Hiatus!


I just wanted everyone to know that I'm not going to be able to get online until July 5! I'm leaving to go on a beach retreat with my youth group at church. (: But please keep on following the site and commenting! Hopefully I'll be able to post much more once I get back. Just wanted everyone to know, so you know why I won't be posting until July 5. Hope everyone is having a great summer so far, and not getting too sunburned
:P

Waiting On Wednesday: And Then Everything Unraveled


This week's WoW book is And Then Everything Unraveled by Jennifer Sturman! It will be released on July 1, 2009.

Description from Amazon:
Delia Truesdale has no idea her life's about to change forever. She's too busy enjoying the California summer. Her internet tycoon mother, T.K. Truesdale, is out of town, and that means Delia can spend all her time at the beach, surfing. That is, until everything unravels.

Her mother suddenly goes missing, and everyone thinks she's dead - excpet Delia, who knows T.K.'s way too organized to simply disappear. But Delia's still sent to New York to live with her two aunts - a downtown bohemian and an uptown ice queen.

And in case that's not bad enough, she also has to deal with a snooty new school and trying not to fall for the wrong guy. Oh, and finding her mother.

As she delves deeper into the tangle of conspiracies and lies surrounding T.K.'s disappearance, Delia begins to suspect that the wrong guy may be the right guy...and that some secrets - especially the dangerous ones - were never meant to be unraveled.

I think this looks interesting. A missing mother and romance problems..you don't read a book like that every day. :) RELEASED ON JULY 1, 2009!


Becoming Chloe by Catherine Hyde


Title: Becoming Chloe
Author: Catherine Ryan Hyde

Published: November 2008 by Knopf Books

My Rating: 4 stars
Tags: YA | Realistic
Includes: Profanity, Sexual Content, Homosexuality

First Lines: The cellar has five high windows that let out onto the alley between this building and the next. I'm trying to get some sleep, only there are people having sex out there.



The first time I heard about this book was while reading a review for it on a book blog. Basically, the reader fell in love and obsessed over this book. So, I thought, what the heck, why don't I read it too?

During the first few chapters, I wasn't very impressed. It didn't seem like the story was going anywhere. The two main characters, Jordan and Chloe, were introduced during the opening of the book - which just happened to be during a rape scene. These two teenagers live in a basement of an abandoned building in New York City. The story progresses to reveal that Jordan, or "Jordy", is homeless and gay, and that Chloe is different from everyone else. I waited and waited to read about the "horrible events" that had messed Chloe up in the head, but the author never included them, which disappointed me. Also, you never exactly understand why Chloe talks and acts like a little kid, or mentally handicapped. Finally, after about halfway through the book, it picks up...majorly.

Jordy and Chloe decide to go on a huge road trip around the United States, to try and figure out if the world is a beautiful place or not. It was incredible reading about the sights, sounds, and smells of all of the landmarks the teens visited. While they were at Niagara Falls, I could just imagine myself standing right next to them. Catherine Hyde did such a fantastic job of writing their adventures, that I wonder if she actually visited the places herself! The book continues with the rest of their journey and their new outlook on life at the end.

From Page 103
The boat is rocking gently under our feet, and the mist is hitting our faces, and it makes Chloe laugh. The hands-on nature of the whole experience just makes her laugh out loud. Fills her with too much joy to contain, and that's what she does to release the balance.

For some reason, I feel like I read two different stories put together. I didn't like the first half, but just adored the second half. By the end of the book, Jordan seems like a completely different person - philosophical, mature, and practically a father to Chloe. I think that the book had a great moral to it - about the true beauty of the world if you take the time to look hard enough. I loved the diverse characters that Chloe and Jordy met along the way; they were all so different and had their own story. I think it was a creative way to show variety through so many different people that offered to help them get to their destinations by hitchhiking.

From Page 120
The next ride we get is from a lady wearing two big puffy ski parkas. One right over the other, even though it's really not all that cold. Then I notice that she has about five Fleet enemas sitting on the dashboard. Right in their boxes. She also has three troll dolls pasted to the dashboard. She tells us that the trolls ward off evil spirits.

One thing that really confused me about this book was the strange sentence structure at times. (Mostly during the first half.) A lot of the characters that were adults talked as if they were ten years old sometimes. I had trouble following along with their conversations, and found it a little awkward at times.

From Page 98
"Is there a campground that you know of?"
"Oh, yes, there are a couple. But one is much better than the other," Adele says. "Make sure you get the good one. We have to make sure they get the good one, Fred. Fred, go get the map and show him how to get to the good one."

But overall, I really liked this book. It didn't make a big impact on my life nor is it one of my favorite reads, but I am glad that I took the time to read it. I'm just warning you now that if you don't enjoy the first chapters, give it a chance! Halfway through, it becomes addicting and wonderful. I think I'll definitely remember this book for a long time and see what else Catherine Ryan Hyde has written.
Book Supplied by: Author, for review.

Judge A Cover: Secrets To Happiness


We all know the saying, "Don't judge a book by its cover." But to me, a cover has a big impact on the book. It's what makes me either pick it up on the bookstore shelves, or just walk on by.

So tell me. If you saw this book, Secrets to Happiness by Sarah Dunn, would you pick it up off the shelves to take a closer look? Or just ignore it?

Personally, I'm a sucker for cute puppies :) If I saw this at the store, I would most definitely pick it up and read the back cover/inside flap. I also like the grass background behind white text.

Waiting On Wednesday: Prism


This week's WoW book is Prism by Faye and Aliza Kellerman. It will be released on June 23, 2009.

Description from Amazon:

Prism takes us to a slightly alternate universe in which medicine and health care do not exist, and in which sick people are allowed to die without any care. Set in New Mexico and California, the novel features three teens who fall through a cave at Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico while on a field trip. They are plunged into a frightening parallel universe—seven weeks in the past, in which their "normal" worlds of family and high school remain the same…except for the fact that no medicine exists and when people die in the street they are picked up and disposed of.

I think that this sounds really interesting! A world with no health care?! That'd be so freaky.. Also, this is Faye Kellerman's first young adult book, and she wrote it with her daughter! Definitely can't wait for this one to come out later this week. RELEASED ON JUNE 23, 2009.

We've got a winner!


YAY my first contest/giveaway has been an awesome success! Hopefully there will be many more to come, and even better prizes for all of you amazing followers and readers of my blog :) I have a few extra books that I'm going to make into giveaways for this summer - so be on the look out for those. Plus, I might have a semi-big contest of books and summer swag! You'll have to wait and see ;]

Okay enough beating around the bush... I bet you want to know who the winner of the hardcover book Hoot by Carl Hiassen is, right? Then I shall tell you. (:

Ohh let me just tell you guys the fantastic stats. I was thrilled at how many entries I got, which was 71; out of the 40 people that entered! Whoo I love you people. Okay well after putting in all of the names in random.org, this is what came up.

The winner is...



Congrats! I just sent an email to you, so you have 48 hours (2 days) to reply or else the book goes to the next on the list. Thanks everyone for participating!!


On My Bookshelf (4)


(Originally by The Story Siren, as "In My Mailbox.") On My Bookshelf is used to share what books I bought from the store, won, or got from the library this week. It's by no means to brag, just to let you know what to expect me to read next.



Follow Me by Joanna Scott! I won this book from a blogger's contest and I just LOVE the cover. You can read the summary of it here. It was published April 22, 2009; so it's still a new book. My copy is a hardcover and it's thickkk! I think there is almost 500 pages?

Love You Hate You Miss You by Elizabeth Scott! This used ARC copy was given to me by Abby. You can read the description of it here. This is also a new book - it was published on May 26, so not even 3 weeks ago! It is young adult, and near the top of my TBR pile.

Testimony by Anita Shreve! This book was published in October 2008 by Little Brown and Company. It's a pretty thick paperback. You can read the summary of it here. I've heard a lot of talk about this book, good and bad, so I'm not really sure when I'll start reading it.

**These next 3 Catherine Ryan Hyde books were sent to me from herself. Thanks Catherine!**

The Day I Killed James by Catherine Hyde! This is a young adult book published in May 2008. You can read about it here. I think this looks really good and I can't wait to read it.

Becoming Chloe by Catherine Hyde! I have read WONDERFUL reviews about this book, not one of them bad. You can read the description of it here. It's also young adult and published in November 2008. I'm currently reading this book.

Diary of a Witness by Catherine Hyde! This is an ARC copy that will be released on August 25, 2009.You can read a little bit about it here. Since it won't be published until two months from now, I'll probably read it and post my review about it near the end of July/beginning of August. It's also young adult.

Sarah Quigley's awesome present!


I've been getting little presents in the mail these past few weeks ever since I made this blog - usually they are books from other bloggers, paperbackswap, or authors/publishers.

So.. last night when a small, light package was found sitting on my doorstep, I wondered what it could be. After ripping it open (plus looking at the return address :P) I knew it was the awesome gift from Sarah Quigley! Sarah is the author of TMI, which I haven't read yet but really want to.

I bet you're wondering what the gift was, right? ;] ...a knitted NOSE WARMER :) I had never seen or heard of these adorable things before, but after looking them up on Google Images I was excited to have my own, haha. So here I am with my awesome nose warmer...too bad summer just arrived; and some bookmarks she also gave me.











I tried putting it on my cat, Mittens, but it didn't work out too well. Here was his reaction:












So thank you Sarah! Even though my sister keeps calling me "Pig Nose" because I wear it around the house when I'm bored :] Everyone - go get her book!

Evermore by Alyson Noel


Title: Evermore: The Immortals
Author: Alyson Noel

Published: February 2009 by St. Martin's Griffin

My Rating: 4 stars
Tags: YA | Fantasy | Romance | Series (Book One)
Includes: Profanity, Sexual Content, Alcohol Abuse, Homosexuality

First Lines: "Guess who?" Haven's warm, clammy palms press hard against my cheeks as the tarnished edge of her silver skull ring leaves a smudge on my skin.



Ever is a depressed sixteen-year old who lives with her aunt. Besides the fact that her parents, sister, and dog died in a car accident; that she can see people's auras; and that she can hear everyone's thoughts, she's a pretty normal teenager. Oh, and she can talk to her dead little sister, too.

From Page 3
I wasn't always a freak. I used to be a normal teen. The kind of who went to school dances, had celebrity crushes, and was so vain about my long blond hair I wouldn't dream of scraping it back into a ponytail and hiding beneath a big hooded sweatshirt. I was popular, happy, and could hardly wait for junior year to begin since I'd just made varsity cheerleader.

Ever now lives with the guilt that she caused her family's deaths, and tries her best to block out the world with her hooded sweatshirts and blaring iPod. Then, Damen, a new student shows up at school. Who just happens to be mysterious, charming, and extraordinarily handsome. All of the girls drool over him. Except for Ever. She keeps her distance and refuses to associate herself with him, even after her two best friends Miles and Haven urge her to go talk to him. Until one day, when Ever finally takes a good look at him the first thing she notices...she can't read his thoughts or see his aura!

From Page 11
Damen is undeniably beautiful, with his shiny dark hair that hits just shy of his shoulders and curves around his high sculpted cheekbones. But when he looks at me, when he lifts his dark sunglasses and meets my gaze, I see that his almond shaped eyes are deep, dark, and strangely familiar, framed by lashes so lush they almost seem fake.

Wherever Ever goes, Damen seems to be there too, with a tulip in hand. And even as she does her best to stay away, she finds herself drawn to him and falling for him. However the more she learns about his past and secrets, she's not so sure he is who she thinks he is...

This novel was really unpredictable, which I love to find in a book. I'd make a prediction with what would happen next, and end up being wrong. I've also never read a story about a psychic teenager who can talk to her dead sister, which was also pretty interesting. :) I thought that the storyline was very creative and well-thought out. I liked the diversity of personalities for all of the characters, too - especially Miles, her gay best friend, and Haven, her gothic other best friend.

However, I think that the first half of the book was much better than the second half. Throughout the story, the author plants many questions in the reader's head about who Damen really is. Even after finishing the book, I still had a lot of questions that were unanswered. Hopefully I'll understand better in the sequel. Also, it seemed like too much information was suddenly shoved down my throat during the last few chapters. It was a lot to process and try to understand in a short amount of writing.

Riley, Ever's dead little sister, was a great character. She was so cute, and acted just like a kid that age should act! She would wear her older sister's clothes, and get jealous easily. I think I liked her character the best.

There were great things and not-so-great things about this book, but overall I enjoyed it. The twist at the end was great, and I think this is a must-read for lovers of paranormal romance meets fantasy.

Book Supplied by: Won it on a book blogger's contest.

Friday Features (4)


Things I found around the blogosphere this week...

I just finished reading Evermore, by Alyson Noel, last night. I was so happy to hear that there would be a sequel...Blue Moon! Anyone a fan of the Immortals series?? The book will be released on July 7 this summer.




Over at Tales of a Ravenous Reader, she blogged about Mark-My-Time Digital Bookmarks. I had never heard or seen these before; I think they look pretty cool! What do you guys think about them? They only thing is, it seems like it would get annoying knowing it's timing you to see how long you read for. You can read about them by clicking here.

Just Your Typical Book Blog is having a contest to win This Lullaby. But hurry, the deadline to enter is this Sunday! She's also having a Sarah Dessen Extravaganza! throughout the month of June.

Well I'm off to go see a musical at the theater with some friends, so hopefully I can add more to this post later! :) Happy summer everyone.

Last day of torture, finally!


Sorry I haven't posted in a few days... I've been extremely busy with my exams for school. BUT great news! Today was my last day of school :) I'm sooo excited for summer and I'll finally be able to start reading all of the wonderful books that I've gotten the past few weeks.

School is over. School is over. Ahhhh I could say it over and over again :) I can finally be stress free and get rid of nagging teachers. Don't you just love summer? It's so...free!

I just wanted to let my followers (and anyone else who reads my site) know that I probably won't be able to post in the next couple of days, unless I get real lucky. I have a line up of sleepovers with friends this week, and many movie nights - I'm gonna go see Drag Me to Hell, and just recently saw UP. <--which is fantastic by the way!

So hopefully this weekend I'll be able to post my review for Evermore (which I'll try to finish reading tomorrow), On My Bookshelf, and some other fun stuff.

Thanks! And sorry again.

So not fair! :(


I was looking so forward to going to Sarah Ockler's Twenty Tweet Summer Twitter Party tonight on Twitter from 7 p.m. - 11 p.m. But guess what?! Every hour that I checked Twitter, it was under maintenance! How unfair is that? I think I should sue the maintenance people for ruining my night of happiness and eagerness to talk to Sarah. Hmph.

Well... did anyone's Twitter actually work, and get to attend the party??
Bummer.



BUT on a brighter side... I only have two more days of school! And then my summer vacation officially starts, and I can say bye-bye to being a freshman! :)

Wallander


Sooo I just recently won this contest for the 3 books in the Wallender Mystery series by Henning Mankell: Sidetracked, Firewall, and One Step Behind. I'll probably get them in the mail this week or next.

But the purpose of this post is to ask - who has read it? Or...seen it? Yeah, it's just recently been made into a TV show. You can watch the first 3 full episodes here until June 7. (When it aires I'm pretty sure.) I just finished watching the first episode which is Sidetracked.

Those of you who have read/heard about/watched it, can you leave a comment with your thoughts about it? Thanks, I think I'll probably start watching the show, it seems pretty cool. Plus, my favorite show is MONK, and Wallender seems similar to it.

Thanks! :)

Awkward...


Haha I just found the best website of awkward family photos. Some of these are just plain hilarious.

Some of my favorite awkward poses:
Click! Hahahaha
Click! Omigosh! :)
Click! Another awkward one!

Which ones do you like??

Waiting On Wednesday: It's Not You, It's Me


This week's WoW book is...It's Not You, It's Me by Kerry Hoffmann. It will be released on June 9, 2009.

Description from Amazon:
Funny and touching—this is a heartfelt breakup story.
Zoe loves Henry.
Henry dumps Zoe.
Zoe wants Henry back—at any cost.
Zoe’s two best friends come up with a plan to help Zoe get what she thinks she wants. The plan: make Henry jealous.
But the plan takes a surprising turn. . . .
Spanning thirty-one days in the cycle of a breakup, Kerry Cohen Hoffmann’s humorous and poignant novel depicts a girl whose single-minded focus on her ex-boyfriend has pulled her far from the person she most needs to win back—herself.

I think that this looks like a cute romantic novel, that sounds promising. RELEASED ON JUNE 9, 2009.

Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard


Title: Pretty Little Liars
Author: Sara Shepard
Published: August 2007

My Rating: 4 stars
Tags:
YA | Girls | Series (Book One)
Includes: Profanity, Sexual Content, Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Homosexuality, Eating Disorders

First Lines: "Someone finally bought the DiLaurentises' old house," Emily Fields's mother said. It was Saturday afternoon, and Mrs. Fields sat at the kitchen table, bifocals perched on her nose, calmly doing her bills.



I have never really been the type of reader interested in those girly, cliche series like Gossip Girl, Private, The Clique series, etc. So when my two friends were urging me over and over to pick up a copy of Pretty Little Liars, the first in the series, I have to admit that I wasn't convinced at first. However, once I went to Borders to get some new books, I saw it staring at me from the bookshelf...and what do you think I did next? Yep, I bought it. (:

After just reading the first chapter, I was HOOKED. Sure, even though it seems like another typical girl series with the "rich/snobby/stuck-up" characters, I really enjoyed this book. The author covered just about every single problem/scenerio a lot of teenagers face in their lives: body image and eating disorders, trying to figure out if you're straight or lesbian, parent and family issues, finding love in all the wrong places, cutting to deal with emotional pain, oh and your everyday disapperance of your best friend.

...................

Yes you read that right. After just the first chapter, Alison, the leader of the seventh grade 5-girl-clique has gone missing. The girl who knew everyone's secrets, and swore to take them to the grave. Meet Spencer, Aria, Emily, and Hanna; four girls who were inseperable in middle school but have long since moved on since their best friend Alison's disapearance.

But, life changes suddenly for all four of the girls once they start getting strange emails and texts from someone anonymous, who calls themself "A". With each chapter, readers will discover the truths under each lie the girls have told in the past, until all of them somehow connect. Each girl has her own story and her own secrets, that will leave you wishing for more.

As soon as I finished the last page of the book - which I loved the cliffhanger ending, by the way - I was desperate to read the next book in the series. I like the variety of plots going on; the storyline never bored me or dragged along. This is definitely a girls' book though, I don't think guys would enjoy it. The author doesn't hold back when describing make-out sessions, and she introduces each chapter with the exact detail of what the characters are wearing.

There were some very awkward moments in the book though while I was reading it in public - like at school - where I was practically covering up the whole page with my hand so people looking over my shoulder wouldn't be able to read it and ask what the heck I was reading! (Yes, I get embarrassed easily.) I think this is one of those books that you either love or hate; and I fell into the "love" category. My two friends who had originally told me about this series, were ecstatic to hear that I really liked it. This is just the beginning of a great new series!


Book Supplied by: Bought it at Borders! :)

Live Like A Rockstar Contest!


I found the contest: Live Like A Rockstar and entered it. One grand prize winner will win a $850 night out, dinner for 6, and limo service. But...because I'm never lucky with these huge awesome giveaways, I entered it for a different reason. Go figure. What's the prize you ask? Well considering my blog's name...it was the book Always Watching! The first 200 entrants who email them just simply leaving their full name and address, will automatically get the book!

I sent them an email last night just for the heck of it, even though I knew I didn't have a chance. Yeah well guess what? I just got an email back saying I was one of the first 200 entrants! YAY I get the book in the mail within the next two weeks! How awesome and easy was that? So...

GO ENTER, BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE! :)

New Moon Trailer!


(Just pretend this is my Musing Mondays post! Haha)



WOW I think this one looks wayyy better than the first one. I wonder how many times I paused it at 1:26..? ;] My favorite part in the trailer was when Jacob became a wolf. I thought they made it look really cool!
But ugh I just can't stand Bella's character/personality in the movie(s). I always imagined her so different...but hey, that's what happens when books get made into movies!

So what do you guys think about this upcoming movie/trailer? It's coming out on November 20 this year! Eeek, can't wait. Even though I'm not one of those annoying fan girls that obsess over everything Twilight, I still think that Jacob is veryyy CUTE. Haha!