents to buy them for me on a whim. XD

Review by Alex- The Resistance

The Resistance by Gemma Malley

First off: Warnings for all those who haven’t read the first book, The Declaration. Possible spoilers.

The year is 2140. Having escaped the horrors of Grange Hall, Peter and Anna are living freely on the Outside, trying hard to lead normal lives, but unable to leave the terror of the Declaration--and their experiences as surpluses--completely behind them. Peter is determined to infiltrate Pharma Corporation, which claims to have a new drug in the works; "Longevity+" will not just stop the ravages of old age, it is rumored to reverse the aging process. But what Peter and Anna discover behind the walls of Pharma is so nightmarish it makes the prison of their childhood seem like a sanctuary: for in order to supply Pharma with the building blocks for Longevity+, scientists will need to harvest it from the young. Shocking, controversial, and frighteningly topical, this sequel to Gemma Malley's stellar debut novel, "The Declaration," will take the conversation about ethics and science to the next level.

This is the sequel to The Declaration. I don’t think there will be a third… but who knows. I may have to look into it. But The Resistance ends fine, and while not everything is wrapped up, it’s pretty much settled. So really, there’s no need for a third, but it would be interesting.

So The Resistance is set in the same world as The Declaration. We’ve got Anna and Peter together, with baby Ben, a few months after The Declaration left off. A new character is thrown in- a young Legal, just a little older than Peter. As in, the son from the mistress who made Peter a Surplus by taking his Legal status. This makes Peter and the boy, Jude, half brothers.

Once again, the book is in third person, skipping from person to person. Mostly, the focus is on Anna, Peter, and Jude, with occasional glimpses into Richard Pincent, Peter’s grandfather and leader of Pincent Pharma, and also Pip, leader of the Underground, the group sworn to take down Longevity and all that it stands for.

Each of the young lives are actually quite separate. Peter and Anna live together with Ben. (Which I find a bit weird- they’re so young! Like, my age… I can’t imagine living with a boy now. Plus, they’re young in their world too, compared to all the Legals, all over 100 or whatever. Crazy.) But they don’t actually interact much it seems, since Peter is busy with his new job at Pincent Pharma. Jude doesn’t actually meet either Peter or Anna until later.

I felt the characters were kind of lacking. They were more just like figurines to play out the plot and deliver the theme and messages, which really are the two focus points. There’s nothing much new about the characters so much and I don’t find them all that interesting. But the themes… hoo boy. There’s so much to think about.

It reminded me in ways of The House of Scorpions by Nancy Farmer, which I read a few weeks ago. Old people must rely on young ones to keep them alive. In The House of Scorpions, powerful people make clones of themselves to take organs from when needed. In The Resistance… well I won’t say. It’s pretty terrible though.

Also, I've been thinking... In the post-apocolypse books I've read (really, this means The Chrysalids and The Forest of Hands and Teeth), both societies revert back to religion. Like, it's religion all the way. And then, in The Resistance, there's no religion whatesoever. There's a bit of talk about the lack of religion actually, but no one is actually religious. Why is it that science and religion are always on the opposite sides of the river? I mean, I get it, and in some ways, I wonder why they can't be together... alright ignore me. Now I'm rambling and off pondering.

All in all, great read. It really gets one thinking: about all that stuff that could happen, about social status, about what it means to live, about how to live, and about what it would be like to live in a world like that. The whole thing’s a bit disturbing, and as a young person, I find some of the stuff horrifying, but also extremely interesting, and really worth the read. :)

And I just realised, this was my 75th book read this year! :D Yay. 3/4 of the way there to my 100 book challenge for 2009. I'll make it in no time to 100. If you want to keep up with my progress and see all the books I've read, go here. Lauren's also doing it, and if you want to see how she's doing, you can check out her lj.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Similar book covers!

So, I was in Chapters the other day, and guess what I saw? No, sadly not a famous author, although that would be amazing. And not the manga I wanted either... but I did see two books with eerily similar covers!

I admit, when I saw Flirting With Boys, I did a double take. I was like, Woooah. Haven't I seen that picture somewhere... oh yeah! That Deb Caletti book! XD What a coincidence that Lauren just finished reading The Secret Life of Prince Charming. If you want, check out her review here.

I find it kind of annoying, maybe not annoying, but ummm, I'll take Lauren's word: sad, when books have the same cover. They both just seem so much less original. Alright, guilty. I totally judge a book by its cover. On the plus side, at least the colouring is slightly different. And the title and text. I'd say I prefer Prince Charming, because you can see that they have their hands in each other's back pockets, which is so cute, while you can't in Flirting with Boys.

So that's pretty much all for today. I'm still reading The Resistance. I've actually been getting homework now, so I don't have as much time. I know, teachers right? You'd think they'd let us off easy close to the end of the year, but no. It's tests, summatives, exams, whoohoo! -_- Not so much fun.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Review by Lauren - The Secret Life of Prince Charming


I had mixed feelings about this book. The first half was slow. I was not interested at all. The book is about Quinn and her sister, Charlotte Sprout, who discover that their player of a father has been keeping items from all his old girlfriends - trophies in a sense. They decide to join up with the half sister they've met once to return them.

Yup. That's the book.

The guy shows up just past halfway too which didn't help the beginning at all. I will admit though, he was cute. I loved him for his short stay

I feel as though Deb Caletti is kindof a smaller version of Sarah Dessen (The Truth About Forever, This Lullaby...). The books have similar concepts, the average, flawed protaganist but Caletti's seem to not be quite as real. Her plots also aren't as intriguing as Dessen's.

That's just my opinion though.

On a brighter note, I saw Star Trek and loved it lol.
Everyone thinks I'm nuts though :/
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