Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Beginnings & Endings

This lovely weekly deal is a lovely meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

Books that started and/or ended with a bang? That's the gist of this week's and I'm just going to go with it. I'm going to kind of mesh them together in no particular order, and it's going to be more like awesome or high-impact or crazy or memorable stuff.



1. The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray. Okay, SPOILERS for those who haven't read the Great and Terrible Beauty series. I'll try not to say too much, but you should stop reading NOW. The whole ending with Gemma and Kartik? Wow. I sobbed for weeks, I tell you. I couldn't read another book for weeks, and this was like 6 years ago when I read these. That's how much it sticks with me. It was heartbreaking, but so, so good. 

2. Ruby Red series by Kerstin Gier. Basically these whole books are just killer. It starts off so quickly, and the endings KILL ME. I just want to read the next one already!

3. Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard. I loved the ending of this book. It was so perfect in every way, and it helped that I had just finished a semester of traveling, and it rung so true with me.


4. That Time I Joined the Circus by J.J. Howard. This was a pretty good book, nothing too crazy or extraordinary, but I was SO ANGRY at this ending! I absolutely hated it and was mad at the characters for choosing what they chose to do, and I wanted to throw it.

5. The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett. The beginning was what got me for this one. I've quoted it several times in my review (which you can view by clicking the title). The author's prose is absolutely hysterical, and I was laughing actually at this character's clumsiness and confusion in the beginning, that just started off a great book.

6. Heist Society by Ally Carter. Seriously, though, it's Ally Carter. Of course they begin and end with a bang. This is my favorite by her, though, because of its unique nature and high-paced thrilling steals.

And that's all I'm going to do, because I'm working on setting up another contest after the last one (of which the winner will be announced soon!).
What do you think? Agree, disagree? Link up to your Tuesday posts and I'll go take a look.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Interview with Rachele Alpine

It's Monday here on Happy Book Lovers, and you know what that means! Well, nothing because I don't do anything special on Mondays. But, I did have the chance to have an interview with the lovely Rachele Alpine, author of Canary, which is released on Thursday, August 1!
I've heard excellent things about it — so you can go add it on Goodreads, get it from Barnes and Noble, or check out her extremely elegant website.
1. What was your inspiration behind the book? 

The book started as a project for college.  I was an education major, and I had to research a topic in education and present it in a multi-genre paper (which is a mix of poetry, short stories, art, comics…basically creative forms of expression instead of a standard research paper).  I chose to look at sexual assault in high school and one of the poem that I put into my multi-genre paper became the starting point for Canary.  The story grew from it, and the poem is in the final copy of the book. 
2. What kind of character did you develop Kate to be, and why did you choose that path for her? 
Truthfully, I developed Kate as someone who was a bit weak and was pretty suceptable to peer pressure.  I wanted to show how you could easily get caught up in this world and allow things to happen that you may otherwise not.  It wasn’t until my agent and I worked on revisions together that Kate started to change.  My agent pushed me to make Kate someone who was strong and didn’t think what was happening was right at the start.  She still listened to her friends more than she should have, but she wasn’t a character driven by others and what they wanted her to do.  I love who Kate became.  She spoke up for herself from the start and loves her brother with a fierceness that would make her do pretty much anything for him (which was in the book from the start – her relationship with her brother is one of my favorite parts of the book). 
3. What has been your favorite moment about the book process?
It’s definitely connecting to readers.  I love talking to people who are excited to read Canary and those who have been lucky enough to get an ARC and read it already.  There are few things better in my day than getting an e-mail, tweet, or Facebook message from someone who loves books and reading as much as I do. 
4. Where is your favorite/most productive writing spot? 
I have two writing spots.  In the early morning, I write in my office.  My husband and I were lucky enough to find a house that has an office attached to the first floor.  It has two sky lights, wood floors, and a sliding screen door that looks out onto our backyard (and another door that closes me off from the rest of the house when I need it to be quiet).  I have a bunch of bookshelves in it full of my favorite books and a table I bought years ago that I use as my writing desk. 
In the afternoon, I prefer to go an write at a coffee shop.  I have three favorites around me, and I’ve been known to drive from one to another in order to find the perfect table.  I wrote a lot of Canary at coffee shops and thanked them all in my acknowledgements!  
5. Any future book plans developing? 
Yes! Right now my agent has my first MG novel called Operation Pucker Up.  It’s about a girl who gets the lead in the middle school play and then finds out she has to kiss the male lead. She’s never kissed anyone before, so her friends set out to get her her first kiss before opening night.  The book is really fun and a tribute to my days growing up in theater.
The second book is a YA novel called Back to the Start about a girl’s whose sister goes missing.  The town finds themselves unable to move on without any closure, and the main character is terrified that it’s her fault her sister is gone because of something that she did. 
6. What are three things you can't get enough of right now? 
 — My husband and I are hooked to Twin Peaks.  We’ve never seen it before but find ourselves watching 2-3 episodes a night because we need to find out what happens next.  — Sleep!  It’s summer vacation for me (I teach), so I’ve been catching up on some long lost sleep!
 —  Coffee….wait, what am I talking about.  I’ve been hooked to that for years! 
7. Do you have any writing/working music? What's your favorite?
I always have to write to music.  Right now I’ve been writing to The National, The Civil War, The Swell Season, Coldplay, and Lana Del Ray.  There’s certain songs I’ll put on repeat and listen over and over to for more than an hour if I’m trying to get a certain mood. 
8. Do you have any summer vacation plans? 
Canary is coming out August 1 and I’ll be having a launch party that day.  On August 2, my husband, mom, and I are heading to Boston for a book signing at my favorite bookstore, The Boston Booksmith in Brookline.  I went to graduate school in Boston and try to get back to the city at least every other year.  After my book signing, the three of us will be heading to my Aunt and Uncle’s lake house where I plan to hide out for a week after the book launch and just relax.

Thank you so much to Rachele, and everyone be sure to go check out Canary!
Happy release day (August 1)!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

In My Mailbox (20)

This week was a relatively good week, and then something amazing happened. Just wait.

This is a weekly thingy-jig hosted by these guys.

1. Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas. GUYS. THIS BOOK CAME TO ME MAGICALLY IN THE MAIL VIA THE GUYS AT SIMON & SCHUSTER. I CANNOT EVEN WAIT TO READ THIS AND I LITERALLY HAD A PANIC ATTACK IN MY DRIVEWAY JUMPING UP AND DOWN AT THIS. Okay, but really, I just recently did a WOW post on this, and now, it is MINE.

2. The Longing of Wayward Girls by Karen Brown. I got this from the publisher via Atria Books Galley Alley, where they send out some copies of stuff that's featured at BEA since I wasn't able to go. The cover looks great, and I can't wait to get started.

3. Life's a Witch by Brittany Geragotelis. I know, I know, don't yell at me, but I haven't read What the Spell yet. But I did just pack it in the box of books that's going back to school with me next week. So it's on the way. Thanks to the folks at Simon & Schuster who sent this to me!

4. The Circle by Sara B. Elfgren and Mats Strandberg. This is actually my second copy of this (thanks to those over at Overlook NY!), so you know what that means! GIVEAWAY. That will be shortly, so keep looking for that.

Speaking of giveaways, THERE IS STILL TIME! This one ends soon though, so get your entries in to win an ARC of Imperfect Spiral by Debbie Levy!


Friday, July 26, 2013

Left Drowning Review


Left Drowning by Jessica Park
Publication Date: July 16, 2013
Publisher: Skyscape
Pages: 399
Format Read: eARC via NetGalley

What's it about?

Weighted down by the loss of her parents, Blythe McGuire struggles to keep her head above water as she trudges through her last year at Matthews College. Then a chance meeting sends Blythe crashing into something she didn't expect — an undeniable attraction to a dark-haired senior named Chris Shepherd, whose past may be even more complicated than her own. As their relationship deepens, Chris pulls Blythe out of the stupor she's been in since the night a fire took half her family. She begins to heal, and even, haltingly, to love this guy who helps her find new paths to pleasure and self-discovery. But as Blythe moves into calmer waters, she realizes Chris is the one still strangled by his family's traumatic history. As dark currents threaten to pull him under, Blythe may be the only person who can keep him from drowning. (Summary from Goodreads)

My thoughts

I can honestly say I'm not a fan of New Adult. I haven't found any that focus on storyline instead of sexytimes, and none of them ever seem like compelling stories. This one, however, was different.

We are first introduced to Blythe several years after her parents die in a house fire, and she is still struggling with the guilt she feels. So she stumbles back to her room drunk, and the next morning wakes up early and goes to get several cups of coffee. Enter all the other characters. One steals her coffee, she meets one by the lake, they go to get lunch and meet another. Turns out, all these new friends she just made are siblings. The family dynamic between the four siblings was spot on and absolutely wonderful. They bickered and yelled and teased and loved one another, and a whole story could have been written on them alone.

They have issues of their own, but they being to help Blythe out of the stupor and sadness she's been living in, and they kind of nurture her into their funny little family. Oh, and Blythe has a minor crush on the oldest, Chris (the one she meets by the lake in the beginning). Of course, things start to escalate between the two. But I really like the way their relationship progressed, and I was 100% surprised by some things that happened between them toward the end. The author clearly thought out the novel ahead of time (always a good idea) because there were some turns I was definitely not expecting, but I love that I was shocked.

My other favorite character was Zach, the boyfriend of Eric (one of the siblings). He wasn't directly involved with the family, so he was a little bit of an outsider, like Blythe, and they didn't have a ton of time together, but they managed to have that connection that they were both trying to become a part of the family.

The other thing that really struck me wonderful was the age of all these characters. Blythe and Chris are seniors at university (thank goodness, finally found a book with some older characters). But they've been through so much individually and together, they, along with the sibling, seem much more mature, and actually act like adults. I loved this. Park's writing style was also fantastic, and each chapter fit perfectly into the next, and I could not stop reading. Even at work (whoops).


Talk to me!

How do you feel about New Adult? Are there any you recommend that are actually good stories and not just steamy sex scenes between the bad boy and the virgin?
Have you read Park's other book, Flat-Out Love? I've heard it's awesome but haven't gotten to it yet!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Topics/Words that Make Me NOT Pick Up a Book

These lovely people at The Broke and the Bookish host this every week!

There are several things that make me shriek and hug a book and read it 18,000 times. Then, there are things that make me shriek and throw one back on the shelf. Here are some of those things:

1. Verse/Poetry : I try. I try to like verse. I just don't. Even in my literature classes at school. I hate it. I can't read meter properly and I just don't enjoy reading it. Especially not as much as prose. 
2. Pregnancy/Motherhood : I am so very far away from this, and it's not something I'm even remotely interested in reading about. At all.
3. Vampires : There was that whole craze. Once. I read the Sookie books, I did some Ann Rice, and a few other ones that turned out to be great. But, I think Twilight killed it for me. That book was so badly written it pushed me to the extreme, and now I avoid vampire books at all costs. 
4. Vernacular/Casual dialect : GUYS, I HATE THIS. When people speak with two letter words with 3 apostrophes. I can't tell what words they are, and I don't want to have to work to read a simple paragraph. This is one of the biggest turn offs for me. 
5. Grief/Death : Now this one is different. I will read these books. But it's not something I run to. I like when characters die at the end, it makes the story heartfelt. But at the beginning, dealing with one living with a friend who died or grieving in some way for the whole book just makes me sad. And I'm a happy book lover (see what I did there?). 
6. Complicated Worlds : I love a good fantasy. But generally I won't pick one up unless I love the author or hear excellent things from a lot of people. It's difficult to create whole universes, and I can't handle muddling through a confusing and poorly written one.

So this isn't really top 10, just 6. I read pretty much anything, but these are the few things that make my face cringe and I want to run away and get something else. 
What about you all? What makes you grimace in books? Also, based on my list, am I missing something amazing because I probably won't pick it up?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Weight of Water

The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan
Publication Date: January 5, 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Pages: 240
Keywords: immigration, growing up, family
Format Read: NetGalley

Summary: Armed with a suitcase and an old laundry bag filled with clothes, Kasienka and her mother head for England. Life is lonely for Kasienka. At home her mother's heart is breaking and at school friends are scarce. But when someone special swims into her life, Kasienka learns that there might be more than one way for her to stay afloat. 

This will be a fairly short review. It was a short book written in verse, so I went through it pretty quickly. And I'm also not really sure what to say.

I didn't really feel connected to any of the characters. Kasienka's mother made them move from Poland to England in search of their father, who walked out on the family years (I'm assuming) earlier. (A lot is left unexplained, so we have to assume quite a bit, and I'm certainly not sure if I'm correct ever.) Kasienka clearly doesn't want to be there. She is placed a grade lower than she should be, and she feels like others think she's stupid. So instead of speaking up, she is quiet. Which, I've never been an immigrant, so I don't really know, but I feel like if you truly wanted a change, you could say something.

And the summary kind of misleads the relationship Kasienka finds. She meets a boy named William at the pool where she swims. They don't really talk until halfway through, then they are just kind of an awkward middle school couple, not really a thing but they try to kiss and hold hands some. It's fine, but I wasn't drawn into their relationship either.

I just didn't really feel much of anything reading this. I didn't hate it, but it wasn't extraordinary. It was rather dull and strange, and I wasn't really sure what was happening sometimes.

Read when: Well, honestly, I would say pick something else. But if you really really like verse, I suppose give this a go.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Breathe

Breathe by Abbi Glines
Publication Date: June 4, 2013 (first pub. May 16, 2011)
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 334
Keywords: summer, music, forbidden love
Format Read: paperback from publisher in exchange for honest review (thank you!)

Summary: Sadie White's summer job is at the beach, but she won't be working as a lifeguard. Since her mom is pregnant and refuses to work, Sadie will be taking over as a domestic servant for a wealthy family on a nearby island. When the family arrives at their summer getaway, Sadie is surprised to learn that the owner of the house is Jax Stone, one of the hottest teen rockers in the world. If Sadie were normal — if she hadn't spent her life raising her mother and taking care of the house — maybe she'd be excited about working for a rock star. But she's not.
Even though Sadie isn't impressed by Jax's fame, he is drawn to her. Everything about Sadie fascinates Jax, but he fights his attraction: Relationships never work in his world, and as badly as he wants Sadie, he believes she deserves more. Yet as the summer stretches on, Jax's passion leaves him breathless — and Sadie feels like the only source of oxygen.

I must have this for my Goodreads shelf! I need to go to Abbi's website!

This was my very first read from this highly discussed "New Adult" genre thing going on. And I have to say, for the most part, I approve. Greatly. I definitely liked reading about a more mature character (though still in high school, she was a senior and had been taking care of her mother, so she behaved like an adult) who was dealing with more mature and difficult problems. There were also actual adult characters who played more of a role than just a side character (Ms. Mary and Mr. Gregg), and I really enjoyed their relationships they developed with Sadie as they took her under their wings at the Stone's house.

Now getting to the actual story — it was compelling and interesting, and I definitely wasn't bored. Though there were a few points that made me want to hurl (Jax saying that Sadie was his "air" because he needed her around all the time was super cheesy. I mean, really.), it was a good plot with realistic (minus the "air" thing) qualities. I was one of the ones who felt bad for Marcus, Sadie's friend. I just, wanted a happier ending for him I think. Which, there is a second book that focuses on him, so I'll definitely be reading that. And the sex stuff — I mean, that's really the definer for this genre apparently — was fine for the most part. I did feel like a few scenes were forced and just there to be there, but the others were incorporated well.

What I liked most was Sadie's mature character, and how she was dealing with a lot more than most people ever could imagine. That's why I was drawn into this book. Not to mention the quick feel and fun summer fling aspect of it all.

And a big thumbs up to the cover. I'm definitely a fan.

Read When: You want a summer romance that's both sweet and steamy.

Also, don't forget you can win an ARC of Imperfect Spiral by Debbie Levy right here!


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Blog Tour: Imperfect Spiral + CONTEST

Welcome to the blog tour for Imperfect Spiral!
Below you will find the book's info, a summary, my personal review, and a CONTEST to win your own ARC of Imperfect Spiral to read for yourself!

Imperfect Spiral by Debbie Levy
Publication Date: July 16, 2013
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Pages: 352
Keywords: summer, grief, healing
Format Read: ARC from publisher for blog tour in exchange for honest review (thank you!)

Summary: Danielle Snyder's summer job as a babysitter takes a tragic turn when Humphrey, the 5-year-old boy she's watching, runs in front of oncoming traffic to chase down his football. Immediately Danielle is caught up in the machinery of tragedy: police investigations, neighborhood squabbling, and, when the driver of the car that struck Humphrey turns out to be an undocumented alien, outsiders use the accident to further a politically charged immigration debate. Wanting only to mourn Humphrey, the sweet kid she had a surprisingly strong friendship with, Danielle tries to avoid the world around her. Through a new relationship with Justin, a boy she meets at the park, she begins to work through her grief, but as details of the accident emerge, much is not as it seems. It's time for Danielle to face reality, but when the truth brings so much pain, can she find a way to do right by Humphrey's memory and forgive herself or his death?


Levy tackled the process of grief and tragedy so well. I was amazed at how deep this book went into Danielle's summer and dealing with the loss of Humphrey, as well as battling through all the town's feelings and opinions on the matter. The book begins about 40 seconds after the accident, with Danielle experiencing everything as if it's in slow motion. From there, we see her life after the accident mixed with chapters of her adventures with Humphrey before he died.

And let me just say, what an interesting kid. He was one of those children that was totally believable as a child, but at the same time, he posed interesting questions to Danielle and always wanted to learn more and grow (all while running around an imaginary place called Thrumble-Boo). He helped her make realizations about her own life and growing up even though he was only 5.

Not only does Levy write a story about grief, she also weaves it in with the "life around you goes on" sort of theme. While Danielle just wants someone to ask her about the darling child she knew, the town is in an outrage because the driver was an illegal alien. So now, on top of grieving, Danielle is receiving phone calls and is asked to be interviewed on her opinions on illegal immigrants, and whether or not she thinks it would have saved Humphrey's life if the town had done anything about it. She handles the situation well, trying to avoid the nosy townsfolk as best she can.

It was a pretty predictable book, but not in a bad way. I knew Danielle was eventually going to come to some sort of terms with her grief and with Humphrey's memory, but I wasn't sure how. This was a genuinely lovely book about sadness and moving on. And the cover art goes so perfectly with the story, I truly love it.

Read When: You want to break out of the traditional beach summer novel and are ready for a little seriousness and sweetness.


Win a copy for yourself!


And a happy release day to Debbie Levy and Imperfect Spiral. Don't forget to enter the contest to grab your own copy!

Need a copy, like, RIGHT NOW?! Add it to your Goodreads, or buy it via Barnes & Noble.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

In My Mailbox (19)

This is a weekly thing done over here by these guys! — MPB

I had a pretty good week as far as books go. Purchased some and got some and several NetGalley things came through, so here we go!

1. Breathe by Abbi Glines. I got this from the publisher, and I'm so stoked I got the first one to review. I've heard absolutely amazing things, so I can't wait to get started on this one.

2. Golden Boy by Tara Sullivan. The author herself sent me this SIGNED copy (thank you SO much!), and the cover looks fantastic!

3. The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen. I bought this to add to my Dessen collection. I'm still sad about the new covers because they don't match my old school ones, but that's okay because I'm sure I'll still love this.

4. Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland. In a moment of weakness, I grabbed this at the bookstore, too because of all the great things I've heard via YOU GUYS out here on the blogverse.

5. Ostrich by Matt Greene. I don't know a whole lot about this one, but the cover was really bright on NetGalley, so I clicked it.

6. Friday Night Alibi by Cassie Mae. This is a New Adult title on NetGalley, and I haven't tried out the genre yet, but soon.

7. Arrow of the Mist by Christina Mercer. This has great reviews on Goodreads, so I'm glad NetGalley came through approved. Also this one has a cool cover.

8. The Pool Theory by Alexa Nazzaro. Another cool cover one I broke down and requested.

What did you all get? Send me some links and I'll go check it out!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Bittersweet

Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler
Publication Date: January 3, 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 378
Keywords: ice skating, hockey, baking, winter
Format Read: library book
Other Books Read by Author: Twenty Boy Summer

Summary: Once upon a time, Hudson knew exactly what her future looked like. Then a betrayal changed her life, and knocked her dreams to the ground. Now she's a girl who doesn't believe in second chances... a girl who stays under the radar by baking cupcakes at her mom's diner and obsessing over what might have been. 
So when things start looking up and she has another shot at her dreams, Hudson is equal parts hopeful and terrified. Of course, this is also the moment a cute, sweet guy walks into her life... and starts serving up some seriously mixed signals. She's got a lot on her plate, and for a girl who's been burned before, risking it all is easier said than done.
It's time for Hudson to ask herself what she really wants, and how much she's willing to sacrifice to get it. Because in a place where opportunities are fleeting, she knows this chance may very well be her last. 

Nothing like a good ice skating/hockey story to cool off the summer. This book had many great things going for it, so I'm going to break it down by subject.
Storyline — Tons of points for having a one-of-a-kind topic to talk about. Hudson had a reputation at school for baking stellar cupcakes, but she also used to compete in figure skating competitions. So she was practicing in secret and is actually mauled over by Josh B., a star hockey player at her school. They become friends, and she starts training with the team, trying to help their game improve, all while rocking it out at her mom's diner and keeping up with the cupcakes. A teeny bit predictable, but hey, I really didn't care because of the interesting frontline anyway.

Characters — I really liked the dynamic with Hudson and the hockey team. It wasn't just she knew Josh and Will and that was it. She bonded with the whole team, and they had parties together, and there was such a great group energy with all of them together. Of course, I was annoyed with Hudson for the way she treated her best friend Dani toward the middle of the book, but we were clearly supposed to be annoyed. And then there's the whole Will/Josh fiasco that made me want to punch them all, but I was still okay with it because I knew that was the way we were supposed to feel.

Other stuff — I did feel a little bad for Hudson because her mom pinned so much on her. She was in charge of paying the babysitter to watch her little brother, running the diner, and paying the bills (one of which she missed and got yelled at for it). Just seemed like a lot on her plate, and I wanted to give her a break. But I was proud of Hudson's growth and realization, all that cool stuff. Writing was excellent (not that I'd expect anything less), and I enjoyed the whole thing.

Final Consensus: Worth the time, buy if you're a Sarah Ockler fan.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (2)

This is another internet thing about book things over at this thing (Jill @ Breaking the Spine)!


Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas


It feels like everyone on the internet managed to get an ARC of this book, and I can't locate one anywhere! Either way, I've only heard fabulous things about it. It's girl's best friend gets murdered, girl tries to figure out what happened, people start accusing said girl. Exciting stuff. Also, it takes place on their Spring Break, so it's a nice paradise-y feel. Minus all the murder. 

It's being published July 16, and I'm definitely going to get my hands on a copy. Here are some links to places like adding it on Goodreads or listening to an excerpt from the book!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Movie Adaptations

This weekly happening is hosted over at the Broke and the Bookish.

So this week's theme can either be best movie adaptations or worst movie adaptations. I'm going to do an amalgamation of the two.

Worst Movie Adaptations.


1. Bridge to Terabithia (2007) — IMDB
Sorry Josh Hutcherson, you know I love you (even though you're a UK fan), but this movie sucked. The 1985 version was equally bad, but it was also the 80s, so it's sort of allowed. By 2007, you should be able to do cool effects and at least make the movie semi-interesting.

2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009) — IMDB
I LOVE Harry Potter. So don't get me wrong. I'm not here to bash on the series. It's great and I will forever love them. However, this book was my very favorite, and the movie just did not do it justice. Hear me out — I don't need it to be perfectly lined up with the book. But the whole movie was set in a comedic romantic fashion, and Harry Potter lost most of that after the third book. The sixth book was dark, secret-revealing, and mysterious, and the movie just did not express that at all. Now, I still enjoy the movie. But as far as book adaptation? Generally, as far as HP goes, I'm not super picky. But this one? Not good.

Best Movie Adaptations.


3. The Hunger Games (2012) — IMDB
I told myself I wasn't going to use this one because a lot of other bloggers probably have this on their list. But honestly? This movie was just too damn good not to use. I loved the quick pace, the shaky camera, and the costumes — THE COSTUMES. Sure, there were a few little things (like I wish they would have upped the creepy factor of Snow and played up how people were reacting and rebelling a bit more), but this movie kicked ass. Just like Jennifer Lawrence (way to rep, Louisville!).

4. Pride and Prejudice (2005) — IMDB
Okay, before you all start yelling that I put this one on here and not the BBC kind, I love them both so so much. I mean, Colin Firth. But, I didn't want to use two whole slots for the same book, so I picked one. And frankly, this one gets a nudge over the other one because I get too antsy and can't sit through the other one in one sitting. But they're both wonderful.

5. Matilda (1996) — IMDB
One of my favorite movies and books as a kid. Roald Dahl could do no wrong, and neither can this movie. Also, FYI, the new musical is FANTASTIC.


6. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) — IMDB
This movie was phenomenal. Hands down. And even though you could tell Emma had a teensy bit of trouble with an American accent every once in a while, it was still so great. The acting, set,  and not to mention the soundtrack

7. The Prestige (2006) — IMDB
This movie is... just... AH. Words cannot describe. It's in my top 5 all-time favorites. (Along with Remember the Titans, The Breakfast Club, Dead Poet's Society, and the Princess Bride). So good.

8. Fight Club (1999) — IMDB
Chuck Palahniuk is genius. And so is this adaptation. End of story.


9. Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001) — IMDB
Obviously these are on here. Just way too good to not be.

10. The Princess Bride (1987) — IMDB
As you wish.

What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Turtles? I love comments, so leave me one!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

In My Mailbox (18)

This is a thing hosted over at the Mod Podge Bookshelf.
The lovely people over at Simon & Schuster and Bloomsbury are wonderful to me! I am so lucky to get all these books for review:

1. The Uprising by Lisa M. Stasse. This cover is extremely cool, and I didn't know it was a sequel to The Forsaken, which I also actually own. I may have to get on these.

2. Imperfect Spiral by Debbie Levy. I'm actually participating in the blog tour for this one in about a week and a half, so keep an eye out for that. Super sad so far, kind of like a "Rabbit Hole" thing (this play is fabulous by the way. go read it).

3. Precious Blood by Tonya Hurley. I think this is the amalgamation of the first two Blessed series. I haven't read either, so we'll see.

4. Taste Test by Kelly Fiore. Not pictured. This was a NetGalley, and I'll be reviewing it for its blog tour at the beginning of August. I flew through it, and have many good things to say! The cover is also super cute — find it on Goodreads.

What did everyone else get?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Sapphire Blue

Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier (Ruby Red Trilogy #2)
Publication Date: October 31, 2012
Publisher: Square Fish
Pages: 384
Keywords: time travel, historical fiction, London
Format Read: library book
Other books read by author: Ruby Red (#1)

This is a sequel that will contain spoilers if you haven't read the first book. See above link and go there first if that's what you want. 

Summary: Gwen's life has been a rollercoaster since she discovered she was the Ruby, the final member of the secret time-traveling Circle of Twelve. In between searching through history for the other time-travelers and asking for a bit of their blood, she's been trying to figure out what all the mysteries and prophecies surrounding the Circle really mean. 
At least Gwen has plenty of help. Her best friend Lesley follows every lead diligently on the Internet. James the ghost teaches Gwen how to fit in at an eighteenth century party. And Xemerius, the gargoyle demon who has been following Gwen since he caught her kissing Gideon in a church, offers advice on everything. Oh, yes. And of course there is Gideon, the Diamond. One minute he's very warm indeed; the next he's freezing cold. Gwen's not sure what's going on there, but she's pretty much destined to find out. 

Once again, this was so amazing, I finished it in the course of a day. Once I got started, I could not put it down. At the beginning of the book, Gwen and Gideon are searching for one time traveler to get some blood, but run into other ones instead, and now the guardians are convinced they're the ones out to stop the Circle from being completed. I'm still not sure how I feel about all this — on one hand, it sort of makes sense, but on the other, I'm definitely skeptical. I love how the author gives clues and enough information to not be enraging, but I'm still in the dark on some of the mysteries. That's what makes the book so compelling.

And Charlotte is still a deliciously evil character, I LOVE it. She's always plotting against her cousin (still pissed it's not her doing all this cool shit), and now that Gwen was kissing Gideon, Charlotte makes sure to but in on that part of her life as well. As for Gideon, still an excellent companion to the protagonist, but there was a spin at the end of the book. And I'm not sure what I think yet. It's almost like a Pretty Little Liars deal going on up in here — what with all the double-teaming and turning on people and confusion and mystery as to who's actually doing what.

Read When: You are in the mood for some kick-butt protagonist girl action with a historical and romantic spin.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday

This is another internet thing about book things over at this thing (Jill @ Breaking the Spine)!

Alienated by Melissa Landers


This is about ALIENS. As FOREIGN EXCHANGE STUDENTS. Seriously. How much cooler can this book get? Like, this girl gets one as a student and will be living with her, so everyone else should be jealous because he's living with her! Right? WRONG. As soon as he visits, something happens and now everyone's all suspicious of everything and no one wants to trust anyone anymore. Oh, and OF COURSE, she starts to like this alien guy. I mean, who else has written about an alien as a foreign exchange student?! NO ONE. (Okay, maybe one person ever, but I haven't heard of them, and I'm betting you haven't, either)

And if this book didn't seem cool enough already, the cover is great. It reminds me of Pushing Daisies (remember that show? I'll still argue it was the best show on television. Other than Firefly). But with ALIENS. 

I'm obsessed. What about you? Need more? Here's some links to places like Melissa Landers' website, adding the book to Goodreads, or seriously go watch some full episodes of Pushing Daisies because I'm appalled you don't know what it is.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Intimidating Books

This is a list-thing (I LOVE lists!) hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Most Intimidating Reads


1. Under the Dome by Stephen King. This one was on my list last week. I'm in the process of reading it. It's 1072 pages. I'm intimidated by it because of the sheer volume. The first night I started reading it, I dropped it on my face, and it gave me a bruise. That's a lot of pages.

2. A Song of Ice and Fire (a.k.a. Game of Thrones series) by George R.R. Martin. My brother has all of these and has read them all, loves them. I'm scared by these because of all the people I have to keep track of doing things and going places and getting them all confused. Just sounds like a lot of brain power for my summer vacation.

3. Divergent by Veronica Roth. I know, not intimidating in the traditional sense. But I haven't read it yet, and I get nervous because of all the hype that surrounds it. I want it to be as good as I think it will be in my head, and for that, I am intimidated. 




4. Charlaine Harris' Sookie series. I'm 4 books into this, but the amount of books that follow are scary.

5. House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski. For anyone that's not heard of this, the writing in the book changes colors, switches direction, and is some of the most ridiculous, cool looking stuff I've ever seen. The book is excellent so far, though.

6. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larson. Another series that just seems so good but a difficult one to read/get into with my limited free time.  


7. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. I'm scared my brain won't get it or understand. 

And these last 3 are going to be books that have been on my TBR pile for WAY too long, but for some reason I just can't start them.

8. Nevermore by Kelly Creagh. I love me some Edgar Poe. So I really don't know.

9. The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I have ZERO excuse for not having read this yet.

10. Blood Red Road by Moira Young. I've heard great things, and I don't know why I haven't picked it up yet.

And now that I've typed this out, I realize I OWN all these books. This is ridiculous. Who thinks I need to suck it up and just read these bad boys? Anyone still a little scared (like me) though?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Where I Belong

Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley
Publication Date: February 8, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 289
Keywords: New York, Texas, journey
Format Read: library book

Summary: Meet Corrinne. She's living every girl's dream in New York City — shopping sprees at Barneys, open access to the best clubs and parties, and her own horse at the country club. Her perfect life is perfectly on track. At least it was. 
When Corrinne's father is laid off, her world suddenly falls apart. Instead of heading to boarding school, she's stripped of her credit cards and shipped off to the boonies of Texas to live with her grandparents. On her own in a big public school and forced to take a job shoveling manure, Corrinne is determined to get back to the life she's supposed to be living. She doesn't care who she stomps on in the process. But when Corrinne makes an unlikely friend and discovers a total hottie at work, she begins to wonder if her life B.R. — before the recession — was as perfect as it seemed. 

This was your basic "girl gets thrown in a different world and at first has a hard time but learns to love it" book. Basic plot line that was cute and fun. What made the majority of this book good was Heasley's writing. The style was so easy to read, minus the texts and emails (I still hate all the abbreviations. It drives me mad, and I wish they would all just disappear — ruins the flow of the words), and the general story flowed nice and quickly. The plot was definitely predictable, but not in a terrible way. I just figured certain things would happen — and they did — but there were some interesting things along the way as well.

As far as Corrinne herself, she was a super stuck-up and prissy girl in the first half of the book, as expected. But I still was frustrated when she didn't want to be friends with Kitsy (a lovely girl who talks to her in Texas) or Bubby (could we have given him a different name? I got used to it, but still found it a little weird for a person), a football player who befriends her as well. She was rude and despicable toward them, even though it wasn't their fault she got thrown to Texas.

And as for her friend Waverly — her NY friend who comes to visit toward the end of the book — I'm kind of angry with how things worked out between those two. I won't say anything more, other than that she hated Texas and just made fun of Corrinne all the time and all the people in it, when Corrinne is doing really well and making her life better by getting involved. Waverly was so irritating, and I wanted her to go away.

This reminded me of That Time I Joined The Circus in that the ending made me extremely angry and I don't agree with anyone's choices. But that's just me. Maybe you all feel differently?

This was another light summer read, perfect for when you're in a "girl-has-to-figure-out-how-to-adapt-to-new-life-and-meet-nice-boys" kind of reading mood.